The Virtues of the Prophet’s Family

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The Majestic Quran tells us “Allah wants to remove all blemish from you, as you are the Prophet’s household, and to purify you” (Ahzab: 33).

Shaykh Muhyiuddin Ibn Arabi said that it is because the Prophet (peace be upon him) had realised the state of pure servanthood fully and completely in all its aspects that Allah in return granted to him and his family to be absolutely ‘purified’, conforming to what is prescribed in the verse above.

Everyone loves their children, wife, parents and relatives. This love for one’s family is a natural human instinct. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) too expressed a deep love for his beautiful family. All the collections of Hadith including the six authentic collections contain a chapter describing the virtues and the outstanding qualities of the members of the Prophet’s family (Manaqib). Sometimes he (peace be upon him) would describe their individual qualities, whilst on other occasions, he would stress the important role his family would play in preserving Islam.

Below are a few ahadith about how the Prophet himself expressed his love for his family:

Zaid ibn Arqam reports that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “I am leaving behind two weighty things, first of them is the book of Allah, which is the guidance and the light … and secondly, my family and I remind you about my family” (Muslim).

Abu Dharr said I heard the Prophet (peace be upon him) say, “The example of my family amongst you is like the Ark of Nuh, whoever boarded it succeeded and whoever remained behind is ruined” (Ahmad).

Barra’ reported I saw the Prophet (peace be upon him) carrying Hassan on his shoulder and saying “O Allah, I love him, so love him too” (Bukhari). On another occasion, He (peace be upon him) also asked Allah to love those people who love members of his family.

Abu Huraira said one day I went with the Prophet (peace be upon him) to Fathima’s house. He (peace be upon him) said: “Where is the boy (meaning Hassan)?” A little later Hassan came out running and the Prophet (peace be upon him) hugged him and said, “O Allah, I love him, so love him and anyone who loves him, O Allah love him” (Agreed upon).

Abdullah ibn Umar reported the Messenger (peace be upon him) said, “Hassan and Hussain are the leaders of the young people of paradise” (Tirmidhi).

The disciples were full of admiration for the family of the Prophet (peace be upon him). Once someone asked the Prophet (peace be upon him): “Who do you love the most? He (peace be upon him) replied Hassan and Hussain. He would ask Fathima, bring my sons to me, he would kiss them and smell them” (Tirmidhi). In another hadith, Ya’la ibn Murra reports that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Hussain is from me and I am from Hussain, whoever loves Hussain, Allah loves him” (Tirmidhi).

It’s also reported by Anas ibn Malik that both Hassan and Hussain looked very similar to the Messenger (peace be upon him) (Bukhari). Umm Salma was crying one day, she was asked why she was crying? She said, “I saw a dream, the Messenger (peace be upon him) had dust on his head and beard, so I asked what is the matter? He replied I have just witnessed the martyrdom of Hussain” (Tirmidhi). In another hadith, the Prophet (peace be upon him) was carrying Hussain on his shoulder and someone remarked what a wonderful mount you are riding and the Messenger (peace be upon him) replied: “he is a wonderful rider” (Tirmidhi).

Undoubtedly, the family of the Prophet (peace be upon him) enjoy a high status and level of respect from the Ahlus-Sunnah wa’l-Jama’ah, who honour the rights, which Allah has prescribed for the Ahlul-Bayt (the family of the Prophet).

There can be no problems to the degree that one loves the family of the Messenger of Allah, however, problems can arise in one’s belief concerning them. We believe that there is no deity except Allah and that our master Muhammad (peace be upon him) is the Messenger of Allah and that the Prophets are infallible and other than the Prophets like the family of the Messenger and the companions are not infallible, rather they are protected by Allah.

As long as your belief is sound concerning these issues then you should love the family of the Prophet with all your heart. The more that you love the family of the Messenger, the more you advance in ranks amongst the righteous since the love of the family of the Messenger is a sign of the love of the Messenger and love of the Messenger (peace be upon him) is a sign of the love one has for Allah.