A COMMENTARY OF AL-QADI `IYAD’S BOOK AL-SHIFA’ FI MA`RIFA HUQUQ AL-MUSTAFA
(THE HEALING IN THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE PROPHET’S RIGHTS) :
Chapter Three, Section 6: Respect for his Companions, devotion to them and recognising what is due to them
Qadi `Iyad said: Part of respecting and obeying the Prophet consists in respecting his Companions, obeying them, recognizing what is due to them, following them, praising them, asking forgiveness for them, refraining from discussing their differences, showing enmity to those who are hostile towards them and shunning the misguidance of the Shi`a and the innovators and the reports of any historians or ignorant transmitters who detract from any of them. If there is something equivocal which is reported about them regarding the trials that took place between them, then adopt the best interpretation and look for the most correct way out of it since that is what they deserve. None of them should be mentioned in a bad manner nor are they to be blamed for anything. Rather, we mention their good deeds, their virtues and their praiseworthy lives, and are silent about anything else.
The Prophet said:
idha dhukira ashabi fa amsiku.
“When my Companions are mentioned, hold back.”
al-Suyuti said in al-Durr al-manthur, in commenting on the verses 97 of Surat al-An`am (“And He it is Who hath set for you the stars that ye may guide your course by them amid the darkness of the land and the sea. We have detailed Our revelations for a people who have knowledge”): al-Khatib narrated from `Umar:
I heard Allah’s Messenger say: “Do not ask about what is in the stars, and do not explain the Qur’an according to your opinion, and do not insult any of my Companions: that is true faith.”
Suyuti continues: Ibn Mardawayh, al-Murhabi, and al-Khatib narrated that Maymun ibn Mahran said to Ibn `Abbas: Admonish me. Ibn `Abbas replied: I exhort you to fear Allah, to stay away from astrology because it is an invitation to divination, to beware of mentioning any of the Companions of Allah’s Messenger except in good, otherwise Allah will throw you headlong into Jahannam, for Allah has made this Religion triumph through them; and beware of all talk about the Decree, for two people do not talk about it except one or both of them commit sin.”
“Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, and those who are with him are hard against the unbelievers, merciful to the believers…” (48:29)
“The outstrippers, the first of the Muhajirun and the Ansars,” (9:100)
“Allah was pleased with the believers when they gave allegiance to you under the tree,” (48:18)
“Men who were true to their contract with Allah.” (33:23)
Hudhayfa said that the Messenger of Allah said:
iqtadu bi al-ladhina min ba`di abi bakrin wa `umar.
“Take for your leaders/guides those after me, Abu Bakr and ‘Umar.”
And the Prophet said:
ashabi kal-nujum bi ayyihim iqtadaytum ihtadaytum.
“My Companions are like stars. Whichever of them you use as a guide, you will be rightly guided.”
al-Qari said in his commentary on al-Shifa’ (2:91):
The Prophet said it, as narrated by `Abd ibn Humayd from Ibn `Umar; “My Companions are like the stars” refers to the totality of the guidance of the stars, for by the stars is one guided in the darkest nights, and by the Companions is one guided to the beauties and the highest levels of the lights of the Shari`a. The hadith may be deduced from Allah’s saying: “Ask the People of dhikr“ (16:43) and it is strengthened by the Prophet’s saying: “The Scholars of knowledge are the inheritors of Prophets.” [see below]
But you must know that “My Companions are like the stars” is another hadith narrated by al-Daraqutni in the Fada’il and Ibn `Abd al-Barr through his chain from Jabir, and he said: “This is a chain through which no proof can be established firmly.” al-Bazzar said of `Abd ibn Humayd’s narration: “It is denounced (munkar) and unsound.” Ibn `Adi narrated it in al-Kamil from Nafi` from Ibn `Umar with a weak chain. Bayhaqi narrated something similar in al-Madkhal from `Umar and Ibn `Abbas and he said: “Its matn is well-known (mashhur) and its chains are weak.” al-Halabi said: “The author should not have cited it as if it were definitely a hadith of the Prophet due to what is known about it among the scholars of this science, and he has done the same thing several times before.” I say: It is possible that he had established a chain for it, or that he considered the multiplicity of its chains to raise its grade from da`if to that of hasan, due to his good opinion of it, although the weak hadith may be put into practice for meritorious acts (fada’il al-a`mal), and Allah knows best.
