Virtues of the Ahlul Bayt
Abu Hurairah radiyallahu ‘anhu reports that Rasulullah ﷺ said:
أنا سيد ولد آدم يوم القيامة وأول من ينشق عنه القبر وأول شافع وأول مشفع
I shall be the leader amongst the descendants of Adam on the Day of Resurrection, I will be the first whose grave will open, I will be the first intercessor, and the first whose intercession will be accepted (by Allah). [Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 2278]
‘First intercessor’ indicates to the fact that the Ahlul Bayt will be the first recipients of intercession. This is supported by the narration of Jabir radiyallahu ‘anhu as recorded by al Tabarani in al Awsat:
أنا سيد ولد آدم ولا فخر ، وأول من تنشق عنه الأرض ولا فخر ، وأول من ينفض التراب عن رأسه ولا فخر ، وأول داخل الجنة ولا فخر ، ما بال أقوام يزعمون أن رحمي لا تنفع ، ليس كما زعموا ، إني لأشفع ، وأشفع حتى إن من أشفع له ليشفع فيشفع ، حتى إن إبليس ليتطاول في الشفاعة
The Banner of Praise will be in my hand, and (I say this) without pride. I will be the first whose grave will open, and (I say this) without pride. The first from whose forehead sand will be dusted off, and (I say this) without pride. I will be the first to enter Jannat, and (I say this) without pride. I am the leader of the descendants of Adam, and (I say this) without pride. Why is it that some people believe that my family will not benefit? It is not so, I will intercede and my intercession will be accepted. Those for whom I intercede, their intercession too will be accepted. Iblis too, will desire my intercession!
Definition of Ahlul Bayt
When we look at the definition of the word “Ahl-al-Bayt,” then there is a general meaning as well as a specific meaning. However, the specific meaning is the one that is actually considered.
This refers to all the followers of the Prophet ﷺ including the companions, and all those who would come later to follow him ﷺ until the day of Qiyamah.
Specific meaning refers to the Children of Hashim (Banu Hashim) and the Wives of the Prophet ﷺ.
There are many supporting references to this in the Ahadeeth of the Prophet ﷺ, for example:
Zaid bin Arqam (RA) was asked “Who are the Ahlul Bayt of Muhammad?” He responded saying “Aal Muhammad are those upon whom Zakat is prohibited.” He was again asked “Who are those upon whom the Zakat is prohibited”, and he responded saying: “They are Ahlul Bayt of ‘Ali, Ahlul Bayt of ‘Aqil, Ahlul Bayt of Ja‘far and Ahlul Bayt of ‘Abbas. [Musannaf ‘Abd al-Razzaq, Vol. 4, p. 52; hadith no: 6943.]