‘Khasa’is Amiri-l-Muminin Ali b. Abi Talib’ originally complied by Ahmad b. Shu’ayb al-Nasai in 915 CE, has now been translated by Micheal Mumisa, a PhD candidate and scholar at Trinity hall, University of Cambridge. Published by Al-Mahdi Institute, the current translated version named, ‘The Special Characteristics of the Leader of the Faithful – Ali b. Abi Talib’ is about the unique status of Imam Ali (as) as described in Sunni hadith.
Al-Nasa’i, one of the greatest scholars of Hadith literature is highly regarded by both Sunnis and Shias with a reputation for developing and applying the most strictest methods of evaluating and authenticating Hadith, thus, his title of one of the ‘Mutashaddidin’ (extremely strict). His extensive knowledge was considered more superior than of his contemporaries such as, Muslim b. Al Hajjaj (compiler of Sahih Muslim) and even competes against Bukhari and Abu Zur’a.
When criticised for not writing anything about the merits of Abu Bakr and Umar b. al-Khattab, Al-Nasa’i responded “I arrived in Damascus to discover that many people had deviated from Ali [Ibn Abi Talib]. That is why I compiled the book al-Khasa’is.”
The present translation is based on a close examination of the original ‘Khasa’is Amir-l-Muminin Ali b. Abi Talib’ and the Maghribi manuscript (no’ 5952) from the Royal Library and archives in Morocco. Almost all of the Hadith can be found in other collections of Hadith in both Sunni and Shi’i traditions. The original copies still exist today in both manuscripts and published form housed in libraries of Yemen, Iran, Iraq, Egypt, India and Morocco.
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