16 September 2022
Men of Excellence: Hazrat Abu Bakrra
After reciting the tashahud, ta‘awuz and Surah al-Fatihah, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa said:
The achievements during the era of Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiqra were being mentioned. In this regard, there are some details in relation to the rights of the Dhimmis [non-Muslim subjects]. Dhimmis were those people who had accepted Islamic rule, but carried on following their own religions and the Islamic government took the responsibility for their protection. Contrary to Muslim [subjects], these people were exempt from military duties and they were not obliged to pay the Zakat [alms] either. As such, a minimal amount of tax, generally known as Jizya, was taken from them for the protection of their lives, wealth and other human rights. This amounted to a mere four dirhams annually per capita and it was only taken from mature and healthy individuals and those that were able to work. The elderly, disabled, the poor and children were exempt from this. As a matter of fact, the disabled and those in need were supported through the Islamic treasury. During the conquests of Iraq and Syria, various tribes and settlements became subjects of the Islamic government on the basis of Jizya. In the treaties that were made with them, such clauses were included as well, that their monasteries and churches would not be demolished and that none of their fortresses would be destroyed in which, at the time of need, they could seek protection from the attack of an enemy. They would neither be prevented from blowing a conch, nor from taking out the cross at their festivals. (Bashir Sajid, Ashra Mubashra, [Lahore: Al-Badr Publications, 2002), p. 183)
That is, they would be allowed to carry out processions whilst holding the cross.
In the peace agreement which Hazrat Khalidra bin Waleed made with the people of Hirah during the caliphate of Hazrat Abu Bakrra, among its various conditions, it was also stipulated that such an elderly man who was no longer able to work, or was afflicted with an illness, or one who was previously affluent, but had now become so impoverished that people of his own religion had started giving him charity, such a person would no longer be obliged to pay the Jizya. Furthermore, for as long as he remained in the Dar-ul-Hijrah [abode of migration] and Dar-ul-Islam [abode of Islam], i.e. where the Islamic government was established, his expenditures, as well as those of his family, would be supported through the Islamic treasury. However, if such individuals left the Dar-ul-Hijrah and Dar-ul-Islam and went to other countries, the Muslims would not be responsible for their care and protection. (Abu Yousaf, Kitab-ul-Khiraaj [Maktabatul Taufiqiyah, 2013] p. 148)
According to one narration, the following was written in the agreement which Hazrat Khalidra made with the people of Hirah in that the needy, the disabled and the monks who had dedicated their lives were exempt from paying the Jizya. (Muhammad Husain Haikal, Abu Bakr Al-Siddiq, [Lahore: Islami Kutub Khana] p. 318)
Then there was the great task of the compilation of the Holy Quran, which was carried out during the era of Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiqra. The compilation of the Holy Quran is a peerless and magnificent achievement during the era of Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiqra. The context of this task is related to the battle that was fought against Musaylimah Kazzab during the Battle of Yamamah. During the Battle of Yamama, 1200 Muslims were martyred, the vast majority comprising of highly esteemed companions and huffaz [memorisers of the Holy Quran].
According to one narration, the number of martyred huffaz reached 700. (Muhammad Husain Haikal [translated by Anjum Shahbaz Sultan], Hazrat Abu Bakr, [Jhelum, Pakistan: Book Corner], p. 393), (Maulana Muhammad Ahmad Misbahi, Quran Kaise Jama Wuha? [Lahore: Maktabatul A’la Hazrat], p. 58)
Hence, during these circumstances, Allah the Almighty inspired Hazrat Umarra to collect the Holy Quran in one place. He mentioned this to Hazrat Abu Bakrra. The details of this have been recorded in Sahih al-Bukhari in the following manner. ‘Ubaid bin Sabaq relates that Hazrat Zaidra bin Thabit said, “Following the battle against the people of Yamama, Hazrat Abu Bakrra called for me and I saw that Hazrat Umarra was seated beside him as well.” Hazrat Abu Bakrra said, “Umar came to me and said that ‘Many huffaz have been martyred during the Battle of Yamamah. I fear that many Qari or huffaz will be martyred at different places. Owing to this, I am worried lest a large portion of the Quran is lost.’”
For this reason, Hazrat Umarra said that, in his view, Hazrat Abu Bakrra ought to collate the Quran. Hazrat Abu Bakrra said to Hazrat Zaidra, “I said to Umar that how can I carry out a task that the Holy Prophetsa did not perform? But Umar replied saying, ‘By God, there is blessing in this.’ Umar reiterated this to me so many times that eventually Allah the Almighty bestowed contentment in my heart for this task, and I too agreed with Umar’s idea.”
