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ABU BAKR

Encyclopaedia of Ismailism by Mumtaz Ali Tajddin

Abu Bakr, the son of Abu Qahafa was born in the Qoraish family. When he was born he was taken to the Kaba, dedicated to the gods, and named Abdul Kaba. In his early age, he liked to play with the young camels, which earned him the surname of Abu Bakr, i.e., the father of the foal of the camel. He did not receive any formal education. At the age of 18 years, he adopted the profession of a cloth merchant, which was his family business, and came to be recognized as one of the richest merchants of Mecca. He was first among the elders to accept Islam in Mecca. Many slaves including Bilal who were persecuted and tortured by their masters were purchased and set free by Abu Bakr. He accompanied the Prophet at the time of migration.

Immediately after the death of the Prophet, the Ansars and Muhajirin elected him as the first caliph at Saqifa Banu Sa'd at the age of 60 years. He was confronted with many challenges at the most crucial and critical moment. Disunity among the Muslims, rising of the false prophets and refusal to pay zakat by some tribes had threatened the existence of the young Islamic state. He took field against them. In 632 A.D., the Muslim army inflicted defeat on the tribes, who finally agreed to pay zakat. Without any delay, Abu Bakr launched a campaign against the false prophets, such as Aswad Ansi, Tulayha, Musailma and Sajjah. He collected the troops at Medina and divided them into eleven battalions. So war was waged against them, and within a year, the control of Islam was re-established throughout the peninsula. Abu Bakr also launched successful campaigns against Bahrain, Oman, Mahrah, Yamen, Hazarmaut, eastern Iraq, Mazar, Hira, western Iraq, Syria and Basra. He died in Medina in 13/634 at the age of 63 years. His rule of caliphate lasted for 2 years, 3 months and 10 days.

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