In the Name of Allah, The Most Gracious, Most Merciful
Muslim should own books of the companions' biography:
Dear brother, this is lesson number 3 of the biography of our Master Abu Bakr As-Sideeq, may Allah be pleased with him. You all know that the Prophet PBUH said:
((Train your children to acquire three characteristics: love of your Prophet, love of his family and reading the Qur'an.))
How can we apply this Hadith? Our Master Sa'd bin Abi Waqqas applied this Hadith practically by saying, "We used to teach our children about the battles of the Prophet PBUH the way we teach them a Surah of the Qur'an." Thus, if you want to raise your children to love the Prophet PBUH, you should teach them his perfections, his good conducts and his wide knowledge, and this is how you implant the love of the Prophet PBUH in your children's hearts. As for us, it is deemed more important with greater reason to learn the biography of the Prophet PBUH and the biography of his companions whom Allah is pleased with as He mentions in His Quran, so we should also read their biography. Keep in mind the following Hadith:
((Abdullah (b. Mas'ud) reported Allah's Apostle (PBUH) as saying: "The best among people are of my generation, then those next to them. (The narrator said): I do not know whether (he said) it three times or four times."))
If you read the biography of the companions of the Prophet PBUH then you are with the elite of mankind.
You should convey to sh3er even one Ayah:
We might live among the trash of mankind in times when vileness, despicability, lowness, selfishness, cruelty, backsliding and moral turpitude prevail to such an unimaginable extent. Allow me to give you an example: if you are very hungry, and there is a grilled steak of meat with all sorts of "hors d'ouvers" in front of you, will you hesitate to eat this delicious food? On the other hand, if this steak of meat is left in the hot weather for few days, its smell will be unbearable though it is the same steak. Much in the same line, when man establishes a connection with Allah, he will draw his soul to perfection, but when he turns away from Allah, he will turn into a corrupted deviated person.
The majority of people today get themselves involved in backbiting, calumny and gossips when they meet together in their houses, with their friends and in their assemblies, parties, sad and happy occasions and travels, when they run into each other or when they arrange for their meetings, but this brings Allah's Wrath upon them. Unfortunately, people fell short and backslid.
Talking about sins spreads depression in any assembly, whereas talking about man's perfection and about outstanding successful examples of mankind pushes people to draw their souls to perfection. Each one of us but has a house, a family, children, sisters and relatives, and most likely he meets with them twice or thrice a week. Each one of us but is involved in social activities and meetings, so what do you talk about during these meetings? In such assemblies people most likely talk about the high prices of goods and other similar issues which bring depression. Thus, accustom yourself to convey to people even one Ayah and to teach them the biography of the Prophet PBUH. This mission entails learning it yourself in order to be able to teach it to sh3er, and when you do so, I assure you that you will become the best person ever, and if you ask me about my proof of this claim, I will tell you the following Hadith:
(('Uthman reported the Prophet (PBUH) as saying: "The best among you is he who learns and teaches the Qur'an."))
Overcome your own self, your personal interests and the circumstances which are the excuse of all people, and start serving sh3er, teaching them and taking their hands (to the Right Path), and such deeds are but the ripen fruits (of your commitment).
An example of people who deserves to be followed:
Today, we will talk about a very notable companion who is one of the best companions of the Prophet PBUH; better yet he is the best of them. Had the faith of this companion been weighed against the faith of the entire mankind, his faith would have overweighed theirs. This companion never wronged the Prophet PBUH as the Prophet PBUH himself admitted that. Thus, he is the perfect outstanding example which we should follow and imitate. You all know that each one of us think of a personality which he longs to have, and he has in mind a personality he hates to become, so when you ask yourself about the personality you long to have, it must belong to someone very exalted, so that you follow him as an example. The believer always wishes to be among those who please Allah and Allah is pleased with, among those who love Allah and Allah loves and among those who devoted themselves to Allah and to whom Allah grants safety due to their devotion.
