The Rank of the Sahabah in the Sight of the Ahlus Sunnah wa al Jama’ah

Sources to Discover the Reports on the Sahabah
February 29, 2024
Section 1 – Discussion 1: The biography of Abu Dharr al Ghifari according to the Ahlus Sunnah wa al Jama’ah.
February 29, 2024

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The Rank of the Sahabah in the Sight of the Ahlus Sunnah wa al Jama’ah

The Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum are the best of this Ummah after the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Those whom Allah selected for the companionship of His Nabi and bosom friend salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. They were the best companions who sacrificed their wealth and lives as trivial in the Path of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala. They were sincere in their Islam and faith. They are men of lofty position and high status. Accordingly, mutawatir (mass transmitted) texts of the Book of Allah and Sunnah of His Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, as well as the statements of the pious predecessors, have extolled their status, superiority, precedence in din, grand actions, and Jihad to assist this din. Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala declares:

 

وَٱلسَّٰبِقُونَ ٱلۡأَوَّلُونَ مِنَ ٱلۡمُهَٰجِرِينَ وَٱلۡأَنصَارِ وَٱلَّذِينَ ٱتَّبَعُوهُم بِإِحۡسَٰنٖ رَّضِيَ ٱللَّهُ عَنۡهُمۡ وَرَضُواْ عَنۡهُ وَأَعَدَّ لَهُمۡ جَنَّٰتٖ تَجۡرِي تَحۡتَهَا ٱلۡأَنۡهَٰرُ خَٰلِدِينَ فِيهَآ أَبَدٗاۚ ذَٰلِكَ ٱلۡفَوۡزُ ٱلۡعَظِيمُ

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.[1]

 

Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala states:

 

مُّحَمَّدٞ رَّسُولُ ٱللَّهِۚ وَٱلَّذِينَ مَعَهُۥٓ أَشِدَّآءُ عَلَى ٱلۡكُفَّارِ رُحَمَآءُ بَيۡنَهُمۡۖ تَرَىٰهُمۡ رُكَّعٗا سُجَّدٗا يَبۡتَغُونَ فَضۡلٗا مِّنَ ٱللَّهِ وَرِضۡوَٰنٗاۖ سِيمَاهُمۡ فِي وُجُوهِهِم مِّنۡ أَثَرِ ٱلسُّجُودِۚ ذَٰلِكَ مَثَلُهُمۡ فِي ٱلتَّوۡرَىٰةِۚ وَمَثَلُهُمۡ فِي ٱلۡإِنجِيلِ كَزَرۡعٍ أَخۡرَجَ شَطۡـَٔهُۥ فَـَٔازَرَهُۥ فَٱسۡتَغۡلَظَ فَٱسۡتَوَىٰ عَلَىٰ سُوقِهِۦ يُعۡجِبُ ٱلزُّرَّاعَ لِيَغِيظَ بِهِمُ ٱلۡكُفَّارَۗ وَعَدَ ٱللَّهُ ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ وَعَمِلُواْ ٱلصَّٰلِحَٰتِ مِنۡهُم مَّغۡفِرَةٗ وَأَجۡرًا عَظِيمَۢا

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 sign is in their faces from the effect of prostration [i.e., prayer]. That is their description in the Torah. And their description in the Gospel 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 He [i.e., Allah] may enrage by them the disbelievers. Allah has promised those who believe and do righteous deeds among them forgiveness and a great reward.[2]

 

Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala states:

 

إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ وَهَاجَرُواْ وَجَٰهَدُواْ بِأَمۡوَٰلِهِمۡ وَأَنفُسِهِمۡ فِي سَبِيلِ ٱللَّهِ وَٱلَّذِينَ ءَاوَواْ وَّنَصَرُوٓاْ أُوْلَٰٓئِكَ بَعۡضُهُمۡ أَوۡلِيَآءُ بَعۡضٖۚ وَٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ وَلَمۡ يُهَاجِرُواْ مَا لَكُم مِّن وَلَٰيَتِهِم مِّن شَيۡءٍ حَتَّىٰ يُهَاجِرُواْۚ وَإِنِ ٱسۡتَنصَرُوكُمۡ فِي ٱلدِّينِ فَعَلَيۡكُمُ ٱلنَّصۡرُ إِلَّا عَلَىٰ قَوۡمِۭ بَيۡنَكُمۡ وَبَيۡنَهُم مِّيثَٰقٞۗ وَٱللَّهُ بِمَا تَعۡمَلُونَ بَصِيرٞ

Indeed, those who have believed and emigrated and fought with their wealth and lives in the cause of Allah and those who gave shelter and aided, they are allies of one another. But those who believed and did not emigrate, for you there is no guardianship of them until they emigrate. And if they seek help of you for the religion, then you must help, except against a people between yourselves and whom is a treaty. And Allah is Seeing of what you do.[3]

 

Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala states:

 

وَمَا لَكُمۡ أَلَّا تُنفِقُواْ فِي سَبِيلِ ٱللَّهِ وَلِلَّهِ مِيرَٰثُ ٱلسَّمَٰوَٰتِ وَٱلۡأَرۡضِۚ لَا يَسۡتَوِي مِنكُم مَّنۡ أَنفَقَ مِن قَبۡلِ ٱلۡفَتۡحِ وَقَٰتَلَۚ أُوْلَٰٓئِكَ أَعۡظَمُ دَرَجَةٗ مِّنَ ٱلَّذِينَ أَنفَقُواْ مِنۢ بَعۡدُ وَقَٰتَلُواْۚ وَكُلّٗا وَعَدَ ٱللَّهُ ٱلۡحُسۡنَىٰۚ وَٱللَّهُ بِمَا تَعۡمَلُونَ خَبِيرٞ

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, of what you do, is Aware.[4]

 

عن عمران بن حصين رضي الله عنه أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قال خير أمتي قرني ثم الذين يلونهم ثم الذين يلونهم قال عمران فلا أدري أذكر بعد قرنه قرنين أو ثلاثة ثم إن بعدكم قوما يشهدون ولا يستشهدون ويخونون ولا يؤتمنون وينذرون ولا يوفون ويظهر فيهم السمن

‘Imran ibn Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhu reports that the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: “The best nation is that of my era, then the subsequent era, and then the subsequent era.”

‘Imran clarifies: I do not know whether he mentioned one or two eras after his era.

“Thereafter, after you will be a people who give testimony despite not been requested for the same, who breach and are not trustable, who vow yet do not fulfil, and obesity will become common among them.”[5]

 

Jabir ibn ‘Abdullah radiya Llahu ‘anhuma reports that the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said:

 

لا يدخل النار أحد بايع تحت الشجرة

None of those who pledged allegiance under the tree will enter Hell.[6]

 

‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ud radiya Llahu ‘anhu certainly spoke the truth in describing them with the words:

 

إن الله تعالى نظر في قلوب العباد فوجد قلب محمد خير قلوب العباد فاصطفاه لنفسه وابتعثه برسالته ثم نظر في قلوب العباد بعد قلب محمد صلى الله عليه وسلم فوجد قلوب أصحابه خير قلوب العباد فجعلهم وزراء نبيه يقاتلون على دينه فما رآه المسلمون حسنا فهو عند الله حسن وما رأوه سيئا فهو عند الله سيئ

Certainly, Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala scanned the hearts of the bondsmen and found the heart of Muhammad to be the finest. He thus selected him for Himself and despatched him with His message. Allah then scanned the hearts of the bondsmen after the heart of Muhammad salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and found the hearts of his Companions to be the finest so He appointed them as ministers of His messenger, to fight [in defence and propagation of] His Din. Therefore, whatever the Muslims [the Companions] regard as noble is noble in the sight of Allah and what they regard as evil is evil in the sight of Allah.[7]

 

He proclaims:

 

من كان مستنا فليستن بمن قد مات فإن الحي لا تؤمن عليه الفتنة أولئك أصحاب محمد صلى الله عليه وسلم فإنهم كانوا أفضل هذه الأمة أبرها قلوبا وأعمقها علما وأقلها تكلفا قوم اختارهم الله لصحبة نبيه وإقامة دينه فاعرفوا لهم فضلهم واتبعوهم في آثارهم وتمسكوا بما استطعتم من أخلاقهم ودينهم فإنهم كانوا على الهدي المستقيم

Whoever desires emulation should emulate those who have passed on as the living are not safe from [being trapped in] fitnah (tribulation). They [who are worthy of emulation] are the Companions of Muhammad salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. They were the cream of this Ummah, with the purest of hearts, the deepest knowledge, and the least formalities. They are a nation handpicked by Allah to accompany His Messenger and establish His Din. Recognise their virtue, emulate their ways, and adhere to their conduct and din as much as you can. Indeed, they were upon true guidance.[8]

 

The Ahlus Sunnah adhere strictly to these texts. Therefore, their belief concerning the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum has become one of the fundamentals which distinguish the Ahlus Sunnah wa al Jama’ah from the adherents of other sects and deviation. We will condense their belief regarding the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum, as appears in many books, in the upcoming:

  1. Loving the Companions of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, associating with them, honouring them, praising them, and supplicating for them; [affirming] them as the most superior generation of this Ummah. Imam al Tahawi[9] rahimahu Llah says:

 

ونحب أصحاب رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ولا نفرط في حب أحد منهم

We love the Companions of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam yet do not fall into extremism in loving any of them.[10]

 

Ibn Taymiyyah rahimahu Llah affirms:

 

ومن أصول أهل السنة والجماعة سلامة قلوبهم وألستنهم لأصحاب رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم كما وصفهم الله في قوله تعالى وَٱلَّذِينَ جَآءُو مِنۢ بَعْدِهِمْ يَقُولُونَ رَبَّنَا ٱغْفِرْ لَنَا وَلِإِخْوَٰنِنَا ٱلَّذِينَ سَبَقُونَا بِٱلْإِيمَـٰنِ وَلَا تَجْعَلْ فِى قُلُوبِنَا غِلًّۭا لِّلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا۟ رَبَّنَآ إِنَّكَ رَءُوفٌۭ رَّحِيمٌ

