Sayyidina Abu Bakr al Siddiq – The Companion in the Cave and the Comrade on Journeys

Introduction
April 29, 2020
Sayyidina ‘Umar al Faruq ibn al Khattab radiya Llahu ‘anhu – Strength in Mercy, Determination in Gentleness
April 29, 2020

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Sayyidina Abu Bakr al Siddiq

The Companion in the Cave and the Comrade on Journeys

 

Certainly, he is al Siddiq (the truthful), Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu, the most virtuous, the most beloved, and the closest of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum to the heart of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. He is the mine of guidance and belief, the Companion in the cave, and the comrade in travels. He was extremely emotional and would tear easily, charitable during travels, whether in public or in private.

 

Name & Lineage

Perhaps it is commendable to point out that Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu and his other comrades from the ten are from the progeny of ‘Adnan, who in turn is from the progeny of Sayyidina Ismail ibn Sayyidina Ibrahim ‘alayhima al Salam. He is a Qurashi, and a Tamimi.

There are two views regarding his name: ‘Abdullah and ‘Atiq. Most likely, ‘Atiq is his title, rather than his name.

Ibn ‘Asakir says:

عبد الله و يقال عتيق بن عثمان بن قحافة بن عامر بن عمرو بن كعب بن سعيد بن تيم بن مرة بن كعب بن لؤى

‘Abdullah―and it is said: ‘Atiq―ibn ‘Uthman ibn Quhafah ibn ‘Amir ibn ‘Amr ibn Ka’b ibn Sa’id ibn Taym ibn Murrah ibn Ka’b ibn Lu’ayy.[1]

 

He is Abu Bakr al Siddiq. His name is ‘Abdullah, the son of Abu Quhafah whose name is ‘Uthman ibn ‘Amir ibn ‘Amr ibn Ka’b ibn Sa’id ibn Taym ibn Murrah. It is also suggested that his name was ‘Abdul Ka’bah which Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam changed to ‘Abdullah.[2]

It is clear from the above that Sayyidina Abu Bakr al Siddiq’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu father was ‘Uthman ibn ‘Amir ibn ‘Amr ibn Ka’b ibn Sa’d ibn Taym ibn Murrah, and his agnomen was Abu Quhafah.

His mother is Umm al Khayr. Her name is Salma bint Sakhr ibn ‘Amir ibn Ka’b ibn Sa’d ibn Taym ibn Murrah.[3]

It is suggested that her name was Layla bint Sakhr. Ibn al Athir mentions that she is the cousin of Abu Quhafah.[4]

 

Birth

There are few views regarding the birth of Sayyidina Abu Bakr al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu. The preferred view is that he was born 3 years after the Year of the Elephant.[5]

The strong family connection between al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu and Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam is apparent from his lineage that just passed. His ancestry meets with Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam from the side of both his father and mother; their common ancestor being Murrah.

 

Agnomen

Sayyidina Abu Bakr al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu is better known by his agnomen, Abu Bakr. Abu Bakr is taken from bakr which refers to a young camel, implying that he appeared youthful among people. Its feminine is bakrah and plural is bakkarah or abkur.[6]

 

Titles

Sayyidina Abu Bakr al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu is identified with a few titles which he was called with, either in his childhood or after his Islam and close companionship with Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Among these titles are:

 

1. Al ‘Atiq (The Emancipated)

It is a title with which Sayyidina Abu Bakr al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu is known. Ibn Hajar has mentioned in al Fath some reasons why he was called ‘Atiq. He listed among them: due to the fact that none of his ancestors were blameworthy, or due to his precedence in goodness and towards Islam, or due to his good character, or that no child of his mother’s survived, so when he was born, she presented him at the Ka’bah and submitted, “O Allah, this is Your freed one from death,” or due to the fact that Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam gave him glad tidings that Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala emancipated him from the Fire.[7]

 

2. Al Siddiq (The Truthful)

This is the most famous title of Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu. It is commonly attached to his agnomen and read: Abu Bakr al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu.

He was titled al Siddiq owing to his ample affirmation of the words of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. In this regard, Umm al Mu’minin Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha reports:

 

لما أسري بالنبي إلى المسجد الأقصى أصبح يتحدث الناس بذلك فارتد ناس ممن كان آمنوا به و صدقوه و سعى رجال من المشركين إلى أبي بكر فقالوا هل لك إلى صاحبك يزعم أنه أسري به الليلة إلى بيت المقدس قال أو قال ذلك قالوا نعم قال لئن قال ذلك فقد صدق قالوا أو تصدقه أنه ذهب الليلة إلى بيت المقدس و جاء قبل أن يصبح قال نعم إني لأصدقه فيما هو أبعد من ذلك أصدقه بخبر السماء في غدوة أو روحة فلذلك سمي أبو بكر الصديق

Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was taken at night to al Masjid al Aqsa. He woke up the next morning and informed the people of this. Some people who had faith in him and believed, apostatised on hearing this. Some others of the polytheists rushed to Abu Bakr and said, “Do you know what your friend is claiming? He believes that he was taken last night to Bayt al Maqdis.”

“Did he really say that,” asked Abu Bakr.

“Yes,” they confirmed.

Abu Bakr announced, “If he says so, then he has spoken the truth.”

“Do you believe that he went last night to Bayt al Maqdis and returned before morning?” They questioned in astonishment.

“Yes,” he answered, “I believe him in something more extraordinary than this. I believe in the information of the heavens that he relates in the mornings and evenings.”

Due to this, Abu Bakr was titled al Siddiq.[8]

 

3. Al Sahib (The Companion)

This is a title deduced from the declaration of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala in His Glorious Book:

 

إِلَّا تَنصُرُوْهُ فَقَدْ نَصَرَهُ اللَّهُ إِذْ أَخْرَجَهُ الَّذِيْنَ كَفَرُوْا ثَانِيَ اثْنَيْنِ إِذْ هُمَا فِي الْغَارِ إِذْ يَقُوْلُ لِصَاحِبِهِ لَا تَحْزَنْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ مَعَنَا فَأَنزَلَ اللَّهُ سَكِينَتَهُ عَلَيْهِ وَأَيَّدَهُ بِجُنُوْدٍ لَّمْ تَرَوْهَا وَجَعَلَ كَلِمَةَ الَّذِيْنَ كَفَرُوا السُّفْلىٰ وَكَلِمَةُ اللَّهِ هِيَ الْعُلْيَا وَاللَّهُ عَزِيْزٌ حَكِيْمٌ

If you do not aid the Messenger – Allah has already aided him when those who disbelieved had driven him out [of Makkah] as one of two, when they were in the cave and he said to his companion, “Do not grieve; indeed Allah is with us.” And Allah sent down his tranquility upon him and supported him with angels you did not see and made the word of those who disbelieved the lowest, while the word of Allah – that is the highest. And Allah is Exalted in Might and Wise.[9]

 

The scholars have consensus upon the fact that companion in the verse refers only to Sayyidina Abu Bakr al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu.

Al Qari says:

 

أجمع المفسرون على أن المراد بصاحبه في الآية يعني قوله تعالى ثَانِيَ اثْنَيْنِ إِذْ هُمَا فِي الْغَارِ هو أبو بكر و قد قالوا من أنكر صحبة أبي بكر كفر لأنه أنكر النص الجلي بخلاف صحبة غيره من عمر أو عثمان أو علي رضوان الله عليهم أجمعين

The mufassirin are unanimous that the reference of his companion―in the verse i.e. Allah’s subhanahu wa ta ‘ala statement: second of the two, when they both were in the cave [and he said to his companion]―is Abu Bakr. They have stated that whoever denies the companionship of Abu Bakr is guilty of kufr for he has denied emphatic declaration of the Qur’an, as oppose to the companionship of those besides him like ‘Umar, ‘Uthman, and ‘Ali―may Allah’s pleasure be upon them.[10]

 

4. Khalifat Rasulillah (The Successor of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam)

Al caliphate linguistically is taken from the verb khalafa (to leave behind). In Lisan al ‘Arab, istakhlafa fulan min fulan (so-and-so appointed so-and-so in his place); khalafa fulan fulan (so-and-so succeeded so-and-so) implies when he is appointed his successor. It is said: khalafahu fi qawmihi caliphate (he appointed him a successor among his people). In the Glorious Qur’an, it appears:

وَقَالَ مُوْسىٰ لِأَخِيْهِ هَارُوْنَ اخْلُفْنِيْ فِيْ قَوْمِيْ وَأَصْلِحْ وَلَا تَتَّبِعْ سَبِيْلَ الْمُفْسِدِيْنَ

And Musa said to his brother Harun, “Take my place among my people. Do right [by them], and do not follow the way of the corrupters.”[11]

 

Khalaftuhu: I came after him. Istakhlaftuhu: I appointed him my successor. Istakhlafahu: He appointed him a caliph.[12] Al khalifah refers to one appointed in the position of one who precedes him, taking the former’s position.[13]

This title was given to Sayyidina Abu Bakr al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu after the demise of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

 

Appearance

Before proceeding to describe Sayyidina Abu Bakr al Siddiq’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu external features, it is important to point out that our description of Sayyidina Abu Bakr al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu and his other comrades from the Ten Promised Jannat does not exceed the description which appears in the Sunan and history books. This is to give the reader a clearer image about the person being spoken about and to place a portrait in his mind, as if he is visualising the person. This does not mean that these external features play a pivotal role in making a person worthy of being from the Ten Promised Jannat. It is apparent to all that the barometer for virtue in Islam is taqwa and iman, not external features and appearances, nor lineage and family links. Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala does not look at outward features but looks at actions and piety.

 

عن أبي هريرة رضي الله عنه قال قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم إن الله لا ينظر إلى صوركم و أموالكم و لكن ينظر إلى قلوبكم و أعمالكم

Sayyidina Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu relates that Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam declared:

Indeed, Allah does not look at your appearances and your wealth, but He looks at your hearts and actions.[14]

 

We deduce from here that Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu did not become the leader of the ten due to his physique or good looks. Rather, it was due to the firm belief embedded in the recesses of his heart, the conviction that settled in his heart, the sincerity which determined the course of his life, and the actions that affirmed and made all this a reality.

We now return to our discussion on the physical appearance of Sayyidina Abu Bakr al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu:

He was fair-skinned, tall and slender, with lean flanks, a thin face, sunken eyes, and a protruding forehead. He would dye his hair with henna and katm.[15]

 

Glimpse at his Household (Wives and Children)

Sayyidina Abu Bakr al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu married four wives who bore him six children, three males and three females. His wives are:

  • Qatilah bint ‘Abdul ‘Uzza ibn ‘Abd As’ad ibn Nadr ibn Ma She mothered ‘Abdullah and Asma’, who was titled Dhat al Nitaqayn (the one of the two girdles).
  • Umm Ruman bint ‘Amir ibn ‘Uwaymir ibn ‘Abd Shams ibn ‘Ita It is said that she is Umm Ruman bint ‘Amir ibn ‘Umairah ibn Dhahl ibn Dahman ibn al Harith ibn Ghanam ibn Malik ibn Kinanah. She bore for him ‘Abdur Rahman and Aisha.
  • Asma’ bint ‘Umays ibn Ma’d ibn Taym ibn al Harith ibn Ka’b ibn Malik ibn Quha She bore for him Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr.
  • Habibah bint Kharijah ibn Zaid ibn Abi Zuhayr from the Banu al Harith ibn al Khazraj. She conceived during the towards the end of Sayyidina Abu Bakr’s life; however, she only gave birth after the demise of Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu. She is the mother of Umm Kulthum bint Abi[16]

From the above we learn that Sayyidina Abu Bakr al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu had 4 wives who bore him 6 children, 3 boys and 3 girls.

 

Abu Bakr during the Period of Ignorance

Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu attained a lofty status in the period of ignorance. He was famed for his praiseworthy character and kind nature. We come to learn of this matter from Ibn al Daghinah’s dialogue with him when the latter intended to journey to Abyssinia.

Al Bukhari narrates via his sanad from ‘Urwah ibn al Zubair that Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha recounts:

 

قالت لم أعقل أبوي قط إلا وهما يدينان الدين ولم يمر علينا يوم إلا يأتينا فيه رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم طرفي النهار بكرة وعشية فلما ابتلي المسلمون خر أبو بكر مهاجرا نحو أرض الحبشة حتى إذا بلغ برك الغماد لقيه ابن الدغنة وهو سيد القارة فقال أين تريد يا أبا بكر فقال أبو بكر أخرجني قومي فأريد أن أسيح في الأرض وأعبد ربي قال ابن الدغنة فإن مثلك يا أبا بكر ا يخرج ولا يخرج إنك تكسب المعدوم وتصل الرحم وتحمل الكل وتقري الضيف وتعين على نوائب الحق فأنا لك جار ارجع واعبد ربك ببلدك فرجع وارتحل معه ابن الدغنة فطاف ابن الدغنة عشية في أشراف قريش فقال لهم إن أبا بكر لا يخرج مثله ولا يخرج أتخرجون رجلا يكسب المعدوم ويصل الرحم ويحمل الكل ويقري الضيف ويعين على نوائب الحق فلم تكذب قريش بجوار ابن الدغنة وقالوا لابن الدغنة مر أبا بكر فليعبد ربه في داره فليصل فيها وليقرأ ما شاء ولا يؤذينا بذلك ولا يستعلن به فإنا نخشى أن يفتن نساءنا وأبناءنا فقال ذلك ابن الدغنة لأبي بكر فلبث أبو بكر بذلك يعبد ربه في داره ولا يستعلن بصلاته ولا يقرأ في غير داره ثم بدا لأبي بكر فابتنى مسجدا بفناء داره وكان يصلي فيه ويقرأ القرآن فينقذف عليه نساء المشركين وأبناؤهم وهم يعجبون منه وينظرون إليه وكان أبو بكر رجلا بكاء لا يملك عينيه إذا قرأ القرآن وأفزع ذلك أشراف قريش من المشركين فأرسلوا إلى ابن الدغنة فقدم عليهم فقالوا إنا كنا أجرنا أبا بكر بجوارك على أن يعبد ربه في داره فقد جاوز ذلك فابتنى مسجدا بفناء داره فأعلن بالصلاة والقراءة فيه وإنا قد خشينا أن يفتن نساءنا وأبناءنا فانهه فإن أحب أن يقتصر على أن يعبد ربه في داره فعل وإن أبى إلا أن يعلن بذلك فسله أن يرد إليك ذمتك فإنا قد كرهنا أن نخفرك ولسنا مقرين لأبي بكر الاستعلان قالت عائشة فأتى ابن الدغنة إلى أبي بكر فقال قد علمت الذي عاقدت لك عليه فإما أن تقتصر على ذلك وإما أن ترجع إلي ذمتي فإني لا أحب أن تسمع العرب أني أخفرت في رجل عقدت له فقال أبو بكر فإني أرد إليك جوارك وأرضى بجوار الله

As far as I can recall, I found my parents adhering to the din. Not a single day would pass us, except that Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam would come visit us at the two ends of the day, morning and evening. When the Muslims were persecuted, Abu Bakr left embarking on his hijrah journey to Abyssinia. When he reached Bark al Ghamad[17], Ibn al Daghinah met him, the chief of the Qarah[18] tribe.

The latter asked, “Where you heading to, O Abu Bakr?”

“My nation have banished me so I intend travelling in the land and worshipping my Rabb,” replied Abu Bakr.

Ibn al  Daghinah remarked, “People like you do not leave and are not kicked out. For certainly, you assist the needy, maintain family ties, help the disabled, entertain guests, and support in every good work. I will be your protector so return and worship your Rabb in your land.”

Ibn al Daghinah then travelled and returned with Abu Bakr. He went around to all the dignitaries of the disbelievers of Quraysh and told them, “The like of Abu Bakr does not leave nor is he forced out. Are you exiling a man who helps the needy, maintains family ties, assists the disabled, entertains the guests, and supports in every good work?”

The Quraysh thus sanctioned the protection of Ibn al Daghinah and gave Abu Bakr amnesty. They told Ibn al Daghinah, “Tell Abu Bakr to worship his Rabb in his house. He may perform salah and recite as much as he likes. He should, however, not disturb us with his prayer or announce it for we fear that our children and women might get affected.”

Ibn al Daghinah conveyed the message to Abu Bakr. Abu Bakr thus began worshipping his Rabb in his house without making his salah public and without reciting outside his home. Thereafter, a brilliant idea came to his mind so he built a Masjid in his front yard and came out (in the open). He then continued praying therein and reciting Qur’an. The women and children of the polytheists began crowding around him and looking astonishingly at him. Abu Bakr was a soft hearted person who cried profusely and could not control his tears when reciting Qur’an. This disturbed the notables of the Quraysh polytheists so they summoned Ibn al Daghinah and he came to them.

They complained to him saying, “We gave amnesty to Abu Bakr on condition that he will worship his Rabb in his house. He has contravened and built a Masjid in his front yard and performs salah and recites Qur’an publicly. We fear that our children and women might be misled. So go to him. If he is pleased with worshipping his Rabb in his house, then he should do so. And if he insists on worshipping openly, then ask him to cancel your protection for we dislike betraying you, but at the same time we cannot tolerate Abu Bakr’s public worship.”

Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha continues: Accordingly, Ibn al Daghinah approached Abu Bakr and submitted, “You are well aware of the covenant I had taken from you. Either you abide strictly to it, or you revoke my protection, for I dislike the Arabs saying that people did not respect the pledge of protection I gave.”

Abu Bakr announced, “I revoke your protection and I am pleased with Allah’s protection.”[19]

 

Consider the statement of Ibn al Daghinah and observe the manner he describes Sayyidina Abu Bakr al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu. The man is a polytheist but despite this attests to the virtue of Sayyidina Abu Bakr al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu and affirms his lofty status and sublime character. Marvellous indeed is that these qualities which Ibn al Daghinah affirms for him are nearly the exact qualities Sayyidah Khadijah radiya Llahu ‘anha described Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam with the day he came to her, filled with fear, from the cave of Hira’ on the inception of revelation upon him. This reveals that Sayyidina Abu Bakr al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu was prepared and equipped for the companionship of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

Muslim narrates in his al Sahih with his sanad, in the chapter on the inception of revelation, from ‘Urwah ibn al Zubair―from Sayyidah Aisha, the wife of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam:

 

فرجع بها رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم ترجف بوادره حتى دخل على خديجة فقال زملوني زملوني فزملوه حتى ذهب عنه الروع ثم قال لخديجة أي خديجة ما لي و أخبرها الخبر قال لقد خشيت على نفسي قالت له خديجة كلا أبشر فوالله لا يخزيك الله أبدا والله إنك لتصل الرحم و تصدق الحديث و تحمل الكل و تكسب المعدوم و تقري الضيف و تعين على نوائب الحق

Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam returned from there, with his heart trembling, until he entered the home of Khadijah. He shouted, “Wrap me up! Wrap me up!”

They wrapped him up and comforted him until his fear disappeared.

He then submitted to Khadijah, “O Khadijah, what has happened to me,” and related the incident to her. He said, “I feared for my life.”

Khadijah pacified him saying, “It will never happen! Be cheerful! By Allah, Allah will never ever abandon you. By Allah, you maintain ties with kith and kin, speak the truth, help the disabled, assist the needy, entertain guests, and support every noble work.[20]

 

Al Nawawi says:

و كان أي الصديق من رؤساء قريش في الجاهلية و أهل مشاورتهم و محببا فيهم و أعلم لمعالمهم فلما جاء الإسلام آثره على ما سواه و دخل فيه أكمل دخول

Al Siddiq was from the chiefs of Quraysh and their consultative committee during the period of ignorance. He was beloved to them and the most knowledgeable of their characteristics. When Islam came, he gave preference to it over everything else and entered it completely.[21]

 

Al Suyuti says:

و كان منشؤه أي أبو بكر بمكة لا يخرج منها إلا لتجارة و كان ذا مال جزيل في قومه و مرؤة تامة و إحسان و تفضل فيهم

Abu Bakr’s birth took place in Makkah. He would not leave except for business. He was a man of great affluence among his people, an absolute gentleman, and a man of benevolence and virtue.[22]

 

Ibn ‘Asakir narrates via his chain from Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha:

 

والله ما قال أبو بكر شعرا في الجاهلية و لا في الإسلام و لقد ترك هو و عثمان شرب الخمر في الجاهلية

By Allah, Abu Bakr did not recite poetry, neither in the period of ignorance nor in Islam. He and ‘Uthman had abandoned consuming liquor during the period of ignorance.[23]

 

Ibn ‘Asakir documents the following from Ma’ruf ibn Kharrabudh who says:

 

إن أبا بكر الصديق رضي الله عنه أحد عشر من قريش اتصل بهم شرف الجاهلية و الإسلام فكان إليه أمر الديات و المغرم

Indeed, Abu Bakr al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu was one of the ten personalities of Quraysh who attained the nobility of the period of ignorance and Islam. He was in charge of blood monies and debts.[24]

 

Al Siddiq in the Cavalcade of iman

Sayyidina Abu Bakr al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu joined the caravan of Islam in the very beginning. His Islam was the result of a long religious journey over discussions about the true religion, which is in harmony with sound nature and complies with its yearnings, but at the same time is in synchronisation with superior intellect and observation. Owing to his business, he travelled extensively, through the deserts, wildernesses, cities, and towns in the Arabian Peninsula. He travelled from the north to the south, from the east to the west of Arabia. He had strong interactions with people of diverse faiths, especially the Christians. He would keep silent and listen attentively to the words of those who held the banner of tawhid (the oneness of Allah), the banner of discussing the upright din.[25]

One who scrutinises the nature and personality of Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu will find that he had a spiritual nature. The man’s heart was not inclined to the idols of ignorance. He never desired it or aspired for it once. It is not known about him ever prostrating even once to an idol. Sayyidina Abu Bakr al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu tells us about himself:

 

ما سجدت لصنم قط و ذلك أني لما ناهزت الحلم أخذني أبو قحافة بيدي فانطلق بي إلى مخدع فيه الأصنام فقال لي هذه آلهتك الشم العوالي و خلاني و ذهب فدنوت من الصنم و قلت إني جائع فأطعمني فلم يجبني فقلت إني عار فأكسني فلم يجبني فألقيت عليه صخرة فخر لوجهه

I never ever prostrated to an idol. The reason being, that after I reached puberty, Abu Quhafah took me by the hand to a chamber filled with idols. He told me, “These are your gods, most honourable and eminent.” He then left me alone and went on his way.

