God forbid! This eminent, pious Companion, the memorizer who learnt hadith by heart, was far from being so. Indeed, none of the Companions may be described in such terms; for the Companions of the Prophet (PBUH) were all righteous, steadfast people. Allah testifies to their virtue in His Great Qur’an. Allah Almighty says, “Muḥammad is the Messenger of Allah; and those with him are forceful against the disbelievers, merciful among themselves. You see them bowing and prostrating [in prayer], seeking bounty from Allah and [His] pleasure. Their sign is in their faces from the effect of prostration [i.e., prayer]. That is their description in the Torah. And their description in the Gospel is as a plant which produces its offshoots and strengthens them so they grow firm and stand upon their stalks, delighting the sowers - so that He [i.e., Allah] may enrage by them1 the disbelievers. Allah has promised those who believe and do righteous deeds among them forgiveness and a great reward” (Al-Fatḥ: 29).
The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) defended them and warned against insulting or backbiting them. Abu Sa’id al-Khudri narrated that the Prophet (PBUH) said, “Do not revile my Companions. If one of you were to spend the like of Mountain Uhud in gold for the sake of Allah, it would not reach a small portion of their giving or even half of that” (Reported in al-Bukhari and Muslim).
Abdullah ibn Mughaffal narrated that the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, “Fear Allah regarding my Companions! Do not make them objects of insults after me. Whoever loves them, it is out of love of me that he loves them. And whoever hates them, it is out of hatred for me that he hates them. Whoever offends them has offended me, whoever offends me has offended Allah, and whoever offends Allah, Allah will soon inflict His punishment upon him”(Reported by al-Tirmidhī, who classified it as “gharīb”, i.e., conveyed only by a single narrator).
We have to know that slandering this great Companion is one way of attacking the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (PBUH), since he was one of the most prolific narrators of the Sunnah due to his close company of the Prophet (PBUH), who supplicated Allah to grant him blessing and good memory. By slandering hadith narrators and targeting their honourable characters, especially the prolific narrators among them such as Abu Hurairah, enemies of the Sunnah aim to detract from the hadith they narrated. We should always remember that some doctrines that show no fear of Allah regarding the unity of Muslims have been targeting this great Companion as well as Imam al-Bukhari for more than a century. They have been doing so wrongfully, out of ignorance, injustice, and falsehood. Therefore, beware of them and never be beguiled by their lies and falsities.