4 March 2022
Men of Excellence: Hazrat Abu Bakrra
After reciting the tashahhud, ta‘awuz and Surah al-Fatihah, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa said:
With regard to the details of the election of Hazrat Abu Bakr’sra Khilafat, it has been recorded in Tarikh al-Tabari that on this occasion, Hazrat Hubbabra bin al-Mundhir stood up and said:
“O people of the Ansar! Keep this matter in your hands as these people are currently under your care”, referring to the Muhajirin. “No one will have the courage to oppose you and people will not disagree with your opinion. You are honourable, affluent, in the majority, strong, mighty and experienced warriors, courageous and brave. People have turned towards you in order to see what you do. Do not disagree at this moment as your [difference of] opinion will create disorder among you and your matter will be turned against you. Hence, if these people”, i.e. the Muhajirin of the Quraish, “reject what you have just heard then there will be one leader from among us and one leader from among them.”
Upon this, Hazrat Umarra said, “This is impossible! Two swords cannot be combined in one sheath. By Allah! Arabs will never agree to elect you as the leader, while their Prophetsa is from a different tribe than yours. However, the Arabs will have no objection to entrusting their matters to those among whom prophethood was established, nor [would they object] that their leaders should be elected from them. Furthermore, if any Arab rejects the leadership in this case, then we will be justified and have the right to oppose him. Who will oppose us regarding the leadership of Muhammadsa? We are the very friends and family of the Holy Prophetsa. None but the foolish, a sinner and the one who throws himself into destruction will oppose this proposition.”
Hubbabra bin al-Mundhir said, “O people of the Ansar! Settle this matter among yourselves and do not at all agree with this person and his companions. They wish to devour your share as well and if they reject your proposition then drive them out of your areas and take control of all matters, because, by God, you are most deserving and worthy of this leadership. Your swords have made everyone obedient to this religion; all those who would otherwise not have obeyed. I take the responsibility of settling this entire matter on my shoulders, as I am experienced therein and also competent. By God! If you so desire then I will correct and settle this matter.”
Hazrat Umarra said, “If you do this then Allah will destroy you!” Hazrat Hubbabra replied, “It will, in fact, be you who will be destroyed!”
At this moment, Hazrat Abu Ubaidahra said, “O congregation of Ansar! You are the pioneers in helping and assisting the religion. It should not be the case that you now become the first ones to alter and change it.”
Upon this, Bashirra bin Saad said, “O congregation of Ansar! The sole objective of the opportunity we received of fighting the idolaters and serving the religion of Islam in its early stages was to acquire the pleasure of our Creator and it was done in obedience to our Messengersa of Allah. It does not befit us to make ourselves superior to others and we do not desire any worldly benefit from this. This is merely a favour of Allah the Almighty upon us. Hearken! The Holy Prophetsa was most certainly from among the Quraish and as such, his tribe is more deserving and worthy of this leadership. I swear by God and proclaim that I will not dispute with them regarding this matter! Fear Allah and do not oppose them and do not dispute with them in relation to this matter!” (Muhammad Ibn Jarir al-Tabari, Tarikh al-Tabari, Vol. 2 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 1987], p. 243)
Another narration of the speech of Hazrat Umarra is recorded in Sunan al-Kubra li al-Nasa‘i that when the Ansar said in the courtyard of the Banu Sa‘idah that there should be one leader from among each party, Hazrat Umarra replied – as was previously mentioned – that there could not be two swords in one sheath as they would not fare well if it were so. Hazrat Umarra then took the hand of Hazrat Abu Bakrra and said, “Who is it that possesses these three qualities:
إِذۡ يَقُولُ لِصٰحِبِهِۦ لَا تَحۡزَنۡ إِنَّ اللّٰهَ مَعَنَا
That is, “When he (the Holy Prophetsa) said to his companion, ‘Grieve not, for Allah is with us’, who was the companion?” He then said:
إِذۡ هُمَا فِي الۡغَارِ
“‘When they were both in the cave,’ who were these two?”
Hazrat Umarra continued:
لَا تَحۡزَنۡ إِنَّ اللّٰهَ مَعَنَا
“‘Do not grieve, for Allah is with us’; who was it that was beside the Holy Prophetsa? Who was He with aside from Hazrat Abu Bakrra?” Saying this, Hazrat Umarra pledged his allegiance to Hazrat Abu Bakrra and told the people to also swear allegiance, which they then did. (Al-Sunan al-Kubra li al-Nasa‘i, Kitab Wafat al-Nabisa, Hadith 7119, Vol. 4, p. 264, Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1991)
After Hazrat Umarra, Hazrat Abu Ubaidahra bin al-Jarrah and Hazrat Bashirra bin Sad pledged their allegiance, and in this manner all of the Ansar pledged allegiance. (Al-Kamil fi al-Tarikh, Vol. 2, p. 193, Dar-ul-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2003) (Ali bin Burhan al-Din al-Halabi, Al-Sirah al-Halabiyyah, Vol. 3 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 2002], p. 506)
In Islamic literature, this pledge is also known as the “Bai‘at Saqifah” or “Bai‘at Khassah”. (Tarikh al-Khulafa al-Rashidin,Vol. 3, p. 367, 22, Dar al-Nafa‘is, Beirut, 2011)
It is mentioned in some narrations that Hazrat Saadra bin Ubadah did not pledge his allegiance to Hazrat Abu Bakrra, whereas in other narrations it is evident that he pledged allegiance alongside all the Ansar. It is recorded in Tarikh al-Tabari that all the people pledged their allegiance to Hazrat Abu Bakrra one after another, and Hazrat Saadra bin Ubadah also pledged allegiance. (Muhammad Ibn Jarir al-Tabari, Tarikh al-Tabari, Vol. 3, Sanat Ihda Asharah, Dhikr al-Khabar ‘amma Jara baina al-Muhajirin wa al-Ansar… [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Fikr, 2002], p. 266)
Whilst mentioning the Khilafat that followed after the Holy Prophetsa, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra states:
“Observe how Khilafat was established after the Holy Prophetsa, and how wonderfully so. After his demise, Hazrat Abu Bakrra became the Khalifa. At the time, the Ansar desired for there to be a caliph from among them and one from among the Muhajirin. Having heard this, Hazrat Abu Bakrra, Hazrat Umarra and some other companions immediately made their way to where the Ansar had gathered. He said, ‘It is wrong for there to be two caliphs and that Islam would not progress through division. There will only be one caliph. If you create division there will be disorder, your honour will be lost and the Arabs will tear you apart, so do not do this.’