Among the fundamentals of the Ahlus Sunnah wa al Jama’ah is the safety of their hearts and tongues from the Companions of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, as Allah described them in His statement: And those who come after them, saying, “Our Lord, forgive us and our brothers who preceded us in faith and put not in our hearts [any] resentment toward those who have believed. Our Lord, indeed You are Kind and Merciful.”[11][12]

 

Abu ‘Abdullah ibn Battah[13] rahimahu Llah writes:

 

ثم الترحم على جميع أصحاب رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم صغيرهم وكبيرهم وأولهم وآخرهم وذكر محاسنهم وفضائلهم والاقتداء بهم والاقتداء لآثارهم وأن الحق كل ما قالوه والصواب فيما فعلوه

Then, supplicating for mercy upon all the Companions of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam—young and old, first and last—listing their excellences and merits, following them, following their athar (actions), and believing that everything they uttered is true and everything they did is correct.[14]

 

  1. The Ahlus Sunnah wa al Jama’ah agree on the ‘Adalah (integrity) of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum and their truthfulness in what they transmitted from the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Ibn Kathir rahimahu Llah confirms:

 

والصحابة كلهم عدول عند أهل السنة والجماعة لما أثنى الله عليهم في كتابه العزيز وبما نطقت به السنة النبوية في المدح لهم في جميع أخلاقهم وأفعالهم وما بذلوه من الأموال والأرواح بين يدي رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم رغبة فيما عند الله من الثواب الجزيل والجزاء الجميل

All the Sahabah are men of integrity according to the Ahlus Sunnah wa al Jama’ah, due to Allah’s praise for them in His esteemed Book and what the Prophetic Sunnah spoke in favour of them, for all their behaviour and actions as well as the wealth and lives they sacrificed in front of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, desirous of the tremendous reward and beautiful recompense by Allah.[15]

 

Abu al Hassan al Ash’ari[16] rahimahu Llah asserts:

 

وكل الصحابة أئمة مأمونون غير متهمين في الدين وقد أثنى الله ورسوله على جميعهم وتعبدنا بتوقيرهم وتعظيمهم وموالاتهم والتبري من كل من ينقص أحدا منهم رضي الله عن جميعهم

All the Sahabah are Imams, trusted, and not accused in din. Allah and His Messenger praised all of them. We are devoted to [Allah] by honouring them, glorifying them, associating with them, and dissociating from everyone who disparages any of them. May Allah be pleased with them all.[17]

 

  1. The Ahlus Sunnah wa al Jama’ah believe that the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum are not on one level of excellence. Rather, they are diverse in this. Imam Abu ‘Abdullah ibn Battah rahimahu Llah explains:

 

ونحب جميع أصحاب رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم على مراتبهم ومنازلهم أولا فأولا من أهل بدر والحديبية وبيعة الرضوان وأحد فهؤلاء أهل الفضائل الشريفة والمنازل المنيفة الذين سبقت لهم السوابق رحمهم الله أجمعين

We love all the Companions of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam according to their respective ranks and positions, in sequence: the participants of Badr, Hudaybiyyah, Bay’at al Ridwan, and Uhud. These are men of sublime excellence and exalted stations, for whom antecedents have preceded. May Allah have mercy upon them all.[18]

 

Ibn Taymiyyah rahimahu Llah writes:

 

ويفضلون من أنفق قبل الفتح على من أنفق من بعد وقاتل ويقدمون المهاجرين والأنصار ويؤمنون بأن الله قال لأهل بدر وكانوا ثلاثمائة وبضعة عشر اعملوا ما شئتم فقد غفرت لكم وبأنه لا يدخل النار أحد بايع تحت الشجرة كما أخبر به النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم بل لقد رضي الله عنهم ورضوا عنه وكانوا أكثر من ألف وأربعمائة

They [the Ahlus Sunnah] declare the superiority of those who spent before the Conquest [of Makkah] over those who spent and fought after. They award preference to the Muhajirin and Ansar. They believe that Allah announced regarding the participants of Badr, who were over three hundred and ten, “Do as you please for I have indeed forgiven you,”[19] and that none of those who pledged allegiance under the tree (Bay’at al Ridwan) will enter Hell as the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam told. In fact, Allah is pleased with them and they are pleased with him. They were over one thousand four hundred [at the time].[20]

 

The Ahlus Sunnah are unanimous that the most superior Sahabah are the ten promised Jannat, due to the commonness of their merits and excellences. The most superior of them are the Rightly Guided Khalifas. They are Imams, guided. Their sequence in excellence is like their sequence in Caliphate.[21]

Imam Ahmed rahimahu Llah enlightens:

 

وخير الأمة بعد النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم أبو بكر وعمر بعد أبي بكر وعثمان بعد عمر وعلي بعد عثمان ووقف قوم على عثمان وهم خلفاء راشدون مهديون ثم أصحاب رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم بعد هؤلاء الأربعة خير الناس

The most virtuous of the Ummah after the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam is Abu Bakr, then ‘Umar, then ‘Uthman, then ‘Ali. Some stop at ‘Uthman. They are the Rightly Guided orthodox Khalifas. Then, the rest of the Companions of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, after these four, are the most superior of mankind.[22]

 

Ibn Taymiyyah rahimahu Llah concurs:

 

ويقرون بما تواتر به النقل عن أمير المؤمنين علي بن أبي طالب رضي الله عنه وغيره من أن خير الأمة بعد نبيها أبو بكر ثم عمر ويثلثون بعثمان ويربعون بعلي رضي الله عنه كما دلت الآثار

They affirm the recurring report from Amir al Mu’minin ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu ‘anhu and others that the most superior of the Ummah after the Nabi is Abu Bakr then ‘Umar, placing ‘Uthman in third and ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu in fourth position, as indicated by the reports.[23]

 

  1. The Ahlus Sunnah wa al Jama’ah are undisputed on loving and honouring the Ahlul Bayt of the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, associating with the Ummahat al Muminin (Mothers of the Believers) with the belief that they are his wives in the world and the Hereafter. Imam Ibn Qudamah[24] rahimahu Llah guides:

 

ومن السنة الترضي عن أزواج رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم أمهات المؤمنين المطهرات المبرآت من كل سوء أفضلهن خديجة بنت خويلد وعائشة بنت الصديق التي برأها الله في كتابه زوج النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم في الدنيا والآخرة فمن قذفها بما برأها الله منه فقد كفر بالله العظيم

From the Sunnah is to be pleased with the wives of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, the Ummahat al Mu’minin, the pure and exonerated from every evil. The most superior of them is Khadijah bint Khuwaylid and Aisha bint al Siddiq—whom Allah exonerated in His Book. She is the wife of the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam in the world and the Hereafter. Therefore, whoever slanders her with that from which Allah exonerated her has indeed disbelieved in Allah, the Great.[25]

 

  1. The Ahlus Sunnah wa al Jama’ah refrain from the disagreements and battles which transpired between the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum. They do not ridicule any of them. They [the Sahabah] are excused in this as they are either Mujtahids who are in the right or Mujtahids who erred. They [the Ahlus Sunnah] do not claim infallibility for them. Rather, they declare the possibility of sin emanating from them. They do, however, enjoy precedence and excellent virtues which mandate the forgiveness of their errors. Imam al Ajurri[26] rahimahu Llah affirms:

 

إن عقول القوم الصحابة كانت أكبر من عقولنا وعقولنا أنقص بكثير ولا نأمن أن نبحث عما شجر بينهم فنزل عن طريق الحق ونتخلف عما أمرنا فيهم

The minds of the Sahabah were greater than ours. Our minds are much inferior. We are not safe to discuss what occurred between them, lest we deviate from the path of truth or fail to observe what we have been commanded concerning them.[27]

 

Al ‘Awwam ibn Hawshab[28] rahimahu Llah explains:

 

أدركت من أدركت من صدر هذه الأمة بعضهم يقول لبعض اذكروا محاسن أصحاب رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم لتألف عليهم القلوب ولا تذكروا ما شجر بينهم فتحرشوا الناس عليهم

Those whom I met from the early period of the Ummah would say to one another: Mention the positives of the Companions of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam to harmonise the hearts for them and do not speak about the discords between them, lest you instigate people against them.[29]

 

Imam Ahmed rahimahu Llah observes:

 

ومن الحجة الواضحة الثابتة البينة المعروفة ذكر محاسن أصحاب رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم كلهم أجمعين والكف عن مساوئهم والخلاف الذي شجر بينهم

One of the fundamentals that are distinct, definite, determined, and documented, is speaking favourably of the Messenger of Allah’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam Companions radiya Llahu ‘anhum, all of them without exception, and refraining from their disappointments and the disputes that occurred between them.[30]

 

Ibn Taymiyyah rahimahu Llah corresponds:

 

مذهب أهل السنة الإمساك عما شجر بين الصحابة فإنه قد ثبتت فضائلهم ووجبت موالاتهم ومحبتهم وما وقع منه ما يكون لهم فيه عذر يخفى على الإنسان ومنه ما تاب صاحبه منه ومنه ما يكون مغفورا فالخوض فيما شجر يوقع في نفوس كثير من الناس بغضا وذما ويكون في ذلك مخطئا بل عاصيا فيضر بنفسه ومن خاض معه في ذلك كما جرى لأكثر من تكلم في ذلك فإنهم تكلموا بكلام لا يحبه الله ولا رسوله إما من ذم من لا يستحق الذم وإما من مدح أمور لا تستحق المدح ولهذا كان الإمساك طريقة أفاضل السلف

The doctrine of the Ahlus Sunnah is to refrain from the disagreements between the Sahabah, as their merits have been established and associating with them as well as loving them are incumbent. As for what transpired, either they have an excuse which is hidden from man, either the doer sought forgiveness from it, or either he is forgiven. Thus, delving into disagreements creates hatred and disapproval in many people’s hearts. One will be erroneous in this; in fact, sinful, thereby harming himself and whoever delves with him in this—as happened to majority of those who discussed this. They spoke words not loved by Allah and His Messenger, either censuring that which does not demand censure or praising aspects which do not deserve praise. Therefore, abstention was the path of the learned pious predecessors.[31]

 

Abu ‘Abdullah ibn Battah rahimahu Llah says:

