Abu Bakr Biography
Additional Abu Bakr biography resources, and where to buy products
on Abu Bakr biography.
Abu Bakr As Siddiq (alternative spellings, Abubakar, Abi Bakr,
Abu Bakar) (c. 573 – August 23, 634) ruled as the first of the
Muslim caliphs (632 – 634). Originally called Abd-el-Ka'ba ("servant
of the temple"), he received the name Abu Bakr (from the Arabic
word bakr, meaning a young camel) due to his interest in raising
Abu Bakr was born at Mecca, a Quraishi of the Banu Taim clan.
He gained great wealth from his own commercial activities, and
became highly esteemed as a judge, and as an interpreter of dreams
and as a depositary of the traditions of his race. His early accession
to Islam as one of the nascent faith's early adult male converts
(the first was Ali ibn Abi Talib) was of great importance. On
his conversion he assumed the name of Abd-Allah (servant of God).
His own thorough belief in Muhammad and in his doctrines earned
him the title El Siddiq ("the truthful"), and he had correspondingly
great success in gaining converts. In his personal relationship
to the prophet he showed the deepest veneration and most unswerving
devotion. When Muhammad fled from Mecca in the hijra of 622, Abu
Bakr alone accompanied him and shared both his hardships and his
triumphs, remaining constantly with him until the day of his death.
Ties between Abu Bakr and Muhammad were further strengthened
by the marriage of Abu Bakr's daughter Aisha to Muhammad soon
after the migration to Medina.
According to the Sunni version of events, during his last illness
the prophet designated Abu Bakr to lead prayers in Muhammad's
absence: many took this gesture as an indication that Abu Bakr
would succeed Muhammad. Thus, upon the death of Muhammad (8 June
632), Abu Bakr became the first caliph, by the acclamation of
the people present at the meeting of Saqifah.
The Shia sect dispute this account, saying that Muhammad had
appointed his son-in-law 'Ali his successor. Abu Bakr and Uthman
intrigued to take the caliphate away from Ali. This controversy
still divides the followers of the prophet into the rival factions
of Sunni and Shia.
Abu Bakr had scarcely assumed his new position (632), under the
title Khalifet-Rasul-Allah ("successor of the prophet of God"),
when he had to suppress the revolt of some tribes in Hejaz and
Nejd, of which the former rejected Islam and the latter refused
to pay tribute. He encountered formidable opposition from different
quarters, but in every case he proved successful. The severest
struggle was the war with Ibn Habib al-Hanefi, who claimed to
be a prophet and Muhammad's true successor. Al-Hanefi was mockingly
called Musailima by the Muslims who followed Abu Bakr. Khalid
bin Walid finally defeated al-Hanefi at the Battle of Akraba.
Abu Bakr exhibited as much zeal for the spread of the new faith
as did its founder. After suppressing the internal disorders and
completely subduing Arabia, he directed his generals to foreign
conquest. Khalid bin Walid conquered Iraq and Persia in a single
campaign, and a successful expedition into Syria also took place.
Some traditions about the origin of the Qur'an say that Abu Bakr
was instrumental in preserving Muhammad's revelations in written
form. It is said that after the hard-won victory over al-Hanefi,
Umar ibn al-Khattab (the later Caliph Umar), saw that many of
the Muslims who had memorized the Qur'an from the lips of the
prophet had died in battle. Umar asked Abu Bakr to oversee the
collection of the revelations. The record, when completed, was
deposited with Hafsa bint Umar, daughter of Umar, and one of the
wives of Muhammad. Later it became the basis of Uthman ibn Affan's
definitive text of the Qur'an. Other historians simply say that
Uthman collected the Qur'an.
Abu Bakr died on August 23, 634 in Medina. Shortly before his
death (which one tradition ascribes to poison, another to natural
causes) he indicated that Umar was to be his successor.
Abu Bakr lies buried in the Masjid al Nabawi mosque in Medina,
alongside Muhammad and Umar ibn al-Khattab.
Additional Amazon.com resources on Abu Bakr biography: