Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Islamic History -The life Abdullah bin Abi Quhafa (Abu-Bakr Siddiq)

Service to The Prophet (SAW)                        

Abu Bakr was always very close to the holy Prophet. He knew him better than any other man. He knew how honest and upright his friend had always been. So he was the first among men to believe in the Prophet's mission. He was the first adult male to accept Islam. After the first revelation, the holy Prophet told him what had happened at Mount Hira. He told him that Allah had made him His Messenger. Abu Bakr did not stop to think. He at once became a Muslim. Once the holy Prophet himself remarked, "I called people to Islam. Everybody thought over it, at least for a while. But this was not the case with Abu Bakr. The moment I put Islam before him, he accepted it without any hesitation."

Abu Bakr did more than that. As soon as he became a Muslim, he began to preach Islam to others. He had many friends. The friends knew that Abu Bakr was sincere and truthful. They knew he would never support a wrong cause. He called them to Islam and they became Muslims. Among them were men like Uthman bin Affan , Zubair bin Auwam , Talha bin Ubaidulah , Abdur Rahman bin Auf and Saad bin Abi Waqqas. These men later became the pillars of Islam.

The holy Prophet called at Abu Bakr's house every day. The two sad down and thought out ways of spreading Islam. Together they went to people and places and delivered the message of Allah. Wherever the holy Prophet went, Abu Bakr went with him.

Risks His Life

The message of Islam made the people of Mecca very angry. The idols were their gods. The holy Prophet openly mocked at these gods. He declared they could do neither any good nor harm. Among the chiefs of Mecca was one Abu Jahl. He became the greatest enemy of the holy Prophet. He was always on the lookout to hurt him or even kill him, if he could. Abu Bakr kept an eye on this man, lest he should do a grave harm to Islam.

One day the holy Prophet was saying his prayers in the Kaaba. He was totally lost in the thoughts of Allah. Abu Jahl and some other chiefs of Mecca were sitting in the courtyard of the Kaaba. "I must finish with Muhammad today," said Abu Jahl. So saying, he took a long piece of cloth. He put it around the holy Prophet's neck. Then he twisted it hard. He was going to strangle the Messenger of Allah to death. The other chiefs looked on and laughed.

Abu Bakr happened to see this from a distance. He at once ran to the help of the Prophet. He pushed Abu Jahl aside and took off the cloth from around the holy Prophet's neck. Thereupon Abu Jahl and other enemies of Islam came down upon Abu Bakr. They beat him very much. Indeed, the beating was so severe that Abu Bakr fell down senseless. He was carried home. He could not regain his senses till after several hours. And when he did come to himself, the first question he asked was, "Is the Prophet un-hurt?" Abu Bakr did not care for his own suffering. He was glad that he was able to save the Prophet's life. Abu Bakr knew full well that if any harm came to the Prophet, the only hope of mankind would be gone. This made him risk everything he held dear, for the safety of the Prophet and for the spread of his message.

Liberation of Slaves
                       As years went by, the people of Mecca became more and more hard upon the Muslims. They made life difficult for them. Muslim slaves who had non-Muslim masters were the worst sufferers. They could not run away from their cruel masters, nor would they 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 found escape only in death.

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 Bin Raba, 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 Bakf happened to pass by. He was greatly moved by the sight. "Why are you so cruel to this helpless man?" he asked Omayya. "If you feel for him, why don't you buy him?" Say Omayya. So Abu Bakr at once bought Bilal at a heavy price and set him free. Bilal afterwards became the well-known "Muazzim" [ one who gives the call for prayer ] at the Prophet's Mosque.

 

