[Q 130] Comparing Noble Companions and Ahl e Bait

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Question

What do the respected scholars say regarding the issue of which is superior – the Noble Companions علیہم الرضوان or the Members of the Household of the Beloved Prophet ﷺ (Ahle Bait)?

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

الجواب بعون الملك الوهاب اللهم هداية الحق والصواب

Answer

The Superiority between the honorable companions and the family of the Prophet cannot be definitively stated in a way that either all companions are given superiority over the family members or vice versa. Rather, some honorable companions are superior to some family members (Ahle Bait), and likewise, there are certain individuals among the family members (Ahle Bait) who are superior to some of the honorable companions.

The most superior among the Noble Companions and Ahle Bait is Hazrat Sayyiduna Abu Bakr Siddique. After him is Hazrat Sayyiduna Umar Farooq Al-A’zam. Then Hazrat Sayyiduna Uthman Ghani is superior. And these three individuals are “Companions.” After them is the Lion of Allah, Mawla Ali Al-Murtaza, who is from the Ahle Bait. After him are the rest of the Ten Dwellers Promised Paradise, who are all “Companions.” After them are the Companions of Battle of Badr, then the Companions of Uhud, then the Companions of Bay’at ar-Ridwan. رضی اللہ تعالی عنہم اجمعین

Relevant Hadiths:

Hadith:

It is stated in Sahih Hadith, that Hazrat Abdullah ibn Umar رضی اللہ تعالیٰ عنہما narrates:

“کنا نقول و رسول حی، افضل امۃ النبی بعدہ ابوبکر ثم عمر ثم عثمان رضی اللہ عنھم اجمعین”

Translation:

We used to say in the lifetime of the Messenger of Allah (صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم): “After the Prophet, the most superior of this nation is Abu Bakr, then Umar, then Uthman.”

(Sunan Abi Dawood, First Book of Al-Sunnah, Volume 5, Page 21, Hadith Number: 4628, Published by Maktabah Nazar Mustafa al-Baz, Beirut)

Hadith:

It is in Saheeh al-Bukhari: Hazrat Muhammad ibn Hanafiyyah narrates from his father Hazrat Amir al-Mu’minin Ali al-Murtaza:

قلت لأبي: أيّ الناس خیرٌ بعد النبي صلی اللہ تعالیٰ علیہ وسلم؟ قال: أبو بکر، قال: قلت: ثم من؟ قال: عمر، قال: ثم خشيت أن أقول: ثم من؟ فيقول: عثمان، فقلت: ثم أنت يا أبة؟ قال: ما أنا إلا رجل من المسلمين

Translation:

“I asked my father, ‘Who is the best among people after the Prophet ﷺ?’ He replied, ‘Abu Bakr.’ I asked, ‘Then who?’ He said, ‘Umar.’ I was afraid to ask further, but I gathered courage and asked, ‘Then who?’ He answered, ‘Uthman.’ At that point, I wanted to ask, ‘And then you?’ But he said, ‘I am just a man among the Muslims.'”

(Sahih al-Bukhari, Book of Virtues of the Companions of the Prophet, Volume 2, Hadith #3671, Published by Dar al-Kotob al-Ilmiyah, Beirut)

Hadith

Regarding the Ten Companions who were given the glad tidings of Paradise (Ashara Mubashshara), it is narrated in Jami’ at-Tirmidhi that Hazrat Abdul Rahman ibn ‘Awf رضی اللہ تعالیٰ عنہ narrated that the Noble Prophet ﷺ said:

ابوبکر فی الجنۃ،وعمر فی الجنۃ و عثمان فی الجنۃ و علی فی الجنۃ و طلحۃ فی الجنۃ و الزبیر فی الجنۃ و عبد الرحمن بن عوف فی الجنۃ و سعد فی الجنۃ و سعید فی الجنۃ و ابو عبیدہ بن الجراح فی الجنۃ

Translation:

“Abu Bakr is in Paradise, Umar is in Paradise, Uthman is in Paradise, Ali is in Paradise, Talha is in Paradise, Zubair is in Paradise, Abdul Rahman ibn ‘Awf is in Paradise, Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas is in Paradise, Sa’id ibn Zaid is in Paradise, and Abu Ubaidah ibn al-Jarrah is in Paradise.”

(Jami’ at-Tirmidhi, Book of Virtues of the Companions, Volume 6, Page 100, Hadith Number: 3747, Published by Dar al-Kotob al-Ilmiyah, Beirut)

Explaining this hadith, Mufti Ahmad Yaar Khan Na’eemi رحمۃ اﷲتعالیٰ علیہ states: “In the blessed sayings of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, the mention of these four companions is made in the following order: Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman, Ali. This order also indicates their ranking in terms of virtues. After the Prophets, Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiq is the best among all creations, followed by Hazrat Umar, then Hazrat Uthman, and then Hazrat Ali. This order also signifies the sequence of caliphate. In every command of the Prophet ﷺ, there are abundant wisdom and guidance. Based on the narration above, this blessed group is referred to as ‘Ashara Mubashshara’, meaning the Ten Companions who were given the glad tidings of paradise in a single narration. In reality every companion of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ is promised paradise as Allah, the Almighty, says,

وَکُلًّا وَّعَدَ اللہُ الْحُسْنٰی

Translation from Kanz Ul Irfan:

“Allah Has Promised Them All The Most Beautiful Reward (Paradise)”

The order of these names was given by the Prophet ﷺ himself, not by the narrator; their ranks are in the same order as stated by him.