I went close to an idol and said, “I am hungry so feed me,” but it did not respond. I said, “I am naked so clothe me,” but it could not answer me. So I threw a rock on it and it fell down on its face.[26]

 

He also never ever consumed alcohol, not even in the period of ignorance, whereas it was a norm amongst them. Very seldom would you find one of them abandoning it.

 

عن أبي العالية الرياحي قال قيل لأبي بكر الصديق في مجمع من أصحاب رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم هل شربت الخمر في الجاهلية فقال أعوذ بالله فقيل و لم قال كنت أصون عرضي و أحفظ مروءتي فإن من شرب الخمر كان مضيعا في عرضه و مروءته قال فبلغ ذلك رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم فقال صدق أبو بكر صدق أبو بكر مرتين

Abu al ‘Aliyah al Rayyahi reports:

Abu Bakr al Siddiq was asked in a gathering of the Companions of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, “Had you ever consumed liquor in the period of ignorance?”

“I seek Allah’s protection,” he retorted.

When asked the reason, he explained, “I would protect my honour and dignity. The person who consumes alcohol destroys his honour and dignity.”

This statement of his reached Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam who remarked twice in affirmation, “Abu Bakr has spoken the truth.”[27]

 

In addition to this, Sayyidina Abu Bakr al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu was not impressed by the behaviour of his people. He was always searching for the true din, in the shadow of which he may find solace. This yearning propelled him to always investigate the truth and seek it out from those from whom goodness is perceived or guidance is sensed.

Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu himself tells us about this. He says:

 

كنت جالسا بفناء الكعبة و كان زيد بن عمرو بن نفيل قاعدا فمر به أمية بن الصلت فقال كيف أصبحت يا باغي الخير قال بخير قال وجدت قال لا و لم آل من طلب فقال كل دين يوم القيامة إلا ما قضى الله و الحنيفة بور أما إن هذا النبي الذي ينتظر منا أو منكم أو من أهل فلسطين و لم أكن سمعت قبل ذلك بنبي ينتظرو لا يبعث قال فخرجت أريد ورقة بن نوفل و كان كثير النظر إلى السماء كثير همهمة الصدر فاستوقفته ثم اقتصصت عليه الحديث فقال نعم يا ابن أخي أبى أهل الكتب و العلماء إلا أن هذا النبي الذي ينتظر من أوسط العرب نسبا و لي علم بالنسب و قومك أوسط العرب نسبا قال قلت يا عم و ما يقول النبي قال يقول ما قيل له إلا أنه لا ظلم و لا تظالم فلما بعث رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم آمنت و صدقت

I was sitting in the open area in front of the Ka’bah. Zaid ibn ‘Amr ibn Nufayl was seated. Umayyah ibn al Salt passed by him and said, “How are feeling this morning, O seeker of goodness?”

“Well,” he replied.

“Have you found (the true religion),” he asked.

“No,” came the reply, “and I have not slacked in my search.”

Umayyah said, “Every religion on the Day of Qiyamah is destroyed except that which Allah decides and al hanifah (worshipping one deity). Lo, indeed this Nabi who is anticipated is either from us, from you, or from the people of Palestine.”

I personally had not heard of an anticipated or expected Nabi before this. I thus left immediately towards Waraqah ibn Nawfal, who would gaze towards the sky and have murmurings of the chest in abundance. I bade him to stop and then related the incident to him. He replied, “Yes, O nephew! Those versed in the scriptures and the scholars refuse to believe except that this Nabi which is awaited is from the cream of the Arabs in lineage. And I have knowledge of genealogy. Your tribe are the cream of the Arabs in ancestry.”

I asked, “O uncle! What will the Nabi say?”

He explained, “He will announce that which is told to him. However, he will not oppress or persecute.”

As soon as Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was appointed, I believed and affirmed faith.[28]

 

With regards to the incident of Sayyidina Abu Bakr al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu embracing Islam and what transpired, many scholars did not discuss it. They simply indicated that he did not hesitate in accepting Islam. However, there are few narrations which indicate to the incident of his Islam. Some of them are reproduced hereunder:

Al Baladhuri has documented a narration which discusses the Islam of Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu, Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu declares:

 

خرجت أريد النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم فابتدأت فذكرت موضعه من قومه و ما نشأ عليه و قلت هذا أمر عظيم لا يقارك قومك عليه قال يا أبا بكر ألا أذكر شيئا إن رضيته قلته و إن كرهته كتمته قلت هذا أدنى مالك عندي فقرأ علي قرآنا و حدثني ببداء أمره فقلت أشهد أنك صادق و أن ما دعوت إليه حق و أن هذا كلام الله و سمعتني خديجة فخرجت و عليها خمار أحمر فقالت الحمد لله الذي هداك يا ابن أبي قحافة فما رمت مكاني حتى أمسيت

I went out towards the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. I commenced by mentioning his status among his people and what ensues from that. I said, “This is a grave matter. Your people will not respect you for it.”

Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam spoke, “O Abu Bakr, allow me to say something. If you like it, you may believe it and if you detest it, you may conceal it.”

I said, “This is the least right you have over me.”

He then recited some Qur’an to me and told me about the inception of his matter. I submitted, “I testify that you are truthful and what you call to is true and that this is the Speech of Allah.”

Khadijah heard me so she came out wearing a red veil and said, “All praise belongs to Allah Who has guided you, O son of Abu Quhafah!”

I remained at my place till evening.[29]

 

This is corroborated by the declaration of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam:

 

ما دعوت أحدا إلى الإسلام إلا كانت عنده كبوة و تردد و نظر إلا أبا بكر ما عتم منه حين ذكرته و ما تردد فيه

I did not invite anyone to Islam, except that he stumbled, hesitated, and considered, besides Abu Bakr. After mentioning it, he did not hesitate for a moment nor doubted it for a second.[30]

 

Abu Bakr always Exploring

One who studies the statements of the scholars and history about the Islam of Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu will find them unanimous on one aspect: Abu Bakr was at the head of the Muslims who believed. In other words: he was from the first to embrace the faith. However, when they elaborate on this aspect and attempt to determine the very first personality to enter the faith and believe, they differ slightly.

We will not attempt to examine all of these statement, but will suffice on mentioning a few.

A large group of scholars are of the opinion that Sayyidina Abu Bakr al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu was the first to embrace Islam.

 

1. Ibn Sa’d lists a few narrations in al Tabaqat which suggest that the first person to embrace Islam was Sayyidina Abu Bakr al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu.

One of these narrations he reports via his sanad from Abu Arwa al Dawsi which confirms that the first person to embrace Islam was Sayyidina Abu Bakr al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu.

و عن أسماء بنت أبي بكر قالت أسلم أبي أول المسلمين و لا والله ما عقلت أبي إلا و هو يدين الدين

Asma’ bint Abi Bakr says, “My father embraced Islam first among all Muslims. By Allah, I cannot remember my father except that was adhering to the Din.”[31]

 

It appears in Sahih Muslim on the authority of ‘Amr ibn ‘Abasah al Sulami who reports:

 

كنت و أنا في الجاهلية أظن أن الناس على ضلالة و أنهم ليسوا على شيء و هم يعبدون الأوثان فسمعت برجل بمكة يخبر أخبارا فقعدت على راحلتي فقدمت حتى دخلت عليه فإذا رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم مستخفيا جرءاء عليه قومه فتلطفت حتى دخلت عليه بمكة فقلت له ما أنت قال أنا نبي فقلت و ما نبي قال أرسلني الله فقلت و بأي شيء أرسلك قال أرسلني بصلة الأرحام و كسر الأوثان و أن يوحد الله لا يشرك به شيء قلت له فمن معك على هذا قال حر و عبد قال و معه يومئذ أبو بكر و بلال ممن آمن به

During the period of ignorance, I believed that people were misguided and were not following any true religion in their worship of idols. I heard about a man in Makkah relating some amazing information. I thus sat upon my conveyance and set out to Makkah and wanted to enter his presence. Meanwhile, Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was in secret, due to the insolence of his people towards him. I thus moved stealthily and entered his presence in Makkah.

I asked him, “Who are you?”

“I am a Nabi,” he replied.

“And what is a nabi,” I enquired.

He explained, “Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala appointed me.”

I said, “With what did He send you?”

“He sent me with the command to maintain family ties, break idols, and to believe in the oneness of Allah, without ascribing anything as partner to Him,” he explained.

I asked him, “Who is with you upon this religion?”

“A free man and a slave,” he answered. At the time, Abu Bakr and Bilal were with him and believed in him.[32]

 

This authentic text clearly depicts Sayyidina Abu Bakr al Siddiq’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu precedence to Islam. Yes, the text stated that with Sayyidina Abu Bakr al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu was Sayyidina Bilal ibn Rabah radiya Llahu ‘anhu without determining who of them was first. However, when studying it alongside other texts which emphatically mention that Sayyidina Abu Bakr al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu was the first person to accept Islam, it allows us to place Sayyidina Bilal radiya Llahu ‘anhu in position two after Abu Bakr al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu.

Ibn Kathir comments on the narration of Sayyidina Abu al Darda’ radiya Llahu ‘anhu in Sahih al Bukhari which speaks about the disagreement between Sayyidina Abu Bakr and Sayyidina ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma. It appears therein:

 

فقال رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم إن الله بعثني إليكم فقلتم كذبت و قال أبو بكر صدق و واساني بنفسه و ماله فهل أنتم تاركوا لي صاحبي مرتين فما أوذي بعدها

Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam announced, “Certainly, Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala sent me to you and you said that I am lying while Abu Bakr affirmed my truthfulness and supported me with his life and wealth. So will you not leave my companion alone, for my sake?” twice.

After that, Abu Bakr was never harassed.[33]

 

Ibn Kathir comments:

و هذا كالنص على أنه أول من أسلم رضي الله عنه

This is like an emphatic declaration upon the fact that he is the first to embrace Islam.[34]

 

Al Tirmidhi and Ibn Hibban have reported on the authority of Sayyidina Abu Sa’id al Khudri radiya Llahu ‘anhu:

 

قال أبو بكر الصديق رضي الله عنه ألست أحق الناس بها ألست أول من أسلم ألست صاحب كذا

Abu Bakr al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu proclaimed, “Am I not the most deserving of all for it? Am I not the first to embrace Islam? Have I not accomplished this?”[35]

 

Narrations in which mention is made that Sayyidina ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib or Sayyidina Zaid ibn Thabit radiya Llahu ‘anhuma, the likes of which Ibn Ishaq has quoted, do not affect Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu being the first Muslim.

Ibn Ishaq says:

 

ثم كان أول ذكر من الناس آمن برسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم و صلى معه و صدق بما جاءه من الله تعالى علي بن أبي طالب بن عبد المطلب بن هاشم رضوان الله و سلامه عليه و هو يومئذ ابن عشر سنين و كان مما أنعم الله به على علي بن أبي طالب رضي الله عنه أنه كان في حجر رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم قبل الإسلام

Thereafter, the first male of all people to believe in Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, to pray with him, and to affirm what he brought to him from Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala was ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib ibn ‘Abdul Muttalib ibn Hashim, may Allah’s pleasure and peace be upon him. At the time, he was 10 years of age. Among the favours Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala had bestowed upon ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu ‘anhu is that he lived in the care of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam before Islam.[36]

 

Ibn Ishaq says:

أول ذكر أسلم بعد النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم علي و زيد بن حارثة ثم أسلم أبو بكر و أظهر إسلامه

The first males to believe after the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam were ‘Ali and Zaid ibn Harithah. Thereafter, Abu Bakr believed and announced his Islam.[37]

Some scholars have tried to reconcile these texts in a way that does not affect their meanings, and at the same time does not cast any of these illustrious pious predecessors in a bad light.

Ibn Kathir says:

 

و أما علي رضي الله عنه فإنه أسلم قديما و هو دون البلوغ على المشهور و يقال إنه أول من أسلم من الغلمان كما أن خديجة أول من أسلم من النساء و أبو بكر الصديق أول من أسلم من الرجال الأحرار و زيد بن حارثة أول من أسلم من الموالي

‘Ali embraced Islam in the early stages before reaching puberty according to the well-known report. It is said that he is the first child to embrace Islam just as Khadijah was the first woman to accept Islam, Abu Bakr al Siddiq was the first free male to embrace the faith, and Zaid ibn Harithah was the first freed slave to enter Islam.[38]

 

When Sayyidina Abu Bakr al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu affirmed his faith, Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam became extremely joyful and happiness enveloped his heart. Umm al Mu’minin Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha explains the scene:

 

فلما فرغ من كلامه أي النبي أسلم أبو بكر فانطلق رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم من عنده و ما بين الأخشبين أحد أكثر سرورا منه بإسلام أبي بكر

When Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam completed his invitation, Abu Bakr embraced Islam. Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam walked away from him, and there was no one between the two mountains (i.e. in Makkah) more joyful than him owing to the Islam of Abu Bakr.[39]

 

Abu Bakr: Active and Positive

People are diverse when it comes to guidance. There are those who do not accept guidance at all, another group embraces it at the end after difficulty, and yet a third accepts it after slight hesitation and investigation. A fourth group accepts as soon as it presents itself to them; this group is rarely found in the world. Sayyidina Abu Bakr al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu is most definitely from this group. In fact, we find him surpassing people of his type and not being satisfied with just him being guided. He began the journey of invitation towards the din of Allah, to guide hearts to it.

Umm al Mu’minin Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha describes to us one of the scenes of the Islam of her father, Sayyidina Abu Bakr al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu, which shows us the extent of his eagerness over the Islam of others. She relates:

 

خرج أبو بكر يريد رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم و كان له صديقا في الجاهلية فلقيه فقال يا أبا القاسم فقدت من مجالس قومك و اتهموك بالعيب لآبائها و أمهاتها فقال رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم إني رسول الله أدعوك إلى الله فلما فرغ كلامه أسلم أبو بكر فانطلق عنه رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم و ما بين الأخشبين أحد أكثر سرورا منه بإسلام أبي بكر و مضى أبو بكر فراح لعثمان بن عفان و طلحة بن عبيد الله و الزبير بن العوام و سعد بن أبي وقاص و فأسلموا ثم جاء الغد بعثمان بن مظعون و أبي عبيدة بن الجراح و عبد الرحمن بن عوف و أبي سلمة بن عبد الأسد و الأرقم بن أبي الأرقم فأسلموا رضي الله عنهم

Abu Bakr left in the direction of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. He was his close friend in the period of ignorance. He met him and submitted, “O Abu al Qasim, I found you absent from the gatherings of your people. Moreover, they have accused you of vilifying their fathers and mothers.”

Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said “Undoubtedly, I am the Messenger of Allah and I invite you to Allah.” As soon as he completed his invitation, Abu Bakr embraced Islam. Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam left him, and there was no one between the two mountains more joyful than him owing to the Islam of Abu Bakr.

Abu Bakr then left and met ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan, Talhah ibn ‘Ubaidullah, Zubair ibn al ‘Awwam, and Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas who all embraced Islam. The next day, he brought ‘Uthman ibn Maz’un, Abu ‘Ubaidah ibn al Jarrah, ‘Abdur Rahman ibn ‘Awf, Abu Salamah ibn ‘Abdul Asad, and Arqam ibn Abi al Arqam and they all entered Islam. May Allah be pleased with them all.[40]

 

Through the invitation of Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu, a group of senior Sahabah embraced Islam, some whose names have just passed like: ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan, Talhah ibn ‘Ubaidullah, Zubair ibn al ‘Awwam, Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas, ‘Uthman ibn Maz’un, Abu ‘Ubaidah ibn al Jarrah, ‘Abdur Rahman ibn ‘Awf, Abu Salamah ibn ‘Abdul Asad, and Arqam ibn Abi al Arqam radiya Llahu ‘anhum.

Ibn al Athir states:

 

ثم أسلم أبو بكر و أظهر إسلامه و كان مانعا لقومه محببا فيهم و كان أعلم بأنساب قريش و ما كان فيها و كان تاجرا يجتمع إليه قومه فجعل يدعوا من يثق به من قومه فأسلم على يده عثمان بن عفان و الزبير بن العوام و عبد الرحمن بن عوف و سعد بن أبي وقاص و طلحة بن عبيد الله فجاء بهم إلى النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم حين استجابوا له فأسلموا و صلوا و كان هؤلاء النفر هم الذين سبقوا إلى الإسلام ثم تتابع الناس في الإسلام حتى فشا ذكر الإسلام بمكة و تحدث به الناس

Abu Bakr then embraced Islam and publicised the same. He was a defender of his people, beloved to them. He was the most knowledgeable of the lineages of the Quraysh and their qualities and achievements. He was also a trader and people would flock to him. He thus began inviting those people he had trust in. Upon his hands, ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan, Zubair ibn al ‘Awwam, ‘Abdur Rahman ibn ‘Awf, Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas, and Talhah ibn ‘Ubaidullah accepted Islam. He brought them to the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam when they answered his call and they all embraced the faith and prayed. This group were the ones who enjoy precedence to Islam. Thereafter, people entered into Islam one after the other until mention of Islam began widespread in Makkah and it became the focus of people’s discussions.[41]

 

This manifests before us one of the important characteristics of Sayyidina Abu Bakr’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu personality: wishing well for others. As soon as Islam was presented to him and he understood it to be goodness, he embraced Islam immediately. Then, his desire for others to possess the same spurred him on to search for his friends to invite them to the same good he had attained, to call them to guidance and remove them from the abyss of darkness, from the worship of idols to the worship of the One Almighty.

 

Special Individuals observe Patience

The road of inviting to the din of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala is filled with obstacles and hurdles. The attribute and practice of the devout is to face harm and to observe patience in the face of the adversity and maltreatment of their people. Sayyidina Abu Bakr al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu was none the different.

Ibn Kathir narrates via his sanad from Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha:

 

لما اجتمع أصحاب النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم و كانوا ثمانية و ثلاثين رجلا ألح أبو بكر على رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم في الظهور فقال يا أبا بكر إنا قليل فلم يزل أبو بكر يلح حتى ظهر رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم و تفرق المسلمون في نواحي المسجد كل رجل في عشيرته و قام أبو بكر في الناس خطيبا و رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم جالس فكان أول خطيب دعا إلى الله و إلى رسوله صلى الله عليه و سلم و ثار المشركون على أبي بكر و على المسلمين فضربوا في نواحي المسجد ضربا شديدا و وطئ أبو بكر و ضرب ضربا شديدا و دنا منه الفاسق عتبة بن ربيعة فجعل يضربه بنعلين مخصوفتين و يحرفهما لوجهه و نزا على بطن أبي بكر حتى ما يعرف وجهه من أنفه و جاء بنو تيم يتعادون فأجلت المشركين عن أبي بكر و حملت بنو تيم أبا بكر في ثوب حتى أدخلوه منزله و لا يشكون في موته ثم رجعت بنو تيم فدخلوا المسجد و قالوا والله لئن مات أبو بكر لنقتلن عتبة بن ربيعة فرجعوا إلى أبي بكر فجعل أبو قحافة و بنو تيم يكلمون أبا بكر حتى أجاب فتكلم آخر النهار فقال ما فعل رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم فمسوا منه بألسنتهم و عذلوه ثم قاموا و قالوا لأمه أم الخير انظري أن تطعميه شيئا أو تسقيه إياه فلما خلت به ألحت عليه و جعل يقول ما فعل رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم فقالت والله ما لي علم بصاحبك فقال اذهبي إلى أم جميل بنت الخطاب فاسأليها عنه فخرجت حتى جاءت أم جميل فقالت إن أبا بكر يسألك عن محمد بن عبد الله فقالت ما أعرف أبا بكر و لا محمد بن عبد الله و إن كنت تحبين أن أذهب معك إلى ابنك قالت نعم فمضت معها حتى وجدت أبا بكر صريعا دنفا فدنت أم جميل و أعلنت بالصياح و قالت والله إن قوما نالوا هذا منك لأهل فسق و كفر و إني لأرجو أن ينتقم الله لك منهم قال فما فعل رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم قالت هذه أمك تسمع قال فلا شيء عليك منها قالت سالم صالح قال أين هو قالت في دار ابن الأرقم قال فإن لله علي أن لا أذوق طعاما و لا أشرب شرابا أو آتي رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم فأمهلتا حتى إذا هدأت الرجل و سكن الناس خرجتا به يتكئ عليهما حتى أدخلتاه على رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم قال فأكب عليه رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم فقبله و أكب عليه المسلمون و رق له رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم رقة شديدة فقال أبو بكر بأبي و أمي يا رسول الله ليس بي بأس إلا ما نال الفاسق من وجهي و هذه أمي برة بولدها و أنت مبارك فادعها إلى الله و ادع الله لها عسى الله أن يستنقذها بك من النار قال فدعا لها رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم و دعاها إلى الله فأسلمت و أقاموا مع رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم في الدار شهرا و هم تسعة و ثلاثون رجلا

When the Companions of the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam united and had reached 38 in number, Abu Bakr insistently requested from Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam to go public. Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “O Abu Bakr, we are only few in number.” Abu Bakr, however, continued persisting until Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam went out in the public and the Muslims scattered to the corners of the Masjid, each man among his family. Abu Bakr stood up to address the people, while Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was seated. He was the first lecturer to invite towards Allah and His Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

The polytheists pounced on Abu Bakr and the Muslims and they were beaten mercilessly. Abu Bakr was trampled upon and beaten mercilessly. The sinful ‘Utbah ibn Rabi’ah came close to him and began hitting him with sandals made of palm fibre on his face. He jumped on Abu Bakr’s stomach and beat him so ruthlessly that his faced was entirely bloodied. Finally, the Banu Taym arrived in haste. Seeing them, the polytheists stepped away from Abu Bakr.

The Banu Taym carried Abu Bakr and took him to his home. They were certain that he would succumb to his wounds. The Banu Taym subsequently returned and entered the Masjid saying, “By Allah, if Abu Bakr dies, we will kill ‘Utbah ibn Rabi’ah in retaliation.” They then returned to Abu Bakr. Abu Quhafah and the Banu Taym continued speaking to Abu Bakr until finally he responded at the end of the day, uttering, “How is Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam?” They reproached him verbally and rebuked him. They then stood to leave and told his mother Umm al Khayr to feed him something or give him something to drink.

