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We now look at the critical ayah found in Surat al-Bara’ah:

إِلَّا تَنصُرُوهُ فَقَدْ نَصَرَهُ اللَّهُ إِذْ أَخْرَجَهُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا ثَانِيَ اثْنَيْنِ إِذْ هُمَا فِي الْغَارِ إِذْ يَقُولُ لِصَاحِبِهِ لَا تَحْزَنْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ مَعَنَا ۖ فَأَنزَلَ اللَّهُ سَكِينَتَهُ عَلَيْهِ وَأَيَّدَهُ بِجُنُودٍ لَّمْ تَرَوْهَا وَجَعَلَ كَلِمَةَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا السُّفْلَىٰ ۗ وَكَلِمَةُ اللَّهِ هِيَ الْعُلْيَا ۗ وَاللَّهُ عَزِيزٌ حَكِيمٌ

If you do not aid the Prophet – Allah has already aided him when those who disbelieved had driven him out [of Makkah] as one of two, when they were in the cave and he said to his companion, “Do not grieve; indeed Allah is with us.” And Allah sent down his tranquillity upon him and supported him with angels you did not see and made the word of those who disbelieved the lowest, while the word of Allah – that is the highest. And Allah is Exalted in Might and Wise. (9:40 / Sahih International)

In this part we will discuss the following part of the ayah:

إِذْ هُمَا فِي الْغَارِ إِذْ يَقُولُ لِصَاحِبِهِ

when they were in the cave and he said to his companion

Question 1: Was it Abu Bakr in the cave with the Prophet (sawa)?

Short Answer – according to us (Purified Household), the answer is yes, it was.

Yes, there are some claims that it was someone other than Abu Bakr, as suggested in the hadiths of the ‘Sunnis’. The hadiths mention it is “Ibn Bakr” – a mushrik who was used as a guide to help the Prophet (sawa) – who was the one accompanying him.

In saying that, we reject this theory in its entirety. Our words are only qualified by the words of the family of Muhammad (sawa), who have confirmed the one in the cave with the Prophet (sawa) was Abu Bakr bin Quhafa.

Question 2: When Allah (swt) says “to his companion” (لِصَاحِبِهِ) is this in praise of Abu Bakr, confirming he is one of the great companions of the Prophet (sawa)?

No.

Allah has used this companionship many times in the Qur’an, without it implying any sort of praise or merit. On the contrary, we look at the following ayahs:

Example 1:

يَا صَاحِبَيِ السِّجْنِ أَأَرْبَابٌ مُّتَفَرِّقُونَ خَيْرٌ أَمِ اللَّهُ الْوَاحِدُ الْقَهَّارُ مَا تَعْبُدُونَ مِن دُونِهِ إِلَّا أَسْمَاءً سَمَّيْتُمُوهَا أَنتُمْ وَآبَاؤُكُم مَّا أَنزَلَ اللَّهُ بِهَا مِن سُلْطَانٍ ۚ إِنِ الْحُكْمُ إِلَّا لِلَّهِ ۚ أَمَرَ أَلَّا تَعْبُدُوا إِلَّا إِيَّاهُ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ الدِّينُ الْقَيِّمُ وَلَٰكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ

O [my] two companions of prison, are separate lords better or Allah , the One, the Prevailing? You worship not besides Him except [mere] names you have named them, you and your fathers, for which Allah has sent down no authority. Legislation is not but for Allah . He has commanded that you worship not except Him. That is the correct religion, but most of the people do not know. (12:39-40 / Sahih International)

Here, the speaker is Prophet Yusuf (as) speaking to the two people in prison along with him who did not believe in Allah (swt) alone, and put partners alongside Him (swt). Clearly, there is no merit in the Polytheists along with Yusuf (as) although he called them his companions. They were no more than companions in the prison, i.e. accompanying him in prison.

Example 2:

