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How did the Sahaba address each other?

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by Askimam.org

Dear imam and students, I have a question today please I want to ask what did the sahaba address each other as? Did they say for example hazra or shaykh or they were mufti and scholars what did they call each other? I am asking out of curiosity this is on my mind.

Answer

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

Brother in Islam,

Good character, conduct and respect are the hallmarks of a Muslim. Rasūlullāh Ŝallallāhu ‘Alaihi Wa Sallam said, “He who does not show mercy unto our youngsters and does not show respect to our elders is not from amongst us.”[1] While Sharī‘ah has emphasized on respecting our seniors, elders, and learned ones, the manner of expressing respect differs from place to place and time to time. For example,

  • In the Indian sub-continent one expresses respect to his seniors, whether in age or knowledge, with the terms “Hazrat”, Sāheb, etc. Similarly, the learned are addressed with titles such as “Mawlānā.”
  • In the current Arab society the scholars are addressed with titles, such as “Sheikh.”
  • Many Westerners use the term “Imām.”
  • In South East Asia many use the term “Ustadh.”
  • In certain places the term “Sīdī” is used.

In the same light, the Ŝaĥābah use to address one another with kunyah (agnomen) which was considered a mark of respect. Hazrat Abū Bakr’s (Radiallāhu ‘Anhu) name was not Abū Bakr. His name was ‘Abdullāh[2] and his kunyah (agnomen) was Abu Bakr.

Al Imām Nasaī[3] narrates an incident of Abū Hurairah Radiallāhu ‘Anhu addressing Ĥasan bin ‘Alī Radiallāhu ‘Anhu as “Ya Sayyidī.”

Al Imām Ibn Abī Shaibah[4] narrates Anas bin Mālik Radiallāhu ‘Anhu referring to                   Al Ĥasan Al Baŝrī as “Mawlānā Al Ĥasan.”

‘Omar Radiallāhu ‘Anhu was commonly addressed as “Amīrul Mu’minīn” since his appointment as Khalīfah.

As stated earlier, the Sharī’ah has greatly emphasized respect in speech and action. A Muslim must adhere to the dictates of respect and character at all times.

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Hisham Dawood

Student, Darul Iftaa
Chicago, USA

Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.

www.daruliftaa.net


[1] Al Tirmizi, Chapter on Showing Mercy to Youngsters

[2]

 سير أعلام النبلاء

[3]

 السنن الكبرى للنسائي، ذكر إختلاف الأخبار في قول القائل: سيدنا و سيدي

[4]

  المصنف لابن أبي شيبة، كتاب الزهد/باب ما قالوا في البكاء من خشية الله

This answer was collected from Askimam.org, which is operated under the supervision of Mufti Ebrahim Desai from South Africa.

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