Friday Sermon delivered at Masjid Mubarak, Islamabad, Tilford, UK
After reciting Tashahhud, Ta`awwuz and Surah al-Fatihah, His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad(aba) said that he would continue highlighting incidents from the life of Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra).
His Holiness(aba) said that regarding his service to humanity, it is recorded that even before accepting Islam, Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) was regarded as the best among the Quraish and people would often go to him for help in their difficulties. He would also often host people in Makkah. He was considered to be among the highest rank and level of people and stood alone in his standard of hospitality. He was also very kind to the poor and needy. He would purchase quilts during the cold weather and distribute them among the poor and needy.
His Holiness(aba) said that before he became the Khalifah, he used to milk someone’s goats. After he became Khalifah, the person’s daughters thought that he would no longer carry out this duty, however Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) continued this responsibility even after becoming the Khalifah, doing so for six months until he moved from the outskirts to Madinah.
His Holiness(aba) said that once, the Holy Prophet(sa) advised the Muslims who had food at home for three people at home to take a fourth and feed them and whoever had food for four people should take a fifth person home and so on. Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) took three people home with him. He then went to the Holy Prophet’s (sa) home and stayed with him until it had gotten late. Upon returning home, he learned that his guests had insisted that they would not eat until he returned. They were then presented food when he returned home however as they ate, the food continued to increase, to the point that once they were done eating, the food was three times the quantity before they had started eating.
His Holiness(aba) said that it is recorded that after Hazrat Abu Bakr’s(ra) passing, Hazrat Umar(ra) asked one of his workers the various virtues which he saw in Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra). Among the things he said was the fact that he went and fed a certain poor person everyday. Hence, Hazrat Umar(ra) went to the same cave where the poor man, who was blind and had no limbs resided, in order to feed him. When he was given food, he began crying, realising that Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) had passed away. When asked how he knew this, he said that he had no teeth, and so Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) used to chew the food and then put it in his mouth in order to make it easy for him.
His Holiness(aba) said with regards to Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) covering the faults of others that he used to say, if he ever caught a thief, his first desire would be that God covers their faults.
His Holiness(aba) said regarding Hazrat Abu Bakr’s(ra) bravery that he was at the forefront of battles and of serving the Holy Prophet(sa) no matter the circumstances. It was due to this bravery that once, Hazrat Ali(ra) told people that Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) was Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra). During the Battle of Badr, when it was being decided who would guard the Holy Prophet’s (sa) tent, Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) was the first to step forward and protect him. Furthermore, Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) was among those who remained steadfast and did not move from their post on the mountain alongside the Holy Prophet(sa). Similarly, on other occasions like the Battle of Khaibar, Treaty of Hudaibiyah, Expedition of Taif, Battle of Tabuk, Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) showed great bravery. In fact, he was given the biggest flag during the Battle of Tabuk. After the demise of the Holy Prophet(sa), when Muslims were becoming apostates, Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) showed great bravery and faced this challenge head on.
His Holiness(aba) said that once, some people asked the Companions who the bravest Companion was during the lifetime of the Holy Prophet(sa). They responded by saying that the bravest among them was considered to be the one who stood by the Holy Prophet(sa) the most as especially during battle, this would be the most dangerous place to be in terms of threat of enemy attack. Hence, only the bravest person and often, it was Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) standing next to the Holy Prophet(sa), and so the Companions said that they saw him to be the bravest. Similarly, just as Gabriel accompanied the Holy Prophet(sa) on the Night Journey [Isra], so too did Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) accompany the Holy Prophet(sa) during his migration. During the journey, when worried that the Quraish would find them, Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) expressed that he was not worried about his own life, rather he only cared for the well-being of the Holy Prophet(sa).
His Holiness(aba) said that after the demise of the Holy Prophet(sa), when there was a dispute as to whether the Khalifah should be from the Muhajirin or Ansar, Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) called a meeting. Hazrat Umar(ra) thought that this task would require someone brave, not tender hearted and so he began thinking of various arguments to make. However, when the time for this meeting arrived, Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) conducted the meeting with such bravery and presented all the points which Hazrat Umar(ra) had planned to present, had he conducted the meeting. Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) also bravely stood firm when people refused the payment of Zakat. He said that no matter what, even if a piece of rope was given in Zakat during the time of the Holy Prophet(sa), he would ensure that it was still offered. He said that to this end, even if there was an attack and he had to fight on his own then he would.
His Holiness(aba) said that when some people during Hazrat Abu Bakr’s(ra) era of Khilafat, some people mistook the verse:
‘Take alms out of their wealth, so that thou mayest cleanse them and purify them thereby. And pray for them’ (9:103)
They thought that since God addressed the Holy Prophet(sa), it meant that Zakat was only to be paid to him. They did not realise that this also applied to the Holy Prophet’s (sa) successors and was a continuous commandment. Whereas some elder Companions suggested to Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) that he should be lenient and let such people be, Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) said that he was in no position to abrogate this commandment and remained firm in order to uphold it. Hazrat Umar(ra) was known to be extremely brave, but even he admitted that Hazrat ABu Bakr(ra) was braver for he stood firm and bravely to uphold this commandment. It was then that people realised the great bravery possessed by the Khalifah appointed by God.
His Holiness(aba) said regarding Hazrat Abu Bakr’s(ra) financial sacrifices, that it is recorded that when Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) accepted Islam, he had one million dirhams, according to one narration. It is said that he spent so much on the poor and needy that at the time of migration he only had about five thousand or so dirhams left.
