Who are Household of the
The Holy Book tells us
about the Words of Allah, the Great and Almighty, concerning them:
" Allah only
desires to keep away uncleanness from you, O members of the House!
and to purify you a (thorough purification)." (XXXIII:33)
It is a virtue for
them. No one of all people has this virtue. There is no dignity more
precious than keeping away uncleanness from them and purifying them
from all defects, that is the purifying which the Most kind (Allah)
likes for them with His care, and it is not limited to a certain
uncleanness or from a certain thing. So, it implies general
purifying from every defect and sin. From this holy verse, we
conclude the infallibility of the members of the Prophetic House (Ahlul-Bayt),
because every sin is uncleanness and committing sins does not agree
with their keeping away from them and their purification from them,
so, they are, according to this verse purified from uncleanness and
Is infallibility a
thing behind this? Yes, all importance is in the concerned persons with this virtue which no one of the community had, except them.
Does this virtue concern those who were in the House when the above-
mentioned Holy Verse came down or does it concern every one who
belonged to the most purified Prophet because of a certain affinity
or ancestry? If the second question is accepted, then the reality
opposes it, because some of the Prophet's wives disobeyed him, and
no uncleanness is greater than this disobedience. So, certainly his
wives are not concerned with this virtue. Also some of those who
belonged to the Prophet because of ancestry committed grave sins and
crimes, and it is not right that Allah, the Almighty, wants to do a
thing by the creation will, (1) but the thing does not happen. As it
is impossible that Allah wants to create a thing and the thing does
not happen, so all the Prophet's wives and all the Hashimites are
not included in the foregoing verse, because the women and the
Hashimites might commit what conflicts with purification, besides no
one has said that all his wives and all the Hashimites were
infallible. And if the intended meaning in the verse was the legal
will, then no sense would the will of purification concerning the
members of the House (Ahlul-Bayt) have because Allah, the Exalted,
wants it from all people. As the verse concerns the outstanding
merit of Ahlul-Bayt, it indicates that the creation will is confined
to them. Then the legislation will is related to the acts of
creatures, while the verse concerns the act of Allah.
Therefore, if the
verse was related to the legislation will, He (Allah) would
say:" Go and purify yourself." So, there is no doubt that
the concerned persons in the verse are those who have been mentioned
in the first question, namely the intended meaning of the verse
refers to certain people, and they were those who were in the House
of our master Mohammed, may Allah bless him and his family, where he
covered them and himself with his cloak (kisa'). So, the verse was
sent down to them and concerning them. They were `Ali, Fatima, and
their sons, peace be on them. Moreover the correct traditions of the
two parties (Shi'a and Sunna) affirm that. And if there was no
religious text that denotes that the verse concerns them (Ahlul-Bayt),
then their behavior would be the greatest evidence for the relation
between them and the verse, because their actions and sayings force
us to admit their honesty. This plain truth has been well known for
the clear- headed persons since the revelation of this clear verse
They certainly know
that the members of the House (Ahlul-Bayt) were the people of the
cloak (kisa'), who had countless noble qualities of which were
purification from defects and taking away uncleanness and sins. Yes,
maybe, some of the Hashimites made use of the general sense of the
word (Ahlul-Bayt) to achieve their aims and to reach the throne, so
all the Hashimites used this verse to convince people to follow
them. Also the word 'Shi'ism' (tashayy`) maybe used to refer to 'Ali
and (the members of the) House (Ahlul-Bayt) in the general sense,
not the members of the cloak (kisa') and the Imams from the sons of
al- Husayn, peace be on them, but the persons whom the floods of the
rabble do not deviate them from the truth. People knew that Shi'ism
(tashayy`) was limited to those certain Imams when silence spread
over them after the first one- third of the Abbasid dynasty when the
revolts of the Alawids were over. Our evidence is that the Abbasid
were able to destroy the Marwani dynasty and to take the reins of
government by using the words (Ahlul-Bayt).
