The followers of Umar always pose this claim of the alleged greatness of Abu Bakr is the first to submit to Islam after the Commander of the Believers and Khadija. Is this saying authentic? Was Abu Bakr older than the Commander of the Believers at that time? If he was not first to submit, then what is the truth behind who was first to submit to Islam. What do the followers of Umar say about this?
In the Name of Allah, the All-Beneficent, the All-Merciful.
May Allah bless Muhammad and his Family and damn their enemies.
The claim that is posed that Abu Bakr (may the curses of Allah be upon him) was the first man to submit to the message of Islam after the Commander of the Believers (peace be upon him) and Khadija (peace be upon her) is from the lies that were coined by the organizers of Saqifa and their followers. There were many witnesses in the books of history that show us the opposite, that Abu Bakr did not submit to Islam until a little while before the Hijra of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his pure family). On top of this, we witness that there were more than 50 men that had accepted Islam before him.From these witnesses, is what was narrated by al-Tabari from Muhammad, son of Sa’d, son of Abi Waq’as, who said
I said to my father: ‘Was Abu Bakr the first who had submitted to the message of Islam?’ His father answered: ‘No … but more than 50 men had accepted Islam before him.
Tarikh al-Tabari, Volume 2, Page 60; Al-Bidaya wa al-Niyaha, Volume 3, Page 28
Others as well, such as al-Tabarani, narrated that
Abu Bakr accepted Islam only after witnessing the miracle of the Isra’ and Miraj of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him and his pure family).
al-Mo’jam al-Kabeer, by al-Tabarani, Volume 24, Page 434; Majm’a al-Zawa’id, Volume 1, Page 76; Al-Seera al-Halabeya, Volume 1, Page 273
This event in itself occurred a year and a half (according to their sources) before the migration of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his pure family). According to them, this is when he (i.e. Abu Bakr) was named from this day as ‘Al-Sidiq’Another witness to this event is what his daughter Aisha (may the curses of Allah be upon her) had claimed, that her father was not the first to submit to the message of Islam, but rather was the fourth individual, as she said when she was standing in the city of Basra
My father is the fourth one of the first four that had submitted to the message of Islam.
Al-’Awa’il, by Abi Hilal al-Askari, Page 98
Al-Thahabi had also narrated a similar narration on the authority of al-Hassan, son of Zaid
Ali was the first Muslim from the children after he was Zaid, son of Harith, then Ja’far, son of Abi Talib, and Abu Bakr were either the fourth or fifth.
Serat ‘Alaam al-Nobala, Volume 1, Page 216
As you can see, the witnesses to this matter are many, plus, there are several others. There is no question about it that these ascribed lies and fantasies that they have drawn up are for the sole purpose of lowering the status of our Imam, the Commander of the Believers (peace be upon him), so they had to ascribe these lies to Abu Bakr. The truth is presented, and it is rejected only by those who have locked the truths from their hearts and closed their eyes – such as Ibn Kathir, Ibn Taimya, and others (may the curses of Allah be upon them) – even when the narrations of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his pure family) have been made clear to us.Looking at the narrations of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his pure family), such as this one where he (peace be upon him and his pure family) says to his daughter, Fatima (peace be upon her), that has been narrated by their Imam, son of Hanbal
Your husband is the oldest (as in a time frame) Muslim in my nation
Musnad Ahmad, son of Hanbal, Volume 5, Page 662
If one researches the history you will find that many came into Islam after Imam Ali (peace be upon him) and Khadija (peace be upon her), such as; Ja’far, son of Abi Talib (peace be upon him), Zaid, son of Harith, Mus’ab, son of ‘Umar, Bilal, son of Rabah, Ammar, son of Yassir (and his parents), Abu Dhar al-Ghifari, Abdillah son of Mas’ood, and others. Let us say, for the sake of arguments, that Abu Bakr was the ‘first’ who submitted to Islam after Imam Ali (peace be upon him) and Khadija (peace be upon her). This does not pose any sort of speciality, or status, to who deserves the caliphate. The Islamic Law has not told, nor spoken to us of the matter of being noble and deserving of something only because one has been the foremost. Islam tells us that:
Indeed, the noblest of you in the Sight of Allah is the most righteous of you.
