Chapter Two: The Era of the First Three Khalifas

BACK⇒ Return to Table of contents

Chapter Two: The Era of the First Three Khalifas

 

The Era of Sayyidina Abu Bakr al Siddiq

In the first chapter we mentioned a few incidents regarding Sayyidina Hassan and Sayyidina Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhuma which took place during the blessed lifetime of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Now we will discuss those incidents that occurred during the era of the first three Khalifas.

 

Love and Appreciation for Sayyidina Hassan and Sayyidina Hussain

Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu loved the grandchildren of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam immensely, and displayed his affection for them on numerous occasions. Ibn Kathir writes in al Bidayah wa al Nihayah:

 

و قد كان الصديق يجله و يعظمه و يكرمه ويحبه و يتفداه …..

Al Siddiq would honour Hassan, revere him, display kindness to him, love him, and was prepared to sacrifice his life for him…[1]

 

Now we will present a few incidents which took place during the era of Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu.

 

Expressing love

It appears in Sahih al Bukhari:

 

عن  عقبة بن الحارث قال رأيت أبا بكر حمل الحسن و هو يقول بأبي شبيه بالنبي صلى الله عليه وسلم ليس شبيه بعلي و علي يضحك

‘Uqbah ibn Harith narrates that once after leading the ‘Asr Salah, Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu exited from Masjid al Nabawi together with Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu. They passed Sayyidina Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu who was playing with the children. Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu lifted Hassan on his shoulders and said: “This child resembles Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, not ‘Ali.”

Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu smiled upon hearing this.[2]

 

A Shia Corroboration

The Shia historian al Ya’qubi, mentions this incident in Tarikh al Yaqubi in the following words:

 

إن أبا بكر قال له و قد لقيه في بعض طريق المدينة بأبي شبيه بالنبي غير شبيه بعلي

Once, Abu Bakr met Hassan ibn ‘Ali on one of the streets of Madinah and remarked: “This child resembles Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, not ‘Ali.”[3]

From this incident we learn how these august personalities appreciated each other, and how they acknowledged each other’s virtue.

 

The Era of Sayyidina ‘Umar

Now we will proceed to mention those incidents which took place during the era of Sayyidina ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Sayyidina ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu used to greatly honour and respect the grandchildren of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, Sayyidina Hassan and Sayyidina Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhuma.

 

Gifting a Set of Clothes

Many conquests took place during the era of Sayyidina ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu and the spoils of war poured into Madinah Munawwarah. Once, a number of exquisite garments arrived in Madinah Munawwarah from Yemen. Sayyidina ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu distributed it amongst the children of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum, but there was no set suitable for Sayyidina Hassan and Sayyidina Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhuma. Sayyidina ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu therefore wrote to the governor of Yemen to have two sets tailor-made for Sayyidina Hassan and Sayyidina Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhuma. When the clothes were sewn and sent, and after Sayyidina Hassan and Sayyidina Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhuma wore it, Sayyidina ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu exclaimed: “Now I am pleased.”[4]

 

Taking into consideration the monetary rights of and looking after the financial state of Hassan and Hussain

Here we will mention how the monetary rights of Sayyidina Hassan and Sayyidina Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhuma were fully taken into consideration by Sayyidina ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu, and the stipend was allocated to them according to their status, just like others. We present to you some incidents in this regard.

عن جعفر بن محمد عن أبيه أن عمر ألحق الحسن والحسين بأبيهما و فرض لهما في خمسة آلاف خمسة آلاف

Imam Jafar al Sadiq rahimahu Llah narrates from his father, Muhammad al Baqir rahimahu Llah, “‘Umar stipulated for Hassan and Hussain a stipend equal to the stipend received by their father, ‘Ali. They used to receive 5000 dirhams (silver coins) per annum (which was the amount stipulated for those Sahabah who participated in the Battle of Badr).[5]

 

إن عمر بن الخطاب لما دون الدواوين و فرض العطاء ألحق الحسن والحسين بفريضة أبيهما مع أهل بدر لقرابتهما من رسول الله صلى الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ففرض لكل واحد زمنهما خمسة آلاف درهم

When ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu drew up the register for the allowances to be received from the Bayt al Mal, he stipulated for Hassan and Hussain an amount equal to that of their father, which was the amount allocated to the participants of Badr. He did this (although they did not participate in the Battle of Badr) because they were closely related to Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. The amount allocated per person was 5000 dirhams annually.[6]

 

Distributing the Treasures of Kisra, the Persian King

The famous Muhaddith, Imam ‘Abdul Razzaq San’ani has recorded the following in his magnum opus al Musannaf. When the treasures of Kisra were brought before Sayyidina ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu He consulted the Sahabah on the method of distribution:

 

ثم قال أنكيل لهم بالصاع أم نحثو؟ فقال علي بل أحثو لهم ثم دعا حسن بن علي أول الناس فحثا له ثم دعا حسينا ثم أعطى الناس و دون الدواوين و فرض للمهاجرين لكل رجل منهم خمسة آلاف درهم في كل سنة و للانصار لكل رجل منهم أربعة آلاف درهم و فرض لأزواج النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم لكل امراة منهن اثني عشر ألف درهم ….

“Should it be weighed and distributed or should handfuls be given to the recipients?”

‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu was of the opinion that handfuls should be given. ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu then called Hassan and gave him a handful, and thereafter Hussain and gave him a handful as well. Thereafter the distribution amongst everyone else began.

‘Umar then drafted a register for the stipends: Each Muhajir was given 5000 dirhams, while each Ansari was given 4000 dirhams. The Azwaj Mutahharat (pure wives of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) were each given 12 000 dirhams a year.[7]

 

The Booty from Iraq

 

عن حماد بن زيد عن النعمان بن راشد عن الزهري إن عمر بن الخطاب قال إن جاءني خمس العراق لا أدع هاشميا إلا زوجته ولا من لا جارية له إلا أخدمته   قال و كان يعطي الحسن والحسين

Hammad ibn Zaid reports from Nu’man ibn Rashid from al Zuhri: Once ‘Umar said, “If the khumus (one fifth of the booty) of Iraq comes to me, I will use it to get every bachelor from the Banu Hashim married, and I will give a servant to every Hashimi who does not have one.”

‘Umar also used to give Hassan and Hussain from the khumus.[8]

 

Entering and Leaving the Home of ‘Umar

Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu had given his daughter Umm Kulthum in marriage to Sayyidina ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu. As a result Sayyidina Hassan and Sayyidina Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhuma would come visit their sister frequently in the home of Sayyidina ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu. The Muhaddithin have mentioned this while discussing the permissibility of a person looking at the hair of his sister or daughter. Ibn Abi Shaybah rahimahu Llah has recorded with his chain of transmission:

إن الحسن و الحسين كانا يدخلان على أختهما أم كلثوم و هي تمشط

Hassan and Hussain would visit their sister Umm Kulthum and (sometimes) she would be combing her hair at the time.[9]

 

Participating in Jihad

The Shia scholars mention a miracle of Sayyidina Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu. The incident is as follows:

 

There is a masjid in Isfahan which is known as Lisan al Ard. It is situated close to the grave of Fadil Hindi. The senior and elderly people of that area narrate that during the era of Sayyidina ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu, Sayyidina Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu reached this place with the Muslim army, conquering place after place. The spot where the masjid is conversed with Sayyidina Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu. That is why the people call it Lisan al Ard (the tongue of the earth).

 

The Shia scholar ‘Abbas al Qummi has recorded this in his book Tatimmat al Muntaha[10].

We learn from this that Sayyidina Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu would participate in the jihad expeditions during the era of Sayyidina ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu. This testifies to his excellent relationship and affinity with the Khalifas of Islam and his association with their religious activities.

Note: The responsibility of authenticating this narration is upon the shoulders of the Shia scholars. We have just quoted it from their books as a proof against them.

 

‘Umar’s Concern for the Hereafter and the Testimony of ‘Ali and Hassan

The author of Kanz al Ummal quotes a narration from Ibn ‘Asakir. Abu Matar says that he heard from Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu:

 

When ‘Umar was stabbed by the fire worshipper, Abu Lu’lu’, I went to his side. He was very worried so I asked, “O Amir al Mu’minin! What worries you?”

