Islamic Studies Prophet Muhammad

“And How Excellent These Companions Are!”

The Prophet ﷺ once came upon his companion, Thawban (may Allah be pleased with him), and noticed that he looked sad.  He immediately asked him,

“O Thawban, what has changed your appearance?”

Thawban replied, “O Messenger of Allah, I do not have any sickness or any pain except that I feel discomfort when I do not see you, so I seclude myself completely until I meet you. Then I remember the hereafter and am afraid that I will not see you there. I know that you will be with the Prophets, and if I enter Jannah, I will be in a level lower than yours. But if I do not enter Jannah, then I will never see you again.”

Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala (exalted is He) revealed,


And whoever obeys Allah and the Messenger – those will be with the ones upon whom Allah has bestowed favor of the prophets, the steadfast affirmers of truth, the martyrs and the righteous. And excellent are those as companions. (4:69)

Lessons from this Narration:

  • The eagerness and love of the Companions to see and be in the presence of the Prophet ﷺ. They loved him so much that, when they did not see him, their sadness was noticeable in their appearance and affected their health.
  • The care of their teacher and friend. The Prophet ﷺnoticed Thawban’s sadness and asked him about it right away.
  • The Companions constantly thought about the hereafter. They did not assume they would enter Jannah because the Prophet ﷺ was in their midst.
  • The Prophet ﷺ only spoke when he knew the answer or after Allah sent revelation to him. Here we see that the Prophet ﷺ did not respond to Thawban, but rather Allah (swt) responded to His Servant.
  • The Mercy, Generosity and Kindness of our Rabb. Allah takes care of His believing servants in this life and in the next and He takes care of their affairs. How can anyone despair when their Rabb is Ar-Raheem (the Lord of Mercy)?
  • The reminder for the believer to be humble. Our deeds will not take us to Jannah, rather we will only succeed with the Mercy of Allah (swt).
  • An ease for the believers. We will never be like the Prophets (may Allah be pleased with them), but by obeying Allah and His Messengers, we can be in their company bi’ithnillah (with the permission of Allah).
  • This hadith is a bushraa (good news) for you and me. We have lost our chance to be with the Prophet ﷺ in his lifetime, but Allah (swt) has given us an opportunity to be with him eternally. Let us strive for this opportunity.

May Allah forgive our sins and grant us this excellent companionship in the hereafter. Ameen.

About the author


Amatullah is a student of the Qur’an and its language. She completed the 2007 Ta’leem program at Al-Huda Institute in Canada and studied Qur’an, Tajweed (science of recitation) and Arabic in Cairo. Through her writings, she hopes to share the practical guidance taught to us by Allah and His Messenger and how to make spirituality an active part of our lives. She has completed her undergraduate degree in Social Work and will be completing a Masters program in 2014. Her experiences include working with immigrant seniors, refugee settlement, and accessibility for people with disabilities.

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  • Jazaki Allahu kul khayr! Subhan Allah what a beautiful reminder mashaAllah barak Allahu fiki!

    Do you know where I can find the entire hadith inshaAllah?

    • wa iyyaki Maryam, wa feeki barak Allah.

      Looks like I forgot to add the source, my apologies…It’s narrated in many books but the one I have is narrated by Ibn ‘Asaakir and authenticated by Shaykh Albani rahimahullah.

  • I love this! Its so easy to just read through a hadeeth..take the apparent meaning….and not stop and ponder about all the different lessons we can take from it.

    Barak Allahu feeki 🙂

  • Ma-sha-Allah, you drew many good lessons from that one hadith. I admit that my aspirations are lower, and maybe that’s a mistake, but I aspire only to achieve Jannah, and I would be so ecstatic if I can achieve it, without worrying about my level within Jannah.

    Once in my lifetime I had a special experience (which I will not describe) that gave me hope of meeting the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) some day, and in a way reminds me of his asking after Thawban’s health. Our Messenger Muhammad (pbuh) was truly a great-hearted and vastly generous individual.

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