Dear Islamic brothers! Having devotion to the blessed things associated with the Beloved Rasool صَلَّى اللّٰەُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّمis also a way of showing affection for the Beloved Rasool صَلَّى اللّٰەُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم. Naturally, one gets into loving everything that is associated with the one for whom he has a devotional attachment. Those who have devotion to the Beloved Rasool صَلَّى اللّٰەُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم love and respect everything wholeheartedly that is associated with the Beloved Rasool صَلَّى اللّٰەُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم.
‘Ahl-e-Bayt Athaar’ رَضِىَ اللّٰەُ عَنْهُم(blessed family of the Holy Rasool صَلَّى اللّٰەُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم) are those great personages who have family connections with our Beloved Rasool صَلَّى اللّٰەُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّمand everything that is associated with him becomes worthy of being respected and honoured.
‘Having devotion to the blessed family and the blessed companions رَضِىَ اللّٰەُ عَنْهُمof the Beloved Rasool صَلَّى اللّٰەُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم’ and ‘considering respect and reverence for them compulsory’ are the necessary elements. Having devotion to them [in fact] is to have devotion to the Holy Prophet صَلَّى اللّٰەُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم.
One does not attain perfect Iman until he shows devotion to the Beloved Rasool صَلَّى اللّٰەُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم and Ahl-e-Bayt Athaar as it is stated, the Beloved Rasool صَلَّى اللّٰەُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم said, ‘No one can become a true believer until he loves me more than his life and my children are dearer to him than his children.’ (Shu’ab-ul-Iman, vol. 2, pp. 189, Hadees 1505, abridged)
Similarly, it is stated in the following blessed Quranic verse:
قُلْ لَّاۤ اَسْــٴَـلُكُمْ عَلَیْهِ اَجْرًا اِلَّا الْمَوَدَّةَ فِی الْقُرْبٰىؕ-
Say you (O Beloved), ‘I do not ask any recompense from you for this (propagation of religion), except (your) love for (my) close relatives (i.e. children, wives, etc.).’
[Kanz-ul-Iman (translation of Quran)] (Part 25, Surah Ash-Shura, Ayah 23)
Commenting on the above-mentioned blessed verse, Imam Muhammad Bin Ahmad Qurtubi رَحْمَةُ اللّٰەِ عَلَيْهsaid: Sayyiduna Sa’eed Bin Jubayr (رَحْمَةُ اللّٰەِ عَلَيْه) narrated, ‘Close relatives’ refers to the Aal-e-Pak [blessed family] of the Beloved Rasool صَلَّى اللّٰەُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم.’ (Qurtubi, part 25, Ash-Shura, Taht-al-Ayah: 23, vol. 8, pp. 16)
Remember! All offspring and the blessed wives of the Beloved Rasool صَلَّى اللّٰەُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم are also the part of Ahl-e-Bayt. Hakeem-ul-Ummat Mufti Ahmad Yar Khan Na’eemi رَحْمَةُ اللّٰەِ عَلَيْهsaid: ‘Ahl-e-Bayt’ means household. Ahl-e-Bayt implies the following few meanings:
1 Those upon whom taking Zakah is Haraam i.e., the descendants of Bani Hashim, ‘Abbas, ‘Ali, Ja’far, Aqeel and Haris.
2 Those who were born in the blessed house of the Beloved Rasool صَلَّى اللّٰەُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم i.e., his blessed children.
3 Those living in the blessed house of the Beloved Rasool صَلَّى اللّٰەُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم such as the blessed wives. (Mirat-ul-Manajih, vol. 8, pp. 450)
What does devotion to Ahl-e-Bayt requires us to do
Devotion to Ahl-e-Bayt to be propagated
When the Glorious Quran and the blessed Ahadees command us to have devotion to Ahl-e-Bayt رَضِىَ اللّٰەُ عَنْهُم, we should try to propagate it immensely. We should especially try to instil the love for these glorious personages in the hearts of our children. In this connection, the blessed Hadees also motivates about it. The Beloved Rasool صَلَّى اللّٰەُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم has stated: Educate your children about three good traits:
1 Devotion to your Prophet [صَلَّى اللّٰەُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم]
2 Devotion to his Ahl-e-Bayt [رَضِىَ اللّٰەُ عَنْهُم]
Quranic education. (Jami’ Sagheer, pp. 25, Hadees 311)
Children should be related the parables of Ahl-e-Bayt رَضِىَ اللّٰەُ عَنْهُم so that they [children] start having devotion to the blessed people of Ahl-e-Bayt رَضِىَ اللّٰەُ عَنْهُم from an early age. When the blessed days of their death anniversaries fall, Isal-e-Sawab [conveying reward] gathering should be arranged in the houses, mosques, etc., and make your children memorise the virtues of the blessed days.
