Preface – Discussion One: The status of the Sahabah in Islam and an overview of the Islamic belief regarding them.

Introduction
February 26, 2021
Discussion Two – The Fitnah that broke out between the Sahabah
February 26, 2021

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Preface

Discussion One: The status of the Sahabah in Islam and an overview of the Islamic belief regarding them.

  • The Status of the Sahabah
  • A Quick Glance at the Fundamentals of a Muslim’s Belief regarding the Sahabah

Discussion Two: The fitnah that occurred between the Sahabah.

 

Discussion One

The Status of the Sahabah in Islam and an Overview of the Islamic Belief Regarding Them

 

The Status of the Sahabah

 

Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala selected His pure Messengers for the guidance of mankind, so that humankind may attain guidance and harmony. Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala sealed the succession of Messengers with His beloved, the leader of creation salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala assisted and supported him and was, thus, showered with grace and divine favour. Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala then selected the best of mankind after him for his companionship who believed in him, supported him, and championed his cause till the end.

Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala declares:

وَإِن يُرِيْدُوْا أَنْ يَخْدَعُوْكَ فَإِنَّ حَسْبَكَ اللهُ هُوَ الَّذِيْ أَيَّدَكَ بِنَصْرِهِ وَبِالْمُؤْمِنِيْنَ

But if they intend to deceive you, then sufficient for you is Allah. It is He who supported you with His help and with the believers.[1]

 

Al Tabari mentions a fine point on the authority of Sayyidina Ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhuma and al Thawri rahimahu Llah, that the selected servants mentioned in the following verse of the glorious Qur’an refer to the Sahabah of Muhammad salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam:

 

قُلِ الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ وَسَلَامٌ عَلىٰ عِبَادِهِ الَّذِيْنَ اصْطَفىٰ

Say, [O Muhammad], “Praise be to Allah, and peace upon His servants whom He has chosen.”[2]

 

Al Tabari comments:

اجتباهم لنبيه محمد صلى الله عليه و سلم فجعلهم أصحابه و وزراءه على الدين الذي بعثه بالدعاء إليه دون المشركين به الجاحدين نبوة نبيه

Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala selected them for His Messenger Muhammad salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and made them his Companions and ministers for the Din with which He sent him to call towards, to those who ascribed partners with Him and denied the Nubuwwah of His Messenger.[3]

 

They were the vanguard who attained precedence in Din and obtained the honour of companionship which no honour can equal.

Sayyidina ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ud radiya Llahu ‘anhu reports:

 

إن الله نظر في قلوب العباد فوجد قلب محمد صلى الله عليه و سلم 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 فما رأى المسلمون حسنا فهو عند الله حسن و ما رأوا سيئا فهو عند الله سيئ

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. Therefore, whatever the Muslims regard as noble is noble in the sight of Allah and what they regard as evil is evil in the sight of Allah.[4]

 

Sayyidina Ibn Mas’ud radiya Llahu ‘anhu proclaims:

 

من كان منكم متأسيا فليتأس بأصحاب محمد صلى الله عليه و سلم فإنهم كانوا أبر هذه الأمة قلوبا و أعمقها علما و أقلها تكلفا و أقومها هديا و أحسنها حالا قوما اختارهم الله لصحبة نبيه صلى الله عليه و سلم و إقامة دينه فاعرفوا لهم فضلهم و اتبعوهم في آثارهم فإنهم كانوا على الهدي المستقيم

Whoever desires emulation should emulate the Companions of Muhammad salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam for they possessed the purest of hearts, the deepest knowledge, and the least formalities. They were rightly guided and the best of this Ummah. They were a nation handpicked by Allah to accompany His Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and establish His Din. Recognise their virtue and emulate their ways, for indeed, they were upon true guidance.[5]

 

Status of the Sahabah in the Qur’an

The Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum assume a lofty position in Islam. Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala has described this in His Book and Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam has highlighted it for his Ummah, so their worth may be realised and they be emulated. Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala praised them in a manner He never praised any other nation besides them, in numerous verses, some of which are listed hereunder:

 

Verse 1

لَّقَدْ تَّابَ اللَّهُ عَلَى النَّبِيِّ وَالْمُهَاجِرِيْنَ وَالْأَنْصَارِ الَّذِيْنَ اتَّبَعُوْهُ فِيْ سَاعَةِ الْعُسْرَةِ مِنْ بَعْدِ مَا كَادَ يَزِيْغُ قُلُوْبُ فَرِيْقٍ مِّنْهُمْ ثُمَّ تَابَ عَلَيْهِمْ إِنَّهُ بِهِمْ رَءُوْفٌ رَّحِيْمٌ

Allah has already forgiven the Prophet and the Muhajirin and the Ansar who followed him in the hour of difficulty after the hearts of a party of them had almost inclined [to doubt], and then He forgave them. Indeed, He was to them Kind and Merciful.[6]

 

Verse 2

كُنْتُمْ خَيْرَ أُمَّةٍ أُخْرِجَتْ لِلنَّاسِ تَأْمُرُوْنَ بِالْمَعْرُوْفِ وَتَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ الْمُنْكَرِ وَتُؤْمِنُوْنَ بِاللَّهِ وَلَوْ آمَنَ أَهْلُ الْكِتَابِ لَكَانَ خَيْرًا لَّهُم مِّنْهُمُ الْمُؤْمِنُوْنَ وَأَكْثَرُهُمُ الْفَاسِقُوْنَ

You are the best nation produced [as an example] for mankind. You enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and believe in Allah. If only the People of the Scripture had believed, it would have been better for them. Among them are believers, but most of them are defiantly disobedient.[7]

 

Verse 3

وَالسَّابِقُوْنَ الْأَوَّلُوْنَ مِنَ الْمُهَاجِرِيْنَ وَالْأَنْصَارِ وَالَّذِيْنَ اتَّبَعُوْهُمْ بِإِحْسَانٍ رَّضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُمْ وَرَضُوْا عَنْهُ وَأَعَدَّ لَهُمْ جَنَّاتٍ تَجْرِيْ تَحْتَهَا الْأَنْهَارُ خَالِدِيْنَ فِيهَا 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.[8]

 

Verse 4

 

مُّحَمَّدٌ رَّسُوْلُ اللَّهِ وَالَّذِيْنَ مَعَهُ أَشِدَّاءُ عَلَى الْكُفَّارِ رُحَمَاءُ بَيْنَهُمْ تَرَاهُمْ رُكَّعًا سُجَّدًا يَبْتَغُوْنَ فَضْلًا مِّنَ اللَّهِ وَرِضْوَانًا سِيْمَاهُمْ فِيْ وُجُوْهِهِمْ مِّنْ أَثَرِ السُّجُوْدِ ذٰلِكَ مَثَلُهُمْ فِيْ التَّوْرَاةِ وَمَثَلُهُمْ فِيْ الْإِنجِيْلِ كَزَرْعٍ أَخْرَجَ شَطْأَهُ فَآزَرَهُ فَاسْتَغْلَظَ فَاسْتَوىٰ عَلىٰ سُوْقِهِ يُعْجِبُ الزُّرَّاعَ لِيَغِيْظَ بِهِمُ الْكُفَّارَ وَعَدَ اللَّهُ الَّذِيْنَ آمَنُوْا وَعَمِلُوْا الصَّالِحَاتِ مِنْهُمْ مَّغْفِرَةً وَأَجْرًا 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 Tawrah. And their description in the Injil is as a plant which produces its offshoots and strengthens them so they grow firm and stand upon their stalks, delighting the sowers, so that Allah may enrage by them the disbelievers. Allah has promised those who believe and do righteous deeds among them forgiveness and a great reward.[9]

