Chapter One – Who Are The Ahlul Bayt?

Foreword
November 15, 2018
Who Are The Sahabah?
November 15, 2018

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Chapter One

Who Are The Ahlul Bayt And The Sahabah?

 

Who are the Ahlul Bayt?

There are a number of opinions which the scholars have adopted with regards to who are the Ahlul Bayt. However, the preferred opinion is that the Ahl al–Bayt are the progeny of Hashim. The reason being, it is not permissible to distribute Zakat amongst them.[1] This is based on a hadith narrated by Muslim from Zaid ibn Arqam radiya Llahu ‘anhu:

 

… Once the Rasul of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam stood amongst us in order to address us at an oasis called Hama between Makkah and Madinah. The Rasul of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam praised and glorified Allah. He then advised us and reminded us and thereafter said, “O people, I am but a human. Soon a messenger of my Lord will come and I will accept his request. (Referring to the passing away of the Rasul of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam). I leave amongst you two weighty things: the first being the Qur’an which is filled with guidance and light, So hold onto it with steadfastness. Thereafter the Rasul of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam urged us and emphasised concerning the Qur’an. Then the Rasul of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “My Ahlul Bayt. Remember Allah when dealing with my Ahlul Bayt. Remember Allah when dealing with my Ahlul Bayt.”

(One of the narrators of this hadith) Hussain asked Zaid radiya Llahu ‘anhu, “Who are the Ahlul Bayt? Are not the wives of the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam Ahlul Bayt?”

Zaid radiya Llahu ‘anhu replied, “Yes, His wives are also from the Ahlul Bayt. However the Ahlul Bayt are those amongst whom it is not permitted to distribute Zakat.”

Hussain asked, “Who are they?”

Zaid radiya Llahu ‘anhu replied, “They are the progeny of ‘Ali, ‘Aqil, Jafar, and ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhum.”[2]

 

The Rasul salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam himself indicated towards the reason for this prohibition. ‘Abdul Muttalib ibn Rabi’ah ibn al Harith ibn ‘Abdul Muttalib and Fadl ibn ‘Abbas both went to the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam requesting him to entrust the affairs of Zakat to them. They hoped to attain some wealth from the Zakat which they could then use for marriage. The Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam replied:

ان الصدقة لا تنبغي لال محمد انما هي اوساخ الناس

Verily Sadaqah (Zakat) is not appropriate for the family of Muhammad. It is the filth of the people.[3]

 

We learn that the uncles of the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and their progenies: the progeny of ‘Ali, ‘Aqil, Jafar, ‘Abbas, those from the progeny of Abu Lahab who accepted Islam, the progeny of ‘Abdul Harith Ibn ‘Abdul Muttalib, and others too are from the family of the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

 

The wives of the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam are from the Ahlul Bayt

 

Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala says:

 

وَقَرْنَ فِيْ بُیُوْتِكُنَّ وَلَا تَبَرَّجْنَ تَبَرُّجَ الْجَاهِلِیَّهِ الْاُوْلٰی وَ اَقِمْنَ الصَّلٰوةَ وَ اٰتِیْنَ الزَّكٰوةَ وَ اَطِعْنَ اللهَ وَ رَسُولَهْ اِنَّمَا یُرِیْدُ اللُه لِیُذْهِبَ عَنْكُمُ الرِّجْسَ اَهْلَ الْبَیْتِ وَ یُطَهِّرَكُمْ تَطْهِیْرًا

And abide in your houses and do not display yourselves as [was] the display of the former times of ignorance. And establish prayer and give zakat and obey Allah and His Messenger. Allah intends only to remove from you the impurity [of sin], O people of the [Prophet’s] household, and to purify you with [extensive] purification[4].

 

The context of this verse clearly states that the wives too are part of the Ahlul Bayt. This does not imply that anyone besides the wives is not from the Ahlul Bayt. The reason being is that the general understanding of the verse is being taken and it is not being confined to this specific scenario.

