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(part 1 of 3): The First

 

‚If I had taken someone as my closest friend, I would have taken Abu Bakr, but he is my brother and companion.‘ [1] These are the words of the Prophet Muhammad , may God shower him with praise, and Abu Bakr was his closest earthly companion. Abu Bakr was known as As Siddieq (the Truthful). The Arabic word Siddieq means more than being free from fraud; it means a person who is in a constant state of truthfulness. Someone who knows the truth and clings to it. The word Siddieq means truthfulness towards oneself, the people around us and towards God. Abu Bakr was such a man.

The Prophet Muhammad showed his great love and respect for Abu Bakr by calling him „closest friend“. The word used in Arabic is Khaliel, and it means more than just friendship, but a heartfelt closeness with indestructible attachment. The Prophet Abraham was known as Khaliel from God, and the Prophet Muhammad himself reserved this word for his connection with God, but his bond with Abu Bakr involved a special relationship.

background

The testimony of the Prophet Muhammad and the history of Islam tell us that Abu Bakr was born little more than two years after the Prophet Muhammad, and both were born into the Quraish tribe, albeit in different clans. Abu Bakr was born into a fairly wealthy family and established himself as a successful trader and merchant. He was a personable, approachable man who had a great social network.

Abu Bakr loved talking to the others and he was an expert in Arabic genealogy. He knew the names and locations of all Arab tribes and understood their good and bad peculiarities. It was this knowledge that allowed him to mix easily with the many people and exert a great influence on Meccan society.

When Prophet Muhammad married his first wife Khadija, he and Abu Bakr became neighbors and they found that they had many common features. Both men were traders and both did business with honesty and integrity.

Both Prophet Muhammad and Abu Bakr avoided the vice and corruption common in pre-Islamic Arabia, and both avoided idolatry. They recognized each other as related souls and built a lifelong friendship.

The first

Abu Bakr As Siddieq was the first person to take the Prophet Muhammad’s message to heart and adopt Islam. When he heard the Prophet Muhammad say that there is nothing worthy of worship except God and that he (Muhammad) is the Messenger of God, Abu Bakr accepted Islam without any reservations. For anyone who comes to Islam or has lost faith, there is an obstacle, a moment of hesitation, but not for Abu Bakr. The sweetness of faith entered his heart and he, who was known as the Truth, recognized the truth.

In the early days when the message was first revealed, the Prophet Muhammad secretly called the people around him to Islam. Prophet Muhammad knew that the message would shock and shock the Meccans, who were deeply rooted in their ignorance. He wanted to form a group of followers who should slowly spread the message, which moved in ever wider circles. When there were 38 Muslims, Abu Bakr went to his beloved friend, the Prophet Muhammad, and said he wanted to publicly announce the message.

The Prophet Muhammad refused to do so because he thought the number of followers was too small to put them at risk. Abu Bakr insisted and repeatedly asked his companions about it. When God ordered Prophet Muhammad to publicly deliver his message, he and Abu Bakr made their way to Kaaba (the house of God in central Mecca). Abu Bakr got up and announced in a loud voice :. „There is no god worthy of worship except God and Muhammad is His servant and Messenger“. Abu Bakr was the first public speaker of Islam.

When Prophet Muhammad died, the Muslims were devastated, and some even refused to recognize the truth. Their hearts were broken. Although he was grief-stricken, Abu Bakr turned to the people, praising and praising God, saying, „Whoever worshiped Muhammad, Muhammad is dead, but whoever worshiped God, God is eternal and will never die.“ Then he recited verses from the Quran.

„(O Muhammad), surely you will die and they will also die.“ (Quran 39:30)

“And Muhammad is only a messenger; the envoys went there before him. And whether he dies or is killed, will you turn back on your heels? And whoever turns on his heels never harms God; but God will truly reward the thankful. „(Quran 3: 144)

In this severe crisis, the devastated Muslims chose Abu Bakr as their leader. He was the first Khalif (leader of the Muslims).

Prophet Muhammad’s nephew, Ali ibn Abu Talib, praised Abu Bakr as the first to accept Islam and the first to do any good deeds. [3] Not only is it permissible in Islam to compete with good deeds, it is even recommended. The Prophet Muhammad exhorted his followers to behave simply in the affairs of this world, but to compete for everlasting life in paradise. The Muslim historian At-Tabarani quotes the righteous companion Ibn Abbas, who said: „Abu Bakr ….. surpassed all companions of the Prophet Muhammad in piety and righteousness, renunciation of worldly goods and trust in God.“ From the testimony of the Prophet Muhammad we can see that Abu Bakr will be the first to enter paradise after the Prophets of God.

Footnotes:
[1] Saheeh Al-Bukhari
[2] Sahieh Al-Bukhari
[3] Ali ibn Abu Talib at Abu Bakr’s funeral.
[4] Abu Dawud.