Hazrat Zaidra says that Hazrat Abu Bakrra said, “O Zaid! Indeed, you are an intelligent young man, and we deem you free from any blame or blemish. You used to write down the revelations given to the Holy Prophetsa. Thus, you ought to now find the [parchments] of the Quran and collate them.” Hazrat Zaidra further says, “By Allah! Had he given me the responsibility of moving a mountain from one place to another, then this task would not have been as burdensome for me as was collecting the Quran. This was a monumental task that was assigned to me. I submitted, ‘How can you do something that the Holy Prophetsa did not do?’ Hazrat Abu Bakrra replied, ‘By God, this task is nothing but blessed.’ Hazrat Abu Bakrra reiterated this so much that Allah the Almighty bestowed contentment in my heart for this task, just as He had bestowed it to Hazrat Abu Bakrra and Hazrat Umarra. Thus, I began searching for the [parchments of] the Holy Quran, and started collecting them from stalks of date-palm trees, white stones and from those who had memorised them, until I found the last verses of Surah at-Taubah from Abu Khuzaimah Ansari, which were not found with anyone besides him [the verse was]:
لَقَدْ جَآءَكُمْ رَسُوْلٌ مِّنْ اَنْفُسِكُمْ عَزِيْزٌ عَلَيْهِ مَا عَنِتُّمْ
[“Surely, a Messenger has come unto you from among yourselves; grievous to him is that you should fall into trouble.” (Surah at-Taubah, Ch. 9: V. 128)]
(It was from this verse up to the end of Surah Taubah).
This written manuscript of the Quran remained with Hazrat Abu Bakrra until he passed away. After him, it remained with Hazrat Umarra and after him, it passed on to Hazrat Hafsara, the daughter of Hazrat Umarra.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab Fazail-ul-Quran, Baab Jam-ul-Quran, Hadith 4986)
With regards to the Ahadith on the collation of the Holy Quran, Imam Baghawi has written a footnote in his book, “Sharah al-Sunnah”, “The Holy Quran, which was revealed to the Holy Prophetsa was collated in its entirety by the companions in the exact form as it was revealed and without any discrepancies. The reason why the companions collated the Quran, as mentioned in the Ahadith, is that initially the Quran was dispersed across various stalks of date-palm trees, on stone slates and memorised by various huffaz. Owing to the martyrdom of some huffaz, the noble companions were worried, lest some of the Quran becomes lost. For this reason, they went to Hazrat Abu Bakrra and submitted a request to compile the Holy Quran in one place. This task was completed with the unanimous agreement of all the companions. Therefore, without even the slightest error in placement, they arranged the Quran in the order they had heard it from the Holy Prophetsa. The Holy Prophetsa would recite the Quran to the companions and he would recite the Quran to them in the exact same order that is present in the manuscript before us today. The Holy Prophetsa was taught this order by the angel Gabrielas. At the time of each revelation, Gabrielas would inform the Holy Prophetsa to put the revealed verses in such and such chapter after such and such verse.” (Sharah Al-Sunnah, Kitab Fazail-ul-Quran, Baab Jam-ul-Quran, [Al-Maktabatul Taufiqiyah, 2014], Riwayat no. 1232, pp. 484-485)
The collation of the Quran was carried out in the time of Hazrat Abu Bakrra. In this regard, Hazrat Alira says, “May Allah the Almighty shower His mercy upon Abu Bakr, for he was the first one to safeguard the entire Quran in the form of a manuscript.” (Musanaf ibn Abi Shaibah, Kitab Fazail-ul-Quran, Vol. 8, [Lahore: Maktabah Ruhaniyah], p. 827)
While mentioning the compilation of the Holy Quran, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra states:
“The only thing that had not happened up until that point was that the Holy Quran had not been compiled into a single copy. When five hundred of those who had memorised the Holy Quran were martyred in that battle (of Yamamah), Hazrat Umarra went to Hazrat Abu Bakrra and said, ‘Five hundred of those who had memorised the Holy Quran were martyred in a single battle, and there are many battles ahead of us. If more of those who have memorised the Quran are martyred, then people will fall into doubt regarding the Holy Quran. Hence, the Quran should be compiled into a single copy.’ Initially, Hazrat Abu Bakrra rejected this idea, but eventually he agreed. Hazrat Abu Bakrra appointed Zaidra bin Thabit for this task, as he had been a scribe of the Holy Quran during the lifetime of the Holy Prophetsa and other senior Companions were also appointed to help him. Although there were thousands of Companions who had committed the Holy Quran to memory, it would be impossible to gather thousands of Companions at the time of copying down the Holy Quran, hence Hazrat Abu Bakrra instructed that the Holy Quran should be copied from written copies. He also instructed the precaution of having at least two people who had memorised the Holy Quran to verify it. Hence, the various pieces of leather and bones upon which verses of the Holy Quran had been written were gathered in one place and those who had memorised the Quran verified them. If there could be any doubt about the Holy Quran, then it could only be regarding the time between the Holy Prophet’ssa demise and that period. However, there is no knowledgeable person who can say that there could be any difficulty in compiling a book that was recited every day and the book, that is recited aloud by those who have memorised the Holy Quran for Muslims during every Ramadan and the book which has been memorised from beginning to end by thousands of people; and although this book had not been gathered into a single copy, scores of Companions used to write it down and it was written out in its entirety in different fragments? Furthermore, could an individual, who himself had been appointed as a scribe of the Holy Quran during the time of the Holy Prophetsa and had committed it to memory, find any difficulty in compiling it? Seeing as the Quran was recited every day, would it be possible for there to be any mistake in that copy without it being recognised by any person who had committed it to memory? If such veracity is doubted, then there remains no argument in the world that can stand. The truth is that there is no other writing which has been established with the same continuity as the Holy Quran.” (Deebacha Tafsir-ul-Quran, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 20, pp. 432-433)
Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra is expounding upon the argument that the Holy Quran is in its original form without any change whatsoever – in response to the allegation that it had been altered, etc. This response also applies to similar allegations which are raised even today.
