Ahl al-Bayt (A.S.) from the Holy Quran’s View Point
Allama Husayn Ansariyan
Beyond doubt, Ahl al-Bayt are the paragons of such Quranic terms as faith, jihad, migration, devotion, certainty, sublime morality, righteous deeds, night prayer, wakefulness at dawns, truthfulness and generosity, as is confirmed by ShiIte and Sunni scholars. The Holy Quran has spoken explicitly about the Holy Prophet who is the root of Ahl al-Bayt; whereas it has spoken implicitly about Ahl al-Bayt. Since the readers of the Holy Quran are people of reason, thought and understanding, they realize that certain Quranic verses do not have any paragon other than Ahl al-Bayt who know how to interpret it: None knows its interpretation except Allah and those who are firmly rooted in knowledge. (3:7)
In this relation, Imam al-Sadiq (a.s) has said: We are those who are firmly rooted in knowledge and we know its interpretation. (Al-Kafi: 231/1, T 1)
The Holy Prophet's Character in the Holy Qur'an
The Holy Quran explicitly says about the magnificent character of the Holy Prophet,: Surely Allah and His angels bless the Prophet. (33:56)
In narrations, we read that – “Allah’s blessing to the Prophet is His special mercy for him; and the angels’ blessing is to ask Allah’s favor or mercy for him.”(Tafsir al-Safi: 201/4)
The Holy Quran gives such an excellent dignity to the Prophet considering the allegiance to him to be equal to allegiance to Allah: Surely those who swear allegiance to you do but swear allegiance to Allah. (48:10)
Obeying Allah and the Holy Prophet
This is what the Holy Quran says about obeying Allah and the Holy Prophet, the result of which is a great profit in the world and the hereafter: Whoever obeys Allah and His Apostle he indeed achieves a mighty success. (33:71)
The Holy Quran regards the companionship of the Prophets, the truthful, the martyrs and the righteous people all as a result of obeying Allah and His Prophet (S): And whoever obeys Allah and the Apostle, these are with those upon whom Allah has bestowed favors from among the prophets and the truthful and the martyrs and the good; and a goodly company they are! (4:69)
The Holy Quran considers obeying the Holy Prophet just like obeying Allah. This is a good reason, which proves the superiority of the Holy Prophet over all other creatures in the universe: Whoever obeys the Apostle, he indeed obeys Allah. (4:80)
The Holy Quran considers obeying Allah and the Holy Prophet as the reason for entering Paradise; and turning one’s back to them is a cause of painful punishment: Whoever obeys Allah and His Apostle, He will cause him to enter gardens beneath which rivers flow; and whoever turns back, He will punish him with a painful punishment. (48:17)
The Holy Quran considers obeying the Holy Prophet as a cause of gaining Allah’s mercy: Obey the Apostle so that mercy may be shown to you. (24:56)
Bishr ibn Shurayh Basri says: I asked Imam al-Baqir (a.s), “What is the most hopeful verse in the Holy Quran?”
He Imam answered, “What do your people say about it?”
I said, “They say that the following verse is the most hopeful: O my servants who have acted extravagantly against their own souls; do not despair of the mercy of Allah (39:53)”
The Imam commented, “We, Ahl al-Bayt, do not say this.”
I asked, “What do you say then?”
The Imam answered, “We say that the following is the most hopeful: And soon will your Lord give you so that you shall be well pleased (93:5)
The word give in this verse stands for [the right of] intercession. By Allah, it is intercession. By Allah, it is intercession.” (Tafsir Furat: 570, T 734)
According to another narration; it has been pointed out that the Holy Prophet is pleased because he has sent forth Ahl al-Bayt and their followers to Paradise. (Bihar al-Anwar: 143/6, Chapter: 7, H. 10)
Ahl al-Bayt in the Holy Quran
The Holy Quran has explicitly spoken of Ahl al-Bayt in the Verse of Purification whereas in other verses it has referred to signs that conform to none but them.
Abdullah Ibn Jafar says: I was in the presence of Muawiyah with Hasan and Husayn when Muawiyah asked, “O Abdullah Ibn Jafar! How much do you respect Hasan?” I answered, “O Muawiyah! One day, during his rule, Umar ibn Khattab sent me to Ali ibn Abu-Talib saying, ‘I want to compile the Quran in a book. Send me what you have written of it.’ Ali said to me, ‘By Allah, he will kill you if you take to him my version of the Quran where for some of the verses I have written my interpretations.’ I asked, ‘What for?’ The Imam answered, ‘Allah says: None shall touch it save the purified ones. (56:79)
We are the purified ones. We are the paragon of this verse: We gave the Book in inheritance to those whom we chose from among Our servants (35:32).
We are the chosen ones and such parables as ‘good word’ or ‘good tree’ have been revealed about us." (Kitab Sulaym ibn Qays: 834, H. 42)
The Holy Quran reads, He has made the two seas to flow freely so that they meet together. Between them is a barrier, which they cannot pass. There comes forth from them pearls both large and small.
These holy verses certainly refer to Ahl al-Bayt. Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) says: Ali and Fatimah are the two seas; and the pearls are Hasan and Husayn.(Tafsir al-Qummi: 344/2)
In the words of another narration, the word "al-shaf` (the even)" mentioned in Surah al-Fajr (No. 89) refers to Imam Hasan and Imam Husayn; while the word al-witr (the odd)" refers to Imam Ali (a.s.).
In reliable Shiite books of Hadith, there are over 314 narrations, which confirm that the word ‘near relatives (dhul-qurba)' in the Holy Quran refers to Ahl al-Bayt. Likewise, Sunni scholars have interpreted the ‘near relatives’ into Ahl al-Bayt and the purified Imams.
The Holy Quran reads, In houses which Allah has permitted to be exalted and that His name may be remembered in them; there glorify Him therein in the mornings and the evenings. (24:36)
Anas ibn Malik and Buraydah say, “When Allah’s Messenger recited the above mentioned verse, a man rose up asking, "Which houses are they?" Allah’s Messenger replied, “These are the houses of the Prophets.” Then, Abu-Bakr rose up, pointed to the house of Ali and Fatimah and said, “O Allah’s Messenger! Is this house one of them?” The Holy Prophet said, “Yes, it is one of the best.” (Shawahid al-Tanzil: 533/1, H. 567)
Ahl al-Bayt (a.s) are the paragons of the spiritual truth as pointed out in the following holy verse: Men whom neither merchandise nor selling diverts from the remembrance of Allah and the keeping up of prayer and the giving of poor-rate; they fear a day in which the hearts and the eyes shall turn about. (24:37)
These noble individuals fear the Judgment Day while their faith, deeds, sublime morality and devotion are superior to those of all people of the world.