Chapter Five: 1. Points Regarding the Siege of ‘Uthman

Chapter Four: Various interactions between Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu and the Hashimis, Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu in particular.
February 14, 2019
Chapter Five: 2. The Name of ‘Uthman was prevalent in the Children of ‘Ali
February 14, 2019

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Chapter Five

Points Regarding the Siege of ‘Uthman

  1. Prior to the assassination of Amir al Mu’minin Sayyidina ‘Uthman Dhu al Nurayn radiya Llahu ‘anhu all the Muslims were united. There was no rancour between them. They were diligently occupied in putting an end to the forces of kufr. After this incident, differences between the Muslims cropped up. The united force and power of the Muslims that was directed at termination of Islamic enemies was now being utilised in mutual skirmishes and clashes. The door for infighting opened. The blessings of Nubuwwah that were previously present among the Muslims no more endured after this incident, and slowly faded away.
  2. During the final days of Sayyidina ‘Uthman’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu Caliphate, some people had few objections against the management of state by a couple of Sayyidina ‘Uthman’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu Evil conspirators led by ‘Abdullah ibn Saba’―a Jewish hypocrite hiding in the garb of a new Muslim―added fuel to these objections and turned them into allegations and accusations. Slowly but surely, these criminal activities took the colour of a rebellion[1]. The primary objective of these conspirators was to attack the headquarters of Islam thus causing a division among the Muslims which they fulfilled by spilling the blood of the noble khalifah of Islam. To reach their goal, they attacked the capital of Islam, Madinah Munawwarah, and laid siege to the house of the khalifah. The siege lasted for few days. On the 18th of Dhu al Hijjah 35 A.H. they oppressively martyred the third khalifah Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu in cold blood. Further details of this incident may be studied in Tarikh al Kamil[2] of Ibn Athir al Jazari.
  3. The assistance and support the Hashimis awarded Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu during these trying times which attests to their sincere friendship and loyalty will be mentioned here in chapter five under various headings so that the readers become cognisant of incidents highlighting the friendship and unity they enjoyed to the very last day Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu lived in this temporary abode. It should be pronounced boldly that there existed unity and harmony between Sayyidina ‘Uthman and Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhuma up to his last breath. There was absolutely no hatred between them for a split second their entire lives. Family feuds and tribal clashes were totally non-existent between them. Segregation due to lineage and family was never in their minds. All these evils were born later on. The following events are testimony to these facts.

 

1. Representative for Hajj and the Selection of Ibn ‘Abbas

The rebels surrounded Madinah and besieged the dwelling of Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu, restricting his movements. Going to Masjid al Nabawi, a few paces from his house, was impossible. The season of Hajj was in and the days of Hajj were about to begin.

Among those who shielded the door of Sayyidina ‘Uthman’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu house to protect it from the rebels were some Hashimis (details are coming). Special mention is made of Sayyidina ‘Ali’s beloved cousin, Sayyidina ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas, son of the beloved uncle or Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, Sayyidina ‘Abbas ibn ‘Abdul Muttalib radiya Llahu ‘anhum. He sternly prohibited the insurgents from acts of rebellion to the best of his ability and meticulously guarded the house. Sayyidina Ibn ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma relates:

 

ما زال ابن عباس ينهى عن قتل عثمان و يعظم شأنه

Ibn ‘Abbas continued prohibiting ‘Uthman’s killing and continued announcing his honour and glory.[3]

 

One day during this chaos, Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu climbed the roof of his house and summoned Sayyidina ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhuma. He addressed him thus, “The days of Hajj have come close. Be the leader of Hajj on my behalf and go to supervise the smooth running of the Hajj.” Sayyidina Ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhuma submitted, “By Allah, to clash with these rebels is more pleasing to me than making Hajj to the House of Allah.” Sayyidah ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu swore upon oath in Allah’s name that he will definitely go. In compliance, Sayyidina Ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhuma became the Amir of Hajj in the year 35 A.H and proceeded to fulfil the responsibilities as leader on behalf of Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu. The authors have recorded this incident in their books with their own words. Only the text of Tarikh al Tabari will be quoted for brevity. References to other books have been presented and deemed adequate:

 

فأشرف عثمان على الناس فقال يا عبد الله بن عباس فدعي له فقال اذهب فأنت على الموسم و كان ممن لزم الباب فقال والله يا أمير المؤمنين لجهاد هؤلاء أحب إلي من الحج فأقسم عليه لينطلقن فانطلق ابن عباس على الموسم تلك السنة

‘Uthman stood above the people and yelled, “O ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas.” He was called. ‘Uthman instructed, “Leave, for you are the leader of the Hajj season.”

He was among those who diligently defended the door so he submitted, “By Allah, O Amir al Mu’minin! Fighting these rebels is more pleasing to me than Hajj!”

