Module two: The personality of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu and the circumstances surrounding his assassination. Section One: The personality of ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan and his life.

Section Three: The cause of fitnah during the caliphate of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu.
October 14, 2019
The Second Discussion: The Stance of the Abbasid Rulers
November 14, 2019

BACK Return to Table of contents

 

~

Module two: The personality of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu and the circumstances surrounding his assassination.

Section One: The personality of ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan and his life.

Section Two: Answering the allegations against ‘Uthman.

Section Three: The circumstances surrounding the assassination of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu.

~

 

Section One

The personality of ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan and his life.

 

I. His character and virtues

He is, ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan ibn Abi al ‘As ibn Umayyah ibn ‘Abdul Shams ibn ‘Abd Manaf ibn Qusay ibn Kilab ibn Murrah ibn Luway ibn Ghalib ibn Fahr ibn Malik, Abu ‘Amr al Qurashi al Umawi. Leader of the faithful, possessor of the two lights, and one who traversed both migrations.[1]

He is one of the earliest Muslims, one of the Ten given glad tidings of paradise, and one of the six appointed by ‘Umar ibn al Khattab radiya Llahu ‘anhu as council on the shura having said that Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam passed away being pleased with them. He is the third of the rightly guided Khalifas. Leader of the Islamic conquests, and the one who gathered people onto a principle manuscript.

From the time he accepted Islam, his virtues and character were a tall beacon to be followed. He was in his faith resolute, guiding, gentle, patient, forgiving, benevolent, kind, and generous. He consoled the believers, assisted the weak, and overlooked the hurtful until he met his end as a martyr, may Allah be pleased with him.

The most famous characteristic of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu is that noble quality which Allah had beautified him with. By virtue of it he was a centre of goodness, gentleness, and kindness to those around him; the quality of modesty. Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam held this quality of his in high esteem and praised him due to it. The narration of Sahih Muslim relates that Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha says:

 

كان رسول الله جل مضطجعا في بيتي كاشفا عن فخذيه – أو ساقيه – فاستأذن أبو بكر فأذن له وهو على تلك الحال فتحدث ، ثم استأذن عمر فأذن له وهو كذلك فتحدث ، ثم استأذن عثمان فجلس رسول الله عل وسؤى ثيابه فدخل فتحدث ، فلما خرج قالت عائشة : دخل أبو بكر فلم تهتش له ولم تباله ، ثم دخل عمر فلم تهتش له ولم تباله ، ثم دخل عثمان فجلست وسؤیت ثيابك ؟ فقال : ألا أستحي من رجل تستحي منه الملائكة

Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was reclining in his house with his thighs or calves uncovered. Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu requested entry and was permitted while the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam remained in his position. He then conversed with the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu then requested entry and was also permitted while the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was in the same position. He also conversed with the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu requested entry, upon his request, the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam sat up, straightened his clothing and permitted him to enter. He then entered and conversed with the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

After he left, Aisha radiya Llahu ‘anha remarked, “Abu Bakr entered and you did not shy away nor did you pay attention to the situation, ‘Umar entered and you did not shy away nor did you pay attention to the situation. When ‘Uthman entered you sat up and straightened your clothing.”[2]

The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “Should I not be bashful of a man around whom the angels are bashful?”

 

Ibn ‘Asakir narrates in the authority of Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu

عثمان حيي تستحي منه الملائكة

‘Uthman is so modest, the angels are bashful around him.[3]

 

Ahmed narrates with his chain of transmission to Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam:

 

أرحم أمتي أبو بكر ، وأشدها في دين الله عمر وأصدقها حياء عثمان ، وأعلمها بالحلال والحرام معاذ بن جبل ، وأقرؤها لكتاب الله أبي وأعلمها بالفرائض زید بن ثابت ، ولكل أمة أمين ، وأمين هذه الأمة أبو عبيدة بن الجراح

The most merciful of my Ummah is Abu Bakr. The one who adheres most sternly to the religion of Allah is ‘Umar. The one who possesses the highest level of modesty is ‘Uthman. The most knowledgeable in matters pertaining to permissible and impermissible is Mu’az ibn Jabal. The most proficient reciter is Ubay. The most knowledgeable in the science of inheritance is Zaid ibn Thabit and every Ummah has a trustworthy individual and the trustworthy man of this Ummah is Abu ‘Ubaidah ibn al Jarrah.[4]

 