The author of Kanz al-`ummal (#1002) cited the similar hadith mahma utitum min kitabillah. . . :
“Whatever is brought to you from Allah’s Book, it is obligatory to practice it, there is no excuse for leaving it; if it is not from Allah’s book, then a Sunna established by me; if not one of my Sunnas, then what my Companions said; verily, my Companions are equivalent to the stars in the sky: whichever of them you pinpoint, you will be guided, and the differences among my Companions are a mercy for you.”
Ibn `Abd al-Barr said in his book Jami` bayan al-`ilm (2:84):
`Umar ibn al-Khattab was angry about the disagreement between Ubayy ibn Ka`b and Ibn Mas`ud on the question of praying in a single cloth: Ubayy said that it was fine and good, while Ibn Mas`ud said that this was done only when clothes were scarce. `Umar said: “Two men disagreeing from among the Prophet’s Companions who are those one looks at and takes [knowledge] from?!” — and this supports the import of the hadith which they have declared weak whereby My Companions are like the stars; whoever among them you use for guidance, you will be rightly guided.
Anas relates that the Prophet said: “The simile of the scholars of knowledge (al-`ulama’) on the earth is the stars in the sky by which one is guided in the darkness of the land and the sea. When the stars are clouded over, the guides are about to be lost.”
All the above narrations are confirmed by the hadith in Muslim and Ahmad narrated by Abu Musa al-Ash`ari whereby the Prophet said: “The stars are trust-keepers for the heaven, and when the stars wane, the heaven is brought what was promised (i.e. of the corruption of the world and the coming of the Day of Judgment); and I am a trust-keeper for my Companions, so when I go my Companions will be brought what was promised them (i.e. of fitna and division); and my Companions are trustkeepers for my Community, so when they go my Community will be brought what was promised to you (i.e. following hawa and vying for dunya).”
This trust-keeping is what `Umar meant when he named the Companions: “Those whom people look at and take (knowledge) from” when he disapproved of the difference of opinion between Ubayy ibn Ka`b and `Abd Allah ibn Mas`ud, as related in Ibn `Abd al-Barr’s Jami` bayan al-`ilm (2:84).
This is further confirmed by al-Zuhri’s saying related by Darimi in the introduction to his Sunan: “Beware of evaluating things for yourself. By the One in Whose hand is my soul, if you evaluate things for yourself you will assuredly declare lawful the unlawful and declare unlawful the lawful. Rather, whatever reaches you from those who learned from the Companions of Muhammad — peace be upon him — put it into practice.”
Similar to this is al-Awza`is’ saying: “Knowledge is what comes from the Companions of Muhammad — peace be upon him — and whatever does not come from one of them is not knowledge.” Narrated by Ibn `Abd al-Barr in his Jami` bayan al-`ilm (2:36).
Anas said that the Messenger of Allah said:
mathalu ashabi ka mathali al-milhi fi al-ta`am.
“The likeness of my Companions (among people) is like salt in the food. Food is not good without it.”
The author of Nasim al-Riyad (3:469) said:
al-Hasan al-Basri said: “Our salt has disappeared; what good is left in us?” Their good consisted in their direction and rightful guidance, their scrupulousness in obedience, their commanding good and forbidding evil, and their elucidation of the Shari`a and of the matters of the Deen.
The above hadith is confirmed by the Prophet’s narration in Bukhari’s Sahih from Ibn `Abbas in the book of the merits of the Ansar, whereby the Prophet said during his last illness:
“O people! People will become numerous, and the Ansar will decrease in number, until they shall be among people in the same way as salt in the food. Therefore, whoever among you holds sway and wields power to harm or benefit, let him accept the good of those who do good among them, and excuse the evil of the evil-doers among them.”
