Some Narrations of the Imaams of Sunnah Concerning the Excellence of the Companions –RadhiAllaahu anhum
Taken from the Book
‘The Narrations Mentioned by Imaams of the Sunnah in the Chapters of ‘Aqeedah from the Book
‘Siyaar ‘Alaam an-Nubala’
Jamaal bin Ahmad bin BasheeraBaadee
Abbas Abu Yahya
Acceptance of Their Excellence & Noble Status, Not Belittling Them and Remaining Silent About the Disputes Between Them
1- Dhahabi said: ‘Sho’bah, on the authority of Mansoor bin Abdur Rahmaan, I heard Sha’bee say: I met 500 or more of the Companions who would say that ‘Alee, ‘Uthmaan, and az-Zubair are in Paradise.’
‘I say: because they are the ten who are promised Paradise. They are from those who participated in the battle of Badr and from the people who took the Allegiance of ar-Ridwaan from the first to embrace Islaam, about whom Allaah informs that He is pleased with them and they are pleased with Him. Also, because four of them were killed and they were granted martyrdom, we love them and hate the four who killed these four.’
2- Dhahabi said: ‘Sa’eed bin AbdulAzeez, on the authority of Makhool: that the Companions used to say: The most merciful from amongst us is Abu Bakr, the most vocal from amongst us with the truth is Umar, the most trustworthy from amongst us is Abu Ubaydah and the most knowledgeable from amongst us about Haraam and Halaal is Mu’aadh. The best recitor from amongst us is Ubayy, the man who has knowledge is lbn Masood and Awaymir Abu Darda follows them with intellect.’
Dhahabi said: ‘Ibn Ishaq said: the Companions used to say: The one from us who used to follow knowledge and action the most is Abu Darda.’
3- Dhahabi said: ‘Qatada said: on the authority of Anas who said: Two tribes from the Ansaar became proud.
So al-Awaas said:
From amongst us was one who was washed by the Angels: Hanzalah bin Rahib.
And from amongst us was the one for whom the ‘Arsh shook: Saad.
And from amongst us was he who was protected by the bees and hornets: Aasim bin Abee al-Aqlah.
And from amongst us was he who was given martyrdom twice: Khuzaimah bin Thaabit.’
4- Dhahabi said: ‘Umar bin AbdulAzeez used to continuously visit UbaydAllaah bin AbdAllaah and he would take knowledge from him.
It reached UbaydAllaah that Umar would belittle ‘Alee, so he went to see him and said to him: ‘When did it reach you that Allaah –Ta’ala- is angry with the Ahl-ul-Badr after He had been pleased with them.’
Then he said: ‘He knew what I intended.’
Then he said: ‘I apologise to Allaah and to you and I will not do it again.
After that Umar was not heard mentioning ‘Alee –RadhiAllaahu anhu- except with good.’
5- 535- Dhahabi said: ‘Hamad bin Zaid: ‘Alee bin Zaid narrated to us that Sa’eed bin al Mussayib said to me: Tell your leader to stand up, then look at the face of this man and his body.’
Then he stood up, came and he said: I saw that his face was black and his body was white.’
Sa’eed said: ‘Verily this person cursed these people Talha, az-Zubair and ‘Alee –RadhiAllaahu anhum- so I prohibited him from doing so but he disobeyed, so I supplicated against him, I said if you are a liar then may Allaah make your face black. So when I left him his face had boils on it, then his face became black.’
6- (536) – Dhahabi said: ‘Baqeeyah bin al-Waleed said: al-Awza’ee said to me: O Baqeeyah! Do not mention anyone from the Companions of your Prophet except with good. O Baqeeyah! Knowledge is that which came from the Companions of Muhammad -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- and that which did not come from them, then that is not knowledge.’
7- (537) – Dhahabi said Jafar bin Muhammad ar-Ras’anee said that ‘Uthmaan bin Salih narrated to us that he said: The people of Misr would belittle ‘Uthmaan until al-Layth came among them and narrated to them his virtues, so they stopped belittling him.
The people of Hyms would belittle ‘Alee until Ismaeel ‘Ayaash came among them and narrated to them his virtues so they stopped belittling him.’
8- 538 – Dhahabi said: ‘Ahmad al-Ijaali said: Imaam Abu al-Ahwaas Salaam bin Sulaym al-Hanafi was a trustworthy companion of the Sunnah and would follow it. If his house would fill up with the companions of hadeeth, he would say to his son Ahwaas: ‘O my son stand up, whoever you see in my house who curses anyone of the Companions then kick him out. What would bring them to visit us?!’
