The Obligation of Defending the Ṣaḥābah raḍiyallāhu ‘anhum

By Mawlānā Rabb Nawāz Tāhir

Translated by Mufti Abdullah Moolla


الحمد لله العليم الخبير ، المتقن العالم بلا معين ونصير ، فسبحان الله الذي حكمته بالغة وعلمه عزيز ، ونعمه واصلة إلى كل صغير وكبير ، ونشهد أن لا إله إلا الله وحده لا شريك له في نقير ولا قطمير ، ونشهد أن سيدنا ومولانا محمد عبده ورسوله الذي هدانا بكتاب منير ، ودعانا إلى الله بالانذار والتبشير ، صلى الله تعالى عليه وعلى آله وصحبه ما دامت الكواكب تسير ، أما بعد ،

The final Messenger of Allāh, Sayyidunā Muḥammad Rasūlullāh ﷺ was blessed with the crown of Nubuwwah (prophethood) when he was forty years of age. After acquiring Nubuwwah, Rasūlullāh ﷺ began working towards eradicating idol worship and other evils from society. There is a need for able individuals to reform the entire society and do away with the evils prevalent therein. For this purpose there must be a group that is able to work upon a strong and organized foundation.

Rasūlullāh ﷺ began preparing a group that would be adorned with his blessed teachings. That special group was subsequently prepared. They were the Ṣaḥābah raḍiyallāhu ‘anhum. They had protected and preserved the statements, advices and actions of Rasūlullāh ﷺ within their bosoms as well as in written form. The Noble Qur’ān was revealed in their presence and they were its first recipients. The reasons surrounding the revelation of most of the Sūrahs in the Noble Qur’ān are linked to incidents related to these noble Ṣaḥābah raḍiyallāhu ‘anhum. Now, like all of the other Anbiyā’ ‘alayhim as-salām, Allāh Ta’ālā granted a natural death to Rasūlullāh ﷺ and has veiled him from this world.

Islām is the final dīn, i.e., religion, to be sent by Allāh Ta’ālā. Just as Rasūlullāh ﷺ is the final Nabī, similarly, Islām is the final dīn. The foundational principles and laws of this dīn will remain in effect remain until Qiyāmah. No Nabī will be newly deputed to the world, nor will another dīn appear.

With whom is the dīn that Rasūlullāh ﷺ left? In whose hands is it? Does it lie in safe hands? Does it stand unprotected?

After research and investigation, we come to realize and understand that this dīn was indeed placed in safe hands, i.e., it was passed on to the blessed and honourable Ṣaḥābah raḍiyallāhu ‘anhum.

Why is it protected? In the plain of Badr, the Ṣaḥābah raḍiyallāhu ‘anhum successfully defended this dīn. When their numbers increased a few thousandfold, they faced hundreds of thousands of the enemy force’s numbers. Upon the demise of Rasūlullāh ﷺ from this earthly abode, they numbered approximately one hundred and twenty-four thousand. They had become a strong and fortified barrier before the entire world of disbelief. Thus we understand that this dīn was passed on and placed into the safe hands of the companions of Rasūlullāh ﷺ. It was an established reality that the Ṣaḥābah raḍiyallāhu ‘anhum had become the foundation of the dīn which Rasūlullāh ﷺ was sent with.

The Noble Qur’ān and Blessed Aḥādīth were conveyed to the Ummah by the Ṣaḥābah raḍiyallāhu ‘anhum. They conveyed it accurately and diligently. They endured every form of difficulty that befell them with a smiling face. They had sacrificed their homes, wives and children in order to spread this dīn to the entire world.

Today, the graves of these Ṣaḥābah raḍiyallāhu ‘anhum are found in various countries all around the world. This is manifest proof that they had journeyed out with the firm intention of spreading and conveying this dīn to the rest of humanity. If the honour and respect of these Ṣaḥābah raḍiyallāhu ‘anhum is not protected, how will this dīn remain protected? How will love for the Ṣaḥābah raḍiyallāhu ‘anhum become ingrained into the hearts of the new generation?

When love for the Ṣaḥābah raḍiyallāhu ‘anhum leaves the hearts of this Ummah, the Ummah will thereafter fall prey to innovations and polytheistic customs. Therefore, it becomes our binding duty to stand up and defend the honour of the Ṣaḥābah raḍiyallāhu ‘anhum. We must dedicate our lives, wealth and time to the cause of defending the honour of the Ṣaḥābah raḍiyallāhu ‘anhum. We must defend the honour of the Ṣaḥābah raḍiyallāhu ‘anhum so valiantly and vehemently that none of the forces of disbelief and evil are ever able to dent or damage this fortified wall and fort of Islām.

