Introduction

1. Doors in the Holy Quran
2. Doors in the Sunnah
3. Door of the Ahle Bait (a.s.)
4. Abu Bakr’s biggest regret
5. Reply to the report on Ameerul Momineen (a.s.)

Of all the doubts created by some so-called Muslims including those who accept the Ahle Bait’s (a.s.) virtues is that the house of Fatima Zahra (s.a.) did not have a door.

They claim houses in the early period of Islam did not have wooden doors; instead the residents fixed curtains or mats as doors. Some, in order to prove their claim, advance certain traditions like:

It is narrated by Ali b. Abi Talib (a.s.): And we are Ahle Bait of Muhammad. Our houses neither have roofs nor doors…

They claim – since the house had no door, how is it possible for Fatima Zahra (s.a.) to be crushed between the door and the wall?

Back to TopDoors in the Holy Quran

It is misleading to suggest that houses of the time did not have roofs and doors. The Holy Quran clearly states that houses have doors and they should be locked.

a) The following verse states that houses have doors:

وَلَيْسَ الْبِرُّ بِأَنْ تَأْتُوا الْبُيُوتَ مِنْ ظُهُورِهَا وَلَٰكِنَّ الْبِرَّ مَنِ اتَّقَىٰ وَأْتُوا الْبُيُوتَ مِنْ أَبْوَابِهَا

“…and it is not righteousness that you should enter the houses at their backs, but righteousness is this that one should guard (against evil); and go into the houses by their doors.” (Surah Baqarah (2):189)

 

b) This verse states that doors have keys:

…مِنْ بُيُوتِكُمْ أَوْ بُيُوتِ آبَائِكُمْ…أَوْ مَا مَلَكْتُمْ مَفَاتِحَهُ أَوْ صَدِيقِكُمْ ۚ لَيْسَ عَلَيْكُمْ جُنَاحٌ أَنْ تَأْكُلُوا جَمِيعًا أَوْ أَشْتَاتًا

“…from your houses, or your fathers’ houses… or what you possess the keys of, or your friends’ (houses). It is no sin in you that you eat together or separately.” (Surah Nur (24):61)

This implies doors were of wood/iron or a solid material which could be opened with a key. This rules out curtains or mats as these so-called Muslims claim.

Back to TopDoors in the Sunnah

a. Houses of Muslims had doors

Traditions clearly like the one mentioned below, talk of unlocking the door with keys and this shows that houses and rooms of that period had doors:

Dukain b. Saeed Muzni: I went to the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and requested him for food. The Prophet (s.a.w.a.) said to Umar: Go and give food to them. Umar took us to the room upstairs; then he removed the key from his waist band and opened the door.
• Sunan-e-Abi Dawood, vol. 2 p. 527 H. 5,240

The well-known Salafi of our era – Shaikh Naasiruddin al-Albani – in his Sahih wa Zaeef Sunan Abi Dawood, H. 5,238 has validated this tradition as authentic.

Likewise Muslim has recorded in his Sahih that houses had doors during the early period of Islam. For instance, in a report Abu Hamid says: The Prophet (s.a.w.a.) commanded us to place containers of water in a corner and latch the doors at night.
• Sahih-e-Muslim vol 3 p. 1,593, H. 2,010

b. Door of the Prophet’s (s.a.w.a.) house

Ibn Kathir Dimishqi – Ibn Taymiyyah’s leading student, quoting from Hasan Basri, says regarding the door of the Prophet’s (s.a.w.a.) house: Rooms of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) were constructed by fastening branches of juniper tree together with thick hair. It is mentioned in Tarikh Bukhari that the door of the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) was knocked with finger tips and nails and this proves that there was no ring for knocking.
• Al-Bidaayah wa al-Nihaayah vol. 3 p. 221

Knocking with finger tips indicates that doors were of a hard material and not mat as these Muslims claim.

c. Door of Ameerul Momineen’s (a.s.) house

Numerous reports by scholars of both sects have documented the famous incident – closing of doors into the mosque by divine command excepting the doors of the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and Ameerul Momineen Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a.s).

If houses did not have proper doors that could be opened and closed, such a divine command would be meaningless, which cannot be expected from Allah, the All-Wise.

