The houses of Median and Mecca in the era of the Islam were not like the current houses and buildings. In fact, they did not have any gates with firm doors and different locks apart from the high walls, but they used curtains in order to keep their houses from the sight of strangers. Imam Ali (may God be well pleased with him) said clearly that the houses of Ahle Beit did not have any doors.
. وَنَحْنُ أَهْلُ بَيْتِ مُحَمَّدٍ (ص) لا سُقُوفَ لِبُيُوتِنَا وَ لا أَبْوَابَ وَ لا سُتُورَ
The houses of Ahle Beit have neither ceiling and nor door. They have narrated this narration in most of Shiite books such as:
Al-Khesal, Sheikh Al-Sadugh, p 364- 382, Sharh Al-Akhbar, Ghazi Al-Naman Al-Maghrebi, v 1 p 345- 362, Al-Ekhtesas, Sheikh Al-Mofid, p 163- 180, Bahar Al-Anvar, Alame Al-Majlesi, v 38, p 167, 186, ... .
The criticism and analysis
One of matters that the Wahhabi scientists have introduced with a lot of fuss is this matter. However, with analyzing the narrations available in the Shiite and Sunni books, it can be concluded that the houses of Medina had wooded doors in the time of the messenger of God (peace of Allah be upon him and his descendants). We will refer to some examples. To get more information, you can refer to the book ' ' Masa Al-Zahra (peace be upon her) and the book ' ' Kholfiat Masa Al-Zahra ' ' written by Sayad Jafar Morteza.
At first, we will narrate the answer of Sayad Jafar Morteza for answering this doubt and then we will narrate its detailed answer.
The answer of Alame Sayad Jafar Morteza
Alame Sayad Jafar Morteza has said in order to answer this narration
فأمير المؤمنين إذن يصف حالة الفقر المدقع الذي كان يعاني منه أهل البيت ( عليهم السلام )، ويذكر إيثار رسول الله ( صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم ) حتى أهل النعم والأموال بما يتوفر لديه منها، مع ملاحظة: أن أبواب أهل البيت ( عليهم السلام ) بيوتهم كانت من جريد النخل الذي هو أصل السعفة بعد جرد الخوص عنها، أما غيرهم ( عليهم السلام ) فكان لبيوتهم ستائر، وكانت أبوابها من غير جريد النخل أيضا، ومنها الأخشاب لا مجرد ستائر ومسوح كما يدعون.
Imam Ali (peace be upon him) talks about poverty of the dynasty of the prophet (peace of Allah be upon him and his descendants) and he remembers the generosity of the messenger of God (peace of Allah be upon him and his descendants) from the wealth and properties that he owns. The door of houses of Ahle Beit was made of the wood of tree of date after its branches and leaves were removed. However, the door of the houses of other people was made of other than the wood of the tree of date and they had hung curtains over their doors.
Al-Amoli, Al-Seyed Jafar Morteza (contemporary), Masat Al-Zahra Alaiha Al-Salam Shobahat Verdod, v 2 p 232, Published by: Dar Al-Sirat, Beirut, Lebanon, Second Edition, 1418 hejira- 1997
What is meant from opening the door of the house with key?
God allows the companions and other Muslims to eat food from houses whose key is available to them. Definitely, having key for houses that do not have any wooded or irony doors is meaningless.
لَيْسَ عَلَى الْأَعْمى حَرَجٌ وَلا عَلَى الْأَعْرَجِ حَرَجٌ وَلا عَلَى الْمَريضِ حَرَجٌ وَلا عَلى أَنْفُسِكُمْ أَنْ تَأْكُلُوا مِنْ بُيُوتِكُمْ أَوْ بُيُوتِ آبائِكُمْ ... أَوْ ما مَلَكْتُمْ مَفاتِحَهُ أَوْ صَديقِكُمْ لَيْسَ عَلَيْكُمْ جُناحٌ أَنْ تَأْكُلُوا جَميعاً أَوْ أَشْتاتاً.
it is no fault in the blind nor in one born lame, nor in one afflicted with illness, nor in yourselves, that ye should eat in your own houses, or those of your fathers, or your mothers, or your brothers, or your sisters, or your father´s brothers or your father´s sisters, or your mohter´s brothers, or your mother´s sisters, or in houses of which the keys are in your possession, or in the house of a sincere friend of yours: there is no blame on you, whether ye eat in company or separately.
