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Derived from this Question and this Answer is a question about the intrinsic credit of lineage in the view of Allah. We already know something about this from Qur'aan:

إِنَّ اللَّـهَ اصْطَفَىٰ آدَمَ وَنُوحًا وَ*آلَ إِبْرَاهِيمَ* وَ*آلَ عِمْرَانَ* عَلَى الْعَالَمِينَ / ذُرِّيَّةً بَعْضُهَا مِن بَعْضٍ ۗ وَاللَّـهُ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ

Allah did choose Adam and Noah, the family of Abraham, and the family of 'Imran above all people / Offspring, one of the other: And Allah heareth and knoweth all things. [3:33,34]

أَلَمْ تَرَ إِلَى الَّذِينَ يُزَكُّونَ أَنفُسَهُم ۚ بَلِ اللَّـهُ يُزَكِّي مَن يَشَاءُ وَلَا يُظْلَمُونَ فَتِيلًا / انظُرْ كَيْفَ يَفْتَرُونَ عَلَى اللَّـهِ الْكَذِبَ ۖ وَكَفَىٰ بِهِ إِثْمًا مُّبِينًا / أَلَمْ تَرَ إِلَى الَّذِينَ أُوتُوا نَصِيبًا مِّنَ الْكِتَابِ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِالْجِبْتِ وَالطَّاغُوتِ وَيَقُولُونَ لِلَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا هَـٰؤُلَاءِ أَهْدَىٰ مِنَ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا سَبِيلًا / أُولَـٰئِكَ الَّذِينَ لَعَنَهُمُ اللَّـهُ ۖ وَمَن يَلْعَنِ اللَّـهُ فَلَن تَجِدَ لَهُ نَصِيرًا / أَمْ لَهُمْ نَصِيبٌ مِّنَ الْمُلْكِ فَإِذًا لَّا يُؤْتُونَ النَّاسَ نَقِيرًا / أَمْ يَحْسُدُونَ النَّاسَ عَلَىٰ مَا آتَاهُمُ اللَّـهُ مِن فَضْلِهِ ۖ فَقَدْ آتَيْنَا آلَ إِبْرَاهِيمَ الْكِتَابَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ وَآتَيْنَاهُم مُّلْكًا عَظِيمًا / فَمِنْهُم مَّنْ آمَنَ بِهِ وَمِنْهُم مَّن صَدَّ عَنْهُ ۚ وَكَفَىٰ بِجَهَنَّمَ سَعِيرًا

Hast thou not turned Thy vision to those who claim sanctity for themselves? Nay-but Allah Doth sanctify whom He pleaseth. But never will they fail to receive justice in the least little thing. / Behold! how they invent a lie against Allah! but that by itself is a manifest sin! / Hast thou not turned Thy vision to those who were given a portion of the Book? they believe in sorcery and Evil, and say to the Unbelievers that they are better guided in the (right) way Than the believers! / They are (men) whom Allah hath cursed: And those whom Allah Hath cursed, thou wilt find, have no one to help. / Have they a share in dominion or power? Behold, they give not a farthing to their fellow-men? / Or do they envy mankind for what Allah hath given them of his bounty? but We had already given the family of Abraham the Book and Wisdom, and conferred upon them a great kingdom. / Some of them believed, and some of them averted their faces from him: And enough is Hell for a burning fire. [4:49-55]

وَوَهَبْنَا لَهُ إِسْحَاقَ وَيَعْقُوبَ وَ*جَعَلْنَا فِي ذُرِّيَّتِهِ النُّبُوَّةَ وَالْكِتَابَ* وَآتَيْنَاهُ أَجْرَهُ فِي الدُّنْيَا ۖ وَإِنَّهُ فِي الْآخِرَةِ لَمِنَ الصَّالِحِينَ

And We gave to Him Isaac and Jacob and placed in his descendants prophethood and scripture. And We gave him his reward in this world, and indeed, he is in the Hereafter among the righteous. [29:27]

وَوَرِثَ سُلَيْمَانُ دَاوُودَ ۖ وَقَالَ يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ عُلِّمْنَا مَنطِقَ الطَّيْرِ وَأُوتِينَا مِن كُلِّ شَيْءٍ ۖ إِنَّ هَـٰذَا لَهُوَ الْفَضْلُ الْمُبِينُ

