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Ashra Mubashra; The Ten Blessed Companions


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Whenever sunnis argue with shias due to their criticism for certain companions, they bring up the hadith of Ashra Mubashra, or shall i say, the forgery of Ashra Mubashra. Why did i call it a forgery will be explained later on.

Before coming to the hadith of Ashra Mubashra, we need to listen to what the Quran has said:

Who has gained Paradise will be apparent in the afterlife, but Allah promised it to the Companions while they were still in this world.

"Not equal among you are those who spent (freely) and fought before the Victory, (with those who did so later). Those are higher in rank than those who spent (freely) and fought afterwards. But to all has God promised a goodly (reward). And God is well acquainted with all that ye do" (Al-Hadid, 57/10).

As is clearly seen in this verse, Allah promises Heaven to all the Companions. Just as the Companions, who had many admirable traits, were given the good news of Paradise in general, there are also those who were promised Heaven individually while here on earth. The term Ashara Mubashara (the ten who were promised Paradise) designates those who were given these glad tidings by the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) while they were living in this world. In addition to the term "Ashara Mubashara," the phrase with the same meaning - "al-Mubashara bil-Jannah" - was also used.

The ayah the brother quotes states "And what reason have you that you should not spend in Allah's way? And Allah's is the inheritance of the heavens and the earth, not alike among you are those who spent before the victory and fought (and those who did not): they are more exalted in rank than those who spent and fought afterwards; and Allah has promised good to all; and Allah is Aware of what you do."

Generalizing a conclusion based on the above verse can only be done by a person who has read one verse of the Quran only. Pointing out clearly in the article Shias and The Companions,

Muhammad is no more than a Messenger: many were the Messengers that passed away before him. If he died or were slain, will ye then turn back on your heels? If any did turn back on his heels, not the least harm will he do to Allah; But Allah (on the other hand) will swiftly reward those who (serve Him) with gratitude.
Quran [3:144]

Allah will reward "everyone" who serve him with gratitude, and this gratitude means obeying Rasool (SAW) with complete conviction and sincerity. Any person, any companion who fulfils this criteria will be rewarded by Allah. Those who spend and fight in the way of Allah definitely serve him with gratitude. As long as they die in this situation, Allah will reward them, but if they burn out their deeds after wards, the same cannot be said.

O you who believe! do not raise your voices above the voice of the Prophet, and do not speak loud to him as you speak loud to one another, lest your deeds became null while you do not perceive.
Quran [49:2]

He whose deeds are still intact with him will be saved. Allah will judge all people according to their actions, thus claiming all companions are promised paradise is doing injustice with the Quran itself.

The sunnis claim that as the Prophet (SAW) has promised ten of his companions paradise during his own life time, criticizing these companions is termed a sin. Shias claim that the Prophet promised nothing to anyone and every man will be judged according do his actions. Any man who transgresses against Allah, his Rasool or his Ahlulbayt should be dissociated from.

Coming back to the hadith of ten blessed companions. This suspicious Hadith is not even mentioned by Bukhari or Muslim, but it is narrated within al-Tirmithi's, abu Daoud's, and Ibn Maja's collections in two flavors. Let's take a look at the hadith to see the extent of amplifying selected personalities.

Saeed bin Zaid said: I bear witness, I heard the messenger of Allah (s) say: Ten are in Paradise: The prophet is in Paradise, Abu Bakr in Paradise, Talha in Paradise, Omar in Paradise, 'Uthman in Paradise, Saad bin Malik in Paradise, and AbdulRahman bin `Awf in Paradise. If you wish I could tell you the tenth? He said. They said: Who is he? He said: Saeed bin Zaid."
Sunan Abu Dawud

AbdulRahman bin `Awf said: The prophet (s) said: Abu Bakr in Paradise, Omar in Paradise, 'Uthman in Paradise, Ali in Paradise, Talha in Paradise, al- Zubair (bin al-'Awwam) in Paradise, AbdulRahman bin `Awf in Paradise, Saad (bin Abi Waqqass) in Paradise, Saeed (bin Zaid), and abu 'Ubaida bin al- Jarrah in Paradise.
al-Tirmithi, Hadith 3747

Saeed bin Zaid, that the prophet (s) said in a number of people, ten are in Paradise: Abu Bakr in Paradise, Omar in Paradise, 'Uthman, Ali, al-Zubair, Talha, AbdulRahman, Abu 'Ubaida, and Saad bin Abi Waqqass. He counted these nine and was quite about the tenth. They said: By Allah, abu-alAawar (i.e. Saeed), who is the tenth? He said: You swore by Allah - abu-alAawar is in Paradise." al-Tirmithi commented that abu-alAawar is Saeed bin Zaid bin Amr bin Nawfal.
al-Tirmithi, under #3748
al-Tirmithi, Volume 5, Page 605, Hadith 3748 
abu Daoud, #4649 and #4650

Thus the ten people, claimed to been promised paradise by the Prophet (SAW) are,

  1. Prophet Muhammad (SAW)
  2. Abu Bakr
  3. Umer
  4. Uthman
  5. Ali ibn Abu Talib
  6. Talha
  7. Zubair bin al-Awwam
  8. Saad bin Abi Waqas
  9. Saeed bin Zaid
  10. Abdul Rahman ibn Awf
  11. Saad bin Malik
  12. Abu `Ubaida bin al-Jarrah

Having said that these hadith are not found in the bible of Sunnis, namely Sahih Muslim and Sahih Bukhari, these hadith also challenge a thinking mind. What is wrong with these Hadith you may ask.

