Fatwa No : 163543
The Companions are not infallible in respect of committing sins
Fatwa Date : Shawwaal 8, 1432 / 6-9-2011
What is the Aqeedah of Ahlus sunnah wa jammah regarding the Sahaba of the Prophet . Were all the Sahaba Maghfoor (forgiven by Allah for any sin) and none of them will ever enter the Hellfire for any sin? If yes, then Imam Bukhari lists three Hadeeths in which three men were told they would go to hellfire. Were these men not Muslim ? If they were Muslim then is this still correct to say that all the Sahaba are Maghfoor (forgiven) and none of them including these men will ever go to Hellfire ? Is this not refusing what the Prophet told about these three men? The Hadeeths are:
· Narrated Anas bin Malik: ...Allah's Apostle kept on saying, "Ask Me! " Then a man got up and asked, ''Where will my entrance be, O Allah's Apostle?" The Prophet said, "(You will go to) the Fire." [Bukhari and Muslim]
· It is reported on the authority of Sahl b. Sa'd al-Sa'idi, "And there was a person among the Companions of the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) who did not spare a detached (fighter of the enemy) but pursued and killed him with the sword. They (the Companions of the Holy Prophet) said: "None served us better today than this man." Upon this the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) remarked: "Verily he is one of the denizens of the Fire." [Muslim and Bukhari]
· Similarly, there is another hadith where Prophet saw a grave of Companion in Baqee graveyard who was appointed as a Zakat collector in his life and he was in the fire.
Please tell me clearly if these four men were Muslim or Kafir or Munafiq.
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.
Ahlus-Sunnah Wal-Jamaa‘ah affirm Paradise to those who are proven by text (of the Quran and Sunnah) to be among the dwellers of Paradise, like the ten who received the good tidings of Paradise. Thus, everyone who is proven by text to be among the dwellers of Paradise will, without doubt, be admitted to it. However, apart from those proven by text to be of the dwellers of Paradise from among the Companions, some scholars are of the opinion that Paradise is expected for, rather than affirmed to them. According to this opinion, there is no problem. Hence, if those referred to in the Ahaadeeth (narrations) mentioned in the question are not hypocrites, then they are among those doomed by Allaah The Almighty to be punished for some of their sins, and their final destiny will be in Paradise, just like the perpetrators of the major sins of this Ummah (Muslim nation). Indeed, the Companions are not infallible in respect of committing sins, as agreed upon by the scholars.
Nevertheless, some scholars affirm Paradise to all the Companions, which is the opinion of Ibn Hazm from whom Al-Haafith (Ibn Hajar) quoted it in Al-Isaabah, without commenting on it. According to that opinion, those texts and their like should be construed to ascribe to hypocrisy to those about whom they were reported. What supports this is the way the commentators of Ahaadeeth talked about those Ahaadeeth. For example, Al-'Ayni said in ‘Umdat Al-Qaari, in his commentary on the Hadeeth of the man who asked the Prophet , where his entrance would be (in the Hereafter), and he said: "The Hellfire." The point here is that he was a hypocrite, or that the Prophet , knew about his bad ending, just as he knew about the good ending of the ten who received the glad tidings of Paradise."
In his commentary on the story of Quzmaan who did not spare a detached fighter of the enemy but pursued and killed him with his sword (on the Day of Uhud), and the Messenger of Allaah , said that he would be among the denizens of the Hellfire. Al-‘Ayni said,
“His saying, "And from among the Companions of the Messenger of Allaah , there was a man, his name is Quzmaan, he was counted among the hypocrites. On the day of the battle of ‘Uhud, he remained behind, and the women heaped shame on him, and said to him, 'You are but a woman!' So, he came out (to the battlefield) and was the first to shoot an arrow. Then, the sheath of his sword was broken, and he called out, 'O men of Aws! Fight for the nobility of your ancestors!" When he was seriously injured, Qataadah ibn An-Nu‘maan passed by him, and said to him, 'Congratulations to you for martyrdom.' On that he said, 'I, by Allaah, have not fought for the sake of the religion. I have fought only to defend our land (from Quraish).' Then, he committed suicide."
Upon that the Messenger of Allaah , said: "No doubt, Allaah may support the religion (Islam) with a wicked man." It is in this way that all similar Ahaadeeth reported in this respect should be construed.
As regards the Hadeeth of the man who used to collect Zakah, etc., then we did not come across it.
Finally, As-Sakhaawi thoroughly investigated the issue of the Companions and their trustworthiness, in his explanation of Alfiyyat Al-‘Iraaqi, which is beneficial as a reference, so you may refer to it if you wish.
Allaah Knows best.