The Companions of the Holy Prophet (sa)

Friday Sermon Summary 11th November 2022: ‘Rightly Guided Caliphs – Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra)’

After reciting Tashahhud, Ta`awwuz and Surah al-Fatihah, His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad (aba) said that he would continue highlighting incidents from the life of Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra).

His Holiness Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad - Caliph Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) life

An Expert in Genealogy

His Holiness (aba) said that according to narrations, he was proficient in the knowledge of the history of Arab lineages, particularly those of the Quraish. Those who later became experts in this field of knowledge attributed their education in the field to Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) for he had the utmost knowledge on the subject. He knew both the positives and negatives of lineages, however he would not mention the negative aspects. 

His Holiness (aba) said that once, the Holy Prophet (sa) advised Hazrat Hassan bin Thabit (ra) that before writing poetry regarding the Quraish, he should consult Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) regarding the Quraish’s genealogy. Upon hearing this poetry, it would be evident to the listeners that it had been written in consultation with Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra). 

His Holiness (aba) said that it is recorded that although Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) would not be considered a poet, he definitely had an interest in poetry. Scholars and historians differ as to whether Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) ever wrote poetry himself. There are some who assert that there is a compilation of poetry written by Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) which can be found in Turkey. 

A Deep Understanding in Matters

His Holiness (aba) said that Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) was very perceptive. It is narrated that once the Holy Prophet (sa) said that God had given a person the choice between that which is in this world and that which is with Him and the person chose that which was with God. Upon this, Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) began crying, which confused some people as it seemed to them that the Holy Prophet (sa) was speaking generally about a person. They would later realise that Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) understood this to be the Holy Prophet (sa). The Holy Prophet (sa) told Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) not to cry for he was at the forefront in virtue and sacrificing wealth. He said that if he could have a Khalil (close friend) then it would have been Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra), however the brotherhood of Islam is greater. He said that all windows to the mosque should be closed except that of Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra). 

His Holiness (aba) said that Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) also had great perception and understanding of the Holy Qur’an. For example, when the verse ‘This day I have perfected your religion for you and completed My favour upon you.’ (5:4) Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) began crying, for he felt that this meant the demise of the Holy Prophet (sa) was near. The Promised Messiah (as) explained that prophets are sent to this world with a mission and when that mission is completed, then comes time for them to depart, something which Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) understood and gleaned from this verse. Furthermore, the Promised Messiah (as) explains in reference to the Hadith in which the Holy Prophet (sa) said that all windows except that of Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) should be closed meant that the hidden treasures of God represented by a mosque would always be manifest to Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra). This did not mean that this door was closed for others, however it was open the most for Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra), for his perception was far superior to anyone else.

An Authority in the Interpretation of Dreams

His Holiness (aba) said that Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) also had great proficiency in the interpretation of dreams and he would interpret dreams during the time of the Holy Prophet (sa). Muhammad inn Sirin states that after the Holy Prophet (sa), Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) was the greatest interpreter of dreams. Once, a man went to the Holy Prophet (sa) and said that he saw a dream in which there was a cloud from which oil and honey fell and people were benefiting from it. He then saw a rope hanging from the heavens which the Holy Prophet (sa) took hold of in the dream and went up to the heavens and then two more people ascended the same way. A third person took hold of the rope but it broke apart, after which it was mended, and then he too ascended using the same rope. After hearing this dream, Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) asked the Holy Prophet (sa) for permission to interpret it, which the Holy Prophet (sa) allowed. Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) said that the cloud was Islam and the oil and honey that fell from it was the Qur’an. People benefitting from these things referred to those attaining knowledge of the Holy Qur’an. The rope going to the heavens represented the truth upon which the Holy Prophet (sa) was established and taking a hold of it elevated the Holy Prophet (sa). Then there would be those after him established on the same truth then a third for whom it would be broken and then mended. The Holy Prophet (sa) said that Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) was correct in some aspects and mistaken in others with regards to his interpretation, however the Holy Prophet (sa) did not deem it necessary to elaborate further at that time. 

