The Opinion of the Messenger regarding the Companions
The Messenger of Allah (saw) said: “As I was standing, there came a group of people whom I recognized, and a man stood between the group and myself, then said: ‘Let us go.’ I said, ‘Where to?’ He said, ‘To Hell, by Allah!’ I asked, ‘What have they done?’ He answered, ‘They turned back after you had departed, and I expect only a few will reach salvation.’"1
The Messenger of Allah (saw) also said: “I shall arrive at the pool before you, and he who passes by me will drink, and whoever drinks from it will never feel thirsty. There will come to me people that I know and they know me, but we shall be separated, then I shall say, ‘’My companions.’ An answer shall come, ‘You do not know what they did after you left.’ Then I shall say, ‘Away with those who changed after me.’"
When we look deeply at the various sayings that have been referred to by the Sunnis in their books, we will have no doubt that most of the Companions changed or even became apostates after the departure of the Messenger of Allah, except a few who were considered to be the minority. The above sayings could not be applied to the third type (of Companions), for they were the hypocrites, and the text states: “I shall say, ‘My companions.’"
These sayings confirm and explain the Holy Qur'anic verses that we mentioned earlier on, which talked about their retreat and their apostasy and the terrible torture awaiting them.
The Messenger of Allah (saw) said: “I lead you and am your witness, and by Allah I now look at my pool and have been given the keys to the treasures of the earth (for the earth's keys), and by Allah I am not worried that you become polytheist after me, but I am worried that you will compete for it."2
The Messenger of Allah (saw) was right. They competed for this world to the extent that they fought against each other, and each party accused the other of blasphemy. Some of the famous Companions were eager to collect gold and silver, and historians such as al-Masudi in Muruj al-Dhahab and al-Tabari and others stated that the wealth of al-Zubayr on its own came to fifty thousand Dinars and a thousand horses with one thousand slaves and many holdings in Basra al-Kufa Egypt and many other places.3
The agricultural products from Iraq alone brought Talhah one thousand Dinars every day, and perhaps more than that.
Abdul Rahman ibn Awf had one hundred horses, one thousand camels and ten thousand sheep. After his death, quarter of his wealth which was divided among his wives came to eighty four thousand Dinars.4
Uthman ibn Affan left on the day of his death one hundred and fifty thousand Dinars apart from an enormous wealth of land, cattle and villages.
Zayd ibn Thabit left an amount of gold and silver that had to be broken by hammers! Apart from money and agricultural holdings which came to one hundred thousand Dinars.5
These were just a few historical examples. Since we do not want to go into detailed analysis of their importance at the moment, we only mentions them as a proof and support of the sayings, that they (these companions) were more interested in the present life.