What Quran Says About the Companions? The Orthodox Position, By Maulana Syed Muhammad Yusuf Banuri
Translated By: Maulana Yusuf Talal Ali Delorenzo
From the Translator: This article is a translation of one of the many articles written in Urdu by my teacher, Hazrat Maulana Muhammad Yusuf Banuri, upon whom be the mercy of Allah, for the monthly magazine of the Jamia uloom islamiyyah Banuri Town, ”Bayyinat”. The essay was written, over ten years ago, in direct response to the publication of a book which Maulana believed to be misleading in its treatment of some of the basic doctrines of Islam; namely, the orthodox position with regard to the Sahabah (may Allah be pleased with them).
When Hazrat Rasulullah (PBUH), became the Khatam un Nabiyyen (the Last Nabiy) and was honored with the highest rank of any of those who occupied the office of Nubuwwat; and when his, upon whom be peace, Shariah was declared to be the Last Shariah until the Day of Rising, two things became necessary:
1) First, that this Last Shariah remain preserved intact until the coming of the Hour,
2) and second, that, in the same way that the Shariah is preserved in word, it also be preserved in deed.
Islam is not just a collection of principles, theories, and ideas. It is a complete practical system as well. Indeed, for every theory or principle put forth by Islam there is a corresponding path of action. This is why it is essential that the Muhammedan Shariah, a thousand thousand blessings upon its namesake, be preserved in word and indeed alike. For the task of preserving the Shariah, then, there was clearly a need for a dedicated group of believers who would act on what they learned.
At the head of the list of those who acted to preserve the Shariah were the Sahabah Kiram, (may Allah be pleased with them) They were the people who learned Islam directly from Rasulullah (PBUH), and then put into practice what they had been taught, and then taught those who came after them. They were the people who, having learned at the hands of the Master, upon whom be peace, were able to mould their characters in accordance with the designs of the Almighty and thus attain purity of temperament and conduct. They were the people who swept aside every false creed and accepted the true religion. And they were the people who, in order to acquire for themselves the pleasure of Allah, sacrificed everything they had at the feet of Rasulullah (PBUH). Whenever any one of them did anything improper he was immediately corrected by the Almighty.
In short, the group of people known as the Sahabah, may Allah be pleased with them, was that incredibly fortunate group of people whom Rasullah (PBUH), was sent as a teacher and guide. No matter how many thanks they gave for this heaven-sent blessing it will not have been enough, and no matter how much pride they took in being so honored it will surely have been too little.
لَقَدْ مَنَّ اللَّهُ عَلَى الْمُؤْمِنِينَ إِذْ بَعَثَ فِيهِمْ رَسُولًا مِّنْ أَنفُسِهِمْ يَتْلُو عَلَيْهِمْ آيَاتِهِ وَيُزَكِّيهِمْ وَيُعَلِّمُهُمُ الْكِتَابَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ وَإِن كَانُوا مِن قَبْلُ لَفِي ضَلَالٍ مُّبِينٍ
Truly Allah was gracious to the believers when He sent among them a Rasul from themselves, to recite to them His signs, and to purify them, and to teach them the Book and the Wisdom, though before they were in manifest error. (3:164)
THE SAHABAH IN THE QURAN
Since the heavenly inheritance of Rasulullah (PBUH), his legacy of knowledge and practice, was to be bestowed upon the Sahabah, it was necessary that they be made worthy of the trust of succeeding generations. For this reason they are praised over and over again in the Quran and in the Hadith.
(1) Witnesses of the Risalah (Prophethood)
1 . The Divine Revelation explains that they are worthy of trust and that they have been purified, testifies to their character and righteousness, and grants them the lofty position of being witnesses to the Muhammadan Risalat:
مُّحَمَّدٌ رَّسُولُ اللَّهِ وَالَّذِينَ مَعَهُ أَشِدَّاءُ عَلَى الْكُفَّارِ رُحَمَاءُ بَيْنَهُمْ تَرَاهُمْ رُكَّعًا سُجَّدًا يَبْتَغُونَ فَضْلًا مِّنَ اللَّهِ وَرِضْوَانًا سِيمَاهُمْ فِي وُجُوهِهِم مِّنْ أَثَرِ السُّجُودِ
Muhammad is the Rasul of Allah, and those who are with him are severe with unbelievers, merciful among themselves. You see them in Ruku and Sajda. seeking bounty with Allah and His pleasure. Their mark is on their faces, the trace of Sajda. (48:29)
In this verse the words ‘Muhammad is the Rasul of Allah’ are presented as a claim. In what follows, the claim is substantiated by mention of the conduct and bearing of the Sahabah, may Allah be pleased with them. In other words, if anyone has any doubts about the truth of Muhammad’s being Rasulullah (PBUH), he need only to look on the blessed lives of the Sahabah, and then let his conscience decide for him.
