One of them: Maybe, the Companions were the best of mankind when the verse was revealed and later they apostatised, changed the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam instructions, denied ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu his right and attempted to kill him and harm members of his household after the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam death.
There are ahadith reported by al Bukhari – and according to you all the ahadith of Bukhari are authentic – in which the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam mentioned that the Companions would apostatise after his death and that they would be prevented from coming to his howd (pond) on the Day of Resurrection. The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam will then say: “O Rabb, my Companions!” It will be said: “You do not know what they did after you had left. They had turned back on their heels.” The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam will then say: “Far removed, far removed (from mercy), those who changed (their religion) after me.” The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam then added: “So I did not see anyone of them escaping except a few who were like camels without a shepherd.”
The above hadith indicated that the Companions changed their religion after the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam death and that none of them remained upon the truth but a few who were like camels without a shepherd, i.e. those who supported ‘Ali and members of his household radiya Llahu ‘anhum.
Another man from among them (supporting the previous speaker): Yes. May Allah bless you! All of the Companions apostatised after the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam death. (He then started saying in a sad tone and weeping): They perpetrated injustice against Imam ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, they deprived him of his right, they wanted to kill him and set his house ablaze while the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam daughter radiya Llahu ‘anha was there. When she came out, they flogged her so mercilessly that she had miscarriage and later died. They killed Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhu, the Prophet’s grandson and smashed his head…”
I interrupted: Brothers, when are we going to stop repeating these fables and lies against the Prophet’s Companions radiya Llahu ‘anhum, the best Companions any Prophet could have and the best of all people after the Prophets? When are we going to stop these fairy-tales that go against the Qur’an which we claim to believe in?
Brothers, use your senses to ponder over these tales and lies that are insulting to ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu before any of the Companions radiya Llahu ‘anhum. There was nothing between the Companions radiya Llahu ‘anhum and ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and members of his family but love. He had named his sons after Abu Bakr, ‘Umar and ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu. He married his daughter from his wife Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha to ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu. He was the judge of Madinah during the caliphate of ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu and never hesitated to advise him sincerely.
He was always full of praise for the Muhajirin and Ansar, and would criticise his followers for not emulating the Companions radiya Llahu ‘anhum in their sincerity, worship and support for their religion.
He recognised the consensus of the Muhajirin and Ansar and believed that they held the right of allegiance. He believed that Allah would be pleased with whoever they pledged allegiance to.
Brothers, all that is narrated concerning disputes between the Companions radiya Llahu ‘anhum and ‘Ali and his family radiya Llahu ‘anhum was not worth the paper which it was written on. It is detrimental to Islam and the Muslims and the majority of it is error, disbelief and transgression against the honour of the Companions radiya Llahu ‘anhum who are sincere and righteous believers.
Fear Allah concerning the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam Companions radiya Llahu ‘anhum and friends who believed in him, supported him and sacrificed their lives and wealth seeking nothing but Allah’s pleasure.
Brothers, if not for the Companions radiya Llahu ‘anhum – after Allah that is- we would not have known Islam!
The first speaker: Leave that aside. Do you believe in Bukhari or not?
I responded: The most authentic book after the Book of Allah is Sahih al Bukhari. The ummah accepts its authenticity, and its ahadith are accepted.
The same speaker: There are ahadith in Sahih al Bukhari which declared the Companions as disbelievers and apostates and you are saying all its ahadith are authentic.
(He went to the library and brought Sahih al Bukhari)
I said: Brothers, fear Allah concerning Imam al Bukhari. He served the Sunnah of Allah’s Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Far be it from him that he should regard the Companions radiya Llahu ‘anhum as infidels while he had filled his collection with ahadith on the merits of the Companions radiya Llahu ‘anhum.
The same speaker opened the book and offered that I read. I insisted that he should read. He then read: Listen to the first narration. The Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam: “There will come to me some people whom I will recognise, and they will recognise me, but a barrier will be placed between me and them. I will say: “They are of me.” It will be said: “You do not know what they innovated in the religion after you left.” I will say: “Far removed, far removed (from mercy), those who changed (their religion) after me.”
I said: Did the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam say: “They are my Companions.”?
The speaker (after looking into the book): He said: “They are of me.”
