The Prophet’s (PBUH) closest companion & the first Caliph of Islam
“Prophets alone bring new faiths. Yet, it’s the disciples and friends who distinguish the new faith. Moses (AS) had his brother Aaron (AS). Jesus (AS) had the 12 apostles. And, Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) had Rashidun (Great) caliphs, the first of whom was Hazrat Abu Bakr (RA), Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) best friend and father-in-law. Known for his honest and frank character, the first caliph, Hazrat Abu Bakr (RA), was the closest friend of the Prophet (PBUH). He served Islam by keeping Muslims together after Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) demise.” — Hakan Arslanbenzer
Hazrat Abu Bakr (RA) was the closest friend and a faithful companion of the Holy Prophet (PBUH). His real name was Abdullah whereas Abu Bakr was his Kuniyah (patronymic name). Siddiq and Ateeq were his titles. He was the son of Uthman, also known as Abu Quhafah, and his mother was Salma whose patronymic identity was Ummul Khair. He belonged to Banu Tamim clan of Quraish tribe and at his sixth grandfather, his lineage meets with that of the Holy Prophet (PBUH). Even before embracing Islam, he was held in high esteem and enjoyed a respectable place in the political and tribal setup of Makkah. He was a trader by profession.
Services for the cause of Islam before becoming caliph
i. He was the first man to embrace Islam.
ii. Due to his endeavours, many prestigious companions like Hazrat Usman (RA), Zubair (RA), Abdul Rehman bin Auf (RA), Saad bin Abi Waqas (RA) and Abu Ubaidah bin Jarrah (RA) entered the fold of Islam.
iii. He got freed many slaves like Hazrat Bilal (RA), Hazrat Amir (RA), et al, who later rendered exemplary services for the cause of Islam.
iv. He was the first person who testified the Meraaj i.e. the miracle of Ascent of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) in which he (PBUH) was taken from Makkah to Jerusalem and then to heavens in a small portion of the night, two years before the Migration (Hijrah).
v. He took part in major battles during the life of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) like Badr, Uhad, Khyber, Hunayn, Conquest of Makkah and exhibited great feats of valour and steadfastness.
vi. He accompanied the Holy Prophet (PBUH) during the migration journey and made all the requisite arrangements like hiring the guide, provision of food, and so on. During that journey, he set unprecedented standards of friendship and loyalty in the Thawr Cave. This journey has been mentioned in the Holy Quran in verse 40 of Surah At-Tawbah (the Repentance) which states: “If you do not aid the Prophet – Allah has already aided him when those who disbelieved had driven him out [of Makkah] as one of two, when they were in the cave and he said to his companion, ‘Do not grieve; indeed Allah is with us’.”
vii. On the occasion of the Battle of Tabook, when the Holy Prophet (PBUH) sought financial assistance from the Muslims, Abu Bakr Siddiq (RA) brought all his belongings for the cause of Islam. When the Holy Prophet (PBUH) asked him that had he left something for his family, he said, “I have left the name of Allah and Muhammad (PBUH) for them.”
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