Why is it obligatory to defend the Ṣaḥābah raḍiyallāhu ‘anhum? Let us study the reasons presented in the pagesthat follow. Let us memorise the main points and also convey this message to every Muslim.

We claim to be soldiers defending the honour of the Ṣaḥābah raḍiyallāhu ‘anhum, but when someone asks us why it’s necessary to defend the honour of the Ṣaḥābah raḍiyallāhu ‘anhum, we have no answer to give them. Nothing will result from empty emotional slogans. Make this your mission and disseminate the message to every home. May Allāh Ta’ālā be our aid and support. Āmīn.

Rabb Nawāz Ṭāhir

24 Shawwāl 1421 ǁ 19 January 2001

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One: Defending The Ṣaḥābah raḍiyallāhu ‘anhum Is Defending Islam

Ḥāfiẓ Ibn Ḥajar ‘Asqalānī raḥimahullāh mentions the statement of Imām Abū Zur’ah Rāzī raḥimahullāh in the preface to his monumental work, Al-Iṣābah:

إذ رأيت الرجل ينتقص أحدا من أصحاب رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فاعلم أنه زنديق وذلك أن الرسول حق والقرآن حق وما جاء به حق وإنما أدى إلينا ذلك كله الصحابة وهؤلاء يردون أن يجرحوا شهودنا ، ليبطلوا الكتاب والسنة والجرح بهم أولى ، وهم زنادقة

‘When you witness anyone criticizing the companions of Rasūlullāh ﷺ, then understand that he is a zindīq, i.e., a disbelieving heretic. The reason for this is that Rasūlullāh ﷺ is the true messenger, the Qur’ān is true, and the religion Rasūlullāh ﷺ was sent with is true. All of these have been conveyed to us by the Ṣaḥābah raḍiyallāhu ‘anhum. Therefore, the Ṣaḥābah raḍiyallāhu ‘anhum are witnesses for Risālat for us. These people criticize our witnesses and desire to render the Noble Qur’ān and Sunnah void. Hence these people are worthy of scorn and criticism. They are irreligious heretics.’

In essence, our religion has been sent down by Allāh Ta’ālā. It has reached us through a number of means. It can only be possible to have absolute reliance upon this dīn when it has reached us through reliable means and channels. The Ṣaḥābah raḍiyallāhu ‘anhum are the first means between Rasūlullāh ﷺ and the Ummah. If they are not reliable, then nothing from the religion will be reliable. Hence, when the reliability of the Ṣaḥābah raḍiyallāhu ‘anhum has been criticized and targeted, then, in reality, dīn itself has been criticized and targeted.

We must defend and preserve their honour and reliability from being criticized and targeted as they were the first group of people in Islām who attested to the Risālat of Rasūlullāh ﷺ. This is so we can save the entire edifice of Islām from collapsing. This is the first reason why defending the Ṣaḥābah raḍiyallāhu ‘anhum is absolutely crucial.

We have thus identified the reality of defending the Ṣaḥābah raḍiyallāhu ‘anhum being, in essence, the same as defending Islām itself.

Two: Following the Way of Allah Ta’ala

Allāh Ta’ālā Himself defends the Ṣaḥābah raḍiyallāhu ‘anhum. Allāh Ta’ālā says:

وَإِذَا قِيلَ لَهُمْ آمِنُواْ كَمَا آمَنَ النَّاسُ قَالُواْ أَنُؤْمِنُ كَمَا آمَنَ السُّفَهَاء أَلا إِنَّهُمْ هُمُ السُّفَهَاء وَلَـكِن لاَّ يَعْلَمُونَ

And when it is said to them, “Believe as the people have believed,” they say, “Should we believe as the foolish have believed?” Unquestionably, it is they who are the foolish, but they know [it] not.[1]

In this verse, Allāh Ta’ālā addresses the hypocrites and other disbelievers, and instructs them to believe just as the Ṣaḥābah raḍiyallāhu ‘anhum have believed. However, the hypocrites and disbelievers retorted that the Ṣaḥābah raḍiyallāhu ‘anhum are foolish. In defense of the Ṣaḥābah raḍiyallāhu ‘anhum, Allāh Ta’ālā responds by attributing the reality of the words of these hypocrites and disbelievers to themselves, i.e., ‘it is they who are the foolish’.

