All Muslims unanimously accept the first dimension of wilayat of Ahlul Bayt. Loving the Ahlul Bayt is one of the “dharuriyyat ad-din, the essential parts of the Islamic faith.” The inclusion of salawat in the daily ritual prayers is a sufficient proof of this. See the famous anti-Shi’a books like as-Sawa’iqu ‘l-Muhriqa of Ibn Hajar al-Makki and Tuhfa-e Ithna-‘Ashariyya of Shah ‘Abdul ‘Aziz Dehlawi, and you will realize that the Sunni polemicists labour painfully to explain that they are against the Shi’a people but not against the Shi’a Imams for they know that loving the Ahlul Bayt is an essential part of Islamic faith.

Love for the Ahlul Bayt is enshrined in verse 42:23 that we have already discussed in the last chapter. Here I shall just quote one more hadith from the Sunni sources. Imam ‘Ali said, “By Allah the One who has spilt the grain and created the soul, verily the Prophet (a.s.) has promised that none shall love me but the believer and none shall hate me but the hypocrite.” Actually Jabir bin ‘Abdullah al-Ansari and Abu Sa’id al-Khudari, the two famous companions of the Prophet, used to say: “We did not identify the hypocrites but by their hatred for ‘Ali.”

It is a common view of Shi’a scholars that whoever rejects one of the dharuriyyat ad-din, then he is no longer considered a member of the Islamic faith. It is also based on this principle that the Khawarij and the Nawasib (i.e., those who express hatred or animosity towards the Ahlul Bayt) are considered as non-Muslims by Shi’a jurists.