Abu Hurairah said: “By the One Whom there is no god but him, if Abu Bakr had not been appointed as Caliph then Allah would not have been worshipped.” 
|Term of office start Hijri||12 Rabi’ al-awwal, 11|
|Term of office end Hijri||22 Jumādā al-Ūlā, 13|
|Term of office start Gregorian||8 June, 632|
|Term of office end Gregorian||23 August, 634|
|Term of office||2 years|
|Caliph’s allowance||300 dinars a year, One sheep per day|
|Profile||An elder statesman and right-hand man of the Prophet ﷺ who was trusted by all.|
|Period of the Caliphate||Rightly Guided Caliphate|
|Tribe||Quraysh (Banu Taym)|
|Mandatory condition of Caliph: Strength of ideology||Ashratul-Mubashireen (10 promised Jannah)
Narrated Muhammad bin Al-Hanafiya: I asked my father (`Ali bin Abi Talib), “Who are the best people after Allah’s Messenger ﷺ ?” He said, “Abu Bakr.” I asked, “Who then?” He said, “Then `Umar. “ I was afraid he would say Uthman, so I said, “Then you?” He said, “I am only an ordinary person. ” 
|Mandatory condition of Caliph: Capability to rule ||Ruling experience gained during Islamic State of Prophet ﷺ:
3- Bay’ah Contract
The bay’ah is a ruling contract which governs the relationship between Muslims and the Islamic state. For those Muslims living under the authority of the Caliph the bay’ah is their citizenship contract with the state. Unlike most Islamic contracts which are one-to-one such as buying, selling, and marriage, the bay’ah is one-to-millions i.e. between the Caliph and the Muslim ummah. This poses a challenge on how you get the free choice and consent of millions of people which is a condition in Islamic contracts.
Historically in the rightly guided Caliphate of the sahaba (companions of the Prophet ﷺ) the senior representatives of the people would contract the bay’ah to the Caliph. The rest of the Muslims would accept their opinion and rush to pledge their bay’ah of obedience to the newly appointed Caliph directly in the Prophet’s mosque in Medina which was the capital of the state, or indirectly through the governors in the other provinces. The classical fiqh books called this contracting group Ahl hali wal-aqd.
“The inhabitants of Al-Madeenah pledged allegiance to him and placed their hands on his hand; meanwhile, the inhabitants of Makkah and At-Taaif made their pledges to Abu Bakr’s governors.” 
|Location||Saqifah (Portico of Banu Saidah), Medina, capital of the state|
|Candidates||Abu Bakr, Umar, Abu Ubaydah, Said ibn Ubadah|
|Style of choosing Caliph||Selection by senior sahaba who were natural representatives of their tribes and people|
|Previous leader term of office end||Prophet ﷺ passed away midday Monday|
|Contracting of Bay’ah||Bay’ah contract was concluded Monday afternoon.|
|Bay’ah of Obedience||Bay’ah of obedience was completed Tuesday Dhuhr after which the Prophet’s ﷺ burial preparations commenced.
Ibn Kathir mentions: “…that they only began preparing him ﷺ for burial after completion of the bay’ah made to Abu Bakr (ra).” 
Muslims of Medina gave Bay’ah directly to Abu Bakr in the Masjid whereas the provinces gave Bay’ah via their governor.
|Time without a Caliph||One day.
When Sa’eed ibn Zaid was asked, “When was Abu Bakr confirmed by the people?” He said, “The day on which the Messenger of Allah died; they disliked for even a part of a day to pass by without them being united as a group (with a leader to rule over them).” 
4- Government Structure 
The Islamic ruling system, the Caliphate, is unique although there are elements which are also found in other governing systems. The structure implemented by Abu Bakr and future Caliphs was based on the structure first established by the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ in Medina. Styles and means of ruling changed throughout the ages, yet the governing principles remained constant with variations occurring by the misapplication of Islam during some eras or down to the ijtihad of the ruler.