 

(part 2 of 3): We are two and God is the third

The Prophet Muhammad, may God shower him with praise, and his close friend Abu Bakr had less than three years of age difference. Both were born in the same tribe of the Quraish, but from different clans. The Prophet Muhammad spent much of his early life in fairly poverty, while Abu Bakr came from a fairly wealthy family. Both men lived and behaved in a calm and dignified manner and both men had banished idolatry from their lives. When Prophet Muhammad was asked to spread the message of Islam, his friend Abu Bakr was the first man he turned to. Without hesitation, Abu Bakr accepted Islam and embarked on a journey of devotion and love that would last the rest of his life.

Abu Bakr loved his friend deeply and was ready to easily accept the truth of Islam. When he heard the message that God is One, he was ready to accept what he had previously believed to be the truth. His daughter Aisha reported that he had never prostrated to any idol in his entire life. Abu Bakr himself reported that when he was a child, his father took him to the place where the idols stood and left him between the statues. The little boy looked at the soulless objects around him and asked them what use they could have for him. When the idols were unable to respond, Abu Bakr decided that he would not worship anything that could neither hear nor see. He understood that statues and idols were not worth worshiping.

Abu Bakr’s love for the One True God and his support for his friend Muhammad were the reason that he was frequently persecuted and relentlessly beaten in the early days of Islam. The majority of the Meccans hated hearing Muhammad’s message of reorganization and reckoning. They were the keepers of idolatry and a large amount of sales were made to the pilgrims who came to visit one or more of the idols worshiped in and around Mecca. If Muhammad had successfully united people in the worship of the One God and if their forms of corruption had been erased, their lives would have changed irreversibly.

The emigration

The terrible treatment, torture and brutality against the Muslims made the Prophet send many of them away for their own protection. The second of the two emigrations led to the vicinity of the city of Yathrib, which was later called Medina. Although it was later often referred to as flight, it was actually a carefully planned emigration. Two tribes from Yathrib had made a covenant with the Prophet Muhammad and offered him their loyalty and protection, but at this stage the Prophet Muhammad had not yet been given permission to leave Mecca by God. However, he sent his followers to Yathrib in small groups so that they would not attract the attention of the Meccans.

One day in the heat of the midday sun, Prophet Muhammad visited his friend Abu Bakr’s house. The streets of Mecca were dead and Abu Bakr knew that this visit was very important because this time of day was reserved for rest. The Prophet Muhammad asked Abu Bakr to „empty his house“, which meant that he had something important and private to discuss. Abu Bakr replied: „This is your family“. The Prophet Muhammad went in and revealed to his friend that God had given him permission to leave Mecca. Aisha reported that her father was crying when he heard that he should be the Prophet’s companion on this journey.

Abu Bakr did not cry in fear, although it was going to be a dangerous journey, but out of sheer joy. This was an opportunity to be alone with his loved one for over ten days. It was an opportunity to drink from the fountain of prophecy for many days and nights. Abu Bakr announced that he had prepared the camels and was ready to leave because he too had been waiting for his companion’s permission to leave. That night the two friends left through the back door and moved into the black desert landscape.

The search

When the Meccabs noticed that the Prophet Muhammad had fled Mecca and thus escaped their plans to murder him, they became angry. Search teams immediately began to comb the area. Although they suspected that the prophet was heading for Yathrib, they sent scouts in all directions. Abu Bakr and the Prophet Muhammad spent three days hidden in a cave south of Mecca.

Once a search party came so close to the entrance of their cave that Abu Bakr could see their shoes above them. Fear and trepidation filled him, not because of him, because he was a brave man, but for his beloved friend. Abu Bakr whispered: „O Messenger of God, if you look down at your feet, you will see us!“ Prophet Muhammad replied, „Abu Bakr, what do you think of two when God is the third?“ God revealed the following verses of the Quran in response to this moving moment:

“If you do not help him, then (know that) God helped him when the unbelievers drove him away – as they were both in the cave and he said to his companion:“ Do not be sad, because God is with you us.“ Then God lowered His peace on him and strengthened him with hosts that you did not see, and humbled the word of the unbelievers; and God’s Word alone is the highest. And God is sublime, wise. ” (Quran 9:40)

The angry and desperate Meccans stood in front of the cave but didn’t go inside. A spider had spun a fine web in front of the entrance, making it appear that the cave had not been entered for a very long time. Abu Bakr understood through the words of his beloved friend that the power of God can often be found where it is least suspected. A tiny, delicate spider that spanned an obscuring web was more powerful than an entire army. Abu Bakr, the first man to accept Islam, was one of two. Two friends who shared a message, united by their love for each other and the young Muslim nation, strengthened by their love for the One True God.

 

(part 3 of 3): The protector

Abu Bakr was a man of wise judgment. He was able to see the truth while others were still confused by the complexity of a situation. So he found it very easy to understand the truth of Islam, but he knew that Muhammad’s words would widen a gap in Meccan society. The leaders of Mecca would not tolerate anything that would put their economic situation or danger at risk. Abu Bakr knew that hard times were ahead and he felt that it was his duty to protect his companion, the Prophet Muhammad. The two friends saw each other every day and their friendship grew stronger as their understanding of Islam grew and took root in their hearts. Islam unfolded in secret for three years.

