He was, Abdullah ibn Uthman ibn Aamir ibn Amr ibn Ka’b ibn Sa’d ibn Taym ibn Murra ibn Ka’b ibn Luayy and he was from the Banu Taym – a small sub-tribe of Quraysh.
He was born Abdul-Ka’ba, but the Prophet (SAW) changed this when he became Muslim to Abdullah.
His father, Uthman, gave him the kunya (Teknonym) Abu Bakr i.e. the father of bakr. Not because he had a son called Bakr, but Bakr is the young energetic camel and so his father named him this because of his energy as a child.
He also had a laqab (nickname), ‘Ateeq (freed).
His father was Uthman but known as Abu Quhafa and he accepted Islam aged 90 during Fathul Makkah (the conquest of Makkah).
His mother, Salma bint Sakhar became Muslim very early own.
Abu Bakr had a light complexion – wheatish brown, he was tall and very skinny with a gaunt looking face.
He was the most knowledgeable of the Quraysh in geneology/history of the Arabs.
He never drank alcohol, venerated an idol or committed zina (fornication) pre-Islam. It was mentioned that he never drank alcohol because as a youth he witness a drunk man defecate in public and put his hand in his own faeces.
Abu Bakr was the only person (other than Khadijah and Ali) who is said to have accepted Islam without a second thought or any waivering.
He had 4 wives, but only ever 2 at one time. 3 of the wives were from Quraysh and 1 from the Ansar. These wives bore him 6 children, 3 sons and 3 daughters
- Qutayla – married and divorced pre-Islam – she never became Muslim. With her he had Abdullah and Asma.
- Umm Rumaan – a widower who he married pre-islam and both became Muslim. With her he had Aishah and Abdurahman. She died 6AH
- Asmah bint Umays (married to Ja’far ibn Abi Talib until he passed away), and then she marries Abu Bakr and they have a son Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr. Abu Bakr passed away when he was very young and Asmah married Ali who raised Muhammad and nominated him governor of Egypt during his Caliphate. She was the only woman to be married to 2 Khalifa.
- Habiba (Ansari) Abu Bakr was married to her and Asmah at the same time. He was with Habiba on the outskirts of Medina when Prophet (SAW) passed away. He had a daughter with her but did not get to see her because she was born after he had died. He name was Umm Kulthum.
He was the only Sahabi where the whole family became Muslim in Mecca and the only Sahabi with 4 generations of Muslim. Abdullah ibn Zubair (Asma’s son) bint Abu Bakr bin Uthman
He was the first male Muslim and when Islam was still in the selective da’wah stage he gave the first public speech/khutbah calling people to Islam and was very badly beaten till he fell unconscious. When he woke, his first question was – how is the Prophet?
He was inseparable from the Prophet (SAW) throughout seerah and he is mentioned in the Quran as being the companion in the cave. He was well-off and from the early days of Islam used his wealth to free abused slaves like Bilal and to further the da’wah of Islam such as during the boycott of the Muslims and Banu Hashim. We know that during the Medinan period he gave all of his wealth to the da’wah and left his family with Allah and His Messenger (SAW).
During the Prophet’s final illness he didn’t appoint Abu Bakr to succeed him but left indications. On the Prophet’s passing the Ansar gathered together to discuss leadership and Sa’d ibn Ubadah was the front candidate. Abu Bakr turned up with Umar and Abu Ubaidah and started by speaking highly about the Ansar and what the Prophet said about the Ansar. He finished by saying that leadership was from Quraysh at which point the Ansar agreed. He then nominated Umar or Abu Ubaidah – who in turn nominated Abu Bakr, which was accepted by the Ansar.
- He despatched the army of Usama ibn Zayd a young commander (16-18 years old) despite the sahaba saying that someone older and more experienced should be in charge. He refused by saying that he could not reverse a decision made by the Messenger of Allah, he sent Usama with the army to fight the Romans despite the threats aimed at Medinah. Taking this course of action was greatly beneficial in ways he may not have known.
- He fought the apostates despite Umar requesting him to show clemency. Abu Bakr had to fight the war on multiple fronts. To best deal with this, he divided the Muslim army into 11 corps and appointed a general over each one. Within a few months, the Apostate Wars had come to an end. Abu Bakr took a balanced approach in dealing with those who had come back into Islam. He showed mercy and forgave them, allowing them to lead peaceful lives now that they had repented [contrast with his willingness to fight them as opposed to Umar]
- He fought the withholders of Zakat.
- He fought the false prophet Musaylamah in the battle of Yamam, 70 huffadh died and it was a big battle. This was Musaylamah who reared his ugly head at the time of the Prophet and he said in a letter, “From Musaylimah, Messenger of God, to Muhammad, Messenger of God. Salutations to you. I have been given a share with you in this matter. Half the earth belongs to us and half to the Quraish. But the Quraish are people who transgress.”
The Prophet Muhammad, however, replied back: “”From Muhammad, the Messenger of God, to Musaylimah, the arch-liar. Peace be upon him who follows (God’s) guidance. Now then, surely the earth belongs to God, who bequeaths it to whom He will amongst his servants. The ultimate issue is to the God-fearing”
Musaylama was then killed by Wahshi who killed the Prophet’s uncle Hamza.
- As a result of the hufadh who were killed, as above, Umar requested Abu Bakr compile the Quran. His response to ‘Umar (ra) was, “How can I do something that the Prophet did not do?” He could not fathom the idea of doing something in the deen that the Prophet had not done himself. Having seen a dream he then acquiesced with Umar.
He narrated 142 hadith, which may seem strange but he only lived 2-3 years after the Prophet and was busy leading so not much opportunity for people to take directly from him.
It is said that he died because after the passing of the Prophet his body kept wasting away from the physical distance from his inseparable friend. He went to the celestial realm on juamadal-akhira 13AH at 63