“Some of the Ansar began presenting some arguments to him. Hazrat Umarra narrates, ‘I assumed that Hazrat Abu Bakrra did not possess the ability to deliver a speech, and so I should speak to the Ansar. However, when Hazrat Abu Bakrra addressed them he presented all the points I had in mind.’ Hazrat Umarra continues, ‘In fact, he presented even more points. Seeing this, I thought to myself that today, this elderly gentleman has surpassed me.’ In the end, the grace of Allah was such that people from among the Ansar themselves stood up and proclaimed that whatever Hazrat Abu Bakrra had said was correct and that the Arabs would obey none other than the Meccans. One Ansari passionately said, ‘O my people, Allah the Almighty sent His Messengersa to this nation. His kin drove him out of his city and we gave him a place in our homes, then as a result of this Allah Almighty granted us honour. We, of Medina, were without repute and lowly, but due to the Messengersa, we gained honour and repute. Hence, we should deem all of this sufficient for us and not become desirous for more, lest it harms us.’
“Hazrat Abu Bakrra then said, ‘It is vital to establish a Caliphate, so elect who you please as the Caliph, I myself have no desire to become the Caliph.’ Hazrat Abu Bakrra further said, ‘This is Abu Ubaidahra bin al-Jarrah, he was granted the title of “Custodian of the Ummah” by the Holy Prophetsa, so you may pledge your allegiance to him. There is also Umarra who is an unsheathed sword of Islam, so you may pledge allegiance to him.’ Hazrat Umarra said, ‘Abu Bakrra, that is enough, give your hand and accept our pledge of allegiance.’ Allah the Almighty instilled this courage in the heart of Hazrat Abu Bakrra and he accepted their pledge of allegiance.” (Majlis Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya Markaziyyah ke Salanah Ijtema 1956 mein Khitabat, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 25, pp. 402-403)
In reference to the pledge of allegiance at Saqifah Banu Sa‘idah, it is further reported that the demise of the Holy Prophetsa took place on a Monday. The people began pledging allegiance at the hands of Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiqra. The remainder of that Monday, and on the morning of Tuesday, the collective bai‘at took place in the mosque.
Hazrat Anasra bin Malik reports:
“The day after the (initial) bai‘at took place at Saqifah Bani Sa‘idah, Hazrat Abu Bakrra was seated in the mosque when Hazrat Umarra stood to speak prior to him. He praised and glorified Allah, and then said, ‘O People, yesterday I said something to you’”, i.e. that the Holy Prophetsa had not passed away, “‘which is not mentioned in Allah’s book anywhere, nor did the Holy Prophetsa disclose this to me. However, I believed that the Holy Prophetsa would watch over us.’”
The narrator continues, “Hazrat Umarra said, ‘I thought that we would pass away before the Holy Prophetsa and that he would be the last of us. Undoubtedly, Allah the Almighty has left you such a thing [the Holy Quran] through which he guided the Holy Prophetsa, and if you are resolute in adhering to it, then Allah the Almighty will also guide you as just He guided the Holy Prophetsa. Allah the Almighty has now entrusted your matters to a man who is the best among you, and who was the companion of the Holy Prophetsa; it was he about whom it was said:
ثَانِيَ اثۡنَيۡنِ إِذۡ هُمَا فِي الۡغَارِ
“‘“i.e. he was one among the two, when they were in the cave”. Therefore, hearken and pledge allegiance to him.’ And thus, following this, the people pledged allegiance to Hazrat Abu Bakrra.”
Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiqra delivered an address on the day that the collective bai‘at took place. After praising and glorifying Allah, he stated:
“O People! Surely, I have been appointed as a guardian over you, but I am not the best among you. If I perform good works, then cooperate with me, and if I stray, then set me right. Upholding the truth is a trust, and falsehood is a breach of that trust. In my view, the weak among you are strong until I am able to afford them their rights from others. And the strong among you are weak in my sight until I am able to secure from them the rights of others – God willing. A nation that abandons jihad (struggle) for the sake of Allah is disgraced by Him, and a nation in which wrongdoings become prevalent is stricken with strife by Allah Himself. If I am obedient to Allah and His Messengersa, then follow me in obedience. However, if I am disobedient to Allah and His messengersa, then it is not compulsory for you to be obedient to me. Now, stand for prayer. May Allah have mercy on you all.” (Ibn Kathir, Al-Bidayah wa al-Nihayah, Vol. 6, Sanah 11 AH, Khilafat Abi Bakrra [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 2001] pp. 298-299)
There are many narrations regarding Hazrat Ali’sra pledge of allegiance to Hazrat Abu Bakrra. In Tarikh al-Tabari, Habib bin Abi Thabit narrates:
“Hazrat Alira was in his home when a person came to him and said, ‘Hazrat Abu Bakrra is now taking the pledge of allegiance.’ Hazrat Alira was wearing a simple robe at the time. In that state, where he was not wearing any extra garments nor his mantle, he hurried to Hazrat Abu Bakrra and pledged allegiance to him for fear in case he was delayed. He then sat beside Hazrat Abu Bakrra, after which he sent for his garments and dressed himself. He remained seated in the gathering around Hazrat Abu Bakrra.” (Muhammad Ibn Jarir al-Tabari, Tarikh al-Tabari, Vol. 3, Hadith al-Saqifah [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Fikr, 2002], p. 257)
The narrations regarding Hazrat Ali’sra pledge of allegiance to Hazrat Abu Bakrra vary; some narrations suggest that Hazrat Alira did not pledge allegiance for six months, and pledged allegiance after the demise of Hazrat Fatimahra, while other narrations suggest that Hazrat Alira was inclined to pledge allegiance to Hazrat Abu Bakrra immediately.
Hazrat Abu Saeed Khudrira narrates:
“After Hazrat Abu Bakrra had taken the pledge of allegiance from the Muhajirin and Ansar, he stood at the pulpit and looked to the people and noticed that Hazrat Alira was not among them. Hazrat Abu Bakrra enquired about the whereabouts of Hazrat Alira. Some people among the Ansarbrought Hazrat Alira. Hazrat Abu Bakrra [addressed him] and said, ‘O cousin and son-in-law to the Messengersa of Allah, do you wish to break the strength of the Muslims?’ Hazrat Alira replied, ‘O Khalifa of the Messengersa of Allah, do not deal strictly with me in this matter.’ Following this, he pledged allegiance to him.” (Al-Salabi, Sirat Amir al-Mu’minin Ali bin Abi Talib Shaksiyyatuh wa Asruh [Beirut, Lebanon: Sar al-Ma’rifah, 2006], p. 119) (Ibn Kathir, Al-Sirah al-Nabawiyyah, Dhikr I‘tiraf Saad bin Ubadah bi Sihhat ma Qalah al-Siddiq Yaum al-Saqifah [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 2005], p. 693)
Allamah Ibn Kathir states:
“Hazrat Alira bin Abi Talib pledged allegiance to Hazrat Abu Bakrra on the first or second day after the demise of the Holy Prophetsa, and this is the truth. The reason being is that Hazrat Alira never abandoned Hazrat Abu Bakrra, nor did he refrain from praying behind him.” (Ibn Kathir, Al-Sirah al-Nabawiyyah, Dhikr I‘tiraf Saad bin Ubadah bi Sihhat ma Qalah al-Siddiq Yaum al-Saqifah [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 2005], p. 694)
The Promised Messiahas states:
“Hazrat Ali, may Allah honour him, was initially somewhat hesitant in pledging allegiance to Hazrat Abu Bakrra; however, when he reached home, only Allah knows what crossed his mind. He did not even wear his turban and instead wore a simple cap and came to pledge allegiance. He later asked for his turban to be brought. It seems that perhaps a thought crossed his mind that it would be a grave sin to abstain [from pledging allegiance] and this is why he left in such haste that he did not even tie his turban and instead came with a cap to pledge allegiance and asked for his turban to be brought later.” (Malfuzat, Vol. 10, p. 183)
Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra states:
“Look to Hazrat Abu Bakrra and observe that he was just an ordinary merchant in Mecca. If the Holy Prophetsa was not raised as a prophet and the history of Mecca was still recorded, all that would be said about Hazrat Abu Bakrra is that he was a noble and honest Arab merchant. However, for his devotion to the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa, he attained a rank that granted him respect and reverence around the entire world. When the Holy Prophetsa passed away and when the Muslims elected Hazrat Abu Bakrra as their caliph and king, this news spread to Mecca. A large gathering had formed in which the father of Hazrat Abu Bakrra, Abu Quhafah, was also present. When he heard that the people had pledged allegiance to Hazrat Abu Bakrra, he could not come to terms with it. In astonishment, he asked the news bearer about which Abu Bakr he was referring to. He replied, ‘None other than your son, Abu Bakr.’ He began to site the names of every Arab tribe and asked, ‘Have they also pledged allegiance to Abu Bakr?’ And when he was told that everyone had unanimously chosen Hazrat Abu Bakrra to be their caliph and leader, then Abu Quhafah could not help but to remark:
أَشْهَدُ أَنْ لَّا إِلٰهَ إِلَّا اللّٰهُ وَحْدَهُ لَا شَرِيْـكَ لَهُ وَأَشْهَدُ أَنَّ مُحَمَّدًا عَبْـدُهُ وَرَسُوْلُهُ
“That is, ‘I bear witness that there is none worthy of worship except Allah the Almighty and that the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa is His servant and messenger.’”
Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra continues:
“This was despite the fact that Hazrat Abu Quhafahra was already a Muslim and had pledged allegiance to the Holy Prophetsa. The reason he recited the declaration of faith and reaffirmed the prophethood of the Holy Prophetsa was because the caliphate of Hazrat Abu Bakrra was a stark realisation and he understood this to be a substantial proof of the truthfulness of Islam. [He said], ‘Otherwise, my son was not someone under whom all of Arabia could have united.’” (Tafsir-e-Kabir, Vol. 6, pp. 205-206)
Whilst mentioning this on another occasion, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra states:
“Ponder over the condition of Hazrat Abu Bakrra prior to his acceptance of Islam. His father was still alive when he became the Khalifa and someone congratulated him that Abu Bakrra had become the Khalifa. Upon this, he asked, ‘Which Abu Bakr?’ to which he replied, ‘Your son’. Even then he was not convinced and said it was probably someone else. However, when he was informed that indeed it was Abu Bakrra, he proclaimed, ‘Allah is the Greatest! How lofty is the grandeur of Muhammadsa in that the son of Abu Quhafah has been accepted by the Arabs as their leader!’ Thus, Abu Bakrra possessed no worldly rank, but he attained such honour owing to his subservience to the Holy Prophetsa that even today hundreds of thousands of people are proud to associate themselves with him.” (Khitab Jalsa Salana 17 March 1919, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 4, p. 425)
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Ira states:
“Let it be known that Allah the Almighty does not remain indebted to anyone. In fact, however much one gives in the way of God, He grants hundreds of thousands of times more in return. Look at the example of Abu Bakrra, he left a simple dwelling in Mecca, but God Almighty valued that so much that in return, he granted him authority to reign over an entire kingdom.” (Haqaiq-ul-Furqan, Vol. 1, p. 244)
There is a dream of the Holy Prophetsa with regard to Hazrat Abu Bakr’sra Khilafat. It has been narrated by Hazrat Abdullahra bin Umar that the Holy Prophetsa stated:
“I was shown in a dream that I was standing beside a well, and I used the bucket that was hanging there to draw water out. In the meantime, Abu Bakrra came and he drew one or two buckets of water in such a manner that it seemed as if he had done so with great difficulty due to weakness, but that Allah would cover up his weakness and forgive him. Then, Umarra bin Khattab arrived and the bucket became larger, and I never saw such a mighty person as Umar who could perform such a monumental task. He drew so much water that everyone was satiated and then went back to their own dwellings.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab al-Fada‘il Ashab al-Nabisa, Bab Manaqib ‘Umar bin a-Khattabra, Hadith 3682)
There is a dream of Hazrat Abu Bakrra as well. It is narrated that Hazrat Abu Bakrra once saw in a dream that he was wearing a garment made from a Yemeni cloth; however, it had two stains on the chest area. Hazrat Abu Bakrra related this dream before the Holy Prophetsa and the Holy Prophetsa stated, “The Yemeni garment means that you will be granted a good progeny and the two stains mean leadership for a period of two years, in other words you will be the leader of the Muslims for two years.” (Kanz-ul-Ummal, Vol. 3, p. 253, Kitab al-Khilafah ma‘a al-Imarah, Hadith 14111, Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2004)
There are some details with regard to Hazrat Abu Bakr’sra allowance being fixed after he was appointed as the Khalifa. After becoming the Khalifa, Hazrat Abu Bakrra came to Medina. Upon assessing his responsibilities, he realised that he would not be able to properly deal with the affairs of the people if he was still engaged in his trade business. Hence, it was essential for him to be completely free from all other tasks in order to remain completely focused [on the affairs of the people], but at the same time, he also had to provide for his household. And so, he left his trade business and would take some funds daily from the bait-ul-maal [treasury] in order to cover his and his family’s expenses. A yearly allowance of 6,000 dirhams was approved to be taken from the Bait-ul-Maal for his personal expenses. (Muhammad Ibn Jarir al-Tabari, Tarikh al-Tabari, Vol. 2, Sanah 13 AH [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 1987], p. 354)
This was sufficient enough to cover his and his family’s needs. However, as the time of his demise drew near, Hazrat Abu Bakrra instructed his family members that the money he had taken from the bait-ul-maal should be returned in its entirety. He instructed that such and such land of his should be sold and whatever he had taken from the wealth of the Muslims till that day ought to be repaid from the sale of that land. After the demise of Hazrat Abu Bakrra, when Hazrat Umarra became the Khalifa, he received the money [from that land] and upon this he began to cry and said, “O Abu Bakr Siddiqra! You have left a huge burden of responsibility upon the successor after you.” (Muhammad Husain Haikal, Hazrat Sayyiduna Abu Bakr Siddiqra[Book Corner, Jhelum], p. 122)
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 Khalifa, 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 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 would not be plausible, because if he spent his time selling clothes, who would fulfil the responsibilities of the Caliph? 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.)
Hazrat Abu Bakr’sra era of Khilafat was the shortest amongst all the Khulafa-e-Rashidin and spanned approximately two and a quarter years. Despite spanning such a short era, it is considered as one of the most significant and golden periods of Khilafat-e-Rashida. This is because Hazrat Abu Bakrra had to face the greatest danger and trials, and in turn, owing to God Almighty’s extraordinary help, support and blessings, within a short period of time, Hazrat Abu Bakr’sra remarkable bravery, courage, sagacity and wisdom eliminated the precarious and dangerous circumstances and all the fears were transformed into peace. He crushed the unruly and rebellious people in a way that the leadership in the form of Khilafat, which appeared to be passing through a turbulent period, was established on firm foundations.
