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'A'isha reported that a person asked Allah's Apostle ﷺ as to who amongst the people were the best. He said: Of the generation to which I belong, then of the second generation (generation adjacent to my generation), then of the third generation (generation adjacent to the second generation).
حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو بَكْرِ بْنُ أَبِي شَيْبَةَ، وَشُجَاعُ بْنُ مَخْلَدٍ، - وَاللَّفْظُ لأَبِي بَكْرٍ - قَالاَ حَدَّثَنَا
حُسَيْنٌ، - وَهُوَ ابْنُ عَلِيٍّ الْجُعْفِيُّ - عَنْ زَائِدَةَ، عَنِ السُّدِّيِّ، عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ الْبَهِيِّ، عَنْ عَائِشَةَ،
قَالَتْ سَأَلَ رَجُلٌ النَّبِيَّ صلى الله عليه وسلم أَىُّ النَّاسِ خَيْرٌ قَالَ ‏
"‏ الْقَرْنُ الَّذِي أَنَا فِيهِ
ثُمَّ الثَّانِي ثُمَّ الثَّالِثُ ‏"‏ ‏.‏

Classification

Sahih (Authentic)

References

• Sahih Muslim, 2536
• Sahih Muslim, Vol. 6, Book of the Merits of the Companions, Hadith 6159
• Sahih Muslim, Book of the Merits of the Companions, Hadith 6159