Question: There are narrations in Shia books that all companions had become MURTAD (apostate) after the Holy Prophet (pbuh) except three. What is the Shia’s belief about it?
(Imam) Abu Ja’far [as]said: The people were people of apostacy after the Prophet save three. I said (the narrator): Who are these three? He said: al-Miqdad bin al-Aswad, Abu Tharr al-Ghafari and Salmaan the Persian….and that is the meaning of His saying: 3:144. Muhammad is no more than a Messenger: many were the Messengers that passed away before him. If he died or were slain, will ye then turn back on your heels?
Answer: Shias have some principles about their narrations. Shias do not announce that all narrations are true in all of their books of hadith.
One has to check the chain of narrators to determine if any hadith is trust worthy or not. Even if the chain of narrators seems fine but the contents of that hadith contradicts with Quran we must reject that hadith. One should also check to see if the narration is supported by the strength of history, logic and reason. On must also check to see if that a narration can be supported by other sound before reaching a conclusion about it’s genuineness.
Shias do not have such belief at all that all the companions of Holy Prophet (pbuh) become apostate of Islam except three. Some Sunnis erroneously reach this conclusion by themselves as part of their on-going attempts to discredit the entire institution of Shi’ite ideology and thus discourage others from undertaking an objective study of the truth as taught in the Shia School of Thought.
Even if we considered this narration to be true, it would contradict with other strong narrations that are universally accepted by all Islamic Schools of Thought.
We can safely say that during the famous, celebrated event at Ghadir e Khum, companions gave their oath of allegiance to Imam Ali, congratulated him with words acknowledging that Ali is their master after the Holy Prophet (pbuh). (See Mishkaat, in the chapter virtues of Companions, Musnad of Ahmad bin Hunbal and others as sources of confirmation). Unfortunately, after the death of the Holy Prophet (pbuh), most of the companions failed to honor their oaths and thus became opponents or, at best, indifferent towards the Holy Prophet’s (pbuh) commandment to follow only Ali as your Khalifa and Imam after me.
Sheikh e Sadooq is said to have written a narration in his book AL-KHASAL chapter 12, siting that the 12 companions from Mohajreen and Ansar came to Imam Ali (as). They wanted to fight with Abu Bakr for usurping the Caliphate. Imam Ali stopped them for doing so. Instead, Imam Ali advised them to remind Abu Bakar about the Hadith of the Holy Prophet (pbuh) concerning the legitimate legitimate leadership of Imam Ali and condemn Abu Bakr’s illegal seizure of that office. Those companions whom Imam Ali (as) were Khalid Ibn e Saeed, Miqdad ibn e Aswad, Abbi ibn e Ka,ab, Ammar ibn e Yasir, Abu Zar Ghaffari, Soliman Farsi, Abdullah ibn e Masood, Buraida Aslami, Khuzaima ibn e Sabat, Sahal Ibn e Hanif, Abu Ayoub Ansai, Abul Haitham.
We want to mention another true narration from Imam Ali (as) that is recorded in the book Al-Khasal by Sheikh Sadooq (ra) page 639-640. There were 12,000 good companions praised by Imam Ali.
“Narrated Ahmed ibn ziad al-hamadani ra narrated Ali ibn Ibrahim ibn hashim narrated his father from ibn abi umair from hishem ibn Salem from abi abdilleh AS he said: the companions of rasool Allah (saww) were twelve thousand : eight thousand in medina and two thousand in Mecca and two thousand from “tulaqa”(those who became Muslim in “Fatah” mecca . There was no “qadri” or “morj’i” or “huroori” or “mutazili” or “people of opinion”
We have reported narrations from Imam Mohammad Baqir (as) and also Imam Jaafar e Sadiq (as) suggesting that no one can love Ahlalbait without loving the following 13 personalities among companions of the Prophet: Soliman, Abu zar, Miqdad, Ammar, Jabir bin Abdullah Ansari, Hudhaifa Yamani, Abu Maitham, Abu Ayoub Ansari, Ebadah bin Saamat, Sohaib bin Hanif, Abdullah bin Saamat, Abu Saeed Khudari, Khuzaima bin Saamat (May Allah bless them all). In addition, there is also a long list of faithful companions which is too lengthy to mention here.
In conclusion, we want to mention the following excerpt from a famous supplication of our beloved 4th Imam Zainul Aabideen (as) from the famous and authentic book, Sahihfa Sajjadiya–The Pslams of Islam, supplication number 4. This is very long supplication. We cannot paste all but still we are sharing some words of our holy Imam
“O God, as for the Companions of Muhammad (pbuh) specifically, those who did well in companionship, who stood the good test in helping him, responded to him when he made them hear his messages’ argument, separated from mates and children in manifesting his word, fought against fathers and sons in strengthening his prophecy, and through him gained victory; those who were wrapped in affection for him, hoping for a commerce that comes not to naught in love for him; those who were left by their clans when they clung to his handhold and denied by their kinsfolk when they rested in the shadow of his kinship;
Hopefully, this short commentary will be sufficient to dispel the disinformation about Shias declaring all of the companions of the Holy Prophet (pbuh) to be apostates except three. It is nothing but false propaganda from the misguided leadership of Ahlul Sunnah. You have the obligation to do your own independent, objective research if you are truly interested in arriving at the truth.