Last Updated on 7th October 2022
9 September 2022
Men of Excellence: Hazrat Abu Bakrra
After reciting the tashahud, ta‘awuz and Surah al-Fatihah, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa said:
I will mention some accounts relating to the life of Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiqra. When the time of the demise of Hazrat Abu Bakrra drew near, he called for Hazrat Abdur Rahmanra bin Auf and said, “Tell me about Umarra.” Hazrat Abdur Rahmanra bin Auf replied, “O Caliph of the Messengersa of Allah! By God, Hazrat Umarra is even better than the opinion you hold about him, except for the fact that he is strict in his disposition.” Hazrat Abu Bakrra said, “He is strict as he sees leniency in me. However, if he was entrusted with the leadership, he would give up many of his habits. I have observed that when I treated someone in a strict manner, he would try to reconcile me with that individual and if I showed leniency to someone, he would ask me to be stricter.” Following this, Hazrat Abu Bakrra called for Hazrat Usmanra bin Affan and asked him about Hazrat Umarra. Hazrat Usmanra said, “His inner state is even better than his outer state and there is none among us who is like him.” Upon this, Hazrat Abu Bakrra said to both of them, “Do not disclose to anyone else what I have just discussed with you!” Following this, Hazrat Abu Bakrra said, “If I do not choose Hazrat Umarra, I will look no further than Usman and they will have the authority to govern your affairs in the best manner. It is my desire now to move away from governing your affairs and join those who have passed away from among you.”
During the days of Hazrat Abu Bakr’sra illness, Hazrat Talhara bin Ubaidillah approached him and said, “You have made Hazrat Umarra the Khalifah of the people, even though you can see how he treats people in your presence. What will be the situation when he is alone and you will meet your Lord and He will question you about your people?” As Hazrat Abu Bakrra was lying down, he asked to be sat up. When he was sat up and leaning against some support, he said, “Are you making me fearful of Allah? When I will meet my Lord and He will question me, I will say, ‘I appointed the best among Your servants as their Khalifah.’” (Ibn Athir, Al-Kamil fi al-Tarikh, Vol. 2 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 2003], pp. 272-273.)
Referencing books of history, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra states the following in this regard, “When the time of the demise of Hazrat Abu Bakrra drew near, he sought counsel from the companions as to who to appoint as the Khalifah. Most companions expressed their opinion of appointing Hazrat Umarra as their leader. The only objection that some [companions] raised was the fact that he was rather strict in his disposition and that he might treat people in a strict manner. Hazrat Abu Bakrra said, ‘This strictness of his was limited to the time when he was not yet entrusted with a responsibility. However, now that a responsibility will be entrusted to him, his strictness will become balanced as well.’ Hence, all companions agreed on the Khilafat of Hazrat Umarra. As Hazrat Abu Bakr’sra health had deteriorated quite a lot, he took the support of his wife, Asma, and went to the mosque in a state in which his legs were unstable and his hands were shaking. Addressing all of the Muslims, he said, ‘For many days, I have continuously contemplated over this matter that if I pass away, who should be your Khalifah. In the end, after much contemplation and supplications in this regard, I deem it appropriate to appoint Umarra as your Khalifah. As such, Umarra will be your Khalifah after my demise.’ All of the companions and all the people agreed to this appointment and pledged initiation at the hands of Hazrat Umarra following the demise of Hazrat Abu Bakrra.” (Khilafat-e-Rashidah, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 15, pp. 484-483)
Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra further expounds on the matter whilst answering the allegation of why there was a nomination. He states, “If it is said that a Khalifah can only be appointed upon being elected by the people, then why did Hazrat Abu Bakrra nominate Hazrat Umarra? The answer is that he did not arbitrarily nominate him, rather it is proven that he first consulted with other Companions. If there is a difference, it is only that other Khulafa have been elected after the demise of the [previous] Khalifah, while Hazrat Umarra was chosen during the lifetime of Hazrat Abu Bakrra. However, he did not just stop there (Hazrat Abu Bakrra did not simply deem it to be enough to simply consult a few Companions and then announce Hazrat Umarra as the Khalifah), rather, despite his intense weakness, with the help of his wife, he went to the mosque and said to the people, ‘O people, after consulting the Companions, I have chosen Umar to be the Khalifah after me. Do you accept his Khilafat?’ Upon this, everyone expressed their approval. Hence, this too was a form of election.” (Khilafat-e-Rashidah, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 15, p. 555)
Hazrat Abu Bakr’sra illness and his will are further detailed in Tarikh al-Tabari. It is recorded that the cause of Hazrat Abu Bakr’sra illness was that on Monday 7 Jamadiul Awwal, he performed ablution and it was very cold on that particular day. Due to this, he developed a fever which lasted for fifteen days. It was so severe that he was unable to attend the prayers. He instructed Hazrat Umarra to lead the prayers. People would come to visit him, however, his condition deteriorated day by day. At the time, Hazrat Abu Bakrra was residing in the home which had been granted to him by the Holy Prophetsa which was situated right in front of Hazrat Usmanra bin Affan’s home. During his illness, it was Hazrat Usmanra who tended to him the most. (Muhammad Ibn Jarir al-Tabari, Tarikh al-Tabari, Vol. 2 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 2012], p. 348.)
He remained ill for fifteen days. Someone suggested to him that it would be beneficial for him to call a physician. He replied, “He has already seen me.” People asked him what the physician had said, to which he replied:
اِنِّيْ اَفْعَلُ مَا اَشَاءُ
“I do as I please.” (Muhammad Ibn Jarir al-Tabari, Tarikh al-Tabari, Vol. 2 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 2012], p. 347.)
