Shia point of view about the companions is very logical and natural. It is according to Quran and hadith.
Shia says neither all the companions are righteous nor all companions are bad. There were so much pious and righteous personalities among the companions of the holy Prophet but not all.
According to Shia, loving the faithful companions of the Prophet surely is the symbol of faith. Among those personalities are very prominent names: Soliman , Abu zar, Miqdad, Ammar Yasir, Jabir bin Abdullah , Abdullah bin Mas,ood, Abu Saeed khudri, Abu Ayoub Ansari, Bilal, Zaid bin Haris, Hudhaifa Yamanai, Sohaib Roomi,Ebadah bin Saamat, Saad bin Ma,adh, Musaab bin Umair and many more ( may Allah bless them more and pleased with all of them).
According to the general definition of companion which is a person who accepted Islam and met the holy Prophet (pbuh). If we will study Quran carefully we will find out there are three groups among those companions.
1- Faithful companions, Islam was deeply in their hearts, Quran and hadith give praise for them. Their faith did not get shaken. They fulfilled their oath with the holy Prophet(pbuh) till their last breath.
2- Those companions who accepted Islam but still Islam was not deeply penetrated in to their hearts. When there was difficult time and pressure, their faith got shaken.
3- Those people who accepted Islam and remained in the company of the Prophet. They were among the companions and also called themselves as companions of the Prophet but actually they were hypocrite.
Our Sunni brothers mix all of them; announce that all of them are righteous. In our previous article we tried to make commentary on our Sunni brothers that have purposely developed ideology about the companions which does not match with Quran and hadith.
1- Faithful Companions
There are many verses about the faithful companions. We don’t have to say much about it because Shia-Sunni both agree with this category. But still we will mention one verse from the holy Quran.
(48:29) Muhammad is the messenger of Allah; and those who are(ideologically) with him are strong against Unbelievers, (but) compassionate amongst each other. Thou wilt see them bow and prostrate themselves (in prayer), seeking Grace from Allah and (His) Good Pleasure. On their faces are their marks, (being) the traces of their prostration. This is their similitude in the Taurat; and their similitude in the Gospel is: like a seed which sends forth its blade, then makes it strong; it then becomes thick, and it stands on its own stem, (filling) the sowers with wonder and delight. As a result, it fills the Unbelievers with rage at them. Allah has promised those among them who believe and do righteous deeds forgiveness, and a great Reward.
(Our Sunni brothers have so much misconception about this verse; we will make commentary on this verse in our next article: Questions on Shia point of view about the companions.)
2- Those Companions who did not have deeply penetrated faith in to their hearts.
Here are some verses about this second category.
• (49:14) “The Bedouins say, “We have believed.” Say, “You have not [yet] believed; but say [instead], ‘We have submitted,’ for faith has not yet entered your hearts. And if you obey Allah and His Messenger, He will not deprive you from your deeds of anything. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.”
This holy verse says that those people accepted Islam verbally but it was not deeply penetrated in to their hearts. Accepting Islam verbally is different but having true faith in to hearts is different. These two categories can be differentiated easily at the time of test. The true faith comes not only saying words verbally but it comes with the constant obedience of messenger of Allah(swt).
Please read the narration from Sahih Muslim explaining above verse of Holy Quran.
• (49:17) “They regard as favor upon you (O Muhammad SAW) that they have embraced Islam. Say: “Count not your Islam as a favor upon me. Nay, but Allah has conferred a favor upon you, that He has guided you to the Faith, if you indeed are true.”
Quran talks about those people who accepted Islam, they tried to impress the holy Prophet that they did favor to Prophet that they became Muslim. Quran answered those people. It shows that such people entered in Islam but they did not have true understanding of Islam yet. If someone has true understanding of Islam and true faith he would be thankful to Allah(swt) and his messenger.
It needs lot of hard work to understand Islam. It needs complete obedience of messenger of Allah(swt) to have the taste of belief in in the hearts. Everybody has different level, some people get blessed with the taste of faith but still some people cannot be blessed with true taste of faith.
• Please read this verse of Surah Al- Nisa here (4:65) “But no! By your Lord! They do not believe (in reality) until they make you a judge of that which has become a matter of disagreement among them, and then do not find any straightness in their hearts as to what you have decided and submit with entire submission.”
