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Companions sahaba and Our State

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நபித்தோழர்களும் நமது நிலையும் - ஆங்கிலம்

Companions of the Prophet Mohammed () and Our State

By: P. Zainul Aabdeen  

Table of Contents Who are the Companions of the Prophet Mohammed (ﷺ)?.

Virtues of Sahaba.

Right Path Without Holy Revelation (Waḥy)?.

Divine Revelation Only.

Quran and Sunnah..

The Two Roles of the Prophet Mohammed (ﷺ)

No Adherence to the Prophet in Worldly Affairs.

Prophecy of the Prophet Mohammed (ﷺ)

Contradictory Activities of the Companions.

To Put Hands In Between Thighs While Bowing (Rukū)

The Temporary Marriage (متعة)

Ignorance of Hajj-At-Tamattu'

Bath of Janaba (The Compulsory Bath)

To Marry In the State Of Ihram...

To Start Fasting In the State Of Janaba.


Seeking Permission to Enter Someone’s House.

Umar (RA) Refused Tayammum (Dry Ablution)

Ibn Masud’s (RA) Denial of Tayammum...

To Enter a Land Affected By Plague.

To Apply Perfume before Assuming Ihram...

Threefold Divorce.

Alterations in Salah.. 41 Ibn Masud (RA) Refused Two Chapters of the Holy Quran..

Death of the Prophet Mohammed (ﷺ) 41 To Prevent Women from Entering Masjids.

To Deliver the Khutbah of Salat-ul-Eid before the Salah..

Compensation for Cutting Fingers.

The Meat of Domesticated Donkeys.

Two Adhan (Prayer Call) for Jumua Prayer.

Arguments of Critics.

To Follow the Muhajireen and the Ansar.

My Companions Are Like the Stars.

The Best Generation..

To Follow the Rightly Guided Caliphs.

Follow Abu Bakr and Umar (RA)

What Does Surah Al-Fatihah Say?.

Can Others Be Able To Grasp Better Than The Companions?.

References for English Translation..


We strongly proclaim and preach that the Holy Quran and the teachings of the Prophet Mohammed (ﷺ)are the exclusive sources of Islam.We emphatically declare: no one’s practices should be considered as a religious authority except the Almighty Allah’s instructions and the teachings of the Prophet (ﷺ); even if it is from a masterminded scholar or could it befrom a companion of Allah’s Messenger. Their own opinions and practices can never become a source of Islam.Our condition in this regard is based on clear reasons and proofs.

Some of our brethren,who are heedless ofproofs and reasons, criticize us that we have insulted the much-respected companions of the Prophet (ﷺ).They quote some Quranic verses and Prophetic sayings which speak about the majesty of Sahaba, and blame us that we have certainly insulted the much-glorified companionswhile conveyingmanyantithetical messages about us. They lead their fellow brothers on astray by showing an image that the Sahaba are also must be followed; by referring either some Quranic verses which don’t speak about the adherence of Sahaba or some unauthentic and concocted Hadiths. Similarly, they disseminate a message that “the companions are not to be followed” is a newly introduced concept by us and no one has ever said like this before.

So, the onus to expound the reality is with us, especially to ones who disagree. The following informationhas been gathered to write this book:

  • Evidences to prove that anyone’s statements,including Sahaba, should not be consideredas authorities onthe religion. At many occasions, the companions have also taken some wrongdecisions as others do.
  • Reasons clarifying that being regardless to the following of Sahaba is not an insult to them byany means.
  • Clarifications proving that “acceptingthat the companions of Prophet (ﷺ) made wrongdecisions”will not harm on their majesty, which was poured by Allah (SWT) and His Messenger (ﷺ).
  • Several respected scholars have already proclaimed this idea prior to us.

I believe that anyone who reads this book with unprejudiced intent would definitely understand the two exclusive fundamentals of Islam: the Holy Quran and Sunnah. I beg Almighty Allah to materialise my hope

Zainul Aabdeen (PJ)


We must practice what have been instructed in the Holy Quran and the Sunnah as Islamic deeds. In other words, we can’t afford to do anything that is either unspecified in the Holy Quran and the Sunnah or contradicting with both of them;even if the person who claims such instructions be a scholar with the highest eminence or could he be a Sahabi.

We are in utmost certain in this concept and preach this as the fundamental of Islam with abundant reasons. Anyhow, by nature, people who couldn’t grasp and who pretend to be unacquainted with this matter boldly criticize us averring that we have disrespected the Sahaba.

The so-called Thawheed scholars, who lead people astray, are sitting up front in blaming us. The scenario is exactly identical to the criticisms put forwarded by the Madhhabists (exponents of Madhhabs);they said we have disrespected the Imams whenever we told them not to follow Madhhabs.

In the same way, people who commit grave worship started to defame us as if we have insulted the holy servants of Allah, whenever we told them not to commit grave worship.

Now, the so-called Thawheed scholars (i.e. who are free from grave worship and Bid‘ah) have taken the same tactic.

However, refusing grave worship has nothing to defame righteous servants, so as refute of Madhhabs has no means of disrespecting Imams;and, as in the same manner, denial of Sahaba’s opinions and statements in Islamic legislation has no means of disrespect at all.

Who are the Companions of the Prophet Mohammed (ﷺ)?

Before delving into the subject, we have to have a clear definition of the term Sahaba and its variants. The word companion(s) is used to refer the person/people who are closely associated with one person. We don’t consider two guys living in the same villageas companions if they’re not closely associated with each other. A student in a college would consider only a few selected mates as his companions while many a hundred would still study in the same college.

But, we can’t apply this idea in context with thecompanions of the Prophet Mohammed (ﷺ).

The word companion is the translation of the Arabic word Sahabi/Saahib (for singular) and Sahaba/As-haab (for plural). In Arabic, this word does not refer to a close friendship. Students who contemporarily study in a school/college are considered as companions to one another. Two guys would easily become companions by just an exchange of a smile. A stranger sitting next to you in a gathering is one ofyour companions too (i.e. you could call him as Saahib orSahabi). This is not of our imaginations. This is the convention of the Arabic language, and the prophetic sayings.

'When two Muslims fight (meet) each other with their swords, both the murderer as well as the murdered will go to the Hell-fire.' I said, 'O Allah's Messenger ()! It is all right for the murderer but what about the murdered one?' Allah's Messenger () replied, "He surely had the intention to kill his companion."

(Sahih Bukhari 31, 6875, &7083)

Here,the Prophet Mohammed (ﷺ) refers the two Muslims fight each other at sword’s point as companions.

Allah's Messenger () said, "When the Imam is delivering the Khutba, and you ask your companion to keep quiet and listen, then no doubt you have done an evil act."

(Sahih Bukhari 934)

An adjacent person sitting in a Khutba is referred as a companion. We could find hundreds of instances like this.

More interestingly, the concurrent enemies are also referred as companions (Saahib) to each other. When Allah condemns the enemies of the Prophet Mohammed (ﷺ) for calling the Prophet as an insane, He refers the Prophet Mohammed (ﷺ) is their companion:

Then do they not give thought? There is in their companion [Muhammad] no madness. He is not but a clear warner.

(Holy Quran 7:184 and see 34:46, 53:2, and 81:22)

It’s mentioned in the Holy Quran that Yusuf (AS) referred his co-prisoners as companions.

(See Holy Quran 12:39-41)

Further, Allah refers an evil man as a companion (Saahib) of a pious man.

(See Holy Quran 18:34-37)

So, the word Saahib or its variant forms are not exclusively used to refer close friends; rather, to refer two persons (or more) who have somewhat familiarity. The focal point is whether two persons have any kind of introduction regardless of the degree of closeness or the degree of enmity.

Considering the dictionary definition, that all seems pretty straightforward; however, when it comes to the companions of the Prophet Mohammed (ﷺ), we should get a further different understanding of the word Saahib/As-haab. Let’s take the three possible instances:

  • A familiar enemy
  • A familiar close friend
  • A familiar man who is neither an enemy nor a friend

[Of note, “familiar” stands for somewhat introduction]

Althoughabove three possible definitions account to the denotations of the Arabic word Saahib/Sahabi, the first sense is discarded when it refers the companions of the Prophet Mohammed (ﷺ). So, the last two meanings are used; that is to say, the enemies of the Prophet Mohammed (ﷺ) are not going to be accounted as his companions even if they weremuch familiar to the mighty messenger. In short, the friends of the Prophet Mohammed (ﷺ) with intense closeness and Muslims who had met him at least once in their lifetime are regarded as the companions of him.

The benchmark definition of experts is this: a Sahabi is a Muslim who had seen the Prophet (ﷺ) at least once in his lifetime. Having said that, the close friends of the Prophet Mohammed (ﷺ) like Abu Bakr (RA), Umar (RA), and a Muslim who just had met him once are all Sahabi.

Manycompanions were only known by their faith (i.e. being Muslim). The Prophet (ﷺ) had no idea about their names or other details. Nevertheless, they are all Sahabi.

In summary, the reader must understand that we refer the word Sahabi in the two meanings that have been expounded above.

NB: in this book, the companions of Prophet (ﷺ) are referred by one of the terms: Sahaba, Sahabi, or even just in English as the companion(s).

 Virtues of Sahaba

The companions of the Prophet Mohammed (ﷺ) are, by far, greater in virtue compared to others; because they accepted the holy religion in an awful situation where death was most likely to reach as the price of accepting Islam.

Those who follow the Messenger, the unlettered prophet, whom they find written in what they have of the Torah and the Gospel, who enjoins upon them what is right and forbids them what is wrong and makes lawful for them the good things and prohibits for them the evil and relieves them of their burden and the shackles which were upon them. So they, who have believed in him, honored him, supported him and followed the light which was sent down with him - it is those who will be the successful.

(Holy Quran 7:157)

But among the Bedouins are some who believe in Allah and the Last Day and consider what they spend as means of nearness to Allah and of [obtaining] invocations of the Messenger. Unquestionably, it is a means of nearness for them. Allah will admit them to His mercy. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.

And the first forerunners [in the faith] among the Muhajireen and the Ansar and those who followed them with good conduct - Allah is pleased with them and they are pleased with Him, and He has prepared for them gardens beneath which rivers flow, wherein they will abide forever. That is the great attainment.

(Holy Quran 9:99, 100)

Do not stand [for prayer] within it - ever. A mosque founded on righteousness from the first day is more worthy for you to stand in. Within it, are men who love to purify themselves; and Allah loves those who purify themselves.

(Holy Quran 9:108)

Allah has already forgiven the Prophet and the Muhajireen and the Ansar who followed him in the hour of difficulty after the hearts of a party of them had almost inclined [to doubt], and then He forgave them. Indeed, He was to them Kind and Merciful.

And [He also forgave] the three who were left behind [and regretted their error] to the point that the earth closed in on them in spite of its vastness and their souls confined them and they were certain that there is no refuge from Allah except in Him. Then He turned to them so they could repent. Indeed, Allah is the Accepting of repentance, the Merciful.

(Holy Quran 9:117, 118)

And why do you not spend in the cause of Allah while to Allah belongs the heritage of the heavens and the earth? Not equal among you are those who spent before the conquest [of Makkah] and fought [and those who did so after it]. Those are greater in degree than they who spent afterwards and fought. But to all Allah has promised the best [reward]. And Allah, with what you do, is Acquainted.

(Holy Quran 57:10)

And [also for] those who were settled in al-Madinah and [adopted] the faith before them. They love those who emigrated to them and find not any want in their breasts of what the emigrants were given but give [them] preference over themselves, even though they are in privation. And whoever is protected from the stinginess of his soul - it is those who will be the successful.

(Holy Quran 59:9)

In the above verses, Allah (SWT) has extremely praised them concerning their faith, intense stability, and utmost devotion to religious affairs.

The Prophet () said, "Do not abuse my companions for if any one of you spent gold equal to Uhud (in Allah's Cause) it would not be equal to a Mud or even a half Mud spent by one of them."

(Sahih Bukhari 3673)

Abdullah bin Mughaffal narrated that the Messenger of Allah () said: "(Fear) Allah! (Fear) Allah regarding my Companions! Do not make them objects of insults after me. Whoever loves them, it is out of love of me that he loves them. And whoever hates them, it is out of hatred for me that he hates them. And whoever harms them, he has harmed me, and whoever harms me, he has offended Allah, and whoever offends Allah, [then] he shall soon be punished."

(Jaamiu Tirmidhi 3862)

"Allah's Messenger () said, 'The best of my followers are those living in my generation (i.e. my contemporaries). and then those who will follow the latter" `Imran added, "I do not remember whether he mentioned two or three generations after his generation, then the Prophet () added, 'There will come after you, people who will bear witness without being asked to do so, and will be treacherous and untrustworthy, and they will vow and never fulfill their vows, and fatness will appear among them."

(Sahih Bukhari 3650)

As such adorned praises and appreciations were extended by the Almighty Allah and His Messenger; we do revere the companionswith our best. Allah is ever forgiving and will consider their devotions ahead of their sins. We do believe that He will definitely forgive their sins as the erring habit is irresistible for the whole mankind.

Although, some of the testified and guaranteed Sahaba fought with one another— we are not going to take those incidents as examples, though—we believe that they are going to be pardoned by Allah (SWT) with his endless mercy. They will be among the successful ones in hereafter by His mercy and forgiveness. Unquestionably, they are the best generation of the Prophet Mohammed (ﷺ) as he foretold.

However, there is always confusion over respecting and following of Sahaba. It seems subtle, but very distinct and of poles apart. Their mistakes and contradictory practices against the Holy Quran and the Sunnah are not to be followed. We strongly state that the deeds which were invented by Sahaba (even if it be amongst the most famous) can’t get into Islamic practices. These standardsare not of our self-delusions; but, from the teachings of the God Almighty and His Messenger.

 Right Path Without Holy Revelation (Waḥy)?

