Abu Bakr was of a contemplative bent of mind. He often expressed his thoughts in words that were conspicuous because of their wisdom. A number of his sayings have come down to us, and these show the depth and dimension of his thought and philosophy. Here are some of the sayings of Abu Bakr that have assumed the character of a proverb.
About greatness, Abu Bakr said:
Run away from greatness and greatness will follow you.
There is greatness in the fear of God, contentment in faith of God, and honour in humility.
About good actions, Abu Bakr said:
Good actions are a guard against the blows of adversity.
Be good to others, that will protect you against evil.
If you expect the blessings of God, be good to His people.
Every day, nay every moment, try to do some good deed.
About death, he said:
Have an earnestness for death and you will have life.
Death is the easiest of all things after it, and the hardest of all things before it.
About knowledge, he said:
The more knowledge you have, the greater will be your fear of Allah.
Without knowledge action is useless and knowledge without action is futile.
Knowledge is the life of the mind.
When a noble man learns knowledge he becomes humble, [whereas] when an ignoble person gains knowledge, he [becomes] conceited.
When knowledge is limited – it leads to folly. [But] when knowledge exceeds a certain limit, it leads to exploitation.
In the matter of advice, he said:
When you seek advice, do not withhold any facts from the person whose advice you seek.
When you advise any person you should be guided by the fear of God.
If anybody seeks your advice, offer right and sincere advice.
He who is not impressed by sound advice, lacks faith.
About kindness he said:
If you expect the blessings of God, [then] be kind to His people.
He who aspires to paradise should learn to deal with people with kindness.
He who fears to weep, should learn to be kind to those who weep.
About self-control he said, “If you want to control other people, first control yourself.”
Patience and confidence
With regard to patience and confidence, he said: “Patience is half [the] faith, and confidence is full faith.”
Society of evil persons
About the society of evil persons he held, “Solitude is better than the society of evil persons.”
About honesty he said, “The greatest truth is honesty, and the greatest falsehood is dishonesty.”
Treatment of Muslims
About the treatment of Muslims he said, “Do not look down upon any Muslim, for even the most inferior believer is great in the eyes of God.”
Help and co-operation
About help and co-operation, he said:
God blesses him who helps his brother.
Co-operate with one another, and do not bare grudges of jealousy.
Muslims should live like brothers.
God helps those who fear Him’.
Allah will help him who moves in the way of Allah.
About “Jihad”, he said:
The people who abandon Jihad fall a victim to humility and degradation.
Jihad is obligatory for the Muslims.
To fight against the infidels is Jihad; but to fight against your evil self is greater Jihad.
With regard to intentions, he said, “Intentions count in your actions”.
In the matter of the offering of “Sadaqah” he said, “When you offer any Sadaqah to a beggar, do it with humility and respect, for what you are
offering is an offer to Allah”.
With regard to mosques he said: “He who builds a mosque in the way of Allah, God will build a house for him in the paradise.”
Way of life
About the way of life he said, “Follow the way of life, which the Holy Prophet has shown you, for verily that is the right path”.
With regard to prayers, he said, “He who prays five times a day is in the protection of God, and he who is protected by God cannot be harmed by anyone.”
About neighbours, he said, “You should not quarrel with your neighbour, for he will remain where he is, but your high handedness will become the talk of the people”.
Appearance of things
About the outward appearance of things he said:
Maybe a thing that you do not like is really in your interest. It is possible that a thing that you may desire may be against your interest.
Love of God
About the love of God, and the love of the world, he said, “He who [has a taste for the] love of God can have no taste for the love of the world”.
Becoming a Muslim
About becoming a Muslim, he said, “He who becomes a Muslim does so in his own interest”.
About falsehood, he said “He who indulges in falsehood will find the paths of paradise shut to him”.
About boasting, he said, “He who boasts lowers himself”.
About pride he said, “Pride in the case of a rich man is bad, but but pride in the case of a poor man is worse”.\
In the matter of elation, he said, “Do not get elated at any victory, for all such victory is subject to the will of God.”
Avoidance of complaints
With regard to the avoidance of complaint he said, “He who avoids complaint invites happiness.”
Attraction of the things of the world
About the attraction of the things of the world, he said, “If an ignorant person is attracted by the things of the world, that is bad. But if a learned person is thus attracted, it is worse.”
He also said, “O man you are busy working for the world, and the world is busy trying to turn you out”.
About justice, he said: “In the matter of justice, all should be equal in your eyes”.
Deception and faithlessness
About deception and faithlessness he said, “Do not deceive or be faithless even with your enemy.”
About the use of [a] measure he said, “Use the same measure for selling that you use for purchasing”.
About Sin, he said:
(1) It is good to repent from sin; [but] it is better to avoid [it].
(2) It is bad for a young man to sin; but it is worse for an old man to sin.
About evil he said “Cursed is the man who dies, but the evil done by him survives.”
Dyeing [the] hair
In the case of hair dyeing he said, “Youth is not restored by the dyeing of your hair”.
About rising early, he said, “It is a matter of shame that in the morning the birds should be awake earlier than you.”
About Piety he said: Piety is the most solid goodness, and the vilest of what is evil is vice.
Truth and falsehood
About truth and falsehood he said, “Truth is a trust, [whereas] falsehood [is] treason.”
About vain desires, he said, “Do not follow vain desires; for verily he who prospers is preserved from lust, greed and anger.”
Abu Bakr prayed, “O Lord, render the best of my life [at] its close, the best of my deeds as the last, and the best of my days the day of Your meeting.” “O God verily I ask of You that which may be the best for me in the end. O God vouchsafe that the last good that You bestow upon me, is Your approbation.”
Abu Bakr said, “The most deadly of things are the two that are red, gold and saffron.”
Reward of the believer
Abu Bakr said, “The true believer is rewarded in every thing, even in affliction.”
Life of the world
About the life of the world, Abu Bakr said, “Our abode in this world is transitory, our life therein is but a loan, our breaths are numbered and our indolence is manifest. ”
While condoling the death of a [fellow]companion, Abu Bakr said to the bereaved family: “There is no harm in patience, and no profit in lamentation. Death is easier to bear than [than] that which precedes it, and more severe than that which comes after it. Remember the death of the Apostle of God, and your sorrow will be lessened. ”
Prayer for a dead man
When praying for a dead man. Abu Bakr said: “O God his people and his goods and his kindred have forsaken this servant of Yours. His sin was grievous, but You are Merciful and Compassionate.”