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Ahl al-Bayt

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Ahl al-Bayṫ (Arabic: أهل البيت‎, Turkish: Ehl-i Beyt) is a phrase meaning, literally, "People of the House" or "Family of the House". Within the Islamic tradition, the term refers to the family of the Islamic prophet Muhammad.[1]

In Shia Islam and Alevism, the Ahl al-Bayt are central to Islam and interpreters of the Quran and sunnah. Shias believe they are successors of Muhammad and consist of Muhammad, Fatimah, Ali, Hasan and Husayn (known collectively as the Ahl al-Kisa, "people of the mantle") and the Imams. There are differing opinions on the scope and importance of Ahl al-Bayt.

In Sunni Islam, according to the Islamic Traditions Muhammad's household refers to Muhammad himself; his wives; his daughter Fatimah; his cousin and son-in-law Ali; and their two children, Hasan ibn Ali and Husayn ibn Ali and all Muhammad's descendants and sometimes the descendants of his paternal uncles, Abu Talib and al-‘Abbas.[1] Some Sunnis consider only the family up until Hasan ibn Ali and Husayn ibn Ali to be members of the Ahl al-Bayt. In Sunni and Shia thought, every Muslim has the obligation to love [clarification needed] the Ahl al-Bayt.[citation needed]


The term Ahl signifies the members of a household of a man, including his fellow tribesmen, kin, relatives, wife or wives, children and all those who share a family background, religion, housing, city and country with him.[citation needed]

Bayt refers to habitation and dwelling, whether tented or built. It can also be roughly translated as "household". The Ahl-Al-Bayt of a person refers to his family members and all those who live in his house. Ahlul Bayt is the polite form of addressing the members and wife of the family.[2]

In the Qur'an

The Qur'an uses the term Ahl al-Bayt twice as a term of respect for wives.[3] The first instance refers to Muhammad's wives,[Quran 33:33] and the second refers to Abraham's wife Sara.[Quran 11:73]

According to some interpretations, the Qur'an also implicitly refers to Ahl al-Bayt in 42:23 using the term al-qurbā.[4][5]


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