The Creed of Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah concerning the Companions
Author: Shaikh ‘Abdul-Muhsin Al-‘Abbaad (hafidhahullaah)
From Allaah’s mercy and kindness to His servants and from His favor upon them is that He sent to them a Messenger from amongst themselves to convey to them the Message from their Lord and to guide them to everything that benefits them and to warn them from everything that harms them. And indeed the Prophet (saws) fulfilled his duty of conveying the Message in the most complete and perfect of manners – so he directed his ummah towards every good and he warned them against every evil. Allaah chose, for accompanying him and taking knowledge from him, a people who are the best of this nation, which is itself the best of all nations. So Allaah honored them by allowing them to accompany His Prophet. And He particularized them in this worldly life with seeing him and hearing his hadeeth directly from his noble mouth. This is the bounty of Allaah, which He bestows upon whom He wills. And Allaah possesses the greatest of bounties.
And indeed the Companions conveyed from Allaah’s Messenger that which he was sent with from guidance, in the most complete and perfect form. So they will have the greatest of rewards due to their companionship of Allaah’s Messenger, their fighting in Jihaad alongside him and their noble actions in spreading Islaam.
And they will also have the same reward as those who come after them, since they serve as the intermediaries between them and Allaah’s Messenger. This is because: “Whoever calls towards guidance, he will have a reward like that of the reward earned by those who practice that guidance after him. And it will not detract anything away from their reward.” This has been established on the Prophet (saws) in a hadeeth reported by Muslim in his Saheeh. Allaah has praised them in His Mighty Book and the Messenger of Allaah has praised them in his purified Sunnah. And this is enough for them as a virtue and honor.
Allaah says: “And the foremost to embrace Islaam of the Muhaajireen and the Ansaar and also those who followed them in goodness, Allaah is pleased with them and they are pleased with Him. Allaah has prepared for them gardens under which rivers flow (Paradise) to dwell therein forever. That is the supreme success.”
[Surah At-Tawbah: 100]
And He says: “Muhammad is the Messenger of Allaah. And those who are with him are severe against the disbelievers, merciful towards one another. You can see them bowing and prostrating (in prayer), seeking Bounty from Allaah and (His) Good Pleasure. Their marks (of Faith) are on their faces (foreheads) from the traces of prostration. This is their description in the Torah. But their description in the Gospel is like that of a cultivated seed, which sends forth its shoot, then makes it strong and becomes thick, and it stands straight on its stem, pleasing the farmers, that he may enrage the disbelievers with them. Allaah has promised those among them who believe and do good deeds, forgiveness and a mighty reward.”
[Surah Al-Fat’h: 29]
In Allaah’s saying concerning the Sahaabah: “that he may enrage the disbelievers with them”, there is found the severest ruling, the harshest threat and the worst of warnings for those who are enraged by the Sahaabah or those who have some hatred for them in their hearts.
Allaah says: “Not equal among you are those who spent and fought before the Conquest (of Makkah) [i.e. they are not equal to those who came after the Conquest of Makkah]. They are higher in degree than those who spent and fought (in Allaah’s Cause) afterward. But to all, Allaah has promised the best reward. And Allaah is All-Aware of what you do.”
[Surah Al-Hadeed: 10]
Concerning the distribution of war-booty, Allaah says:
“(And there is also a share in this booty) for the poor emigrants who were expelled from their homes and properties, seeking bounties from Allaah and looking to please Him, and helping Allaah and His Messenger. These are the truthful ones.
And (it is also) for those who before them, had homes (in Madeenah) and then accepted the Faith (Islaam). They are the ones who love those who migrated to them, and they have no jealousy in their hearts for that which they (Muhaajireen) have been given (of booty from Banu Naadir). Instead, they give them preference over themselves even though they had more of a need for it than them. And whoever guards himself from his own miserliness, then these will be the successful.And those who come after them say: ‘Our Lord! Forgive us and our brothers who preceded us in Faith. And put not in our hearts any hatred against those who have believed. Our Lord, You are indeed full of kindness, most Merciful.'”