‘Uthman swore on oath that he will proceed, so Ibn ‘Abbas proceeded as the leader of Hajj that year (35 A.H.).[4]

 

عن ابن عباس قال دعاني عثمان فاستعملني على الحج فخرجت إلى مكة فأقمت للناس الحج و قرأت عليهم كتاب عثمان إليهم ثم قدمت المدينة قد بويع لعلي إلخ

Ibn ‘Abbas narrates:

‘Uthman summoned me and appointed me as leader of the Hajj. I left towards Makkah and carried out the rituals of Hajj for the people and read ‘Uthman’s letter to them. I then rushed back to Madinah only to find that bay’ah had already been given to ‘Ali.[5]

 

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Corroboration by Shia Historians

The famous Shia historian Ya’qubi writes that during the siege of Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu, Sayyidina ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas ibn ‘Abdul Muttalib radiya Llahu ‘anhuma led the people in Hajj. His text reads:

 

و السنة التي قتل فيها فإنه حج بالناس عبد الله بن عباس و هو سنة 35

The year he was killed was the same year ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas led the people in Hajj. It is the year 35 A.H.[6]

 

Sayyidina Ibn ‘Abbas radiya Llahu ‘anhuma was reluctant to travel and leave Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu in a realm of worry and anxiety. However, he regarded obedience to the rightful khalifah of the time paramount and travelled to Makkah as the representative of the Khalifah to perform Hajj. During these days, the rebels oppressively killed Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu.

When the news of Sayyidina ‘Uthman’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu martyrdom reached him, he was utterly devastated and expressed his emotions in the following words:

لو أن الناس أجمعوا على قتل عثمان لرموا بالحجارة كما رمي قوم لوط

Had all the people united to kill ‘Uthman, they would have all being pelted with stones like the nation of Lut.[7]

 

2. The Efforts of ‘Ali and His Children to Protect ‘Uthman

Efforts were made time and again to repel the rebels during the siege. The noble Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum tried their level best to remove this evil. Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and his offspring exhausted their efforts in trying to repulse this evil. However, Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu did not allow anyone to raise his hand against the rebels.

 

a. ‘Abdullah ibn Rabah speaks about the efforts of Sayyidina Hassan ibn ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. He mentions:

 

فلقيت الحسن بن علي رضي الله عنه داخلا عليه فرجعنا معه نسمع ما يقول قال أنا هذا يا أمير المؤمنين فأمرني بأمرك قال اجلس يا ابن أخي حتى يأتي الله بأمره فإنه لا حاجة لي في الدنيا أو قال في القتال

I met Hassan ibn ‘Ali as he was on his way to ‘Uthman during the siege. We returned with him to listen to their conversation. Hassan told ‘Uthman, “Here I am, O Amir al Mu’minin! Whatever command you give me, I will carry it out.”

‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu replied: “O my nephew! Wait till the decree of Allah comes to pass. I do not have any need for this world―or he said, I do not have any need to fight.”[8]

 

b. Nafi’, the slave and student of Sayyidina ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma, relates about him:

 

عن عبيد الله عن نافع عن ابن عمر أقبل هو و الحسن بن علي يوم قتل عثمان فقالا لو أمرنا لقاتلنا و لكنه قال كفوا

From ‘Ubaidullah―from Nafi’:

Ibn ‘Umar and Hassan ibn ‘Ali came forward the day ‘Uthman was martyred and said: “If ‘Uthman had commanded us, we would have fought (and repelled these rebels), but he commanded that everyone should hold back their hands (and not take up arms).”[9]

 

c. Sheikh Sayed ‘Ali al Hajwiri Lahori has also written in his famous Persian book Kashf al Mahjub about Sayyidina Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu and his efforts to defend Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu:

 

چوں حسن اندر آمد و سلام گفت و ویرا بداں بلیت تعزیت کرد و گفت یا امیر المؤمنین من بے فرمان تو شمشیر بر مسلماناں نتوانم کشید و تو امام بر حقی مرا فرمان دہ تا بلاۓ این قوم از تو دفع کنم عثمان ویرا گفت یا ابن اخی ارجع و اجلس فی بیتک حتی یأتی اللہ بأمرہ فلا حاجۃ لنا فی إہراق الدماء ای برادر زادہء من بازگرد و اندر خانہء خود بنشیں تا فرمان خداوند تعالی و تقدیروی چہ باشد کہ مارا بخون ریختن مسلمانان حاجت نیست

Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu entered, greeted, and consoled ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu on the difficulties facing him, and then said, “O Amir al Mu’minin! Without your permission I do not want to unsheathe my sword. You are the rightful Imam and leader. If you permit me, I will repel this calamity which has befallen you.”

‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu replied, “O my nephew! Return to your home and wait till the decree of Allah comes to pass. We do not want the blood of Muslims to be shed.”[10]

 

d. The famous historian, Khalifah ibn Khayyat (d. 240 A.H.) has recorded with his chain of narrators from Muhammad ibn Sirin rahimahu Llah, that Sayyidina Hussain ibn ‘Ali, and other Sahabah and Tabi’in accompanied Sayyidina Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu to protect the Caliphate. He writes:

 

عن يحيى بن عتيق عن محمد بن سيرين قال انطلق الحسن و الحسين و ابن عمر و ابن الزبير و مروان كلهم شاك في السلاح حتى دخلوا الدار فقال عثمان أعزم عليكم لما رجعتم فوضعتم أسلحتكم و لزمتم بيوتكم

From Yahya ibn ‘Atiq―from Muhammad ibn Sirin who reports:

Hassan, Hussain, ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar, ‘Abdullah ibn Zubair, and Marwan came to the house of ‘Uthman, armed with their weapons to defend him. ‘Uthman told them, “I entreat you on oath to return, lay down your weapons, and remain in your homes.”[11]

 

e. After relating all of the above, we finally quote the report of Hafiz Ibn Kathir which has a little more detail. He declares:

 

كذلك كان عثمان بن عفان يكرم الحسن و الحسين و يحبهما

‘Uthman would honour and treat Hassan and Hussain with kindness and he loved them dearly.

