them. So he enfolded them in his cloak, giving the four, plus himself, the title of the Five People of the Cloak.1 In this way he wanted to acquit and exonerate ‘Ali (May God be pleased with him) in the view of the Islamic community; to console and offer condolences to Husayn (May God be pleased with him); to congratulate Hasan and proclaim the honour he would acquire by removing through reconciliation serious discord, and his supreme value for the Islamic community; and to show that Fatima’s descendants would be pure and honoured.
For sure ‘Ali was the rightful Caliph, but since the blood that would be spilt held great importance and since in the view of the community his acquittal and exoneration were important on account of the function of messengership, the Noble Messenger (UWBP) in this way absolved him. He invited the Kharijites and the aggressive supporters of the Umayyads to be silent, for they criticized him and accused him of error and misguidance. Yes, the excesses perpetrated against ‘Ali (May God be pleased with him) by the extreme supporters of the Kharijites and Umayyads and their accusations of misguidance, and the truly tragic, distressing events in Husayn’s (May God be pleased with him) time together with the excesses and innovations of the Shi‘a and the absolving of the two Shaykhs, have all been most damaging for the people of Islam.
Thus, with his cloak and prayer, the Noble Messenger (Upon whom be blessings and peace) absolved Husayn of responsibility, and cleared him of the accusations and bad opinion of the Islamic community. So too he congratulated Hasan for the good he was to do for the community by bringing about the reconciliation. And he announced that being known as the Prophet’s Family, the blessed progeny of Fatima would be highly honoured, like those of Mary’s mother,2 who said:
I commend her and her offspring to your protection from the Evil One, the Rejected.(3:36)
O God! Grant blessings to our master Muhammad, and to his righteous, pure, and pious Family, and to his Companions, noble and select strivers in God’s way. Amen.
See, Muslim, Fada’il al-Sahaba, 61; Ibn Abi Shayba, al-Musannaf, vi, 370.
She was called Hanna bint Fakuz; see, al-Hakim, al-Mustadrak, ii, 648, 651; al-Tabari, Jami‘ al-Bayan, iii, 235, 237, 241, 244, 294.