Apr 11, 2012

Abu Bakr Siddiq

By Sabeen Mansoori


A slim, elderly man with a fair complexion and a small beard rides his horse in haste through the streets of Madinah. The streets that were normally bustling with life are shrouded in grief. He makes his way through the stunned crowd gathered at the masjid and, without addressing anyone, enters his daughter’s room. The city of the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam – Al Madina tul Munawara- the city illuminated by its Messenger sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam has just lost its light.

Abu Bakr radi Allahu `anhu walks over to where the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam lies and raises the cloth that covers his face. He kisses the face of his dearest friend and beloved Messenger and says, “Tibta Hayyan wa Mayyitan – you are blessed in life and in death.” His face drenched in tears, he walks outside and comforts and consoles and brings back to reality the Sahabah that are devastated by the news of the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam’s return to His Lord. Many of the most eminent Sahabah are so stricken with grief that they could not move or speak while Umar radi Allahu `anhu declared, "Muhammad is not dead. He went to his lord as Musa went to his lord and he shall come back as Musa did. When he does, he shall kill all those who said he was dead."[1]

What about the state of Abu Bakr’s heart? Who did he turn to for comfort? Did the years with his beloved friend and dearest Rasul sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam flash before his eyes? He had gazed at that face, so serene in death, almost every day of his adult life. Ayesha relates, “From the time I was old enough to understand what was happening around me, my parents have been Muslim. And on every single day that passed by the Messenger of Allah came to us at the two extremes of the day: the early morning and the end of the afternoon.” (Sahih Bukhari). The Messenger sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam openly proclaimed his great affection for his friend Abu Bakr. Amr ibn Al-Aas relates that he asked the Messenger of Allah sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam who he loves the most. Rasul Allah replied, "Aisha"(his wife). Startled, `Amr asked, "No, no, from the men who?" He said, "Her father!" (Abu Bakr radi Allahu `anhu).

My fingers are not worthy of expressing the love that Abu Bakr had for the Messenger of Allah sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam and the single minded devotion with which he served him with his wealth, his family and his self.

Many years ago, Muhammad sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam the young trader, father and devoted husband had come to him and told him about his encounter with the angel Jibrail and invited him to believe in him as the Messenger from the Lord of the Worlds. Scarcely had the words left the lips of the Messenger of Allah sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam that Abu Bakr declared, "I've never tasted a lie from you. I testify that there is no god but Allah, and you are the Messenger of Allah." Rasul Allah sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam later said, "There is no one that I have spoken to about Islam that did not debate the issue with me except Abu Bakr." This willing, instantaneous submission characterized every act of Abu Bakr from the earliest days of Islam to his demise as the first Khalifah of a Muslim empire on the brink of expansion.

He proclaimed the message secretly in the early years and was one of the first to publically proclaim the message of Islam. When he stood by the Kaabah and declared his faith he was beaten so mercilessly that his tribesmen thought he was dead. Soaked in blood and regaining consciousness after a while, his first words were, “What happened to Rasul Allah? What happened to Rasul Allah?” He refused to eat or drink until he was taken to the Messenger sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam and had seen with own eyes his beloved face.

The title of As-Siddiq (the truthful) was granted to him when he testified to the reality of Isra’a and Miraj (the journey of the Prophet from Mecca to Jerusalem and from there to the Heavens) at a time when some of the weaker believers apostatized. His immediate response was that if Muhammad sal Allahu alayhi was sallam says so it must be true. His eeman (faith) was so simple, so clear and so true.

One day near the Kaabah he saw Uqbah ibn Abee Mueet trying to strangle the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam. He ran to defend the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam without a thought for his own safety and at a time when the Muslims kept their Islam hidden for fear of persecution and harassment. This incident is recounted in the Sahih Al Bukhari:

Urwa ibn Az-Zubair asked Ibn Amr ibn Al-As to inform him about the worst thing that the polytheists ever did to the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam and Ibn Amr replied, “While the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam was once praying in the Hijr (one of the sides) of the Kaabah, ‘Uqbah ibn Abee Mu’eet approached him, wrapped his clothing around his neck, and began to violently choke him. Abu Bakr raced to them and used his shoulder to push ‘Uqbah away from the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam. And Abu Bakr then said, “Are you fighting a man just because he says: My Lord is Allah?” (Al Bukharee 3856)

