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The Islamic World
The Islamic World

Khalifa Umar bin al-Khattab - Installation Of Abu Bakr As The Caliph

On the day following the burial of the Holy Prophet, all the Muslims assembled in the Prophet's Mosque.

Umar addressed the people as follows:

"O ye men of faith! Yesterday I had said to you Who says that the Holy Prophet is dead'. I am afraid what I said was not correct. In the Holy Book of God there is nothing to indicate that the Holy Prophet was to live forever. The Holy Prophet himself never gave an indication to the effect that he was to live for ever. I was of the impression that the Holy Prophet was to live in our midst and guide us. But this impression was not correct. The Holy Quran itself provides that the Holy Prophet was a mortal liable to death. The Holy Prophet had come from God, and to God he has returned. He has returned after fulfilling the mission entrusted to him. God has perfected our religion. God has given us a Book through which He guided His Messenger, and through which He will continue to guide the faithful. Our task is to hold steadfast to the Book of God, and to follow His injunctions. We miss the Holy Prophet. But the Holy Prophet was a messenger. He has delivered the message, and after fulfilling his role returned to his Master. The message remains with us in the form of the Holy Book. Those who worship Allah let them know that Allah lives and is not subject to death. The Holy Prophet was a mortal and has gone to His Master. We must follow in the footsteps of the Holy Prophet, and get used to life without his physical presence. In his absence our people must have a leader who would guide us. For this task who can be more competent than Abu Bakr, the life long friend of the Holy Prophet, whom God has referred to as 'Second of the Two'. O ye faithful, rise and offer allegiance at the hand of Abu Bakr."

Having made this address, Umar requested Abu Bakr to take his seat on the pulpit. Abu Bakr took his seat on the pulpit, a step below that which was used by the Holy Prophet. Thereafter all the Muslims present swore their allegiance.

Thereafter Abu Bakr after praising Allah and the Holy Prophet addressed the people:

"O people ! I swear by Allah that I never coveted the Amirate either by day or by night, nor had I any inclination towards it. I never prayed to God openly or in secrecy to confer the Amirate on me. But I certainly feared that some mischief might arise at this critical juncture in the history of the Muslims. In fact a big task has been assigned to me which is beyond my power to fulfil except with the help of the Almighty Allah. I wished to see the Strongest of men in my place today. Now, it is beyond doubt that I have been elected your Amir, although I am no better than you. Help me if I am in the right; set me right if I am in the wrong. Truth is a trust; falsehood is a treason. The weak among you shall be strong with me till God willing his rights have been vindicated, and the strong among you shall be weak with me till, if the Lord will, I have taken what is due from him. Obey me as long as I obey Allah and His Prophet. When I disobey Him and His Prophet, then obey me not."

Umar played an important role in the election of Abu Bakr as the first Caliph of Islam. During tbe caliphate of Abu Bakr, Umar remained as the principal Adviser of the Caliph.


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