Sahabah (Companions)

In Islam, the Ṣaḥābah (Arabic: الصحابة "companions") were the companions of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. This form is plural; the singular is Ṣaḥābi (fem. Ṣaḥābiyyah). A list of the best-known companions can be found in the List of Sahaba.

Definitions of Companion

Most Sunnis regard anyone who, in the state of faith, saw him to be a companion or Ṣahābi[1]. Lists of prominent companions usually run to fifty or sixty names, being the people most closely associated with Muhammad. However, there were clearly many others who had some contact with Muhammad, and their names and biographies were recorded in religious reference texts such as Muhammad ibn Sa'd's early Kitāb at-Tabāqat al-Kabīr.

It was important to identify the companions because later scholars accepted their testimony (the hadith, or traditions) as to the words and deeds of Muhammad, the occasions on which the Qur'an was revealed, and various important matters of Islamic history and practice (sunnah). The testimony of the companions, as it was passed down through chains of trusted narrators (isnads), was the basis of the developing Islamic tradition.