The Companions of the Holy Prophet (sa)

Friday Sermon Summary 25th 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

An Innate Yearning to Serve Mankind

His Holiness (aba) said that regarding his service to humanity, it is recorded that even before accepting Islam, Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) was regarded as the best among the Quraish and people would often go to him for help in their difficulties. He would also often host people in Makkah. He was considered to be among the highest rank and level of people and stood alone in his standard of hospitality. He was also very kind to the poor and needy. He would purchase quilts during the cold weather and distribute them among the poor and needy. 

His Holiness (aba) said that before he became the Khalifah, he used to milk someone’s goats. After he became Khalifah, the person’s daughters thought that he would no longer carry out this duty, however Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) continued this responsibility even after becoming the Khalifah, doing so for six months until he moved from the outskirts to Madinah. 

His Holiness (aba) said that once, the Holy Prophet (sa) advised the Muslims who had food at home for three people at home to take a fourth and feed them and whoever had food for four people should take a fifth person home and so on. Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) took three people home with him. He then went to the Holy Prophet’s (sa) home and stayed with him until it had gotten late. Upon returning home, he learned that his guests had insisted that they would not eat until he returned. They were then presented food when he returned home however as they ate, the food continued to increase, to the point that once they were done eating, the food was three times the quantity before they had started eating. 

An Example in the Feeding of the Poor

His Holiness (aba) said that it is recorded that after Hazrat Abu Bakr’s (ra) passing, Hazrat Umar (ra) asked one of his workers the various virtues which he saw in Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra). Among the things he said was the fact that he went and fed a certain poor person everyday. Hence, Hazrat Umar (ra) went to the same cave where the poor man, who was blind and had no limbs resided, in order to feed him. When he was given food, he began crying, realising that Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) had passed away. When asked how he knew this, he said that he had no teeth, and so Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) used to chew the food and then put it in his mouth in order to make it easy for him. 

Covering the Faults of Others

His Holiness (aba) said with regards to Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) covering the faults of others that he used to say, if he ever caught a thief, his first desire would be that God covers their faults. 

Unwavering Bravery of Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra)

His Holiness (aba) said regarding Hazrat Abu Bakr’s (ra) bravery that he was at the forefront of battles and of serving the Holy Prophet (sa) no matter the circumstances. It was due to this bravery that once, Hazrat Ali (ra) told people that Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) was Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra). During the Battle of Badr, when it was being decided who would guard the Holy Prophet’s (sa) tent, Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) was the first to step forward and protect him. Furthermore, Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) was among those who remained steadfast and did not move from their post on the mountain alongside the Holy Prophet (sa). Similarly, on other occasions like the Battle of Khaibar, Treaty of Hudaibiyah, Expedition of Taif, Battle of Tabuk, Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) showed great bravery. In fact, he was given the biggest flag during the Battle of Tabuk. After the demise of the Holy Prophet (sa), when Muslims were becoming apostates, Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) showed great bravery and faced this challenge head on.

His Holiness (aba) said that once, some people asked the Companions who the bravest Companion was during the lifetime of the Holy Prophet (sa). They responded by saying that the bravest among them was considered to be the one who stood by the Holy Prophet (sa) the most as especially during battle, this would be the most dangerous place to be in terms of threat of enemy attack. Hence, only the bravest person and often, it was Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) standing next to the Holy Prophet (sa), and so the Companions said that they saw him to be the bravest. Similarly, just as Gabriel accompanied the Holy Prophet (sa) on the Night Journey [Isra], so too did Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) accompany the Holy Prophet (sa) during his migration. During the journey, when worried that the Quraish would find them, Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) expressed that he was not worried about his own life, rather he only cared for the well-being of the Holy Prophet (sa). 

His Holiness (aba) said that after the demise of the Holy Prophet (sa), when there was a dispute as to whether the Khalifah should be from the Muhajirin or Ansar, Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) called a meeting. Hazrat Umar (ra) thought that this task would require someone brave, not tender hearted and so he began thinking of various arguments to make. However, when the time for this meeting arrived, Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) conducted the meeting with such bravery and presented all the points which Hazrat Umar (ra) had planned to present, had he conducted the meeting. Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) also bravely stood firm when people refused the payment of Zakat. He said that no matter what, even if a piece of rope was given in Zakat during the time of the Holy Prophet (sa), he would ensure that it was still offered. He said that to this end, even if there was an attack and he had to fight on his own then he would.

Removing a Misconception about the Qur’anic Injunction of Giving Zakat

His Holiness (aba) said that when some people during Hazrat Abu Bakr’s (ra) era of Khilafat, some people mistook the verse:

‘Take alms out of their wealth, so that thou mayest cleanse them and purify them thereby. And pray for them’ (9:103)

They thought that since God addressed the Holy Prophet (sa), it meant that Zakat was only to be paid to him. They did not realise that this also applied to the Holy Prophet’s (sa) successors and was a continuous commandment. Whereas some elder Companions suggested to Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) that he should be lenient and let such people be, Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) said that he was in no position to abrogate this commandment and remained firm in order to uphold it. Hazrat Umar (ra) was known to be extremely brave, but even he admitted that Hazrat ABu Bakr (ra) was braver for he stood firm and bravely to uphold this commandment. It was then that people realised the great bravery possessed by the Khalifah appointed by God. 

Unparalleled Sacrifices of Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) for the Sake of Islam

His Holiness (aba) said regarding Hazrat Abu Bakr’s (ra) financial sacrifices, that it is recorded that when Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) accepted Islam, he had one million dirhams, according to one narration. It is said that he spent so much on the poor and needy that at the time of migration he only had about five thousand or so dirhams left. 

His Holiness (aba) said that once, the Holy Prophet (sa) said that no one’s wealth had benefited him like the wealth sacrificed by Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra). Hazrat Umar (ra) said that once, the thought occurred to him that Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) always excelled him in financial sacrifices. Thus, one day, he intended that he would overtake Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) in offering financial sacrifices and so he went home and took half of all that he owned and presented it. However, later he learned that Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) sacrificed all that he possessed at home. He then realised that he would never be able to overtake Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) in financial sacrifices. 

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

Summary prepared by The Review of Religions