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The Life of Abu Bakr - II

Wednesday 16/06/2010

First Khutbah

All perfect praise is due to Allah; I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad is His Slave and Messenger; may Allah exalt his mention, as well as that of his family and all his companions.
 
The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) clarified the rank of Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him. He commanded all the doors of the houses that overlooked the mosque to be closed and forbade the Companions from entering through them into the mosque, except for the door of Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him.
 
Also, Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him, was appointed by the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) to lead the people during prayer when he  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) was suffering from his death sickness. Ibn `Umar, may Allah be pleased with him and his father, reported that: “When the sickness of the Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) became critical, he was asked about who should lead the prayer (instead of him) and he  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) replied:“Command Abu Bakr to lead the prayer,” whereupon `Aa’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, said: 'Abu Bakr is very tender hearted. He is always overcome by weeping when he recites the Qur'aan.' The Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) repeated:“Command Abu Bakr to lead the prayer.” In another narration, `Aa’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, said:“If Abu Bakr were to stand in your place, he would be unable to recite the Noble Qur'aan to the people due to his weeping.” [Al-Bukhari & Muslim]
 
Bilaal may Allah be pleased with him, reported: “After the Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) commanded that Abu Bakr was to be the one leading the people during prayer, I went out looking for him at the time of prayer, but I could not find him, so the people requested ‘Umar to lead them. He therefore began leading the prayer and the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) heard his voice, so he  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) became angry and said:“Where is Abu Bakr? Allah and the believers refuse (all) except Abu Bakr… Allah and the believers refuse (all) except Abu Bakr.” Later, when Abu Bakr arrived, he  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) ordered him to lead the people in prayer.” [Abu Daawood] It was due to the abovementioned two narrations that ‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, said at the time of selecting the first caliph in Islam: “We select for leadership the one whom our Prophet selected to lead us (in prayer).”
 
Another clear evidence of his status, may Allah be pleased with him, is the narration of `Aa’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, who said:“During the death sickness of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) he said to me: “Call your father - Abu Bakr - and your brother, so that I can get a letter written for Abu Bakr to take over after my death, lest anyone comes after my death claiming to be worthier than him for leadership. Allah and the believers refuse (all) except Abu Bakr (for leadership).” This clearly highlights the virtue of Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him.
 
Another incident highlighting his great status is when a woman came to the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) during the farewell pilgrimage and asked him about a certain matter, then she inquired: “If I come next year to ask you and you are not present, who should I ask instead?” He  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) responded: “Ask Abu Bakr.” [Al-Bukhari & Muslim]
 
Abu Ad-Dardaa’ may Allah be pleased with him, reported: “Once, Abu Bakr came to the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) and said: 'O Allah's Messenger! There was something (i.e. a quarrel) between me and the son of Al-Khattaab. I talked to him harshly and then regretted it; I asked him to forgive me, but he refused; this is why I have come to you.' The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said thrice: “O Abu Bakr! May Allah forgive you.” In the meantime, ‘Umar bin Al-Khattaab felt remorse (due to him refusing Abu Bakr's apology), so he went to Abu Bakr's house and asked if he was there, but the reply was in the negative. Therefore, 'Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, went to the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) and greeted him, but signs of displeasure appeared on the face of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ). This caused Abu Bakr to feel pity for ‘Umar, so he knelt down and said twice: 'O Allah's Messenger! I swear by Allah that I was more unjust to him (than he was to me).' The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) then said: “Allah sent me (as a Prophet) to you (people), but you told me: 'You are lying,' whereas Abu Bakr said: 'He is telling the truth,' and consoled me with himself and his wealth."He  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) then said twice: “Will you not cease harming my companion?”After that, nobody harmed Abu Bakr.”
 
He, may Allah be pleased with him, was the most knowledgeable of the Muslims; he was also the best at understanding the intended speech of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ). Abu Sa’eed, may Allah be pleased with him, reported: “The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) delivered a sermon at the end of his life, in which he said: “Allah gave a choice to one of (His) slaves to either choose this world, or what is with Him in the Hereafter. He chose the latter."Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him, heard this and wept. The people were amazed at Abu Bakr’s weeping and could not understand what the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) had meant by those words. I (Abu Sa'eed) said to myself: `Why is this old man crying?` We were to discover later that the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) himself was the slave mentioned who was given the choice, and that he  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) was therefore close to his death. We also realised that Abu Bakr was the most knowledgeable among us and the best at understanding the speech of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ). After this, the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: “O Abu Bakr! Do not weep. Behold, of all the people, the most generous toward me in regard to companionship and property was Abu Bakr, and were I to choose anyone as my intimate companion, I would have chosen Abu Bakr; but (for him) I cherish Islamic brotherhood and love.”"
 
