Did the Sahābah (Companions) make mistakes?

Reference: Majmū’ Fatāwa Ibn Taymiyyah Vol 3 Page 155 [al-‘Aqīdah al-Wāsitiyyah]

Ahl as-Sunnah do not believe that every individual Ṣaḥābi (companion) is free from major or minor sins; rather in general. it is possible that they sinned. However, they possessed virtues and merits which causes their sins to be forgiven – if indeed they sinned. Moreso, their sins would be forgiven more readily than those who succeeded them, as they performed righteous actions to expiate their sins which those who succeeded them did not perform. And it is also affirmed through the speech of the Prophet ﷺ,

 They are the best of nations. [1]

And that a single handful of charity the Ṣaḥābah donated, is better than charity from others, even it is to the extent of mount Uhud in gold. [2]

In addition to this, if a sin emanated from a Ṣaḥābi, then he either repented from it, performed a righteous action which expiated it; his sin was forgiven on account of his virtue of being from the first Muslims; the Shafā’ah (intercession) of the Prophet ﷺ was accepted as they are the most deserving of people to his Shafā’ah (intercession); or his sin was forgiven on account of the worldly struggles he faced.

If this is the case with regards to actual sins, then how about [matters] which according from them due to their Ijtihād [3]: if they were correct, they attain two rewards, and if they were wrong they still attain a single reward whilst their error is forgiven for them.

The amount of wrong-doings that may have occurred from some of them is minute and overwhelmed by their virtues, merits, and righteous actions: their Imān in Allāh and His Messenger ﷺ; Jihād for the sake [of Allāh], Hijrah and aiding [the Messenger ﷺ]; and beneficial knowledge and righteous actions.

Whoever considers the life stories of that generation, with knowledge and insight, and the virtues that Allah bestowed upon them, will certainly realise that they are the best amongst creation after the Prophets; there never was, and there never will be any [generation] similar to them; and that they were the absolute elite amongst the generations of this Ummah, which itself is the best Ummah and most noble with Allah, the Most High.


[1] This is the wording of the Ḥadīth: “The best people are my nation, then those who follow them and then those who follow them.” Narrated by Ibn Mas’ood; Collected by al-Bukhārī & Muslim.

[2] The Prophet ﷺ said: “Do not insult my Companions, if anyone of you donated gold equal to Mount Uhud, it will not be equal to a handful or even half a handful donated by one of them.”  Narrated by Abu Sa’īd al-Khudrī; Collected by al-Bukhārī & Muslim.

[3] The intended meaning of Ijtihād here is a decision that has been made – even if it happened to be incorrect – however, it was based on a person’s judgement to do what is correct, and sincerely hoping for the truth.


موقف أهل السنة مو أخطأ الصحابة

المرجع: مجموع فتاوى ابن تيميه ج 3 ص 155 [العقيدة الواسطية]

أهل السنَّة والجماعة لا يعتقدون أن كل واحدٍ من الصحابة معصوم عن كبائر الإثم وصغائره، بل تجُوز عليهم الذنوبُ في الجملة، ولهم من السوابق والفضائل ما يوجب مغفرة ما يصدر منهم، إن صدر، حتى إنه يغفر لهم من السيئات ما لا يغفر لمن بعدهم؛ لأن لهم مِن الحسنات التي تمحو السيئات ما ليس لمن بعدهم، وقد ثبَت بقول رسول الله ﷺ: “إنهم خير القرون”. وإن الـمـُدَّ من أحدهم إذا تصدق به كان أفضلَ من جبل أحدٍ ذهَبًا ممن بعدهم.

ثم إذا كان قد صدَر مِن أحدهم ذنب فيكون قد تاب منه، أو أتى بحسنات تمحوه، أو غُفر له بفضل سابقته، أو بشفاعة محمدٍ صلى الله عليه وسلم، الذي هم أحق الناس بشفاعته، أو ابتُلي ببلاء في الدنيا كُفِّر به عنه.

 فإذا كان هذا في الذنوب المحققة، فكيف بالأمور التي كانوا فيها مجتهدين: إن أصابوا فلهم أجرانِ، وإن أخطؤوا فلهم أجر واحد، والخطأ مغفور لهم. ثم القَدر الذي ينكر من فعل بعضهم قليل نَزْر مغمور في جنب فضائل القوم ومحاسنهم؛ من الإيمان بالله ورسوله، والجهاد في سبيله، والهجرة والنصرة، والعلم النافع والعمل الصالح، ومَن نظر في سيرة القوم بعلم وبصيرةٍ وما منَّ الله به عليهم من الفضائل، علِم يقينًا أنهم خير الخلق بعد الأنبياء، لا كان ولا يكون مثلهم، وأنهم هم الصفوة من قرون هذه الأمة التي هي خير الأمم وأكرمها على الله تعالى.



He is a graduate of the Islaamic University of Madeenah, having graduated from the Institute of Arabic Language, and later the Faculty of Sharee'ah in 2010. He currently resides in Nelson, Lancashire.