Allah praises the companions of the Messenger sallallahu alaihi wa alihi wa sallam

In many places in the Qur’an, Allah praises the companions of the Messengersallallahu alaihi wa alihi wa sallam. He says, {But My mercy encompasses all things.  So I will decree it [especially] for those who fear Me and give zakah and those who believe in Our verses. Those who follow the Messenger, the unlettered prophet, whom they find written [i.e., mentioned] in what they have of the Torah and the Gospel, who enjoins upon them what is right and forbids them what is wrong and makes lawful for them the good things and prohibits for them the evil and relieves them of their burden and the shackles which were upon them. So they who have believed in him, honoured him, supported him and followed the light which was sent down with him – it is those who will be successful} [Al-A’raf: 156-157].

And Allah says, {Those [believers] who responded to Allah and the Messenger after injury had struck them.  For those who did good among them and feared Allah is a great reward.  Those to whom people [i.e. hypocrites] said, “Indeed, the people have gathered against you, so fear them.”  But it [merely] increased them in faith, and they said, “Sufficient for us is Allah, and [He is] the best Disposer of affairs.”} [Al ‘Imran : 172-173].

In another verse He says, {It is He who supported you with His help and with the believers.  And brought together their hearts.  If you had spent all that is in the earth, you could not have brought their hearts together, but Allah brought them together.  Indeed, He is Exalted in Might and Wise.} [Al-Anfal: 62-63].

He further says: {O Prophet, sufficient for you is Allah and whoever follows you of the believers} [Al-Anfal: 64].

He says: {You are the best nation produced [as an example] for mankind.  You enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and believe in Allah} [Al ‘Imran: 110].

A host of other verses in praise of the companions are present in the Qur’an.

The Shi’ites believe that the companions of the Prophet sallallahu alaihi wa alihi wa sallam were true believers during the life of the Prophet, and they only became apostates after that.

Oh, how wonderful! How could they agree on the false claim that all the companions became apostate after him? And for what reason?

How could they have helped the prophet in times of hardships and difficulties, sacrificing their souls as ransom for him, but then become apostates immediately after his death, and without any specific reason?

The only reason the Shi’ites could mention is that they became apostates because they agreed to pledge their allegiance to Abu Bakr radiyallahu ‘anhu.

But the issue is, why would the companions of the Messenger of Allah agree on giving their pledge to Abu Bakr?  What threat were they afraid of from Abu Bakr? Had Abu Bakr that kind of power and authority on them such that he could coerce them into accepting him as a caliph? By the way, Abu Bakr was from the clan of Banu Taim among the Quraishi tribe, who were the smallest clan in terms of population.  The most populated and influential clans among the Quraish were Banu Hashim, Banu ‘Abd ad-Dar and Banu Makhzum.

So if Abu Bakr was not strong enough to force the companions to give him their pledge, then why would all of them sacrifice their jihad, their faith, their help for the Prophet and the religion, their virtue of early acceptance of Islam, and sacrifice their world and hereafter for the sake of someone not from their strongest and most influential clans, that is Abu Bakr radiyallahu ‘anhu?

If the companions became apostates after the death of the Prophet sallallahu alaihi wa alihi wa sallam, as the Shi’ites believe, why then did they fight the apostates – the followers of the most notorious pseudo-prophets: Musailamah, Tulaihah ibn Khuwailid, al-Aswad al-‘Ansi and Sijah, and others, and above that forced them to return to the fold of Islam?  Why did they not help these renegade parties or at least leave them alone, if they were themselves apostates?

Allah’s natural and legal rule on earth is that the immediate companions of all Prophets are the best among the followers of their religion.  That is why if the adherents of any religion are asked: who are the best among the followers of your religion, they would say: the companions of the Messengers.

If the followers of the Torah are asked: who are the best among the followers of your religion? They would say: the companions of Moses alaihis salam, and if the followers of the Gospel would be asked the same question, they would surely say: the followers of Jesus alaihis salam.  The same is true of the followers of all the Prophets, and that is because, the companions of any prophet are closer and more deeply associated with the revelation sent down with that prophet, and their knowledge and acquaintance with prophecy and prophets are stronger and more reliable.

So, why should the case be different with our Prophet Muhammad sallallahu alaihi wa alihi wa sallam, whom Allah has chosen to bear the everlasting and all-encompassing message, and who came with the complete and tolerant law? Why should the case be different with this last Prophet for the advent of whom Allah had prepared messengers and prophets before him, and the one who had been mentioned in all divinely revealed books?  How could his most immediate and close companions reject him – as the Shi’ites believe -, while they were the ones who actually believed in him, helped, honoured and supported him?

What meaning have you – Shi’ites – left for the message of Muhammad sallallahu alaihi wa alihi wa sallam, and what significance have you attached to this divine law, having believed that the most close associates of Muhammad sallallahu alaihi wa alihi wa sallam had deserted him and became apostates?  Going by your line of thinking, if his most close associates were apostates, then those that came after them among those pious and great warriors who left their families and homes in order to help and support the Messenger sallallahu alaihi wa alihi wa sallam, and fought their own fathers and brethren, and after his death conquered many countries and brought them under Islam through their sound knowledge and by the strong words of the Qur’an and the power of their swords – are more deserving to become unbelievers, apostates and great losers.