History of Islamic Civilization/The Formative Period of Islam
History of Islamic Civilization
Sayyiduna Abu Bakr real name was Abdullah, and he was given the title of "As Siddique" or"Testifier to the Truth." His father, 'Uthman, was known as Abu Quhafah and his mother, Salma, was known as Ummul Khair. He was two and a half years younger than Sayyiduna Rasulullah. He was the first among the Sahaba to accept Islam.When he told that one to his family his son Sayyiduna Abdur Rahman did not accept him later on. He opposed him and separated away from him but Sayyiduna Abu Bakr did not leave his faith. Sayyiduna Abu Bakr was the first person who used to call people openly toward faith so all the Quraysh people hate them because of that he lost his business and became poor. When Sayyiduna Abu Bakr own clan people hated him and tortured by them he went to Ethiopia. There he meet Ibn al Dhugna by his help he came back to Mecca later on Sayyiduna Rasulullah married Sayyiduna Abu Bakr daughter Aiysha siddiqua. Sayyiduna Abu Bakr accompanied Sayyiduna Rasulullah during the Hijrah to Madinatul Munawwarah. Sayyiduna Abu Bakr was a merchant. He freed many slaves, including Sayyiduna Bilal and Sayyiduna Umayyah bin Qahaf. He participated in all the battles in which Sayyiduna Rasulullah had to fight the Kuffar.
Sayyiduna Abu Bakr loved his faith more than anything else. At the Battle of Badr, his son, Sayyiduna Abdur Rahman, was fighting on the side of the Kuffar. After accepting Islam, Sayyiduna Abdur Rahman said to his father, "O Father, at Badr, you were twice under my sword, but my love for you held my hand back." To this, Sayyiduna Abu Bakr replied, "Son, if I had you only once under my sword, you would have been no more." He was so uncompromising in his faith.
At the time of the Battle of Tabuk, he donated all his wealth to the war effort, and when Sayyiduna Rasulullah asked him, "What have you left for your family,?" he replied, "Allah and His Rasool."
AS A CALIPH
It is very strange that the successors of all the Prophets were selected by almighty Allah but in case of the last Prophet Sayyiduna Rasulullah it was elected by a bunch of aristocrat Arabians[when all the other faithful followers were busy in the tadfeen (burial) of Rasulalla].....during a secret meeting at a thatched hut in Suqaifa.....and subsequently since sayyiduna Abu Bakr, was the oldest among all others who attended that clandestine meeting,he was elected as the Caliph.
After his election as the Caliph, Sayyiduna Abu Bakr addressed the Muslims with these words: "O People! I have been chosen by you as your leader, although I am no better than any of you. If I do any wrong, set me right. Listen, truth is honesty and untruth is dishonesty. The weak among you are the powerful in my eyes, as long as I do not give them their dues. The powerful among you are weak in my eyes, as long as I do not take away from them what is due to others.
"Listen carefully, if people give up striving for the Cause of Almighty Allah, He will send down disgrace upon them. If people become evil-doers, Almighty Allah will send down calamities upon them.
"Obey me as long as I obey Allah and His Rasul. If I disobey Allah and His Rasul, you are free to disobey me."
Such was the first Caliph of Islam. Indeed, the world would be a better place to live in, if we had leaders like Sayyiduna Abu Bakr.
Sayyiduna Abu Bakr now sent Sayyiduna Usaman on the expedition to Syria to fight the Romans, even though he had to attend to all the internal problems of the Islamic State.
The news that Sayyiduna Rasulullah had passed away, made some new Muslims think that the Islamic State would crumble and they refused to pay the Zakaah. These new Muslims could not yet get used to their faith and its requirements until then. Sayyiduna Abu Bakr declared, "By Allah! Even if a single thread is due from a man, he must give it. If he refuses, I will declare war against him."
RENEGADES AND IMPOSTERS
Some others became imposters and renegades. Tulaiha, Musailimah, Aswad Ansi and a woman named Sajah claimed that they were prophets and caused a great deal of confusion. Sayyiduna Abu Bakr was quick to take action against these imposters. Sayyiduna Khalid bin Walid was sent to deal with Tulaiha who fled to Syria and later became a Muslim. Maalik bin Nuwarah was killed. Sayyiduna Ikramah and Sayyiduna Surahbil were sent to take action against Musailimah, but they were defeated. Sayyiduna Abu Bakr sent Sayyiduna Khalid bin Walid to tackle the notorious Musailamah who married Sajah. In the fight that followed, Sayyiduna Wahshi killed Musailamah. Musailamah and Aswad Ansi also claimed to be prophets while Sayyiduna Rasulullah was alive. Aswad was killed by the Muslims of Yemen.
