Hazrat Abu Bakr
Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddique
"Never has the sun risen or set on a person,other than a prophet, greater than Abu Bakr."- Rasulallah (s.a.w)
Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddique was a very pious man from the very beginning.
He was a rich merchant and even before Islam, he was famous for his honesty, justice and trustworthiness. The Quraish considered him a respected man.
He had the most important duties in Makkah as no blood-money could be accepted without his approval. The blood-money itself used to be kept by him.
He also used to hate liquor as much as he hated it after accepting Islam. He believed it degrades the dignity of a man.
Hazrat Abu Bakr had sincere affection for Rasulallah (s.a.w) from childhood and he was a member of Rasulallah (s.a.w)'s close circle.
When Rasulallah (s.a.w) was given Prophethood, the first person he secretly informed was his closest friend, Hazrat Abu Bakr. He was the first man to embrace Islam, and he did so without hesitation - such was the trust and complete faith he had in Rasulallah (s.a.w)'s words.
Hazrat Abu Bakr gets the title of Siddique
Rasulallah (s.a.w) was gifted Mi'raj (Ascension) in the 10th year of his Mission, and the next morning he informed his people about the details of the ascension.
Some of them came to Hazrat Abu Bakr and said, "Have you listened to your friend (Rasulallah (s.a.w))? He is claiming that he visited Jerusalem and the Sublime Throne in the Heavens last night and talked with Allah Almighty. Would you believe it?"
Hazrat Abu Bakr (R.A) immediately replied. "If he said so then it is an absolute truth".
They again said, "Do you believe that he visited all these places and came back within a small part of night?"
He again replied, "Of course I believe in it and I believe in the things which are farther than it, i.e., the news of Hell and Paradise".
For this Rasulallah (s.a.w) named him as-Siddiq i.e. the most truthful and sincere person in Faith. For Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddique had not even the slightest doubt, and his faith was such that nothing could shake it.
The Cave Saur Incident
A famous story of Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddique is the one of about Cave Saur (or Ghaar-e-Saur).
The night Rasulallah (s.a.w) planned to migrate to Madinah, the leaders of Makkah set out to look for him. He informed Hazrat Abu Bakr that they would leave for Madinah that night, and so they set out on their journey.
Aware of the fact that the Kufar were on a hunt for him, Rasulallah (s.a.w) decided to take an alternative route.
On the way, he and his blessed companion Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddique decided to take shelter in a cave called Cave Saur.
Here they hid for 3 days.
Hazrat Abu Bakr (R.A) said, as narrated by Umar ibn Khattab, "I swear by Allah that you (the Prophet) will not enter the cave before I have done so, for if there is anything in it, I shall be attacked by it, and not you."
Then he entered the cave and swept it and found some holes in the side of it. He tore up a piece of his garment and plugged the holes with it. As there were still two remaining holes left, he thrust his feet into them and told the Messenger of Allah to enter the cave. When he had done so Rasulallah (s.a.w) laid his head on Hazrat Abu Bakr (R.A)'s lap and went to sleep.
One of Hazrat Abu Bakr (R.A)'s foot was stung by a creature in the hole, but he did not move for fear that he might disturb Rasulallah (s.a.w) and wake him up from his sleep.
The effect of the poison returned later on in his life, and was said to be the cause of his death.
Hazrat Abu Bakr's slave, Amir bin Fuhairah, tended the flocks of goats near the cave during the day and supplied them fresh milk in the night.
On the final day, the Kufar reached the cave that Rasulallah (s.a.w) and Hazrat Abu Bakr were in.
Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddique was full of worry for the safety of Rasulallah (s.a.w), and the worry worsened when the Kufar were face to face with the two friends in the cave.
But Allah works in wonderful ways; a spider had spun a web across the mouth of the cave which not only helped conceal what was inside the cave, but also decieved the Kufar. They thought the web was old and came to the conclusion that noone had entered the cave in a long time.
