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Those Who Relied on Ayah Tathir Sacred Verse to Prove the Virtues of the People of the Holy Prophet s House

By: Allamah Sayyid Murtadha Askari
In "Majma al-Zawaid" Abu Barza13 has been reported to have said: "I performed my prayers along with the holy Prophet (P) for seven months.
As and when he left his house, he went to the house of Fatima (P) and used to say: "Peace be upon you! O People of the Prophet's House! Allah intends but to remove all sorts of uncleanness and blemish from you and to purify you with a thorough purification. (33:33)"

(a) Imam Hassan (P)
Hakim (in "Mustadrak") in connection with the attainments of Imam Hassan (P) and Haithami (in connection with the excellence of the People of the holy Prophet's House) have narrated that Imam Hassan (P) addressed the people after the martyrdom of his father Imam Ali (P), and said during his speech: "O People! Whoever knows me, knows me and whoever does not know me should know that I am Hassan bin Ali. I am the son of the holy Prophet (P) and of his successor (wasi). I am his son who invited people to Allah and warned them of the torture of His hell-fire. I am the son of the Luminous Lamp. I belong to the family upon whom Gabriel used to descend and from there ascend to heavens. I belong to the family from whom Allah has removed all impurities and made them pure."
It has been narrated in "Majma al-Zawaid" and "Tafsir" of Ibn Kathir that after his father's martyrdom Imam Hassan (P) attained the Caliphate and one day, while he was performing his prayers, a man attacked him and thrust. a sword in his thigh. He remained confined to bed for some months.
Thereafter, he recovered and delivered a sermon and said: "O people of Iraq! Fear Allah. We are your Amirs and your guests and belong to the family about whom Almighty Allah has said: 'O People of the Prophet's House! Allah intends but to remove all sorts of uncleanness and blemish from you to purify you with a thorough purification (33:33)'. Imam Hassan (P) dwelt on this subject so much that all those present in the Masjid began to cry." This hadith has also been quoted by Tibrani and all the narrators are reliable.

(b) Umm al-M u'minin Umm Salama
In "Mushkil al-Athar" Tahavi has quoted Umra Hamdania as saying: "I went to Umm Salama and said Salam to her. She enquired: 'Who are you?' I replied: 'I am Umra Hamdania'. Umra says, 'I said, O Mother of the Faithful! Say something about the man who has been killed among us today. One group of the people likes him and another group is inimical towards him. (He meant Imam Ali bin Abu Talib). Umm Salama said, Do you like him or are hostile to him?" I replied, I neither like him nor am hostile to him." Here the narrative is defective and thereafter it is like this: "Allah revealed the verse: "O People of the Prophet's House! Allah intends but to remove all sorts of uncleanness and blemish from you and to purify you with a thorough purification. (33:33)"
There was none in the room at that time, except Gabriel, the holy Prophet and Ali, Fatima, Hassan and Husayn (May peace be upon them). I said: "O Prophet of Allah! Am I too one of the People of the House? He replied: 'Allah will reward you and recompense you. 'I wished that he might have said 'Yes' and would have valued such a reply much more than anything else in the world."

(c) Sa 'ad bin abi Waqas
In "Khasais" Sinaihas quoted' Amir bin Sa'ad15son of Abi Waqas as saying: "Mua'wiyyah said to Sa'ad bin Abi Waqas: 'Why do you refrain from abusing Abu Turab? ' Sa'ad said, 'I don't abuse Ali (P) for three reasons which I heard from the holy Prophet (P). If even one of them had been in my favour I would have valued it much more than anything else on earth. I heard from the holy Prophet (P).
'When he left Ali (P) as his representative in Medina and proceeded to fight a battle, Ali(P) said, 'Are you leaving me with the women and the children in Medina?' The holy Prophet (P) replied: 'Don't you like that your position vis-a-vis myself should be like that of Aaron with Moses.(May peace be upon them). You enjoy the same position with reference to me as Aaron enjoyed with reference to Moses'." (May peace be upon them).
One the fateful day of Khyber, too, I heard the holy Prophet (P) as saying: "Tomorrow I shall give the standard to one who loves Allah and His Prophet (P) and Allah and His Prophet (P) also love him." All of us were keen to be graced and singled out in the face of this declaration and the standard might be in our hands. In the meantime the holy Prophet (P) said: Bring Ali (P) to me.' Imam Ali (P) came in such a condition that he had some trouble in his eyes. The holy Prophet (P) applied the saliva of his mouth to Ali's eyes and gave the standard in his hand. Moreover, when the verse of 'Tatbir'. "O People of the Prophet's House! Allah intends but to remove (all sorts of uncleanness and blemish from you and to purify you with a thorough purification (33:33)", was revealed the holy Prophet (P) called Ali, Fatima, Hassan and Husayn (May peace be upon them all) near himself and said: 'O Allah! These are the people of my family."
lbn Jarir, lbn Kathir, Hakim (in "Mustadrak") and Tahavi (in "Mushkil al-Athar") have quoted from Sa'ad bin Ali Waqas that at the time of the revelation of the verse, the holy Prophet (P) called Ali (P) along with his two sons and Fatima (P) and accommodated them under his own cloak and said: "O Lord! These are the members of my family."

