Wednesday 10 July 2024

What did Prophet Muhammad ﷺ say about respect of his companions

Blessed have been those who lived in the companionship of prophets and messengers of Allah. For these were the people who not only saw the prophets and messengers from their own eyes, but also heard the Divine words as revealed unto them. It is for this reason that Prophet Muhammad ﷺ on many a occasion emphasized the importance of respecting his companions (Sahaba) through various sayings and actions. The companions are seen as role models for subsequent generations of Muslims, having lived during the formative period of Islam and closely followed the teachings and practices of the Prophet (ﷺ). He regarded them as exemplary models of faith and piety

Let us share some notable hadiths that highlight the Prophet's views on respecting his companions:

Protection and Reverence for Companions:

The Prophet (ﷺ) said, "Do not revile my companions, for by Him in Whose Hand my soul is, if any one of you were to spend the equivalent of Mount Uhud in gold (in Allah's cause) it would not be equal to a mudd (a measure) or even a half mudd spent by one of them." (Sahih Bukhari 3673)

Note: Mudd is a scale of measurement which equals to about 650-750 grams. Now imagine the weight of the Mount Uhud and its comparison to just a few hundred grams. Now imagine the emphasis by Prophet Muhammad ﷺ on respect of his companions: On one hand is a man who spends fortunes equal to the weight of mount Uhud, and on the other hand is a companion of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ who only spends a mudd or half of mudd in Allah's cause.

Overview of Mount Uhud (Photo Courtesy: People of Saudi Arabia

Significance and dimension of Mount UhudMount Uhud (Arabic: جَبَل أُحُد) is a mountain north of Medina, in the Hejazi region of Saudi Arabia. It is 1,077 m (3,533 ft) high and 7.5 km (4.7 mi) long. It was the site of the second battle between the Islamic prophet Muhammad and the polytheists of his tribe of Quraysh. The Battle of Uhud was fought on 19 March, 625 CE, between a force from the small Muslim community of Medina and a force from Mecca, in north-western Arabia.

Recognition of Their Sacrifices:

The Prophet (ﷺ) said, "The best of my followers are those living in my generation (i.e., my contemporaries), and then those who will follow the latter (the next generation)." (Sahih Muslim 2533)

Avoidance of Disparaging Remarks:

The Prophet (ﷺ) said, "Fear Allah regarding my Companions. Do not make them targets (for criticism) after me. Whoever loves them loves them because of his love for me, and whoever hates them hates them because of his hatred for me. Whoever harms them has harmed me, and whoever harms me has harmed Allah, and whoever harms Allah, it is imminent that He will seize him." (Sahih Muslim 2541)

Acknowledgment of Their Status:

The Prophet (ﷺ) said, "The stars are a source of security for the sky and when the stars disappear, that which has been decreed for the sky will come upon it. I am a source of security for my companions and when I go away, that which has been decreed for my companions will come upon them. And my companions are a source of security for my Ummah and when my companions go away, that which has been decreed for my Ummah will come upon it." (Sunan Ibn Majah)

High Status and Honor:

The Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) placed his companions in high esteem, recognizing their unique status and sacrifices for the cause of Islam.

Prohibition of Insulting:

He explicitly prohibited insulting or criticizing his companions, emphasizing that any harm or disrespect towards them is akin to harming him and, by extension, Allah.

Security for the Ummah:

The Prophet (ﷺ) described his companions as a source of security and stability for the Muslim community, indicating their pivotal role in the preservation and transmission of Islamic teachings.

In light of above Hadiths, Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) underscored the importance of respecting his companions due to their pivotal role in the early Islamic community, their sacrifices, and their exemplary faith. The hadiths provide clear guidance on treating the companions with reverence and avoiding any form of disparagement, highlighting their unique and honored status in Islam.

It is disheartening to see some Muslims ridiculing the companions of Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) and downplaying their role in the strengthening of Islam and carrying it forward as a sacred duty as entrusted to them by Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ). Let us respect those whom Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) has asked to be respected, for if we do, we are nothing but annoying the soul of Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ).
May Allāh (سبحانه و تعالى‎) help us understand Qur'ān and follow the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, which is embodiment of commandments of Allah contained in the Qur'ān. May Allah help us to be like the ones He loves and let our lives be lived helping others and not making others' lives miserable or unlivable. May all our wrong doings, whether intentional or unintentional, be forgiven before the angel of death knocks on our door. 
وَمَا عَلَيۡنَاۤ اِلَّا الۡبَلٰغُ الۡمُبِيۡنُ‏ 
(36:17) and our duty is no more than to clearly convey the Message.”
That is Our duty is only to convey to you the message that Allah has entrusted us with. Then it is for you to accept it or reject it. We have not been made responsible for making you accept it forcibly, and if you do not accept it, we shall not be seized in consequence of your disbelief, you will yourselves be answerable for your actions on Day of Resurrection.

May Allah forgive me if my posts ever imply a piety far greater than I possess. I am most in need of guidance.

Reading the Qur'ān should be a daily obligation of a Muslim - Reading it with translation will make it meaningful. But reading its Exegesis / Tafsir will make you understand it fully. It will also help the Muslims to have grasp over social issues and their answers discussed in the Qur'an and other matter related to inter faith so that they are able to discuss issues with non-Muslims with authority based on refences from Qur'an.

Note: When we mention God in our posts, we mean One True God, we call Allah in Islam, with no associates. Allah is the Sole Creator of all things, and that Allah is all-powerful and all-knowing. Allah has no offspring, no race, no gender, no body, and is unaffected by the characteristics of human life.

Please refer to our reference page: Oft asked Queries from Prophet Muhammad ﷺ for more Hadiths on the subject

For more hadiths on varying subjects, refer to our reference page: Sunnah and Hadith of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ to know more about Hadiths and Sunnah of Prophet of Allah. You may also refer to our Reference Pages for knowing more about Islam and Qur'ān.

Photo | Sources of Hadith are given after each Hadith mentioned above.

Disclaimer: The material for this post has been collected from the references as given above. If anyone differs with the material contained in this post, one may consult the references and their authors.  If someone has more material about the subject, he/she is most welcome to share in the comments box to make the post all encompassing.

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