Respect and reverence
While it is necessary to show respect and reverence to everything that is associated with the Beloved Rasool صَلَّى اللّٰەُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم, it is also necessary to show respect and reverence to Ahl-e-Baytرَضِىَ اللّٰەُ عَنْهُمand it is the requirement of one’s devotion. Books comprise many parables of our pious predecessors رَحِمَهُمُ اللّٰە related to the subject.
Once Sayyiduna ‘Abdullah Bin ‘Abbas رَضِىَ اللّٰەُ عَنْهُمَا, cousin of the Beloved Rasool صَلَّى اللّٰەُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم on father’s side, held stirrup of the horse of Sayyiduna Zayd Bin Saabit رَضِىَ اللّٰەُ عَنْهُ. Upon this, he رَضِىَ اللّٰەُ عَنْهُ said, ‘O the son of the uncle of the Beloved Rasool صَلَّى اللّٰەُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم! What is this? (i.e., why are you doing this?).’ Sayyiduna Ibn ‘Abbas رَضِىَ اللّٰەُ عَنْهُمَا said, ‘We have been taught to show respect to the scholars.’ To which, Sayyiduna Zayd Bin Saabit Ansari رَضِىَ اللّٰەُ عَنْهُ kissed the hand of Sayyiduna Ibn ‘Abbas رَضِىَ اللّٰەُ عَنْهُمَا and said, ‘We have also been taught to do so with the Ahl-e-Bayt Athaar of the Beloved Rasool صَلَّى اللّٰەُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم.’ (Tareekh Ibn ‘Asakir, vol. 19, pp. 326)
Islamic teachings to be followed
These blessed individuals are highly distinguished personages. Devotion and obedience to them and their blessed guidance are truly the sources of salvation. It is stated, the Beloved Rasool صَلَّى اللّٰەُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم has stated:
اَلَا اِنَّ مَثَلَ اَهْلِ بَيْتِی فِيكُمْ مَثَلُ سَفِينَةِ نُوحٍ، مَنْ رَكِبَهَا نَجَا، وَمَنْ تَخَلَّفَ عَنْهَا هَلَكَ
Beware! The example of my Ahl-e-Bayt amongst you is like the Ark of honourable Noah, the one who embarks it, attains salvation, and the one who stays behind from it is doomed.
(Fazaail-e-Sahabah li Imam Ahmad, part 2, vol. 1, pp. 785, Hadees 1402)
Commenting on the aforementioned blessed Hadees, Hakeem-ul-Ummat Mufti Ahmad Yar Khan Na’eemi رَحْمَةُ اللّٰەِ عَلَيْه states: The Ark of Noah was the source of salvation at the time of the flood of Noah; similarly, love for Ahl-e-Bayt رَضِىَ اللّٰەُ عَنْهُم and obedience to them are the sources of salvation until the Day of Judgement. Without obedience and submissiveness to them, hollow claims of love for them are of no use. Second blessed Hadees states, ‘My blessed companions are like stars; whoever you follow, you will be guided.’ It is as if the world is an ocean and this voyage needs both ‘sailing of the ship’ and ‘guidance of the stars’. اَلْحَمْدُلِلّٰە! Ahl-e-Sunnat are extraordinarily successful as the people of Ahl-e-Sunnat are associated with both ‘Ahl-e-Bayt’ and ‘the blessed companions رَضِىَ اللّٰەُ عَنْهُم.’ (Mirat-ul-Manajih, vol. 8, pp. 494)
No one is unaware of the sacrifices of Ahl-e-Bayt رَضِىَ اللّٰەُ عَنْهُم for the sake of Islam. Their great patience, courage, enthusiasm and steadfastness are matchless. They got their family martyred for Islam, spent many days without eating and drinking anything and suffered severe hardships. Those who have devotion to them should act upon the Islamic teachings. The way these great personalities showed infinite patience on every tough occasion and stage, the devotees of Ahl-e-Bayt should also show courage and patience instead of lamenting the difficulties. The way they made sacrifices for Islam, we should also keep ourselves prepared to render sacrifices for the sake of Islam. As the blessed people of Ahl-e-Bayt and the blessed companions رَضِىَ اللّٰەُ عَنْهُم used to have devotion to each other, we should also have devotion to these blessed personages.