The word Ahl al-Bait refers to all family members of our Master Muhammad ‘alaihis-salam. His blessed wives, his daughter Hadrat Fatima, Hadrat Ali, their sons Hadrat Hasan and Hadrat Husain, their children, and their descendants until Doomsday are included in the word Ahl al-Bait. This word is even extended to Bani Hashim to whom our Prophet’s blessed lineage belonged. Salman-i Farisi, one of the Blessed Companions, was included in Ahl al-Bait, too. However, when the word Ahl al-Bait is mentioned, it primarily refers to Hadrat Ali and Hadrat Fatima and their two blessed sons Hadrat Hasan and Hadrat Husayn (radiyallahu ta’ala anhum).
The progeny of our Master the Messenger of Allah comes from Hadrat Fatima. The children and grandchildren of Hadrat Hasan carry the title Sharif, and the descendants of Hadrat Husayn carry the title Sayyid. Sayyids and Sharifs who possess pure and blessed blood of our Master the Prophet live in various countries. Each is a model of virtue, and they are many in our country as well.
Islamic scholars on the right path saw the love for Ahl al-Bayt a condition to die as a Believer at last breath. Loving them is fard on every Muslim. They have the particles of our Master the Prophet, so each Muslim has a duty to hold them in high esteem and to be respectful towards them because the basis and the strongest sign of faith (iman) is to love whomever Allahu ta’ala loves and to dislike whomever Allahu ta’ala does not love. It is stated in hadith-i sharifs:
(The basis and the strongest sign of faith is to love the friends of Allah and to be hostile to His enemies.) [Imam-i Ghazali]
Allahu ta’ala said to Hadrat Isa:
(Even if you do the acts of worship of all the creatures on earth and in the heavens, they are of no use unless you love My friends and unless you are hostile to My enemies.) [Imam-i Ghazali]
Allahu ta’ala said to Ahl al-Bait:
(Allah wants to remove impurity [all sorts of faults and uncleanliness] from you and wishes to purify you with a thorough purification.) [Al-Ahzab 33]
Our Master the Prophet covered Hadrat Ali, Hadrat Fatima, Hadrat Hasan, and Hadrat Husain with his blessed cloak and then said:
(They are my Ahl al-Bait. O my Rabb, remove all evil from them and make them all pure.) [Masabih]
They are the Ahl al-Bait whom we mention as aal-i Muhammad for du’a in every salat. The messenger whom Allahu ta’ala loves the most is Muhammad alaihis-salam. The people whom Muhammad ‘alaihis-salam loves the most are his Ahl al-Bait and ashab [his blessed companions]. It is stated in a hadith-i sharif:
(Whoever observes these three respect, his religion and world are preserved: respect for Islam, respect for the Prophet, and respect for his descendants.) [Tabarani]
[Respect for Islam means obeying its commandments. Respect for the Prophet means following his sunnah. Respect for his descendants means respect for sayyids and sharifs.]
Hadrat Sayyid Abdulhakim Arwasi said, “It is necessary to love Ahl al-Bait even if they may be sinners. Loving them entails helping them by heart, by body, and by financial means. Doing these and respecting them cause one to die with iman.”
