The Best of The Best – Beloved Abu Bakr May ALLAH be pleased with Him. Our Hero Our Role Model.
Cii Radio|Ml Khalid Dhorat|12 May 2016|05 Shabaan 1437
To claim that Sayyadina Abu Bakr (Radiallahu ‘Anhu) is the best person after all the Prophets is not sanctimonious, boisterous and an over exaggeration – it’s a pronouncement of Rasulullah (Sallallahu ‘Alaihi Wa Sallam) himself. Sayyiduna ‘Ikramah ibn ‘Amar reports from Iyas ibn Salamah ibn Al-Ikawa’ from his father that the Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu ‘Alaihi Wa Sallam) said, “Abu Bakr is the best of my nation after me, except if there would be a prophet.” (Al-Tabaran)
In another glowing accolade, Sayyidina ibn ‘Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) reports that the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bestow peace and blessings upon him) asked his ummah to remember this sterling personality in this way: “Abu Bakr is my companion, my friend in the cave, so know him for this. If I were to take a bosom friend I would have taken Abu Bakr.” (Al-Daylami) The Rasul and Siddique lived as brothers in this world, are buried together and this will continue: Sayyidah Aa’isha (Radiallahu ‘Anha) reports that the Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu ‘Alaihi Wa Sallam) said: “Abu Bakr is from me and I am from him. Abu Bakr is my brother in the world and the afterlife.” [Al-Daylami]
Sayyadina Abu Bakr is no ordinary man, and so he must be remembered in no ordinary way. Curse be upon those dark souls, the Rafidah and the Shi’ah, who spare not a thought of how their faces will be blackened in the fire for trying to blacken the character of as-Siddique in this world. The noble prophet says: “Jibrail came to me and took me by the hand then showed me the door of paradise from which my nation will enter.” Abu Bakr said, “I would love to be with you when you see it.” He replied, “As for you O Abu Bakr you shall be the first of my nation to enter paradise.” (Abu Dawood) . He was openly loved by Rasulullah (Sallallahu ‘Alaihi Wa Sallam). Sayyiduna Amr ibn Al-‘Aas narrates that the Messenger of Allah once openly declared: “The woman I love the most is Aa’isha and from the men, it is Abu Bakr.” (Muslim)
What is the story of this extraordinary man and where did it all start?
NAME AND PARENTAGE
Sayyadina Abu Bakr, as-Siddiq (Radiallahu Anhu) was born in 573 A.D. in Makkah. He was thus two years younger than the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam). He belonged to the tribe of the Bani Tamim, a branch of Quraish. 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 childhood, Sayyadina Abu Bakr (Radiallahu Anhu) was a resolute, quiet and sincere man. He was very honest and truthful. Because of his sterling character, he became the closest friend of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam) and his 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 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. These qualities were soon to serve the noblest cause of Allah.
FIRST MAN TO ACCEPT ISLAM
Sayyadina Abu Bakr (Radiallahu Anhu) was a loyal friend of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam) and he knew him better than any other man. His honesty, nobility, truthfulness and trustworthiness, had great attraction for Abu Bakr. So 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 Islam. 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.”
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 Sayyadina Abu Bakr as-Siddiq (Radiallahu Anhu). Among them was Sayyadina 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 Makkans because of his honesty, nobility, trustworthiness, good morals and fair dealings.
HARDSHIPS FOR DA’WAT (INVITATION) TOWARDS ALLAH
Even though he was much respected, yet he was not spared hardship and torture, and the disbelievers of Mecca did their best to harass him.
When the number of Muslims reached 39, Abu Bakr (Radiallahu Anhu) 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 / Ka ‘bah) for preaching. Sayyadina Abu Bakr (Radiallahu Anhu) delivered a sermon which was the first ever delivered in the annals of Islam. Sayyadina 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 (Radiallahu Anhu), 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 unconscious. 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. Sayyadina 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.
OTHER SERVICES FOR THE CAUSE OF ISLAM IN MAKKAH
Sayyadina 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. Sayyadina 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 his conversion to Islam. Sayyadina Abu Bakr bought him freedom and Bilal became a free Muslim.
