The month of Ramadan is the month in which the Quran was sent down,
a guidance for the people, and clear verses of guidance and criterion.
[Quran: Chapter 2:183]


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Ramadan Message 2008 - Day 23 (The Father of the Early)

“Lo! Those who believe and do good works and humble themselves before their Lord: such are rightful owners of the Garden; they will abide therein.”
(Quran 11 Verse 23)

Abu Bakr, meaning the father of the early, was so called for he was the first adult Male to accept Islam. He was also the first caliph (ruler of the Muslim community after the Prophet passed away). What were his contributions to Islam?

After he accepted Islam, he reached out to convert others, including Uthman who became the third caliph. Then he bought and set free, several slaves who had accepted Islam, including Bilal the most famous Black Muslim in Islamic history.

He was the largest financier of the Islamic State. On one occasion, the Prophet was raising funds for a particular jihad, and Umar was determined to do more than Abu Bakr this time around. So he divided his properties into two and brought a half of it to the Prophet. But when Abu Bakr came, he brought all his properties. The Prophet, in his amazement, asked, what have you left for your family? His response was, I left them Allah and His Messenger. Umar gave up thereafter.

When the Prophet died, people were mystified and perplexed. Even Umar was not composed. In his frenzy, he said: I shall cut off the head of whoever says the Prophet is dead, he is sleeping and would soon wake up, he is not dead.

Abu Bakr quelled the confusion. After seeing the body of the Prophet (pbuh), closed his eyes, kissed his forehead, went out and said: Whoever worshipped Muhammad, let him know that Muhammad is dead. Whoever worship Allah, Allah is Ever-Living, the Eternal and then recited Qur'an 39 Verse 30. Sanity and reality returned immediately.

Then the confusion arose as to where the Prophet will be buried. Some said Makkah, because that was where he was born. No! Madinah, because that is where he established his State. No! No!! No!!! Jerusalem because Angel Jubril took him there in one night, then he led all other Prophets in prayers and was elevated to the Heavens from there (the journey of Isra' and Miraj).

Abu Bakr resolved the issue by quoting just one hadith. He said he heard the Prophet said that Prophets are buried on the spot they die.

Then came another: who will succeed the Prophet? Is it the Helpers of Madina (Ansar), who are next since the Prophet was Makkan) or two caliphs (a Makkan and a Madinite).

Abu Bakr quoted a hadith, The Caliphate is for Quraysh (not just any Makkan). The people agreed. He volunteered Umar Al-Khattab, but they made him the caliph despite his refusal.

When he became the Caliph, he gave an important speech:

"O people, I was chosen to be the leader over you even though I am not the best from among you. If I am good and upright (in my leadership), then be of help to me. And if I go astray in my leadership then correct me. Truthfulness is a trust and lying is treachery. The weak person in my eyes is strong as I shall give him his rights, and the strong person in my eyes is weak because I shall take from him and give to the oppressed. Never do a people abandon jihad, Allah cause to descend upon them ignominy and disgrace. Anytime promiscuity (illegal sexual affairs) is allowed to spread among a people, Allah cause to descend on them calamity and disaster. Obey me as long as I obey Allah. But if I disobey Allah or his messenger then you owe me no obedience."

How wonderful will this world be if leaders are this pious, just and humble?

More importantly, these are a few of the contributions of Abu Bakr to Islam, what will yours be? What will you do for Islam? Make that answer your Ramadan Resolution, share it with no one, but live up to it sincerely, your will be rewarded for your intention and efforts.


Special Ramadan Series

Dear Reader, Assalaamu’alaikum.

Ramadan Mubarak. We wish you a blessed and productive Ramadan! Make no mistake about it - keeping the fast and increasing our acts of worship during this blessed month is not an easy task. The physical demands of balancing work or school with fasting all day, feeling fatigued and less effective than you normally are, waking up for Suhoor, praying Teraweeh and Tahajjud prayers, dealing with sleep deficits.

But the last thing we would want is to let Ramadan pass us by without doing all that we aim and desire to. Do not allow yourself to feel guilty or regretful when Ramadan passes.

The Ramadan Series will send you emails with practical tips on how to gain and maintain the physical and spiritual energy necessary to embark on increased religious oligations so that you will reap the benefits from this blessed month. This includes special Ramadan duas to say during the month. Do sign-up today!

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