They are also referred to as Āl al-‘Abā (Arabic: آل العبا) or Panj-tan-e Āl-e Abā (Persian: پنج تن آل عبا) or simply Panj tan (Persian: پنج تن “the Five”). The origin of this belief is found in the Hadith of the Event of the Cloak and the Hadith of Mubahala this hadith is widely accepted as authentic by Shi'i Muslims with only some Sunnis accepting the interpretation.
It is one of the foundations of the Shi'i conception of the Imamate, which states that patrilineal descendants of Muhammad's daughter have a special divine spiritual leadership over the Muslim community. The Ahl al-Kisa, along with the their descendants, the Imams, form the Shi'i definition of Ahl al-Bayt "People of the House", the family of Muhammad.
The three branches of Shi'i Islam differ on the nature of the Ahl al-Kisa and the Imams. The two largest branches, the Twelvers and the Ismailis, consider them to be in a state of ismah "infallibility", a belief originating from the verse of purification in the Quran.
In contrast, the third branch, the Zaidi, view them only as political figures with the duty to lead revolts against corrupt rulers and governments.
Another Shi'i group, the Dhammiyya Shia, believed that the five people under the cloak made up one unity.
Other articles related to "ahl":
... purification verse was utilized at various times by the Ahl al-Bayt to assert their claims to political and spiritual leadership of the Muslim community ...