The Creed of Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa'ah Part 2
Shaikh 'Abdul-Muhsin Al-'Abbaad (hafidhahullaah)
All of the Companions of Allaah's Messenger are trustworthy based on Allaah's testifying that for them and because of His praise for them and the praise of His Messenger for them. An-Nawawee said in At-Taqreeb, which As-Suyootee explained in his Tadreeb
Ar-Raawee: "All of the Companions are trustworthy - those who were involved in the afflictions (fitan) and those other than them - according to the consensus of the scholars."
Al-Haafidh Ibn Hajr said in Al-Isaabah: "Ahl-us-Sunnah have unanimously agreed that all of them (the Sahaabah) are trustworthy and no one opposed this except some deviants amongst the innovators."
This is why there is no harm in not knowing a Companion in a chain of narration. So if a Taabi'ee says: "On the authority of a man who accompanied the Prophet…" this does not affect the report. This is because not knowing the Companions (in the chain) causes no harm since they are all trustworthy. Al-Khateeb Al-Baghdaadee said in his book Al-Kifaayah:
"Every hadeeth that has a chain of narration that is connected between the one who reported it and the Prophet is not to be acted upon until first having affirmed the trustworthiness and reliability of its men (in the chain). And it is an obligation to investigate into their conditions, except the Sahaabee (Companion) who raises it (or attributes the hadeeth) to the Prophet. This is because the trustworthiness of the Companions is established and well known based on Allaah's asserting that for them and His informing us of their pure state and His preference of them in the texts of the Qur'aan…"
Then he goes on to list some ayaat and ahaadeeth concerning their virtue and then says:
"And even if Allaah or His Messenger (saws) had not mentioned anything about them from what we just stated now (of their virtues), the condition they were upon of having made Hijrah, fought in Jihaad, of having offered their support, sacrificed their lives and wealth, experienced the killings of their parents and children, of mutually advising for the Religion and having strong Faith and unshakeable Certainty, (all of this) would necessitate their trustworthiness and one having a firm belief in their honesty and integrity. And it would necessitate that they are the best of those that receive testimony and approval as to their trustworthiness and reliability from all of the people that will come after them forever and ever."
Then he reports a narration with the chain connected to Abu Zur'ah, who said: "If you see a man seeking to belittle anyone amongst the Companions of Allaah's Messenger (saws), then know that he is a heretic (zindeeq). This is because according to us the Messenger of Allaah is true and the Qur'aan is true. And the only ones who brought this Qur'aan and the Sunan (plural of Sunnah) to us are the Companions of Allaah's Messenger. They only wish to disparage and demolish our witnesses so that they can nullify the Book and the Sunnah, whereas they are more deserving of being disparaged for they are the heretics (zanaadiqah)."
The madh-hab of Ahl-us-Sunnah wal-Jamaa'ah concerning the Companions is that of moderateness between the two ends of extremism and heedlessness. It is moderateness between the extremist fanatics who elevate the esteemed ones amongst them to a level that is only befitting for Allaah or for His messengers and between the heedless and harsh ones who belittle and revile them. So they are in the middle between those who are excessive and those who fall short - they love all of them and put each one of them in his due place, which they deserve, with fairness and justice. So they do not elevate them to that which they are not deserving of, nor do they belittle them, taking away what they are deserving of. Therefore, their tongues are moist with mentioning them only in good, according to what is befitting for them. And their hearts are filled with love for them.
And whatever is authentic from the disputes and differences that occurred between (some of) them, then with regard to that they were Mujtahideen. Either they were correct and so they will receive a reward for their Ijtihaad and a reward for being correct or they were wrong and so they will receive just a reward for their Ijtihaad while their error will be forgiven. They were not infallible, for they were human beings, at times they were correct and at times they were in error. But how much more were they correct as compared to others being correct, and how fewer were their errors as compared to the errors of others? And they will have Allaah's forgiveness and contentment.
The books of Ahl-us-Sunnah are filled with the elucidation of this pure and clear Creed concerning these elite people, the chosen ones amongst mankind to accompany the best of mankind (saws). May Allaah be pleased with them all.
An example of this is the statement of At-Tahaawee in his (book on the) Creed of Ahl-us-Sunnah: "We love the Companions of Allaah's Messenger and we do not go to extremes in the love for anyone amongst them, nor do we absolve ourselves from any of them. And we hate anyone that hates them or anyone that talks about them in a bad way. And we do not mention them except with good. Loving them is Deen, Eemaan and Ihsaan and hating them is Kufr, Nifaaq (hypocrisy) and Tughyaan (transgression)."