Ibn al-Qayyim said in his al-Tibb al-nabawi (p. 301, 1993 ed.) which is part of his book Zad al-ma`ad, translated by Shaykh Muhammad al-`Akili as Medicine of the Prophet (p. 314):
Anas narrated that Allah’s Messenger said: “Salt is the master of your food.” (sayyidu idamikum al-milh – Sunan of Ibn Majah with a chain containing `Isa ibn Abi `Isa, who is matruk — fatally weak.) “Master” here means stabilizer, architect, or the principal substance, and the one that plays a dominant role in affecting others. That is what master (sayyid) means, and in that sense, food is regulated with salt, and most food do not balance unless they contain salt. [Note: this is unrefined salt, which is much healthier than the salt used nowadays.]
In another prophetic tradition, Allah’s Messenger said: “Perhaps, there will come a day when you will be in the midst of people like salt in the food, and nothing balances food better than salt.”
`Abd Allah ibn `Umar said: “Allah Almighty sent down four blessings from the skies: iron, fire, water, and salt.”
The Prophet also said:
“Allah, Allah! Fear Him with regard to my Companions! Do not make them targets after me! Whoever loves them loves them with his love for me; and whoever hates them hates them with his hatred for me. Whoever bears enmity for them, bears enmity for me; and whoever bears enmity for me, bears enmity for Allah. Whoever bears enmity for Allah is about to perish.”
al-Qari said in his commentary on al-Shifa’ (2:92):
The hadith may be deduced from the sum of Allah’s saying: “Lo! those who malign Allah and His messenger, Allah hath cursed them in the world and the Hereafter, and hath prepared for them the doom of the disdained. And those who malign believing men and believing women undeservedly, they bear the guilt of slander and manifest sin.” (33:57-58)
Ibn Kathir said in his Tafsir, in commenting on the above verses:
Ibn `Abbas said that the verse “those who harm Allah and His Prophet” was revealed concerning those who condemned the marriage of the Prophet with Safiyya bint Huyayy ibn Akhtab. The external meaning is that the verse is universal and pertains to all those who harm him in something, for those who harm him harm Allah, just as those who obey him obey Allah, as the Prophet said: “Allah, Allah! Fear Him with regard to my Companions! Do not make them targets after me!…” etc.
Allah’s saying: “And those who harm the believing men and the believing women undeservedly,” that is: they attribute to them something of which they are innocent and which they never did; “those have committed a grievous slander and a manifest sin.” That is the most grievous slander: to convey, concerning the believers, something which they never did, for the purpose of suggesting disgrace and defects in relation to them.
Most of those who enter into that divine threat are the Rafida (“Rejectionists”), who criticize the Companions, blame them for something of which Allah Himself declared them to be innocent, and attribute to them defects which were never mentioned by Allah. For Allah has said that He was well pleased with the Muhajirun and the Ansar and He praised them, while those ignorant dolts insult them and accuse them of faults and vices, attributing to them what they never did in their lives. Those accusers are in reality diseased of heart, for they injure those who are praised and they praise those who are despised.
It is narrated from `A’isha that the Prophet once asked his Companions: “What is the worst riba of all ribas?” They replied: “Allah and His Prophet know best.” He said: “The worst riba of all ribas in Allah’s sight is to treat as licit the honor of a Muslim person” (arba al-riba `ind Allah istihlal `ard imru’in muslimin), then he recited the verse: “And those who harm the believing men and the believing women for other than what they did, those have committed a grievous slander and a manifest sin.”
The Prophet also said about the Ansar:
“The Ansar! None loves them except a believer, and none hates them except a hypocrite. Whoever loves them, Allah loves him; and whoever hates them, Allah hates him.”
The Prophet also said:
“None of you should come to me with anything (negative) about any of my Companions for I do not want to go out to you except except with a clear heart.”
