9605-MODEL LEADERS IN THE HISTORY OF ISLAM: ABUBAKR
Dr Omar Hasan Kasule, Sr. MB ChB, MPH, DrPH (Harvard) Professor of Medicine & Director, Training Center, International
Islamic University PO Box 70 Jln Sultan PJ 46700 Telephone 60 3 755 3433 fax 60 3 757 7970 Seminar on ‘Building Leaders
of the Community,’ Madrasah Wak Tanjomg al Islamiah, Singapore31 May-1
This paper and the next one describe Abubakr al Siddiq and Omar Ibn al Khattab as model
leaders. Their personalities and styles of leadership were different and complementary. A full picture of an ideal Muslim
leader can be obtained by studying both of them. The 2 leaders are studied from their own pronouncements.
WHAT IS SPECIAL ABOUT ABUBAKR
Abubakr is remembered for the following: (a) he was the companion of the prophet in the
cave on migration from Makka to Madina. (b) Abubakr was asked by the prophet to lead prayers when the prophet was in his last
illness (c) He was the first believer in Makka (d) He had firm iman that knew no doubts (e) He had wisdom and vision (f) He
put his focus of unity of state after death of prophet (g) he took a firm stand in riddat wars preserved religion and unity
(h) He laid foundation for empire in byzantine and Persian lands (I) He collected Qur’an
ABUBAKAR IN MAKKA BEFORE ISLAM:
Abubakr had good manners and was a loved personality. He was a leader in his tribe in charge
of settling blood feuds. He was a successful cloth merchant due to his good personality. Even before Islam, he had good morals;
he did not drink alcohol. He did not participate in jahiliyyah worship. When
the prophet called him, he did not hesitate to accept Islam
ABUBAKR IN MAKKA AFTER ISLAM:
He called others in Islam. He used his wealth to help poor Muslims. He was neverangry except for Allah. He was a constant companion of the Prophet. He planned the logistics of the hijra
and was the prophet’s companion on the journey..
ABUBAKR IN MADINA:
He started as a farmer. He was always with the prophet. Abubakr and Omar were the closest
advisers of the Prophet. Abubakr was kind to Badr prisoners of war. He understood and supported the prophet’s strategy
at Hudaybiyyat. He led the pilgrimage after Hudaybiyyat. He led salt when prophet was sick (9) firm stand at death of prophet.
His firm and wise stand at saqifa averted civil war.
ABUBAKR ON ASCENSION TO KHILAFAT:
Abubakr did not oppress opposers to his election. During the riddat wars, the usually
soft Abubakr was tough and stood firm for the truth. He stabilized the state in his reign by such courageous stands. He took
a firm stand on refusers of zakat. He was firm with pretenders to prophethood. he dispatched Usamah’s army to fulfill
the prophet’s command although there were many dangers in Madina at that time. He initiated the Syrian and Iraq campaigns that resulted into the expansion of the Islamic state.
ABUBAKR AS A LEADER:
Abubakr was a full-time leader devoted only to his work. He was aware of his limitations
and brought about him men who could complement him. He asked for obedience from the people only if He obeyed Allah and did
not assume that he had a right to rule. He governed by shura.
DEATH OF ABUBAKR:
Abubakr was pre-occupied with ummatic welfare in the last 2 weeks of his life when he was
sick. He consulted the companions before appointing Omar as the next khalifa. He undertook self criticism on his activities.
He returned all the salary he had earned as khalifa to the public treasury.
Abubakr died with no wealth. he was buried in his old clothes; he said that the living
needed new ones. He ordered his funeral should not distract from state affairs
The main lessons we learn from Abubakr are : (a) Simple life (b) Honesty (c) Politeness
(d) Firmness (e) Caution (f) Against self-admiration (g) Self criticism (h) Accepting criticism (I)
(a) Abubakr was able to maintain the unity of the ummah after the passing away of the prophet
(b) He stood firm and defeated the apostates (c) He stood form against the refusers of zakat (d) the started the era of conquests
(d) He collected the Qur’an
ABUBAKR TELLS MUSLIMS TO CORRECT HIM
“If I am upright then follow me; but if I deviate straighten me out”
CHARACTERISTICS OF A LEADER: ABU BUKAR’S SPEECH ON HIS ELECTION
“O Men! Here I have been assigned the job of being a ruler over you while I am not
the best among you.If I do well in my job, help me.If I do wrong, redress me.Truthfulness is fidelity, and lying
is treason.The weak shall be strong in my eyes until I restore to them their
lost rights, and the strong shall be weak in my eye until I have restored the rights of the weak from them.No people give up fighting for the cause of God but God inflicts upon them abject subjection; and no people
give themselves to lewdness but God envelops them with misery.Obey me as long
as I obey god and His Prophet.But if I disobey God’s command or His Prophet’s,
then no obedience is incumbent upon you.Rise to your prayer, that God may bless
you” (Muhammad pp 508-511)
LEADERSHIP FOR A HIGHER PURPOSE THAN SELF-INTEREST:
The Holy Prophet (p.b.h.) was called back (by Allah) and people were not far away from
the age of Kufr (infidelity) I became afraid that people might revert to their old religion and fall into differences.I therefore, accepted this responsibility, although I did not like it. Hayat 2: 24
ACCOUNTABILITY TO PEOPLE:
“Keep a close watch on me.Help me,
if I am keeping right, if I go wrong, put me right.Follow me till I am obeying
Allah and do not pay any heed to me, if I defy Allah”. Hayat 2:24
RIGHTEOUS LEADER ARE FOLLOWED :
“Such conditions shall prevail as long as the leaders of the people stick to the
path of righteousness. Don’t you see that every tribe has a leaders and the people follow him.These leaders ought to be righteous”. Hayat 2:802
ABU BAKR’S WILL TO UMAR:
“I invite you to perform a task which is very tiresome.Fear Allah O Umar! in obeying Allah and maintain piety in obeying Him. Piety is a guard (against evils).This is Caliphate which is taken over by one who may carry out its responsibilities.One who order rightful acts and himself does wrong, asks others to do good and himself
act badly would soon lose his earnings, and deeds.Thus if you are appointed
as a Caliph to look after the affairs of people, you should try to desist from shedding blood, keep your belly empty from
their wealth and save your tongue form causing disgrace to them.You should do
all this if possible and one has no capacity to perform anything except by the help of Allah”. Hayat.