I can’t find the source to the Hadith ‘I would have taken Abu Bakr as a Khalil [close bosom friend]’. Is it authentic? Does this confirm the rank of Abu Bakr?
Imam Bukhari (rahimahullah) has recorded this narration approximately seven times in his sahih with variations in the wording. The narration is therefore authentic.
(Sahih Bukhari, on the authority of Sayyiduna ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas, Hadith: 467, 3656, 6738. On the authority of Sayyiduna Abu Sa’id Al Khudri, Hadith: 466, 3654, 3904 and on the authority of Sayyiduna ‘Abdullah ibn Zubayr, Hadith: 3658)
This Hadith definitely confirms the lofty rank of Sayyiduna Abu Bakr (radiyallahu ‘anhu). Before making the statement in question, Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) explained that none assisted him as Sayyiduna Abu Bakr did.
Be it with his wealth, life or family, Sayyiduna Abu Bakr (radiyallahu ‘anhu) was willing to sacrifice all of this for his beloved Rasul (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam).
(Refer: Fathul Bari for more details, under Hadith: 3654)
And Allah Ta’ala Knows best.
Answered by: Moulana Suhail Motala
Approved by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar
Checked by: Moulana Haroon Abasoomar