وَاضْرِبْ لَهُم مَّثَلًا رَّجُلَيْنِ جَعَلْنَا لِأَحَدِهِمَا جَنَّتَيْنِ مِنْ أَعْنَابٍ وَحَفَفْنَاهُمَا بِنَخْلٍ وَجَعَلْنَا بَيْنَهُمَا زَرْعًا كِلْتَا الْجَنَّتَيْنِ آتَتْ أُكُلَهَا وَلَمْ تَظْلِم مِّنْهُ شَيْئًا ۚ وَفَجَّرْنَا خِلَالَهُمَا نَهَرًا وَكَانَ لَهُ ثَمَرٌ فَقَالَ لِصَاحِبِهِ وَهُوَ يُحَاوِرُهُ أَنَا أَكْثَرُ مِنكَ مَالًا وَأَعَزُّ نَفَرًا وَدَخَلَ جَنَّتَهُ وَهُوَ ظَالِمٌ لِّنَفْسِهِ قَالَ مَا أَظُنُّ أَن تَبِيدَ هَٰذِهِ أَبَدًا وَمَا أَظُنُّ السَّاعَةَ قَائِمَةً وَلَئِن رُّدِدتُّ إِلَىٰ رَبِّي لَأَجِدَنَّ خَيْرًا مِّنْهَا مُنقَلَبًا قَالَ لَهُ صَاحِبُهُ وَهُوَ يُحَاوِرُهُ أَكَفَرْتَ بِالَّذِي خَلَقَكَ مِن تُرَابٍ ثُمَّ مِن نُّطْفَةٍ ثُمَّ سَوَّاكَ رَجُلًا لَّٰكِنَّا هُوَ اللَّهُ رَبِّي وَلَا أُشْرِكُ بِرَبِّي أَحَدًا

And present to them an example of two men: We granted to one of them two gardens of grapevines, and We bordered them with palm trees and placed between them [fields of] crops. Each of the two gardens produced its fruit and did not fall short thereof in anything. And We caused to gush forth within them a river. And he had fruit, so he said to his companion while he was conversing with him, “I am greater than you in wealth and mightier in [numbers of] men.” And he entered his garden while he was unjust to himself. He said, “I do not think that this will perish – ever. And I do not think the Hour will occur. And even if I should be brought back to my Lord, I will surely find better than this as a return.” His companion said to him while he was conversing with him, “Have you disbelieved in He who created you from dust and then from a sperm-drop and then proportioned you [as] a man? But as for me, He is Allah , my Lord, and I do not associate with my Lord anyone. (18:32-38 / Sahih International)

Again, we see here that both the men called the other a companion. One was a believer, and the other was one whom Allah (swt) described as putting partners with Him (swt). No merit in companionship here, either.

Example 3:

وَكَذَّبَ الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِهِمْ وَمَا بَلَغُوا مِعْشَارَ مَا آتَيْنَاهُمْ فَكَذَّبُوا رُسُلِي ۖ فَكَيْفَ كَانَ نَكِيرِ قُلْ إِنَّمَا أَعِظُكُم بِوَاحِدَةٍ ۖ أَن تَقُومُوا لِلَّهِ مَثْنَىٰ وَفُرَادَىٰ ثُمَّ تَتَفَكَّرُوا ۚ مَا بِصَاحِبِكُم مِّن جِنَّةٍ ۚ إِنْ هُوَ إِلَّا نَذِيرٌ لَّكُم بَيْنَ يَدَيْ عَذَابٍ شَدِيدٍ

And those before them denied, and the people of Makkah have not attained a tenth of what We had given them. But the former peoples denied My messengers, so how [terrible] was My reproach. Say, “I only advise you of one [thing] – that you stand for Allah , [seeking truth] in pairs and individually, and then give thought.” There is not in your companion any madness. He is only a warner to you before a severe punishment. (34:45-46 / Sahih International)

Here we see that the Polytheists that lived amongst the Prophet (sawa) who labeled him (sawa) a madman! They were also considered “companions” of the Prophet (sawa) in the words of Allah (swt).

Obviously the ones who were labelling the Prophet (sawa) a madman was the Polytheists, which can be seen in ayahs such as “And they say,”O you upon whom the message has been sent down, indeed you are mad.”” (15:6). And Allah (swt) is attributing companionship to these same people who disbelieve in the One God and not the believers – since the following lines speak about punishment, not reward: :There is not in your companion any madness. He is only a warner to you before a severe punishment.”

Example 4:

وَالنَّجْمِ إِذَا هَوَىٰ مَا ضَلَّ صَاحِبُكُمْ وَمَا غَوَىٰ

By the star when it descends, Your companion [Muhammad] has not strayed, nor has he erred. (53:1-2 / Sahih International)

Again, those who claimed the Prophet (sawa) strayed or erred have been labeled companions by Allah (swt).

Example 5:

وَالَّذِينَ كَذَّبُوا بِآيَاتِنَا سَنَسْتَدْرِجُهُم مِّنْ حَيْثُ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ وَأُمْلِي لَهُمْ ۚ إِنَّ كَيْدِي مَتِينٌ أَوَلَمْ يَتَفَكَّرُوا ۗ مَا بِصَاحِبِهِم مِّن جِنَّةٍ ۚ إِنْ هُوَ إِلَّا نَذِيرٌ مُّبِينٌ

But those who deny Our signs – We will progressively lead them [to destruction] from where they do not know. And I will give them time. Indeed, my plan is firm. Then do they not give thought? There is in their companion [Muhammad] no madness. He is not but a clear warner. (7:182-184 / Sahih International)

This is clear as day, that those who disbelieve in the signs of Allah (swt) have been considered companions of the Prophet (sawa) by Allah (swt).