The dangerous circumstances and difficulties which Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiqra had to face have been mentioned by Umm al-Muminin, Hazrat Aishara. Whilst mentioning this, the Promised Messiahas states:
“It has been narrated by Hazrat Aishara, ‘When my father was appointed as Khalifa and Allah granted him leadership, right from the outset of his Khilafat he observed the upsurge of disorder from every direction, the efforts of the false claimants to prophethood and the rebellion of the hypocrites and apostates. The number of calamities he had to face were such that if they were to befall upon a mountain it would cause it to immediately crush and crumble to the ground. However, he was granted patience like that of the prophets and eventually Allah the Almighty bestowed His succour and the false claimants to prophethood and apostates were killed. The disorders and dangers were put to an end, the situation was resolved and the institution of Khilafat was firmly established. Allah the Almighty saved the believers from the calamity, transformed their state of fear into peace, established for them their religion, He established the entire land upon the truth and utterly humiliated those who sought to create disorder. Allah fulfilled His promise and granted support to His servant, Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiqra and destroyed the leaders of the rebellion and their idols. The hearts of the disbelievers were completely overawed and they ultimately repented. This indeed was the promise of Allah, Who is the All-Powerful and Most Truthful. Thus, ponder how all the characteristics and hallmarks of Khilafat were fulfilled in the person of Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiqra.’” (Sirr al-Khilafah [translated], pp. 49-50, Ruhani Khazain, Vol. 8, p. 335)
Right from the outset of his Khilafat, Hazrat Abu Bakrra had to face the following five trials.
1. The grief of the Holy Prophet’ssa demise.
2. The election of Khilafat and the fear and danger of disorder and division emerging amongst the Muslim ummah.
3. The matter relating to the departure of Usama’sra army.
4. Those who called themselves Muslims and yet refused to pay the Zakat and planned to attack Medina. In history, this is known as “the disorder of those who refused to pay the Zakat.”
5. The disorder of the apostates, i.e. by those rebellious people who openly declared to create disorder and initiate war. Among them were also those who falsely claimed prophethood.
The details of how Allah the Almighty granted success to Hazrat Abu Bakrra in order to completely eliminate these precarious circumstances, calamities and disorder will be mentioned further on. However, a detailed extract of the “The Just Arbiter”, the Promised Messiahas, will be presented in which the Promised Messiahas has mentioned the similarities between Hazrat Abu Bakrra and the first successor of Prophet Mosesas, Joshua, son of Nun, and also the difficulties and challenges faced by Hazrat Abu Bakrra and the victory and success he was granted. The Promised Messiahas writes:
“The verse whereby the resemblance between the successors of the Mosaic dispensation and the successors of the Holy Prophetsa has been categorically and emphatically declared as follows:
وَعَدَ اللّٰهُ الَّذِينَ اٰمَنُواْ مِنكُمۡ وَعَمِلُواْ الصّٰلِحٰتِ لَيَسۡتَخۡلِفَنَّهُمۡ فِي الۡأَرۡضِ كَمَا اسۡتَخۡلَفَ الَّذِينَ مِن قَبۡلِهِمۡ
“That is, ‘Allah has promised to those among you who believe and do good works that He will surely, make them Successors in the earth, as He made Successors from among those who were before them.’ [Ch.24: V.56]
“When we ponder over the word that signifies resemblance and thus makes it incumbent for there to be similarities between the successors of the Holy Prophetsa and the successors of Prophet Mosesas, we must accept that Hazrat Abu Bakrra was to establish the first foundation of this similarity and the final similarity was to be demonstrated by the Messiah, who was the last Khalifa of the Holy Prophetsa.
“The similitude of Hazrat Abu Bakrra, who was the first Khalifa, is like that of Joshua, son of Nun. After the demise of the Holy Prophetsa, God chose him for the station of Khilafat and He breathed in him a spirit of wisdom more than He did to anyone else. To the extent that all doubts and difficulties that could have arisen in the time of the Seal of the Caliphs [i.e. the Promised Messiah], regarding the false belief that Jesus [son of Mary] was alive, had been removed by Hazrat Abu Bakrra with the utmost clarity. The companions unanimously accepted that all previous prophets had passed away and not a single one of them believed otherwise. In fact, all the companions obeyed Hazrat Abu Bakrra in all matters, just like the Israelites obeyed Joshua, son of Nun, after the death of Mosesas. God provided succour and help to Moses and Joshua, just as he supported the Holy Prophetsa and Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiqra after him.”
“Yashu” son of Nun and “Yusha” son of Nun are the names of the same person. (Qamus al-Kitab, p. 1144, Under the word “Yusha”)
The Promised Messiahas further states:
“In reality, just as He did with Joshua, son of Nun, God Almighty blessed Hazrat Abu Bakrra so much so that no enemy could challenge him. Similarly, the unfinished matter of Usama’sra army, which was similar to the tasks that remained unfinished in the time of Mosesas, was fulfilled by Hazrat Abu Bakrra.
