Chapter Four – The position of al Hilli and al Khu’i and the scholars of the Imamiyyah on the Sahabah – 4.1 Statements of the Ahlus Sunnah scholars regarding the Sahabah

3.5 The position of al Hilli and al Khu’i regarding narrators wanting in ‘adalah
February 10, 2022
4.2 The position of the Imamiyyah regarding the Sahabah
February 15, 2022

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Chapter Four

The position of al Hilli and al Khu’i and the scholars of the Imamiyyah on the Sahabah

 

  1. Statements of the Ahlus Sunnah scholars regarding the Sahabah
  2. The position of the Imamiyyah regarding the Sahabah
  3. The position of the Imamiyyah regarding the virtues of the Sahabah and its impact on their narrations
  4. A comparative analysis between the position of the Imamiyyah on the Sahabah and their own reliable narrators from the Imamiyyah

 

In this chapter, I will present the position of the Imamiyyah on the Sahabah and how they dealt with them in terms of accepting and rejecting narrations. However, it is appropriate before that to shed some light on the Sahabah in general, based on the views of Muslim scholars. Similarly, to shed light on the fact that all of them possess integrity, are acceptable in narration, and that none of them are excluded from this. I will not mention any verses and ahadith concerning their virtue because of how famous they already are; rather, I will restrict myself to the statements of Islam’s scholars, those who laid the foundations for the sciences of hadith terminology.

 

4.1 Statements of the Ahlus Sunnah scholars on the Sahabah

 

Al Amir al San’ani

 

من مهمات هذا الباب أي باب معرفة الصحابة القول بعدالة الصحابة كلهم في الظاهر واعلم أنه استدل الحافظ ابن حجر في أول كتابه الإصابة على عدالة جملة الصحابة فقال الفصل الثالث في بيان معرفة حال الصاحبة من العدالة اتفق أهل السنة على أن الجميع عدول ولم يخالف في ذلك إلا شذوذ من المبتدعة وقد ذكر الخطيب في الكفاية فصلا نفيسا في ذلك فقال عدالة الصحابة ثابتة معلومة بتعديل الله لهم وإخباره عن طهارتهم واختياره لهم

From among the important issues in the chapter, i.e., the chapter on knowing the Sahabah, is the belief that states that all of the Sahabah have ‘adalah (integrity). Know that al Hafiz Ibn Hajar in the beginning of his book, al Isabah, concluded that all of the Sahabah have ‘adalah. He states, “‘Chapter Three – an explanation of knowing the condition of the Sahabah in terms of ‘adalah: The people of the Sunnah agree that all (of the Sahabah) are ‘udul (possess integrity). No one disagrees to this save a few of the innovators. In al Kifayah, al Khatib mentioned a valuable chapter regarding this. He states, ‘The ‘adalah of the Sahabah is well-established and known by virtue of Allah’s approbation of them, His informing (us) of their purity, and His choosing them.’’’[1]

 

Al Zarkashi

 

الصحابة عدول كلهم فلا يضر الجهل بأعيانهم نص عليه الإمام أحمد في رواية الأثرم عنه وبه جزم أئمة الحديث والأصول ولا يتجه فيه خلاف

All of the Sahabah are ‘udul (possess integrity). Accordingly, not knowing their names does not negatively affect their status. Al Imam Ahmed documented this in a narration of al Athram from him. The Imams of hadith and usul are absolutely certain regarding this and there is no disagreement about it.[2]

 

Al Imam al Suyuti (d. 911 AH)

 

الصحابة كلهم عدول من لابس الفتن وغيرهم بإجماع من يعتد به

All of the Sahabah are ‘udul (possess integrity) including those who were connected to the civil strife or otherwise. This is by consensus of those whose opinion is considered.[3]

 

Muhammad ibn Ibrahim ibn Jama’ah (d. 733 AH)

 

الصحابة كلهم عدول مطلقا لظواهر الكتاب والسنة وإجماع من يعتد به بالشهادة لهم بذلك سواء فيه من لابس الفتنة وغيره ولبعض أهل الكلام من المعتزلة وغيرهم في عدالتهم تفصيل واختلاف لا يعتد به

All of the Sahabah, without exception, are ‘udul (possess integrity). This is based on the literal meanings of the Qur’an and the Sunnah, and by the unanimity of those whose opinion is considered by virtue of their testimony in their favour. This applies to both those who were connected to the civil strife and others. Some of the people of kalam (scholastic theology) from among the Mu’tazilah and others have (more) details and differences of opinion (on the matter) that are baseless.[4]

