Sunday, May 8, 2011

Abu Bakr As-Siddiq Biography

Abu Bakr As-Siddiq (Abdullah ibn Abi Qahafa) (Arabic: عبد الله بن أبي قحافة; Transliteration: 'Abdullāh bin Abī Quhāfah, c. 573 CE unknown exact date 634/13 AH) was a senior companion (Sahabah) and the father-in-law of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad. He ruled over the Rashidun Caliphate from 632-634 CE when he became the first Muslim Caliph following Muhammad's death. As Caliph, Abu Bakr succeeded to the political and administrative functions previously exercised by the Prophet, since the religious function and authority of prophethood ended with Muhammad's death according to Islam. He was called Al-Siddiq (The Truthful) and was known by that title among later generations of Muslims.

Abu Bakr's full name is 'Abd Allah ibn 'Uthman ibn Aamir ibn Amr ibn Ka'ab ibn Sa'ad ibn Tamim ibn Murrah ibn Ka'ab ibn Lu'ai ibn Ghalib ibn Fihr al-Quraishi at-Tamimi. In Arabic, the name 'Abd Allah' means (servant of God). Although he is most known by his title 'Abu Bakr', he has many other titles. One of his titles was 'atiqe' (the saved one) and he was known by this title before Islam. Muhammad confirmed this title later when he said that Abu Bakr is the 'atiqe' (the one saved from hell fire by God). He was called 'Al-Siddiq' (the truthful') by the Prophet after he believed him in the event of Isra and Mi'raj when other people didn't, and Ali confirmed that title several times. 

He was mentioned in the Quran as the "second of the two who lay in the cave" in reference to the event of hijra, with the Prophet Muhammad where they hid in the cave in Jabal Thawr from the Meccan search party that was sent after them, thus being one of few who were given direct reference to in the Quran. 

Imam Jafar al Sadiq famously narrated how the title Siddiq was given to Abu Bakr from Muhammad. He was also a direct descendant of Abu Bakr from his maternal side, as well as being a paternal descendant of Ali from his father's side. Jafar al-Sadiq was also the successor of the Naqshbandi Sufi order originating from Abu Bakr himself. 

Imam Muhammad al Baqir, the father of Imam Jafar Sadiq also called Abu Bakr with the title Siddiq.

As a young man, Abu Bakr became a cloth merchant and he traveled extensively in Arabia and neighboring lands in the Middle East, through which he gained both wealth and experience. He eventually came to be recognized as the chief of his clan. On his return from a business trip to Yemen, he was informed that in his absence Muhammad had openly declared his prophethood. Not long after, Abu Bakr accepted Islam and was the first person outside the family of Muhammad to openly become a Muslim. He was instrumental in the conversion of many people to the Islamic faith and early in 623, Abu Bakr's daughter Aisha was married to Muhammad, strengthening the ties between the two men. 

Abu Bakr served as a trusted advisor and close friend to the Prophet. During the lifetime of Muhammad, he was involved in several campaigns such as the Battle of Uhud, the Battle of the Trench, the Invasion of Banu Qurayza, Battle of Khaybar, the Conquest of Mecca, the Battle of Hunayn, the Siege of Ta'if, and the Battle of Tabuk where he was reported to have given all of his wealth for the preparation of this expedition. He also participated in the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah and was made one of the witnesses over the pact. 

In 631, three months after completing his Farewell Pilgrimage to Mecca, the Prophet became fatally ill. After his death Abu Bakr became the first Muslim Caliph. During his rule, he defeated the rebellion of several Arab tribes in a successful campaign, unifying the entire Arabian peninsula and giving it stability. This enabled him to launch successful campaigns against the Sassanid Empire (Persian Empire) and the East Roman Empire (Byzantine Empire) who were threatening Arabia's borders. Prior to dispatching his army to Syria against the Romans he gave them the following commands which established the conduct of war for later Muslim generations:

Stop, O people, that I may give you ten rules for your guidance in the battlefield. Do not commit treachery or deviate from the right path. You must not kill a young woman. Bring no harm to the trees which are fruitful. Slay not any of the enemy's flock, save it for your food. You are likely to pass by people who have devoted their lives to monastic services; leave them alone. 

Abu Bakr's Caliphate lasted for a little over two years (or 27 months), ending with his death after an illness. Though the period of his caliphate was not long it included successful invasions of the two most powerful empires of the time, a remarkable achievement in its own right. He set in motion a historical trajectory that in few decades would lead to one of the largest empires in history.

Early life

Abu Bakr was born in Mecca some time in 573 CE, to a rich family in the Banu Tamim branch of the Quraysh tribe. Abu Bakr's father's name was Uthman Abu Qahafa (nicknamed Abu Quhafa) and his mother was Salma Umm-ul-Khair (nicknamed Umm-ul-Khair). Abu Bakr was a thin man with white skin. Tabari relates (Suyuti also relates the same through Ibn Sa'd al-Baghdadi's report) from Aisha her description of Abu Bakr:

He was a man with fair skin, thin, emaciated, with a sparse beard, a slightly hunched frame, sunken eyes and protruding forehead, and the bases of his fingers were hairless. 

