In the name of Allah, the Most Kind, the Most Merciful
All praise is for Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala who has favoured this ummah by way of the pure Ahlul Bayt and afforded them a distinction of the Master of those long-gone and those yet to come salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. I praise Him with complete devotion and thank Him with utter humility. There is nothing that precedes Him and no one that matches His grace and munificence.
Peace and salutations be upon His choicest creation, his Companions, and family.
Loving the Ahlul Bayt forms part of life with the contrary resulting in a faceless existence, it is a display of one’s character, and a sign of one’s untainted soul. The pious predecessors and general Muslim populous have always shown great respect for them, maintained an affinity with them, called towards their words and actions, and have related their virtues and doings.
Hereunder are some examples of this exemplary character displayed towards the Ahlul Bayt by other eminent personalities:
‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu said to Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu regarding the pledge of allegiance:
وكنا نرى لقرابتنا من رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم نصيبا حتى فاضت عينا أبي بكر فلما تكلم أبو بكر قال والذي نفسي بيده لقرابة رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم أحب إلي أن أصل من قرابتي
…And we thought we had a right (to be consulted) on account of our kinship with the Messenger of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala. He continued to talk to Abu Bakr in this vein until the latter’s eyes welled up with tears. Then Abu Bakr spoke and said, “By Allah, in Whose Hand is my life, the kinship of the Messenger of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala is dearer to me than the kinship of my own people…”
Another statement of Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu is as follows:
ارقبوا محمدا صلى الله عليه وسلم في أهل بيته
Show reverence to the Messenger of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala through honouring members of his family.
Here is the reverence ‘Umar and ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhuma showed to ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu:
يا عباس فوالله لإسلامك يوم أسلمت كان أحب إلي من إسلام الخطاب لو أسلم ، وما بي إلا أني قد عرفت أن إسلامك كان أحب إلى رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم من إسلام الخطاب لو أسلم
O Abbas, by Allah! Your accepting Islam is more beloved to me than if Khattab came into the creed, simply because your acceptance brings more pleasure to Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.
وكان العباس إذا مر بعمر أو بعثمان رضي الله عنهما وهما راكبان نزلا حتى يجاوزهما إجلالاً لعم رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم
When Amir al Mu’minin ‘Umar and ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhuma would pass by ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhu they would dismount from their conveyances till he would pass out of respect for the uncle of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.
‘Urwah ibn Zubair says:
عن عروة بن الزبير قال ذهب عبد الله بن الزبير مع أناس من بني زهرة إلى عائشة وكانت أرق شيء عليهم لقرابتهم من رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم
‘Abdullah ibn Zubair radiya Llahu ‘anhu went with some people from the Zuhrah tribe to Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha who respected them greatly due to their relation to Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.
The following authentic narration has been recorded in Tabaqat ibn Sa’d:
سمعت فاطمة بنت علي بن أبي طالب ذكرت عمر بن عبد العزيز فأكثرت الترحم عليه وقالت دخلت عليه وهو أمير المدينة يومئذ فأخرج عني كل خصي وحرسي حتى لم يبق في البيت غيري وغيره ثم قال يا بنت علي والله ما على ظهر الأرض أهل بيت أحب إلي منكم ولأنتم أحب إلي من أهل بيتي
Fatimah bint ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib mentioned ‘Umar ibn ‘Abdul ‘Aziz with great fondness, prayed for him and said, “I had come to him when he was the Amir of Madinah. He emptied the room of all and sundry and said to me, ‘By Allah, O daughter of ‘Ali, there is no family on the face of this earth more beloved to me than your family. Your family is more beloved to me than my own family.’”
Narrations such as these are untold and encapsulating them all would prove to be tedious. The ways of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala with regards to people’s relationship with the Ahlul Bayt is well documented. Those that truly love and respect them garner love and honour from Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala, whilst those harbour ill towards them are disgraced by Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala.
Ibn Abi al Dunya and others have narrated the following:
أن رجلا نال من علي فنهاه سعد ، فلم ينته ، فدعا عليه . فما برح حتى جاء بعير ناد فخبطه حتى مات
A man spoke ill of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu upon which Sa’d radiya Llahu ‘anhu promptly commanded he refrain from doing so. The man did not take heed so Sa’d radiya Llahu ‘anhu supplicated against him. It was not long thereafter that a camel came and trampled him till he died.