 

Muhammad ibn ‘Umar al Fihri

 

فنقول الصحابة رضوان الله عليهم عدول بأجمعهم بإجماع أهل السنة على ذلك

Thus, we say: All of the Sahabah (may Allah be pleased with them) are ‘udul (possess integrity) by virtue of the Ahlus Sunnah’s consensus on the matter.[5]

 

Ibrahim al Abnasi

 

أن الإرسال جائز خصوصا إرسال الصحابة عن بعضهم فإن الصحابة كلهم عدول

Irsal is permissible, especially when a Sahabi does it from another Sahabi, as all of the Sahabah are ‘udul (possess integrity).[6]

 

Al Imam Zaid al Din al ‘Iraqi

 

لا شك أن الصحابة الذين ثبتت صحبتهم كلهم عدول

There is no doubt that the Sahabah whose companionship is established are ‘udul (possess integrity).[7]

 

Al Sakhawi (d. 902 AH)

 

باتفاق أهل السنة عدول كلهم مطلقا كبيرهم وصغيرهم لابس الفتنة أم لا

By consensus of the Ahlus Sunnah, all of them, young and old, whether they were involved in the civil strife or not, are all ‘udul (possess integrity).[8]

 

Ibn al Mulaqqin

 

والجهالة بهم لا تضر لأنهم عدول

And not knowing who they are (i.e., in the isnad) does no harm because they are all ‘udul (possess integrity).[9]

Finally, al Imam Ibn al Salah, al Zubaidi, and Radi al Din al Halabi al Hanafi state:

 

الصحابة كلهم عدول

All of the Sahabah are ‘udul.[10]

 

This isn’t the opinion of the hadith scholars alone; rather, it is (also) the belief of the Ahlus Sunnah wa al Jama’ah. The belief that all of the Sahabah have ‘adalah is mass transmitted. Accepting all of their narrations is a matter of creed; it is not restricted to the sciences of hadith. Herewith are the statements of the scholars in this regard.

 

Al Imam Abu al Hassan al Ash’ari (d. 324 AH)

 

وكل الصحابة أئمة مأمونون غير متهمين في الدين وقد أثنى الله ورسوله على جميعهم وتعبدنا بتوقيرهم وتعظيمهم وموالاتهم والتبري من كل من ينقص أحدا منهم رضي الله عنهم أجمعين

All of the Sahabah are trusted Imams, unsuspected in their religion. Allah and His Messenger praised all of them and required us to venerate, respect, and show loyalty to them, and to reject anyone who disparages them (may Allah be pleased with all of them).[11]

 

Al Qadi Iyad

 

قال أيوب السختياني من أحب أبا بكر فقد أقام الدين ومن أحب عمر فقد أوضح السبيل ومن أحب عثمان فقد استضاء بنور الله ومن أحب عليا فقد أخذ بالعروة الوثقى ومن أحسن الثناء على أصحاب محمد صلى الله عليه وسلم فقد برئ من النفاق ومن انتقض أحدا منهم فهو مبتدع مخالف للسنة والسلف الصالح وأخاف ألا يصعد له عمل إلى السماء حتى يحبهم جميعا ويكون قلبه سليما

Ayub al Sakhtiyani stated, “Whoever loves Abu Bakr has upheld the religion. And whoever loves ‘Umar has made the path clear. And whoever loves ‘Uthman has been illuminated by the nur (light) of Allah. And whoever loves ‘Ali has taken the most reliable grip (al ‘urwat al wuthqa). And whoever courteously praises the Companions of Muhammad salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, he is free from hypocrisy. And whoever attacks one from among them, then he is an innovator and has opposed the Sunnah and the pious predecessors. I fear that his (good) deeds will not ascend to the skies until he loves all of them and his heart is sound (towards them).”[12]

 

Al Imam al Lalika’i

 

ونترحم على جميع أصحاب النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم ولا نسب أحدا منهم لقوله عز وجل وَٱلَّذِينَ جَآءُو مِنۢ بَعۡدِهِمۡ يَقُولُونَ رَبَّنَا ٱغۡفِرۡ لَنَا وَلِإِخۡوَٰنِنَا ٱلَّذِينَ سَبَقُونَا بِٱلۡإِيمَٰنِ وَلَا تَجۡعَلۡ فِي قُلُوبِنَا غِلّٗا لِّلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ رَبَّنَآ إِنَّكَ رَءُوفٞ رَّحِيمٌ

