Thank you for contacting About Islam with your question.
Dr. Shabir Ally addresses this question in the video below:
Aisha Khaja: So, Dr. Shabir, the question that we received is: must a Muslim know all of the companions of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)?
Dr. Shabir Ally: No, it’s not a requirement for Muslims to know any of the companions for that matter.
But naturally a Muslim would want to know something about the life of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and the people he associated with, those who were his family, his friends, his relatives, his close followers.
And in that vein, we would say that some of the most important persons among his companions are the ones who came to be known as the rightly guided caliphs after him, meaning the ones who took over the reign of succession of the leadership after the Prophet (peace be upon him) had passed away.
Aisha Khaja: So, do Muslims follow the lives of the companions closely as well, as close as they follow the life of the Prophet?
Dr. Shabir Ally: Yes, scholars look to the examples of the Prophet Muhammad, his companions as a good example. So, some of their actions may become precedent in Islamic law. Especially the verdicts that were given by Abu Bakr, and Umar, Uthman, and Ali.
These are known as the four rightly guided caliphs of early Islam.
Aisha Khaja: And to what extent are, I guess, lessons from them reflective of the lives that Muslims lead today?
Dr. Shabir Ally: Well, naturally Muslims look back to their lives as good, moral lives. and Muslims try to emulate and copy their life. So, typically in a Friday sermon, something may reference to the life or the lives of the Companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him).
Omar’s inclination towards poverty, or more so, the other way: his acceptance of a state of poverty even while he was the governor of the Muslims, he was Amir ul Mumineen, the prince of the believers, and yet he lived the life of poverty.
That becomes now a model of service to community.
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