It’s essential to know some basics before we get to decide whether to follow Sahaba. Out of many a million creatures of Allah (SWT), mankind sits at the very top as the best.Allah has given mankind the sense of finding rationale and the ability to illustrate the facts that he finds. The manhas achieved so many remarkable milestones using the wisdom and skills that have been bestowed upon him. The beauty is human tends to admire himself by his inventions and achievements.

This is just one side of human being. On the other side, the human knowledge is so weak, especially in choosing the right concepts and fundamentals for eternal life. He may have touched the summit of scientific inventions to live in comfort and joy; but, still he lacks the proper inclination towards the right path. We could assure this truth in many ways.

Let’s take the idol worshippers. Not all idolaters are laymen; professionals and experts of various branches of knowledge and philosophy are found bowing and prostrating statues which are nothing but molded stones and carved wood by his fellow idolater. Their expertise has not prevented them from doing these mockery and senseless acts. The so-called gods are being molded by a human being with intent to be called as the creator(s) of the whole universe. Absurd!!! Blasphemy!!!

History tells us many inventors of numerous technologies used to believe that the God has taken a son among his creatures and the son bore the sins of whole mankind. Further, they did start to worship him too. “Sins can’t be inherited”, our logic says; but, yet they failed to put their logical reasoning on this simple concept.

Cheating and corruption are immoral, a straightforward commandment! An unschooled one has relatively vast awareness than a man with multifarious knowledge levels, ill-fated though!People with highest knowledge level own almost all sorts of catastrophes: dowry, contamination, production of nonsense cinema, neglect of parents, and so on. We can take this as a yardstick to prove that the sense of mankind is not going to lead him in a right way.

There are several different economic policies exist on the face of the earth, viz.: communism, socialism, capitalism, and new capitalism. All these policies were originated by extremely wise personnel. Likewise, there are people with intellect who are adeptin such policies to date. Out of all disparate policies, only one could stand correct and best. However, all of those brainboxes couldn’t able to formulate that one single policy out of all.

Similarly, there are millions of disputes contested among scholars overhundreds of million topics. Everyone asserts that he is standing with the right concept. Anyhow, in an argument with two contradictory concepts, only one can be correct; if both are said to be correct, then that is of paradoxical and of an oxymoron.  Provided that one concept could nullify the others, and then relying on expert opinions would be in vain; since the ones to be discarded were also formed by professionals and pundits. Since man is ever struggling to even find a right path, the onus to set the right path shouldn’t be given to him.

Allah (SWT) is the only one who is free from taking erroneous decisions. He is the only one would set right protocols to guide mankind to the straight path. Islam says that Allah (SWT) has taken the responsibility to guide mankind, and that is so secure too. In a few occasions, wemay find somewhat guidelines from ourselves; however, selfishness and our own fancy would surely turn us towardshiding the truth.

The natural instinct of human being is to deliberately hide the truth; because of the fear of harmful rulers, and fearing threats from people who oppose the truth. Furthermore, countless dreadful actsare shown pious and factual for gaining secular benefits. This all are done by the human. As stated, man is either so susceptible in gaining benefits or so vulnerable in fearing the potential threats;so that we could easily understand that the responsibility for identifying and setting the right path shall not be given to anyone.

Islam, as usual, delivers the pertinent conclusion: Allah (SWT) — the absolute eternal and completely independent — is the only one who could provide (i.e. send down) the proper guidelines without any expectation and flaws.

So, any scholar or Sahabi who is not entitled to receive godly revelation has no means of being followed by us. [This is crystal clear.]

 Divine Revelation Only

The first commandment which was sent down to the earth was “no one has any authority to show the right pathto mankind except Me (i.e. Allah (SWT))”. The very first man — Adam (AS) — was directly created by Allah (SWT). He directly saw the omnipotence of Allah (SWT). He was greatly taught with overwhelming wisdom than angels. After all these blessings, Adam (AS) and his wife Eve (AS) slipped from obeying Allah (SWT) and erred. As a consequence, they two were taken out from the garden in which they were settled before;and, when they were expelled, Allah (SWT) said to them:

"Go down from it, all of you. And when guidance comes to you from Me, whoever follows My guidance - there will be no fear concerning them, nor will they grieve.

(Holy Quran 2:38)

Then his Lord chose him and turned to him in forgiveness and guided [him]. [Allah] said, "Descend from Paradise - all, [your descendants] being enemies to one another. And if there should come to you guidance from Me - then whoever follows My guidance will neither go astray [in the world] nor suffer [in the Hereafter]. And whoever turns away from My remembrance - indeed, he will have a depressed life, and We will gather him on the Day of Resurrection blind."

(Holy Quran 20: 122, 123, & 124)

If mankind could be able to find out the right path using his wisdom, then Allah (SWT) wouldn’t have to say like above when Adam (AS) and his wife were about to leave. If mankind were destined to set his own guidelines,Allah (SWT) could have said Adam (AS) and his wife: I have granted a mighty wisdom to you;use it and find out the correct way and act accordingly. But, that wasn’t the case; Allah (SWT) very clearly specified: the guidance will be sent down from Me, whoever follows My guidance will neither go astray nor suffer, and only whoever follows My guidelines would taste the eternal success.

The most acquainted man among whole mankind is Adam (AS). Although he wasgiven immense knowledge, he couldn’t discover the way of (eternal) life. He ought to have received the commandments from Allah (SWT), so he would be guided. This is what he was ordered. What do we understand out of this? Is it not strongly telling us that we can’t afford to follow others’ opinions and statements in religious affairs? Even the much comprehensive Adam (AS) had to listen to the godly instructions, are Sahaba and others better than Adam (AS)?

Allah (SWT) has expounded this concept in various places:

And when it is said to them, "Follow what Allah has revealed," they say, "Rather, we will follow that which we found our fathers doing." Even though their fathers understood nothing, nor were they guided?

(Holy Quran 2:170)

And hold firmly to the rope of Allah all together and do not become divided. And remember the favor of Allah upon you - when you were enemies and He brought your hearts together and you became, by His favor, brothers. And you were on the edge of a pit of the Fire, and He saved you from it. Thus does Allah make clear to you His verses that you may be guided.

(Holy Quran 3:103)

Follow, [O Muhammad], what has been revealed to you from your Lord - there is no deity except Him - and turn away from those who associate others with Allah.

(Holy Quran 6:106)

[Say], "Then is it other than Allah I should seek as judge while it is He who has revealed to you the Book explained in detail?" And those to whom We [previously] gave the Scripture know that it is sent down from your Lord in truth, so never be among the doubters.

And the word of your Lord has been fulfilled in truth and in justice. None can alter His words, and He is the Hearing, the Knowing.

(Holy Quran 6:114 & 115)

Follow, [O mankind], what has been revealed to you from your Lord and do not follow other than Him any allies. Little do you remember.

(Holy Quran 7:3)

And when Our verses are recited to them as clear evidences, those who do not expect the meeting with Us say, "Bring us a Qur'an other than this or change it." Say, [O Muhammad], "It is not for me to change it on my own accord. I only follow what is revealed to me. Indeed I fear, if I should disobey my Lord, the punishment of a tremendous Day."

(Holy Quran 10:15)

And follow that which is revealed to you from your Lord. Indeed Allah is ever, with what you do, Acquainted.

(Holy Quran 33:2)

Unquestionably, for Allah is the pure religion. And those who take protectors besides Him [say], "We only worship them that they may bring us nearer to Allah in position." Indeed, Allah will judge between them concerning that over which they differ. Indeed, Allah does not guide he who is a liar and [confirmed] disbeliever.

(Holy Quran 39:3)

And follow the best of what was revealed to you from your Lord before the punishment comes upon you suddenly while you do not perceive.

(Holy Quran 39:55)

Say, "I am not something original [new] among the messengers, nor do I know what will be done with me or with you. I only follow that which is revealed to me, and I am not but a clear warner."

(Holy Quran 46:9)

Say, "Would you acquaint [teach] Allah with your religion while Allah knows whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth, and Allah is Knowing of all things?"

(Holy Quran 49:16)

The only statement of the [true] believers when they are called to Allah and His Messenger to judge between them is that they say, "We hear and we obey." And those are the successful.

And whoever obeys Allah and His Messenger and fears Allah and is conscious of Him - it is those who are the attainers.

(Holy Quran 24: 51 & 52)

This day I have perfected for you your religion and completed My favor upon you and have approved for you Islam as religion.

(Holy Quran 5:3)

And do not say about what your tongues assert of untruth, "This is lawful and this is unlawful," to invent falsehood about Allah. Indeed, those who invent falsehood about Allah will not succeed.

(Holy Quran 16:116)

Or have they other deities who have ordained for them a religion to which Allah has not consented? But if not for the decisive word, it would have been concluded between them. And indeed, the wrongdoers will have a painful punishment.

(Holy Quran 42:21)

O you who have believed, do not prohibit the good things which Allah has made lawful to you and do not transgress. Indeed, Allah does not like transgressors.

(Holy Quran 5:87)

Those will have lost who killed their children in foolishness without knowledge and prohibited what Allah had provided for them, inventing untruth about Allah. They have gone astray and were not [rightly] guided.

(Holy Quran 6:140)

Say, "Who has forbidden the adornment of Allah which He has produced for His servants and the good [lawful] things of provision?" Say, "They are for those who believe during the worldly life [but] exclusively for them on the Day of Resurrection." Thus do We detail the verses for a people who know.

(Holy Quran 7:32)

Fight those who do not believe in Allah or in the Last Day and who do not consider unlawful what Allah and His Messenger have made unlawful and who do not adopt the religion of truth from those who were given the Scripture - [fight] until they give the Jizyah willingly while they are humbled.

(Holy Quran 9:29)

Indeed, the postponing [of restriction within sacred months] is an increase in disbelief by which those who have disbelieved are led [further] astray. They make it lawful one year and unlawful another year to correspond to the number made unlawful by Allah and [thus] make lawful what Allah has made unlawful. Made pleasing to them is the evil of their deeds; and Allah does not guide the disbelieving people.(Holy Quran 9:37)

Say, "Have you seen what Allah has sent down to you of provision of which you have made [some] lawful and [some] unlawful?" Say, "Has Allah permitted you [to do so], or do you invent [something] about Allah?"

(Holy Quran 10:59)

And We have revealed to you, [O Muhammad], the Book in truth, confirming that which preceded it of the Scripture and as a criterion over it. So judge between them by what Allah has revealed and do not follow their inclinations away from what has come to you of the truth. To each of you We prescribed a law and a method. Had Allah willed, He would have made you one nation [united in religion], but [He intended] to test you in what He has given you; so race to [all that is] good. To Allah is your return all together, and He will [then] inform you concerning that over which you used to differ.

And judge, [O Muhammad], between them by what Allah has revealed and do not follow their inclinations and beware of them, lest they tempt you away from some of what Allah has revealed to you. And if they turn away - then know that Allah only intends to afflict them with some of their [own] sins. And indeed, many among the people are defiantly disobedient.

(Holy Quran 5:48 & 49)

All the above verses are using different words to emphatically declare that nobody’s words are to be followed in Islamic affairs. To clarify this core concept, Allah (SWT) has used the following expressions:

  • Do not follow your forefathers!
  • Hold firmly to the rope ­–Quran– of Allah!
  • Follow what is being revealed from Allah!
  • The Prophet is also ought to follow Allah’s revelations
  • The Prophet has no power to change Allah’s revelations
  • Allah (SWT) is the sole-proprietor of the religion – Islam
  • Man should not afford to teach religion to Allah
  • Allah (SWT) has fulfilled His religion
  • Don’t ever invent “Halal” or “Haram” with your own fancy

What do all of these utterances dispense to us? These are unquestionably asserting that even the Prophet Mohammed (ﷺ) did not possess any power to establish a single rule concerning religion. Allah (SWT) has explained thus far clearly; yet, only people who see some inadequacy in Allah’s guidance claiming that the Sahaba or other scholars are also to be followed.

 Quran and Sunnah

Don’t hasten yourself to conclude the matter by wrongly understanding that the revelation of Allah (SWT) refers only to the Holy Quran. The interpretations that were given by the Prophet Mohammed (ﷺ) are also a part of godly revelations. It’s as incumbent as the Holy Quran. In the Holy Quran, Allah (SWT) has detailed this subject in several occurrences:

Our Lord, and send among them a messenger from themselves who will recite to them Your verses and teach them the Book and wisdom and purify them. Indeed, You are the Exalted in Might, the Wise."

(Holy Quran 2:129)

Just as We have sent among you a messenger from yourselves reciting to you Our verses and purifying you and teaching you the Book and wisdom and teaching you that which you did not know.

(Holy Quran 2:151)

Certainly did Allah confer [great] favor upon the believers when He sent among them a Messenger from themselves, reciting to them His verses and purifying them and teaching them the Book and wisdom, although they had been before in manifest error.

(Holy Quran 3:164)

Your companion [Muhammad] has not strayed, nor has he erred, Nor does he speak from [his own] inclination. It is not but a revelation revealed.

(Holy Quran 53:2, 3, &4)

It is He who has sent among the unlettered a Messenger from themselves reciting to them His verses and purifying them and teaching them the Book and wisdom - although they were before in clear error.

(Holy Quran 62:2)

The duty of a messenger is not just a mere recitation of God’s words. It’s more than just receiving and reciting the scripture; the messenger was also destined to teach thescripture (i.e. Holy Quran) to the people as well. Thus explained, it’s quite evident: the teachings of Prophet Mohammed () are also an integral part of Islamic fundamentals [only the second of two exclusive sources].

And We have not revealed to you the Book, [O Muhammad], except for you to make clear to them that wherein they have differed and as guidance and mercy for a people who believe.

(Holy Quran 16:64)

[We sent them] with clear proofs and written ordinances. And We revealed to you the message that you may make clear to the people what was sent down to them and that they might give thought.

(Holy Quran 16:44)

The above two verses clearly state: Prophet Mohammed (ﷺ) had the responsibility to explain the scripture to the people; because the scripture was meant to be understood by the whole mankind. So, it’s mandatory to take Prophet’s (ﷺ) interpretations as one of the two basesof the legislative source.

Moreover, from the above verses, we can understand the three different ways by which our Prophet Mohammed (ﷺ) received the revelations: the messages that Allah (SWT) sent and recorded into the heart of the Prophet (ﷺ); or what Allah (SWT) shown in the Prophet’s (ﷺ) dreams; or what were conveyed through Gabriel (AS) or other angels.

Likewise, obeying the Prophet (ﷺ) is as quite compulsory as obeying Allah (SWT); here are the verses containing this idea:

Say, "Obey Allah and obey the Messenger; but if you turn away - then upon him is only that [duty] with which he has been charged, and upon you is that with which you have been charged. And if you obey him, you will be [rightly] guided. And there is not upon the Messenger except the [responsibility for] clear notification."

(Holy Quran 24:54)

Say, [O Muhammad], "If you should love Allah, then follow me, [so] Allah will love you and forgive you your sins. And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful."

Say, "Obey Allah and the Messenger." But if they turn away - then indeed, Allah does not like the disbelievers.

(Holy Quran 3:31 & 32)

Those who follow the Messenger, the unlettered prophet, whom they find written in what they have of the Torah and the Gospel, who enjoins upon them what is right and forbids them what is wrong and makes lawful for them the good things and prohibits for them the evil and relieves them of their burden and the shackles which were upon them. So they who have believed in him, honored him, supported him and followed the light which was sent down with him - it is those who will be the successful.

Say, [O Muhammad], "O mankind, indeed I am the Messenger of Allah to you all, [from Him] to whom belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth. There is no deity except Him; He gives life and causes death." So believe in Allah and His Messenger, the unlettered prophet, who believes in Allah and His words, and follow him that you may be guided.

(Holy Quran 7: 157 & 158)

And obey Allah and obey the Messenger and beware. And if you turn away – then know that upon Our Messenger is only [the responsibility for] clear notification.

(Holy Quran 5:92)

And obey Allah and His Messenger, and do not dispute and [thus] lose courage and [then] your strength would depart; and be patient. Indeed, Allah is with the patient.

(Holy Quran 8:46)

The believing men and believing women are allies of one another. They enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and establish prayer and give zakah and obey Allah and His Messenger. Those - Allah will have mercy upon them. Indeed, Allah is Exalted in Might and Wise.

(Holy Quran 9:71)

And We did not send any messenger except to be obeyed by permission of Allah. And if, when they wronged themselves, they had come to you, [O Muhammad], and asked forgiveness of Allah and the Messenger had asked forgiveness for them, they would have found Allah Accepting of repentance and Merciful.

(Holy Quran 4:64)

And whoever opposes the Messenger after guidance has become clear to him and follows other than the way of the believers - We will give him what he has taken and drive him into Hell, and evil it is as a destination.

(Holy Quran 4:115)

And whoever obeys Allah and the Messenger - those will be with the ones upon whom Allah has bestowed favor of the prophets, the steadfast affirmers of truth, the martyrs and the righteous. And excellent are those as companions.

(Holy Quran 4:69)

But the hypocrites say, "We have believed in Allah and in the Messenger, and we obey"; then a party of them turns away after that. And those are not believers.

(Holy Quran 24:47)

O you who have believed, obey Allah and His Messenger and do not turn from him while you hear [his order].

(Holy Quran 8:20)

He will [then] amend for you your deeds and forgive you your sins. And whoever obeys Allah and His Messenger has certainly attained a great attainment.

(Holy Quran 33:71)

O you who have believed, obey Allah and obey the Messenger and do not invalidate your deeds.

(Holy Quran 47:33)

The Bedouins say, "We have believed." Say, "You have not [yet] believed; but say [instead], 'We have submitted,' for faith has not yet entered your hearts. And if you obey Allah and His Messenger, He will not deprive you from your deeds of anything. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful."

(Holy Quran 49:14)

Have you feared to present before your consultation charities? Then when you do not and Allah has forgiven you, then [at least] establish prayer and give zakah and obey Allah and His Messenger. And Allah is Acquainted with what you do.

(Holy Quran 58:13)

And obey Allah and obey the Messenger; but if you turn away - then upon Our Messenger is only [the duty of] clear notification.

(Holy Quran 64:12)

And obey Allah and the Messenger that you may obtain mercy.

(Holy Quran 3:132)

He who obeys the Messenger has obeyed Allah; but those who turn away - We have not sent you over them as a guardian.

(Holy Quran 4:80)

And establish prayer and give zakah and obey the Messenger - that you may receive mercy.

(Holy Quran 24:56)

[They said] Our Lord, we have believed in what You revealed and have followed the messenger Jesus, so register us among the witnesses [to truth]."

(Holy Quran 3:53)

And whoever obeys Allah and His Messenger and fears Allah and is conscious of Him - it is those who are the attainers.

(Holy Quran 24:52)

Say, "Obey Allah and the Messenger." But if they turn away - then indeed, Allah does not like the disbelievers.

(Holy Quran 3:32)

As we have seen in the above unambiguous verses, obeying our Prophet Mohammed (ﷺ) is no less than obeying Allah (SWT) in the terms of obligation. Further, there has been explained a very important message that those who refuse to obey the Messenger are no longer to be considered as Muslims in the sight of Allah (SWT).

Alongside Allah (SWT) and the Prophet (ﷺ), there is one more set of people –that with authority– isalso mentioned in the following verse:

O you who have believed, obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those in authority among you. And if you disagree over anything, refer it to Allah and the Messenger, if you should believe in Allah and the Last Day. That is the best [way] and best in result.

(Holy Quran 4:59)

Anyhow, if you are heedful, you can notice that Allah (SWT) has given one categorical stipulation when he mentions the people with administrative authority. Should we have any contradictions, we must refer to Allah (SWT) and His Messenger. In other words, the Quran and the Sunnah are the touchstones forthe authoritative people’s statements. As it’s mentioned by Allah (SWT), if the commandments from such people are against the teachings of the Quran and the Sunnah; or beyond the boundaries of them; those statements must not be followed.

There are a considerable number of Hadiths found explaining this subject.

It was narrated that Aisha (RA) said: The Messenger of Allah (SWT) said: “Whoever introduces something into this matter of ours that is not part of it and will have it rejected.”

(Sahih Muslim 4492)

In the light of this Hadith, it’s mentioned that something performed or commanded by a Sahabi without the Prophet’s order or consent that should not be taken into the account of Sunnah.

Allah's Messenger () said, "If somebody innovates something which is not in harmony with the principles of our religion, that thing is rejected."

(Sahih Bukhari 2697)

Allah’s Messenger () said: 'The best of speech is the Book of Allah, the best of guidance is the guidance of Muhammad, and the worst of matters are those which are newly-invented, and every innovation is a going astray.'

(Sahih Muslim 2005) Overall, we have got the following points to ponder from the quoted verses and Hadiths:

  • The Prophet Mohammed (ﷺ) had the responsibility of teaching Allah’s revelations; which means, his explanations are essential for complete understanding, and this clearly shows the importance of Prophetic sayings
  • He never spoke from his self-inclination
  • The Holy Quran must be explained by the Prophet himself
  • To obey the Prophet Mohammed (ﷺ) is utmost obligatory
  • To innovate apart from what the Prophet ordered is a plain astray

The gist of this particular section contains two very specific and underlying facts:

  1. The prophetic sayings (i.e. Hadiths) are no less than detailed explanations of the Holy Quran; so, it’s as compulsory to be followed as the Holy Quran.
  2. There is nothing to accompany the Quran and Sunnah in establishing the fundamentals of Islam.

Those who are in certain on these two basics would never ever tend to say, “The actions and consents of Sahaba are also a part of Islamic sources.”

There won’t be any confusion once we are happened to come across some of the occasional Prophetic sayings which aren’t conforming to Allah’s desires; because, Prophet Mohammed (ﷺ) had a dedicated communication channel with Allah (SWT) through being revealed, and he got corrected by Allah whenever such occasional differences occurred. So, we can figure out this kind of instances by identifying particular cases where Allah (SWT) retorted the Prophet by showing His disapproval. Except those very few cases, the rest are implied as consented by Allah (SWT); thus, we should not have any hesitation in these circumstances.

Conversely, the erroneous or deviated decisions took by others (including Sahaba also) don’t have this backing up; they’re not going to be amended by Allah (SWT); so that we are uncertain whether they’re correct, therefore, we can’t stand with. This is one of our reasons to say: Sahaba’s actions are not of the Islamic sources.

 The Two Roles of the Prophet Mohammed (ﷺ)

There is no more second thought for a Muslim to accept that the messengers of Allah (SWT) are by far greater than their companions. Allah (SWT) chose the prophets to guide the people. He made them as role models for mankind. Even though Allah (SWT) made it compulsory for mankind to follow the prophets, He has made this decree with a condition too: you are ordainedto follow the only prophetic instructions that are in-line with revealed messages. In a sense, it’s not compulsory for us to follow the actions and customs of the Prophets that are either of their personal wishes or not in accordance with revealed messages.

If this is in the case, how could we say that the Sahaba’s practices are also of Islamic authority while they did not have any communication with Allah (SWT)? This point is just sufficient to clarify the people who differ with us, provided that they are heedful. Again, we are not giving our own desires; this very important understanding is based on several proofs from Hadiths and general truths.

 No Adherence to the Prophet in Worldly Affairs

We all know that our Prophet Mohammed (ﷺ) used to eat wheat as his staple dish. But, did he specifically take wheat because of he is a prophet of Allah (SWT)? No, we don’t believe, though. He did take this as a meal even before he was chosen as a prophet, and more interestingly, the people who denied and opposed him were also used to eat the same dish as well. Hence, we understand that our Prophet (ﷺ) ate wheat as it was a customary food in his surroundings, not based on God’s instruction. Similarly, we don’t say: wheat has to be taken in our diet since the Prophet used to do so. Not only we don’t say, but we can’t too.

Likewise, we should not say that the Prophet (ﷺ) used to ride a camel for his transportation purpose; so, we Muslims do need to follow the same as it is a Sunnah. No, we can’t say such. Correspondingly, it’s not said that we ought to dress the same kind of dress which he used to attire; and it’s not necessary for us to use ashes to stop bleeding as how our prophet did when he was injured in Uhud. All of these accustomed practices were done by him based on the nature of his surroundings and of convenience. The Messenger of Allah has explained this truth in the following Hadiths:

I and Allah's Messenger () happened to pass by people near the date-palm trees. He (the Holy Prophet) said: What are these people doing? They said: They are grafting, i. e. they combine the male with the female (tree) and thus they yield more fruit. Thereupon Allah's Messenger () said: I do not find it to be of any use. The people were informed about it and they abandoned this practice. Allah's Messenger () (was later) on informed (that the yield had dwindled), whereupon he said: If there is any use of it, then they should do it, for it was just a personal opinion of mine, and do not go after my personal opinion; but when I say to you anything on behalf of Allah, then do accept it, for I do not attribute lie to Allah, the Exalted and Glorious.

(Sahih Muslim 6126)

In another narration, the Messenger () said: I am a human being, so when I command you about a thing pertaining to religion, do accept it, and when I command you about a thing out of my personal opinion, keep it in mind that I am a human being. 'Ikrima reported that he said something like this.

(Sahih Muslim 6127)

Moreover, the Prophet (ﷺ) added: You have better knowledge (of a technical skill) in the affairs of the world.

(Sahih Muslim 6128) Another Hadith also clearly explains this basic concept:

Barira's husband was a slave called Mughith, as if I am seeing him now, going behind Barira and weeping with his tears flowing down his beard. The Prophet () said to `Abbas, "O `Abbas! Are you not astonished at the love of Mughith for Barira and the hatred of Barira for Mughith?" The Prophet () then said to Barira, "Why don't you return to him?" She said, "O Allah's Messenger ()! Do you order me to do so?" He said, "No, I only intercede for him." She said, "I am not in need of him."

(Sahih Bukhari 5283)

In Islam, women have their own right to get a divorce from their husbands when they don’t like to continue their wedlock. Barira (RA) used that right and got separated from her husband. Whenever we happened to come across such separated couples, we try to counsel them to develop harmony. Although separation is of religious rights, we just advise them to create an adjustable mindset. But, Barira (RA) had a doubt; whether the Prophet (ﷺ) was trying to give a mere advice, or the right of divorce was actually being repealed. Thus, she asked: is that a religious order (or otherwise)? Then, Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) asserted: it was not an order; whereupon, she refused to accept it because that was no more than his own desire.

It’s not religiously offensive to deny our Prophet’s self-opinions – which aren’t based on Allah’s revelations. In the above incident, Barira (RA)clearly disagreed with the Prophet’s (ﷺ) suggestion – which is not of revealed; still, Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) did not accuse her ofdisrespecting him nor did any scholars.  Having this information, we get to know that it’s not compulsory for us to follow each and every move of the Prophet (ﷺ); in a sense, we only have to follow what are uttered by Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) on behalf of Allah (SWT). If this is true, in what basis we could say: the companions or the scholars are also to be followed while they had no means of revelations from Allah? Truly, there is not a single basis.

By this way, you can easily understand that how ignorant and senseless are those who oppose and blame with a terrible criticism against us. There is not even a mere sign of disrespect/insult on the beloved companions by not adhering to their self-opinions. Furthermore, some food items were not the Prophet’s cup of tea; meaning, he didn’t show any interest in having some dishes. But, those were not based on Allah’s Waḥy. Although he didn’t like them to eat, those foods were not made unlawful for others.

Narrated Khalid bin Al-Walid: Allah's Messenger () stretched his hand towards the (meat of the) mastigure whereupon a lady from among those who were present, said, "You should inform Allah's Messenger () of what you have presented to him. O Allah's Messenger ()! It is the meat of a mastigure." (On learning that) Allah's Messenger () withdrew his hand from the meat of the mastigure. Khalid bin Al-Walid said, "O Allah's Messenger ()! Is this unlawful to eat?" Allah's Messenger () replied, "No, but it is not found in the land of my people, so I do not like it." Khalid said, "Then I pulled the mastigure (meat) towards me and ate it while Allah's Messenger () was looking at me.

(Sahih Bukhari 5391, 5400, & 5537)

Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) disliked the meat of mastigure only by his personal views; there is no religious motive behind that. His personal view was not a measure to make mastigure as unlawful. By this very fact, what is really being meant? Even though being a prophet and in the state of being revealed by Allah (SWT), Prophet Mohammed’s (ﷺ) activities, desires, and customs are classified into two categories:

  1. The actions he did with regard to a human
  2. The actionshe did with regard to a messenger of Allah (SWT)

(Of note, here “action” refers to his physical activities, his utterances, and consents)

We don’t have to worry about the first sort. We are only bound to the second category; since these are the ones among Waḥy of Allah (SWT). The matter goes as this, there is no more room to argue in favour of adhering Sahaba’s opinions and practices. Perhaps, this would be tantamount to commit shirk,since there is a tendency of equalizing Allah’s words with others opinions.As we can read in Holy Quran, on a few occasions, Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) did take some of his own decisions before Allah’s Waḥy reached to him. Soon after, Allah (SWT) denounced His Messenger and rectified him. On some other instances, Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) happened to take contradictory decisions than Waḥy of Allah, and Allah (SWT) interfered and corrected His Messenger. Similarly, we can’t take any examples from such denounced activities.

As we already know, Allah (SWT) has made honey lawful for us. Anyhow, our Prophet (ﷺ) forbade honey for himself due to angry at his wives. But, Allah (SWT) corrected this in the following verse:

O Prophet, why do you prohibit [yourself from] what Allah has made lawful for you, seeking the approval of your wives? And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.

(Holy Quran 66:1)

portion of the verse — what Allah has made lawful for you — signifies that it was prohibited by Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) from his own point of view; in a sense, not based on any revelations. Let’s take another example.

Most of the unbelievers, who opposed Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ), denied the truth while knowing that the Prophet Mohammed (ﷺ)was conveying the true message. But, the only one thing which disgruntled them was his unbiased treatment between lower castes and high-ranked tribes — for which most of the opposed people belong to. This very reason prevented them to publicly accept the truth. They approached the Messenger(ﷺ) and discussed this subject on quite a few occasions. They requested a distinct way of dealing with them to show their so-called high-ranked tribes’ dignity, especially to differentiate them from low-grade tribes and serfs. Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) started to slightly accept their request with an intention of potential changeover in their mindset; which means, he thought that he would change them once they embrace Islam.

Anyhow, Allah (SWT) didn’t like that; He denounced it and advised His Messenger as follows:

And keep yourself patient [by being] with those who call upon their Lord in the morning and the evening, seeking His countenance. And let not your eyes pass beyond them, desiring adornments of the worldly life, and do not obey one whose heart We have made heedless of Our remembrance and who follows his desire and whose affair is ever [in] neglect.

(Holy Quran 18:28)

The Prophet frowned and turned away; because, there came to him the blind man, [interrupting]. But what would make you perceive, [O Muhammad], that perhaps he might be purified, or be reminded and the remembrance would benefit him? As for he who thinks himself without need, to him you give attention. And not upon you [is any blame] if he will not be purified. But as for he who came to you striving [for knowledge] while he fears [Allah], From him you are distracted.

(Holy Quran 80:1-10)

Aishah (RA) narrated: “He frowned and turned away” was revealed about Ibn Umm Maktum the blind man. He came to the Messenger of Allah saying: ‘O Messenger of Allah! Guide me.’ At that time, there was a revered man from the idolaters with the Messenger of Allah. So the Messenger of Allah turned away from him and faced the other man, saying: ‘Do you think that there is something wrong with what I am saying?’ He said: ‘No.’ So it was about that that it was revealed.”

(Jaamiu Tirmidhi 3331)

This act wasn’t based on Allah’s revelation; because Allah (SWT) Himself shows his disapproval and corrects the Messenger (ﷺ) as cited in the above verses.

The hypocrites, those who two-faced pretenders, publicly shown themselves as Muslims; they used to participate in the congregation of prayers, and other religious deeds too. But, whenever they were called to join in battles, they used to advance pretexts for getting an exemption from joining the battles. Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) believed their false excuses and agreed to give exception to them without waiting for Allah’s decision in that matter. However, Allah (SWT) points this as a mistake in the following verse:

Had it been an easy gain and a moderate trip, the hypocrites would have followed you, but distant to them was the journey. And they will swear by Allah, "If we were able, we would have gone forth with you," destroying themselves [through false oaths], and Allah knows that indeed they are liars.

May Allah pardon you, [O Muhammad]; why did you give them permission [to remain behind]? [You should not have] until it was evident to you who were truthful and you knew [who were] the liars.

(Holy Quran 9: 42 & 43) “Why did you give them permission?” this clearly signifies that Allah (SWT) points it as a mistake.

Similarly, Prophet (ﷺ) released prisoners of war by getting ransom without expecting Allah’s decision. So, Allah (SWT) points that activity as a mistake in the following verses:

It is not for a prophet to have captives [of war] until he inflicts a massacre [upon Allah’s enemies] in the land. Some Muslims desire the commodities of this world, but Allah desires [for you] the Hereafter. And Allah is Exalted in Might and Wise.

If not for a decree from Allah that preceded, you would have been touched for what you took by a great punishment.

(Holy Quran 8:67 & 68)

According to above reasons and references, we can understand two things: first, Allah (SWT) did not accept the Messenger’s own decisions which preceded His revelations; second, nor did He accept offhand decisions of the Prophet (ﷺ) that werenot complying with His Waḥy. In the matters of religion, the Prophet’s own decisions (i.e. the above two cases) couldn’t get Allah’s sanction. If so, how could Sahaba’s or other scholars’ decisions/opinions be sanctioned by Allah (SWT)? They can never become a source of Islam, for sure.

  Prophecy of the Prophet Mohammed (ﷺ) The Sahaba are not more than a human being. As we are told by our Prophet (ﷺ), they were also vulnerable to take wrong decisions, and to slip at times. Several prophecies are found concerning this subject. Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) describes the scenario of the judgement day where whole mankind willbe found in hypertension. Narrated Ibn Abbas:

The Prophet () said, "You will be gathered (on the Day of Judgment), bare-footed, naked and not circumcised." He then recited:'As We began the first creation, We, shall repeat it; A Promise We have undertaken; Truly we shall do it.' (21.104) He added, "The first to be dressed on the Day of Resurrection will be Abraham, and some of my companions will be taken towards the left side (i.e. to the (Hell) Fire), and I will say: 'My companions! My companions!' It will be said: 'They renegade from Islam after you left them.' Then I will say as the pious slave of Allah (i.e. Jesus) said. 'And I was a witness over them while I dwelt amongst them. When You took me up You were the Watcher over them, And You are a witness to all things. If You punish them. They are Your slaves And if You forgive them, Verily You, only You are the All-Mighty, the All-Wise." (5.120-121)

(Sahih Bukhari 3349 & 3447)

After the Messenger (ﷺ) departed from this world, as he prophecised, some of his companions would have slipped from the right way that he showed them. Had it not been the case, then we would have to deny his prophecy,which was in turn, from Allah (SWT). If that was true, then how do Sahaba’s statements get into the source of religion?

Further, if you analyse, there are some prophecies from the Messenger(ﷺ)where he stated: some of his companions will commit Bid‘ah (innovation& invention in religion).

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 Bukhari 6585) Narrated Ibn Al-Musaiyab:

The companions of the Prophet () said, "Some men from my companions will come to my Lake-Fount and they will be driven away from it, and I will say, 'O Lord, my companions!' It will be said, 'You have no knowledge of what they innovated after you left: they turned apostate as renegades (reverted from Islam).

(Sahih Bukhari 6586) The same message has been recorded in Sahih Bukhari: 4740, 6526, 6576, 6582, & 7049 too.

Those who argue to take Sahaba’s practices —as opposed to us— have a perception that the companions of Prophet (ﷺ) were completely in accordance with his Sunnah and they never adopted anything besides Sunnah of the Messenger. This has no guarantee. In contrast, this view is nullified by the Prophet himself as we have seen above.

If some of the Sahaba will be sentenced to be punished in the day of judgement,as because they innovated (in religion) after the Prophet’s (ﷺ) departure,what must we learn from this severe warning?We should always cross-check Sahaba’s statements and practices with the Holy Quran and the Sunnah before deciding whether or not to follow them. If there is no sign of any correlation between them, we must not take them at all; because there might be possible chances of flaws to lead to Bid‘ah. This has to be clearly learned from here.

We don’t have any objection to accepting that the Sahaba of the Prophet (ﷺ) are by far greater than all of us. But, we should not forget that they were only human being.

Narrated Jarir:

The Prophet () said to me during Hajjat-al-Wida` [Farewell Pilgrimage]: Let the people keep quiet and listen. Then he said (addressing the people), "Do not (become infidels) revert to disbelief after me by striking the necks (cutting the throats) of one another (killing each other).

(Sahih Bukhari 121, 1739, 1741, 4403, 4405, 4406, 5550, 6166, 6868, 6869, 7077, 7078, 7080, & 7447)

Here, the Prophet (ﷺ) gave a strict warning on killing one another. Unfortunately, even after this strict warning, his companions fought among them at sword’s point and killed one another. They divided into two parties: one under Aisha (RA) and the other under Ali (RA). Nevertheless, they all were the much-glorified companions of the Prophet (ﷺ). In both sides, there have appeared promised Sahaba for the paradise, and the two who lead these battles were also guaranteed to enter the paradise. Yet, they raised weapons to fight among themselves (May Allah forgive them all).

We are not trying to criticise them nor to degrade them.Our only purpose is to show that they are also human being& they’re vulnerable to slip at times;then, how could their deedsstand as a source of religion while they did these quite serious acts by the nature of manhood? Similarly, they got mobilised under Muawiyah (RA) and Ali (RA) and warred each other. Again, unfortunately, they happened to kill among themselves.

Later, a few Sahaba engaged in the battle of Karbala in both parties too. A Muslim should not raise a weapon against his brother with an intent of killing. This is a huge sin; unluckily, it occurred in the Sahaba’s lifetime. This very incident is sufficient to ascertain that nothing is reliable to stand as a guide, except the Waḥy of Allah which is the only guaranteed source of Islam.

Here, we are not going to point out the Sahaba’s mistakes which occurred during the Prophet’s (ﷺ) lifetime. This book will not allow us to list such instances.

In general, the companions of the Prophet (ﷺ) are human beings.The following incidents clearly show that humanjudgementsand thoughts are certainly prone to be erroneous; specifically, the ones given here, which occurred in the Sahaba’s lifetime.

 Contradictory Activities of the Companions

If we analyse the actions and practices of the companions, we can find some of them deviating from what Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) commanded and what is instructed in the Holy Quran:

  • A part of their deeds contradicting with the Prophet’s (ﷺ) Sunnah because they did not know the pertaining instructions of the Prophet (ﷺ) in such cases
  • Also, they misunderstood some of the Prophetic instructions and deeds; and happened to take wrong decisions
  • Also, they took some wrong decisions of their own which have no conformity with the Prophet’s (ﷺ) traditions

Of note,examples are listed here for the sake of giving a detailed explanation of the subject; there is no implication of underestimating the much-glorified companions of the Prophet (ﷺ).

 To Put Hands In Between Thighs While Bowing (Rukū)

In the beginning period of Islam, Muslims used to place their hands in between thighs/ knees while performing Rukū in their Salah. Later, Prophet (ﷺ) changed this practice by directing his companions to put hands on both knees. But, Abdullah ibn Masud (RA), who is one of the best and the early converts to Islam, continued to follow the former way of performing Rukū (i.e. to place hands in between thighs) even after the death of the Prophet (ﷺ).

Narrated Mus`ab bin Sa`d:

I offered prayer beside my father and approximated both my hands and placed them in between the knees. My father told me not to do so and said, "We used to do the same but we were forbidden (by the Prophet) to do it and were ordered to place the hands on the knees."

(Sahih Bukhari 790) 'Alqama and Aswad reported that they went to 'Abdullah. He said:

Have (people) behind you said prayer? They said: Yes. He stood between them ('Alqama and Aswad). One was on his right aide and the other was on his left. We then bowed and placed our hands on our knees. He struck our hands and then putting his hands together, palm to palm, placed them between his thighs. When he completed the prayer he said: This is how the Messenger of Allah () used to do.

(Sahih Muslim 1191)

The first hadith says that the Prophet (ﷺ) permitted to do in a way and later he forbade that and taught to put hands on both knees. But the second hadith tells us that Abdullah ibn Masud (RA) was completely unaware about this amendment.

Generally, the rules pertaining to Salah are more likely to be familiar to all of the companions; because the Prophet (ﷺ) used to teach the movements of offering Salah at five times a day and anyone could easily grasp the rules by just attending once. However, Ibn Masud (RA) did not know this rule, which could have possibly been known to all.

Since he was unaware of this amendment, his prayers might not get vain. Nevertheless, one has to think that taking the Sahaba's practices as Islamic reference is right or wrong?

 The Temporary Marriage (متعة)

In the early time of Islam, men who were in travelling used to practice in temporary wedlock in outstations; meaning, set up an agreement with a woman to live for a defined period and tosettle an amount. After the end of the defined period, they (men who involved) used to leave the women and to return their home. This was a custom of Arabs. The Prophet (ﷺ) did not object it at the beginning; so, some of his companions continued to practice. However, Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) forbade this system during the battle of Khaibar:

Narrated `Ali bin Abi Talib:

On the day of Khaibar, Allah's Messenger () forbade the Mut'a (i.e. temporary marriage) and the eating of (domesticated) donkey-meat.

