Ahl al-Bayt

Ahl al-Bayt (أهل البيت‎, Persian: اهلِ بیت‎), also Āl al-Bayt or Ahlul Bayt, is a phrase meaning, literally, "People of the House" or "Family of the House". Within the Islamic tradition, the term refers to the family of the Islamic prophet Muhammad.In Shia Islam the Ahl al-Bayt are central to Islam and interpreters of the Quran and Sunnah. Shias believe they are successors of Muhammad and consist of Muhammad, Fatimah, Ali, Hasan, and Husayn (known collectively as the Ahl al-Kisa, "people of the mantle") and the rest of the Imams from The Fourteen Infallibles.

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Zoheir Ali Esmail, Shaykh Zoheir Ali Esmail has a Bsc in Accounting and Finance from the LSE in London, and an MA in Islamic Studies from Middlesex University. He studied Arabic at Damascus University and holds a PhD... Answered 1 day ago

Bismillah

Thank you for your question. Each person's reward is in accordance with the tests they face in relation to the gifts and abilities they have been given. As such people who are not born infallible will not be judged in the same way that the Infallibles (as) are. But at the same time, they are also not tested with the responsibilities of the Infallibles (as), nor are they rewarded in the same way. Infallibility is a knowledge that keeps a person away from sin and mistakes. It does not remove the free choice and therefore does not negate the applicability of reward for great actions. 

May you always be successful

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Sayyed Muhammad Husaini Ragheb, Sayyed Muhammad Husaini Ragheb has a BA in Law from Guilan University, Iran and has also undertaken Hawzah studies in Qom. He is a Cultural Affairs director of Ethics Group of Al-Mustafa Open... Answered 2 weeks ago

Sheikh Mufid (r.a) and Ibn Shahr Ashoub (r.a) have only recorded one son for Imam Reza(a.s) and he is Imam Muhammad al-Taqi al-Jawad (a.s) but some other historians have recorded five sons and a daughter for him.
As for Imam Jawad (a.s) the sons are Imam Ali al-Naqi al-Hadi(a.s) and Musa al-mubarqa' who is buried in Qom( Chehel Akhtaran) and he also had a daughter named Hakimah Khatoon who is buried in Samerra,Iraq.

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Sayyed Mohammad Al-Musawi, Sayyed Mohammad al-Musawi is originally from Iraq and heads up the World Ahlul Bayt Islamic League in London. Other than being involved in various humanitarian projects, he frequently responds to... Answered 1 month ago

The Prophet (SAWA) did not pray to Allah to keep Ahlul Bayt (AS) away from Rijs, but he prayed to Allah to keep the Rijs away from Ahlul Bayt (AS).

This is a misunderstanding in the minds of many who do not realize the difference between (A'nhom) عنهم , and (Minhom) منهم or error in the translation.

A'anhom: means to drive the bad away not to be near them.

Minhom : means to drive the bad from them.

Allah (SWT) never said Minhom, but said A'nhom.

انما يريد الله ليذهب عنكم الرجس أهل البيت ويطهركم تطهيرا  (33:33)

Ahlul Bayt (AS) are The Infallible Divine leaders who are completely purified by Allah (SWT) who stated in Quran that He wants to to keep the bad away from them because they have nothing from the bad at all.

Wassalam. 

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Zoheir Ali Esmail, Shaykh Zoheir Ali Esmail has a Bsc in Accounting and Finance from the LSE in London, and an MA in Islamic Studies from Middlesex University. He studied Arabic at Damascus University and holds a PhD... Answered 2 months ago

Bismillah

Thank you for your question. There was a group of people that were enemies of the Imams (as) in Kufa but generally speaking Kufa has been a stronghold of the Shia and that is why Imam Ali (as) chose it as his capital. There were Shia in Kufa that joined Imam Husayn (as) and others that were prevented through imprisonment. The hadith of Ahl al-Bayt (as) were also wide spread in Kufa during the lives of the later Imams and the Shii Kufan population was subject to oppression many times during the reigns of the various caliphs. So the premise for the question is not accurate as it is one sided.

May you always be successful.

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Sayyed Mohammad Al-Musawi, Sayyed Mohammad al-Musawi is originally from Iraq and heads up the World Ahlul Bayt Islamic League in London. Other than being involved in various humanitarian projects, he frequently responds to... Answer updated 2 months ago
  1. When we say that we follow Ahlul Bayt (AS), we mean the Infallible Ahlul Bayt who are Ali, Fatima, Hasan, Husain and the nine Infallible Imams who are the son and grand sons of Imam Husain (Ali Al-Sajjad and Mohammad Al-Baqir and Jafar Al-Sadiq and Musa Al-Kadhim, and Ali Al-Ridha, and Mohammad Al-Jawad and Ali Al-Hadi and Al-Hasan Al-Askari and Al-Mahdi (AS).
  2. There are millions of Sadat whom we respect because of our respect to their grand father, the Prophet ( SAWA), but none of them is Infallible, nor Imam but only the 12 Imams.
  3. We and all Muslims were been ordered by Allah ( SWT) through the Prophet ( SAWA) to keep following and obeying the Book of Allah (Quran) and the Progeny of the Prophet (Ahlul Bayt) who are the Infallible Imams (AS). The compulsory following is to The Infallible Imams but this following and obedience  is not for all the Sadat.
  4. Respecting all the descendants of Ahlul Bayt (AS) who are the Sadat is very good and it is a sign of love and respecting the Prophet and his Holy Progeny. Wasalam.