We do not say as the excommunicated scholar Ali Abd ar-Raziq said in 1925 that, “God has left the field of civil government and worldly interests for the exercise of human reason” and that “The first Caliph, Abu Bakr, was invested with what was essentially a political and royal power based on force.” 
|Head of State (Caliph)||Abu Bakr as-Siddeeq|
|Assistant Caliph (Wazir)||Umar ibn al-Khattab|
|Treasury Secretary||Abu Ubaydah|
|Executive Assistants (Caliph’s private secretaries)||
|Head of Judiciary||Umar ibn al-Khattab|
|Consultative committee (Shura) ||
|Internal Security (Police)||
|Amir of Jihad||
Please note that those in these positions rotated in to other roles and these were not fixed positions for the entire period of Abu Bakr’s rule.
5- Map of the Caliphate
6- Provinces (wiliyaat)
The vast territories which the Islamic State rules over are divided up in to administrative units to ease in the task of ruling. The top-level division is the Province (Wiliyah) which is headed by a Governor (Waali).
Arabian Peninsula 
|Makkah||Attaab ibn Usaid|
|At-Taaif||Uthman ibn Abul-Aas|
|Najraan||Jareer ibn Abdullah|
|Jursh||Abdullah ibn Noor|
|Bahrain||Al-‘Alaa ibn Al-Hadramee|
|Yamaamah||Sulait ibn Qais|
|Khaulaan||Ya’la ibn Umayyah|
|Zabid and Raf’||Abu Moosa Al-Ash’aree|
|San’aa||Al-Muhaajir ibn Abu Umayyah|
|Hadramoot||Ziyaad ibn Lubaid|
|Janadul-Yemen||Mu’aadh ibn Jabal|
|AlFalaaleej||Abdullah ibn Watheemah An-Nasree|
|Baanqiyaa||Jareer ibn ‘Abdullah|
|An-Nahrain||Basheer ibn Al-Khasaasiyyah|
|Tastar||Suwaid ibn Muqran Al-Muzanee|
|Raudhastaan||Att ibn Abee Att|
|Yarmouk||Basheer ibn Ka’b al-Himyari|
7- The Army Commanders
The Caliph is Commander in-Chief of the armed forces. This is not a ceremonial position and it is the Caliph who appoints and dismisses the Amir ul-Jihad and the army generals. He assigns their missions and is in regular communication with the front line.
Ridda Wars (quelling internal rebellion) 
Abu Bakr was the Commander in-Chief but also took on the responsibility of Amir ul-Jihad during the Ridda Wars. This is common during civil wars where the leader takes a more active, hands-on role. This was the case with Ali bin Abi Talib when he was Caliph, and also Abraham Lincoln did the same during the American civil war .
|1st Army||Khalid bin Walid
|First Tulaiha at Buzakha, then Malik bin Nuwaira, at Butah.|
|2nd Army||Ikrimah bin Abi Jahl
|Contact Musailima at Yamamah but not to get involved until more forces were built up.|
|3rd Army||Amr bin Al Aas
|The apostate tribes of Quza’a and Wadi’a in the area of Tabuk and Daumat ul-Jandal.|
|4th Army||Shurahbil bin Hasanah||Follow Ikrimah and await the Caliph’s instructions.|
|5th Army||Khalid bin Saeed||Certain apostate tribes on the Syrian frontier.|
|6th Army||Turaifa bin Hajiz||The apostate tribes of Hawazin and Bani Sulaim in the area east of Madinah and Makkah.|
|7th Army||Ala bin Al Hadhrami||The apostates in Bahrain.|
|8th Army||Hudhaifa bin Mihsan||The apostates in Oman|
|9th Army||Arfaja bin Harsama||The apostates in Mahra|
|10th Army||Muhajir bin Abi Umayyah||The apostates in the Yemen, then the Kinda in Hadhramaut.|
|11th Army||Suwaid bin Muqaran||The apostates in the coastal area north of the Yemen.|
Al-Muthannah ibn Haarithah was appointed Amir ul-Jihad for the Iraq Campaign.
