The revelation continued to descend. The doors of heaven opened often and Jibreel (as) acted as a messenger between Allah (swt) and His people on earth. This Divine connection was broken with the death of Rasulullah (sa). However, the generation that had sprouted and matured under the light of revelation continued the legacy of Rasulullah (sa); they acted upon the teachings of Islam and taught others what they had learnt. They were the Sahabah.
The Sahabah had witnessed life with the Prophet (sa), and thus they understood Islam better than those who came afterwards. Their belief in the unseen, in Allah (swt), and in the Afterlife was unwavering. They had realized the magnificence of Allah (swt), wanted to please Him more than anything else, and were fearful of His wrath. Consequently, their attitude towards sins was very different from the later generations. They viewed them as destroyers.
Anas (rtam) said: “You people do (bad) deeds which are more insignificant in your eyes than a hair, while we used to consider those very deeds during the life-time of the Prophet (sa) as destructive sins.” (Bukhari)
Similarly, Abdullah bin Masood (rtam) once said: “The believer regards his sin, as if he were sitting beneath a mountain which he fears may fall on him, whereas the sinner regards his sin, as if a fly lands on his nose and he swipes it away.” (Tirmidhi)
Nonetheless, the Sahabah were human beings just like we are and they did commit mistakes. However, they were very quick in accepting them, repenting for them, and rectifying them. This is evident from many incidents that have been reported in books of Seerah. Let’s travel back in time and take a look at the attitude of Sahabah towards their sins.
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