Perhaps the reader might be confused and wondering: What does naming your child have to do with love for the Sahabah? When has this become a matter of religion and belief, whereby we are able to cite it as a proof; arguing that ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib named his son after so-and-so Sahabi or Hassan and Hussain did so, or those after them?
When we ponder that ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu did not hesitate to name his children Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, ‘Uthman, and Aisha, and the same goes for Hassan, Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhuma, ‘Ali Zayn al ‘Abidin, and the rest of the Ahlul Bayt as well; then it becomes a clear undeniable proof of their love, affinity, and affection for the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum.
This is not just confined to the names Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, ‘Uthman, and Aisha; but applies to the names of all the Sahabah such as Talhah, Muawiyah, Hamzah, Jafar, etc. And just as their names were kept so too do we find the Ahlul Bayt with the very same agnomen as them.
Al Kulayni in al Kafi and al Majlisi in al Bihar report an interesting narration:
When Muawiyah appointed Marwan ibn Hakam as governor of Madinah he instructed him to designate stipends for the youth of Quraysh, which he did. ‘Ali ibn Hussain said, “So I went to him.”
Marwan asked, “What is your name?”
“‘Ali ibn Hussain,” I replied.
Marwan then asked, “And what is your brother’s name?”
“‘Ali,” I replied.
Marwan remarked, “‘Ali and ‘Ali! It seems your father did not want to give any of his sons but the name ‘Ali.”
He then designated a stipend for me, and I returned to my father and informed him of what he said.
He (Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhu) said, “If I had a hundred sons I would like nothing more than to name them all ‘Ali.”
This narration contains a clear indication that a person will only name his children after those he loves, and on account of the love Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhu had for his father he did not mind naming even a hundred of his sons ‘Ali.
After the narration above, there is no need for any further elucidation on how the name one gives his children is a sign of heartfelt affection for the one after who he is named; that having been said we can now begin with the actual purpose of this treatise.
Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu—whose name was ‘Abdullah (Abu Bakr being his agnomen)—was an eminent Companion of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and his khalifah. No intelligent person of sound intellectual capacity will ever doubt that a person who names his children with the name Abu Bakr has sincere love and admiration for the personality of Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu; the same goes if a person takes Abu Bakr to be his agnomen. Amongst the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum the one who was most well-known by this agnomen was Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu.
He is Abu Bakr, the son of Abu Quhafah (‘Uthman), the son of ‘Amir, the son of ‘Amr, the son of Ka’b, the son of Sa’d, the son of Taym, the son of Murrah, the son of Ka’b, the son of Lu’ayy, the son of Ghalib, the son of Fahr.
His genealogy meets with that of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam in the sixth generation, their common ancestor being Murrah.
The mother of Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu is Umm al Khayr Salma, the daughter of Sakhr, the son of ‘Amr, the son of Ka’b, the son of Sa’d, the son of Taym, the son of Murrah, the son of Ka’b, the son of Lu’ayy, the son of Ghalib, the son of Fahr.
Her genealogy also meets with that of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, their common ancestor being Murrah.
He was martyred alongside his brother, Sayyidina Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhu, at Karbala’. His mother was Layla bint Mas’ud al Nahshaliyah.
This is the wording of al Mufid in Kitab al Irshad:
The wording of Ni’matullah al Jaza’iri in al Anwar al Nu’maniyyah:
Muhammad al Asghar—whose agnomen was Abu Bakr—and ‘Ubaidullah, both martyred with their brother Hussain ‘alayh al Salam.
It also mentioned in a number of other references such as:
The grandson of ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib, he was martyred alongside his uncle—Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhu—in Karbala’.
Al Mufid states in al Irshad:
… and Qasim, Abu Bakr, and ‘Abdullah—the sons of Hassan ibn ‘Ali (were martyred at Karbala’).
‘Abbas al Qummi writes in Muntaha al Amal:
Then Abu Bakr ibn Hassan ‘alayh al Salam, his mother was an Umm Walad and was the full brother of Qasim. He was killed by ‘Uqbah al Ghanawi.
