Story No. 182 – Story of the cloak (Hadith al-Kisa / Ayat Tatheer) [Ahlul Bayt (as)]

We narrate an invaluable tradition of Rasulallah (saw) and his honoured family. In Noble Qur’an there is a verse closely related with the Tradition of the Cloak: “And stay in your houses and do not display your finery like the displaying of the ignorance of yore; and keep up prayer, and pay the poor-rate, and obey Allah and His Messenger. Allah only desires to keep away the uncleanness from you, O people of the House! and to purify you a (thorough) purifying.” (33:33)


This verse is famous as Ayat Tatheer and is closely related with the Tradition of the Cloak. The following is the tradition:


One day Rasulallah (saw) came to the house of his daughter, Fatima al-Zahra (sa), and told her that he was very tired and asked her to cover him with his cloak. As she was covering Rasulallah (saw), his face lit up and shone like the full moon. After a while Imam Hasan (as) came to the house and said that he could smell the fragrance of his grandfather. Fatima al-Zahra (sa) said that he was resting under the cloak. Imam Hasan (as) greeted Rasulallah (saw) and asked his permission to come under the cloak. The permission was granted. Similarly, Imam Husayn (as), Imam Ali (as), and Fatima al-Zahra (sa), after greeting him and receiving permission from Rasulallah (saw), went under the cloak. Fatima al-Zahra (sa), said that when they, the Ahlul Bayt (as), gathered under the cloak, Almighty Allah (SWT) said, ‘Let it be known to you, my angels and those who are in the heavens, that I swear by my honour and might that I have not created the heavens and the earth and what are in them, but only out of love for the five honourable ones who are under the cloak.’


Angel Gabriel (Jabra’il) asked Allah (SWT) who was under the cloak. Allah (SWT) informed him that they were the people of the house of Rasulallah (saw). Angel Gabriel (Jabra’il) requested permission from Allah (SWT) to be the sixth under the cloak. Angel Gabriel (Jabra’il) greeted Rasulallah (saw) and received permission to enter under the cloak. Angel Gabriel (Jabra’il) said that Allah (SWT) has created the universe because of them and out of love for them. And ‘Allah (SWT) only desires to keep that which is ritually unclean away from you, O people of the House, and to purify you a thorough purifying.’


Imam Ali (as) asked Rasulallah (saw) to explain the significance of their gathering under the cloak. Rasulallah (saw) said, ‘I swear by Allah (SWT) that whenever this tradition will be recited among our friends and lovers, Allah’s (SWT) mercy will descend upon them and the angels will surround them and ask forgiveness for them until they disperse. Allah (SWT) will also remove the sorrow and answer the prayers of those who had come to ask. Imam Ali (as) swore by the Lord of the Kaaba that the Ahlul Bayt (as) and their friends had profited both in this world and the next.


Surely Allah and His angels bless the Prophet; O you who believe! Call for (Divine) blessings on him and salute him with a (becoming) salutation. (Noble Qur’an, 33:56)