|1st Army||Al-Muthannah ibn Haarithah||Forward brigade which entered Iraq first and prepared the ground prior to the full campaign.|
|2nd Army||Khalid bin Walid||Attack Iraq from the south-western front. Abu Bakr said: “Travel towards Iraq until you enter it. Begin with its coastal city, Al-Ublah.” |
|3rd Army||‘Iyaadh ibn Ghanam||Attack Iraq from the north-eastern front. Abu Bakr said: “Travel until Al-Maseekh and begin with that location. Then enter Iraq from its highest point and continue (to penetrate its territory) until you meet Khaalid.” |
Abu Ubaydah was the temporary Amir ul-Jihad for the Ash-Sham Campaign until Khalid bin Walid was appointed by Abu Bakr after completing his mission in Iraq. During the Caliphate of Umar bin Al-Khattab, he dismissed Khalid bin Walid and reappointed Abu Ubaydah. This is the right of the Commander in Chief to organise the army as he sees fit.
|1st Army||Usama bin Zaid||Abu Bakr said: “Do what the Prophet of Allah ﷺ ordered you to do: So begin with the lands of Qudaa’ah, and then go to Aabil”. |
|2nd Army||Khaalid ibn Sa’eed ibn Al-‘Aas||Forward brigade which prepared the ground prior to the full campaign. Abu Bakr reinforced this brigade with the 3rd and 4th armies which then attacked the Romans. However, this battle was lost and the armies were forced to retreat back to the Ash-Sham frontier. |
|3rd Army||Ikrimah ibn Abu Jahl||Reinforcement for the 2nd army|
|4th Army||Al-Waleed ibn ‘Uqbah||Reinforcement for the 2nd army|
|5th Army||Yazid b. Abi Sufyan||Primary mission to conquer Damascus. Its secondary mission was to provide military and logistical support to the other three armies (6th, 7th and 8th). |
|6th Army||Shurahbeel ibn Hasanah||Tabook and Al-Balqaa, and then to Busrah.|
|7th Army||Abu Ubaydah||Hims|
|8th Army||Amr b al-Aas||Palestine|
8- Spread of Islam
The foreign policy of a Caliphate is to carry Islam to the world through daw’ah and jihad. The objective of offensive jihad is not to kill people, but rather to make Allah’s word the highest in the land that it liberates by removing the physical obstacles to people seeing the truth of Islam.
The Caliphate is not allowed to force any non-Muslim to abandon his/her belief. Rather the non-Muslims should accept Islam after being intellectually convinced of the Islamic belief. Allah (Most High) says:
لا إِكراهَ فِي الدّينِ
“There is no compulsion in religion” 
Actions speak louder than words so once non-Muslims live under the shade of the Caliphate and witness its high values, then many will freely convert to the ideology of the state which is Islam. Allah (Most High) says:
إِذا جاءَ نَصرُ اللَّهِ وَالفَتحُ
وَرَأَيتَ النّاسَ يَدخُلونَ في دينِ اللَّهِ أَفواجًا
فَسَبِّح بِحَمدِ رَبِّكَ وَاستَغفِرهُ ۚ إِنَّهُ كانَ تَوّابًا
“When Allah’s help and victory have arrived and you have seen people entering Allah’s deen in droves, then glorify your Lord’s praise and ask His forgiveness. He is the Ever-Returning.” 
Islam could never have expanded so quickly if the conquered people hadn’t embraced Islam and then joined the army and carried Islam further. Yemen was opened to Islam during the time of the Prophet ﷺ and after the Ridda wars, Abu Bakr requested the tribes of Yemen to take part in the Ash-Sham campaign which they readily accepted in their thousands, and their slogan became, “O helpers of Allah”.
Conquests in Iraq
Conquests in Ash-Sham
- Aabil (Southern Jordan)
9- Highlights of Abu Bakr’s Caliphate
1- Widespread calamities and disunity
After the Prophet ﷺ died the Muslim ummah faced a huge number of problems which were only addressed and resolved once Abu Bakr was chosen as Caliph.
Aishah said: “When the Messenger of Allah ﷺ died, all Arabs apostatized, and hypocrisy appeared everywhere. By Allah, what descended upon my father was such (i.e. was so severe) that, if it were to descend upon firm and unshakeable mountains, it would have crushed them.” 
2- Delaying the burial of the Prophet ﷺ
The Prophet ﷺ burial was delayed until after Abu Bakr had received the bay’ah of obedience from the Muslims of Medina, capital of the Caliphate. Ibn Katheer states, “What is famously related from the majority of scholars is that the Prophet ﷺ died on Monday and was buried on Tuesday night.” 
