NAME AND PARENTAGE OF HADRAT ABU BAKR(R.A.)
Hadrat Abu Bakr, as-Siddiq, (R.A.) was born in 573 A.D. at Makkah. Thus he was two years younger than the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam). 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 (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam) 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(R.A.) 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 (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam) 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 (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam) 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(R.A.) was a firm friend of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam) and knew him better than any other man. His honesty, nobility, truthfulness and trustworthiness, had great attraction for Abu Bakr. When the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam) 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 (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam) 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 (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam) was very pleased.
DA’WAT (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 (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam). 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 (R.A.). 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 Meccans because of his honesty, nobility, trustworthiness, good morals and fair dealings.
HARDSHIPS FOR DA’WAT (INVITATION) TOWARDS ALLAH
Even though he was so much respected yet he was not spared, and disbelievers of Mecca did their best to harass him.
When the number of Muslims reached 39, Abu Bakr (R.A.) 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 Mosque or Ka ‘bah) for Tabligh (Preaching). Hadrat Abu Bakr (R.A.) 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 (R.A.) despite the fact that he was considered to be the noblest of all the people in Mecca, 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 (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam) that when he gained consciousness and opened his eyes in the evening he first enquired. “How is the Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam)?” 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 (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam). 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 (R.A.), and made free were, ‘Amir bin Fuhairah, Nazirah, Nahdiah, Jariah, Bani Momil and Bint Nahdiah etc. (R.A.).
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 (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam) to migrate to Abyssinia in the 5th year of the Mission with other Muslims. The Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam) 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 Mecca that Abu Bakr was under his protection. Then nobody dared to harm him.
ABU BAKR(R.A.) GETS THE TITLE OF AS-SIDDIQ
The Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam) 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 (R.A.) 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 (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam) 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 (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam 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 (R.A.) had the honour of accompanying the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam) in the most critical days of his life. He proved to be most trustworthy on all occasions.
HADRAT ABU BAKR(R.A.) AT MADINAH
He reached Quba (a place near Medina) with the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam) and stopped there. The Medinites were anxiously waiting for the Holy Prophet. At Quba there was a warm welcome. The Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam) stopped at the place of Bani ‘Amr bin ‘Auf at Quba. Multitudes of people came there to see the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam) and most of them mistook Hadrat Abu Bakr as the Holy Prophet. On seeing this Hadrat Abu Bakr stood up and spread a sheet over the head of the Holy Prophet to protect from him the scorching rays of the hot sun. Then the Medinites recognised the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam).
On reaching Medina he fell ill because of the change of climate and got high fever. The Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam) prayed for him and he was restored to health. At the time of establishing brotherhood bond between an immigrant from Mecca and a Medinite Muslim the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam) took into consideration the position in the society of the two persons. Hadrat Abu Bakr (R.A.) became the brother of Hadrat Haritha bin Zubair, a noted and respected Medinite.
BUILDING OF THE PROPHET’S MOSQUE
There was an urgent need for building a mosque at Medina and a house for the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu’alaihi wa Sallam) and his family. The land which was selected for this belonged to two orphans. Their guardians wanted to give the land for the mosque free of charge but the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu’alaihi wa Sallam) did not accept their offer and asked Hadrat Abu Bakr to pay the price of the land. Thus Hadrat Abu Bakr became the first Muslim to spend most of his money for the cause of Allah at Medina. He participated in the construction of the mosque like an ordinary labourer with other Muslims.
PARTICIPATION IN THE HOLY WARS
He fought in almost all the battles along with the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam). In the first battle of Islam at Badr he was with the Holy Prophet like a shadow. His own son, who had not embraced Islam by that time, was fighting on the side of Quraish. After he accepted Islam he said to Abu Bakr one day, “Dear father! I found you twice under my sword at Badr but I could not raise my hand because of my love for you”. “if I had got a chance”, Abu Bakr replied, “I would have killed you”. It was Abu Bakr’s suggestion on which the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam) decided to release the prisoners of war after taking ransom.
In the battle of Uhud when some of the Muslims were running away, Abu Bakr was firm and when the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu’alaihi wa Sallam) was brought on the mountain after being injured, he was with him.
Hadrat Abu Bakr (R.A.) was the first companion to accept the peace plan of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam) without any hesitation at Hudaibiyah when all the Muslims insisted upon fighting. Even a Muslim like Umar (R.A.) hesitated to accept the treaty with the non-believers of Mecca but Hadrat Abu Bakr fully supported the Holy Prophet’s decision.
On the occasion of Tabuk expedition Hadrat Abu Bakr (R.A.) brought everything that he possessed. When the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam) asked him, “What did you leave for your family?” Abu Bakr (R.A.) said, “I have left for them Allah and his Prophet”. Even Hadrat Umar (R.A.) admitted that he could never hope to surpass Abu Bakr (R.A.) in his sacrifice for the cause of Allah and Islam.
AMIR (CHIEF) OF AL-HAJJUL-AKBAR (9 A.H.)
It was the 9th year of Hijrah when the first Haj took place. The Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam) had then returned from Tabuk expedition but he was so busy that he could not himself attend the Hajj pilgrimage. He sent Hadrat Abu Bakr as-Siddiq as his deputy to lead the Hajj caravan to Mecca. Among others in the Hajj caravan were Hadrat Sa’d bin Abi-Waqqas, Jabir, and Hadrat Abu Hurairah (R.A.). The Holy Qur’an calls this Hajj pilgrimage as “Al-Hajjul-Akbar” (The Great Hajj) because it was the first ever Hajj in the history of Islam and was the beginning of a new era of Islamic period and constitution. Hadrat Abu Bakr taught the people the Hajj rites and rituals and gave a historic sermon (Khutbah) on the Sacrificial Day before the congregation. Hadrat ‘Ali followed him and proclaimed severance of all connections with the heathen world. It was announced: Non-believers should not approach the Ka’bah; no person should perform Hajj naked (as was observed before Islam); and all the treaties with pagan world would cease to operate after four months. The Holy Qur’an mentions it as follows
“An announcement from Allah and His Apostle, to the people (assembled) on the day of the Great Pilgrimage (Al-Hajjul-Akbar), that Allah and His Apostle dissolve (treaty) obligations with the Pagans. If, then, you repent, it is better for you (0 Pagan), but if you turn away then you mind it that you cannot frustrate Allah. And proclaim a grievous penalty to those who reject Faith”. (9:3)
IMAM OF HOLY PROPHET(Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam’s) MOSQUE
Since his arrival at Medina the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam) himself led the Salats at his mosque all the time. This was really a high office and was not given to anybody in the presence of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam). A few months after his return from the Farewell Pilgrimage (AI-Hujjatul-Wida’) in IO A.H., the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam) fell ill. A time came when he was unable to move and could not go to the Mosque to lead the Salat. He had to appoint someone as the Imam and this honour fell to the lot of Abu Bakr. Abu Bakr’s daughter, lady ‘A’isha (Radiallahu Anha) was one of the most beloved wives of the Holy Prophet Sallallahu’alaihi wa Sallam). She knew that Hadrat Abu Bakr was a soft hearted man and it would be rather hard for him to replace the Holy Prophet(Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam) in the Salat. So she pleaded with the Holy Prophet (Sallailahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam) to excuse Hadrat Abu Bakr from this duty but the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam) did not change his decision even though he was requested three times.
During those days once Abu Bakr was not present at the time of congregational Salat. Somebody asked Hadrat Umar to lead the Salat. The Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam) after hearing the voice of Hadrat Umar enquired about the Imam and when he found that Abu Bakr(R.A.) was not leading he was annoyed and said, “Nobody will lead the Salat besides Ibn Abu Qahafa (i.e. Hadrat Abu Bakr)”. Then Abu Bakr (R.A.) was called but by that time Hadrat Umar had completed the Salat. The Salat was repeated by the order of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam) and Abu Bakr (R.A.) led it.
