Arabic caligraphic seal in Hagia Sophia.jpg
The name of Ali, respectively written in the Hagia Sophia Mosque, Turkey
Regions with significant populations
Arab world, Turkey, South Asia, Iran
Arabic, Turkish, Urdu, Persian

The Alids (Arabic: علوي‎) are an Arab community and a part of Ahl al-Bayt, found predominantly in the Arab world and the South Asian countries. Alids are the one who were accepted as the descendants of Caliph Ali ibn Abi Talib, cousin and son-in-law of Islamic prophet Muhammad, through all his wives (through some branches such as Alvis, Awans, and Sayyids including Hasanids, Husaynids and Zaynabids).[1]:31

Lines of descent[]

Primarily Sunnis in the Arab world reserve the term sharif or "sherif" for descendants of Hasan ibn Ali, while sayyid is used for descendants of Husayn ibn Ali. Both Hasan and Husayn are grandchildren of Muhammad, through the marriage of his cousin Ali and his daughter Fatima. However ever since the post-Hashemite era began, the term sayyid has been used to denote descendants from both Hasan and Husayn. Arab Shiites use the terms sayyid and habib to denote descendants from both Hasan and Husayn; see also ashraf.

To try to resolve the confusion surrounding the descendants of Muhammad, the Ottoman Caliphs during the 19th Century C.E. attempted to replicate the Almanach de Gotha (the tome listing the noble houses of Europe) to show known and verifiable lines of descent. Although not 100% complete in its scope (some lines might have been excluded due to lack of proof, although no false lines are included) the resulting "Kitab al-Ashraf" (Book of the Sharifs), kept at the Topkapi Palace Museum in Istanbul is one of the best sources of evidence of descent from Muhammad.

The Awans are descended from Ali's sons, Abbas ibn Ali and Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyyah.

There are several dynasties of Alid origin:

Genealogical trees[]

Simplified Alid Interrelationships as presented in Burke's Peerage

This is a table of the interrelationships between the different parts of the Alid dynasties:[6]

Family of Alids
Fatimah bint Muhammad
(Family tree)
Ali al-Murtazā ibn Abi Talib
(Family tree)
Khawlah bint Ja'far
(Family tree)
Hasan al-Mujtabāal-Husayn
(Family tree)
Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyyah
MuhammadZaydQāsimHasan al-Mu'thannāAbu BakrFātimah bint HasanAli Zayn
Ali ibn MuhammadAbu HashimHasan ibn Muhammad
HasanYahyaMuhammadAbd AllahTalhaHasanAbu Bakr
(Family tree)
Hasan (Alavids)MaymūnahUmm al-Husayn[7]AliMuhammad ibn Abu Bakr
AbdallahDaudHasanIbrahimJā`farMuhammadHasanAl-Qasim ibn Muhammad
SulaymanAliIsmailHasanAliMuhammad al-BaqirUmm Farwah bint al-Qasim
of Yemen
and Mecca
(Sahib Fakhkh)
HasanHusayn'Umar al-AshrafZayd ibn AliJā`far al-Ṣādiq
Muhammadal-Qasim ar-RassiUbayd AllahYahyaIdris
of Yemen
Hasan al-UtrushHasanHusayn
Musa al-DjawnYahyaIbrahimIdris I of MoroccoSulaymanMuhammad al-Nafs al-ZakiyyaJā`farIsa
IbrahimAliAbd AllahIdrisids of
of Spain
of the Maghrib
of Morocco
of Sus
Yahya ibn Umar ibn Yahya ibn Husayn ibn Zayd al-Kūfī
Ismāʿīl ibn Jā`farAbdullah al-AftahMusa
Banu al-UkhaidhirMusaSalihSulaymanMuhammad ibn IsmāʿīlMuhammad ibn AbdullahAli
Muhammad ibn YusufBanu Katada of Mecca & Banu FulaytaBanu Salih
of Ghana
Hidden ImamsMuhammad
Yusuf ibn MuhammadFatimid
Musa al-MubarraqaAli al-Hadi
Ismāʿīl ibn YusufImams of AlamutMuhammadHasan
Hassan ibn IsmāʿīlMuhammad
Ahmad ibn Hassan
Abu'l-Muqallid Jā`far[8]

Below is a simplified family tree of Husayn ibn Ali. For the ancestors of ibn Ali see the family tree of Muhammad and the family tree of Ali. People in italics are considered by the majority of Shia and Sunni Muslims to be Ahl al-Bayt (People of the House). Twelver Shia also see the 4th to 12th Imamah as Ahl al-Bayt.

Family tree of Husayn ibn Ali[]

