What kind of torture was inflicted upon Hz. Abu Bakr by the polytheists?

The Details of the Question
What kind of torture was inflicted upon Hz. Abu Bakr by the polytheists?
The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

Our Holy Prophet (PBUH) was sitting in Darul Arkam amid many of the first Muslims. With Hazrat Abu Bakr at the forefront, they were all fervently longing to explain the doctrine of Tawhid to the polytheists. They requested permission from our Holy Prophet (PBUH) to actualize their wish. However, our Holy Prophet (PBUH) did not want to relinquish his habit of precaution since such an undertaking would require the passing of some time. He said,

“We are small in number, we will not be enough for this task.”

However, these new Muslims were so enthusiastic and zealous in their faith that they were unable to stay put in their place. At last, the Master of the Universe (PBUH) went with them to the Masjid al-Haram. They all sat on one side; a group of polytheists was also there.

Hazrat Abu Bakr, who burned with his love for Allah and His Messenger (PBUH) could not suppress his desire to proclaim the truths that he carried in the depths of his heart to the people; so, he turned to the polytheists and shouted about the exaltedness and holiness of having faith in Allah and about the wretchedness of idolatry. The polytheists who were filled with enmity and hatred towards the Muslims attacked Hazrat Siddiq and injured him, leaving him with blood flowing. He was only saved when a few people from his tribe, the sons of Taim, intervened.

Hazrat Abu Bakr became unconscious after having been subjected to the pounds of the polytheists’ shoes with iron nails. They took him back home while he was in this unconscious state. He remained unconscious for an entire day and regained his consciousness during the evening.

It was as if he had not received so many beatings and that it was someone else’s eyes and face that was drenched in blood since the first words that spilled from his mouth were:

“What is Allah’s Apostle (PBUH) doing? What kind of state is he in? They had insulted him”

These words were just an example of the immense and magnificent amount of loyalty that Hazrat Abu Bakr had towards our Holy Prophet (PBUH).  Without looking at the bloody state that he was in and without minding the pain of his bruises and wounds, he wanted to learn of the Master of the Universe’s (PBUH) condition. Moreover, he asked about him amid the presence of those who strongly opposed our Holy Prophet (PBUH).

They offered him food and water and said,

“You were left hungry and thirsty, do you not want to eat and drink?”

Whereas he kept on asking, “What state is Allah’s Apostle (PBUH) in, what is he doing?”

His mother did not know of our Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) cause. At that time, she was among those who had not attested to faith. In any case, she was bound to learn about the condition of Allah’s Apostle (PBUH). Hazrat Abu Bakr said to his mother,

“Go and ask Hattab’s daughter, Umm Jamil and bring news about Allah’s Apostle (PBUH) to me”.

Umm Jamil was a fortunate woman who had become a Muslim. Nonetheless, she acted with discretion and prudence due to what she had learned from our Holy Prophet (PBUH). When Hazrat Abu Bakr’s mother said to her,

“Abu Bakr asks you about the condition of Abdullah’s son, Muhammad”,

Umm Jamil replied, “I do not know anything but if you like, we can both go to your son.”

Actually, Umm Jamil knew of our Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) condition. However, she had answered in this manner because she was taking into account that she may be in the wake of a trap.

When Umm Jamil saw that Hazrat Abu Bakr’s eyes and entire face had been severely bruised, her heart became deeply saddened and she could not contain herself from shouting,

“A tribe that deems this fitting for you is undoubtedly savage and aberrant. I pray to Allah that He takes your revenge on them.”

Despite having learned from Umm Jamil that our Holy Prophet (PBUH) was safe, Abu Bakr’s heart was still not at ease and so he said to his mother,

“By Allah, I will not eat or drink until I see Allah’s Apostle (PBUH)!”

She had no other choice but to take him to our Holy Prophet (PBUH). However, how could he go in this condition? How could he walk to Darul Arkam? When there were few people around, he went to our Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) presence by tottering and leaning on his mother and Umm Jamil. Our Holy Prophet (PBUH) and Hazrat Abu Bakr embraced one another like two close friends who had not seen each other for years. After he saw our Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) condition with his own eyes, he said,

“May my mother and father be sacrificed for you, O Messenger of Allah! I am only saddened that that savage and aberrant man (Utba bin Rabia) dragged and rubbed my face against the ground and brought it to an unidentifiable condition; however, I am not upset about anything else.” 1

At that moment, Hazrat Abu Bakr’s heart was burning ablaze with his love of being in the service of Islam. He presented his mother to our Holy Prophet (PBUH) and said,

“This is my mother, Salma. I desire that you pray to Allah on her behalf and hope that Allah will save her from hellfire for your sake.”2

This sincere wish conjoined with a severe prayer and right there at that moment, Lady Ummul Khayr Salma joined the ranks of the fortunate (the Muslims.)


1. Halabi, Insanu’l-Uyun, V. 1. p. 275.
2. Halabi, Insanu’l-Uyun, V. 1. p. 276.

Questions on Islam

Was this answer helpful?
In order to make a comment, please login or register