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Who Are Ahl al-Bayt (A.S.)?

Proofs Confirming the Imāmate of Ahl Al-bayt (`a)
Texts quoted from the Messenger of Allāh referring to the Imāmate, after his demise, of the nation`s Ahl al-Bayt (`a) are numerous; here are the most famous among them:
According to Muslim`s Sahīh, relying on isnād which goes back to Zaid ibn Arqam, the Messenger of Allāh , so Zaid narrated, said, “O people! I am a human upon whom the messenger of my Lord is about to call. I will surrender to the call, and I am leaving among you two weighty things: the first of them is the Book of Allāh wherein there is guidance and noor. So, take the Book of Allāh, for in it there is guidance and there is noor. Uphold the Book of Allāh and adhere to it. And (the other are) my Ahl al-Bayt (`a). I commend to you, in the Name of Allāh, my Ahl al-Bayt (`a);I commend to you, in the Name of Allāh, my Ahl al-Bayt (`a); I commend to you, in the Name of Allāh, my Ahl al-Bayt (`a).”[2] In al-Tirmidhi`s Sahīh, through isnād traced to Jābir ibn Abdullāh [al-Ansāri], the latter said, “I saw the Messenger of Allāh on the Day of `Arafa when he performed his [last] pilgrimage. He was riding his she-camel Quswa. He delivered a sermon, and I heard him saying, `O people! I have left among you that, so long as you uphold to it, you shall never stray: The Book of Allāh and my `itrat, my Ahl al-Bayt`.”[3]
Had there been only this hadīth, it would have sufficed to prove the authenticity of the Shī`ah sect which obligates clinging to Ahl al-Bayt (`a) in addition to clinging to the Glorious Book of Allāh. We find in this hadīth the order of the Messenger of Allāh , as clearly as can be, that we should uphold Ahl al-Bayt (`a) after his demise, and that such upholding, in addition to adhering to the Glorious Qur`ān, is the condition for one`s salvation versus straying.
Although Muslim and many other scholars of hadīth from among the Sunnis have included this hadīth in their Sahīh and musnad books, it is to my great amazement that I find most Sunnis not familiar with it. They deny it when they hear about it, as if it does not exist, saying that what is accurate in this regard is what Abū Hurayrah had said, that is, the Messenger of Allāh said, “I have left among you two things that will never let you stray so long as you adhere to them or act upon them: the Book of Allāh and my Sunnah.”[4] Having investigated the source of this tradition, I found out that it was not recorded in any of the Sahīh books. Al-Bukhāri, al-Nisā`i, al-Dhahabi and others have labelled it as “weak”[5]. It is narrated by al-Hākim in his Mustadrak which, according to the consensus of Sunni scholars, is regarded as being less [in prestige] than the Sahīh book of Muslim who stated it in this wording: “...the Book of Allāh and my `itrat, my Ahl al-Bayt (`a).”
Even if we suppose there is no difference between both narratives, we have to surrender to the fact that what is meant by the phrase “my Sunnah”, as it exists in al-Hākim`s narrative, is the Sunnah derived from the venue of the Household of the Prophet , not from that of others, as is quite obvious in Muslim`s narrative. As for sticking to the narrative of al-Hākim wherein he says, “... the Book of Allāh and my Sunnah,” rejecting Muslim`s version of “... the Book of Allāh and my `itrat, my Ahl al-Bayt (`a),” this goes against not only the consensus of the Sunni scholars of hadīth, who all regard the traditions narrated by Muslim with higher regards than those narrated by al-Hākim, it is also contrary to logic and reason because the word “Sunnah” by itself as narrated by al-Hākim does not convey a specific meaning, since all Islamic sects claim they follow the Sunnah of the Prophet . Moreover, there are many differences among these sects, and the reasons behind such differences are rendered to the differences in how the Prophet`s Sunnah was transmitted to them, i.e. through various venues, the Sunnah which explains and complements the Holy Qur`ān, the Sunnah the accuracy of which is agreed upon by all Islamic sects. Hence, the differences in the transmitted hadīth led also to differences in interpreting the Qur`ān. The Sunnah of the Prophet , therefore, became many Sunnahs and the Muslims, accordingly, split into sects and groups which are said to number thirty-seven. So, which of these Sunnahs is more worthy of being followed? This question comes naturally to the mind of anyone who deeply discerns such differences. The above-quoted hadīth came to respond to such differences so that the Muslims would not be left puzzled with regard to their Islamic faith following the departure from this world of the one who convey it to them. This is why there have been sacred instructions by the Prophet mandating that the purified Sunnah of he Prophet must be derived from the venue of the Ahl al-Bayt (`a) of the Prophet , those who are described by the Qur`ān as tāhir, Purified, a description which is quite clear and accepts no other meaning. Such a derivation, and only such a derivation, brings security against dissension and straying.
