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Shias and The Companions

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 Letter 02
: Burial Next to Prophet (SAW)

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ترجمے کے لئے یہاں جائیں

There is a general view amongst the Sunnis that Shias hate Asahab e Muhammad. This is not true. Although there are two more articles which touch the issue, namely Tabbarra: Do Shias curse the companions and Myth of Saintly Companions, I would touch the point. My name is Ammar, named after the brave companion, Ammar Yasir. We love men like Salman Farsi, Abu Dhar Ghaffari, Miqdad, Owais Qerni, Ammar Yasir. Were these not the companions of Prophet (SAW)? Yes, there were conflicts amongst the companions of Prophet (SAW). There were disputes between the Sahabas and the family of Prophet (SAW). The only sin shias do is to support the people of the house of Prophet Muhammad (SAW).

Coming to the point. I always wonder if all companions were good and infallible? I wonder for whom was sura-e-munafiqeen revealed? The Shias do not weight all of the companions of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) on the same scale, because it is not possible. Every one has ranks, even the Prophets as Quran said. Every man, every jinn has ranks amongst them based on the level of their faith and piety.

Is then he who follows the pleasure of Allah like him who has made himself deserving of displeasure from Allah, and his abode is hell; and it is an evil destination. There are (varying) grades with Allah, and Allah sees what they do.
Quran [3:162-163]

With Allah, the grade varies, then who are we to claim that all the companions were good and will go to paradise?  No two ordinary people can have the same amount of good deeds. Thus two say that all companions of Prophet (SAW) were good and obedient is wrong. Similarly, to say that all the companions of Rasool (SAW) were sinners is also wrong.  

It is strange that Sunnis challenge the concept of infallibility or masoomiyat when associated with Prophet (SAW) and his Ahlulbayt (AS), but they themselves, at the same time give the same status to the companions of Prophet (SAW). Sunnis do not claim that the companions were infallables, but their attitude shows otherwise. Sunnis believe that no companion of Prophet (SAW) could go wrong, all will go to paradise, all were doers of good, all are our role models and we should follow anyone of them, each one of them, they did not sin and if they did Allah will not punish them; These beliefs are infact attribution of masoomiyat to all of the people who sat around Rasool (SAW). And this is the reason why Sunnis get emotional if any of the Companion of Prophet (SAW) is criticized for some/any wrong he might have done, against his own Nafs, against the Quran, against the Ahlulbayt of Rasool (SAW) or even against other companions of Prophet Muhammad (SAW).

Here, I provide what is considered to be a typical Shi'ite position in this regard.

The Shia divide the companions into three factions: First, are those who believed in Allah (SWT), believed in the Prophet (PBUH&HF), and gave all they could for the sake of Islam. These are the highest in rank. These companions always supported the Prophet and were with him. They never disobeyed him in any issue, nor did they ever accused him of talking non-sense! (may Allah protect us). These were the companions whose faith in the truthfullness of Rasool (SAW) was of the highest level, whose level of piety was an example for other companions, who died on Haqq. Examples include, but are not limited to, Abu Dhar al-Ghifari, Salman al-Farsi, Miqdad, Amar Ibn Yasir, Jabir Ibn Abdillah al-Ansari etc, may Allah (SWT) be pleased with them.

The second group, are those who were Muslims, but were not sincere in their acts.  These were the ones who did recite the Kalimah, but committed major as well as minor sins.

The third group, are those who became apostate after the death of Prophet as al-Bukhari recorded (see below), or those who neither believed in Allah (SWT), nor the Prophet (PBUH&HF) in the first place, but managed to infiltrate the Islamic isles to be included among the Muslims. These are the hypocrites, like Abu Sufyan, his son Muawiyah etc.

"Hashimite" is the clan and tribe of the Prophet (PBUH&HF), and this is an intentional pun suggesting that the Prophet (PBUH&HF) was a liar, not a true prophet. The "throne (sovereignty)" is an allusion to the control of the affairs of Mecca and the entire region, meaning that the tribe of Hashim controlled the entire region by virtue of the Message of Islam and that Muhammad (PBUH&HF) is the chosen Prophet, but really there was no revelation and there was no message!!! That is Yazid's opinion of Allah (SWT), Islam, and the Prophet (PBUH&HF). His father, Muawiyah, and his grandfather, Abu Sufyan, were no better. At the beginning the reign of Uthman when Umayad occupied the prominent positions, Abu Sufayn said: "O Children of Umayyah! Now that this kingdom has come to you, play with it as the children play with a ball, and pass it from one to another in your clan. We are not sure whether there is a paradise or hell, but this kingdom is a reality."
al-Isti'ab, by Ibn Abd al-Barr, v4, p1679