It is stated in another narration that when Hazrat Abu Bakrra fell ill, people asked if they should call a physician for him, to which Hazrat Abu Bakrra said, “He has already seen me and said:
إِنِّي فَعَّالٌ لِّمَا أُرِيدُ
“I will surely do whatever I please.” (Ibn Sa’d, Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol. 3 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 2012], p. 148.)
He meant that it was Allah the Almighty’s will to summon him and thus there was no need to call a physician. On Tuesday, 22 Jamadiul Akhir 13 AH, Hazrat Abu Bakrra passed away at the age of 63. His era of Khilafat spanned two years, three months and ten days. (Ibn Sa’d, Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol. 3 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 2012], p. 151.)
The very last words spoken by Hazrat Abu Bakrra were the words of the blessed verse of the Holy Quran:
تَوَفَّنِيۡ مُسۡلِمًا وَّاَلۡحِقۡنِيۡ بِالصّٰلِحِيۡنَ
“Let death come to me in a state of submission to Thy will and join me to the righteous.” [12:102] (Muhammad Husain Haikal, Abu Bakr Al-Siddiq, Islami Kutub Khana, Lahore, p. 478)
The words imprinted on the ring of Hazrat Abu Bakrra were:
نِعْمَ الْقَادِرُ اللّٰه
“How Great is Allah Who is all-Powerful.” (Ibn Sa’d, Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol. 3 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 1990], p. 157.)
Hazrat Aishara relates that Hazrat Abu Bakrra had stated that after preparing his coffin and funeral, they should see to it whether anything else remained to be done. All the affairs had been entrusted to Hazrat Umarra, but in case there was anything left. And if there was something, then that should also be entrusted to Hazrat Umarra. With regards to preparing his coffin and burial, he stated, “the cloth which I have on me should be washed and used along with the other clothes in which you wrap my body.” Hazrat Aishara submitted, “This cloth is old and there should be a new piece of cloth to wrap the body.” Upon this, Hazrat Abu Bakrra stated, “Those who are alive have a greater right to wear new clothes than those who have passed away.” (Siyar al-Sahabah, Vol. 1 [Karachi, Pakistan: Dar al-Isha’ah], p. 50.)
He stated that it would be better if the new cloth was given to someone who was alive.
Hazrat Aishara narrates that Hazrat Abu Bakrra had stated as part of his will that his wife, Hazrat Asma bint Umais would wash his body. Hazrat Abu Bakr’sra son, Hazrat Abdur Rahmanra assisted his mother in this task. His body was shrouded in two cloths, one of which was used to wash his body. It is also narrated that his body was shrouded in three pieces of cloth. Thereafter, his body was placed on the bed of the Holy Prophetsa. This was the same bed that Hazrat Aishara would sleep upon and his body was taken from this same bed for his funeral. Hazrat Umarra led the funeral prayer of Hazrat Abu Bakrra between the grave of the Holy Prophetsa and his pulpit and he was buried beside the Holy Prophetsa in the night in the same enclosure. Hazrat Abu Bakr’sra head was placed in line with the Holy Prophet’ssa shoulders. (Mustadrak Hakim, Vol. 3, Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2002, Hadith no. 4409, p. 66)
At the time of the burial, Hazrat Umarra bin Al-Khattab, Hazrat Usmanra bin Affan, Hazrat Talhara bin Ubaidullah and Hazrat Abdur Rahmanra bin Abi Bakr came down into the grave and did the burial. Ibn Shihab narrates that Hazrat Umarra buried Hazrat Abu Bakrra at night. (Ibn Sa’d, Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol. 3 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 1990], p. 154.)
Hazrat Salimra bin Abdillah relates from his father that Hazrat Abu Bakr’sra demise occurred due to his sorrow over the demise of the Holy Prophetsa. This is because, after the demise of the Holy Prophetsa, Hazrat Abu Bakr’sra body continuously weakened until he passed away. (Mustadrak Hakim, Vol. 3, Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2002, Hadith no. 4410, p. 66)
Some historians have also reported that the cause of Hazrat Abu Bakr’sra demise was due to eating food that a Jewish person had poisoned. However, most historians have rejected this narration. (Umar Abu Al-Nasr, Sirat Syedna Siddiq-e-Akbar, Mushtaq Book Corner, Lahore, p. 726)
Hazrat Aishara narrates that as the time of his demise drew close, Hazrat Abu Bakrra enquired what day it was. People informed him that it was a Monday. Upon this, Hazrat Abu Bakrra stated, “If I pass away today, then do not wait till tomorrow because that day and that night is dearer to me, which is closest to the Holy Prophetsa.” (Ahmad bin Hanbal, Musnad Ahmad bin Hanbal, Vol. 1, Musnad Abi Bakr Al-Siddiq, Hadith: 45, [Beirut, Lebanon: ‘Alam al-Kutub, 1998], p. 88.)
In other words, he wanted to be buried on that same day.
Hazrat Abu Bakrra stated, “After my demise, my inheritance should be distributed according to the Quranic injunctions.” (Muhammad Ilyas Adil, Sirat Khulaf-e-Rashideen, Mushtaq Book Corner, Lahore, p. 152)
Likewise, according to another narration he assigned a fifth of his wealth in his will to his relatives who were not heirs to it. (Muhammad Husain Haikal, Abu Bakr Al-Siddiq, Islami Kutub Khana, Lahore, p. 475)
In relation to the wives and children of Hazrat Abu Bakrra it is recorded that he had four wives. The first was Qutailah bint Abd al-Uzzah. There are differing views with regard to her acceptance of Islam. She was the mother of Hazrat Abdullahra and Hazrat Asmara. Hazrat Abu Bakrra divorced her in the era of ignorance. She once went to Hazrat Asma’sra house in Medina, i.e. her daughter, with gifts of clarified butter and cheese. However, Hazrat Asmara refused the gifts, and wouldn’t let her enter her home. She called for Hazrat Aishara to ask the Holy Prophetra in this regard. She then asked Hazrat Aishara what the verdict of the Holy Prophetsa was after her mother came in that manner bringing gifts and after she refused to let her in. Upon this, the Holy Prophetsa instructed her to let her enter her home and to also accept her gifts.