 

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

We refrain from the disagreements between the Companions of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam as they were present at the noteworthy occasions alongside him and preceded people in merit, hence Allah forgave them and commanded you to seek forgiveness for them and seek closeness to them by loving them. He declared this mandatory on the tongue of His Nabi, knowing fully well what they will commit and that they will soon fight one another. They have been given superiority over the entire creation only because mistakes and intentional blunders have been waived for them and they have been forgiven for the disputes between them.[32]

 

Ibn Qudamah rahimahu Llah states:

 

الكف عن مساوئهم التي إن صدرت عن أحد منهم فهي قليلة بالنسبة لما لهم من المحاسن والفضائل وربما تكون صادرة عن اجتهاد مغفور وعمل معذور

Abstention from [mentioning] their mistakes which if committed by any of them are far less in relation to their good qualities and merits. Sometimes it occurred through ijtihad which is forgiven or it is an excused action.[33]

 

  1. The Ahlus Sunnah wa al Jama’ah are innocent from the attitude of the adherents of innovation and deviation who attack the honour of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum. They [the Ahlus Sunnah] dissociate from the approach of the Rawafid and Nawasib[34]. They recognise the value, excellence, and merits of the Sahabah and consider the rights of the Ahlul Bayt radiya Llahu ‘anhum which Allah legislated for them.[35]

Ibn Kathir rahimahu Llah asserts:

 

فإن الطائفة المخذولة من الرافضة يعادون أفضل الصحابة ويبغضونهم ويسبونهم عياذا بالله من ذلك وهذا يدل على أن عقولهم معكوسة وقلوبهم منكوسة فأين هؤلاء من الإيمان بالقرآن إذ يسبون من رضي الله عنهم وأما أهل السنة فإنهم يترضون عمن رضي الله عنه ويسبون من سبه الله ورسوله ويوالون من يوالي الله ويعادون من يعادي الله وهم متبعون لا مبتدعون ويقتدون ولا يبتدعون وهؤلاء هم حزب الله المفلحون وعباده المؤمنون

The betraying group, the Rafidah, are the enemies of the best Companions; they hate and curse them; we seek refuge with Allah from such evil. This indicates that their minds are twisted and their hearts are turned upside down. Where are they in relation to believing in the Qur’an, when they curse those with whom Allah is pleased? As for the Ahlus Sunnah, they are pleased with those with whom Allah is pleased, curse whomever Allah and His Messenger curse, associate with Allah’s friends, and show enmity to Allah’s enemies. They are followers not innovators; they emulate and do not innovate. They are indeed the successful party of Allah and Allah’s faithful servants.[36]

 

Imam al Tahawi rahimahu Llah documents:

 

ولا نتبرأ من أحد منهم ونبغض من يبغضهم وبغير الخير يذكرهم ولا نذكرهم إلا بخير وحبهم دين وإيمان وإحسان وبغضهم كفر ونفاق وطغيان

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 disbelief, hypocrisy, and oppression.[37]

 

Imam Ahmed ibn Hanbal rahimahu Llah alerted:

 

إذا رأيت رجلا يذكر أصحاب رسول الله بسوء فاتهمه على الإسلام

When you see a man speaking negatively of the Companions of the Messenger of Allah, suspect his Islam.[38]

 

He also declared:

 

فمن سب أصحاب رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم أو أحدا منهم فهو مبتدع رافضي خبيث مخالف لا يقبل الله منه صرفا ولا عدلا … لا يجوز لأحد أن يذكر شيئا من مساوئهم ولا يطعن على أحد منهم بعيب ولا بنقص فمن فعل ذلك فقد وجب على السلطان تأديبه وعقوبته ليس له أن يعفو عنه بل يعاقبه ويستتيبه فإن تاب قبل منه وإن ثبت عاد عليه بالعقوبة وخلده الحبس حتى يموت أو يرجع

The one who vilifies the Messenger of Allah’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam Companions or any one of them is a mubtadi’ (innovator), Rafidi, mischievous, opposition. Allah will neither accept his optional nor obligatory actions. 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 imprison him forever until he either dies or retracts.[39]

 

Ibn Taymiyyah rahimahu Llah passed the verdict:

 

فسب أصحاب رسول الله حرام بالكتاب والسنة

Abusing the Messenger of Allah’s Companions is forbidden by the Qur’an and Sunnah.[40]

 

Few Proofs representing the Prohibition of Criticising the Nabi’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam Companions

  1. Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala commands:

يَٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ ٱجۡتَنِبُواْ كَثِيرٗا مِّنَ ٱلظَّنِّ إِنَّ بَعۡضَ ٱلظَّنِّ إِثۡمٞۖ وَلَا تَجَسَّسُواْ وَلَا يَغۡتَب بَّعۡضُكُم بَعۡضًاۚ أَيُحِبُّ أَحَدُكُمۡ أَن يَأۡكُلَ لَحۡمَ أَخِيهِ مَيۡتٗا فَكَرِهۡتُمُوهُۚ وَٱتَّقُواْ ٱللَّهَۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ تَوَّابٞ رَّحِيمٞ

O you who have believed, avoid much [negative] assumption. Indeed, some assumption is sin. And do not spy or backbite each other. Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his brother when dead? You would detest it. And fear Allah; indeed, Allah is Accepting of repentance and Merciful.[41]

 

The lowest form of abusing them is backbiting them.

 

  1. Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala warns:

 

وَٱلَّذِينَ يُؤۡذُونَ ٱلۡمُؤۡمِنِينَ وَٱلۡمُؤۡمِنَٰتِ بِغَيۡرِ مَا ٱكۡتَسَبُواْ فَقَدِ ٱحۡتَمَلُواْ بُهۡتَٰنٗا وَإِثۡمٗا مُّبِينٗا

And those who harm believing men and believing women for [something] other than what they have earned have certainly born upon themselves a slander and manifest sin.[42]

 

The Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum are the first to believe in Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala and His Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. The verse signifies the prohibition of criticising them or depreciating their value.[43]

 

  1. Abu Sa’id al Khudri radiya Llahu ‘anhu reports that the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam cautioned:

 

لا تسبوا أحدا من أصحابي فلو أن أحدكم أنفق مثل أحد ذهبا ما أدرك مد أحدهم ولا نصيفه

Do not revile my Companions. 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.[44]

 

  1. Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha commented on those who revile the Messenger’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam Companions:

 

أمروا أن يستغفروا لأصحاب محمد صلى الله عليه وسلم فسبوهم

They were commanded to seek forgiveness for Muhammad’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam Companions, but instead they abused them.[45]

 

‘Allamah al Nawawi rahimahu Llah remarks:

 

واعلم أن سب الصحابة رضي الله عنهم حرام من فواحش المحرمات سواء من لابس الفتن منهم وغيرهم لأنهم مجتهدون في تلك الحروب متأولون

Know that abusing the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum is forbidden, from the vile forbidden actions, whether they were involved in the trials or not, as they were Mujtahids in those wars, practicing on their interpretation.[46]

 

Fudayl ibn ‘Iyad rahimahu Llah declares:

 

وسب أزواجه وأصحابه صلى الله عليه وسلم وتنقصهم حرام ملعون فاعله فمن سبهم فعليه لعنة الله والملائكة والناس أجمعين

Abusing and degrading the Messenger’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam wives and Companions are forbidden. The perpetrator is accursed. May the curse of Allah, the angels, and the entire mankind be upon the one who abuses them.[47]

 

Ibn Kathir rahimahu Llah writes:

 

فقد أخبر الله العظيم أنه قد رضي عن السابقين الأولين من المهاجرين والأنصار والذين اتبعوهم بإحسان فيا ويل من أبغضهم أو سبهم أو أبغض أو سب بعضهم

Allah, the Grand, has indeed informed that He is pleased with the first forerunners among the Muhajirin and Ansar and those who follow them in goodness. Therefore, woe to those who dislike or curse them, or dislike or curse any of them.[48]

 

The Ahlus Sunnah wa al Jama’ah agree universally on the prohibition of abusing the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum and the gravity of the sin of one who abuses or degrades them. They explain that insulting the Companions of the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam has three levels.

First Level: One abuses them by accusing them of disbelief or apostasy or the majority of them being transgressors. This is disbelief as it is belying the emphatic texts which praise them and announce pleasure with them.[49]

Second Level: One abuses them by cursing them or censuring them in general. There are two views of the ‘Ulama’ regarding his disbelief, due to the indecision of the matter between cursing due to wrath and cursing due to belief.

  1. He is a disbeliever because of this. This view is held by Imam Malik in one narration[50], Imam Ahmed in one narration[51], and proffered by al Tahawi[52]. This is due to the fact that abusing and degrading the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum is rejection of what the Qur’an and Sunnah have frequently affirmed—i.e. praising them, glorifying them, and extolling their nobility and dignity—coupled with rejection of what the ‘Ulama’ unanimously agreed upon before the manifestation of what opposes this. Moreover, it contains cancellation of the Shari’ah as they [the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum] were responsible for bearing the Shari’ah as well as transmitting and conveying it.[53]
  2. He is not a disbeliever. Rather, he is a transgressor. Moreover, the leader of the affairs of the Muslims must punish him. This is the view of Imam Malik in one narration and his more common view[54], Imam al Nawawi[55], and Ibn Taymiyyah[56]. This is because simply abusing the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum does not necessitate disbelief. This is different from abusing the Prophets. Furthermore, it is not necessary to believe in the specific individuals among the Sahabah. Abusing them does not negatively affect belief in Allah, His angels, His books, His Messengers, and the Last Day.[57]

Third Level: Abusing them with an aspect that does not negatively affect their integrity and religion, like describing them with stinginess, cowardice, lack of knowledge, lack of asceticism, etc. Such a person will not be a disbeliever, although the Muslim leader must punish him until he retracts.[58]

This is briefly the belief of the Ahlus Sunnah wa al Jama’ah regarding the Sahabah of the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. It is compulsory upon every Muslim to believe in this to safeguard his din and perfect his faith. None deviates from this belief except the destroyed. We beg Allah for protection and safety.

