The Tenth Narration
Sa’id ibn Zaid narrated whilst in a group of people:
أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قال عشرة في الجنة أبو بكر في الجنة وعمر في الجنة وعثمان وعلي والزبير وطلحة وعبد الرحمن وأبو عبيدة وسعد بن أبي وقاص قال فعد هؤلاء التسعة وسكت عن العاشر فقال القوم ننشدك الله يا أبا الأعور من العاشر قال نشدتموني بالله أبو الأعور في الجنة
The Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “Ten are in Paradise: Abu Bakr is in paradise, ‘Umar is in paradise, ‘Uthman, ‘Ali, Zubair, Talhah, ‘Abdul Rahman, Abu ‘Ubaidah and Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas are in paradise.”
So he counted these nine and was silent concerning the tenth – so the people said, “We implore you by Allah, O Abu al A’war, who is the tenth?”
He said, “You have implored me by Allah. Abu al A’war is in Paradise.”
This narration is sound as narrated by al Tirmidhi, many other scholars have commented on its authenticity as well.
The following addition is recorded in the narration of Abu Dawood and Ahmed:
والله لمشهد شهده رجل يغبر فيه وجهه مع رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ، أفضل من عمل أحدكم ، ولو عمر عمر نوح عليه السلام
The status of one of the men whose face had been rendered dusty in the company of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam is better than the actions of one of you for a whole life time even if he is granted the life-span of Nuh ‘alayh al Salam.
Al Tirmidhi has said, “Abu al A’war is Sa’id ibn Zaid ibn ‘Amr ibn Nufayl.”
Commentary and Lessons Learnt from this Narration:
1. This narration heralds a great virtue in favour of Sa’id ibn Zaid radiya Llahu ‘anhu; glad-tidings of entry into paradise.
2. Another great virtue in his favour is being included in ten of the best men of the world.
3. Humility was an inseparable quality of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum. Here, Sa’id ibn Zaid radiya Llahu ‘anhu does not mention himself in the ten persons given glad-tidings of Jannat until the people ask him on oath. Nobility like this is pretty much unheard of in today’s times. Every small act of goodness is blown up to attract the praise of people in the hopes of a stroke to one’s ego.
4. Just as this narration venerates Sa’id ibn Zaid radiya Llahu ‘anhu, similarly it speaks volumes of the status enjoyed by the other nine Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum given glad-tidings of paradise.
5. Question: Why did Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam limit the glad-tidings of paradise to these ten Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum in this narration even though others were given similar glad-tidings?
Answer: These ten Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum were of those to who converted to the faith in its earliest stages. Islam stood and grew on their shoulders. The call to the one true faith was by their efforts. They were the seeds that caused the global revolution that was to follow. They were the epitome of nobility and piety, together with forming a group that protected Islam and Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Companionship was redefined through them, never was a prophet supported by companions as valiant and noble as them. Most of the other Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum entered the fold of Islam through their pains and the Islamic empire spread, conquering, under their leadership.
Only hypocrites and individuals with filth in their heart harbour ill feelings towards them and only ignorant and dense ones despise the number ‘ten’ due to these Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum.
Ibn Taymiyyah says:
ومعلوم أنه لو فرض في العالم عشرة من أكفر الناس ، لم يجب هجر هذا الاسم لذلك
If there were ten men in the world steeped in disbelief more than anyone else, then too, indifference to the number would be a futile exercise.
6. The belief of ‘The Ten Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum’ given glad tidings of Jannat is integral to a Muslim. It is with this proper belief that he will meet his Creator; Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala. This belief is a result of the specific text of this narration together with it being a great virtue for the ten Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum. The scholars of past and present have included the discussion of these ten Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum in their writings of theology, merits, and traditions.
7. All ten Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum mentioned are of the Quraysh. This affords the Quraysh great virtue over other tribes, the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum over other peoples, and the Arabs over other nations. And this is the bounty of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala, which he gives to whom he wills.
8. This narration is a sign of the true prophethood of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. He gave them glad tidings of Paradise after which they remained steadfast on their faith in the most complete manner. Furthermore, no weak or authentic source has recorded any act of theirs which would result in one’s expulsion from Jannat.
9. This narration has some words omitted from it as is established through other chains of narration. In other narrations the word ‘Jannat’ is repeated after each Companions name. This clarifies the doubt some unfortunate souls and factions have rumoured regarding some or all these Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum.
10. The true status of the Ahlus Sunnah wa al Jama’ah can be understood from this narration. They believe in this narration of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam conforming to the verse of the Qur’an:
وَالَّذِيْنَ جَاءُوْا مِنْ بَعْدِهِمْ يَقُوْلُوْنَ رَبَّنَا اغْفِرْ لَنَا وَلِإِخْوَانِنَا الَّذِيْنَ سَبَقُوْنَا بِالْإِيْمَانِ وَلَا تَجْعَلْ فِيْ قُلُوْبِنَا غِلًّا لِّلَّذِيْنَ آمَنُوْا
And [there is a share for] those who came after them, saying, “Our Lord, forgive us and our brothers who preceded us in faith and put not in our hearts [any] resentment toward those who have believed.”
This belief and stance of the Ahlus Sunnah wa al Jama’ah goes against those misguided factions which hold extremist beliefs regarding the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum, either by going beyond the limits in their love for them or by branding some or most as disbelievers. The Ahlus Sunnah wa al Jama’ah love all the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum whilst interpreting the mistakes of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum as mere lapses of judgement; a result of being human.
11. Another lesson learnt from this narration is the importance of fulfilling the oath taken by a fellow Muslim.
12. The belief shared by the Ahlus Sunnah wa al Jama’ah as explicitly stated by the scholars of the past and present is that the most honoured amongst the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum are the Four Khalifas’, followed by these ten Companions mentioned by Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, then those that took part in the Badr campaign, and then the Companions that took the pledge under the tree. Al Saffarini composed the following couplet:
فأهل بدر ثم أهل الشجرة
وبعد فالأفضل باقي العشرة
And then the most honoured are the rest of the ‘ten’
Those of Badr and then those of the Tree.
 Minhaj al Sunnah, vol. 1 pg. 39.
 Surah al Hashr: 10.