This noble companion is considered (according to historians) the second founder of Islam, which is a fact, because after the death of the Prophet PBUH, people broke away from Islam in crowds the same way they embraced it. Actually, embracing Islam without sincerity will abandon it quickly, and as the poet said:
Whoever conquers a country without war,
will forsake it as easy as he conquers it
Remaining steadfast when the Prophet PBUH died:
Those who embraced Islam because all people embraced Islam, left this religion faster than they embraced it. As a result, the Riddah (Apostasy) emerged. Even the companions were shaken after the death of the Prophet PBUH, because their souls were not prepared to receive the news of the Prophet's death, and it was something beyond their consideration. Thus, facing it was very tough on them, and they started asking themselves in denial (I seek refuge with Allah), did the Prophet PBUH die?
The news of the Prophet's death even shook the ground under the feet of the giant of Islam Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, who said, "By Allah, I will cut off the neck of anyone who says that Allah's Messenger died. He did not die, he went to his Lord, and he will come back to us again". All the companions of the Prophet PBUH felt the same as Umar, but Abu Bakr was the only companion who remained steadfast like a lofty mountain, and though he loved the Prophet PBUH very much and was loyal and committed to him, he was as solid as the mountain in his steadfastness, he said, "He who worships Muhammad should be informed that Muhammad has died. He who worships Allah should know that Allah is Ever-living, and He never dies." If what he said had been the only deed he did in his life, by Allah the only Deity, it would have been enough for him, for he was self-composed at the darkest hour in Islam's history, and he stayed firm while the ground was shaking under the feet of the other companions.
Asking Abu Bakr to lead Salah as Imam is a proof of his highest rank:
((Narrated Abu Musa: "The Prophet (PBUH) became sick and when his disease became aggravated, he said, "Tell Abu Bakr to lead the prayer." 'Aishah said, "He is a softhearted man and would not be able to lead the prayer in your place." The Prophet (PBUH) said again, "Tell Abu Bakr to lead the people in prayer." She repeated the same reply but he said, "Tell Abu Bakr to lead the people in prayer. You are the companions of Joseph." So the messenger went to Abu Bakr (with that order), and he led the people in prayer in the lifetime of the Prophet.))
This was an indication that he would be the successor after the Prophet's death PBUH. 'Aishah, his daughter, may Allah be pleased with her, knew how lenient her father was and how he used to weep during his prayers. Moreover, she thought that he might not have been able to take the place of the Prophet in leading people in prayer due to his sincerity to the Prophet PBUH:
(('Aishah said, "He is a softhearted man and would not be able to lead the prayer in your place." The Prophet (PBUH) said again, "Tell Abu Bakr to lead the people in prayer." She repeated the same reply but he said, "Tell Abu Bakr to lead the people in prayer. You are the companions of Joseph." So the messenger went to Abu Bakr (with that order) and he led the people in prayer in the lifetime of the Prophet.))
The Prophet PBUH insisted that As -Sideeq lead Muslims in prayer instead of him, and this is but a testimony from the Prophet PBUH in the favor of this noble companion and that he was the best among all the companions in his rank, knowledge and faith.
His wise stance in amending the dispute between Muslims on the Day of Saqeefah:
As-Siddeeq led the Muslims in the prayer and took the place of the Prophet PBUH carrying out his orders, and he did not realize (or maybe he did) that he was taking over the leadership of Muslims after the Prophet PBUH, so that he would hold the trust of this Ummah after his death.
When the Prophet PBUH died after he had been chosen to move to the neighborhood of the Glorified Companion (i.e. Allah), Abu Bakr was struck by a disturbance that was about to take place among the companions of the Prophet PBUH including Muhajireen and Ansar, for the former had the precedence in embracing Islam, whereas the latter supported the Prophet PBUH and took him in their Madinah. The reason of the disagreement between the two groups was who had to lead the Uammah, was it someone from Muhajireen or someone from Ansar?
