Sayyiduna Abu Bakr (radi Allahu anhu’s) real name was Abdullah, and he was given the title of “As Siddique” or”Testifier to the Truth.” His father, ‘Uthman, was known as Abu Quhafah and his mother, Salma, was known as Ummul Khair. He was two and a half years younger than Sayyiduna Rasulullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam).
He was the first among the Sahaba to accept Islam. He accompanied Sayyiduna Rasulullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) during the Hijrah to Madinatul Munawwarah. Sayyiduna Abu Bakr (radi Allahu anhu) was a merchant. He freed many slaves, including Sayyiduna Bilal (radi Allahu anhu) and Sayyiduna Umayyah bin Qahaf (radi Allahu anhu). He participated in all the battles in which Sayyiduna Rasulullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) had to fight the Kuffar.
Sayyiduna Abu Bakr (radi Allahu anhu) loved his faith more than anything else. At the Battle of Badr, his son, Sayyiduna Abdur Rahman (radi Allahu anhu), was fighting on the side of the Kuffar. After accepting Islam, Sayyiduna Abdur Rahman (radi Allahu anhu) said to his father, “O Father, at Badr, you were twice under my sword, but my love for you held my hand back.” To this, Sayyiduna Abu Bakr (radi Allahu anhu) replied, “Son, if I had you only once under my sword, you would have been no more.” He was so uncompromising in his faith.
At the time of the Battle of Tabuk, he donated all his wealth to the war effort, and when Sayyiduna Rasulullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) asked him, “What have you left for your family,?” he replied, “Allah and His Rasool (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam).”
As A Caliph
After his election as the Caliph, Sayyiduna Abu Bakr (radi Allahu anhu) addressed the Muslims with these words:
“O People! I have been chosen by you as your leader, although I am no better than any of you. If I do any wrong, set me right. Listen, truth is honesty and untruth is dishonesty. The weak among you are the powerful in my eyes, as long as I do not give them their dues. The powerful among you are weak in my eyes, as long as I do not take away from them what is due to others.
“Listen carefully, if people give up striving for the Cause of Almighty Allah, He will send down disgrace upon them. If people become evil-doers, Almighty Allah will send down calamities upon them.
“Obey me as long as I obey Allah and His Rasul (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam). If I disobey Allah and His Rasul (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam), you are free to disobey me.”
Such was the first Caliph of Islam. Indeed, the world would be a better place to live in, if we had leaders like Sayyiduna Abu Bakr (radi Allahu anhu).
Sayyiduna Abu Bakr (radi Allahu anhu) now sent Sayyiduna Usamah (radi Allahu anhu) on the expedition to Syria to fight the Romans, even though he had to attend to all the internal problems of the Islamic State.
The news that Sayyiduna Rasulullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) had passed away, made some new Muslims think that the Islamic State would crumble and they refused to pay the Zakaah. These new Muslims could not yet get used to their faith and its requirements until then. Sayyiduna Abu Bakr (radi Allahu anhu) declared, “By Allah! Even if a single thread is due from a man, he must give it. If he refuses, I will declare war against him.”
Sayyiduna Abu Bakr (radi Allahu anhu) fell ill at this time and passed away on the 21st of Jamadi-ul-Aakhir 13 A.H. (22 August 634). His rule lasted 2 years and 3 months. He was 63 years old.
One of the many contributions of Sayyiduna Abu Bakr (radi Allahu anhu) was the collection and compilation of the Holy Quran.
He lived a very simple, pious and upright life. He was a true servant of Almighty Allah and a meticulous follower of Sayyiduna Rasulullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam).
He wore ordinary clothes and his meals were very simple. He attended to house-hold work and would go out at night and seek the poor and destitute. Humility and modesty were the keynotes of his character. He felt embarrassed when people showered praises on him or showed him immense respect. He often fasted during the day and spent the whole night in Salaah and meditation. He was a great orator and a master of genealogy (one who can trace a person’s family line). In personal life, he was a Saint. He used all his powers to promote the interest of Islam and the good of people.
Zayd ibn Al-Dathinnah was a companion of the Prophet (peace be upon him) who was taken prisoner in a treacherous attack on a small band of Muslims.