Conclusion

There is no merit in being labelled a “companion” in the Qur’an. It is simply a term used to denote one accompanying in location. In Mecca in terms of the Polytheists; in jail in terms of Prophet Yusuf (as); in the cave in terms of Abu Bakr etc. It is clear that those who disbelieved would hasten to sit with the Prophet (sawa):

فَمَالِ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا قِبَلَكَ مُهْطِعِينَ عَنِ الْيَمِينِ وَعَنِ الشِّمَالِ عِزِينَ

So what is [the matter] with those who disbelieve, hastening [from] before you, [O Muhammad], [To sit] on [your] right and [your] left in separate groups? (70:36-37 / Sahih International)

Furthermore, we find the hypocrites also fall under this catagory:

وَمِمَّنْ حَوْلَكُم مِّنَ الْأَعْرَابِ مُنَافِقُونَ ۖ وَمِنْ أَهْلِ الْمَدِينَةِ ۖ مَرَدُوا عَلَى النِّفَاقِ لَا تَعْلَمُهُمْ ۖ نَحْنُ نَعْلَمُهُمْ ۚ سَنُعَذِّبُهُم مَّرَّتَيْنِ ثُمَّ يُرَدُّونَ إِلَىٰ عَذَابٍ عَظِيمٍ

And among those around you of the bedouins are hypocrites, and [also] from the people of Madinah. They have become accustomed to hypocrisy. You, [O Muhammad], do not know them, [but] We know them. We will punish them twice [in this world]; then they will be returned to a great punishment. (9:101 / Sahih International)

Finally, we know that the companions were not immune from the hell-fire, as testified by the strong hadiths in the books of the ‘Sunnis’:

Narrated Ibn `Abbas:
The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “You will be gathered (on the Day of Judgment), bare-footed, naked and not circumcised.” He then recited:–‘As We began the first creation, We, shall repeat it: A Promise We have undertaken: Truly we shall do it.’ (21.104) He added, “The first to be dressed on the Day of Resurrection, will be Abraham, and some of my companions will be taken towards the left side (i.e. to the (Hell) Fire), and I will say: ‘My companions! My companions!’ It will be said: ‘They renegade from Islam after you left them.’ Then I will say as the Pious slave of Allah (i.e. Jesus) said. ‘And I was a witness Over them while I dwelt amongst them. When You took me up You were the Watcher over them, And You are a witness to all things. If You punish them. They are Your slaves And if You forgive them, Verily you, only You are the All-Mighty, the All-Wise.” (5.120-121)
حَدَّثَنَا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ كَثِيرٍ، أَخْبَرَنَا سُفْيَانُ، حَدَّثَنَا الْمُغِيرَةُ بْنُ النُّعْمَانِ، قَالَ حَدَّثَنِي سَعِيدُ بْنُ جُبَيْرٍ، عَنِ ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ ـ رضى الله عنهما ـ عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ ‏”‏ إِنَّكُمْ مَحْشُورُونَ حُفَاةً عُرَاةً غُرْلاً ـ ثُمَّ قَرَأَ – ‏{‏كَمَا بَدَأْنَا أَوَّلَ خَلْقٍ نُعِيدُهُ وَعْدًا عَلَيْنَا إِنَّا كُنَّا فَاعِلِينَ‏}‏ وَأَوَّلُ مَنْ يُكْسَى يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ إِبْرَاهِيمُ، وَإِنَّ أُنَاسًا مِنْ أَصْحَابِي يُؤْخَذُ بِهِمْ ذَاتَ الشِّمَالِ فَأَقُولُ أَصْحَابِي أَصْحَابِي‏.‏ فَيَقُولُ، إِنَّهُمْ لَمْ يَزَالُوا مُرْتَدِّينَ عَلَى أَعْقَابِهِمْ مُنْذُ فَارَقْتَهُمْ‏.‏ فَأَقُولُ كَمَا قَالَ الْعَبْدُ الصَّالِحُ ‏{‏وَكُنْتُ عَلَيْهِمْ شَهِيدًا مَا دُمْتُ فِيهِمْ‏}‏ إِلَى قَوْلِهِ ‏{‏الْحَكِيمُ ‏}‏‏”‏

Reference: Sahih al-Bukhari 3349 (In-book reference: Book 60, Hadith 29; USC-MSA web (English) reference: Vol. 4, Book 55, Hadith 568 (deprecated numbering scheme))

Link: http://sunnah.com/bukhari/60/29

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