The following is a response to the article on RevisitingtheSalaf.org entitled: Did the Sheikhayn Repent Before The Died? The article was published on the 30th of November, 2012, and can be found here.
RTS quotes Al-Kafi, then Mir’aat Al-Uqool:
Hannan has narrated from his father from Abi Ja’far Imam Al-Baqir (a.s). He said, I asked him: “Were not the children of Ya’qoob (a.s) Prophets?” He said: ‘No! But they were tribes of the children of Prophets (a.s), and they did not die till they repented and remembered what they had done, but the Al-Sheikhayn (i.e. Aboo Bakr and Umar) died and did not remember what they had done to commander of the faithful Imam Alee (a.s). So be upon them the condemnation of Allah (swt), His angels and all people!”
Footnote: Al-Majlisi said this hadeeth is Muwaththaq (Reliable) in Mir’aat Al-`Uqool. Vol. 26, Pg. # 215.
Upon closer inspection, we find that the narration is not authentic due to the anonymity of Sadeer, the narrator from Abu Ja’afar. Al-Khoei himself refutes all the narrations in praise of the man by stating that they are weak, in his Mu’jam, seen here, but in the end, argues that Sadeer is reliable because his name is found in Tafsir Al-Qumi.
However, Al-Khoei’s reason for the realibility of Sadeer is not satisfactory since the author of Tafsir Al-Qumi is anonymous, and there is no way to be certain that the affirmation of the trustworthiness of the narrators in the book can be correctly attributed to Ali bin Ibrahim. Refer to Buhuth fee Ilm Al-Rijal by Al-Muhseni (p.428, 4th edition) for more details. Due to this, we can be sure that Sadeer has not received any praise from any of the early scholars, thus making him unreliable.
The second problem with the chain is the inclusion of Ibrahim bin Hashim Al-Qumi. This narrator has also only been considered as trustworthy for the same reason as Sadeer, which is his inclusion in Tafsir Al-Qumi. So, he too is anonymous and unreliable.