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Sayyed Mohammad Al-Musawi, Sayyed Mohammad al-Musawi is originally from Iraq and heads up the World Ahlul Bayt Islamic League in London. Other than being involved in various humanitarian projects, he frequently responds to... Answer updated 2 months ago

The main point is that you believe and feel grief for Imam Husain (AS). It is a condition for every believer to love the Prophet (SAWA) and his Holy Progeny Ahlul Bayt (AS) more than loving himself and his own family.

The way how to express this noble feeling of grief and sadness depends on you and your culture but it must be within the frame of Islamic rules

You were brought up in USA, so you may not be familiar with the Matam practiced by your brothers in faith who came from the Indian sub continent or other countries. You wrote that you felt wrong on seeing them. This feeling does not make you away from following Ahlul Bayt (AS) as far as you believe in Ahlul Bayt (AS) being the Most pious leaders of Islam after the Prophet Muhammad (SAWA) and you feel grief for their tragedies.

Islam as the religion for all human beings, gives all of them the choice to express their feelings according to their own different cultures and ways as far as it remains in the frame of Shariah.

Wassalam.

Amina Inloes, Amina Inloes is originally from the US and has a PhD in Islamic Studies from the University of Exeter on Shi'a hadith. She is the program leader for the MA Islamic Studies program at the... Answer updated 2 months ago

Yes, you can still be considered a true follower of Ahl al-Bayt if you do not take part in matam or public mourning ceremonies. These things are optional. The most important things are (a) inner belief (i.e. belief in the theology taught by Ahl al-Bayt as well as belief in their authority), and (b) following them in your outer actions to the best of your ability (acts of worship, how you treat others, how you live, etc).

Of course, as you are likely aware, one of the things that is mentioned in hadith is that the followers of Ahl al-Bayt feel happy at their times of happiness and sad in their times of sadness; that is, there is a sort of empathy or emotional link. Since you say you feel grief, this is already there; I am just mentioning it so it is not neglected.

I agree that sometimes people from more reserved cultures are uncomfortable with matam ceremonies. This is particularly the case if someone grew up with the tacit message that expressions of emotion are socially unacceptable, unmanly, weak, undignified, etc, or if someone was punished for them.

Sometimes people from a Sunni background are also uncomfortable at these gatherings (even if they come from emotionally expressive cultures).

However, even if you choose not to participate in these activities, it is good to acknowledge and respect that many other Shi'is do and this is the way they express their emotions and loyalty towards Ahl al-Bayt. That is, it is better simply to acknowledge that it is one's personal preference not to attend, rather than to try to make a blanket statement that it is wrong for others to do so. There is a strong spiritual component to these gatherings (although I could understand that this might not be felt if one is feeling shock instead), and they do function to forge a link between the individual and the teachings of Ahl al-Bayt that can come into play in other life circumstances.  

To some degree, you will miss out on a sense of community spirit, belonging, or shared experience by not participating in these activities, because they are so widespread, but this is a different issue. 

Also, this may or may not be of interest, but if you do look around at world religions, there are actually a lot of religions that have ritual or spiritual acts which involve a sort of emotional/intellectual abandon or self-harm. (For instance, speaking in tongues or nailing one's self to a cross) What makes these things "safe" ways of exploring or expressing one's spirituality is that they are controlled and there are unwritten rules about what is and is not acceptable, and when. For instance, someone walking down the street randomly doing matam would be seen as mentally unstable, but someone doing it in a ritual setting at the appropriate time would be seen as normal. Also this is similar for a some Sufi practices. This is more of a comparative religious studies perspective, but I just thought I'd put it out there.