(Sahih Bukhari 4216, 5115, 5523, & 6691)

But this was unknown to Ibn Abbas (RA), to whom Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) prayed for the enlightenment of knowledge (see Sahih Bukhari 75, 3756, & 7270). He continued to permit this practice —temporary marriage— in his Fatwas (legal opinions) even after the death of the Prophet (ﷺ).

Narrated Abu Jamra:

I heard Ibn `Abbas (giving a verdict) when he was asked about the Mut'a with the women, and he permitted it (Nikah-al-Mut'a). On that a freed slave of his said to him, "That is only when it is very badly needed and women are scarce." On that, Ibn `Abbas said, "Yes."

(Sahih Bukhari 5116)

The first hadith says that the system of temporary marriage was forbidden by Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ). Contrariwise, the second hadith tells us that one of the mightiest scholars of Muslim World, Ibn Abbas (RA), gave an opposing verdict regarding this subject. Thus, one has to think that taking the Sahaba's judgements as Islamic reference is right or wrong?

 Ignorance of Hajj-At-Tamattu'

The Holy Quran permits Hajj-at-Tamattu in Surah Al-Baqara Verse No. 196, in whichit’s legitimate to perform Hajj after completing Umra and to stay in Makkah without Ihram until reaching the day of Hajj; and to assume another Ihram (which would be the second to the one assumed earlier for Umra) to perform Hajj. The Prophet (ﷺ) also did permit this method of performing Hajj.

Anyhow, two of the greatest companions — Umar (RA) & Usman (RA) — had no idea of this way of performing Hajj, or perhaps they might have understood otherwise, and refused to do so.

Narrated `Imran bin Husain:

The Verse of Hajj-at-Tamatu was revealed in Allah's Book, so we performed it with Allah's Messenger (), and nothing was revealed in Qur'an to make it illegal, nor did the Prophet () prohibit it till he died. But the man (who regarded it illegal) just expressed what his own mind suggested.

(Sahih Bukhari 4518) Narrated Marwan bin Al-Hakam:

I saw `Uthman and `Ali. `Uthman used to forbid people to perform Hajj-at-Tamattu` and Hajj-al- Qiran (Hajj and `Umra together), and when `Ali saw (this act of `Uthman), he assumed Ihram for Hajj and `Umra together saying, "Labbaik for `Umra and Hajj," and said, "I will not leave the tradition of the Prophet () on the saying of somebody."

(Sahih Bukhari 1563) In another narration:

`Ali (RA) said, "I see you want to forbid people to do a thing that the Prophet () did?" When `Ali saw that, he assumed Ihram for both Hajj and `Umra.

(Sahih Bukhari 1569)

Salim bin Abdullah narrated that:He had heard a man from Ash-Sham asking Abdullah bin Umar about Tamattu after Umrah until Hajj, so Abdullah bin Umar said: "It is lawful." The man from Ash-Sham said: "But your father prohibited it." So Abdullah bin Umar said: "Is the order to follow my father or is the order (to follow) for the Messenger of Allah?" The man said: "Rather it is for the Messenger of Allah." So he said: "Indeed the Messenger of Allah did it."

(Jaamiu Tirmidhi 824)

While the Hajj-at-Tamattu was permitted by the Prophet (ﷺ) and it was widely known among the Sahaba of the Prophet (ﷺ), Umar and Usman (RA) were completely unaware of it; and Usman (RA) denied it even when it was brought to his attention.

Thus, the exponents of Sahaba’s opinions should have to take heed on whether to follow them or not, since two of the most important companions prohibited a Sunnah of the Prophet (ﷺ).

 Bath of Janaba(The Compulsory Bath)

It’s compulsory for whom engaging in intercourse to take a bath if the man involved had discharged. Previously, to take a bath was not compulsory if the ejaculation did not happen. Later, this option was made into compulsory; that is to say, to take a bath became incumbent even if the person who engaged in intercourse had not discharged (sperm). But, several eminent companions have given their verdicts as “taking a bath is not compulsory if there is no discharge of sperm”.

Narrated Zaid bin Khalid:

I asked `Uthman bin `Affan about a person who engaged in intercourse but did no discharge. `Uthman replied, "He should perform ablution like the one for an ordinary prayer but he must wash his penis." `Uthman added, "I heard it from Allah's Messenger ()." I asked `Ali Az-Zubair, Talha and Ubai bin Ka`b about it and they, too, gave the same reply. (This order was canceled later on and taking a bath became necessary for such cases).

(Sahih Bukhari 179 & 292)

Hitherto, almost all Muslims are simply aware of this rule; but, some of the very famous companions did not know the amendment. So, is it acceptable to say that the judgements of companions are worth enough to adhere?

 To Marry In the State Of Ihram

I heard 'Uthman b. 'Affan say that Allah's Messenger () had stated: A Muhrim must neither marry himself, nor arrange the marriage of another one, nor should he make the proposal of marriage.(Sahih Muslim 3446, 3447, 3448, & 3449) Ibn Abbas (RA)wasunaware of this restriction and used to say that the Prophet (ﷺ) married Maimuna (RA) in the state of Ihram. Narrated Ibn `Abbas:

The Prophet () married Maimuna while he was in the state of Ihram.

(Sahih Bukhari 1837, 4259, & 5114) Conversely, Maimuna (RA), the one who involved in this subject, has refuted this information. Yazid b. al-Asamm reported:

Maimuna daughter of al-Harith narrated to me that Allah's Messenger () married her and he was not in the state of Ihram. And she (Maimuna) was my mother's sister and that of Ibn 'Abbas (Allah be pleased with them).

(Sahih Muslim 3453)

When a statement contradicts with another one which is narrated by the person who involved in the certain incident under discussion, the second one deserves to be accepted. Ibn Abbas (RA) was ignorant of the rule pertaining marriage of a Muhrim (the one assumed and in the state of Ihram), nor did he know when his maternal aunt got married the Prophet (ﷺ).

Now then, would the exponents of Sahaba’s statements still say: they are to be followed?

 To Start Fasting In the State Of Janaba

A man in the state of Janaba (after having sexual relation with wife(s)) can take Suhūr, pre-dawn meal, to begin fasting. Once he reaches Fajr time, he should then take a bath to offer Salah, as our Prophet (ﷺ) did. But, this information was out of reach to Abu Hurairah (RA), who has narrated numerous hadiths on several topics;anyhow, later he changed his state on this matter once he was given the information.

Narrated 'Aishah and Umm Salama (RA): At times, Allah's Messenger () used to get up in the morning in the state of Janaba after having sexual relations with his wives. He would then take a bath and observe Saum (fast). Marwan said to Abdur Rahman, "I swear by Allah that you tell Abu Hurairah that [the Prophet () used to be Junub (in state of Janaba) till the dawn, would then take a bath and observe Saum (fast)]." But, Abdur Rahman did not want to speak about this with Abu Hurairah. Later, he happened to meet him in Dhul-hulaifah. There was a land owned by Abu Hurairah. Abdur Rahman said: “I am going to tell you a message. Had it not been promised by Marvan to utter this to you, I would not have to tell this to you”. Then, he conveyed what Aishah and Umm Salama (RA) said. After hearing this, Abu Huraira replied: “Fadl Ibn Abbas is the one who told this to me. But, the wives of the Prophet () deserved to be very well-known on this matter”.

(Sahih Bukhari 1926)

Fadl Ibn Abbas (RA), son of the Prophet’s paternal uncle, did not know the Sunnah of the Prophet (ﷺ) regarding this subject; and Abu Hurairah (RA) agreed upon what Fadl (RA) said. On this basis, we should get to know that some of the companions were unaware of the Prophet’s (ﷺ) Sunnah in a few cases.


We all know about the prayer of Duha, which is offered during morning time (or before noon, in precise). There are several hadiths found asserting that it was offered by the Prophet (ﷺ) and describing its virtues. But, some of the companions did not get any information about this prayer.

Narrated Abu Huraira:

My friend (the Prophet) advised me to do three things and I shall not leave them till I die, these are: To fast three days every month, to offer the Duha prayer, and to offer witr before sleeping.

(Sahih Bukhari 1178 & 1981) Narrated Abu Murra:

(The freed slave of Um Hani) Um Hani, the daughter of Abi Talib said, "I went to Allah's Messenger () in the year of the conquest of Mecca and found him taking a bath and his daughter Fatima was screening him. I greeted him. He asked, 'Who is she?' I replied, 'I am Um Hani bint Abi Talib.' He said, 'Welcome! O Um Hani.' When he finished his bath he stood up and prayed eight rak`at while wearing a single garment wrapped round his body and when he finished I said, 'O Allah's Messenger () ! My brother has told me that he will kill a person whom I gave shelter and that person is so and so the son of Hubaira.' The Prophet () said, 'We shelter the person whom you have sheltered.' “Um Hani added, "And that was before noon (Duha).

(Sahih Bukhari 357, 3171, & 6158)

Anyhow, some of the companions completely refused a prayer which was offered and encouraged by the Prophet (ﷺ) – the prayer of Duha. Narrated `Aisha:

The Prophet () never prayed the Duha prayer, but I offer it.

(Sahih Bukhari 1128& 1177) Narrated Muwarriq:

I asked Ibn `Umar "Do you offer the Duha prayer?" He replied in the negative. I further asked, "Did `Umar use to pray it?" He (Ibn `Umar) replied in the negative. I again asked, "Did Abu Bakr use to pray it?" He replied in the negative. I again asked, "Did the Prophet () use to pray it?" Ibn `Umar replied, "I don't think he did."

(Sahih Bukhari 1175)

Information about a prayer of Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) was not comprehensively known to one of his wives Aisha (RA) and one of the strict followers of his companions - Ibn Umar (RA). Whenever we come across the activities of Sahaba, we should take only the specific ones which went in-line with the Prophet’s (ﷺ) traditions; becauseall companions(by individually) were only able to partially know the Sunnah of the Prophet (ﷺ). In other words, whatever they did without the support of Messenger’s authority will not be taken into consideration.

 Seeking Permission to Enter Someone’s House

Narrated Ubaid bin Umair:Abu Musa asked Umar to admit him but he was not admitted as Umar was busy, so Abu Musa went back. When Umar finished his job he said, "Didn't I hear the voice of `Abdullah bin Qais? Let him come in." Umar was told that he had left. So, he sent for him and on his arrival, he (Abu Musa) said, "We were ordered to do so (i.e. to leave if not admitted after asking permission thrice). Umar told him, "Bring witness in proof of your statement." Abu Musa went to the Ansar's meeting places and asked them. They said, "None amongst us will give this witness except the youngest of us, Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri. Abu Musa then took Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri (to Umar) and Umar said, surprisingly, "Has this order of Allah's Messenger () been hidden from me?" (Then he added), "I used to be busy trading in markets."

(Sahih Bukhari 2062, 6245, & 7353)

Even though Umar (RA) is one of the best companions of the Prophet (ﷺ), he couldn’t get to know each and every Sunnah of the Messenger.  He admits that he was unaware of a few things since he used to be busy trading in markets. Hence, is it really acceptable to contend that all activities of Sahaba are based on the Sunnah?

 Umar (RA) Refused Tayammum (Dry Ablution)

Umar (RA), one of the mightiest companions of the Prophet (ﷺ), denied the dry ablution (Tayammum) which is done as an alternative to the compulsory bath.

It was narrated from Sa'eed bin Abdur-Rahmân bin Abza, from his father that a man came to Umar and said: "I became sexually impure but I could not find any water." He said: "Do not pray." Ammar said: "Do you not remember, 0 Commander of the Believers! When you and I were on a campaign and we became sexually impure and could not find any water. You did not pray, but I rolled in the dust and offer Salah. The Prophet (), said: 'It would have been sufficient for you to strike your hands on the ground, then blow on them, then wipe your face and hands with them.'' Umar said: 'Fear Allah, 0 Ammar!' I said: 'If you wish, I will not narrate it."

(Sahih Muslim 820)

It’s clearly mentioned in the Holy Quran to perform dry ablution in place of a compulsory bath. But, Umar (RA) did not know this concession, and he remained to refuse even after Ammar (RA) reminded him. It was an eminent companion who had no idea about a Sunnah of the Prophet (ﷺ); if so, how would the exponents of Sahaba’s practices stand in their arguments?

 Ibn Masud’s (RA) Denialof Tayammum

Narrated Al-A`mash:Shaqiq said,

"While I was sitting with Abdullah and Abu Musa Al-Ash`ari, the latter asked the former, 'If a person becomes Junub and does not find water for one month, can he perform Tayammum and offer his prayer?' (He applied in the negative). Abu Musa said, 'What do you say about this verse from Sura "Al-Ma'ida": When you do not find water then perform Tayammum with clean earth? Abdullah replied, 'If we allowed it then they would probably perform Tayammum with clean earth even if water were available but cold.' I said to Shaqiq, 'You then disliked to perform Tayammum because of this?' Shaqiq said, 'Yes.' (Shaqiq added), "Abu Musa said, 'haven’t you heard the statement of Ammar to Umar? He said: I was sent out by Allah's Messenger () for some job and I became Junub and could not find water so I rolled myself over the dust (clean earth) like an animal does, and when I told the Prophet () of that he said, 'Like this would have been sufficient.' The Prophet () (saying so) lightly stroked the earth with his hand once and blew it off, then passed his (left) hand over the back of his right hand or his (right) hand over the back of his left hand and then passed them over his face.' So `Abdullah said to Abu Musa, 'Don't you know that `Umar was not satisfied with Ammar's statement?'

