Abdullah ibn Mas’ud, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “Verily, Allah looked at the hearts of the servants and He found that the heart of Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, was the best among them, so He choose him for Himself and He sent him with His message. Then, He looked at the hearts of His servants after Muhammad, and He found that the hearts of his companions were the best among them. Thus, He made them into the ministers of His Prophet, fighting for the sake of His religion. And whatever the Muslims view as good is good in the sight of Allah, and whatever they view as evil is evil in the sight of Allah.”
Source: Musnad Ahmad 3589
Do we take this narration as something Abdullah ibn Mas’ud heard from the Prophet (peace be upon him), or that this is his interpretation of reality?