The Hadeeth of the Itraah [The Household]
of the Prophet
–sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam–
Silsilah Ahadeeth As-Saheehah
Muhaddith, Shaykh, Allamaa’
Muhammad Nasir uddeen al-Albaani
Abbas Abu Yahya
From Jabir bin Abdullaah who said the Messenger of Allaah –sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam– said:
يا أيها الناس ! إني قد تركت فيكم ما إن أخذتم به لن تضلوا ، كتاب الله و
عترتي أهل بيتي
‘O people indeed I have left amongst you that, which if you hold on to it you will never go astray; the Book of Allaah, and [Itraati] the people of my Household.’
Shaykh Albaani said:
‘Collected by Tirmidhi and Tabrani from Zayd bin al-Hasan al-Anmaati from Jafar from his father from Jabir bin Abdullah who said:
‘I saw the Messenger of Allaah –sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam– during his Hajj on the day of Arafah, while he was giving a Khutbah upon his she-Camel -called al-Qasswa-, and I heard him say: ‘O people indeed I have left amongst you that, if you hold on to it you will never go astray; the Book of Allaah, and [Itraati] the people of my Household.’
Tirmidhi said : ‘This Hadeeth is Hasan Ghareeb from this chain, and Saeed bin Sulayman narrated it from Zayd bin al-Hasan and so did others from the people of knowledge.’
I (Albaani) say: Ibn Abi Hatim said: ‘He is Munkar al-Hadeeth’, and Ibn Hibban mentioned him in ‘ath-Thiqaat’ and al-Hafidh said: ‘He is Da’eef.’
I (Albaani) say: However the Hadeeth is Saheeh, indeed it has supporting evidence from the Hadeeth of Zaid bin Arqaam who said:
قام رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يوما فينا خطيبا بماء يدعى ( خما ) بين مكة و المدينة ، فحمد الله ، و أثنى عليه ، و وعظ و ذكر ، ثم قال : أما بعد ، ألا أيها الناس ، فإنما أنا بشر ، يوشك أن يأتي رسول ربي فأجيب ، و أنا تارك فيكم ثقلين ، أولهما كتاب الله ، فيه الهدى و النور ( من استمسك به و أخذ به كان على الهدى ، و من أخطأه ضل ) ، فخذوا بكتاب الله ، و استمسكوا به – فحث على كتاب الله و رغب فيه ، ثم قال : – و أهل بيتي ، أذكركم الله في أهل بيتي ، أذكركم الله في أهل بيتي ، أذكركم الله في أهل بيتي
‘The Messenger of Allaah –sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam– stood amongst us one day to give a Khutbah at a watering place called ‘Khumma’ between Makkah and Madina, he praised Allaah and glorified Him, he admonished and reminded us, then he said:
‘To proceed, O people, indeed I am a human being, the messenger (angel of death) of my Lord is about to come to me so that I may respond. I am leaving two weighty valuable things amongst you, the first of which is the Book of Allaah, in it is guidance and light [whoever adheres to it and takes to it then he is upon guidance, and whoever errs becomes astray]. So take the Book of Allaah, and adhere to it – so the Prophet encouraged with the Book of Allaah and awakened the desire for it. Then he said: – and the people of my household, I remind you of my household for the sake of Allaah, I remind you of my household for the sake of Allaah, I remind you of my household for the sake of Allaah.’
Collected by Muslim, Tahawi in ‘Mushkil al-Athar’, Ahmad, Ibn Abi Aasim in ‘as-Sunnah’ and Tabrani from Yazeed bin Hayyaan at-Tameemee from him.
It was also collected by Ahmad, Tabrani and Tahawi, collected from the chain of Ali bin Rabeea who said:
‘I met Zayd bin Arqam while he was about to enter to visit al-Mukhtar or exiting after having visited him, I said to him, did you hear the Messenger of Allaah –sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam– saying:
إني تارك فيكم الثقلين ( كتاب الله و عترتي ) ؟
‘Indeed I am leaving behind amongst you two weighty valuable things [the Book of Allaah and my Itraati (my family)]?’
He said: ‘Yes.’
Its chain is authentic, its narrators are the narrators of Saheeh al-Bukhari.
This narration has many other chains from Tabrani and some of them are from Hakim, he and Dhahabi authenticated some of them.