His Holiness(aba) said that once, the Holy Prophet(sa) said that no one’s wealth had benefited him like the wealth sacrificed by Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra). Hazrat Umar(ra) said that once, the thought occurred to him that Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) always excelled him in financial sacrifices. Thus, one day, he intended that he would overtake Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) in offering financial sacrifices and so he went home and took half of all that he owned and presented it. However, later he learned that Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) sacrificed all that he possessed at home. He then realised that he would never be able to overtake Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) in financial sacrifices.
His Holiness(aba) said that he would continue highlighting these incidents in the future.
Summary prepared by The Review of Religions
After reciting the tashahud, ta‘awuz, and Surah al-Fatihah, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih V(aba) stated:
Various aspects of the life of Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiq(ra) were being mentioned. In relation to his service to humanity and feeding the needy etc., it is mentioned that even prior to accepting Islam, Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) was considered amongst the best people of the Quraish and whenever people faced difficulties, they would seek his assistance. In Makkah, he would often host guests and prepare large feasts. (‘Ali bin Burhan al-Din al-Halabi, Al-Sirah al-Halabiyyah, Vol. 1 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 2002], p. 390)
During the era of ignorance, despite the conditions of the society at the time, Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) was counted amongst the chiefs and noble individuals of the Quraish. In times of their difficulties and to seek consultation in their personal matters, people would turn to him. He was renowned in Mecca for his entertainment and hospitality of guests. (Muhammad al-Sallabi, Sayyiduna Abu Bakr Siddiq(ra) Shakhsiyyat aur Karname – Translated [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar Ibn Kathir, 2003], pp. 52-54)
It is further mentioned that Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) was extremely kind towards the poor and the needy. In winter, he would purchase blankets and distribute them amongst the needy. (Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiq(ra) ke Faisle [Lahore, Pakistan: Mushtaq Book Corner], p. 378)
In one of the narrations it is mentioned that one year, Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) purchased warm, woollen blankets which were brought from the village. During the winter, these blankets were distributed amongst the widows in Medina. (Kanz al-‘Ummal, Vol. 3, Ch. 5, Kitab al-Khilafah, Hadith 14076 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 2004], p. 245)
In another narration it is mentioned that prior to being appointed to the station of Khilafat, Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) used to milk the goats for a family who did not have any guardian. After he became the Khalifa, a young girl from that family said, “Now you will no longer milk our goats.” Hearing this, Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) replied, “Why not? I swear on my life! I will most certainly milk them for you and I believe that the task that I have been entrusted with will not prevent me from this practice of mine.” As such, Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) continued to milk their goats as he did before. When these girls brought their goats [to Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra)], he would most kindly ask them, “Should I froth the milk or not?” If they asked him to froth it, he would place the utensil a little further away and milk [the goats] until there was plenty froth. If they asked him not to froth it, he would place the utensil close to the teats and milk the goats in order to avoid frothing it. He rendered this service for a continuous period of six months, that is, six months after his Khilafat. Thereafter, he settled in Medina. Initially, Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) had two homes. One home was a little further outside, where he would stay during the time of the Holy Prophet(sa). However, the Holy Prophet(sa) granted him a plot of land near Masjid an-Nabawi and near his own home, where Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) built a house as well. Apart from this house [next to Masjid an-Nabawi], he had another house as well. Hence, he had two homes in Medina. However, during the life of the Holy Prophet(sa), he stayed mostly at his home situated in the outskirts [of Medina]. Following his Khilafat, he settled in Medina. However, until he moved to Medina, he continuously carried out the duty he took upon himself to serve these girls. (Ibn Sa’d, Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol. 3, Abu Bakr Siddiq(ra), Wa min Bani Tayyim… [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 1990], pp. 138-139)
Hazrat Umar(ra) used to take care of an elderly, blind woman living in the outskirts of Medina. He would bring her water and do her chores for her. On one occasion when he went to her house it became apparent that someone else had visited before him and had completed all the tasks for this elderly lady. And so, the next time he went much earlier to this elderly woman’s house, before the other person could reach. Hazrat Umar(ra) hid to one side and saw that it was Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) who would visit her home, at a time when he was the Khalifa. Thereupon Hazrat Umar(ra) said, “By Allah, it could only have been you,” that is to say that it is only he who could have excelled him in this virtue. (Jalaluddin ‘Abd al-Rahman bin Abi Bakr al-Suyuti, Tarikh al-Khulafa’, Halat Abi Bakr Siddiq(ra) [Beirut, Lebanon: 1999 Edition], p. 64)
There is a narration of Musa bin Ismail who states that Mu’tamir related from his father that Abu Uthman narrated to them that Hazrat Abdur Rahman bin Abi Bakr(ra) told him, “The Suffah were extremely poor people and the Holy Prophet(sa) once stated, ‘Those who have enough food for two people should take in a third; those who have enough food for four people should take in a fifth, or sixth,’ or something along these lines. (That is to say, they should bring those people to their homes who were sat in poverty and feed them.) Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) took in three people and the Holy Prophet(sa) took ten people to his home. Hence, Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) was at home with three other people.”
Hazrat Abdur Rahman(ra) then said, “At home it was myself, my father and my mother.” The narrator then says, “I do not know if Abdur Rahman also mentioned his wife and his servant who served at both his home and that of Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra). It so happened that Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) had dinner at the house of the Holy Prophet(sa) and remained there until he had offered the Isha prayer, after which he returned.”
He brought the guests home, but then went back to the Holy Prophet(sa) to stay and eat there. The narrator continues, “He stayed there for so long that he had eaten at the Holy Prophet’s(sa) home and came home as late into the night as Allah had willed. His wife asked him what had held him up from being with his guests, i.e., why did he come so late. Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) answered, ‘Did you not give them food?’ She replied, ‘They refused to eat until you returned’ (the guests said they would not eat until Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) returns). His wife said, ‘I was presenting them the food, but the guests refused to eat it.’”