(2) Standard of faith
2. When the standard of faith was set by the Sahabah, (may AIIah be pleased with them) the entire Ummah was called on to follow their example; and those who loosed their tongues in opposition to them were stamped with the seal of Nifaq (hypocrisy) and foolishness:
وَإِذَا قِيلَ لَهُمْ آمِنُوا كَمَا آمَنَ النَّاسُ قَالُوا أَنُؤْمِنُ كَمَا آمَنَ السُّفَهَاءُ أَلَا إِنَّهُمْ هُمُ السُّفَهَاءُ وَلَٰكِن لَّا يَعْلَمُونَ
When it is said to them (the hypocrites), ‘Believe as the people (Sahabah) believe’, they say ‘Shall we believe as the fools believe?’ Truly they are themselves the foolish ones, but they do not know; (2:13)
(3) Allah is pleased with them
3. Time and time again the Sahabah were blessed with the joyful tidings that: رضي الله عنهم و رضوا عنه
Allah is well-pleased with them, and they are well-pleased with Him. (5:119) (57:22) (98:8)
Indeed, these tidings were repeated so often that they have become as a cant word to the people of this Ummah. In the same way that we ate incapable of taking the name of Rasulullah without automatically saying, “the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him”, we automatically say, “may Allah be pleased with him”, after taking the name of one of the Sahabah.
furthermore, it should be obvious that Allah most High did not say that He was pleased with them on the basis of appearances only. Knowing their past, present, and future, their interiors and their exteriors, Allah most High announced that He was pleased with them. From this it should be more than clear that until they breathed their last they did nothing to deprive themselves of this Divine Pleasure.
It should also be obvious that when Allah is pleased with someone, the entire Ummah should also be pleased with that person. Concerning any other person we might have to resort to conjecture on the question of whether or not Allah most High was pleased with him·, but concerning the Sahabah, may Allah be pleased with them, we have the evidence of the quran! Then, if, in spite of all this, someone attempts to prove that the Sahabah were wrongdoers, he is clearly placing himself in opposition to Allah.
(4) Practical Standard for Ummah
4. When the way of the Sahabah (may Allah be pleased with them) was established as the practical standard for this Ummah, any kind of opposition to it was explained to be direct opposition to Rasulullah upon whom be peace.
وَمَن يُشَاقِقِ الرَّسُولَ مِن بَعْدِ مَا تَبَيَّنَ لَهُ الْهُدَىٰ وَيَتَّبِعْ غَيْرَ سَبِيلِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ نُوَلِّهِ مَا تَوَلَّىٰ وَنُصْلِهِ جَهَنَّمَ وَسَاءَتْ مَصِيرًا
And whoso opposes the RasuI (upon whom be peace after the guidance has become clear to him, and follows a way other than the believer’s (Sahabah), him we shall turn over to what he has turned to, and We shall put him in the Fire – a hapless journey’s end. (4:115)
In this verse the word “believers” refers first of all to the Sahabah, may Allah be pleased with them. From this it is obvious that the proper way to follow the Rasul (PBUH), is to adopt the way of the Sahabah in all matters of conduct and character.
(5) Honour of Sahabah in the Hereafter
5. To conclude, the Sahabah, may Allah be pleased with them, were promised that in the shadow of Rasulullah’s mercy (PBUH), they would be granted every honor, and spared all humiliation.
يَوْمَ لَا يُخْزِي اللَّهُ النَّبِيَّ وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا مَعَهُ نُورُهُمْ يَسْعَىٰ بَيْنَ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَبِأَيْمَانِهِمْ
On the day when Allah will not abase the Nabiy and those who believe with him, their light running before them, and on their right hands. (22 :8) There are scores of other such verses concerning the virtues and excellence of the Sahabah Kiram, may Allah be pleased with them. From all this it should have become apparent by now that if these people, as the first link in the chain of believers, are ascertained to have been unworthy of our trust, Allah forbid, or remiss in their bearing and behavior, or incapable of providing practical or doctrinal counsel, then the fabric of the Deen ul Islam would be rent and, perish the thought, the Muhammaden Risaalat faulted.
To read this article in Urdu click on the link below: