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Abu bakr

The name of Abu Bakr on a bronze shield

Khalifat al-Rasul Abu Bakr al-SiddiqEdit

Born 573, Mecca
Died 23 August 634, Medina
Reign 8 June 632–23 August 634
Title(s) Al-Siddiq, Sadiq al Akber, Khalifat al-Rasul
Buried Al-Masjid al-Nabawi
Predecessor -
Successor Umar

Abu Bakr (Arabic أبو بكر )"Al-Siddiq" (ca 573 CE – 23 August 634/13 AH) was one of the earliest Muslims and a senior sahaba (companion) of Muhammad. Throughout his life, Abu Bakr remained a close friend and confidante of Muhammad. Upon Muhammad's death he became the first caliph (632–634), regarded by the Sunnis as the first of the Rashidun caliphs (first four righteously guided ). His caliphate lasted two years and three months, during which time he consolidated the Muslim state. Upon the death of Muhammad, some tribes rebelled, and in return he fought the Ridda wars against these Arab tribes to establish Islamic rule over all of Arabia. He also conquered the lands of Syria and Iraq.

Pre-Islamic lifeEdit

Abu Bakr was born at Mecca some time in 573 C.E. (49 B.H.), in the Banu Taym clan of the Quraysh tribe and His father was Uthman "Abu Qahafa", and his mother was Salma "Umm al-Khair". The birth name of Abu Bakr was Abd al-Ka'bah ("Servant of the Ka'ba") and when he accepted Islam in 610 C.E. he was named Abdullah ("Servant of Allah") by Muhammad and fully called Abdullah ibn Abi Qahafa. Suyuti relates through Ibn Sa'd al-Baghdadi's report from Aisha her description of Abu Bakr:

He was a man with fair skin, thin, emaciated, with a sparse beard, a slightly hunched frame, sunken eyes and protruding forehead, and the bases of his fingers were hairless.

By most reports he was very handsome, and for his beauty he earned the nickname of Atiq. He was born in a rich family. He spent his early childhood like other Arab children of the time among the Bedouins who called themselves Ahl-Ba'eer ("the people of the camel"), he developed a particular fondness for camels.

File:Wazir Khan Mosque Hadith.jpg

In his early years he played with the camel foals and goats, and his love for camels earned him the nickname of Abu Bakr, the father of the foal of the camel. It is said that he didn't worship idols since his youth. When Abu Bakr was 10 years old he went to Syria along with his father with the merchants' caravan. Muhammad who was 12 years old at the time, was also with the caravan. Like other children of the rich Meccan merchant families, he was literate and developed a fondness for Arab. He used to attend the annual fair at Ukaz, and participate in poetical symposia. He had a very good memory. In 591 at the age of 18, Abu Bakr went into trade and adopted the profession of a cloth merchant which was the family's business. In the coming years Abu Bakr traveled extensively with caravans. Business trips took him to Yemen, Syria, and elsewhere. These travels brought him wealth and added to his experience. His business flourished and he rose in the scale of social importance. Though his father Uthman Abu Qahafa was still alive, he came to be recognized as chief of his tribe. Abu Bakr was assigned the office of awarding blood money in cases of murder. His office was something like the office of an honorary magistrate. Abu Bakr was an expert in genealogical lore and he knew intimately who was who in Mecca, and what his ancestry was.

During Muhammad's eraEdit

When Muhammad married Khadijah bint Khuwaylid and moved to her house, he became a neighbor of Abu Bakr who lived in the same locality. That was the quarter of Meccan Aristocracy. Like the house of Khadija, the house of Abu Bakr was double storied and palatial in structure.

As neighbors, Muhammad and Abu Bakr came in contact with each other. Both of them were of the same age, traders and good managers.

Acceptance of IslamEdit

On his return from a business trip from [Yemen], he was informed by some of his friends that in his absence Muhammad had declared himself as the Messenger of God, and proclaimed a new religion. Abu Bakr converted to Islam becoming the second person to accept Muhammad's Prophethood according to some Sunnis. Other Sunnis and all Shias believe that the second person (and first male) to accept Muhammed as the messenger of Allah was Ali ibn Abi Talib. Also he was the first person outside the family of Muhammad to become a [Muslim].

