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Letter Exchange 4: Eulogy of the Ahlulbayt and their métier

The following Queries were mailed to us by a fellow visitor, student and seeker of truth. Below is an article-version of the email exchange.

  1. Before I proceed with my research, i am interested to know why the Ahlulbayt are special people.
  2. I also want to know the contribution of the Ahlulbayt to Islam.


I will briefly tell u things, and there are many detailed articles here which will assist you more. In this mail, I wont quote most of the references due to shortage of time, but I hope u can trust me that all that I say is either from Quran or Sunni Hadith. Because if any of my reference is a lie on my behalf, then I will loose total credibility. I will provide you with the references which i would use indirectly in this mail, whenever asked for.

First thing first, being related to any prophet does not save you, until you are chosen by Allah himself, or your actions prove the strength of your faith.

We have examples of the son of Nuh (AS), who drowned, and wives of Nuh (AS) and Lut (AS), who shared the bed with these prophets, but will be punished in hell as the Quran said. The son of Adam (AS), Kabeel, killed his brother Habeel. Sons of Prophet Yaqub (AS), who were also the brothers of Prophet Yusuf (AS), were men of evil character and were jealous of Yusuf (AS), and acted against the will of the Prophets throughout their lives and were responsible for the grief which Prophet Yaqub (AS) suffered on account of Yusuf (AS). Abu lahab was prophet muhammad’s uncle, and yet the Quran and we all curse him.

So let us get one thing out of the way clearly, being related to prophets does not save you. It might be an honor, but it puts more responsibility on u as your bad deeds can ruin the name of the prophet also. That is why Quran warns all wives of prophet (SAW), that if they sin, their punishment will b double that of an ordinary woman.

Second thing, prophet (SAW) does only what Allah commands him to do. Quran tells us that Muhammad (SAW) is not the father of any man.

Muhammad is not the father of any of your men, but he is the Messenger of Allah and the Last of the prophets; and Allah is cognizant of all things.
Quran [33:40]

I can talk loud in front of my father (although highly discouraged and may amount to a greater sin), and get away with it (if my father tells me to do something against Islam, for example). But if any child of prophet (SAW) talks loud in front of him, all his previous works will be burnt, even if the speaker was his son, and he disobeyed Muhammad (SAW) as his father, and not as a prophet.

Read Muhammad (SAW) of the Quran to get a better idea about the authority of Muhammad (SAW).

Anyhow, the term ahlulbayt means people of the house, not those living in your flat, or the residence which you constructed. There is an argument if wives of prophet (SAW) are in his ahlulbayt, and that has been dealt in a separate article, who are the Ahlulbayt.

Thus i will not go into that debate here, and I will assume that you have read, and agreed to the article stated above, that the ahlulbayt are only, Ali (AS), Fatima (AS), Hassan (AS) and Hussain (AS).

The question rises, were these people special because they were all related to Prophet Muhammad (SAW) or were they chosen by Allah himself? I think i had made myself clear at the very beginning, where relations with a Prophet did not make you special.

Those chosen by Allah himself, are the ones who will be purified from All Rijs, ordered to be loved, went to Mubahila, and preferentially treated by Prophet Muhammad (SAW) every time throughout history.

Read Seerah of Rasool (SAW) by any author, and u will find only two names, which have defended Muhammad (SAW) and Islam, before migration to medina, Mawla Ali's father, Abu Talib was the protector, after migration to medina, Mawla Ali himself was. When the Quraysh exiled the Banu Hashim to shuaib e Abu Talib, there were fear of night attacks, and Abu Talib would switch beds with Muhammad (SAW) in case someone attacked them at night. After Hazrat Abu Talibs (AS) demise, his son, Ali (AS) slept on the bed of Muhammad (SAW) and was given the duty to return the peoples belongings to them. Such was the trust which Muhammad (SAW) had on Ali (AS), that Ali will not be a reason of distrust even to a single atom, because this is the same Ali (AS), who was 10, when infront of all the people and family, he stood and told Muhammad (SAW) , when everyone was silent and making fun of prophet (SAW), that I (Ali) believe you and will support you with my life. This Ali (AS) proved what he said, and proved to the the right hand man of Prophet (SAW).

Sunnis say that Umer was so brave and strong that when he accepted Islam, Islam was strengthened. I ask Sunnis, if Umer was so strong, why did the prophet need to migrate to medina to save his life, and that to at night? Sunnis proudly narrate that Umer migrated to Medina in broad daylight infront of everyone, while the Prophet (SAW) migrated in the darkness of the night! What are they trying to prove here, by telling fabrications, that Umer was braver than the Prophet (SAW) himself? In which battle did Umer prove his heroics? I did not want to go off topic, but it was a must, to highlight, that the essence and the efforts of the Ahlulbayt were being neglected and instead, fake stories were being attributed to the other people.

