“And no doubt our muhajir (emigrant) brothers used to be busy in the market with their business (bargains) and our Ansari brothers used to be busy with their property (agriculture). However, I (Abu Hurairah) used to stay with Allah’s Messenger content with what would fill my stomach, and I used to attend that, which they used not to attend, and I used to memorize that which they used not to memorize.” [Bukhari 3: 118]
The Messenger of Allaah (Sallalahu Alayhee Was-Sallam) loved Abu Hurairah a great deal. Once the Messenger of Allaah (Sallalahu Alayhee Was-Sallam) said to Abu Hurairah, “Ask me for something from the wealth.” Abu Hurairah replied, “Of Messenger of Allaah (Sallalahu Alayhee Was-Sallam) I only ask you to teach me some of the knowledge Allaah granted to you. So the Messenger of Allaah (Sallalahu Alayhee Was-Sallam) spread the shawl of Abu Hurairah on the ground and began to recite something over it. When he had finished he said, “Take your shawl and keep it with you.” Abu Hurairah said, “From that day I did not even forget one letter of the hadeeth.” (Tadhkirratul-Huffaadh, the meaning of this is also narrated in Bukhaari, Muslim, Nasaa’ee and others and Hilyatul-Awliyaa (1/381).
Al-Basha relates that once the Companions were supplicating and Prophet Muhammad joined them. When it was the turn of Abu Hurairah,), he said: “O Allah! I ask you for all that my companions have asked for, and I ask you for knowledge which I will never forget.” And the Prophet said “Ameen,” to that du`aa’! In his own words, we learn:“…there is no one among the Companions of the Prophet who has narrated more Hadiths than I, except `Abdullah bin `Amr (bin Al-`Aas) who used to write them, and I never did the same.” [Al- Bukhari 3: 113]
It is reported authentically that Abu Hurairah said to the Messenger of Allaah (Sallalahu Alayhee Was-Sallam), “Supplicate for me that Allaah makes me and my mother beloved to his beloved believer. So the Messenger of Allaah (Sallalahu Alayhee Was-Sallam) supplicated for him. Abu Hurairah said, “Whoever sees or hears about me, he begins to love due to the blessing of the supplication of the Messenger of Allaah (Sallalahu Alayhee Was-Sallam). (Sahih Muslim, Tabaqaat Ibn Sa’ad (3/54-55 Q2), Hilyatul-Awliaa)
Similarly Abu Hurairah also greatly loved the Messenger of Allaah (Sallalahu Alayhee Was-Sallam), he said to the Messenger of Allaah (Sallalahu Alayhee Was-Sallam), “Oh Messenger of Allaah when I see you I feel very happy and joyous and my eyes water.” (Musnad Ahmad (3/323), Mustadrak (4/160), Majma’a az-Zawaa’id (9/363) with an authentic chain).
After the death of the Messenger of Allaah (Sallalahu Alayhee Was-Sallam) when Abu Hurairah would narrate ahadeeth he would faint due to the great love he had for the Messenger of Allaah (Sallalahu Alayhee Was-Sallam). (Jaam’i Tirmidhee with a Hasan chain), Mustadrak (1/418), Kitaab az-Zubd (pg.159) of Ibn al-Mubaarak) Abu Hurairah would also refer to the Messenger of Allaah (Sallalahu Alayhee Was-Sallam) as his best friend. (Saheeh al-Bukhaari, Musannaf Ibn Abee Shaybah (2/408).
- An example of the narration in which he RA referred Prophet SAW as his ‘friend’:
Narrated Abu Hurairah: My friend (the Prophet ) advised me to observe three things:(1) to fast three days a month; (2) to pray two Rakat of Duha prayer (fore-noon prayer); and (3) to pray Witr before sleeping. [Sahih Bukhari, Volume 3, Book 31, # 202]
Ibn Umar RA said, “Oh Abu Hurairah you are from the biggest scholars amongst the companions.” (Jaam’i Tirmidhee, Asaabah and Esteeya’aab)
Once a person came and asked Abdullah ibn Abbaas RA a question and at that time Abu Hurairah RA was also present. So Ibn Abbaas addressed Abu Hurairah and said, “Please answer him the issue is very difficult.” (Siyar A’laam an-Nabula (2/437), Tahdheeb ut-Tahdheeb (12/266).
Imam Shaafi’ee said Abu Hurairah was the Haafidh of hadeeth of his time. (Tadhkirratul-Huffaadh (2/31).
Imam Adh-Dhahabi said Abu Hurairah was a vessel of knowledge and had a lofty status amongst the Imams who issued verdicts. (Tadhkirratul-Huffaadh (2/28).
Imam Bukhaari said Abu Hurairah benefited from 800 companions of knowledge, he was the biggest preserver of hadeeth in his time. (Tahdheeb ut-Tahdheeb (12/26), al-Bidaayah Wan-Nihaayah (8/103), Ibn Aasaakir (47/483).
Imam Ibn Abdul Barr said Abu Hurairah was the biggest preserver of hadeeth from amongst the companions of the Messenger of Allaah (Sallalahu Alayhee Was-Sallam) (al-Esteeya’aab Fee Ma’arifatul-Ashaab (4/315).
Imam Ibn Taymiyyah said Abu Hurairah was the renowned memoriser of hadeeth from amongst all the Ummah and he would narrate ahadeeth in the exact manner he would hear them. (ar-Radd al-Qayyum A’la Mujrim al-Atheem (pg.260).
Imam Ibn al Qayyim in agreeance with his teacher Imaam Ibn Taymiyyah said Abu Hurairah without doubt was the preserver of the Ummah and the ahadeeth he narrated from the Messenger of Allaah (Sallalahu Alayhee Was-Sallam) are authentic. (ar-Radd al-Qayyum A’la Mujrim al-Atheem (pg.260)
Ibn Katheer said Abu Hurairah was an example of memorization, firmness, honesty, trustworthiness, worship and righteous actions. He narrated many ahadeeth and he is counted amongst the companions who preserved ahadeeth. (al-Bidaayah Wan-Nihaayah (8/110).
O Allah! I love Abu Hurairah RA for Your Sake. If it weren’t for his sacrifices, we would have been deprived from such a wealth of knowledge! For all the times he persevered during the hunger pangs and exercised Zuhd…Umm Sulaym loves him and is inspired by him…O Allah! Bless all those who inspire and raise Umm Sulaym’s Eeman. Ya Rabb, I ask you for the love Abu Hurairah RA had for the Messenger SAW, the thirst for knowledge and understanding he had. No doubt you’re pleased with him RA. Be pleased with Umm Sulaym as well. Ameen.
Alhamdolilah for Abu Hurairah! Alhamdolilah for Islam!