Then Abu Syfyan went to Uhud and kicked at the grave of Hamza (the uncle of the Prophet who was martyred in the Battle of Uhud in fighting against Abu Sufyan) and said: "O Abu Ya'la! See that the kingdom which you fought against has finally come back to us."
Sharh Ibn Abil Hadid, v9, p53 quoted the last sentence as above

Muawiyah, said when he took over the Caliphate: "I didn't fight you to pray, fast, and pay charity, but rather to be your leader and control you!!!" This is an indication that Muawiyah never cared about any of Islam's mandates, nor Allah's (SWT) orders; rather his war was politically motivated to gain control of the whole region and take over the Caliphate. It is no wonder or surprise! Muawiyah poisoned Imam al-Hasan (AS), the greater son of Fatimah (AS) -- the daughter of the Prophet (PBUH&HF).
Tadhkirat al-Khawas, Sibt Ibn al-Jawzi al-Hanafi, pp 191-194

Why should we baselessly argue about the matter of the Companions? Just ask Allah himself.

The first faction of the companions are characterized by Allah (SWT) in the following verse:

Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah; and those who are with him are strong against the 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 (Torah); 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.
Quran [48:29]


You shall not find a people who believe in Allah and the latter day befriending those who act in opposition to Allah and His Messenger, even though they were their (own) fathers, or their sons, or their brothers, or their kinsfolk; these are they into whose hearts He has impressed faith, and whom He has strengthened with an inspiration from Him: and He will cause them to enter gardens beneath which rivers flow, abiding therein; Allah is well-pleased with them and they are well-pleased with Him these are Allah's party: now surely the party of Allah are the successful ones.
Quran [58:22]

These companions, the Shia and the Sunnis have no quarrel about. As such, they will not be discussed here. However, note what Allah in His infinite wisdom states in the last line: "Allah has promised those among them who believe and do righteous deeds Forgiveness, and a great Reward." Why didn't Allah  say "Allah has promised ALL OF THEM?" Why did not Allah promise each and every one of them a great reward? Because not all of them were righteous! That's what the Shia are trying to convey to the world! The Sunnis, whenever they bless the Prophet (SAW), they also bless ALL the companions, with NO exception. Why did Allah, their Creator, make an exception, while the Sunni Muslims don't?

As for the second faction of the companions:

"O ye who believe! What is the matter with you, that when ye are asked to go forth in the Cause of Allah, ye cling heavily to the earth? Do ye prefer the life of this world to the Hereafter? But little is the comfort of this life, as compared with the Hereafter. Unless ye go forth, He will punish you with a grievous penalty, and put others in your place; But Him ye would not harm in the least, For Allah hath power over all things."
Quran [9:38-39]

This is a clear indication that some of the companions were lazy during the call to Jihad and other activities, and, thus, deserved the above reprimand by Allah (SWT). This is not the only instance where Allah (SWT) threatened to replace them.

Behold! you are those who are called upon to spend in Allah's way, but among you are those who are niggardly, and whoever is niggardly is niggardly against his own soul; and Allah is Self-sufficient and you have need (of Him), and if you turn back He will bring in your place another people, then they will not be like you.

Could you tell me Who Allah is referring by "you" in the above verse?

And when they see merchandise or sport they break up for It, and leave you (Muhammad) standing (in prayers alone). Say: What is with Allah is better than sport and (better) than merchandise, and Allah is the best of Sustainers.
Quran [62:11]

Allah criticizes what happened during one Friday sermon, when a caravan arrived at Al-Madinah and the people rushed out to the merchandise. Allah said (And when they see some merchandise or some amusement, they disperse headlong to it, and leave you standing.) meaning, on the Minbar, delivering the Khutbah. Several of the Tabi`in said this, such as Abu Al-`Aliyah, Al-Hasan, Zayd bin Aslam and Qatadah. Muqatil bin Hayyan said that the caravan belonged to Dihyah bin Khalifah before he became a Muslim, and there were drums accompanying it. So they rushed to the caravan and left Allah's Messenger standing on the Minbar. Only a few remained, according to the authentic Hadith that Imam Ahmad recorded that Jabir said, "Once, a caravan arrived at Al-Madinah while Allah's Messenger was giving a Khutbah. So, the people left, and only twelve men remained ﴿with the Messenger ﴾. Then Allah sent down this Ayah.
Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Tafsir of Surah 62, Verse 11

There were companions who at a time, left the Prophet (SAW) during the friday prayers in order to attend a caravan. The Sunni ideology of Saint-ness of all Sahabas of Prophet (SAW) is flawed. Authentic Sunni traditions confirm that there have been some companions who used to oppose the Prophet's order and quarrel with him in several occasions.

