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Do we have narrations regarding who are included and who are not from a Shi


Salaam Alaykum
Ahlulbayt according to Shii thought comprise of the 14 infallibles. Therefore how do the other children like lady zaynab fit in to the term Ahlulbayt? Although lady Zaynab was not present during the event of kisa surely if she had been she would have been included? Do we have narrations regarding who are included and who are not from a Shi’i perspective?

Also the wives are excluded and therefore why was Sara the wife of Ibrahim deemed as ahlulbayt in 11:73?


Salamun Alaykum

Thank you for your query.

قَالُوا أَتَعْجَبِينَ مِنْ أَمْرِ اللَّهِ رَحْمَتُ اللَّهِ وَبَرَكَاتُهُ عَلَيْكُمْ أَهْلَ الْبَيْتِ  إِنَّهُ حَمِيدٌ مَجِيدٌ

 They said: Do you wonder at Allah’s bidding? The mercy of Allah and His blessings are on you, O people of the house, surely He is Praised, Glorious. (Surah Hud/73)


The meaning of Ahul bayt here is literal meaning and not terminologically. This verse is referring to Hazrat Ibrahim’s household.
The word اهل البیت  has come twice in the Holy Qur’an, once in the above verse and the other in Surah Ahzab/33.

In Surah Hud/73, the meaning is literal which means the people of house but in Surah Ahzab/33 meaning is terminological and according to the Ahadith the Imams and Bibi Zahra(as) are amongst the Ahlul Bayt of Prophet Muhammad(s.a.w.w) and none other.


There are many traditions regarding the circumstances of the revelation of this verse and the meaning of this verse. These traditions can be divided into the following categories:

  1. Traditions that clearly state that the circumstances of the revelation of this verse and the meaning of the verse – the meaning of the Ahl al-Bayt – are the five people of the cloak.(1)
  2. Traditions which support the kisā’ tradition: traditions related by Abū Khadrī, Anas bin Mālik, Ibn ‘Abbās, Abū al-Hamrā’, and Abū Barazah which were related after the event of the kisā’ and after the revelation of this verse. The Prophet of Islam for 1 month, 40 days, six months, or nine months at the time of the morning prayer or at the times of the five daily prayers would go to the door of ‘Alī and Fātimah’s (a) house and say: “Peace be upon you, Ahl al-Bayt, and the mercies and blessings of Allah…” (السلام علیکم اهل البیت و رحمة الله و برکاته، الصلاة یرحمکم الله) He would then recite the verse of purity.(2)

In Sharh Ihqāqul Haqq(3) after collecting 70 famous Sunni sources in this regard it is mentioned that Shia sources are even more than this.(4)

So this matter is for certain from the viewpoint of traditions that the people meant in the verse 33:33 are the Prophet, ‘Alī, Fātimah, Hassan, and Hussayn (a).

This term Ahl al-Bayt in traditions has been used for the rest of the Imāms from Imām ‘Alī bin al-Hussayn (Imām Sajjād) to the Imām of the age (aj).


(1) Tabarī, Jāmi‘ al-Bayān fī Tafsīr al-Quran, v.22, p.6-7; Qurtabī, Al-Jāma‘ li-Ahkām al-Quran, v.14, p.183; Hakim, Al-Mustadrak, v.2, p.416, tradition 3146; Bukhārī, Al-Tārīkh, v.2, p.69-70; Tirmidhī, Sunan, v.5, p.663

(2) Tabarī, Jāmi‘ al-Bayān fī Tafsīr al-Quran, v.22, p.5-6; Bukhārī, Al-Kunya, p.25-26; Ahmad bin Hanbal, Musnad, v.4, p.259; Haskānī, Shawāhid al-Tanzīl, v.2, p.11-15; SīūtiDar al-Manthūr, v.6, p.606-607

(3) Mar‘ashī, Sharh Ihqāq al-Haqq, v.2, p.502-547 and v.9, p.91-92

(4) The book Shinākh Nāmah Ahl al-Bayt by ‘Alī Rafī‘ī ‘Alāmrūdashtī, pages 301-308, was used in this article and for more information one can refer to it.


Question: What does Ahl al-Bayt mean?

Concise Answer: Ahl al-Bayt is a Quranic, Hadith, and theological term meaning the family of the Noble Prophet of Islam (s). This term, with this meaning has been used in the Quran in the verse of purity (33:33).

All Shia commentators of the Quran and many Sunni ones – by using evidence and numerous traditions from the Noble Prophet (s), Imām ‘Alī, Imām Hassan, Imām Hussayn, Imām Sajjād, and other Imāms, (a) as well as Umm Salmeh, ‘Ā’ishah, Abū Sa‘īd Khadrī, Ibn ‘Abbās, and other companions – strongly believe that the verse of purity was revealed about the companions of the kisā’: Prophet Muhammad (s), ‘Alī, Fātimah, Hassan, and Hussayn (a). They also believe that the term Ahl al-Bayt means them.

Likewise, in many traditions narrated through Shia and Sunni sources, this term has been used to mean the rest of the Imāms as well, from Imām ‘Alī bin al-Hussayn (Imām Sajjād) until the Imam of the age (aj).

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May Allah(swt) grant you success


Syed Haider