It is worth noting that the majority which will be quoted stems forth from the family and progeny of Sayyidina Rasulullah salla Llahu alayhi wa sallam, whom the Shia claim to hold in high esteem.
Imam al Bukhari narrates from Muhammad ibn Hanafiyyah rahimahu Llah, the son of ‘Ali radiya Llahu anhu, who says:
I asked my father, ‘Ali radiya Llahu anhu: “Who is the most virtuous after Rasulullah salla Llahu alayhi wa sallam?” and he replied: “Abu Bakr!” I enquired who was next and he replied “‘Umar!”
Imam al Dhahabi rahimahu Llah writes:
This fact that Abu Bakr radiya Llahu anhu is the best personality of this ummah, followed by Umar radiya Llahu anhu who is the second best, has been narrated from none other than ‘Ali radiya Llahu anhu with tawatur.
In other words, such a great number of people narrated it, that there remains no shadow of doubt that this statement was not uttered by ‘Ali radiya Llahu anhu.
‘Abd Khayr says:
I heard Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu anhu say: “Should I not inform you of the best persons of this ummah after Sayyidina Rasulullah salla Llahu alayhi wa sallam?
It is none other than Abu Bakr and ‘Umar.”
‘Own ibn Abi Juhayfah says:
My father Abu Juhayfah was one of the guards of Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu anhu who used to seat me at the bottom of the mimbar (pulpit). He narrates that once Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu anhu ascended the mimbar, and after praising Allah Ta’ala and sending salutations upon Sayyidina Rasulullah salla Llahu alayhi wa sallam he said: “The best of this ummah after Sayyidina Rasulullah salla Llahu alayhi wa sallam is Abu Bakr and the second best is ‘Umar.” He then said: “Allah Ta’ala grants goodness and superiority to whomsoever he wishes.”
It should be noted that Hassan ibn Muhammad ibn Hanafiyyah rahimahu Llah was the grandson of Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu anhu, he narrates:
He who asks us about our belief then let him know that our Rabb is Allah Ta’ala, our religion is Islam, our messenger is Muhammad salla Llahu alayhi wa sallam, our leader and proof is the Qur’an, we are pleased with Abu Bakr and ‘Umar radiya Llahu anhuma as our Imams; we are pleased when they are obeyed and we become angry when they are angered; we befriend those who befriend them and we are enemies to those who bear enmity for them.
Zaid ibn ‘Ali ibn Hussain rahimahu Llah was the great grandson of Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu anhu and also the brother of Muhammad al Baqir rahimahu Llah, whom the Shia regard to be the fifth Imam. He once addressed Hashim ibn Barid saying:
O Hashim! Listen attentively; distancing oneself from Abu Bakr and ‘Umar is tantamount to distancing oneself from ‘Ali radiya Llahu anhum. (I have clearly explained the matter to you) Now if you wish, you may go ahead and distance yourself from them, or otherwise you may refrain from it.
Jabir al Ju’fi narrates that Muhammad al Baqir rahimahu Llah addressed him saying:
O Jabir! The news has reached me that there are certain people in Iraq who claim to love us (the Ahlul Bayt) but they speak ill of Abu Bakr and ‘Umar. They also falsely claim that I am the one who ordered them to do so. Tell them that I have nothing to do with them before of Allah Ta’ala. I take an oath by the Being who controls the life of Muhammad (al Baqir), if I were to be put in charge of Iraq, I would execute them and at the same time earn great reward by doing so. May I be deprived of the intercession of Sayyidina Muhammad salla Llahu alayhi wa sallam if I do not seek forgiveness on their (Abu Bakr and ‘Umar) behalf and if do not I invoke Allah to shower His mercy upon them. Indeed the enemies of Allah are negligent with regards to them.
Jabir al Ju’fi also narrates that when he was departing from Muhammad al Baqir, he addressed him saying:
Inform the people of Kufah that I distance myself entirely from those who distance themselves from Abu Bakr and ‘Umar radiya Llahu anhuma
Muhammad al Baqir rahimahu Llah said:
He who does not recognize and understand the virtue of Abu Bakr and ‘Umar radiya Llahu anhuma is most definitely ignorant of the teachings of Sayyidina Rasulullah salla Llahu alayhi wa sallam
Jafar al Sadiq, the son of Muhammad al Baqir rahimahu Llah, narrates:
A person came and asked my father about Abu Bakr radiya Llahu anhu, to which he replied: “Are you asking me about al Siddiq (which was the title of Abu Bakr radiya Llahu anhu)?” The man (who probably had heard people speaking ill of Abu Bakr radiya Llahu anhu and falsely attributing it to Muhammad al Baqir was astonished and therefore) asked: “Are you referring to Abu Bakr with such an honourable title as al Siddiq?” My father replied: “May your mother lament you! He has earned this noble title of al Siddiq from people much better and nobler than you and I. He has been called al Siddiq by Sayyidina Rasulullah salla Llahu alayhi wa sallam, the Muhajirin and the Ansar. He who does not refer to him as al Siddiq, (but rather degrades him) will be regarded as a liar in this world and the next. Proceed from here with the love of Abu Bakr and ‘Umar radiya Llahu anhuma and do not distance yourself from them, and if there is any sin in doing so (i.e. in speaking well of Abu Bakr and ‘Umar) then I am prepared to take it upon me!”
