Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiq (R)
Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiq (R) was the staunchest follower and the nearest and dearest companion of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). His name was Abdullah son of Abu Qahafa Usman. He was descendent in the sixth generation of Mirah Bin Ka'b, progenitor of the family of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
He was born in Mecca in 572 AD. Before the advent of Islam, he was a rich cloth merchant. He was a virtuous and pious next only to the Prophet (PBUH) himself.
Hazrat Abu Bakr (R) is the first ever male to embrace Islam on his free will and soon after embracing Islam, he became the right hand of the Prophet (PBUH). Allah Exalted has given Hazrat Abu Bakr (R) a heart full of love and affection for the Prophet. After the advent of Islam, he dedicated his life and his wealth for the cause of Islam and the Prophet (PBUH). He emancipated many slaves who had embraced Islam and lived a miserable life at the hands of their infidel masters. He (R) was also a poet. He was known for his exceptional recitation and his excellent memory of the long poems in which the Arabs took great pride. These qualities served him well in Islam. His recitation of the Qura'n was so sweet-sounding that many people came to Islam simply after hearing him pray. The infidels always tried to restrict him to pray in the courtyard of his house in order to prevent the people from hearing him.
He was also one of the members who undertook migration to Ethiopia. On his way to Ethiopia, he met a noble Arab, Rabi bin Rafi, who after listening his intention said that an altruist likes Abu Bakr became a refugee elsewhere was unacceptable to him. He took him back to Mecca and told the Arab infidels that Abu Bakr (R) was in his protection and be allowed to live in Mecca untroubled. The Arabs agreed on one condition that Hazrat Abu Baker (R) would not worship and recite Holy Qura'n publicly.
He agreed to the term, but could not comply with it for long. He made a mosque outside his house and offered worship and recitation of Qura'n publicly. His sweet-sounding recitation attracted many people around him. When, on the complaint by Arabs, Rabi Bin Rafi approached him, he liberated him of his avowal, saying: "I am pleased with the wish of Allah." That Rabi Bin Rafi later himself embraced Islam.
There are many Qura'nic verses about the exaltation of Hazrat Abu Bakr (R) one is in chapter Tauba: "Verily, Allah gives him support, when infidels expelled him."
About a verse in chapter Zammer: "And who brought forward the true verse and that when believed it truth those are pious," Hazrat Ali (R) said that prophet (PBUH) is indicated by words 'who brought forward the true verse and the one who testified it is Hazrat Abu Bakr (R)."
Among all the people, he was called "Al-Atiq," the most pious, delivered from the punishments of the fire.
Besides, there are many Hadiths in praise of Hazrat Abu Bakr (R). The Prophet (PBUH) said: "Had I made anyone my friend except Allah, I would have chosen Abu Bakr (R).
"What ever Allah poured into my heart, I poured into the heart of Abu Bakr."
The Holy Prophet (PBUH) said: "Whenever I offered Islam to anyone, he always showed some reluctance and hesitation and tried to enter into an argument. Abu Bakr (R) was the only person who accepted Islam without any doubt or hesitation, and without any argument."
"Allah will show His glory to the people in a general way, but He will show it to Hazrat Abu Bakr (R) in a special way."
"Never was anything revealed to me that I did not pour into the heart of Abu Bakr."
"There is no one to whom I am obligated and have not repaid my debt except Abu Bakr, for I owe him much for which Allah will compensate him on the Day of Judgment."
"Hazrat Abu Bakr (R) does not precede you because of much prayer or fasting, but because of a secret that is in his heart."
Bukhari narrates from Ibn Umar, who said: "In the time of the Prophet (PBUH) we were not recognising anyone higher than Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiq (R), then Umar(R), then Usman(R)."
He freed seven slaves before leaving Mecca. He not only spent large amounts to buy them freedom but he then took them into his own household and educated them.
In early Islam interpretation of dreams was considered a spiritual exercise. Only those with pure hearts and spiritual vision could have meaningful dreams; and only those with pure hearts and spiritual vision could interpret them. Hazrat Abu Bakr (R) was an acknowledged interpreter of dreams. Even the Prophet (PBUH) also consulted him in search for clarity of his prophetic dreams.