This verse was revealed about two companions Zubair bin aawam and another Ansari companion. The Ansari companion was not happy with the holy Prophet’s decision. This verse was revealed about it (Tafseer ibn e kathir, Bukhari). If all companions were righteous and role model then why the Ansari companion was not happy with the Prophet’s decision?
• Please review the verses about the battle of Ohad.
Quran (3:153)” When you ran off precipitately and did not wait for any one, and the Messenger was calling you from your rear, so He gave you another sorrow instead of (your)sorrow, so that you might not grieve at what had escaped you, nor (at) what befell you; and Allah is aware of what you do.”
These verses talk about the battle Ohad when in the difficult situation in war, the companions run away by leaving the holy Prophet in danger. We can also see those righteous companions who did not leave the holy Prophet. They Fought bravely, sacrificed their lives, got wounds on their bodies, saved the holy Prophet and pushed back the pagan’s army.
• We know about the battle of Hunain which was fought after the victory of Mecca. Quran talks about the battle of Hunain (9:25) “God has helped you on many occasions including the day of Hunayn (name of a place near Mecca). When you were happy with the number of your men who proved to be of no help to you and the whole vast earth seemed to have no place to hide you (from your enemies) and you turned back in retreat.”
We know that the faith was not deeply penetrated in to those companion’s hearts that’s why they run away by leaving the holy Prophet in danger.
Quran tells us the virtues of those companions who are blessed with deep hearted faith “Muhammad is the messenger of Allah; and those who are (ideologically) with him are strong against Unbelievers, (but) compassionate amongst each other. (48:29).
We know that when the test comes, people get sorted out in to different categories. It is easy to claim as a believer but at the time of test during pressure and dangers. It is difficult to prove it. Both Shias and Sunnis agree on that “No one can be true believer if he does not love the holy Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) more than his life, his parents and his family.”
Is this a symbol of true believer? Leaving the holy Prophet in the middle of war on the hands of enemies and saving your own lives?
• Quran mentions the situation of battle of AH-ZAB (33:10-12)” Eyes became dull and hearts almost reached the throat when they attacked you from above and below and you started to think of God with suspicion. There the believers were tested and shaken with a severe shaking. And when the hypocrites and those in whose hearts is disease said, ” Allah and His Messenger did not promise us except delusion,”
If we will pay attention at the verse 33:12 who are those people among companions having disease in to their hearts (that faith could not penetrate deeply), those people are another kind than hypocrites.
وَإِذْ يَقُولُ الْمُنَافِقُونَ وَالَّذِينَ فِي قُلُوبِهِم مَّرَضٌ مَّا وَعَدَنَا اللَّـهُ وَرَسُولُهُ إِلَّا غُرُورًا
The Holy Quran mentioned them separately from hypocrites; those people said at time of test in difficult situation that the messenger of Allah gave us false promises.
We believe there is no need to mention further more verses about the second Category of companions. Our brothers and sisters are easily able to understand from Quran about such companions who were other than hypocrites but faith was not deeply penetrated in to their hearts
Hypocrites are those people who entered in Islam for the destruction of Islamic movement. They accepted Islam, they were among the companions but actually they were not Muslim. Those hypocrites were also labeled as companions. There are lots of verses about hypocrites, even there is one Surah in Quran named as Hypocrites (Surah-63). Please read Surah Al-Munafqoon (63) about hypocrites but still we want to mention here some more verses about this third category.
• (3:86-88) “How shall Allah guide those people who disbelieved after their belief and had witnessed that the Messenger is true and clear signs had come to them? And Allah does not guide the wrongdoing people. Those – their recompense will be that upon them is the curse of Allah and the angels and the people, all together, Abiding eternally therein. The punishment will not be lightened for them, nor will they be reprieved.”
• (4; 60) “Have you not seen those who claim to have believed in what was revealed to you, [O Muhammad], and what was revealed before you? They wish to refer legislation to Taught, while they were commanded to reject it; and Satan wishes to lead them far astray.”
• (9:53-54) “Say, “Spend willingly or unwillingly; never will it be accepted from you. Indeed, you have been a defiantly disobedient people. And what prevents their expenditures from being accepted from them but that they have disbelieved in Allah and in His Messenger and that they come not to prayer except while they are lazy and that they do not spend except while they are unwilling.”
