The Sahabah al-Kirām are from amongst those eminent people concerning whom Almighty Allah has declared his eternal satisfaction and blessings in the Holy Quran. Therefore, anyone who challenges the honour and status of these great souls has indeed challenged the decree of Almighty Allah.
- Hadhrat Abu Hurairah رضي الله عنه narrates that Rasūlullah صلى الله عليه و سلم said: “Do not revile my companions. By (Allah) in Whose Hand my soul is! If any one of you spends gold (piled up) like (mount) ‘Uhud it will not equal to a pint of their charity, nor its half.” (Muslim Shareef: 6651)
- Hadhrat Abdullah Ibn Umar رضي الله عنه narrates that Rasūlullah صلى الله عليه و سلم said: “When you see anybody reviling and cursing my companions, you must say, ‘ May Allah’s curse be upon your mischief and malice’.” (Tirmidhi Shareef: 4240)
- Abdullah Ibn Mughaffal رضي الله عنه narrates that Rasūlullah صلى الله عليه و سلم said: “Fear Allah in every matter concerning my Companions. Do not make them the targets (of your criticism) after me. Whoever loves them, loves them out of love for me, and whoever hates them, hates them out of hatred for me. Whoever harms them has indeed harmed me and whoever harms me has harmed Allah; and whoever harms Allah, it is imminent that Allah will seize him.” (Tirmidhi Shareef: 4263)
- Uwaym Ibn Saa’idah رضي الله عنه narrates that Rasūlullah صلى الله عليه و سلم said: “Allah Ta’ala selected me as his Nabi and he selected his best servants to be my companions, they are my representatives, some are my helpers and some are related to me. Whoever reviles them, may Allah’s and His angels curse be upon him. None of his deed will be accepted on the day of Qiyaamah.” (Mustadrak al-Hakim: 6656)
Hadhrat Abdullah Ibn Umar رضي الله عنه stated that: “He, who wishes to follow anyone, let him follow the companions of Muhammad صلى الله عليه و سلم as they were the most prestigious of this Ummah. Their heart were the purest, their knowledge the most profound and they did not portray any formality. Allah Ta’ala had chosen them for the companionship of his beloved Nabi صلى الله عليه و سلم and for the propagation of his blessed Deen. Imitate their characters and follow their way of life, for I swear by the lord of the Ka’bah, the Sahābah al-Kirām of Rasūlullah صلى الله عليه و سلم were truly on the path of guidance. (al-Hilyā al-Awliyāh: Vol 1: pg. 305)
Hadhrat Abdullah Ibn Mas’ūd رضي الله عنه narrates that Allah Ta’ala looked at the hearts of mankind, and chose Muhammad صلى الله عليه و سلم to be his messenger, then Allah Ta’ala looked at the hearts of mankind and chose the Sahabah al-Kirām رضي الله عنهم and blessed them with his companionship. (al-Mu’jam al-kabīr lil al-Tabrāni: 8583)
Whilst the collective sacrifices and favours of the Sahābah upon the Ummah are innumerable, some individuals from this shining galaxy excelled in their services to the Deen of Allah and especially to the Ummah more than others. Amongst these champions of Islam was Hadhrat Amir Muāwiyyah Ibn Abi Sufyan رضي الله عنه, whose status and prestige in the blessed court of Rasūlullah صلى الله عليه و سلم was such that he was amongst those elite companions to whom the magnanimous task of preserving the divine revelation of the Quran Shareef in written form was entrusted. The nature of this task was such that he spent endless hours in the blessed company of the greatest reformer to ever have walked the surface of the earth, thus enabling his personality and character to be developed in the most favorable environment anyone could ever imagine.
