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Authentic evidence of the Hadith : The one who dies without knowing imam of time


The one who dies without knowing imam of time dies death of jahiliyya!
Can you present single authentic evidence along with chain of transmitters with exact wordings from our books?
Not with the ones as in Sahih Muslim or Ahmad ibn hanbals musnad.
With exact workings from sunni books??
I  dare you to present one with chain of narrators!


Salamun Alaykum

Thank you for your query.

I extremely appreciate that you have guts and dared. With the same appreciation, I would appreciate, you will read the answer and try to digest even if it takes time.

First I thought, you are a Sunni brother, but then realised you are a Wahhabi. But I hope Sunnis and Wahhabis:

  1. Accept their books such as Siha Sitta;
  2. Accept the evidences if provided from their books;
  3. And accept the views of their own great scholars.

You are asking for a hadith other than sahih Muslim or Musnad ahmad bin Hambal. We will show you many Ahadith, even if the wordings are different but the gist (مفهوم) is same which your own Sunni scholars have accepted.

For the transmitters refer to your Musnad such as Musnad Hanbal or check the old original Sahi Muslim, and the sayings of your great scholars who have accepted the authenticity also, I think there is no question of transmitters because the great Sunni scholars have already seen the transmitters and then given their opinion.

Let’s have a look at some of the Sunni sources having the same or similar hadith.

  1. Sunni elders like Taftazani are one of the prominent figures and pillars of Sunni faith, says, Prophet Muhammad(s.a.w.w) said:

من مات ولم يعرف إمام زمانه مات ميتة جاهلية

Whoever dies and does not know the Imam of his time, has died the death of ignorance.

(Taftazani, Sharh Maqasid Fi ilm-al-Kalaam, volume2, page 275)     

 (تفتازاني ، شرح مقاصد في علم الکلام ، ج 2 ، ص  275)

He is not against the Sunnis rather he is a great and prominent Sunni scholar.


2. Qandoozi in book Yanabi al-Mawaddah(ينابيع الموده) says:

قال رسول الله (ص) : من مات ولم يعرف امام زمانه مات ميتة الجاهلية


3. Mulla Ali Qari says:

في صحيح مسلم من مات ولم يعرف إمام زمانه، مات ميتة جاهلية

Mulla Ali Qari, Al-Jawahir al-Mudhi’ah, volume 2, page 457  ملا علي قاري ، الجواهر المضيعه ، ج 2 ، ص 457

Let the Sunni esteemed experts show us where is this narration in Sahih Muslim? Or should you say: Mullah Ali Qari, who is one of the great Sunni scholars, is lying. Or that this narration was in Sahih Muslim; but in recent editions, it has been removed like what has happened with your Sahih Bukhari.


4. Abu Ja’far Iskaafi from the era of Shaikh Mufid says:

عن صحيح مسلم من مات ولا امام له ، مات ميتة جاهلية

Iskafi, Kitab Khulasa Naqdh Kitab al-Uthmani Lil Jahiz, page 29

(اسكافي ، ابو جعفر ، کتاب خلاصه نقض کتاب العثماني للجاهز ، ص 29)



5) This is what has been said in your own books with this interpretation. In Sahih Muslim, it is stated as follows:

من مَاتَ وَلَيْسَ في عُنُقِهِ بَيْعَةٌ مَاتَ مَيْتَةً جَاهِلِيَّةً

Sahih Muslim, volume 6, page 22, hadith 4686

(صحيح مسلم . ج 6 ، ص 22 ، ح 4686)

The above is also mentioned by Nadim Al-Farid in  ندیم الاحباب وجلیس الاصحاب, the handscript is availbe in the Magnesia library in Turkey


6. Similar to the above hadith, the following hadith has been mentioned by great Sunni Scholar, Zamakhshiri in the book Rabi’ Al-Abrar(vol4, pg221)

من مات و لیس فی عنقه لامام المسلمین بیعة فمیتته میتة جاهلیة



7. Mohammed bin Abdul Karim Sharistani in the book Milal wa Nahal(pg 172) «ملل و نحل» has mentioned the following:

«ان من مات و لم یعرف امام زمانه، مات میتة جاهلیة» 

 «من مات و لم یکن فی عنقه بیعة امام، مات میتة جاهلیة»


8. In book Al-Mughni(vol1, pg 116) by Qadhi Abdul Jabbar,

من مات ولم يعرف امام زمانه مات ميتة الجاهلية

This is not something we had made it ourselves. We have in the narrations that Sheikh Mufid knows it to be Mutawatir.


