Skeptical Shias that read through our articles will find that the majority of the Ghadir narrations are weak according to hadith standards. Some many come to the incorrect conclusion that this is due to Sunni biases. Al-Amini’s list includes 110 Companions for the narration. The vast majority of these are rejected.
Shias often assume that these 110 Companions have had their narrations recorded by individual chains. However, this is far from correct. In many cases, we find that the narrations come from one common link.
In this article we will examine two of the common links for these traditions.
Al-Asbagh bin Nubata
Al-Asbagh bin Nubata is the common link for one of the most commonly quoted hadiths of Ghadir. He narrates that the following companions all stood up and testified that they were present at Ghadir: Abu Ayoub Al-Ansari, Abu Amra bin Amr bin Muhsin, Abu Zaynab, Sahl bin Hunaif, Khuzaima bin Thabit, Abdullah bin Thabit Al-Ansari, Habshi bin Junada, Ubaid bin Azib, Al-Nu’man bin Ajlan, Thabit bin Wadee’a, Abu Fudhala, and Abdul Rahman bin Abd Rab Al-Ansari.
Al-Asbagh, in one narration, was able to attribute this hadith to twelve companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him).
Al-Asbagh was heavily criticized by hadith scholars. Yahya Al-Qattan and Abdul Rahman did not narrate from him. Abu Bakr bin Ayyash accused him of lying. He was weakened by Al-Sha’bi, Yahya bin Ma’een, Al-Nasa’ee, Al-Daraqutni, Ibn Sa’ad, Abu Ahmad Al-Hakim, Al-Saji, Al-Fasawi, Ibn Ammar, and Al-Jawzajani. Al-Bazzar also commented, “Most of his narration from Ali are only narrated by him.” (See his biography in Tahtheeb Al-Tahtheeb)
Even more problematic than Al-Asbagh bin Nubata is Ibn Uqda the Jaroodi Zaydi hadith scholar, who is also known as Ahmad bin Mohammad bin Sa’eed Al-Kufi. Ibn Uqda is a compiler of book that gathers the paths of hadith Al-Ghadir.
Ibn Uqda was weakened by Al-Daraqutni (Man Takalama Feehi Al-Daraqutni p. 23). Al-Daraqutni also called him a bad man. (See Ibn Uqda’s biography in Tareekh Baghdad) However, Al-Daraqutni never accused Ibn Uqda of lying, but rather, he clearly stated that Ibn Uqda’s problem is his wijadaat. Wijadaat refer to hadiths that are in written form that are found and not heard. (Su’alaat Al-Hakim p. 67)
Mohammad bin Ahmad bin Sufyan accused him of spreading texts and having old men teach them as if they were their own. Abu Bakr bin Abdan said that Ibn Uqda’s opinion of narrators has no weight. (Su’alaat Al-Sahmi #189)
Al-Khaleeli weakened him as well and pointed out that he narrated hadiths from people that are unknown and that nobody narrates them except for him. (Al-Irshad p. 230)
Also, Ibn Adi mentions from some of his teachers that Ibn Uqda used to give old texts to old men in his city, then he would narrate from them. This tactic is used so that he wouldn’t be accused of fabricating the hadith himself and that scholars would accuse the old men instead.
Al-Mihrawani said that Mutayyan was going to spread word that Ibn Uqda was a liar, however, he died before ever getting to do that. (Lisan Al-Mizan)
It should also be known, that Ibn Uqda was known for his great memory and was a major compiler of hadith. However, the issue was not with his dhabt, but rather, it was with his adala.
Now, upon returning to Al-Amini’s list, we find that Ibn Uqda narrated the hadith of Al-Ghadir from almost fifty Companions: Abu Qudama, Abu Haytham bin Al-Tayyihan, Abu Rafi’, Abu Thu’ayb, Abu Bakr, Usama bin Zaid, As’ad bin Zurara, Asma’ bint Umais, Um Salama, Jabir bin Samura, Jibla bin Amr, Habeeb bin Budail, Al-Hasan bin Ali, Rifa’a bin Abdul Mnuthir, Al-Zubair bin Al-Awwam, Zaid bin Thabit, Zaid bin Shuraheel, Zaid bin Abdullah Al-Ansari, Sa’ad bin Junada, Sa’eed bin Sa’ad bin Ubada, Salman Al-Farisi, Salama bin Amr bin Al-Akwa’, Samura bin Jundub, Abu Umama, Amir bin Umaira, Amir bin Layla, A’isha bint Abi Bakr, Al-Abbas bin Abdul Muttalib, Abdul Rahman bin Awf, Abdul Rahman bin Ya’mur, Abdullah bin Abd Asad, Abdullah bin Bushair Al-Mazini, Abdullah bin Ja’afar, Abdullah bin Abi Awfa, Abdullah bin Yameel, Uthman bin Affan, Adi bin Hatim, Atiyyah bin Busr, Uqba bin Amir, Omar bin Abi Salama, Amr bin Al-Hamaq, Fatima Al-Zahra’, Fatima bint Hamza, Ka’ab bin Ujra, Najiya bin Amr, Abu Barza, Hashim bin Utba, Wahshi bin Harb, and Abu Juhaifa.
In other words, almost half of Al-Amini’s list revolves around one problematic narrator.
It should also be noted that the book of Ibn Uqda is lost and that many of the quotes from his book do not quote a full chain in the first place. The narrations that do quote a full chain usually include unknown narrators, as observed by the early scholars of hadith when speaking about Ibn Uqda’s habits.