There is another supporting narration from Ateeya al-Awfee from Abu Saeed al-Khudri from the Prophet:
( إنى أوشك أن أدعى فأجيب ، و ) إني تركت
فيكم ما إن أخذتم به لن تضلوا بعدي ، الثقلين ، أحدهما أكبر من الآخر ، كتاب الله حبل ممدود من السماء إلى الأرض ، و عترتي أهل بيتي ، ألا و إنهما لن يتفرقا حتى يردا علي الحوض
‘[I may soon be called unto my Lord and respond (He will cause me to die, I am soon going to leave you)] indeed I have left behind for you that which if you adhere to it you will never go astray after me, two weighty valuable things, one is greater than the other; the Book of Allaah which is a rope suspended from the heavens to the earth, and Itraati (my family) my household. Indeed they will not separate from each other until the Lake (al-Hawd in Paradise) is presented to me.’
Collected by Ahmad, Ibn Abi Aasim, Tabrani and Daylami and it has a chain which is Hasan with its supporting narrations.
It has other supporting narrations from the Hadeeth of Abu Hurairah collected by Daraqutni, Hakim and by al-Khateeb in ‘al-Faqih wal-Mutafaqih.’
Also by Ibn Abbas collected by Hakim and authenticated by him and Dhahabi agreed with him.
Also by Amr bin Awf collected by Ibn Abdul Barr in ‘Jamia Bayaan al-Ilm’, and even though individually these narrations are not free from weaknesses, except that some of them strengthen others, and the best of them is the Hadeeth of Ibn Abbas.
Then I found a strong supporting evidence for this Hadeeth from the Hadeeth of Ali from the Prophet.
Tahawi collected it in ‘Mushkil al-Athar’ from the chain of Abi Amir al-Aqdi who said that Yazeed bin Katheer narrated to us from Muhammad bin Umar bin Ali from his father from Ali from the Prophet, with the wording:
… كتاب الله بأيديكم ، و أهل بيتي
‘……the Book of Allaah in your hands, and the people of my household.’
Its narrators are Thiqaat (trustworthy) other than Yazeed bin Katheer, I do not know who he is, I have a strong suspicion that it has been misprinted by the printer or one of the transcribers. And Allaah knows best.
Then it came to my mind that perhaps the name was the wrong way round and that what is correct is Katheer bin Zayd, so I confirmed this by returning to the books of narrators, and I found them mentioning that he was from the teachers of Amir al-Aqdi, and from the narrators of Muhammad bin Umar bin Ali, so praise be to Allaah for His success.
My certainty increased when I saw it correctly collected by Ibn Abi Aasim.
There is another supporting narration, narrated by Shareek from ar-Rakkain bin ar-Rabee from al Qasim bin Hassan from Zayd bin Thaabit from the Prophet which was collected by Ahmad, Ibn Abi Aasim and Tabrani in ‘al-Kabeer’ this Isnad is Hasan has supporting narrations and following up narrations, al-Haythami said in ‘al-Mujamma’:
‘Tabrani in ‘al-Kabeer’ and his narrators are trustworthy.’
And he said in another place: ‘narrated by Ahmad, and its Isnad is good.’
A long time after having researched this hadeeth, it had been destined for me to migrate from Damascus to Amman, then to travel on from there to the Arab Emirates, during the early period of 1402 A.H., and I met in ‘Qatar’ some good teachers and professors. One of them gifted me with a book of his which had been published, which claimed that this hadeeth was weak. When I read the book it became clear to me that its author was someone new to this subject [Science of Hadeeth], and this is from two angles from what I had mentioned to him:
The first: that he limited his research to some of the available printed sources, and that is why he was extremely inadequate and insufficient in researching the matter of this hadeeth, and he missed out on many chains and Asaneed which in themself are Saheeh or Hasan let alone having supporting narrations and following chains, as is clear for everyone who compares his research with what I have researched here.
Secondly: he did not turn his attention to the statements of those scholars who authenticated the Hadeeth, nor to their principle which is known in the ‘Science of Hadeeth’ that a weak Hadeeth can be strengthened due to many chains, so he fell into this disgraceful mistake of declaring an authentic Hadeeth to be weak.
