Rank and Status
The Holy Companions radiyallahu anhum are in fact the live versions of the sacred books of the Hadith and the Sunnah; their achievements are a just witness to their wisdom and modesty, justness, rectitude and piety. They were the earliest bearers of the religion and the Shari'ah (law) and it is through them that the religion and the Shari'ah have reached us. Although there is an abundance of proofs available in the Quran and the Hadith as regards these holy Companions' justness and sincerity, the irony is that even those people who feel no qualm in taunting and reproaching this sacred group are brassy enough to declare themselves to be the followers of Islam.
Allah Most High says:
The Holy Quran declares Allah's pleasure in them but the self-styled renovators of Islam, blindfolded as regards the holy Companions' eulogies and merits, have made them - Allah forbid! - The butt of reproach, objection and criticism!
The Holy Prophet's statement was: "My Companions are like stars. Whomsoever from amongst them you follow, you will have acquired guidance." He also said: "As regards my Companions, fear Allah, fear Allah. Don't make them the target of reproach after me. So, whoever loves them, he would love them on account of his love for me, and whoever shows enmity towards them would do so on account of his being an enemy to me."
Another statement is: "The best of all periods is my period (i.e., the holy Companions' period); then of those people who are near to them (i.e. the tabi' in - the followers of the Companions), and then of those who are near to them (i.e. the Tab' a Tabi'in - the Followers-on)".
As regards the justness of the holy Companions' group, Imam Abu Zar'ah Razi writes: "When you notice someone is detracting people, from anyone of the Holy Prophet's Companions, take it for granted that he is a zindiq (the criminal dissident); for the messenger is true, the Quran is true, and whatever the messenger has brought is true, and these facts were narrated to us by the holy Companions. But these criminal dissidents want to demolish our witnesses in order to falsify the Book and the Sunnah. Hence they are the more demolished (themselves).” (Fath al-Mughith, p.375).