The Tābi‘ūn (Arabic: التابعون "Followers") are the generation of Muslims who were born after the death of the Prophet Muhammad, but who were contemporaries of the Sahaba "Companions". As such, they played an important part in the development of Islamic thought and philosophy, and in the political development of the early Caliphate. In particular, they played a vital role in the partition in the Islamic community between Sunni and Shia Muslims. To this day, interpretations of their behaviour and characters are highly controversial.
 Sunni view
Muslims from the Sunni branch of Islam define a Tabi‘i as a Muslim who:
- Saw at least one of the Companions of Muhammad.
- Was rightly guided (according to the Sunni, one who adheres to the beliefs and actions of the Ahlus Sunnah wal-Jama'ah).
- One who died in that state. A good example to explain would be the Khawarij. They saw many of Muhammad's companions but still were not referred to as Tabi‘un, as they were not rightly guided (held by both Shia and Sunni Muslims).
Sunni Muslims also regard the Tabi‘un as the best generation after the Sahaba. According to Sunni Muslims, Muhammad said: "The best people are those living in my generation, then those coming after them, and then those coming after (the second generation)" .
 List of Tabi‘in
- `Abd-Allah ibn Amr
- `Abd-Allah ibn Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyyah
- `Abd ar-Rahman ibn `Abdillah (son of ibn `Abdullah ibn `Umar)
- Abu Hanifa an-Nu‘man
- Abu Muslim al-Khawlani
- Abu Zur'ah
- Al-Hassan al-Basri (130-180 A.H.)
- Al-Hasan ibn Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyyah (d. 100 A.H.)
- Alqama ibn Qays al-Nakha'i
- Al-Qasim ibn Muhammad ibn Abî Bakr (d. 103 A.H.)
- `Atâ' ibn Abî Rabah (d. 106 A.H.)
- `Atâ' ibn Yasar (d. 106 A.H.)
- Ibn Jurayj
- Ibn Shihab al-Zuhri (d. 124 A.H.)
- Masruq ibn al-Ajda' (d. 103 A.H.)
- Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr
- Mujahid ibn Jabr
- Sa'id ibn al-Musayyab (d. 93 A.H.)
- Ubayd-Allah ibn Abd-Allah (d. 98 A.H.)
- Urwah ibn al-Zubayr (d. 94 A.H.)
- Zayd ibn Ali (d. 740 C.E. (122 A.H. ?))
 Shia view
This list gives their approximate status in the general Shia view:
 Strong positive status
- Ali Akbar ibn Husayn was killed at the Battle of Karbala.
- Atiyya bin Saad was a student of Abdullah ibn Abbas
 Positive status
- Umm Kulthum bint Abu Bakr was the daughter of Abu Bakr and Asma bint Umays. She moved into Ali's household with his mother.
- Sa'id ibn Jubayr was a student of Abdullah ibn Abbas and a staunch defender of Ali ibn Husayn.
- Uwais al-Qarni was admired for his love of the Prophet Muhammad and sought out by Ali ibn Abi Talib, who personally requested Uwais' blessings on himself and the Muslim ummah. Uwais was killed fighting on the side of Ali during the Battle of Siffin.
 Neutral status
Abd Allah ibn Zubayr has not been viewed neutrally rather negatively among shi'ites for two reasons. 1. For bearing grudge against the Caliph and Imam of his time Ali Ibn Abi Talib and his role in Jamal war for inciting his father Zubair Ibn Awam to rise against Ali. 2. Ibn Zubair has been viewed as an opportunist who did not fight Yazid to protect the sanctity of Islam the way Hussain Ibn Ali did or to avenge the blood of the House Hold of the Prophet of Islam. Instead he fought Yazid to protect his own rule over Hejaz.
 Negative status
 Strong negative status
- Yazid ibn Muawiya is often referred to by Shias with "La‘an" (curse) after his name. He is viewed by the Shi‘a as one of the most despicable creatures that ever lived.
- Al-Hajjaj ibn Yusuf was for Shi‘as even worse than Yazid ibn Muawiya.
- ‘Abd ar-Rahman ibn Khalid ibn Walid fought against Ali as a general under Muawiya at the Battle of Siffin.
- Umar ibn Sa'ad ibn Abi Waqqas — he is cursed by all Shia Muslims for killing Husayn ibn Ali.