Anyhow back to the ahlulbayt. When the prophet (SAW) made the Muhajirs and Ansars brothers with each other, Mawla Ali was coupled with prophet (SAW) and Rasool (SAW) said that Ali is my brother in this world and the next.

Badr starts. Mawla Ali's heroics, along with the efforts of Hazrat Hamza (RA), tears apart even the books of Sunnis. In single battles, Mawla Ali kills three generations of the same family.

A year later, kaafirs come for revenge at Uhud, and after initial victory, due to khalid bin waleeds counter attacks, Muslims flee and Rasool (SAW) is left alone, with hardly 12 people.

Translated from Arabic: Ibn Hajar published from Kalib he said: Umar gave a speech on Friday and he read surah al-imran until he reached the verse "those that turned their backs from among you when the two parties met".. He said, it was the day of Uhud, we were beaten so I ran until I climbed the mountain..and the people were saying "Muhammad has been killed" so I said.."nobody says muhammad had been killed or I will kill him"

Click below for scanned page:
Al Darul Manthur Fi Al Tafseer Bil Masoor (Arabic), By Imam Jalaludin Suyuti, page 88

Mawla Ali's name comes in notable protectors of prophet (SAW), some claiming that he was the only one who was with the prophet.

Ibn Abbas said: Ali has four distinctions no one shares with him; He was the first male who prayed with the Messenger of God. He was the bearer of his banner in every battle and he was the one who stayed with him at the Battle on the day of Al- Mihras (the Battle of Ohod, where there is gathered water called Al-Mihras ), and he is the one who washed his blessed body and laid him in his tomb.
Al Hakim, al Mustadrak, volume 3 page 111

This is the battle, where he was gifted the renowned 2 ended sword, Zulfiqar.

It was said "La fata illa Ali, La saifa illa Zulfiqar" (There is no brave man except Ali and there is no sword which renders service except Zulfiqar)."
Ibn Al Atheer, In his Biography, vol 2 p 107

This gift is from the skies, a miracle of Muhammad (SAW), which the bulk of the Sunnis acknowledge.

Three years later, whole of Arab attacks medina with 25,000 men, Muslims are hardly 6000 many of which are women and children. On Salman farsi's (RA) advice, a trench is encircled medina which is very effective, until the pagan war champion, Amr ibn abdu wudd, crosses the trench with his horse. Historians write that amroo was a very big man who used to throw camels at the enemies and had the skills to take on 25 men alone. This amr came and abused islam to such an extent, that Rasool (SAW), the mercy for the worlds, said to his companions, that who is he who will shut the mouth of this dog.

Amr continues to challenge and says which Muslim can kill him and send him to hell, or be killed and go to paradise. Every Muslim desires paradise, and this is a very cheap price, its infront of u, yet no one dares go. The prophet raises his call to send someone to counter the challenge and no one dares move his muscle. Quran describes Khandaq as such, that the companions were so afraid, that their hearts jumped into their throats.

When they (pagans) came upon you from above you and from below you, and when the eyes turned dull, and the hearts rose up to the throats, and you began to think diverse thoughts of Allah.
Quran [33:10]

The Muslims, were so still, that birds cud make nests on top of their heads. Anyhow, no one countered the challenge, except we all know who, Mawla Ali.

When the Prophet saw Ali going toward his adversary, he said: "He is the embodiment of all Faith who is going to an encounter with the embodiment of all Unbelief."
A Restatement of the History of Islam and Muslims, by Sayed Ali Asgher Razwy, Published by World Federation of KSI Muslim Communities,  Chapter 26

Mawla Ali's quality was that no opponent cud survive him for more than a single sword strike, but with amr , the fight extended, and in the tussle, sand and dust was covered everything. It was only when the cry of Allah hu Akbar came from dust, that everyone cheered and knew that Ali has been victorious. Scholars write that in history, only twice has occurred such, that armies retreated with the killing of a single person. First was when David, or Daud (AS) slew goliath, or Jalut and second was this event, when the killing of amr struck fear in the hearts of Meccans, along with a worsening weather that their army retreated.