We should copy this way and method of Allāh Ta’ālā. It is necessary to defend the Ṣaḥābah raḍiyallāhu ‘anhum through adopting this way. Today, if someone says that the Ṣaḥābah raḍiyallāhu ‘anhum are murtadd, then we should repeat the very same words for that person and openly declare that he or she is a murtadd. If they say that the Ṣaḥābah raḍiyallāhu ‘anhum are kāfir, then we should adopt the way of Allāh Ta’ālā and nothing should stop us from declaring that in fact, the person who uttered such a vile statement is a kāfir. If in doing so, some difficulty comes our way, then we should regard it to be a bounty and a blessing. It is a blessing in the sense that we are going through difficulty due to demonstrating the way of Allāh Ta’ālā.

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Three: The Ṣaḥābah raḍiyallāhu ‘anhum Are the Yardstick of Guidance

The Ṣaḥābah raḍiyallāhu ‘anhum are the yardstick of guidance for us. When the word ‘īmān’ is uttered, it refers to īmān like that of the Ṣaḥābah raḍiyallāhu ‘anhum. In the Noble Qur’ān, Allāh Ta’ālā says:

فَإِنْ آمَنُواْ بِمِثْلِ مَا آمَنتُم بِهِ فَقَدِ اهْتَدَواْ وَّإِن تَوَلَّوْاْ فَإِنَّمَا هُمْ فِي شِقَاقٍ فَسَيَكْفِيكَهُمُ اللّهُ وَهُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيمُ

So if they believe in the same as you believe in, then they have been [rightly] guided; but if they turn away, they are only in dissension, and Allāh will be sufficient for you against them. And He is the Hearing, the Knowing.[2]

The īmān of the Ṣaḥābah raḍiyallāhu ‘anhum is the yardstick for our īmān. This is clear from the verse of the Noble Qur’ān quoted above, i.e., the īmān of the Ṣaḥābah raḍiyallāhu ‘anhum is perfect.

Now, if we want to gauge our īmān, then we have to look at the Ṣaḥābah raḍiyallāhu ‘anhum. We have to extract and acquire guidance from their lives. If doubts and misgivings are created about the Ṣaḥābah raḍiyallāhu ‘anhum, then what yardstick will remain for us to gauge our īmān? From whom will we take guidance? Therefore, we have to guard and defend the honor of the Ṣaḥābah raḍiyallāhu ‘anhum. Then whoever questions the īmān of the Ṣaḥābah raḍiyallāhu ‘anhum, we shall first analyze his īmān and discuss it.

Four: The Ṣaḥābah raḍiyallāhu ‘anhum Are Our Benefactors

It is necessary and binding upon us to defend the Ṣaḥābah raḍiyallāhu ‘anhum because they are our benefactors. After they embraced Islām, the Ṣaḥābah raḍiyallāhu ‘anhum carried out an immeasurable service for this dīn and they experienced great difficulty due to this cause. They were successful in every test and trial that came their way. Allāh Ta’ālā blessed them in this world with the accreditation of His pleasure and happiness for them. He announces in the Noble Qur’ān:

رَّضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُمْ وَرَضُوا عَنْهُ

Allah is well-pleased with them and they are well-pleased with Him. (Sūrah al-Tawbah: 100)

When Allāh Ta’ālā announced His pleasure towards them, the Ṣaḥābah raḍiyallāhu ‘anhum did not go around saying they were worthy of Jannah and that they should henceforth just rest and enjoy themselves. Nay, these luminaries were concerned about the entire Ummah and they conveyed this dīn to us so that we could also become worthy of entry into Jannah. They bade farewell to any kind of rest for themselves and despite already having acquired success, they went through so much difficulty for our sake. They are our benefactors. Now, the right of this great favor of theirs is that we walk in their footsteps and whoever targets them with criticism and abuse, we challenge them and face them. Yesterday, they thought of us. Today, can we not think of them? Can we not defend them?

It is a very lowly deed to forget and disregard someone’s favor towards us. This is what people who have a spoilt nature do. A non-Muslim will not fall into such a filthy practice, let alone a Muslim. If the veil of expediency was not clouding our minds today and if our emotions were filled with īmānī honor, then no-one would have had the audacity to criticize and malign the blessed Ṣaḥābah raḍiyallāhu ‘anhum.