When he was alone with her, he insisted saying, “How is Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam?”

“I do not have any knowledge about your friend,” she replied.

He said, “Go to Umm Jamil bint al Khattab and enquire from her about him. She left and went to Umm Jamil saying, “Abu Bakr is enquiring from you about Muhammad ibn ‘Abdullah.”

She answered, “I do not know Abu Bakr nor Muhammad ibn ‘Abdullah. However, if you like me to come with you to your son, I will.” She replied in the affirmative.

Umm Jamil went with her only to find Abu Bakr incapacitated and weak. Umm Jamil came close and said aloud, cursing, “By Allah, the people who have done this to you are a sinful and disbelieving folk. I hope that Allah takes revenge from them on your behalf.”

Abu Bakr asked, “How is Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam?”

“Your mother is listening,” she replied.

He comforted her, “She will not harm you in the least.”

She stated, “He is well and safe.”

“Where is he,” he asked.

“In the house of Ibn al Arqam,” she explained.

He said, “I swear by Allah that I will not taste any food nor drink until I go to Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.”

They waited, until the footsteps lessened and people slept away, then left supporting him on their shoulders and brought him into the presence of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. On seeing him, Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam embraced him and kissed him and the Muslims embraced him. Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was extremely emotional and cried profusely. Abu Bakr said, “May my parents be sacrificed for you, O Messenger of Allah. I have no injury besides what the wicked has done to my face. This is my mother, who is kind to her children. And you are blessed. So invite her to Allah and pray to Allah for her. Hopefully, Allah will save her from the Fire owing to your blessings.”

Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam prayed for her and invited her to Allah, and she embraced Islam. They remained with Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam in the house for a month, and they were 39 in number.[42]

 

This narration highlights the extent the disbelievers’ persecution of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and his Companion had reached. At the same time, it reveals the intense love of Abu Bakr al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu for the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, to the level where he is unconcerned about himself and is not worried about his own calamity. His only concern that had enveloped his heart is the wellbeing of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. What level of love is this! What type of fondness is this!

 

Abu Bakr: The Companion in the Cave

The emigration of Sayyidina Abu Bakr al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu with the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam as his comrade and companion was one of the fruits of his sincerity in his din. This sincerity dominated his entire life from the time he embraced Islam.

It is suitable to mention here that Sayyidina Abu Bakr al Siddiq’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu companionship of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, in the hijrah journey and in the cave, is one of the most splendid of his virtues and of the greatest proofs of Allah’s subhanahu wa ta ‘ala love for him for choosing him to accompany His Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam in this momentous journey and historic event. At the same time, it is evidence for the deep love Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam possessed for Sayyidina Abu Bakr al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu and his love for Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, something which is unmistakeable from the events of the hijrah.

Imam al Bukhari relates the happenings of the hijrah of Sayyidina Abu Bakr al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu with the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. In a lengthy narration reported by ‘Urwah ibn al Zubair from Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha―the wife of the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam―he says:

 

فقال النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم للمسلمين إني أريت دار هجرتكم ذات نخل بين لابتين و هما الحرتان فهاجر من هاجر قبل المدينة و رجع عامة من كان هاجر بأرض الحبشة إلى المدينة و تجهز أبو بكر قبل المدينة فقال له رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم على رسلك فإني أرجو أن يؤذن لي فقال أبو بكر و هل ترجو ذلك بأبي أنت قال نعم فحبس أبو بكر نفسه على رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم ليصحبه و علف راحلتين كانتا عنده ورق السمر و هو الخبط أربعة أشهر قال ابن شهاب قال عروة قالت عائشة فبينما نحن يوما جلوس في بيت أبي بكر في نحر الظهيرة قال قائل لأبي بكر هذا رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم متقنعا في ساعة لم يكن يأتينا فيها فقال أبو بكر فداء له أبي و أمي والله ما جاء به في هذه الساعة إلا أمر قالت فجاء رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم فاستأذن فأذن له فدخل فقال النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم لأبي بكر أخرج من عندك فقال أبو بكر إنما هم أهلك بأبي أنت يا رسول الله قال فإني قد أذن لي في الخروج فقال أبو بكر الصحابة بأبي أنت يا رسول الله قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم نعم قال أبو بكر فخذ بأبي أنت يا رسول الله إحدى راحلتي هاتين قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم بالثمن قالت عائشة فجهزناهما أحث الجهاز و صنعنا لهما سفرة في جراب فقطعت أسماء بنت أبي بكر قطعة من نطاقها فربطت به على فم الجراب فلذلك سميت ذات النطاقين قالت ثم لحق رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم و أبو بكر بغار في جبل ثور فكمنا فيه ثلاث ليال يبيت عندهما عبد الله بن أبي بكر و هو غلام شاب ثقف لقن فيدلج من عندهما بسحر فيصبح مع قريش بمكة كبائت فلا يسمع أمرا يكتادان به إلا وعاه حتى يأتيهما بخبر ذلك حين يختلط الظلام و يرعى عليهما عامر بن فهيرة مولى أبي بكر منحة من غنم فيريحها عليهما حين تذهب ساعة من العشاء فيبيتان في رسل و هو لبن منحتهما و رضيفهما حتى ينعق بها عامر بن فهيرة بغلس يفعل ذلك في كل ليلة من تلك الليالي الثلاث و استأجر رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم و أبو بكر رجلا من بني الديل و هو من بني عبد بن عدي هاديا خريتا و الخريت الماهر بالهداية قد غمس حلفا في آل العاص بن وائل السهمي و هو على دين كفار قريش فأمناه فدفعا إليه راحلتيهما و واعداه غار ثور بعد ثلاث ليال فأتاهما براحلتيهما صبح ثلاث و انطلق معهما عامر بن فهيرة و الدليل فأخذ بهم طريق السواحل

The Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said to the Muslims, “I was certainly shown the abode of your hijrah. A city of palm trees between two mountains.” They refer to the rocky mountains. So those who could, emigrated to Madinah. And majority of those who had immigrated to the land of Abyssinia returned to Madinah. Abu Bakr prepared to journey to Madinah but Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam told him, “Hold on, for I hope to be permitted.”

Abu Bakr said happily, “Do you aspire this, may my father be sacrificed for you?”

“Yes,” he replied.

Abu Bakr thus restrained himself for Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam to accompany him and fed lotus tree leaves to two camels he owned for four months.

Ibn Shihab relates that―’Urwah reports―that Sayyidah Aisha continues:

One day, while we were sitting in the house of Abu Bakr during midday, a person told Abu Bakr, “That is Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.” He had covered his face and come at a time he normally would not visit us.

Abu Bakr commented, “May my parents be sacrifice for him. By Allah, something extremely important has brought him at this hour.”

Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam came and requested permission to enter and was granted the same. He entered and said to Abu Bakr, “Let all those present by you leave.”

Abu Bakr submitted, “They are only your family, may my father be sacrificed for you, O Messenger of Allah.”

Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam stated, “Undoubtedly, I have been given permission to leave.”

“Companionship, may my father be sacrificed for you, O Messenger of Allah,” entreated Abu Bakr.

Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam replied, “Yes.”

Abu Bakr said, “Take, may my father be sacrificed for you, O Messenger of Allah, one of these two rides of mine.”

Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “In lieu of a price.”

Aisha explains, “We prepared for them in extreme haste and prepared for them provisions in a knapsack. Asma’ bint Abi Bakr cut a piece of her girdle and tied the mouth of the knapsack. Owing to this, she was called Dhat al Nitaqayn (the possessor of the two girdles).

Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and Abu Bakr reached the cave in Mount Thawr and hid there for three nights. ‘Abdullah ibn Abi Bakr would spend the night with them, an intelligent bright young lad. He would leave them at dawn and blend in with the Quraysh of Makkah in the morning, as if he spent the night with them. He remembered all of their sinister plans and would pass this information to them [Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and Abu Bakr] when he met them after darkness covered the earth.

‘Amir ibn Fuhayrah, the freed slave of Abu Bakr, would graze a group of milking goats and take them in the evening to them after an hour after ‘Isha’ had passed. They always had fresh milk at night, the milk of their sheep and the milk which they warmed by throwing heated stones in it. ‘Amir ibn Fuhayrah would slip away from them in the darkness. This was his practice each night of those three nights.

Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and Abu Bakr had hired a man from the Banu al Dayl―who in turn are from the Banu ‘Abd ibn ‘Adi―as a guide and he was a proficient guide. He was in alliance with the family of ‘As ibn Wa’il al Sahmi and was an adherent of the religion of the disbelievers of Quraysh. Nonetheless, they trusted him so they handed to him their two camels and promised to meet him at the cave of Thawr after three nights. He came with their rides the morning after the third night. ‘Amir ibn Fuhayrah and the guide walked with them and the guide led them on the coastal route.[43]

 

Sayyidina Abu Bakr al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu relates to us some incidents that took place in the cave, involving him and the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Sayyidina Anas radiya Llahu ‘anhu reports from him:

 

كنت مع النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم في الغار فرأيت آثار المشركين قلت يا رسول الله لو أن أحدهم رفع قدمه رآنا قال ما ظنك باثنين الله ثالثهما

I was with the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam in the cave. I heard the footsteps of the polytheists so I submitted, “O Messenger of Allah, if only one of them lifts his feet, he will see us.”

Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam pacified me, “What do you think of two, with whom Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala is the third!”[44]

 

A satisfactory tribute to Sayyidina Abu Bakr al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu is Allah’s subhanahu wa ta ‘ala mention of this in His glorious Book, the Qur’an, which will be recited till the Day of Qiyamah. Allah―the Most Honourable―declares:

 

إِلَّا تَنصُرُوْهُ فَقَدْ نَصَرَهُ اللَّهُ إِذْ أَخْرَجَهُ الَّذِيْنَ كَفَرُوْا ثَانِيَ اثْنَيْنِ إِذْ هُمَا فِي الْغَارِ إِذْ يَقُوْلُ لِصَاحِبِهِ لَا تَحْزَنْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ مَعَنَا فَأَنزَلَ اللَّهُ سَكِينَتَهُ عَلَيْهِ وَأَيَّدَهُ بِجُنُوْدٍ لَّمْ تَرَوْهَا وَجَعَلَ كَلِمَةَ الَّذِيْنَ كَفَرُوا السُّفْلىٰ وَكَلِمَةُ اللَّهِ هِيَ الْعُلْيَا وَاللَّهُ عَزِيْزٌ حَكِيْمٌ

If you do not aid the Messenger – Allah has already aided him when those who disbelieved had driven him out [of Makkah] as one of two, when they were in the cave and he said to his companion, “Do not grieve; indeed Allah is with us.” And Allah sent down his tranquility upon him and supported him with angels you did not see and made the word of those who disbelieved the lowest, while the word of Allah – that is the highest. And Allah is Exalted in Might and Wise.[45]

 

Al Siddiq in the Caliphate Procession

It is established according to majority of the Ahlus Sunnah wa al Jama’ah that the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam passed away without emphatically appointing any specific individual as khalifah after him. There are those who assert that the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam did indicate towards the caliphate of Sayyidina Abu Bakr al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu in many instances like the Nabi’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam advice to a woman who spoke to him regarding an issue of hers, “If you do not find me, then go to Abu Bakr.”

Al Bukhari narrates via his sanad from Muhammad ibn Jubayr ibn Mut’im―from his father who says:

 

أتت النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم امرأة فكلمته في شيء فأمرها أن ترجع إليه قالت يا رسول الله أرأيت إن جئت و لم أجدك كأنها تريد الموت قال إن لم تجديني فأتي أبا بكر

A woman approached the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and spoke to him about something. He instructed her to return to him. She submitted, “O Messenger of Allah, what if I come and do not find you,” hinting towards death.

Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “If you do not find me, then go to Abu Bakr.”[46]

 

Another indication is Rasulullah’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam command during his fatal illness:

 

مروا أبا بكر فليصل بالناس

Instruct Abu Bakr to lead the people in prayer.

 

The words of the narration appearing in Sahih Muslim from Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha are as follows:

 

لما ثقل رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم جاء بلال يؤذنه بالصلاة فقال مروا أبا بكر فليصل بالناس قالت فقلت يا رسول الله إن أبا بكر رجل أسيف و إنه متى يقم مقامك لا يسمع الناس فلو أمرت عمر فقال مروا أبا بكر فليصل بالناس قالت فقلت لحفصة قولي له إن أبا بكر رجل أسيف و إنه متى يقم مقامك لا يسمع الناس فلو أمرت عمر فقالت له فقال رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم إنكن لأنتن صواحب يوسف مروا أبا بكر فليصل بالناس قالت فأمروا أبا بكر يصلي بالناس قالت فلما دخل في الصلاة وجد رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم من نفسه خفة فقام يهادي بين رجلين و رجلاه تخطان في الأرض قالت فلما دخل المسجد سمع أبو بكر حسه ذهب يتأخر فأومأ إليه رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قم مكانك فجاء رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم حتى جلس عن يسار أبي بكر قالت فكان رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم يصلي بالناس جالسا و أبو بكر قائما يقتدي أبو بكر بصلاة النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم و يقتدي الناس بصلاة أبي بكر

Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was extremely heavy (due to illness). Bilal came to apprise him of salah. He commanded, “Instruct Abu Bakr to lead the people in salah.”

I [Aisha] said, “O Messenger of Allah, Abu Bakr is an emotional person[47]. When he assumes your position, he will not be able to recite for the people. So why do you not appoint ‘Umar.”

Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam repeated, “Instruct Abu Bakr to lead the people in salah.”

I said to Hafsah, “Tell him that Abu Bakr is a soft person and when he stands at your place, he will not be able to recite in front of the people, so rather appoint ‘Umar.”

She told him, upon which Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “You are certainly like the women of Yusuf. Instruct Abu Bakr to lead the people in salah.”

They thus commanded Abu Bakr to lead the salah. When he began the salah, Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam felt slightly better so he got up and was taken with the support of two men, while his feet dragged on the earth. As he entered the Masjid, Abu Bakr heard his sound, so he receded. Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam motioned to him to stay at his place. Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam came and sat on the left side of Abu Bakr. Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam thus led the people in salah while seated. Abu Bakr was standing, following the salah of the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and the people were following his salah.[48]

 

Another indication is the Nabi’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam command shortly before his demise to close all doors leading to the Masjid, besides the door of Abu Bakr. Al Bukhari narrates via his sanad from Sayyidina Abu Sa’id al Khudri radiya Llahu ‘anhu:

 

خطب رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم بالناس فقال إن الله خير عبدا بين الدنيا و بين ما عنده فاختار ما عند الله فبكى أبو بكر رضي الله عنه فقلت في نفسي ما يبكي هذا الشيخ إن يكن الله خير عبدا بين الدنيا و بين ما عنده فاختار ما عند الله فكان رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم هو العبد و كان أبو بكر أعلمنا قال يا أبا بكر لا تبك إن أمن الناس علي في صحبته و ماله أبو بكر و لو كنت متخذا خليلا من أمتي لاتخذت أبا بكر و لكن أخوة الإسلام و مودته لا يبقين في المسجد باب إلا سد إلا باب أبي بكر

Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam addressed the people and said, “Certainly, Allah gave a servant a choice between the world and what is by Him, and he chose the latter.”

Hearing this brought tears to Abu Bakr. I said to myself, “What makes this man cry? Allah only gave a servant a choice between the world and what is by Him and he chose the latter. Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was the servant and Abu Bakr was the most knowledgeable of us.”

Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam continued, “O Abu Bakr, do not cry. The person who favoured me the most with his company and wealth is Abu Bakr. Had I taken a bosom friend from my ummah, I would have taken Abu Bakr. But the brotherhood and love of Islam remains. Every door leading to the Masjid should be shut, except the door of Abu Bakr.”[49]

 

Al Bukhari reports through his chain from Sayyidina Ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhuma that Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam announced on the pulpit during his fatal illness:

لو كنت متخذا خليلا لاتخذت أبا بكر خليلا و لكن خلة الإسلام أفضل سدوا كل خوخة غير خوخة أبي بكر

Had I taken a bosom friend, I would have taken Abu Bakr as one. Nonetheless, the brotherhood of Islam is superior. Close every door besides Abu Bakr’s.[50]

 

Al Hakim documents a narration from Sayyidina Anas radiya Llahu ‘anhu which he also authenticates:

 

بعثني بنو المصطلق إلى رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم أن سله إلى من ندفع صدقاتنا بعدك فأتيته فسألته فقال إلى أبي بكر

The Banu al Mustaliq sent me to Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam to ask him as to whom they should give their zakat to after his demise. Accordingly, I came to him and posed the question. His reply was, “To Abu Bakr.”[51]

 

Some scholars have deduced―and it is a worthy deduction―from these narrations and others that there are strong hints to the caliphate of Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu immediately after Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Our object here is not to give preference to some views over others. The only thing that concerns us is that some scholars have understood that these narrations and others contain convincing indications to the caliphate of Sayyidina Abu Bakr al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu immediately after Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

After the demise of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, Sayyidina Abu Bakr al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu assumed the position of khalifah. This came after a gathering was held by the Ansar in Saqifah Bani Sa’idah to choose the khalifah of the Muslims from them. Sayyidina Abu Bakr al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu accompanied by Sayyidina ‘Umar al Faruq and Sayyidina Abu ‘Ubaidah ibn al Jarrah radiya Llahu ‘anhuma went to them to set the record straight and to nip a fitnah in the bud, which had the potential to create negativity and chaos among the Muslims, which would the result if the Ansar chose a caliphate themselves without consulting the Muhajirin.

Imam al Bukhari narrates what transpired in the Saqifah, the manner in which Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu resolved the issue and terminated discord before disagreement and conflict reared its ugly head.

He informs us through his chain from ‘Urwah―who in turn reports from Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha:

 

واجتمعت الأنصار إلى سعد بن عبادة في سقيفة بني ساعدة فقالوا منا أمير و منكم أمير فذهب إليهم أبو بكر و عمر بن الخطاب و أبو عبيدة بن الجراح فذهب عمر يتكلم فأسكته أبو بكر و كان عمر يقول والله ما أردت بذلك إلا أني قد هيأت كلاما قد أعجبني خشيت أن لا يبلغه أبو بكر ثم تكلم أبو بكر فتكلم أبلغ الناس فقال في كلامه نحن الأمراء و أنتم الوزراء فقال حباب بن المنذر لا والله لا نفعل منا أمير و منكم أمير فقال أبو بكر لا و لكنا الأمراء و أنتم الوزراء هم أوسط العرب دارا و أعربهم أحسابا فبايعوا عمر أو أبا عبيدة بن الجراح فقال عمر بل نبايعك أنت فأنت سيدنا و خيرنا و أحبنا إلى رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم فأخذ عمر بيده فبايعه و بايعه الناس

The Ansar gathered by Sa’d ibn ‘Ubadah in Saqifah Bani Sa’idah. They suggested, “A leader from us and a leader from you.”

Abu Bakr, ‘Umar ibn al Khattab, and Abu ‘Ubaidah ibn al Jarrah went to them. ‘Umar wanted to speak but Abu Bakr silenced him. ‘Umar would explain, “By Allah, the only thing was that I had prepared a speech which delighted me, and I feared that Abu Bakr would not be able to express it.”

Abu Bakr spoke, and he expressed himself like the best orator. He said in his address, “We are the leaders and you are the viziers.”

Hubab ibn al Mundhir remonstrated, “No, by Allah, we will not do that! A leader from us and a leader from you.”

Abu Bakr said, “No. Rather, we are the leaders and you are the viziers. They (the Quraysh) are the middle of the Arabs in location and enjoy the best pedigree in Arab lineage. So pledge allegiance to ‘Umar or Abu ‘Ubaidah ibn al Jarrah.”

‘Umar said, “In fact, we will pledge allegiance to you for you are our leader, the best of us, and the most beloved of us to Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.”

‘Umar then took his hand and pledged allegiance to him, and the people followed suit.”[52]

 

What transpired in the Saqifah at the beginning could have split the Muslim ummah and spurred them onto bloodshed and violence, had it not been for Allah’s subhanahu wa ta ‘ala favour upon them by al Siddiq, al Faruq, and al Amin (Abu ‘Ubaidah) radiya Llahu ‘anhum―who straightened out matters in the most dignified manner, nipped the fitnah in the bud, and unified the Muslims on one matter.

 

Events in the Caliphate of Siddiq

The caliphate of Sayyidina Abu Bakr al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu was a caliphate of virtue, mercy, and blessings for the Muslims. In the brief period of his caliphate many momentous events took place which reveal his political and governmental proficiency. The wars against apostasy took place, the Islamic dominion expanded by virtue of extensive conquests, a huge amount of people entered Islam and conscripted in the army, and the compilation of the glorious Qur’an in a single mushaf was completed. In the forthcoming pages, the significant events that took place in the khalifah of Sayyidina Abu Bakr al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu will be presented concisely. This, undoubtedly, has its advantages for it assists in manifesting the characteristics of Sayyidina Abu Bakr al Siddiq’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu personality and it highlights clearly that his caliphate was filled with blessings for the Muslims. We now present two significant events.

 

1. The Compilation of the Qur’an during the Caliphate of Siddiq

Prior to this compilation, the glorious Qur’an was not found in a single mushaf. Rather, it was in the hearts of the huffaz and scattered on various pieces of paper and other items used for writing. Sayyidina Abu Bakr al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu went forth issuing his ordinances of the compilation of the glorious Qur’an from the hearts of the huffaz and from pieces of paper, palm branches stripped of their leaves, and white slates of rock; so that it be contained in a single all-inclusive mushaf, fearing that portions of the Qur’an might be lost by the demise of the huffaz. Worthy of mention, this compilation was on the proposal of Sayyidina ‘Umar ibn al Khattab radiya Llahu ‘anhu.

