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Muhammad (Muhammad) - Abu Bakr's Short-Lived Freedom to Worship - from Aisha

Narrated Aisha Bint Abu Bakr (the wife of the Prophet): "I never remembered my parents believing in any religion other than the true religion (i.e. Islam), and (I don't remember) a single day passing without our being visited by Allah's Messenger in the morning and in the evening. When the Muslims were put to test (i.e. troubled by the pagans), Abu Bakr set out migrating to the land of Abyssinia (Ethiopia), and when he reached Bark-al-Ghimad, Ibn Ad-Daghina, the chief of the tribe of Qara, met him and said, '0 Abu Bakr! Where are you going?'

Abu Bakr replied: 'My people have turned me out (of my country), so I want to wander on the earth and worship my Lord.'

Ibn Ad-Daghina said: '0 Abu Bakr! A man like you should not leave his home-land, nor should he be driven out, because you help the destitute, earn their living, and you keep good relations with your kith and kin, help the weak and poor, entertain guests generously, and help the calamity-stricken persons. Therefore I am your protector. Go back and worship your Lord in your town.'

So Abu Bakr returned and Ibn Ad-Daghina accompanied him. In the evening Ibn Ad-Daghina visited the nobles of Quraish and said to them. 'A man like Abu Bakr should not leave his homeland, nor should he be driven out. Do you (i.e. Quraish) drive out a man who helps the destitute, earns their living, keeps good relations with his kith and kin, helps the weak and poor, entertains guests generously and helps the calamity-stricken persons?'

So the people of Quraish could not refuse Ibn Ad-Daghina's protection, and they said to Ibn Ad-Daghina: 'Let Abu Bakr worship his Lord in his house. He can pray and recite there whatever he likes, but he should not hurt us with it, and should not do it publicly, because we are afraid that he may affect our women and children."

Ibn Ad-Daghina told Abu Bakr of all that. Abu Bakr stayed in that state, worshipping his Lord in his house. He did not pray publicly, nor did he recite Qur'an outside his house.

'Then a thought occurred to Abu Bakr to build a mosque in front of his house, and there he used to pray and recite the Qur'an. The women and children of the pagans began to gather around him in great number. They used to wonder at him and look at him. Abu Bakr was a man who used to weep too much, and he could not help weeping on reciting the Qur'an. That situation scared the nobles of the pagans of Quraish, so they sent for Ibn Ad-Daghina.

When he came to them, they said: 'We accepted your protection of Abu Bakr on condition that he should worship his Lord in his house, but he has violated the conditions and he has built a mosque in front of his house where he prays and recites the Qur'an publicly. We are now afraid that he may affect our women and children unfavorably. So, prevent him from that. If he likes to confine the worship of his Lord to his house, he may do so, but if he insists on doing that openly, ask him to release you from your obligation to protect him, for we dislike to break our pact with you, but we deny Abu Bakr the right to announce his act publicly.'

Ibn Ad-Daghina went to Abu- Bakr and said: '0 Abu Bakr! You know well what contract I have made on your behalf; now, you are either to abide by it, or else release me from my obligation of protecting you, because I do not want the Arabs hear that my people have dishonored a contract I have made on behalf of another man.' Abu Bakr replied: 'I release you from your pact to protect me and am pleased with the protection from Allah.'

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