Office Of Grand Ayatollah Sayyed M.S.Al-Hakeem


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Ahlulbait
Q [1]  Are the wives of the Prophet included in Ahlulbait according to the 33rd verse of Surah al-Ahzab?
The verse does not include the wives of the Prophet (peace be upon him and his progeny) since the wife – based on Arabic custom – is not included in the term “household” usually. This term refers to the genealogy of the man and his relatives in lineage. It was narrated in the book “Lisan ul-Arab” that Ibn Sayyidah – a language expert – stated that the term “ahl” refers to the tribe of the man and his relatives. Apparently, this is meaning was apparent during the first era of Islam, since history did not mention that the aforementioned term is given to the wives by the companions of the Prophet. It was not used by the wives of the Prophet themselves. Aisha – for example – led an army to fight Imam Ali (peace be upon him) and her supporters were trying to gain the support of Muslims by any possible mean. Yet they did not mention that she is a member of the Ahlulbait.

It appears from numerous traditions narrated by Muslims in general that the Messenger of Allah used to give Ali, Hassan, Husain and Fatima (peace be upon them) this name. Ahmed Bin Hanbal narrated in his book (Al-Musnad) from Umm Salama that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him and his progeny) told Fatima (peace be upon her): “Call for me your husband and your two sons”. She did, and he then placed a blanket over them and then he placed his hand over them and said: ”O Lord, these are Aal of Mohammad, so place your blessings on Mohammad and the Aal of Mohammad. All praise and glory belong to you.” Umm Salama raised the blanket to join with them. The Messenger of Allah prevented her and said: “Your future is good”.
Many other traditions narrated by Sunni scholars mentioned clearly that the noble verse (33:33) was revealed while they were under the blanket.
In addition to that, what the wives of the Prophet (peace be upon him) did clearly indicates that they were not purified from committing sins; some verses of chapter 66 (al-Tahreem) were revealed condemning Aisha and Hafsa since they aided one another against the Messenger of Allah. It was also narrated that one of the Prophet’s wife, Qoutaila bint Qais left the religion of Islam after the death of the Prophet and got married to Ikrama bin Abi Jahl.
Q [2]  We know from verse (33:33) that Ahlulbait are Imam Ali, Fatimah Hassan and Husain (peace be upon them) and we also know from the hadith the names of the twelve Imams. Can the sons of the Imam be considered as Ahlulbait?
The verses and the narrations that are reported in the superiority of the Ahlulbait (peace be upon them) are specific to the five infallibles; the Prophet, Imam Ali, Fatima Al-Zahra, Imam Hassan and Imam Hussein (peace be upon them all). Sometimes, one can understand that some religious texts include the rest of the twelve Imams (peace be upon them). This does not include the sons of the Imams.
Q [3]  Some people say that Islam is not something which should be connected with a family, like the family of the Prophet (Peace be upon him), and they use this for their argument against the Ahlulbait (peace be upon them). Please comment on this.
Our connection to the Ahlulbait is not emotional; rather, it is religious and based on their infallibility. Almighty Allah has ordered us to follow them. He said: "Allahs wish is but to remove uncleanness far from you, O Ahlulbait, and cleanse you with a thorough cleansing"(33:33). The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) ordered us to follow them. He said: "I am leaving amongst you the two weighty things, the book of Allah, and my household". In addition to that, there are narrations about each and every one of the Imams of the Ahlulbait specifically. As an example, the messenger of Allah said: “Ali is your Wali (i.e. guardian) after me” and he said: “Whoever’s master I am, Ali is his master”.
These and other religious texts show that these people have special characters that enable them to take their position of imamate and leadership. So the issue is not emotional, nor is it based on a tribe or a family. On the other hand, most believers in the Sunni sect accepted the legitimacy of the caliphate of the Umayyads and Abbasids, although both of these states were established and continued on the basis of inheritance and without any entitlements at all.
Q [4]  Can the following deeds be considered disrespectful to the Infallibles (Peace be upon them) if they are done on the day of martyrdom/death of any one of them?
1. Talking, laughing with friends and family members.
2. Purchasing a new thing for myself or family.
3. Eating some special food.
4. Doing business or going to work.
5. Going to a doctor for a check-up or going to a laboratory for a test or starting a medical treatment.
6. Playing a game like cricket, hockey etc.
7. Asking an ordinary question or a question related to marital affairs from one’s Mujtahid.
8. Taking out family for outing, recreation.
9. Starting a new activity.
10. Getting one’s car, house or any other possession repaired.
It was reported in some authentic narrations of the Ahlulbait (peace be upon them) the emphasis on crying, showing sadness and grief for Imam Hussein (peace be upin him) and establishing the mourning ceremonies for his tragedy and refraining from eating or drinking on the day of Ashura - without the intention of fasting - and breaking it with little water and food after noon. It was reported also to refrain from going out for regular needs on such occasions. It was also reported that whoever goes out to fulfill one of his needs that day, Almighty Allah will not bless it if it was fulfilled. It was also reported the emphasis on presenting grief and sadness for the tragedies of the Ahlulbait in general and there is no doubt that the days of their martyrdoms are the best to do so.
From the above one can determine under what category the mentioned examples fit, since some of them are inconsistent with sadness and grief, while others are not.
Q [5]  Where did the Infallibles get their knowledge from? Was it taught to them by their parents and the Prophet (peace be upon him) or was it all given to them directly from God?
It is reported in the narrations of the Ahlulbait (peace be upon them) that their knowledge is of two kinds: one is the inherited books from Imam Ali (peace be upon him) that he wrote down from the dictation of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him). The other kind is the information that they need in their everyday life which they get from Almighty Allah.
Q [6]  How do we seek intercession with God through the Prophet and Imams of the Ahlulbait (peace be upon them all)? Is there a certain dua?
It was reported in some narrations that Imam Mosa Al-Kadhim – our Seventh Imam (peace be upon him) – said to his one of companions: “If you have a request from Allah say: Allahumma inni As’aloka bi haqqi Mohammadin wa Alliyyin fa inna lehuma shaanan minash-shaan, wa qadran minal-qader, fa bihaqqi dhalikash-shaan wa bihaqqi thalikal-qader, an tosalli alla Mohammadin wa Aal-Mohammad wa an……." then you mention your request.