During his sickness, the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam) once felt some relief and went for Zuhr Salat, supported by Hadrat ‘Ali and Hadrat ‘Abbas (R.A.). His face beamed with joy and full satisfaction on seeing Abu Bakr leading the Salat. Sensing the presence of the Holy Prophet, (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam) Abu Bakr wanted to step back but the Holy Prophet stopped him and sat down by his side. After the Salat the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam) gave his last address: “Allah offered one of His servants the choice of the life on this earth and a life with Him. But the servant accepted the latter”. Hearing this tears came out of Abu Bakr’s eyes and rolled down to his beard. He thought of the inevitable separation from his Beloved Master (the Holy Prophet). Most of the people did not understand the meaning of Holy Prophet’s address and they were surprised at Abu Bakr’s crying.
Early in the morning of the last day of his life, the Holy Prophet’s condition became suddenly better for a while. As the apartment was just adjoining the Mosque, he raised the curtain and observed the Muslims busy in Salat under the Imamat (leadership) of Hadrat Abu Bakr (R.A.). A smile lit up the pale face of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam). Seeing the sign of the Holy Prophet’s recovery the people in the Mosque lost control over themselves in sheer delight. They might have fallen out of the file but the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam) asked Hadrat Abu Bakr to lead the Salat and he went inside and let the curtain fall.
NEWS OF THE DEATH OF THE HOLY PROPHET (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam)
When Hadrat Abu Bakr (R.A.) found the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam) in a better condition in the morning of the last day of his life, he went a few miles outside Medina to meet his wife Hadrat Kharjah bint Zuhair (Radiallahu anha). After hearing the news of the death of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam), he immediately returned and saw great rush at the gate of the Mosque. He did not talk to anybody and went straight to Hadrat ‘ A’isha’s apartment where the Holy Corpse was lying. After taking permission he entered the apartment and kissed the Holy Face, tears rolling out of his eyes. Then he remarked, “May my parents be sacrificed for you. I swear by Allah that death will never come twice to you. You have tasted the death which was destined for you and now you will get no other.” He covered the Holy Body with a sheet and came to the Mosque.
A multitude of people was crying in the Mosque. Hadrat Umar (R.A.) was in a strong emotional state and was shouting that the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam) had not died. Hadrat Abu Bakr (R.A.) tried to calm him but Umar did not pay any attention to him. Noting the delicacy of the situation, Hadrat Abu Bakr stood in another corner of the Mosque and gave his most effective and historical address. All the people gathered around him. He said:
“O People! If any one of you worshipped Muhammad (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam) he should bear in mind that Muhammad is dead. But those who worshipped Allah should know that He is Alive and will never die. Allah says in the Holy Qur’an: “Muhammad is only a Messenger of Allah. There came down a number of Messengers before him. Then would you turn back from Islam, if he dies or is killed?”
The address of Hadrat Abu Bakr touched the hearts of the people. Hadrat Umar also cooled down. Hadrat ‘Abdullah says, “It seemed that the verse of the Holy Qur’an to which Abu Bakr referred was just revealed, although we had recited it several times in the past”
ABU BAKR(R.A.) CHOSEN AS THE FIRST KHALIFAH
The Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam) did not nominate his successor and left the choice of his deputy or viceroy (Khalifah) to his Ummah (followers). There were two groups of Muslims in Medina viz., Muhajirin (the Immigrants from Mecca), and Ansar (Helpers i.e., Medinites). After the death of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam), Ansar (Medinites) gathered in a big Hall of Medinah known as “Saqifah-i-Bani Sa’idah” to discuss the appointment of a Khalifah. Hadrat Abu Bakr and Hadrat Umar with other prominent Muhajirin (Immigrants) were in the Mosque. When they were informed about the gathering of Ansar, Hadrat Abu Bakr and Umar also went there accompanied by a number of eminent Muhajirin like Hadrat Abu ‘Ubaidah bin al-Jarrah. Since Hadrat ‘Ali and Hadrat Zubair (two prominent figures among Muhajirin) were not present at the spot, they could not go to the gathering.
Much discussion was going on in the gathering of the Ansar about the selection of a Khalifah. Some of the leading Ansar wanted a Khalifah from amongst the Ansar. When Hadrat Abu Bakr heard it, he said. “We acknowledge the sacrifices of Ansar for Islam. You really deserve to have a Khalifah from amongst yourselves, but Arabs will not agree on any “Amir” (Chief of other than a person from the Quraish.” Hearing Hadrat Abu Bakr another Ansari, Khabab bin Mundhar stood up and said, “Let there be two Amirs (Khalifahs) then, one from amongst Quraish and another from amongst Ansar.” On this Hadrat Umar stood up and said, “This is not at all possible. There would be great confusion because of two Amirs.” Hadrat Khabbab bin Mundhar did not agree with Umar and there was a hot talk between them. Hadrat Abu ‘Ubaidah tried to cool them down. Then another Ansari Hadrat Bashir bin an-Nu’man (R.A.) stood up and said, “The Holy Prophet belonged to the Quraish tribe. Quraishites have preference over others. All the Arabs would agree on them. Therefore a Khalifah must be from amongst them. We do not want any dispute with Muhajirin in the matter of Khilafat. We the Medinites are Ansar (Helpers) and we would prefer to remain Helpers of Allah and His Holy Prophet (Sallaliahu’alaihi wa Sallam).” Another Ansari Hadrat Zaid bin Thabit (R.A.) also supported this view and said, “There should be a Khalifah from amongst Muhajirin (Quraishis). We Medinites were Ansar (Helpers) of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam) and would remain Ansar (Helpers) of his Khalifah as well.” A number of Ansar then supported this view, and there was general satisfaction in the council over the selection of a Muhajir (Quraishi) Khalifah. Seeing this Hadrat Abu Bakr (R.A.) stood up and said, “I propose the name of Umar and Abu’Ubaidah bin al-Jarrah for this post. Select anyone of these two men as your Khalifah.” But both of them refused and Hadrat Umar said, “Abu Bakr is the best of all of us because Allah has mentioned him in the Holy Qur’an saying: “The one amongst two in the cave” (9:40). He further said, Abu Bakr excelled at every occasion during the life of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam). He deputised the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam) in leading Salats, he was appointed the Chief of Haj caravan. As such he is the fittest person to be the Khalifah.” Hadrat Abu Bakr still hesitated but Umar (R.A.) and Hadrat Zaid bin Thabit Ansari held his hand and took pledge of loyalty (Bai’at). Then Hadrat Abu ‘Ubaidah bin al-Jarrah and Hadrat Bashir bin an-Nu’man Ansari also took pledge of loyalty at his hands. Seeing this people from all the sides rushed to pledge loyalty to Abu Bakr (R.A.) as the first successor of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu’alaihi wa Sallam).
Next day a general pledge of loyalty (Bai’at) was taken by the Muslims in the Mosque of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam). Thus Hadrat Abu Bakr assumed the greatest office, after the office of prophethood, and became the first Khalifah of Islam. He gave his first address as a Khalifah in the mosque after the general “Bai’at””0 people! I have been selected as your Trustee although I am no better than anyone of you. If I am right, obey me. If I am misguided, set me right. Of course truth is honesty and a lie is dishonesty. The weakest among you is powerful in my eyes until I do not get him his due, Insha-Allah (If it should please Allah). The most powerful among you is the weakest in my eyes until I do not make him pay due rights to others Insha Allah. Allah sends down disgrace on those people who give up Jihad in the path of Allah. Allah surely sends down calamities on such people who indulge in evils.
“I ask you to obey me as long as I obey Allah and His Messenger (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam). If I disobey Allah and His Messenger you are free to disobey me. Now come and offer Salat.”
In his short address, Hadrat Abu Bakr showed the role of an exemplary Khalifah of Islamic Government. No doubt Islamic Government means: “Government of Allah and His Prophet, by His obedient servants for the benefit of the people in this world and in the Hereafter.”
About thirty three thousand people took pledge of loyalty (Bai’at) at the hand of Hadrat Abu Bakr in the mosque. The selection (or Election) of Hadrat Abu Bakr is a pointer towards Islamic Democracy and furnishes example for selection of a Leader for Ummat-i-Muslimah (Muslim Community) till the Day of Judgement.
Hadrat ‘Ali took pledge of loyalty a few months later because he was busy in collecting various parts of the Holy Qur’an. Some other reasons have also been given for his delay in “Bai’at” which are ignored here.
PROBLEMS FACED BY HADRAT ABU BAKR AS-SIDDIQ AS A CALIPH
After the death of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam), the Arabs were on all sides rising in rebellion. Apostasy and disaffection raised their heads. Christians and Jews were filled with unrest. Some Muslim tribes refused to pay Zakat to the Caliph for “Baitul Mal” (the Public Treasury). Some disbelievers declared themselves to be prophets. There were many problems and much confusion. Hadrat Abu Bakr (R.A.) faced all these with unparalleled courage and the highest degree of Iman (Faith) which is the characteristic of a “SIDDIQ”. At this place I would like to point out that “SIDDIQIAT” is the highest stage of Iman (Faith) and “Tawakkul” (Trust in Allah) after prophethood as pointed out in the following verse of the Holy Qur’an
“All those who obey Allah and the Prophet are in the company of those upon whom Allah has shown favours – of the Prophets, “Siddiqin” (The Sincere), “Shuhada” (The Martyrs), and “Salihin”(The Righteous Muslims): Ah! What a beautiful company.” (4:69).
In the following lines I would like to mention the main problems faced by Abu Bakr as-Siddiq (R.A.) in brief.
The freed slave of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam) and his adopted son, Hadrat Zaid bin Harith (R.A.) was martyred at the hands of Syrians (Romans) at Mautah in 8 A.H. A few weeks before his death the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam) appointed Hadrat Usamah (R.A.), the son of Zaid to lead an expedition against Syrians in order to avenge the death of his father, Zaid. When Hadrat Usamah was about to leave, the news of the demise of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam) came and the departure of the army was postponed. After being chosen as Caliph, the first task before Abu Bakr (R.A.) was to send out this expedition. As a matter of fact, it was the most critical time in the history of Islam. The entire peninsula was in a state of unrest and disorder. Some of the new converts thought Islam would come to an end with the Holy Prophet’s life. Many of the tribes had entered the fold of Islam only a short time before and were not firm in Islam. About this the Holy Qur’an has already predicted
“The wandering Arabs (Bedouins) say: We have (firm) faith. Say (to them O Muhammad): You believe not (firmly), but rather say “We submit”, for the Faith has not entered into your hearts.” (39:14).
At the same time news came to Medina that apostates under the command of some false prophet were planning to invade the town. Hadrat Abu Bakr(R.A.) was really facing a difficult situation. In the circumstances, the companions approached him to withdraw the expedition of Hadrat Usamah bin Zaid. In their opinion it was unwise to send troops out of Medina because they were needed at home.
Here was the test of Abu Bakr’s (R.A.) faith in following the ways of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam). He got through in his test and proved to be the most firm among all of his companions including Hadrat Umar. Abu Bakr (R.A.) said he could never alter the decision taken by his master (the Holy Prophet). He firmly replied to his companions, “How can I fold up the flag which was unfurled by the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu’alaihi wa Sallam) himself?” When Muslims saw that Hadrat Abu Bakr was firm they requested him to change the command of Hadrat Usamah because he was too young and inexperienced — not yet twenty, thus was not fit to lead the expedition. Hearing this Hadrat Abu Bakr was much annoyed and said, “Do you want me to dismiss a man appointed by the Messenger of Allah?”
At last the army led by Hadrat Usamah left after three weeks of Holy Prophet’s death. Hadrat Umar (R.A.) was also included in the army. Hadrat Abu Bakr sought Usamah’s permission to leave him in Medinah, and he agreed. Hadrat Abu Bakr himself bid him farewell and went to some distance out of Medina. The young commander of the army was riding a horse and the great Caliph was walking by his side. After forty days Hadrat Usamah returned to Medinah with a great victory, the victory of Abu Bakr’s (R.A.) firm Faith.
The success of Usamah’s expedition also opened the eyes of those who thought Islam was dying out after the demise of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam). Some of the tribes again came back to Islam which they had left.
Some disbelievers declared their prophethood and started revolt. Four of those were main figures among such false prophets. A brief account of them is given here.
He rose in Yemen and was known as ‘Ansi, “the Veiled prophet” because he put veil on his face all the time. After collecting a big army he stood up in open revolt against Islam. He was killed by Qais bin Makshuh and his followers scattered.
He belonged to the tribe of Bani Asad in northern Arabia. Just after the death of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu’alaihi wa Sallam) he rose in open revolt. Hadrat Abu Bakr sent Hadrat Khalid bin Walid to crush the rebellion. After a fierce fight Tulaiha’s army was defeated and he ran away to Syria. Afterwards he again accepted Islam.
SAJAH BINT AL-HARITH IN SUWAID
She belonged to the tribe of Bani Tamim. After the death of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam) a number of chiefs of this tribe including Malik bin Nuwairah repudiated Islam and Sajah declared her prophethood. Four thousand people including some of the chiefs gathered around her to march to Medina. She also forced those who did not co-operate with her to follow. On her way to Medinah she was informed about the Islamic army led by Khalid bin Walid who had crushed the rebellion of Tulaiha. Hearing the news of Islamic army she was frightened and wrote a letter to Musailimah al-Kadh-dhab (the Liar) seeking his co-operation. Musailimah had also declared his prophethood. A mutual understanding was reached in the beginning but later Sajah married Musailimah and accepted his prophethood.
In the meantime Hadrat Khalid bin Walid reached the headquarters of the tribe of Bani Tamim. After the marriage of Sajah with Musailimah most of the people belonging to Bani Tamim had already re-entered Islam. Hadrat Khalid did not say anything to such persons but fought with those who were still apostates and defeated them.
After crushing the rebellion of Bani Tamim he turned his attention to the notorious false prophet Musailimah al-Kadhdhab (the Liar).
MUSAILIMAH AL-KADH-DHAB (THE LIAR)
Musailimah belonged to a tribe of central Arabia. His tribe did not want to follow the “Prophet of Quraish” (the Holy Prophet), so they accepted him as a prophet. According to some historians he declared his prophethood during the later period of the Holy Prophet. However he openly did so after the death of Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam). Hadrat Abu Bakr As-Siddiq (R.A.) sent Shurahbeel bin Hasnah and ‘Ikrimah (R.A.) to crush the rebellion. Later on Hadrat Khalid bin Walid (R.A.) also joined them.
Musailimah was commanding an army of forty thousand Bedouins. Some of them joined only to support their tribe although they did not believe in Musailimah. The Islamic army of thirteen thousand men was under the command of Khalid bin Walid (R.A.). A fierce battle was fought. A number of prominent Companions were slain in the fight. In the end Musailimah’s army was defeated. He himself was killed by Wahshi, (R.A.) the same person who was responsible for Hadrat Hamzah’s martyrdom in the battle of Uhad at a time when he was not a Muslim.
In this battle about 800 Muslims were martyred among whom were 360 Companions of the Holy Prophet. A number of Huffaz. (i.e. those who committed all the Holy Qur’an to memory) were also martyred.
Musailimah’s defeat raised the standing of Muslims once more in the whole of Arabia. Thus in a short period the false prophets and their followers were wiped out by virtue of firm Faith and Wisdom of As-Siddiq al-Akbar. But there were still a number of problems to be solved.
The new converts had not learnt the spirit of Islam. For centuries, the Arabian tribes knew no authority. Islam disciplined them and put them under certain moral obligations. Drinking and gambling of pre-Islamic days had been prohibited. Their wild spirit rebelled against this moral control. They wanted a chance which they got after the death of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam), and considered it the right time to throw off the yoke of Islam. That was the time when virtually the whole of Arabian peninsula was under the grip of civil war. It was the firm determination of As-Siddiq al-Akbar which permanently quelled the rebellions. Professor Hitti says: “The short khilafat of Abu Bakr was mostly occupied with the so-called Ridda (apostasy) wars”. “The Arabs, throughout the peninsula,” says another historian W. Muir, “were relapsing into apostasy”. But As-Siddiq al-Akbar did not lose heart and faced the situation with utmost courage and Iman.
The rebellion started with the refusal of the tribes to deposit Zakat fund in the Baitul Mal (Public Treasury) as was done during the days of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam). Hadrat Abu Bakr called a meeting of his “Shura” (Advisory Council) and sought its advice. Most of the Companions did not consider it advisable to take action for the time being because of the wars against false prophets and major revolts. But Hadrat Abu Bakr was firm on taking strong and prompt action so that others may have a lesson. He therefore declared, “I swear by Allah I will fight alone, if others do not support me, against everybody whosoever refuses a single kid due on him in Zakat.” He launched a big campaign without delay. He collected the troops in Medina and divided them into eleven battalions, each under the command of an experienced commander, and sent them out to different parts of Arabia. His instructions for them were to call rebels to Islam first, and if they failed, to fight them. Some of the rebel tribes submitted to Islam without fighting. Wars were waged against those who remained adamant.
