Love For Ahl-ul-Bayt
We who are strongly in need of Allah’s mercy, favor and special attention must choose a path the final stage of which is Allah’s pleasure hence Paradise. In order to win Allah’s favor, we need mediation to find the truth. Based on Qur’anic verses, this mediation is love for Ahl-ul-Bayt and compliance with their teachings. In order to love Ahl al-Bayt, we should first get to know them. When we see their moral virtues and spiritual beauty we will automatically love them. This love makes human receive baptism of Allah and become like the Beloved One in all aspects. One must note that love and friendly relations will come about only when we get to know our Beloved. Even in metaphorical examples of love, one never falls in love unless he sees the beauty of the beloved.
When one loves, one will automatically do one’s best to comply with whatever the beloved wishes and will be baptized by the Beloved in a way that both the lover and the beloved become identical.
The Holy Prophet’s words “Salman is from us, Ahl-ul-Bayt” is the best proof. Love for Ahl-ul-Bayt is a valuable truth which Allah has determined as a reward for the mission of the Holy Prophet: Say: I do not ask of you any reward for it but love for my near relatives. (42:23)
Based on narrations related by Shiite scholars and others related by Sunni scholars, near relatives are Ahl-ul-Bayt. The important point in this Qur’anic verse is the word love intermingled with obedience.
Is it not surprising that Allah has not refereed to performing prayer, Hajj, fast, almsgiving and poor-rate as reward for the mission of the Holy Prophet but He has stipulated the word love in order to show the love for Ahl-ul-Bayt and obedience to them are above all other truths? Should there be no love for Ahl-ul-Bayt, there would be no virtues for the abovementioned acts.
The Holy Prophet is quoted as saying:
لِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ أسَاسٌ، وَأسَاسُ الإسْلأمِ حُبُّنَا أهْلَ الْبَيْتِ.
There is a basis for everything; and love for us, Ahl-ul-Bayt, is the basis of Islam. 
Imam Ali (A.S) has said: I heard Allah’s Messenger saying:
أنَا سَيِّدُ وُلْدِ آدَمَ. وَأنْتَ يَا عَلِيُّ وَالأئِمَّةُ مِنْ بَعْدِكَ سَادَةُ أُمَّتِي. مَنْ أحَبَّنَا فَقَدْ أحَبَّ اللهَ، وَمَنْ أبْغَضَنَا فَقَدْ أبْغَضَ اللهَ، وَمَنْ وَالأنَا فَقَدْ وَالَى اللهَ، وَمَنْ أطَاعَنَا فَقَدْ أطَاعَ اللهَ، وَمَنْ عَصَانَا فَقَدْ عَصَى اللهَ.
I am the master of Adam’s children and you, Ali, and the Imams after you are the masters of my ummah. Whoever loves us has loved Allah. Whoever is hostile to us has been hostile to Allah. Whoever obeys us has obeyed Allah and whoever disobey us has disobeyed Allah.
Love for Ahl-ul-Bayt is a gift which Allah bestows on the pure hearts of worthy people. Imam Baqir (A.S) has said:
إنِّي لأعْلَمُ أنَّ هَذَا الْحُبَّ الَّذِي تُحِبُّونَنَا لَيْسَ بِشَيْءٍ صَنَعْتُمُوهُ؛ وَلَكِنَّ اللهَ صَنَعَهُ
I know the reason why you love us. It is not something spontaneous; rather, it is a love made by Allah. 
Imam Sadiq (A.S) has said:
إنَّ حُبَّنَا يُنْزِلُهُ اللهُ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ مِنْ خَزَائِنَ تَحْتَ الْعَرْشِ كَخَزَائِنِ الذَّهَبِ وَالْفِضَّةِ، وَلأ يُنْزِلُهُ إلأ بِقَدَرٍ، وَلأ يُعْطِيهِ إلأ خَيْرَ الْخَلْقِ. وَإنَّ لَهُ غَمَامَةً كَغَمَامَةِ الْقَطْرِ؛ فَإذَا أرَادَ اللهُ أنْ يَخُصَّ بِهِ مَنْ أحَبَّ مِنْ خَلْقِهِ أذِنَ لِتِلْكَ الْغَمَامَةِ فَتَهَطَّلَتْ كَمَا تَهَطَّلُ السَّحَابُ فَتُصِيبُ الْجَنِينَ فِي بَطْنِ أُمِّهِ.
Love for us is sent down by Allah from treasuries below His throne like treasuries of gold and silver. This love is sent down only with a certain extent to the best of people. It is like a cloud bringing rain with it. So, whenever Allah wills, He sends it down so as to come to an embryo in a mother’s womb. 
Since love for Ahl-ul-Bayt is a heavenly gift and the gift is offered only to friends, love for them is a sign of Allah’s love for human.
Compiled by: Allama Hussein Ansariyan