"Narrated Shaqiq:

While I was with Abdullah and Abu Musa, the latter said to the former, "Haven't you heard the statement of Ammar to Umar? He said, "Allah's Messenger () sent you and me out and I became Junub and rolled myself in the dust (clean earth) (for Tayammum). When we came to Allah's Apostle I told him about it and he said, 'This would have been sufficient,' passing his hands over his face and the backs of his hands once only.'"

(Sahih Bukhari 346 & 347)

It’s permissible to take Tayammum if there is no water for ablution. The same is applied in place of the compulsory bath when someone has become sexually impure and couldn’t find any water.

It has hitherto been a very famous ritual among Muslims; but then again, Ibn Masud (RA) did not accept it. Abu Musa (RA), in turn, was quoting a Quranic verse and a hadith as a reply to him. Generally, it’s quite obvious that a person to take wrong decisions in the absence of sufficient information. Here, even after the quoting of authentic messages, he did not change his state in this regard nor did he advance any reference to fortify his condition.

What all he did was to advance his own interpretation:people may misuse this concession even if water were available but cold; which means, he disallowed something that Allah (SWT) made lawful, by providing a wrong interpretation.

What sort of impact would we expect when a prominent Sahabi had a mentality of judging with his own interpretations? Wouldn’t that lead to suspicions on his elsewhere usages of same self-interpretations?  Then, how is it accepted to claim to stick with Sahaba’s words?

[All of these rhetorical questions are simply clear enough to ponder over]

 To Enter a Land Affected By Plague

Narrated Abdullah bin Abbas:

Umar bin Al-Khattab departed for Sham and when he reached Sargh, the commanders of the (Muslim) army, Abu Ubaida bin Al-Jarrah and his companions met him and told him that an epidemic had broken out in Sham. Umar said, "Call for me the early emigrants." So Umar called them, consulted them and informed them that an epidemic had broken out in Sham. Those people differed in their opinions. Some of them said, "We have come out for a purpose and we do not think that it is proper to give it up," while others said (to Umar), "You have along with you. Other people and the companions of Allah's Messenger () so do not advise that we take them to this epidemic."

Umar said to them, "Leave me now." Then he said, "Call the Ansar for me." I called them and he consulted them and they followed the way of the emigrants and differed as they did. He then said to them, Leave me now," and added, "Call for me the old people of Quraish who emigrated in the year of the Conquest of Mecca." I called them and they gave a unanimous opinion saying, "We advise that you should return with the people and do not take them to that (place) of epidemic." So Umar made an announcement, "I will ride back to Medina in the morning, so you should do the same." Abu Ubaida bin Al-Jarrah said (to Umar), "Are you running away from what Allah had ordained?" Umar said, "Would that someone else had said such a thing, O Abu Ubaida! Yes, we are running from what Allah had ordained to what Allah has ordained. Don't you agree that if you had camels that went down a valley having two places, one green and the other dry, you would graze them on the green one only if Allah had ordained that, and you would graze them on the dry one only if Allah had ordained that?" At that time Abdur-Rahman bin Auf, who had been absent because of some job, came and said, "I have some knowledge about this. I have heard Allah's Messenger () saying, 'If you hear about it (an outbreak of plague) in a land, do not go to it; but if plague breaks out in a country where you are staying, do not run away from it.'" Umar thanked Allah and returned to Medina.

(Sahih Bukhari 5729)

Based on the above hadith, we understand that a few messages from the Prophet (ﷺ) were only known by one companion alone, whereas others had no idea about them. It’s pretty obvious that had the hadith of the Prophet (ﷺ) not been related by Abdur Rahman bin Auf, Umar (RA) and other companions would have definitely gone to Sham.

 To Apply Perfume beforeAssuming Ihram

We all know the rule of applying perfume in relation with Ihram:i.e. to put scent after the Ihram has assumed is forbidden. What if someone assumes Ihram while the fragrance of the previously applied perfume still coming out from his body? Is it allowed?

Ibn Umar (RA) used to negate it (i.e. he declared it as prohibited) whileresponding the same question above. There was no proof with him to say so; he just deemed that if applying perfume after assuming Ihram is forbidden, then the same decision should be given until any previously applied scent (before Ihram) is discontinued from its fragrance.

When it was set to Aisha’s (RA) attention, she said:

"May Allah be Merciful to Abu Abdur Rahman. I used to put scent on Allah's Messenger () and he used to go round his wives, and in the morning he assumed the Ihram, and the fragrance of scent was still coming out from his body."

(Sahih Bukhari 267, 270, & 1754)

How can Sahaba’s statements be regarded asa religious source while they had taken their own decisions whenever they couldn’t reach any direct references from the Prophet (ﷺ)?

 Threefold Divorce

In Islam, both men and women have given the right of divorce whenever they feel not to continue their wedlock. For men, three options are given: after the first utterance of divorce, they can rejoin within three menstrual periodsif they wish. If the timespan of separation exceeds three menstrual periods, they can join through a new wedlock agreement with the consent of the woman. The same sequence of stipulations is applied for the second utterance too. After the third utterance of divorce, he has no other options to rejoin or wed the divorced woman only if the woman had joined with another wedlock and got divorced by the man who married her.

In contextof the first utterance of divorce, whether it is uttered in a single phrase, such as saying “threefold-thalaaq” or in repeated words such as saying, “thalaaq, thalaaq, thalaaq”, it counts to only one; meaning, a husband who utters has used one of the three attempts that he has been given. This is how exactly the utterance of thalaaq was practiced in the era of our Prophet (ﷺ). Later, Umar (RA) deliberately changed the stipulation on the threefold utterance of thalaaq which was completely against the Sunnah of our Prophet (ﷺ).

It was narrated that Ibn Abbas said: "During the time of the Messenger of Allah (), Abu Bakr, and the first two years of Umar's Khilafah, a threefold divorce was counted as one. Then Umar bin Al Khattab said: ‘People have become hasty in a matter in which they should take their time. I am thinking of holding them to it.’ So he made it binding upon them."

(Sahih Muslim 3673)

There is no doubt that to deliberately take own decisions with an intention of rejecting the Prophet’s (ﷺ) Sunnah is much more catastrophic than unintentionally taking own decisions. At times, this kind of decisions was taken by much precious companion like Umar (RA);nevertheless, is it permitted to deny the tradition of the Prophet (ﷺ) and to uphold the statement of a Sahabi only because of his majesty?

So, how the actions and decisions of the companions would be followed in terms of religion while they had intentionally taken some contradictory decisions against the Sunnah of the Prophet (ﷺ)?

 Alterations in Salah

After the passing of our Prophet (ﷺ), there were several changes occurred in the practices of the companions. Even though they were well trained to offer five times compulsory prayer, there were some criticisms emerged against their prayers during their time.

Narrated Ghailan:

Anas said, "I do not find (now-a-days) things as they were (practiced) at the time of the Prophet." Somebody said "The prayer (is as it was.)" Anas said, "Have you not done in the prayer what you have done?

Narrated Az-Zuhri that he visited Anas bin Malik at Damascus and found him weeping and asked him why he was weeping. He replied, "I do not know anything which I used to know during the life-time of Allah's Apostle except this prayer which is being lost (not offered as it should be)."

(Sahih Bukhari 529 & 530)

While the things at the time of Sahaba were not the same as they were practiced during the time of the Prophet (ﷺ), is it not wrong to take their actions as a religious source?

 Ibn Masud (RA) Refused Two Chapters of the Holy Quran

The whole Muslim world has accepted that the Holy Quran contains 114 chapters in it. But, one of the greatest companions - Ibn Masud (RA) - used to refuse the last two chapters of the glorious Quran; and, he did not record these two chapters in his manuscripts. Further, he used to emphatically say that the two chapters are no greater than supplications.

(Refer Musnad Ahmad 20244 & 20246)

If the actions and opinions of the companions are a part of Islamic source, then we would also have to admit that the Quran contains only 112 chapters. How far correct is being exponents to Sahaba’s practices, whereas a prominent companion differed in the matter of the Glorious Quran?

 Death of the Prophet Mohammed (ﷺ)

It’s clearly mentioned in the Holy Quran that the Prophet (ﷺ) will be subjected to death; so as the Prophet (ﷺ) did prophesy about his departure. But at the time he actually passed away, several companions including Umar (RA) differed in opinions; they believed (or started to believe) that the Prophet (ﷺ) wasn’t dead and he would resurrect; which is, in turn, against the fundamentals of Islam. They continued to disbelieve the death of the Prophet until Abu Bakr (RA) uttered the following wonderful words:

"My father and my mother be sacrificed for you, O Allah's Prophet! Allah will not combine two deaths on you. You have died the death which was written for you."… "Amma ba'du, whoever amongst you worshipped Muhammad, then Muhammad is dead, but whoever worshipped Allah, Allah is alive and will never die. Allah said: ‘Muhammad is no more than an Apostle and indeed (many) Apostles have passed away before him... (up to the) grateful’" (3.144)

(Refer Sahih Bukhari 1242 & 3670)

This incident clearly shows us that how the companions got unsettled when something goes dreadful and disastrous, same as how we would react in such instances. Thus, we are bound to follow the two yardsticks which are faultless and never going to involve in slight deviations too.

 To Prevent Women from Entering Masjids

There are several Hadiths which prove that the women used to go to the mosques during the life of the Prophet (ﷺ). (Refer Sahih Bukhari 362, 86, 184, 362, 372, 578, 707, 807, 809, 814, 837, 850, 865, 867, 868, & 873)

Narrated Aisha:

Had Allah's Messenger () known what the women were doing, he would have forbidden them from going to the mosque as the women of Bani Israel had been forbidden. Yahya bin Sa`id (a sub-narrator) asked Amra (another sub-narrator), "Were the women of Bani Israel forbidden?" She replied "Yes."

(Sahih Bukhari 869)

A basic concept should be firmly synced in our minds: the religion of Islam was not founded by the Prophet Mohammed (ﷺ); rather Almighty Allah is the one who sent it down to the whole mankind. The originator of this universal religion is an omniscient of all things which could occur in the future; thus, he has schematisedHis religion – Islam – with full awareness of future changes.

Bearing this basic in mind, let’s take the reason mentioned by Aisha (RA). Allah (SWT) allowed women to enter masjids with complete awareness of how women will behave in future. Had Allah (SWT) wished to prevent women from entering masjids because of their wrong behaviours in the future, He would have made it unlawful for them to enter masjids, and would have made it clear in His instructions. There is an unintended implication in the statement of Aisha (RA): Allah (SWT) had allowed women to enter masjids without knowing the future changes in them. Further, it unintentionally contradicts with a statement of the Holy Quran in which Allah (SWT) says, “I have perfected for you your religion”; it means, there won’t be any changes whatsoever.

Don’t ever try to understand that all these meanings were at the back of Aisha’s (RA) mind; in fact, she was fed up with what the women were doing at that time, and used those words to show her disappointment. This is how we should treat the words of the Prophet’s companions – May Allah be pleased with them all. At the same time, we must firmly believe that any changes or trends should not influence the decree of Allah (SWT).

 To Deliver the Khutbah of Salat-ul-Eid before the Salah

It is known that the Khutbah (sermon) of Jumuah (Friday) Prayer is delivered before the Salah, but in Salat-ul-Eid (the Festival Prayer): the Khutbah is delivered after the Salah. Anyhow, this Sunnah was later changed by one of the ruler’s selfishness after the era of our Prophet (ﷺ), in which numerous companions were still living. Only one companion denounced it and strived with his best; unfortunately, it didn’t work; the ruler – Marwan – who turned the Sunnah of the Prophet (ﷺ) to befit his self-desire.

Narrated Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri:

The Prophet () used to proceed to the Musalla on the days of Id-ul-Fitr and Id-ul-Adha; the first thing to begin with was the prayer and after that he would stand in front of the people and the people would keep sitting in their rows. Then he would preach to them, advise them and give them orders, (i.e. Khutba). And after that if he wished to send an army for an expedition, he would do so; or if he wanted to give and order, he would do so, and then depart. The people followed this tradition till I went out with Marwan, the Governor of Medina, for the prayer of Id-ul-Adha or Id-ul-Fitr. When we reached the Musalla, there was a pulpit made by Kathir bin As-Salt. Marwan wanted to get up on that pulpit before the prayer. I got hold of his clothes but he pulled them and ascended the pulpit and delivered the Khutba before the prayer. I said to him, "By Allah, you have changed (the Prophet's tradition)." He replied, "O Abu Sa`id! Gone is that which you know." I said, "By Allah! What I know is better than what I do not know." Marwan said, "People do not sit to listen to our Khutba after the prayer, so I delivered the Khutba before the prayer."

(Sahih Bukhari 956)

Here, a Sunnah of the Prophet (ﷺ) was completely neglected bya ruler in front of many companions and Tabi‘un (the generation next to companions) whose erawas greatly praised by the Prophet (ﷺ) as the best and the second best generations of all. Among all of them, only one companion exhibited his disagreement against that act.

Perhaps, at that moment, those people could have endured such anti-prophetic ways due to the fear of the ruler’s repressions. Based on this, we can’t assert that all practices which took place at the time of companions are in-line with what the Prophet (ﷺ) taught.

We are not listing the sinful acts committed by the companions for the reason that is the nature of human being. That is not our purpose, though.

The examples which are listed here to show the flaws occurred in Sahaba’s researches, thoughts, and decisions which affected or related with others; meaning, not about their personal mistakes. As we have discussed in one of the previous chapters, even the practices of the Prophet (ﷺ) are classified into two groups based on whether he performed on behalf of Allah’s instructions (Waḥy) or that of not based on Waḥy of Allah; and we take only the former one as a religious standard.

If that is the case, how could others’ practices become a religious authority while they were not revealed from Allah (SWT)?

 Compensation for Cutting Fingers

In Islamic criminal law, a person who cuts another person’s organ should be sentenced to have removed the same body part of the person who was affected by him. If the victim agrees to get compensation instead, then the culprit will be released from the verdict by paying the agreed compensation.