 

Verse 5

 

لِلْفُقَرَاءِ الْمُهَاجِرِيْنَ الَّذِيْنَ أُخْرِجُوْا مِنْ دِيَارِهِمْ وَأَمْوَالِهِمْ يَبْتَغُوْنَ فَضْلًا مِّنَ اللَّهِ وَرِضْوَانًا وَيَنْصُرُوْنَ اللَّهَ وَرَسُوْلَهُ أُولٰئِكَ هُمُ الصَّادِقُوْنَ وَالَّذِيْنَ تَبَوَّءُوا الدَّارَ وَالْإِيْمَانَ مِنْ قَبْلِهِمْ يُحِبُّوْنَ مَنْ هَاجَرَ إِلَيْهِمْ وَلَا يَجِدُوْنَ فِيْ صُدُوْرِهِمْ حَاجَةً مِّمَّا أُوْتُوْا وَيُؤْثِرُوْنَ عَلىٰ أَنْفُسِهِمْ وَلَوْ كَانَ بِهِمْ خَصَاصَةٌ وَمَنْ يُوْقَ شُحَّ نَفْسِهِ فَأُولٰئِكَ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُوْنَ

For the poor Emigrants 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 al Madinah and [adopted] the faith before them. They love those who emigrated to them and find not any want in their breasts of what the Emigrants were given but give [them] preference over themselves, even though they are in privation. And whoever is protected from the stinginess of his soul, it is those who will be the successful.[10]

 

Verse 6

وَمَا لَكُمْ أَلَّا تُنْفِقُوْا فِيْ سَبِيْلِ اللَّهِ وَلِلَّهِ مِيْرَاثُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ لَا يَسْتَوِيْ مِنْكُم مَّنْ أَنْفَقَ مِنْ قَبْلِ الْفَتْحِ وَقَاتَلَ أُولٰئِكَ أَعْظَمُ دَرَجَةً مِّنَ الَّذِيْنَ أَنفَقُوْا مِنْ بَعْدُ وَقَاتَلُوْا وَكُلًّا وَعَدَ اللَّهُ الْحُسْنىٰ وَاللَّهُ بِمَا تَعْمَلُوْنَ خَبِيْرٌ

And why do you not spend in the cause of Allah while to Allah belongs the heritage of the heavens and the earth? 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.[11]

 

This verse contains glad tidings for all the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum, the forerunners as well as those who embraced the faith at a later stage. Although they differ in levels of superiority and excellence due to the varied favours and approvals Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala awarded them, all of them have attained companionship, integrity, praise, and the promise of Jannat.[12]

 

Status of the Sahabah in Hadith

Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam has highlighted their status in numerous narrations, some of which are mentioned hereunder:

 

Hadith 1

Sayyidina Abu Sa’id al Khudri radiya Llahu ‘anhu reports that Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam warned:

 

لا تسبوا أصحابي لا تسبوا أصحابي فوالذي نفسي بيده لو أن أحدكم أنفق مثل أحد ذهبا ما أدرك مد أحدهم و لا نصيفه

Do not revile my companions. Do not revile my companions. By the Being in whose control is my life, if any of you were to spend gold equivalent [in weight] to mount Uhud, you will not reach [the reward] of their mudd[13], not even half of it.[14]

 

Hadith 2

He also reports that Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam prophesised:

 

يأتي على الناس زمان يغزو فئام من الناس فيقال لهم فيكم من رأى رسول الله فيقولون نعم فيفتح لهم ثم يغزو فئام من الناس يقال لهم فيكم من رأى من صحب رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم فيقولون نعم فيفتح لهم ثم يغزو فئام من الناس فيقال لهم  هل فيكم من رأى من صحب من صحب رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم فيقولون نعم فيفتح لهم

A time will come when a huge army[15] will wage war.

They will be asked, “Is anyone who saw Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam among you?”

They will reply in the affirmative. And they will be victorious.

Then a huge army will wage war.

They will be asked, “Is anyone who saw someone who accompanied Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam among you?”

They will reply in the affirmative. And they will be victorious.

Thereafter a huge army will wage war.

They will be asked, “Is anyone who saw someone who accompanied someone who accompanied Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam among you?”

They will reply in the affirmative. And they will be victorious.[16]

 

Hadith 3

Sayyidina Abu Burdah reports from his father radiya Llahu ‘anhuma who in turn reports from Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam:

 

النجوم أمنة للسماء فأذا ذهبت النجوم أتى السماء ما توعد و أنا أمنة لأصحابي فأذا ذهبت أتى أصحابي ما يوعدون و أصحابي أمنة لأمتي فإذا ذهب أصحابي أتى أمتي ما يوعدون

The stars are a protection[17] for the sky.[18] When the stars disappear, what the sky was promised will approach. I am a protection for my Companions,[19] when I leave, what my Companions were promised will come. And my Companions are a protection for my Ummah,[20] when my Companions leave, what my Ummah was promised will come.[21]

 

Hadith 4

Sayyidina ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ud radiya Llahu ‘anhu reports that Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam stated:

 

خير الناس قرني ثم الذين يلونهم ثم الذين يلونهم ثم يجيء أقوام تسبق شهادة أحدهم يمينه و يمينه شهادته

The best people are those of my era, then the subsequent era, and then the subsequent era. Thereafter, such nations will surface, their testimony will precede their oath and their oath will precede their testimony.[22]

 

Hadith 5

Sayyidina Ibn ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma relates that Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam warned:

 

من سب أصحابي فعليه لعنة الله و الملائكة و الناس أجمعين

Whoever reviles my Companions courts the curse of Allah, the angels, and all mankind.[23]

 

Status of the Sahabah according to the scholars

Statement 1

 

Ibn al Qayyim rahimahu Llah relates:

 

قال الشافعي و قد أثنى الله على الصحابة في التوراة و الإنجيل و القرآن و سبق لهم على لسان نبيهم صلى الله عليه و سلم من الفضل ما ليس لأحد بعدهم

Al Shafi’i stated, “Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala has complimented the Sahabah in the Tawrah, the Injil, and the Qur’an; and such compliments have been uttered on the tongue of their Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam which no one after them enjoys.”

 

Statement 2

Ibn al Qasim reports that he heard Malik rahimahu Llah stating:

 

لما دخل أصحاب رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم الشام نظر إليهم رجل من أهل الكتاب فقال ما كان أصحاب عيسى ابن مريم الذين قطعوا بالمناشير و صلبوا على الخشب بأشد اجتهادا من هؤلاء و قد شهد لهم الصادق المصدوق الذي لا ينطق عن الهوى بأنهم خير القرون على الإطلاق كما شهد لهم  ربهم تبارك و تعالى بأنهم خير الأمم على الإطلاق

After the Companions of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam entered Syria, a man from the adherents of the Scripture observed them and commented, “The companions of ‘Isa ibn Maryam ‘alayh al Salam who were cut into pieces with scissors and crucified were not burdened with more exertion than these men. The truthful and verified being, who does not speak from his desire, testified to their era being the best without restriction just as their Rabb subhanahu wa ta ‘ala testified to them being the best of nations unrestrictedly.”[24]

 

Why should they not be the choicest of creation when their mentor and educator was the most superior of creation and the master of the children of Adam, Muhammad salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. They learnt decorum, knowledge, practice, and sacrifice for the sake of Din from him and they scattered in the various cities after his demise to convey the Din of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala and to make people understand their Din.

