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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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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Which companion was known as “the Keeper of the Secret of God’s Messenger”?

He lost his sight there and then.

One day Abdullah ibn Zayd al-Ansari (RadiAllahu Anhu) came to the Messenger of Allahﷺ  and said, in tears:

‘O Messenger of Allah! You are dearer to me than my own soul, my property, my children and my family. If I were not able to come and see you I would wish to die”.

Upon this the Messenger of Allahﷺ said: ‘Why are you crying?”

Abdullah ibn Zayd (RadiAllahu Anhu) answered:“O Messenger of Allah! I cried because I was thinking that one day you will die and we will die. You will be in a high state with the other prophets in Paradise while we will be in a lower place, even if we do go to Heaven and so I was crying thinking that I was not going to be able to see you”.

“O Messenger of Allah! I cried because I was thinking that one day you will die and we will die. You will be in a high state with the other prophets in Paradise while we will be in a lower place, even if we do go to Heaven and so I was crying thinking that I was not going to be able to see you”.

The Prophetﷺ, that ocean of compassion was silent for a while and did not reply. At that point the following verse was revealed:

‘Whoever obeys Allah and the Messenger will be with those whom Allah has blessed: the Prophets and the truthful ones, the martyrs and the righteous. What excellent company such people are!’ (Nisa 4:69)

One day when Abdullah ibn Zayd (RadiAllahu Anhu) was working in his garden his son came running breathlessly and brought the news that the Prophet had passed away. Abdullah’s world turned upside down. He made the following prayer:

“O Allah! Take away my sight so that I do not see anything other than the only thing I love, the Messenger of Allah”

The prayer of Abdullah was answered and he lost his sight there and then. (See Qurtubi, V, 271).

Mercy and Compassion

Usually our good deeds, sacrifice and donations appear to be substantial to us. This mistaken impression deceives us and engages our mind. It fills us with contentment. A mere urn of water appears to be an ocean to us.

Our mundane desires never cease. We presume that what we own is our natural birthright. When we are asked to make a sacrifice our behavior changes as if we have been asked for something from our own personal possessions. Consequently, the bright, crystal clear and delicate mirror of trustworthiness and generosity becomes stained.

However, as Almighty Allah has revealed in the Qur’an: “As to the orphan do not oppress him. Nor refuse the one who asks for help” (Duha, 9-10).

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Mawlana Rumi, quddisa sirruh, said:

Just as physically beautiful people search for bright and clear mirrors, for generosity to be seen poor and powerless people are required. As a beautiful person’s face may be reflected in a mirror, so too the beauty of those who help the needy through their generosity is reflected in the poor and the miserable.

Mawlana Rumi, quddisa sirruh, said: “Thus, the poor are the mirror of divine mercy and generosity. Those who are with Allah or lost in the existence of Allah are in a state of continuous generosity.”

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Tafsir-i Hazin, a commentary on the Qur’an, reports the following from the great companion Jabir (RadiAllahu Anhu):

A small child came to the Prophet Muhammadﷺ . He told him that his mother had asked for a shirt. At that time the Prophet Muhammadﷺ owned only the shirt that he was wearing. He told the child to come back another time. The child returned to his home. But, soon he came back and told the Prophetﷺ  that his mother wanted the shirt he was wearing. The Messenger of Allahﷺ went to his room, took off his shirt and gave it to the child.

At that moment, Bilal (RadiAllahu Anhu), the muadhdhin of the Prophetﷺ  began reciting the Adhan, or the call to prayer. The Messenger of Allahﷺ  could not come out of his room to lead the communal prayer because he did not have a shirt. Some of the companions came to his room since they were worried about him and they discovered that the Prophet  no longer had a shirt to wear.

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Wealth is a trust of Allah given to our care. The only way to enjoy it and feel happy about it is by sympathizing with the suffering of the needy by opening a window of mercy and compassion from our heart to them.

 

The great Rumi, quddisa sirruh, said:

Act like the sun in mercy and compassion!

Act like the night in covering the mistakes of others!

Act like a river in generosity and sacrifice!

Act like a dead one in anger and fury!

Act like the soil in humility and selflessness!

Act in accordance with the way you look!

Look in accordance with the way you act!

We should keep in mind that regardless how one presents oneself, what will come out of him is what he has in the urn of his heart. It is true that many urns that have claimed to be full of love have only produced eventually the water of indiscretion and heedlessness. Likewise, many people who have spoken about the elixir, or the water of life, could not drink a drop of it nor could they offer any to others. On the other hand, many people who hide themselves in humility and externally look like empty urns are special servants of Allah and carry endless oceans in their hearts. And they unhesitatingly offer water to burning lovers like the water of al-Kawthar, a river in Paradise.

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May Allah raise all of us to be of His sincere and pure- hearted servants, so that we may too offer to all of humanity drops from the water of al-Kawthar and Tasnim(*) while still in this world.

Amen!

(*) al-Kawthar (literally, ‘The Abundant’) is a river of Jannah and Tasnim (literally, ‘Nectar’) is a spring of Jannah.

-An excerpt from the book, “Tears of the Heart’

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.