The Four Companions
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The Four Companions, also called the Four Pillars of the Sahaba is a Shi'a term that refers to the four Sahaba Shi'a believe stayed most loyal to Imam Ali after the death of the Islamic prophet Muhammad:
Those among Muhammad's companions who were closest to both Muhammad and Imam Ali were called Shias of Ali "partisans of ‘Alī" during Muhammad's lifetime and it was for these primarily that the following hadith was said:
Glad tidings, Ali! Verily you and your Shia will be in Paradise.
These companions are later referred to as "Real Shi'a". Abdullah ibn Abbas, Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr and Malik al-Ashtar were other such partisans. However, it is only The Four Companions that are believed to have attained the rank of "the Real Shi‘a" and remained so.
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