His second wife was Hazrat Umm-e-Rumanra bint Amir. She belonged to the Banu Kinanah bin Khuzaimah. Her previous husband Harith bin Sakhbarah passed away in Mecca. Thereafter, her marriage took place with Hazrat Abu Bakrra. She entered the fold of Islam in the early period, pledged her allegiance to the Holy Prophetsa, and also migrated to Medina. Hazrat Abdur Rahmanra and Hazrat Aishara were born to her. She passed away in 6 AH in Medina. [Upon her demise,] the Holy Prophetsa came down into her grave and prayed for her forgiveness.
His third wife was Hazrat Asmara bint Umais bin Ma’bad bin Harith. Her title was Umm Abdillah. She had accepted Islam and pledged allegiance to the Holy Prophetsa even before entering Dar-e-Arqam. She participated in the first migration. She first migrated alongside her previous husband, Hazrat Ja’farra bin Abi Talib, to Abyssinia, and from there she migrated to Medina in 7 AH. After her husband was martyred in 8 AH during the Battle of Mu’tah, she married Hazrat Abu Bakrra. She gave birth to Muhammad bin Abi Bakr.
His fourth wife was Hazrat Habibah bint Kharijah bin Zaid bin Abi Zuhair. She belonged to the Khazraj branch of the Ansar. Hazrat Abu Bakrra would stay with her in the neighbouring area of Medina called Sun’a. She gave birth to Hazrat Abu Bakr’sra daughter, Umm-e-Kulthum, who was born a short while after his demise.
He had four sons and three daughters. His first son was Hazrat Abdur Rahmanra bin Abi Bakr. He was the eldest son of Hazrat Abu Bakrra. He accepted Islam during the treaty of Hudaibiyah and remained firmly attached to Islam. He had the honour of being in the presence of the Holy Prophetsa. He was renowned for his bravery and courage. After accepting Islam, he was greatly praised for his character.
His second son was Hazrat Abdullahra bin Abi Bakr. He played an important role in the migration of the Holy Prophetsa to Medina. He would spend the entire day in Mecca, gathering information from the Meccans, and then at night he would secretly go to the cave and relay that information to the Holy Prophetsa and Hazrat Abu Bakrra, and then return in the morning to Mecca. He was hit by an arrow during the battle in Ta’if, and the wound sustained from this did not heal. Eventually, as a result of this, he attained martyrdom during the era of Hazrat Abu Bakr’sra Khilafat.
His third son was Muhammad bin Abi Bakr. He was born to Hazrat Asmara bint Umais. He was born in Dhu al-Hulaifah on the occasion of Hajjat al-Wida [farewell pilgrimage]. He was raised by Hazrat Alira, and during the era of Hazrat Ali’sra Khilafat, he appointed him as the governor of Egypt. That is where he was killed. According to some narrations, his name has been mentioned among those who killed Hazrat Usmanra, and this is why he was killed. Allah knows best.
His fourth child was Hazrat Asmara bint Abi Bakr. She was known by her title of Dhat al-Nataqain [the one with two waist belts]. She was older than Hazrat Aishara. The Holy Prophetsa gave her the title of Dhat al-Nataqain because during the migration she prepared a food container for the Holy Prophetsa and her father, but seeing as she had nothing to tie it with, she tore her waist belt and used that to tie the container. Hence, the way in which she prepared this food was by tying the container with the cloth from her waist belt. She was married to Hazrat Zubairra bin al-Awwam and she migrated to Medina whilst pregnant. After completing the migration, she gave birth to Hazrat Abdullahra bin Zubair, who was the first child born after the migration. Hazrat Asmara reached the age of 100 and passed away in Mecca in 73 AH.
The fifth child was the Mother of Believers, Hazrat Aishara bint Abu Bakr. She was the wife of the Holy Prophetsa. She was the greatest scholar among women. The Holy Prophetsa gave her the title of Umm Abdullah [Mother of Abdullah]. The Holy Prophetsa had exemplary love for her. Imam Sha’birh says that whenever Masruq related a narration from Hazrat Aishara, he would say, “I was told by Sadiqah bint Siddiq, who is the beloved of Allah’s beloved and whose exoneration was revealed by Allah.” She passed away at the age of 63 in 57 AH. According to another narration, she passed away in 58 AH. The sixth child was Umm Kulthoom bint Abu Bakr. She was born to Hazrat Habibah bint Kharijah. At the time of his demise, Hazrat Abu Bakrra said to Hazrat Aishara, “You have two brothers and two sisters.” Hazrat Aishara said, “I know of my sister Asma’, but who is my second sister?” Hazrat Abu Bakrra said, “She who is in Kharijah’s womb” In other words, she was yet to be born, and the child would be a girl. He said, “I am convinced that she will have a daughter.” And that is exactly what happened. Umm Kulthoom was born after the demise of Hazrat Abu Bakrra. Umm Kulthoom was married to Hazrat Talha bin Ubaidullah who was martyred in Jang-e-Jamal. (Muhammad al-Salabi, Sayyiduna Abu Bakr Siddiqra Shakhsiyyat aur Karname [Khan Garh, Pakistan: Al-Furqan Trust], pp. 48-52.), (Ibn Kathir, Al-Bidayah wa al-Nihayah, Vol. 8, [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 2001] pp. 87 and 99.), (Usd al-Ghabah fi Ma’rifat al-Sahabah, Vol. 5, [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah], 97.), (Asaabah, Vol. 8, [Beirut: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, p. 392)
According to some narrations, one of Hazrat Abu Bakr’sra daughters was married to Hazrat Bilal and it is also stated that this daughter was from one of his four wives’ previous husband. (Umar Abu Al-Nasr, Sirat Syedna Siddiq-e-Akbar, Mushtaq Book Corner, Lahore, p. 647)
Regarding the system of government, it is recorded that whenever a matter came before Hazrat Abu Bakrra, the manner in which he governed was that if a matter needed to be deliberated upon, then he would consult with people who gave sound advice and if he needed advice from people with jurisprudential knowledge, he would consult with both the Muhajireen and the Ansar and would also call Hazrat Umarra, Hazrat Usmanra, Hazrat Alira, Hazrat Abdur Rahmanra bin Auf, Hazrat Mu’adhra bin Jabal, Hazrat Ubayyra bin Ka’ab, and Hazrat Ziadra bin Thabit. (Ibn Sa’d, Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol. 2 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 2012], p. 267.)