I said: This hadith is a proof against you. You insist on misconstruing the hadith. It is known to you that the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam told Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha and ‘Ali: “You are of me.”, and he said the same thing about their sons.
So, if you insist on your misconstruing of the hadith, his word: “they are of me” applied to members of his household more than his Companions radiya Llahu ‘anhum.
But we – the Ahlus Sunnah – do not subscribe to this misconstrual because we love and respect the members of the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam household and we invoke Allah’s pleasure on all of them. You on the other hand exaggerate in your love for some of them and you shamelessly disrespect others.
Nevertheless, the hadith in question neither refers to the noble Companions radiya Llahu ‘anhum nor to pure members of the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam household. Rather, the standard belief according to the Ahlus-Sunnah including Imam al Bukhari is that all the leaders of the Companions radiya Llahu ‘anhum, including ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu shall be in Paradise, and that members of the Prophet’s household, especially his wives who are mothers of the faithful and his daughters and grandsons, shall also be in Paradise.
The hadith does not, in any way, diminish the status of the Companions radiya Llahu ‘anhum or members of the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam household. It is only meant to warn and exhort them not be distracted away from righteous deeds by the materials of this world.
If the hadith has to be avoidably referred to any group, it should definitely not be the eminent ten (‘Asharah Mubasharah) nor the veterans of Badr nor the participants in the Pledge of Ridwan nor the Muhajirin, whose sincerity Allah has attested to, nor the Ansar, whom Allah calls the successful, nor even those who emigrated before the Conquest of Makkah and fought and those who emigrated thereafter. As Allah has promised great reward for all of them.
The same speaker: Leave that one. There is another hadith in which the Companions were explicitly mentioned. (He then read): The Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: “On the Day of Resurrection a group of my Companions will come to me, but will be driven away from the howd, and I will say: “O Rabb (those are) my Companions!” It will be said: “You have no knowledge as to what they innovated after you left; they regressed (i.e. reverted from Islam).”
I think this hadith is clear about the Companions that they apostatised. The hadith, as you can see, is self-explanatory. And it is a proof against you.
(Those who are present supported their man but I was able to compose myself having full confidence in Allah.)
I said: What do you understand from the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam saying: “they regressed”?
The speaker: It means: they apostatised and reverted from Islam to disbelief.
I said: Who are the “Companions” who reverted from Islam after the Prophet’s death?
The speaker: All the Companions except Imam ‘Ali and his supporters.
I said: How many were they?
He said: They were many but I do not know their exact number.
I said: You lied! Narrations from your authorised books indicate that they were only three: al Miqdad, Abu Dhar and Salman radiya Llahu ‘anhum and that ‘Ammar radiya Llahu ‘anhu initially turned away and then came back and that the fifth of them was ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu himself. After researching your books, I found out that the Companions whom your narrations did not regard as apostates were some ten, at most.
The speaker: I do not know what that has to do with the hadith!
I said: You will come to know now. Tell me, who are the leaders of the apostates?
He said: They are: Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, ‘Uthman, Talhah and Muawiyah.
I said: Is that what you understood from the hadith of Bukhari?
He said: Yes!
I then said: What you understood is then different from what Imam al Bukhari himself understood. He has recorded in the same book many ahadith about the merits of all these Companions radiya Llahu ‘anhum and many others.
He has recorded the Prophet’s saying about his Companions radiya Llahu ‘anhum : “The best people are my generation followed by those who came after them.” This hadith is confirmed by the verse:
كُنْتُمْ خَیْرَ اُمَّةٍ اُخْرِجَتْ لِلنَّاسِ
You are the best of nations ever raised for mankind.
And the verse:
وَکَذٰلكَ جَعَلْنٰكُمْ اُمَّةً وَّسَطًا
Thus We have made you a just nation.
The hadith is also supported by many verses in which the noble Companions radiya Llahu ‘anhum were praised and regarded as sincere and successful.
Not only that, Imam al Bukhari recorded ahadith in which Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu – whom you malign – is regarded as a truthful, righteous and pious leader. The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: “If I had to choose an intimate friend, I would have appointed Abu Bakr as my intimate friend, but he is my brother and companion.”
The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam also commanded that Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu be asked to lead the people in prayer when he was on his last illness. It was on this same occasion that he commanded ‘Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha: “Call for me Abu Bakr and your brother that I may write a document. For, I fear that a covetous person might come forward and say: “I deserve (the leadership)”, but Allah and the believers would prefer only Abu Bakr.”
