The Four Companions
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Those among Muhammad's companions who were closest to both Muhammad and Imam Ali were called Shiʿah of Ali "partisans of Ali" during Muhammad's lifetime, and it was for these primarily that the following hadith was said:
Glad tidings, Ali! Verily you and your Shiʿah will be in Paradise.
These companions are later referred to as "The Real Shiʿah". 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 Shiʿah" and remained so.
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