 

 

NEXT⇒ Section 1 – Discussion 1: The biography of Abu Dharr al Ghifari according to the Ahlus Sunnah wa al Jama’ah.


[1] Surah al Tawbah: 100.

[2] Surah al Fath: 29.

[3] Surah al Anfal: 72.

[4] Surah al Hadid: 10.

[5] Sahih al Bukhari, vol. 5 pg. 7, book on the excellence of the Sahabah, chapter on the merit of the Companions of the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, Hadith: 3650; Sahih Muslim, vol. 16 pg. 131, book on the excellence of the Sahabah, chapter on the merit of the Companions, Hadith: 2535.

[6] Sahih Muslim, vol. 16 pg. 84, book on the excellence of the Sahabah, chapter on the merit of the Companions of the Tree, Hadith: 2496.

[7] Abu Bakr al Khallal: Al Sunnah fi Dhikr Ashab Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, pg. 476 onwards; Ibn Abi al ‘Izz: Sharh al ‘Aqidah al Tahawiyyah, vol. 2 pg. 689-696.

[8] Ibn ‘Abdul Barr: Jami’ Bayan al ‘Ilm wa Fadlihi, vol. 2 pg. 947, Hadith: 1810; Sharh al Tahawiyyah, vol. 2 pg. 546.

[9] He is Ahmed ibn Muhammad ibn Salamah ibn ‘Abdul Malik al Azdi al Tahawi, Abu Jafar. He was born in the village Taha in Sa’id Egypt, in 239 AH. The leadership of the companions of Abu Hanifah in Egypt was designated to him. He was [initially] Shafi’i in school. He passed away in Cairo, 321 AH. He wrote: Sharh Mushkil al Athar, Sharh Ma’ani al Athar, al ‘Aqidah al Tahawiyyah, al Mukhtasar fi al Fiqh, etc. (Wafayat al A’yan, vol. 1 pg. 71; Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, vol. 15 pg. 27-33.)

[10] Sharh al ‘Aqidah al Tahawiyyah, vol. 2 pg. 689.

[11] Surah al Hashr: 10.

[12] Al Tanbihat al Saniyyah ‘ala al ‘Aqidah al Wasitiyyah, pg. 291-293.

[13] He is ‘Ubaidullah ibn Muhammad ibn Muhammad al ‘Ukbari al Hanbali. A worshipper, Jurist, and Muhaddith. He was born in 304 AH and passed away in 387 AH. He has sublime books like al Sharh wa al Ibanah ‘ala Usul al Sunnah wa al Diyanah, Ibtal al Hiyal, etc. (Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, vol. 16 pg. 529; al Shadharat, vol. 4 pg. 443.)

[14] Al Sharh wa al Ibanah ‘ala Usul al Sunnah wa al Diyanah, pg. 291-292.

[15] Al Ba’ith al Hathith, vol. 1 pg. 491.

[16] He is ‘Ali ibn Ismail ibn Ishaq ibn Salim al Ash’ari. He was born in 260 AH. He retracted from the creed of the Mu’tazilah and treaded the path of Ibn Kullab, and from there to the school of the Ahlus Sunnah and Hadith. He affiliated to Imam Ahmed. He has authored Maqalat al Islamiyyin and al Inabah ‘an Usul al Diyanah, etc. He passed away in 324 AH. (Wafayat al A’yan, vol. 3 pg. 284-285; Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, vol. 15 pg. 85.)

[17] Al Inabah ‘an Usul al Diyanah, pg. 179.

[18] Al Sharh wa al Ibanah ‘ala Usul al Sunnah wa al Diyanah, pg. 297.

[19] Sahih al Bukhari, vol. 7 pg. 355, book on battles, chapter on the merit of those who attended Badr, Hadith: 3983; Sahih Muslim, vol. 16 pg. 80, book on the excellence of the Sahabah, chapter on the merits of the participants of Badr, Hadith: 2494.

[20] Al Tanbihat al Saniyyah ‘ala al ‘Aqidah al Wasitiyyah, pg. 297-301.

[21] Sharh al ‘Aqidah al Tahawiyyah, vol. 2 pg. 727-733.

[22] Tabaqat al Hanabilah, vol. 1 pg. 64.

[23] Al Tanbihat al Saniyyah ‘ala al ‘Aqidah al Wasitiyyah, pg. 303-305.

[24] He is ‘Abdullah ibn Ahmed ibn Qudamah ibn Miqdam ibn Nasr al Maqdisi al Jamma’ili, then al Dimashqi, Abu Muhammad, from the Hanbali Jurists. He was born in Jamma’il in 541 AH. He memorised the Qur’an and engrossed himself in knowledge from his childhood until he rose to be one of the oceans of knowledge and intelligent bright men of the world. He passed away in 620 AH. He authored many books including al Mughni, Rawdat al Nazir fi Usul al Fiqh, and al Muqni’. (Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, vol. 22 pg. 165-173; al Shadharat, vol. 7 pg. 155.)

[25] Ibn ‘Uthaymin: Sharh Lam’at al I’tiqad, pg. 40.

[26] He is Muhammad ibn al Hussain ibn ‘Abdullah, Abu Bakr, al Ajurri, the Shafi’i Jurist and Muhaddith. He was born in Ajurr, one of the towns of Baghdad, before 280 AH and passed away in Makkah in 360 AH. He wrote Kitab al Shari’ah, Akhlaq al ‘Ulama’, etc. (Al Shadharat, vol. 4 pg. 316-317; al A’lam, vol. 6 pg. 97.)

[27] Al Shari’ah, vol. 5 pg. 2486.

[28] He is al ‘Awwam ibn Hawshab ibn Yazid, Abu ‘Isa al Raba’i al Wasiti, the Imam and Muhaddith. He passed away in 148 AH. Ahmed said about him, “Reliable. Reliable.” Yazid ibn Harun commented on him, “He regularly enjoined good and prohibited evil.” (Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, vol. 6 pg. 354-355; al Shadharat, vol. 2 pg. 222.)

[29] Al Ajurri: Al Shari’ah, vol. 5 pg. 2492-2493.

[30] Tabaqat al Hanabilah, vol. 1 pg. 63.

[31] Minhaj al Sunnah, vol. 4 pg. 448-449.

[32] Al Sharh wa al Ibanah ‘ala Usul al Sunnah wa al Diyanah, pg. 294.

[33] Sharh Lam’at al I’tiqad, pg. 151.

[34] Al Nasb: Lexically is the infinitive of nasabtu al shay’: I straightened the thing and nasabtu li fulan nasban and nasabtuhu al harb munasabah: I declared war against him. (Al Jawhari: Al Sihah, vol. 1 pg. 224-225.)

Al Nawasib in the terminology of the Ahlus Sunnah: Those who religiously observe hatred for the Ahlul Bayt, abuse them, and vilify them. (‘Ali ibn Ismail al Maris: Al Muhkam wa al Muhit al A’zam, vol. 8 pg. 345; Fatawa Sheikh al Islam Ibn Taymiyyah, vol. 2 pg. 10; al Fayruzabadi: Al Qamus al Muhit, vol. 1 pg. 138; Muhammad al Zabidi: Taj al ‘Arus, vol. 4 pg. 277; Ibn ‘Uthaymin: Sharh al ‘Aqidah al Wasitiyyah, vol. 2 pg. 282.)

This was practiced by a group of the Banu Umayyah and the residents of the Levant who followed them. The Ahlus Sunnah verbally denounced this. They report authentic ahadith on their [the Ahlul Bayt’s] merits. (Al Bidayah wa al Nihayah, vol. 9 pg. 154; Jawab Ahlus Sunnah fi Naqd Kalam al Shia wa al Zaidiyyah, vol. 4 pg. 65.)

In the terminology of the Rafidah: All who grant precedence to Abu Bakr and ‘Umar and believe in their Imamah. (Al ‘Amili: Muqaddamat al Burhan, pg. 491-492; Hussain al Darazi: Al Mahasin al Nafsaniyyah, pg. 145.)

[35] Sheikh Zaid ibn ‘Abdul ‘Aziz ibn Fayyad: Al Rawdah al Nadiyyah Sharh al ‘Aqidah al Wasitiyyah, pg. 450.

[36] Tafsir al Qur’an al ‘Azim, vol. 2 pg. 422.

[37] Sharh al ‘Aqidah al Tahawiyyah, vol. 2 pg. 689.

[38] Al Lalaka’i: Sharh Usul al I’tiqad, vol. 4 pg. 1326.

[39] Tabaqat al Hanabilah, vol. 1 pg. 64.

[40] Al Sarim al Maslul, pg. 571.

[41] Surah al Hujurat: 12.

[42] Surah al Ahzab: 58.

[43] Al Sarim al Maslul, pg. 572.

[44] Sahih al Bukhari, vol. 7 pg. 25, book on the excellence of the Sahabah, chapter on the merit of Abu Bakr, Hadith: 3673; Sahih Muslim, vol. 16 pg. 139, book on the excellence of the Sahabah, chapter on the prohibition of swearing the Companions, Hadith: 2541.

[45] Sahih Muslim, book on Tafsir, vol. 18 pg. 209, Hadith: 3022.

[46] Sharh Sahih Muslim, vol. 16 pg. 139.

[47] Al Qadi ‘Iyad: Sharh al Shifa, pg. 550-551, with slight variation.

[48] Tafsir al Qur’an al ‘Azim, vol. 2 pg. 422.

[49] Al Sarim al Maslul, pg. 586; Sharh Lam’at al I’tiqad, pg. 152.

[50] Tafsir al Qurtubi, vol. 16 pg. 297; Tafsir Ibn Kathir, vol. 4 pg. 216; al Alusi: Al Ajwibah al ‘Iraqiyyah, pg. 49.

[51] Al Sarim al Maslul, pg. 571.

[52] Sharh al ‘Aqidah al Tahawiyyah, vol. 2 pg. 689.

[53] Tafsir al Qurtubi, vol. 16 pg. 297; al Ajwibah al ‘Iraqiyyah, pg. 49.

[54] Al Sarim al Maslul, pg. 569.

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

[56] Al Sarim al Maslul, pg. 571-572.

[57] Al Sarim al Maslul, pg. 579; Sharh Lam’at al I’tiqad, pg. 152.