And about ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu Imam al Bukhari reported: “There are men among the children of Israel who were given inspiration though they were not Prophets. If there were to be such a person among my ummah, it would certainly be ‘Umar.”
And he reported another hadith on the merits of ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu . The Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: “While I was sleeping, I saw myself drinking (i.e. milk), and I was so contented that I saw the milk flowing through my nails. Then I gave (the milk) to ‘Umar.” They (i.e. the Companions) asked: “What do you interpret it as?” He said: “Knowledge.”
Imam al Bukhari recorded in his collection many ahadith on the merits of the Companions radiya Llahu ‘anhum and he would invoke Allah’s pleasure on them all. Therefore, his understanding of this ahadith is absolutely different from yours.
The speaker: We are not obliged to follow the ahadith collected by al Bukhari, for we do not regard him as an authority. We are only citing his ahadith as proofs against you because you regard him as an authority.
I said: Subhan Allah! You people are just like Jews who believed in a section of the scripture and disbelieved in others. So, you should believe in Bukhari as a whole or reject it as a whole, if not you are among those Allah refers to in His saying:
اَفَتُؤْمِنُوْنَ بِبَعْضِ الْکِتٰبِ وَتَكْفُرُوْنَ بِبَعْضٍ ۚ فَمَا جَزَآءُ مَنْ یَّفْعَلُ ذٰلِكَ مِنْكُمْ اِلَّا خِزْیٌ فِی الْحَیٰوةِ الدُّنْیَا ۚ وَیَوْمَ الْقِیٰمَةِ یُرَدُّوْنَ اِلٰٓی اَشَدِّ الْعَذَابِ ؕ وَمَا اللّٰهُ بِغَافِلٍ عَمَّا تَعْمَلُوْنَ
Do you believe in a part of the scripture and reject the rest? Then what is the recompense of those who do so among you, except disgrace in the life of this world, and on the Day of Resurrection they shall be consigned to the most grievous torment.
The same speaker: We have our own narrations and Ahadith which we believe in and which were reported by our own scholars and taken from the knowledge of the members of the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam family. They are all recorded in our authorised books.
I said: Where are your so-called ‘authorized books’ in which more than two thousand narrations attribute lies to the Qur’an? Is it then farfetched to accept that similar spurious narrations might have been recorded concerning the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, pure wives and commander of the faithful ‘Ali, and the members of his household radiya Llahu ‘anhum?
Brothers, the one who could tell lies about the Qur’an could definitely do so about just anything. If you are not ashamed to tell lies about the Qur’an, then you can tell lies about any other thing with greater brazenness! The Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam had said: “If you have no shame then you can do whatever you like.”
One of them (feeling rather incensed): Look! We have been tolerant with you, considering that you are our guest, but you are not acknowledging this and you are not using the proper method of debate.
I said: What happened? We are not in a quarrel! We are in a scholarly debate seeking for the truth and everyone is defending what he regards as the truth!
We are not here to flatter ourselves. We are here to show the truth through debate and presentation of proofs. Your colleague would cite al Bukhari as a proof on one occasion and on another he would claim that he is not obliged to accept the hadith of al Bukhari. He would accept some and reject some as if Islam is based upon his whims and desires. Then which of the two of us is not using the proper methodology of debate?
The same person: All right! Do not forget that you have not responded to the hadith in which it is explicitly mentioned that the Companions have altered (the religion) and become apostates.
I said: Yes, we are back at the scholarly debate. Go back to the hadith. Did the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam say: “Most of my Companions would come to me” or he said: “A raht of my Companions would come to me”?
He looked up at the book and said: He said: “A raht.”
I said: Do you know what a “raht” means?
He said: No.
I said: In the Arabic language, a “raht” means a number of people from three to ten. This indicates the fewness of those who would be prevented from reaching the howd. This contradicts your claim that most of the Companions. radiya Llahu ‘anhum apostatised after the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam death and that only a few of them remained upon Islam.
This is in spite of the fact that the Companions radiya Llahu ‘anhum numbered approximately one hundred thousand during the Farewell Pilgrimage of whom more than ten thousand are prominent and two thousand are senior Companions radiya Llahu ‘anhum.
