‘Abdullah ibn Sa’d ibn Abi Sarh And the Allegations Against him

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 ‘Abdullah ibn Sad ibn Abi Sarh

And the allegations against him

 

The critics have levelled a number of accusations against Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu on account of Sayyidina ‘Abdullah ibn Sa’d ibn Abi Sarh radiya Llahu ‘anhu. For example, he removed an experienced and mature Sahabi (Sayyidina ‘Amr ibn al ‘As radiya Llahu ‘anhu) from Egypt without any reason and appointed his foster brother (‘Abdullah ibn Sa’d), a youngster, as governor.

Ibn Mutahhar al Hilli al Shia writes:

ولى عبد الله بن سعد بن أبي سرح مصر حتى تظلم منه أهلها إلخ

He appointed ‘Abdullah ibn Sa’d ibn Abi Sarh over Egypt and due to him their residents were put under oppression.[1]

 

A few aspects of the life of Sayyidina ‘Abdullah ibn Sa’d radiya Llahu ‘anhu will be briefly presented to the esteemed readers which will highlight his worthiness and value and his Islamic services. At the end, few misconceptions will be addressed, Allah willing. By virtue of the above, the misconceptions will be removed.

 

Lineage and Fosterage

His name is ‘Abdullah ibn Sa’d ibn Abi Sarh ibn al Harith. He is from the ‘Amiri tribe. He is not an individual from the Banu Umayyah clan.

He is the foster brother of Sayyidina ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu drank ‘Abdullah’s mother’s milk.

This is mentioned in Tabaqat ibn Sa’d and Usd al Ghabah:

 

عبد الله بن سعد بن أبي سرح بن الحارث … بن عامر إلخ هو أخو عثمان من الرضاعة أرضعت أمه عثمان إلخ

‘Abdullah ibn Sa’d ibn Abi Sarh ibn al Harith … ibn ‘Amir. He is the foster brother of ‘Uthman. His mother suckled ‘Uthman.[2]

 

Apostasy after Islam followed by Islam, Bay’ah and Steadfastness

 

و استأمن له عثمان يوم فتح مكة من رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم فآمنه و قد كان أمر بقتله إلخ

On the Day of the Conquest of Makkah, ‘Uthman sought security for him from Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam who awarded it to him. He had, aforetime, ordered his assassination.[3]

 

و كان قد أسلم قديما … ثم افتتن و خرج من المدينة إلى مكة مرتدا فأهدر رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم دمه يوم الفتح فجاء عثمان بن عفان إلى النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم فاستأمن له فآمنه … و قال يا رسول الله تبايعه فبايعه رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم يومئذ على الإسلام و قال الإسلام يجب ما كان قبله

He had accepted Islam early on. Thereafter, he fell into fitnah and left Madinah to Makkah as an apostate. Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam thus declared his blood permissible on the Day of the Conquest. So ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan came to the Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and sought protection for him, and the request was granted. He said, “O Messenger of Allah, take bay’ah from him.” thus Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam accepted his pledge of allegiance on that day upon Islam and declared, “Islam destroys everything before it.”[4]

 

و أسلم عبد الله بن سعد بن أبي سرح أيام الفتح فحسن إسلامه فلم يظهر منه شيء ينكر عليه بعد ذلك هو أحد النجباء العقلاء الكرماء من قريش

‘Abdullah ibn Sa’d ibn Abi Sarh embraced Islam during the days of the Conquest. His Islam was firm. Thus, no issue thereafter was exhibited by him for which he was criticised. He is one of elite, intellectuals, and kind-hearted individuals of the Quraysh.[5]

 

ثم إنه حسن إسلامه و لم يؤثر عنه بعدها إلا الخير

Thereafter, his Islam was sincere. Nothing was displayed by him after that besides goodness.[6]

 

Governor and Official

Allah blessed Sayyidina ‘Abdullah ibn Sa’d ibn Abi Sarh radiya Llahu ‘anhu with excellent talent. He was a ready pillar in administration affairs. That is why Sayyidina ‘Umar al Faruq radiya Llahu ‘anhu appointed him governor over the district Sa’id during his caliphate. Thereafter, Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu appointed him governor over Egypt. Hafiz Ibn Hajar and Ibn al Barquni have spoken of the above in the following words:

ثنا أبو صالح من الليث قال كان ابن أبي سرح على الصعيد في زمن عمر ثم ضم إليه عثمان مصر كلها إلخ

Abu salih narrated to us―from al Laythi who said:

Ibn Abi Sarh was governor over Sa’id during the reign of ‘Umar. Thereafter, ‘Uthman put the entire Egypt under his authority.[7]

 

Accomplishments in Islamic Conquests

When Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu appointed Sayyidina ‘Abdullah radiya Llahu ‘anhu as governor over Egypt due to the present circumstances, he fought many battles for the expansion of Islam. The Conquest of Africa is the most memorable achievement of his which took place in 27 A.H. With this, the Battle of Asawid (In the Nubian land in 31 A.H.) and the Battle of al Sawari (in the Roman Sea) was won by him. All these vast lands were conquered under his supervision. These are his high religious services which the seniors of the ummah view with much appreciation.

 

ثم ولاه عثمان بعد ذلك مصر … و فتح على يديه أفريقية سنة سبع و عشرين إلخ

Then ‘Uthman made him governor over Egypt. Africa was conquered at his hands in the year 27 A.H.[8]

 

و له مواقف محمودة في الفتوح … و كان محمودا في ولايته و غزا ثلاث غزوات أفريقية و ذات الصواري و الأساود إلخ

He has many praiseworthy accomplishments on the battlefield to his name. He was praiseworthy during his term of governorship. He fought three battles, Africa, Dhat al Sawari, and al Asawid.[9]

 

‘Abdullah’s Demise upon Goodness

After fulfilling religious tasks for a lengthy period, Sayyidina ‘Abdullah ibn Sa’d radiya Llahu ‘anhu adopted solitude and detachment after the martyrdom of Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu and the arising fitnah thereupon and avoided the disputes therefrom. Some have mentioned that he settled in ‘Asqalan while others mention Ramlah.

 

قيل بل أقام بالرملة حتى مات فارا من الفتنة و دعا ربه فقال اللهم اجعل خاتمة عملي صلوة الصبح فتوضأ ثم صلى الصبح … ثم سلم عن يمينه و ذهب يسلم عن يساره فقبض الله روحه

It is said that he stayed in Ramlah until he passed on, escaping the fitnah. He implored his Rabb saying, “O Allah, make the last action of mines the Fajr prayer.” He thus performed wudu’ and then performed Salat al Fajr. He made salam to his right and as he went to make salam to his left, Allah took away his soul.[10]

 

Glory be to Allah. May Allah be pleased with him.

 

Removal of few misconceptions

The critics have listed a number of criticisms against Amir al Mu’minin Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu, among which many pertain to Sayyidina ‘Abdullah ibn Sa’d ibn Abi Sarh radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Since Ibn Abi Sarh radiya Llahu ‘anhu is the foster brother of Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu (although he is not from the Banu Umayyah tribe), and Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu appointed him governor over Egypt, these objections are jointly targeted at Sayyidina ‘Uthman and Sayyidina ‘Abdullah ibn Sa’d ibn Abi Sarh radiya Llahu ‘anhuma. Answering them is our concern.

  1. The first accusation they level is that Sayyidina ‘Abdullah radiya Llahu ‘anhu accepted Islam and then apostatised after some time, due to which Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam ordered his assassination and execution. To shed some light on this issue (as we mentioned above), his acceptance of Islam and subsequent apostasy happened prior to the Conquest of Makkah. On the occasion of the Conquest of Makkah, Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu brought him in the noble presence of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, after which he reverted to Islam and pledged allegiance. At this, Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam announced, as appeared above:

 

إن الإسلام يجب ما كان قبله

Indeed, Islam wipes out every sin and shortcoming before it.

 

This prophetic affirmation has cleared the air. All sins, whether big or small, are pardoned and his Islam is accepted.

