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Who are the Ahlul-Bayt (Blessed Household of Rasulullah Salallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) - Part 1 Love for the Ahlul-Bayt (household of Rasulullah Sallalahu Alaihi wa Sallam) has and shall always be an integral part of one's faith. It is through this love that one shall acquire the pleasure of Rasulullah Sallalahu Alaihi wa Sallam, and through its medium, the pleasure of Almighty Allah. Thus, from amongst the edicts issued during the caliphate of Hadrat Abu Bakr, one was: 'Protect (the rights of) Muhammad with regards to his household' Some deviant sectors however wish to mislead the masses into believing that it is only them that love the Ahlul-Bayt, and that the Sahaba Radhiyallahu Anhum, Tabieen, Mufassireen, Muhaditeen, Fuqaha, Sufiya and the general Muslim Ummah from the death of Rasulullah Sallalahu Alaihi wa Sallam failed in their obligation towards the Ahlul-Bayt i.e. they did not show them the love they were deserving off and did not afford them their due rights. The answer to this misconception depends upon first understanding what the phrase 'Ahlul-Bayt' (household members) means. Generally, if one were to inform that he is coming with his family, the host would naturally enquire as to the number and the nature of his family members, in order to make appropriate arrangements. Mere guessing could at times be detrimental, especially if the guest were to arrive with his extended family, viz. his parents, in-laws, brothers and sisters, etc. Even worse than this would be if the host now bars certain members of the guest's household from entering, merely on the basis that he does not recognize them to be from his guest's family. Will the guest not feel humiliated, and will he not demand that either his family be allowed in or else he too shall depart? So too, is the delicate matter of the Ahlul-Bayt. It is not for one and all to decide who should be included in this blessed household and who should be excluded. Rather it is the exclusive right of Rasulullah Sallalahu Alaihi wa Sallam to pinpoint his blessed household. Thus, one needs to turn to the Noble Quraan and the Blessed Sunnah for an explanation in this regard. If we were left to ourselves define who the Ahlul-Bayt are, there would be a mix-up, and that is exactly what we are unfortunately experiencing today in some quarters. Since the Ahlul-Bayt have been afforded great importance in Islam, it was of utmost necessity that clear indication be made regarding who they are? Without clear indication from the Noble Quraan and the authentic Sunnah, each party could easily chalk out his own Ahlul-Bayt, including and excluding members without any solid basis. Allah Ta’ala says, “Many follow mere assumption, whereas in the face of truth, mere assumption is of no avail.” (Surah An Najm; V:28) Jamiatul Ulama (KZN)