Sahaba is the Arabic word in plural form for “Companions” while its singular form is Sahaby for “Companion”. In Islam, the term “Sahaba” is used often to refer to the companions of the Prophet Muhammad. The companions are the people who lived and witnessed the Prophet Muhammad while its definition differs a great deal among the different Islamic scholars. Some scholars consider “Sahaby” is anyone who just witnessed the prophet, even once, and irrespective of his age while others insist that such a person should be of adult age and should have at least two years of companionship of the prophet.
However, some of these people were good and some were bad but most of the traditionalists forgot conveniently that there is any bad Sahaby and only talk about how righteous and good they used to be, all of the Sahaba. While this reflects their uncalled for attachment to human beings like them, it also exposes a disbelief in the Quran that taught us that some of the prophet’s companions were good and some were bad. These traditionalists ignore the teaching of God in the Quran in favor of the teachings of several scholars, Imams or Mullas. Quran has told us enough about the so called “Sahaba“, how they disagreed with each other after the death of the Prophet Muhammad, divided themselves into sects, cursed each other, and fought each other until thousands of innocent Muslims died in their battles.
Quran on Sahaba
The Quran which is the ultimate truth described those who witnessed the Prophet Muhammad, i.e. Sahaba in a very clear way, that leaves no doubt about who they were, and how they behaved. Some of the Sahaba were honored in the Quran for their stand beside the Prophet Muhammad and their supporting of him were the minority while the majority of them were not that fortunate, and they were given the right description by God Almighty in the Quran, who knows all the secrets and declarations.
a. Good Sahaba, the minority
As we see from a few verses of the Quran that God was pleased with these Sahaba for what they did at that time, supporting the Prophet and standing with him against the aggressors:
[48:18] God was pleased with the believers who pledged allegiance to you (Muhammad) under the tree and He knew what was in their hearts. So, He sent down tranquility upon them, and rewarded them with an immediate victory.
[48:29] Muhammad, a messenger of God and those with him are stern against the disbelievers, but merciful among themselves. You see them bowing and prostrating, seeking God’s blessings and approval. Their mark is in their faces as a result of prostrating. Such is their example in the Torah. And their example in the Injeel is like a plant which shoots out and becomes strong and thick and it stands straight on its stem, pleasing to the farmers that He may enrage the disbelievers with them. God promises those among them who believe and do good works, forgiveness and a great reward.
Note: This verse tells us that those among them who believe and lead a righteous life deserved forgiveness and a great recompense but it is not all of them.
[4:137] Surely, those who believed, then disbelieved, then believed, then disbelieved, thus increased disbelief, God will not forgive them, nor will He guide them to a path.
Note: If someone blessed to be a believer, there is no guarantee that he will end up as a believer.
Even, from the above verses there is no guarantee or promise by God whether the Sahaba would stay in the right path or would not make any mistakes or turn back on their heels. As a consequence, what happened to some of these Sahaba as we know from the history confirms such that.
b. Not so good Sahaba, the majority
God has told us enough about the so called “Sahaba” in the Quran, who could not get over their disbelief, lying and hypocrisy. Here are a few verses from the Quran as examples that detail out who they were and how they behaved:
[43:78] Indeed, we have given you the truth, but most of you hate the truth.
Note: God has informed in the Quran that most people at all generations hate the truth.
[9:74] They swear by God that they did not say anything (wrong), while they said the word of disbelief, and disbelieved after they had submitted. And they intended that they could not attain, and they did not offend except that God and His messenger enriched them of His bounty. So if they repent, it is better for them. But if they turn away, God will commit them to a painful retribution in this life as well as in the Hereafter, and they will not have in the earth any protector nor a supporter.
[9:75] And of them are those who pledged: “If God gives us from His bounty, we will be charitable, and we will be with the righteous.
[9:76] But when He gave them of His bounty, they became stingy with it, and they turned away while they were averse.
[9:77] So, He had them hypocrisy in their hearts, till the day they meet Him because they broke with God what they had promised Him, and because they used to lie.
