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Narrated Aiyub:

The Prophet ﷺ said, "If I were to take a Khalil, I would have taken him (i.e. Abu Bakr) as a Khalil, but the Islamic brotherhood is better."
حَدَّثَنَا مُعَلَّى، وَمُوسَى، قَالاَ حَدَّثَنَا وُهَيْبٌ، عَنْ أَيُّوبَ، وَقَالَ، ‏
"‏ لَوْ كُنْتُ مُتَّخِذًا خَلِيلاً لاَتَّخَذْتُهُ خَلِيلاً، وَلَكِنْ أُخُوَّةُ الإِسْلاَمِ أَفْضَلُ ‏"‏‏.‏ حَدَّثَنَا قُتَيْبَةُ، حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ الْوَهَّابِ، عَنْ أَيُّوبَ، مِثْلَهُ‏.‏

Classification

Sahih (Authentic)

References

• Sahih al-Bukhari, 3657
• Sahih al-Bukhari, Vol. 5, Book of Virtues and Merits of Companions of the Prophet ﷺ, Hadith 9
• Sahih al-Bukhari, Book of Virtues and Merits of Companions of the Prophet ﷺ, Hadith 9