These are just short examples of what some Companions did during the life of Prophet (SAW). I will not even go to the aftermath of Prophet's (SAW) blessed demise. These events are dealt with in separate articles, clearly recorded in Sunni literature, and at times, mentioned in the Quran as well. For example, when the companions disputed amongst themselves and with the Prophet (SAW) during the battle of Badr regarding the distribution of spoils of war, the Quran said:

They ask you about the windfalls (Spoils of War). Say: The windfalls are for Allah and the Messenger. So be careful of (your duty to) Allah and set aright matters of your difference, and obey Allah and His Messenger if you are believers.
Quran [8:1]

The critique of the battle opens with this unusual note. Some disagreements had arisen among the Muslims with regard to sharing the spoils of war. As it was their first experience of fighting under the banner of Islam, the Muslim soldiers had scarcely any notion of the regulations they were required to follow on the battlefield and for settling problems arising from warfare. Doubtlessly some preliminary instructions had been laid down for them in Surah al-Baqarah 2 and Surah Muhammad 47, (See 2: 190 ff. and 47: 4 ff. - Ed.) However the full set of regulations that could contribute to civilizing the conduct of warfare had yet to be laid down. Hence, when it came to war as with several other societal matters, the Muslims were still under the influence of pre-Islamic ideas and concepts. Going by the age-old Arab customs, those who had seized the spoils of war considered themselves their sole and legitimate owners. On the other hand, the Muslims who had concentrated on driving away the enemy rather than on collecting the spoils, claimed that they deserved an equal share of the spoils. They contended that had they slackened in their duty of pursuing the enemy, the latter might have struck back, turning the Muslim victory into a defeat. Similarly, another group of Muslims who had escorted the Prophet (peace he on him) on the battlefield, also laid claim to an equal share, For, they believed, it was they who had rendered an invaluable service insofar as neglect of duty on their part might have resulted in endangering the precious life of the Prophet (peace be on him), in which case the possibility of victory and its attendant spoils and their distribution would all have been totally out of the question. Nonetheless, the group of Muslims who already possessed the spoils saw no merit in these claims. Arguments and counter-arguments gave rise to bitterness and bad blood. (For disagreements among Muslims on the question of distribution of spoils of war see Ibn Hisham, vol. 1. pp. 641-2; al-Waqadi, vol. 1, p. 78. See also the comments on the verse in Qurtubi and Ibn Kathir - Ed.)
Tafheem ul Quran, by Sayyid Abul ala Maududi, Tafsir of Surah 8, Verse 1

Similarly, Allah speaks in the Quran where the companions desserted Rasool (SAW) during a battle field in Uhud, ignoring all of the calls of Prophet (SAW):

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. Then after sorrow He sent down security upon you, a calm coming upon a party of you, and (there was) another party whom their own souls had rendered anxious; they entertained about Allah thoughts of ignorance quite unjustly, saying: We have no hand in the affair. Say: Surely the affair is wholly (in the hands) of Allah. They conceal within their souls what they would not reveal to you. They say: Had we any hand in the affair, we would not have been slain here. Say: Had you remained in your houses, those for whom slaughter was ordained would certainly have gone forth to the places where they would be slain, and that Allah might test what was in your breasts and that He might purge what was in your hearts; and Allah knows what is in the breasts. (As for) those of you who turned back on the day when the two armies met, only the Shaitan sought to cause them to make a slip on account of some deeds they had done, and certainly Allah has pardoned them; surely Allah is Forgiving, Forbearing.
Quran [3:153-155]

Similarly, some of the companions used to annoy Rasool (SAW), thinking that because they had accepted Islam, they did Prophet (SAW) a favor and thus the Prophet (SAW) owed them one.