Another famous Sahabi is Sayyidina ‘Amr ibn al ‘As radiya Llahu ‘anhu. His incident is recorded in the books of hadith. It is reported therein that he came into the presence of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam to give bay’ah. After extending his hand, he withdrew it and said, “O Messenger of Allah, on condition that my previous mistakes are forgiven.” On this occasion, Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam announced:

يا عمرو أما علمت أن الإسلام يهدم ما كان قبله

O ‘Amr, do you not know that Islam wipes out everything before it.[11]

 

In a similar way, many persons apostatised in that era and subsequently reverted to Islam and became upright. This is the same case with Sayyidina ‘Abdullah ibn Sa’d radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Now, to recall the previous sins, continue taking him to task, and label him a murtad (apostate) and Tarid al Rasul (Rasul’s outcast) is against the Islamic style. In the glorious Qur’an, the divine declaration has been sounded as a warning:

وَلَا تَنَابَزُوْا بِالْأَلْقَابِ بِئْسَ الِاسْمُ الْفُسُوْقُ بَعْدَ الْإِيْمَانِ وَمَنْ لَّمْ يَتُبْ فَأُولٰئِكَ هُمُ الظَّالِمُوْنَ

Do not call each other by [offensive] nicknames. Wretched is the name of disobedience after

faith. And whoever does not repent – then it is those who are the wrongdoers.[12]

 

  1. They also object that Sayyidina ‘Abdullah ibn Sa’d ibn Abi Sarh radiya Llahu ‘anhu and other people of his kind were the Tulaqa’,e. Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam forgave them on the occasion of the Conquest of Makkah. These Tulaqa’ were given the reigns of the ummah by Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu. It is due to this that people looked at them with scorn.

Sufficient with regards to this issue is that Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam stood at the door of the Ka’bah on the occasion of the Makkan conquest and announced inter alia:

O gathering of Quraysh! Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala has removed the pride and arrogance over your forefathers of ignorance. All people are from Adam and he was from dust.”

He then recited the following verse:

 

يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِنَّا خَلَقْنَاكُمْ مِّن ذَكَرٍ وَأُنثىٰ وَجَعَلْنَاكُمْ شُعُوْبًا وَقَبَائِلَ لِتَعَارَفُوْا إِنَّ أَكْرَمَكُمْ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ أَتْقَاكُمْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَلِيْمٌ خَبِيْرٌ

O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Acquainted.[13]

 

After which he proclaimed:

O gathering of Quraysh, what is your view? How will I treat you?

The people replied, “You will treat us cordially. You are noble and kind and the son of a noble and kind man.”

Hearing this, Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “Go, you are free, i.e. you all have been awarded pardon.”[14]

 

During this address, all the tribes of Quraysh were present. Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam addressed the entire audience. The individuals of a particular tribe were not the only addressees, nor were these words directed at a handful of selected persons. Various tribes of the Quraysh were present before his noble personality. The Banu Taym, Banu ‘Adi, Banu Makhzum, Banu Khuzaimah, Banu Asad, Banu Nawfal, Banu Zuhrah, Banu Hashim, Banu ‘Abd Shams (Banu Umayyah), etc., all those present were addressed with the words:

 

اذهبوا فأنتم الطلقاء

Go for you are free.

 

This ruling was not specific to any clan. The words O gathering of Quraysh is an open contextual evidence for generality.

Now to label a few individuals of the Banu Umayyah (Sayyidina Walid ibn ‘Uqbah, Sayyidina Muawiyah, Sayyidina ‘Abdullah ibn Abi Sarh radiya Llahu ‘anhum) as Tulaqa’ and to create dislike for them in the masses is no noble deed. First of all, this was not a derogative word which Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam uttered. It only implied forgiveness. Moreover, due to this word, there existed no mutual disgust or aversion in the time of the esteemed Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum, nor would they use it to insult one another, nor were the noble Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum perturbed by any of them assuming a position of authority. In fact, the reality is the opposite. Sayyidina ‘Umar al Faruq radiya Llahu ‘anhu gave amazing offices to these Tulaqa’ during his caliphate, as we mentioned previously. Specifically Sayyidina ‘Abdullah ibn Sa’d ibn Abi Sarh radiya Llahu ‘anhu was appointed governor over the Sa’id district by Sayyidina ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Or in other words, he handed the reigns of the ummah to the Tulaqa’. (The reference to this has been provided in the previous pages.)

It is ironic that these Tulaqa’ are awarded positions of authority in the eras of Sayyidina Siddiq Akbar and Sayyidina Faruq A’zam radiya Llahu ‘anhuma, and everything runs smoothly. The public is neither disturbed, nor is Sayyidina ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu criticised. On the other hand, when they assume posts in the ‘Uthmani era, these very Tulaqa’ are despised and disparaged, the entire populace is disgusted with them, and the propaganda of giving the reigns of the ummah to Tulaqa’ activates. Oh how paradoxical!

 

  1. Another objection raised is that Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu dismissed Sayyidina ‘Amr ibn al ‘As radiya Llahu ‘anhu, an experienced Sahabi, from Egypt and gave this honourable position to his foster brother. This was a prejudiced deed done for family distinctions. To top it all, Sayyidina ‘Abdullah ibn Abi Sarh radiya Llahu ‘anhu wrought havoc.

To remove this doubt, a few points are penned hereunder to ponder over. No other answer will be needed.

Sayyidina ‘Abdullah ibn Sa’d ibn Abi Sarh radiya Llahu ‘anhu was not from the tribe of Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu (the Banu Umayyah). Rather, he was from the Banu ‘Amir. Nonetheless, the critics have regarded his foster brotherhood his crime.

The year in which Sayyidina ‘Amr ibn al ‘As radiya Llahu ‘anhu was relieved from Egypt and Sayyidina ‘Abdullah ibn Sa’d ibn Abi Sarh radiya Llahu ‘anhu was instated, this very same year (27 A.H.) saw the Battle of Africa. Under the leadership of Sayyidina ‘Abdullah ibn Sa’d radiya Llahu ‘anhu was this momentous operation handled. Among the warriors was the biological son of Sayyidina ‘Amr ibn al ‘As radiya Llahu ‘anhu, Sayyidina ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr ibn al ‘As radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Sayyidina ‘Abdullah is a Sahabi himself and participated enthusiastically in the Battle of Africa along with other Sahabah, the likes of Sayyidina ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar, ‘Abdullah ibn al Zubair, Ma’bad ibn al ‘Abbas, ‘Abdullah ibn al ‘Abbas, Ibn Jafar, Hassan, Hussain, and others radiya Llahu ‘anhum. The Muslims were victorious and obtained booty. All this was accomplished under the leadership of Sayyidina ‘Abdullah ibn Sa’d radiya Llahu ‘anhu who was the army general.

Khalifah Ibn Khayyat has written in volume one of his history compilation:

 

و فيها (سنة 27 ه) عزل عثمان بن عفان عمرو بن العاص عن مصر و ولاها عبد الله بن سعد بن أبي سرح فغزا ابن أبي سرح أفريقية و معه العبادلة عبد الله بن عمر و عبد الله بن عمرو (بن العاص) و عبد الله بن الزبير

In this year (27 A.H.) ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan relieved ‘Amr ibn al ‘As from Egypt and instated ‘Abdullah ibn Sa’d ibn Abi Sarh. Ibn Abi Sarh waged war on Africa alongside the ‘Ubadalah, viz. ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar, ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr (ibn al ‘As) and ‘Abdullah ibn al Zubair.[15]

 

The following historians have also recorded this fact that in the Battle of Africa, Sayyidina ‘Amr ibn al ‘As’s son, ‘Abdullah radiya Llahu ‘anhuma, joined while the army general was Sayyidina ‘Abdullah ibn Sa’d ibn Abi Sarh radiya Llahu ‘anhu.

    • Al Baladhuri: Futuh al Buldan, pg. 234, the Conquest of Africa.
    • Ibn Khaldun: Tarikh Ibn Khaldun, vol. 2 pg. 1003, governorship of ‘Abdullah ibn Abi Sarh over Egypt and the Conquest of Africa, new Beirut print.

The idea of relating this is that had Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu removed Sayyidina ‘Amr ibn al ‘As radiya Llahu ‘anhu in an impermissible way, and had this dismissal been the product of prejudice, then on that occasion why did the senior Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum raise no objection? Sayyidina ‘Amr ibn al ‘As’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu own son Sayyidina ‘Abdullah radiya Llahu ‘anhu did not object nor deemed the dismissal erroneous. To the contrary, after a short while (when the Battle of Africa presented itself) he participated under the leadership of Sayyidina ‘Abdullah ibn Sa’d radiya Llahu ‘anhu, displaying his total support. As if his action has removed the doubt that Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu removed Sayyidina ‘Amr ibn al ‘As radiya Llahu ‘anhu for no reason and out of discrimination. Furthermore, Shah ‘Abdul ‘Aziz speaks of this by mentioning:

 

در لشکر او بسیارے از صحابہ و اولاد صحابہ بودند ہر ہمہ از سیرت او خوش ماندند و بہیچ وجہ بر اوضاع او انکار نہ کردند از جملہ آنہا عقبہ بن عامر جہنی و عبد الرحمن بن ابی بکر و عبد اللہ بن عمرو بن العاص

In the army of Sayyidina ‘Abdullah ibn Sa’d radiya Llahu ‘anhu in the Conquest of Africa, many illustrious Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum and children of Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum were present. Everyone was pleased with Sayyidina ‘Abdullah ibn Sa’d’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu behaviour and mannerism. They did not in any way criticise the behaviour of Sayyidina ‘Abdullah radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Among those who participated were Sayyidina ‘Uqbah ibn ‘Amir al Juhani, Sayyidina ‘Abdur Rahman ibn Abi Bakr, and Sayyidina ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr ibn al ‘As radiya Llahu ‘anhum.[16]

 

Worthy of note is that Sayyidina ‘Amr ibn al ‘As radiya Llahu ‘anhu was a staunch supporter and backer of the Banu Umayyah. History bears testimony to this fact. If for argument’s sake we accept that Sayyidah ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu dismissed him out of prejudice and took this post away from him in an impermissible manner, then Sayyidina ‘Amr ibn al ‘As radiya Llahu ‘anhu would have been saddened and grieved at heart. Due to this, not only would he be opposed to the Banu Umayyah, he would have supported their opposition. However, the reality is the opposite. This teaches us that his dismissal from Egypt was not out of discrimination, nor was he grieved by it. Instead, the change of post was due to present circumstances.

 

Note:

In those days, the objection of the entire khums (fifth of the booty) of Africa been given to Sayyidina Ibn Abi Sarh radiya Llahu ‘anhu is quite well-known. The answer to it will, Allah willing, be presented in the discussion on favouritism of relatives with regards to wealth. This discussion is regarding favouritism of relatives with regards to posts and offices. In the fourth discussion, the aspect of wealth will be tackled and this issue will be resolved there, with Allah’s subhanahu wa ta ‘ala help.

 

Benefit:

At this juncture, the report of Tarikh al Tabari, vol. 5 pg. 71, under the year 31 A.H. is presented by the critics which disparages and derides Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu in a nasty manner and mentions that his execution is permissible. Sayyidina ‘Abdullah ibn Sa’d radiya Llahu ‘anhu is taken to task on few accounts. All these faults have been listed from the side of Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr and Muhammad ibn Abi Hudhayfah.

This narration is very lengthy. Quoting the text of the report and then translating it will be a lengthy issue. The above signs of the narration are sufficient to locate the narration.

Briefly, both the chain and text will be analysed which will prove sufficient for the just-natured people and the unreliability of this report will be realised.

 

Analysis of the chain

Ibn Jarir al Tabari narrates from Muhammad ibn ‘Umar (al Waqidi) who in turn narrates from Ma’mar ibn Rashid who reports on the strength of Zuhri.

    • Muhammad ibn Jarir al Tabari has gathered all types of historical reports; authentic and inauthentic, weak and strong, fabricated and baseless; the entire lot. Generally, he mentions a chain. However, at times he does not and mentions some things from his own side. This is evident and nothing obscure to the scholars. He mentioned the above chain for this report.
    • Al Tabari took this information from Muhammad ibn ‘Umar al Waqidi. Al Waqidi is a famous liar, matruk (accused of hadith forgery), and a fabricator of ahadith.[17]

Until his report is not strengthened from another avenue, it is unacceptable. His mutafarrid reports are discarded. Whatever appears in this report is not backed by a sahih narration.

    • Al Waqidi reports from Ma’mar ibn Rashid. Ma’mar is a reliable person and the scholars have praised him duly and declared him reliable. Notwithstanding this, it is proven that one of Ma’mar’s nephews was a Rafidi. He got hold of Ma’mar’s compilation of ahadith and altered them. Have a look at the following texts as evidence. The words of Ibn Hajar are:

 

قال أبو حامد ابن الشرقي هو حديث باطل و السبب فيه أن معمرا كان له ابن أخ رافضي و كان معمر يمكنه من كتبه فأدخل عليه هذا الحديث

Abu Hamid ibn al Sharqi says: It is a false hadith. The reason for this is that Ma’mar had a nephew who was a Rafidi. Ma’mar would grant him access to his books. He included this hadith in the books and attributed it to Ma’mar.[18]

It is compulsory to clarify here so that no deviate from the truth writes a rule that all the reports of Ma’mar are doubtful. No, this is incorrect. Instead, the incident has been written by the scholars under those reports of Ma’mar which contradict accepted fundamentals. They are munkar or shadh reports. They appear contradictory to accepted fundamentals of the Shari’ah and no proper interpretation can be given to them. Regarding such reports of Ma’mar, the research scholars have certainly clarified that doubts and alterations are found in them. And the report of al Tabari under our discussion is also of this type. Hence, it is also not worthy of acceptance.[19]

 

    • Ma’mar has related the entire incident from al Zuhri. And the entire thing is his personal statement. It is not the statement of a renowned individual of that era. Al Zuhri is reliable, however, noteworthy is that Ibn Shihab al Zuhri was not present at the time. In fact, the scholars have written that he was born in 58 A.H. and this incident (the Battle of Africa) took place in 27 A.H. (as in the report of Ibn Khayyat.) al Tabari on the other hand mentions it under the year 31 A.H, but the research of Khalifah ibn Khayyat seems correct. So, al Zuhri is born approximately 31 years after. Then, his age of maturity is taken at least 15 years. This adds to 46 years. Where did this report remain for such a lengthy period? Who reported it? Who related it to Ibn Shihab al Zuhri? All of this is worthy of consideration. To the contrary, the reports which have authentic and uninterrupted isnads, which do not contain these criticisms against Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu will be accepted and this report will be discarded.

 

Analysis of the Content of the Report

Worthy of noting is that if the content of this report is hypothetically deemed correct (that Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu has these defects due to which his execution is correct) then in this significant Battle of Africa, why did a large group of senior Sahabah from Madinah Munawwarah and youngsters of the Banu Hashim and Quraysh the likes of Sayyidina Ibn ‘Umar, Ibn ‘Amr ibn al ‘As, Ibn ‘Abbas, ‘Abdur Rahman ibn Abi Bakr, ‘Abdullah ibn al Zubair ibn al ‘Awwam, Miswar ibn Makhramah, Basr ibn Artat, Hassan, and Hussain (according to Ibn Khaldun), etc. participate? These luminaries were ought to raise these objections against Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu and Sayyidina ‘Abdullah ibn Sa’d radiya Llahu ‘anhu before. Why did they not? Why did they join the military expedition of Sayyidina ‘Abdullah ibn Sa’d ibn Abi Sarh radiya Llahu ‘anhu with silence?

Secondly, worthy consideration is that Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr and Muhammad ibn Abi Hudhayfah are of a low rank. Senior nobles and Quraysh leaders do not consider these criticisms and do not spread these defects while low ranking persons broadcast the same? As if only they observed these faults while the seniors were totally blind to them.

According to al Baladhuri, Sayyidina Abu Bakr’s son, Sayyidina ‘Abdur Rahman ibn Abi Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhuma, was part of the Battle of Africa under the leadership of Sayyidina ‘Abdullah ibn Sa’d radiya Llahu ‘anhu while his brother, Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr, on this occasion vehemently insults and criticises Sayyidina ‘Abdullah ibn Sa’d and Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhuma. This is practical and verbal polarity between the true brothers. In this case, the practical support of Sayyidina ‘Abdur Rahman ibn Abi Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu will be given preference and Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr’s disagreement will be put behind, since the former’s rank is far superior to the latter’s in every aspect.

