In the Name of Allaah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
All praise is due to Allah. Peace and blessings be upon the Messenger, his household and companions.
Dear brother, here is an interesting and brief treatise. We beseech Allah to make it valuable in the heart of its reader. In these articles, I have discussed the status of the Prophet’s companions – may Allah be pleased with them – who had the honor of seeing the Prophet, blessings and peace of Allah be upon him and had the delight of being in his company. Their hearts were purified with the knowledge they drew from the Prophetic fountain and their souls were elevated by the clean and sweet water they sipped from its pond.
I have included clear verses, illuminating Hadeeths and astounding examples that all indicate the enviable status and the lofty position of that first generation of Muslims – the pious and virtuous companions – may Allah be pleased with them.
Indeed the Muslim youths of today in direst need of knowing the virtues of the companions of Allah’s Messenger blessings and peace of Allah be upon him their honorable source of inspiration and the impact the Prophet’s training had on them. Today’s young generation needs to know those virtues and qualities that made the Prophet’s companions the best the unique and the exemplar generation in the history of mankind.
The Muslim youth is excused if he cannot properly emulate the ways of this ideal Islamic generation for information about them are presented to him in a distorted, biased, or misrepresented manner by those whose hearts are filled with hatred for the earliest believers so much that they go to the extent of accusing them with apostasy!
Therefore, it becomes religiously imperative for whoever is capable of setting the records straight or dispelling the misconceptions about the earliest Muslims to regard doing so as one of the most meritorious acts of worship and seize the momentum as much as he can so that the Muslim youths will have clear knowledge of their righteous predecessors whom they should emulate and follow their path in reforming their ways.
Dear brother, I would like to leave you to dig into this short treatise and discover by yourself the honor and nobility that the companions deserve by having lived with the Messenger of Allah, blessings and peace of Allah be upon him.
Verses of Praise
Without doubt, the most truthful and the clearest speech is that of Allah, High and Exalted. His Word is the purest of all statements. He is the Most-Truthful in fulfilling promise and He is the Severest in threat. No one has any other option; as far as the verses of the Qur’aan are concerned, than to believe in them without any reservation or investigation for Allah’s (and His Messenger’s authentic) are the only speeches that deserve to be unconditionally accepted. And the imperfect intellect of man cannot reject His command or attempt to interpret the same according to its narrow desire.
Here, the Great Lord praises the companions of the noble Prophet, blessings and peace of Allah be upon him. He knows that they deserve the praise for having the honor of living with him. Also, Allah’s speech and knowledge cannot be time or space restricted. His words are suitable and applicable for all times and all places and all ages. The following are some of His statements in praise of His Prophet’s companions:
The Messenger and his compassionate companions
(محمد رسول الله والذين معه أشداء على الكفار رحماء بينهم تراهم ركعا سجدا يبتغون فضلا من الله و رضوانا سيماهم في وجوههم من أثر السجود ذلك مثلهم في التوراة و مثلهم في الإنجيل كزرع أخرج شطئه فئازره فاستغلظ فاستوى على سوقه يعجب الزراع ليغيظ بهم الكفار وعد الله الذين آمنوا و عملوا الصالحات منهم مغفرة و أجرا عظيما)
“Muhammad (peace be upon him) is the Messenger of Allâh. And those who are with him are severe against disbelievers, and merciful among themselves. You see them bowing and falling down prostrate (in prayer), seeking Bounty from Allâh and (His) Good Pleasure. The mark of them (i.e. of their Faith) is on their faces (foreheads) from the traces of prostration (during prayers). This is their description in the Taurât (Torah). But their description in the Injeel (Gospel) is like a (sown) seed which sends forth its shoot, then makes it strong, and then becomes thick and it stands straight on its stem, delighting the sowers, that He may enrage the disbelievers with them. Allâh has promised those among them who believe (i.e. all those who follow Islâmic Monotheism, the religion of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) till the Day of Resurrection) and do righteous good deeds, forgiveness and a mighty reward (i.e. Paradise).” (Al-Fath 48:29)
This is a clear testimony from Allah, made in a verse that serves as a medal for the ones so honored.