Thus, the Kufar ended their search and Rasulallah (s.a.w) and his blessed companion proceeded on their journey to Madinah.
The exalted status of Hazrat Abu Bakr is such that he is mentioned in the Holy Quran for this incident:
"When the disbelievers drove him (Rasulallah (s.a.w)) out; he had no more than one companion. They were two in the cave. And he said to his companion: "Have no fear for Allah is with us". Then Allah sent down His peace upon him".
- The Holy Quran 9:40
Construction of the Holy Prophet's Mosque
There was an urgent need for the construction of a mosque in Madinah, and a house for Rasulallah (s.a.w) and his family.
The land which was selected for this belonged to two orphans. Their guardians wanted to give the land for the mosque free of charge but Rasulallah (s.a.w) did not accept their offer and asked Hazrat Abu Bakr to pay the price for the land.
Thus, Hazrat Abu Bakr became the first Muslim to spend most of his money for the cause of Allahin Madinah. He then participated in the construction of the mosque with the other Muslims.
Sacrifice in the way of Allah
On the occasion of Tabuk expedition, the blessed companions were all giving a portion of wealth in the way of Allah and his beloved Prophet (s.a.w).
Hazrat Umar Farooq decided that he would give exactly half of everything he owned. Once he collected it all, he took it to Rasulallah (s.a.w), who then asked him what he had left for his family. Hazrat Umar replied that he had left exactly half of his wealth for his family, and Rasulallah (s.a.w) accepted his donation.
Shortly afterwards, Hazrat Abu Bakr (R.A) was on his way to see Rasulallah (s.a.w) and was carrying a small package with him which contained everything he possessed. He then gave it to Rasulallah (s.a.w), who asked him what he had left for his family. Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddique replied that he had left Allah and his Beloved Rasul for his family.
At this Rasulallah smiled, and it was then that Hazrat Umar Farooq admitted that he could never surpass Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddique in willingness to sacrifice for Allah's cause.
Participation in Holy Battles
He fought in almost all the battles along with Rasulallah (s.a.w).
In the first battle of Islam at Badr, he was with Rasulallah (s.a.w) like a shadow.
His own son, who had not embraced Islam at that time, was fighting on the side of Quraish.
After he accepted Islam, he said to Hazrat Abu Bakr, "Dear father! I found you twice under my sword at Badr but I could not raise my hand because of my love for you".
Hazrat Abu Bakr replied, "If I had a chance, I would not have spared you".
It was Hazrat Abu Bakr's suggestion on which Rasulallah (s.a.w) decided to release the prisoners of war after taking ransom.
In the battle of Uhud when some of the Muslims were running away, Hazrat Abu Bakr was firm and when Rasulallah (s.a.w) was brought back to the mountain after being injured, he was with him.
Hazrat Abu Bakr (R.A) was the first companion to accept the peace plan of Rasulallah (s.a.w) without any hesitation at Hudaibiyah, when all the Muslims insisted upon fighting. Even Hazrat Umar (R.A.) hesitated to accept the treaty but Hazrat Abu Bakr fully supported Rasulallah (s.a.w)'s decision.
Imam of the Holy Prophet's Mosque
Since his arrival in Madinah, Rasulallah (s.a.w) himself led the prayers at his mosque at all times. This was really a high office and was not given to anybody in the presence of Rasulallah (s.a.w) - after all who could lead the Prayer when the Imam of all Imams was present?
However, a few months after his return from the Farewell Pilgrimage in 10 A.H., Rasulallah (s.a.w) fell ill. A time came when he was unable to move and could not go to the Mosque to lead the prayer. He had to appoint someone as the Imam and this honour fell to Hazrat Abu Bakr.
Hazrat Abu Bakr's daughter, Hazrat Aisha (R.A) was one of the most beloved wives of Rasulallah (s.a.w). She knew that Hazrat Abu Bakr was a soft hearted man and it would be rather hard for him to replace Rasulallah (s.a.w) in the case of being an Imam. Thus, she pleaded with Rasulallah (s.a.w) to excuse Hazrat Abu Bakr from this duty but Rasulallah (s.a.w) did not change his decision even though he was requested three times.