 

Statement 3

Ibn al Qayyim rahimahu Llah states:

 

و العلم إنما انتشر في الآفاق عن أصحاب رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم فهم الذين فتحوا البلاد بالجهاد و القلوب بالعلم و القرآن فملئوا الدنيا خيرا و علما و الناس اليوم في بقايا آثار علمهم قال الشافعي في رسالته وقد ذكر الصحابة فعظمهم وأثنى عليهم ثم قال و هم فوقنا في كل علم و اجتهاد و ورع و عقل و أمر استدرك به علم و استنبط به و آراؤهم لنا أحمد و أولى بنا من آرائنا عندنا لأنفسنا و الله أعلم و من أدركنا ممن نرضى أو حكي لنا عنه ببلدنا صاروا فيما لم يعلموا لرسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم فيه سنة إلى قولهم إن اجتمعوا أو قول بعضهم إن تفرقوا فهكذا نقول إذا اجتمعوا أخذنا باجتماعهم و إن قال واحدهم و لم يخالفه غيره أخذنا بقوله فإن اختلفوا أخذنا بقول بعضهم و لم نخرج من أقاويلهم كلهم … و علماؤهم و تلاميذهم هم الذين ملئوا الأرض علما فعلماء الإسلام كلهم تلاميذهم و تلاميذ تلاميذهم و هلم جرا و هؤلاء الأئمة الأربعة الذين طبق علمهم الأرض شرقا و غربا هم تلاميذ تلاميذهم و خيار ما عندهم ما كان عن الصحابة و خيار الفقه ما كان عنهم و أصح التفسير ما أخذ عنهم و أما كلامهم في باب معرفة الله و أسمائه و صفاته و أفعاله و قضائه و قدره ففي أعلى المراتب فمن وقف عليه و عرف ما قالته الأنبياء عرف أنه مشتق منه مترجم عنه و كل علم نافع في الأمة فهو مستنبط من كلامهم و ماخوذ عنهم … و هذه تآليف أئمة الإسلام التي لا يحصيها إلا الله و كلهم من أولهم إلى آخرهم يقر بالصحابة بالعلم و الفضل و يعترف بأن علمه بالنسبة إلى علومهم كعلومهم بالنسبة إلى علم نبيهم

Knowledge spread to the corners of the globe only from the Companions of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. They were the ones who conquered the cities through Jihad and conquered the hearts with knowledge and Qur’an. They filled the world with goodness and knowledge. People, to this very day, are benefitting from their knowledge. Al Shafi’i rahimahu Llah in his treatise, after speaking magnificently and admirably about the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum, mentions: “They surpassed us in all branches of knowledge, analytical reasoning, piety, and intelligence, as well as in derived knowledge and substantiation. Their opinions are more praiseworthy and better for us than our own. And Allah knows best. We adhere to the statements of those of them we have met—with whom Allah is pleased—or what has been narrated from them in our city, if they have consensus and the practice of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam is not known. If they differ in opinion, then we will act on one or the other.

Thus, we say: If they have consensus then we will act upon their consensus, if one of them expresses an opinion and it is not opposed by the others then we will act upon his opinion, and if they differ with each other then we will adopt one of their views, so that we do not discard all of them entirely.”

The scholars amongst them and their students are responsible for filling the earth with knowledge. All the scholars of Islam are their students or the students of their students, and it continues. The four Imams, whose knowledge has covered the east and west of the earth, are the students of their students. The finest of their knowledge is what is taken from the Sahabah. The best fiqh is from them. The most authentic Tafsir is taken from them. As regards to their statements in the aspect of recognition of Allah, His names, His qualities, His actions, His decisions, and His judgements are at the pinnacle of excellence. Whoever studies their statements and comprehends what the Prophets have stated will realise that it is taken from the Prophets and simply a paraphrase of theirs. Every beneficial knowledge in the Ummah is deduced from their speech and realised from them.

The books authored by the Imams of Islam―which cannot be enumerated except by Allah―all of them from the first to the last attest to the knowledge and virtue of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum. Each author acknowledges that his knowledge in comparison to their knowledge is like the comparison of their knowledge to the knowledge of their Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.[25]

 

Statement 5

‘Ata’ ibn Abi Rabah rahimahu Llah states:

 

ما رأيت مجلسا قط أكرم من مجلس ابن عباس رضي الله عنهما أكثر فقها و لا أعظم جفنة أصحاب القرآن عنده يسألونه و أصحاب العربية عنده يسألونه و أصحاب الشعر عنده يسألونه فكلهم يصدر في رأي واسع

I have never seen any gathering more noble, with more fiqh and more participants, than the gathering of Ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhuma. The seekers of Qur’an were by him, the leaners of Arabic were at his side, and those interested in poetry were by him asking him. All were being quenched from a massive spring.[26]

 

Statement 6

Nafi’ rahimahu Llah relates:

 

كان عبد الله بن عمر و عبد الله بن عباس يجلسان للناس عند قدوم الحاج قال كنت أجلس إلى هذا يوما و إلى هذا يوما فكان ابن عباس يجيب و يفتي في كل ما يسأل عنه و كان ابن عمر يرد أكثر مما يفتي

‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar and ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhum would present themselves in front of the people when the Hujjaj (pilgrims) arrived. I would sit with each of them on alternate days. Ibn ‘Abbas would answer every question posed to him whereas Ibn ‘Umar would decline (answering) more than he would answer.[27]

 

Statement 7

Malik rahimahu Llah says:

قد أقام ابن عمر بعد النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم ستين سنة يفتي الناس في الموسم و غير ذلك و كان من أئمة الدين

Ibn ‘Umar lived after the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam for sixty years, issuing verdicts to the people with regards to the rituals of Hajj and other issues. He was one of the leaders of Din.[28]

 

Statement 8

Waki’ reports from Hisham ibn ‘Urwah rahimahu Llah:

رأيت لجابر بن عبد الله حلقة في المسجد يعني المسجد النبوي يؤخذ عنه

I saw a gathering of students around Jabir ibn ‘Abdullah in the Masjid―i.e. Masjid al Nabawi―learning from him.[29]

 

The Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum are the choicest generation produced from the Prophetic Institute. They are the lanterns of guidance in every time, the models for populaces of every generation, and the leaders of mankind in rendering every sphere of their life favourable; be it religious, worldly, educational, philosophical, moral, ethical, or sacrificial. They were the lions of the forest (in bravery) and the rain of the clouds (in benevolence). They only desired that much of the world which could convey them to the Hereafter. Owing to this, they were not desirous of the world, so fortune was destined for them. They did not show off their actions, so history preserved it forever. They cared not of their mention being perpetuated, so the subsequent generations preserved it. Their biographies influence the ears, capture the eyes, and stir the chords of the heart. They stimulate silent tongues and awaken sleeping hearts. We quote their ahadith to extract lessons and morals. Certainly, every stance and happening brings forth marvellous lessons and spectacular wisdom. In fact, its trace remains novel every time a vibrant heart contemplates over it.[30]

While highlighting the era of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum―their struggle in spreading Islam and anchoring its pillars―Sayyidina Ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhuma stated:

 

إن الله جل ثناؤه و تقدست أسماؤه خص نبيه محمدا صلى الله عليه و سلم بصحبة آثروه على الأنفس و الأموال و بذلوا النفوس دونه في كل حال و وصفهم في كتابه فقال رُحَمَاءُ بَيْنَهُمْ فقاموا بمعالم الدين و ناصحوا الاجتهاد للمسلمين حتى تهذبت طرقه و أسبابه و ظهرت آلاء الله و استقر دينه و وضحت أعلامه و أذل الله بهم الشرك و أزال رؤوسه و محا دعائمه و صارت كلمة الله هي العليا و كلمة الذين كفروا السفلى فصلوات الله و رحمته و بركاته على تلك النفوس الزاكية و الأرواح الطاهرة العالية فقد كانوا في الحياة أولياء و كانوا بعد الموت أحياء و كانوا لعباد الله نصحاء رحلوا إلى الآخرة قبل أن يصلوا إليها و خرجوا من الدنيا و هم بعد فيها

Certainly, Allah―exalted is His praise and pure are His names―selected for His Messenger Muhammad salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam Companions who favoured him over their own lives and wealth and sacrificed their existences for him whenever the need arose. Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala described them in His book with the words: merciful among themselves. They established the landmarks of Din and sincerely applied their ijtihad for the believers until its paths and channels became refined, the favours of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala became manifest, the Din of Allah became established, and its landmarks became clear. Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala disgraced shirk through them, removed its leaders, and demolished its pillars, which resulted in the word of Allah reigning supreme and the word of the disbelievers becoming humiliated. May the salutations, mercy, and blessings of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala be upon those pure personalities and elevated virtuous souls. They lived this life as friends of Allah and are alive after their deaths. They were well-wishers for the servants of Allah. They departed for the Hereafter prior to reaching it and exited the world while still living in it.[31]

 

When Sayyidina Ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhuma―a distinguished Companion among the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum―looks at them with these eyes of honour and reserves for them this lofty pedestal in his heart, then it is becoming of us to honour them, befriend them, and seek proximity to Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala by loving them.[32]

Here you have Amir al Mu’minin Sayyidina ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu ‘anhu speaking highly of the Companions of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, comparing them with those who abandoned him:

 

لقد رأيت أصحاب محمد صلى الله عليه و سلم فما أرى أحدا يشبههم منكم لقد كانوا يصبحون شعثا غبرا و قد باتوا سجدا و قياما يراوحون بين جباههم و خدودهم و يقفون على مثل الجمر من ذكر معادهم كأن بين أعينهم ركب المعزي من طول سجودهم إذا ذكر الله هملت أعينهم حتى تبل جيوبهم و مادوا كما يميد الشجريوم الريح العاصف خوفا من العقاب و رجاء 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, after spending 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 thinking of their return to the Hereafter. It is as if between their eyes were marks like knees of goats due to the length of their prostration. When they would remember Allah, their eyes would tear until their bosoms became wet. They would shake as a tree shakes on a terribly windy day, fearing punishment and hoping for reward.[33]

 

He speaks impressively about them, remorseful over their departure from this world:

 

أين القوم الذين دعوا إلى الإسلام فقبلوه و قرءوا القرآن فأحكموه و هيجوا إلى الجهاد فولهوا وله اللقاح إلى أولادها و سلبوا السيوف أغمادها و أخذوا بأطراف الأرض زحفا زحفا وصفا صفا بعض هلك و بعض نجا لا يبشرون بالأحياء و لا يعزون عن الموتى مره العيون من البكاء خمص البطون من الصيام ذبل الشفاه من الدعاء صفر الألوان من السهر على وجوههم غبرة الخاشعين أولئك إخواني الذاهبون فحق لنا أن نظمأ إليهم و نعض الأيدي على فراقهم

Where are the men who were invited to Islam and accepted it, who recited the Qur’an and mastered it, who were provoked to fight and became mad with passion, like nursing camels[34] upon their children. They unsheathed their swords and set out to the corners of the globe in battalions and ranks. Some embraced martyrdom while other survived. They were not elated with those alive nor did they mourn the dead. Eyes white[35] from continuous crying, stomachs empty through constant fasting, lips dry owing to intense supplication, skin pale from wakefulness, with the dust of the fearful on their faces. Those are my brothers who have departed. It is befitting that we yearn for them and are remorseful over their separation.[36]

 

This is the elevated status of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum in the sight of the scholars of the Ummah. He awarded them Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and selected them for him. He enabled them to lay the foundation of Islam and erect its pillars by emulating Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, believing in him, fighting alongside him, and sacrificing their lives and wealth. This is the grace of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala which He awards to whom He desires.

Undoubtedly, when the scholars honour and revere every individual upon whom the word Companion may be attached, they are treading the footsteps of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum who regarded companionship as a virtue unequalled by any other.[37]

 

A Quick Glance at the Fundamentals of a Muslim’s Creed regarding the Sahabah

The aforementioned establishes a few fundamentals and essentials, which we need to focus upon and understand as part of our ‘aqidah (creed):

1. Loving all the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum and being pleased with them. This is mandatory for several reasons:

  • Fact 1: Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala divinely selected them for the companionship of the benevolent Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala united the pure with the pure. This divine selection demands love for them. May Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala be pleased with them.
  • Fact 2: Certainly, Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala honoured them with the companionship of Muhammad salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Blessed are those who saw Muhammad salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam once, even with a passing glance. The virtue of companionship is unequalled by any other virtue.
  • Fact 3: Their support of the Din of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala. This generation enjoys the unique pearl of precedence in supporting the Din of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala and sacrificing their lives in its defence:

وَيَنصُرُوْنَ اللَّهَ وَرَسُوْلَهُ

And supporting Allah and His Messenger.[38]

Glory belongs to Allah! How many precious and valuable things they sacrificed in support of His Din and fighting His enemies, whether it be fighting the disbelievers and renegades on the battlefield or removing misconceptions in the academic field. They presented their souls as a bargain in the path of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala. The eminent Sahabi, Sayyidina Khubayb radiya Llahu ‘anhu, recited:

على أي شق كان لله مصرعي و لست أبالي حين أقتل مسلما
يبارك على أوصال شلو ممزع وذلك في ذات الإله و إن يشأ

I pay no consideration, now that I be killed as a Muslim,

On which side I fall for the sake of Allah.

This is for the pleasure of the Supreme Deity and if He so desires,

He will bless the severed joints of a corpse.[39]

 

This is an indication of how they regarded themselves as insignificant when sacrificing their lives in the path of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala, bargaining with it to attain Allah’s subhanahu wa ta ‘ala pleasure. Those who willingly sacrifice their lives for Allah’s pleasure do not considered themselves of any importance. May Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala, thus, be pleased with them. How many lives they sacrificed and what a great amount of wealth they spent! The sacrifice of Sayyidina ‘Abdullah ibn Haram radiya Llahu ‘anhu in the Battle of Uhud will never leave my memory; an image that comes alive in my mind. Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said to his son Sayyidina Jabir radiya Llahu ‘anhu:

 

أفلا أبشرك بما لقي الله به أباك قال بلى يا رسول الله قال ما كلم الله أحدا قط إلا من وراء حجاب و كلم أباك كفاحا فقال يا عبدي تمن علي أعطك قال يا رب تحييني فأقتل فيك ثانية فقال الرب سبحانه إنه سبق مني أنهم إليها لا يرجعون قال يا رب فأبلغ من ورائي قال فأنزل الله تعالى وَلَا تَحْسَبَنَّ الَّذِيْنَ قُتِلُوْا فِيْ سَبِيْلِ اللَّهِ أَمْوَاتًا الآية

“Should I not convey to you the happy news of how Allah greeted your father?”

“Most definitely,” he replied, “O Messenger of Allah.”

Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam related, “Allah never spoke to anyone except behind a veil. Yet he spoke to your father directly.”

Allah announced, ‘O my servant, desire from Me, I will grant you.’

He (‘Abdullah) requested, ‘O my Rabb, give me life so that I may be killed for Your sake a second time.’

Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala declared, ‘I have already passed the verdict that they will not return to the world.’

He said, ‘O Rabb, convey to those behind me.’

