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AHLEBAIT - Their importance in Islam

[33:33] "Obey Allah and His Messenger. Allah only desires to keep away the uncleanness from you, O people of the House! and to purify you a thorough purifying "
Here Allah clearly says that He has purified Ahlebayt and further desires to keep them pure by keeping away all kinds of uncleanness from them. This verse sufficiently proves that Ahlebait are flawless and they are protected against any kind of uncleanness as per the above verse.

Then Allah SWT reveals an amazing verse at one stage.

[42:23] "Say: I do not ask of you any reward for it but love for my near relatives (Ahlebayt); and whoever earns good, We give him more of good therein; surely Allah is Forgiving, Grateful."
Allah SWT asks the Holy Prophet to demand to the Muslim Ummah that he (Prophet) asks nothing in recompense for the hard work he(prophet) did, but the love of Ahlebait. He wants the Muslim Ummah to repay the Prophet by loving the Ahebayt.

Allah SWT reveals yet another amazing verse.

[34:47] "Whatever recompense I have asked of you, it is only for yourselves; my recompense is (to be expected) from God(alone)."
This verse makes the meaning (or object) of the demand of previous verse saying that whatever the Holy Prophet would demand as the return for the discharge of his duties of the Apostleship (ie., love of Ahlebait) would be for the people’s own benefit. If they truly love Ahlebait in the correct sense (who are earlier purified by God (33:33)) they would be quite safe by following their example would not deviate. Ahlebait would lead them to the right path to salvation as Allah created them special by purifying them and by desiring to keep all kinds of uncleanness away from them.

Special importance is to be given to this verse (33:33) because this verse is associated with a very important historical incident of "KISA" which is narrated by 3 wives of the Holy Prophet. This also shows the people who fall under Ahlebait namely (Imam Ali, Hazrath Fatima Zahra SA, Imam Hassan, Imam Hussain & the 9 Imams borne to Imam Hussain only). The incident is then followed by customs of the Holy Prophet that he practiced to show the importance of Ahlebayt to the people.

1. The Holy Quran
2. Tradition from authentic sunni collections
3. Historical events

The above verses clearly shows that Ahlebayt are pure and flawless.

"The Tradition of Cloak/Mantle" (Hadith al-Kisaa)

1. Narrated Ummul Momineen Aisha:

One day the Prophet (PBUH&HF) came out afternoon wearing a black cloak (upper garment or gown; long coat), then al-Hasan Ibn Ali came and the Prophet accommodated him under the cloak, then al-Husain came and entered the cloak, then Fatimah came and the Prophet entered her under the cloak, then Ali came and the Prophet entered him to the cloak as well. Then the Prophet recited: "Verily Allah intends to keep off from you every kind of uncleanness O' People of the House (Ahlul-Bayt), and purify you a perfect purification (the last sentence of Verse 33:33)."

Sunni reference: Sahih Muslim, Chapter of virtues of companions, section of the virtues of the Ahlul-Bayt of the Prophet (PBUH&HF), 1980 Edition Pub. in Saudi Arabia, Arabic version, v4, p1883, Tradition #61.

It is interesting to see that Aisha, the wife of the Prophet (PBUH&HF) is the narrator of the above tradition, and she herself is testifying that Ahlul- Bayt are the above-mentioned individuals (i.e., Imam Ali, Fatimah, al-Hasan, and al-Husain, may the blessing of Allah be upon them all).

2. Narrated by Ummun Momineen Umme-Salama

Another version of the "Tradition of Cloak" is written in Sahih al-Tirmidhi, which is narrated in the authority of Umar Ibn Abi Salama, the son of Umm Salama (another wife of Prophet), which is as follows:

The verse "Verily Allah intends to ... (33:33)" was revealed to the Prophet (PBUH&HF) in the house of Umm Salama. Upon that, the Prophet gathered Fatimah, al-Hasan, and al-Husain, and covered them with a cloak, and he also covered Ali who was behind him. Then the Prophet said: "O' Allah! These are the Members of my House (Ahlul-Bayt). Keep them away from every impurity and purify them with a perfect purification." Umm Salama (the wife of Prophet) asked: "Am I also included among them O Apostle of Allah?" the Prophet replied: "You remain in your position and you are toward a good ending."

If the Prophet (PBUH&HF) would consider Umm Salama among Ahlul-Bayt, he would surely have entered her to the cloak and would have prayed for her perfect purity as well.