[58] Al Sarim al Maslul, pg. 586; Sharh Lam’at al I’tiqad, pg. 152.

BACK⇒ Return to Table of contents

 

The Rank of the Sahabah in the Sight of the Ahlus Sunnah wa al Jama’ah

The Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum are the best of this Ummah after the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Those whom Allah selected for the companionship of His Nabi and bosom friend salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. They were the best companions who sacrificed their wealth and lives as trivial in the Path of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala. They were sincere in their Islam and faith. They are men of lofty position and high status. Accordingly, mutawatir (mass transmitted) texts of the Book of Allah and Sunnah of His Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, as well as the statements of the pious predecessors, have extolled their status, superiority, precedence in din, grand actions, and Jihad to assist this din. Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala declares:

 

وَٱلسَّٰبِقُونَ ٱلۡأَوَّلُونَ مِنَ ٱلۡمُهَٰجِرِينَ وَٱلۡأَنصَارِ وَٱلَّذِينَ ٱتَّبَعُوهُم بِإِحۡسَٰنٖ رَّضِيَ ٱللَّهُ عَنۡهُمۡ وَرَضُواْ عَنۡهُ وَأَعَدَّ لَهُمۡ جَنَّٰتٖ تَجۡرِي تَحۡتَهَا ٱلۡأَنۡهَٰرُ خَٰلِدِينَ فِيهَآ أَبَدٗاۚ ذَٰلِكَ ٱلۡفَوۡزُ ٱلۡعَظِيمُ

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.[1]

 

Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala states:

 

مُّحَمَّدٞ رَّسُولُ ٱللَّهِۚ وَٱلَّذِينَ مَعَهُۥٓ أَشِدَّآءُ عَلَى ٱلۡكُفَّارِ رُحَمَآءُ بَيۡنَهُمۡۖ تَرَىٰهُمۡ رُكَّعٗا سُجَّدٗا يَبۡتَغُونَ فَضۡلٗا مِّنَ ٱللَّهِ وَرِضۡوَٰنٗاۖ سِيمَاهُمۡ فِي وُجُوهِهِم مِّنۡ أَثَرِ ٱلسُّجُودِۚ ذَٰلِكَ مَثَلُهُمۡ فِي ٱلتَّوۡرَىٰةِۚ وَمَثَلُهُمۡ فِي ٱلۡإِنجِيلِ كَزَرۡعٍ أَخۡرَجَ شَطۡـَٔهُۥ فَـَٔازَرَهُۥ فَٱسۡتَغۡلَظَ فَٱسۡتَوَىٰ عَلَىٰ سُوقِهِۦ يُعۡجِبُ ٱلزُّرَّاعَ لِيَغِيظَ بِهِمُ ٱلۡكُفَّارَۗ وَعَدَ ٱللَّهُ ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ وَعَمِلُواْ ٱلصَّٰلِحَٰتِ مِنۡهُم مَّغۡفِرَةٗ وَأَجۡرًا عَظِيمَۢا

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 sign is in their faces from the effect of prostration [i.e., prayer]. That is their description in the Torah. And their description in the Gospel 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 He [i.e., Allah] may enrage by them the disbelievers. Allah has promised those who believe and do righteous deeds among them forgiveness and a great reward.[2]

 

Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala states:

 

إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ وَهَاجَرُواْ وَجَٰهَدُواْ بِأَمۡوَٰلِهِمۡ وَأَنفُسِهِمۡ فِي سَبِيلِ ٱللَّهِ وَٱلَّذِينَ ءَاوَواْ وَّنَصَرُوٓاْ أُوْلَٰٓئِكَ بَعۡضُهُمۡ أَوۡلِيَآءُ بَعۡضٖۚ وَٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ وَلَمۡ يُهَاجِرُواْ مَا لَكُم مِّن وَلَٰيَتِهِم مِّن شَيۡءٍ حَتَّىٰ يُهَاجِرُواْۚ وَإِنِ ٱسۡتَنصَرُوكُمۡ فِي ٱلدِّينِ فَعَلَيۡكُمُ ٱلنَّصۡرُ إِلَّا عَلَىٰ قَوۡمِۭ بَيۡنَكُمۡ وَبَيۡنَهُم مِّيثَٰقٞۗ وَٱللَّهُ بِمَا تَعۡمَلُونَ بَصِيرٞ

Indeed, those who have believed and emigrated and fought with their wealth and lives in the cause of Allah and those who gave shelter and aided, they are allies of one another. But those who believed and did not emigrate, for you there is no guardianship of them until they emigrate. And if they seek help of you for the religion, then you must help, except against a people between yourselves and whom is a treaty. And Allah is Seeing of what you do.[3]

 

Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala states:

 

وَمَا لَكُمۡ أَلَّا تُنفِقُواْ فِي سَبِيلِ ٱللَّهِ وَلِلَّهِ مِيرَٰثُ ٱلسَّمَٰوَٰتِ وَٱلۡأَرۡضِۚ لَا يَسۡتَوِي مِنكُم مَّنۡ أَنفَقَ مِن قَبۡلِ ٱلۡفَتۡحِ وَقَٰتَلَۚ أُوْلَٰٓئِكَ أَعۡظَمُ دَرَجَةٗ مِّنَ ٱلَّذِينَ أَنفَقُواْ مِنۢ بَعۡدُ وَقَٰتَلُواْۚ وَكُلّٗا وَعَدَ ٱللَّهُ ٱلۡحُسۡنَىٰۚ وَٱللَّهُ بِمَا تَعۡمَلُونَ خَبِيرٞ

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, of what you do, is Aware.[4]

 

عن عمران بن حصين رضي الله عنه أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قال خير أمتي قرني ثم الذين يلونهم ثم الذين يلونهم قال عمران فلا أدري أذكر بعد قرنه قرنين أو ثلاثة ثم إن بعدكم قوما يشهدون ولا يستشهدون ويخونون ولا يؤتمنون وينذرون ولا يوفون ويظهر فيهم السمن

‘Imran ibn Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhu reports that the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: “The best nation is that of my era, then the subsequent era, and then the subsequent era.”

‘Imran clarifies: I do not know whether he mentioned one or two eras after his era.

“Thereafter, after you will be a people who give testimony despite not been requested for the same, who breach and are not trustable, who vow yet do not fulfil, and obesity will become common among them.”[5]

 

Jabir ibn ‘Abdullah radiya Llahu ‘anhuma reports that the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said:

 

لا يدخل النار أحد بايع تحت الشجرة

None of those who pledged allegiance under the tree will enter Hell.[6]

 

‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ud radiya Llahu ‘anhu certainly spoke the truth in describing them with the words:

 

إن الله تعالى نظر في قلوب العباد فوجد قلب محمد خير قلوب العباد فاصطفاه لنفسه وابتعثه برسالته ثم نظر في قلوب العباد بعد قلب محمد صلى الله عليه وسلم فوجد قلوب أصحابه خير قلوب العباد فجعلهم وزراء نبيه يقاتلون على دينه فما رآه المسلمون حسنا فهو عند الله حسن وما رأوه سيئا فهو عند الله سيئ

Certainly, Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala scanned the hearts of the bondsmen and found the heart of Muhammad to be the finest. He thus selected him for Himself and despatched him with His message. Allah then scanned the hearts of the bondsmen after the heart of Muhammad salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and found the hearts of his Companions to be the finest so He appointed them as ministers of His messenger, to fight [in defence and propagation of] His Din. Therefore, whatever the Muslims [the Companions] regard as noble is noble in the sight of Allah and what they regard as evil is evil in the sight of Allah.[7]

 

He proclaims:

 

من كان مستنا فليستن بمن قد مات فإن الحي لا تؤمن عليه الفتنة أولئك أصحاب محمد صلى الله عليه وسلم فإنهم كانوا أفضل هذه الأمة أبرها قلوبا وأعمقها علما وأقلها تكلفا قوم اختارهم الله لصحبة نبيه وإقامة دينه فاعرفوا لهم فضلهم واتبعوهم في آثارهم وتمسكوا بما استطعتم من أخلاقهم ودينهم فإنهم كانوا على الهدي المستقيم

Whoever desires emulation should emulate those who have passed on as the living are not safe from [being trapped in] fitnah (tribulation). They [who are worthy of emulation] are the Companions of Muhammad salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. They were the cream of this Ummah, with the purest of hearts, the deepest knowledge, and the least formalities. They are a nation handpicked by Allah to accompany His Messenger and establish His Din. Recognise their virtue, emulate their ways, and adhere to their conduct and din as much as you can. Indeed, they were upon true guidance.[8]

 

The Ahlus Sunnah adhere strictly to these texts. Therefore, their belief concerning the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum has become one of the fundamentals which distinguish the Ahlus Sunnah wa al Jama’ah from the adherents of other sects and deviation. We will condense their belief regarding the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum, as appears in many books, in the upcoming:

  1. Loving the Companions of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, associating with them, honouring them, praising them, and supplicating for them; [affirming] them as the most superior generation of this Ummah. Imam al Tahawi[9] rahimahu Llah says:

 

ونحب أصحاب رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ولا نفرط في حب أحد منهم

We love the Companions of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam yet do not fall into extremism in loving any of them.[10]

 

Ibn Taymiyyah rahimahu Llah affirms:

 

ومن أصول أهل السنة والجماعة سلامة قلوبهم وألستنهم لأصحاب رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم كما وصفهم الله في قوله تعالى وَٱلَّذِينَ جَآءُو مِنۢ بَعْدِهِمْ يَقُولُونَ رَبَّنَا ٱغْفِرْ لَنَا وَلِإِخْوَٰنِنَا ٱلَّذِينَ سَبَقُونَا بِٱلْإِيمَـٰنِ وَلَا تَجْعَلْ فِى قُلُوبِنَا غِلًّۭا لِّلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا۟ رَبَّنَآ إِنَّكَ رَءُوفٌۭ رَّحِيمٌ

Among the fundamentals of the Ahlus Sunnah wa al Jama’ah is the safety of their hearts and tongues from the Companions of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, as Allah described them in His statement: And those who come after them, saying, “Our Lord, forgive us and our brothers who preceded us in faith and put not in our hearts [any] resentment toward those who have believed. Our Lord, indeed You are Kind and Merciful.”[11][12]