Say: Do you apprise Allah of your religion, and Allah knows what is in the heavens and what is in the earth; and Allah is Cognizant of all things. They think that they lay you (Muhammad) under an obligation by becoming Muslims. Say: Lay me not under obligation by your Islam: rather Allah lays you under an obligation by guiding you to the faith if you are truthful.
Quran [49:16-17]

And there are many more of such reports which can be even found in Sahih al- Bukhari.

As for the third faction of the companions, there is a whole chapter in the Quran addressing them: "al-Munafiqun -The Hypocrites - Surah 63", and beside that there are many other verses in this regard as well.

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]

This verse was revealed when some of the companions ran away from the battle of Uhud, when they falsely heard that Prophet was killed. Although they were forgiven by Prophet later, but the above verse gives a possibility that some of the companions may abandon Islam if the Prophet (PBUH&HF) dies. But Allah (SWT) makes exceptions: "...those who (serve Him) with gratitude."

Before giving more straightforward verses from Quran for this third group, let me give you some traditions from Sahih al-Bukhari which confirms apostasy for them. Since al-Bukhari has confirmed the authenticity of the following tradition, I hope you do not consider him a "Kafir" after reading these traditions.

Narrated Abu Hazim from Sahl bin Sa'd: The Prophet said, "I am your predecessor (forerunner) at the Lake-Fount, and whoever will pass by there, he will drink from it and whoever will drink from it, he will never be thirsty. There will come to me some people whom I will recognize, and they will recognize me, but a barrier will be placed between me and them." Abu Hazim added: An-Nu'man bin Abi 'Aiyash, on hearing me, said. "Did you hear this from Sahl?" I said, "Yes." He said, " I bear witness that I heard Abu Said Al-Khudri saying the same, adding that the Prophet said: 'I will say: They are of me (i.e. my followers). It will be said, 'You do not know what they innovated (new things) in the religion after you left'. I will say, 'Far removed, far removed (from mercy), those who changed (their religion) after me." Abu Huraira narrated that the Prophet said, "On the Day of Resurrection a group of companions will come to me, but will be driven away from the Lake-Fount, and I will say, 'O Lord (those are) my companions!' It will be said, 'You have no knowledge as to what they innovated after you left; they turned apostate as renegades (reverted from Islam)."
Sahih-Al-Bukhari Volume 8, Book 76, Number 585

Narrated Anas: The Prophet said, "Some of my companions will come to me at my Lake Fount, and after I recognize them, they will then be taken away from me, whereupon I will say, 'My companions!' Then it will be said, 'You do not know what they innovated (new things) in the religion after you."
Sahih Bukhari, Volume 8, Book 76, Number 584:

These traditions, nonetheless, indicate the Prophet's (SAW) knowledge and awareness that some of his companions will change after him (SAW), and, therefore, will be condemned to hell. This is another reason why the Shia maintain that the Prophet (SAW) MUST have had a special vicegerent to trust the affairs of the Ummah (Nation) to -- a vicegerent that will not mutilate the religion and will remain steadfast until he meets his Creator (SWT) It is a known fact that the companions quarreled after the death of the Prophet (SAW), and wars were waged.

There were companions who are in great respect for us. These are those whom Allah admired in the Holy Quran. As you might have noticed, those verses in the Holy Quran do not include all the companions. When Allah states:

And from among those who are round about you of the dwellers of the desert there are hypocrites, and from among the people of Medina (also); they are stubborn in hypocrisy; you do not know them; We know them; We will chastise them twice then shall they be turned back to a grievous chastisement
Quran [9:101]

Allah talks about the hypocrites around Prophet who pretend to be his sincere companions and even Prophet does not know them according to the above verse. This is in conformity with the traditions of Sahih al-Bukhari mentioned above that Allah will say to His Prophet that "You do not know what these companions have done after you left them."

To make it short, all of the people who sit with the Prophet (SAW) are his companions to us. But his real companions are they who have earned the pleasure of Allah through their deeds, actions, faith.

And (as for) the foremost, the first of the Muhajirs and the Ansars, and those who followed them in goodness, Allah is well pleased with them and they are well pleased with Him, and He has prepared for them gardens beneath which rivers flow, to abide in them for ever; that is the mighty achievement.
Quran [9:100]

Allah was surely well pleased with some of the Muhajirs and Ansars. Who ever they might be, at that point in time, they did earn the pleasure of Allah. If they died in that state of pleasure, then surely the rewards of Allah awaited them. However, one can always ruin all of his good deeds and loose this pleasure of Allah in the future, depending on his actions.

