Chapter Seven – The ‘Adalah (rectitude) of the Sahabah – Section One: The ‘Adalah of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum in the Noble Qur’an

Section Three – The Rawafid and Isnad
November 23, 2021
Section Two – The ‘Adalah of the Sahabah in the Sunnah
November 25, 2021

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Chapter Seven

The ‘Adalah (rectitude) of the Sahabah

 

Hereunder there will be six sections:

Section One: The ‘Adalah of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum in the Noble Qur’an

Section Two: The ‘Adalah of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum in the pristine Sunnah.

Section Three: The consensus of the Ummah upon the ‘Adalah of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum.

Section Four: The ‘Adalah of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum in the books of the Rawafid.

Section Five: The Stance of the Rawafid About the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum.

Section Six: The implications of reviling or excommunicating the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum.

 

Chapter Seven

The ‘Adalah (rectitude) of the Sahabah[1]

 

Criticizing the ‘Adalah (rectitude) of the transmitters of the Sunnah, be they Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum, the Tabi’in, or those who followed thereafter till the authors of the hadith collections, is from the ploys of the extremist Rafidi innovators, the Khawarij, the Mu’tazilah, and the heretics. Their objective thereby is to devastate the medium through which the Prophetic Sunnah has reached us, for if this medium is lost the tradition would be based upon nothing and, thus, would in itself be nothing.

This is something professed by one of the heretics in the past, as has been narrated by al Khatib al Baghdadi in his Tarikh from Abu Dawood al Sijistani:

 

لما جاء الرشيد بشاكر رأس الزنادقة ليضرب عنقه قال: أخبرني لم تعلمون المتعلم منكم أول ما تعلمونه الرفض والقدر؟ قال: إما قولنا بالرفض فانا نريد الطعن على الناقلة فإذا بطلت الناقلة أوشك ان نبطل المنقول

When Rashid came with Shakir, a leading heretic to slay him, he said, “Tell me. Why is the first thing you teach a student from you the disavowal (i.e. of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum?”

He said, “We intend to criticize the transmitting group, for if it is rendered useless, we will succeed in invalidating the transmitted.”[2]

 

Yes, the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum are the cornerstone in the edifice of the Muslim Ummah. From them, before anyone else, did the Ummah receive the Book of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala and the Sunnah of Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Through them did they come to learn the teachings of Islam. Hence, compromising their stature and vilifying them, in fact, even looking at them without the eye of consideration, is not harmonious with the high position they are incumbents of, nor is it in accordance with the great mission that they volunteered for and rose up to.

Likewise, impugning them and reviling them shakes the edifice of Islam, demolish the pillars of Shari’ah, engenders doubt in the authenticity of the Qur’an, and loss of confidence in the Sunnah of the leader of people.

It is for this reason that the scholars of Islam in the past and in recent times paid utmost attention to defending the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum. Because defending them is defending Islam. This defence is not based merely on a whim or chauvinism, but rather it is the result of in-depth studies, historical dissertations, and splendid and vast research; All of them encompassed the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum in terms of their number, analysed each individual amongst them, and scrutinized them in light of the most complex criterion of men, such that the Muslim Ummah boasts about it before the rest of the nations and civilizations.

And after this painstaking research, the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum emerged beyond the scope of scrutiny and proved to be the best of nations taken out for mankind, the highest group ever known by history, the most noble of the companions of a Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam who came upon the earth, and most retentive and meticulous preservers of the trust they were entrusted with of preserving the Book of Allah and the way of Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. The Ahlus Sunnah were, thus, compelled to profess this as their faith, and they affirmed that the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum are all people of ‘Adalah (rectitude). Only the innovators and the heretics deviated from this view, may Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala humiliate them.[3] Thus, their criticisms and objections against the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum in the past and present are many.

Nonetheless, what is intended by the ‘Adalah of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum is that they do not intentionally lie against Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, due to having firmness of Iman, strict adherence to the scruples of piety and propriety, sublime character, and being beyond lowly matters.

Their ‘Adalah, thus, does not imply that they are infallible and are free from sinning, forgetting or erring, for this is something not proposed by any one from the fraternity of scholars.

What also should be noted is that the execution of the capital punishments upon those who committed crimes was a source of expiation for them, and they repented and their repentance was genuine. Such individuals were few amongst them, and thus their status should not override the status of the thousands of Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum who remained steadfast upon the path and avoided all types of sins, minor and major, open and discreet. And history is the biggest testament of this.

