Why Are All the Companions the Most Virtuous After the Prophets?

Q. I often hear that, despite the very broad definition of a companion of the prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him) , the lowest ranking person who falls under the definition of companion surpasses anyone until the day of judgement in piety vitrue and righteousness in the sight of Allah. Could you please shed some light on the this matter?

Answered by Shaykh Abdurragmaan Khan

There are a large number of proofs establishing that the companions radiyaLlahu anhum are the most virtuous of Allah’s creation after the Prophets and Messengers. Before presenting these proofs however, it’s important to understand that the companions were not infallible. They were guiding stars and the best of Allah’s creation, but were not free from error. I mention this so that an objector may not quote an error of a companion and thus attempt to strip them of their virtue.

Another important clarification is that not all companions were equal. Those who embraced Islam after the treaty of Hudaybiyah were not equal to those who accepted prior to that. Similarly, those who immigrated from Makkah to Madinah were considered more virtuous than others. Thereafter, those who fought at the battle of Badr were more virtuous, then those who attended the bay’ah al-Ridwan, then the ten companions who were given the glad tidings of Jannah, then sayyidina Ali ibn Talib and sayyidina Uthman, then sayyidina Umar and finally sayyidina Abu Bakr al-Siddiq may Allah be well pleased with them all.

Here follows some verses of the Qur’an and traditions of the Prophet sallaLlahu alayhi wasallam establishing their precedence over others.

And why do you not spend in the cause of Allah while to Allah belongs the heritage of the heavens and the earth? Not equal among you are those who spent before the fath [treaty of Hudaybiyah or conquest of Makkah] and fought [and those who did so after it]. Those are greater in degree than they who spent afterwards and fought. But to all Allah has promised the best [reward]. And Allah, with what you do, is Acquainted. [57:10]

Allah has already forgiven the Prophet and the Muhajireen and the Ansar who followed him in the hour of difficulty after the hearts of a party of them had almost inclined [to doubt], and then He forgave them. Indeed, He was to them Kind and Merciful. [9:117]

Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah; and those with him are forceful against the disbelievers, merciful among themselves. You see them bowing and prostrating [in prayer], seeking bounty from Allah and [His] pleasure. Their mark is on their faces from the trace of prostration. That is their description in the Torah. And their description in the Gospel is as a plant which produces its offshoots and strengthens them so they grow firm and stand upon their stalks, delighting the sowers – so that Allah may enrage by them the disbelievers. Allah has promised those who believe and do righteous deeds among them forgiveness and a great reward. [48:29]

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The Messenger sallaLlahu alayhi wasallam said,

“Do not swear my companions, for should any of you spend the weight of mount Uhud in gold, it will not equal their spending of a mudd (750 grams) or half thereof.” [Agreed upon]

“The best of generations is mine, then those who follow, then those who follow.”

“Whoever loves them (my companions), loves them because of his love for me; whoever dislikes them, dislikes them because of his dislike of me; whoever harms them (with his words or action), has harmed me, whoever harms me, harms (angers) Allah, and whoever harms Allah, it is near that Allah strikes him.”[al-Tirmidhi]

Statements from our pious predecessors:

Abu Zur’ah al-Razi said, “Whoever criticizes any of the companions is a zindiq (enemy of Islam). This is so, because the Messenger sallaLlahu alayhi wasallam and the Quran are true. The Quran and his Sunnah sallaLlahu alayhi wasallam was only conveyed to us via these companions. They (the enemies of Islam) only criticize the companions as they wish to find fault in the Quran and Sunnah.”

AbduLlah ibn Mubarak said when asked who is more righteous between the pious caliph, ‘Umar bin AbdulAziz and Mu‘awiyah radiyaLlahu anhu, “The dust that settled in the nose of the horse of Mu‘awiyah with the Prophet sallaLlahu alayhi wasallam, is better than several ‘Umar bin AbdulAziz. In another narration he said, “is better than all the good deeds of ‘Umar bin AbdulAziz.

This was his words regarding Mu‘awiyah radiyaLlahu anhu and he was from the companions that entered Islam after the treaty of Hudaybiyah.

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15th Ramadan: Birth of Sayyidina Hazrat Imam Hasan (‘Alaihi salaam)