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]

What is the sunni opinion on any companion whose deed might become null? Sunnis claim that Allah promised some companions paradise. In hypotheses, even if we accept their logically and Quranically weak traditions, then the Quran also clearly says:

O children of Israel! call to mind My favor which I bestowed on you and be faithful to (your) covenant with Me, I will fulfill (My) covenant with you; and of Me, Me alone, should you be afraid.
Quran [2:40]

All will fulfill his promise only if we fulfill our promise with Allah. Those people who break their covenant after the death of the messenger of Allah and kill innocents, fight amongst each other, go against Quranic orders, innovate new things in religion, turn renegades, transgress against the Ahlulbayt (AS), do you think Allah will fulfill His promise for them, if he did promise some or all of them?

They ask you concerning the sacred month about fighting in it. Say: Fighting in it is a grave matter, and hindering (men) from Allah's way and denying Him, and (hindering men from) the Sacred Mosque and turning its people out of it, are still graver with Allah, and persecution is graver than slaughter; and they will not cease fighting with you until they turn you back from your religion, if they can; and whoever of you turns back from his religion, then he dies while an unbeliever-- these it is whose works shall go for nothing in this world and the hereafter, and they are the inmates of the fire; therein they shall abide.
Quran [2:217]

So it is quite possible for a believer whom Allah is satisfied with him, to become unbeliever tomorrow. Otherwise if somebody is promised that Allah is satisfied with him for ever and unconditionally (no mater he kills innocents or does any other wrong thing later), then it means that he is no longer under the test of Allah, which is in contradiction with several verses of Quran.

Quoting from the article Tawalla and Tabarra: Do Shias curse the companions;

First thing First. A Sahabi is some one who has seen prophet Muhammad (SAW) in state of believing. That means that if Prophet Muhammad (SAW) appeared on Tariq Road, Karachi in modern times, every one, from the milk man to the bus driver to the shop keeper would be a sahabi. Where is the merit in it? Thus the Sahaba were normal human beings prone to error. They were the men who had drank all their lives and worshipped idols before accepting Islam. They were not infallibles and will be accountable on the day of judgment for their acts.

Before i proceed, i must make one thing clear that no one curses the Sahabi or the wives of prophet Muhammad (SAW). My name is Ammar and i am named after a leading companion of Prophet Muhammad (SAW), Ammar Yasir. We love men like Ammar, Salman Farsi, Abu Dharr, Miqdad. Are these the lesser companions of Prophet Muhammad (SAW)? We revere Ummul Momineen Hz Khadija, one of the leader of the women of paradise. We respect Hz Umm e Salammah and Hz Maria Qitbya. Are this not the wives of prophet Muhammad (SAW)? But there are some companions whose actions do not earn them our respect because we are taught by the prophet to love the doers of good and dissociate ourselves from tyrants, oppressors and wrong doers.

To sum it all up. Shias do not love "all apparent" companions of Prophet (SAW). And to clarify any misconception, the shias do not hate or curse the companions of Prophet (SAW). Infact to be honest, Sunnis do not even know the names of companions (figuratively) other than Abu Bakr, Umer, Usman and Mawiya. Abu Bakr etc accepted Islam and if they accepted it with the truth, Allah forgave their past sins. They might have done some good things after accepting Islam, they might have done some forbidden things. Allah is he who will decide heaven or hell for them.

What we know is that Janab Fatima (AS) died in a state of anger with the Sheikheins. What we know is that Mawla Ali (AS) thought Abu Bakr and Umer to be liars. What we know is that Umer innovated things in religion. What we know is that Mawiya (the cursed) fought battles against Mawla Ali (AS).

We abide by the Prophet's (SAW) orders, to love his family, support them and be with them for they are the truthful ones.

We can not judge people whether they will end up in paradise or the abyss, because that is for Allah to decide. His decisions are based on Adl and we can never reach that level. As human beings, it is fit for us to decide whether what one did was right or wrong, because until we do not realize who did what wrong, we will not save ourselves from similar mistakes.

It is very important for us to realize who is good so that we can accompany him and learn good things from him. Similarly, it is important for us to realize who are the transgressors so that we can stay away from them and their practices.

It is better for every Muslim to focus their attention to the teachings of Quran and Rasool (SAW), rather than listening to orders of those who have no authority over us.

Does the word  authority ring any bell?

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