Ahl al-Bayt (A.S.), Allah’s Favourite
Allama Husayn Ansariyan
Self-Purification Makes Ahl al-Bayt Allah’s Favorites
Ahl al-Bayt’s being purified from uncleanness and being endowed with good qualities is the reason for their being Allah’s favorites. In the Holy Quran, Allah has praised them with their best quality, which is a thorough purification and their access to the hidden truth: None shall touch it save the purified ones. (56:79)
Due to their knowing of the hidden truth, Ahl al-Bayt are aware of the whole universe and act in accordance with the Divine decrees and the best deeds. These features show that the devotees have been trained and chosen directly by Allah. Self-purification, awareness of the hidden truths and realization of Allah’s commands have made Ahl al-Bayt Allah’s favorites: He loves those who purify themselves. (2:222)
Ahl al-Bayt’s morality is a manifestation of their self-purification. Such morality like justice, reliance on Allah, patience, faith, certainty, repentance, jihad and self-sacrifice have made Ahl al-Bayt Allah’s most favorites: Surely, Allah loves those who turn much to Him. (2:222)
Surely, Allah loves those who trust Him (3:159)
The Favorites with the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.A.)
As the Ahl al-Bayt were the favorites with Allah, they were the favorite with the Holy Prophet, for he loved but what Allah loved. Umm-Salamah has reported that one day Allah’s Messenger was sitting at home. Fatimah brought a small pot with dish of flour in it. Allah’s Messenger asked, “Where is Ali and his two sons?” Fatimah answered, “They are at home.” He said, “Tell them to come here.” After some time, Ali, Hasan, Husayn and Fatimah were walking towards Allah’s Messenger. As soon as he saw them, he took his cloak (kisa) which was on the bed and covered them, saying: O Allah! These are my household and my favorite ones; so, remove wickedness from them and make them pure a perfect purification.
At this time, Almighty Allah revealed the Verse of Purification: Allah only desires to keep away the uncleanness from you, O people of the House, and to purify you a thorough purifying. (33:33)140
Imam Ali (a.s.) has said: A man came to Allah’s Messenger saying, “O Allah’s Messenger! Who is your most favorite one?” The Holy Prophet said, “This (Ali), his two sons and their mother are. They are from me and I am from them. In Paradise, they will be as close as two fingers to me.”141
Obeisance to Ahl al-Bayt(A.S.) Makes you Allah's Favorite
Anyone who wishes to be Allah’s favorite must endeavor to purify himself internally and externally by obeying Him, His Prophet (s.a.w), and Ahl al- Bayt. In this relation, the Holy Quran says: Say: If you love Allah, then follow me, Allah will love you and forgive you your faults, and Allah is forgiving, Merciful. (3:31)
The Holy Prophet, the obeisance to whom will make us Allah’s favorites, has emphatically ordered his ummah to love Ahl al-Bayt from the bottom of their hearts and to obey them under all circumstances in order to be Allah’s favorite. He has said: Love Allah for the blessings He has bestowed on you; love me because of your love for Allah; and love my household because of your love for me.142
In another important narration, the Holy Prophet says: Anyone who wishes to live and to pass away like me and to abide in an eternal Paradise the trees of which have been planted by my Lord must love Ali after me, love his lovers and follow the Imams after me, for they are my Household who are created from my essence and endowed with knowledge. Woe to those who deny their excellence and do not observe my kinship with them. I will not intercede for them.143
How To Be Allah’s Favorite?
If man wishes to become Allah’s favorite, he must follow the Ahl al-Bayt the head of whom is Allah’s Messenger. This adherence will lead man gradually to spiritual purification to the extent of his capacity. Hence, he will become Allah’s favorite. To reach this station, it is only possible through Ahl al-Bayt, for they are the straight path and the best guides for the followers of spiritual path.
The criterion for being Allah’s favorite is being like the Ahl al-Bayt who have asked us to compare ourselves with them to see whether we are liked or disliked by Allah: You, the Ahl al-Bayt, are our means towards Allah. We set our hope on your station and love to be saved by Allah.144
Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) says that the only thing that will bring heaven to us is having devotion in worshipping Allah and saying that there is no god but Allah. Devotion is to act according to Allah’s commandments, to abstain from committing sin and to adhere to Ahl al-Bayt. When the Holy Prophet was asked what devotion is and how it is related to there is no god but Allah, he answered: It is to act to what I have been sent for and to love my Ahl al-Bayt.
They asked him whether love for Ahl al-Bayt’s and acceptance of Imamate was part of the said formula, he said: yes.145
The same matter is expressed by Imam al-Ridha (a.s.) in a Hadith in Salsalat al- Dhahab (Golden Chain) in another way of reporting: There is no god but Allah is my fortress. Whoever enters it will be immune from my punishment on one condition, which is acceptance of my Imamate.146
Therefore, one who has no love for Ahl al-Bayt has not professed the unity of Allah either and he will be resurrected on the Judgment Day as an atheist.
To please Ahl al-Bayt(A.S.) is to please Allah
When one, by devotion, becomes Allah’s vicegerent, one becomes a manifestation of Allah; hence, to respect him and his commands is to respect Allah: Surely, those who swear allegiance to you do but swear allegiance to Allah. (48:10)
In this case, all people are duty-bound to obey him, for he can intercede with Allah for people. He has, in fact, reached a station where his pleasure is the pleasure of Allah. Allah attaches great importance to what pleases the Holy Prophet and his Ahl al-Bayt so much so that He says: We shall surely turn you to a kiblah which you shall like. (2:144)
In the Holy Quran, Allah has explicated the moral values and lifestyle of Ahl al-Bayt explicitly and implicitly so as to set models for us. Here are some examples: Surely those who believed and those who fled (Their home) and strove hard in the way of Allah (2:218)
We only feed you for Allah’s sake we desire from you neither reward nor thanks. (76:9)
Surely my prayer and my sacrifice and my life and my death are (all) for Allah. (6:162)
140. Kashf al-Ghummah: 45/1
141. Al-Amali by Shaykh al-Tusi, H. 1007
142. Al-Amali, by al-Saduq: 364, H. 6
143. Kanz al-Ummal: 103/12, H. 34198
144. Bihar al-Anwar: 249/99, H. 9
145. Bihar al-Anwar: 13/3, H. 30
146. Uyun Akhbar al-Ridha: 135/2, H. 4