Ashab as-Suffa

Ashab as-Suffa

“Suffa” is the name of the place where the Companions who devoted their material-spiritual beings and lives to the service of our beloved Prophet (pbuh). It was a place built behind the Mosque of the Prophet for the Companions who did not have a house, family and any material possessions. The Prophet (pbuh) himself took care of the education and instruction of the people of Suffa who lived in that modest place. He taught the principles and the truths that surrounded the world first to Ashab as-Suffa.  The people of Suffa spent all of their time obtaining knowledge, meditating and worshipping. These mujahids, who were ready to sacrifice their lives for their holy cause, fought against the polytheists who attacked the Muslims with their swords when they could not answer the Quran with their words; most of them attained the lofty level of martyrdom. When there was a need for people for conveying the message of Islam and for jihad, the Prophet chose people from Ashab as-Suffa first.

Describing Ashab as-Suffa as students who devoted themselves in the way of Allah, Elmalılı Hamdi Yazır states the following in summary:

“Therefore, madrasahs (religious schools) are built next mosques in the Islamic world and the students studying there are expected to follow the way of Ashab as-Suffa: Obtaining knowledge, worshipping, bearing all kinds of hardships in the way of the religion, preserving their chastity, serving in order to spread the religion of Islam, making jihad when it is necessary…” 

Ashab as-Suffa, who never left the Prophet, who shared his troubles with his Companions, alone and who attained high ranks through his luminous talks, received a great lesson of self-sacrifice from him.

There is not a definite number of Ashab as-Suffa. Their number increased and decreased from time to time. Some of them got married with the permission of the Prophet; some of them died and some of them went to different places with the duty of conveying the message of Islam. However, it is known that their number changed between 100 and 400.

There were many Companions that gave fatwas on religious issues. While the four caliphs were in the first place in this issue, the companions whose fatwas were recorded and reached to us are as follows:

Hz. Umar, Hz. Ali, Abdullah bin Mas’ud, Abdullah bin Umar, Abdullah bin Abbas, Zayd bin Thabit, Hz. Aisha…

If the fatwas of these individuals were to be gathered, each one would  form a great volume. Other than these, the fatwas of twenty Companions can form a booklet each.

There are 200 and according to another riwayah 300 Abdullahs among the Companions. The four of them are famous as “al-‘Aba`dila al-Arba’a” which means “The Four Abdullahs”. These are: Abdullah bin Abbas, Abdullah bin Umar, Abdullah bin Zubayr and Abdullah bin Amr bin As (R.A.). After the death of the prophet (PBUH), the opinions of these Companions were taken for the solution of many problems. The subject matters that they agreed on are called “Qawl al-Abadila”.

Abu al-Tufail ‘Amir bin Wasilah al-Laythi is the Companion who died the latest. There are different narrations concerning the date of his death between the years 100 and 110 A.H In addition to this, the Companions who died in various towns are mentioned separately. For example, the Companion who died the latest in Madina in 99 A.H was Mahmud bin ar-Rabi, Abdullah bin Umar in Makkah (73), Anas bin Malik (93) in Basra, Amr bin Hurayth in Kufa, Abdullah bin Busr Mazini in Damascus and Wasilah bin al-Asqaa in Damascus…

According to this, there were not any Companions that lived after 110 A.H.

Many works have been written on Companions. However, the most famous ones are as follows:

· The work of Abu Umar ibn Abdilbarr (368-463) “al-Istiab Fi-Marifatu’l-Ashab” This work contains the names and lives of three thousand and five hundred Companions.

· The work of Izzaddin ibn al-Athir (Hijri 555-630) “Usdu’l-Ghaba” This work contains the names and lives of seven thousand, five hundred and fifty-four companions.

· The work of Ibn Hajar Asqalani (773-852) “al-Isaba fi Tamyiz as-Sahaba”. This work contains the names and lives of eleven thousand, seven hundred and eighty-three companions.

· The work of Abu Nuaym al Isbahani (330-403) “Hilyatu’l Awliya”. This work contains the lives of Ashab as-Suffa.

· Ibn Sa’d’s (168-230) “at-Tabaqat”…

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