Who are the Ahlul-Bayt (Blessed Household of Rasulullah Salallahu Alaihi wa Sallam)

Who are the Ahlul-Bayt (Blessed Household of Rasulullah Salallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) and how to express our love for them?

(Ml) Ridwan Kajee

Love for the Ahlul-Bayt (household of Rasulullah Sallalahu Alaihi wa Sallam) has and shall always be an integral part of one’s faith. It is through this love that one shall acquire the pleasure of Rasulullah Sallalahu Alaihi wa Sallam, and through its
medium, the pleasure of Almighty Allah. Thus, from amongst the edicts issued during the caliphate of Hadrat Abu Bakr Radhiyallahu Anhu, one was:

‘Protect (the rights of) Muhammad with regards to his household’

Some deviant sectors however wish to mislead the masses into believing that it is only the shia that love the Ahlul-Bayt, and that the Sahaba Radhiyallahu Anhum, Tabieen, Mufassireen, Muhaditeen, Fuqaha, Sufiya and the general Muslim Ummah from the death of Rasulullah Sallalahu Alaihi wa Sallam failed in their obligation towards the Ahlul-Bayt, i.e. they did not show them the love they were deserving off and did not afford them their due rights.

The answer to this misconception depends upon first understanding what the phrase ‘Ahlul-Bayt’ (household members) means. Generally, if one were to inform that he is coming with his family, the host would naturally inquire as to the number
and the nature of his family members, in order to make appropriate arrangements. Mere guessing could at times be detrimental, especially if the guest were to arrive with his extended family, viz. his parents, in-laws, brothers and sisters, etc. Even
worse than this would be if the host now bars certain members of the guest’s household from entering, merely on the basis that he does not recognize them to be from his guest’s family. Will the guest not feel humiliated, and will he not demand
that either his family be allowed in or else he too shall depart?

So too, is the delicate matter of the Ahlul-Bayt. It is not for one and all to decide who should be included in this blessed household and who should be excluded. Nay, rather it is the exclusive right of Rasulullah Sallalahu Alaihi wa Sallam to pinpoint his
blessed household. Thus one needs to turn to the Noble Quraan and the Blessed Sunnah for an explanation in this regard. If we were left to ourselves define who the Ahlul-Bayt are, there would be a total mix-up, and that is exactly what we are
unfortunately experiencing today in some quarters.
Since the Ahlul-Bayt have been afforded great importance in Islam, it was of utmost necessity that clear indication be made regarding who they are? Without clear indication from the Noble Quraan and the authentic Sunnah, each party could easily
chalk out his own Ahlul-Bayt, including and excluding members without any solid basis.

For example:

We find some who claim that only the children of Hadrat Ali Radhiyallahu Anhu and Hadrat Fatima Radhiyallahu Anha are from the Ahlul-Bayt.

Without any reason whatsoever they exclude the three other daughters of Rasulullah Sallalahu Alaihi wa Sallam, viz. Hadrat Zainab Radhiyallahu Anha1, Hadrat Rukaiya Radhiyallahu Anha and Hadrat Umme-Khulthoom Radhiyallahu Anha, together with their husbands and their children.
Since this group had no clear sharee proof to guide them, and no principle to hold on to, soon came the next stage wherein they excluded from the Ahlul-Bayt all the children of Hadrat Ali Radhiyallahu Anhu, except Hadrat Hasan Radhiyallahu Anhu
and Hadrat Husein Radhiyallahu Anhum. Without any basis they unjustly excluded illustrious sons of Hadrat Ali Radhiyallahu Anhum, viz. Muhammad al-Hanafiyah, Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman, Abbaas, Ja’far, Abdullah, Ubeidullah and Yahya

1 Hadrat Fatimah Radiyallah Anha had so much love for her sisters, that she bequeathed Hadrat Ali Radiyallah Anhu to marry, after her death, the daughter of Hadrat Zainab Radhiyallahu Anha, viz. Hadrat Umamah. (as mentioned in Al-Isabah, as well as by shia scholars, as in the Kitaab of Suleim ibn Qais)

2 If Hadrat Ali Radhiyallahu Anhu is included under the Ahle-Bayt due to his marriage to Hadrat Fatimah Radhiyallahu Anha, it is only right that Hadrat Uthmaan Radhiyallahu Anhu also beincluded, since he married not only one, but rather two of the blessed daughters of Rasulullah Sallalahu Alaihi wa Sallam. And if Hadrat Ali Radhiyallahu Anhu has been included due to being from the clan of the Banu Hashim, then Hadrat Ja’far Radhiyallahu Anhu, Hadrat Hamza Radhiyallahu Anhu, Hadrat Abbaas Radhiyallahu Anhu and their children should also be included,whereas the shia, for unknown reasons, do not regard any of these to be from the Ahlul-Bayt!

3 Rahimahumullah, together with their 12 sons and their 18 daughters. In a similar manner they unjustly excluded the two daughters of Hadrat Fatimah Radhiyallahu Anha, viz. Hadrat Zainab and Hadrat Umme-Khulthoom.
As they excluded all of these illustrious individuals without any basis, they also excluded the brothers of Hadrat Ali Radhiyallahu Anhu, the uncles and aunts of Rasulullah Sallalahu Alaihi wa Sallam and the most honorable wives of Rasulullah
Sallalahu Alaihi wa Sallam who in actual fact deserved to be the first included, since the verses wherein the phrase, Ahlul-Bayt has been utilized in the Noble Quraan is with regards to none other but the blessed wives of Rasulullah Sallalahu Alaihi wa Sallam.

Even Hadrat Hasan Radhiyallahu Anhu and Hadrat Husein Radhiyallahu Anhu were not spared from this demonic behavior of random selection, which resulted in all the sons of Hadrat Hasan Radhiyallahu Anhu being excluded, as well as many of the sons
of Hadrat Husein Radhiyallahu Anhu.
From this it becomes clear that if left to the mind to decide who should be included and who should be excluded from the Ahle-Bayt, the result shall see hardly anyone being left, since according to the above, it is only half of Fatimah Radhiyallahu Anha
that makes the Ahle-Bayt (since only her sons are included, and not her daughters) and only half of Hadrat Ali Radhiyallahu Anhu, since only his two sons have been included, whereas nine have been excluded. And only a part of Hadrat Hasan Radhiyallahu Anhu shall form the Ahle-Bayt, since none of his progeny have been allowed in, and only some of Hadrat Husein Radhiyallahu Anhu, which are the 9 (so called Imams) until Hasan Al-Askari, and the 10th is still in hiding. In total the Ahle- Bayt shall consist of only about thirteen individuals, one of whom is still to appear.

This then is the result of using zann (assumption) to interpret the shariah, at a timewhen clear texts from the Quraan and the Sunnah are available. As Almighty Allah
says:

‘Many follow mere assumption, whereas in front of the truth mere assumption is of
no avail’

to be continued — Who then are the Ahle-Bayt?