Men of Excellence: 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 aspects from the life of Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra).
Hazrat Abu Bakr’s(ra) Unwavering Support for the Holy Prophet(sa)
His Holiness(aba) said that Hazrat A’ishah(ra) relates regarding the verse:
‘As to those who answered the call of Allah and the Messenger after they had received an injury — such of them as do good and act righteously shall have a great reward’ (The Holy Qur’an, 3:173)
It is recorded that Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) was among those on the day of Uhud that when the enemy left, the Holy Prophet(sa) had a feeling that they would return and asked who would follow them. There were seventy people who presented themselves to the Holy Prophet(sa), among whom was Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra).
His Holiness(aba) said that after the demise of the Holy Prophet(sa), Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) suggested to Hazrat Umar(ra) that they should visit Hazrat Umm Aiman(ra), as the Holy Prophet(sa) used to. When they visited Hazrat Umm Aiman(ra), she began crying, saying that now, revelation from the heavens had ceased. This caused both Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) and Hazrat Umar(ra) to cry as well.
His Holiness(aba) said that the Holy Prophet(sa) would say that there was a time when everyone refused him, however at that time he found there to be no wavering in the support of Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra).
Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) Reassures Muslims after the Treaty of Hudaibiyah
His Holiness(aba) said as the terms of the Treaty of Hudaibiyah were being stipulated, the Companions present were extremely emotional and unhappy, however, they controlled their emotions before the Holy Prophet(sa). Finally, Hazrat Umar(ra) expressed his concerns, asking the Holy Prophet(sa) that if he was the true prophet then why were they having to face such humiliation? The Holy Prophet(sa) said that being the Messenger of Allah, he understood His desires and would not go against them. Then, Hazrat Umar(ra) asked, did the Holy Prophet(sa) not say that they would circle around the Ka’bah? The Holy Prophet(sa) responded that he did, however he did not say that this would happen that very year. Hazrat Umar(ra) was still not satisfied and went to Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) and voiced the same concerns. Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) responded to him by saying that he should remain steadfast and not waver in his commitment to the Holy Prophet(sa), for the person in whose hand they had given theirs was certainly truthful. It was upon this that Hazrat Umar(ra) realised and felt regret over his actions, and offered various voluntary prayers and sacrifices as expiation.
Sense of Honour for the Holy Prophet’s (sa) Status
His Holiness(aba) said that once, there were two men arguing; a Muslims and a Jewish man. They argued over the status of their respective prophets and when the Jewish man expressed his view of Moses’(as) superiority, the Muslim slapped him. The Jewish man went to the Holy Prophet(sa) and told him what happened, upon which the Holy Prophet(sa) summoned the Muslim man and told him not to give him superiority to Moses(as). In commentary of this narration, it is recorded that the Muslim man was Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra).
A Relationship of Tremendous Love
His Holiness(aba) said that Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) had a relationship of great love with the Holy Prophet(sa). When the following chapter of the Holy Qur’an was revealed:
‘When the help of Allah comes, and the victory, and thou seest men entering the religion of Allah in troops, glorify thy Lord, with His praise, and seek forgiveness of Him. Surely He is Oft-Returning with compassion.’ (The Holy Qur’an, 110:2-4)
The Holy Prophet(sa) delivered a sermon in which he informed Muslims about this chapter and said that he had been given the option between nearness to God or worldly success and he chose nearness to God. The Muslims rejoiced upon hearing this, however, Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) cried out in agony. He said to the Holy Prophet(sa) that may his parents, wife and children and everything he had, be sacrificed for him. Some Companions wondered why Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) was reacting in this manner to this news they had received. The Holy Prophet(sa) sensed people’s bewilderment and the reaction of Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra), upon which he said that Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) was so beloved to him, that had it been permissible to make anyone besides Allah a Khalil (friend), he would have made Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) his Khalil, yet he was still his Companion. Then the Holy Prophet(sa) said that anyone who had windows facing inside the mosque should close them, except for Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra). This was the great expression of love by the Holy Prophet(sa). It was out of his love for the Holy Prophet(sa), that Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) was able to realise that this chapter was alluding to the imminent demise of the Holy Prophet(sa).
