Abu Bakr/ The First Caliph:-                        

       Abu Bakr was born in Mecca c. 573 to the Banu Taim, a sub-clan of the Quraysh tribe.

       According to early Muhammadan Muslim historians, his full name was Abdu'l-Ka'bah ("servant of the Kaaba") ibn Uthman. On his conversion, he assumed the name of ‘Abdullah ("servant of Allah"). However, he is usually styled  which was his kunya (from the Arabic word bakr, meaning a young camel) due to his interest in raising camels.  His father, Uthman, bore the kunya Abu Quhafah. Thus, Abu Bakr was also known as Abdullah ibn Abi Quhafah.  His honorific title As-Siddiq was given to him by Muhammad.

       During his life, he would have several wives and children, the most prominent ones being his daughter Aisha, Muhammad's child-bride whom he married at the age of six years when he was fifty years old.

       According to later traditions, Abu Bakr was a merchant, and highly esteemed as a judge, as an interpreter of dreams of as one learned in Meccan traditions. He was one of the last people anyone would have expected to convert to the faith preached by his kinsman Muhammad. Yet he was one of the first converts to Islam, and instrumental in converting many of the Quraysh and the residents of Mecca.

       Asuming Abu Bakr was born in 573, he was 37 years old when the 40 year old Muhammad proclaimed his prophethood.

       Muhammadan scholars agree that the first woman to adopt Islam was Khadijah, Muhammad's first wife. Ali, his nephew and future son-in-law who was 12 years, is the second person. Zayd bin Haritha, a slave who was freed by Muhammad and became one of the family, was after Khadija and Ali the third person to have embraced the Islam. After Zayd was Abu Bakr the fourth person.

       The reader must be reminded that the history of Pagan Arabia that we have had for almost 1450 years was written by Muhammad and his followers, the VICTORS. 

       Abu Bakr, as one of the early and first converts who allegedly endured to the full, the persecution of the Meccans who were at that time steeped in idolatory and paganism. This persecution fell hardest upon the slaves who had converted to Islam. Their owners could torment them at will, whereas the free Muslims were often protected by their kinsfolk.

       Abu Bakr is said to have bought Bilal the Abyssinian (al-Habashi) who was the slave of `Umayya bin Khalaf and set him free. Bilal afterwards became the well-known "Mua^adhdhin" [ one who gives the call for prayer ] at Muhammad's Mosque.

       Abu Bakr honourific title As-Siddiq was given to him by Muhammad. Muhammad also used to call him by his patronyms of Abu Bakr and Ibn Abi Quhafa, and "Allah’s Freedman From the Fire" (`Atîq Allâh min al-nâr).

       According to the Quran, Allah allegedly took Muhammad on a journey from the Ka'ba in Mecca to the Furthest Mosque:

17:1 "Glory to (Allah) Who did take His Servant for a Journey by night from the Sacred Mosque to the Farthest Mosque (Masjid al-Aqsa), whose precincts We did bless,- in order that We might show him some of Our Signs: for He is the One Who heareth and seeth (all things) "

       The 'Islamic' traditions expand on the theme of Muhammad's travel to the Temple at Jerusalem, and even describe some of its features. The following is taken from
{Ibn Sa'd's Al-Tabaqat Al-Kabir Volume I, English translation by S. Moinul Haq, M.A., PH.D assisted by H.K. Ghazanfar M.A. (Kitab Bhavan Exporters & Importers, 1784 Kalan Mahal, Daryaganj, New Delhi - 110 002 India)}:

Some of them (narrators) said: The Prophet, may Allah bless him, had disappeared that night, so the members of family of 'Abd al-Muttalib went out to search him. Al-'Abbas went to Dhu Tuwa and began to shout: O Muhammad! O Muhammad! The Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him, said: I am here. He said: O my brother's son! You have worried the people since the (beginning of the) night, where had you been? He said: I am coming from
Bayt al-Muqaddas. He said: In one night? He said: Yes. He said: Did you experience anything which was not good? He said: I did not experience anything but good.

Umm Hani said: He was taken on this journey from our house.*** He slept that night with us; he offered al-'Isha prayers, and then he slept. When it was pre-dawn we awoke him (to offer) morning (prayers). He got up and when he offered morning prayers he said:
O Umm Hani! I offered al'Isha prayers with you as you witnessed, then I reached
Bayt Al-Muqaddas and offered prayers there; then I offered morning prayers before you. After this he got up to go out;
I said to him: Do not relate this to the people because they will belie you and harm you. He said: By Allah I shall relate to them and inform them.

