The first public address about Islam.
For three years the Muslims kept a secret of their faith, and prayed in secret. Abu Bakr always urged on the Holy Prophet that as Islam was the Truth, it should be declared publicly. The Holy Prophet assured Abu Bakr that Islam would be proclaimed publicly when Allah so commanded. Some time in 613 C.E. the Holy Prophet received the Divine Command to make an open declaration Or faith. At the first public meeting held to call the people to God, the first public address in the history of Islam, inviting the people to offer allegiance to the Holy Prophet was delivered by Abu Bakr. The Quraish were exasperated at this daring of the Muslims. In a fit of fury the Quraish young men rushed at Abu Bakr, and beat him mercilessly till he lost consciousness.
Conversion of the mother of Abu Bakr to Islam.
Abu Bakr was carried to his home. When he regained consciousness, he did not care for his own wounds: he wanted to know how was the Holy Prophet. When Abu Bakr felt some relief, he insisted that he should be taken to the Holy Prophet. His mother agreed to take him to the Holy Prophet. When the Holy Prophet saw Abu Bakr coming to inquire about him when his own wounds had not healed. he was much impressed with the loyalty and faith of Abu Bakr. The Holy Prophet blessed Abu Bakr and kissed him on the forehead. Overwhelmed with emotion, the mother of Abu Bakr declared the article of faith and became a Muslim.
The Holy Prophet in the Ka’aba.
One day the Holy Prophet went to the Ka’aba and circumambulated it. As he passed in front of the ‘Black Stone’, and kissed it, some of the Quraish assembled there used foul language against him. The Holy Prophet kept quiet and took another round of the Ka’aba. As he came to the ‘Black Stone’ for the second time, the Quraish abused him again. The Holy Prophet did not mind them, and went moving around the Kaaba. As he completed the third round the Quraish abused him once again. This time he turned his face to them, and said; “Listen to me O Quraish; I bring you slaughter.” This overawed the Quraish and they dispersed.
The following day the Quraish assembled in the Kaaba, and vowed vengeance against the Holy Prophet. After some time, the Holy Prophet also came to the Ka’aba. The Quraish surrounded him and said, “Are you the one who has abused our gods?” The Holy Prophet said that it was so. Thereupon the Quraish fell upon the Holy Prophet, and gave him a severe beating. When Abu Bakr came to know of this he rushed to the spot. He interposed himself between the Holy Prophet and the Quraish weeping and saying, “Would you kill a man for saying that Allah is his Lord.” Thereupon the Quraish fell on Abu Bakr, and beat him. The beating was so severe that blood flowed from the head of Abu Bakr and clotted his hair. He did not mind his own injuries, and even on the sick bed, he expressed his anxiety about the safety and welfare of the Holy Prophet.
Uqba b Abi Mohit.
Once when the Holy Prophet was saying prayers in the Ka’aba, Uqba b Abi Mohit a Quraish young man threw his sheet round the neck of the Holy Prophet, and twisted it with a view to strangling him. Abu Bakr who hovered close by fell on Uqba and rescued the Holy Prophet.
When the Holy Prophet invited the people to Islam, his uncle Abu Lahab and his wife Umm Jamil became hostile to him. Umm Jamil would carry thorns and place them in the way of the Holy Prophet. About Abu Lahab and his wife, the Holy Prophet received the following revelation from God: “Abu Lahab and his hands God blast his wealth and gains useless at the last. He shall roast in flames held fast. With his wife, the bearer of the wood aghast, On her neck a rope of palm fiber cast.”
One day Umm Jamil came to the Ka’aba where Abu Bakr and the Holy Prophet were praying. She failed to see the Holy Prophet, and addressing Abu Bakr she said, “I hear that Muhammad is satirizing me. If I find him I will smash him. We reject the reprobate. His words we repudiate; His religion, we loathe and hate.” When Abu Bakr remonstrated with her, she abused him.
Persecutions of other Muslims.
The persecutions of the Quraish were not confined to the Holy Prophet or Abu Bakr. Almost every Muslim convert became a victim of the persecutions of the Quraish.
When Usman b Affan who later became the third Caliph of Islam, was converted to Islam, he was bound and beaten by his uncle Hakam b Al’Aas.
When Zubair b Awam accepted Islam his uncle wrapped him in a mat, and passed smoke through his nose.
When Abdullah bin Masud recited the Quran in the Ka’aba, he was mercilessly beaten by the Quraish.
Umm Shareek a lady who accepted Islam was made to stand under the hot sun for three days, and was not allowed to drink water.
Khabbab when converted to Islam was forced by the Quraish to lie on live cinders.
Ammar when converted to Islam was thrown on burning sand and severely beaten till he lost consciousness. His mother Sumaiyya was stabbed to death by Abu Jahl. His father Yasir was tortured to death.
Suhaib was beaten so mercilessly that he lost his mental balance.
Reaction of Abu Bakr.
Abu Bakr felt distressed at the persecution of the Muslims. He did all he could to alleviate the sufferings of the Muslims.
Abu Bakr suffered along with other Muslims. He had a flourishing business, but as a result of his acceptance of Islam his business suffered a good deal. At the time of his conversion to Islam he had 40,000 dirhams with him. He spent a great part of this money for the relief of the Muslims in distress. Abu Bakr did not mind these sufferings, and the more he suffered the deeper became his faith in Islam.