Articles

The Prophet’s


Companions


In the Name of Allah,


the Most Gracious,


the Most Merciful


A companion of the Prophet is a


person who physically met Prophet


Muhammad (peace be upon him),


believed in him and died as a believer.


The Prophet’s companions (may Allah


be pleased with them all) are the best


of mankind after the prophets and


are the best generation of the Muslim


The Prophet’s


Companions


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community. As the Prophet says: ‘The


best of mankind is my generation’.


‘‘The best of my community are my


generation’.


All of them were people of high


integrity, because Allah chose them to


be the companions of His Prophet. He


commended them, was pleased with


them, accepted their repentance of


their sins, described them in the most


honourable terms and promised them


the best reward. Allah says:


“Muhammad is Allah’s Messenger; and


those who are with him are firm and


unyielding towards the disbelievers,


full of mercy towards one another. You


can see them bowing down, prostrating


in prayer, seeking favour with Allah and


His good pleasure. They bear on their


faces the marks of their prostrations.


This is how they are pictured in the


Torah. And in the Gospels, they are


like a seed that brings forth its shoot,


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strengthens it, grows thick and stands


firm on its stem, delighting the sowers.


Through them Allah will enrage the


unbelievers. To those of them who


believe and do righteous deeds Allah


has promised forgiveness and a rich


reward.” (48: 29).


Nevertheless, they are of different


ranks, both as communities and as


individuals.


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Community differences include:


One: The Muhajirin are higher


in rank than the Ansar


This is because the Muhajirin combined


immigration from their homeland with


supporting the Prophet. Moreover,


they were mentioned by Allah in the


Qur’an before the Ansar. Allah says:


“[Such gains are for] the poor migrants


who have been driven out of their


homes and possessions, seeking Allah’s


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favour and His acceptance, and who


help Allah and His Messenger. These


are the ones who are true. And to those


who were already firmly established in


the Home and in faith, those who love


the ones that seek refuge with them


and harbour no desire in their hearts


for whatever the others may have


been given. They give them preference


over themselves, even though they are


in want. Those who are saved from


their own greed are truly successful.”


(59: 8–9)


“As for the first to lead the way, of the


Muhajirin and the Ansar, as well as


those who follow them in [the way of]


righteousness, Allah is well-pleased


with them, and well-pleased are they


with Him. He has prepared for them


gardens through which running waters


flow, where they shall abide forever.


That is the supreme triumph.” (9: 100).


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“Allah has assuredly turned in His mercy


to the Prophet, the Muhajirin and the


Ansar, who followed him in the hour of


hardship, when the hearts of a group


of them had almost faltered. Then


again He turned to them in mercy; for


He is compassionate towards them,


ever-merciful.” (9: 117).


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Two: The ones who spent


money and fought for Islam


before the Al-Hudaybiyah


peace treaty are of a higher


rank than those who did so


afterwards


Allah says: ‘Those of you who gave and


fought [for Allah’s cause] before the


victory are not like others: they are


higher in rank than those who gave


and fought afterwards, although Allah


has promised the ultimate good to all


of them. Allah is well aware of all that


you do.’ (57: 10).


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Three: The people of Badr


Those who took part in the Battle of


Badr have a special distinction. In the


case of Hatib ibn Balta[ah, the Prophet


said to Umar: ‘He [Hatib] took part in


Badr. How would you tell: Allah might


have looked at the people of Badr and


said: “Do as you like; I have forgiven


you all?”’


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Four: Those who gave the al-


Ridwan pledge


Allah says: ‘Allah was indeed well


pleased with the believers when they


pledged their allegiance to you under


the tree. He knew what was in their


hearts and so He sent down tranquillity


upon them, and rewarded them with a


speedy victory.’ (48: 18). The Prophet


said: ‘None of the people who gave


their pledges under the tree will enter


Hell, Allah willing’.


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Individual distinction applies as follows:


One: The four rightly-guided


Caliphs


The highest distinction in the Muslim


community goes to Abu Bakr, then to


Umar ibn al-Khattab. This is universally


agreed by the Sunni people. It is


authentically reported in more than


80 versions that Ali said, as he was


speaking from the platform in the main


mosque in Kufah: ‘The best people


in the Muslim community after the


Prophet were Abu Bakr then Umar’.


Needless to say, Ali would not have


said this without firm evidence.


Next comes Uthman ibn Affan. Al-


Bukhari relates a hadith narrated by


Abdullah ibn Umar: ‘We used to draw


comparisons between people during


the Prophet’s time. We gave the best


positions to Abu Bakr, then Umar, then


Uthman’. In another version, he adds:


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‘This was reported to the Prophet and


he did not object’. Sufyan al-Thawri


said: ‘Whoever puts Ali ahead of Abu


Bakr and Umar shows no respect to the


Muhajirin and the Ansar’, because they


chose Abu Bakr and Umar to be Caliphs


first. Next comes Ali ibn Abi Talib. Thus,


their ranking is the same as the order


in which they became Caliphs.