(d) lbn Abbas
(1) It has been narrated in "Tarikh Tabri" and "Tarikh Ibn Athir" that when 'Umar, while conversing with Ibn Abbas said: 'Fie be upon you, O Bani Hashim! You have nothing in your hearts except envy, fraud and rancour which do not leave your hearts and are not exterminated, Ibn Abbas said in reply: 'Be calm O' Commander of the Faithful! Don 't attribute envy and to those hearts which have been cleansed from all filth by Allah and made pure and clean, because the heart of the holy Prophet (P), too, is one of the hearts of Bani Hashim."
(2) Imam of the Hamblites, Ahmad (in his "Musnad"), Nisai (in "Khasais") Muhibbe Tibri (in "Riaz al-Nuzra") and Haithmi (in "Majma al­ Zawaid ") have reported 'Amr bin Maimun16 as having said: "I was with Ibn Abbas when nine persons came to him and said: 'O son of Abbas! Either come out with us or provide us privacy." He said: 'I shall go out with you.' The narrator says: 'In those days the eyes of Ibn Abbas were all right and he could see. The narrator says: 'They had mutual conversation and I am not aware as to what they talked about.' After some time Ibn Abbas returned to us. He was then shaking off his dress17and saying: 'Fie be upon them! They are talking about the man who enjoys ten excellences. Later in the narration Ibn Abbas details the virtues of the Imam till he says: 'The holy Prophet (P) spread his cloak upon Ali, Fatima, Hassan and Husayn (Peace be upon them) and said: 'O People of the Prophet's House! Allah intends but to remove all sorts of uncleanness and blemish from you and to purify you with a thorough purification. (33:33)"

(c) Wasilat son of Asqa'a
Tabri (while commenting on the verse), Ibn Hanbal (in his "Musnad "), Hakim (in "Mustadrak"), Bahiqui (in "Sunan"), Taltavi (in "Mushkil al-Aathar") and Haithami (in "Majma al-Zawaid ") quott; Abu 'Ammar18as having said: "I was sitting with Wasilat son of Asqa'a when a discussion took place about Ali (P) and the people abused him. When those present rose to leave, he said to me: "Keep sitting so that I may talk with you about the man whom they have been abusing. I was with the holy Prophet (P) when Ali (P), Fatima (P), Hassan (P) and Husayn (P) approached him and the holy Prophet (P) spread his cloak on them and said: 'O Allah 1 These are the members of my family. Remove uncleanness from them and make them clean and pure."
In "Usd al-Ghabah" Shiddad son of Abd Allah has been quoted as saying: "I heard from Wasilat son of Asqa 'a that when the head of Husayn (P) was brought, one of the Syrians abused Husayn (P) and his father. Wasilat stood up and said: 'I swear by Allah that ever since I heard the holy Prophet (P) say about them: 'O People of the Prophet 's house! Allah intends but to remove all sorts of uncleanness and blemish from you and to purify you with a thorough purification. (33:33) 'I have always liked Ali, Fatima, Hassan and Husayn (Peace be upon them )."

Another Narration From Umm Salama
Ahmad (in "Musnad"), Tibri (in "Tafsir") and Tahavi (in "Mushkil al-Athar") have quoted Shahr bin Haushab (I) to have said: "When the news of the martyrdom of Husayn (P) reached (Medina) I heard Umm Salama, wife of the holy Prophet (P), saying: "They have killed Husayn (P)! I myself observed that the holy Prophet (P) spread his Khyber cloak on them and said: 'O Allah! These are the members of my family! Remove uncleanness from them and make them clean and pure!"

