QURAN AND HADITH REGARDING AHLEL BAIT

 

Verse of Tat-hir

 

 

According to most authentic traditions in collections of both Sunni and Shia, Ahlul-Bayt (People of the House) of the Prophet are one of the two most precious Symbols of Islam after the departure of the Prophet (PBUH&HF). There are numerous traditions in the collection of both schools that the Prophet (PBUH&HF) has reminded us to stick to these two weighty things (al-Thaqalain), namely Quran and Ahlul-Bayt, in order not to go astray after him. The Messenger of Allah also informed us that these two weights are non-separable and are with each other till the day of Judgment. This requires us that for understanding the interpretation of Quran and the Sunnah of the Prophet (PBUH&HF) we should refer to those who are attached to it, namely Ahlul-Bayt.

Knowing exactly who Ahlul-Bayt are, thus becomes a very vital matter when one considers the above tradition of the Prophet (PBUH&HF) as well as many other traditions which unequivocally state that adherence to Ahlul-Bayt is the only way of salvation. This clearly implies that the one who follows a wrong set of Ahlul-Bayt (!!), will be led astray.

 


*************QURAN*************

The Holy Book of Allah mentions Ahlul-Bayt and their exceptional virtue in the following verse which is known as "Purification Verse" (Ayah al-Tat'hir):

"Verily Allah intends to keep off from you every kind of uncleanness O' People of the House (Ahlul-Bayt), and purify you with a perfect purification". (Quran, the last sentence of Verse 33:33)

It is worth mentioning the sentence of Quran in verse 33:33 which is related to purification of Ahlul-Bayt, has been placed at the middle of verses related to the wives of the Prophet (PBUH&HF), and this was the main reason why some Sunnis include the wives of the Prophet in Ahlul-Bayt. However, the sentence related to Ahlul-Bayt (given above) distinguishes itself from the sentences before and after it with a clear distinction.

The sentences before and after, use only feminine gender which clearly shows they are addressing the wives of the Prophet (PBUH&HF). However, in contrary, the above sentence uses only masculine gender which is a clear indication that that Quran is changing the individuals who is referring to.

People who are familiar with Quran to some extent, know that such a sharp change of addressee is not a weird-thing, and it has been applied to several places in Quran. For instance we read in Quran:

"O Joseph! pass this over and (O wife of Aziz!) ask forgiveness for your sin, for truly you have been at fault." (Quran 12:29)


In the above verse, "O wife of Aziz" has not been mentioned and the address to Joseph (AS) looks to continue. However the transition of the address from masculine gender to feminine gender clearly shows that the second sentence is addressing the Aziz's wife and not Prophet Joseph (AS). Notice that both sentences are WITHIN one verse. Also note the immediate change of addressing from Aziz's wife to Joseph and again back to the wife in verses before verse 29 and also WITHIN that verse.

In Arabic language, when a group of women are being addressed, feminine gender is employed. However, if only one man exists among that group, masculine gender is used instead. Thus the above sentence of Quran clearly shows Allah is referring to a group other than the wives of the Prophet, using masculine gender, and that group includes some male members.

However,From the verse 33:33 alone, WE CAN NOT CONCLUDE that the wives of the Prophet are not included in Ahlul-Bayt.

What can be understood from the verse ALONE is that Allah is changing His address (which was exclusively the wives of the Prophet at the beginning of the verse) to some people who include some male members, and may or may not include the wives of the Prophet.



*******Authentic Hadith*******

In Sahih Muslim, there is a chapter named "Chapter of Virtues of the Companions". Inside this chapter, there is a section called "Section of the Virtues of the Ahlul-Bayt of the Prophet". There exists ONLY ONE tradition in this section, and this tradition has no reference to the wives of the Prophet (PBUH&HF). The tradition is known as "The Tradition of Cloak/Mantle" (Hadith al-Kisaa), and is as follows:

Narrated 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.

Sahih Muslim english version pages 1293/1294 hadith number #5955 (these hadith can be checked out online too with online english versions of sahih muslim - ) in Kitab Fadail al-sahaba

One can see that the author of Sahih Muslim confirms that:

1- Imam Ali, Fatimah, al-Hasan, and al-Husain are the Ahlul-Bayt,

2- The purification sentence in Quran (the last sentence of Verse 33:33) was revealed for the virtue of the above-mentioned individuals, and NOT for the wives of the Prophet (PBUH&HF).

Muslim (the Author) did not put any other tradition in this section (section of the virtues of Ahlul-Bayt). If the author of Sahih Muslim believed that the wives of the Prophet were included in Ahlul-Bayt, he would have quoted some traditions about them in this section.