And Solomon inherited David. He said, "O people, we have been taught the language of birds, and we have been given from all things. Indeed, this is evident bounty." [27:16]

and from Hadeeth (even in the most authentic books of the Sunni brothers):

Abdullah b. Zaid-he who was shown the call (for prayer in a dream) narrated it on the authority of Mas'ad al-Ansiri who said: We were sitting in the company of Sa'id b. 'Ubida when the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) came to us. Bashir b. S'ad said: Allah has commanded us to bless you. Messenger of Allah! But how should we bless you? He (the narrator) said: The Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) kept quiet (and we were so much perturbed over his silence) that we wished we had not asked him. The Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) then said: (For blessing me) say:" 0 Allah, bless Muhammad and the members of his household as Thou didst bless the members of Ibrahim's household. Grant favors to Muhammad and the members of his household as Thou didst grant favors to the members of the household of Ibrahim in the world. Thou art indeed Praiseworthy and Glorious" ; and salutation as you know. (Sahih Muslim, Book 004, Hadith 0803) [and note that neither of the companions of the holy prophet --peace be upon him and his household-- are not mentioned in this Hadeeth]

that somewhat addresses the genetic-like relations in a lineage, but then how can it be considered as compatible with other more fundamental teachings of Islam that the only ranking in the view of Allah is the grade of piety (acquired by the person himself) and nothing else?

يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِنَّا خَلَقْنَاكُم مِّن ذَكَرٍ وَأُنثَىٰ وَجَعَلْنَاكُمْ شُعُوبًا وَقَبَائِلَ لِتَعَارَفُوا ۚ إِنَّ أَكْرَمَكُمْ عِندَ اللَّـهِ أَتْقَاكُمْ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ عَلِيمٌ خَبِيرٌ

O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise (each other). Verily the most honored of you in the sight of Allah is (he who is) the most righteous of you. And Allah has full knowledge and is well acquainted (with all things). [49:13]

PS. This question is asked in the hope that some misconceptions would be resolved, and say, for the sake of completeness of the set of the questions in the website.

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1 Answer 1

First let see how Qur'aan addresses some of the points regarding this issue, when the prophets or any other good servant of Allah were asking their Lord regarding their households:

وَإِذْ يَرْفَعُ إِبْرَاهِيمُ الْقَوَاعِدَ مِنَ الْبَيْتِ وَإِسْمَاعِيلُ رَبَّنَا تَقَبَّلْ مِنَّا ۖ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيمُ / رَبَّنَا وَاجْعَلْنَا مُسْلِمَيْنِ لَكَ وَمِن ذُرِّيَّتِنَا أُمَّةً مُّسْلِمَةً لَّكَ وَأَرِنَا مَنَاسِكَنَا وَتُبْ عَلَيْنَا ۖ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ التَّوَّابُ الرَّحِيمُ

And [mention] when Abraham was raising the foundations of the House and [with him] Ishmael, [saying], "Our Lord, accept [this] from us. Indeed You are the Hearing, the Knowing. / Our Lord, and make us Muslims [in submission] to You and from our descendants a Muslim nation [in submission] to You. And show us our rites and accept our repentance. Indeed, You are the Accepting of repentance, the Merciful. [2:127,128]

إِذْ قَالَتِ امْرَأَتُ عِمْرَانَ رَبِّ إِنِّي نَذَرْتُ لَكَ مَا فِي بَطْنِي مُحَرَّرًا فَتَقَبَّلْ مِنِّي ۖ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيمُ / فَلَمَّا وَضَعَتْهَا قَالَتْ رَبِّ إِنِّي وَضَعْتُهَا أُنثَىٰ وَاللَّـهُ أَعْلَمُ بِمَا وَضَعَتْ وَلَيْسَ الذَّكَرُ كَالْأُنثَىٰ ۖ وَإِنِّي سَمَّيْتُهَا مَرْيَمَ وَإِنِّي أُعِيذُهَا بِكَ وَذُرِّيَّتَهَا مِنَ الشَّيْطَانِ الرَّجِيمِ / فَتَقَبَّلَهَا رَبُّهَا بِقَبُولٍ حَسَنٍ ...