In his Sahīh, relying on the isnād of Safiyya daughter of Shaybah, Muslim quotes the latter saying that `Ā`isha said, “The Messenger of Allāh came out wearing an unsown garment of black [camel] hair. He brought al-Hasan ibn Ali (`a) and let him in. Then al-Husayn (`a) came and he let him, too, in. Then Fātima (`a) came in and he let her, too, in. Then Ali (`a) came. He let him, too. Then he said [i.e. quoted the following verse], `Surely Allāh wishes to remove all abomination from you, O People of the House [of the Prophet] and to purify you with a perfect purification` (Qur`ān, 33:33).”[6] Also in Muslim`s Sahīh we read the following: “When this verse was revealed: `Say: Come! Let us gather together our sons and your sons, our women and your women, ourselves and yourselves, then let us earnestly pray and invoke Allāh`s curse on the liars` (Qur`ān, 3:61), the Messenger of Allāh called upon Ali (`a), Fātima (`a), al-Hasan (`a) and al-Husayn (`a) then said, `Lord! These are my Ahl al-Bayt`.”[7] From both of these traditions, it is quite clear that Ahl al-Bayt (`a), during the lifetime of the Prophet , were: Ali (`a), Fātima (`a) and both their sons (`a).

But What About the Wives of the Prophet ?
In his Sahīh, Muslim quotes Zaid ibn Arqam citing the Prophet saying, “I am leaving with you two weighty things: one of them is the Book of Allāh, the most Exalted, the most Great, and it is the Rope of Allāh; whoever adheres to it is guided and whoever abandons it strays.” In the same tradition, people inquired whether his Ahl al-Bayt (`a) included his wives. “No,” said he, “By Allāh! A woman remains with the man for a period of time, then he may divorce her, whereupon she returns to her father and people. His Ahl al-Bayt (`a) come from his loins, his nearest in kin who are prohibited from taking charity after his demise.”[8]
To quote al-Tirmidhi`s Sahīh, where the compiler relies on the authority of `Amr ibn Abū Salamah, who was raised by the Prophet , `Amr said, “When this verse was revealed: `Surely Allāh wishes to remove all abomination from you, O People of the House [of the Prophet] and to purify you with a perfect purification` (Qur`ān, 33:33)` at the house of Umm Salamah, the Prophet called upon Fātima (`a), Hasan (`a) and Husayn (`a). He put a garment over them while Ali (`a) was behind him. He placed the garment over them all then supplicated thus: `Lord! These are my Ahl al-Bayt (`a); so, do remove abomination from them and purify them with a perfect purification.` Umm Salamah asked him, `May I be included with them, O Prophet of Allāh?` He said, `Stay where you are, and you are in goodness.`”[9]
In his Musnad, [imām] Ahmad [ibn Hanbal] quotes Umm Salamah saying, “The Messenger of Allāh said to Fātima (`a): `Bring me your husband and both sons.` She brought them in. He put a garment made in Fadak then put his hand on them and said, `Lord! These are the Progeny of Muhammad; so, let Your salutations and blessings be upon Muhammad and the Progeny of Muhammad; surely You are the Praised One, the most Glorified.` I lifted the garment in order to join them, but he pulled it from my hand and said, `You are in goodness.`”[10]
Despite the clarity of the previous proofs in identifying who Ahl al-Bayt (`a) are, some people oppose it and base their argument on the following verses from Surat al-Ahzab (Chapter 33 of the Holy Qur`ān), claiming that the term “Ahl al-Bayt (`a)” includes the wives of the Prophet :
O Prophet! Say to your consorts: “If you desire the life of this world, and its glitter, then come! I will provide for your enjoyment and set you free in a handsome manner. But if you seek Allāh and His Prophet, and the abode of the hereafter, truly Allāh has prepared a great reward for the well-doers from among you.” O consorts of the Prophet! If any of you were guilty of evident unseemly conduct, the punishment would be doubled to her, and that is easy for Allāh. But any of you who is devout in the service of Allāh and His Prophet, and does righteous deeds, to her We shall grant a reward twice as much and We have prepared a generous sustenance for her. O consorts of the Prophet! You are not like any (other) women: If you fear (Allāh), do not be too complaisant of speech, lest one in whose heart there is a disease should be moved with desire: But speak a speech (that is) just. And stay in your houses, do not make a dazzling display, like that in the former times of ignorance, establish regular prayer and give regular charity, and obey Allāh and His Prophet. And Allāh only wishes to remove all abomination from you, you members of the family, and to make you pure and spotless.