The Ṣaḥābah raḍiyallāhu ‘anhum left their homes and homeland out of concern for this Ummah and they travelled to far off lands and conveyed the treasure of īmān to us. Today, we are not prepared to disrupt our rest for their sake. We remain silent due to fear of prison and martyrdom. Honor and īmān demand that we defend our benefactors, otherwise the horrible stain of forgetting the favors done unto us will be our lot. It would be better to die than to live in such a state.

Five: Rasulallah ﷺ Was Prepared to Sacrifice Himself for a Ṣaḥābi raḍiyallāhu ‘anhu

The pledge of Riḍwān was taken for the sake of a Ṣaḥābī. The Ṣaḥābah raḍiyallāhu ‘anhum and Rasūlullāh ﷺ pledged to give their lives for the sake of Sayyidunā ‘Uthmān raḍiyallāhu ‘anhu. This pleadge teaches us the great status and position of a Ṣaḥābī. Just consider how many would have been martyred if a battle had ensued as a result of this pledge. In fact, Rasūlullāh ﷺ could have been martyred too. However, he ﷺ did not care about losing his life and presented himself in exchange of a Ṣaḥābī. From this we can understand the lofty rank and value of even a single Ṣaḥābī.

Is our life more valuable than the life of Rasūlullāh ﷺ? He ﷺ presented himself in defense of a Ṣaḥābī raḍiyallāhu ‘anhu and we say that saving our lives is also an obligation. Woe upon such a life. Whilst the Ṣaḥābah raḍiyallāhu ‘anhum are criticized and lambasted, the Muslims are living. On such an occasion, the sign of a Muslim should be that he or she makes it forbidden upon himself or herself to live enjoyably.

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Six: The Ṣaḥābah raḍiyallāhu ‘anhum Are the Protective Barrier for Nubuwwah

It is our belief that Rasūlullāh ﷺ strived for twenty-three years in preparing an honorable and great group. The group to which he passed on the responsibility to preserve and spread the dīn, the Noble Qur’ān and the guidance he brought, are undoubtedly reliable and noble. They are the primary link between him ﷺ and the Ummah. Whatever they did, it was in accordance to the dictates of dīn. If this group is presented as unreliable, then the results will be disastrous. It will lead to deviation. This is because we will then have to accept the following misguided notions:

  1. Rasūlullāh ﷺ failed in his Nubuwwah and his twenty-three-year effort was in vain;
  2. The deputation of Rasūlullāh ﷺ was in vain;
  3. The dīn of Rasūlullāh ﷺ came to an end when his eyes closed and the religion of Islām was buried with him. It did not carry on for even a moment after him; and
  4. If the group prepared by him ﷺ is not reliable and trustworthy, then the Noble Qur’ān as conveyed by them would also not be reliable. The Nubuwwah of Rasūlullāh ﷺ as transmitted by them would also not be above suspicion. No part of Islām could be unimpeachable as it has all reached us through them.

May Allāh Ta’ālā protect us from such blasphemy. Āmīn.

Every aspect of the Noble Qur’ān, Nubuwwah and Islām was conveyed and passed on through this group of luminaries. Therefore, whatever sect or group claims that the Ṣaḥābah raḍiyallāhu ‘anhum cannot be trusted and are not reliable, will certainly have corrupt beliefs and misguided ideas and notions. Such beliefs and misguided notions are proven to emerge from sects like the Khawārij and Shī’ah, both of which are known to criticise the Ṣaḥābah raḍiyallāhu ‘anhum.

If we choose to not defend the Ṣaḥābah raḍiyallāhu ‘anhum, then we will render our own religion unreliable and unworthy for the new generation. This is because the Ṣaḥābah raḍiyallāhu ‘anhum are the protective barrier of Nubuwwah. If this wall and barrier is broken, then Nubuwwah will not be protected. Thus, for the sake of protecting the Nubuwwah of Rasūlullāh ﷺ, it is an obligation upon us to defend the Ṣaḥābah raḍiyallāhu ‘anhum.

Seven: The Ṣaḥābah raḍiyallāhu ‘anhum Have Been Divinely Selected

From the entirety of humankind, Allāh Ta’ālā selected Rasūlullāh ﷺ specifically. Hence, he is the leader of humanity and the best of them. The book given to him is the best book. His religion is the best. His Ummah is the best. His era was the best. It follows from this that his companions were also the best. In a narration of Mustadrak Ḥākim vol.3 p.632, the following is mentioned:

Sayyidunā ‘Uwaym Ibn Sā‘idah raḍiyallāhu ‘anhu reports that Rasūlullāh ﷺ said: “Indeed Allāh selected me and He selected my companions for me. He chose some as my ministers and helpers. He made some my family relations. Whoever speaks ill of them, may the curse of Allāh, the angels and the entirety of humankind be upon him. On the Day of Qiyāmah, none of his farḍ or nafl actions will be accepted.”

