When companions of the Holy Prophet heard anything from him, or saw him doing an act, they faithfully preserved an account of what he had said or done. When all such accounts were compiled and edited, the corpus became the Hadith, a source for the Muslims.
Items of the Hadith attributed to Abu Bakr.
Out of the entire collection of Hadith running into thousands of items, only 142 items are attributed to the authority of Abu Bakr. Of all the companions of the Holy Prophet, Abu Bakr was the closest to him, and one would expect Abu Bakr to be a repository of a larger number of traditions. The comparatively smaller number of traditions owing their authority to the reporting of Abu Bakr is attributed to the extraordinary care and caution exercised by Abu Bakr in sifting the tradition.
Ayesha’s account of the preservation of traditions by Abu Bakr.
According to Ayesha, Abu Bakr had originally a collection of over five hundred traditions, and he deposited the compilation with her for custody. Ayesha relates that one night she noticed that Abu Bakr felt very restless. He tossed about in the bed, and could not sleep. Ayesha got worried whether he was suffering or was worried.
He made no reply, but remained restless throughout the night. The following morning he asked Ayesha to bring him the collections that he had deposited with her. She brought the compilation and he set fire to it. On the enquiry of Ayesha, Abu Bakr explained his conduct thus: “The collection contained many traditions that I had heard from other people. I thought that if I died and left behind traditions accepted by me as authentic, but really not so, then I would have to answer for that.”
Traditions authenticated by Abu Bakr.
Some of the tradition authenticated by Abu Bakr are as follows: If the water is flowing, any aquatic animal found dead therein would be Halal. He who cleanses his teeth pleases God. If a man is with Wudu, and then takes his meals, he need not have the Wudu again. He who offers the morning prayers comes under the protection of Allah. No prophet dies until he offers prayers behind some one of his followers. If any body sins, and then offers prayers of repentance, Allah pardons him.
The prophet dies at the spot where he is to be buried. The Jews and the Christians have earned the displeasure of God for worshipping the graves of their prophets. The dead man suffers because of the mourning over his dead body. Give in charity, even though it may be a single date. Do your job yourself. Do not put yourself under the obligation of any person for doing anything for you. He who deceives a Momin (firm believer) is accursed. He who is bad tempered, dishonest, unjust and tyrannous has no place in paradise.
Prophets of Allah leave nothing to be inherited He who travels in the way of Allah has a claim to paradise. Wherever there are two Muslims, the third one among them is Allah. Do not speak a lie, for a falsehood poisons faith. A just ruler is the shadow of Allah on earth. He who helps a person in distress earns the protection of Allah. If the people of paradise were to trade in anything they would have traded in cloth. He who wants to escape from torture of hell should not be hard on the people. If you wish for the mercy of Allah, be kind to His people. The people who abandon Jihad will not prosper.
He who builds a mosque for Allah, Allah will build a house for him in the paradise. Religion is the standard of Allah, hold it aloft. On the occasion of the pilgrimage, the most excellent actions are the raising of the voice in the talbiyah, and the shedding of the blood of the animals brought for sacrifice. He whose feet becomes dusty in the service of Allah, Allah will preserve him from hell fire. Infidelity moves more stealthily among my people than the creeping of an ant. There is no part of the body that complains not of the sharpness of the tongue. The thief must be put to death for the fifth theft.
The Friday prayer is an atonement for all that occurs until the next Friday prayer, and ablution on a Friday is an atonement for ablutions until the next Friday. To every one who, has fought at Badr, is announced the tiding of paradise. He who condoles with a bereaved mother, Allah will cover him with His shadow. A slanderer will not enter paradise. Neglect not to invoke Allah against Satan. The Surah of Hud has made me (the Holy Prophet) grey.