Section Three: The Fiqh of the History of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum

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Section Three: The Fiqh of the History of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum[1]

 

I. Methodology of inferring from the history of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum

The Muslim ummah is an ummah of jihad and an ummah of da’wah. These are its two focal points. If one of these two are left out, the value of the ummah will decrease accordingly. The exceptionality and honour that the ummah thrives on is dependant wholly fulfilling its principle responsibilities; fighting in the path of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala, and inviting towards His injunctions and shari’ah.

Since the first generation of the ummah fulfilled this responsibility to its fullest extent they became worthy of being the most honoured and the best. Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala says:

كُنْتُمْ خَيْرَ أُمَّةٍ أُخْرِجَتْ لِلنَّاسِ

You are the best nation produced [as an example] for mankind.[2]

 

Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said:

 

خير الناس قرني

The best people are those of my era.[3]

 

They became role models and exemplary guides for those to come after them.

It is therefore compulsory upon every generation of Muslims that lived in the eras after them to recognise their true status as pious, pure, and honest souls. Hearts will thus be assured of the goodness they had carried and conveyed to humanity. This must be done showing total disregard to those who attempt at creating barriers between the early and later generations of the ummah by skewing the life of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and casting doubts onto the faith by vilifying and defaming those who conveyed it.

Highlighting the history of the first generation of the ummah, the pious predecessors, is vital whilst focusing particularly on their efforts in taking upon themselves the responsibility of calling towards Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala and fighting in His path. Similarly, recognising their eminence and rank whilst making others aware of their stances and actions will result in a special bond being created between them, us, and more importantly our youth. The youth will then want to follow in their footsteps, take pride in them, and be honoured by having a connection to them. This will result in a link between the ummah of the present and the ummah of the past. A long standing ummah with a radiant past of jihad, da’wah, spreading knowledge, and holding firm onto the values of justice in guiding people to the ultimate success of this world and the next.

It is further of key importance to remind the Muslims of the correct and true methodology that should be followed when discussing the fiqh of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum as opposed to becoming absorbed in the endless debates of common-law and arguing in establishing and negating with innovators and their like.

Laying down the true and correct methodology was the brain child of the scholars of the Ahlus Sunnah who founded jurisprudic positions based on the Qur’an and Sunnah, an avenue to develop all the legal injunctions of the shari’ah.

The history of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum and passing judgments upon it thus became the work of the muhaddithin and Muslim historians. It became necessary to evaluate all accounts found in the books of history by Muslim researchers and historians according to this methodology and by its conditions. This rings especially true in the current climate wherein its importance has been disregarded by many Muslims, ignorant of this methodology, which leads to doubts in evaluation and confusion in perception. These factors then result in accepting as true the lies and fabrications attributed to the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum with a greater evil of falling in line with its proponents. As a consequence of this, a Muslim, unknowingly, falls into sin or goes on to oppose a divine ordinance of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala.

 

Question:

What is meant by ‘The methodology of the history of the Fiqh of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum’?

 

Answer:

Those shar’i regulations and laws by which one is able to appropriately deal with the history of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum. This ‘fiqh’ comprises of a range of shar’i laws that are sourced from principle sources of legislation; The Qur’an, Sunnah, and ijma’.

To infer from these laws or from this fiqh, the jurists and scholars of hadith pondered over the Book of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala and the Sunnah, finding therein many explicit texts that hold no ambiguity and give a single meaning. They adopted those as is. Together with these, additional texts of the shari’ah were used to derive other laws from.

Amongst the laws inferred was:

  • The ‘adalah (reliability and integrity) of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum,
  • Their rights upon the Muslims, and
  • The law of those who vilify them.

All the above was considered to be amongst the principle beliefs of the Ahlus Sunnah wa al Jama’ah with no exception.

 

II. The status of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum and their integrity

The explicit and successive texts of the shari’ah illustrate the compulsion of loving, honouring, and venerating the Companions of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. It further depicts the compulsion of adhering to their consensus, holding firm to their statements, and the impermissibility of vilifying them. All this is due to the honour afforded to them by Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala in the form of companionship to His Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, their fighting alongside him, persevering in the face of harm metered out to them by the polytheists, migrating from their homeland, leaving behind their wealth, giving preference over their children, and always placing the love of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala and His Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam above all else. By the virtue of this they became worthy of praise and their mistakes disregarded. Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala declared, by way of revelation, His pleasure and promise of paradise for them. Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam gave them the glad tidings of it and called towards honouring and venerating them. He proclaimed their status as overseers to the ummah and guiding stars for its people.

Hereunder are some of the texts that illustrate their purity and that they are the best nation produced as example for mankind. Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala says:

كُنْتُمْ خَيْرَ أُمَّةٍ أُخْرِجَتْ لِلنَّاسِ تَأْمُرُوْنَ بِالْمَعْرُوْفِ وَتَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ الْمُنكَرِ وَتُؤْمِنُوْنَ بِاللَّهِ

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.[4]

 

Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala recounts them as being resilient in considering, protecting, and acting upon the requisites of the truth. They are therefore, an embodiment of integrity who shall be witnesses upon the actions of people. A witness can only be one who has the quality of integrity. Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala says:

وَكَذٰلِكَ جَعَلْنَاكُمْ أُمَّةً وَسَطًا لِّتَكُوْنُوْا شُهَدَاءَ عَلَى النَّاسِ وَيَكُوْنَ الرَّسُوْلُ عَلَيْكُمْ شَهِيدًا

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

 

Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala promised them great rewards and a beautiful end. Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala says:

 

 وَمَا لَكُمْ أَلَّا تُنْفِقُوْا فِيْ سَبِيْلِ اللَّهِ وَلِلَّهِ مِيْرَاثُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ ۚ لَا يَسْتَوِيْ مِنْكُمْ مَّنْ أَنفَقَ مِنْ قَبْلِ الْفَتْحِ وَقَاتَلَ ۚ أُولَٰئِكَ أَعْظَمُ دَرَجَةً مِّنَ الَّذِيْنَ أَنفَقُوْا مِنْ بَعْدُ وَقَاتَلُوْا ۚ وَكُلًّا وَعَدَ اللَّهُ الْحُسْنَىٰ ۚ 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.[6]

 

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ سَبَقَتْ لَهُم مِّنَّا الْحُسْنَىٰ أُولَٰئِكَ عَنْهَا مُبْعَدُونَ  لَا يَسْمَعُونَ حَسِيسَهَا ۖ وَهُمْ فِي مَا اشْتَهَتْ أَنفُسُهُمْ خَالِدُونَ

Indeed, those for whom the best [reward] has preceded from Us – they are from it far removed.  They will not hear its sound, while they are, in that which their souls desire, abiding eternally.[7]

 

Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala praises them thus:

 

وَالسَّابِقُوْنَ الْأَوَّلُوْنَ مِنَ الْمُهَاجِرِيْنَ وَالْأَنصَارِ وَالَّذِيْنَ اتَّبَعُوْهُمْ بِإِحْسَانٍ رَّضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُمْ وَرَضُوْا عَنْهُ وَأَعَدَّ لَهُمْ جَنَّاتٍ تَجْرِيْ تَحْتَهَا الْأَنْهَارُ خَالِدِيْنَ فِيْهَا أَبَدًا ۚ ذَٰلِكَ 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]

 

Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam too, advised the ummah regarding his Companions radiya Llahu ‘anhum and displayed their status and honour.

