A look at hadith al-thaqalayn and who the Ahl al-Bayt (as) are according to hadith al-mubahala.
Bismillāhir Rahmānir Rahīm, As-salāmu ʿAlaykum wa rahmatullāhi wa barakātuh. Peace be upon you brothers and sisters.
Welcome back to the Muslim Convert channel! In today's lesson, we’re going to look at the most famous hadith of the Islamic tradition, namely hadith al-Thaqalayn. Hadith al-Thaqalayn was one of the last sermons of the Prophet (s) where he established what the sources of guidance would be for the Muslim community after him.
BODY OF TEXT
"I, Husayn ibn Sabrah and ‘Umar ibn Muslim went to see Zayd ibn Arqam. When we sat down with him, Husayn said to him, 'O Zayd, you have been greatly fortunate. You have seen the Messenger of Allah, heard his speech, fought with him in battles and have prayed behind him. Indeed, O Zayd, you have been enormously fortunate. Narrate to us what you have heard from the Messenger of Allah.'"Zayd said: 'One day the Messenger of Allah, addressed us near a pond called Khumm between Makkah and Madinah. He praised God and extolled Him and preached and reminded (us). Then he said, "Lo, O people, I am only a human being and I am about to respond to the messenger of my Lord [i.e. the call of death]. I am leaving behind two precious things (thaqalayn) among you. The first of the two is the Book of Allah. In it is guidance and light. So get hold of the Book of Allah and adhere to it." Then he urged and motivated (us) regarding the Book of Allah. Then he said, "And my Ahlul Bayt (family). I urge you to remember God regarding my Ahlul Bayt. I urge you to remember God regarding my Ahlul Bayt. I urge you to remember God regarding my Ahlul Bayt"'" .... (Sahih Muslim)
The hadith we just read is called hadith al-thaqalayn. Thaqalayn means the two weighty or precious things. The term weighty is meant to represent the sense of their importance in so far as guidance is concerned. These two weighty things in the hadith we just read were the Qur’an and the Ahl al-Bayt (as) of the Prophet Muhammad (s).
The Qur’an is important as it is the constitution of our salvation. It holds all the general principles of how to conduct our spiritual and worldly lives. The Ahl al-Bayt (as), as we have mentioned multiple times over various lessons, are the teachers of the Qur’an. Like the Messenger of Allah, they were the living, talking, breathing and walking Qur’an.
The Prophet was only human and could not have lived forever. Islam had to have continuing role models, at least during the time of the first few generations of Muslims, as those times were the formative years of Islam. Allah chose the Prophet’s progeny or Ahl al-Bayt (as) as his religious successors in guiding humankind to salvation in this world and the Hereafter.
The question here is, who are the Ahl al-Bayt (as), how do we know that they were who we say they are, namely Fatima, Imam Ali, Imam al-Hasan, Imam al-Husayn and his descendants (peace be upon them all)? There are plenty of sources that can help us in this regard. One important source is a hadith we call hadith al-mubahala.
Mubahala refers to an incident in history where the Prophet and his family and a group of Christians were to pray against each other to see whom God would favor. This ritual was meant to establish the truth of Islam. The following verse of the Qur’an provides us with the context of the hadith:
Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem
Should anyone argue with you concerning him, after the knowledge that has come to you, then say: ‘Come! Let us call our sons and your sons, our women and your women, our souls and your souls, then let us pray earnestly and call down Allah’s curse upon the liars’. (Chapter 3, verse 61 of the Holy Qur’an)
The following is part of the hadith:
When the Prophet (s) called the Christians for mubahala, they said:
'Let us return and think over it.' When they were alone, they asked al-'Aqib - and he was a man of good judgment among them: 'O 'Abd al-Masih! What is your opinion? , He said: ' By Allah! You are well-aware, O Christians, that Muhammad is a prophet sent by Allah, and that he has brought to you the decisive word about your Companion ('Isa). By Allah! Whenever a nation has entered into mubahala with a prophet, their elders have perished and their youngsters have died. And if you do it, we shall surely perish; but, if refuse, for the love of your religion and (want) to remain on what you have at present, then make peace with the man and go back to your towns." So they came to the Messenger of Allah; and he had come out in the morning carrying Husayn in his lap, holding the hand of Hasan, with Fatimah walking behind him and 'Ali was behind her; and he was saying: 'When I pray, you say "Amen" '. Then the Bishop of Najran said: 'O Christians! Surely I see the faces that if they ask Allah to remove a mountain from its place, He would surely remove it. Therefore, do not do imprecation, otherwise you will perish, and there will not remain any Christian on the face of the earth, upto the Day of Resurrection’."Then they said: 'O Abu'l-Qasim! We have decided that we should not enter into imprecation against you; and that we leave you on your religion and we remain on our religion.'
The hadith of mubahala shows that Fatima, Imam Ali, Imam al-Hasan and Imam al-Husayn (peace be upon them all) were the Ahl al-Bayt of their time. The sheer weight of their spiritual light, as demonstrated in this hadith, is consonant with the Prophetic command of the Ahl al-Bayt’s successorship, for in the end, who can surpass them? These were of course the Ahl al-Bayt (as) who were alive during that time.
Until Next Time, Thank you for watching. As-salāmu ʿAlaykum wa rahmatullāhi wa barakātuh
Two Weighty Things
What is hadith al-Mubahala
It refers to an incident in history where the Prophet and his family and a group of Christians were to pray against each other to see whom God would favor and thereby establish the truth of Islam.
What is Hadith al-Thaqalayn?
One of the last sermons of the Prophet where he designated the Qur’an and his Ahl al-Bayt (as) as his guiding successors after his death.
How many did the Ahl al-Bayt (as) number during the lifetime of the Prophet (s)?
Who were the five members of the Ahl al-Bayt (as) during the lifetime of the Prophet (s)?
The Prophet, Fatima, Imam Ali, Imam Hasan and Imam Husayn (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon them all)
What’s the main purpose of the Qur’an and Ahl al-Bayt (as)?
To guide mankind to salvation after the Prophet (s
Messenger of Allah
holy scripture of Islam
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