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Ali (A.S.)     - The Miracle of Muhammad (S.A.W.
Who is this Ali?
The genealogy of Ali (A.S.)
Abu Talib (A.S.) - The Obliger of Islam.
The Birth of Ali (A.S.)
Ali (A.S.) - Under the guidance of the Prophet (S.A.W.)
The personality of Ali (A.S.)

The fate of Ali (A.S.)'s followers.
Ali (A.S.) - As viewed by the historians
The proclamation of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.)
The death of Khadija (S.A.)
The death of Abu Talib (A.S.)
The Hijrat
The Prophet (S.A.W.) in Madina
The marriage of Fatema (S.A.)
The battle of Badr
The battle of Ohad
The battle of Khandaq
The treaty of Hudaibia
The battle of Khaibar
The conquest of Mecca
The battle of Hunain
The despatch of Surah Baraat
Mubahela (Maledictory Conflict)
The expedition to Yemen
The last Hajj
Ghadeer -e-Khum
The Last days of the Prophet (S.A.W.)
The will of the Prophet (S.A.W.)
The death of the Prophet (S.A.W.)
The conspiracy of Saqifa
Abu Bakr becomes Caliph
The regime of A bu Bakr
The usurping of Fadaq
The death of Fatema (S.A.)
   

THE REGIME OF ABU BAKR

 

Before we proceed further let us find out who Abu Bakr was, what was his clan, who were his family members, what was their contribution in the propagation of Islam. What relationship he and his family had with the Prophet (S.A.W), and what was his attitude with Ali (A.S.), his family members and the clan of Bani Hashim.

Abu Bakr belonged to the clan of Bani Tayem. Abu Bakr’s grand father Sakhar bin Umrao also did not command much respect among the Meccans. It is said that when Herb bin Ummayya had to hire two killers to kill a wealthy Jew businessmen of Mecca and a neighbour of Abdul Muttalib, Herb was one of them and the other was Amir bin Abde Munaf. They killed him and looted his wealth and hid in a village called Sakh, 3 miles from Madina. (Later after migration Abu Bakr married a girl from this village, and also stayed in this village after migration). Abdul Muttalib not only chased them and caught them but also saw to it that Herb bin Ummayya compensated for the murder.

Abu Bakr’s father’s name was Usman and was called Abu Qahafa. He accepted Islam only after the fall of Mecca. Till then he remained an infidel and always used bad language and abused the Prophet (S.A.W). [Tabari, Riazun Nazarah, Page 122] He earned his bread by catching birds and pigeons and selling them. Abu Bakr neither stayed with him nor supported him. [Allama Ibnul Hadid Motazeli, Vol. 3, Page 274] When Abu Qahafa became blind due to old age and couldn’t earn his living, a philanthropist named Abdullah bin Jaadan employed him to drive away flies when Abdullah sat to take food. Abu Qahafa was not happy with the attitude of his son towards him. Thus, after the death of Abu Bakr when he was offered his share of the estate left by Abu Bakr he refused to take. Abu Bakr married four times. Twice before the advent of Islam and twice after he embraced Islam. The first wife’s name was Qateela and the second was Zoundi. From Qateela he had Abdullah and Asma mother of Abullah bin Zubair. From Umme Rooman he had Aisha and Abdur Rahman. From his third wife Asma bint Anees he had Mohammad. The fourth wife was Habiba binte Kharja, from her he had Umme Kulsoom. [Tabari, Vol. 4, Page 50] Qateela and Zomeen embraced Islam only after migration to Madina, till then they were infidels. The eldest son Abdullah died an infidel in the year 11 Hijri. The second son Abdur Rahman embraced Islam after the treaty of Hudaibia. Before that he stayed back in Mecca for 13 years, he was an arch enemy of the Prophet (S.A.W). He came with Abu Sufian’s army in the wars of Badr and Ohad. He boasted that there is no one among the Muslims who is equal to him. He also came to fight Ali (A.S.) in the battle of Jamal. He died in the year 53 Hijri.

Abu Bakr’s third son Mohammad was born during 10th Hijri at the time of the last Hajj performed by the Prophet (S.A.W). He was only three years old when Abu Bakr died. Mohammad was called Abul Qasim. He was a devout Muslim and was counted as one of the most pious persons. He fought on behalf of Ali (A.S.) in the wars of Jamal and Siffin against his own sister Aisha and Moaviyah. During the year 37 Hijri, Ali (A.S.) appointed him as governor of Egypt. Moaviyah bin Khudaij an officer of Moavia bin Abu Sufian fought Mohammad and arrested him, and putting him in the skin of a donkey and getting it stitched he burnt Mohammad alive. Only the burnt head was outside the skin and visible. This was in the year 38 Hijri.

