Discussion One: The Offices and Officers in the ‘Uthmani Era And Their Correlation – Offices of the State

Preliminary Discussions
August 23, 2019
Some Significant Locations and their Governors
August 23, 2019

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Discussion One

The Offices and Officers in the ‘Uthmani Era And Their Correlation

 

During the Caliphate of Sayyidina ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan radiya Llahu ‘anhu, the Islamic state spanned over a massive piece of land: The entire country of Egypt, Sham, a great portion of Africa—to the west until Morocco and Spain, the entire Hijaz region including Makkah, Madinah, and Yemen, in the northern direction, the entire Persian Empire including Khorasan, etc, to the East, till the borders of Makran. This vast and gigantic Islamic state was under the management of Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu.

It is apparent that to administer such an enormous state, a few posts and a handful of governors managing these posts were not sufficient. In fact, a special group was needed just to administer the top posts.

Keeping this state of affairs in mind, to gather detailed information on this aspect par excellence is extremely arduous and the pages of history do not support this endeavour. Nevertheless, according to the rule: what cannot be attained in full, should not be discarded in totality, we will try our level best to elucidate on the issue of posts and governors which was easily accessible. The correlation between the two will be properly understood through it.

 

Offices of the State

1. Judicial

Many senior individuals assumed the judicial post at different stages during the ‘Uthmani Caliphate. Among them were:

  • Sayyidina Zaid ibn Thabit radiya Llahu ‘anhu

و كان على قضاء عثمان يومئذ زيد بن ثابت

Zaid ibn Thabit was at the head of the judicial system of ‘Uthman.[1]

 

  • Mughirah ibn Nawfal ibn al Harith ibn ‘Abdul Muttalib al Hashimi.

 

  1. و كان المغيرة بن نوفل قاضيا في خلافة عثمان

Mughirah ibn Nawfal was a judge during the Caliphate of ‘Uthman.[2]

 

2. Bayt al Mal (Public Treasury)

The historians have listed a number of people who were appointed over the Muslim Treasury during the ‘Uthmani era. Some of them will be listed hereunder.

  • ‘Abdullah ibn Arqam

و كان على بيت المال عبد الله بن أرقم ثم استعفى فعفاه

‘Abdullah ibn Arqam was in charge of the Bayt al Mal. Thereafter, he handed in his resignation and was relieved of the duty.[3]

‘Abdullah ibn Arqam’s appointment over the Muslim Treasury during the ‘Uthmani era has been corroborated by Hafiz Ibn Hajar in al Isabah.[4]

 

  • The appointment of Sayyidina Zaid ibn Thabit al Ansari radiya Llahu ‘anhu at times to this post has been mentioned in the books on Asma’ al Rijal (biographies).

و كان (زيد) على بيت المال لعثمان

Zaid was in charge of the Bayt al Mal for ‘Uthman.[5]

 

  • Ibn Jarir, Ibn Athir, Ibn Kathir, and other historians have recorded that Sayyidina ‘Uqbah ibn ‘Amr radiya Llahu ‘anhu was in charge of the Muslim Treasury in the ‘Uthmani Caliphate.

و على بيت المال عقبة بن عمرو

‘Uqbah ibn ‘Amr was in charge of the Bayt al Mal.[6]

 

3. Tax Collection

Some people were assigned the duty of collecting taxes (kharaj, ‘ushr, etc.) during the Caliphate of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu. This is akin to the internal revenue service present in most countries today.

 

و على خراج السواد جابر بن فلان المزني … و سماك الأنصاري

Jabir ibn Fulan al Muzani and Sammak al Ansari were tasked with collecting the kharaj of the Sawad (Iraq and surroundings).[7]

 

4. Army Officers

The Islamic army was a distinct department. People were appointed to different levels of leadership and management. A number of generals and officers were assigned to various places. Sayyidina Qa’qa’ ibn ‘Amr radiya Llahu ‘anhu was an army officer in the Kufah region.

 

و على حربها القعقاع بن عمرو

Qa’qa’ ibn ‘Amr was in charge of the military department of Kufah.[8]

 

5. Police Department

It is imperative to maintain public social affairs. The police department was established during the ‘Uthmani Caliphate to handle these affairs. The head officer was ‘Abdullah ibn Qunfudh, from the Banu Taym tribe, of Quraysh descent.

 

و كان على شرطه عبد الله بن قنفذ من بني تيم قريش

‘Abdullah ibn Qunfudh from the Banu Taym of Quraysh was head of the police department.[9]

 

6. Scribe

A scribe was appointed to take care of all correspondence of the Muslim Khalifah. Marwan ibn al Hakam handled this service during the ‘Uthmani era.