[Surah Al-Hashr: 8-10]
The first of these three ayaat from Surat Al-Hashr is in reference to the Muhaajireen (the Sahaabah who migrated from Makkah to Madeenah). The second ayah refers to the Ansaar (the Sahaabah who resided in Madeenah and who helped and took in the Muhaajireen). The third ayah refers to those who will come after the Muhaajireen and the Ansaar, and who seek Allaah’s forgiveness for them, and ask Allaah not to put hatred in their hearts for them. And there is nothing beyond these three groups except for one who deserts (them) and falls into one of the traps of the Devil. This is why ‘Aa’ishah (raa) told ‘Urwah Ibn Az-Zubair concerning the condition of some of those who deserted and were forsaken:
“They were commanded to seek forgiveness for the Companions of Allaah’s Messenger, but they (instead) reviled them.” Imaam Muslim transmitted this report in the last part of his Saheeh. An-Nawawee said in his explanation of it, after mentioning the ayah in Surah Al-Hashr:
“Imaam Maalik used this as proof for his ruling that the one who reviles the Sahaabah has no right to the war-booty. This is because Allaah only made it for those who seek forgiveness for them from amongst those who come after them.”
Ibn Katheer said in his tafseer of this ayah:”How great is the ruling that Imaam Maalik derived from this ayah, in that the Raafidee – the one who reviles the Companions – has no portion of the wealth from the war-booty, due to his lack of characterizing himself with the attributes of those whom Allaah has praised in His saying: ‘Our Lord! Forgive us and our brothers who have preceded us in Faith. And put not in our hearts any hatred against those who have believed. Our Lord, You are indeed full of kindness, most Merciful.'”
The Prophet (saws) said: “The best of mankind is my generation, then those that come after them, then those that come after them.” Reported by Al-Bukhaaree, Muslim and others from the report of ‘Imraan Ibn Husayn and ‘Abdullaah Ibn Mas’ood, may Allaah be pleased with both of them. Muslim reported it on the authority of Abu Hurairah with the wording: “The best among my nation (ummah) is the generation I was sent to – then those that come after them, then those that come after them.” Allaah knows best if he mentioned the third or not. Muslim also reported it from ‘Aa’ishah that she said: ”A man once asked the Prophet: ‘Which people are the best?’ So he responded: ‘The generation of people that I am in (now, then the second (generation), then the third.'” It is reported in the two Saheehs (of Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim) from the narration of Abu Sa’eed Al-Khudree (raa) that the Messenger of Allaah (saws) said:
“There will come upon the people a time in which a group of people will fight (in Jihaad), and it will be said: ‘Is there anyone amongst you who accompanied Allaah’s Messenger?’ (I.e. the Sahaabah) They will reply ‘Yes’ and so they will be given victory. Then there will come upon the people a time in which a group of people will fight (in Jihaad), and it will be said: ‘Is there anyone amongst you who accompanied the Companions of Allaah’s Messenger?’ (I.e. The Taabi’een) They will reply ‘Yes’ and so they will be given victory. Then there will come upon the people a time in which a group of people will fight (in Jihaad), and it will be said: ‘Is there anyone amongst you who accompanied those who accompanied the Companions of Allaah’s Messenger?’ (I.e. The Atbaa’ At-Taabi’een) They will reply ‘Yes’ and so they will be given victory.”
Ibn Battah reported with an authentic chain of narration – according to Minhaaj As-Sunnah of Ibn Taimiyyah – from Ibn ‘Abbaas (raa), that he said: “Do not revile the Companions of Allaah’s Messenger, for one hour spent with Allaah’s Messenger by one of them is better than a good deed of one of you (done) for forty years.”
In the wording reported by Wakee’, he says: “…better than a good deed of one of you (done) for his entire life.”
And when Sa’eed Ibn Zayd (raa) mentioned the ten Companions who were given the good tidings of (entering) Paradise, he said:
“I swear by Allaah, the meeting of one man amongst them with the Messenger of Allaah is better than the deed of one of you, even if he does it for the length of Nooh’s life.” Reported by Abu Dawood and At-Tirmidhee.
Jaabir reported that: “It was once said to ‘Aa’ishah: ‘There are some people that seek to lower the Companions of Allaah’s Messenger, even Abu Bakr and ‘Umar.’ So she said: ‘And you are not pleased with this? Their deeds came to an end, but Allaah loved that their reward not come to an end.'”