 

He then states:

 

و قد كان الحسن بن علي يوم الدار و عثمان بن عفان محصور عنده و معه السيف متقلدا به يحاجف عن عثمان فخشي عثمان عليه فأقسم عليه ليرجعن إلى منزلهم تطييبا لقلب علي و خوفا عليه رضي الله عنهم

When ‘Uthman was besieged, Hassan ibn ‘Ali was at his side (defending him). He had a sword hanging from his neck and he stood as a shield in front of ‘Uthman. ‘Uthman feared that he might be injured so he swore on oath that they will return to their homes, to soothe the heart of ‘Ali and remove his concern.

 

f. Ibn Kathir expounds further on the circumstances of this event:

 

كان الحصار مستمرا من أواخر ذي القعدة إلى يوم الجمعة الثامن عشر ذي الحجة سنة ٣٥ه للذين عنده في الدار من المهاجرين و الانصار … فيهم عبد الله بن عمر و عبد الله بن الزبير و الحسن و الحسين و مروان و أبو هريرة و خلق من مواليه و لو تركهم لمنعوه فقال لهم أقسم على من لي عليه حق أن يكف يده و أن ينطلق إلى منزله و عنده من أعيان الصحابة و أبنائهم جم غفير و قال لرقيقه من أغمد سيفه فهو حر

The siege lasted from the end of Dhu al Qa’dah till Friday the 18 of Dhu al Hijjah 35 A.H. The Muhajirin and Ansar were at the home of ‘Uthman (to defend him). Amongst them were ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar, ‘Abdullah ibn Zubair, Hassan, Hussain, Marwan, Abu Hurairah, and a number of his servants and slaves. If ‘Uthman did not prevent them, they would have stopped the rebels. However, ‘Uthman implored them on oath to hold back their hands and return home, although the senior Sahabah and their sons were present in large numbers. In fact, ‘Uthman told his own slaves, “Whoever will put down his weapons is free!”[12]

 

More quotations on Incidents during the Siege in Sequence

Dhu al Nurayn Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu prevented all the people, Hashimis and non-Hashimis, from any form of attack (against the rebels) for his sake as mentioned above. Nonetheless, out of concern and goodwill, these men exhausted their efforts to repel the insurgents and protect Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu.

The siege lasted for a good couple of days. Many attempts to drive them away were made. Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu continued sending his close and dear ones and went himself on many occasions to ward off the evil doers.

Some of the Hashimis were even wounded. And if there was a shortage of water, Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu made a resolute effort to arrange water to be transported to Sayyidina ‘Uthman’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu house, even though the Hashimi servants were injured in the process.

The rebels and insurgents finally found an opening and martyred Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu. This devastating news propelled shockwaves through the hearts of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum. Sayyidina ‘Ali with other Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum, with regret and remorse, rushed to the house of Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu. They severely rebuked their dear ones, whom they had appointed to guard the door of Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu, for failing in their duty and were extremely sorrowful.

All these occurrences will be presented briefly in sequence from the books of the Ahlus Sunnah and Shia. A clear picture of the compassion and love these two personalities shared will come to the fore.

 

  1. Al Baladhuri has recorded the following in Ansab al Ashraf:

 

و قال للحسن و الحسين اذهبا بسيوفكما حتى تقوما على باب عثمان فلا تدعا احدا يصل اليه و بعث الزبير ابنه عبد الله وبعث طلحة ابنه … و بعث عدة من اصحاب النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم ابناءهم ليمنعوا الناس الدخول على عثمان

‘Ali instructed Hassan and Hussain, “Go with your swords and stand at the door of ‘Uthman allowing no one to get to him.”

Similarly, Zubair sent his son ‘Abdullah, Talhah sent his son, and many other Sahabah also sent their sons to prevent the rebels from entering ‘Uthman’s home.”[13]

 

و سار إليه جماعة من أبناء الصحابة عن أمر آبائهم منهم الحسن و الحسين و عبد الله بن الزبير … و عبد الله بن عمر و صاروا يحاجون عنه و يناضلون دونه أن يصل إليه أحد منهم

A party of the Sahabah’s sons rushed to him on their father’s orders. Among them were Hassan, Hussain, ‘Abdullah ibn al Zubair, and ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar. They began reasoning on his behalf and defending him all round so that none of the rebels reach him.[14]

 

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Corroboration from the Shia

The topic of defending Sayyidina ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan radiya Llahu ‘anhu during the siege has been written by Shia scholars and mujtahidin in their own cunning way. Nonetheless, they also acknowledge that Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, his sons, and his dear ones fulfilled their duty in defending the Khalifah from the rebels during the siege thereby displaying their compassion and goodwill. They defended with force and pleaded with the rebels, but it all fell on deaf ears. The rebels were hell-bent on achieving their nefarious goal.

