I am curious about the opinons of our Sunni brethren about the saying attributed to Rasulallah about Ahlaybait and its importance.
There is also a verse in Bible Gen 18:20 which says about Hazrat Ishmael "12 Princes shall he beget and we will make him a great nation". The 12 Princes obviously refer to the 12 Imams and nothing else. Bible even talks about the great sacrifice near the river Euphrates which refers to Karbala!
The messenger of Allah (PBUH&HF) said: "I am leaving for you two precious and weighty Symbols that if you adhere to BOTH of them you shall not go astray after me. They are, the Book of Allah, and my progeny, that is my Ahlul-Bayt. The Merciful has informed me that These two shall not separate from each other till they come to me by the Pool (of Paradise)."
1. Sahih al-Tirmidhi, v5, pp 662-663,328, report of 30+ companions, with reference to several chains of transmitters.
2. al-Mustadrak, by al-Hakim, Chapter of "Understanding (the virtues) of Companions, v3, pp 109,110,148,533 who wrote this tradition is authentic (Sahih) based on the criteria of the two Shaikhs (al-Bukhari and Muslim).
3. Sunan, by Daarami, v2, p432
4. Musnad, by Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, v3, pp 14,17,26,59, v4, pp 366,370-372, v5, pp 182,189,350,366,419
5. Fadha'il al-Sahaba, by Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, v2, p585, Tradition #990
6. al-Khasa'is, by al-Nisa'i, pp 21,30
7. al-Sawa'iq al-Muhriqah, by Ibn Hajar Haythami, Ch. 11, section 1, p230
8. al-Kabir, by al-Tabarani, v3, pp 62-63,137
9. Kanz al-Ummal, by al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, Chapter al-Iti'sam bi Habl Allah, v1, p44.
10. Tafsir Ibn Kathir (complete version), v4, p113, under commentary of verse 42:23 of Quran (four traditions)
11. al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, by Ibn Sa'd, v2, p194, Pub. by Dar Isadder, Lebanon.
12. al-Jami' al-Saghir, by al-Suyuti, v1, p353, and also in v2
13. Majma' al-Zawa'id, al-Haythami, v9, p163
14. al-Fateh al-Kabir, al-Binhani, v1, p451
15. Usdul Ghabah fi Ma'rifat al-Sahaba, Ibn al-Athir, v2, p12
16. Jami' al-Usul, Ibn al-Athir, v1, p187
17. History of Ibn Asakir, v5, p436
18. al-Taj al-Jami' Lil Usul, v3, p308
19. al-Durr al-Manthoor, al-Hafidh al-Suyuti, v2, p60
20. Yanabi al-Mawaddah, al-Qundoozi al-Hanafi, pp 38,183
21. Abaqat al-Anwar, v1, p16
... and many more ...