Abu Bakr al-Siddiq
(r. 632 – 34 )
First Sunni caliph, father of Muhammad 's wife Aishah , and one of four “rightly guided” caliphs in Sunni Islam. Elected to the caliphate by leaders of the early Muslim community upon Muhammad's death (the caliphate is not recognized by Shiis). Known for egalitarian distribution of the spoils of war. Believed that religious and political leadership of Muslims was the right of the Meccan Companions of Muhammad, rather than Muhammad's family. Unified Arabia. Fought Muslims who refused to pay zakah. Asserted the legitimacy of leadership via adherence to the principles of shura (consultation), aqd (contract between ruler and ruled), and bayah (oath of allegiance), forming the basis for modern theories of Islamic democracy.