And whatever disputes and differences that occurred between (some of) them, that can be authentically confirmed, we hold that they were Mujtahideen in that regard – either they were correct and will receive one reward for their Ijtihaad and one reward for being correct, or they were wrong and will receive just one reward for their Ijtihaad while their error will be forgiven. They were not infallible since they were human beings. At times they were correct and at times they erred. But how much more were they correct as compared to others being correct, and how fewer were their errors as compared to the errors of others? And on top of this, they will receive Allaah’s forgiveness and contentment.
The books of Ahl-us-Sunnah are filled with a clarification of this pure and radiant Creed concerning these elite people, who were chosen amongst mankind to accompany the best of mankind H. May Allaah be pleased with them all.
An example of this is the statement of At-Tahaawee in his (book on the) Creed of Ahl- us-Sunnah:
“We love the Companions of Allaah’s Messenger. But we do not go to extremes in our love for anyone amongst them, nor do we absolve ourselves from any of them. And we hate anyone that hates them or anyone that talks about them in a bad way. And we do not mention them except with good. Loving them is Deen (Religion), Eemaan (Faith) and Ihsaan (Goodness) and hating them is Kufr (Disbelief), Nifaaq (hypocrisy) and Tughyaan (transgression).”
Ibn Abee Zayd Al-Qayrawaanee said in the introduction to his famous ar-Risaalah, in which he explains the Creed of Ahl-us-Sunnah:
“The best of generations is the one that saw the Messenger of Allaah. And the best of the Companions are the (four) rightly guided Khaleefahs – Abu Bakr, then ‘Umar, then ‘Uthmaan, then ‘Alee, may Allaah be pleased with them all. None of the Companions should be mentioned except in the best of manners. We believe in refraining from (speaking about) the differences that occurred between them. And that they are the most deserving of people of having excuses made for them and (that) they are to be thought of in the best way.”
Imaam Ahmad bin Hanbal said in his book as-Sunnah:
“And from the Sunnah is mentioning the good qualities of the Companions of Allaah’s Messenger – all of them – and to refrain from (speaking about) what disputes occurred between them. So whoever reviles the Companions of Allaah’s Messenger or (just) one of them, then he is an innovator, a Raafidee. Loving them is a Sunnah and making du’aa (supplication) for them is a means of getting close to Allaah (taqarrub). Following them is a means and taking from their example is a virtue…”
And he said:
“It is not permissible for anyone to mention any of their faults. Nor can anyone disparage any of them. So whoever does that, then the authority (sultan) is obligated to reprimand him and punish him. And he is not to pardon him, but rather must punish him and then request him to repent. So if he repents, he should accept it from him. And if he doesn’t repent, he should reinitiate the punishment upon him and lock him in prison for good until he repents and recants (from his false belief).”
Imaam Abu ‘Uthmaan As-Saaboonee said in his book Aqeedat-us-Salaf wa Ashaab-il- Hadeeth:
“And they held it an obligation to refrain from (speaking about) the differences that occurred between the Companions of Allaah’s Messenger and to purify the tongues from mentioning anything that consists of a blemish on them or a degradation of them. And they held it an obligation to ask Allaah to grant mercy to all of them and to show friendship to all of them.”
Posted from : The Creed of Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah concerning the Companions – Shaikh ‘Abdul-Muhsin bin Hamad Al-‘Abbaad (al-ibaanah e-Book)