I am writing this letter in response to your recent video, wherein you used a portion of Surah Abasa to justify the moral onslaught you have been launching against the honoured companions of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم).
While referring to Surah Abasa in the video, you said that the Prophet made a mistake by attending (preaching) to affluent unbelievers of Makkah at the expense of ignoring the great companion ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Umm Maktoom. You said that Allah mentioned and rebuked this mistake despite it being made by the Prophet.
According to you, this verse establishes that there is no caution to be taken in correcting and elaborately discussing the excesses and transgressions of the companions.
Let us agree that Allah corrected the Prophet as you have said. Allah is superior to the Prophet and He was the one that sent him to mankind. Therefore, He corrected His messenger.
In the same token, the Prophet corrected his companions. He did that in several occasions and the evidences abound both in the Qur’an and Sunnah. The Prophet is in position to do that because he is superior to them.
However, who are we to correct the companions? Besides, what are we correcting them for when correction does not benefit the dead?
You need to note that correction is always made to someone so they can rectify what they have done inappropriately.
Allah corrected (as you claimed) the Prophet in respect of the blind Sahabiy (Abdullah ibn Umm Maktoom), so the Prophet could rectify his endeavor in that regard. The Prophet also corrected his companions in his lifetime so they could amend their ways. Then, the correction was beneficial as it was directed at the concerned parties who expectedly adjusted towards it.
Agreed, the companions had some fracas among themselves in which some of them erred (may Allah be pleased with them all). If this had happened during the life of the Prophet, he would have corrected them and they would have also benefited from the correction by adjusting to what his right. This is what we call correction, and a meaningful, beneficial one at that.
But now that the companions are no more, what is the essence of (y)our correction of their errors? Does the dead hear the living? Do they have any such respite to amend anything there in the ‘heaven’? How does (y)our correction benefit them? They are no more alive, they cannot hear us, let alone acting upon our correction. So of what essence is it, please?
Like I said earlier, when someone errs and we want them to rectify their error, we only correct them when and if they are alive. An exception to this is when the errors have been presented as an instruction to be followed by people, in which case such errors will be corrected so the curator of it or his representative can amend them, accordingly.
I need to tell you that this is the case of your father, Sheikh Adam (may Allah have mercy on him), who wrote many books on Islamic subjects and variously erred in them. In fact, some of his errors are too grave to be ignored, especially those that have to do with core creedal issues. Unfortunately, you always throw tantrums each time such infelicities are pointed out by learned scholars.
But should he (Sheikh Adam) be corrected even though he is not alive? Yes! This is because he has made those errors in the books he wrote and these books have been published (with his permission) for consumption of the Muslim Ummah. So we need to correct whatever errors are there in order to save Muslims from being influenced by wrong information.
However, this is not the case with the Sahabah (رضي الله عنهم) on whom you have launched your attack. What transpired among them in excesses and transgressions, have not been presented by any scholar -past and present- so they can be followed. Those errors are mere occurrences of what a normal human being could fall into. So talking about it under the guise of correcting them is a stylish way of insulting, castigating, degrading and tongue-lashing them.
I will use a verse of Qur’an to clarify this point for you even though, you had also used the same verse against the Sahaba in a bid to justify your despicable argument to make us not pray for them by sayingرضي الله عنه at the mention of their names.
The verse is in Surah Al-Jumu’ah where Allah says:
وَإِذَا رَأَوْا تِجَارَةً أَوْ لَهْوًا انفَضُّوا إِلَيْهَا وَتَرَكُوكَ قَائِمًا ۚ قُلْ مَا عِندَ اللَّهِ خَيْرٌ مِّنَ اللَّهْوِ وَمِنَ التِّجَارَةِ ۚ وَاللَّهُ خَيْرُ الرَّازِقِينَ
And when they see some merchandise or some amusement [beating of Tambur (drum) etc.] they disperse headlong to it, and leave you (Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) standing [while delivering Jumu’ah religious talk (Khutbah)]. Say: “That which Allah has is better than any amusement or merchandise! And Allah is the Best of providers.” (Al-Jumu’ah:11)
In this verse, Allah tells us how the Sahabah left the Prophet standing, upon seeing some merchandise and other amusement. Of course, this is something that is unbecoming and it needs to be corrected. Therefore, Allah instructed the Prophet to correct them by letting them know that what He has for them is better than the merchandise or amusement they diverted to.
Now, let us do some analyses about this:
1. The companions erred because they are not infallible; they are not free from human errors.
2. They had to be corrected; so they will not persist in their mistake.
3. Allah corrected them through (or on the tongue of) His Prophet; Allah is the Almighty, Lord of the Universe. The Prophet is the best of mankind. So their verdict on anything or anybody is unquestionable.