Hazrat Abu Bakr’s(ra) Acute Awareness
His Holiness(aba) said that once, Hazrat Umar(ra) took a copy of the Torah to the Holy Prophet(sa) and began reading it. As he did, there was an expression of displeasure on the Holy Prophet’s (sa) face. Upon this, Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) asked Hazrat Umar(ra), that could he not see that this was displeasing to the Holy Prophet(sa)? Hazrat Umar(ra) stopped and apologised. His Holiness(aba) clarified that the displeasure expressed by the Holy Prophet(sa) was not due to the simple reading aloud of the Torah, rather it was due to the fact that Hazrat Umar(ra) was reading a specific portion which contradicted the teachings of Islam and it was this that displeased the Holy Prophet(sa). Further reading on this specific matter can be done in Al-Tafsīr Al-Kabīr (The Grand Exegesis) by Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad(ra), in volume 6, under chapter 24 verse 3.
Diligence in Refraining from Worldliness
His Holiness(aba) said that once, Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) was speaking with other Companions when he asked one of his workers to bring some water. When the vessel was brought to him, he was about to take a sip, when he realised that there was honey mixed into the water. Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) put the vessel down and began crying so profusely that the people around him initially tried consoling him, but seeing him in this state, they themselves began crying as well. Finally, when they again asked why he was crying, he replied that during the final illness of the Holy Prophet(sa), he saw him saying “move away”. Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) asked him what it was that he was moving away from him. The Holy Prophet(sa) said that he had been presented with the luxuries of this world, which he was moving away from himself. Hazrat Abu Bakr(ra) explained in a pained voice, that honey mixed in water made him wonder whether he was being engulfed in worldliness and the very thought of this is what caused him to cry so profusely.
His Holiness(aba) said that he would continue narrating these incidents in future sermons.
His Holiness(aba) said that he would lead the funeral prayers in absentia of the following deceased members:
Samiullah Sial who had been serving as Wakilul Zira’at in Tahrik-e-Jadid. He passed away at the age of 89. When his father accepted Ahmadiyyat, he was only four years old. Upon finding out of his conversion, Samiullah Sial’s mother left her husband and took him with her. The Second Caliph(ra) advised him to start a case to have his son returned to him, in which he was successful. He dedicated his life to serve the Community after taking a test which had been formulated by the Second Caliph(ra) himself. He served in Sierra Leone, after which he was appointed to the offices in different capacities. He was a pious and humble individual who gave precedence to the instructions of Khilafat. He was also very hospitable. When his father was martyred, his mother’s side of the family urged him to leave Ahmadiyyat as a result of which they would support him, however he refused and remained steadfast upon Ahmadiyyat. Any time he was faced with difficulty, he would turn to God and seek His help through profuse prayer. When he became a life-devotee, he was going to be sent to obtain his Masters degree. Someone expressed to the Second Caliph(ra) that perhaps, after receiving his degree, he would go on to pursue some worldly occupation. The Second Caliph(ra) responded that Sials were not disloyal. His Holiness(aba) prayed that may Allah grant him mercy and forgiveness and keep his progeny attached to Khilafat and the Community and grant them patience in the face of this loss.
Siddiqa Begum who recently passed away. Her son Abdul Hadi Tariq is a missionary and professor in Jamia Ahmadiyya Ghana. Her father passed away after which the Second Caliph(ra) ensured that the family was taken care of. She was the daughter-in-law of a Companion of the Promised Messiah(as), the wife of a life-devotee and the mother of a life-devotee. She possessed many virtuous qualities, including humility, fear of God, hospitality, kindness, forbearance, among others. She was regular in offering the five daily prayers, tahajjud, (pre-dawn voluntary prayers) and reciting the Holy Qur’an. She is survived by two daughters and three sons. One of her sons who is a missionary could not attend his mother’s funeral due to being in the field of duty. His Holiness(aba) prayed that may Allah enable her progeny to carry on the legacy of her virtues, and may He grant her mercy and forgiveness and elevate her station.
Summary prepared by The Review of Religions