The Immense Love and Value of Ahl al Bayt in Sunni Tradition, understanding the Exalted Status of Ahlul Bayti Muhammadi Sall Allahu ‘alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim
Al Hamdulillahi Rabbil ‘Aalameen was salaat wa salaamu ‘alaa Sayyidil Mursaleen, Habeebunaa wa Mawlanaa Muhammadin, Khaatimul Ambiyaai wal Mursaleen wa Imaamul Muttaqeen wa Qaaidil Ghurril Muhaajaleen, wa Shafeeil mudhnibeen Rasuli Rabbil ‘Aalameen wa ‘alaa Aalihi wa Ashaabihi wa Azwaajihi wa Dhurriyaatihi wa Awliyaaihi wa Mashaaikunaa ajma’een, wa Sallim tasliman kathiran kathiran birahmatika Yaa Arhamar Rahimeen.
Qaal Allahu ta ‘ala fi Kalaamihil Qadeem ba’da Authu billah min as shaytanir rajim Bismillahir Rahmanir
That is (the Bounty) whereof Allah gives Glad Tidings to His Servants who believe and do righteous deeds. Say: “No reward do I ask of you for this except the love of those near of kin.” And if any one earns any good, We shall give him an increase of good in respect thereof: for Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Ready to appreciate (service). Al-Qur’an, 42:23 (Ash-Shura [Council, Consultation])
Alhamduillahi Allahu ta ‘ala has indeed bestowed His bounties and His Mercy in that He Subhanahu has guided us to the straight path, the path of certitude and the path of Love of His Beloved Sall Allahu ‘alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim. Moreover Allahu ta ‘ala has allowed us to be among those who have found the ultimate satisfaction. We have been gathered here in this place at this time by invitation. Everyone here has been brought here, has been compelled to come here as a special ni’mah [favor] of Allahu ta ‘ala. We are here because of our special love for Sayyidinaa Rasuli Akram Sall Allahu ‘alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim and his beloved Family. A family whose love is a requirement of Iman.
About this ayatul karimah;
It is recorded in the Sunan of Saeed Ibn Mansoor from Saeed ibne Jubair that, the people whose love has been made obligatory in the Quranic ayat,
“Say I do not ask for any recompense for this except the love of my nearest relatives”; are the nearest of the Holy Prophet (Sall Allahu ‘alaihi wa Aalihi wa sallim).
Ibn Abi Hatim narrates from Ibne Abbas regarding the ayat of Quran: “…and whoever earns good,”Ibne Abbas said that it refers to those who love Aale Muhammad.” And it is narrated from Imam Hasan (Radhi Allahu ‘anhu) that he said, “earning of good is loving us Ahle Bayt (Ridhwaan Allahu alaihim ajma’een).”It is the honor achieved only through the love and attachment of the Ahle Bayt (Ridhwaan Allahu ta ‘ala alaihim ajma’een)
Throughout Islamic history the Ulama ul Haqq have taught that love and respect of Sayyidinaa Rasuli Akram Sall Allahu ‘alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim and Ahlul Bayt Ridhwaan Allahu ta ‘ala alaihim ajma’een is a requirement of Iman. Because of the anti-Ahlul Bayt propaganda of certain upstart modernist group, many Muslims young and old are confused as to the correct position one should take. There was never need to defend loving Rasulullah Sall Allahu ‘alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim or Ahlul Bayt Ridhwaan Allahu ta ‘ala alaihim ajma’een. There was never a need to defend respecting the beloved family or choosing allegiance with the descendants of the Best of Creation.
An Nabiy Sall Allahu alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim is instructing us, warning us that there is no khair [good] in any of our actions, there is no honor until and unless we love and attach ourselves to Ahlul Bayt and the ‘Ulema and Awliyya of Ahlul Bayt Ridhwaan Allahu ta ‘ala ‘alaihim ajma’een.
Proof of the soundness of the position of the Ulama ul Haqq that Love of Ahlul Bayt is a requirement of Iman is the hadith reported by Imam Jalaaludeen Suyuti in his ” Ihyaa al Mayyit bi Fadhaail Ahlul Bayt:Ahmed, Tirmidhi, Sihah, Nasai and Hakim have all narrated through Mataalab bin Rabi’ah that the Messenger of Allah (Sall Allahu ‘alaihi wa Aalihi wa sallim) said:
“By Allah! Faith cannot enter the heart of anyone if he does not love my nearest relatives for the sake of Allah and for the sake of the nearest relatives.”
This hadith alone should be enough to convince the believer of the necessity of loving and following Ahlul Bayt. In the west because of the influence of the modernist movements, the supports of Yazid, Muslims who do love and respect Ahlul Bayt are afraid to proclaim it. We are afraid to stand up for our Sayyid’s both literally and figuratively. Al Imam Sheikh Sayyid Mubaarik Ali Shah Jilani the son of Rasulullah Sall Allahu ‘alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim mentioned that the Muslims in the west do not know how to honor their scholars, their elders and seniors. He also mentioned that “Adaab comes from the heart”. Meaning thereby that when one loves someone with all sincerity there is a nature inclination of the heart towards loving and respecting them.
Maulana Jalaaludeen mentions another hadith;
Ahmad and Abu Yaala relate from Abu Saeed Khudri that the Prophet of Allah (Sall Allahu ‘alaihi wa Aalihi wa sallim) remarked:
“In the near future I would be summoned by Allah and I would respond. I leave amongst you two weighty things, The Book of Allah and my Progeny, my Ahle Bayt [Kitabullah wa Itratiy Ahli Bayti]. The All-Aware and the Kind Allah has informed me that these two will not separate till they reach me at the Haudh (Tank of Kauthar). So take care as to how you behave with them.
