Tales From The Quran:
There is no ‘ordinary’ Qur’an verse; every verse carries a special and weighty meaning, if only we take our time to ponder.
One of such verses that tends to be easily overlooked as a mere story is Sura At-Tawbah, Ayah 40, where Allah says:
“If you do not aid the Prophet – Allah has already aided him when those who disbelieved had driven him out [of Makkah] as one of two, when they were in the cave and he said to his companion, “Do not grieve; indeed Allah is with us.” And Allah sent down his tranquillity upon him and supported him with angels you did not see and made the word of those who disbelieved the lowest, while the word of Allah – that is the highest. And Allah is Exalted in Might and Wise”
This verse tells the story of The Prophet Muhammad and ‘his companion’ Abu bakr when they were chased out of Makkah and they sought refuge in a cave to save themselves from the people of Makkah – who were making all possible efforts to lay hands on them and execute them.
Attabari, in his exegesis of this verse, cites the story from Abu bakr’s perspective and writes: “It is reported by Anas that Abu Bakr said: While I and the Peophet were in the cave, the disbelivers came and their feet were placed just very close to where we lay our heads in the cave, so I said to the Prophet (in panic): “If one of them were to glance at their foot, they would surely see us” and the Prophet replied, O Abu Bakr, what do you think of two people, whom Allah is their third?”
Only one of two things could have happened:
A miracle, or an invented lie.
If truly the incident occurred, then it had to have been a miracle for the disbelivers to trace them to the cave, arrive there, and be only a glance away from seeing them, but yet did not, and another thing noteworthy is the fact that the Prophet was calm throughout the story, meaning, if the story was true as it had been cited, he apparently had some knowledge of the fact that those disbelivers would be unable to get to them. Period.
The only other option, is that Muhammad came together with Abubakr to fabricate that nonexistent incident in order to make the people believe in him and his miracles.
Consequently, Abubakr would have been aware of Muhammad’s plight as a false Prophet, fabricator and liar. (Allah forbid)
The incidents to be cited below, are a few of numerous incidents that prove that Abubakr definitely believed in Muhmmad as a Prophet and did not consider him a liar.
1. Unparalleled display of faith.
During the Prophet’s last expedition, he was keen to make it a great success, he therefore asked people to help the expedition with whatever they could. This brought the best out of Abu Bakr who beat all records as he took all his money and household articles and heaped them at the Prophet’s feet.
“Have you left anything for your children?” asked the Prophet. Abu Bakr then responded with great faith “Allah and his Messenger are enough for them.”¹
This is not a sacrifice that could have been done by other than one who truly believed in the cause he was donating to, and not one who considered the cause a mere figment and invented lie.
Aisha (the wife of the Prophet) narrated: I had seen my parents following Islam since I attained the age of puberty. Not a day passed but the Prophet (ﷺ) visited us, both in the mornings and evenings. My father Abu Bakr thought of building a mosque in the courtyard of his house and he did so. He used to pray and recite the Qur’an in it. The pagan women and their children used to stand by him and look at him with surprise. Abu Bakr was a Softhearted person and could not help weeping while reciting the Qur’an. The chiefs of the Quraish pagans became afraid of that (i.e. that their children and women might be affected by the recitation of Qur’an).
Sahih al-Bukhari 476
It is understandable if one cries over a boom he believes to be divine, but to cry over a lie you co-invented? that sounds very far from imagination.
2.When his daughter was alleged of adultery.
Having known Muhammad to be one of the best fabricators, when the daughter of Abu Bakr and wife of the Prophet, Aisha, was accused of adultery, Abu Bakr should have gone to the Prophet and asked him to fabricate a verse, as he, Abu Bakr knew him to do, to espouse the innocence of his daughter; however, this never happened, and Aisha went as far as staying with her family for a very long time while doubts permeated the air, and the Prophet publicly sought advice from his close friends before eventually, the air was cleared.
During this period, there was a particular man whose needs used to be catered for by Abu bakr, and he happened to also be of those who spread the news about his daughter. Abu Bakr continued to cater for this man until eventually, the Quranic verse that revealed his daughter’s innocence was revealed; after the revelation of the verse, Abubakr swore that he would never again cater for the man’s needs.