Imaam Ibn Taymiyyah,  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said: “Many scholars have reported the consensus of the Muslim scholars that Abu Bakr was the most knowledgeable amongst all the Companions. The rites of Hajj are the most involved of all acts of worship, there is no issue related to acts of worship that is more complicated. If it were not for the vast knowledge of Abu Bakr, then the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) would not have made him the leader of the first Hajj contingent, and he  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) also chose him to lead the people in prayer. After the death of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) he proved this (i.e., the fact that he was the most erudite of the Companions) on many occasions, such as when he had proved to the Companions that the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) had indeed died by reciting the verse of the Qur’aan which states that he  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) would die; There is also in this regard his position regarding the war against the apostates who refused to pay Zakah, and many other evidences.” [End of quote]
 
Abu Bakr may Allah be pleased with him, was the firmest of all Companions at times of distress and during calamities. When the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) died, most of the Companions were overwhelmed and in great shock and disorientation. In fact, ‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, refused to believe that he  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) had died and swore that anyone who said that he did would be executed. But Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him, went to the (corpse of the) Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), uncovered his face, kissed it, and cried, saying: “I ransom my father and my mother for you! Blessed were you in life as you are in death.”
 
Afterwards, he went out to people whilst ‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, was threatening to kill whoever claimed that the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) had died. Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him, ascended the pulpit and said firmly: “O ‘Umar! Be quiet. O people! For those who worship Muhammad, Muhammad is now dead. For those who worship Allah, Allah is Ever-Living and will never die.”
 
Despite the lofty position of ‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, people knew very well the rank of Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him, so they immediately turned their attention to him and listened attentively. He, may Allah be pleased with him, reminded them and firmly re-established the fact that Allah is the only one worthy of worship and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) was but a human Messenger of Allah. Then he, may Allah be pleased with him, recited the saying of Allah which means: “Muhammad is not but a messenger. [Other] messengers have passed on before him. So if he was to die or be killed, would you turn back on your heels [to unbelief]? And he who turns back on his heels will never harm Allah at all; but Allah will reward the grateful.”[Aal 'Imraan: 144] The grateful are those who remain steadfast and who do not turn to disbelief; they continue upon the true path until they meet Allah.
 
The narrator of this incident said: “It was as if people had up until then never heard this verse being recited. When they heard it, they began wailing, for they realised that the death of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) was a reality.”
 
‘Aa’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, reported: “The Ansaar were assembled with Sa’d bin 'Ubaadah in the hovel of the tribe of Saa’idah in an attempt to appoint a caliph. They said (to the Emigrants): 'There should be one caliph from us and one from you.' Then Abu Bakr, ‘Umar bin Al-Khaattab and Abu 'Ubaydah bin Al-Jarraah arrived (at the meeting). 'Umar wished to speak, but Abu Bakr prevented him. 'Umar later said about this: 'I swear by Allah that I only intended to say something that appealed to me as very relevant to the situation and I was afraid that Abu Bakr would not address the issue the same way.' Abu Bakr then spoke and his speech was very eloquent; he said: 'We are the rulers and you (i.e., the Ansaar) are the ministers (i.e. advisers).' Hubaab bin Al-Munthir said: 'No! I swear by Allah that we will not accept this. Rather, there must be a ruler from us and a ruler from you.' Abu Bakr said: 'No! We will be the rulers and you will be the ministers, for they (i.e., the Quraysh) are the finest people amongst the Arabs and the best in origin; therefore, you should elect either 'Umar or Abu 'Ubaydah bin Al-Jarraah as your caliph.' 'Umar then said (to Abu Bakr): 'No! Rather, we elect you, for you are our chief and the best amongst us, and you were the most beloved of all of us to Allah's Apostle  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ).' Thereupon, 'Umar took Abu Bakr's hand and gave him the pledge of allegiance, and the people followed in giving the pledge of allegiance to Abu Bakr.” [Al-Bukhari]
 
 
Second Khutbah:
 
All perfect praise is due to Allah; I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad is His Slave and Messenger; may Allah exalt his mention, as well as that of his family and all his companions.
 
Slaves of Allah! After the death of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), almost all the Arabs reneged on their Islam, except the people of Makkah, Madeenah and Taa’if. The hypocrites in Madeenah became manifest and started plotting against the new caliph. Not only did the Arabs apostate and refuse to pay the Zakah, they also prepared to fight the new caliph. Moreover, some of them, such as Musaylamah the liar, even claimed prophethood for themselves.
 
This was an extremely difficult time because these people outnumbered the Companions who were with Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him. ‘Aa’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, stated: “After the death of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) many of the Arabs reneged (on their Islam) and grave matters befell my father, the likes of which would split mountains. (At that time), the companions of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) became like wet sheep on a rainy night in a land filled with wolves.”
 
Following the death of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ), Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him,wished to dispatch a Muslim battalion commanded by Usaamah, may Allah be pleased with him, to Levant (i.e. Shaam) where Zayd and Ja’far, may Allah be pleased with them, were martyred. Usaamah, may Allah be pleased with him, was being sent as a reinforcement for the Muslim army that was already there and fighting the Christians (Romans). When Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him, wished to dispatch these troops headed by Usaamah, may Allah be pleased with him, many Companions, including ‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, opposed him and argued instead for the troops to remain, so that they could join in the fight against the apostates. However, Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him, insisted on dispatching them, saying: “I swear by Allah that I will not disperse a banner that was mobilised by the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) himself, even if we were to be overtaken by birds of prey.”
 
Due to his great insight and discernment, Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him, was confident that the apostate Arabs would become terrified of fighting the Muslims if the troops of Usaamah, may Allah be pleased with him, were sent outside Madeenah, because they would think that if the Muslims were able to dispense with such a number of troops for an external mission, then they must have a formidable force remaining with them.
 
Sure enough, the army was seen off and some of the Companions, like ‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, tried to convince Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him, to at least change the commander of the army to a more senior figure than Usaamah, may Allah be pleased with him, but Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him, refused to change a leader who was appointed by the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) himself.
 
What was the result of dispatching this battalion? It passed, with all its weaponry, through areas inhabited by Arab tribes and made them remark: “If they did not have multiples the size of this battalion (remaining with them), they would never have dispatched it.” This made many of the tribes who had contemplated fighting the Muslims have a change of heart, which, although reducing the size of the problem, did not solve it entirely.
 
The other tribes that insisted on fighting headed towards Madeenah and began gathering at night, which was when Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him, was preparing his army. At the break of daylight, the Muslims attacked these troops who were gathered around Madeenah in a surprise attack and killed many of them, while the rest fled in defeat.
 
That was not the end of the story though, because Musaylamah the liar and those with him, as well as others like him, were still a source of strife, so Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him, sent troops to fight them, and Allah supported these troops and granted them victory. With this, the Muslim state became well established and had a firm command over its affairs.
 
After this event he, may Allah be pleased with him, decided, after consulting with ‘Umar and other Companions, may Allah be pleased with them, to collect the Qur’aan as a single book, for which purpose he formed a committee headed by Zayd bin Thaabit, may Allah be pleased with him.
 
Slaves of Allah! When Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him, became caliph, he did not have money enough to suffice his family, so he left his house and went to the market to trade. ‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, saw him and asked: “O Leader of the believers! Where are you headed? You are now in charge of the affairs of the Muslims.” He replied: “How can I feed my family if I do not do this?” ‘Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, said: “Let us go to assign you a portion from the Muslim treasury.” They went to Abu Ubaydah, may Allah be pleased with him, who was in charge of the treasury, who said: “I will give you the average of what I give any Muslim from the Muhaajireen (emigrants): A garment for the winter and another for the summer, and whenever any of them wears out you can return it and I will replace it for you. I will also give you half a sheep daily and a small amount of money.”
 
He settled for the least amount of provision and concentrated on running the affairs of the Muslims. One day his wife wished to buy sweets, but he told her that they did not have enough money to do so, so she told him that she would try to save some of their income, to which he consented. After a few days, she had saved an amount of money, and when he saw that she was actually able to save it, he, may Allah be pleased with him, took it from her and said: “Since you could save it, then it is more than our daily need; the Muslims are more deserving of it.” He therefore deducted this amount form his daily allowance.
 
When he was on his death bed, he began saying out of fear of Allah: “I wish I was a bird, a tree, a leaf, or any of the fruits that animals eat – just so that I could escape the position of being liable for accountability.” Then he, may Allah be pleased with him, asked ‘Aa’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her: “On what day did the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) die?” She replied: “On a Monday.” He, may Allah be pleased with him, then asked: “What day is today?” She replied: “Monday” Then he, may Allah be pleased with him, asked: “How many sheets did you use to shroud the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention )?” She replied: "Three." He, may Allah be pleased with him, looked at a garment that was hanging in the room and said: “Wash this garment, and bring two more and shroud me in them as I hope to die on the same day the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) died.” She, may Allah be pleased with her, asked: “This is a worn out garment, should we not get three new ones instead?” He, may Allah be pleased with him, said: “The living are more deserving of the new than the dead.”
 
It was that very night that he, may Allah be pleased with him, passed away, and he was buried next to the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ).
 
Many Muslims are unaware of the great merits of this man and fail to give him his due, but this does not harm him in the least. We ask Allah to make us amongst those who follow in his footsteps.
 

The Life of Abu Bakr - I

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