Qur`ān, 33:28-33
As is quite clear, the argument of those who say that “Ahl al-Bayt (`a)” is a term which includes the wives of the Prophet is based on “... And Allāh only wishes to remove all abomination from you, you members of the family, and to make you pure and spotless” falling in the same verse a portion of which deals with the wives of the Prophet .
This claim can be refuted from many angles; here are some of them:
1. The revelation of Qur`ānic verses in reference to threatening the wives of the Prophet that they could be divorced followed by the Will of Allāh to purify Ahl al-Bayt (`a) with a perfect purification does not necessarily mean that on both occasions, the wives of the Prophet are implied simply because there are many verses in the Holy Qur`ān of this sort containing two different issues. The reason why they both fall in the same verse is perhaps due to their coincidently took place at the same time. One such an example is derived from these verses: “Forbidden to you (for food) are: dead meat, blood, the flesh of swine and that on which a name other than that of Allāh has been invoked, that which has been killed by strangling, or by a violent blow, or by a headlong fall, or by being gored to death, that which has been (partly) eaten by a wild animal, unless you are able to slaughter it (in due way), that which is sacrificed on stone (altars). The division (of meat) by raffling with arrows is also (forbidden): That is impiety. This Day those who reject faith have given up all hope of your religion: Yet do not fear them, but fear Me. This Day I have perfected your religion for you, completed My favor upon you, and have chosen Islam for you as your religion” (Qur`ān, 5:3). You find in this verse how the subject revolving round the perfecting of the creed falls in the middle of the subject dealing with prohibitive foods!
2. What underscores the fact that the wives of the Prophet are not included in the meaning of this verse is that the subject relevant to the wives of the Prophet came in an Arabic pronoun specifically relevant to a group of females, whereas when the topic shifted to the purification of Ahl al-Bayt (`a), the pronoun changed to one relevant to a group of males.
3. The previously quoted authentic traditions recorded in the Sahīh books of both Muslim and al-Tirmidhi, as well as in Ahmad`s Musnad and in others all prove unequivocally that the wives of the Prophet are not included among Ahl al-Bayt (`a). When Umm Salamah, may Allāh be pleased with her, asked the Prophet , “May I be included with them, O Prophet of Allāh?,” He said to her, “Stay where you are, and you are in goodness.” In Muslim`s narrative, people inquired whether his wives were among his Ahl al-Bayt (`a), and the answer came in the negative.
4. In the tradition of the two weighty things which Muslim, Ahmad and others narrate, the Prophet is cited as having said, “O people! I am leaving among you two things which, so long as you uphold them [both simultaneously], you shall never stray: the Book of Allāh and my `itra, my Ahl al-Bayt,” it is quite clear that they have to be followed [with regard to all religious and secular issues]. If we suppose, just for the sake of debating, that the wives of the Prophet are the ones meant, or implied, in this tradition, in what way will the Muslims uphold them after the demise of the Messenger of Allāh , bearing in mind that they were obligated to remain in their homes? How would one answer this question, knowing that they all lived in one and the same century? If one says that upholding them means citing the traditions from them, we would respond by saying that among them are those who did not narrate one single tradition!