3. Narrated by Ummul Momineen Safiyya :

Here is another authentic variation of "The Tradition of Cloak" which is related to Safiyya who was another wife of the Prophet (PBUH&HF). Ja'far Ibn Abi Talib narrated:

When the Messenger of Allah noticed that a blessing from Allah was to descent, he told Safiyya (one of his wives): "Call for me! Call for me!" Safiyya said: "Call who, O the Messenger of Allah?" He said: "Call for me my Ahlul-Bayt who are Ali, Fatimah, al-Hasan, and al-Husain." Thus we sent for them and they came to him. Then the Prophet (PBUH&HF) spread his cloak over them, and raised his hand (toward sky) saying: "O Allah! These are my family (Aalee), so bless Muhammad and the family (Aal) of Muhammad." And Allah, to whom belong Might and Majesty, revealed: "Verily Allah intends to keep off from you every kind of uncleanness O' People of the House (Ahlul-Bayt), and purify you a thorough purification (Quran, the last sentence of Verse 33:33)".

Sunni references:
- al-Mustadrak by al-Hakim, Chapter of "Understanding (the virtues) of Companions, v3, p148. The author then wrote: "This tradition is authentic (Sahih) based on the criteria of the two Shaikhs (al-Bukhari and Muslim)."
- Talkhis of al-Mustadrak, by al-Dhahabi, v3, p148
- Usdul Ghabah, by Ibn al-Athir, v3, p33

More Sunni reference:
(1) Sahih al-Tirmidhi, v5, pp 351,663
(3) Musnad Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, v6, pp 323,292,298; v1, pp 330-331; v3, p252; v4, p107 from Abu Sa'id al-Khudri
(4) Fadha'il al-Sahaba, by Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, v2, p578, Tradition #978
(5) al-Mustadrak, by al-Hakim, v2, p416 (two traditions) from Ibn Abi Salama, v3, pp 146-148 (five traditions), pp 158,172
(6) al-Khasa'is, by an-Nisa'i, pp 4,8
(7) al-Sunan, by al-Bayhaqi, narrated from Aisha and Umm Salama
(8) Tafsir al-Kabir, by al-Bukhari (the author of Sahih), v1, part 2, p69
(9) Tafsir al-Kabir, by Fakhr al-Razi, v2, p700 (Istanbul), from Aisha
(10) Tafsir al-Durr al-Manthoor, by al-Suyuti, v5, pp 198,605 from Aisha and Umm Salama
(11) Tafsir Ibn Jarir al-Tabari, v22, pp 5-8 (from Aisha and Abu Sa'id al- Khudri), pp 6,8 (from Ibn Abi Salama) (10 traditions)
(12) Tafsir al-Qurtubi, under the commentary of verse 33:33 from Umm Salama
(13) Tafsir Ibn Kathir, v3, p485 (Complete version) from Aisha and Umar Ibn Abi Salama
(14) Usdul Ghabah, by Ibn al-Athir, v2, p12; v4, p79 narrated from Ibn Abi Salama
(15) Sawa'iq al-Muhriqah, by Ibn Hajar al-Haythami, Ch. 11, sec. 1, p221 from Umm Salama
(16) Tarikh, by al-Khateeb Baghdadi, v10, narrated from Ibn Abi Salama
(17) Tafsir al-Kashshaf, by al-Zamakhshari, v1, p193 narrated from Aisha
(18) Mushkil al-Athar, by al-Tahawi, v1, pp 332-336 (seven traditions)
(19) Dhakha'ir al-Uqba, by Muhibb al-Tabari, pp21-26, from Abu Sa'id Khudri
(20) Majma' al-Zawa'id, by al-Haythami, v9, p166 (by several transmitters)

The incident of Kisa and the members of Ahlebayt is narrated by 3 wives of the Holy Prophet themselves and they have clearly excluded themselves.


"The Customs showed by the Holy Prophet after the revelation of the verse

The Messenger of Allah (PBUH&HF), from the time the revelation of "Verily Allah intends to... (the last part of Verse 33:33)" and for six (6) months thereafter, stood by the door of the House of Fatimah and said: "Time for Prayer Ahlul-Bayt; No doubt! Allah wished to remove all abomination from you and make you pure and spotless."

