Friday Sermon – Khalifatul Masih V – Mirza Masroor Ahmad – Year 2022
Allah is the Greatest Allah is the Greatest Allah is the Greatest Allah is the Greatest I bear witness that there is none worthy of worship except Allah I bear witness that there is none worthy of worship except Allah I bear witness that Muhammad (sa) is the Messenger of Allah
I bear witness that Muhammad (sa) is the Messenger of Allah Come to Prayer Come to Prayer Come to success Come to success Allah is the Greatest Allah is the Greatest There is none worthy of worship except Allah Peace and blessings of Allah be upon you.
I bear witness that there is none worthy of worship except Allah. He is One and has no partner. and I bear witness that Muhammad (sa) is His Servant and Messenger. After this I seek refuge with Allah from Satan the accursed. In the name of Allah, the Gracious, the Merciful.
All praise belongs to Allah, Lord of all the worlds. The Gracious, The Merciful, Master of the Day of Judgment. Thee alone do we worship and Thee alone do we implore for help. Guide us in the right path – The path of those on whom Thou hast bestowed Thy blessings,
Those who have not incurred displeasure, and those who have not gone astray. The accounts from the life of Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiq (ra) were being mentioned. Among the narrations in this regard, it is mentioned that he was an expert in genealogy and also had an interest in poetry.
It is recorded that Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiq (ra) was the most knowledgeable with regards to the ancestry of the people of Arabia. Jubair bin Mut’im, who was an expert in this field of genealogy, stated, “I acquired the knowledge of lineages from Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra), “particularly the lineage of the Quraish,
“as Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) had the most knowledge about their ancestry “and he was aware of their good and bad traits. “However, he would not mention their flaws. “For this very reason, he was more widely accepted among the Quraish “in comparison to Hazrat Aqeel bin Abi Talib (ra).”
Following Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra), it was Hazrat Aqeel (ra) who was most knowledgeable about the ancestry and genealogy of the Quraish, as well as their good and bad traits. However, Hazrat Aqeel (ra) was disliked by the Quraish as he would mention their flaws as well.
Hazrat Aqeel (ra) would go to Masjid Nabawi (the mosque of the Prophet (sa)) and sit with Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) in order to learn about the ancestry and history of the Arabs. According to the people of Makkah, Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) was among their best individuals.
Whenever they faced a difficulty, they would seek his assistance. It has been mentioned that Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) was most knowledgeable about the genealogy of the Arabs, particularly of the Quraish. As such, when the poets of the Quraish mocked the Holy Prophet (sa) through poetic couplets,
Hazrat Hassan bin Thabit (ra) was entrusted with the responsibility of replying to their mockery in similar poetic terms. When Hazrat Hassan (ra) went before the Holy Prophet (sa), he said to Hazrat Hassan (ra), “How will you mock the Quraish, when I myself am from among the Quraish?”
Upon this, Hazrat Hassan (ra) replied, “O Messenger (sa) of Allah! “I will remove you from the Quraish in the likeness of removing a hair from dough or butter.” Following this, the Holy Prophet (sa) said to him, “Go to Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) and ask him about the ancestry of the Quraish.”
Hazrat Hassan (ra) said, “Thereafter, I would go to Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) before writing any couplets “and he would guide me in relation to their men and women.” As such, when the verses of Hazrat Hassan (ra) reached Makkah, the people of Makkah would say that these verses have been composed
With the guidance and advice of Abu Bakr (ra). Similar to his expertise in genealogy, Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) was also a great scholar of the history of the wars that were fought among the Arabs. In addition to this, although he was not formally a poet, he was very interested in poetry.
Those historians who have penned the biography of Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) have discussed whether he composed poetry or not. Some historians have rejected the fact that he composed poetry, whereas others have even mentioned some of his couplets. Similarly, a manuscript, consisting of 25 poems with the poetic couplets of Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra)
Has been obtained from a library in Turkey, or it is present there and it is said that these are poems of Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra). Someone has even written that I have received revelation, confirming these couplets to have been composed by Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra).
