Safeguarding Prophethood and Imamate and protecting the Ahle Bait (a.s.) from attacks on their person and personality is among the foremost duties of the Muslim community.
Regarding the rights of Ahle Bait (a.s.) it is worth noting the exegesis of the Quranic verse:
وَأَمَّا الْجِدَارُ فَكَانَ لِغُلَامَيْنِ يَتِيمَيْنِ فِي الْمَدِينَةِ وَكَانَ تَحْتَهُ كَنزٌ لَّهُمَا وَكَانَ أَبُوهُمَا صَالِحًا
‘And as for the wall, it belonged to two orphan boys in the city, and there was beneath it a treasure belonging to them, and their father was a righteous man…’ (Surah Kahf (18): 82)
Imam Zainul Abideen (a.s.) declared: My father (a.s.) narrated from his ancestors (a.s.) – the two orphan boys were ten generations after their righteous father.
While we are the progeny of the Prophet (s.a.w.a.). Safeguard us (our rights) for the sake of Allah’s Prophet (s.a.w.a.).
The narrator says – I saw people in all directions weeping on this narration.
- Kashf al-Ghummah vol 1 pg 51
Likewise, the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) promised a might reward to the Muslims for protecting the Ahle Bait (a.s.)
As’ad Ibn Zorarah and other earliest Ansar on accepting Islam at the hands of the Prophet (s.a.w.a.):
O Messenger of Allah, impose any condition you wish regarding yourself and your Lord.
Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.): I order you to protect me as you protect yourself and to protect my family (Ahle Bait) as you protect your family and your children.
Ansar: What will be our reward?
Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.): Paradise (in the hereafter). On earth you will rule the Arabs and the non-Arabs will obey you and you will be kings.
• Tafseer al-Safi v 2 p 293 under Surah Anfar (8): 30
• Tafseer Noor al-Thaqalain v 2 p 146-147 under Surah Anfar (8): 30
• Hilyah al-Abraar v 1 p 92
• Behar al-Anwar v 19 12
Clearly, the Muslims neglected safeguarding the rights and lives of the Ahle Bait (a.s.) and paid a price. Not only has their Islam and faith come under question, they even lost out on the reward promised by the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) of ruling the world.