Sahabah – the Companions of the Prophet

[dropcap]A[/dropcap]Sahabi is a person who saw the Prophet of Allah (May Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) as a ‘believer’ and died as a ‘believer’.

Sahabi is singular for male ‘companion’. Sahabiyyah is for singular ‘female’ companion. Sahabah is plural for male companion.

Sahabiyyaat is for plural ‘female’ companion.

Belief regarding the status of the Sahabah

They are all trustworthy, honest and reliable. They were first group of Muslims who were personally taught and trained by the Prophet. It is compulsory to respect them. Disrespecting them is an act of sin and rejecting or making false allegations against some of them will result in kufr (disbelief).

Status of the Sahabah in the Quran

Allah is pleased with the companions and also with those who follow them;

“As for the first and foremost of the Emigrants (Muhajirin) and the Supporters (Ansar) and those who followed them in goodness, Allah is pleased with them and they are pleased with Allah, and He has prepared for them gardens beneath which rivers flow, where they will live forever. That is the supreme achievement”.( At-Tawbah 9:100)

They are the best of all Ummah due to their deeds;

“You are the best ‘Ummah ever raised for mankind. You command people to do good and forbid them from evil, and you believe in Allah. If the people of the Book had believed, it would have been better for them. Among them, there are believers, while most of them are sinners”. ( A’al-Imran 3: 110)

Allah defends the early believers (Sahabah) against the hypocrites;

And when it is said to them, “Believe as people have believed,” they say, “Shall we believe as the fools have believed?” Beware, it is, in fact, they who are the fools, but they do not know. (Al-Baqarah 2 :13)

-Allah praises them with their wonderful characteristics

-Only ‘disbelievers’ dislike them

-Allah gives them glad tidings of ‘forgiveness’ and ‘great reward’

“Muhammad is the messenger of Allah, and those who are with him are hard on the disbelievers, compassionate among themselves; you will see them bowing down in Ruku‘, prostrating themselves in Sajdah, seeking grace from Allah, and (His) good pleasure; their distinguishing feature is on their faces from the effect of Sajdah (prostration). This is their description in Torah; and their description in Injil is: like a sown crop that brings forth its shoot, then makes it strong, then it grows thick and stands straight on its stem, looking good to the farmers, so that He may enrage the disbelievers through them. Allah has promised forgiveness and a huge reward to those of them who believe and do good deeds”. (Al-Fath 48: 29)

-Allah declares them as ‘sincere’
-Their character is of the highest level -Allah teaches us to make dua for them -Allah makes them as role models for the entire ummah

“And fai’ is especially for the poor emigrants who were expelled from their homes and properties, while they were seeking Allah’s grace and pleasure, and were helping (the religion of) Allah and His Messenger. They are the truthful. (8) And (fai’ is also) for those who established themselves in the homeland (of Madinah) and in faith before the former ones (arrived in Madinah), who have love for those who emigrated to them, and do not feel in their hearts any ambition for what is given to the former ones (from fai’), and give preference (to them) over themselves, even though they are in poverty. And those who are saved from the greed of their hearts are the successful. (9) And (fai’ is also) for those who came after them saying, “Our Lord, forgive us and those of our brothers who preceded us in faith, and do not place in our hearts any resentment against those who believe; Surely, Our Lord, you are Very-Kind, Very-Merciful”. (Al-Hashr 59: 8)

Virtues of the companions in the Hadeeth

The prophet (May Allah’s peace and blessings be uponhim) declared the people of his era as the ‘Best Ummah & People’.

