Hadrat Abu Bakr Radi’Allahu Anhu : First Sermon inviting people to Islam
True, weak Companions and slaves were the most susceptible of all Muslims to persecution and torture at the hands of the Quraish, but even Muslims from the upper classes of Makkah were not saved from one form of persecution or another. Abu Bakr was no exception: In fact, on one occasion, Abu Bakr was beaten so badly that he almost died as a result.
When there were only 38 males Muslims, Abu Bakr urged the Messenger of Allah صلي الله عليه واله وسلم to openly preach the message of Islam, but the Prophet صلي الله عليه واله وسلم responded by saying, “O Abu Bakr, we are (as of yet) few in number.” Abu Bakr continued to urge the Prophet صلي الله عليه واله وسلم to openly preach until, one day, the Muslims spread out in different parts of the Masjid, with each man remaining in the midst of his clan. Abu Bakr then stood up to deliver a sermon, while the Messenger of Allah صلي الله عليه واله وسلم remained seated. On that day, Abu Bakr became the first person (from this nation) to deliver a sermon in which he invited people unto Allah (SWT) and His Messenger صلي الله عليه واله وسلم . The polytheists did not idly listen to his sermon; instead, they became enraged and charged towards Abu Bakr and the other Muslims. In various parts of the Masjid, the Quraish were giving a severe beating to the Muslims. Abu Bakr was both trampled upon and beaten severely; using his shoes, the evildoer ‘Utbah ibn Rabee’aj began to viciously strike Abu Bakr on his face. So severely was Abu Bakr beaten, and so much blood flowed down his face, that is became difficult to discern between his face and the back of his head.
Had the beating continued, Abu Bakr might have died; in fact, even as matters stood, he did almost die. But his fellow clansmen from Banu Teem came, although somewhat belatedly, to defend him. They pushed the attacking mob away and carried Abu Bakr to his home, feeling certain that he had died. Members of the Banu Teem clan then returned to the Masjid and proclaimed, “By Allah, if Abu Bakr dies, we will indeed kill ‘Utbah ibn Rabee’ah.” They then returned to Abu Bakr , and Abu Quhaafah — Abu Bakr’s father — as well as other members of Banu Tameem tried to speak to him until he finally revived at the end of the day and spoke to them. But rather than answer their questions, and rather than worry about his own condition, Abu Bakr asked them how the Prophet صلي الله عليه واله وسلم was doing. Since they were not Muslims, and since they cared about Abu Bakr’s welfare particularly because he was from their clan — as opposed to the Prophet صلي الله عليه واله وسلم — they were rather upset by what Abu Bakr had said, and they reproached him, reminding him that he should be worried about staying alive, for though he had regained consciousness, he was still extremely weak and bruised from the beating he had taken. His fellow clansmen urged his mother, Umm Al-Khair, to give him food and drink. And when the two of them were the left alone together, Umm Al-Khair implored Abu Bakr to partake of some nourishment, but Abu Bakr kept asking about the Prophet صلي الله عليه واله وسلم . It wasn’t suprising that no one from Abu Teem know how the Prophet صلي الله عليه واله وسلم was doing, since it was hard to make out.
What had happened during the chaotic violence that had just taken place, and since the Prophet صلي الله عليه واله وسلم was, like Abu Bakr , being taken care of by his fellow clansmen, the men of Banu Hashim.
“By Allah, I have no knowledge of your companion (i.e., of how he is doing now),” said Umm Al-Khair. Abu Bakr said, “Go to Umm Jameel , daughter of Al-Khattaab (and brother of ‘Umar ibn Al-Khattaab ), and ask her about him.”
Umm Al-Khair likely had a sense of how Abu Bakr valued the Prophet’s life more so than his own, and so she acquiesced and went out in search of Umm Jameel . Upon finding her, Umm Al-Khair said, “Verily, Abu Bakr asks you about (how) Muhammad ibn ‘Abdulllah (is doing).”
Umm Jameel said, “I know neither Abu Bakr nor Muhammad ibn ‘Abdullah, but if you want, I will go with you to your son.” Umm Al-Khair said, “Yes,” and the two of them returned to Abu Bakr They found him to be seriously ill, and they suspected that he was on the verge of dying. Seeing Abu Bakr’s weak condition, Umm Jameel approached him and yelled out load, saying, “By Allah, those hwo have done this to you are indeed the people of wickedness and disbelief. Indeed, I hope that Allah takes revenge on them for you,.” Abu Bakr then asked how the Messenger of Allah was doing, to which Umm Jameel responded, “Here is your mother, listening (to us).” Abu Bakr reassured her that she had nothing to worry about regarding his mother.
“He is safe and sound,” said Umm Jameel . Abu Bakr asked, “Where is he?” She answered, “In the House of Al-Arqam.” Despite his own weakness and need for rest and nourishment, Abu Bakr then made an oath that we would neither eat not drink before first going to the Messenger of Allah صلي الله عليه واله وسلم and making sure that he was well. But both Umm Jameel and Umm Al-Khair delayed him, for they thought it was best to wait for the situation to calm down in the streets. When things did finally calm down, they led Abu Bakr to the House of Al-Arqam, and since he couldn’t walk on his own, he was leaning on them for support. As soon as they entered, the Messenger of Allah صلي الله عليه واله وسلم hurried towards Abu Bakr and kissed him; the other Muslims that were there also hurried to meet Abu Bakr . The Messenger of Allah صلي الله عليه واله وسلم was greatly moved by Abu Bakr ‘s condition. Knowing that the Prophet صلي الله عليه واله وسلم was worried about him, Abu Bakr said, “May my mother and father be held ransom for you, O Messenger of Allah. The only hurt I feel is a result of the blows that Al-Faasiq (the evildoer, i.e., ‘Utbah ibn Rabee’ah) delivered to my face. And here (with me) is my mother, who is faithful to her son. And you are blessed, so invite her unto Allah, and supplicate to Allah for her, for perhaps, through you, Allah will save her from the Hellfire.” The Messenger of Allah صلي الله عليه واله وسلم supplicated for her and invited her unto Allah (SWT), and she responded to his invitation by embracing Islam.
As-Seerah An-Nabawiyyah, by Ibn Katheer (1/439-441), and Al-Bidaayah Wan-Nihaayah (3/30) in The Biography of Abu Bakr As-Siddeeq by Dr. ‘Ali Muhammad Muhammad as-Sallaabee