The Prophet also said:
“Do not curse my Companions. If any of you were to spend the weight of Uhud in gold, it still would not reach the measure (mudd) of one of them nor even one-half of it.”
al-Qari said (Sharh al-shifa’ 2:92):
Nawawi said that cursing the Companions is one of the most depraved acts (min akbar al-fawahish), while the author (`Iyad) counts it among the major sins (kaba’ir). Such offense is punished with corporeal punishment according to the vast majority, while according to some of the Malikis and Hanafis the offender is executed. In some of the books of the latter, it is stated that to insult the two Shaykhs (Abu Bakr and `Umar) constitutes disbelief (kufr).
The latter ruling is based in part or in whole on the hadith from Jabir narrated by Daylami and Ibn Asakir: “Love of Abu Bakr and `Umar is iman (or: Sunna), and hatred of them is disbelief.” Suyuti it declared weak in his Jami` al-saghir (#3668).
Nawawi said in Sharh Sahih Muslim: “Know that to insult the sahaba is haram, and one of the fawahish al-muharramat (grave major indecencies) whether with regard to those of them involved in a fitna (conflict) or other than them, because they entered those conflicts on the conviction of their ijtihad (legal reasoning) and interpretation.” Haytami and Dhahabi, like Qadi Iyad and Nawawi, considered insulting any of the sahaba as one of the major sins (kaba’ir).
Note also that the true appellation of shaykh al-islam belongs to none else than Abu Bakr and `Umar. al-Sakhawi wrote in his introduction to the biography of his shaykh Ibn Hajar entitled al-Jawahir wa al-durar:
This title was not common among the earlier generations after the two Shaykhs, al-Siddiq and al-Faruq, and we know that `Ali applied it to them — may Allah be pleased with them all. al-Muhibb al-Tabari related in his book al-Riyad al-nadira (The resplendant groves), without providing a chain of authorities, that Anas said: “A man came to `Ali ibn Abi Talib and said: O Commander of the Faithful, I heard you saying on the pulpit: “O Allah, help me as you helped the rightly-guided and enlightened caliphs. Who are they?” Anas said: Tears welled in `Ali’s eyes and began to pour down, then he replied: Abu Bakr and `Umar, the two leaders of rightful guidance and the two shaykhs of Islam, the two men of Quraysh, the two who are followed after the Messenger of Allah, blessings and peace be upon him. Whoever follows these two gains respect; whoever lives up to the legacy of these two is guided to a straight path; whoever sticks with these two is from Allah’s party, and Allah’s party–they are the saved.”
al-Dhahabi reported in al-Kashif on the authority of Ibn al-Mubarak — mark him, O Reader, as one who was a Shaykh al-Islam: “The only one to carry the title shaykh al-Islam is Abu Bakr al-Siddiq, who preserved the zakat and fought against the apostates. Know him very well.”
Following are some additional narrations from Bukhari’s Sahih on the rank of Abu Bakr and `Umar:
Narrated Ibn `Abbas: While I was standing amongst the people who were invoking Allah for `Umar ibn al-Khattab who was lying (dead) on his bed, a man behind me rested his elbows on my shoulder and said: “(O `Umar!) May Allah bestow His Mercy on you. I always hoped that Allah will keep you with your two companions, for I often heard Allah’s Messenger saying: I, Abu Bakr and `Umar were there; I, Abu Bakr and `Umar did this; I, Abu Bakr and `Umar set out. So I hoped that Allah will keep you with both of them.” I turned back to see that the speaker was `Ali ibn Abi Talib.
Narrated Ibn `Abbas: When `Umar was placed on his deathbed, the people gathered around him, invoked Allah, and prayed for him before the body was taken away, and I was among them. Suddenly I felt somebody taking hold of my shoulder and saw that it was `Ali ibn Abi Talib. `Ali invoked Allah’s Mercy for `Umar and said: “O `Umar! You have not left behind you a person whose deeds I like to imitate more than yours, nor would I more prefer to meet Allah with other than your deeds. By Allah! I always thought that Allah would keep you with your two companions, for very often I used to hear the Prophet saying: I, Abu Bakr and `Umar went somewhere; I, Abu Bakr and `Umar entered someplace; and I, Abu Bakr and `Umar went out.”