Tabaqat Ibn Sa’d and Sirat Ibn Hisham have also mentioned that Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) recited poetic couplets. The following verses are attributed to Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra), which he composed after the demise and burial of the Holy Prophet (sa). The translation is as follows:
“O eye! Continue to shed tears upon the demise of the master of this world and the hereafter (sa) “and may your tears never seize. “O eye! Shed tears for the most excellent man from among the Quraish, “who was placed in the grave this evening. “May the salutations of the King of all kings,
“the Guardian of men and the Lord of the supplicants “be bestowed upon the Holy Prophet (sa). “What meaning does life have now upon the departing of the beloved? “What is there to adorn now upon the departure of the one who adorned this entire world?
“I wish that just like I enjoyed your companionship in this world “that my demise had also occurred in your companionship.” This was the translation of those couplets. It is said that Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) possessed deep wisdom and insight. Hazrat Abu Sa’eed Khudri (ra) relates, “The Holy Prophet (sa) stated,
‘Allah the Almighty gave the choice to one of his servants ‘of either choosing this world or that which was with Allah. ‘The servant chose that which was with Allah.’ “Upon this, Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) began to cry and I said to myself, ‘why is this elderly man crying?
‘A servant was given the choice of either choosing this world or that which is with Allah ‘and he chose that which is with Allah the Almighty.’ “Indeed, this servant was the Messenger (sa) of Allah “and Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) possessed the most knowledge among us.”
He further states in the narration, “The Holy Prophet (sa) stated, ‘O Abu Bakr! Do not cry. ‘Indeed, out of everyone it is Abu Bakr who extended the most kindness to me ‘in terms of his companionship and wealth. ‘If I were to make a Khalil (close companion) from among my Ummah,
‘it would be Abu Bakr, however the brotherhood and love for one another in Islam is sufficient. ‘Close all the doors in this mosque except for the door of Abu Bakr.’” I have presented this reference again in relation to Hazrat Abu Bakr’s (ra) wisdom and insight.
The Promised Messiah (as) has explained what is meant by the “door” and I will mention that further on. Whilst narrating this incident, Hazrat Musleh Maud (ra) states, “On one occasion during the final days of the Holy Prophet’s (sa) life, “he stood up to deliver a speech and whilst addressing the companions, he stated,
‘O people, there is a servant of God, whom God addressed and said, “O My servant, I give you the option to either remain in this world or come to Me.” ‘Upon this, the servant of God preferred to be in the nearness of God.’
“When the Holy Prophet (sa) mentioned this, Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) began to cry. “Hazrat Umar (ra) says, ‘I was extremely angered upon seeing him cry ‘because the Holy Prophet (sa) was relating an account of an individual ‘who was given the option to either remain in this world or go to God Almighty,
‘and the individual preferred to be in the nearness of God Almighty, ‘yet this old man was crying over this.’ “Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) cried so profusely that he began to have hiccups which would not stop. “Eventually, the Holy Prophet (sa) stated, ‘I have so much love for Abu Bakr
‘that if I were allowed to make a Khalil (close companion) other than Allah the Almighty ‘then it would have been Abu Bakr.’ “Hazrat Umar (ra) says, ‘When the Holy Prophet (sa) passed away after a few days, ‘it was then that we understood that Abu Bakr’s crying was indeed justified
‘and for us to get angry over this was a sign of our foolishness.’” In relation to the insight into the Holy Qur’an which was granted to Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra), the Promised Messiah (as) states, “When the Holy Prophet (sa) read out this verse,
“(ARABIC) (This day have I perfected your religion for you and completed My favour upon you.) “Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) began to weep. Such was his insight into the Holy Qur’an. “Someone asked, ‘Why does this old man weep?’ “Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) said, ‘I can sense from this verse
‘that the demise of the Prophet of God, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, is imminent.’ “The Prophets of God are like officials. “When a surveyor of land boundaries finishes their work at a certain place, they move on.
“In the same way, when the Prophets complete the task for which they are sent into the world, “they take their leave. Therefore, when the announcement: “(ARABIC) (This day have I perfected your religion for you) “was heard, Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiq, may Allah be pleased with him, “understood that this is the final call.
