Abu Bakr (radhi-Allahu anh) was one of the first few people to accept Islam at the invitation of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (sall-Allahu alayhi wa-sallam). He was a very kind-hearted, generous and noble person. His character was such that the people of the town of Makkah all respected him and appreciated his good nature. It was perhaps due to this good nature that led Abu Bakr—by the mercy and blessing of Allah, of course—to become one of the first believers of the message of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (sall-Allahu alayhi wa-sallam), and to spend the rest of his life in service to Islam.
Abu Bakr helped Islam in its early days by preaching the message to his friends and associates, as a result, many people embraced Islam on his invitation. He also helped the progression of Islam by purchasing and freeing many Muslim slaves that were tortured by their Non-Muslim masters for believing in Islam. He served his religion by accompanying the Holy Prophet Muhammad (sall-Allahu alayhi wa-sallam) on the dangerous journey of hijrah (migration) to Madinah. This was done at a time when the disbelievers of Makkah had announced a price on both of their heads. Either of them—the Prophet (sall-Allahu alayhi wa-sallam) or Abu Bakr—could easily have been killed in this journey, if not for Allah’s protection. [If you have a book of Seerah, you should read a detailed account of this migration to understand just how extremely dangerous this journey was, and how Abu Bakr served the Holy Prophet (sall-Allahu alayhi wa-sallam) in this journey.]
Once in the city of Madinah, Abu Bakr continued to serve Islam by providing the Holy Prophet Muhammad (sall-Allahu alayhi wa-sallam) with sound advice, by spending his wealth in Allah’s cause, and by accompanying the Holy Prophet Muhammad (sall-Allahu alayhi wa-sallam) on many dangerous battles. The battle of Badr was the very first major battle in which he stood guard right alongside the Holy Prophet Muhammad (sall-Allahu alayhi wa-sallam).
After the death of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (sall-Allahu alayhi wa-sallam), Abu Bakr continued to serve the Muslim Ummah as their Khaleefah, or the leader. It was he who started the spread of the Islamic empire to the farthest corners of the world, while also maintaining the superiority of Islam. He fought against the many rebellions from within, such as the tribes that refused to pay the obligatory Zakaah, the false prophets and the apostates (people who left Islam after declaring faith). Moreover, he had the Holy Qur’an compiled for the first time into an official copy, under the supervision of Zaid ibn Thaabit (radhi-Allahu anh) in order to prevent it from being changed and lost like the other previously changed holy books. And after a life full of faithfulness, generosity, service and leadership, Allah recalled Abu Bakr’s soul to His boundless mercy. Abu Bakr had the honor of being buried right next to the blessed grave of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (sall-Allahu alayhi wa-sallam). May Allah be pleased with him and reward him for all his good works, aameen.