This is ijma as-sahaba (consensus of the companions) that the shar’a prioritises the obligation of appointing a Caliph over that of burying the dead even though both are fard al-kifiya (collective obligations). The appointment of a Caliph is at the top of the collective obligations because so many other obligations are dependent on this. Until Abu Bakr was appointed Caliph the ummah was paralysed and in disarray.
3- The title of Caliph
Abu Bakr was given the title Caliph/Khaleefah (successor) of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ. This title is mentioned numerous times in the hadith. Marwadi states: “He is called the Khaleefah (successor) as he stands in for the Messenger of Allah at the head of his Ummah and so it is permitted for someone to say, “0, Khaleefah of the Messenger of Allah!” or for someone to say, “Khaleefah,” on its own.” 
4- Caliph’s salary
Abu Bakr had spent all his wealth in the path of Allah over the decades so couldn’t afford to support his large family when he became Caliph. Initially he worked as a businessman in the marketplace until the senior sahaba, people of shura agreed to assign him an allowance from the treasury so he could concentrate solely on running the state. This allowance is how future Caliphs were paid, although in the period of dynasties this was abused by some rulers who took far more than they needed to fund their lavish lifestyles.
It is related that, shortly after he was appointed Khaleefah, Abu Bakr could be seen heading towards the marketplace, carrying a bundle of garments which he intended to sell. Umar and Abu Ubaydah accosted him and said, “Where are you going Khaleefah of the Messenger of Allah?” Abu Bakr replied, “The marketplace.” They said, “To do what? You have been put in charge over the affairs of the Muslims!” Abu Bakr said, “Then how will I feed my family?” They said, “Come with us, and we will allot for you a stipend.” 
The initial stipend was 250 dinars a year and part of a sheep each day. This was not enough for Abu Bakr’s large family so was increased to 300 dinars a year and a whole sheep per day. Abu Bakr went to the Masjid and ascended the minbar (pulpit) and said, “O People, my salary was 250 dinars in addition to parts of a sheet that were taken from its stomach, its head and its feet. But now Umar and Ali have agreed to increase my salary to 300 dinars in addition to a sheep in its entirety. Does this arrangement satisfy you?” The Muhajiroon replied, “Yes, we are pleased”. 
Please note that although 300 dinars in today’s money is £46K this doesn’t give a true picture of its value. Rather what needs to be investigated is the buying power of a dinar in Abu Bakr’s time. Taking this in to account 300 dinars was not an excessive amount but just enough to fulfil the Caliph’s expenses.
Abu Bakr’s first speech as Caliph made clear that accountability is an essential element of the Caliphate which the ummah must undertake. No one is above the law in the state. Abu Bakr said, “If I do well then obey me, and if I act wrongly, then correct me.” 
Refer to the book Accountability in the Caliphate for more details on this point.
6- Army of Usama
Just before the Prophet ﷺ passed away he ﷺ organised an army of 700 men commanded by the teenager Usama bin Zaid, son of the great commander Zaid bin Harithah who died shaheed (martyr) at Mutah. He ﷺ said: “Go to where your father was killed and trample them (the enemy) down with your horses; for indeed, I have placed you in charge of this army.” 
Once the Prophet ﷺ died and mass rebellion struck the state, the majority of the senior sahaba who were the people of shura wanted Usama’s army to be brought back to Medina to defend the state and deal with the rebels. Abu Bakr refused to accept the majority opinion and made the decision to send the army out of the state to the Byzantine empire in Ash-Sham. He even refused to replace Usama with an older and more experienced commander despite the majority requesting this.
Although Abu Bakr listened to his advisors, he showed that in military matters and foreign policy it is not binding on the Caliph to accept the majority opinion from the people of shura, and even his own Wazir Umar ibn al-Khattab. What matters in these areas is the correct decision and not majority opinion. Similarly in matters of ijtihad no weight is given to majority opinion. Abu Bakr was following an ijtihad that the Prophet ﷺ had organised this army so he wasn’t going to change it.
This incident showed that the best defense is offense. Sallaabee says: Haraql, the Emperor of Rome, learned in a single message both about the death of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ and the arrival of Usaamah’s army. The Romans, shocked at the sheer audacity of the attack on their lands, exclaimed, “What is the matter with them? Their companion dies and then they attack our land?”