The Prophet (ﷺ) has already defined the measure or amount of compensation for each part of human body.

During the time of the Prophet (), the compensation for cutting any other person’s one finger was defined to ten camels. But during the time of Umar (RA), there was a standard appeared to distinguish between fingers such as they set a number of camels to thumb finger which was not as same as the number of camels set for the index finger. When Ibn Abbas (RA) heard this message, he objected and said, “How can you distinguish between fingers while the Prophet () did not do so?” Then, Umar (RA) admitted his mistake and corrected.

(Al-Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah 5/368)

It’s recorded in Sahih Bukhari, under the topic of The Diya for Fingers: Narrated Ibn `Abbas:

The Prophet () said, "This and this are the same." He meant the little finger and the thumb.

(Sahih Bukhari 6895)

Umar (RA) might not have heard about this or perhaps he might have heard and estimated that all fingers are not same. In spite of his understanding, he admitted his mistake and corrected according to what Allah’s Messenger commanded.

 The Meat of Domesticated Donkeys

During the early period of Islam, the meat of donkey was not forbidden to eat. But on the day of Khaibar, the Prophet (ﷺ) prohibited to eat the meat ofdomesticated donkeys, and permittedto eat the meat of onagers (wild donkeys).

But Ibn Abbas (RA) was not aware of the message pertaining prohibition of donkey’s meat, and he used to refuse in giving a final verdict as eating of donkey’s meat is prohibited, after the time of the Prophet (ﷺ). Narrated Amr:

I said to Jabir bin Zaid, "The people claim that Allah's Messenger () forbade the eating of donkey's meat." He said, "Al-Hakam bin Amr Al-Ghifari used to say so when he was with us, but Ibn Abbas, the great religious learned man, refused to give a final verdict and recited: 'Say: I find not in that which has been inspired to me anything forbidden to be eaten by one who wishes to eat it, unless it be carrion, blood poured forth or the flesh of swine...' (6.145)

(Sahih Bukhari 5529)

The message regarding the prohibition of donkey’s meat has not only been recorded through a companion called Hakam but also been narrated by Anas bin Malik (RA). (Refer Sahih Bukhari 5528, 2991, & 4199)

It’s not acceptable from Ibn Abbas’ (RA) side, to quote a Quranic verse to refuse to prohibit donkey’s meat, even after he was informed the message that the Prophet (ﷺ) had already prohibited it; and from Jabir (RA) to endorse what Ibn Abbas (RA) stated in this regard. Of course, the Holy Quran (6:145) speaks about some other forbidden foods; but those two companions missed to grasp another basic concept: the Prophet (ﷺ) forbade the meat of donkeys based on another form of revelation from Allah (SWT).

 Two Adhan (Prayer Call) for Jumua Prayer

The practice of pronouncing two Adhan for Jumua Prayer (Friday) has still been followed in some regions. This was not practiced at the time of our Prophet (ﷺ).

Narrated As-Saib bin Yazid:In the lifetime of the Prophet, Abu Bakr and Umar, the Adhan for the Jumua prayer used to be pronounced when the Imam sat on the pulpit. But during the Caliphate of Uthman when the Muslims increased in number, a third Adhan at Az-Zaura was added. Abu Abdullah said, "Az-Zaura is a place in the market of Medina."

(Sahih Bukhari 912)

The Messenger of Allah presented a particular way of doing a deed (i.e. One Adhan for Jumua). The two Caliphs, who came in succession, exactly followed what the Prophet (ﷺ) did. But Usman (RA) added one more announcement based on some of his own reasons. This event clearly signifies us that some of the companions changed or added to the Sunnah of the Prophet (ﷺ) grounded on some other reasons. Thus, we have no guarantee to confirm that all of their activities are completely conforming to what our Prophet (ﷺ) taught.

 Arguments of Critics

The people, who contend that the companions are also to be joined along with the Holy Quran and the Sunnah of the Prophet (ﷺ) in religious matters, used to advance a few so-called proofs to justify their arguments. In their arguments, they quote some Quranic verses and Hadiths; in which, they believe that those quotations are commanding us to follow the companions of the Prophet (ﷺ).

 To Follow the Muhajireen and the Ansar

And the first forerunners [in the faith] among the Muhajireen and the Ansar and those who followed them with good conduct - Allah is pleased with them and they are pleased with Him, and He has prepared for them gardens beneath which rivers flow, wherein they will abide forever. That is the great attainment.

(Holy Quran 9:100)

This verse praises the companions who emigrated from Makkah to Medina (Hijrah) and who helped them, and it also extends the same appreciation to the people who followed both of them. Further, it asserts that Allah (SWT) is pleased with all of them and has prepared their rewards (i.e. the paradise). Those who differ with us claim that Allah (SWT) commands us to follow the Sahaba; so that we have to follow them accordingly.

But, then again, they approached this verse with a wrong viewpoint and concluded to take it as a proof for their erroneous concept. The word “following” (or its variants) has several usages; the context will hint to choose the correct sense or application. If it is used by pointing a particular person’s name, then the meaning will govern all of his practices; in other words, he should be followed in all aspects of his actions and utterances. On the other hand, if it is used by pointing a man’s position or quality, then its sense will be restricted to the certain position or characteristic of that man.

For instance, if someone is instructed “to follow the policeman” or “to follow the policeman, Mr Musa”, then the one who has beeninstructed has to look at and follow the practices, qualities, and characteristics of Mr Musa which are only pertaining to his profession (i.e. a policeman). In a sense, he does not have to follow him in terms of business, marriage, or any religious deeds, and so on. Similarly, if an instruction says “to follow the philanthropist” or “to follow the philanthropist, Mr Ibrahim”, then the focus should go to his generosity and charities only; not of all his activities; hence, no one will understand that whatever Mr Ibrahim utters is to be followed.

Bearing this truth in mind, let’s take the Quranic verse – 9:100. Nowhere does the verse mention following of anybody. In contrast, it tells that of following the people who were the first forerunners in withdrawing their lands to join in Hijrah and in helping the migrants from Makkah. It means that some people preceded in leaving their homelands to emigrate Medina; whereas some others followed them in the very same act (i.e. migrating) afterwards.

In the same manner, among the people who received the Muhajireen, a part of them swiftly offered their help; whereas some others followed them in the very same act (i.e. helping) afterwards. Moreover, this verse asserts that Allah (SWT) is pleased with both who went at the earliest in withdrawing their lands to join in Hijrah and who did the same sacred deed later. Likewise, the Ansar (helpers) of early time and of later both were pleased with Allah (SWT), and vice versa.

Here, the words both Muhajireen and Ansar denote only the companions of the Prophet (ﷺ) not others; there isn’t a single order for us to follow them to any extent. The verb “followed” is showing an action of preterite (i.e. a past action); which means, this does not signify any commandment for the future. Had it shown any futurity, then it could have meant to be taken as an instruction for all of us. In contrast, it’s clearly mentioned as “those who followed (الَّذِينَ اتَّبَعُو)”, so it is talking about the people who followed Muhajireen and Ansar before this verse was revealed.

In precise, those who differ with us missed to see a very basic point: for as the words Muhajireen and Ansar denote the companions of the Prophet (ﷺ), so as the words “who followed them” are also denoting some other companions as well. Ultimately, this verse is exclusively talking about some companions who did Hijrah & helping of Muhajireen at the earliest and some other companions who followed them in those good deeds; as a result, Allah (SWT) is pleased with them, and vice versa.

In addition to showing His appreciation in the verse, Allah (SWT) added one specific condition relevant to “following”the forerunners: “with good conduct” – that is to say, not with any mistakes that the forerunners happened to make. It’s deemed that perhaps they (predecessors) might have done some mistakes, so that, Allah (SWT) is telling to follow them with good conduct only; no other activities [Allah knows best].

Withal, this verse must be understood in a befitting perception with many other verses in which Allah (SWT) strongly commands us to exclusively stick with the Holy Quran andSunnah. For the sake of an argument, if we mean this verse as if it’s ordering us to follow Muhajireen and Ansar in all aspects, then it would lead us to one of two circumstances: either to deny all the other numerous verses which speak about exclusive following of Waḥy, or to accept that the companions (Muhajireen & Ansar) also did receive Waḥy from Allah (SWT);however, both are by far abhorrent to all Muslims.

So, it’s quite evident that nowhere does the verse signify to consider the practices and utterances of Sahaba as an Islamic source.

Furthermore, we can assure that those who differ with us have wrongly understood this verse (9:100), with the help of an analogy from another identical Quranic verse:

And those who believed and whose descendants followed them in faith - We will join with them their descendants, and We will not deprive them of anything of their deeds. Every person, for what he earned, is retained.

(Holy Quran 52:21)

This verse is talking about the adherence of the descendants of those who believed. If this verse is interpreted as in the same manner of how those who differ with us interpret the verse (9:100), then every one of us should follow whatever is introduced as a religion by our parents. So, we would not only have to follow the companions of the Prophet (ﷺ) but also to follow whatever our parents instruct in terms of religion.

However, when it comes to this verse (52:21), their reasoning works quite properly.The correct understanding is this: if the descendantsof rightly believed parents believe in the same way that they (parents)used to believe, then Allah (SWT) will reward them in abundance.This does not mean that the children should follow each and every move of their parents, and,this time, the interpretation of the disputers is also same as ours; but when it comes to “following of Muhajireen and Ansar” (verse 9:100), their reasoning goes upside down. So, this is a clear indication that they are not on a right track to understand Allah’s words nor to interpret His words; hence, this isn’t a correct argument.

 My Companions Are Like the Stars

Those who contend that the companions are also to be followed alongside the Holy Quran and the Sunnah of the Prophet (ﷺ) in religious mattersused to quote the following hadith in their arguments:

"My Companions are like the stars; whoever among them you use for guidance, you will be rightly guided." This hadith has been recorded in several books and through several narrations and chains; however, this is a weak (da’if) hadith.

This has been recorded in Musnad Abd Ibn Humayd. Hamza An-Nasafee relates through Ibn Umar (RA). The narrator (Hamza) has been classified as a completely weak narrator.

It’s also recorded in the book of Ad-Daraqutni. The Imam Daraqutni himself states the two narrators in the chain – Jaabir (not the Sahabi) & Jameel Bin Zayd – are unknown; hence, this is also a weak one.

Another occurrence is found in a book called Bashar. This chain has been recorded through Umar (RA). Bashar tells that the narrator Abdur Raheem Bin Zayd was declared as a liar; thus, it also falls intothe weak category.

Another narrative is from Abu Hurayra (RA) by al-Qudai in Musnad al-Shihab with a very weak chain because of Jafar ibn Abd al-Wahid al-Hashimi who was declared a liar as stated by Ibn Hajar.

The same message has been recorded through Jaabir (RA) in the books: Jaamiul Ilm and Al Ihkam. It’s narrated through Haaris Bin Hussain, who has been declared unknown by Ibn Adh al-Barr and Ibn Hazm.

“Not a single hadith [chains of narrations] is strong enough to assert that this message was uttered by the Prophet (ﷺ)”, says Abu Bakr al-Bazzar. Further,Ibn Hazm reports, “this is a false, fictitious, and fabricated message on the Prophet (ﷺ)”.

“Not a single narration is proved to be authentic about this message” cited by Ibn al-Qayyim & Ibn Hajar.

Since liars and unknown persons featured in all chains of this hadith, this is regarded as a weak hadith and its message is completely against the fundamentals of Islam.

The scholar Ibn Hazm says with many interrogations:“The companions had several contradictory opinions on numerous topics; it would be impossible had the Prophet (ﷺ) said to follow whatever opinions from his companions. A companion called Samra ibn Jundab (RA) said, ‘to sell liquor is lawful’. On the basis of following any companion, would it be lawful to sell liquor? Abu Talha (RA) said eating ice whilst fasting will not break it; will this be eligible to be followed? Similarly; Ali, Usman, Talha, Abu Ayyub, and Ubay ibn Ka'b (RA) said it’s not obligatory to take a bath if someone did not discharge semen after having sexual intercourse with his wife; could it be followed?” further, he proceeds his arguments with a list containing several false decisions taken by the companions.

In the hadith being discussed, the Prophet (ﷺ) used a simile, whereby all of his companions are likened to the stars indicating that anyone who follows whomever of his companions will be guided; this figure of speech signifies that all stars are used to guide or route for transportation or navigation purpose.

A Prophet’s speech should not convey anything that is against any general truth; so as the Prophet didn’t speak, though. The truth is this: not through every star is one guided. Only a very few selective stars are guiding people in nighttime journey and navigationby showing direction and time; others don’t.

So, even the figurative language deployed in the hadith is not supporting to make it as a meaningful message.

 The Best Generation

Narrated Zahdam bin Mudrab:

I heard Imran bin Husain saying, "The Prophet () said, 'The best people are those living in my generation, then those coming after them, and then those coming after (the second generation)." Imran said "I do not know whether the Prophet () mentioned two or three generations after your present generation. The Prophet () added, 'There will be some people after you, who will be dishonest and will not be trustworthy and will give witness (evidences) without being asked to give witness, and will vow but will not fulfill their vows, and obesity will appear among them."

(Sahih Bukhari 2651, 3650, 6428, & 6695)

The disputers claim that the Prophet (ﷺ) had given his attestation on his generation and its successive one as the best of all; so that the companions of the Prophet (ﷺ) are of Islamic authority and to be followed accordingly.

There are no suspicions of this hadith’s authenticity; however, nowhere does the hadith command or even to encourage the adherence to the Prophet’s companions. The intended sense of the hadith is clearly mentioned at the end of it; that is to say, the Prophet (ﷺ) prophesies that the great qualities such as honesty, trustworthy, fulfillment of vows, and to give witnesses only whenever being requested would be widely found in those glorified generations; whereas the later generations would fall short than the former ones in terms of the qualities cited.