When this news reached Madina, Umme Habiba one of the wives of the Prophet (S.A.W) sent a roasted goat to Aisha with a massage that see Moavia has roasted your brother this way. But Aisha was not sorry for her brother. Usman’s wife was so happy with this news that she rushed to Moavia bin Khudai, the killer of Mohammad and kissed his feet for thanksgiving. [Tarikhe Khamees, Vol. 2, Page 266].

The three daughters were Aisha, Umme Kulsoom and Asma. Asma was married to Zubair from whom she got Abdullah. Aisha was married to the Prophet (S.A.W) and she had no issues. Aisha also fought against Ali (A.S.) in the war of Jamal. She also did not allow the body of Hasan (A.S.), the grandson of the Prophet (S.A.W) to be buried near the grave of the Prophet (S.A.W). [Rozatul Manazir, Vol. 11, Page 133] The third daughter was Umme Kulsoom. Aisha got her married to Umar during his regime.

During the year 56 Hijri Moavia came to Madina and got dug a pit which was covered with grass and weak sticks. He then put a chair on it and invited Aisha to sit on it. As Aisha sat the chair fell in the ditch, Moavia immediately got it filled with stone and lime then quietly went away to Mecca. [Hadiqai Hakim Nesai & Habibusseer] Abu Bakr’s niece Joada, daughter of Umme Farwa (Abu Bakr’s sister) gave poison to Imam Hasan (A.S.) and Abu Bakr’s nephew Mohammad was one of the killers of Imam Husain (A.S.) at Kerbala. [Tabari, Vol. 6, Page 210] Talha bin Obaidullah was Abu Bakr’s cousin. Abu Bakr was a cloth seller by profession. He used to carry cloth mostly bed sheets on his shoulders and went hawking, or attended bazaars.

Abu Bakr was known for using filthy language. [Tareekhul Khulafa, Page 37] Though he was one of the earliest converts yet history has very little record of his contribution towards the spread of Islam. It is also very strange that though his association with the Prophet (S.A.W) was for more than twenty years yet we find only ten traditions narrated by him in the history books. While his daughter, Aisha was one of the ten wives of the Prophet (S.A.W) and as such got very little time to be with the Prophet (S.A.W) knew more than five thousand traditions and all are recorded in the history books as narrated by her. Similarly Abu Huraira one of the companions of the Prophet (S.A.W) who was very young and had embraced Islam only three years before the Prophet (S.A.W)’s death also knew five thousand traditions. Aisha swore that her father did not ever compose any verse either during the days of his infidelity nor after embracing Islam. [Tareekhul Khulafa, Page 22] History has also not recorded any where that Abu Bakr killed any infidel either in war or otherwise, nor spent any money in the cause of Islam, nor did any preaching except once when he tried to give a sermon at Mecca. The infidels hammered him so much that his nose was completely smashed. From then on he was so afraid of the infidels of Mecca that he never attempted to do any preaching. On the contrary during the 6th year before the Hijrat he fled Mecca and was proceeding towards Yemen when an infidel friend of his recognized him and brought him back assuring him of his protection. Similarly when the infidels of Mecca ostracized the Prophet (S.A.W) and his entire clan of Bani Hashim and they were compelled to go and stay at a mountain pass and eat even tree leaves for their survival Abu Bakr made no attempt either to see the Prophet (S.A.W) or arrange for their food or made any attempt to bring them back to their houses.

As the news of Abu Bakr’s Caliphate spread the Muslims all over the Muslim world resented and revolted against him. They refused to accept him as the heir of the Prophet (S.A.W) and in retaliation stopped paying zakat to him. Even the governors and officers of many provinces revolted and refused to act on his behalf. Khalid bin Saeed and many such companions of the Prophet (S.A.W) who were governors appointed by the Prophet (S.A.W) resigned from their posts. Abu Bakr asked them as to why they do not want to continue since they are the most efficient governors and the Prophet (S.A.W) had appointed them for the job. He even ordered them to go back to their posts but they declined and said, "We are the descendents of Abi Asseha and do not want to be the tax collector of any body else." Fearing danger to their lives they even migrated to Syria but they were all killed. [Izalatul Khefa, Vol. 2, Page 37]