[Mention, O Muhammad], when the wife of 'Imran said, "My Lord, indeed I have pledged to You what is in my womb, consecrated [for Your service], so accept this from me. Indeed, You are the Hearing, the Knowing." (35) But when she delivered her, she said, "My Lord, I have delivered a female." And Allah was most knowing of what she delivered, "And the male is not like the female. And I have named her Mary, and I seek refuge for her in You and [for] her descendants from Satan, the expelled [from the mercy of Allah]." So her Lord accepted her with good acceptance ... [3:35-37]

هُنَالِكَ دَعَا زَكَرِيَّا رَبَّهُ ۖ قَالَ رَبِّ هَبْ لِي مِن لَّدُنكَ ذُرِّيَّةً طَيِّبَةً ۖ إِنَّكَ سَمِيعُ الدُّعَاءِ

At that, Zechariah called upon his Lord, saying, "My Lord, grant me from Yourself a good offspring. Indeed, You are the Hearer of supplication." [3:38]

رَبِّ اجْعَلْنِي مُقِيمَ الصَّلَاةِ وَمِن ذُرِّيَّتِي ۚ رَبَّنَا وَتَقَبَّلْ دُعَاءِ

[Abraham said] My Lord, make me an establisher of prayer, and [many] from my descendants. Our Lord, and accept my supplication. [14:40]

So you see the prophets were asking Allah and He was accepting their Dua. Even we know that the holy prophet --peace be upon him and his household-- has also asked from his Lord to bless his household, e.g. from Hadeeth Kisaa':

'A'isha reported that Allah's Apostle (may peace be upon him) went out one norning wearing a striped cloak of the black camel's hair that there came hasan b. 'ali. He wrapped hitn under it, then came Husain and he wrapped him under it along with the other one (hasan). Then came fatima and he took her under it, then came 'ali and he also took him under it and then said: Allah only desires to take away any uncleanliness from you, O people of the household, and purify you (thorough purifying) (Sahih Muslim, Book 031, Hadith 5955)

which according to Shia version of the Hadeeth it had quite many other details not mentioned above, like that the holy prophet --peace be upon him and his household-- asked Allah for the sake of purifying his household and then Allah revealed the purification verse about them:

فَلَمَّا اکْتَمَلْنا جَميعاً تَحْتَ الْکِسآءِ، اَخَذَ اَبي رَسُولُ اللَّهِ بِطَرَفَيِ الْکِسآءِ، وَاَوْمَئَ بِيَدِهِ الْيُمْني اِلَي السَّمآءِ، وَقالَ اَللَّهُمَّ اِنَ هؤُلاءِ اَهْلُ بَيْتي وَخآصَّتي وَحآمَّتي، لَحْمُهُمْ لَحْمي، وَدَمُهُمْ دَمي، يُؤْلِمُني ما يُؤْلِمُهُمْ، وَيَحْزُنُني ما يَحْزُنُهُمْ، اَنَا حَرْبٌ لِمَنْ حارَبَهُمْ، وَسِلْمٌ لِمَنْ سالَمَهُمْ وَعَدُوٌّ لِمَنْ عاداهُمْ، وَمُحِبٌّ لِمَنْ اَحَبَّهُمْ، اِنَّهُمْ مِنّي وَاَ نَا مِنْهُمْ، فَاجْعَلْ صَلَواتِکَ وَبَرَکاتِکَ وَرَحْمَتَکَ، وَغُفْرانَکَ وَرِضْوانَکَ عَلَيَّ وَعَلَيْهِمْ، وَاَذْهِبْ عَنْهُمُ الرِّجْسَ، وَطَهِّرْهُمْ تَطْهيراً،

Getting together underneath the cloak, my father, the Prophet of Allah, held the two ends of the cloak and raised his right hand towards the heavens and prayed : "O Allah, these are the people of my Household (Ahlul-Bayt). They are my confidants and my supporters. Their flesh is my flesh and their blood is my blood. Whoever hurts them, hurts me too. Whoever displeases them, displeased me too. I am at war with those at war with them. I am at peace with those at peace with them. I am the enemies of their enemies and I am the friend of their friends. They are from me and I am from them. O Allah! Bestow Your Blessings, Benevolence, Forgiveness and Your pleasure upon me and upon them. And remove impurity from them and keep them thoroughly pure"

So Allah has chosen the household of the holy prophet --peace be upon him and his household-- over other people as He chose the households of some previous prophets over other people, and even it would be no strange if the highest ranked prophet's request would be more accepted than the requests of the previous prophets who were ranked lower than him in the view of Allah.