And we supplicate for Allah’s mercy to descend on the Companions of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. We do not curse any one of them because of the statement of Allah, “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. Our Lord, indeed You are Kind and Merciful.’”[13]

 

Ibn Taymiyyah

 

أهل السنة متفقون على عدالة الصحابة

The Ahlus Sunnah all agree on the ‘adalah of the Sahabah.[14]

 

Ibn Hajar al Haytami

 

اعلم أن الذي أجمع عليه أهل السنة والجماعة أنه يجب على كل أحد تزكية جميع الصحابة بإثبات العدالة لهم والكف عن الطعن فيهم والثناء عيلهم فقد أثنى الله سبحانه وتعالى عليهم في آيات من كتابه

Know that what the Ahlus Sunnah agree upon is that it is compulsory for everyone to pronounce the integrity of all of the Sahabah, to desist from criticizing them, and to praise them, for Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala praised them in (numerous) verses of His Book.[15]

 

Abu Hamid al Ghazali (d. 505 AH)

 

واعتاد أهل السنة تزكية جميع الصحابة والثناء عليهم

The belief of the Ahlus Sunnah is to pronounce the integrity of all the Sahabah and praise them.[16]

 

Al Imam al Tahawi

Explaining in general terms without excluding any one of the Sahabah, Imam al Tahawi states:

 

ونحب أصحاب رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ولا نفرط في حب أحد منهم ولا نتبرأ من أحد منهم ونبغض من يبغضهم وبغير الخير يذكرهم ولا نذكرهم إلا بخير وحبهم دين وإيمان وإحسان وبغضهم كفر ونفاق وطغيان

And we love the Companions of the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. We do not go to excess in loving any one of them, nor do we repudiate any one of them. We abhor anyone who harbours hatred or speaks ill about them. We only speak about them as befits their status. Their love is (part of) religion, faith, and goodness (ihsan). And hating them is disbelief, hypocrisy, and tyranny.[17]

 

Ibn al Jawzi (d. 597 AH)

In explaining Allah’s words:

 

يَبۡتَغُونَ فَضۡلٗا مِّنَ ٱللَّهِ وَرِضۡوَٰنٗا

Seeking bounty from Allah and [His] approval.

 

Ibn al Jawzi stated the following:

 

يبتغون فضلا من الله وهو الجنة ورضوانا وهو رضى الله عنهم وهذا الوصف لجميع الصحابة عند الجمهور

They seek bounty—which is Jannatfrom Allah and (His) approval—which is Allah being pleased with them. This characteristic applies, according to the majority (of scholars), to all of the Sahabah.[18]

 

This is in general. Whoever pursues the statements of the Imams of the Sunnah on this subject will find much good.[19] I mentioned this introduction so that we recognize the mistake of those who were influenced by the statements of the Imamiyyah in their criticism of the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam Companions. You will see such a person speaking about a Sahabi who committed a mistake. In doing so, he attempts to make the definition of ‘adalah inapplicable to him! And he does not pay attention to the statements of the Imams of hadith criticism in this field. The reader that has been influenced by the statements of the Imamiyyah and has attempted to conform with them in applying the conditions of ‘adalah on the Sahabah will come to know that the Imamiyyah who disparage the Sahabah on the pretext that sins have occurred among them, or because of them making takfir, they themselves do not adhere to what they are trying to impose on the Ahlus Sunnah wa al Jama’ah. In fact, they mention the mistakes of one among them and intend thereby all of the Sahabah, especially the seniors among them, the early ones—except those excluded by them.

Whoever is influenced by what the Imamiyyah claim to be fairness in regards to the Sahabah, he will be confused if he is obligated to apply the words of the Imamiyyah related to ‘adalah on the senior Sahabah such as Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, ‘Aisha, and others radiya Llahu ‘anhum. His words will come back contradictory and he will attempt to differentiate between the senior Sahabah and others without any form of rational and logical evidence.