His captors sold him to the Quraysh tribe. The buyer did not want to keep him as a slave, but wanted to kill him in revenge for the death of his own father in a battle with Muslims. He was tied to a pole in an open space and a large group of people came over to witness his killing. Abu Sufyan, the chief of the Quraysh, said to Zayd just before he was about to be killed: “Would you wish that you were now sitting in comfort with your family and Muhammad was here in your place and we would kill him in your stead?” Zayd answered: “I would not wish to be comfortable with my family if Muhammad (peace be upon him) were to have a prick of thorn in his side.” Abu Sufyan commented: “I have never known anyone who loves another as Muhammad’s companions love him.”
Such love was common to all those who knew him. We are not talking here about the love believers have toward the Prophet who guides them to the truth of faith. Such love is common to all believers in all generations. We are talking about the love of friendship. Those companions of the Prophet, men and women, loved him as no one was ever loved by those around him. His friends were of all types of people: some were great individuals, some were ordinary, and others were simple and naive. They were of different characters, temperaments and social positions. Yet he was the dearest of all people to every single one of them.
Thawban was a servant of the Prophet. He looked sad and as time went by, his sadness seemed to remain as strong as ever. The Prophet noticed that Thawban was even losing weight. He asked him what troubled him. He said: “Messenger of God, when I do not see you for a while, I miss you so badly. I remembered the life to come and thought that even if God grants me admission into heaven, I would not see you, because you will be in the highest position with other prophets. How can I bear that?” The Prophet assured him that he would see him in heaven. Thawban was very pleased and his sadness was over.
What this tells us is that a simple person considered a place in heaven insufficient to give him happiness unless he could see the Prophet. Only when he was assured that he would be seeing him that sadness left him.
This is not an individual case. Women showed the same sort of love. A woman would be told that two or three of her closest relatives were killed in a battle. She would express her sorrow and acceptance of God’s will, but she inquires first whether the Prophet was safe. When she is assured of his safety, she can bear her personal tragedy well.
In fact, several of the most distinguished companions of the Prophet believed in Islam because they knew Muhammad well and loved him because of his personal qualities, including his truthfulness. When he told them that he received revelations from on high, they had no hesitation in believing him. They immediately declared their belief in God’s oneness and in Muhammad’s message.
There is no one worthy to be worshiped but Allah, Muhammad is His (last) Messenger.
Islam and Rationality
Islam secures consistency and rationality of belief through its logical and rational principles. Islam is embraced strongly by its followers. Islam keeps the Muslim away from ideological confusion, because it has no illogical or irrational principles that are not consistent wrong with one another.
Clear concept of Allah
Islam does not cause confusion to the believer concerning Allah. Allah is one in Islam. Allah has no son or father. Allah has no parallel or equal.
According to Islam, Jesus (Peace Be Upon Him) is not the son of Allah. Jesus is Allah’s apostle. So is Moses and he so is Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Them). So are all Prophets and Apostles. Allah has no son or sons.
To believe that God is unique, and vastly superior to His creation, and yet has a son is inconsistent. This lowers God to a human, carnal level.
In today’s Christianity, it is said that God had His son killed in order to save humanity With all respect to our Christian friends, it is difficult to accept this, because it is against the justice and might of God. Why should God kill to save? It is unfair to kill an innocent person to save others. In addition, Allah does not need to kill anyone to save others. Allah can save without killing. Further, it is difficult to see the relationship between killing and saving. It is difficult to convince a person of how, if Allah kills his son, other men are saved. Further, it is difficult to convince people that Allah killed his only son, when he should protect him.
Allah Has No Son
In Islam, this issue is clear, logical, and rational. In Islam, Allah is one. Allah has no son. Allah does not kill. A person is not saved by God’s killing another person. In Islam, you are saved or doomed by yourself and your deeds. In Islam, Allah shows us the right path and the wrong path through the Noble Qur’an. Our responsibility is to choose either path. Each one of us is saved or doomed according to his choice and, consequently, according to his deeds.