Whilst responding to another allegation, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra states:
“Another allegation raised is that the entire Quran was not written in its entirety during the time of the Holy Prophetsa. The response is that this is not correct; the entire Holy Quran was certainly written out during the lifetime of the Holy Prophetsa (those who say that it was not written are wrong, it was written out). As has been narrated by Hazrat Usmanra, whenever a portion [of the Holy Quran] was revealed, the Holy Prophetsa would summon the scribes and would instruct where that verse should be added. When there is historical evidence present, then to say that the Holy Quran was not written in its entirety during the lifetime of the Holy Prophetsa would be foolish. Then, there remains the question of why it was written out during the era of Hazrat Abu Bakrra. The answer is that during the lifetime of the Holy Prophetsa, the Holy Quran was not written out in a single copy as it is today. The thought occurred to Hazrat Umarra that people should not think that the Holy Quran is not preserved, hence he said the following to Hazrat Abu Bakrra:
اِنِّيْ اَرٰي اَنْ تَاْمُرَ جَمْعَ الْقُرْاٰنِ
‘I deem it most suitable for you to give the command for the Holy Quran to be compiled into the form of a single book’; he did not suggest that it should be inscribed. Then, Hazrat Abu Bakrra summoned Zaidra and instructed him to compile the Quran. Hence, he said:
‘Gather it in one place’. He did not instruct him to write it. Therefore, these words alone prove that the matter at hand was of compiling the various fragments on which the Quran was written into a single copy, not of writing it down.” (Fazail-ul-Quran (1), Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 10, pp. 514-515)
The Holy Quran was compiled into a single copy during the Khilafat of Hazrat Abu Bakrra and then further progress was made during the Khilafat of Hazrat Usmanra, when all Arabs, in fact, all Muslims, were brought together to a single dialect. Hence, this work for the propagation of the Holy Quran was done during the era of Hazrat Usmanra.
Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra states:
“After Hazrat Abu Bakrra, a complaint was made during the time of Hazrat Usmanra that people from various tribes recited the Holy Quran in different dialects, which had a negative impact upon non-Muslims, as they thought that there were different versions of the Holy Quran. Dialect refers to the fact that some tribes would read certain letters with a zabar [diacritical mark above], whereas others would recite that same letter with a zer [diacritical mark underneath] and then those who would recite it with a paish [diacritical mark indicating a rounded sound]. This is something that cannot be found in any other language, aside from Arabic. Hence, when those who are not familiar with Arabic hear this, they will think that one is saying something while the other is saying something different, whereas what they are saying is the same. Hence, in order to avoid this disorder, Hazrat Usmanra recommended that copies should be made of the manuscript [of the Holy Quran] which was compiled during the era of Hazrat Abu Bakrra and should be sent to different countries with the instruction that the Quran should be recited only according to this dialect and none other. This suggestion by Hazrat Usmanra was not at all unbecoming; during the lifetime of the Holy Prophetsa, people lived according to their tribes, each living separate from the other and so they were each accustomed to their own way of speaking (they each spoke in their own unique accents). However, upon joining the Holy Prophetsa, all of the Arabs became civilised and rather than being considered the language of the illiterate, Arabic became the language of the educated. Many Arabs learned how to read and write, which made it easy for even the tribespeople to pronounce words as they were in an educated fashion, which was in essence the language of the land. Hence, seeing as everyone was acquainted with this intellectual form of the language, there was no reason for them to be granted permission to continue reciting the Holy Quran in their tribal accents and thus becoming a trial for non-Arabs. For this reason, Hazrat Usmanra made copies of the Quran with diacritic marks according to the Meccan dialect which he distributed to different nations. Regarding the future, he instructed that the Holy Quran should not be recited in any dialect other than the Meccan dialect. On account of not understanding this point, European writers, along with writers from other nations, have always raised the allegation that Hazrat Usmanra created a new Quran or that Hazrat Usmanra changed something in the Holy Quran. However, the reality of the matter is what has just been stated.” (Deebacha Tafsir-ul-Quran, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 20, pp. 433-434)
The Promised Messiahas states:
“There is no doubt that the Quran is an Oft-recited Revelation and its entirety, down to every dot and letter, has indeed remained constant and it was with the greatest of provisions that Allah the Almighty revealed it in the care of angels. Then, the Holy Prophetsa left no stone unturned in ensuring the same provisions and he made it his constant practise to ensure that each verse was written before his very eyes as it was revealed, to the extent that he then gathered them, and placed each verse in order himself and also made it a constant practise to recite them in prayer and aside from prayer as well. He did this until he passed on from this world and went to meet his Greatest Friend, his Most Beloved, Lord of All the Worlds.”