“This evidently demonstrates that the insight of Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) was immensely deep. “It is also narrated in a Hadith, ‘Close all the gates that lead to the mosque, ‘but the window of Abu Bakr shall remain open.’ “(What is mean by the door here has been explained here
“(as well as to what is meant by closing all the doors). “The hidden message in this is that since the mosque is where divine secrets are manifested, “the entrance that opens towards Abu Bakr Siddiq (ra) will not be closed.
“(The divine secrets and deep intricacies will continue to be revealed to Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra)). “The Prophets make use of metaphors and symbols. “An individual who, like a dull Muslim cleric, “says that everything must be literal, is gravely mistaken.
“For example, Abraham, on whom be peace, telling his son to ‘change the threshold of his gate’ “or the Holy Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, seeing gold bangles, etc., “are all things that were not taken literally; “they were metaphors and allegories, and encompassed a deeper reality.”
The Promised Messiah (as) further states, “In short, the point is that from all the companions, “Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) was blessed with the deepest understanding of the Qur’an “which is why he was able to derive this point from it.”
The Promised Messiah (as) further states, “Now when Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him, “derived this argument from the verse mentioned earlier, “it is my belief that even if his interpretation was apparently at odds with what we observe, “righteousness and honesty would demand that we agree with Abu Bakr (ra).
“But in this case, there is not a single word in the Holy Qur’an “that opposes the interpretation of Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra).” The Promised Messiah (as) further states, “Now the Muslim clergy ought to be asked: “was Abu Bakr (ra) a wise man or not?
“Is this Abu Bakr (ra) not the same person who was given the title Siddiq (the Truthful)? “Is this not the same person who became the first Caliph “of the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him? “Is he not the same man who rendered the magnificent service to Islam
“of stopping in its tracks the dangerous epidemic of apostasy? “Alright, put everything else to one side. “Just tell me this: what need was there for Abu Bakr (ra) “to take a stand at the pulpit in the first place? “Then, do tell me, keeping righteousness in consideration,
“when Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) recited the verse: “(ARABIC) “(And Muhammad is only a Messenger. Verily, all Messengers have passed away before him) “did he do so to present a perfectly sound argument “or would he present such a flawed argument that even a child could say
“that anyone who believes that Jesus (as) was among the dead turns into a disbeliever?” In other words, by reciting this complete verse his intention was to present a very clear and strong argument as opposed to presenting a weak and incomplete argument. Then, on another occasion, whilst expounding on the same aspect,
The Promised Messiah (as) states, “There are two aspects to the verse “(ARABIC) (This day I have perfected your religion for you) “the first is that He purified you and the second is that He completed the Book. “It is said that when this verse was revealed, Abu Bakr (ra) began to cry.
“Someone asked, ‘O elder, why are you crying?’ “He replied, ‘I perceive the scent of the Holy Prophet’s (sa) demise from this verse’, “for it has been decreed that once the mission is complete, “it’s very completion points towards the time of demise.
“Just as there are worldly projects and once they are complete the executive bodies depart. “When the Holy Prophet (sa) learnt of this incident regarding Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra), “he said that Abu Bakr was the most intelligent “and that were he to have any friend in this world, it would be Abu Bakr.
“He also said that Abu Bakr’s window would remain open in the mosque “while all others should be closed. “If someone wonders as to the connection in this “(i.e. between considering him to be his friend and keeping his window open, “(the Promised Messiah (as) states about the connection),
“remember that the mosque is the house of God and the fountainhead of all verities and knowledge. “Hence, the Holy Prophet (sa) said that this window should be kept open for him “just as his inner window remains open. “It is not to say that other companions were left deprived,
“there were also those among them who possessed great insight, “however the greatest among them was Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra). “In fact, Hazrat Abu Bakr’s (ra) superiority was in his personal insight “which manifested at the outset and at the end. “In essence, Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) was the embodiment
“of the ultimate culmination of those who possess insight.” Then, the Promised Messiah (as) states, “Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiq (ra) was among the experienced and insightful. “He saw difficult times and endured their hardships “and participated in many battles and witnessed their military operations. “He traversed many deserts and mountainous terrains.