During those days, there was one time when Hazrat Abu Bakr was not present at the time of the congregational prayer. Somebody asked Hazrat Umar to lead the prayer instead. Rasulallah (s.a.w) after hearing the voice of Hazrat Umar enquired about the Imam and when he found that Hazrat Abu Bakr (R.A) was not leading he was annoyed and said, "Nobody will lead the Salat besides Ibn Abu Qahafa (i.e. Hadrat Abu Bakr)". Then Hazrat Abu Bakr (R.A.) was called but by that time Hazrat Umar had completed the prayer. The prayer was repeated by the order of Rasulallah (s.a.w) and this time Hazrat Abu Bakr (R.A) led it.
During his sickness, Rasulallah (s.a.w) once felt some relief and went for Zuhr prayer, supported by Hazrat Ali and Hazrat Abbas (R.A).
His blessed face beamed with joy and full satisfaction on seeing Hazrat Abu Bakr leading the prayer. Sensing the presence of Rasulallah (s.a.w), Hazrat Abu Bakr wanted to step back but Rasulallah (s.a.w) stopped him and sat down by his side.
After the prayer, Rasulallah (s.a.w) gave his last address:
"Allah offered one of His servants the choice of the life on this earth and a life with Him. The servant accepted the latter".
Hearing this tears came out of Hazrat Abu Bakr's eyes and rolled down to his beard. He thought of the inevitable separation from his Beloved Master, Rasulallah (s.a.w). Most of the people did not understand the meaning of Rasulallah (s.a.w)'s address and they were surprised at Hazrat Abu Bakr's crying.
Early in the morning of the last day of his life, Rasulallah (s.a.w)'s condition suddenly became better for a while. As his house was joined to the Mosque, he raised the curtain and observed the Muslims busy in prayer under the Imamat (leadership) of Hazrat Abu Bakr (R.A).
A smile lit up the pale face of Rasulallah (s.a.w). Seeing the sign of Rasulallah (s.a.w)'s recovery, the people in the Mosque lost concentration, due to the sheer delight. They might have fallen out of the line but Rasulallah (s.a.w) smiled and simply asked Hazrat Abu Bakr to lead the prayer. Then he went inside and let the curtain fall.
Rasulallah (s.a.w) leaves this world
When Rasulallah (s.a.w) left this world, Hazrat Abu Bakr was visiting his wife Kharja for a short while.
As soon as he reached Madinah, he went straight to Hazrat Aisha's house where Rasulallah (s.a.w) was, and tears poured down his face as he kissed Rasulallah (s.a.w)'s blessed forehead.
Mournfully, he said, “May my parents be sacrificed for you! By Allah, you will not taste death twice. The death which was unavoidable, you have tasted today. There will be no more death for you."
Meanwhile Hazrat Umar, out of love and devastation, was standing outside telling people not to believe that Rasulallah (s.a.w) had passed away. The pain of this incident left Hazrat Umar in a state of great shock, and he refused to believe Rasulallah (s.a.w) had passed away.
Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddique asked Hazrat Umar to stop talking, but he wouldn't stop. Then Hazrat Abu Bakr gestured towards the people that he was going to address them, and they turned their attention towards him. Then he said:
“Behold, if you people worshipped Muhammad (s.a.w), he has now passed away. And if you worshiped Allah, He is alive and will never die.”
Then he recited a verse from the Holy Quran:
"Muhammad (s.a.w) is but a messenger, messengers (the like of whom) have passed away before him.
Will it be that, when he dieth or is slain, ye will turn back on your heels?
He who turneth back on his heels doth no hurt to Allah, and Allah will reward the thankful. "
- The Holy Quran 3:144
About the moment Hazrat Abu Bakr recited this verse, Hazrat Abdullah said, "It seemed that this verse had just been revealed, although we had recited it several times in the past."
