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The Islamic World
The Islamic World

Khalifa Abu Bakr - Trade in Madina

Rehabilitation of the Muhajireen. To rehabilitate the migrants from Makkah in the society of Madina, the Holy Prophet established a fraternity among the Muslims of Makkah and those of Madina whereunder each migrant was paired with an Ansar of corresponding status. The brotherhood thus established was unique in the annals of mankind. So strong and cordial were these bonds that they even surpassed the relationship of blood. In this roll of brotherhood, Abu Bakr was paired with Khaarij ah bin Zaid Ansari. Abu Bakr's relationship with his brother-in-Islam was most cordial which was further strengthened when Abu Bakr married Habiba, a daughter of Khaarijah.

Sukh. Khaarijah had his house at Sukh, a suburb of Madina. Abu Bakr also settled at Sukh. When the family of Abu Bakr came from Makkah they were lodged in the apartments adjoining the Prophet's mosque at Madina. Abu Bakr visited them frequently but he continued to have his personal residence at Sukh. He usually walked from Sukh to Madina on foot. Sometimes he rode on a horse.

Change in climate. The climate of Makkah was dry, but the climate of Madina was damp. That adversely affected the health of the emigrants. On arrival at Madina most of the emigrants fell sick. Abu Bakr also suffered from fever for several days. During his sickness he was attended to by Khaarijah and his family.

Trade in Madina. At Makkah, Abu Bakr was a trader in cloth. He started the same business at Madina. He was a wholesaler. He had his store at Sukh, and from there cloth was supplied to the market at Madina. Abu Bakr was a shrewd businessman, and we have reasons to hold that his business flourished at Madina in the same way as it did at Makkah. From the accounts, that have come down to us, it appears that at the time of his conversion to Islam Abu Bakr had an amount of 40,000 Dirhams, and that at the time of his death he left no money. These accounts tend to give the impression that after conversion to Islam, Abu Bakr did not attend to business, and subsisted all the years from 610 to 634 C.E. on the original amount of 40,000 Dirhams. That is not the correct position. As a matter of fact, Abu Bakr remained active in business throughout his life. It is related that even alter he had been elected as a Caliph he took the cloth to the market for disposal. At the insistence of Umar, and Abu Ubaida he suspended his business activities and accepted a meager allowance from the treasury. This shows that up to the time of his election as the Caliph, Abu Bakr remained active in business.

Abu Bakr as the Chief Counselor. After attending to business it was the wont of Abu Bakr to spend his spare time in the company of the Holy Prophet. Abu Bakr always acted as the 'Second of the Two'. He was the Chief Counselor of the Holy Prophet. The Holy Prophet consulted Abu Bakr on all important matters, and the advice tendered by him was usually accepted. The Holy Prophet used to say that Abu Bakr was the best counselor. At meetings Abu Bakr was always assigned a special place to the right of the Holy Prophet.

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