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Translator’s Foreword. 4
Authors Introduction.. 25
Chapter One: Who are Ahl-al-Bait?. 26
Chapter Two: The Summary of the Faith and Creed of Ahl-as-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah regarding Ahl-al-Bait 37
Chapter Three: The Merits of Ahl-al-Bait from the Noble Qur`an 41
Chapter Four: The Merits of Ahl-al-Bait from the Pure Sunnah 46
Chapter Five: The Exalted Status of Ahl-al-Bait according to the Sahaabah (companions) and Taaba’een (followers in excellence) 56
Chapter Six: The Praise of some Male Companions from Ahl-al-Bait by some of the People of Knowledge 70
Chapter Seven: The Praise of some of the People of Knowledge on some Female Companions of Ahl-al-Bait 87
Chapter Eight: The Praise of some of the People of Knowledge on some of the Taba’een (followers) and others of Ahl-al-Bait. 102
Chapter Nine: A Comparison between the Faith and Creed of Ahl-as-Sunnah wal-Jama’ah and the Faith and Creed of some others concerning the Ahl-al-Bait. 107
Chapter Ten: Unlawfulness of Claiming a Relationship to the Ahl-al-Bait without Justification 115
The Messenger and Prophet of Allah, Muhammad [صَلَّى اللَّه عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ], may the prayers, the peace, and the blessings of Allah be upon him, was sent as Allah’s final Messenger and Prophet before the Day of Resurrection for the salvation of all humanity. Allah the Blessed and Exalted especially chose him from the noblest and purest line of the descendents of Abraham (Ibraheem), may Allah’s peace be upon him, for many wise reasons including the fact that a man from the noblest of lineage is more encouraging for the peoples of the world to honor, respect, love and follow him. The completion of our obligation of love and respect of the Prophet is the love and respect for his family. One manifestation in our daily prayers is when, for instance, all Muslims repeat the “Salat al-Ibraheemiyyah” whereby we all seek for the most perfect prayers, blessings and peace to be for Muhammad and for the family (and followers) of Muhammad like that for Ibraheem and for the family (and followers) of Ibraheem. Allah the Exalted commanded us all to send our salutation of peace and blessing of Allah on the Prophet of Allah, may the best salutation of peace and blessing be upon him and his family and followers. As Allah the Almighty says:
إِنَّ اللَّهَ وَمَلَائِكَتَهُ يُصَلُّونَ عَلَى النَّبِيِّ يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا صَلُّوا عَلَيْهِ وَسَلِّمُوا تَسْلِيمًا
“Allah sends His Salat (Salutations, Graces, Honors, Peace, Blessings, Mercy, etc.) on the Prophet, and His angels also (ask Allah to send his peace, blessings and mercy). O you who believe! Send your Salat on him and greet him.” [33:56] For this command of Allah the customary Islamic way of greeting the Messenger of Allah is by saying SALL ALLAHU ALAIHI WA SALLAM [صلى الله عليه وسلم], may the peace and blessing of Allah be upon him. The Sahaabah (companions) asked the Prophet, peace and blessing of Allah be upon him, when this verse was revealed, how should they salute him and he replied by mentioning this Salah as will be mentioned in detail in its place below.
The family of the Prophet [صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم], peace and blessing of Allah be upon him and his family, has a special status in the nation of believers that remains, and includes those family members who were his companions, like the fourth rightly guided Caliph Ali ibn abi Talib, and his sons Hasan and Husain, may Allah be please with them, until the last days when one of his descendents will appear as the rightly guided leader (Mahdi) of the Muslims and the great events before Resurrection will occur, like the great battles, the descent of Eisa (Jesus) ibn Mariam, peace be upon them, the killing of the Dajjal (Antichrist), etc.
