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I was reviewing and editing this question that I asked long ago and I want to complete my research on it. Back then my issues with it were not reasonably settled. One key issue was that how the three hadiths from at-Tirmidhi which state that Aisha and Abu Bakr were the most beloved individuals to the Holy Prophet (ص) were all narrated by a questionable companion Amr ibn As who is known for his hatred of Ali and war against him in addition to his wars against the Prophet (ص) before the conquest of Mecca.

I want to see whether there are other narrations, preferably reliable, in Sunni ahadith that state the same thing about Aisha and Abu Bakr and probably other companions to the exclusion of Ali, Fatima and Bani Hashim in general but from a route other than Amr ibn As. I don't remember whether I surveyed Bukhari and Muslim on this. So help would be appreciated.

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    The hadith is also in Bukhari and Muslim so a promising place to look would be their commentaries, Ibn Hajar also cites it from Ayesha and Anas. – UmH Mar 9 '20 at 7:42
  • @UmH, That was an interesting link. Thank you. – infatuated Mar 9 '20 at 9:20
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Ibn Hebban reported a similar ahadith in his Sahih on the authority of Anas ibn Malik ():
In the following I'll translate from Arabic language as these translation are of my own take them carefully.

7107- أخبرنا أبو عروبة بحران حدثنا المسيب بن واضح حدثنا معتمر بن سليمان عن حميد عن الحسن عن أنس قال: سئل رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: من أحب الناس إليك؟ قال. "عائشة" قيل له. ليس عن أهلك نسألك, قال "فأبوها (Source)
We were informed by abu 'Arooba Behran from by al-Musayyab ibn Wadih from Mu'tamar ibn Sulayman from Hameed from al-Hassan from Anas who said: The messenger of Allah Allah's prayers and blessings be upon him was asked: "Which of the people is most beloved to you?" He said: "'Aishah", it was said: "We don't ask about your family (members)". He said. "Then her father".

Ibn Majah and at-Tirmidhi reported it in a similar wording:

  • Narrated Anas [May Allah be pleased with him]:
    "It was said: 'O Messenger of Allah, which of the people is most beloved to you?' He said: "Aishah.' It was asked, 'And among men?' He said: 'Her father.'" (Sunan ibn Majah)

  • Narrated Anas [May Allah be pleased with him]:
    "It was said: 'O Messenger of Allah! Who is the most beloved of the people to you?' He said: ''Aishah.' It was said: 'From the men?' He said: 'Her father.'" (Jami' at-Tirmidhi)

Note that these ahadith maybe a reference to the question asked by 'Amr ibn al-'Aas. At least I don't know of any other report of a Sahabi () asking the prophet () this question. And apparently at least Anas () was present when this question was asked.

Let's go trough the routs of the narrator chains:

Sahih ibn Hebban

  1. abu 'Arooba Behran أبو عروبة بحران (died 318 a.H. according a-Dhahabi) was a hadith scholar, and considered to be anti Ummayyad, pro shi'a scholar, apparently some claimed he was a rafidi because a-Dhahabi tried to refute this by a comment.
  2. al-Musayyab ibn Wadih المسيب بن واضح (died 246 a.H. according a-Dhahabi) was considered as da'if by many scholars, while they mostly accept his hadith as he never reported something he didn't know. An-Nasai widely accepted him and abu Hatim considered him sadooq with errors.
  3. Mu'tamar ibn Sulayman معتمر بن سليمان (died 187 a.H. according a-Dhahabi, Arabic wikipedia claims he was born 106 a.H.) was considered as trustworthy.
  4. Hameed حميد (ibn abi Hameed also known as Hameed at-Taweel, died 142 or 143 a.H. according Arabic wikipedia) is regarded as trustworthy and he met Anas ibn Malik and reported 18 hadith -without intermediate- on his authority according ibn Hebban, while others claim he had an intermediate (referred to as Thabit al-Banani). Some say that when he was older he mixed narration from Anas and from Thabet (by intermediate?).
  5. al-Hassan الحسن (al Basri 21 a.H. - 110 a.H. according Arabic wikipedia) is reqgarded as trustworthy, however he used to use marasseel (hadith mursal: jumping a narrator for example a sahabi). But abu Zur'a ar-Razi claimed that he examined his narratives and came to the conclusion that all what al-Hassan narrated saying that it was the words of the prophet () had a an authentic reference except with 4 narrations.
  6. Anas ibn Malik.

Jami' at-Tirmdihi

  1. Ahmad ibn 'Abdah a-Daby أَحْمَدُ بْنُ عَبْدَةَ الضَّبِّيُّ (also known as Ahmad ibn 'Abdah ibn Musa a scholar from Basra who died 245 a.H.) he is regarded as trustworthy. Imam Muslim narrated 36 ahadith from him in his Sahih. Al-Bukhari narrated from him outside his Sahih.

  2. Mu'tamar ibn Sulayman معتمر بن سليمان (see 3. in Sahih ibn Hebban).

  3. Hameed حميد (see 4. in Sahih ibn Hebban).

  4. Anas ibn Malik (See 6. in Sahih ibn Hebban).

Sunan ibn Majah

  1. The main difference between this narrator chain and that of Jami' at-Tirmidhi is that ibn Majah addionaly to Ahmad ibn 'Abdah a-Daby narrated the hadith with the remaining chain from al-Hussayn ibn al-Hassan al-Maroozi الْحُسَيْنُ بْنُ الْحَسَنِ الْمَرْوَزِيُّ who died 246 a.H. and is regarded as sadooq and a known narrator of the book of az-Zuhd of imam Ahmad.

Basically all three chains presented her agree only ibn Hebban added al-Hassan al-Basri as an intermediate between Hameed (at-Taweel) and Anas ibn Malik. Further none of the narrators have been accused for fabrication nor are regarded as very weak.

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