Imam Ahmed narrates in his Musnad from Abdullah ibn ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma that ‘Umar ibn al Khattab radiya Llahu ‘anhu gave a sermon at Jabiyah[9] and said:

قام فينا رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم بمثل مقامي فيكم ، فقال : استوصوا بأصحابي خيرا ، ثم الذين يلونهم ، ثم الذين يلونهم

Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam stood before us as I stand before you today and said, “I implore you to be good to my Companions, then to those after them, then to those after them.”[10]

 

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

 

خير الناس قرني ثم الذين يلونهم ثم الذين يلونهم ثم إن بعدكم قوم يشهدون ولا يستشهدون ، ويخونون ولا يؤتمنون ، وينذرون ولا يوفون ، ويظهر فيهم السمَن

The best of people are those of my era, then those who follow them, then those who will come after them. Then, they will be followed by those who will testify but will not be called upon to testify; they will betray the trust, and will not be trusted. They will make vows but will not fulfil them, and obesity will prevail among them.[11]

 

Abu Musa al Ash’ari radiya Llahu ‘anhu reports that Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said:

 

النجوم أمنة للسماء فأذا ذهبت النجوم أتى السماء ما توعد و أنا أمنة لأصحابى فأذا ذهبت أتى أصحابى ما يوعدون و أصحابى أمنة لأمتى فأذا ذهب أصحابى أتى أمتى ما يوعدون

The stars are protection for the sky. When the stars go away, what the sky was promised will approach. I am a protection for my Companions. When I leave, what my Companions were promised will come. And My Companions are a protection for my Ummah. When my Companions leave, what my Ummah was promised will come.[12]

 

Jabir ibn Abdullah radiya Llahu ‘anhuma says, Abu Sa’id Khudri radiya Llahu ‘anhu narrated to us that Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said:

 

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

A time will come when a huge army 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?”

They will reply in the affirmative. And they will be victorious.[13]

 

In Sunan al Tirmidhi the following narration is recorded:

Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said:

 

ما من أحد من أصحابي يموت بأرض ؛ إلا بعث قائدا ونورا لهم يوم القيامة

There is no one among my Companions who dies in a land except that he shall be resurrected as a guide and light for them (people of that land) on the Day of Resurrection.[14]

 

With regards to the impermissibility of vilifying the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum, Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam has said:

 

لا تسبوا أصحابي، لا تسبوا أصحابي، فوالذي نفسي بيده لو أن أحدكم أنفق مثل أحد ذهبا ما أدرك مُدّ أحدهم ولا نصيفه

Do not revile my Companions for if one of you gave in charity the amount of gold equivalent to Uhud, it would not amount to as much as the mudd[15] of one of them, or half of it.[16]

 

From these narrations it can be understood that Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala has declared the ‘adalah (integrity) of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum by Himself and on the tongue of His Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. No one else is capable of having any other opinion on the issue. Every narrator and every witness will be investigated and evaluated, besides the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum. The Ahlus Sunnah are unanimous on this.

Al Khatib al Baghdadi says:

عدالة الصحابة ثابتة معلومة بتعديل الله لهم، وإخباره عن طهارتهم واختياره لهم في نص القرآن

The ‘adalah of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum is known by the Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala proclaiming it and by Him giving news of their purity and selection in the texts of the Qur’an.[17]

 

He then declares consensus on this saying:

وهذا مذهب كافة العلماء ومن يعتد بقوله من الفقهاء

This is the view of all the scholars and those jurists whose statements hold weight.[18]

 

Ibn Salah says:

 

إن الأمة مجمعة علي تعديل جميع الصحابة ومن لابس الفتن منهم  فكذلك ؛ بإجماع العلماء الذين يعتد بهم في الإجماع ، إحسانا للظن بهم، ونظرا إلى ما تمهد لهم من المآثر ، وكأن الله سبحانه وتعالى أتاح الإجماع على ذلك لكونهم نقلة الشريعة

The ummah are unanimous upon the ‘adalah of all the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum including those who were involved in the Fitan. This view is unanimously agreed upon by the scholars who are worth of note. This view is based upon thinking good of them and taking into consideration their services to the cause. It is as though Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala created consensus upon this due to them being conveyers of the shari’ah.[19]

 

Ibn Hajar says:

اتفق أهل السنة على أن الجميع – أي الصحابة- عدول ، ولم يخالف في ذلك إلا شذوذ من المبتدعة

The Ahlus Sunnah are unanimous that all—the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum—are reliable. The only disagreement comes from obscure innovators.[20]

 

Question: What is the meaning of ‘adalah when declaring the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum as such?

 

Answer: Being free from dishonesty and never lying in narrating hadith. Never committing mistakes or sins is not meant by ‘adalah here as that is solely for the infallible.

Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala, in His infinite knowledge, knew that his vicegerents on the earth would be these individuals who were not infallible. They would sin and commit interpretive mistakes just as the fallible do. It is for this reason that their interpretive differences would, at times, lead them to conflict; upon which they would be rewarded. Unfortunately, those that are ignorant of the laws of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala in interpretive differences by authorities in Islamic law continue to vilify and defame them. Not understanding that good actions and seeking forgiveness effaces bad has lead them to attach sin to the name of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum, without mentioning their good or their seeking of forgiveness.

Just as Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala, in His infinite knowledge, knew that some of those who harbour hatred for Islam such as the extreme Rawafid and the Sabaiyyah will portray acceptance of the faith in order to cause disruption in it. They, together with the innovators such as the Khawarij and Mu’tazilah amongst others will exploit the ignorant and attack the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum based on their interpretive differences. Some of them will then interpolate what has been narrated from them and go to the extent of fabricating lies against them.