Therefore, the Hadith explains that a “raht” would be prevented from reaching the howd and you are claiming that it is only a ‘raht’ that will reach it. What a contradiction! You have categorically misrepresented the hadith!
The speaker: Now listen to the third hadith, which is the clearest proof that all the Companions apostatised but only a few.
I said: Go on reading the hadith, though I believe that it is impossible that the authentic narrations of Bukhari would contradict clear verses of the Qur’an.
The speaker: Al Bukhari reported that the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: “While I was sleeping, a group (of my followers were brought close to me), and when I recognised them, someone (an angel) came out and said (to them): “Come along.” I asked: “Where?” He said: “To the Fire, by Allah!” I asked: “What is wrong with them?” He said: “They turned apostate after you left.” Then behold! Another group (of my followers) were brought close to me, and when I recognised them, someone (an angel) came out and he said (to them): “Come along.” I asked: “Where?” He said: “To the Fire, by Allah.” I asked: “What is wrong with them?” He said: “They turned apostate after you left.” So I did not see anyone of them escaping except a few who were like camels without a shepherd.”
So the Prophet’s saying: “So I did not see anyone of them escaping except a few who were like camels without a shepherd”, indicates that very few of them shall be saved and they are ‘Ali and his supporters.
I said: There is no power of might except with Allah! Evil circulates in the people of whims and desires as the blood circulates in the veins. This leads them to twist every proof that does not agree with their desire. Allah says:
اَفَرَءَیْتَ مَنِ اتَّخَذَ اِلٰـهَه هَوٰىهُ وَ اَضَلَّهُ اللّٰهُ عَلٰی عِلْمٍ وَّ خَتَمَ عَلٰی سَمْعِه وَ قَلْبِه وَ جَعَلَ عَلٰی بَصَرِه غِشٰوَةً ؕ فَمَنْ یَّهْدِیْهِ مِنْۢ بَعْدِ اللّٰهِ ؕ اَفَلَا تَذَکَّرُوْنَ
Have you seen him who takes his own lust (vain desires) as his ilah (god), and Allah knowing (him as such), left him astray, and sealed his hearing and his heart, and put a cover on his sight? Who then will guide him after Allah? Will you not then remember?
Brothers, the clear verses of the Qur’an testifies to the sincerity and success of the Companions radiya Llahu ‘anhum that they would have the reward, that they would be given authority in this world and that they would have Allah’s pleasure on the Day of Resurrection.
Listen to Allah’s words:
وَالسّٰبِقُوْنَ الْاَوَّلُوْنَ مِنَ الْمُهٰجِرِیْنَ وَالْاَنْصَارِ وَالَّذِیْنَ اتَّبَعُوْهُمْ بِاِحْسَانٍ ۙ رَّضِیَ اللّٰهُ عَنْهُمْ وَرَضُوْا عَنْهُ وَ اَعَدَّ لَهُمْ جَنّٰتٍ تَجْرِیْ تَحْتَهَا الْاَنْهٰرُ خٰلِدِیْنَ فِیْهَآ اَبَدًا ؕ ذٰلِکَ الْفَوْزُ الْعَظِیْمُ
And the forerunners of the Muhajirin (those who migrated from Makkah to Madinah) and the Ansar (the citizens of Madinah who helped and gave aid to the Muhajirin) and also those who followed them exactly in virtue. Allah is well-pleased with them as they are well-pleased with Him. He has prepared for them Gardens under which rivers flow (Paradise), to dwell therein forever. That is the supreme success.
Who are the foremost to embrace Islam if not Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, ‘Uthman, Talhah, Abu ‘Ubaidah, Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas and Sa’id ibn Zaid radiya Llahu ‘anhum?
Who are the foremost to embrace Islam if they are not the earlier emigrants to Abyssinia? Who are they if they are not the Muhajirin to Madinah, the veterans of Badr and the participants in the Pledge of Ridwan?
