Final Decision in Evaluating the Companions
The Companions are undoubtedly human beings, not infallible against error being like all ordinary people on account of duties and rights. They differ from ordinary people by the honour of the prophet's company, should they respect and give heed to it as it is worth. Otherwise they will be subject to multiple chastisement, as Allah -- the Glorified-- has ordained, through His justice, not to chastise those who are far remote in the same way He does to the intimate near ones. Because it is not proper to resemble that who heard from the Prophet directly, sighting the Prophethood's light and miracles by his own eyes, taking the Prophet's instructions, with that who lived in the post-Prophet's time, never seeimg him or hearing from him directly.
Reason and inner consciousness prefer a contemporary man respecting and paying heed to the Book and Sunnah, over a companion who lived contemporaneously with the Prophet before Islam, embracing Islam then and enjoying the Prophet's company with righteousness and piety throughout his life, but apostatized and turned back after his (S) death. Besides, it is fact determined by the Book of Allah and His Messenger's Sunnah, and by anyone having awareness of them, with no suspicion in it or way out of it. The evidence for this can be found in the following holy verse:
''O ye wives of the Prophet! Whosoever of you committed manifest lewdness, the punishment for her will be doubled, and that is easy for Allah''.(33:30)
The fact is that the Sahabah include all sort of people: the believer of perfect faith, the ascetic pious, and the imprudent unaware of his better, the magnanimous just, spiteful oppressors, rightful believers, unjust debauchees, active 'ulama', innovating ignorant, the sincere, hypocrites covenant-violators, renegades and apostates.
When knowing that the holy Qur'an and the Prophetic Sunnah and history, have all determined and demonstrated these matters expressly, then no consideration or worth would be given to Ahl al-Sunnah's claim, that all the Sahabah being just, as this contradicts the Qur'an and Sunnah, disagreeing with history, 'aql (reason) and inner consciousness, being mere fanaticism and an allegation with no proof, and an illogical speech.
Any researcher in such matters may be amazed at the mentality of Ahl al-Sunnah, who contradicts reason ('aql) traditions and history. When going through the roles played by the Umayyads, and means followed by the 'Abbasids for this belief-- i.e. respecting the Sahabah and believing in their 'adalah, with abstaining from criticizing them -- his amazement will vanish and it will be proved for him that the reason for their preventing any debate regarding the Sahabah lies in the fact that no cirticism or sarcasm should be directed at the heinous mischief, they have perpetrated against Islam, Prophet of Islam and Islamic Ummah.
When Abu Sufyan, Mu'awiyah, Yazid, 'Amr ibn al-'As, Marwan ibn al-Hakam, al-Mugh i rah ibn Shu'bah and Bisr ibn Arta'ah, are counted as Sahabah ruling over the believers, so it was natural for them to prevent people from engaging in censuring the Sahabah, innovating false narrations to confirm their justice as a whole, in order that they be involved in these virtues, and no one may dare to censure them or disclose their (evil) acts.
Any Muslim does so, they charge him with impiety and zandaqah, issuing a fatwa (verdict) to kill him, forbidding performance of ritual washing and shrouding for him, but he should be pushed by a piece of wood till be buried in his grave, as mentioned before. When they (rulers) intend to slaughter the Shi'ah, it is enough to accuse them with slandering the Sahabah, meaning for them censuring them for their mischief, an act entailing suppression and slaying. They have even exceeded this limit, when they killed anyone daring to inquire about the meaning and conception of the hadith as in the following example:
Al-Khatib al-Baghdadi has reported in his Ta'rikh, saying: Someone has narrated, before Harun al-Rashid, a hadith said by Abu Hurayrah that: Moses has met Adam and said to him: Are you he one who caused us to go out from Paradise? A Qurashi man present there said: Where has Adam met Moses? Thereat al-Rashid became furious saying: The rudeness and the sword for) a zindiq finding fault with the hadith of God's Messenger (S). 291 (Meaning that he ordered to cut his head).
When such a respectable man, attending al-Rashid's court, faces death through cutting his head by the sword, for just inquiring about the place in which Adam has met Moses, so never ask about any Shi'i calling Abu Hurayrah as a liar, based on the Sahabah's refuting his hadith, headed by 'Umar ibn al-Khattab. Hence any truth-seeker can realize all the contradictions, indecencies, impossibilities and express disbelief with which the traditions being replete. Despite this fact, all the traditions have been recorded as being correct, and corvered with the garment of sacredness and honesty.
This is all to the fact that, criticism and sarcasm were prohibited, entailing death and perdition. Even that who inquires about the meanings to attain truth, is subject to slaying, if his intention is known to be investigating, for making him an example for others, to silencing all people.
They have deceived people that anyone doubting the hadith of Abu Hurayrah or any ordinary companion, has suspected the prophet's hadith, covering thus the fabricated ahadith, innovated after the Prophet (S) demise, with the garb of sanctity, rendering them as indisputable facts.
291. Ta'rikh Baghdad, vol.xiv, p.7.
I have conferred with some of our 'ulama' that the Sahabah have not held such holiness, but they themselves used to raise doubts against the hadith of some others, when contradicting the Qur'an, and that 'Umar has censured Abu Hurayrah, forbidding him from narrating, charging him with lying (kidhab) and so on. But their ('ulama') reply has been that the Sahabah being entitled to suspect each other, but we are not in the position permitting us to disapprove or criticize them.
I say: O God's servants, they have charged each other with impiety, fought and killed each other?!
They say: All of them are mujtahidun, for the truthful be two towards, and for mistaken be only one reward, and we are not permitted to dispute their affairs. They have definitely inherited this belief from their fathers and forefathers, generation from another, reiterating it like a parrot, without any pondering or verification.
No wonder to hear this, as their Imam al-Ghazzali himself has adopted this view and disseminated it among people, becoming thus hujjatul-Islam wal-Muslimin, as he said in his book: al-Mustafa: The ancestors and their successors (khalaf) hold that the Sahabah's ahadith being confirmed by God's straightening and appraising them in His Book, and such is our belief in them".
I wonder at al-Ghazzali, and Ahl al-Sunnah in general, for their reasoning with the Qur'an for proving the Sahabah's justice, while it never contains even one verse indicating this, but on the contrary, there are numerous verses denying their justice, disclosing their hidden facts and revealing their hypocrisy.
I have devoted a complete chapter for this subject in my book Fas'alu Ahl al-Dhikr (pp. 113-172).The truth-seekers can refer to it for realizing wha God and the Messenger said in their regard. Anyone, intending to know that the Sahabah have never dreamed of attaining the position given to them by Ahl al-Sunnah, can go through the hadith and history books which are replete with their heinous acts, and their charging each other with impiety, and that many of them have been doubting themselves to be among the hypocrites.
Al-Bukhari reports in his Sahih that ibn Malikah has heard from thirty of the Prophet's Companions their expressing fear and doubt to be hypocrites, and none of them claiming his faith being as that of Gabriel. 292
Al-Ghazzali himself reports, in his book, that 'Umar ibn al-Khattab used to ask Hudhayfah ibn al-Yaman wheather the Messenger of Allah has counted has counted him among the hypocrites, of whose names he (S) has appraised him (Hudhayfah).293
No consideration should be given to anyone claiming that hypocrites being not among the Sahabah, when knowing that the term they agreed upon is the one we heard before, being that everyone who saw the Prophet while believing in him is a Sahabah even without enjoying his company.
There is affectation also in their saying "while believing in him", since all those who enjoyed the Prophet's company have uttered the Shadatayn (witnessing that there is no god but Allah), and the Prophet (S) has accepted of them that according to the appearance and Allah undertakes the hidden thoughts", never saying to any of them: You are hypocrites, I can't admit your Islam!
Therefore too, we observe the Prophet (S) call the hypocrites as "A sahabi" (my companions) despite his awareness of their hypocrisy. The following is the proof:
Al-Bukhari has reported the 'Umar ibn al-Khattab has asked the Prophet (S) to cut the head of 'Abd Allah ibn Ubayy, the hypocrites (munafiq), saying: O Messenger of Allah, let me smite the neck of this munafiq! The Prophet (S) replied: Leave him, lest that people should be say that Muhammad kills his Companions. 294
