Hadith of the two weighty things
||This article may be unbalanced towards certain viewpoints. (December 2010)|
|Beliefs and practices|
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|Narration of the Two Weighty Things|
The Hadith al-Thaqalayn refers to a saying (hadith) about al-Thaqalayn, which translates to "the two weighty things." In this hadith Muhammad referred to the Qur'an and Ahl al-Bayt ('people of the house', Muhammed's family) as the two weighty things. Although the Hadith is accepted by both Sunnis and Shi'as, the two groups differ on the exact wording of what Muhammad said, as well how to interpret these words. The Shias use the Hadith al-Thaqalayn to prove their claim that Muhammad meant for all his successors to be from his own family (Ahl al-Bayt). Wahabis reject this view and believe in a different interpretation of Hadith al-Thaqalayn. However Sunnis believe that the Hadith does refer to the Family of the Prophet and his successors.
Shi'as believe that Muhammad said the following:
"I m leaving among you something which is very important and should be followed, you will not go astray if you get hold of it after I am gone, one part of it being more important than the other: Allah's Book, which is a rope stretched from Heaven to Earth, and my close relatives, who belong to my household. These two will not separate from one another till they come down to the reservoir, so consider how you act regarding them after my departure." (Tirmidhi)
While both Sunnis and Shi'as believe in respecting Ahl al-Bayt, the Shi'a believe that the successors of the Prophet were appointed from the Ahl al-Bayt, while Sunnis reject the claim that anyone was appointed as successor.
|“||" 46.3 Yahya related to me from Malik that he heard that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "I have left two things with you. As long as you hold fast to them, you will not go astray. They are the Book of Allah and the Sunna of His Prophet.".||”|
In the years proceeding Muhammad, Imam Jafar al-Sadiq whose views most Shias follow and Imam Abu Hanifa and Malik ibn Anas whose views most Sunnis follow worked together in Al-Masjid an-Nabawi in Medina. Along with Qasim ibn Muhammad ibn Abu Bakr, Muhammad al-Baqir, Zayd ibn Ali and over 70 other leading jurists and scholars . These scholars were taught by Muhammads companions, many of whom settled in Madina. Muwatta by Malik ibn Anas was written as a consensus of the opinion, of these scholars. The Muwatta by Malik ibn Anas quotes 13 hadiths from Imam Jafar al-Sadiq.
There are also other versions of this Hadith that say:
|“||"I leave for you the Quran alone you shall uphold it. Muslim 15/19, nu 1218; ibn Majah 25/84, Abu dawud 11/56..||”|
For this reason Muslims regard the Quran as the most authentic book in Islam. Many of these books were written between 100 and 300 years after Muhammad. There had been oral transmission from generation to generation until then. Muwatta by Malik ibn Anas is the earliest of these books.
The Quran is earliest and the most authentic book in Islam.
The Quran is accepted as the most authentic book in Islam and therefore any other book or text that contradicts with the Quran is not accepted as the truth. All the other books were written decades and in most cases centuries after Muhammad.
Quran, Surat Al-Hujurat [49:13]:
|“||"O mankind, indeed I have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Acquainted"
According to the Quran, no race is above another race. Racial inequality is not acceptable according to the Quran.
Everyone is a creation of God and the most noble of you in the sight of God is the most righteous of you.
Therefore, if an off spring of Ali is sinful, some one who is not an off spring of Ali but less sinful is more noble in the sight of God.
There is no concept of the chosen people in the Quran.
On the day of judgment there is also no racial inequality :
|“||"So whoever does an atom's weight of good will see it (Quran 99:7)".||”|
|“||And whoever does an atom's weight of evil will see it (Quran 99:8)".||”|
Shi'as believe that Muhammad said Hadith al-Thaqalayn multiple times in multiple settings in multiple wordings. They argue that Muhammad said Hadith al-Thaqalayn at Mount Arafat during his Farewell Sermon, at Ghadir Khumm, in the mosque of Medinah, during his last illness, and at many other places and times.
Shi'as believe that this hadith is mutawattir, meaning that it has been related so many times by so many people that there is no doubt about its authenticity. Shi'as claim that this hadith is the most authentic of hadiths, claiming that it has been narrated by over 35 companions of Muhammad.