Allah, thus, revealed, Never think of those martyred in the cause of Allah as dead, till the end of the verse.[40]

 

This was his expression of love and support for the Din of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala and to make Allah’s word reign supreme.

 

  • Fact 4: Their perseverance in the face of persecution meted out by the polytheists. The Companions of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam remarkably endured the severe persecution of the polytheists. May Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala be pleased with them.
  • Fact 5: Leaving their homelands. The Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum emigrated from their homes, abandoned their wealth, and left their families for the sake of this Din. Owing to this, Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala has destined for them a magnificent reward. May Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala be pleased with them.
  • Fact 6: Giving preference to the love of Allah and His Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam over everything. Was Zaid ibn al Dathinah radiya Llahu ‘anhu not asked when taken to the gallows:

 

يا زيد أنشدك الله أتحب أنك الآن في أهلك و أن محمدا عندنا مكانك نضرب عنقه قال لا والله ما أحب أن محمدا يشاك في مكانه بشوكة تؤذيه و أني جالس في أهلي قال أبو سفيان والله ما رأيت من قوم قط أشد حبا لصاحبهم من أصحاب محمد له

“O Zaid! I implore you in the name of Allah. Would you not like to be with your family at this present moment while Muhammad be with us in your place and we execute him instead?”

Zaid retorted, “Never, by Allah! I will not tolerate Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam being harmed with the prick of a thorn in his present place while I sit happily with my family members.”

Hearing this, Abu Sufyan commented, “I have never seen any nation possess such intense love for their master as the Companion of Muhammad possess for him.”[41]

This proves that they sacrificed their blood and lives for Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam owing to their intense love for him.

 

  • Fact 7: Their precedence to Islam. Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala spoke highly of them in more than one verse due to their precedence to Islam. Whenever a person has precedence to good, he enjoys a higher status.
  • Fact 8: The spreading of the Din of Allah at their hands.[42] They are the link between Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and his Ummah and the Ummah received the Shari’ah via them.[43]
  • Fact 9: They spread salient qualities among the Ummah―like truthfulness, good will, noble character, and decorum―which were not found by others. The one who reads about them casually will not be cognisant of this. Only the one who lives in their history and recognises their virtues and excellences, giving precedence to others over themselves, and responding to Allah and His Messenger, will realise this.[44]
  • Fact 10: They are the best generation among all the nations as stated emphatically by Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam:

خير الناس قرني ثم الذين يلونهم ثم الذين يلونهم

The best people are those of my era, then the subsequent era, and then the subsequent era.[45]

 

  • Fact 11: We love them because loving them is din, iman, and virtue. Al Tahawi rahimahu Llah states:

 

و نحب أصحاب رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم و لا نفرط في حب أحد منهم و لا نتبرأ من أحد منهم و نبغض من يبغضهم و بغير الخير يذكرهم و لا نذكرهم إلا بخير و حبهم دين و إيمان و إحسان و بغضهم كفر و نفاق و طغيان

We love all the Companions of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam yet do not cross the limits into extremism in loving any of them. We do not dissociate from any of them. We hate those who hate them or speak negatively of them. We only speak positively of them. Loving them is din, iman (faith), and ihsan (beneficence). Conversely, hating them is kufr, hypocrisy, and oppression.[46]

 

Ibn Taymiyyah states:

رزق الهدى من للهداية يسأل يا سائلي عن مذهبي و عقيدتي
لا ينثني عنه و لا يتبدل اسمع كلام محقق في قوله
و مودة القربى بها أتوسل حب الصحابة كلهم لي مذهب
لكنما الصديق منهم أفضل و لكلهم قدر و فضل ساطع

O questioner as regards my doctrine and creed,

The one seeking guidance will be favoured with the same.

Listen to the proclamation of one well-grounded in his declaration,

One who neither retracts nor changes.

Loving the Sahabah, all without exception, is my policy.

And I seek proximity by loving the family (of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam).

Each of them enjoys a lofty status and a magnificent virtue.

However, al Siddiq is the most virtuous of them all.[47]

 

2. Among the fundamentals of the Ahlus Sunnah wa al Jama’ah regarding the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum is that they:

 

Do not believe that all the Sahabah are infallible to major and minor sins. Rather, they it is possible for them to have sinned. At the same time, they enjoy precedence and excellent virtues which mandate the forgiveness of their errors, if any. In fact, some of their errors are pardoned which are not pardoned for those after them since they have performed those marvellous good deeds which erase bad deeds, good deeds not performed by others. It is established from Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam that they are the best generation and that a mudd[48] which one of them donates in charity is far superior to Mount Uhud of gold donated by those after them. Moreover, if perchance any of them had committed a sin; he repented from the same, or carried out such good deeds which wiped it out, or was forgiven by the grace of his precedence or by the intercession of Muhammad salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam―and they are most deserving of his intercession—or was afflicted with an adversity in the world which expiated his sin.[49] When this is the case with factual sins, then what about affairs in which they are at liberty to apply analytical reasoning? If they are correct, they receive double reward and if they err, they receive a single reward and their error is forgiven. Furthermore, the number of undesirable actions committed by some of them is insignificant in front of the plentiful virtues and excellent deeds of the entire group, like belief in Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala and His Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, waging war in His path, emigration, assistance, beneficial knowledge, and noble deeds.[50]

 

3. The Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum are human. They lived their lives just like others, with happiness, sadness, and mutual differences in viewpoints. They were unlike others, however, in that their differences did not lead to mutual rancour. They were leaders to the subsequent generations in every aspect―in their peace and war, in their seriousness and humour, and in their happiness and anger―because Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala selected them and appointed them to the position of leadership. The one who studies the history of the noble Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum―who desires not to be trapped in muddy water―realises well this reality.[51]

Here is Amir al Mu’minin ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu ‘anhu. While walking amid the slain at Jamal, he spots Sayyidina Talhah ibn ‘Ubaidullah radiya Llahu ‘anhu. He begins wiping the sand off the latter’s face and remarks:

رحمة الله عليك أبا محمد يعز علي أن أراك مجدولا تحت نجوم السماء

May the mercy of Allah descend upon you, O Abu Muhammad! It is burdensome for me to see you lying slain under the stars of the sky.

He then said:

إلى الله أشكو عجري و بجري والله لوددت أني كنت مت قبل هذا اليوم بعشرين سنة

To Allah alone do I complain of my worries and distresses [52]. By Allah, how I wish that I had died twenty years before this day.[53]

 

Ibn Kathir mentions:

و ثبت عنه أيضا من غير وجه أنه قال إني لأرجو أن أكون أنا و طلحة و الزبير و عثمان ممن قال الله فيهم وَنَزَعْنَا مَا فِيْ صُدُوْرِهِمْ مِّنْ غِلٍّ إِخْوَانًا عَلىٰ سُرُرٍ مُّتَقَابِلِيْنَ

It is established from more than one chain that he (Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu) remarked, “I have high hope that Talhah, Zubair, ‘Uthman, and I will be from those concerning whom Allah declared: We will remove whatever bitterness they had in their hearts. In a friendly manner, they will be on thrones, facing one another.[54]

 

4. One of the fundamentals of the Ahlus Sunnah wa al Jama’ah is keeping their hearts and tongues pure from demeaning the Sahabah of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, as described by Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala in His statement:

 

وَالَّذِيْنَ جَاءُوْا مِنْ بَعْدِهِمْ يَقُوْلُوْنَ رَبَّنَا اغْفِرْ لَنَا وَلِإِخْوَانِنَا الَّذِيْنَ سَبَقُوْنَا بِالْإِيْمَانِ وَلَا تَجْعَلْ فِيْ قُلُوْبِنَا غِلًّا لِّلَّذِيْنَ آمَنُوْا رَبَّنَا إِنَّكَ رَءُوْفٌ رَّحِيْمٌ

And those who come after them will pray, “Our Lord! Forgive us and our fellow brothers who preceded us in faith, and do not allow bitterness into our hearts towards those who believe. Our Lord! Indeed, You are Ever Gracious, Most Merciful.”[55]

 

And in obedience to the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam who instructed:

لا تسبوا أصحابي

Do not revile my Companions.