The historical developments within various deviant sects who split off from the main group of rightly guided Muslims – called the Ahl-as-Sunnah wal-Jama’ah (the People of the Way of the Prophet [peace and blessing be upon him] and the Unified Group) – lead to assorted deviant ideologies regarding the family and relatives of the Prophet, peace be upon him. The two most noteworthy of these deviant sectarian groups are the Shi’a and the Naasibah, the first exaggerating the love and alliance for certain of the Ahl-al-Bait of the Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him, to absurd extent beyond the proper limits proscribed by the Prophet himself, and the latter deviating into hatred and enmity against the Ahl-al-Bait as a reaction of the first. The exaggerations, grave worship, and hagiology of some Sufis for their saints and leaders is comparable and related to the Shi’a exaggerations, grave worship and hagiology for their Imams of the Ahl-al-Bait. Ali ibn Abi Talib himself, may Allah be pleased with him, indicated these two groups when he said:
َ يَهْلِكُ فِيَّ رَجُلَانِ مُفْرِطٌ فى حبى ومفرط فى بغضى
“Two people are destroyed concerning me: the extremist in his love of me, and the extremist in his hate of me.” [Reported by Ibn Abi Asim and others and deemed good by Sheikh al-Albani. no. 984 of as-Sunnah of Ibn Abi Asim]
The resultant legacy of confusions makes it all the more urgent to present the precise determination of certain Arabic terminologies, like Ahl al-Bait (أهل البيت), “Ahl Baitin” (أهل بيت), the word “Aal” (آل), and the authentically documented virtues and correct rulings of jurisprudence associated with the Ahl-al-Bait of the Prophet, salutations and peace and blessing of Allah be upon him and his family. Our foreword here will introduce these terms in a preliminary manner linguistically, in the context of some Islamic Scriptural Texts of the Qur`an and Sunnah, and in Islamic jurisprudence. The more periphery terms like Maula (مولى), Itarah (عترة), Shareef (شريف) Sayyid (سيد) etc will not concern us here in this introduction.
The word “Ahl” may mean people, inhabitants, family, wife and household, according to the context. It is used in the Qur’an without “Bait” in various combinations of a genitive relationship, for instance it is used to describe Ahl-al-Kitab (often translated as People of the Book) Ahla-haadthihil-Qariyah, (People of this Village), Ahla Yathrib (People of Yathrib, the pre-Islamic name for Madinah), Ahl-al-Madinah, (people of the City, meaning the city of the Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him), Ahl-al-Qura (people of the town, indicating Makkah), Ahl Madyan (people of Madyan), Ahl-adth-Dthikr, (people of remembrance) Ahl-an-Naar, (people of the Hellfire) and even for Allah His Majestic Self as in the unique expression: “Ahl-at-Taqwa” (He who deserves to be honored and feared).
Linguistically, the specific combination of Ahl al-Bait (أهل البيت) means the family of the house, or people of the household. A person’s “Ahl al-Bait” are the people of his household, like his wife, children and some other close relatives by blood and marriage. Since a man may divorce his wife and she returns to her people, a wife is of Ahl-al-Bait in a manner that is not necessarily permanent. At the time of the Prophet Muhammad, may the most perfect salutations of prayers, peace and blessing be upon him and his family, even the freed slaves and the slave-girls and other followers (Mawaali) of the household are included in some but not necessarily all rulings as the “Ahl-al-Bait” as will be shown below. In the case of the wives of the Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him, they are permanent by the text of the Qur`an, and moreover, they the “Mothers of the Believers”
The Muslim scholars of jurisprudence (Fuqaha) have two basic positions about who exactly are the Ahl-al-Bait of the Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him. The first position is that they are those who are not allowed to take Sadaqaat, which includes all of Bani Hashim and Bani Abdul-Muttalib, and this is the position of Imam Shafa’e and Imam Ahmad and the majority of scholars and jurists. A sub issue here is whether his wives are included, and there are two sayings attributed to Imam Ahmad here on both sides of the issue. The second position on the Ahl-al-Bait is that they are of Bani Hashim only. Considering the proofs from the Qur`an and Sunnah, the weight of evidence concludes that the most comprehensive definition is the most correct, and thus even the wives of the Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him, are included in his Ahl-al-Bait as those that should not receive charities, and as such be given from the Khumus (one fifth) funds. We will briefly indicate some of these proofs.
Narrations about Sadaqah and Ahl-al-Bait include the incident when the grandson of the Prophet, may the salutations, peace and blessing of Allah be upon him and his family, Hasan ibn Ali ibn Abi Talib, once took a date from the dates of the Sadaqaat as a child, so he said:
كِخْ كِخْ ارْمِ بِهَا أَمَا عَلِمْتَ أَنَّا لَا نَأْكُلُ الصَّدَقَةَ
“Spit it out, give it up. Don’t you know that it is not befitting for us to eat out of charity?” [Reported by al- Bukhari and Muslim]
And in the narration of Muslim it reads:
أَنَّا لَا تَحِلُّ لَنَا الصَّدَقَةُ
“The charity is not lawful for us.”
