Status of the Prophet's
Q615 :What is the status of the members of the
Prophet's family? What has he said about their importance? May I also
ask about the significance of the tragedy of Karbala in Islam?
A615 : No special status is accorded to any human
being other than Prophet Muhammad, Allah's messenger (peace be upon
him) who has conveyed to mankind the last divine message. While members
of his household are to be respected and honored if they were true
Muslims, they do not have any type of special status. Each one of them
is required to observe Islamic duties like every other Muslim.
Similarly they are required to refrain from what Allah has forbidden.
The Prophet addresses his daughter and his uncle saying: "Fatimah, work
for your future life, because I will avail you nothing on the day of
judgment. Al-Abbas, you are the uncle of Allah's messenger but work for
your future, because I will avail you nothing on the day of judgment."
While this Hadith urges members of the Prophet's family to work for
their future life, the Prophet has made it clear that no member of his
family is exempt from any punishment for a sin he or she may commit.
It so happened at the time of the Prophet that a noble woman of the
tribe of Makhzood was guilty of stealing. People tried to intercede
with the Prophet in order not to enforce the ordained punishment for
stealing on her. The Prophet refused all their entreaties. He said: "By
Allah, if Fatimah, the daughter of Muhammad (peace be upon him), would
steal I would have her hand chopped off." The battle of Karbala
resulted in a terrible tragedy since it claimed the life of Al-Hussain
ibn Ali, the Prophet's grandson and some members of his family. That
was a grave error committed by a battalion of the Muslim army loyal to
the second caliph of the Ummayyid dynasty, Yazeed ibn Mu'awaiyah.
However, neither the battle itself nor its outcome has any religious
significance. Its tragic outcome was a source of grief and suffering to
all Muslims, but we need not attach to it any other significance. We
must remember that this tragedy took place about 50 years after the
Prophet had passed away. The religion of Islam was revealed complete to
the Prophet who conveyed it to us in its fullness. Nothing could be
added to it by any person or as a result of any event.
Our Dialogue ( Source : Arab News - Jeddah )