Imam Hasan (‘alaihi salaam) Leader of the youth of Paradise, Grandson of the Prophet ﷺ, was born on the 15th of Ramadan.
Sayyidinaa Imam Hasan ibn Ali (‘alaihi salaam) the oldest son of Sayyidinaa Imam ‘Ali Asadullah Karam Allahu wajhahu and Khatuna Jannah Sayyidah Fatimah az Zahra ‘alaiha salaam, was born in Madinatul Munawwarah. He was extremely handsome (as his name suggests) and is known to have born a strong resemblance to the Holy Last Messenger Sayyidinaa Rasulullah Sall Allahu ‘alaihi wa Aalihi wa sallim. When the Companions remembered and yearned for Rasulullah Sall Allahu ‘alaihi wa Aalihi wa sallim, after his wisal, they would go and see Sayyidinaa Imam Hasan ‘alaihi salaam. After the martyrdom of Amir al Mu’mineen Sayyidinaa Imam ‘Ali al Murtadha ‘alaihi salaam, he succeeded his father in Khilafat, and then handed the reins to Amir Muawiya (Radi Allah Anhu) as foretold by Sayyidinaa Rasuli Akram (Sall Allahu ‘alaihi wa Aalihi wa sallim) thereby uniting two conflicting groups of Muslims. He performed Hajj 25 times. Like his honorable father Sayyidinaa Amir ul Mu’mineen Imam ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib Karam Allahu wajhahu, he was honored with Martyrdom [Shahadat] a mark of distinction which would become one of the salient features of the Blessed Ahl ul Bayt [alaihumus salaatu was salaam] when he was poisoned. The believers secretly hope and pray for martyrdom, desiring to leave this world in the blessed month of Ramadhan. Along with Sayyidinaa Imam Hussain ‘alaihi salaam he is the leader of the youth in Jannat.

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Display of depth and sensitivity of the sincerity of Ali رضي الله ﺗﻌﺎﻟﯽٰ عنه

During a battle Ali (May Allah be pleased with him) had captured an enemy soldier and was about to kill him. The man suddenly spat on the blessed and radiant face of Ali (May Allah be pleased with him), in response to the nasty inclination that had arisen within him.

It would have been mere child’s play for that brave and gallant ‘lion of Allah’ to cut off the head of that enemy with one fell swoop. However, Ali stopped suddenly, anxious that at that moment his nafs had tainted his intention which was to fight for Allah and nothing else. He stopped and slowly put down his sword, which had been named Zulfikar and had been a gift to him from the Prophet, deciding not to kill his enemy.

The shocked man on the ground lay in a wretched state awaiting his death. He had thought that Ali (May Allah be pleased with him) would display an even more intense effort with greater anger and rage as a result of his spitting in his face. However, it was not as he expected. Suddenly he came face to face with a truth that he could never have imagined. The enemy, who could not make sense of this action of this hero of Islam and hero of the hearts of people, asked Ali in shock and with great curiosity:

“O Ali! Why did you stop when you were just about to kill me? What brought about this change of mind? What happened that made you go from a violent rage to a remarkable calmness… You were like a bolt of lightning about to strike before you suddenly calmed down…”

Hazrat Ali (May Allah be pleased with him) replied:

“I use this sword of the Prophet in the path of Allah only. I never let my nafs interfere… When you spat on my face you wished to anger and insult me. If I had succumbed to my anger at that point I would have killed you for the base reason of giving in to my own whims, which is something that does not befit a believer. Whereas I fight for the sake of Allah, and not for the satisfaction of my pride”.

As a result the heart of that enemy found life again in response to the lofty, praiseworthy character of the person he had come to kill. He took heed from Ali’s faith, his sincerity and his opposition to his own desires. The man subsequently became Muslim.

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Fatima (Alaiha Salaam): The Great Daughter of Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ)

In this day and age Muslims are fully inundated upon the biographies of celebrities, sports stars and actors yet do t hey have the same amount of information about the members of the Prophet’s family, companions and other import ant Islamic personalities? The sad fact is that Muslims, particularly in the West, are unfamiliar with even the names of such great people let alone have a detailed account of their lives which they can use as guides on how to perfect their own life styles. To put an end to this alienation of important personalities of Islam, Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr. Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri has compiled a series of hadith books on them. This book is one of those collections of traditions. The status of Sayyedah Fatimah (عليها االله سلام), the blessed daughter of the Prophet Muhammadﷺ, is so great that those who are oblivious to it are not only doing injustice to themselves by depriving themselves from her teachings but are also unknowingly showing disregard to the Prophet ﷺ. At a time when Muslim women are flooded with so called female role models, who rather than encouraging a modest and pure lifestyle, practice and preach the contrary, it is indeed time for Muslim women to adopt the life style of Sayyedah Fatimah (عليها االله سلام) who received divine praise for her morality. People will be shocked to learn of the high esteem which she was held by the Prophetﷺ and how divine commandments were revealed to the Prophetﷺ which were specifically regarding Sayyedah .

(Excerpt from the Book,” Virtues of Sayyedah Fatimah (سلام االله عليها)”)

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PDF Download Link: Virtues of Sayiddah Fatimah

The Marriage between Hazrat Ali and Hazrat Fatimah

The second year of Hegira also saw the marriage between Fatimah (may Allah be pleased with her), the Blessed Prophet’s daughter, and Ali (may Allah be pleased with him).

