THE COMPANIONS OF THE MESSENGER OF ALLAH - may the peace and blessings of Allah
be upon him - to keep intimate company with him and learn from his statements,
actions, and exalted spiritual states. This divinely preordained bounty set them
apart from the rest of humanity—after the Prophets—and made them the standard
bearers of the Prophetic way.
This treatise written by the scholar and sage, Sheikh Muhammad Akhtar Rida Khan, discusses the famous hadith ascribed to the Prophet -may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him: “My Companions are like the stars; whomever of them you follow you will be guided.” This hadith was declared weak by many scholars; however, the author explains that if a weak hadith gains fame and general acceptance it can be judged as authentic. Imam al-Suyuti said in Tadrib al-rawi:“Some of them have said that a hadith is judged authentic if it is met with general acceptance among the people, even if it does not possess an authentic chain.”
The tribulation of our time is that there are those who, in their misplaced zeal, claim that this hadith is forged.
That is a baseless view first propagated by the literalist scholar Ibn Hazm, and followed by the late Sheikh Muhammad Nasir
al-Din al-Albani, the self-taught Salafi “revivalist.”
Sheikh Muhammad Akhtar Rida Khan does not seek to authenticate this hadith;
his goal is to respond to the claims that it is forged [mawdu'] and prove that  it has a basis  that there are similar reports that are sound
 the Gnostics and saints accepted the soundness of this hadith through their spiritual unveiling [kashf].
This treatise is also a brilliant defense of the Companions’ preeminence in jurisprudence and reflects the author’s mastery of the hadith sciences and legal theory. May Allah send prayers and salutations upon our master Muhammad, and upon his family and Companions entire.
- Dr. Najah 'Awad Siyam
Muqattam Publishers, Cairo, Egypt