By Mawlana Nabil Ahmed | Rabi’uth Thani 1438
Abu Bakr (R.A) was born to a very honourable family of Banu Tamim tribe of the Quraysh in Makkah. His name was Abdullah and Abu Bakr was his nickname. His father, Uthman, was commonly known as Abu Quhafa and his mother was Salma.
In all, Abu Bakr (R.A) had four wives. He had six children, three sons and three daughters. His eldest son was named Abdur Rahman, the second was Abdullah, and the third was Muhammad. His eldest daughter’s name was Asma, then came Ayesha and finally, his youngest daughter was named Umm Kulsum.
Abu Bakr (R.A) was highly regarded by the people for his piety, truthfulness and sincerity, since adolescence. They praised and respected these virtuous attributes which made up his character. In addition, Abu Bakr (R.A) was a very close companion to the Prophet (May Allah bless him), who was two years his senior.
Abu Bakr (R.A), the First among Men to Enter Islam
The Holy Prophet (May Allah bless him) told Abu Bakr (RA) what had happened on Mount Hira’: he told him that Allah (SWT) had revealed to him and made him His Messenger. When Abu Bakr (R.A) heard this from the Prophet (May Allah bless him), at once, he became a Muslim. He submitted to Islam with such swiftness that the prophet (May Allah bless him) said about him:
I called people to Islam, everybody thought over it, at least for a while, but this was not the case with Abu Bakr. The moment I put Islam before him, he accepted it without any hesitation.”
He was titled As Siddiq by the Prophet (May Allah bless him). When the Prophet (May Allah bless him) returned from the miraculous night journey (Israa Wal Mi’raaj), nobody believed him. They came to Abu Bakr (R.A) to ask him about his thoughts on what seemed to be a dream of the Rasoolullah (May Allah bless him). He (R.A) said that he believed it to be true. He was the earliest person to invite others toward Islam.
The following companions accepted Islam due to Abu Bakr’s (R.A) da’wah (call to Islam);
Uthman bin Affan, Zubair bin Awam, Talhah bin Ubaidullah, Abdur Rahman bin ‘Auf, Sa’ad bin Abi Waqas ,Umar bin Masoan, Abu Ubaidah bin Al-Jarrah, Abdullah bin Abdul Asad, Abu Salma, Khalid bin Saeed and Abu Hudhaifah (R.A)
Migration with Prophet (May Allah bless him)
The Muslims in Makkah fell upon hard times when the disbelievers began to oppress Muslims; Allah SWT instructed His messenger (May Allah bless him) to embark upon the journey of migration towards Madina. The Holy Prophet (saw) left Ali (R.A) on his bed and asked him to return all the trusts to their owners and travel to Madina the next day. On the same night, Rasoolullah (May Allah bless him) was accompanied by his most righteous companion, i.e. Abu Bakr and they both stayed in the “Cave of Thawr” for three days as non believers had followed them, within intent to kill them. The Almighty Lord records this incident in the Holy Quran in the form of following words:
If you do not aid the Prophet – 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 tranquillity 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.” [Quran, 9: 40]
Abu Bakr’s (R.A) love of the Prophet (May Allah bless him) was so great that he was willing to sacrifice his life for the sake of protecting and comforting the Prophet (May Allah bless him). Abu Bakr (R.A), being the closest of Companions to the Prophet (May Allah bless him), took part in all the battles that the Prophet Muhammad (May Allah bless him) had fought.
Appointment of Abu Bakr as the Imam
Shortly after returning from the farewell pilgrimage, Prophet (May Allah bless him) directed Abu Bakr (R.A) to lead the prayers in the Prophet’s mosque (Masjid An-Nabawi) during his illness. The Holy Prophet (May Allah bless him) paid a glowing tribute to Abu Bakr (R.A) when he said:
“There has been none more generous to me for his unwavering loyalty, devotion and sacrifice of wealth than Abu Bakr. If I were to choose a bosom friend it would be he, but Islam has made a closer brotherhood among us all.”
The death of the Holy Prophet (May Allah bless him) led to an immediate crisis in the affairs of the Muslims over the question as to who was to be the leader of the Muslims after the Holy Prophet. On the day following the meeting at Saqeefa Bani Sa’ida, all the Muslims of Madina assembled in the Prophet’s mosque for Zuhr prayer and were offering allegiance to Abu Bakr (R.A) as the Caliph. Everyone agreed that there was no leader better than Abu Bakr (RA) to lead them: the bosom companion of the Holy Prophet (May Allah bless him), the “second of the two” (in the cave during migration) according to the Holy Quran, and the man whom the Holy Prophet had personally appointed as the Imam for Salah.
Father of Islamic law
The Holy Prophet (May Allah bless him) received most of his knowledge directly from Allah through the process of revelation. Whenever the Holy Prophet (May Allah bless him) faced difficulty, he received guidance from Allah. Following the death of the Holy Prophet (May Allah bless him), Muslims were left with the light of guidance that could be obtained from the Holy Quran and the Sunnah, as Allah’s revelations to the Messenger (May Allah bless him) ceased to exist.
This gave rise to the science of Fiqh, the application of the principles of Islam, to the day-to-day drawbacks, and the settlement of disputes. The process of Fiqh began with Abu Bakr as he is regarded as the ‘Father of Fiqh’. He was the first to frame the rules of Ijtihad (process of extracting Islamic laws from the Quran and Sunnah).
Passing away of Abu Bakr (R.A)
On the 7th of Jamadi-ul-Akhir of the 13th A.H, corresponding to the 8th of August 634 C.E, Abu Bakr (R.A) became very sick, a sickness from which he would never recover. Abu Bakr (R.A) left this world and returned to Allah (SWT).