It is stated in hadith-i sharifs:
(Whoever loves Ahl al-Bait, Allahu ta’ala loves him. Whoever is hostile to them, Allahu ta’ala is hostile to him.) [Ibn Asaqir]
(The basis of Islam is the love for me and for my Ahl al-Bait.) [Ibn Asaqir]
(Everything has a foundation. The foundation of Islam is to love my ashab and my Ahl al-Bait.) [Ibn Najjar]
(Whoever follows Allah’s Book and my Ahl al-Bait, he is on guidance. Whoever does not follow them, he goes astray.) [Ibn Hibban]
(My Ahl al-Bait are like Noah’s Ark. Whoever boards it will survive and whoever does not board it will drown.) [Tabarani]
(I have left two things behind that you will never go astray if you hold on to them: Allah’s Book Qur’an and my Ahl al-Bait.) [Hatib
(Whoever dislikes my Ahl al-Bait, he will be thrown to Hell face down.) [Imam-i Ahmad]
(No one other than a person of Hell dislikes my Ahl al-Bait.) [Imam-i Ahmad]
(Fatima is superior to all ladies in Paradise. Hasan and Husain are the masters of the youths of Paradise.) [Tirmidhi]
(O Fatima, Allahu ta’ala rages when you rage. He is pleased when you are pleased.) [Hakim]
(Allahu ta’ala has made Hell haram for Fatima and her descendants.) [Hakim, Tabarani]
(The best of you is the one who does good to my Ahl al-Bait.) [Hakim]
(Whoever does not like my Ahl al-Bait, he will fall into dissension and will be the friend of Shaitan.) [Hakim]
(By Allah, iman does not go into the heart of a person who does not love my Ahl al-Bait.) [Imam-i Ahmad]
(Allahu ta’ala reconciles two Muslim armies through my son Hasan.) [Bukhari]
(O my Rabb, I love Hasan and Husain, so love them. Love those who love them, too.) [Tirmidhi]
(Fatima is a part of me. Whoever hurts her hurts me.) [Hakim]
(I love Fatima more than I love Ali. Ali is dearer to me than Fatima.) [Hakim]
(The meaning of the name of my daughter Fatima is “Allah protects her and her lovers from Hell.”) [Daylami]
(Only a Believer loves Ali, and only a hypocrite dislikes him.) [Nasai]
(Loving Ali eradicates Muslims’ sins just as fire burns wood.) [Ibn Asaqir]
(Whoever is an enemy of Ali, his enemy is Allah.) [Ramuz]
(I am the city of knowledge, and Ali is its gate.) [Daylami]
(Knowledge is ten parts. Nine parts belong to Ali, and one part belong to the other people. However, he knows this one part better than them, too.) [Abu Nuaym]
(Whoever loves Ali loves me. Hostility to him is hostility to me. Whoever hurts him has hurt me. Whoever hurts me has hurt Allahu ta’ala.) [Tabarani]
(The first sign of faith is to love Ali.) [Manakib-i Chihar Yar-i Ghuzin]
(Only a hypocrite dislikes ansar. Whoever dislikes my Ahl al-Bait, Abu Bakr, or ‘Umar is a hypocrite, too.) [Ibn Asakir]
(Whoever loves my Ahl al-Bait and ashab [companions] much, his foot does not slip on the Sirat Bridge.) [Daylami, Ibn Adiy]
(He who loves my companions, my wives, and my Ahl al-Bait will be with me in Paradise.) [Ramuz]
(He who loves Allah loves me. He who loves me loves my Ahl al-Bait.) [Tirmidhi]
(After me, my Ahl al-Bait will be a trial for you.) [Tabarani]
(There is veil between du’a and Allah until you say salawat on me and my Ahl al-Bait.) [Abu ash-Shaikh]
The Qur’an al-karim says (what means) about Ahl al-Bait:
(The companions who spent and fought for Allah before the conquest of Makkah are higher in degree than those who spent and fought after the conquest. I have promised husna [Paradise] for all.) [Al-Hadid 10]
(All of the companions are severe against disbelievers but merciful to one another.) [Al-Fath 29]
(You are the best community.) [Al-i Imran 110]
(Allah is pleased with the Muhajirin and the Ansar and those who followed them in goodness.) [At-Tawba 100]
Therefore, we must follow in the footsteps of Ahl al-Bait and Ashab-i Kiram [our Prophet’s blessed companions]. Ahl al-Bait is the apple of Ahl-i Sunnat’s eye. They have countless virtues and perfections. It is far away from human capability to describe or praise them.
Loving Imam-i Ali much is a sign of Ahl as-Sunnah. Disliking several companions in order to love Hadrat Ali is deviation from right path.
