In the Name of Allaah, the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful.
After a long break from the series on keeping up with the Sahabah, I felt the timely need for a continuation on the series because it's not possible for us to understand and appreciate Islam if we can't understand and appreciate the men and women that transmitted it to us.
We start with the definition of a Sahabi:
A Sahabi is anyone who meets the Prophet (P), believed in him and died upon Islam." Ibn Hajar in Nukhbatul Fikar fee Mustalahi ahlil athar
Three characteristics make a sahabi: Al-Liqa' (meeting) as against "seeing", Iman (faith, believe), and al-maut alal Islam (death upon Islam).
Let's dissect this, it then means that anyone who does not meet the above requirements in totality is not to be counted among the companions of the Prophet (Pbuh). The following examples will substantiate my point:
Ibn Umm Maktum (RA) met the Prophet (P), believed in him and died upon Islam even though he was blind, so he is a companion.
The king of Abbysinia Al-Najjashi Ashama bin Al-Abjar believed in the Prophet, died upon Islam but did not meet him so he is not counted among the Sahabah. A prove of his acceptance of Islam can be found in Za'd Al-Ma'ad volume 3/61 of ibn Qayyim and when he died the Prophet prayed for him in Madeenah in absentia as was captured in the hadith of Muslim.
We have the likes of Abu al-Aliya Rafi'i bin Mahran who met the Prophet but did not accept Islam until afer the death of the Prophet during the era of AbuBakr (RA) hence he is not a Sahabi.
We equally have Abu Raafi' maula ahli Umar (RA) who saw the Prophet but didn't believe till after his death, hence he is not counted among the Sahabah.
The Sahabah are the best of men after the Prophets.
Qur'an chapter 9 verse 100 paints the perfect image of the status of the Sahabah (companions) of the Prophet (Pbuh). Allaah is pleased with them and they with Him and above all they will all enter Paradise beneath which rivers flow.
Also, to demonstrate the status of the Sahabah, Allaah said: "Allaah has forgiven the Prophet (SAW), the Muhajirun and the Ansar who followed him in the time of distress (Tabuk expedition, etc.) Q9:117
ALLAAH HAS FORGIVEN THE SAHABAH (RA) FOR ALL THIER MISTAKES AND SINS>>> import of Q9:117
"Allah knows best with whom to place His Message." Q6:124
Ibnul Qayyim in Tareequl Hijratayn page 171 said: "Allaah knows best where to place His Message, both with regard to the original recipient (Muhammad) and those who inherit it from him (the Sahabah)."
Indeed, Allah was pleased with the believers when they gave their Bai'a (pledge) to you (O Muhammad Pbuh) under the tree, He knew what was in their hearts, Q48:18
Ibn katheer said that Allaah knew what was in the hearts of the Sahabah of truthfulness, trustworthiness, obedience and adherence.
There is a hadith in the Musnad of Imam Ahmad with a hasan (good) Isnaad on the strength of Ibn Mas'ud (RA) that: "Allaah looked into the hearts of His slaves and He saw that the heart of Muhammad (Pbuh) was the best of people's heart, so He chose him for Himself and sent him with His Message. He then looked into the hearts of His slaves after the heart of Muhammad (Pbuh), and He found that the hearts of his companions were the best of people's hearts, so He made them the supporters of His prophet, who fought for this religion."
How many were they?
The Sahabah were 124,000 in number according to the famous opinion of Abu Zurha Ar-Razi (the teacher of Imam Muslim) in At-Taqrib ma'a Tadrib.
It will interest those that care to know, that all the verses addressing the believers is first a reality with the Sahabah before reaching us. Hence, their Iman was accepted first by Allaah before the Iman of any other person.
Sanction against insulting and antagonizing them:
The hadith that enjoyed the status of double authenticity on the strength of Abu Hurayrah (RA) in Bukhari and Muslim states that: "Do not revile (insult) my companions, for by One in Whose Hand is my soul, if one of you were to spend the equivalent of Uhud in gold, it will not amount to a Mudd of one of them or half of that."
Likewise the hadith on the strength of Jaabir bin Abdullah Al-Ansari (RA) Rasulullah (Pbuh) said: "A believer does not antagonize Abubakr and Umar and the Munafiq (hypocrite) does not love them." Khateeb al-Baghdad in Taareekhul Baghdad
Abu Ja'far At-Tahawiyy has this golden words for us in Al-Aqeedatut Tahawiyyah; "We love the Sahabah of Rasulullaah (Pbuh) and we don't go extreme in the love for any of them. We love those who love them and we hate those who hate them. Loving them is from Islam, Iman and righteousness and hating them is disbelief, hypocrisy and tyranny.
May Allaah favor us with the love of the Sahabah and unite us with them in Jannah and may these above points be evidence for us and not against us.
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