Abu Bakr rA wasn’t just a vanguard in embracing Islam, but he was also the most generous in spending his wealth for the benefit of Islam. He was so generous that Allah SWT had to honor it in a revelation solely describing how he bestowed his wealth at the service of Islam. Allah SWT said “Who gives his wealth in self-purification. And no one has done a favor to him, for which he should be compensated” (92:19-20), that was Abu Bakr! “He desires only to please his Lord, the Supreme. And indeed, soon he will be very pleased” (92:19-21), that was indeed Abu Bakr rA!
Furthermore, the prophet SAW left us an authentic Hadith, not about prayer nor fasting, but to document Abu Bakr’s generosity on Islam. He SAW said “No wealth ever benefited me as did the wealth of Abu Bakr. Abu Bakr wept and said: Are I and my wealth for any but you, Messenger of Allah?” [Ahmad]. So let it be very clear that no one ever spent more money to free slaves who were being tortured in Mecca for the sake of Allah than Abu Bakr Al-Siddik. And let it be very clear that no one ever spent more money on arming the believers than Abu Bakr Al-Siddik; that’s why no one whosoever will outdo him!
One day Umar thought that he’d outdo Abu Bakr by giving half his wealth in charity, only to discover later on that Abu Bakr had give all his. And when the prophet SAW asked Abu Bakr “what have you left for your family? He said: I have left for them Allah and His Messenger”[Tirmidhi]. This is when Umar rA finally admitted “‘I will never ever outdo him (Abu Bakr) in anything” [Tirmidhi], and this is the plain truth.
Actually, Abu Bakr rA has done so much for Islam that he couldn’t be rewarded in this life, but rather on the Day of Judgement! The prophet SAW said “We have never been under obligation to anyone but that we have repaid him, except for Abu Bakr, for he has put obligations on us which Allah will repay him for on the Day of Rising. No wealth has ever benefited me as that of Abu Bakr” [Tirmidhi].
Right after the prophet’s death, it was Abu Bakr’s knowledge that saved Islam from a disastrous outcome as people refused to pay their Zakah, and this is when he uttered his famous words “By Allah, I will fight whoever distinguishes between Salah and Zakah. By Allah, if they refuse me as much as the halter of a camel which they used to pay to the Messenger of Allah SAW I will fight them over their refusal” [Bukhari & Muslim].
When Ibn Umar rA was asked: Who used to give fatwa for people at the time of the prophet SAW, he gave two names: Abu Bakr and Umar rA. Actually, Abu Bakr rA wasn’t just knowledgeable in the matters of Deen, but he was also of sharp intelligence. When the prophet SAW informed the companions that “Allah SWT has given a slave the choice between the world and that which is with Him. That slave has chosen that which is with Allah” [Bukhari & Muslim], who was the only one to understand the message? None other than Abu Bakr! Abu Bakr wept and said” We would ransom you with our fathers and mothers” [Bukhari & Muslim], because he knew the prophet meant himself.
No wonder the prophet SAW made it crystal clear that “It is not fitting for a people among whom is Abu Bakr that another than him should lead them”[Tirmidhi].
To be resumed inshaa Allah in Part 3…