Abu-Bakr’s (Radi Allahu Anhu – may Allah be pleased with him) name was Abdullah ibn ‘Uthman ibn ‘Amir and he was from the tribe of Quraish. He was also known as Abdullah bin Abu Qahafa. Ibn Kathir mentions in his books “The order and Refinement of the Beginning and the End, by Ibn Kathir, p. 17”, “the first to accept Islam from outside the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam)’s family, he was tolerant, patient and strong-willed. He was also generous, brave, firm and had sound opinions in grave situations. His trust in Allah and confidence in Allah’s promise was absolute. He was pious, away from suspicions, an ascetic in this worldly life, desiring for what is with Allah. He was an intimate companion of the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam).”
Abu Bakr’s characteristics
The embracing of Islam by Abu Bakr (RAA) benefitted Muslims immensely as many celebrities followed this great scholar’s lead, such as Abdul Rahman ibn Auf, Sa’d ibn Abi Waqas, ‘Uthmân ibn Affân, az-Zubair ibn al-Awwâm, and Talha ibn ‘Ubeidu-Allah. On the day he embraced Islam, he had forty thousand dirhams which he spent in the way of Allah.
Ibn Al-Jawzi said, “The natural disposition of Abu Bakr is well-known through his piety, fear (of Allah), asceticism, and modesty. Before becoming the caliph, he used to milk the sheep of the neighborhood; one morning, after he was acknowledged as Caliph he was walking in the market. A young woman from the neighborhood said, ‘Now he will not milk our animals,’ upon which he said, ‘Nay, I will certainly milk your animals for you. I wish that this matter I went through will not change me.’ (At-Tabsirah [the Enlightenment] 1/400)
Ash-Shu’abi, (may Allah have mercy on him), said, “Allah Almighty has singled out Abu Bakr with (the following) four characteristics that no one else had.
- He, the Almighty, has called him As-Siddîq and no one other than him was named that.
- He was the companion of the Messenger of Allah (s) in the cave (during the migration journey).
- He was his companion in the migration journey.
- During the time of the prophet, he (s) ordered him to lead the prayers and the Muslims were there, witnessing and present.”
In the cause of Allah, he manumitted a number of oppressed slaves who were being tortured such as Bilal. Al-Hakim reported from al-Mussayyib that, “Abu Bakr was like a counselor to the Prophet, (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam), who used to confer with him in all matters. He was his second man in embracing Islam, his second in the cave, his second in the arbor during the battle of Badr and his second to go to the grave (die). The Messenger of Allah, (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam), has never brought any man ahead of him.” (The History of the Caliphs by As-Sayûti, p. 56) (Also, see Start of the Islamic Caliphate)
Abu Bakr’s commitment in spending in the cause of Allah
‘Umar ibn al-Khattab, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “One day, the Messenger of Allah, (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam), commanded us to give charity. I had some property, so I said, ‘Today I shall surpass Abu Bakr if I surpass him any day.’ I, therefore, brought half of my property. The Messenger of Allah, (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam), asked, ‘What have you left for your family?’ I replied, ‘The same amount.’ Abu Bakr brought all that he had with him. The Messenger of Allah asked him, ‘What have you left for your family?’ He replied, ‘I have left Allah and His Messenger for them.’ I said, ‘I shall never compete with him in anything.’“ [Reported by Abu Dawud 1678 and at-Tirmidhi 3675. Al-Albani considered it good.]
Abu Bakr’s mention in the Quran
Ibn Al-Jawzi has says that there is a unanimous agreement that the following verses from The Quran are revealed about Abu Bakr (RAA):
- And Al-Muttaqoon (the pious and righteous) will be far removed from it (Hell). (verse 17)
- He who spends his wealth for increase in self-purification, (verse 18)
- And have in his mind no favor from anyone for which a reward is expected in return, (verse 19)
- Except only the desire to seek the Countenance of his Lord, the Most High; (verse 20)
- He surely will be pleased (when he will enter Paradise). (verse 21)
[Quran, Surah Al-Layl]
If you help him (Muhammad SAW) not (it does not matter), for Allah did indeed help him when the disbelievers drove him out, the second of two, when they (Muhammad SAW and Abu Bakr) were in the cave, and he (SAW) said to his companion (Abu Bakr): “Be not sad (or afraid), surely Allah is with us.” Then Allah sent down His Sakeenah (calmness, tranquillity, peace, etc.) upon him, and strengthened him with forces (angels) which you saw not, and made the word of those who disbelieved the lowermost, while it was the Word of Allah that became the uppermost, and Allah is All-Mighty, All-Wise.
