The hearts and tongues of Ahl-ul-Sunnah are free of any hatred towards the Sahabah
The basic ‘Aqidah (creed) of Ahl-ul-Sunnah wal-Jama’ah (adherents to the Sunnah and the Muslim mainstream) with regard to the Sahabah of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) includes the following:
Anyone cursing a Sahabi (Companion) of the Prophet (peace be upon him), whether Mu’awiyah or another (may Allah be pleased with them), deserves a severe punishment. This is agreed upon by Muslim scholars, but they differ whether they should be killed or receive a less severe penalty.
The hearts and tongues of Ahl-ul-Sunnah wal-Jama’ah are free of any hatred towards the Sahabah, as Allah (Exalted be He) says: And those who came after them say: “Our Lord! Forgive us and our brethren who have preceded us in Faith, and put not in our hearts any hatred against those who have believed. Our Lord! You are indeed full of kindness, Most Merciful.” [Qur’an 59:10]
Ahl-ul-Sunnah wal-Jama’ah believe that some of the Athar (narrations from the Companions) that are reported concerning their shortcomings are lies, others have been exposed to additions, subtractions, and alterations in their texts.
The fact is that the Sahabah are excused if these narrations are true, as they were Mujtahids (scholars qualified to exercise juristic effort to infer expert legal rulings), who, if they were correct in their Ijtihad (juristic effort to infer expert legal rulings) will receive two rewards, and if they were wrong they will be rewarded for their Ijtihad and forgiven for their mistakes.
Ahl-ul-Sunnah wal-Jama’ah do not believe that the Sahabah were infallible as far as major and minor sins are concerned, rather they were liable to commit sins and will be held accountable for them, but due to their preceding good deeds and virtues they will be forgiven for things that later generations will not. During the Reckoning, some of their sins will be erased in a way that will not happen for those after them.
It has been authentically reported from the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) that they were the best generation, and that a Mud or half a Mud given in charity by them is better than a mountain of gold given by others, as was explained previously.
If any of the Sahabah committed a sin, they may have performed Tawbah (repentance to Allah) from it, performed good deeds that erased it, and they will be forgiven due to their preceding merits, through the intercession of Muhammad (peace be upon him), as they were the most deserving to receive it, or they may have been inflicted with a disaster in this world that expiated their sins.
This is in regard to the sins that they actually committed, so what will be the case when it comes to matters of Ijtihad? If they were correct they will receive two rewards, and if they got it wrong they will be rewarded for their Ijtihad and forgiven for their mistakes. But the degree of abhorrence that will be felt regarding any of their sins will be minimal next to their virtues and merits, given their belief in Allah and His Messenger, their Jihad (striving in the Cause of Allah), their Hijrah (migration) with and support of the Prophet (peace be upon him), and their beneficial knowledge and good deeds.
Ahl-ul-Sunnah wal-Jama’ah speaks moderately about matters related to the Sahabah; they refrain from talking about the disputes that occurred among them, and do not say that one group is infallible and another is sinful, other than in relation to those who made innovations in the religion, such as Shiites and Al-Khawarij (separatist group that believes committing a major sin amounts to disbelief.) They exceeded the limits in opposite extremes in terms of Infallibility and sins.
Between them they produced the Bid`ah (innovations in religion) that was cursed by the Salaf (righteous predecessors), and they declared them to be Fasiqs (those flagrantly violating Islamic law) and Kafirs (disbelievers), except for a few, in the same way Al-Khawarij regarded both ‘Aly and ‘Uthman as Kafirs and deemed it lawful to fight them.
They were the group about which the Prophet said, “In time a group will secede from the Muslims and the group that is nearer to the Truth will kill them.” [Source: Ahmad, vol. 3, pp. 32 and 48; Muslim, no. 1065; and Abu Dawud, no. 4667.]
They were the group that killed ‘Aly (May Allaah be pleased with him) after they had deserted him and declared all those who followed him as Kafirs.
[Source: Excerpts taken from Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta’ Fatwa no. 1466 (Part No. 3; Page No. 393-396)]
|‘Abdullah ibn Ghudayyan||‘Abdul-Razzaq ‘Afify||‘Abdul-‘Aziz ibn ‘Abdullah ibn Baz|
May Allah grant us success! May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions!