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Islamic History – I

Khilafah Rashidah (Guided Caliphates)

Abu Bakr Siddique (RA)


Caliph and Caliphate

The word Caliph (‫ خليفة‬in Arabic) means successor and caliphate (‫ )الخالفة اإلسالميّة‬means succession
of rule. The word Khilafah has been used in Quran:

        


“Behold, Thy Lord said to the angels: "I will create a vicegerent on earth."…” (02:30)

Allah the Almighty has appointed Adam and the children of Adam as His caliph on earth. The
successor of an Islamic state after Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) was supposed to be a person brought up
under the shadow of the Prophet’s teachings; he is supposed to be the most suitable person to do the
job. Since Mohammed (PBUH) was the perfect and the last Prophet, his rule is the best and the most
perfect example for rulers and leaders to the Day of Judgment. He was essentially supposed to have a
successor or caliph after him.

Abu Bakr Siddique (RA)


Introduction

He was born two years after the birth of Prophet (PBUH) in 572 A.D. He was younger than
Prophet (PBUH) by two years and two months. He was born and brought up in Makkah.
His father’s real name was Usman bin Amir and his mother was Salma bint Sakhr and she widely
known as Umm-ul-Khair.
Murrah serves as the meeting ground for the lineage of the Prophet (PBUH) and Abu Bakr (RA)
and both of them have a distance of six generations.

Murrah
Kilab Taim
Qusai Sa’ad
Abd Manaf Ka’ab
Hashim Amr
Abd-ul-Muttalib Aamir
Abdullah Usman
Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) Abu Bakr Siddique (RA)

His Name

His real name is Abdullah bin Abu Quhafah. Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) named him Abdullah.
He was given the title of ‘Siddique’ because he testified to the Prophet Hood without any hesitation and
fear, and took upon himself to follow the true path. When the event of Mi’raj happened, he showed his
unshakeable firmness and conviction to lend his support to it and did it in the face of all opposition.
History also says that he was given this title before Islam because of his truthfulness and kindness and
nobility.
He was also called Atiq. Atiq is one of the attributes of Kaabah as Allah (SWT) says in Quran:
        
“Then let them complete the rites prescribed for them, perform their vows, and (again) circumambulate
the Ancient House.” (22:29)

           
“In them ye have benefits for a term appointed: In the end their place of sacrifice is near the Ancient
House.” (22:33)

Atiq also means something very precious and perfect in its structure internally and externally.
His complexion was fair and he was physically handsome as well as morally very kind and truthful.

Age of Ignorance

During the Age of Ignorance, the power and nobility of the Quraish were shared by ten clans.
These clans were entrusted with different jobs to do. Abu Bakr belonged to the tribe Banu Taim, and his
tribe used to decide matters about blood money and penalties. As Abu Bakr (RA) was the chief of his
tribe and a man of great influence, he would give his judgment about the blood money and penalties on
behalf of his tribe and the entire Quraish had to obey his decision.
His family was very noble, most respected in Quraish and one of the richest families in Quraish.
His family never indulged in any kind of evil deeds.
People of Quraish loved him and considered him a symbol of piousness. Imam Nawawi says, “He
was one of the leaders of Quraishites and people used to come to him for advice and was the most
loved one to Quraishites. He was by nature very pious and never indulged in evil deeds.”
Aisha (RA) says, “He never composed any poetry and he and his father left drinking before Islam.
He was the embodiment of good and was spotless, just and righteous. It is because of this that when
Prophet (PBUH) invited him to accept Islam he embraced it without any delay and promised to lend all
help and total support, which he fulfilled in the face of all opposition and extreme hardship.
He was very special, closest very loved by Prophet (PBUH). The Prophet (PBUH) once said, “The
sun never rose over anyone better than Abu Bakr (RA) except the Prophets.” He was always aware of
Prophet (PBUH) and if anything happened Prophet (PBUH) would call Abu Bakr (RA) and discuss it with
him. In the beginning of Prophet Hood he would always stand by Prophet (PBUH).

