Fruits for the Week

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1. Abu Bakr al-Siddiq (D 13AH)

He is Abu Bakr ibn Abi Quhafah al-Siddiq (ra). It is said that his name is ‘Atiq. He was born two years and some months after the birth of the Prophet (saw) in Makkah. Abu Bakr was fair, slender; slightly bent backed and had a slender face with large hollow eyes. His forehead protruded slightly, and he dyed his hair with henna mixed katm (a reddish black dye). 

He was one of the wealthy people of Makkah. One of the ten promised paradise, the closest friend of the Prophet (saw) before and after Islam, his companion in the cave, the greatest of all the companions and the first Khalifah of the Messenger (saw). He suppressed the apostasy of the Arabs after the Prophet’s death, re-established the rule of Islam over Arabia, and had the Qur’an collected. He is known for his profound knowledge of the Qur’an and hadith, and for insight into fiqh. He was a distinguished scholar of Qurayshi descent. He died in Jumadal Ula, in the year 13H (634 C.E) and he was of sixty three years. His khilafah lasted for two and a half year and three months.

2 Umar ibn Al-Khattab (D 23AH)

He is Abu Hafs Umar ibn Al-Khattab Ibn Nufayl Ibn Abdul Uzza Ibn Riyah Ibn Abdullah Ibn Qarat Ibn Razah Ibn ‘Adiyy Ibn Ka’ab Al-Qurashi Al-‘Adawi (ra) was the greatest companion of the Prophet (saw) after Abu Bakr. Umar embraced Islam after the Prophet (saw) prayed that Islam be strengthened by one of the two Umars. He was fair in complexion, bald, thick-bearded, and he was tall.

When he walked, people said he appeared to be riding, his bear hair was long and grey at the ends. He succeeded Abu Bakr as khalifah, defeated the Persian and Roman empires, extended the rule of Islam from Iran to Egypt, and carved out the institutions of the new government and society. He is known for his profound knowledge of the Qur’an and Hadith, and for insight into fiqh. He was also called Al-Faruq (the discerner between truth and falsehood), was the first to bear the title ‘Commander of the Faithful’. He was also known for his justice, fairness and compassion; to personally feed and clothe the poor. He established the paying of salaries to public offices. He was one of the ten companions promised paradise.

He became a martyr in Dhul-Hijjah of the year 23 H (644 C.E) and he was of sixty three years. His khilafah lasted for ten and a half years.

  1. 3. Uthman Ibn Affan (D. 35 AH)

Dhu an-Nurayn ‘Uthman Ibn Affan Ibn Abu al’Ash Ibn Umayyah Al-Qurashi Al-Amawi (ra), the third Rightly Guided Khalifah and one of the ten promised paradise. He was neither tall nor short; he was handsome with wheat-coloured hair and thick healthy bear. 

He was big boned and wide shouldered. He was known to dye his beard yellow, and he had heavy hair with a thick growth of hair behind his ears. He was known for his generosity and freely giving in the way of Allah. He spent a great deal of his wealth and time in the service of Islam. He purchased the well of al-Ruma which belonged to a Jew for twenty thousand dirhams and donated it for the use of all Muslims. On the occasion of Tabuk, when the Muslims were undergoing severe hardship, Uthman outfitted the jaishul ‘usrah (army of hardship) by donating three hundred camels (with their equipment) and one thousand gold dinars.

Once during the khilafah of Abu Bakr, there was a severe drought. He presented one thousand camels laden with grains and distributed it to the poor. He was married to two daughters of the Prophet (saw), Ruqayyah and after her death, Ummu Kulthum. At Hudaybiyah, the Prophet (saw) appointed him as his ambassador to the Quraysh. When the rumour went round that Uthman had been killed by the Quraysh, the Prophet (saw) took the pledge (bay’atur ridwan) of the companions that they would fight till the end.

On the occasion, the Prophet (saw) lifted his own right hand and said,’ This is the hand of Uthman’, and then placed it into his left hand saying that he was making the pledge of behalf of Uthman. In his khilafah, many lands were added to the dominion of Islam from North Africa to Europe. As soon as these countries were conquered, effective measures were set in place for the development of their material resources. Water-courses were dug, roads made, fruit trees planted, and security given to trade by the establishment of a regular police organization. While the insurgents had besieged him in Madinah, he calmly bade the people of Madinah to go back to their homes since he did not want to fight or allow the blood of any Muslim to be shed for him. He died reciting the Qur’an at the hands of the rebels and was martyred in the year 35 H (656 C.E.) at the age eighty two years old. His khilafah almost lasted twelve years.

(To be continued)

Prepared by Abdul Muhaemin Karim