In the Holy Qur’an, Allah, the Exalted, says,
﴿ … قُلْ لا اَسأَلُکُمْ عَلَيْهِ اَجْراً إِلاَّ المَوَدَّةِ فِي الْقُرْبي… ﴾
“… Say: I do not ask of you any reward for it but love of my near relatives…”8
This Qur’anic verse is popularly known as “the Verse of Love” [mawaddah]. In most books of Qur’anic commentary, Islamic traditions and history, the Verse of Love is known to have been revealed about the Ahl al-Bayt.
Suyuti has interpreted this verse. While commenting on it, he quotes from Ibn ‘Abbas, “When this verse was revealed to the Noble Prophet (S), his companions asked, ‘O Prophet of Allah! Who are your near relatives, the ones whom loving has been made incumbent upon us?’ The Holy Prophet (S) said, ‘Ali and Fatimah and their two children’.”9
After praising and glorifying Allah in a sermon that he delivered after the martyrdom of Imam ‘Ali (as), Imam al-Hasan (as) said,
… وأنا من أهلِ البيتِ الّذي افترض الله مودّتهم علی کلِّ مسلم، فقال تبارك وتعالي: ﴿ قُلْ لا اَسْأَلُکُمْ عَلَيْهِ اَجْراً إِلاَّ المَوَدَّةِ فِي الْقُرْبي وَمَنْ يقْتَرِفْ حَسَنَةً نَزِدْ لَهُ فيها حُسْناً ﴾ فاقتراف الحسنة مودّتنا أهل البيت.
“… And I am one of the Ahl al-Bayt, whose love Allah has made incumbent upon every Muslim. Allah, the Blessed and Exalted, has said, ‘Say: I do not ask of you any reward for it but love of my near relatives; and whoever earns good, We increase for him good therein…’ Therefore, doing good works manifests your love of the Ahl al-Bayt.”
Imam al-Sadiq (as) asked Abi Ja‘far Ahwal, “What do the people of Basrah say about this verse, ‘Say: I do not ask of you any reward for it but love of my near relatives…’” Abi Ja‘far Ahwal answered, “May I be your ransom, they say that this verse was revealed regarding the status of all the relatives of the Holy Prophet (S).”
Imam al-Sadiq (as) said, “They speak falsehood! This verse was revealed only regarding the Ahl al-Bayt, ‘Ali, Fatimah, al-Hasan and al-Husayn, the companions of the Kisa.”10
The exclusiveness of this verse is additional, not real. Therefore, the verse also includes the remaining Imams (as).
8. Surat al-Shawra 42:23.
9. Al-Durr al-Manthur, vol. 6, p. 7; Al-Hakim al-Neyshaburi, Al-Mustadrak ‘ala al-Sahihayn, vol. 3, p. 172; Majma‘ al-Zawa’id, vol. 9, p. 168; Kashaf, vol. 4, p. 219.
10. Al-Kafi, vol. 8, p. 79, hadith 66; Qurb al-Asnad, p. 128.
Adapted from: “The Uprising of Ashura and Responses to Doubts” by: “‘Ali Asghar Ridwani”