Sunni references:
- Sahih al-Tirmidhi, v12, p85
- Musnad Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, v3, p258
- Mustadrak, by al-Hakim, v3, p158 who wrote this tradition is authentic as per the criteria of Muslim and Bukhari
- Tafsir al-Durr al-Manthoor, by al-Suyuti, v5, pp 197,199
- Tafsir Ibn Jarir al-Tabari, v22, pp 5,6 (saying seven month)
- Tafsir Ibn Kathir, v3, p483
- Musnad, by al-Tiyalasi, v8, p274
- Usdul Ghabah, by Ibn al-Athir, v5, p146

Abu al-Hamra narrated:

"The Messenger of God continued eight (8) months in Medina, coming to the door of Ali at every morning prayer, putting his two hands on the two sides of the door and exclaiming : "Assalat! Assalat! (prayer! prayer!) Certainly God ward off all uncleanness from you, O Members of the House of Muhammad, and to make you pure and spotless."

Sunni references:
- Tafsir al-Durr al-Manthoor, by al-Suyuti, v5, pp 198-199
- Tafsir Ibn Jarir al-Tabari, v22, p6
- Tafsir Ibn Kathir, v3, p483
- Dhakha'ir al-Uqba, by Muhibbuddin al-Tabari, p24 on the authority of Anas Ibn Malik
- Isti'ab, by Ibn Abd al-Barr, v5, p637
- Usdul Ghabah, by Ibn al-Athir, v5, p146
- Majma' al-Zawa'id, by al-Haythami, v9, pp 121,168
- Mushkil al-Athar, by al-Tahawi, p338

Also Ibn Abbas (RA) narrated:

"We have witnessed the Messenger of God for nine (9) months coming to the door of Ali, son of Abu Talib, at the time of each prayer and saying: 'Assalamu Alaykum Wa Rahmatullah Ahlul-Bayt (Peace and Mercy of God be upon you, O Members of the House). Certainly God wants only to keep away all the evil from you, Members of the House, and purify you with a thorough purification.' He did this seven times a day."

Sunni reference: al-Durr al-Manthoor, by al-Hafidh al-Suyuti, v5, p198

In Majma' al-Zawa'id and exegesis of Suyuti it has been quoted from Abu Said Khudri with a variation in words that:

For forty days the Holy Prophet approached the house of Fatimah Zahra every morning and used to say: 'Peace be upon you O people of the House! The time for the prayers has come'. And thereafter he used to recite this verse: O people of the Prophet's House.... And then said: 'I am in a state of war with him who fights with you and am in a state of peace with him who is at peace with you'.

Sunni references:
- Tafsir al-Durr al-Manthoor, by al-Hafidh al-Suyuti, v5, p199
- Majma' al-Zawa'id, by al-Haythami, v9, pp 121,168

He repeated this openly at the time of each prayer so as to demonstrate the meaning of this verse verbally as well as practically and he explained it to his followers on the lines of the sacred verse: "We have revealed the Quran to you so that you could tell the people what has been revealed to them and that perhaps they will think. (Quran 16:44)" This concept became well known among the people and even the companions of the Holy Prophet argued on its basis on behalf of the Holy Prophet's family:

"Prophet's Tradations towards Ahlebayt.

"Ali is from me and I am from Ali"
Sahih al-Buqari, Vol.1. P.76
Sahih al-Tirmidhi, vol.5, p.300
Sunan Ibn Majeh, Vol.1, p.44

"I am the city of knowledge and Ali is the Gate"
Sahih al-Tirmidhi, Vol.5. P.201
Mustadrak al-Hakim, Vol.3.p.126

"Loving Ali is believing, hating him is hypocrisy. We recognise the hypocrites by their hatred of Ali"
Sahih Muslim, vol.1.p.61
Sunan al-Nisai, vol.6.p.117
Sahih al-Tirmidhi, vol.8.p.306
Al Tabari, Ibn al-Athir, al-Madaini

"You are to me as Aaron was to Moses, but there will be no Prophet after me"
Sahih al-Buqari, Vol.1. P.76
Sahih al-Tirmidhi, vol.5, p.300
Sunan Ibn Majeh, Vol.1, p.44

"He who insults Ali, insults me. He who insults me insults Allah. And he who insults Allah, Allah will throw him in Hell"
Mustadrak al-Hakim, vol.3, p.121
Khasais al-Nisai, P.24
Musnad of Imam Ahmed, vol.6. p.33
Al-Manaqib by al-Khawarizmi, p.81
Al-Riyadh al-Nadira, by al-Tabari, vol.2. p.219
Tarikh al-Suyuti, p.73

"Ali is with Quran and Quran is with Ali, they shall never separate until they meet me at the Pond (Hauz-e-Kauthar)"
Muntakhab Kanz vol.5.p.30
Tariq al-Khulafa vol.I. P.73
Tarikh al-Baghdad vol14, p.321.

