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The Prophetic Family in Islamic Tradition



Department for the Study of Religion (Religion)
St. George
Shafique Virani

The conception of the ahl al-bayt, the family of the Prophet Muhammad, plays a vital role in Islamic history, thought and piety. In the tashahhud portion of the ritual prayers, Muslims of all persuasions supplicate daily, “O God! Bless Muhammad and his family (āl) as you blessed Abraham and his family.” From the Arabic teachings of the Prophet’s cousin ʿAli and the Shiʿi Imams descended from him, to the legitimacy drawn from their sayyid lineage by Sunni religious and political leaders, from the Persian poetry of countless Muslim mystics to the Indic and Turkish stories about members of the hallowed lineage, this course draws on both primary and secondary sources to explore the significance of the Prophet’s family in the Islamic tradition.