Many others argued that the Prophet (S.A.W) had not nominated and therefore he cannot be his heir. Then they would also have not minded if in his place any body else from the Prophet (S.A.W)’s family would become the Caliph. They openly accused him of depriving the real heirs of the Prophet (S.A.W) and grabbing the Caliphate for himself. The refusal to pay tax angered Abu Bakr. The movement had spread in such a big way that according to Masoodi, "Within ten days of the Prophet (S.A.W)’s death the entire Arab community became non believers." [Moroojuz Zahab, Vol. 5, Page 101] Umar and Abu Obaida, Sulaym Mooli sensing trouble and revolt advised Abu Bakr not to take any drastic step and in support of their advice they cited the example of the Prophet (S.A.W) who neither forced nor harassed the non payers of zakat. They even warned him that the history of Hazarmoot may not be repeated but Abu Bakr listened to none and criticising Umar said, "You were harsh before embracing Islam now what has made you a coward. I will take everything from them what they have been paying to the Prophet. Even if it is as small a thing as the rope with which a goat is tied."

He wrote open letters to all his opponents informing them that he is sending Khalid bin Waleed with an army and with the instructions to spare those who are prepared to obey him and to fight those who refuse to obey his orders. I have ordered him to kill all such men mercilessly and burn their bodies and make all the ladies and children slaves.

When Abu Bakr’s men began to harass the Muslims to recover zakat they protested and said, "Why are you killing us. We are Muslims, and believe in one Allah and that Mohammad (S.A.W) was His Prophet. We offer our regular prayers facing Kaaba and perform all the rites the Prophet had ordered us. We are only not paying zakat to Abu Bakr because we do not accept him as the heir of the Prophet which is not unIslamic." But Abu Bakr’s men did not listen to them and they not only killed them or arrested them and made them prisoners but confiscated all their property and wealth and took their ladies as slavegirls. When Umar became the Caliph he set free all such prisoners and slaves and returned their property and wealth. [Tareekhe Khamees, Vol. 2, Page 224] History has recorded some verses composed by the nongivers of taxes to Abu Bakr, "As long as the Prophet lived we obeyed him but who is this Abu Bakr to claim this right. What does he want that after his death the state should go to his children. By God this is a great calamity which will destroy us." [Tabari, Vol. 3, Page 213; Abu Bakr Siddique, Page 193].

Bilal the famous Moazzin of the Prophet (S.A.W) was so disgusted with the happening in Madina that he stopped giving Azan and left the city. Among the many non tax payers to Abu Bakr was one Maalik bin Novaira, a close friend of the Prophet (S.A.W). He was not only handsome and possessing a very good personality, but was also a brave soldier and a poet. He commanded great respect among his clan of Bani Haifa. They loved and respected him like a king. When Maalik came to the Prophet (S.A.W) to embrace Islam, his personality impressed the Prophet (S.A.W) so much that not only did he give Maalik the honour of his friendship but also authorized him to collect zakat from his tribe Bani Haifa on his behalf. So that Maalik may continue to enjoy the respect, status and honour of his men as he enjoyed before. [Tabaqate ibne Saad, Vol. 5, Page 80]

When Maalik learnt about the Prophet (S.A.W)’s death and Abu Bakr becoming his caliph he stopped taking zakat from his people and ordered them to preserve the money till the matter of caliphate is decided. As he himself did not accept Abu Bakr as the caliph of the Prophet (S.A.W). When Abu Bakr learnt about Maalik’s non acceptance of his caliphate he ordered Khalid bin Waleed to go and fight with him just as he had fought with other non tax payers. As Khalid had an eye on Maalik’s wife, who was very beautiful, he immediately went to Maalik’s village with an army and confronted him. Maalik like other non tax payer Muslims argued that he was the follower of Islam and believes in Allah and His Prophet (S.A.W). He offers Namaz and performs all other rites Allah has ordered except that he does not pay zakat to Abu Bakr because he does not consider him to be the Caliph of the Prophet (S.A.W). The non acceptance of Abu Bakr as the caliph of the Prophet (S.A.W) does not make him a sinner or a non Muslim. Why should he be punished for that. Abdullah ibn Umar and Abu Qatada who were present during the argument advised Khalid not to ill-treat Maalik or be harsh with him. But Khalid did not listen to them and ordered Zarar bin Azvar to kill Maalik.