Abu Bakr understood that life would be difficult if the leaders of Mecca realized how many people had adopted Islam. He knew that the Prophet Muhammad would need his protection but the months passed and Abu Bakr took over the role of protector for many new Muslims. As more and more people adopted Islam, the non-Muslim leaders of Mecca started a persecution and spurning campaign to destroy the new faith. Most of the men, women and children from the Meccan tribes had their families to protect them, but the slaves and the poor were particularly vulnerable.

It was the slaves and the poor who were particularly drawn to the teachings of Islam. They heard the words of equality, freedom, and the mercy of the One True God and saw it as a way to escape the brutality of their existence and find comfort in the forgiveness and love of God. They learned that all men were servants of God and that He provided guidance and protection to everyone, not just for the elite class. Abu Bakr was a wealthy merchant and he was able to ease the suffering of many slaves by buying them free from their masters and giving them their freedom.

One of the slaves Abu Bakr freed was Bilal [1], the first man to call believers to prayer. Bilal’s master left him lying on the burning sand and placed large slabs of rock on his chest, but he refused to give up his new belief. When Abu Bakr heard of Bilal’s condition, he hurried to free him. Abu Bakr freed a total of eight slaves, four men and four women. Although buying and liberating slaves was not unknown in Meccan society, it was usually done for much less unselfish reasons. Once a slave was freed, he was obliged in his honor to offer his protection to the one who freed him, and for that reason the rich Meccan freed slaves who were physically healthy and strong.

“He will be spared the one who is godly, who gives up his fortune to cleanse himself, and who does not owe a favor to be repaid, except in the pursuit of the good will of his Lord, Most High. And he will be content ”(Quran 92: 18-21)

protect his companion

One day, when Prophet Muhammad was in the Kaaba (the house of God), the Meccans gathered around him and began to mock and verbally harass him, and very soon it escalated into physical abuse. Somebody informed Abu Bakr that his companion needed his help, so he hurried to the Kaaba, plunged into the middle of the fight, and stood between Prophet Muhammad and the attackers. He shouted, „Would you kill a man for saying that Allah is his Lord.“ [2] The Meccans were briefly stunned, but within seconds they attacked Abu Bakr and relentlessly beat him. They hit him so hard that the blood flowed from his head and ran into his hair.

On another occasion when the prophet prayed, one of the Meccans threw a piece of cloth around his neck and started strangling him. Although people saw what was going on, no one was brave enough to come to the Prophet’s aid. When Abu Bakr came to the Kaaba and saw his friend in this predicament, he hurried over and drove the attacker away.

A story that comes from Ali ibn Abu Talib embodies Abu Bakr’s reputation as a calm man of action, who never put his own needs first and was devoted to Islam and his prophet Muhammad. When Ali was the leader of the Muslims, many years after the deaths of Muhammad and Abu Bakr, he gave a speech in which he asked his audience: „Who is the bravest man in Islam?“ The audience replied, „You! Amir Al Muminien (Leader of the Faithful)” Ali had a fearsome reputation as a warrior and a brave warrior. He looked at the men sitting in front of him: „It is true, I have never had an opponent in Eye looked and lost, but I’m not the bravest one. This honor is due to Abu Bakr. „

Ali went on to report on the Battle of Badr, the first battle the young Muslim nation had to face. The Muslims refused to let Prophet Muhammad fight on the front lines and instead provided a protective shield behind. The men were asked who would voluntarily protect the prophet, but none emerged except Abu Bakr. Prophet Muhammad stayed under protection for a while, prayed for the small nation’s success, and Abu Bakr could be seen going back and forth, his sword pulled out of his sheath, ready to avert any threat from his beloved companion.

Later in the fight, Prophet Muhammad led the central battalion and Abu Bakr the right flank. They were friends, united under all circumstances, in times of lightness or toil. Abu Bakr is a role model for a brave man who used his wealth, abilities and strength in the service of Islam and who was ready to give his life for God or to protect God’s Messenger.

Words of praise

Ali ibn Abu Talib also gave Abu Bakr’s funeral speech. The following passages are just a brief example of his words of lode for the closest companion of the Prophet Muhammad.

“You supported him when others left him, and you have remained firm in helping misfortune when others have withdrawn your support.

“You had the deepest voice, but the highest honor. Your conversation was the most exemplary and your considerations the most just; your silence was the longest in duration and your language was very eloquent. The bravest of the men and well informed about the affairs. Your deed was appreciated. ” So Abu Bakr was the protector.

Footnotes:
[1] Sahieh Al-Bukhari
[2] Sahieh Al-Bukhari

 


Source: https://www.islamland.com/deu/articles/abu-bakr-der-wahrhaftige