Ibn Al-Atheer mentioned this in his book Jaami’-ul-Usool. What provides evidence for what she said is the saying of the Prophet in the authentic hadeeth: “The bankrupt person from my ummah will come on the Day of Judgement with prayer, fasting and Zakaat. But he also abused this person, slandered that person, took money wrongfully from this person, spilled the blood of that one, and beat this one. So some of his good deeds will be given to this person and some of them to that person. So if his good deeds run out before he makes up for what is against him, he will take from their sins and they will be charged against him. And then he will be flung into the Hellfire.”
Al-Bukhaaree reported in his Saheeh on the authority of Abu Sa’eed Al-Khudree (raa) that the Prophet (saws) said: “Do not revile my Companions! For if one of you were to give away the size of mount Uhud in gold for charity, it would not equal a mudd (handful using two hands cupped together) of one of them nor even half of it.”
Muslim reported it in his Saheeh on the authority of Abu Hurairah (raa) that the Prophet (saws) said: “Do not revile my Companions! Do not revile my Companions! For by the One whose Hand my soul is in, if one of you were to give away the size of mount Uhud in gold for charity, it would not equal a mudd of one of them nor even half of it.”
He also reported it from Abu Sa’eed (raa) with the wording:” There was a dispute between Khaalid Ibn Al-Waleed and ‘Abdur-Rahmaan Ibn ‘Awf, so Khaalid reviled him. So Allaah’s Messenger (saws) said: “Do not revile anyone from my Companions. For if one of you were to give away the size of mount Uhud in gold for charity, it would not equal a mudd of one of them nor even half of it.”
So if the Sword of Allaah, Khaalid Ibn Al-Waleed and others who accepted Islaam after the treaty of Hudaybiyah cannot have their large amount of good deeds compare to the small amount performed by ‘Abdur-Rahmaan Ibn ‘Awf and others who accepted Islaam previously – even though all of them are honored by accompanying the Prophet – then how is it for those who did not attain the honor of (being from) the Companions as compared to those superior individuals? Truly the distance is great and indeed the difference is far! So how far is the ground from the sky, rather how far is the seventh (lowest) level of earth from the seventh(highest) level of heaven! This is the bounty of Allaah, which He bestows upon whom He wills. And Allaah possesses the greatest of bounties!
These are some of the Qur’aanic ayaat and prophetic ahaadeeth that provide evidence for the virtue of these best of people, the like of which did not exist before and will not exist afterward. May Allaah be pleased with them.
Source: Islaamic University of Madeenah Newsletter (Issue 2 of their fourth year) Shawaal 1391H
The Creed of Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah concerning the Companions (part 2 of 2)
Author: Shaikh ‘Abdul-Muhsin Al-‘Abbaad (hafidhahullaah)
Source: Islaamic University of Madeenah Newsletter (Issue 2 of their fourth year) Shawaal 1391H
Translated: by isma’eel alarcon
All of the Companions of Allaah’s Messenger are trustworthy based on Allaah’s testifying that for them and because of His praise for them and the praise of His Messenger for them. An-Nawawee said in At-Taqreeb, which As-Suyootee explained in his Tadreeb Ar-Raawee:
“All of the Companions are trustworthy – those who were involved in the afflictions (fitan) and those other than them – according to the consensus of the scholars.”
Al-Haafidh Ibn Hajr said in Al-Isaabah: “Ahl-us-Sunnah have unanimously agreed that all of them (the Sahaabah) are trustworthy and no one opposed this except some deviants amongst the innovators.”
This is why there is no harm in not knowing a Companion in a chain of narration. So if a Taabi’ee says: “On the authority of a man who accompanied the Prophet…” this does not affect the report. This is because not knowing the Companions (in the chain) causes no harm since they are all trustworthy. Al-Khateeb Al-Baghdaadee said in his book Al-Kifaayah:
“Every hadeeth that has a chain of narration that is connected between the one who reported it and the Prophet is not to be acted upon until first having affirmed the trustworthiness and reliability of its men (in the chain). And it is an obligation to investigate into their conditions, except the Sahaabee (Companion) who raises it (or attributes the hadeeth) to the Prophet. This is because the trustworthiness of the Companions is established and well known based on Allaah’s asserting that for them and His informing us of their pure state and His preference of
them in the texts of the Qur’aan…”
“And even if Allaah or His Messenger (saws) had not mentioned anything about them from what we just stated now (of their virtues), the condition they were upon of having made Hijrah, fought in Jihaad, of having offered their support, sacrificed their lives and wealth, experienced the killings of their parents and children, of mutually advising for the Religion and having strong Faith and unshakeable Certainty, (all of this) would necessitate their
trustworthiness and one having a firm belief in their honesty and integrity. And it would necessitate that they are the best of those that receive testimony and approval as to their trustworthiness and reliability from all of the people that will come after them forever and ever.”
Then he reports a narration with the chain connected to Abu Zur’ah, who said: “If you see a man seeking to belittle anyone amongst the Companions of Allaah’s Messenger (saws), then know that he is a heretic (zindeeq). This is because according to us the Messenger of Allaah is true and the Qur’aan is true. And the only ones who brought this Qur’aan and the Sunan (plural of Sunnah) to us are the Companions of Allaah’s Messenger. They only wish to disparage and demolish our witnesses so that they can nullify the Book and the Sunnah, whereas they are more deserving of being disparaged for they are the heretics (zanaadiqah).”
The madh-hab of Ahl-us-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah concerning the Companions is that of moderateness between the two ends of extremism and heedlessness. It is moderateness between the extremist fanatics who elevate the esteemed ones amongst them to a level that is only befitting for Allaah or for His messengers and between the heedless and harsh ones who belittle and revile them. So they are in the middle between those who are excessive and those who fall short – they love all of them and put each one of them in his due place, which they deserve, with fairness and justice. So they do not elevate them to that which they are not deserving of, nor do they belittle them, taking away what they are deserving of. Therefore, their tongues are moist with mentioning them only in good, according to what is befitting for them. And their hearts are filled with love for them.
And whatever is authentic from the disputes and differences that occurred between (some of) them, then with regard to that they were Mujtahideen. Either they were correct and so they will receive a reward for their Ijtihaad and a reward for being correct or they were wrong and so they will receive just a reward for their Ijtihaad while their error will be forgiven. They were not infallible, for they were human beings, at times they were correct and at times they were in error. But how much more were they correct as compared to others being correct, and how fewer were their errors as compared to the errors of others? And they will have Allaah’s forgiveness and contentment.
The books of Ahl-us-Sunnah are filled with the elucidation of this pure and clear Creed concerning these elite people, the chosen ones amongst mankind to accompany the best of mankind (saws). May Allaah be pleased with them all.
An example of this is the statement of At-Tahaawee in his (book on the) Creed of Ahl-us- Sunnah: “We love the Companions of Allaah’s Messenger and we do not go to extremes in the love for anyone amongst them, nor do we absolve ourselves from any of them. And we hate anyone that hates them or anyone that talks about them in a bad way. And we do not mention them except with good. Loving them is Deen, Eemaan and Ihsaan and hating them is Kufr,
Nifaaq (hypocrisy) and Tughyaan (transgression).”
Ibn Abee Zayd Al-Qayrawaanee said in the introduction to his famous Ar-Risaalah, where he explains the Creed of Ahl-us-Sunnah: “And the best of generations is the one that saw the Messenger of Allaah. And the best of the Companions are the (four) rightly guided Khaleefahs -Abu Bakr, then ‘Umar, then ‘Uthmaan, then ‘Alee, may Allaah be pleased with them all. And none of the Companions should be mentioned except in the best of manners. We believe in
refraining from (speaking about) the differences that occurred between them. And that they are the most deserving of people of having excuses made for them and (that) they are to be thought of in the best way.”
Imaam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal said in his book As-Sunnah: “And from the Sunnah is mentioning the good qualities of the Companions of Allaah’s Messenger – all of them – and to refrain from (speaking about) what disputes occurred between them. So whoever reviles the Companions of Allaah’s Messenger or (just) one of them, then he is an innovator, a Raafidee. Loving them is a Sunnah and making du’aa (supplication) for them is a means of getting close to Allaah (taqarrub). Following them is a means and taking from their examples is a virtue…”
And he said: “It is not permissible for anyone to mention any of their faults. Nor can anyone disparage any of them. So whoever does that, then the authority (sultan) is obligated to reprimand him and punish him. And he is not to pardon him, but rather must punish him and then request him to repent. So if he repents, he should accept it from him. And if he doesn’t repent, he should reinitiate the punishment upon him and lock him in prison for good until he repents and recants (from his false belief).”