At other times, he would call the Muhajireen and Ansar in greater numbers.
Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra states in the commentary of
شَاوِرۡهُمۡ فِي الۡاَمۡرِ
[“Consult them” (3:160)]:
“Ponder over this word; it is apparent that there is a single person seeking consultation, not even two, and the people being consulted are three or more. Then that person should ponder over the advice received and thereafter is the commandment,
فَاِذَا عَزَمۡتَ فَتَوَكَّلۡ عَلَي اللّٰهِ
[“And when thou art determined then put thy trust in Allah” (3:160)]
When one is convinced of something, then they should act upon it without any care for what anyone else says.” In other words, the person seeking consultation should take the advice, analyse all aspects and then should act upon it without caring about what anyone else has to say. He further writes, “We find great examples of this determination in the era of Hazrat Abu Bakrra. When people started becoming apostates, it was suggested that he [Hazrat Abu Bakrra] should hold back the army that was about to be sent under the command of Usamara, however, he responded, ‘This army was commissioned by the Holy Prophetsa, hence I cannot hold it back. The son of Abu Quhafah does not have the power to do so.’ He did hold back some people, such as Hazrat Umarra who was about to depart along with the army.
Then, it was said regarding Zakat that in order to avoid people becoming apostates, it should be remitted. Hazrat Abu Bakrra replied, ‘Had they given the Holy Prophetsa so much as the rope used to tie a camel, I will ensure to take even that. Even if you all leave me and the wild beasts in the jungle join the apostates, then I will fight them all on my own.’ This was an example of determination, and you know what transpired thereafter. (This was the determination of Hazrat Abu Bakrra. Even though people had suggested differently, what happened after that?) As a result of this exemplary determination, Allah the Almighty opened the door to victories. Remember, when a person fears God, others cannot overawe them.” (Mansab-e-Khilafat, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 2, p. 58)
This is the reality of the institution of Khilafat.
Establishment of the treasury; during the blessed era of the Holy Prophetsa, he would distribute any wealth received from spoils, Khums, Fai, Zakat etc. immediately in the presence of everyone at the mosque. In this way, it can be said that the department of the treasury existed during the time of the Holy Prophetsa. However, during the era of Hazrat Abu Bakrra, the various conquests meant that along with income under various heads, there was an increased influx of spoils and Jizyah. Hazrat Abu Bakrra felt the need to establish a treasury where the wealth could be stored until it was distributed or spent. Hence, after consulting with senior Companions, he dedicated a home for this purpose. However, this was ultimately a treasure only in name, as Hazrat Abu Bakrra always strove to immediately distribute any wealth that was brought in. According to some narrations, the responsibilities of the department of the treasury were entrusted to Hazrat Abu Ubaidahra. (Bashir Sajid, Ashra Mubashra, [Lahore: Al-Badr Publications, 2000], p. 181)
Initially, Hazrat Abu Bakrra established the treasury in the valley of Sun’a, however, there was no guardian appointed over it. Sun’a is located in the environs of Medina, about two miles from the Prophet’ssa Mosque. Once, someone asked him why he hadn’t appointed anyone to guard the treasury. He replied, “A lock is enough for its protection (in other words, it was enough for there to be a lock) because he would distribute anything that went into the treasury and it was often empty to the point that there would be nothing left. Then when he moved to Medina, he moved the treasury to his own home. His practise was that any wealth that went into the treasury would be distributed to the point that it became empty. He would give an equal share to everyone when he distributed the wealth and it was from the same wealth that he would also purchase camels, horses and weaponry and distribute it in Allah’s way. Once, he bought some sheets from the Bedouins and distributed them among the widows in Medina.” (Allamah Al-Suyuti, Tarikh Al-Khulafa, [Beirut: Dar-ul-Kitab Al-Arabi, 1999], pp. 63-64), (Furhang-e-Sirat, [Karachi: Zawar Academy], p. 157)
He must have done this on multiple occasions, however, this has been recorded once in the narrations.