We learn from this report that, just as Allāh Ta’ālā selected Rasūlullāh ﷺ from the entirety of mankind, in the same way, He selected the best and most elite people for the companionship of Rasūlullāh ﷺ. This select group are ranked as the best of humanity after the Anbiyā’.

Allāh Ta’ālā gave them the title of being the best of the Ummah. If there was any group more virtuous than the Ṣaḥābah raḍiyallāhu ‘anhum, Allāh Ta’ālā would have selected them for the companionship of His Messenger ﷺ. This is why criticism of the Ṣaḥābah raḍiyallāhu ‘anhum is also criticism of the selection carried out by Allāh Ta’ālā. It stands to reason that the people who criticize the selection of Allāh Ta’ālā, and look down upon the companions of the Rasūl ﷺ, will be deserving of the most severe warnings.[3]

Therefore, it is incumbent upon every Muslim to defend this special group selected by Allāh Ta’ālā – those chosen to be the companions of Rasūlullāh ﷺ.

Eight: The Ṣaḥābah raḍiyallāhu ‘anhum Are the Foundation & Root of Din

Defending the Ṣaḥābah raḍiyallāhu ‘anhum is the most important mission, because whatever we have of Islām today – all of it was acquired from Rasūlullāh ﷺ through the Ṣaḥābah raḍiyallāhu ‘anhum. If someone asks about the Noble Qur’ān; the testimony of faith; Ṣalāh; Zakāh; fasting; Ḥajj; the aḥādīth we practice upon; the jihad we consider obligatory; the Da’wah and Tablīgh we engage in; the Masājid and Madāris we frequent – what is the root and foundation of it all? What is the proof for it? Who witnessed it? Were they eye-witnesses or not? Are they reliable or not? A person who has īmān in his heart will reply that all of this has been passed down to us via a reliable and trustable means, i.e., the Ṣaḥābah raḍiyallāhu ‘anhum. The Ṣaḥābah raḍiyallāhu ‘anhum cannot be criticized. This is because the Noble Qur’ān and Rasūlullāh ﷺ testify that they are reliable and trustworthy. In order to accept every aspect of Islām to be correct and reliable, we must first believe and accept that the Ṣaḥābah raḍiyallāhu ‘anhum are reliable and trustworthy. Whoever feels that the Ṣaḥābah raḍiyallāhu ‘anhum are not reliable, he will have to separate himself from Islām. In order to save the great laws and principles of Islām, one must defend the honor and integrity of the Ṣaḥābah raḍiyallāhu ‘anhum.

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Final Word

In all of the ‘Aqīdah books of the Ahl-us-Sunnah wal Jamā’ah, it is clearly stated that we must have love for all of the Ṣaḥābah raḍiyallāhu ‘anhum. One must not mention them except with goodness and praise. One should never ever criticize them, find fault with them or malign them. Their varying degrees of virtue must be adhered to at all times. Defending the Ṣaḥābah raḍiyallāhu ‘anhum is a form of worship just as Ṣalāh is a form of worship.

May Allāh Ta’ālā bless us all with the ability to defend the honor of the Ṣaḥābah raḍiyallāhu ‘anhum at all times. May Allāh Ta’ālā bless us with the company of the Ṣaḥābah raḍiyallāhu ‘anhum, the Ahlu ‘l-Bayt and all the blessed luminaries of the Ummah in Jannah. Āmīn.

  1. Sūrah Al-Baqarah: 13
  2. Sūrah Al-Baqarah: 137
  3. Adapted from Shī’ah Sunnī Ikhtilāf aur Ṣirāt e Mustaqīm

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Shahid Nabi

Mashallah, a great article written by Mufti Abdullah. I have seen a lot of people becoming apologetic before shaih when it comes to defending Ṣaḥābah raḍiyallāhu, it is call time to call all those simp imams for not defending Ṣaḥābah raḍiyallāhu. We can’t tolerate their humiliaton in the name of Unity of Ummah

Zahid Hasan

Mufti Abdullah translated the article, didn’t write himself.


Mashallah,yes defending sahabas means a method of defeating hypocrite Muslims, liberal Muslims,bida’a Muslims,zindiq(heretics Muslims),sunnah deniers logic and rational is possible to defend Islam except defend through sahabas.