Verily it is from the boasting of our True Religion Islam and from the importance of its proofs that this religion had a people that were cultivated at the blessed hands of the noble and beloved Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). They were known as Sahabah (the Companions of the Prophet PBUH). They were the first people that carried the Message of Islam to the world.
They were the true defenders of Islam. They participated and fought in every single battle that waged against the Prophet (PBUH) and the religion of Islam. They struggled hard for the sake of raising the Word of Allah and conveyed His true Message. Through them, Almighty Allah delivered Islam and made it victorious over all other religions. Therefore, they were the group who if Allah had not made them victorious at that time of history, He would never have been worshipped again. At that time Prophet (PBUH) looked at them and rose his blessed hands praying to Allah form them, saying: “O Allah, if this small band of Muslims is destroyed (defeated this day and it was the day of Badr), You will not be worshipped on earth.” (Muslim 1763)
They believed in Allah and His Messenger (PBUH). They supported the Messenger of Allah (PBUH), protected him when circumstances were most severe and followed the true guidance which he brought. The Holy Quran and the Sunnah of the Prophet (PBUH) described them and emphasized their piety, credibility, honesty and devotion to the Book of Allah and to the Sunnah of the Prophet (PBUH). Allah described them in His Book, He says:
“Muhammad (PBUH) is the Messenger of Allah, and those who are with him are severe against disbelievers, and merciful among themselves. You see them bowing and falling down prostrate (in prayer), seeking Bounty from Allah and (His) Good Pleasure. The mark of them (i.e. of their Faith) is on their faces (foreheads) from the traces of (their) prostration (during prayers).” (Al-Fath 48:29)
Allah, the Exalted described them in many verses and highlighted their virtues and excellence. He says in another verse:
“And the first to embrace Islam of the Muhajirun (those who migrated from Makkah to Al-Madinah) and the Ansar (the citizens of Al-Madinah who helped and gave aid to the Muhajirun) and also those who followed them exactly (in Faith). Allah is well-pleased with them as they are well-pleased with Him. He has prepared for them Gardens under which rivers flow (Paradise), to dwell therein forever. That is the supreme success.” (At-Taubah 9:100)
Besides the Quran, the Sunnah of the Prophet (PBUH) also pointed out their virtues and excellence and warned those who deny them or their proper status which they deserve or even neglect this status with the passage of time. The Prophet (PBUH) considered them as his own family. He said concerning them: “Do not abuse my Companions, for if anyone of you spent gold equal to Uhud (mountain) (in Allah’s Cause) it would not be equal to a Mudd (two-third of a kilogram) or even a half Mudd spent by one of them.” (Al-Bukhari 3673)
The Companions of the Prophet (PBUH) relayed the Holy Quran and conveyed the Sunnah of the Prophet (PBUH) to the people. Therefore, if anyone disrespects, discredits and accuses them of being such and such; he not only denies their virtues and excellence over and the favour upon all the people after the Messenger of Allah (PBUH), but also clearly challenges the authenticity of the true message that conveyed through them.
Concerning the virtues and excellence of the Companions of the Prophet (PBUH) Abdullah ibn Masud (May Allah Be pleased with him) said:
“Whoever among you desires to follow the straight path, let him follow the path of those who passed away (the Companions of Muhammad PBUH), for the one who is still alive is not safe from fitnah. They were the best people after the Prophet (PBUH) among his Ummah, the purest in heart, firmly grounded in knowledge, most straightforward and the farthest from false display of piety. They were the group of people whom Allah chose for the company of His Messenger (PBUH) and the establishment of His religion. So acknowledge their virtues and excellence, try to be like them in conduct and follow their way, for they were on true guidance” (Al-Jami’ Li ibn Abdul Bbar 1810)
After such confirmation of their virtues and excellence, no one can deny their status. Had it not been for their efforts to spread Islam and to convey it to the people, no one could have the possibility of knowing of Islam. So, being as Muslims, all should feel indebted to the Companions, respect them and pray for them. It is a fact that whenever someone assails the Companions of the Prophet (PBUH), he starts trespassing the limits that Allah has set, against which no one should trespass. By doing so, he will finally start rejecting the teachings of Islam. May Allah protect us from assailing the Companions of the Prophet (PBUH) and rejecting the teachings of Islam. Ameen
You can read more about the stature and excellence of Prophet’s Companions in a range of publications by Darussalam. 10 Great Companions of Prophet PBUH, and Biographies of Abubakar RA, Umar bin Al-Khatab RA, Usman Bin Affan RA, Ali Bin Abu Talib RA and many others. Check the list of all e-books here.by