His Holiness (aba) said that the Holy Prophet (sa) saw a dream in which he was with Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) at an elevation and the Holy Prophet (sa) was two and a half steps ahead of Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra). Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) interpreted this to mean that God would call the Holy Prophet (sa) unto HImself and that Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) would remain alive for two and a half years after that, and this is exactly what happened. 

His Holiness (aba) said that once Hazrat A’ishah (ra) saw in a dream that three moons fell into her room. After the demise of the Holy Prophet (sa) when he was buried in Hazrat A’ishah’s (ra) home, Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) told her that this was the first of the three moons that she saw and this was the best. 

The First Adult Male to Accept Islam

His Holiness (aba) siad that with regards to the first among men to accept Islam, it is recorded that it was Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra). The first person overall was Hazrat Khadijah (ra) after which some scholars differ regarding the first man to accept. However, as explained by Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad (ra) in The Life and Character of the Seal of Prophets it would not be accurate to say that the first among men to accept was either Hazrat Zaid (ra) or Hazrat Ali (ra), as they were young members of the Holy Prophet’s (sa) household and were like his sons, thus would have followed him in any case. That leaves Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra), who was undoubtedly the first to accept Islam. He was honoured among the Quraish, yet he did not hesitate in the slightest upon hearing the Holy Prophet’s (sa) claim and accepted right away. In fact, he sacrificed all he had for the sake of the Holy Prophet (sa). 

His Holiness (aba) said that then there were five initial people who accepted Islam as a result of Hazrat Abu Bakr’s (ra) preaching and they went on to become stalwart companions, namely Hazrat Uthman bin Affan (ra), Hazrat Abdur Rahman bin Auf (ra), Hazrat Sa’d bin Abi Waqqas (ra), Hazrat Zubair bin al-Awwam (ra), Hazrat Talhah bin Ubaidillah (ra). These companions were also all among the ten companions (Asharah Mubasharah) who were given the glad tidings of Paradise by the Holy Prophet (sa). 

A Man Ready to Sacrifice Everything for His Faith

His Holiness (aba) said that the Holy Prophet (sa) recognised the immense sacrifices made by Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) at the outset of Islam. The sacrifices made at the beginning by Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) were incomparable, even though those who came after also made great sacrifices, such as Hazrat Umar (ra). Once, when there was a dispute between Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) and Hazrat Umar (ra), the Holy Prophet (sa) that when people did not accept Islam, Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) did, and when people opposed Islam, Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) helped Islam, so then why was he being caused pain? This was the attestation of his sacrifices given by the Holy Prophet (sa) himself.

A Liberator of Slaves

His Holiness (aba) said that Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) was known for freeing slaves. Hence, at the outset of Islam, there were seven slaves who Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) freed with his own wealth for the sake of Islam. Even the opponents of Islam recognised the virtue of Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra). Once, when Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) was leaving Makkah, a chief asked him where he was going. Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) told him that it was no longer safe for him there. The chief replied that if a virtuous person like Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) left, then the city of Makkah would be ruined. Thus, Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) remained there under his protection, and as he prayed and recited the Holy Qur’an, passersby would stop and listen to the great pain and anguish with which he recited. When people complained, the chief asked Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) not to recite aloud as it angered the other chieftains. Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) said that he would not cease and if the chief wanted to retract his protection then he could.

The Holy Prophet’s (sa) Deputy in Leading the Prayer 

His Holiness (aba) said that Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) was among those honoured and fortunate to be appointed by the Holy Prophet (sa) at times to lead prayers in the Prophet’s Mosque. The Holy Prophet (sa) also read prayers being led by Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra); one narration records that when the Holy Prophet (sa) was ill, he sat to the right of Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) as he led the prayer and prayed behind him. 

Love and Care for Members of His Family

His Holiness (aba) said that Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) was very kind to his children. Although his eldest son lived separately, Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) would tend to his household expenses. His daughter Hazrat Asma (ra) was living under straitened circumstances and did not have a worker in her home, thus she had to do much of the laborious work herself. Upon learning of this, Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) sent a worker to her home, a gesture which she said was a huge relief for her.

His Holiness (aba) said that he will continue highlighting these incidents in the future.

Summary prepared by The Review of Religions