Stories of the Sahabah [r.a] for Children
by Shaykh Hamid Ahmad Tahir
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The Story of Hadhrat Abu Bakr x
Under the blaze of the hot sun in Makkah, and on its hot sands, Abu Quhafah walked with his son Hadhrat Abu Bakr x to the room of Idols in the Ka’bah. Abu Quhaafah then stopped and said to his son: “O my son, these are your Gods. Prostrate to it. Thereafter the father turned away leaving his fair complexioned son in front of these idols.
Hadhrat Abu Bakr x then turned towards one of the idols and said: “Verily I am hungry, feed me” The idol did not reply to him.
He then said to it: “Verily I am naked, clothe me” Still there was no reply from the idol.
Hadhrat Abu Bakr x then took a big stone and threw it at the idol causing the idol to fall upon its face and shatter. Hadhrat Abu Bakr x returned to his house knowing fully well that these idols cannot benefit nor can they harm. They cannot hear nor can they speak. He grew up with Imaan and never prostrated to a single idol in his entire life.
Unlike the other youth of the Quraish, Hadhrat Abu Bakr Abdullah ibn Quhafa Uthmaan ibn Amir ibn Taym ibn Qurayshi x grew up recognizing amusement before Islaam. He never drank, nor was he acquainted with disobedience. Instead, he worshiped Allaah Ta’aala upon the way of Ibrahim x> and traded with his wealth until Allaah Ta’aala had enriched him because of his trustworthiness and truthfulness.
In Makkah every group from amongst the groups of the Quraish had a specific duty which they had to fulfill. The Banu Taim (the family of Hadhrat Abu Bakr x) were weak, their numbers were few and wealth little. It was because of this that they were unable to carry out any duty for the Quraish. However, this was only until from amongst them Hadhrat Abu Bakr x showed compassion towards the poor, assisted the oppressed and helped the weak. He undertook the duty blood money in the Quraish. Not only did he give the amount of ^ (blood- money) that was asked for, but he increased upon it. All the people of the Quraish loved him because of his good actions and beautiful character.
Amongst the youth of Makkah from around the Ka’bah, Hadhrat Abu Bakr x was recognized by the trustworthy, Muhammad p, even before Allaah had made him declare Nabuwaat. Hadhrat Abu Bakr x was two years younger than Rasulullah p and due to the closeness in age, love of Allaah and His worship, trustworthiness, good actions and truthfulness they both had become friends before Islaam. And on the day that Muhammad p declared his Nabuwaat to his people Hadhrat Abu Bakr x was amongst the first to believe him.
The story of Hadhrat Abu Bakr x’s Islaam is a short and strange one. When Hadhrat Abu Bakr x had come to know of Nabi p’s message he went to him and said: “O Abul Qaasim (Father of Qaasim)! What is this that has reached me regarding you?”
Nabi p had replied: “What has reached you regarding me?”
Hadhrat Abu Bakr x said: “Verily you are inviting towards Allaah and claiming that you are a Nabi (messenger) of Allaah.”
Nabi p said: “Yes, O Abu Bakr, Allaah has made me a giver of glad tidings and warnings, and he sent me for all of mankind.”
Hadhrat Abu Bakr x then said: “By Allaah, I have never ever heard a single lie from you; verily you are most worthy with this message, because of your trustworthiness, joining of relations and good actions.” Thereafter Hadhrat Abu Bakr x accepted Islaam.
It was from that moment that Hadhrat Abu Bakr x knew that Islaam was the road to Jannah and that it would be necessary for whoever accepted Islaam to sacrifice himself as well as his wealth. He then went to Hadhrat Uthmaan Ibn Affaan x; Hadhrat Zubair ibn Al- Awwaam x and Hadhrat Talha Ibn Ubaidullah x, all of whom accepted Islaam upon his hands and became from amongst the Asharah Mubasharah (i.e. those people who were given glad tidings of Janaah by Nabi p in one sitting.) Eventually Nabi p looked towards him and said: “This is the Ateeq of Allaah (The one who Allaah saved from the punishment of the fire).”
As for the Imaan which he was in his heart, it was transformed to such an extent that it was likened to a mountain which even earthquakes would not move. And that he would not accept anything or sell it for all the wealth in the world. His Imaan was such that if it was placed on one side of a scale and the Imaan of the entire Ummat until the day of Qiyaamah was placed on the other side, the Imaan of Hadhrat Abu Bakr x would outweigh the imaan of the entire Ummat.
Some of the people are of the incorrect opinion that Hadhrat Abu Bakr x’s wealth was due to inheritance from his parents. However it was because he was a truthful trader that Allaah Ta’aala had enriched him to such an extent that his wealth had reached forty thousand dirhams (silver coins).
Hadhrat Abu Bakr x was a man who spent on his family. He used to spend on his father who had become blind towards the end of his life, his mother who had become unable to do any work and also on his younger brother.