He says clearly about opening the door of the room with the key in the following Hadith and this demonstrates that the gates of the houses and the rooms were kept and supported.
حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ الرَّحِيمِ بْنُ مُطَرِّفٍ الرُّؤَاسِىُّ حَدَّثَنَا عِيسَى عَنْ إِسْمَاعِيلَ عَنْ قَيْسٍ عَنْ دُكَيْنِ بْنِ سَعِيدٍ الْمُزَنِىِّ قَالَ أَتَيْنَا النَّبِىَّ،صلى الله عليه وسلم، فَسَأَلْنَاهُ الطَّعَامَ فَقَالَ « يَا عُمَرُ اذْهَبْ فَأَعْطِهِمْ ». فَارْتَقَى بِنَا إِلَى عِلِّيَّةٍ فَأَخَذَ الْمِفْتَاحَ مِنْ حُجْزَتِهِ فَفَتَحَ.
It has been narrated that Dokin Bin Saeid Mezni said ' ' we went to the prophet and asked for food. The prophet said to Umar ' 'go and give them food ' '. Umar took us to a room in the upstairs and then he took out his key from his belt and opened the door.
Al-Sajestani Al-Azadi, Soleiman Ben Al-Ashath Abu Davood (died in 275 hejira), Sonan Abi Davood, v 2 p 527, hadith 5240, Researched by: Muhammad Mohai Al-Din Abd Al-Hamid, Published by: Dar Al-Fekr
Al-Bani has corrected it in the valid and weak narrations of the book ' ' Sonan ' ' of Abu Davud ( no 5238).
The prophet ordered to close the doors of the houses at night
Moslm Neishaburi has written in the book ' ' Sahih ' '
10. قَالَ أَبُو حُمَيْدٍ إِنَّمَا أُمِرَ بِالأَسْقِيَةِ أَنْ تُوكَأَ لَيْلاً وَبِالأَبْوَابِ أَنْ تُغْلَقَ لَيْلاً.
Abu Hamid says ' ' the prophet ordered to put the dishes of water on the corner at nights and he also ordered to close the doors at nights.
Al-Neishaburi, Moslem Ben Al-Hajaj Abu Al-Hossein Al-Ghashiri (died in 261 hejira), Sahih Moslem, v 3 p 1593, hadith 2010, Ketab Al-Ashriye (va Ela Tomat), chapter Fi Shorb Al-Nabiz va Takhmir Al-Ena, Researched by: Muhammad Foad Abd Al-Baghi, Published by: Dar Ehya Al-Torath Al-Arabi, Beirut
The houses of the prophet (peace of Allah be upon him and his descendants) were made of the wood of the tree of cypress
Narrating from Hasan Basri, Ibn Kasir Dameshghi has written
وكانت حجره من شعر مربوطة بخشب من عرعر قال وفي تاريخ البخاري أن بابه عليه السلام كان يقرع بالاظافير فدل على أنه لم يكن لابوابه حلق.
The rooms of the messenger of God (peace of Allah be upon him and his descendants) from the branches and wood of ailanthus were braided by hair. It has been said in the book ' ' Tarikh of Bokhari ' ' ' ' they knocked the door of the prophet with top of their fingers and nails and this demonstrates that there were no circles to knock the doors.
