Abu Bakr Siddiq
The Pinnacle of Ardent Love and Truthfulness
“Abu Bakr Siddiq ’s love and gratitude towards him is compulsory for my umma.” (Daylami, al-Khatib al-Baghdadi)
The Companions are the elevated people who met the Holy Prophet sall’Allahu alayhi wa’alihi wasallam whilst believing in him, benefitted from his company and died as his followers. Although all Companions are august and eminent and are most glorious amongst umma. However, four of them are known as Rightly Guided Caliphs or Rashidun Caliphs. The first Caliph is Abu Bakr Siddiq razi Allah anhu who is so exalted in spiritual ranks that he is titled as the leader of the pious, the man of perfect faith, the commander of men of separation and isolation, the comrade of the Prophet, the leader of the truthful and best amongst mankind after Prophets. He is the first among men to embrace Islam.
Virtues of Abu Bakr Siddiq
The Holy Prophet sall’Allahu alayhi wa’alihi wasallam said:
- The superiority of Abu Bakr Siddiq (may Allah be pleased with him) is not because of his extensive prayers, recitations or fasting rather it is because of a great thing in his inward (love for the Prophet).
It is a saying of the Holy Prophet:
- Whosoever I invited towards Islam at first showed reluctance and hesitance but when I invited Abu Bakr al-Siddiq he accepted it immediately without hesitation. Will you stop persecuting my friend for me? I said: O people! I am a messenger from Allah to you all. You all denied me, but Abu Bakr Siddiq verified me. (Bukhari)
Prophet Mohammad said to Abu Bakr Siddiq:
- You are my companion of the river (of al-Kawthar) and you are my companion of the cave (of Hira). (Tirmidhi :3670)
The Holy Prophet sall’Allahu alayhi wa’alihi wasallam said:
- There was not a Prophet except that he had two viziers from the heavens and two from earth. My two viziers from the heavens are Angel Gabriel and Angel Michael and two from the earth are Abu Bakr and Umar.” (Tirmidhi 3680)
Such grandeur and majesty of Abu Bakr Siddiq was due to the fact that he was a reflection of morals of Prophet Mohammad. The following Hadith confirms just that:
- Whatsoever Allah bestowed upon my inward, I bestowed it upon the inward of Abu Bakr Siddiq.
Abu Bakr al-Siddiq was the beloved of Holy Prophet. This is because he had sacrificed his life, wealth, family, ranks and power for his beloved Prophet.
Merits of Abu Bakr Siddiq in words of Shah Waliullah Dehlvi
Shah Waliullah Dehlvi writes that there are four grounds of the Abu Bakr Siddiq’s excellence:
- Attaining most exalted rank among umma. i.e., he was at the highest level of truthfulness.
- His unprecedented support to beloved Prophet from the very first day.
- He completed all pending tasks of prophecy.
- Extreme level of eminence on the Judgment Day as the following Hadith of the Prophet indicates:
- There is no one whose favor I have not repaid except Abu Bakr whose recompense is due. Verily! Allah will repay him on the Judgment Day. (Tirmidhi 3661)
Grandeur of Abu Bakr Siddiq
The Holy Quran ranks the truthful as second to the Prophets and Mohammadan umma as the best umma. Abu Bakr Siddiq is the leader of the truthful of umma.
While describing the grandeur of Abu Bakr Siddiq, Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen writes:
The first Caliph Abu Bakr as-Siddiq is the shining star of the Sun of Prophethood. He is so exalted in prestige that he is titled as the leader of the pious, the commander of men of separation and isolation, the man of perfect faith, the comrade of the Prophet, the leader of the truthful and best amongst mankind after Prophets. No Saint can reach the glory and eminence of Abu Bakr Siddiq. His life is a beacon of the path for Allah’s seekers. (Khulfa-e-Rashideen)
All Companions of Prophet Mohammad were the embodiment of love, utter devotion, sincerity and selflessness. They would not let the ablution water of the Prophet fall on ground. In the rain of arrows, they stood in front of the Prophet to protect him. Sacrificing lives and wealth for the beloved was their very desire and achieving a look of his affection was the aim of their life. From tears to smiles they had engraved every single act of the Prophet’s life in the book of minds. They all were the stars on the sky of love but the zeal of love and sincerity which is seen in Abu Bakr as-Siddiq is unseen in the annals of love. He was the supreme light of the sky of love, the first manifestation of the light of Prophethood.