“There is another extraordinary similarity between Hazrat Abu Bakrra and Joshua, and that is when Mosesas passed away, the first person Allah the Almighty informed, by means of revelation, was Joshua. This was to save the Jews from falling into doubt or error with regard to the death of Mosesas, as has been mentioned in the opening chapter of the book of Joshuaas [in the Old Testament]. In the same manner, the first person to accept wholeheartedly that the Holy Prophetsa had passed away was Hazrat Abu Bakrra. He kissed the blessed body of the Holy Prophetsa and said, ‘You were pure in this life and even after death you remain pure.’ Then, before a large gathering, he removed all those doubts with regard to the Holy Prophetsa being alive that had persisted in the mind of some companions, by reciting a verse of the Holy Quran. At the same time, he uprooted the belief held by certain people – owing to not pondering over the sayings of the Holy Prophetsa – that the Messiahas [son of Mary] was alive. Just as Joshuaas, destroyed the enemies of the faith who spread falsehood and disorder, in the same way, many mischief-makers and false claimants of prophethood were killed at the hands of Hazrat Abu Bakrra.
“Prophet Mosesas died in such a precarious time when the Israelites had not yet attained victory against the Canaanites, and were yet to accomplish many feats. All the while the cries of the enemies grew even more prominent after the death of Mosesas which created an even more perilous situation. Likewise, a dangerous period followed the demise of the Holy Prophetsa. Many tribes in Arabia abandoned their faith, some refused to pay the Zakat and many false claimants to prophethood rose up. Such perilous time required a strong, brave and valiant Khalifa, who had unwavering faith and determination, and thus Hazrat Abu Bakrra was appointed the Khalifa. And as soon as he was appointed as the Khalifa, he had to face many great sorrows and hardship, as explained by the saying of Hazrat Aishara that ‘owing to dissension and rebellion, some tribes rose up as did certain false claimants to prophethood. They did this at a time when my father had been appointed as the Khalifa after the demise of the Holy Prophetsa. So many trials and sorrows befell him, that had they descended upon a mountain, it would have broken into pieces and fallen to the ground.’ However, it is the law of nature that whenever a Khalifa is appointed after the demise of a prophet, a spirit is breathed into them, which instils them with bravery, courage, resolve, wisdom and a strong heart; just like Allah the Almighty says to Joshua son of Nun in the Book of Joshua, chapter 1, verse 6, ‘Be strong and of good courage.’ That is to say that since Mosesas had passed away, now he must stand strong. The same was revealed upon the heart of Hazrat Abu Bakrra not as an injunction of the Sharia, but as a divine decree. The equivalence and similarity in the incidents make it seem as though Abu Bakr bin Abi Quhafah and Joshua, son of Nun are the same person. The similarity of their successorship has become established with the utmost clarity. When looking at the similarities between two established communities, it is natural to look at the first person or the last person. Usually, people do not consider it necessary to look at the similarities during the middle period of both communities, which requires more careful investigation and research. Instead, it is based on the first and last. For this reason, the similarities between Joshua and Hazrat Abu Bakrra – who were the first Caliphs of their respective communities – and also the similarities between Jesus, son of Mary, and the Promised Messiah of this Ummah – who were the last caliphs of their respective communities, have become manifest with full clarity. For example, the resemblance between Hazrat Abu Bakrra and Joshua is so striking that it is as if they are one person, like two pieces of the same gemstone. Thus, after the demise of Mosesas, all of the Israelites hearkened to the call of Joshua and none from among them quarrelled in this matter and instead obeyed him, so too did this incident take place in the time of Hazrat Abu Bakrra. Despite shedding tears at the demise of the Holy Prophetsa, everyone wholeheartedly accepted the Khilafat of Hazrat Abu Bakrra.
“Thus, from every aspect, the similarity of Joshuaas with Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiqra can be proven. God supported Joshuaas with His divine succour, as he would support Mosesas. In the same manner, God blessed the work of Hazrat Abu Bakrra for all the companions to see, and his prestige grew just as it does in the case of prophets. Having been imbued with power and might from God Almighty, Hazrat Abu Bakrra destroyed the false claimants of prophethood and those who tried to create disorder. This was so the companions, may Allah be pleased with them, understand that Allah is with Abu Bakrra, just as he was with the Holy Prophetsa.
“Another remarkable similarity between Hazrat Abu Bakrra and Joshuaas, son of Nun is that after the demise of Prophet Mosesas, Joshua had to cross a dangerous river called the Jordan River, along with his army. The river was turbulent and to cross it seemed impossible. However, if they were not able to cross this dangerous river, it was plausible that the Israelites would perish at the hands of their enemies. Thus, after the demise of Prophet Mosesas, this was the first perilous situation faced by Joshuaas in his ministry. During this trial, God Almighty saved Joshuaas, son of Nun and his army through the power of His miracle and caused the river to dry up, which enabled them to cross over easily. The reason it dried was due to the ebb and flow of the river or then an extraordinary miracle. Nonetheless, this is how God saved the Israelites from this danger and from perishing at the hands of the enemy. After the demise of the Holy Prophetsa, the rightful caliph – Abu Bakrra – and the companions, who numbered more than 100,000 faced a similar grave situation, in fact, it was even more dangerous; that was in the form of a fierce rebellion which swept throughout the land. It was certain that those Arab Bedouins, regarding whom Allah the Almighty had said:
قَالَتِ الۡأَعۡرَابُ ءَامَنَّا ۖ قُل لَّمۡ تُؤۡمِنُواْ وَلٰكِنْ قُولُوٓاْ أَسۡلَمۡنَا وَلَمَّا يَدۡخُلِ الۡإِيمٰنُ فِي قُلُوبِكُمۡ
would show dissent, so that this prophecy would be fulfilled.”