 

The Ahlus Sunnah wa al Jama’ah accept those virtues and merits which are mentioned by the Qur’an, the Sunnah, and Ijma’ (Consensus). They declare: Those narrations which are transmitted about their mistakes: Some are completely false while others contain additions and subtractions and have been distorted from their original image. As regards the authentic narrations, they (the Sahabah) are excused; either they are mujtahidin who reached the correct conclusion or they are mujtahidin who erred.[56]

Ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhuma states:

لا تسبوا أصحاب محمد فإن الله عز و جل قد أمر بالاستغفار لهم وهو يعلم أنهم سيقتتلون

Do not revile the Companions of Muhammad salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam because Allah―the Mighty and Majestic―commanded forgiveness be sought on their behalf while He was aware that they will soon fight each other.[57]

 

‘Umar ibn ‘Abdul ‘Aziz rahimahu Llah was questioned with regards to ‘Ali, ‘Uthman, Jamal, and Siffin and the differences among them to which he replied:

 

تلك دماء كف الله يدي عنها وأنا أكره أن أغمس لساني فيها

That is blood which Allah protected my hand from. I, therefore, dislike immersing my tongue in it.[58]

 

Imam Ahmed declares:

 

و من الحجة الواضحة الثابتة البينة المعروفة ذكر محاسن أصحاب رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم كلهم أجمعين و الكف عن ذكر مساويهم التي شجرت بينهم فمن سب أصحاب رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم أو واحدا منهم أو تنقص أو طعن عليهم أو عرض بعيبهم أو عاب واحدا منهم فهو مبتدع … لا يقبل الله منه صرفا و لا عدلا بل حبهم سنة و الدعاء لهم قربة و الاقتداء بهم وسيلة و الأخذ بآثارهم فضيلة و خير الأمة بعد النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم أبو بكر و عمر بعد أبي بكر و عثمان بعد عمر و علي بعد عثمان و وقف قوم على عثمان و هم خلفاء راشدون مهديون ثم أصحاب رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم بعد هؤلاء الأربعة خير الناس لا يجوز لأحد أن يذكر شيئا من مساويهم و لا يطعن على أحد منهم بعيب و لا بنقص فمن فعل ذلك فقد وجب على السلطان تأديبه و عقوبته ليس له أن يعفو عنه بل يعاقبه و يستتيبه فإن تاب قبل منه و إن ثبت أعاد عليه العقوبة و خلده في الحبس حتى يموت أو يراجع

Among the fundamentals that are distinct, definite, determined, and documented, is speaking favourably of Rasulullah’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam Companions radiya Llahu ‘anhum, all of them without exception, and refraining from listing the conflicts that occurred between them. The one who vilifies, devalues, accuses, reveals the defects, or searches for the faults of Rasulullah’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam Companions radiya Llahu ‘anhum, or any one of them, is a mubtadi’ (innovator). Allah will neither accept his optional nor obligatory actions. Loving them is Sunnah, supplicating for them is worship, emulating them is a means towards proximity, and treading their footsteps is a virtue. The most virtuous of the Ummah after the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam is Abu Bakr, followed by ‘Umar, then ‘Uthman, and then ‘Ali. Some have stopped at ‘Uthman. They are the khalifas who were Rightly Guided. The rest of the Companions of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, after these four, are the most superior of mankind. It is not permissible for anyone to mention any of their flaws or criticise any of them for any defect or shortcoming. Whoever is guilty of this should necessarily be disciplined and punished by the sultan who does not have the right to forgive him. He should punish him and compel him to repent. If the blameworthy person repents, the sultan should accept it. On the contrary, if the perpetrator remains adamant, he should punish him again and jail him forever until he either dies or retracts.[59]

 

Ibrahim ibn Azar al Faqih says:

 

حضرت أحمد بن حنبل و سأله رجل عما جرى بين علي و معاوية فأعرض عنه فقيل له يا أبا عبد الله هو رجل من بني هاشم فأقبل عليه و قال اقرأ تِلْكَ أُمَّةٌ قَدْ خَلَتْ لَهَا مَا كَسَبَتْ

I was present by Ahmed ibn Hambal when a man asked him about what transpired between ‘Ali and Muawiyah. Ahmed turned away from him.

He was told, “O Abu ‘Abdullah, he is a man from the Banu Hashim.”

Hearing this, he turned his attention to the man and said, “Recite: That was a community that had already gone before. For them is what they earned.[60]

 

Sa’id ibn al Musayyab rahimahu Llah reports:

 

أن رجلا كان يقع في علي و طلحة و الزبير فجعل سعد ينهاه و يقول لا تقع في إخواني فأبى فقام سعد و صلى ركعتين و دعا فجاء بختي يشق الناس فأخذه بالبلاط فوضعه بين كركرته و البلاط حتى سحقه فأنا رأيت الناس يتبعون سعدا يقولون هنيئا لك يا أبا إسحق استجيبت دعوتك

A man began to pass nasty remarks about ‘Ali, Talhah, and Zubair. Sa’d[61] prohibited the man saying, “Do not speak evil about my brothers.” But the man insisted. So Sa’d stood up, performed two rak’at of salah and prayed. Suddenly, a bukhti[62] camel appeared on the scene and ran through the people. It lifted the offender from the pavement[63], placed him between the mill and earth, and crushed him.

Subsequently, I saw the people walking behind Sa’d saying, “Congratulations to you, O Abu Ishaq! Your supplication was answered.”[64]

 

The Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum were balanced when judging things; they would not discuss another’s errors to lower his integrity.[65]

 

5. From the fundamentals of the Ahlus Sunnah wa al Jama’ah is that all the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum are trustworthy. The demand of their integrity is that they will not be evaluated on the scales of al jarh wa al ta’dil (disapproval and approval) which is observed by the masters of hadith. This is agreed upon by the consensus of the scholars of the Ahlus Sunnah wa al Jama’ah in general. The one who criticises the Sahabah of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, only does so due to sickness in his heart and filth in his temperament.

One of the reasons of not assessing them under the scope of al jarh wa al ta’dil is that Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala declared their integrity in His glorious Book:

 

لَا يَسْتَوِيْ مِنْكُم مَّنْ أَنْفَقَ مِنْ قَبْلِ الْفَتْحِ وَقَاتَلَ أُولٰئِكَ أَعْظَمُ دَرَجَةً مِّنَ الَّذِيْنَ أَنفَقُوْا مِنْ بَعْدُ وَقَاتَلُوْا وَكُلًّا وَعَدَ اللَّهُ الْحُسْنىٰ 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.[66]

 

Furthermore, Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam has vouched for their integrity. In fact, Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala erected around them an impenetrable shield so that none may ever dare to attack them[67], warning:

لا تسبوا أصحابي لا تسبوا أصحابي فوالذي نفسي بيده لو أن أحدكم أنفق مثل أحد ذهبا ما أدرك مد أحدهم و لا نصيفه

 

Do not revile my companions. Do not speak ill of my companions. By the Being in whose control is my life, if any of you were to spend gold equivalent [in weight] to mount Uhud, you will not reach [the reward] of their mudd, not even half of it.[68]

 

This, O benevolent brother, was a quick glance at the fundamentals of the creed of a Muslim concerning the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum. It is befitting that every Muslim pays special attention to them so that they become the barometer for him to review the misconceptions troubling him.