 

Abu ‘Abdullah ibn Battah[13] rahimahu Llah writes:

 

ثم الترحم على جميع أصحاب رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم صغيرهم وكبيرهم وأولهم وآخرهم وذكر محاسنهم وفضائلهم والاقتداء بهم والاقتداء لآثارهم وأن الحق كل ما قالوه والصواب فيما فعلوه

Then, supplicating for mercy upon all the Companions of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam—young and old, first and last—listing their excellences and merits, following them, following their athar (actions), and believing that everything they uttered is true and everything they did is correct.[14]

 

  1. The Ahlus Sunnah wa al Jama’ah agree on the ‘Adalah (integrity) of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum and their truthfulness in what they transmitted from the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Ibn Kathir rahimahu Llah confirms:

 

والصحابة كلهم عدول عند أهل السنة والجماعة لما أثنى الله عليهم في كتابه العزيز وبما نطقت به السنة النبوية في المدح لهم في جميع أخلاقهم وأفعالهم وما بذلوه من الأموال والأرواح بين يدي رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم رغبة فيما عند الله من الثواب الجزيل والجزاء الجميل

All the Sahabah are men of integrity according to the Ahlus Sunnah wa al Jama’ah, due to Allah’s praise for them in His esteemed Book and what the Prophetic Sunnah spoke in favour of them, for all their behaviour and actions as well as the wealth and lives they sacrificed in front of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, desirous of the tremendous reward and beautiful recompense by Allah.[15]

 

Abu al Hassan al Ash’ari[16] rahimahu Llah asserts:

 

وكل الصحابة أئمة مأمونون غير متهمين في الدين وقد أثنى الله ورسوله على جميعهم وتعبدنا بتوقيرهم وتعظيمهم وموالاتهم والتبري من كل من ينقص أحدا منهم رضي الله عن جميعهم

All the Sahabah are Imams, trusted, and not accused in din. Allah and His Messenger praised all of them. We are devoted to [Allah] by honouring them, glorifying them, associating with them, and dissociating from everyone who disparages any of them. May Allah be pleased with them all.[17]

 

  1. The Ahlus Sunnah wa al Jama’ah believe that the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum are not on one level of excellence. Rather, they are diverse in this. Imam Abu ‘Abdullah ibn Battah rahimahu Llah explains:

 

ونحب جميع أصحاب رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم على مراتبهم ومنازلهم أولا فأولا من أهل بدر والحديبية وبيعة الرضوان وأحد فهؤلاء أهل الفضائل الشريفة والمنازل المنيفة الذين سبقت لهم السوابق رحمهم الله أجمعين

We love all the Companions of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam according to their respective ranks and positions, in sequence: the participants of Badr, Hudaybiyyah, Bay’at al Ridwan, and Uhud. These are men of sublime excellence and exalted stations, for whom antecedents have preceded. May Allah have mercy upon them all.[18]

 

Ibn Taymiyyah rahimahu Llah writes:

 

ويفضلون من أنفق قبل الفتح على من أنفق من بعد وقاتل ويقدمون المهاجرين والأنصار ويؤمنون بأن الله قال لأهل بدر وكانوا ثلاثمائة وبضعة عشر اعملوا ما شئتم فقد غفرت لكم وبأنه لا يدخل النار أحد بايع تحت الشجرة كما أخبر به النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم بل لقد رضي الله عنهم ورضوا عنه وكانوا أكثر من ألف وأربعمائة

They [the Ahlus Sunnah] declare the superiority of those who spent before the Conquest [of Makkah] over those who spent and fought after. They award preference to the Muhajirin and Ansar. They believe that Allah announced regarding the participants of Badr, who were over three hundred and ten, “Do as you please for I have indeed forgiven you,”[19] and that none of those who pledged allegiance under the tree (Bay’at al Ridwan) will enter Hell as the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam told. In fact, Allah is pleased with them and they are pleased with him. They were over one thousand four hundred [at the time].[20]

 

The Ahlus Sunnah are unanimous that the most superior Sahabah are the ten promised Jannat, due to the commonness of their merits and excellences. The most superior of them are the Rightly Guided Khalifas. They are Imams, guided. Their sequence in excellence is like their sequence in Caliphate.[21]

Imam Ahmed rahimahu Llah enlightens:

 

وخير الأمة بعد النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم أبو بكر وعمر بعد أبي بكر وعثمان بعد عمر وعلي بعد عثمان ووقف قوم على عثمان وهم خلفاء راشدون مهديون ثم أصحاب رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم بعد هؤلاء الأربعة خير الناس

The most virtuous of the Ummah after the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam is Abu Bakr, then ‘Umar, then ‘Uthman, then ‘Ali. Some stop at ‘Uthman. They are the Rightly Guided orthodox Khalifas. Then, the rest of the Companions of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, after these four, are the most superior of mankind.[22]

 

Ibn Taymiyyah rahimahu Llah concurs:

 

ويقرون بما تواتر به النقل عن أمير المؤمنين علي بن أبي طالب رضي الله عنه وغيره من أن خير الأمة بعد نبيها أبو بكر ثم عمر ويثلثون بعثمان ويربعون بعلي رضي الله عنه كما دلت الآثار

They affirm the recurring report from Amir al Mu’minin ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu ‘anhu and others that the most superior of the Ummah after the Nabi is Abu Bakr then ‘Umar, placing ‘Uthman in third and ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu in fourth position, as indicated by the reports.[23]

 

  1. The Ahlus Sunnah wa al Jama’ah are undisputed on loving and honouring the Ahlul Bayt of the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, associating with the Ummahat al Muminin (Mothers of the Believers) with the belief that they are his wives in the world and the Hereafter. Imam Ibn Qudamah[24] rahimahu Llah guides:

 

ومن السنة الترضي عن أزواج رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم أمهات المؤمنين المطهرات المبرآت من كل سوء أفضلهن خديجة بنت خويلد وعائشة بنت الصديق التي برأها الله في كتابه زوج النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم في الدنيا والآخرة فمن قذفها بما برأها الله منه فقد كفر بالله العظيم

From the Sunnah is to be pleased with the wives of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, the Ummahat al Mu’minin, the pure and exonerated from every evil. The most superior of them is Khadijah bint Khuwaylid and Aisha bint al Siddiq—whom Allah exonerated in His Book. She is the wife of the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam in the world and the Hereafter. Therefore, whoever slanders her with that from which Allah exonerated her has indeed disbelieved in Allah, the Great.[25]

 

  1. The Ahlus Sunnah wa al Jama’ah refrain from the disagreements and battles which transpired between the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum. They do not ridicule any of them. They [the Sahabah] are excused in this as they are either Mujtahids who are in the right or Mujtahids who erred. They [the Ahlus Sunnah] do not claim infallibility for them. Rather, they declare the possibility of sin emanating from them. They do, however, enjoy precedence and excellent virtues which mandate the forgiveness of their errors. Imam al Ajurri[26] rahimahu Llah affirms:

 

إن عقول القوم الصحابة كانت أكبر من عقولنا وعقولنا أنقص بكثير ولا نأمن أن نبحث عما شجر بينهم فنزل عن طريق الحق ونتخلف عما أمرنا فيهم

The minds of the Sahabah were greater than ours. Our minds are much inferior. We are not safe to discuss what occurred between them, lest we deviate from the path of truth or fail to observe what we have been commanded concerning them.[27]

 

Al ‘Awwam ibn Hawshab[28] rahimahu Llah explains:

 

أدركت من أدركت من صدر هذه الأمة بعضهم يقول لبعض اذكروا محاسن أصحاب رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم لتألف عليهم القلوب ولا تذكروا ما شجر بينهم فتحرشوا الناس عليهم

Those whom I met from the early period of the Ummah would say to one another: Mention the positives of the Companions of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam to harmonise the hearts for them and do not speak about the discords between them, lest you instigate people against them.[29]

 

Imam Ahmed rahimahu Llah observes:

 

ومن الحجة الواضحة الثابتة البينة المعروفة ذكر محاسن أصحاب رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم كلهم أجمعين والكف عن مساوئهم والخلاف الذي شجر بينهم

One of the fundamentals that are distinct, definite, determined, and documented, is speaking favourably of the Messenger of Allah’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam Companions radiya Llahu ‘anhum, all of them without exception, and refraining from their disappointments and the disputes that occurred between them.[30]

 

Ibn Taymiyyah rahimahu Llah corresponds:

 

مذهب أهل السنة الإمساك عما شجر بين الصحابة فإنه قد ثبتت فضائلهم ووجبت موالاتهم ومحبتهم وما وقع منه ما يكون لهم فيه عذر يخفى على الإنسان ومنه ما تاب صاحبه منه ومنه ما يكون مغفورا فالخوض فيما شجر يوقع في نفوس كثير من الناس بغضا وذما ويكون في ذلك مخطئا بل عاصيا فيضر بنفسه ومن خاض معه في ذلك كما جرى لأكثر من تكلم في ذلك فإنهم تكلموا بكلام لا يحبه الله ولا رسوله إما من ذم من لا يستحق الذم وإما من مدح أمور لا تستحق المدح ولهذا كان الإمساك طريقة أفاضل السلف

The doctrine of the Ahlus Sunnah is to refrain from the disagreements between the Sahabah, as their merits have been established and associating with them as well as loving them are incumbent. As for what transpired, either they have an excuse which is hidden from man, either the doer sought forgiveness from it, or either he is forgiven. Thus, delving into disagreements creates hatred and disapproval in many people’s hearts. One will be erroneous in this; in fact, sinful, thereby harming himself and whoever delves with him in this—as happened to majority of those who discussed this. They spoke words not loved by Allah and His Messenger, either censuring that which does not demand censure or praising aspects which do not deserve praise. Therefore, abstention was the path of the learned pious predecessors.[31]

 

Abu ‘Abdullah ibn Battah rahimahu Llah says:

 