“There were countless instances where he faced death yet he proceeded forth without hesitation “and there were many crooked paths which he rectified, “and he was at the forefront in many battles. “There were many disorders which he completely eradicated. “There were many riding animals which he enfeebled on journeys
“(meaning he travelled so much that the riding animals would become fatigued) “and he crossed many stages which led him to become experienced and insightful. “He remained patient in the face of difficulties and was devoted to worship. “Hence, Allah the Almighty chose him to be the close companion of the recipient of His signs
“(the Holy Prophet (sa)) and lauded him on account of his truthfulness and steadfastness. “This was to indicate that he was at the forefront among the beloved of the Holy Prophet (sa). “He was born with the spirit of independence imbibed within him “and loyalty was a part of his nature.
“It was for this reason that he was selected for a dangerous “and most important task and at a time of fear. “Allah is All-Knowing and Wise and places all things at their appropriate place and time “and makes water flow from the appropriate springs
“and so He turned lovingly to Ibn Abi Quhafah and bestowed special favours upon him “and made him an incomparable individual. “Allah the Almighty states that He is the Most Truthful in speech “(meaning that whatever Allah the Almighty has stated is the most true). “He says, (Arabic, Holy Qur’an 9:40)
‘If you help him not, then know that Allah helped him even when the disbelievers drove him forth ‘while he was one of the two when they were both in the cave, ‘when he said to his companion, ‘Grieve not, for Allah is with us.’’
“Then Allah sent down His peace on him, and strengthened him with hosts which you did not see, “and humbled the word of those who disbelieved, “and it is the word of Allah alone which is supreme. “And Allah is Mighty, Wise.’”
Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) was also very proficient in the discipline of interpreting dreams. It is recorded that Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiq (ra) had a special gift when it came to interpreting dreams and he exceeded everyone else in this regard.
In fact, he would even interpret dreams during the time of the Holy Prophet (sa). Imam Muhammad bin Sirin says that after the Holy Prophet (sa), Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiq (ra) was the greatest interpreter of dreams. Some interpretations which Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) did of dreams have been recorded.
Hazrat Ibn Abbas (ra) narrates that while returning from Uhud, a person went to the Holy Prophet (sa) and said, “O Messenger (sa) of Allah, “I have seen a dream in which there was a cloud that was dripping with butter and honey.
“I saw people taking it in their hands; some would take a lot while others would only take a little. “I also saw a rope which extended into the heavens, “and I saw you take hold of it and use it to ascend. “Thereafter, another person took hold of it and used it to ascend.
“After him, there was another person who took hold of it and ascended. “Then, there was another person who took hold of the rope, but it broke. “It was then mended for him and he used it to ascend.” Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) said to the Holy Prophet (sa),
“O Messenger (sa) of Allah, allow me to interpret this, with your permission.” The Holy Prophet (sa) told him to interpret it and so Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) said, “The cloud which brought shade represents Islam “and the honey and butter dripping from it represents the Qur’an.
“It’s sweetness and splendour and people taking the honey and butter “represents people attaining the Qur’an, “(in other words those attaining knowledge of the Qur’an); either a lot or only a little. “The rope that extended into the heavens “represents the truth upon which you (sa) are established.
“You took hold of it and you were elevated by using it. “Then there will be someone to come after you who will hold it and be elevated as a result, “then there will be another person who will also be elevated by it.
“There will then be another person, but the rope will be cut, “then it will be repaired for him and will use it to be elevated.” The Holy Prophet (sa) said, “You are correct about certain aspects and incorrect about others.” Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) said, “O Messenger (sa) of Allah,
“I swear, please do tell me what it is that I am correct about and what I am incorrect about?” The Holy Prophet (sa) said, “Abu Bakr do not swear”, in other words, he did not wish to express the correct interpretation of the dream at that time in absolute clear terms.
Hence, he said, “Do not swear. Whatever you have interpreted is enough.” It is narrated by Ibn Shihab that the Holy Prophet (sa) saw a dream. Whilst narrating this dream to Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra), he said, “I saw in a dream that both of us were standing on an elevation,
“and I was two and a half steps ahead of you.” He replied, “This is good, O Messenger (sa) of Allah. “May Allah keep you alive until you see with your own eyes “that which makes you happy and cools your eyes.” He repeated this to him three times.