Al Bukhari reports via his chain―from ‘Ubaid al Sabbaq that―Sayyidina Zaid ibn Thabit radiya Llahu ‘anhu recalls:

 

أرسل إلي أبو بكر مقتل أهل اليمامة فإذا عمر بن الخطاب عنده قال أبو بكر رضي الله عنه إن عمر أتاني فقال إن القتل قد استحر يوم اليمامة بقراء القرآن و إني أخشى أن يستحر القتل بالقراء بالمواطن فيذهب كثير من القرآن و إني أرى أن تأمر بجمع القرآن قلت لعمر كيف تفعل شيئا لم يفعله رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم قال عمر هذا والله خير فلم يزل عمر يراجعني حتى شرح الله صدري لذلك و رأيت في ذلك الذي رأى عمر قال زيد قال أبو بكر إنك رجل شاب عاقل لا نتهمك و قد كنت تكتب الوحي لرسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم فتتبع القرآن فاجمعه فوالله لو كلفوني نقل جبل من الجبال ما كان أثقل علي مما أمرني به من جمع القرآن قلت كيف تفعلون شيئا لم يفعله رسول الله قال هو والله خير فلم يزل أبو بكر يراجعني حتى شرح الله صدري للذي شرح له صدر أبي بكر و عمر رضي الله عنهما فتتبعت القرآن أجمعه من العسب و اللحاف و صدور الرجال حتى وجدت آخر سورة التوبة مع أبي خزيمة الأنصاري لم أجدها مع أحد غيره لَقَدْ جَاءَكُمْ رَسُولٌ مِّنْ أَنفُسِكُمْ عَزِيزٌ عَلَيْهِ مَا عَنِتُّمْ حتى خاتمة براءة فكانت الصحف عند أبي بكر حتى توفاه الله ثم عند عمر حياته ثم عند حفصة بنت عمر رضي الله عنهم

Abu Bakr summoned me after the fierce battle with the people of Yamamah. I arrived only to find ‘Umar ibn al Khattab by him. Abu Bakr said, “‘Umar came to me and submitted, ‘Martyrdom has shrouded plenty reciters of the Qur’an on the Day of Yamamah and I fear that if martyrdom of the reciters of the Qur’an continues at this rate in various places, a major portion of the Qur’an will be lost. I feel that you should command the compilation of the Qur’an.’ I asked ‘Umar, ‘How can you do something which Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam did not do?’ ‘Umar replied, ‘This is best, by Allah.’ ‘Umar continued explaining to me until Allah filled my heart with satisfaction on this matter and I felt the same way ‘Umar felt.’”

Zaid continues: Abu Bakr said, “You are a young intelligent man whom we do not distrust. And you would write wahi for Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, so gather the Qur’an and compile it.”

By Allah, had they tasked me with moving a mountain, it would not have been more cumbersome than the task of compiling the Qur’an which he commanded me to fulfil. I submitted, “How can you do something Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam never did?”

“It is best, by Allah,” he explained. Abu Bakr continued explaining to me until Allah filled my heart with satisfaction the way he eased the hearts of Abu Bakr and ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma.

I thus began searching for the Qur’an and gathering it from palm branches, white rocks, and the hearts of men until I found the final verse of Surah al Tawbah with Abu Khuzaimah al Ansari which I never found by anyone besides him: There has certainly come to you a Messenger from among yourselves. Grievous to him is what you suffer[53] until the end of Bara’ah. The manuscripts were kept by Abu Bakr until he passed on, and then by ‘Umar for the remainder of his life, and then by Hafsah bint ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhum.[54]

 

2. Al Siddiq’s Stance on Fighting the Murtaddin

Probably, the most famous stance of Sayyidina Abu Bakr al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu in which he protected Islam was his attitude towards the apostates and those who refused to discharge zakat after Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. In these challenging times, tendencies and inclinations arose to withhold from them to spare bloodshed. Here, the governmental and political genius of Sayyidina Abu Bakr al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu comes to light and he made his celebrated declaration, “By Allah, I will most definitely fight those who differentiate between salah and zakat.” This was an excellent view and an unparalleled standpoint.

Al Bukhari narrates via his chain from Sayyidina Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu who reports:

 

لما توفي رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم و كان أبو بكر رضي الله عنه و كفر من كفر من العرب فقال عمر رضي الله عنه كيف تقاتل الناس و قد قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم أمرت ان أقاتل الناس حتى يقولوا لا إله إلا الله فمن قالها فقد عصم مني ماله و نفسه إلا بحقه و حسابه على الله فقال والله لأقاتلن من فرق بين الصلاة و الزكاة فإن الزكاة حق المال والله لو منعوني عناقا كانوا يؤدونها إلى رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم لقاتلتهم على منعها قال عمر رضي الله عنه فوالله ما هو إلا أن قد شرح الله صدر أبي بكر رضي الله عنه فعرفت أنه الحق

After Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam passed on, Abu Bakr assumed leadership, and some of the Arabs apostatised, ‘Umar said, “How are you going to fight the people whereas Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam had stated, ‘I have been commanded to fight people until they declare there is no deity besides Allah. Whoever declares this, has protected his wealth and life from me except through its right and his reckoning is with Allah’?”

Abu Bakr declared, “By Allah, I will most definitely fight those who differentiate between salah and zakat, for indeed zakat is the right of wealth. By Allah, if they fail to give me a rope they were giving to Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, I will fight them for withholding it.”

‘Umar submits, “By Allah, it was only that Allah filled the heart of Abu Bakr with satisfaction that I realised it was the truth.”[55]

 

The unparalleled attitude adopted by Sayyidina Abu Bakr al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu―a sturdy stance without leniency and strong without weakness―protected, by the grace and favour of Allah, the Din and State of Islam. This ordeal―had Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala not subjugated it for Sayyidina Abu Bakr al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu from the beginning and for the rest of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum thereafter―would have proven responsible for the uprooting of every aspect of din. Sayyidina Abu Bakr al Siddiq’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu stance was a magnificent position and his opinion was unmatched. May Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala shower him with abundant mercy.

 

Demise

Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu―may Allah shower His mercy upon him―passed away on Monday night, 8 nights before the termination of Jumad al Akhirah, 13 years after the hijrah of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. His caliphate, therefore, lasted for 2 years, 3 months, and 10 days. Abu Ma’shar would say, “Two years and four months less 4 days.” He passed away at the ripe age of 63; all narrations are unanimous upon this. He reached the age of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu was born 3 years after the Year of the Elephants.[56]

Sayyidina Abu Bakr al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu was buried at the side of his beloved friend salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. ‘Urwah and Qasim ibn Muhammad relate:

 

أوصى أبو بكر عائشة أن يدفن إلى جانب رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم فلما توفي حفر له و جعل رأسه عند كتفي رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم و ألصق اللحد بقبر رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم فقبر هناك

Abu Bakr bequeathed to Aisha to be buried at the side of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Accordingly, after his demise, his grave was dug in this manner that his head was in line with Rasulullah’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam shoulders. The charnel vault with a niche was adjacent to the grave of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and he was buried right there.[57]

 

Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala would not allow except a pure and purified individual to be buried at the side of His Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. May Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala shower His mercy upon him and be pleased with him.

After this brief overview of the life of Sayyidina Abu Bakr al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu, the question remains: Why then was Abu Bakr the first of the ten?

In order for us to answer this question, it is binding to shed more light on Sayyidina Abu Bakr al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu, his personality and his renowned virtues.

 

Abu Bakr: Virtues and Excellences

He is Abu Bakr al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu, the forerunner in believing, titled al ‘Atiq (The Emancipated), supported with competency from Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala, Rasulullah’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam colleague at home and on journey, his compassionate companion in all conditions, his resting companion after death in the garden filled with divine light, the one singled out for honourable mention in the Wise Speech which towers above all other revelations. Veneration for him has lasted through the passing of ages and the desires of the powerful and bright thinker did not reach his summit, when the Knower of the secrets declared, “Second of the two, when they were in the cave,” coupled with other verses and ahadith, and renowned texts concerning him and narrations in existence like the sun in range. He is superior to every man of superiority and towered above everyone who exerted and applied himself in Din. It was revealed about him, “Not equal are those of you who spent and fought before the Conquest.” Most certainly, Sayyidina Abu Bakr al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu is unique in all aspects, and he chose the correct path which Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala guided him to, thus he renounced his wealth.[58]

Sayyidina Abu Bakr al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu possesses many virtues and has acquired many merits. If we attempt to encompass all his virtues and excellences, we will need much time, and this humble treatise will not be possible. Nonetheless, sufficient for us here will be some indications and as the proverb goes, Many an indication is more comprehensive than a text. Whoever desires more should refer to the references and sources which will be indicated to in the footnotes.

The Siddiq of the ummah has many great virtues and excellences. He is the first male to believe. He participated in Badr, Uhud, Khandaq, and the Pledge of Ridwan. In fact, he did not fail to participate in any of the significant expeditions.

Both his parents lived till the era of Islam and embraced the faith. Similarly, his son and grandson were also Muslims.

Abu Ahmed al Hakim says:

 

أدرك أبو بكر بن أبي قحافة الصديق رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم و أبوه أبو قحافة عثمان بن عامر و ابنه عبد الرحمن بن أبي بكر الصديق و ابن ابنه أبو عتيق محمد بن عبد الرحمن بن أبي بكر الصديق أربعتهم ولاء رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم ليست هذه المنقبة لأحد من أصحاب النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم غيره و أدرك من أولاده و أهل بيته و مواليه سواهم نفر من الرجال و النساء رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم منهم بنوه عبد الله و عبد الرحمن صحبا رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم و ابنه الثالث محمد ولد عام حجة الوداع ولدته أسماء بنت عميس بقباء

Abu Bakr ibn Abi Quhafah al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu met Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, as well as his father Abu Quhafah ‘Uthman ibn ‘Amir, and his son ‘Abdur Rahman ibn Abi Bakr al Siddiq, and his grandson Abu ‘Atiq Muhammad ibn ‘Abdur Rahman ibn Abi Bakr al Siddiq. All four generations met Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. This virtue is possessed by none of the Companions of the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam besides him. A large number of his children, households, and freed slaves―both male and female―met Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, like his sons ‘Abdullah and ‘Abdur Rahman who were Companions of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and his third son, Muhammad, who Asma’ bint ‘Umays gave birth to in Quba’ in the year of the Farewell Pilgrimage.[59]

 

In the forthcoming lines, we will present some of the excellences and merits of Sayyidina Abu Bakr al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Probably, the first of them is the Nabi’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam love for him and his love for Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

 

Mutual Love between al Siddiq and the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam

This subject is from among the accepted facts according to all just and sensible Muslims. The relationship between Sayyidina Abu Bakr al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu and Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was a relationship predominated with mutual love. Their remaining close together is strong evidence for the same. Sayyidina Abu Bakr al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu on the one hand was not to abandon Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, neither on journey nor at home. It never happened that he failed to participate in an expedition or he ran away from Rasulullah’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam side in the thick of battle. Instead, he always remained committed at his side, giving preference to Rasulullah’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam life over his own, and placing his neck as a shield, to safeguard the neck of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Some examples and evidences of this mutual love between Sayyidina Abu Bakr al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu and Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam will ensue.

 

The Nabi’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam Love for Siddiq

It is evident that Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu enjoyed a special relationship with Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, which none of the other Sahabah enjoyed. Take for example the narration of Sayyidina ‘Amr ibn al ‘As radiya Llahu ‘anhu:

 

سألت رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم أي الناس أحب إليك قال عائشة فقلت من الرجال فقال أبوها قلت ثم من قال عمر بن الخطاب فعد رجالا

I enquired from Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, “Who is the most beloved person to you?”

“Aisha,” was his instant reply.

“From the men,” I enquired.

“Her father,” he answered.

I asked, “Then who?”

He replied, “‘Umar ibn al Khattab,” and then listed a few other men.[60]

 

Al Bukhari narrates through his chain from Sayyidina Abu al Darda’ radiya Llahu ‘anhu:

 

كنت جالسا عند النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم إذ أقبل أبو بكر آخذا بطرف ثوبه حتى أبدى عن ركبته فقال النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم أما صاحبكم فقد غامر فسلم و قال إني كان بيني و بين ابن الخطاب شيء فأسرعت إليه ثم ندمت فسألته أن يغفر لي فأبى علي فأقبلت إليك فقال يغفر الله لك يا أبا بكر ثلاثا ثم إن عمر ندم فأتى منزل أبي بكر فسأل أثم أبو بكر فقالوا لا فأتى إلى النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم فسلم فجعل وجه النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم يتمعر حتى أشفق أبو بكر فجثا على ركبتيه فقال يا رسول الله والله إنا كنت أظلم مرتين فقال النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم إن الله بعثني إليكم فقلتم كذبت و قال أبو بكر صدق و واساني بنفسه و ماله فهل أنتم تاركوا لي صاحبي مرتين فما أوذي بعدها

I was sitting by Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam when suddenly I saw Abu Bakr approaching holding the end of his garment, which caused his knee to be uncovered. The Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam observed, “Your friend has had a quarrel.” He greeted and said, “I had an argument with Ibn al Khattab. I was quick at him, but then regretted so I asked him to forgive me, but he refused. That is why I came to you.”

Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam remarked, “May Allah forgive you, O Abu Bakr,” thrice.

‘Umar then felt remorse so he went to Abu Bakr’s house and asked if he was there, but they replied in the negative. Subsequently, he came to the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and greeted with salam. The Nabi’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam face began to change colour which worried Abu Bakr, so he kneeled and pleaded, “O Messenger of Allah, by Allah, I was more unjust to him,” twice.

The Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam reprimanded, “Certainly, Allah sent me to you all and you all said I was lying whereas Abu Bakr affirmed my truthfulness and further supported me with his life and wealth. Will you not spare my companion for my sake?” He repeated this twice.

Thereafter, Abu Bakr was never harassed.[61]

 

Al Siddiq’s Love for the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam

As regards the love possessed by Sayyidina Abu Bakr al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu for the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, it is apparent and manifest and needs no substantiation. Nonetheless, the following are some evidences to this love:

Al Bukhari reports through his chain from ‘Urwah ibn al Zubair who says:

 

قلت لعبد الله بن عمرو بن العاص أخبرني بأشد ما صنع المشركون برسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم قال بينما رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم يصلي بفناء الكعبة إذ أقبل عقبة بن أبي معيط فأخذ بمنكب رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم و لوى ثوبه في عنقه فخنقه خنقا شديدا فأقبل أبو بكر فأخذ بمنكبه و دفع عن رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم و قال أَتَقْتُلُونَ رَجُلًا أَن يَقُولَ رَبِّيَ اللَّهُ وَقَدْ جَاءَكُم بِالْبَيِّنَاتِ مِن رَّبِّكُمْ

I asked ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr ibn al ‘As, “Tell me of the severest maltreatment of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam by the polytheists.”

He explained, “As Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was performing salah in the open area around the Ka’bah, ‘Uqbah ibn Abi Mu’ayt advanced and grabbed Rasulullah’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam shoulders. He tied a cloth around his neck and began throttling him severely. Abu Bakr rushed and gripped the villain’s shoulder and shoved him away from Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam reciting: Do you kill a man [merely] because he says, ‘My Lord is Allah’ while he has brought you clear proofs from your Lord?[62][63]

 

Ibn ‘Asakir reports via his chain from Dabbah ibn Mihsan al ‘Anzi who relates:

 

كان علينا أبو موسى الأشعري أميرا بالبصرة فوجهني في بعثه إلى عمر بن الخطاب فقدمت على عمر فضربت عليه الباب فخرج إلي فقال من أنت فقلت أنا ضبة بن محصن العنزي قال فأدخلني منزله و قدم إلي طعاما فأكلت ثم ذكرت له أبا بكر الصديق فبكى فقلت له أنت خير من أبي بكر فازداد بكاء لذلك ثم قال و هو يبكي والله لليلة من أبي بكر و يوم خير من عمر و آل عمر هل لك أن أحدثك بيومه و ليلته فقلت نعم يا أمير المؤمنين فقال أما الليلة فإنه لما خرج النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم هاربا من أهل مكة خرج ليلا فاتبعه أبو بكر فجعل مرة يمشي أمامه و مرة خلفه و مرة عن يمينه و مرة عن يساره فقال له النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم ما هذا يا أبا بكر ما أعرف هذا من فعالك فقال يا رسول الله أذكر الرصد فأكون أمامك و أذكر الطلب فأكون خلفك و مرة عن يمينك و مرة عن يسارك لا آمن عليك قال فمشى رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم ليله كله حتى أدغل أطراف أصابعه فلما رآه أبو بكر حمله على عاتقه و جعل يشتد به حتى أتى به فم الغار فأنزله ثم قال والذي بعثك بالحق لا تدخله حتى أدخله قبلك فإن يك فيه شيء نزل بي دونك قال فدخل أبو بكر فلم ير شيئا فقال له اجلس فإن في الغار خرق أسده و كان عليه رداء فمزقه و جعل يسد به خرقا خرقا فبقي جحران فأخذ النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم فحمله فأدخله الغار ثم ألقم قدميه الجحرين فجعل الأفاعي و الحيات يضربنه و يلسعنه إلى الصباح و جعل هو يتقلا من شدة الألم و رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم لا يعلم بذلك و يقول له يا أبا بكر لا تحزن إن الله معنا فأنزل الله عليه و على رسوله السكينة و الطمأنينة لأبي بكر فهذه ليلته و أما يومه فلما توفي النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم ارتدت العرب فقال بعضهم نصلي و لا نزكي و قال بعضهم نزكي و لا نصلي فأتيته لا ألوه نصحا فقلت يا خليفة رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم ارفق بالناس و قال غيري ذلك فقال أبو بكر قد قبض النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم و ارتفع الوحي و والله لو منعوني عقالا مما كانوا يعطون رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم لقاتلتهم عليه قال فقاتلنا فكان والله شديد الأمر فهذا يومه

Abu Musa al Ash’ari was our governor over Basrah. He despatched me to ‘Umar ibn al Khattab. Accordingly, I came to ‘Umar’s house and knocked at his door. He came out and asked, “Who are you?”

“I am Dabbah ibn Mihsan al ‘Anzi,” I replied.”

He took me in his home and presented food before me. I ate and spoke about Abu Bakr al Siddiq to him which made him tear. I said to him, “You are superior to Abu Bakr,” and this only increased his sobbing.

He then spoke, while crying, saying, “By Allah, a night and day of Abu Bakr’s is superior to ‘Umar and ‘Umar’s family. Should I narrate to you his day and night.”

“Yes, O Amir al Mu’minin,” I replied.

He narrated, “As regards the night, the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam left absconding from the people of Makkah. He left at night and Abu Bakr accompanied him. At times, Abu Bakr would walk in front of him and at times behind him, sometimes on his right and sometimes on his left. The Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said to him, ‘What are you doing, O Abu Bakr? I do not know you to behave in this manner.’

He explained, ‘O Messenger of Allah, I think of an ambush so I go in front of you. Then I think of pursuit, so I go behind you. Sometimes at your right and sometimes at your left, I fear your safety.’

Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam walked that entire night until the tip of his toes were bruised and damaged. When this caught the sight of Abu Bakr, he carried Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam on his shoulders and began hastening with him until he came to the mouth of the cave where he placed Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam down.

He then said, ‘By the Being Who sent you with the truth, do not enter. Let me enter before you so that if there is something harmful inside, it will harm me and you will be spared.’

Subsequently, Abu Bakr entered and did not see anything harmful. He said to Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, ‘Have a seat. There are holes in the cave which I will cover.’

He had an upper garment on. He began tearing it and covering hole by hole. Still, two holes remained open. He then carried Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam into the cave and then placed his feet at the mouths of the two remaining holes. Serpents and snakes continued biting him and stinging him till morning. His face turned colour due to the excruciating pain. Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was unaware of this and continued consoling him, ‘Do not grieve, undoubtedly Allah is with us.’ Allah thus sent tranquillity upon him and His Messenger and calmness for Abu Bakr. This was his night.

As regards his day, the day the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam passed away, the Arabs apostatised. Some said, ‘We will pray but will not pay zakat,’ while others said, ‘We will pay zakat but will not pray.’

I approached him, sparing no effort to be his well-wisher and said, ‘O khalifah of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Deal compassionately with the people.’ Others had made this statement.

Abu Bakr explained, ‘The Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam has passed on and revelation has ceased. By Allah, if they withhold from me a rope they were giving to Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, I will fight them for it.’

We fought. By Allah, it was a colossal task. This was his day.”[64]

 

Do you see the love for Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam that had conquered the heart of Sayyidina Abu Bakr al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu. This is a unique type of love which urged Sayyidina Abu Bakr al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu to give preference to the life of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam over his own and to happily bear difficulty and pain for the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

 

Abu Bakr is the Most Superior Individual of the Ummah after the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam

The Ahlus Sunnah have reached unanimity and consensus over the fact that the most superior of all people after Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam is Sayyidina Abu Bakr followed by Sayyidina ‘Umar, followed by Sayyidina ‘Uthman, followed by Sayyidina ‘Ali, followed by the rest of the Ten Promised Jannat, followed by the participants of Badr, followed by the participants of Uhud, followed by those who attended Bay’at al Ridwan, and then the remaining Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum.[65]

Al Bukhari reports on the authority of Sayyidina Ibn ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma:

 

كنا نخير بين الناس في زمان رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم فنخير أبا بكر ثم عمر ثم عثمان

During the lifetime of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, we would award positions to the people. We awarded the loftiest position to Abu Bakr, then to ‘Umar, and then to ‘Uthman.[66]

 

Ibn ‘Asakir documents on the authority of Sayyidina Ibn ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma:

 

كنا وفينا رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم نفضل أبا بكر و عمر و عثمان و عليا

While Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was in our midst, we would declare the superiority of Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, ‘Uthman, and ‘Ali.[67]

 

Al Bukhari relates from Muhammad ibn ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib:

 

قلت لأبي أي الناس خير بعد رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم قال أبو بكر قلت ثم من قال عمر و خشيت أن يقول عثمان فقلت ثم أنت قال ما أنا إلا رجل من المسلمين

I asked my father [‘Ali], “Who is the most superior individual after Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam?”

“Abu Bakr,” he replied.

“Who next,” I asked.

“‘Umar,” was his reply.

I feared that he would say ‘Uthman next, so I submitted, “Then you?”