It was a challenge this companion faced, and it was a disturbance against the interest of Muslims. All scholars of Prophetic biography stressed that this noble companion was the last one who longed to take the reins of leading Muslims after the Prophet PBUH, and he never had the greed for Khilafah (Caliphate), given the Prophet PBUH set up a golden rule for us that the one who seeks ruling should not be assigned to it, because he will be someone who longs to its gains, only being a ruler means responsibilities not gains as Umar stated, "I am no better than any one of you, but I am the one who is carrying the heaviest load amongst you." Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him, could not bear watching the Prophet's companions in that conflict, and this is the way of the believer, for he cares about other believers, given the Prophet PBUH said:
((Whoever does not care about the Muslims is not one of them.))
How did Abu Bakr As-Sideeq deal with the conflict between the companions?
Our master Abu Bakr As-Siddeeq set up a standard (according to which the companions had to choose the Khalifah (Caliph)) that brought comfort to all souls. He derived that standard from the Quran, Allah the Almighty says:
﴾ And the first to embrace Islam of the Muhajirun (those who migrated from Makkah to Al-Madinah) and the Ansar (the citizens of Al-Madinah who helped and gave aid to the Muhajirun) and also those who followed them exactly (in Faith). Allah is well-pleased with them as they are well-pleased with Him. He has prepared for them Gardens under which rivers flow (Paradise), to dwell therein forever. That is the supreme success.﴿
Al-Muhajirun acquired higher rank than Al-Ansar, and they were mentioned before them in the previous Ayah, given the ones amongst them who preceded the sh3er would attain a special exalted rank. Thus, As-Siddeeq used this standard in the Quran and decided that the Khalifah had to be from Muhajireen and from those who were in a very exalted rank amongst them according to the testimony of the Prophet PBUH himself:
((If there were to be a Prophet after me, it would be 'Umar (may Allah be pleased with him).))
The Prophet PBUH also said:
((Narrated Anas: The Prophet (PBUH) said, "Every nation has an Amin (i.e. the most honest man), and the Amin of this nation is Abu 'Ubaidah bin Al-Jarrah."))
Abu Bakr said to Umar, "Give me your hand, so that I Pledge of allegiance to you". Umar said, "What land on which I might ever settle and what sky under which I might ever take shade if I become the ruler of a nation, one of whose members is Abu Bakr." Abu Bakr said, "O Umar you are stronger than me", to which Umar answered, "O Abu Bakr, you are better than me, so I will put my strength at your disposal to be added to your precedence, and we will cooperate." Umar thought of standing up and addressing the people when Abu Bakr said, "Slow down, let me address them first, thereafter you may say what you wish." Then, Abu Bakr addressed them and said, "O men of the Ansar, you deserve all the fine qualities that you have mentioned about yourselves."
Wise words were gratifying, and they soothed the hearts, and these wise words were the words with which As Siddeeq started his speech, then he stressed the importance of Muslims' unity, then he praised Al-Ansar and all their favors and Al-Muhajireen and all their favors, and then he reminded them of the will of the Prophet PBUH, he said:
"I am pleased to offer you one of these two men, I nominate first Umar bin Al-Khatab by whom Islam got stronger after he embraced it, and I nominate Abu Ubaidah bin Al-Jarrah who is described by the Prophet PBUH as the trustworthy of this Ummah."
Abu Bakr then stood between the two men and raised their arms and said, "I am ready to swear allegiance to either of them", but the hand of Umar trembled as if a burning ember fell in his hand, while Abu Ubaidah covered his welled eyes in severe shyness, and suddenly Umar shouted, "No! It should be you."
Dear brother, the companions used to acknowledge each other's value. Our Master Umar said, "I would prefer that my head is cut off without a sin than becoming the ruler of a nation, one of whose members is Abu Bakr." He is credited for this stance. Allah the Almighty says:
﴾Indeed, Allah has heard the statement of those (Jews) who say: "Truly, Allah is poor and we are rich!" We shall record what they have said and their killing of the Prophets unjustly, and We shall say: "Taste you the torment of the burning (Fire)."﴿
This conflict was over before the sun of that day set due to the wisdom of this noble companion and to his prudent stance. He used to be in the shade, but suddenly he moved like a knight in broad day light. He used to accompany the Prophet PBUH, but after the Prophet's death he felt the heavy load of the responsibility towards Islam, so he rolled up his sleeves and undertook the trust. Some people interfere at the right moment, and they are able to make miracles.