Before I had met this person and had a look at his thesis, it reached me that one of the professors in Kuwait had declared this Hadeeth to be Da’eef (weak). I confirmed this when I received a letter from one of the brothers over there. He deemed to set right and correct me, when I had presented this Hadeeth in ‘Saheeh al-Jamia as-Sagheer’, because the previously mentioned professor had declared it to be weak, and this person was shocked that I had authenticated it!
This previously mentioned brother hoped that I would reinvestigate the research of this Hadeeth, rather I did that as a precaution, and so that he may find in that research which would indicate to the mistake of the professor.
The mistake of this brother was being content and his reliance upon this professor and not paying attention to the difference between one who is active in research of this knowledge, and is skilled at it. This negligence has affected many people who follow everyone who writes in this subject, and they are not firmly grounded in it. Allaah’s aid is sought.
Know O noble reader, that it is well known that the Hadeeth which the Shia’ use and are dedicated to are many, so much so that some of Ahl-ul-Sunnah presume that the Shia’ are correct in what they do, but they are all mistaken regarding this. Its clarification is from two angles:
Firstly: that the intent of the Hadeeth in the saying of the Messenger -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam-: ‘Itraati’ is more than what the Shia’ intend, and the Ahl-ul-Sunnah do not reject it, rather they adhere to it, which is none other than that the al-Itraah mentioned in the Hadeeth are the Ahl-ul-Bait (Household) of the Prophet -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam-, and that has been clarified in some of the different narrations of the Hadeeth, like the Hadeeth of this chapter: ‘Itraati Ahl-ul-Baiti’ (my family my household). The people of his household are fundamentally his -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- wives and amongst them was as-Siddeeqa Aeysha -may Allaah be pleased with all of them- as is clear in the statement of Allaah Ta’ala in Soorah al-Ahzaab:
إِنَّمَا يُرِيدُ اللهُ لِيُذْهِبَ عَنكُمُ الرِّجْسَ أَهْلَ الْبَيْتِ وَيُطَهِّرَكُمْ تَطْهِيرًا
<< Allaah wishes only to remove ar-Rijs (evil deeds and sins, etc.) from you, O members of the family (of the Prophet), and to purify you with a thorough purification. >> [Ahzab: 33] due to the proof of the Ayaah before it and after it
يَا نِسَاء النَّبِيِّ لَسْتُنَّ كَأَحَدٍ مِّنَ النِّسَاء إِنِ اتَّقَيْتُنَّ فَلا تَخْضَعْنَ بِالْقَوْلِ فَيَطْمَعَ الَّذِي فِي قَلْبِهِ مَرَضٌ وَقُلْنَ قَوْلا مَّعْرُوفًا . وَقَرْنَ فِي بُيُوتِكُنَّ وَلا تَبَرَّجْنَ تَبَرُّجَ الْجَاهِلِيَّةِ الأُولَى وَأَقِمْنَ الصَّلاةَ وَآتِينَ الزَّكَاةَ وَأَطِعْنَ اللهَ وَرَسُولَهُ إِنَّمَا يُرِيدُ اللهُ لِيُذْهِبَ عَنكُمُ الرِّجْسَ أَهْلَ الْبَيْتِ وَيُطَهِّرَكُمْ تَطْهِيرًا . وَاذْكُرْنَ مَا يُتْلَى فِي بُيُوتِكُنَّ مِنْ آيَاتِ اللهِ وَالْحِكْمَةِ إِنَّ اللهَ كَانَ لَطِيفًا خَبِيرًا
<< O wives of the Prophet! You are not like any other women. If you keep your duty (to Allaah), then be not soft in speech, lest he in whose heart is a disease (of hypocrisy, or evil desire for adultery, etc.) should be moved with desire, but speak in an honourable manner. And stay in your houses, and do not display yourselves like that of the times of ignorance, and perform as-Salat (IqamatasSalat), and give Zakat and obey Allaah and His Messenger. Allaah wishes only to remove ar-Rijs (evil deeds and sins, etc.) from you, O members of the family (of the Prophet), and to purify you with a thorough purification.>>[Ahzab: 32-33]
<< And remember (O you the members of the Prophet’s family, the Graces of your Lord), that which is recited in your houses of the Verses of Allaah and al-Hikmah (i.e. Prophet’s Sunnah). Verily, Allaah is Ever Most Courteous, Well Acquainted with all things.>> [Ahzab: 34]
As for the Shia specifying that the Ahl-ul-Bait mentioned in the Ayaah are only Ali, Fatima, al-Hasan and al-Hussain -Radhi Allaahu anhum- without including the Prophet’s -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- wives then this is a interpolation/distortion of the Ayaat of Allaah in triumph for their whims and desires, as has been explained.
