Abu Bakr was a man of many distinctions. A study of his life reveals that in many respects he had the unique distinction of being the first or the topmost person. Hereunder we attempt to catalogue the main distinctions of Abu Bakr.
Acceptance of Islam. Outside the family of the Holy Prophet, Abu Bakr was the first person to accept Islam. While other persons always indulged in some argument in accepting Islam. Abu Bakr was the only person who accepted Islam without any reluctance or hesitation and without any argument.
Liberation of slaves. He was the first person to liberate slaves in the way of God.
First public address. When God ordered that the teachings of Islam should be made public, the first public address calling the people to God and His Prophet was delivered by Abu Bakr.
The first mosque. Abu Bakr was the first person to build a mosque in the history of Islam.
His titles. He had the unique distinction of being given the titles of ‘Siddiq’ and ‘Atiq’ by the Holy Prophet.
Companionship of the Holy Prophet. Of all the companions, Abu Bakr was the closest and the dearest to the Holy Prophet. He had the unique distinction of being the companion of the Holy Prophet in the cave in Mt. Thaur on the occasion of the Holy Prophet’s migration from Makkah to Madina.
Masjid-i-Nabvi. The land for Masjid-i-Nabvi at Madina was purchased with the money of Abu Bakr.
Wealth of Abu Bakr. When Abu Bakr accepted Islam, he had 40,000 dirhams with him. He spent the whole of this amount in the cause of Islam. The Holy Prophet acknowledged that he had utilized the wealth of Abu Bakr more than the wealth of any other person. When the Holy Prophet invited contributions to finance the Tabuk expedition, Abu Bakr had the unique distinction of contributing all that he had.
The Holy Prophet’s regard for Abu Bakr. The Holy Prophet was pleased to appoint Abu Bakr as the first “Amirul Hajj” in the history of Islam. Abu Bakr had the distinction to be appointed as the Imam to lead the prayers in the lifetime of the Holy Prophet. In his last address at Masjid-i-Nabvi, the Holy Prophet ordered that all doors opening into the mosque should be closed except the door leading to the house of Abu Bakr.
Caliphate. Abu Bakr had the distinction of being the first Caliph in the history of Islam. He was the first Caliph to nominate a successor. He was the only Caliph in the history of Islam who refunded to the state treasury at the time of his death the entire amount of the allowance that he had drawn during the period of his caliphate.
As a ruler. He was the first Muslim ruler to establish Baitul Mal. He was the first Muslim ruler to establish crown pasture. He was the first Muslim ruler to establish ‘Ijtihad’.
His virtues. In the matter of virtue, Abu Bakr excelled all other companions of the Holy Prophet.
Fiqh and Tasawuff. He is the Father of Fiqh. He is the Imam of Sufis. After the Holy Prophet, he was the best interpreter of dreams.
Companionship of the Holy Prophet. Abu Bakr had the distinction of being the closest and the dearest companion of the Holy Prophet. Four generations of the family of Abu Bakr had the distinction of being the companions of the Holy Prophet, namely Abu Qahafa the father of Abu Bakr, Abu Bakr himself, Abdul Rahman the son of Abu Bakr, and Abu Atiq Muhammad, a grandson of Abu Bakr. No other family had such distinction. Abu Bakr was the only ruler who became the Caliph during the lifetime of his father.
Conquests. When after the death of the Holy Prophet, most of the tribes of Arabia apostatized, it was Abu Bakr who reconquered Arabia for Islam. He was the first Muslim ruler to conquer Iraq. He was the first Muslim ruler to conquer Syria.
Compilation of the Holy Quran. He was the first person to compile the Holy Quran and called it “Mashaf”.
After death. After death, Abu Bakr had the distinction of being buried by the side of the Holy Prophet.