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Encyclopaedia of Ismailism by Mumtaz Ali Tajddin

"Based on the consensus of the exegesis Jama al-Bayan, 17:16-25, Hilyat al-Awlia (3:251), al-Mustadrak (3:172), Usd al-Ghabah (5: 367) and al-Sawa'iq al-Muharaqah (p. 101), the following verse was revealed about the members of the Household of the Prophet:

"...Say: (O Apostle) I do not ask any reward from you for this (Prophethood) except the love for my near relatives .." (42:23). This verse is known as Ayat al-Mawaddat al-Qurba or Ayat al-Dhul al-Qurba.

The word qurba referred to in the above verse is derived from qaruba meaning near or blood relationship, relatives or kinsmen. As is the case with the term Ahl al-Bayt, the term qurba was also used for the immediate relatives of the Prophet.

The term al-qurba embraces only Ali, Fatima, Hasan, and Hussain and no one else. The tradition from Ibn Abbas has it that when the mawaddat al-qurba verse was revealed, the Prophet was asked: "O messenger, who are your near relatives who should be loved?" He said, "Ali, Fatima, and their sons." This tradition has been narrated by Muhib Tabari in Zakhair al-Uqba (1:25), Ibn Hanbal in Manaqib (p. 110), Momin Shabilenji in Nural-Absar (p. 101) and Zamakhshari in Kashshaf as annotation to the said verse. In the Tafsir al-Kabir, Fakhruddin Razi has related the said narration from Kashshaf and said that based on this verse, Ali, Fatima, Hasan, and Hussain should be revered and sanctified. He has also cited lines of verse from Imam Shafi'i: "If love for the members of the Household of the Prophet is heresy, then the world should stand witness that I am a heretic."

The Prophet said, "Love God for that with which He nurtures you from His bounties, and love me for the sake of love for God and love my Ahl al-Bayt for the sake of my love" (Mishkat, 4:478). Hadith as quoted by Tabarani and Hakim, "If anyone stands firmly between the rukn (corner of the Kaba) and the maqam (station of Abraham at the Kaba) and spends all his life in prayers, adoration and fasting, but bears malice towards the children of Muhammad, then he will only go to hell."

According to Jami al-Usul (1:238) by Ibn Athir, the Prophet said, "None among you is a believer until I am more beloved unto him than his own children and all of mankind together." The Prophet is also reported to have said, "A slave (of God) is not a believer unless I am more beloved to him than his own soul; and my descendants are more beloved to him than his own descendants" (Bihar al-Anwar, 17:13). Once the Prophet took the hand of Hasan and Hussain and said, "Whoever loves me and loves these two and loves their mother and father, will be with me in my station on the day of judgment" (Tirmizi, 2:301). Ali is reported to have said, "If I were to strike a blow on the nose of a believer, he will never hate me. On the other hand, if I were to shower gold and silver on a hypocrite he will never love me" (Kitab al Himma, p. 23). Imam Jafar Sadik said, "Verily, there are various degrees of worshipping God, but affection for us, Ahl al-Bayt, is the highest one" (Bihar al-Anwar, 27:91).

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