Ibn Masúd[RA] on the companions
‘Abdullâh b. Mas’ûd – Allâh be pleased with him – said, “ Verily, Allâh looked inside the hearts of people and found the heart of Muhammad – Allâh’s peace and blessings be upon him – to be the best of all hearts, and so He chose him for Himself and sent him with His message. Then Allâh looked inside the hearts of people after Muhammad – Allâh’s peace and blessings be upon him – and found the hearts of his Companions to be the best hearts; so He made them the ministers and representatives of His Prophet, fighting for his religion. Thus, what the Muslims regard as good is good with Allâh, and what they regard as evil is evil with Allâh. And the Companions unanimously chose to take Abû Bakr – Allâh be pleased with him – as the successor [to lead the Muslims after the Prophet].”
Reported by Ahmad, Al-Tayâlisî and others, excluding the last sentence. Shaykh Al-Albânî graded its chain of transmission hasan. The narration is reported with the last sentence by Al-Hâkim, who said its chain of transmission is sahîh. Al-Dhahabî agrees, while Al-Hâfidh Al-Sakhâwî said, “It is mawqûf (reported as a statement of a Companion), hasan.” See Al-Albânî, Al-Da’îfah Vol. 2 pp17-19.