syed-mohsin naquvi wrote:
It was only a few days ago that we were discussing this very issue. Which Sahaba are superior to which others. And you left that argument in the middle when you saw that you were nearly losing the debate.
I am least bothered about Losing or winning when Blessed Generation of Men are being discussed. My last mail to your debate was as under:
Dear and Respected Naquvi Sahab,
No doubt the incidents of Jamal, Siffin and Karbala are reported in History and I wouldn't deny that there were differences amongst the Companions [May Allah be pleased with everyone of them] of Prophet Mohammad [PBUH] as well but the way these incidents were given a distorted picture through History will never be accepted [at least I will not accept]. The debate on the differences between Hazrat Ali [May Allah be pleased with him] and Hazrat Muawiya [May Allah be pleased with him] is endless and Allah will not be ask us about those differences in the life hereafter. Therefore on the following note i intend to end this endless and pointless debate of which we both know very little and that too through a history which is tainted with tampering and we are not discussing ordinary men here. Because I dont want to be included amongst Rawafid and Khawarij.
My belief on this whole affair is as under:
Ahl Al-Bait, 'Ummahat Al-Mu'minin and Sahabah
Among the fundamentals of the people of the Sunnah and the community is purity of heart and tongue toward the Companions of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) just as Allah has described them:
"Those who came after them ( the Sahabah ) say: 'Our Lord forgive us. Forgive our brethren who preceded us in faith. Purify our hearts of any rancor toward the believers. Our Lord, You are Gentle, Compassionate." (al-Hashr 59/l0)
Obey the saying of the Prophet (peace be upon him):
"Do not revile my companions. By (Allah) in Whose Hand my soul is!, if any one of you spends gold (piled up) like (mount) 'Uhud it will not equal a pint of any one of them, nor its half." (al-Bukhari, Muslim, Abu-Dawud, at-Tirmidhi Ibn Majah, Ibn Hanbal)
(The people of the Sunnah ) accept what the Qur'an, the Sunnah , and the consensus brought them of the Sahabah's virtues and high ranks; So they prefer those who spent (their wealth) and fought before the victory -which is the treaty of al-Hudaybiyah  - over those who spent and fought after it. They prefer the Muhajirun (Immigrants) over the Ansar (Helpers).
They believe that Allah said to the people of Badr - they were over three hundred-:
"Do whatever you wish, I have already forgiven you." ( Abu Dawud ) And "they believe that no one who pledged allegiance to the Prophet (peace be upon him) under the tree  will enter Hell" ( Muslim ), as the Prophet (peace be upon him) had declared; but that Allah was pleased with them and they with Him - and they were more than one thousand and four hundred.
They assign to Paradise whoever the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) assigned there such as the ten**, and Thabit Ibn Qays Ibn Shammas , and others of amongst the Sahabah . They accept what has been reported continuously from the Prince of the Believers, ' Ali Ibn Abi Talib (may Allah be pleased with him), and from others, that the best men of this ' Ummah after its Prophet are: Abu Bakr ; then ' Umar ; third, ' Uthman , and fourth, ' Ali Ibn Abi Talib (may Allah be pleased with them all). All Traditions have indicated, and all Sahabah (may Allah be pleased with them all) have agreed upon giving priority to ' Uthman out of regard for his allegiance ( al-Bai'ah ), although some of the people of the Sunnah are disputing over whether ' Uthman or ' Ali (may Allah be pleased with both of them) has the priority, after they (the people of the Sunnah ) had agreed upon giving priority to Abu Bakr and ' Umar . Some people gave the priority to ' Uthman and kept silent and considered ' Ali to be the fourth. However, some people preferred ' Ali . And some remained neutral. But the people of the Sunnah settled on preferring ' Uthman , even though this matter - the matter of ' Uthman and ' Ali - is not of the fundamentals. The majority of the people of the Sunnah do not consider disagreeing in this matter as being misled. Rather, it is in the matter of the "Question of the Caliphate" where they consider the disagreeing person to be misled.
Ahl as-Sunnah believe that the Caliph after the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) is Abu Bakr ; then ' Umar ; then ' Uthman , then ' Ali , and that whoever contests the Caliphate of any one of these Imams is indeed more lost than an ass.
Ahl as-Sunnah should not deal with what happened between the Sahabah of the disagreement, and they must say: Part of the Traditions which are narrated about their faults are untrue, and some of them added to or omitted from, or distorted; The part of them which is true, they are excused from, because either they expressed their personal opinion and were right, or they expressed their personal opinion and were wrong.
