Sunday 18th of August 2019

O people of the House (Ahlul-Bait) and make you as pure as can be


The Qur'an emphasizes the lofty position and significance of the Ahlul-Bait so as to make mankind follow their right path, consult them when their opinion differs or their faith, situation and concepts contradict.

Investigating the verse of Revelation, we will find that the Qur'an sometimes addresses them as 'Ahlul-Bait', like the Almighty's saying:

..Allah desires only to keep away uncleanness from you
O people of the House (Ahlul-Bait) and make you as pure as can be.

Holy Qur'an (33:33)

Sometimes as 'relative' (Qurba) like His saying:

...Say (O' Muhammad unto mankind): I do not ask of you any reward for it
(preaching the message)' but love for my relatives (Ahlul-Bait)...

Holy Qur'an (42:23)

The Holy Qur'an, also, focuses on their merits and their virtues through various verses without using these two terms for indicating them like its address concerning Ali, Fatimah, Hasan and Husein in Chapter (Dahr) and the Mubahala verse or its description of Ali in many verses like the Wilaya and Tabligh verses and other verses. It describes them as being the best among mankind, the pious and...etc.

The commentators and narrators single out the causes for the revelation of these verses and acknowledge what is meant by them, then it will be cleared for us through some samples of the interpretation of the Almighty's verses and explain the causes for their revelation:


1. The Verse of Purity (Tathir):

..Allah desires only to keep away uncleanness from you O people of the House (Ahlul-Bait)
and make you as pure as can be.

Holy Qur'an (33:33)

All exegists of the Holy Qur'an and narrators of the Prophet's traditions, unanimously agree that the word Ahlul-Bait, or the Household of the Prophet (s.a.w.) as used by Almighty Allah in the Qur'an, refers only to the following persons: The Prophet's daughter Fatima, her husband Ali and their two children Hasan and Husein (peace be upon them all). The famous exegist Suyuti in his renowned commentary 'Dur al-Manthur' cites Tabarani's narration from Umm Salama that the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) once told his beloved daughter, Fatima, to call her husband Ali and two of their sons; Hasan and Husein. When they came, the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) covered them with a Fadak (a place near Madina) cloak and put his hand on them, and said:

O Allah! these are the Ahl Muhammad (another version says aal (family) Muhammad,
so, shower your blessings and favours on aal Muhammad as you showered them on aal Abraham;
You are the Praiseworthy, the Glorious.

Umm Salama said that she raised the cloak to join them, but the Prophet pulled it out of her hand and said: You are (also) on the right.(1)

On many occasions Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) explained the meaning of this verse (of purity) to the Muslims and drew their attention to its significance in order to be enlightened with them (Ahlul-Bait) by following their straight path. Once, it happened that the Prophet while passing his daughter Fatima's (a.s.) house on his way to the mosque for the (lawn prayers, used to call:

To prayer, O Ahlul-Bait, to prayer; Allah desires to keep away uncleanness from you,
people of the House and make you pure as pure as can be.(2)

Anas bin Malik narrated that the Prophet (s.a.w.) used to go to Fatima's house for six months whenever he went out for prayer. He used to say: To prayer, O Ahlul-Bait, to prayer; Allah desires to keep a way uncleanness from you, people of the House and make you pure as pure as can be.(3)


2. The Verse of Affection (Mawadah):

...Say (O' Muhammad unto mankind): I do not ask of you any reward
for it (preaching the message), but love for my relatives (Ahlul-Bait)...

Holy Qur'an (42:23)

The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) explicitly told the Muslims that this blessed verse refers to his Ahlul-Bait, that is; Ali, Fatima, Hasan and Husein and urged them to obey and follow these illustrious personalities after him.

All commentators, traditionists and biographers said that the word 'near relatives of the Prophet' as used, here, refers exclusively to his Ahlul-Bait that is Ali, Fatima, Hasan and Husein.

Fakhruddin Razi, while explaining this verse, says: ...and without doubt no one was so near to the Prophet than Fatima, Ali, Hasan and Husein. This is a well-known fact of all chains of narrations, and these are they who are his 'aal'.

Thus, it is an undisputed fact that the words Ahlul-Bait or aal Muhammad (s.a.w.) refer only to the immediate family of the Prophet; his daughter Fatima, son-in-law Ali and his two sons Hasan and Husein and no one else.

First: We have already cited some instances of the Prophet's love for his family.

Second: No doubt being his only surviving child, Fatima was intensely loved by her father. The Prophet's famous words are a testimony to this fact.

Fatima is a part of me and whoever makes her angry, makes me angry.

The traditions also confirm this and also his natural inclination towards Ali and his grandchildren, Hasan and Husein. Therefore, it becomes a duty for the Prophet's nation to follow the Prophet's traditions in respect to his Ahlul-Bait. The Almighty says:

...Say (O Muhammad say unto mankind) if you love Allah, then follow me, Allah will love you...

Holy Qur'an (3:31)


3. The Verse of Malediction (Mubahala):

But whoever disputes with you (O' Muhammad) in this matter after what has come
to you of knowledge then say: Come, let us call our sons and your sons and our women
and your women and our selves and your selves, then let us beseech Allah and invoke
His curse upon the liars.

Holy Qur'an (3:61)

This verse points towards an epoch-making event, narrated by all historians and commentators; an event which revealed to the Muslims the status of the family of the Prophet (Ahlul-Bait) (a.s.) (Ali, Fatima, Hasan and Husein), and how near and dear they are to Allah, the Exalted.

It is narrated that a deputation* from the Christians of Najran came to the Prophet of Islam to argue the merits of their faith and also to discuss with him concerning his prophethood. The Holy Prophet advanced to them arguments showing that Jesus, the son Mary, was a human being and a Prophet, and it was blasphemy to regard him as a son of Allah, because Allah, the Exalted, is high above all such human characteristics. It was when the Prophet, having argued the point fully and convincingly, found them still deliberately persisting in their false belief in the deity of Prophet Jesus, that Allah revealed this verse. It was a challenge to the Christians, to pray and invoke Allah that the curse may overtake the party that insisted upon falsehood.


source : Al-Serat A Journal of Islamic Studies
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