Then, the Promised Messiahas states:
“Thereafter, the First Khalifa, Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiqra, undertook the task of gathering all the verses in the same order which he had heard from the Holy Prophetsa. Then, after Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiqra, Allah the Almighty granted the Third Khalifa, Hazrat Usmanra the ability to unify the Quran according to the Meccan dialect.” (Hamamatul Bushra, pp. 101-102)
As for the question of how long the Sahifa-e-Siddiqui, the actual copy compiled by Hazrat Abu Bakrra, remained preserved, it is recorded that the copy of the Holy Quran which Hazrat Abu Bakrra had formed into a single copy through Hazrat Zaidra bin Thabit is called the Sahifa-e-Siddiqui. This copy remained with Hazrat Abu Bakrra until his demise. Thereafter, it was in the possession of Hazrat Umarra, who gave it to the Mother of Believers, Hazrat Hafsara, with the guidance that it should not be given to anyone except if a person wished to use it to make a copy of their own, then they could benefit from it. Hence, Hazrat Usmanra borrowed the copy from Hazrat Hafsara and made a few copies and returned the original back to Hazrat Hafsara. In 54 AH, when Marwan became the governor of Medina, he sought to obtain this copy from Hazrat Hafsara but she refused. After the demise of Hazrat Hafsara, Marwan took it from Hazrat Abdullah bin Umarra and destroyed it. However, Hazrat Usmanra had already preserved it [by making copies]. (Siyar al-Sahabah, Vol. 1 [Karachi, Pakistan: Dar al-Isha’ah, 2004], p. 44.), (Fath-al-Bari, Kitab Fazail-ul-Quran, Baab Jam-ul-Quran, Vol. 8, [Cairo: Dar-ul-Riyan Li Al-Turath, 1887], pp. 636-637)
Those tasks which Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiqra was the first to carry out and are attributed to him are known as Awwaliyaat Abu Bakr. There are various tasks which he was the first to carry out. Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiqra was the first person to accept Islam. Secondly, he was the first person to build a mosque in front of his house in Mecca. Thirdly, in support of the Holy Prophetsa, he was the first person to fight against the Quraish of Mecca. Fourthly, he was the first person to purchase countless slaves who had been subjected to intense persecution owing to their acceptance of Islam and then set them free. Fifth, he was the first person to compile the Quran into a single manuscript. Sixth, he was the first person to name the Quran as Mushaf. Seventh, he was the first person to be called Khalifa-e-Rashid. Eighth, he was the first person to be appointed as the Amir-ul-Hajj in the lifetime of the Holy Prophetsa. Ninth, he was the first person to lead the Muslims in prayer during the lifetime of the Holy Prophetsa. Tenth, he was the first person to establish the Bait-ul-Maal [treasury] in Islam. Eleventh, he was the first , for whom the Muslims fixed an allowance. Twelfth, he was the first , who nominated the next Khalifa after him. Hazrat Umarra was nominated by Hazrat Abu Bakrra. Thirteenth, he was the first Khalifa, who at the time of when his Bai’at took place, his father, Abu Quhafahra was still alive. Fourteenth, he was the first person in Islam whom the Holy Prophetsa granted a title. Fifteenth, he was the first person whose four generations had the honour of being companions. His father, Hazrat Abu Quhafahra was a companion, Hazrat Abu Bakrra himself, his son, Hazrat Abdur Rahmanra bin Abi Bakrra and his grandson, Hazrat Muhammad bin Abdur Rahmanra bin Abi Bakr. They were all companions. (Professor Ali Muhsin Siddiqi, Al-Siddiq, pp. 381-382)