Al-Gharashi Al-Dameshghi, Esmaeel Ben Omar Ben Kathir Abu Al-Feda (died in 774 hejira), Al-Badayat Al-Nahayat, v 3 p 221, Published by: Maktab Al-Maaref, Beirut
The house of Aeshe was made of the wood of cypress
Bokhari has written in the book ' ' Adab Al-Mofrad ' '
عن محمد بن هلال أنه رأى حجر أزواج النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم من جريد مستورة بمسوح الشعر فسألته عن بيت عائشة فقال كان بابه من وجهة الشام فقلت مصراعا كان أو مصراعين قال كان بابا واحدا قلت من أي شيء كان قال من عرعر أو ساج.
Muhammad Bin Halal had seen that the houses of the wives of the prophet had been braided from hair. I asked him about the house of Aeshe and he said ' ' the door of her house was toward Sham ' ' I asked ' ' did it have one side or two sides? He said ' ' it had one side ' '. I asked ' ' what was it made of? ' ' He said ' ' it was made of the wood of ailanthus tree or teak tree ' '.
Al-Bokhari Al-Jaafi, Muhammad Ben Esmaeel Abu Abdullah (died in 256 hejira), Al-Adab Al-Mofrad, v 1 p 272, Researched by: Muhammad Foad Abd Al-Baghi, Published by: Dar Al-Bashaer Al-Eslamiye, Beirut, Third Edition, 1409 hejira- 1989
Asemi Shafei (died in 1111 A.H.) has written
كان باب عائشة مواجه الشام وكان بمصراع واحد من عرعر أو ساج.
The door of the house of Aeshe was toward Sham and it had one side that was made of the wood of teak and ailanthus trees.
Al-Asemi Al-Maki, Abd Al-Malek Ben Hossein Ben Abd Al-Malek Al-Shafei (died in 1111 hejira), Samt Al-Nojum Al-Avali Fi Anba Al-Avael Al-Tavali, v 1 p 367, Researched by: Adel Ahmad Abd Al-Mojud, Ali Muhammad Moavez, Published by: Dar Al-Kotob Al-Elmi
Abu Al-Bagha Maki Hanafi (died in 864 A.H.) has written
وكان لبيت عائشة رضي الله عنها مصراع واحد من عرعر أوساج.
Tarikh Mecca Al-Mosharafe and Al-Masjed Al-Haram Al-Medina Al-Sharighat Al-Ghabr Al-Sharif , v 1 p 268, Published by: Dar Al-Kotob Al-Elmie, Beirut, 1424 hejira- 2004, Second Edition, Researched by: Ala Ebrahim, Aimen Nasr
There was a door for the house of Aeshe and it had one side that was made of the wood of teak and ailanthus trees.
Al-Maki Al-Hanafi, Abu Al-Bagha Muhammad Ben Ahmad Ben Muhammad Ibn Al-Zia, (died in 854 hejira), Tarikh Mecca Al-Mosharafe and Al-Masjed Al-Haram Al-Medina Al-Sharighat Al-Ghabr Al-Sharif, v 1 p 268, by: Dar Al-Kotob Al-Elmie, Beirut, 1424 hejira- 2004, Second Edition, Researched by: Ala Ebrahim, Aimen Nasr
Muhammad Ben Ismaeil Bokhari has written in the book ' 'Sahih ' '
حدثنا محمد بن عبد اللَّهِ بن حَوْشَبٍ حدثنا عبد الْوَهَّابِ حدثنا يحيى بن سَعِيدٍ قال أَخْبَرَتْنِي عَمْرَةُ قالت سمعت عَائِشَةَ رضي الله عنها تَقُولُ لَمَّا جاء قَتْلُ زَيْدِ بن حَارِثَةَ وَجَعْفَرٍ وَعَبْدِ اللَّهِ بن رَوَاحَةَ جَلَسَ النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم يُعْرَفُ فيه الْحُزْنُ وأنا أَطَّلِعُ من شَقِّ الْبَابِ.
It has been narrated from Aeshe ' ' when the news of martyrdom of Jafar Ben Abu Taleb and Abdullah Ben Ravahe were announced, the prophet sat on the earth and the signs of sadness appeared on his face and I was looking at him through the peephole.