So those who reject the presence of a door are in effect accusing Allah of being Unwise (we seek refuge in Allah).

Also, there are other traditions that show that the house of Hazrat Fatima Zahra (s.a.) and Ameerul Momineen Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a.s.) had a door.

For instance, in the description of the marriage of Hazrat Fatima Zahra (s.a.) with Ameerul Momineen (a.s.), it is mentioned: The Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) summoned Ali b. Abi Talib (a.s.) and recited the same rituals and supplications for Ali (a.s.) that he (s.a.w.a.) had recited for Fatima Zahra (s.a.)…after these supplications the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.) rose and closed the door.
• Al-Musannaf vol. 5 p. 489 by Abu Bakr Abdul Razzaq b. Hamam Sanani (exp. 211 A.H.) – teacher of Bukhari and Muslim

d. Door of Ayesha’s house

Bukhari has written that the door of Ayesha’s house was made of wood of juniper or teak.
• Al-Adab al-Mufarrad, vol. 1 p. 272

Back to TopDoor of the Ahle Bait (a.s.)

There are  many reports that clearly state that the Ahle Bait’s (a.s.) house had a door.

We list two well-known instances over here.

a. The Prophet (s.a.w.a.) halts at the Ahle Bait’s door

انس بن مالك: ان رسول‏ اللّه صلّى اللّه عليه و آله كان يمر بباب فاطمة إذا خرج إلى صلاة الفجر و يقول:الصلاة يا أهل بيتي انما يريد اللّه، الآية.

Anas b. Malik – the slave of the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) relates – The Prophet (s.a.w.a.) used to pass by the door of Fatima (s.a.) at the time of the morning prayers and announce – Salutations (on you) O my Ahle Bait (a.s.) – Allah only desires to keep away the uncleanness from you, O people of the House! and to purify you a (thorough) purifying.

  • Al-Ehtejaaj vol 2 pg 515

b. The poor, orphan and the captive halt at the door 

Regarding the 8th verse of Surah Insaan (76), there are reports that on three successive days, the needy one, the orphan and the captive halted at the door of Ameerul Momineen (a.s.).

ا إِذْ وَقَفَ عَلَى الْبَابِ مِسْكِينٌ‏ وَ قَالَ: السَّلَامُ عَلَيْكُمْ يَا أَهْلَ بَيْتِ مُحَمَّدٍ، مِسْكِينٌ مِنْ مَسَاكِينِ الْمُسْلِمِينَ أَطْعِمُونِي أَطْعَمْكُمُ اللَّهُ مِنْ طَعَامِ الْجَنَّةوَقَفَ عَلَى الْبَابِ سَائِلٌ وَ قَالَ: السَّلَامُ عَلَيْكُمْ يَا أَهْلَ بَيْتِ مُحَمَّد

When the needy one halted at the door and said – Salutations on you O Ahle Bait of Muhammad, a needy one from the needy Muslims. Feed me, Allah will feed you from the food of Paradise. The beggar halted at the door and said – Salutations on you O Ahle Bait of Muhammad…

  • Zaad al-Maad pg 227 of Allamah Majlisi (r.a.)

Reports carrying the same gist have been documented in:

  • Noor al-Saqalain under exegesis of Surah Insaan
  • Taa’weel al-Ayah al-Zahirah fi Fadhail al-Itrah al-Tahirah by Ali Astarabadi

Note the reports very clearly identifying the door of the Ahle Bait’s (a.s.) house. If there was no door, the word (عَلَى الْبَابِ) – meaning ‘at the door’ would not have been mentioned.

Back to TopAbu Bakr’s biggest regret

Authentic reports from the opponents have been recorded that when Abu Bakr was lying on his death bed, Abd al-Rahman Ibn Awf visited him. After inquiring about his well-being, Ibn Awf questioned the reason for the disconcertment writ large on the face of Abu Bakr. He replied, “I am distressed for nine reasons: Three things which I did I should not have done; three things which I did not do, I should have done and three things I did not ask the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.a.), I should have asked.” Of these, the first thing which he mentioned was, “I should not have exposed the house of Fatima (s.a.) even if they had locked the door to wage a war against me.

