The verse of purification
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|Current Branches of Shi'ism|
"O wives of the Prophet, whoever of you should commit a clear immorality - for her the punishment would be doubled two fold, and ever is that, for Allah , easy."
"And whoever of you devoutly obeys Allah and His Messenger and does righteousness - We will give her her reward twice; and We have prepared for her a noble provision."
Quran 33:32 
"O wives of the Prophet, you are not like anyone among women. If you fear Allah , then do not be soft in speech [to men], lest he in whose heart is disease should covet, but speak with appropriate speech."
Quran 33:33 
"And abide in your houses and do not display yourselves as [was] the display of the former times of ignorance. And establish prayer and give zakah and obey Allah and His Messenger. Allah intends only to remove from you the impurity [of sin], O people of the [Prophet's] household, and to purify you with [extensive] purification."
This verse has especial importance for Shi`ite Muslims due to giving information about Ahl al-Bayt of Muhammad. Shi`ites reportedly believe it to designate the "People of the House" as being ismah "infallibility". Sunnis, however, reject this. Some verses refer to Muhammad's wives.
The previous verses include instructions to the wives of the Prophet, and there the verbs and pronouns are in the feminine plural. However, in this verse, the pronouns are in the masculine plural. Therefore, it is no longer a discussion of the Prophet’s wives, or of them alone. Thus, the expression Ahl al-bayt can only mean “Family of the Prophet”. The privilege then refers to those nearest to him. There is a story narrated in many traditions according to which Muḥammad sheltered under his cloak, in varying circumstances including the Mubahala, his grandchildren Ḥasan and Hussein, his daughter Fatimah and his son-in-law Ali; and therefore it is these five who are given the title Ahl al-Kisa or “People of the Mantle”. Some have attempted to add Muḥammad’s wives to the list; however, the number of the privileged is limited to these five.
Surah Al-Ahzaab, Full Ayah 33:
"Stay in your houses and do not display your finery with the display of the former [days of] ignorance. Maintain the prayer and pay the zakat and obey Allah and His Apostle. Verily, Allah has decreed to remove fault from you, O' Ahlul Bayt, and sanctify you in a perfect way."
Each Ayah is an individual sign of Allah: "Ayah or Aayah is the Arabic word for evidence or sign:
"These are the Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, revelations, etc.) of Allah, which We recite to you (O Muhammad) with truth. Then in which speech after Allah and His Ayat will they believe?" (Surah Al-Jathiya 45:6)
Secondly, this Ayah uses the words Ankum (from you) and Yutahhirakum (to purify you), which are both in the masculine plural form. Though it is known that in Arabic Masculine is unisex, there is a problem saying that since the fact that the previous sentence in reference to the wives used only feminine verbs and pronouns, while this sentences uses masculine. The feminine for the above would be Ankunna and Yutahhirakunna. The sudden change in grammatical gender reference means that it is not about the wives. Similar use of switching subjects after Ayahs are found all throughout the Quran. A great example of this is Surah Haqqah, which does so in nearly every Ayah.
Sahih Muslim, one of the three most authentic collections in the Sunnah
Sahih Muslim #31:5920-2: "Hussain Ibn Sabrah asked Zaid Ibn Arqam, "Who are the members of His household? Aren't His wives part of the members of his family?" Thereupon Zaid said, "His wives are members of his family [in a general sense], but (Islamically), the members of his family are those for whom acceptance of zakat is forbidden." Hussain asked, "Who are they?". Upon which Zaid said, "Ali and the offspring of Ali, Aqil and the offspring of Aqil, the offspring of Jaffer, and the offspring of Abbas." Hussain said "These are those for whom the acceptance of zakat is forbidden?" Zaid replied, "Yes."
According to Sahih Muslim, Zaid then expanded on this hadith and stated this: Hussain Then asked: "Aren't the wives (Of the Prophet) included amongst the members of the household?" He said, "No, by Allah, a woman lives with a man [as his wife] for a certain period; he then divorces her, and she goes back to her parents and her people. The members of his household include his own self, and his kith, and kin, for whom the acceptance of zakat is prohibited."
- Sahih Muslim #31:5923
- Madelung, Wilferd (1997). The Succession to Muhammad: A Study of the Early Caliphate. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-64696-0.