Who are they if not the Ansar about whom Allah says:
وَ الَّذِیْنَ تَبَوَّؤُا الدَّارَ وَ الْاِیْمَانَ مِنْ قَبْلِهِمْ یُحِبُّوْنَ مَنْ هَاجَرَ اِلَیْهِمْ وَ لَا یَجِدُوْنَ فِیْ صُدُوْرِهِمْ حَاجَةً مِّمَّآ اُوْتُوْا وَ یُؤْثِرُوْنَ عَلٰٓی اَنْفُسِهِمْ وَلَوْ کَانَ بِهِمْ خَصَاصَةٌ
And (it is also for) those who, before them, had homes (in Madinah) and had adopted iman, love those who emigrate to them, and have no jealousy in their breasts for that which they have been given, and give them (the Muhajirin) preference over themselves even though they were in need of that.
Brothers, an unbiased reflection on these verses will allow us to realise that they attest to the faith and righteousness of the Companions radiya Llahu ‘anhum in general and that Allah is pleased with them and has promised them Paradise and great victory.
Brothers, is it then reasonable – in the light of the clear verses above – to think that all the Companions radiya Llahu ‘anhum with the exception of only five apostatised?
Then, is this outrageous belief a suitable reward for a people who fought in the way of Allah, conquered lands for Islam and hoisted up the standard of Tauhid? Or should their reward be to love them, make invocations for them and ask Allah to forgive us and them and to make us join them in the Gardens of Bliss?
Listen to how Allah describes the Muhajirin and Ansar among them:
لِلْفُقَرَآءِ الْمُهٰجِرِیْنَ الَّذِیْنَ اُخْرِجُوْا مِنْ دِیَارِهِمْ وَ اَمْوَالِهِمْ یَبْتَغُوْنَ فَضْلًا مِّنَ اللّٰهِ وَ رِضْوَانًا وَّ یَنْصُرُوْنَ اللّٰهَ وَ رَسُوْلَه ؕ اُولٰٓئِكَ هُمُ الصّٰدِقُوْنَ﴿٨﴾ وَ الَّذِیْنَ تَبَوَّؤُا الدَّارَ وَ الْاِیْمَانَ مِنْ قَبْلِهِمْ یُحِبُّوْنَ مَنْ هَاجَرَ اِلَیْهِمْ وَ لَا یَجِدُوْنَ فِیْ صُدُوْرِهِمْ حَاجَةً مِّمَّآ اُوْتُوْا وَ یُؤْثِرُوْنَ عَلٰٓی اَنْفُسِهِمْ وَلَوْ کَانَ بِهِمْ خَصَاصَةٌ ؕ وَ مَنْ یُّوْقَ شُحَّ نَفْسِه فَاُولٰٓئِکَ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُوْنَ ﴿٩﴾ وَ الَّذِیْنَ جَآءُوْ مِنْۢ بَعْدِهِمْ یَقُوْلُوْنَ رَبَّنَا اغْفِرْلَنَا وَ لِاِخْوَانِنَا الَّذِیْنَ سَبَقُوْنَا بِالْاِیْمَانِ وَ لَا تَجْعَلْ فِیْ قُلُوْبِنَا غِلًّا لِّلَّذِیْنَ اٰمَنُوْا رَبَّنَآ اِنَّکَ رَءُوْفٌ رَّحِیْمٌ
(And there is also a share in this booty) for the poor Muhajirin, who were expelled from their homes and their property, seeking Bounties from Allah and to please Him, and helping Allah (i.e. helping His religion) and His Messenger (Muhammad salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam). Such are indeed the truthful (to what they say).
And (it is also for) those who, before them, had homes (in Madinah) and had adopted the iman, love those who emigrate to them, and have no jealousy in their breasts for that which they have been given, and give them (Muhajirin) preference over themselves even though they were in need of that. And whosoever is saved from his own covetousness, such are they who will be the successful.
And those who came after them say: “O our Rabb! Forgive us and our brethren who have preceded us in iman, and put not in our hearts any hatred against those who have believed. Our Lord! You are indeed full of kindness, Most Merciful.
In the first verse, Allah describes the generality of the Muhajirin as truthful. Is it then reasonable to think that a people whom Allah describes as truthful would be liars, traitors or apostates – considering the fact that Allah knows all that is hidden and apparent and has the knowledge of the unseen?
In the second verse, Allah describes the Ansar as successful; and the real success is to die in the state of being a Muslim. Is it then reasonable to think that Allah would testify to the success of a people who would later renounce Islam and die as apostates?
In the third verse, Allah praises the Ahlus Sunnah who seek forgiveness for themselves and for those who preceded them in faith and denounce those who insult and curse the Muhajirin and the Ansar and regard them as infidels.