Al-Bokhari Al-Jaafi, Muhammad Ben Esmaeel Abu Abdullah (died in 256 hejira), Sahih Al-Bokhari, v 1 p 440, hadith 1243, chapter Ma Yonhai An Al-Nuh Al-Boka Al-Zajr An Zaleka, Researched by: D. Mostafa Deib Al-Bagha, Published by: Dar Ibn Kathir, Al-Yamame, Beirut, Third Edition, 1407-1987
The peephole of the door in our claim demonstrates that the houses had doors made of board or the wood of the date tree and they were installed in the entrances of houses.
The house of Imam Ali (peace be upon him) had a door
It has been said in some Sunni and Shiite narrations that the house of Imam Ali (peace be upon him) had a wooden door from Saaf (the branch of the tree of date), ailanthus , the tree of cypress, the tree of teak and ….
It has been said about the story of marriage of Fateme Zahra and Amir Momenan (peace be upon him)
ثُمَّ دَعَا عَلِيّاً عليه السلام فَصَنَعَ بِهِ كَمَا صَنَعَ بِهَا ثُمَّ دَعَا لَهُ كَمَا دَعَا لَهَا ثُمَّ قَالَ قُومَا إِلَى بَيْتِكُمَا جَمَعَ اللَّهُ بَيْنَكُمَا وَ بَارَكَ فِي نَسْلِكُمَا وَ أَصْلَحَ بَالَكُمَا ثُمَّ قَامَ فَأَغْلَقَ عَلَيْهِ بَابَه.
The messenger of God (peace of Allah be upon him and his descendants) summoned Imam Ali (peace be upon him) and he behaved Imam Ali (peace be upon him) in the way that he had behaved Hazrat Fateme. Then he bade to Imam Ali (peace be upon him) and Hazrat Fateme (peace be upon her) ' ' stand up and move toward your house. God makes good relationships between you and gives bliss to your generation and destines a good destination for you. The messenger of God (peace of Allah be upon him and his descendants) stood up and closed the door.
Al-Sanaani, Abubakr Abd Al-Razagh Ben Hemam (died in 211 hejira), Al-Mosnef, v 5 p 489, Researched by: Habib Al-Rahman Al-Azami, Published by: Al-Maktab Al-Eslami, Beirut, Second Edition, 1403 hejira
Al-Tabarani, Soleiman Ben Ahmad Ben Ayub Abu Al-Ghasem (died in 360 hejira), Al-Mojam Al-Kabir, v 22 p 412, Researched by: Hamdi Ben Abd Al-Majid Al-Salafi, Published by: Maktab Al-Zahra, Al-Movasel, Second Edition, 1404 hejira- 1983
Al-Tamimi Al-Maghrebi, Abu Hanife Al-Naman Ben Muhammad (died in 363 hejira), Sharh Al-Akhbar Fi Fazael Al-Aeme Al-Athar, v 2 p 359, Researched by: Al-Seyed Muhammad Al-Hosseini Al-Jalali, Published by: Al-Nashr Al-Eslami Institute, Qom, Second Edition, 1414 hejira
Al-Majlesi, Muhammad Bagher (died in 1111 hejira), Bahar Al-Anvar, v 43 p 142, Researched by: Muhammad Al-Bagher Al-Behbudi, Published by: Al-Vafa Institute, Beirut, Lebanon, Second Edition, Al-Mosahahat, 1403- 1983
Imam Kazem (peace be upon him) has narrated that his father, Imam Sadegh (peace be upon him) has said
جَمَعَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ (صلي الله عليه وآله وسلم) أَمِيرَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ عَلِيَّ بْنَ أَبِي طَالِبٍ وَفَاطِمَةَ وَالْحَسَنَ وَالْحُسَيْنَ وَأَغْلَقَ عَلَيْهِ وَعَلَيْهِمُ الْبَابَ وَقَالَ يَا أَهْلِي وَأَهْلَ اللَّه....
