Chapter 2 : Hadith al-Manzilah

In 9 AH the Prophet prepared to march for the expedition against the Romans, and according to Shaykh Mufi-d and Shaykh Tusi- since he was concerned of the evil intentions of the enemies, he told Imam ‘Ali- (‘a): “It is not advisable to leave Medina without me or you.” He subsequently placed Imam ‘Ali- (‘a) in charge of Medina before departing for the expedition to Tabuk, and in order to quell the hypocrites’ ill-speaking of his cousin, he said the latter’s position to him was like that of Aaron to Prophet Moses (‘a). This saying is known as Hadi-th al-Manzilah and has been reported by all scholars. Ibn Hanbal has recorded it in the Musnad twenty times through different chains of isna-d on the authority of several companions of the Prophet including Ja-bir bin ‘Abdulla-h al-Ansa-ri-, Asma-’ bint ‘Umays, ‘Abdulla-h bin ‘Abba-s, Abi- Sa‘i-d al-Khidri- and Sa‘d bin Abi- Waqqa-s.[28] The last named has related it ten times and one of the versions reads as follows:

Abi- Ahmad Zubayri quotes ‘Abdulla-h bin Habi-b bin Abi- Tha-bit from Hamzah bin ‘Abdulla-h from his father and from Sa‘d (bin Abi- Waqqa-s) who narrating this hadi-th for us, said:

When the Messenger of Allah left Medina for Tabuk he placed (Imam) ‘Ali- [(‘a)] as his vicegerent in Medina. (Imam) ‘Ali- [(‘a)] asked the Prophet:

“Are you making me your vicegerent?”

The Prophet replied:

“Are you not happy that your position to me is that of Aaron to Moses, except that there is no Prophet after me?”[29]

Ahmad Sha-kir has termed the isna-d of this hadi-th as fair.


[28] Hamdi- ‘Abd al-Maji-d al-Salafi-, Murshid al-Muhta-r, vol. 1, p. 239, 2nd edition, Beirut, 1407/1987.
[29] Al-Musnad, hadith no. 1600 (Ahmad Sha-kir).