Imran Ibn Husain RA says that: “Allah’s Messenger (May Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said, ‘The best of my followers are those living in my generation (i.e. my contem- poraries). and then those who will follow the latter” `Imran added, “I do not remember whether he mentioned two or three generations after his generation, then the Prophet (May Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) added, ‘There will come after you, people who will bear witness without being asked to do so, and will be treacherous and untrustworthy, and they will vow and never fulfil their vows, and fatness will appear among them. (Bukhari)

Ashrah Mubash’sharah -10 who were promised Jannah

Narrated by ‘Abdur-Rahman bin ‘Awf: that the Messenger of Allah (May Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said: “Abu Bakr is in Paradise, ‘Umar is in Paradise, ‘Uthman is in Paradise, ‘Ali is in Paradise, Talhah is in Paradise, Az-Zubair is in Paradise, ‘Abdur-Rahman bin ‘Awf is in Paradise, Sa’d bin Abi Waqqas is in Paradise, and Abu ‘Ubaidah bin Al-Jarrah is in Paradise. (Tirmidhi)

Prophet (May Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) commanding people not to insult his companions.

The Quality of their deeds are better than others; Abu Hurairah reported Allah’s Messenger (May Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) as saying:

Do not revile my Companions, do not revile my Companions. By Him in Whose Hand is my life, if one amongst you would have spent as much gold as (size) Uhud it would not amount to as much as one mudd on behalf of one of them or half of it. (Muslim- Book of virtues of the companions)

Prophet (May Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) commands ‘honouring his companions’;

It was narrated that Jabir bin Samurah said: ‘Umar bin Khattab addressed us at Jabiyah and said: “The Messenger of Allah (May Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) stood up among us as I stand among you, and said: ‘Honour my Companions for my sake, then those who come after them, then those who come after them. Then lying will prevail until a man will give testimony without being asked to do so, and he will swear an oath without being asked to do so.’ ”(Ibn Majah)

Ruling on those who insult the companions

Firstly, every individual is innocent unless proven guilty. Thus accusing or insulting the companions without any evidence is a major sin and crime. This rule applies to every Muslim.

In the case of the companions, whose merits are mentioned in the Quran and hadeeth, it will be a greater sin to insult them. It is an agreed upon fact that the companions were humans, committed human errors and some of them at some occasions even sinned. However it is their tawbah (repentance) that stands out from their sin.

Rules regarding insulting the companions;

  • To declare the entire ‘sahabah’ community as apostate is kufr because Quran, hadeeth through the most authentic sources; it has been established that they ‘as a community’ remained Muslim and spread Islam throughout the globe.
  • To accuse Aisha of adultery, when Allah has declared her as ‘pure’, is also kufr.
  • To criticise some of them as being ‘miser’, ‘unjust’ etc. is sinful especially when it is an accusation or when they judged something ‘wrong’ due to human error.

Meaning of ‘Some will turn apostate’

Narrated by Ibn Al-Musaiyab:
The companions of the Prophet (May Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Some men from my companions will come to my Lake-Fount and they will be driven away from it, and I will say, ‘O Lord, my companions!’ It will be said, ‘You have no knowledge of what they innovated after you left: they turned apostate as renegades (reverted from Islam). (Bukhari – Book of Riqaaq)

Some tribal people and leaders who accepted I slam in the final days of the Prophet (May Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) left Islam after his death. There were some who denied and rejected giving zakat.

The reason for this is mainly because they never spent much time with the Prophet (May Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him), never learnt Imaan and Islaam properly. Their leaders, under the influence of ‘Shaytan and Nafs’ wanted to use prophethood as a means of expanding power thus declared prophethood etc.

One can clearly see the difference between those who spent time, learned and sacrificed with the prophet, and those remote tribal people who accepted Islam in the final days of the prophet (May Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) and turned away from Islam.

Summary

  1. A Sahabi was one who saw the Prophet while they were a Muslim
  2. They were taught and trained directly by the Prophet
  3. They carried Quran and Sunnah from the Prophet and taught it to the next generation
  4. They expanded Islam throughout the world after the death of the Prophet
  5. They are made as the ‘best examples’ by Allah in the Quran
  6. The Prophet taught us to love them

– By Mawlana Muhammad Rayhan

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