The “abomination” [rijs] which occurs in the verse saying, ““... And Allāh only wishes to remove all abomination from you, you members of the family, and to make you pure and spotless” means linguistically something filthy: a reference to sinning, while tahāra (cleansiness) linguistically connotes piety. The meaning of the will of the Almighty, Praised and Glorified is He, to remove abomination from them, is to clear them of any sin and to raise their status above committing anything which points out to shortcomings in them. A sin, no matter how minor, is indicative of a flaw in the person who commits it. This means that Allāh Almighty wanted to purify Ahl al-Bayt (`a) from committing any sin, minor or major, and this is nothing but a proof of Infallibility and, hence, purification.
As regarding what is said that the meaning of “purification” in this verse is merely an indication of religious piety, that is, their own avoidance of committing what Allāh has prohibited them from committing while acting upon His Commandments, this claim is rejected because “purification” in such a sense is not relevant only to Ahl al-Bayt (`a) but to all Muslims. The Muslims are all obligated to act upon the injunctions of their creed: “Allāh does not desire to put any hardship on you but to purify you, and so that He may complete His favor on you, perhaps you will be grateful” (Qur`ān, 5:6). Thus, if we agree that those regarding whom this verse was revealed are infallible, we will find out that the wives of the Prophet are not among them because they are not infallible, let alone the fact that nobody, be he from the early generations or from the latter ones, made such a claim, knowing fully well that the Prophet threatened to divorce them and made other threats against some of them as you will see in a chapter to come.

Additional Proofs for the Infallibility of Ahl Al-Bayt (`a)
1. Hadīth al-Thaqalayn: Text of the tradition of the two weighty things: “O people! I am leaving among you two things which, so long as you uphold to them [both simultaneously], you shall never stray: the Book of Allāh and my `itra, my Ahl al-Bayt (`a),” where there is a directive from the Prophet that the condition for not straying is upholding the Book of Allāh and his `itra, Progeny. It is not rational for anyone who believes there is a possibility that there is something wrong, or any crookedness, in it can expect it to be a safe haven against straying. This proves the Infallibility of both weighty things: the Book of Allāh, i.e. the greater weight which no falsehood can approach from front or back, and Ahl al-Bayt (`a), the great weight.
2. This Qur`ānic Verse: “And remember that Abraham was tried by his Lord with certain commands which he fulfilled. He said, `I will make you an Imām (guide) to the nations.` He pleaded: `What about my offspring?!` He answered, `My promise is not within the reach of evil-doers`” (Qur`ān, 2:124). Besides pointing out to the lofty status of Imāmate, this verse also indicates that the “promise” of Allāh, that is, Imāmate, cannot be the lot of an oppressor. A sin, minor or major, renders one who commits it an oppressor. Hence, an Imām has to be divinely protected from committing any sin or wrongdoing.
3. Evidence in Mustadrak al-Sahīhayn: Relying on the isnād of Hanash al-Kināni, al-Hākim cites the man saying that he heard Abū Dharr saying the following as he was holding to the door of he Ka`ba: “O people! Whoever knows me, I am who I am, and whoever does not, I am Abū Dharr. I heard the Messenger of Allāh saying, `The similitude of my Ahl al-Bayt (`a) among you is like the ark of Noah: whoever boards it is safe [from drowning], and who ever lags behind it is drowned.”[11] Al-Hākim adds saying that the isnād of this tradition is authentic.
