Dear Brothers and sisters,
the topic of today‘s khutbah is Abū Bakr ‘Abdallāh bin Abī Quḥāfah aṣ-Ṣiddīq, popularly known as Abu Bakr (RA), the first caliph of Rashidun caliphate. We are at the end of Jumada alThani, the sixth month of Arabic calendar and on 22nd of this month, he died. Ibn Kathir, in his Al Bidaya Wal Nihayah, stated that the first woman to embrace Islam was Khadijah. Zaid bin Haarithah was the first freed slave to embrace Islam. And Ali ibn abi talib was the first child to embrace Islam for he has not even reached the age of puberty at the time. And Abu Bakr was the first free man to embrace Islam. Abu Bakr’s acceptance proved to be a milestone in Prophet Muhammad’s mission. Slavery was common in Mecca, and many slaves accepted Islam. When an ordinary free man accepted Islam, despite opposition, he would enjoy the protection of his tribe. For slaves however, there was no such protection and they commonly experienced persecution. Abu Bakr felt compassion for slaves. In the early days of Islam, Abu Bakr radi Allahu anhu would walk around the markets and homes observing all the Muslim slaves that were being tortured. He would watch as Umayyah dragged Bilal out to the grilling desert at noontime, the hottest moments of the day. Umayyah would press Bilal to the scalding ground and place a boulder on top of his chest to increase the torture. Bilal would say nothing but, “Ahad, Ahad (One, only One).” Abu Bakr would watch and whisper to Bilal, “YunJeeka AlWaahidul Ahad (The One [Allah] shall save you).”
Abu Bakr went to Umayyah and requested that he sell Bilal to him for 5 uwqiyyah of gold. Umayyah was astonished at that amount and hurriedly agreed. “Take Bilal. There is no good in him.” After the deal was done, Umayyah snickered, “Had you refused to pay more than 1 uwqiyyah I still would have sold him to you.” And Abu Bakr announced, “And had you refused to sell him for no less than 100 uwqiyyah I still would have bought him!”
Most of the slaves liberated by Abu Bakr were either women or old and frail men. The father of Abu Bakr asked him why he doesn’t liberate strong and young slaves who could be a source of strength for him, Abu Bakr replied that he was freeing the slaves for the sake of God, and not for his own sake. When the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam received the first revelations, the first man he approached was his best friend, Abu Bakr. When Abu Bakr radi Allahu anhu heard that Muhammad had been chosen as a Prophet, he immediately announced, “I’ve never tasted a lie from you. I testify that there is no God but Allah, and you are the Messenger of Allah.” He submitted to Islam with such determination that once the Holy Prophet himself remarked, “I called people to Islam, everybody thought over it, at least for a while, but this was not the case with Abu Bakr, the moment I put Islam before him, he accepted it without any hesitation.” From the history of Islam and the Sunnah we learn that Abu Bakr was approximately 2 years younger than Prophet Muhammad and that both men were born into the tribe of Quraish, although into different clans.
They must have been aware of each other throughout their lives but their lifelong friendship was established when Prophet Muhammad married his first wife Khadijah and they became neighbors. They shared many of the same characteristics. Both men were traders, who conducted all their affairs with honesty and integrity. Abu Bakr was known as As-Siddiq, the truthful. It was Prophet Muhammad himself who gave him this title. These were two men of upstanding character and their ties were made even stronger when Prophet Muhammad married Abu Bakr’s daughter Aisha, may Allah be pleased with her. Abu Bakr was the first public speaker for Islam. When there were less than 40 Muslims, Abu Bakr wanted to proclaim the message in public. He was the first khateeb to invite people publicly in the courtyard of Ka’ba to Allah and His Messenger and got beaten to almost dead. But soon, he was escorting by the hand the likes of Uthman, Az-Zubayr, Abd ArRahmaan ibn ‘Owf, Sa’d, Abu ‘Ubaidah, and Talha – six of the ten people who were promised Jannah during their time on earth. Abu Bakr was Companion of the Cave as mentioned in the Quran. He migrated with the Prophet from Mecca to Medina. One day in the heat of the noonday sun, Prophet Muhammad visited the home of Abu Bakr. He revealed to his friend that Allah had given him permission to leave Mecca. Aisha narrates that her father wept when he heard that he was to be Prophet Muhammad’s companion on the journey.
