Won’t you then give up harming my companion?

The noble Sahabi (companion, sing. for Sahaba), Abū al-Dardā’ (رضي الله عنه) said:

كنت جالسا عند النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم إذ أقبل أبو بكر آخذا بطرف ثوبه حتى أبدى عن ركبته فقال النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم أما صاحبكم فقد غامر فسلم وقال إني كان بيني وبين ابن الخطاب شيء فأسرعت إليه ثم ندمت فسألته أن يغفر لي فأبى علي فأقبلت إليك فقال يغفر الله لك يا أبا بكر ثلثا ثم إن ل فأتى إلى النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم فسلم فجعل عمر ندم فأتى منزل أبي بكر فسأل أثم أبو بكر فقالوا وجه النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم يتمعر حتى أشفق أبو بكر فجثا على ركبتيه فقال يا رسول الله والله أنا كنت أظلم مرتين فقال النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم إن الله بعثني إليكم فقلتم كذبت وقال أبو بكر صدق وواساني بنفسه وماله فهل أنتم تاركوا لي صاحبي مرتين فما أوذي بعدها

‘While I was sitting with the Prophet (), Abu Bakr came, lifting one corner of his garment uncovering his knee. The Prophet () said, “Your companion has had a quarrel.” Abu Bakr greeted and said, “O Allah’s Messenger ()! There was a quarrel between me and the Son of al-Khattab. I talked to him harshly and then regretted, and requested him to forgive me, but he refused. Therefore, I have come to you.” The Prophet () said thrice, “O Abū Bakr! May Allah forgive you.”

Meanwhile, ʿUmar I regretted (his refusal of Abū Bakr’s excuse) and went to Abū Bakr’s house asking if Abu Bakr was there. They replied in the negative. So, he came to the Prophet () and greeted him, but signs of displeasure appeared on the face of the Prophet () till Abu Bakr pitied (ʿUmar), so he knelt and said twice, “O Allah’s Messenger ()! By Allah! I was more unjust to him.” The Prophet () said, “Allah sent me to you people, but you said to me, ‘You are telling a lie,’ while Abu Bakr said, ‘He has said the truth,’ and assisted me with himself and his money.’ He then said twice, “Won’t you then give up harming my companion?” After that nobody harmed Abu Bakr. [Sahih al-Bukhari, 346]

Note: The Prophet () was even harsh to his beloved companion ‘Umar (رضي الله عنه) when it came to the rights of Abu Bakr (رضي الله عنه). The Prophet () even reminded ‘Umar that the people (not ‘Umar himself, the Prophet spoke in the plural and spoke about his own people in general) doubted the Prophet () and the only one who didn’t doubt him whatsoever was none but Abu Bakr.

The portion of the following narration establishes something important:

إن الله بعثني إليكم فقلتم كذبت وقال أبو بكر صدق

Allah sent me to you people, but you said to me, “You are telling a lie,” while Abū Bakr said, “He has said the truth.”

Namely, that Abū Bakr (رضي الله عنه) was amongst the first to accept the faith, preceded only by Khadījah (رضي الله عنها). The narration outlining the incident of the cave speaks of the comment of Khadījah (رضي الله عنها) when Rasūlullāh () returned perturbed:

كلا، أبشر، فوالله لا يخزيك الله أبدا

‘Glad tidings, for Allah, will never put you in harms way… ‘

Some have indicated that ʿAlī (رضي الله عنه) was the first to embrace the faith, whilst others opine for Zayd ibn Ḥārithah (رضي الله عنه). Most of the scholars of the early and later periods establish that is was Abū Bakr (رضي الله عنه). The narrations give strength to this view as well. This view was famous amongst the Ṣaḥābah (رضي الله عنهم) as well, as can be gauged from the following couplets of Ḥassān ibn Thābit (رضي الله عنه):

إذا تذكرت شجوا من أخى ثقة

فاذكر أخاك أبا بكر بما فعل

التالى الثانى المحمود مشهده

وأول الناس طرا صدق الرسل

‘When remembering brothers of bravery; remember Abū Bakr and his accomplishments. The second of the two praised, And the first to believe in the Messenger.’