As for the Hadeeth of al-Kasayi and those which have the same meaning then the most that can be said about it, is expanding the use of the proof of the Ayaah entering Ali and his family into this, as was explained by al-Hafidh Ibn Katheer and others.
Likewise, regarding the Hadeeth of ‘al-Itraah’, the Prophet -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- certainly explained with the meaning that the intent of the ‘people of his -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- household’ includes his wives, Ali and his family. This is why at-Turbashti said in ‘al-Murqat’ (5/600):
‘The Itraah of a man: is the people of his household and the closest group to him, as for them using the word ‘al-Itraah’ to mean ‘many’, then the Messenger of Allaah -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- explained it with his saying: ‘People of my household’ so that it would be known that the Prophet intended by it his closest relations, his progeny and his wives.’
The other angle is: that the meaning of ‘Ahl-ul Bait’ is that they are the righteous scholars from amongst them and adhering to the Book and the Sunnah.
Imam Abu Jafar at-Tahawi -Rahimullaah- said: ‘al-Itraah’ are the people of the household of the Prophet -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- those who are upon his Deen and adhering to his command.’
Shaykh Ali al-Qari mentioned something similar to this, previously indicated to, then it became clear that the reasons for the mention of Ahl-ul-Bait is from the benefit of his saying:
‘Indeed the people of a household, are generally those who know the man of the house the best and about his circumstances. So the meaning in the hadeeth is the people of knowledge from amongst them, those who were exposed to his life and follow his path, those who know about his commands and his wisdom, in this way it is correct and befitting that they resemble and compare them to the Book of Allaah Subhanahu, as Allaah says: << and teaching them the Book and al-Hikmah (as-Sunnah) >>’
I say: and similarly is the saying of Allaah Ta’ala in addressing the wives of the Prophet -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- in the preceding Ayaat of purification.
<< And remember (O you the members of the Prophet’s family, the Graces of your Lord), that which is recited in your houses of the Verses of Allaah and al-Hikmah (i.e. Prophet’s Sunnah). >> [Ahzab: 34]
So it becomes clear that the intent with ‘Ahl-ul-Bait’ are those from amongst them who adhere to his -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- Sunnah, so that is the specific aim of the Hadeeth, this is why one of the ‘two weighty valuable things’ in the Hadeeth of Zayed bin Arqam was resembled to the first ‘weighty valuable thing’ which is the Qur’aan, and this is what is indicated to in the saying of Ibn Atheer in the book ‘an-Neehaaya’:
‘He labeled them ‘two weighty valuable things’ because holding on to them (i.e. The Book and the Sunnah) and acting upon them is weighty, and it is said about every dangerous precious thing ‘weighty’, so he called them ‘two weighty valuable things’ due to their great value and the magnificence of their matter.’
I say: concluding that the mention of the Ahl-ul-Bayt in resemblance to the Qur’aan in this hadeeth is like the mention of the Sunnah of the rightly guided Khulafa along with the Sunnah of the Prophet -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- in his statement:
فعليكم بسنتي وسنة الخلفاء الراشدين …
‘Adhere to my Sunnah the Sunnah of the rightly guided Khulafa….’
Shaykh al-Qari said (1/99):
‘Indeed they did not act except upon the Prophet’s Sunnah, so adding the mention of the Khulafa was either due to their knowledge of the Sunnah, or due to them being able to extract the Sunnah and their choosing the Sunnah.’
If you have understood what has preceded, then this hadeeth is a strong supporting evidence for the Hadeeth in ‘al-Muwatta’ with the wording:
تركت فيكم أمرين لن تضلوا ما تمسكتم بهما : كتاب الله وسنة رسوله
‘I have left behind two matters among you, you will never deviate as long as you adhere to them, the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of His Messenger.’
This Hadeeth is in ‘Mishkaat’ (186), and this aspect of the Hadeeth being a supporting evidence was hidden from some of those who have drafted pages from those of our active brothers nowadays, in that they hold the hadeeth in al-Muwatta to be weak.
And Allaah’s help is sought.’
[From: ‘Silsilah as-Saheehah’ Volume 4, p. 355-361 No. 1761]