No matter how much we write about the Companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him), we cannot fairly describe their merits, virtues, and excellence.

The best of generations to ever live in this world, they were chosen by Allah to accompany His Last Messenger. They sacrificed their wealth, families, and lives defending and propagating the truth.

Embracing Islam and then being groomed by the Prophet (peace be upon him) transformed a community that came from the ruthless deserts into a fine people with exceptional character and behavior. The men who would bury their daughters alive turned into fathers who rejoiced at the birth of daughters and who took extra care in bringing them up.

The Ahadith that throw light on their lifestyles and virtues are plenty. One such aspect was their unconditional obedience to Allah and His Messenger. Faith was deeply ingrained in their hearts. They knew the Messenger did not instruct them except based on Allah’s revelation.

When Urwa Bin Mas’ud came to negotiate with the Prophet (peace be upon him) during the incident that’s popularly known as the Treaty of Hudaibiyah, he witnessed firsthand the attitude of the Companions towards Muhammad (peace be upon him). He went back to the Quraish and gave that powerful description:

“O, people! By Allah, I have been to the kings and to Caesar, Khosrau (Persian emperor) and An-Najashi, yet I have never seen any of them respected by his courtiers as much as Muhammad is respected by his companions. By Allah, if he spat, the spittle would fall in the hand of one of them (i.e. the Prophet’s companions) who would rub it on his face and skin; if he ordered them, they would carry out his order immediately; if he performed ablution, they would struggle to take the remaining water; and when they spoke, they would lower their voices and would not look at his face constantly out of respect.” (Al-Bukhari, 3/50, no. 891)

The Prophet (peace be upon him) did not establish a relationship between a master and disciples. The term Sahabah is not used without meaning. The Sahabah literally lived as the companions of Muhammad (peace be upon him).

When a stranger would come to Madina, he would not recognize the Prophet as if he was sitting in a group because there were no special seats for him, no elevated chairs that would distinguish him from others, and to be sure no special clothes indicating that he was in fact the ruler of Madina.

Despite this humility, the status of the Prophet (peace be upon him) did not diminish. The Companions gave the Prophet his due right and respect. As preceded, the kings of Romans and Persians were disobeyed and followed as the Prophet (peace be upon him) was.

For instance, when the law on the prohibition of alcohol came down, there was no need for enforcement agencies or security personnel. One man went into the streets announcing the ban.

The Companions who were drinking alcohol at that time, spit it out from their mouths; Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) who was serving alcohol threw the wine and broke the tumblers; and the streets of Madina overflowed with alcohol because everyone, including the businessmen who traded in alcohol, spilled out their reserves onto the streets. (See Ahmad, 1:53; Ibn Kathir, vol. 3, pg. 258-259)

Or consider the legislation of the Hijab. Ayesha (may Allah be pleased with her) says that when the verses of Hijab came down the women tore their cloth and covered themselves. (See Al-Bukhari) They would come and go to the masjid unrecognized.

Ibn Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) heard the Prophet (peace be upon him) say about assigning a special door for women in the mosque. “It is better if we leave this door for women.” This is all the Prophet said and Ibn Umar never entered through that door till he died.

Once the Prophet (peace be upon him) saw men and women together on the road upon their departure from the mosque.

He said to the women: “Hold back a bit. You do not have to walk in the middle of the road”.

You may keep to the sides.” The narrator of the Hadith commented that women after that would come so close to the buildings that their dresses would sometimes cling to the walls.” (Abu Dawood)

The narrations are too many to mention. But the vital question is: Why is our attitude so different from that of the Companions?

Their faith was deep-rooted.
Allah says, “But no, by your Lord, they can have no Faith, until they make you (O Muhammad, peace be upon him) judge in all disputes between them, and find in themselves no resistance against your decisions, and accept (them) with full submission.” (Qur’an, 4:65)

They implemented the Qur’an.
Allah praises the Sahabah’s eagerness to obey Allah in the Qur’an: “…they say, ‘We hear, and we obey. (We seek) Your forgiveness, our Lord, and to You is the return (of all).’(Qur’an, 2:285)

They knew obeying the Prophet would earn them Allah’s love.
Say (O Muhammad, peace be upon him, to mankind): “If you (really) love Allah, then follow me, Allah will love you and forgive you your sins. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (Qur’an, 3:31)

May Allah guide us to the Iman of the Companions.