Life after accepting IslamEdit

His birth name Abdul Kaaba was changed to Abdullah, because the former was indicative of paganism. His wife Qutaylah bint Abd-al-Uzza did not accept Islam and he divorced her. His other wife, Um Ruman, became a Muslim at his insistence. All his children except ‘Abd ar-Rahman ibn Abi Bakr accepted Islam, and Abu Bakr separated from his son Abdur Rahman.

Abu Bakr's dawah brought many people to Islam. He persuaded his intimate friends to convert to Islam. He persuaded his intimate friends to convert to Islam and presented Islam to others in such a way that many of his friends accepted Islam. Those who converted to Islam at the instance of Abu Bakr were:

Abu Bakr's acceptance proved to be a milestone in Muhammad's mission. Slavery was common in Mecca, and many slaves accepted Islam. When an ordinary free man accepted Islam, despite opposition, he would enjoy the protection of his tribe. For slaves however, there was no such protection, and were subjected to persecution. Abu Bakr felt for these slaves, so he purchased them and set them free. Abu Bakr purchased the freedom of eight slaves, four men and four women.

Among men they were:

and among the women they were:

Most of the slaves liberated by Abu Bakr were either women or old and frail men. The father of Abu Bakr asked him to for why doesn't he liberate strong and young slaves who could be a source of strength for him, Abu Bakr replied that he was freeing the slaves for the sake of Allah, and not for his own sake. According to Sunni tradition the following verses of the Qur'an were revealed due to this:

He who gives in charity and fears Allah And in all sincerity testifies to the Truth; We shall indeed make smooth for him the path of Bliss {92:5-7}.

Those who spend their wealth for increase in self-purification; And have in their minds no favor from any one For which a reward is expected in return, But only the desire to seek the Countenance, Of their Lord, Most High; And soon they shall attain complete satisfaction {92:8-21}.

Persecution by the QurayshEdit

For three years after the advent of Islam, Muslims kept secret their faith, and prayed in secret. In 613 Muhammad received a revelation to call people to Islam openly. The first public address inviting people to offer allegiance to Muhammad was delivered by Abu Bakr. In a fit of fury the young men of the Quraysh tribe rushed at Abu Bakr, and beat him mercilessly till he lost consciousness. Following this incident Abu Bakr's mother converted to Islam. Abu Bakr was persecuted many times by the Quraysh.

Last years in MeccaEdit

In 617, the Quraysh enforced a boycott against the Banu Hashim. Muhammad along with his supporters from Banu Hashim, were shut up in a pass away from Mecca. All social relations with the Banu Hashim were cut off and their state was that of imprisonment. Before it many Muslims migrated to Abyssinia (now Ethiopia). Abu Bakr, feeling distress, set out for Yemen and then to Abyssinia from there. He met a friend of his named Ad-Dughna (chief of the Qarah tribe) outside Mecca, who invited Abu Bakr to seek his protection against the Quraysh. Abu Bakr went back to Mecca, it was a relief for him, but soon due to the pressure of Quraysh, Ad-Dughna was forced to renounce his protection. Once again the Quraysh were free to persecute Abu Bakr. In the year 620 Muhammad's wife and uncle died. Abu Bakr's daughter Aisha was engaged to Muhammad, however it was decided that the actual marriage ceremony would be held later. In the year 620 Abu Bakr was the first person to testify to Muhammad's Isra and Mi'raj (night Journey). According to Sunni traditions, he was given title al-Siddîq, meaning "the truthful," "the upright," or "the one who counts true," due to his immediate belief of the journey. During the Roman-Persian Wars, the sympathies of the Quraysh of Mecca was with the Persians who were Zoroastrian. The Muslims on the other hand had their sympathies for the Byzantines who were Christians and were the People of the Book with a belief in the Abrahamic God. After the Persian victories over Byzantine, verses of the Qur'an revealed of Surah rum with the prophesy that Byzantine (Romans) will regain what they lost and the Persians will be defeated within few years. Over this Abu Bakr had a wager with Ubaiy bin Khalf, it was decided that one who lost the wager will pay one hundred camels. With a decisive Byzantine victory in 627 against the Persians, Abu Bakr won the wager, though Ubaiy bin Khalf was not alive but his heirs honored the agreement and gave Abu Bakr one hundred camels. Abu Bakr gave away all the camels as charity.

