Ahl al-Bayt (Arabic: أَهْلُ ٱلْبَيْتِ, lit. 'People of the House') primarily refers to the family of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, and, to a lesser extent (according to Muslims), his ancestor and the Islamic prophet Ibrahim (Abraham).
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In Shia Islam, the Ahl al-Bayt are central to Islam and interpreters of the Quran. Shia Muslims believe that they consist of Muhammad; his daughter, Fatimah; his son-in-law, Ali; and their children, Hasan and Husayn, known collectively as the Ahl al-Kisa (People of the Cloak). Twelvers also emphasize the Twelve Imams as Muhammad's descendants; other Shi'ites sects emphasize other descendants, such as Zayd ibn Ali (in Zaidiyyah) and Isma'il ibn Ja'far (in Isma'ilism).
In Sunni Islam, Ahl al-Bayt refers to Muhammad; his wives, his daughters, Zainab, Ruqayya, Umm Kulthum and Fatimah; his cousin and son-in-law, Ali; and the two sons of Fatimah and Ali, Husayn and Hasan. In certain traditions, the term may be extended to include the descendants of Muhammad's paternal uncles Abu Talib and al-'Abbas or, according to Malik ibn Anas and Abu Hanifa, the Banu Hashim.