The Hadith al-Thaqalayn is used by the Shi'a, among other reasons, to justify their claim of Ali's succession to Muhammad. Shi'as view this hadith as a clear indication that Muhammad wished to keep the matter of leadership within his own family, starting with his cousin Ali. They say that Muhammad was clearly indicating that only the Ahl al-Bayt have a right to authority and leadership. It is based on this claim that the Shi'as reject the first three Sunni Caliphs, referring to them as usurpers and tyrants.
Because the Shi'a believe that Muhammad said Hadith al-Thaqalayn on many occasions, the Shi'a have many different versions of what Muhammad said. One such version corresponds closely to what the Sunnis also believe in:
Muhammad said: "One of them (i.e. the Thaqalayn) is the Book of Allah and the other one is my select progeny (Itrat), that is family (Ahlul-Bayt). Beware of how you behave (with) them when I am gone from amongst you, for Allah, the Merciful, has informed me that these two (i.e., Quran and Ahlul-Bayt) shall never separate from each other until they reach me in Heaven at the Pool (of al-Kawthar). I remind you, in the name of Allah, about my Ahlul-Bayt. I remind you, in the name of Allah, about my Ahlul-Bayt. Once more! I remind you, in the name of Allah, about my Ahlul-Bayt." 
Volume 6, Chapter 31, Hadith No. 3788:
Zaid bin Arqam, narrated that the messenger of Allah . said: "Indeed, I am leaving among you, that which if you hold fast to them, you shall not be misguided after me. One of then is greater than the other: (First is) The book of Allah is a rope extended from the sky to the earth, and (the second is) my family, the people of my house (ahlul bait), and they shall not split until they meet me at the hawd, so look at how you deal with them after me." (Sahih).
Volume 6, Chapter 31, Hadith No. 3786:
Jibir bin Abdullah said: "I saw the Messenger of Allah during his Hajj, on the Day of Arafah (on his last pilgrimage). He was upon his camel Al-Qaswa, giving a Khutbah, so he said: O People! Indeed, I have left among you, that which if you hold fast to it, you shall not go astray: The Book of Allah (Quran) and my Family, the People of my House (Ahlul-Bait).(Sahih)
The Shi'as, however, also believe in other versions of the Hadith such as:
"I have left with you something, which if you strictly adhere to, you shall never go astray–The Book of Allah and my progeny."
"I leave you two weighty things, if you stick to both you will never go astray after me: the Book of Allah and my progeny."
"I am leaving for you two precious and weighty Symbols that if you adhere to both of them, you shall not go astray after me. They are, the Book of Allah, and my progeny, that is, my Ahl al-Bayt. The Merciful has informed me that these two shall not separate from each other till they come to me by the Pool (of Paradise)."
- Sahih Muslim, 031:5920
- Sahih Muslim, 031:5923
- Understanding Women in Islam: An Indonesian Perspective By Syafiq Hasyim Page 67 
- Classical Islam: A Sourcebook of Religious Literature By Norman Calder, J. Jawid Ahmad Mojaddedi, Andrew Rippin Page 37 
- Judaism and Islam in Practice: A Sourcebook By Jonathan E. Brockopp, Jacob Neusner, Tamara Sonn 
- History of Islamic Law by N. J. Coulson page 103
- E.J. Brill's First Encyclopaedia of Islam, 1913-1936, Volume 5 By Martijn Theodoor Houtsma page 207 
- Studies in Islamic History and Civilization: In Honour of Professor David Ayalon By Moshe Sharon Page 264 
- Al-Muwatta of Imam Malik Ibn Anas:Translated by Aisha Bewley (Book #5, Hadith #5.9.23)(Book #16, Hadith #16.1.1)(Book #17, Hadith #17.24.43)(Book #20, Hadith #20.10.40)(Book #20, Hadith #20.11.44)(Book #20, Hadith #20.32.108)(Book #20, Hadith #20.39.127)(Book #20, Hadith #20.40.132)(Book #20, Hadith #20.49.167) (Book #20, Hadith #20.57.190)(Book #26, Hadith #26.1.2)(Book #29, Hadith #29.5.17)(Book #36, Hadith #36.4.5)
- Surat Al-Hujurat 49:13
- Surat An-Nisa' 4:1
- A’alam al-Wara, pp 132-133