The Thirty Sixth Narration
Abu Sa’id al Khudri radiya Llahu ‘anhu narrates that Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said:
لا تسبوا أصحابي فلو أن أحدكم أنفق مثل أحد ذهبا ما بلغ مد أحدهم ولا نصيفه
The narration of Sahih Muslim is as follows:
لا تسبوا أصحابي فوالذي نفسي بيده لو أن أحدكم أنفق مثل أحد ذهبا ما أدرك مد أحدهم ولا نصيفه
Do not revile my Companions; by him in whose hand my soul is, if one of you gave in charity the amount of gold equivalent to Uhud, it would not amount to as much as the mudd of one of them, or half of it.
The following addition is found in another narration of Sahih Muslim.
كان بين خالد بن الوليد وبين عبد الرحمن بن عوف شيء فسبه خالد فقال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم لا تسبوا أحدا من أصحابي فإن أحدكم لو أنفق مثل أحد ذهبا ما أدرك مد أحدهم ولا نصيفه
There was some disagreement between Khalid and ‘Abdul Rahman ibn ‘Awf which led to Khalid speaking ill to him. Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “Do not revile any of my Companions, for one of you gave in charity the amount of gold equivalent to Uhud, it would not amount to as much as the mudd of one of them, or half of it.
This narration is supported by another similar narration of Musnad Imam Ahmed and Fada’il al Sahabah.
Commentary and Lessons Learnt from this Narration:
1. The impermissibility of reviling any of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum.
2. Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam took an oath that no other persons’ charity will equal that of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum; though there be great disparities in quantity.
3. The great honour and virtue of each individual Companion. If any person after them were to spend gold equal to the Mount of Uhud every day, this would not equal an apparently insignificant amount spent by them. The language of this narration seeks to exemplify the charity of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum as unsurpassable. No matter what status one may reach after them, he will always be following in their footsteps; hoping to be raised with them and close to them in Paradise.
4. The Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum hold a much greater status by being forerunners in knowledge, action, assistance, and jihad.
5. Question: Why did Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam bare Khalid radiya Llahu ‘anhu from speaking ill to ‘Abdul Rahman ibn ‘Awf radiya Llahu ‘anhu whilst he too is of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum.
Answer: This is due to the differing status amongst the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum mentioned by the scholars. The early Muhajirin and Ansar who participated at Badr, took the Pledge of the Tree, and gave alms before Hudaybiyyah hold a greater status than those who accepted Islam after Hudaybiyyah. Both are most definitely Companions of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam however, the first group enjoy a higher status. Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala says:
لَا يَسْتَوِيْ مِنْكُم مَّنْ أَنفَقَ مِنْ قَبْلِ الْفَتْحِ وَقَاتَلَ أُولَٰئِكَ أَعْظَمُ دَرَجَةً مِّنَ الَّذِيْنَ أَنفَقُوْا مِنْ بَعْدُ وَقَاتَلُوْا وَكُلًّا وَعَدَ اللَّهُ الْحُسْنَىٰ وَاللَّهُ بِمَا تَعْمَلُوْنَ خَبِيْرٌ
Not equal among you are those who spent before the conquest [of Makkah] and fought [and those who did so after it]. Those are greater in degree than they who spent afterwards and fought. But to all Allah has promised the best [reward]. And Allah, with what you do, is Acquainted.
Ibn Taymiyyah writes:
فقد انفردوا من الصحبة بما لم يشركهم فيه خالد و نظراؤه ممن أسلم بعد الفتح الذي هو صلح الحديبية و قاتل فنهى أن يسب أولئك الذين صحبوه قبله و من لم يصحبه قط نسبته إلى من صحبه كنسبة خالد إلى السابقين و أبعد
The early companions have distinctions unrivalled by those that accepted Islam after the conquest; at Hudaybiyyah. Therefore, Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam stopped those that came after in speaking ill of the former. As for those who came after the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum, they are subject to much more stringent warnings in speaking ill off any of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum.
6. There is great virtue in favour of ‘Abdul Rahman ibn ‘Awf radiya Llahu ‘anhu.
7. Reviling in this narration refers to all types of ill speech that would hurt the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum and bring down their status. It does not only refer to, though included in it, swearing and cursing the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum which Khalid radiya Llahu ‘anhu could not have possibly done.
8. Another lesson rendered in this narration is that swearing is an act that stems from evil character. Those that possess sublime character have no inclination towards swearing. Explicit texts maintain that filthy language is to be despised by every Muslim. The narration of Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu in al Daylami and others is as follows:
لا تسبوا الشيطان فإنه يتغيظ ولكن تعوذوا بالله عز وجل من شره
Do not curse Shaitan, rather seek protection in Allah from his evil.
