I recently noticed this old question which is an issue of contention among Shia and Sunnis.

We've got two versions of hadith of "the two weighty things" with one identifying the two with Quran and Ahl al-Bayt, and the other identifying the two with the Quran and the Sunnah.

But the 'sunnah' versions of the hadith as provided by this answer I suspected not to be reliable even in the first sight. First the hadith is not reported in any of the six sahih sources of the Sunni. And I also read the secondary sources provided are not reliable. Here I mention them one by one:

  • There is one mursal instance in Muwataa of Imam Malik. We know this Sunni Imam was a distant tabi'i and that his famous work has been subject to some doubts and controversy, and with the hadith not quoting any narrators, it is as good as null.

  • One in Mustadrak of Hakim al-Nishabouri. But I read that one narrator in his chain of the narration has been dismissed as a liar and fabricator by Imam Nasa'i and other Sunni scholars: Isma'il ibn Abi Owais (إِسْمَاعِيلُ بْنُ أَبِي أُوَيْسٍ). His father ibn Abi Owais ابْنُ أَبِي أُوَيْسٍ who is relied by Bukhari has also been weakened by an early Sunni scholar, Ibn Mu'in.

  • Interestingly Hakim himself feels the urge to corroborate the hadith by one from Abu Huraira who himself is a controversial source to begin with. But, anyway, this source has been given for Abu Huraira version. But I read there is one Salih ibn Musa ( صَالِحُ بْنُ مُوسَى) in the chain who has been weakened by a number of Sunni Imams including Ibn Muin, Nasai and Asqalani.

  • Another source for this hadith has been mentioned to come from a hadith book called At-Tamhid which is a commentary on Muwataa but this version too has been dismissed for including a fabricator named, Kathir ibn Abd Allah (کثیر بن عبدالله), according to my sources.

My question is what is the contemporary or final Sunni scholarly position on this hadith? Has the 'sunnah' version of the hadith been considered reliable by them or rejected in the light of the above objections, and why?

This would be apart from other troubling questions about this version including the suspicious similarity between its wording and that of the Ahl al-Bayt version.

  • 1
    Imam Malik compiled the hadith as "mursal" as he wanted to avoid quoting that it was transmitted via 'Ikrimah in fact ibn 'Abd al-Barr could lift this issue in his book and quote the hadith with full chain so this is certainly not a hadith that is among the four ahadith ibn 'Abd al-Barr failed to lift the "irsaal" from in al-Muwatta'. Be aware that on the whole this topic is opinion-based based.
    – Medi1Saif
    Oct 18, 2019 at 11:27
  • @Medi1Saif, Thank you. So the at-Tamhid reference that I added was crucial. Do you have an online reference to ibn Abd al-Barr work and this narration? Kathir ibn Abd Allah I have read has been rejected as a liar by Imam Shafi'i, Nasa'i, Abu Dawud, and weakened by Asqalani. And there's a Kathir ibn Abd Allah who was in the army of Yazid in Karballa. If these are true then the Muwatta/Ibn Abd al-Barr version seem fully discredited. And staying short of specific comments and just saying it is opinion-based, I think, means the hadith is really controversial and hard to rely upon.
    – infatuated
    Oct 18, 2019 at 14:54
  • 1
    at this point I could say it is possible to find an online version of a-Tamhid, but I don't know much about the authenticity of the hadith in there I just can say it is no more disconnect as it was.
    – Medi1Saif
    Oct 18, 2019 at 18:24
  • Isma'il ibn Abi Owais is among the narrators of Bukhari and Muslim. A group has considered him Thiqa and Saduq although a group has also criticized him.
    – UmH
    Oct 19, 2019 at 9:27
  • @UmH, Yes, and it kinda casts doubt on the judgements of Bukhari and Muslim who have extensively quoted him in their works. The charges against ibn Abi Owais are simply too strong: liar, fabricator, half-witted, and so forth.
    – infatuated
    Oct 19, 2019 at 12:32


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