Migration to MedinaEdit

In 622 on the invitation of the Muslims of Medina, Muhammad ordered Muslims to migrate to Medina. The migration began in batches. Abu Bakr accompanied Muhammad in his migration for Medina. Due to the danger of the Quraysh, they did not take the road to Medina. They moved in the opposite direction, and took refuge in a cave in Mount Thaur some five miles south of Mecca. `Abdullah ibn Abi Bakr the son of Abu Bakr would listen to the plans and talks of the Quraysh, and at night he would carry the news to the fugitives in the cave. Asma bint Abi Bakr the daughter of Abu Bakr brought them meals every day. Aamir a servant of Abu Bakr would bring a flock of goats to the mouth of the cave every night where they were milked. The Quraysh sent search parties in all directions. One party came close to the entrance to the cave, but was unable to sight them. Due to this the following verse of the Qur'an was revealed:

If ye help not (your Leader) (it is no matter): for Allah did indeed help him; when the unbelievers drove him out: he had no more than one companion: they two were in the cave, and he said to his companion "Have no Fear, for Allah is with us": then Allah sent down His peace upon him, and strengthened him with forces which ye saw not, and humbled to the depths the word of the Unbelievers. But the word of Allah is exalted to the heights: for Allah is Exalted in might, Wise.

After staying at the cave for three days and three nights, Abu Bakr and Muhammad proceed to Medina, staying for some time at Quba, a suburb of Medina.

Life in MedinaEdit

In Medina, Muhammad decided to construct a mosque. A piece of land was chosen and the price of the land was paid for by Abu Bakr. Muslims constructed a mosque named Al-Masjid al-Nabawi at the site and Abu Bakr also took part in construction. Abu Bakr was paired with Khaarij ah bin Zaid Ansari as a brother in faith. Abu Bakr's relationship with his brother-in-Islam was most cordial, which was further strengthened when Abu Bakr married Habiba, a daughter of Khaarijah.

Khaarij ah bin Zaid Ansari used to live at Sukh, a suburb of Medina, and Abu Bakr also settled there. After Abu Bakr's family arrived in Medina he bought another house near Muhammad's.

The climate of Mecca was dry, but the climate of Medina was damp and this adversely affected the health of the immigrants, so that on arrival most of them fell sick. Abu Bakr also suffered from fever for several days and during this time he was attended to by Khaarijah and his family. At Mecca, Abu Bakr was a trader in cloth and he started the same business in Medina. He was a wholesaler, and had his store at Sukh, and from there cloth was supplied to the market at Medina. Soon his business flourished at Medina. Early in 623, Abu Bakr's daughter Aisha, who was already engaged to Muhammad, was handed over to Muhammad in a simple marriage ceremony, and this further strengthen the relation between Abu Bakr and Muhammad.

In 624 Abu Bakr participated in the first battle between the Muslims and the Quraysh of Mecca known as the Battle of Badr. In 625 he participated in the Battle of Uhud. Before the battle begun, Abu Bakr's son ‘Abd ar-Rahman ibn Abi Bakr who was still non-Muslim and was fighting from the side of the Quraysh, came forward and threw down a challenge for a duel. Abu Bakr accepted the challenge but was stopped by Muhammad. His son later converted to Islam and gained fame during the Muslim conquest of Syria as a fierce warrior. In the second phase of the battle, Khalid ibn al-Walid’s cavalry attacked the Muslims from behind, changing a Muslim victory to defeat. Many Muslim warriors were routed from the battle field but Abu Bakr remained, guarding Muhammad from the attacks of the Quraysh soldiers. During one such attack, two discs from Muhammad’s shield penetrated into Abu Ubaidah ibn al-Jarrah's cheeks. Abu Bakr went forward with the intention of extracting these discs but Abu Ubaidah ibn al-Jarrah requested he leave the matter to him, losing his two incisors during the process. Subsequently, Abu Bakr, along with other companions, led Muhammad to a place of safety. Later in the year Abu Bakr was a part of campaign again the Jewish tribe of Banu Nadir.

Later, in 627 he participated in the Battle of the Trench and also in the Battle of Banu Qurayza..In 628 he participated in Treaty of Hudaybiyyah and was made one of the witness over the pact..