9. The same thing is also mentioned in the book Al-Jawahir Al-Mudhiah. The late Muhaqqiq Tastari and Ayatullah Najafi Mar’ashi in Ahqaq al-Haqq, Volume 14, Page 2 quotes:

في صحيح مسلم من مات ولم يعرف امام زمانه ، مات ميتة الجاهلية

Mulhaqat ihqaaq al-Haq, volume 14, page 2

(ملحقات احقاق الحق . ج 14 . ص 2)


حدثنا عُبَيْدُ اللَّهِ بن مُعَاذٍ الْعَنْبَرِيُّ حدثنا أبي حدثنا عَاصِمٌ وهو بن مُحَمَّدِ بن زَيْدٍ عن زَيْدِ بن مُحَمَّدٍ عن نَافِعٍ قال جاء عبد اللَّهِ بن عُمَرَ إلى عبد اللَّهِ بن مُطِيعٍ حين كان من أَمْرِ الْحَرَّةِ ما كان زَمَنَ يَزِيدَ بن مُعَاوِيَةَ فقال اطْرَحُوا لِأَبِي عبد الرحمن وِسَادَةً فقال إني لم آتِكَ لِأَجْلِسَ أَتَيْتُكَ لِأُحَدِّثَكَ حَدِيثًا سمعت رَسُولَ اللَّهِ (ص) يَقُولُهُ سمعت رَسُولَ اللَّهِ (ص) يقول من خَلَعَ يَدًا من طَاعَةٍ لَقِيَ اللَّهَ يوم الْقِيَامَةِ لَا حُجَّةَ له وَمَنْ مَاتَ وَلَيْسَ في عُنُقِهِ بَيْعَةٌ مَاتَ مِيتَةً جَاهِلِيَّةً

From Abdullah ibn Umar, the son of the second caliph, in relation to Yazid. The companions, the Muhajireen and the Ansar who had risen up against Yazid in the event of Harra. Abdullah ibn Umar said: Do not rebel against Yazid: because I heard from the Messenger of God (peace be upon him and his family) who said: If anyone who disobeys the emir will meet God on the Day of Resurrection without Hujjat, and whoever dies without a pledge of allegiance around his neck dies as a death of ignorance.


10. In Musnad Ahmad, volume 4, page 96 it has come this way:

من مات بغير امام ، مات ميتة جاهلية

The one who dies without an Imam, dies the death of an ignorant.

The same has come in the following books as well:

احمد بن حنبل، مسند احمد، ۱۴۲۱ق، ج۲۸، ص۸۸؛

 ابو داوود، مسند، ۱۴۱۹ق، ج۳، ص۴۲۵؛

هيثمي ، مجمع الزوائد ، ج 5 ، ص 218

مسند ابو داود ، ص 252

طبراني ، معجم الکبير ، ج 19 ، ص 388

طبرانی، مسند الشاميين، ۱۴۰۵ق، ج۲، ص۴۳۷.

ابن حبان ، الاحسان ، ج 7 ، ص 49


11. With the slight difference in the word, the following hadith has been mentioned from Muawiya with 3 sanad and with 2 sanad from Abu Huraira,  in the book (العلل الوارده فی الاحادیث – vol7, pg63) by Abul Hasan Ali bin Amr ibn Ahmad bin Mahdi Baghdadi Darqutni Shafi’e:

من مات لغیر امام مات میتة جاهلیة




12. In book Al-Zawaid(vol1, pg144 & vol2, pg143)) by Ahmad bin Amr Bazzar, the following hadith has been mentioned

من مات و لیس علیه امام فمیتته میتة جاهلیة، و من مات تحت رایة عصبیة، فقتلته قتلة جاهلیة


13. In book Mustadrak Sahihain by Hakim Nishaboori(vol1, pg 77 and 117), the following hadith has been mentioned:

من مات و لیس علیه امام جماعة فان موتته موتة جاهلیة».



14. In Kitab al-Sunnah by Amru bin Abi A’asim, it has been narrated from Prophet Muhammad(s.a.w.w):

من مات وليس عليه امام ، مات ميتة جاهلية

عمرو بن ابي عاصم ، السنه ، ج 2 ، ص 503

Albani, the Bukhari of today’s world according to Bin Baaz, the Saudi Arabian Mufti says, the Sanad is Hasan(acceptable).

According to the Sunnis, the Riwayaat which are Sahih(صحیح) and Hasan(حسن) are authentic and acceptable.

عمرو بن ابي عاصم ، السنه ، ص 489، ح 1057


15. In book Sahih ibn Jubaan:

من مات وليس له امام مات ميتة جاهلية

Anyone who dies and doesn’t have an Imam for himself, dies as the death of an ignorant.

صحيح ابن حبان ، ج 10 ، بالتحقيق شعيب الارنؤوط وهابي، بيروت ، ص 343


16. Abu Jafar Iskafi (المعیار والموازنة) from Abdullah bin A’mir:

من مات و لا امام له مات میتة جاهلیة

Also from Iskafi in «نقض العثمانیة» and from ibn Abil Hadid(vol13, pg242) has brought the same hadith is mentioned


17. In Sahi Muslim we find the following hadith:

مَنْ خَلَعَ یدًا مِنْ طَاعَةٍ، لَقِی اللهَ یوْمَ الْقِیامَةِ لَا حُجَّةَ لَهُ، وَمَنْ مَاتَ وَ لَیسَ فِی عُنُقِهِ بَیعَةٌ، مَاتَ مِیتَةً جَاهِلِیةً

صحيح مسلم ج 3 ص1478

One who withdraws his hand from personal obedience (breaks his allegiance),on the Day of Judgment in front of God; There will be no reason for his action and also for the one who dies and does not have allegiance on his neck; he has died as a death of an ignorant.