Kathir Nawwa’ relates:
I posed the following question to Muhammad al Baqir rahimahu Llah: “May I be sacrificed for you! There are certain people who say that Abu Bakr and ‘Umar had oppressed you, the Ahlul Bayt, and deprived you of your rights?” He replied: Never! I take an oath by He who revealed the Qur’an to Rasulullah salla Llahu alayhi wa sallam, they did not oppress us, neither did they deprive us of an iota which was due to us.I then asked him: “May I be sacrificed for you! Must I then closely associate myself with Abu Bakr and ‘Umar?” Muhammad al Baqir slapped his hand on my shoulder and replied: “What is the matter with you, O Kathir? Closely associate yourself with them in this world and the next, and if there be any sin in doing so then I bear the responsibility of it on my shoulders. He then added: “Allah and His Rasul are absolved and have no obligation to those who lie and attribute these lies to us, the Ahlul Bayt. Undoubtedly, they are attributing lies to us.
He was referring to Mughirah ibn Sa’id and Bayan al Madini. (These two liars used to fabricate and concoct ideas, which they attributed to the Ahlul Bayt. In fact, the latter claimed that Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu anhu was Allah and that this ‘godhood’ was transferred to his son Muhammad ibn al Hanafiyyah, and thereafter to his son Abu Hashim and then to Bayan himself. Bayan also wrote to Muhammad al Baqir rahimahu Llah stating that he is a nabi and invited him to follow him. Both these imposters were killed by Khalid ibn ‘Abdullah al Qasri)
‘Urwah ibn ‘Abdullah says that he asked Muhammad al Baqir rahimahu Llah about silver decorations on a sword, to which he replied:
There is nothing wrong with it since Abu Bakr al Siddiq radiya Llahu anhu had done so. I asked in amazement: “Are you conferring upon him the honourable title of al Siddiq?” Muhammad al Baqir immediately jumped up from his place, faced the qiblah, and said: “Yes, he is al Siddiq! Yes, he is al Siddiq! Yes, he is al Siddiq! He who does not refer to him as al Siddiq, (but rather degrades him) will be regarded as a liar in this world and the next.”
Fudayl ibn Marzuq says:
I heard Hassan ibn Hassan saying to a person who had exceeded the bounds with regards to the Ahlul Bayt: “Love us for the sake of Allah. If we obey Allah Ta’ala then love us, and if we disobey Allah Ta’ala then hate us.” The man then said: “But you are the relatives and the close family of Rasulullah salla Llahu alayhi wa sallam.” Hassan ibn Hassan replied: “If anybody had to benefit from having mere family ties to Rasulullah salla Llahu alayhi wa sallam without doing any good actions, then it would have been those who were even closer to him than us. In fact, I fear that if any of us have to disobeyAllah Ta’ala then he would receive a double punishment, and at the same time I have hope that if he does good, he will receive a double reward.
(Thereafter, referring to what false claim of the Shia of Rasulullah salla Llahu alayhi wa sallam having bequeathed that ‘Ali radiya Llahu anhu should be his immediate successor, but he was denied this right by the rest of the Sahabah) Hassan ibn Hassan said:
If what you people are saying is true, and our parents and grandparents did not inform us about it and they did not encourage us to retrieve the right due to us, then indeed they have truly been evil and unjust to us. We are closer to them than you, we have a greater right over them than you, so we should have been informed and encouraged about it more than you. If it is as you people claim that Rasulullah salla Llahu alayhi wa sallam chose ‘Ali radiya Llahu anhu as his successor after him, then indeed ‘Ali committed the greatest wrong and the severest sin, because this means he did not carry out the command of Rasulullah salla Llahu alayhi wa sallam by taking the reins of khilafah, neither did he render any excuse before the people.