‘Ikrimah narrates from Ibn al ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu that this verse was revealed regarding the wives of the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Thereafter ‘Ikrimah would say:

 

من شاء باهلته انها نزلت في نساء النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم

Whoever wishes to challenge me regarding this view, I am prepared to do Mubahalah[5] with him.[6] ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar

 

This opinion has been cited by Ibn al Qayyim in his book Jila’ al Afham as proof for the scholars who maintain that the wives are part of the Ahlul Bayt. He says:

 

Any wife is part of a household. This is especially true of the wives of the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam whose link to him resembles the permanency and inseverability of a blood relationship. For this reason they are not allowed to marry anyone after him. They are the wives of the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam in this world and in the Hereafter. Therefore this link to the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam is in place of a blood relationship. The Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam has explicitly stated that salawat[7] be asked for them too. Therefore the correct opinion is that it is not permissible to distribute Zakat amongst them too because it is the filth of the people. Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala has protected these noble individuals from all types of filth. (This is the view of Imam Ahmed rahimahu Llah). How strange would it be that the wives are included in the following statements:

  1. The Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “O Allah, allocate for the family of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam an adequate amount of provisions.”[8]
  2. The Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said regarding the Udhiyah, “O Allah, accept this from Muhammad and the family of Muhammad.”[9]
  3. The statement of Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha, “The family of the Messenger had not eaten a stomach full of wheat bread…”[10]
  4. The Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “O Allah, I ask you to send salawat upon Muhammad and his family.”[11]

but then believed to be excluded in his statement, “Zakat is not permissible for Muhammad and the family of Muhammad,”[12] whereas this is the filth of the people. The wives of the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam are more deserving to be protected and kept away from this wealth.

If one objects that the impermissibility of Zakat for them would result in it being impermissible for their slaves too, just as it was made impermissible for the slaves of the Banu Hashim. Yet we find a Hadith in Sahih al Bukhari which states that Barirah radiya Llahu ‘anha was given meat as Zakat and she ate it.[13] Yet the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam did not forbid her from eating it whereas she was the slave of Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha.

This is a misconception of those who maintain that Zakat is permissible for the wives of the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. The response to this misconception is that impermissibility of taking Zakat for the wives of the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam is on account of it being impermissible for the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, which is why we find that it was permissible for them prior to marrying the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. So the prohibition upon them is a result of the impermissibility on the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. (Similarly) The impermissibility of Zakat on the slave is a result of it being impermissible for the Master. Since it was impermissible upon the Banu Hashim primarily it thus included their slaves too as a direct result. However, since the impermissibility upon the wives of the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was a result of the primary prohibition, it cannot be carried to their slaves as well. As this would be the result of the result (which does not apply).

Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala says:

 

ينِسَاءَ النَّبِيِّ مَنْ يَأْتِ مِنْكُنَّ بِفَاحِشَةٍ مُبَيِّنَةٍ يُضَاعَفْ لَهَا الْعَذَابُ ضِعْفَيْنِ وَكَانَ ذَلِكَ عَلَى اللَّهِ يَسِيرًا وَمَنْ يَقْنُتْ مِنْكُنَّ لِلَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ وَتَعْمَلْ صَالِحًا نُؤْتِهَا أَجْرَهَا مَرَّتَيْنِ وَأَعْتَدْنَا لَهَا رِزْقًا كَرِيمًا یٰنِسَآءَ 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 وَاٰتِيْنَ الزَّكَاةَ وَأَطِعْنَ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ إِنَّمَا يُرِيْدُ اللَّهُ لِيُذْهِبَ عَنْكُمُ الرِّجْسَ أَهْلَ الْبَيْتِ وَيُطَهِّرَكُمْ تَطْهِيْرًا وَاذْكُرْنَ مَا يُتْلَى فِي بُيُوتِكُنَّ مِنْ اٰیٰتِ اللَّهِ وَالْحِكْمَة

O wives of the Prophet, whoever of you should commit a clear immorality for her the punishment would be doubled two fold, and ever is that, for Allah, easy. And whoever of you devoutly obeys Allah and His Messenger and does righteousness We will give her, her reward twice; and We have prepared for her a noble provision. O wives of the Prophet, you are not like anyone among women. If you fear Allah, then do not be soft in speech [to men], lest he in whose heart is disease should covet, but speak with appropriate speech. And abide in your houses and do not display yourselves as [was] the display of the former times of ignorance. And establish prayer and give zakat and obey Allah and His Messenger. Allah intends only to remove from you the impurity [of sin], O people of the [Prophet’s] household, and to purify you with [extensive] purification. And remember what is recited in your houses of the verses of Allah and wisdom.[14]

 

So, the wives of the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam are included in the Ahlul Bayt because these verses are addressed to the wives of the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Therefore, it will be impermissible to exclude them in any part of the address.[15]