And the Arabs in the region said, “If they were not powerful, they would not have sent this army (against us).” Thus the Arab Christians and Romans of the region were made to believe that the Muslims were quite powerful, when in fact Abu Bakr and the rest of the Muslims were struggling to regain control of the Arabian Peninsula.
It also shows that the duty of expanding the Islamic State and spreading Islam was not neglected dispute widespread internal rebellion and weakness. 
7- Rebellion and Ridda wars
Most of the Arab Peninsula rebelled after the death of the Prophet ﷺ except the major cities of Makkah, Medina and Taif. The reasons for rebellion were numerous. Some refused to pay taxes (zakat) to the state, and some followed one of the four false prophets that had emerged. Many of the tribes followed these false prophets out of political expediency rather than religious conviction. The four false prophets were:
- Musaylama the Liar in Yamamah
- Al-Aswad Al-Ansi in Yemen
- Sajah bint Al-Harith
- Tulayha al-Asadi
Abu Bakr as Commander in Chief of the army created 11 Corps and sent them out to deal with the rebellion. This became known as the Ridda Wars. It should be noted that the method of dealing with those who rebel as groups is not to punish them or wipe them out. Rather they are fought until they re-join the Islamic State and give their bay’ah. Once the rebel armies were defeated they re-joined the Islamic State and their armies played a pivotal role in spreading Islam to Iraq, Ash-Sham and beyond under Umar bin al-Khattab.
8- Two of the four false prophets become Muslim
Musaylama the Liar and Al-Aswad Al-Ansi were both killed but Tulayha al-Asadi and Sajah bint Al-Harith became Muslim. Tulayha who was an effective military commander, and his tribe played a pivotal role in the spreading of Islam in Persia. He died shaheed at the Battle of Nahavand located in present day Iran. This shows that forgiveness is open for all and those with skills can play a central role in the Islamic State.
9- Compiling the Qur’an
During the Ridda Wars many hufaaz (memorisers of the Qur’an) were killed. This led Abu Bakr’s Wazir Umar ibn Al-Khattab to advise the Caliph to preserve the Qur’an as Allah ordered and start compiling the Qur’an.
Shortly after the Battle of Yamaamah took place, Abu Bakr As-Siddeeq summoned for Zaid ibn Thaabit Al-Ansaaree (his executive assistant) to come to him. When Zaid went to Abu Bakr, he saw ‘Umar sitting down beside him. Abu Bakr then said to Zaid, “Verily, Umar came to me and said, ‘Many of the Qurr’aa (those that had the Qur’an memorized in its entirety) have died on the Day of Yamaamah, and I fear that many other Qurr’aa will die in future battles and conflicts, and the dangerous result of that will be the loss of much of the Qur’an. Therefore, I think that you should order someone (or some committee of people) to gather the Qur’an (from what is written of it on leather parchments and bones, and from what is preserved in the hearts of men).’ 
Abu Bakr used the organs and resources of the state to compile the Qur’an and thus protect it as Allah (Most High) says:
إِنّا نَحنُ نَزَّلنَا الذِّكرَ وَإِنّا لَهُ لَحافِظونَ
“It is We Who have sent down the Reminder (Qur’an) and We Who will preserve it.” 
The sahaba understood clearly the concept of Al-Qadaa wal-Qadr (divine fate and destiny) and what their responsibilities were in the spheres of life under their control. They therefore maximised their efforts in all areas of life whether in fighting battles, protecting the Qur’an or reunifying the state. The Islamic State is a human state ruled by human beings. Problems are solved by human beings implementing Islamic law (sharia) and not by divine intervention.
10- Nominating the next Caliph
When Abu Bakr fell seriously ill and was near death, he requested the Muslims of the capital Medina to choose the next Caliph. Due to Abu Bakr’s high status in Islam and society, they instead requested Abu Bakr to choose the next Caliph. Abu Bakr then took shura from the senior sahaba on who his successor should be, and finally came to the decision that Umar ibn Al-Khattab was most suited for the role. Abu Bakr did not choose a relative as a successor rather he chose based on merit.
