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Hadith-e-Tayr; The Tradition of the Bird

The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) said,

"O Allah! Send me the one who loves You and loves me most from Your creatures so that he may share with me this (roasted) bird." Then Ali (a.s.) came and shared the meal with him.

This hadith is recorded in all the Sihah. The majority of Muslims have accepted this hadith to be reliable. The full hadith is as follows: One day a lady brought a roasted bird for the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.). Before he could partake it, the holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) prayed to the Almighty: "O Allah! Send to me one who is most loved by You and who loves me and You the most. So that he may accompany me in relishing this roasted bird." In the due course, Ali (a.s.) came and shared the meal (with the Prophet).

No Shia and Sunni scholar has omitted this hadith in his writings. There is no doubt in the proof of the superiority of this hadith. For the sake of clarity let us observe some important conclusion derived from this: Did the Almighty answer the Prophet's prayer or did He reject it? Indeed the Almighty Allah always fulfilled the wishes and prayers of the holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.). In this case the Almighty sent the favorite of the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and Himself to share the roasted bird. This person was none but Hazrat Ali ibne abi Talib (a.s.).

Nevertheless some skeptics ask, 'Is it necessary that the most beloved of Allah and Prophet (s.a.w.a.), has to be the most superior?' Indeed, leaving the superior one to prefer the inferior is not expected from common people, so how could it be possible by Allah and the Prophet (s.a.w.a.)? If one is the most beloved of the Almighty and the Prophet (s.a.w.a.), it is necessary that he be the best of all the people. In this way Ali (a.s.) was the best of the creatures.

Adapted from: Analysis of the History of Aale Muhammad (pbuh)" by: "Qadi Bohlool Afandi"