       *** The staement above is not a faithful rendition of its original in
Ibn Ishaq p. 184 where in Umm Hani actually said:

" The apostle went on NO night journey except while he was in my house. He slept that night in my house....***

They wondered at it and said: We have never heard a thing like this. The Apostle of Allah, may Allah bless him, said to Gabriel; O Gabriel! my people will not confirm it. He said: Abu Bakr will testify to it; and he is al-Siddiq.
The narrator added: Many people who had embraced Islam and offered prayers went astray (apostasized).

(The Prophet continued,) I stood at al-Hijr, visualised Bayt al-Muqaddas and described its signs. Some of them said: HOW MANY DOORS ARE THERE IN THAT MOSQUE?
I HAD NOT COUNTED THEM SO I BEGAN TO LOOK AT IT AND COUNTED THEM ONE BY ONE AND GAVE THEM INFORMATION CONCERNING THEM. I also gave information about their caravan which was on the way and its signs. They found them as I had related.

Allah, the Almighty, the Great, revealed: "We appointed the vision which We showed thee as an ordeal for mankind". He (Ibn Sa'd) said: It refers to the vision of the eye which he saw with the eye.
(pp. 246-248; bold and capital emphasis ours)

       Traditionally, the title As-Siddiq has been attributed to the alleged Night Journey Muhammad took while in Mecca to Jerusalem. When the Quraysh confronted Muhammad after the Night Journey, they turned to Abu Bakr and said: "Do you believe what he said, that he went last night to the Hallowed House in Jerusalem and came back before morning?"
He replied: "If he said it, then I believe him, yes, and I do believe him regarding what is farther than that. I believe the news of heaven he brings, whether in the space of a morning or in that of an evening journey."
Abu Bakr was thus named al-Siddîq, meaning "the truthful," "the upright," or "the one who counts true," due to his immediate belief in the journey.

Sahih Al-Bukhari HadithHadith 6.233        Narrated byJabir bin Abdullah
The Prophet said, "When the Quraish disbelieved me (concerning my night journey), I stood up in Al-Hijr (the unroofed portion of the Ka'ba) and Allah displayed Bait-ul-Maqdis before me, and I started to inform them (Quraish) about its signs while looking at it."

(Ibn Sa'd, Kitab al-Tabaqat al-Kabir, Vol. 1, p. 248)
I stood at al-Hijr, visualised Bayt al-Muqaddas and described its signs. Some of them said: How many doors are there in that mosque? I had not counted them so I began to look at it and counted them one by one and gave them information concerning them.

       *** The problem with all of the above Hadiths - and many more not recounted here - is that HISTORICALLY, the First Jerusalem Temple was destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar's Babylonian armies in 587 BC.

       Furthermore, General Titus and his Roman soldiers leveled the Second Temple in AD. 70, more than five centuries BEFORE this alleged night journey to Jerusalem took place.

        In fact, the Temple that eventually became Masjid al-Aqsa did not come into existence until AD. 691 when Amir Abd-ul-Malik built it.

       If, as the Muhammadan exegetes insist that the journey was to an ACTUAL Masjid, then the preceding factors make it highly improbable to date Sura 17:1 to the time of Muhammad. This passage could have only been written sometime after the erection of Masjid al-Aqsa.

       This is further substantiated by the fact that Masjid al-Aqsa contains no early references to the mythical night journey. This is a strange omission since Muhammadans claim that Masjid al-Aqsa was erected in commemoration of this alleged event.

       The inscriptions that do mention the night journey are later additions made by Abdul Hamid II in 1876, nearly eleven centuries later.

       In light of all this, it is legitimate to ask the following questions:

       Since the Temple of Solomon did not exist at the time of Muhammad, then what Temple did Muhammad visit, enter and pray at before ascending to heaven?

       Seeing that the Muhammadan Muslims assert that the Quran mentions a journey to a Mosque that did not exist during the lifetime of Muhammad, how can one accept the VERACITY of the Quran?
       As it is a recorded fact that both the Quran and Hadiths contain this blatant historical error, how can one trust either source to provide one with reliable information on the life of Muhammad and the first Muslims?

       Does not the fact that the Quran mentions a Mosque which was only erected in AD 691 prove that there were Muslims who unashamedly and deceitfully added stories to the Quranic text and passed them off as revelations from Allah?

       If one cannot find an answer to this - and numerous other - historical problems within the Quran, why would one still remain a Muhammadan Muslim?

       From all the above, it is crystal clear that Muhammad was definitely being mendacious when he described a structure that did not exist. So much for the 'truthful' messenger of Allah.

       What is just as relevant here is the recorded FACT that Abu Bakr CORROBORATED Muhammad's lies and deception making him just as guilty as his 'model prophet' and adding 'insult to injury', Muhammad honoured him with the title 'al Saddiq' for LYING on his behalf ***

       Al-Suyuti relates through Ibn Sa`d’s report from `A’isha her description of
Abu Bakr: "He was a man with fair skin, thin, emaciated, with a sparse beard, a slightly hunched frame, sunken eyes and protruding forehead, and the bases of his fingers were hairless."

        Abu Bakr participated in all of the battles Muhammad led. These were the Battle of Badr (624 AD), the Battle of Uhud (625 AD), and the Battle of Hunayn (630 AD).

        Abu Bakr was included in the Usama's dispatchment on the orders of Muhammad, destined to go towards the Byzantian Empire which Abu Bakr postponed. During Muhammad's last illness, Abu Bakr was instructed by Muhammad to lead the prayers in his absence.

       After giving praise and thanks to Allah (The One True Allah), Abu Bakr (ra) addressed the Muslims gathered at the Prophet’s mosque:

"I have been given the authority over you, and I am not the best of you. If I do well, help me; and if I do wrong, set me right. Sincere regard for truth is loyalty and disregard for truth is treachery. The weak amongst you shall be strong with me until I have secured his rights, if Allah will; and the strong amongst you shall be weak with me until I have wrested from him the rights of others, if Allah will. Obey me so long as I obey Allah and His Messenger (Muhammad, pbuh). But if I disobey Allah and His Messenger, ye owe me no obedience. Arise for your prayer, Allah have mercy upon you."

Succession to Muhammad-

       Soon after Muhammad's death (on 8 June 632, 10 AH), a gathering of prominent Ansar and some of the Muhajirun, in Medina, acclaimed Abu Bakr as the new Muslim leader or caliph. What happened at this meeting, called Saqifah, is much disputed. 
Abu Bakr's assumption of power is an extremely controversial matter, and the source of the first schism in Islam, between Sunni and Shia Islam.

       Troubles emerged soon after Abu Bakr's succession, threatening the unity and stability of the new community and state. His short caliphate was fully occupied in the secession/apostasy wars called the (Riddah).

       These wars showed the SUPERFICIAL CONVERSION of a great number of Arabian tribes to the new faith. They joined as a matter of convenience under the shadow  of TERROR and not BELIEF. Muhammad was astute enough to know this as he described their 'unbelief' repeatedly in the Quran (S9:97/8; 101/2;120 & S48:11 &49:14).

       Various Arab tribes of locations of Hejaz and Nejd rebelled against the caliph and the new system. Some withheld the zakat, the alms tax, though they did not otherwise challenge Islam. Others apostasised outright and returned to their pre-Islamic religion and traditions, which revolved around idolatory and paganism. The tribes claimed that they had submitted to Muhammad and that with Muhammad's death, their allegiance was ended.

       The most remarkable of all was that although Muhammad was proclaimed in the Quran as the 'last of all prophets', none the less, after his death, several men claimed such a position and had an enormous number of followers. The delegates who had paid him homage only a year before his death were not representative of all their people.

       Many of the tribes outside the Hijaz such as those in the Yaman, Yamamah and Uman on the periphery of the Peninsula, were the first to refuse obedience to the new Caliph. The old tribal rivalries and jealousies manifested themselves yet again.

        Abu Bakr insisted that they had not just submitted to a leader but joined the Muslim religious community, of which he was the new head. Apostasy is a capital offense under traditional interpretations of Islamic law, and Abu Bakr declared war on the rebels. This was the start of the Ridda wars (Arabic for the Wars of Apostasy).

       The severest struggle was the war with Ibn Habib al-Hanefi, known as "Musailimah the Liar", who claimed to be a prophet and Muhammad's true successor.

