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Aboo Bakr as-Siddeeq, radyallaahu 'anhu.
In general the Companions (which include the Family of the Prophet, peace be upon him) are the best and most pious people that Allaah created after all of the Prophets and Messengers.
After the Companions of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, the best people were the Disciples/Companions of the other Prophets and Messengers.
From the Companions of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, the best of them was Aboo Bakr as-Siddiq, and after him, 'Umar ibn al-Khattaab. This is by the unanimous agreement of the Muslim scholars and is thusly part of the Islaamic Creed. Anyone opposing this has gone astray from the way of the Muslims.
Muhammad [sal-Allâhu 'alayhi wa sallam] is the Messenger of Allâh. And those who are with him are severe against disbelievers, and merciful among themselves. You see them bowing and falling down prostrate (in prayer), seeking bounty from Allâh and (His) Good Pleasure. The mark of them (i.e. of their Faith) is on their faces (foreheads) from the traces of prostration (during prayers). This is their description in the Taurât (Torah). But their description in the Injîl (Gospel) is like a (sown) seed which sends forth its shoot, then makes it strong, and becomes thick and it stands straight on its stem, delighting the sowers, that He may enrage the disbelievers with them. Allâh has promised those among them who believe (i.e. all those who follow Islâmic Monotheism, the religion of Prophet Muhammad [sal-Allâhu 'alayhi wa sallam] till the Day of Resurrection) and do righteous good deeds, forgiveness and a mighty reward (i.e. Paradise).
So it is upon us to have love or Allaah, love for His Messenger, peace be upon him, and love for the righteous believers, especially the Companions, may Allaah be pleased with them.
"And those who came after them say: 'Our Lord! Forgive us and our brethren who have preceded us in Faith, and put not in our hearts any hatred against those who have believed. Our Lord! You are indeed full of kindness, Most Merciful.' "
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