With the help of these battalions As-Siddiq al-Akbar crushed all the forces of rebellion, disorder and apostasy. He actually showed wonderful courage and ability in suppressing the movement. The apostasy movement which affected the whole of Arabia besides Mecca and Medina, was totally suppressed within a year and Islam was once again the only religion of the Peninsula. When the rebellion was subdued and Islam was re-established, As-Siddiq diverted his attention towards outside Arabia. Hadrat Khalid bin Walid (R.A.) was considered to be the fittest and most suitable commander for the external expeditions, which would be described later.
THE REBELLION OF BAHRAIN:
Bahrain is a small state in the north-east side of the Arab Peninsula by the Persian Gulf. The people of Bahrain accepted Islam in the lifetime of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam). Soon after the Holy Prophet’s demise the Muslim governor of Bahrain died and there was disorder in the province. As-Siddiq al-Akbar sent a battalion under the command of ‘Ala bin al-Hadrami who defeated the rebelled tribe, Banu Bakr of Bahrain. The other tribe of Bahrain, Banu ‘Abdul-Qais, was loyal to Islam and helped the Muslims against the rebels.
There were other rebellions as well in the adjoining small states like Oman, Mahra, Hadarmaut and Yemen. All these were also suppressed and crushed.
START OF ERA OF CONQUEST
The Arabian Peninsula was surrounded by the two great Empires of that time. On its north-eastern side was the border of Persian Empire. At that time Iraq was under the control of the Persian Empire. The Northern part of the Peninsula was bordered by the Byzantine Empire (the Eastern Roman Empire). It consisted of Syria, Palestine and Egypt. Byzantine was a Greek city on the Bosphorus and Byzantines were named after this city. It was made the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire in 330 B.C. by Constantine, the Great. The name of the city was changed later on to Constantinople after the name of Constantine, the Great. (Now it is known as Istanbul in Turkey).
After suppressing the rebellions of internal tribes and adjoining small states, Abu Bakr(R.A.) turned his attention to the adjoining territories who were doing a lot of damage to Muslims and Islam and were continuously conspiring against Muslims. The Aim of as-Siddiq was not only to suppress their conspiracy against Muslims but, as a matter of fact, to spread the universal message of Islam. As we will see later, each expedition was advised first to invite the enemy towards Islam in a peaceful way, if they accepted the Message Of Allah, they were treated as brothers otherwise Muslims had to accept their challenge. The sword was used as a last resort for self-defence. Some of the main expeditions would be discussed in the following lines in brief which took place during the time of Hadrat Abu Bakr.
EXPEDITION TO IRAQ (PERSIAN EMPIRES)
There was a lot of confusion during those days in the Persian Empire. A child, Yezdgird, was ruling over the Empire under the supervision of a lady, Puran Dukht. The Persians helped the rebels of Bahrain and had done all they could do to crush Islam. There were certain Arab Tribes living near the border. Some of them accepted Islam while others were Christians. Muthanna, the chief of a border tribe (Wa’il) accepted Islam.
Since the bordering Arabs tribes of Iraq (Persia at that time) were the main target of persecution by the Persians, Muthanna and his companions took advantage of the internal conflict of Persian Empire and started small fights. In order that the Persians may not wage a full scale war against Muslims Hadrat Abu Bakr permitted Muthanna to go ahead with his scheme. But later Muthanna came to Hadrat Abu Bakr (R.A.) and sought his permission for a regular fight. The Muslims were endangered by the Persian Empire which wanted to wipe out the increasing power and might of Muslims. Moreover they were not pleased with the help given by the Persians to the Bahrain rebels. Abu Bakr (R.A.) after consulting his “Shura” (Advisory Council) permitted him to start full scale war on the condition that first he must invite Persians to Islam peacefully. Since Muthanna was not much experienced, Hadrat Abu Bakr ordered his great general Hadrat Khalid bin Walid (R.A.) to proceed immediately to reinforce Muthanna’s army. It was the first month of the year 12 A.H. (633 A.C.). Hadrat Khalid met Muthanna’s army at Ubullah.
BATTLE OF CHAINS
Hafir was the place where the first battle between Muslims and Persians took place. Persians were under the command of Hurmuz, a famous Persian general.
According to the Islamic practice and advice given by the Caliph, Hadrat Khalid invited the Persians to Islam and wrote to them: “We have brought for you the Message of Allah, Islam. Our aim is not to fight. Accept Islam, the peaceful way, and you will be safe. If not then clear our way to the people so that we may explain this beautiful way of life to them. If you accept Islam you will have to pay Jizya (Defence Tax) to the Caliphate. If you do not agree to any of these conditions then the only alternative is the use of sword. Before deciding on the third alternative you should keep in your mind that I am bringing against you a people who love death more than you love your life”. Hadrat Khalid (R.A.) was right in telling that Muslims loved death in the path of Allah more than life loved by non-believers. When a Muslim dies in the path of Allah he is a martyr and gets into Paradise before his blood falls on the earth.
Persians were too proud and paid no attention to Hadrat Khalid’s invitation. A battle took place at Hafir and Persians were defeated and routed. In order not to run from the battlefield the Persians soldiers had tied themselves to one another with chains. Due to this the battle is known as the Battle of Chains. But it proved fruitless because of the effective attack of Muslims. Even the commander of the Persian army was killed in this battle.
After the Battle of Chains at Hafir some other small skirmishes took place at Madhar, Walja & Ullis etc. Each time the Muslims fought with a new force several times bigger than them but they defeated the Persians not because of their number and weapons but due to the power of Iman and trust in Allah.
THE FALL OF HIRA
Hira was a famous fort of Persians. After fighting the small battles described above Hadrat Khalid besieged the city of Hira. Persians resisted in the beginning but later on they surrendered to Muslims. Hadrat Khalid imposed Jizya (Defence Tax) on them. Then he captured other places including Dumatal-Jandal. Some frontier Arab chiefs also submitted to Khalid. The last battle of this expedition of Hadrat Khalid took place at Firad. A huge force of Persian Arabs (residing in Iraq) and Syrians who joined Persians in that battle crossed the river Euphrates. A fierce battle was fought on the l5th Dhul Qa’dah, 12 A.H. Hadrat Khalid routed the enemies and conquered the place. By this victory whole of South and most of the North Iraq were conquered. Then Hadrat Khalid returned to Hira.
HADRAT KHALID BIN WALID, SAIFULLAH (THE SWORD OF ALLAH)
Hadrat Khalid bin Walid (R.A.) proved to be the most successful general of Islam. With a handful of troops he was able not only to overcome all internal rebellions but also to make Arabia safe for Islam. Then he proceeded to Iraq and gained victory after victory. It was for his abilities, which were foreseen by the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam), that Khalid was given the title of “Saifullah” i.e. Allah’s Sword.
As-Siddiq al-Akbar was quick to recognise Khalid’s (R.A.) ability he put him incharge of the Iraqi campaign. Hadrat Khalid’s performance in this campaign has no parallel in history. With an army of a little more than ten thousand men, Khalid (R.A.) overcome a major part of Iraq and brought it under the banner of Islam. At many times he defeated enemies twenty times larger than his own army. Hadrat Khalid (R.A.) knew that success did not lie in the hands of majority or minority, it lies in the hands of Allah Almighty. He declared many times that they were not fighting for the sake of land or fame, their aim was to proclaim Allah’s Kalimah (Allah’s message). When Allah was with them they did not fear any power. Once he wrote a letter to a commander of Persian army near Hira
“All praise is due to Allah who humbled your pride, and dis-united you, and destroyed your might. Accept Islam you will be in peace; or pay Jizya (the Defence Tax) and let us spread Allah’s Message. If you do not accept any of these conditions then listen I have brought with me such people who love death more than you love life”.
In Iraq Hadrat Khalid fought fifteen battles and won complete victory in all of them.
