“Ahlulbayt” literally means “People of the House” (‘Ahl’ means “people”, while ‘bayt’ means “house”). Its meaning in context of Islamic vernacular is “members of the household of the Prophet”. The Ahlulbayt are one of the two most important sources of Islamic guidance after the demise of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP). The holy Qur’an, when referring to them, states:
” . . . . Verily Allah intends to keep off from you every kind of uncleanness O’ People of the House (Ahlul-Bayt), and purify you with a perfect purification.”
(The last section of Verse 33:33)
This verse attests to their sinlessless, as all sins are a form of impurity, and this has been completely removed from them.
The Ahlul-Bayt of the Prophet consist of the following individuals:
* Fatimah al-Zahra (AS) – the only daughter of the Prophet.
* Imam Ali (AS) – first cousin, and son-in-law of the Prophet.
* Imam al-Hasan (AS) – grandson of the Prophet, and eldest son of Fatimah al-Zahra (AS)
* Imam al-Husain (AS) – grandson of the Prophet, and second eldest son of Fatimah al-Zahra (AS)
* Nine descendants of Imam al-Husain (AS).