On the third time he said, “O Abu Bakr, I saw us in a dream “in which we were both standing at an elevation and I was two and half steps ahead of you.” He replied, “O Messenger (sa) of Allah, “Allah the Almighty will call you unto Himself towards His mercy and forgiveness
“and I will remain alive after you for two and half years.” This was Hazrat Abu Bakr’s (ra) interpretation and this is exactly what occurred. The blessed wife of the Holy Prophet (sa), Hazrat A’ishah (ra), narrates, “I saw three moons descend into my room.
“I mentioned this dream before my father, Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiq (ra).” When the Holy Prophet (sa) passed away and his burial took place in Hazrat A’ishah’s (ra) room, Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) said to her, “He is one among your moons and he is the best of them.”
Hazrat Abdur Rahman bin Abi Lailah (ra) narrates, “The Holy Prophet (sa) once said, ‘I saw that a flock of black sheep is following me, followed by a flock of grey sheep.’ “Upon hearing this, Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) said, ‘O Messenger (sa) of Allah,
‘these Arabs will follow you, and then non-Arabs will follow them.’ “The Holy Prophet (sa) then said, ‘The angels have also given the same interpretation.’” This completes the mention of dreams. Now I will mention who was the first amongst the men to become Muslim.
In this regard, it is widely accepted that it was Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra). Hazrat Ammar bin Yasir (ra) narrates, “I witnessed the Holy Prophet (sa) at such an early period “when he was accompanied only by five slaves, two women and Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra).”
Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahib (ra) has written a detailed note about this in his book “The Life and Character of the Seal of the Prophets (sa)”. He has deliberated upon who was the first person to believe in the Holy Prophet (sa).
Thus, he writes: “When the Holy Prophet (sa) began the propagation of his mission, “the first to believe was Hazrat Khadijah (ra), who did not hesitate, even for a moment. “There is a discord among historians “in reference to who the first convert among the men was after Hazrat Khadijah (ra).
“Some name Hazrat Abu Bakr ‘Abdullah bin Abi Quhafah (ra) “while others say Hazrat Ali (ra), whose age, at that time, was only ten years. “Others assert that the freed slave of the Holy Prophet (sa), “Hazrat Zaid bin Harithah (ra) was the first one to embrace Islam. “However, to us, this argument is useless.
“Hazrat Ali (ra) and Zaid bin Harithah (ra) were among the house-folk of the Holy Prophet (sa) “and lived with him as his own children. “They were to follow whatever was said by the Holy Prophet (sa), “as a matter of fact, no verbal declaration was necessary. “Thus, their names need not be included.
“Among the rest, Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) is unanimously accepted “as the first and foremost in his acceptance of Islam. “Due to his nobility and abilities, “Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) was greatly honoured and respected by the Quraish, “and in Islam he acquired a status which no other companion has attained.
“Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) did not, even for a moment, doubt the claim of the Holy Prophet (sa), “rather, accepted him instantaneously. “Then he devoted his entire interest and his entire life and wealth “in service of the religion brought by the Holy Prophet (sa).
“Among his companions, the Holy Prophet (sa) held Abu Bakr (ra) most dear to himself. “After the demise of the Holy Prophet (sa) he became his first Caliph. “During the time of his Caliphate, he furnished evidence of his unparalleled ability. “With regards to Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) a renowned European Orientalist named Sprenger writes:
‘The faith of Abu Bakr is, in my opinion, ‘the greatest guarantee of the sincerity of Mohammad in the beginning of his career. ‘Even though Mohammad himself may have been misled, he would not deceive anyone. ‘In fact, he believed himself to be the prophet of God with full sincerity of heart.’