Hadrat Khalid was not only a great general and conqueror but also a great administrator. He appointed a deputy and a Qadi (Judge) at every place which he conquered. Some Muslim teachers were also left to teach Islam to the converts and to preach to non-Muslims by peaceful means. Seeing the character of these noble souls and the natural beauty of Islam, most of the time, entire population entered the folds of Islam. It is a fact that by sword or force only tongues could be won not the hearts. It was really the character of Muslims in those days that won the hearts of entire population where they lived. This is a clear proof that Islam never spread by sword or force. Sword was used to clear the way for preaching this truthful way of life, and when people realised its value, grandeur and significance they went all out for it. Iman (Faith) is the affirmation of the heart not of the tongue, and the heart could never be won by sword. Character has greater force than sword and this force was, of course, with the Muslims.
Unlike most of warriors Hadrat Khalid, the Saifullah (R.A.), was an extremely kind-hearted man. He had given strict orders to his army to follow all the principles of Islam. They were not allowed to do any harm to farmers and other civilians. The army treated the civilians with kindness and respect. This was a surprise for the conquered people. Instead of molesting the women they found the soldiers worshipping and crying before Allah all night. This was something new for them. This was something new for them. It was said about Muslim conquerors of the time: “They rode on the back of horse during the day (to fight in the Path of Allah) and on the back of Mussalla (the piece of cloth used for prayers) in the night (to worship Allah). “The word by word translation is given here to put emphasis, it actually meant that they fought in the path of Allah throughout the day and worshipped Allah throughout the night. Of course even during the day they were punctual in obligatory Salats.
As mentioned above the month of Dhul-Qa’dah, 12 A.H. marked the end of Hadrat Khalid’s campaign in Iraq. He then returned to the headquarters at Hira. After resting for a while he took a few men with him and came to Mecca for Hajj and returned to Hira after performing the Hajj. On hearing about Khalid’s presence at the Hajj, Hadrat Abu Bakr was amazed but he forbade him not to leave his army alone in future.
EXPEDITION TO SYRIA (BYZANTINE EMPIRE)
It has been stated in the life of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa -Sallam) that the envoy of the Holy Prophet, Dihya al-Kalbi, was killed by Syrians in 6 A.H. while he was on a mission to Roman Emperor. As a result of which there was the battle of Mu’tah. Later the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam) himself marched with 50,000 men to Tabuk (a border post of Syria) when he heard about the invasion plan of Syrians (then known as Romans because Syria was a province of Eastern Roman Empire, the Byzantine at that time). Since Syrians did not turn up to fight, the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam) and his Companions returned without any fight. Again there was a danger of Syrian invasion and the Holy Prophet appointed Hadrat Usamah bin Zaid (R.A.)as the commander of the army which was later sent by Hadrat Abu Bakr(R.A.) when he assumed the office of the Caliphate. It has been mentioned before that Hadrat Usamah (R.A.) returned victorious after about forty days.
Afterwards Hadrat Abu Bakr (R.A.) was informed about the clashes at: Syrians border and about the plan of invasion by Romans (i.e. Syrians). This was the time when Heraclius was the Emperor of Byzantine Empire, with Constantinople (Istanbul) as the Capital.
When Hadrat Abu Bakr(R.A.)found that the Romans (Byzantines) began to conspire against the Muslims in co-operation with the Bedouins of the Syrian frontier, he consulted the “Shura” (Advisory Council) and decided to save the frontiers. As mentioned before, the aim was never to conquer other places. The blame totally lay upon the foreign powers who always encouraged the rebels and by sending them reinforcements attempted to shatter the nascent power of Muslims. Even Western historians like Sir William Muir admit that the Muslim leaders were not responsible for the wars with Persia and Byzantium. A famous Muslim historian, M.M. Siddiqi writes in his book, “Development of Islamic State and Society”: “These (the wars) were not started by the Muslims, nor was there slightest attempt on the part of the Islamic leaders to impose their own way of life on the foreign peoples. True, Islam was a missionary religion and an expanding force. The Prophet himself had invited the ruling monarchs of the surrounding countries to accept Islam. But he had never, by word or deed, tried to trespass their domains”
To take strong action against Romans (Byzantines) was also necessary keeping in view the Arab trade with Syria as the border clashes made the trade routes dangerous. So in the year 13 A.H. he raised a big army and divided it into four battalions. Each battalion was put under the command of an experienced general. They had to march in different directions. Hadrat Abu ‘Ubaidah bin al-Jarrah(R.A.)had to march on Hims; Hadrat Amr bin al-‘As(R.A.)on Palestine; Yazid bin Sufyan on Damascus; and Shurahbeel bin Hasnah on Jordan (which was a part of Syria at that time). The army was divided into many companies so that the enemy may not hit with full force on any one of the battalions. The total number of men was 27,000.
At the time of departure of the army Hadrat Abu Bakr(R.A.)gave some valuable advice to each commander. A few of them are as under
(1) Always fear Allah because He knows what the hearts conceal.
(2) Treat your subordinates well.
(3) Honour the representatives of your enemies.
(4) Always be truthful.
(5) Keep away from untruthful men and be intimate with those who are truthful and faithful.
(6) Do not be dishonest in any way.
(7) Do not disturb saints and worshippers of other religions.
(8) Do not destroy places of worship.
(9) Do not kill a woman, an old man and children and those who are not fighting with you.
(10) Do not cut flowering trees.
(II) Do not ruin any populated place.
(12) Do not kill goats, camels and cattle besides what you need to eat.
(13) Do not burn gardens.
(14) Do not be dishonest in booty.
When Heracleus heard about the Islamic armies, he also sent four armies to face them. Each of those armies was several times bigger than the total Islamic army. The Muslim commanders informed Hadrat Abu Bakr about the situation and sought reinforcement. They also informed him about their proposal to merge the four armies under one command. Hadrat Abu Bakr(R.A.)approved the proposal of merger and sent the following message to Hadrat’Amr bin al-‘As(R.A.), one of the commanders
“As-Salamo ‘alaikum! (peace be unto you)I am in receipt of your letter in which you have mentioned about the huge Roman armies. Listen! Allah has not given us victories because of a magnitude or scarcity of numbers when we fought in the company of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam). Sometimes we fought with him in such a condition that there were not more than two horses in the whole army, and travelled on the back of one camel turn by turn……. Muslims can never be defeated because of small numbers. 0 ‘Amr! the most righteous among us is the one who keeps away more from sins. Therefore obey Allah and ask your companions as well to obey Him (completely)….you would be successful.” (quoted by Tabrani).
He further wrote
“I have sent orders to Khalid bin Walid (in Iraq) to join you immediately. When he joins you give him due regard. Do not impose your superiority over him and do not try to solve your problems without consulting him, and do not oppose him”. (Quoted by Ibn Sa’d).
On receiving orders from the Caliph, Hadrat Khalid handed over the charge of affairs in Iraq to Muthanna bin Harith, and hastened to Syria at the head of ten thousand Hadrat Khalid (R.A.) faced some resistance at many places on his way to Syria and conquered many cities and forts including Irak, Rahit, and Busra. Busra was a city in Syria, thus Hadrat Khalid conquered the first place in Syria before he joined the allied Islamic forces. At last he reached Ajna-dayn in the month of Rabi’uth-Thani 13 A.H. (according to some historians he reached in Rabi’ul-Awwal).
THE BATTLE OR AJNADAYN: RABI’UL-THANI, 13 A.H. or 31st July 634
When Hadrat Khalid reached Ajnadayn he called a council of all the commanders of Islamic armies whose total strength was between forty and forty five thousand. The first proposal put before them by Hadrat Khalid was to appoint a commander-in-chief. He suggested that one of them should act as the commander-in-chief turn by turn each day. The chief command for the first day was given to Hadrat Khalid (R.A.). He divided the army into several sections and put each section under the command of a commander.
