Hazrat Abu Bakr (R.A) was born in a highly respected family of Banu Tamim of the tribe of Qureysh in Makkah in 573 A.D. His name by birth was Abdullah and Abu Bakr was the inherited one. His father was Uthman, commonly known as Abu Quhafa and his mother was Salma, whose patronymic identity was Ummul Khair. He (R.A) was more or less two years younger than the Holy Prophet ﷺ and his familial branch matched with that of Rasullah ﷺ.
He (R.A) was pious, good looking, truthful and a sincere person from his early youth and was greatly respected for his fabulous personality. He was also a close friend of Hazrat Muhammad ﷺ from an early age. He was kind hearted and used to help in curing sufferings of others. Regarding his compassionate behavior towards others, the Apostle ﷺ of Allah SWT is narrated by Anas ibn Malik (R.A) to have said:
“The most merciful of my Ummah towards my Ummah is Abu Bakr…..” (Tirmidhi)
Before the arrival of Islam, he (R.A) always used to dislike and avoid many of the immoralities present in the society especially drinking alcohol. Hazrat Abu Bakr (R.A) adopted the profession of trade and was well known for his integrity and honesty in business dealings and accompanied the Messenger ﷺ of God on a number of trade missions. He earned a considerable amount of wealth through this commerce which was made possible with the help of his great character. He was also asked by many people to keep their possessions as trust with him.
First Adult To Accept Islam
When Hazrat Muhammad ﷺ told Hazrat Abu Bakr (R.A) about His Prophet Hood and First Revelation of Allah SWT, he (R.A) readily embraced Islam. Due to close companionship of both, Hazrat Abu Bakr (R.A) knew about the great personality of Rasulullah ﷺ and could never think of Him lying. Therefore, he (R.A), unlike others, without giving a second thought to it, accepted the Message of the Almighty Lord as true and became first ever Adult Person to have accepted Islam.
Getting The Title of As-Siddiq
When the Holy Prophet ﷺ had a Night Journey of Isra (Moving from Kaaba in Makkah to Bait-al Maqdas in Jerusalem) and Miraj (Visiting the seven Heavens and Paradise), no one believed him. They came to Hazrat Abu Bakr (R.A) to ask him about his thoughts on this apparently looking dream of Rasulullah ﷺ. He (R.A) said that he believed it to be true. They asked him again. Again, Hazrat Abu Bakr (R.A) said that he (R.A) had complete faith in each and every word of the Messenger ﷺ of Allah. Upon this, Hazrat Muhammad ﷺ gave him the title of As-Siddiq (the one who is truthful and the most accurate in his faith).
Spending His Wealth In the Way of Allah SWT
Hazrat Abu Bakr (R.A) was well known for his sympathetic character. He used to remove miseries of people right from his early age. With more and more people embraced the Religion of Peace; the infidels tyrannized them with great physical pains. Hazrat Bilal (R.A), who is considered to be among the most affectionate companions of Rasulullah ﷺ, was made to lie on burning sand by his owner due to his acceptance of Islam. Hazrat Abu Bakr (R.A) paid great amount of money and made him free. Some of the other new Muslim convert slaves that Sayyidina Abu Bakr (R.A) freed before migration include: “Amir bin Fuhairah (R.A), Nazirah (R.A), Nahdiah (R.A), Jariah (R.A), Bani Momil (R.A) and Bint Nahdiah (R.A)” etc.
At the time of Ghazwa (battle of) Tabooq, he (R.A) was the one who brought all of his possessions for sake of Allah SWT and His Messenger ﷺ, upon which Rasulullah ﷺ said:
Abu-Bakr has favored me much with his property and company. If I were to take a Khalil (an intimate friend) from mankind I would certainly have taken Abu Bakr.” (Bukhari)
Due to great status of Hazrat Abu Bakr (R.A) which is down to his rightful companionship of the Holy Prophet ﷺ and spending in the way of Islam, Hazrat Muhammad ﷺ regarded him so high that He considered him (R.A) the only person to be His Close Friend from all mankind in the hereafter.
