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The Sahabah in the Shi'ah's Perspective

When going through the topic of Sahabh without any prejudice or emotions, we see that the Shi'ah have given them the ranks ordained by the Qur'an and the Prophetic Sunnah and as obligated by reason. They (Shi'ah) have never charged them all with disbelief as done by the Ghulat, nor believed in their equity (adhalah) as a whole, as done by Ahl al-Sunnah wa al-Jam'ah.

In this respect, al-Imam Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi says: "Anyone ponders upon our opinion in regard of the Sahabah, comes to know that it is the most moderate of all, as we have never exceeded the proper bounds like the Ghulat who regarded all of them as infidels, nor gone to extremes as done by the Jamhur (Sunnah) who had confidence in all of them. The Kamalites and their in ghulluw have charged all the sahabah with impiety (kufr) and Ahl al-Sunnah believe in thejustice of every one who has heared or seen the the Prophet amaong Muslims absolutely, disputing with the hadith (Every creeping and walking of them all)

But for us, though seeing the (prophet's) companionship in itself as a laudable virtue but not impecabling, we opine that the sahbah are like other people including the just ones represented by their magnates and scholars, and the tyrants and the culprits from among the hypocrites and also those of unknown condition, but we reason with their just ones and follow their guide in the world and Hereafter.

Regarding the bughat (oppressors) against the wasi (executor) and Prophet's brother, and all culprits like Ibn Hind, Ibn al-Nabigah, Ibn al-Zarqa', Ibn 'Aqabah and Ibn Arta'ah and their likes, we never hold any weight for them nor give their hadithany consideraion. In regard of that whose condition is unknown (maghul al-hal), we never judgehim unil getting acquaited with his nature.

This is our view in regard of the traditionists among the Sahabah, relying upon the Qur'an and Sunnah as an avidence for it, as elaborated in the arguments in Usul al-fiqh. The Jumhur have exaggerated in sanctifying every one they have call a Sahabi, to the extent exceeding moderation, as they have offered for argument the lean and the corpulent, blundly follolwing the guide of every Muslem who heard or saw the Prophet (S), disapproving anyone contradicting them in this ghuluww (excess), going too far on this disapproval.

Their severest denial against us comes when we refute the hadith of a large number of Sahabah, expressing their untruthfulness or being of unknown state, acting according to the legal duty that calls for investigating the religious realities, and searching for the veracious (sahih) Prophetic traditions.

This has prompted them to look at us with mistrust and susoucion, accusing us with many charges through divination and out of ignorance (jahl). But had they come to their senses and referred to bases of knowledge, they would have realized that no evidence is there to prove the originality of justice ('adalah) among the Sahabah. If they deliberate on the holy Qur'an, they will find it replete with references to the hypocrites among them, like surat al-al-'Ahzab and others''. (End of Sharaf al-Din's quotation).

Dr. Hamid Hafni, the Head of Arabic Department in 'Ayn al-Shams University in Cairo, says: ''But the Shi'ah view the Sahabah like other Muslims with no difference, on account of justice balance, with which the acts of Sahabah and of their successors are weighed. The Companionship in itself can't render its owner any virtue unless he deserves it, and being competent for indertaking the mission of the Shari'ah (S), including the infallibles, such as the Imams who enjoyed the Messenger's company, like 'Ali and his sons (A). They include also the equitables, who have been kind companions for 'Ali after the Prophet's demise.

They include too the truthful mujtahid and the mistaken one, the debauches, and the zindiq who is uglier and more wicked than the debauchee, that includes the hypocrites who worship God upon a narrow marge, and also the infidels, who have never repented of their hypocricy, and those who have apostatized after being Muslims.

The meaning we get from this, is that the Shi'ah -who constitute a big majourity of worshippers -judge all Muslims through one criterion, without differentiating between a Sahabi (companion) and Tabi'i (follower) and a letter, safeguarding its owner in his belief (against error).

On this solid basis, they (the Shi'ah )- following their ijtihad- permitted criticizing the Sahabah, and investigating the level of their justice, beside allowing themselves to find fault with some of the Companions who have violated the requirements of companionship, and turned away from the affection toward Al Muhammad (S). Why not, while the holy Messenger says: [I am leaving behind among you two things, if you hold on to them you will never go astray: the Book of Allah and my Kindered ('Itrah), my Household, for indeed, the two will never seperate until they come back to me by the Pond. So watch out how you treat these two after me.] Based on this hadith and its like, they consider many companions to have contradicted it through persecuting the Household of Muhammad, and their reviling some of the 'Itrah. Therefore how can such opposers enjoy the honour of companionship, and how can they be branded with 'adalah (justice) ?!This is the quintessence of the Shi'ah's opinion in denying some Companions of the trait of justice, and such are the factual sceintific reasons upon which they have founded their proofs".

In another place, Dr. Hamid Hafni confesses that reproaching or doubting the Sahabah, has not been innovated by the Shi'ah alone, when he says: "In the past he Mu'tazilah have practiced such criticism beside other doctrinal problems, being unsatisfied with criticizing the Sahabah in general but even Caliphs themselves, the practice for which they had opponents and supporters. Criticizing the Sahabah used to be -during the early centuries- followed only by those who were firm in knowledge, particulary the Mu'tazilah 'ulama', preceeded by the heads of the Shi'ah and chiefs of the fanatics towards Muhammad's Household.

I have indicated, at another place, that the theologians and Mu'tazilah shyakhs used to be 'alah (pauper) sustaining and Shi'ah leaders from the first century (H). So the matter of criticising the Sahabah is originated by tashayyu' for Muhammad's Household, but not for tashayyu, itself, since the Shi'ah of Al Muhammad have been known of their profoundity in the sciences of doctrines, due to their getting from the resources of Ahl al-Bayt Imams, who represent the pristine source and plentiful spring (of knowledge) of which all the Islamic cultures have drunk from the advent of Islam up to date". 282Here the speech of Dr. Hamid (Hafni) Dawud is over.

I believe that every truth-seeker should open the gate of critism and tajrih (sacrasm), as otherwise he will be curbed from entering it, exactly like the case of Ahl al-Sunnah wa al-Jam'ah, who have exaggerated in believing in the justice of the Sahabah, without any verification or investigation into the their states, the fact that caused them to remain too far from the truth till the present time.

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282. Al-Sahabah fi nazar al-Shi'ah al-'Imamiyyah, p.8 and onwards.

Adapted from the book: "The Shi'ah; The Real Followers of the Sunnah" by: "Dr. Muhamad al-Tijahi al-Samawi"

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