The Abbasid used these
words to make the hearts of Shl'a incline to them and to make them a
bridge to build an entity for their authority and to destroy the
entity of the Omayyad dynasty that resisted the members of the House
(Aahlul-Bayt) and their followers throughout its' days and colored
the surface of the ground with their shed blood. Thus the Abbasids
achieved their ambition through the members of the and their the
followers House (Ahlul-Bayt). They used them both as a bridge to
achieve their goals. Generally speaking they madeuseofall parties:
the Abbasid, the Talibis, the Alawids, the Ja'farids, the 'Aqilis,
the Hassanis, and Husaynis.
Then every Hashimite
used the same manner to summon people to support his rising. For
example, Abd Allah b. Mu'awiya b. Abd Allah ibn Ja'far revolted
against Abu Muslim in Kufa then in Persia because they had the
followers of the members of the House (Ahlul-Bayt), but Abu Muslim
was able to kill Abd Allah when his followers abandoned him. Besides
Zaid and his son, and the two brothers Mohammed and Ibrahim rose to
take the authority from the enemies of the members of the House (Ahlul-Bayt).
After that, people realized that the Abbasids did not belong to the
members of the House (Ahlul-Bayt) because they pulled out the sword
of aggression against the members of the House (Ahlul-Bayt), who
were the kinship of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and his family.
Moreover, people knew that the Abbasids wanted to achieve their aims
when they summoned them to overthrow the Omayyad dynasty under the
pretext of avenging the blood of those who were killed in (the
Battle of) al-Taf and the crucifixion of Kanasah and Jawzjan and the
That was because the
Abbasids had built their authority on the skulls of those who loved
the members of the House (Ahlul-Bayt). In other words, they showed
the spite of their chests and their evil inner most thoughts to ward
Ahlul-Bayt and their followers. Besides, Mohammed and Ibrahim
disappeared when al- Safah took the reins of government because they
were aware of his intentions toward the close relatives of the
Prophet. (Muhammad Al-Husayn Al-Muzaffar, Imam al-Sadiq, p.21-23)
* * *
The Rights and
Attributes of Ahlul-Bayt, in the Qur'an and Sunnah
The following is a
discourse on the rights and attributes of Ahlul-Bayt sccording to
our Holy Book (Qurm) and the Sunnah (way of life) of Prophet
" Allah only
desires to keep away the uncleanness from you, O people of the
House! and to purify you a (thorough) purifying " (XXXIII:33)
By Ahlul-Bayt, we meam
the progeny of our beloved prophet (p.b.u.h.) since this is how Ayah
33 of Surah Al-Ahzaab, is intributes.
Discourse can only be
logical when first we explore the justification of Ahlul-Bayt and
then we introduce their attributes.
The Identity of
Ahlul-Bayt: Umm Salama, the wife of our beloved Prophet says,
"Ayah 33 of surah 33 (Al-Ahzaab) was revealed to the Prophet (p.b.u.h.)
when he was at my house. After this revelation, the Messenger of
Allah called upon Ali, Fatima, Al-Hasan and Al-Husain to come to him
and be under the mantle with him; then he proclaimed "O' Lord,
these are my Ahlul-Bayt, I implore thee to cleanse them of all
stigmas, and to purify them."
Thus, the Prophet made
known the identity of Ahlul-Bayt so as to prevent any exploitation
of this verse in the future.
Umm Salama then
remarked, "I asked if I could join them, but the Prophet said
"halt" and declared that "I am in goodness",
meaning she was not of Ahlul-Bayt as mentioned in the Ayah.
No statement could
have more clearly identified Ahlul-Bayt than this one. The Messenger
of Allah did not even permit his wife Umm Salama to join the ranks
of Ahlul-Bayt, thus by so doing he hindered any claims by his other
wives in the future to that honor.