Anyway, back to the main question, here are some hadith (which you may have already read!) about what constitutes a true follower of Ahl al-Bayt:
 
Imam al-Hasan (a.s.) said in answer to a man who said to him, ‘Verily I am one of your Shi’ah’, ‘O ‘Aabdallah, if you are truly obedient to us in our commands and prohibitions, then you are telling the truth. But if not, then do not add to your sins by falsely claiming such a dignified position that you are not worthy of. Do not say, ‘I am one of your Shi’ah’, but say rather, ‘I am one of your adherents and one of your lovers and an enemy to your enemies.’ You are [doing] good and aiming towards good.’[Tanbih al-Khawatir, v. 2, p. 106]

Imam al-Baqir (a.s.) said, ‘Our Shi’ah are none other than those who are consciously wary of their duty to Allah and obey Him. They are known solely for their humbleness, their humility, their returning promptly whatever is entrusted in their care and their Abundant remembrance of Allah.’[Tuhaf al-’Uqul, p. 295]

Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) said, ‘Verily the Shi’ah of Ali were those who restrained their stomachs and their sexual desires, who struggled and fought intensely, who worked hard for their Creator, who hoped for His reward and feared His punishment. If you have seen such people, then they are the very Shi’ah of Ja’afar.’[al-Kafi, v. 2, p. 233, no. 9]

Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) said, ‘Test our Shi’ah with regard to three things: the prayer times to see how well they observe them, their secrets to see how well they guard them from our enemies, and their wealth to see how they help out their fellow brothers with it.’[Bihar al-Anwar, v. 83, p. 22, no. 40]

Anyway, I hope you are able to find a way to sort out the unease you are feeling.

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Zoheir Ali Esmail, Shaykh Zoheir Ali Esmail has a Bsc in Accounting and Finance from the LSE in London, and an MA in Islamic Studies from Middlesex University. He studied Arabic at Damascus University and holds a PhD... Answered 2 months ago

Bismillāh 

Thank you for your question. There is no correct chain for this Khutbah and so its contents have to be affirmed through other traditions or rational proofs. There are differences in opinion among the scholars as to how much or what parts are acceptable and what are not, based on their understanding of the stations of the Infallibles (as).

May you always be successful 

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Sayyed Mohammad Al-Musawi, Sayyed Mohammad al-Musawi is originally from Iraq and heads up the World Ahlul Bayt Islamic League in London. Other than being involved in various humanitarian projects, he frequently responds to... Answered 2 months ago

It is authentic in both Sunni and Shia books that the Prophet Muhammad (SAWA) celebrated the birth of his grand children, Hasan, Husain and Zainab.

Celebrating the birth anniversary of the twelve Imams is highly recommended as it reminds us with the great teachings of Islam for which the whole life of the twelve Imams was dedicated and sacrificed.

Wassalam.

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Zoheir Ali Esmail, Shaykh Zoheir Ali Esmail has a Bsc in Accounting and Finance from the LSE in London, and an MA in Islamic Studies from Middlesex University. He studied Arabic at Damascus University and holds a PhD... Answered 2 months ago

Bismillah

Thank you for your question. The problem with many questions such as this is that they are not usually framed realistically. Is it really realistic for someone who does not believe in the religion of Islam to perform all of his or her actions according to its dictates? If that is not possible or unrealistic then this question is completely hypothetical. God will ultimately judge every person, but the value of being in the fold of Islam is such that in this hypothetical situation the Muslim will have a better end as the Prophet (saw) will intercede for the major sinners in his community, if they have the capacity to be interceded for.

May you always be successful 

May you always be successful.

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Sayyed Mohammad Al-Musawi, Sayyed Mohammad al-Musawi is originally from Iraq and heads up the World Ahlul Bayt Islamic League in London. Other than being involved in various humanitarian projects, he frequently responds to... Answered 3 months ago

Despite all the atrocities committed by the enemies of the Ahlul Bayt (AS) in
Karbala, Allah (SWT) has protected all the members of the family of
the Ahlul Bayt (AS) so that no one can harm their sanctity and
dignity.

This fact was clearly mentioned by Imam Husain (AS) in his last will
to his sister Lady Zainab (SA) when he said that Allah (SWT) will
definitely protect all of you. ان الله حافظكن 

The enemies looted whatever they could loot from the tents and even from
the children, but no one could touch any of the noble women from the
Ahlul Bayt (AS). The compulsory Hijab of all the noble women of the
Ahlul Bayt (AS) was always preserved intact.

Some books mention of the veil being snatched away from the noble
women of the Ahlul Bayt (AS). Even if it proves authentic, it does not
mean at all that it was from that garment which formed part of the
compulsory Hijab, but can mean the extra cloth over and above the
compulsory Hijab.

Allah (SWT) did not allow the enemies to be able to expose any noble
women from the Ahlul Bayt (AS) even for a moment without the
compulsory Hijab

Wassalaam.

Amina Inloes, Amina Inloes is originally from the US and has a PhD in Islamic Studies from the University of Exeter on Shi'a hadith. She is the program leader for the MA Islamic Studies program at the... Answered 3 months ago

There is no clear evidence that this occurred and, in any case, no name of a specific person is mentioned in historical sources. It is simply something that is customarily mentioned.

The text of the sermon by Zaynab (A) to Yazid refers to the captives being bare-faced (i.e. removing face veils), which may have been done as a sort of humiliation because in that time noblewomen would have customarily covered their faces whereas slave women would have been bare-faced. This exposure and portrayal, for instance, lead someone in the court to try to purchase one of the young female captives as a slave-companion although he was stopped from doing so. 

God knows best.