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Two: The ones promised


entry into heaven


These were the four rightly-guided


Caliphs, Abd al-Rahman ibn Awf, Saad


ibn Abi Waqqas, Talhah ibn Ubaydillah,


al-Zubayr ibn al-Awwam, Abu Ubaydah


ibn al-Jarrah and Saeed ibn Zayd. May


Allah be pleased with them all. The


Prophet stated that these ten will be


in heaven. Other texts indicate that


heaven was assured to Bilal, Thabit ibn


Qays and Abdullah ibn Sallam.


Three: Members of the


Prophet’s household


These are five familial branches who


are forbidden to take charity. These are


the descendants of Ali, Ja‘far, Aqil, the


sons of Abu Talib, and the descendants


of al-Abbas and al-Harith ibn Abd al-


Muttalib. The Prophet says: ‘Allah, the


Mighty, the Exalted, chose Kinanah


out of the Ismail’s descendants, and


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from Kinanah He chose the Quraysh.


He then chose the Hashimites from


among the Quraysh and chose me


out of the Hashimites’. ‘I remind you


to fear Allah in [your attitude to] my


household. I remind you to fear Allah


in [your attitude to] my household’. Al-


Abbas ibn Abd al-Muttalib complained


to him that some of the people of


Quraysh distanced themselves from


the Hashimites. He said to him: ‘By


Allah, no one will have faith unless he


loves you on account of your being my


relatives’.


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Needless to say, the Prophet’s


honourable wives belonged to his


household. Allah says: ‘Allah only


wants to remove all that is loathsome


from you, you members of the


[Prophet’s] household, and to purify


you fully.’ (33: 33). Allah chose them


for His messenger and He made them


his wives in this present life and in the


life to come, and He gave them the


title ‘Mothers of the Believers’. The


most distinguished among them were


Khadijah, then A’ishah bint Abu Bakr.


The rest were Sawdah bint Zimaah,


Hafsah bint Umar, Umm Salamah,


Umm Habibah bint Abu Sufyan,


Safiyyah bint Huyay, Zaynab bint Jahsh,


Juwayriyyah, Maymunah and Zaynab


bint Khuzaymah. May Allah be pleased


with them all.


Our duty towards the Prophet’s


companions, irrespective of their


grades of distinction is as follows:


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A To love and be loyal to them, to


pray that Allah may be pleased


with them and forgive them


their sins, and to praise them


as individuals and community.


Allah says: ‘The believers, men


and women, are friends to one


another.’ (9: 71). ‘Those who


come after them pray: “Our Lord!


Forgive us and forgive our brethren


who preceded us in faith. Leave


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no malice in our hearts towards


those who believe. Lord, You are


compassionate, ever merciful.’


(59: 10). The Prophet says: ‘The


mark of faith is to love the Ansar,


and the mark of hypocrisy is to


hate the Ansar’’. Ali said: ‘By Him


who splits the seed and creates


man it is the unlettered Prophet’s


promise to me that “None but a


believer loves me and none but a


hypocrite hates me”.’


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B To keep our hearts free of any


ill-feeling towards them and to


refrain from any verbal abuse


to any of them. Allah says: ‘[Our


Lord], leave no malice in our


hearts towards those who believe.


Lord, You are compassionate,


ever merciful.’ (59: 10). The


Prophet says: ‘Do not revile my


companions. By Him who holds


my soul in His hand, if any of you


spends [for Allah’s cause] the like


of Mount Uhud in gold, he would


not attain the equivalent of the


fill of the cupped hands of any


one of them, or even half of that’.


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C To refrain from making


any judgement about their


differences, giving them every


benefit of good intention and


stating that they all acted to the


best of their discretion. As such,


they were either right and they


would earn double reward, or


wrong and they would earn a


single reward. They have done


great acts in the service of Islam


and exerted their best efforts.


All this should earn them the


forgiveness of their sins, if any.


D To dissociate ourselves from the


practice of the Shia, who exaggerate


the high status of the members of


the Prophet’s household and go


too far in hating and reviling the


Prophet’s other companions. Also


to dissociate ourselves from the


practice of others who dislike and


criticise members of the Prophet’s


household.


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To download and read the complete book,


click on the cover picture here.


This is an excerpt


of a larger book titled


“The Islamic Faith,


A Simplified Presentation”


by Abd Ar-Rahman


bin Abd Al-Kareem Ash-Sheha.


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