Maalik protested and gave another alternative to Khalid, that he should be taken to Abu Bakr where he can discuss the matter with Abu Bakr. But Khalid did not agree to this and ordered Zarar to behead Maalik. As Zarar approached Maalik, Maalik turned to his wife who was standing behind him and said, "It is because of you that Khalid is murdering me." Zarar then beheaded Maalik in the presence of Abdullah bin Umar, Abu Qatada and some Ansars and Maalik’s wife. Khalid then ordered the head of Maalik to be burnt and a pot of food to be put on it for being cooked. As Malik’s hair were very beautiful Khalid ordered that the fire must be put to the hair first. Abdullah ibn Umar, Abu Qatada and the Ansar protested but to no avail. Khalid then took hold of Maalik’s wife and raped her, and took her as his mistress. Khalid then got all the men of Bani Haifa killed and their ladies were taken as prisoners and slaves. They were all brought to Madina and lodged in the Prophet (S.A.W)’s mosque. It was from these slaves that Ali (A.S.) took the hand of Khoola and made her his wife. Mohammad bin Hanafia was the third son of Ali (A.S.) from her.

As the news of the murder of Maalik and his tribe, and the rape of his wife by Khalid spread the Muslims became very angry and upset. But Abu Bakr was very happy over the tragedy, and he declared, "No other woman can produce such a brave person as Khalid’s mother." [Tabari, Vol. 4, Page 11] Umar who was very angry at the attitude of Abu Bakr shouted, "Stone Khalid to death, he has raped Maalik’s wife." Abu Bakr replied, "No, I cannot do that. Khalid must have erred in performing his duty." Umar: "Sack him atleast." Abu Bakr: "I cannot put this sword back in the sheath which Allah has pulled out on my opponents." [Tarikhe ibne Khallekaan, Vol. 5, Page 172. Tarikhe Tabari, Vol. 3, Page 241]

While Abu Bakr was busy beheading and burning the bodies of those Muslims who refused topay taxes to him, Ali (A.S.) was busy with:-

(1) fulfilling the wishes of the Prophet (S.A.W)

(2) declared that the Prophet (S.A.W) had willed him to pay his debts and to fulfill the promises the Prophet (S.A.W) had made to the people. He also took the responsibility of returning the valuables people had kept with the Prophet (S.A.W) for safe custody. He deputed men to go round the cities and announce that whosoever had given loan to the Prophet (S.A.W) or had kept his valuables with him for safe custody or any person to whom the Prophet (S.A.W) had made any promise should come to him. Ali (A.S.) will fulfill it whoever come with a claim to Ali (A.S.) was immediately satisfied. He was not asked to bring any proof or witness. Every year during Hajj the same announcement was made on behalf of Ali (A.S.) before the huge multitude of pilgrims. And his practice was continued even after his death, first by his son Hasan (A.S.) and after his death Ali (A.S.)’s second son Hussain of announcing at the Hajj till be was martyred.

When Abu Bakr saw that he can’t succeed by using force and the situation was fast getting out of control he changed his attitude towards the revolutionaries. He realised that the government which he formed at Saqifa in haste and under duress was not a true representative government and would not last long. He began to pay large sums and gifted properties to shut people’s mouth and buy them. Whoever claimed for anything was paid from the government treasury without any inquiry, whoever demanded was immediately given for no reasons the looted jewelry from the wars was distributed freely to buy the people. [Fathul Buldan Belaazari, Page 6) To drive the Muslims away from the Prophet (S.A.W)’s household he began to twist the religion in his favour and gave different perception by using guesswork to convince the new believers. The companions of Prophet (S.A.W) whom he found to be against Ali (A.S.) were given more importance than the family members of the Prophet (S.A.W) and their friends like Abu Zare Ghaffari, Salmane Farsi, Ammare Yasir, Miqdad and others. Thus a line was divided between the two groups. The group that supported Ali (A.S.) was degraded in the eyes of the people. When these acts were not found to be sufficient he diverted the attention of the Muslims by declaring war against the weaker governments of Rome and Persia and encouraging them to loot and plunder their wealth and property so that they may not look at their activities and criticise their misrule.

Therefore, the expedition of Osama bin Zaid was immediately ordered. Every Muslim was ordered to leave Madina soon under the command of Osama. When Umar and his friends advised Abu Bakr to change the leadership of Osama, Abu Bakr holding the beard of Umar said, "Your mother may weep on you, Allah may destroy you, you want me to do what the Prophet had himself done. The appointment of Osama was made by the Prophet and now you want me to change it." [Tabari, Vol. 3, Page 212]

The expedition of Osama left Madina with each and every Muslim except the companions of the Prophet (S.A.W) on the advice of Umar lest they may not incite the other Muslims residing outside Madina against them. When Zohair (a companion of the Prophet (S.A.W)) asked the permission to participate in the expedition of Osama. Umar replied, "I will not allow any of the companions of the Prophet to move out of Madina." [Ibne Abil Hadid, Vol. 4, Pg. 457] Even Aisha and other wives of the Prophet were not allowed to go for Hajj for the same reason. [Tabaqate Ibne Saad, Pg 205]