A stipend from the treasury was stipulated for Hazrat Abu Bakrra. Regarding this, it is recorded that when Hazrat Abu Bakrra was elected as the Khalifah, a stipend was fixed for him from the treasury in order to fulfil his needs. Hazrat Aishara relates, “When Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiqra became the Khalifah, he said, ‘My people know that my occupation did not hinder me from providing sustenance for my family. I had enough income to run my household with ease. However, now I have become occupied with tending to the matters of the Muslims. So now, Abu Bakr’s family will be provided for from the treasury and he (as in Abu Bakr) will take this wealth and work for the Muslims and increase it through trade.’” (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Kitab-ul-Buyu’, Hadith no. 2070)
Hence, the Muslims stipulated for him an annual amount of six thousand dirhams. Some say that he only approved as much as he needed. He was the first Wali, or leader of government, whose expenditures were approved by his people. (Ibn Athir, Al-Kamil fi al-Tarikh, Vol. 2 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 2006], p. 272.)
According to one narration, it is mentioned that when Hazrat Abu Bakrra became the Khalifah, one day in the morning, he set out towards the market. He was carrying on his shoulders the garments he used in his business. [On the way,] he met Hazrat Umarra bin Al-Khattab and Hazrat Abu Ubaidahra bin Al-Jarrah. They said, “O Khalifah of the Messengersa, where are you going?” He replied, “to the market.” They said, “Why are you doing this when you are the leader of the Muslims?” He said, “How will I feed my family?” They took him alongside them, saying that they would assign a portion for him. (Ibn Sa’d, Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol. 3 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 2012], p. 137.)
Hence, an annual stipend of three thousand dirhams was established. According to other narrations, the stipend was six thousand dirhams, as mentioned earlier. According to some, he was given a total of six thousand dirhams over the course of his Khilafat. Similarly, according to the books of history, it is almost unanimously recorded that although Hazrat Abu Bakrra received a stipend from the treasury in order to fulfil his needs and those of his family, however, he returned all the amount before his demise. Hence, it is stated in one narration that as his demise drew near, he made a will for his land to be sold and for the amount to be used in order to pay the treasury back for the amount he had used in personal expenses. (Ibn Athir, Al-Kamil fi al-Tarikh, Vol. 2 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 2006], p. 272.), (Ibn Sa’d, Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol. 3 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 1990], p. 143.)
It is recorded in another narration that when Hazrat Abu Bakr’sra demise was drawing near, he said to Hazrat Aishara, “Since I became the Khalifah, I have not used a single dinar or dirham belonging to the nation. I would eat a little and wear thick clothes. Furthermore, the following are considered spoils for Muslims; servants, camels and fabric. Hence, after my passing, all of these things should be sent to Umar.” Hazrat Aishara states, “When he passed away, I sent those things to Hazrat Umarra. Upon seeing them, he began to cry to the extent that his tears fell to the ground as he said, ‘may Allah have mercy on Abu Bakr, he has placed those after him in difficulty.’” (Ibn Athir, Al-Kamil fi al-Tarikh, Vol. 2 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 2006], p. 271.),
When Hazrat Abu Bakrra passed away, Hazrat Umarra called a few Companions to take stock of the treasury, only to find that there was nothing there. (Allamah Al-Suyuti, Tarikh Al-Khulafa, [Beirut: Dar-ul-Kitab Al-Arabi, 1999], p. 64),
It was empty, as everything had been distributed.
Hazrat Abu Bakrra also established the department of arbitration. Although the department of arbitration had not taken systematic form during the era of Hazrat Abu Bakrra, however, he had assigned the duties of this department to Hazrat Umarra. (Umar Abu Al-Nasr, Sirat Syedna Siddiq-e-Akbar, Mushtaq Book Corner, Lahore, p. 699)
It is mentioned in one narration that when Hazrat Abu Bakrra became the Khalifah, Hazrat Umarra said, “I will serve in the courts on your behalf.” Hazrat Umarra waited for one year, however, no two people came to him with a dispute. (Muhammad Ibn Jarir al-Tabari, Tarikh al-Tabari, Vol. 2 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 2012], p. 351.)
No quarrels, disputes or issues would arise and so the number of cases was very low. If there ever was a case, Hazrat Abu Bakrra would take time out for it himself in order to resolve the matter. Hazrat Umarra was the head of the department of arbitration, and the following Companions had been assigned to help him:
Hazrat Alira, Hazrat Mu’adhra bin Jabal, Hazrat Ubayyra bin Ka’ab, Hazrat Zaidra bin Thabit and Hazrat Abdullahra bin Mas’ud. (Umar Abu Al-Nasr, Sirat Syedna Siddiq-e-Akbar, Mushtaq Book Corner, Lahore, pp. 699-700)
Hazrat Umarra relates, “There was such a state of peace, security and honesty at the time, that months would pass by and no two people would come to me in order to resolve a matter.” (Ibn Sa’d, Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol. 3 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 2012], p. 137.)
