As Muslims, we are in agreement that the companions of the Prophet SAWS, peace and blessings be upon them all, are the best of people after the prophets, and they are to be considered our role models too in the lessons from their lives.
Ahmed bin Abdullah bin Masood narrated that:
Allah looked at all of his slaves hearts, and found the heart of Prophet Muhammed SAWS the best of hearts, and He chose him for himself, and gave him the message, then looked at the hearts of the slaves after the heart of Mohammed SAWS, and found his companions to have the best of hearts, and made them his companions, fighting the same battle
And as Muslims we also believe that the best of the companions are the 4 Khalifas, then the rest of the 10 of those who were promised heaven. The Prophet SAWS said:
Follow guidance from those after me : Abi Bakr and Umar
And so today’s reminder focuses on one of these four khalifas and that is Abu Bakr Al Sadeeq. He was a great man, extremely shy it is said but very pious. He had great mercy and was a businessman and trusted leader of his tribe.
We know of Abu Bakr to have been a rich man financially. Having said that, he was known for his generosity. He donated his wealth and freed many slaves with the richness he was blessed with.
And as part of his tribe, he did not drink alcohol before or after Islam. He had a great hold over his desires and so did not pray to any idols at any time before the message was revealed.
Once the prophethood was first revealed to Prophet Muhammed SAWS, he accepted Islam and the message and never stopped in his support of the Prophet SAWS. He believed in the Prophet SAWS when others rejected him and is praised in the Quran by Allah SWT as mentioned in today’s reminder in Sura Al-Touba, ayat 40 which translates to say:
If you do not aid the Prophet – Allah has already aided him when those who disbelieved had driven him out [of Makkah] as one of two, when they were in the cave and he said to his companion, “Do not grieve; indeed Allah is with us.” And Allah sent down his tranquillity upon him and supported him with angels you did not see and made the word of those who disbelieved the lowest, while the word of Allah – that is the highest. And Allah is Exalted in Might and Wise.
He is also known to be the first man that became Muslim, and will be the first to enter paradise after the Prophets, and will be called from all the doors of Paradise, and the Prophet SAWS always praised him.
The imam mentioned a hadith in which the Prophet SAWS said:
If I were to take a Khalil or friend, I would have taken Abu Bakr, but he is my brother and my companion (in Islam).
The scholars agree that Abu Bakr is referenced in the following revelation in the Quran which is referenced by the imam today. It’s Sura Nur, ayat 22 and it is translated to say:
And let not those of virtue among you and wealth swear not to give [aid] to their relatives and the needy and the emigrants for the cause of Allah, and let them pardon and overlook. Would you not like that Allah should forgive you? And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.
And we also know from history that his family were the only family where both parents, offspring and extended children all became Muslim, such was the blessing bestowed upon Abu Bakr.
He was the closest to the Prophet SAWS and endured hardships alongside our beloved Prophet SAWS. One such example of this is when the Prophet SAWS was beaten by the Quraish, he was also hurt in attempting to defend the Prophet SAWS from being beaten.
And we know from the life of the Prophet SAWS that it was Abu Bakr that had the blessing of accompanying our beloved Prophet SAWS from Mecca to Medina.
And when the Prophet SAWS left this world to return to Allah SWT, the companions were left in shock and many panicked. It was Abu Bakr at that point who provided the stability through recitation of the 144th ayat of Sura Al-Imran.
The imam mentioned this in today’s reminder and it’s translated to say:
Muhammad is not but a messenger. [Other] messengers have passed on before him. So if he was to die or be killed, would you turn back on your heels [to unbelief]? And he who turns back on his heels will never harm Allah at all; but Allah will reward the grateful.
Dear brothers and sisters, today’s reminder cannot do justice to this great man and role model for us. He was a devout Muslim, a great companion to our beloved Prophet SAWS and a teacher for us following in the footsteps of the greatest of all creation, our beloved Prophet SAWS.
As Muslims, when we hear of Abu Bakr Al Sadeeq, we ought to first thank Allah SWT for blessing our beloved Prophet SAWS with such a beautiful soul as his companion and friend. But alongside that, we ought to ask ourselves, if we are to be reunited one day as part of the ummah of the Prophet SAWS, if we are wishing to be remembered by our Prophet SAWS, are we fulfilling our part of the deal and learning from the lives of those who were closest to him?
We should take lessons from the life of Abu Bakr Al Sadeeq, may Allah SWT be pleased with him, in the hope that those life lessons elevate us to the level of being regarded as part of the ummah of our beloved Prophet SAWS.