In 630 when Muslim armies rushed for the Conquest of Mecca, Abu Bakr was a p



art of the army. Before the conquest of Mecca his father Uthman Abu Qahafa converted to Islam. In 630 he was part of Battle of Hunayn and Siege of Ta'if. He was part of the Muslim army in the campaign of Tabuk under Muhammad's command and he was reported to have given all his wealth for the preparation of this expedition.

In 631, Muhammad sent from Medina a delegation of three hundred Muslims to perform the Hajj according to the new Islamic way. Abu Bakr was appointed as the leader of the delegates. Abu Bakr had thus the honor of being the first Amir-ul-Haj in the history of Islam. In the year 632 Abu Bakr followed Muhammad to Mecca for the farewell Hajj.

Death of MuhammadEdit

A short time after returning from the farewell pilgrimage, Muhammad became ill. When the fever developed he directed Abu Bakr to go to the war following Usama who was 18. When Muhammad died Muslims gathered in Al-Masjid al-Nabawi and there were suppressed sobs and sighs. Many Sahaba were in a state of disbelief that Muhammad had died. Abu Bakr and many of the other Sahaba were not present when Muhammad died because they were having a conference about who would be the next leader. Ali ibn Abi Talib carried out the cleaning of the body and burial. In the meantime, the conference had decided that Abu Bakr should be the next caliph. When Abu Bakr gave condolences to Ali (RA), Ali was disgusted at the fact that they were more concerned about who would become the next caliph instead of the Prophet himself. Even though Muhammad publicly and openly told the Muslims that Ali was to be the successor after him at Ghadeer-e-Khum, Abu Bakr became the next caliph, and took his right away.

Election of Abu Bakr to CaliphateEdit

After Muhammad's death, previously dormant tensions between the Meccan immigrants, the Muhajirun, and the Medinan converts, the Ansar (Islam), threatened to break out and split the Ummah. The Ansar, the leaders of the tribes of Medina, met in a hall or house called saqifah, to discuss whom they would support as their new leader. When Abu Bakr was informed of the meeting, he, Umar, Abu Ubaidah ibn al-Jarrah and a few others rushed to prevent the Ansar from making a premature decision. Accounts of this meeting vary greatly. All agree that during the meeting Umar declared that Abu Bakr should be the new leader, and declared his allegiance to Abu Bakr, followed by Abu Ubaidah ibn al-Jarrah and Abu Bakr became the first Muslim caliph, who was given the title, Khalifa-tul-Rasool (Successor of messenger of Allah), a title only accepted by Sunni muslims.

After the meeting at saqifah, the Muslims who were not present were asked to submit to Abu Bakr, to give their pledge of allegiance. Most accounts agree that Ali (Muhammad's beloved and the most closest companion, cousin and son-in-law) and his supporters initially refused to submit. But after they refused to give Ali his right to be the caliph, he gave his allegiance for the greater good of Islam. After a period of time, the duration of which is disputed, the dissidents gave their bay'ah.</br>

Reign as a CaliphEdit

After assuming the office of Caliphate Abu Bakr's first address was as follow:
Abu bakr's reign

Caliph Abu Bakr's empire at its peak, 634.

I have been given the authority over you, and I am not the best of you. If I do well, help me; and if I do wrong, set me right. Sincere regard for truth is loyalty and disregard for truth is treachery. The weak amongst you shall be strong with me until I have secured his rights, if God wills; and the strong amongst you shall be weak with me until I have wrested from him the rights of others, if God wills. Obey me so long as I obey God and His Messenger. But if I disobey God and His Messenger, ye owe me no obedience. Arise for your prayer, God have mercy upon you.

Abu Bakr's Caliphate lasted for 27 months, during which he crushed the rebellion of the Arab tribes throughout Arab in the successful campaign against Apostasy. He launched campaigns against the Sassanid Empire and the Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantine Empire) and thus set in motion a historical trajectory that in just a few short decades would lead to one of the largest empires in history. He had little time to pay attention to the administration of state, though state affairs remained stable during his Caliphate. On the advice of Umar and Abu Ubaidah ibn al-Jarrah he agreed to have a salary from state treasury and abolish his cloth trade.

