The Beating of Abu Bakr by Utbah ibn Rabi’ah


The Muslim community suffered great hardship in the early days of the Message. The weaker members of the community: the slaves, and those without a tribe to protect them were the most persecuted. There were incidents in which those of the upperclass would be subject to abuse. Abu Bakr As-Siddeeq was the target of a particularly brutal attack that nearly lead to his death.


The Believers consisted of a number of women and only 38[1] or 39[2] men, however Abu Bakr like many others were eager to share the Message of Islam. They encouraged the Prophet (ﷺ) to begin openly preaching, he (ﷺ) of course urged caution.

“O Abu Bakr, we are ˹as of yet˺ few in number.”[3]

The Prophet did agree eventually agree so the muslims spread amongst their tribes near the Kabbah. Abu Bakr rose to give the first Khutbah (sermon) of this nation inviting the people of Makkah to Allah and His Messenger (ﷺ).

The Incident

To openly speak about the new religion was not something the Quraysh would stand for. Perceived as a violation of their authority, the Quraysh became enraged and began to beat the muslims around the Masjid. Abu Bakr in particular was severely trampled in the chaotic attacks. Weakened and unable to defend himself Utbah ibn Rabi’ah seized the moment and began a vicious attack. Using his shoe Utbah repeatedly struck Abu Bakr’s head to the point that some described it as being difficult to discern between his face and the back of his head due to the amount of blood.

Abu Bakr almost died as a result of the injuries and he most assuredly would have if not for the intervention of his clansmen from Banu Taim. Breaking up the mob, they rushed Abu Bakr home then returned to the Masjid to address the insult.

“By Allah, if Abu Bak dies, we will indeed kill Utbah ibn Rabeeah.”


When Abu Bakr awoke many hours later to the questions of his father, Abu Quhaafah and members of Banu Tameem, his response was only to inquire about the safety of the Prophet (ﷺ). Not being Muslim his family were confused and frustrated. How could he place the welfare of a member of Banu Haashim over his own life. Rather than press him in his weakened state, his family urged his mother, Umm Al-Khair to intervene. Without success, Umm Al-Khair acquiesced to his requests and searched for the daughter of Al-KhattabUmm Jameel who aided Abu Bakr, and his mother in walking to the House of Al-Arqam. Upon arriving at the House of Al-Arqam, Abu Bakr, relieved to find the Prophet (ﷺ) safe, introduced his mother and asked the Prophet (ﷺ) to invite her to Allah. He did, and she embraced Islam.


  1. Jump up↑ The Biography of Abu Bakr As-Siddeeq by Dr. ‘Ali Muhammad as-Sallābi, Ch. 2, p. 56
  2. Jump up↑ The Noble Life of The Prophet by Dr. Ali Muhammad As-Sallaabee, Volume 1 p.388
  3. Jump up↑ The Noble Life of The Prophet by Dr. Ali Muhammad As-Sallaabee, Volume 1 p.388