‘Umar replied, “I do not know what decision has been passed with regards to me, whether I will be a dweller of Jannat or Jahannam, therefore I am worried.”

فقلت له أبشر بالجنة فإني سمعت رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم يقول ما لا أحصيه سيدا كهول أهل الجنة أبو بكر و عمر و أنعما فقال شاهد أنت لي يا علي بالجنة قلت نعم و أنت يا حسن فاشهد على أبيك أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم قال إن عمر من أهل الجنة

I said to him, “Glad tidings of Jannat for you, since I have heard innumerable times from Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam that the leaders of the middle-aged in Jannat will be Abu Bakr and ‘Umar, and they are definitely great leaders.”

‘Umar asked whether I will testify to him being from the people of Jannat. I replied in the affirmative. He then turned to Hassan and told him, “O Hassan, bear witness to what your father is saying that Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam affirmed that ‘Umar is a man of Jannat?”[11]

 

Note: This glad tiding of them being the leaders of the middle-aged in Jannat excludes the Ambiya’, as we have previously discussed and elaborated in our book Ruhama’ Baynahum under the section concerning Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu.[12]

 

The Era of ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan

In the foregoing pages we mentioned certain incidents concerning Sayyidina Hassan and Sayyidina Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhuma which took place during the era of Sayyidina ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu. For the sake of brevity, not all the incidents were mentioned. Just a few were mentioned to shed some light on the harmonious relationship that existed between them.

We now discuss the incidents which took place during the era of Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Here again, it will not be possible to cover every single incident. However, whatever we have come across—in our limited research—will be presented to the readers.

In the era of Sayyidina ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu, Sayyidina Hassan and Sayyidina Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhuma were still in their youth and did not participate in any major services. However, during the era of Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu, they were in the prime of their youth and could now participate in many tasks and render many services. So their practical life in actuality begins in this era.

 

An Important Preliminary Matter

Before discussing the incidents pertaining to Sayyidina Hassan and Sayyidina Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhuma during the era of Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu, I feel it would be appropriate, as an introduction, to clarify an important matter. During the Caliphate of Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu, the monetary needs of the Muslim public were fulfilled by the Khalifah, and each deserving person was given his respective share. The Banu Hashim and the relatives of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam were also given their due right. In fact, Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu showed a great amount of compassion and consideration for them.

We feel it important to mention a few incidents regarding the fulfilment of their monetary rights. After reading these incidents, it will be clearly brought to light how, in the era of Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu, each deserving recipient—including the relatives and family members of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam—were given their share. No rights were usurped and no honour was trampled upon.

 

The Testimony of ‘Urwah ibn al Zubair

One of the old historians, ‘Amr ibn Shabbah al Namiri (d. 262 A.H) has recorded in his book entitled Tarikh al Madinah al Munawwarah with his chain of transmission from the famous Tabi’i, Urwah ibn al Zubair rahimahu Llah, who says:

 

أدركت زمن عثمان وما من نفس مسلمة إلا و لها في مال الله حق

I witnessed the era of ‘Uthman. There was not a single Muslim except that he was allotted a monetary share from the Bayt al Mal.[13]

 

This is the testimony of a reliable, trustworthy Tabi’i that during the reign of Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu the monetary rights of the people were taken into consideration and they received their shares accordingly.

 

The Testimony of Hassan al Basri

Hassan al Basri rahimahu Llah is a famous reliable Tabi’i. He describes the era of Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu in the following words:

 

رأيت عثمان رضي الله عنه و ما من يوم إلا و مناد ينادي هلم إلى أعطياتكم حتى والله يذكر السمن و العسل

I had witnessed the era of Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Daily announcements used to be made on behalf of the Khalifah, “Come to collect your stipends,” to the extent that sometimes the announcement was made, “Come and collect butter and honey.”

