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Family of the Prophets in the Holy Quran – Part 5

Apr 08, 2022

Al-Qarabah and al-‘Ashirah (kinsfolk and kindred)
Today we take a look at two more words that are used in the Arabic language and which carry the meaning which is very similar to family. These two words are:

Al-Qarabah and al-‘Ashirah (kinsfolk and kindred)

In his Jamharah al-Lughah, Ibn Duraid said: “The kinsfolk of the man are:
The children of his father whom he associates with.

Likewise when the following verse:

وَأَنذِرْ عَشِيرَتَكَ ٱلْأَقْرَبِينَ
And warn your tribe (O Muhammad) of near kindred; was revealed to him, the Prophet ﷺ stood up and called out, “O Banu ‘Abd Manaf, and the ‘ashir, the companion of the man is his wife who mixes with him in his home, and he is also a companion to her.” [Jamharah al-‘Arab, p. 397]

In his al-Muhkam wa al-Muhit al-A‘zam, Ibn Sayyidah said: the ’aqarib (relatives) of the man are his near kindred.
And in the Qur’an:

وَأَنذِرْ عَشِيرَتَكَ ٱلْأَقْرَبِينَ
And warn your tribe (O Muhammad) of near kindred.

It is stated in the tafsir, that when this verse was revealed, the Prophet ﷺ ascended the Safa and he called the listeners closer and closer, and said:

“O Bani Hashim! O Bani ‘Abd Manaf! O ‘Abbas! O Safiyyah! Indeed, I own nothing except that it belongs to Allah! Ask me from my wealth whatever you wish”. This is from al-Zajjaj.

The kindred of the man was explained to be men who are from his tribe who they referred to as their company”. And what was mentioned by Ibn Sayyidah from al Zajjaj and other scholars of Arabic literature quoting which was stated in the books of Tafsir, collective Hadith books and by biographers, confirms that the two words al-‘ashirah [kindred] and al-qarabah [kinship] are more general than the rest of the terms such as Ahlal-Bait, Aal-Bait Muhammad.

Perhaps understanding the stated words in these narrations can clarify the meaning. It was reported by Bukhari and Muslim in their two Sahihs from Hadhrat Abu Hurairah RA who said: When this verse was revealed: And warn your tribe (O Muhammad) of near kindred. (He continues) The Messenger of Allah invited Quraish and said: “O Bani Ka‘b ibn Lu’ayy, save yourselves from the fire; O Bani ‘Abd Manaf, save yourselves from the fire; O Bani Hashim! Save yourselves from the fire; O Bani ‘Abd al- Muttalib! Save yourselves from the fire; O Fatimah! Save yourself from the fire”.

And in the narration of Ibn ‘Abbas RA: “When the verse was revealed the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) mounted up on the Safa, and called: O Bani Fahr! O Bani ‘Adi! The subclans of Quraish tribes came and whosoever could not go out would send a runner to find out what was happening. The Messenger of Allah had to put into effect the meaning of the noble verse that urged him to warn his tribe, so he invited the whole of Quraish counting each and every batn (subdivision of a tribe), thus he generalized and particularized.

Nevertheless, if his kinship or his kindred (peace and blessings be upon him) is only limited to Bani Hashim, then the warning would be to them and not to the whole of Quraish.

Having understood the various words used in the Holy Quran for Family, as of next week in sha Allah, we will take a look at the families and the relationships of the various Ambiyaa عليهم السلام which are so beautifully told in the Holy Quran and the lessons which may be derived from them.

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