Birth of Abu Bakr Siddiq
Abu Bakr Siddiq’s birth name was Abdulkaaba meaning ‘servant of Kaaba’. Preceding his conversion to Islam, Prophet Mohammad sall’Allahu alayhi wa’alihi wasallam named him Abdullah. His filial appellation is Abu Bakr, and he was from the clan of Banu Taym. His lineage goes back to Holy Prophet in the sixth generation.
Who is Abu Bakr Siddiq?
Abu Bakr’s full name was Abdullah ibn Abu Quhafa Uthman ibn Amir ibn Amr ibn Ka’b ibn Sa’d ibn Taym ibn Murrah ibn Ka’b ibn Lu’ay ibn Ghalib. Upon reaching Marah ibn Ka’b, his lineage goes back to the Holy Prophet. His father’s name was Uthman ibn Amir better known with his filial appellation Abu Quhafa. He converted to Islam at the age of ninety during the conquest of Makkah and died during the caliphate of Umar ibn al-Khattab. Abu Bakr Siddiq’s mother Salma bint Sakhar also belonged to the clan of Banu Taym. He was born two and a half years after the Year of the Elephant and hence was two and half years younger than the Prophet. (Khulfa-e-Rashideen)
Abu Bakr – Early Life
The environment in which Abu Bakr Siddiq opened his eyes was the age of disbelief, polytheism and immorality. When he turned four years old, his father Abu Quhafa led him to the chamber of idols and pointed to the biggest idol installed there and said to him, “This is your exalted God, prostrate before him.”
Little Abu Bakr advanced towards the idol and said:
“I am hungry, give me food. I am naked, give me clothes.”
Upon not getting an answer from the idol he struck it and knocked it down. Seeing this his father slapped him and dragged him home to his mother. The mother hugged her son and said to Abu Quhafa:
“Leave him alone! When he was born, I was told many good things about him from the unseen.” Thereafter he was not forced for idol-worshiping and remained pure of polytheism.
Acceptance of Islam
When Holy Prophet announced his Prophethood, the very first few sacred personalities who respond to his call and embraced Islam were Khadija bint Khuwaylid, Abu Bakr Siddiq, Ali ibn Abi Talib and Zayd ibn Harithah.
Oppression of Quraish on invitation to Islam
When the Messenger of Allah began the preaching of Islam openly, the infidels intensified their opposition. Despite this Abu Bakr Siddiq wished to call people openly to Islam. Although the infidels were in majority and Muslims were only thirty-nine, Abu Bakr Siddiq still expressed his desire to preach Islam publicly. Even though the Prophet prohibited him at first, but gave his consent when Abu Bakr insisted. He went to Masjid al-Haram with the Holy Prophet to preach. There he stood among people and began delivering sermon. Thus, Abu Bakr Siddiq was the first ever orator to call people towards Allah and his Prophet. In a fit of fury, the disbelievers pounced upon Abu Bakr Siddiq and began beating him so savagely that he fell unconscious. They left no stone unturned in killing Abu Bakr Siddiq. When they felt that he had died, they left him.
The fervent love of Abu Bakr for the Prophet
When members of the Banu Taym found out they carried him to his house. After mutual consultation they decided to take revenge. Abu Bakr Siddiq was still alive. His father, mother and family members were waiting for him to regain consciousness. However, when he opened his eyes the first words which came to his tongue were:
“How is the Holy Prophet?”
Hearing this the whole family got angry and left him.
When his mother insisted him to eat or drink anything, he would reply:
“I will not eat or drink anything until I hear about the well-being of my beloved.”
Seeing the plight of her darling son she said:
“By Allah I am not aware of your friend’s well-being.” On that he asked his mother to go to Fatima bint al-Khattab and inquire her about the Holy Prophet.
She went to her and explained the situation. Since Fatima bint al-Khattab was ordered to keep her faith a secret, so she said:
“I do not know Abu Bakr Siddiq and his friend Mohammad ibn Abdullah. However, if you want, I will go with you to your son.”
When Fatima bint al-Khattab came to Abu Bakr Siddiq along with his mother, she could not control her emotions seeing his condition and said:
“I hope that Allah takes your revenge from them.” On that Abu Bakr Siddiq said:
“Leave that and tell me how is Prophet Mohammad?”
She gestured that his mother was listening. Till that time Abu Bakr Siddiq’s mother had not accepted Islam.