 

Hassan al Basri rahimahu Llah also narrates:

 

أدركت عثمان رضي الله عنه و أنا يومئذ قد راهقت الحلم فسمعته يخطب و ما من يوم إلا و هم يقسمون فيه خيرا يقال يا معشر المسلمين اغدوا على أرزاقكم فيغدون و يأخذونها وافرة يا معشر المسلمين اغدوا على كسوتكم فيجاء بالحلل فتقسم بينهم قال الحسن حتى و الله سمع أوس يقال اغدوا السمن و العسل

I had witnessed the era of Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu and I also heard him delivering sermons. I was nearing adolescence at that time. Money would be distributed daily. An announcement would be made: “O Muslims! Come to collect your stipends.” Accordingly, people would go and collect adequate money. Then the announcement used to be made: “O Muslims! Come to collect your clothing. Garments would be brought and distributed among the people. To the extent that Aws heard an announcement, “Come and collect butter and honey.”

 

While describing this era, Hassan al Basri rahimahu Llah also mentioned:

 

و العدو ينفر و العطيات دارة و ذات البين حسن و الخير كثير ما على الأضر مؤمن يخاف مؤمنا

  1. The enemies of Islam were afraid of the Muslims.
  2. Every Muslim received stipends.
  3. The relationship between the Muslims was excellent (i.e., there was unity and no hypocrisy, etc.)
  4. There was an abundance of wealth and plenty of blessings.
  5. No Muslim on the face of the earth feared another Muslim. (This was the extent of peace and safety).[14]

We have produced two testimonies from senior Tabi’in regarding the situation of that era.

 

Monetary Prosperity and Well-being

The above narrations lends credence to what we actually want to prove. If the rights of the general Muslims were being fulfilled in this manner, where they were called to collect what was due to them, and over and above they were given various gifts, etc., then it is quite obvious that the monetary rights of the Banu Hashim, the other family and relatives of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, the Azwaj Mutahharat, and his children would be properly discharged as well, and they would also be given their fair share of the khumus, booty, etc.

In short, Sayyidina Hassan and Sayyidina Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhuma enjoyed an affluent life in the era of Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu, without any financial concerns. They were at ease with regards to their monetary position, and could therefore dedicate themselves fully to the service of Islam and to participate in missions for the progress and advancement of Islam.

 

The Religious Services of Hassan and Hussain During the Era of ‘Uthman

Sayyidina Hassan and Sayyidina Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhuma, just like the other Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum, participated in important religious matters and assisted in the Jihad expeditions during the reign of Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Here we will mention some of the expeditions in which they participated.

 

The Battle of Tripoli and Africa (26 A.H)

The historian Ibn Khaldun has recorded this expedition as follows:

 

ثم لما ولي عبد الله بن أبي سرح استأذن عثمان في ذلك و استمده فاستشار عثمان الصحابة فأشاروا به فجهز العساكر من المدينة و فيهم جماعة من الصحابة منهم ابن عباس و ابن عمر و ابن عمرو بن العاص و ابن جعفر والحسن و الحسين و ابن الزبير و ساروا مع عبد الله ابن أبي سرح سنة ست و عشرين و لقيهم عقبة بن نافع فيمن معه من المسلمين ببرقة ثم ساروا إلى طرابلس فتهيوا الروم عندها ثم ساروا إلى أفريقية و بثوا السرايا كل ناحية

When ‘Abdullah ibn Abi Sarh was appointed as the governor of Egypt, he requested ‘Uthman permission to send troops [towards Tripoli and the other parts of North West Africa.] ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu in turn consulted with the senior Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum, who forwarded their opinion that they should be given permission to go ahead.

An army was prepared in Madinah which comprised of a group of Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum, inter alia, ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas, ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar, ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr ibn al ‘As, ‘Abdullah ibn Jafar, Hassan, Hussain, and ‘Abdullah ibn Zubair radiya Llahu ‘anhum.

This army, under the leadership of ‘Abdullah ibn Abi Sarh, set out in 26 A.H and met up with ‘Uqbah ibn Nafi’ and his group of Muslims at a place called Barqah. They all proceeded towards Tripoli and engaged with the Romans there. Thereafter, they proceeded to [North West] Africa and sent detachments in every direction.[15]

 

Note: Some historians have recorded this under the events of the year 27 A.H.