Fadhl ibn Abbas and Abdul-Muttalib in Rabi’ah ibn al-Haarith, may Allah be pleased with them, asked the Prophet, peace be upon him, from the Zakah funds, and he said:
إِنَّ الصَّدَقَةَ لَا تَنْبَغِي لِآلِ مُحَمَّدٍ إِنَّمَا هِيَ أَوْسَاخُ النَّاسِ
“Verily, the alms are not appropriate for Muhammad nor the relatives of Muhammad, for it is only the filth of the people (that they discard by purification).” [Muslim]
This is further explained in the tradition of Abi Rafe’e: “Abu Rafe’e, the freed slave of the Prophet, said that the Prophet, peace be upon him, sent a man from the clan of Bani Makhzoom for Sadaqaat and this man said to Abi Rafe’e: ‘come with me and receive a portion of these funds.’ He said: ‘Not until I go and ask the Prophet about this’. So he went and asked him about it and he replied:
إِنَّ الصَّدَقَةَ لَا تَحِلُّ لَنَا وَإِنَّ مَوَالِيَ الْقَوْمِ مِنْ أَنْفُسِهِمْ
“Verily, Sadaqaat are not allowed for us nor the relatives of Muhammad, and a freed slave of a people is of them.” [Reported by Abu Da`ood, at-Tirmidthi, an-Nasa`e, and declared authentic by at-Tirmidthi, and verified by al-Albani in Arwah Ghaleel 880]. This means that the legal status of Abi Rafe’e is the same as Bani Haashim in the prohibition of Sadaqaat.
Ali ibn Abi Talib, the cousin of the Prophet, narrates that he said to Abbas, the uncle of Prophet, may Allah be pleased with them and may He the Exalted send his best salutation and peace and blessing upon the Messenger and his family:
“Ask the Prophet, peace be upon him, to use you for the (collection of) Sadaqaat. So he asked him and he replied:
ما كنت لاستعملك على غسالة ذنوب الناس
“I will not use you on the left over wash water (remnants after cleansing) of the sins of the people.” [Reported by Ibn Khuzaimah and verified by al-Albani in Sahih at-Targheeb no.808]
In the Qur`an the word “Ahl al-Bait” is used twice both in the context of the wives: once for the wives of the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessing of Allah be upon him, and once for the wife of Prophet Ibraheem, peace be upon him. Allah the Almighty and Majestic says:
﴿ يَا نِسَاءَ النَّبِيِّ لَسْتُنَّ كَأَحَدٍ مِنَ النِّسَاءِ إِنِ اتَّقَيْتُنَّ فَلَا تَخْضَعْنَ بِالْقَوْلِ فَيَطْمَعَ الَّذِي فِي قَلْبِهِ مَرَضٌ وَقُلْنَ قَوْلًا مَعْرُوفًا () وَقَرْنَ فِي بُيُوتِكُنَّ وَلَا تَبَرَّجْنَ تَبَرُّجَ الْجَاهِلِيَّةِ الْأُولَى وَأَقِمْنَ الصَّلَاةَ وَآَتِينَ الزَّكَاةَ وَأَطِعْنَ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ إِنَّمَا يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ لِيُذْهِبَ عَنْكُمُ الرِّجْسَ أَهْلَ الْبَيْتِ وَيُطَهِّرَكُمْ تَطْهِيرًا ﴾
“O wives of the Prophet! You are not like any other of the women. If you will be on your guard, then be not soft in your speech, lest those in whose heart is a disease have false desires, and speak a good word. And abide in your houses and do not display yourselves as the display of the former times of ignorance. And establish prayer and give charity and obey Allah and His Messenger. Allah intends only to remove from you the impurity O people of the household, and to purify you with profuse purification. And remember what is recited in your houses of the verses of Allah and wisdom. Indeed Allah is ever Subtle and Sagacious.” [33:32-34]
In the story of Prophet Ibraheem, peace be upon him, we read the conversation between his wife Sarah and the angels of good tidings:
قَالَتْ يَا وَيْلَتَا أَأَلِدُ وَأَنَا عَجُوزٌ وَهَذَا بَعْلِي شَيْخًا إِنَّ هَذَا لَشَيْءٌ عَجِيبٌ () قَالُوا أَتَعْجَبِينَ مِنْ أَمْرِ اللَّهِ رَحْمَةُ اللَّهِ وَبَرَكَاتُهُ عَلَيْكُمْ أَهْلَ الْبَيْتِ إِنَّهُ حَمِيدٌ مَجِيد ٌ
“She said: ‘O my wonder! Shall I bear a son when I am an old woman and this my husband is an old man? Most surely this is a wonderful thing.’ They said: ‘Do you wonder at Allah’s decree? The grace of Allah and His blessings be upon you, O you People of the House (Ahl-al-Bait), for He is indeed worthy of all praise, full of all glory!’” [11:72-73]