Just as Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala, in His infinite knowledge, knew that the goal of some of these would be to invalidate His vicegerents who carried the responsibility of conveying the Qur’an and the Sunnah in order to incite doubts regarding His Book and the Sunnah of His Messenger; both principle regulators of His faith and shari’ah. Abu Zur’ah, the teacher of Imam Muslim says:

 

اذا رايت الرجل ينقص احدا من اصحاب رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فاعلم انه زنديق وذالك ان الرسول صلى الله عليه وسلم حق والقرآن الكربم حق وما جاء به حق وانما ادى الينا ذالك كله الصحابة وهؤلاء يريدون ان يجرحوا شهودنا ليبطلوا الكتاب والسنة والجرح بهم اولى وهم زنادقة

If you see any person criticizing any of the Companions of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam then know full well that he is a heretic. This is because Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam is true, and the Qur’an is true, and all that he brought was true. The Companions of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam conveyed this Qur’an to us and the Sunnah. They intend to criticize our witnesses only so that they falsify the Qur’an and Sunnah. It is more fitting to criticize them (i.e. those who criticize the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum, and they are heretics.[21]

 

Due to all of the above, Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala left the task of proclaiming their ‘adalah to Him and His Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. The tongues of the opposition would thus be rendered speechless and the schemes of the conspirators would turn back onto them. He closed off every path that could have led to defaming their status and their vicegerency till the Day of Qiyamah.

Al Khatib says:

 

على أنه لو لم يرد من الله ـ عز وجل ـ ورسوله فيهم شيء مما ذكرناه لأوجبت الحال التي كانوا عليها من الهجرة والجهاد والنصرة وبذل المهج والأموال وقتل الآباء والأولاد، والمناصحة في الدين وقوة الإيمان واليقين القطع على عدالتهم والاعتقاد لنزاهتهم، وأنهم أفضل من جميع المعدلين والمزكين الذين يجيئون بعدهم أبد الآبدين

Even if, for arguments sake, none of the above was mentioned; Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala and His Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam proclaiming their ‘adalah, their condition would compel us to attest to the same. Their hijrah, jihad, expanding their lives and wealth, killing their own kith and kin, seeking goodness for the faith, strength of faith, and conviction would automatically raise them to the highest stages of ‘adalah and purity. There would be no doubt that would surpass all those that evaluate the ‘adalah of others forever and ever.[22]

 

It is therefore imperative for Muslims to dispel every statement that attempts to challenge their ‘adalah. They ought to affirm the purity of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum from greed, deceit, obliviousness, blame, shamelessness, oppression, injustice, misappropriation of funds, and every such evil quality that seeks to challenge there ‘adalah or defame their character. Muslims ought to attest to the fact that even though they weren’t infallible, their ‘adalah is unquestionable. Furthermore, they are rewarded in their interpretive differences even if it led to conflict. If they had perchance committed a sin, they sought forgiveness from Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala; the Oft Forgiving. And lastly, that they have attained the status of companionship with Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, a rank unattainable by anyone after them.

 

III. The stance of a Muslim regarding narrations that defame some of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum.

The stance of the Ahlus Sunnah wa al Jama’ah regarding the Companions of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam is between the two extremes of fanaticism and unappreciation. It is between those who raise the status of the Sahabah they revere above the Prophets, or more, and between those who vilify them, not understanding their status and rank. The Ahlus Sunnah thus love the all Companions of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and justly recognize the status they are worthy of. They do not raise them above the rank they are worthy of, nor do they relegate them below their appropriate status. The stance regarding their conflicts is that they had interpretive differences; one group correct, the other mistaken. The former receiving two rewards; for ijtihad and for coming to the correct conclusion. The latter receiving the reward of ijtihad with their mistake forgiven as it was done with pure intentions. They are not infallible, they were humans who would be correct at times and err at others. However, their correct conclusions were far greater compared to others and their mistakes were far less compared to others. Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala had promised them His forgiveness and pleasure.

Imam Ahmed says:

 

ومن الحجة الواضحة الثابتة البينة المعروفة : ذكر محاسن أصحاب رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم كلهم أجمعين ، والكف عن ذكر مساويهم ، والخلاف الذي شجر بينهم ، فمن سب أصحاب رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم أو أحدا منهم ، أو تنقصه أو طعن عليهم  أو عرض بعيبهم ، أو عاب أحدا منهم ، فهو مبتدع رافضي خبيث مخالف ، لا يقبل الله منه صرفا ولا عدلا ، بل حبهم سنة ، والدعاء لهم قربة ، والاقتداء بهم وسيلة ، والأخذ بآثارهم فضيلة واصحاب رسول الله هم خير الناس لا يجوز لأحد أن يذكر شيئا من مساويهم ، ولا يطعن على احد منهم بعيب ولا نقص

From amongst the clear, established, and known proofs is mentioning the good of all the Companions of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam together with refraining from mentioning their errors and internal conflict. Whoever curses the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum, or any one of them, defames them, or latches onto their mistakes is a Rafidi accursed innovator. Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala will not accept his compulsory nor voluntary actions. Loving the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum is sunnah, praying for them rewarding, following them a path to salvation, and holding firmly to their traditions an honor. The Companions of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam are the best of people. It is not permissible to mention any of their faults nor defame or vilify any one of them.[23]

 

Imam al Tahawi[24] writes in ‘Aqidah ahlus Sunnah wa al  Jama’ah:

 

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

And we love the Companions of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam without discrimination or prejudice against any one of them. We hate whoever hates them and slanders them. We only say good things about them. Loving them is an act of faith, belief and kindness, whereas hating them is heresy, hypocrisy and transgression.[25]

 

Ibn Abi al Qayrawani[26] writes in the introduction to his famous work:

 

وأن خير القرون الذين رأوا رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم وأفضل الصحابة الخلفاء الراشدون المهديون أبو بكر ثم عمر ثم عثمان ثم علي رضي الله عنهم أجمعين وأن لا يذكر أحد من صحابة الرسول صلى الله عليه وسلم إلا بأحسن ذكر والإمساك عما شجر بينهم وأنهم أحق الناس أن يلتمس لهم أحسن المخارج ويظن بهم أحسن المذاهب

The best of generations are those who saw Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. The best of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum are the Rightly Guided Khalifas. Firstly, Abu Bakr, then ‘Umar, then ‘Uthman, then ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhum. None of the Companions of the Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam should be mentioned except in the best way and silence should be maintained concerning any disagreements that broke out between them. They are the people who are worthiest of being considered in the best light possible and the people whose opinions should be most respected.[27]

 

Imam ‘Ubaidullah Muhammad ibn Battah[28] says:

 

ومن بعد ذلك نكف عما شجر بين أصحاب رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ؛ فقد شهدوا المشاهد معه وسبقوا الناس بالفضل ، فقد غفر الله لهم وأمرك بالاستغفار لهم والتقرب إليه بمحبتهم ، وفرض ذلك على لسان نبيه وهو يعلم ما سيكون منهم وأنهم سيقتتلون ، وإنما فضلوا على سائر الخلق لأن الخطأ والعمد قد وضع عنهم ، وكل ما شجر بينهم مغفور لهم

