Name and parentage of Abu Bakr
Hadrat Abu Bakr, as-Siddiq, (Raziallah Anho) was born in 573 A.D. at Makkah. Thus he was two years younger than the Holy Prophet (Sal Allaho Alehe Wassallam). He belonged to a respectable and noble family, the Bani Tamim, a branch of Quraish Tribe. His lineage joins with that of the Holy Prophet (Sal Allaho Alehe Wassallam) six generations before. His name was Abdullah. Abu Bakr was his patronymic name (or Kuniyah) which became so famous that most of the people did not know his real name. After his conversion to Islam he received the title of “As-Siddiq” (The Truthful). His father’s name was ‘Uthman who was known by his patronymic name, Abu Qahafah. His mother’s name was Salma but she was also known by her patronymic name, Ummul Khair.
Life before Islam
Since his boyhood, Hadrat Abu Bakr was a quiet and sincere man. He was very honest and truthful. Because of his sterling character he was the closest friend of the Holy Prophet (Sal Allaho Alehe Wassallam) since his youth and, the friendship proved to be life-long. He was a soft hearted man and keenly felt others sufferings and miseries. He used to help the poor and the needy, the distressed and the downtrodden.Even before embracing Islam he did not like most of the customs of the days of ignorance and never drank any liquor.
His main profession was trade. He also accompanied the Holy Prophet (Sal Allaho Alehe Wassallam) in some of his trade missions. Because of his honesty people trusted him and often kept their money as a trust with him. His nobility and truthfulness soon made him a rich trader. Actually these qualities were soon to serve the noblest cause of Allah.
First man to accept Islam
Hadrat Abu Bakr was a firm friend of the Holy Prophet and knew him better than any other man. His honesty, nobility, truthfulness and trustworthiness, had great attraction for Abu Bakr. When the Holy Prophet (Sal Allaho Alehe Wassallam) disclosed to him secretly about the revelation of Allah, Abu Bakr accepted it immediately without having the slightest doubt. In this way he was the first adult free man to believe in the Holy Prophet’s Mission, and became his confidant. The Holy Prophet (Sal Allaho Alehe Wassallam) once spoke about this, “When I invited people towards Allah, everybody thought over it and hesitated, at least for a while, except Abu Bakr who accepted my call the moment I put it before him, and he did not hesitate even for a moment.” When he accepted Islam, the Holy Prophet (Sal Allaho Alehe Wassallam) was very pleased.
Dawat (Invitation) towards Allah
As soon as he had accepted Islam he started the work of Da’wat (Invitation towards Allah) first secretly and then openly when it was so allowed by the Holy Prophet (Sal Allaho Alehe Wassallam). First he went to ‘Uthman, Talha, Zubair and Said (Ridwanullah ‘alaihim ‘Ajma’in). They accepted Islam on his preaching. Next day he went to ‘Uthman bin Maz’un, Abu’Ubaidah, Abdur Rahman bin ‘Auf and some other prominent Quraish. They also accepted Islam at his hands. In the first instance eight prominent figures accepted Islam at the hands of Hadrat Abu Bakr as-Siddiq (Raziallah Anho). Among them was Hadrat Uthman, the third Caliph of Islam. In this way he was the first Muslim, after the Holy Prophet, to preach Islam and to invite people towards Allah in a very fruitful way. The main reason for his success was his popularity among the Makkahns because of his honesty, nobility, trustworthiness, good morals and fair dealings.
Even though he was so much respected yet he was not spared, and disbelievers of Makkah did their best to harass him.
When the number of Muslims reached 39, Abu Bakr (Raziallah Anho) asked the permission of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam) to invite people openly. On his persistent request the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam) gave his consent and all of them went to Haram (the Holy Masjid or Ka ‘bah) for Tabligh (Preaching). Hadrat Abu Bakr (Raziallah Anho) gave a Khutbah (Sermon) which was the first ever delivered in the annals of Islam. Hadrat Hamzah accepted Islam the same day. When disbelievers and idolators from amongst Quraish heard it they fell on the Muslims from all sides. Abu Bakr (Raziallah Anho) despite the fact that he was considered to be the noblest of all the people in Makkah, was besmeared with blood. He was kicked, thrashed with shoes, trampled under feet and handled most roughly and savagely. He became unconcious and half-dead. This is the place to observe his extreme love for the Holy Prophet (Sal Allaho Alehe Wassallam) that when he gained consciousness and opened his eyes in the evening he first enquired. “How is the Prophet (Sal Allaho Alehe Wassallam)?” His deep love for the Holy Prophet, really, was the main cause of his success. His love and respect for the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu’alaihi wa Sallam) was unbounded.
