Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ has said:
لَا یَسْتَوِیْ مِنْكُمْ مَّنْ اَنْفَقَ مِنْ قَبْلِ الْفَتْحِ وَ قٰتَلَؕ-اُولٰٓىٕكَ اَعْظَمُ دَرَجَةً مِّنَ الَّذِیْنَ اَنْفَقُوْا مِنْۢ بَعْدُ وَ قٰتَلُوْاؕ-وَ كُلًّا وَّعَدَ اللّٰهُ الْحُسْنٰىؕ-وَ اللّٰهُ بِمَا تَعْمَلُوْنَ خَبِیْرٌ۠(۱۰)
Those (i.e. the Sahabah) amongst you who spent and fought before the conquest of Makkah are not equal to others, they are greater in rank than those who spent and fought after the conquest of Makkah. And Allah has promised Paradise to all of them (i.e. all the Sahabah are categorically people of Jannah), and Allah is Aware of your deeds.
[Kanz-ul-Iman (Translation of Quran)] (Part 27, Surah Al-Hadeed, Ayah 10)
Categories of blessed companions رَضِىَ اللّٰہُ تَعَالٰی عَنْهُم
There are many categories of blessed companions رَضِىَ اللّٰہُ تَعَالٰی عَنْهُم such as the First Four Caliphs, ‘Asharah Mubashsharah [عَشَرَہ مُبَشَّرَہ], the companions who participated in the battle of Badr, the companions who participated in the battle of Uhud, the companions who were present during the Bay’at-ur-Ridwan [بَیْعَةُ الرِّضْوَان], the family members رَضِىَ اللّٰہُ تَعَالٰی عَنْهُم of the Holy Nabi صَلَّى اللّٰہُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم, etc. Some of these companions belonged to many categories mentioned above. In terms of number, a large category of blessed companions consisted of the Muhajireen and the Ansaar. Another category has been mentioned in the above Ayah, i.e. those before and after the conquest of Makkah.
All blessed companions are Heaven-dwellers
Having described the last category, Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ mentioned the ranking of these blessed companions رَضِىَ اللّٰہُ تَعَالٰی عَنْهُم, making it clear that pre-Makkah-conquest companions are superior to post-Makkah-conquest companions. But it’s only a matter of superiority. As for the matter of being acknowledged [as pious] in the Divine court and being predestined to enter Heaven, so Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ said, ‘Allah has promised Paradise to all of them’. This shows that all blessed companions رَضِىَ اللّٰہُ تَعَالٰی عَنْهُم are Heaven-dwellers and are the acknowledged [as pious] bondmen of Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ. It is essential for us to revere every blessed companion for the reason that they had the privilege of the companionship of the Holy Nabi صَلَّى اللّٰہُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم. To disrespect any blessed companion is Haraam and leads the disrespecting person astray. The Holy Quran and blessed Ahadees contain a rich description of reverence for blessed companions رَضِىَ اللّٰہُ تَعَالٰی عَنْهُم. And this description applies to every single companion رَضِىَ اللّٰہُ تَعَالٰی عَنْهُ. Let’s read about their reverence in the light of Quran and Hadees.