He wept not from fear but from joy. Abu Bakr was overcome with emotion that he would be the one to accompany and protect the Messenger of Allah. Abu Bakr was a brave warrior despite being the fact he was a trader by profession all his life. In the first battle of islam, Battle of Badr, Abu Bakr guarded his Prophet. In the Battle of Hunayn as the Muslim army was ambushed in the valley of Hunayn , Abu Bakr was one of the nine companions to guard the Prophet. When Prophet Muhammad decided to lead an expedition to Tabuk on the Syrian border, he invited contributions and donations from his followers because a great deal of livestock and equipment were needed. It is said in Sunan Abu Dawood that Many of the followers contributed including Umar and Abu Bakr. When Prophet Mohammad asked Umar how much he had donated Umar said, “I have brought half of what I had. I have left the half for my family”. When Prophet Mohammad asked Abu Bakr how much he had donated Abu Bakr said, “I have brought all that I had. I have left Allah and His Prophet for myself and my family”. He also has the distinction of purchasing the land for Al-Masjid al-Nabawi. Abu Bakr will be the first person of this Ummah to enter Paradise. Narrated in Sunan Abi Dawood, Prophet Muhammad said, “The angel Jibreel (Gabriel) came to me and took my hand and showed me the gate through which my Ummah will enter Paradise”. Abu Bakr then said “I wish I had been with you to see that gate”, to which Prophet Muhammad replied “Abu Bakr, you should know that you will be the first of my Ummah to enter Paradise.” There is a famous Hadith in Sahih Bukhari which was narrated by Jubair bin Mut’im who said: A woman came to the Prophet who ordered her to return to him again. She said, “What if I came and did not find you?” as if she wanted to say, “If I found you dead?” The Prophet said, “If you should not find me, go to Abu Bakr. After over 10 years of da’wah and jihaad in Madinah, when RasulAllah passed away, ‘Umar called all the people, sharpened his sword and spoke. “Muhammad is not dead. He went to his Lord as Musa went to his Lord and he shall come back as Musa did. When he does, he shall kill all those who said he was dead.”
News reached Abu Bakr of the Prophet’s death. He prepared himself and galloped on his horse to RasulAllah’s home. There, RasulAllah lay covered in a cloth. Abu Bakr raised the cloth and kissed RasulAllah saying, “Tibta Hayyan wa Mayyitan (You are blessed in life and in death).” He then stepped outside as ‘Umar was addressing the people. “Sit down ‘Umar,” said Abu Bakr. He then praised Allah and began, “Whoever worships Muhammad let him know that Muhammad is dead, and whoever Allah let him know that Allah is alive and never dies.” He then recited the verse:
Muhammad is nothing more than a Messenger. Messengers came and went before him. So if he dies or gets killed, shall you turn back on your heels? (Surat ‘Āli `Imrān-144) ‘Umar said, “When I heard that verse, my knees became soft as I fell. I knew that RasulAllah had died.” Abu Bakr had the distinction of being the first Caliph in the history of Islam and also the first Caliph to nominate a successor. He was the only Caliph in the history of Islam who refunded to the state treasury at the time of his death the entire amount of the allowance that he had drawn during the period of his caliphate. He is revered for being the first Muslim ruler to establish Bayt al-mal. He ruled over the Caliphate from 632-634 of the Common Era (CE), approximately 27 months.
On assuming office, he delivered the following address, which is a unique document for the guidance of all rulers. He said – “O people, I have been placed in authority, though by Allah I was reluctant to takeover authority. I would have been pleased if any of you had taken over, and I would have assisted him. I have been made to rule over you though I am not the best among you. If you expect me to act as did the Prophet of Allah (SAW), know that I cannot do so, for the Prophet (SAW) was a servant whom Allah honored with His inspiration and preserved him thereby from error. I am an ordinary mortal and not better than any of you. Therefore, watch over me. When you see that I am steadfast and obeying Allah and His Prophet, then obey me, when you see that I turn aside from the right path – do not obey me. If I do good, then help me; and if I act wrongly, then correct me. Know that I have a devil that seizes upon me. Therefore, when you see me angry, avoid me; for at that time, I cannot be influenced by your counsels or glad salutations. We have the Quran for our guidance. We have also with us the instructions of the Prophet (SAW).
These will be our absolute guides. Know, O men, that piety is the most solid goodness, and the vilest of what is evil is vice. When people abandon Jihaad in the path of Allaah, Allaah humiliates them, and when fornication spreads among the people, Allaah spreads disease among them. Truth is a trust, falsehood a treason. The weak among you shall be strong with me till God willing his rights have been vindicated; and the strong among you shall be weak with me till, if the Lord wills, I have taken what is due from him. ” Dear ikhwan fillah rahimakumullah, such a simple man he was. Abu Bakr led the Muslims during the most intense and difficult time that had faced the Ummah. Prophet Muhammad had passed away and a number of tribes rebelled by refusing to pay the zakah. At the same time there were impostors who claimed prophethood and began to revolt. Under these circumstances, many advised Abu Bakr to make concessions but he disagreed insisting that there was no distinction between any of the pillars of Islam especially comparing the zakah to prayer. He insisted that any compromise would erode the foundations of Islam.
