Revelation of The Purification Verse

فَقالَ لأِبي : إِنَّ اللهَ قَد أَوحى إِلَيكُم يَقولُ : ﴿ … إِنَّمَا يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ لِيُذْهِبَ عَنكُمُ الرِّجْسَ أَهْلَ الْبَيْتِ وَيُطَهِّرَكُمْ تَطْهِيرًا ﴾

He thus said to my father, “Allah has revealed to you saying, ‘Allah only desires to keep away the uncleanness from you, O people of the House, and to purify you a thorough purifying.’”

After entering the cloak, Jibrael (AS) then delivers the most important message which represents the climax of the message and the ultimate purpose behind event of the cloak. Lady Fatima (AS) narrates that Jibrael (AS) delivers to her father the revelation of the Qur’anic verse instantaneously:

إِنَّمَا يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ لِيُذْهِبَ عَنكُمُ الرِّجْسَ أَهْلَ الْبَيْتِ وَيُطَهِّرَكُمْ تَطْهِيرًا.

“Allah only desires to keep away the uncleanness from you, O people of the House, and to purify you a thorough purifying.” (33:33)

The purpose of the Tradition of the Cloak is now obvious as the sun and the divine aim has been reached. The Purification verse (Ayat Al Tat-heer) has been revealed to be stamped in the Holy Qur’an till the end of time. Allah (SWT) has expressed the Irada (desire) and as we know, whenever Allah (SWT) desires something it immediately happens according to his will,

إنَّمَا أَمْرُهُ إِذَا أَرَادَ شَيْئًا أَنْ يَقُولَ لَهُ كُنْ فَيَكُونُ.

Verily, when He intends a thing, His Command is, “Be”, and It is!

Allah (SWT) has intended to purify the Prophet (SA) and his AhlulBayt – those who are under the cloak – from any impurity whatsoever, whether physically, spiritually, or otherwise. It is not just an attempt for purification which may or may not be complete. Rather, Allah (SWT) states that He desires “to purify you a thorough purification”. This purification as Allah (SWT) describes it as thorough and complete reaching 100% success.

What is exactly this purification from? What is that thing which Allah (SWT) wants to purify them such that He (SWT) is declaring this event in the Holy Qur’an till the end of time? As we logically concluded earlier, it must be purification from disobeying Allah (SWT) and committing any sins, mistakes, or falters. It must be protection from having any shortcoming, deficiency, or weakness.

As we explained earlier, the grand role and duties of the divine guides demands that they be protected from sinning or failing in their responsibilities. Otherwise, their position as role models and examples will be scathed and there will be no point in trusting them as divine representatives if they themselves make mistakes or exercise poor judgment, even if it is a minor falter or a once in their lifetimes.

What is the natural effect of thorough purification which Allah (SWT) has intended? It is none other than infallibility (‘Ismah)! In fact, the Purification verse has descended to introduce the idea of “infallibility” (‘Ismah) of the Prophet and his household.

Only a few people witnessed the Prophet (SA) casting his cloak over the purified AhlulBayt (AS), so in order to disseminate that news as broadly as possible among the people and make them aware of the special position of his progeny, the Prophet (SA) would pass by the house of Imam Ali (SA) for a period of nine months and he would call out: “Peace be upon you, O People of the House!” and then he would recite the: “purification verse.”

Whenever the AhlulBayt (AS) found it necessary to draw attention to their unique spiritual rank, they would proudly refer to this verse. This particular verse is one of the scriptural proofs for the inerrancy of the Household of the Prophet which points to their utter purity and unique character.

The Prophet (SA) himself has testified that, “The verse of purification was revealed concerning five people: myself, Ali, Hasan, Husain, and Fatima." (Sahih Muslim) According to the well-known exegesist Agha Mahdi Pooya, the word Innama (verily or only) in this verse signifies exclusive distinction.

To emphasize this exclusiveness, the second object of the verb yudh-hiba (keep off)-the phrase ankum (from you)-has been put before the first object rijs (uncleanness); and for further emphasis, the phrase Ahl ul Bayt has been mentioned to explain the pronoun a’nkum (from you). The grammatical structure of the whole clause indicates that this is a unique privilege or distinction granted to the Ahlul Bayt only, excluding all others.

Pooya further explains that the verb yuridu implies that the continuous will or intention of Allah is His creative will or intention, not legislative. To interpret the will as the legislative will as in verse 6 of Surat Al Maedah, “Surely Allah orders what He desires” distorts the whole fabric of the verse and renders meaningless the exclusive particle and the constructional arrangement. Even then it means that only the Ahlul Bayt exclusively achieved the standard.

This verse is also a preface to verses 77 to 79 of Surat Al Waqi’ah: "Verily this is an honourable (Karim) Qur’an, in a hidden (preserved) book, which no one can touch save the purified." The AhlulBayt (AS) had only been thoroughly purified by Allah because of their total submission to Allah's will and their state of being always in communion with Allah.

For a more detailed research on the analysis of the purification verse titled, “To Whom Does the Purification Verse Refer To?” you may refer to this link: