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Literally "people of the household," ahl al-bayt refers to the family of the prophet Muhammad and his descendants. Shi'i Muslims are particularly devoted to the family of the Prophet-his cousin and son-in-law, `Ali ibn Abi Talib (d. 661), his daughter, Fatimah (d. 632), and their sons, Hasan (d. 669/7o) and Husayn (d. 680)-and the other imams, succeeding leaders of the community and descendants of the Prophet. The Shi'i believe that these figures embody special holiness and spiritual power and k ...more

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