Is the Hadith ‘I Am the City of Knowledge and ‘Ali Is Its Door’ Authentic?

Answered by Shaykh Jamir Meah

Question: Assalamu alaykum

Is the hadith ‘I am the city of knowledge and ‘Ali is its door’ authentic?

Answer: Wa’alaykum assalam, thank you for your question.

The hadith, ‘I am the city of knowledge and ‘Ali is its door’ is reported in Al Hakim’s Mustadrak and other works. Scholars differed in its grading, some regarding it as authentic (al Hakim), some rejected it and considered it baseless (Ibn Jawzi) and others classed it fair (al Suyuti, al Hafiz ibn Hajr).

Regardless of the grading of the hadith, what is established beyond doubt is that Sayyidna ‘Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) was one of the greatest and most knowledgeable among the Companions. However, this hadith, if taken as acceptable, should be understood as verification of one of many tremendous virtues of the Sayyidna ‘Ali, not a proof for political or sectarian dogma.

Warmest salams,
[Shaykh] Jamir Meah

Shaykh Jamir Meah grew up in Hampstead, London. In 2007, he traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he spent nine years studying the Islamic sciences on a one-to-one basis under the foremost scholars of the Ribaat, Tarim, with a main specialization and focus on Shafi’i fiqh. In early 2016, he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continues advanced studies in a range of Islamic sciences, as well as teaching. Jamir is a qualified homeopath.