Abu Na’eem in Hilyatul Awliya, declares this hadith to be Sahih(صحیح).

ابو نعيم، حليه الاولياء ج3 ص224، 1394ق

And Ibne Abi A’sim in book Al-Sunnah declares this hadith to be Hasan(حسن).

ابن ابی عاصم، کتاب السنه ج 2ص503 ، ۱۴۰۰ق

To remind you again, according to the Sunni brothers, the Ahadith which are Sahih(صحیح) and Hasan(حسن) are authentic and acceptable.



18. Ibne Taimiyyah(The hero of Wahabbis) says:

أن ولاية أمر الناس من أعظم واجبات الدين بل لا قيام للدين

ابن تيميه ، السياسه الشرعيه ، ص 365

The issue of guardianship of the people is one of the greatest duties of religion. Rather, the consistency of religion is to the Imamate.>


19. Abdul Jabbar says:

The Sunnis consider the meaning of “Imam” in this narration to be the ruler of the Islamic society, who must be obeyed and remain in its allegiance in order to preserve the community.

صهيب عبدالجبار،‌ الجامع الصحيح، ۲۰۱۴م، ج۴، ص۲۳۴، پاورقی.

According to Sunnis if this hadith wasn’t authentic, then why have the scholars given verdicts regarding it? This clearly shows they accept it, that is why they have opinion about it otherwise they would easily reject and move forward.


Other than Sahi Muslim, please also look at Musnad abu dawood tialisi(مسند ابوداود طیالسی), musnad Al-Shameen(مسند الشامیین), Musnad Ahmad bin Hanbal(مسند احمد بن حنبل),


20. For the famous hadith(…من مات ولم یعرف), there are 7 narrators mentioned which are accepted by the Sunnis. According to Dhahabi(Sunni great scholar) in Al-Kashif, the authors of Siha Sitta have mentioned many ahadith from all of these narrators and have accepted the ahadith these narrators have narrated. They are:

  1. Zaid bin Arqam (Al-Kashif,vol1, pg336)
  2. A’mir bin Rab’ia (Al-Kashif,vol2, pg54)
  3. Abdullah bin A’bbas (Al-Kashif,vol2, pg100)
  4. Abdullah bin A’mr bin Khattab (Al-Kashif,vol2, pg112)
  5. Uwaimir bin Malik, famous as Abu Al-Darda’ (Al-Kashif,vol2, pg358)
  6. Ma’adh bin Jabal (Al-Kashif,vol3, pg153)
  7. Mua’wiyah bin Abi Sufyan (Al-Kashif,vol3, pg157)


21. And the narrators of the hadith which starts with the similar words such as («من خرج» و «من فارق» و «من خلع») are as follows:

  1. Abu Huraira Doosi
  2. Anas bin Malik

According to Dhahabi in Al-Kashif, both of these narrators have many narrations in the Siha Sitta books.


The ahadith with the different wordings from Ahle Sunnat Sources:


Those who deny some of the quran are kafir. Allah(swt) says in Surah Nisa 150-151:

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَكْفُرُونَ بِاللَّهِ وَرُسُلِهِ وَيُرِيدُونَ أَنْ يُفَرِّقُوا بَيْنَ اللَّهِ وَرُسُلِهِ وَيَقُولُونَ نُؤْمِنُ بِبَعْضٍ وَنَكْفُرُ بِبَعْضٍ وَيُرِيدُونَ أَنْ يَتَّخِذُوا بَيْنَ ذَٰلِكَ سَبِيلًا أُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْكَافِرُونَ حَقًّا ۚ وَأَعْتَدْنَا لِلْكَافِرِينَ عَذَابًا مُهِينًا

Surely those who disbelieve in Allah and His messengers and (those who) desire to make a distinction between Allah and His messengers and say: We believe in some and disbelieve in others, and desire to take a course between (this and) that. These it is that are truly unbelievers, and We have prepared for the unbelievers a disgraceful chastisement.(Suran Nisa/150-151)


Given all those Ahadith above from Sunni sources, a non-biased Sunni would accept and learn from it but if he rejects and denies, it seems he is not even a proper Sunni as he doesn’t believe in his own books, or believes in the ahadith he likes. It is like, it is your own choice to accept some of the ahadith and reject some of them. If the context and statement in the hadith is similar and acceptable by your own Scholars then who are the people to reject them?! If that is the case, then with due all respect to the Siha Sitta, please throw all ahadith of Sahih and accept only the ones you like to stay away from the reality. Sunnis call Siha Sitta as Siha because it is authentic for them and ranks after the Holy Qur’an.

I am glad that your question has made the hadith and its authenticity apparent for our Sunni readers also.

Allaho A’lam

May Allah(swt) grant you success


Syed Haider