The one who asks for ruling should never be appointed as a ruler:
When Al-Abbas asked the Prophet PBUH to assign him as a ruler, the Prophet PBUH answered him:
((We do not assign the authority of ruling to those who ask for it, nor to those who are keen to have it.))
As-Siddeeq remembered the Prophet's answer very well, for being in charge of Muslims is a responsibility and a heavy load rather than being a gain. Umar bin Al-Khattab asked one of his subordinate governors, "What do you do when people bring forward to you a thief?" The governor replied, "I chop off his hand." Umar said to him, "Then if someone of the people you govern comes to me hungry or jobless I will chop off your hand. Allah has made us successors for his creations, so that we fulfill their hunger, provide them with clothes and make jobs available for them. If we make these available for them, we will be appreciated for that. These hands were created to work, so if they are not used for obedience and good deeds, they will find a variety of jobs that make them disobedient. Thus, get them busy with acts of obedience and good deeds before they get you busy with sins and acts of disobedience."
Pay attention to this golden rule: Whatever that was said by the Prophet PBUH is but a Divine revelation since Allah the Almighty says:
﴾By the star when it goes down, (or vanishes). Your companion (Muhammad PBUH) has neither gone astray nor has erred. Nor does he speak of (his own) desire. It is only an Inspiration that is inspired.﴿
This means that if a companion had asked to be appointed as a Khalifah, he would never have been assigned to it.
The reason of the dispute between Muhajireen and Ansar was intruded by strangers:
In fact, the noble companions lived with the Prophet showing the most exalted levels of cooperation and unity. Affection, loyalty and love were the solid grounds of the affairs between the noble companions, but the conflict on the Day of Saqeefah was an intruder one, and it was not part of what they were made of, not part of their affairs and not part of their exalted conducts, for believers would never compete with one another over worldly gains. Unfortunately, this disturbance occurred after the Prophet's death PBUH.
Al-Aws and Al-Khazraj in Madinah embraced Islam in crowds, but they proved to be the best in their Islam, they established a strong connection with their Lord and they were like brother out of affection and loyalty. However, they were victims of some plotters who tried to sow dissension between them. One of the Jews sat with a group of men from the two tribes and reauthord some of the poems by which the poet of one of the two tribes used to arouse his men to battle against the other. Thus, the men of each of the two tribes began to recall what their respective poets said during these engagements. The men were stirred up, ready to renew their old hostilities. The Prophet PBUH was quickly told, and he rushed to the scene with the men of Al-Muhajireen and said, "O Muslims, would you return to the ways of Jahiliyah while I am still among you." This reflection they showed was not part of what they were made of, but rather it was a mean attempt from an outsider. Due to that dispute, Allah the Almighty revealed this Ayah:
﴾ And how would you disbelieve, while unto you are reauthord the Verses of Allah, and among you is His Messenger (Muhammad PBUH)? And whoever holds firmly to Allah, (i.e. follows Islam Allah's Religion, and obeys all that Allah has ordered, practically), then he is indeed guided to a Right Path.﴿
Allah the Almighty (according to this Ayah) considered this dissension and this disunity "Kufr".
A sign of true faith:
Those whose faith is weak would say whenever a dissention occurs among Muslims, "We have nothing to do with it; this is not our problem, and Muslims have Allah to help them". The true believer shares the feelings of his brother in faith and in humanity, what concerns them concerns him, what hurts them hurts him and what brings joy to them brings joy to him. Furthermore, if any Muslim is hurt he is hurt, and if any Muslim receives something good, he will be happy for him, and this marks the sincere faith.
Dear brother, I ask you by Allah, do you feel happy for your brother if he excels in something, if he is promoted, if he gets rich, if he occupies an important position, if he gets married, if he buys a house, if he buys a car and if he becomes famous, or do you envy him? What you feel reflects the rank of your faith.