He remarked, “I am only an ordinary Muslim.”[68]

 

Al Tirmidhi and al Hakim document the statement of Sayyidina ‘Umar ibn al Khattab radiya Llahu ‘anhu:

 

أبو بكر سيدنا و خيرنا و أحبنا إلى رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم

Abu Bakr is our master, the best of us, and the most beloved of us to Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.[69]

 

Ibn ‘Asakir reports from Ibn Abi Layla:

قال علي لا يفضلني أحد على أبي بكر و عمر إلا جلدته حد المفتري

‘Ali pronounced: No one will declare me superior to Abu Bakr and ‘Umar, except that I will mete out the punishment of a slanderer upon him.[70]

 

Ahmed and al Tirmidhi narrate that Sayyidina Anas ibn Malik radiya Llahu ‘anhu reported:

 

قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم أرحم أمتي بأمتي أبو بكر و أشدهم في أمر الله عمر و أصدقهم حياء عثمان و أعلمهم بالحلال و الحرام معاذ بن جبل و أفرضهم زيد بن ثابت و أقرؤهم أبي بن كعب و لكل أمة أمين و أمين هذه الأمة أبو عبيدة بن الجراح

Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam affirmed, “The most merciful of my ummah upon my ummah is Abu Bakr. The most firm of them in [establishing] the directives of Allah is ‘Umar. The most sincere of them in modesty is ‘Uthman. The most knowledgeable of them of permissible and impermissible is Muaz ibn Jabal. The expert in inheritance is Zaid ibn Thabit. The best reciter of Qur’an is Ubay ibn Ka’b. Every ummah has a trustworthy individual and the trustworthy individual of my ummah is Abu ‘Ubaidah ibn al Jarrah.”[71]

 

We deduce from the above narrations that Sayyidina Abu Bakr al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu is the most superior individual of the ummah after the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and the most beloved to the heart of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

 

Abu Bakr is the Second of the Two[72]

Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala states in his Glorious Book indicating to the hijrah of the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam:

 

إِلَّا تَنصُرُوْهُ فَقَدْ نَصَرَهُ اللَّهُ إِذْ أَخْرَجَهُ الَّذِيْنَ كَفَرُوْا ثَانِيَ اثْنَيْنِ إِذْ هُمَا فِي الْغَارِ إِذْ يَقُوْلُ لِصَاحِبِهِ لَا تَحْزَنْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ مَعَنَا فَأَنزَلَ اللَّهُ سَكِينَتَهُ عَلَيْهِ وَأَيَّدَهُ بِجُنُوْدٍ لَّمْ تَرَوْهَا وَجَعَلَ كَلِمَةَ الَّذِيْنَ كَفَرُوا السُّفْلىٰ وَكَلِمَةُ اللَّهِ هِيَ الْعُلْيَا وَاللَّهُ عَزِيْزٌ حَكِيْمٌ

If you do not aid the Messenger – Allah has already aided him when those who disbelieved had driven him out [of Makkah] as one of two, when they were in the cave and he said to his companion, “Do not grieve; indeed Allah is with us.” And Allah sent down his tranquility upon him and supported him with angels you did not see and made the word of those who disbelieved the lowest, while the word of Allah – that is the highest. And Allah is Exalted in Might and Wise.[73]

 

There exists in this verse indication to the marvellous merit of Sayyidina Abu Bakr al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Hearken, it is his accompanying Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam in the cave and during the hijrah.

Sufficient virtue for Sayyidina Abu Bakr al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu is that he acquired the honour of accompanying Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam in the hijrah, and he was the second of the two in the cave. Probably, the most famous event known of Sayyidina Abu Bakr al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu is that he was the companion of the cave. And that is an excellent virtue.[74]

Al Bukhari reports on the authority of Sayyidina Anas radiya Llahu ‘anhu who in turn reports that Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu informed him:

 

كنت مع النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم في الغار فرأيت آثار المشركين قلت يا رسول الله لو أن أحدهم رفع قدمه رآنا قال ما ظنك باثنين الله ثالثهما

I was with the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam in the cave. I heard the footsteps of the polytheists so I submitted, “O Messenger of Allah, if only one of them lifts his feet, he will see us.”

Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam declared, “What do you think of two, with whom Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala is the third!”[75]

 

At this juncture, it is necessary that we direct the gazes to something significant about Sayyidina Abu Bakr al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Allah’s―the Mighty and Majestic―statement:

 

إِلَّا تَنصُرُوْهُ فَقَدْ نَصَرَهُ اللَّهُ إِذْ أَخْرَجَهُ الَّذِيْنَ كَفَرُوْا ثَانِيَ اثْنَيْنِ إِذْ هُمَا فِي الْغَارِ إِذْ يَقُوْلُ لِصَاحِبِهِ لَا تَحْزَنْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ مَعَنَا فَأَنزَلَ اللَّهُ سَكِينَتَهُ عَلَيْهِ وَأَيَّدَهُ بِجُنُوْدٍ لَّمْ تَرَوْهَا وَجَعَلَ كَلِمَةَ الَّذِيْنَ كَفَرُوا السُّفْلىٰ وَكَلِمَةُ اللَّهِ هِيَ الْعُلْيَا وَاللَّهُ عَزِيْزٌ حَكِيْمٌ

If you do not aid the Messenger – Allah has already aided him when those who disbelieved had driven him out [of Makkah] as one of two, when they were in the cave and he said to his companion, “Do not grieve; indeed Allah is with us.” And Allah sent down his tranquility upon him and supported him with angels you did not see and made the word of those who disbelieved the lowest, while the word of Allah – that is the highest. And Allah is Exalted in Might and Wise.[76]

 

On one hand it points to Sayyidina Abu Bakr al Siddiq’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu companionship of the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam in the cave and hijrah, and at the same time reveals the manner in which Sayyidina Abu Bakr al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu would shadowed the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

This duo which the verse indicates to applies to Sayyidina Abu Bakr al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu in other events and many other matters, some of which will follow.

 

Second of the Two in inviting towards Allah

In the sphere of inviting towards Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala, Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu was second of the two. Al Bukhari narrates via his chain from Sayyidina ‘Ammar ibn Yasir radiya Llahu ‘anhu:

رأيت رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم و ما معه إلا خمسة أعبد و امرأتان و أبو بكر

I remember the time when Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was only followed by five slaves, two women, and Abu Bakr.[77]

 

Sayyidina Abu Bakr al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu was with Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam from the inception of da’wah, closely attached to him in everything he did, in his gatherings and late nights, inviting to Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala and learning from the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. This is what all the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum noticed.

For instance, Sayyidina ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu ‘anhu acknowledges this and declares after the demise of Sayyidina al Faruq radiya Llahu ‘anhu after praying for Allah’s mercy upon him:

 

ما خلفت أحدا أحب إلى أن ألقى الله بمثل عمله منك و أيم الله إن كنت لأظن أن يجعلك الله مع صاحبيك و ذلك أني كنت كثيرا أسمع رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم يقول جئت أنا و أبو بكر و عمر و دخلت أنا و أبو بكر و عمر و خرجت أنا و أبو بكر و عمر

I have not left anyone behind with whose actions I am more pleased to meet Allah with than yours. By Allah, I have conviction that Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala will unite you with your two companions [i.e. Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu]. This is owing to the fact that I often heard Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam saying, “I, Abu Bakr and ‘Umar came,” “I, Abu Bakr and ‘Umar entered,” “I, Abu Bakr and ‘Umar exited.”[78]

 

Sayyidina ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu recalls:

 

كان رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم يسمر عند أبي بكر رضي الله عنه الليلة كذاك في الأمر من أمر المسلمين و أنا معه

Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam would spend the night speaking to Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu regarding an issue of the Muslims while I was present with him.[79]

 

Sayyidina Abu Bakr al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu was always with Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam in his meetings and Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam would consult him in all of his matters.

 

Second of the Two as described by Ibn al Daghinah

We just read about Ibn al Daghinah’s statement to Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu:

 

إنك تكسب المعدوم وتصل الرحم وتحمل الكل وتقري الضيف وتعين على نوائب الحق

For certainly, you assist the needy, maintain family ties, help the disabled, entertain guests, and support in every good work.

 

This is the exact description Sayyidah Khadijah radiya Llahu ‘anha gave of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

We will never ever claim that Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu are equal in quality and action. How can we ever equate Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu with Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, who is the master of the former and latter, may Allah’s choicest salutations and peace be upon him. Nay, our claim is that he resembled Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam the closest.

 

Second of the Two in Hijrah

When Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam emigrated, he selected Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu, to the exclusion of all other people. Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu would seek permission from Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam to emigrate, but Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam would advise him to remain patient until Allah’s decree and instruction comes. Until finally, Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam informed him that Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala selected him for Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and that he will emigrate with the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

 

Second of the Two in Speaking in the Presence of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam

The Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam would speak and Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu would speak after him while in his presence, just like it occurred shortly before the commencement of the Battle of Badr when the Quraysh arrived with all their might and fury. At this stage, Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam consulted the people. Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu was the first to speak and he spoke well. Thereafter Sayyidina ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu stood up and spoke and did an excellent job. He was followed by Sayyidina Miqdad ibn al Aswad radiya Llahu ‘anhu who stated, “O Messenger of Allah, continue with what you have been commanded for we are with you.”[80]

When Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam consulted regarding the captives [of Badr], the second to speak after the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu.

Muslim narrates via his chain from Sayyidina ‘Umar ibn al Khattab radiya Llahu ‘anhu:

 

فلما أسروا الأسارى قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم لأبي بكر و عمر ما ترون في هؤلاء الأسارى فقال أبو بكر يا نبي الله هم بنو العم و العشيرة أرى أن تأخذ منهم فدية فتكون لنا قوة على الكفار فعسى الله أن يهديهم للإسلام فقال رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم ما ترى يا ابن الخطاب قلت لا والله ما أرى الذي رأى أبو بكر و لكني أرى أن تمكنا فنضرب أعناقهم

When the captives were imprisoned, Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam asked Abu Bakr and ‘Umar, “What are your suggestions regarding these captives?”

Abu Bakr answered, “O Messenger of Allah, they are cousins and family members. I feel that you should take ransom from them, which will give us military strength against the disbelievers. And hopefully Allah will guide them to Islam.”

Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam asked, “What is your view, O son of Khattab?”

I said, “By Allah, I do not have the same opinion as Abu Bakr. I feel, however, that you hand them over to us and we smite their necks.”[81]

 

Second of the Two in Sternness against the Enemies

During Uhud, when Abu Sufyan―who was at the time a polytheist―stood up and proclaimed: “Is Muhammad alive? Is Ibn Abi Quhafah alive?”

The text of the narration as documented by al Bukhari through his chain from Sayyidina Bara’ radiya Llahu ‘anhu is as follows:

 

لقينا المشركين يومئذ و أجلس النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم جيشا من الرماة و أمر عليهم عبد الله و قال لا تبرحوا إن رأيتمونا ظهرنا عليهم فلا تبرحوا و إن رأيتموهم ظهروا علينا فلا تعينونا فلما لقيناهم هربوا حتى رأيت النساء يشتددن في الجبل رفعن عن سوقهن قد بدت خلاخلهن فأخذوا يقولون الغنيمة الغنيمة فقال عبد الله عهد إلي النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم أن لا تبرحوا فأبوا فلما أبوا صرفت وجوههم فأصيب سبعون قتيلا و أشرف أبو سفيان فقال أفي القوم محمد فقال لا تجيبوه فقال أفي القوم ابن أبي قحافة قال لا تجيبوه فقال إفي القوم ابن الخطاب فقال إن هؤلاء قتلوا فلو كانوا أحياء لأجابوا فلم يملك عمر نفسه فقال كذبت يا عدو الله أبقى الله عليك ما يحزنك قال أبو سفيان اعل هبل فقال النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم أجيبوه قالوا ما نقول قال قولوا الله أعلى و أجل قال أبو سفيان لنا العزى و لا عزى لكم قال النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم أجيبوه قالوا ما نقول قال قولوا الله مولانا و لا مولى لكم قال أبو سفيان يوم بيوم بدر الحرب سجال و تجدون مثلة لم آمر بها و لم تسؤني

We faced the Mushrikin that day. The Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam appointed a contingent of archers, appointing over them ‘Abdullah and commanding, “Do not move! If you see us overpowering them, then too, remain at your places. And if you see them overpowering us, then too, do not help us.”

When we met them in battle, they fled until I saw the women running in the ravines of the mountain, lifting their garments from their shins, exposing their anklets. People began yelling, “Booty! Booty!”

‘Abdullah cautioned, “The Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam emphatically commanded you not to move.” They, however, refused. At this, their faces were turned away and the Muslims suffered with 70 martyrs.

Abu Sufyan then came out in the open and announced, “Is Muhammad among the living?”

Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam instructed, “Do not answer him.”

He announced, “Is Ibn Abi Quhafah among the living?”

Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam instructed, “Do not answer him.”

He announced, “Is Ibn al Khattab among the living?”

He then announced, “These have been killed, for had they been alive, they would have answered.”

‘Umar could not control himself, so he shouted, “You lie, O enemy of Allah. May Allah keep alive what will bring you misery.”

Abu Sufyan shouted, “Hubal is great!”

The Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam commanded, “Answer him.”

“What should we say,” they asked.

“Say: Allah is the Loftiest and Most Magnificent.”

Abu Sufyan shouted, “We have ‘Uzza and you do not have ‘Uzza.”

The Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam instructed them to answer him. “What should we say,” they enquired.

“Say: Allah is our Protector and you have no protector.”

Abu Sufyan said, “A day in lieu of the Day of Badr. War fluctuates. You will find mutilations; I did not order them, but they did not disturb me.”[82]

 

The call of Abu Sufyan came sequenced, beginning with the individual who stressed the polytheist the most, i.e. Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, followed by Sayyidina Abu Bakr al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu, followed by Sayyidina ‘Umar ibn al Khattab radiya Llahu ‘anhu.

 

Second of the Two in Answering ‘Umar on the Day of Hudaybiyyah

After the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah, Sayyidina ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu approached Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam regarding a clause which majority of the Companions of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam felt to be oppressive. The clause read: whichever polytheist comes as a Muslim [to Madinah], Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam will return him at their demand, while whoever leaves Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam as a disbeliever, and Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam demands him from the polytheists, they will not return him. Sayyidina ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu, just like the other Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum, felt this clause to be unfair, so he approached Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and enquired the reason for agreeing to the clause. He then enquired the same from Sayyidina Abu Bakr al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu whose answer was exactly the same as Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, to the tee.

The text of the hadith as documented by al Bukhari via his chain from Habib ibn Abi Thabit is as follows:

 

أتيت أبا وائل أسأله فقال كنا بصفين فقال رجل ألم تر إلى الذين يدعون إلى كتاب الله فقال علي نعم فقال سهل بن حنيف اتهموا أنفسكم فلقد رأيتنا يوم الحديبية يعني الصلح الذي كان بين النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم و المشركين و لو نرى قتالا لقاتلنا فجاء عمر فقال ألسنا على الحق و هم على الباطل أليس قتلانا في الجنة و قتلاهم في النار قال بلى قال ففيم نعطي الدنية في ديننا و نرجع و لما يحكم الله بيننا فقال يا ابن الخطاب إني رسول الله و لن يضيعني الله أبدا فرجع متغيظا فلم يصبر حتى جاء أبا بكر فقال يا أبا بكر ألسنا على الحق و هم على الباطل قال يا ابن الخطاب إنه رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم و لن يضيعه الله أبدا فنزلت سورة الفتح

I came to Abu Wa’il to question him and he said: We were at Siffin when a man said, “Do you not see those who are calling to the Book of Allah?”

‘Ali retorted, “Yes.”

Sahl ibn Hunayf said, “They have accused themselves for I remember us on the Day of Hudaybiyyah, i.e. the treaty between the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and the polytheists. Had we desired to fight, we would have.

‘Umar then came and submitted, ‘Are we not upon the truth while they are upon falsehood? Are our martyrs not in Jannat while their slain are in Hell?’

‘Definitely,’ answered Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

‘So why are we humiliating ourselves in our din and returning whereas Allah has not yet decided between us?’

Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam explained, ‘O son of Khattab! I am most certainly the Messenger of Allah and Allah will never ever forsake me.’

He returned still upset. He could not contain himself so he approached Abu Bakr and said, ‘O Abu Bakr, are we not upon the truth while they are upon falsehood?’

‘O son of Khattab,’ Abu Bakr explained, ‘he is definitely the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and Allah will never ever forsake him.’

Subsequently, Surah al Fath was revealed.”[83]

The narration of Ahmed elucidates on the explanation of Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu. The narration goes as follows, quoting from Sayyidina ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu:

فقلت يا رسول الله ألسنا على حق و هم على باطل قال بلى قال أليس قتلانا في الجنة و قتلاهم في النار قال بلى قال ففيم نعطي الدنية من ديننا قال يا ابن الخطاب إني رسول الله و لن يضيعني الله أبدا قال أوليس كنت تحدثنا أنا سنأتي البيت فنطوف به قال بلى فأخبرتك أنا نأتيه العام قال لا قال فإنك آتيه و مطوف به فذهب عمر لأبي بكر الصديق فقال له يا أبا بكر ألسنا على حق هو على باطل قال بلى قال أليس قتلانا في الجنة و قتلاهم في النار قال بلى قال علام نعطي الدنية من ديننا قال يا ابن الخطاب إنه رسول الله و لن يضيعه الله أبدا فالزم غرزه قال أليس حدثنا أنا نطوف بالبيت قال أو أخبرك أنك تطوف هذه السنة قال لا قال إنك آتيه و إنك مطوف به

I said, “O Messenger of Allah, Are we not upon the truth while they are upon falsehood?”

“Most definitely,” he replied.

I asked, “Are our martyrs not in Jannat while their slain are in Hell?”

“Most definitely,” he replied.

“So why are we accepting humiliation in our din?” I questioned.

Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam explained, “O son of Khattab! I am most certainly the Messenger of Allah and Allah will never ever forsake me.”

I said, “Did you not tell us that we will soon arrive at the House and circumambulate it?”

“Yes indeed,” he replied, “but did I inform you that we will go to it this year?”

“No,” he replied.

Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam comforted him, “So you will certainly arrive at it and circumambulate it.”

‘Umar then left towards Abu Bakr al Siddiq and asked him, “O Abu Bakr, Are we not upon the truth while they are upon falsehood?”

“Indeed,” he replied.

“Are our martyrs not in Jannat while their slain are in Hell?”

“Definitely.” “So why are we accepting shame in our din?”

Abu Bakr explained, “O son of Khattab! He is definitely the Messenger of Allah and Allah will never ever forsake him.”

The former held the latter’s stirrup and asked, “Did Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam not inform us that we will circumambulate the House?”

“Did he inform you that you will circumambulate it this year?” asked Abu Bakr.

“No,” ‘Umar answered.

Abu Bakr promised him, “So you will definitely go to it and circumambulate it.”[84]

 

What made the answer of Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu resemble the answer of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam? It was this amazing mirroring, being second of the two. Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu gives the exact answer Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam gave, whereas he never heard a word from Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

 

Second of the Two in leading salah

When Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam fell ill, Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu led the people in salah.

 

Second of the Two in Caliphate

He shouldered the caliphate after Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

 

Second of the Two in Burial

He is buried alongside Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

Indeed, Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu has a special connection with Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. He remained attached to Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, like his shadow, without being absent from his side. This is one of his magnificent merits. May Allah be pleased with him.

 

Islam first and before everything

The predominance of Sayyidina Abu Bakr al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu firstly becomes apparent in his love for the din and the Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. He would award love for Islam and Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam paramount importance, above everything else. In fact, he was prepared to slay his own son with his hand, out of love for Islam and sincerity to the same.

Ibn ‘Asakir reports through his chain from Ibn Sirin:

 

إن عبد الرحمن بن أبي بكر الصديق كان يوم بدر مع المشركين فلما أسلم قال لأبيه لقد أهدفت لي يوم بدر فصرفت عنك و لم أقتلك فقال أبو بكر لكنك لو أهدفت لي لم أنصرف عنك

‘Abdur Rahman ibn Abi Bakr al Siddiq was with the polytheists on the Day of Badr. After embracing Islam, he said to his father, “You came under my sword on the Day of Badr, but I turned away from you and did not kill you.”

Abu Bakr said, “Had you come under my sword, I would not have spared you.”[85]

 

‘Abdullah ibn Muslim ibn Qutaybah explains: The meaning of ahdafta li is you came into my striking area. From this meaning, a tall building is called a target since it is raised for the shooter so he might see it.

Sayyidina ‘Abdur Rahman radiya Llahu ‘anhu disliked killing his father or he spared him out of fear for him. Sayyidina Abu Bakr’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu answer, “Had you come under my sword, I would not have spared you,” is one of his greatest virtues, for fear of the critic did not waiver his determination, due to the immense level of faith Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala placed in his heart. This is how Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala described the Companions of Muhammad salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam:

 

لَّا تَجِدُ قَوْمًا يُؤْمِنُوْنَ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ

You will not find a people who believe in Allah and the Last Day.[86][87]

 

Al Siddiq’s Obedience

There is a strong unbreakable connection between Sayyidina Abu Bakr al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu and obedience. This is an evident issue in the life of Sayyidina Abu Bakr al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu which anyone who has a little overview of his biography will discern. Obedience here is not restricted to worship. Rather, the meaning encompasses all types of goodness and kindness. Sayyidina Abu Bakr al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu was avaricious to carry out acts of obedience and rushed first to the same.

Muslim narrates through his chain from Sayyidina Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu:

 

قال رسول الله  صلى الله عليه و سلم من أصبح منكم اليوم صائما قال أبو بكر رضي الله عنه أنا قال فمن تبع منكم اليوم جنازة قال أبو بكر رضي الله عنه أنا قال فمن أطعم منكم اليوم مسكينا قال أبو بكر رضي الله عنه أنا فقال فمن عاد منكم اليوم مريضا قال أبو بكر رضي الله عنه أنا فقال رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم ما اجتمعن في امرئ إلا دخل الجنة

Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam asked, “Which one of you is fasting this morning?”

“I,” replied Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu.

“Which of you followed a Janazah today?”

“I,” replied Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu.

“Who fed a needy person today?”

“I,” replied Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu.

“Who visited a sick person today?”

“I,” replied Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu.

Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam thereupon commented, “These qualities do not combine in a person except that he will enter Jannat.”[88]

 

It appears in Sahih al Bukhari on the authority of Sayyidina Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu that Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said:

 

من أنفق زوجين في سبيل الله نودي من أبواب الجنة يا عبد الله هذا خير فمن كان من أهل الصلاة دعي من باب الصلاة و من كان من أهل الجهاد دعي من باب الجهاد و من كان من أهل الصيام دعي من باب الريان و من كان من أهل الصدقة دعي من باب الصدقة فقال أبو بكر رضي الله عنه بأبي أنت و أمي يا رسول الله ما على من دعي من تلك الأبواب من ضرورة فهل يدعى أحد من تلك الأبواب كلها قال نعم و أرجو أن تكون منهم

“Whoever spends a pair in the path of Allah will be called from the doors of Jannat, ‘O servant of Allah, this is best.’ Whoever is from the adherents of salah will be summoned from the door of salah. One regular in jihad will be called from the door of jihad, those who fasted habitually will be called from the door of al Rayyan, and whoever gave charity will be called from the door of charity.”

Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu said, “May my parents be sacrificed for you, O Messenger of Allah. There is no other need for the one called from these doors. Nonetheless, will anyone be called from all these doors?”

“Yes,” replied Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, “and I hope that you will be from them.”[89]

 

The Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum attest to Sayyidina Abu Bakr al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu surpassing them in piety and goodness. For example we have Sayyidina ‘Umar ibn al Khattab radiya Llahu ‘anhu stating, in a narration reported by al Tirmidhi through his chain.

 

أمرنا رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم أن نتصدق فوافق ذلك مالا فقلت اليوم أسبق أبا بكر إن سبقته يوما قال فجئت بنصف مالي فقال رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم ما أبقيت لأهلك قلت مثله و أتى أبو بكر بكل ما عنده فقال يا أبا بكر ما أبقيت لأهلك قال أبقيت لهم الله و رسوله قلت والله لا أسبقه إلى شيء أبدا

Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam commanded us to give charity and it happened to be a time when I had plenty wealth. So I said, “If I have to beat Abu Bakr any day, it would be today.” So I brought half my wealth.

Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam asked me, “What did you leave for your family?”

“It’s like,” I answered.

Abu Bakr, on the other hand, brought all what he possessed. Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam enquired, “O Abu Bakr, what did you leave for your family?”

“I left them Allah and His Messenger.”

Upon this, I acknowledged, “By Allah, I will never triumph over him in anything ever.”[90]

 

It is reported regarding Sayyidina ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu ‘anhu that when Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu was mentioned in his presence, he would say:

 

السباق تذكرون السباق تذكرون

Are you speaking about the champion? Are you speaking about the champion?

 

He would continue:

والذي نفسي بيده ما استبقنا إلى خير قط إلا سبقنا إليه أبو بكر

By the Being in whose control is my life, we never raced to any goodness ever, except that Abu Bakr surpassed us.[91]

 

Sayyidina ‘Umar ibn al Khattab al Faruq radiya Llahu ‘anhu tells us of another event from the events of obedience of Sayyidina Abu Bakr al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu. He says:

 

كان رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم لا يزال يسمر عند أبي بكر في الأمر من أمر المسلمين و إنه سمر عنده ذات ليلة و أنا معه فخرج رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم يمشي و خرجنا معه فإذا رجل قائم يصلي في المسجد فقام رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم يسمع قراءته فلما كدنا أن نعرف الرجل قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم من سره أن يقرأ القرآن رطبا كما أنزل فليقرأه على قراءة ابن أم عبد قال ثم جلس الرجل يدعو فجعل رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم يقول سل تعطه مرتين قال فقال عمر فقلت والله لأغدون إليه فلأبشرنه قال فغدوت إليه لأبشره فوجدت أبا بكر قد سبقني إليه فبشره و لا والله ما سابقته إلى خير قط إلا سبقني

Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam would discuss with Abu Bakr issues of the Muslims through the night. He spoke to him one night while I was with. Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam then left and began to walk, and we left with him. Suddenly, we heard a man standing in prayer in the Masjid. Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam stood to listen to his recitation. Just when we were about to recognise the man, Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “Whoever desires to recite the Qur’an fresh as it was revealed should read in the mode of Ibn Umm ‘Abd.”

The individual then sat down to supplicate. Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said twice, “Ask, you will be given.”

‘Umar says that he made a determination, “By Allah, I will go in the morning to him and give him the glad tidings.” Next morning, when I arrived by him to congratulate him, I found Abu Bakr had preceded me to him and given him the good news.

By Allah, I never raced him to any goodness, except that he superseded me.”[92]

 

Ponder, my beloved reader and brother, over the fervour Sayyidina Abu Bakr al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu had to carry glad tidings to someone else and his haste in the matter, and his earnestness to bring pleasure to the heart of a Muslim. This is from the genre of Rasulullah’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam command to Sayyidina Muaz and Sayyidina Abu Musa radiya Llahu ‘anhuma when he sent them to Yemen:

 

يسرا و لا تعسرا و بشرا و لا تنفرا و تطاوعا و لا تختلفا

Make it easy, do not make it difficult. Give glad tidings, do not create dislike. Agree, and do not dispute.[93]

 

Abu Nuaim reports in al Hilyah from Sayyidina Ibn ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma:

 

قيل يا رسول الله أي العباد أحب إلى الله قال أنفع الناس للناس قيل فأي العمل أفضل قال إدخال السرور على قلب المؤمن

It was asked, “O Messenger of Allah, which bondsman is the most beloved to Allah.”

Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam replied, “The person who benefits mankind the most.”

He was asked, “Then which action is the best?”

“Filling the heart of a believer with happiness,” he replied.[94]

 

This was Sayyidina Abu Bakr al Siddiq’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu characteristic and habit. He was a key to goodness and a lock upon evil, passionate for goodness and piety, endeavouring in every action which brings benefit to Islam and the Muslims.

Ibn Sa’d reports in al Tabaqat―from Sayyidina Usamah ibn Zaid ibn Aslam―from his father who says:

 

كان أبو بكر معروفا بالتجارة لقد بعث النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم و عنده أربعون ألف درهم فكان يعتق منها و يقوي المسلمين حتى قدم المدينة بخمسة آلاف درهم ثم كان يفعل فيها ما كان يفعل بمكة

Abu Bakr was a renowned businessman. When Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was crowned with nubuwwah, Abu Bakr possessed 40 000 silver coins which he used to emancipate slaves and provide strength to the Muslims. He arrived in Madinah with 5000 silver coins. He continued his Makkan practice in Madinah.[95]

 

Al Siddiq the Humble

One who examines the personality of Sayyidina Abu Bakr al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu will most definitely realise a manifest reality, like the sun in broad daylight; this unique leading personality was not affected by pride. It was a personality, humble submissive to Allah, the Lord of the Universe.

He was so humble, even while he was khalifah, that when a passer-by bade him to stop, he would stop, and when a beggar asked for something, he would give him something.

Through his chain―from Salim ibn ‘Abdullah―from his father, al Bukhari reports that Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam stated:

 

من جر ثوبه خيلاء لم ينظر الله إليه يوم القيامة قال أبو بكر يا رسول الله إن أحد شقي إزاري يسترخي إلا أن أتعاهد ذلك منه فقال النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم لست ممن يصنعه خيلاء

“Whoever allows his garment to sag below his ankles out of pride, Allah will not look at him on the Day of Qiyamah.”

Abu Bakr asked, “O Messenger of Allah, one side of my lower garment is loose, but I make a point of checking on it.”

The Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “You are not from those who do this out of pride.”[96]

 

While this is sufficient testimony to Sayyidina Abu Bakr al Siddiq’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu humility―and there is no testimony more truthful than Rasulullah’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam―there is no obstacle from mentioning other examples, like what happened when he bid the army of Sayyidina Usamah radiya Llahu ‘anhu farewell after the demise of the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

Al Tabari says:

 

ثم خرج أبو بكر حتى أتاهم أي أسامة و جيشه فأشخصهم و شيعهم و هو ماش و أسامة راكب و عبد الرحمن بن عوف يقود دابة أبي بكر فقال له أسامة يا خليفة رسول الله والله لتركبن أو لأنزلن فقال والله لا تنزل و والله لا أركب و ما علي أن أغبر قدمي في سبيل الله ساعة فإن للغازي بكل خطوة يخطوها سبعمائة حسنة تكتب له و سبعمائة درجة ترفع له و ترفع عنه سبعمائة خطيئة

Abu Bakr then left until he reached them, i.e. Usamah and his army. He bid them farewell and saw them off on foot while Usamah was mounted and ‘Abdur Rahman ibn ‘Awf was leading Abu Bakr’s beast. Usamah said to him, “O khalifah of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, by Allah, either you will mount or I will dismount.”

Abu Bakr said, “By Allah, you will not dismount and by Allah, I will not mount. What harm for me is there if my feet are covered with dust in the path of Allah for a little while? Certainly, for every step the warrior takes, 700 good deeds are recorded for him, 700 stages are raised, and 700 bad deeds are erased.”[97]

 

Ahmed narrates in his Musnad from Sayyidina Ibn Abi Mulaykah radiya Llahu ‘anhu:

 

كان ربما سقط الخطام من يد أبي بكر الصديق رضي الله عنه قال فيضرب بذراع ناقته فينيخها فيأخذه قال فقالوا له أفلا أمرتنا نناولكه فقال إن حبيبي صلى الله عليه و سلم أمرني أن لا أسأل الناس شيئا

Sometimes the halter would fall from the hand of Sayyidina Abu Bakr al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu. He would pat the foreleg of his camel and make it kneel, then pick the halter up. People told him, “Why did you not command us and we would have handed it to you.”

He said, “My beloved Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam commanded me not to ask people for anything.”[98]

 

Ibn Sa’d reports:

 

لما استخلف أبو بكر أصبح غاديا إلى السوق و على رقبته أثواب يتجر بها فلقيه عمر بن الخطاب و أبو عبيدة بن الجراح فقالا له أين تريد يا خليفة رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم قال السوق قالا تصنع ماذا و قد وليت أمر المسلمين قال فمن أين أطعم عيالي قالا انطلق حتى نفرض لك شيئا فانطلق معهما ففرضوا له كل يوم شطر شاة و ما كسوه في الرأس و البطن فقال عمر إلي القضاء و قال أبو عبيدة و إلي الفيء

After Abu Bakr assumed the khalifah post, he set out the next morning towards the market with garments around his neck, which he would sell. ‘Umar ibn al Khattab and Abu ‘Ubaidah ibn al Jarrah met him and asked, “Where are you off to, O khalifah of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam?”

“The market,” he replied.

“What do you intend doing, whereas you have been given the responsibility of the affairs of the Muslims?”

He asked, “From where will I feed my family then.”

They said, “Let us go and apportion something for you.”

He went with them and they apportioned for him half a sheep daily, and a garment that will cover his head and stomach.

‘Umar said that he will handle judicial matters while Abu ‘Ubaidah said he will take care of Fay’.[99]

 

Al Siddiq the Scrupulous

Sayyidina Abu Bakr al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu was a cautious individual. He would examine everything and always search for the permissible, especially that which entered his belly. This was the feature of the Companions of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam; abandoning the impermissible was a built-in characteristic of theirs. In fact, they would forsake 70 doors of halal fearing that they will get involved or fall prey to haram. Similar was the case with Sayyidina Abu Bakr al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu.

Al Bayhaqi narrates through his chain from Sayyidina Zaid ibn Arqam radiya Llahu ‘anhu:

 

كنت عند أبي بكر فأتاه غلام له بطعام فأهوى إلى لقمة فأكلها ثم سأله من أين اكتسبه قال كنت قسا للقوم في الجاهلية فأوعدوني فأطعموني هذا يعني اليوم فقال لا أراك إلا أطعمتني ما حرم الله و رسوله ثم أدخل إصبعيه فتقيأ ثم قال سمعت رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم يقول أيما لحم نبت من حرام فالنار أولى به

I was by Abu Bakr when his slave brought him some food. He took a morsel and ate it. He then asked the slave where the latter had obtained it from. The slave explained, “I was the people’s priest in the period of ignorance. They promised me something (aforetime) and gave me this to eat i.e. today.”

Abu Bakr said, “It seems as you have fed me that which Allah and His Messenger have forbidden.”

He then put two fingers in his throat and forcefully vomited the morsel out. Thereafter, he commented, “I heard Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam saying, ‘The flesh nourished by haram is more deserving of Hell.’”[100]

 

Ibn ‘Asakir narrates via his chain―from Aswad i.e. Ibn Qais―from Nabih i.e. al ‘Anzi―from Abu Sa’id al Khudri radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Nabih says:

 

كنا عنده أي أبا سعيد وهو متكئ فذكرنا عليا و معاوية فتناول رجل معاوية فاستوى أبو سعيد الخدري جالسا ثم قال كنا ننزل رفاقا مع رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم فكنا في رفقة أبي بكر فنزلنا على أهل أبيات أو قال أهل بيت و فيهم امرأة حبلى و معنا رجل من أهل البادية فقال لها البدوي أيسرك أن تلدي غلاما إن جعلت لي شاة فولدت غلاما فأعطته شاة فسجع لها أساجيع فذبحت الشاة و طبخت فأكلنا منها و معنا أبو بكر فذكر أمر الشاة فرأيت أبا بكر متبرزا مستنتلا أي مستعدا يتقيأ ثم أتى عمر بذلك الرجل البدوي يهجو الأنصار فقال عمر لولا أن له صحبة من رسول الله لا أدري ما قال فيها لكفيتكموه و لكن له صحبة

We were with him i.e. Abu Sa’id, and he was reclining. We spoke about ‘Ali and Muawiyah and someone ridiculed Muawiyah. At this, Abu Sa’id al Khudri sat up straight and said, “We would receive hospitality as groups with Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. We were in the company of Abu Bakr when we alighted by some families, among whom was a pregnant woman. In our midst was a Bedouin. The Bedouin said to her, ‘Will you agree that if you give birth to a boy, you will give me a sheep.’ And she gave birth to a boy. So she gave him a sheep and he spoke in rhymed prose for her. The sheep was slaughtered and cooked and we ate from it with Abu Bakr. Then, the tale of the sheep was related, and I saw Abu Bakr evacuating his bowels by vomiting.

This Bedouin man was later brought to ‘Umar because of ridiculing the Ansar. ‘Umar said, “Had he not had the honour of being in the company of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam—I do not know what he said about it—I would have dealt with him for you. However, he has been in Rasulullah’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam company.”[101]

 

Al Siddiq in the Plains of Upheaval risking his life to save Rasulullah’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam

We mentioned previously that Sayyidina Abu Bakr al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu, after embracing Islam, lived his life for Islam and with Islam. He did not spare an action which had the potential to bring honour to the din except that he carried it out with a sincere soul and content heart. From the inception of Islam, the pages of Sayyidina Abu Bakr al Siddiq’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu jihad are filled with battle after battle, war after war, until the end of his life. May Allah be pleased with him.

Owing to this, Sayyidina Abu Bakr al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu did not fail to join any of the battles. He witnessed all the expeditions alongside Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. It never happened even once, that he fled from a battle or that jihad became too cumbersome for him. Rather, he proved to be a magnificent support in adversity and a wonderful companion on journey, after Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala.

Ibn Sa’d says:

 

و شهد أبو بكر بدرا و أحدا و الخندق و المشاهد كلها مع رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم و دفع رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم رايته العظمى يوم تبوك إلى أبي بكر و كانت سوداء و أطعمه رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم بخيبر مائة وسق و كان في من ثبت مع رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم يوم أحد حين ولى الناس … و عن إياس بن سلمة عن أبيه قال بعث رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم إلى نجد و أمره عليها فبيتنا ناسا من هوازن فقتلت بيدي سبعة أهل أبيات و كان شعارنا أمت أمت

Abu Bakr was present at Badr, Uhud, Khandaq, and all other battles alongside Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam handed over to Abu Bakr his major flag on the Day of Tabuk which was black in colour. Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam gifted him 100 wasaq[102] at Khaybar. And he was among those who remained resolute with Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam on the Day of Uhud when people fled.

Iyas ibn Salamah reports from his father who said, “Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam despatched Abu Bakr to Najd and appointed him leader over them. We launched a night attack upon some people from Hawazin. I killed with my own hands 7 households. Our call on that day was ‘Die, die!’”[103]

 

Sayyidina Abu Bakr al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu was courageous and undaunted on the battlefield, steadfast at the side of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, sticking to his side in the battles, not taking his eyes off him for a moment, knowing fully well that the first target of the polytheists in the wars fought with the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam is Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam himself. They waited for any opportunity to reach him and assault him. Evidently, the one who stays by the side of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam in these situations will be more at risk than others. Sayyidina Abu Bakr al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu understood this and this only increased him in his attachment to Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

This reality was testified to by Sayyidina ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu ‘anhu in a large gathering of people. Al Bazzar narrates in his Musnad the hadith of Muhammad ibn ‘Aqil who in turn narrates that Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu addressed them in a lecture saying:

 

أيها الناس أخبروني بأشجع الناس فقالوا أنت يا أمير المؤمنين فقال أما إني ما بارزت أحدا إلا انتصفت منه و لكن أخبروني بأشجع الناس قالوا لا نعلم فمن قال أبو بكر إنه لما كان يوم بدر جعلنا لرسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم عريشا فقلنا من يكون مع رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم لئلا يهوي إليه أحد من المشركين فوالله ما دنا منه أحد إلا أبو بكر شاهرا بالسيف على رأس رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم لا يهوي إليه أحد إلا أهوى إليه فهذا أشجع الناس فقال علي و لقد رأيت رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم و أخذته قريش فهذا يجأه و هذا يتلتله و هم يقولون أنت الذي جعلت الآلهة إلها واحدا قال فوالله ما دنا منه أحد إلا أبو بكر يضرب هذا و يجأ هذا و يتلتل هذا و هو يقول ويلكم أتقتلون رجلا أن يقول ربي الله ثم رفع علي بردة كانت عليه فبكى حتى أخضلت لحيته ثم قال أنشدكم الله أمؤمن آل فرعون خير أم أبو بكر فسكت القوم فقال ألا تجيبوني فوالله لساعة من أبي بكر خير من ملء الأرض من مؤمن آل فرعون ذاك رجل كتم إيمانه و هذا رجل أعلن إيمانه

“O people! Inform me of the bravest person?”

They replied, “You are, O Amir al Mu’minin!”

‘Ali said, “Hearken! I have not duelled with anyone except that I overpowered him. However, tell me who the bravest is.”

They said, “We do not know. Who is it?”

“Abu Bakr,” he replied. “On the Day of Badr, we build a trellis for Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. We then asked, ‘Who will guard Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam so that none of the polytheists may reach him?’ By Allah, no one volunteered besides Abu Bakr, brandishing his sword over the head of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. No one approached Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, except that Abu Bakr would pounce on him. So he is the bravest of people.”

‘Ali then continued, “I remember the day Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was assaulted by the Quraysh. Some were beating him while others were shoving him around[104] and ridiculing, ‘Are you the one who made all the gods into one god?’ By Allah, no one came close to him except Abu Bakr. He began attacking some, striking some, and ramming others. All the time shouting. ‘Woe to you! Are you killing a man who says my Rabb is Allah?’”

‘Ali then lifted the upper garment his was wearing and began to sob until his beard became wet with tears. He then announced, “I ask you in the name of Allah! Is the believer of the family of Firoun greater or Abu Bakr?”

People remained silent. He yelled, “Are you not going to answer me? By Allah, one moment of Abu Bakr’s life is greater than the earth filled with the believer of Firoun’s family. The latter concealed his faith while the former openly announced the same.”[105]

 

Have a look, may Allah have mercy upon you, at this acknowledgement coming from a man whom warfare made wise and experienced, and at whose feet brave warriors and knights were felled on the battlefields; none other than Sayyidina ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu ‘anhu. He is the brave and daring, and attests to the fact that Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu is braver and more daring than himself. They are, undoubtedly, the best generation to tread the earth. May Allah be pleased with them all.

Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu remained his entire life loyal to the din of Allah and to His Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, at his side, until Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam passed away, after which he handled the affairs of the Muslims par excellence. He safeguarded their state, protected their land, and defended the property of Islam and the Muslims until he met his Rabb, the Mighty and Majestic.

 

Al Siddiq: a Magnificent Support in Adversity

Sayyidina Abu Bakr al Siddiq’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu participation with Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam in jihad was not confined with his life and weapons. Instead, he included his wealth which he brought on multiple occasions and during adverse times and presented it to Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. To the extent that the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam announced, as reported by al Tirmidhi through his chain from Sayyidina Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu:

 

ما لأحد عندنا يد إلا قد كافيناه ما خلا أبا بكر فإن له عندنا يدا يكافئه الله به يوم القيامة و ما نفعني مال أحد قط ما نفعني مال أبي بكر و لو كنت متخذا خليلا لاتخذت أبا بكر خليلا ألا و إن صاحبكم خليل الله

No one supported us except that we have repaid him besides Abu Bakr. He has supported us, and will be recompensed by Allah on the Day of Qiyamah. No one’s wealth benefitted me the way Abu Bakr’s wealth benefitted me. Had I taken a bosom friend I would have taken Abu Bakr as a bosom friend. Behold! Your companion is Allah’s close friend.[106]

 

Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu mobilised his wealth and life for the din of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala. How many a time he emancipated slaves who were being persecuted in the path of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala.

Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu freed seven individuals who were tortured in Allah’s path. Among them are:

  • Sayyidina Bilal radiya Llahu ‘anhu, the Mu’adhin of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, who participated in Badr and all other battles.
  • Sayyidina ‘Amir ibn Fuhayrah radiya Llahu ‘anhu who participated in Badr and other expeditions and was martyred at Bi’r Ma’u These were among the weak from whom Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu could not derive the least worldly benefit by freeing them.

