Abu Bakr (RadhiAllahu Anhu) was born into a rich family who had a business in trading clothing material. When he was 18 years old, he joined the family business and started trading internationally. He travelled with caravans on business trips to Yemen, Syria, Iraq and Abyssinia. By the blessings of Allah, he managed to gain a lot of profit and the valuable experience needed to help his business flourish.
Over time, his social status rose and he became recognised as one of the richest merchants of Makkah. Through his fair rulings and judgements, he quickly established himself as a just leader and the chief of Bani Taim.
His traits of being honest, hardworking and generous helped him to build trust among the community and confidently make business deals during his travels.
Furthermore, Abu Bakr loved participating in social work such as visiting the sick and looking after the poor and needy. He was always keen to use his wealth to help those people who were in distress.
When the Prophet (saw) declared himself as the Prophet of islam, Abu Bakr submitted to Islam instantly, despite knowing the backlash it would have against his business. His business was dependent on the goodwill of the Quraish, the same people who rejected Islam and who were hostile against the Prophet (saw). Yet Abu Bakr decided to support the truth.
The Quraish began to torture the slaves who submitted to Allah. This lead Abu Bakr to purchase the slaves from their masters and set them free. From these slaves were Bilal, Abu Fakih, Lubaynah, Umm Ubays and Zinnira.
When asked by his father why he was freeing the old and weak slaves instead of healthy and strong people who can help him, Abu Bakr replied that he was freeing them for the sake of Allah, not for his own sake. The Prophet (saw) praised Abu Bakr for helping to free the slaves and soon after Allah revealed the following verses,
"He who gives in charity and fears Allah; And in all sincerity testifies to the Truth; We shall indeed make smooth for him the path of bliss. Those who spend their wealth for increase in self-purification; And have in their minds no favour from anyone; For which a reward is expected in return, But only the desire to seek the Countenance of their Lord, Most High; And soon they shall attain complete satisfaction." [al-Qur’an 92:5-21]
As soon as the Prophet Muhammad (saw) and Abu Bakr migrated to Madinah, the Muslims were ordered to construct a mosque to worship Allah. Abu Bakr paid the costs to purchase the plot of land, even though the owner was willing to give it for free. He also participated in the actual building of the mosque.
After the death of the Prophet (saw), Abu Bakr was elected as the successor and the first Caliph in the history of Islam.
📘 Entrepreneurial Lessons from the Life of Abu Bakr 📘
>>> Always be fair and just. This develops respect and trust.
>>> Be honest and trustworthy. This pays the best dividends.
>>> Network and trade internationally. This broadens your horizons.
>>> Take time out for social work such as visiting the sick. This reminds you of Allah's bounties.
>>> Spend your wealth in pursuit of seeking Allah's pleasure. Allah will reward you immensely.
>>> Don’t expect anything in return from others. Give for the sake of Allah and you will never be disappointed.
May Allah help us implement these lessons and give us success in this life and the next.
Nabila Sara Ahmed
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