9- 539 – Dhahabi said: ‘Bahlool bin Ishaaq said that Sa’eed bin Mansoor narrated to us that Shihaab bin Khurrash narrated to us that he said: ‘I met those of whom I met from the first people of this Ummah and they would say: ‘Make mention in your gatherings of the Companions of the Messenger of Allaah -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- that which would cause the hearts to have affection for them. Do not mention the disputes which took place between them so as to gather the people against them.’
10- 540 – Dhahabi said: ‘Na’eem bin Hamad said I heard Ibn al-Mubarak say: The sword which fell between the Companions was fitnah, but I do not say about anyone of them that he was a fitnah maker.’
11- 541 – Dhahabi said: ‘Ahmad bin Abee Khaythaamah said: I heard Ibn Ma’een say: when ‘Alee bin al-Madeeni used to come to us he would make the Sunnah apparent to us and if he went to Basrah he would make apparent the excellence of ‘Alee bin Abee Taalib.’
Dhahabi comments on this narration saying: ‘I say: He used to make apparent the virtues of Imam ‘Alee in Basrah, because the people of Basrah used to favour ‘Uthman and had deviated away from ‘Alee.’
12- 542 – Dhahabi said: ‘On the authority Ibn Abee Maleekah, on the authority Ibn Abbas who said that Umar said: ‘Alee was the best in judging amongst us and Ubayy was best recitor of us.’
13- 543 – Dhahabi mentions the following in the biography of the Abbasid Khalifah Abul Abbas al-Qadir Billaah (died 422 A.H.): ‘al-Khateeb said: He was from the Deen, would be continuous in praying Tahhjud (night prayer) and give a lot in charity so much that he became famous for it. He also compiled a book in ‘al-Usool’ (Principles) and in it he mentioned the excellence of the Companions. He made Takfeer in this book, of those who say that the Quran is created.
That book used to be read every Friday in the gathering of the companions of al-hadeeth (Ashaab -ul-hadeeth) which the people used to attend in the duration of his Khilafah, which was forty years and three months.’
14- 545- Dhahabi said: ‘Abu Abdullaah al-Hakim said: our Shaykh as-Sabqee said: Imaam Malik took the virtues/characteristics of the Companions and Tabieen, Yahya bin Yahya at-Tameemi took it on the authority of Maalik, Muhammad bin Nasr al-Marwazi took it on the authority of Yahya and Abu ‘Alee ath-Thaqafi took it on the authority of Ibn Nasr.’
Comment by the Researcher:
From the ‘Aqeedah of Ahl-ul-Sunnah wal-Jamaah is that the Companions –RadhiAllaahu anhum- are all trustworthy. So do not ask about the trustworthiness of any one of them, since Allaah -Azza wa Jal- and His Messenger -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- have declared them to be righteous. It is sufficient for regarding anyone of them as righteous, that he is called a Companion.
Ibn Salah -Rahimullaah- says:
‘The Companions due to their completeness have a distinction, which is that you do not ask about the trustworthiness of anyone of them. Rather that is an issue which is settled, due to them (Companions) being completely trustworthy because of the texts of the Book and the Sunnah and the consensus of those from the Ummah whose consensus is held in regard.’
Ibn Katheer says:
‘According to the Ahl-ul-Sunnah wal-Jamaah all the Companions are trustworthy due to Allaah praising them in His noble Book and due to what the Prophetic Sunnah has decreed of praise for them in all of their manners and actions and what they sacrificed of their wealth and souls in front of the Messenger of Allaah -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- desiring what is with Allaah from reward and a beautiful recompense.’
Perhaps the acceptance of a person’s testimony and his narrations depends upon his stance towards the Companions.
Therefore, the one who belittles them or criticises them, then he criticises the Deen of Islaam and in reality he is more deserving of being criticised and belittled.
On the authority of AbdulMaalik bin AbdulHameed al-Maymoonee who said: Ahmad bin Hanbal said: ‘O Abul Hasan if you see a man mentioning anyone of the Companions of the Messenger of Allaah -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- with evil then suspect his Islaam.’