It is fard on every Muslim to love Ahl al-Bait, which causes one to die with iman. Some people with unsound wisdom and narrow reasoning capacities make a mistake in this subject. They say that love requires antipathy towards the beloved one’s enemies. Presuming that Hadrat Aisha, Hadrat Muawiya, Hadrat Talha, and Hadrat Zubayr were enemies of the Ahl al-Bait, although they did so in consequence of their ijtihad, they nurse a grudge against those great people. Thereby, they deviate from the right course. In fact, as it becomes clear in the light of Qur’anic verses and hadith-i sharifs, those wars did not ensue from worldly ambitions such as position and fame. They were based on difference of ijtihad. When they met, their aim was not to make war, but to reach an agreement. The plotting and intrigue carried on by the Jew named Abdullah bin Saba and his accessaries caused war. All the Companions loved the Ahl al-Bait. Not to believe so, i.e., to think that the Companions were hostile to Ahl al-Bait means to deny Qur’anic verses and hadith-i sharifs. Qur’anic verses and hadith-i sharifs show the fact that the Companions established their capital of faith out of their love of Ahl al-Bait. (Sahaba the Blessed)
Hadrat Imam-i Rabbani states:
“My father was deeply learned in the physical and inner (something pertaining to the heart) branches of knowledge. He always advised and encouraged to love the Ahl al-Bait. He said that this love would be of great help in dying with iman. I was with him as he was passing away. As his consciousness of this world grew weaker towards his last breath, I reminded him of his recurrent advice and asked him about the effect of that love. Amidst those difficult moments, he had the zeal to say, ‘I am swimming in an ocean of love for Ahl al-Bait.’ I immediately thanked and praised Allahu ta’ala.
Not loving Ahl al-Bait means being a Khariji. Not loving Blessed Companions means being deviant. Loving the Ahl al-Bait and all of the Blessed Companions and respecting them mean being an Ahl as-Sunnah.
The love for the Ahl al-Bait is the capital of Ahl as-Sunnah. Especially this capital will be the source of all the earnings in the Hereafter. People who do not know the Ahl as-Sunnah do not recognize the temperate, equable, and true love cherished by these great people and, equating this modest and fair love with antipathy, they lend themselves to an overdose of love. They stigmatize the Ahl as-Sunnah as Kharijite. These wretched people do not know that there is a reasonable and moderate type of love between excessive love and absence of love. And the right one is always the medial and central one. This center of right and justice has devolved on the Ahl as-Sunnah.
Excessive and dangerous love is to say, as they do, that love for Hadrat Ali necessitates hostility towards the other three caliphs. Be reasonable and think well. What kind of love could it be to stipulate hostility towards Allah’s Messenger’ s caliphs, who were his representatives? How could it ever necessitate cursing the Companions of the Best of Mankind, the Messenger and Beloved of Allah? What kind of love could it be to necessitate cursing Allah’s Messenger’s blessed wife, son-in-low, brother-in-law, mother-in-law and father-in-law? While Allahu ta’ala has said in the Qur’an al-karim that He is pleased with them all and that He has promised them Paradise, how can they be considered evil, spoken ill of, or not known pure? Muhammad ‘alaihis-salam, His Messenger, forbade us from saying defamatory words about his companions, too. In spite of these facts, could it be ever possible to label them evil, impure, or a disbeliever? What kind of faith can it be? (Sahaba the Blessed)
Only the Ahl as-Sunnah Is Blessed with Loving Them All
The Messenger of Allah informed us that none of the Blessed Companions would become a disbeliever and all of them would go to Paradise. He prohibited us from speaking ill of any of them. Allahu ta’ala says that He is pleased with the Blessed Companions and that He loves them. The Attributes of Allahu ta’ala is eternal, so His pleasure with them is eternal, too. None of them became a renegade or hypocrite. Allah’s pleasure with them does not change. Hypocrites were not of the Blessed Companions. That some hypocrites confessed their hypocrisy afterwards does not mean that some of the Companions became hypocrites afterwards.
