How Abu Bakr (RA) Defended the Prophet ﷺ

How Abu Bakr (RA) Defended the Prophet ﷺ

In addition to all of his other wonderful qualities, Abu Bakr (ra) was brave, fearing none but Allah (SWT). In the early days of Islam, some Muslims kept their Islam a secret from their relatives, fearing persecution and torture at their hands; that they kept their Islam a secret was not held against them, since staying alive was a major objective for Muslims at the time. Abu Bakr (ra), on the other hand, was not secretive about his Islam; instead, he openly proclaimed that he was a follower of the Prophet ﷺ. ‘Ali (ra) later spoke highly about Abu Bakr’s bravery and liked to compare Abu Bakr (ra) to the believing man in the Pharaoh’s household who kept his Islam a secret. Once during his caliphate, ‘Ali ibn Abee Taalib (ra) stood up before the people and delivered the following sermon:

“O people, who is the bravest of all people?” Those that were present answered, “You are, O Leader of the Believers.” ‘Ali (ra) said, “Lo, I never entered into a duel with another man except that I came out victorious over him. And yet the bravest of all people was none other than Abu Bakr (ra). We once built a command center for the Messenger of Allah ﷺ, and we said, Who will stay with the Messenger of Allah ﷺ, so as to prevent the polytheists from attacking him?’ By Allah, not a single one of us approached (to volunteer for the job) except for Abu Bakr (ra), who, with his sword unsheathed, stood over the head of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ. Abu Bakr (ra) then fought against anyone who tried to attack the Messenger of Allah ﷺ, and so, yes, he was the bravest of all people. I remember the time when I saw the Quraish opposing the Prophet ﷺ and physically shaking him violently, and all the while they were saying to him, ‘Have you taken our gods and made them into one God!’ By Allah, not a single one of us stepped forward (to defend him) except for Abu Bakr (ra), who struggled against and struck one man and pushed violently another, and all the while he was saying (to them), ‘Woe upon you, are you fighting against a man because he says: My Lord is Allah’?” ‘Ali (ra) then lifted the robe he was wearing, and he began to cry until his beard became soaked in tears. He then continued, “I ask you by Allah, was the believer from the family of the Pharaoh better or Abu Bakr?” The attendees of the gathering then began to cry along with ‘Ali (ra), who said “By Allah, Abu Bakr for an hour is better than the believer of the family of the Pharaoh even if clones of him were to fill the entire earth: the latter kept his faith a secret, while the former openly proclaimed his faith.”[1]

Decades after the persecution and the torture in Makkah, Ali (ra) still remembered Abu Bar’s bravery, and the memory of Abu Bakr’s noble sacrifices were powerful enough in the mind of ‘Ali (ra) to make him cry and to inspire tears in others.

‘Urwah ibn Az-Zubair related that he once asked Ibn ‘Amr ibn Al-‘Aas to inform him about the worst thing that the polytheists ever did to the Prophet ﷺ, and Ibn ‘Amr replied, “While the Prophet ﷺ was once praying in the Hijr (one of the sides) of the Ka’bah, ‘Uqbah ibn Abee Mu’eet approached him, wrapped his clothing around his neck, and began to violently choke him. Abu Bakr raced to them and used his shoulder to push ‘Uqbah away from the Prophet.[2] And Abu Bakr (ra) then said, ‘Are you fighting a man just because he says: My Lord is Allah?’”

According to a narration that was related by Anas (ra), the polytheists of Makkah once beat up the Prophet ﷺ until he lost consciousness. Abu Bakr (ra) then stood up and began to call out, “Are you fighting a man just because he says, ‘My Lord is Allah?’” It should be understood that, on these particular occasions, others did not stand up and speak out against Quraish’s vile treatment of the Prophet ﷺ. Up until that time, fighting had not been legislated in Islam. And knowing that simply speaking out was inviting torture and perhaps even death, some Muslims kept their Islam a secret from the Quraish, while others, fearing for their lives, did not always speak out. Yes, on many occasions they did speak out and openly proclaim their faith; but in the most dangerous of situations – the ones that took place in the very early days of Islam and that are described in the above-mentioned narrations – it was Abu Bakr (ra) who alone stood up and defended the Prophet ﷺ.

After the Messenger of Allah ﷺ, Abu Bakr (ra) was the first person to be harmed in the way of Allah; he was the first to defend the Messenger of Allah ﷺ; and he was the first to invite others to the way of Allah (SWT). Throughout his entire life, Abu Bakr (ra) was like the right hand of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ. A successful businessman prior to the advent of Islam, Abu Bakr (ra) freed up his entire schedule and dedicated all of his time to the cause of Islam: to accompanying the Prophet ﷺ and helping him with his knowledge, experience, wealth, and time. Much of his time was spent on helping the Prophet its to train, console, and teach other Companions. When Abu Dharr (ra) embraced Islam, it was Abu Bakr (ra) who said, “O Messenger of Allah ﷺ, allow me to provide his meal for the night,” and he then fed him expensive raisins from Taaif.[3]

This is just one of many examples which establish Abu Bakr’s concern not just for the safety of the Prophet ﷺ, but also for the well-being of the Prophet’s Companions. It is related that the Prophet ﷺ said, “Verily, the most merciful person from my nation towards (the people of) my nation is Abu Bakr.”

[The Biography of Abu Bakr As-Siddeeq (RA) by Dr. ‘Ali Muhammad As-Sallaabee, p.61-64]


[1] [Al-Bidaayah Wan-Nihaayah – 3/271,272]

[2] [Al-Bukhaaree 3856] 

[3] [Al-Fath (7/213), and Al-Khilaafah Ar-Raashidah, by Yahya Al-Yahya (pg. 156).

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