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

We refrain from the disagreements between the Companions of the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam as they were present at the noteworthy occasions alongside him and preceded people in merit, hence Allah forgave them and commanded you to seek forgiveness for them and seek closeness to them by loving them. He declared this mandatory on the tongue of His Nabi, knowing fully well what they will commit and that they will soon fight one another. They have been given superiority over the entire creation only because mistakes and intentional blunders have been waived for them and they have been forgiven for the disputes between them.[32]

 

Ibn Qudamah rahimahu Llah states:

 

الكف عن مساوئهم التي إن صدرت عن أحد منهم فهي قليلة بالنسبة لما لهم من المحاسن والفضائل وربما تكون صادرة عن اجتهاد مغفور وعمل معذور

Abstention from [mentioning] their mistakes which if committed by any of them are far less in relation to their good qualities and merits. Sometimes it occurred through ijtihad which is forgiven or it is an excused action.[33]

 

  1. The Ahlus Sunnah wa al Jama’ah are innocent from the attitude of the adherents of innovation and deviation who attack the honour of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum. They [the Ahlus Sunnah] dissociate from the approach of the Rawafid and Nawasib[34]. They recognise the value, excellence, and merits of the Sahabah and consider the rights of the Ahlul Bayt radiya Llahu ‘anhum which Allah legislated for them.[35]

Ibn Kathir rahimahu Llah asserts:

 

فإن الطائفة المخذولة من الرافضة يعادون أفضل الصحابة ويبغضونهم ويسبونهم عياذا بالله من ذلك وهذا يدل على أن عقولهم معكوسة وقلوبهم منكوسة فأين هؤلاء من الإيمان بالقرآن إذ يسبون من رضي الله عنهم وأما أهل السنة فإنهم يترضون عمن رضي الله عنه ويسبون من سبه الله ورسوله ويوالون من يوالي الله ويعادون من يعادي الله وهم متبعون لا مبتدعون ويقتدون ولا يبتدعون وهؤلاء هم حزب الله المفلحون وعباده المؤمنون

The betraying group, the Rafidah, are the enemies of the best Companions; they hate and curse them; we seek refuge with Allah from such evil. This indicates that their minds are twisted and their hearts are turned upside down. Where are they in relation to believing in the Qur’an, when they curse those with whom Allah is pleased? As for the Ahlus Sunnah, they are pleased with those with whom Allah is pleased, curse whomever Allah and His Messenger curse, associate with Allah’s friends, and show enmity to Allah’s enemies. They are followers not innovators; they emulate and do not innovate. They are indeed the successful party of Allah and Allah’s faithful servants.[36]

 

Imam al Tahawi rahimahu Llah documents:

 

ولا نتبرأ من أحد منهم ونبغض من يبغضهم وبغير الخير يذكرهم ولا نذكرهم إلا بخير وحبهم دين وإيمان وإحسان وبغضهم كفر ونفاق وطغيان

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 disbelief, hypocrisy, and oppression.[37]

 

Imam Ahmed ibn Hanbal rahimahu Llah alerted:

 

إذا رأيت رجلا يذكر أصحاب رسول الله بسوء فاتهمه على الإسلام

When you see a man speaking negatively of the Companions of the Messenger of Allah, suspect his Islam.[38]

 

He also declared:

 

فمن سب أصحاب رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم أو أحدا منهم فهو مبتدع رافضي خبيث مخالف لا يقبل الله منه صرفا ولا عدلا … لا يجوز لأحد أن يذكر شيئا من مساوئهم ولا يطعن على أحد منهم بعيب ولا بنقص فمن فعل ذلك فقد وجب على السلطان تأديبه وعقوبته ليس له أن يعفو عنه بل يعاقبه ويستتيبه فإن تاب قبل منه وإن ثبت عاد عليه بالعقوبة وخلده الحبس حتى يموت أو يرجع

The one who vilifies the Messenger of Allah’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam Companions or any one of them is a mubtadi’ (innovator), Rafidi, mischievous, opposition. Allah will neither accept his optional nor obligatory actions. 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 imprison him forever until he either dies or retracts.[39]

 

Ibn Taymiyyah rahimahu Llah passed the verdict:

 

فسب أصحاب رسول الله حرام بالكتاب والسنة

Abusing the Messenger of Allah’s Companions is forbidden by the Qur’an and Sunnah.[40]

 

Few Proofs representing the Prohibition of Criticising the Nabi’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam Companions

  1. Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala commands:

يَٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ ٱجۡتَنِبُواْ كَثِيرٗا مِّنَ ٱلظَّنِّ إِنَّ بَعۡضَ ٱلظَّنِّ إِثۡمٞۖ وَلَا تَجَسَّسُواْ وَلَا يَغۡتَب بَّعۡضُكُم بَعۡضًاۚ أَيُحِبُّ أَحَدُكُمۡ أَن يَأۡكُلَ لَحۡمَ أَخِيهِ مَيۡتٗا فَكَرِهۡتُمُوهُۚ وَٱتَّقُواْ ٱللَّهَۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ تَوَّابٞ رَّحِيمٞ

O you who have believed, avoid much [negative] assumption. Indeed, some assumption is sin. And do not spy or backbite each other. Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his brother when dead? You would detest it. And fear Allah; indeed, Allah is Accepting of repentance and Merciful.[41]

 

The lowest form of abusing them is backbiting them.

 

  1. Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala warns:

 

وَٱلَّذِينَ يُؤۡذُونَ ٱلۡمُؤۡمِنِينَ وَٱلۡمُؤۡمِنَٰتِ بِغَيۡرِ مَا ٱكۡتَسَبُواْ فَقَدِ ٱحۡتَمَلُواْ بُهۡتَٰنٗا وَإِثۡمٗا مُّبِينٗا

And those who harm believing men and believing women for [something] other than what they have earned have certainly born upon themselves a slander and manifest sin.[42]

 

The Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum are the first to believe in Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala and His Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. The verse signifies the prohibition of criticising them or depreciating their value.[43]

 

  1. Abu Sa’id al Khudri radiya Llahu ‘anhu reports that the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam cautioned:

 

لا تسبوا أحدا من أصحابي فلو أن أحدكم أنفق مثل أحد ذهبا ما أدرك مد أحدهم ولا نصيفه

Do not revile my Companions. 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.[44]

 

  1. Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha commented on those who revile the Messenger’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam Companions:

 

أمروا أن يستغفروا لأصحاب محمد صلى الله عليه وسلم فسبوهم

They were commanded to seek forgiveness for Muhammad’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam Companions, but instead they abused them.[45]

 

‘Allamah al Nawawi rahimahu Llah remarks:

 

واعلم أن سب الصحابة رضي الله عنهم حرام من فواحش المحرمات سواء من لابس الفتن منهم وغيرهم لأنهم مجتهدون في تلك الحروب متأولون

Know that abusing the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum is forbidden, from the vile forbidden actions, whether they were involved in the trials or not, as they were Mujtahids in those wars, practicing on their interpretation.[46]

 

Fudayl ibn ‘Iyad rahimahu Llah declares:

 

وسب أزواجه وأصحابه صلى الله عليه وسلم وتنقصهم حرام ملعون فاعله فمن سبهم فعليه لعنة الله والملائكة والناس أجمعين

Abusing and degrading the Messenger’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam wives and Companions are forbidden. The perpetrator is accursed. May the curse of Allah, the angels, and the entire mankind be upon the one who abuses them.[47]

 

Ibn Kathir rahimahu Llah writes:

 

فقد أخبر الله العظيم أنه قد رضي عن السابقين الأولين من المهاجرين والأنصار والذين اتبعوهم بإحسان فيا ويل من أبغضهم أو سبهم أو أبغض أو سب بعضهم

Allah, the Grand, has indeed informed that He is pleased with the first forerunners among the Muhajirin and Ansar and those who follow them in goodness. Therefore, woe to those who dislike or curse them, or dislike or curse any of them.[48]

 

The Ahlus Sunnah wa al Jama’ah agree universally on the prohibition of abusing the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum and the gravity of the sin of one who abuses or degrades them. They explain that insulting the Companions of the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam has three levels.

First Level: One abuses them by accusing them of disbelief or apostasy or the majority of them being transgressors. This is disbelief as it is belying the emphatic texts which praise them and announce pleasure with them.[49]

Second Level: One abuses them by cursing them or censuring them in general. There are two views of the ‘Ulama’ regarding his disbelief, due to the indecision of the matter between cursing due to wrath and cursing due to belief.

  1. He is a disbeliever because of this. This view is held by Imam Malik in one narration[50], Imam Ahmed in one narration[51], and proffered by al Tahawi[52]. This is due to the fact that abusing and degrading the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum is rejection of what the Qur’an and Sunnah have frequently affirmed—i.e. praising them, glorifying them, and extolling their nobility and dignity—coupled with rejection of what the ‘Ulama’ unanimously agreed upon before the manifestation of what opposes this. Moreover, it contains cancellation of the Shari’ah as they [the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum] were responsible for bearing the Shari’ah as well as transmitting and conveying it.[53]
  2. He is not a disbeliever. Rather, he is a transgressor. Moreover, the leader of the affairs of the Muslims must punish him. This is the view of Imam Malik in one narration and his more common view[54], Imam al Nawawi[55], and Ibn Taymiyyah[56]. This is because simply abusing the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum does not necessitate disbelief. This is different from abusing the Prophets. Furthermore, it is not necessary to believe in the specific individuals among the Sahabah. Abusing them does not negatively affect belief in Allah, His angels, His books, His Messengers, and the Last Day.[57]

Third Level: Abusing them with an aspect that does not negatively affect their integrity and religion, like describing them with stinginess, cowardice, lack of knowledge, lack of asceticism, etc. Such a person will not be a disbeliever, although the Muslim leader must punish him until he retracts.[58]

This is briefly the belief of the Ahlus Sunnah wa al Jama’ah regarding the Sahabah of the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. It is compulsory upon every Muslim to believe in this to safeguard his din and perfect his faith. None deviates from this belief except the destroyed. We beg Allah for protection and safety.

 

 

NEXT⇒ Section 1 – Discussion 1: The biography of Abu Dharr al Ghifari according to the Ahlus Sunnah wa al Jama’ah.


[1] Surah al Tawbah: 100.

