By N. Truth-Seeker
Please read Surah At-Tawbah (Chapter 9) of the Noble Quran from Verses 42 to 65 .. how Allah Almighty warns the Prophet (pbuh) about hypocritical companions who hovered around him trying to show they were well-meaning and loyal whereas the intent within their hearts was quite the opposite. No one's name is mentioned of course. But these were precisely the kind of people who later on, after the passing of the Prophet (pbuh), made plenty of mischief including the starting of the hadith culture and who are today referred to as "sahabas."
I'm absolutely sure the above mentioned Verses do not refer to the close and loyal companions like Abu Bakr, Usman, Umer and Ali; and I'm also sure there were several others who were trustworthy. In Sunni masjids they don't talk about Ali. In my opinion, all of these four were honest sincere and truthful to the maximum.
However, when our imams, sheikhs and ulemas (many of them so-called) get into the trance of veneration, then one needs to be careful as to what they say. Presently the sermons we hear in our masjids have too many digressions and concepts of bid'ah. Often they're also influenced by the political climate. Absurdity of ideas contained in their glorification of their favorite spiritual icons is nothing unusual. It's of utmost importance that listeners must be discerning .... descry as you listen. These veneration 'sprees' (regardless of who they venerate) are lacking in authenticity more often than not .. sometimes also expressing Haram ideas of glorification. This is a problem with both sects, Sunnis as well as Shiias, big time! Therefor I reiterate, perceive carefully as you listen. No need at all to argue with them. If you have carefully read the Quran, it won't be hard for you to catch anything inappropriate they may utter that does not feel compatible with the Quran or clearly clashes with the Quran.
There are also certain other Verses in other Surahs where Allah refers to the troublemakers who only created problems for the Prophet's mission. I cannot recall them at the moment, but whenever I find them, I'll post them here .... Insh'Allah.
The Quran mentions nothing of any sahabas other than V.9:40 where apparently the reference is to Abu Bkr Siddiq. Quote:- "when they two were in the cave, when he said unto his comrade: Grieve not. Lo! Allah is with us." V. 9:40. This Verse briefly describes the event when the Prophet (pbuh) was compelled to leave Makkah and immigrate to Medinah because of the growing persecution by the Makkans. From all accounts of history, the person traveling with the Prophet was his old friend and who later also became his father-in-law (Aisha's father), Abu Bakr. But even he isn't mentioned by name in V.9:40.
The only family member of the Prophet (pbuh) whose name has been mentioned in the Quran in just one Verse is that of his adopted son, Zaid, in V.33:37. Other than that, the name of one of the arch enemies of the Prophet (pbuh) is mentioned in Surah Al-Masad (Chapter 111), that is Abu Lahab, who is condemned to Hell in the words of The Almighty. Same condemnation in the same Surah is also for his wife though her name isn't mentioned.
Our imams and sheikhs often use Verse 4:59 to justify the practice of extreme reverence of "sahabas." Quoting V.4:59 :- "O ye who believe! Obey Allah, and obey the messenger and those of you who are in authority; and if ye have a dispute concerning any matter, refer it to Allah and the messenger if ye are (in truth) believers in Allah and the Last Day. That is better and more seemly in the end." V.4:59.
The expression "those of you who are in authority" in the above Verse 4:59 refers to some of those who were long known to the Prophet (pbuh) and were truly trusted by him. But our clerics generally take this Verse as a reference to all names of the narrators of Hadith .. crooks, rogues, forgers, slanderers .. just about anyone and everyone who narrates a hadith regardless of the deplorable contents of that hadith. Needless to say, the opinion couldn't be more deeply flawed. Most of such folks have been referred to in Verses 42 to 65 of Surah At-Tawbah (Chapter 9). Within the Quranic ideology there's no such thing as blind following of iconic personalities. Allah has given us a mind with a purpose. He expects us to think, reflect and perceive before making a decision about what we hear, read or see. Even when Allah Almighty explains to us the Truth of His Existence, He constantly reminds us to think and reflect. Check this article posted at Muslim Villa written by Safdar Razi titled "Investigation Before Belief."