Sayyidina Abu Bakr Siddeeq (R.A)
By Moulana Maqbool Siyuhaarwi (Rahmatullahi Alaih)
Name and Title
Sayyidina Abu Bakr (Radhiyallahu Anhu) is one of the four devoted As-haab (companions) of Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam). [This does not mean that the other As-haab of Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) were not devoted. It simply means that these four Sahaabah, namely, Hazrat Abu Bakr, Hazrat Umar, Hazrat Uthmaan and Hazrat Ali (Radhiyallahu Anhum) stood out from the rest of the Sahaabah for their dedication and service to Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) and the Deen of Islam. Hence, they succeeded Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) after his demise and guided the rest of the Sahaabah in their affairs. They were thus known as Khaleefahs (Successors or Vicegerents) of Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam).]
He is known as Siddeeq-e-Akbar.
His first name was Abdul Ka’b which Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) changed to Abdullah.
He is called Siddeeq due to the fact that when Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) said: “Allah has made me His Messenger (Rasool),” then he [Sayyidina Abu Bakr] immediately presented himself before Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) and bore witness to him being a Rasool. He thus said: “O My Master! You are honest. Undoubtedly Allah has made you a Rasool.”
Siddeeq also means ‘a true friend’. He [Sayyidina Abu Bakr] was a true friend of Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam).
Year of Birth, Ancestry and Accomplishments
Sayyidina Abu Bakr (Radhiyallahu Anhu) was born 2 years after the birth of Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam). [Thus, Sayyidina Abu Bakr Siddeeq (Radhiyallahu Anhu) was born 51 years before Hijrat to Madinah Munawwarah. It also means that he became a Muslim at the age of 41 years as Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) started to propagate Islam when he was 43 years of age, that is 3 years after the initial Wahi.]
Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) and Abu Bakr Siddeeq (Radhiyallahu Anhu) are from the progeny of the same ancestor. [The lineage or names of Rasoolullah’s father and forefathers are: Muhammad Bin Abdullah Bin Abdul Muttalib Bin Hashim Bin Abd-e-Manaaf Bin Qusai Bin Kilaab Bin Murrah.
Sayyidina Abu Bakr’s lineage reads: Abdullah Bin Abu Quhaafah Uthmaan Bin Aamir Bin Amr Bin Ka’b Bin Sa’d Bin Taim Bin Murrah.
In other words, Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) is from the offspring of Kilaab and Sayyidina Abu Bakr from the offspring of Taim; and Kilaab and Taim were brothers.]
Sayyidina Abu Bakr was an accomplished genealogist. (The science of genealogy is called Ilmul Ansaab in Arabic). Sayyidina Abu Bakr (Radhiyallahu Anhu) was acquainted with all the Arab clans and he knew the lineage and nobility of everyone’s father, grandfather and great-grandfather.
Sayyidina Abu Bakr (Radhiyallahu Anhu) was a successful businessman. He started doing business at the age of 18. He travelled to other places. He was experienced. He knew many cities, the good, the bad, the dwellings of people and he had gained a great deal of knowledge.
He had compassion for fellow humans, was big-hearted and generous. He was concerned about the welfare of the poor and he would render good deeds and acts of kindness to others. His character was totally unblemished. He was exceptionally noble and wealthy.
The people of Makkah had so much trust in him that when someone had some money accumulated he would entrust it to Sayyidina Abu Bakr (Radhiyallahu Anhu). When the person wished to take the money, he would do so. [In other words, the money would remain preserved by Sayyidina Abu Bakr. He would not abuse the money by utilizing it for his personal needs, and whenever the owner wished to take it back the money was ready for return.]
Encouraging Others To Embrace Islam
When he became a Muslim he would praise Rasoolullah (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) to all his friends and acquaintances. He would say: “Muhammad, the Rasool of Allah says such wonderful things: ‘Do not speak lies; Do not commit evil deeds; Take Allah to be One; Do not be violent towards others; Do not worship idols; Do not usurp anyone’s right; Do not take anyone’s money; Do not break your promise; Do not promise something which you cannot carry out.’ And he [Rasoolullah Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam] explains so sweetly that whoever listens to him attentively becomes a Muslim.”
It was by virtue of his [Sayyidina Abu Bakr’s] efforts that many of Makkah’s eminent persons embraced Islam. Sayyidina Talha and Sayyidina Zubair became Muslims. Sayyidina Sa’d Bin Abi Waqqaas became a Muslim. Sayyidina Abdur Rahman Bin Auf became a Muslim. Sayyidina Uthmaan Bin Affaan became a Muslim. These were eminent personalities of Makkah. And there were many others who embraced Islam [by virtue of Sayyidina Abu Bakr’s efforts].
Coming To the Defence of the Nabi of Allah
There was a handful of Muslims in Makkah and the enemy was ever watchful of Rasoolullah (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam). On one occasion Rasoolullah (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) was making Tawaaf. The enemy made signs to one other. “This is Muhammad who reviles our gods.” Rasoolullah (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) overheard them speaking and said: “Undoubtedly, I do not consider statues of stone to be worthy of worship.”
