Assalamualaikum SS Datuk Mufti. My question is who is the last of the companions of the Prophet PBUH to die?
Waalaikumussalam wrt wbt,
Alhamdulillah, praise and thanks to Allah for the countless blessings He has blessed us all with. Blessings and salutations to the Prophet Muhammad PBUH, his wives, his family, companions and all those that follow his teachings to the day of judgement.
The companions of the Prophet PBUH are the best of generation who ever lived in the history of Islam. They are the first to embrace Islam and help in the spread of Islam to the whole world. The honour of the companions of the Prophet PBUH is stated by the Prophet PBUH himself. The Prophet PBUH said:
خَيْرُ أُمَّتِى الْقَرْنُ الَّذِينَ يَلُونِى ثُمَّ الَّذِينَ يَلُونَهُمْ ثُمَّ الَّذِينَ يَلُونَهُمْ ثُمَّ يَجِىءُ قَوْمٌ تَسْبِقُ شَهَادَةُ أَحَدِهِمْ يَمِينَهُ وَيَمِينُهُ شَهَادَتَهُ
“The best of my Umma would be those of the generation nearest to mine. Then those nearest to them, then those nearest to them, then people would come whose witness would precede the oath and the oath will precede the witness.”
Sahih Muslim (6632)
Moreover, Allah SWT blesses them and this is stated clearly in the Quran. Allah SWT states:
وَٱلسَّـٰبِقُونَ ٱلْأَوَّلُونَ مِنَ ٱلْمُهَـٰجِرِينَ وَٱلْأَنصَارِ وَٱلَّذِينَ ٱتَّبَعُوهُم بِإِحْسَـٰنٍ رَّضِىَ ٱللَّـهُ عَنْهُمْ وَرَضُوا۟ عَنْهُ وَأَعَدَّ لَهُمْ جَنَّـٰتٍ تَجْرِى تَحْتَهَا ٱلْأَنْهَـٰرُ خَـٰلِدِينَ فِيهَآ أَبَدًا ۚ ذَٰلِكَ ٱلْفَوْزُ ٱلْعَظِيمُ
“And the first forerunners [in the faith] among the Muhajireen and the Ansar and those who followed them with good conduct - Allah is pleased with them and they are pleased with Him, and He has prepared for them gardens beneath which rivers flow, wherein they will abide forever. That is the great attainment.”
Surah al-Taubah (100)
Al-Syaukani stated that Allah SWT accepted them and their obedience and worship that they performed with sincerity. And they are also content with the gifts and blessings of Allah SWT of which they never felt or thought of before. The acceptance of Allah SWT is the greatest status and the most honoured standing. (Refer Fath Al-Qadir Al-Jami Baina Fannai Al-Riwayah Wa Al-Dirayah Fi Ilm Al-Tafsir, 2/386)
Thus, one is prohibited to insult, mock or degrade the companions of the Prophet PBUH. The Prophet PBUH once warns us from insulting the companions of the Prophet PBUH. The Prophet PBUH said:
لَا تَسُبُّوا أَصْحَابِي فَلَوْ أَنَّ أَحَدَكُمْ أَنْفَقَ مِثْلَ أُحُدٍ ذَهَبًا مَا بَلَغَ مُدَّ أَحَدِهِمْ وَلَا نَصِيفَهُ
"Do not abuse my companions for if any one of you spent gold equal to Uhud (in Allah's Cause) it would not be equal to a Mud or even a half Mud spent by one of them."
Sahih al-Bukhari (3673) and Sahih Muslim (6651)
Imam al-Nawawi cited the opinion of al-Qadhi Iyadh where the Companions is more honoured than the people that come after them. The reason is they donated during hardship and adversity. All of them is basically helping, supporting and protecting the Prophet PBUH. (Refer Al-Minhaj Syarh Sohih Muslim, 8/92).