The aforementioned is confirmed by Ibn al Anbari in his following statement:

 

وليس المراد بعدالتهم ثبوت العصمة لهم ، واستحالة المعصية عليهم ، وإنما المراد : قبول روايتهم من غير تكلف بحث عن أسباب العدالة وطلب التزكية ، إلا أن يثبت ارتكاب قادح ، ولم يثبت ذلك ولله الحمد ! فنحن على استصحاب ما كانوا عليه فى زمن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ، حتى يثبت خلافه ، ولا التفات إلى ما يذكره أهل السير، فإنه لا يصح ، وما صح فله تأويل صحيح

The intent of their ‘Adalah (rectitude) is not that infallibility is established for them and that sinning is impossible for them. The intent is that their narrations should be accepted without undertaking a study to identify the traits of ‘Adalah and to seek approbation unless a valid criticism is found. And such a criticism is not found by the grace of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala. Hence, we consider the condition that they were upon in the time of Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam to be primary until contrary to that is established. And no attention should be paid to what scholars of Siyar (history) have recorded, for it is inauthentic, and whatever of it is authentic has a valid interpretation.[4]

 

The issue of the ‘Adalah of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum is an agreed upon fact between the Ahlus Sunnah, included among them are the eponymous Imams of the four schools of thought, and other followed schools like that of the Zahiris (those who hold a literalist approach of interpretation in jurisprudence), the followers of al Awza’i, and many others who have vanished into oblivion in our time. Anyone who differs in this regard is trumped with the many verses of the Noble Qur’an and the authentic Sunnah of Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, which establish the probity of each Sahabi of Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. This will become clear from the discussions to come.

 

Section One

The ‘Adalah of the Sahabah in the Noble Qur’an

 

1. Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala says:

 

وَكَذٰلِكَ جَعَلْنَاكُمْ أُمَّةً وَّسَطًا لِّتَكُوْنُوْا شُهَدَاءَ عَلَى النَّاسِ وَيَكُوْنَ الرَّسُوْلُ عَلَيْكُمْ شَهِيْدًا

And, thus, we have made you a median community that you will be witnesses over the people and the Messenger be a witness over you.[5]

 

The point of evidence in this verse is that the word Wasat in Arabic refers to people of virtue and ‘Adalah (rectitude).[6] This is supported by the narration cited by al Tirmidhi in his Sunan from Bahz ibn Hakim, from his father, from his grandfather, that he heard Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam saying regarding the verse: You are the best nation produced for mankind’:

 

إنكم تتمون سبعين أمة أنتم خيرها وأكرمها على الله

You culminate seventy nations and you are the best and the most honoured of them to Allah.[7]

 

Although the wording of this hadith is general, but its purport is specific. And those intended are the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum, not anyone besides them.[8]

 

2. Likewise, Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala says:

 

كُنْتُمْ خَيْرَ أُمَّةٍ أُخْرِجَتْ لِلنَّاسِ تَأْمُرُوْنَ بِالْمَعْرُوْفِ وَتَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ الْمُنْكَرِ وَتُؤْمِنُوْنَ بِاللّٰهِ

You are the best of nations produced for mankind, you enjoin good, prohibit evil, and you believe in Allah.[9]

 

The point of evidence in this verse that establishes the ‘Adalah of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum is that it affirms absolute goodness for this Ummah upon all other preceding nations. And the first addressees of this verse when it was revealed were the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum. This requires that they remained steadfast in every condition, and that their conditions were harmonious with this reality not diametric. It is far-fetched to assume that Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala describe them as the best of nations but they not be people of probity and uprightness. For is it not that goodness is about that?

Likewise, it is not possible that Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala inform regarding them being the Wasat Ummah, i.e. upright, and they in reality be contrary to that. So, it would be correct to refer to the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum as ‘the best of Ummahs’ absolutely, and are ‘Wasat’, people of ‘Adalah (rectitude), absolutely.[10]

And similar are all the verses which condone them. Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala says:

 