Hazrat Abdur Rahman(ra) then says, “I went and hid lest I be told off by Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) as to why I hadn’t given food to the guests. Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) said, ‘O foolish one!’ He also called me extremely lazy.’ (His son Hazrat Abdur Rahman(ra), is narrating this). Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) then said to the guests, ‘Please eat,’ and Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) swore to Allah that he would not eat anything.” Hazrat Abdur Rahman(ra) then says, “By Allah, whenever we took a morsel of food, the food beneath would increase to a greater degree. They ate to the point that they were full and there ended up more food than they began with.” They fed the guests and they continued to eat, yet the food remained the same amount, or would increase even more, until everyone had eaten to their fill. When Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) witnessed that the food was still the same as it was before, rather, it had increased even further, he said to his wife, “‘O sister of Bani Firas, what is this?’ She said, ‘O pleasure of my eyes! This is three times more than before (i.e., it had increased this much).’ Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) also ate from it and said, ‘It was only due to Satan,’ (i.e., due to his incitement he swore not to eat. He previously swore not to eat, but when he saw that the food had been blessed he said that it was only due to Satan that he made the oath not to eat before, and that he would now eat out of this blessed food.) Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) then took a morsel of food and took the rest of this food to the Holy Prophet(sa), and it remained with him until the morning).”
The narrator then continues, “There was a pact between us and another tribe, but the time period stipulated for it had passed. We sat down 12 people separately and with each of them were some others, (that is to say, there were 12 people making the pact, and with them were some other people). Allah knows best how many people were with each of them. However, there were certainly so many that the Holy Prophet(sa) assigned various people to take them [for food] (i.e., there was a considerable amount of people).” Hazrat Abdur Rahman(ra) said something along the lines of, “All of these people ate from this food [which Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) brought].”
Hence, this is how Allah the Almighty once placed so much blessing in the food of Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra). (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab al-Manaqib, Bab ‘Alamat al-Nubuwwah fi al-Islam, Hadith 3581)
Hazrat Abdur Rahman bin Abi Bakr(ra) narrates, “The Holy Prophet(sa) stated, ‘Is there anyone among you who has fed the poor today?’ Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) answered, ‘I entered the mosque and a beggar asked something from me. I found Abdur Rahman to be holding a piece of bread so I took it from him and gave it to the beggar.’” (Sunan Abi Dawud, Kitab al-Zakah, Bab al-Mas’alah fi al-Masajid, Hadith 1670)
A beggar asked from him and his son had some bread in his hand, and he gave it to the beggar.
Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud(ra) states:
“Hazrat Abu Bakr’s(ra) son, Abdur Rahman was also worthy of Khilafat. People would say that his disposition was more lenient than that of Hazrat Umar(ra), without being any less competent than him, and that he should therefore become the Khalifa. However, Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) had already chosen Hazrat Umar(ra) to succeed him as the Khalifa, despite them having different temperaments. Hence, Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) did not attain any personal gain from Khilafat, rather he was concerned for the betterment of the service to humanity.”
Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud(ra) then says:
“There is a narration of Sufis [mystics] – Allah knows best how accurate it is – that after the demise of Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra), Hazrat Umar(ra) asked the servant of Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra), ‘What good deeds would your master carry out, so that I too may carry them out?’ Among all the good deeds he used to carry out, his servant mentioned that one of the virtues of Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) was that, ‘every day he would go in a certain direction with some bread, and he would have me stand somewhere whilst he went ahead. I cannot say what the reason was for him going ahead.’ Hazrat Umar(ra) then went with the servant in the direction he mentioned, whilst carrying some food. Advancing forward he saw that there was a lame and blind man with no hands or feet, sat in a cave. Hazrat Umar(ra) placed a morsel of food in the lame man’s mouth, but he began to weep, saying, ‘May Allah the Almighty have mercy on Abu Bakr. How righteous a person he was.’ Hazrat Umar(ra) asked, ‘Old man, how do you know that Abu Bakr has passed away?’ He replied, ‘I no longer have any teeth, so Abu Bakr(ra) would chew the food and place it in my mouth. Today, the hard morsel of food made me realise that the one feeding me isn’t Abu Bakr(ra) but someone else. Moreover, Abu Bakr would do this daily without fail. Now, with this gap, he most certainly is no longer present in this world.’”
Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud(ra) states, “What did Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) gain from leadership? He did not obtain anything from his Khilafat or leadership. Did he deem the state wealth to be his own or did he deem government property to be his own property? Of course not. Whatever his relatives received was from his personal property.” (Khutbat-e-Mahmud, Vol. 17, pp. 494, 495)
His distinguishing factor was indeed the service that he rendered.
The Promised Messiah(as) states:
“There are two parts of the sharia; the rights owed to Allah and the rights owed to His creation.”