Ḥāfiẓ ibn Kathīr (رحمه الله) writes in al-Bidāyah:

بين هذه القوال بأن أول من أسلم من الرجال الحرار أبو بكر ومن النساء خديجة ، ومن الموالي زيد بن حارثة ومن الغلمان علي بن أبي طالب رضي الله عنهم أجمعين

Imām Abū Ḥanīfah (رحمه الله) has reconciled between the different views thus: “The first to embrace the faith from the free men was Abū Bakr (رضي الله عنه), from the women Khadījah (رضي الله عنها), from the slaves Zayd ibn Ḥārithah (رضي الله عنه), and from the children ʿAlī ibn Abī Ṭālib (رضي الله عنه)”. [Al-Bidāyah wa al-Nihāyah, part. 4 pg. 73]

Ibn Taymiyyah (رحمه الله) writes:

ل في قدرها ول في صفتها ول في نفعها اختصاص ابي بكر في الصحبة اليمانية بما لم يشركه مخلوق ، ، فإنه لو أحصي الزمان الذي كان يجتمع فيه أبو بكر بالنبي – صلى الله عليه وسلم – ، والزمان الذي كان يجتمع فيه عثمان أو علي أو غيرهما من الصحابة لوجد ما يختص به أبو بكر أضعاف ما اختص به واحد منهم

‘The distinguished mark Abu Bakr (رضي الله عنه) I imprints on his companionship in faith is unlike anything else found in the creation. Neither in quantity, nor quality, nor in the benefit given therein. If the time spent with Rasulullah () by Abu Bakr (رضي الله عنه) were to be quantified and compared to the time spent by ʿUthmān, ʿAlī (رضي الله عنه), or any other companion, their time spent would pale in contrast to that of Abu Bakr (رضي الله عنه).’ [Minhaj al-Sunnah, part. 8 pg. 416]

Imām Abū Ḥafṣ ibn Shāhīn (رحمه الله) says regarding the comment of Rasūlullāh (), “Won’t you then give up harming my companion,”:

تفرد ابو بكر الصديق بهذه الفضيلة لم يشركه فيها احد

‘This is an acknowledgment of his virtue in a manner unmatched by any other.’ [Al-Kitab al-Latif, pg. 157]

Imām Awzāʿī (رحمه الله) and others have said:

من شتم أبا بكر الصديق رضي الله عنه فقد ارتد عن دينه وأباح دمه

‘Whoever insults Abū Bakr (رضي الله عنه) has turned apostate and his liable for execution.’ [Al-Sharh wa al-Ibanah, pg. 162]

Comment: There is no agreement on this issue, in fact, most scholars of Ahlus-Sunnah are of the view that insulting the Sahabah is a form of sin and punishable but not with the death penalty. I (Ebn Hussein) are on the same view. Also, the punishment would only be applied under an Islamic system. However, some scholars did indeed believe that insulting major Sahaba like Abu Bakr (رضي الله عنه) should be punishable by execution. Similar views are held by Shia scholars for their so-called infallible Imams; insulting one of them is punishable by death according to a number of classical and modern-day Shia authorities (‘Ayatollah’s).

So these harsh views are not restricted to Sunni scholarship (as many Shias who love to throw Sunnis under the bus want you to believe) and they are shown here for information purposes only and not for the sake to be acted upon.

Imām Aḥmad has said regarding one who insults Abū Bakr, ʿUmar, ʿUthmān, and ʿĀ’ishah (رضي الله عنهم):

ما اراه على السلم

‘I do not deem him to be a Muslim.’ [Al-Sharḥ wa al-Ibānah, pg. 161]

Nobody except the Rafidah, the only sect out of all heretic sects (not even the renegades, the Khawarij who vilified some Sahabah like ‘Ali and Mu’awiyah dared to target Abu Bakr) have made it a branch of their Din to vilify and curse Abu Bakr, the Siddiq (truthful). May Allah paralyze the hand of the Majoos, the Rafidah.