Stated ʿUmar ibn ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz (d.101H), “Those who have preceded, they stopped upon knowledge, they restrained due to penetrating insight, and they were the keenest in uncovering the affairs. Furthermore, if the guidance is what you are upon, then they have preceded you in it. And if you say that affairs were invented after them, then nothing was invented, except by one who follows other than their path and prefers himself over them. Indeed, they spoke about it with that which suffices, and they described from it that which satisfies. So whatever is below them is deficient and whatever is above them is confinement. Indeed, there were people below them, so they worked in vain. And others turned away from them, so they fell into extremism. Indeed, they were in between that, upon straight guidance.” Ḥasan: Related by Ibn Waddāh in al-Bidaʿ wa-al-Naḥī ’anhaa (no. 77).
The Prophet (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) said, “The stars are the protectors of the heavens, so when the stars go, whatever has been promised to the heavens will occur. And I am the protector for my Companions, so when I go, whatever has been promised to my Companions will occur. And my Companions are the protectors of my Ummah, so when my Companions go, whatever has been promised to my Ummah will occur.” It is related by Muslim (4/1961) from the ḥadīth of Saʿīd Ibn Abī Burdah, from his father.