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Hazrat Abu Bakr al Sideeq, Part 1

Assalam u Alaikum,

Dear kids, how are you? I hope you are fine. Kids have you heard about
the four rightly guided caliphs of Islam? Those Caliphs who truly
followed in the Prophet's foot steps are called 'The Rightly-Guided
Caliphs' (Al-Khulafa-ur Rashidun in Arabic). They are the first four
Caliphs: Abu Bakr, 'Omar, Usman and Ali. All four were among the
earliest and closest Companions of the Prophet SAW. They lived
simple and righteous lives and strove hard for the religion of God. I
will be telling you about their blessed lives one by one , In sha Allah.

Today we will talk about the first rightly guided caliph. He was the
closest and the most beloved companion of the prophet S.A.W. He was a
childhood friend of our prophet and remained at his side throughout his
life during every thick and thin. He was known as Al-Siddeeq, he was
also called Ateeq which means “the freed one’. His daughter Hazrat
Aisha narrates ‘Once my father came to the Prophet and the Messenger
of Allah said to him, “You are Allah’s freed one from the fire.” So he was
known as Ateeq.

Kids, you would have guessed his name by now? Yes! He was Abu-Bakr-
As-Siddeeq. The holy prophet said, on his death bed, “If I were able to
choose a friend on earth, I would choose Abu-Bakr”.

Let me tell you about his life in detail.

Abu-Bakr was two years younger than the Prophet. His parents named
him Abdul Kaaba, which means the servant of the Kaaba. When he
became a Muslim, the Prophet changed his name to Abdullah. He had
adopted the surname of Abu Bakr as he was fond of goats. He had come
to be known by this name among people. Even today, we know him as
Abu Bakr.

The name of Abu Bakr's father was Usman, but he was known as Abu
Qahafa. Salma was Abu Bakr's mother. She was also known as Umm-ul-
Khair. Abu Bakr belonged to a noble family.

From early years, Abu Bakr was known for good and upright nature. He
was honest and truthful.

When he grew up, Abu Bakr became a rich merchant. He was very kind-
hearted. When he saw someone in trouble, his heart melted. He did his
best to help him. If his money could remove suffering, he did not care
how much he had to spend. He was so honest in his dealings that people
kept their money with him. Above all, Abu Bakr had a sincere heart and
a firm will. Nothing could stop him from doing what he thought was the
right thing to do.

Abu Bakr was always a very close Companion of the Holy Prophet SAW.
They both had many aspects common in their personalities . Both of them
were of the same age. Both of them were traders and good managers.
Both of them were kind hearted and tender hearted gentlemen who felt
for others. Both of them were men of strong character. They were men of
strong determination. They always called a spade a spade. Both of them
were against the evils that were present in the society of Mecca. They
knew each other from childhood so Abu Bakr knew very well that how
honest and truthful the Prophet SAW was.
After the holy prophet received his first revelation at mount Hira, he
told Abu Bakr the whole story of his experience. Abu Bakr immediately
accepted Islam without any hesitation. The Holy Prophet SAW praised
his beloved companion Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiq (RA) in the following
“When I invited people towards Allah, everybody thought over it and hesitated, at
least for a while, except Abu Bakr (RA) who accepted my call the moment I put it
before him, and he did not hesitate even for a moment.”

Here, I want to tell you an interesting incident from his life, once when
Abu Bakr was a child his father took him to the Kaabah and asked him
to pray before the idols. His father went away to perform some other
business and Abu Bakr was left alone with idols. Addressing the idol,
Abu-Bakr said “O my god, I am in need of beautiful clothes, bestow them
on me” the idol remained as it was. Then Abu Bakr addressing another
idol said “O god, give me delicious food. I am so hungry”. Obviously the
idol remained indifferent. Young Abu Bakr became impatient he lifted a
stone and said “save yourself from it if you are a god’. He threw the
stone at the idol and it broke down into pieces. After that incident Abu
Bakr never prayed to the idols. This incident made Abu Bakr a Muslim at
heart since young age.

Islam changed the course of the life of Abu Bakr. Before accepting Islam
he was known as Abdul Kaaba which means a servant of Ka aba. The
Holy Prophet changed his name to Abdullah. The change in name
marked a change in the purpose of life for Abu Bakr. He was no longer
the servant of the Kaaba; he was to be the servant of Allah and Abu Bakr
proved it with the passage of time.

After accepting Islam he devoted his life and wealth to preaching Islam.
He felt proud and honored that he had been blessed with Islam. In fact
he became the messenger of the Messenger of God. He persuaded his
friends to accept Islam. He presented Islam to others in such a way that
many of his friends opted for Islam.

Among those who accepted Hazrat Abu Bakr's invitation to Islam were
'Uthman, Az-Zubayr, Talhah, Abdur-Rahman ibn Awf, Saad ibn Waqqas
and others who later became the pillars of Islam.