Prophet (SAW) marched with 1400 men to Mecca to visit kaaba and reunite families, but is intercepted by kuffars, where he signs the treaty of Hudaibya, which was written by imam Ali

Anyhow, soon enough, the Jews of Khyber become a threat and are dealt with. Mawla Ali did not feel well and was left out. One last fort of Khyber, the most strongest one, couldn't be conquered by all the Muslim battalions led by many sahabis, Abu bakr, Umer and usman being one of them.

Narrated Sahl: On the day (of the battle) of Khaibar the Prophet said, "Tomorrow I will give the flag to somebody who will be given victory (by Allah) and who loves Allah and His Apostle and is loved by Allah and His Apostle." So, the people wondered all that night as to who would receive the flag and in the morning everyone hoped that he would be that person. Allah's Apostle asked, "Where is 'Ali?" He was told that 'Ali was suffering from eye-trouble, so he applied saliva to his eyes and invoked Allah to cure him. He at once got cured as if he had no ailment. The Prophet gave him the flag. '...
Sahih Bukhari Volume 4, Book 52, Number 253

I ask you, prophet (SAW) could pray and Khyber would have been conquered. No one is more stronger and braver than Rasool (SAW) himself. Then why did he not pray and show a miracle or give the flag to any of his companions, and prayed for his success? Why Ali is the answer? It was Ali (AS) only, who satisfied the condition in it's totality, he who loved Allah and his Rasool (SAW), and he who was loved by Allah and his Rasool (SAW).

We proceed to Tabuk, where Mawla Ali is left behind as a care taker of medina, and is declared, the Haroon of Muhammad (SAW). Not to forget to mention, Mawla Ali is married to the only and the most prestigious daughter of prophet Muhammad (SAW), the leader of women of paradise.

The couple is gifted with imam Hassan (AS) and Hussain (AS). No prophet has ever received the title of the king of paradise or prince of paradise. Sunnis also attribute the title of princes of youth of paradise, to imam Hassan (AS) and Hussain (AS).

The ahlulbayt are complete and the verse of purity, 33:33 is revealed, to purify the ahlulbayt from all rijs.

Conquest of Mecca takes place and Rasool (SAW) enters Mecca. The idols in kaaba are broken by Rasool (SAW) and Mawla Ali (AS). The last pilgrimage takes place and prophet (SAW) in his sermons tells everyone, that he is leaving behind 2 weighty things, with which no one can ever get astray, the Quran and his Ahlulbayt.

Yazid b. Hayyan reported, ..... One day Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) stood up to deliver sermon at a watering place known as Khumm situated between Mecca and Medina. He praised Allah, extolled Him and delivered the sermon and. exhorted (us) and said: Now to our purpose. O people, I am a human being. I am about to receive a messenger (the angel of death) from my Lord and I, in response to Allah's call, (would bid good-bye to you), but I am leaving among you two weighty things: the one being the Book of Allah in which there is right guidance and light, so hold fast to the Book of Allah and adhere to it. He exhorted (us) (to hold fast) to the Book of Allah and then said: The second are the members of my household I remind you (of your duties) to the members of my family....
Sahih Muslim Book 031, Number 5920

On the way back, prophet (SAW) announces to public that anyone who considers me as his Mawla must consider Ali (AS) as his Mawla.

Six days later, a Christian tribe comes to argue with prophet (SAW). No result is concluded and Mubahila is offered. Prophet (SAW) is ordered to gather his nearest people, all truthful, so they can curse the liars. Prophet (SAW) takes Ali (AS) with him for the condition of “yourselves”, Fatima (AS) for “women” and Hassan (AS) and Hussain (AS) for “sons”. The majestic of these people forces the Christians to withdraw the challenge and accept Jizya.

Not to forget to mention, Imamat is seeded in Ibrahim’s (AS) progeny, which continues through Muhammad (SAW), thus Shias believe Imamat continues in the ahlulbayt.

These 5 people, the Holy five or Panjtan Pak, Muhammad (SAW), Ali (AS), Fatima (AS), Hassan (AS) and Hussain (AS), are the rope of guidance, they are special not ordinary, and their specialty is not because they are related to prophet (SAW), but because it is the will of Allah, Allah chose them. Their contributions to Islam are great, their character, faith and intentions are clear in every battle field, peaked at Kerbala.

As Allama Iqbal states, I have seen nothing in Islam, except the battles of the hand of Allah (Mawla Ali), and the prostration of Shabbir (Hussain (AS) at kerbala).

Rasool (SAW) said that he is the city of knowledge and Ali is the gate. This proves that the knowledge of prophet (SAW) is transferred to Mawla Ali (AS) and if Ali was someone like you or me or the companions, then he cud never comprehend, understand and use the knowledge of the greatest prophet ever.

