Thursday, April 19, 2007

Message for Friday - Respecting, loving and following the Prophet's family is incumbent upon all Muslims

G'd says in the Qur'an (42:23): Say! I do not ask any reward from you except that you show love towards my closest kin.

قَالُوا : يَا رَسُول اللَّه , مَنْ هَؤُلَاءِ الَّذِينَ نَوَدّهُمْ ؟ قَالَ : عَلِيّ وَفَاطِمَة وَأَبْنَاؤُهُمَا
The Prophet's (SAAS) companions asked, "Oh Messenger of G'd! Who are these people that we should show love towards?" The Prophet (SAAS) said, "`Ali, Fatimah and their two sons [Al-Hasan & Al-Husayn]."

There is a misconception that only the Shi`ah branch (Zaydi, Isma'ili & Ja'fari schools) within Islam shows honor and love for the Prophet Muhammad (SAAS) closest kin, those being `Ali, his cousin and son in law, Fatimah, his daughter, and his grandsons, Al-Hasan and Al-Husayn (May the blessings of G'd be upon them.) However, it is a shared belief, clearly articulated in the Qur'an, that all Muslims must love the Household of the Prophet (Ahl al-Bayt.)

من مات على حب آل محمد مات على السنة والجماعة
The Prophet (SAAS) stated, "Whoever dies loving the family of Muhammad is upon the Sunnah (normative pratice of Islam) and in the [correct] congregation."

This saying and belief is accepted by all Muslims of the eight schools of thought including the four Sunni schools.

يا أهل بيت رسول الله حبكم فرض من الله في القرآن أنزله
كفاكم من عظيم القدر أنكم من لم يصل عليكم لا صلاة له

Poem about the family of the Prophet (SAAS) by the great Sunni jurist and scholar, Imam Muhammad bin Idrees Ash-Shafi'i (rh):

O Household of the Messenger of G'd, loving you
Is a duty from G'd mentioned in the Qur'an that was revealed.
Sufficient for you that you are honored.
Whoever does not send blessings upon you, there is no accepted prayer for him.

In regards to different practices among Sunnis, Shi`is and Ibadis within Islam, it is not that one group loves the Prophet's family or is being more obedient than the other, which is sometimes simplified by those from without and from within. The differences come about in regards to which sources that convey the teachings of the Prophet's family that are viewed as more creditable. In this, there are differences of opinion.

And surely G'd knows best.

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