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إن الله نظر في قلوب العباد فوجد قلب محمد صلى الله عليه وسلم خير قلوب العباد فاصطفاه لنفسه فابتعثه برسالته ثم نظر في قلوب العباد بعد قلب محمد فوجد قلوب أصحابه خير قلوب العباد فجعلهم وزراء نبيه يقاتلون على دينه
Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala looked into the hearts of his servants and He found the heart of Muhammad salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam to be the best from His servants. So he chose Muhammad salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam for Himself and sent him with His message. Thereafter Allah looked once again to the hearts of His servants. He found the hearts of the Sahabah to be the best of hearts. So He made them the vicegerents of His Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam in striving for His Din.
Allah has declared their innocence from above the seven heavens. He says:
وَالسَّابِقُوْنَ الْأَوَّلُوْنَ مِنَ الْمُهَاجِرِيْنَ وَالْأَنصَارِ وَالَّذِيْنَ اتَّبَعُوْهُمْ بِإِحْسَانٍ رَّضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُمْ وَرَضُوْا عَنْهُ وَأَعَدَّ لَهُمْ جَنَّاتٍ تَجْرِيْ تَحْتَهَا الْأَنْهَارُ خَالِدِيْنَ فِيْهَا أَبَدًا ذٰلِكَ الْفَوْزُ الْعَظِيْمُ
And the first forerunners [in the faith] among the Muhajirin and the Ansar and those who followed them with good conduct – Allah is pleased with them and they are pleased with Him, and He has prepared for them gardens beneath which rivers flow, wherein they will abide forever. That is the great attainment. 
The verse is explicit in declaring the happiness of Allah with the Muhajirun, Ansar and those who follow them in virtue. The verse also gives glad tidings about success and entry into an Everlasting Garden of Bliss.
How can a person curse or disparage them after they have attained these glad tidings? Which heart is able to harbour malice about them? How can derisive literature be penned about them? How can they be mocked at? When Allah has promised them (and Allah does not go against His promise) that they will leave this world for Gardens beneath which rivers flow and they will live therein forever, and they are from the successful ones.
Verily it has been correctly stated:
Virtue can only be recognised by the virtuous.
This is why the Ahl la-Bayt recognised the virtue and worth of the Sahabah, and their status in the eyes of Allah and His Rasul salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.
‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu when reprimanding his own companions described the Sahabah saying:
لقد رأيت أصحاب محمد صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم فما أرى أحدا يشبههم منكم لقد كانوا يصبحون شعثا غبرا وقد باتوا سجدا وقياما يراوحون بين جباههم ويقفون على مثل الجمر من ذكر معادهم كأن بين أعينهم ركب المعزى من طول سجودهم إذا ذكر الله هملت أعينهم حتى تبل جيوبهم ومادوا كما يميد الشجر يوم الريح العاصف خوفا من العقاب ورجاء للثواب
Indeed, I have seen the Sahabah of Muhammad salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and I do not see anyone amongst you who resembles them. They would rise in the morning, unkempt and covered with dust, because they had spent the night in prostration and standing. They would alternate between their foreheads and their cheeks, while it felt as if they were standing on coals, when thinking of their return to the Hereafter. It is as if between their eyes there were marks like knees of goats due to the length of their prostration. When they would remember Allah, their eyes would drip until their bosoms would become wet. They would shake as a tree shakes on a terribly windy day, fearing punishment and hoping for reward.
It has been narrated from ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu that the Rasul of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said:
طوبى لمن رآني ولمن رأى من رآني ولمن رأى من رأى من رآني
Glad tidings to the person who saw me, or has seen a person who saw me, or has seen a person who saw a person who saw me.
So if merely looking at the Rasul of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam (which is the least required amount of being a Sahabi), or merely looking at the one who saw the Rasul of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, or merely looking at the one who saw a person who saw the Rasul of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam is worthy of such a great honour, then how can we have the audacity to dishonour this great generation whose purity has been declared by Allah and his Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.
‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu says describing the relationship between him and the Sahabah and their keenness to go head long into war together against the enemies:
ولقد كنا مع رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم نقتل آباءنا وأبناءنا وإخواننا وأعمامنا ما يزيدنا ذلك إلا إيمانا وتسليما ومضيا على اللقم وصبرا على مضض الالم وجدا في جهاد العدو.ولقد كان الرجل منا والاخر من عدونا يتصاولان تصاول الفحلين يتخالسان أنفسهما أيهما يسقى صاحبه كأس المنون فمرة لنا من عدونا ومرة لعدونا منا فلما رأى الله صدقنا أنزل بعدونا الكبت وأنزل علينا النصر حتى استقر الاسلام ملقيا جرانه ومتبوئا أوطانه ولعمري لو كنا نأتى ما أتيتم ما قام للدين عمود ولا اخضر للايمان عود وايم الله لتحتلبنها دما ولتتبعنها ندما
We (the Sahabah) were with the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam fighting our fathers, sons, brothers, and uncles; that did not increase us save in faith and submission. We passed (many days during this time) upon morsels, and in patience upon the anguish of pain, and in determination in fighting the enemy. A man amongst us and one from our enemy would compete with one another the way two studs competed glancing at one another stealthily which one would quench the other with the cup of death. At times it went our way and other times it went the way of our enemy. Then, when Allah saw our truthfulness he sent upon our enemy subjugation and upon us victory to the extent that Islam was settled, firmly established, and its lands settled. By my life, if we had done what you did1 there would be no pillars for the religion and there be no revival of faith. By my life, if we had also behaved like you, no pillar of (our) religion could have been raised, nor could the tree of faith have borne leaves. By Allah, certainly you will now milk our blood (instead of milk) and eventually you will face shame.
Once, addressing ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu, after ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu asked him for his opinion about going to war with the Romans, He said:
إنك متى سرت إلى هذا العدو بنفسك فتلقهم فتنكب لا يكن للمسلمين كانفة دون أقصى بلادهم .ليس بعدك مرجع يرجعون إليه فابعث إليهم رجلا محربا واحفز معه أهل البلاء والنصيحة فإن أظهر الله فذاك ما تحب وإن تكن الاخرى كنت ردءا للناس ومثابة للمسلمين .
Indeed, if you travel to the enemy and you meet them personally and you are afflicted with disaster then the Muslims will not have a place to resort to besides the furthest of their lands. There is no point of reference after you which people may resort to. Therefore, send to them an experienced man and incite to go with him some men with ability and goodwill. If Allah grants you victory then that is what you wanted. If it is the other (i.e. defeat) you will be a support for the people and a refuge for the Muslims.
During another instance He told ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu:
فكن قطبا واستدر الرحى بالعرب وأصلهم دونك نار الحرب فإنك إن شخصت من هذهالارض انتقضت عليك العرب من أطرافها وأقطارها حتى يكون ما تدع وراءك من العورات أهم إليك مما بين يديك.إن الاعاجم إن ينظروا إليك غدا يقولوا هذا أصل العرب فإذا اقتطعتموه استرحتم فيكون ذلك أشد لكلبهم عليك وطمعهم فيك.
Be the pivot and rotate the ‘mill’ (of government) with (the assistance of) the Arabs, and be their foundation. Avoid (direct) battle; for the Persians, if they see you tomorrow they will say, “This is the chief of Arabs. If we do away with him (today) we will be in peace.” In doing so, this will provoke them and they will be even more eager to attack you.
‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, in praise of ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu after he passed away, said:
لله بلاد فلان فلقد قوم الاود وداوى العمد واقام السنة وخلف الفتنة ذهب نقى الثوب وقليل العيب اصاب خيرها وسبق شرها.ادى الى الله طاعته واتقاه بحقه.رحل وتركهم في طرق متشعبة لا يهتدى بها الضال ولا يستيقن المهتدى
For Allah is the effort of fulan (referring to ‘Umar). He straightened the curve, remedied the sickness, subdued mischief and established the Sunnah. He left with a clean slate and few faults. He attained the good of this world and escaped its evil. He fulfilled his obedience to Allah and feared Him as He deserved. He departed from this world leaving the people in varying paths, wherein the deviant is unable to attain guidance and the guided uncertain of his fate.