Abu Bakr's love of the Prophet S.A.W was so great that Abu Bakr was
willing to sacrifice his life for the sake of protecting and comforting the
Prophet saw. We have many examples from his life where his love for the
prophet could be seen. One day the Holy Prophet was saying his prayers
in the Kaabah, and some of the chiefs of Mecca were sitting in the court
yard of the Kaabah. Seeing the Prophet praying, one of them took a long
piece of cloth and put it around the Prophet's neck and twisted it hard
in an attempt to strangle the Prophet SAW. At that moment Abu Bakr
happened to pass by from a distance, he immediately ran to the help of
the Prophet, he pushed the Mushrikuns aside and took the cloth from
around the Prophet's neck. Seeing this the enemies of Islam began to
beat Abu Bakr mercilessly, although Abu Bakr was badly hurt, he still
did not care for his own suffering, he was glad that he was able to save
the Prophet of Allah, even at the risk of his own life

As years went by, the people of Mecca became very harsh with the
Muslims. They made life difficult for them. Muslim slaves who had non-
Muslim masters were the worst sufferers. They could not run away fro m
their cruel masters nor were they ready to give up their faith. The
heartless masters tried all kinds of torture to make them give up Islam.
They made them lie, all naked, on burning sand. Then they put big stones
on their chests. The poor slaves silently bore this all. They had no way of
escape. Some of them even died because of these sufferings.
Abu Bakr's wealth came to the rescue of many helpless Muslim slaves. He
bought them from their inhuman masters and set them free. Bilal Habshi
was one of such slaves. He was the slave of Omayya bin Khalaf. Omayya
was a heartless man. He would strip Bilal of all clothes, make him lie on
the burning sand at mid-day and then lash him mercilessly. Despite this
torture Bilal would go on saying, "Allah is one! Allah is one!" One day
Abu Bakr happened to pass by. He was greatly moved by the sight. So he,
at once, bought Bilal at a heavy price and set him free. Bilal afterwards
became the well-known "Muazzin" [one who gives the call for prayer] at
the Prophet's Mosque.

One of these slaves was Abu Fakih. Abu Fakih was a slave of Safwan bin
Umayyah. Abu Fakih accepted Islam, and when Safwan came to know
that Abu Fakih had become a Muslim, he subjected him to great torture.
He would bind him with a rope, and drag him on the burning sand. Abu
Fakih was asked to worship the idols, but he said that he would worship
Allah alone. His master put a very heavy stone on his chest which
brought out his tongue. In spite of these persecutions, the faith of Abu
Fakih in Islam did not waver. When Abu Bakr came to know of the
pitiable condition of Abu Fakih, he purchased him from his master and
set him free.

Another such story is about Lubaynah. She was a slave girl of Omar. She
accepted Islam, and Omar who had not accepted Islam by that time
would beat her mercilessly until he was tired. He would then say, "I have
only stopped beating you, because I am tired." She would say. "May God
treat you in the same way". He asked her to abandon Islam, but she
refused. When Abu Bakr came to know of her sad state, he paid for her,
and set her free.

Abu Bakr liberated two women slaves, Umm Ubays and Zinnira also. Abu
Jahl beat Zinnira on her conversion to Islam to such an extent th at she
lost her eye sight. When she lost her eye sight the Quraish said that she
had lost her sight because of the curse of Al Lat and Al Uzzah , the idols.
She remained steadfast in her faith in Islam. She prayed to God, and
miraculously her eye sight was restored. Abu Bakr paid for these women
and set them free.

These are few examples,

Abu Bakr bought and freed many such slaves purely for the sake of

When Muslims found life difficult at Mecca, they thought of going to

some other land. With the permission of the holy Prophet, a part of them
went to Abyssinia. Here, they lived in peace. So many more Muslims
followed them.

Being the first man to go over to Islam, Abu Bakr was a victim of special
anger and hatred of the Meccan chiefs. Soon he felt hard pressed and
asked permission of the Holy Prophet to go to Abyssinia. The permission
was granted and Abu Bakr set off on his journey.

On the way he met the chief of Qara, Ibn-ud-Daghna. "What place are
you bound for, Abu Bakr?" he asked.

"The people of Mecca have forced me to leave Mecca," replied Abu Bakr.
"I am going to Abyssinia. There I will be able to worship the Lord the
way I want to."
Ibn-ud-Daghna said, "You help the poor. You are kind to those in
trouble. You are so nice to your guests. I will take you back to Mecca on
my own responsibility."

So Abu Bakr was back at Mecca. Ibn-ud-Daghna declared to the people

that Abu Bakr was under his protection, so no one was to harm him. The
Quraish said that they would let Abu Bakr alone, only if he did not
preach his faith publicly.

Abu Bakr could not act on this condition very long. Soon he was
preaching Islam as openly as ever. The Quraish complained to Ibn-ud-
Daghna. He requested Abu Bakr not to make his position difficult. To
this Abu Bakr replied, "I do not need your protection. Allah is enough for

Such is the trust of true believers in Allah! For us here lies a lesson, my
dear kids, that if one is working in the cause of Allah then he should
trust that Allah himself will take care of him and his troubles.

Kids, in our next gathering I will tell you about migration of Abu-Bakr-
As-Siddeeq to Medina and his life after that.