The Concept of Ahl al-Bayt (A.S.)
Al-Rayyan ibn al-Salt relates: Imam Reza (A.S.) was present in Ma'mun's assembly in Marv. A group from Iraq and Khorasan were gathered there.....
Ma'mun asked: Who are the pure Itrat?
Al-Imam al-Reza (A.S.) replied: Those whom God has described in His Book with these words: "Verily, Allah intends to keep off from you (every kind of) uncleanness, O you the people of the house, and purify you (with) a thorough purification", and those about whom the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) said: I leave among you two weighty things as reminder; the Book of Allah and my Itrat who are my Ahl al-Bayt.
These two will not separate until they join me by the Fountain of Kawthar. Look how you succeed me in treating these two. Do not teach them, for they are wiser you.
The scholars (present in the assembly) said: O Abu al-Hasan! Tell us about Itrat. Are they among the Al [progeny] or apart from them?
Al-Imam al-Reza (A.S.) said: They are the Al. The scholars said: But it is quoted from the Prophet (S.A.W.) as saying: My Ummah are my Al. And his companions have said in an off-quoted tradition which can not be rejected (for it is narrated by many) that Al-i Muhammad (S.A.W.) and his Ummah are the same.
Al-Imam al-Reza (A.S.) said: Tell me if giving alms to Al is unlawful. They said: Yes. His Holiness (A.S.) said: Then it should be so to the Ummah too. They said: No. Al-Imam (A.S.) said: Here lies the difference between Al and Ummah.
The Image of Ahl al-Bayt (A.S.) in The Qur'an and Hadith
By: Muhammadi Rayshahri