Now coming to the issue of which hadith to accept and which to reject. As said in the article about Ahadith, any hadith which contradicts with Quran, history or logic deserves the trashcan.

Before proceeding, i would ask my Sunni brothers that what do they understand by this forged hadith;

If you believe that they will enter paradise without accountability, then you are excluding them from the justice of Allah. And you are also attributing infallibility to them.

And We will set up a just balance on the day of resurrection, so no soul shall be dealt with unjustly in the least; and though there be the weight of a grain of mustard seed, (yet) will We bring it, and sufficient are We to take account
Quran [21:47]

And Allah created the heavens and the earth with truth and that every soul may be rewarded for what it has earned and they shall not be wronged.
Quran [45:22]

If you believe that they will enter paradise after answering for their deeds, then you are assuming that their deeds will include no wrong as the Prophet had promised them paradise. You attribute infallibility to them again. The onus is on you to prove to us that these men were infallibles and they did not wrong Allah, Prophet (SAW), Quran or Ahlulbayt during their life times.

If you believe that they will eventually enter paradise after being appropriately punished for their sins, then the hadith is meaningless because this applies to everyone and not only to the ten mentioned.

Several things raise the doubts about these traditions and supports the belief that they were fabricated forgeries for political reasons to elevate the adversaries of the Imam Ali and the remainder Family of the Household of the prophet.

A reasonable person can not judge, unconditionally, that an ordinary fallible human being is guaranteed paradise, therefore, is immune from Hell Fire. One who is open to the possibility of committing sinful acts, by his nature, can not be predictable. Especially, if promised paradise while not infallible, he would have the tendency to act freely due to his feeling of assurance that his acts will have no bearing on his outcome. It is, therefore, not logical nor reasonable that the prophet would promise such an outcome early on to people of an unknown future.

If this hadith were indeed true, then how come one did not see Uthman use it in protest against those who found it lawful to murder him. Nor did any of his companions come to his aid, protesting the unlawfulness of killing someone who is guaranteed paradise. Actually, it would have been unlawful for them to stay silent in this matter. The fact of the matter is the hadith were fabricated at a later date.

Besides the questionable hadith, what convinces you that the 10 are guaranteed heaven? Talha and Zubair fought Imam Ali, resulted the killing of hundreds of Muslims at Jamal, and all three of them will be in heaven? History testifies that anyone who fought Hz Ali, was on the wrong path, whether it be the Kufar of mecca, the Jews of Khaiber, the wife of the prophet, Ayesha, or the great companion Muawiya. Do you believe that the murderer and the murdered, both will be in paradise even if they opposed each other and fought each other which resulted in killings of their own selves as well as many other Muslims.

If the hadith is true, then it would have been a revelation to Prophet (SAW). It would mean that Allah was aware of what these ten will do till their deaths and it would imply that Allah is happy with their future actions as well. But when we read that they fought each other, were involved in calling the Prophet (SAW) delirious, denied the daughter of Prophet (SAW) her right, innovated things in religion etc, our logical tendency fails to absorb that Allah would be pleased with such facts because Allah is just, he loves who Prophet loves and who does good.

If one accepts the hadith to be true, one must also accept that companions of Prophet other than these ten may have to go through Hell Fire, because there is no in-between on the day of judgment. And if all the companions of Prophet (SAW) were good and would directly go to paradise, then all would have been promised paradise. Or if it was obvious that all companions are good and will go directly to paradise, then there was no need to promise these ten or twelve companions paradise. Thus this hadith goes against the very fundamentals of sunni beliefs, the belief that All Sahabas were good and will go to paradise directly.

Logically, the ones who have been promised Heaven, or the ones which are understood to go to Heaven are, The prophets, All those who are connected to the verse of purification, and the infallibles.

Others will go through the process of judgment and may or may not enter paradise. Judgment is not our concern. It is a matter of Allah. But blindly believing in an obvious forgery and over looking their faults just because of this forgery will be termed as ignorance or stupidity in terms of intellect and spirituality.

Some common traits of the Ashara Mubashara:

All became Muslim in the early years of Islam. They made great service to the Prophet and the Islamic cause. They migrated. They participated in the battle of Badr. They swore allegiance to the Prophet at Hudaybiya. There are many narrations in hadith sources regarding their virtues. Sources of sound hadiths begin with narrations on these Companions

If what the website says is true, then can they define what is the Islamic cause to which the mentioned companions contributed? If they migrated, then their names can also be seen in the list of those who left Prophet (SAW) in battlefields and ran away. If they participated in the battle of Badr, then they also fought battles against one another. If they swore allegiance to Prophet (SAW) at Hudaibya, then they also doubted his prophethood and called him delirious on his deathbed. If there are many hadith regarding their virtues, then the Quran speaks about the virtues of the Ahlulbayt, how can we believe that those who went against these Ahlulbayt can be given virtues by the same Allah or Prophet?

Allah doesn't promise ten companions of Prophet (SAW) paradise. Allah promises paradise to every one of his creations.

Whoever does an evil, he shall not be recompensed (with aught) but the like of it, and whoever does good, whether male or female, and he is a believer, these shall enter the garden, in which they shall be given sustenance without measure.
Quran [40:40]

If we fulfill this condition, Allah will fulfill his promise.

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