Regarding the department of jurisprudence, it is recorded that as new tribes and dwellings entered into the fold of Islam and in light of the circumstances, various jurisprudential matters were arising, Hazrat Abu Bakrra established the department of jurisprudence for the ease and guidance of the general Muslim population. He appointed Hazrat Umarra, Hazrat Usmanra, Hazrat Alira, Hazrat Abdur Rahmanra bin Auf, Hazrat Ubayyra bin Ka’ab, Hazrat Mua’dhra bin Jabal and Hazrat Zaidra bin Thabit to issue edicts, because they were all distinct from others in their deep understanding, knowledge and interpretation of the faith. According to one narration, Hazrat Abdullahra bin Mas’ud was also among the Companions approved to issue edicts. No one else had permission to issue edicts except for them. (Bashir Sajid, Ashra Mubashra, [Lahore: Al-Badr Publications, 2000], p. 182), (Umar Abu Al-Nasr, Sirat Syedna Siddiq-e-Akbar, Mushtaq Book Corner, Lahore, p. 700)
One historian writes regarding the department of inscription, “In modern terminology, a scribe can be likened to a secretary in government,” such as secretaries who take notes in meetings and relay them. During Hazrat Abu Bakr’sra Khilafat, although a system of administration had not yet been established, however, there were certain people assigned to write down executive orders, treaties and other things that required to be written down. Hazrat Abdullahra bin Arqam had been assigned the duty of inscription from the time of the Holy Prophetsa and he was also entrusted with this duty during the era of Hazrat Abu Bakrra. (Professor Ali Muhsin Siddiqi, Al-Siddiq, [Karachi: Qirtas, 2002] p. 194)
According to one narration, Hazrat Zaidra bin Thabit tended to the department of inscription during the Khilafat of Hazrat Abu Bakrra and there would be times when other Companions who were present would take up this task, such as Hazrat Alira and Hazrat Usmanra. (Dr Ali Muhammad As-Salabi, Abu Bakr Al-Siddiq [Beirut, Damascus; Dar ibn Kathir, 2003], p. 162)
Then, with regards to the military department, it is written that during the era of Hazrat Abu Bakrra there was no official military establishment and at the time of Jihad, every Muslim was a soldier. The army would be split according to tribes and every tribe had a separate leader; above which there was one office of Amir al-Umara [leader of the leaders], which was formed by Hazrat Abu Bakrra. (Umar Abu Al-Nasr, Sirat Syedna Siddiq-e-Akbar, Mushtaq Book Corner, Lahore, p. 701)
In order to give out provisions for battle, Hazrat Abu Bakrra ensured that, out of the various sources of income, he would take out a portion for the expenditure of military provisions. Through this, weapons and animals for conveyance would be bought. Furthermore, certain grazing grounds had been set aside for tending to the horses and camels used in Jihad. (Allamah Muhammad Shoaib Chishti, Commander Sahaba, [Lahore: Mumtaz Academy Urdu Bazar], pp. 87-88)
One biographer writes: “Hazrat Abu Bakr’s system for military governance was closer to the Bedouin custom that was prevalent among the Arab tribes even prior to the era of the Holy Prophetsa. At the time, the Islamic government did not have an established army, rather, each person would present themselves for military services. Whenever there was a declaration of war, the tribes would set out for war and head towards the enemy with their military provisions. They would not go to the headquarters for provisions or weapons, but rather they would organise that themselves. The [Islamic] government did not even pay them a salary; instead, they deemed the spoils of war as remuneration for their services. 4/5 of the spoils of war obtained would be distributed amongst those who took part in the battle and 1/5 would be sent to the Khalifa in the capital, which would be put in the treasury [Bait al-Mal]. The expenditure on the smaller needs of the state would be fulfilled by means of the Khums [1/5 of the spoils of war].” (Muhammad Husain Haikal, Abu Bakr Al-Siddiq, Islami Kutub Khana, Lahore, pp. 456-457)
The instructions issued by Hazrat Abu Bakrra regarding combat were relayed to the Amir al-Umara and the commanders.
With regards to Hazrat Abu Bakrra, it is written that he would issue instructions to the commanders and leaders going off to battle. Addressing Hazrat Usama’sra army, Hazrat Abu Bakrra said:
“I advise you regarding ten matters; do not act dishonestly, do not steal from the spoils of war, do not break a covenant, do not mutilate the corpses, do not kill a small child, nor anyone elderly or women; do not cut any date palm trees nor burn them, nor should you cut down any fruit-bearing tree, do not slaughter any goat, cow or camel except for consumption. (i.e. only slaughter them when needed, not any other time) You shall pass some people who have dedicated themselves to the church, thus, leave them be and do not harm them in any way (i.e. monks etc.) You will pass by some people who will present you with food in different kinds of vessels, recite the name of Allah and then eat from them. You shall also encounter some people who have shaved the hair on their head except for patches on four sides, ensure that you see to them because they are the ones who have instigated war against the Muslims. Depart with the name of Allah, may Allah protect you from every injury and safeguard you from illness and the plague.” (Muhammad Ibn Jarir al-Tabari, Tarikh al-Tabari, Vol. 2 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 1987], p. 246.)
Similarly, when Hazrat Abu Bakrra sent Hazrat Yazidra bin Abi Sufyan for battle in Syria, he said – I have mentioned this in the previous sermon as well, I will mention the summary of the key points; every office bearer should bear this in mind; Hazrat Abu Bakrra stated:
“I have appointed you as the governor, so that I may test you and train you by sending you to another place. If you discharge your responsibilities in an excellent manner, then I shall appoint you once again for this task and enable you to excel further. However, if you show negligence, then I shall remove you from your office. Adhere to Taqwa [righteousness]. Allah is aware of your inner conditions just as He is aware of your outer state. Amongst the people, those who are closest to Allah are those who do the greatest justice to their bond of friendship with Allah and the person who is closest to Allah amongst the people is one who attains His nearness through his conduct.”
Hazrat Abu Bakrra further stated:
“Refrain from harbouring malice for Allah is most displeased by this. Treat your army well and in a kind manner. When you advise them, do so in a brief manner, for lengthy talks cause one to forget many things. Keep yourself reformed and people themselves will reform for you. (If leaders and office-bearers reform themselves, then people will also act in the correct manner.) Offer your prayers at their prescribed time whilst performing all the Ruku and Sujood [bowing and prostrations].”
The observance of prayers is extremely important. Hazrat Abu Bakrra then further stated:
“When the enemies’ representatives come to you, treat them with respect and dignity. However, let them only stay for a brief period of time so that they do not spend too much time. They should leave your army quickly. (They should not spend too much time amongst the soldiers and should leave quickly). This is so that they cannot gather any information about the army. Do not inform them of your activities and give very little information.”