 

‘Urwah reports:

أعتق أبو بكر الصديق ممن كان يعذب في الله بمكة سبعة أنفس بلالا الحبشي الأسود و عامر بن فهيرة و النهدية و ابنتها و أم عبيس و زنيرة و جارية بني المؤمل

Abu Bakr al Siddiq emancipated seven individuals who were persecuted in the Path of Allah in Makkah viz. Bilal the Abyssinian dark skinned, ‘Amir ibn Fuhayrah, al Nahdiyyah, her daughter, Umm ‘Abis, Zinnirah, and the slave girl of Banu al Mu’ammal.[107]

 

‘Amir ibn ‘Abdullah ibn al Zubair recalls:

 

كان أبو بكر الصديق يعتق على الإسلام بمكة فكان يعتق عجائز و نساء إذا أسلمن فقال له أبوه أي بني أراك تعتق أناسا ضعفاء فلو أنك أعتقت رجالا جلادا يقومون معك و يمنعونك و يدفعون عنك فقال أي أبت إنما أريد أظنه قال ما عند الله قال فحدثني بعض أهل بيتي أن هذه الآية أنزلت فيه فَأَمَّا مَنْ أَعْطىٰ وَاتَّقىٰ وَصَدَّقَ بِالْحُسْنىٰ فَسَنُيَسِّرُهُ لِلْيُسْرىٰ

Abu Bakr al Siddiq would emancipate slaves in Makkah on the basis of Islam. He would free old women and others when they embraced Islam. His father told him, “My son, I see you freeing weak people. Why do you not free robust men who can stand with you, protect you, and defend you.”

He replied, “Beloved father, I only desire―I think he said―what is by Allah. Some of my family members informed me that this verse was revealed about him, As for he who gives and fears Allah and believes in the best [reward], We will ease him toward ease.[108] [109]

 

Who is Trustworthy other than Abu Bakr al Siddiq

Sayyidina Abu Bakr al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu was known to be trustworthy, from every avenue. Trustworthiness in speech, trustworthiness in keeping secrets, and trustworthiness with regards the wealth of the Muslims.

One of the greatest evidences upon the trustworthiness of Abu Bakr al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu is his protecting the secrets of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

Al Bukhari reports via his sanad―from Salim ibn ‘Abdullah that he heard―Sayyidina ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma narrating:

 

أن عمر بن الخطاب حين تأيمت حفصة بنت عمر من خنيس بن حذافة السهمي و كان من أصحاب رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم فتوفي بالمدينة فقال عمر بن الخطاب أتيت عثمان بن عفان فعرضت عليه حفصة فقال سأنظر في أمري فلبثت ليالي ثم لقيني فقال قد بدا لي أن لا أتزوج يومي هذا قال عمر فلقيت أبا بكر الصديق فقلت إن شئت زوجتك حفصة بن عمر فصمت أبو بكر فلم يرجع إلي شيئا و كنت أوجد عليه مني على عثمان فلبثت ليالي ثم خطبها رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم فأنكحتها إياه فلقيني أبو بكر فقال لعلك وجدت علي حين عرضت علي حفصة فلم أرجع إليك شيئا قال عمر قلت نعم قال أبو بكر فإنه لم يمنعني أن أرجع إليك فيما عرضت علي إلا أني كنت علمت أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم قد ذكرها فلم أكن لأفشي سر رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم و لو تركها رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم قبلتها

Hafsah bint ‘Umar was widowed from Khunays ibn Hudhafah al Sahmi―one of the Companions of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam―who passed away in Madinah. ‘Umar ibn al Khattab says: I approached ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan and proposed for Hafsah. He said, “Let me see.” I waited a few nights after which he met me and said, “I feel that I should not get married at the moment.”

‘Umar continues: I then met Abu Bakr al Siddiq and said, “If you wish, I will marry Hafsah bint ‘Umar to you.” Abu Bakr remained silent and did not respond to me. I was angrier with him than I was with ‘Uthman.

After a few days, Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam proposed for Hafsah and I got her married to him. Thereafter, Abu Bakr met me and submitted, “Probably, you were angry with me when you presented Hafsah to me and I did not respond to you.”

“Yes,” I replied.

Abu Bakr explained, “Nothing prevented me from replying to your proposal, except for the fact that I knew Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam had spoken of her. I was not to disclose Rasulullah’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam secret. Nonetheless, had Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam not married her, I would have accepted her in my marriage.”[110]

 

This incident is a beautiful indication towards two things. Firstly, Rasulullah’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam reliance in Sayyidina Abu Bakr al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu, his love for him, and confiding with him things no one else knew. Secondly, Sayyidina Abu Bakr al Siddiq’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu honesty in concealing Rasulullah’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam secret.

As regards to his honesty when it came to the wealth of the Muslims, Ibn Sa’d reports:

 

إن أبا بكر الصديق كان له بيت مال بالسنح معروف ليس يحرسه أحد فقيل له يا خليفة رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم ألا تجعل على بيت المال من يحرسه فقال لا يخاف عليه قلت لم قال عليه قفل و كان يعطي ما فيه حتى لا يبقى فيه شيء فلما تحول أبو بكر إلى المدينة حوله فجعل بيت ماله في الدار التي كان فيها و كان قدم عليه مال من معدن القبلية و من معادن جهينة كثير انفتح معدن بني سليم في خلافة أبي بكر فقدم عليه منه بصدقته فكان يوضع ذلك في بيت المال فكان أبو بكر يقسمه على الناس نقرا نقرا فيصيب كل مائة إنسان كذا و كذا و كان يسوي بين الناس في القسم الحر و العبد و الذكر و الأنثى و الصغير و الكبير فيه سواء و كان يشتري الإبل و الخيل و السلاح فيحمل في سبيل الله و اشترى عاما قطائف أتى بها من البادية ففرقها في أرامل أهل المدينة في الشتاء فلما توفي أبو بكر و دفن دعا عمر بن الخطاب الأمناء و دخل بهم بيت مال أبي بكر و معه عبد الرحمن بن عوف و عثمان بن عفان و غيرهما ففتحوا بيت المال فلم يجدوا فيه دينارا و لا درهما و وجدوا خيشة للمال فنقضت فوجدوا فيها درهما فرحموا على أبي بكر و كان بالمدينة وزان على عهد رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم و كان يزن ما كان عند أبي بكر من مال فسئل الوزان كم بلغ ذلك المال الذي ورد على أبي بكر قال مائتي ألف

Abu Bakr al Siddiq had a treasury in Sunh[111] which was renowned by the fact that no one guarded it. He was asked, “O khalifah of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, will you not appoint something to guard the treasury?”

He replied, “It is not vulnerable.”

“Why,” asked the person.

He replied, “It has a lock.”

Moreover, he would spend all of it until nothing remained. When Abu Bakr shifted to Madinah, he moved the treasury and made a treasury in the house he lived in.

Wealth from the mine of Qibliyyah and the mines of Juhaynah came in great abundance. The mine of the Banu Sulaim opened during Abu Bakr’s caliphate and wealth from their coupled with the zakat came to him. He would place this wealth in the treasury. He would divide this wealth among the people, to the last cent. Every 100 people would receive such an amount. He would distribute equally among the people. The free man and slave, the male and female, the minor and adult; all would be equal. He would purchase camels, horses, and weapons and mount (warriors) in the Path of Allah. One year, he purchased shawls which came from the village and distributed it among the widows of Madinah in the winter.

After Abu Bakr passed away and he was buried, ‘Umar ibn al Khattab called the treasurers and entered the treasury of Abu Bakr with them, accompanied by ‘Abdur Rahman ibn ‘Awf and ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan and others. They opened the treasury and could not locate a single gold or silver coin therein. They found a sack for wealth, in which they found a single silver coin after opening it. They all beseeched Allah’s mercy upon Abu Bakr.

There were weighers in the era of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. They would weigh whatever wealth came to Abu Bakr. The weighers were asked, “How much did the wealth coming to Abu Bakr amount to?”

“Two hundred thousand,” they replied.[112]

 

Resoluteness of Al Siddiq in Trials and Tragedies

Undoubtedly, the resoluteness and composure of Sayyidina Abu Bakr al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu was one of the unique characteristics of his personality and the reason of admiration from everyone. Resoluteness stronger than the steadfastness of firm mountains.

 

1. Demise of the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam

At the demise of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, the Muslims were afflicted with a tragedy like no other, when they heard the news and they could not control themselves. Some wept profusely, some could not believe it, while others were left in utter anguish; all until Abu Bakr al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu arrived at the scene and took control of the situation. He brought peace to the souls and satisfaction to the hearts.

Al Bukhari reports in his al Sahih that ‘Urwah ibn al Zubair relates from Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha, the wife of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam:

 

إن رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم مات و أبو بكر بالسنح قال إسماعيل يعني بالعالية فقام عمر يقول والله ما مات رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم قالت و قال عمر والله ما كان يقع في نفسي إلا ذاك و ليبعثنه الله فليقطعن أيدي رجال و أرجلهم فجاء أبو بكر فكشف عن رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم فقبله قال بأبي أنت و أمي طبت حيا و ميتا والذي نفسي بيده لا يذيقنك الله الموتتين أبدا ثم خرج فقال أيها الحالف على رسلك فلما تكلم أبو بكر جلس عمر فحمد الله أبو بكر و أثنى عليه و قال ألا من كان يعبد محمدا صلى الله عليه و سلم فإن محمدا قد مات و من كان يعبد الله فإن الله حي لا يموت و قال إِنَّكَ مَيِّتٌ وَإِنَّهُم مَّيِّتُونَ و قال وَمَا مُحَمَّدٌ إِلَّا رَسُوْلٌ قَدْ خَلَتْ مِنْ قَبْلِهِ الرُّسُلُ أَفَإِنْ مَّاتَ أَوْ قُتِلَ انْقَلَبْتُمْ عَلىٰ أَعْقَابِكُمْ وَمَنْ يَنقَلِبْ عَلىٰ عَقِبَيْهِ فَلَنْ يَضُرَّ اللَّهَ شَيْئًا وَسَيَجْزِي اللَّهُ الشَّاكِرِيْنَ فنشج الناس يبكون

Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam passed away while Abu Bakr was at al Sunh―Ismail clarifies: i.e. the upper section of Madinah. ‘Umar stood up and announced, “By Allah, Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam did not pass away.”

‘Umar said, “By Allah, this is what came into my heart.”

He continued, “And most definitely, Allah will send him and he will sever the hands and the legs of men.”

Abu Bakr then arrived. He uncovered the face of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and kissed him commenting, “May my parents be sacrificed for you, you were beautiful when alive and when now after passing away. By the Being in whose hand lies my soul, Allah will not make you taste death twice.”

He then exited and said, “O swearer, hold on.”

As soon as Abu Bakr spoke, ‘Umar sat down. Abu Bakr praised Allah and glorified him and then said, “Hearken! Whoever worshipped Muhammad should realise that Muhammad has passed on. And whoever worshipped Allah, then Allah is All Living and will never perish.”

He then recited: Indeed, you are to die, and indeed, they are to die.[113]

And he recited: Muhammad is not but a messenger. [Other] messengers have passed on before him. So if he was to die or be killed, would you turn back on your heels [to unbelief]? And he who turns back on his heels will never harm Allah at all; but Allah will reward the grateful.[114] Hearing this, people began to weep.[115]

 

In another narration of al Bukhari, this appears:

 

إن أبا بكر رضي الله عنه خرج و عمر رضي الله عنه يكلم الناس فقال اجلس فأبى فقال اجلس فأبى فتشهد أبو بكر رضي الله عنه فمال إليه الناس و تركوا عمر فقال أما بعد فمن كان منكم يعبد محمدا صلى الله عليه و سلم فإن محمدا صلى الله عليه و سلم قد مات و من كان يعبد الله فإن الله حي لا يموت قال الله تعالى وَمَا مُحَمَّدٌ إِلَّا رَسُوْلٌ إلى الشَّاكِرِيْنَ والله لكأن الناس لم يكونوا يعلمون أن الله أنزلها حتى تلاها أبو بكر رضي الله عنه فتلقاها منه الناس فما يسمع بشر إلا يتلوها

Abu Bakr exited while ‘Umar was speaking to the people. Abu Bakr told him to sit but he refused. He again commanded him to sit but he refused. Abu Bakr recited the shahadah and at this, people turned to him and left ‘Umar.

He said, “After praising Allah, whoever of you worshipped Muhammad should realise that Muhammad has passed on. And whoever worshipped Allah, then Allah is All-Living and will never perish. Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala declared, ‘Muhammad is not but a messenger. [Other] messengers have passed on before him. So if he was to die or be killed, would you turn back on your heels [to unbelief]? And he who turns back on his heels will never harm Allah at all; but Allah will reward the grateful.[116].’ By Allah, it was as if the people did not know that Allah revealed it until Abu Bakr recited it. People began repeating it and everyone joined in reciting it.[117]

 

2. His Stance of the Gathering at Saqifah

Imam al Bukhari relates to us the narration of Umm al Mu’minin Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha, via his chain of narration, about what transpired at Saqifah; how Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu set aright the matter and put an end to disunity and disagreement before things spiralled out of control.

Imam al Bukhari narrates what transpired in the Saqifah, the manner in which Abu Bakr resolved the issue and terminated discord before disagreement and conflict reared its ugly head.

 

واجتمعت الأنصار إلى سعد بن عبادة في سقيفة بني ساعدة فقالوا منا أمير و منكم أمير فذهب إليهم أبو بكر و عمر بن الخطاب و أبو عبيدة بن الجراح فذهب عمر يتكلم فأسكته أبو بكر و كان عمر يقول والله ما أردت بذلك إلا أني قد هيأت كلاما قد أعجبني خشيت أن لا يبلغه أبو بكر ثم تكلم أبو بكر فتكلم أبلغ الناس فقال في كلامه نحن الأمراء و أنتم الوزراء فقال حباب بن المنذر لا والله لا نفعل منا أمير و منكم أمير فقال أبو بكر لا و لكنا الأمراء و أنتم الوزراء هم أوسط العرب دارا و أعربهم أحسابا فبايعوا عمر أو أبا عبيدة بن الجراح فقال عمر بل نبايعك أنت فأنت سيدنا و خيرنا و أحبنا إلى رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم فأخذ عمر بيده فبايعه و بايعه الناس

The Ansar gathered by Sa’d ibn ‘Ubadah in Saqifah Bani Sa’idah. They suggested, “A leader from us and a leader from you.”

Abu Bakr, ‘Umar ibn al Khattab, and Abu ‘Ubaidah ibn al Jarrah went to them. ‘Umar wanted to speak but Abu Bakr silenced him. ‘Umar would explain, “By Allah, the only thing was that I had prepared a speech which delighted me, and I feared that Abu Bakr would not be able to express it.”

Abu Bakr spoke, and he expressed himself like the best orator. He said in his address, “We are the leaders and you are the viziers.”

Hubab ibn al Mundhir remonstrated, “No, by Allah, we will not do that! A leader from us and a leader from you.”

Abu Bakr said, “No. Rather, we are the leaders and you are the viziers. They (the Quraysh) are the middle of the Arabs in location and enjoy the best pedigree in Arab lineage. So pledge allegiance to ‘Umar or Abu ‘Ubaidah ibn al Jarrah.”

‘Umar said, “In fact, we will pledge allegiance to you for you are our leader, the best of us, and the most beloved of us to Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.”

‘Umar then took his hand and pledged allegiance to him, and the people followed suit.”[118]

 

This resolute and firm stance of Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu ended disagreement and nipped disunity in the bud. This is an excellent example of the strength of his determination and his resoluteness. May Allah be pleased with him.

 

3. His Stance of Fighting the Apostates

This stance highlighted the military proficiency of Sayyidina Abu Bakr al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu for he insisted on the compulsion of fighting those who differentiated between salah and zakat, with aspiration to protect the pillars of Islam and maintain its ranks. And his view was spot on.[119]

 

Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam assures him Jannat

Due to the qualities that passed and other reasons, Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam guaranteed Jannat for Sayyidina Abu Bakr al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu and gave him glad tidings of the same. Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu deserves to be the first on the list of those promised Jannat, as a recompense for his sacrifices for the din of Allah with a content soul and pleased heart.

Muslim narrates in his Sahih through his chain from Sayyidina Abu Musa al Ash’ari radiya Llahu ‘anhu:

 

بينما رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم في حائط من حائط المدينة و هو متكئ يركز بعود معه بين الماء و الطين إذا استفتح رجل فقال افتح و بشره بالجنة قال فإذا أبو بكر ففتحت له و بشرته بالجنة قال ثم استفتح رجل آخر فقال افتح و بشره بالجنة قال فذهبت فإذا هو عمر ففتحت له و بشرته بالجنة ثم استفتح رجل آخر قال فجلس النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم فقال افتح و بشره بالجنة على بلوى تكون قال فذهبت فإذا هو عثمان بن عفان قال ففتحت و بشرته بالجنة قال و قلت الذي قال فقال الله صبرا أو الله المستعان

Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was reclining in one of the orchards of Madinah, digging with a stick between the water and earth, when a man sought permission to enter. Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “Open and give him glad tidings of Jannat.” It was Abu Bakr so I opened for him and gave him glad tidings of Jannat.

Thereafter another man sought permission to enter. Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “Open and give him glad tidings of Jannat.” I went and found ‘Umar so I opened for him and gave him glad tidings of Jannat.

Thereafter a third person sought permission to enter. The Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam sat up and said, “Open for him and give him glad tidings of Jannat after a calamity.” I went and found ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan at the door. I opened for him and gave him the glad tidings as Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said. He remarked, “O Allah, patience!” or “Allah is the One from whom help is sought.”[120]

 

Al Tirmidhi reports through his chain―from ‘Abdur Rahman ibn Humaid―from his father that―Sayyidina Sa’id ibn Zaid radiya Llahu ‘anhu narrated to him:

 

إن رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم قال عشرة في الجنة أبو بكر في الجنة و عمر في الجنة و عثمان و علي و الزبير و طلحة و عبد الرحمن و أبو عبيدة و سعد بن أبي وقاص قال فعد هؤلاء التسعة و سكت عن العاشر فقال القوم ننشدك الله يا أبا الأعور من العاشر قال نشدتموني بالله أبو الأعور في الجنة

Indeed, Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam affirmed: “Ten individuals are in Jannat. Abu Bakr is in Jannat. ‘Umar is in Jannat as well as ‘Uthman, ‘Ali, Zubair, Talhah, ‘Abdur Rahman, Abu ‘Ubaidah, and Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas.”

Zaid enumerated these nine and did not list the tenth. The people thus asked, “We implore you by Allah, O Abu al A’war, who is the tenth?”

He submitted, “You have implored me by Allah. Abu al A’war is in Jannat.”[121]

 

These explicit texts are sufficient evidence that Sayyidina Abu Bakr al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu is one of the inhabitants of Jannat. Congratulations upon your guarantee of Jannat, O Siddiq!

These were highlights and brief snippets of the life of Sayyidina Abu Bakr al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu. They have uncovered Sayyidina Abu Bakr al Siddiq’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu precedence to Islam, his love for Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, his sacrifice in the path of his din with everything he possessed, his possessing the great merits and the magnificent virtues. May Allah be pleased with him and grant him eternal happiness in the everlasting abode of Jannat.

 

The Relationship between Abu Bakr al Siddiq and the Ahlul Bayt

In this section, we endeavour to briefly highlight the harmonious bond between Sayyidina Abu Bakr and the Ahlul Bayt of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. The greatest sign of the pleasant relationship between Sayyidina Abu Bakr and the Ahlul Bayt radiya Llahu ‘anhum is realised Bfrom the former’s companionship of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam in everything he did and every place he went, and then from Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam marrying Umm al Mu’minin Sayyidah Aisha bint Abi Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhuma.

Just as the examiner of the biography of Sayyidina Abu Bakr al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu will find that the relationship between him and the family of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, especially Sayyidina ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu ‘anhu, was a relationship of love, compassion, brotherhood, and closeness, he will find that Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu had only positive words for Sayyidina Abu Bakr al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu and would praise him profusely.

Ibn ‘Asakir reports via his chain from Nazzal ibn Sabrah al Hilali:

 

وافقنا من علي بن أبي طالب ذات يوم طيب نفس و مزاح فقلنا له يا أمير المؤمنين حدثنا عن أصحابك قال كل أصحاب رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم أصحابي قلنا حدثنا عن أصحابك خاصة قال ما كان لرسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم صاحب إلا كان لي صاحبا قلنا حدثنا عن أصحاب رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم قال سلوني قلنا حدثنا عن أبي بكر الصديق قال ذاك امرؤ سماه الله صديقا على لسان جبريل و محمد صلى الله عليهما كان خليفة رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم رضيه لديننا فرضيناه لدنيانا

We found ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib to be very jovial and jolly one day, so we asked him, “O Amir al Mu’minin, tell us about your companions.”

He said, “All the Companions of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam are my companions.”

We asked, “Inform us of your special companions.”

He replied, “Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam had no companion except that he was my companion.”

We said, “Okay tell us about the Companions of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.”

“Ask me.”

“Tell us of Abu Bakr al Siddiq.”

He replied, “That is a man whom Allah named the truthful upon the tongue of Jibril and Muhammad, may Allah’s salutations be upon them. He was the khalifah of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was pleased with him for our religious affairs, so we were pleased with him for our worldly affairs.”[122]

 

Sayyidah Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha reports:

 

خرج أبي شاهرا سيفه راكبا على راحلته إلى ذي القصة فجاء علي بن أبي طالب فأخذ بزمام راحلته فقال إلي اين يا خليفة رسول الله أقول لك ما قال لك رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم يوم أحد أشهر سيفك و لا تفجعنا بنفسك فوالله لئن أصبنا بك لا يكون للإسلام بعدك نظام أبدا فرجع و أمضى الجيش

My father left with his sword unsheathed, mounted on his conveyance towards Dhu al Qissah. ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib rushed towards him, gripped his conveyance’s halter and said, “Where are you off to, O khalifah of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam? I will tell you the very same thing Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said to you on the Day of Uhud, ‘Sheathe your sword and do not burden us with your demise.’ By Allah, if we suffer with losing you, Islam will never ever prosper thereafter.”

Hearing this, Abu Bakr returned and sent out the army.[123]

 

Muhammad ibn al Hanafiyyah says:

 

قلت لأبي يا أبت من خير هذه الأمة بعد نبيها قال أبو بكر يا بني قلت ثم من قال عمر فخفت من أن قلت ثم من أن يقول عثمان قلت ثم أنت يا أبه قال ما أبوك إلا رجل من المسلمين

I asked my father, “O beloved father, who is the best of this ummah after their Nabi?”

