In the name of Allah, the Gracious, the Merciful
There is none worthy of worship except Allah, Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah
Muslims who believe in the Messiah,
Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Qadiani (as)

Men of Excellence : Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra)

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

Family Background of Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra)

His Holiness(aba) said that Hazrat Abu Bakr’s(ra) name was Abdullah, and his father’s name was Uthman bin Amir. His filial appellation was Abu Bakr, and he was also known by the names Ateeq and Siddiq. It is said that he was born in 573. He was from the tribe of the Quraish called Taim bin Murrah. Before Islam, his name was Abdul Ka’bah, which the Holy Prophet(sa) later changed to Abdullah. According to narrations, his mother’s name was either Salamah bint Sakhr bint Aamir, or Lailah bint Sakhr.

Hazrat Abu Bakr’s(ra) Father Entered the Fold of Islam

His Holiness(aba) said that according to Hazrat Abu Bakr’s(ra) family tree, going back seven generations, he was related to the Holy Prophet(sa). Similarly, his mother’s family tree also linked them as relatives to the Holy Prophet(sa). Both parents of Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) accepted Islam. His father had not accepted Islam until the Conquest of Makkah, by which time he had lost his sight. During the conquest of Makkah, Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) took his father to the Holy Prophet(sa). Upon seeing him, the Holy Prophet(sa) said that Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) should have left him at home, and he would have visited him at his home. Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) said that it was more appropriate for him to come to the Holy Prophet(sa), rather than the Holy Prophet(sa) going to him. Then, the Holy Prophet(sa) placed his hand on Hazrat Abu Bakr’s(ra) father’s chest, and invited him to Islam, at which point he accepted and enterd the fold of Islam.

Hazrat Abu Bakr’s(ra) Mother Accepted Islam

His Holiness(aba) said that Hazrat Abu Bakr’s(ra) mother was one of the foremost people to accept Islam. During the era of Dar-e-Arqam when Muslims were still practising in secret, one day Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) suggested to the Holy Prophet(sa) that they should go to the Sacred Mosque. There, with the Holy Prophet(sa) present, Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) delivered a speech inviting people to Islam. In this way, after the Holy Prophet(sa), Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) was the first to publicly speak and invite people to Islam. Upon this, the disbelievers severely beat Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra), as a result of which his face became so swollen, that his nose could not be distinguished. After taking him away, people were certain that he would pass away due to his injuries. He was unable to speak, but when he finally was by the end of the day, he asked about the Holy Prophet(sa), but no one was able to answer him. Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) asked his mother to go to Umm Jamil and ask her about the Holy Prophet(sa), as she was Muslim but had not made this public knowledge. Hazrat Abu Bakr’s(ra) mother went, and brought Umm Jamil back with her, and she informed Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) that the Holy Prophet(sa) was alright. Later, Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) was taken to see the Holy Prophet(sa) with the help of his mother. When in the presence of the Holy Prophet(sa), he was overcome with emotion, and the Holy Prophet(sa) kissed Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra). Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) asked the Holy Prophet(sa) to pray for his mother, upon which he invited her to accept Islam. She accepted the Holy Prophet’s (sa) invitation and entered the fold of Islam.

Titles of Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra)

His Holiness(aba) said that Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) was known by the names Ateeq and Siddiq. He was called Ateeq because one day, the Holy Prophet(sa) said to him that he was saved from the fire. Thus, he became known by this title of Ateeq, which means one with excellent qualities. Ateeq also means old or ancient, and some say he was known by this title because he always possessed excellent qualities and was of the foremost to accept Islam.

His Holiness(aba) said that Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) was also known as Siddiq. It is recorded that he was given this title even before Islam, due to his high level of honesty. It is also recorded that when the Holy Prophet(sa) would inform him of any news, he would attest to it right away, thus he became known by this title. For example, when the Holy Prophet(sa) was shown the vision of the night journey in which he travelled in a dream to Jerusalem which was about 1,300 kilometres away, people went to Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) and asked him whether he attested to this claim of the Holy Prophet(sa). Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) immediately attested to this, and thus became known as Siddiq. In fact, it is recorded that the angel Gabriel informed the Holy Prophet(sa) that Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) would attest to this vision of the Holy Prophet(sa), for he is Siddiq.

