Ashab al-Kisa'

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Shia Islam

Aṣḥāb al-Kisāʾ (Arabic: أصحاب الكساء, lit. Companions of the Cloak) are those persons who were given place by the Prophet (s) under his cloak when the al-Tathir Verse revealed to him. Ashab al-Kisa' are the Prophet (s), Imam Ali (a), Fatima (a), Imam al-Hasan (a), and Imam al-Husayn (a). They are also known as Al 'Aba, Ashab al-Kisa', Al al-Kisa', and al-Khamsa al-Tayyiba (the pure five). This event shows the excellence of Ashab al-Kisa' over others and that these five persons are "the best of people" and "the most generous of all creation and most honourable among them before God".

Number of Ashab al-Kisa'

The reports which have been related by Shi'a about Hadith of al-Kisa' prove that Ashab al-Kisa' are five: The Prophet (s), Imam Ali (a), Fatima (a), Imam al-Hasan (a), and Imam al-Husayn (a). According to these reports, Umm Salama asked the Prophet (s) to join them but he (s) did not allow her.

In a hadith, Imam al-Sadiq (a) expressly says, "Ashab al-Kisa' who are the most generous and most honourable of all creation before God are five"[1]. He (a) then lists their names.

In supplications for Ziyarahs, Imam al-Husayn (a) is called the Fifth of Ashab al-Kisa'.

The Prophet (s) excluded the address of the Verse of Tathir to five persons.[2]

About the verse of Tathir, al-'Allama al-Hilli says, "Revelation of the verse of Tathir about the five Ashab al-Kisa' is among Mutawatirat (frequently reported hadiths) and no one doubts about it except the enemy or the despiteful"[3].

The title "Ashab al-Kisa'" became famous among exegetes and narrators; i.e. they said that the verse of Tathir is revealed about Ashab al-Kisa' instead of mentioning the names of each of them. For example, about the cause of revelation of the verse, "They give food, for the love of Him, to the needy, the orphan, and the prisoner"[4], al-'Allama al-Majlisi says, "Exegetes and hadith scholars represent a consensus on that this verse is revealed about Ashab al-Kisa'"[5].

See Also


  1. Ṣadūq, ʿIlal al-sharāyiʿ, vol. 1, p. 733.
  2. Ḥurr al-ʿĀmilī, Ithbāt al-hudāt, vol. 2, p. 201.
  3. Ḥillī, Nahj al-ḥaqq wa kashf al-ṣidq, p. 230.
  4. Quran, 76:8.
  5. Majlisī, Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 35, p. 256.


  • Qurʾān.
  • Ḥillī, Ḥasan b. Yūsuf al-. Nahj al-ḥaq wa kashf al-ṣidq. Beirut: Dār al-Kutub al-Lubnānī, 1982.
  • Ḥurr al-ʿĀmilī, Muḥammad b. al-Ḥasan al-. Ithbāt al-hudāt bi-nuṣūṣ wa l-muʿjizāt. Beirut: Aʿlamī, 1425 AH.
  • Majlisī, Muḥammad Bāqir al-. Biḥār al-anwār. Beirut: Dār Iḥyāʾ al-Turāth al-ʿArabī, 1403 AH.
  • Ṣadūq, Muḥammad b. ʿAlī al-. ʿIlal al-sharāyiʿ. Translated to Farsi by Dhihnī Tihrānī. Qom: Intishārāt-i Amīr al-Muʾminīn, 1380 Sh.