Had it been foretoldby the Prophet (ﷺ) that the Sahaba are the best of generations since their thoughts, opinions, decisions, and researches will ever be error-free; then, it would have connoted that they are also to be followed in religious matters. But, Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) testified them as best based on their honesty and trustworthy. No wise thinker would ever believe that the thoughts of trustworthy people will never prone to errors.

Moreover, if we interpret this hadith with a contradictory explanation to the previously quoted verses and hadiths which talk about the exclusive following of Allah’s Waḥy, it would lead us to take a preposterous decision: the companions did also receive Allah’s Waḥy; it is indeed abhorrent for any Muslim.

 To Follow the Rightly Guided Caliphs

The next encounter among the arguments of the critics is this: The Prophet (ﷺ) urged to adhere to the path of the rightly-guided Caliphs; so that we should follow them accordingly.

Before explaining whether the quoted hadith has the same connotation as they appeal, we would like to point out their (disputers’) contradiction herewith. In context with their opinions, the “rightly-guided Caliphs” refers to Abu Bakr, Umar, Usman, and Ali –May Allah be pleased with them all; considering their understanding, this hadith talks about the adherence to those four companions only, if at all. Anyhow, the people who quote this hadith for their arguments, never really restrict it only for those four Caliphs; instead, they take it as a basis for following all other companions too. This is extremely a paradoxical situation.

In spite of their contrary understanding, let’s look at what the hadith sayson whether to follow whatever uttered by the four Caliphs and has it got a clean chain of narrations! It’s found in so many hadith collections; only a few are of the weak category while many other narrations are found authentic. References: Tirmidhi 2600; Abu Dawud 3991; Ibn Mājah 42 & 43; Musnad Ahmad 16519, 16521, 16522; Darimi 95, and several other instances. [NB: These numbers are according to Arabic version of Hadith collections, but the references used in this book are based on English translations; please check the references section at the end of the book.]

Those who quote this hadith(s), usually, don’t show the complete text of it nor do they quote word by word of what the Prophet (ﷺ) uttered. Rather, they used to blackout a huge portion of the whole text, and just showing a favourable portion of them which says, “I urge you to adhere to what you know of my Sunnah and the path of the Rightly-Guided Caliphs”, and again out of context. In contrast, analysing the whole text would have giventhem the correct meaning; or anyone who uses his reasoning faculty would incredibly understand the correct meaning.Of note, the glorious Prophet (ﷺ) had used extremely proper words in his utterances, especially in certain instances where people could incline to misinterpret his wordings. Let’s take an analogy between the meaning of the following Quranic verse and the connotation of the hadithaccording to those who dispute with us:

And let the People of the Gospel judge by what Allah has revealed therein. And whoever does not judge by what Allah has revealed - then it is those who are the defiantly disobedient.

(Holy Quran 5:47)

What would be the outcome if this verse is interpreted exactly same as how the critics interpreted the hadith? It would mean that the Quran still allows the Christians to follow their scripture – Bible. Anyway, they do not infer the verse in that manner. They deploy a different attitude, whereby they would compile all Quranic verses related to Gospel and would seek a mutual concession among those verses. Similarly, they conclude that this verse means Christians should accept the Prophet Mohammed as the Messenger of Allah (SWT) according to the Gospel; this is indeed the correct understanding. Likewise, the same approach should have been applied for interpreting the hadith also.

While the religion has been fulfilled by the Almighty Allah with a clear commandment stating to follow Allah’s Waḥy only, shouldn’t they tried to understand this hadith to comply with that commandment?

Basically, Caliphs are the presidents of a country. Once a man is elected as a president by the Muslims, people should obey him; unless the country would be ruined. If the Caliphs set up some ruling standards, which are other than religious matters, people should obey them without any hesitancy.This is what the Prophet (ﷺ) meant in this hadith. By only this sense, the Quranic verse talks about the fulfillment of the religion and other verses talk about following only to Waḥy of Allah would get befitting meanings.

Further, the Prophet (ﷺ) added, “And beware of newly-invented matters, for every innovation is a going astray”, in his speech. These words clearly depict that the adherence to the rightly-guided Caliphs is only on the matters other than religion. Also, he added, “And you must obey, even if (your leader is) an Abyssinian slave”, after mentioned the rightly-guided Caliphs. This is a further proof that he talked nothing but administrative adherence. By this explanation, a famous prejudice of critics has been crumbled: none of the first four Caliphs was an Abyssinian slave; so, “rightly-guided Caliphs” is not only limiting to the four Caliphs but all of the Islamic rulers (even if he is an Abyssinian) who will reign till the judgement day.Thus, it’s compulsory for a Muslim to adhere to their rules only related to administration of the government.

In the same speech, our Prophet (ﷺ) added, “For the true believer is like a camel with a ring in its nose; wherever it is driven, it complies.” This simile (like a camel…) is not referring to any religious matters; because, there is no blind adherence in Islam. That is why the Prophet (ﷺ) used this figurative example to refer the adherence pertaining administrative affairs between a ruler and his people.

Furthermore, our beloved Prophet (ﷺ) added more explanation to make it very clear: “I am leaving you upon a (path of) brightness whose night is like its day. No one will deviate from it after I am gone but one who is doomed.”If he instructed to follow the rightly-guided Caliphs after saying,I am not leaving you in a state where you require someone to guide you in religion, which is not going to relate any religious adherence to the Caliphs of Islam; because, the (religious) path that was shown by the Prophet (ﷺ) was highly-perfected and richly-detailed.

Complete hadiths discussed in this section: Narrated: Yahya bin Abu Muta

“I heard Irbad bin Sariyah say: 'One day, the Messenger of Allah (saw) stood up among us and delivered a deeply moving speech to us that melted our hearts and caused our eyes to overflow with tears. It was said to him: 'O Messenger of Allah, you have delivered a speech of farewell, so enjoin something upon us.' He said: 'I urge you to fear Allah, and to listen and obey, even if (your leader) is an Abyssinian slave. After I am gone, you will see great conflict. I urge you to adhere to my Sunnah and the path of the Rightly-Guided (Khulafah) Caliphs, and cling stubbornly to it. And beware or newly-invented matters, for every innovation is a going astray.'”

Narrated: Abdur Rahman bin Amr As-Sulami

That he heard Al-Irbad bin Sariyah say: “The Messenger of Allah (saw) delivered a moving speech to us which made our eyes overflow with tears and made our hearts melt. We said: 'O Messenger of Allah, this is a speech of farewell. What do you enjoin upon us?' He said: 'I am leaving you upon a (path of) brightness whose night is like its day. No one will deviate from it after I am gone but one who is doomed. Whoever among you lives will see great conflict. I urge you to adhere to what you know of my Sunnah and the path of the Rightly-Guided Caliphs, and cling stubbornly to it. And you must obey, even if (your leader is) an Abyssinian slave. For the true believer is like a camel with a ring in its nose; wherever it is driven, it complies.”

(Ibn Majah 42 & 43)

 Follow Abu Bakr and Umar (RA)

“The Allah’s Messenger() said: 'I do not know how long I will stay among you, so follow the example of these two after I am gone,' and he pointed to Abu Bakr and Umar.”

(Ibn Majah 97)

The disputers quote this hadith to strengthen their arguments. It has also been recorded in many collections: Tirmidhi 3595, 3596, 3735, & 3741; Ibn Majah 97; and Musnad Ahmad 22161, 22189, 22296, & 22328.

This has no supportive points for those who believe in adhering to all companions of the Prophet (ﷺ). It’s specifically talking about the two glorious companions. It would only become a reference for them if they restrict their concept with these two companions – Abu Bakr & Umar (RA); but, that is not the case, they contest to adhere to all companions.

Again, it’s very easy to grasp these kinds of messages from the Prophet (ﷺ). One specific benchmark to be cemented in our minds: the sense of this hadith should not contradict with the Quranic verses talking about the fulfillment of the religion and religious guidelines must be derived from the Waḥy of Allah (SWT) only.

So, the correct meaning of this hadith is this: take Abu Bakr and Umar (RA) as leaders for the matters other than religion [for example; their good qualities, leadership, and devotion]. After the passing of the Prophet (ﷺ), the whole community got the guidance from Umar (RA) towards accepting Abu Bakr (RA) as the first Caliph after the Prophet (ﷺ). The hadith exactly talks about this kind of leadership adherences from the two regal companions of the mightiest messenger.

 What Does Surah Al-Fatihah Say?

“Guide us to the straight path - the path of those upon whom You have bestowed favor”, an excerpt from The Opening of the Quran. The critics see a prolific opening for their nonsensical ideology and emphasise that this verse refers to the companions of the Prophet (ﷺ).

Quite interestingly, this very argument reveals how senseless and illogical they are. We are not only the ones who recite this Dua. The very first one who did recite was the Prophet (ﷺ); did he recite this verse with an intention of asking Allah “Oh Allah, show me the path of my companions?” and more interestingly, the companions themselves did recite this Dua in their prayers, to whom they referred? Did they ask Allah (SWT) “Oh Allah, guide us to the path of ours?” What does it mean! Senseless, isn’t it?

It seems that they thought it was revealed after the period of the Prophet (ﷺ) and his companions, and they think it is only compulsory for the rest to recite this Dua.

Several prophets and righteous servants went passed before our beloved Prophet (ﷺ) and his glorious companions. They travelled on a right path and were bestowed by the Almighty Allah. But, we don’t have any categorical proofs on which way they used to live; so that Allah (SWT) teaches us to ask Him, “Guide us to the straight path - the path of those upon whom You have bestowed your favor”, and He has shown that certain path through His Messenger, the Prophet Mohammed (ﷺ). This is what the verse tells us in a very simple manner.

There is nothing to be regarded as an Islamic source except the Holy Quran and the Sunnah of the glorious Messenger (ﷺ).

 Can Others Be Able To Grasp Better Than The Companions?

To comprehend the religious knowledge, its sources (i.e. Quran and Hadiths) have to be widespread to availability and to be compiled for easy access and browse. If the resources are scattered, partially compiled, or less available; anyone would conclude the topics based on the amount of data available to him. If there is nothing available, then he will have no choice than to decide on his own.

The Holy Quran was completely compiled (in a book form) in the later part of the companions era. Anyhow, there was no room for easy printing and wide distribution to all people. Except a few companions who got memorised and a few others who had written, the complete Quran did not reach to the majority of the companions.It wasn’t in the form of a book or a manuscript for referencing or cross-checking purpose with all of the Sahaba.

Similarly, the phenomenon of the Hadiths was at the second level compared to the availability of the Holy Quran. None of the entire companions had written or memorised each and every Sunnah of the Prophet (ﷺ). Also, no one was able to memorise or record even ten percent out of all the prophetic traditions.

As a result, the companions did not have the opportunity to combine and analyse all hadiths related to every single topic that they came across. So, they followed whatever they happened to learn from the Prophet (ﷺ); and for other issues, they had no other options than to decide by their own opinions, therefore, they followed them accordingly.

Now, the trend has changed immensely; all of us have our own copy of the Holy Quran in our hands. Hadith collections are also available in much organised and in chapter-by-chapter forms. Everyone may not have all of the hadith collections, but all books are available in libraries and Islamic institutes.All materials are programmed in the form of Software too. The technology has grown enormously to gather the data required for any kind of complex questions within half an hour of time.

If the companions are living in this technology-intensive era, they would have exploited these facilities quite comprehensively to draw much better Fatwas than ours. Similarly, if we were happened to live in their time, we would have been found more erroneous than them.

This is the reason why, our beloved Prophet (ﷺ)prophesied in his Farewell Sermon: So it is incumbent upon those who are present to convey it (this information) to those who are absent because the informed one might comprehend it (what I have said) better than the present audience, who will convey it to him.

(Sahih Bukhari 1741)

Islam has been given by the One who is completely acquainted with all things and events that are going to happen until the end of time. The wordings that are deployed in the Holy Quran and Hadiths are destined to give perfect solutions for all issues which have occurred so far and will occur until the day of judgement. The precise senses of specific wordings are only acquainted by the people who reach the specified time which is programmed by the God Almighty. Now, we are able to understand such kind of things which were out of grasp for the glorious companions.

For instance, if the companionswere asked some questions such as:

  • How to determine the Qiblah on the moon?
  • Is artificial insemination allowed?
  • Is family planning allowed in Islam?

They would have replied with a question from their side, “are all these possible?”

Now, all of these have become answerable, because we’re practically facing such issues and we approach the Quran and Hadiths believing that there are means to extract a proper answer for any modern issues.

  • Internal waves in deep seas
  • Sky has been set asa dome
  • Mountains have been fixed as pegs
  • Preserved body of Firon (Pharaoh)
  • The sign of the ark of Nooh (AS) on Mount Judi

Plenty of such verses are found in the Holy Quran. In context these verses, the companions couldn’t have understood as in the same manner as we do now. It has become possible to us since the era we are living has allowed us to analyse and deal with, as Allah (Glorified and Exalted is He) mentioned in His final revelation:

“For every message is a limit of time, and soon shall ye know it.” (Holy Quran 6:67)

In a nutshell, the Holy Quran and the Hadiths are the exclusive sources of Islam; apart from these two, nothing would become a religious authority even if it’s from the much-glorified companions of the Prophet (ﷺ).

-Allah Knows Best-

 References for English Translation

  1. English translation of the Glorious Quran by Saheeh International

  2. English translation of Sunan Ibn Majah, translated by Nasiruddin al-Khattab (Canada)

  3. English translation of Sahih Muslim, translated by Nasiruddin al-Khattab (Canada)

  4. English translation of the Meanings of Sahih Al-Bukhari, translated by Dr Muhammad Muhsin Khan

  5. English translation of Jamiu Tirmidhi, translated by Abu Khaliyl (USA)

  6. URL to download all above:

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