The Prophet’s


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


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community. As the Prophet says: ‘The

best of mankind is my generation’.

‘‘The best of my community are my


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


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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


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


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


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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


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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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