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The verse of purification

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The verse of purification

The verse of purification (Arabic:آیه تطهیر ) is verse thirty three of al-Ahzab sura in Qur'an. This verse has special importance for Shiite Muslims due to giving information about Ahl al-Bayt of Muhammad. Shiite reportedly believe it to designate the "People of the House" as being Ismah, infallibility. However, sunnis reject this. Some verses refer to Muhammad's wives.

The Context of the verse

وَقَرْ‌نَ فِي بُيُوتِكُنَّ وَلَا تَبَرَّ‌جْنَ تَبَرُّ‌جَ الْجَاهِلِيَّةِ الْأُولَىٰ ۖ وَأَقِمْنَ الصَّلَاةَ وَآتِينَ الزَّكَاةَ وَأَطِعْنَ اللَّـهَ وَرَ‌سُولَهُ ۚ إِنَّمَا يُرِ‌يدُ اللَّـهُ لِيُذْهِبَ عَنكُمُ الرِّ‌جْسَ أَهْلَ الْبَيْتِ وَيُطَهِّرَ‌كُمْ تَطْهِيرً‌ا

"And stay quietly in your houses, and make not a dazzling display, like that of the former Times of Ignorance; and establish regular Prayer, and give regular Charity; and obey Allah and His Messenger. And Allah only wishes to remove all abomination from you, ye members of the Family, and to make you pure and spotless."[1]

Academic view

The previous verses include instructions to the wives of Muhammad, and there the verbs and pronouns are in the feminine plural. However, in this verse, the pronouns are in the masculine plural. Therefore, it is no longer a discussion of the prophet’s wives, or of them alone. Thus, the expression Ahl al-bayt can only mean family of Muhammad. The privilege then refers to those nearest to him. There is a story narrated in many traditions according to which Muhammad sheltered under his cloak, in varying circumstances including the Mubahala, his grandchildren Hasan ibn Ali and Husayn ibn Ali, his daughter Fatimah and his son-in-law Ali; and therefore it is these five who are given the title Ahl al-Kisa or people of the mantle. Some have attempted to add Muhammad's wives to the list; however, the number of the privileged is limited to these five.[2]

Shia view

Surah Al-Ahzaab, Full Ayah 33:

"Stay in your houses and do not display your finery with the display of the former [days of] ignorance. Maintain the prayer and pay the zakat and obey Allah and His Apostle. Verily, Allah has decreed to remove fault from you, O' Ahlul Bayt, and sanctify you in a perfect way."

Each Ayah is an individual sign of Allah: "Ayah or Aayah is the Arabic word for evidence or sign:

"These are the Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, revelations, etc.) of Allah, which We recite to you (O Muhammad) with truth. Then in which speech after Allah and His Ayat will they believe?" (Surah Al-Jathiya 45:6)

Secondly, this Ayah uses the words Ankum (from you) and Yutahhirakum (to purify you), which are both in the masculine plural form. Though it is known that in Arabic Masculine is unisex, there is a problem saying that since the fact that the previous sentence in reference to the wives used only feminine verbs and pronouns, while this sentences uses masculine. The feminine for the above would be Ankunna and Yutahhirakunna. The sudden change in grammatical gender reference means that it is not about the wives. Similar use of switching subjects after Ayahs are found all throughout the Quran. A great example of this is Surah Haqqah, which does so in nearly every Ayah.

Sahih Muslim, one of the three most authentic collections in the Sunnah

Sahih Muslim #31:5920-2: "Hussain Ibn Sabrah asked Zaid Ibn Arqam, "Who are the members of His household? Aren't His wives part of the members of his family?" Thereupon Zaid said, "His wives are members of his family [in a general sense], but (Islamically), the members of his family are those for whom acceptance of zakat is forbidden." Hussain asked, "Who are they?". Upon which Zaid said, "Ali and the offspring of Ali, Aqil and the offspring of Aqil, the offspring of Jaffer, and the offspring of Abbas." Hussain said "These are those for whom the acceptance of zakat is forbidden?" Zaid replied, "Yes."

According to Sahih Muslim, Zaid then expanded on this hadith and stated this: Hussain Then asked: "Aren't the wives (Of the Prophet) included amongst the members of the household?" He said, "No, by Allah, a woman lives with a man [as his wife] for a certain period; he then divorces her, and she goes back to her parents and her people. The members of his household include his own self, and his kith, and kin, for whom the acceptance of zakat is prohibited."

- Sahih Muslim #31:5923

Also, the great majority of the hadiths quoted by al-Tabari in his Tafsir describes Ahl al-Bayt as referring to Muhammad, Fatima, Ali, Hasan, and Husayn.

See also

Hadith of the Cloak

Notes

  1. ^ Quran (33:33)
  2. ^ "Fāṭima." Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition. Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, W.P. Heinrichs. Brill Online, 2014. Reference. 08 April 2014

References

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