Hadhrat Abu Bakr (Radhiyallaho anho) and The Fear of Allah:
According to our belief, Abu Bakr (Radhiyallaho anho) is the most exalted person after the Prophets (may peace be on all of them). The Prophet (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) himself conveyed to him the glad tidings of his being the head of a group of persons in Paradise. The Prophet (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) once remarked:
"Abu Bakr's name shall be called out from all the gates of Paradise, and he will be the first of my followers to enter it."
With all these virtues and privileges, Abu Bakr (Radhiyallaho anho) used to say:
"I wish I were a tree that would be cut and done away with."
Sometimes he would say:
"I wish I were a blade of grass, whose life ended with the grazing by some beast."
He also said: "I wish I were a hair on the body of a Mo'min."
Once he went to a garden, where he saw a bird singing. He sighed deeply and said:
"0, bird! How lucky you are! You eat, you drink and fly under the shade of the trees, and you fear no reckoning of the Day of Judgement. I wish I were just like you."
Hadhrat Rabiah Aslami (Radhiyallaho anho) narrates:
"Once I had some argument with Abu Bakr (Radhiyallaho anho), during which he uttered a word that I did not like. He realized it immediately and said to me 'Brother, please say that word back to me in retaliation.' I refused to do so. He persisted, and even spoke of referring the matter to the Prophet (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam), but I did not agree to utter that word. He got up and left me. A few people of my clan remarked, 'Look! How strange! The person does wrong to you and, on the top of that, he threatens to complain to the Prophet (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam)'. I said, 'Do you know who he is. He is Abu Bakr (Radhiyallaho anho). To displease him is to displease the Prophet (Sallallahu alaihe wasallam) and to displease the Prophet (Sallallaho alaihe wasallam) is to displease Allah, and if Allah is displeased then who can save Rabiah from ruin?* I went to the Prophet (Sallallahu alaihe wasallam) and narrated the whole story to him. He said, 'You were quite right in refusing to utter that word. But you could have said this much in reply: '0, Abu Bakr, (Radhiyallaho anho) May Allah forgive you!"
Look at the fear of Allah in Hadhrat Abu Bakr (Radhiyallahu anhu)! He is so anxious to clear his accounts in this world that no sooner has a slightly unpleasant word been addressed by him to a person, than he regrets it and requests him to say that word back to him in retaliation. He is so particular in this that he threatens to have the retaliation done through the intervention of the Prophet (Sallallahu alaihe wasallam). We are in the habit of saying offensive words to others, but we fear neither the retaliation nor the reckoning in the Hereafter.