Before we examine the article that was written on ‘’Answering-’’ I would first like to give my sincere gratitude to Osama Abdullah. When I doubted my faith a few years ago, it was his site that gave strength to my faith. It was his site that proved to me that the religion that I was contemplating converting to was nothing more than a man made lie. It was only a year ago that I was emailing him with my articles hoping he would give them a positive review, and it was only a year ago that I filled his inbox with questions about Islam, and Christianity. He has, and will always, be a hero of mine when it comes to the world of apologetics and I pray that he continues on the way of Allah (sawt) and his mission to defend Islam, and debunk the onslaught of Christian missionaries never ends.

Before we get into the actual article, here is the link to the article written by Osama Abdullah (Click Here)

A Side Note from the Author

The issue of who is being spoken about in Surah 33:33 is one of the most highly debated issues when people first enter the world of Sunni and Shia dialogue, so I hope that everyone who does read this article writes down the information that they find in this article because I promise you that you will discuss this very topic one day.

Osama Abdullah States:  While Commentating on Surah 33:30-34

Now to the ordinary reader, there seems to be no problem in the Noble Verses above.  But unfortunately, the Shias consider Noble Verse 33:33 to be the greatest Noble Verse to them, because they misuse it and misinterpret it to support their blasphemies and idol-worship of Ali and the rest of Ahlul-Bayt.It is claimed or believed that Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, declared that him, Ali, Fatima (his daughter), Hasan and Hussein were the ones who got purified by Allah Almighty and that the “People of the House of the Prophet” (Ahlul-Bayt) are only limited to those individuals, and therefore, after Prophet Muhammad died, Ali should’ve been the very next Islamic Caliph.  The Shias exclude all of Prophet Muhammad’s wives from Noble Verse 33:33.

Our Response

Let us deal with the issue as to whether we worship the Ahlul-bayt at a later time, for now let us deal with Osama’s belief that we are wrong in believing that Surah 33:33 ONLY refers to Imam Ali (as) Imam Hassan (as) Imam Hussein (as) and Fatima Al-Zahara (as). Osama states that we  are wrong in excluding all of wives of the Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh&hf) from verse 33 (33:33)  and we do this only to justify our beliefs that Imam Ali (as) should have been the successor of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh&hf). With this said it is extremely interesting to see that our beliefs are shared by none other than one of the Prophets Wives.

Book 031, Number 5955:

Aisha reported

 That Allah’s Apostle (May peace be upon him) went out one morning wearing a striped cloak of the black camel’s hair that there came Hassan b. ‘Ali. He wrapped him under it, then came Husain and he wrapped him under it along with the other one (Hassan). Then came Fatima and he took her under it, then came ‘Ali and he also took him under it and then said: Allah only desires to take away any uncleanliness from you, O people of the household, and purify you (thorough purifying)



This Hadith from Sahih Muslim is enough to debunk Osama Abdullah’s entire article in regards to Surah 33:33.  It is quite ironic to see that Aisha is the one who reports this Hadith. Aisha as we all know is one of the Prophets Wives, but she has no problem in telling us who is being referred to in Surah 33:33,  yet Osama Abdullah holds us down in disgust for leaving the Prophets Wives out of later part  verse 33 (33:33)

A Side Note from the Author

I personally do not consider Surah 33:33 to be the greatest chapter or verse in the entire Qur’an, and I am sure many of the Shia Muslims are in agreement with this, but only God Almighty Knows best so I am not here to speak on the behalf of others but for me personally, to just address the statement made by Osama Abdullah in his article I do not consider Surah 33:33 to be the greatest or the best verse in the Holy Qur’an.


Osama Abdullah States: 

To me, Noble verses 33:30-34 clearly include Prophet Muhammad’s wives.  They are speaking about Prophet Muhammad’s wives, the Prophet himself, his daughter Fatimah and her family (Ali, Hasan and Hussein).  If we look at the first word in Noble Verse 33:34, which comes after 33:33, we would see “Wa uthkurun”, which is a feminine plural to “uthkur”.  In Arabic male plurals can be for either males only or a mix of males and females.  But the female plurals are only specific and limited to females and not to anything else.  So what this means is that Noble Verse 33:33 was talking about Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, his wives, his daughter and her family, since the plural, “aankum” (“from you” in Arabic) in Noble Verse 33:33, is not a feminine one.  So we know for sure that there are at least one male and at least two females in this group.  Of course, the plural could also be for males only, but since both Sunnis and Shias agree that there is at least one female, then the possibility of females is there.