GLAD TIDINGS FROM THE BLESSED LIPS OF RASŪLULLAH i
The love and affection which the beloved Rasūl of Allah صلى الله عليه و سلم had for him may be gauged from the following supplications and incidents:
- Once Rasūlullah صلى الله عليه و سلم supplicated: “O Allah! Make Muāwiyyah a means of guidance, make him one who is on guidance and bless people with guidance through him.” (Tirmidhi: 3842)
- On another occasion Rasūlullah صلى الله عليه و سلم sat on his camel and asked Hadhrat Muāwiyyah رضي الله عنه to sit behind him. After a while Rasūlullah صلى الله عليه و سلم remarked: Muāwiyyah! Which part of your body is touching with mine?” He answered: “O Rasūlullah! My bosom.” Thereupon, Rasūlullah صلى الله عليه و سلم supplicated: “O Allah! Bless him with great knowledge.” (al-Tārikh al-Islām of Imam al-Dhahabi: Vol 4: pg. 310)
- Once our beloved Nabi صلى الله عليه و سلم made the following Du’ā: “O Allah! Endow Muāwiyyah with special knowledge of the Qur’an and save him from any afflictions.” ( Ibn Hibbān:7110)
- His sister, Ummul Mu’mineen, Ummi Habibah رضي الله عنها was the beloved spouse of Rasūlullah صلى الله عليه و سلم . Once Rasūlullah صلى الله عليه و سلم came home and found that Hadhrat Muāwiyyah was visiting his sister. Rasūlullah صلى الله عليه و سلم asked her if she loved him, she replied that he is her brother and surely she loves him. It was on this occasion that Hadhrat Muāwiyyah received the following glad tidings, when the Nabi of Allah صلى الله عليه و سلم said: “Allah and his Rasūl صلى الله عليه و سلم love Muāwiyyah as well.” (al-Tabrāni)
- Once Rasūlullah صلى الله عليه و سلم advised Hadhrat Abu Bakr رضي الله عنه and Hadhrat Umar رضي الله عنه in the following words:” Consult Muāwiyyah رضي الله عنه in your affairs since he is trustworthy and reliable.” (al-Majma al-Zawāid: Vol 9: pg. 356)
- Imam al-Bukhari P has narrated that Rasūlullah صلى الله عليه و سلم is reported to have said that Jannah is compulsory upon the first army who will fight a naval battle from amongst my Ummah and Hadhrat Muāwiyyah رضي الله عنه was the emir of the first naval fleet to engage in nautical warfare during the Caliphate of Hadhrat Uthmān رضي الله عنه. (al-Fath al-Bāri)
- Rasūlullah صلى الله عليه و سلم sent 165 epistles to the kings and monarchs of his time, 133 of those 165 epistles were written by Hadhrat Muāwiyyah رضي الله عنه.
In essence, these Ahadith represents the prophecy of Rasūlullah صلى الله عليه و سلم in regards to the leadership of Hadhrat Muāwiyyah رضي الله عنه. Similar confidence was exhibited by Amir al-Mu’mineen, Hadhrat Umar Fārūq رضي الله عنه whose stringent requirements for leadership are well-known. He appointed Hadhrat Muāwiyyah as Governor, and the latter held this position throughput his life and that of Hadhrat Uthmān رضي الله عنه. Hadhrat Umar’s foresight and perception of character was remarkable and once he said: “ You praise the rulers of Persia and Rome and speak highly of their knowledge, whereas you have in your midst a man like Muāwiyyah رضي الله عنه.
Hadhrat Muāwiyyah hails from the Banu Umayyāh family of the distinguished tribe of Quraish. He is the son of Hadhrat Abu Sufyan رضي الله عنه, an honorable chieftain and uncle of Rasūlullah صلى الله عليه و سلم . He was born five years prior to the prophethood of Nabi صلى الله عليه و سلم . From an early age his parents realized that he bears extraordinary qualities of leadership, thus from his childhood his family encouraged him to seek various sciences of knowledge. He was from amongst the few Arabs who could read and write at the time. At the conquest of Makkah Mukarramah he openly announced his Islam as he had already accepted Islam before the conquest in the seventh year of the Hijrah, but for certain reasons he could not migrate to Madinah Munawwarah. It was because of his acceptance of Islam and belief in its pristine teachings that he did not side with the disbelievers at the battles of Badr, Uḥud and Ahzāb.
Once Rasūlullah صلى الله عليه و سلم sent Hadhrat Muāwiyyah رضي الله عنه along with the prince of Ghassān to fetch a parcel. Amīr Muāwiyyah رضي الله عنه did not have his shoes with him, he requested the prince to allow him to sit at the back of his horse or at least to borrow his shoes, but the prince replied that he is not befitting to sit next to him or even to wear his shoes. Hadhrat Muāwiyyah رضي الله عنه did not say a word to the prince’s supercilious remarks; instead he walked for a distance of six miles on the burning hot sand of Arabia to fulfill the request of his beloved Nabi صلى الله عليه و سلم . Upon his return, Rasūlullah صلى الله عليه و سلم inquired about what had happened, he then narrated the whole incident to Rasūlullah صلى الله عليه و سلم , upon which Allah’s beloved Nabi صلى الله عليه و سلم exclaimed:
أَحْلَمُ مِنْ أُمَتِيْ مُعَاِويَةُ
Muāwiyyah رضي الله عنه is the most forbearing from amongst my Ummah.
And thirty eight years later when the same prince was captured by the soldiers of Hadhrat Muāwiyyah رضي الله عنه, he did not seek retribution but on the contrary he released him with gifts and presents, upon which the prince of Ghassān became enamoured by the character of the student of Rasūlullah and readily accepted Islām.
EXPANSION OF THE ISLAMIC EMPIRE DURING THE KHILAFAH AL-RASHIDAH AND THE KHILAFAH OF HADHRAT AMIR MUAWIYYAH رضي الله عنه
There are a total of 196 countries in the world, out of which 50 to 53 are Muslim majority countries. The oceans take up around 139.9 million square miles and the sphere of dry land expands up to approximately, 57.5 million square miles (half of Earth’s land mass consists of areas uninhabitable to human beings).