4. For Allah to correct them, He instructed the Prophet thus;
قُلْ مَا عِندَ اللَّهِ خَيْرٌ مِّنَ اللَّهْوِ وَمِنَ التِّجَارَةِ ۚ
Say: That which Allah had is better than any amusement or merchandise
In other words, Allah instructed the Prophet to inform (refer to ‘Say’ in the verse) his companions of the reality of the matter (provision or Rizq) whose reason they mistakenly left the Prophet standing. And that is why he ended the verse with:
وَاللَّهُ خَيْرُ الرَّازِقِينَ
‘And Allah is the best of providers’
5. The companions were alive when Allah corrected them. And as such, the Prophet directed the admonition he received from Allah, to them and they equally listened to it. So they expectedly benefited from the correction. Meanwhile, it would have been considered a mere aspersion on their dignity, had Allah corrected them (referred to their error) after they had passed away. And it would not also have been considered as such if and only if Allah cited their repentance and His consent to same.
6. Lastly, they were corrected softly without their status being degraded.
This is what correction entails; it has to be made to the one who errs when they are alive. This is so they can benefit from it. It also has to be done softly, in a polite manner. This is evident in how Allah instructed the Prophet to correct his companions in that verse.
Unfortunately, it is this same verse you used to argue that these companions, are guilty of Nifaq (hypocrisy) thus saying that they do not deserve our righteous prayers (i.e رضي الله عنه)
If this purported error of theirs as indicated in this verse, amounts to anything of deficiency in their status, would Allah and then, His Prophet, not have declared that, accordingly? Are you insinuating that neither Allah nor His Prophet realised that they (the companions) were hypocritical, but you alone do? Are you trying to tell us that Allah is not accurate in His judgement or His Prophet is unfair in his dealing with his companions? Have you forgotten that the same Allah said regarding these exalted companions that:
رَّضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُمْ وَرَضُوا عَنْهُ
Allah will be pleased with them, and they with Him. (Al-Bayyina:8)
Even if they had erred and nothing has been said about Allah or His Prophet correcting them, has Allah not said this in their regard:
وَالَّذِينَ جَاءُوا مِن بَعْدِهِمْ يَقُولُونَ رَبَّنَا اغْفِرْ لَنَا وَلِإِخْوَانِنَا الَّذِينَ سَبَقُونَا بِالْإِيمَانِ وَلَا تَجْعَلْ فِي قُلُوبِنَا غِلًّا لِّلَّذِينَ آمَنُوا رَبَّنَا إِنَّكَ رَءُوفٌ رَّحِيمٌ
And those who came after them say: “Our Lord! Forgive us and our brethren who have preceded us in Faith, and put not in our hearts any hatred against those who have believed. Our Lord! You are indeed full of kindness, Most Merciful. (Al-Hashr:10)
Are you not among those who came after them (the companions)? Have they not preceded you in Faith? Do they deserve anything other than your prayers of forgiveness and mercy?
To be candid, Mudir, you are not correcting the companions; you are rather on a mission to castigate, downgrade them and cast aspersions on their integrity in the minds of unsuspecting Muslims, so they begin to sway from their path and follow its opposite, until become guilty of what Allah says here:
وَمَنْ يُشَاقِقِ الرَّسُولَ مِن بَعْدِ مَا تَبَيَّنَ لَهُ الْهُدَىٰ وَيَتَّبِعْ غَيْرَ سَبِيلِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ نُوَلِّهِ مَا تَوَلَّىٰ وَنُصْلِهِ جَهَنَّمَ ۖ وَسَاءَتْ مَصِيرًا.
And whoever contradicts and opposes the Messenger (Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) after the right path has been shown clearly to him, and follows other than the believers’ way, We shall keep him in the path he has chosen, and burn him in Hell – what an evil destination! (An-Nisa:115)
I repeat it: you’re not correcting the companions but you are vilifying them. You do not correct someone when they are no more alive except in a case when you criticise the opinions they share in their writing or speech as cited in respect of your father above. Anything other than this is vilification and in your own worse case, a culmination, because you lied against the companions in many instances.
In other words, when you speak of something that a person does erroneously after their demise, you are most likely trying to vilify them and let people be aware of their criminality and disvalue. This is the case each time Allah talks about the errors of the past generation, like the Children of Israel. He mentions their heresies in various portions of the Qur’an. But to let us know the rationale behind their mention, he says:
لُعِنَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا مِن بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ عَلَىٰ لِسَانِ دَاوُودَ وَعِيسَى ابْنِ مَرْيَمَ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ بِمَا عَصَوا وَّكَانُوا يَعْتَدونَ
Those among the Children of Israel who disbelieved were cursed by the tongue of Dawud (David) and ‘Îsa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary). That was because they disobeyed (Allah and the Messengers) and were ever transgressing beyond bounds. (Al-Maaidah:78)
If you ask me whether Allah has also mentioned the errors of his righteous servants in the Qur’an, even after they had passed away, I will say, yes. But does this mean that he also vilified them since they are dead? No!
