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In the Name of God بسم الله

Ahl Bayt - Custodians Of The House

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peace seeker

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Salam Alaikum / Peace upon you




The word Ahl is kind of like "people" and Bayt is "house". Yet these two words are the separation between the suni / shia divide.


As a non-scholar nobody layperson, i'd like to take the liberty of discussing and proving some points showing that shias are on the right side when it comes to allegiance to Imam Ali vs. anybody else.




  • From the Quran: Ahl Bayt .. is in reference to Bayt Allah 



وإذ جعلنا البيت مثابة للناس وأمنا واتخذوا من مقام إبراهيم مصلّى وعهدنا إلى إبراهيم وإسماعيل أن طهرا بيتي للطائفين والعاكفين والركع السجود


And when We made the House a place of return for the people and security. And take, from the standing place of Abraham a place of prayer. And We charged (made a covenant with) Abraham and Ishmael, "Purify My House for those who perform Tawaf and those who are staying for worship and those who bow and prostrate." 2:125

.. notice that 
  1. Allah clearly talks about His (God's) House.
  2. that the House is interchangeably referred to as a maqam, or standing-place of Ibrahim. This shows that the House is linked directly to a human, who is referred to as a shia/follower of Noah (Showing how family lineage is vital here):
  3. God divinely appointed Abraham and Ismail to be responsible for His House

  • Abraham is a Shia of Noah:

وإن من شيعته لإبراهيم

And indeed, among his (Noah's) kind/follower/shia was Abraham, 37:83

  • The Ahl Bayt are the builders of God's House:

وإذ يرفع إبراهيم القواعد من البيت وإسماعيل ربنا تقبل منا إنك أنت السميع العليم


And when Abraham was raising the foundations of the House and Ishmael, [saying], "Our Lord, accept from us. Indeed You are the Hearing, the Knowing. 2:127

  • Safa and Marwa ritual as a symbol of the Ahl Bayt


إن الصفا والمروة من شعائر الله فمن حج البيت أو اعتمر فلا جناح عليه أن يطوف بهما ومن تطوع خيرا فإن الله شاكر عليم


Indeed, as-Safa and al-Marwah are among the symbols of Allah . So whoever makes Hajj to the House or performs 'umrah - there is no blame upon him for walking between them. And whoever volunteers good - then indeed, Allah is appreciative and Knowing. 2:158

.. the symbolic walking between the Safa and Marwah mountains, are in remembrance of the next custodian of the House in line after his father Ibrahim. To remember the suffering of the mother of Ismail, while he was a baby. Also as a symbolic urge to ask Allah for water, which is also representing life and faith, which emerges from the feet of the Custodian Ismail, to nurture all believers visiting Allah's House.




  • Going To Hajj is visiting the Custodian & entering House is not physical:


فيه آيات بينات مقام إبراهيم ومن دخله كان آمنا ولله على الناس حج البيت من استطاع إليه سبيلا ومن كفر فإن الله غني عن العالمين


In it are clear signs the standing place of AbrahamAnd whoever enters it shall be safe. And to Allah from the people is a pilgrimage to the House - for whoever is able to find thereto a way. But whoever disbelieves - then indeed, Allah is free from need of the worlds. 3:97

I wonder how many people go to Hajj thinking about going to the standing point of Abraham, instead of thinking of that black box. This verse proves that the physical square is not the actual destination, because according to this verse, anybody who "enters it", will be safe. This can not be physically true, because as we all know during the prophet Mohamed's time there were more than 350 pagan statues inside being worshipping. and so the pagans who entered the physical House, were definitely not the ones meant in this verse as being "safe". The meaning here is the people who enter into the spiritual standing point of Ibrahim, the shia of Noah, the way our prophet is his shia, and Ali is the shia of Mohamed. It's a family spiritual lineage that can not be denied. So the journey is to the House, while being a journey to Ibrahim, and what his family stands for.