Hazrat Abu Bakrra further stated:
“Do not allow your people to speak to them and nor allow them to meet everyone. (It should not be the case that the emissaries are able to roam freely and meet anyone they want. In fact, they should only speak to the relevant person and not be able to roam amongst the public).
“When you speak to them, do not reveal your secrets.”
In other words, the person they meet should also be very cautious.
Then, with regard to seeking consultation, Hazrat Abu Bakrra stated:
“Whenever you wish to seek advice, speak the truth and you will receive the correct advice. Inform them of all the details and then seek advice. Do not conceal your information from your advisors, otherwise, you will incur a loss owing to your own fault.”
With regards to an office-bearer, or a commander gathering information about the events of the day and how to acquire this, Hazrat Abu Bakrra stated:
“Speak to your friends in the night (sit in the night and select a few people and speak to them) and you will be able to gather a lot of information. You should often inspect their military posts without prior notification. (Supervision is also important). If you find any post unattended, you should admonish that person.”
Hazrat Abu Bakrra further stated:
“But do not be hasty in giving out punishment, but neither become negligent about it. (Both aspects are important; one should neither be hasty in giving punishment or issuing a verdict and nor should one become completely neglectful and not say anything.) Do not become neglectful of your army and also do not humiliate them by spying on them. (Do not spy on your own people, as this will cause them humiliation.) Do not mention their confidential information to people. (Whatever confidential information you receive about them should not be shared with anyone else). Do not sit with useless people, but rather sit with those who are truthful and loyal. Do not show cowardice, otherwise people will also follow suit. Do not be dishonest in matters relating to the spoils of war, for such an act takes one closer to becoming dependent upon others and prevents one from victory and success.” (Ibn Athir, Al-Kamil fi al-Tarikh, Vol. 2 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 2003], pp. 253-254.)
There are many points which I have not mentioned in this and as I mentioned earlier that apart from military officers these are also important for our office-bearers and they ought to be mindful of these. It is only then that our various tasks will be blessed. As I mentioned earlier, the reason why I am mentioning this summary again is so that our office-bearers remember these.
With regards to the division of the Islamic government into various regions, it is written that this was divided into various regions in the era of Hazrat Abu Bakr’sra Khilafat and he appointed leaders and governors for each region. Medina was the capital and Hazrat Abu Bakrra resided there as the Khalifah. (Dr Ali Muhammad As-Salabi, Abu Bakr Al-Siddiq [Beirut, Damascus; Dar ibn Kathir, 2003], pp. 176, 180, 181)
With regards to the appointments of the governors, it is written that Hazrat Abu Bakrra followed the practice of the Holy Prophetsa by appointing the governors for the region from among its pious and virtuous people. In the region of Taif and various other regions, he appointed its governors from amongst its own people. Whenever Hazrat Abu Bakrra would appoint anyone as a governor, he would also officially declare their appointment in writing and would often outline the route as well as how to reach his respective area and he would also mention the various areas which he would have to pass by. He would do this, particularly in the case where he would be appointing someone which had not been conquered and was not in the control of the Islamic Khilafat. This was quite evident during the conquests of Syria and Iraq and during the battles against the apostates. At times, Hazrat Abu Bakrra would make various regions join with others, this particularly happened after the battles against the apostates. For example, Kindah was placed under the authority of Hazrat Ziadra bin Labid, who was also the governor of Hadhrmaut and thus he governed both regions. (Dr Ali Muhammad As-Salabi, Abu Bakr Al-Siddiq [Beirut, Damascus; Dar ibn Kathir, 2003], p. 179)
During the era of Hazrat Abu Bakrra, when the governors were appointed, the first aspect that was looked at as a criterion was their level of adherence to Islam. Moreover, whilst appointing the governors, preference was given to those who had enjoyed the company of the Holy Prophetsa. Thus, one criterion in this regard was that whosoever had been appointed for any task by the Holy Prophetsa, Hazrat Abu Bakrra would never make any change in that appointment. For example, the Holy Prophetsa appointed Hazrat Usamara as the commander of the army. After [the demise of the Holy Prophetsa] some people suggested appointing a more senior companion for this role based on certain reasoning, however, Hazrat Abu Bakrra kept Hazrat Usamara as the commander. Another factor which Hazrat Abu Bakrra took into consideration was those who had spent the most time in the company of the Holy Prophetsa. This is why he mostly entrusted various responsibilities to those people who had accepted Islam prior to the conquest of Mecca. Hazrat Abu Bakrra never gave preference to any particular tribe or relation in this regard. It is owing to this strong principle of his and high standard that the various governors and leaders appointed by Hazrat Abu Bakrra would do their utmost to the best of their abilities in serving Islam and the Muslims. (Umar Abu Al-Nasr, Sirat Syedna Siddiq-e-Akbar, Mushtaq Book Corner, Lahore, p. 693)
Whilst appointing the governors, Hazrat Abu Bakrra would also take into account the views of the local people as well. in this regard Hazrat Ala’ra bin Hazrami served as the governor of Bahrain during the lifetime of the Holy Prophetsa and later owing to reasons he was sent elsewhere. Then, during the era of Hazrat Abu Bakr’sra Khilafat, the people of Bahrain requested Hazrat Abu Bakrra if Hazrat Ala’ra bin Hazrami could to sent to their area again and so he reappointed him as the governor of Bahrain and sent him back there. (Imam Abu al-Hasan Ahmad bin Yahya al-Buladhari, Futuh al-Buldan [Karachi: Nafees Academy], p. 131.)
