Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The `Adaalah (Justice) of the Companions رضي الله عنهم

بسم الله والحمد لله والصلاة والسلام على رسول الله ، وبعد

This is a small treatise to explain the `Adaalah (Justice/fairness/uprightness) of the Companions of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم:

Definition of “the Companion”:

Al-Haafidh Ibn al-Hajar رحمه الله said: “The most correct opinion which I have accepted is that a Companion is: the one who met the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم while believing in him, and had died upon Islaam (as a Muslim). Included in this (definition) is: the one who had spent a long period of time in the company of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم and also the one who had spent only a short instance; and the one who narrated from him صلى الله عليه وسلم and the one who did not; and the one who participated with him صلى الله عليه وسلم in military expeditions and the who did not; and the one who had seen him صلى الله عليه وسلم only once, even if he did not attend his gathering; and the one who was not able to see him because of an excuse, like a blind person.” [al-Isaabah Fee Tamyyiz al-Sahaabah (1/4)]

Imaam an-Nawawee رحمه الله said: “The correct position, which is that of the great majority, is that every Muslim who saw the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم even for an hour, then that person is from his Sahaabah.” [Sharh Saheeh Muslim (16/85) of an-Nawawee]

Imaam Ahmad رحمه الله said: “Every person who accompanied the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم whether for a year, a month, a day, an hour, or even just saw him - is from his Companions.” [Al-Kifaayah fee `Ilmir-Riwaayah (p.99) of al-Khateeb al-Baghdaadee]

Imaam al-Bukhaaree رحمه الله said: “He who accompanied the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم or saw him - from the Muslims - then he is from his Sahaabah.” [Fath al-Baaree (7/1)]

Definition of al-`Adal (being just):

Al-Haafidh Ibn Hajar رحمه الله said: “By `Adal it means: The one who possesses power, and he uses it upon al-Taqwaa. And by al-Taqwaa it means: to refrain from evil acts such as Shirk, immorality or Bid`ah.”

The consensus of the scholars about the justice of the companions:

The Ahl al-Sunnah wal-Jamaa`ah have unanimously agreed to the fact that all the Companions رضي الله عنهم were just. Imaam al-Nawawee, Ibn Hajar, al-Khateeb (al-Baghdadee), Ibn al-Mulqin, Ibn al-Salaah, al-Qurtobee and other than them رحمهم الله have cited a consensus for this.

Imaam Ibn al-Salaah رحمه الله said: “The Ummah has agreed that all of the Companions were just.” [Ma`rifah al-Anwa’ al-`ilm al-Hadeeth (398)]

Al-Haafidh Ibn Hajar رحمه الله said: “Apart from some of the innovators, the Ahl al-Sunnah agrees that all Companions are just.” [al-Isaabah Fee Tamyyiz al-Sahaabah (1/6)]

Imaam al-Qurtobee رحمه الله said: “The Companions, all of them are just, the Awliyaa’ of Allaah تعالى and His elite, His best creation after the Prophets and Messengers. And upon this is the agreement of the Imaams of this Ummah. Except for a group, which is of the (false) opinion that the status of the Companions is similar to that of those other than them and it is necessary to look at their character (if they were just or not).” [Tafseer al-Qurtobee]

I say: “Do not turn to the saying of these slanderers, those who want to defame the Companions رضي الله عنهم اجمعين and throw doubts on their characters; because their justice, all thanks to Allaah alone, is proven in the Qur’aan and the Sunnah and by the Consensus.”

Imaam Abu Bakr al-Khateeb al-Baghdaadee رحمه الله said: “And it is necessary to see the character (of every narrator) who attributes a narration to the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم except the Companion; because the justice of the Companions is proven and known because Allaah تعالى has praised them, and informed us about their purity and has mentioned about them in the Qur’aan.” He then brought the evidences from the Qur’aan and the Sunnah for this and then said: “This is the Madhhab of all the scholars and of all the credible jurists.” [al-Maati` al-Kifaayah Fee `ilm al-Riwaayah]

Imaam Ibn `Abd al-Barr رحمه الله said: “It makes no difference (to the authenticity of the Hadeeth) whether the Taabi` mentions the name of the Companion or not, while reporting a narration from him. Because all the Companions are just, pleased (by Allaah and His Messenger), reliable and trustworthy. And upon this is the consensus of the Scholars of the Hadeeth (the Muhaddithoon).”*

And Imaam Ibn `Abd al-Barr رحمه الله also said: “As for us, if he (the narrator of the Hadeeth whose name is not mentioned) is from a Companion رضي الله عنهم, then it suffices us from searching further about them; this is because of the consensus of the Ahl al-Haqq from the Muslims – and they are the Ahl al-Sunnah wal-Jamaa`ah – that all of them (the Companions) are just.” [al-Isti`aab Fee Ma`rifatul As-haab (23)]

Imaam al-Haafidh al-Suyootee رحمه الله said: “All the Companions are just, those who were involved in the fitnah and other than them as per the consensus.” [Tadreeb al-Raawee]

Imaam al-Nawawee رحمه الله said: “And that is why, the Ahl al-Haqq, who can be relied upon, have unanimously agreed upon accepting their (the Companions) testimonies and their narrations, and their complete justice رضي الله عنهم اجمعين.”


Al-Ibyaaree رحمه الله said: “By establishing justice for the Companions, it doesn’t mean that they were infallible or free from sin. Rather, establishing justice for the Companions means: to accept their narrations without searching further about their background or looking for the Tazkiyah** (recommendation for them); except for the one who was proved to be otherwise; and alHamdulillaah, there is none (from the Companions who was doubted for his justice).” [al-Bahr al-Muheet (4/300)]

*The example for this is: Imaam Ahmad reported in his Musnad that Bahz (bin Asad) and `Affaan informed him saying: Hammaam informed them on the authority of Katheer, on the authority of Abu `Iyaadh that a person from the companions said: “The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم prohibited from sitting in between the sun and the shade and he صلى الله عليه وسلم said: “(this is how) Shaitaan sits.” [Musnad Ahmad (14995) and graded as “Saheeh” by Shaikh al-Albaanee in al-Saheehah (838, 3110)]

**The example for this is: Narrated `Abdullaah bin `Umar رضي الله عنهما: Sa`d bin Abi Waqqaas رضي الله عنه said: “The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم passed wet hands over his Khuffs.” `Abdullaah bin `Umar asked (his father) `Umar (ibn al-Khattaab) رضي الله عنه about it. `Umar replied in the affirmative and added: “Whenever Sa`d narrates a Hadeeth from the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم, there is no need to ask anyone else about it.” [Saheeh al-Bukhaaree (202)]

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