Abu Bakr Siddiq said:
“Do not worry about her and tell me.” She then said.
“The Holy Prophet is safe and fine.” He asked:
“Where is he?”
“Prophet Mohammad is at the house of al-Arqam (a house of the Companion al-Arqam ibn Abi al-Arqam which was selected as a safe place for early Muslims to meet, pray and learn about Islam).”
Hearing this Abu Bakr Siddiq insisted to go see his beloved Prophet.
Therefore, they took him to the house of al-Arqam. When Holy Prophet saw his lover coming, he stepped forward and held him. Seeing the grief-stricken condition of his consoler, Prophet Mohammad’s eyes welled up in tears. Abu Bakr Siddiq requested the Prophet to pray for his mother. The Holy Prophet prayed for her, and she embraced Islam.
Preferring the life of beloved over his own life
Mohammad ibn Sirin says:
When Abu Bakr was walking with Prophet Mohammad towards the Cave of Thawr, he would sometimes walk in front of Holy Prophet and sometimes behind him. Prophet Mohammad asked:
“Why do you walk like that?” He responded:
“When I think about people finding us then I walk behind you and when I think of enemies lying in wait then I start walking in front of you to protect you from any danger.”
The Prophet asked:
“Would you want to die ahead of me in case of danger? Said Abu Bakr:
“By Allah! That is my wish!”
Once someone asked Abu Bakr Siddiq:
“What do you like the most in the world? He instantly replied:
“I like to see the sacred face of the Holy Prophet the most.”
Why was Abu Bakr given the title Siddiq?
The love, sincerity and veracity with which Abu Bakr Siddiq verified the event of Miraj of the Prophet is unparalleled. Regarding the event of Miraj, the Prophet said about Abu Bakr Siddiq:
“When I said that I am a Prophet, he believed in me without demanding any miracle. When I said that I was blessed with Miraj he verified me and said that if the Prophet had said that he was blessed with Miraj along with all his family I would certainly accept it because I know the truth of the Prophet.”
Thus, due to verification of this very incident he was given the title of Siddiq which means ‘one who verifies.’ (Khulfa-e-Rashideen)
This is the level of truth of certainty.
Incident of Cave of Thawr
Abu Bakr Siddiq proved himself a true seeker and an ardent lover with his utmost devotion to Prophet Mohammad all his life.
Anas ibn Malik relates that at the night of cave (of Mount Thawr) Abu Bakr Siddiq said to the Prophet, “O Holy Prophet! Please allow me to enter the cave before you so that if snake or any insect is present, it must harm me not you.” The Prophet allowed. Abu Bakr Sidiq entered the cave and started searching the cave with his hands. On finding a hole, he would tear his dress and cover the hole with it until he had used his complete dress. Only one hole remained uncovered. Abu Bakr Siddiq covered that hole with his toe and requested the Prophet to come inside. In the morning, the Prophet asked Abu Bakr Siddiq, “Where are your clothes?” He told everything to the Prophet. The Prophet raised his hands and prayed, “O Allah! Keep Abu Bakr Siddiq with me on the Judgment Day.” (Abu Nu’aym)
Submission to the will of Prophet
Abu Bakr Siddiq’s love for Holy Prophet was passionate and fervent. He never thought of his own comfort but always gave priority to the comfort of the Holy Prophet and considered it as his utmost duty.
Every word of the Holy Prophet was of supreme importance to Abu Bakr Siddiq. He considered every word of the Prophet as a command.
Al Muhaddith Shah Abdul Haq Dehlvi writes:
The Holy Prophet had organized an army to fight the Romans and had appointed Usama ibn Zayd as the commander of this army. This army had not yet left for war when the Holy Prophet departed from this world. With this great tragedy many revolts arose. The intellectuals suggested Abu Bakr Siddiq that in these dire circumstances, incursion is not expedient as external affairs are very delicate and sensitive in internal turmoil, therefore departure of army is not suitable at this time.
But how can a person who spent every moment in submission to the Prophet’s will and his consent could bear to delay the order of his beloved? So, he said courageously with firm conviction that if all Muslims including myself were martyred, there would be no grief but if the command of the Holy Prophet was not fulfilled then this burden will remain heavy on me.
Words cannot encompass the paramount passion and devotion of Abu Bakr Siddiq for Holy Prophet. Salma Ibn Aku relates that the Holy Prophet said:
- Abu Bakr Siddiq is best of all humans except that he is not a prophet.
