I had a friend from one of the misguided sects and he used to tell me some of the stories of things that happened among the Sahaabah (may Allaah be pleased with them), and he used to disparage some of the Sahaabah in these stories in an indirect manner. I used to listen to him out of politeness, but in my heart I knew that he was lying. But as time went by, when I heard the names of some of the Sahaabah I would feel some resentment towards them in my heart that I did not feel before I listened to this misguided person. My question is: is there any advice that will help me regain my respect for the Sahaabah and not feel any doubts about them in my heart?.
What you mention about feeling some resentment towards some of the companions of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) is one of the effects of keeping company with this follower of innovation. It indicates that the salaf were wise in warning against sitting with followers of innovation and their strictness with regard to that.
Abu Qilaabah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: Do not sit with those who follow their whims and desires and do not debate with them, for I cannot be sure that they will not tempt you into misguidance or confuse you about the religion as they are confused.
Abu Ishaaq al-Hamadaani said: The one who shows respect to the follower of innovation has helped to destroy Islam.
Two men who were among the followers of whims and desires entered upon Muhammad ibn Sireen and said: O Abu Bakr, let us talk with you. He said: No. They said: Let us recite to you a verse from the Book of Allaah. He said: No; either you get up and leave me or I will get up and leave you. So the two men got up and left.
Al-Fudayl ibn ‘Iyaad said: Do not sit with a follower of innovation, for I fear that the curse may descend upon you.
Muhammad ibn al-Nadr al-Haarithi said: The one who lends his ear to a follower of bid’ah when he knows he is a follower of bid’ah will be cast out from divine protection and entrusted to his own care.
‘Abd al-Razzaaq al-San’aani said: Ibraaheem ibn Abi Yahya said to me: I see that the Mu’talizah frequent you a great deal. I said: Yes, and they say that you are one of them. He said: Why don’t you come with me to this store with me so we may speak together. I said: No. He said: Why not? I said: Because the heart is weak.
See these reports in al-Sharee’ah by al-Aajirri and Usool I’tiqaad Ahl al-Sunnah by al-Laalkaa’i.
Al-Aajirri (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in his book al-Sharee’ah: Chapter on shunning the followers of innovation and whims and desires: everyone who adheres to what we have outlined in this book of ours, which is Kitaab al-Sharee’ah, must shun all of those who follow whims and desires, whether they are Khaarijis, Qadaris, Murji’is or Jahamis, all those who claim to belong to the Mu’tazilah, all of the Raafidis, all of the Naasibis, and all of those whom the Muslim scholars have determined and proven to be followers of innovation and misguidance. He should not speak to them, greet them with salaam, sit with them, pray behind them, marry from them or give a female relative of his to them in marriage, enter into partnerships with them, deal with them, or debate with them. Rather he should ignore them. If you meet them in the street, take another route if you can. If he says: Why shouldn’t I debate with them or respond to what they say? The answer is If you debate with them or listen to what they say, you cannot be certain that they will not affect you or deceive you with their falsehood, which the shaytaan makes attractive, then you will be doomed. Unless you are compelled to debate with him or establish proof against him in the presence of the ruler etc. But apart from that, do not do it. What I have mentioned to you is based on the views of earlier Muslim scholars, and is in accordance with the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). End quote.
Al-Dhahabi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: Most of the imams of the salaf warned against (mixing or dealing with these people), and they thought that hearts were weak and susceptible to doubts. End quote from Siyar A’laam al-Nubala’ (7/261).
What has happened to you is because of your negligence and carelessness in sitting with this follower of innovation, until your heart was poisoned against the best of creation after the Prophets. They are the people whom Allaah chose to accompany His Prophet and support His religion, and when the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) died he was pleased with them, so no one would cast aspersions upon them except one who is doomed and deprived of mercy.
Al-Tabaraani narrated from Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever reviles my companions, upon him be the curse of Allaah, the angels and all the people.” Classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Silsilat al-Ahaadeeth al-Saheehah (2340).
As for the way to reform your heart, it is by repenting to Allaah and by turning to the Qur’aan and Sunnah and books of seerah, where you will see how Allaah praised the companions of His Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and you will learn how they sacrificed themselves and their wealth so that this great religion could reach us.
Perhaps if you turn to Kitaab Fadaa’il al-Sahaabah (the Book of the Virtues of the Sahaabah) in Saheeh Muslim or other books of Sunnah, your love and respect for the companions of your Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) will increase.
Among the brief and comprehensive books that we advise you to read is al-Saheeh al-Musnad min Fadaa’il al-Sahaabah by Shaykh Mustafa al-‘Adawi, and Suwar min Hayaat al-Sahaabah by Prof. ‘Abd al-Rahmaan Ra’fat al-Basha.
You should understand that most of what the people of innovation say about the Sahaabah is lies and fabrications, that result from their loathsome fanaticism, blind hatred and sick hearts, which caused them to think that the Sahaabah were people who fought one another for worldly gain, for which they plotted and schemed and conspired. But as it was said long ago, everyone sees through the lens of his own nature. Their hearts were filled with hatred and desire for worldly gains, so they thought that the Sahaabah were like them, but in fact the Sahaabah were a unique generation and an elite, because they were the product of a great “school” and excellent education, the blessed company of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), as they acquired knowledge and morals at the hand of the noblest of creation (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him).
You should note that any attack against these Sahaabah is an attack against their Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) who chose them, brought them close to him, and was related to some of them by marriage. Indeed, it is an attack against Allaah, may He be exalted, Who chose these people to be the companions of His Prophet, the bearers of His religion, and the scribes of His Revelation.
We ask Allaah to open your heart, purify your heart, and fill it with love for His religion, His Book, His Prophet and his companions.
And Allaah knows best.