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 Prophet Muhammad, through the marriage of his cousin Aliand 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.
There are several dynasties of Alid origin:
- Ali ibn Abi Talib
- Hasan ibn Ali
- Zayd ibn Hasan
- Hasan ibn Hasan al-Mu’thannā
- Abd Allah al-Kāmil
- Daud ibn Hasan
- Ibrahim ibn Hasan
- Abdallah ibn Hassan
- Djafar ibn Abdallah of the Sharifs of Sousse, Tunisia
- Muhammad ibn Abdallah of the Alaouite dynasty of Morocco
- Idris ibn Abdallah of the Idrisid dynasty of Morocco
- Sulayman ibn Abdallah of the Sulaymanid dynasty of, Tlemcen, Archgoul, Tenes (West-Algeria)
- Musa ibn Abdallah
- Husayn ibn Ali of the Shia Imams
- Ismaili Imams
- The Safavid dynasty claims descent from Husayn ibn Ali, sharing the first five original rulers with the Fatimids. Many scholars have cast doubt on this claim, and there seems to be consensus among scholars that the Safavid family hailed from Persian Kurdistan.
- Al Qasimi (Qawasim) dynasty of Sharjah and Ras al-Khaimah, claims descent from the 10th Imam, Ali al-Hadi.
- Hasan ibn Ali
Dynasties with unclear lines of descent
- The Alid Dynasty of the Isaaq clan or Banu Isaaq clan of Somalia, who are descended from Ali through their ancestor Isaaq ibn Ahmad al Hashimi. Today, the Isaaq clan form the majority of the northern territory of Somaliland.
- The Alid Dynasty of the Muse clan or Banu Muse clan of Somalia, who are descended from Ali through there ancestor Muse ibn Mohammed al Hashimi. Today, the Muse clan formed the minority of the northern territory of Somaliland.
This is a table of the interrelationships between the different parts of the Alid dynasties:
Family of Alids
Family tree of Husayn ibn Ali[edit source]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 Hasan ibn Ali[edit source]
Genealogoical chart of the descent from the Prophet 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.