Characteristics of Abu Bakr Siddiq
Allah blessed Abu Bakr Siddiq with numerous qualities. No one was given the title of Siddiq except him. He accompanied the Prophet in the cave, and also during the migration. The Holy Prophet appointed him to lead the prayers while all other Companions were present. Abu Bakr Siddiq was an advisor to the Holy Prophet. He used to consult him in all matters. He is second who accepted Islam, second in the cave, second in the camp on the day of the battle of Badr and he is the second in the shrine as well. Holy Prophet always preferred him over others.
Abu Bakr Siddique understood every gesture of the Holy Prophet. Seekers of Allah should also be so devoted to their spiritual guide that they submit to his every command and leave no stone unturned in carrying out his orders.
Sacrificing everything for the beloved Prophet
Zayd ibn Aslam narrates a tradition from his father that he heard Umar ibn Khattab saying, “The Prophet instructed to donate in the way of Allah. I had a handsome fortune that day. I thought that it was the only opportunity to take lead from Abu Bakr Sidiq in donation. So, I brought the half of my total wealth. The Prophet asked, ‘What have you left for your family?’ I replied, ‘I have left an equal amount for them.’ Meanwhile Abu Bakr Siddiq arrived with all of his possessions. The Prophet asked him, ‘What have you left for your family?’ He replied, ‘I have left for them Allah and His Messenger’.” Umar ibn Khattab said that he could never take lead from Abu Bakr at anything. (Tirmidhi 3675)
Abu Bakr Siddiq not only sacrificed his wealth and possessions but also endured all the difficulties that befell on Muslims in the expedition of Tabuk along with Holy Prophet. Allah blessed him with the ability to fight in the way of Allah with his life and wealth for the support and victory of the religion. From battle of Badr onwards, he participated in all battles with the Holy Prophet.
Salma ibn Aku relates:
I participated in seven battles with Holy Prophet. In addition to that he sent us to nine war campaigns. Sometime Abu Bakr Sidiq would be our commander and sometime Usama ibn Zayd.
Abu Bakr’s life is a beacon of the path for Allah’s seeker
By sacrificing his wealth in Allah’s way Abu Bakr Siddiq set an example for Allah’s seeker that there should be no reluctance in spending one’s wealth in Allah’s way. He never considered his wealth as his own. Instead, always considered it Allah’s wealth. A seeker should also love his spiritual guide more than his life, wealth and family. That is the secret of success in Faqr (Sufism).
The perfect spiritual guide Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen Sultan Mohammad Najib-ur-Rehman says:
One cannot achieve Allah’s closeness until he sacrifices all that is dear to him in the way of Allah. And in agonies his loyalty and faith in his spiritual guide does not falter even a bit. (Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen)
Abu Bakr Siddiq’s love for the Prophet was matchless. He was a reflection of morals of Prophet Mohammad. Among men he was the first one to embrace Islam. He was the first one to name the Holy Quran as Mushaf and also the first one to compile it. The first person to fight with the disbelievers of Quraish in support of the Holy Prophet and to endure sufferings was Abu Bakr Siddiq razi Allah anhu. He was also the first to establish Bayt-al-mal (public treasury). First of all, he laid down four principles of jihad and inference.
Abu Bakr – the first Muslim Caliph
Prophet Mohammad during his terminal disease instructed Abu Bakr razi Allah anhu to lead the prayer at Nabvi mosque. On Monday 12th Rabi al-awwal 11 AH, the Holy Prophet departed from this world and Muslims pledged allegiance of caliphate on the hands of Abu Bakr. He conquered most of Iraq and a large part of Syria during his caliphate. Abu Bakr Siddiq died on Monday 22nd Jumada ath-thani 13 AH at the age of 63. The period of his caliphate was two years and four months. (Khulfa-e-Rashideen)
The valor, courage, strength and determination shown by Abu Bakr Sidique in his life and during his caliphate despite the perilous circumstances is unparalleled in history. Today, while the Muslim umma is in a distress condition in the face of infidels due to conspiracies, it is imperative that the Muslim rulers, scholars and people of the Muslim umma face these difficult situations with the same faith and courage following the Sunna of Abu Bakr Siddiq. May Allah bless us with the ability to strive for the revival of Islam following the virtues of Abu Bakr Siddiq. (Ameen)