(Islamic prophet)
Khadijah bint Khuwaylid
1st Shia Imam
4th Sunni Rashidun Caliph
Muhsin ibn AliHasan ibn Ali
2nd Twelver/Zaidi and 1st Musta'li Imam
Husayn ibn Ali
3rd Twelver/Zaidi and 2nd Musta'li/Nizari Imam
Umm Kulthum bint AliZaynab bint Ali
ShahrbanuRubab bint Imra al-QaisLayla bint Abi Murrah al-ThaqafiUmm Ishaq bint Talhah
Fatima SughraSakinah bint HusaynAli al-Asghar ibn HusaynSukayna bint HusaynAli al-Akbar ibn HusaynFatimah bint Husayn
Mother of ‘UmarAli ibn Husayn
4th Twelver/Zaidi and 3rd Musta'li/Nizari Imam
Fatimah bint al-HasanJayda al-SindhiAli al-Akbar ibn Husayn
‘Umar al-AshrafMuhammad al-Baqir
5th Twelver and 4th Musta'li/Nizari Imam
Farwah bint al-Qasim
(Umm Farwa)
Zayd ibn Ali
5th Zaidi Imam
Ali al-Asghar ibn Husayn
‘AlīHamidah KhatunJa'far al-Sadiq
6th Twelver and 5th Musta'li/Nizari Imam
Fatima bint al-Hussain'l-Athram bin al-Hasan bin AliZaynab bint Husayn
al-ḤasanMusa al-Kadhim
7th Twelver Imam
Abdullah al-Aftah ibn Ja'far al-SadiqIsma'il ibn Jafar
6th Musta'li/Nizari Imam
UnknownUmm Kulthum bint Husayn
‘AlīUmmul Banīn Najmah
al-Nāṣir al-KabīrAli ar-Ridha
8th Twelver Imam
Sabīkah a.k.a. KhayzurānMuhammad ibn Ismail
7th Sevener/Musta'li/Nizari Imam
SumānahMuhammad al-Taqi
9th Twelver Imam
UnknownAhmad al-Wafi
8th Musta'li/Nizari Imam
Other issue
Ali al-Hadi
10th Twelver Imam
Hâdise (Hadīthah) / Suzan (Sūsan) / Sevil (Savīl)Other issueMuhammad at-Taqi
9th Musta'li/Nizari Imam
Hasan al-Askari
11th Twelver Imam
NarjisRabi Abdullah
10th Musta'li/Nizari Imam
Muhammad al-Mahdi
12th Twelver Imam

Family tree of Hasan ibn Ali[]

The Hashemites of Sharifs of Mecca, Kings of Jordan, Syria and Iraq are descended from the other brother Hasan ibn Ali:[dubious ]

Genealogical tree of the Hashemite family showing their descent Muhammad,[9] [10] which is contradictory to the previous family tree of Hasan bin Ali in some parts.

[11] [12] [13]

The Alaouites, Kings of Morocco, are also descended from the other brother Hasan ibn Ali through Al Hassan Addakhil[dubious ]:

Genealogical tree of the Alouite family showing their descent Muhammad,[14][15] which is contradictory to the previous family tree of Hasan bin Ali.

Genealogoical chart of the descent from Muhammad of the Idrisid dynasty, rulers of Fez and Morocco, Kings of Tunis, and the Senussi dynasty, founders and heads of the Libyan Senussi Order and Kings of Libya are also descended from the other brother Hasan ibn Ali through Al Hassan Addakhil.

Genealogical tree of the Idrisid and Senussi family showing their descent from Muhammad.[15]

Family tree of Abbas ibn Ali[]

This is a simplified family tree of Abbas ibn Ali.

Ali ibn Abu TalibFāṭimah bint Ḥuzam
Lubaba bint UbaydillahAbbas ibn Ali
Abdullah Awn (Qutb Shah)

See also[]


  1. ^ Parwej, Mohammad Khalid (2015). 365 days with Sahabah. Goodword Books. Retrieved 4 July 2017.
  2. ^ Ibn Khaldoun, Histoire des Berbères, 2003, Berti, Alger.
  3. ^ Kathryn Babayan, Mystics, Monarchs and Messiahs: Cultural Landscapes of Early Modern Iran, Cambridge, Massachusetts ; London : Harvard University Press, 2002. p. 143: "It is true that during their revolutionary phase (1447-1501), Safavi guides had played on their descent from the family of the Prophet. The hagiography of the founder of the Safavi order, Shaykh Safi al-Din Safvat al-Safa written by Ibn Bazzaz in 1350-was tampered with during this very phase. An initial stage of revisions saw the transformation of Safavi identity as Sunni Kurds into Arab blood descendants of Muhammad."
  4. ^ R.M. Savory, "Safavid Persia" in: Ann Katherine Swynford Lambton, Peter Malcolm Holt, Bernard Lewis, The Cambridge History of Islam, Cambridge University Press, 1977. p. 394: "They (Safavids after the establishment of the Safavid state) fabricated evidence to prove that the Safavids were Sayyids."
  5. ^ RM Savory, Safavids, Encyclopedia of Islam, 2nd ed.
  6. ^ Daftary, Farhad. "ʿAlids." Encyclopaedia of Islam, THREE. Edited by: Gudrun Krämer, Denis Matringe, John Nawas, Everett Rowson. Brill Online, 2014.
  7. ^ Al-Yasin, Shaykh Radi. "1". Sulh al-Hasan. Jasim al-Rasheed. Qum: Ansariyan Publications. p. 4.
  8. ^ Madelung, "Al-Ukhaydir," p. 792
  9. ^ The Hashemites: Jordan's Royal Family
  10. ^ Stitt, George (1948). A Prince of Arabia, the Amir Shereef Ali Haider. George Allen & Unwin, London.
  11. ^ Bosworth, Clifford Edmund (1996). The New Islamic Dynasties. Edinburgh University Press.
  12. ^ Antonius, George (1946). The Arab Awakening. Capricorn Books, New York.
  13. ^ The Hashemites, 1827-present
  14. ^ "Morocco (Alaoui Dynasty)". Usa-morocco.org. Archived from the original on 2005-08-29. Retrieved 2014-01-01.
  15. ^ a b Montgomery-Massingberd, Hugh (1980). Burke's Royal Families of the World: Africa & the Middle East. Burke's Peerage.

External links[]