• (9:56) “And they swear by Allah that they are from among you while they are not from among you; but they are a people who are afraid.”
• (9:62) “They swear by Allah to you [Muslims] to satisfy you. But Allah and His Messenger are more worthy for them to satisfy, if they should be believers.”
• (33:60) “If the hypocrites and those in whose hearts is disease and those who spread rumors in al-Medina do not cease, We will surely incite you against them; then they will not remain your neighbors therein except for a little.”
• (9:101)” And among those around you of the Bedouins are hypocrites, and [also] from the people of Medina. They have become accustomed to hypocrisy. You, do not know them, we know them. We will punish them twice [in this world]; then they will be returned to a great punishment.”
The above verse (9:101) clearly says that those hypocrites were living in society as companions. They disguised themselves, they were recognized in society as companion but actually they were hypocrites.
At the end we want to mention a hadith from Sahih Muslim,Please read the hadith here, The Holy Prophet (pbuh) told that among my companions there are 12 hypocrites, 8 of them cannot enter in heaven, at all. There are other Hadith in Muslim about these people in same chapter and in other books. These are those hypocrites who planned to kill the holy Prophet while he was in his journey, coming back from Tabook. (These people called in Sunni books, companions of Uqba). Sahih Muslim proves that the Holy Prophet told to Hudhaifa Yamani (rz), the names of those hypocrites who wanted to kill the Prophet, but no one else know about those 12 special hypocrites (who planted conspiracy of Prophets killing) other than Hudhiafa Yamani.
We believe that our brothers and sisters are able to understand the third category, those people who were among companions. We again want to remind here that this formula does not work (follow any companion and you will be guided). You never know that the person you are following is actually himself a hypocrite.
Shia point of view about the companions is very logical and according to Quran. Our Sunni brothers try to impose to everyone the theory that all companions are righteous which is contradicting with holy Quran.
We have mentioned above Shia point of view according to The Holy Quran and we have couted only Quranic verse. This more intersting if we find the narrations in Bukhari and Muslim, we can easily come up with the conclusion that all the Companions were not righteous.
Narrations about the Companions of The Holy Prophet in Sahih al Bukhari
Narrations about the Companions of The Holy Prophet in Sahih Muslim
Sunni scholars make people emotional on the name of companions because they do not want people to figure out who were wrong people and who were righteous people.
Quran mentions the stories about the other Prophets, how people disobeyed them, how their companions gave them hard time. We accept it. But when it comes to the companions of the last Prophet, Our Sunni fellows become emotional and close their eyes.
Our Sunni brothers blame Shia telling that shias do not believe in Sahaba. We would like to ask them if is being a companion is a divinely appointed designation?
We know that Prophethood is a divinely appointed designation. We have to believe in it. But being companion is not a divine designation and believing in it or not believing in it does not make somebody a Muslim or a Kafir.
Sometimes our Sunni fellows accuse all Shias that Shia use bad words for the companions. (We do not appreciate using bad words publicly as we mentioned earlier).
We ask our Sunni fellows how about Moawiya who officially started bad words and cursing on Imam Ali(as). Moawiya ordered to his governors to do this cursing on Imam Ali(as) publicly and in mosques, it remained for decades until the time Ummayth caliph Omar bin Abdul Aziz, who finally stopped it (Sunni sources prove it, we can also check the narration in Sahih Muslim, chapter virtues of Imam Ali, Moawiya appointed Saad bin Abi waqas governor and asked for it).
Same opinion should be applied on Moawiya who started cursing on a companion like Imam Ali, The Holy Prophet said Ali is from me I am from Ali, anybody who will curse on Ali he curses on me.
Our Sunni brothers give us the answer that those are all companions they can kill each other or they can do this cursing to each other. We want to remind them that the companions are the first students of holy Prophet. They are the first people who must act upon the teachings of holy Prophet (pbuh) but our Sunni fellows do not listen to it.
Please find our next article, Questions on Shia point of view about the companions. We will answer about the verses which our Sunni brothers claim that all companions are righteous.
May Allah (swt) guide those who seek for truth and send blessings to Holy Prophet Mohammad(pbuh) and his Ahlalbait