Ahl as-Sunnah do not think that each of the Sahabah is infallible of committing grave sins or light sins, but that they are liable to commit general offenses. Nevertheless, to them belongs priority in accepting Islam and in doing good deeds which qualify them for forgiveness of what they may have committed, to the extent that their offenses are forgiven. The same offenses will not be forgiven of those who come after them because they ( as-Sahabah ) have a credit of good deeds which erase the bad deeds, a credit the generations after them do not have. It has been confirmed by the saying of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him):
"That they are the best of all generations," (al-Bukhari and Muslim) and:
"That the pint of charity any one of them might have given is better than a pile of gold the size of Mount 'Uhud if it is given by anyone who comes after them." (al-Bukhari and Muslim)
Moreover, if anyone of them ( as-Sahabah ) committed any act of offense, without doubt he repented from it, or he did good deeds which wiped that offense from him, or he has been forgiven for the virtue of accepting Islam from its start or by intercession of Muhammad (peace be upon him) since they are deserving most his intercession, or a calamity inflicted upon him in this world which covered for that offense. But if this is the case in actual offenses, what about matters in which they were mujtahids (formulating independent decision in legal or theological matters)? If they were correct in their ijtihad they will receive double reward and if they missed they will receive one reward and the missing is forgiven for them.
Furthermore, the objectionable amount of their deeds is negligible in comparison to their virtues, their merit is in belief in Allah and His Messenger, the jihad in His Path, the Hijrah (emigration) from Makkah to al-Madinah , the support for the Prophet and the faith, the valuable knowledge and the good deeds. Whoever studies the life of the Sahabah objectively, with insight and with what Allah bestowed upon them of virtues, will no doubt discover that they are the best of all people after the Prophet (peace be upon him), that there never was and never will be their like and that indeed they are the choicest of the generations of the ' Ummah which is in itself the best of all nations and the most honorable in the eyes of Allah ,The Exalted.
Ahl Al-Bait (The Prophets Family)
Ahl as-Sunnah should love the Prophet's family, give them support, and honor the Prophet's will in regard to them, as he said at Ghadir al-Khum : "I ask you by Allah to take care of my family I ask you by Allah to take care of my family." ( Muslim )
[The Prophet] (peace be upon him) said to his uncle al-Abbas when he complained to him that some men of Quraysh resent Banu Hashim (the Prophet's clan):
"By (Allah) in Whose Hands my soul is! They will never be believers until they love you for the sake of my relationship to you." (Reported by Ahmad Ibn Hanbal and others)
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "Indeed, Allah chose the sons of Isma'il, and from them He chose Kinanah, and from Kinanah He chose Quraish, and from Quraish he chose Banu Hashim, and from Banu Hashim He chose me." (Reported by Muslim and Ibn Hanbal)
'Ummahat Al-Mu'minin (The Prophets Wives)
[ Ahl as-Sunnah ] should give support to the wives of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him), the Mothers of the Believers, and they should believe that they will be his wives in the Hereafter, especially Khadijah (may Allah be pleased with her) the mother of most of his children, and the first person to believe in him and give him support, and he respected her very highly.
And [ A'ishah ], as-Siddiqah , the daughter of [ Abu Bakr ] as-Siddiq (may Allah be pleased with her and her father), of whom the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
"A'ishah's superiority over women is like the superiority of ath-Tharid (a dish of sopped bread, meat and broth) over the rest of the food." (Reported by al-Bukhari and Muslim)
[ Ahl as-Sunnah ] should forsake the Rawafid doctrine, those who hate the Prophet's Companions and revile them.
They should forsake the Nawasib doctrine (those who harm the Prophet's Family verbally or actually).
1 and 2 - In the year 628 C.E ., the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) led a band of believers to perform ' umrah (smaller pilgrimage) to Makkah , but the non-believers of Makkah prevented him and his followers from entering Makkah by blocking their way with a large army at a place called al-Hudaibiyah located nine miles out of Makkah . As a result, a war almost broke out between the two parties, but negotiations took place instead. The Prophet (peace be upon him) sent ' Uthman (may Allah be pleased with him) to Makkah to represent him at the negotiations, but he did not return for three days and rumors reached the Prophet and his followers that ' Uthman was killed by the Makkans . Although unprepared for battle, the Prophet could not leave the Makkans unpunished for their treacherous act. So, he assembled his followers and, standing under a large tree, they pledged allegiance to him to fight the Makkans .
Therefore, Allah praised them in the Qur'an :
"Lo! Those who swear allegiance unto you ( Muhammad ), swear allegiance only unto Allah. The Hand of Allah is above their hands..." (al-Fat-h 48/10)
In the same chapter, verse 18, Allah expressed His pleasure with the believers who pledged allegiance to the Prophet (peace be upon him) under the tree in Hudaibiyah , He said : "Allah was well pleased with the believers when they swore allegiance unto you beneath the tree, and He knew what was in their hearts, and He sent down peace of reassurance on them, and has rewarded them with a near victory."
3- Nawasib is a group of people who do not like 'Ali or his family; they are the counterpart of the Rawafid .