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Abu Bakr Al-siddiq - The First Blessed Among Ten Companions

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Abu Bakr, the first Caliph, was known to be honest, truthful, and helpful person. He was born in Makkah and belonged to the branch of Quraish. His actual name was Abdul Kaaba, which means the servant of Kaaba. When he became Muslim, the Prophet changed his name to Abdullah. In early days of his youth, he adopted the surname of Abu Bakr. In Arabic, word “Bakr†means a young camel due to his hobby of raising camels.



Service to the Prophet and Islam:


Abu Bakr was two years younger than the Prophet and was a very close friend to him. So he was the first man to believe in the Prophet’s mission. After the first revelation, the holy Prophet informed him about what happened at mount Hiraa’ and told him that Allah (God) had made him His Messenger. At once, Abu Bakr became Muslim without any hesitation. As soon as he became a Muslim, he started to preach Islam to his friends, whom he had many, and they knew him to be sincere and truthful, and so they all accepted Islam without any hesitation. Among them were Uthman, Zubair, Talha, Abdul Rahman Bin Auf, and Saa’d Bin Abi Wakkas. These men are very well known and later became pillars of Islam. Abu Bakr was a rich merchant and in the mean time, he was very kind and helpful. He would not hesitate to offer help to anyone in need.



Risks His Life:


When the Prophet asked the people in Makkah to join him in believing in Allah and not to believe in idols as their gods and told them that these idols could do neither any good nor any harm, this made the people of Makkah very angry of Prophet Mohammad for making mockery at their gods and His idea of spreading a new religion. Headed by Abu Jahl (The greatest enemy of the holy Prophet), the people of Makkah were planning to hurt or kill the Prophet, but Abu Bakr made sure that no harm will come to the holy Prophet.

One day as the Prophet was preaching in the Kaaba, Abu Jahl and other Makkahns decided to finish with Mohammad. Abu Jahl took a piece of cloth and tried to strangle the Messenger of Allah while the other chiefs looked and laughed. Abu Bakr intervened and pushed Abu Jahl aside. For this action, Abu Bakr was beaten by Abu Jahl and his crowd that he was unconscious for several hours. He risked his own life for the safety of the Prophet.




Spending His Wealth in Good Cause:


As Islam started to spread in Makkah, especially among the poor and slaves, the life became very difficult for them. Muslim slaves, who had non-Muslim masters, became the worst sufferers. They could not run away from their cruel masters nor would give up their faith. Although, they were tortured to give up Islam, they could not do so. Abu Bakr’s wealth came to the rescue of many helpless Muslim slaves as he bought them and set them free. Bilal who became the first Moathin (the person who calls for prayers) was among the first to be set free.



Migration to Madinah, Year 622 A.D.:


As the years went by, the people of Makkah became very hostile towards the Muslims. For this reason, the Muslims decided to search for a peaceful land and left Makkah. When the Makkahns started to become harsher and harsher on Muslims and put the life of the Prophet in danger, Allah commanded the Prophet to move to Madinah. Abu Bakr was the person fully in charge of making all the arrangement for the historical journey. They lay hidden for three days in Jabal Thour (the cave of Thour, near Makkah). Makkahns were looking desperately for both of them. Once, they came right at the entrance of the cave. Abu Bakr became very frightened for the life of the Prophet, but the Prophet remained very calm and told him not to worry as Allah is with them.




Participation in Battles:


Abu Bakr took part in all the battles that the holy Prophet had to fight and he was always strong as rock. Ohod, Honain, Badr, and Al-Khandaq are some of the famous battles he was involved in next to the Prophet. He stood by the side of the Prophet without any fear. At Badr, one of Abu Bakr’s sons, who had not yet became Muslim, was fighting on the side of Makkahns. Afterwards, when he converted to Islam, one day he said to his father: “Father, at Badr, you were twice under my sword. But my love for you held back my handâ€. Abu Bakr answered: “Son! If I had got the chance only once, you must have been no moreâ€. This action illustrates the sincere devotion to the Prophet and Islam.

Tabouk was the last war of the holy Prophet. It needed a lot of arrangements as well as funds. Abu Bakr’s closeness to the Prophet and his strong belief in Islam won him universal respect among all the Muslims. In Tabouk, Abu Bakr spent all his wealth in order to prepare for making the expedition successes. When asked by the Prophet whether he had left anything for his wife and children, he answered calmly: “Allah and His Apostle are enough for themâ€.




Agent to the Prophet:


Makkah was captured by the Muslims eight years later. As the Kaaba was the first time in the hands of Muslims, it had to be cleaned of all the idols of worship and unholy traditions such as walking naked around the Kaaba. The first Hajj (pilgrimage) was on the ninth year of Hijra, the Prophet was too busy at Madinah to lead the Hajj himself. So, he appointed Abu Bakr as his representative to lead the Hajj. As he did so, Abu Bakr gave Al-Khotba (sermon) and asked the people not to worship idols and not to enter the Kaaba as they did before.