These are the two aspects – the rights owed to Allah the Almighty and the rights of His creation. He further states, “Observe the extent to which the Holy Prophet(sa) spent his entire life in service. Observe Hazrat Ali(ra) who had stitched so many patches [on his garment] that there was no room for anymore. Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) had made it a constant habit to feed sweet dish to an elderly lady; observe the commitment with which he carried this out. When Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) passed away, the elderly lady said, ‘Today, Abu Bakr has passed away.’ Her neighbours asked, ‘Were you informed through a dream or revelation?’ She replied, ‘No. He did not bring the sweet dish today which is how I know he has passed away.’ (Meaning had he been alive it would not have been possible that he did not bring the sweet dish under any circumstances). Observe the degree to which they served; this is the manner in which everyone should serve humanity.” (Malfuzat , Vol. 6, p. 54)
There is a narration about the degree to which he covered the faults of others; Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) states, “If I were to catch a thief, my greatest desire would be that God covers his mistake.” (Ibn Sa’d, Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol. 5, Al-Tabaqat al-Ula min Ahl al-Madinah… [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 2012], p. 9)
Regarding his bravery and courage, it is recorded that Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) embodied courage and bravery. He would face great dangers for the sake of Islam or for his profound love and affection for the Holy Prophet(sa). During his life in Mecca, if ever he perceived any potential threat to the Holy Prophet’s(sa) safety or any difficulty, he would stand like a wall before the Holy Prophet(sa) to protect and help him. During Shi’b-e-Abi Talib, when they faced three years of confinement and restriction, he remained steadfastly and devotedly present. Then, during the migration, he had the honour of accompanying the Holy Prophet(sa) despite the risk to his life. Not only did Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) participate in every battle, he undertook the duty of protecting the Holy Prophet(sa). It was in light of his boldness and bravery that Hazrat Ali(ra) once asked, “O people, who is the bravest among the people?” People responded, “O Leader of the Believers, it is you.” Hazrat Ali(ra) said, “As far as I am concerned, anyone who combats me I will do justice to them (meaning he would defeat them). However, the bravest is Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra). On the day of Badr, we erected a tent for the Holy Prophet(sa) and then we asked who would stay with the Holy Prophet(sa) to ensure that none of the disbelievers reached him. By Allah, no one went near the Holy Prophet(sa) except for Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) who stood by the Holy Prophet(sa), brandishing his sword. (Meaning, no one could reach the Holy Prophet(sa) without first facing Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra).) Thus, he is the bravest person.”
Similarly, when rumours spread during the Battle of Uhud that the Holy Prophet(sa) had been martyred, Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) was the first to tear through the crowd and reached the Holy Prophet(sa). It is said that at the time, there were only 11 companions alongside the Holy Prophet(sa), including Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra), Hazrat Sa’d(ra), Hazrat Talha(ra), Hazrat Zubair(ra) and Hazrat Abu Dujanah(ra). During the Battle of Uhud, Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) was among the few devoted companions who stood guard for the Holy Prophet(sa). Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) was also alongside the Holy Prophet(sa) during the Battle of the Trench. During the digging of the trench, he was among those who carried dirt in their cloack and threw it. On the occasion of the Treaty of Hudaibiyah, he was among those who pledged allegiance to offer their life, however, the boldness in faith, devotion, perception, obedience and love which he displayed for the Holy Prophet(sa) exemplified by Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) at the time when the treaty was written remained unforgotten by Hazrat Umar(ra) for the remainder of his life. Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) also took part in the expedition to Taif as well as his son Abdullah bin Abi Bakr(ra). Hazrat Abu Bakr’s(ra) young son was martyred in this expedition. (Ustadh Umar Abi al-Nasr, Sirat Sayyidina Siddiq Akbar(ra) – Urdu Translation [Lahore, Pakistan: Mushtaq Book Corner), pp. 354, 367, 369, 376) (Muhammad al-Sallabi, Sayyiduna Abu Bakr Siddiq(ra) Shakhsiyyat aur Karname – Translated [Khan Garh, Pakistan: Al-Furqan trust, 2003], p. 107)
Then, when the Holy Prophet(sa) set out with an army of thirty thousand for the Battle of Tabuk, he appointed various generals and granted them flags. On this occasion, the largest flag was given to Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra). (Ustadh Umar Abi al-Nasr, Sirat Sayyidina Siddiq Akbar(ra) – Urdu Translation [Lahore, Pakistan: Mushtaq Book Corner), p. 381)
Hazrat Salama bin Akwa’(ra) states, “I participated in seven battles alongside the Holy Prophet(sa) and in nine expeditions which were sent by the Holy Prophet(sa), these expeditions were either commanded by Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) and at other times by Hazrat Usama bin Zaid(ra).” (Ustadh Umar Abi al-Nasr, Sirat Sayyidina Siddiq Akbar(ra) – Urdu Translation [Lahore, Pakistan: Mushtaq Book Corner), p. 356)
After the Holy Prophet’s(sa) demise, when essentially all of Arabia became apostate, the confidence practically exhibited by Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) stands alone. This has been extensively mentioned before as well.
Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud(ra) states, “Once, the disbelievers put a cloth around the Holy Prophet’s(sa) neck and pulled with force. Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) learned of this and came running and moved the disbelievers aside and said, ‘O people, do you not fear God that you hit and beat a person simply because he says his Lord is Allah? He seeks no property from you, thus why do you hurt him?”