Tibari, the great
historian, writes in his interpretation of the Holy Qur'an that
Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h.) said, "This Ayah was a revelation
about me, Ali, Fatima, Al-Hasan and Al-Husain. It is true that this
Ayah is revealed amidst verses referring to the wives of the
Prophet, however, references to the masculine gender (words like
An'kum and Yu'tahirukum) prevents one from assuming that these
verses were referring to the wives of Allah's Messenger, too. On the
contrary, according to oft-repeated narrations and testimonials, no
one but the daughter of the Prophet and her husband and their two
beloved boys, meaning the progeny of the Messenger of God, are
intended when references are made to Ahlul-Bayt.
verse cannot be referring to the wives of the Prophet because the
language of the Qur'an in revelations about the spouses of the
Prophet is harsh and assertive whereas the references in the
aforementioned Ayah are affectionate and benevolent.
To clarify these two
languages, we point to the following judgments rendered by the
Qur'an regarding the wives of the Holy Prophet.
1. At times the
Revelation threatens them with distress and declares:
"O' Wives of
the Prophet, those of you who commit misdeeds will face twice the
punishment and this is easy for Allah to do." (XIII:35)
2. At times, the Holy
Book forbids them from treading the same course as the women of
Jahiliya. When such references are seen in the Qur'an (regarding the
spouses of the Prophet), is it fair to attribute the Ayah (which
declares God's affection towards Ahlul-Bayt) to no one but the
Prophet's Pure Family?
3. In the 3rd Ayah,
two spouses of the Prophet (who revealed his secret) are
reprimanded. They are told to repent and that repentance is to their
benefit since their hearts have veered from righteousness and that
if they conspire against the Prophet they will not triumph since
Allah and Gabriel, and the righteous and the angels are the
protectors and supporters of the Prophet.
The nature of the
secret that was about to be revealed is not pertinent at this point
but the important fact is that such people who are at the verge of
openly opposing the Prophet and are asked to repent are not in
position to be pronounced immaculate and cleansed. of sin as such.
There is no doubt that
all the spouses of the Prophet deserve special respect due to the
fact that they are related to the Messenger of God. However, such
respect does not mean the Qur'an's judgment about them can be
ignored or that if anyone would speak unkindly about them should be
Now that we
familiarized ourselves with the meaning and the usage of the term
"Ahlul-Bayt" the time has come for recounting some of
* * *
The right to
interpret the Word of God
Numerous verses in the
Holy Qur'an make it clear that an understanding of the inner-meaning
(the implied) and in other words the true test of the Holy Book is
specific to certain individuals and that the true status of the
Qur'an and the hidden revelations therein will not be known to any
but such special individuals whose characteristics include
According to Ayah 80
of Surah Wa'qi'ah, these individuals are the ones who have the
ability to come in contact with this fountain of knowledge in the
Therefore, it can be
concluded that the Ahlul-Bayt of the Prophet who are (according to
Surah 33, Ayah 33), free of all ignominy, are the ones who shall
witness the true status (meaning) of the Qur'an.
It is important to
mention here that according to the Holy Verses, the true standing of
the Qur'an is the vastness of the knowledge within its revelations.
The final meaning thereof, and that of the latent verses or the less
than clear content, was to be clarified to become the guidance to
mankind. Therefore, those who have access to the true status of the
Qur'an, meaning the true knowledge of the firm and unmistakable (Muh'kam)
and to the unspecified (Mu'tashaabah), no doubt have full command of
the interpretation and allegoric explanation of the Holy Verses.
The Qur'an calls the
interpreters of the firm and unmistakable (Muh'kam) and
the unspecified (Mu'tashaabah)
verses as: Al-Rasikhoon fil I'lm. meaning the Deeply Versed in
Divine Knowledge (of the Qur'an).
