Khalifa Abu Bakr - Origin of Fiqh

Khalifa Abu Bakr - Origin of Fiqh

Origin of Fiqh. The Holy Prophet got most of his knowledge directly from God through the process of revelation. Whenever the Holy Prophet had a difficult point to decide, he got the guidance from Allah. After the death of the Holy Prophet, the process of revelation ceased, and the task before the Muslims was to take decisions in the light of guidance that could be obtained from the Holy Quran and the Sunnah. That gave rise to Fiqh, the application of the principles of Islam to the day to day problems, and the settlement of disputes.

Father of Fiqh. The process of Fiqh began with Abu Bakr, and he is regarded as the 'Father of Fiqh'. He was the first to frame the rules of Ijtihad. He laid down the principle that in deciding a case he would obtain guidance the first instance from the Holy Quran. If the Holy Quran was silent in the matter, he would look for guidance to the traditions of the Holy Prophet as duly authenticated. If the traditions were also silent he was to decide the case according to his best judgment He held: "If my decision is just then it will be from God. If it is erroneous, it will be mine, and may God pardon me."

Primacy of Abu Bakr in the matter of Fiqh. According to traditions, a woman came to the Holy Prophet in the last days of his life, and asked for his decision on a particular point. The Holy Prophet was unwell, and he asked her to come again. The woman said, "If I come next, and you are not there, to whom should 1 go?" The Holy Prophet said, "In that case go to Abu Bakr". That establishes the primacy of Abu Bakr in the matter of Fiqh.

Burial of the Holy Prophet. Immediately on the death of the Holy Prophet controversy arose as to the place where the Holy Prophet should be buried. Many different opinions were expressed in the matter. One view was that the Holy Prophet should be buried in the Prophet s mosque. Another view was that he should be buried in the common graveyard at Madina where his companions were buried. One view was that he should be buried at Jerusalem where other prophets lay buried. And yet another view was that he should be buried in the Holy Ka'aba at Makkah. As successor to the Holy Prophet, Abu Bakr gave the decision that in accordance with a tradition of the Holy Prophet, the prophets are to be buried at the spot where they breathe their last, and as such he should be buried in the quarter of Ayesha where he had breathed his last. This decision commanded the approval of all, and was duly carried into effect

Property at Fidak. The Holy Prophet had some property at Fidak. The income from the property was utilized for the maintenance of the family of the Holy Prophet, and for other beneficial purposes. After the death of the Holy Prophet, Fatima and some other members of the Holy Prophet's family lodged a claim for the inheritance of the property. Abu Bakr ruled that, according to a tradition of the Holy Prophet, all that the prophets leave is for the community, and the usual laws of inheritance are not to apply to such property. Abu Bakr accordingly did not accept the claim for inheritance. He ruled that the property would be state property, but the income therefrom would be utilized for the same purposes for which it was utilized during the lifetime of the Holy Prophet.

Exemption from Zakat. Immediately after the death of the Holy Prophet when the wave of apostasy spread over the land, some of the tribes demanded that they should be exempted from the payment of Zakat. The companions around Abu Bakr advised that in view of danger that threatened the Muslims, the demand should be exempted Abu Bakr held that the payment of Zakat was a fundamental requirement of Islam, and it was not open to him to compromise on a fundamental injunction of Islam. He accordingly rejected the demand, and declared that if Zakat was not paid, he would fight for it.

Obedience to the orders of the Holy Prophet. During his lifetime the Holy Prophet had ordered that an expedition should be sent to Syria under the command of Usama b Zaid. After the death of the Holy Prophet the general view of the companions was that in view of the danger that threatened Madina, the expedition to Syria should be abandoned. It was held that if the expedition was to be necessarily sent, a veteran commander should be appointed instead of Usama who was a young lad of nineteen only. Abu Bakr held that as on these points the Holy Prophet had already given specific instructions, it was not open to him to amend or vary the orders of the Holy Prophet. He therefore ordered that the expedition to Syria was to be undertaken under the command of Usama as ordered by the Holy Prophet.

Murder of Malik b Nuweira. When in the campaign against Bani Tamim, Khalid b Walid killed Malik b Nuweira, and married his beautiful wife Laila and it was alleged that Khalid was guilty of murdering a Muslim, Abu Bakr held that as Commander in the field, Khalid had the authority to exercise his discretion, and if Malik had been killed it was, in the circumstances of the case, a lapse and not a willful murder. Abu Bakr settled the case by paying blood money to the heirs of Malik. When Umar insisted on the punishment of Khalid Abu Bakr declared that he could not sheathe the sword, which God had willed to be wielded against the infidels.

Al Faja'a. Al Faja'a, an adventurer posed to be a Muslim, and got some arms from Abu Bakr to fight against the apostates. Al Faja'a betrayed the trust. Action was taken against him. He was taken captive, and brought to Madina where Abu Bakr ordered him to be roasted alive. Later, Abu Bakr regretted the decision. He wished he had pardoned him or killed him in some other way.

Father's share. Once a man complained before Abu Bakr that his father wanted to appropriate all that he had. Abu Bakr summoned the father, and asked him to take as sufficed for his maintenance, and leave the rest to his son.

A son disowned by the father. Once a man was brought before Abu Bakr who had been disowned by his father Abu Bakr ordered: "Smite him on his head for Satan is in his head."

Vow of silence. Once Abu Bakr went to a woman of the tribe of Ahmas called Zaynab. She did not speak as she was under a vow of silence. Abu Bakr said to her, "Speak, for silence is not lawful; it is one of the practices of the times of Ignorance."

Loss of an ear. Once in a quarrel a person had been deprived of an ear. Abu Bakr awarded him fifteen camels. He said, "The hair and turban will conceal the disgrace of it."

Killing a man in anger. Once Abu Bakr was enraged with a man and his anger became violent. One of the companions said, "O Caliph, shall I cut off his head?" Abu Bakr said, "Woe to you, this is not lawful."