Abu-Bakr Migration to Abyssinia
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 had brought upon
himself the 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 cast me out," replied Abu Bakr. "I am going
to Abyssinia. There I will be able to worship the Lord the way I want
to."
"A man like you should not be cast out," said Ibn-ud-Daghna. "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 Meccans 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 Meccans 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 me."
The Title of "Siddiq"
In the tenth year of his mission, the holy
Prophet had the Miraj of Ascension. One night the angel Gabriel came
with the word that Allah the Almighty wanted the holy Prophet to come
all the way up to the highest heaven. The holy Prophet undertook the
journey.
In the morning, after the ascension had taken place, the holy Prophet
talked to people about the Miraj. This drew the jeers of his enemies.
"Look!" the howled out, "what nonsense he talks! Surely, now his
followers too will laugh at him. Who is going to believe in such a
midsummer night dream?"
The talk was going on when Abu Bakr came up. "Do you know, Abu Bakr,
what news your friend has for you in the morning?" said one of the
mean. "He says he was on the highest heaven last night, having a talk
with Allah, the Almighty. Would you believe it?"
"I would believe anything that the Messenger of Allah says," replied
Abu Bakr
When the holy Prophet learnt of this, he at once said, "Abu Bakr is
the `Siddiq'." `Siddiq' is a person so sincere of heart that doubts
never mar his love. Abu Bakr earned this title because of his faith
was too strong to be shaken by anything.
Migration to Medina with Prophet (SAW)
W hen the Meccans were intent on putting out, once
and for all, the light of Islam, Allah commanded the holy Prophet to
move to Medina. In the burning heat of the midday sun, there was a
knock at Abu Bakr's door. He ran to the door and found the Messenger
of Allah standing outside. "I must leave for Medina tonight," said
he.
"Will I also have the honor of going with you?" asked Abu Bakr
eagerly.
"Of course," came the reply. "Set about getting things ready."
Abu Bakr was beside himself with joy. "I have been looking forward to
this day for months," he exclaimed. "I have specifically kept two
camels to carry us to Medina."
It was Abu Bakr who made all the arrangements for the historic
journey. for three days he and the Prophet lay hidden in the Thaur
cave. Abu Bakr's slave tended the flocks of goats near the cave all
day and supplied them fresh milk for food. His son, Abdullah, brought
news about what the Meccans were doing.
The Meccans were searching for the holy Prophet like mad hounds. Once
they came right to the mouth of the cave. Abu Bakr grew pale with
fright. He feared, not for himself, but for the Prophet. However, the
holy Prophet remained perfectly calm. "Do not fear," he said to Abu
Bakr, "certainly Allah is with us."
Of all the companions, Abu Bakr had the honor of being with the
Prophet during the most critical days of his life. Abu Bakr knew full
well what this honor meant. And he did full justice to the trust put
in him.
Abu-Bakar's Participation in Battles
A bu Bakr took part in all the battles that the
holy Prohpet had to fight. All his life, he fought bravely under the
banner of the Prophet. At Ohud and Hunain, some of the men showed
weakness. They forgot to do their duty. But Abu Bakr's faith never
wavered. He always stood like a rock by the side of the Prophet.
At Badr, one of Abu Bakr's sons, who had not yet embraced Islam, was
fighting on the side of the Meccan. Afterwards, when he became a
Muslim, he one day said, "Father! at Badr you were twice under my
sword. But my love for you held back my hand."
"Son!" remarked Abu Bakr, "if I had got that chance only once, you
must have been no more."
When peace talks at Hudaibiya were going on, Abu Bakr sat by the side
of the Prophet. During conversation, the spokesman of the Quraish
ever now and then gave a jerk to the beard of the Prophet, after the
Arab fashion. This was too much for Abu Bakr. He took out his sword
and looked angrily at the man. "If that hand touches the beard of the
Prophet again," he warned, "it will not be allowed to go back."
This amazed the Meccan agents. "What a change in Abu Bakr!" they
whispered to one another. "He was known for soft-heartedness. How
strong and firm he is now become! He is no longer the self-same Abu
Bakr."
Tabuk was the last expedition of the holy Prophet. He was keen to
make it a great success. He asked people to help the expedition with
whatever they could. This time Abu Bakr beat all past records. He
took all his money and household articles and heaped them at the
Prophet's feet.
"Have you left back anything for your wife and children?" asked the
holy Prophet.
"Allah and His Apostle are enough for them," replied Abu Bakr calmly.
Those standing around were stunned. It was impossible to outdo Abu
Bakr in the field of service to Islam.
The holy Prophet felt much pleased at this answer. He made Abu Bakr
the standard-bearer of the expedition.
Abu Bakr's closeness to the Prophet and his boundless devotion to
Islam won him universal respect. Not only was he the first man to
accept Islam, he was also the foremost among Muslims to uphold the
cause of Islam.
Abu-Bakar as Agent to the Prophet
Mecca fell in the eight year of Hijra. Kaaba was, for
the first time, in the hands of Muslims. It had to be cleaned of the
traces of idol-worship and the silly practices of pagan days.
Hitherto pagan Arabs had done absurd things at the time of Hajj. They
went around the House of Allah naked. They did many other foolish and
unclean things. All this had to be stopped.
The first Hajj under Islam fell in the ninth year of Hijra. The holy
Prophet was too busy at Medina to lead the Hajj himself. So he sent
Abu Bakr as his agent. He was to lead the Hajj in place of the
Prophet. Ali was also sent with Abu Bakr. Abu Bakr read the Khutba
(Sermon) of Hajj. Then Ali stood up and read out to the people the
commandments of Allah concerning the idol worshippers. From that year
on, they were forbidden to enter the Kaaba.
Ever since he came to Medina, the holy Prophet himself led prayers in
the Prophet's Mosque. It was an unusually high office which the
Messenger of Allah himself filled. During his last illness, the holy
Prophet could no longer lead prayers. He grew too weak to go to the
mosque. He had to appoint someone to act in his place. This honor
also fell to the lot of Abu Bakr. Aisha, who was Abu Bakr's daughter
and a wife of the holy Prophet, thought that the burden was too much
for her tender-hearted father. She pleaded with the holy Prophet to
excuse here father from this duty. But the holy Prophet did not
change his mind.
Thus in the lifetime of the holy Prophet Abu Bakr came to fill the
highest office under Islam. One day Abu Bakr was away on some
business and Omar led the prayer in his absence. "This is not Abu
Bakr's voice," remarked the ailing Messenger of Allah. "No one but he
should lead prayers. He is the fittest person for this high office."
On the last day of his life, the condition of the holy Prophet became
suddenly better for a while. It was early morning. Abu Bakr was
leading the prayer in the mosque. The holy Prophet lifted the curtain
of his door and fixed his gaze on the worshippers. They were busy in
prayer under Abu Bakr's leadership. A smile lite up on the pale face
of the holy Prophet. He let go of the curtain, as his weak hand could
no longer hold it. But he was happy at the thought that he had chosen
the best man to fill his place.

