Theme Three: Abu Bakr the one who Excelled in Every Avenue of Good
The narrations that allude to the theme are plenty. ‘Ali al Muttaqi al Hindi, al Suyuti and Muhib al Din al Tabari have documented a substantial amount of them in their works Kanz al ‘Ummal, Tarikh al Khulafa’ and Riyad al Nadirah respectively. I shall present of few of them ahead.
عن ابي الزناد قال قال رجل لعلي يا امير المؤمنين ما بال المهاجرين و الانصار قدموا ابا بكر و انت اوفي منه منقبة و اقدم منه سلما و اسبق سابقة قال ان كنت قريشيا فأحسبك من عائذة قال نعم!قال لولا ان المؤمن عائذ لقتلتك ولأن بقيت لتأتين مني روعة حصراء ويحك ان ابا بكر سبقني الي اربع سبقني الي الامامة و تقديم الامامة و تقديم الهجرة و الي الغار و افشاء الاسلام ويحك ان الله ذم الناس كلهم و مدح ابا بكر الا تنصروه فقد نصره الله اذا اخرجه الذين كفروا ثاني اثنين اذ هما في الغار.
Abu al Zinad narrates that a person said to ‘Ali (during his caliphate), “O Amir al Mu’minin! How could the Muhajirin and the Ansar choose Abu Bakr over you whereas you hold more merit than him, surpassed him in embracing Islam and in many other aspects?” ‘Ali said, “if you are a Qurayshi then presumably you from the ‘A’idhah tribe?” He responded in the affirmative. ‘Ali further said, “if a believer was not divinely safeguarded I would have killed you. If you live to see the future you will witness terrifying horror confronting you from my side. May you perish! Abu Bakr has most certainly excelled me in four aspects: leadership in salah, leadership of the people, migration and spreading of Islam. May you be doomed! Allah has dispraised all the people and has praised Abu Bakr, ‘if you are unwilling to aid him then Allah had aided him when the infidels had banished him when he was the second of the two in the cave.’”
عن صلة بن نضر قال كان علي رضي الله عنه إذا ذكر عنده أبوبكر قال السباق يذكرون السباق يذكرون والذي نفسي بيده ما استبقنا إلي خير قط إلا سبقنا أبوبكر.
Silah ibn Nadr mentions that when Abu Bakr would be mentioned before ‘Ali he would say, “mention is being made of the exceller, mention is being made of the exceller. By the oath of that Being who has control over my soul we never competed in any matter of virtue but Abu Bakr excelled us in it.”
وأخرج الطبراني في الأوسط عن علي رضي الله عنه قال والذي نفسي بيده ما استبقنا إلي خير قط إلا سبقنا إليه أبوبكر
By the oath of that Being who has control over my soul we never competed in any matter of virtue but Abu Bakr excelled us in it.
Al Suyuti has recorded a narration on the strength of Ibn ‘Asakir in which ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu is reported to have said that Abu Bakr was the first person to accept Islam:
وأخرج ابن عساكر من طريق الحارث عن علي قال أول من أسلم من الرجال أبو بكر.
‘Ali is reported to have said that the first amongst the men to accept Islam was Abu Bakr.
The Conclusion of the Third Theme in Light of the Statements of ‘Ali
Abu Bakr had superseded all the people in every avenue of good.
His excellence in four aspects (that were mentioned earlier) is especially categorically established.
He was likewise the first person to accept Islam from amongst the men. He was thus the leader of the al Sabiqun al Awwalun, i.e. the early members of this ummah who had surpassed the rest of the people.
 Kanz al ‘Ummal 6/318 (with reference to Ibn ‘Asakir and Khaythamah).
 Kanz al ‘Ummal 6/318.
 Riyad al Nadirah 1/156; Tarikh al Khulafa’ p. 44.
 Tarikh al Khulafa’ p. 26.Back to top