He spent his early childhood like other Arab children of the time among the Bedouins who called themselves Ahl-i-Ba'eer- the people of the camel, and developed a particular fondness for camels. In his early years he played with the camel foals and goats, and his love for camels earned him the nickname "Abu Bakr", the father of the foal of the camel. 

When Abu Bakr was 10 years old, he went to Syria along with his father with the merchants' caravan. Muhammad, who was 12 years old at the time, was also with the caravan. In 591 at the age of 18, Abu Bakr went into trade and adopted the profession of cloth merchant, which was the family's business. In the coming years Abu Bakr traveled extensively with caravans. Business trips took him to Yemen, Syria, and elsewhere. These travels brought him wealth and added to his experience. His business flourished and he rose in the scale of social importance. Though his father, Uthman Abu Quhafa, was still alive, he came to be recognized as chief of his tribe. Abu Bakr was assigned the office of awarding blood money in cases of murder. His office was something like the office of an honorary magistrate. 

Like other children of the rich Meccan merchant families, Abu Bakr was literate and developed a fondness for poetry. He used to attend the annual fair at Ukaz, and participate in poetical symposia. He had a very good memory and had a good knowledge of the genealogy of the Arab tribes, their stories and their politics.

Acceptance of Islam

On his return from a business trip from Yemen, he was informed by friends that in his absence Muhammad had declared himself the Messenger of God, and proclaimed a new religion. Abu Bakr was the first baligh (post-puberty) free male to accept Muhammad's prophethood (though Shias maintain Abu Talib and other adult members of Muhammad's immediate blood family were, i.e. the Hashemites). Scholars, as well as other Sunnis and all Shi'a Muslims maintain that the second person (and first male) to publicly accept Muhammed as the messenger of Allah was Ali ibn Abi Talib, though to Shias Ali always knew of Muhammad's status through pre-knowledge. However, 'Ali was still a pre-pubescent child when he accepted Islam, and therefore may have been excluded from the duties of a Muslim. Also Abu Bakr was the first person outside the family of Muhammad to openly become a Muslim.

Life after accepting Islam

His wife Qutaylah bint Abd-al-Uzza did not accept Islam and he divorced her. His other wife, Um Ruman, became a Muslim. All his children except Abdu'l-Rahman ibn Abu Bakr‎ accepted Islam, and Abu Bakr separated from his son Abdu'l-Rahman.

His conversion brought the most benefit to Islam. Abu Bakr's brought many people to Islam. He persuaded his intimate friends to convert to Islam. and presented Islam to others in such a way that many of his friends accepted Islam.

Those who converted to Islam at the instance of Abu Bakr were:
  • Uthman Ibn Affan (who would became the 3rd Caliph)
  • Al-Zubayr (played a part in the Muslim conquest of Egypt)
  • Talha Ibn Ubayd-Allah
  • Abdur Rahman bin Awf (who would remain an important part of the Rashidun Caliphate)
  • Sa`d ibn Abi Waqqas (played a part in the Islamic conquest of Persia)
  • Umar ibn Masoan
  • Abu Ubaidah ibn al-Jarrah (who remained commander in chief of the Rashidun army in Syria )
  • Abdullah bin Abdul Asad
  • Abu Salama
  • Khalid ibn Sa`id
  • Abu Hudhaifah ibn al-Mughirah
Abu Bakr's acceptance proved to be a milestone in Muhammad's mission. Slavery was common in Mecca, and many slaves accepted Islam. When an ordinary free man accepted Islam, despite opposition, he would enjoy the protection of his tribe. For slaves however, there was no such protection and they commonly experienced persecution. Abu Bakr felt compassion for slaves, so he purchased eight slaves(four men and four women) and then freed them, paying 40,000 dinar for their freedom.
The men were
  • Bilal ibn Ribah
  • Abu Fakih
  • Ammar ibn Yasir
  • Abu Fuhayra
The women were:
  • Lubaynah
  • Al-Nahdiah
  • Umm Ubays
  • Harithah bint al-Muammil
Most of the slaves liberated by Abu Bakr were either women or old and frail men. The father of Abu Bakr asked him to for why doesn't he liberate strong and young slaves who could be a source of strength for him, Abu Bakr replied that he was freeing the slaves for the sake of Allah, and not for his own sake. According to Sunni tradition the following verses of the Qur'an were revealed due to this: 

He who gives in charity and fears Allah And in all sincerity testifies to the Truth; We shall indeed make smooth for him the path of Bliss {92:5-7}.

Those who spend their wealth for increase in self-purification; And have in their minds no favor from any one For which a reward is expected in return, But only the desire to seek the Countenance, Of their Lord, Most High; And soon they shall attain complete satisfaction {92:8-21}.

Shias maintain these verses were revealed about Ali.