Heroism lies in bearing responsibilities during crises and adversities:
An author once described someone, and I think it is the description of our Master As-Siddeeq. The author wrote, "He seems to be weak and easy to be oppressed, but when matters get tough he turns into an aggressive lion." This is how Abu Bakr was, for he was lenient and thin, and he preferred remaining in the shadow to being the centre of sh3er' attention. He never showed off or bragged about anything. In fact, his connection with Allah, his love to Him and his feeling that Allah loves him sufficed him, so he did without people's praising, and he was never self-conceited. On the other hand, the one who likes to show off has a problem with his sincerity. Hence, be a slave of Allah, for total submission to Allah is priceless.
Abu Bakr As-Siddeeq was a devoted man who found his pleasure in offering Salah, connecting with Allah and being at the disposal of the Prophet PBUH, but suddenly he found himself, amid this fuss, the only one to bear this responsibility.
To understand his situation, let me give you an example from our daily life. If the father of a teenager who uses to live comfortable life suddenly dies, and he is the oldest among his siblings, he will find himself face to face with lots of responsibilities, duties and orphans to take care of. Thus, the calamity puts him in charge of all that. Anyone may become a hero, for he will be tested in the worldly life at some point. I know a young man whose father died and left him many sisters to look after, so he did not get married until he got them all married to good husbands and got them settled in suitable houses. After doing so, he got married, and I consider such a person a hero.
There is an important point, and I hope that I will make it clear to you, because you are in dire need to comprehend it. Some people come to me complaining about ill thoughts they have, and they ask me what they can do about it. I usually ask whoever comes to me, "Are you upset when you have those thoughts or not?" If he says, "Yes I get upset", then I say to him, "These thoughts are not from you, they are forced into your head by Shaytan (Satan), so do not worry about them." However, if you like these thoughts, and if you feel comfortable, then they are your own thoughts, and this indicates a big flaw in your faith, and it marks your failure
Dealing with the deniers of Zakat reflects Abu Bakr's knowledge and wisdom:
His life (after the Prophet's death PBUH) was full of troubles, may Allah be pleased with him, and the biggest of them all was people's apostasy in crowds as they embraced Islam in crowds, because they embraced Islam just to go with the flow. When the Prophet PBUH died, those kind of people longed to reduce the religious duties of Islam and they did not want to offer Salah, Zakat or Sawm, and some of them started to claim prophecy, so they went back to their partisanship and imposters considered themselves Prophets. As-Siddeeq faced all that, and it was very tough on him to see people breaking away from Islam in crowds. Moreover, he overheard that they were preparing to fight Muslims and to attack Al-Madinah, and refraining from paying Zakat was their first aggressive act, so our Master As-Siddeeq did not show his leniency, but rather he tackled the situation firmly and he said, "By Allah, if they withhold from me (camel) tethers that they used to give to the Messenger of Allah PBUH, I will fight them for withholding it." His stance would have destroyed mountains (for they would not have been able to bear it).
People sometimes resort to half measures, they negotiate and they become flexible, but since this matter was a matter of principles, Abu Bakr dealt with it firmly. Unlike Abu Bakr, in order to look after their interests, some people are ready to sacrifice the 50 % in order to get 100%, and such people live in the middle. Let alone, they settle for half measures. However, as for As-Siddeeq, he said, "By Allah, if they withhold from me (camel) tethers that they used to give to the Messenger of Allah, I will fight them for withholding it." At that point, Umar bin Al-Khattab said to Abu Bakr, "How will you fight the people while the Messenger of Allah has said, 'I have been ordered to fight the people until they say La Ilaha Illallah, and if they say that, then their blood and wealth will be protected from me, except what it makes obligatory upon them, and their reckoning is with Allah'?"
Abu Bakr did not forget "except what it makes obligatory upon them", so he said, "By Allah, I will fight whoever differentiates between Salat and Zakat. For indeed, Zakat is the right due upon wealth, and by Allah! If they withhold even (camel) tethers which they used to give to the Messenger of Allah I will fight them for withholding it." Thus, he waged war against them.
