It is stated in a Hadith that the Holy Prophet's freed slave, Hazrat Thauban had become very weak and his body had turned pale. So when the Holy Prophet inquired about his health, Thauban replied: "O Apostle of Allah! I have no disease, it is this much only, that when I do not see you, I feel very aggrieved and I am very much bewildered as long as I do not come into your presence and soothe my eyes. So now I think about the Hereafter, that I will not be able to see you, because even if I get entry into Paradise, you will be in the class of Prophets where I am not able to reach; and if I am not admitted to Paradise, I will never be able to see you and it is in this grievance that I am melting."
It was after this incident that Allah Most High revealed the verse (IV: 69), and Hazrat Thauban was satisfied. Such was the Holy Prophet's value among them (the Companions), and it was for this reason that Allah Most High had selected them to give company to His Beloved Prophet. They had the capability and competence to live in the company of the Chief of the Prophets they had sacrificed themselves for him, and hence, Allah Most High, on account of their attachment to the Prophet and the blessing of his company, had awarded them such high ranks that the highest Gauth and the greatest Qutb of the later times cannot reach the status of the humblest of the humble Companions.
Although there have been born in the Holy Prophet's ummah many such slaves and friends of Allah whose strivings with the unregenerate self are greater than those of most of the great Companions, their prayers, their fasts, their nightly lamentation, their Tahajjud prayers and their reciting of the Quran far exceed those of some of the Companions, yet they cannot reach the rank of the dust of the Companions' soles.
This is in fact the regard and consideration for the Prophetic Sunnah and love for Muhammad It is for this reason that none is entitled to review and criticise the Companions' actions and practices, not because they were in-errant, for the in-errant are the prophets alone from whom the committing of a sin is impossible. But none has the right to open one's lips (take exception) against any one of the Companions' actions; the reason whereof is the same connection of companionship. But if a man has no love at all for the Holy Prophet nor is he committed to the divine commandments, he alone can be the man who regardless, and led by Satan, will keep writing whatever he likes and keep talking whatever he wishes. The decision about which the Just Lord will give tomorrow on the Day of Judgement in the presence of the Holy Prophet and the Companions.
"Those who do wrong will come to know by what overturning they will be overturned" (XXVI: 227)