Ibn Abi al Hadid says commenting on this text in his commentary on Nahj al Balaghah:
و يروى لله بلاء فلان أي لله ما صنع و فلان المكنى عنه عمر بن الخطاب و قد وجدت النسخة التي بخط الرضي أبي الحسن جامع نهج البلاغة و تحت فلان عمر حدثني بذلك فخار بن معد الموسوي الأودي الشاعر
It has also been narrated with a different wording, “Lillahi Bala’ Fulan”, which means, “How wonderful were his actions.” The person who was referred to when saying so and so is ‘Umar. I have seen the copy handwritten by al Radi Abi al Hassan, the compiler of Nahj al Balaghah, and beneath the word Fulan (so and so) ‘Umar is written. This was related to me by Fakhar ibn Ma’d al Musawi al Awdi al Sha’ir.
‘Ali ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu ‘anhu also praised ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu saying:
ووليهم وال فاقام واستقام حتى ضرب الدين بجيرانه
A ruler governed them who was just and steadfast, until religion reached the point of ultimate satiation.
Ibn Abi al Hadid says, “The governor is ‘Umar ibn al Khattab.”
Imam Ahmed reports:
عن محمد بن حاطب قال سمعت عليا يقول يعني إِنَّ الَّذِيْنَ سَبَقَتْ لَهُم مِّنَّا الْحُسْنٰى منهم عثمان.
Muhammad ibn Hatib narrates, “I heard ‘Ali saying:
إِنَّ الَّذِيْنَ سَبَقَتْ لَهُمْ مِنَّا الْحُسْنٰى
Indeed, those for whom the best [reward] has preceded from Us.
Amongst them is ‘Uthman.
It has been narrated from Muhammad ibn al Hanafiyyah:
بلغ عليا أن عائشة تلعن قتلة عثمان في المربد فرفع يديه حتى بلغ بهما وجهه فقال: وأنا ألعن قتلة عثمان، لعنهم الله في السهل والجبل، قال مرتين أو ثلاثا
The news reached ‘Ali that Aisha was cursing the killers of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu in Marbad. So ‘Ali raised his hands until they reached his face and said, “‘I too curse the killers of ‘Uthman on the land and on the mountains. O Allah; curse the killers of ‘Uthman! O Allah; curse the killers of ‘Uthman on the land and on the mountain!”
The clearest indication of the amiable relations between ‘Umar and ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhuma is the fact that ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu wed his beloved daughter—the daughter of Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha—to ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu; as has been recorded in the books of history, genealogy, biographies, hadith, and fiqh.
Malik al Ashtar al Nakha’i who was a close companion of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu (as has been recorded in the books of history) greatly praised Abu Bakr and ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma:
اما بعد فإن الله تبارك وتعالى اكرم هذه الامة برسوله محمد صلي الله عليه وآله وسلم فجمع كلمتها واظهرها على الناس، فلبث بذلك ما شاء الله ان يلبث ثم قبضه الله عز وجل الى رضوانه ومحل جنانه ثم ولي من بعد قوم صالحون عملوا بكتاب الله وسنة نبيه محمد صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم وجزاهم بأحسن ما اسلفوا من الصلحات.
Verily Allah has honoured this nation with his Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. He salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam brought them together and presented them to the people. He lived for his decreed time, thereafter he passed away and such a person took over who was pious and who followed the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of the Rasul of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. May Allah reward him his due for the best of his good deeds.
In another instance he said:
ايها الناس إن الله تبارك وتعالى بعث فيكم رسوله محمدا صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم بشيرا ونذيرا وانزل عليه الكتاب فيه الحلال والحرام والفرائض والسنن ثم قبضه اليه وقد ادى ما كان عليه ثم استخلف على الناس ابا بكر فسار بسيرته واستن بسنته واستخلف ابو بكر عمر فاستن بمثل تلك السنة.
O people! Verily Allah has sent Muhammad salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam to you as a giver of glad tidings and as a warner. Allah revealed His book in which the lawful, unlawful, compulsory, and meritorious have been mentioned. Thereafter the Rasul of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam passed away and he had fulfilled that which had been entrusted to him by Allah. Then Abu Bakr became the leader of the people and he followed the way of the Rasul of Allah. Then ‘Umar became the leader and followed suit.