The person then interrupted, saying: “Did Rasulullah salla Llahu alayhi wa sallam not say that whoever regards me as his master, then ‘Ali is also his master?” and Hassan ibn Hassan rahimahu Llah replied:
If by this statement Rasulullah salla Llahu alayhi wa sallam meant leadership and seeing to the affairs of the Muslims, he would have said so clearly, just as he clearly spelt out the laws of salah, zakat, sowm and hajj. He would have clearly said: “O people, this is your ruler after me, so obey him. He would have clearly said so, since Rasulullah salla Llahu alayhi wa sallam was he most eloquent of the Arabs.
‘Abdullah ibn Hassan rahimahu Llah mentioned:
It is my observation that a person who reviles and swears Abu Bakr and ‘Umar radiya Llahu anhuma does not get the opportunity to repent.
Hafs ibn Qais narrates that he asked ‘Abdullah ibn Hassan rahimahu Llah about the validity of making masah (wiping wet hands) over leather socks in wudu, to which he replied:
Make masah, since ‘Umar ibn al Khattab radiya Llahu anhu made masah. I responded: “I am asking you whether you make masah or not.” He retorted: “Of what use is that to you. I am informing you of ‘Umar and you ask me my opinion. ‘Umar radiya Llahu anhu is much more virtuous than me and the whole world filled with people like me.” I then asked him: “O Abu Muhammad, some people claim that this is only done as a part of taqiyyah (dissimulation) and he responded by saying – and we were sitting between the mimbar of al Masjid al Nabawi and the blessed grave of Sayyidina Rasulullah salla Llahu alayhi wa sallam – “O Allah! This is my belief, inwardly and outwardly.” He then said to me: “Do not believe what anybody has to say about me after you have heard it directly from me. He then asked: “Who is the person who falsely claims that ‘Ali radiya Llahu anhu was oppressed and subdued, and that Sayyidina Rasulullah salla Llahu alayhi wa sallam commanded him to do something which he did not carry out? This is in fact degrading Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu anhu and a blemish on his noble personality; that he was ordered by Sayyidina Rasulullah salla Llahu alayhi wa sallam to carry out a certain duty which he failed to do.”
Abu Khalid Ahmar reports that he asked ‘Abdullah ibn Hassan rahimahu Llah about Abu Bakr and ‘Umar radiya Llahu anhuma, to which he replied:
May Allah Ta’ala shower his mercy upon them, and may He not shower his mercy upon the one who does not make duaʼ of mercy for them.
Sayyidina Sa’d radiya Llahu anhu was the Sahabi regarding whom Rasulullah salla Llahu alayhi wa sallam supplicated for that Allah make him mustajab al da’wat (one whose supplications are readily accepted).
‘Amir ibn Sa’id narrates:
Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas radiya Llahu anhu once passed by a man who was reviling Sayyidina ‘Ali, Talhah and Zubair radiya Llahu anhum. Sa’d radiya Llahu anhu said to him: “You are reviling those people who have been promised Jannat by Allah. I take an oath by Allah, either you stop reviling them or I will invoke the curse of Allah upon you.” The man retorted by saying: “He is threatening and intimidating me, as if he is a prophet.” Sa’d radiya Llahu anhu then began supplicating: “O Allah! If this person is reviling such personalities who have been promised Jannat by You, then make him an example today, wherefrom others will also take lesson.” Shortly thereafter a she-camel arrived and people gave way for it until it reached the man and trampled him to death. I saw trailing behind Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas radiya Llahu anhu telling him: “O Abu Ishaq, Allah Ta’ala has accepted your duaʼ.”
Sa’id ibn Musayyib rahimahu Llah once passed by a person who was speaking ill of ‘Ali, Talhah, and Zubair radiya Llahu anhum. He prohibited him from doing so but the man did not heed his admonishment. There upon Sa’id ibn Musayyib rahimahu Llah said:
If what you are saying regarding them is untrue, then Allah shall blacken your face.
The result of this supplication was that a pimple appeared on his face which caused it to turn black, while the rest of his body remained normal.
It should be noted that Sayyidina ‘Ammar ibn Yasir radiya Llahu anhu is among those few Sahabah whom the Shia regard to be muʼmin.
‘Urayb ibn Humaid relates: “A man stood before the gathering and began speaking ill of Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu anha and ‘Ammar ibn Yasir radiya Llahu anhu immediately stood and stepped over the shoulders of the people until he reached the front, where he said:
Sit down, O wretched unfortunate soul! How dare you speak ill of the beloved of Rasulullah salla Llahu alayhi wa sallam. I take an oath by Allah! She was his wife in the world and she will be his wife in the hereafter as well.
 Tarikh al Islam
 Musnad Ahmed #908 and #932
 Musnad Ahmed #837
 Tirmidhi #3751
 Tarikh Dimashq – Ibn Asakir 25/125
 Tirmidhi – Hassan ṣahih