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The Shī‘ah among the Companions [ṣaḥābah]

Ghulam-Husayn Muharrami

We said earlier that the first person to call the followers of ‘Alī (‘a) as “Shī‘ah” was the receiver of the divine revelation, Muhammad al-Mustafā

#7779;). During the time of the Holy Holy Prophet (S)a number of his Companions were known as “Shī‘ah of ‘Alī”. In Khaṭaṭ ash-Shām, Muhammad Kird ‘Alī thus writes: During the period of the Holy Prophet

#7779;), a number of the great Companions was known for their fellowship and friendship with ‘Alī such as Salmān al-Fārsī who used to say: “We pledged allegiance to the Messenger of Allah

#7779;) that we would be the well-wishers of Muslims and that we follow and befriend ‘Alī ibn Abī Ṭālib”; and Abū Sa‘īd al-Khudrī who used to say: “We were ordered five things, of which the people acted upon the four but have abandoned one of them.” He was asked: “What are the four?” He replied: “Prayer, zakāt, fasting in the month of Ramadān, and Ḥajj” He was again asked: “What is the thing that the people abandoned?” He replied: “The wilāyah [mastership] of ‘Alī ibn Abī Ṭālib.” The person asked: “Is this also obligatory like the others?” [Among the Shī‘ah were] also Abū Dharr al-Ghiffārī, ‘Ammār ibn Yāsir, Khadīqah ibn Yamān, Khuzaymah ibn Thābit Dhū’sh-Shahadatayn, Abū Ayyūb al-Anṣārī, Khālid ibn Sa‘īd, and Qays ibn Sa‘d.
Regarding the pioneering Shī‘ah, Ibn Abī’l-Ḥadīd also says, thus: The talk on the superiority of ‘Alī is an old subject in which a great number of the Companions and Followers [tābi‘ūn] believed. Among the Companions were ‘Ammār; Miqdād; Abū Dharr; Salmān; Jābir; Ubayy ibn Ka‘b; Ḥudhayfah; Buraydah; Abū Ayyūb; Sahl ibn Ḥunayf; ‘Uthmān ibn Ḥunayf; Abū’l-Haytham ibn Tayyihān; Khuzaymah ibn Thābit; Abū’ṭ-Ṭufayl ‘Āmir ibn Wāthilah; ‘Abbās ibn ‘Abd al-Muṭṭalib; and all members of the Banū Hāshim and Banū Muṭṭalib. At the beginning, Zubayr also believed in ‘Alī’s superiority. They were a few from among the Banū Umayyah such as Khālid ibn Sa‘īd and later on, ‘Umar ibn ‘Abd al-‘Azīz.
In Ad-Darajāt ar-Rafī‘ah fī Ṭabaqāt ash-Shī‘ah, Sayyid ‘Alī Khān ash-Shīrāzī has allotted a certain part to the Shī‘ah among the Companions. He has first mentioned the members of the Banū Hāshim and then the other Shī‘ah among the Companions. In the first section which is related to the Shī‘ah Companions among the members of the Banū Hāshim, it is thus stated: Abū Ṭālib; ‘Abbās ibn ‘Abd al-Muṭṭalib; ‘Abd Allāh ibn al-‘Abbās; Faḍl ibn al-‘Abbās; ‘Ubayd Allāh ibn al-‘Abbās; Qithm ibn al-‘Abbās; ‘Abd ar-Raḥmān ibn al-‘Abbās; Tamām ibn al-‘Abbās; ‘Aqīl ibn Abī Ṭālib; Abū Sufyān ibn Ḥārith ibn ‘Abd al-Muṭṭalib; Nawfal ibn Ḥārith ibn ‘Abd al-Muṭṭalib; ‘Abd Allāh ibn Zubayr ibn ‘Abd al-Muṭṭalib; ‘Abd Allāh ibn Ja‘far; ‘Awn ibn Ja‘far; Muhammad ibn Ja‘far; Rabī‘ah ibn Ḥārith ibn ‘Abd al-Muṭṭalib; Ṭufayl ibn Ḥārith ibn ‘Abd al-Muṭṭalib; Mughayrah ibn Nawfal ibn Ḥārith ibn ‘Abd al-Muṭṭalib; ‘Abbās ibn ‘Utbah ibn Abī Lahab; ‘Abd al-Muṭṭalib ibn Rabī‘ah ibn Ḥārith ibn ‘Abd al-Muṭṭalib; and Ja‘far ibn Abī Sufyān ibn Ḥārith ibn ‘Abd al-Muṭṭalib.
In the second section (the non-Banū Hāshim Shī‘ah among the Companions), Sayyid ‘Alī Khān has thus recorded: ‘Amr ibn Abī Salmah; Salmān al-Fārsī; Miqdād ibn Aswād; Abū Dharr al-Ghiffārī; ‘Ammār ibn Yāsir; Ḥudhayfah ibn Yamān; Khuzaymah ibn Thābit; Abū Ayyūb al-Anṣārī; Abū’l-Haytham Mālik ibn Tayyihān; Ubayy ibn Ka‘b; Sa‘d ibn ‘Ubādah; Qays ibn Sa‘d; Sa‘d ibn Sa‘d ibn ‘Ubādah; Abū Quṭādah al-Anṣārī; ‘Udayy ibn Ḥātam; ‘Ubādah ibn Ṣāmit; Bilāl ibn Rubāḥ; Abū’l-Ḥumarā’; Abū Rāfi‘; Hāshim ibn ‘Utbah ibn Abī Waqqāṣ; ‘Uthmān ibn Ḥunayf; Sahl ibn Ḥunayf; Ḥakīm ibn Jablah al-‘Adwī; Khālid ibn Sa‘īd ibn al-‘Āṣ; Walīd ibn Jābir ibn Ṭalīm aṭ-Ṭā’ī; Sa‘d ibn Mālik ibn Sinān; Barā’ ibn Mālik al-Anṣārī; Ibn Ḥaṣīb Aslamī; Ka‘b ibn ‘Amrū al-Anṣārī; Rafā‘ah ibn Rāfi‘ al-Anṣārī; Mālik ibn Rabī‘ah Sā‘idī; ‘Uqbah ibn ‘Umar ibn Tha‘labah al-Anṣārī; Hind ibn Abī Hālah at-Tamīmī; Ju‘dah ibn Hubayrah; Abū ‘Umrah al-Anṣārī; Mas‘ūd ibn al-Aws; Naḍlah ibn ‘Ubayd; Abū Burzah Aslamī; Mardās ibn Mālik Aslamī; Musūr ibn Shidād Fahrī; ‘Abd Allāh ibn Budayl al-Khazā‘ī; Ḥujr ibn ‘Adī al-Kindī; ‘Amrū ibn al-Ḥumq al-Khazā‘ī; Usāmah ibn Zayd; Abū Laylā al-Anṣārī; Zayd ibn al-Arqam; and Barā ibn ‘Āzib Awsī.