After hearing this short address of Hazrat Abu Bakr, Hazrat Umar felt the shock of this painful reality and felt himself collapse due to the utter devastation.
Islam's First Khalifa
Rasulallah (s.a.w) did not nominate his successor and left this choice to his Ummah (followers).
There were two groups of Muslims in Madinah; the Muhajirin (immigrants from Makkah), and the Ansar (Helpers ie. people of Madinah).
After the death of Rasulallah (s.a.w), the Ansar gathered in a big Hall of Madinah known as Saqifah-i-Bani Sa'idah to discuss the appointment of a Khalifah.
At that time, Hazrat Abu Bakr and Hazrat Umar, along with other prominent Muhajirin were in the Mosque. When they were informed about the gathering of Ansar, Hazrat Abu Bakr and Hazrat Umar also went there accompanied by a number of eminent Muhajirin like Hazrat Abu Ubaidah bin al-Jarrah. Hazrat Ali and Hadrat Zubair were not there and so did not attend the gathering.
Much discussion was going on in the gathering of the Ansar about the selection of a Khalifah. Some of the leading Ansar wanted a Khalifah from amongst the Ansar. When Hazrat Abu Bakr heard it, he said, "We acknowledge the sacrifices of the Ansar for Islam. You really deserve to have a Khalifah from amongst yourselves, but Arabs will not agree on any Amir (chief) other than a person from the Quraish."
Hearing Hazrat Abu Bakr, another Ansari, Hazrat Khabab bin Mundhar stood up and said, "Let there be two Amirs (Khalifahs) then, one from amongst Quraish and another from amongst Ansar."
At this, Hazrat Umar stood up and said, "This is not at all possible. There would be great confusion because of two Amirs."
Hazrat Khabbab bin Mundhar did not agree with Hazrat Umar and there was a hot debate between them. Hazrat Abu 'Ubaidah tried to cool them down. Then another Ansari Hazrat Bashir bin an-Nu'man (R.A) stood up and said, "The Holy Prophet belonged to the Quraish tribe. Therefore, the Quraish have preference over others. All the Arabs would agree with them. Therefore a Khalifah must be from amongst them. We do not want any dispute with Muhajirin in the matter of Khilafat. We, the people of Madinah, are Ansar (helpers), and we would prefer to remain Helpers of Allah and Rasulallah (s.a.w)."
Another Ansari Hazrat Zaid bin Thabit (R.A) also supported this view and said, "There should be a Khalifah from amongst Muhajirin (Quraishis). We people of Madinah, were Ansar (helpers) of Rasulallah (s.a.w) and will remain Ansar (helpers) of his Khalifah as well."
A number of Ansar then supported this view, and there was general satisfaction in the council over the selection of a Muhajir (Quraishi) Khalifah.
Seeing this Hazrat Abu Bakr (R.A.) stood up and said, "I propose the name of Umar and Abu Ubaidah bin al-Jarrah for this post. Select anyone of these two men as your Khalifah." But both of them refused and Hazrat Umar said, "Abu Bakr is the best of all of us because Allah has mentioned him in the Holy Qur'an saying: "The one amongst two in the cave" (9:40).
He further said that Hazrat Abu Bakr excelled at every occasion during the life of Rasulallah (s.a.w). He deputised Rasulallah (s.a.w) in leading prayers and he was appointed as the Chief of Hajj caravan.
Thus Hazrat Umar explained why he believed Hazrat Abu Bakr was the fittest person to be the Khalifah.
Hazrat Abu Bakr (R.A) still hesitated but Hazrat Umar (R.A) and Hazrat Zaid bin Thabit Ansari took his hand and took pledge of loyalty (Bai'at). Then Hazrat Abu Ubaidah bin al-Jarrah and Hazrat Bashir bin an-Nu'man Ansari also took pledge of loyalty at Hazrat Abu Bakr's hands. Seeing this, people from all sides rushed to pledge loyalty to Hazrat Abu Bakr (R.A) as the first successor of Rasulallah (s.a.w).