 

The Expedition of Khorasan, Tabristan, and Jurjan (30 A.H)

A few years after the above mentioned expedition, another important military expedition took place in which Sayyidina Hassan and Sayyidina Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhuma participated. The historians have recorded this under the events of the year 30 A.H. Ibn Kathir, quoting al Mada’ini, writes:

 

أن سعيد بن العاص ركب في جيش فيه الحسن والحسين و العبادلة الاربعة و حذيفة بن اليمان في خلق من الصحابة و سار بهم فمر على بلدان شتى يصالحونه على أموال جزيلة حتى انتهى إلى بلد معاملة جرجان فقاتلوه حتى احتاجوا إلى صلوة الخوف

Sa’id ibn al ‘As al Umawi (who at that time was the governor of Kufah appointed by Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu), proceeded with an army which comprised of Hassan, Hussain, ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas, ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar, ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr ibn al ‘As, ‘Abdullah ibn Zubair, Hudhayfah ibn al Yaman and scores of other Sahabah. They passed many territories and cities where peace treaties were signed in lieu of a huge amount of wealth, until they finally reached Jurjan. At Jurjan a fierce battle ensued in which they were compelled to perform Salat al Khawf[16].[17]

 

Abu Nuaim al Isfahani writes in Akhbar Asbahan that Sayyidina Hassan radiya Llahu ‘anhu passed through Isfahan on his way towards Jurjan:

 

دخل اصبهان غازيا مجتازا الى غزاة جرجان الخ

Hassan passed through Isfahan en route towards Jurjan.[18]

 

We learn from these narrations that Sayyidina Hassan and Sayyidina Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhuma participated in the expeditions during the time of Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu, and like all the other Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum, they were in the forefront for serving the cause of Islam. Sayyidina Hassan and Sayyidina Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhuma were not like the children of the elite, who are treated like some delicate entity and are spoiled, etc. Rather they participated in the campaigns of that time.

 

A Special Gift

In the foregoing pages we have read how Sayyidina Hassan and Sayyidina Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhuma participated in the military campaigns during the Caliphate of Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Due to the amount of conquests, an abundance of wealth came into the hands of the Muslims. The details regarding this influx of wealth is discussed in the appropriate chapters of various books. Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu gave Sayyidina Hassan and Sayyidina Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhuma a special gift, the details of which follow.

Before presenting this incident, we need to clarify that we are quoting this from the books considered to be reliable by the Shia.

The Shia scholar, ‘Abdullah al Mamaqani, writes in his book, Tanqih al Maqal:

 

عن سهل بن القاسم البوشنجاني قال قال لي الرضا بخراسان إن بيننا و بينكم نسبا قلت ما هو أيها الأمير قال إن عبد الله بن عامر بن كريز لما افتتح خراسان أصاب ابنتين ليزدجرد بن شهريار ملك الأعاجم فبعث بهما إلى عثمان بن عفان فوهب إحداهما للحسن و الأخرى للحسين فماتتا عندهما نفساوين و كانت صاحبة الحسين نفست بعلي بن الحسين عليهما السلام

Sahl ibn Qasim Bawshanjani narrates: “‘Ali al Rida told me once while we were in Khorasan that we are relatives to each other. I asked him, ‘How is that so?’

‘Ali al Rida replied, ‘When ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amir (Sayyidina ‘Uthman’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu cousin) conquered Khorasan, two daughters of the king, Yazdegerd ibn Shahriyar, fell into the Muslim hands as booty. He sent them to ‘Uthman, who gifted one to Hassan and the other to Hussain. Both of them bore children for Hassan and Hussain and passed away while being married to them. The girl who was gifted to Hussain gave birth to ‘Ali ibn al Hussain (Zayn al ‘Abidin).[19]

 

Note: Here we need to clarify that this incident about the daughters of Yazdegerd has been mentioned by Shia scholars and authors in the books considered reliable by them. There are many contradictions and problematic areas which arise due to this incident, but explaining it and removing the contradiction is the responsibility of their scholars. We have merely quoted it as proof against them from their own writings.

 

In short, Sayyidina ‘Umar and Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhuma, both made sure that the monetary rights of the Banu Hashim were fulfilled and they did not allow it to be trampled upon. Furthermore, the daughters of Yazdegerd were specially gifted to Sayyidina Hassan and Sayyidina Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhuma. These incidents are clear cut proofs of how their monetary affairs were taken into consideration and seen to.

Another fact that is established is that the first three Khalifas recognised the lofty status and position of Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and his children and treated them accordingly. In turn, Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu and his offspring had excellent relations with the Khalifas, and accepted their actions and procedures to be correct and in order.