The translation of the verse is: “The Arabs of the desert say, ‘We believe.’ Say, ‘You have not believed yet, but rather say, ‘We have submitted’, for true belief has not yet entered into your hearts.’”
Nonetheless, the Promised Messiahas continues:
“This is exactly what transpired and they all became apostates. Some of them refused to pay the Zakat and some claimed to be prophets and several hundreds of thousands of wretched individuals rallied behind them. The force of the enemies grew so much that the number of the companions was no match in comparison. A fierce storm of opposition swept throughout the land. This scenario was far more dangerous than the one faced by Joshuaas, son of Nun. After the demise of Mosesas, Joshuaas was embroiled in a grave trial, whereby they faced a tempestuous river and had no boats with which to cross it; all the while the threat of the enemy lingered around them. Similarly, Hazrat Abu Bakrra was faced with the trial of the demise of the Holy Prophetsa, as well as a storm of opposition from the rebelling Arab tribes. A second trial – which was in the form of false claimants of prophethood – gave strength to the first trial. This trial was not anything less than the trial faced by Joshuaas, son of Nun, but in fact was much more dangerous. Thus, the Word of God gave strength to Joshuaas, wherein He stated, ‘the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go’, and, ‘Be strong and brave. Do not be discouraged.’ This gave strength to Joshuaas and filled him with resolve and faith, the like of which develops when one is reassured by God. Likewise, Hazrat Abu Bakrra drew strength from God when faced with a storm of rebellion. Anyone who is familiar with this period of Islamic history can concur that the trial faced by Hazrat Abu Bakrra was so grave, that were it not for the Hand of God beside Abu Bakrra, and if Islam was not a religion sent by God and if Abu Bakrra was not the true Caliph, then on that day, Islam would have been annihilated. So, as was the case with Prophet Joshuaas, Hazrat Abu Bakrra also drew strength from God’s pure word, because God Almighty had previously foretold of this trial in the Holy Quran. Thus, whosoever deliberates over the following verse, will become certain beyond any doubt that this trial had already been mentioned in the Holy Quran; and that prophecy was:
وَعَدَ اللّٰهُ الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ مِنكُمۡ وَعَمِلُواْ الصَّـٰلِحَٰتِ لَيَسۡتَخۡلِفَنَّهُمۡ فِي الۡأَرۡضِ كَمَا اسۡتَخۡلَفَ الَّذِينَ مِن قَبۡلِهِمۡ وَلَيُمَكِّنَنَّ لَهُمۡ دِينَهُمُ الَّذِي ارۡتَضَىٰ لَهُمۡ وَلَيُبَدِّلَنَّهُم مِّنۢ بَعۡدِ خَوۡفِهِمۡ أَمۡنًا ۚ يَعۡبُدُونَنِي لَا يُشۡرِكُونَ بِي شَيۡـًٔا ۚ وَمَن كَفَرَ بَعۡدَ ذٰلِكَ فَأُوْلَـٰٓئِكَ هُمُ الۡفٰسِقُوْنَ
“Meaning that ‘Allah has promised the pious believers that he would make them successors in the earth, similar to the successors He made in the past and would appoint vicegerents in this ummah, like he appointed vicegerents after Prophet Mosesas.’”
The Promised Messiahas has himself written this explanatory translation.
The Promised Messiahas further says:
“’He would appoint vicegerents in this ummah, like he appointed vicegerents after Prophet Mosesas and he would establish for them their religion, (i.e. Islam) which He has chosen for them, He would reinforce this religion and give them in exchange security and peace after their fear. They will worship Me, and they will not associate anything with Me’. Deliberate over this verse which clearly states that there will be a period of fear wherein peace would fade away. However, God will transform this period of fear into a period of peace and security. Thus, this period of fear fell upon Joshuaas, son of Nun, and just as the Word of God assured him, in the same way, the Word of God assured Hazrat Abu Bakrra.” (Tohfah Golarwiyyah, Ruhani Khazain, Vol. 17, pp. 183-189)
The details of the remaining five aspects will be explained in the future, insha-Allah.
Pray for the current state of conflict in the world. The situation continues to become increasingly perilous and now even threats of atomic warfare are being made. As I have mentioned previously on many occasions, this will have horrendous consequences which the future generations will have to endure. It is only Allah Who can guide these people.
Recite a lot of durood [invoking salutations upon the Holy Prophetsa] these days and also istighfar [seeking forgiveness]. May Allah the Almighty forgive us of our sins and grant wisdom and understanding to the leaders of the world.
On one occasion, the Promised Messiahas particularly drew the attention of the Jamaat towards reciting the following prayer:
رَبَّنَآ ءَاتِنَا فِي الدُّنۡيَا حَسَنَةً وَفِي الۡأٓخِرَةِ حَسَنَةً وَقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ
The Promised Messiahas stated that one should recite this whilst standing after the ruku [bowing in Salat]. (Malfuzat, Vol. 1, p. 9)
There is a great need these days to extensively recite this prayer. May Allah the Almighty grant us the bounties and also protect everyone from all forms of punishment of the fire.
I will also lead a funeral prayer in-absentia today of respected Abu Al-Farj Al-Husni Sahib of Syria, who passed away on 13 February at the age of 90.
إِنَّا لِلّٰهِ وَإِنَّآ إِلَيۡهِ رٰجِعُونَ
[“Surely, to Allah we belong and to Him shall we return.”]
