Sayyidunā ʿAlī’s Eulogy of Abū Bakr al-Ṣiddīq
Hafiz Hafeez al-Rahman ʿAttāri Madani
Regarding the Companions of His Beloved صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم , Allah Almighty states:
“Tender-hearted amongst themselves.”
The Companions رَضِىَ الـلّٰـهُ عَـنْهُم were cascading oceans of brotherly love and fraternity, driven by unbound care and compassion for each other. The compendiums of hadith and annals of history are brimming with altruistic accounts and selfless feats of the noble Companions عَـلَيْهِمُ الرِّضْوَانْ that leave no doubt about their mutual love, empathy, friendship, and concern for each other.
The biographies of the Companions reveal the reciprocal love and reverence between them and the Prophet’s family. The demise of the first rightly guided Caliph, Sayyidunā Abū Bakr al-Ṣiddīq رَضِىَ الـلّٰـهُ عَـنْهُ , is one instance when this mutual respect was most evident. In that grief-struck hour, just as other Companions shared their profound grief, Sayyidunā ʿAlī b. Abī Ṭālib رَضِىَ الـلّٰـهُ عَـنْهُ delivered a moving eulogy, encapsulating his admiration and love for Sayyidunā Abū Bakr al-Ṣiddīq رَضِىَ الـلّٰـهُ عَـنْهُ . Let us read some important points from this sermon:
Sayyidunā Usayd b. Ṣafwān رَضِىَ الـلّٰـهُ عَـنْهُ states:
When Sayyidunā Abū Bakr al-Ṣiddīq رَضِىَ الـلّٰـهُ عَـنْهُ passed away, Madina was overcome with the lamenting and weeping of people, and the people were worried like they were on the day of the noble Prophet’s physical passing. Sayyidunā Ali al-Murtada رَضِىَ الـلّٰـهُ عَـنْهُ arrived whilst reciting “اِنَّا لِلّٰهِ وَاِنَّا اِلَیْهِ رَاجِعُوْن” and then said, “Today, the Caliph of final Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم has left us.” He رَضِىَ الـلّٰـهُ عَـنْهُ then stood at the door of the house in which the body of Sayyidunā Abū Bakr al-Ṣiddīq رَضِىَ الـلّٰـهُ عَـنْهُ was and began to mention his attributes as follows:
Sayyidunā ʿAlī al-Murtaḍā’s Eulogy
* Abū Bakr al-Ṣiddīq رَضِىَ الـلّٰـهُ عَـنْهُ ! May Allah Almighty have mercy on you. You were an excellent friend, a source of solace, a trustworthy soul, and a confidant of Allah’s Beloved صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم . The beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم would consult you.
* You were the first person to embrace Islam, the sincerest of them in faith, a man of unwavering trust in Allah Almighty, the most mindful servant of Allah Almighty, the most generous of people, and the greatest defender of the noble Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم .
* Your companionship was the greatest and your rank was the highest. Your manner of advising, approach to calling towards Islam, kindness, and benevolence echoed the way of Allah’s Messenger صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم . You served the beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم well. May Allah Almighty grant you the best reward for serving His Messenger صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم and Islam.
* When others belied the Messenger of Allah صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم , you believed in him. You considered every utterance of his to be the truth, and affirmed him in every matter ˹due to which˺, Allah Almighty declared you the “Champion of Truth” (al-Ṣiddīq):
وَ الَّذِیۡ جَآءَ بِالصِّدۡقِ وَ صَدَّقَ بِہٖۤ
“And the one who has brought this truth and those who affirm him.”
* You were described as the “second of the two” and you are the “Companion of the Cave.” Allah Almighty sent tranquillity upon you; you migrated with the noble Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم ; you were the Caliph of the Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم in the religion; you served the office of Caliph with perfection; you waged war against the renegades; you were a support for the people after the passing of the noble Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم ; and when despair spread among the people, your spirits remained high.
* When people concealed their faith ˹due to persecution by the disbelievers˺, you made your faith public.
* You always followed the way of the noble Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم ; the hypocrites and disbelievers were unable to dampen your spirits; you disgraced the disbelievers; you were severe against the rebels; you were a mountain of wrath against the disbelievers and hypocrites.
* People displayed laziness in religious duties, but you gladly observed them. The people chose to remain silent regarding the truth, but you voiced the truth. When the people began to wander in darkness, it was you who became a minaret of light for them.
* You were truthful, quiet-natured, foresightful, brave, the purest, and of good opinion.
* Like a father, you were compassionate to people. When the people had grown tired and lost hope, you gave them support by carrying their burden upon your own shoulders. When the people displayed carelessness, you took care of their responsibilities; when the people were impatient, you remained patient; whatever the people would ask for, you would grant it to them; the people continued to follow you and moved towards success; it is due to you that they attained such success and guidance which they had never even imagined.
* You were merciful, compassionate, and a strong fort for the believers; you were fearless and not easily worried; you were a mountain of aspiration and determination that was neither swayed by storms nor shaken by strong bolts of lightning.
* You never criticised or backbit anyone and neither were you avaricious. The weak and helpless were beloved and honoured by you. If the weak had a right over a wealthy or strong individual, you would ensure justice. As long as you had not taken the right of people from the strong and influential, they were weak in your eyes.
* By Allah! You surpassed all of us; those who come after you will never compare to you. You have reached your desired destination. You attained a great victory; you travelled to your true home in such glory that echoes of your greatness are reverberating in the heavens, and the grief of your separation is bringing the world to tears.
* After the passing of the beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم , the Muslims were not afflicted with a greater calamity than your departure. You were a means of honour for the religion and its place of refuge. You were a tremendous support for the Muslims, and the epitome of harshness and wrath for the hypocrites.
* Allah Almighty has united you with His Beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم . May Allah Almighty not deprive us from your reward nor cause us to go astray after you.
The people listened to the sermon of Sayyidunā ʿAlī رَضِىَ الـلّٰـهُ عَـنْهُ in silence. When he رَضِىَ الـلّٰـهُ عَـنْهُ fell silent, the people began to cry, and they all said, “You have spoken the truth.”
 [Kanz-ul-Iman (translation of Quran)] (Part 26, Surah Al-Fath, verse 29)
 Sirat al-Jinan, vol. 9, p. 387
 [Kanz-ul-Iman (translation of Quran)] (Part 24, Surah Al-Zumar, verse 33)
 Al-Riyad al-Nadirah, vol. 1, p. 262; Tareekh Ibn ‘Asakir, vol. 30, p. 440; Faizan-e-Siddiq-e-Akbar, p. 457