After that we should refrain from discussing the disputes that arose among the Companions of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, for they witnessed great events with him and were the first people to attain virtue; Allah has forgiven them and has instructed us to pray for forgiveness for them and to draw close to Him by means of loving them, as He has enjoined on the tongue of His Prophet. He knew what would happen among them and that they would fight; however, they were given precedence over the rest of mankind because mistakes, whether deliberate or otherwise, were already forgiven for them, and they have been forgiven for all disputes that arose among them.[29]

 

Imam Abu ‘Uthman al Sabuni[30] says:

 

ويرون الكف عما شجر بين أصحاب رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم وتطهير الألسنة عن ذكر ما يتضمن عيباً ونقصاً فيهم ، ويرون الترحم على جميعهم والموالاة لكافتهم

They believed that we should refrain from discussing the disputes that arose among the Companions of the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) and that we should avoid saying anything that may be construed as criticism of them; we should pray for mercy for all of them and love all of them.[31]

 

Ibn Taymiyyah says:

 

ومن أصول أهل السنة والجماعة‏:‏ سلامة قلوبهم وألسنتهم لأصحاب رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم … ويتبرؤون من طريقة الروافض، الذين يبغضون الصحابة ويسبونهم، ومن طريقة النواصب، الذين يؤذون أهل البيت بقول أو عمل، و يمسكون عما شجر بين الصحابة‏.‏ ويقولون‏:‏ إن هذه الآثار المروية في مساويهم منها ما هو كذب، ومنها ما قد زيد فيه ونقص وغير عن وجهه والصحيح منه هم فيه معذورون، إما مجتهدون مصيبون، وإما مجتهدون مخطئون‏.‏ وهم مع ذلك لا يعتقدون أن كل واحد من الصحابة معصوم عن كبائر الإثم وصغائره، بل تجوز عليهم الذنوب في الجملة، ولهم من السوابق والفضائل ما يوجب مغفرة ما يصدر منهم إن صدر، حتى إنه يغفر لهم من السيئات ما لا يغفر لمن بعدهم؛ لأن لهم من الحسنات التي تمحو السيئات ما ليس لمن بعدهم ..‏.‏ ومن نظر في سيرة القوم بعلم وبصيرة، وما مَنَّ الله به عليهم من الفضائل، علم يقينًا أنهم خير الخلق بعد الأنبياء، لا كان ولا يكون مثلهم، وأنهم هم الصفوة من قرون هذه الأمة، التي هي خير الأمم وأكرمها على الله تعالى‏.‏

One of the basic principles of Ahlus Sunnah wa al Jama’ah is that they think of and speak of the Companions of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam in the best terms… They distance themselves from the stance of the Rawafid who hate and curse the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum and from the stance of the Nawasib who cause harm to the Ahlul Bayt by word or action. They do not delve into the conflict of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum and say, ‘The statements recorded against them are made up of fabrications, exaggerated, or taken out of context.’ The Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum are excused in this regard as they based their actions on what they thought best (ijtihad): either coming to correct conclusions or making a mistake.

They do not believe that any of the Sahabah are infallible and were protected from major or minor sins; rather it is possible that they may have committed sins in general, but they did a great deal of righteous deeds and attained virtues by means of which they were forgiven for whatever sins they committed, to such an extent that they were forgiven for bad deeds for which no one who came after them was forgiven, because they did good deeds that erased bad deeds, in a manner that was not granted to anyone who came after them.

Anyone who studies their biographies with knowledge and insight, and sees what Allah bestowed upon them of virtues, will realize for certain that they are the best of people after the Prophets; there never was and there will never be anyone like them. They are the elite of this ummah, which is the best of nations and the dearest of them to Allah, may He be exalted.[32]

 

Imam al Dhahabi says:

 

 كما تقرر الكف عن كثير مما شجر بين الصحابة وقتالهم رضي الله عنهم أجمعين وما زال يمر بنا ذلك في الدواوين والكتب والأجزاء ولكن أكثر ذلك منقطع وضعيف، وبعضه كذب وهذا فيما بأيدينا وبين علمائنا فينبغي طيه وإخفاؤه، بل إعدامه لتصفوا القلوب، وتتوفر على حب الصحابة والترضي عنهم، وكتمان ذلك متعين عن العامة وآحاد العلماء وقد يرخص في مطالعة ذلك خلوة للعالم المنصف العري من الهوى …فالقوم لهم سوابق وأعمال مكفرة لما وقع منهم وجهاد محاء وعبادة ممحصة

Just as it is established that one should refrain from the disputes and conflicts of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum. Accounts of these incidents are found in books and records; however, most of them are munqati’ and weak whilst some are total fabrications. The material of such that is in our hands and between the scholars should be concealed and hidden. Rather it should be buried so that the hearts may remain pure and so that the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum may be revered and love. Concealing these particulars should be from the general masses and some scholars. It would be permitted for an impartial scholar to study it at some point in seclusion. The Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum were the first people to attain virtue and carried out actions, jihad, and worship that would efface any mistakes they had made.[33]

 

These are some statements of the scholars of the Ahlus Sunnah which clarifies the true and necessary stance a Muslim ought to adopt in understanding some of those statements that have been recorded in defaming some of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum due to the disputes and conflicts that arose between them.

In this stance lies the solution of protecting one’s pen and tongue from mentioning the evil attributed to them. It also imparts the need to think good of them and pray on their behalf. This is done whilst understanding their status and rank, together with searching for the best application regarding what some may have done. One ought to realize that these occurrences had been during the time of fitnah which was in an environment overtaken by uncertainties and thus led to differences of opinion. An authority in Islamic law, in such instances, will be forgiven if mistaken in judgment.

Another point of note here, is that many of the statements recorded regarding these incidents are either taken out of context, or are complete lies, or have been tampered with resulting in a skewed perception of the truth.

It is therefore necessary to refrain from delving into their disputes. Delving into such will lead to speculation running wild, supporting one group, and harboring ill against the other. Spreading such amongst the general masses and students who do not have the ability of comprehending the true nature of the occurrences, due to their young age or lack of education, will result in creating an imbalance in recognizing the status and right the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum hold over the ummah.

As far as studying the topic in an academic setting that is governed by shar’i principles and a correct methodology goes, it will be allowed if the intent is elucidation of shar’i injunctions, explanation of correct stances, and correction of historical inaccuracies that have spread regarding the stance of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum in those battles.

