You are on page 1of 7

Are

there Hypocrites
among
the Prophet's
Companions?
²²²

by Muhammad Al-khider
The following verse of the Holy Qur’an suffices as an answer to the above-
presented question: Allah Almighty says in the Holy Qur’an: “The vanguard
(of Islam) the first of those who forsook (their homes) and those who gave
them aid, and (also) those who followed them in (all) good deeds, well-
pleased is Allah with them, as are they with Him. For them hath He
prepared gardens under which rivers flow, to dwell therein forever; that is
the supreme felicity. Certain of desert Arabs round about you are hypocrites
as well as (desert Arabs) among the Madinah folk; they are obstinate in
hypocrisy. Thou knowest them not; We know them: Twice shall We punish
them: and in addition shall they be sent to a grievous penalty.” (9: 100-101)
In the aforementioned verses, Allah Almighty put the Muhajirs (those who
forsook their homes in Makkah and emigrated to Madinah,) and the Ansa’r
(the citizens of Madinah who rendered a helping hand to the emigrants) on
one scale of the balance, and the obstinate hypocrites among the desert
Arabs and the hypocrites of Madinah, on the other pan of the balance.
Hence, it became incontrovertible to the Sunni Muslims that the title
“Sahabah” is not bestowed except on those who met the Prophet (PBUH),
believed in him and died in the state of full belief, worship and obedience to
Allah Almighty. However, hypocrites cannot be referred to as Sahabah
(Companions of the Prophet) simply because they concealed their disbelief
and revealed Islam (Peaceful submission to the Will of Allah and His
commands). Any body who dissembled and became a hypocrite during
Prophet Muhammad’s era cannot whatsoever be endued the title Sahabiy.
The bona-fide companions of the Prophet (PBUH) are classified into two
major categories according to the Shiite Belief. The following is the
illustration:
First: the rightly guided companions who neither recanted nor retraced their
steps after the demise of the Holy Prophet (Peace be upon him). Those are
not less than three and no more than seven, according to the Shiite sources.
Imam Al-Kalbiy narrated in Al-Ka’fiy (one of the reliable and credible
Shiite Sources of Hadith) that: It was reported that Hamr’an bin A’yun
said: I said to Abu Ja’far (may peace be upon him): “May God make me
your ransom, what a small community we are! If we all assemble at a sheep
for a meal, we cannot finish it.” Abu-Ja’far replied: “Should I tell you of a
more amazing fact than that? The Muhajirs (those who emigrated from
Makkah to Madinah) and the Ans’r (the inhabitants of Al-Madinah who
received and helped the Muhajirs), have all renounced their religion except
three of them.” (Al-Ka’fi 2/191, section, Rearing of the Believers)
Al-Ka’shiy also narrated in his book about the rightly guided companions as
follows: It was reported by Hana’n bin Sadeer from his father that Ja’far
(on him be peace) said: “All the people defected from their religion after the
death of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) except three.” Who are those three? I
interjected. He replied: “Al-Miqda’d bin Al-As-wad, Abu Dharr Al-
Ghifa’riy, and Salma’n Al-Fa’risiy.”
There is a myriad of texts which indicate that the aforementioned
companions of the Prophet were followed in the course of clinging to the
right path after the Prophet’s demise by four others. Thus, the number of the
true devoted believers reached seven, according to the Shiite standards. To
confirm the aforementioned Shiite illusion, many narratives have been
quoted. The following is one of them: It was reported that Al-Ha’rith bin
Al-Mugheerah An-Nasiriy said: “I heard Abdul-Ma’lik bin A’yun ask
Abu Abdallah [on him be peace] a number of questions until he reached the
statement: So did people recant their faith?” To this, Abu Abdullah replied:
“Yes, I swear by the name of God, they did defect from their faith except
three of the companions of the Prophet (PBUH). Then they were shortly
followed by: Al-Hussein bin Al-Mundhir (Abu Sa’sa’n), Amma’r bin
Ya’ser, Shateerah and Tha’labah bin Amr (Abu-Shateerah). Thus, the
number totaled seven.
