|Abu Bakr R|
Abu Bakr R was a childhood friend of the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad S. Because of their similar thinking, habits and attitudes they became close friends. This bond of their friendship deepened with time. Abu Bakr R was a rich trader. He used to live in an exclusive neighborhood of Makkah. The Messenger of Allah, Muhammad S also moved to the same locality after marrying Khadijah bint Khuwaylid R, another wealthy trader of Makkah. Proximity of their living quarters brought them closer. They had traveled together on trading missions.Abu Bakr R was born in Makkah in 51BH (Before Hijrah) (573 AD), and was two years younger to the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad S.
Abu Quhafah bin ‘Amir R the father of Abu Bakr R, was a wealthy businessman of Makkah. Abu Quhafah bin ‘Amir R was married to one of his cousins, Salmah bint Sakhr R. Salma bint Sakhr R was also known by her nickname Ummul Khayr.
Their children used to die in their infancy. When Abu Bakr R was born, his mother took him to the Ka’bah to pray for his long life. She named him ‘Abdul Ka’bah meaning slave of the Ka’bah. He was named so to please the gods of the Ka’bah. In the days of ignorance, before Islam, the Ka’bah housed idols of 360 gods and goddesses. The Quraysh of Makkah and other ‘Arab tribes worshipped these gods and goddesses. Abu Bakr R was the only child of his parents.
The Messenger of Allah, Muhammad S changed his name to ‘Abdullah meaning slave of Allah, after he embraced Islam Abu Bakr R belonged to the Banu (Family of) Taym clan of the Quraysh tribe. Abu Bakr R and the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad S had common ancestors seven generations earlier. Banu (Family of) Taym was responsible for judging murder cases of the community. They also fixed the amount of Diyat (Blood Money).
Abu Bakr R also used to judge murder cases and was a custodian of the Diyat (Blood Money).
Abu Bakr means Father of camels. Abu Bakr R got this nickname because of his expertise on camels. His nickname became so popular that his actual name was completely forgotten. In his childhood and early youth, Abu Bakr R used to graze herds of cattle.
Later, Abu Bakr R took up his family tradition and became a trader. He began trading, at the age of eighteen (18) years. He was a cloth merchant. He traveled to far away places like Sham (Syria) and Yaman (Yemen) on trading trips.
Abu Bakr R was very honest in his dealings and had a very friendly personality. These qualities made him a very successful and wealthy businessman. Abu Bakr R was one of the richest Quraysh.
Abu Bakr R was an expert on relationships and names of people from different clans of Quraysh and their family trees. He was one of the most knowledgeable scholars of the Quraysh tribe.
Abu Bakr R never drank alcohol, even before Islam. He stayed away from the social vices of his times. He was among the ten (10) prominent leaders of the Quraysh tribe of Makkah.
Muhammad S became the last Rasul (Messenger) of Allah (God), in the year 14BH (Before Hijrah) (608 AD).
His wife Khadijah bint Khuwaylid R was the first person to accept Islam.
Abu Bakr R was away on a trading trip to Yaman, when Muhammad S became the Rasul (Messenger) of Allah (God).
The Quraysh leaders found out that Muhammad S has proclaimed a new religion. The Quraysh leaders did not like it. They decided to wait for Abu Bakr R before taking any action against Muhammad S.
When Abu Bakr R returned to Makkah, prominent Quraysh leaders Abu Jahl bin Hisham, ‘Utbah bin Rabi’ah and Shaybah bin Rabi’ah went to meet him.
They told him that Muhammad S claims that Allah (God) has chosen him as His last Rasul (Messenger). Abu Bakr R knew Muhammad S very well for more than thirty-five (35) years. He knew that Muhammad S had never lied. He was not surprised at that.
Abu Bakr R went to meet Muhammad S. The Messenger of Allah, Muhammad S told him about the incident he had experienced in a cave of Mount Hira. The Messenger of Allah, Muhammad S told him that how he received the first Wahi (Message from Allah).
Abu Bakr R did not ask any questions. He did not show any hesitation either. Abu Bakr R immediately accepted the message of Allah (God), and became a Muslim.
Abu Bakr R was the first adult male to convert to Islam. Later, The Messenger of Allah, Muhammad S mentioned that Abu Bakr R was the only person who did not show any hesitation before joining Islam.
The other three people were Khadijah bint Khuwaylid R, ‘Ali bin Abu Talib R and Zayd bin Harithah R.