His father, respected Muhammad Al-Husni Sahib was among the pioneer Ahmadis [in Syria]. He accepted Ahmadiyyat through the [preaching] efforts of Maulana Jalaluddin Shams Sahib. Abu Al-Farj Al-Husni Sahib was the nephew of the first amir of the Syrian jamaat, respected Munir Al-Husni Sahib and also served as the naib amir during his time in office and afterwards as well.
He was born in 1933; he was positively influenced by the virtues, piety and academic discussions with his uncle, Munir Al-Husni Sahib as he would often sit in his company. He was 15 years old when, one day, he was moved to tears upon hearing the recitation of the Holy Quran on the radio. He went to his uncle and said that he wished to learn more about Allah. He gave him a book of the Promised Messiahas, and when he read it, a great transformation came about within him and he went to his uncle saying that he wished to pledge allegiance.
He had the good fortune of meeting three Caliphs; he was blessed with the opportunity of meeting Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra in 1955 when Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra visited Damascus and he also had the opportunity of serving as part of Huzoor’sra security. Then, in 1972, he had the opportunity of travelling to Pakistan and spending a few months in the company of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIIrh in Rabwah, during which time he was able to learn Urdu and attain in-depth knowledge regarding the Jamaat. In the same year, he was able to travel from Pakistan to Qadian. In 1986 he travelled to England on the occasion of Jalsa Salana and had the honour of an audience with Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh. Then in 2017, he was able to attend Jalsa Salana Qadian once again and also delivered a brief address in Arabic during the Jalsa.
The deceased was virtuous, pious, sincere and an elder whose actions were in accordance with his words. He did not have any children and his wife is not an Ahmadi.
The sadr [president] of the Syrian jamaat says:
“I accompanied him in 2017 on a visit to Qadian. He was quite weak, yet the degree of his passion was such that it seemed as if he was not walking; rather, it was as if he was soaring in the air.” Initially, he was reluctant to go because of his illness, but when I told him that he should visit, he said that now that the Khalifa had given an order, or said that he should go, then there was no need to worry. Allah the Almighty bestowed His blessings and both he and his wife were cured of their illness and weakness. Thus, by the grace of Allah the Almighty, he travelled to Qadian; in fact, he was also able to climb to the top of Minaratul Masih. It is said that he climbed to the top faster than the youths who were there, despite the fact that he had previously experienced difficulty in walking.
Mousallam Aldroubi Sahib, who is a doctor, writes:
“I, as are others, am witness to the fact that the deceased was a friend of Allah and from among the devotees of Syria. He was a renowned tradesman in Damascus. He was exemplary and well-known. He was very wise and intelligent. He was regular in offering Tahajjud [voluntary pre-dawn] prayers. He experienced true dreams, many of which were fulfilled, including those pertaining to the various hardships and struggles faced by Syria. When various missionaries travelled to Syria in order to study Arabic he would treat them very respectfully, firstly because they had been sent by the Khalifa and secondly because they had dedicated their lives for the sake of propagating the message of Islam.”
Husam Al-Naqeeb Sahib, the former sadr of Syria who currently resides in Turkey, writes:
“The deceased possessed many excellent qualities, the foremost of which was his love for the Promised Messiahas and his Khulafa. I will never forget my trip to Qadian with him, a trip in which every aspect was a miracle. I remained with him throughout our visit to Qadian, and he would constantly pray, ‘O God, bestow the Khalifa with Your help and support and bestow your blessings in his life and everything he does.’” He further writes, “Whenever someone was mentioning a directive from the Khalifa in a gathering, he would not allow anyone else to speak so that he could hear, understand and derive benefit from the directive in its entirety.”
He was extremely selfless. It did not please him to hear others complimenting him; rather, he would admonish them saying to leave such things, because Allah and His community are all that matter and that they should speak about the Jamaat instead. He always studied the books of the Promised Messiahas. Aside from the last few years of his life when he was extremely weak, he never stopped studying Jamaat literature. He had a special attachment to Tafsir-e-Kabir by Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra. Whenever someone asked him about the commentary of a verse in the Holy Quran, he would present the explanation given in Tafsir-e-Kabir.
His nephew, Muhammad Ammar Al-Miski Sahib who lives here in the UK says:
“I was 14 years old when I used to go with him to offer the Friday prayer. While returning home with him, I would ask him questions about things pertaining to the Jamaat along the way and he would answer in great detail. Jamaat literature was not available in Syria, and so the deceased played a huge role in imparting Jamaat knowledge to its members. He had learned to read Urdu while visiting Rabwah and would bring Urdu books back with him in order to read and understand them. He would then translate them into Arabic so he could help explain them to members of the Jamaat.”
The deceased was selfless and never desired any official post but preferred to always remain a servant of the faith. Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh wished to appoint him as the amir; however, he [Al-Husni Sahib] said that people might assert that the office of amir had become an inherited post based on lineage and thus requested for someone else to be appointed, and he would fully cooperate with whoever it was. Thereafter he cooperated with an amir who was younger than him and was in fact exemplary in his cooperation.
May Allah the Almighty grant the deceased forgiveness, elevate his station and accept all his prayers in favour of his wife and enable her to accept Ahmadiyyat. After the prayers, I will offer his funeral prayer in-absentia.
(Official Urdu transcript published in Al Fazl International, 25 March 2022, pp. 5-10. Translated by The Review of Religions.)