Why do Shi’ah believe that the majority of the Prophet’s companions went astray after he passed away. I sometimes wonder how the mission of the Prophet (PBUH) can be considered a success, if he only managed to convince his family and handful of companions to follow the right way and left the majority of his community to become disbelievers. I find that very disturbing.
This matter is better understood when one considers the following:
Companions who went astray:
This belief is not restricted to the Shi’ah. This is also the Sunni understanding recorded in the most authentic Sunni compilation of ahadith. An authentic hadith about the companions is:
Bukhari narrates from Abu Hurairah who refers to the Prophet (PBUH) saying,
Judgement I will see a group of my companions whom, when I have recognised them, will be taken to Hell. If I ask what is wrong with them, the answer will be “They went astray after you … and this continued until only a few remained.” ’
Sahih al-Bukhari, Vol. 8, Bab Al- Hawz, p. 120.
You wonder how the Prophet’s mission can be considered successful, as only a handful of companions and his family followed the right way.
Please note the following:
In the last ayah of Surat al-Jumu’ah, one of the last surahs revealed to the Prophet (PBUH), Allah, refers to the believers mentioned in ayah, nine of the same surah saying,
leave you standing.
1. If this is how Allah describes those around the Prophet (PBUH), what more can anyone else say on the subject?
2. There is no need to concern yourself about the success of Muhammad’s Prophetic mission. It was secured by his progeny Ahl al-Bayt.
3. The Prophet Nuh (A.S) spent 950 years among his followers, and only a few listened to him.
4. The Qur’an describes the majority as going astray, and the minority as remaining on the right track.
Qur’anic reference regarding the majority:
deductions and opinions
Say: Knowledge thereof is Allah’s alone. But most people do not know. Qur’an 7:187
but most people do not believe!
beings remaining unaware of this. Qur’an 12:21
attributed any ‘partners’ to Allah. This is His grace to us and to humanity;
but most people are not grateful.
wish them to.
most people deny it and refuse to accept it.
Qur’anic reference regarding the minority:
Dear friend, do not be disturbed by these facts, rather, pray for Allah to strengthen your faith.