The author of Rijāl al-Burqā has also mentioned the Shī‘ah and supporters of ‘Alī (‘a) among the Companions of the Holy Prophet (S)in a certain part of his book, thus: Salmān, Miqdād, Abū Dharr, and ‘Ammār, and after these four persons, Abū Laylā, Shabīr, Abū ‘Umrah al-Anṣārī, and Abū Sinān al-Anṣārī, and after these four persons, Jābir ibn ‘Abd Allāh al-Anṣārī; Abū Sa‘īd al-Anṣārī whose name is Sa‘d ibn Mālik al-Khazrajī; Abū Ayyūb al-Anṣārī al-Khazrajī; Ubayy ibn Ka‘b al-Anṣārī; Abū Burzah Aslamī al-Khazā‘ī whose name is Naḍlah ibn ‘Ubayd Allāh; Zayd ibn al-Arqam al-Anṣārī; Buraydah ibn Ḥaṣīb Aslamī; ‘Abd ar-Raḥmān ibn Qays whose epithet Safīnah Rākib Asad; ‘Abd Allāh ibn Salām; ‘Abbās ibn ‘Abd al-Muṭṭalib; ‘Abd Allāh ibn al-‘Abbās; ‘Abd Allāh ibn Ja‘far; Mughayrah ibn Nawfal ibn Ḥārith ibn ‘Abd al-Muṭṭalib; Ḥudhayfah al-Yamān who is included among the Anṣār; Usāmah ibn Zayd; Anas ibn Mālik; Abū’l-Humrā’; Barā’ ibn ‘Āzib al-Anṣārī; and ‘Arafah Azdī.
A number of the Shī‘ah ‘ulamā’ and rijālī scholars believes that the Shī‘ah among the Companions were more than this number. For example, Shaykh al-Mufīd regards all the Companions who have pledged allegiance to ‘Alī (‘a) in Medina especially those Companions who accompanied him in the battles as among the Shī‘ah and those who believed in his Imamate [imāmah]. In the Battle of Jamal (Camel), one thousand five hundred Companions were present.
It is thus recorded in Rijāl Kashī: Among the pioneering Companions who traversed the path of truth and believed in the Imamate of the Commander of the Faithful ‘Alī (‘a) are the following: Abū’l-Haytham ibn Tayyihān; Abū Ayyūb; Khuzaymah ibn Thābit; Jābir ibn ‘Abd Allāh; Zayd ibn al-Arqam; Abū Sa‘īd Sahl ibn Ḥunayf; Barā’ ibn Mālik; ‘Uthmān ibn Ḥunayf; ‘Ubādah ibn Ṣāmit, and after them are Qays ibn Sa‘d; ‘Udayy ibn Ḥātam; ‘Amrū ibn Ḥamq; ‘Umrān ibn Ḥaṣīn; Buraydah Aslamī; and others who are described as “basharun kathīr” [many people].
In the marginal note of Rijāl Kashī on the definition and explanation of the term “basarun kathīr”, the late Mīrdāmād says: “It means many people from among the prominent Companions and leading Followers [tābi‘ūn].”
Sayyid Muḥsin Amīn has also said: Be aware that many of the Companions believed in the Imamate of the Commander of the Faithful (‘a) to count them is not possible for us to do and the narrators of traditions have consensus of opinion that most of the Companions accompanied and sided with the Commander of the Faithful (‘a) in the battles.
In one of his letters to Mu‘āwiyah, Muhammad ibn Abūbakr identifies the presence of the Companions of the Holy Prophet (S)at the side of ‘Alī (‘a) as one of the signs of his rightfulness.
Muhammad ibn Abī Ḥudhayfah, a loyal supporter of ‘Alī (‘a) who was a maternal cousin of Mu‘āwiyah, and owing to his friendship with ‘Alī (‘a), languished in the prison cell of Mu‘āwiyah and finally died there, thus addressed Mu‘āwiyah in one of their conversation: From the moment I have known you, whether during the pre-Islamic period of ignorance [yawm al-jāhiliyyah] or during the advent of Islam, you have never changed and Islam has not been added to you. And one of the manifestations of this fact is that you are condemning me for loving ‘Alī notwithstanding the fact that all the ascetics and devoted worshippers of the Muhājirūn and Anṣār are in his company while in your company are perverts and hypocrites.
Of course, not all of those who were enlisted in the army of the Commander of the Faithful (‘a) can be considered Shī‘ah. But since he (‘a) was the official caliph, they accompanied him (‘a). This statement can be said to be correct with respect to the other people, for the Companions who accompanied him (‘a) were always assisting the Imām (‘a) in proving his rightfulness. As Salīm ibn al-Qays has narrated, The Commander of the Faithful mounted the pulpit in Ṣiffīn and everyone including the Muhājirūn and Anṣār enlisted in the army gathered around the pulpit. The Imām praised and glorified Allah and then said: “O people! My virtues and merits are more than that which can be counted. It is enough to say that when the Messenger of Allah