The next day a general pledge of loyalty (Bai'at) was taken by the Muslims in the Mosque of Rasulallah (s.a.w). Thus Hazrat Abu Bakr assumed the greatest office, after the office of Prophethood, and became the first Khalifah of Islam.
Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddique requested that he be called Khalifatur Rasul, or the Khalifa of Rasulallah (s.a.w), whereas the other Khalifas were addressed as Ameerul Mumineen.
He gave his first address as a Khalifah in the mosque after the general pledge of loyalty:
"O People! I have been appointed your trustee, though I am no better than you. If I do right, support me and if I do wrong, correct me. Truthfulness is a deposit and falsehood is defalcation. The weak amongst you is strong in my sight. I will surely try to remove his pain and suffering. And the strong amongst you is weak to me. I will, Allah willing, realise the right from him fully. When obscene things spread among any nation, calamities generally continued to descend upon them. As long as I obey Allah and His Messenger, you should obey me but if I do not obey Allah and His messenger, then obedience to me is not incumbent upon you. Now come and pray."
In his short address, Hazrat Abu Bakr showed the role of an exemplary Khalifah of Islamic Government.
No doubt Islamic Government means "Government of Allah and His Prophet, by His obedient servants for the benefit of the people in this world and in the Hereafter."
About thirty three thousand people took pledge of loyalty (Bai'at) at the hand of Hazrat Abu Bakr in the mosque. The election of Hazrat Abu Bakr is a pointer towards Islamic Democracy and furnishes the example for selection of a leader for a Ummat-e-Muslimah (Muslim Community) till the Day of Judgement.
Hadrat Ali took pledge of loyalty a few months later because he was busy in collecting various parts of the Holy Qur'an.
Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddique - the Saviour of Islam
Hazrat Abu Bakr (R.A) took the office of Khilafat at the most crucial and critical moment of Islamic history.
He gave Islam life after the death of Rasulallah (s.a.w).
Islam was in its infant stage when he was entrusted with the responsibility of Khilafat.
It was threatened by rebellions, rise of false prophets and apostasy movements. He crushed all the futile powers due to his unshakeable faith. No amount of difficulty could make him deviate from the Sunnah (Path) of beloved Rasulallah (s.a.w).
It was in the time of Hazrat Abu Bakr that Islam started to cross the Arabian borders.
A major part of Iraq came under his rule and Muslim armies had captured many important cities of Syria.
Thus Islam, the religion of the whole of mankind, started to spread across the world under his rule.
He brought unity among the Muslims and crushed all the rebellions. In view of his great service for the cause of Islam at that critical moment when there was a lot of confusion, Hazrat Abu Bakr (R.A) is rightly given the title of the Saviour of Islam.
Hazrat Siddiq-e-Akbar passes away
After a fortnight's illness, Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddique (R.A) passed away on Monday, as did the Rasulallah (s.a.w) himself, between Maghrib and Isha prayers, on Jumadi-al-Sani 22, 13 AH (or August 25, 634 AD.)
Before, his departure to the Afterworld, he told his daughter Hazrat Aisha that he wished to shrouded in his used clothes as done by Rasulallah (s.a.w), and some new pieces be added to his shroud.
He also requested that when his funeral became ready for burial, he was to be taken to the shrine of Rasulallah (s.a.w) and permission for entering the Shrine of Rasulallah (s.a.w) be sought. If the door of the shrine opens on its own, he may be buried there.
When the mourners took his funeral to the door of Rasulallah (s.a.w)'s shrine, they said: "Ya Rasulallah! Your companion Abu Bakr seeks permission to enter." And true to Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddique's words, the door of Rasulallah (s.a.w)'s shrine opened on its own.
Then Hazrat Abu Bakr (R.A) was laid to rest besides his beloved, Rasulallah (s.a.w).
