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26 May 2017 CE | 01 Ramadhan 1438 AH
Explanation below

Hadith Explanation


Close all Gates except Abu Bakr’s


Narrated Abu Said Al-Khudri (radi Allahu anhu): Allah’s Messenger (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) addressed the people saying, “Allah gave a choice to one of his slaves to choose this world or what is with him. The slave chose what is with Allah.” Abu Bakr wept and we were astonished at his weeping caused by what the Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) mentioned as to a slave (of Allah) who had been offered a choice, (we learned later on) that Allah’s Messenger himself was the person who was given the choice, and that Abu Bakr knew more than us. Allah’s Messenger (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) added, “Abu Bakr has favoured me much with his company and property (wealth), more than anybody else. If I were to take a Khalil other than my Lord, I would have taken Abu Bakr, but the Islamic brotherhood and friendship is sufficient. Close all the gates in the masjid except the gate of Abu Bakr.” [The Book of the Virtues of the Companions of the Prophet: Sahih Bukhari]

There are several things to learn from this hadith:

1. Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) gives a choice to his righteous slaves when the time of their death approaches, whether they would like to live a little longer or go to Jannah. Since there is no comparison between what the world can offer and the goodness that Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) has with Him, the choice is easy to make.
 
2. Abu Bakr’s understanding of what the Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) meant surpassed that of all the other Companions. This was illustrated on many occasions. This is one such occasion. Abu Bakr (radi Allahu anhu) understood that the Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) was telling them that he was about to depart from this world, while the others didn’t comprehend the depth of what the Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) was saying to them.

It is natural that this would be the case since nobody had spent as much time with the Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) as Abu Bakr (radi Allahu anhu) had. He had been his closest friend before he became a Prophet, he was the first man to accept Islam, he was his closest companion in Makkah, he alone accompanied him on the dangerous migration to Madina, he accompanied him out of Madina on all his military expeditions and he was closest to him in companionship until he (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) passed away.

3. The Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) attested before this public gathering to the superiority of Abu Bakr (radi Allahu anhu) over all the other Companions. “Abu Bakr has favoured me much with his company and property (wealth), more than anybody else.” This is an indication that Abu Bakr (radi Allahu anhu) is more eligible than all others to be his successor since he was his greatest support and friend in all possible ways.

4. The fact that the Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) ordered all doors opening into the masjid to be closed except that of Abu Bakr’s is also an indication of the status of Abu Bakr (radi Allahu anhu) with Allah and His Messenger.

5. The word ‘Khalil’ in Arabic means the one whose love is mixed with one’s soul, it is superior than a friend’s or a beloved’s love. This love, of the highest order, is reserved for Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) and nobody can take His place. That is why the Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said that “if” it were possible to give a human this rank, then he would have given it to Abu Bakr. Thus, among the bonds of Islamic brotherhood and human friendship, Abu Bakr’s ranks the highest.

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