Ibn Abi al Hadid has spoken about this in many places of Sharh Nahj al Balaghah. Have a look at some snippets from his book:

 

 و مانعهم الحسن بن علي و عبد الله بن الزبير و محمد بن طلحة و مروان و سعيد بن العاص و جماعة معهم من أبناء الأنصار فزجرهم عثمان و قال أنتم في حل من نصرتي فأبوا و لم يرجعوا

Hassan ibn ‘Ali, ‘Abdullah ibn al Zubair, Muhammad ibn Talhah, Marwan, and Sa’id ibn al ‘As together with a crew of the Ansar’s children prevented them (the rebels). ‘Uthman stopped them saying, “You are free not to help me.” But they refused and did not return.[15]

 

فقد حضر هو بنفسه مرارا و طرد الناس عنه و أنفذ إليه ولديه و ابن اخيه عبد الله

‘Ali himself presented himself to ‘Uthman on many occasions. He chased the people away from him. He also sent his sons and nephew, ‘Abdullah (ibn Jafar), to assist him.[16]

 

و قد نهى علي أهل مصر و غيرهم عن قتل عثمان قبل قتله مرارا نابذهم بيده و لسانه و بأولاده فلم يغن شيئا و تقاقم الأمر حتى قتل

‘Ali prohibited the people of Egypt and others from killing ‘Uthman plenty times before he was killed. He repelled them with his hands, tongue, and his children but to no avail. Matters reached alarming proportions until he was finally killed.[17]

 

Ibn Maytham al Bahrani also speaks about this in Sharh Nahj al Balaghah:

 

لم ينقل عن علي في أمر عثمان إلا أنه لزم بيته و انعزل عنه بعد أن دافع عنه طويلا بيده و لسانه فلم يمكن الدفع إلخ

It is not reported from ‘Ali regarding ‘Uthman’s affair except that he stuck to his house and remained aloof after defending him for a long period with his hand and tongue, but was unable to repel (the rebels).[18]

 

The above texts of Shia scholars have substantiated our claim. We have presented these texts to corroborate our claim for the ease of the noble readers.

 

  1. The siege lasted for a long time. At some times, the situation grew intense and stones were thrown. Sayyidina ‘Uthman’s son, Aban, went to Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhuma to inform him of the situation. The incident is recorded as follows:

 

عن إسحاق بن راشد عن أبي جعفر أنبأنا أبان بن عثمان بن عفان قال كثر علينا الرمي بالحجارة أتيت عليا فقلت يا عم  قد كثرت علينا الحجارة فمشى معه فرماهم حتى فترت يده ثم قال يا ابن أخي اجمع مواليكم و من كان منكم بسبيل ثم لتكن هذه حالكم

Ishaq ibn Rashid―from Abu Jafar―Aban ibn ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan informed us:

We were being pelted with an abundance of stones, so I approached ‘Ali and submitted, “O uncle, stones are raining heavily upon us.”

He came with me and began to pelt them until his hand became languid. He then said, “O nephew, gather your freed slaves and those you can reach (who will support you) and continue pelting them in this manner.”[19]

 

The author of Kanz al ‘Ummal has also recorded Sayyidina ‘Ali’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu assistance during the siege.[20] Have a look at the reference.

 

  1. Hassan gets Injured

While trying to arrange for the protection of the Khalifah during the siege, Sayyidina Hassan ibn ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhuma was injured. Al Baladhuri and Ibn Kathir record this happening:

 

و قد رمى الناس عثمان بالسهام حتى خضب الحسن بالدماء على بابه … و شج قنبر مولى علي

People shot arrows at ‘Uthman until they covered Hassan with blood, at his door. Qanbar, ‘Ali’s salve, had a gash in the head.

 

عن سعدان ابن بشر الجهني عن أبي محمد الأنصاري قال شهدت عثمان في الدار و الحسن بن علي يضارب عنه فجرح الحسن فكنت فيمن حمله جريحا

From Sa’dan ibn Bishr al Juhani―from Abu Muhammad al Ansari who said:

I was present when ‘Uthman was besieged and killed in his house. Hassan ibn ‘Ali was defending him and was injured as a result. I was among those who carried him away in this state.[21]

 

و جرح عبد الله بن الزبير جراحات كثيرة و كذلك جرح حسن بن علي و مروان بن الحكم

‘Abdullah ibn Zubair was wounded multiple times. Similarly, Hassan ibn ‘Ali was injured as well as Marwan ibn al Hakam.[22]

 

  1. There was a shortage of water in Sayyidina ‘Uthman’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu house on few occasions. Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu was informed of the water shortage and the difficulty he was facing. He immediately made arrangements for water to be transported despite the danger. The Hashimi servants were injured. Nonetheless, Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu did not waiver in his determination to transport water.

