Abu Bakr, who assumed the caliphate, or political rule of the Islamic state
Compiled By: Syed Ali Shahbaz
On 22nd of the Islamic month of Jamadi as-Sani in 13 AH, Abu Bakr, who assumed the caliphate, or political rule of the Islamic state, following the passing away of the Almighty's Last Messenger, Prophet Mohammad (SAWA), died at the age of 63, after a rule of 2 years, three months and 22 days.
His name was Abdullah, the son of Osman ibn Amer of the Tamimi clan of the Qureish. He is said to have given up idolatry and become a Muslim in the early days of the Prophet's public proclamation of the divine mission, well after the initial private invitation to the near relatives.
He found himself propelled to the caliphate at the dubious gathering of Saqifa Bani Sa'dah, where following a heated dispute and a fistfight among the Mohajer and Ansar as to who should be the caliph, his friend Omar ibn Khattab suddenly pulled his hand and proclaimed him caliph. This action created the greatest discord in the Islamic ummah, the scars of which are still evident on the body politic of the Muslim World.
Many of the Prophet's companions questioned Abu Bakr's credentials in the absence of any ayah of the holy Qur'an or a statement from the Prophet in his favour. Most of them vividly remembered that only two months and ten days earlier on 18th Zilhijja, 10 AH, while returning from his Farewell Hajj pilgrimage, the Prophet had halted at Ghadeer-Khum on God's express commandment to proclaim as vicegerent his dear cousin and son-in-law, Imam Ali ibn Abi Taleb (AS), regarding whose prime position in Islam and his God-given merits, God's Messenger had always emphasized upon.
It is also an undeniable fact of Islamic history, as found in all reliable texts, the Prophet's daughter, Hazrat Fatema Zahra (SA), strongly protested the usurpation of the political right of her husband in an eloquently moving sermon, but sadly she became the target of the wrath of the new regime, which in a bid to force Imam Ali (AS) to swear allegiance to Abu Bakr, stormed her house with fire and crowbars and smashed upon her the door – as a result of which she suffered miscarriage, broken ribs, and eventual martyrdom. In short, before his death, Abu Bakr made a will in favour of his friend, Omar ibn Khattab, as the next caliph, ignoring the protests of several companions of the Prophet, such as Talha ibn Obaidollah.