Another point worth pondering over, in the light of this report, Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr and Muhammad ibn Abi Hudhayfah raised these objections on the occasion of the battle. Why did they not raise the issue in Madinah? If these issues were correct, it was binding upon them to present them to the people in the capital of Islam, Madinah. After crossing Egypt and at the battlefield was not the occasion. The gist of this is that this report makes no logical sense just as it is unacceptable from the perspective of its chain.

 

NEXT⇒ Marwan ibn al Hakam And the allegations against him


[1] Minhaj al Karamah, vol. 4 pg. 66, discussion on criticism against ‘Uthman, Lahore print, at the end of Minhaj al Sunnah.

[2] Tabaqat Ibn Sa’d, vol. 7 pg. 190 – 191, section 2, biography of ‘Abdullah ibn Sa’d ibn Abi Sarh, Leiden print; Usd al Ghabah, vol. 3 pg. 173 biography of ‘Abdullah ibn Sa’d, Tehran print.

[3] Nasab Quraysh, pg. 433, the progeny of Abu Sarh.

[4] Tabaqat Ibn Sa’d, vol. 7 pg. 190 – 191, section 2, ‘Abdullah ibn Sa’d ibn Abi Sarh.

[5] Al Isti’ab with al Isabah, vol. 2 pg. 368, biography of ‘Abdullah ibn Sa’d; Usd al Ghabah, vol. 3 pg. 173, biography of ‘Abdullah.

[6] Al Muntaqa, pg. 403, Egypt print; Jawami’ al Sirah, pg. 232, the conquest of Makkah.

[7] Al Isabah with al Isti’ab, vol. 2 pg. 309, biography of ‘Abdullah ibn Sa’d.

[8] Al Isti’ab with al Isabah, vol. 2 pg. 368, biography of ‘Abdullah ibn Sa’d; Usd al Ghabah, vol. 3 pg. 173, biography of ‘Abdullah.

[9] Al Isabah with al Isti’ab, vol. 2 pg. 309, biography of ‘Abdullah ibn Sa’d.

[10] Al Isti’ab with al Isabah, vol. 2 pg. 366, biography of ‘Abdullah ibn Sa’d; Usd al Ghabah, vol. 3 pg. 174, biography of ‘Abdullah ibn Sa’d ibn Abi Sarh; al Isabah, vol. 2 pg. 309, biography of ‘Abdullah ibn Sa’d ibn Abi Sarh; Sirat al Halabiyyah, vol. 3 pg. 264, chapter on the list of his salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam famous scribes.

[11] Sahih Muslim, vol. 1 pg. 76, book on faith, chapter on Islam erasing everything before it, Nur Muhammadi print.

[12] Surah al Hujurat: 11.

[13] Surah al Hujurat: 13.

[14] Sirat Ibn Hisham, vol. 2 pg. 412, Rasulullah’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam tawaf of the House and his speech therein, Egypt print.

[15] Tarikh Khalifah ibn Khayyat, vol. 1 pg. 134, the year 27 A.H., Iraq print.

[16] Tuhfat Ithna ‘Ashariyyah, pg. 315, criticisms against ‘Uthman, the end of fourth criticism, new Lahore print.

[17] Taqrib al Tahdhib wa Tahdhib al Tahdhib, vol. 9 pg. 364, 366, 367, under Muhammad ibn ‘Umar al Waqidi.

[18] Mizan al I’tidal, vol. 1 pg. 38, Ahmed ibn al Azhar ibn Mani’ al Naysapuri; Tahdhib al Tahdhib, vol. 1 pg. 12, Ahmed ibn al Azhar ibn Mani’; Dhayl al La’ali al Masnu’ah, pg. 61, book on virtues, ‘Alawi Lucknowi publishers, old edition, under the merits of ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib.

[19] Al Bidayah, vol. 8 pg. 11 – 12.

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