Series of Manhaj
HADEETH NO. 2
HADEETH OF THE BEST GENERATION
THE FIRST THREE GENERATIONS
Translated & Compiled
Abbas Abu Yahya
From Ibn Masood -Radhi Allaah anhu- that the Prophet –SallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- said:
خَيْرُ النَّاسِ قَرْنِي ، ثُمَّ الَّذِينَ يَلُونَهُمْ ، ثُمَّ الَّذِينَ يَلُونَهُمْ ، ثُمَّ يَجِيءُ أَقْوَامٌ تَسْبِقُ شَهَادَةُ أَحَدِهِمْ يَمِينَهُ، وَيَمِينُهُ شَهَادَتَهُ .
‘The best people are my generation, then those who came after them, then those who came after them, then there came people whose testimony precedes them taking his oath and his oath precedes his testimony.’ [i.e. they rush to give oath and testify, and belittle them.]
[Collected by Bukhari and Muslim]
An-Nawawi -Rahimahullaah- said:
‘What is correct is that the generation of the Prophet –SallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- is the Companions, the second is Tabi’oon [those who followed the Companions], the third is the Attba at-Tabi’een [those who followed the Tabi’oon].’
[Sharh Saheeh Muslim 16/85]
Al-Hafidh Ibn Hajar -Rahimahullaah- said:
‘As for the saying of the Prophet: ‘then those who came after them’ – meaning the generation which came after them, and they are the Tabai’oon (those who succeeded the Companions). ‘then those who came after them’ – and they are those who followed the Tabai’oon.’
[Fath al-Bari 7/6]
Ali Al-Qari -Rahimahullaah- said:
‘As-Suyuti said: ‘What is most correct is that ‘generation’ mentioned here is not applied to a time period. Therefore, his generation –SallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam- was the Companions, their period was from the time the Prophet was sent to the end of when the last of the Companions died one hundred and twenty years.
The generation of the Tabi’oon (those who followed the Companions) was from the year hundred till approximately seventy. The generation of the Attba at-Tabi’een (those who followed the followers of the Companions) was from that till approximately two hundred and twenty.
In this time Bida appeared widely, and the Mua’tazila let loose their tongues, the philosophers raised their heads, the people of knowledge were trialled to say that the Qur’aan was created, situations changed dramatically and the matter continues to digress till now then The truthfulness of the statement of the Prophet -SallAllaahu alayhi wa Salam- appeared, ‘then lying will become widespread.’
[Mirqaat al-Mafateeh 9/3878]