Hazrat Abdul-Rahman ibn Abi Bakr r.a was the eldest son of Hazrat Abu Bakr r.a, the first caliph in Sunni Islam. His mother was Um Ruman bint Amir ibn Uwaymir ibn Zuhal ibn Dahman and he was the full brother of Hazrat Aisha R.A. He and three other children of Hazrat Abu Bakr namely Abdullah, Aisha and Asma were born sometime between 595 AD to 600 AD. It is said that he had a good sense of humour.
Unlike the rest of his family, including his father Hazrat Abu Bakr r.a and sister hazrat Aisha r.a, he did not convert to Islam until the Treaty of Hudaybiyah in 628 AD.
Four generations of the family of Abdul-Rahman had the distinction of being the companions (sahaba) of the Prophet Muhammad namely Abdul-Rahman, his father Abu Bakr As-Siddiq, his grandfather Uthman Abu Quhafa and his son Abu Atiq Muhammad. It was believed that no other family held this distinction.
Participation in battles
While still a non-Muslim, Abdul-Rahman fought from the side of Quraish in the Battles of Badr and Uhud.
In the Battle of Badr, he had an opportunity to kill his father, Abu Bakr, but he turned in another direction. Years later, after becoming Muslim, he told his father about it. Thereupon Hazrat Abu Bakr replied: “If I had had such an opportunity, I would not have spared you.
In the Battle of Uhud before the fighting began, he came forward and threw down a challenge for a duel. Hazrat Abu Bakr accepted the challenge, but Rasool s.a.w stopped him, saying, “Sheathe your sword, and let us continue to profit by your wise counsels.”
After becoming a Muslim, Abdul-Rahman participated in all the battles fought by the Muslims and gained fame as a fierce warrior, especially in the Muslim conquest of Syria. He was one of the Mubarizun champions and fought duels in the battles for the Muslim army. The mubarizun unit of the Rashidun army was composed of elite warriors who were champion swordsmen, lancers and archers. In the battlefield his role was to undermine the morale of the enemy before the beginning of the battle by slaying their champions in duels.
In the Battle of Yamama he killed Muhakkam al-Yamama, the General commanding the forces of Musaylima.
In the Battle of Yarmouk, the Commander in chief of Byzantine force chose five selected warriors from Byzantine side, and they challenged the Muslims to duel. It was Abdul-Rahman who accepted the challenge. Scores of duels were fought on the plains of Yarmouk. Abdul-Rahman killed all of them one after the other
At the Battle of Busra in Syria, he entered the city of Busra through a subterranean passage and then dashing towards the city gates opened them for the main Muslim army to enter.
Under the standard of Islam Hazrat ‘Abd Ar-Rahman’s habits became more bright and shining. He was loyal to his conviction, completely determined to carry out and follow what was right and true, refusing all kinds of flattery and servility. All these manners were the essence of his personality as well as his whole life. He never abandoned his principles even when tempted by a desire or influenced by a fear.
Even on that terrilble day, when Mu’aawiyah decided to force the pledge to Yaziid by the sword. On that day, a message was sent to Marwaan, the governor of Al-Madiinah. It included the oath of allegiance which was to be read aloud in the mosque so that all the Muslims would hear it. Marwaan did what was ordered. When he finished reading it, Hazrat ‘Abd Ar-Rahman Ibn Abi Bakr turned the atmosphere of silence and depression which covered the mosque into one of loud opposition and firm resistance saying, “By Allah, it’s not the welfare of Muhammad’s nation that you are seeking. On the contrary, you want to turn it into a Heraclian rule. When Heraclius dies another follows.”
‘Abd Ar-Rahman could clearly see the dangers awaiting Islam if Mu’aawiyah was to carry out his desire. He could see how the transfer of power within Islam was changing from one based on national consultation by which the nation chooses its leader , to one of autocracy, by which emperors are imposed upon the people, one after the other.
“Abd Ar-Rahman had hardly finished these firm and loud resisting words when a group of Muslims hurried to support him.
However for some compelling reason which occurred later on, they all were forced to hold a position of silence towards this pledge of allegiance which Mu’aawiyah decided to take by force of sword.
But Hazrat ‘Abd Ar-Rahman continued to resist loudly. Mu’aawiyah sent him someone with 100,000 dirhams, hoping to please him.
Ibn As-Siddiiq threw the money and said frankly to Mu’aawiyah’s messenger, “Go back to him and tell him, it’s not ‘Abd Ar-Rahman who is going to buy his life by losing his faith.”
As soon as he heard the news that Mu’aawiyah had set off towards Al-Madiinah, he left it heading to Makkah.
Allah wanted to save him the temptation of such a situation and its bad results. He had hardly reached the borders of Makkah when his soul submitted itself to Allah’s appeal. Men carried the body and buried it in Makkah, which had witnessed his pagan past but also witnessed his conversion to Islam, the conversion of an honest, free, and brave man.
Some sources claim that Muawiya ordered Hazrat Abdul Rahman r.a to be poisoned for opposing Yazid’s succession.
He died in 666 AD. He was buried in Mecca.