There is no disagreement over the fact that both Abu Bakr and Umar were crushed by the Ahl al-Bayt and were amongst the ones that apostatized. However, my question is: since these two men were so bad, why did they then adopt Islam in the first place? And as you know, when Islam first emerged as a religion, it was weak and lacked real strength and power.
In the Name of Allah, the All-Beneficent, the All-Merciful.
May Allah bless Muhammad and his Family and damn their enemies.
The Sheikh has replied to that question during a series of lectures he has held entitled ‘How was Islam corrupted?’ during which he said that they accepted Islam out of greed after they had heard from Jewish and Christian priests that a Prophet named ‘Mohammad’ (may Allah’s blessings be upon him and his family) shall appear in Mecca, having such-and-such characteristics and that he is going to overcome the Arab and the Persians alike. Hence, they accepted Islam out of greed in the hope that they may succeed him in leadership and possess lands.
This is the answer given by our Leader, the Imam, the Master of the Age (may peace be upon him) when this question was asked. He said:
They accepted Islam out of greed, and that is because they used to accompany the Jews and were told of the emergence of Mohammad (may Allah’s blessings be upon him and his family) and his prevail over the Arabs from the Torah, and the Holy Books, and the epics of the story of Mohammad (may Allah’s blessings be upon him and his family). They (the Jews) used to tell them: his dominion over the Arabs is similar to the dominion of Nebuchadnezzar over the Sons of Israel, except that he (Mohammad) claims to be a prophet, however, he(Nebuchadnezzar) is no prophet at all. Thereupon, when the matter of Allah’s Messenger became apparent, they assisted him on the testimony of ‘There is no god but Allah, and Mohammad is the Messenger of Allah’ out of greed in hope that they might possess leadership over a certain piece of land through his leadership if his matter turns out to become well-ordered, his condition becomes good and his rule becomes upright.
Al-Ihtijaj, by Al-Tabarsi, volume 2, page 275
Moreover, the Sheikh has said the following in a previous reply to another question:
If they (‘Sunnis’) doubt in the fact that Abu Bakr was in contact with Jewish and Christian priests because such a thing is narrated in our sources, we bring to them the following evidence from their sources, in which they narrate that Abu Bakr was travelling with a trade convoy – in which the Messenger of Allah (may Allah’s blessings be upon him and his family) was present – towards the Levant. As soon as it stopped, the Prophet sat beneath the shadow of a palm tree, and Abu Bakr went to a priest to ask him about religion, upon which the priest asked him:
Who is that man in the shadow of the palm tree?’ Abu Bakr said: ‘That is Mohammad, son of Abdullah, son of Abdul-Muttalib.’ Thereupon the priest said: ‘By Allah, he is a Prophet! No one has taken refuge in its shadow after Jesus, son of Mary, except for Mohammad, the Prophet of Allah!’ Upon then, certainty and faith fell into the heart of Abu Bakr. And when the Messenger of Allah was given Prophethood while he was forty years old, and Abu Bakr was thirty-eight years old, he accepted Islam and believed in the Messenger of Allah.
Asbab-ul-Nuzoul, by Al-Wahidi al-Nisabouri, page 255, and Kanz-ul-Ummal, by Al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, volume 12, page 506, and many others
You may watch the series entitled ‘How was Islam corrupted?’.
The Office of Sheikh al-Habib