 

The virtues and noble traits of the Ahlul Bayt

  1. Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala mentions in the Qur’an:
 

إِنَّمَا يُرِيْدُ اللَّهُ لِيُذْهِبَ عَنْكُمُ الرِّجْسَ أَهْلَ الْبَيْتِ وَيُطَهِّرَكُمْ تَطْهِيْرًا

Allah intends only to remove from you the impurity [of sin], O people of the [Prophet’s] household, and to purify you with [extensive] purification.[16]

 
  1. Imam Muslim narrates in his Sahih from Yazid ibn Hibban:

I, Hussain ibn Saburah, and ‘Umar ibn Maslamah went to Zaid Ibn Arqam radiya Llahu ‘anhu. When we sat with him, Hussain told him, “O Zaid, verily you have attained a great amount of good. You saw the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, heard his ahadith, participated in jihad with him, and performed salah behind him. O Zaid, verily you have attained a great amount of good. Tell us, O Zaid, what you heard from the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.”

Zaid said, “O my nephew, by Allah I have become old and much time has passed since the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. I have forgotten some of the things I had preserved in my memory from the teachings of the Messenger. Therefore, accept what I mention to you, and if I happen to leave anything out then do not hold me to task.”

Thereafter he said, “Once the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam stood amongst us in order to address us at an oasis called Hama between Makkah and Madinah. The Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam praised and glorified Allah. He then advised us and reminded us, and said, ‘O people, I am but a human. Soon a messenger of my Lord will come and I will accept his request. (Referring to the passing away of the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam). I leave amongst you two weighty things: the first being the Qur’an which is filled with guidance and light, so hold onto it with steadfastness.’ Thereafter the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam urged us and emphasised concerning the Qur’an. Then the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, ‘My Ahlul Bayt. Remember Allah when dealing with my Ahlul Bayt. Remember Allah when dealing with my Ahlul Bayt.’

(One of the narrators of this hadith) Hussain asked Zaid radiya Llahu ‘anhu, “Who are the Ahlul Bayt? Are not the wives of the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam Ahlul Bayt?”

Zaid radiya Llahu ‘anhu replied, “Yes, his wives are also from the Ahlul Bayt. However the Ahlul Bayt are those amongst whom it is not permitted to distribute Zakat.”

Hussain asked, “Who are they?”

Zaid radiya Llahu ‘anhu replied, “They are the progeny of ‘Ali, ‘Aqil, Jafar, and ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhum.”

Hussain asked, “Is Zakat impermissible for all of the aforementioned?”

Zaid replied, “Yes.”[17]

 
  1. Imam Bukhari narrates in his Sahih from Abu Humaid al Sa’idi radiya Llahu ‘anhu that the Sahabah asked the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam:

“O Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, How should we send salutations upon you?”

The Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam replied, “Say, ‘O Allah, I ask you to send salawat upon Muhammad, his wives, and his progeny; just as you sent salawat upon Ibrahim and I ask you to send blessings upon Muhammad, his wives, and his progeny just as you sent blessings upon the family of Ibrahim. You are indeed Worthy of Praise, Full of Glory.’”[18]

 

So Allah has ordained for us as an integral part of Islam the sending of salawat upon the Ahlul Bayt

 

4.The hadith of Amir al Mu’minin ‘Umar ibn al Khattab radiya Llahu ‘anhu:

The Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “On the Day of Qiyamah, all links and lineage will be severed except my link and lineage.”[19]

 

The belief of the Muslims regarding the Ahlul Bayt

Undoubtedly the Hashimiyyah family tree holds the most noble lineage and ancestry. The love of the Muslims for the Banu al Hashim is based on their love for the Rasul of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. It is a necessary component of belief based on which a person is rewarded. This is due their accepting of Islam, their virtuousness, them being in the forefront, and their closeness to the Rasul of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. It is also due to the bequest and emphasis of the Rasul of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam regarding them.