Sayyiduna Abu Bakr swift and bold steps saved the Islamic State from the serious danger of chaos and confusion. He could now attend to other urgent problems.
ERA OF CONQUESTS
During his Khilaafat, Sayyiduna Abu Bakr had to take action against the Iranian Empire. The Emperor of Iran, Khusrou Parvez, was killed by his son, Shirooya, and the whole empire fell into chaos and disorder. Hurmuz, the Persian governor of Iraq, was very hostile to the Arabs and he was also cruel to the Muslims living in that area. Sayyiduna Abu Bakr sent Sayyiduna Muthamia to take action against the Iranians in Iraq. His forces were not enough and Sayyiduna Khalid bin Walid was then sent with reinforcements. The Muslim army captured vast areas of the Iranian Empire in several battles.
Sayyiduna Abu Bakr then turned his attention to the Romans who were causing trouble in the North-West frontier. Sayyiduna Abu Bakr sent 4 separate armies under Sayyiduna Ubaidah bin Jarrah, Sayyiduna Amr Ibnul As, Sayyiduna Yazid bin Abu Sufyaan and Sayyiduna Surahbil bin Hasnal to deal with the Roman power.
The four armies joined into one unit to face the Romans more effectively. The Romans had amassed 150 000 soldiers, but the total Muslim army was only 24 000. Reinforcements were requested. Sayyiduna Abu Bakr asked Sayyiduna Khalid bin Walid to take charge of the Iraqi front and Sayyiduna Muthanna to rush to the Syrian front to help fight the huge Roman army. The armies met in Yarmuk after Sayyiduna Abu Bakr passed away. In this battle, the Romans were totally defeated.
Sayyiduna Abu Bakr fell ill at this time and passed away on the 21st of Jamadi-ul-Aakhir 13 A.H. (22 August 634). His rule lasted 2 years and 3 months. He was 63 years old. One of the many contributions of Sayyiduna Abu Bakr was the collection and compilation of the Holy Quran.
He lived a very simple, pious and upright life. He was a true servant of Almighty Allah and a meticulous follower of Sayyiduna Rasulullah. He wore ordinary clothes and his meals were very simple. He attended to house-hold work and would go out at night and seek the poor and destitute. Humility and modesty were the keynotes of his character. He felt embarrassed when people showered praises on him or showed him immense respect. He often fasted during the day and spent the whole night in Salaah and meditation. He was a great orator and a master of genealogy (one who can trace a person's family line). In personal life, he was a Saint. He used all his powers to promote the interest of Islam and the good of people.
Hazrat Umar Farooq (Radi Allah Unho)
Before he passed away, Sayyiduna Abu Bakr (radi Allahu anhu) consulted the senior Sahaba and elected Sayyiduna Umar (radi Allahu anhu) as the second Caliph of the Muslims. His election was partially democratic....contrary to the selection process,as it was with the prophets and their successors....the prophets and their successors were selected by almighty Allah but Umar's, Bakr's and uthmam's caliphate were bi-partisan election by a bunch of Arabian aristocrats.
He was the son of Khattab and is famous in Islamic history as "Al Farooq" or "One who Distinguishes between Right and Wrong." His acceptance of Islam is also very famous.
AS A CALIPH
Sayyiduna Umar (radi Allahu anhu) was a very brave and straight-forward person. He was tough and uncompromising in Islamic principles. He was a great and talented ruler. During his Khilaafat, vast areas of the Roman and Persian empires and the whole of Egypt were brought under Islamic rule. He was also a gifted orator. He was very concerned for the welfare of the Muslims. He left a honourable legacy for Muslims after him. The Holy Quran was given to him by Sayyiduna Abu Bakr (radi Allahu anhu) for safe-keeping.
APPOINTS NEW COMMANDER
Sayyiduna Umar (radi Allahu anu) was a strong disciplinarian. He noticed the tremendous popularity of Sayyiduna Khalid bin Walid (radi Allahu anhu). He felt that people will lose trust in Almighty Allah and put all their trust in Sayyiduna Khalid bin Walid (radi Allahu anhu). He feared that the people may think too highly of him, thereby possibly increasing the self-esteem of Sayyiduna Khalid bin Walid (radi Allahu anhu) which would also breed arrogance, so he removed Sayyiduna Khalid (radi Allahu anhu) and appointed Sayyiduna Abu Ubaidah bin Jarrah (radi Allahu anhu) as the Commander in Chief of the Muslim army. Sayyiduna Khalid bin Walid (radi Allahu anhu) happily accepted the orders of Sayyiduna Umar (radi Allahu anhu) and then served as an ordinary soldier. This is an example of the Islamic teachings of obedience to leadership!
DEFEAT OF THE PERSIANS
Sayyiduna Khalid bin Walid (radi Allahu anhu) had left Sayyiduna Muthanna (radi Allahu anhu) in command of the Muslim forces on the Iraqi front when he rushed to Yarmuk. Sayyiduna Muthanna (radi Allahu anhu) was finding it difficult to counter the enemy and went personally to Madinatul Munawwarah to ask Sayyiduna Abu Bakr (radi Allahu anhu) for re-enforcements. Sayyiduna Abu Bakr (radi Allahu anhu) had by that time passed away. Sayyiduna Muthanna (radi Allahu anhu's) absence from the Iraqi front made things worse there. The Iranians regrouped under the command of Rustam and recaptured the lands taken by the Muslims. Rustam sent 2 columns of his army, one to Hirah and the other to Kaskar.
Sayyiduna Umar (radi Allahu anhu) sent Sayyiduna Abu Ubaidah (radi Allahu anhu), as Commander, to deal with the situation. Both the Persian columns were defeated. Rustam sent an even larger army and defeated the Muslims.
Sayyiduna Umar (radi Allahu anhu) raised another army and defeated the Persians. But the Persian court sent yet another larger army, and forced Sayyiduna Muthanna (radi Allahu anhu) to withdraw. The report of the new situation was sent to Sayyiduna Umar (radi Allahu anhu) and reinforcements under the command of Sayyiduna Saad bin Abi Waqqas (radi Allahu anhu) were sent.
The Persian and Muslim army met at Qadisiyah. After a long battle on several fronts, the outnumbered Muslim army defeated the 120 000 Persian soldiers and recaptured Hirah and their areas in the year 14 A.H. (636 C.E).
DEFEAT OF THE ROMANS
Muslims laid siege to Damascus during Sayyiduna Abu Bakr (radi Allahu anhu's) rule as Caliph. It continued, after he passed away, and lasted 70 days during the rule of Sayyiduna Umar (radi Allahu anhu). After the long siege, Sayyiduna Khalid bin Walid (radi Allahu anhu) took the Romans by surprise and entered the city. The Governor surrendered and a peace treaty was signed.
CONQUEST OF JERUSALEM
Meanwhile, Sayyiduna Amr ibn As (radi Allahu anhu) was laying siege to Jerusalem. Sayyiduna Khalid, Sayyiduna Abu Ubaidah and other Sahaba (radi Allahu anhumul ajma'in) also joined him. The Christians had little hope and decided to give in. They also suggested that the keys of Jerusalem be given to Sayyiduna Umar (radi Allahu anhu) himself personally. Sayyiduna Umar (radi Allahu anhu) went to Jerusalem. An agreement was signed that guaranteed the safety of the city and the safety of the Christians.
A Persian non-Muslim, named Firoz and nicknamed "Abu Lulu," complained to Sayyiduna Umar (radi Allahu anhu) about his master, Sayyiduna Mughirah bin Shuba (radi Allahu anhu), who imposed tax on him. Sayyiduna Umar (radi Allahu anhu) told Firoz that the tax was reasonable. This made Firoz angry. The next day, during the Fajr Salaah, he stabbed Sayyiduna Umar (radi Allahu anhu) 6 times in the back, severely wounding the Caliph. Sayyiduna Umar (radi Allahu anhu) passed away 3 days later in 23 A.H. He was 63 years old. He ruled the Islamic State for 10 years, 6 months and 4 days.
In a short space of 10 years, Sayyiduna Umar (radi Allahu anhu) had been well-known for his outstanding achievements and reforms in Islam. Some of these reforms were:- He established the "Baitul Maal" (People's treasury for the state and public).
Judicial courts of Justice were set in the country. Judges and Magistrates handled all cases.
Establishment of an army headquarters for the defence of the country.
Construction of roads and canals.
Schools were established. Salaries for Imams, Mu'azzins and Ustaads were organized.
Masjids were improved and built in Makkatul Mukarramah and Madinatul Munawwarah. This included facilities for the Haajis.
Police Stations and prisons were built.
Establishment of the first Islamic Lunar calendar beginning from the Hijrah.
Proper weights and measures introduced.
Population census established.
Built orphanages and welfare homes.
Established proper punishment system and banned slavery.
Simplicity and devotion were the main characters of Sayyiduna Umar (radi Allahu anhu). He used to wear clothes that had many patches and yet received Governors, convoys and diplomats. He took just enough allowance from the State to have a simple meal and wear simple clothes. At times he was very poor. He used to visit the old people and sick and even do their house work. He used to visit the houses of the soldiers and inquire about their families. He stayed awake at night in Salaah and often kept Fast. He always supported and upheld the cause of Islam, with his wisdom, energy, dynamism, bravery and little wealth.