Answered by: Maulana Mujahid Hussain
Please authenticate this narration.
Riyah al-Harith said: “Some people came to ‘Ali in ar-Rahbah and said: ‘Peace be upon you, O our Mawla.’ He said: ‘How can I be your Mawla when you are Arabs?‘ They said: ‘We heard the Messenger of Allah(SAWS) say on the day of Ghadeer Khumm: “If I am a person’s mawla, ‘Ali is also his mawla.’”” Riyah said: “When they left, I followed and asked: ‘Who are these people?’ They said: ‘Some of the Ansar, among whom was Abu Ayyoob al-Ansari.’” [Musnad Ahmad vol 5,page 419]
This hadith is Saheeh. It has many chains of narrations supporting it .
The hadith is reported in Musnad Ahmad , Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah , Tabarani and Ibn Abi Aasim reported it in his As-Sunnah. Plus Tirmizi and Nasaie report it with similar wordings
It is mentioned in Musnad Ahmad under hadith number 23562 and 23563 Mussatur-Risalah print, plus two other places.
Shuaib Al-Ar’naoot classified both chains as Saheeh.
Ahmad Shakir classified all four chains as Saheeh.
Ibn Hajar talks about the central part of the hadith in Fathul-Bari and says the following
وَأَمَّا حَدِيثُ مَنْ كُنْتُ مَوْلَاهُ فَعَلِيٌّ مَوْلَاهُ فَقَدْ أَخْرَجَهُ التِّرْمِذِيُّ وَالنَّسَائِيُّ وَهُوَ كَثِيرُ الطُّرُقِ جِدًّا وَقد استوعبها بن عُقْدَةَ فِي كِتَابٍ مُفْرَدٍ وَكَثِيرٌ مِنْ أَسَانِيدِهَا صِحَاحٌ وَحِسَانٌ وَقَدْ رُوِّينَا عَنِ الْإِمَامِ أَحْمَدَ قَالَ مابلغنا عَن أحد من الصَّحَابَة مابلغنا عَنْ عَلِيِّ بْنِ أَبِي طَالِبٍ
“The hadith “whoever’s Maula I am then Ali is his Maula “ It is narrated by Tirmizi and Nasaaie . It has many chains . Ibn Uqdah has collected all the narration in a separate book and many of its chains are Saheeh and Hasan . And we have already narrated from Imam Ahmad that he said nothing is narrated as much about any Sahabi as is narrated about Ali ( Radiallahu Anhu)”
Al-Haaythami in his Majmauz Zawaid recorded this hadith and said the following:
وَرِجَالُ أَحْمَدَ ثِقَاتٌ
“The narrators of Ahmad are reliable “
As-Suyooti in his book ( قطف الأزهار المتناثر ) said it is mutawatir
Ibn- Khathir has dealt with this hadith in detail with its many different wordings and chains. Some of the chains and wording are weak however over all the hadith and the central wording of the hadith he classifies as reliable and he also quotes Az-Zahabi as classifying the hadith as reliable.
Also it is very important you understand the meaning of the words Maula.
The term Maula in the Arabic language has many meanings; it could mean a patron, a friend, a guardian, helper, cousin, all, one to whom one’s loyalty and allegiance lies or even a slave or a slave-master. These are just some of the meanings this word carries.
Imam Shafiee, Tahawi, Ibn Atheer and many others have taken Maula to mean protector and ally .
Imam Shafie used the following ayah of the Quran as proof of this meaning
ذَٰلِكَ بِأَنَّ اللَّهَ مَوْلَى الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَأَنَّ الْكَافِرِينَ لَا مَوْلَىٰ لَهُمْ – 47:11
Only Allah Knows Best.
Written by Maulana Mujahid Hussain
Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham
فتح الباري volume 7 page 74 Darul marifah print.
مجمع الزوائد volume 9 page 104 print maktabaQudusi
قطف الأزهار المتناثرة page 277 Hadees number 102 print MaktabhIslami
 For detail see البداية و النهاية volume 5 page 210-214 darulfikar print.
This answer was collected from DarulIftaBirmingham.co.uk, which is run under the supervision of Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah from the United Kingdom.