The researcher should know that the Ahlus Sunnah have opposed and dealt with these inaccuracies. There are authentic sources that have can be relied upon in the exercise of dealing with falsities. Ibn Taymiyyah says:

 

ومن الذي يدع كتب النقل التي اتفق أهل العلم بالمنقولات على صحتها، ويدع ما تواتر به النقل في كتب الحديث على بعضها، كالصحاح والسنن والمسانيد، والمعجمات والأسماء والفضائل، وكتب أخبار الصحابة وغير ذلك، وكتب السير والمغازي، وإن كانت دون ذلك، وكتب التفسير والفقه، وغير ذلك من الكتب التي مَنْ نظر فيها علم بالتواتر اليقيني ضدَّ ما في النقل الباطل، وعلم أنَّ الصحابة – رضي الله عنهم – كانوا أئمة الهدى، ومصابيح الدجى، وأنَّ أصل كل فتنة وبلية هم الشيعة ومن انضوى إليهم

The books of manqul (reported testimonial statements), the authenticity of which the scholars have unanimously agreed on as well as the authentic and successive narrations found in other books such as the Sihah, Sunan, Masanid, Mujamat, Asma’, Fada’il, Siyar, Maghazi, Tafsir, Fiqh and others will convince a person beyond a shadow of doubt of the inaccuracies of false narrations. These books and narrations will, no doubt, assure one that the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum were guiding stars and that every fitnah, trial and tribulation, that emerged was a result of the Shia and those that supported their cause.[34]

 

IV. Sabb al Sahabah[35]; definition, law, and those who involve themselves in it citing academic critique and freedom of discourse.

 

a) Definition:

Qadi Abu Ya’la[36] has explained it as attacking the integrity of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum by saying that they committed injustices, deviated, and adopted falsehood after Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

Qadi Abu Ya’la says:

ان من استحل هذا القول كافر بلا خلاف

Whoever considers this view as correct will be unanimously viewed as a disbeliever.

 

Question: What of the statement of Imam Ahmed ibn Hanbal that one who makes Sabb al Sahabah will not be killed?

 

Answer: He had meant by this, those who disparage the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum in aspects that do not pertain to their faith. For example, one who criticizes the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum by, falsely, claiming their lack of knowledge, political acumen, bravery, or by stating them to have been materialistic will not be killed.[37]

 

b) Law:

Imam al Nawawi says:

واعلم أن سب الصحابة رضي الله عنهم حرام، من فواحش المحرمات، سواء من لابس الفتن منهم وغيره

Know well, cursing the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum is haram. It is from the impermissible abominations. Be it directed to those who played a part in the fitnah or not.[38]

Qadi ‘Iyad[39] says:

وسب أحدهم من المعاصي الكبائر، ومذهبنا ومذهب الجمهور أن يعزر

Cursing any one of them is from the major sins. Our view and the prevailing view is that one who does so will be punished.[40]

 

Some of the maliki scholars say that such a person will be killed.[41]

Imam Ahmed says:

فقد وجب عَلَى السلطان تأديبه وعقوبته ليس له أن يعفو عنه بل يعاقبه ويستتيبه

It is compulsory for the sultan to admonish and punish him. He cannot forgive him. Rather he will punish him and engage with him.[42]

 

Al Maymuni[43] relates the following statement from Imam Ahmed:

 

مالهم ولمعاوية رضي الله عنه نسأل الله العافية،إذا رأيت أحدا يذكر أصحاب رسول الله عليه السلام بسوء فاتهمه على الإسلام

What do they have against Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu? We seek Allah’s pardon. If you see anyone speaking ill of the Companions of the Messenger of Allah, doubt his Islam.[44]

 

Ishaq ibn Rahawayh[45] says:

من شتم أصحاب رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يعاقب ويحبس، وهذا قول كثير من أصحابنا

Whoever curses the Companions of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam will be punished and imprisoned. This is the view of most of our companions.[46]

 

Harith ibn ‘Utbah[47] says:

 

إن عمر بن عبد العزيز أتى برجل سب عثمان فقال: ما حملك على أن سببته؟ قال: أبغضه قال: وإن أبغضت رجلا سببته؟ قال: فأمر به فجلد ثلاثين سوطا

A man was brought to ‘Umar ibn ‘Abdul ‘Aziz who cursed ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu.

He asked, “Why did you curse him?”

The man replied, “I hate him.”

‘Umar ibn ‘Abdul ‘Aziz said, “If you hate a man you curse him?”

He then ordered that the man be whipped 30 times as narrated by Al Lalka’i.[48]

 

Ibrahim ibn Maisarah[49] says:

ما رأيت عمر بن عبد العزيز ضرب إنسانا قط إلا رجل شتم معاوية فضربه أسواطا

I have never seen ‘Umar ibn ‘Abdul ‘Aziz ever hit a man except a man who had hurled abuse at Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu. He whipped him.[50]

 

Imam Malik says:

من شتم النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم قتل ومن سب أصحابه أدب

Whoever curses Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam will be killed and whoever curses his Companions will be punished.[51]

 

‘Abdul Malik ibn Habib[52] says:

 

من غلا من الشيعة إلى بغض عثمان والبراءة منه أدب أدبا شديدا ومن زاد إلى بغض أبي بكر وعمر فالعقوبة عليه أشد ويكرر ضربه ويطال سجنه حتى يموت ولا يبلغ به القتل إلا في سب النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم

Those of the Shia that hate ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu will be punished severely. Those that go to the extremes of hating Abu Bakr and ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu will be punished more severely and will be hit and imprisoned till death. Killing though will only be permitted for one who curses Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.[53]

 

Qadi Abu Ya’la says:

الذي عليه الفقهاء في سب الصحابة: إن كان مستحلا لذلك كفر وإن لم يكن مستحلا فسق

The opinion of the jurists regarding one who curses the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum is that if one does so viewing it as permissible, he will be considered a disbeliever. If not, he will be sinful.[54]

 

Ibn Taymiyyah says:

 

وصرح جماعات من أصحابنا بكفر الخوارج المعتقدين البراءة من علي وعثمان وبكفر الرافضة المعتقدين لسب جميع الصحابة الذين كفروا الصحابة وفسقوهم وسبوهم

A group of our scholars have explicitly mentioned that those Khawarij who believe in the total disregard of ‘Ali and ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhuma are disbelievers. Similarly, those Rawafid who believe in cursing all the Sahabah will be labelled as disbelievers due to their regarding the Sahabah as apostate, cursing them, and branding them as sinners.[55]

 

Many narrations feature severe warnings for those who curse or malign the Companions of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Muhammad ibn Talhah al Madani[56] narrates from ‘Uwaym ibn Sa’idah radiya Llahu ‘anhu that Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said:

 

إن الله اختارني و اختار لي أصحابا فجعل لي منهم وزراء و أنصار و أصهار فمن سبهم فعليه لعنة الملائكة و الناس أجمعين لا يقبل الله منه يوم القيامة صرفا و لا عدلا

Verily Allah has selected me and has selected for me Companions. He has made within them for my benefit minister, helpers, and family. May the curses of the angels, and all of men be on a person who maligns them. Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala will not accept such a person’s compulsory or voluntary acts on the day of Qiyamah.[57]

 

‘Ata’ ibn Abi Rabah[58] narrates that Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said:

 

لعن الله من سب اصحابي

May Allah’s curse be upon who maligns my Companions.[59]

 

