Friday, 17 October 2014

ABU BAKR (RA)


Abu Bakr (RA) was a companion and father-in-law of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). He was also the first Caliph among Rashidun Caliphate. His real name was Abdullah bin Abu Quhafah. His popular name Abu Bakr (father of young camel) was due to his love for young camels during his childhood. He was a close friend of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) even before the arrival of Islam and among the first ones to embrace Islam. Muslims regard him as the grand companion among the companions (Sahaba) of Prophet (PBUH). 

Early Life

Abu Bakr (RA) was born around 573 AD in Makkah (Saudi Arabia) in the clan of Banu Taym (Quraysh tribe). Usman Abu Quhafah was the name of his father while Salma bint Sakhar was his mother.

During his teens, he adopted the occupation of cloth merchant. He became a wealthy and prominent merchant after some time. Abu Bakr (RA) was among the few literate persons of Makkah. He was fond of poetry and Arab genealogy.  Even before Islam, he disliked alcohol drinking and idolatry.

Acceptance of Islam

Abu Bakr (RA) was among the first to accept Islam. Ha later showed his love for Islam and Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) during his whole life. His preaching persuaded several prominent people of Quraysh to accept Islam including: Usman bin Affan (third Caliph of Islam), Zubayr bin al-Awam, Sa’d bin Abi Waqqas, Abdur Rahman bin Awf and several others. He also freed several converted Muslim men and women slaves by purchasing them from their infidel masters in order to save them from the cruelty of their masters. These slaves include: Bilal bin Ribah (first muazzan of Islam), Ammar bin Yair, Lubaynah and others. He was the first person to accept the Prophet’s (PBUH) miracle voyage to skies (Meeraj-un-Nabi). He was given the title of Siddique (the True person) by Muhammad (PBUH).  

Migration to Medina

During the Muslims’ migration to Medina, Abu Bakr accompanied Muhammad (PBUH) during the dangerous voyage when the Quraysh were vigorously chasing them to prevent them from going to Medina and kill them. Both of them first took refuge in Jabal Thawr (cave of Thawr) for three days. Then they resumed their journey towards Medina after few days. Due to this companionship, Abu Bakr (RA) is also known as Companion of the Cave. 

Life in Medina

During his life in Medina under Islamic society, Abu Bakr (RA) remained the right-hand man of Prophet (PBUH) and served Islam with his wealth and physical contribution. Abu Bakr paid the price to buy land for central mosque in Medina Masjid al-Nabawi. He took part in all the important battles including battles of Badr, Uhud, Khandaq, battles against Jewish tribes, battle of Hunayn and others. During Battle of Tabouk, Abu Bakr spent his whole wealth for the service of Islam. In 7 AH (Hijra), Abu Bakr (RA) led the Muslim Army to conquer the central Nejd area of Arabia. 

During Caliphate

In 9 AH, Muhammad (PBUH) appointed Abu Bakr (RA) as the first Ameer-ul-Hajj (leader of pilgrimage) after the conquest of Makkah in 8 AH. Later, the Prophet (PBUH) also ordered him to lead the salaah (prayer) during his illness before death. Both these events were clear message that the Prophet (PBUH) wants Abu Bakr (RA) to lead the Muslims after his departure. After the death of Prophet (PBUH), Abu Bakr (RA) became the first Caliph of Muslims with their consensus in 632 AD. 

It was very dangerous time for Islam and Muslims. Many tribes refused to pray and give Zakat (obligatory religious tax) while several people claimed for prophecy and their related tribes accepted their claim. On the other hand, Roman and Sassanid empires were also eager to end this new threat (Islam) before it gains momentum. At that time, Abu Bakr (RA) proved his appointment from Prophet (PBUH) absolutely right as he stood firm against these dangers. 

He sent different armies against the false prophets in Rida Wars and his military commanders defeated all of them. Along with this, he also sent expeditions in Iraq and Syria against Sassanid and Roman Empires respectively. During his reign (632-34 AD), Muslim army conquered Iraq under its commander Khalid bin Waleed while armies on the other front of Syria also occupy few southern areas of Al-Sham (Levant). Before his death, Abu Bakr (RA) ordered Khalid to reach al-Sham (Levant) to help already stationed Muslim armies on this front against Roman Empire and appointed Sa’d bin Abi Waqqas the commander of Muslim Army in Persia. Both these decisions proved valuable for the second Caliph Umar bin al-Khattab who was also appointed by Abu Bakr (RA). 

Place in History

Abu Bakr (RA) was a pious, devoted and brave Muslim. He spent his whole life for service of Islam in every thick and thin. His reign as the first Caliph of Islam is crucial for defense of Islam and its spread in Iraq and Levant. His achievements are remarkable and he is one of the greatest Muslim personalities and leaders without any doubt. 







No comments:

Post a Comment