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The second group

The second group

The second group

The other group of those who accompanied the Prophet () consist of two-faced and sick-hearted men the reality of whose nature the Holy Qur’an has revealed and of whose danger it has warned the Prophet (). Here are some examples of this group:

1. Known hypocrites

﴿ إِذَا جَاءكَ الْمُنَافِقُونَ قَالُوا نَشْهَدُ إِنَّكَ لَرَسُولُ اللَّهِ وَاللَّهُ يَعْلَمُ إِنَّكَ لَرَسُولُهُ وَاللَّهُ يَشْهَدُ إِنَّ الْمُنَافِقِينَ لَكَاذِبُونَ ﴾

“When the hypocrites come to you they say, ‘We bear witness that you are indeed the apostle of Allah.’ Allah knows that you are indeed His Apostle, and Allah bears witness that the hypocrites are indeed liars.”[1]

2. Unknown hypocrites

﴿ وَمِمَّنْ حَوْلَكُم مِّنَ الأَعْرَابِ مُنَافِقُونَ وَمِنْ أَهْلِ الْمَدِينَةِ مَرَدُواْ عَلَى النِّفَاقِ لاَ تَعْلَمُهُمْ نَحْنُ نَعْلَمُهُمْ سَنُعَذِّبُهُم مَّرَّتَيْنِ ثُمَّ يُرَدُّونَ إِلَىٰ عَذَابٍ عَظِيمٍ ﴾  

“There are hypocrites among the Bedouins around you and among the townspeople of Madīnah, steeped in hypocrisy. You do not know them; We know them, and We will punish them twice, then they shall be consigned to a great punishment.”[2]

3. Sick-hearted ones

غُرُورًا إِلاَّ وَرَسُولُهُ اللهُ وَعَدَنَا مَّا مَّرَضٌ قُلُوبِهِم فِي وَالَّذِيْنَ المُنَٰفِقُونَ يَقُولُ وَإِذْ ﴿

“And when the hypocrites were saying, as well as those in whose hearts is a sickness, ‘Allah and His Apostle did not promise us [anything] except delusion’.”[3]

4. Sinners

﴿ وَآخَرُونَ اعْتَرَفُواْ بِذُنُوبِهِمْ خَلَطُواْ عَمَلاً صَالِحًا وَآخَرَ سَيِّئًا عَسَى اللّهُ أَن يَتُوبَ عَلَيْهِمْ إِنَّ اللّهَ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ ﴾

“[There are] others who have confessed to their sins, having mixed up righteous conduct with other that was evil. Maybe Allah will accept their repentance. Indeed Allah is all-forgiving, all-merciful.”[4]

In addition to the noble verses of the Qur’an, many traditions have been narrated regarding the Holy Prophet’s () reproaching some of the Companions. We shall cite two examples:

1. Abū āzim narrates on the authority of Sahl ibn Sa‘d that the Holy Prophet () is reported to have said:

يظمأ لم شرب من و شرب ورد من الحوض علىٰ فرطكم أنا

“.بينهم و بيني يُحال ثمَّ يعرفونني و أعرفهم أقوام عليّ ليردنّ و أبدًا

I will send you toward the Pool; whoever comes upon it will drink from it, and whoever drinks from it will no longer feel thirsty. There will come to me some people; I know them and they know me, but they will be separated from me.

Abū āzim has said: “While I was narrating this hadīth, Nu‘mān ibn Abī ‘Ayyāsh heard it and asked me, ‘Did you hear it from Sahl like that?’ I said, ‘Yes’. He said: ‘I bear witness that Abū Sa‘īd al-Khudrī says that the Prophet has also said’:

سحقًا فأقول: بعدك أحدثوا ما لاتدري انّك فيقال مِنِّى إنَّهُم

“. بعدي بدَّل لمن سحقًا

“They are from me.” Then someone says, “You do not know what they did after you!” So I shall say, “Damn those who have changed (the truth) after me.”[5]

It is obvious that such words like, “I know them and they know me,” or, “Damn those who have changed (the truth) after me,” refer to the Companions of the Prophet () who were in his company for a time. This hadīth has also been narrated by al-Bukhārī and Muslim.

2. Al-Bukhārī and Muslim narrate that the Prophet () is reported to have said:

ـ أمّتي من قال أو ـ أصحابي من رهطٌ القيامة يوم عليّ يرد

لاعلم إنّه فيقول أصحابي ربّ يا فأقول الحوض عن فيحلؤون

“.القهقري أدبارهم علىٰ ارتدّوا أنّهم بعدك أحدثوا بما لك

On the Day of Resurrection, a group from among my Companions—(or, “my ummah”) shall come to me but they shall be prevented from reaching the Pool (of Kawthar). Then, I shall say, ‘O Lord! They are my Companions.’ Then He shall say, ‘You do not know what they did after you; they returned to their former state (state of jāhiliyyah or ignorance)’.”[6]


From the Qur’anic verses and Sunnah of the Prophet (), it is clear that the Companions of the Prophet () and those who accompanied him were of more than one type or category; a group of them were refined men at the apex of merit whose valuable services led to the fruition of the nascent bud of Islam and another group composed of individuals who were two-faced, hypocrites, sick-hearted, and sinners from the very beginning.[7]

The aforementioned observations make clear that the view of the Shī‘ah regarding the Companions of the Prophet () is the same as that of the Book of God and the Sunnah of the Prophet (). ?

[1] Sūrah al-Munāfiqūn 63:1. The other characteristics of the hypocrites are described in the entire sūrah.

[2] Sūrah at-Tawbah (or al-Barā‘ah) 9:101.

[3] Sūrah al-Azāb 33:12.

[4] Sūrah at- Tawbah (or al-Barā‘ah) 9:102.

[5] Ibn Athīr, Jāmi‘ al-Uūl, vol. 11, “kitāb al-aw fī wurūd an-nās ‘alayh,” p. 120, hadīth 7972.

[6] Ibid., hadīth 7973.

[7] For more information, see Sūrah al-Munāfiqūn of the Glorious Qur’an.

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