Virtues of the Ahlul Bayt
Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas radiyallahu ‘anhu narrates:
When the verse (of Mubahalah – (invocation of Allah’s curse) which was mentioned as a decisive solution to the dispute between the Christians of Najran and Muhammad ﷺ) was revealed
لما نزلت هذه الآية: (فقل تعالوا ندع أبناءنا وأبناءكم) دعا رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم عليا وفاطمة وحسنا وحسينا فقال: اللهم هؤلاء أهلي
Say, “Come, let us call our sons and your sons…”[Surah Al ‘Imran: 61]
The Prophet ﷺ called ‘Ali, Fatimah, Hassan, and Hussain رضي الله عنهم and said, “O Allah! This is my family!” [Sunan al Tirmidhi, Hadith: 2999]
This narration is a lesson in the respect and virtue of the Ahlul Bayt.
Who are the Ahlul Bayt?
The Household of Lineage
The Banû Hashim are certainly from the Ahlul Bayt, and this is supported by the following reports: (NOTE: The scholars are united in opinion that not the whole of Banu Hashim, but only the Muslims among them can be labelled with the term Ahlul Bayt, upon whom the Zakat is made unlawful for!
Hadith of al-Thaqalain (two important/weighty) things):
It is reported by Zaid bin Arqam (RA) that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ delivered an address at the place of Ghadeer, and said: “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.
He (Husain) said to Zaid: Who are the members of his household? Aren’t his wives the members of his family? Thereupon he said: His wives are the members of his family (but here) the members of his family are those for whom acceptance of Zakat is forbidden. And he said: Who are they? Thereupon he said: ‘Ali and the offspring of ‘Ali, ‘Aqil and the offspring of ‘Aqil and the offspring of Ja‘far and the offspring of ‘Abbas. Husain said: These are those for whom the acceptance of Zakat is forbidden. Zaid (RA) said: Yes.” [Sahih Muslim, Hadith no: 2408]
In another Hadith Jubair bin Muti‘m (RA) says: “After the battle of Khaibar the Prophet ﷺ distributed the portion of the close relatives to Banû Hashim and Banû al Mutallib, and left out Banû Nawfal and Banû ‘Abd al Shams; so I and Uthman (RA) went to him ﷺ and said: “O Messenger of Allah! We do not deny the virtue of Banû Hashim, because Allah raised you out of them, but what is the case of Banû Al Mutallib, that you gave to them and not to us; whereas their closeness of relationship with you is same as is with us? Upon this the Prophet ﷺ responded:
“We and Banû al Mutallib did not separate, neither in Jahiliyyah (pre-Islam) nor in Islam, we and they are same thing.” [Sunan Abu Dawood, Hadith no: 2980]
But this doesn’t mean that Banû al Mutallib are included in Ahlul Bayt. As regards the share in the war-booty, it was given exclusively for extending their help and support to the Banû Hashim, and not because of they being part of the Ahlul Bayt. This is the reason that Imam Abu Hanifah and Imam Malik R did not include them in Ahlul Bayt, and the same is also, one of the opinions, of Imam Ahmed ibn Hanbal R.
Wives of the Prophet ﷺ
The pious wives of the Prophet ﷺ become part of Ahlul Bayt, by virtue of their marital relationship with the Prophet ﷺ. They were forbidden (for marriage) upon other men, during the life and even after the death of the Prophet ﷺ, and they remain his wives, both in this world and in the Hereafter. Hence this relationship is identical to the relationship by virtue of lineage. The expression of (Ahlul Bayt) has appeared in the Qur’an only two times, which are:
1. When the angels said, addressing to the wife of Ibrahim (AS):
They said: “Do you wonder at Allah’s decree? Allah’s mercy and His blessings be upon you, O people of the house (Ahlul Bayt). Surely, He is Praiseworthy, and Glorious” [Hûd, 11: 73]
2. And when Allah commanded to the wives of our Prophet ﷺ:
“And stay in your homes and do not go about displaying your allurements as in the former days of ignorance. Establish prayer, give Zakat, and obey Allah and His Messenger. Allah wishes to remove impurity from you, O members of the (Prophet’s) household, and to purify you completely.” [Ahzab, 33: 33]
The term Ahlul Bayt, in both of the above verses refers to the wives of the Prophets (AS). The address in the first Aayah is to Sarah (RA), the wife of Ibrahim (AS). In the second Aayah the address is to the wives of the Prophet ﷺ, because it was revealed concerning them only, as corroborated by the Hadith of the Cloak (Kisa).