Only Door of ‘Imam Ali’s House Open to the Masjid
The fact that the doors of the companions’ house open to the Masjid were closed except that of ‘Ali proves ‘Ali’s unique position.
Ahmad ibn Hanbal in Musnad has quoted Zayd ibn Arqam as saying: The doors of houses belonging to some of the Holy Prophet’s companions opened to Masjid which they frequented at will.
One of the days, the Messenger of Allah ordered all the doors to be closed, saying: You have to close the doors opening to Masjid and there is no exception in this regard save the door of ‘Ali’s house which will never be closed. With this order, some of the companions started to speak to one another about the reason behind it and envy ‘Ali.
They would say: What is this privilege that the Holy Prophet has given to ‘Ali?
Zayd reports: The Messenger of Allah rose up and after praising Allah said: It is not me who has issued the order to close all the doors to Masjid except that of ‘Ali, to which some of you have protested. By God, I have neither closed nor opened the door of any house.
This decree has been issued by God Almighty and I am the one to convey it. Hence, in conveying this decree, I will obey God and will carry out His decree.
Ibn Mughazili in Manaqib has quoted Adi ibn Thabit as saying: The Messenger of Allah after entering the mosque said to the companions: God Almighty revealed to prophet Moses (a.s): Build for me a pure mosque in which no one but Moses, Aaron, and the children of Aaron will reside. He also revealed to me to build a pure mosque in which no one but me, ‘Ali, and his children will reside.
Hudhayfah ibn Usayd Ghifari has been reported as saying: When the companions of the Holy Prophet came to Medina, they had no house to live in.
Hence, they had made their resting-place in the mosque but the Messenger of Allah barred them from doing so, saying: Mosque is the place of worship.
So you must not use it as a place for rest or sleeping, for you may have nocturnal pollution which will undermine its sanctity.
Following this order, the companions moved from the mosque and built houses around it based on their need and ability and opened a door to the mosque.
The Messenger of Allah in another order, gave Muadh ibn Jabal the mission to close the doors opening to the mosque.
To this end, Muadh went to Abu-Bakr first to convey the message, saying: The Holy Prophet has ordered you to move from the mosque and block the door of your house to the mosque.
Abu-Bakr said: I will eagerly accept the Holy Prophet’s order.
He immediately blocked the entrance to the mosque and left that place.
Then Muadh conveyed the Holy Prophet’s message to Umar, saying: Block the door of your house opening to the mosque and leave the place.
Umar said: I will obey the Holy Prophet’s order but I wish one of the windows of my house would open to the mosque. Muadh conveyed to the Messenger of Allah what Umar had wished.
Then, Muadh went to Uthman when the Holy Prophet’s daughter was in his house and conveyed the message.
Uthman too complied with the Holy Prophet’s order and left the mosque.
Muadh’ last message was conveyed to Hamzah who obeyed the Holy Prophet’s message, left the mosque and blocked the door of his house to the mosque.
Amid this, ‘Ali was thinking about whether this order would include him too though the Messenger of Allah had built a house for him among his own houses in the mosque.
But the Messenger of Allah removed any doubt about it by saying: O ‘Ali, you stay where you are, for you are purified and this order does not include you and your family.
When this news reached Hamzah, he said: O Messenger of Allah!
I was surprised that you sent all of us out of mosque but you kept only a youth of Bani Abd al-Muttalib in it.
The Holy Prophet said: This was not a decision of my own, for I would not give privilege to anyone if I had to decide.
By God, this is a grace God Almighty has bestowed upon ‘Ali.
As for you, I have good news about you.
God and His messenger are pleased with you. So be happy.
This good news became manifest in the battle of Uhud when Hamzah was martyred.
This privilege of ‘Ali was heavy for some of the companions.
So in their gathering, they started to complain and tried to know the reason.
Hearing this, the Messenger of Allah rose up among the companions and said: It is heavy for some men to see that I have allowed ‘Ali to stay in the mosque, and have started to complain about it.
By God, sending out some people from mosque and allowing ‘Ali to remain in the mosque was not on my order.
God Almighty revealed to Moses (a.s) and his brother: Build houses for your close relatives, making them Kiblah for them, perform prayer in them.
Following this decree, God ordered Moses again not to allow anyone to reside or have sexual intercourse with his wife in that place of worship except Aaron and his progeny.
Since ‘Ali’s position to me is like that of Aaron to Moses, and he is my brother, no one has the right to have sexual intercourse with his wife in this place except ‘Ali and his progeny.
The Messenger of Allah further said: If anyone is displeased with this, the way is open for him.
Let him go from here to there, pointing with his holy hand toward Syria.
The following sources have narrated that the Prophet ordered that all the doors of the houses opening toward the mosque be closed except the door of
Ali's house: Ahmad bin Hanbal in Musnad. Volume I, page 175, Volume II, page 26 and Volume IV, page 369; Imam Abu Abdu'r-Rahman Nisa'i in Sunan and in
Khasa'isi'l-Alawi, pages 13-14; Hakim Nishapuri in Mustadrak, Volume III, pages 117-125 and Sibt Ibn Jauzi in Tadhkira, pages 24-25 have testified to the reliability
of this hadith on the basis of chains of narrators of Tirmidhi and Ahmad. Again, Ibn Athir Jazri in Athna'l-Matalib, page 12, Ibn Hajar Makki in Sawa'iq Muhriqa,
page 76, Ibn Hajar Asqalani in Fathu'l-Bari, Volume VII, page 12, Tibrani in Ausat, Khatib Baghdadi in his Ta'rikh (History), Volume VII, page, 205, ibn Kathir in
Ta'rikh, Volume 7, page 342, Muttaqi Hindi in Kanzu'l-Ummal, Volume VI, page 408, Haithami in Majma'u'z-Zawa'id, Volume IX;, page 65, Muhibu'd-Din Tabari
in Riyadh, Volume II, page 451, Hafiz Abu Nu'aim in Faza'ilu's-Sahaba and in Hilyatu'l-Auliya, Volume IV, page 183, Jalalu'd-Din Suyuti in Ta'rikhu'l-Khulafa',
page 116, in Jamu'l-Jawami', in Khasa'isu'l-Kubra, and in La'aliu'l-Masnu'a, Volume I, page 181, Khatib Khawarizmi in Manaqib, Hamwaini in Fara'id, Ibn Maghazili
in Manaqib, Munawi Misri in Kunuzu'd-Daqa'iq, Sulayman Balkhi Hanafi in Yanabiu'l-Mawadda, page 87, devoting the whole of Chapter 17 to this very issue.