(f) Ali bin al-Husayn (P)
Tabri, Ibn Kathir and Suyuti have stated thus in their "Tafsirs" while commenting on this sac­ red verse: Ali bin al-Husayn (P) said to a Syrian: "Have you read this verse in Sura al-Ahzab, 'O People of the Prophet's House! Allah intends but to remove all sorts of uncleanness and blemish from you and to purify you with a thorough purification (33:33)".
The Syrian said: 'Does this verse pertain to you?' The Imam replied: 'Yes, it pertains to us"
Khawarazmi has quoted this very narration in his "Maqtal" in the following manner: "When, after the martyrdom of Husayn(P), the grandson of the holy Prophet (P), Sajjad (P) and other prisoners belonging to the House of the holy Prophet (P) were carried to Damascus and stationed in the jail located by the side of the Jama' Masjid of Damascus, an old man approached them and said : 'Praised be Allah who killed you and annihilated you and relieved the people from your men and provided the Commander of the Faithful (Yazid) with authority over you.' Ali bin al-Husayn (P) said: 'O old man! Have you read the holy Qur'an? He replied: Yes. Then the Imam (P) said: Have you read this verse: 'No reward do I ask you for this (the toils of the office of Prophethood) except the love of those near of my kin.'
The old man said: 'Yes. I have read it' The Imam said: 'Have you read the verse: 'So give what is due to kindered (near ones) the needy and the wayfarer. That is best for them who seek the countenance of Allah, and it is they who will prosper’ and the verse: 'They ask you concerning (thing taken as) spoils of war say: such spoils are at the disposal of Allah and the Prophet so fear Allah and keep straight the relations between yourselves. Obey Allah and His Prophet, if you do believe' in the holy Qur'an. The old man replied:' Yes. I have read them '.
The Imam said: 'I swear by Allah that the word 'near ones' refers to us and these verses have been revealed about us. (The Imam added): And have you read this verse in the holy Qur'an where in Allah says: 'O People of the Prophet's House' Allah intends but to remove all sorts of uncleanness and blemish from you and to purify you with a thorough purification (33:33)'.
The old man said: 'Yes. I have read it.' The Imam said: 'What is meant by People of the Prophet's House! We are whom Allah has especially associated with the verse of 'Tathir'.
The old man said: 'By Almighty Allah! Are you of the same family? ' The Imam replied: I swear by my grandfather the Prophet of Allah we are the same people.'
The old man was stunned and expressed regret for what he had said. Then he raised his head towards the sky and said: 'O Allah! I apologize for what I have said and forsake enmity against this family and hate the enemies of the progeny of Muhammad (P)."19