The sahaba said: “O Khaleefah of the Messenger Allah, your opinion is our opinion (i.e., appoint your successor for us).” He said, “Then give me some time, so that I can see what is best in the view of Allah and what is best for His religion and His slaves.” 
After a period of consultation Abu Bakr then ordered the following decree to be written:
In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.
This is the (final) command of Abu Bakr ibn Abu Quhaafah, which he writes as he is exiting this world, and entering the world of the Hereafter … a time during which a disbeliever comes to believe, a wicked-doer comes to have faith, and a liar tells the truth: Verily, I appoint over you ‘Umar ibn Al-Khattaab as my successor, so listen to him and obey him …. If he acts justly, then that is what I think of him and that is what I know about him. But if he changes for the worse (i.e., he begins to act unjustly), then for each person is that which he has earned. Goodness is what I wanted, and I do not know anything of the Unseen world.
وَسَيَعلَمُ الَّذينَ ظَلَموا أَيَّ مُنقَلَبٍ يَنقَلِبونَ
“Those who do wrong will soon know the kind of reversal they will receive!” (Ash-Shu’araa, 26:227) 
11- Sowing the seeds for future conquests and infrastructure development
Abu Bakr’s Caliphate only lasted two years yet he sowed the seeds for future Caliphs to expand the state and spread Islam. If Abu Bakr hadn’t resolved the disunity and crushed the rebellion, then all aspects of Islam would have been threatened. This is why Abu Hurairah said: “By the One Whom there is no god but him, if Abu Bakr had not been appointed as Caliph then Allah would not have been worshipped.” 
These seeds can be seen flowering under Abu Bakr’s successor Umar bin Al-Khattab who spread Islam far and wide, established new cities and built the state infrastructure.
Read next: History of the Caliphs: Umar bin Al-Khattab (coming soon…)
By A.K.Newell, Editor of IslamCiv.com
 Jalal ad-Din as-Suyuti, ‘The history of the Khalifahs who took the right way’, translation of Tareekh ul-Khulufaa, Ta Ha Publishers, p.63
 Dr Ali Muhammad As-Sallaabee, ‘The Biography of Abu Bakr As-Siddeeq’, Dar us-Salam Publishers, p.271
 Sallaabee, Op.cit.
 Sallaabee, Op.cit. p.250
 Ibn Kathir, As-Sira al-Nabawiyya, 5/379
 Sallaabee, Op.cit. p.235
 Abu Ja`far Muhammad b. Jarir al-Tabari, ‘The History of Al-Tabari’, translation of Ta’rikh al-rusul wa’l-muluk, State University of New York Press, Volume XI, p. 142
 Albert Hourani, ‘Arabic Thought in the Liberal Age 1798-1939,’ p.185-188
 Sallaabee, Op.cit.
 Sallaabee, Op.cit. p.547
 Sallaabee, Op.cit. p.581
 Dr Ali Muhammad As-Sallabi, ‘Umar bin al-Khattab, His life and Times, Vol. 2, International Islamic Publishing House, p.273
 Lt-General A.I. Akram, ‘The Sword of Allah: Khalid bin Al-Waleed, His Life and Campaigns’, Chapter 12: Abu Bakr Strikes
 Dr Ali Muhammad As-Sallaabee, ‘The Biography of Abu Bakr As-Siddeeq’, Dar us-Salam Publishers, p.555
 Ibid, p.556
 Ibid, p.327
 Ibid, p.618
 Ibid, p.634
 Ibid, p.641
 Holy Quran, Chapter Al-Baqara, verse 256
 Holy Quran, Chapter An-Nasr
 Sallaabee, Op.cit. p.712
 Ibid, p.317
 al-Bidayah wan-Nihayah (5/237) and Saheeh As-Seerah An-Nabawiyyah, p.728
 Abu l-Hasan al-Mawardi, The Laws of Islamic Governance, translation of Al-Ahkam as-Sultaniyah, Ta Ha Publishers, p.27
 Sallaabee, Op.cit. p.270
 Ibid, p.271
 Ibid, p.253
 Ibid, p.315
 Ibid, p.328
 Ibid, p.518
 Holy Quran, Chapter Al-Hijr, verse 9
 Sallaabee, Op.cit. p.724
 Ibid, p.726
 as-Suyuti, Op.cit. p.63