"Ahl" is a accusative masculine noun. In Arabic, it covers several meanings. It begins with Husband and wife. And if they have children, they become part of the "Ahl."

"Bayt" is genitive masculine noun and in Arabic it means lodging, household, family, or a place of dwelling.

In the Quran Surah Hud 11:73, the Angels called Abraham and his wife "Ahlul Bayt."

In Surah al-Ahzab 33:33 Allah says the same.

So, there's no doubt, according to the Quran and the Arabic language; the husband, his wives, and his children are "Ahlul Bayt."

However, I was surprised to read that both Shi'as and Sunnis extend the label "Ahlul Bayt" to others also.

Who do Sunnis consider to be from Ahlul Bayt and why?

If posting any hadith, please provide why do you consider the hadith authentic.


  • Don't fully understand ... is ahl / ahlul bayat 'family'. Are you asking who is included in Ibrahim's family? Mar 30, 2014 at 14:15
  • Prophet Muhammad's Ahlul Bayt.
    – Sayyid
    Mar 30, 2014 at 21:47

1 Answer 1


In Arabic language,

  • "Ahlu Al bayt" are the ones living in the bayt(house). Ahlu(people of)
  • "Ahlu al-Rajul" are the family of Rajul(man)

In Sharia:

  • "Ahlu al Bayt" refers to the prophet Muhammed (PBUH) scholars have differed on who are Ahlul-Bayt:

1- His wives and children ONLY, they used this aya from the quran as a proof

O wives of the Prophet, you are not like anyone among women. If you fear Allah , then do not be soft in speech [to men], lest he in whose heart is disease should covet, but speak with appropriate speech.

And abide in your houses and do not display yourselves as [was] the display of the former times of ignorance. And establish prayer and give zakah and obey Allah and His Messenger. Allah intends only to remove from you the impurity [of sin], O people of the [Prophet's] household, and to purify you with [extensive] purification. http://quran.com/33/32-33

2- Those who are not allowed to take Zakkat, whole Banu Hisham family and Banu Mutalib.

The proof has been taken from the hadith in sahih muslim, Here is an excerpt from it:

He exhorted (us) (to hold fast) to the Book of Allah and then said: The second are the members of my household I remind you (of your duties) to the members of my family. He (Husain) said to Zaid: Who are the members of his household? Aren't his wives the members of his family? Thereupon he said: His wives are the members of his family (but here) the members of his family are those for whom acceptance of Zakat is forbidden. And he said: Who are they? Thereupon he said: 'Ali and the offspring of 'Ali, 'Aqil and the offspring of 'Aqil and the offspring of Ja'far and the offspring of 'Abbas. Husain said: These are those for whom the acceptance of Zakat is forbidden. Zaid said: Yes.

3- All the followers of the prophet Muhammed (PBUH) are considered muslims. They referred to this verse as a proof:

And the Day the Hour appears [it will be said], "Make the people of Pharaoh enter the severest punishment." http://quran.com/40/46

The verse says "'Alu pharoh"(people of Pharaoh). and since we say "'Alu Muhammed" in saying Salwat (Allahuma Sali ala Muhammed wa Ali Muhamed). This means the followers o are also considered Muslims.

4- Only Ali, Hasan, Hussien and Fatimah (RA on all of them). They took the hadith of Aisha (RA) in shaih Muslim:

that God's Apostle (may peace be upon him) went out one morning wearing a striped cloak of the black camel's hair that there came Hasan b. 'Ali. He wrapped him 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: God only desires to take away any uncleanliness from you, O people of the household, and purify you (thorough purifying)"

For more information and details: [ARABIC] Alu al Bayt - Othman al-Khamys

At the end, This difference of opinion doesn't change anything the love and respect muslims have toward Ahlulbayt. Actually the difference of opinion made me quite happy as the 3rd opinion says that all Muslims are Ahlu-Al Bayt. I know that allah is the most merciful. Hence, let's say I won't be surprised if on judgment day, we find out that all muslims are considered Alhu al Bayt.

  • Doesn't the fourth view suggest a more special notion of Ahlulbayt? The one which Shiites recognize as giving credit to Ali's immediate succession of the Holy Prophet?
    – infatuated
    Jun 29, 2014 at 5:25
  • 1
    @infatuated, yup. Although Sunnis agree that Alhualbayt have an important and special place in Islam, that doesn't mean they should are eligible to be successors. As we already know that there are far way better companions like Abu Baker and Umar as can be noticed from many narrations by the prophet (PBUH)
    – Sohaeb
    Jun 29, 2014 at 20:17

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