Will Abu Bakr be admitted to Paradise without being brought to account?
Praise be to Allah.
Al-Bukhaari (3671) narrated that Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyyah said: I said to my father – who was ‘Ali ibn Abi Taalib (may Allah be pleased with him) –: “Which of the people is best after the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him)? He said: Abu Bakr. I said: Then who? He said: Then ‘Umar.
Imam Ahmad (835) narrated that Abu Juhayfah said: I heard ‘Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) say: Shall I not tell you the best of this ummah after its Prophet? (It is) Abu Bakr. Then he said: Shall I not tell you the best of this ummah after Abu Bakr? (It is) ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him). The commentators on al-Musnad said: Its isnaad is hasan.
Ahl as-Sunnah wa’l-Jamaa‘ah are unanimously agreed that the best of this ummah after its Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) is Abu Bakr as-Siddeeq, then ‘Umar, then ‘Uthmaan, then ‘Ali (may Allah be pleased with them all).
Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
They – i.e., Ahl as-Sunnah – affirm that which is narrated in mutawaatir reports from Ameer al-Mu’mineen ‘Ali ibn Abi Taalib (may Allah be pleased with him) and others: that the best of this ummah after its Prophet is Abu Bakr, then ‘Umar, and they mentioned the third one as ‘Uthmaan and the fourth one as ‘Ali (may Allah be pleased with them all), as is indicated by the reports.
End quote from al-‘Aqeedah al-Waasitiyyah (p. 117)
Please see also the answer to question no. 34577
With regard to the hadith which speaks of Abu Bakr and says that he will enter Paradise without being detained for the reckoning, it is a weak hadith that is not saheeh (sound). It was narrated by Abu Nu‘aym in Tareekh Asbahaan (2/370), and via him by al-Khateeb in al-Muttafaq wa’l-Muftaraq (2/38), via Ibraaheem ibn Abi Yahya who said: Abu ‘Umar ad-Dareer narrated to us, from Hammaad ibn Salamah, from Hishaam ibn ‘Urwah, from his father, from ‘Aa’ishah, who said: The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “O ‘Aa’ishah, all the people will be brought to account on the Day of Resurrection except Abu Bakr.”
Ibn Abi Yahya is al-Mukattab, a man who is unknown. He was mentioned by Abu Nu‘aym in Akhbaar Asbahaan, but he did not mention any any evaluation of him as a narrator, therefore his report is odd (munkar); how could he have been the only one to narrate it with this good isnaad without any other narrators referring to it? As that is the case, the report is deemed to be odd and weak.
One of the reasons why a hadith may be deemed to be odd and weird is that a report is narrated only by an unknown narrator who is not known to the scholars of hadith. If a hadith is narrated only by an unknown narrator, the scholars regard his hadith as odd because of him being the only one to narrate it.
See: Manhaj al-Imam Ahmad fi I‘laal al-Ahaadeeth (2/869); al-Hadeeth al-Munkar ‘inda al-Imam Abu Haatim ar-Raazi – Diraasah Tatbeeqiyyah (p. 13)
It was narrated by Ibn al-Jawzi in al-‘Ilal al-Mutanaahiyyah (1/190) via Dawood ibn Sagheer who said: Katheer an-Nuwa’ narrated to me that Anas ibn Maalik said: The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: I said to Jibreel when he took me on the Night Journey (al-Isra’) up to heaven: “O Jibreel, will my ummah be brought to account?” He said: All of your ummah will be brought to account except Abu Bakr as-Siddeeq. On the Day of Resurrection, it will be said to him: O Abu Bakr, enter Paradise. He will say: I will not enter it until those who loved me in the previous world enter it with me.
Immediately after narrating this, Ibn al-Jawzi commented:
This hadith is not saheeh. Dawood ibn Sagheer is majrooh (i.e., he is not credible). Al-Khateeb said: He was da‘eef. Ad-Daaraqutni said: He is munkar al-hadith (i.e., his hadith is odd). As for Katheer an-Nuwa’, an-Nasaa’i said: He is da‘eef. End quote.
Adh-Dhahabi said in al-Mizaan (3/500), concerning the biography of Muhammad ibn Ja‘far al-Baghdaadi:
It was narrated from Dawood ibn Sagheer in a false report, from Katheer an-Nuwa’, from Anas, in a marfoo‘ report: “O Jibreel, will my ummah be brought to account?” He said: Yes, apart from Abu Bakr… Moreover, Dawood is not credible. End quote.
It was also mentioned by ash-Shawkaani in al-Fawaa’id al-Majmoo‘ah (p. 35). He said: It is mawdoo‘ (fabricated).
With regard to the second hadith, according to which ‘Umar will be the first one to take his book in his right hand, it was narrated by ath-Tha‘labi in his Tafseer (2358), by Ibn ‘Asaakir in his Tareekh (30/154), al-Khateeb in his Tareekh (11/202) and Ibn al-Jawzi in al-Mawdoo‘aat (1/320), via ‘Umar ibn Ibraaheem ibn Khaalid: Marhoom ibn Artabaan, the cousin of ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Awn narrated to us that he said: ‘Aasim al-Ahwal narrated to us, from Zayd ibn Thaabit, who said: The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “The first one of this ummah to be given his book in his right hand will be ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab, and it will shine with rays like the rays of the sun.”
It was said to him: Where will Abu Bakr be?
He said: “He will already have been taken by the angels to Paradise.”
Ibn al-Jawzi said, immediately after quoting this report: The hadith is not saheeh; the one who is accused is ‘Umar, who is known as al-Kurdi. Ad-Daaraqutni said: He was a liar who used to fabricate hadiths. End quote.
It was also quoted by ash-Shawkaani in al-Fawaa’id al-Majmoo‘ah (p. 336). He said:
The one who is accused is ‘Umar ibn Ibraaheem ibn Khaalid al-Kurdi.
Regarding this ‘Umar, ad-Daaraqutni said: He was a liar and evildoer. Al-Khateeb said: His is not trustworthy. He also said: He narrated odd reports. Ibn ‘Uqdah said: He is da‘eef.
Lisaan al-Mizaan (4/280)
It was narrated by Ibn Abi ‘Aasim in Kitaab al-Awaa’il (82), via Habeeb ibn Zurayq: the nephew of az-Zuhri narrated to us, from his paternal uncle, from al-Qaasim ibn Muhammad, from Ibn ‘Abbaas, who said: The first one to be given his book in his right hand will be Abu Salamah ibn ‘Abd al-Asad. This is a fabricated hadith, and the problem with it is Habeeb ibn Zurayq. Abu Haatim said: He narrated fabricated hadiths from the nephew of az-Zuhri.
Abu Dawood said: He was one of the most mendacious of people.
Ibn ‘Adiy said: All his hadiths are fabricated.
Mizaan al-I‘tidaal (1/452)
With regard to the words regarding Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him): “Who told you that he will have a book?” – We do not know of any basis for this in any of the reports.
Please see also the answer to question no. 174528
And Allah knows best.