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  • Why do the Shi‘ah regard the sons of Imam Ali (A.S.)...  
  • 2015-04-29 9:7:41  
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  • Why do the Shi‘ah regard the sons of Imam Ali (A.S.) as the sons of the Messenger of Allah (S.A.W.)?
    By: Sayyid Rida' Husayni Nasab

    Reply: A study of the exegesis {tafsir}, history and hadith books will show that this idea is not accepted only by the Shi‘ah but by almost all Muslim researchers from all Islamic groups.

    Now, let us consider this issue by citing evidences from the Glorious Qur’an, hadiths and statements of renowned commetators {mufassirun}:
    In essence, the Holy Qur’an regards a person’s consanguineous children as his children. Also, it deems as his children (both male and female) those who are born from his children.
    In the Qur’an and the Sunnah, there are plenty of proofs substantiating this fact. Here are some of them:
    1. In the verse below, the Holy Qur’an considers Hadrat ‘Isa (Jesus) (‘a) among the children of Ibrahim al-Khalil (Abraham the Friend {of Allah}) (‘a) whereas ‘Isa, the child of Maryam (Mary) (‘a), can be traced back to Hadrat Ibrahim (‘a) through his mother:
    وَوَهَبْنَا لَهُ إِسْحَاقَ وَيَعْقُوبَ كُلاًّ هَدَيْنَا وَنُوحًا هَدَيْنَا مِن قَبْلُ وَمِن ذُرِّيَّتِهِ دَاوُودَ وَسُلَيْمَانَ وَأَيُّوبَ وَيُوسُفَ وَمُوسَى وَهَارُونَ وَكَذَلِكَ نَجْزِي الْمُحْسِنِينَ وَزَكَرِيَّا وَيَحْيَى وَعِيسَى
    “And We gave him (Abraham) Isaac and Jacob and guided each of them. And Noah We had guided before, and from his (Abraham’s) offspring, David and Solomon, and Job, Joseph, Moses and Aaron—thus do We reward the virtuous—and Zechariah, John and Jesus.”[63][204]
    Muslim scholars regard the stated verse as a clear proof that Imam al-Hasan and Imam al-Husayn (‘a) are children of the Messenger of Allah (S) as well as his offspring.
    Below is one of the instances:
    Jalal ad-Din as-Suyuti narrates:
    الحسن أنّ تزعم أنّك بلغني :فقال يعمر بن يحيى إلى الحجّاج أرسل تجده – وسلّم {وآله} عليه الله صلى – النّبي ذرّيّة من الحسين و تقرأ ألست :قال أجده. فلم آخره إلى أوّله من قرأته قد و الله كتاب في عيسى و يحيى و بلغ حتّى وَسُلَيمَنَ دَاوُودَ ذُرِّيَّتِهِ وَمِن :الأنعام سورة صدقت :قال أب له ليس و إبراهيم ذرّيّة من عيسى أليس :قال .بلى :قال

    One day, Hajjaj (ibn Yusuf) ordered that Yahya ibn Ya‘mur should be brought and when he saw him he said to him: “I have been told that you opine that al-Hasan and al-Husayn are the children and offspring of the Prophet (S) and you say that you have found this in the Book of Allah whereas I have read the Qur’an from the beginning to the end but I have not found such a thing.”

    Yahya asked: “Have you not read this verse in Surah al-An‘am: ‘and from his (Abraham’s) offspring, David and Solomon’ and continued up to, ‘and John and Jesus’?” He replied: “Yes, I have.”
    Yahya asked: “In this Qur’anic verse, has Jesus not been considered among the offspring of Abraham eventhough Abraham was not his father {and Jesus can be traced back to Abraham through his mother (Mary)}?” Hajjaj said: “You are correct.”[64][205]

    From the aggregate of the quoted verses and the words of Qur’an exegetes, it becomes obvious that not only the Shi‘ah but in fact all Muslim scholars regard Imam al-Hasan and Imam al-Husayn (‘a) as the children and offspring of the Messenger of Allah (S).
    2. One of the explicit verses of the Qur’an which testifies to the truthfulness of the said view is the verse of imprecation {ayah al-mubahilah} in Surah Al ‘Imran. Below is the verse along with the exegetes’ notes:
    فَمَنْ حَآجَّكَ فِيهِ مِن بَعْدِ مَا جَاءكَ مِنَ الْعِلْمِ فَقُلْ تَعَالَوْاْ نَدْعُ أَبْنَاءنَا وَأَبْنَاءكُمْ وَنِسَاءنَا وَنِسَاءكُمْ وَأَنفُسَنَا وأَنفُسَكُمْ ثُمَّ نَبْتَهِلْ فَنَجْعَل لَّعْنَةُ اللّهِ عَلَى الْكَاذِبِينَ
    “Should anyone argue with you concerning him, after the knowledge that has come to you, say, ‘Come! Let us call our sons and your sons, our women and your women, our selves and your selves, then let us pray earnestly and call down Allah’s curse upon the liars’.”[65][206]

