Tag Archives: Sahabah

Imām Rabbānī Mujaddid al-Alf al-Thānī Shaykh Aḥmad al-Farūqī al-Sirhindī on the Superiority of Abū Bakr (رضي الله عنه)

A whole life of service, austerity and devotion of a non-aḥābī will not compare with a small action of a aḥābī, Companion of the Prophet, which he did, when Islam was weak and Muslims were few, in order to promote the cause of Islam and help the Prophet [صلى الله عليه وسلم]. Addressing the people who embraced Islam later, the Prophet once said: ‘If you spend in God’s way a heap of gold equal to the mountain Uḥud, it will not be equal to a mudd (roughly a kilo) of wheat which my comrades have spent, nor even half a mudd.’ [Saḥīḥ Muslim, Sunan al-Tirmidhī and Musnad Aḥmad] This explains the greatness of Abū Bakr as against every other aḥābī. He is the first of the first Muslims who responded to the Prophet’s call and believed in him, devoted their lives, spent their wealth and rendered great services to Islam. This is the reason why the Qur’an says: ‘You are not equal to those who spent money before the Conquest (of Makkah) and fought. However, God promised good reward to both.’ [57:10]

 

Some people seeing the merits and honours of others have hesitated to recognise the superiority of Abū Bakr over all the Companions of the Prophet. They do not know that if merits and devotions were the criterion of superiority, some individual followers of a prophet who had more merits and devotions would have been superior to their prophets, who did not have much of these things. It is obvious, therefore, that the criterion of superiority is something other than meritorious acts and devotions. In my humble opinion, the criterion lies in the fact as to who is the first in defending religion, in spending money and energy in its cause, and working for its triumph. Since the prophet excels his whole community in these matters, he is the best of them all. For similar reasons any one of the community who excels in these matters is better than the others. Those who are forerunners in religion are the teachers and guides to their followers; the latter profit from their services and their merits. In our community the greatest man after the Prophet is Abū Bakr Ṣiddīq [رضي الله عنه], for he was first in spending money and property, the first in preaching and struggle, the first in staking his life and honour for religion, the first in fighting untruth and evil, the first in assisting the Prophet, and the first in making Islam victorious. His superiority over all others is well established.

[Maktubāt, Vol. II:99. English translation by Muhammad Abdul Haq Ansari in Sufism and Shari‘ah, Leicester: Islamic Foundation, 1986, pp. 243-244]

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Shaykh Muhammad Yusuf Kandhlawi on Knowledge

Allah’s salutations be upon Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم), the Chief of all the Prophets and Apostles, the one bestowed with the distinction of interceding for the sinful, and the one sent as a mercy and blessing to mankind. Allah had chosen him, before the creation of the Pen and the Preserved Tablet, to lead all Prophets and Apostles. And selected him for conveying His message to mankind. He was selected to describe His bounties and boundless treasures that were beyond human comprehension.

Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) endowed him with those branches of knowledge, relating to His Magnificent Self, which were never unfolded to mankind. Allah revealed to him such of His glorious and illustrious attributes, which none knew before; neither a close angel nor an Apostle. His chest was opened and he was empowered with the capability to comprehend all the hidden qualities placed in man – qualities by means of which man can achieve proximity to Allah, and seek guidance in the affairs of this world and the Hereafter.

Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) taught RasulAllah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) the means of correcting the deeds of human beings, which are continually stemming from them with every passing moment. The correction of deeds forms the cornerstone of success in this world and the Hereafter, just as improper deeds result in deprivation and failure in both worlds.

May Allah (سبحانه وتعالى) be pleased with the Sahabah. They acquired knowledge – knowledge which is more numerous than the leaves of trees and the drops of rain – that continually stem from the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم). Then they committed it to their memory and preserved it in the most befitting manner. They accompanied the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) on journeys and at home, and participated in all his pre-occupations: Da‘wah, Jihād, ‘Ibādāt, Mu‘āmalāt (transactions) and Mu‘āsharāt (social affairs). Then they learned to practice these deeds according to the Sunnah of RasulAllah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) in his presence.

Blessed are the Sahabah, who acquired knowledge and its application directly from RasulAllah (صلى الله عليه وسلم), without any intermediaries. Furthermore, they did not restrict these branches of knowledge to themselves; rather they conveyed this knowledge and wisdom, which was preserved in their hearts and the deeds that they performed, to others. Thus illuminating the Universe with Divine knowledge and spiritual Prophetic deeds. As a result of their endeavours, the whole world became a cradle of learning and scholarship. Men became fountains of light and guidance; and their lives became firmly grounded on ‘Ibādah and Khilāfah.

[Shaykh Muhammad Yusuf Kandhlawi, Preface, اماني الاحبار في شرح معاني الآثار (Amānī al-Abār Fī Shar Ma’ānī al-Āthār)]

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