Reverence and glory of blessed companions in Quran
٭ Regarding a big group of blessed companions, the Holy Quran says, ‘And the earliest and the foremost Muhajireen (emigrants) and Ansaar (helpers of emigrants), and those who followed them with virtue; Allah is pleased with them and they are pleased with Him, and He has kept ready for them Gardens beneath which rivers flow; to abide in it forever and ever; only this is the great success’. (Part 11, Surah At-Taubah, Ayah 100)
٭ The deeds, the heart feelings and the power of the faith of this great group have been described in the Holy Quran like this, ‘Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, and his companions are severe with the disbelievers and tender-hearted among themselves. You will see them bowing and falling in prostration, seeking Allah’s Benevolence and His pleasure. Their signs are on their faces by the marks of prostrations. This attribute of theirs is mentioned in the Tawrat; and their attribute is mentioned in the Injeel’. (Part 26, Surah Al-Fath, Ayah 29)
٭ They are the chiefs of the pious, the virtuous, the fearing ones and the truthful ones. It was them whose hearts and Nafs were purified by the Holy Nabi صَلَّى اللّٰہُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم first. And he صَلَّى اللّٰہُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم did it himself, as stated in the Holy Quran, ‘Allah has indeed bestowed a great favour upon the Muslims; that, He sent to them a (great) Messenger (Prophet Muhammad) from amongst them, who recites upon them His verses, and purifies them, and teaches them the Book and wisdom. And they were definitely in open misguidance previously’. (Part 4, Surah Aal-e-‘Imran, Ayah 164)
٭ These were the great personalities whose faith was declared to be standard by Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ like this, ‘Then if they (the Jews) also believe in the same way as you (O companions of the Prophet Muhammad) have believed, then they are rightly guided’. (Part 1, Surah Al-Baqarah, Ayah 137)
٭ The Muhajireen and the Ansaar were the largest part of this great group. Regarding them, Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ explicitly gave the good news of Heaven, forgiveness and honourable sustenance like this, ‘And those who believed and migrated and struggled in the Path of Allah, and those who gave shelter and provided help; it is they who are the true believers; for them is pardon and an honourable sustenance’. (Part 10, Surah Al-Anfaal, Ayah 74)
Reverence and glory of blessed companions in Ahadees
٭ In his following saying, the Greatest and Noblest Nabi صَلَّى اللّٰہُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم has made it clear that blessed companions رَضِىَ اللّٰہُ تَعَالٰی عَنْهُم are the greatest and the most superior in Ummah, ‘Do not condemn my companions. Even if any of you spent gold equivalent to the mount Uhud, it would not be equivalent to one ‘Mud’ [مُد] of theirs and nor to half of that ‘Mud’.’ (Sahih Bukhari, vol. 2, pp. 522, Hadees 3673)
٭ The Holy Nabi صَلَّى اللّٰہُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم motivated Muslims to have affection for them and he صَلَّى اللّٰہُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم declared that affection for them was affection for Nabi and enmity towards them was enmity towards Nabi. And, in his following saying, he صَلَّى اللّٰہُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم ordered that the heart and the tongue be kept in control about them, ‘Fear Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ regarding the matter of my companions; fear Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ regarding the matter of my companions; do not curse and criticize them after me. Hence, the one who has affection for them, actually has affection for them because of having affection for me and the one who has enmity towards them, actually has enmity towards them because of having enmity towards me. And the one who causes them harm, does cause me harm and the one causing me harm, does displease Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ. And the one who displeases Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ is to be punished by Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ soon.
(Sunan-ut-Tirmizi, vol. 5, pp. 463, Hadees 3888)
Summary of Ayahs and Ahadees about blessed companions
The following is a summary of the above-mentioned Ayahs and Ahadees:
٭ All blessed companions رَضِىَ اللّٰہُ تَعَالٰی عَنْهُم are Heaven-dwellers.
٭ Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ is pleased with all of them and they are pleased with Almighty Allah.
٭ For them are the gardens of Heaven.
٭ They are the companions of the Holy Nabi صَلَّى اللّٰہُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم.
٭ They are severe with the disbelievers and tender-hearted among themselves.
٭ They are fond of performing worship, Ruku’ and Sajdah.
٭ They are the seekers of the pleasure of Almighty Allah.
٭ They have Noor-blessed faces with pure hearts and character and wisdom. Their faith was declared to be standard.
٭ They sacrificed their lives, wealth and homes and family members in the Divine path.
٭ They are the helpers of Mu`mineen.
٭ They have true faith.
٭ They deserve forgiveness and honourable sustenance from Almighty Allah.
٭ They are the greatest in the entire Ummah.
٭ Affection for them is affection for the Holy Nabi صَلَّى اللّٰہُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم.
٭ Enmity towards them is enmity towards the Merciful Nabi صَلَّى اللّٰہُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم.
٭ Causing them harm causes the Holy Nabi صَلَّى اللّٰہُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم harm.
٭ It is Fard to revere them. It is Haraam to disrespect them. Those disrespecting them will be inflicted with Divine wrath.
May Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ enable us to revere every blessed companion رَضِىَ اللّٰہُ تَعَالٰی عَنْهُ with heart and soul and with our speeches and writings! And may Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ protect our faith for their sake and bestow upon us an abode in Heaven in their closeness!
اٰمِــيْن بِـجَـاهِ الـنَّـبِـیِّ الْاَمِــيْن صَلَّى اللهُ تَعَالٰى عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم