“Also, abide in your houses and do not display yourselves as was the display of the former times of ignorance. And establish prayer and give zakah and obey Allah and His Messenger. Allah intends only to remove from you the impurity of sin, O people of the Prophet’s household, and to purify you with extensive purification.” (Qur’an 33:33)
If one is already pure there is no need to purify. If one claims there are degrees and grades of purification then this does not indicate absolute perfection.
The totally pure cannot become purer and the totally perfect can’t be purified.
The very verse that our brothers from the ’12er Shi’i’ rely upon to establish their position gives them trouble from the outset.
This verse is clearly talking about the women of the Prophet (saw) his wives.
Two points within the verse preclude this being a reference to men.
It would be odd to think of any male of the Prophet (saw) household “displaying themselves” in a feminine manner. Unless now people are going to tell us that the males of the ‘Ahl Bayt’ were displaying themselves in a feminine manner in previous times.
tabarrajna -display yourselves.
Understand this in light of the following verse:
“Also, women of post-menstrual age who have no desire for marriage – there is no blame upon them for putting aside their outer garments but not displaying adornment. But to modestly refrain from that is better for them. And Allah is Hearing and Knowing.” (Qur’an 24:60)
mutabarrijātin-displaying your adornment
Also, do the men of the ‘Ahl Bayt’ abide in their houses? No! Obviously, they don’t.
Also, note that the text is an admonition to the people of the ‘Ahl Bayt’ who were doing something that deserves admonishment.
However, the Imams of the ’12er Shi’i’ have come along and made a huge exegetical stretch out of these verses.
So let us look at the context.
“O wives of the Prophet, whoever of you should commit a clear immorality – for her, the punishment would be doubled two fold, and ever is that, for Allah, easy. And whoever of you devoutly obeys Allah and His Messenger and does righteousness – We will give her reward twice; and We have prepared for her a noble provision. O wives of the Prophet, you are not like anyone among women. If you fear Allah, then do not be soft in speech [to men], lest he in whose heart is disease should covet, but speak with appropriate speech. And abide in your houses and do not display yourselves as [was] the display of the former times of ignorance. And establish prayer and give zakah and obey Allah and His Messenger. Allah intends only to remove from you the impurity of sin, O people of the Prophet’s household, and to purify you with extensive purification. And remember what is recited in your houses of the verses of Allah and wisdom. Indeed, Allah is ever Subtle and Acquainted with all things.” (Qur’an 33:30-34)
Wives, women, her. The wives of the Prophet (saw) are all pure and purified. These verses in their context have absolutely nothing to do with any male relations of the Prophet (saw).
Keep the following in mind.
The controversy surrounding the Blessed Prophet (saw) parents.
The fact that Abu Muttalib did not die as a believer is well known.
The fact that the Blessed Messenger (saw) is reported to have had three sons, Qasim, Abdullah and Ibrahim (May Allah’s mercy cover them all). None of them lived beyond the age of 2.
The following verse makes it abundantly clear that Allah (swt) will purify whomever He (swt) wills.
“So if not for the favor of Allah upon you and His mercy, not one of you would have been pure, ever, but Allah purifies whom He wills, and Allah is Hearing and Knowing.” (Qur’an 24:21)
Does being a descendant of a Prophet guarantee you to be sinless and free from error?
Keep in mind the following:
“Moreover, it sailed with them through waves like mountains, and NOAH CALLED TO HIS SON who was apart [from them], “O MY SON, come aboard with us and be not with the disbelievers. [But] he said, “I will take refuge on a mountain to protect me from the water.” [Noah] said, “There is no protector today from the decree of Allah, except for whom is given mercy.” And the waves came between them, and he was among the drowned.”(Qur’an 11:42-43)
Then Allah (swt) informed Noah…
“So Noah called to his Lord and said, “My Lord, indeed MY SON IS OF MY FAMILY and indeed, your promise is true; and You are the most just of judges! He said, “O NOAH, INDEED HE IS NOT OF YOUR FAMILY; indeed, he is [one whose] work was other than righteous, so ask Me not for that about which you have no knowledge. Indeed, I advise you, lest you be among the ignorant. [Noah] said, “My Lord, I seek refuge in You from asking that of which I have no knowledge. And unless You forgive me and have mercy upon me, I will be among the losers.” (Qur’an 11:45-47)
“Moreover, remember that Abraham was tried by his Lord with certain commands, which he fulfilled: He said: “I will make you an Imam to the Nations.” He pleaded: “And also (Imams) from my offspring!” He answered: “But My Promise is not within the reach of evil-doers.” (Qur’an 2:124)
If you notice Allah (swt) didn’t write a blank check for the descendants of Abraham. If you were made virtuous by being a descendant of a prophet than Allah(swt) would have simply granted Abraham’s du’a; however, he did not. He made a caveat, “My promise is not within reach of the evildoers.”
Is this not interesting? Make Imams of me and my offspring!
In other words, I will grant your du’a to those who hold on to my commands and strive their utmost to be righteous servants.
Cain killed his brother Abel. Both were descendants of the Prophet Adam (upon whom be peace). Yet, one was righteous and the other became the ‘first’ murderer. Such that Allah (swt) made an example of this particular incident throughout time.
“So his soul permitted to him the murder of his brother, so he killed him and became among the losers.” (Qur’an 5:30)
In reality, if you want to be technical, from the perspective that we all came from Adam, or are ‘Bani Adam‘ -the children of Adam, we are in reality all descendants of Prophets.
Is this not interesting? He murdered his own brother. Both had the blood of a Prophet in their veins.
We love and we honour the noble Prophet Muhammed (saw) and his family. However, we have no evidence from the Qur’an to substantiate the position that they were infallible or beyond reproach. No one can establish this from the Qur’an. “Look how We make clear to them the signs; then look at how they are deluded.” (Qur’an 5:75)