Imam `Abdul Qadir Ibn Badran Ad-Dumi, may Allah be pleased him, explains:
I would like to put forward that Imam Ash-Shahrastani mentioned in his text Al-Milal wan-Nahal the pitfalls and scandals of this sect. He held that they were named Khashabiyyah for the reason that their leader, Al-Mukhtar ibn Abi `Ubaid, had an old chair that he covered with silk and he had ornamented it with fine jewellery as well. He used to say, “This is from the riches of the Leader of the Believers, `Ali ibn Abi Talib and it to us is like the Tabut to the Children of Israel.”
Whenever they used to head out to battle or at the time of dispute, he would place it in the front row of battle and he would say, “Fight and you shall have victory and assistance. This chair has the same value and rank among you as the Ark of the Covenant had for the Children of Israel.
In this is the tranquillity and remainder of the past along with the fact that there are angels over them that come down to assist those who require it.” It was A`sha Hamdan who recited the poetry:
I bear witness against you that indeed you are the Khashabiyyah,
And that you have satisfied all the conditions that takfir be made.
I do swear by Allah that your throne is not one of tranquillity,
And if the shade comes over one of you, it is certainly not in conformity.
In your claim that the chair is like the Ark of the Covenant,
For sure it is not a miracle or wonder of any consequence.
The one in folly that makes tawaf around it and touches it for blessing,
On its legs or back has nothing to come for his exertion.
I am a man who loves the family of Muhammad
The pages, revelation and traditions are my model so remember it
This sect had great love for Muhammad ibn Al-Hanafiyyah and they believed that he had fled and would return after a period of occultation and fill the Earth with righteousness and justice just as at the time it will be filled with tyranny and oppression.
The return after the occultation is a judgement given by the Shi`ah and this was the case in some of the body of the sect until they believed this as religion and one of the integrals of being Shi`ah along with other things of falsehood.
This would include their declaration of reincarnation as made clear by the scholars of religion and sects as was mentioned by Ibn Hazm, Ash-Shahrastani, Abu Mansur Al-Baghdadi, Al-Hafiz `Abdur-Razzaq Ar-Ras`ani Al-Hanbali and others.
In general, when I flipped through the pages of the chains of transmission on the Ahadith of the Mahdi, I did not see any transmission that did not have someone from the Shi`ah therein or more than one or besides that did not subscribe to their theology.
The hadith of `Ali in the collection of Abu Dawud as well has someone in its transmission by the name of Fatar. We have already mentioned this previously. Regarding the hadith in At-Tirmidhi, all the transmissions revolve around `Asim.
In one of the chains of transmission of Abu Dawud from the hadith of Ibn Mas`ud Abu Bakr ibn `Ayyash is in its chain. Imam Ahmad said of him, “He is trustworthy and he makes mistakes from time to time.” Ibn `Adi remarked, “I did not find any rejected hadith from him when he was narrating from the trustworthy ones.”
Ibn Numair said, “He is week in hadith regarding Al-A`mash and others.” I know the position of these reports and they are not unequivocal in the branch issues of transmission, let alone to say that it meets the requirement of being compulsory to believe it as mass transmitted.
Perhaps someone will say, “Part of these reports that were collected by Imam At-Tirmidhi he said they are authentic.” We would say in the outset that this does not prove that it is unequivocal in authenticity just because At-Tirmidhi said at the end of his book Al-Jami`, “What we have mentioned in this book is a good hadith.”
In our estimation, we would only understand that the chain of transmission is authentic. Thus every hadith he narrates does not have anyone in its transmission that is accused of lying. Nor is there anyone who narrates divergent hadith. He narrates from hadith using more than one chain of transmission. These hadith in our estimation are valid for use.
The scholars of hadith have mentioned that joining between the ascription of valid and authentic in hadith terminology is the result of the scholars of ijtihad in narration and the agreed upon principles of authentication or things missing that must be accounted for when they discuss these matters.
Source: Al-`Uqud ul-Yaqutiyyah fi Jid il-As’ilat il-Kuwaitiyyah, pp. 79-86