We also wish to point out that we have mentioned this incident about the daughters of Yazdegerd in our book Ruhama’ Baynahum[20]. There, we clarified that we were unable to meaningfully consolidate the contradictions found in the Shia narrations.

 

Hassan and Hussain and the siege of ‘Uthman

In the foregoing pages we mentioned a few selected incidents relating to Hassan and Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhuma which took place during the Caliphate of Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu.

Now we are going to discuss the siege of Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu by the rebels and what assistance was rendered by Hassan and Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhuma to Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu.

When the rebels rose against the Khalifah, Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu, and eventually laid siege to his house, the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum repeatedly requested permission from Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu to repel the rebels, but each time he emphatically prohibited them from doing so and sent them back.

Sayyidina Hassan and Sayyidina Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhuma also came to defend Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu, but due to his high level of patience and taqwa he did not allow anyone to take up arms. He displayed such patience and perseverance, the likes of which are unparalleled. Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu sent his two sons, Sayyidina Hassan and Sayyidina Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhuma to stand guard at the house of Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu, which they did to the best of their ability. Below we will reproduce some narrations relating to this incident.

The famous muhaddith, ‘Abdul Razzaq al San’ani has recorded in his al Musannaf from ‘Abdullah ibn Rabah who relates:

 

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, “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.”[21]

 

Nafi’, the slave and student of Sayyidina ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu, relates from him:

 

أقبل هو و الحسن بن علي يوم قتل عثمان فقالا لو أمرنا لقاتلنا و لكنه قال كفوا

The day ‘Uthman was martyred, Hassan and ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar 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).”[22]

 

Sheikh ‘Ali al Hajwiri 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:

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.”[23]

The famous historian, Khalifah ibn Khayyat (d. 240 A.H.) has recorded with his chain of narrators from Muhammad ibn Sirin rahimahu Llah:

 

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

Muhammad ibn Sirin 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.”[24]

 

Hafiz Ibn Kathir has related this incident with a little more detail:

 

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, and 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!”[25]

 

Hassan gets injured

We have seen how Sayyidina Hassan and Sayyidina Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhuma were prepared to defend and protect Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu during the siege. That’s not all. They were even injured by the rebels, yet they left no stone unturned in protecting Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu.

The historians have recorded:

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.[26]

 

The efforts of Sayyidina Hassan and Sayyidina Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhuma in protecting and defending Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu during the siege has been mentioned in detail by al Baladhuri in Ansab al Ashraf (volume 5) and also by al Dhahabi in Tarikh al Islam (volume 2).

More details can be found in Tarikh al Khulafa’[27] of al Suyuti quoting from Ibn ‘Asakir and in ‘Aqidat al Safarini[28] of Sheikh Muhammad ibn Ahmed al Safarini.

 

‘Ali and Hassan participate in the janazah and burial of ‘Uthman

The siege lasted for a long period. We have already read in the past pages about their efforts to protect and defend Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Eventually the wretched rebels heartlessly murdered Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu, and thereafter tried to prevent the janazah and burial from taking place. The senior Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum and Tabi’in made an effort to secure his body, gave him ghusl, shrouded him, and buried him.

Here we will suffice on mentioning one narration.

 

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 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.[29]

 

The narrations which mention that for three days the body of Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu lied without anyone attending to it, and no Salat al Janazah was performed, etc., are all baseless fabrications concocted by the enemies of Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu.

The narrations mentioned above refute these claims and clearly spell out what actually took place. Therefore, these narrations will be accepted and the narrations of the opposite party will be set aside.

 

In conclusion…

Sayyidina Hassan and Sayyidina Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhuma stood by the side of Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu in the last days of his Caliphate as well. A brief glimpse has been given in the past pages. More details can be found in our book Ruhama’ Baynahum, wherein we have included narrations from Shia books as well which lend support to what has been mentioned.

Here we have briefly mentioned incidents of Sayyidina Hassan and Sayyidina Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhuma which took place during the Caliphate of Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu.