 

NEXT⇒ Discussion Two – The Fitnah that broke out between the Sahabah


[1] Surah al Anfal: 62.

[2] Surah al Naml: 59.

[3] Tafsir al Tabari, vol. 19 pg. 482; Tafsir Ibn Abi Hatim, vol. 9 pg. 2906.

[4] Musnad Ahmed, Hadith: 3600; Musnad al Bazzar, vol. 5 pg. 212; Musnad al Tayalisi, vol. 1 pg. 199. The wording is Ahmed’s. Al Hakim classified the isnad sahih in al Mustadrak, vol. 3 pg. 83. and al Dhahabi concurred. Classified as hassan by al Sakhawi in al Maqasid al Hassanah, pg. 431 and al Albani in al Da’ifah, vol. 2 pg. 17.

[5] Musnad Ahmed, Hadith: 3600; Abu Nuaim: Hilyah al Auliya’, vol. 1 pg. 305–306; Ibn ‘Abdul Barr: Jami’ Bayan al ‘Ilm, vol. 2 pg. 97 – 98. The wording is Ibn ‘Abdul Barr’s. Al Arna’ut classified the isnad hassan.

[6] Surah al Tawbah: 117.

[7] Surah Al ‘Imran: 110.

[8] Surah al Tawbah: 100.

[9] Surah al Fath: 29.

[10] Surah al Hashr: 8 – 9.

[11] Surah al Hadid: 10.

[12] Tafsir al Qurtubi, vol. 3 pg. 264 and vol. 17 pg. 242, with slight variation in wording.

[13] A unit of measurement equivalent to approximately 750 ml.

[14] Sahih al Bukhari, book on virtues, chapter on Rasulullah’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam statement: Had I taken a bosom friend, Hadith: 3470; Sahih Muslim, book on the virtues of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum, chapter on the impermissibility of cursing the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum, Hadith: 2540. The wording is Muslim’s.

[15] Fi’am: Group [Al Nawawi: Sharh Muslim, vol. 16 pg. 83]

[16] Sahih al Bukhari, book on jihad and expeditions, chapter on one seeking help through the blessings of the weak and pious in war, Hadith: 3399; Sahih Muslim, book on the virtues of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum, chapter on the merit of the Sahabah and those who follow them and those who follow them, Hadith: 2532. The wording is Muslim’s.

[17] Al Qurtubi said: amanah means safety, security. This meaning is found in Allah’s subhanahu wa ta ‘ala statement:

 

إِذْ يُغَشِّيكُمُ النُّعَاسَ أَمَنَةً مِّنْهُ

[Remember] when He overwhelmed you with drowsiness [giving] security from Him. [Surah al Anfal: 11]

 

[18] The meaning of ‘the stars are a protection for the sky’ is that as long as the stars are present in the sky, the sky will not change by splitting asunder or cracking. As soon as the stars scatter and the sun loses its light, this will come. And this is what it has been promised.

[19] The meaning here is that Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala lifted trials, tribulations, and punishment from his Sahabah for the duration of his (Rasulullah’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) stay with them just as Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala states:

وَمَا كَانَ اللَّهُ لِيُعَذِّبَهُمْ وَأَنتَ فِيهِمْ

But Allah would not punish them while you, [O Muhammad], are among them. [Surah al Anfal: 33]

 

After Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam left, trials appeared, tribulations increased, disbelief and hypocrisy surfaced, and division and discord increased. Had Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala not safeguarded this Din with the second of the two, Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu, it would have become a remnant after being a reality. And this is what they were promised.

[20] The meaning of my Companions are a protection for my Ummah is that so long as his Companions are present, Din will be maintained, the truth will remain manifest, and assistance against the enemies will be achieved. As soon as his Companions leave the Ummah, fickleness will overwhelm, enemies will be given the upper hand, and the matter of Din will continue deteriorating until not a single person will remain on the surface of the earth to say Allah. This is what his Ummah has been promised. And Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala knows best. [Al Qurtubi: al Mufhim lima ushkila min Sahih Muslim, vol. 6 pg. 485.]

[21] Sahih Muslim, book on the virtues of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum, chapter on the fact that Rasulullah’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam subsistence is protection for his Companions and the subsistence of his Companions are protection for the Ummah, Hadith: 2531.

[22] Sahih al Bukhari, book on merits, chapter on not giving evidence upon false evidence when asked for the same, Hadith: 2652; Sahih Muslim, book on the virtues of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum, chapter on the virtue of the Sahabah, then those who follow them and those who follow them, Hadith: 2534. The wording is al Bukhari’s.

[23] Musnad al Bazzar, Hadith: 5753; al Tabarani: al Mujam al Kabir, Hadith: 12709. The wording is al Tabarani’s. Al Albani classified it hassan in Sahih al Jami’, Hadith: 11230.

[24] Ibn al Qayyim: Hidayat al Hayari, pg. 243, with slight variation. The quotation is from Ibn al Salah: Muqaddamat Ibn al Salah, vol. 1 pg. 171 and Ibn al Qayyim: I’lam al Muwaqqi’in, vol. 1 pg. 80.

[25] Ibn al Qayyim: Hidayat al Hayari, pg. 243–245, with slight variation; al Bayhaqi: al Madkhal ila al Sunan al Kubra, pg. 45.

[26] Ibn al Mubarak: al Zuhd, vol. 1 pg. 414; al Fakihi: Akhbar Makkah, vol. 4 pg. 285; al Ajurri: al Shari’ah, Hadith: 1754; Abu Nuaim: Ma’rifat al Sahabah, vol. 3 pg. 1703.

[27] Al Bayhaqi: al Madkhal ila al Sunan al Kubra, pg. 151; Ibn ‘Asakir: Tarikh Dimashq, vol. 31 pg. 167.

[28] Al Fasawi: al Ma’rifah wa al Tarikh, vol. 1 pg. 264; al Madkhal ila al Sunan al Kubra, pg. 152; al Baghdadi: Tarikh Baghdad, vol. 1 pg. 172; Tarikh Dimashq, vol. 31 pg. 164.

[29] Al Madkhal ila al Sunan al Kubra, pg. 58; Tarikh Dimashq, vol. 11 pg. 233.

[30] ‘Abdul Bari al Thabiti: Nafahat min Minbar Rasulillah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, vol. 1 pg. 349 – 350 with slight variation.

[31] Al Mas’udi: Muruj al Dhahab, vol. 1 pg. 371.

[32] Mahmud ‘Idan: al Sahabah wa Makanatuhum ‘ind al Muslimin, pg. 28.

[33] Nahj al Balaghah, vol. 1 pg. 189; Ibn Abi al Hadid: Sharh Nahj al Balaghah, vol. 7 pg. 77.

[34] Al walah: grief. And it is said: it is madness and bewilderment from extreme anger, grief, or fear. Al liqah with a kasrah [on the lam]: camels. The singular is laquh. It refers to a suckling camel. Abu ‘Amr explains, “When it (the camel cow) gives birth, it is referred to as laquh for two to three months. Thereafter, it is called a labun.” The meaning here is that their passion and enthusiasm for jihad was as intense as a camel’s passion for its child. (al Jawhari: al Sihah fi al Lughah, vol. 1 pg. 401; Ibn Manzur: Lisan al ‘Arab, vol. 13 pg. 561)

[35] Al Azhari says, “Al marah and al murhah: whiteness which the onlooker dislikes. ‘ayn marha’: when the eye is leaning towards whiteness.” (al Azhari: Tahdhib al Lughah, vol. 6 pg. 160.)