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 Sayyadina 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 (Radiallahu Anhu) GETS THE TITLE OF AS-SIDDIQ
The Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam) experienced the physical Mi’raj (Ascension) in the 10th 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? 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?”
Sayyadina Abu Bakr (Radiallahu Anhu) 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.
ONE OF THE TWO IN THE CAVE
When the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam) decided to migrate to Madinah, Abu Bakr was the only companion with him. He carried all his money, about five to six thousand Dirhams, 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 Madinah. Thus, of all the companions, Abu Bakr (Radiallahu Anhu) 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.
SAYYADINA ABU BAKR (Radiallahu Anhu) AT MADINAH
He reached Quba (a place near Madinah) 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 Sayyadina Abu Bakr as the Holy Prophet. On seeing this Sayyadina 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 Madinah 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. Sayyadina Abu Bakr (Radiallahu Anhu) became the brother of Sayyadina Haritha bin Zubair, a noted and respected Medinite.
BUILDING OF THE PROPHET’S MOSQUE
There was an urgent need for building a mosque at Madinah 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 Sayyadina Abu Bakr to pay the price of the land. Thus Sayyadina Abu Bakr became the first Muslim to spend most of his money for the cause of Allah at Madinah. He participated in the construction of the mosque like an ordinary labourer with other Muslims.
PARTICIPATION IN THE JIHAAD (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.
Sayyadina Abu Bakr (Radiallahu Anhu) 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 stalwart like Sayyadina Umar (Radiallahu Anhu) hesitated to accept the treaty with the non-believers of Makka at first, but Sayyadina Abu Bakr fully supported the Holy Prophet’s decision.
On the occasion of Tabuk, Sayyadina Abu Bakr (Radiallahu Anhu) brought everything that he possessed. When the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam) asked him, “What did you leave for your family?” Abu Bakr (Radiallahu Anhu) said, “I have left for them Allah and his Prophet”. Even Sayyadina Umar (Radiallahu Anhu) admitted that he could never hope to surpass Abu Bakr (Radiallahu Anhu) 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 Sayyadina Abu Bakr as-Siddiq as his deputy to lead the Hajj caravan to Mecca. Among others in the Hajj caravan were Sayyadina Sa’d bin Abi-Waqqas, Jabir, and Sayyadina Abu Hurairah (Radiallahu Anhu). 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.
Sayyadina Abu Bakr taught the people the Hajj rites and rituals and gave a historic sermon (Khutbah) on the Sacrificial Day before the congregation. Sayyadina ‘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”. (Qur’an 9:3)
IMAM OF HOLY PROPHET(Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam’s) MOSQUE
Since his arrival at Madinah, the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam) himself led the prayers 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 in 10 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 Sayyadina 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 Sayyadina 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 his sickness, the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam) once felt some relief and went for Zuhr Salat, supported by Sayyadina ‘Ali and Sayyadina ‘Abbas (Radiallahu Anhu). 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 Sayyadina Abu Bakr (Radiallahu Anhu). 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 Sayyadina 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 Sayyadina Abu Bakr (Radiallahu Anhu) 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 Madinah to meet his wife Sayyidah Kharijah 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 Sayyadina ‘ A’isha’s apartment where the Holy Prophet as 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 Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam) with a sheet and came to the Mosque.
A multitude of people was crying in the Mosque. Sayyadina Umar (Radiallahu Anhu) was in a strong emotional state and was shouting that the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam) had not died. Sayyadina Abu Bakr (Radiallahu Anhu) tried to calm him but Umar did not pay any attention to him. Noting the delicacy of the situation, Sayyadina 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 Sayyadina Abu Bakr touched the hearts of the people. Sayyadina Umar also cooled down. Sayyadina ‘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(Radiallahu Anhu) 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 Madinah 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 Madinahh known as “Saqifah-i-Bani Sa’idah” to discuss the appointment of a Khalifah.