Islamic Era (Life in Madinah)

Abu Bakr Siddique (RA) was the first to believe in the Prophet (PBUH) and was the first to
perform prayers led by the Prophet (PBUH). Abu Bakr (RA) was the first to accept Islam among the
adults, Ali (RA) among the boys and Khadijah (RA) among the women.
The religious scholars are unanimous that Abu Bakr (RA) never left the company of the Prophet
(PBUH) without his permission. He migrated for the sake of his love for Allah (SWT) and His Messenger
(PBUH) leaving his wife and children alone and stayed with the Prophet (PBUH) in the cave and
accompanied him in every battle.
He saved Prophet’s (PBUH) life from enemies in the battle of Uhud. Prophet Mohammed (PBUH)
never ignored Abu Bakr (RA); he used to take his advice and also accept it.
Generosity

He was the most generous among the Companions of the Prophet (PBUH). It was about him that
the following verse was revealed:
       
But those Most devoted to Allah shall be removed far from it (Hell). Those who spend their wealth for
increase In self-purification.

Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) said, “The wealth of Abu Bakr proved more useful to me than the
wealth of anybody else.” According to one Hadeeth, Prophet (PBUH) spent from the wealth of Abu Bakr
(RA) as he did from his own. The day Abu Bakr (RA) accepted Islam; he spent forty thousand Dirhams in
the way of Allah (SWT).
One day Umar (RA) said referring to the expedition of Tabuk, “When the Prophet (PBUH) urged
upon his companions to donate to the war fund, I resolved to surpass Abu Bakr (RA) in the matter of
contribution and I gave away half of my wealth and property in the way of Allah (SWT). The Prophet
(PBUH) inquired of me, “What have you left for the children?” I submitted “The remaining half.” In the
mean time, Abu Bakr (RA) came in with his entire wealth and property and the Prophet (PBUH) put to
him the same question. He replied, “Allah and His Messenger are enough for the children.” Having seen
and heard this, I said to myself that I would never be able to surpass Abu Bakr (RA) in anything.”

Time of the Prophet’s (PBUH) Death

Abu Bakr (RA) was not present at the time of Prophet’s (PBUH) death. When he got the news he
came, entered the room. He took the head of Prophet (PBUH) in his hands, watched it and said, “May
my mother and father be sacrificed for you, verily you have tasted the death which Allah the Almighty
had decreed for you, and never will you face another death hereafter.”
Umar (RA) was so shocked that he temporarily lost his senses, and he was not ready to believe
that Prophet (PBUH) has died. When Abu Bakr (RA) came, he addressed the people and said, “O men, if
anyone of you worships Mohammed (PBUH), let him know that Mohammed (PBUH) is dead. But if
anyone of you worships Allah (SWT), the Allah is alive and He does not die.” Then continuing his speech
he recited the following verse:

                       

      


Muhammad is no more than an apostle: many were the apostle that passed away before Him. if He died
or were slain, will ye then turn back on your heels? if any did turn back on His heels, not the least harm
will He do to Allah. but Allah (on the other hand) will swiftly reward those who (serve him) with
gratitude.

Umar (RA) says, “At first I paid no heed to the call of Abu Bakr (RA). But when he recited the
verse, it seemed as if it had just been revealed. I was taken aback and fell down as if I had no legs. I felt
as if I had just then come to know of the Prophet’s (PBUH) death.”
Choosing Abu Bakr (RA) as Khalifah

When Abu Bakr (RA) came to know of the congregation of the Ansar in the Hall of Banu Saidah
to choose an Amir (Chief) from the Ansar, he hurried to the spot accompanied by Umar (RA). It was a
crucial moment in Islamic History. A little delay or neglect might have disrupted the unity between the
Muhajirin and the Ansar causing the Muslims immense harm. But since Allah The Almighty had decided
otherwise, He infused in Abu Bakr (RA) the courage and determination necessary to face the troubled
situation and by his wisdom the situation was resolved.
He took with him Umar (RA) and Abu Ubaidah (RA) and left Ali (RA) and others to make
arrangements for the burial of the Prophet (PBUH). In a situation packed with confusion, disorder,
emotion and anger only a man like Abu Bakr (RA) could do what was necessary. When Umar (RA) made
an attempt to say something, Abu Bakr (RA) put a check on him for he knew that an emotionally charged
Umar (RA) could mishandle the already deteriorating situation.
Abu Bakr (RA) rose to speak and said in a tone filled with confidence and firmness, “The first
among the chiefs will be from the Muhajirin, and the Ansar will be their advisors.” After a while of
argument between Muhajirin and Ansar, Bashir bin An-Numaan bin Ka’b Ansari (RA) got up and said to
the people, “Have you not heard that the Prophet of Allah had said, “Imams will come from the Quraish.”
Now the entire congregation plunged in deep silence and the growing conflict between the
Muhajirin and Ansar over the issue of the caliphate disappeared. In this state of perfect peace, Abu Bakr
(RA) said, “Umar (RA) and Abu Ubaidah (RA) are here, choose anyone of them.” Umar (RA) said, “No,
Abu Bakr is the most excellent among the Muhajirin. He has been the Companion of the Prophet (PBUH)
in the cave; the Prophet (PBUH) asked him to officiate in leading the Muslims in prayers, and prayer is
the most superior of all other Articles of Faith. Therefore, none is entitled to assume the duties of
caliphate in the presence of Abu Bakr (RA).” Saying this Umar (RA) stretched his hand first of all to take
Bai’ah (Oath of Allegiance) at the hand of Abu Bakr (RA).