Ridda-WarsEdit

Troubles emerged soon after Abu Bakr's succession, threatening the unity and stability of the new community and state. Several Arabic tribes revolted against Abu Bakr. In four of the six centres of the insurrection, the rebells rallied around people who claimed to be prophets, the most prominent among these Musaylimah. The tribes claimed that they had submitted to Muhammad only, and that with Muhammad's death, their allegiance had ended. This was common practice in pre-islamic Arabia: After the death of a tribal leader the alliance with the tribe of that leader was regarded as having ended.. The Campaign of the Apostasy was fought and completed during the eleventh year of the Hijri. The year 12 Hijri dawned, on March 18, 633, with Arabia united under the central authority of the Caliph at Medina.

This phenomenon was later regarded as primarily a religious movement by Arabic historians. However, the early sources indicate that in reality it was mainly political. After all, the revolting Arabs only refused to pay taxes, but they did not refuse to perform the salah. The opponents of the Muslim armies were not only apostates, but also - if not most of them - tribes which were largely or even completely independent from the Muslim community.

Shi'ite viewEdit

The Muslims believe that although there were some people that took the opportunity to proclaim themselves as prophets, the majority of people who battled against Abu Bakr were people who expected Ali to be the next Caliph, since they believe that Muhammad was expressing this wish at the Hadith of the two weighty things.

The Qur'an — preservationEdit

According to Sunni Islam, Abu Bakr was instrumental in preserving the Qur'an in written form. It is said that after the hard-won victory over Musaylimah in the Battle of Yamama fought in 632, Umar (the later Caliph Umar), saw that many of the Muslims who had memorized the Qur'an had died in battle. Fearing that the Qur'an may be lost or corrupted, Umar requested the Caliph Abu Bakr to authorize the compilation and preservation of the Book in written format. After initial hesitation, Abu Bakr made a committee headed by Zayd ibn Thabit which included the memorizers of the Qur'an and Umar and to collect all verses of the Book. After collecting all Qur'anic verses from texts in the possession of various sahaba, Zayd ibn Thabit and members of his committee verified the reading by comparing with those who had memorized the Qur'an. After they were satisfied that they had not missed out any verse or made any mistakes in reading or writing it down, the text was written down as one single manuscript and presented in a book form to the Caliph Abu Bakr. This process happened within one year of the death of Muhammad when most of his sahaba (companions) were still alive, ensuring that the text would not be corrupted in any form.

Prior to his death, Abu Bakr gave this authorized copy of the Qur'an to Umar - his successor. It remained with him throughout his tenure as Caliph (10 years). Prior to his death, Umar gave this Book to his daughter Hafsa bint Umar, who was one of the wives of Muhammad. Umar did not nominate his successor on his deathbed, and thus preferred to leave this copy with Hafsa so as not to indicate his personal preference of who would be the next caliph. Later on, it became the basis of Uthman Ibn Affan's definitive text of the Qur'an which was published far and wide merely 18 years after the death of the Prophet. Later historians give Uthman Ibn Affan the principal credit for re-verification and publishing the Qur'an. Shi'as reject the idea that Abu Bakr or Umar were instrumental in the collection or preservation of the Qur'an.

Military expansionEdit

Once the rebellions had been put down, Abu Bakr began a war of conquest. Whether or not he intended a full-out imperial conquest is hard to say; he did, however, set in motion a historical trajectory that in just a few short decades would lead to one of the largest empires in history. Abu Bakr began with Iraq, the richest province of Persian Empire. He sent his most brilliant general Khalid ibn al-Walid to invade the Sassanid Empire.

Invasion of Sassanid Persian EmpireEdit

After the Ridda Wars, a tribal chief of north eastern Arabia, Misnah ibn Haris, raided the Persian towns in Iraq. With the success of the raids, a considerable amount of booty was collected. Misnah ibn Haris went to Medina to inform Caliph Abu Bakr about his success and was appointed commander of his people, after which he begun to raid deeper into Iraq. Using the mobility of his light cavalry he could easy raid any town near the desert and within moments could disappear again in to the desert, into which the Sassanid army was unable to chase them. Misnah’s acts made Abu Bakr think about the expansion of the Rashidun Empire.