Ibn Mas’ud radiya Llahu ‘anhu narrates that Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said:

 

إذا ذكر القدر فأمسكوا وإذا ذكر أصحابي فأمسكوا

When they discuss predestination then stop and when they discuss my Companions then stop.[60]

 

Imam al Tirmidhi narrates on the authority of Abdullah ibn Mughaffal radiya Llahu ‘anhu that Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said:

 

الله الله في أصحابي لا تتخذوهم غرضا بعدي فمن أحبهم فبحبي أحبهم و من أبغضه فببغضي أبغضهم و من آذاهم فقد آذاني و من آذاني فقد آذى الله و من آذى الله أوشك أن يأخذه

Fear Allah when with regards to my Companions. Fear Allah when with regards to my Companions. Do not make them a target of abuse after me. He, who loves them, loves them because he loves me. He, who hates them, hates them because he hates me. He who harms them has harmed me, and he who harms me has harmed Allah, and he who harms Allah, then it is very soon that Allah will take him to task.[61]

 

Imam al Bukhari has recorded on the authority of Anas radiya Llahu ‘anhu that Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said:

 

آية الإيمان حب الأنصار وآية النفاق بغض الأنصار

Loving the Ansar is a sign of Iman and hating the Ansar is a sign of hypocricy.[62]

 

c) Those who involve themselves in it citing academic critique and freedom of discourse.

The cursing and maligning that have been mentioned in the qoutations provided above, has become known in contemporary times as ‘academically critiquing the history of the Sahabah’. This is infact the same curses that polluted the speech of the Saba’iyyah, Rawafid, Khawarij, Mu’tazilah, and heritics against the nobility of the Companions of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam; the same curses that were heaped upon the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum by the lying narrators—especially the Shia—in the books of Islamic history.

The same slanders that were established as untruths and blown to smitherins by just men; by the Ahlus Sunnah wa al Jama’ah in their histories of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum.

The same slanders and vilification that caused many a man to become targets of the curses of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala and His Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam together with being targets of laws that entailed, being hit, imprisonment, or even death based on the differeing views, as has been clearly explained above.

The renaming that has emerged in these latter times as ‘academic critique of the early Islamic years’ has remained exactly the same as the curses of the former times. It is a revival of the curses that the Ahlus Sunnah put to bed when the lands and kingdoms were theirs and the heretics and innovators were subdued.

This revival, of late, has been at the hands of groups of the communists, Christians, Jews, and orientilists who harbour a deep hatred for Islam. Their cause has been further assisted by sons of this very ummah either unknowingly or due to becoming enamoured with the east, west, and their methodologies. They fall out of the sacred bounds of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala under the chants of academic critique and freedom of discourse. Forgetting, perhaps intentionally, that academic methodology in Islam and Islamic history is governed by shar’i laws and principles that are vital to adhere to. Research and studies conducted have to remain within the bounds of these principles so that the conclusions reached are true to reality and conform to Islamic injunctions.

Innovators and heretics of these latter times have two distinct goals behind the revival of these curses:

  1. Attacking the integrity of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum intending to sow doubts regarding the Qur’an and the Sunnah as it was the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum who were the mediums of conveying these two principle authorities of the religion of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala and His laws.
  2. Establishing the inability of Islamic practices in the real world, especially in these times. Their effort is to malign and vilify the character of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum together with the society they lived in just after the passing of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Their conclusion being, if they could not uphold the practices of Islam in that time, then how can we be expected to hold onto those methodologies of reformation in our time.

 

NEXT⇒ Module Two: The Life of Imam al Tabari COMING SOON IN SHA ALLAH…


[1] For further reading see, Muhammad Rashid Khalil: Manhaj Khas li Dirasah Tarikh al Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum wa Tafsirihi.

[2] Surah Al ‘Imran: 110.

[3] Sahih al Bukhari: vol. 4. pg. 189.

[4] Surah Al ‘Imran: 110.

[5] Surah al Baqarah: 143.

[6] Surah al Hadid: 10.

[7] Surah al Ambiya: 101-102.

[8] Surah al Tawbah: 100.

[9] A town in Syria. See. Yaqut: Mujam al Buldan, vol. 2 pg. 91.

[10] Musnad Ahmed ibn Hanbal (Tartib al Sa’ati) vol. 22 pg. 168; Sunan al Tirmidhi, Hadith: 2166; Mustadrak al Hakim, vol. 1 pg. 114. He has authenticated it and Al Dhahabi has concurred. Al Albani has authenticated it in Sahih Sunan al Tirmidhi, Hadith: 1758.

[11] Sahih al Bukhari, vol. 4 pg. 189.

[12] Sahih Muslim, vol. 16 pg. 82.

[13] Sahih al Bukhari, vol. 4 pg. 188; Sahih Muslim, vol. 16 pg. 83.

[14] Sunan al Tirmidhi, vol. 5 pg. 375.

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

[16] Sahih al Bukhari, vol. 4 pg. 195; Sahih Muslim, vol. 16 pg. 92.

[17] Al Khatib: Al Kifayah fi ‘ilm al Riwayah, pg. 93.

[18] Ibid, pg. 96.

[19] Ibn Salah: Ma’rifah ‘Ulum al Hadith, pg. 428.

[20] Ibn Hajar: Al Isabah, vol. 1 pg. 9.

[21] Al Khatib: Al Kifayah fi ‘ilm al Riwayah, pg. 97; Ibn Hajar: Al Isabah, vol. 1 pg. 10.

[22] Al Khatib: Al Kifayah fi ‘ilm al Riwayah, pg. 96.

[23] Ahmed ibn Hanbal: Al Sunnah, pg. 78.

[24] He is Ahmed ibn Muhammad ibn Salamah al Azdi al Tahawi, Abu Jafar ibn Abi al ‘Iz al Hanafi. From amongst the Hanafi jurists. He has written many books. Of them is his book on the Islamic creed which has received much praise from the scholars. He has also written, Ahkam al Qur’an, Bayan al Sunnah, Mushkil al Athar, Al Ikhtilaf Bayn al Fuqaha’, and Sharh Ma’ani al  Athar. He passed away the year 321 A.H./933 A.D. His life has been recorded by Ibn Khallikan: Wafayat al A’yan, vol. 1 pg. 71 and Al Qurashi: Al Jawahir al Mudiyyah, vol. 1 pg. 102.

[25] Ibn Abi al ‘Iz: Sharh al ‘Aqidah al Tahawi, pg. 464.

