Dear Honorable Shaykh Hisham,
Assalam-u-Aleikum Wa Rehmat Ullah-e- Wa Barakaatau. May Allah bless you and your family Syeddi.
My family has written Syed with its name for generations and many of my forefathers were big Shaykhs in the Qadrya Tariqa in India (Syed has been a part of my legal name since birth and my surname is also Qadri). I also somehow believe that it is because of my forefathers that I was led up to Mawlana (Shaykh Nazim) and it is after 2 generations that someone in the family has come back to our original and true path, even though I am zero – meaning nothing and they were blessed and pious ones. Upon inquiring, I was informed that we are descendants of the Abdullah Ibn Abbas (R). Is it right for us to write Syed with our name as we are not from the lineage of Imam Hassan (R) or Imam Hussain (R)? I was told that there is a Hadith in which Prophet (SAW) had stated that Ibn Abbas (R) and his family are amongst the Ahl-e-Bayt. I would sincerely appreciate a clarification on this and whether it is okay for me to continue writing Syed with my name and also being a Naqshbandi having ‘Qadri’ as my surname (which is the surname that I was born with). By the way, we named our son Syed Hesham Qadri in sincere hope that he will be lucky enough to be any bit like you.
We pray to be able to spend some time with you Shaykh Hisham, please remember us in your prayers.
wa `alaykum salam,
Yes there is such a hadith and it is known as Hadith al-Uskuffa, meaning the hadith of the lintel, in which the Prophet (s) visited his uncle al-`Abbas (r) one morning after having asked him to gather all his children and he put his noble mantle on top of all them and Umm al-Fadl, his wife, the mother of `Abdallah ibn al-`Abbas (r) and he said, “O Allah these are also my Ahl al-Bayt so protect them, ” and al-`Abbas and his family all repeated “ameen” and the lintel of the house repeated “ameen” and the walls and windows of the house also repeated “ameen” until the house shook. (reported in Dalai’l an-Nubuwwat of Imam Bayhaqi and Imam Abu Nu`aym al-ِAsfahani with a fair chain according to al-Haytami in Majma` al-Zawa’id).
Ahl al-Bayt is defined as the Banu Hashim (which includes all the Prophet’s Muslim uncles and aunts, such as al-`Abbas, and their descendants), and the Banu Muttalib, such as Imam ash-Shafi`ee, so you are a Hashemi-Abbasi Syed, insha-Allah, and you should feel blessed and honored to have the additional proof of researched genealogy in addition to your family’s good repute and noble name.
Hajj Gibril Haddad