Can you verify for me if the following is true concerning this hadith:
Imam Bukhari said that Hadith is unacknowledgeable
Ibn Ma’id declared it is a baseless lie
the same goes with the Huffaz Abu Hatim and Yahya Ibn Sa’id
Imam Al-Dzahabi confirmed Al-Hafiz Ibn Jawzi’s classification of it in his books of forgeries (al-mawdhu’at)
the prominent shafiite scholar Ibn Daqiq el-eid said: This Hadith is not confirmed by scholars and is held by some to be spurious
Ibn Hajar said it is Hasan but not Sahih
Imam Al-Hakim declared it is weak but not forgery as Ibn Jawzi said
and Imam Suyuti recorded this
Is it on the weight of Ibn Hajar recording this as hasan, that it is generally seen as hasan by most?
Also, why would the imam of aqida you mentioned, impress upon us that there are four gates, when the ostensible meaning of the hadith clearly refers to Sayyiduna Ali (kw)? I cannot help but wonder if this is defensive posturing.
This hadith is just another of distinct honors blessed to Ali Karam Allah Wajhau by Allah (SWT)and Rasul Allah (SAAWAW). This hadith does not imply in any way, of course, that Ali had higher level than prophet, what it means is that, after the Prophet, Ali is the heir to Rasul Allah’s wisdom and knowledge, and after Rasul, if anyone wishes to seek knowledge or wisdom, he has to seek that through Ali. That is why all the spiritual, scholarly and sufi (both sunni and shia) orders start with Ali and consider him their foremost Imam. Even Imam Malik and Imam Abu Hanifa were the students of Imam Jafar Al-Sadiq who was the great grandson of Ali.
This hadith is hassan, if not sahih (though there are some traces that it could have been part of sahih), so one should never call such hadith a “forgery”. This will be really bad.
Please see the references below:
i. In the Musnad of Ahmad b. Hanbal and the Sahih of Muslim: ‘There was not one Companion of the Messenger of God, peace and blessings upon him, who said “Ask me” except ‘Ali b. Abi Talib’.
ii. “… al-Tirmidhi and al-Hakim on the authority of ‘Ali who said: The Messenger of God, peace and blessings be upon him, said: ‘I am the city of knowledge and ‘Ali is its gate’…. and in another [narration] recorded by Sahih al-Tirmidhi on the authority of ‘Ali, ‘I am the house of wisdom and ‘Ali is its door’…”
iii. Al-`Iqd al-Nabawi wa al-sirr al-Mustafawi, Shaykh b. `Abdallah al-`Idrus al-Yamani (d. 990 AH), manuscript
“Al-Bazzar and al-Tabarani in his al-Awsat have quoted on the authority of Jabir b. ‘Abdallah, and al-Tabarani, al-Hakim, and al-’Uqayli in his al-Du’afa, and Ibn ‘Adi on the authority of Ibn ‘Umar, and al-Tirmidhi and al-Hakim on the authority of ‘Ali: The Messenger of God, peace and blessings upon him, said: ‘I am the city of knowledge and ‘Ali is its gate’. And in a narration: ‘so who desires knowledge should come through the gate’. In another [narration] from al-Tirmidhi on the authority of ‘Ali: ‘I am the house of wisdom and ‘Ali is its gate’.”