Why did Gandhi invoke Caliph Abu Bakar during the formation of the Congressional government in 1937?
through Dr Qudsia Gani
Abu Bakr said: “Where are the beautiful and the beautiful? Where are those who were delighted with their youth and their beauty? Where are the kings who built the cities and surrounded them with walls? Where are the victors of wars? They all perished and ended in the depths of dark tombs. Hurry and hurry. Do good deeds, because death is faster. While we are busy working for the world, the world is busy trying to kick us out. Therefore, if an ignorant person is attracted to the glitz and glamor of the world, it is bad, but if a learned person is so attracted, it is worse.
On the occasion of the creation of the Congressional government in India in 1937, Mahatama Gandhi said: âI cannot give you the reference of Ram Chandar or Krishna because they were not considered historical figures. I cannot help but introduce to you the names of (Hazrat) Abu Bakar (RA) and (Hazrat) Umar Farooq (RA). They were the head of a vast empire, but they led a life of austerity. “
This is recorded in HarijÃ¡n dated July 27, 1937. Every great civilization is marked by people of great eminence and for Islamic civilization, it is Abu Bakr who ranks first among the righteous. He is commonly referred to as As-Siddicus, which means trustworthy. It can be found in detail in Wikipedia and Google and in the Encyclopedia of World History. However, the need is to deploy it beyond these folds.
Actually named Abdullah ibn Uthman, Abu Bakr (meaning father of a camel calf) was his nickname or teknonyme because of his love for camels. This name has become so popular with him that it is mainly called by him. He lived between October 27, 573 AD and August 23, 634 AD.
Abu Bakr belonged to a wealthy merchant family in the city of Mecca and was well educated. He was a prominent businessman, had a keen memory and a penchant for poetry, which were then considered to be the quintessential traits of Arab gentlemen. He became the Prophet Muhammad’s closest companion and advisor [PBUH] and helped him through thick and thin on his mission to establish social justice peacefully. He exhausted all his resources to support the cause of the Prophet Muhammad [PBUH] and remained with him until the end of his days. This has been beautifully summarized by Iqbal in the following lines.
Parwane ko chiragh hai, Bulbul ko phool low,
Siddique (RA) ke liay hai Khuda ka Rasool bottom.
(The lamp is sufficient for the moth, the flower is sufficient for the butterfly. For Abu Bakr Siddique (RA) the Messenger (SAW) of God is sufficient.)
The vitality of the mission of the prophet Muhammad [PBUH] has been well recognized by intellectuals in all specters. As for example, George Bernard Shaw, Irish playwright and co-founder of the London School of Economics, said: âI have always held the religion of Muhammad in high esteem because of its wonderful vitality. It is the only religion which seems to me to possess this capacity of assimilation to the changing phase of existence, which can be called upon at all ages. I have studied him – the wonderful man and in my opinion far from an antichrist he should be called the Savior of mankind.
According to Michael H Hart, “it is the unprecedented combination of secular and religious influence that, in my opinion, allows Muhammad to be considered the most influential figure in human history.” He toppled the unjust system with great wit and courage. Men like Abu Bakr have strongly reciprocated Muhammad’s divine call, which in recent times has become even more thoughtful and withdrawn. His mind was occupied with contemplation and reflection, and he was deeply concerned with the moral debasement of his people. He began to preach and practice what continued to descend from the cosmos in the form of revelations. Along with Abu Bakr, he worked on the hearts and minds of the people.
Abu Bakr helped foster social psychology that criticized widespread orthodoxy and socio-economic inconsistencies. While preaching the unity of God, he aimed to establish an ethical and egalitarian social order based on the laws of one God as enshrined in the doctrines of the glorious Quran. Abu Bakr would lead by example. He bought slaves only to free them. He married his daughter to one of these freed slaves to break the social stereotype. He was repeatedly persecuted by his tribesmen, but he remained steadfast. He perfected his good deeds every day.
Like for example, Umar He had often seen him go deep into the desert after each morning prayer and had decided to follow him one day. He was entering a house from which he would return in the afternoon. As Abu Bakr was leaving, Umar entered the house to see an elderly, blind and frail lady with young children running around. She had no one to look after. Umar asked her about the person who comes to her house every day. She said she didn’t know him because he had never shared his name but he came every day, cleaned my house, washed our clothes, grinds our wheat, baked our bread, made our breakfast, then left. Omar started to cry and said âyou have exhausted all the successors after youâ.
This irreproachable standard was impossible to match, but Umar was learning from the way Abu Bakr behaved while he was the Caliph and this had a huge impact on how Umar would later rule as Caliph himself. God knows how many acts of this kind he committed throughout his life, unheard of and unnoticed, but according to a claim by Muhammad [PBUH], his righteous deeds prevail over the countless stars.
In his sermons, Abu Bakr used to say, âWhere are the beautiful and the beautiful? Where are those who were delighted with their youth and their beauty? Where are the kings who built the cities and surrounded them with walls? Where are the victors of wars? They all perished and ended in the depths of dark tombs. Hurry and hurry. Do good deeds, because death is faster. While we are busy working for the world, the world is busy trying to kick us out. Therefore, if an ignorant person is attracted to the glitz and glamor of the world, it is bad, but if a learned person is so attracted, it is worse.
Like the prophet Muhammad [PBUH] gone to the heavenly home; Abu Bakr took over from his political and administrative functions and started the office of caliph. He was a perfect balance between action and emotion. As for example, when people struggled to cope with the fact that the Prophet Muhammad is no more, it was his cautious warning that kept them from worshiping him as a divine figure.
Hazrat Abu Bakar delivered a short and powerful speech as follows: âO Muslims, if you worshiped Muhammad, know that Muhammad is dead; if it is God that you worship, know that he lives, he never dies. Remember this verse of the (Quran), ‘Muhammad is only a man charged with a mission; before him, there were men who received the heavenly mission and died â; nor this verse: “You also, Muhammad, you will die as others died before you.” No wonder then that the prophet said, “If I had to choose from among my Umma anyone as a close friend, I would have chosen Abu Bakr.
(The author teaches physics at Cluster University Srinagar. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of Kashmir Life.)