Abu Bakr started with the invasion of Iraq. The problems faced by Abu Bakr were that the Arabs feared the Persians with a deep, unreasoning fear which ran in the tribal consciousness as a racial complex and was the result of centuries of Persian power and glory. In return the Persian regarded the Arab with contempt. It was important not to suffer a defeat, for that would confirm and strengthen this instinctive fear. To make certain of victory, Abu Bakr decided on two measures; that the invading army would consist entirely of volunteers; and he put in command of the army his best general Khalid ibn al-Walid. After defeating the self-proclaimed prophet Musaylimah in the Battle of Yamama, Khalid was still at Al-Yamama when Abu Bakr sent him orders to invade the Sassanid Empire. Making Al-Hirah the objective of Khalid, Abu Bakr sent reinforcements and ordered the tribal chiefs of north eastern Arabia, Misnah ibn Haris, Mazhur bin Adi, Harmala and Sulma to operate under the command of Khalid along with there men. In about third week of March 633 (first week of Muharram 12th Hijrah) Khalid set out from Al-Yamama with an army of 10,000.

File:Tomb in masjid al nabvi-mohammad adil rais.JPG

He appointed Umar as his successor after discussing with some companions. Some of them favored the nomination and others disliked it, due to the tough nature of Umar.

Abu Bakr thus dictated the testament to Uthman Ibn Affan in the following terms:

In the name of Most Merciful God. This is the last will and testament of Abu Bakr bin Abu Qahafa, when he is in the last hour of the world, and the first of the next; an hour in which the infidel must believe, the wicked be convinced of their evil ways, I nominate Umar bin al Khattab as my successor. Therefore, hear to him and obey him. If he acts right, confirm his actions. My intentions are good, but I cannot see the future results. However, those who do ill shall render themselves liable to severe account hereafter. Fare you well. May you be ever attended by the Divine favor of blessing.

Abu Bakr next asked Aisha as to how many pieces of cloth were used for Muhammad's shroud. Aisha said that three pieces had been used. Abu Bakr thereupon desired the same number for his own shroud. On Monday 23 August 634 Abu Bakr died. The funeral prayer was led by Umar. He was buried the same night by the side of Muhammad's grave in Aisha's house ner Al-Masjid al-Nabawi

FamilyEdit

Abu Bakr's father's name was Uthman Abu Qahafa aka Abu Quafah, his mother's name Salma Umm-ul-Khair and his grandfather's name was Amir ibn Amr.

In history name of his only one brother is mention which is Quafah ibn Uthman.

Today, there are so many families which are believed to be descents of Abu Bakr. Most of them are known by the name Siddiqi which was a title given to Abu Bakr by Muhammad. But they are also known by some other names in different localities. For example, In East Ethiopia, Siddiqis are usually called Qallu which is to mean people of the religion, as they are the first to bring Islam to this area. In Somalia, they are commonly known as Sheekhaal and they are highly celebrated by other Somali clans.

LegacyEdit

Abu Bakr became the Caliph on the 8 June 632 C.E. and he died on 23 August 634 C.E. Though the period of his caliphate covers two years, two months and fifteen days only, his achievements were remarkable. His glorious triumph in Ridda Wars and successful invasions of the two most powerful empires of the time the Sassanid Empire and Byzantine Empire.

Abu Bakr had the distinction of being the first Caliph in the history of Islam. He was the first Caliph to nominate a successor. He was the only Caliph in the history of Islam who refunded to the state treasury at the time of his death the entire amount of the allowance that he had drawn during the period of his caliphate.

He was the first Muslim ruler to establish Bayt al-mal. He was the first Muslim ruler to establish crown pasture. He was the first Muslim ruler to establish 'Ijtihad'.

He has the distinction of purchasing the land for Al-Masjid al-Nabawi. According to Sunni Muslims, in the matter of virtue, Abu Bakr excelled all other Sahaba.

Both Abu Bakr and Uthman ibn Affan had relinquished drinking wine even in the time before Islam. He was the foremost genealogist of the Quraysh and the best of them at interpreting dreams after Muhammad according to Ibn Sirin.

