Hadith & Alleged Death of Jesus -12 (Statement of Hassan (ra) at Kufa)

Today I write about narration used by Murabbis to play with the beliefs of common Ahmadis. It is a statement of Hassan bin ‘Ali (RA) recorded in Tabaqat al-Kubra of Ibn Sa’d. It is used in an attempt to prove the death of ‘Eisa (AS). According to the statement as put on an Ahmadi website[1]:

At the eve of death of Ali (RA), Imam Hassan (RA) while addressing the people said: ‘Ali (RA) died the night Jesus’ soul ascended i.e. 27th night of Ramadan. (Tabaqat Ibn Sa’d vol.3 p.39)

The Truth:

Let’s discuss the actual wording, authentic and various versions of the narration. Ibn Sa’d’s narration goes as:

أخبرنا عبد الله بن نمير عن الأجلح عن أبي إسحاق عن هبيرة بن يريم قال: لما توفي علي بن أبي طالب قام الحسن بن علي فصعد المنبر فقال: أيها الناس …ولقد قبض في الليلة التي عرج فيها بروح عيسى بن مريم ليلة سبع وعشرين من رمضان

‘Abdullah bin Numayr narrated to me from Al-Ajlah, [he] from Abi Ishaq, [he] from Habira bin Yarbam who narrated: When ‘Ali bin Abi Talib  (RA) died, Hassan bin ‘Ali stood and went to the pulpit, then he said: ‘O people! … Verily he has died that night the soul of ‘Eisa  (AS) was ascended, the 27th night of Ramadan.’ (Tabaqat Ibn Sa’d 3/39 Chapter on Abdul Rahman ibn Maljam)

This narration has quite a number of problems:

1- In its chain is the narrator Al-Ajlah bin ‘Abdullah who has been criticized by the scholars. Hafiz Ibn Hajr quotes the opinions of various scholars about him;

Ibn Abi Hatim said: ‘He is not strong. Write his narrations but do not seek evidence with them.’

Nasai said: ‘Weak! He has nothing’

Abu Dawud said: ‘[He is] Weak’

Jozjani said: ‘[He is a] Liar’

(Tehzib Al-Tehzib 1/166 Entry 353)

Infact Ibn Sa’d who quoted this narration termed him extremely weak. After giving his basic bio-data he writes:

وكان ضعيفا جدا

‘And he is extremely weak.’ (Tabaqat Ibn Sa’d 6/350)

Hence the narration is extremely weak even according to the judgment of the author of the book.

2- The narration with this particular wording is unreliable as it contradicts another narration on similar lines reported by trustworthy narrators. We read in Al-Hakim’s collection;

حدثنا الأستاذ أبو الوليد الهيثم بن خلف الدوري ، ثنا سوار بن عبد الله العنبري ، ثنا المعتمر قال : قال أبي : حدثنا الحريث بن مخشي ، أن عليا قتل صبيحة إحدى وعشرين من رمضان ، قال : فسمعت الحسن بن علي يقول ، وهو يخطب وذكر مناقب علي ، فقال : « قتل ليلة أنزل القرآن ، وليلة أسري  بعيسى ، وليلة قبض موسى »

Abu Al-Waleed Al-Haitham narrated from Sawar bin ‘Abdullah Al-Anbari; he said, Mu’tamar narrated to us; he said: ‘My father said’; Harith bin Makhshi narrated: ‘Ali (RA) was murdered the morning of 21st Ramadan. He said; I heard Hassan bin ‘Ali (RA) speaking. He was making an address and talking of the virtues of ‘Ali (RA); he said: ‘He has been killed the night Qur’an was revealed, the night ‘Eisa (AS) was moved and the night Musa (AS) died.’ (Mustadrak Hakim, Hadith 4671. Hakim said it is Sahih)

Now this narration uses the word أسري which means to traverse a path, to make displacement. This certainly refers to his physical  ascension to the heavens.

Also note that the contrast of this word to the that used for Musa (AS). Had he died a natural death, there was no reason to use the word with the markedly different implication.