4. Also in Mustadrak al-Sahīhayn: Through the isnād traced to Ibn `Abbās, the same reference cites Ibn `Abbās quoting the Messenger of Allāh saying, “The stars offer security for the people of the earth against drowning, while my Ahl al-Bayt (`a) are the security of my nation against dissension. If a tribe from among the Arabs opposes them, it will become the party of Eblis.”[12]
5. In al-Bukhāri`s Sahīh: In order to further clarify the lofty status with which Ahl al-Bayt (`a) were blessed, we would like to quote some traditions narrated in al-Bukhāri`s Sahīh and which address Ahl al-Bayt (`a) with “alaihimis-salām” (peace be upon them). They, rather than anyone else from among all the sahābah or the wives of the Prophet , were thus addressed. Following are examples narrated by al-Bukhāri in his Sahīh:
Ali (`a) has said, “I used to have an established portion of the war booties, and the Prophet gave me an established portion of the khums. When I was going to have a daughter by Fātima (`a), peace be upon her, daughter of the Messenger of Allāh ..., etc.”[13]
Al-Bukhāri also wrote saying, “... and the Prophet knocked at the door of Fātima (`a) and Ali (`a), peace be upon both of them, on a night for the prayers..., etc.”[14]
In another narration, the following is stated: “... He said, `I saw the Prophet , and al-Hasan (`a) son of Ali (`a), peace be upon both of them, looked like him..., etc.`”[15]
Also, the following is stated in the same reference: “... from Ali (`a) son of al-Husayn (`a), peace be upon both of them, he told him..., etc.”[16]
One may argue saying that this does not prove their distinction, but the question will then be, “Why then were they, rather than anyone else, thus greeted?”
6. Evidence From Hadīth: The Messenger of Allāh has ordered anyone who blesses him to also bless his Progeny concurrently. In a tradition recorded by al-Bukhāri in his Sahīh, relying on the isnād of Abdul-Rahmān ibn Abū Layla, it is recorded that “... He said, `Ka`b ibn `Ajrah met me and said, `Grant me a gift!` The Prophet came out to see us, so we said to him, `O Messenger of Allāh! We have already come to know how to greet you, but how should we bless you?` He said, `You should say: O Allāh! Bless Muhammad and the Progeny of Muhammad as You blessed Ibrāhīm and the progeny of Ibrāhīm; surely You are the oft-Praised, the oft-Glorified`.”[17] The point of connection in this tradition between our master Ibrāhīm, peace be upon him and upon his progeny, on one hand, and our master Muhammad and his Progeny on the other is that Ibrāhīm, peace be upon him, was also a prophet, and his offspring were prophets to whom people referred after his demise. Likewise, the offspring of Muhammad were the custodians of the Message brought by Muhammad . The Muslims were ordered to refer to them after the demise of the Chosen One except they were Imāms (`a), not prophets, as was the case with the progeny of Ibrāhīm. In a dialogue between the Prophet and Ali (`a), the Prophet said, “Are you not pleased that your status with me is like that of Aaron to Moses except there is no prophet after me?”[18] We will later discuss this tradition.
It is concluded from all the above that Allāh, the most Sublime and the most Great, specifically granted purification and Infallibility to Ahl al-Bayt (`a) in their capacity as the ones to fill the vacuum left by the Messenger of Allāh with regard to transmitting the Message to future generations, to safeguard it from those who distort or cast doubt about it. What is the benefit of the Messenger of Allāh conveying the Divine Sharī`a if it is not safeguarded after his death by trustworthy persons? What happened to past creeds suffices to answer this question. The followers of the latter creeds used to derive their legislation from any source after the departure from this world of those who conveyed such creeds to them. This is why distortion afflicted them as the most Great and the most Exalted One has said: “Can you (O men of faith

entertain the hope that they will believe in you, seeing that a party of them heard the word of Allāh, and distorted it knowingly after having understood it?” (Qur`ān, 2:75).
It needs not mentioned that safeguarding the texts of the Qur`ān against any addition or deletion is not by itself sufficient at any rate to safeguard the Divine Sharī`a from being distorted. Imāmate, thus, is considered as an extension of prophethood with regard to its general functions except what is relevant to the wahi, which is one of the particularities of prophethood. What is meant by the Imāmate being the extension of prophethood is the safeguarding of the Sharī`a with knowledge and application. Hence, the Infallibility of the Imāms (`a) is a must for transmitting the divine legislation to posterity via pure and genuine venues represented by the Twelve Imāms (`a) who all belong to the Household of the Prophet .

