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The Islamic World
The Islamic World

Khalifa Abu Bakr - Abu Bakr and Fiqh

Unlawful food. Once a slave of Abu Bakr brought him some food that he ate. Later the slave told him that he had earned some money by telling fortune, and the food had been purchased with that money. Abu Bakr held that such food was unlawful. He put his hand on his throat and vomited what was in his stomach.

Pre destination. Once Abu Bakr was asked, "Do you think that fornication by a man is predestined?" He was next asked, "If it is predestined why should the man be punished?" Abu Bakr said, "The man is responsible for his act, but God knows beforehand how a man would act."

Insulting the Holy Prophet and satirizing the Muslims. In Yemen, a woman in her songs said nasty things against the Holy Prophet. Another woman recited verses satirizing the Muslims. Muhajir b Umayya, the Governor of Yemen cut off the hands of both the women. When the case was reported to Abu Bakr he held that the women who had insulted the Holy Prophet should have been killed, while the other woman who had merely satirized the Muslims deserved a lenient treatment.

Asma bint Numan. In Yemen, Ikramah married a lady Asma bint Numan. The marriage became the subject of criticism because at one time Asma had been married to the Holy Prophet, and it was not lawful for a Muslim to marry a woman the Holy Prophet had married. Abu Bakr decided that as in that case the Holy Prophet had returned the lady to the tribe without consummating the marriage, there was no objection to a Muslim marrying her.

Marriage to the first husband. Once a woman was divorced by a person, and she married another man. Before her second marriage was consummated she reconciled with her former husband, and wanted to return to him. Abu Bakr ruled that she could not return to her first husband unless the second marriage was consummated, and she was properly divorced.

The case of Umar's son Aasim. Umar divorced one of his wives, and she took her young son Aasim with her. One day Umar saw his son playing in the street. He lifted the boy and brought him to his house. The mother applied to Abu Bakr for the restoration of the child. Umar resisted the suit, but Abu Bakr decided the case against Umar, and awarded the custody of the child to the mother.

Grandfather's share. In a case where the father was not alive, but the grandfather was alive, Abu Bakr awarded to the grandfather the share otherwise admissible to the father.

Share of the grandson. In a case where the son was not alive, Abu Bakr awarded to the grandson the share otherwise admissible to the son.

Share of the grandmother. In a case, Abu Bakr awarded the grandmother one-sixth share in the property left by the grandson.

Execution of the thief. Once a man came to Abu Bakr from Yemen. His hands had been cut off for some act of theft. He stayed with Abu Bakr for the night, and prayed for all the time. The man represented that the Governor of Yemen had cut off his hands in a high handed way. Abu Bakr felt impressed with the piety of the man, and thought that perhaps the Governor of Yemen had been unfair to the man. In the morning, Asma the wife of Abu Bakr complained that she had lost her locket. On enquiry it transpired that the man had stolen the locket, and sold it to a goldsmith. Abu Bakr ordered the man to be killed.

Mutilation. About awarding the punishment of mutilation, Abu Bakr addressed a Governor as follows: "I have heard that you laid hands on a woman who had showered abuses on me, and you got her hands amputated. God has not sought vengeance even in the case of polytheism, which is a great crime. He has not permitted mutilation even with regard to manifest infidelity. Try to be considerate and sympathetic in your attitude towards others in future. Never mutilate because it is a great offence. God purified Islam and the Muslims from rashness and excessive wrath. You are well aware of the fact that those enemies fell into the hands of the Messenger of Allah who had been recklessly abusing him, who had turned him out of his home, and who had fought against him, but he never ordered their mutilation." (Abu Bakr ke Sarkari Khatut by Khurshid Ahmad Fariq.)

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