For this reason, adhering to the approach of the Imams by saying that all of the Sahabah, without exception, possess ‘adalah, and accepting their narrations is the right and correct opinion. This belief does not, by any stretch of the imagination, imply that anyone of the Companions is infallible. Ibn Taymiyyah states:

 

وسائر أهل السنة و الجماعة و أئمة الدين لايعتقدون عصمة أحد من الصحابة و لا القرابة ولا السابقين ولا غيرهم بل يجوز عندهم وقوع الذنوب منهم والله تعالى يغفر لهم بالتوبة ويرفع بها درجاتهم ويغفر لهم بحسنات ماحية أو بغير ذلك من الأسباب

All of the Ahlus Sunnah wa al Jama’ah and the Imams of the religion do not believe in the infallibility of any of the Sahabah, nor the family, nor the predecessors, nor anyone else. Rather, according to them, it is permitted for such people to commit sins. And Allah can forgive them through repentance and raise them by virtue of it. And He can forgive them through good deeds erasing (bad deeds), or for other reasons.[20]

 

And he stated:

 

نحن لسنا ندعى لواحد من هؤلاء العصمة من كل ذنب بل ندعى أنهم من أولياء الله المتقين وحزبه المفلحين وعباده الصالحين وأنهم من سادات أهل الجنة ونقول إن الذنوب جائزة على من هو أفضل منهم من الصديقين ومن هو أكبر من الصديقين ولكن الذنوب يرفع عقابها بالتوبة والاستغفار والحسنات الماحية والمصائب المكفرة وغير ذلك وهؤلاء لهم من التوبة والاستغفار والحسنات ما ليس لمن هو دونهم وابتلوا بمصائب يكفر الله بها خطاياهم لم يبتل بها من دونهم فلهم من السعي المشكور والعمل المبرور ما ليس لمن بعدهم وهم بمغفرة الذنوب أحق من غيرهم ممن بعدهم

We do not claim infallibility from every sin for any one of these people; rather, we claim that they are the pious friends of Allah, His successful party, His righteous servants, and that they are the leaders of the people of Jannat. And we say that (committing) sins are permitted for those greater than them from the Siddiqin (Truthful ones) and those greater than them. However, the punishment for them is lifted through repentance, seeking Allah’s forgiveness, and good deeds that erase bad deeds, and expiating misfortunes, and through other such means. These people have of repentance, seeking forgiveness, and good deeds what others below them do not have. They are afflicted with calamites in such a manner where others beneath them are not afflicted in the same manner. Through these calamities Allah atones for their sins. They enjoy an appreciated and acceptable effort which others after them do not. They are more deserving of having their sins forgiven than those after them.[21]

 

Therefore, it is necessary that all of the Sahabah’s virtue and rank be known. Based on what the approach of the Ahlus Sunnah wa al Jama’ah is, the class of the Sahabah is judged as possessing integrity and virtue. In fact, this is based on the approach of the Imams of Islam. As such, those who criticize any of them are far from the truth.[22]

 

 

NEXT⇒ 4.2 The position of the Imamiyyah regarding the Sahabah


[1] Al San’ani: Tawdih al Afkar, 2/434.

[2] Al Zarkashi: al Nukat ‘ala Ibn al Salah, 1/462.

[3] Al Suyuti: Tadreeb al Rawi, 2/214.

[4] Ibn Jama’ah: al Manhal al Rawi, p. 112.

[5] Al Fihri: al Sunan al Abyan, p. 131.

[6] Ibrahim ibn Musa ibn Ayub al Burhan al Abnasi: Al Shadha al Fayyah, 1/294.

[7] Zayn al Din al ‘Iraqi: al Taqyid wa al Idah, p. 148.

[8] Shams al Din Muhammad ibn ‘Abdur Rahman al Sakhawi: Fath al Mughith, 3/108.

[9] Siraj al Din Ibn al Mulaqqin: al Muqni’ fi ‘Ulum al Hadith, p. 138.

[10] Abu ‘Amr Ibn al Salah: Muqaddimat Ibn al Salah, p. 31; Muhammad Murtada al Hussaini al Zubaidi: Bi Lughat al Arib fi Mustalah Athar al Habib, p. 192; Radi al Din Muhammad ibn Ibrahim al Halabi al Hanafi: Qafw al Athar fi Safwat ‘Ulum al Athar, 2/192.

[11] Al Ash’ari: al Ibanah fi Usul al Diyanah, p. 251.

[12] Al Qadi ‘Iyad: al Shifa, 2:43.

[13] Hibat Allah ibn al Hassan ibn Mansur al Lalika’i Abu al Qasim: I’tiqad Ahlus Sunnah, 1:181.

[14] Ibn Taymiyyah: Majmu’ al Fatawa, 35/54.

[15] Ibn Hajar al Haytami: al Sawa’iq al Muhriqah, 2/603.

[16] Abu Hamid al Ghazali: Ihya’ ‘Ulum al Din, 1:115.