In fact, the unique leaders of nations and the legendary ones, in whose hands is the destiny of nations, usually have matchless characteristics in their personalities, the first of which is that they are men of principles, so no compromise is accepted about these principles. Abu Bakr was someone with that exalted level of leadership.
Upon listening to Abu Bakr's words, Umar bin Al-Khattab said, "By Allah, as soon as I saw that Allah has expanded the chest of Abu Bakr to fighting, I knew that it was the truth." This means that Allah inspired Umar to be convinced with the opinion of Abu Bakr and he adopted it thereof.
Do not forget what Ibn Mas'ud said, "We were very close to be destroyed after the death of the Prophet PBUH, but we were blessed with someone like Abu Bakr who saved us." Pay attention to these words: Umar was in the highest level of wisdom, for whenever he became aware of any objection, criticism, different opinion or complaint from the side of the companions of the Prophet PBUH, he hastened to solve it with Abu Bakr, so that the companions did not have to encounter Abu Bakr.
Abu Bakr's wisdom was manifested clearly in this stance:
After becoming the Khalifah, Abu Bakr started to fulfill meticulously the duties incumbent on him and as a necessity of his loyalty to the Prophet PBUH. The first thing he did was to send the army of Usamah bin Zaid who was only 17 years old to Damascus, which the Prophet PBUH planned to do but died before sending it. Some of the companions asked Abu Bakr to postpone sending the army due to the problem of false Prophets and they considered it irrational to send an army to very far lands while they were facing domestic conflicts and the capital was not guarded while people broke away from Islam and started to plot against Muslims. There were different opinions among the companions regarding that matter.
Umar thought that he had to tell Abu Bakr about the opinion of the companions and that this army should not be sent but rather it should be kept to fight the Murtaddeen (those who turned to apostasy), but when Abu Bakr insisted he said that Usamah was too young and offered him to appoint an older commander. At that point Abu Bakr grab Umar from his beard and shook it severely until it was about to be plucked out and said, "O Umar may your mother be bereaved of you, are you mighty in Jahiliyah and weak in Islam? Are you talking me out of sending an army ordered to be prepared by the Prophet PBUH? Are you talking me out of assigning Usamah bin Zaid to be the commander of this army after the Prophet PBUH assigned him to it? This is the true faith.
Abu Bakr restored the fundamentals of this Ummah:
Without this firm stance of Abu Bakr, Islam would have vanished and we would never have become Muslims. As I have mentioned at the beginning of this lecture, Abu Bakr is considered the second founder of the Ummah, and this was what Ibn Mas'ud indicated when he said, "We were almost destroyed after the death of the Prophet PBUH, but we were blessed with someone like Abu Bakr who saved us."
Let us get back to the dispatching of Usamah. Abu Bakr said, "I swear by Allah that I will fulfill the order of the Messenger of Allah even if I know that tigers and wolves will come to Madinah and pull me to pieces. For the Messenger of Allah said, 'Send the army of Usamah in any case'." This is the true faith.
Dear brother, would anyone of you hesitate to obey any Divine Order? Pay attention to the following Ayah:
﴾ It is not for a believer, man or woman, when Allah and His Messenger have decreed a matter that they should have any option in their decision. And whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger, he has indeed strayed in a plain error.﴿
The modesty of Abu Bakr:
When Usamah's army left for Syria, Abu Bakr (the Khalifah) walked for some distance along with the army to see it depart. Usamah was riding on horseback, and he requested Abu Bakr that he should be permitted to dismount or the Khalifah should also ride on a horse. Abu Bakr said, "No, neither shall you dismount nor shall I mount a horse, for according to a tradition of the Noble Prophet PBUH he whose foot becomes dusty in the way of Allah will be preserved from Hell-fire."
Due to his wisdom, Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him, was able to put an end to Saqeefah conflict, he fought the Murtaddeen and overcame them, and he sent the Muslims' army with Usamah bin Zaid (who used to be the apple of the eye of the Prophet PBUH) as its commander. All these stances taken by As-Siddeeq were the reason behind strengthening faith in the souls of the companions of the Prophet PBUH and establishing Islam firmly (after the death of the Prophet PBUH).