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The Alids are the dynasties descended from Ali ibn Abi Talib, cousin and son-in-law of the Islamic prophet Muhammad (see Family tree of Muhammad and Family tree of Husayn ibn Ali). Shia Muslims consider him the First Imam appointed by Muhammad and the first rightful caliph.

Lines of descentEdit

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.

There are several dynasties of Alid origin:

Genealogical treesEdit

Simplified Alid Interrelationships as presented in Burke's Peerage

This is a table of the interrelationships between the different parts of the Alid dynasties:[5]

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 AliEdit

Khadijah bint Khuwaylid
1st Shia Imam
4th Rashidun Caliph
Muhsin ibn Ali
Hasan 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 Ali
Zaynab bint Ali
Rubab bint Imra al-Qais
Layla bint Abi Murrah al-Thaqafi
Umm Ishaq bint Talhah
Fatima Sughra
Sakinah bint Husayn
Ali al-Asghar ibn Husayn
Sukayna bint Husayn
Ali al-Akbar ibn Husayn
Fatimah bint Husayn
Mother of ‘Umar
Ali ibn Husayn
4th Twelver/Zaidi and 3rd Musta'li/Nizari Imam
Fatimah bint al-Hasan
Jayda al-Sindhi
Ali al-Akbar ibn Husayn
‘Umar al-Ashraf
Muhammad 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
Hamidah Khatun
Ja'far al-Sadiq
6th Twelver and 5th Musta'li/Nizari Imam
Fatima bint al-Hussain'l-Athram bin al-Hasan bin Ali
Zaynab bint Husayn
Musa al-Kadhim
7th Twelver Imam
Abdullah al-Aftah ibn Ja'far al-Sadiq
Isma'il ibn Jafar
6th Musta'li/Nizari Imam
Umm Kulthum bint Husayn
Ummul Banīn Najmah
al-Nāṣir al-Kabīr
Ali ar-Ridha
8th Twelver Imam
Sabīkah a.k.a. Khayzurān
Muhammad ibn Ismail
7th Sevener/Musta'li/Nizari Imam
Muhammad al-Taqi
9th Twelver Imam
Ahmad al-Wafi
8th Musta'li/Nizari Imam
Other issue
Ali al-Hadi
10th Twelver Imam
Hâdise (Hadīthah) / Suzan (Sūsan) / Sevil (Savīl)
Other issue
Muhammad at-Taqi
9th Musta'li/Nizari Imam
Hasan al-Askari
11th Twelver Imam
Rabi Abdullah
10th Musta'li/Nizari Imam
Muhammad al-Mahdi
12th Twelver Imam

Family tree of Hasan ibn AliEdit

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,[8] [9] which is contradictory to the previous family tree of Hasan bin Ali in some parts.


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,[13][14] 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.[14]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Ibn Khaldoun, Histoire des Berbères, 2003, Berti, Alger.
  2. ^ 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."
  3. ^ 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."
  4. ^ RM Savory, Safavids, Encyclopedia of Islam, 2nd ed.
  5. ^ Daftary, Farhad. "ʿAlids." Encyclopaedia of Islam, THREE. Edited by: Gudrun Krämer, Denis Matringe, John Nawas, Everett Rowson. Brill Online, 2014.
  6. ^ Al-Yasin, Shaykh Radi. "1". Sulh al-Hasan. Jasim al-Rasheed. Qum: Ansariyan Publications. p. 4.
  7. ^ Madelung, "Al-Ukhaydir," p. 792
  8. ^ The Hashemites: Jordan's Royal Family
  9. ^ Stitt, George (1948). A Prince of Arabia, the Amir Shereef Ali Haider. George Allen & Unwin, London.
  10. ^ Bosworth, Clifford Edmund (1996). The New Islamic Dynasties. Edinburgh University Press.
  11. ^ Antonius, George (1946). The Arab Awakening. Capricorn Books, New York.
  12. ^ The Hashemites, 1827-present
  13. ^ "Morocco (Alaoui Dynasty)". Archived from the original on 2005-08-29. Retrieved 2014-01-01.
  14. ^ a b Montgomery-Massingberd, Hugh (1980). Burke's Royal Families of the World: Africa & the Middle East. Burke's Peerage.

External linksEdit

  • Descendants of Ali ibn Abi Talib (Dynastie des Alides, in French):[1]
  • Hasanid branch of the Alides (among which the members of the (royal) Alouite dynasty of Morocco): [2]
  • Idrisid branch of the Alides (among which the members of the (royal) Idrissid dynasty of Morocco): [3]
  • Fatimid branch [4]