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The Ṫābi‘ūn (Arabic: التابعون "Followers") are the generation of Muslims who were born after the death of the Islamic prophet Muhammad but who were contemporaries of the Sahaba "Companions". As such, they played an important part in the development of Islamic thought and philosophy, and in the political development of the early Caliphate. In particular, they played a vital role in the partition in the Islamic community between Sunni and Shia Muslims. To this day, interpretations of their behaviour and characters are highly controversial.
Muslims from the Sunni branch of Islam define a Ṫabi‘in as a Muslim who:
- Saw at least one of the Companions of Muhammad.
- Was rightly guided (according to the Sunni, one who adheres to the beliefs and actions of the Ahlus Sunnah wal-Jama'ah).
- One who died in that state. The Khawarij are therefore not referred to as Tabi‘un even though they saw many of Muhammad's companions.
Sunni Muslims also regard the ṫabi‘un as the best generation after the Sahaba. According to Sunni Muslims, Muhammad said: "The best people are those living in my generation, then those coming after them, and then those coming after (the second generation)" .
The Ṫabi'un are divided by most Muslim scholars into three classes:
- The students of Sahaba who accepted Islam before the conquest of Makkah
- The students of Sahaba who accepted Islam after the conquest of Makkah
- The students of Sahaba who were not yet adults at the time of Muhammad's death
List of Ṫabi‘in
The earliest of the Tabi'un to die was Zayd ibn Ma'mar ibn Zayd, 30 years after the hijra, and the last to die was Khalaf ibn Khalifa, who died in 180 A.H. Therefore, many of the Tabi'un were tasked with the preservation of Islamic traditions from the era of the Sahaba to later Muslims.
- Abd-Allah ibn Amr
- Abd-Allah ibn Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyyah
- Ahnaf ibn Qais
- Abu Muslim al-Khawlani
- Al-Hassan al-Basri (130-180 A.H.)
- Al-Hasan ibn Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyyah (d. 100 A.H.)
- Alqama ibn Qays al-Nakha'i
- Al-Qasim ibn Muhammad ibn Abî Bakr (d. 103 A.H.)
- `Atâ' ibn Abî Rabah (d. 106 A.H.)
- Ibn Jurayj
- Hammam ibn Munabbih
- Ibn Shihab al-Zuhri (d. 124 A.H.)
- Masruq ibn al-Ajda' (d. 103 A.H.)
- Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr
- Mujahid ibn Jabr
- Sa'id ibn al-Musayyab (d. 93 A.H.)
- Ubayd-Allah ibn Abd-Allah (d. 98 A.H.)
- Urwah ibn al-Zubayr (d. 94 A.H.)
- Zayd ibn Ali (d. 740 C.E. (122 A.H. ?))