This implies that Abubakr viewed those verses that proved Aisha’s innocence as divine, and a breaking point, he viewed those verses as the only truth that can decide how he would relate with the man, meaning, he apparently trusted those verses more than his own daughter – since he continued to cater for the man while his daughter claimed the man was lying – and only stopped after the Quran affirmed what his daughter claimed.
What’s more? After he swore not to cater for the man again, another Quranic verse was revealed asking Abubakr to forgive the man and to continue to cater for him.
“And let not those of virtue among you and wealth swear not to give [aid] to their relatives and the needy and the emigrants for the cause of Allah, and let them pardon and overlook. Would you not like that Allah should forgive you? And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.”
-Sura An-Nur, Ayah 22
When these verses were revealed, Abubakr said: “verily, I love that Allah should forgive me too” and he continued in his spending on the man.
(Tafsiir Ibn Kathir Surah 24: 11-22)
These behaviours and reactions could not have come from one who fabricated or is aware of the fabrication of some verses of that same book.
3. His Reaction to and after Muhammad’s death.
When a close ally with whom you have forged a whole book and successfully convinced the people of his messengerhood dies, it is unlikely you would not falter.
If it was natural that made Abu Bakr stand by the Prophet during his time, one would not expect him to be the one reminding the people after the death of the Prophet that Muhammad was no more than a messenger whose time had gone.
And if it was covetousness for the position of messenger after the death of Muhammad that made him stand by The Prophet, Abu Bakr would have found it easy to elevate himself to the position of prophet, given the fact that the Prophet had, before his death, adviced the people to hold on tightly to what he taught, but not only that. He also taught them to hold on tightly to whatever the rightly guided caliph taught; the foundation had therefore been laid for Abu Bakr to start his own regime too, and, like The Prophet, come up with his own personal fabrications too. However, Abu Bakr held on tightly to the teachings of the Prophet and the Quran and did not of his own accord, add or modify anything in Islam.
After the Prophet’s death, Abu Bakr did not budge in his steadfastness upon the religion, and he remained just as steadfast as he had been before the death of The Prophet and continued to espouse the same exact teachings of the Prophet so keenly despite knowing that the teachings were everything but divine, and were only the personal assumptions and beliefs of Muhammad.
Abu Bakr not only failed to alter the teachings of Muhammad despite ‘knowing’ they were ‘flexible’ and not divine, but he also waged wars against those who tried to alter the teachings of Muhammad, among whom is the famous Musaylamah who claimed to be a prophet and had son many followers a war had to be waged against them; verily, if Abu Bakr had claimed to be one too, then he would have had numerous followers, but yet, he never did, and rather, he fought to ensure that the exact teachings of Muhammad continue to flourish, while he himself remained a staunch worshipper of Allah who would worship him in the day and night when no one could witness.
4. His advice to ‘Umar on his deathbed.
Even if he lived his whole life feigning belief in what Muhammad brought, he could not have stood so gallantly by it when the agony of death fell on him, if he was not really a believer.
When Abû Bakr Al-Siddîq was on his deathbed he called ‘Umar – Allah be pleased with them – and said:
Fear Allah o ‘Umar, and know that Allah has deeds to be done for Him in the day which He will not accept if done at night, and He has deeds to be done for Him at night which He will not accept if done during the day. He will not accept extra (nâfilah) deeds unless you fulfill the obligatory deeds. The scales of those whose scales will be weighty on the Day of Resurrection will only be weighty because they followed the truth in this life and it was weighty to them. And scales in which the truth will be placed tomorrow truly deserve to be heavy. And the scales of those whose scales will be light on the Day of Resurrection will only be light because they followed falsehood in this life and it was a light matter to them. And scales in which falsehood will be placed tomorrow truly deserve to be light.
Allah the Exalted has mentioned the people of Paradise and mentioned them in the context of their best deeds, and overlooked their evil deeds, so when I remember them I say to myself: I fear that I will not be included with them. And Allah the Exalted has mentioned the people of Hell and mentioned them in the context of their worst deeds and rejected their best deeds, so when I remember them I say: I hope I won’t be amongst them. Allah’s worshippers should always be in a state of hope and fear, they shouldn’t wish flimsy wishes about Allah and neither should they despair of Allah’s mercy.
(Reference: Abû Nu’aym, Hilyah Al-Awliyâ` Vol.1 p18; and Ibn Al-Jawzî, Sifah Al-Safwah.)