Ibn Abee Zayd Al-Qayrawaanee said in the introduction to his famous Ar-Risaalah, where he explains the Creed of Ahl-us-Sunnah: "And the best of generations is the one that saw the Messenger of Allaah. And the best of the Companions are the (four) rightly guided Khaleefahs - Abu Bakr, then 'Umar, then 'Uthmaan, then 'Alee, may Allaah be pleased with them all. And none of the Companions should be mentioned except in the best of manners. We believe in refraining from (speaking about) the differences that occurred between them. And that they are the most deserving of people of having excuses made for them and (that) they are to be thought of in the best way."
Imaam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal said in his book As-Sunnah: "And from the Sunnah is mentioning the good qualities of the Companions of Allaah's Messenger - all of them - and to refrain from (speaking about) what disputes occurred between them. So whoever reviles the Companions of Allaah's Messenger or (just) one of them, then he is an innovator, a Raafidee. Loving them is a Sunnah and making du'aa (supplication) for them is a means of getting close to Allaah (taqarrub). Following them is a means and taking from their examples is a virtue…"
And he said: "It is not permissible for anyone to mention any of their faults. Nor can anyone disparage any of them. So whoever does that, then the authority (sultan) is obligated to reprimand him and punish him. And he is not to pardon him, but rather must punish him and then request him to repent. So if he repents, he should accept it from him. And if he doesn't repent, he should reinitiate the punishment upon him and lock him in prison for good until he repents and recants (from his false belief)."
Imaam Abu 'Uthmaan As-Saaboonee said in his book 'Aqeedat-us-Salaf wa Ashaab-il-Hadeeth: "And they held it an obligation to refrain from (speaking about) the differences that occurred between the Companions of Allaah's Messenger and to purify the tongues from mentioning anything that consists of a blemish on them or a degradation of them. And they held it an obligation to ask Allaah for mercy for all of them and to show friendship to all of them."
Shaikh-ul-Islaam Ibn Taimiyyah said in his book Al-'Aqeedat-ul-Waasitiyyah: "Among the Principles of Ahl-us-Sunnah wal-Jamaa'ah is maintaining pure hearts and tongues towards the Companions of Allaah's Messenger (saws), as Allaah has described them in His saying: 'And those who come after them say: 'Our Lord! Forgive us and our brothers who preceded us in Faith. And put not in our hearts any hatred against those who have believed. Our Lord, You are indeed full of kindness, most Merciful.' [Surah Al-Hashr: 8-10]
And (from their principles is) obedience to the Prophet with regard to his saying: 'Do not revile my Companions! For by the One whose Hand my soul is in, if one of you were to give away the size of mount Uhud in gold for charity, it would not equal a mudd of one of them nor even half of it.'
And they accept what is stated in the Qur'aan, the Sunnah and the Consensus concerning their (the Companion's) virtues and high statuses. And they give preference to those who spent their wealth and fought (in the Way of Allaah) before the Victory - which refers to the Treaty of al-Hudaybiyah - over those who gave their wealth and fought after it. And they give precedence to the Muhaajireen over the Ansaar. And they believe that Allaah said to the people who fought in (the Battle of) Badr - who numbered over three hundred people: 'Do whatever you wish, for I have already forgiven you.'
And they believe that no one who pledged their allegiance to the Prophet (saws) under the tree will enter the Hellfire, as the Prophet (saws) informed us. In fact, Allaah was pleased with them and they were pleased with Him. And they were more than one thousand four hundred people.
They designate to Paradise whoever the Messenger of Allaah testified will be in Paradise, such as the Ten (Companions), Thaabit Ibn Qays Ibn Shammas and others.
And they confirm what has been reported in tawaatur form on the Ameer-ul-Mu'mineen, 'Alee Ibn Abee Taalib (raa) and others that: The best of this ummah after its Prophet are Abu Bakr; then 'Umar. Then they place 'Uthmaan third and 'Alee fourth, may Allaah be pleased with all of them. This is as is indicated in the athaar (reports from the Sahaabah) and as was unanimously agreed upon that 'Uthmaan had precedence (over 'Alee) for being pledged allegiance to (for the Khilaafah). In spite of this, after unanimously agreeing to the precedence of Abu Bakr and 'Umar, some of the Ahl-us-Sunnah have disagreed with regard to 'Uthmaan and 'Alee as to which of them is better. So a group of them gave precedence to 'Uthmaan and then remained silent and placed 'Alee as the fourth. And another group gave precedence to 'Alee. And yet another group remained neutral. But the affair of Al-us-Sunnah settled upon giving precedence to 'Uthmaan and then 'Alee. But regardless, this issue of 'Uthmaan and 'Alee is not from the principles by which the one who disagrees concerning it becomes misguided (and deviant), according to the majority of the (scholars of) Ahl-us-Sunnah. Rather, the issue in which the one who opposes becomes misguided is the issue of the Khilaafah - and it is that they (must) believe that the Khaleefah after Allaah's Messenger was Abu Bakr, then 'Umar, then 'Uthmaan and then 'Alee. And whoever attacks the Khilaafah of any one of them, then he is more astray than the donkey of his people."
