Sayidina Abu Bakr burns his collections

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Sayidina A'ishah ra says: "My father, Sayidina Abu Bakr ra , had a collection of five hundred Al haadith. One night I noticed that he was very restless. He was tossing about in bed and could not sleep. I got worried over this and asked him 'Are you suffering from any trouble or worried about anything.' However he did not speak and remained restless throughout the night. Next morning he called me and said, 'Bring the collection of Hadith that I gave you to keep.' I brought the book and he set fire to it, till it was burnt.

He said, 'The collection contained many Al haadith that I had heard from other people. I thought that if I died and left behind a Hadith accepted as authentic by me, but really not authentic, then I should have to answer for that."

It was Sayidina Abu Bakr's ra zeal for knowledge that caused him to compile a book of five hundred Alhaadith. But it was due to his extreme carefulness that he burnt the collection. The Sahabah were very careful and cautious about Hadith. That is why you find very few Al haadith narrated by the famous Sahabah. Those people who do not hesitate to quote a Hadith (without authority) in their sermons from the pulpit should take a lesson from this story. Sayidina Abu Bakr ra remained in Nabi's SAW company for most of his time. Many of the Sahabah used to say: Sayidina Abu Bakr ra was the most learned amongst us,"

After the death of Nabi SAW when the selection of the Khalifah was being discussed, Sayidina Abu Bakr RA advised the people quoting all the relevant ayat of the Qur’aan and all such Ahaadith of Nabi SAW which dealt with the virtues and qualities of the Ansaar.

This shows how much knowledge of the Qur’aan he had and how many Al haadith he remembered. In spite of all this, there are very few Al haadith that have been narrated by Sayidina Abu Bakr RA . For similar reasons, Imam Abu Hanifah (RA) too was not so free in reporting Hadith.