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Abu Bakr As-Siddiq: Man for All Ages
By Abdul Wahid Hamid

`Abdullah ibn `Uthman ibn `Amir ibn `Amr from a branch of the Quraysh tribe. His father, `Uthman, was known as Abu Quhafa. His mother, Salma, was also known as Umm Al-Khayr.
From his early years, Abu Bakr was known for his good and upright nature. He was honest and truthful and came from a noble family. These things won him respect among the people. His goodness also won him the friendship of young Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him). The two became fast friends in early boyhood. The friendship was to prove lifelong and history making.

When he grew up, Abu Bakr became a rich merchant, but he remained very kindhearted. When he saw someone in trouble, his heart melted and he did his best to help him. If his money could remove suffering, he did not care how much he had to spend. Once he gave away 35 thousand dirhams out of his total fortune of 40 thousand. He was so honest in his dealings that people kept their money with him. But above all, Abu Bakr had a sincere heart and a firm will. Nothing could stop him from doing what he thought was the right thing to do.

When the Makkans were intent on putting out, once and for all, the light of Islam, Allah commanded the Prophet to move to Madinah. In the burning heat of the midday sun, there was a knock at Abu Bakr's door. The Messenger of Allah sought permission to enter, and after everyone else had left the room, he told Abu Bakr, "I must leave for Madinah tonight."
“Will I also have the honor of going with you?” asked Abu Bakr eagerly. “Of course,” came the reply. “Get things ready.”
Abu Bakr was beside himself with joy. “I have been looking forward to this day for months,” he exclaimed. "I have kept two camels specifically to carry us to Madinah.”

It was Abu Bakr who made all the arrangements for the historic journey. For three days he and the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) lay hidden in the cave of Thawr. Abu Bakr's slave tended flocks of goats near the cave all day and supplied them fresh milk for food. His son `Abdullah brought news about what the Makkans were doing.

The Makkans were searching for the Prophet like mad hounds. Once they came right to the mouth of the cave. Abu Bakr grew pale, fearing not for himself, but for the Prophet. However, the Prophet remained perfectly calm. "Do not fear," he said to Abu Bakr. "Certainly Allah is with us."

Of all the companions, Abu Bakr had the honor of being with the Prophet during the most critical days of his life. Abu Bakr knew full well what this honor meant and did full justice to the trust put in him.
After the Prophet’s death, Abu Bakr was chosen as the caliph. He served for only two years, three months, and ten days before he, too, passed away. During this short period, Abu Bakr was able to do great things for Islam that made his name immortal and placed him among the greatest men of all times.

Mus`ab ibn `Umayr…. Matchless Ambassador
Mus`ab ibn `Umayr was born and grew up in the lap of affluence and luxury. His rich parents lavished a great deal of care and attention on him. He wore the most expensive clothes and the most stylish shoes of his time.

Mus`ab’s Journey to Islam
Mus`ab knew that Muhammad and those who believed in his message were gathering in a house near the hill of As-Safa to evade Quraysh harassment. Mus`ab went there and met the Prophet who welcomed him.
In this first meeting with the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), the young and decisive Mus`ab declared his acceptance of Islam.
After embracing Islam, Mus`ab’s concern was his mother who totally opposed his Islam, tied and confined him under her watchful eyes so as to prevent him from contacting Muhammad and his faith. Despite his ordeal, Mus`ab did not waver.

His Migration to Abyssinia:
Mus`ab heard that a group of Muslims were preparing secretly to migrate to Abyssinia to seek refuge and relief. His immediate thoughts were how to escape from his prison and join them. At the first opportunity, when his mother and his warders were off-guard, he managed to slip away quietly. Then with utmost haste, he joined the other migrants, and before long they sailed together across the Red Sea to Africa. For him, as for many other Muslims, life in Makkah was becoming more and more intolerable.
After about ten years of inviting people to Islam, most of Makkah still remained hostile. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) then went to At-Ta’if seeking new adherents to the faith. He was repulsed and chased out of the city. At that time, the future of Islam looked bleak.

Mus`ab as an Ambassador to Yathrib:
It was just after this that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) chose Mus`ab to be his "ambassador" to Yathrib to teach a small group of believers who had come to pledge allegiance to Islam and prepare Madinah for the day of the great Hijrah.

No doubt that Mus`ab was chosen for this task because of his noble character, his fine manners and his sharp intellect. His knowledge of the Qur’an and his ability to recite it beautifully and movingly was also an important consideration.
He entered Madinah as a guest of Sa`d ibn Zurarah of the Khazraj tribe. Together they went to people, to their homes and their gatherings, telling them about the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), explaining Islam to them and reciting the Qur’an.

Less than a year after his arrival in Yathrib, Mus`ab returned to Makkah in the season of pilgrimage with a group of seventy-five Muslims from Madinah. Again at `Aqabah, near Mina, they met the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). There they solemnly undertook to defend the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) at all cost.

Great Mujahid:
Mus`ab continued to play a major role in the building of the new community. The next momentous situation in which we meet him was during the great Battle of Badr.

Mus`ab also participated in the battle of Uhud, and he fell a martyr in that battle. After that battle was over, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) then cast his tender eyes over the battle field on which lay the dead Companions – including Mus`ab - and said: “The Messenger of Allah testifies that you are martyrs in the Sight of Allah on the Day of Judgment.”

Then turning to the living Companions around him he said: “O People! Visit them, send peace on them. By Him in whose hand is my soul, any Muslim who sends peace on them until the Day of Judgment, they would return the salutation of peace.”

© 2010 Jamia Masjid Nairobi