The following is a response to Slave of Ahlubait’s article: “Holy Prophet (asws) did not pay attention to advice of Abu Bakar and Umar”. The article can be found on his blog and on the wilayat website.
The article contains a single narration:
“It has been narrated on the authority of Anas that when (the news of) the advance of Abu Sufyan (at the head of a force) reached him. the Messenger of Allaah (sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam) held consultations with his Companions. The narrator said: Abu Bakr spoke (expressing his own views), but he (the Prophet) did not pay heed to him. Then spoke ‘Umar (expressing his views), but he (the Prophet) did not pay heed to him (too). Then Sa’d b. ‘Ubada stood up and said: Messenger of Allaah, you want us (to speak)?”
The author is suggesting that Abu Bakr and Omar had no weight amongst the ranks of the companions by quoting this specific incident. However, simply because the Prophet – peace be upon him – rejected their consultation in a specific matter does not mean that they do not have any weight.
More importantly, Abu Bakr and Omar were not needed for consultation in this case because the Prophet – peace be upon him – had another motive when consulting his companions. Al-Nawawi comments in his explanation of this hadith: “The scholars have said: He – peace be upon him – wanted to test the Ansar, for they have not given him the pledge to go out to war alongside him, but only to protect him from aggressors, so when he suggested heading to Abu Sufyan’s camels and merchandise, he wanted to know if they would agree, and they did respond with the best answer in this time and in other times.”
The explanation provided by Al-Nawawi fills in the blanks and clears up what Sa’ad bin Ubada meant by “You want us (to speak)?” This suggests that he knew that the consultation was not meant for the sake of getting an opinion, but rather, wanting to know the status of the Ansar and the support that he would receive from them.
Either way, Ibn Abbas narrates in Saheeh Muslim #3309, that the Prophet – peace be upon him – continued to consult Abu Bakr and Omar specifically after the end of the battle of Badr, and this clearly affirms their status.