Lest one may ask as to the al-Dhahbi’s comment on this Hadith for we know he declared many of the narrations authenticated by al-Hakim as dubious, and recently we considered one such example, I shall clarify that al-Dhahbi did not comment on this narration. And scholars say that a narration of al-Hakim’s Mustadrak on which al-Dhahbi does not comment is Hasan in status if not criticized by others. (See Shaykh Abdul Fattah Abu Ghoddah’s Qawa’id fi ‘Uloom al-Hadith p. 71, pub. Idara al-Qur’an wa ‘Uloom al-Islamia, Karachi)

Same narration has been quoted by Jalaluddin Suyuti in Durr Manthur 2/348 under Qur’an 3:54-57

Obviously the second narration which has been authenticated by the scholars must be considered and first one stands rejected because of its weak chain and difference with the authentic narration. And the second narration does not give any hint to what Ahmadis suggest. Infact it testifies to the contrary.

3- Interestingly Imam Nasai who termed a key narrator of the narration in question as weak and Imam Hakim and Suyuti who have quoted and authenticated the other narration have all been recognized as Mujaddids by Ahmadis.

Thus no authentic narration supports the Ahmadi contention.

Similar narrations from Shi’a sources:

4- Here are some narrations of the similar import from Shi’a sources;

In Biharul Anwar of Allama Muhammad Baqir al-Majlasi it is reported;

عن حبيب بن عمرو قال : لما توفي أمير المؤمنين عليه السلام قام الحسن عليه السلام خطيبا فقال : أيها الناس في هذه الليلة رفع عيسى بن مريم .

Narrated Habib bin ‘Amr: ‘When the Commander of the Faithful passed away, Hassan stood and spoke. He said, ‘O you people! On this night ‘Eisa ibn Maryam was raised.’ (Biharul Anwar vol.14 p.335)

Another narration says;

عن أبي بصير ، عن أبي عبدالله عليه السلام قال : قال أبوجعفر عليه السلام : لما كانت الليلة التي قتل فيها علي عليه السلام لم يرفع عن وجه الارض حجر إلا وجد تحته دم عبيط حتى طلع الفجر ، وكذلك كانت الليلة التي قتل فيها يوشع بن نون عليه السلام ، و كذلك كانت الليلة التي رفع فيها عيسى بن مريم عليه السلام وكذلك الليلة التي قتل فيها الحسين عليه السلام

Narrated Abi Baseer from Abu Abdullah (A.S.), he said:  Abu Ja‘far (AS) said, “On the night when ‘Alí (AS) was murdered no stone was lifted from the face of the earth unless beneath it was found pure fresh blood, until the first break of dawn. It was the same on the night Yusha‘ ibn Nun (A.S.) was murdered, and it was the same on the night when Eisa ibn Maryam (AS) was raised, and it was the same on the night when Husain (AS) was murdered.” (Biharul Anwar vol.14 p.336)

There are similar reports in Tahdhib al-Ahkam of Abu Ja’far Muhammad bin Hassan al-Tusi and Tafsir Ayyashi.

Conclusion:

5- All these narrations are infact evidence against Ahmadiyya.

a- The narration of al-Hakim and the first one from Biharul Anwar clearly use the words ‘Qabadha’ and ‘Tawaffi’ implying death of Musa (AS) and Ali (RA) respectively but not one of them uses any such word for ‘Eisa (AS). This is a categorical proof that ‘Eisa (AS) did not die and the ‘Rafa’ mentioned for him relates to physical ascension and not just exaltation in ranks after death.

b- The narration from al-Hakim says Musa (AS) died whereas Mirza Ghulam Ahmad claimed to the contrary. See Noor-ul-Haq p. 50 included in Rohani Khazain vol. 8 p.69

I will request the Ahmadi readers around to take all these references to the Murabbis and question them and if they cannot satisfy them, and for a surety they cannot satisfy any reasonable person, then come and be part of the fraternity of pristine Islam.

INDEED ALLAH KNOWS THE BEST!


[1] The site has the statement in Urdu. Here I have given the literal translation of what the site reads.