Ibn Katheer said in his comments about the companions – may Allah be pleased with them: “Their intentions were sincere and their actions were righteous. Whoever looked at them was impressed by their character and guidance.”
Imam Maalik – may Allah have mercy upon him – said: “It came to my knowledge that whenever the Christians saw the Prophet’s companions who brought Sham under the control of Islaam, they would say, ‘By Allah! These are better than disciples (of Jesus – peace be upon him) as far as we know.’ They were right, for this (Muslim) nation was honored in ancient scriptures, and its greatest and most honored generation is that of the Prophet’s companions – may Allah be pleased with them.”
Great glad tiding and a promise of that which is better
(لا يستوي منكم من أنفق من قبل الفتح و قاتل أولئك أعظم درجة من الذين أنفقوا من بعد و قاتلوا و كلا وعد الله الحسنى والله بما تعملون خبير)
“Not equal among you are those who spent and fought before the conquering (of Makkah, with those among you who did so later). Such are higher in degree than those who spent and fought afterwards. But to all Allâh has promised the best (reward). And Allâh is All-Aware of what you do.” (Al-Hadeed 57:10)
Al-Khattabee said, in his commentary on this verse: “The little that the earliest Muslims did for the cause of Allaah, despite strained and difficult life they were living, is regarded purer and greater in Allah’s estimation than the much spent by those who came after them.”
The Prophet’s companions were honorable and noble people who had put forth great deeds. None of those who came after them can catch up with them in virtue and righteous deeds. The most modest of their deeds cannot be compared with deeds of those who came after them however much these deeds may be and however sincere, faithful or honest their doers may be. That is Allah’s favor which He grants to whoever He wills.
Favor and repentance in hour of distress
While clarifying His favor upon the companions of His trustworthy Messenger, blessings and peace of Allaah be upon him, and explaining how He rewarded them for their supporting him during the hour of difficulty, He says:
(لقد تاب الله على النبي و المهاجرين و الأنصار الذين اتبعوه في ساعة العسرة من بعد ما كاد يزيغ قلوب فريق منهم ثم تاب عليهم إنه بهم رءوف رحيم)
“Allâh has forgiven the Prophet (peace be upon him), the Muhajirûn (Muslim emigrants who left their homes and came to Al-Madinah) and the Ansar (Muslims of Al-Madinah) who followed him (Muhammad (peace be upon him)) in the time of distress (Tabûk expedition), after the hearts of a party of them had nearly deviated (from the Right Path), but He accepted their repentance. Certainly, He is unto them full of Kindness, Most Merciful.” (At-Tawbah 9:117)
These righteous people have witnessed all the events with the Messenger, blessings and peace of Allaah be upon him, thereby excelling all the people in virtues. Allaah has forgiven them and accepted their repentance. As Muslims, we are commanded, by explicit statements of the Prophet, blessings and peace of Allaah be upon him to seek forgiveness for them and to seek Allaah’s favor by loving them.
Abu Bakr Al-Jassaas commented, “In Allaah’s statement, ‘Allâh has forgiven the Prophet (peace be upon him), the Muhajirûn (Muslim emigrants who left their homes and came to Al-Madinah) and the Ansar (Muslims of Al-Madinah) who followed him (Muhammad (peace be upon him)) in the time of distress’ there is praise for the Prophet’s companions – the Emigrants and Helpers – who fought along with him. There is also an implicit extolling of their pure minds and consciences for Allaah would not have told us that He had accepted their repentance if He was not pleased with them and their actions. This is an explicit refutation against those who disparage them and describe them with attributes that are contrary to attributes of purity, sincerity and piety with which Allaah describes them.”
At-Taahir Ibn ‘Aashoor writes, “The Emigrants and the Helpers are the main residents of Al-Madeenah. They and other tribes that lived around the city of Al-Madeenah and Makkah constituted what was known as ‘Army of Distress’. However, the Emigrants and the Helpers are exclusively mentioned because they never hesitated to fight in the way of Allah neither were they miserly in spending their wealth in the cause of Allaah. They thereby became a model for other tribes that emulated them.”