Being Companion Of Prophet PBUH During Migration
When the times in Makkah became very strict and disbelievers started to oppress Muslims beyond limit, Allah SWT directed His Apostle ﷺ to start migration towards Madina. The Holy Prophet ﷺ left Hazrat Ali (R.A) on his bed and asked him to return all the trusts to their owners and travel to Madina next day. On the same night, Rasulullah ﷺ was accompanied by his most righteous companions, i.e. Hazrat Abu Bakr and both stayed in the “Cave of Thawr” for three days as non believers had followed them to kill (God forbid) them. The Almighty Lord records this happening in the Holy Quran in the form of following words:
In the above mentioned Ayah Kareema, the Most Merciful refers towards the event of Emigration from Makkah when Rasulullah ﷺ said to Hazrat Abu Bakr (R.A) not to panic while enemies had drawn near the cave. It shows how Sayyindina Abu Bakr (R.A) stood firm along with the Apostle ﷺ of God while migrating from Makkah to Madina.
Being Imam of Mosque in Absence of Prophet PBUH
The standing of Hazrat Abu Bakr (R.A) near the Messenger ﷺ of Allah SWT was so tremendous in degree that He (PBUH) made him (R.A) the Imam (one who leads prayers in mosque) of Masjid e Nabawi in His own nonappearance.
“Tell Abu Bakr from my side to offer Salat to people (Muslims). [In absence of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)]” (Bukhari and Muslim)
The above mentioned Hadith clearly indicates the great position of Hazrat Abu Bakr (R.A) in the eyes of Rasulullah ﷺ that He made him the Imam of Muslims to lead the Salah.
Having the Strongest Eeman (Faith) among Ummah
The Holy Prophet ﷺ greatly admired Hazrat Abu Bakr`s (R.A) assurance in Allah SWT and Steadfastness on Islamic convictions. He (PBUH) used to quote Sayyidina Abu Bakr`s (R.A) example in front of rest of his companions in the following words:
“ If the Eeman of Abu Bakr was put on one side of the scale and the eman of this entire Ummah on the other, Abu Bakr’s eman would have outweighed. “ (At-Tirmidhi and Ahmad)
It means that Hazrat Abu Bakr (R.A) had complete belief in Allah and His Messenger ﷺ which is why Rasulullah ﷺ has regarded the weight of his Eeman (Faith) heavier than the rest of the Ummah (Followers of Islam).
Being First Caliph of Islam
Hazrat Abu Bakr (R.A) was ever closest friend of the Holy Prophet ﷺ throughout His Islamic Expedition. He (R.A) fought almost all the Ghazwaats (battles in which Prophet PBUH himself fought) and stood firmly by side of Rasulullah ﷺ. He (R.A) was also the only one who agreed with the Messenger`s ﷺ Decision of going into Pact of Hudaibya, which later proved be the wisest of the decisions in form of eventual triumph of Makkah afterwards.
After the death of Hazrat Muhammad ﷺ, all the Ashaab (companions of Prophet PBUH) were in a state of great gloom. Nobody knew that who would lead them. In the end, Hazrat Abu Bakr (R.A) was made the first Ameer (Caliph) of Muslims when Hazrat Umar (R.A) reminded everyone about his great status and services to Islam. During his short reign, he (R.A) gathered the dividing Muslims very well and brought them back to one faith with his resoluteness and steadfastness on the commandments of Hazrat Muhammad ﷺ.
Compilation Of Quran For First Time
Due to increased number of Muslims, and passing away of those who remembered the Holy Quran, Hazrat Umar (R.A) advised Hazrat Abu Bakr (R.A) to accumulate Furqan e Hameed in one single form to preserve it for the future generations. Therefore, on the direction of Hazrat Abu Bakr (R.A), Zaid bin Saabit (R.A) accomplished the task of compilation of one single Quran successfully.
In short, Hazrat Abu Bakr (R.A) was the man of great faith, truthfulness, and integrity and did true service of Islam. He was very close companion of the Holy Prophet ﷺ. He died at the age of 63, and is buried next to the Messenger ﷺ of Allah.