The text of al Baladhuri is quoted here and al Tabari’s reference is presented as well:

 

قال جبير بن مطعم حصر عثمان حتى كان لا يشرب إلا من فقير في داره فدخلت على علي فقلت أرضيت بهذا أن يحصر أبن عمتك حتى والله ما يشرب إلا من فقير في داره فقال سبحان الله أوقد بلغوا به هذه الحال قلت نعم فعمد إلى روايا ماء فأدخلها إليه فسقاه

Jubayr ibn Mut’im reports:

‘Uthman was blockaded so severely that he could not drink water except from a pauper in his house. I entered ‘Ali’s presence and said, “Are you pleased with this? Your cousin is blockaded to the extent that, by Allah, he cannot drink water except from a pauper in his house?”

He said, “Glorified is Allah! Has his condition reached this limit?” I replied in the affirmative.

At once, he arranged for waterskins to be transported to him.[23]

 

At another place, al Baladhuri adds:

 

فبلغ ذلك عليا فبعث إليه بثلاث قرب مملوءة ماء فما كادت تصل إليه و جرح بسببها عدة من موالي بني هاشم و بني أمية حتى وصلت إلخ

News of this reached ‘Ali so he sent to him three waterskins filled with water. It was very difficult to transport the water to him and many slaves of the Banu Hashim and Banu Umayyah were wounded in the process. However, finally the water reached him.[24]

The incident of transportation of water appears in Tarikh al Tabari and Tarikh Ibn Athir as well.[25]

 

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Corroboration from Shia books

Famous Shia historian Mirza Muhammad Taqi Lisan al Mulk writes about this in Nasikh al Tawarikh in the following manner:

نگذاشتند کہ کس آب بسراۓ او برد عثمان بر بام سراۓ آمد ندادر داد کہ آیا علی بن ابی طالب درمیان شما جاۓ دارد گفتند نیست عثمان خاموش شد و از بام فرود آمد ایں خبر بعلی علیہ السلام بردند علی غلام خویش قنبر را بد و فرستاد و پیام داد کہ شنیدم مرا ندا کردہ أی بگو حاجت چیست گفت ایں قوم آب از من باز گرفتہ اند و گروہے از فرزنداں و عزیزان من تشنہ اند اگر توانی مرا آب فرست علی علیہ السلام آن جماعت را خطاب کرد فقال أیہا الناس أن الذی تفعلون لا یشبہ أمر المؤمنین و لا أمر الکافرین إن الفارس و الروم لتأسر فتطعم فتسقی فواللہ لا تقطعوا الماء عن الرجل فرمود کہ اے مردم کردار شما نہ با مسلماناں ماںدہ ست و نہ با کافران ہمانا کافراں فارس و روم را اسیر میکند لیکن آب و ناں می دہند و آب را ازیں مردم بازنگیرید قوم ابا داشتند و رضانمی دادند لا جرم علی علیہ السلام 3 مشک آب بدست چند تن از بنی ہاشم بدو فرستاد و تاہمگاں بخورند و سیراب شدند

The rebels refused to allow ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan water. Once, ‘Uthman climbed on his house and shouted, “Is ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib present?”

Those who were present replied in the negative. ‘Uthman kept silent and descended. Someone went to inform ‘Ali of this. Immediately, ‘Ali sent his slave Qanbar to ‘Uthman with a message asking him the reason for calling him and that if there was any need, he should mention. ‘Uthman submitted, “The enemy has stopped our water supply. My son and other family members are thirsty. Thirst has overwhelmed us. If possible, please send some water.”

Upon receiving the message, ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib reprimanded the rebels, “O people, your behaviour is neither the behaviour of Muslims nor disbelievers. The Persians and Romans give their prisoner food to eat and water to drink. I beseech you in Allah’s name not to stop his water.”

However, the rebels refused to listen and were not happy. Nevertheless, ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib sent 3 waterskins of water with some members of the Banu Hashim to ‘Uthman. Then they were all satiated.[26]

 

‘Abbas al Qummi has reported this event briefly in the footnotes of Muntaha al Amal in the following words:

مکشوف باد کہ عثمان بن عفان را مصریاں در مدینہ محاصرہ کردند و منع آب ازوے نمودند خبر با امیر المومنین علیہ السلام رسید آنجناب متغیر شدند و از براۓ او آب فرستادند و شرح قضیہء او در تواریخ مسطور ست

When the Egyptians and others besieged ‘Uthman in Madinah and stopped his water supply, ‘Ali came to learn of this and changed colour out of fury. He sent water for ‘Uthman. Details of this incident are written in Tawarikh.[27]

 

  1. Attempts to safeguard him failed. Finally, the insurgents fulfilled their mission after a long siege, i.e. they murdered Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu in cold blood. When this disturbing news spread through Madinah, all the Sahabah (who were in Madinah) were devastated and hurried to Sayyidina ‘Uthman’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu in a fit of rage began beating his own sons and scolding them for failing to protect the Khalifah. Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu cried uncontrollably. This hurtful incident appears in the following books.

