In the seventh century, Arabia was in a terrible state and had gone out of order. The humanity was savage and monstrous, and was away from nice qualities; there was not a period worse and more deviated from that one in the history of humanity. People were so deviated that they would attack tribes and enslave free people and would kill slave for pleasure. All parts of Arabia were places of debauchery where all kinds of disgrace and immorality were dominant. People used to drink alcohol like water, gamble, prostitute openly and practice usury. The feuds between tribes used to wound people's hearts. Some of them continued for centuries. The situation of the Aws and Khazraj tribes in Madinah was a clear example of it. The enmity between these two tribes lasted for 130 years. Daughters were regarded as means of shame and they used to be buried alive.
People used to worship the idols of stone and wood that they themselves had made, sacrifice animals for them, make vows for them and beg them. These wrong beliefs and customs were so deeply rooted among Arabs that they had blind confidence in them and said, “We found our ancestors in this way. This is the right way. We will not give up this way no matter what happens.”
Who was going to show the way of salvation to these people, who were confused and aberrant? Who were going to direct and improve their feelings and abilities? Who was going to reconcile them and bring them together?
Everybody was in need of somebody who would teach them what the universe meant, what man was, why he was created, why he was sent to this world and what his duty in the world was. He would tell people what the universe, which had become an incomprehensible book and a meaningless roll of paper, meant and teach people what to do in the presence of that magnificent book.
He would teach people how to live humanely, how to take real pleasures from life, what law, justice, equality, love, respect, righteousness and honesty was.
How much more was the humanity going to wait? Not only the humanity but also mountains, stones, all living and non-living beings were longing for that savior. When he arrived, he would free the universe from meaninglessness, idleness and aimlessness.
Allah Almighty did not make those longing eyes wait more. He sent His beloved Prophet, Hz. Muhammad Mustafa (pbuh). His advent was mercy for the realms. Suddenly, the universe started to smile. The universe became meaningful and the humanity came around when he arrived; the real face of everything became known with the light he brought. People found the right path through him. He held the Quran, the greatest miracle given to him, and read the universe with it and also made others read it:
He said: “Look at this magnificent universe, the sky embellished with wonderful stars, the sun and the moon and see how delicately they are rotated. Look at the night and the day and see how they follow each other. Look at the mountains, plains, streams, rivers and the endless plants that are buried under the ground and that are revived again. Look at your own creation. Think of the being that created you out of a drop of water.
Come to your senses. They are not coincidental things; they cannot occur on their own. They are organized by the knowledge, power and will of a creator. Realize them and give up worshipping idols, which cannot harm or help anybody. Do not ridicule yourselves with these meaningless and nonsensical beliefs. Believe in your Lord, who created you as human beings; thank your Creator, who makes you live with endless bounties and worship Him only."
Those who used their brains accepted this divine call. The land of eternity opened for their suffocated spirits. They entered the Paradise of oneness by getting rid of polytheism. They started to turn around the light of guidance. They became stars that orbit this sun of prophethood.
The obstinate people who did not want to read the universe could not get rid of the darkness of denial in which they stuck. Sometimes their obstinacy deceived them and sometimes their conceitedness made them deviate. Their inability to use their brains deprived them of this bliss.
The gap between belief and unbelief got bigger and bigger just like darkness and light, and day and night.
That person made such a unique and unmatchable revolution that the most civilized people emerged from those predatory, slovenly and savage people. He changed hundreds of customs and habits of them deeply rooted in them. He transformed this nation which recklessly shed the blood of one another into another nation which became so merciful and compassionate as not to hurt a fly.
Those distinguished people were brought up within the luminous circle of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh). The Messenger of Allah told them who man was, where he was coming from, where he was going and what his duties were. He told them that they would not be left unattended, that they were sent to this world for testing and that the good and the bad would be distinguished from each other.
Such great people emerged out of them that everybody, whether they were friends or enemies, appreciated them. For instance, Hz. Abu Bakr became the most superior person in the world people after prophets. He devoted his life to the way of Allah Almighty and used all of his property in the way of Allah. He became distinguished with his mercy, compassion, politeness, foresight and wisdom
Umar, who was so hard-hearted as to bury his own daughter alive, was recorded in golden letters in the history books with his justice after he believed in the Prophet and was educated by him; besides, the Prophet appreciated him by saying, “If a prophet were to come after me, it would be Umar Ibn Khattab.”
Thanks to his education, people like Hz. Uthman, in the presence of whom the angels felt shy, and Hz. Ali, a real hero, a lover of knowledge and a statue of asceticism and piety, were brought up.
Khalid bin Walid, who was an ordinary soldier but suddenly became “Allah’s sword” Amr bin As, who became a genius in politics, Zayd bin Haritha, who was an ordinary slave but became the commander of the Islamic army, and his son Usama, Salman al-Farisi, who was a shepherd but became the governor of Iran and despite this lived like an ordinary man, were the people who became prominent after being taught by the Prophet (pbuh).
Those lucky people received such a spark from that sea of light that they became the most civilized and considerate people, rising high to the horizons out of reach; they became exuberant with the abundance they received and travelled to country after country to spread the truth; they became teachers of civilization for the most civilized people.
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Thousands of Companions are mentioned in the resources of the Islamic history. Only the names of some of Companions are mentioned; the lives of some Companions are narrated briefly or in detail. In this work, we tried to write about the lives of only 213 Companions, in whose lives were exemplary lessons and stages.
Instead of giving dry encyclopedic information, we preferred a style that will make reading and learning easy. We found it appropriate to narrate the lives of the Companions like the Four Caliphs, which can be written as separate books, in summary.
We referred to the existing Turkish and Arabic resources and studied them while searching the life of each Companion. In appropriate places, we included the explanations and determinations made by Badiuzzaman Said Nursi regarding the Companions and the Four Caliphs since they were directly relevant to the topic.
If we have managed to reflect the Era of Bliss and make that luminous generation known to a certain extent, we will regard ourselves lucky. Success comes from Allah.