* * *
are entitled to one-fifth of Ghanaa'em
The Holy Qur'an, in
Ayah 41 of Surah Anfaal, considers one-fifth of the Ghanaa'em
(livelihood-gains) as the property of Allah and the Prophet (p.b.u.h.),
his relatives, the orphans, the poor and the helpless.
We do not want to
divulge in a discussion of the term Ghanaa'em, whether to mean what
is gained in a war (spoils of war), or the normal income of a person
attained through any legitimate means. Those who believe that it is
limited solely to the spoils of war are deceived by the language of
the era after the revelation.
In contrast to such a
view, the Qur'an and the Sunnah consider Ghanaa'em as the net profit
or benefit that one obtains, that can even include heavenly
blessings and the benefits of the hereafter.
In Ayah 94 of Surah
Nisaa' reference is made to those who seek the perishable wealth of
this world while the heavenly blessings are with God. Usage of the
term Ghanaa'em in reference to heavenly blessings is by itself proof
of the truthfulness of the claim that by Ghanaa'em the Qur'an means
the total of what man acquires for his livelihood, whether worldly,
in the Hereafter, through war or as a result of a business
Therefore, it is
incumbent upon the Muslim or the Islamic Jurisprudent to use
one-fifth of Ghanaa'em for the six-fold uses. These six-fold uses
include the needs of the household of the Prophet (p.b.u.h.).
The fact that the word
(to the Messenger) precedes the term to the kin, (Dhul Qur'ba) is
proof that by "kin" the Qur'an means the relatives of the
Prophet, not those related to the benefactors.
The three other groups
meaning the orphans, the poor and the travelers in special
situation, (ibn al-sabeel) are also somehow related to the Prophet.
Allah has forbidden
payment of zakat to the Hashimites but on the other hand has allowed
payment of khums to members of this family so that in addition to
covering expenses associated with leadership, they are able to
support those who are dependent upon this family for their
after the demise of our beloved Prophet (p.b.u.h.), the rights of
his progeny to the fifth of Ghanaa'em was among the rights which
were trampled upon.
Not only were their
rights ignored but also their personal possessions were confiscated
under the pretext that the Prophet had not granted it to his beloved
daughter; and eventually all ended in the hands of Benu Umayya (Benu
Sufyan and Aal-Marwan).
In this regard,
wrongful justifications and erroneous jurisprudence replaced the
command of revelation. The Qur'an orders the Prophet (p.b.u.h.) to
pay the dues of relatives and the poor and the traveler, and the
Prophet grants the land of Fadak to his daughter in accordance to
this command. However, after the demise of the Holy Prophet,
personal vendetta replaced the laws of the Book.
The term kin (Dhul-Our'ba)
is mentioned in the Qur'an 16 times, once singularly and 15 times
with prefixes like Dhi, Dhawi, and Ulu. At times, it means t'nose
close to the Prophet of God. Depending on the Ayah, where the
Prophet himself is being addressed, the Ayah is naturally referring
to his relatives. According to interpreters of the Holy Qur'an,
Fadak was granted to Fatima (A.S.) after the Ayah about Dhul Qur'ba
was revealed to the Prophet.
about the rights of Ahlul-Bayt is avoided since such discourse is
broad and beyond the means of this work.
* * *
The Love of
Ahlul-Bayt is incumbent upon us
The Messengers of God
propagate Allah's Word in order to please the Almighty, and the
motto of the final Messenger of God, Muhammad (p.b.u.h.), was
commanded by the Qur'an in Surah Al-Shoora, Surah 42, Ayah 23:
" Declare [O'
Muhammad]: "I ask you of no recompense for my toil except the
love for my kin (family)." Whose earns good, We shall expand it
for him. Verily Allah is oft-forgiving, appreciates good
Thus, Allah commands
the Prophet of Islam to demand from the Ummah the love of his
progeny. In the Arabic language the term "Qur'ba" means
kinship, and "Mawad'dat fil Our'ba" means love of Dhul
Qur'ba (kin) that we see throughout the Holy Qur'an. As mentioned
before, this word has been used with prefixes such as Dhi and Ulu.
