From Allâh's mercy and kindness to His servants and from His favor upon them is that He sent to them a Messenger from amongst themselves, to convey to them the Message from their Lord, to guide them to everything that benefits them, and to warn them from everything that harms them.
Indeed the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) fulfilled his duty of conveying the Message in the most complete and perfect of manners - he directed his Ummah towards every good, and he warned them against every evil.
Allâh chose for accompanying him and taking knowledge from him a people who are the best of this nation, which is itself the best of all nations. Allâh honored them by allowing them to accompany His Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him). He favored them in this worldly life by giving them the opportunity to see him and hear his hadîth directly from his noble mouth. This is the bounty of Allâh which He bestows upon whom He wills, and Allâh possesses the greatest of bounties.
Indeed the Companions conveyed from Allâh's Messenger (peace and blessing be upon him) that which he was sent with from guidance in the most complete and perfect form. They will have the greatest of rewards due to their companionship of Allâh's Messenger (peace and blessing be upon him), their fighting in Jihâd along his side, and their noble actions in spreading Islâm.
And they will also accumulate the rewards of those who come after them since they served as the intermediaries between them and Allâh's Messenger (peace and blessing be upon him). This is due to his saying:
“Whoever calls towards guidance, he will have a reward equal to the reward earned by those who practice that guidance after him, and it will not reduce anything from their reward.” Sahîh Hadîth: Reported by Muslim (2674), Abu Dawûd (4609), At-Tirmidhî (2676), Ibn Mâjah (206) and others.
This hadîth has been related of the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) by Muslim in his Sahîh. Allâh praised the Companions in His Mighty Book, and the Messenger of Allâh (peace and blessing be upon him praised them in his purified Sunnah, and this is enough for them as a virtue and honor.
“And the foremost to embrace Islâm of the Muhâjirîn and the Ansâr and also those who followed them in goodness, Allâh is pleased with them and they are pleased with Him. Allâh has prepared for them gardens under which rivers flow (Paradise) to dwell therein forever. That is the supreme success.” [Sûrah At-Tawbah: 100].
And He says:
“Muhammad is the Messenger of Allâh. And those who are with him are severe against the disbelievers, merciful towards one another. You can see them bowing and prostrating (in prayer), seeking Bounty from Allâh and (His) Good Pleasure. Their marks (of Faith) are on their faces (foreheads) from the traces of prostration. This is their description in the Torah. But their description in the Gospel is like that of a cultivated seed, which sends forth its shoot, then makes it strong and becomes thick, and it stands straight on its stem, pleasing the farmers, that he may enrage the disbelievers with them. Allâh has promised those among them who believe and do good deeds, forgiveness and a mighty reward.” [Sûrah Al-Fat'h: 29].
In Allâh's saying concerning the Sahâbah, “…that he may enrage the disbelievers with them,” is the severest ruling, the harshest threat and the worst of warnings for those who are enraged by the Sahâbah or those who have some hatred for them in their hearts.
By Shaykh 'Abdul-Muhsin Al-'Abbâd