Ibn Abī Mulaykah – Allah have mercy on him – said:
I met thirty of the Prophet’s Companions – Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – and every one of them feared falling into nifāq (hypocrisy); not one of them claimed he had the level of faith of Jibrīl or Mīkā`īl.
Quoted by Al-Bukhārī, Al-Sahīh, Chapter on the believer fearing that his deeds will be nullified without him realizing.
In this chapter and narration there is a refutation of the Murji`ah sect who claimed that īmān (faith) consists of belief in the heart and nothing else i.e. a person’s deeds are not part of his faith and do not affect it.
This narration indicates that a person may perform deeds in which his intention may not be totally pure and sincere and because of which he falls into a type of practical hypocrisy.
The fact that they feared hypocrisy does not mean they actually fell into it. Rather this was by way of them being very careful not to fall into it, and it is part of their taqwā – Allah be pleased with them.
This narration also indicates that the Companions believed that people can have different levels of faith, contrary to the Murji`ah who claimed that the īmān of the most pious true believers is the same as everyone else.
Nothing contrary to any of this has been related from the Companions, so it is as if there is a consensus (ijmā’) amongst them on this.
The following are some of the illustrious Companions Ibn Abī Mulaykah met:
· ‘Alī b. Abī Tālib
· Sa’d b. Abī Waqqās
· Mother of the Believers ‘Ā`ishah
· Her sister Asmā`
· Mother of the Believers Umm Salamah
· ʿAbdullah b. Mas’ūd
· ʿAbdullah b. ʿUmar
· ʿAbdullah b. ‘Abbās
· ʿAbdullah b. Al-Zubayr
· Abū Hurayrah
· ‘Uqbah b. Al-Hārith
· Miswar b. Mikhramah
Allah be pleased with them all.
These notes have been summarized from Fath Al-Bārī.