 

Bismillahir-Rahmanir-Rahim

Assalamu Alaikum Warahamatullah Wa Barakatuhu

Praise be to Allaah, we seek His help and His forgiveness. We seek refuge with Allaah from the evil of our own souls and from our bad deeds. Whomsoever Allaah guides will never be led astray, and whomsoever Allaah leaves astray, no one can guide. I bear witness that there is no god but Allaah, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger.

In continuation of the History of Abdullah ibn Abi Quhafah, Abu Aishat Abu-bakr Siddiq

Abu Bakr Elected Caliph

The holy Prophet occupied a unique place among his people. He was everything to them. From warring ignorant pagans, he had made them a nation of peaceful, God-fearing people. They were "dead" as the Quran puts it and the holy Prophet had "raised them to life." So they rightly came to look upon him as the giver of life. Life without him seemed to be an empty thing.

The news of the Prophet's death came as a stunning shock to everyone. How could it be? He had been ill for some days, they all knew. But death was unbelievable. That simply could not be. A huge crows gathered in the mosque. No one knew what to do. There was utter confusion. Omar was so overcome with emotion that he drew his sword and declared, "If anyone says that the Messenger of Allah is dead. I will cut off his head!"

Things were in this state when Abu Bakr entered the mosque. Finding the holy Prophet better that morning, he had gone a few miles outside of Medina, earlier in the day, but had come back on hearing the sad news. He took his stand in a corner of the courtyard and called out to the people. All eyes were turned towards him. Then he began his famous address:

Aisha (RA) narrated that: Abu Bakr came out and 'Umar was addressing the people, and Abu Bakr told him to sit down but 'Umar refused. Abu Bakr again told him to sit down but 'Umar again refused. Then Abu Bakr recited the Tashah-hud (i.e. none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and Muhammad is Allah's Apostle) and the people attended to Abu Bakr and left 'Umar. Abu Bakr said, "Amma ba'du, whoever amongst you worshipped Muhammad, then Muhammad is dead, but whoever worshipped Allah, Allah is alive and will never die. Allah says:." Muhammad is no more than an Apostle: many were the Apostles that passed away before him.  If he died or were slain will you then turn back on your heels?  If any did turn back on his heels not the least harm will he do to Allah; but Allah (on the other hand) will swiftly reward those who (serve him) with gratitude. " Q3:144. (The narrator added, "By Allah, it was as if the people never knew that Allah had revealed this verse before till Abu Bakr recited it and then whoever heard it, started reciting it."). (Bukhar 2.333).