When Allaah Ta’aala had sent His Nabi Muhammad p with Islaam, the inviting towards Islaam was done in secrecy for the three complete years, after which Allaah Ta’aala had commanded that it be done publicly for all the people. From that point on, the Musrikeen began to punish the weak Muslims and wage war against the rich, so much so that those entering Makkah could hear the cries and sounds from the weak Muslims who were being harmed in the path of Allaah.
Hadhrat Abu Bakr x had seen Hadhrat Bilal x, an Abyssinian slave owned by one of the kuffaar (disbelievers) named Ummayyah ibn Khalaf, being beaten. He was being placed naked on the sand of Makkah and a big rock was placed on his stomach. Thereafter he was dragged with a rope whilst the youth of Makkah were vehemently mocking him whilst he was repeating the undying words: “The One (Allaah)! The One (Allaah)! ”
Hadhrat Abu Bakr x then departed went to his house and brought some wealth. Thereafter he went to Ummayah ibn Khalaf and said to him: “Sell me Bilal”. Ummayyah said: “I will sell him for five (uqiyahs) ounces of gold.”
Hadhrat Abu Bakr x then bought him after which Ummayyah said: “If you had given one ounce only, I would have been pleased.”
Hadhrat Abu Bakr x then said: “If you desired one hundred ounces, I would have definitely given it to you.”
Like this Hadhrat Abu Bakr x saw that his wealth was only for Allaah Ta’aala, and nor was he miserly with it upon the Muslims in Makkah. Instead he gave it to them so that he would free them from the harassment of the musrikeen until Rasulullah p said regarding Hadhrat Abu Bakr x and Hadhrat Bilal x: “Our master had freed our master from slavery” Hadhrat Bilal x was not the only one who Hadhrat Abu Bakr x had purchased. Instead, he searched for other slaves who had accepted Islaam so that he could purchase them, until they were saying in Makkah that he use to purchase them so that they would be defended.
It was also revealed in the Qur’aan regarding the freedom of Hadhrat Abu Bakr x:
“Far removed from it (Jahannam) shall be the one with the most taqwa (the Mu’min).”
“Who spends his wealth to purify (his soul from greed and from other sins by attaining Allaah’s pleasure and resultant forgiveness).”
“He does not have (to spend in charity because he has) to repay a favor to anyone. . .”
“… (But he spends for no reason) except for the pleasure of His exalted Rabb. (His good deeds are therefore done sincerely for Allaah’s pleasure and for not ulterior motive.)”
“… Soon he shall be (well) pleased (when Allaah rewards him in full in the Aakhirah).” (Surah Al-Layl: Verses 17-21)
Thus all the Muslims and musrikeen knew that Hadhrat Abu Bakr x had only spent his wealth in the path of Allaah, neither for any worldly purpose, nor out of pride in order to boast to the people. And these are the qualities of the believers from amongst who was Hadhrat Abu Bakr x.
Once Nabi p stood in Makkah in front of the Ka bah reciting the Qur’aan to the musrikeen who then stood up and began hitting him from all sides. Behind them was Hadhrat Abu Bakr x, who then stood up to defend Nabi p whilst saying:
“Are you’ll killing a man because he is saying that my Rabb is Allaah?”
The musrikeen then left Nabi p and began hitting Hadhrat Abu Bakr x who had bore so much of patience until his face had became swollen so much so that his eyes could not be recognized from his nose. The features of his face had been hidden completely. They then thought he had passed away and thereafter left him.
The Banu Taim came and carried Hadhrat Abu Bakr x to his house and had taken an oath that they will definitely kill whoever hit Hadhrat Abu Bakr x if he died? When Hadhrat Abu Bakr x regained consciousness, the first question that he had asked was: “What happened to Rasulullah p?” His people had become angered by this because they were kuffaar (disbelievers).
They said to his mother: “Give him something to eat and some water to drink.”
Hadhrat Abu Bakr x said: “No! By Allaah, I will not drink, nor will I eat anything until I know what happened to Rasulullah p.”
His mother looked towards him experiencing pain because of what happened to him and then said: “By Allaah, I do not know what has happened to this companion of yours?”
He then said: “Go to the house of Faatimah bint ul Khattaab and ask her what happened to Rasulullah p?”
The mother went in search of Hadhrat Faatima bint ul Khataab x, even though she was experiencing pain because of the condition of her son, who’s blood had flowed from his face which had become swollen. When she reached the house of Hadhrat Faatimah bint ul Khataab x, Hadhrat Faatimah x thought that she was a spy for the Quraish.
The mother who had intended the comfort of her son said: “Come with me to him.” When Hadhrat Faatimah x reached Hadhrat Abu Bakr x and she saw his face she screamed and said: “I ask Allaah to take revenge for you on your behalf.”
He then said to her that he was not thinking about anything else besides Rasulullah p: “What happened to Rasulullah p?
She said: “He is safe.”
The mother then looked towards her son hoping that he will drink. He looked towards her and said: “No! By Allaah, I will not eat nor will I drink until I see Rasulullah p with my own eyes.