Assalaam Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuh,
The vast majority of the Companions were at the highest level of human perfections. For at that time in the mighty revolution of Islam, good and truth appeared in all their beauty, and evil and falsehood, in all their ugliness, and they were felt physically. Such a difference was apparent between good and evil and such a distance opened up between truth and falsehood that they drew as distant from one another as belief is from unbelief, and even Hell is from Paradise. The Companions, who by nature possessed elevated emotions, were captivated by the highest morality, and inclined towards dignity and virtue, would not voluntarily stretch out their hands to evil and falsehood, and so fall to the level of Musaylima the Liar and his ridiculous utterances. For he was the herald of falsehood, evil, and lies, and their embodiment. Their characters demanded that they looked to the rank of the perfections, those of God’s Beloved (PBUH) at the highest of the high, who was the herald and embodiment of truthfulness, good, and right, and that they hastened in that way with all their strength and endeavour.
For example, it sometimes happens that in the market of human civilization and shop of social life, everyone flees in disgust from the fearsome results and ugly consequences of certain things, like from a deadly poison, let alone buying them, while the beautiful results and valuable consequences of certain other things and of immaterial goods attract the general view and demand to themselves like a universal panacea and a sparkling brilliant; everyone tries their utmost to buy them. In just the same way, in the Era of Bliss in the market of human social life, since goods like lying, evil, and unbelief gave rise to results like everlasting misery and base buffoons like Musaylima the Liar, it is certain and clear that the Companions, who were captivated by elevated characteristics and love of exalted things, would flee from them with loathing as from fatal poison. And of a necessity, the Companions, with their pure natures and praiseworthy characteristics, would, with all their strength, emotions, and faculties, be desirous of and customers for truth, truthfulness and belief, which yielded results like eternal happiness and luminous fruits like God’s Noble Messenger (PBUH), as though for the most effective panacea and precious diamond. However, after that time, the distance between truthfulness and lying has gradually and by degrees diminished, until they have become shoulder to shoulder. Having begun to be sold together in the same shop, social morality has become corrupted. The propaganda of politics has caused greater demand for lying. At a time when the awesome ugliness of lying has begun to be concealed and the shining beauty of truthfulness has begun not to be apparent, who can attain to the strength, constancy, and taqwa of the Companions in the matters of justice, truthfulness, exaltedness, and right, or surpass their level? I shall explain something which occurred to me which will illuminate this to a degree. It was like this:
One time, it occurred to me, why could wondrous individuals like Muhyiddin al-‘Arabi not attain to the levels of the Companions? Then, while saying, “Glory be to my Sustainer, the Most High” during the prayers, the meaning of the phrase was unfolded to me. Not in its complete meaning, but its reality in part became apparent to me. I said in my heart: “If only I could perform one of the five daily prayers in the same way as this phrase, it would be better than a year’s worship.” After the prayers I understood that that thought and state was guidance indicating that the Companions’ degree in worship could not be reached. In that mighty social revolution brought about by the lights of the Qur’an, while opposites were separated from one another, and evils together with all their darkness, details and all who followed them, and good and perfections together with all their lights and results came face to face - at such an exciting time, all glorifications of God and recitations of His Names expressed all the levels of their meanings freshly and newly and in a young and unfaded fashion. So too, under the crashing of that mighty revolution all the senses and subtle inner faculties of people were awakened, even senses like those of fancy and imagination, in an awakened and aware state, received the numerous meanings of those recitations and glorifications in accordance with their own perceptions, and absorbed them.
Thus, due to this wisdom, when the Companions, whose senses were awakened and subtle faculties, alert, uttered those blessed words comprising the lights of belief and glorification, they did so in all their meaning and they partook of them with all their senses. However, after that revolution and upheaval, the subtle faculties have gradually sunk into sleep and the senses fallen from that point of realities into heedlessness; like fruits, under the veil of familiarity, those blessed words have gradually lost their delicacy and freshness. Simply, as though drying up through the air of superficiality, only a little freshness remains, and this may be restored to its former state only through drastic surgery of a reflective and reasoning kind. Thus, it is because of this that another can reach the virtue and level the Companions attained to in forty minutes, only in forty years.
By Bediuzzaman Said Nursi