2) Proofs Confirming the Number of Imāms from among Ahl al-Bayt (`a)
The Chosen One has stated that the Imāms, or caliphs, after him were from Quraysh, and that their number is twelve. Relying on the authority of Jābir ibn Samrah, al-Bukhāri quotes Jābir saying that he heard the Prophet saying, “There shall be twelve amīrs...” He goes on to say that the Prophet said something which he (Jābir) did not hear, adding, “My father said to me [that what I did not hear was:] `All of them are from Quraysh.`”[19]
In Muslim`s Sahīh, one hadīth reads: “The faith shall remain standing till the time of the Hour, or you will be ruled by twelve caliphs, all from Quraysh.”[20] In the same reference, the following text exists: “People`s affairs will be in effect so long as they are ruled by twelve men.”[21]
In Ahmad`s Musnad, where the compiler relies on the isnād of Abdullāh ibn Mas`ūd, the latter says that he once asked the Messenger of Allāh about those “caliphs.” The Prophet said to him, “They are twelve in number, as many as the tribes of the Children of Israel.”[22]
A text in the Torah of the People of the Book carries this meaning: “Allāh Almighty conveyed the glad tiding of [the birth of] Ishmael to Abraham and that He would multiply his progeny exceedingly and bring about from among his offspring twelve princes and a great nation.”[23] The “great nation” referred to here is the nation of our master Muhammad whose lineage descended from Ishmael, peace be upon him. As for the twelve princes, they are the Imāms (`a), or the caliphs, who succeeded the Messenger of Allāh and who also descended from him. They are the ones referred to in the authentic traditions cited above.
This issue may be regarded as the most perplexing to the Sunni scholars who could not provide one single explanation, or any convincing argument, identifying these twelve caliphs referred to by many authentic traditions recorded in their own Sahīh books, so much so that this issue has become a puzzling riddle to them. Their interpretations of it are shaky, often reaching a dead end because of the inapplicability of the number “twelve” to any group of caliphs starting from the first four and passing by the Umayyads, the `Abbāsides and the Ottomans, or are they to be selected from all of these?!
We would like to bring about an example portraying the extent of their confusion while interpreting this tradition: Al-Suyūti has said, “From among the twelve [caliphs] are: the [first] four caliphs, al-Hasan (`a), Mu`āwiyah, [`Abdullāh] ibn al-Zubayr, `Umar ibn `Abdul-Azīz. These are eight, and it is possible that the Mahdi, the `Abbāside [caliph] may be added to them since he is to the `Abbāsides what `Umar ibn `Abdul-Azīz is to the Umayyads. And al-Tāhir, the `Abbāside [caliph], too, [is among them] on account of his equity. Two remain; these are the awaited ones; one of them is al-Mahdi because he belongs to Ahl al-Bayt.”[24]
When we talk about their puzzlement in solving the “riddle” of the twelve caliphs, we mean their scholars are the ones who are puzzled. As for their commoners, they most often never heard such traditions which fix the number of the successors of the Messenger of Allāh or the hadīth which enjoins upholding the two weighty things and many others which all point out to the merits of Ahl al-Bayt (`a) despite such occurrence in their Sahīh books. I was quite astonished when Dr. Ahmad Nawfal, a professor at the College of Sharī`a, University of Jordan, as I debated with him, said that the tradition of the twelve caliphs is of my own invention, and that it does not exist in the Sunni books of hadīth. Having said so, he immediately left, refusing to continue the debate. This took place after he had delivered a lecture in Manilla, answering questions raised by some attendants about the origin of Shī`ahs and Shī`ism. His answers were contrary to the truth, thus prompting me to oppose his falsification. I provided some traditions which prove that Shī`ahs follow Muhammad , not Ibn Saba`, as he claimed. We do not, by mentioning this incident, mean to scandalize this virtuous professor, may Allāh forgive him. We simply like to point out to the truth which has to be made clear, that is, fanaticism prompts some people to do more than that. This is really strange. How can one have the courage to answer questions about a subject while he is ignorant of the basic facts relevant to it? What if the issue deals with religious affairs? What is the judgment against one who issues verdicts without knowledge? Surely there is no power nor might except in Allāh.