[9:97] The Arabs are the worst in disbelief and hypocrisy, and the most likely they ignore the limits that God has revealed to His messenger, and God is Omniscient, Most Wise.
[9:101] And among those around you (Muhammad) from the Arabs are hypocrites and from the people of Medina. They persist in the hypocrisy. You do not know them, while we know them. We will punish them twice, then they will be returned to a great punishment.
Note: It is interesting to know that the Quran has told Muhammad that he does not know these hypocrites among his “Sahaba“, because they look the same like everyone else. only God knew them.
[63:1] When the hypocrites come to you (Muhammad) they say, “We bear witness that you are the messenger of God,” and God knows that you are His messenger, and God bears witness that the hypocrites are liars.
[63:4] And when you see them, you may be pleased by their appearance, and even when they speak, you may listen to their speech, as if they are like standing logs. They think that every call is against them. These are the (real) enemies; so beware of them. God condemns them; how they have deviated?
[63:5] And when it is said to them, “Come, let the messenger of God ask for your forgiveness,” they turn their heads aside, and you see them turning away while they are arrogant.
[4:141] Those are waiting for you, if you have a victory from God they say: “Were we not with you?” and if the disbelievers have a turn, they say: “Did we not have advantage over you and protected you from the believers?” God will judge between you on the Day of Resurrection, and God will not grant for the disbelievers any way (success) over the believers.
[4:142] Indeed, the hypocrites seek to deceive God and it is He who deceives them. And when they stand for the contact prayer, they do so lazily, to show off the people and they do not remember God except very little.
[47:16] And of them who listen to you, until they go out from you, they say to those who have been given the knowledge: “What did he say?” Those are the ones whom God has sealed upon their hearts and they followed their desires.
[47:29] Or do those who have a disease in their hearts think that God will not bring out their evil thoughts?
[47:30] And if we willed, we would show them to you, so you would recognize them by their marks. But you can recognize them by tone of the speech. And God is aware of your works.
[47:38] Here you are being invited to spend in the cause of God, but some of you turn stingy. And whoever is stingy is only being stingy on himself. And God is the Rich, while you are the poor. And if you turn away, He will substitute you for another people, then they will not be like you.
[9:38]O you who believe, what is the matter when it is said to you, “Go forth in the cause of God,” you become heavily attached to the earth? Are you pleased with the worldly life rather than the Hereafter? The enjoyment of the worldly life compared to the Hereafter is nothing.
[9:39] If you do not go forth, He will punish you with a painful punishment and will replace you with another people, and you cannot harm Him in the least. And God is powerful over all things.
[9:45] Those who ask your leave do not believe in God and the Last Day, and their hearts are in doubt. Since they are In their doubt, they waver.
[9:47] Had they gone forth with you they would not have increased you except in confusion, and they would have been among you seeking for you a dissension; and there are some amongst you who would have listened to them. And God is aware of the wicked.
[9:58] And of them are those who criticize you (the prophet) regarding the charities. If they are given from it, they are pleased; and if they are not given from it, they become enraged!
[9:61] And of them are those who hurt the prophet, and they say: “He is an ear!” Say: “An ear is good for you. He believes in God, and he has trust for the believers, and he is a mercy to those who believe among you.” Those who hurt the messenger of God, they will have a painful retribution.
[8:6] They argued with you (Muhammad) about the truth when it has been made clear to them as if they were driven to death while they are looking.
[8:27] O you who believe, do not betray God and the messenger, nor betray your trust, while you know.
[8:28] And know that your money and your children are a test, and that God with Him is a great reward.
[33:60] If the hypocrites, and those with a disease in their hearts and those who spread lies in the city do not refrain, then we will let you overpower them, then they will not be able to remain as your neighbors except for a short while.