These are the ahlulbayt, whose hatred can nullify your namaz, your Salat, your fasts, your Islam. As said in the enigma of guidance, the Muslims who fought Mawla Hussain (AS) are cursed by us and will b punished when they appear before Rasool (SAW). It was Hussain (AS), who made Hur a Hazrat Hur. Without Hussain (AS), Hur would have been just an ordinary, sinful person.

To conclude, the nearest relatives of Rasool (SAW) were special people. And the chosen five lead the group. In Mawla Ali's own words;

A party of Muhajirs met martyrdom. They were killed in the cause of Islam and Allah. everyone of them was blessed by Allah with a status and rank. Out of them those who belonged to my family and tribe, Bani Hashim, were granted an excellent status by Allah. Hamza (the uncle of the Holy Prophet (s) and Imam Ali (a)) received the title of Chief of Martyrs (Sayyid al-Shuhada). The Holy Prophet (s) himself called him by this name after his martyrdom and at his funeral ceremony. The Holy Prophet (s) recited Takbir ('Allahu Akbar') seventy times as a mark of distinction for him, which is not for any other Muslim. Some Muhajirs lost their hands in the battlefield but when one of us (Ja'far, cousin of the Holy Prophet (s) and brother of Imam Ali (a)) lost both of his hands and died in the battlefield, Allah granted him angelic wings and the Holy Prophet (s) informed us that this martyr received the title of Tayyar (one who flies in Paradise). If Allah had not disapproved man's habit of eulogizing and praising himself, I would have given several such instances which speak of the enhancement of my prestige and status before Allah, instances which are accepted and can be testified by faithful Muslims about which the hearers will have no reason to doubt. Do not be like a man whom the Devil has laid astray. Accept the obvious truth when it faces you.

Listen O' Mu'awiya! We (Ahlul Bayt, the progeny of the Holy Prophet (s)) are unique examples of the creation of Allah. For such a status, we are not under obligation to any person or tribe but the Almighty Allah who granted us these blessings. Human beings have received and will receive perfection through us. The perpetual supremacy and inherent superiority do not prevent us from making contact with human beings or with your clan, we have married amongst you and have established family connections with your (as well as with others) clan, though you do not belong to our class.

How can you be our equal when the Holy Prophet (s) belongs to us and Abu Jahl, the worst enemy of Islam was from amongst you.
Asadullah (lit. "the Lion of Allah" - a title of Imam Ali (a)) is from amongst us, while Asadul Ahlaaf (lion of the opposing groups, who had sworn to fight against Islam and the Holy Prophet (s)) was from you. The two foremost leaders of the youth of Paradise (Imam Hasan (a) & Imam Husayn (a)) are from us and the children of Hell are from you. The best woman in the world (title bestowed by Allah upon Fatima (a)) the beloved daughter of the Holy Prophet (s) is from us, and the slanderer and the wood-carrying woman who tried to spend every hour of her life in doing harm to the Holy Prophet of Islam (s), was your aunt. There are so many other things similar to the few mentioned which praise us and speak ill of your clan and which show how far and superior we are to you. We were faithful followers of the commandments of Allah and you and your clan always opposed Islam and accepted it out of sheer expediency simply to save yourselves from humiliation and disgrace. Our sincerity in Islam and our services to its cause are the facts of history and history cannot deny your enmity against Islam and the Holy Prophet (s).

The credit which you want to take away from us and the honor which you want to deprive us of is the one which the Holy Qur'an is carefully guarding for us. It says: "Some relatives are superior and have excellence over others, according to the Book of Allah" [ Qur'an, 33:6 ] and in another place in the very same Book, Allah informs mankind that: "The nearest people to Abraham, are those who follow him and those who follow the Holy Prophet (s) and the true believers. Allah is the guardian of the true believers" [ Qur'an, 2:68 ]. Therefore we hold two excellences: That of close relationship to the Holy Prophet (s) and that of loyally accepting his teachings. Do you know on the day of Saqifa, Muhajirs told Ansar that they were superior to them because they in one way or the other, were related to the Holy Prophet (s) and therefore they deserved the caliphate and with the aid of this argument the Muhajirs carried the day. If success can be achieved with the help of this argument and if it has got a grain of truth in it then according it, we and not you, deserve the caliphate. If not, then the Ansar still hold their claim over the caliphate.
Nahjul Balaga, Letter 28, A reply by Imam Ali to the letter sent by Mawiya

I hope this helps.

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