The following extracts (taken from authentic Sunni books) from the said lecture (khutbah) of the Holy Prophet are very important:
I am leaving behind, among you, two most precious things. . . (1) The Book of Allah . . . and (2) my descendants who are my family members. They will not separate from each other until they come to me near Kawthar (a pool in Paradise). Verily Allah is my Master and I am the Master of every believer. Then he took the hand of 'Ali and said:
"For whomever I am his Leader (mawla), 'Ali is his Leader (mawla)."
These two traditions are referred to as the traditions of 'Two Precious Things' (Thaqalayn) and Mastership' (Wilayah) . They are singly and jointly narrated by hundreds of traditionalists.
Nawwab Siddiq Hasan Khan of Bhopal, says: "al-Hakim Abu Sa'id says that the tradition of 'Two Precious Things' and of 'Whoever whose Master I am, 'Ali is his Master' are mutawatir (i.e., narrated unbrokenly by so many people that no doubt can be entertained about their authenticity), because a great number of the Companions of the Prophet have narrated them. So much so that Muhammad ibn Jarir has written these two traditions through seventy-five different chains (asnad); and he has written a separate book which he named Kitabu 'l-wilayah; and al-Hafiz adh-Dhahabi also has written a complete book on its asnad and has passed the verdict that it is mutawatir; and Abu 'l-'Abbas ibn 'Uqdah has narrated the hadith of Ghadir Khumm through one hundred and fifty chains and has written a complete book on it."
Some writers have tried to cast doubt on the authenticity of the events of Ghadir Khumm. It is necessary to mention that this hadith is mutawatir, and the late renowned scholar al'Allamah al-Amini in the first volume of his celebrated book al-Ghadir has given (with full references) the names of 110 famous Companions of the Holy Prophet who have narrated this hadith. As an example, I am enumerating the names given under letter alif. ( The years of)
1. Abu Layla al-Ansari (37); 2. Abu Zaynab ibn 'Awf al-Ansari; 3. Abu Fadalah al-Ansari (38); 4. Abu Qudamah al-Ansari; 5. Abu 'Amrah ibn 'Amr ibn Mutassin al-Ansari; 6. Abu 'l-Haytham ibn at-Tayyihan (37); 7. Abu Rafi' al-Qibti, slave of the Holy Prophet; 8. Abu Dhuwayb Khuwaylid (or Khalid) ibn Khalid al-Hudhali; 9. Usamah ibn Zayd ibn Harithah (54); 10. Ubayy ibn Ka'b al-Ansari (30 or 32); 11. As'ad ibn Zurarah al Ansari; 12. Asma' bint 'Umays; 13. Umm Salamah, wife of the Holy Prophet; 14. Umm Hani bint Abi Talib; 15. Abu Hamzah Anas ibn Malik al-Ansari; 16. Abu Bakr ibn Abi Quhafah; and 17. Abu Hurayrah.
And there are not less than 84 tabi'in (disciples of the Companions) who narrated this hadith from the above-mentioned Companions. Again, the list under letter alif is given here as an example:
1. Abu Rashid al-Hubrani ash-Shami, 2. Abu Salamah ibn 'Abdi'r-Rahman ibn 'Awf; 3. Abu Sulayman al-Mu'adhdhin; 4. Abu Salih as-Samman, Dhakwan al-Madani; 5. Abu 'Unfuwanah al-Mazini; 6. Abu 'Abdi 'r-Rahim al-Kindi; 7. Abu 'l Qasim, Asbagh ibn Nubatah at-Tamimi; 8. Abu Layla al-Kindi; and 9. Iyas ibn Nudhayr.
Traditionists have recorded this hadith in their books in every century and every era. For example, the names of those writers and scholars who have narrated this hadith in the second century of hijrah are:
1. Abu Muhammad, 'Amr ibn Dinar al-Jumahi al-Makki (115 or 116); 2. Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn Muslim ibn 'Ubaydillah al-Qurashi az Zuhri (124); 3. 'Abdu'r Rahman ibn Qasim ibn Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr at-Taymi al-Madani (126); 4. Bakr ibn Sawadah ibn Thumamah, Abu Thumamah al-Basri (128); 5. 'Abdullah ibn Abi Najih, Yasar ath-Thaqafi, Abu Yasar al-Makki (131); 6. al-Hafiz Mughirah ibn Muqassim, Abu Hisham ad-Dabbi al-Kufi (133); 7. Abu 'Abdi'r-Rahim Khalid ibn Zayd al-Jurnahi al Misri (139); 8. Hasan ibn al-Hakam an-Nakha'i al-Kufi (ca. 140); 9. Idris ibn Yazid, Abu 'Abdillah al-Awd; al-Kufi; 10. Yahya ibn Sa'id ibn Hayyan at-Taymi al-Kufi; 11. al-Hafiz 'Abdu'l Malik ibn Abi Sulayman al-'Arzami al-Kufi (145); 12. 'Awf ibn Abi Jamilah al'Abdi al Hajar; al-Basri (146); 13. 'Ubaydullah ibn 'Umar ibn Hafs ibn 'Asim ibn 'Umar ibn al-Khattab al-'Adawi al-Madani (147); 14. Nu'aym ibn al Hakim al-Madayini (148); 15. Talhah ibn Yahya ibn Talkah ibn 'Ubaydillah at-Taymi al-Kufi (148); 16. Abu Mukammad Kathir ibn Zayd al-Aslami (ca. 150); 17. al-Hafiz Mukammad ibn Ishaq al-Madani (151 or 152); 18. al-Hafiz Mu'ammar ibn Rashid, Abu 'Urwah al-Azdi al-Basri (153 or 154); 19. al-Hafiz Mis'ar ibn Kidam ibn Zahir al-Hilali ar-Rawasi al-Kufi (153 or 154); 20. Abu 'Isa Hakam ibn Aban al-'Adani (154 or 155); 21. 'Abdullah ibn Shawdhab al Balkhi al-Basri (157); 22. al-Hafiz Shu'bah ibn al-Hajjaj, Abu Bistam al-Wasit; (160); 23. al Hafiz Abu'1-'Ala', Kamil ibn al-'Ala' at-Tamimi al-Kufi (ca. 160); 24. al-Hafiz Sufyan ibn Sa'id ath-Thawri, Abu 'Abdillah al-Kufi (161); 25. al Hafiz. Isra'il ibn Yunus ibn Abi Ishaq as-Sabi'i Abu Yusuf al-Kufi (162); 26. Ja'far ibn Ziyad al-Kufi al-Ahmar (165 or 167); 27. Muslim ibn Salim an-Nahdi, Abu Farwah al-Kufi; 28. al Hafiz Qays ibn ar-Rabi', Abu Mukammad alAsadi al-Kufi (165); 29. al-Hafiz Hammad ibn Salamah, Abu Salamah al-Basri (167); 30. al Hafiz 'Abdullah ibn Lahi'ah, Abu 'Abdi 'r-Rakman al-Misri (174); 31. al-Hafiz Abu 'Uwanah al-Waddak ibn 'Abdillah ai-Yashkuri al-Wasit; al-Bazzaz (175 or 176); 32. Al Qadi Sharik ibn 'Abdillah, Abu 'Abdillah an-Nakha'i al-Kufi (177); 33. al-Hafiz 'Abdullah (or 'Ubaydullah) ibn 'Ubaydu 'r-Rahman (or 'Abdu 'r-Rahman) al-Kufi, Abu 'Abdi 'r-Rahman al-Ashja'i (182); 34. Nuh ibn Qays, Abu Rawh al-Huddani al-Basri (183); 35. al-Muttalib ibn Ziyad ibn Ab; Zuhayr al-Kufi, Abu Talib (185); 36. Al Qadi Hassan ibn Ibrahim al-'Anazi, Abu Hashim (186); 37. al-Hafiz Jarir ibn 'Abdi 'l-Hamid, Abu 'Abdillah ad-Dabbi al-Kufi ar-Razi (188); 38. al-Fadl ibn Musa, Abu 'Abdillah al-Marwazi as-Sinani (192); 39. al-Hafiz Muhammad ibn Ja'far al-Madani al-Basri (193); 40. al-Hafiz Isma'il ibn 'Uliyyah, Abu Bishr ibn Ibrahim al-Asadi (193); 41. al-Hafiz Muhammad ibn Ibrahim, Abu 'Amr ibn Abi 'Adiyy as-Sulami al-Basri(194);42. al-Hafiz Muhammad ibn Khazim, Abu Mu' awiyah atTamimi ad-Darir (195); 43. al-Hafiz. Muhammad ibn Fudayl, Abu 'Abdi'r-Rahman al-Kufi (195); 44. al-Hafiz al-Waki' ibn al-Jarrah ar-Ru'asi alKufi (196); 45. al-Hafiz Sufyan ibn 'Uyaynah, Abu Muhammad ai-Hilali al-Kufi (198); 46. al-Hafiz 'Abdullah ibn Numayr, Abu Hisham al-Hamdan; al-Kharifi (199); 47. al-Hafiz Hanash ibn al Marith ibn Laqit an-Nakha'i al-Kufi; 48. Abu Mupammad Musa ibn Ya'qub az-Zama'; al-Madani; 49. al-'Ala' ibn Salim al-'Attar al-Kufi; 50. al-Azraq ibn 'Ali ibn Muslim al-Hanafi, Abu 'l-Jahm al-Kufi; 51. Ham ibn Ayyub al-Hanafi al-Kufi; 52. Fudayl ibn Marzuq al-Agharr ar-Ru'asi al-Kufi (ca. 160); 53. Abu Hamzah Sa'd ibn 'Ubaydah as-Sulami al-Kufi; 54. Musa ibn Muslim al-Hizami ash-Shaybani, Abu 'Isa al-Kufi at-Tahhan (Musa as-Saghir); 55. Ya'qub ibn Ja'far ibn Abi Kathir al-Ansari al-Madani 56. 'Uthman ibn Sa'd ibn Murrah al Qurashi, Abu 'Abdillah (Abu 'Ali) al-Kufi.
Thus this hadith continues to be narrated by so many narrators (ruwat) in every era as to make it mutawatir. Coming to the scholars and writers who have narrated this hadith in their books of traditions, it is enough to mention that al-'Allamah al-Amini has listed the names of 360 scholars according to fourteenth century .
Some people have tried to cast doubts about the asnad of this hadith. As every student of Islamic tradition knows, if a hadith is mutawatir there is no need to look at individual's asnad at all. Still to show the hollowness of this charge, I would like to give here the Opinions of some of the famous traditionalists (muhaddithun).