لِلْفُقَرَاءِ الْمُهَاجِرِيْنَ الَّذِيْنَ أُخْرِجُوْا مِنْ دِيَارِهِمْ وَأَمْوَالِهِمْ يَبْتَغُوْنَ فَضْلًا مِّنَ اللّٰهِ وَرِضْوَانًا وَيَنْصُرُوْنَ اللّٰهَ وَرَسُوْلَهُ ۚ  أُولٰئِكَ هُمُ الصَّادِقُوْنَ (8) وَالَّذِيْنَ تَبَوَّءُوا الدَّارَ وَالْإِيْمَانَ مِنْ قَبْلِهِمْ يُحِبُّوْنَ مَنْ هَاجَرَ إِلَيْهِمْ وَلَا يَجِدُوْنَ فِي ْصُدُوْرِهِمْ حَاجَةً مِّمَّا أُوْتُوْا وَيُؤْثِرُوْنَ عَلٰى أَنْفُسِهِمْ وَلَوْ كَانَ بِهِمْ خَصَاصَةٌ ۚ وَمَن يُّوْقَ شُحَّ نَفْسِهِ فَأُولٰئِكَ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُوْنَ

For the poor Muhajirin who were expelled from their homes and their properties, seeking bounty from Allah and his approval and supporting Allah and His Messenger, (there is also a share). Those are the truthful. And (also for) those who were settled in the home (i.e. in Madinah) and (adopted) the faith before them. They love those who emigrated to them and find not any want in their breasts of what they (i.e. the Muhajirin) were given but give preference over themselves, even though they are in privation. And whoever is protected from the stinginess of his soul, it is whose who will be the successful.[11]

 

As in the verse, the truthful are the Muhajirin and the successful are the Ansar. This is the explanation Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu gave of these two words in the two verses. Hence, he said in his sermon on the day of the Saqifah addressing the Ansar:

إن الله سمانا الصادقين، وسماكم المفلحين، وقد أمركم أن تكونوا حيثما كنا، فقال: يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَكُونُوا مَعَ الصَّادِقِينَ

Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala has dubbed us ‘truthful’ and he has dubbed you ‘successful. And he has ordered you to be where we are, hence, he says: O you who believe fear Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala and be with the truthful.[12]

 

Hence, these praiseworthy traits mentioned in these two verses were actualized by the Muhajirin and the Ansar from the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum of Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Which is why Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala concluded discussing the traits of the Muhajirin with stating that they are truthful and he concluded discussing the traits of those who aided them, supported them, and gave preference to them upon themselves by stating that they are successful. And such traits cannot be actualized but by people of ‘Adalah (rectitude).

Furthermore, even the verses wherein some reproach has featured for all of them of some them, attest to their ‘Adalah; due to Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala announcing his forgiveness for them and his acceptance of their repentance. Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala says:

 

مَا كَانَ لِنَبِيٍّ أَن يَّكُوْنَ لَهُ أَسْرٰى حَتّٰى يُثْخِنَ فِي الْأَرْضِ ۚ  تُرِيْدُوْنَ عَرَضَ الدُّنْيَا وَاللّٰهُ يُرِيْدُ الْأٰخِرَةَ  ۗ  وَاللّٰهُ عَزِيْزٌ حَكِيْمٌ لَوْلَا كِتَابٌ مِّنَ اللّٰهِ سَبَقَ لَمَسَّكُمْ فِيْمَا أَخَذْتُمْ عَذَابٌ عَظِيْمٌ (68) فَكُلُوْا مِمَّا غَنِمْتُمْ حَلَالًا طَيِّبًا  ۚ  وَاتَّقُوا اللّٰهَ ۚ إِنَّ اللّٰهَ غَفُوْرٌ رَّحِيْمٌ

It is not for the Prophet to have captives until he has subdued the enemy by shedding blood in the land. You (the Muslims) desire the commodities of this world, but Allah desires (for you) the Hereafter. And Allah is exalted in might and wise. If not for a decree from Allah that preceded, you would have touched for what you took by a great punishment. So, consume what you have taken of war booty (as being) lawful and good. And fear Allah. Indeed, Allah is forgiving and merciful.[13]

 

Contemplate over the end of the reproach: ‘Indeed Allah is forgiving and merciful’. So, can there by anything after the forgiveness of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala?

And Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala says:

 

وَعَلَى الثَّلَاثَةِ الَّذِيْنَ خُلِّفُوْا حَتّٰى إِذَا ضَاقَتْ عَلَيْهِمُ الْأَرْضُ بِمَا رَحُبَتْ وَضَاقَتْ عَلَيْهِمْ أَنْفُسُهُمْ وَظَنُّوْا أَن لَّا مَلْجَأَ مِنَ اللّٰهِ إِلَّا إِلَيْهِ ثُمَّ تَابَ عَلَيْهِمْ لِيَتُوْبُوْا ۚ  إِنَّ اللّٰهَ هُوَ التَّوَّابُ الرَّحِيْمُ

And (he also forgave) the three that were left behind, to the point that the earth closed in on them in spite of its vastness and their souls confined them and they were certain that there is no refuge from Allah except in Him. Then He turned to them so that they could repent. Indeed, Allah is the accepting of repentance, the Merciful.[14]

 

Contemplate the end of the verse: ‘Indeed, Allah is the accepting of repentance, the Merciful’.