The Companions say that in their era, they thought Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) to be the bravest of them all because the enemy thought that if they killed the Holy Prophet(sa), Islam would be finished and we saw Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) always standing by the Holy Prophet(sa) so that if ever someone attacked him, he would defend with his body. Hence, when the battle with the disbelievers took place at Badr, the Companions consulted with one another and prepared a platform for the Holy Prophet(sa) and said to him, “O Messenger(sa) of Allah, please take a seat on this platform and pray for our victory; we will fight the enemy.” Then they said, “O Messenger(sa) of Allah, we assure you that though we are sincere, those residing in Medina are even more sincere and trustworthy than us. Those people did not know that we are about to be at war with the disbelievers, otherwise they too would have joined the battle. (they did not know about the Battle of Badr beforehand, otherwise they too would have participated.) O Messenger(sa) of Allah, if, God-forbid, we lose this battle, we have tied a fast running camel near you and we have we have left Abu Bakr(ra) on guard with you. We find there to be no one braver or more courageous among us than him. O Messenger(sa) of Allah, you should immediately take Abu Bakr(ra) on this camel and go to Medina and from there, bring a new army which is even more sincere and loyal than us, to combat the disbelievers.” Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud(ra) states, “This incident shows the great level of sacrifice offered by Abu Bakr(ra).” (Khutbat-e-Mahmud, Vol. 39, pp. 220-221)
Then, on another occasion, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud(ra) states, “once, some people asked the Companions as to who was the most heroic and brave person during the time of the Holy Prophet(sa)?” Just as the Shias and Sunnis ask the question today, even in that era, people would commend whoever they had an affiliation with. “When the Companions were asked this question, they responded by saying that the bravest among them was the person who stood by the Holy Prophet(sa). This point can only be understood by someone acquainted with warfare, not others. One who knows about war and its dangers understands the bravery it takes to stand where the most danger lies.”
He states, “The enemy seeks to destroy the person who represents the spirit of a country and nation so that the entire dispute ends with their demise. Hence, wherever such a person is situated is where the enemy will attack with full force; they attack the central point and only such people stand there to protect that central point who is the bravest of all. Then the Companions said, ‘Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) was usually standing with him and we believe that there was no one braver than him.’” (Tafsir-e-Kabir, Vol. 10, p. 366)
Then, whilst commenting on the second verse of Surah Bani Isra’il, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud(ra) states at one instance:
“It is worth noting that
[Carried His servant.”]
This shows that there was someone else carrying the Holy Prophet(sa) [i.e. during the spiritual ascension of the Holy Prophet(sa)] and the one being carried had no control. The migration incident took place in the same manner; the Holy Prophet(sa) left at night and this was not something he did of his own choice, rather he was forced to leave while the disbelievers had surrounded his home in order to kill him. Thus, his own interest was not involved but was compelled by the will of God; in other words, it was Allah the Almighty Who carried him, made him leave and told him to migrate. It was because of His design that he was compelled to leave.” Then, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud(ra) states, “Just as Gabriel accompanied him in his vision to Baitul Maqdas, he was accompanied by Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) during the migration. He was subservient to him just as Gabriel works under the command of God Almighty. Gabriel means God Almighty’s champion. Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) was also a special servant of God and was a fearless champion of faith.” (Tafsir-e-Kabir, Vol. 4, p. 296)
Then, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud(ra) states:
“The truth is, after having faith in the word of Allah the Almighty, a human heart cannot give way to despair. When one has complete faith in Allah the Almighty, then their heart can never fall to despair. The circumstances, for instance, the Holy Prophet(sa) faced in the Cave of Thaur were so dire that they left no ray of hope in sight. The Holy Prophet(sa) departed from his home in the darkness of the night and hid inside the Cave of Thaur, a cave whose opening was so wide that anyone could easily peer inside or enter it. He was only accompanied by a single companion, and both of them were without any weapons or power. The people of Mecca – ready and armed – pursued the Holy Prophet(sa) and arrived at the Cave of Thaur. Some of them even insisted that they should crouch down and peer inside to see if the Holy Prophet(sa) was there, and if so, they would capture him. Seeing the enemy in such close proximity, Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) cried out and said, ‘O Messenger(sa) of Allah, the enemy is upon us.’ With strong resolve, the Holy Prophet(sa) replied,
لَا تَحۡزَنۡ إِنَّ ٱللَّہَ مَعَنَا
‘O Abu Bakr, why do you fear? God is with us.’ At that moment, imagine how grave and worrisome the circumstances were for the Holy Prophet(sa); after such an ordeal, the Holy Prophet(sa) would have surely been killed or imprisoned. However, despite the fact that the enemy possessed strength, soldiers and weapons, and the Holy Prophet(sa) himself was sitting in the cave unarmed and only had the support of one single companion – he had no weapons, nor the support of the authorities or any troops – and despite seeing the large forces of the enemy before him, he said,
[i.e., Do not fear, for surely Allah is with us.]
