The Sahabah Radhiyallahu Anhum are from amongst those eminent people concerning whom Almighty Allah has declared his eternal satisfaction and blessings in the Holy Qur’an. Therefore, anyone who challenges the honour and status of these great souls has indeed challenged the decree of Almighty Allah.
Abu Hurairah Radhiyallahu Anhu narrates that Rasūlullah Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam said, “Do not insult my companions. If one of you were to spend the likes of mount Uhud in gold, it would not even reach a small portion of theirs or even half of that.” (Sahih Bukhari)
Uwaym Ibn Saa’idah Radhiyallahu Anhu narrates that Rasūlullah Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam said, “Allah Ta’ala selected me as his Nabi and he selected his best servants to be my companions, they are my representatives, some are my helpers and some are related to me. Whoever reviles them, may Allah’s and His angels curse be upon him. None of his deeds will be accepted on the day of Qiyaamah.” (Mustadrak Haakim)
Whilst the collective sacrifices and favours of the Sahābah upon the Ummah are innumerable, some individuals from this shining galaxy excelled in their services to the Deen of Allah more than others. Amongst these champions of Islam was Muāwiyyah Ibn Abi Sufyan Radhiyallahu Anhu, whose status and prestige in the blessed court of Rasūlullah Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam was such that he was amongst those elite companions to whom the magnanimous task of preserving the divine revelation of the Qur’an in written form was entrusted.
Muāwiyyah Radhiyallahu Anhu hails from the Banu Umayyāh family of the distinguished tribe of Quraish. He is the son of Abu Sufyan Radhiyallahu ‘anhu, an honourable chief and uncle of Rasūlullah sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam. He was born five years prior to the prophet hood of Nabi Sallallahu ‘Alayhi wa Sallam. From an early age his parents realized that he bears extraordinary qualities of leadership, thus from his childhood his family encouraged him to seek various sciences of knowledge. He was from amongst the few Arabs who could read and write at the time. It was because of his acceptance of Islam and belief in its pristine teachings that he did not side with the disbelievers at the battles of Badr, Uḥud and Ahzāb.
The love and affection which the beloved Rasūl of Allah had for him may be gauged from the following supplications and incidents:
Once Rasūlullah Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam supplicated, “O Allah! Make Muāwiyyah a means of guidance, make him one who is on guidance and bless people with guidance through him.” (Sunan Tirmidhi)
His sister, Ummul Mu’mineen, Ummi Habibah Radhiyallahu Anha was the beloved spouse of Rasūlullah Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam. Once Rasūlullah Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam came home and found that Muāwiyyah Radhiyallahu Anhu was visiting his sister. Rasūlullah Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam asked her if she loved him, she replied that he is her brother and surely she loves him. It was on this occasion that Muāwiyyah Radhiyallahu Anhu received the following glad tidings when Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam said, “Allah and his Rasūl love Muāwiyyah as well.” (Tabrāni)
Once our beloved Nabi Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam made the following Du’ā: “O Allah! Endow Muāwiyyah with special knowledge of the Qur’an and save him from any afflictions.” (Ibn Hibbān)
Once Rasūlullah ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa advised Abu Bakr and Umar Radhiyallahu ‘Anhuma: ”Consult Muāwiyyah Radhiyallahu ‘anhu in your affairs since he is trustworthy and reliable.” (Majmauz Zawāid)
In essence, these Ahadith represent the prophecy of Rasūlullah Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam in regards to the leadership of Muāwiyyah Radhiyallahu Anhu. Similar confidence was exhibited by Amir al-Mu’mineen, Umar Radhiyallahu Anhu whose stringent requirements for leadership were well-known. He appointed Muāwiyyah as Governor held this position throughout his life and that of Uthmān Radhiyallahu Anhu. Umar Radhiyallahu Anhu’s foresight and perception of character was remarkable and once he said, “You praise the rulers of Persia and Rome and speak highly of their knowledge, whereas you have in your midst a man like Muāwiyyah.
Ayyūb Sakhtiyāni Rahimahullah once said, “Whosoever honours the Sahaabah can never be a Munāfiq. Whosoever reviles the Sahaabah, he is surely an innovator, Munāfiq or a wretched person. I am afraid that no good actions of such a person will be accepted by Allah Ta’ala, until he cleans his heart and begins loving them all.” (al-zawājir an ikhtirāf al-kabāir)
May Almighty Allah protect the Ummah from the enemies of Rasūlullah Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam and his companions and may Allah Ta’ala bless us with sincere love for them. Āmeen.
Prepared by Darul Uloom Zakariyya