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I am quite new to shiachat, and recently in some of my threads, I have been asking some of the doubts I have had. Unfortunately some brothers have accused me of being sunni and an advocate of sunnis because of these questions I have asked. I am writing this article to reply to these individuals and show my true stance. Main arguments By Sunnis to Claim wives are ahlulbayt Refutation of those arguments Hadith al-kisa and sunni arguments Refutation of those arguments Doubts which Sunnis give and Answer Conclusion Main arguments By Sunnis to Claim wives are ahlulbayt The main arguments you will see that sunnis use to prove that the wives of prophet are included in the ahlulbayt are surah 11:73 the beginning of the verse 33:33 and. They say that surah 11:73 is addressing the wife of Abraham (as) and that it mentions her as ahlulbayt. "The (angles) said: Do You wonder at Allah’s decree? The grace of Allah and His blessings be upon you, O People of the House!" (11:73). They also might bring ahadith in their books in which the prophet (saw) addresses his wives as ahlulbayt. As for Surah 33:33, they say the start of the verse starts by addressing the wives of the prophet, then the ayat of purification comes. Then after comes a verse again about the wives of the prophet. They conclude that it is clear that this verse was revealed for the wives. Refutation of those arguments As for Surah 11:73, then yes it is addressing Sara, the wife of Abraham (as). But who said it was only her? The verse is addressing Abraham also. Two verses before, it was revealed that Sara was going to have a progeny, Ishaq and then Yaqoub. Then comes this verses in which Allah sends salam on the household. Another reply would be that the argument is flawed. Just because a wife of the prophet is included in ahlulbayt, that does not mean all wives of every prophet are also included as part of their ahlulbayt. The final argument would be that we accept that ones wife is generally considered to be part of the household, but the specific ahlulbayt mentioned in ayat tatheer does not include the wives. This answers why the prophet might have addressed his wives in the general sense of ahlulbayt in their books. As for their argument for surah 33:33, then again it is flawed. Just because the verse starts by addressing the wives, does not mean that the rest does too. For example, in surah 5:3, the start of the verses was revealed early in Islam, but the next part was revealed later during Hajj/ghadir. Also in surah 12:29, "Joseph, overlook this; but you [wife], ask forgiveness for your sin- you have done wrong" the verse starts by addressing yusuf (as), but then changes to the wife. Now when we argue that ayat tatheer in surah 33:33 is not addressing the wives, we usually point out the grammar and how it switches from feminine to masculine and in ayat tatheer it is masculine (AnKUM). Now Sunnis try to argue that it is masculine because the ahlulbayt is a collective noun and it has to be masculine. I believe brother Abbas gave a good reply in 2004 and 2006. http://www.shiachat.com/forum/topic/25523-ahl-al-bayt-and-ayat-e-tatheer-interpretation/ http://www.shiachat.com/forum/topic/68297-verse-3333/?page=5 At the end of all this, I think the best possible way to identity who was being addressed in the verse is to go back to the authentic ahadith. It seems like every time we discuss imamah with the sunnis, they suddenly become quranists and don't want to go to their books. However, going to the hadith is the best option as it explains the quran and makes ambiguous things clear.
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