Brothers, listen again to Allah’s words in which He promises all the Companions. radiya Llahu ‘anhum an excellent reward:
وَ مَا لَكُمْ اَلَّا تُنْفِقُوْا فِیْ سَبِیْلِ اللّٰهِ وَ لِلّٰهِ مِیْرَاثُ السَّمٰوٰتِ وَ الْاَرْضِ ؕ لَا یَسْتَوِیْ مِنْكُمْ مَّنْ اَنْفَقَ مِنْ قَبْلِ الْفَتْحِ وَ قٰتَلَ ؕ اُولٰٓئِكَ اَعْظَمُ دَرَجَةً مِّنَ الَّذِیْنَ اَنْفَقُوْا مِنْۢ بَعْدُ وَ قٰتَلُوْا ؕ وَكُلًّا وَّعَدَ اللّٰهُ الْحُسْنٰی ؕ وَ اللّٰهُ بِمَا تَعْمَلُوْنَ خَبِیْرٌ
And what is the matter with you that you spend not in the Cause of Allah? And to Allah belongs the heritage of the heavens and the earth. Not equal among you are those who spent and fought before the conquering (of Makkah, with those among you who did so later). Such are higher in degree than those who spent and fought afterwards. But to all Allah has promised the best (reward). And Allah is well aware of what you do.
In the above verse, Allah promised all the Companions radiya Llahu ‘anhum, those who spent their wealth and fought in the way of Allah before and after the conquest of Makkah, an excellent reward.
Now tell me: how could Allah promise these Companions radiya Llahu ‘anhum an excellent reward, and yet you base your religion upon insulting and cursing these Companions radiya Llahu ‘anhum and regarding them as apostates? Are you claiming that you know better than Allah?
Then listen to another verse:
لَقَدْ رَضِیَ اللّٰهُ عَنِ الْمُؤْمِنِیْنَ اِذْ یُبَایِعُوْنَكَ تَحْتَ الشَّجَرَةِ فَعَلِمَ مَا فِیْ قُلُوْبِهِمْ فَاَنْزَلَ السَّکِیْنَةَ عَلَیْهِمْ وَ اَثَابَهُمْ فَتْحًا قَرِیْبًا
Indeed, Allah was pleased with the believers when they gave their Bay’ah (pledge) to you (O Muhammad salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) under the tree, He knew what was in their hearts, and He sent down Sakinah (calmness and tranquillity) upon them, and He rewarded them with a close victory.
Do you know the name given to this “pledge”? It was called Bay’at al Ridwan (the Pledge of Pleasure) because Allah was pleased with those who participated in it and they were 1,400 Companions radiya Llahu ‘anhum.
How could Allah express His pleasure with a people and you still choose to regard them as apostates? Are you claiming to know better than Allah? Will you not listen to reason?
Listen to another verse:
وَعَدَ اللّٰهُ الَّذِیْنَ اٰمَنُوْا مِنْكُمْ وَ عَمِلُوا الصّٰلِحٰتِ لَیَسْتَخْلِفَنَّهُمْ فِی الْاَرْضِ کَمَا اسْتَخْلَفَ الَّذِیْنَ مِنْ قَبْلِهِمْ ۪ وَ لَیُمَکِّنَنَّ لَهُمْ دِیْنَهُمُ الَّذِی ارْتَضٰی لَهُمْ وَ لَیُبَدِّلَنَّهُمْ مِّنْۢ بَعْدِ خَوْفِهِمْ اَمْنًا یَعْبُدُوْنَنِیْ لَا یُشْرِكُوْنَ بِیْ شَیْئًا ؕ وَ مَنْ کَفَرَ بَعْدَ ذٰلِكَ فَاُولٰٓئِكَ هُمُ الْفٰسِقُوْنَ
Allah has promised those among you who believe, and do righteous deeds that He will certainly grant them leadership on the earth, as He granted it to those before them, and that He will grant them the authority to establish the religion that He has chosen for them (i.e. Islam). And He will surely change their state of fear to a state of security, they will worship Me and not associate anything (in worship) with Me. And whoever displays ingratitude thereafter then they are open transgressors.
This verse shows that Allah promised the righteous believers – with whose religion He is pleased – authority on the earth.