Our Response:

Before we take a look at the points made by Osama Abdullah in regards to verse 34 (33:34) let us examine the  verse before that, so the readers may get a better understanding of our beliefs in regards to Surah 33:33. I am quite happy that Osama Abdullah appeals to the Arabic language here to help his argument because we here at will also appeal to the Arabic language and prove to our readers exactly who is being spoken about in verse 33 (33:33).

 Let us examine the transliteration of this verse

Transliteration of 33:33
Wa qarna fi buyootikuna wa la tabrejena tabaruja al-jahilliyat al-aola wa aqimena al-salat wa atiyena al-zakat wa ati’na Allah wa rasoolih. Inama yareedu Allah liyuthiba ‘ankum al rijs ahlel beiti wa yutahirakum tatheera

 So let us examine the beginning of verse 33 (33:33). When the wives are being spoken about in verse 33 (33:33) the grammatical tenses for a female is being used (qarNA, buyootikuNA). When we examine the later part of the verse (the part referring to the Ahlul-Bait) we see a change in grammar we see masculine grammatical tenses being used (Example: AnkUM).

Whenever people are shown these changes within the verse they usually question the change of topics within one verse and question how this is possible. For those that use this argument we kindly tell them that many times in the Qur’an we see Allah (sawt) covering more than one topics within a verse (Please see: 12:29, 5:3). I am pretty sure that Osama will agree with me that this is indeed one of the miracles of the Holy Qur’an in where we see Allah (sawt) covering a variety of topics within one verse.

In summary we see that in the beginning of Surah 33:33 the Qur’an uses female grammatical tenses when speaking about the wives of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), and when Allah (sawt) is referring to the Ahlul-Bait in the Qur’an we see him using Masculine grammatical tenses. With this in mind it is quite ironic to see that the most SAHIH book in Sunni text confirms what we say on this topic. Lets us cite the Sahih Muslim Hadith once again, to put the nail in the coffin on this argument.

Narrated Aisha:         

One day the Prophet (pbuh) came out afternoon wearing a black cloak (upper garment or gown; long coat), then al-Hasan Ibn Ali came and the Prophet accommodated him under the cloak, then al-Husain came and entered the cloak, then Fatimah came and the Prophet entered her under the cloak, then Ali came and the Prophet entered him to the cloak as well. Then the Prophet recited: “Verily Allah intends to keep off from you every kind of uncleanness O’ People of the House (Ahlul-Bayt), and purify you a perfect purification (the last sentence of Verse 33:33).”



So from the above response we see that Osama Abdullah’s entire argument crumbles. We need not even address his claims on verse 34 (33:34), because it is now clear that the wives of the Prophet are not the ones that are being addressed in the later part of verse 33 (33:33) and this is affirmed by the grammar and by the Sahih Muslim Hadith.

Osama Abdullah States: 

Now whether or not Ahlul-Bayt in Noble Verse 33:33 included the Prophet’s wives, Ali (the Prophet’s cousin), Fatimah (the Prophet’s daughter), and/or Hasan and Hussein (Ali’s and Fatimah’s two sons) is really irrelevant, because in the following Noble Verses we will clearly see that all of the true Believers are also purified in the same exact manner as Ahlul-Bayt were purified.  So there is nothing GODly or super-special about Ahlul-Bayt and it is absolutely wrong to seek them in prayers as intermediaries between the person and GOD Almighty.