Quran, Surat al-Hujurat, Verse 14
This is what Allah, the Most Exalted, has said in the Holy Qur’an regarding the noblest, he is putting it with righteousness. Even if Abu Bakr (may the curses of Allah be upon Him) did submit to Islam at an early stage, he still did not have a clean heart. Rather, he was a person who only pursued his worldly desires and wanted to grasp the caliphate for himself. He used to always have regular gatherings with Jewish and Christian priests who related to him prophecies of an upcoming Prophet whose name shall be Mohammad and who will be the dominating ruler in the upcoming years.It was for this reason that Abu Bakr and Umar (may Allah’s curse be upon them both) from that day forward took advantage of this. Furthermore, our Imam al-Mahdi (may Allah hasten his reappearance) has clearly shown us the truth when he (peace be upon him) said:
They (Umar and Abu Bakr) accepted Islam out of greed.
Al-Ihtijaaj Al-Tabrasi, Volume 2, Page 275
They used to associate with the Jews and they would inform them at every instance when Muhammad (peace be upon him and his pure family) would go out and how he would prevail over the Arabs and confiscate the Torah and the Gospel. They would tell them stories, such as that he would take over the Arab nation, as an eagle would hunt its prey, in the same manner, that the nation of the Sons of Israel was taken; and that he claims to be a Prophet, but that nothing about him pertains to Prophethood. Therefore, when the Message came to the Holy Prophet, out of their greed and worldly desires, they played along with it, by claiming to testify that there is ‘No God but Allah and that Muhammad is His Messenger’. They found that by using the title of a so-called allegiance they could come closer to gaining power and not upset the Prophet. This is what they did Now, if they are to question that Abu Bakr used to gather with the Jews who told him about the Prophet (peace be upon him and his pure family), and come to the conclusion that this is only in our sources, then, we will show them the fact from their sources. It has been narrated that Abu Bakr was part of a moving caravan – among whom was the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him and his pure family) – close to the Levant. When the caravan stopped, the Prophet sat under the shade of a tree. Abu Bakr then went to a Christian priest to talk to him about religion, when the priest asked: Who is the one who is sitting under the shade of the tree?’ Abu Bakr responded: ‘That is Muhammad, son of Abdillah, son of Abdul Muttalib.’ The Priest then said: I would never take refuge and acceptance under anyone after Jesus, son of Mary, but Muhammad, the Prophet of God.’ The prophecy of the priest made a great impression in Abu Bakr, and his heart came at peace. When Muhammad had received the Message of Islam and was at the age of 40, and Abu Bakr was at the age of 38, he accepted Islam.
I Swear to God, he will be a Prophet
Asbaab al-Nuzool, by Al-Wahadi Al-Nesaboori, Page 255; Kanz al-Ummal, Volume 12, Page 506
Therefore, the argument that has always been used that Abu Bakr accepted Islam before Imam Ali (peace be upon him) and that he possesses a high status because of this is more deserving to be the successor, is a claim and argument that only an ignorant and of someone whose mind cannot comprehend reality. Even if Abu Bakr was older than the Commander of the Believers (peace be upon him), age does not play a factor in being superior in rank. If age was truly a factor, then Abu Bakr’s father – Abu Quhayfa – would have been a better choice then Abu Bakr. The age of an individual does not affect matters of leadership. We say, regarding the appointing of a successor, that it is from Allah, the Most Exalted, and that He has the best choice, even if the one appointed would be a child. There was none more deserving than Imam Ali (peace be upon him). Can anyone measure him in knowledge, justice, judgment, high status, forerunning to Islam, and the best of merits? Now, how do the likes of Abu Bakr and Umar come before him when they were the lowest of the people?In conclusion, we have the blessed narrations from the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his pure family) that have come to us from many, that show us that the rightfully chosen successor was the Commander of the Believers (peace be upon him). There is no room for these false lies and fantasies that have been fed into the minds of many about the caliphate of Abu Bakr (may the curses of Allah be upon him). This caliphate that was taken out of wordily desires, greed and hatred and had twisted the message of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him and his pure family).
The Office of Sheikh al-Habib