- During the caliphate of Hadhrat Abu Bakr al-Siddīq رضي الله عنه (two years, three months and ten days) the Islamic empire covered a total distance of 11, 00,000 square miles.
- During the caliphate of Hadhrat Umar رضي الله عنه (ten years, six months and ten days) the Islamic empire covered a total distance of 22, 00,000 square miles.
- During the caliphate of Hadhrat Uthmān رضي الله عنه (approximately twelve years) the Islamic empire covered a total distance of 44, 00,000 square miles.
- During the caliphate of Hadhrat Ali رضي الله عنه (five and a half years) the Islamic empire covered a total distance of 44, 50,000 square miles.
- During the caliphate of Hadhrat Amir Muāwiyyah رضي الله عنه (19 years) the Islamic empire had expanded upon a total area of 64, 65,000 square miles. An imminent western historian by the name of Napoleon once commentated that the Muslims had conquered half of the world in less than fifty years. During, the caliphate of Hadhrat Muāwiyyah رضي الله عنه the Islamic banner was hoisted at 57,000 new territories. Great cities and nations such as, Kabul, Afghanistan, Russia, Cyprus, Rhodes (Greece), Sicily and Sudan etc…were conquered and introduced to Islamic civilization.
We may write for an eternity but the lives of these elite champions of Islam, especially the likes of Hadhrat Amir Muāwiyyah رضي الله عنه may never be contained within a few pages and lines, but certainly we can deduce from the above excerpt that Hadhrat Amir Muāwiyyah رضي الله عنه was a Sahābi (companion) of great stature and benevolence. Sadly, as seen Hadhrat Muāwiyyah is one such individual from amongst the Sahābah whose great personality, distinguished qualities and astounding credentials have not only been ignored but arduous efforts took place in concealing his accomplishments.
Most of the allegations for which he has been unjustifiably been blamed of take their roots in the difference of opinion that arose between Hadhrat Muāwiyyah and Hadhrat Ali رضي الله عنه. We have to realize that on both sides were imminent sahabah al-Kirām, all of whom were driven by the sincere belief of the veracity of their respective causes. The preposterous accusations leveled at him have actually been promoted by antagonist Shi’ites and baseless historical records. Unfortunately, many a time our own Muslim brethren falls prey to these cynical propagandas and in turn join the accursed group of people who vilifies the chosen companions of Rasūlullah صلى الله عليه و سلم . May Almighty Allah protect us all.
Most of the Historians such as Waqidi, Abu Mikhnaf, Saif Ibn Umar and Kalbi have filled their books with unsubstantiated historical fantasies and Shi’ite fabrications.
Hadhrat Mufti Muhammad Taqi Uthmāni Shb (Dāmat Barakātuhu) states that it is not permissible to ever discredit the Sahabah al-Kirām especially on the basis of historical records as these are matters of Islamic Belief wherein historical records have no weight and status. (Hadhrat Muāwiyyah d Aur Tarikhi Haqaaiq: pgs. 133-141)
After the battle of Siffīn, Hadhrat Ali رضي الله عنه said: “O people do not disregard the leadership of Muāwiyyah, for verily, if you lose him it would be as tragic as losing the limbs of your bodies.” (al-Bidayah wa al-Nihayah: Vol 8: pg. 131)
Ayyūb Sakhtiyāni رحمه اللہ once said: “Whosoever honours the sahabah can never be a Munāfiq. Whosoever reviles the sahabah, he is surely an innovator, Munāfiq or a wretched person. I am afraid that no good actions of such a person will be accepted by Allah Ta’ala, until he cleans his heart and begins loving them all.” (al-zawājir an ikhtirāf al-kabāir)
Qādhi Abu al-Fadl ‘Ayādh رحمه اللہ has quoted in his al-Shifā:
If we claim to revere and honour Rasūlullah صلى الله عليه و سلم , we must also respect his Sahabah. As Muslims, it is compulsory on us to appreciate the fact that we owe them, to follow them and to ask for forgiveness on their behalf. No doubt, they had their differences but we have no right to comment on them. We must beware of the stories forges by Shias, innovators and biased historians, whose mischievous motive is to slander the sahabah al-Kirām. We must never doubt the sincerity and honesty of the Sahabah, when we come across any event in history which likely might lower their status, we must explain it as far as we can and attribute it to sincere motives. We must always speak of their virtues and hold our tongues from uttering any possible comment that might insult their status. Rasūlullah صلى الله عليه و سلم has said: “Observe silence in regards to my companions (do not dishonor them).” (Vol 2: Pg. 52)
May Almighty Allah protect the Ummah from the enemies of Rasūlullah صلى الله عليه و سلم and his companions and may Allah Ta’ala bless us with sincere love for them.