        Abu Bakr, accepted the challenge and was adamant that these apostate traitors were to surrender unconditionally or die fighting. The general to lead this war was
Khalid ibn-al-Walid who proved to become one of the greatest military leaders in the arsenal of Islam.

       He had excellent leadership qualities as well as tactical daring and imagination. His use of camels as very fast transport and fighting machines, can easily be compared to the leadership and charisma of the modern 'Desert Fox', Rommel. It is recorded that within about six months, he had reduced and subjugated the apostate tribes of Central Arabia to submission. It was Khalid bin Walid who finally defeated al-Hanefi at the Battle of Akraba.

       After suppressing internal dissension and completely subduing Arabia, Abu Bakr directed his generals towards the Byzantine and Sassanid empires. Khalid bin Walid conquered Iraq in a single campaign, and a successful expedition into Syria also took place.

        Fred Donner, in his book The Early Islamic Conquests, correctly argues that Abu Bakr's "foreign" expeditions were merely an extension of the Ridda Wars, in that he sent his troops against Arab tribes living on the borders of the Fertile Crescent.

       Given that the steppes and deserts over which Arabic-speaking tribes roamed extended without break from southern Syria down to Yemen, any polity that controlled only the southern part of the steppe was inherently insecure.

Collection of the Quran-

       Some traditions about the origin of the Quran say that Abu Bakr was instrumental in preserving it in written form. It is said that after the hard-won victory over Musailimah, Umar ibn al-Khattab (the later Caliph Umar), saw that many of the Muslims who had memorized the Quran from the lips of Muhammad had died in battle.

       Abu Bakr asked Umar to oversee the collection of the revelations. The record, when completed, was deposited with Hafsa bint Umar, daughter of Umar, and one of the wives of Muhammad. Later it became the basis of Uthman ibn Affan's definitive text of the Quran.

       However, other historians give Uthman the principal credit for collecting and preserving the Quran. Shi'as strongly refute the idea that Abu Bakr or Umar were instrumental in the collection or preservation of the Quran, rather that they refused to accept Ali's Quran.

Sahih Al-Bukhari HadithHadith 6.509        Narrated byZaid bin Thabit
Abu Bakr As-Siddiq sent for me when the people of Yamama had been killed (i.e., a number of the Prophet's Companions who fought against Musailama). (I went to him) and found 'Umar bin Al-Khattab sitting with him. Abu Bakr then said (to me), "Umar has come to me and said: 'Casualties were heavy among the Qurra' of the Qur'an (i.e. those who knew the Quran by heart) on the day of the Battle of Yamama, and I am afraid that more heavy casualties may take place among the Qurra' on other battlefields, whereby a large part of the Qur'an may be lost. Therefore I suggest, you (Abu Bakr) order that the Qur'an be collected."

I said to 'Umar, "How can you do something which Allah's Apostle did not do?" 'Umar said, "By Allah, that is a good project." 'Umar kept on urging me to accept his proposal till Allah opened my chest for it and I began to realize the good in the idea which 'Umar had realized." Then Abu Bakr said (to me). 'You are a wise young man and we do not have any suspicion about you, and you used to write the Divine Inspiration for Allah's Apostle. So you should search for (the fragmentary scripts of) the Qur'an and collect it in one book)." By Allah If they had ordered me to shift one of the mountains, it would not have been heavier for me than this ordering me to collect the Qur'an. Then I said to Abu Bakr, "How will you do something which Allah's Apostle did not do?" Abu Bakr replied, "By Allah, it is a good project." Abu Bakr kept on urging me to accept his idea until Allah opened my chest for what He had opened the chests of Abu Bakr and 'Umar.

So I started looking for the Qur'an and collecting it from (what was written on) palmed stalks, thin white stones and also from the men who knew it by heart, till I found the last Verse of Surat At-Tauba (Repentance) with Abi Khuzaima Al-Ansari, and I did not find it with anybody other than him. The Verse is:

"Verily there has come unto you an Apostle (Muhammad) from amongst yourselves. It grieves him that you should receive any injury or difficulty...(till the end of Surat-Baraa' (At-Tauba). (9.128-129) Then the complete manuscripts (copy) of the Qur'an remained with Abu Bakr till he died, then with 'Umar till the end of his life, and then with Hafsa, the daughter of 'Umar.

