in category Seerah

Who was the better companion of the prophet out of Abu Bakr (ra) or Umar ibn al-Khattab (ra)?

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In a Nutshell:
It is difficult to compare any companion to Abu Bakr.

Abu Bakr is the Best of the Ummah

A day in the life of Abu Bakr (ra) is arguably weightier than any other companion. Umar ibn al-Khattab (ra) himself remarked, "I would rather have my head chopped off than to lead a people with the likes of Abu Bakr with them."

The following example helps to illustrate this well:

  • The Prophet (saw) prepared himself for hijra and the journey was the most dangerous and risky journey in Islamic history. If caught, which was highly likely, the best outcome would be death. If Abu Bakr, after much deliberation, reluctantly agreed to come with the prophet (saw), that would've been a sign of tremendous Iman. To even agree to come on such a journey is an extraordinary feat. But what actually happened? Abu Bakr asked the Prophet (saw) if he was preparing for hijra and the Prophet (saw) replied in the affirmative. Abu Bakr's immediate response was, "..as-suhbah?" meaning "will I accompany you?"
    The Prophet replied yes. Abu Bakr immediately cried out of happiness. A'isha (ra) narrated she had never seen a person cry more than her dad had cried on that day.

The Prophet (saw) said Abu Bakr is the best one of the Ummah after him, a statement Ali ibn Abi Talib (ra) said when he stood once on the minbar and gave a speech saying:

خَيْرُ هَذِهِ الْأُمَّةِ بَعْدَ نَبِيِّهَا أَبُو بَكْرٍ
"The best of the Ummah after its Prophet is Abu Bakr." (Tabarani, al-Mujam al-Awsatt, Ahmed, Fada'il as-Sahabah, Ibn Asakir, Tarikh Dimashq)

It was narrated Amr ibn al-'Ass asked the Prophet (saw):

أَيُّ النَّاسِ أَحَبُّ إِلَيْكَ قَالَ ‏"‏ عَائِشَةُ ‏"‏‏.‏ فَقُلْتُ مِنَ الرِّجَالِ فَقَالَ ‏"‏ أَبُوهَا
"Who is the most beloved person to you? He said, 'Aisha.'
I asked, 'Among the men?'
He said, 'Her father.' (Abu Bakr)" (Sahih al-Bukhari 3662)

Ibn Umar (ra) narrated:

كُنَّا فِي زَمَنِ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ لاَ نَعْدِلُ بِأَبِي بَكْرٍ أَحَدًا
"During the lifetime of the Prophet (saw), we considered Abu Bakr as peerless." (Sahih al-Bukhari 3697)

Ibn Umar also ordered the first closest and best three companions of the Prophet (saw):

كُنَّا نُخَيِّرُ بَيْنَ النَّاسِ فِي زَمَنِالنَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ فَنُخَيِّرُ أَبَا بَكْرٍ، ثُمَّ عُمَرَ بْنَ الْخَطَّابِ، ثُمَّ عُثْمَانَ بْنَ عَفَّانَ رَضِيَ اللهُ عَنْهُمْ
"We used to compare the people as to who was better during the lifetime of Allah's Messenger (saw). We used to regard Abu Bakr as the best, then `Umar, and then `Uthman." (Bukhari 3655)


Abu Bakr (ra) is the best Muslim ever after the Prophet (saw).

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