Superiority of the First Band of Three Generations of Islam – by Abu Rakan Shahid ul Islam

All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. Peace and blessing be upon whom Allah sent as a mercy to the Worlds, upon his Family, his Companions and his Brothers till the Day of Resurrection:

-: قَالَ شَيْخُ الْإِسْلَامِ اِبْنِ تَيْمِيَّةَ رَحِمَهُ اللهُ

وَمِنْ الْمَعْلُومِ بِالضَّرُورَةِ لِمَنْ تَدَبَّرَ الْكِتَابَ وَالسُّنَّةَ وَمَا اتَّفَقَ عَلَيْهِ أَهْلُ السُّنَّةِ وَالْجَمَاعَةِ مِنْ جَمِيعِ الطَّوَائِفِ: أَنَّ خَيْرَ قُرُونِ هَذِهِ الْأُمَّةِ فِي الْأَعْمَالِ وَالْأَقْوَالِ وَالِاعْتِقَادِ وَغَيْرِهَا مِنْ كُلِّ فَضِيلَةٍ أَنَّ خَيْرَهَا: الْقَرْنُ الْأَوَّلُ ثُمَّ الَّذِينَ يَلُونَهُمْ ثُمَّ الَّذِينَ يَلُونَهُمْ كَمَا ثَبَتَ ذَلِكَ عَنْ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ مِنْ غَيْرِ وَجْهٍ وَأَنَّهُمْ أَفْضَلُ مِنْ الْخَلَفِ فِي كُلِّ فَضِيلَةٍ: مِنْ عِلْمٍ وَعَمَلٍ وَإِيمَانٍ وَعَقْلٍ وَدِينٍ وَبَيَانٍ وَعِبَادَةٍ وَأَنَّهُمْ أَوْلَى بِالْبَيَانِ لِكُلِّ مُشْكِلٍ. هَذَا لَا يَدْفَعُهُ إلَّا مَنْ كَابَرَ الْمَعْلُومَ بِالضَّرُورَةِ مِنْ دِينِ الْإِسْلَامِ وَأَضَلَّهُ اللَّهُ عَلَى عِلْمٍ؛ كَمَا قَالَ عَبْدُ اللَّهِ بْنُ مَسْعُودٍ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ “مَنْ كَانَ مِنْكُمْ مُسْتَنًّا فَلْيَسْتَنَّ بِمَنْ قَدْ مَاتَ. فَإِنَّ الْحَيَّ لَا تُؤْمَنُ عَلَيْهِ الْفِتْنَةُ أُولَئِكَ أَصْحَابُ مُحَمَّدٍ: أَبَرُّ هَذِهِ الْأُمَّةِ قُلُوبًا وَأَعْمَقُهَا عِلْمًا وَأَقَلُّهَا تَكَلُّفًا قَوْمٌ اخْتَارَهُمْ اللَّهُ لِصُحْبَةِ نَبِيِّهِ وَإِقَامَةِ دِينِهِ فَاعْرِفُوا لَهُمْ حَقَّهُمْ وَتَمَسَّكُوا بِهَدْيِهِمْ فَإِنَّهُمْ كَانُوا عَلَى الْهُدَى الْمُسْتَقِيمِ” وَقَالَ غَيْرُهُ: “عَلَيْكُمْ بِآثَارِ مَنْ سَلَفَ فَإِنَّهُمْ جَاءُوا بِمَا يَكْفِي وَمَا يَشْفِي وَلَمْ يَحْدُثْ بَعْدَهُمْ خَيْرٌ كَامِنٌ لَمْ يَعْلَمُوهُ”. هَذَا وَقَدْ قَالَ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ {لَا يَأْتِي زَمَانٌ إلَّا وَاَلَّذِي بَعْدَهُ شَرٌّ مِنْهُ حَتَّى تَلْقَوْا رَبَّكُمْ} فَكَيْفَ يَحْدُثُ لَنَا زَمَانٌ فِيهِ الْخَيْرُ فِي أَعْظَمِ الْمَعْلُومَاتِ وَهُوَ مَعْرِفَةُ اللَّهِ تَعَالَى؟ هَذَا لَا يَكُونُ أَبَدًا. وَمَا أَحْسَنَ مَا قَالَ الشَّافِعِيُّ رَحِمَهُ اللَّهُ فِي رِسَالَتِهِ:  هُمْ فَوْقَنَا فِي كُلِّ عِلْمٍ وَعَقْلٍ وَدِينٍ وَفَضْل.”وَكُلِّ سَبَبٍ يُنَالُ بِهِ عِلْمٌ أَوْ يُدْرَكُ بِهِ هُدًى وَرَأْيُهُمْ لَنَا خَيْرٌ مِنْ رَأْيِنَا لِأَنْفُسٍنا”۔

The Shaykh of Islam Ibn Taymiyyah رحمه الله said:

“It is known to those who reflect upon the Qur’an, the Sunnah (whatever is reported from the Prophet), and the consensus opinions of Ahl-ul-Sunnah wal-Jama`ah (adherents to the Sunnah and the Muslim mainstream) that the best generation of this nation in terms of actions, sayings, beliefs, and all virtues is the first generation, then those that followed them, and then those that followed them.

This was reported in a number of authentic Hadiths from the Prophet (peace be upon him) in this regard.They are better than later generations in every respect, whether knowledge, practice, faith, understanding, commitment, eloquence, or worship. Thus, they are the most worthy of explaining anything difficult. None can argue this except those who deny the well-established and known Islamic facts; and Allah, knowing that they know the truth, left them in error.” `Abdullah ibn Mas`ud (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “Whoever wants to follow an example, let them follow the example of those who have passed away, for those who are living are not safe from Fitnah (temptation). They were the Sahabah (Companions) of Muhammad. They were the best of this Ummah, the purest in heart, the deepest in knowledge, and the farthest from false display of piety. They were the people whom Allah chose to be the Companions of His Prophet and to convey His Religion. So, acknowledge their superiority and imitate their way and behavior, for they were following the straight path.” Another scholar said: “Hold fast to the traditions of the Salaf, for they brought forth what is sufficient and curative. There was not any hidden good that they did not know.”

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “No time will come but the following time will be worse than it until you meet your Lord.” How can there be a time that matches the importance and superiority of the time that witnessed the revelation of the best of knowledge, that is, the knowledge of Allah. This shall never happen.

How excellent are the words of Al-Shaf’i (may Allah be merciful to him), who wrote in his book Al-Risalah:

“They (the Sahabah) are superior to us in all knowledge, intelligence, faith, virtue, and every means through which knowledge or guidance is attained. Indeed, their opinion is more beneficial to us than our own is to us.”

[“Majmû` Al-Fatâwa” vol. 4, pp. 157-158]

The perfect knowledge belongs to Allah عزَّ وجلَّ. Our last prayer is all praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. Peace and blessing be upon our Prophet, his Family, his Companions and Brothers till the Day of Resurrection.


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