Allah(SWT) created a generation of people around His Nabi who were benchmarks in themselves. As I mentioned earlier it was the Will of Allah(SWT) that Muhammad(SAW) was to be the last of the Messengers and so it was necessary to create successors who would take the message onward. They were the Sahaba of Rasoolullah(SAW), who he called the Best Generation.
Narrated `Abd Allah(RA): Rasoolullah(SAW) said, “The best people are those living in my generation, and then those who will follow them, and then those who will follow the latter. Then there will come some people who will bear witness before taking oaths, and take oaths before bearing witness.” (Bukhaari)
To quote from one of the best books on the subject called: Men Around the Messenger by Khaalid Muhammad Khaalid:
It was neither invented discourse nor false rumor that was recorded in history about the great company of men who came into the world of belief and faith. That is because the entirety of human history has never witnessed such accurate documentation, honesty, and investigation of facts as did that epoch of Islamic history and its men. An extraordinary human effort has been exerted to study and pursue its tidings. Successive generations of able and brilliant scholars have not left unexamined even the smallest details or minutest explanations concerning that early epoch without putting them under microscopic investigation, scrutiny, and criticism.
The spectacular magnitude we encounter on the pages of this book of those colossal men of the Companions of the Messenger (PBUH) is not something legendary, even though they may seem like legends due to their miraculous nature! These are facts characteristic of the personality and life of the Prophet’s Companions. They soar high and are exalted and ennobled, not because of the author or, depicter, but because of what the Companions themselves desired and the extraordinary and righteous effort they exerted for the sake of excelling and attaining perfection.
Rasoolullah(SAW) had a task very different from any Nabi and much more complex. The task of all the Anbiya before him was to get people to accept their message. So they had followers. The task of Muhammad(SAW), who was to be the last of the Messengers of Allah(SWT) and the Seal of Prophethood, was not only to convey his message but to create a generation of people who would take his message onwards across the lands and down through the centuries until the end of time. It is the Baraka of the Seal of Prophethood that the work of Da’awa was given to the Ummah.
So in short, other Anbiya created followers while Muhammad(SAW) created leaders.
The first among them was his Khalifa – Khalifatur Rasoolillah – Abu Bakr Siddique(RA). How well he learned the lesson of leadership from his teacher Muhammad(SAW) can be seen in his first action when Rasoolullah(SAW) passed away. I am going to tell that story in some detail both because it is a story that we need to remind ourselves about repeatedly as also because from the story it becomes clear that Rasoolullah(SAW) clearly indicated to the Sahaba who was to be his successor. He did it in terms that they understood clearly without any doubt and so they chose him.
Those who like to cast doubts and aspersions today on this matter indicate either their own ignorance of the life and times of Rasoolullah(SAW) or their ulterior motives which are obviously highly questionable.
Excerpt from Sheikh Mirza Yawar Baig book – “Leadership Lessons from the Life of Rasoolullah: Proven techniques of how to succeed in today’s world”