Address of Abu Bakr (RA)

After the meeting at Saqifah Banu Saidah and being absolved from his duty of the burial of
Prophet (PBUH), Abu Bakr (RA) took the oath of allegiance from the general population and then rose to
deliver his address. After praising and glorifying Allah (SWT) he said to the people:

“I have been chosen as your chief although I am better than none of you. Thus, if I do
good work it is incumbent on you to extend your help and support to me; if I go wrong it
is your duty to put me on the right path. Truth and righteousness are a trust and untruth
is a breach of trust. The weak among you are strong to me unless I give them full justice
and the strong among you are weak to me unless I receive what is due from them.
Abandon not Jihad, when the people hold back from Jihad, they are put to disgrace.
Obey me while I keep obeying Allah (SWT) and His Messenger (PBUH), renounce me
when I disobey Allah (SWT) and His Messenger (PBUH), for obedience to me is not
incumbent on you then.”

That was the day when thirty three thousand Companions pledged their allegiance to Abu Bakr
(RA). The dispute between the Muhajirin and the Ansar was solved leaving no hard feelings behind. It
was because the Companions of the Prophet (PBUH) had thoroughly learned to prefer Faith to temporal
affairs and due to this quality no other segment of humanity ever attained the level of development that
the Companions of Prophet (PBUH) had gracefully reached.
Usama’s Army

The Prophet (PBUH) had already dispatched an expedition headed by Usama bin Zaid (RA) to
take on the Romans in Syria, which had halted its movement due to the serious illness of the Prophet
(PBUH).
Now when Abu Bakr (RA) wanted to send the same expedition after the death of the Prophet
(PBUH), the Companions put forward their suggestions to the Caliph that in the wake of the clouds of
apostasy gathering on all sides, the expedition should be held back for some time.
Abu Bakr (RA) answered them, “If I was convinced that a beast would tear me apart after the
dispatch of the army, I would not hold back at any cost what the Prophet (PBUH) had ordered to go
ahead.”
Usama (RA) reached the valleys of Jardon and Balqa and defeated the Roman army. He returned
after forty days with an immense amount of spoils of war and prisoners.

Apostates and Zakah Refuters

There were two categories of people that came up after the death of Prophet Mohammed
(PBUH). First group consisted of the people who claimed to be prophets and clearly revolted against
Islam. While second group was those people who refused to pay Zakah.
The people of Yemen and Najd had come into the fold of Islam just a few months before the
death of Prophet (PBUH) and Islam had not yet entered their hearts perfectly. Men like Aswad and
Musailamah raising their heads to claim prophet hood and leading a section of new Muslims astray in
each territory. The final departure of the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) came as a golden opportunity for
them to cash in on the prevailing shock and feeling of disappointment among the Muslims at large.
Almost everywhere in the Arabian continent except Al-Madinah, Makkah and Taif, the flames of
apostasy were fiercely raging, threatening to burn down the citadel 1 of Islam. Still more disturbing were
the reports that forces inimical2 to Islam had once again mustard courage to invade Al-Madinah, and
preparations were on to implement their long standing and wicked plans.
The Chief of the believers Abu Bakr (RA) held an emergency meeting of the Companions on the
issue of fighting against Zakah refuters. But they put forward their opinion against fighting with the
rejecters of Zakat, just as they were not in favor of Usama (RA) leading an army against the Romans. But
on this occasion too, the inimitable3 courage and determination of Abu Bakr (RA) prevailed over all kinds
of anxieties and misgivings. He announced with indomitable4 spirit and firmness that he would go and
fight against any tribe who refused to pay even one animal or one rope that was due.