In relation to the qualities of Hazrat Abu Bakrra it has been narrated by Hazrat Aishara with regards to his blessed countenance that she once saw an Arab man, who was walking on foot, and at the time, Hazrat Aishara was sitting in her [camel] litter. Hazrat Aishara stated, “I have never seen anyone resemble Hazrat Abu Bakrra more than this person.” The narrator states that they enquired from Hazrat Aishara if she could describe the appearance of Hazrat Abu Bakrra to them. Upon this, Hazrat Aishara stated, “Hazrat Abu Bakrra had a fair complexion and was of a thin build. He had very slender cheeks and his back was slightly curved forward as a result of which his outer garment would slip down from his back. He had a slender face and deep-set eyes and he had a prominent forehead.” (Ibn Saad, Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol. 3, Abu Bakr Siddiqra wa man Bani Taym bin Murrah bin Kaab [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 1990], p. 140)
Ibn Sirin states that he asked Hazrat Anasra bin Malik whether Hazrat Abu Bakrra dyed his hair to which he replied in the affirmative and stated that he applied Mehndi and Katam on his hair and beard. Katam is the name of a plant. (Sahih Muslim, Kitab-ul-Fazail, Vol. 12, Hadith 4304, [Rabwah: Nur Foundation], pp. 248-249)
In relation to his piety and righteousness, it is written that the Holy Prophetsa granted some land to Hazrat Rabiyara bin Ja’far and Hazrat Abu Bakrra. However, they had a dispute over a tree and during the course of the argument, Hazrat Abu Bakrra said something to him in a rather stern manner. Later, Hazrat Abu Bakrra became remorseful over it and said to Hazrat Rabiyara to also say something in a similar manner so that it could serve as retribution. In other words, to say something just as Hazrat Abu Bakrra had said to him, but Hazrat Rabiyara refused. Following this, they both went before the Holy Prophetsa and related the entire incident to him. Upon this, the Holy Prophetsa stated, “Do not say something in a stern tone, rather offer the prayer:
غَفَرَ اللّٰهُ لَكَ يَا اَبَابَكْرٍ
‘O Abu Bakr! May Allah forgive you.’”
This is exactly what he did. When Hazrat Abu Bakrra heard this it had such a deep impact upon him that he returned whilst crying profusely. (Ibn Hajr Asqalani, Fath al-Bari Sharh Imam al-Bukhari, Vol. 7, Hadith no. 3661 [Karachi: Qadimi Kutub Khana Maqabil Aram Bagh], p. 31.)
In another narration, Hazrat Abu Bakrra saw a bird sitting on a tree and he said, “O bird! Glad tidings are given to you. By Allah, I desire to be like you. You are sat upon a tree and eat the fruits and then fly away. You will neither be held accountable nor punished for your actions. By Allah, I wish that I was a tree on one side of a path and a camel would pass by and take hold of me and put me in its mouth and chew me up and then quickly swallow me down. Thereafter, it expels me from itself in the form of a dropping. I wish I was not a human.” (Kanz al-‘Ummal, Vol. 13, Kitab-ul-Fada’il, Fada’il al-Sahabah, Hadith 35694, [Beirut, Dar-ul-Kutub Al-Ilmiyyah, 1985], p. 237)
Whilst commenting on verse 41 of Surah An-Naba’:
وَيَقُوْلُ الْكَافِرُ يَالَيْتَنِيْ كُنْتُ تُرَابًا
That is, “and the disbeliever will say, ‘Would that I were mere dust!’”
Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra states:
“Certain Muslims have gone to such extreme lengths in their malice towards the companions that they claim that since Hazrat Abu Bakrra used to repeat these words, hence it proves that he was a disbeliever.”
In other words, he would recite:
وَيَقُوْلُ الْكَافِرُ يَالَيْتَنِيْ كُنْتُ تُرَابًا
[‘And the disbeliever will say, “Would that I were mere dust!”’]
And because Hazrat Abu Bakrra used to recite this, which was a statement attributed to the disbelievers, therefore they claimed that he was a disbeliever, God-forbid.
Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra states:
“Even if this narration is proven to be authentic and this verse relates to Hazrat Abu Bakrra, then according to the high level of faith possessed by Hazrat Abu Bakrra, its meaning would be that Hazrat Abu Bakrra – who rejected what the disbelievers stated – he would say, ‘I wish that God Almighty treated me in such a manner whereby He would neither reward me for my good deeds and nor punish me for my errors.’ These words, in fact, are an expression of a perfect believer. It is recorded in the Ahadith with regards to the Holy Prophetsa himself that he would say, ‘I will not be forgiven owing to my good deeds, rather it would be owing to the grace of Allah the Almighty.’ The word ‘Kafir’ [disbeliever] has been used ironically here and it means that people claim that he is a Kafir, yet he was the one who would stand the closest to the Holy Prophetsa during the battles; he is the one who sacrificed all his wealth for the sake of the Holy Prophetsa; he gave his 11-year-old daughter’s hand in marriage to the Holy Prophetsa, who at the time was 54-55; he was the one who accompanied the Holy Prophetsa during his migration and the Holy Prophetsa chose him alone for this task in the face of opposition from the whole of Mecca. Thus, the Holy Quran has used this word [Kafir] in an ironic manner. (And, that is if this verse is related to Hazrat Abu Bakrra. This word has been used as an irony). The one who offered all these sacrifices is labelled as a ‘Kafir’ and yet those who have not done a single deed that can even come close to his deeds consider themselves to be believers.” (Tafsir-e-Saghir, Surah an-Naba’, Verse 41, p. 798 [footnote])
When the time of his demise drew near, Hazrat Abu Bakrra stated to Hazrat Aishara:
“O my daughter! Do you know that, amongst all the people, you are the most beloved and dearest to me? I gifted you a particular piece of land of mine. However, had you taken it in your possession and profited from its gains, then indeed it would have been solely yours, but now all my heirs have a right to it. Thus, I desire that you return it to me (i.e. to return the gift) because you did not take it into your possession and I continued to use it in my lifetime. Therefore I would like it to be distributed amongst my progeny according to the Book of Allah [Shariah] and I wish to meet my Lord in a state whereby I did not show preference to any child of mine over another.” Upon this, Hazrat Aishara stated that his instructions would be fulfilled to the letter. (Ibn Saad, Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol. 3, Dikr Wasiyyat Abu Bakr [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah], pp. 145-146), (Allamah Al-Suyuti, Tarikh Al-Khulafa [Translation], [Karachi: Nafees Academy], p. 89)
The following incident, which I am about to relate, has been mentioned once before as well, but I shall mention it again with reference to Hazrat Abu Bakr’sra qualities.
When Allah the Almighty bestowed upon him the mantle of Khilafat, Hazrat Abu Bakrra, who used to be a clothes merchant, placed some sheets of cloth on his shoulder the next day and headed to the marketplace as per his routine. Along the way he met Hazrat Umarra and Hazrat Abu Ubaidahra. They submitted, “O Khalifa of the Messengersa! Where are you going?” Hazrat Abu Bakrra replied that he was going to the marketplace. They submitted, “You are the leader of the Muslims. Please return and we shall fix an allowance for you. There is no need for you to sell [clothes].” (Siyar al-Sahaba, Vol. 1, p. 77)
With regard to the details of his allowance, Allama ibn Sa’d mentioned that Hazrat Abu Bakrra would receive two garments and when they would become old, he would return those and get two new ones. During his travels, he would take a mount and the amount of money he received to cover the expenses of his family was the same amount he used to spend on them prior to his Khilafat. (Siyar al-Sahaba, Vol. 1, p. 82)
Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra states:
“Hazrat Abu Bakrra was the leader of the entire Muslim world, but what did he receive? Despite having complete control over the public funds, he never took any of it for himself. Although Hazrat Abu Bakrra was a very successful merchant, since he had the habit that whatever wealth he received he would immediately spend it in the way of God Almighty, therefore it so happened that upon the demise of the Holy Prophetsa when he became the , he did not have any money in cash at the time. The very next day, after becoming the Khalifa, Hazrat Abu Bakrra took a small bag of clothes and left in order to sell it. Hazrat Umarra happened to meet him on the way and enquired as to what he was doing. Hazrat Abu Bakrra replied that, after all, he had to do something in order to eat; if he did not sell those clothes, how would he provide for himself? Hazrat Umarra stated that this was not possible, because if he spent his time selling clothes, who would fulfil the responsibilities of the ? Hazrat Abu Bakrra replied, ‘If I do not do this, how will I survive?’ Hazrat Umarra said that he should take some allowance from the Bait-ul-Maal. Hazrat Abu Bakrra stated that he could not bear to take anything from the Bait-ul-Maal because he had no right over it. Hazrat Umarra stated that when the Holy Quran had permitted that the funds of the Bait-ul-Maal could be spent on those who served their faith, then why could he not take it? And so, an allowance was fixed for Hazrat Abu Bakrra from the Bait-ul-Maal. The amount that was fixed was just sufficient enough to cover the expense for food and clothes.” (Tafsir-e-Kabir, Vol. 8, p. 468)
Ibn Abi Malikah relates that if ever the reins of his camel got loose from his hand and fell, Hazrat Abu Bakrra would make his camel sit down and then pick up the reins himself. He was asked [by those with him] why did he not instruct them to do it for him and Hazrat Abu Bakrra replied, “My beloved, the Holy Prophetsa had instructed me to not ask anyone else to do something for me.” (Ahmad bin Hanbal, Musnad Ahmad bin Hanbal, Vol. 1, Musnad Abi Bakr Al-Siddiq, Hadith 65 [Beirut, Lebanon: ‘Alam al-Kutub, 1998], p. 92.)
Such was the level of caution he would take.
Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra states:
“Once, the Holy Prophetsa heard some people outside of the mosque say, ‘What excellence does Abu Bakr have over us? We also perform the same pious deeds as he performs.’ When the Holy Prophetsa heard this, he stated, ‘O people! Abu Bakr does not have excellence over you due to his prayer or fasting, rather it is owing to the piety in his heart.’” (Khutbat-e-Mahmud, Vol. 19, p. 765)
In other words, the piety in his heart, the love for the Holy Prophetsa and the fear and awe of Allah the Almighty in his heart was of such a high standard that he had excellence over them. And this was not just merely a condition of his heart, rather his deeds were in accordance with this as well.
Whilst explaining the commentary of a Quranic verse, the Promised Messiahas has mentioned the status and rank of Hazrat Abu Bakrra as follows:
“Allah the Almighty has stated [in this verse] that you should continue to worship until you attain the stage of perfect conviction whereby all the barriers and veils of darkness are removed and one believes that his condition is no longer like that of before. Rather, it is as if there is a new country; a new land and a new sky and he himself has also become like a new creation. This new life is what the Sufis refer to as Baqa. When a person attains this level, then Allah the Almighty breathes into him of His spirit and the angels then descend upon him. This is the very intricate phenomenon which the Holy Prophetsa mentioned in relation to Hazrat Abu Bakrra that if one wants to see a corpse walking on the earth then they should look at Abu Bakrra and Abu Bakr’sra status was not owing to his actions, rather due to what was in his heart.” (Malfuzat, Vol. 2, p. 98)
Hazrat Abu Saeed Khudrira relates that the Holy Prophetsa once set off on a journey and people also accompanied him. When they stopped at one place, people sat in various smaller groups. Hazrat Abu Saeed Khudrira further relates that he sat with Hazrat Abu Bakrra and there was also a villager with them from among the Bedouin tribes. They were inside a house of a Bedouin and the woman in the house was expecting. The villager, who was with them, said to the woman that if she desired to give birth to a boy, she should give him a goat. And so, the woman gave him a goat. This man then recited some couplets with a similar rhyme. (He read a few self-composed incantations). He then slaughtered the goat. When people sat around to eat, someone among them told everyone about the entire incident of how that man had received the goat by telling the woman that he would pray and she would have a son. The narrator states that Hazrat Abu Bakrra was also seated amongst them to eat the food and when he looked towards him, he expressed intense dislike over this and started to put his fingers in his throat in order to bring up the food. (Ahmad bin Hanbal, Musnad Ahmad bin Hanbal, Vol. 8, Musnad Abi Saeed Al-Khudri, Hadith 11420 [Cairo: Dar-ul-Hadith, 2012], pp. 19-20.)
He did not wish to eat food which had been used as a means of committing shirk.
