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The Five (a)

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A Poster depicting the names of The Five (a) in Arabic

The Five (a) (Arabic:اَلخَمسَة الطَيِّبَة) is a title for the Prophet (s), Imam 'Ali (a), Lady Fatima (a), Imam al-Hasan (a) and Imam al-Husayn (a), whose common virtues and positions distinguish them from other Infallibles (a). They are also known as Al 'Aba, Ashab al-Kisa', Al Kisa' and al-Khamsa al-Tayyiba (the pure five).

Virtues of the Five (a) in the Qur'an

The fame of the Five is due to the cause of revelation of the verse of Tathir which was revealed when the Prophet (s) and other four infallible ones mentioned above gathered under a cloak. Shi'a commentators and many others exclude the Ahl al-Bayt (a) to Lady Fatima (a), her husband and Hasanayn (a) (Imam al-Hasan (a) and Imam al-Husayn (a)) whom are introduced in the mentioned verse as those from whom all impurities is repelled.

The excellence of the Five is also understood from other verses such as;

  • Verse of Mubahala, in which 'Ali (a) regarded as the soul of the Prophet (s),Lady Fatima (a) is regarded as the chosen woman of the Ahl al-Bayt (a) and Hasan (a) and Husayn (a) are regarded as children of the Prophet (s).
  • Verses of 5 to 22 from the Qur'an 76 which revealed when 'Ali (a), Fatima (a), Hasan (a) and Husayn (a) fasted and gave away the only food they had to break their fasting for three consecutive nights to a poor person, an orphan and a captive and thus their altruism and self-sacrifice was praised.
  • Verse of Mawadda in which "al-Qurba" refers to 'Ali (a), Fatima (a), Hasan (a), and Husayn (a) and their love is regarded as the reward for the Prophet's (s) mission.

Precedence of the Five (a) over other Imams (a)

Precedence and eminence of the Five among the fourteen Infallibles (a) is proved due to their exclusive virtues. Also, the martyrdom of Imam al-Husayn (a) who was the last of the Five, and is called "Khamis ahl al-'aba" and "Khamis ahl al-kisa'" in du'as and supplications has been considered as the demise of all the Five and thus as the greatest catastrophe.

See also


  • The material for this article is mainly taken from پنج تن in Farsi Wikishia.