So, while we see the Sunnis puzzled by the “riddle” of the twelve caliphs, while many of them are ignorant of the glittering authentic traditions leading to it, Imāmite Shī`ahs, followers of the Household of the family of the Prophet , have already clarified the matter in this regard, explaining that those implied in the traditions cited above are the Twelve Imāms (`a) from among the family of the Prophet . Moreover, they derived proofs from traditions narrated through the venue of the Purified `itra and which exist in their books of hadīth clearly stating their names in a way which leaves no room for doubt. They are:
1. Ali ibn Abū Tālib (`a), Ameerul-Mu`mineen (the Commander of the Faithful)
2. Al-Hasan ibn Ali (`a), al-Sibt (the oldest grandson of the Prophet [‰])
3. Al-Husayn (`a) ibn Ali (`a), Sayyidul-Shuhadā` (the master of martyrs)
4. Ali ibn al-Husayn (`a), Zaynul-`Ābidīn (the best of worshipers)
5. Muhammad ibn Ali (`a), al-Bāqir (the one who pierces through knowledge)
6. Ja`fer ibn Muhammad (`a), al-Sādiq (the truthful)
7. Mousa ibn Ja`fer (`a), al-Kāzim (the one who suppresses his anger)
8. Ali ibn Mousa (`a), al-Rida (the one who accepts destiny)
9. Muhammad ibn Ali (`a), al-Jawād (the generous one)
10. Ali ibn Muhammad (`a), al-Hādi (the guide)
11. Al-Hasan ibn Ali (`a), al-`Askari (the man in charge of the troops)
12. Muhammad ibn al-Hasan (`a), al-Mahdi al-Muntazar (the awaited savior, the divinely-guided one, may Allāh hasten his holy reappearance).
[2]Muslim`s Sahīh, in a chapter about the virtues of Ali (`a), Vol. 5, p. 272, published by Dār Sādir, citing al-Nawawi`s Sharh.
[3]Al-Tirmidhi, Sahīh, Vol. 2, p. 308.
[4]Al-Hākim, Al-Mustadrak, Vol. 1, p. 93.
[6]Muslim, Sahīh, Vol. 5, p. 287, in a chapter dealing with the virtues of al-Hasan (`a) and al-Husayn (`a), published by Dār al-Sha`ab.
[7]Muslim, Sahīh, Vol. 5, p. 268 (Dār al-Sha`ab), in a chapter dealing with the virtues of Ali (`a).
[8]Ibid., Vol. 5, p. 274.
[9]Al-Tirmidhi, Sahīh, Vol. 2, p. 209.
[10]Ahmad, Musnad, Vol. 6, p. 306.
[11]Al-Hākim, Mustadrak al-Sahīhayn, Vol. 2, p. 343.
[12]Ibid., Vol. 3, p. 149.
[13]Al-Bukhāri, Sahīh, Vol. 3, p. 171, in the Book of Sales, in a chapter dealing with handicrafts (published by the modern Riyadh library).
[14]Ibid., Vol. 2, p. 126, in the Book of Tahajjud.
[15]Ibid., Vol. 4, p. 486, in the Book of Merits, in a chapter about how the Prophet looked like.
[16]Ibid., Vol. 9, p. 418, in the Book of Tawhīd, in a chapter dealing with the will and the power of determination.
[17]Ibid., Vol. 8, p. 245, in the Book of Supplications, in a chapter dealing with saluting the Prophet .
[18]Ibid., Vol. 5, p. 492, in the Book of Military Campaigns, in a chapter dealing with the Tabuk Campaign.
[19]Ibid., Vol. 9, p. 250, in the Book of Ahkām, in a chapter titled “There will be twelve princes.”
[20]Muslim, Sahīh, Vol. 4, p. 482, in the Book of Imāra, in a chapter about “People to follow Quraysh” (Dār al-Sha`ab), mentioned in al-Nawawi`s Sharh.
[22]Ahmad, Musnad, Vol. 1, p. 389.
[23]The Old Testament, Genesis, 17:20.
[24]Al-Suyūti, Tārīkh, p. 12.

Truth About Shi'ah Ithna 'Ashari Faith
By: Asad Wahid al-Qasim
Translated from the Arabic by Yasin al-Jibouri

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