 

و كاتبه مروان بن الحكم

His scribe was Marwan ibn al Hakam.[10]

 

7. Deputy for Hajj (35 A.H.)

When the last Hajj season of the ‘Uthmani era set it, the rebels besieged Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu in his home. Hence, he was incapable of proceeding for Hajj.

On this occasion, he summoned the cousin of Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu, Sayyidina ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas al Muttalibi al Hashimi radiya Llahu ‘anhuma, and sent him to Makkah after appointing him leader of the Hajj.

 

عن عكرمة عن ابن عباس أن عثمان بن عفان استعمله على الحج في السنة التي قتل فيها سنة خمس و ثلاثين فخرج فحج بالناس بأمر عثمان

‘Ikrimah reports from Ibn ‘Abbas:

‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan appointed him over the Hajj in the year in which he was killed, the year 35 A.H. In compliance to his command, he left and led the people in Hajj.[11]

 

Note: We have reported this incident previously in the third section (‘Uthmani) of Ruhama’ Baynahum, in the beginning of chapter five where we referenced it to many books. It was only repeated here to list the offices.

This responsibility was given to a Hashimi personality by Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu, not an Umayyad. You can gauge the level of alleged tribalism from this fact, the extent of its factuality, and the amount of propaganda involved.

 

Note:

These are various posts and offices which we listed for the benefit of the readers from the pages of history.

Only one personality, Marwan ibn al Hakam is the cousin (paternal uncle’s son) of Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu as well as his son-in-law. The rest of the individuals who assumed the offices listed above were not even from the Banu Umayyah. Some were from the Banu Hashim while others were from other tribes.

At this juncture, we will leave it up to the readers to count the relatives and non-relatives and see the correlation between the two. Remove tribalism from your equity loving heart and do the equation. The balance of equity is in your hands.

Regarding the scribe office and Marwan ibn al Hakam, we will mention a few points in the near future, Allah willing, so that this aspect is clarified accurately.

 

NEXT⇒ Some Significant Locations and their Governors


[1] Tarikh al Tabari, vol. 5 pg. 149, the governors of ‘Uthman, year 35 A.H.; al Kamil, vol. 3 pg. 95, the names of ‘Uthman’s governors; al Bidayah, vol. 7 pg. 227, discussion on ‘Ali’s bay’ah to the khalifah.

[2] Al Isti’ab with al Isabah, vol. 3 pg. 366, biography of Mughirah; Usd al Ghabah, vol. 4 pg. 408, biography of Mughirah; al Isabah with al Isti’ab, vol. 3 pg. 433, biography of Mughirah ibn Nawfal.

[3] Tarikh Khalifah Ibn Khayyat, vol. 1 pg. 157, first section, the governors of ‘Uthman; Usd al Ghabah, vol. 3 pg. 115, biography of ‘Abdullah ibn Arqam.

[4] Al Isabah, vol. 2 pg. 265, biography of ‘Abdullah ibn Arqam.

[5] Usd al Ghabah, vol. 2 pg. 223, biography of Zaid ibn Thabit al Ansari, Tehran print.

[6] Tarikh al Tabari, vol. 5 pg. 149, the governors of ‘Uthman; al Kamil, vol. 3 pg. 95, the governors of ‘Uthman; al Bidayah, vol. 7 pg. 227, discussion on ‘Ali’s bay’ah to the caliphate.

[7] Tarikh al Tabari, vol. 5 pg. 148, the governors of ‘Uthman, year 35 A.H.; al Kamil, vol. 3 pg. 95, the names of ‘Uthman’s officers, al Bidayah, vol. 7 pg. 227, mention of ‘Ali’s bay’ah of caliphate; Kitab al Tamhid wa l-Bayan, pg. 149, chapter eight, Beirut print, Lebanon.

[8] Tarikh al Tabari, vol. 5 pg. 148, the governors of ‘Uthman, year 35 A.H.; al Kamil, vol. 3 pg. 95, the names of ‘Uthman’s officers, al Bidayah, vol. 7 pg. 227, mention of ‘Ali’s bay’ah of caliphate; Kitab al Tamhid wa l-Bayan fi Maqtal al Shahid ‘Uthman, pg. 149, chapter eight.

[9] Tarikh Khalifah Ibn Khayyat, vol. 1 pg. 157, ‘Uthmani officers, Iraq print.

[10] Tarikh Khalifah Ibn Khayyat, vol. 1 pg. 157, ‘Uthmani officers, Iraq print.

[11] Tabaqat Ibn Sa’d, vol. 3 pg. 44, first section, mention of ‘Uthman’s bay’ah, Leiden print; Tarikh Khalifah Ibn Khayyat, vol. 1 pg. 54, 35 A.H., Iraq print.

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