The rebelling tribes attacked, however the Muslims were prepared and their defence was led successfully by Abu Bakr, the Caliph himself. Abu Bakr also forced the false claimants to prophethood to retract their claims and most of them submitted to the will of Allah by re-joining the Ummah. O Brothers and sisters of faith, Muslims understood the seriousness of the role models their children had. ‘Amr ibn Utbah rahimahullah advised his son’s teacher, “Let the first correction you do to my son be the correction of yourself. Verily, their eyes are locked into yours. Good to them is what you do, even if it is bad. And bad to them is what you do not do, even if it is good.” Many parents have understood this issue of finding the correct role models for their children. We have ample of these role models in our history. So whenever we have the chance to read stories for the children, lets read the stories of the Prophet’s companions to them. And if the Sahabas become their role models, when they grow older, they would like to be just like the Sahaabaa.” May Allah grant us refuge from deviation and error. May He protect our tongues from saying anything that is not befitting to any of the Sahaba and aal al-Bait. May He grant us the love of the Sahaba and join us with them in His abode of mercy and honor.
Dear Brothers and sisters, what are the points that can be extracted from the first khutbah on Abu Bakr’s life?
A. Islam means submission. You have to submit yourself without raising any doubt to go to a spiritually higher level. Abu Bakr submitted himself to Islam without any doubts and questions.
B. Being educated and having a large social network helps to access men of influence. If used correctly, it can bring huge benefit for our Deen Islam. Abu Bakr used his social networking to create influence on six of the ten asharatul mubasshara (the fortunate ones) to accept Islam.
C. Not only that you should speak truth always, but also you should speak for the truth, and if required even publicly.
D. Prophet’s companions were not poor and wretched. They were wealthy traders. Since they had wealth, they could spend it in the way of Allah. Despite their wealth, they chose to lead a simple life. It’s easy to call Allah for help when you are in need. It needs real thankfulness to remember Allah when you are in good shape.
E. It doesn’t matter what your profession is as long as you have passion and dedication for the work you do. Being a trader, Abu Bakr lost everything when he left Mecca but became a successful trader again in couple of years after migrating to Medina. Being a trader, he acted as warrior, general, one of the largest donor and above all as the first Caliph. And he was successful in all those positions.
Dear Brothers and sisters, Abu Bakr was a very eloquent speaker and he was well known for it. Let’s listen to what he advised the Muslim Ummah in one his Khutbah
Beware of following the whim of passion, for he is successful and prospers who is protected from the whim of passion, greed, ambition, and anger. Beware of boasting, for what boast can he have who is created from dust, and then will later return to dust, then later maggots will eat him, and he is today alive and tomorrow dead? So know a day by a day (the Last Day) and an hour by an hour (the Hour of the end). Protect yourselves from the supplication of the wronged one, and count yourselves among the dead, and be patient, for all action is by patience, and be on your guard, for watchfulness is useful. And act, and action will be accepted.
Guard yourselves from that which Allah cautioned you about of His torment, and hasten to that which Allah promised you of His mercy. Understand and you will be understood, have fearful obedience (taqwa\ literally – self-protecting) and you will be guarded, for Allah has made clear to you that for which He destroyed those who were before you, and that for which He saved whomever He saved before you. He has made clear to you in His book His halal and His haram, and which actions He loves and which He deplores. I will not neglect you and myself, and Allah is the One from Whom aid is sought. And there is no power (to prevent evil) and strength (to do right) but by Allah. Know that as long as you are sincere towards your Lord in your actions then you have obeyed your Lord and you have protected and guarded your portion, and you will be in a state of well being. And that which you offer voluntarily for your deen, then make it a free-will offering (which you send) before you and you will receive full payment for your loan, and you will be given your permanent daily allowance of food during your poverty and in your (time of) need of it.
Then reflect, slaves of Allah, on your brethren and your companions who have passed away. They have come to that which they sent before them and they are established upon that, and they are alone in the grief and the happiness in that which is after death. Allah has no partner, and there is no relationship between Him and any one of His creatures by which He will give him good or avert evil, excepting by obedience to Him and following His command. Truly, there is no good in a good after which comes the Fire, nor any evil in an evil after which comes the Garden. I say this word of mine and I seek the forgiveness of Allah, for me and for you. Send blessings on your Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and peace be on him, the mercy of Allah and His blessings.
Wallahu a’lam bishawab.