Narrated Abu Musa: While I was with the Prophet in one of the gardens of Medina, a man came and asked me to open the gate. The Prophet said to me: “Open the gate for him and give him the glad tidings that he will enter Paradise.” I opened the gate for him, and behold! It was Abu Bakr. I informed him of the glad tidings the Prophet had said, and he praised Allah. Then another man came and asked me to open the gate. The Prophet said to me: “Open the gate and give him the glad tidings of entering Paradise.” I opened the gate for him, and behold! It was `Umar. I informed him of what the Prophet had said, and he praised Allah. Then another a man came and asked me to open the gate. The Prophet said to me: “Open the gate for him and inform him of the glad tidings of entering Paradise with a calamity which will befall him.” Behold! It was `Uthman. I informed him of what Allah’s Apostle had said. He praised Allah and said, “I seek Allah’s aid.”
Narrated Anas: Allah’s Apostle ascended the mountain of Uhud with Abu Bakr, `Umar, and `Uthman, and the mountain shook. Allah’s Apostle said: “Be calm, O Uhud!” I think he stroked it with his foot and added: “There is none on you but a Prophet, a siddiq, and two shahid.”
Narrated Ibn `Umar: During the lifetime of the Prophet we considered Abu Bakr as peerless and then `Umar and then `Uthman and then we used not to differentiate between the companions of the Prophet.
The Prophet also said:
“Anyone who curses my Companions has the curse of Allah on him, and of the angels, and of all people. Allah will not accept any exchange nor compensation from him.”
The Prophet also said in the hadith from Jabir:
“Allah chose my Companions over everything else in existence except for the Prophets and the Messengers. He chose four of them for me; Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, ‘Uthman and ‘Ali. He made them my best Companions, and all of my Companions are good.”
Allah Almighty said:
“Muhammad is the messenger of Allah. And those with him are hard against the disbelievers and merciful among themselves. Thou (O Muhammad) seest them bowing and falling prostrate (in worship), seeking bounty from Allah and (His) acceptance. The mark of them is on their foreheads from the traces of prostration. Such is their likeness in the Torah and their likeness in the Gospel – like as sown corn that sendeth forth its shoot and strengtheneth it and riseth firm upon its stalk, delighting the sowers – that He may enrage the disbelievers with (the sight of) them. Allah hath promised, unto such of them as believe and do good works, forgiveness and immense reward.” (48:29)
al-Qurtubi commented on this verse in his Jami` li ahkam al-qur’an (1994 Cairo ed. 16:283-286) thus:
Abu `Urwa al-Zubayri narrated: We were with Malik ibn Anas when they mentioned a certain man who would find fault with the Companions of the Messenger of Allah. When he heard this, Malik recited the verse: “Muhammad is the messenger of Allah. And those with him. . .” until he reached the words “delighting the sowers – that He may enrage the disbelievers with (the sight of) them.” (48:29) Then Malik said: “Whoever among the people has become one who harbors spite towards any one of the Prophet’s Companions, this verse has targeted and reached him.” al-Khatib mentioned it.
Malik spoke well and his interpretation is correct. Whoever finds fault with a single one of them or questions his reliability as a narrator, has rejected the saying of Allah, the Lord of the Worlds and rendered null and void the laws of the Muslims. Allah said of the Companions:
“Muhammad is the messenger of Allah. And those with him. . .” (48:29),
and He said:
“Allah was well pleased with the believers when they swore allegiance unto thee beneath the tree” (48:18),
and He said:
“Of the believers are men who are true to that which they covenanted with Allah. Some of them have paid their vow by death (in battle), and some of them still are waiting; and they have not altered in the least” (33:23),
and He said:
“And (it is) for the poor fugitives who have been driven out from their homes and their belongings, who seek bounty from Allah and help Allah and His messenger. They are the loyal” (59:8),
and He said:
“Those who entered the city and the faith before them love those who flee unto them for refuge, and find in their breasts no need for that which hath been given them, but prefer (the fugitives) above themselves though poverty become their lot. And whoso is saved from his own avarice – such are they who are successful” (59:9).