Abu Bakr’s mention in the Hadith of the prophet (s)
The following are some of the hadith of the prophet (s) where he (s) praised Abu Bakr As-Siddeeq.
- Amr ibn al-’As, (RAA), narrated that he asked the Prophet, (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam), “Who is the most beloved person to you?” He said, ‘Aisha.’ I asked, “Among the men?” He said, ‘Her father.’“ [Agreed upon]
- Abu Said al-Khudri, (RAA), narrated that the prophet, (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam, said, “There is no one who has done more favor to me with his life and property than Abu Bakr ibn Abu Quhafa. If I were to take a Khalil (very close friend), I would certainly have taken Abu Bakr as one but the Islamic brotherhood is superior. Close all the small doors in this mosque except for that of Abu Bakr.” [Agreed upon]
- Abu Hurairah, (RAA), narrated that the Prophet, (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam), said, “Whoever gives two kinds (of things or property) in charity for Allah’s Cause, will be called from the gates of Paradise and will be addressed, ‘O slaves of Allah! Here is prosperity.’ So, whoever was amongst the people who used to offer prayers, will be called from the gate of the prayer; and whoever was amongst the people who used to participate in Jihad, will be called from the gate of Jihad; and whoever was amongst those who used to observe fasts, will be called from the gate of Ar-Raiyan; whoever was amongst those who used to give in charity, will be called from the gate of charity.” Abu Bakr said, “Let my parents be sacrificed for you, O Messenger of Allah! No distress or need will befall him who will be called from those gates. Will there be any one who will be called from all these gates?” The Prophet replied, “Yes, and I hope you will be one of them.” [Agreed upon]
- Anas (RAA) said, “The Prophet, (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam), ascended the mountain of Uhud and he was accompanied by Abu Bakr, ‘Umar and ‘Uthman. The mountain shook beneath them. The Prophet, (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) , hit it with his foot and said, “O Uhud! Be firm, for on you there is none but a Prophet, a Siddîq and two martyrs”. [Reported by al-Bukhari 3686] (see Uthman Ibn Affan and Banu Umayyah)
- Jubair ibn Mutim narrated that a woman came to the Prophet, (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam), who instructed her to return to him again. She said, “What if I came and did not find you?” as if she wanted to ask, “If I found you dead?” The Prophet said, “If you should not find me, go to Abu Bakr.” [Agreed upon]
- Abu Mûsa al-Ash’ari (RAA) said, “The Prophet, (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam), became very sick so he said, “Tell Abu Bakr to lead the people in prayer.’“ [Agreed upon]
- Ali, (RAA), said, “The best people after the Messenger of Allah are Abu Bakr and ‘Umar. Loving me and hating Abu Bakr and ‘Umar do not gather in the heart of a believer.” [Reported by at-Tabarani in Al-Awsat (the Middle)]. Ibn Al-Qayyim, therefore, said, “It is sufficient for us to abide by the words of Ali (RAA). We have accepted for our world what the Prophet, (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) has accepted for our religion. (The Benefits by Ibn al-Qayyim, pp. 111-112)”
- Abu Huraira, may Allah be pleased with him, reported that the Messenger of Allah, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, has said, “Who has observed fast among you today?” Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him, replied, “It is I.” He (the Prophet) said, “Who among you followed a funeral today?” Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him, replied, “It is I.” He (again) said, “Who among you visited an ill person today?” Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “It is I.” Upon this the Messenger of Allah, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, said, “Anyone in whom these good deeds are combined will certainly enter paradise.“ [Reported by Muslim 1028]
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