Gist Of The Foregoing Narrations
The gist of the "Hadith al-Kisa" as it emerges from the foregoing narrations is as follows:- "The holy Prophet (P), while he was in the house of Ummal-Mu'minin observed that the Divine blessing was forthcoming. He then said : 'Call for me! Call for me! ' When asked as to who should be called he replied: 'Call the people of my family namely Ali, Fatima, Hassan and Husayn ' (Peace be upon them). When the members of his family gathered around him, he covered them along with himself with a painted Khyber cloak and then said: 'O Allah! These are the members of my family and send your blessings on Muhammad and his progeny."
The Almighty Allah revealed the verse: 'O People of the Prophet's House! Allah intends but to remove all sorts of uncleanness and blemish from you and to purify you with a thorough purification. (33:33)' This verse was revealed when they were gathered on the floor (of the house of Umm al-Mu'minin Umm Salama) and the holy Prophet( P) said: 'O Allah! These are the members of my family. Ward off uncleanness from them and make them clean and pure."
Umm Salama was then behind a curtain and she said: "There were seven persons in the house at that time namely holy Prophet, Gabriel, Michael, Ali, Fatima, Hassan, and Husayn (May peace be upon them). I came out of the curtain and said: 0 Prophet of Allah! Am I not a member of your family?' I swear by Allah that the holy Prophet (P) did not say: 'Yes, you are', but replied: 'You have a good future and you belong to the category of the wives of the Prophet (P)' And according to another version Umm Salama said: "Am I not a member of the family? '
The holy Prophet (P) then replied: 'You have a good future and these are the members of my family. O Allah! The people of my family are more deserving! ".
According to this narration the holy Prophet (P) distinguished the members of his family from others and indicated as to who they were and explained the verse and said: "Myself and the members of my family are free from every sin and contamination".
He repeated this thing openly in Masjid al-Nabi before all the Muslims and at the time of prayers he used to go to door of the house of Ali (P) and Fatima (P) and recited the verse of Tathir for them saying: "Peace and Allah's blessings be upon you O People of the House! 'O People of the Prophet's House' Allah intends but to remove all sorts of uncleanness and blemish from you and to purify you with a thorough purification. (33:33)"
And according to another version he went to the door of Imam Ali 's house at the time of morning prayers and placed his hands on the two sides of the door and recited the said verse. Some companions kept a record of this act of the holy Prophet (P) and said that they saw the holy Prophet (P) doing like this for six months or for seven months or according to one version for eight months and according to another for more or less nine months. And every one of them related what he had seen.
The object of the holy Prophet (P) was to demonstrate the meanings of this verse verbally as well as practically and explained it to his followers on the lines of the sacred verse, ("We sent them with clear signs and Books of dark prophesies; and We have sent down unto you (also) the Message that you may explain clearly to men what is sent for them, and that they may reflect "(Sura al-Nahl, 16:44), so that they might possibly ponder over it. This thing became well known among the people and even the companions of the holy Prophet (P) argued on its basis on behalf of the holy Prophet's family.
Imam Hassan (P), who was himself one of the people of 'Kisa' delivered a sermon after the martyrdom of his father and relied on this verse and said: "I belong to the House about whom Almighty Allah has said: 'Allah has decided to remove impurity from them and to make them clean and pure'." And in another sermon, after having been attacked with a sword, he said: "We belong to a family from whom Almighty Allah has removed every filth and made them pure."
Umm al-Mu'minin Umm Salama also argued with Umra Hamdania in this regard and cited this verse about Imam Ali (P). And Sa'ad bin Abi Waqas also argued with Mu 'awiyyah on the basis of this verse in the context of abusing of Ali (P). And Ibn Abbas also treated the said verse as one of the ten virtues of Ali bin Talib (P) and gave reply to the persons who used unbecoming language about him i.e. Imam Ali (P). One of the persons who relied on this verse was Wasilat bin Asqa'a who, on hearing Imam Ali (P) being abused, gave a reply and recited this verse in connection with the excellence of the Imam. And Umm al-Mu'minin Umm Salama, too, on hearing about the martyrdom of Imam Husayn (P), relied on this verse and cursed the people of Iraq and Wasilat also acted accordingly. Imam Ali bin Husayn (P), while conversing with the Syrian who praised Yazid bin Mu'awiyyah and abused the people of the Prophet's House, also relied on this verse.
Thus the verse of Tathir and Hadith of Cloak confer a special distinction and honour upon Asha b al-Kisa (People of the Cloak) that being bereft of every blemish and uncleanness, they are Innocent and Chaste and absolved of any sin and therefore command absolute obedience from Muslim Ummah not only as a logical inference, but as a fulfillment of the very intention and utmost desire of the holy Prophet Muhammad (P) in pin-pointing them and making them conspicuous from the rest of the Muslim Ummah.
13. Abu Barza Aslami was one of the companions of the holy Prophet (P). He passed away at Kufa at the age 60 or 64 years. His biography is given in "Usd al-Ghabah" (Vol. V. page 146).
14. Anas bin Malik Khazraji. It has been reported that he remained in the service of the holy Prophet (P) for ten years. He passed away in Basra after attaining the age of 90 years. For his biography please refer to "Usd al-Ghabah ".
15. 'Amir bin Sa'ad son of Abi Waqas. His hadith has been extracted by all the compilers of "Sihah". lhn Hajar says: "He is considered to be one of the reliable narrators of the third group. He died attheage of 104 ("Taqnbal-Tehzib",Vol.I, page 387).
16. 'Amr bin Maimun is considered to be one of the reliable Tabieen. His hadith have been included in the "Sihah''. He passed away in Kufa at the age of 74. ("Taqreeb al Tehzeeb" Vol.II, page 80).
17. In those days shaking off the dress was considered to be a sign of disgust for what had happened and as the nine persons had used unbecoming language for Imam Ali (P) Ibn-e-Abbas spoke thus.
18. Abu 'Ammar Shaddad son of Abd Allah al-Qarshi of Damascus. He is included in the fourth group of reliable narrators and his hadith are available in the "Sihah''.("Taqreebal-Tehzib" Vol1, page347).
19. Other hadith on the subject have also been narrated but we have desisted from quoting them. For example the narration about the biography of 'Atiyya as detailed in "Usd al-Ghabah" (Vol.III, page 413) and in "Asaba" (Vol.II, page 479) and "Tarikh e Bagdadi ' ( Vol. X, page 278), and the narration of Hakim 'Son of Saeed' In 'Tafsiri­ Tabri " (Vol. 22, page 5) and other narrations quoted in "Musnad " of Ahmed (Vol. VI, page304) an d "Asad al·Gha ha" (Vol.II page 12 and Vol IV, page 29) and "Majmal al-Zawaid"(Vol.IX, pages 206and207) and"Zubair-Al-Uqba.

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