[36] Nahj al Balaghah, vol. 1 pg. 235; Ibn Abi al Hadid: Sharh Nahj al Balaghah, vol. 1 pg. 291.

[37] Al Sahabah wa Makanatuhum ‘ind al Muslimin, pg. 30, with variations.

[38] Surah al Hashr: 8.

[39] Sahih al Bukhari, book on tawhid, chapter on narrations on the being, qualities, and names of Allah, Hadith: 2880.

[40] Jami’ al Tirmidhi, books on the exegesis of Qur’an from Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, chapter on Surah Al ‘Imran, Hadith: 3010; Sunan Ibn Majah, book on iman, virtues of the Sahabah, and knowledge, chapter on what the Jahmiyyah have rejected, vol. 1 pg. 68. The wording is Ibn Majah’s. Al Albani classified it sahih in Sahih al Jami’, Hadith: 7905. The hadith of his martyrdom appears in Sahih al Bukhari, Hadith: 1187 and Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 2471. In this narration, Sayyidina Jabir radiya Llahu ‘anhu says, “After my father was killed, I began uncovering his face and crying. People prevented me, but Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam did not prevent me. Fatimah, my aunt, began to cry. Upon this, Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “Whether you cry or not, the angels continued shading him with their wings until you lifted him.”

[41] Ibn Sa’d: al Tabaqat al Kubra, vol. 2 pg. 56.

[42] Sheikh ‘Umar al ‘Id: Sharh Lamiyyah Sheikh al Islam Ibn Taymiyyah, pg. 13, with variations.

[43] Ibn ‘Uthaymin: Sharh al Wasitiyyah, vol. 2 pg. 248.

[44] Ibid.

[45] Sahih al Bukhari, book on merits, chapter on not giving evidence upon false evidence when asked for the same, Hadith: 2652; Sahih Muslim, book on the virtues of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum, chapter on the virtue of the Sahabah, then those who follow them and those who follow them, Hadith: 2534. The wording is al Bukhari’s.

[46] Al Tahawi: Matan al Tahawiyyah, pg. 81.

[47] Al Alusi: Jala’ al ‘Aynayn fi Muhakamat al Ahmedayn, pg. 73.

[48] A unit of measurement equivalent to approximately 750 ml.

[49] Ibn Taymiyyah says:

 

ما أصاب العبد من عافية و نصر و رزق فهو من إنعام الله عليه و إحسانه إليه فالخير كله من الله و ليس للعبد من نفسه شيء بل هو فقير لا يملك لنفسه نفعا و لا ضرا و لا موتا و لا حياة و لا نشورا و ما أصابه من مصيبة فبذنوبه والله تعالى يكفر ذنوب المؤمنين بتلك المصائب و يأجرهم على الصبر عليها و يغفر لمن استغفر و يتوب على من تاب قال النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم ما يصيب المؤمن من نصب و لا وصب و لا هم و لا غم و لا حزن  و لا أذى حتى الشوكة يشاكها إلا كفر الله بها من خطاياه و لما أنزل الله تعالى قوله مَنْ يَعْمَلْ سُوْءًا يُجْزَ بِهِ قال أبو بكر يا رسول الله قد جاءت قاصمة الظهر و أينا لم يعمل سوءا قال يا أبا بكر ألست تنصب ألست تحزن ألست تصيبك اللأواء فذلك ما تجزون به

All safety, support, and sustenance obtained by a bondsman is the favour of Allah upon him and His kindness towards him. Goodness in totality is from Allah. A bondsman owns nothing. Rather, he is hopelessly and helplessly dependent. He owns neither benefit, nor harm, nor death, nor life, nor resurrection. The adversities that afflict him are on account of his sins. Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala expiates the sins of the believers by virtue of those adversities and He rewards them for their perseverance upon them. He forgives the one who seeks forgiveness and relents to the one who repents. The Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam stated, “No fatigue, disease, sorrow, sadness, grief, or harm afflicts a believer, not even a thorn prick, except that Allah expiates his sins by virtue of it.” When Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala revealed, “Whoever commits evil will be recompensed accordingly,” Abu Bakr commented, “O Messenger of Allah! This has come as a back breaker. Who of us does not commit evil?” Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam replied, “O Abu Bakr, do you not feel distressed at times? Do you not experience grief? Are you not afflicted with hardships? This is what you are recompensed with.” (Majmu’ al Fatawa, vol. 35 pg. 375 – 376)

 

[50] Majmu’ al Fatawa, vol. 3 pg. 155.

[51] Mahmud ‘Idan: Al Sahabah wa Makanatuhum ‘ind al Muslimin, pg. 35, with variation.

[52] Ibn al Athir says, “‘Ujari wa bujari: worries and distresses. The origin of al ‘ujrah is a blow in the back. When it is in the navel then it is bujrah. It is said: al ‘ujar: veins knotted in the back and al bujar: veins gathered in the stomach. They were later used for worries and distresses. He means that he complains to Allah about all his affairs, those apparent and those hidden. (al Nihayah, vol. 2 pg. 163)

[53] Tarikh Dimashq, vol. 25 pg. 115; Usd al Ghabah, vol. 2 pg. 45; Tarikh al Islam, vol. 2 pg. 165; al Bidayah wa al Nihayah, vol. 10 pg. 476.

[54] Al Sahabah wa Makanatuhum ‘ind al Muslimin, pg. 35 with variation; al Bidayah wa al Nihayah, vol. 10 pg. 334; Imam Ahmed: Fada’il al Sahabah, vol. 2 pg. 747; Ibn Sa’d: al Tabaqat al Kubra, vol. 3 pg. 113.

[55] Surah al Hashr: 10.

[56] Majmu’ al Fatawa, vol. 3, pg. 152 – 155.

[57] Ahmed: Fada’il al Sahabah, vol. 1 pg. 59; al Ajurri: al Shari’ah, Hadith: 1979.

[58] Ibn Sa’d: al Tabaqat al Kubra, vol. 5 pg. 394; Hilyat al Auliya’, vol. 9 pg. 114. The wording is Ibn Sa’d’s.

[59] Imam Ahmed: al ‘Aqidah, the narration of Abu Bakr al Khallal, pg. 80, with variation.

[60] Ibn Abi Ya’la: Tabaqat al Hanabilah, vol. 1 pg. 94; Tarikh Baghdad, vol. 6 pg. 44; Tarikh Dimashq, vol. 59 pg. 141.

[61] Sa’d ibn Malik is Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas radiya Llahu ‘anhu.

[62] Al bukht: a Khurasani camel, produced from a mix between an Arab and foreign camel. (Tahdhib al Lughah, vol. 7 pg. 312)

[63] Al balat: paved stone. It is said: a house furnished with wood or stone. (al Azhari: Tahdhib al Lughah, vol. 13 pg. 352)

[64] Tarikh Baghdad, vol. 10 pg. 139; Tarikh Dimashq, vol. 20 pg. 348, 349; Usd al Ghabah, vol. 3 pg. 88; al Tabarani: al Mujam al Kabir, vol. 1 pg. 140, Hadith: 307, with similar wording.

[65] Al Sahabah wa Makanatuhum ‘ind al Muslimin, pg. 35.

[66] Surah al Hadid: 10.

[67] Sharh al Lamiyyah, pg. 10, with modifications.

[68] Sahih al Bukhari, book on virtues, chapter on Rasulullah’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam statement: had I taken a bosom friend, Hadith: 3470; Sahih Muslim, book on the virtues of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum, chapter on the impermissibility of swearing the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum, Hadith: 2540. The wording is Muslim’s.

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