“Sir William Muir is also at complete concurrence with his view.” After Hazrat Khadijah (ra), Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra), Hazrat Ali (ra) and Zaid bin Harithah (ra), five more individuals accepted Islam, by the preaching of Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra). All of these individuals acquired such eminence and dignity,
That they are considered the greatest of companions. These are their names: Hazrat Uthman bin Affan (ra), Hazrat Abdur Rahman bin Auf (ra), Hazrat Sa’d bin Abi Waqqas (ra), Hazrat Zubair bin Al-Awwam (ra), and Hazrat Talhah bin Ubaidillah (ra). All of these five companions are amongst the ‘Asharah Mubashsharah,
In other words, they are included amongst those ten companions who were especially given glad tidings of entrance into paradise from the blessed tongue of the Holy Prophet (sa) himself, and who were regarded his closest companions and advisors. Once, whilst encouraging the Community to make financial sacrifices,
Hazrat Musleh Maud (ra) made a connection to the aforementioned incident and stated: “A believer does not hesitate upon such calls to action “(in other words, calls to contribute wealth or make sacrifices), “rather, they rejoice and take pride in that they were the first to be called;
“they do not show fear, but are delighted and express gratitude to God Almighty; “they make sacrifices to their utmost for His sake and attain a rank that is preeminent. “Can anyone say that Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) ever thought to himself
“why he was the first to have the opportunity to offer such services or sacrifices that he did? “Would he have thought about it or have desired to have that opportunity? “He very happily put himself in danger and endured sufferings for God’s sake.
“For this reason, he attained a station that even Hazrat Umar (ra) could not. “The first to embrace faith is the first to have the opportunity to make sacrifices, “though there were dangers even when Hazrat Umar (ra) embraced Islam. “They were subjected to torment, prevented from offering prayers
“and the companions were exiled from their homeland. “The first migration to Abyssinia was taking place. “The time of prosperity came much after they had embraced Islam, “however, even so, Hazrat Umar (ra) could not amount to the station “achieved by Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) for embracing Islam and making sacrifices “since the very beginning.
“Owing to this, when once Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) and Hazrat Umar (ra) fell into a disagreement, “the Holy Prophet (sa) said, “At a time when you all rejected Islam, Abu Bakr accepted Islam. “At a time when you all opposed Islam, he supported Islam. “Why do you trouble that same person now?”
“The Holy Prophet (sa) himself expressed the merit of his acceptance of Islam “and sacrifices which he demonstrated from the outset, “despite the fact that even Hazrat Umar (ra) also endured pain and made sacrifices. “Regardless, Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) was superior for taking the lead.
“Can anyone claim that Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) ever desired “to embrace Islam at the time of the conquest of Makkah? “Even if Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) was offered the power “to govern the entire world in exchange for that, “he would consider it an extremely unworthy bargain and refuse to accept it.
“In fact, he would not even feel the need to spend even an ounce of his effort “to reject the governance of the world that would have been offered to him in exchange of this.” Hence, this is the reward of sacrifice,
And this is how Allah the Almighty remunerates a person according to their rank. In respect to the freeing of slaves, it is recorded that Hazrat Umar (ra) used to say, “Abu Bakr is our leader, and he freed our leader.” In other words, he was referring to Hazrat Bilal (ra). In the early days of Islam, Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) freed seven slaves with his personal wealth who were being tormented on account of their belief in Allah.
Those slaves are named: Hazrat Bilal (ra), Amir bin Fuhairah (ra), Zinnirah (ra), Nahdiyah (ra), her daughter Bani Mu’ammal, a handmaid and Umm Umais. Even the opponents acknowledged his virtuous character and excellent morals. In this regard Hazrat Musleh Maud (ra) states,
“A man such as Abu Bakr (ra), to whom all of Makkah was ever-grateful, “would spend all of what he earned on the freeing of slaves. “Once, he was departing from Makkah when a chief met him en route and asked, ‘Where are you heading, O Abu Bakr?’
“He replied, ‘There is no longer any security for me in this city, so I am going elsewhere.’ “The chief then said, ‘If a pious individual such as yourself leaves this city ‘then it will certainly fall into ruin. ‘I shall grant you protection, so do not leave this city.’
“Hence, he returned under the protection of this chief. “When he would wake up in the morning and recite the Holy Qur’an, “the women and children would listen through the walls to hear the Qur’an recitation, “for there was great fervour and emotion in his voice,
“and seeing as the Holy Qur’an is in Arabic all the women and children could understand “and consequently, all the listeners would be moved by it. “When word of this spread, a commotion was made in Makkah “that everyone would abandon their faith in this way.