In another hadith Maulana Jalaaludeen Rahmatullahi ‘alaih mentions;
Tirmidhi, Husnah and Tibrani quote Ibne Abbas that the Messenger of Allah (Sall Allahu ‘alaihi wa Aalihi wa sallim.) said:
“Love Allah for His countless bounties upon you and love me because you love Allah, and love my Ahle Bayt because of your love me, further;
Tibrani also mentions the following tradition in his book Al-Awsat. Imam Hasan ibne ‘Ali (Karam Allahu wajhahu) reports from the Messenger of Allah (Sall Allahu ‘alaihi wa Aalihi wa sallim) that he said: “Strive hard to achieve love and affection of us Ahle Bayt, and considers it as obligatory for yourselves, always. The truth is that whoever meets Allah while he loves us will enter Paradise through my intercession. By the One who controls my life! No deed can benefit a servant if he does not recognize our rights.”
Khatib Baghdadi in this Tarikh (history) records a tradition of Sayyidinaa ‘Ali (Karam Allahu wajhahu) wherein he refers to the words of Holy Prophet (Sall Allahu ‘alaihi wa Aalihi wa sallim.):
“My intercession for my Ummah (people) is for those who love my Ahle Bayt (Ridhwaan Allahu ta ‘ala alaihim ajma’een).”
Love is such that if it is true it manifests itself outwardly. The lover becomes restless always seeking the face of the beloved. The lover seeks ways to please the beloved, looking for ways to make the way easier for the object of one’s affection. An Nabiyyul Kareem Sall Allahu ‘alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim alludes to this as he Sall Allahu ‘alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim says; “So take care as to how you behave with them”.
Our Obligations to Ahlul Bayt
We are obligated to manifest our belief with action. Al Imam Nu’man bin Thaabit al Kufa Abu Hanifah Radhi Allah ‘anhu took the position than Iman must be accompanied with action if the iman is true iman. He based his position on ayah in Suratul Asr wherein Allahu ta ‘ala says:
“Indeed mankind is doomed, except those who have iman and follow it up with righteous deeds”
What are the obligations on the believers with reference to Ahlul Bayt? In this too our beloved Habib Sall Allahu ‘alaihi wa Aalihi wa Sallim has not left us without clear instructions.
Again referring to the collection of 60 Ahadith on the Fadhaail of Ahlul Bayt collected by Maulaana Jalaaludeen Suyuti, [may Allahu ta 'ala allow us to repay this debt to him by remembering him in our dua's and sending thawaab on him from our daroods and salaam (salawaat)];
Daylami also mentions that Sayyidinaa ‘Ali (Karam Allahu wajhahu) quoted the Messenger of Allah as saying: “I will intercede for four kinds of people:
(1) Those who loved and respected my progeny.
(2) Those who fulfilled their needs and solved their problems.
(3) Those who helped them in difficulties and in times of needs.
(4) Those who maintained their respect and friendship by words and by heart.
Daylami narrates from Abu Saeed that the Holy Prophet (Sall Allahu ‘alaihi wa Aalihi wa sallim.) said:
“My Ahle Bayt and my helpers (Ansars) are my legatees [recipients of my legacy] and successors. So have regard for them and help them. Gather around them and attach yourselves to them. And keep aloof from those who disregard them.”
Ibn Asakir narrates from Sayyidinaa ‘Ali (Karam Allahu wajhahu) that he quoted the Prophet of Allah (Sall Allahu ‘alaihi wa Aalihi wa sallim.):
“I will recompense on the day of Qiyamat one who fulfills the rights of even one of my Ahle Bayt (Ridhwaan Allahu ta ‘ala alaihim ajma’een).”
Al-Hakim in his history and Daylami has also related from Abu Saeed that the Holy Prophet (Sall Allahu ‘alaihi wa Aalihi wa sallim.) said: “Allah will protect the life and the faith of those who regard three things and Allah will not help those who disregard three things (that is he will be in loss in this life as well as the hereafter):
(1) Respect for Islam.
(2) Respect for Prophet of Islam (Sall Allahu ‘alaihi wa Aalihi wa sallim).
(3) And respect for the household of Prophet (Sall Allahu ‘alaihi wa Aalihi wa sallim) i.e. Ahlul Bayt (Ridhwaan Allahu ta ‘ala alaihim ajma’een)
According to Tibrani, Abu Dhaar (Radhi Allah anhu) has quoted the Messenger of Allah (Sall Allahu ‘alaihi wa Aalihi wa sallim) thus:
“My Ahle Bayt (Ridhwaan Allahu ta ‘ala alaihim ajma’een) among you is like the Ark of Nuh (alaihi salaam) among the people of Nuh. Those who board it are saved and those who keep aloof from it are destroyed.” And my Ahle Bayt (Ridhwaan Allahu ta ‘ala alaihim ajma’een) are “like the door of repentance of the Bani Israel” (whosoever entered it was saved).”
Al-Hakim has recorded a tradition of the Holy Prophet through Ibne Abbas. The Prophet (Sall Allahu ‘alaihi wa Aalihi wa sallim) remarked:
“The stars are security for the people of the earth against drowning (when at sea) and Ahle Bayt are a security to the people of the earth against discord. And if any tribe or group opposes my Ahlul Bayt it will itself become fraught with discord and become a party to Iblis.”