(Kitaab al-Amwaal by Abu Ubaid al-Qasim Ibn Sallaam al-Khuzaaee exp. 224 A.H., p. 524, H. 351; Tarikh Tabari, vol. 2, p. 619, vol. 3, p. 430; Zahabi in Seyar Alaam al-Nubalaa, vol. 28, p. 17 in the biography of Abu Bakr and again Zahabi in Tarikh al-Islam, vol. 3, p. 118; Ibn Abdo Rabbeh Aandlusi in Eqd al-Fareed, vol. 1, p. 29 and p. 51; al-Tabaraani in al-Mojam al-Kabeer, vol. 1 p. 62; Zia al-Maqdesi in al-Ahaadees al-Mukhtaarah, H. No. 12 (beneath it, he writes that Haazaa hadisun hasanun an Abi Bakr); Ibn Abi al-Hadeed in Sharh Nahj, vol. 6, p. 51 and vol. 20, p. 24; Suyuti in Musnad-o-Fatemah (s.a.), p. 34 and numerous other references.)

So, you see, the culprit himself is confessing to the crime and the presence of the door but his cohorts are trying to exonerate him from the same! Unfortunately, today some of these cohorts are those who claim to be from the followers of the Ahle Bait (a.s.) and are even leading prayers of the Shias! May Allah save us from the evils of the last era!

Back to TopReply to the report on Ameerul Momineen (a.s.)

As for the tradition advanced as proof of houses lacking doors, readers should know it is a lengthy tradition, not related in any way to houses and doors. On the contrary, it is about the condition of the Ahle Bait (a.s.) and their simple lifestyle that did not allow them to wear lavish clothes and live in palatial houses like other wealthy Arabs. The tradition is actually about the virtues of Ali b. Abi Talib (a.s.) vis-à-vis other Muslims. These so-called Muslims have conveniently extracted a portion with malafide intention of denying the attack on the house of Hazrat Fatima Zahra (s.a.)!

Let us first look at the tradition in context to understand this better. Being a lengthy tradition, we have extracted the portion relevant to our discussion.

Ameerul Momineen (a.s.) says: “…the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) was very sympathetic with the people. He (s.a.w.a.) fed them and pleased them just as soon as they approached Islam and were about to run away from it. He (s.a.w.a.) gave them clothing, carpets and beds even though we ourselves as the members of the household lived in homes without roofs and doors. The walls of our homes were made of date palm branches and leaves. We neither had any carpets nor any blankets. Several of us shared one dress and took turns to pray with it. We remained hungry around the clock. The Prophet (s.a.w.a.) even gave away the one-fifth levy (khums) that was our divinely-ordained right to others and assisted the wealthy Arabs with it…”

Any unbiased reader will conclude that the tradition is actually related to the virtues of the Ahle Bait (a.s.) and their simple lifestyle that did not permit them to live lavishly.

But those with mischievous motives derive the meaning to suit their objectives which is to reject the virtues of Ahle Bait (a.s.).

Can one imagine a house for the daughter of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) without a door and ceiling allowing passersby to catch a glance at the inmates of the house? Will the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) permit such a thing for his daughter – the chief of all women of Paradise – whose hijab and modesty in this world and on the Day of Judgment is without any parallel? Also, if we have to accept such a house for Fatima Zahra (s.a.), then we have to accept the same for the Holy Prophet’s (s.a.w.a.) houses, since the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) is a greater model than the Ahle Bait (a.s.). Can the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and his wives live in such houses?

It is obvious from the context of the tradition that the houses of the Ahle Bait (a.s.) lacked the structure and amenities of other Muslims. Their houses had doors and roofs and walls, however, they were the bare minimum for survival and not as well constructed as other companions. Just like their clothing was the bare minimum for prayers and other obligatory duties and not for ostentation.

Again, this tradition only ends up showing the virtues of the Ahle Bait (a.s.) vis-à-vis other companions, so bringing up this tradition has only backfired on those who attempt to reject the virtues of the Ahle Bait (a.s.).

For those with mischievous intentions there is no shortage of such conveniently extracted excerpts.