The translation of the said supplication is: O my Lord I ask you by the right of Mohammad and Ali as they have a (high) position amongst the positions and a (high) value amongst the values. By this position and this value praise be on Mohammad and his progeny and…” then say what your request is.

There are other supplications mentioned in books of supplication.
Q [7]  Did the Imams (peace be upon them) claim to be infallible?
There is no doubt that the followers of the Ahlulbait (peace be upon them) base the belief in the infallibility of the Imams (peace be upon them) on solid sources, starting from verse 33:33. Other texts indicate this directly and sometimes indirectly. As an example, it was reported in Ziyarat ul Jamiaa which was narrated by Imam Ali Al-Hadi in an authentic way: "Allah has guarded you from lapses and saved you from attractions (of life, Satan, etc)".
Q [8]  Some people say that our Imams (peace be upon them) know when they are going to die, but the Holy Quran states that “No soul knows what it will earn to-morrow, and no soul knows in what land it will die” (34:31). Imam Hussein (peace be upon him) knew that he was going to die in Karbala. How is this?
The meaning of the verse is that a human being by his nature does not know the time of his death. This does not mean that all people are like that. Imam Hussein (peace be upon him) came to know this from the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him and his holy progeny) and the latter was informed of this by the revelation and the contact with the unseen world.
Q [9]  Is turning to Ahlulbait (peace be upon them) in supplications recommended?
It is permissible to seek the intercession of the Ahlulbait (peace be upon them) to answer the requests, as it is one of the reasons to get the requests answered by the Divine Lord.
Q [10]  Can we supplicate to the Messenger of Allah, the Ahlulbait and the Imams (peace be upon them all)?
The Dua (supplication) is a “request”, and since Almighty Allah is in charge of the universe and manages all creations, asking Him is direct. Requesting from others, like the Prophets or the Imams, is not permissible if the seeker considers them as being independent in dealing with his request, aside from Almighty Allah. This is like considering a partner with Almighty Allah.
If the believer seeks the intercession of the Prophets and the Imams (peace be upon them) as they can ask Almighty Allah to fulfill the seeker’s needs, or when the believer requests from Almighty Allah to fulfill his requests by referring to the high rank of the noble personalities of the Prophets and the Imams (peace be upon them), then these two kinds of supplications are considered as permissible acts of worship.

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