While reciting the ending verses of Surah Al-Bayyinah, tears do not stop. You cry out to Allah (swt) to make you among those with whom He is pleased and who are pleased with Him. You wonder what a great honour to have it mentioned in the Quran that Allah (swt) is pleased with you.
It is the love and pleasure of Allah (swt) that our souls seek for if that has not been attained, then what have we really achieved? It will be a life wasted.
Allah (swt) tells us that if we follow the footsteps of the prophets, their companions, and the pious predecessors, we too might become the inheritors of Paradise. But to follow them, first we will have to learn the character traits that got them Allah’s (swt) pleasure.
Abu Bakr (rtam) – Truthfulness
After learning that the Prophet (sa) has been given prophethood, it did not take Abu Bakr (rtam) even a second to testify. Embracing Islam, he rushed to convey the message to others. When the Quraysh mocked and refused to accept the miraculous journey of Isra, Abu Bakr (rtam) said: “If he (the Prophet [sa]) said so, then he has told the truth.” It was this incident that earned him the title of As-Siddiq (the truthful).
Umar ibn Al-Khattab (rtam) – Justice
Umar (rtam) deeply feared the reckoning. He knew that power meant responsibilities. As a caliph, he regularly checked upon his people. He ensured that no married man was away from his family for more than six months; he introduced night patrols and looked after widows and orphans. When Madinah was hit by famine, he prayed to Allah (swt) to not allow anyone to die under his reign. When he learnt that his people could no longer afford a certain type of food item, he deprived himself of it. He would say, “How can I consider myself to be a shepherd if I am not struck with what my flock is struck with?”
Uthman ibn Affan (rtam) – Modesty
Modesty brings nothing but goodness. It was Uthman’s (rtam) bashfulness that even made the angels shy. Being handsome, he was approached by many women, but he stayed away from what Allah (swt) had forbidden even in the pre-Islamic era. When he gave charity, he concealed the favour. Once he met a young boy whose financial condition was not good. Uthman (rtam) got him a garment and asked the boy to go home and show it to his parents. When the boy wore the garment, he placed his hands in the pocket and found 10,000 Dirhams hidden inside.
Ali ibn Abi Talib (rtam) – Reliance on Allah (swt)
Ali (rtam) had a desire to serve Islam and protect the Prophet (sa). At the age of nine, he told the Prophet (sa) that he will support him. At eighteen, when he was instructed to sleep in the Prophet’s (sa) bed, while the Prophet (sa) escaped to Makkah, Ali (rtam) felt no fear. He knew that he could be assassinated by mistake, but he also knew that if he made a sacrifice for Allah (swt), then definitely He will take care of him.
Talha ibn Ubaidullah (rtam) – Excellence
Talha (rtam) excelled in everything that he did. In the Battle of Uhud, he shielded the Prophet (sa) from the enemy’s attack. Protecting him, he received multiple wounds, but he did not leave his position until his foot was cut and he dropped unconscious. When he received wealth, he could not sleep peacefully, until he had distributed all of it among the needy. He said, “How can a man think of his Lord and Sustainer when he goes to sleep with his wealth in his house?”
Az-Zubair ibn Awwam (rtam) – Bravery
The fierce and brave Az-Zubair (rtam) was an excellent horseman and very daring. He was only twelve when he heard a rumour about the Prophet’s (sa) assassination. He unsheathed his sword and hurried to take revenge. Despite his age, he was tough. The disbelievers tortured him to denounce his faith, but nothing deterred the young Az-Zubair (rtam). The stabs on his body told tales of his heroism. When asked about the scars, he replied: “By Allah! I haven’t received one of them, except while I was with the Prophet (sa) and in the cause of Allah (swt).”
Abdur Rahman ibn Awf (rtam) – the Generous Entrepreneur
After migrating to Madinah, Abdur Rahman (rtam) was penniless. When offered a generous share in the provision of his Madinan brother, Abdur Rahman (rtam) refused and left for the market to earn his own living. As he endeavoured to earn an honest living, Allah (swt) granted him abundant success. Aishah (rtaf) narrates that one day a loud rumbling sound was heard. It was not an earthquake, but the ground was shaking and there was dust everywhere. Abdur Rahman (rtam) had returned to Madinah after another successful business trip, bringing along seven hundred camels loaded with goods, which were later distributed among the people. He was not attached to his wealth.
Saad ibn Abi Waqqas (rtam) – the Pure Soul
While Saad (rtam) was a brave and excellent warrior, he was also blessed with a pure soul. He ate lawful food, never accepted doubtful money, and had a clean heart. He remembered Allah (swt) abundantly, even while turning sides during sleep. It is because of this reason that when he supplicated, his supplication was never rejected.
Saeed ibn Zayd (rtam) – Servitude
Embracing Islam in his youth, Saeed (rtam) participated in all the major campaigns and encounters. Later, he was appointed as the governor of Syria. Saeed (rtam), however, was not pleased. He missed striving in the field and despised sitting in a luxurious palace having nothing to do. He requested Umar (rtam) to replace him with someone else, so that he could return to the battlefield. His service in Allah’s (swt) path was rewarded in such a manner that when the Companions (ra) came to bathe Saeed (ra) for his funeral, they found his body perfumed. The man, who was always covered with dust striving in the way of Allah (swt), had been perfumed by Allah (swt).
Abu Ubaidah Amir ibn Jarrah (rtam) – Asceticism
Serving in many battles, Abu Ubaidah (ra) was later appointed as the commander-in-chief because of his trustworthiness. When people revered him because of his position, he expressed his displeasure and said that his only identification was being a Muslim. Once, when Umar (rtam) visited Syria, he saw that his commander-in-chief had no furniture – a sword, a shield, and a saddlebag were his only possessions. Umar (rtam) asked why he did not furnish his house. Abu Ubaidah (rtam) replied that a place to sleep was enough for his needs.