[17] Al Imam al Tahawi: al ‘Aqidah al Tahawiyyah, p. 57.

[18] Ibn al Jawzi: Zad al Masir, 7/446.

[19] In his book, A’lam al Ajyal bi’tiqad ‘Adalat Ashab al Nabi al Akhyar, Ibrahim Sa’iday collected many statements related to establishing the ‘adalah of the Sahabah according to the Ahlus Sunnah. Most of these statements are different to what I have cited here. See p. 25 of his book; he collected twenty-three statements of Islamic scholars on the ‘adalah of the Sahabah.

[20] Ibn Taymiyyah: Majmu’ al Fatawa, 35/69.

[21] Ibn Taymiyyah: Minhaj al Sunnah, 4/336.

[22] Past and present, the scholars of Islam have written a number of works in defence of the Sahabah and in explaining their virtues. There are many such works and cannot be enumerated. I will point out what I have come across: ‘Aqidat Ahlus Sunnah fi al Sahabah wa Ahlul Bayt of ‘Ala Bakr; Sabb al ‘Adhab ‘ala man Sabb al Ashab of Mahmud Shukri al Alusi; al Sahih al Musnad min Fad’’il al Sahabah of Mustafa al ‘Adawi; al Risalah al Wazi’ah li al Mu’tadin ‘an Sabb Sahabat Sayed al Mursalin of al Imam Yahya ibn Hamzah al Hussaini; Fasl al Khitab fi Mawaqif al Ashab of Muhammad Salih al Ghursi; Bal Dalalta of Khalid al ‘Asqalani; al Intisar li al Sahb wa al Al min Iftira’at al Dall and Mahd al Isabah fi Tahrir ‘Aqidat Ahlus Sunnah wa Mukhalifihim fi al Sahabah of Dr. Ibrahim ibn ‘Amir al Rahili; Abu Hurairah wa Aqlam al Haqidin of ‘Abdur Rahman al Zar’i; al Burhan fi Tabri’at Abi Hurairah min al Buhtan of ‘Abdullah al Nasir; Abu Hurairah Sahib Rasul Allah Dirasah Hadithiyyah Tarikhiyyah Hadifah of Dr. Harith ibn Sulaiman; I’lam al Ajyal bi’tiqad ‘Adalat Ashab al Nabi al Akhyar of Ibrahim Sa’iday; Hiqbah min al Tarikh of ‘Uthman al Khamis; Irshad al Ghabi ila Mazhab al Al fi Sahb al Nabi of al Shawkani; al Fawa’id al Badi’ah fi Fada’il al Sahabah wa Dhamm al Shia of Ahmed Farid; Mawsu’at al Difa’ ‘an Ashab Rasul Allah (Mawqif al Shia al Ithnay ‘Ashariyyah min al Sahabah) of Dr. ‘Abdul Qadir ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Ata Sufi; Minhaj al Sunnah of Ibn Taymiyyah; al ‘Awasim min al Qawasim of Ibn al ‘Arabi al Maliki; al Insaf fima fi Tarikh al ‘Asr al Rashidi min al Khilaf of Dr. Hamid Muhammad al Khalifah; Shahadat Khumayni fi Ashab Rasul Allah of Muhammad Ibrahim Shaqrah; Abu Bakrah min Fudala’ al Sahabah of Nazim al Misbah; Min Aqwal al Munsifi fi Muawiyah and al Intisar li al Sahabat al Akhyar fi Radd Abatil Hassan al Maliki of ‘Abdul Muhsin al ‘Abbad; Radd Muftarayat al Shia al Imamiyyah ‘ala al Khulafa’ al Rashidin al Thalathah of ‘Abdullah al ‘Ali; al Thana’ al Mutabadal bayn al Al wa al Ashab of Marzaz al Buhuth fi Mabarrat al Al wa al Ashab; Ruhama’ Baynahum and Suhbat Rasul Allah of al Salih al Darwaysh; Bara’at al Sahabah min al Nifaq of Mundhir Sa’d; al Hisam al Maslul ‘ala Muntaqidi Ashab al Rasul of Muhammad ibn ‘Umar al Hadrami (famously known as Bahraq). Undoubtedly, I left out a lot of what has been written on this subject. This is what I came across from what Muslim scholars have written in the past and present in defense of the noble Companions radiya Llahu ‘anhum—specifically the works that confirm the correlation between the ‘adalah of the Sahabah and the belief of Muslims, and not simply issues related to terminology.

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