Khadijah bint Khuwaylid R was the loving wife of the Messenger of Allah, who had reassured and consoled him when he could not completely comprehend the great event of being deputed as the last Messenger of Allah (God).
‘Ali bin Abu Talib R was the first youth to convert to Islam. He was a cousin of the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad S, and lived with him. His father Abu Talib bin ‘Abdul Muttalib became the guardian of Muhammad S after the Messenger of Allah’s mother Aminah bint Wahb and grandfather ‘Abdul Muttalib bin Hashim died.
Zayd bin Harithah R was a slave of Khadijah bint Khuwaylid R. She gifted him to the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad S at the time of their wedding. The Messenger of Allah, set him free and adopted him as his son. Zayd bin Harithah R was the first among the slaves to accept Islam.
Abu Bakr R was a wealthy trader. He had a lot of credibility in the society. He began taking the message of Islam, to his friends. Some of the early converts to Islam became Muslims because of the efforts of Abu Bakr R.
‘Uthman bin ‘Affan R, ‘Abdur Rahman bin ‘Auf R, Talhah bin ‘Ubaydullah R, Zubayr bin Al ‘Awwam R, Sa’d bin Abu Waqqas R and Abu ‘Ubaydah bin Al Jarrah R and many others accepted Islam because of the efforts of Abu Bakr R. All of them were extremely famous Sahabah (Companions of Muhammad S) and served Islam very well.
Islam introduced the concept of social equality to the world. Islam had a special attraction for the poor and the oppressed of Makkah, specially the slaves. Islam posed a challenge to the social system of the Quraysh.
Quraysh resisted Islam with all their might. They tortured anyone and everyone, who accepted Islam. Slaves were easy targets of Quraysh.
Abu Bakr R never hesitated to spend his wealth for the cause of Allah (God). He freed many of those slaves from the torture of Quraysh, by paying heavy prices for them.
Some of the famous slaves who were freed by Abu Bakr R were Blial R (Who was appointed by Muhammad S to call people for prayers), Blial R’s mother Hamamah R, ‘Amir bin Fahirah R (Who accompanied Muhammad S and Abu Bakr R on their historic journey of Hijrah to Madinah), Abu Fakihah R, Zunayrah R, Umm ‘Ubays R, Nahdiyah R, and her daughter Lubaynah R. Abu Bakr R never reminded them or anyone else about the favor he had done to them by freeing them.
Bilal R stopped calling Adhan (Call for Prayers) after the demise of the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad S.
In the year 2BH (Before Hijrah) (620CE), Muhammad S went on Mi’raj (The miraculous night journey to Heavens). The Quraysh made fun of him. They went to Abu Bakr R and told him that his friend Muhammad S is claiming that he went to Yarushalam (Jerusalem) and the Heavens in the same night and returned to Makkah. When Abu Jahl bin Hisham and other Quraysh jokingly told Abu Bakr R about it, he said without any hesitation that if the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad S has said so, then it must be true.
After this incident, the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad S, gave him the title of Siddiq (A true person). He
Abu Bakr R was always ready to protect the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad S, even at the cost of his own life.
Once, protect the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad S was offering Salah (Prayers) near the Ka’bah. ‘Uqbah bin Abi Mu’it, a prominent Quraysh opponent of Islam, put a sheet of cloth his neck and twisted it to a degree that it began to choke him. Abu Bakr R jumped at ‘Uqbah bin and pushed him aside.
At another occasion, Abu Bakr R went to Ka’bah with Muhammad S. There, he invited the Quraysh to join Islam.
Abu Bakr R was seriously injured and became unconscious. When Abu Bakr R regained consciousness, he did not worry about his own welfare. He first asked for the well being of Muhammad S.
Abu Bakr R belonged to the powerful and strong Banu (Family of) Taym. He was widely respected on his own.
Abu Bakr R was a rich trader. He also had the responsibility of fixing Qisas (Penalty) for murder in the Quraysh tribe.
Despite of his strong position, the Quraysh harassed him when he became a Muslim.
To save himself from the torture of Quraysh, Abu Bakr R decided to leave Makkah. He decided to migrate to Habash (Ethiopia). Many Muslims had earlier migrated to Habash (Ethiopia).
Abu Bakr R started out for Habash (Ethiopia). He reached a place called Bark al Ghamad after traveling for five (5) days.