       Abu Bakr died in 634 in Medina. Shortly before his death, likely of natural causes (one tradition ascribes it to poison), he urged the Muslim community to accept Umar ibn al-Khattab as his successor. The community did so, without serious incident. However, this succession is also a matter of controversy. Shi'a Muslims believe that the leadership should have been assumed by Ali ibn Abi Talib, without any recourse to consultation (shura).

       Assuming Abu Bakr was born in 573, he was 61 years old when he died. Abu Bakr was buried and still lies in the Masjid al Nabawi mosque in Medina, alongside Muhammad and Umar ibn al-Khattab.

Conquest and the Economics of Plunder-        

       The 'civil' war brought about two extremely important results:

       First, Islam was broughtdirectly to all the members of the tribes in most of the Peninsula and not only to their leaders.

       Second, a ready and united war machine of huge resources in men and leaders has been created from the previously warring factions. The new generals have acquired the technique of organised warfare and have tasted sweet victory. All the ingredients necessary for conquest were available:

War- like spirit and zeal of the members of the new faith;

a common brotherhood uniting all the different tribes;

able and tried commanders;

the momentum to carry the war outside the Arabian Peninsula towards other lands was at hand. 

       When all these combined factors were unleashed, an Arab Empire that stretched from the Atlantic to China was realised in about one hundred years. This was a greater achievement than the Roman Empire even after one thousand years.

       Muhammadan historians insist that the Arabian conquests were entirely religious in nature, to spread the new faith. Considering the fact that the Arabs at that moment of time had not yet had the infrastructure of Scholars, Imams, Mullas, Faqihs, no schools of law, etc. - that required at least three centuries before there was an established 'religious authorities of Islam' - it is impossible to believe that they conquered to spread a 'religion' that they had not yet absorbed or fully understood.

       What actually happened was that the 'Islamization' of most of the Arabian Peninsula required warfare on a scale unprecedented in magnitude and in numbers of combatants before in its history.

        When the war of Apostacy was over, the Arabian Penisula became a sea of combatants, united in nationality and traditions and cemented by the new uncompromising faith of militant Islam with no one else to conquer except outside the Arabian Peninsula.

        The records of the Arabs regarding this subject show clearly that the conquerors started tasting the fruit and luxury of conquest in magnitudes, shapes and forms, that very few Arabians - mostly Bedouins - ever dreamt existed.

       What fuelled the energies of these Bedouin hordes to leave their ancestral but arid lands were the prospects of booty and riches beyond their wildest imaginings. From then on, conquest was for its own usual sake, the acquisition of territory and the accumulation of wealth; converting other people became an extra by- product, a bonus. The Arabs became, par excellence,  predatory robber barons.

       Arab and Muhammadan historians deliberately and for obvious reasons, ignore the economic factors. Besides expanding their territories, the Arabs were also subjugating other people upon whom they imposed tribute. These were mostly Christians, Jews and later Zoroastrians and Berbers and others who refused to convert to Islam but were 'willing' to pay tribute instead and be under the 'protection' of Islam.

       These same historians conveniently try to gloss over the unambiguous words of Muhammad in

9:29 " Make war upon those who do not believe in Allah….nor acknowledge the Religion of Truth (Islam), from among the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizyah with abject submission and humiliation".

       In the final analysis, the pull of luxuries and comfort of civilized societies were - as usual in human natural needs - greater than the ideal to spread Islam.

       One cannot stress enough that Islam is not the Religion of a State but is actually a State Religion.

       Under Shari'a law and according to the fundamentals of Muhammadan Islam, it is almost IMPOSSIBLE  to separate the 'RELIGION' from the STATE as can be done in democratic countries for example.

       I do not imply that one cannot have a moderate and forward looking and tolerant Muhammadan Muslim state such as occurred in Andalusia Spain between the 9th and 11th centuries; one of the greatest centres of culture in the world.

       Unfortunately this was achieved only through administrations that tolerated diversity of religious beliefs and ethnicity where Muslims, Christians and Jews lived together in harmony and for the benefit of all in that realm.

       Although in reality this is not the norm, it shows none the less, that it can be achieved under very enlightened leadership when the 'ULAMAA and all strata of so called
'religious leaders' do not have the power to defy or subvert the will of the government.