This narration explicitly denounces the cursing of even Shaitan as this inflates his ego as mentioned in another narration. Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam then indicated to us that which is much better and serves a greater purpose; seeking protection in Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala from his evil. Swearing and cursing is not considered an act of worship, be it directed to Shaitan. Swearing and cursing leads one to Hell as recorded by Imam al Bukhari and Muslim:
فإني أريتكن أكثر أهل النار فقلن وبم يا رسول الله قال تكثرن اللعن
Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam attributed seeing many women in Hell due to their cursing.
Dear reader, ponder over this pure faith. It seeks to keep the mouth, a path way to the heart, clean of impurities. This is to protect the heart from its maladies; hatred, jealousy, and the like.
Take this in contrast to the Batiniyyah Shia who swear, curse, and revile the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum. There books and prayers are filled with such filth. They rear their children in this manner too, indoctrinating in them hatred.
As for us—all praise is for Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala—our parents taught us to stay far away from such lewd character. May Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala have mercy on them. Amin.
9. The law regarding that person who curses the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum:
The scholars of the past have differed with regards to that person who curses the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum. Both these opinions have been narrated from Imam Ahmed as well:
a. He is rendered a disbeliever due to negating the explicit texts of the Qur’an which establish the pleasure of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala in relation to the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum. Many of the scholars hold this view.
b. He does not become a disbeliever until he does not believe this to be permissible.
Ibn Taymiyyah has written extensively on this in al Sarim. A summary of this is presented below.
Those that curse the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum can be split into a few categories:
- Those that curse all the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum. These are disbelievers through and through, a view supported by the consensus of the scholars.
- Those that together with cursing them claim ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu to be a God or the Prophet citing Jibril had made a mistake in bringing prophethood to someone else, or propose that the Qur’an is incomplete, has somehow been compromised, or some part of it hidden are undoubtedly disbelievers. Furthermore, those that dilly dally in branding them as disbelievers are the same. These are the Batiniyyah and Qaramitah sects.
- Those that curse them out of anger are similarly disbelievers as Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala has said:
لِيَغِيظَ بِهِمُ الْكُفَّارَ
So that Allah may enrage by them the disbelievers.
Narrations to this effect have also been recorded such as:
من ابغضهم فقد ابغضني
Those that hate them, hate me.
Therefore, those that go to the extent of hurling curses at them are nothing short of hypocrites. Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said regarding the Ansar:
لا يحبهم إلا مؤمن ولا يبغضهم إلا منافق
Only a believer will love them and only a hypocrite will hate them.
Similar narrations are recorded with regards to ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu as well. Statements of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum along this theme are also recorded for example, ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu had intended executing ‘Abdullah ibn Sawda’ when he had uttered statements in hate of Abu Bakr and ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma. Imam Ahmed too has passed a similar verdict by saying:
ما اراه على الاسلام
I do not deem him to be on the Islamic creed.
- Those that use words of general scorn. This does not result in disbelief as this had occurred during the lifetime of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam though no one had been linked to disbelief. Furthermore, faith on each individual Companion is not a prerequisite of Islam and viewing one with scorn does not result in one’s depletion of faith. However, one that utters such statements will be taken to task! See, ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and ‘Umar ibn ‘Abdul ‘Aziz doled out corporal punishment to those that merely saw ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu as better than Abu Bakr and ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma or ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu as better than Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu. If this was the case on status with no intent to revile or scorn them, then what of that person who goes on to do such acts of insolence?
The scholars are of the opinion though, that such a person will not be considered a disbeliever, however, he will be taken to task for such by the judge.
- Those that use blanket curses. There is a difference of opinion amongst the scholars regarding such a person; has he cursed out of hatred or belief? If he goes further and deems the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum to have turned renegade after the passing of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, or only a few having remained true, or that most are sinners then he will be deemed a disbeliever as he has gone against explicit texts of the Qur’an.
10. Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam called them his ‘Companions’, a show of resemblance. He did not call them his students or pupils which would denote a lower status. This was due to the honour they held in the heart of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. In comparison, the Batiniyyah hate to call them such which in itself is an indicator that they have no regard or faith in all that which Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam had brought; in speech, act, name, or quality. This degradation of the Batiniyyah cannot be found even amongst the Jews and the Christians.
11. Those that have come later into Islam or have not given as much for the cause should not disrespect those that enjoy a higher status.
12. The permissibility of taking an oath on the virtuous and pious acts of another.
 A unit of measurement equivalent to approximately 750 ml.
 Sahih al Bukhari, Hadith: 3470.
 Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 2540.
 Surah al Fath: 10.
 Al Sarim, vol. 1 pg. 577.
 Daylami and Tammam in Al Fawaid: 778.
 Sahih al Bukhari, Hadith: 298.
 Surah al Fath: 29.
 Sahih al Bukhari, Hadith: 3572.
 See, Al Masail wa al Rasail al Marwiyyah ‘an al Imam Ahmed, vol. 2 pgs. 363-364.