Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiq (RA) was born two and a half years after the Year of the Elephants. From his youth, he was far distanced from the oppression and filth that is associated with the period of Jahalat, while being imbued with all the praiseworthy traits of the Arabs of the time. His character and behaviour were always exemplary and even before the message of Islam, he forbade liquor for himself. He was an authority on Arab lineages and knew all the Arab families and tribes. He was always assisting the poor and the weak and earned the respect of the rich and powerful as well.
It was at that time that Hazrat Abu Bakr (RA) saw in a dream that a huge moon in the sky was illuminating a tremendous amount of light into the abodes of Mecca. When he related this dream to the people of the book they interpreted it to mean that he would be fortunate enough to accept the Prophet of the age. This was before the Holy Prophet(PBUH) was commissioned as a messenger of God.
Conversion to Islam
At the time of the Holy Prophet’s(PBUH) claim of being a prophet of God, Hazrat Abu Bakr was not present in Mecca. News of the Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) claim had spread fast. Hazrat Abu Bakr first heard the news from Abu Jahl, who later proved to be a staunch enemy of Islam.
When he heard the news, he replied that if he had indeed claimed to be a messenger of Allah then he was speaking the truth. Without wasting any time, he made his way directly to the Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) home and asked if it was true, upon which he received the reply that he had been commissioned as the Messenger of God. Hearing this Hazrat Abu Bakr, without any hesitation, accepted Islam.
The Holy Prophet(PBUH) used to say to his Companions that whenever he invited a person to Islam, usually that person would hesitate and wait for a while before making up his mind to embrace Islam. However, Hazrat Abu Bakr was the only person who neither hesitated nor wavered.
Hazrat Abu Bakr, being the closest companion to the Holy Prophet (PBUH), was among those blessed and fortunate companions who took part in battles and stood side by side with the Prophet(PBUH) through thick and thin, from the Battle of Badr all the way to the Victory of Mecca. It was very commonly known among all the companions that Hazrat Abu Bakr(RA) would always be ready to sacrifice his life, wealth and time for the sake of Islam. Countless incidents have been narrated in the books of Hadith regarding this.
After Hazrat Abu Bakr was elected as the Khalifa, he gathered everyone in Masjid Nabwi. In his address, he expressed how he in no way desired that he be elected as the Khalifa. He also stated that if anyone else felt that they could carry the responsibility then they were most welcome to do so. Thus, the reason he accepted the divine status of Khilafat was so that no fitna – disorder – would spread throughout the Muslim Umma.
One of the many accomplishments of his Khilafat was the compilation of the Quran. This was a very sensitive issue, which the foundation of the Muslim Umma relied on. The Battle of Yamama played a major role in motivating Hazrat Abu Bakr to compile the Quran.
During the life of the Holy Prophet(PBUH) many parts of the Quran were memorised by the companions and also written, most of which were scattered and could not be compiled in book-form.
When eight hundred Huffaz (people who had memorised the Quran) were killed in the Battle of Yamama, Hazrat Abu Bakr (RA) ordered the collection of the surviving pieces so that the Quran could be compiled in book-form. This was completed during the Khilafat of Hazrat Uthman.
When we look closely at the life of the Companions of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) we find the true essence and teachings of Islam within their character. We find examples and true-life morals that we must all try to adopt.