Caliph Abu Bakr: His Bravery

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‘Ali said: ‘Tell me who is the bravest of men?’ They said, ‘You.’ He said, ‘As for me, I never encountered anyone but that I took my due from him, but tell me who is the bravest of men?’ They said , ‘We don’t know. Who is it?’ He said, ‘Abu Bakr. On the Day of Badr we made a shelter from the sun for the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and then we said, “Who will be with the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, so that none of the idolaters may fall upon him?” By Allah, none of us drew near except for Abu Bakr who brandished a sword over the head of the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. No one fell upon him but that he in turn fell upon him. So he is the bravest of men.’

‘Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, said: I saw the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and Quraysh grabbed him. One held him and another threw him down and they were saying, ‘Are you the one who has made the gods into one god?’ By Allah, none of us approached except Abu Bakr, striking this one and restraining that one, and throwing down another saying, ‘Woe to you! Will you kill a man because he says, “My Lord is Allah?”‘ Then ‘Ali raised a cloak which he was wearing and wept until his beard was wet and said, ‘I adjure you by Allah! Is the believer of the people of Fir’awn better or Abu Bakr?’ People were silent. He said, ‘Will you not answer? By Allah, an hour of Abu Bakr is better than a thousand hours of the like of the believer of the people of Fir’awn. He was a man who concealed his iman, and this was a man who was open about his iman.’

‘Urwah ibn az-Zubayr said: I asked ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr ibn al-’As about the worst thing that the idolaters did to the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. He said, ‘I saw ‘Uqbah ibn Abi Mu’ayt who came to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, while he was praying, and he placed his cloak about his neck and seriously tried to throttle him. Then Abu Bakr came and defended him and said, “Would you kill a man because he says, ‘My Lord is Allah,’ and he has come to you with clear signs from your Lord?”‘

Abu Bakr said: ‘On the Day of Uhud everyone fled from the Messenger of Allah, and I was the first to return.’ The rest of the hadith is in the Musnad which al-Haytham ibn Kulayb narrated.

‘A’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, said: When the companions of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, gathered, and they were thirty-eight men, Abu Bakr pressed upon the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, to be open and public. He said, ‘Abu Bakr, we are few.’ Abu Bakr wouldn’t stop urging the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, until the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, made things public. The Muslims went into every of the Mosque (of Makkah), every man among his own kinsfolk, and Abu Bakr stood up among the people addressing them, so that he was the first public speaker to invite people to Allah and His Messenger. The idolaters leapt upon Abu Bakr and the Muslims, and they beat them, in every corner of the Mosque, very severely.

‘Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, said: When Abu Bakr accepted Islam, he was open about his Islam and he invited people to Allah and to His Messenger, may Allah bless him and grant him peace.

  • Transcribed from: Tarikh al-Khulafa‘ (The History of the Khulafa) | Jalal ad-Din as-Suyuti
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