These words of Abu Bakr worked magic. In no time the confusion was gone. The words of the Qur'an swept of all doubts from people's minds. They got ready to face facts.

Election of Abu Bakr

The first problem before the people was the election of a new leader. There had to be a head of the State of things could not work. The need was too urgent to allow delay. Delay might have meant disorder and the undoing of all that the Messenger of Allah had done. The prophet of Allah had died but the head of the state had to live on.

The two big groups among Muslims were the Muhajirin (refugees from Mecca ) and the Ansar (helpers or the people of Medina). The Ansar gathered together at Thaqifa Bani Saida, their meeting place, near the house of Saad bin Abada. The talk naturally centered around the election of a Caliph. Saad, the Ansar leader, stood up and said that the Caliph must be from among them. Many voices seconded him. One man, however, stood up and said, "But how about the Muhajirin? They have perhaps a better claim." "Then let there be two caliphs," suggested someone, "one from among the Ansar and the other from among the Muhajirin."

Someone told Abu Bakr what was going on at this gathering. He saw the need to act quickly or confusion might set in again. So taking with him a part of Muhajirin he went to Thaqif Bani Saida. He addressed the gathering and said, "Both the Muhajirin and the Ansar have done great services to Islam. But the former were the first to accept Islam. They were always very close to the Messenger of Allah. So, O Ansar, let the Caliph be from among them."

To this a man from the Khazraj tribe replied, "If you don't want a Caliph from among us, let there be two Caliphs, one an Ansari and the other a Muhajirun."

"That won't work," said Abu Obaida bin Jarrah. "O Ansar, you are the people who made Islam strong now, don't do anything that may undo your work."

Hearing this, another man said, "O Ansar, if we did anything for Islam, we did it to please Allah and His Apostle. We did not thereby oblige anybody. This should not be made a plea to win office. Listen, the holy Prophet belonged to the Quraish tribe. The Quraish have a greater right to fill his place. By Allah, I do not think it right to quarrel with them over this matter. Fear Allah, and do not oppose them."

This speech of a man from among them silenced the Ansar. They agreed to have a Muhajirun as the Caliph. So Abu Bakr said, "Friends, I think either Omar or Abu Obaida should be the Caliph. Chose one of these two gentlemen."

Hearing this both Omar and Abu Obaida jumped to their feet, and exclaimed, "O Siddiq, how can that be? How can anyone else fill this office as long as you are among us? You are the top man among the Muhajirin. You were the companion of the holy Prophet in the Thaur Cave. You led prayers in his place, during his last illness. Prayer is the foremost thing in Islam. With all these qualifications, you are the fittest person to be the successor of the holy Prophet. Hold out your hand that we many pledge loyalty to you."

But Abu Bakr did not stretch out his hand. Omar saw that delay might lead to the reopening of the whole question. That could easily create difficulties. So he himself took Abu Bakr's hand and pledged loyalty to him. Others followed his example. Men from all sides rushed to pledge loyalty to the successor of the Prophet. Abu Bakr became Caliph by the general consent of the people.

The First Address

On the following day, Abu Bakr went to the Prophet's mosque here people took the general oath of loyalty. When this was over, Abu Bakr mounted the pulpit as the Caliph of Islam. Then he spoke to the gathering as follows:

"O people, I have been elected your leader, although I am not better than anyone from among you. If I do any good, give me your support. If I go wrong, set me right. Listen, truth is honesty and untruth is dishonesty. The weak among you are powerful in my eyes, as long as I do not get them their due, Allah willing. The powerful among you are weak in my eyes, as long as I do not take away from them what is due to others, Allah willing."

"Listen, if people give up striving for the cause of Allah, Allah sends down disgrace on them. If a people become evil doers, Allah sends down calamities on them."

"Listen, you must obey me as long as I obey Allah and His Messenger. If I disobey Allah and His Messenger, you are free to disobey me."

Such was the Magna Carta granted by the first Caliph of Islam to his people, on the first day of his rule, without their asking. Abu Bakr showed by his example that in Islam government means government of the people, by the people and for the people.

*To be continue Insha Allah on Expeditions during the tenure of Abu-Bakr*

Wassalamu Alaikum

“Oh Allah make our last word in the World La’ila ha Illal lah”

Remember me and all your Brothers and sisters in your Prayers

Abubakar M. Shehu

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