There he met one of his friends Ibn Daghnah. Ibn Daghnah was a chief of the Qarah tribe.
He was surprised to see Abu Bakr R there. Abu Bakr R told Abu Daghnah that he had left Makkah for good, because of harassment by his own people.
Abu Bakr R told him that he is migrating to Habash (Ethiopia) because there he would be able to worship Allah (God) without worrying about any repercussions.
Abu Daghnah told Abu Bakr R that he would not allow him to leave Makkah. He took Abu Bakr R back to Makkah with him. Abu Daghnah told the Quraysh that he had decided to provide safety to Abu Bakr R.
Abu Dahghah asked the Quraysh that why have they had forced such a nice person, out from Makkah.
Abu Bakr R was a very generous person. He used to take good care of his guests. He always supported his relatives and helped the needy.
Quraysh agreed to allow Abu Bakr R to stay back in Makkah on one condition. They wanted Abu Bakr R to offer his Salah (Prayers) silently. The Quraysh told Abu Daghnah that the words of the Qur–an confuse their women and children.
Abu Bakr R did not recite the holy Qur-an loudly for a few days, but he could not continue this practice. He began to recite Qur-an loudly while offering Salah (Prayers). He used to cry while reciting the holy Qur-an.
Women and children of the Quraysh used to watch him. The Quraysh sent a message to Abu Daghnah that Abu Bakr had broken the pact.
Abu Daghnah told Abu Bakr R that he would not be able to guarantee his safety any more because Abu Bakr R had not followed the conditions of their pact with the Quraysh.
Abu Bakr R thanked Abu Daghnah for his earlier support. He also told Abu Daghnah that he is protected by Allah (God) and does not seek protection from any one else.
Atrocities of Quraysh increased with time. Muhammad S allowed Muslims to migrate to Yathrib (Madinah), a city north of Makkah. Muhammad S had asked Abu Bakr R to stay back in Makkah with him. Abu Bakr R knew that he might migrate to Yathrib (Madinah) in the company of Muhammad S.
At the time of migration, his family members consisted of his two wives: Umme Rooman and Asma, his daughter; Aisha and his son; Abdullah. Abu Bakr’s father, Abu Quhafah, remained in Mecca, and one of his sons, Abdur Rehman, fought in the Battle of Badr against Muslims. However, he accepted Islam before the victory of Mecca.
The Messenger made Abu Bakr the brother of Kharjah bin Zaid who later on became his father in law.
Abu Bakr R, ‘Umar bin Khattab R and many other senior Sahabah (Companions of Muhammad S) had rushed to Saqifah (Courtyard) of Banu (Family of) Sa‘idah. There was a near revolt.
A powerful group of Ansar (Muslims from Madinah) wanted to elect the successor of Muhammad S from amongst them selves.
Abu Bakr R proposed the names of two senior Sahabah (Companions of Muhammad S), who were with him, as the Khalifah (Caliph) of Muslims. They were ‘Umar bin Khattab R and Abu ‘Ubaydah bin Al Jarrah R.
Better sense prevailed over Ansar, when it was pointed out that Muhammad S had himself appointed Abu Bakr R as the Imam (Leader) and prayed under his leadership during his last days.
They agreed for Abu Bakr R as the first Khalifah (Caliph) of Muslims. People began pledging allegiance to Abu Bakr R.
Abu Bakr R participated in all the battles fought for the cause of Islam, in his life.
Abu Bakr R used to be on the right hand of Muhammad S during battles.
Abu Bakr R became the first Khalifah of Muslims on the day when Muhammad S passed away in the year 11 H.
The period of his Khilafah (Caliphate) is two years and half month. Conquest of Sham and a big part of ‘Iraq took place in his times.
Abu Bakr R was the first Khalifah (Caliph) of Islam.
His succession to Muhammad S, did not raise much
controversy, because Muhammad S had already asked him to lead prayers and prayed behind Abu Bakr R when he was sick.
He had some great warriors as the commanders of Muslim armies.
Khalid bin Walid R, ‘Amr bin al ‘As R, Abu ‘Ubaydah bin Jarrah R, ‘Ala’ bin al Hadhrami R, Yazid bin Abu Sufyan R and Muthna bin Harithah R.
Abu Bakr R was a sincere, soft hearted person. He was a great orator and a very brave soldier.
He died in Madinah in 13H (634 AD).
Abu Bakr R narrated 142 Ahadith (Sayings of Muhammad S).