Apostates and Their Leaders

1. Khalid bin Walid was sent to launch his first attack at Tulaihah bin Khuwailid Asadi and to make
Malik bin Nuwairah his next target at Butah.
2. Ikrimah bin Abu Jahl was sent to make an attack on Musailamah the liar at Yamamah.
3. Shurahbil bin Hasanah was sent to first assist Ikrimah and then go to Hadramout to invade Banu
Kindah and Banu Quda’ah.
4. Khalid bin Saeed Al-As was sent to Syria to control the people there who revolted against Islam.
5. Amr bin Al-As was sent to Banu Quda’ah.
6. Tarqah bin Hajib was sent to Banu Sulaim; the tribe who refused to pay Zakah.
7. Musailamah the liar and Sajjah got married and Sajjah came to attack Madinah with her army.
On her way she came across the Muslim army led Khalid ibn Waleed. Her soldiers became so
terrified that they fled to far off places leaving Sajjah alone and she could barely save herself.
She joined her tribe and passed the rest of her life in obscurity5.

Tribe Leader
Asad & Ghatfaan Tulaiha bin Khuwailid Asadi
Kindah Al Ashhath bin Qays Al Kindhi
Mizhaj Aswad al-Anasi
Sulaim Fajaa
Banu Tamim Sajjah at-Taghlabeeah
Banu Hanifah Musailamah al-Kazzab

Battle of Yamamah

This battle took place in Zul Hijjah 11 A.H. Banu Hanifah was one of the tribes, which appeared in
the form of a deputation before the Prophet (PBUH) after the conquest of Makkah. Musailamah bin
Hubaib belonged to this tribe and he claimed prophet hood when he heard the news of the Prophet’s
(PBUH) illness. He also sent a letter to the Prophet (PBUH) saying, “Since prophet hood is being shared by
both of us, each one of us is entitled to share half of the country.”
Khalid bin Waleed was the leader of the army of Muslims. Musailamah had with him forty
thousand warriors. And the Muslim army was about thirteen thousand. The forty thousand strong army
of Musailamah the liar attacked the Muslim troops not exceeding thirteen thousand in number. This
battle took a heavy toll on the enemy force leaving seventeen thousand dead while one thousand from
the Muslims side were honored with martyrdom. Among them were a large number of Huffaz.

Battle of Dhat-us-Salasil (Chains)

Iraq was under Persian Empire. Kalid bin Waleed was leading the army and the target was Hafir,
the Persian province of Iraq, and Hurmuz was its governor who was well known throughout Arabia for
his valor and military skill.
Khalid bin Waleed first addressed a letter inviting him to Islam. But Hurmuz responded with
leading a large and strong army against the Muslim commander.
First of all, Khalid bin Waleed himself came out and threw a challenge to Hurmuz for a duel.
While fighting Khalid bin Waleed threw him on the ground so forcefully that he failed to move. Khalid
bin Waleed then got on his chest, cut his head off and threw it away.
Following this, troops from the Persian army moved ahead and a fierce battle broke out in no
time. But the Persians could not withstand the heavy Muslim onslaught and fled in panic and terror.
A section of the Persian army had chained themselves with the determination of winning or dying. This
battle is known as Dhat-us-Salasil because of these chains.
Khalid bin Waleed asked Muthanna bin Harithah to give chase to the fleeing Persian fighters.
The Muslim forces laid siege round the citadel of Hisn-il-Marah and conquered it putting the ruler to
death. His wife accepted Islam and desired to be married to Muthanna.

Battle of Anbar / Zaat al Uyoon

The Persians collected a big force in Anbar and appointed Sherzad the ruler of Sabat as its
commander. Khalid bin Waleed marched from Hirah to Anbar. When Khalid bin Waleed surrounded
Anbar, the besieged soldiers showered arrows on the Muslim Army with the result that the eyes of
about one thousand Muslim fighters were injured.
When Sherzad witnessed that Muslim victory was imminent, he sent his men to Khalid (RA) on
peace mission. He replied that he could allow Sherzad to leave the city peacefully along with a few
comrades with provisions for not more than three days. Shrezad left the city and Khalid (RA) entered it
victoriously.

