The Cause of this Revelation and the Virtue of Abu Bakr

Many of the scholars of Tafsir have mentioned that these Ayat were revealed about Abu Bakr As-Siddiq. Some of them even mentioned that there is a consensus among the Qur'anic commentators concerning this. There is no doubt that he is included in the meaning of these Ayat, and that he is the most deserving of the Ummah to be described with these characteristics in general, for indeed, the wording of these Ayat is general. As in Allah's saying,

﴿وَسَيُجَنَّبُهَا الاٌّتْقَى - الَّذِى يُؤْتِى مَالَهُ يَتَزَكَّى - وَمَا لاًّحَدٍ عِندَهُ مِن نِّعْمَةٍ تُجْزَى ﴾

(And those with Taqwa will be far removed from it. He who gives of his wealth for self-purification. And who has (in mind) no favor from anyone to be paid back.) However, he (Abu Bakr) was the first and foremost of this Ummah to have all of these characteristics and other praiseworthy characteristics as well. For verily, he was truthful, pious, generous, charitable, and he always spent his wealth in obedience of His Master (Allah) and in aiding the Messenger of Allah . How many Dirhams and Dinars did he spend seeking the Face of His Most Noble Lord. And did not consider any of the people as owning him some favor that he needed to get compensation for. Rather, his virtue and kindness was even shown towards leaders and chiefs from all the other tribes as well. This is why `Urwah bin Mas`ud, who was the chief of the Thaqif tribe, said to him on the day of the Treaty of Hudaybiyyah, "By Allah, if I did not owe you a debt, which I have not paid you back for, I would have responded to you (i.e., your call to Islam).'' Abu Bakr As-Siddiq became angry with him for saying such a thing (i.e., I owe you something). So if this was his position with the chiefs of the Arabs and the heads of the tribes, then what about those other than them. Thus, Allah says,

﴿وَمَا لاًّحَدٍ عِندَهُ مِن نِّعْمَةٍ تُجْزَى - إِلاَّ ابْتِغَآءَ وَجْهِ رَبِّهِ الاٌّعْلَى - وَلَسَوْفَ يَرْضَى ﴾

(And who has (in mind) no favor from anyone to be paid back. Except to seek the Face of his Lord, the Most High. He, surely, will be pleased.) And in the Two Sahihs it is recorded that the Messenger of Allah said,

«مَنْ أَنْفَقَ زَوْجَيْنِ فِي سَبِيلِ اللهِ دَعَتْهُ خَزَنَةُ الْجَنَّةِ يَاعَبْدَاللهِ، هَذَا خَيْر»

(Whoever equipped two riding animals in the way of Allah, the Gatekeepers of Paradise will call to him saying, "O servant of Allah! This is good.'') So Abu Bakr said, "O Messenger of Allah! The one who is called from them will not have any need. Will there be anyone who will be called from all of them'' The Prophet replied,

«نَعَمْ ، وَأَرْجُو أَنْ تَكُونَ مِنْهُم»

(Yes, and I hope that you will be one of them.) This is the end of the Tafsir of Surat Al-Layl, and all praise and thanks are due to Allah.