NEXT⇒ The Praise of Imam ‘Abdullah ibn al ‘Abbas ibn ‘Abdul Muttalib
This is a famous saying of ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ud. Some scholars regard it to be a saying of the Rasul of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. It has been narrated in Musnad Ahmed #3600. Al ‘Ajluni in Kashf al Khifa’ and al Albani in Sharh al ‘Aqidah al Tahawiyyah have declared the saying of ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ud to be Hassan (sound).
 Surah al Tawbah: 100
 The reason of using an analogy of a goats-knee is because of its dryness and constant movements. The long time spent in prostration caused their nights to be long. There was a rough formation between their eyes upon which they rested. This prevented them from sleep and rest.
 Nahj al Balaghah, pg. 143 ( The chapter about the description of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu regarding the Banu Umayyah and the condition of the people under their rule)
Bihar al Anwar of al Majlisi, vol. 22 pg. 313. Also refer to Amali ibn al Sheikh, pg. 281-281
 Nahj al Balaghah, pg. 105 (Chapter regarding the description of ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu about the wars in the time of the Rasul of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam).
 Nahj al Balaghah, Sermon number: 134 (The chapter regarding the discussion with ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu in going to war with in Badr.
 Nahj al Balaghah, pg.203 Sermon no.146 (The chapter regarding the instance when ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu asked him for advice regarding going out himself to fight the Romans.)
 Nahj al Balaghah, pg.222 (The chapter regarding the praise of Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu on ‘Umar ibn al Khattab radiya Llahu ‘anhu
 Ibn Abi al Hadid: ‘Izz al Din ‘Abdul Hamid ibn Muhammad ibn Muhammad ibn Hussain ibn Abi al Hadid al Mada’ini. He was an author and a poet. He has written the most voluminous commentary on Nahj al Balaghah. He also has another work called al Sab’ al A’lawiyyat. He was born during the year 586 A.H. He died in Baghdad during the year 655 A.H. Sheikh ‘Abbas al Qummi has mentioned his biography in his book al Kuna wa al Alqab, vol.1 pg.192.
 Al Radi Abi al Hassan: Muhammad ibn al Hussain ibn Musa ibn Ibrahim ibn Musa al Kazim. He was a scholar and an author. He was born during the year 309 A.H. He died during the year 456 A.H. Sheikh ‘Abbas al Qummi has mentioned his biography in his book al Kuna wa al Alqab, vol. 2 pg. 272. He praised him and proved that he was the compiler of Nahj al Balaghah and refuted those that have rejected this.
 Sharh Nahj al Balaghah of Ibn Abi al Hadid, vol. 3 pg. 12.
 Sharh Nahj al Balaghah of Ibn Abi al Hadid, vol. 20 pg. 218.
 Surah al Haj: 101
 Fada’il al Sahabah, Hadith: 771, the researcher of the book has declared the chain of narrators to be Sahih.
 Name of a place in Iraq.
 Fada’il al Sahabah Hadith: 732, The researcher of the book has declared the chain of narrators to be Sahih.
 This marriage renders all other false narrations baseless. For example, the narration that states: ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu attacked Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha which led to her miscarriage. Who would consider giving their daughter to a man who had attacked, injured and ultimately was the cause of the death of your wife (and the mother of your daughter)! Would you consent to having such a man as your son-in-law? Furthermore, would you then proceed to name your children after him? For further reading regarding this incident you may refer to the book Ziwaj ‘Umar ibn al Khattab min Umm Kulthum bint ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib – Haqiqah La Iftira’ by Sayed Ahmed Ibrahim Abu Muaz al Ismaili.
 Malik al Ashtar al Nakha’i: Nakha’ is a large tribe from Madh-haj in Yemen. The name of Nakha’ is Jisr ibn ‘Amr ibn ‘Illah ibn Jild ibn Malik ibn Adad. Al Kuna wal al Alqab of Sheikh ‘Abbas al Qummi vol. 3 pg. 244.
 Al Futuh of Ibn al A’tham, vol. 1 pg. 385
 Al Futuh of Ibn al A’tham, vol. 1 pg. 396