 

3. Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala says:

 

مُّحَمَّدٌ رَّسُوْلُ اللّٰهِ ۚ وَالَّذِيْنَ مَعَهُ أَشِدَّاءُ عَلَى الْكُفَّارِ رُحَمَاءُ بَيْنَهُمْ  ۖ  تَرَاهُمْ رُكَّعًا سُجَّدًا يَبْتَغُوْنَ فَضْلًا مِّنَ اللّٰهِ وَرِضْوَانًا  ۖ  سِيْمَاهُمْ فِيْ وُجُوْهِهِم مِّنْ أَثَرِ السُّجُوْدِ ۚ  ذٰلِكَ مَثَلُهُمْ فِي التَّوْرَاةِ ۚ  وَمَثَلُهُمْ فِي الْإِنْجِيْلِ كَزَرْعٍ أَخْرَجَ شَطْأَهُ فَأٰزَرَهُ فَاسْتَغْلَظَ فَاسْتَوٰى عَلٰى سُوْقِهِ يُعْجِبُ الزُّرَّاعَ لِيَغِيْظَ بِهِمُ الْكُفَّارَ ۗ  وَعَدَ اللّٰهُ الَّذِيْنَ أٰمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ مِنْهُم مَّغْفِرَةً وَّأَجْرًا عَظِيْمًا

Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah; and those with him are forceful against the disbelievers, merciful among themselves. You see them bowing and prostrating (in prayer), seeking bounty from Allah and (his) pleasure. Their mark is on their faces from the trace of prostration. That is their description in the Torah. And their description in the Gospel is as a plant which produces its offshoots and strengthens them so they grow firm and stand upon their stalk, delighting their Sowers. So that he (Allah) may enrage by them the disbelievers. Allah has promised those who believe and do righteous deeds among them forgiveness and a great reward.[15]

 

The substantiation in the verse is from the fact that Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala informed that all the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum who accompanied Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam are characterized with characteristics loved by Allah, i.e. hating his enemies and striving against them, loving his friends and associating with them, worshipping Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala to attain his pleasure, and not for fame and recognition.

In conclusion, there are many more verses which extol the praises of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum and establish their ‘Adalah (rectitude). But what we have mentioned should suffice, and Allah’s subhanahu wa ta ‘ala help is always sought.

 

NEXT⇒ Section Two – The ‘Adalah of the Sahabah in the Sunnah


[1] Ibn Hajar says regarding the definition of a Sahabi: ‘Every Muslim who met Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam believing in him, and passed away upon that’. See: al Isabah, 1/353. For the belief of the Rawafid regarding the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum refer to our book: ‘Aqa’id al Shia al Imamiyyah al Ithnay ‘Ashariyyah al Rafidah. Published by Dar al Yaqin in Mansurah.

[2] Tarikh Baghdad, 4/308.

[3] Manahil al ‘Irfan (with slight change), 1/222

[4] Al Sakhawi: Fath al Mughith, 3/115; Irshad al Fuhul, 1/101.

[5] Surah al Baqarah: 143.

[6] See: Jami’ al Bayan, 2/8; al Jami’ li Ahkam al Qur’an, 2/148; Tafsir al Qur’an al ‘Azim, 1/519.

[7] Grade: Hassan. The narration has been cited by al Tirmidhi in his Sunan: chapter of the exegesis of the Qur’an: sub-chapter regarding the exegesis of Surah Al ‘Imran: hadith no. 3001, and he has deemed it Hassan; Sunan Ibn Majah: chapter of asceticism: sub-chapter regarding the Ummah of Muhammad salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam: hadith no. 4288, and al Albani has deemed the narration Hassan as comes in Mishkat al Masabih: hadith no. 6285.

[8] Al Kifayah, p. 46.

[9] Surah Al ‘Imran: 110.

[10] Al Muwafaqat, 4/76, with slight change.

[11] Surah al Hashr: 8-9.

[12] Al ‘Awasim min al Qawasim, 62.

[13] Surah al Anfal: 67-69.

[14] Surah al Tawbah: 118.

[15] Surah al Fath: 29.

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