[26] He is Abdullah ibn Abi Zaid ‘Abdul Rahman al Qayrawani al Maliki, jurist and commentator of the Qur’an. The Imam of the Malikiyyah in his era and the commentator on the statements of Imam Malik. He was called Malik al Saghir. Abu Abdullah says regarding him, “He possessed knowledge, piety, honour, and intelligence.” He has written, Usul al Tawhid, Al Nawadir wa al Ziyadat ‘Ala al Mudawwanah, Mukhtasar al Mudawwanah, and Matn al Risalah amongst other books. He passed away the year 386 A.H. /996 A.D. His life has been recorded by Ibn al Nadim: Al Fihrist, pg. 283; Al Shirazi: Sifat al Fuqaha, pg. 160; Qadi ‘Iyad: Tartib al Madarik, vol. 6 pg. 217.

[27] Ibn Abi Zaid Qayrawani: Matn al Risalah, pg. 11.

[28] He is ‘Ubaidullah ibn Muhammad Abu Abdullah al ‘Ukbari al Hanbali, famously known as Ibn Battah, jurist and muhaddith. He travelled to Makkah and Basra in search of hadith. He then kept to his home for forty years writing books. He has written Al Inabah, Al Sunan, Al Inkar ‘Ala man Qada bi Kutub al Suhf al Ula. He passed away the year 387 A.H./997 A.D. His life has been recorded by Ibn Abi Ya’la: Sifat al Hanabilah, vol. 2 pg. 144; Al Khatib: Tarikh Baghdad, vol. 10 pg. 371; Al Shirazi: Tabaqat al Fuqaha’, pg. 173; Al Dhahabi: Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, vol. 16 pg. 529.

[29] Ibn Battah: Al Inabah, pg. 260.

[30] He is Ismail ibn ‘Abdul Rahman ibn Ismail, Abu ‘Uthman al Sabuni. He is known as Sheikh al Islam. He was amongst the early scholars of hadith of Khurasan. He was eloquent, vastly knowledgeable, and was fully aware of the sciences of hadith and tafsir. ‘Abdul Ghafir writes in, Al Siyaq, “The teacher, Abu ‘Uthman Ismail al Sabuni. Sheikh al Islam, mufassir, muhaddith, and orator. He delivered sermons to the Muslims for seventy years. He led the prayers in al Jami’ for around twenty years. He would narrate many hadith and was a prolific author. He travelled to Nisabpur, Hurat, Sarakhs, Hijaz, and Sham to gather hadith. He lectured on hadith in Khurasan, Hind, Jurjan, Sham, Thughur, Hijaz, and Quds. He was blessed with worldly and religious honour. He was accepted by one and all. He uprooted innovations in his time. He has written, ‘Aqidah al Salaf and Al Fusul fi al Usul. He passed away the year 446 A.H./1057 A.D. His life has been recorded by Yaqut: Mujam al Udaba, vol. 7 pg. 16; Ibn al Athir; Al Lubab fi tahdhib al Ansab, vol. 2 pg. 228; Al Dhahabi: Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, vol. 18 pg. 40; Ibn Kathir in Al Bidayah, vol. 12 pg. 76; Al Suyuti: Tabaqat al Mufassirin, pg. 7.

[31] Al Sabuni: ‘Aqidah al Salaf wa Ashab al Hadith, vol. 1 pg. 129.

[32] Ibn Taymiyyah: Al ‘Aqidah al Wasitiyyah: pgs. 166-176.

[33] Al Dhahabi: Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, vol. 10 pg. 92.

[34] Ibn Taymiyyah: Minhaj al Sunnah, vol. 3 pg. 243.

[35] Cursing the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum.

[36] He is Muhammad ibn al Hussain ibn Muhammad ibn Khalf ibn al Farra’, Abu Ya’la; from amongst the Hanbali scholars and from amongst the great scholars of principle and derivative law of his era. Al Qa’im al ‘Abbasi appointed him as the judge of the capital of the Caliphate with conditions such as he would not go to the house of the sultan or take part in festivities to which he agreed. He has written Tabri’ah Muawiyah, Al Kifayah fi Usul al Fiqh, and Al Ahkam al Sultaniyyah. He passed away the year 458 A.H./1066 A.D. His life has been recorded by Al Khatib: Tarikh Baghdad, vol. 2 pg. 256; Al Safdi: Al Wafi bi al Wafayat, vol. 3 pg. 7; Ibn al Imad: Shadharat al Dhahab, vol. 3 pg. 306.

[37] Ibn Taymiyyah: Hukm Sabb al Sahabah, pgs. 35-36.

[38] Al Nawawi: Sharh Sahih Muslim, vol. 16 pg. 93.

[39] He is ‘Iyad ibn Musa ibn ‘Iyad al Yahsabi al Sabti, Abu al Fadl, al Imam al Muhaddith. He was extremely knowledgeable in the sciences of Arabic language, genealogy, and wars. He was appointed as the judge of Sabtah and Gharnatah. Ibn Farhun says, “Qadi Abu al Fadl was the Imam of his time in hadith and its sciences, tafsir and its sciences, a Faqih and Usuli. Knowledgeable in Arabic language, wars, and genealogy. He had a deep understanding of the laws and intimately knew the Maliki mazhab. A poet par excellence and an eloquent orator.” He has written, Tartib al Madarik, al Tanbihat al Mustanbatah ‘ala al Mudawwanah, al Ilma’ ila Ma’rifah usul al Riwayah wa Taqyid al Sima’, and Tarikh Sabtah. He passed away the year 544 A.H./1149 A.D. His life has been recorded by Al Muqarri in Azhar al Riyad fi akhbar al Qadi ‘Iyad, vol. 1 pg. 23; Ibn al Qadi: Jadhwah al Iqtibas fi man halla min al A’lam madinah Fas, pg. 277; Ibn Farhun: Al Dibaj al Mazhab.

[40] Al Nawawi: Sharh Sahih Muslim, vol. 16 pg. 93.

[41] Al Qadi ‘Iyad: Al Shifa bi ta’rif huquq al Mustafa, vol. 2 pg. 653.

[42] Ahmed ibn Hanbal: Al Sunnah: 78.

[43] He is ‘Abdul Malik ibn ‘Abdul Hamid ibn Maymun ibn Mahran al Jazri, Abu al Hassan al Maymuni; scholar and jurist of Raqqa. He spent time in the company of Ahmed ibn Hanbal and narrated from him. Al Nasa’i has deemed him reliable. He passed away the year 274 A.H./887 A.D. His life has been recorded by Ibn Abi Hatim in Al Jarh wa al Ta’dil vol. 5 pg. 358; Ibn Abi Ya’la in Tabaqat al Hanabilah, vol. 1 pg. 212; Al Dhahabi: Al Kashif, vol. 2 pg. 185; Al Suyuti: Mujam Tabaqat al Huffaz, pg. 123.

[44] Ibn Taymiyyah: Hukm Sabb al Sahabah, pg. 32.