Although, a quiet and gentle man he was also first on the battlefield. He only fought for the Islam. Once his son Abdul Rehman (R), who had fought for infidels against Muslims before embracing Islam, said that during wars he had three chances to kill Hazrat Abu Bakr (R) but he let go the chances in respect for the father. But Hazrat Abu Bakr (R) replied: "My son, had I had a single chance to kill you, by Allah, I would not have hesitated for a single moment."
Hazrat Abu Bakr (R) always remained side by side the Prophet (PBUH) whether in Mecca, or in on the way to Madina or in Madina. He was with the Prophet in the cave of Sor, he was with him in the Battle of Badr. Even today both are laid to rest side by side under the same roof of the holy shrine of the Prophet (PBUH).
The Prophet (PBUH) had many a times made Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiq (R) his deputy. He was his only companion, who led the prayers when the Prophet (PBUH) was sick. He was made leader of the Muslims, during the first ever Hajj in Mecca after Islam dominated infidelity. Therefore, after the demise of the Prophet, all the Muslims elected him as the first and able-most successor to the Prophet. When he assumed the succession to the seat of the Prophet (PBUH), he made clear to every one: "Follow me until I lead you on the path of Allah." He said: "Help me, if I be the right; set me right, if I be the wrong. The weak among you shall be strong to me until his rights have been vindicated. The strong among you shall be weak with me until, if God wills, I have taken what is due to him. Obey me as long as I obey Allah and His Prophet; when I disobey Him and his Prophet, obey me not."
When, there arose the matter of non-payment of Zakat by some distracters, many of the companions suggested that it was befitting to tackle the mater unhurriedly. But he (R) said: "I have not ascended to first in altering the orders, of Allah" He then initiated Jihad against the defaulters of Zakat. He also took firm stance on sending mission to Syria under the command of Hazrat Usama Bin Zaid (R), whereby all other companions of the Prophet (PBUH) were of the view that some senior general be deputed in place of teenaged Usama (R). Hazrat Ussama (R) was nominated to lead the army by Prophet (PBUH) himself.
During his caliphate, he instituted public treasury (Bayt-ul-mal) to take care of the poor. He was the first to compile holy Qura'n and called it 'Mus-haf'.
Hazrat Abu Bakr (R) passed away on Monday, (as did the Prophet himself) between Maghrib and Isha on Jumadi-al-Sani 22, 13 AH, or August 25, 634 AD.
Before, his departure to the Afterworld, he told his daughter Syeda Ayesha Siddiqa (R) that he be shrouded in his used clothes as was the Prophet (PBUH) and some new pieces be added to his shroud. When his funeral became ready for the burial, he be taken to the shrine of the Prophet (PBUH) and permission for entering the Shrine of the Prophet (PBUH) be sought. If the door of the shrine opens of its own, he may be buried there.
When the mourners took his funeral at the door of the shrine of the Prophet (PBUH) they said: "O prophet of Allah! your companion Abu Bakr seeks permission to enter," and the door of the shrine of the Prophet (PBUH) opened without touching by anybody. Then Hazrat Abu Bakr (R) was laid to rest besides his beloved, the Prophet (PBUH).
Hazrat Abu Bakr (R) initiated the recitation of La Ilaha Illallah in a circle of his friends in his house. The practice later adopted by all saints and has become the cornerstone of Sufism. It was his way and his favours, he imparted upon his companions in that circle of recitation, which continued in the Naqshbandia order till today.
Hazrat Abu Bakr (R) was the first in many aspects. He was the first male Muslim. He was the first successor of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). He was the first ruler who called himself a Khalifat-ur-Rasool (Caliph of the Prophet (PBUH)). He was the first ruler whose honorarium was fixed by the subject. He was the first who ruled in the life of his father. And also the one who voluntarily not nominated his son to the throne rather handed over the throne to the able person out of his blood relation.
The Noor passed on in the heart of Hazrat Abu Bakr (R) by the Prophet (PBUH) was then placed in the heart of his successor, Salman Farsi (R).