In Defence of The Sahabi al-Jalil
The Faqeeh, The Mujtahid, The Muhaddith
Series compilers, Translated and Annotated
Abu Hibbaan & Abu Khuzaimah Ansaari
Saleem bin Aswad said,
“Once I came to Madeenah and met Abu Ayyoob Ansaari (Radhiallaahu Anhu) who was narrating from Abu Hurairah. I said to Abu Ayyoob, “Oh Abu Ayyoob you are narrating from Abu Hurairah when you yourself sat in the company of the Messenger of Allaah (Sallalahu Alayhee Was-Sallam). So Abu Ayyoob said, “Without doubt Abu Hurairah heard from the Messenger of Allaah (Sallalahu Alayhee Was-Sallam) which we did not hear and so the ahadeeth I did not hear from the Messenger of Allaah (Sallalahu Alayhee Was-Sallam) it is highly beloved to me that I narrate them from Abu Hurairah.” (ar-Radd al-Qayyum A’la Mujrim al-Atheem (pg.294) of Hamood bin Abdullaah)
Ubayy ibn Ka’ab Ansaari said,
“Abu Hurairah had a lot of courage and he would ask the Messenger of Allaah (Sallalahu Alayhee Was-Sallam) the things we would not have had the courage to ask.” (Tirmidhee (2/224), al-Bidaayah Wan-Nihaayah (8/107), al-Asaabah (7/204), Fath ul-Baaree (1/225)
Once a person came and asked Abdullaah ibn Abbaas (Radhiallaahu Anhuma) a question and at that time Abu Hurairah was also present. So Ibn Abbaas addressed Abu Hurairah and said,
“Please answer him the issue is very difficult.” (Siyar A’laam an-Nabula (2/437), Tahdheeb ut-Tahdheeb (12/266).
Once a person came to Zayd bin Thaabit (Radhiallaahu Anhu) and asked him a question so Zayd bin Thaabit said,
“Do not let go of Abu Hurairah.” (Siyar A’laam an-Nabula (2/437), Tahdheeb ut-Tahdheeb (12/266).
Muhammad bin A’maarah bin Hazm mentions that once he had the opportunity in going to a gathering in which the major companions were also sitting and Abu Hurairah was reciting ahadeeth to them. When one of the companions would forget a word of a hadeeth they would ask Abu Hurairah. I found out from that day that Abu Hurairah was a great memoriser of hadeeth from all the companions. (Fath ul-Baaree (1/225).
A’amash narrates from Saaleh as-Samaan who said Abu Hurairah was the biggest preservers of hadeeth from all the companions. I do not mean Abu Hurairah was the most virtuous from all the companions rather I want to say he was the companion who preserved the most hadeeth from all the companions. (Tadhkirratul-Huffaadh (1/34), Ibn Aasaakir (47/486).
Imaam Shaafi’ee said Abu Hurairah was the Haafidh of hadeeth of his time. (Tadhkirratul-Huffaadh (2/31).
Allaamah Dhahabee said Abu Hurairah was a vessel of knowledge and had a lofty status amongst the Imaams who issued verdicts. (Tadhkirratul-Huffaadh (2/28).
Imaam Bukhaari said Abu Hurairah benefited from 800 companions of knowledge, he was the biggest preserver of hadeeth in his time. (Tahdheeb ut-Tahdheeb (12/26), al-Bidaayah Wan-Nihaayah (8/103), Ibn Aasaakir (47/483).
Haafidh Ibn Abdul Barr said Abu Hurairah was the biggest preserver of hadeeth from amongst the companions of the Messenger of Allaah (Sallalahu Alayhee Was-Sallam) (al-Esteeya’aab Fee Ma’arifatul-Ashaab (4/315).
Haafidh Ibn Hajr said Abu Hurairah was a bigger preserver of hadeeth then the narrators of his time and no one from amongst the companions had such a treasure of hadeeth as Abu Hurairah did. The scholars of hadeeth agree on many of his narrations from amongst the companions. (Asaabah (2/204), Tahdheeb ut-Tahdheeb (12/266).
Imaam Ibn Taymiyyah said Abu Hurairah was the renowned memoriser of hadeeth from amongst all the Ummah and he would narrate ahadeeth in the exact manner he would hear them. (ar-Radd al-Qayyum A’la Mujrim al-Atheem (pg.260).
Haafidh Ibn Qayyim in agreeance with his teacher Imaam Ibn Taymiyyah said Abu Hurairah without doubt was the preserver of the Ummah and the ahadeeth he narrated from the Messenger of Allaah (Sallalahu Alayhee Was-Sallam) are authentic. (ar-Radd al-Qayyum A’la Mujrim al-Atheem (pg.260)
Haafidh Ibn Katheer said Abu Hurairah was an example of memorization, firmness, honesty, trustworthiness, worship and righteous actions. He narrated many ahadeeth and he is counted amongst the companions who preserved ahadeeth. (al-Bidaayah Wan-Nihaayah (8/110).
The famous historian Ibn E’maad al-Hanbalee said Abu Hurairah was a worshipper and the one who remembered abundantly. Similarly Allaah had gifted him with excellent manners. He was one the Ameer of Madeenah. He was a great Haafidh of hadeeth amongst the companions and narrated many ahadeeth. (Shadhraat adh-Dhahab (1/63).
The next statement is a somewhat of a decisive statement from a great Imaam. In it he indicates and implicates the hanafee’s of these horrendous crimes of accusing the companions of being non-faqeeh’s and at the same time he refutes the one’s who think they are hanafee. So the people with any understanding will know (which Imaam) he is referring to.
So the Muhaddith, the faqeeh, the Mujtahid and the Imaam Abu Bakr Muhammad bin Ishaaq Ibn Khuzaimah (d.311H) writes,
“The people who do not accept the hadeeth of Abu Hurairah are those people whose hearts Allaah has made blind and they are unable to understand the meanings of this hadeeth. From the groups of people who deny the hadeeth of Abu Hurairah are,
(1) The Jahmiyyah wa Mu’attilah Sect
(4) The Juhala (the ignorant ones)
And the juhala are those people who although are jaahil (ignorant) still consider themselves to be jurists. Such people when they see some of the ahadeeth of Abu Hurairah are contrary to their madhab they reject them and begin to raise all kinds of objections on Abu Hurairah and when they find some that conform to their madhab, they accept them. (Mustadrak (3/513)
The defence of this great Sahaabee is endless aswell as his life and his favour upon the Muslims up until Yaum al-Qiyaamah. Up until Ahlul-Bid’ah Wal-Zaigh remain the attacks and allegation upon these illustrious companions will also remain especially from the hanafee’s. May Allaah grant us the Tawfeeq and Quwwah in defending them. Ameen.