Abu Zurah ar-Raazee -Rahimullaah- said:
‘If you see a man belittling anyone from the Companions of the Messenger of Allaah -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- then know that he is a Zindeeq (heretic). That is because we believe that the Messenger -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- is true, the Qur’aan is true and those who conveyed this Qur’aan and the Sunnan to us were the Companions of the Messenger of Allaah -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam. Rather what the heretics want to do is criticise our trustworthy narrators so they can nullify the Book and the Sunnah, they are more deserving of being criticised since they are the Zanadiqa (heretics).’
At this instance a great distinction becomes clear to us: what distinguishes Ahl-ul-Sunnah wal-Jamaah from other than them of the people of desires and Bida’ is that their hearts have honour and high regard for the Companions of the Messenger of Allaah -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam-, knowing their rights, their value and their status, keeping their tongues secure from attacking or belittling them and remaining silent about the disputes between them.
So, they do not mention the Companions except with goodness. Ahl-ul-Sunnah make much Dua’ for them, seek forgiveness for them and say, ‘May Allaah be pleased with them,’ every time they are mentioned.
Imaam Isma’eel as-Saabooni -Rahimullaah- said when he mentioned the ‘Aqeedah of Ahl-ul-Sunnah wal-Jamaah:
‘Ahl-ul -Sunnah believe in abstaining from the unrest which took place between the Companions of the Messenger of Allaah -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam-and in purifying their tongues from mentioning anything which could include any deficiency or belittlement of them.
Ahl-ul-Sunnah believe in supplicating for mercy for all of them and loyalty to all of them. They also believe in honouring the virtue of the Prophet’s wives -RadhiAllaahu anhunna – making Dua’ for them, acknowledging their excellence and affirming that they are the Mothers of the believers.’
From the vilest of actions, the filthiest of them and the greatest of crimes is cursing the Companions of the Messenger of Allaah -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- or cursing anyone of them.
On the authority of Ibn Abbas –RadhiAllaahu anhu- who said:
‘Do not curse the Companions of Muhammad, since Allaah -Azza wa Jal- commanded that you seek forgiveness for them, while He knew that they would fight each other.’
On the authority of Maymoon bin Mahraan who said:
‘There are three things that I reject: cursing the Companions of Muhammad -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- philosophizing in stars and philosophizing about Qadr (pre-destiny).’
On the authority of Ibn Umar –RadhiAllaahu anhu- who said:
‘Do not curse the Companions of Muhammad, indeed the status of one of them for an hour is better than the worship of one of you for forty years.’
Imam ash-Shawkaani mentioned the consensus (Ijmaa’) of Ahl-ul-Bayt –RadhiAllaahu anhum- (the family of the Prophet) on the prohibition of cursing the Companions –RadhiAllaahu anhum- with 12 different narrations.
Ibn Hajr al-Haythaamee -Rahimullaah- mentioned that many of the Scholars made Takfeer of those who curse the Companions –RadhiAllaahu anhum.
What it is necessary to bring to attention is that the scholars strove greatly in writing down what came from the prophetic hadeeth and Athaar as- Salafeeyah regarding the excellence of the Companions of the Messenger of Allaah -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam.
All Praise belongs to Allaah, may His peace
and blessings be upon our final
Prophet Muhammad, his
family, his companions
and all those who
 Dhahabi mentions it in the biography of the magnificent Companion az-Zubair bin Awaam –RadhiAllaahu anhu (died 36A.H.) ‘As-Seerah ‘Alaam’ 1/62 & in ‘Tareekh al-Islaam’ in the period of the Rightly guided Khulafah p.507. Also narrated by al-Laalikaa’ee in ‘Sharh Usool I’tiqaad Ahl-us-Sunnah’7/1409 & by Ibn ‘Aasaakir in ‘Tareekh Damishq’ 6/197.
 ‘as-Seerah ‘Alaam’ 1/62.
 Dhahabi mentions it in the biography of the magnificent Companion Abu Darda –RadhiAllaahu anhu (died 31 or 32.A.H.) ‘as-Seerah ‘Alaam’ 2/341 & narrated by Ibn ‘Aasaakir in ‘Tareekh Damishq’ 13/371 B.
The meaning of this narration is the same as the hadeeth ascribed to the Prophet -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam – :’The most merciful of my Ummah to my Ummah is Abu Bakr, the severest regarding the command of Allaah is Umar. The most truthful in modesty is ‘Uthmaan and the most knowledgeable about inheritance laws is Zayd. The best recitor of them is Ubayy; the most knowledgeable of them regarding Halaal & Haraam is Mu’aadh bin Jabal. Every Ummah has a trustworthy one; the trustworthy one of this Ummah is Abu Ubaydah bin al-Jarrah.’
