Family of the Prophet as source of Islamic knowledge
Fatwa No: 82782

Question

Why do Ahl-al-Sunnah mention only the Sahaaba (companions of the Prophet) and the pious predecessors, when talking about knowledge and learning Islam and almost never mention Ahl-al-Bait, the family of the Prophet (S.A.W.S)? What is the status of Ahl-al-Bait in the sight of Ahl-al-Sunnah and their relationship? Did Ahl-al-Sunnah take knowledge from Ahl-al-Bait or not? If, yes, where is it, what is it, where can we find its authentic sources to learn it and to defy the liar Shi'as who are claiming otherwise?

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

 

The source of Islamic knowledge is only the Quran and the Sunnah (Prophetic tradition) of the Prophet Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ). The Ahlul-Bayt (family of Prophet Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention )) have never been used as a source for Islamic teachings. Imaam Al-Bukhari and Muslim  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  them reported from ‘Ali  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him that the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) delivered a sermon saying:

"We have no book to read except the Book of Allaah and what is written in this paper which contains verdicts regarding (retaliation for) wounds, the ages of the camels [given as Zakat (obligatory charity) or as blood money] and the fact that Madeenah is a sanctuary in between Air mountain to so-and-so (mountain). So, whoever innovates in it a heresy or commits a sin or gives shelter in it, to such an innovator will incur the curse of Allaah, the angels and all the people, and none of his compulsory or optional good deeds of worship will be accepted. And whoever (i.e., a freed slave) takes as his master (i.e., befriends) other than his real masters will incur the same (curse). And the asylum granted by any Muslim is to be secured by all the other Muslims, and whoever betrays a Muslim in this respect will incur the same (curse)."

Once Abu Juhayfah  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him asked ‘Ali  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him "Did the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) reserve something for your family other than what was given to all Muslims?" He said, “By Allaah, we have nothing except the book of Allaah and this written paper from the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) then he opened the paper which contained verdicts regarding (retaliation for) wounds and the ages of the camels (to be paid as Zakah).

These narrations prove that ‘Ali  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him himself denied that they (the Ahlul-Bayt) had any special knowledge which is not known to others. What is known from ‘Ali, Al-Hasan, Al-Husayn and Faatimah, the daughter of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is that they were always keen on following the Quran and Sunnah and nothing else –  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  them all. There are many known good virtues of the Ahlul-Bayt the family of the Prophet Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ); one may find recorded them in the authentic books.

There is some disagreement among the scholars regarding the persons who are called Ahlul-Bayt. The preponderant opinion in the light of Quran and Sunnah is that Ahlul-Bayt means ‘Ali, Faatimah, Al-Hasan, Al-Husayn and the wives of the Prophet Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ).

Allaah Knows best.

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