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Tuesday, 12 November 2013

The meaning of Ahl al-Bait and Who are the Ahl al-Bait?

The meaning of Ahl al-Bait and Who are the Ahl al-Bait?

إنما يريد الله ليذهب عنكم الرجس أهل البيت ويطهركم تطهيرا
Allah only wills to remove all impurity from you, O the People of the Household,
and by cleansing you make you utterly pure.
[Surah al-Ahzab, Verse 33]

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In this verse Allah SubHanuhu wa Ta’ala is addressing the Prophet’s (SallAllaho Alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sahbihi wa Baaraka wa Sallam) pure wives and informing them that all the advice He has given them is wholly because He wants to remove from them all types of pollution, both in attitude and in action, and to purify them thoroughly. Praise is for Allah, the Prophet’s (SallAllaho Alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sahbihi wa Baaraka wa Sallam) wives acted upon His advice so perfectly that He made their attitude and character so clean and pure that they became a beautiful example for the women of the whole Ummah. Consequently the elevation and salvation of the women of this Ummah is in following in the footsteps of the Prophet’s (SallAllaho Alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sahbihi wa Baaraka wa Sallam) pure wives.

The Pure wives are the original Ahl al-Bait and the original subject of this verse. Afterwards, through the Prophet’s (SallAllaho Alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sahbihi wa Baaraka wa Sallam) supplication, Sayyiduna Ali, Sayyidah Fatima, Sayyiduna Hasan and Sayyiduna Husayn Radi Allahu Ta’ala Anhum Ajma’een entered into this divine gift and grace and came within the remit of this verse.


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The meaning of Ahl al-Bait and Who are the Ahl al-Bait?

The literal meaning of Ahl al-Bait is ‘those (people) of the house’. Scholars, in light of the Quran and Sunnah, have explained that there are three types of Ahl al-Bait:

1) Sakani

Those who reside in the Prophet’s (SallAllaho Alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sahbihi wa Baaraka wa Sallam) house, all the pure wives are included in this.

2) Nasabi

Those who have genealogical link with the Prophet (SallAllaho Alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sahbihi wa Baaraka wa Sallam). Sayyida Fatima, Sayyiduna Ali, Sayyiduna Hasan and Sayyiduna Husayn (Radi Allahu Anhum Ajma'een) are included in this.

3) I'zaazi

Those whom the Prophet (SallAllaho Alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sahbihi wa Baaraka wa Sallam) honored by pronouncing them as his family, for example the Prophet (SallAllaho Alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sahbihi wa Baaraka wa Sallam) said


سلمان منا آل البيت
‘Salmaan is from our Ahl al-Bait’

and


اُسامة  منا آل البيت
‘Usama is from our Ahl al-Bait’.

Also included in the honorary Ahl al-Bait are all the pious and God-fearing believers for the beloved Prophet (SallAllaho Alaihi wa Aalihi Sallam) also said


كل تقى آل محمد
‘All the pious are the family of Muhammad’ [Majma' al-Zawa'id, Vol. 7, Page 69]

In the above verse the term Ahl al-Bait refers to the Prophet’s (SallAllaho Alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sahbihi wa Baaraka wa Sallam) pure wives, the context of the verses before and after evidence this. Consequently the Pure wives are the Ahl al-Bait because of this verse whilst Sayyidah Fatimah; Sayyiduna Ali; Sayyiduna Hasan and Sayyiduna Husayn were entered into the Ahl al-Bait through the supplication of the Prophet SallAllaho Alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sahbihi wa Baaraka wa Sallam. The Pure wives were declared Ahl al-Bait by Allah whilst Sayyidah Fatimah, Sayyiduna Ali, Sayyiduna Hasan and Sayyiduna Husayn by the Prophet SallAllaho Alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sahbihi wa Baaraka wa Sallam. This is the belief of the Ahl as-Sunnah wa al-Jama'ah that the Prophet’s pure wives; Sayyidah Fatimah, Sayyiduna Ali, Sayyiduna Hasan and Sayyiduna Husayn Radi Allahu Ta'ala Anhum Ajma'een are all the Prophet’s (SallAllaho Alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sahbihi wa Baaraka wa Sallam) Ahl al-Bait and come under the order of purification mentioned in this verse.


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Extracted from
Ihya al-Mayyit bi Fadhai'l Ahl al-Bayt Alaihim ar-Ridwan
by Imam Abd ar-RaHman Jalal al-Din al-Suyuti Alaihir Rahmah
Urdu: Mufti Gulam Sarwar Qadiri | English: Muhammad Sajid Younus

 


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