By Allaah I have seen the Sahabah of Rasulullaah and do not see the likes of them anywhere today.
Abu Araaka رضي الله عنه narrates that he once performed the Fajr salaah behind Hadhrat Ali رضي الله عنه After the salaah, Hadhrat Ali رضي الله عنه turned to his right and appeared to be extremely troubled. Eventually, when the sun rose the length of a spear’s length above the Masjid wall, he performed two Rakaahs of salaah. Thereafter, he turned his hands over and said, “By Allaah I have seen the Sahabah of Rasulullaah and do not see the likes of them anywhere today.
In the mornings, their faces were pale, their hair dishevelled, their bodies covered in dust and between their eyes were the marks of prostration which resembled the marks on the knees of goats. Their nights were spent prostrating (in Sajdah) and standing before Allaah (in salaah). They recited the Book of Allaah (the Qur’aan) and would attain comfort by standing in salaah and making Sajdah. When the mornings arrived and they engaged in Dhikr, their bodies would move as the trees do when the gentle wind blows through them.
Their eyes would flow with tears until their clothing got wet as if they (were remorseful because they) had spent their nights in negligence.”
Thereafter, Hadhrat Ali stood up and was never again seen laughing quietly until he was martyred by the wicked enemy of Allaah, Ibn Muljim.
– Bidaayah (Vo1.8 Pg.6), Abu Nu’aym in Hilya (Vol.1 Pg.76)