In addition, numerous
narrations clarify the brevity in this Ayah and show that by love
and affection toward relatives, the Qur'an means those closely
related to the Prophet. Here we bring to your attention some
narrations by believers of the Sunni School of Thought.
Ahmad Bin Hanbal
quotes the Prophet in his book "Fadha'il of the Sahaaba"
and writes when the above quoted verse, (Surah Al-Shoora, Surah 42,
Ayah 23) was revealed, Companions of the Prophet (p.b.u.h.) asked
"O' Prophet of God, who are those close to you and who are
those people whose fondness and admiration is incumbent upon
us." The Prophet replied, "They are Ali, Fatima and their
two children" and he repeated this three times.
In his interpretation
of the Holy Qur'an, Sayooti quotes Ibn Abbas that the Ayah means
that the right of Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h.) must be honored by
honoring this family, and that we should love them for his sake.
Kumayt Assadi, the
poet of the Umawi era has mentioned this Ayah in a poem and writes:
"In a Surah that
begins with letters Ha-meem, we found an Ayah whose meaning was
altered by the dissimulators among us, Yet others (Imams) proclaimed
the Ayah in its Rightful Worth. "
Imam Shafi'i himself
being a descendant of the Prophet, in his famous works of poetry,
calls the love of Ahlul-Bayt an entitlement of the family of the
Prophet and writes:
"O' Pilgrims! On
your way to the House of Allah, pause shortly in the sands of
Muzdalifah. At dawn, when the caravans of pilgrims move toward Mina,
like a roaring river, call upon them and say: "If love of the
Prophet's family means to Refuse, "Rafidhi" then let
Mankind know, that surely I am a "Rafidhi."
Of course, it must be
kept in mind that the love of this family benefits the Ummah more
than it does good for Ahlul Bayt, since he who loves one from the
heart will follow the path of his beloved and will take steps in
such direction in life.
When the head of such
a great family stresses this issue and declares: (Who dies with the
love of Ahlul-Bayt, he will have died as a martyr), he is referring
to true love that is inseparable from action. Of course, this does
not mean that he who loves Ahlul Bayt must be absolving Islamic
integrity or vindicating Islamic commands. What it means is that a
person should attempt tofollow their examples and should not be
negligent in religious duties or freely engage in what is
* * *
authorities in religious teachings of Usool, (the basics of the
faith) and Furoo' (the branches, acts of worship) of Islam
Hadith of Thaqalain and the Mutawaatir Hadith of Safinah clearly
illustrate that Ahlul-Bayt are the authentic source of religious and
intellectual reference for Muslims after the demise of the Holy
According to the
Hadith: "I leave after me two pivotal matters for you to
cherish. One is the Book of Allah and the other my progeny (Ahlul-Bayt)."
These two are further
described in the following Hadith: "As long as you seek refuge
in the Qur'an and Ahlul-Bayt in times of trouble, you will not go
If the Qur'an is the
greatest source of knowledge for the Muslims, the progeny of the
Prophet also have such a status and position. If resorting to the
Qur'an is a means of finding guidance and avoiding the Qur'an
results in deviation from the path of righteousness, then the same
is true for the Ahlul-Bayt."
According to the
similitude of Ahlul-Bayt is the same as that of Noah's Ark. Whoever
boards it will be saved and he who avoided it will drown."
This hadith proves the
religious authority of Ahlul-Bayt in the same manner the hadith of
Thaqalain does. Avoidance of Ahlul-Bayt again is considered a
deviance or aimlessly straying. Although the system of Khilaafah and
Islamic leadership encountered indecision and lack of unity after
the demise of the Holy Prophet (p.b.u.h.) and individual based
jurisprudence and (political) justifications prevailed, however,
none of this tainted the image of Ahlul-Bayt and their religious
Ali and his sons
continuously remained the problem-solvers of the Ummah and covered
the roots and branches of the faith in their teachings.