Hearing this, his enemies wanted to hit him. Siddeeq-e-Akbar (Radhiyallahu anhu) was informed. He came running and covered Rasoolullah (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) saying: “You wretched beings! Don’t you have any shame? You wish to hit a person who says that Allah is One and He has no partner?” He hit some and pushed some.
The enemies became furious and attacked Sayyidina Abu Bakr. They hit him so much that his head was wounded and blood started to flow. Fortunately, the clan of Sayyidina Abu Bakr Siddeeq (Radhiyallahu anhu) came to his aid, otherwise who knows what would have happened? [In other words, Sayyidina Abu Bakr (Radhiyallahu anhu) would probably have been killed had his family not intervened. He was prepared to put his life at stake to protect his beloved friend and mentor, Muhammad Sallallahu alaihi was sallam.]
The daughter of Sayyidina Abu Bakr (Radhiyallahu anhu), Aishah (Radhiyallahu anha) would relate that her father’s head was badly wounded when he came to the defence of Rasoolullah (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) and the hair of his head would fall off at the mere touch of a hand.
In spite of all that, it would bring joy to Sayyidina Abu Bakr that the Blessed Self of Rasoolullah (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) was not harmed.
Sayyidina Abu Bakr’s Intended Hijrat to Abyssinia
This was such a difficult time that many people [Muslims] left Makkah. They left their homes and went to Abyssinia.
The strong and affluent would beat their slaves who had embraced Islam. They would demand their slaves to abandon Islam and revile Muhammad (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam).
Learning of their plight Sayyidina Abu Bakr (Radhiyallahu anhu) would purchase the slaves at the price demanded by the rich [the owners of the slaves] and set them free, telling them: “Earn and feed yourselves. Don’t live the life of serfdom and persecution.” In this way he would come to the rescue of those poor souls.
Sayyidina Abu Bakr (Radhiyallahu anhu) was also told by Rasoolullah (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) to go to Abyssinia and he in fact did set out after becoming fed up. The incident related to his departure and return is quite interesting.
Sayyidina Abu Bakr (Radhiyallahu anhu) set out for Abyssinia. When he reached a place called Barkul Ghimaad he met a chieftain there by the name of Ibnud Daghinah. The chieftain knew Sayyidina Abu Bakr (Radhiyallahu anhu) well and would show him due respect. When Ibnud Daghinah saw Sayyidina Abu Bakr (Radhiyallahu anhu) he said: “Abu Bakr! Where are you going?” Sayyidina Abu Bakr (Radhiyallahu anhu) replied: “They do not allow us to worship Allah Ta’ala in Makkah. The land of Allah Ta’ala is not restricted. I am going somewhere else where I can make Ibaadat of Allah.”
Ibnud Daghinah spoke: “This can never happen! Come; go back! Let anyone just interfere with you! You are under my asylum and my word.”
Returning to Makkah he [Ibnud Daghinah] gathered the lords and said to them: “O Miserable Ones! You drive out from Makkah a person who shows kindness to others, aids the poor, helps in times of hardship and safeguards your wealth?”
The enemies of Allah spoke: “Who is that?” Ibnud Daghinah replied: “Abu Bakr.” They said in one voice: “We have nothing against Abu Bakr. Only one thing of his we cannot tolerate. He recites the Qur’aan [Majeed] and sobs. He recites in such a melodious voice that our women and children are captivated at his recital.
“Tell us, if our wives and children become Muslims and if they leave us and go to the Muslims, then what must we do? Explain to him that he should recite the Qur’aan softly and he should worship behind closed doors. We have no grudge against him.”
Ibnud Daghinah replied: “I have brought him back from Barkul Ghimaad. He had given up living in Makkah. I have given him the assurance of asylum. If anyone hears that the people of Makkah have evicted a person like Abu Bakr, they will spit in your faces. Both, the worshipper of idols and the worshipper of one god, are humans; and honour should be shown to all humanity.”
Some time passed by after Ibnud Daghinah’s persuasion. However, the fervour for Ibaadat and the feeling for the Qur’aan constrained Sayyidina Abu Bakr to start reciting the Qur’aan-e-Paak loudly and uncontrollable emotion would settle over him reducing him to tears.
The people of Makkah reported this to Ibnud Daghinah who went and questioned Sayyidina Abu Bakr. Sayyidina Abu Bakr said without reservation: “For me the asylum of Allah Ta’ala and His Rasool, Muhammad (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) is sufficient. Be blessed with your asylum!”
The Faithful Companionship of Sayyidina Abu Bakr Siddeeq (Radhiyallahu anhu) with Rasoolullah (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) During Hijrat
Sayyidina Abu Bakr (Radhiyallahu anhu) was a distinguished Aalim and a zealous worshipper. When Hijrat was in progress all Muslims residing in Makkah [and who were able to make Hijrat] left for Madinah with the consent of Rasoolullah (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam). Sayyidina Uthmaan and Sayyidina Umar also departed. However, Sayyidina Ali and Sayyidina Abu Bakr Siddeeq (May Allah be pleased with them) never left. These two remained in Makkah for the final test of self-sacrifice.
