Abu Bakr, Radi-Allahu anhu
Abu Bakr, Radi-Allahu anhu, as-Siddiq was the first of the Muslims and the first khalifah of the Muslims. He was the man who the Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, loved most. The Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, once said "..everyone hesitated before accepting Islam except Abu Bakr, Radi-Allahu anhu". He was a man easily overcome with weeping and he prayed to his Lord with a voice so soft that the Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, questioned him about this, to which he replied "..He with whom I speak will hear". He was frail and slight of built and yet his actions exceeded the actions of any man, except the Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam.
Aisha, Radi-Allahu anha, the daughter of Abu Bakr, Radi-Allahu anhu, and the wife of the Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, said, "While the head of Allah's messenger was on my lap on a moonlit night, I asked "Messenger of Allah, has anyone done as many good deeds as there are stars in the sky?" "Yes", he replied, "Umar, Radi-Allahu anhu, has". I then asked how Abu Bakr's good deeds compared, and he replied, "All Umar's good deeds are like one of Abu Bakr's good deeds".
Abu Bakr, Radi-Allahu anhu's love for the Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, knew no bounds. He accompanied the Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, on the Hijrah to Madinah. They stopped at a cave called "Thawr", and Abu Bakr, Radi-Allahu anhu, said, as narrated by Umar ibn Khattab, "I swear by Allah that you (the Prophet) will not enter the cave before I have done so, for if there is anything in it, I shall be attacked by it, and not you." Then he entered the cave and swept it and found some holes in the side of it. He tore up a piece of his garment and plugged the holes with it. As there were still two remaining holes left, he thrust his feet into them and told the Messenger of Allah to enter the cave. When he had done so the Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, laid his head on Abu Bakr, Radi-Allahu anhu's lap and went to sleep. One of Abu Bakr, Radi-Allahu anhu's foot was stung by a creature in the hole, but he did not move for fear that the Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, might awake. The effect of the poison returned later on, and was said to be the cause of his death.
According to Umar, Radi-Allahu anhu, the day when the Prophet, Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam, died and the Arabs turned back from Islam and refused to pay zakat, he said, "If they were to refuse me the nose-rope of a camel, I would fight them over it". Umar, Radi-Allahu anhu, remarked, "Successor of the Messenger of Allah, be affable and gentle to the people", to which Abu Bakr, Radi-Allahu anhu, replied, "Have you, who were a powerful man before Islam, become weak in Islam? The revelation has ceased and the transaction has been made perfect. Is it to diminish while I am alive?."
Two years after becoming the first khalifah, Abu Bakr, Radi-Allahu anhu, was seized with fever. After completing his affairs in this world he died at the age of 63 with nothing but two pieces of cloth, in which he was buried. As his end was near, he was heard to say "..O Allah, make me to die a man of trust. Please take me to join the blessed, exalted ones."
Sayings of Abu Bakr, Radi-Allahu anhu
Always fear Allah; He knows what is in men's hearts.
Be kind to those who are under you and treat them well.
Give brief directions; directions that are too long are likely to be forgotten.
Improve your own conduct before asking others to improve theirs.
Honor the enemy's envoy.
Maintain the secrecy of your plans.
Always speak the truth, so that you get the right advice.
Consult your men when you are free to do so; this will develop participation.
Take suitable measures to keep watch on the army.
Be sincere to all with whom you deal.
Give up cowardice and dishonesty.
Give up bad company.
Heroes of Islam: Abu Bakr, the First Caliph of Islam