Hazrat Abu Bakrra also imparted guidance to the governors. In relation to this, it is written that at the time of appointing governors, Hazrat Abu Bakrra would personally grant them guidance. In Tarikh al-Tabari, it is written that whilst advising Amrra bin Al-Aas and Walidra bin Uqbah, Hazrat Abu Bakrra stated:
“Instil the fear of God within you and in your actions. If one fears Allah, then He shall open avenues towards ease and provide him sustenance through means which one could not even imagine. Allah forgives the sins of those who fear Him and grants them reward in abundance. Among the advice which the servants of Allah impart to one another, the best advice is to instil the fear of Allah. You are embarking upon one of the paths of God. Thus, if you show negligence in any matter that grants strength to your faith and protects your government, then this will be a crime that cannot be forgiven. Therefore, there should not be any kind of slackness or negligence on your part.” (Muhammad Ibn Jarir al-Tabari, Tarikh al-Tabari, Vol. 2 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 1987], p. 332.)
Hazrat Mustauridra bin Shidad relates that, “I heard the Holy Prophetsa say that, ‘Whoever is appointed as a governor, he should keep only one wife and if he does not have a servant, then he can keep one servant. If he does not have a house of his own to live in, then he should keep one house for himself.’” Mustauridra further narrated that “Hazrat Abu Bakrra stated, ‘Whoever takes anything besides this, they have acted with dishonesty and is a thief.’” (Sunan Abi Daud, Kitab-ul-Khiraj Wa Al-Imaarah Al-Fai, Hadith no. 2945)
Hazrat Abu Bakrra would keep watch over every action of the various governors and leaders that had been appointed. Since these people had been in the blessed company of the Holy Prophetsa, therefore, unlike Hazrat Umarra, Hazrat Abu Bakrra would overlook any minor error or mistake. Although he would keep a watch over them, he would forgive their minor shortcomings. It is mentioned in Tarikh al-Tabari that Hazrat Abu Bakrra would never place restrictions upon his governors, but if they ever were to commit a serious error, then he would indeed admonish them in the appropriate manner, regardless of the position they held. With regards to Hazrat Muhajirra bin Umaiyyah, Hazrat Abu Bakrra found out that he had removed the teeth of a woman who would insult the Muslims. Upon this, Hazrat Abu Bakrra immediately wrote a letter admonishing Hazrat Muhajirra. In fact, even if he heard of any error committed by Hazrat Khalidra bin Walid, he would immediately admonish him. (Umar Abu Al-Nasr, Sirat Syedna Siddiq-e-Akbar, Mushtaq Book Corner, Lahore, p. 695)
With regard to the responsibilities of the leaders and governors, it is written that Hazrat Abu Bakrra had assigned various responsibilities and duties to the governors who had been appointed in the various regions, cities and towns. These governors and their deputies were also assigned responsibilities related to financial matters. They would take the Zakat from the rich and affluent members of their areas and distribute it amongst the poor members and they would take the Jizya from the non-Muslims and send it to the treasury. This particular responsibility of theirs had been established since the time of the Holy Prophetsa. Moreover, the treaties which had been established in the time of the Holy Prophetsa were renewed once again. The governor of Najran renewed the treaty which had been established between the Holy Prophetsa and the people of Najran and this was done because the Christians of Njaran had asked for this.
The governors would also play a significant role in providing religious teaching and propagating the message of Islam in their respective areas. Many of them would organise gatherings in the mosque and teach people Quran, the Islamic injunctions and etiquettes and they did this in accordance with the practise of the Holy Prophetsa. According to the Holy Prophetsa and Hazrat Abu Bakrra, this task was considered their foremost responsibility. Hence, the governors appointed by Hazrat Abu Bakrra fulfilled this responsibility in an excellent manner. One historian writes with regards to Ziad bin Labid, who had been appointed as a governor by Hazrat Abu Bakrra over the region of Hadhrmaut, that every morning, Ziad would come to teach people the Quran, just as he would teach people the Quran prior to him being appointed as a governor. Similarly, through their efforts in training and educating the people, these governors played an important role in spreading and propagating the message of Islam. It was owing to this practise of theirs that Islam was greatly strengthened in the areas which had been newly conquered and also in those areas where people had become apostates and rebels. Those areas whose people had recently become Muslim and were unfamiliar with the Islamic injunctions greatly benefited from the Muallims who had been appointed from those regions which were considered strong centres of Islam, for example, Mecca, Taif and Medina. They would provide those people with education and training. This would all happen due to the instructions of their Khalifah and leader or where he would particularly appoint these people in different areas for the purpose of providing them with education and thus they would fulfil this duty. The governors appointed in the various regions were directly responsible for the administrative affairs of their area. If he ever had to go on a journey, he would appoint his deputy, who would oversee the administrative matters until he returned. An example of this is Hazrat Muhajirra bin Abi Umaiyyah was appointed as the governor of Kindah by the Holy Prophetsa. After the demise of the Holy Prophetsa, Hazrat Abu Bakrra kept him in his office. Due to his ill health, he was not able to go to Yemen and so he remained in Medina and appointed Ziadra bin Labid to take charge until he was better and returned to Yemen. Hazrat Abu Bakrra also approved of this decision. Similarly, in Iraq, Hazrat Khalidra bin Walid would appoint his deputy until he returned to Hirah. (Abdul Malik Mujahid, Hazrat Abu Bakr Ki Zindagi Ke Sunehre Waqiat, [Riyadh: Dar-ul-Islam], pp. 188-189)
These accounts will continue to be narrated insha-Allah in the future sermons.
(Official Urdu transcript published in Al Fazl International, 30 September 2022, pp. 5-10. Translated by The Review of Religions)