Narrated by Imaam Ahmad in ‘al-Musnad’3/184, 281 & by Tirmidhi in ‘as-Sunan’ in ‘The book of characteristics/biographies’ (4061) & he said: Hadeeth Hasan saheeh. Also narrated by Ibn Majah in ‘as-Sunan’in ‘the Introduction’ (154) & it is authenticated by Shaykh al-Albani.
 ‘as-Seerah ‘Alaam’ 2/341, ‘Tareekh Damishq’13/372 & ‘Tareekh al-Bukhari’7/77.
 Dhahabi mentions it in the biography of the magnificent Companion Khuzaimah bin Thaabit al-Ansaari –RadhiAllaahu anhu (died 37A.H.) ‘as-Seerah ‘Alaam’ 2/487 & by Ibn ‘Aasaakir in ‘Tareekh Damishq’ 2/296 B. Hafidh Ibn Hajar mentioned it in ‘al–Issaabah fee Tameez as-Sahabah’3/94 and ascribed it Abu Ya’aala.
 The wording in & by Ibn ‘Aasaakir in ‘Tareekh Damishq’ is ‘I apologise to Allaah and to you, (wallaahi) I swear by Allaah I will not do it again.’
The wording in ‘al-Ma’rifah wal-Tareekh’by al-Foosi is ‘I apologise to you (wallaahi) I swear by Allaah I will not do it again.’
The narration of al-Foosi is the one which is put forward and accepted since it is the one which is in agreement with the ‘Aqeedah of Ahl-ul-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah.
Indeed the Prophet -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam– rebuked the man who said to him: ‘whatever Allaah wills and what you will.’ The Prophet -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- said to him: ‘Have you made me a partner unto Allaah? Rather whatever Allaah Alone wills.’
Narrated by Imam Ahmad in ‘al-Musnad’1/214, 224, 283, 347.
The Prophet -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam – taught the correct and befitting way to use the statement and that is by saying: ‘Whatever Allaah wills then what you will.’
This is the authentic hadeeth narrated by Imam Ahmad in ‘al-Musnad’6/371 & by an-Nisaaee in ‘as-Sunnan’ in ‘The book of oaths and vows’ in the chapter swearing by the Ka’abah.’
The hadeeth was authenticated by Ibn Hajr in ‘al–Issaabah’4/389.
 Dhahabi mentions it in the biography of the Imam Umar bin AbdulAzeez –RadhiAllaahu anhu (died 101.A.H.) ‘as-Seerah ‘Alaam’ 5/117. He also mentioned it in ‘Tareekh al-Islaam’- incidents and deaths (101 – 120.A.H) p.188.
The Athar was narrated by al-Foosi in ‘al-Ma’rifah wal-Tareekh’ 1/568 & by Ibn ‘Aasaakir in ‘Tareekh Damishq’ 13/132 A.
 Dhahabi mentions it in the biography of the Imam Sa’eed bin al-Musayib -Rahimullaah- (died 94.A.H.) ‘as-Seerah ‘Alaam’ 4/242. It was narrated by Ibn Sa’ad in ‘Tabbaqaat’: 5/136, & Ibn ‘Aasaakir in ‘Tareekh Damishq’ 11/211 B from a different chain & with a different wording.
 Dhahabi mentions it in the biography of the Imam al-Awza’ee -Rahimullaah- (died 157.A.H.) ‘as-Seerah ‘Alaam’ 7/120. He also mentioned the last part in ‘Tareekh al-Islaam’- incidents and deaths (141 – 160.A.H) p.490.
The Athar was also narrated by Ibn ‘Aasaakir in ‘Tareekh Damishq’ 10/46/ A.
 Dhahabi mentions it in the biography of the Imam al-Layth bin Sa’d the scholar of Misr -Rahimullaah- (died 157.A.H.) ‘as-Seerah ‘Alaam’ 8/148 & in the biography of Imam Isma’eel bin ‘Aayaash (died 182 A.H.) ‘as-Seerah ‘Alaam’8/316. It was narrated by al-Khateeb al-Bagdadi in ‘Tareekh Bagdad’13/8.
 i.e. the biography of Imam Abu al-Ahwaas Salaam bin Sulaym al-hanafi (died 179 A.H.).
 ‘as-Seerah ‘Alaam’ 8/282 & it was mentioned in ‘Tareekh al-Islaam’- incidents and deaths (171 – 180.A.H) p.412. This narration is in ‘Tareekh ath-Thiqaat’ by ‘Ijaali p.212.