Despite this, the
Umawi and Abbasi dynasties attempted to create a deep rift between
the Ummah and Ahlul-Bayt. Shunning the progeny of Muhammad by Ahlul
Sunnah in recent centuries is the result of such ominous policies of
the Umawi and Abbasi dynasties.
As a result, in Sunni
jurisprudence, all scholars and writers of Ahadith are eagerly
quoted, yet the progeny of the Prophet are rarely mentioned. This
can only be explained by the mischief of the Muslim leadership in
Today, the Informed
Society of Ahlul-Bayt can bring together all Islamic people around
one single axis and end discord. We hope and pray for the
culmination of such aspirations, success of the admirers of
Ahlul-Bayt and harbingers of harmony and unity and cessation of
discord and division among Muslim ranks.
* * *
due to the progeny of Muhammad(P.B.U.H)
Among the rights of
Ahlul-Bayt is that salawaat is due to them as well as the Prophet
and that one should not separate the Messenger of Allah from his
progeny when chanting salawaat.
Verily Allah and His
angels send blessings on the Prophet. O you who believe! send
blessings on him [Muhammad] and greet him with the fitting
When the above Ayah
was revealed, the Companions of the Prophet inquired about the
manner in which salawaat is to be said. The Prophet (p.b.u.h.)
When saying salawaat,
one must say: "O Allah! send Thy peace and blessings upon the
Prophet and his progeny in the same manner that You send it upon
Ibrahim and his progeny for You are Praiseworthy and Most
In his book (Sawaa'iq),
Ibn Hajr quotes the Prophet saying, "Do not deliver an
unfinished salawaat for me." Ibn Hajr adds, when the Prophet
was asked what he meant by an unfinished salawaat, the Prophet
"Do not say 'O
Allah! send Thy peace and blessings upon Muhammad instead say:
Allah! send Thy peace and blessings upon Muhammad and upon Aali
unfinished salawaat is quite popular in writings of Ahlul-Sunnah and
the lectures of Sunni preachers.
In a Hadith, the
beloved Prophet (p.b.u.h.) insists that, "Whoever makes prayer
and does not declare salawaat for him and his family, his prayer is
incomplete and will not be accepted."
Imam Shafi'i attests
to this Hadith in a famous poem:
Roughly translated Al-Shafi'i
says: Oh the love of Ahlul-Bayt is such That it is a must since the
Qur'an has it established . Suffice it that their distinction is
such That the prayer is invalid if no salawaat is offered for them.
* * *
homes of Ahlul-Bayt
It is incumbent upon
the Muslim Ummah to honor and respect the homes of Ahlul-Bayt and
according to the Ayah mentioned earlier:
"The light (of
Allah) shines upon dwellings that are made to be honored. In those
homes men pray to Allah every morning and every afternoon."
These homes are
honored and endeared both physically by being well-kept, and
spiritually by being kept pure. Special respect is due to such
Sayooti writes in his
interpretation of the Qur'an that when this Ayah was revealed, the
disciples of the Prophet asked him what was meant by (homes). He
replied, "The homes of the Prophets." Then Abu Bakr asked
him if the residence of Fatima (A.S.) was among such homes. Prophet
Muhammad replied, "Yes, and it is one of the best among
Any disrespect towards
the homes of the Prophets and the residence of the Final Messenger
of Allah is prohibited and considered a transgression upon the
person of the Prophet. Such acts lead to apostasy.
If paying homage
" Tar'fii' " refers only to the physical appearance of
these homes then their well-keeping is a duty on Muslims. However,
if dignifying means doing so in a spiritual capacity, then
respecting these dwellings is incumbent upon all Muslims, too.
1. The creation will
is related to the Act of the willer (Allah) Himself; legislation
will is related to the acts of human beings, it concerns the
* * *