Khalifa Abu Bakr - Election of Abu Bakr as the Caliph

Abu Bakr and the Caliphate. The caliphate issue. Immediately on the death of the Holy Prophet, the caliphate issue came to pose a great threat to the solidarity of the Muslim community. The Ansars insisted that in view of their services of Islam, the office should go to them. The Holy Prophet was a Quraish, and according to the Arab custom, Quraish insisted that the office should go to them. The Ansars by way of compromise proposed that they might have two leaders, one from the Ansars and one from the Quraish. The proposal militated against the solidarity of the Muslim community, and was not agreed to by the Quraish. The issue did not concern the Quraish and the Ansars alone; it pertained to the entire Muslim community. If the Caliph was chosen from the Quraish, the tribe to which the Holy Prophet belonged, the other tribes could accept him, but if the Caliph was chosen from among the Ansars, the other tribes were likely to demand that they should also have their own Caliphs. This would have led to the disintegration of the Muslim community. The Quraish wanted the Caliph to be chosen from among them, not because they coveted power, but because they wanted to maintain the integrity and unity of the Muslim community.

Election of Abu Bakr as the Caliph. It was with considerable difficulty and after a good deal of discussion and even exchange of hot words that Abu Bakr ultimately succeeded in persuading the Ansars to let the Quraish have the office of the Caliph. Abu Bakr did not covet the office for himself. He wanted that any one out of Umar or Abu Ubaida should be elected. Umar and Abu Ubaida insisted that Abu Bakr should have the office. Abu Bakr realized that if he hesitated, the Ansars might change their mind. Abu Bakr accordingly let the people offer him allegiance. The entire process of election was spontaneous. There was nothing preplanned about it. The things moved in the course they did as ordained by destiny.

Abu Bakr's concept of the Caliphate. In the inaugural address which Abu Bakr delivered at the time of the assumption of power, he declared his concept of the caliphate in unequivocal terms. He held: Help me, if I am in the right; set me right, if I am in the wrong; 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 wills, 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, obey me not.

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