 Dhahabi mentions it in the biography of the Imam Shihaab bin Kharaash -Rahimullaah- (died before 180.A.H.) ‘as-Seerah ‘Alaam’ 8/285. The Athar was narrated by Ibn ‘Adee in ‘al-kaamil Fee Du’afaa ar-Rijaal’4/1350 & by Ibn ‘Aasaakir in ‘Tareekh Damishq’ 8/69/B.
 Dhahabi mentions it in the biography of the Imam Abdullaah bin al-Mubarak -Rahimullaah- (died 181.A.H.) ‘as-Seerah ‘Alaam’ 8/405 & in ‘Tareekh al-Islaam’- incidents and deaths (181 – 190.A.H) p.227.
 Dhahabi brings it in the biography of the Imam ‘Alee bin al-Madinee -Rahimullaah- (died 234.A.H.) ‘as-Seerah ‘Alaam’ 11/47 & in ‘Tareekh al-Islaam’- incidents and deaths (231 – 240.A.H) p.278. The narration was also mentioned by al-Khateeb al-Bagdadi in ‘Tareekh Bagdad’11/463.
 ‘as-Seerah ‘Alaam’ 11/47
 Dhahabi mentions it with his Sanad in the biography of the Imam Abu Bakr Abdullaah bin Muhammad bin Ziyad bin Waasil bin Maymoon an-Neeysaabooree, ash-Shafi’ee the author of many works. (died 324.A.H.) ‘as-Seerah ‘Alaam’ 10/67. He also mentions it with his Sanad in the biography of Abu Bakr in ‘Tadhkiraat al-Huffadh’3/820 with a different chain.
 ‘as-Seerah ‘Alaam’ 15/128. This narration was mentioned by al-Khateeb al-Bagdadi in ‘Tareekh Bagdad’ on the authority of Ubaydillaah bin Ahmad bin ‘Uthmaan as-Seerfee, where he describes the Khalifah al-Abbasee al-Qadir Billaah, the text of which is: ‘He was modest & religious and continuous upon praying Tahhajjud in the night. He would do a lot of good deeds & give Sadaqa so much so that he became famous for it, he became known for it by everyone.
He was on a good Madhab and had a correct ‘Aqeedah.
Al-Qadir Billaah authored a book in ‘al-Usool’, he mentioned it in the excellence of the Companions of Hadeeth. He brought in his book the excellence of Umar bin AbdulAzeez, he also made Takfeer of the Mu’atizilah and those who said that the Qur’aan was created. The book used to be read every Friday in the gatherings of the Companions of Hadeeth in the main Masjid of ‘al-Mahdi’, people used to attend to listen to it.’
‘Tareekh Bagdad’ 4/37-38.
 Dhahabi mentions it in the biography of the Imam Abu ‘Alee ath-Thaqafee, Muhammad bin AbdulWahaab bin AbdurRahman bin AbdulWahaab ath-Thaqafee, an-Neeysaabooree, ash-Shafi’ee. (died 328.A.H.) ‘as-Seerah ‘Alaam’ 15/281. He also mentioned it in ‘Tareekh al-Islaam’- incidents and deaths (321 – 330.A.H) p.238.
 Muqqadamat Ibn Salah, p.146.
 Al-Baith al-Hatheeth p.181-182.
 See ‘Sharh an-Nawawee ala Saheeh Muslim’15/149.
 Narrated by Ibn al-Jawzi in ‘Manakib al-Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal’ p.160.
 Narrated by al-Khateeb al-Bagdadi in ‘al-Kafayah Fee Ilm ar-Rawayah’p.67.
 Aqeedatus Salaf Ashaab al-Hadeeth p.93.
 Narrated by Imam Ahmad in ‘Excellence of the Companions’H.18.
 Narrated by Imam Ahmad in ‘Excellence of the Companions’H.19.
 Narrated by Imam Ahmad in ‘Excellence of the Companions’H.20.
 In his book ‘Irshaad al-Ghabi ila Madhab Ahl-ul-Bayt fee Sahb an-Nabi -sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam ‘ p.50-64.
 In his book ‘as-Sawaiq al-Muharaka’p.210, 253. He has some priceless sayings clarifying the ‘Aqeedah of Ahl-ul-Sunnah wal-Jamaah regarding the Companions –RadhiAllaahu anhum-.