Bakr's companionship with the Prophet
It has to be mentioned right from the beginning that both Prophet Muhammad
and Abu Bakr Assiddeeq had similar 1
temperaments 2. Both were kind, lenient, 3
truthful and honest. Both found comfort in solitude 5
and abstained 6
from drinking alcohol, even before Islam was established 7.
Abu Bakr's complexion 8was fair, and he was rather slim 9.
He was tender, wise 10
and solemn 11
and seldom joined12
in the polytheistic13
celebrations of his countrymen 14
After the Prophet had married Khadeejah, the wealthy, 40-year-old landlady15
from Mecca, his lodging 16was
very close to that of Abu Bakr. According to `Aishah, Abu Bakr's daughter
and the prophet's wife after the death of Khadeejah, her father was frequently
visited by the Prophet, with whom he developed a strong friendship17
When God's message was revealed18
to Muhammad, the first man to believe in him was Abu Bakr. In fact, Abu
Bakr had always doubted the validity19
and had very little enthusiasm21
for worshipping 22
idols. So when he accepted Islam he did his best to attract other people
to it. Soon `Othman bin Affan, Abdul-Rahman bin Awf, Talhah bin Obaydillah,
Sa'd bin Abi Waqqas, Al-Zubayr bin Al-'Awwam and Abu Obaydah bin AI-Jarrah
all flocked to join Muhammad (May God bless him and give him peace). The
Prophet once said: ''`Abu Bakr was the only person who accepted Islam immediately,
occupation was drapery24. Adraper, in order to be successful25
in his trade26
should not go against his customers'27
wishes. Nevertheless, he preached 28the
new religion ardently 29without
considering how it might affect his business. When the infidels30
started torturing 31their
poor Muslim slaves32,
Abu Bakr intervened 33.
As he was unable to release34
them by force, he paid their masters money and set them free. Bilal bin
Rabah was one of those who were tortured in the sun, by being brutally35whipped
and covered with heavy rocks while lying on the burning sand in the summer
heat. When Islam started, Abu Bakr had 40,000 dirhems but by the time he
emigrated to Madina he had only 5,000 left.
When the Prophet spoke with contempt of the disbelievers' gods, the infidels
got very irritated and attacked him violently when he was on his way to
the Ka'ba. Had it not been for Abu Bakr's intervention, something bad might
have happened to him.
As the Qurayshites rejected the Prophet's message, he started to look for
which would give him refuge38
.He was accompanied on this search by Abu Bakr. The only shelter39
which they could find was in Yathreb, or Madina, which was then inhabited40
by two warring41
tribes, the Aws and Khazraj. Later, through the Prophet's good offices,
the two tribes became united and were given the name of "Ansar" or "Helpers".
Bakr was known as "Assiddeeq' after the incident on the Prophet's midnight
to Jerusalem. The Qurayshites, being experienced43
knew that such a journey, if it ever happened, would take two months by
camel. When Muhammad told them he had accomplished his round trip 45to
Jerusalem in one night, they scoffed46
at him and began to doubt his sanity47.
As for Abu Bakr, when he first heard of it he thought that they were telling a tale; he then
said, "I have always believed his words about heavenly48
how can I disbelieve him about such a secondary wordly matter?"
Because of the ruthless50
torturing of the Prophet's followers, many of them emigrated 51
to Abyssinia. Yet Abu Bakr would not leave. He preferred to stay with the
Prophet to support 52
him in his time of need and help the new converts. When many Muslims emigrated
to Madina, Abu Bakr asked the Prophet's permission to follow suit. He was
told to wait because the Prophet himself might leave with him. So he got
two camels ready and waited anxiously 53A
few days later, while the Prophet's house was besieged 54by
a group of swordsmen55
from all the tribes of Mecca, who had plotted 56together
to kill him, he left his cousin, `Ali bin Abi Talib, in his bed, slipped57
unnoticed from the house, and departed
58with Abu Bakr in the early hours of the morning.
Their journey from Mecca to Madina was full of romance and adventure. As
soon as the besieging swordsmen discovered that they were tricked 59,
they went in search of the two men. A public prize of a hundred camels
was offered to anyone who might find them. However, it happened that when
they hid in a cave named Thawr, a spider spun its web60
at the opening of the cave, and a pigeon built its nest there. The swordsmen
followed their tracks until they reached their hiding place, but, seeing
the web and the early hours of the morning. Their journey from Mecca to
Madina was full of romance and adventure. As soon as the besieging nest,
they went home, telling everyone that further pursuit was fruitless61
Later when the battle of Badr took place between Muslims and non-Muslims,
and the latter62
out numbered the former by three to one, some sort of canopy 63was
for the Prophet at the battle lines. Abu Bakr alone was entrusted 65with
his safety. This shows the very close relationship between the two; and
when the Prophet's mantle66
fell from his shoulders during his earnest67
prayer to God, his intimate companion put it courteously 68back.
In the battle of Ohod, which took place the following year after Badr,
won the battle because the archers 70left
their places on the top of the mountain. Only a dozen people stayed with
the Prophet on this occasion, one of whom was the staunch71
believer Abu Bakr.
This loyalty was evident in all the campaigns which the Prophet led, especially
against the Jews of Banu Nadier and Banu Qaynoqa', and against the Jews
of Fadak, Tayma' and Khaybar, not to mention the heroic battle of the Trench.
In fact, from the very start of the Islamic era73
he was playing the role of vizier 74
advising and supporting the Prophet.
year 6 A.H. the Muslims attempted75
to take Mecca itself, the stronghold 76
of polytheism. When they reached the Hodaybiya Valley, Quraysh sent negotiators77
to persuade them not to attack the city and agreed to let them in for pilgrimage
the following year. The Prophet agreed, but some of his followers refused.
They were determined to conquer78
Mecca immediately. Abu Bakr stood firmly by the side of the Prophet; but
it was only when a full Qur'anic chapter entitled "Fath"
or "Conquest" was revealed that they were finally convinced.79
Mecca was at last subdued 80,
all the tribes of Arabia were convinced that Muhammad was a true apostle
sent to them by God. They stopped resisting and sent delegates81
to Madina proclaiming their allegiance 82to
him. While he was busy receiving delegates, he let Abu Bakr preside over
the 300 pilgrims. This incident proved of vital83
importance later when a caliph was chosen after the death of the Prophet.
The 10th year
A.H. was called "the valediction year", because the Prophet, with 100,000
followers, including Abu Bakr and all the Prophet's household84,
performed his last pilgrimage and from the top of `Arafat mountain gave
speech in which he summarized86
the numerous commandments of Islam.
his return to Madina the Prophet became ill and could not lead the prayers
in the Grand Mosque. He gave instructions to 'Aishah' to tell her father
to lead the prayers. She pointed out that Abu Bakr's voice was rather low
and the worshippers might not hear his recitation 87of
the Qur'an. She also said that he often wept while praying, and suggested
Omar bin al-Khattab as being fitter88
for the task 89.The
Prophet became extremely angry, and gave emphatic90
orders that Abu Bakr should lead the prayers. This was taken by the Muslims
as another sign to choose Abu Bakr to be their caliph after the Prophet's