(Marātib al-Manājīh, Vol. 8, Pg. 362, Published by Qadri Publishers Lahore)”

Relevant Juristic Narrations:

In Tareekh al-Khulafa and Minhaj al-Rawd al-Azhar it states:

أجمع أهل السنة أن أفضل الناس بعد رسول اللہ عليه الصلاة والسلام أبو بكر، ثم عمر، ثم عثمان، ثم علي، ثم سائر العشرة، ثم باقي أهل بدر، ثم باقي أهل أحد، ثم باقي أهل البيعة، ثم باقي أهل الصحابة

Translation:

“The consensus of Ahle Sunnah agree that after the Messenger of Allah (صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم), the most superior person is Abu Bakr Siddiq, then Umar, then Uthman, then Ali, then the rest of the Ashara Mubashshara, then the Companions of Badr, then the Companions of Uhud, then the Companions of Bay’at ar-Ridwan, then the rest of the Companions.”

(Tareekh al-Khulafa, p. 38, printed by Maktaba Nazar Mustafa al-Baz, Beirut)

In Sharh Aqaid an-Nasafiyyah and Sharh Aqidah at-Tahawiyyah it states:

وأفضل البشر بعدنبیناصلی اللہ تعالی علیہ وعلی آلہ وسلم: أبو بکر الصدیق رضي اللہ عنہ، ثم عمر الفاروق ،ثم عثمان ذو النورین ثم علي المرتضی رضوان اللہ تعالی علیہم أجمعین۔۔۔علی ھذا وجدنا السلف،والظاھر انہ لو لم یکن لھم دلیل علی ذلک لما حکموا بذلک

Translation:

“After our Beloved Prophet (صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم) the most superior of creation is Abu Bakr Siddiq, then Umar al-Farooq, then Uthman Zun Noorain, then Ali al-Murtaza – علیہم الرضوان. This is the order we found from our predecessors (salaf), and it is clear that if they didn’t have any evidence for this, why would they mention this order?”

(Explanation of the Beliefs Nasafi, p. 321, Maktaba al-Madina, Karachi)

In its commentary, an-Nabras states:

 ا(وجدنا السلف) هم الصحابۃ و التابعون و اتباعھم۔۔۔( والظاھر انہ لو لم یکن لھم دلیل علی ذلک لما حکموا بذلک)لان عادتھم شدۃ الاجتھاد فی تحقیق الحق،وفی المواقف و حسن ظننا بھم یقتضی بانھم لولم یعرفوا ذلک لما اطبقوا علیہ،فوجب علینا اتباعھم فی ذلک القول

“By ‘salaf’ is meant the Companions, the Followers (Tabain), and the Followers of the Followers (And it is obvious that if they did not have evidence for that, they would not have ruled by it), because the practice of the Salaf was to make great efforts in seeking the truth.

It is in our position that our good opinion of them demands that if they did not know it (by evidence), they would not all agree on this issue.Therefore, it is necessary (Wajib) upon us to follow the path of these predecessors.

(Al-Nibras, The Best of People After the Prophets, p. 484, published by Maktaba-e-Bashiri, Karachi)”

In the commentary of Sharh al-Aqaid al-Nasafiyyah, it is written in Al-Nibras:

اجماع الامۃ علی الباطل ممنوع ،ولاسیما الصحابۃ الذین ھم افضل البشر بعدالنبیاء

Translation:

It is not permissible for the Ummah to have consensus on something false, especially the Companions, who are the best mankind after the Prophets.

(Al-Nibras, The Best of People After the Prophets, p. 489, printed by Maktaba al-Bashri, Karachi)

In his Fatawa Ridhwiyyah, Ala Hazrat Imam Ahmad Raza Khan states:

“The consensus of the Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jama’ah نصرھم اللہ تعالی is that after the Messengers, Angels, Prophets and Messengers of mankindصلوات اللہ تعالی وتسلیماتہ علیھم, the Rightly Guided Caliphs علیہم الرضوان are superior to all other creatures of Allah. Among all the nations of the past and present, no one reaches their greatness, magnificence, honor, prestige, acceptance, nobility, proximity and friendship.

(وَاَنَّ الْفَضْلَ بِیَدِ اللہِ یُؤْتِیْہِ مَنْ یَّشَاءُ وَاللہُ ذُو الْفَضْلِ الْعَظِیْمِ)

Translation from Kanz Ul Irfan:

“And That ‘All’ Grace Is In The Power Of Allah, He Grants It To Whomsoever He Wills”

Then among them, the order is such that: Abu Bakr Siddiq being the most superior, then Umar al-Farooq, then Uthman Ghani, and then Mawla Ali صلی اللہ تعالی علی سیدھم ومولا ھم وآلہ وعلیہم وبارک وسلم.

This doctrine is refined from the glorious verses of the Holy Quran, numerous Ahadees, guidance of the Noble Prophet علیہ وعلی آلہ وصحبہ الصلوۃ والتسلیم, the illustrious guidance Ameer al-Momineen Mawla Ali Murtaza, and other pure Imams of Ahlul Bayt, consensus of the respected Companions and great Followers, and affirmations of the saints and scholars of the Ummah رضی اللہ تعالی عنھم اجمعین are enlightening proofs and outward evidences, the comprehension of which is beyond reach.

(Fatawa Razavia, Vol. 28, p. 478, published by Razavia Foundation, Lahore)

Answered by: Mufti Sajid Attari

Translated by: Shaheer Attari

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