The prophet summoned Ali Ben Abu Taleb ,Fateme, Imam Hasan ( peace be upon him) and Imam Hussein ( peace be upon him) and closed the door against them and bade ' ' O ' my family! You are followers of the path of God. God says hello to you…
Al-Majlesi, Muhammad Bagher (died in 1111 hejira), Bahar Al-Anvar, v 24 p 219, Researched by: Muhammad Al-Bagher Al-Behbudi, Published by: Al-Vafa Institute, Beirut, Lebanon, Second Edition, Al-Mosahahat, 1403- 1983
He narrated another Hadith from his father, Imam Sadegh (peace be upon him) , that said
لَمَّا كَانَتِ اللَّيْلَةُ الَّتِي قُبِضَ النَّبِيُّ (صلي الله عليه وآله وسلم) فِي صَبِيحَتِهَا دَعَا عَلِيّاً وَ فَاطِمَةَ وَ الْحَسَنَ وَ الْحُسَيْنَ (عليهم السلام) وَ أَغْلَقَ عَلَيْهِ وَ عَلَيْهِمُ الْبَابَ وَ قَالَ يَا فَاطِمَةُ وَأَدْنَاهَا مِنْهُ فَنَاجَاهَا مِنَ اللَّيْلِ طَوِيلًا فَلَمَّا طَالَ ذَلِكَ خَرَجَ عَلِيٌّ وَ مَعَهُ الْحَسَنُ وَ الْحُسَيْنُ وَ أَقَامُوا بِالْبَابِ وَ النَّاسُ خَلْفَ الْبَاب.
Before the messenger of God (peace of Allah be upon him and his descendants) deceased, he summoned Ali (peace be upon him), Fateme (peace be upon her), Hasan (peace be upon him) and Hussin (peace be upon him) and closed the door of the house and said ' ' O ' dear Fateme! Then he held her and talked to her for a while. Ali and his two children, Hasan and Hussein, left the house and they along with other people waited behind the door.
Al-Majlesi, Muhammad Bagher (died in 1111 hejira), Bahar Al-Anvar, v 22 p 490, chapter 1Vasiyat p Enda Gharaba Vafateh va Fih, Researched by: Muhammad Al-Bagher Al-Behbudi, Published by: Al-Vafa Institute, Beirut, Lebanon, Second Edition, Al-Mosahahat, 1403- 1983
What is the purpose of closing the door?
Muhammad Ben Jarir Tabari Shiei has written
قَالَ سَلْمَانُ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ فَمَضَيْتُ إِلَيْهَا فَطَرَقْتُ الْبَابَثق خب وَ اسْتَأْذَنْتُ فَأَذِنَتْ لِي بِالدُّخُولِ فَدَخَلْتُ فَإِذَا هِيَ جَالِسَة.
Salman says ' ' I went the house of Fateme, knocked the door and I wanted to let me enter. When I entered, I saw that she had sat ' '.
Al-Tabari, Abi Jafar Muhammad Ben Jarir Ben Rostam ( 5th Century), Dalael Al-Emamat, p 107, Researched by: Al-Bethat Institute, Qom, First Edition, 1413 hejira
Al-Majlesi, Muhammad Bagher (died in 1111 hejira), Bahar Al-Anvar, v 91 p 226, Researched by: Muhammad Al-Bagher Al-Behbudi, Published by: Al-Vafa Institute, Beirut, Lebanon, Second Edition, Al-Mosahahat, 1403- 1983
Salman says in this Hadith ' ' I knocked the door. Does knocking door mean except its common meaning?