“Abu Bakr, my son,” he replied.

I asked, “Then whom?”

“‘Umar,” was his answer.

I feared that if I asked him then who, he would say ‘Uthman so I said, “Then you, O father!”

“Your father is just an ordinary Muslim,” he replied.[124]

 

Abu Sarihah reports that he heard Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu declared upon the pulpit:

 

ألا إن أبا بكر أواه منيب القلب ألا إن عمر ناصح الله فنصحه

Hearken! Certainly, Abu Bakr was tender hearted and possessed a heart frequently returning to Allah. Hearken! ‘Umar was sincere to Allah, so Allah treated him accordingly.[125]

 

Ibn ‘Asakir reports from Ibn Abi Layla:

قال علي لا يفضلني أحد على أبي بكر و عمر إلا جلدته حد المفتري

‘Ali pronounced, “No one will declare me superior to Abu Bakr and ‘Umar, except that I will mete out the punishment of a slanderer upon him.”[126]

 

Due to this and many other aspects, Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu remained a sincere advisor to Sayyidina Abu Bakr and Sayyidina ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma, trustworthy in advising them. His possessed nothing but love for them and after their demise his loyalty and praise for them continued, even naming his children after them.

Al Daraqutni reports:

 

أنه جاء رجل إلى علي بن الحسين فقال أخبرني عن أبي بكر قال عن الصديق تسال قال قلت نعم يرحمك الله و تسميه الصديق قال ثكلتك أمك قد سماه صديقا من هو خير مني و منك رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم و المهاجرون و الأنصار فمن لم يسمه صديقا فلا صدق الله قوله في الدنيا و لا في الآخرة فاذهب فأحب أبا بكر و عمر و تولهما فما كان من إثم ففي عنقي

A man approached ‘Ali ibn al Hussain and said, “Tell me about Abu Bakr.”

“About al Siddiq you are asking.”

“Yes,” he replied, “May Allah have mercy on you. You call him al Siddiq?”

‘Ali ibn al Hussain shouted, “May your mother be bereaved of you. Someone superior to me and you called him al Siddiq, Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and the Muhajirin and Ansar. Whoever does not call him al Siddiq, may Allah not confirm his statement in this world and the Hereafter. Go, love and befriend Abu Bakr and ‘Umar. If it is sinful, it is upon me.”[127]

 

‘Urwah ibn ‘Abdullah al Ju’fi reports:

 

قلت لأبي جعفر (الباقر) أتسمي أبا بكر الصديق قال سماه رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم الصديق فمن لم يسمه الصديق فلا صدق الله قوله في الدنيا و الآخرة

I asked Abu Jafar (al Baqir), “Do you call Abu Bakr al Siddiq?”

He replied, “Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam named him al Siddiq. Whoever does not call him al Siddiq, may Allah not confirm his statement in this world and the Hereafter.”[128]

 

Hannan ibn Sudayr says that he heard from Jafar (al Sadiq) ibn Muhammad:

 

سئل عن أبي بكر و عمر فقال إنك تسألني عن رجلين قد أكلا من ثمار الجنة

He was asked about Abu Bakr and ‘Umar to which he replied, “You are asking me about two men who have eaten from the fruits of Jannat.”[129]

 

Salim ibn Abi Hafsah says that Jafar ibn Muhammad told him:

 

يا سالم أيسب الرجل جده أبو بكر رضي الله عنه جدي لا نالتني شفاعة محمد صلى الله عليه و سلم يوم القيامة إن لم أكن اتولاهما و أبرأ من عدوهما

O Salim, will a person verbally abuse his grandfather? Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu is my grandfather. May I not receive the intercession of Muhammad salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam on the Day of Qiyamah if I do not befriend them and dissociate from their enemies.[130]

 

This is due to the fact that the mother of Jafar al Sadiq is Umm Farwah bint al Qasim ibn Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr.[131] (Hence, Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu is Jafar al Sadiq’s great grandfather.)

This was a short run through the life of Sayyidina Abu Bakr al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu. We attempted to keep it as concise as possible. From the above, it is evident that Sayyidina Abu Bakr al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu is a man of great wisdom, a man with outstanding character and a fragrant biography. One who lived his life for Islam and with Islam. He was deserving of being promised Jannat by the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Congratulations of Jannat to you, O Siddiq! Congratulations to the ummah, of whom you are one of their leaders and exemplary figures.

 

NEXT⇒ Sayyidina ‘Umar al Faruq ibn al Khattab radiya Llahu ‘anhu – Strength in Mercy, Determination in Gentleness


[1] Tarikh Dimashq, vol. 3 pg. 30.

[2] Usd al Ghabah, vol. 3 pg. 205.

[3] Al Tabaqat al Kubra, vol. 3 pg. 169; Tabaqat Khalifah ibn Khayyat, pg. 48.

[4] Usd al Ghabah, vol. 3 pg. 205.

[5] Al Tabaqat al Kubra, vol. 3 pg. 202.

[6] Ibn al Athir: Al Nihayah fi Gharib al Hadith, vol. 1 pg. 149; al Razi: Mukhtar al Sihah, pg. 39.

[7] Fath al Bari, vol. 7 pg. 7.

[8] Al Bayhaqi: Dala’il al Nubuwwah, chapter on al Isra’, Hadith: 652; al Mustadrak, book on recognising the Sahabah, chapter on Abu Bakr al Siddiq, Hadith: 4407, “This hadith has a sahih isnad but they have not documented It.” Al Dhahabi confirms in al Talkhis, “Sahih.”; Abu Nuaim: Ma’rifat al Sahabah, vol. 1 pg. 82, Hadith: 62.

[9] Surah al Tawbah: 40.

[10] Al Mubarakfuri: Tuhfat al Ahwadhi, vol. 10 pg. 106.

[11] Surah al A’raf: 142.

[12] Lisan al ‘Arab, vol. 9 pg. 84.

[13] Al Khalil ibn Ahmed: al ‘Ayn, vol. 4 pg. 268, Dar al Rashid, Iraq, first edition, 1981.

[14] Sahih Muslim, book on kindness and maintaining ties of kinship, chapter on the prohibition of oppressing and dishonouring a Muslim, Hadith: 2564.

[15] Ibn ‘Asakir: Tarikh Dimashq, vol. 19 pg. 30.

[16] Al Tabaqat al Kubra, vol. 3 pg. 169.

[17] Bark al Ghimad: A place at a distance of five night’s journey out of Makkah towards the coast. (Al Hamawi: Mujam al Buldan, vol. 1 pg. 399.)

[18] Al Qarah: A well-known tribe from the Banu al Hun ibn Khuzaimah ibn Mudrikah. They were allies of the Banu Zuhrah of Quraysh. They are used as examples in the strength of shooting arrows. (Fath al Bari, vol. 7 pg. 181.)

[19] Sahih al Bukhari, book on guarantee, chapter on Abu Bakr’s protection during the prophetic era, Hadith: 2175.

[20] Sahih al Bukhari, book of revelation, chapter on the inception of revelation, Hadith: 3; Sahih Muslim, book of iman, chapter on the inception of revelation, Hadith: 252.

[21] Al Suyuti: Tarikh al Khulafa’, pg. 34.

[22] Ibid.

[23] Tarikh Dimashq, vol. 30 pg. 334.

[24] Tarikh Dimashq, vol. 24, pg. 117, with slight variations.

[25] Al Sallabi: Abu Bakr Shakhsiyyatuhu wa ‘Asruhu, pg. 30.

[26] Al Sallabi: Abu Bakr Shakhsiyyatuhu wa ‘Asruhu, pg. 38.

[27] Tarikh Dimashq, vol. 30 pg. 333; Abu Nuaim: Ma’rifat al Sahabah, vol. 1 pg. 126, Hadith: 103.

[28] Tarikh Dimashq, vol. 30 pg. 35; Usd al Ghabah, vol. 3 pg. 207.

[29] Ansab al Ashraf, vol. 3 pg. 344.

[30] Dala’il al Nubuwwah, vol. 2 pg. 34; Tarikh al Islam, vol. 1 pg. 136.

[31] Al Tabaqat al Kubra, vol. 3 pg. 170 – 171.

[32] Sahih Muslim, book on the prayer of travellers, chapter on the Islam of ‘Amr ibn ‘Abasah, Hadith: 1967.

[33] Sahih al Bukhari, book on the virtues of the Companions, chapter on the Nabi’s statement: If I would take anyone as a bosom friend, Hadith: 3461.

[34] Ibn Kathir: al Sirah al Nabawiyyah, vol. 1 pg. 434.

[35] Jami’ al Tirmidhi, book on virtues, chapter on the virtues of Abu Bakr and ‘Umar, Hadith: 2667. Al Albani classified it sahih. Sahih Ibn Hibban, mention of the fact that Abu Bakr al Siddiq radiya Llahu ‘anhu was the first male to accept Islam, Hadith: 6862. Shu’ayb al Arna’ut said that his narrators are reliable.

[36] Ibn Hisham al Himyari: al Sirah al Nabawiyyah, vol. 1 pg. 162.

[37] Al Kamil fi al Tarikh, vol. 2 pg. 59.

[38] Al Bidayah wa Al Nihayah, vol. 7 pg. 269, with slight variation.

[39] Tarikh Dimashq, vol. 3 pg. 49.

[40] Al Bidayah wa Al Nihayah, vol. 3 pg. 40 – 41.

[41] Al Kamil fi al Tarikh, vol. 2 pg. 59; Tarikh al Tabari, vol. 2 pg. 61.

[42] Al Bidayah wa Al Nihayah, vol. 3 pg. 41; Abu Nuaim: Ma’rifat al Sahabah, vol. 24, pg. 153, Hadith: 7374.

[43] Sahih al Bukhari, book on the virtues of the Companions, chapter on the hijrah of the Nabi and his Companions to Madinah, Hadith: 3692.

[44] Sahih al Bukhari, book on tafsir, chapter on Surah Bara’ah, Hadith: 4386.

[45] Surah al Tawbah: 40.

[46] Sahih al Bukhari, book on trials, chapter on appointing a successor, Hadith: 6794.

[47] Al asif: quick to sadness, with a soft heart. (Al Zabidi: Taj al ‘Urus, vol. 12 pg. 82.)

[48] Sahih Muslim, book on salah, chapter on the imam appointing a successor when faced with a predicament, Hadith: 418.

[49] Sahih al Bukhari, book on the doors of the Masjid, chapter on a door or passage in the Masjid, Hadith: 454.

[50] Sahih al Bukhari, book on the doors of the Masjid, chapter on a door or passage in the Masjid, Hadith: 455.

[51] Al Mustadrak, book on recognising the Sahabah, chapter on Abu Bakr al Siddiq, Hadith: 4460. Al Hakim comments, “This hadith has a sahih isnad, but they have not documented it.” Al Dhahabi concurs in al Talkhis.

[52] Sahih al Bukhari, book on the virtues of the Companions, chapter on the Nabi’s statement: had I taken a bosom friend, Hadith: 3467.

[53] Surah al Tawbah: 128.

[54] Sahih al Bukhari, book on the virtues of the Qur’an, chapter on the compilation of the Qur’an, Hadith: 4701.

[55] Sahih al Bukhari, book on zakat, chapter on the mandatory nature of zakat, Hadith: 1335; Sahih  Muslim, book on iman, chapter on the command to fight people until they say there is no deity besides Allah, Hadith: 20.

[56] Al Tabaqat al Kubra, vol. 3 pg. 202.

[57] Al Tabaqat al Kubra, vol. 3 pg. 209; Tarikh Dimashq, vol. 30 pg. 446.

[58] Hilyat al Auliya’, vol. 1 pg. 128.

[59] Tarikh Dimashq, vol. 30 pg. 18.

[60] Sahih al Bukhari, book on the virtues of the Companions, chapter on Rasulullah’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam statement: had I taken a bosom friend, Hadith: 3462; Sahih Muslim, book on the virtues of the Companions, chapter on some of the virtues of Abu Bakr, Hadith: 2384.

[61] Sahih al Bukhari, book on the virtues of the Companions, chapter on Rasulullah’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam statement: had I taken a bosom friend, Hadith: 3461.

[62] Surah Ghafir: 28.

[63] Sahih al Bukhari, book on tafsir, chapter on Surah Ghafir, Hadith: 4537.

[64] Tarikh Dimashq, vol. 30 pg. 80; Fada’il al Sahabah, vol. 1 pg. 178. Al Hakim documented the first portion of the narration with slight variation without mentioning Dabbah ibn Mihsan and commented, “This hadith has a sahih isnad and meets the criterion of al Bukhari and Muslim, had it not been for the irsal in it, but they have not documented It.” Al Dhahabi adds a footnote to it in al Talkhis saying, “Sahih, mursal.” (Al Mustadrak, book on hijrah, Hadith: 4267.

[65] Al Suyuti: Tarikh al Khulafa’, pg. 17.

[66] Sahih al Bukhari, book on the virtues of the Companions, chapter on the superiority of Abu Bakr after the Nabi, Hadith: 3455.

[67] Tarikh Dimashq, vol. 30 pg. 346.

[68] Sahih al Bukhari, book on the virtues of the Companions, chapter on the Nabi’s statement: had I taken a bosom friend, Hadith: 3468.

[69] Jami’ al Tirmidhi, book on virtues, chapter on the merits of Abu Bakr al Siddiq, Hadith: 3656 and al Tirmidhi declares, “The hadith is sahih and gharib.” Al Albani grades it as hassan. Al Mustadrak, book on virtue of the Companions, chapter on Abu Bakr al Siddiq, Hadith: 4421 and comments, “Sahih according to the standards of al Bukhari and Muslim, but they have not documented it.” Al Dhahabi concurs in al Talkhis, “Meets the standards of al Bukhari and Muslim.”

[70] Tarikh Dimashq, vol. 30 pg. 383.

[71] Jami’ al Tirmidhi, book on virtues, chapter on the merits of Muaz ibn Jabal and Zaid ibn Thabit, Hadith: 3790. Al Albani classified it as sahih. Musnad Ahmed, chapter on the Musnad of Anas ibn Malik, vol. 3 pg. 84, Hadith: 12927; Sunan Ibn Majah, book on virtues, chapter on the merits of Khabbab, Hadith: 154, al Albani classified it sahih.

[72] Taha Hamid al Daylami: Imamat al Siddiq, vol. 1 pg. 56 onwards.

[73] Surah al Tawbah: 40.

[74] Mukhtasar Tarikh Dimashq, vol. 1 pg. 1763.

[75] Sahih al Bukhari, book on tafsir, chapter on Surah Bara’ah, Hadith: 4386; Sahih Muslim, book on the virtues of the Companions, chapter on the virtues of Abu Bakr al Siddiq, Hadith: 2381.

[76] Surah al Tawbah: 40.

[77] Sahih al Bukhari, book on the virtues of the Companions, chapter on the Islam of Abu Bakr, Hadith: 3644.

[78] Sahih al Bukhari, book on the virtues of the Companions, chapter on the merits of ‘Umar ibn al Khattab, Hadith: 3482; Sahih Muslim, book on the virtues of the Companions, chapter on some of the merits of ‘Umar ibn al Khattab, Hadith: 6338; Musnad Ahmed, vol. 1 pg. 112, Hadith: 898. The wording appears in Sahih al Bukhari.

[79] Musnad Ahmed, Musnad ‘Umar ibn al Khattab, vol. 1 pg. 26, Hadith: 178.

[80] Dala’il al Nubuwwah, Hadith: 874.

[81] Sahih Muslim, book on jihad and expeditions, chapter on assisting from the angels in the Battle of Badr, Hadith: 1763.

[82] Sahih al Bukhari, book on wars, chapter on the Battle of Uhud, Hadith: 3817.

[83] Sahih al Bukhari, book on tafsir, chapter on tafsir of Surah al Fath, Hadith: 4563; Sahih Muslim, book on jihad and expeditions, chapter on the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah, Hadith: 1785.

[84] Musnad Ahmed, vol. 4 pg. 323, Hadith: 18930, the hadith of Miswar ibn Makhramah.

[85] Tarikh Dimashq, vol. 30 pg. 128.

[86] Surah al Mujadalah: 22.

[87] Tarikh Dimashq, vol. 30 pg. 128.

[88] Sahih Muslim, book on zakat, chapter on the person who gathers charity and acts of piety, Hadith: 1028.

[89] Sahih al Bukhari, book on fasting, chapter on al rayyan for the fasting, Hadith: 1798; Sahih Muslim, book on zakat, chapter on the person who gathers charity and acts of piety, Hadith: 1027.

[90] Jami’ al Tirmidhi, book on virtues, chapter on the merits of Abu Bakr and ‘Umar, Hadith: 3675 and al Tirmidhi comments, “This hadith is hassan sahih.” Al Albani labels it hassan. Sunan Abi Dawood, book on zakat, chapter on concession in this, Hadith: 1678. Al Albani classifies it as hassan.

[91] Al Mujam al Awsat, Hadith: 7168. Al Haythami states in al Majma’, vol. 8 pg. 343, “Al Tabarani narrates it in al Awsat. Ahmed ibn ‘Abdur Rahman al Mufaddal al Harrani is one of the narrators and I do not recognise him. The rest of his narrators are reliable.”

[92] Musnad Ahmed, Musnad ‘Umar ibn al Khattab, vol. 1 pg. 25, Hadith: 175.

[93] Sahih al Bukhari, book on jihad and expeditions, chapter on the reprehensibility of quarrelling and disagreement, Hadith: 2873.

[94] Hilyat al Auliya’, vol. 6 pg. 348.

[95] Al Tabaqat al Kubra, vol. 3 pg. 172.

[96] Sahih al Bukhari, book on clothing, chapter on the one allowing his lower garment to sag without pride, Hadith: 5447.

[97] Tarikh al Tabari, vol. 2 pg. 462; Tarikh Dimashq, vol. 2 pg. 50; al Kamil, vol. 2 pg. 335.

[98] Musnad Ahmed, Musnad Abi Bakr al Siddiq, vol. 1 pg. 11, Hadith: 65; Tarikh Dimashq, vol. 30 pg. 333.

[99] Al Tabaqat al Kubra, vol. 3 pg. 184; Tarikh Dimashq, vol. 30 pg. 321; Fath al Bari, vol. 4 pg. 258.

[100] Shu’ab al Iman, vol. 12 pg. 247, Hadith: 5519.

[101] Tarikh Dimashq, vol. 59 pg. 205.

[102] Wasaq: A unit of measurement equal to approximately 195 Kg.

[103] Al Tabaqat al Kubra, vol. 3 pg. 175.

[104] Yaja’uhu: beating him. Yutaltiluhu: shaking him and shoving him.

[105] Musnad al Bazzar, vol. 1 pg. 445, Hadith: 761. Al Haythami says in al Majma’, vol. 9 pg. 47, and “Al Bazzar narrated it. One of the narrators I am not familiar with. Nonetheless, some of the text has corroborations from authentic ahadith, like Sahih al Bukhari, book on wars, chapter on Allah’s statement: when you implored your Rabb; Sahih Muslim, book on jihad and expeditions, chapter on assistance by the angels in the Battle of Badr.”

[106] Jami’ al Tirmidhi, book on virtues, chapter on the merits of Abu Bakr, Hadith: 3661, Sheikh al Albani classified it as sahih.

[107] Tafsir al Tabari, vol. 12 pg. 611.

[108] Surah al Layl: 4 – 7.

[109] Tafsir al Tabari, vol. 30 pg. 279.

[110] Sahih al Bukhari, book on marriage, chapter on a person presenting his daughter or sister to men of righteousness, Hadith: 454.

[111] Al Sunh: One of the areas of Madinah. Abu Bakr al Siddiq’s house was located here. It was situated in the upper portions of Madinah, with a distance of a mile between it and the house of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. (Mujam al Buldan, vol. 3 pg. 265.)

[112] Al Tabaqat al Kubra, vol. 3 pg. 213.

[113] Surah al Zumar: 30.

[114] Surah Al ‘Imran: 144.

[115] Sahih al Bukhari, book on the virtues of the Companions, chapter on the Nabi’s statement: had I taken a bosom friend, Hadith: 3467.

[116] Surah Al ‘Imran: 144.

[117] Sahih al Bukhari, book on burials, chapter on entering the presence of the deceased after he passes away, Hadith: 1185.

[118] Sahih al Bukhari, book on the virtues of the Companions, chapter on the Nabi’s statement: had I taken a bosom friend, Hadith: 3467.

[119] Sahih al Bukhari, book on zakat, chapter on the compulsion of zakat, Hadith: 1335.

[120] Sahih al Bukhari, book on the virtues of the Companions, chapter on the merits of ‘Umar ibn al Khattab, Hadith: 3490; Sahih Muslim, book on the virtues of the Companions, chapter on the merits of ‘Uthman, Hadith: 2403.

[121] Jami’ al Tirmidhi, book on virtues, the virtues of ‘Abdur Rahman ibn ‘Awf, Hadith: 3748. Al Albani classified it sahih. Al Mustadrak, book on recognising the Companions, chapter on the list of the merits of Sa’id ibn Zaid, Hadith: 5858.

[122] Tarikh Dimashq, vol. 30 pg. 75; Usd al Ghabah, vol. 3 pg. 216.

[123] Tarikh Dimashq, vol. 30 pg. 316; al Bidayah wa Al Nihayah, vol. 6 pg. 346.

[124] Tarikh Dimashq, vol. 30 pg. 347.

[125] Tarikh Dimashq, vol. 30 pg. 379.

[126] Tarikh Dimashq, vol. 30 pg. 383.

[127] Al Daraqutni: Fada’il al Sahabah, vol. 1 pg. 62; Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, vol. 4 pg. 395.

[128] Al Daraqutni: Fada’il al Sahabah, vol. 1 pg. 51.

[129] Al Daraqutni: Fada’il al Sahabah, vol. 1 pg. 77; Tarikh al Islam, vol. 9 pg. 91.

[130] Tarikh Dimashq, vol. 54 pg. 285; Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, vol. 6 pg. 258.

[131] Al Daraqutni: Fada’il al Sahabah, vol. 1 pg. pg. 31; Tarikh Dimashq, vol. 54 pg. 285.

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