Khalid bin Walid in Syria

Syria was under Roman Empire at that time. Abu Bakr (RA) sent Khalid bin Walid (RA) to deal
with the Syrians. Khalid bin Walid (RA) left the headquarters with a small column but he took with him
Muslim fighters from the regions and territories that were on his way. Despite this, Khalid bin Walid (RA)
was instructed to avoid direct encounter with the Christian army.
When Hercules came to know of the presence of the Muslim army within the bounds of Syria, he
made Mahan, a well known Roman General, go ahead with a huge army. As a result of the encounter,
the troops under Mahan were defeated leaving behind a large quantity of booty. Informed of this defeat,
Hercules himself proceeded from Constantinople, came to Syria and collected a huge army to avenge the
defeat.
Abu Bakr Siddique (RA) sent Ikrimah (RA), Amr bin al-A’as (RA), Yazid bin Abu Sufyan (RA), Abu
Ubaidah bin al-Jarrah (RA) and Shurahbil bin Hasanah (RA) to assist Khalid bin Walid (RA) in his
campaign. These four strong detachments went to attack Syria from four sides. This campaign took
place in Muharram 13 AH.
When all the four detachments crossed into Syria and Hercules came to know that the Muslim
force has divided itself in four groups to attack four positions, he also made four groups of his army to
be commanded by four generals.
He collected 240,000 troops strong to go to war against the Muslims, who were altogether 30,000 in
number.
When the Muslim commanders entered Syrian territory, they found to their amazement that for
each Muslim detachment the enemy had eight times more forces. They informed Abu Bakr Siddique
(RA) of what they were facing at the time and took a decision to jointly face the enemy. As the four
Muslim generals assembled at Yarmuk, they received orders from the Caliph to face the enemy jointly.
Following the Muslim strategy, Hercules also ordered his commanders to form a united front. His full
brother Tadharaq headed the huge army of Hercules. Besides, he dispatched a well known general,
Mahan with a large detachment to strengthen the army arranged against the Muslim forces. Then the
battle of Yarmuk took place.

The Battle of Yarmuk

Khalid bin Walid (RA) examined the situation like a seasoned commander. He divided his army of
about 40,000 to 46,000 into small squads headed by separate commanders of high caliber, keeping a
small but selected squad for his own company.
The Romans proceeded with the attack with a contingent of 40,000 soldiers, which was
immediately repulsed.
Both the armies were locked together in a fierce fight. Although the Muslim army was deficient
in number, it was more than a match for the Romans in courage and vitality6.
The brave sons of Islam Khalid bin Walid (RA), Abu Ubaidah bin al-Jarrah (RA), Shurahbil bin
Hasanah (RA), Ikrimah bin Abu Jahal (RA), Qa’qa’ bin Amr (RA), Abu Sufyaan (RA), Abud-Darda (RA), Amr
bin A’as (RA), Harith bin Dirar (RA) and Jurjah bin Budhiyah (RA) performed such deeds of valor that
have never been witnessed before. After a long fight the Romans lost heart and began to retreat till they
had the mountain at their back, while the Muslim kept advancing and pushing them back till they
started to flee. The pursuing Muslim troops forced them into the river, many were drowned, and others
fell to their death. In this way, 130,000 soldiers were killed. The rest fled for their lives. The morning sun
rose with the message of Muslim victory and the Roman soldiers were nowhere to be seen. 3000
Muslims were honored with martyrdom.
The battle of Yarmuk is stated to have been fought in Rabi ul-Awwal or Rabi us-Thani 13 AH.
However, this does not appear to be correct. The battle of Yarmuk must have taken place by the end of
Jamadi us-Thani. The news of the conquest of Yarmuk had not reached Madinah until after the death of
Abu Bakr Siddique (RA).

Death of Abu Bakr Siddique (RA)

At the beginning of Jamadi us-Thani 13 AH, Abu Bakr Siddique (RA) caught a fever and its
intensity continued. When he grew sure of his last hours drawing near, he called upon men of sound
judgments to consult about the next caliph. They all agreed to the selection of Umar (RA) as their next
caliph.
Between the night of Jamadi us-Thani 22nd and 23rd, after sunset he breathed his last and was
buried before the Isha (night prayer) or at any time of the night.
Attab bin Usaid (RA) the governor of Makkah died the same day in Makkah. His caliphate
spanned over two and a half years.

Meanings:

1 – Fortress
2 – Hostile, harmful
3 – Impossible to imitate
4 – Unconquerable, unyielding
5 - (Of a person) undistinguished, hardly known
6 - Ability to survive or endure