#7779;) was asked about the verse, “And the Foremost Ones are the foremost ones: they are the ones brought near [to Allah],” he

#7779;) said: ‘God has revealed this verse about the prophets and their successors [awṣiyā’]. I am superior to all prophets and messengers and my successor [waṣī] ‘Alī ibn Abī Ṭālib is the foremost among the successors’.” At that moment, seventy persons from among the Companions who participated in the Battled of Badr, most of whom were from the Anṣār, stood up and testified that they have heard the same thing from the Messenger of Allah


The pioneering Shī‘ah were prominent Companions of the Prophet

#7779;). Muhammad Kird-‘Alī in Khaṭat ash-Shām has recorded that a number of the Companions were known as the “Shī‘ah of ‘Alī” during the lifetime of the Prophet

Sayyid ‘Alī Khān ash-Shīrāzī in Ad-Darajāt ar-Rafī‘ah fī Ṭabaqāt ash-Shī‘ah has examined the Shī‘ah among the Companions in two sections: the Shī‘ah Companions from among the Banū Hāshim, and the Shī‘ah Companions who were not members of the Banū Hāshim.
The writer of Rijāl al-Burqā has also allotted a certain part of his book to the supporters of ‘Alī (‘a) from among the Companions of the Prophet

In Al-Jamal, Shaykh al-Mufīd regards all the Companions who accompanied and sided with ‘Alī (‘a) in the battles as Shī‘ah.
In Rijāl Kashī, after enumerating the Shī‘ah from among the Companions, Shaykh aṭ-Ṭūsī thus says: “A large number believed in the Imamate of ‘Alī (‘a).”
The supporters of the Commander of the Faithful (‘a) also used to point out to Mu‘āwiyah the presence of the Companions of the Prophet (‘a) on the side of ‘Alī (‘a) as one of the indications of his righteousness.

1. Explain something about the Shī‘ah among the Companions.
2. How many of the Companions were present on the side of ‘Alī (‘a) at the Battle of Jamal (Camel)?

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