There are some who exceed the bounds in their beliefs regarding the Ahlul Bayt and some who abandon them totally. The correct opinion is that it is necessary to love them, which is based on our love for the Rasul of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, staying away from exceeding the bounds or abandoning them. Both forms of extremism are equally blameworthy. Among the Ahlul Bayt are the wives of the Rasul of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Although they all hold great merits and virtues, however, there might be some who will get preference in certain aspects above the others. Since there is none who is free from flaws after the Rasul of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

 

In order to love them there are some prerequisites:

  1. They should be steadfast on Islam. If they are not Muslim, there will be no love or friendship with them. If it was only the family relationship that was the basis of love, then that would have been enough for Abu Lahab.
  2. They should be following the teachings of the Rasul of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam as is narrated by Muslim in his Sahih:
 

أَلَا إِنَّ آلَ أَبِي يَعْنِي فُلَانًا لَيْسُوا لِي بِأَوْلِيَاءَ إِنَّمَا وَلِيِّيَ اللهُ وَصَالِحُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ

Verily so and so who is the family of my father is not my near and dear one. Rather my near and dear ones are Allah and the righteous Muslims.[20]

 

Ulama’ have explicitly mentioned in the books of ‘Aqa’id[21] that it is necessary to love them. From amongst them are:

 
  1. Al Tahawi (d. 321) in his famous work on ‘Aqidah
  2. Al Barbahari (d. 329)
  3. Al Ajurri (d. 369) in his book al Shari’ah
  4. Al Isfara’ini (d. 471)
  5. Al Qahtani (d. 387)in his book al Nuniyyah
  6. Al Muwaffaq ibn al Qudamah al Maqdisi (d. 620) in his book Lum’at al I’tiqad
  7. Ibn Taymiyyah (d. 728) in al Wasitiyyah
  8. Ibn Kathir al Dimishqi (d. 774) in his Tafsir
  9. Muhammad ibn al Wazir al Yamani (d. 840) in Ithar al Haq ‘Ala al Khalq
  10. Siddiq Hassan Khan (d. 1307) in al Din Al Khalis
  11. ‘Abdul Rahman ibn Nasir al Sa’di (D1376) in al Tanbihat al Latifah

and many others.[22]

 

NEXT⇒ Who Are The Sahabah?


[1] For details regarding the impermissibility of giving Zakat to the family of the Rasul of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam refer to Istijlab Irtifa’i al Ghuraf of al Sakhawi, pg. 127.

[2] Sahih Muslim, # 2408, chapter on the virtues of ‘Ali.

[3] Sahih Muslim, #1072 in the Chapter of not entrusting the affairs of zakat to the family of the Rasul of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

[4] Surah al Ahzab: 33

[5] Mubahalah: A set of supplications by opposing parties during which each party calls for the wrath of Allah to descend upon the deceiving party.

[6] Siyar al A’lam al Nubala’ , vol. 2 pg. 208. The researcher of the book has deemed the chain of narrators of this incident to be sound.

[7] Grace, Honour, and Mercy.

[8] Sahih Muslim, #1055, from Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu in the book of Zakat under the chapter of contentment.

[9] Mustadrak al Hakim, #3525 Book of Tafsir. Hakim said, “The chain of narrators is Sahih.”

[10]Sahih Bukhari, #5416, Book of Foods, Chapter regarding what the Rasul of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and His Sahabah used to eat. (similar wording) Sahih Muslim, #2970, Book regarding abstinence and heart softening incidents.

[11]Sahih Bukhari, #4797, Book of Tasir, Chapter regarding Allah and His angels sending salah upon the Rasul of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam

[12] Sahih Muslim, #1072 in the Chapter of not entrusting the affairs of zakat to the family of the Rasul of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam

[13] Sahih Bukhari, #2577, Book of Gifts, Chapter on the accepting of gifts.

[14] Surah al Ahzab: 30-34

[15] Jila’ al Afham pg. 331-333.

[16] Surah al Ahzab: 33

[17] Sahih Muslim, # 2408, chapter on the virtues of ‘Ali.

[18] Sahih Bukhari, #3999, chapter regarding the permissibility of sending salawat on anyone other than the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam

[19] Tabrani Al Mujam al Awsat, #5606, from the hadith of ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu

Al ’Albani stated in his book Al Sislah Al Sahihah , vol. 5 pg. 58. #2036: This Hadith has been narrated from ‘Abdullah Ibn ‘Abbas, ‘Umar Ibn Khattab, Miswar Ibn Makhramah, and ‘Abdullah Ibn ‘Umar.

[20] Sahih Muslim, # 215, Book of ʾIman, Chapter of the friendship of Muslims.

[21] Beliefs

[22] Istijlabu irtifaʾi al ghuraf (with a few changes) pages.161-178

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