Sayyadina Abu Bakr and Sayyadina Umar with other prominent Muhajirin (Immigrants) were in the Mosque. When they were informed about the gathering of Ansar, Sayyadina Abu Bakr and Umar also went there accompanied by a number of eminent Muhajirin like Sayyadina Abu ‘Ubaidah bin al-Jarrah. Since Sayyadina ‘Ali and Sayyadina 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 Sayyadina 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 Sayyadina 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 Sayyadina Umar stood up and said, “This is not at all possible. There would be great confusion because of two Amirs.” Sayyadina Khabbab bin Mundhar did not agree with Umar and there was a hot talk between them. Sayyadina Abu ‘Ubaidah tried to cool them down. Then another Ansari Sayyadina Bashir bin an-Nu’man (Radiallahu Anhu) 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 Sayyadina Zaid bin Thabit (Radiallahu Anhu) 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 Sayyadina Abu Bakr (Radiallahu Anhu) 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 Sayyadina 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.” Sayyadina Abu Bakr still hesitated but Umar (Radiallahu Anhu) and Sayyadina Zaid bin Thabit Ansari held his hand and took pledge of loyalty (Bai’at). Then Sayyadina Abu ‘Ubaidah bin al-Jarrah and Sayyadina 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 (Radiallahu Anhu) 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 Sayyadina 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”:
“O 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, Sayyadina 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 Sayyadina Abu Bakr in the mosque.
PROBLEMS FACED BY SAYYADINA 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.
Sayyadina Abu Bakr (Radiallahu Anhu) 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).
The freed slave of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu ‘alaihi wa Sallam) and his adopted son, Sayyadina Zaid bin Harith (Radiallahu Anhu) 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 Sayyadina Usamah (Radiallahu Anhu), the son of Zaid to lead an expedition against Syrians in order to avenge the death of his father, Zaid.
When Sayyadina 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 (Radiallahu Anhu) 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 Madinah that apostates under the command of some false prophet were planning to invade the town. Sayyadina Abu Bakr (Radiallahu Anhu) was really facing a difficult situation. In the circumstances, the companions approached him to withdraw the expedition of Sayyadina Usamah bin Zaid. In their opinion it was unwise to send troops out of Madinah because they were needed at home.
Here was the test of Abu Bakr’s (Radiallahu Anhu) 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 Sayyadina Umar. Abu Bakr (Radiallahu Anhu) 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 Sayyadina Abu Bakr was firm they requested him to change the command of Sayyadina Usamah because he was too young and inexperienced — not yet twenty, thus was not fit to lead the expedition. Hearing this Sayyadina 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 Sayyadina Usamah left after three weeks of Holy Prophet’s death. Sayyadina Umar (Radiallahu Anhu) was also included in the army. Sayyadina Abu Bakr sought Usamah’s permission to leave him in Madinahh, and he agreed. Sayyadina Abu Bakr himself bid him farewell and went to some distance out of Madinah. The young commander of the army was riding a horse and the great Caliph was walking by his side. After forty days Sayyadina Usamah returned to Madinahh with a great victory, the victory of Abu Bakr’s (Radiallahu Anhu) 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.
ASWAD’ANSI: 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.
TULAIHA: 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. Sayyadina Abu Bakr sent Sayyadina 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 Madinah. She also forced those who did not co-operate with her to follow. On her way to Madinahh 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 Sayyadina 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. Sayyadina 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). Sayyadina Abu Bakr As-Siddiq (Radiallahu Anhu) sent Shurahbeel bin Hasnah and ‘Ikrimah (Radiallahu Anhu) to crush the rebellion. Later on Sayyadina Khalid bin Walid (Radiallahu Anhu) 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 (Radiallahu Anhu). 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, (Radiallahu Anhu) the same person who was responsible for Sayyadina 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). Sayyadina 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 Sayyadina 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 Madinah 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 Madinah, 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. Sayyadina Khalid bin Walid (Radiallahu Anhu) 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.
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, Turkey).
After suppressing the rebellions of internal tribes and adjoining small states, Abu Bakr (Radiallahu Anhu) 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 Sayyadina 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 Sayyadina Abu Bakr permitted Muthanna to go ahead with his scheme. But later Muthanna came to Sayyadina Abu Bakr (Radiallahu Anhu) 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 (Radiallahu Anhu) 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, Sayyadina Abu Bakr ordered his great general Sayyadina Khalid bin Walid (Radiallahu Anhu) to proceed immediately to reinforce Muthanna’s army. It was the first month of the year 12 A.H. (633 A.C.). Sayyadina 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, Sayyadina 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”.
