The Martyrs on the Mountain The Early Traditionist Compromise over the First fitna

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I-Wen Su



This study investigates the origin, transmission, and reception of two hadith with doctrinal significance on the formation of early Sunni identity and memory of the past—the Mountain hadith, in which the Prophet designates each of the first three caliphs as either a saint or a martyr; and the Ten Promised Paradise hadith, which names the first four caliphs and another five or six Companions as the future residents of paradise. The study identifies Qatāda b. Diʿāma and Hilāl b. Yasāf as the earliest transmitters of both hadith. Analysis of their transmission of the Ten Promised Paradise hadith reveals the emergence of a seminal trend among Kufan traditionists, who, by advocating for an all-embracing approach to ʿUthmān, ʿAlī, and the latter’s opponents, allowed various Kufan groups to find common ground, which was also accompanied by the formation of a comprehensive historical narrative on the first fitna.

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