In the Sunni tradition, a famous hadith, known as the Hadith of the Stars reports that the Prophet said, “My companions are like the stars: whichever you follow, you will be guided.” Although this hadith is pivotal to the Sunni belief since it gives absolute certainty that all of the companions were entitled to lead others toward Paradise; nonetheless, Imam Ahmad b. al-Hanbal states that this hadith is unauthentic. Abu Ibrahim al-Muzni, a student of al-Shaf’i, and his companions also doubted the authenticity of this hadith. Abu Bakr al-Bazzaz criticized this hadith and expounded upon its flaws.
Other narrators (huffaz) also mention its weakness and the unreliability of its chain of narrators. They include: Abul Hasan al-Darqutni, al-Bayhaqi, Ibn Hazm, Ibn Abd al-Birr, Ibn Asakir, Ibn al-Jawzi, Ibn Dahiyah, Abu Hayan al-Andalusi, Shams al-Din al-Dhahabi, and surprisingly, Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyah. In addition, Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani has stated that although famous, this hadith had an unreliable and weak chain of narrators (isnad).
Given these doubts, this hadith – one of the most important pillars of the concept of absolute righteousness of the companions – falls apart and is nothing more than a fabrication.
 “Ashabi kal-nujum…”
 Al-Taysir fi Sharh al-Tahrer, 3:243, Al-Muntakhab, Ibn Qudamah
 Ibn Abd al-Birr, Jami Bayan al-Ilm, 2:89
 Ibn Abd al-Birr, Jami Bayan al-Ilm, 2:90; Ilam al-Muwaqain, 2:223; Al-Bahr al-Muhit, 5:528
 Ilam al-Muwaqain, 2:223