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).


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."


Sunni reference: Sahih al-Tirmidhi, v5, pp 351,663

As we see, al-Tirmidhi also confirms that Imam Ali, Fatimah, al-Hasan, and al-Husain are the Ahlul-Bayt, and the purification sentence in Quran (the last sentence of Verse 33:33) was revealed for the virtue of the above-mentioned individuals, and NOT for the wives of the Prophet (PBUH&HF).

Also it is apparent from above authentic tradition that the Prophet himself excluded his wives from Ahlul-Bayt. If Umm Salama (RA) was among Ahlul-Bayt, why didn't the Prophet answer her positively? Why didn't he enter her into the cloak? Why did the Prophet tell her that she remains in her own position? 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.

It is also worth mentioning that the Prophet (PBUH&HF) did NOT say: "These are among the Members of my House". He rather said: "These are THE Members of my House" since there was no other member of Ahlul-Bayt who was alive at the time of the Prophet (PBUH&HF). Also notice that Umm Salama (RA) who is the virtuous wife of the Prophet is the narrator of the tradition to his son and gives the testimony that who Ahlul-Bayt are.

In the tradition of al-Hakim the wording the last question and answer is as follows:

Umm Salama said: "O Prophet of Allah! Am I not one of the members of your family?" The Holy Prophet replied: "You have a good future but only these are the members of my family. O Lord! The members of my family are more deserving."

Sunni reference: al-Mustadrak, by al-Hakim, v2, p416


Also the wording reported by al-Suyuti and Ibn al-Athir is as follows:

Umm Salama said to the Holy Prophet: "Am I also one of them?" He replied: " No. You have your own special position and your future is good."


Sunni reference:
- Usdul Ghabah, by Ibn al-Athir, v2, p289
- Tafsir al-Durr al-Manthoor, by al-Suyuti, v5, p198

Also al-Tabari quotes Umm Salama saying:

I said, "O Prophet of Allah! Am I not also one of your Ahlul-Bayt?" I swear by the Almighty that the Holy Prophet did NOT grant me any distinction and said: "You have a good future."

Sunni reference: Tafsir al-Tabari, v22, p7 under the commentary of verse 33:33


Beside Sahih Muslim and Sahih al-Tirmidhi from which we quoted the Tradition of Cloak on the authority of Aisha and Umm Salama respectively, below are more Sunni references of the Tradition of Cloak who reported both versions of the traditions:

(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 AbiSalama, 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)
... and more ...

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

Although the majority of traditions on this issue show that the last sentence of the verse 33:33 was revealed in the house of Umm Salama (as quoted earlier), the above tradition implies that it might have been revealed in the house of Safiyya. Based on the opinion of the Sunni scholars including Ibn Hajar, it is quite possible that the verse was revealed more than once. In each occasion, the Prophet repeated his action in front of different wives so that they all realize who his Ahlul-Bayt are.

The testimony of three wives of the Prophet (Aisha, Umm Salama, and Safiyya) leaves us no room but to believe that the Ahlul-Bayt at the time of the Prophet were no more than five individuals: Prophet Muhammad, Lady Fatimah, Imam Ali, al-Hasan, and al-Husain (Peace be upon them all).

The fact that the gender in later part of Verse 33:33 is switched from feminine to masculine, has led the majority of Sunni commentators to believe that the last part was revealed for Imam Ali, Fatimah, al-Hasan and al-Husain, as Ibn Hajar al-Haythami indicated:

Based on the opinion of the majority of (Sunni) commentators,
the saying of Allah :"Verily Allah intends to ... (the last sentence of the verse 33:33)" was revealed for Ali, Fatimah, al-Hasan, and al-Husain, because of the usage of masculine gender in the word "Ankum" and after that.


Sunni reference: al-Sawa'iq al-Muhriqah, by Ibn Hajar, Ch. 11, section 1, p220

I could go on and on... but i hope this much is sufficient for now.

Oh Allah, shower your Peace & Blessings on Muhammed & the Purified Progeny of Muhammed.

 

 

Narrated 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)."

 

 

In addition to what the Prophet (saw) said who are the real “Ahlul Bait”, he made the habit for six or nine months, every day after morning prayer he would passed by by the door of Fatima's house and address them with greeting as these are "MY AHLEL BAIT" and recite this verse of tat-hir 33.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

وَنَجَّيْنَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَكَانُوا يَتَّقُونَ {41:18}

But We delivered those who believed and practised righteousness

 

  Verse of Tat-hir
 

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وَنَجَّيْنَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَكَانُوا يَتَّقُونَ     اللهم صلى على محد و ال محد.... و عجل فرجهم