    Exegetes say: The stated verse which is known as the verse of mubahilah tells about the debate of the Holy Prophet (S) with the chiefs of the Christians of Najran after their expression of obstinacy. By a Divine command, the Prophet went out along with ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib, Fatimah az-Zahra, and Imam al-Hasan and Imam al-Husayn (‘a) with the aim of imprecation.
    When the chiefs of the Christians noticed the behavior of the Prophet and the Ahl al-Bayt (‘a), fear struck in their hearts and they asked the Messenger of Allah (S) to reconsider his decision to imprecate and curse them. The Prophet (‘a) accepted their suggestion and at the end they agreed to forge a pact.

    Since both the Shi‘ah and Sunni scholars have consensus of opinion on the fact that on the day of mubahilah, the Commander of the Faithful (‘Ali) (‘a), Fatimah az-Zahra, and Imam al-Hasan and Imam al-Husayn (‘a) were with the Prophet (S), it becomes very clear that when the Mesenger of Allah (S) said “abna’ana” {our sons} he meant Imam al-Hasan and Imam al-Husayn (‘a). And as such, it becomes clear that in this verse al-Hasan and al-Husayn are considered the Holy Prophet’s (S) sons.

    It is necessary to note that after narrating many hadiths pertaining to the verse of mubahilah, exegetes testify to the validity of this view. Here are some examples:
    a. Jalal ad-Din as-Suyuti narrates on the authority of Hakim, Ibn Marudiyyah and Abu Na‘im from Jabir ibn ‘Abd Allah (al-Ansari):
    – وسلّم {وآله} عليه الله صلى – الله رسول :أنفسنا فاطمة :نساءنا و الحسين و الحسن :أبناءنا و عليّّ و
    ““Anfusana” {our selves} means the Messenger of Allah (S) and ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib, “abna’na” {our sons} means al-Hasan and al-Husayn, and “nisa’na” {our women} refers to Fatimah.”[66][207]
    b. In his exegesis {tafsir}, Fakhr ad-Din ar-Razi mentions the said verse and says:
    الحديث و التفسير أهل بين صحتها على? كالمتّفق الرواية هذه أنّ واعلم
    “Know that this tradition is an example of hadith on whose authenticity the mufassirun and muhaddithun have consensus of opinion.”[67][208]
    Then, he says:
    و الحسن أنّ على دالّة الآية هذه :الرّابعة المسألة وسلّم {وآله} عليه الله صلى – الله رسول إبنيّ كانا u الحسين إبنيّه يكون أن فوجب الحسين و الحسن فدعا أبناءه يدعوا أن وعد
    “The fourth issue: The said verse testifies to the fact that al-Hasan and al-Husayn (‘a) were sons of the Messenger of Allah (S) because when he was asked to call his “sons”, he called al-Hasan and al-Husayn (‘a).”[68][209]
    c. In his exegesis, Abu ‘Abd Allah al-Qurtubi states:
    أبناءا يسمّون البنات ابناء أنّ على? دليل {أبناءنا
    ““Abna’na” {our sons} (in the stated verse) testifies to the fact that the sons of one’s daughter are considered that one’s sons.”[69][210]

    3. The Messenger of Allah’s (S) words are a vivid proof that Imam al-Hasan and Imam al-Husayn (‘a) are sons of the Prophet (S).
    Here are two examples of his sayings:
    a. The Messenger of Allah (S) thus says concerning al-Hasan and al-Husayn (‘a):
    أحبّني فقد أحبّهما من إبناي هذان
    “These two are my sons. He who loves them loves me.”[70][211]
    b. Pointing to Imam al-Hasan and Imam al-Husayn (‘a), the Holy Prophet (S) also says:
    الدّنيا من ريحانتى هذين أبنيّ إنّ
    “Verily, these two sons of mine are my bunch of sweet basil in this world.”  

    Sayyid Rida' Husayni Nasab  

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