Status of the Prophet's family

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 )