The Romans were about two hundred fifty thousand in number while the Muslims were little more than forty thousand. When the Islamic and Roman armies faced each other somebody among the Muslims remarked: “How numerous is the Roman army!” Hadrat Khalid said, “The number of people does not matter. It is the final outcome which is important”. At last the battle started. In the beginning the Romans put pressure upon Muslims. Seeing this ‘Ikrimah bin Abi Jahl took pledge of some Muslims that they would not give the field to the enemy and would fight unto death. The Roman army was headed by Theodore, brother of Heraclius, the Emperor but there was not that type of discipline in their army as Muslims demonstrated. A fierce battle was fought. The Roman horsemen could not bear the brunt of Muslim attack, and started to flee. Roman cavalry was totally discomfited. Then Muslim forces fell on their infantry and dispersed its ranks. Thus Romans were badly defeated and I took shelter in the trench but were chased and slaughtered in large numbers. Three thousand Muslims were martyred in this battle. Defeat at the battle of Ajnadain was a great shock to Byzantium.
After the victory at Ajnadayn the Muslim armies marched forward and laid siege to Damascus.
In the meantime Hadrat Abu Bakr(R.A.) fell sick. He received the news of the victory at Ajnadayn when he was confined to bed.
Note: There is a controversy between historians regarding the battle which took place at Ajnadayn in 13 A.H. According to some historians this was the battle of Yarmuk, while others say that the battle of Yarmuk took place after the fall of Damascus
ILLNESS OF HADRAT ABU BAKR(R.A.) AND UMAR’S(R.A.) NOMINATION
It was the 7th Jamada-ul-Akhira, 13 A.H. that As-Siddiq al-Akbar fell ill. He had a severe fever. When the illness took a serious turn he called the “Shura” (Advisory Council) to consult about his successor, the second Caliph. Since he had seen some confusion after the demise of the Holy Prophet for the selection of a Caliph, he preferred to let the Muslims decide the matter in his presence. Following were the leading figures present in the Shura:Umar, ‘Uthman,’Ali, ‘Abdur-Rahman bin ‘Auf, Mu’adh bin Jabal, Ubaiy bin Ka’b, Zaid bin Thabit (Ridwanullah ‘alaihim Ajma’in) and other leading Muhajirin and Ansar. According to some historians he first consulted some of the most prominent Companions before calling the meeting of the General Shura about this. Among these persons were ‘Uthman,’Abdur rahman bin ‘Auf and Usaid bin hadir (R.A.) etc.Hadrat Abu Bakr(R.A.)put his proposal for Hadrat Umar(R.A.)to be the second Caliph. All of them agreed with the proposal except for an objection by some of the Companions about his strictness. That was the only ground on which Hadrat’Ali and Talha (R.A.) also did not agree with Hadrat Abu Bakr(R.A.). But Abu Bakr(R.A.) rejected their plea on the ground that the burden of Caliphate would make him milder. Since there was no opposition to Hadrat Abu Bakr’s view, Hadrat Umar was declared to be the next Caliph and all the Companions, including Hadrat’Ali (R.A.) and Hadrat Talha (R.A.), agreed to it.
At this point I would like to point out that the decision of Hadrat Abu Bakr (R.A.) for the selection (or election) of Hadrat Umar (R.A.)in his presence during his life was purely based on his “Ijtihad” (Personal Judgment of a Jurist) as explained by him after his nomination of Umar (R.A.) was recorded. As a matter of fact it was the need of the time and Hadrat Abu Bakr (R.A.) was totally right in his “Ijtihad”. The proof of this is also the “Ijma'” (Agreement) of the Companions on his proposal to select a Caliph while he was still alive.
Although the appointment (election) of the Caliph did not take place in the same way as it happened with Hadrat Abu Bakr (R.A.), it was not un-democratic in the sense that the nomination of Hadrat Umar took place after fair consultation with the “Shura”. Hadrat Abu Bakr never wanted anything which would make Islam weak after him. He knew what had happened after the death of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam) the repetition of which was to be avoided. The strength of the Muslim community lay in unity and that had to be preserved at any cost. For these reasons Hadrat Abu Bakr(R.A.) wanted an agreed person to be nominated as his successor in his presence. Therefore he took a decision by “Ijtihad” for the nomination of a Caliph after due consultation.
After the “Shura” (Advisory Council) had agreed on Hadrat Umar, Hadrat Abu Bakr asked Hadrat ‘Uthman (R.A.) to write the will
“Bismillah-irrahmanir-Rahim (In the name of Allah, most Gracious, most Merciful)–This is the declaration which is made by Abu Bakr bin Abi Quhafah while he is about to leave for the next world. At this time even a non-believer starts to believe, and even a great sinner returns to faith, and a disbeliever begins to trust in Allah. I appoint Umar bin Khattab as the Caliph (Khalifah). You must follow his orders and obey him. I have done everything good for the sake of Allah, for His Holy Prophet and for the welfare of His Religion and Muslims and for myself in appointing him (Umar as the Caliph). I hope that he would be honest and just but if he changes his ways, and becomes unjust, I would have no responsibility, as I do not have the knowledge of the unseen. Everybody is responsible for what he does.”
Afterwards he went up to his balcony with the help of some persons and addressed a big gathering of Muslims: “O my brothers! I have not appointed any of my relations or brothers as a Caliph, I have chosen the best person among you. Do you agree on this’? All of them replied in the affirmative. Then he called Umar (R.A.) and talked with him for a long time and gave him words of parting advice. Some of them are as under
“O Umar always fear Allah. An optional deed is not accepted unless the obligatory deed is done. The weight of your goodness would be heavy on the day of Judgement if you followed the Right Path in this world. The deeds of the persons who followed wrong Path in this world be having no weight on the Day of Judgement. They will have a terrible time. Make the Holy Qur’an and Truth your guide for success. Umar if you follow the path I propose for you, I will surely be by your side……….”.
AS-SIDDIQ AL-AKBAR PASSES AWAY
After a fortnight’s illness, As-Siddiq al-Akbar passed away at the age of 61 on Tuesday, the 22nd Jamadal-Akhira, 13 A.H. (23rd August 634 A.D.). Before his death he said to his daughter Lady ‘A’isha (Radiallahu ‘Anha), “Do not use new cloth for my shroud. Wash the sheet in my use and wrap my corpse in it”. His wish was acted upon. His next wish was to pay all the money he got as salary for Caliph from “Baitul Mal” (The Public Treasury) after selling his garden. He said, I did not like to take anything from the “Baitul Mal but Umar pressed me to accept some allowance so that I would be relieved of my occupation and devote my full time to the duties of the Khilafat (Caliphate). I was left no choice but to accept the offer”. After his death ‘A’isha asked Hadrat Umar to take over that garden as desired by her father. Umar remarked: “May Allah bless him. He left no chance for any body to open his lips against him”.
Hadrat Abu Bakr (R.A.) was a rich merchant before his Khilafat. After he was selected as Caliph, Hadrat Umar and some other Companions put pressure on him to leave his business and accept some allowance from the Baitul Mal. He took the least possible amount which was hardly sufficient for him and his family. Once his wife wanted to prepare some sweet dish, and somehow saved something after one month. When she brought to him the money to make purchases for the sweet dish, Hadrat Abu Bakr said, “It seems that we have been over-paid, beyond our needs”. He then deposited the saving in the Baitul Mal and she was not able to prepare the sweet dish. Not only this he got his allowance cut down for future by the amount saved by his wife.
As-Siddiq al-Akbar left behind a noble example of selfless service. He lived and worked for the sake of Islam to his last breath, but sought no reward.
WIVES AND CHILDREN
His first wife was Qatilah bint ‘Abdul ‘Aziz who bore to him ‘Abdullah and Asma (R.A.). His second wife, Umm-i-Ruman gave birth to Lady ‘A’ isha (R.A.), the most beloved wife of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam), and ‘Abdur Rahman (Rad A.). Besides these two he also married Asma’ and Habibah (R.A.).
(i) Ummul-Mu’minin Hadrat ‘A’isha (R.A.)
(ii) Asma, and
(iii) Umm-i-Kulthum, born to Habibah after his death.
(ii),’Abdur Rahman and
ABU BAKR, A SAVIOUR OF ISLAM
As-Siddiq al-Akbar took the office of Caliphate (Khilafat) at the most crucial and critical moment of Islamic history. He gave Islam a new life after the death of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam). Islam, in its infant stage, when he was entrusted with the responsibility to Caliphate, was threatened by rebellions, rise of false prophets and apostasy movements. He crushed all the futile powers because of his unshakeable faith. No amount of difficulties could make him deviate from the Sunnah (Path) of the Holy Master. He brought unity among the Muslims and crushed all the rebellions. In view of his great service for the cause of Islam at that critical moment when there was a lot of confusion, Abu Bakr (R.A.) may rightly be called the Saviour of Islam.