When the scholars of the early and latter times would pen down any book in beliefs, hadith, or history, they would make it a point to narrate the virtues of the Ahlul Bayt citing it as an integral part of faith. Those that truly love the Ahlul Bayt are sure to follow their way; the way of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. This can only be achieved through following the guidance of the Qur’an, hadith, Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum, and the pious predecessors. This would also be inclusive of their worship, remembrance of Allah, sublime character, and giving preference to others over themselves.
Though the virtues of the Ahlul Bayt cannot be denied and the narrations thereof are many and successive, they would continuously warn the masses of adopting extremism in this regard. The greatest of the Ahlul Bayt, Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam himself warned:
لا تطروني كما أطرت النصارى ابن مريم فإنما أنا عبده فقولوا عبد الله ورسوله
Do not adopt extremism in praising me as the Christians had done with Ibn Maryam. I am nought but the slave of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala. So call me, the slave of Allah and His Messenger.
The following has been recorded in Al Tabaqat al Kubra of Ibn Sa’d with an authentic chain of narration:
سمعت الحسن بن الحسن يقول لرجل ممن يغلو فيهم ويحكم أحبونا لله فإن أطعنا الله فأحبونا وإن عصينا الله فأبغضونا. قال فقال له رجل إنكم قرابة رسول الله وأهل بيته فقال ويحك لو كان الله مانعا بقرابة من رسول الله أحدا بغير طاعة الله لنفع بذلك من هو أقرب إليه منا أبا وأما والله إني لأخاف أن يضاعف للعاصي منا العذاب ضعفين وإني لأرجو أن يؤتى المحسن منا أجره مرتين.ويلكم اتقوا الله وقولوا فينا الحق فإنه أبلغ فيما تريدون ونحن نرضى به منكم ثم قال لقد أساء بنا آباؤنا إن كان هذا الذي تقولون من دين الله ثم لم يطلعونا عليه ولم يرغِّبونا فيه
I heard al Hassan ibn al Hassan saying to a man who used to show excessive love to them, i.e. the Ahlul Bayt, “Woe unto you people! Love us (only) for the pleasure of Allah. If we are obedient to Allah, then love us. And if we are disobedient to Allah, then do not love us.”
The man said to Hassan, “You are related to the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and from his family!”
Hassan said, “Woe unto you! If Allah were to prevent anyone from not worshipping Allah on account of his family ties with the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, then those that are paternally and maternally closer to him than us would (also) benefit. By Allah, I fear that a sinner from among us will be given double punishment. Still, I hope that a good-doer among us will be given his reward twice. Woe unto you! Fear Allah and speak the truth about us, for this is closer to what you (actually) desire. We are well-pleased if that comes from you.”
He continued saying, “If what you people are saying (about us) is considered to be a part of Allah’s Din, and our forefathers neither informed us about it nor encouraged us.”
‘Ali ibn al Hussain has similarly said:
يا أيها الناس ، أحبونا حب الإسلام ، فما برح بنا حبكم حتى صار علينا عارا
O people! Love us by of our faith. Your extremism in love for us has turned this into a nightmare for us.
This book in front of you, dear reader, is a collection of Forty Ahadith regarding the virtues of the Ahlul Bayt, a token of gratitude to their services to the faith and unparalleled honour. I have further commented on these narrations, thereby extracting its pearls and hidden meanings.
May Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala be pleased with them all, raise their status in the hereafter, benefit the those of the latter times through them just as those of the former times had benefitted from them. May Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala make this book a source of gaining closeness to him for the reader and author and may He resurrect us with the Ahlul Bayt, the Prophets, martyrs, and pious.
 Sahih al Bukhari, Hadith: 3998.
 Sahih al Bukhari, Hadith: 3509.
 Sirah ibn Hisham, pg. 403.
 Tarikh Dimashq, Hadith: 26794.
 Sahih al Bukhari, Hadith: 3312.
 Tabaqat ibn Sa’d, vol. 5 pg. 388.
 Siyar A’lam al Nubala’.
 Sahih al Bukhari, Hadith: 3261.
 Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, vol. 4 pg. 389.