All the above is with Allah’s complete knowledge of their situation and the state to which they are destined. Similarly, the Prophet said:
“The best of humankind are those in my century, then those that follow them” (Bukhari and Muslim),
and he said:
“Do not curse my Companions. If any of you were to spend the weight of Uhud in gold, it still would not reach the measure (mudd) of one of them nor even one-half of it” (see above),
and in different narrations of the same he said:
“If any of you were to spend all the wealth of the earth, it still would not reach the measure (mudd) of one of them nor even one-half of it,”
and in al-Bazzar’s Musnad, narrated from Jabir from the Prophet — and it is sound (sahih):
“Allah chose my Companions over everything else in existence. . .” (see above),
and `Uwaym ibn Sa`ida narrated that the Prophet said:
“Allah has chosen me, and He has chosen my Companions for me. He has made some of them my deputies, my sons-in-law, and my fathers-in-law. Anyone who curses them has the curse of Allah on him, and of the angels, and of all people. Allah will not accept any exchange nor compensation from him” (see above),
and the hadiths on that topic are many, so woe to the one who opens his mouth against one of them!
Therefore, whoever attributes a lie to any one of the Companions has left the pale of shari`a, annulled the Qur’an, and cast aspersion on the Prophet; and a Companion that has been accused of lying has been insulted — for there is no worse disgrace after disbelief in Allah than lying — and the Prophet has cursed whoever insults his Companions. Therefore, the person who belies even the least among the Companions — and there is none lesser among them — enters into Allah’s curse which was witnessed to by the Prophet, and which was assured by him for any who dared insult or cast aspersion on any one of the Companions.
The Companions are all trustworthy witnesses (`udul), Friends of Allah and His Elect in creation after His Prophets and Messengers. This is the school of Ahl al-Sunna, and this is what is held by the entire congregation of the Imams of this Community. An insignificant faction of people have gone the way of claiming that the Companions are like anybody else, and that their trustworthiness is subject to examination and verification. Some of those people make distinctions between an early phase and a later phase, and so they say: “They were true witnesses at first, then their conditions changed and war and bloodshed took place between them, so we must investigate.” This pretext is rejected! For the elite of the Companions and the foremost among them, such as `Ali, Talha, Zubayr, and others among those whom Allah praised and exalted and was pleased with and counted among the dwellers of Paradise when He said “Forgiveness and a tremendous reward,” especially the Ten for whom Paradise is assured as was declared by the Prophet: these constitute the vanguard the Community at the same time as they were fully aware of the dissensions and the affairs that befell them after their Prophet, since he had informed them about them. Yet this in no way lowered their high rank or excellence, for all these matters were based on ijtihad, and every mujtahid is right.
The Prophet also said:
“Whoever loves `Umar loves me. Whoever hates `Umar hates me.”
Malik ibn Anas and others said: “Whoever hates the Companions and curses them does not have any right to Muslim booty. This judgement is taken from the verse:
“Those who come after them say: Our Lord, forgive us and our brothers, who preceded us in belief, and do not put rancor into our hearts against those who believe.” (59:10)
Malik said: “Whoever is exasperated by the Companions of Muhammad is an unbeliever, for Allah said:
“He enrages the unbelievers through them.” (48:29)
`Abd Allah ibn al-Mubarak said: “There are two qualities which are the cause of salvation for whoever has them: truthfulness and love for the Companions of Muhammad.”
Ayyub as-Sakhtiyani said: “Whoever loves Abu Bakr has established the deen. Whoever loves `Umar has made the way clear. Whoever loves `Uthman has been illuminated by the light of Allah. Whoever loves `Ali has taken hold of the firm handle. Whoever praises the Companions of Muhammad is free of hypocrisy. Whoever disparages any of them is an innovator opposing the Sunna and the right-acting Salaf. It is feared that none of his actions will rise to heaven until he loves them all and his heart is sound.”