Imaam Abu ‘Uthmaan As-Saaboonee said in his book ‘Aqeedat-us-Salaf wa Ashaab-il-Hadeeth: “And they held it an obligation to refrain from (speaking about) the differences that occurred between the Companions of Allaah’s Messenger and to purify the tongues from mentioning anything that consists of a blemish on them or a degradation of them. And they held it an obligation to ask Allaah for mercy for all of them and to show friendship to all of them.”
Shaikh-ul-Islaam Ibn Taimiyyah said in his book Al-‘Aqeedat-ul-Waasitiyyah:
“Among the Principles of Ahl-us-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah is maintaining pure hearts and tongues towards the Companions of Allaah’s Messenger (saws), as Allaah has described them in His saying: ‘And those who come after them say: ‘Our Lord! Forgive us and our brothers who preceded us in Faith. And put not in our hearts any hatred against those who have believed. Our Lord, You are indeed full of kindness, most Merciful.’
[Surah Al-Hashr: 8-10]
And (from their principles is) obedience to the Prophet with regard to his saying: ‘Do not revile my Companions! For by the One whose Hand my soul is in, if one of you were to give away the size of mount Uhud in gold for charity, it would not equal a mudd of one of them nor even half of it.’
And they accept what is stated in the Qur’aan, the Sunnah and the Consensus concerning their (the Companion’s) virtues and high statuses. And they give preference to those who spent their wealth and fought (in the Way of Allaah) before the Victory – which refers to the Treaty of al-Hudaybiyah – over those who gave their wealth and fought after it. And they give precedence to the Muhaajireen over the Ansaar. And they believe that Allaah said to the people who fought in (the Battle of) Badr – who numbered over three hundred people: ‘Do whatever you wish, for I have already forgiven you.’
And they believe that no one who pledged their allegiance to the Prophet (saws) under the tree will enter the Hellfire, as the Prophet (saws) informed us. In fact, Allaah was pleased with them and they were pleased with Him. And they were more than one thousand four hundred people.
They designate to Paradise whoever the Messenger of Allaah testified will be in Paradise, such as the Ten (Companions), Thaabit Ibn Qays Ibn Shammas and others.
And they confirm what has been reported in tawaatur form on the Ameer-ul-Mu’mineen, ‘Alee Ibn Abee Taalib (raa) and others that: The best of this ummah after its Prophet are Abu Bakr; then ‘Umar. Then they place ‘Uthmaan third and ‘Alee fourth, may Allaah be pleased with all of them. This is as is indicated in the athaar (reports from the Sahaabah) and as was unanimously agreed upon that ‘Uthmaan had precedence (over ‘Alee) for being pledged allegiance to (for the Khilaafah). In spite of this, after unanimously agreeing to the precedence of Abu Bakr and ‘Umar, some of the Ahl-us-Sunnah have disagreed with regard to ‘Uthmaan and ‘Alee as to which of them is better. So a group of them gave precedence to ‘Uthmaan and then remained silent and placed ‘Alee as the fourth. And another group gave precedence to ‘Alee. And yet another group remained neutral. But the affair of Al-us-Sunnah settled upon giving precedence to ‘Uthmaan and then ‘Alee. But regardless, this issue of ‘Uthmaan and ‘Alee is not from the principles by which the one who disagrees concerning it becomes misguided (and deviant), according to the majority of the (scholars of) Ahl-us-Sunnah. Rather, the issue in which the one who opposes becomes misguided is the issue of the Khilaafah – and it is that they (must) believe that the Khaleefah after Allaah’s Messenger was Abu Bakr, then ‘Umar, then ‘Uthmaan and then ‘Alee. And whoever attacks the Khilaafah of any one of them, then he is more astray
than the donkey of his people.”
