Kitaab Sharh us-Sunnah
by Al-Barbahaaree
Trans. Abu Talhah Dawud Burbank

28: The best of the Companions of Allah's Messenger.

The best of this Ummah, after the passing away of its Prophet, is Abu Bakr, and then ‘Umar, and then ‘Uthmaan. This is what is reported to us from Ibn ‘Umar, who said, “We used to say, whilst Allah’s Messenger was amongst us, ‘The best of people after the Messenger of Allah is Abu Bakr, then ‘Umar, then’Uthmaan.’ The Prophet would hear of that and not criticise it.”[1] Then the best of people after them are ‘Alee, Talhah, az-Zubayr, Sa’d ibn Abee Waqqaas, Sa’eed ibn Zayd, ‘Abdur-Rahmaan ibn ‘Awf and Abu ‘Ubaidah ‘Aamir ibn al-Jarrah. All of them were suitable to be Khaleefah. Then the best of people after them are the (rest of the) Companions of the Messenger of Allah, the first generation amongst whom he was sent, the first Muhaajirs and Ansaar, those who prayed towards both qiblahs, then the best of people after them are those who accompanied the Messenger of Allah for a day, a month, a year or less or more than that. We ask Allah to have mercy upon them. We mention their virtues and remain silent about any mistakes they made and we do not speak about a single one of them except favourably, as the Messenger of Allah said, “When my Companions are mentioned then withhold,”[2] Sufyaan ibn ‘Uyainah[3] said, “He who speaks a single word against the Companions of Allah’s Messenger is an innovator.”[4]


1. This is reported by al-Bukhaaree (5/6/no.7), Ahmad in Fadaailus-Sahaabah (no.570) and as-Sunnah of ‘Abdullah ibn Ahmad (pp.574-578).

2. Saheeh: reported by at-Tabaraanee from Ibn Mas’ood, from the Prophet. See Silsilatul-Ahaadeeth as-Saheehah (no.34) of Shaikh al-Albaanee.

3. Shaikhul-Islaam, Sufyaan ibn ‘Uyainah was a Taabi’ut-Taabi’een. He was born in 107H, in Makkah and died in 198H.

4. In the printed edition, after the saying of Sufyaan, there occurs: The Prophet said, “My Companions are like the stars; whichever of them you follow, you will be guided.” This narration is a fabrication. Refer to Silsilatul-Ahaadeeth ad-Da’eefah (no.58) and The Prophet’s Prayer Described, by Shaikh al-Albaanee (pp.94-96).

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