I was having a discussion with some people about the Sahaabah (may Allaah be pleased with them), and he told me that it was possible for any one of us to hate any one of the Sahaabah without that contradicting Islam. He said perhaps that (hating the Sahaabah) may put a person beyond the pale of faith but he would still remain a Muslim. We hope that you can explain this matter to us.
Undoubtedly it is a sign of great misfortune and misguidance if a person’s faith is based on slandering the companions of the best of mankind (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) or arguing about the disputes that arose among them, instead of occupying himself with doing that which will benefit him in both his worldly and spiritual affairs.
No one should have any reason to slander or hate or bear grudges against the companions of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). Their virtues are many, for they are the ones who supported Islam and spread the faith; they are the ones who fought the mushrikeen; they are the ones who transmitted the Qur’aan, Sunnah and rulings. They sacrificed themselves, their blood and their wealth for the sake of Allaah. Allaah chose them to be the companions of His Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), so no one slanders them or hates them except a hypocrite whose does not love Islam or believe in it.
It was narrated that al-Bara’ (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: I heard the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) say: “The Ansaar: no one loves them but a believer and no one hates them but a hypocrite. Whoever loves them, Allaah will love him, and whoever hates them, Allaah will hate him.”
Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 3672; Muslim, 75.
If a man who hates the Ansaar cannot be a believer and that makes him a hypocrite, then how about one who hates the Ansaar and Muhaajireen and those who followed them in truth, and slanders them, curses them and denounces them and those who love them as kaafirs – as the Raafidis do? Undoubtedly they deserve more to be regarded as kaafirs and hypocrites, and of not being believers.
Al-Tahhaawi said, discussing the beliefs of Ahl al-Sunnah wa’l-Jamaa’ah:
We love the companions of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and we do not neglect to love any one of them, nor do we disavow any one of them. We hate those who hate them and who criticize them, and we only mention them in good terms. Loving them is part of religious commitment, faith and ihsaan, and hating them is kufr, hypocrisy and wrongdoing.
Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan said:
The way of Ahl al-Sunnah wa’l-Jamaa’ah is to love the family (ahl al-bayt) of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him).
The Naasibis love the Sahaabah but hate the family of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), hence they were called Naasibis because they set themselves up (nasb) as enemies of the family of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him).
The Raafidis are the opposite: they love the Prophet’s family (ahl al-bayt) – or so they claim, but they hate the Sahaabah, whom they curse, denounce as kaafirs and criticize.
Whoever hates the Sahaabah hates Islam, because they are the bearers of Islam and the followers of the Chosen Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). So whoever hates them hates Islam, and this indicates that there is no faith in the hearts of such people and that they do not love Islam.
This is an important basic principle which the Muslims should understand, namely loving and respecting the Sahaabah, because that is part of faith. Hating them or hating one of them is kufr and hypocrisy, because loving them is part of loving the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and hating them is part of hating the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him).
Sharh al-‘Aqeedah al-Waasitiyyah.
Some of the scholars explained in detail what is meant by hating the Sahaabah. They said: If a person hates some of them for some worldly reason, then that is not kufr and hypocrisy, but if it is for a religious reason, because they were the companions of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), then undoubtedly this is hypocrisy.
This is a good explanation which does not contradict what we have mentioned above, rather it explains it further and reinforces it.
Abu Zar’ah al-Raazi said: If you see a man criticizing one of the companions of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), then know that he is a heretic.
Imam Ahmad said: If you see a man mentioning one of the companions of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) in a bad way, then call his Islam into question.
Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah said:
If a person slanders them in a way that does not impugn their good character or religious commitment, such as describing one of them as being stingy or cowardly or lacking in knowledge or not being an ascetic and so on, then he deserves to be rebuked and disciplined, but we do not rule him to be a kaafir because of that. This is how the words of those who were not regarded as kaafirs by the scholars are to be understood.
If a person curses them and slanders them in general terms, this is an area of scholarly dispute, depending on whether this cursing is motivated by mere feelings or religious doctrines. If a person goes beyond that and claims that they apostatized after the death of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), apart from a small group of no more than ten or so individuals, or that most of them rebelled and did evil, then there is no doubt that such a person is a kaafir, because he has denied what is stated in more than one place in the Qur’aan, that Allaah was pleased with them and praised them. Indeed whoever doubts that such a person is a kaafir is himself a kaafir, because this implies that those who transmitted the Qur’aan and Sunnah were kaafirs or evildoers and that the best of this ummah which is described in the verse “You are the best of peoples ever raised up for mankind” [Aal ‘Imraan 3:110 – interpretation of the meaning] – the first generation – were mostly kaafirs and hypocrites. It implies that this ummah is the worst of nations, and that the first generations of this ummah are the most evil. No doubt this is blatant kufr, the evidence for which is quite clear.
Hence you will find that most of those who proclaim such views will sooner or later be shown to be heretics. Heretics usually conceal their views, but Allaah has punished some of them to make an example of them, and there are many reports that they were turned into pigs in life and in death. The scholars have compiled such reports, such as al-Haafiz al-Saalih Abu ‘Abd-Allaah Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Waahid al-Maqdisi, in his book al-Nahi ‘an Sabb al-Ashaab in which he narrated the punishments that befell such heretics.
In conclusion, there are some groups of those who slander the Sahaabah concerning who them is no doubt that they are kaafirs, others who cannot be judged to be kaafirs, and others concerning whom there is some doubt regarding that.
Al-Saarim al-Maslool ‘ala Shaatim al-Rasool, p. 590-591.
Taqiy al-Deen al-Subki said:
… This refers to one who slanders some of the Sahaabah. But if a person slanders all of the Sahaabah, then he is undoubtedly a kaafir. The same applies if he slanders one of the Sahaabah just because he is a Sahaabi, because this is demeaning the virtue of the Sahaabah and indirectly slandering the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). So undoubtedly the person who does this is a kaafir. Based on this, the words of al-Tahhaawi, “and hating them is kufr” should be understood as meaning that hating all of the Sahaabah is undoubtedly kufr, but if a person slanders a Sahaabi not because he is a Sahaabi but for some personal reason, and that Sahaabi was, for example, one of those who became Muslim before the Conquest of Makkah and of whose virtue we are certain – such as the Raafidis who slander the two Shaykhs [Abu Bakr and ‘Umar] – then al-Qaadi Husayn stated that the one who slanders the two Shaykhs is a kaafir.
The reason for the scholarly dispute on this issue is if a person slanders a specific person it may be for some personal reason, or he may hate someone for a worldly reason etc. This does not imply that he is a kaafir. But undoubtedly if he hates one of the two Shaykhs because he was a companion of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), then this is kufr, and indeed hating any of the Sahaabah who was lower in status than two Shaykhs just because he was a companions of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) is also definitely kufr.
Fataawa al-Subki, 2/575.
And Allaah knows best.