ABU, a mountain of central India, situated within the Rajputana State of Sirohi. It is an isolated peak of the Aravalli range, being completely detached from that chain by a narrow valley 7m. across, in which flows the western Banas. It rises from the surrounding plains of Marwar like a precipitous granite island, its various points ranging from 4,000 to 5,653 feet. The elevations and platforms of the mountain are covered with elaborately sculptured shrines, temples and tombs. On the top of the hill is a small round platform containing a cavern, with a block of granite, bearing the impression of the feet of Data Bhrigu, an incarnation of Vishnu. The two principal temples, at Dilwarra, about the middle of the mountain, are built of white marble, and are pre-eminent alike for their beauty and as typical specimens of Jain architecture in India. The more modern of the two was built by two brothers, rich merchants, between the years 1197 and 1247, and for delicacy of carving and minute beauty of detail stands almost unrivalled, even in this land of patient and lavish labour. The other was built by Vimala, a local governor, apparently about A.D. 1032 ; simpler and bolder in style, it is one of the oldest as well as one of the most complete examples of Jain architecture known. The principal object within the temple is a cell lighted only from the door, containing a cross-legged seated figure of the god Parswanath. The portico is composed of 48 pillars, the whole enclosed in an oblong courtyard about ',loft. by 9oft., surrounded by a double colonnade of smaller pillars, forming porticos to a range of 52 cells, each of which is occupied by an image of Parswanath. The whole interior is magnificently ornamented.
Abu is now the summer residence of the governor-general's agent for Rajputana, and a place of resort for Europeans in the hot weather. The annual mean temperature is about 7c°, rising to 9o° in April ; but the heat is never oppressive. The annual rainfall is about 68 inches.
(573-634), the name ("Father of the virgin") of the first of the Mohammedan caliphs (see CALIPH). He was originally called Abd-el-Katba ("servant of the temple"), and received the name by which he is known historically in conse quence of the marriage of his virgin daughter Ayesha to Moham med. He was born at Mecca A.D. 573, a Koreishite of the tribe of Beni-Taim. Possessed of immense wealth, which he had him self acquired in commerce, and held in high esteem as a judge, an interpreter of dreams and a depositary of the traditions of his race, his early accession to Islamism was a fact of great im portance. On his conversion he assumed the name of Abd-Alla ("servant of God"). His firm belief in Mohammed and his doctrines won for him the title El Siddik ("the faithful"). In his personal relationship to the prophet he showed the deepest veneration and the most unswerving devotion. When Mohammed fled from Mecca, Abu-Bekr was his sole companion, and shared both his hardships and his triumphs, remaining constantly with him until the day of his death. During his last illness the. prophet indicated Abu-Bekr as his successor by desiring him to offer up prayer for the people. The choice was ratified by the chiefs of the army, and ultimately confirmed, though it was disputed by Ali, Mohammed's son-in-law. After a time Ali submitted, but the difference gave rise to the controversy which still divides Muslims, Sunnites and Shiites.
Abu-Bekr had scarcely assumed his new position (632), under the title Kalifat-Rasul-illah ("successor of the prophet of God"), when he was called to suppress the revolt of the tribes Hejaz and Nejd, of which the former rejected Islamism and the latter refused to pay tribute. He encountered formidable opposition from different quarters, but in every case he was successful, the severest struggle being that with the impostor Mosailima, who was finally defeated by Khalid at the battle of Akraba. When Arabia had been completely subdued, he turned to foreign con quests. The 'Iraq of Persia was overcome by Khalid in a single campaign, and there was also a successful expedition into Syria. After the hard-won victory over Mosailima, Omar, fearing that the sayings of the prophet would be entirely forgotten when those who had listened to them had all been removed by death, induced Abu-Bekr to see to their preservation in a written form. The record, when completed, was deposited with Hafsa, daughter of Omar, and one of the wives of Mohammed. It was held in great reverence by all Muslims, though it did not possess canonical authority, and furnished most of the materials out of which the Koran, as it now exists, was prepared. When the authoritative version was completed all copies of Hafsa's record were de stroyed, in order to prevent possible disputes and divisions. Abu Bekr died Aug. 23, 634. Shortly before his death, which one tradition ascribes to poison, another to natural causes, he indi cated Omar as his successor, after the manner Mohammed had observed in his own case.