The life story of Abu Bakr, the successor of the Prophet Muhammad (PUBH) and the first righteous Caliph – the Golden page of Islamic history, which tells about faith, dedication and selfless devotion to high ideals. Abu Bakr was born in 573 AD, two years and a few months after the Prophet’s birth into a respectable and pious family. His full name was Abu Bakr Abdullah ibn Uthman Abu Quhafa.
His title was “As-Saddiq” (the one who testifies truth). When the Prophet (PBUH) narrated the experience of M’iraj (Ascension), he did not hesitate even for a moment to believe in him for which the Prophet gave him the title of Siddiq. He was quiet and sincere man. He belonged to a noble and respectable family of Banu Tamim, a branch of Quraish Tribe.
Companionship of the Prophet
Abu Bakr Siddiq was a wealthy Merchant. He accompanied the Prophet (PBUH) in some of his trade mission. Abu Bakr (R.A) was a close friend of the Prophet (PBUH), he was the first, adult, free man to accept Islam. The Prophet (PBUH) once spoke about this,
When I invited people towards Allah (SWT), everybody thought over it and hesitated, at least for a while, except Abu Bakr (R.A) who accepted my call, the moment I put it before him, and he did not hesitate even for a moment
Hazrat Syedna Rabiya ibn Ka’b (may Allah be pleased with him) said that Islam of Hazrat Syedna Abu Bakr Siddique (R.A) was like heavenly revelation. As you went for trade in the country Syria, you had a dream there, which was told to a monk named “Bahira”.
He asked : Where did you come from?”
Then he replied: “From Mecca”.
He asked: “Which tribe do you belong to?
He answered: “From Quraish”.
He asked: “What do you do? He said: I am a businessman.
The monk said: If Allah Almighty (SWT) fulfills your dream he will prophesy a prophet in your own nation, in his life you will be his minister and after his death his successor.
Hazrat Abu Bakr kept this incident secret, did not tell anyone. And when the Prophet (PBUH) announced the Prophethood, the Prophet (PBUH) presented this incident as an argument to him. Upon hearing this, he embraced the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and kissed his forehead and said:
I bear witness that there is no God other than Allah (SWT) and I testify that you are Allah’s true Messengers.
His Father was Uthman Abu Quhafa and Mother was Salma Ummul-Khair. He had four wives. He married two in Mecca and two in Medina, and had three sons and three daughters.
Abu Bakr Siddiq (RA) served Islam in numerous ways. Many early Muslim reverts accepted Islam on his invitation.
The Quraish persecuted the slaves who had accepted Islam. They were tortured by their masters. Bilal (R.A) was among such slaves, his master dragged him on the burning sand of desert. Abu Bakr Siddiq (R.A) set him free. Like Bilal (R.A) a number of other slaves were also set free by him.
He fought all the battles with the Prophet (PBUH). Also supported the Prophet (PBUH) at the time of Treaty of Hudaibiyyah. He pacified Umar when he objected to the terms of the Treaty.
At the time of Expedition of Tabuk, Abu Bakr Siddiq (R.A) gave all his possession for the Expedition.
Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiq (R.A) was appointed as the first Amir-al Hajj in the year 9th Hijrah when it became obligatory.
When the Prophet PBUH fell ill, he appointed Abu Bakr Siddiq RA to lead the prayers. Aishah (R.A) pleaded to the Prophet (PBUH) to replace him as he was soft hearted and it would be difficult for him, but the Prophet (PBUH) did not change his decision. During the sickness the Prophet (PBUH) came in the mosque and gave a sermon, after the sermon he said “Allah (SWT) offered one of His servants the choice of life on this Earth and a life with Him. But the servant accepted the latter” (Sahih Bukhari ). Hearing this, tears came out of Abu Bakr’s eyes as he realized that the Prophet’s mission was finished and soon he would be separating from them.
Most of people did not understand the meaning of Prophet’s address and they were surprised at Abu Bakr’s crying. When the Prophet (PBUH) passed away, Umar (R.A) was in an emotional state and he said that he would kill the person who dared to say that the Prophet (PBUH) was dead. At that moment Abu Bakr Siddiq (R.A) gave a speech and consoled the Muslims.
The fact that the Messenger (PBUH) highly valued and trusted Abu Bakr is stated in many hadiths. It also says that this man was supposed to lead the Muslim world after the death of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), which happened in 632. Abu Bakr ruled for a little more than two years, and in a short time was able to extinguish the turmoil that engulfed Arabia after the death of the Prophet. Then some Muslims renounced the name of Allah (SWT), following the false Prophets, and others refused to pay zakat – a mandatory tax for believers in favor of the needy. During this difficult time, Abu Bakr was able to show perseverance and wisdom, thanks to which the Arabs were united, and Islam was finally strengthened throughout Arabia.
There is no disagreement among the scholars about the role of Abu Bakr, in the fact that this great man was truly the best among Muslims after the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).