Can the descendants of Hazrat Fatima Zahra (peace be upon her) be called as the progeny of Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his progeny)?

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A question posed by some ignorant opponents of Shias is that if Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him and his progeny) had no surviving sons and he was survived only by his daughter Hazrat Fatima Zahra (peace be upon her), then how can the descendants of his daughter be known as “Aale Muhammad” viz. the progeny of Muhammad (peace be upon him and his progeny)? The argument which they put forth is only an Arabic couplet which states that “My sons, grandsons, and daughters are from me, but my daughter’s sons are not from me.”

Reply:

If only those who raise this doubt, instead of merely reading and focusing on memorising the Holy Quran, had they reflected even slightly over its teachings, such objections would never arise. Such questions and objections only prove that those who claimed the Holy Quran to be sufficient for them have actually distanced themselves from its true teachings. Also, they neither visit their own books of traditions nor reflect over Islamic history before raising such frivolous doubts. Here are replies to this objection – two from the Holy Quran and three traditions from Ahle Tasannun sources:

Replies from Holy Quran

  1. Allah the Almighty states in Surah An’aam (6): Verses 84-85

“And We gave to him Isaac and Jacob; each did We guide, and Noah did We guide before, and of his descendants David and Solomon and Job and Joseph and Aaron; and thus do We reward those who do good. And Zakariyya and John and Jesus and Elias; everyone was of the good.”

Prophet Isa (peace be upon him) had no father. Yet, Allah included him in the progeny of the Prophets through his mother Hazrat Maryam (peace be upon her). Similarly, Allah has included the 12 infallible Imams (peace be upon them) in the progeny of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his progeny) through Hazrat Fatima (peace be upon him).

Fakhruddin al-Raazi, in his Tafseer al-Kabir, vol. 4, p. 124, says regarding this verse that the verse proves that Imam Hasan and Husain (peace be upon both of them) are the descendants of Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his progeny). Since in this verse Allah has verified Prophet Isa (peace be upon him) as a descendant of Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him), whereas the former had no father, this relationship is from the side of the mother. In the same manner, Imam Hasan and Imam Husain (peace be upon both of them) are truly the descendants of the Prophet (peace be upon him and his progeny).

Similarly, Ibn Abil Hadeed Mo’tazeli, one the greatest scholars of Ahle Tasannun, in his Sharh Nahj al-Balaaghah has cited the same verse, arguing that Hasan and Husain (peace be upon them) are, from the side of their mother, the sons of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his progeny) in the same way that Allah the Almighty in the Holy Quran has included Prophet Isa (peace be upon him) in the progeny of Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) from the side of his mother Maryam (peace be upon her).

  • Surah Aale Imraan (3): verse 60 states:

“But whoever disputes with you in this matter after what has come to you of knowledge, then say: come, let us call our sons and your sons and our women and your women and ourselves and your selves, then let us be earnest in prayer and pray for the curse of Allah on the liars.”

None has ever claimed that on the occasion of the Malediction (Mubaahelah) against the Christians of Najraan that the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his progeny) took with him anyone except Ali Ibn Abi Talib, his daughter Fatima and her sons Hasan, and Husain (peace be upon them all). Therefore, “selves” (اَنْفُسَنَا) means Ali Ibn Abi Talib, “women” (نِسَائَنَا) implies Fatima and “sons” (اَبْنَائَنَا) refers to Imam Hasan and Imam Husain (peace be upon them both) whom Allah the Almighty has identified as the Holy Prophet’s (peace be upon him and his progeny) own sons.

Reply from Traditions quoted by Ahle Tasannun scholars

  1. Muhammad Ibn Yusuf Ganji Shafe’i, in his book Kifaayah al-Taalib and Ibn Hajar al-Makki in al-Sawaaiq al-Muhriqah, pp. 74 & 93 from al-Tabrani and Jabir Ibn Abdillah Ansari, and Khateeb Khwaarazmi in Al-Manaaqib from Ibn Abbas, all relate that the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his progeny) said:

“Allah created the progeny of every Prophet from his own generation, but my progeny was created in the generation of Ali.”

  • Khateeb Khwaarazmi in Al-Manaaqib, Mir Syed Ali Hamadani Shafe’i in Mawaddah al-Qurba, Ahmad Ibn Hanbal in Musnad and Sulaiman Hanafi Balkhi al-Qunduzi in Yanaabi’ al-Mawaddah relate, in more or less the same words that the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his progeny) said:

“These, my two sons, are two flowers of this world, and both of them are Imams (leaders), whether they are Imams openly or silently sitting at home.”

Sulaiman Hanafi Balkhi al-Qunduzi in Yanaabi’ al-Mawaddah devotes chapter 57 to this topic and cites many traditions from Tabaraani, Hafiz Abd al-Aziz Ibn Abi Shaiba, Khateeb al-Baghdadi Hakim, Baihaqi, Baghwi and Tabari, all relating the same in slightly differing versions.

  • Towards the end of the same chapter, Abu Salih writes: Hafiz Abd al-Aziz Ibn Al-Akhzar, Abu Nuaim, Tabari, Ibn Hajar al-Makki in al-Sawaaiq al-Muhriqah p. 112, from Muhammad Ibn Yusuf Ganji Shafe’i in Kifaayat al-Taalib, and Tabari in the narrations about the life of Imam Hasan (peace be upon him) relates that Umar Ibn Khattaab said:

“I heard the Prophet (peace be upon him and his progeny) say that on the Day of Judgement every ancestry will be disconnected except my generation. Every generation of a daughter is from the father’s side except the generation of Fatima (peace be upon her), which is connected with me. I am their father and ancestor.

Hence, the Arabic couplet quoted as an objection has no force in the face of all this contrary evidence which clearly proves that Imam Hasan and Imam Husain (peace be upon them) are the sons of the Prophet (peace be upon him and his progeny) and that the descendants of Hazrat Fatima (peace be upon her) are the progeny of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his progeny).

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