You are on page 1of 5

ABU BAKR Excerpt from The Heirs of Prophet Muhammad by Barnaby Rogerson Pages 132- 134

Islam owes a great deal to the Modesty of Abu Bakr. He was determined to keep his leadership clean of the pomp and ritual of the kingship and maintain the traditions of easy access and compassionate concern that had had been established by the prophet. To his undying credit hhe was also resolute that the era of prophecy had ended with the death of Prophet Muhammad. The successor of Muhammad, the caliph, might collectively hold the political authority of the community, but Abu Bakr was adamant that the office conferred no spiritual power. Nothing should be allowed to stand between God and man. Nothing to ever obscure the direct relationship between the believer at prayer and the single deity. He was able to establish these lines of conduct thanks to the exceptional trust he had earned for himself within the Muslim community. Abu Bakr occupied a unique position: the first adult male to convert to Islam (although Ali was earlier, he had converted as a boy), one of the very few believers to the mentioned in a Quranic verse, Sura 9:40, chosen by the Prophet to lead the haj pilgrimage to the newly conquered Mecca in 631 and, most decisively, to lead the prayers during Muhammads last illness. He also had the advantage of age: he was just three years younger than Muhammad (exactly twice Alis age) and commensurately rich in experience of the world. As a young man he had made a small fortune on the trans Arabian caravan trade but had then spent it in the middle age in the service of Islam, feeding the poor, helping those boycotted and liberating persecuted Muslims such as Bilal from oppressive slavery by outright purchase. From his fortune of 40,000 dhirms he had but 6,000 left when he accompanied the Prophet on their daring escape from Mecca to Medina . Even this
1

residual sum was immediately placed at the disposal of Muhammad when he arrived in Medina and was used to purchase the site of the house- mosque from the Orphans who owned this plot of land. Abu Bakrs epithet as-saddiq which is translated as the truthful or sincere had been truly won. Nor did old age make him less generous, for having rebuilt some of his financial reserves by trading in Medina, he had once again placed it all at the Prophets disposal when Muhammad called upon his followers to help equip the Tabuk expectation. It was fairly said that no one had sacrificed more in the service of Islam. Abu Bakr was renowned either as a warrior for Islam or as a military leader. Abu Bakr s daughter Aisha was one of the wives of the Prophet. ( During the time when the Prophet was ill, just before he died, he spent his days and nights in Ayeshas hut being attended by both Bibi Ayesha and Ali)

HAZRAT ALI Excerpt from The Heirs of Prophet Muhammad by Barnaby Rogerson Pages 31-53 Legend would later collect around Alis birth story. How his mother was performing a ritual circulation around Meccas holy Kaba shrine when the birth pains came upon her and so was forced to use the shelter of Gods own temple to give birth to Ali. Another tale records how the infant Ali could not open his eyes until he was seated on the lap of his cousin Muhammad, whose face was the first he saw. When Ali was a boy he moved over from his Fathers house ( Abu Talibs house) to Muhammads. He was aged five, eight or eleven, according to various sources, so an exact chronology of Alis life remains elusive, even if there is little doubt about the order of events.. this was probably the time when Ali was taught to read and write - skills available only to a wealthy minority. There are also stories of how the young Ali was an intimate and early witness to his cousins private piety (the Prophet), for he would bring supplies of food and water to the caves where Muhammad prayed and meditated in the many years before he became the Prophet. .Alis nature was created in an exceptional household, which equipped him with many precious spiritual attributes Of faith Ali had an abundance, even as an awkward fifteen year old he was not ashamed to make apublic testimony of support for Muhammads teachings. And this was after all the high dignitaries of his Hashim clan (that including his father and his powerful uncle.) had sat through dinner listening to Muhammad preaching with not so much as a single voice in support ..
3

The years after Khatijahs and Abu Talibs death were to become even more desperate for the embattled community (of new Muslims in Mecca). So once the Yatrib oasis emerged as a place of exile for the Muslims of Mecca they quickly and quietly migrate to this refuge. Ali and Abu Bakr were the last of the able bodied male believers to stay behind in Mecca with Muhammad. (the Meccans decided to assassinate the Prophet) and so they waited fir him (the Prophet) to emerge into the streets after dawn. They patiently watched .when the cloaked figure arose and shrugged off his cloak on the morning light to reveal young Ali not the bearded prophet, the band of Assassins immediately realized they had been fooled. Muhammad had made an escape with Abu Bakr in the night. ..it was left to Ali the last professed Muslim man to remain in Mecca, to tidy up a few last affairs of the refugee community before making his way to the safety of Yathrib (later to be called Medina). (When the prophet arrived safely in Medina, each refugee from Mecca was paired with the a person from Medina to host and help the refugee adapt to the new agricultural environment of Medina.) ..There was great interest among the men of medina to see which of them would be paired with the prophet, but the prophet did not wish to establish any favourites or exacerbate the already fierce clan rivalry within the oasis. So he chose the late arrival of his young cousin Ali to be his official pair. In so doing he also consciously placed both Ali and himself at an economic disadvantage, for they had no one who would provide them with barley and dates. The two of them embraced poverty as a necessary part of their struggle for religious freedom. To earn his daily bread Ali worked at the wellheads , hauling up leather buckets of water in exchange for dates a job that was usually performed by beasts of burden and slaves. Ali was proud to return to Muhammad and share his wages as their evening meal. Ali also bought rushes from the markets, which in the evenings he would weave into mats that could be sold for a slight profit..As well as labouring with the sweat of his own brow for
4

his sustenance he was also soon recognized as one of the leading warriors among the Mulsim community. ( After fighting in the battles of Badr and Uhud), Ali now felt confident enough to tackle one of the great passions of his life, his love for his cousin Fatimah, the youngest of the daughters of the Prophet and a woman he new well as a sister..(however) Ali still had no money for a dowry, nothing for the customary gifts of jewels for his bride or the expenses of a marriage. Fortunately the merchant prince Uthman stepped in at this moment. Fixing the value of Alis newly won body armour (from the wars he had fought) at a handsome price, he insisted on buying it for five hundred dirhams. Four hundred would then be set aside as a dowry for Fatimah, leaving a hundred for other expenses. Later Uthman presented the armour back to Ali as a wedding presentthe wedding was conducted by the prophet himself. (There are also two other stories about Ali: Alis victory at the battle of Khaybar and the incident at Ghadir-i- Kum) In 632 Ali was in constant attendance upon the Prophet n the last ten days of his life. (upon the death of the Prophet) it was certainly Ali and Abbas (the uncle of the Prophet) who took care of the funeral arrangements.