Allah is one
Islam does not have the concept of the Trinity, or the concept of ” three in one.” It is very difficult for the mind to accept or understand how one being can be father, son, and Holy Spirit simultaneously. Furthermore, Allah has no son and does not need sons, because Allah is the owner of everything and the Creator of all beings.
No Mediation between Man and Allah
In Islam, there is no mediation between Allah and man. You do not need to visit a priest to confess or repent. In Islam, every Muslim has direct contact with Allah, no matter how weak, poor, or ignorant he is. In Islam, Allah is the God of all. Every Muslim decides by himself how near or how far he wants to be from God, depending on his own free will and deeds. In Islam, there are no mediators between man and Allah.
In Islam, there are no men of religion as in some other beliefs. In Islam, every Muslim is responsible for his own beliefs and for Islam in general. In Islam, there are scholars of religion, but there is no class of clergymen.
In Islam, there is no celibacy, because celibacy is against human nature. Islam urges the Muslim to get ‘married as soon as he can, because it is difficult for-normal people to be religious and unmarried at the same time. Islam, as a rule, organizes human nature, but never destroys or goes against it.
Islam establishes a wonderful harmony between the demands of the soul and the demands of the body. The religion that considers celibacy as necessary for purity goes against human nature and theoretically puts an end to the human race. Prophet Muhammad, (Peace Be Upon Him) says, “Your God has rights over you. Your body has rights over you. Your soul has rights over you. Give to each his due rights. ”
A Complete Code of Life
Islam is a religion, but not in the western meaning of religion. The western connotation of the term “religion” is something between the believer and God. Islam is a religion that organizes all aspects of life on both the individual and national levels. Islam organizes your relations with God, with yourself, your children, your relatives, your neighbors, your guests, and other brethren. Islam clearly establishes your duties and rights in all those relationships. Islam establishes a clear system of worship, civil rights, laws of marriage and divorce, laws of inheritance, code of behavior, what to drink, and what not to drink, what to wear, and what not to wear, how to worship God, how to govern, the laws of war and peace, when to go to war, when to make peace, the laws of economics, and the laws of buying and selling.
Islam is a complete code of life, and it is not for their mosque only. Islam is for life, daily life. Islam is a guide to life in all its aspects: socially, ethically, economically, and politically. Islam is a complete constitution. Islam keeps the Muslim away from confusion, because Islam is logical and rational. Allah is one and has no sons. Allah is not a trinity. Allah does not kill to save. No mediation is required between Allah and man. Islam organizes human nature, but does not go against it. There is no class of clergy in Islam nor is there celibacy. Islam is a complete code of human life.
A major part of the Prophet s (peace be upon him) mission was to bring peace to the world. One of the ways in which he strove toward this end was to attempt to convince people that all men and women, albeit inhabiting very different regions of the world, and different from one another in color, culture and language, et cetera, were in fact blood brothers and sisters. His message was crucial, for a proper relationship of love and respect can be established only if that is how human beings regard one another. To inculcate such feelings, the Prophet (peace be upon him) would preach to his followers, You are all Adam’s offspring and Adam was made of clay. And in his prayers to his Creator, he said, O Lord, all Your servants are brothers.
The Prophet (peace be upon him) would exhort his followers to live in peace with their fellow men, saying, A true believer is one with whom others feel secure, one who returns love for hatred. He used to teach the believers that anyone who would return love only when love was given belonged on a lower ethical plane. The true believer never reasons that only if people treated him well that he will treat them well in return. He is accustomed rather to doing good to those who mistreat him, and to refrain from harming those who do him injury. The Prophet (peace be upon him) himself set the example. All his recorded words and actions reveal him as a man of great gentleness, kindness, humility, good humor and excellent common sense, with a great love for all people and even for animals.
Despite his position as the leader, the Prophet (peace be upon him) never believed himself to be greater or better than other people. He never made others feel small, unwanted or embarrassed. He urged his followers to behave kindly and humbly, releasing slaves whenever possible, and giving in charity – especially to very poor people, orphans and prisoners – without any thought of reward.