Hazrat Aishara relates:
“There was a servant of Hazrat Abu Bakrra who would bring him his earnings, and Hazrat Abu Bakrra would eat from his earnings. One day, he brought something and Hazrat Abu Bakrra ate from it. The servant asked, ‘Do you know what this is?’ Hazrat Abu Bakrra replied, ‘What is it?’ He answered, ‘I was soothsaying to a person in the era of ignorance, and I knew very little about soothsaying yet I still deceived him. He met me and gave something in return for this. Hence, this is what you have eaten from.’ (He would bring gifts, or come having cooked something). Hazrat Abu Bakrra placed his hand down his throat and vomited everything he had eaten, saying, ‘I cannot eat from this forbidden food.’” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab Manaqib-ul-Ansar, Baab Ayaam-ul-Jahiliyyah, Hadith 3842)
Hazrat Abdullahra bin Umar relates that the Holy Prophetsa said, “One who drags their clothes on the ground out of pride, Allah shall not look at them on the Day of Judgement.” Hazrat Abu Bakrra said, “One side of my clothes always remains loose unless I pay special attention to it.” Upon this, the Holy Prophetsa stated, “You do not do this out of arrogance.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab Fazail Al-Sahab Al-Nabi, Hadith 3665)
The Promised Messiahas states:
“The Holy Prophetsa once said that one whose waist sheet drags across the ground shall be in the fire. Hearing this, Hazrat Abu Bakrra began to weep, for his waist sheet was such. The Holy Prophetsa said, ‘You are not among them.’ Therefore, intentions play a vital role and it is necessary to pay due regard to the status of others.” (Malfuzat, Vol. 7, p. 25)
Then there is mention of his complete obedience, love and sense of honour for the Holy Prophetsa. One day, Hazrat Aishara was speaking really quickly in the house to the Holy Prophetsa when her father (i.e. Hazrat Abu Bakrra) entered. Seeing this state of affairs he could not tolerate it and advanced forward to strike his daughter, saying, “Is this how you speak to the Messengersa of Allah?” Seeing this, the Holy Prophetsa came between the father and daughter and saved Hazrat Aishara from the impending punishment from Hazrat Abu Bakrra. When Hazrat Abu Bakrra left, the Holy Prophetsa said in a light-hearted manner to Hazrat Aishara, “See how I saved you from your father today.” A few days later, Hazrat Abu Bakrra came once more and Hazrat Aishara was speaking joyfully with the Holy Prophetsa. Hazrat Abu Bakrra said, “You included me in your dispute, now share me in your joy too.” Thereupon, the Holy Prophetsa said, “We let you share in it.” (Sunan Abi Daud, Kitab-ul-Adab, Hadith 4999)
Hazrat Uqbahra bin Harith relates, “I saw Hazrat Abu Bakrra whilst he was carrying Hazrat Hasanra saying, ‘May my father be sacrificed for you. You resemble the Holy Prophetsa, not Hazrat Alira.’ Hazrat Alira laughed after hearing this.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab Fazail Al-Sahab Al-Nabi, Hadith 3750)
Hazrat Abdullahra bin Umar relates:
“When Hazrat Umar’sra daughter Hazrat Hafsara became a widow upon the demise of [her husband] Hazrat Khunaisra bin Hudhafah Sahmi – who was a companion of the Holy Prophetsa who participated in the Battle of Badr – he passed away in Medina, so Hazrat Umarra bin Al-Khattab said, ‘I met Usman bin Affan and mentioned Hafsa to him, saying that he can marry her if he so wills.’ He replied, ‘I shall deliberate on this matter.’ Hence, for several days he waited, before Hazrat Usmanra said, ‘I consider it appropriate that I marry not in these days.’ Hazrat Umarra then said, ‘I then met Hazrat Abu Bakrra and told him I would marry Hafsa to him if he wished.’ Hazrat Abu Bakrra remained silent and gave no reply. Hazrat Umarra then says, ‘I became even more saddened by [the response from] Hazrat Abu Bakrra than Hazrat Usman’sra and waited further nights. Then the Holy Prophetsa sent his request to marry Hafsa and I married her to him. Hazrat Abu Bakrra then met me and said, “Perhaps you are angry with me as I gave no reply when you mentioned Hafsa.” I answered that this was true. He then said, “In fact, nothing was stopping me from responding to you in relation to what you presented, aside from the fact that I came to know that the Holy Prophetsa desired to marry Hafsa. I am not one to disclose this intention of the Holy Prophetsa (i.e. to tell you that this is what the Holy Prophetsa wishes). This is why I remained silent or refused. If the Holy Prophetsa had decided against this proposal, then I would have surely accepted to marry your daughter.’” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab-ul-Maghazi, Hadith 2005)
In a narration by Hazrat Ibn Abbasra in relation to the praise expressed by Hazrat Alira for Hazrat Abu Bakrra he says, “I was stood among those people after the demise of Hazrat Umarra who prayed for him once he had been placed upon a plank. All of a sudden, a person came from behind, placing his elbow on my shoulder and said, ‘May Allah have mercy on you. I had hoped that you also be buried alongside our two companions, because I had heard the Holy Prophetsa say many times, “Myself, Abu Bakr and Umar were at such and such place” or “I, Abu Bakr and Umar did such and such” or “I, Abu Bakr and Umar then left”. This is why I was hoping that you also be buried alongside our two companions.’ When I turned I saw that it was Hazrat Ali bin Talibra.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab Fazail Al-Sahab Al-Nabi, Hadith 3677)
The rest shall be presented in the future, God willing.
(Official Urdu transcript published in Al Fazl International, 4-13 October 2022 (Special Edition – Sirat-un-Nabisa), pp. 5-9. Translated by The Review of Religions)