However, let me also bring a witness from Qur'aan:

وَوَصَّيْنَا الْإِنسَانَ بِوَالِدَيْهِ إِحْسَانًا ۖ حَمَلَتْهُ أُمُّهُ كُرْهًا وَوَضَعَتْهُ كُرْهًا ۖ وَحَمْلُهُ وَفِصَالُهُ ثَلَاثُونَ شَهْرًا ۚ حَتَّىٰ إِذَا بَلَغَ أَشُدَّهُ وَبَلَغَ أَرْبَعِينَ سَنَةً قَالَ رَبِّ أَوْزِعْنِي أَنْ أَشْكُرَ نِعْمَتَكَ الَّتِي أَنْعَمْتَ عَلَيَّ وَعَلَىٰ وَالِدَيَّ وَأَنْ أَعْمَلَ صَالِحًا تَرْضَاهُ وَ*أَصْلِحْ لِي فِي ذُرِّيَّتِي* ۖ إِنِّي تُبْتُ إِلَيْكَ وَإِنِّي مِنَ الْمُسْلِمِينَ

And We have enjoined upon man, to his parents, good treatment. His mother carried him with hardship and gave birth to him with hardship, and his gestation and weaning [period] is thirty months. [He grows] until, when he reaches maturity and reaches [the age of] forty years, he says, "My Lord, enable me to be grateful for Your favor which You have bestowed upon me and upon my parents and to work righteousness of which You will approve and make righteous for me my offspring. Indeed, I have repented to You, and indeed, I am of the Muslims." [46:15]

This verse according to many Ahadeeth, see e.g. [البرهان في تفسير القرآن، ج‏5، ص: 39-42], has been revealed specifically about Imam Hussain --peace be upon him-- being born and Imamah being in his descendant.

So far we only explained why it is possible that some lineages being preferred over the other groups of people, Du3aa works very fine if the prayer is a righteous servant of Allah. However, let only mention some few points and conclude this answer: Today's science may give a weight to genetic as psychology gives a weight to the children treatment of the family in formation of the character of a person. But do any scientist now give a weight to the name of the begotten children? In Islam we are told to select good names for our children, that's something that we would be questioned about in the Judgement day as it's duty and not only something fancy. Some Ahadeeth discuss the relevance of such issues in more depth and e.g. point to the fact that every human has his/her soul created centuries before his/her birth in Dunya. Every soul already has a character and a name suitable for that. When a parent make a child they will not name someone who is anyway their child, but there are many factors that will help someone be related to them in Dunya as their child! Selecting names is one of such factors. The sexual relation being allowed or forbidden (Zina) would be another factor, and the factors are not even limited to these two factors. So we are even told to select a good time for the intercourse, the proper hour in the day, the day in the week, the week in the month [and probably the month in the year, the year among the years], to pray before intercourse, to select the name of the child, and to think about the saints during the intercourse, and etc. Most of these points are not understandable to science, but Islam is not bounded to the human's knowledge. A good servant of Allah with good enough knowledge about the traditions of Allah in this universe considers all such factors before begetting a child, would also pray for him/her and treat him/her very well. Still not everything would be necessarily OK, we have Adaam --peace be upon him-- whose son Qaabil killed his another son Haabil, Noah --peace be upon him-- whose son was an atheist, Jacob --peace be upon him-- whose sons oppressed Joseph --peace be upon him, and even some of the Shia Imams whose sons were misguided like Ja3far Kazzaab (جعفر کذاب ابن علی النقی).

Each individual person of a lineage is ranked due to his/her own intentions and deeds, as is obvious from the verse pointed out in the original question, however, Allah arranges each lineage based on His own traditions and wisdom and no task of Allah is aimless or arbitrary. As only one example, note that a good child can (although not necassarily) be a great gift and reward to his/her parents, helping them, worshiping Allah for Him forgiving his/her parents, praying instead of them after their death, and etc. and that a bad child can (although not necassarily) be a great punishment ...

Hope that this will help

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