Persecution by the Quraysh, 613

For three years after the advent of Islam, Muslims kept secret their faith, and prayed in secret. In 613 Muhammad decided to call people to Islam openly. The first public address inviting people to offer allegiance to Muhammad was delivered by Abu Bakr. In a fit of fury the young men of the Quraysh tribe rushed at Abu Bakr, and beat him mercilessly till he lost consciousness. Following this incident Abu Bakr's mother converted to Islam. Abu Bakr was persecuted many times by the Quraysh. Abu Bakr's beliefs would have been defended by his own clan, but not by the entire Quraysh tribe.


On 23 August 634, Abu Bakr fell sick and did not recover due to his old age. There are two accounts about the sickness of Abu Bakr. One account states that 8 August 634 was a cold day and when Abu Bakr took a bath, he caught a chill. Another account indicates that, about a year before, along with some other companions, Harith bin Kaladah and Attab bin Usaid, he had eaten some poisoned food which did not affect him for a year.

Abu Bakr developed high fever and was confined to bed. His illness was prolonged and when his condition worsened he felt that his end was near. Realizing his death was near, he sent for Ali and requested him to perform his ghusl since Ali had also done it for the Prophet Muhammad.

Abu Bakr felt that he should nominate his successor so that the issue should not be a cause of dissension among the Muslims after his death, though there was already controversy over Ali not having been appointed. 

He appointed Umar as his successor after discussing with some companions. Some of them favored the nomination and others disliked it, due to the tough nature of Umar.

Abu Bakr thus dictated his last testament to Uthman Ibn Affan as follows:

In the name of Most Merciful God. This is the last will and testament of Abu Bakr bin Abu Qahafa, when he is in the last hour of the world, and the first of the next; an hour in which the infidel must believe, the wicked be convinced of their evil ways, I nominate Umar bin al Khattab as my successor. Therefore, hear to him and obey him. If he acts right, confirm his actions. My intentions are good, but I cannot see the future results. However, those who do ill shall render themselves liable to severe account hereafter. Fare you well. May you be ever attended by the Divine favor of blessing.

Abu Bakr next asked Aisha as to how many pieces of cloth were used for Muhammad's shroud. Aisha said that three pieces had been used. Abu Bakr thereupon desired the same number for his own shroud. On Monday 23 August 634 Abu Bakr died. The funeral prayer was led by Umar. He was buried the same night by the side of Muhammad's grave in Aisha's house near Al-Masjid al-Nabawi


Father: Uthman ibn Amir Abu Qahafa
Mother: Umm al-Khair Salma bint Shakhr ibn Amir ibn Ka'ab ibn Sa'ad ibn Taim
Brother: Mu'taq (presumably the middle)
Brother: Utaiq (presumably the youngest)
Brother: Quhafah ibn Uthman
Himself: Atiq (presumably the eldest)
Wife: Qutaylah bint Abd-al-Uzza ibn 'Abd ibn As'ad (divorced)
Daughter: Aisha Siddiqua and Asma bint Abu Bakr
Grandson Abd-Allah ibn al-Zubayr - His birth spread happiness amongs muslims, killed by Hajjaj bin Yousef.
Grandson Urwa ibn al-Zubayr
Great grandson Hisham ibn Urwa
Son: 'Abd Allaah ibn Abi Bakr
Wife: Um Ruman bint Amir ibn Uwaymir ibn Zuhal ibn Dahman (from Kinanah)
Step son: Tufail ibn Abdullah, The son of Abd-Allah ibn Harith
Son: Abdu'l-Rahman ibn Abu Bakr
Daughter: 'Aa'ishah
Son in law: Muhammad, tree
Wife: Asma' bint Umays ibn Ma'ad ibn Taym al-Khath'amiyyah (previously wife of Jafar ibn Abi Talib and after Abu Bakr's death, became the wife of Ali ibn Abi Talib)
Son: Muhammad ibn Abu Bakr
Wife: Habibah bint Kharijah ibn Zayd ibn Abi Zuhayr (from the tribe of Banu al-Haris ibn al-Khazraj
Daughter: Umm Khultum bint Abu Bakr. 

Today there are many families which are the descendants of Abu Bakr. Most of them are known by the name Al-Siddiqi And Al-Atiqi's Or Al-Atiqi (Al-Ateeqi) ((In Arabic)). But they are also known by some other names in different localities. For example, In East Ethiopia, Siddiqis are usually called Qallu, which means people of the religion, as they were the first to bring Islam to this area. In Somalia, they are commonly known as Sheekhaal and they are well respected by other Somali clans. In Bangladesh, they are known by the name of Qureshi. There are also Al-Atiqi or Atiqi Families in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Syria,Yemen, Iraq and other places in the Arabia Peninsula. All the descendants of Abu Bakr, their Ancestors are: Abdurahman Ibn Abu Bakr and Muhammad Ibn Abu Bakr. The Al-Bakri Family in Egypt are the descendants of Muhammad ibn Abu Bakr while the sheekhaal or Fiqi Umar Family found in Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya and the Aala Atiq Families found in the Arabia Peninsula are the descendants of Abdurahman Ibn Abu Bakr.



Post a Comment

Design by Free WordPress Themes | Bloggerized by Lasantha - Premium Blogger Themes | JCpenney Printable Coupons