“In the end, the people went to this chief and asked why he had granted him his protection. “The chief then went to Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) asking “that he recite not the Holy Qur’an as the Makkans are angered by this. “Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) replied, ‘Then rescind your protection of me,
‘as I cannot refrain from doing so.’ “The chief then withdrew his protection of him. “How wonderful a proof of his righteousness and piety it is “that these people were staunch enemies of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (sa) and would revile him, “yet they recognised the virtue of Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) to the extent
“that this chief told him that if he leaves the city then it will fall into ruin.” It is stated in relation to the leading of prayers that in the absence of the Holy Prophet (sa), Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) was among the select few honoured with leading the prayers in Masjid Nabawi.
Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) also had the special honour, under the instructions of the Holy Prophet (sa) during his final days, of leading the prayers. With regards to this there are numerous narrations. Hazrat A’ishah (ra) relates that the Holy Prophet (sa) said, “It does not behove anyone aside from Abu Bakr (ra)
“to lead the prayers when he is among them.” Aswad relates, “We were in the presence of Hazrat A’ishah (ra) “and whilst we discussed the punctuality in prayer and its greatness, she said, ‘When the Holy Prophet (sa) was suffering from the illness which led to his demise,
‘(on one occasion) it was the time for prayer and the call to prayer was made. ‘The Holy Prophet (sa) instructed, “Tell Abu Bakr (ra) to lead the people in prayer.” ‘He was told that Abu Bakr (ra) is soft-hearted
‘and when he stands in your place he would not be able to lead the people in prayer. ‘The Holy Prophet (sa) gave the instruction once again ‘and he was told again that he is soft-hearted. ‘The Holy Prophet (sa) instructed a third time and said,
“Verily you are like the women in the time of Joseph (i.e. you are saying similar things), “tell Abu Bakr (ra) to lead the people in prayer.” ‘Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) then went forth to lead the prayers. ‘The Holy Prophet (sa) felt a slight improvement in his health
‘so he went forth with two people supporting him either side.’ “(Hazrat A’ishah (ra)) says, ‘I remember this as though I am seeing it today ‘that due to his illness his feet were leaving a line in the ground ‘(i.e. he couldn’t walk properly or lift his feet so they were dragging on the ground).
‘When Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) saw him coming in this manner he desired to move back, ‘but the Holy Prophet (sa) indicated to him to remain in his place. ‘The Holy Prophet (sa) was then brought forward to sit beside Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra).’”
A’mash was asked if the Holy Prophet (sa) was leading the prayer whilst Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) was following, and if the people were in congregation whilst following the prayer of Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra). He replied in the affirmative whilst indicating with his head.
The Holy Prophet (sa) was sitting to the left of Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) and Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) was offering the prayer whilst standing. The narrator of this, Hazrat Anas bin Malik Ansari (ra) says, “He told me that he (Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra)) followed the Holy Prophet (sa),
“served him and remained in his presence. “He then said that Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) lead the people in prayer. “During the final illness of which the Holy Prophet (sa) eventually passed away, “it was a Monday and people were standing in rows for prayer,
“the Holy Prophet (sa) drew back the curtains from his room “and he was looking towards us as he stood, “and his blessed countenance was as though it were a page of the Holy Qur’an. “The Holy Prophet (sa) then smiled out of happiness and we thought to ourselves
“that we have happily fallen into a trial due to seeing the Holy Prophet (sa). “Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) then wanted to move back to join the rows “as he thought that the Holy Prophet (sa) had come to (lead) the prayer. “However, the Holy Prophet (sa) indicated to him to complete the prayer,
“and then he left the curtain to cover once more, and he passed away that very day.” In another narration it is mentioned that Hazrat Umar (ra) once led the prayers in those days. The details of this are as follows: Hazrat Abdullah bin Zam’ah states, “When the illness of the Holy Prophet (sa) intensified,
“I was among a group of the Muslims which was serving him. “Hazrat Bilal (ra) came to call the Holy Prophet (sa) for prayer. “He said to tell somebody to lead the prayers.” Hazrat Abdullah bin Zam’ah went outside and saw that Hazrat Umar (ra) was among the people,
But Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) was not present. Hazrat Zam’ah said, “O Umar, stand up and lead everyone in prayer.” He stepped forward and said, “Allahu Akbar” (to indicate the start of prayer). When the Holy Prophet (sa) heard his voice – Hazrat Umar’s (ra) voice was loud –
The Holy Prophet (sa) said, “Where is Abu Bakr? Allah rejects this and so do the Muslims.” The Holy Prophet (sa) sent for Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra). When he came, despite the fact that Hazrat Umar (ra) had lead the prayers, Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) led the prayers again. This is one narration.