Al Baladhuri writes in Ansab al Ashraf:

 

و صعدت امرأته إلى الناس فقالت إن أمير المؤمنين قد قتل فدخل الحسن و الحسين و من كان معهما فوجدوا عثمان مذبوحا فانكبوا عليه يبكون و خرجوا و دخل الناس فوجدوه مذبوحا و بلغ الخبر عليا و طلحة و الزبير و سعدا و من كان بالمدينة فخرجوا و قد ذهب عقولهم للخبر الذي أتاهم حتى دخلوا على عثمان فوجدوه مقتولا فاسترجعوا و قال علي لابنيه كيف قتل أمير المؤمنين و أنتما على الباب و رفع يده فلطم الحسن و ضرب صدر الحسين و شتم محمد بن طلحة و عبد الله بن الزبير و خرج على و هو غضبان حتى أتى منزله

His wife climbed up, faced the people, and shouted, “Indeed, the Amir al Mu’minin has been killed.” Hassan, Hussain, and those with them entered the house and found ‘Uthman slain. They hugged him and cried profusely, then left. People entered and found him murdered. The news reached ‘Ali, Talhah, Zubair, Sa’d, and others who were in Madinah. They left their homes in utter bewilderment and denial of the news that reached them. They entered ‘Uthman’s home and found him slayed upon which they recited, “To Allah we belong and to Him is our return.” ‘Ali rebuked his sons, “How was Amir al Mu’minin killed when you were at the door?” He lifted his hand and slapped Hassan and punched Hussain in the chest. He reproached Muhammad ibn Talhah and ‘Abdullah ibn al Zubair. He then left the house in a fit of rage and went home.[28]

 

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Another Narration of this Occasion

Relating the incidents of this calamity, the historians write that Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu out of excessive weeping fell over ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu:

روى الربيع بن بدر عن سيار بن سلامة عن أبي العالية أن عليا دخل على عثمان فوقع عليه و جعل يبكي حتى ظنوا أنه سيلحق به

Rabi’ ibn Badr―from Sayyar ibn Salamah―from Abu al ‘Aliyah:

‘Ali entered the home of ‘Uthman and fell down over him and began crying uncontrollably until they thought that he will join him (i.e. he will also pass away).[29]

 

  1. After this catastrophe, the house of Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu was filled with tears, mourning over Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu, which gives an idea of how painful and devastating Sayyidina ‘Uthman’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu ruthless murder was to Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and his family wept over his oppressive killing.

Al Baladhuri relates via his sanad:

 

عن سلمة بن عثمان عن علي بن زيد عن الحسن قال دخل علي يوما على بناته و هن يمسحن عيونهن فقال ما لكن تبكين قلن نبكي على عثمان فبكى و قال ابكين

Salamah ibn ‘Uthman―from ‘Ali ibn Zaid―from Hassan who said:

One day, ‘Ali entered the presence of his daughters who were wiping tears from their eyes. He enquired, “What is the matter? Why are you crying?”

They replied, “We are crying over ‘Uthman.”

He began crying and told them to cry.[30]

 

  1. ‘Ali and his Offspring’s Participation in ‘Uthman’s Janazah and Burial

Allah’s subhanahu wa ta ‘ala decree overpowers and subdues everything. Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu was martyred under His wisdom and power. Yet, the fire of enmity of the anarchic rebels was not extinguished. Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu shrouding, janazah, and burial to take place with peace was distasteful to them. Despite the adverse conditions, the noble Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum took up great courage and fulfilled his last rights with full vigour. Among them were Sayyidina ‘Ali and Sayyidina Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhuma.

The historians have according to their style of writing gathered all types of narrations, authentic and non-authentic. Nonetheless, they have recorded that Sayyidina ‘Ali and Sayyidina Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhuma participated in the final rights of Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu and fulfilled the right of companionship.

After deep reflection and pondering―with impartiality―the mind demands that despite the long siege and adverse conditions, when these personalities continued supporting and assisting Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu (as mentioned in great detail above) then they definitely carried out the required injunctions like janazah and burial. Narrations which are indicative to this will be presented below. Have a look at them.

It appears in Tarikh al Tabari:

 

خرج مروان حتى أتى دار عثمان فأتاه زيد بن ثابت و طلحة بن عبيد الله و علي و الحسن و كعب بن مالك و عامة من ثم من أصحابه فتوافى إلى موضع الجنائز صبيان و نساء فأخرجوا عثمان فصلى عليه مروان ثم خرجوا به حتى انتهوا إلى البقيع فدفنوه فيه مما يلي حش كوكب

Marwan went out until he reached ‘Uthman’s house. Zaid ibn Thabit, Talhah ibn ‘Ubaidullah, ‘Ali, Hassan, Ka’b ibn Malik, and his general companions that were there came to him. Some youngsters and women proceeded with them to the place of janazah. They took ‘Uthman out [of his house] and Marwan performed his Salat al Janazah. Thereafter, they proceeded with him until they reached al Baqi’ and buried him there, near Hash Kawkab.[31]

 

It appears in Kitab al Tamhid wa al Bayan with reference to Imam Ahmed:

 

و خرج به ناس يسير من أهله و الزبير و الحسن بن علي و أبو جهم و مروان بن الحكم بين العشائين فأتوا به حائطا من حيطان المدينة يقال له حش كوكب خارج البقيع فصلى عليه جبير بن مطعم و قيل حكم بن حزام و قيل مروان و قيل صلى عليه الزبير كذا ذكره الإمام أحمد في المسند

Some members of his household, together with a few others, like Zubair ibn al ‘Awwam, Hassan ibn ‘Ali, Abu Jahm, Marwan ibn al Hakam, etc., took the body of ‘Uthman out of the house between Maghrib and ‘Isha’ and went to a garden outside al Baqi’ known as Hash Kawkab. The Salat al Janazah was led by Jubayr ibn Mut’im, Hakim ibn Hizam, Marwan, or Zubair ibn al ‘Awwam (as per the various narrations) and he was thereafter buried in that garden.

 

Imam Ahmed has reported this in al Musnad.[32]

Ibn Kathir relates in al Bidayah wa al Nihayah:

 

قيل بل دفن من ليلته ثم كان دفنه ما بين المغرب و العشاء خفية من الخوارج و قيل بل استوذن في ذلك بعض رؤسائهم فخرجوا به في نفر قليل من الصحابة فيهم حكيم بن حزام و حويطب بن عبد العزى و أبو الجهم بن حذيفة و نيار بن مكرم الأسلمي و جبير بن مطعم و زيد بن ثابت و كعب بن مالك و طلحة و الزبير و علي بن أبي طالب و جماعة من أصحابه و نسائه منهن امرأتاه نائلة بنت الفرافصة و أم البنين بنت عبد الله بن حصين و صبيان … و جماعة من خدمه حملوه على باب بعد ما غسلوه و كفنوه و زعم بعضهم أنه لم يغسل و لم يكفن و الصحيح الأول

It is said: Instead, he was buried that very night. His burial took place between Maghrib and ‘Isha’ in secret from the Khawarij. It is said: They asked some of their leaders for permission and then took him with a small group of Sahabah among whom were Hakim ibn Hizam, Huwaytib ibn ‘Abdul ‘Uzza, Abu al Jahm ibn Hudhayfah, Nayyar ibn Mukarram al Aslami, Jubayr ibn Mut’im, Zaid ibn Thabit, Ka’b ibn Malik, Talhah, Zubair, and ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib and a group of his companions and women folk among whom were his two wives Na’ilah bint al Farafisah and Umm al Banin bint ‘Abdullah ibn Hussain and some youngsters and a group of his servant. They carried him on a door after washing him and shrouding him.

Some think that he was not washed or shrouded. However, the first opinion is correct.[33]

 

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Corroboration from the Shia

Ibn Abi al Hadid has reported this incident as follows in Sharh Nahj al Balaghah:

 

و خرج به ناس يسير من أهله و معهم الحسن بن علي و ابن الزبير و أبو جهم بن حذيفة بين المغرب و العشاء فأتوا به حائطا من حيطان المدينة يعرف بحش كوكب و هو خارج البقيع فصلوا عليه

A few members of his household, coupled with Hassan ibn ‘Ali, Ibn al Zubair, and Abu Jahm ibn Hudhayfah took him between Maghrib and ‘Isha’ and went to a garden of Madinah known as Hash Kawkab situated outside al Baqi’ and performed Salat al Janazah over him.[34]

 

Conclusion of the Siege Discussion

All the above incidents tell us of the great services Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and his children rendered in this painful catastrophe and how they upheld the rights of love and brotherly relationship. In the final days of Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu, Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu exhausted all his efforts to chase away the rebels. He responded to their stone throwing by throwing stones. His sons were injured while warding off and fighting the rebels. He sent water to Sayyidina ‘Uthman’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu house, despite the carriers of water being wounded. After all these stages, when finally the insurgents were successful in their sinister plan, Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu was utterly devastated and sorrowful and he reproached his dear ones and beat them. Then finally, he participated in the last stage, i.e. the janazah and burial of Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu. All of these are manifest proofs to the continual love and compassion Sayyidina ‘Uthman and Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhuma shared which lasted to the very end.

 

NEXT⇒  Chapter 5 – The Name of ‘Uthman was prevalent in the Children of ‘Ali


[1] What were the reasons for objections against the government turning into a rebellion? Who were the conspirators and plotters? Did the dwellers of Madinah support the khalifah of the time or oppose him during the siege? All these aspects need clarification and elucidation. However, these are matters out of the ambit of our primary object and core discussion. Therefore, we intentionally left them out in this book.

[2] Tarikh al Kamil, vol. 3 pg. 77, under mention of the journey of those who travelled to besiege ‘Uthman.

[3] Ansab al Ashraf, vol. 5 pg. 101.

[4] Tarikh al Tabari, vol. 5 pg. 127, Egypt print.

[5] Tarikh al Tabari, vol. 5 pg. 159, events of the year 35 A.H.; Ansab al Ashraf, vol. 5 pg. 23, 24, new print; al Kamil, vol. 3 pg. 87, the martyrdom of ‘Uthman; Kitab al Tamhid wa al Bayan fi Maqtal al Shahid ‘Uthman, pg. 124, mention of preventing water from ‘Uthman, Beirut print; al Bidayah wa al Nihayah, vol. 7 pg. 187, the killing of ‘Uthman; Tarikh Ibn Khaldun, vol. 2 pg. 1025, discussion on siege of ‘Uthman and his killing; Usd al Ghabah, vol. 3 pg. 195, biography of ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas; al Muhabbar, pg. 358, Hyderabad print, Dakkan.