It was in the time of Abu Bakr that Islam started to cross the Arabian borders. A major part of Iraq came under his rule and Muslim armies had captured many important cities of Syria. Thus Islam, the religion of whole mankind, started to be a world religion in his period.
COLLECTION OF THE HOLY QUR’AN
One of the greatest services rendered to Islam by Abu Bakr (R.A.) was the collection of the Holy Qur’an. There were hundreds of Huffaz (i.e., those who committed the whole Holy Qur’an to memory) among the Companions during the life-time of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu’alaihi wa Sallam) but it had not been compiled in book form though its memorisation continued even after the death of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam). In various battles which took place against rebels and false prophets, a number of Huffaz Companions were martyred. In the battle against Musailimah al-Khad-dhab about seventy Huffaz had died.
It then occurred to HadratUmar (R.A.) that necessary steps should be taken to preserve the Holy Qur’an intact in its original form against every kind of danger and it was not wise to depend exclusively upon those who had learnt it by heart. Therefore, he urged Hadrat Abu Bakr (R.A.) to put it in black and white in the form of a book. Other Companions also agreed with Umar’s opinion but Hadrat Abu Bakr hesitated in the beginning because it was not done by the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam). However after some discussion he agreed to it and appointed Hadrat Zaid bin Thabit (R.A.) for this work who was hesitant at first but later, he changed his mind and started the work. Hadrat Zaid bin Thabit was the best qualified person for this work because he had acted as an amanuensis to the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam), and was one of the Companions who had learnt the Holy Qur’an directly from him. Moreover, he was also present on the occasion when the Holy Prophet recited the whole of the completed Holy Qur’an to angel Gabriel. Hadrat Zaid bin Thabit adopted the same order of the various chapters of the Holy Book as was revealed to the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam). In the compilation of the Holy Book a number of prominent Companions assisted him. The compiled copy of the Qur’an was kept in the house of Umm ul-Mu’minin, Hadrat Hafsah (Radiallahu ‘Anha) who was one of the wives of the Holy Prophet and daughter of Hadrat Umar. It was proclaimed that anyone, who desired, might make a copy of it or compare with it the copy one already possessed.
The collection of the Holy Qur’an in a book form was not an act against the Sunnah (Ways) of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam), because the Holy Qur’an declares itself “A BOOK” at a number of places e.g., in the very beginning it says
“This is the Book………” (2:2)
During his caliphate Hadrat ‘Uthman sent copies of the same compilation of the Holy Qur’an, collected during the period of Hadrat Abu Bakr (R.A.), to various places of his caliphate.
In this way we see that Hadrat Abu Bakr (R.A.) kept doing the great work of his Holy Master (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam). With unshakeable faith and full courage he had struggled to the utmost. Islam is for ever grateful to its greatest hero, the next to prophets, for the great services he rendered to it.
Hadrat Abu Bakr’s caliphate lasted for only two years, three months and ten days (according to Islamic calendar).
CHARACTER AND PIETY
Hadrat Abu Bakr As Siddiq al-Akbar (R.A.) was the most distinguished figure of Islam after the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam). He was mild and gentle but stern when necessary. He was the true embodiment of Islam. Being diligent, wise, full of wisdom and a great statesman, he occupies a unique place in the history of Islam. His name would remain for ever in the minds of Muslims.
Hadrat Abu Bakr was the most pious Companion of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam). He never took unlawful meal. Once one of his slaves brought for him some food to eat. He took a morsel out of it but afterwards he learnt that the slave got it as a result of soothsaying. He then remarked, “Ah! you would have surely killed me”. He tried to disgorge it and when he did not succeed he drank water and then vomited the whole thing out. He never spoke any obscene language in any situation. Once he said a harsh word to Hadrat Umar (R.A.) which he realised later and asked him to forgive him. Hadrat Umar delayed in excusing him. He was so much perturbed that he went to the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu’alaihi wa Sallam) who asked Umar (R.A.) to excuse him.
Hadrat Abu Bakr (R.A.) used to fear Allah most of all. Once he went to a garden where he saw a bird. He sighed deeply and said, “0 bird! you are lucky indeed! you eat and drink as you like and fly but do not have fear of reckoning on the Day of Judgement. I wish that I were just like you”. Sometimes he said, “I wish I were a blade of grass whose life ended with the grazing of some beast; or a tree that would be cut and done away with”.
He was a great worshipper. It is said that Hadrat Abu Bakr (R.A.) used to perform Salat similar to that of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam). He was the one who spent all of his belongings for the sake of Allah and His Prophet (Sallallahu’alaihi wa Sallam).
The Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam) gave him the glad tidings of Paradise in these words: “Abu Bakr’s name shall be called out from all the gates of Paradise and he will be the first person of my Ummah (people) to enter it”.
DEMOCRATIC WAY OF HIS GOVERNMENT
Hadrat Abu Bakr(Rad. A,) gave the first lesson to whole mankind of ‘government by the people’ when nobody knew about it. On every occasion he decided matters after due consultation with eminent companions, He used to say: “I am but the Khalifah (deputy) of the Prophet of Allah”(i.e. I have to follow only the ways of the Holy Prophet).
Many a time he told the people: “I swear by Allah, I never liked to be a “Khalifah”. I even never thought about it, nor desired it either secretly or openly. The yoke of Khilafat has been put on my neck by force. I wish to transfer this trust to a more suitable person”. Once some Muslims complained to him about the strictness of Hadrat Umar (R.A.) and said, “He is behaving in such a way as though he is the “Khalifah” instead of you”. Hadrat Abu Bakr told them, “Of course, he is the fittest person to be the “Khalifah”. I am but a humble servant of Almighty, who has been forced to take charge of this high office”.
“SHURA” (COUNCIL OF ADVISORS)
Hadrat Abu Bakr always decided matters of state after consultation. There was a special “Shura” (Council of Advisors) for this purpose. Although the selection or the election of such council did not take place after public voting, but the prominent figures included in the “Shura” were the most popular persons in the public. If an election, as we know it today, had taken place at that time, all of them would have won it without any exception. The membership of the “Shura” was not based upon colour, race, wealth or worldly power; it was based upon services rendered to Islam, closeness to Allah and His Prophet (of course the closeness to Allah was demonstrated by the closeness to His Prophet).
Ibn-i-Sa’d has recorded that whenever Hadrat Abu Bakr(R.A.) faced a problem, he called eminent Muhajirin, and Ansar and the following people (i.e. following people were the permanent members of the “Shura”). Hadrat Umar, ‘Uthman, ‘Ali, ‘Abdur Rahman bin ‘Auf, Mu’adh bin Jabal, Ubaiy bin Ka’b and Zaid bin Thabit (R.A.)” On special occasions common consultation took place in which all the prominent Muhajirin and Ansar (i.e. Companions) were called besides the above mentioned personalities. But generally only the above mentioned Companions were called for consultation.
APPOINTMENT OF OFFICERS
For public offices Hadrat Abu Bakr(R.A.) did not choose his own sons or family members, but gave the chance to people of high merit.
Whenever he appointed an officer, he advised him and explained his duties. On the appointment of ‘Amr bin ‘As and Walid bin ‘Uqbah as the collector of the Zakat from the tribe of Quda’ah, he advised them as follows
“Fear Allah openly and secretly. Whosoever fears Allah, He provides him sustenance from such source about which he never thought. Whosoever fears Allah, Allah forgives his sins and gives him double reward. No doubt to have good will for the people is great piety. You are on such a way that you may go beyond the prescribed limits very easily. Stick to the rules prescribed by the religion and that would save you from all evils”.
When he appointed Yazid bin Sufyan as the governor of the conquered part of Syria he gave him following advice
“O Yazid! you have relations in Syria, do not try to give unlawful benefits to your kins. Of this I am afraid of my officers. The Holy Prophet said: If a Muslim officer appoints his kins on big posts which they do not deserve, he will be cursed for that by Allah and Allah will not accept any of his excuses or apology for that until he enters Hell.”