292. Sahih al-Bukhari, vol. i, p.17.
293. Al-Ghazzali, Ihya' 'ulam al-Din, vol. i, p.129; Kanz al-'Ummal, vol. vii, p.24.
294. Sahih al-Bukhari, vol. vi, p. 65, kitab fada'il al-Qur'an, surat al-Munafiqin; Ta'rikh Ibn 'Asakir, vol. iv, p.97.
Some of the Sunni 'ulama' may try to convince us that the hypocrites being known and we should not mix them with the Sahabah. But this being an impossible and infeasible thing, as the hypocrites is among the Sahabah whose hidden thoughts are only known by Allah, and they used to pray, fast, worship God and seek the Prophet's nearness through all means. Here is the evidence:
Al-Bukhari has reported in his Sahih, that 'Umar ibn Khattab asked the Messenger of Allah again to allow him to smite the neck of Dhu al-Khuwaysirah, when he said to the Prophet: Be just But the Prophet (S) said to him: Leave him, he has companions, whose salat may be scored with that of anyone of you, and also their fasting (siyam), and reciting the Qur'an that never exceed their collar -bones. They pass through the religion as the arrow passes through the fling. 295
I may be not exaggerating when saying that most of the Sahabah have not been far form hypocrisy, as stated by the Book of Allah in a large number of verses, and exposed by the Prophet through many traditions. The examples from the Book of are the following verses:
-"Nay, but he brings them the truth; and most of them are haters of the Truth". (23:70)
-"The wandering Arabs are harder in disbelief and hypocrisy..."(9:97)
-"...and among the townspeople of al-Madinah (there are some who) persist in hypocrisy whom thou (O Muhammad) know not". (9:97)
-"And among those around you of the wandering Arabs there are hypocrisy ..." (9:101)
It is noteworthy that some of Ahl al-Sunnah utmost conceal the facts, when they interpret "Arab " (the wandering Arabs) to be not among the Companions, but they being the Bedouins living on the skirts of the Arab Peninsula.
295. Sahih al-Bukhari, vol. iv, p. 179.
We are told that 'Umar ibn al-khattab has, at the point of death, recommended his successor saying: ''I recommended you to be kind to the wandering Arabs, as they truly represent the origin of Arabs and the substance of Islam''. 296
When the Arabs and substance of Islam being more in disbelief and hypocrisy, and it is preponderant they should not know the limits of what is revealed by Allah upon His Messenger, and Allah is Knower and wise, so no worth is left for the claim of Ahl al-Sunnah wa al-jama'ah that all the Companions being just.
Elaborating more, and in order that the researcher be assured that the wandering Arabs are themselves the Sahabah in general, as is stated by the holy Qur'an, when God --the Glorified -- says (after saying that the wandering Arabs are more hard in disbelief and hypocrisy):
''And of the wandering Arabs there is he who believeth in Allah and the Last Day, the Messenger as acceptable offering in the sight of Allah. Lo! verily it is an acceptable offering them. Allah will bring them into His mercy. Lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful''.(9:99)
Concerning what is determined by the Messenger of Allah is the holy Prophetic Sunnah, we can refer to his saying: My Companions will be taken to fire, whereat I say: My God, these are my Companions! Then he is told: You have no knowledge of what they have done after you. And I say: Distant be whoever has altered after me, I never see him to be delivered put of them but like the negligent of bounties.297 There are more traditions we have not mentioned due to brevity. Our intention is not going through the biography of the Sahabah for raising suspicion against their justice, as history is sufficient and has testified against some of them, their perpetrating adultery, imbibing wine, giving false testimony, apostasy, violting the rights of the innocent, and betraying the Ummah.
296. Ibid, vol, iv, p.206.
297. Ibid, vol. vii, p. 209. bab al-hawd.
But we want to expose that the allegation of adopting the justice of all the Sahabah, is no more than a fanciful legend created by Ahl al-Sunnah, for concealing the acts of their masters and magnates among the Sahabah, who have innovated in God's religion and perverted its rules through their fabricated heresies. Besides, we intend to reveal once more, that Ahl al-Sunnah have, through believing in the justice of all the Sahabah, disclosed their real identity, which being holding affection toward the hypocrite, and adopting their heresies, with which they strive to restore people to the Pre-Islamic period (Jahiliyyah).
As Ahl al-Sunnah have forbidden their followers from sarcasm and doubting the Sahabah, closing the door of ijtihad from the era of the Umayyad caliphs and creation of creeds so the followers have inherited this doctrine, bequeathing it to their sons generation after generation. Till the present time Ahl al-Sunnah prevent people from engaging in dispute about the Sahabah, showing pleasure with all of them, and charging with impiety whoever criticizes any of them.
We conclude that the Shi'ah, the followers of Ahl al-Bayt, give the Sahabah their proper positions, showing pleasure with their pious ones, proclaiming freedom from obligation of the hypocrites and debauches, the enemies of Allah and His Messenger. They proved thus to be the followers of the true Sunnah, since they loved God's beloved and His Messenger among the Sahabah, and proclaimed freedom from enemies of God and His Messenger.