BLESSED COMPANIONS OF THE PROPHET
Mawlana Jami, I say,
Messenger of God! If only like the dog of the Companions
of the Cave,
could be in Paradise in the company of your Companions.
it right that their dog is in Paradise while I am in hell?
was the dog of the Companions of the Cave, I am the dog of
His Name, be He glorified. There is nothing but glorifies
Him with praise.
the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate.
is the Messenger of God, and those who are with Him are
hard against the unbelievers and merciful among
themselves. You see them bowing and falling prostrate (in
worship), seeking grace from God and (His) good pleasure.
The mark of them is on their foreheads from the traces of
prostration. Such is their likeness in the Torah and their
likeness in the Gospel--like as sown grain that sends
forth its shoots and strengthens it and rises firm upon
its stalk, delighting the sowers with amazement -that He
may enrage the unbelievers with (the sight of) them. God
has promised unto such of them as believe and do good
works, forgiveness and immense reward. (Al-Fath, 48.29)
Companions of God’s Messenger constitute the first pure
and blessed channel through which the Quran and the
Sunna were transmitted to later generations. God is the
All-Trustworthy and Inspirer of Trust; the Archangel
Gabriel is also trustworthy. The Quran describes the
Archangel as trustworthy and as one, obeyed and having
power (al-Takwir, 20.21). As everybody knows, the Prophet
Muhammad was renowned, first of all, for his
trustworthiness. Having been revealed by God to the
Prophet Muhammad through the Archangel Gabriel, the Quran
was entrusted to the Companions, who memorized it,
recorded it and transmitted it to the following
generations. This blessed community, which was praised in
the Torah and Gospel, were the living embodiment of almost
all laudable virtues and sought nothing but the good
pleasure of God; they absorbed, besides the Quran, the
Sunna of the Prophet and lived disciplined lives strictly
in accordance with the example of the Prophet, and
represented and transmitted it without any disloyalty to
are agreed upon the definition of Companionship by Ibn
Hajar al-Asqalani: ‘A Companion is the believer who saw
and heard God’s Messenger at least once and died as a
Even though some scholars have stipulated that, in order
to be ranked as a Companion, a believer should have lived
in the company of God’s Messenger for one or even two
years, the majority of the scholars regarded it as enough
to have been present in the radiant atmosphere of the
Messenger long enough to have derived some benefit from
goes without saying that the Companions are not equal to
each other in rank or greatness. Some of them believed in
God’s Messenger at the very outset of his mission, and
conversions continued until his saying farewell to the
world. The Quran grades them according to precedence in
belief and according to conversion before the conquest of
Makka and after it (al-Tawba, 9.100; al-Hadid, 57.10). The
same gradation was also made by God’s Messenger himself.
For example, he reproached Khalid for offending ‘Ammar,
saying: Do not trouble my Companions!2 In the same way, he
frowned at ‘Umar, when he annoyed Abu Bakr, and said:
Should you not leave my Companions to me? Abu Bakr
believed in me at a time when all of you denied me. Abu
Bakr knelt down and explained: ‘O Messenger of God! It
was my fault!’ 3
Companions were divided into twelve ranks by Hakim
al-Nisaburi.4 This division was made according to the
chronological order and some groups are also included in
others. It was accepted by the majority of scholars:
The four Rightly-Guided Caliphs, namely Abu Bakr, ‘Umar,
‘Uthman and ‘Ali, and the rest of the ten to whom
Paradise was promised while alive. They are Zubayr ibn al-Awwam,
Abu ‘Ubayda ibn al-Jarrah, ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn ‘Awf,
Talha ibn ‘Ubayd Allah, Sa‘d ibn Abi Waqqas and Sa‘id
ibn Zayd, may God be pleased with them all.
Those who believed prior to ‘Umar’s conversion and
frequently gathered together secretly in the house of
Arqam to listen to God’s Messenger, upon him be peace
Those who migrated to Abyssinia.
The Helpers (Ansar) who were present at the first ceremony
of taking the oath of allegiance to God’s Messsenger at
The Helpers who took the oath of allegiance to the
Messenger at al-‘Aqaba, the following year.
The first Emigrants who joined God’s Messenger before
his arrival in Madina during the Emigration.
The Companions who participated in the Battle of Badr.
Those who emigrated to Madina during the period between
the Battle of Badr and the Treaty of Hudaybiya.
The Companions who took the oath of allegiance to God’s
Messenger under a tree during the expedition of Hudaybiya.
Those who converted and emigrated to Madina after the
Treaty of Hudaybiya.
Those who became Muslims after the conquest of Makka.
The children who saw God’s Messenger either during the
conquest of Makka or during the Farewell Pilgrimage, or in
any other place and on different occasions.
1. I. Hajar,
2. I. Athir,
Usd al-Ghaba, 4.132.
4. Hakim, Ma‘rifat
Ulum al-Hadith, 22-4.