  • Importance of "entering" the House through the acceptable way:



يسألونك عن الأهلة قل هي مواقيت للناس والحج وليس البر بأن تأتوا البيوت من ظهورها ولكن البر من اتقى وأتوا البيوت من أبوابها واتقوا الله لعلكم تفلحون


They ask you, about the new moons. Say, "They are measurements of time for the people and for Hajj." And it is not righteousness to enter houses from the back, but righteousness is one who fears Allah. And enter houses from their doors. And fear Allah that you may succeed. 2:189



.. interestingly, this verse mentions Hajj, then talks about importance of entering houses in a respectful way from the entrance. There is no house more important than God's House; therefore, one must enter it symbolically through the correct respectable entrance, which is symbolized by the consent of it's rightful guardians, keepers and maintainers.

  • Access to the Bayt only with permission of its Ahl:

يا أيها الذين آمنوا لا تدخلوا بيوتا غير بيوتكم حتى تستأنسوا وتسلموا على أهلها ذلكم خير لكم لعلكم تذكرون


O you who have believed, do not enter houses other than your own houses until you ascertain welcome and greet their ahl. That is best for you; perhaps you will be reminded. 24:27



this above verse is extremely powerful and proves shia doctrine of "wilaya" or the right of caliphate of Imam Ali and the ahl bayt after him. The logic goes that the ahl of the House of Allah need to be asked to access the House. They are basically the bosses of that House, and therefore, its custodians. So, if God commissioned those people to be in charge of this most important and vital location, then all other locations, which submit to this House, must also submit to the final say of the people chosen for that superior House and task. It is not possible to say: "ok, you are in charge of the House of God, and i'll be in charge of the rest" .. because if a person is good enough to care for the House of God, then it's an insult to God, to claim superiority in jurisdiction and level of faith. The persons commissioned to purify the House of God, will also be the most pure ones to purify the earth, as God is the Sustainer of the heavens and the earth. The only issue here would be to find out who the ahl bayt are are during the time of the prophet and his passing away. Thankfully this is not a controversial issue, which will be shown below from accepted suni narrations. 

  • Ahl Bayt also include Jesus, and the chosen descendants of Prophet Isaac's line:

قالوا أتعجبين من أمر الله رحمت الله وبركاته عليكم أهل البيت إنه حميد مجيد


They said, "Are you amazed at the decree of Allah ? May the mercy of Allah and His blessings be upon you, people of the house / ahl el bayt. Indeed, He is Praiseworthy and Honorable." 11:73

so this above verse, is in reference to Isaac and Jacob, children of Abraham as well, showing how all chosen descendants of Prophet Abraham are parts of the same spiritual family, and custodians of God's House. (And his Wife was standing, and she smiled. Then We gave her good tidings of Isaac and after Isaac, Jacob. 11:71).

  • In the short chapter Quraysh, Allah reminds the extended Quraysh family of His House:

فليعبدوا رب هذا البيت

Let them worship the Lord of this House, 106:3

The first 3 self-proclaimed caliphs were from the same tribe as prophet mohamed and imam ali, called Quraysh, but were not divinely chosen as Ahl Bayt. So this chapter serves as a reminder of the God of that House. Being a Qurayshi was not enough to be chosen member of Ahl Bayt.

  • The chosen Ahl Bayt were not just anybody from close relatives of the Prophets; they were chosen by God:

Proof of this is that all muslims unanimously agree on the person specifically being cursed in the quran in chapter 111 Al Masad. It is in reference to the prophet's uncle known by his nick name of Abu Lahab, and his real name being 'Abd al-'Uzza ibn 'Abd al-Muttalib

  •  who were the Ahl Bayt during the prophet Mohamed's time (other than the prophet, and hence his successor)?

there are several highly accepted narrations from suni most authentic books that reveal without a doubt that Imam Ali and his descendants with the prophets daughter Sayida Fatima, are in fact the future "ahl bayt" or Custodians of the House (agreeing with shia narrations as well). for instance the following narrations:

حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو بَكْرِ بْنُ أَبِي شَيْبَةَ، وَمُحَمَّدُ بْنُ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ نُمَيْرٍ، - وَاللَّفْظُ لأَبِي بَكْرٍ - قَالاَ حَدَّثَنَا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ بِشْرٍ، عَنْ زَكَرِيَّاءَ، عَنْ مُصْعَبِ بْنِ شَيْبَةَ، عَنْ صَفِيَّةَ بِنْتِ شَيْبَةَ، قَالَتْ قَالَتْ عَائِشَةُ خَرَجَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم غَدَاةً وَعَلَيْهِ مِرْطٌ مُرَحَّلٌ مِنْ شَعْرٍ أَسْوَدَ فَجَاءَ الْحَسَنُبْنُ عَلِيٍّ فَأَدْخَلَهُ ثُمَّ جَاءَ الْحُسَيْنُ فَدَخَلَ مَعَهُ ثُمَّ جَاءَتْ فَاطِمَةُ فَأَدْخَلَهَا ثُمَّ جَاءَ عَلِيٌّ فَأَدْخَلَهُ ثُمَّ قَالَ { إِنَّمَا يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ لِيُذْهِبَ عَنْكُمُ الرِّجْسَأَهْلَ الْبَيْتِ وَيُطَهِّرَكُمْ تَطْهِيرًا}

'A'isha reported that Allah's Apostle (pbuh) went out one morning wearing a striped cloak of the black camel's hair that there came Hasan b. 'Ali. He wrapped him under it, then came Husain and he wrapped him under it along with the other one (Hasan). Then cameFatima and he took her under it, then came 'Ali and he also took him under it and then said:

Allah only desires to take away any uncleanliness from you, O Ahl Bayt, and purify you (thorough purifying)

(Muslim) Book 44, Hadith 91

and ..

ثَنَا قُتَيْبَةُ، حَدَّثَنَا حَاتِمُ بْنُ إِسْمَاعِيلَ، عَنْ بُكَيْرِ بْنِ مِسْمَارٍ، هُوَ مَدَنِيٌّ ثِقَةٌ عَنْ عَامِرِ بْنِ سَعْدِ بْنِ أَبِي وَقَّاصٍ، عَنْ أَبِيهِ، قَالَ لَمَّا أَنْزَلَ اللَّهُ هَذِهِ الآيَةَ : ( نَدْعُ أَبْنَاءَنَا وَأَبْنَاءَكُمْ ) دَعَا رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم عَلِيًّا وَفَاطِمَةَ وَحَسَنًا وَحُسَيْنًا فَقَالَ " اللَّهُمَّ هَؤُلاَءِ أَهْلِي " . قَالَ أَبُو عِيسَى هَذَا حَدِيثٌ حَسَنٌ غَرِيبٌ صَحِيحٌ .

Narrated 'Amir bin Sa'd bin Abi Waqqas from his father who said: 

"When this Ayah was revealed: 'Come, let us call our sons and your sons, our women and your women... (3:61)' the Messenger of Allah called 'Ali, Fatimah, Hasan and Husain and said: 'O Allah! This is my ahl.'"
Jami` at-Tirmidhi, Book 47, Hadith 3269

  • so logic goes: additionally, to the fact that those chosen individuals referred to as "Ahl Bayt" are superior in the quran, to the extent that they are repeatedly referred to, including with Allah's intention to purify them (33:33) ..  simple pure logic:
  1. Allah commissioned custodians for His House
  2. Therefore the custodians (Imam Ali etc), are in charge of the House
  3. The responsibility of purification of God's House is a divinely superior task of spiritual leadership
  4. hence the spiritual descendants of Abrahams standing are the caliphs/leaders of God's way

  • let us conclude with another narration, that shias and sunis share in common, concerning the importance .. the obvious importance of the Ahl Bayt:

أما بعد، ألا أيها الناس، فإنما أنا بشر يوشك أن يأتي رسول ربي فأجيب، وأنا تارك فيكم ثقلينأولهما كتاب الله، فيه الهدى والنور، فخذوا بكتاب الله، واستمسكوا به. فحث على كتاب الله، ورغب فيه ثم قال: "وأهل بيتي أذكركم الله في أهل بيتي، أذكركم الله في أهل بيتي

O people, I am a human being. I am about to receive a messenger (the angel of death) from my Rabb and I will respond to Allah's Call, but I am leaving with you two weighty things: the first is 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 is my Ahl Bayt, I remind you of my Ahl Bayt. I remind you of my Ahl Bayt. 

(Muslim) Book 1, Hadith 346

walaikum salaam


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