Breaking the door of the house of Hazrat Zahra (peace be upon her):
It has been said in the narration about invading the house of Hazra Zahra (peace be upon her)
قَالَ عُمَرُ قُومُوا بِنَا إِلَيْهِ فَقَامَ أَبُو بَكْرٍ وَ عُمَرُ وَ عُثْمَانُ وَ خَالِدُ بْنِ الْوَلِيدِ وَ الْمُغِيرَةُ بْنُ شُعْبَةَ وَ أَبُو عُبَيْدَةَ بْنُ الْجَرَّاحِ وَ سَالِمٌ مَوْلَى أَبِي حُذَيْفَةَ وَ قُنْفُذٌ وَ قُمْتُ مَعَهُمْ فَلَمَّا انْتَهَيْنَا إِلَى الْبَابِ فَرَأَتْهُمْ فَاطِمَةُ صَلَوَاتُ اللَّهِ عَلَيْهَا أَغْلَقَتِ الْبَابَ فِي وُجُوهِهِمْ وَ هِيَ لا تَشُكُّ أَنْ لا يُدْخَلَ عَلَيْهَا إِلا بِإِذْنِهَا فَضَرَبَ عُمَرُ الْبَابَ بِرِجْلِهِ فَكَسَرَهُ وَ كَانَ مِنْ سَعَفٍ.
Umar said ' ' have us visit her ' '. Abubakr, Umar, Usman, Khaled Ben Valid, Moghayere Ben Shoabe Abu Ubeide Jarah and Salem Mola Abu Hazife and Ghanfaz moved and I accompanied them. When we arrived the house, Fateme saw them and closed the door against them. Fateme was sure that they would not enter without her permission. But Umar broke the door of the house that was made of the wood of the tree of date with kick.
Al-Majlesi, Muhammad Bagher (died in 1111 hejira), Bahar Al-Anvar, v 28 p 227, Researched by: Muhammad Al-Bagher Al-Behbudi, Published by: Al-Vafa Institute, Beirut, Lebanon, Second Edition, Al-Mosahahat, 1403- 1983
It has been said in the narration of Ibn Ghatibe
ثم قام عمر، فمشى معه جماعة، حتى أتوا باب فاطمة، فدقوا الباب، فلما سمعت أصواتهم نادت بأعلى صوتها: يا أبت يا رسول الله، ماذا لقينا بعدك من ابن الخطاب وابن أبي قحافة...
Umar and some persons arrived the house of Fateme and knocked the door. When Fateme heard their voice, she shouted ' ' O ' my great father! O ' the messenger of God! How pains I suffered from the son of Khatab ( Umar) and Abu Ghahafe( Abubakr).
Al-Dinvari, Abu Muhammad Abdullah Ben Moslem Ben Ghotaibe (died in 276 hejira), Al-Emamat Al-Siyasat, v 1 p 16, Researched by: Khalil Al-Mansur, Published by: Dar Al-Kotob Al-Elmie, Beirut, 1418 hejira- 1997, with Researched by: Shiri, v 1 p 37, with Researched by: Zeini, v 1 p 24
Reasoning to the narration and the order of Imam Ali (peace be upon him) does not make Sunni scientists achieve to their purpose because first, the designer of the doubt has narrated the remark of Imam Ali (peace be upon him) incompletely in the way that readers guess that Ahle Beit (peace be upon them) did not have houses like common ones because a house without ceiling and door cannot be imagined whereas the content of the Hadith includes
نحن اهل بيت محمد (ص) لا سقوف لبيوتنا ولا أبواب ولا ستور الا الجرائد وما اشبهها
According to the narration of Sheikh Mofid, the word ' ' Setur ' ' means wall.
The last sentence of this Hadith demonstrates woods of the leaves the date tree because the word ' ' Jaride ' ' means scraped woods. Tied woods can be used for covering and building walls, the entrance gate and so forth. Hence, it can be understood from this narration and other narrations that the house of Ahle Beit , such as the house of Imam Ali ( peace be upon him) and Hazrat Fateme ( peace be upon her) had the entrance gate like the house of other people and it could be opened and closed and had special firmness.
Other narrations of Sunni scientists were narrated that they demonstrated that the houses of Medina and the house of Amir Al-Momenin (peace be upon him) had doors and their doors were wooden.
The group in charge of answering doubts
Research centre of Hazrat Valiasr