Hadrat Abdulaziz Dahlawi says in his book Tuhfa-i Isna Ashariyya:
“There were hypocrites among the Blessed Companions. They were not known in the beginning. However, in the last years of our Master the Prophet, they were separated from Believers. Soon after the death of the Messenger of Allah, no hypocrite remained. The 179th verse of Surah Al-i Imran that says (what means) “O hypocrites, Allah will not leave you in the state you are in. He separates pure Believers from hypocrites” and the hadith-i sharif written in Bukhari “The city of Madinah separates Believers from hypocrites, just as a forge separates rust from iron” reveal that hypocrites and disbelievers were distinguished from Believers.
The following is written in the same book:
“Hurufis say that the Ahl as-Sunnah is an enemy of the Ahl al-Bait. They fabricate touching stories to make others believe what they say. All their abominable stories are lies. In fact, Ahl as-Sunnah scholars unanimously say that loving all of the members of the Ahl al-Bait is fard on every Muslim, man or woman. Loving them is a condition of faith. Ahl as-Sunnah scholars wrote many books that enumerated virtues of the Ahl al-Bait. All Sunnis say prayers for the Ahl al-Bait in their every salat.”
The hadith-i sharif “I leave you two guides after me: Allah’s Book and my Ahl al-Bait” shows that it will be of no use in the Hereafter to love some members of the Ahl al-Bait and to curse others, just as it is of no use to believe in some parts of the Qur’an al-karim and to deny the other parts. Just as one has to believe in the Qur’an al-karim completely, one has to love all members of the Ahl al-Bait. No sect, except the Ahl as-Sunnah, is blessed with loving all of them because Kharijite was dragged to the contemptibility of bearing enmity to Hadrat Ali and his pure children. The sect of Sabaiyya rolled into the disaster of being hostile to Hadrat Aisha-i Siddiqa and Hadrat Hafsa, blessed mothers of Muslims, and Zubayr bin Awwam, son of Allah’s Messenger’s paternal aunt. The sect of Kiramiyya did not believe the imamah of Hadrat Hasan and Husain. The sect of Muhtariyya did not believe Imam-i Zaynal Abidin. The sect of Imamiyya did not believe Zayd-i Shahid. Many similar sects were deprived of loving the Ahl al-Bait and thus of abiding by the above-mentioned hadith-i sharif. Only the Ahl as-Sunnah is blessed with loving them all without differentiating any. (Documents of the Right Word)
The relatives of the Messenger of Allah
Question: When I went to Syria, I met someone who said that he was a Shiite, but in fact he was a follower of Ibn Saba. He used offensive language about Allah’s Messenger’s wives and companions. Then he said, “We apply the 23rd verse of Shura Surah. It suffices for us to love the Ahl al-Bait. He added, “The word shia appears in the Qur’an al-karim, too.” Could you please give information on this matter?
Let us explain the word shi’a first:
Shi’a means faction, division, religion, way, or fraction. Today it denotes a supporter. It appears in two verses in the Qur’an al-karim:
1. Min shiatihi: It means one who is his follower (Qasas 15). The word his refers to Musa alaihis-salam.
2. Abraham was his follower, too (Saffat 83). That is, it means Abraham alaihis-salam was also of Hadrat Nuh’s religion.
This word may be used in such examples: the shi’a of Nuh ‘alaihis-salam, the shi’a of Abraham ‘alaihis-salam, or the shi’a of Musa ‘alaihis-salam.
It may be said “the shi’a of Muhammad ‘alaihis-salam,” too. Our scholars used the word Ahl as-sunnah instead, which means those following the sunnah of the Messenger of Allah. However, it cannot be used in such ways: the shi’a of Abu Bakr, the shi’a of ‘Umar, or the shi’a of Ali. These words lead to separatism. Hadrat Ali did not take a different course from our Master the Prophet, so he did not have a different religion other than Islam. Every Muslim should say that he/she follows the way of the Messenger of Allah. Those who go on the path of the Messenger of Allah are called Ahl as-Sunnah. If one says “I am the shi’a of ‘Umar,” it is separatism. Ahl as-Sunnah loves all of the Sahabah because it is said in the Qur’an al-karim that all of them will be in Paradise. (Al-Hadid 10)
A Qur’anic verse says (what means) about Ahl al-Bait:
(I do not want anything in return for this [for bringing Islam] except the love for kinship.) [Ash-Shura 23]
Interpreters said that the words “those who are akin to me” were expounded in several ways. It is expounded in three ways according to Baydawi and Madarik:
