To the Shi’a, the Ahlul-Bayt of the Prophet (S) consist of the following individuals ONLY:

• Fatimah al-Zahra (sa),

• Imam ‘Ali (as),

• Imam al-Hasan (as),

• Imam al-Husayn (as),

• Nine descendants of Imam al-Husayn (as)

Reference : https://www.al-islam.org/shiite-encyclopedia-ahlul-bayt-dilp-team/who-are-ahlul-bayt-part-1

Question: why don't we have a single descendant of Hassan among the 12 imams

  • Please consider adding significant tags (>1 tag). As they would help you to find relevant posts and excluding yours is a duplicate.
    – Medi1Saif
    May 22, 2017 at 8:03
  • According to wiki, Hasan had 15 sons and 9 daughters but most of them died early. See en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hasan_ibn_Ali#CITEREFMadelung1997 and it gives references to the claim. May 22, 2017 at 14:45

3 Answers 3


Since the Shi'a believe these 14 persons are chosen by Allah (t.) the answer to why is not trivial. You're asking: Why did Allah choose these individuals and not others. Allahu a'lam.

Shias believe these 13 individuals are the best human beings after the Prophet (s.). You could also ask why was Muhammad (s.) chosen to be the last prophet and not prophet Isa (a.). The short answer is likewise: Muhammad (s.) is better.

I think there is a misunderstanding in the question. The Imamat isn't a monarchy. It's not that the next Imam has to be the first son. In many cases it wasn't. Like the first son of Imam al-Hasan (a.) was not an Imam of the Ahl ul Bayt and neither was the first son of Imam as-Sadiq (a.) (not even the oldest living son).

Side note: In a broader sense of Ahl-ul-Bayt there are more members than the ones mentioned above. For example Zainab bint Ali (a.) also referred to herself and the other captive women (like Ruqayya bin Imam al-Husayn) in Karbala as "Ahlulbayt". But your are right that usually we only mean 13 (or 14 if the prophet himself is included) individuals.

  • Proof for "they are chosen by Allah" any explicit hadith qudsi? Since their names are not mentioned in quran wahi stopped with death of Prophet And why do zaidi imams are different than itna ashari? May 22, 2017 at 12:30
  • @Abu AbdulQayyum, there are many verses in the Holy Qur'an which make clear that only Allah swt appointed an imam or khalifah for mankind. Have a look at 2:30; 38:26; 2:124; 32:24 you are right, the names of the twelve Imams are not mentioned in the Qur'an but theProphet has mentioned their names.
    – Noor
    May 22, 2017 at 16:40
  • Can you quote that narration May 22, 2017 at 16:42
  • @AbuAbdulQayyum This question is on Shi'a view. A discussion on whether the Shi'a is right or wrong with this view is misplaced here. Zaidi differs in their view from twelver shia, that's right. What I said is view of twelver Shia. Zaidi still believe that the most knowledgable man after Imam Al Husain (a.) was Ali Ibn al-Husain (a.) and not a son of Imam al Hasan (a.). So in this regard there is no difference.
    – Sadık
    May 22, 2017 at 21:33

Imam Hasan's daughter was the mother of 5th Imam of shia Imam Mohammed Baqir a.s and Imam Hussain's a.s son Imam Zainul Abedin was his father.... So technically if you consider women as equal heirs 5th IMAm onwards all Imam are descendants of both Imam Hasan and Imam Hussain


After Imam Sajjad (AS), the rest of the Shiite Imams were both the son of Imam Hussein (AS) and the son of Imam Hassan (AS); Because the mother of Imam Baqir (AS) was the daughter of Imam Hassan (AS) and his father was the son of Imam Hussein (AS).

The fact that the Imamate has continued from the generation of Imam Hussein (pbuh) and after each Imam his son reached the Imamate does not mean that the other children of the Ahl al-Bayt (pbuh) did not have any position with God or that they were sinners. , But also many children of the Imams (PBUH) have been pure, knowledgeable and brave people and have rendered very valuable services to Islam. Among these people is Hazrat Abdul Azim Hassani (buried in the city of Ray in Iran), one of the prominent students of Imam Hadi (as) and a descendant of Imam Hassan (as), who has valuable scientific and jurisprudential works.

In any case, and as the Shiite beliefs are based on it, "Imamate" is in fact a divine thing that is determined by God, and the one who has the highest position in terms of science and morality, etc. God is chosen as the Imam. Jacob also had 12 children, and the line of prophecy continued in the generation of one of them [and the next prophets were not chosen from the generation of Joseph himself]. Even "Benjamin", who was the body brother of Prophet Yusuf, was deprived of this position. The answer to these has been stated by God in one word in verse 124 of Surah An'am:

اللَّهُ أَعْلَمُ حَيْثُ يَجْعَلُ رِسالَتَه

God knows best where to place His mission




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