The holy Prophet led prayers in the Masjid himself. During his sickness, the Prophet could not lead the prayers as he became weaker. So, He appointed Abu Bakr to act in his place. One day, Abu Bakr was away in some business trip outside Madina. Omar took his place in leading the prayers that day. “This is not Abu Bakr’s voice†said the ailing Messenger of Allah. “No one but he should lead prayersâ€. “He is the fittest person for this high officeâ€. On the last day of his life, the condition of the Prophet became better and it was early morning and Abu Bakr was leading the prayer in the Masjid. The Prophet lifted the curtains of his door and looked at the worshippers. They were busy in prayer under Abu Bakr’s leadership. The Prophet was happy to choose the best man to fill his place.




Rising to the Caliphate:


During his illness, Prophet Mohammad allowed Abu Bakr to lead prayers in his absence, and many considered this as an indication that Abu Bakr would succeed Mohammad. Soon, after the death of the Prophet, 8th Jun. 632, prominent Ansar (people of Madinah) and Mohajireen (refugees from Makkah) acclaimed Abu Bakr as the new Muslim Khalifah (leader).


There was a big confusion when the news of the death of the Prophet spread. People did not know what to do as they believed that Mohammad is mortal. Omar (second Caliph) was so overcome with his emotions that he declared: “If anyone says that the Messenger of Allah is dead, I will cut off his headâ€. Things were getting out of hands. Abu Bakr entered the Masjid and took his stand in a corner of the courtyard and called out to the people and began his famous speech:


“O people! If anyone among you worshipped Mohammad, let him know that Mohammad has departed. But those who worship Allah, let him know that He lives and will never die.


Abu Bakr’s words worked like magic and the huge crowd got ready to face the facts after being so much confused.




Doctrines of Abu Bakr:


Some of the instructions given by Abu Bakr to the Muslims and Muslim army:


1. Do not be deserters, nor be guilty of disobedience.

2. Do not kill an old man, a woman, or a child.

3. Do not injure date palms and do not cut down fruit trees.

4. Do not slaughter any sheep or cows or camels except for food.

5. You will encounter persons who spend their lives in monasteries. Leave them alone and do not molest them.

6. Always fear Allah. He knows what is in men’s hearts.

7. Be kind to men under you and treat them well.

8. Directions given should be brief. If too long, they are likely to be forgotten.

9. Improve your conduct first; others will improve when they see your example.

10. Honor the representatives of the enemy.

11. Keep your own arrangement a secret.

12. Be always truthful so you can get good advice.

13. At night when you are free, sit among your men. This will keep you in touch with them.

14. Make good arrangements for the watch and the ward of the army.

15. Keep away from untruthful men. Be intimate with truthful and faithful companions.

16. Be sincere to all whom you have dealings.

17. Beware of cowardice and dishonesty.





During the Last Illness of Abu Bakr:


Abu Bakr became sick on the 7th of Jumad Al Akheer, 13 A.H. he got a severe fever. He realized that this is indicating his last final days. He was thinking a lot of the leader who should be the next after his death, and he wanted to avoid all the confusion that happened after the death of the Prophet. He wanted to make sure that all Muslims stay united together and that no divisions should occur after his own death.


After spending so much time thinking, Abu Bakr nominated Omar Ibn Al-Khattab. All the leading companions agreed, but someone said: “Omar is no doubt the best man, but he is rather too strict.†Abu Bakr replied: “As soon as the burden of Caliphate falls on his shoulders, he will become more mild.†When all companions agreed, Abu Baker went to the top of his house, and gave a speech to the people and said: “My brethren in faith, I have not appointed any of my own brothers and relatives as your Caliph. I have appointed a man who is the fittest person among you. Do you approve of him?â€


“Of course we do,†the reply came from hundreds of men. Then, he called Omar and spoke to him, and so Omar became officially the expected Caliph after the death of Abu Bark Al-Siddiq.




Abu Bakr’s Death:


After being sick for two weeks, Abu Bakr passed away on the 21st of Jumad Al Akheer, 13 A.H. (23rd Aug. 634 A.C.), at the age of sixty-three, and was buried by the side of the holy Prophet. Thus, Abu Bakr, the first Caliph, proved to the world with his unshakeable faith that Islam is a way of life. His caliphate had been of twenty-seven months duration. He lived, worked, and died for Islam to his last breath. He managed, by the Grace of Allah, to fight for Islam, to make it and its community and state strong, and passed away, leaving a nation that believed that he left a better world behind him.





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