The Persians were too proud and paid no attention to Sayyadina 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 Sayyadina Khalid besieged the city of Hira. Persians resisted in the beginning but later on they surrendered to Muslims. Sayyadina 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 Sayyadina 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. Sayyadina Khalid routed the enemies and conquered the place. By this victory whole of South and most of the North Iraq were conquered. Then Sayyadina Khalid returned to Hira.
SAYYADINA KHALID BIN WALID, SAIFULLAH (THE SWORD OF ALLAH)
Sayyadina Khalid bin Walid (Radiallahu Anhu) 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 (Radiallahu Anhu) ability he put him incharge of the Iraqi campaign. Sayyadina Khalid’s performance in this campaign has no parallel in history. With an army of a little more than ten thousand men, Khalid (Radiallahu Anhu) 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.
Sayyadina Khalid (Radiallahu Anhu) 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 as follows:
“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 Sayyadina Khalid fought fifteen battles and won complete victory in all of them.
Sayyadina 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 Sayyadina Khalid, the Saifullah (Radiallahu Anhu), 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 Sayyadina 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, Sayyadina 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 Sayyadina Usamah bin Zaid (Radiallahu Anhu)as the commander of the army which was later sent by Sayyadina Abu Bakr(Radiallahu Anhu) when he assumed the office of the Caliphate. It has been mentioned before that Sayyadina Usamah (Radiallahu Anhu) returned victorious after about forty days.
Afterwards Sayyadina Abu Bakr (Radiallahu Anhu) 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 Sayyadina Abu Bakr (Radiallahu Anhu) 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. Sayyadina Abu ‘Ubaidah bin al-Jarrah(Radiallahu Anhu)had to march on Hims; Sayyadina Amr bin al-’As(Radiallahu Anhu)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.
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 Sayyadina Abu Bakr about the situation and sought reinforcement. They also informed him about their proposal to merge the four armies under one command. Sayyadina Abu Bakr(Radiallahu Anhu) approved the proposal of merger and sent the following message to Sayyadina ‘Amr bin al-’As (Radiallahu Anhu), one of the commanders
“As-Salamo ‘alaikum! 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.” (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”. (Ibn Sa’d).
On receiving orders from the Caliph, Sayyadina Khalid handed over the charge of affairs in Iraq to Muthanna bin Harith, and hastened to Syria at the head of ten thousand Sayyadina Khalid (Radiallahu Anhu) 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 Sayyadina 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 Sayyadina 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 Sayyadina 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 Sayyadina Khalid (Radiallahu Anhu). 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!” Sayyadina 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 Sayyadina Abu Bakr(Radiallahu Anhu) fell sick. He received the news of the victory at Ajnadayn when he was confined to bed.
ILLNESS OF SAYYADINA ABU BAKR (Radiallahu Anhu) AND UMAR’S (Radiallahu Anhu) 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 (Radiallahu Anhu) etc. Sayyadina Abu Bakr (Radiallahu Anhu) put his proposal for Sayyadina Umar (Radiallahu Anhu) 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 Sayyadina ‘Ali and Talha (Radiallahu Anhu) also did not agree with Sayyadina Abu Bakr (Radiallahu Anhu). But Abu Bakr(Radiallahu Anhu) rejected their plea on the ground that the burden of Caliphate would make him milder. Since there was no opposition to Sayyadina Abu Bakr’s view, Sayyadina Umar was declared to be the next Caliph and all the Companions, including Sayyadina ‘Ali (Radiallahu Anhu) and Sayyadina Talha (Radiallahu Anhu), agreed to it.
Although the appointment (election) of the Caliph did not take place in the same way as it happened with Sayyadina Abu Bakr (Radiallahu Anhu), it was not un-democratic in the sense that the nomination of Sayyadina Umar took place after fair consultation with the “Shura”. Sayyadina 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 Sayyadina Abu Bakr (Radiallahu Anhu) 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 Sayyadina Umar, Sayyadina Abu Bakr asked Sayyadina ‘Uthman (Radiallahu Anhu) 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 (Radiallahu Anhu) 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 Sayyadina 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”.
MAY ALLAH FORGVE HIM AND ELEVATE HIS STATUS INN JANNAT – AMEEN