1. The word qurba that appears in the verse means the Ahl al-Bait.
2. It refers to all Qurayshites who had kinship with the Messenger of Allah.
3. It means nearness to Allah. Then the meaning of the verse is as follows:
(Say: I do not want anything in return for bringing this religion except the nearness to Allah through good deeds and the love for Him and His Messenger.) [Baydawi, Madarik]
Surely every Muslim must love the Messenger of Allah, his companions, his wives, his fathers-in-law, and his sons-in-law. If one does not love some of them, one’s love for the Messenger of Allah is a lie. Just as it is a false reasoning for Christians to deny the Messenger of Allah on the pretext of their love for Hadrat Isa, so it is a false reasoning to dislike the Blessed Companions on the pretext of the love for Hadrat Ali. Ibn Saba’s followers’ love for Hadrat Ali is like Christians’ love for Hadrat Isa. They believe that Isa is a god. In fact, Hadrat Isa does not want this love. Kharijites became enemies of Hadrat Ali while Rafizies loved him to extremes. Hadrat Ali reported the following hadith-i sharif:
(O Ali, you are like Isa. Jews turned against him. They slandered his blessed mother. As for Christians, they exalted him to extremes. They raised him to a point beyond what befits him; they called him the son of Allah.) [Imam-i Ahmad]
Then Hadrat Ali said, “Two groups of people have perished because of me. The first group loves me extremely and attribute me qualities that I do not have. The second group turns against me and slanders me much.”
This hadith-i sharif likens Kharijites to Jews and Rafizites to Christians.
I leave you the Book of Allahu ta’ala and my itra.
Question: A hadith-i sharif written in a book says, “I leave you the Book of Allahu ta’ala and my itra.” What is the meaning of itra and what is meant by it?
In reference to your question, the following is written in the book Manakib-i Chihar Yar-i Ghuzin:
“Hadrat Jabir reported: I saw our Master the Messenger of Allah performing hajj duty on the day of Arafa. He was delivering a sermon. I heard him saying ‘O people, in order for you to cling to and not to go astray, I leave you the Book of Allah and my Ahl al-Bait, my itra.’”
Hadrat Turpushti said, ‘About the word itra, some said that the itra of a person is his/her kins. Some said that the itra of our Master the Messenger of Allah is Bani Abdulmuttalib. Some said that the itra of a person is his households, close or distant. Lexical meaning of it is one’s ahl al-bait and one’s clan’s relatives. Our Master the Messenger of Allah meant by itra his heirs and his blessed wives.
Hadrat Zayd bin Arkam reported: Our Master the Messenger of Allah said:
(Surely I leave you two things if you cling to them; one of them is weightier than the other. It is the Book of Allah, which is a rope from the sky to the earth. The second is my itra, my Ahl al-Bait. They never split from one another until they reach my Hawd. Be careful about how you deal with these two after me.)
Hadrat Tayyibi said: Gripping and holding on to something happens through preserving it. 65th verse of Surah al-Hajj says (what means), ‘Certainly, Allahu ta’ala keeps the sky from falling on the earth, but He keeps it by His leave on the Day of Resurrection.’ One holds on to only that which is worthy. When the word gripping appears, what is gripped is told, which is a rope. About the statement ‘The Book of Allah is a rope extended from the sky to the earth,’ think that people stand in a place where there are things their nature and carnality desire. When they fulfill the abominable desires of their nafses, Allahu ta’ala, out of His grace and His will for them to rise, nears the rope of the Qur’an al-karim to them. Those clinging to it attain salvation, while those not clinging to it perish. Clinging to the Qur’an al-karim means applying its commandments and abandoning what it prohibits. Clinging to itra means love for them, that is, loving the Ahl al-Bait, walking on their true path, and following in their footsteps.