بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
And whoso obeys Allâh and the Messenger (Muhammad SAW), then they will be in the company of those on whom Allâh has bestowed His Grace, of the Prophets, the Siddiqûn (those followers of the Prophets who were first and foremost to believe in them, like Abu Bakr As-Siddiq radhiallahu’anhu), the martyrs, and the righteous. And how excellent these companions are!
[Surat an-Nisaa, 4:69]
(And whoever obeys Allah and the Messenger, then they will be in the company of those on whom Allah has bestowed His grace, of the Prophets, the Siddiqin, the martyrs, and the righteous. And how excellent these companions are!) Consequently, whosoever implements what Allah and His Messenger have commanded him and avoids what Allah and His Messenger have prohibited, then Allah will grant him a dwelling in the Residence of Honor. There, Allah will place him in the company of the Prophets, and those who are lesser in grade, the true believers, then the martyrs and then the righteous, who are righteous inwardly and outwardly. Allah then praised this company,
وَحَسُنَ أُولَـئِكَ رَفِيقاً
(And how excellent these companions are!)
Al-Bukhari recorded that `A’ishah said, “I heard the Messenger of Allah saying,
«مَا مِنْ نَبِيَ يَمْرَضُ إِلَّا خُيِّرَ بَيْنَ الدُّنْيَا وَالْآخِرَة»
(Every Prophet who falls ill is given the choice between this life and the Hereafter.) During the illness that preceded his death, his voice became weak and I heard him saying,
مَعَ الَّذِينَ أَنْعَمَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِم مِّنَ النَّبِيِّينَ وَالصِّدِّيقِينَ وَالشُّهَدَآءِ وَالصَّـلِحِينَ
(in the company of those on whom Allah has bestowed His grace, the Prophets, the true believers (Siddiqin), the martyrs and the righteous) I knew then that he was being given the choice.” Muslim recorded this Hadith. This Hadith explains the meaning of another Hadith; the Prophet said before his death;
«اللَّهُمَّ (فِي) الرَّفِيقِ الْأَعْلَى»
(O Allah! In the Most High Company) three times, and he then died, may Allah’s best blessings be upon him.
The Reason behind the Revelation of this Honorable Ayah
Ibn Jarir recorded that Sa`id bin Jubayr said, “An Ansari man came to the Messenger of Allah while feeling sad. The Prophet said to him, `Why do I see you sad’ He said, `O Allah’s Prophet! I was contemplating about something.’ The Prophet said, `What is it’ The Ansari said, `We come to you day and night, looking at your face and sitting by you. Tomorrow, you will be raised with the Prophets, and we will not be able to see you.’ The Prophet did not say anything, but later Jibril came down to him with this Ayah,
وَمَن يُطِعِ اللَّهَ وَالرَّسُولَ فَأُوْلَـئِكَ مَعَ الَّذِينَ أَنْعَمَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِم مِّنَ النَّبِيِّينَ
(And whoever obeys Allah and the Messenger then they will be in the company of those on whom Allah has bestowed His grace, of the Prophets),
and the Prophet sent the good news to the Ansari man.” This Hadith was narrated in Mursal form from Masruq, `Ikrimah, `Amir Ash-Sha`bi, Qatadah and Ar-Rabi` bin Anas. This is the version with the best chain of narrators.
Abu Bakr bin Marduwyah recorded it with a different chain from `A’ishah, who said; “A man came to the Prophet and said to him, `O Messenger of Allah! You are more beloved to me than myself, my family and children. Sometimes, when I am at home, I remember you, and I cannot wait until I come and look at you. When I contemplate about my death and your death, I know that you will be with the Prophets when you enter Paradise. I fear that I might not see you when I enter Paradise.’ The Prophet did not answer him until the Ayah,
وَمَن يُطِعِ اللَّهَ وَالرَّسُولَ فَأُوْلَـئِكَ مَعَ الَّذِينَ أَنْعَمَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِم مِّنَ النَّبِيِّينَ وَالصِّدِّيقِينَ وَالشُّهَدَآءِ وَالصَّـلِحِينَ وَحَسُنَ أُولَـئِكَ رَفِيقاً
(And whoever obeys Allah and the Messenger, then they will be in the company of those on whom Allah has bestowed His grace, of the Prophets, the true believers, the martyrs, and the righteous. And how excellent these companions are!) was revealed to him.” This was collected by Al-Hafiz Abu `Abdullah Al-Maqdisi in his book, Sifat Al-Jannah, he then commented, “I do not see problems with this chain.” And Allah knows best.
Muslim recorded that Rabi`ah bin Ka`b Al-Aslami said, “I used to sleep at the Prophet’s house and bring him his water for ablution and his needs. He once said to me, `Ask me.’ I said, `O Messenger of Allah! I ask that I be your companion in Paradise.’ He said, `Anything except that’ I said, `Only that.’ He said,
«فَأَعِنِّي عَلى نَفْسِكَ بِكَثْرَةِ السُّجُود»
(Then help me (fulfill this wish) for you by performing many prostrations.)”
Greater news than this is in the authentic Hadith collected in the Sahih and Musnad compilations, in Mutawatir form, narrated by several Companions that the Messenger of Allah was asked about the person who loves a people, but his status is not close to theirs. The Messenger said,
«الْمَرْءُ مَعَ مَنْ أَحَب»
(One is with those whom he loves.) Anas commented, “Muslims were never happier than with this Hadith.” In another narration, Anas said, “I love the Messenger of Allah, Abu Bakr and `Umar, and I hope that Allah will resurrect me with them, even though I did not perform actions similar to theirs.”
Source: Tafseer ibn Katheer