SUPERVISION OVER OFFICERS
He was a strict administrator and never allowed any of his officers to behave in an irregular manner. Whenever he found any officer amiss, he immediately warned him. Once on some mistake he wrote to Hadrat Khalid bin Walid: “You are enjoying, and the blood of Muslims is flowing nearby your tent”.
OFFICERS OF HIS GOVERNMENT
The Capital of the State was Medina where Hadrat Umar and Hadrat’Ali (R.A.) were the Qadis (Judges) and Abu ‘Ubaidah bin Jarrah was the treasury officer. Besides performing the duties of a Qadi and Mufti (Jurist), Hadrat’Ali also acted as the secretary to Hadrat Abu Bakr. Hadrat ‘Uthman (R.A.) was the chief secretary and used to write various ordinances for the Khalifah.
The governor of Mecca was Hadrat ‘Utba bin Usaid. He and Hadrat Abu Bakr died the same day. Governors of other places were as under
Ta’if — ‘Uthman bin al ‘As
San’a — Muhajir bin Umayyah
Hadramaut — Zaid bin’Ubaid
Kholan (a part of Yemen) — Ya’la bin Ubaid
South Yemen — Abu Musa al-Ash’ari
Janad (a part of Yemen) — Mu’adh bin Jabal
Bahrain — ‘Ala bin al-Hadrami
Dumatul-Jandal (Iraq) — ‘Iyad bin Ghanam
Iraq — Muthanna bin Harith
Najran — Jarir bin ‘Abdullah
Near the end of his reign, Hadrat Abu Bakr had appointed following commanders of Islamic armies in Syria: Abu ‘Ubaidah bin al-Jarrah, Yazid bin Abi Sufyan,’Amr bin al-As ‘and Shurahbeel bin Hasnah. Hadrat Khalid bin Walid (R.A.) was the commander-in-chief and the greatest general of Islam during the time of Hadrat Abu Bakr (R.A.)
BAITUL MAL AND REVENUE ADMINISTRATION
During the time of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam) and also during the period of Abu Bakr there was no separate department for revenue. Zakat, Sadaqat and other taxes (Kharaj) and booty used to come to Medina for Baitul Mal which was under the charge of Abu ‘Ubaidah bin Jarrah (before his departure to Syria as the commander of an army). Whatever funds came in the Baitul Mal were distributed among the needy and the poor immediately.
During the later period of his Khilafat Hadrat Abu Bakr built a house for Baitul Mal but at no time money or any other thing accumulated in it. Once somebody asked Abu Bakr to take care of the Safety of Baitul Mal, he said that one lock was enough for that because mush was not allowed to lie in it.
During the first year of his Khilafat he gave ten Dirhams as a stipend to each adult in Medina whether he was a free person or a slave, next year when the income had increased he distributed twenty dirhams to each person. In this way he gave the same status to a slave as that to a free person because in human needs all were equal. After the death of Abu Bakr (R.A.) when HadratUmar checked the Baitul Mal in the presence of Hadrat ‘Abdur Rahman and Hadrat Uthman (R.A.), he found only one dirham in it, he exclaimed, “May Allah bless Abu Bakr”. Then he called the treasury officer and asked him, “How much money did come in revenue for Baitul Mal?” He replied, “Two hundred thousand Dinars”. (Note: Dirham was a silver coin in those days while Dinar was a gold coin).
Following were the main sources of revenue: Zakat, Ushr (special land tax on lands), Jizya (Indemnity tax), and Booty.
ARMY AND ITS ADMINISTRATION
There was no regular Islamic force during the time of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam). Hadrat Abu Bakr also followed his example. However, when any army departed during his time, he divided it into various battalions. Each battalion was put under the command of an officer, who was under the control of the commander of the whole army. Moreover, he also appointed commander-in-chief of various armies. The commander-in-chief of the four armies sent to Syria was Hadrat Khalid bin Walid (R.A.), who was also known as “Amir-ul-Umara”, as mentioned in some books of history.
He took particular care for the moral training of the military personnel. When he sent armies to Syria, he gave the following instructions to them:-
“During your expedition you would find some people who devote themselves exclusively to worship of their Creator. Don’t disturb them and leave them in their sanctuaries. I give you the following advice
(i) Don’t kill any woman, child or old person;
(ii) Don’t cut any flowering tree;
(iii) Don’t destroy any inhabited place;
(iv) Don’t kill camels or goats except when you need them for your meals;
(v) Don’t burn an oasis;
(vi) Don’t be dishonest in booty;
(vii) Don’t be coward in the field”.
He reserved a part of the revenue for purchase of arms and for the maintenance of forces. Special pastures were reserved for horses and camels used in the battles. One of such pastures was situated in Baqi’ and another was situated at Rabadha.
He also used to inspect army camps. There were no permanent cantonments during his time. Once an Islamic army was encamped at Jarf, Hadrat Abu Bakr (R.A.) himself went to inspect the army of Banu Fazarah. Seeing him all the men stood up in his honour and he said, “God bless you”. Some of them said, “0 Khalifah (Deputy) of the Prophet of Allah! We have brought healthy horses and mares, and we are very good riders. Please give us a big standard”. Hadrat Abu Bakr said, “I can’t give you a big standard because it has already been taken by Banu’Abs”.
PREACHING OF ISLAM
As the Khalifah (Deputy) of the Prophet of Allah, he paid special attention towards preaching the right way of life. Because of his efforts the whole of Arabia once more and forever re-entered Islam.
He gave strict instructions to all the armies to call at first, the enemy to Islam. Invitation to Islam was usually given for three days before the start of a battle. A number of tribes in Iraq and other places accepted Islam without any battle when Hadrat Khalid and other commanders preached. Once a Christian bishop of Hirah accepted Islam after seeing the good conduct of the Muslims.
THE DEPARTMENT OF JURISTS (MUFTIS)
Besides the Judiciary in which Qadis (Judges) used to decide the cases, there was a special department of Muftis (Jurists) whose duty was to solve various problems of Muslims in the light of the Holy Qur’an and the Sunnah (Practices) of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam). Following were the Muftis (Jurists) in Medina: HadratUmar, ‘Ali, ‘Uthman ‘Abdur Rahman bin ‘Auf, Mu’adh bin Jabal, Ubaiy bin Ka’b, and Zaid bin Thabit. No other person besides them was entitled to give verdict or to lay down rules of Islamic Law to Muslims in the light of the Holy Qur’an and the Sunnah.
The judiciary was totally separate from the executive. The judges appointed by Hadrat Abu Bakr were HadratUmar and Hadrat’Ali (R.A.) in Medina. Being a great Jurist Hadrat Abu Bakr was also a judge and gave decisions on various cases.
He used to give punishments as prescribed in the Holy Qur’an or told by the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam). He did not establish any police force or any department for it. However, he appointed Hadrat ‘Abdullah bin Mas’ud as the Sentinel to take care of crimes. He also laid down such punishments which were given in the Holy Qur’an or the Sunnah. For example he fixed punishment of forty lashes for drinking liquor.
He also paid special attention to the safety of highways and various parts of the state. He gave severe punishments to robbers and persons committing breach of peace.
DIVISION OF ARABIAN PENINSULA INTO VARIOUS PROVINCES
Hadrat Abu Bakr Siddiq divided the Peninsula into various provinces for convenience of administration. In his time following were the provinces of Arabia: Medina, Mecca, Ta’if, San’a (North Yemen), Yemen (i.e. South Yemen), Najran, Hadramaut, Bahrain and Dumatul-Jandal. Every province was under the control of a governor who was the chief executive officer of that region. He did not change the governors or the officers appointed by the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam) during his time.
He devoted his full energy to the administration of the new born Islamic state. Hadrat Abu Bakr’s reign was short and full of rebellions, still his administration was very sound. He followed the footsteps of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam) faithfully and to the fullest possible extent and kept strict watch over the affairs of his government. Hadrat Umar (R.A.) always helped him in administration and justice and fulfilled the promise made by him at the time of the election of Abu Bakr (R.A.).
He laid down the foundation of a true Islamic republic upon democratic principles. His strong Faith and Trust in Allah were reflected in his administration. A Western historian, Sir W.Muir writes: “His reign was short, but after Muhammad (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam) himself there is none to whom the Faith was more dear.”