Many notables of Quraysh, including Hazrat Abu Bakr and Hazrat Omar (may Allah be pleased with them) had previously proposed to take her hand in marriage but the Blessed Prophet did not give consent, telling them, ‘he was waiting for a Divine verdict on her.’ For that reason, despite the encouragement of his relatives, neither could Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) make a proposal. But a while later, with the insistence of his kin, Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) made his presence next to the Blessed Prophet (Ibn Saad, VIII, 19)

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The rest of what happened is recounted by Ali (may Allah be pleased with him)

“At long last, I went to the Messenger of Allah . He, as usual, was there with his entire majestical presence. I sat in front of him and kept silent. I could not say a word.

‘Why have you come; do you need something?’ he asked. ‘It appears you are here to ask for Fatimah!’

‘Yes’, was all I could say.” (Ibn Kathir, al-Bidayah, III, 379)

With the blessings of the Noble Prophet r, Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) sold some of his property and prepared a mihr of 480 dirhams. The Blessed Prophet r advised him to spend two thirds of it on purchasing fragrances and the remaining one third on clothes.(Ibn Saad, VIII, 19)

As trousseau, the Noble Prophet presented Fatimah (may Allah be pleased with her)  with a linen cover, a water bottle and a cushion stuffed with the grass-like idhir. (Nasai, Nikah, 81) To Bilal, he then said:

“I want it to become Sunnah for my ummah to serve food during their weddings”, asking him to organize the preparation. Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) then pawned his shield to a Jew and bought half a scale of barley, from which a sweet dish called hays** was prepared as walimah, or the wedding feast. The Ansar and Muhajirun arrived in groups to attend the meal. (Ibn Sad, VIII, 23; Abdurrazzaq, V, 487; Diyarbakri, I, 411)

Afterward, sending for a jug of water, the Blessed Prophet took wudu. He then called Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) next to him and sprinkled some of the water on his chest and between his shoulders. Then he also called Fatimah (may Allah be pleased with her) and did the same to her, remarking he had wed her to the best of their kin. Then to their faces and also behind them later on, the Blessed Prophet prayed:

“Allah…I seek refuge in you, from the banished Shaytan, on behalf of them and their progeny!” (Ibn Sad, VIII, 24; Diyarbakri, I, 411)

The Blessed Prophet then advised Fatimah (may Allah be pleased with her) to attend to household chores and Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) to earn for his family.(Kasani, IV, 24)

**Hays was a dish made from dates, pure oil and sifted yoghurt. Sometimes sawiq, or fried flour, was also added to it.

They Held Fast to the Quran

Even the most difficult circumstances could not hold the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- back from the Quran to the Companions. Abu Talha -Allah be well-pleased with him- one day saw the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peaceteaching Quran to the students of the Suffa, standing. In order to keep his back, bent double from excruciating hunger, straight, he had tied a stone around his belly. (Abu Nuaym, Hilya, I, 342)

Thus the Companions’ greatest concern was to understand the Book of the Almighty, to acquire its manifestations of wisdom and act in accordance. They had discovered the taste of life in repeating the Quran over and over, listening to it and implementing it in their lives.

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In short, the Companions lived with the Quran and its content, devoting their entire lives to the Word of the Almighty. They showed a feat of self-sacrifice never before witnessed in history. They were subjected to worst kinds of oppression and torture but never did they compromise what they believed in. To implement the Holy Quran in their lives, they abandoned their entire wealth and properties, even their hometowns, and immigrated to Medina, for which they were more than ready to even let go of their lives.

The Companions were in a continuous endeavor to learn and put into practice each ayah of the Holy Quran. They never neglected the Quran, even during the most dangerous situations.

Abbad -Allah be well-pleased with him-, appointed by the Blessed Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- to keep guard over the Muslim forces had begun offering salat. The enemy, who had been on the lookout all along, began shooting arrows at him. Only after being shot with two or three arrows did Abbad -Allah be well-pleased with him- bow down to ruqu and then to sajdah and eventually complete his salat. He then informed his fellow guard Ammar -Allah be well-pleased with him-.

“Why did you not tell me when you had first been shot?” asked Ammar, somewhat astounded.

“I was reciting a surah of the Quran and I did not want to break my salat before completing it,” replied Abbad. “But when the arrows hit me one after another I stopped reciting and bowed to ruqu. But by Allah, had there not been the fear of losing this spot whose protection the Messenger of Allah has ordered, I would have preferred death over cutting my recital of the chapter short.” (Abu Dawud, Taharat, 78/198; Ahmad, III, 344; Bayhaki, Dalail, III, 459; Ibn Hisham, III, 219; Waqidi, I, 397)

The Companions led a life within the Quran’s content. For them, each pillar of Islam was an insatiable taste. Each revealed ayah was like a feast from the heavens. All efforts were channeled to the aim of properly understanding and living the Quran and of setting the best example in regard. How great a portrait of virtue and testimony of an enthusiastic iman it is that, as mihr or dowry, a female Companion would only require her soon-to-be husband teach her the parts of the Quran he knew.

The Companions took the enthusiastic effort of the Noble Prophet -upon him blessings and peace- towards the Quran as example and as a result the small town of Medina became filled with huffaz and scholar