[45] He is Ishaq ibn Ibrahim, ibn Makhlad al Hanzali al Tamimi, Abu Ya’qub ibn Rahawayh; from amongst the great huffaz. He was reliable in hadith and from amongst the teachers of al Bukhari, Muslim, Ahmed ibn Hanbal, al Tirmidhi, al Nasa’i, and others. Al Khatib al Baghdadi says, “He had mastered hadith and fiqh together with being honest, pious, an ascetic, and had a phenomenal memory.” From amongst his writings is Al Musnad. He passed away the year 238 A.H./853 A.D. His life has been recorded by Al Khatib: Tarikh Baghdad, vol. 6 pg. 345; Ibn Khallikan: Wafayat al A’yan, vol. 1 pg. 199; Ibn Hajar: Al Tahdhib, vol. 1 pg. 216.

[46] Ibn Taymiyyah: Hukm Sabb al Sahabah, pg. 33.

[47] He is Harith ibn ‘Utbah, some say ‘Anbasah. He narrates from ‘Umar ibn ‘Abdul ‘Aziz and Sadaqah ibn Abdullah narrates from him. See al Bukhari: Al Tarikh al Kabir, 1/2/275 and Ibn Hibban: Al Thiqat, vol. 6 pg. 175.

[48] Ibn Taymiyyah: Hukm Sabb al Sahabah, pg. 33. Al Lalka’i is Hibat Allah ibn al Hassan ibn Mansur al Tabari al Razi al Baghdadi, Abu al Qasim Al Lalka’i. He is amongst the huffaz of hadith and jurists of the Shafi’i Mazhab. He has written Sharh al Sunnah, Asma’ Rijal al Sahihayn, and Hujaj usul Ahlus Sunnah wa al Jama’ah. He passed away the year, 418 A.H./1027 A.D. His life has been recorded by Al Khatib: Tarikh Baghdad, vol. 14 pg. 70; Ibn al Athir; Al Kamil, vol. 9 pg. 125=6; Al Dhahabi: Tadhkirat al Huffaz, vol. 3 pg. 1083.

[49] He is Ibrahim ibn Maisarah al Ta’ifi. He resided in Makkah and was a jurist. Ahmed and Ibn Ma’in have deemed him reliable. Ibn Hajar says, “Thabat, Hafiz. From the fifth rank.” He passed away the year, 132 A.H./749 A.D. His life has been recorded by Al Bukhari: Al Tarikh al Saghir, vol. 2 pg. 29 Ibn Abi Hatim in Al Jarh wa al Ta’dil vol. 2 pg. 133; Al Dhahabi: Siyar A’lam an-Nubala, vol. 6 pg. vol. 2 pg. 123; Ibn Hajar: Al Taqrib, vol. 1 pg. 44.

[50] Ibn Taymiyyah: Hukm Sabb al Sahabah, pg. 33.

[51] Al Qadi ‘Iyad: Al Shifa bi ta’rif huquq al Mustafa, vol. 2 pg. 652.

[52] He is ‘Abdul Malik ibn Habib ibn Sulaiman ibn Harun Al Sulami al Qurtubi; amongst the jurists of the Malikiyyah. He was a scholar of history and language. He had written amongst other books, Hurub al Islam and Tabaqat al Muhddithin. He passed away the year, 238 A.H./853 A.D. His life has been recorded by Ibn al Fardi: Tarikh ‘Ulama Andalus, vol. 1 pg. 225; Ibn ‘Umairah: Bughyah al Multamis, pg. 364; Al Dhahabi: Al Mizan, vol. 2 pg. 652; Al Muqri: Nafh al Tib, vol. 1 pg. 331.

[53] Ibn Taymiyyah: Hukm Sabb al Sahabah, pg. 33.

[54] Ibid: 34.

[55] Ibn Taymiyyah: Hukm Sabb al Sahabah, pg. 34-35.

[56] He is, Muhammad ibn Talhah ibn ‘Abdul Rahman ibn Talhah al Taymi al Madani, famously known as Ibn al Tawil. Abu Hatim says, “Truthful though not suitable to use as evidence.” Ibn Hibban has counted him amongst the strong narrators. Ibn Hajar says, “Truthful, though he makes mistakes.” He passed away the year 108 A.H./726 A.D. His life has been recorded by Al Bukhari: Al Tarikh al Kabir, 1/1/120; Ibn Abi Hatim in Al Jarh wa al Ta’dil vol. 7 pg. 292; Ibn Hibban: Al Thiqat, vol. 5 pg. 361; Ibn Hajar: Al Taqrib, vol. 2 pg. 173.

[57] Al Hakim has recorded the narration in Al Mustadrak and has commented on the chain of narration as authentic. Imam al Dhahabi has concurred with him, vol. 3 pg. 632. The chain is weak due to Muhammad ibn Talhah who was truthful but would make mistakes as has been mentioned. ‘Abdul Rahman ibn Salim ibn ‘Utbah is unknown. See, Taqrib al Tahdhib: 2182.

[58] He is ‘Ata’ ibn Aslam ibn Safwan ibn Abi Rabah; a Tabi’i and great jurist. He was raised in Makkah and would give legal verdicts to its people together with narrating traditions of the Prophet to them. Al ‘Ijli says, “Tabi’i, reliable. Ibn Hibban has counted him amoungst the string narrators.” He passed away the year 114 A.H./732 A.D. His life has been recorded by Ibn Ma’in: Al Tarikh, vol. 2 pg. 401; Al Bukhari: Al Tarikh al Kabir, 3/2/463; Al ‘Ijli: Tarikh al Thiqat, pg. 332; Ibn Hibban: Al Thiqat, vol. 5 pg. 198.

[59] Al Suyuti has recorded it in Al Jami’ al Saghir, vol. 2 pg. 351 and has commented, “Al Tabrani has narrated it and is authentic.” Ibn Abi ‘Asim has recorded it in Al Sunnah, vol. 2 pg. 453/Hadith: 1000. Al Albani has deemed it sound by its supporting narrations, Sahih al Jami’: Hadith: 5111; Al Silsilah al Sahihah, vol. 5 pg. 446, Hadith: 2340.

[60] Al Tabrani has narrated it in Al Mujam al Kabir, vol. 2 pg. 93. Al Suyuti comments in Al Jami’ al Saghir, vol. 12 pg. 351 “A sound narration.” Al Albani has deemed it authentic in Al Sahihah: Hadith: 34.

[61] Al Tirmidhi has recorded it in Al Sunan, vol. 5 pg. 358 and has said, “It is a sound narration.” Ahmed has also recorded it in Musnad vol. 5 pg. 45, 57; Abu Nua’ym in Al Hilyah, vol. 8 pg. 287; Al Baghawi; Sharh al Sunnah, 14/70. There is some weakness in its chain, see Da’if al Tirmidhi: Hadith: 808

[62] Imam al Bukhari has recorded it in Al Jami’ al Sahih, Kitab Manaqib al Ansar, Bab Hubb al Ansar min al Iman, vol. 4 pg. 223.