Question: There are narrations in Shia books that all companions had become MURTAD (apostate) after the holy Prophet except 3 companions. What is the Shia’s belief about it?
Answer: Shias have some principles about their narrations. Shias do not announce that all narrations are true in that any book of hadith.
We have to check the chain narrators if it is trust worthy or not, even if the chain of narrators seems fine but the contents of that hadith contradict with Quran. We do not take that narration. We also check that narration on real practical grounds (daryatan); we also match that narration with other proven true narrations, and then make the conclusion.
Shias do not have such belief at all that all the companions of holy Prophet become apostate of Islam except 3 companions; this is not true at all. Some Sunnis make this conclusion by themselves and throw it on to Shias. Sunni fellows make this propaganda and try to keep away people from Shias.
Even we consider this narration as true, it contradicts with other true narrations and also with real grounds. The word Murtad is also used in its dictionary meanings that accepting something then rejecting it later on.
We can say that on the ceremony of Ghadir e Khum, companions gave their oath of allegiance to Imam Ali, congratulated him that Ali is their master after the holy Prophet. (Mishkawat chapter virtues of Companions, Musnad Ahmad bin Hunbal and others) But later on, after the holy Prophet they could not remain on this commitment.
For example we have a famous hadith that anybody who leaves prayer knowingly, that person becomes kafir. We have so many Muslims who do not pray daily but still they are Muslims. We cannot throw them out of Islam. We need to look at those meanings which can be applied.
We would like to give another example. Quran 2:256
“Whoever disbelieves in the Satan and believes in Allah he indeed has laid hold on the firmest handle, which shall not break off, and Allah is Hearing, Knowing.”
In this verse word KUFAR (kafir) is used in its dictionary meanings while in the next verse and in the other verses of Quran same word Kufar (kafir) is used as rejecting the message of Allah. As we use the terminology of kafir who disbelieve Allah and his messengers. In Quran and Hadiths, there are so many examples that some words are used in their dictionary meanings and at the same time those words are given specific terminology.
There is another narration in Shia books about 3 faithful personalities among companions that the doubt did not enter to their hearts at all.
Shias believe that some companions of the Prophet were great and very faithful. These personalities Suleiman, Abu Zar, Miqdad, have so much higher status than other companions (May Allah bless them and pleased with them).
We want to mention here some narrations about these personalities from the Sunni books.
This is Hassan hadith from Tirmidhi. (Hazrat Buraida narrated) The holy Prophet said; Allah ordered me to love these 4 personalities and also told me that Allah loves these 4 companions. These 4 personalities are Ali, Suleiman, Abu Zar, and Miqdad (May Allah bless them).
Another hadith from Tirmidhi, this Hassan hadith narrated by Anas bin Malik, The holy Prophet said “Heaven is greedily waiting for three personalities: those are Ali, Ammar and Suleiman”.
Now we would like to mention other true narrations from Shia books about the Companions of the Prophet(pbuh).
Nahajjul Blagha Last part of Sermon 155
“O’ `Ali, people will fall into mischief through their wealth, will show obligation to Allah on account of their faith, will expect His mercy, will feel safe from His anger and regard His unlawful matters as lawful by raising false doubts and by their misguiding desires. They will then hold lawful (the use of) wine by calling it barley water, a bribe by calling it a gift, and taking of usurious interest by calling it sale.” I said, “O’ Prophet of Allah, how should I deal with them at the time, whether to hold them to have gone back in heresy or just in revolt.” He said, “in revolt.”
We can clearly read in above sermon that the people fall in to fitna (revolt) but they were not apostate.
Please read another sermon of Nahajjul Blagha by Imam Ali. Last part of Sermon 96
“I have seen the companions of the Prophet but I do not find anyone resembling them. They began the day with dust on the hair and face (in hardship of life) and passed the night in prostration and standing in prayers. Sometimes they put down their foreheads and sometimes their cheeks. With the recollection of their resurrection it seemed as though they stood on live coal. It seemed that in between their eyes there were signs like knees of goats, resulting from long prostrations. When Allah was mentioned their eyes flowed freely till their shirt collars were drenched. They trembled for fear of punishment and hope of reward as the tree trembles on the day of stormy wind.”
In above sermon Imam Ali praised the companions of the Holy Prophet, if all the Companions of the Prophet turned apostate then why Imam Ali mentioned their virtues?
Sheikh e Sadooq wrote a narration in his book AL-KHASAL chapter 12, that the 12 companions from Mohajreen and Ansar came to Imam Ali. They wanted to fight with Abu Bakar for taking over the Caliphate. Imam Ali stopped them for doing so.
However Imam Ali told them to remind Abu Bakar the Hadith of holy Prophet about Imam Ali and condemn his action for taking over the Caliphate. Those companions are Khalid Ibn e Saeed, Miqdad ibn e Aswad, Abbi ibn e Ka,ab, Ammar ibn e Yasir, Abu Zar Ghaffari, Soliman Farsi, Abdullah ibn e Masood, Buraida Aslami, Khuzaima ibn e Sabat, Sahal Ibn e Hanif, Abu Ayoub Ansai, Abul Haitham.
We want to mention another true narration from Imam Ali (as),the book Al-Khasal by Sheikh Sadooq (ra) page 639-640. There were 12,000 good companions praised by Imam Ali.
“Narrated Ahmed ibn ziad al-hamadani ra narrated Ali ibn Ibrahim ibn hashim narrated his father from ibn abi umair from hishem ibn Salem from abi abdilleh AS he said: the companions of rasool Allah (saww) were twelve thousand : eight thousand in medina and two thousand in Mecca and two thousand from “tulaqa”(those who became Muslim in “Fatah” mecca . There was no “qadri” or “morj’i” or “huroori” or “mutazili” or “people of opinion”
We have narrations from Imam Mohammad Baqir and also Imam Jaafar e Sadiq (as) that no one can love Ahlalbait until he loves these 13 personalities among companions of the Prophet: Soliman, Abu zar, Miqdad, Ammar, Jabir bin Abdullah Ansari, Hudhaifa Yamani, Abu Maitham, Abu Ayoub Ansari, Ebadah bin Saamat, Sohaib bin Hanif, Abdullah bin Saamat, Abu Saeed Khudari, Khuzaima bin Saamat (May Allah bless them all). There is also long list of great faithful companions which are too many to mention.
At the end, we want to mention the famous supplication of our beloved 4th Imam Zainul Aabideen from our famous and authentic book, Sahihfa Sajjadiya-Supplication number.4. This is very long supplication. We cannot paste all but still we are sharing some words of our holy Imam
“O God, as for the Companions of Muhammad (pbuh) specifically, those who did well in companionship, who stood the good test in helping him, responded to him when he made them hear his messages’ argument, separated from mates and children in manifesting his word, fought against fathers and sons in strengthening his prophecy, and through him gained victory; those who were wrapped in affection for him, hoping for a commerce that comes not to naught in love for him; those who were left by their clans when they clung to his handhold and denied by their kinsfolk when they rested in the shadow of his kinship;
We have given enough explanations about this matter. It is just propaganda from Sunni fellows that Shias believe all companions became apostates except four, this propaganda is not true.”
We recite the supplications of our beloved Imam Days and nights. We are providing the online link of Sahihfa Sajjadiya, supplication.4: Sahihfa Sajjadiya
May Allah (swt) guide those who seek for truth and send blessings to Holy Prophet Mohammad(pbuh) and his Ahlalbait.