“Except for those who repent, mend (their lives) hold fast to God, and purify their religion as in God’s sight: if so they will be (numbered) with the believers. And soon will God grant to the believers a reward of immense value.  (The Noble Quran, 4:146)

Take alms out of their wealth, so that thou mayest cleanse them and purify them thereby. And pray for them; thy prayer indeed is a source of tranquility for them. And ALLAH is All-Knowing.  (The Noble Quran, 9:103)

“Gardens of Eternity, beneath which streams flow; they will abide therein for ever. And that is the recompense of those who keep themselves pure.  (The Noble Quran, 20:76)

“O ye who believe! Follow not the footsteps of Satan, and whoso follows the footsteps of satan should know that he, surely, enjoins indecency and manifest evil. And but for the grace of ALLAH and HIS mercy upon you, not one of you would ever be pure; but ALLAH purifies whom HE pleases. And ALLAH is All-Hearing, All-Knowing.  (The Noble Quran, 24:21)

As the reader clearly sees, especially those who read Arabic, the purification that the “People of the House of the Prophet” (Ahlul Bayt) received, is also given to the believers in the Noble Quran.  All of the Noble Words that Allah Almighty used in Noble Verse 33:33 in reference to purifying Ahlul-Bayt were also used for the Believers as I clearly demonstrated above.

Our Response:

Before we examine the verses that Osama Abdullah uses in his attempt to minimize the event of the cloak let us take one more look at verse 33 (33:33):

[033:033]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 Apostle. Allah only desires to keep away the uncleanness from you, O people of the House! and to purify you a (thorough) purifying.  (Shakir)

We have proven who this verse is referring to now let us examine what is taking place and once we examine that we will than see if the verses Osama brought can compare in any way, shape, or form.

Important note

The above translation (Shakir) is how the verse should be translated. Unfortunately many of the popular translation mistranslate one of the most important parts of the verse let us examine this very quickly.

 Here is the transliteration of the verse, and here I will highlight the words which were mistranslated (by many of the popular translator such as Yusuf Ali) so you may get a better understanding of the verse.


 033:033] Waqarna fee buyootikunna wala tabarrajna tabarruja aljahiliyyati al-oola waaqimna alssalata waateena alzzakata waatiAAna Allaha warasoolahu innama yureedu Allahu liyuthhiba AAankumu alrrijsa ahla albayti wayutahhirakum tatheeran.


So the word liyuthhiba should be translated as: To keep away. Than the word AAnkum is used here not Minkum

With this said the proper translation should say: Allah (sawt) desires to keep sin away from you. Rather than saying (as most translation say) to purify you FROM SIN.

In addition the word AAankumu is being used here not Minkum, so Keep sins away from you, rather than purifying the sins from you.




Now we have that out of the way let us compare and contrast the verses that Osama brought in his article in an attempt to undermine the event of the cloak.

The first verse he posted which uses the word purify is from Surah 4:146.

Let us read the verse before verse146 (4:146) so we can get a better understanding of the context

[004:145] The Hypocrites will be in the lowest depths of the Fire: no helper wilt thou find for them;-

[004:146] Except for those who repent, mend (their lives) hold fast to God, and purify their religion as in God’s sight: if so they will be (numbered) with the believers. And soon will God grant to the believers a reward of immense value.

The verse before speaks of how the disbelievers will be thrown in the lowest depths of hell and they will have no protectors. Then this Holy verse came down and here is what is says after verse 145 (4:145):

 ‘’Except for those who repent, mend (their lives) hold fast to God, and purify their religion as in God’s sight:’’     

To even use this verse to minimize the amazing event that took place in the later part of 33:33 is very ridiculous and for many reasons this verse is NOT speaking of someone being purified thoroughly but Allah (sawt), but it is speaking of someone who will be in the company of the believers and this is HOW he can achieve this by doing this step and that step etc. This verse is NOT saying that Allah (sawt) will keep sin away from those who repent.  Also when it says to purify your religion how can one purify his religion? Well removing any Bidah’s any Shirk and any false beliefs are a start and if I read Ibn Kathirs Tafsir correctly’replacing showing off with sincerity’’ is another way to purify the religion


One only has to wonder how Osama can even begin to compare 4:146 to 33:33.

The second verse Osama brings is Surah 9:103 which states           

Take alms out of their wealth, so that thou mayest cleanse them and purify them thereby. And pray for them; thy prayer indeed is a source of tranquility for them. And ALLAH is All-Knowing.  (The Noble Quran, 9:103)

Let us read the verse before this so we can get a better understanding of this verse.

[009:102] Others (there are who) have acknowledged their wrong-doings: they have mixed an act that was good with another that was evil. Perhaps God will turn unto them (in Mercy): for God is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.

[009:103] Of their goods, take alms, that so thou mightest purify and sanctify them; and pray on their behalf. Verily thy prayers are a source of security for them: And God is One Who heareth and knoweth

Once again Osama does the ridiculous action of comparing verse 103 of Surah 9 with Surah 33:33. What is the verse saying? The verse is speaking of how there are some people who do well, but then they go and do bad and evil. So take from them Alms (money, food etc) so that they can be purified from the sins that they committed. How is the forgiveness of Allah (sawt) attained? Through self-purification by doing the deed of admitting the sins they committed and paying Alms in the hopes of having Allah (sawt) forgive them.

If we go to Ibn Kathirs Tafsir on this verse we see that he is in total agreement with us ‘’ This Ayah encourages reverting to repentance and giving charity, for each of these actions erases, deletes and eradicate sins.’’

 For someone to compare Surah 9:103 with Surah 33:33 is rather shocking and a sign of someone truly trying to minimize the event of the cloak. I also want to state once more as I already have. This verse is not speaking of how Allah (Sawt) will purify them thoroughly and this verse surely is not speaking of how Allah (Sawt) will keep sin and evil deeds away from these individuals.



Alhamdulillah we have refuted everything Osama Abdullah has said in his article.  We proved that this verse is speaking about Imam Ali (as), Fatima (as), Imam Hassan (as), and Imam Hussein (as). We have also proven that no other verse (the ones Osama used) can be compared to this verse for two primary reasons with the first reason being that none of the verses Osama brought speak of how Allah (sawt) will keep sin away from the believers, and secondly none of the verses Osama brought speak of how the believers will be purified thoroughly by Allah (sawt).

In Osama Abdullah’s conclusion he claims that the Shia Muslims hold Imam Ali (as) as a deity. We all know that this is not true and I hope he apologizes for those remarks and all the other ones where he attributes shirk to the Shia’s


8 Responses to “Rebuttal to Osama Abdullah’s article on Surah 33:33 (Revised)”

  1. Fatima Says:

    SubhanAllah, Excellent answer. I pray that you and your closed ones are blessed with good health, wealth and I pray that you continue to debate on such issues where it will help people in some way to be clear about the path they are following.

  2. Nom de Guerre Says:

    Thank you, Fatima, for your kind words.

  3. Al Sunna Says:

    Assalamu alaikum,

    Nice blog, the content in this blog is very useful to the people who are looking out for islamic knowledge.

  4. bfoali Says:

    Walikum Salam Wr Wb,
    Thank you very much my dear brother for your kind words.

  5. Minhal Jivraj Says:

    Salaam Alaikum!

    This is a wonderful explanation. I am looking into the sunni and shia sects, and surprisingly they differ quite a bit in the interpretations of verses of the Quran and Hadith. You have some very thought provoking ideas… very interesting.

    Thank you!


  6. bfoali Says:

    Walikum Salam Wr Wb
    Thank you for your kind words, I hope you continue with your studies and continue gaining knowledge.

  7. bilal Says:

    al salamo alaykoum.
    mashallah, great tafseer and great come back, i know it has been a long time since this has been writen, but i just wanted to comment.

  8. liz Says:

    Brilliant, well done, excellent replies… The truth always outs in the end, alhamdulilah and when our beloved Imam Mehdi (May Allah hasten his reappearance) returns he will put an end to all the belittling of Ahlebeit (as) and reveal their true importance and position for ALL to finally see, inshallah. We no not worship Ahlebeit a(s), we worship Allah and only Allah. We love Ahlebeit as Allah in the Koran commands us to and nabi Muhammad (saw) commands us to in Sunni and Shia hadith. The evidence is overwhleming. I myself am a convert an have learnt for myself first hand from Koran and sunni hadith how imperative the love of the Prophet’s family is, the evidence is overwhelming. Just open your hearts and minds brothers and sisters and you will find the love of Ahlebeit will ultimately bring you closer to your lord. Surely, this is meaning of life, is is not? To be closer to our Lord, is this not we are all longing for? When you make dua ask the almighty Allah to guide your heart to the truth and ask him, almightly and exalted, sincerely, as I did, alhamdulilah, and you will be guided. This is a promise. Peace to all. Once again, well done a great debate, May Allah bless you always.

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