[48:11] Those who lagged behind of the Arabs will say to you, “Our properties and our families kept us busy, so ask forgiveness for us!” They say with their tongues what is not in their hearts. Say, “Then who has power for you against God in anything, if He intends any harm for you, or He intends any benefit for you?” No, God is fully aware of what you do.
[49:14] The Arabs say, “We believe.” Say, “You have not believed”, but (you should) say, “We have submitted,” and the faith has not entered into your hearts. But if you obey God and His messenger, He will not deprive you of any of your works. Indeed, God is Forgiver, Most Merciful.
c. Sahaba after the death of the Prophet
The biggest test that faced those companions after the death of the Prophet Muhammad was the matter of “Who rules the Muslims after the Prophet’s death?” Because of this, many of the companions forgot God and looked after their personal gains and fought God and his messenger and the other good companions who uphold the message of the Prophet, the Quran:
[3:144] And Muhammad is no more than a messenger like the messengers passed away before him. If he dies or is killed, will you turn back on your heels? Anyone who turns back on his heels, does not hurt God in the least. And God rewards those who are appreciative.”
Hadith on Sahaba
The Quran teaches us that the majority of these so called “Sahaba” were liars, hypocrites, wicked. As expected from the hypocrites and the disbelievers, they were very disturbed by what the Quran revealed about them. To counteract, many hadiths were invented to raise the status of the “Sahaba” and defend them and make all of them good and righteous people including the definition of Sahaba to make room for that. The corrupted scholars and their blind followers disregarded what God said in the Quran and uphold these fabricated hadiths.
a. Definition of Sahaba
In general the Muslim scholars disagreed on the definition of who should be counted as one of the Sahaba (companions) of the Prophet?!! Studying these definitions will clarify for us the position of many people like Imam Al-Bukhary who used his definition of the word Sahaba to accept many of the false and fabricated Hadiths that were included in his book, Sahih Al-Bukhary. Here are the definitions considered by the Muslim scholars:
1. The definition of Imam Al-Bukhary: “The Sahaby (single of Sahaba) as the one who was in the company of the prophet Muhammad or just SEEN him. Ibn Hanbal who also has a book of his own collecting more Hadiths than Bukhary accepted this definition and clarified it by saying: “The Sahaby is anyone who accompanied the Prophet for a year, a month, a day or even an hour or even just seen him.”
2. The definition by Abdullah Ibn Omar Ibn Al-Khattab: “anyone who has seen the Prophet Muhammad even for one hour as long as he reached the puberty, and is a known Muslim who understood his religion and accepted it.”
3. The definition of Al-Tabaey Saeed Ibn Al-Musayeb: “Only those who accompanied the Prophet Muhammad for a year or two and fought with him in a battle or two should be considered Sahaba” This is a definition accepted and encouraged by people like Imam Al-Ghazali.
From the above three definitions, any sincere and guided Muslim can sense the corruption and confusion of Hadiths collectors to get all these corrupted hadiths that were included in their books. It is unfortunate that with these corrupted Hadiths, the Muslims changed their religion from the religion of the Prophet Muhammad (the Quran), to the religion of Hadiths collectors such as Bukhary, Muslim etc. and their likes (the fabricated hadiths and sunna).
b. Listing of a few Hadiths
While these hadiths do nothing to prove that the words of God in the Quran are correct, the idol-worshipers who cherish hadiths more than the word of God would be looking for them. It is interesting that they will never learn from it as God will block them from knowing the truth since they rejected the words of the Quran to start with. However, there are tens of Hadiths listed in the books of Bukhary and Muslim, that show how some of these “Sahaba” were rebellious against God commandments and the Prophet. But here is only a listing of few of these and leave the rest for them to investigate, if they are not happy with the Quran and God Alone:
1. The messenger of God, talking to his companions, said, “On the Day of Judgment, some of my Umma (community) will be taken to the left, and I will say; “to where ?”. I will be told “to the Hell fire” I will say; “God, these were my (Sahaba) companions.” I will be told that “You do not know what they invented after you. They turn back on their heel since you left them.” I will say’ ” To destruction, destruction to those who changed things after me.”- Bukhary and Muslim.