All of the Shiite texts regarding this matter are unanimous that the number
of the sincere devoted believers among the ranks of the Prophet’s
Companions did not exceed seven. Abu-Ja’far said: “Therefore, they were
only seven, and no body except those seven knew the rights of the Leader of
the Believers viz. Ali bin Abi Ta’lib, save those seven committed sincere
companions of the Prophet.” (Rija’l Al-Kishiy, pages 11&12)
Hence, Abu Abdullah used to swear by the name of God to prove the
veracity of that unfounded claim. He said: “I swear by the name of God
Almighty, no body fulfilled his pledge of allegiance and obedience to Ali
bin Abi Ta’leb save seven people.” (Biha’r Al-Anwa’r 22/322)
Worthy of mention, is that those seven men, especially the first three,
namely: Al-Miqda’d, Amma’r, and Abu Dharr, amazingly were not
treating each other like brethren who are affiliated to one faith and creed. It
was reported in the book of “Rija’l Al-Kishiy that the Leader of the
Believers (Ali bin Abi Ta’leb) said: “O Abu Dharr! If it so happened that
Salma’n Al-Fa’risiy revealed to you what he knew, you could instantly
state:“May God’s grace be on he who kills Salma’n,” out of jealousy. It
was also reported that Abu Baseer said: “I heard Abu Abdallah [on him be
peace] say: “God’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) said: “O Salma’n! If
your knowledge were to be exposed to Miqda’d bin Al-Aswad, he would
have become an infidel. O Miqda’d! If your knowledge were to be revealed
to Salma’n, he would have forsaken Islam.” (Rija’l Al-Kishiy, page 11)
Hence, they dealt with each other by utmost disguise and concealment of
their thoughts, knowledge and agenda. It was reported by Ja’far that his
father said: I mentioned disguise and concealment once in front of Ali [on
him be peace], so he said: “If it so happened that Abu Dharr knew what was
in the heart of Salma’n, he would obviously murder him.” He mentioned
this of them despite the fact that Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him)
had established brotherhood between both of them in Madinah. Therefore,
what do you think of the rest of human-folk? Even those seven sincere
devoted companions of the Holy Prophet did fein ignorance of each other
and concealed whatever they knew in awe of being envied. We confer from
the Shiite narratives that the companions of the Holy Prophet who did not
recant after his death were seven in number; viz. Al-Miqda’d bin Al-
Aswad, Amma’r bin Ya’ser, Abu Dharr Al-Ghifa’riy, Salma’n Al-
Fa’risy, Al-Hussein bin Al-Mun’dhir (Abu Sa’sa’n), Tha’labah bin
Amru (Abu Umrah, the Helper inhabitant of Madinah) and Shateerah.
The second category comprises the hypocrite and dissembler companions.
Their hypocrisy was two pronged; either as spawn of their own vested
interests and great desire for the luxury of this ephemeral world or hypocrisy
in belief as a result of hatred geared against Islam. Regarding this category,
whether you consider it one or two categories, in Islamic perspective, they
are an ignominious, despised and held in indignation as one clique
conspiring against Islam. According to the Shiite Belief, the rest of the
Prophet’s Companions fall under the second category except the
aforementioned seven of them.
Under the influence of such classification, a question presents itself as
follows: If only a few of the companions were sincere and good and the
majority of them were over-ridden by hypocrisy and their own vested
interests, then which type of Prophet’s Companions does the Holy Qur’an
praise explicitly and profusely a couple of times?
I do not expect anyone to answer that: the Holy Qura’n, in its continual
praise of the companions was referring only to a minority of them who do
not exceed seven. That is simply because if there happens to be in a corrupt
and wicked society, a small minority of righteous men, it cannot wholly be
judged as a good, righteous and prosperous society.
Therefore, how can the Holy Qura’n praise the rightly guided companions of
the Holy Prophet and give them glad tidings that their abode is Paradise
beneath which rivers flow, while they are of a mean and debased caliber?
From where did this classification come? Did it come from the Holy Qur’an
or from the Sunnah (traditions and narratives of the Holy Prophet)? Or they
are rather mere false fancies and caprices of the Shiite Adherents!
Another question that can be presented is: Had the hypocrites, as many as
we have earlier stated, ran the state after the sorrowful demise of the Holy
Prophet (PBUH), and as such held high ranking positions in the state
portfolios. Then how comes that Islam spread all over the world and
eventually the flags of disbelief hang half-mast high due to the collapse of
the infidel empires of Persia and Rome?