On another occasion the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu’alaihi wa Sallam) was offering his Salat in the Ka’bah, Abu Jahl came and put a sheet of cloth around his neck and twisted it hard in order to strangle the Holy Prophet to death. Hadrat Abu Bakr saw this, he at once came and pushing Abu Jahl aside took off the piece of cloth around the neck of the Holy Prophet (Sal Allaho Alehe Wassallam). He then said, “Do you want to kill such a gentle person who is a Messenger of Allah and declares Allah as the Cherisher and Sustainer.” Then Abu Jahl and other enemies of Islam fell upon Abu Bakr and beat him severely.
Miscellaneous services for the cause of Islam in Makkah
Hadrat Abu Bakr served Islam in numerous ways. The Quraish cruelly persecuted a number of slaves who had accepted Islam and made life difficult for them. Muslim slaves were the worst sufferers at the hands of non-Muslim masters. Hadrat Bilal (a negro), one of the best known in the galaxy of Companions of the Holy Prophet, was one among such slaves. His master Umayyah bin Khalf lashed him at night and made him lie on the burning sand during the day because of Bilal’s conversion to Islam. Hadrat Abu Bakr bought him freedom and Bilal became a free Muslim. Other Muslim slaves who were bought by Hadrat Abu Bakr (Raziallah Anho), and made free were, ‘Amir bin Fuhairah, Nazirah, Nahdiah, Jariah, Bani Momil and Bint Nahdiah etc. (Raziallah Anho).
Before Hijrah Hadrat Abu Bakr spent lot of money on new converts
When he found himself hard pressed by disbelievers he asked the permission of the Holy Prophet (Sal Allaho Alehe Wassallam) to migrate to Abyssinia in the 5th year of the Mission with other Muslims. The Holy Prophet (Sal Allaho Alehe Wassallam) permitted him but in the way he met Ibn-ud-Daghna, the chief of another tribe, Qara. On his enquiry Hadrat Abu Bakr told him about the persecution of Quraish and his intention to migrate to Abyssinia. Ibn-ud- Daghna did not want him to leave Arabia and declared to the people of Makkah that Abu Bakr was under his protection. Then nobody dared to harm him.
Hadrat Abu Bakr gets the title of As-SIDDIQ
The Holy Prophet (Sal Allaho Alehe Wassallam) had Mi’raj (Ascension) in the IOth year of his Mission. He narrated his Ascension to the people in the morning. Some of them came to Abu Bakr and said, “Have you listened to your friend (the Holy Prophet)? He is claiming that he visited Jerusalem and the Sublime Throne in the heavens last night and talked with Allah Almighty. Would you believe it?” Hadrat Abu Bakr (Raziallah Anho) immediately replied. “If he said so then it is an absolute Truth”. They again said, “Do you believe that he visited all these places and came back within a small part of night?” He again replied. “Of course I believe in it and I believe in the things which are farther than it, i.e., the news of Hell and Paradise”. For this the Holy Prophet (Sal Allaho Alehe Wassallam) named him as-Siddiq i.e., the most Truthful and sincere person in Faith not having even slightest doubt. Of course Abu Bakr’s faith was so strong that nothing could shake it.
One of the Two in the Cave
When the Holy Prophet (Sal Allaho Alehe Wassallam decided to migrate to Medina, Abu Bakr was the only companion with him. He carried all his money, about five to six thousand Darhams, and started in the night with the Holy Prophet. They lay hidden in the cave of Thaur for three days. The Holy Qur’an describes it as follows
“When the disbelievers drove him out; he had no more than one companion. They were two in the cave. And he said to his companion: “Have no fear for Allah is with us”. Then Allah sent down His peace upon him”. (9:40)
Abu Bakr’s slave ‘Amir bin Fuhairah tended the flocks of goats near the cave during the day and supplied them fresh milk in the night. After three days when Quraish stopped the search of the Holy Prophet, ‘Amir bin Fuhairah (Abu Bakr’s slave) brought two she-camels and both started for Medina. Thus, of all the companions, Abu Bakr (Raziallah Anho) had the honour of accompanying the Holy Prophet (Sal Allaho Alehe Wassallam) in the most critical days of his life. He proved to be most trustworthy on all occasions.