2. Al-Aala Ibn Al Musayeb said his father said, “I met Al Baraa Ibn Azib and told him, “Good for you that you accompanied the Prophet and declared allegiance to him under the tree.” He said, “Listen, the son of my brother, You do not know what we invented after him.”–Bukhary
3. Huthyfa said the Prophet said, ” Among my companions twelve hypocrites, of these, eight will not enter paradise until the camel pass through the eye of a needle.” –Muslim
4. Saeed Ibn Al Musayeb said his father said, the Prophet said, “Some of my companions (Sahaba) will go to a river in Paradise, but they will be taken away, so I will call on God, “My companions (Sahaba),” but I will be told, “You do not know what they did after you. They turned back on their heel”- Bukhary:
It is even more interesting to know that even the hadiths books (for the people who do not accept the Quran alone) described some of the “Sahaba” the same way and told of them going to Hell. The above listing of these is to give them no excuse, using their own language to find the truth about the Sahaba of the Prophet.
Sahaba are the companions of the prophets but most of them represent infatuation with them to the point of idolatry. They have been made saints by the ignorant and traditional Muslims alike. They have been ascribed qualities that they never had or possessed and made sinless and more righteous than any other human being. While paying the due respect to all the great sahaba who carried the banner of Islam (Submission) at its re-birth with the revelation of the Quran we cannot agree with the what the traditional Muslims teach about all the Sahaba being good. Thus, when they come across the proofs of their corrupt practices of Islam, they make their efforts to support their corrupt beliefs and practices referring to these Sahaba when they cannot produce any justifications even from the corrupted hadiths what they follow for their religious teachings and laws.
As simple as it seems, we can conclude that the “Sahaba”, companions of the Prophet Muhammad, were regular people like all the generations before or after them. Some of them were good and some were bad. Their good or bad deed will not benefit any of us but will only benefit or harm them. The idolatry with these “Sahaba” that we witness among the traditional Muslims is just another reflection of their distance from the book of God, the ultimate truth, the Quran. The biggest test that faced those companions after the death of the Prophet Muhammad was the matter of “Who rules the Muslims after the Prophet’s death?” Because of this, many of the companions forgot God and looked after their personal gains and fought God and his messenger and the other good companions who uphold the message given to the Prophet, the Quran.
The definition that anyone who seen the Prophet is a Sahaby has no support from the Quran or even from the Islamic history given by other Muslims of the early life of the Prophet and his companions. Thus, the Hadith collectors with their corruption and confusion included the corrupt hadiths in their books. It is unfortunate that with these corrupted Hadiths, the Muslims after Hadith collectors changed their religion from the religion of the Prophet Muhammad (the Quran), to the religion of Hadiths collectors such as Bukhary, Muslim etc. and their likes (the fabricated hadiths and sunna).
The Quran is full of the stories of the hypocrites and the wicked people of Medina (9:101,63:1, 33:60) where the Prophet lived who seen the prophet and listened to his message and his ceremonies and they cannot be considered his Sahaba. Even it reminds us that if someone blessed with becoming a believer, there is no guarantee that he will end up as a believer (4:137).
While the true believers will be happy with the Quran Alone and the assurance of God in the Quran, the others will try to find an escape in the books that were never authorized by God, the books of Hadiths and Suuna. God never let them have it but He put in their way the truth, even in these books, so that they have no excuse on the Day of Judgment.
Since the Quran is the ultimate truth, then we have to believe what God is teaching us in the Quran about the companions of the prophet. His teaching should be taken over any teaching of any scholar, Imam or Mulla. God in the Quran is teaching us that some, actually the majority, of those so called “Sahaba“, as defined by people like Bukhary, were liars, hypocrites, wicked, transgressors, idol-worshipers, disobedient of God and His messenger, interested in trade and fun than their religion, disregarders of Salat…etc., just like any generation of people.
Peaceful Friday, salaam and God bless.