Indeed, Allah has reported the errors of some of his righteous servants, including the Prophets they preceded Prophet Muhammad. However, the manner in which this mentioned is made and other circumstances following it, will tell us that Allaah did not mean to vilify them.
Rather, He wanted us to learn from them and also show our compassion towards them in form of prayers. This is why He often ends their story with the fact that they sought forgiveness from Him, which He granted them.
To make this clearer, when Allah tells us about what happened to Adam and his wife, Hawa, He mentioned their error clearly. Meanwhile, He capped the whole story with the mention of Adam’s request for forgiveness and His immediate approval of same. He says:
فَأَكَلَا مِنْهَا فَبَدَتْ لَهُمَا سَوْآتُهُمَا وَطَفِقَا يَخْصِفَانِ عَلَيْهِمَا مِن وَرَقِ الْجَنَّةِ ۚ وَعَصَىٰ آدَمُ رَبَّهُ فَغَوَىٰ
Then they both ate of the tree, and so their private parts became manifest to them, and they began to cover themselves with the leaves of the Paradise for their covering. Thus did Adam disobey his Lord, so he went astray.
ثُمَّ اجْتَبَاهُ رَبُّهُ فَتَابَ عَلَيْهِ وَهَدَىٰ
Then his Lord chose him, and turned to him with forgiveness, and gave him guidance. (Taa-Haa: 121-122)
The above verses indicate that Adam committed a sin but he was not left to persist in it. Rather he later repented. Allah says:
إِنَّهُ عَدُوٌّ مُّضِلٌّ مُّبِينٌ
He said: “This is of Shaitan’s (Satan) doing: verily, he is a plain misleading enemy.”
قَالَ رَبِّ إِنِّي ظَلَمْتُ نَفْسِي فَاغْفِرْ لِي فَغَفَرَ لَهُ ۚ إِنَّهُ هُوَ الْغَفُورُ
He said: “My Lord! Verily, I have wronged myself, so forgive me.” Then He forgave him. Verily, He is the Oft-Forgiving, the Most Merciful (Al-Qasas:15-16)
Similarly, Allah narrated the anger of Prophet Yunus and his wrong imagination that Allah will not punish him. Allah tells us that Yunus admitted he did something wrong. Meanwhile, he cried to Him and He forgave him by saving him from the darkness. Allah says:
وَذَا النُّونِ إِذ ذَّهَبَ مُغَاضِبًا فَظَنَّ أَن لَّن نَّقْدِرَ عَلَيْهِ فَنَادَىٰ فِي الظُّلُمَاتِ أَن لَّا إِلَـٰهَ إِلَّا أَنتَ سُبْحَانَكَ إِنِّي كُنتُ مِنَ الظَّالِمِينَ
And (remember) Dhun-Nun (Jonah), when he went off in anger, and imagined that We shall not punish him (i.e. the calamities which had befallen him)! But he cried through the darkness (saying): La ilaha illa Anta [none has the right to be worshipped but You (O, Allah)], Glorified (and Exalted) be You [above all that (evil) they associate with You]! Truly, I have been of the wrong-doers.”
فَاسْتَجَبْنَا لَهُ وَنَجَّيْنَاهُ مِنَ الْغَمِّ ۚ وَكَذَٰلِكَ نُنجِي الْمُؤْمِنِينَ
So We answered his call, and delivered him from the distress. And thus We do deliver the believers (who believe in the Oneness of Allah, abstain from evil and work righteousness). (Al-Anbiyaa:87-88)
In the same vein, Allah mentioned what Prophet Nuh did of wrongly attributing his defiant son to himself and further seeking Allah’s safety for him. Additionally, Allah states how He cautioned him. Meanwhile, he made us know that Nuh sought forgiveness afterwards which He expectedly granted. Allah says:
وَنَادَىٰ نُوحٌ رَّبَّهُ فَقَالَ رَبِّ إِنَّ ابْنِي مِنْ أَهْلِي وَإِنَّ وَعْدَكَ الْحَقُّ وَأَنتَ أَحْكَمُ الْحَاكِمِينَ
And Nuh (Noah) called upon his Lord and said, “O my Lord! Verily, my son is of my family! And certainly, Your Promise is true, and You are the Most Just of the judges.”
قَالَ يَا نُوحُ إِنَّهُ لَيْسَ مِنْ أَهْلِكَ ۖ إِنَّهُ عَمَلٌ غَيْرُ صَالِحٍ ۖ فَلَا تَسْأَلْنِ مَا لَيْسَ لَكَ بِهِ عِلْمٌ ۖ إِنِّي أَعِظُكَ أَن تَكُونَ مِنَ الْجَاهِلِينَ.