The circumstances of Hijrat of Rasoolullah (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) you have read in the Seerah of Rasoolullah (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam). You have also read that Sayyidina Siddeeq-e-Akbar was with Rasoolullah (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam).
People knew Sayyidina Siddeeq-e-Akbar. Where he would pass [on the Hijrat journey] acquaintances would ask: “Who is this with you?” Sayyidina Abu Bakr would reply: “This is my guide.” People would think: “travel-guide,” whereas he had it in his heart that, “He is my saviour from becoming astray and he shows me the path of rectitude.” In this one statement two meanings were conveyed.
Although Siddeeq-e-Akbar was two years younger than Rasoolullah (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam), his beard was, nevertheless, partially white and partially black, whereas the hair of Rasoolullah (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) was all black. Hence, the people of Madinah did not recognise Rasoolullah (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam). They thought Sayyidina Siddeeq to be Rasoolullah (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam). When Siddeeq-e-Akbar (Radhiyallahu anhu) provided shade from the sun with a sheet to Nabi (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) then the people of Madinah realised that he who was being given shade was the Rasool of Allah (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam).
Now listen to the following anecdote. When Siddeeq-e-Akbar left Makkah with Rasoolullah (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) he took along whatever wealth—cash and savings—there was at home. When his father, Abu Quhaafah came to know of his son’s departure for Makkah he came to his granddaughter, Asma and said in a state of anxiety: “Did Abu Bakr take along the money at home?”
Asma consoled her 83 year old grandfather whose eyesight had also been lost. She said: “Grandfather! The money bags are still in the cupboard filled. See for yourself.”
She put stones in the money bags and covered it with a cloth. She then held the hand of her old grandfather and passed it over the cloth. Abu Quhaafah became at ease and said: “He has left a lot behind! There is no need to worry.”
Then Abu Jahl came to the home of Sayyidina Siddeeq and he targeted the poor Asma with his tyranny. He shouted at her: “Where’s your father?” Asma replied: “How must I know? Do I walk around with him everywhere?” Abu Jahl [May Allah Ta’ala curse him] gave Asma such a forceful slap that her earring flew off.
Sayyidina Abu Bakr (Radhiyallahu anhu) knew that those enemies would trouble his children and beat them to get some answers from them, but look, out of love for Rasoolullah (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) he bore everything.
Part Five of Sayyidina Abu Bakr (Radhiyallahu Anhu)
Fear for the Muslims
When Muslims started to leave Makkah the enemies feared that if the Muslims gained power and were strengthened by uniting with the people of Madinah then whenever they [the Muslims] wished they would put an end to their [the Makkans’] business trips as the trade-caravans would pass by Madinah carrying thousands of gold coins worth of merchandise.
They also feared that it was just the beginning. If the Muslims consolidated their position then let it not be that the entire structure of idol-worship be demolished.
They, therefore, schemed to prepare a huge army, march onto Madinah and crush the Muslims.
It was the second year of Hijrat. The enemies of Makkah had prepared their army; a thousand horsemen with ample supplies and fully equipped.
The news reached Madinah. The Muslims were few and ill-equipped. They had been displaced from their homes. But, their trust was in Allah Ta’ala. They had not lost hope in Allah Ta’ala. Three hundred and thirteen brave Muslims got together. Muslims had in their minds: “If we are killed we become shaheed [martyrs] and we shall go straight to Jannat. An honourable death is better than a disgraceful life. We have to die one day; whether we die fighting, or through sickness, or falling from a camel, or falling from a horse. Death is inevitable”.
The enemy was haughty over its superior numbers. Muslims were under the shadow of Allah’s aid. The Muslims were saying: “For the sake of Allah’s Deen we are gambling with our lives. We have no personal vendetta against anyone. We do not wish to rob people of their money. If we drive away the enemy we will receive acclaim and it will bring joy to us that the enemies of Rasoolullah (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) have been killed”.
Sentry of Rasoolullah (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam)
The Sahaabah erected a tent on the edge of the battlefield in which Rasoolullah (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) sat. Sayyidina Abu Bakr (Radhiyallahu anhu) patrolled around the tent with a drawn sword.
In this battle Sayyidina Abu Bakr met his son, Abdur Rahmaan face to face. He had not yet become a Muslim. When Sayyidina Abdur Rahmaan became a Muslim, he would say: “Father! In the Battle of Badr, on one occasion you had dropped your guard. Had I wished I could have killed you. But I held back”.
Sayyidina Abu Bakr (Radhiyallahu anhu) smiled and replied: “But if you had dropped your guard then I would never have spared you for you were the enemy of Allah and His Rasool (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam)”.
This was on the occasion of the Battle of Badr. Badr is the name of a well.