[2] Surah al Fath: 29.

[3] Surah al Anfal: 72.

[4] Surah al Hadid: 10.

[5] Sahih al Bukhari, vol. 5 pg. 7, book on the excellence of the Sahabah, chapter on the merit of the Companions of the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, Hadith: 3650; Sahih Muslim, vol. 16 pg. 131, book on the excellence of the Sahabah, chapter on the merit of the Companions, Hadith: 2535.

[6] Sahih Muslim, vol. 16 pg. 84, book on the excellence of the Sahabah, chapter on the merit of the Companions of the Tree, Hadith: 2496.

[7] Abu Bakr al Khallal: Al Sunnah fi Dhikr Ashab Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, pg. 476 onwards; Ibn Abi al ‘Izz: Sharh al ‘Aqidah al Tahawiyyah, vol. 2 pg. 689-696.

[8] Ibn ‘Abdul Barr: Jami’ Bayan al ‘Ilm wa Fadlihi, vol. 2 pg. 947, Hadith: 1810; Sharh al Tahawiyyah, vol. 2 pg. 546.

[9] He is Ahmed ibn Muhammad ibn Salamah ibn ‘Abdul Malik al Azdi al Tahawi, Abu Jafar. He was born in the village Taha in Sa’id Egypt, in 239 AH. The leadership of the companions of Abu Hanifah in Egypt was designated to him. He was [initially] Shafi’i in school. He passed away in Cairo, 321 AH. He wrote: Sharh Mushkil al Athar, Sharh Ma’ani al Athar, al ‘Aqidah al Tahawiyyah, al Mukhtasar fi al Fiqh, etc. (Wafayat al A’yan, vol. 1 pg. 71; Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, vol. 15 pg. 27-33.)

[10] Sharh al ‘Aqidah al Tahawiyyah, vol. 2 pg. 689.

[11] Surah al Hashr: 10.

[12] Al Tanbihat al Saniyyah ‘ala al ‘Aqidah al Wasitiyyah, pg. 291-293.

[13] He is ‘Ubaidullah ibn Muhammad ibn Muhammad al ‘Ukbari al Hanbali. A worshipper, Jurist, and Muhaddith. He was born in 304 AH and passed away in 387 AH. He has sublime books like al Sharh wa al Ibanah ‘ala Usul al Sunnah wa al Diyanah, Ibtal al Hiyal, etc. (Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, vol. 16 pg. 529; al Shadharat, vol. 4 pg. 443.)

[14] Al Sharh wa al Ibanah ‘ala Usul al Sunnah wa al Diyanah, pg. 291-292.

[15] Al Ba’ith al Hathith, vol. 1 pg. 491.

[16] He is ‘Ali ibn Ismail ibn Ishaq ibn Salim al Ash’ari. He was born in 260 AH. He retracted from the creed of the Mu’tazilah and treaded the path of Ibn Kullab, and from there to the school of the Ahlus Sunnah and Hadith. He affiliated to Imam Ahmed. He has authored Maqalat al Islamiyyin and al Inabah ‘an Usul al Diyanah, etc. He passed away in 324 AH. (Wafayat al A’yan, vol. 3 pg. 284-285; Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, vol. 15 pg. 85.)

[17] Al Inabah ‘an Usul al Diyanah, pg. 179.

[18] Al Sharh wa al Ibanah ‘ala Usul al Sunnah wa al Diyanah, pg. 297.

[19] Sahih al Bukhari, vol. 7 pg. 355, book on battles, chapter on the merit of those who attended Badr, Hadith: 3983; Sahih Muslim, vol. 16 pg. 80, book on the excellence of the Sahabah, chapter on the merits of the participants of Badr, Hadith: 2494.

[20] Al Tanbihat al Saniyyah ‘ala al ‘Aqidah al Wasitiyyah, pg. 297-301.

[21] Sharh al ‘Aqidah al Tahawiyyah, vol. 2 pg. 727-733.

[22] Tabaqat al Hanabilah, vol. 1 pg. 64.

[23] Al Tanbihat al Saniyyah ‘ala al ‘Aqidah al Wasitiyyah, pg. 303-305.

[24] He is ‘Abdullah ibn Ahmed ibn Qudamah ibn Miqdam ibn Nasr al Maqdisi al Jamma’ili, then al Dimashqi, Abu Muhammad, from the Hanbali Jurists. He was born in Jamma’il in 541 AH. He memorised the Qur’an and engrossed himself in knowledge from his childhood until he rose to be one of the oceans of knowledge and intelligent bright men of the world. He passed away in 620 AH. He authored many books including al Mughni, Rawdat al Nazir fi Usul al Fiqh, and al Muqni’. (Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, vol. 22 pg. 165-173; al Shadharat, vol. 7 pg. 155.)

[25] Ibn ‘Uthaymin: Sharh Lam’at al I’tiqad, pg. 40.

[26] He is Muhammad ibn al Hussain ibn ‘Abdullah, Abu Bakr, al Ajurri, the Shafi’i Jurist and Muhaddith. He was born in Ajurr, one of the towns of Baghdad, before 280 AH and passed away in Makkah in 360 AH. He wrote Kitab al Shari’ah, Akhlaq al ‘Ulama’, etc. (Al Shadharat, vol. 4 pg. 316-317; al A’lam, vol. 6 pg. 97.)

[27] Al Shari’ah, vol. 5 pg. 2486.

[28] He is al ‘Awwam ibn Hawshab ibn Yazid, Abu ‘Isa al Raba’i al Wasiti, the Imam and Muhaddith. He passed away in 148 AH. Ahmed said about him, “Reliable. Reliable.” Yazid ibn Harun commented on him, “He regularly enjoined good and prohibited evil.” (Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, vol. 6 pg. 354-355; al Shadharat, vol. 2 pg. 222.)

[29] Al Ajurri: Al Shari’ah, vol. 5 pg. 2492-2493.

[30] Tabaqat al Hanabilah, vol. 1 pg. 63.

[31] Minhaj al Sunnah, vol. 4 pg. 448-449.

[32] Al Sharh wa al Ibanah ‘ala Usul al Sunnah wa al Diyanah, pg. 294.

[33] Sharh Lam’at al I’tiqad, pg. 151.

[34] Al Nasb: Lexically is the infinitive of nasabtu al shay’: I straightened the thing and nasabtu li fulan nasban and nasabtuhu al harb munasabah: I declared war against him. (Al Jawhari: Al Sihah, vol. 1 pg. 224-225.)

Al Nawasib in the terminology of the Ahlus Sunnah: Those who religiously observe hatred for the Ahlul Bayt, abuse them, and vilify them. (‘Ali ibn Ismail al Maris: Al Muhkam wa al Muhit al A’zam, vol. 8 pg. 345; Fatawa Sheikh al Islam Ibn Taymiyyah, vol. 2 pg. 10; al Fayruzabadi: Al Qamus al Muhit, vol. 1 pg. 138; Muhammad al Zabidi: Taj al ‘Arus, vol. 4 pg. 277; Ibn ‘Uthaymin: Sharh al ‘Aqidah al Wasitiyyah, vol. 2 pg. 282.)

This was practiced by a group of the Banu Umayyah and the residents of the Levant who followed them. The Ahlus Sunnah verbally denounced this. They report authentic ahadith on their [the Ahlul Bayt’s] merits. (Al Bidayah wa al Nihayah, vol. 9 pg. 154; Jawab Ahlus Sunnah fi Naqd Kalam al Shia wa al Zaidiyyah, vol. 4 pg. 65.)

In the terminology of the Rafidah: All who grant precedence to Abu Bakr and ‘Umar and believe in their Imamah. (Al ‘Amili: Muqaddamat al Burhan, pg. 491-492; Hussain al Darazi: Al Mahasin al Nafsaniyyah, pg. 145.)

[35] Sheikh Zaid ibn ‘Abdul ‘Aziz ibn Fayyad: Al Rawdah al Nadiyyah Sharh al ‘Aqidah al Wasitiyyah, pg. 450.

[36] Tafsir al Qur’an al ‘Azim, vol. 2 pg. 422.

[37] Sharh al ‘Aqidah al Tahawiyyah, vol. 2 pg. 689.

[38] Al Lalaka’i: Sharh Usul al I’tiqad, vol. 4 pg. 1326.

[39] Tabaqat al Hanabilah, vol. 1 pg. 64.

[40] Al Sarim al Maslul, pg. 571.

[41] Surah al Hujurat: 12.

[42] Surah al Ahzab: 58.

[43] Al Sarim al Maslul, pg. 572.

[44] Sahih al Bukhari, vol. 7 pg. 25, book on the excellence of the Sahabah, chapter on the merit of Abu Bakr, Hadith: 3673; Sahih Muslim, vol. 16 pg. 139, book on the excellence of the Sahabah, chapter on the prohibition of swearing the Companions, Hadith: 2541.

[45] Sahih Muslim, book on Tafsir, vol. 18 pg. 209, Hadith: 3022.

[46] Sharh Sahih Muslim, vol. 16 pg. 139.

[47] Al Qadi ‘Iyad: Sharh al Shifa, pg. 550-551, with slight variation.

[48] Tafsir al Qur’an al ‘Azim, vol. 2 pg. 422.

[49] Al Sarim al Maslul, pg. 586; Sharh Lam’at al I’tiqad, pg. 152.

[50] Tafsir al Qurtubi, vol. 16 pg. 297; Tafsir Ibn Kathir, vol. 4 pg. 216; al Alusi: Al Ajwibah al ‘Iraqiyyah, pg. 49.

[51] Al Sarim al Maslul, pg. 571.

[52] Sharh al ‘Aqidah al Tahawiyyah, vol. 2 pg. 689.

[53] Tafsir al Qurtubi, vol. 16 pg. 297; al Ajwibah al ‘Iraqiyyah, pg. 49.

[54] Al Sarim al Maslul, pg. 569.

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

[56] Al Sarim al Maslul, pg. 571-572.

[57] Al Sarim al Maslul, pg. 579; Sharh Lam’at al I’tiqad, pg. 152.

[58] Al Sarim al Maslul, pg. 586; Sharh Lam’at al I’tiqad, pg. 152.