Then he mentioned that they have love and affection for the Members of the Household of Allaah's Messenger and that they preserve the Will (final requests) of Allaah's Messenger concerning them. And that they have affection for the Wives of Allaah's Messenger, the Mothers of the Believers and believe that they will be his wives in the Hereafter. Then he said:
"And they absolve themselves from the way of the Rawaafid - those who hate the Companions and revile them - and from the way of the Nawaasib - those who abuse the Members of the (Prophet's) Household - by speech or action. And they refrain from (delving into) the disputes that occurred between the Companions. And they say: These narrations, which have been reported concerning their faults, there are amongst them, that which is false, that which things have been added to, that which parts have been omitted and that which has been changed from its original state. As for what is authentic from them, then with regard to that they (the Companions) are excused (and forgiven) - either they made Ijtihaad and were correct or they made Ijtihaad and were wrong. And on top of that, they do not believe that every one of the Companions is infallible and free of committing major or minor sins. Rather, they are capable of committing sins in general, but they have from precedence and virtues what necessitates that they be forgiven for whatever (sins) they commit - if they did commit any. This is even to the point that they will be forgiven for evil deeds the likes of which those who come after them will not be forgiven for. This is because they possess good deeds that wipe out the evil deeds, the likes of which will not be for those after them.
It is established from the saying of Allaah's Messenger (saws) that they are the best of generations and that if one of them were to give a mudd (of gold) in charity it would be better than the whole of Mount Uhud in gold of those who came after them. Furthermore, if it was the case that one of them committed a sin, then either he repented from it or he performed some good deed that wiped it out. Or he was forgiven for it due to the virtue of his precedence or by intercession of Muhammad (saws), of which the Companions have the most right among people of receiving his intercession. Or perhaps he was tested by some affliction in this world, by which it was expiated from him. So if this is with respect to the sins that were actualized (by them), then what about the matters in which they did Ijtihaad? If they were correct they will have two rewards and if they were incorrect they will have one reward and their error will be forgiven
. Furthermore, the amount that is forsaken yet forgiven from the (bad) deeds committed by some of them is tiny in comparison to their virtues and good qualities, such as their belief in Allaah and His Messenger, Jihaad in His Way, Hijrah, support (of the Religion), beneficial knowledge and good deeds. And whoever studies the history of the "people" (i.e. the Sahaabah) with knowledge and insight, and studies what Allaah bestowed them with of merits, he will come to know with full certainty that they are the best of creation after the prophets. There was not nor will there be anyone like them. And (he will come to know that) they are the safwah (chosen elite) from all the generations of this nation (of Muslims), which is itself the best and most honorable of all nations with Allaah."
These are five examples from the sayings of the Salaf As-Saalih (righteous predecessors) concerning what we are obligated to believe in with respect to the best of creation after the Prophets and Messengers. One thing we must understand is that defaming these chosen and special people is in fact a defamation of the Religion. This is since the Religion was not passed onto those who came after them except by them. And it has already been stated in the words of Abu Zur'ah that: "The only ones who brought this Qur'aan and the Sunan (plural of Sunnah) to us are the Companions of Allaah's Messenger. (So) they only wish to disparage and demolish our witnesses so that they can nullify the Book and the Sunnah, whereas they are more deserving of being disparaged for they are the heretics (zanaadiqah)." This refers to those who seek to belittle any of the Companions. And it implies that the one who defames them does not harm them in the least but rather only benefits them, according to the previously stated hadeeth of the "bankrupt person." And it implies that the one who defames them only causes harm to himself. So whoever finds in his heart love for them and a lack of hatred for them, and he keeps his tongue from mentioning anything but good about them, then he should praise Allaah for this blessing. And He should ask Allaah to keep him firm upon this guidance. And whoever holds any hatred for them in his heart and his tongue is loose in mentioning them with that which does not befit them, then he must fear Allaah and desist from these crimes. And he must repent to Allaah so long as the door of repentance is open in front of him, before he regrets when the regret is of no benefit.
Our Lord do not cause our hearts to go astray after having guided us and grant us mercy from Yourself, indeed You are the One who grants all requests. "Our Lord! Forgive us and our brothers who preceded us in Faith. And put not in our hearts any hatred against those who have believed. Our Lord, You are indeed full of kindness, most Merciful."