Six of the ten companions of the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam that were promised Paradise became Muslim through the dawah of Abu Bakr. When Abu Bakr entered the fold of Islam he was a well off merchant in Mecca with an accumulated wealth of 40,000 dinars. When he left for the hijrah with the Messenger of Allah (saws) he had only 5,000 dinars left, which he took with him for the journey. In those early years, before the Muslims were permitted to fight he spent his wealth purchasing the slaves who had become Muslim and were being persecuted at the hands of the Quraish in a most vile and inhumane manner.

These include famous companions like Bilal Ibn Rabah “Radi Allahu `Anhu,” but many others including Amir ibn Fuhairah, Umm Ubais and Zinneerah. His sole intention was to seek the pleasure of Allah and Allah subhaana wa ta’aala testified to the purity of his intention and gave him a guarantee of the reward of Paradise. It is Abu Bakr radi Allahu `Anhu who is mentioned in the following verses.

[He] who gives [from] his wealth to purify himself
And not [giving] for anyone who has [done him] a favor to be rewarded
But only seeking the countenance of his Lord, Most High.
And he is going to be satisfied.

Abu Bakr memorized the Qur’an by heart and whenever he would read it he would weep profusely till his beard became soaked with tears. In Mecca when he prayed in the courtyard of his house the people would gather to see him and would be moved by his recitation and demeanor.

Abu Bakr wept with joy when the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi was sallam came to his house and told him that they would be migrating to Madinah together. All he could say was, “Together, Ya rasulallah, together!” They were about to risk their lives and undertake a journey filled with uncertainty and fear but Abu Bakr radi Allahu `anhu was overjoyed. The risks paled in comparison to the honor and blessing of being granted the exclusive company of the Messenger of Allah sal Allahu alayhi was sallam. They were pursued and cornered in the cave of Thaur and Abu Bakr was gripped with fear for his beloved friend’s safety. As the shadow of their pursuers fell across the walls of the cave, the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi was sallam. comforted him, “What do you think, O Abu Bakr, about two and Allah is their third.” He was granted by Allah the title of ‘Sahibihi’ (his companion) in the following ayat of the Quran:

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 tranquility 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. (9:40)

The Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam also gave him the most honorable title of ‘companion.’ The messenger of Allah sal Allahu alayhi was sallam. said about him, “Were I to take a Khalil (a very close friend), I would take Abu Bakr as my Khaleel but since I will not do so (i.e. since I will not take a Khaleel from my companions ) he (i.e. Abu Bakr) is my brother and my companion.”

The love for a Khaleel would fill the heart in such a manner that there would be no place left in the heart to love anyone else. A believer seeks only Allah as his Khaleel and no created being can fill the place in our hearts that is meant for Allah. Even as Abu Bakr’s heart wept for the loss of his dearest friend and Messenger, he understood that the love of Allah was greater and the work that he had to do was more important. He buried his sorrow deep within his soul and gathered the Sahaba and the Sahabiyaat so that they could carry on where the Messenger had left off.

As-Seerah An Nabawiyyah by Abu Shohbah (2/594)
‘The Biography of Abu Bakr As-Siddeeq’ by Ali Muhammad Sallaabee
Al Maghrib Forums
Lecture ‘Abu Bakr Siddique’ by Shaykh Ahmed Ali

I'd love to hear your views on this topic. Please post in the comments section below! :)


So sooo haoppy to read this. I was telling my mummy just 2 days ago that I want to read about the life of Abu Bakr (RA) and Alhamdulillah finally got the opurtunity! JazakAllah khair for that and providing the links :)

Every time we read about the Sahabah we learn something new, subhanallah. Researching for this article was truly a soul shaking experience for me. I am glad you found it beneficial :)


JazakaAllahu Khair sis, for writiing this wonderful piece! It was such a pleasure reading it, Alhumdulillah!

Sabeen you have ended this piece of writing like an artist.  Thanks for sharing your love and passion!

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