Mus’ab al Zubairi states in Nasab Quraysh when mentioning the sons of Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu:
‘Amr ibn Hassan, Qasim, and Abu Bakr: they have no offspring and were all killed at Karbala’.
The words of Ibn ‘Inabah:
The children of Abu Muhammad Hassan according to the report of Sheikh al Sharaf al ‘Ubaidali are 16: five daughters and eleven sons. The names of the sons: Zaid, Hassan al Muthanna, Hussain, Talhah, Ismail, ‘Abdullah, Hamzah, Yaqub, ‘Abdul Rahman, Abu Bakr, ‘Umar. Genealogists have clarified that ‘Abdullah is Abu Bakr (i.e. Abu Bakr is his agnomen) and added Qasim (as the eleventh), which is a correct addition.
Amongst the Sunni scholars who recorded this:
The agnomen of ‘Ali Zayn al ‘Abidin, the son of the martyr Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhu, was Abu Bakr.
Al Irbili states:
As for his agnomen, most commonly it was known to be Abu al Hassan and he was called Abu Muhammad and it has been said Abu Bakr.
Al Irbili states:
Al Janabidhi said, “Abu al Hassan Musa ibn Jafar ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Ali ibn Hussain ibn ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib ‘alayh al Salam: his mother was an Umm Walad. His sons were ‘Ali (al Rida), Zaid, ‘Aqil, Harun, Hassan, Hussain ‘Abdullah, Isma’il, ‘Ubaidullah, ‘Umar, Ahmed, Jafar, Yahya, Ishaq, ‘Abbas, Hamzah, ‘Abdul Rahman, Qasim, Jafar al Asghar. And it is said that it was Muhammad and Abu Bakr in place of ‘Umar.”
Al Nuri al Tabarsi writes:
Abu Bakr is one of the agnomens of Imam al Rida, as stated by Abu al Faraj al Asfahani in Maqatil al Talibiyyin.
Abu al Faraj al Asfahani writes:
Abu Salt al Harawi said, “Ma’mun asked me one day about a ruling and I replied, ‘Our Abu Bakr has said about it…” so Ibn Mihran said to me, ‘Who is your Abu Bakr?’ I answered, ‘‘Ali ibn Musa al Rida was called by this agnomen.’”
This was recorded by al Nuri al Tabarsi in his book al Najm al Thaqib, refer to the fourteenth agnomen.
It is indeed a wonder for what reason will the Awaited Mahdi be given the agnomen Abu Bakr.
‘Abdullah ibn Jafar, who was the nephew of Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, the son of his brother Jafar al Tayyar and his son-in-law, also named one of his sons after Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu.
Al Baladhuri writes:
The children of ‘Abdullah ibn Jafar… Abu Bakr, he was killed with Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Their mother is Khawsa’ from the tribe of Rabi’ah.
Ibn Khayyat mentions him among those who were killed on the Day of Harrah from the Banu Hashim. The correct view is that of Ibn Khayyat.
Al Dhahabi writes:
Also among those who were executed were Abu Bakr ibn ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar ibn al Khattab and Abu Bakr ibn ‘Abdullah ibn Jafar ibn Abi Talib.
Ibn Qutaybah writes:
‘Abdullah had the following sons: Jafar, ‘Ali, ‘Awn, ‘Abbas, Muhammad, ‘Ubaidullah, and Abu Bakr. Their mother was Hawsa’ bint Khasfah from the tribe of Taym Allah ibn Tha’labah. He also had Salih, Musa, Harun, Yahya; their mother is Layla bint Mas’ud ibn Khalid al Nahshali. He wed her after ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib radiya Llahu ‘anhu. He also had Muawiyah, Ishaq, Ismail, Qasim; they were born from a number of Umm Walads. Hassan and ‘Awn al Asghar; their mother is Jumanah bint Musayyab al Fazariyah.
