Ṣaḥīḥ of Bukhārī includes a narrative explicating that at the time of death, the Holy Prophet (sws) asked for a pen and paper to write something for his ummah but his Companions (rta) said: "You are not well. Besides, we have the Holy Qur'ān with us. Therefore, you are not needed to write anything."
Is it possible that the Holy Prophet (sws) asked something to his Companions and they disobeyed him?
This narrative can be considered in two ways. Firstly, this event should be rejected. There are some signs present in this narrative to support this aspect. The most obvious sign is that refusing to bring pen and paper is being ascribed to Hazrat 'Umar (rta). We know that defamation of 'Umar (rta) has been a sole target once. It is much possible that this story has been coined for the same purpose. The second sign is that it is believed that this incident took place three or four days before the death of the Holy Prophet (sws). The Holy Prophet (sws) had all the time in the world to write it later. The third sign is that one of the narrators of this report is Ibn Shahāb. He is the narrator of most of the calumniatory reports about 'Umar (rta) and 'Ā'ishah (rta).
The second opinion requires that this narrative should be accepted. Some interpreters, believing in this narrative, tried to remove the objection that the Companions did not obey the Holy Prophet (sws). They say that some Companions believed that it was not a religious directive. It was merely a consultation. That is why he did not insist on it after getting well.
Personally I feel that this event is unacceptable. Allah knows the best.
Translated by: Abid Mahmood Hashmi