In every era of human history, Allah Ta’ala sent two sources of guidance for the reformation of mankind. The first source was the divine revelation of Allah Ta’ala (i.e. the heavenly books and scriptures), and the second was the men of Allah Ta’ala (the Ambiya Alaihimus Salaam).
The Ambiya (Alaihimus Salaam) were sent in order to practically demonstrate before people the correct application of the laws of Shari’ah through their noble example. Furthermore, it was the divine system of Allah Ta’ala that He selected companions from among the Ummah of every Nabi in order to support them in accomplishing the mission of Nubuwwat. From among the ummah of Hazrat Nabi-e-Kareem (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam), those who were divinely chosen by Allah Ta’ala were none other than the illustrious Sahaabah (Radhiyallahu Anhum) of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam).
Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) himself highlighted this, as reported in the following Hadith:
عن عويم بن ساعدة رضي الله عنه أن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم قال : إن الله اختارني واختار لي أصحابا (مجمع الزوائد 9/738)
Hazrat Uwaim bin Saa’idah (Radiyallahu Anhu) reports that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said, “Allah Ta’ala chose me (to be the final messenger) and chose for me my Sahaabah (as my supporters).”
It is reported in the Mubaarak Hadith that Allah Ta’ala looked at the hearts of the creation. He found the heart of Nabi Muhammad (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) to be the best of hearts. Therefore, he selected him for Himself and sent him with His message. Thereafter, Allah Ta’ala looked at the hearts of the rest of the creation after selecting Nabi Muhammad (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). He then found the hearts of the Sahaabah (Radhiyallahu Anhum) of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) to be the best hearts (from the entire creation after the Ambiya Alaihimus Salaam). Hence, He divinely selected them as the supporters of His Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) who will fight against the kuffaar for the course of His deen.” (Musnad-e-Ahmed 6/84)