"Ali is with Truth and Truth is with Ali" , "Ali, you are the most Truthful" "Ali is the master of all the believers after me"
Musnad of Imam Ahmed. Vol.5.p.25
Mustadrak al-Hakim, vol.3.p.134
Sahih al-Tirmidhi, vol.5.p.296

"Whoever accepted me as his master, then he should also accept Ali as his master. O Allah be friendly with his friends and be enemy with his enemy"
Sahih Muslim Vo.2.p.362
Mustadrak al-Hakim vo..3.p.109
Munad of Imam Ahmed vo.4.p.281

"Ali is my brother, my trustee and my deputy (Calif) after me, so listen to him and obey him"

Tarikh al-Tabari, vol.2.p.319
Al-Sirah al-Halabiyah, vol.1.p.311
Shawahid al-Tanzil by al-Hasankani, vol.1.p.371
Kanz al-Ummal, vol.15.p.15
Tarikh Ibn Asakir, vol.1.p.85
Tafsir al-Khazin by Ala al-Din al-Shafi’I vol.3.p.371

"ALI IS FROM ME AND I AM FROM ALI AND NOBODY CAN DISCHARGE MY DUTIES EXCEPT MYSELF OR ALI"
Sunan Ibn Majeh, vol.1.p.44
Khasais al-Nisa’I, p.20
Sahih al-Tirmidhi, vol.5.p.300
Jami al-Usul by Ibn Kathir, vol.9.p.471
Al-Jami al-saghir by al-Suyuti, vol.2.p.56
Al-Riyadh al-Nadirah, vol.2.p.229

"No one among the companions of the Messenger of Allah(SAW) had more virtues than Ali-ibn Abi Talib"
Al-Mustadrak ala al-Sahihayn by al-Hakim, vol.3. p.107
Al-Manaqib by al-Khawarizmi, p.3,9.
Tarikh al-Khulafa by al-Suyuti, p.168
Al-Sawaiq al-Muhariqah by Ibn Hajar al-Haythami, p.72
Tarikh Ibn Asakir, vol.3.p.63
Shawahid al-Tanzil by al-Haskani al-Hanafi, vol.1.p.19
Al-Riyadh al-Nadirah by al-Tabari, vol.2.p.282
Al-Sawaiq al-Muhriqah by Ibn Hajar al-Haythami, p.118,72

"Behold! My Ahlul Bait are like the Ark of Noah, whoever embarked in it was saved, and whoever turned away from it was drowned"
Al-Mustadrak by al-Hakim, vol.3.p.151
Yanabi al-Muwaddeh, P.30.370
Al-Sawaiq al-Muhriqah by Ibn Hajar, P.184 and P.234

"My AhlalBait are like the Gate of Repentance of the children of Isreal; whoever entered therein was forgiven"
Al-Sayuti and al-Jami al-Sagheer
Isaaf al-Raghibeen by al-Haythami, vol.9.p.168

"Whoever wishes to live and die like me, and to abide in the Garden of Eden after death should acknowledge Ali as his patron and follow Ahlalbait after me, for they are my Ahlalbayt and they have been created out of the same knowledge and understanding as myself. Woe unto those followers of mine who will deny the Ahlalbait their distinctions and who will disregard their relationship and affinity with me. May Allah inever let them benefit from my intercession"
Mustadrak al-Hakim, vol.3.p.128
Al-Jamial-Kabir al-Tabrani
Al-Isbah by Ibn Hajar al-Askalani
Kanz al-Ummal, vol.6.p.155
Yanabi al-Mawaddeh, p.149
Hilyat al-Awlia, vol.1.p.86
Tarikh Ibn Asakir, vol.2.p.95

Allah says in Quran:

"Hold fast to the Rope of Allah, all of you together and do not separate" (Quran 3:103)"

The Rope of Allah which we should not separate from, are the Ahlul-Bayt. In fact, some Sunni scholars narrated from Imam Ja'far al-Sadiq (AS) saying:

"We are the Rope of Allah about whom Allah has said: 'Hold fast to the Rope of Allah, all of you together and do not diverge (3:103)'"
Sunni references:
al-Sawa'iq al-Muhriqah, by Ibn Hajar Haythami , Ch. 11, section 1, p233
Tafsir al-Kabir, by al-Tha'labi, under commentary of verse 3:103


Click here to view why the wives of the Holy Prophet do not belong to Ahlebayt. Click on 'Who are Ahlebayt'
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