Then he mentioned that they have love and affection for the Members of the Household of Allaah’s Messenger and that they preserve the Will (final requests) of Allaah’s Messenger concerning them. And that they have affection for the Wives of Allaah’s Messenger, the Mothers of the Believers and believe that they will be his wives in the Hereafter. Then he said:
“And they absolve themselves from the way of the Rawaafid – those who hate the Companions and revile them – and from the way of the Nawaasib – those who abuse the Members of the (Prophet’s) Household – by speech or action. And they refrain from (delving into) the disputes that occurred between the Companions. And they say: These narrations, which have been reported concerning their faults, there are amongst them, that which is false, that which things
have been added to, that which parts have been omitted and that which has been changed from its original state. As for what is authentic from them, then with regard to that they (the Companions) are excused (and forgiven) – either they made Ijtihaad and were correct or they made Ijtihaad and were wrong. And on top of that, they do not believe that every one of the Companions is infallible and free of committing major or minor sins. Rather, they are capable
of committing sins in general, but they have from precedence and virtues what necessitates that they be forgiven for whatever (sins) they commit – if they did commit any. This is even to the point that they will be forgiven for evil deeds the likes of which those who come after them will not be forgiven for. This is because they possess good deeds that wipe out the evil deeds, the likes of which will not be for those after them.
It is established from the saying of Allaah’s Messenger (saws) that they are the best of generations and that if one of them were to give a mudd (of gold) in charity it would be better than the whole of Mount Uhud in gold of those who came after them. Furthermore, if it was the case that one of them committed a sin, then either he repented from it or he performed some good deed that wiped it out. Or he was forgiven for it due to the virtue of his precedence or by intercession of Muhammad (saws), of which the Companions have the most right among people of receiving his intercession. Or perhaps he was tested by some affliction in this world, by which it was expiated from him. So if this is with respect to the sins that were actualized (by them), then what about the matters in which they did Ijtihaad? If they were correct they will have two rewards and if they were incorrect they will have one reward and their error will be forgiven.
Furthermore, the amount that is forsaken yet forgiven from the (bad) deeds committed by some of them is tiny in comparison to their virtues and good qualities, such as their belief in Allaah and His Messenger, Jihaad in His Way, Hijrah, support (of the Religion), beneficial knowledge and good deeds. And whoever studies the history of the “people” (i.e. the Sahaabah) with knowledge and insight, and studies what Allaah bestowed them with of merits,
he will come to know with full certainty that they are the best of creation after the prophets. There was not nor will there be anyone like them. And (he will come to know that) they are the safwah (chosen elite) from all the generations of this nation (of Muslims), which is itself the best and most honorable of all nations with Allaah.”
These are five examples from the sayings of the Salaf As-Saalih (righteous predecessors) concerning what we are obligated to believe in with respect to the best of creation after the Prophets and Messengers. One thing we must understand is that defaming these chosen and special people is in fact a defamation of the Religion. This is since the Religion was not passed onto those who came after them except by them. And it has already been stated in the words of Abu Zur’ah that: “The only ones who brought this Qur’aan and the Sunan (plural of Sunnah) to us are the Companions of Allaah’s Messenger. (So) they only wish to disparage and demolish our witnesses so that they can nullify the Book and the Sunnah, whereas they are more deserving of being disparaged for they are the heretics (zanaadiqah).” This refers to those who seek to belittle any of the Companions. And it implies that the one who defames them does not harm them in the least but rather only benefits them, according to the previously stated hadeeth of the “bankrupt person.” And it implies that the one who defames them only causes harm to himself. So whoever finds in his heart love for them and a lack of hatred for them, and he keeps his tongue from mentioning anything but good about them, then he should praise Allaah for this blessing. And He should ask Allaah to keep him firm upon this guidance. And whoever holds any hatred for them in his heart and his tongue is loose in mentioning them with that which does not befit them, then he must fear Allaah and desist from these crimes. And he must repent to Allaah so long as the door of repentance is open in front of him, before he regrets when the regret is of no benefit.
Our Lord do not cause our hearts to go astray after having guided us and grant us mercy from Yourself, indeed You are the One who grants all requests. “Our Lord! Forgive us and our brothers who preceded us in Faith. And put not in our hearts any hatred against those who have believed. Our Lord, You are indeed full of kindness, most Merciful.”