A keen observer of the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam Companions radiya Llahu ‘anhum would realise that Allah gave them great authority on the earth. They spread Islam to all the corners of the earth and they ruled the land with the teachings of Islam. They worshipped Allah alone and hoisted high the banner of Tauhid. All this indicates that Allah was pleased with their religion, faith and righteous deeds. That is why he gave them authority in the land.
Brothers, many are the verses that start with “O you who have believed”. When these verses were being revealed, their first addressees were the Prophet’s Companions. This implies that Allah attested to them being believers, then how could Allah call them believers and you call them disbelievers, relying on superstitious and spurious narrations?
As regard the hadith of Bukhari quoted above, I would like to add that understanding of a hadith should be in the light of the general texts of the Qur’an and the Sunnah. The Qur’anic texts clearly indicate that the Companions radiya Llahu ‘anhum are the truthful and the successful ones, and that they were the ones whom Allah promised excellent reward and authority. Imam al Bukhari also reported ahadith on the merits of the Companions radiya Llahu ‘anhum both the Muhajirin and the Ansar- and their excellences. A quick glance at the Book of the Merits of the Companions in Sahih al Bukhari would show us the status of the Companions radiya Llahu ‘anhum in the estimation of Allah and His Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.
This general belief concerning the uprightness and excellence of the Companions radiya Llahu ‘anhum is the only basis through which all other apparently contradicting texts should be viewed. And when a deep study is undertaken, it becomes clear that there is no contradiction at all.
Someone may ask: What then is the meaning of the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam saying: “So I did not see anyone of them escaping except a few who were like camels without a shepherd”?
The answer is very easy. It is in many ways, the most significant of which is the following:
At the closer study of the clause “of them” and the entire context, we will realise that it refers to those who reneged. It follows then that those who reneged are a few individuals from among a large multitude of the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam Companions radiya Llahu ‘anhum, and that from these renegades; only a very few will be forgiven and saved.
And if one asks: who are those who “would renounce their religion”, according to the hadith?
The answer is: They are definitely not the Companions radiya Llahu ‘anhum whom the Qur’an and the Sunnah has commended as pure, righteous and successful and who were promised excellent reward and Allah’s pleasure. They are rather Musaylamah the Liar and his cohorts who renounced Islam after the death of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and whom Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu fought.
This is in addition to the fact that there were some individuals who pretended to be Muslims during the lifetime of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam but were actually hypocrites unknown to the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. This clause might also apply to them.
(After I finished this clarification, their speaker closed Sahih al Bukhari, feeling dejected and sad. A sense of defeat could be vividly seen on the faces of his colleagues who were there.) And Allah’s word fit them exactly,
وَ قُلْ جَآءَ الْحَقُّ وَ زَهَقَ الْبَاطِلُ ؕ اِنَّ الْبَاطِلَ کَانَ زَهُوْقًا
And say: “The truth has come and falsehood has perished. Surely, falsehood is ever bound to perish.”
This reminded me of another verse of the Qur’an:
وَنُنَزِّلُ مِنَ الْقُرْاٰنِ مَا هُوَ شِفَآءٌ وَّ رَحْمَةٌ لِّلْمُؤْمِنِیْنَ ۙ وَ لَا یُزِیْدُ الظّٰلِمِیْنَ اِلَّا خَسَارًا
And We send down from the Qur’an that which is a healing and a mercy for the believers, and it increases the oppressors nothing but loss.
(Their speaker then rose up to return the Bukhari into the library while the others remained silent.)
 Surah Al ‘Imran: 110
 Surah al Baqarah: 143
 Surah al Baqarah: 85
 Surah al Jathiyah: 23
 Surah al Taubah: 100
Surah al Hashr: 9
 Surah al Hashr: 8-10
 Surah al Hadid: 10
 Surah al Fath: 18
 Surah al Nur: 55
 There are many ahadith that describe the excellent qualities of the Companions. A prominent hadith in this regard is the Prophet’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam saying: “The stars are a source of security for the sky and when the stars disappear the sky will meet its promised fate. I am a source of safety and security to my Companions and when I depart, my Companions will meet their promised fate. My Companions are a source of security for the ummah and when they depart, my ummah will meet its promised fate.” (Muslim)
 Surah al Isra: 81
 Surah al Isra: 82