‘Why do you say that the enemy is powerful? Is the enemy even more powerful than God? When God is with us, what reason do we have to be fearful?’ Hazrat Abu Bakr’s(ra) concern was not for himself, but for the Holy Prophet(sa).” Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud(ra) further states, “Some Shia relate this incident and claim that, God forbid, Abu Bakr(ra) had no faith and became fearful of death. How can that be, considering history clearly shows that when the Holy Prophet(sa) said,
Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) replied by saying, ‘O Messenger(sa) of Allah, I do not fear for my own life. If I am killed, it would be the death of one man. In truth, I fear for your wellbeing because if you are harmed, the truth will be lost from this world.’” (Khutbat-e-Mahmud, Vol. 28, pp. 416-417)
Then, at another instance, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud(ra) states:
“This quality is not limited only to prophets, but apart from them, you will find others throughout time who have accomplished feats that could not be expected from others. Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) is a prime example of this. No one could have expected that a time would come when Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) would become the leader of his people. It was a common view that he was soft-natured, peace-loving, and tender-hearted. Take the wars that occurred at the time of the Holy Prophet(sa), for example. The Holy Prophet(sa) never appointed Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) as an army commander in any major battle. Indeed, there were smaller expeditions for which he was appointed as the leader, but in the major battles, it was always others who were appointed as commanders. Similarly, he was neither given charge for other tasks. The leadership of tasks such as the teaching of the Holy Quran or matters of adjudication was also not given to Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra). However, the Holy Prophet(sa) knew that when the time for Abu Bakr(ra) would come, he would accomplish such feats that could not be accomplished by anyone besides him. Thus, when the Holy Prophet(sa) passed away and the Muslims fell into discord about who would become the Khalifah, at that time, even Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) could not fathom that it would be him. He thought that Hazrat Umar(ra) was truly rightful for discharging this responsibility. The Ansar became impassioned and desired for Khilafat to emerge from within them because they thought that as they were the ones who made sacrifices for Islam, Khilafat was rightfully theirs. On the other hand, the Muhajirin insisted that the Khalifa be from among them. Thus, a dispute arose following the demise of the Holy Prophet(sa). The Ansar stated that the Khalifa should be from among them, and the Muhajirin stated that the Khalifa should be from among them. Finally, the Ansar settled the dispute by proposing that there should be one Khalifa from the Muhajirin and one Khalifa from the Ansar. To finally resolve this dispute, a meeting was called. Hazrat Umar(ra) states, ‘At the time, I thought that although Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) is a pious and righteous elder, he would not be able resolve this matter.’ It was too difficult a task for him. ‘If anyone could resolve this dispute, then it was me. This task required firmness, not love and compassion’ said Hazrat Umar(ra). Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) was compassionate and loving. Therefore, Hazrat Umar(ra) said, ‘I began to think hard to come up with arguments in favour of the Khalifa to be from among the Quraish. The idea of having one Khalifa from the Ansar and another from the Muhajirin was completely wrong.’ Hazrat Umar(ra) further states, ‘I thought of many arguments and went to attend the meeting which was being held to resolve this dispute. Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) was also with me. I desired to deliver a speech and present the arguments I had come up with to convince the people. I thought that Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) did not possess the grandeur and influence to speak in such a gathering.’ Hazrat Umar(ra) says, ‘However, just as I was about to stand, Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) hit me with his hand assertively, told me to be seated and stood up himself to speak’ Hazrat Umar(ra) continues, ‘By God, every argument that I had thought of was presented by Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra), and even beyond that, he continued to present other arguments. He went on up until the point where the Ansar were convinced and they accepted the principle of having a Khalifa from the Muhajirin.’ This was the same Abu Bakr(ra) about whom Hazrat Umar(ra) himself had said that once during a quarrel in the market, he tore Hazrat Abu Bakr’s(ra) clothes and was on the verge of hitting him. This is the same Abu Bakr(ra) about whom the Holy Prophet(sa) would say that his heart is very soft. However, when the time for the demise of the Holy Prophet(sa) came near, he said to Hazrat Aisha(ra) before he passed away, ‘I have this constant urge in my heart to tell the people that they should accept Abu Bakr as their Khalifa after my demise. Yet, I stop myself because my heart is certain that after my demise, God Almighty and His believing servants will not appoint anyone other than Abu Bakr as the Khalifa.’ And thus, it so happened that Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) was elected as the Khalifa. He possessed a very soft heart and soft nature, so much so that once, Hazrat Umar(ra) approached him in the marketplace to hit him and tore his clothes. Nevertheless, it was the same exceptionally kind Abu Bakr(ra) that when Hazrat Umar(ra) came to him and requested, ‘All of Arabia has taken up our opposition to the extent that congregational prayer is only being offered in Mecca, Medina and a small village. The rest of the people do offer prayer, but the division that has taken root within them prevents them from praying behind the lead of one another, and dissension has plagued them to the extent that they do not pay heed to anyone. The ignorant people among the Arabs, who had accepted Islam five to six months ago, are demanding that they be exempted from paying Zakat. These people do not understand the philosophy of Zakat.’ Hazrat Umar(ra) continued, ‘If they are exempted from paying Zakat for a year or two, what is the harm?’ Umar(ra), who always stood ready with his sword in hand and upon the smallest of matters, said ‘O Messenger(sa) of Allah, give the command and I will sever their heads’ – that very Umar(ra) was overcome by these people. He was so overcome and frightened that he came to Abu Bakr(ra) to request that these ignorant people should be granted exemption from paying Zakat for some time and that they would gradually be made to understand. Yet, Abu Bakr(ra) – the exceedingly soft-hearted – about whom Hazrat Umar(ra) says that he was prepared to hit him and even tore his clothes in the market, that same Abu Bakr(ra) looked very sternly towards Umar(ra) in that moment when he said this (that is, when Hazrat Umar(ra) said that the rebellious people should not be harmed and they should not have to pay Zakat for two years, after which they would be guided) and said, ‘O Umar, you are asking for such a thing that was not brought up by God or His Messenger(sa).’ Hazrat Umar(ra) replied, ‘You are correct; however, these people are Hadith al-Ahd. The enemy forces have reached the walls of Medina. Would it be suitable to allow them to advance, causing this place to become divided in leadership? Or would it be more suitable to grant them exemption from paying Zakat for a year or two?’(There are two outcomes, either the government will become divided or there will be reconciliation). Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) responded, ‘By God, even if the enemy is able to infiltrate Medina and slaughters the Muslims in its streets, and the corpses of our women are dragged about by dogs, even then I will not exempt them from paying Zakat. By God, even if these people gave as little as a piece of rope as their Zakat in the time of the Holy Prophet(sa), I will surely collect that from them.’ He then further said, ‘O Umar, if you are fearful then by all means flee. I will fight against them alone and I will not stop until they desist from their treachery.’ Thus, a battle ensued and he (i.e. Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra)) was victorious, and before his own demise, he rallied all of Arabia under his leadership. What Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) accomplished in his life was his alone to achieve; no one besides him could have done so.” (Khutbat-e-Mahmud, Vol. 30, pp. 198-200)
“The chieftains of Mecca were regarded with such honour and reverence that people would be scared to speak in their presence; the people were so indebted to them that no one dared to look up at them. The reverence that they enjoyed can be gauged by what took place at the Treaty of Hudaibiyah. The chieftain who was sent by the Quraish to speak with the Holy Prophet(sa) touched the blessed beard of the Holy Prophet(sa) during their conversation. Upon witnessing this, a companion of the Holy Prophet(sa) struck his hand with the sheath of his sword, and said, ‘Do not touch the blessed beard of the Holy Prophet(sa) with your impure hands.’ The chieftain looked up to see who it was that hit his hands with the sheath of his sword. Because the companions were dressed in armour, only their eyes and the bags under their eyes were visible. He stared intently for a while and then inquired, ‘Are you so and so?’ He replied in the affirmative. He [the chieftain] replied, ‘Do you not remember that on such and such occasion, I saved your family from such and such calamity, and on such and such occasion I granted you such and such favour? Do you dare speak before me?’” Whilst elaborating on this, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud(ra) further states, “Today, we can observe that the tendency to disregard the favours of others has become so prevalent that if a person grants another a favour in the evening, the recipient has forgotten all about it by the morning. Such a person exclaims, ‘Shall I be indebted to him my whole life? So what if he has conferred a favour upon me.’ They cannot even appreciate the favour conferred upon them for even one night, let alone being indebted to someone for the rest of their life. However, the quality of acknowledging one’s favour was found in the highest degree amongst the Arabs. Hence, this was a very delicate moment in time and as soon he began to recount his favours, the companion lowered his gaze and felt embarrassed and moved back. Such was the degree of them recognising and acknowledging the favours conferred upon them. Thereafter, this individual again began to speak to the Holy Prophet(sa) and said, ‘I am the father of the Arabs and I request you to please take into consideration the honour of your tribe. Those who are around you are such that as soon as a trial befalls you, they will immediately run away and in the end it will only be the people of your tribe who will come to your support. Thus, why do you seek to humiliate your tribe? I am the father of the Arabs.’ This person would continuously repeat that he was the father of the Arabs and that the Holy Prophet(sa) should listen to him and do as he had said and return without performing the Umrah. Whilst saying this, he again touched the Holy Prophet(sa)’s blessed beard in order to emphasise his point and did this as a way of an earnest request and so that he could convince the Holy Prophet(sa). However this also had an element of disrespect and so the companions could not bear to witness this and so as soon he touched the beard of the of the Holy Prophet(sa), another person forcefully slapped his hand and said, ‘do not touch the blessed beard of the Holy Prophet(sa) with your impure hands.’ The man once again raised his glance and looked carefully to see who had stopped him and upon recognising who it was, he looked down. This individual, who had come as a representative of the disbelievers, when he recognised that it was Abu Bakr(ra), he lowered his gaze and said, ‘Abu Bakr, I am aware that you are such an individual that neither have you conferred a favour upon me and nor have I conferred a favour upon you.’
Thus, this tribe had conferred so many favours upon others that apart from Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra), all the Ansar and Muhajirin were in some way or another indebted to this chief. Apart from Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) no one else had the courage to stop him.” (Khutbat-e-Mahmud, Vol. 20, pp. 484-485)
Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) was the only one who was not indebted to him for any of his favours.
In another place, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud(ra) states:
“Zakat is such an important obligation that if one fails to give it they are expelled from the fold of Islam. After the demise of the Holy Prophet(sa), some people refused to give the Zakat and said that the following commandment:
خُذۡ مِنۡ أَمۡوَٰلِہِمۡ صَدَقَۃٗ تُطَہِّرُہُمۡ وَتُزَکِّیہِم بِہَا وَصَلِّ عَلَیۡہِمۡ ۖ
[Take alms out of their wealth, so that thou mayest cleanse them and purify them thereby. And pray for them (9:103)]
was a command given to the Holy Prophet(sa), and so if he was no longer alive then no one else had the right to take this. Those ignorant people failed to realise that the person who would continue to take the Zakat would be a successor of the Holy Prophet(sa). However, out of their ignorance they stated that they would not give the Zakat. On the one hand people refused to give Zakat, and on the other hand, disorder broke out. Almost the entire Arab land had become apostates and many claimants to prophethood emerged. It seemed as if, God-forbid, Islam was about to be destroyed. In such precarious times, the companions suggested to Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) that he ought to show leniency for some time to those who had refused to pay the Zakat. Hazrat Umar(ra), who was known to be extremely brave, said, ‘no matter how brave I am, I am not as brave as Abu Bakr(ra) because I also said at the time that we should show leniency and focus first on subduing the disbelievers and then we could resolve this matter [of Zakat].’ However Abu Bakr(ra) stated, ‘What authority does the son of Abu Quhafah possess to change a commandment which the Messenger(sa) of Allah had given. I shall continue to fight against these people until they give the full amount in Zakat and if in the time of the Messenger(sa) of Allah these people gave in Zakat even a rope with which they tied the legs of their camels with, I shall take that from them as well.’ it was at this moment that the companions realised the courage and bravery possessed by the Khalifa who had been appointed by God. In the end, Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) overcame [the rebels] and took the Zakat from them.” (, Islah-e-Nafs, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 5, p. 452)