Hazrat Abu Bakr (R.A) used to initiate the recitation of "La Ilaha Illallah" in a circle of his friends at his house. The practice was later adopted by all saints and has become the cornerstone of Sufism.
It was his way and his favours which he imparted upon his companions in that circle of recitation, which continues in the Naqshbandiya order today.
Hazrat Abu Bakr (R.A) was the first in many aspects. He was the first Muslim man. He was the first successor of Rasulallah (s.a.w).
He was the first ruler who called himself Khalifatur Rasul (Caliph of Rasulallah (s.a.w)).
Hazrat Siddiq-e-Akbar left behind a noble example of selfless service. He lived and worked for the sake of Islam to his last breath, but sought no reward.
Wives and children
His first wife was Qatilah bint 'Abdul 'Aziz who gave birth to his children by the names of Abdullah and Asma (R.A).
His second wife, Umm-i-Ruman gave birth to Hazrat Aisha (R.A), the most beloved wife of Rasulallah (s.a.w), and Abdur Rahman (R A).
Besides these two he also married Hazrat Asma (R.A) and Hazrat Habibah (R.A.).
(i) Ummul-Mu'mineen Hazrat Aisha (R.A)
(ii) Hazrat Asma
(iii) Hazrat Umme Kulthum, born to Habibah after his death.
(i) Hazrat Abdullah,
(ii) Hazrat Abdur Rahman
(iii) Hazrat Muhammad.
Character and Piety
Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiq-e-Akbar (R.A) was the most distinguished figure of Islam after Rasulallah (s.a.w).
He was mild and gentle but stern when necessary. He was the true embodiment of Islam.
Being lenient, wise, full of wisdom and a great statesman, without doubt he occupies a unique place in the history of Islam.
His name will remain forever in the minds of Muslims.
Hazrat Abu Bakr was the most pious Companion of Rasulallah (s.a.w).
He never took an unlawful meal, regardless of the extent of his hunger.
Once, one of his slaves brought for him some food to eat. He took a morsel out of it but afterwards he learnt that the slave got it as a result of soothsaying.
He then remarked, "Ah! you would have surely killed me".
He tried to disgorge it, and when he did not succeed he drank water and then vomited the whole thing out.
He never spoke any obscene language in any situation.
Once he said a harsh word to Hazrat Umar (R.A) which he realised later and asked him to forgive him. Hazrat Umar delayed in excusing him. He was so much perturbed that he went to Rasulallah (s.a.w) who asked Hazrat Umar (R.A) to excuse him.
Hazrat Abu Bakr (R.A) used to fear Allah most of all.
Once he went to a garden where he saw a bird. He sighed deeply and said, "O bird! You are lucky indeed! You eat and drink as you like and fly, but do not have fear of reckoning on the Day of Judgement. I wish that I were just like you".
Sometimes he said, "I wish I were a blade of grass whose life ended with the grazing of some beast; or a tree that would be cut and done away with".
He was a great worshipper. It is said that Hazrat Abu Bakr (R.A) used to perform prayer similar to that of Rasulallah (s.a.w).
He was the one who spent all of his belongings for the sake of Allah and His Beloved Prophet (s.a.w).
Rasulallah (s.a.w)'s praise about Hazrat Siddiq-e-Akbar
- "Abu Bakr's name shall be called out from all the gates of Paradise and he will be the first person of my Ummah to enter it."
- "Allah will show His glory to the people in a general way, but He will show it to Abu Bakr in a special way."
- "Never has the sun risen or set on a person, other than a prophet, greater than Abu Bakr."
- "Never was anything revealed to me that I did not pour into the heart of Abu Bakr."
- "There is no one to whom I am obligated and have not repaid my debt except Abu Bakr, for I owe him much for which Allah will compensate him on the Day of Judgement."
- "If I were to take an intimate friend (khalil) other than my Lord, I would have chosen Abu Bakr."
- "Abu Bakr does not precede you because of much prayer or fasting, but because of a secret that is in his heart."