Khalid ibn Sa`id said that the Prophet said:
“O people, I am pleased with Abu Bakr, so let that be known! O people, I am pleased with `Umar, `Ali, `Uthman, Talha, al-Zubayr, Sa`d, Sa`id, and `Abd al-Rahman ibn Awf, so let that be known! O people, Allah has forgiven the people of Badr and al-Hudaybiyya. O people, protect me in my Companions and my relations by marriage. Do not let any of them have cause to demand restitution from any of you for an injustice against them. A wrongful claim will not be granted tomorrow on the Day of Rising.”
A man said to al-Mu`afa ibn `Imran, “Where is Mu`awiya in relation to `Umar ibn `Abd al-`Aziz?” He got angry and said: “One does not compare anyone with the Companions of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace! Mu`awiya was his companion, his brother-in-law (being the brother of Umm Habiba the Mother of the Believers), his scribe, and one who was entrusted with the revelation of Allah!”
al-Qari said in Sharh al-shifa’ (2:95):
One of the scholars was asked this question and he replied: “The dust in the nostrils of (the Companion) Mu`awiya’s horse is a thousand times better than (the Successor) `Umar ibn `Abd al-`Aziz.” The gist of it is that none of the scholars and shaykhs of this Community can reach the rank of the Companions nor attain the merit of having served the Prophet (like them). For the sight of the Prophet was an elixir (iksir) that immeasurably affected whoever saw him and believed in him, young or old.
The Prophet came to a man’s funeral but did not pray over him. He said: “He hated `Uthman, so Allah hates him.”
The Prophet said about the Ansar (as already mentioned in full, narrated by Bukhari and Muslim): “Overlook their faults and give precedence to their good qualities.”
The Prophet also said:
“Guard me in my Companions and my relations by marriage. Anyone who guards me in them will be guarded by Allah in this world and the Next. Anyone who does not guard me in them will be abandoned by Allah. Anyone abandoned by Allah is about to perish.”
The Prophet said:
“Whoever protects me in my Companions, I will be his guardian on the Day of Rising.”
The above is also found as part of the larger narration of Ibn `Asakir and Daylami from Jabir, which Suyuti declared weak in al-Jami` al-saghir (#3668), whereby:
“Love of Abu Bakr and `Umar is iman (or: Sunna), and hatred of them is disbelief, and love of the Ansar is iman, and hatred of them is disbelief, and love of the Arabs is iman, and hatred of them is disbelief. Whoever insults my Companions, Allah’s curse is on him, and whoever protects me in my Companions, I will be his guardian on the Day of Rising.”
The Prophet said:
“Whoever protects me in my Companions will come to me at the Basin. Whoever does not protect me in my Companions will not come to me at the Basin and will only see me from a distance.”
The imperative of guarding the Prophet’s honor in the person of his Companions is confirmed by the sound hadith whereby the Prophet said:
“Guard me in my Companions, then in those that follow them, then in those that follow the latter. After that time, mendacity will spread everywhere, to the point that a man will testify without having been asked, and he will swear an oath without having been asked.”
Malik ibn Anas said: “The Prophet taught people the adab to which Allah had guided him and which made him a mercy for the worlds. He went out in the darkness of the night to al-Baqi` (the cemetery of al-Madina), made supplication for the people in the graves and asked forgiveness for them like someone seeing them off on a journey. Allah commanded him to do that and the Prophet commanded people to have love and friendship for them and opposition to anyone who opposes them.”
It is related from Ka`b (al-Ahbar): “There is none of the Companion of Muhammad but that he will have the power of intercession on the Day of Rising.” Ka`b was asked by al-Mughira ibn Nawfal to intercede for him on the Day of Rising.
Sahl ibn `Abd Allah at-Tustari said: “Anyone who does not respect the Messenger’s Companions nor gives weight to his commands (to respect them) does not believe in him.”
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