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Abu Bakr As-Siddiq: The First Caliph

Abu Bakr As-Siddiq: The First Caliph

By Islamweb.net

Having accepted Islam, he began to spread the message in his own social circle. As a result, some prominent people accepted Islam.

Having accepted Islam, he began to spread the message in his own social circle. As a result, some prominent people accepted Islam.

Abu Bakr As-Siddiq (May Allah be pleased with him) was a well-respected and rich merchant of Makkah, belonging to the Quraysh tribe. When Prophet Muhammad (Peace and blessings be upon him) was bestowed prophethood, Abu Bakr (May Allah be pleased with him) was away in Yemen on business. When he came back, people gave him the astounding news that Muhammad (Peace and blessings be upon him) claimed to receive revelation from Allah.

Right away, he went to see the Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him) and asked him about the religion he was preaching. Having been the Prophet’s friend since early youth (born in Makkah in 573 C.E., he was just three years younger), Abu Bakr (May Allah be pleased with him) was all too aware of his sincerity and truthfulness to have any misgivings. He accepted Islam without second thoughts. This is why he was called “As-Siddiq (the upright)” by the Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him). He was the first male who embraced Islam.

Abu Bakr’s father, `Uthman, (better known as Abu Qahafah) and his mother, Salma, had named him Abdul Ka`bah, meaning “the servant of the Ka`bah”. The Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him) changed this pagan name to ‘Abdullah and gave him the nickname Abu Bakr.

Having accepted Islam, he began to spread the message in his own social circle. As a result, some prominent people accepted Islam, such as: ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan, Zubayr ibn Al-Awwam, Abdur Rahman ibn ‘Auf, Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas, Abu ‘Ubaydah ibn Al-Jarrah, Khalid ibn Sa’eed (May Allah be pleased with them).

The Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him) chose him to accompany him when he migrated from Makkah to Madinah, and due to his self-sacrificing friendship, his name was immortalized in the Qur’an as,

“The second of the two.” (At-Tawbah 9:40)

After the Muslims migrated to Madinah, the Quraysh waged many battles to uproot the Muslims from the city. Abu Bakr (May Allah be pleased with him) accompanied the Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him) on all his campaigns and participated in all the battles.

Tabuk was the last expedition of the Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him) and he asked people to give generously to aid it. Abu Bakr (May Allah be pleased with him) was the only person to give all he had to the cause of Islam. The Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him) asked him whether he had anything left for his family, and he replied that Allah and His Apostle were enough for them.

After Makkah was conquered, the Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him) sent Abu Bakr in 631 C.E. to lead the Hajj.

The Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him) used to lead the prayer in Madinah himself. However, during his last illness he became so weak that he could not come to the mosque. Instead, he asked Abu Bakr (May Allah be pleased with him) to lead the Muslims in prayer.

‘A’ishah (May Allah be pleased with her) who was Abu Bakr’s daughter and the wife of the Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him) requested him to assign this responsibility to someone else fearing for her tender-hearted father. However, the Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him) did not change his mind.

Thus, Abu Bakr (May Allah be pleased with him) came to fill the highest office in the Prophet’s lifetime. After the Prophet’s death in 632 C.E., ‘Umar (May Allah be pleased with him) and the other Companions, nominated him as the head of the community and he was appointed Caliph (the successor of the Prophet) by the people’s consent.

In the early days of his caliphate, a number of Arab tribes revolted. Most of them had embraced Islam after the conquest of Makkah in 8 A.H. and refused to comply with Islamic injunctions such as Zakat (obligatory charity) and Jihad.

Abu Bakr (May Allah be pleased with him) appointed Khalid ibn al Walid (May Allah be pleased with him) to suppress all revolts. He brought all the Arab tribes under the control of Islam in less than a year. Later, he sent Khalid and other able generals on a campaign against Persia and Byzantine.

Thus, Abu Bakr (May Allah be pleased with him) successfully united the Muslim community. During his short rule, the Muslim army saw several victories and Al-Hira in Persia was conquered in 633 C.E.

Soon after, Abu Bakr took ill in 13 A.H. On his deathbed, he nominated Umar (May Allah be pleased with him) as his successor, with the approval of the senior Companions.

Abu Bakr (May Allah be pleased with him) was buried beside the Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him) and was shrouded in the same old clothes in which he had died.

Although his rule lasted only for two years, three months and ten days, he made many great contributions, the most important of which is the collection and collation of the Qur’an in written form.

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Taken with slight editorial modifications from www.islamweb.net.

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