Here’s an interesting fact.
Many Muslims today have more data about the deen than many of the companions of the Prophet ever did. By data, I mean ayahs memorised, hadiths memorised etc.
I have proof.
Khalid ibn Walid, one of the most influential companions in the expansion of Muslim territories, memorised just a handful of Surahs. Today, there are probably more Hufaz of the Qur’an than the entire number of companions of the prophet.
Some people have memorised the entire Sahih Bukhari. Some companions’ hadith can’t even fill up An-Nawawi’s forty hadith.
But still, the Prophet (SAW) said, “The best people are those of my generation…” [Bukhari 6065, Sahih Muslim 2533]
There’s only one thing that makes all the difference; Iman.
Their belief in the mission of the Prophet was unsullied.
They were willing to climb every mountain with him, or crawl into a snake hole. They were willing to endure the hottest days and coldest nights.
This Iman birthed one of their strongest attributes; sacrifice.
It’s why Abu Dhar crossed the desert alone because he wanted to be with the prophet.
There was Summayyah (ra) who would could have renounced islam under duress with no blame on her. But she chose to endure the torture till she dies in the process.
It’s why Mus’ab ibn Umair abandoned the life of comfort to go to Madina as the first envoy there.
It’s why the Muhajirun, the Muslims in Makkah, uprooted their lives to go to Madeenah with the Prophet.
It was why when he called one of them, there were no buts, only Labayk! Here I am!
This begs the question, what have we, today, sacrificed for the deen?
Back to our knowledge.
Abdullah ibn Umar (Ra), memorised Baqarah in 14 years. He was so excited he slaughtered a camel and had a feast.
But that’s slow, why did he celebrate that when people these days do it in less than a year?
This is what he, and many other sahabah used to do; they would take a bunch of its verses, memorise, learn the wisdom behind them, implement it in their lives, and move on to the next bunch.
When the verse of the abolishment of alcohol was revealed, a sahabah went running round Madina announcing it. Some sahabah who were seated drinking dipped their fingers into their throats, and vomited everything they drank.
There was also Abdullah ibn Zubair (ra), the first born son of Madina, who would stand so long in prayer, so still, that birds would perch on him. This is not a myth.
There was Umm Umarah about who the prophet said, “Where can I get courage like you, O Umm Umarah?” She was one of the women who regularly stood behind the prophet in prayer and battle, sometimes, sustaining up to twenty wounds. Once, it took her a whole year to completely heal.
Ali (ra) lay in the Prophet’s bird in Makkah while the Prophet made his way to Madina, knowing fully well that the next people to enter that room would be the men who had set out to assassinate the Prophet.
When Abubakar (ra) was making hijrah with the Prophet and they were in the cave of Thawr, while the Prophet slept, Abubakar stayed awake. He ripped his cloth and sealed some whole with his cloth. When he had run out of cloth and there was no more cloth, blocked the last whole with his leg, and when as expected, he was stung. The pain grew so severe but he didn’t speak up, and had a drop of his tear not dropped on the Prophet and woke him up, he might have died there. When asked why he didn’t wake the Prophet, he said he didn’t want to disturb his sleep!
There was Aisha, the ever inquisitive woman whose curiosity has bestowed generations with tons of knowledge and guidance.
And there was Khawlah bint Al Aswad whose bravery outshined most men of her time when chivalry was not uncommon.
They are too many to mention.
What is amazing is that they were human beings who bled too, who had problems, who got hungry, who cried and felt pain.
The outstanding attribute was their firm belief in the mission of the Prophet.
May Allah be pleased with them all.
The mistakes are mine and Allah knows best.