I was wondering why in the Hadeeth books there are so many Hadeeth from Abu Hurayrah when he only spent a limited time with the Prophet, compared to Abu Bakr, Umar, Othman and Ali. He has more Hadeeth then these 4 put together and they all spent more time with the Prophet than him.
All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger. We ask Allaah to exalt his mention as well as that of his family and all his companions.
Imaam Al-Bukhari reported that Abu Hurayrah said: "You people say that Abu Hurayrah tells many narrations from the Prophet and you also wonder why the Muhaajireen (the Muslim who migrated from Makkah to Madeenah) and Ansaar (the residents of Madeenah) do not narrate from him as Abu Hurayrah does. My emigrant brothers were busy in the market while I used to stick to the Prophet content with what fills my stomach; so I used to be present when they were absent and I used to remember when they used to forget, and my Ansaar brothers used to be busy with their properties and I was one of the poor men of Suffah. I used to remember the narrations when they used to forget. No doubt, the Prophet once said, "Whoever spreads his garment till I have finished my present speech and then gathers it to himself, will remember whatever I will say." So, I spread my colored garment which I was wearing till the Prophet had finished his saying, and then I gathered it to my chest. So, I did not forget any of those narrations."
So it becomes clear from this narration that Abu Hurayrah narrated many narrations more than other companions because he used to remain with the Prophet while other emigrant and Ansaar companions, used to be busy getting their subsistence, he was blessed with a good memory, and he was keen to acquire knowledge. One day he asked the Prophet about intercession. So the Prophet told him: "I thought that no one would ask me about this before you as I saw that you are very keen in memorizing my narrations." [Al-Bukhari]
There is no doubt that many companions embraced Islam many years before Abu Hurayrah but his becoming a Muslim in the last four years of the Prophet's life, when the Islamic rulings were established in addition to him being constantly with the company of the Prophet all this enabled him to memorize the narrations more than other companions . Moreover, a person who ponders about this will realize that Abu Hurayrah's embracing of Islam at that period of time and his keeping company with the Prophet was a blessing from Allaah for this nation.
Allaah knows best.
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