[6] Tarikh Ya’qubi, vol. 2 pg. 167, discussion on the final days of ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan, Beirut print.

[7] Tabaqat Ibn Sa’d, vol. 3 pg. 56, biography of ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan, Leiden print; Ansab al Ashraf, vol. 5 pg. 101, new print; Kitab al Tamhid wa al Bayan, pg. 234, Beirut print.

[8] Musannaf ‘Abdul Razzaq, vol. 11 pg. 447, Majlis ‘Ilmi print.

[9] Akhbar Asbahan, vol. 2 pg. 139, Leiden print.

[10] Kashf al Mahjub, vol. 7 pg. 86, their A’immah from the Sahabah, Samarqand print, pg. 53, Lahore print.

[11] Tarikh Khalifah ibn Khayyat, vol. 1 pg. 151, 152, Iraq print.

[12] Al Bidayah wa al Nihayah, vol. 7 pg. 181, the year 35 A.H.

[13] Ansab al Ashraf, vol. 5 pg. 68, 69, chapter on the people of the cities rushing to ‘Uthman, new print.

[14] Al Bidayah wa al Nihayah, vol. 7 pg. 176, the siege of Amir al Mu’minin ‘Uthman; al Kamil, vol. 3 pg. 87, the killing of ‘Uthman; Kitab al Tamhid wa al Bayan, pg. 175, Beirut print; Kitab al Tamhid of Abu al Shakur al Salimi, pg. 164, discussion on the fourth stance on the Caliphate of ‘Uthman, Lahore print.

[15] Sharh Nahj al Balaghah, vol. 1 pg. 197, siege of ‘Uthman and preventing him from water, Beirut print.

[16] Sharh Nahj al Balaghah, vol. 10 pg. 581, old Iran print.

[17] Sharh Nahj al Balaghah, vol. 14 pg. 161, old Iran print, vol. 3 pg. 449, Beirut print, under the text: the same people pledged allegiance to me who gave bay’ah to Abu Bakr.

[18] Sharh Nahj al Balaghah, vol. 31 pg. 483, old Iran print, vol. 4 pg. 354, Tehran print, under the text of Nahj: O Muawiyah, if you looked intellectually rather than emotionally.

[19] Ansab al Ashraf, vol. 5 pg. 78, new print.

[20] Kanz al ‘Ummal, vol. 6 pg. 386, Hadith: 5937, first print.

[21] Ansab al Ashraf, vol. 5 pg. 69, 95, new print.

[22] Al Bidayah wa al Nihayah, vol. 7 pg. 188; Ansab al Ashraf vol. 5 pg. 68, 69.

[23] Ansab al Ashraf, vol. 5 pg. 77, the matter with ‘Amr ibn al ‘As and others.

[24] Ansab al Ashraf, vol. 5 pg. 68, 69, chapter on the people of the cities rushing to ‘Uthman.

[25] Tarikh al Tabari, vol. 5 pg. 127, the year 35 A.H., Egypt print; al Kamil, vol. 3 pg. 87, ‘Uthman’s assassination, Egypt print.

[26] Nasikh al Tawarikh, vol. 2 pg. 531, old Tehran print.

[27] Footnotes of Muntaha al Amal, vol. 1 pg. 335, under maqsad 3, section 1, while discussing Hussain’s arrival at Karbala’ and his conversation with ‘Umar ibn Sa’d, Iran print; Fawa’id al Radwiyyah, vol. 2 pg. 437, Iran print.

[28] Ansab al Ashraf, vol. 5 pg. 69, 70, Jerusalem print; Tarikh al Islam, vol. 2 pg. 139, the siege of ‘Uthman, 35 A.H.; Tarikh al Khulafa’, pg. 113, with reference to Ibn ‘Asakir, section on ‘Uthman’s Caliphate, Delhi print; ‘Aqidat al Safarini, vol. 2 pg. 326, Egypt print.

[29] Al Bidayah wa al Nihayah, vol. 7 pg. 193, the conditions surrounding ‘Uthman’s martyrdom.

[30] Ansab al Ashraf, vol. 5 pg. 103, ‘Uthman’s dream and martyrdom.

[31] Al Fitnah wa Waq’at al Jamal, pg. 84, burial of ‘Uthman; Tarikh al Tabari, vol. 5 pg. 144, mention of the narration on the place ‘Uthman was buried at.

[32] Kitab al Tamhid wa al Bayan fi Maqtal al Shahid Uthman, pg. 142, Beirut print; al Kamil, vol. 3 pg. 91, mention of the place he was buried and who performed salat al janazah upon him; Tarikh Ibn Khaldun, vol. 2 pg. 1053, discussion on the siege of ‘Uthman and his killing, new Beirut print.

[33] Al Bidayah wa al Nihayah, vol. 7 pg. 111.

[34] Sharh Nahj al Balaghah, vol. 1 pg. 97, old Iran print, vol. 1 pg. 198, Beirut print, under the text: from his sermon about the killing of ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan.

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