Sunni viewEdit

Sunni Muslims also consider Abu Bakr as one of the ten Sahaba (companions) for whom Muhammad had testified that they were destined for Paradise. He is regarded as Khalifa Rasulullah The successor of Messenger of Allah, and first of the Rightly Guided Caliphs - i.e. Rashidun and being the rightful successor to Muhammad. Abu Bakr had always been the closest friend and confidant of Muhammad throughout his life. He was always there beside the Prophet at every major event. It was Abu Bakr's wisdom that Muhammad always honored and would always consult him before anyone else. During the last few weeks of his life, Muhammad preferred Abu Bakr to lead the Muslims in prayer while he was ill. Upon Muhammad's death, it was Abu Bakr who demonstrated sagacity to keep the ranks of the Muslims together. Muhammad had not left behind a clear will on who would succeed him. There was dissension between the two original tribes of Medina, namely Aws and Khazraj regarding who would become the ruler over the Muslims after Muhammad. This even led to drawing of swords between them. Abu Bakr, Umar and Abu Ubaidah ibn al-Jarrah rushed to the spot where the dispute almost turned bloody, and delivered his famous speech to show the path of unity between the Muslims and declared that Umar should become the first caliph. In turn, Umar declared his allegiance to Abu Bakr saying that there is no better man amongst the Muslims after Muhammad. Majority of the sahaba (companions of the Prophet) assembled there followed suit and pledged their allegiance to Abu Bakr. Sunnis point out this fact of avoiding bloodshed between Muslims and preserving the unity of the state as of paramount importance, or it would have led to self-destruction of the new state.

The famous scholar Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal stated that he is the best of all companions (sahaba) of the Prophet. He is also best remembered by Ahlus-Sunnah Wal Jama'ah and the world history, for his famous speech upon the death of Muhammad which he delivered at the Mosque of the Prophet:

O' men, if anyone worships Muhammad, Muhammad is dead. And if anyone worships God, God is Alive, Immortal. He then recited the verse from the Qur'an: "Muhammad is no more than an Apostle. Many were the Apostles that passed away before him. If he died or were slain, will ye then turn back on your heels ? If any did turn back on his heels, not the least harm will he do to God. But God (on the other hand) will swiftly reward those who (serve him) with gratitude."

Sunnis also consider the narrations about Abu Bakr and his family by the Shi'a to be spurious.

Shi'a viewEdit

The Shi'a have a very unfavorable view of Abu Bakr. They believe that he was a usurper who snatched the Caliphate when it should have gone to Ali, who was part of Banu Hashim and Mohammad's bloodline. They also believe he and Umar conspired to take over power in the Muslim nation after Muhammad's death, in a coup d'état against Ali. The Shia do not view Abu Bakr's being with Muhammad in the cave as a meritorious act. The Shi'a criticize Abu Bakr for an apparent dispute between him and Muhammad's daughter, Fatimah, that ended with her becoming angry with Abu Bakr and refusing to talk with him for the rest of her life, she died six months later. Abu Bakr had refused to grant her a piece of land which Muhammad had left. (see Fadak)

The Shi'a believe that Abu Bakr sent Khalid ibn Walid to crush those who were in favour of Ali's caliphate. The Shi'a strongly refute the idea that Abu Bakr or Umar were instrumental in the collection or preservation of the Qur'an, claiming that they should have accepted the copy of the holy book in the possession of Ali

Non-Muslims viewEdit

Edward Gibbon wrote about Abu Bakr as:

The moderation, and the veracity of Abu Bakr confirmed the new religion, and furnished an example for invitation.

William Muir states that:

Abu Bakr's judgment was sound and impartial; his conversation agreeable and his demeanor affable and much sought after by the Quraysh and he was popular throughout the city.... The faith of Abu Bakr was the greatest guarantee of Muhammad's sincerity in the beginning of his career, and indeed, in a modified sense, throughout his life. To have such a person as a staunch adherent of his claim, was for Muhammad a most important step.

William Montgomery Watt writes:

From 622 to 632 he (Abu Bakr) was Mohammed's chief adviser, but had no prominent public functions except that he conducted the pilgrimage to Mecca in 631, and led the public prayers in Medina during Mohammed's last illness."

ReferencesEdit

See alsoEdit

External linksEdit






Only Allah subhanahu watallah knows wheter or not abu bakr siddiq was an idolator but all that matters is that he is a great muslim companion and kaliph of the prophet.

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