We learn from this that ‘Abdullah ibn Jafar married the wife Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu—Layla bint Mas’ud al Nahshaliyyah—after he was martyred, along with being married to Sayyidah Zainab bint ‘Ali—the daughter of Sayyidah Fatimah radiya Llahu ‘anha—whose children are known as Zainabiyun.
The grandson of Sayyidina Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu was also given the name Abu Bakr.
Al Asfahani writes:
 Al Kafi, 6/19; Bihar al Anwar, 49/221.
 The significance of the name one gives to his children can be gauged from the chapters al Hurr al ‘Amili (d. 1104 A.H) has placed in his book, Tafsil Wasa’il al Shia ila Tahsil Masa’il al Shari’ah. The chapters are: Chapter: Desirability (Istihbab) of naming one’s child Hassan; Chapter: Desirability (Istihbab) of naming one’s child after the Prophets and Imams, and that which indicates to servitude such as ‘Abdul Rahman; Chapter: Desirability (Istihbab) of naming one’s child Muhammad…and honouring one whose name is Muhammad, Ahmed, or ‘Ali being preferable; : Chapter: Desirability (Istihbab) of naming one’s child ‘Ali; : Chapter: Desirability (Istihbab) of naming one’s child Ahmed, Hassan, Hussain, Jafar, Talib, ‘Abdullah, Hamzah, Fatimah… in addition to many other chapters of this nature; all of which establish that awarding one’s child a proper name is an important matter with deep implications. One may refer to Wasa’il al Shia, 22/388-400, Mu’assah Al al Bayt li Ihya’ al Turath, Beirut, pub. 1993.
 I have only mentioned the salutations of Alayhi al Salam in quoting his exact wording, as for the correct stance in which I believe is that it is not permissible to assign this salutation to any Companion or personality individually other than the Prophets. The discussion on this is quite lengthy and a number of scholars have elucidated on this topic such as al Shafi’i, Ahmed, Ibn Taymiyyah, Ibn ‘Ashur, Ibn Kathir, etc. I quote now the words of Ibn Kathir which will prove beneficial:
(Al Nawawi has said in Kitab al Adhkar): As for saying Alayhi al Salam, Sheikh Muhammad al Juwayni from our scholars has said that it has the meaning of salawat and will thus not be used for one who is not present, and will not be used for any individual person aside from the Prophets; so none should say ‘Ali Alayhi al Salam. This applies equally to the living and deceased. As for those who are (living and) present they may be addressed using it, as one would say, Salam ‘alayk, Salam ‘alaykum, Al Salam ‘alayk, Al Salam ‘alaykum, etc. This is permissible by consensus.
I (i.e. Ibn Kathir) say many scribes have perpetrated this when writing, signalling out Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu with writing Alayhi al Salam after his name—may Allah beautify his countenance—to the exception of the other Companions. Even though there is nothing wrong in the meaning of this phrase but it then behoves that this be used for all the Companions. Especially since this is an expression of respect and admiration, thus Abu Bakr and ‘Umar, as well as ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhum, are more deserving of this than him, may Allah be pleased with them all.
Tafsir Ibn Kathir, 3/517, also refer to Tafsir Ibn ‘Ashur and the book Bal Dalalta by Khalid al Asqalani.
 She is Nahshaliyyah, Darimiyyah, Tamimiyyah; from the progeny of Darim ibn Darim ibn Zaid Manah ibn Tamim. In Nasab Quraysh (pg. 57) her name is given as Aminah or Layla bint Abu Murrah ibn ‘Urwah ibn Mas’ud ibn Mu’attab ibn Malik ibn Mu’attab ibn ‘Amr ibn Sa’d ibn ‘Awf ibn Qusayy. Her mother is Maimunah bint Abi Sufyan ibn Harb ibn Umayyah. She is also Thaqifiyyah, due to Qusayy who was from the Banu Thaqif.