Furthermore, the amount that is forsaken yet forgiven from the (bad) deeds committed by some of them is minute in comparison to their virtues and good qualities, such as their belief in Allâh and His Messenger (peace and blessing be upon him), Jihâd in His Way, Hijrah, support (of the Religion), beneficial knowledge and good deeds. And whoever studies the history of the ‘people’ (i.e. the Sahâbah) with knowledge and insight, and studies the bounty Allâh bestowed upon them, he will come to know with full certainty that they are the best of creation after the prophets. There was never, nor will there ever be anyone like them. (He will come to know that) they are the chosen elite from all the generations of this nation (of Muslims), which is itself the best and most honorable of all nations with Allâh.”
These are five examples from the sayings of the Salaf as-Sâlih (righteous predecessors) concerning what we are obligated to believe in with respect to the best of creation after the Prophets and Messengers. One thing we must understand is that defaming these chosen and special people is in fact a defamation of the Religion. This is due to the fact that the Religion was not passed onto successive generations except through them, and as it has already been stated in the words of Abu Zur'ah: “The only ones who brought this Qur'ân and the Sunan (plural of Sunnah) to us are the Companions of Allâh's Messenger (peace and blessing be upon him). They [the heretics] only wish to disparage and demolish our witnesses so that they can nullify the Book and the Sunnah, whereas they are more deserving of being disparaged for they are the heretics (zanâdiqah).” This refers to those who seek to belittle any of the Companions. It implies that the one who defames them does not harm them in the least but rather only benefits them, according to the previously stated hadîth of the “bankrupt person,” and it implies that the one who defames them only causes harm to himself. Whoever finds in his heart love for them and not hatred and keeps his tongue from mentioning anything but good about them, he should praise Allâh for this blessing. He should ask Allâh to keep him firm upon this guidance. And whoever holds any hatred for them in his heart, and his tongue is loose in mentioning them with that which does not befit them, then he must fear Allâh and desist from these crimes. He must repent to Allâh so long as the door of repentance is open for him, before he regrets when regret is of no benefit.
Our Lord! Do not cause our hearts to go astray after having guided us and grant us mercy from Yourself, indeed You are the One who grants all requests. “Our Lord! Forgive us and our brothers who preceded us in Faith. And put not in our hearts any hatred against those who have believed. Our Lord, You are indeed full of kindness, most Merciful.”