In relation to Hazrat Abu Bakr’s(ra) financial sacrifices it has been mentioned by one of the authors that when Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) accepted Islam, he had 40,000 dirhams and the wealth and assets from his trade business was on top of that. In fact, according to another narration, he had one million dirham. In order to help the Muslims and to look after the poor Muslims of Mecca, Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) spent thousands of dirhams. At the time of migration, he had five to six thousand dirhams with him. According to another narration, he saved all of this in order to spend it for the needs of the Holy Prophet(sa) and brought this amount with him to Madinah at the time of migration. It was from this amount that he spent to cover the expenses during their travel for the migration and he also gave money to some of the members of the Holy Prophet’s(sa) family for the purpose of their travel. He also used this to purchase land in Medina for the Muslims. (Dr Humayon Abbas Shams, Maqalat Sirah, Vol. 2 [Lahore, Pakistan: Maktabah Islamiyyah, 2015], 433-434.) (Ibn Sa’d, Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol. 3, Abu Bakr Siddiq(ra), Wa min Bani Tayyim… [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 1990], p. 128)
Hazrat Ibn Abbas(ra) relates that in the days of the Holy Prophet’s(sa) final illness after which he passed away, the Holy Prophet(sa) came outside and he had a cloth tied around his head. The Holy Prophet(sa) then stood on the pulpit and praised Allah the Almighty and then said, “there is no one amongst the people who has extended their kind treatment towards me with their life and wealth as much as Abu Bakr bin Abi Quhafah has done.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab al-Salah, Bab al-Khaukah wa al-Mamirr fi al-Masjid, Hadith 467)
Hazrat Abu Hurairah(ra) relates that the Holy Prophet(sa) stated, “no other wealth has benefited me as much than the wealth of Abu Bakr.” The narrator states that upon hearing this, Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) began to cry and submitted, “O Messenger(sa) of Allah! Me and my entire wealth are solely for you, O Messenger(sa) of Allah!” (Sunan Ibn Majah, Muqaddimah, Bab Fada’il Ashab Rasul Allah, Hadith 94)
Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud(ra) states, “Once on the occasion of Jihad, Hazrat Umar(ra) stated, ‘I thought to myself that Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) always surpasses me and so today I will surpass him. With this thought, I returned home and brought half of my wealth in order to present it before the Holy Prophet(sa). That period of time was one of great trials for Islam. However, Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) brought his entire wealth.’”
In another place, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud(ra) has stated that Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) brought all his wealth, including his quilt and charpoys. In any case, Hazrat Umar(ra) further states, “‘Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) presented all of this before the Holy Prophet(sa). The Holy Prophet(sa) enquired, “Abu Bakr, what have you left in your home?” He replied, “Allah and His Messenger(sa).”’ Hazrat Umar(ra) states, ‘Upon hearing this, I felt greatly ashamed and understood that despite exerting all my efforts in order surpass Abu Bakr, however even today Abu Bakr surpassed me.’”
“It is possible that one may ask that if Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) brought all his wealth, then what did he leave behind for his family members? In regards to this one ought to remember that he brought all his possessions from the home, but not the wealth that was invested in his trade business and nor did he sell his house, in fact he brought all his household items.” (Fada’il al-Quran , Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 11, p. 577) (Khutbat-e-Mahmud, Vol. 37, pp. 134-135)
Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud(ra) continues:
“From this incident, two qualities of Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) stand out, firstly, he had excelled everyone in sacrifice. Secondly, despite bringing all his wealth, he was the first to arrive. Those who gave less were still pondering over how much they were to leave behind and how much to bring with them. But despite this, it is not mentioned anywhere that Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) ever complained about others. Although he brought all his wealth, he did not criticise others for not bringing as much as he had brought. In fact, having offered this sacrifice, Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) knew that he was a devotee of God’s faith and he had not done any favour on Allah the Almighty, rather it was a blessing of Allah the Almighty that He enabled him to do this.” (Khutbat-e-Mahmud, Vol. 17, p. 580)
Thus, in relation to this incident, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud(ra) is stating that those who offer financial sacrifices should only focus on themselves and they should not act like the hypocrites who either do not give any contribution and even if they do give very little, they complain about others who have given less.
“The companions were a pious community for whom the Quran is full of praise. Are you like them? God says that the people who will accompany the Promised Messiah(as) would stand shoulder to shoulder with the companions. The companions were those who sacrificed their wealth and homeland in the way of truth. They abandoned everything. Most would have heard the incident of Hazrat Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him. On one occasion when people were instructed to sacrifice their wealth in the way of God, he brought all the possessions he owned at home. When the Noble Messenger, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, inquired of him as to what he had left at home, he said, ‘I have left God and His Messenger(sa) at home.’ Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) was a chief of Mecca who lead an ascetic life and wore the most simple clothes. So the companions may be considered as ones who were martyrs in the cause of Allah. For them, it was decreed that paradise lay beneath the shadow of swords.” (Malfuzat , Vol. 1, p. 43)
The Promised Messiah(as) then states:
“Consider the state of the companions – when faced with trying times, they sacrificed whatever they had in the way of Allah the Almighty. Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiq(ra) was the first to don the garb of poverty. (i.e. he brought everything he owned, and only had a blanket over him) But how did Allah the Exalted reward him for this? It was he who became the very first Caliph. Therefore, in order to be blessed with true merit, goodness and spiritual pleasure, only that wealth can be of use. […]” In short this is their real merit, i.e. to do something first.
“Therefore, in order to be blessed with true merit, goodness and spiritual pleasure, only that wealth can be of use which is spent in the way of God.” (Malfuzat , Vol. 1, pp. 210-211)
God willing, the remaining accounts will be mentioned in the future.