He told the people that every religion has some special characteristic, that of Islam being modesty. In the absence of such a virtue, no community can have lasting peace. The Prophet s (peace be upon him) own modesty, coupled with great strength of character, is depicted in a well-known story of an old Makkan woman who hated the Prophet (peace be upon him). Every morning when the Prophet passed by her house, she would empty a basket of rubbish on his head from the upper story of her house. He never once remonstrated with her about this. One day, when the Prophet (peace be upon him) passed through this area, no rubbish fell on his head. Thinking that the old woman must be ill, he went upstairs to inquire how she was, and found her ill in bed. When she discovered that the Prophet (peace be upon him) had come to see her, she began to weep, I ill-treated you, and now you come to inquire about my health! Ultimately, she became one of his followers. What strength of character, what patience and tolerance the Prophet (peace be upon him) evinced in refusing to be provoked, preferring rather to show kindness and magnanimity to one who had wished him ill.
His was a high moral character, so that even if badly treated by others, he went on returning good for evil. People harmed him, yet he would pray for them. He would remain patient in the face of oppression and, regardless of the provocation, he would refrain from becoming incensed. In setting this example, his aim was to fashion souls that were Allah-oriented, that found Allah so great that everything else paled into insignificance.
The essence of this philosophy is expressed in one of the Prophet s (peace be upon him) sayings: Nine things the Lord has commanded me: Fear of Allah in private and in public; justness, whether in anger or in calmness; moderation in both poverty and affluence; that I should join hands with those who break away from me; and give to those who deprive me; and forgive those who wrong me; and that my silence should be meditation; and my words be remembrance of Allah; and my vision be keen observation.
His life s experience ranged from penury to prosperity, from defeat to success, yet whatever the degree of well-being or hardship, he steadfastly trod the path of moderation. At all times and right till the end, he remained a patient and grateful servant of the Almighty, bringing his message of peace and tolerance to mankind.
The palaces of Paradise have been prepared, and in their gardens are places to sit and recline, beautiful couches of delightful colors and high beds whose interiors are lined with silk brocade, let alone how magnificent their outward appearance must be. There are cushions and splendid carpets laid out in the most delightful fashion. Allah (swt) says:
“Therein will be thrones raised high, And cups set at hand, and cushions set in rows, and rich carpets [all spread out]” [88:13-16]
“They will recline [with ease] on thrones arranged in ranks. And We shall marry them to Houris [female fair ones] with wide lovely eyes.” [52:20]
“A multitude of those [foremost] will be from the first generations [who embraced Islam] and a few of those [foremost] will be from the later time [generations]. [They will be] on thrones woven with gold and precious stones,reclining thereon, face to face.” [56:13-16]
This reclining on those thrones and couches will be one of the luxuries that the people of Paradise will enjoy when they gather together, as Allah (swt) says,
“And we shall remove from their breasts any lurking sense of injury; [they will be like] brothers [joyfully] facing each other on thrones [of dignity].” [15:47]
“Reclining on green cushions and rich beautiful mattresses” [55:76]
“Reclining upon the couches lined with silk brocade” [55:54]
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was a warm-hearted and faithful friend. He loved his companions. He extended greetings to those he knew and to those he did not know. He treated all people around him with kindness and affection. He was very courteous to all those who met him. He never contradicted anybody who was not opposed to the teachings of Islam. He treated equally the humble and the lofty. He claimed no distinction and lived amongst his companions as if he was not their leader.
He regarded the neighbors as brothers and sisters because of their closeness and living in the same vicinity. He once smelt the aroma of the soup cooked by his wife. He told her to give some of it to the neighbors who also smelt it. He said it was not right for a Muslim to sleep with a full stomach after having had a good meal but left his neighbor hungry. He laid the foundation for a friendly relationship and cooperation among neighbors exemplifying that living as a neighbor one has one ‘s right and responsibility. He treated with exemplary kindness his Jewish neighbors that show that he respected his neighbors even if they belonged to other religions.
In regard to the rights of a neighbor, the Prophet said: “Help him if he asks your help; give him assistance if he seeks your help; show him concern if he is distressed and when he is ill; attend his funeral if he dies; congratulate him if he receives any good; sympathize with him if any calamity befalls him; do not block his air by raising your building without his permission and do not harass him.”