I would like herein to draw the attention of the reader to the following fact:
Hypocrites during the era of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) were
not an anonymous community; they were rather an uncovered and
dishonored cabal. Some of them were exposed personally and others were
unmasked by their taints and ill qualities mentioned in the Holy Qur’an. God
Almighty unveiled the marks of the hypocrites in both chapters of the Holy
Qur’an viz. “At-Tawbah” which was known as “the Revealer and
Destroyer, due to the fact that it exposed their tainted qualities and
intrigues. Thereafter, the status of the believers among the rightly guided
companions of the Holy Prophet was mentioned with God Almighty’s
certification. In addition to that, chapter “Al-Munafiqoon”, was revealed
primarily to address the ring leader of the hypocrites, Abdallah bin Ubayy
bin Salool and his henchmen, as mentioned by At-Tabrisiy, one of the most
reputed Shiite Interpreters of the Holy Qur’an. (Muj’maa Al-Baya’n Fiy
Tafseer Al-Qur’an, page 85)
As far as Surat (chapter) At-Tawbah is concerned, it did obliterate the traces
of the hypocrites and revealed many of their marks and ill qualities in many
verses therein. Allah Almighty says in the Holy Qur’an: “Those who
believe in Allah and the Last Day ask thee for no exemption from
fighting with their goods and persons… until: “And indeed Hell
surrounds the Unbelievers (on all sides) (9: 49)
This suffices to reveal to you the quirks and tainted qualities of the
hypocrites. It is crystal-clear that the sincere devout companions of the Holy
Prophet had all gone out to fight in the expedition of Tabook. At the outset,
Abu Dharr and Abu Khaithamah had slackened and eventually decided to
trace the blazing trail of the Prophet (PBUH). Among the slackers in the
beginning were as follows: Ka’b in Ma’lik, Hilal bin Umayyah, and
Mar’arah bin Rabeei. They were all among the Ansariy folk (those who
received, helped and sheltered the Prophet and his companions in
Madinah), whose repentance Allah Almighty accepted and forgave them
eventually. God Almighty says in the Holy Qur’an: “(He turned in mercy
also) to the three who were left behind; (they felt guilty) to such a degree
that the earth seemed straitened to them, for all its spaciousness, and
their (very) souls seemed straitened to them. And they perceived that
there is no fleeing from Allah (and no refuge) but to Him. Then He
turned to them, that they might repent: For Allah is Oft-Returning,
Most Merciful.” (9: 118)
It is enough for us to mention herein that Allah Almighty, revealed to His
entire believing folk all the characteristics, marks and the true state of the
hypocrites’ affairs, after they had been secretly plotting and intriguing
against Islam and Muslims. Allah the Omniscient says in the Holy Qur’an:
“Or do those in whose hearts is a disease, think that Allah will not bring
to light all their rancour? Had We so willed, we could have shown them
up to thee, and thou shouldst have known them by their marks: But
surely thou wilt know them by the tone of their speech! And Allah
knows all that ye do.” (47: 29-30)
Therefore, this meaning is confirmed in the interpretation of Al-Ayashi (one
of the resounded Shiite Scholars) of the following verse: “For Allah loves
those who turn to Him constantly, and He loves those who keep
themselves pure and clean.” (2: 222)
It was reported that Salma’n said: “I was once with Abu Jaafar (on him be
peace), when Hanra’n bin Aayun entered and inquired about many things.
When Hamra’n was about to depart, he said to Abu Jaafar (on him be
peace): “Explain to us, may Allah prolong your life and make us enjoy your
company, the wisdom behind the fact that whenever we come to you, no
body vacates but with a tender heart and think no more about the gains of
this fleeting world. Moreover, we do not heed and give much concern to
what people possess of the material things of this transient world. However,
after we depart from you and intermingle with the laity and men of trade in
their hustle and bustle, suddenly our hearts become pawns of love for the
world.” He said: “Then Abu Jaafar (on him be peace) replied: “Indeed our
hearts are susceptible to temptation; sometimes they easily defy inclination
towards worldly gains and sometimes it is hard for them to resist any
temptation.”
Then Abu Jaafar (on him be peace) went on to say: “Verily the rightly
guided and sincere companions of the Holy Prophet (Peace be upon him)
said to him: “O messenger of God! We are afraid that we might be bearing
some traits of hypocrisy!” He replied: “Why should you fear that?” They
said: “In your presence when you admonish us we feel apprehensively
dreaded, as such we forget all the worldly interests as though we are
witnessing the hereafter, paradise and Hell-fire. But when we depart from
you and enter our houses that we find fragrant with the scent of our children,
spouses and presence of wealth, we tend to forget everything as though
nothing had happened. Don’t you think that the aforementioned qualities
might be among the signs of hypocrisy?
The messenger of God (Peace be upon him) calmed them down by saying: “Nay, those
are the evil steps taken by Devil [Old Nick] to awaken your desire for this
ephemeral world. I swear by the name of Allah Almighty, had it so happened that
you stayed perpetually in the same situation during your presence with me, as you
have earlier explained, then the angels would have shaken hands with you, and you
would be walking above water. Had it not been that you commit mistakes and ask
for forgiveness from Allah Almighty, He would have created instead of you other
people who would commit mistakes after which they would seek His forgiveness.
And surely He would forgive them.” Indeed a true believer is the one who after being
tempted to commit evil, returns often to Allah the Exalted for forgiveness. Don’t you read
the verse wherein God Almighty says: “For Allah loves those who turn to Him
constantly.” (2: 222) and the verse: “Seek ye the forgiveness of your Lord and turn to
Him in repentance?” (11: 03)