The Prophetic Hadith: I am leaving behind me “TWO WEIGHTY THINGS: Qur’an and my descendants Ahlul Bayt …” is accepted by all Muslims. Why is it often referred to as: “Quran & Sunnah” with very little reference to Ahlul Bayt? Also, does it not suggest that Sunnah should be sourced from ‘Ahlul Bayt’ and not the ‘Sahaaba‘? Why has Sahih Bukhari not recorded these important hadiths?
These two hadiths have separate wordings and one is not used to refer to the other, however, each implies and elucidates the other.
Ahlul Bayt in the Qur’anic meaning is the wives of the Holy Prophet (upon him blessings and peace) while in the Sunna in the strict sense it refers to the Prophet (upon him blessings and peace), his daughter Fatima, her two children al-Hasan and al-Husayn, and her husband `Ali, Allah be well-pleased with them. In the larger sense it includes every spouse, mawla (such as Thawban), and Muslim in-law (such as the four Rightly-Guided Caliphs) of the Prophet as well, and in fiqh it refers to the Banu Hashim for whom sadaqa is unlawful, namely the families of the sons of Abu Talib: `Ali, `Aqil, Ja`far, and to al-`Abbas b. `Abd al-Muttalib and their descendants.
Together, these two hadiths show that the real Sunni is the one who loves all the Ahl al-Bayt in addition to following the Sunna and Jama`a of the Companions, and the real Shi`i is the one who loves and respects all of the Companions of the Prophet in addition to his devotion to his Family. These hadiths also form a proof for tasawwuf since most of the luminaries of tasawwuf and the Awliya’ are from Ahl al-Bayt, and they are the true model and embodiment of the Qur’an and Sunna through the ages.
Hajj Gibril Haddad