In a different narration it is mentioned that when the Holy Prophet (sa) heard the voice of Hazrat Umar (ra), he came outside and raised his head above his dwelling to see. He then said, “No, no, no. Ibn Abi Quhafah (Abu Bakr) should lead the prayers.” He said this expressing displeasure.
There are further details of this found in Musnad Ahmad. When Hazrat Umar (ra) found out about this, he said to Hazrat Abdullah bin Zam’ah, the one who had asked Hazrat Umar (ra) to lead the prayers, “I thought that the Holy Prophet (sa) had ordered you that I should lead the prayers,
“otherwise I would never have led the prayers.” In reply, Hazrat Abdullah bin Zam’ah said, “No. When I saw that Abu Bakr was not present, “I thought to myself that after him, you are most worthy to lead the prayers.
“That is why I asked you to lead the prayers. I was not told specifically (about you).” This narration is from Musnad (Ahmad bin Hanbal). With regards to his kindness towards his children, an author writes, “Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) loved his children dearly
“and on many occasions he would show his affection through his words and his actions. “His eldest son, Hazrat Abdur Rahman used to live in a separate house, “however, Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) had taken it upon himself to arrange for his expenditure.
“His eldest daughter, Hazrat Asma (ra) was married to Hazrat Zubair bin Al-Awwam (ra). “In the beginning they faced straightened circumstances “and did not even have the capacity to have a worker to help around the house. “For this reason Hazrat Asma (ra) had to work very hard, she would prepare dough,
“make the food and gather water and draw up water from the well, “and would gather date stones from quite some distance and bring them placed upon her head. “She would also feed the horses, etc. “When Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiq (ra) found out about her situation,
“he sent over a worker who would tend to the horses and put out their feed. “Hazrat Asma (ra) would say, ‘By sending the worker, my father has set me free.’” Hazrat Abdullah bin Abi Bakr loved his wife, Atikah, dearly. It is written that owing to this, he had stopped going for Jihad.
Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) could not bear this and said to Abdullah, “You have stopped going to Jihad because of your wife. You must divorce her.” Although he obeyed this command, owing to the separation from Atikah, he composed some sorrowful and moving couplets. When Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) heard these,
His heart melted and he gave permission for Abdullah to reunite with her. Hazrat Bara stated, “I entered the home of Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) along with him “and saw that Hazrat A’ishah (ra) was laying down and was unwell with a fever.
“I saw that Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) kissed Hazrat A’ishah (ra) on the cheek “and enquired about her health saying, ‘My dear daughter, how are you feeling now?’” The remaining accounts will be mentioned in the future. All praise is due to Allah We laud Him, we beseech help from Him and ask His protection;
We confide in Him, we trust Him alone and we seek protection against the evils and mischief of our souls and from the bad results of our deeds. Whomsoever He guides on the right path, none can misguide him; and whosoever He declares misled, none can guide him onto the right path.
And we bear witness that none deserves to be worshipped except Allah. We bear witness that Muhammad (sa) is His servant and Messenger. O servants of Allah! May Allah be merciful to you. Verily, Allah commands you to act with justice, to confer benefits upon each other
And to do good to others as one does to one’s kindred and forbids evil which pertain to your own selves and evils which affect others and prohibits revolts against a lawful authority. He warns you against being unmindful. You remember Allah; He too will remember you;
Call Him and He will make a response to your call. And verily divine remembrance is the highest virtue.