After reading this, it becomes apparent how during the Caliphate of Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu, the children of Sayyidina ‘Ali, Sayyidina Hassan and Sayyidina Hussain radiya Llahu ‘anhum, just like the other Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum and Tabi’in, participated in major Islamic causes, and how much effort they made for the advancement and progress of Islam. In fact, they were at the forefront and they duly fulfilled the responsibility of assisting Islam. The incidents mentioned in the foregoing pages attest to what we have said.

 

NEXT⇒  Chapter 3


[1] Al Bidayah wa al Nihayah, 8/36.

[2] Sahih al Bukhari, 1/530; al Fath al Rabbani, 23/ 168; Mukhtasar Tarikh ibn Asakir, 7/8; al Bidayah wa al Nihayah, 8/33; Ruhama’ Baynahum, 1/402; al Sunan al Kubra of al Nasa’i, 5/48.

[3] Tarikh al Yaqubi, 2/117.

[4] Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, 3/191; Sirat Umar ibn al Khattab of Ibn al Jawzi, p. 97; al Bidayah wa al Nihayah, 8/207; al Riyad al Nadirah, 2/28; Kanz al Ummal, 7/102; Mukhtasar Tarikh Ibn Asakir, 7/12.

[5] Kitab al Amwal of Abu ‘Ubaid Qasim ibn Salam, p. 224; Mukhtasar Tarikh Ibn Asakir, 7/127; Sharh Maani al Athar of al Tahawi, 2/181; Dhakha’ir al Uqba, p. 135.

[6] Tahdhib Tarikh Ibn Asakir, 4/212; al Sunan al Kubra of al Bayhaqi, 6/350; al Bidayah wa al Nihayah, 8/36; Mukhtasar Tarikh Ibn Asakir, 7/147.

[7] Musannaf Abdul Razzaq, 11/100.

[8] Kitab al Amwal p. 335; al Riyad al Nadirah, 2/28; Kanz al Ummal, 2/305; Ruhama’ Baynahum, 2/186.

[9] Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah, 4/336.

[10] Tatimmat al Muntaha fi Waqa’i’ Ayyam al Khulafa’, p. 272-390.

[11] Kanz al ‘Ummal, 6/364.

[12] Ruhama’ Baynahum, p. 330 – 332.

[13] Tarikh al Madinah al Munawwarah, 2/135.

[14] Tarikh al Madinah al Munawwarah, 2/135; al Istiab, 3/73; al Bidayah wa al Nihayah, 7/213.

[15] Tarikh  ibn Khaldun, 2/1003; Tarikh Khalifah ibn Khayyat, 1/134; Ruhama’ Baynahum, 3/145.

[16] Salat al Khawf is performed when battle is ongoing or there is fear of an attack. Some leave the battle front, perform their salah and return to take up arms and their positions. Thereafter, the others leave to perform their salah. There are certain conditions and details regarding the method of performing Salat al Khawf. – translator

[17] Al Bidayah wa al Nihayah, 7/154; Tarikh  ibn Khaldun, 2/1018, Ruhama’ Baynahum, 3/148, Tarikh al Tabari, 5/57.

[18] Akhbar Asbahan, 1/44.

[19] Tanqih al Maqal, 3/80.

[20] Ruhama’ Baynahum, 1/477-479; 2/266-268; 3/152-158.

[21] Musannaf ‘Abdul Razzaq, 11/447.

[22] Akhbar Asbahan, 2/139.

[23] Kashf al Mahjub by Sheikh Sayed ‘Ali ibn ‘Uthman ibn ‘Ali al Ghaznawi al Hajwiri then Lahori 7/86 (Samarqand Print) pg. 53 (Lahore Print).

[24] Tarikh Khalifah ibn Khayyat, 1/151, 152; Tarikh al Islam, 2/134.

[25] Al Bidayah wa al Nihayah, 7/181 and 8/36 – 37.

[26] Al Bidayah wa al Nihayah, 7/188; Ansab al Ashraf 5/68, 69.

[27] Tarikh al Khulafa’, pg. 113.

[28]Aqidat al Safarini, 2/326.

[29] Al Tamhid wa al Bayan fi Maqtal al Shahid Uthman, pg. 142 with reference to Musnad Ahmed, 1/74; al Fitnah wa Waqat al Jamal, pg. 48; Tarikh al Tabari, 5/144.