His Holiness(aba) said that Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) was also known as Khalifatu Rasulillah(Successor to the Messenger of Allah). This of course was a title given to him after the demise of the Holy Prophet(sa). It is also recorded that he was known as Awwahun, meaning tender-hearted. Another title given to him was Ameerush Shakirin (Leader of the Thankful). This title was given to him because of how thankful he was. Another title was given to him by God, which was Thani Ithnain (one of the two). This was in reference to when Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) was with the Holy Prophet(sa) in the cave of Hira. Another title is Sahibur Rasul (Companion of the Messenger). This is also in reference to when the Holy Prophet(sa) told his companion in the cave of Hira not to worry. When these verses were being recited, Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) began crying and said that he was that companion being referred to. He was also known as Adam-e-Thani (the Second Adam), a title given to him by the Promised Messiah(as). Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) is also recorded in history as Khalilur Rasul (Friend of the Messenger). It is recorded that the Holy Prophet(sa) said that if he were to have a Khalil (friend) from among the people, it would be Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra). The Promised Messiah(as) clarified this statement when he said that of course Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) was already a friend to the Holy Prophet(sa), but Khalil refers to becoming one in the same or one becoming imbibed in the other. This is a closeness which is reserved for one’s relationship with God, and this cannot be shared with any person. Thus, the Holy Prophet(sa) was expressing, had this been possible with other people, then it would have been with Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra).

His Holiness(aba) said with regards to his title of Abu Bakr, that Bakr can refer to a young camel. Since he had a passion and was skilled in tending to camels, he became known as Abu Bakr. Bakara also refers to being swift, and he became known as this due to being the first to accept Islam. He was also at the forefront of exemplifying excellent qualities.

His Holiness(aba) said that Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) was fair-skinned and of a light build. His back was slightly bent, his eyes slightly sunken, and he had a high forehead.

His Holiness(aba) said that even before accepting Islam, he was regarded as an honourable person. He was a businessman and dealt with excellent morals. People would often come to him for advice on various matters. He became known as one of Arabia’s most successful businessmen. He was among the most pious people, and was extremely generous. He was beloved by all, and kept good company. It is recorded that he was extremely knowledgeable in the interpretation of dreams. Ibn Sirin says that after the Holy Prophet(sa), Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) was the most proficient in this regard.

His Holiness(aba) said that the Makkans regarded Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) to be the best among them, and would consult with him regarding various matters. He was also part of Hilful Fudhul, a group which had been formed to help the downtrodden, oppressed and to always uphold justice. This was the same group which the Holy Prophet(sa) was also a part of.

Virtues of Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) Prior to the Advent of Islam

His Holiness(aba) said even before Islam, Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) was averse to idol worship, and never bowed down before any idol. He was also averse to the consumption of alcohol and never consumed it even before the time of Islam. When asked why he never drank alcohol, he said it was because he was mindful of his honour and piety, which cannot be maintained by one who consumes alcohol.

His Holiness(aba) said with regards to Hazrat Abu Bakr’s(ra) acceptance of Islam, that Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) heard that Khadijah’s husband had claimed to be a prophet like Moses(as). Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) went to the Holy Prophet(sa) and accepted him. It is also recorded that before the advent of the Holy Prophet(sa), Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) saw in a dream that the moon had descended into Makkah, upon which it shattered and its pieces became scattered into every home, and then all the pieces fell into his lap. When he asked about its interpretation, he was told that the messenger who was awaited would soon come, and Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) would be his foremost follower.

His Holiness(aba) said that he would continue highlighting the life of Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) in future sermons.

Summary prepared by The Review of Religions.

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