He said: “O Nuh (Noah)! Surely, he is not of your family; verily, his work is unrighteous, so ask not of Me that of which you have no knowledge! I admonish you lest you should be one of the ignorant.”
قَالَ رَبِّ إِنِّي أَعُوذُ بِكَ أَنْ أَسْأَلَكَ مَا لَيْسَ لِي بِهِ عِلْمٌ ۖ وَإِلَّا تَغْفِرْ لِي وَتَرْحَمْنِي أَكُن مِّنَ الْخَاسِرِينَ
Nuh (Noah) said: “O my Lord! I seek refuge with You from asking You that of which I have no knowledge. And unless You forgive me and have Mercy on me, I will indeed be one of the losers.” (Hud:45-47)
Likewise, Prophet Dawood erred by hastening to pass verdict before hearing from the other disputant who was involved in the case reported to him. Although, Allah mentions this in the Qur’an, he established the fact that Dawood sought forgiveness and He forgave him. Allah says:
وَظَنَّ دَاوُودُ أَنَّمَا فَتَنَّاهُ فَاسْتَغْفَرَ رَبَّهُ وَخَرَّ رَاكِعًا وَأَنَابَ
And Dawud (David) guessed that We have tried him and he sought Forgiveness of his Lord, and he fell down prostrate and turned (to Allah) in repentance.
فَغَفَرْنَا لَهُ ذَٰلِكَ ۖ وَإِنَّ لَهُ عِندَنَا لَزُلْفَىٰ وَحُسْنَ مَآبٍ
So We forgave him that, and verily, for him is a near access to Us, and a good place of (final) return (Paradise). (Saad:24-25).
At this juncture, it is pertinent to mention that all the Prophets of Allah are infallible in conveying His message. They neither concealed anything that Allaah had revealed to them, nor did they add anything from themselves.
However, as human beings, they make mistakes, so they are not free from human errors, though they are protected from commiting major sins including Shirk, Zina etc.
But as for minor sins, some of them committed it. Meanwhile, Allah did not leave them to persist in it; rather He pointed it out to them and they swiftly repented from it.
Or, are you not aware that Allah has also alluded the Prophet to the same error which the companions fell in (in Surah Al-Jumu’ah) on the basis of which you declared them as Munafiq, thus, undeserving of righteous prayers?
In case you do not know, Allah rebuked His Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) concerning the prisoners of war at Badr, sequel to which He revealed the following verses:
ما كَانَ لِنَبِيٍّ أَن يَكُونَ لَهُ أَسْرَىٰ حَتَّىٰ يُثْخِنَ فِي الْأَرْضِ ۚ تُرِيدُونَ عَرَضَ الدُّنْيَا وَاللَّهُ يُرِيدُ الْآخِرَةَ ۗ وَاللَّهُ عَزِيزٌ حَكِيمٌ
It is not for a Prophet that he should have prisoners of war (and free them with ransom) until he had made a great slaughter (among his enemies) in the land. You desire the good of this world (i.e. the money of ransom for freeing the captives), but Allah desires (for you) the Hereafter. And Allah is All-Mighty, All-Wise.
لَّوْلَا كِتَابٌ مِّنَ اللَّهِ سَبَقَ لَمَسَّكُمْ فِيمَا أَخَذْتُمْ عَذَابٌ عَظِيمٌ
Were it not a previous ordainment from Allah, a severe torment would have touched you for what you took
فَكُلُوا مِمَّا غَنِمْتُمْ حَلَالًا طَيِّبًا ۚ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ
So enjoy what you have gotten of booty in war, lawful and good, and be afraid of Allah. Certainly, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. (Al-Anfaal:67-69)
If you say that the companions are guilty of Nifaq because they left the Prophet when they saw some merchandise, can you allege the Prophet of same crime just because Allah says this in his regard along with his companions?
تُرِيدُونَ عَرَضَ الدُّنْيَا وَاللَّهُ يُرِيدُ الْآخِرَةَ
You desire the good of this world (i.e. the money of ransom for freeing the captives), but Allah desires (for you) the Hereafter. (Al-Anfaal:67)
Will you then say that the Prophet is a Munāfiq (hypocrite) [Allah’s refuge is sought]?.
إِنَّ هَـٰذِهِ تَذْكِرَةٌ ۖ فَمَن شَاءَ اتَّخَذَ إِلَىٰ رَبِّهِ
Verily, this (Verse of the Qur’an) is an admonition, so whosoever wills, let him take a Path to his Lord (Allah). (Al-Insaan:29)
2 Shawwal, 1442AH
14 May, 2021CE