The Prophet PBUH once indicate regarding the duration of the time of the Companion. In a hadith narrated by Ibnu Umar, the Prophet PBUH said:
صَلَّى بِنَا رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ ذَاتَ لَيْلَةٍ صَلَاةَ الْعِشَاءِ فِي آخِرِ حَيَاتِهِ فَلَمَّا سَلَّمَ قَامَ فَقَالَ أَرَأَيْتَكُمْ لَيْلَتَكُمْ هَذِهِ فَإِنَّ عَلَى رَأْسِ مِائَةِ سَنَةٍ مِنْهَا لَا يَبْقَى مِمَّنْ هُوَ عَلَى ظَهْرِ الْأَرْضِ أَحَدٌ قَالَ ابْنُ عُمَرَ فَوَهَلَ النَّاسُ فِي مَقَالَةِ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ تِلْكَ فِيمَا يَتَحَدَّثُونَ مِنْ هَذِهِ الْأَحَادِيثِ عَنْ مِائَةِ سَنَةٍ وَإِنَّمَا قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ لَا يَبْقَى مِمَّنْ هُوَ الْيَوْمَ عَلَى ظَهْرِ الْأَرْضِ أَحَدٌ يُرِيدُ بِذَلِكَ أَنْ يَنْخَرِمَ ذَلِكَ الْقَرْنُ
“Have you seen this night of yours? At the end of one hundred years after this none would survive on the surface of the earth (from amount my Companions). Ibn Umar said: People were (not understanding) these words of the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) which had been uttered pertaining to one hundred years. Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) in fact meant (by these words) that on that day none from amongst those who had been living upon the earth (from amongst his Companions) would survive (after one hundred years) and that would be the end of this generation.”
Sahih Muslim (4650)
Ibnu Umar understood that no Companion will live for more than a hundred years old. He also understood from the words of the Prophet PBUH that the generation of the Companions would end.
In another narration, the Prophet PBUH said:
ما من نفس منفوسة اليوم، تأتي عليها مائة سنة، وهي حية يومئذٍ
“There would be none amongst the created beings living on the earth (who would survive this century).”
Sahih Muslim (2538)
Imam al-Nawawi said that what is meant by the Prophet PBUH is whoever present on that night of whom are among the Companions will not live for more than a hundred years. (Refer Al-Minhaj Syarh Sohih Muslim, 16/89).
Coming back to the question asked, the last companion of the Prophet PBUH who died was ‘Amir bin Wathilah al-Laithi. His nickname or moniker is Abu al-Tufail. He passed away in Mecca in the year 110 H. He was born during the war of Uhud. He had the opportunity to be with the Prophet PBUH for 8 years. (Refer Ma’rifah Al-Sahabat Li Abi Nu’aim Al-Asbahani, 6/3534).
Imam al-Zahabi stated that he is the last of the generation who has ever seen the Prophet PBUH. There is none after him who claimed to be a companion of the Prophet PBUH and this continued throughout the time of the tabi’in, tabi’ tabi’in and up to 500 years before a person confesses that he saw the Prophet PBUH and become a Companion in India. (Refer Siyar ‘Alam Al-Nubala, 3/468)
Ibn Abdul Barr stated that he is the last of the companion of the Prophet PBUH. Abu Tufail once said:
ما بقي على وجه الأرض عين تطوف ممن رأى النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم غيري
“There is none on this earth who has seen the Prophet PBUH except me.” (Refer Al-Isti’ab Fi Ma’rifah Al-Ashab, 4/1967)
Biography of Abu Tufail
His real name is ‘Amir bin Wathilah bin Abdullah Amru al-Laithi al-Kinani al-Hijazi. He is among the supporter and follower of Saidina Ali RA. Due to this, Imam al-Zahabi named him as al-Syi’I which means a supporter of Saidina Ali. He met the Prophet PBUH during Hujjatul Wada’ (The Farewell Hajj, the last hajj of the Prophet PBUH).
He narrated hadiths from several companions of the Prophet PBUH. Among them are Abu Bakar Al-Siddiq, Umar Bin Al-Khattab, Muaz Bin Jabal, Ali and others. Furthermore, he is also referred to by the tabi’in such as Habib Bin Abi Thabit, Al-Zuhri, Abu Zubair Al-Makki, Ali Bin Zaid Bin Jad’an and others.
Imam al-Zahabi stated that he is a thiqah (trustworthy) person whose speech and actions are true, a knowledgeable person and a great poet. He is blessed with longevity and is together with Saidina Ali in numerous battles. (Refer Siyar ‘Alam Al-Nubala, 5/466-467).
May Allah SWT bless Abu Tufail. Wallahu a’lam.