In your response you write:
It was on the basis of this divine grant, that the companions of the Prophet proceeded to conquer those areas and relieve them of non-Muslim leaderships, to which the Prophet (pbuh) had himself sent his message during his life.
From this, I gather that the Divine Law ended once the Companions (ra) of the Prophet (p) passed away. However, to which Companions (ra) did the Divine Law extend? Was it only for the ‘close’ Companions (ra) (like Abu Bakr (ra) et al.)? Or did it extend beyond this?
History shows us the pace with which the early Arab Muslims made conquests, but how it came to a sudden halt, as well. Many writers, historians etc. have tried to show why this happened (e.g. the political unrest, the re-emergnece of old tribal rivalries etc.). However, upon flicking through books, I was amazed to find that the defeat by the Muslims at Tours (modern France), in 732 CE was at the same time as the death of the last Companion of the Prophet (p), Abu Tufail Amir bin Wa’ilah, who died in 110 AH (732 CE). Was the defeat of the Muslims at the same time as the last Companion was passing away, a coincidence? Or does it show the extent of the Divine Law?
salaam `alaykum and Jazakallah khayr.
The referred law or Divine grant relates to the ‘collectivity’ of the companions1, not to the individual companions. This implies that this Divine law would remain applicable till the time that the governance and rule of the Muslim collectivity was in the hands of any of the companions of the Prophet (pbuh). If this point is taken to be correct, then this Divine law would remain applicable till the end of the rule of Ameer Mu`awiyyah (ra), after which, the rule of the companions of the Prophet (pbuh) ended.
The point that you have referred about Abu Tufail Amir bin Wa’ilah is interesting indeed, yet if seen in the light of the Qur’an the referred status of the companions is with particular reference to their collectivity, not with reference to individual companions.
I hope this helps.
June 13, 2002
- According to our revised opinion, this law relates to the collectivity Banu Ishmael and not merely to the collectivity of the first generation of the companions. This answer needs to be viewed in the light of this revised opinion, replacing the words ‘collectivity of the companions’ with ‘collectivity of the Banu Ishmael’, while the word ‘companion’ should be replaced with the words ‘a member of the Banu Ishmael’. [↩]