It is unfortunate that many academics confuse modesty with shyness. They opine that his modest disposition led ‘Uthman to overlook much of what he was opposed to. However, this fits the definition of shyness not modesty. Modesty as defined by the scholars is, ‘constricting of the self from abominable acts fearing blame’. Another definition given is, ‘a characteristic that falls between insolence which leads one to brazen distasteful acts and between complete inattention to it’. On the other hand, shyness is defined as ‘the self being opposed to any action at all’.[5]

It is well documented that the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum were all modest. The authentic narration states:

 

ان الحياء من الايمان

Modesty is part of faith[6]

 

It is a praiseworthy characteristic in Islam. ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu has been specifically applauded for it due to his intense modesty and that he is the sincerest of the Ummah in it. The fact that the angels were bashful around him, as in authentic narration, goes to further emphasise his virtue over the rest.

‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu was of the most generous of the Ummah. He had carried out actions to this end that are forever imprinted into Islamic history. Generosity was an innate characteristic of his. He would continuously console and uplift the believers.

Consider the following narration:

 

أنه كان له على طلحة بن عبيد الله – وكان من أجود الناس – خمسون ألفا ، فقال له طلحة يوما : قد تهيأ مالك فاقبضه ، فقال له عثمان : هو لك معونة على مروءتك

Talhah ibn ‘Ubaidullah was owing him a sum of fifty thousand.

One day Talhah said to him, “Your money is ready for collection”.

‘Uthman replied. “It is for you to help you on your valour.”[7]

 

Imam al Bukhari has narrated the following on the authority of Abu ‘Abdur Rahman al Sulami[8]:

 

أن عثمان – رضي الله عنه – حيث حوصر أشرف عليهم من الدار ، وقال : أنشدكم ، ولا أنشد إلا أصحاب النبي – صلى الله عليه وسلم – تعلمون أن رسول الله – صلى الله عليه وسلم – قال من جهز جيش العسرة فله الجنة  ، فجهزتهم ، – قال – اي الراوي – فصدقوه بما قال

When ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu was circled by the rebels, he looked upon them from his home and said, “I ask you, and I ask nobody but the Companions of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, do you not know that Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, ‘Whoever equips the Jaysh al ‘Usrah (the Army of Distress) will be granted Paradise’, and I equipped it.” They attested to what he said.[9]

 

The narration of al Nasa’i has the addition:

فجهزتهم حتى لم يفقدوا عقالا ولا خطاما

I equipped them to the extent of the hobbles and halters.[10]

 

It has been narrated a drought befell the people during the era of Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu. When conditions got worse, they came to him and said:

 

يا خليفة رسول الله ، إن السماء لم تمطر ، والأرض لم تنبت ، وقد توقع الناس الهلاك فما نصنع – قال : انصرفوا واصبروا فإني أرجو الله ألا تمسوا حتى يفرج الله عنكم ، فلما كان آخر النهار ورد الخبر بأن عيزا لعثمان جاءت من الشام ، فلما جاءت خرج الناس يتلقونها ، فإذا هي ألف بعير موسوعة برا وزيتا وزبيبا ، فأناخت بباب عثمان هه فجاءه التجار فقال لهم : ما تريدون – قالوا : إنك تعلم ما نريد ، بعنا من هذا الذي وصل إليك ، تعلم ضرورة الناس . قال حبا وكرامة ، كم تربحوني على شرائي – قالوا : الدرهم در همین و قال : أعطيت زيادة على هذا ، قالوا : أربعة ، قال : أعطيت زيادة على هذا ، قالوا : خمسة ، قال :

أعطيت أكثر من هذا ، قالوا : يا أبا عمرو ، ما بقي في المدينة تجار غيرنا وما سبقنا إليك أحد ! فمن ذا الذي أعطاك – قال : إن الله أعطاني بكل درهم عشرة ، أعندكم زيادة – قالوا : لا ، قال : فإني أشهد الله أني جعلت ما حملت هذه العير صدقة لله على المساكين وفقراء المسلمين

“O Khalifah of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, the sky no longer brings down rain and the land no longer brings up plants and the people fear a disaster, what are we going to do?”

Hearing this, he said to them “Go now and be patient, and I hope that Allah will have brought His subsistence by the evening.”

In the evening news came that the caravan of ‘Uthman had come from Sham. When it arrived people went to see it. They saw one thousand camels laden with corn, oil and flour, and stood near the house of ‘Uthman, who put them in his house. When the merchants heard of the convoy, they came along to him to buy goods.

“What do you see?” He asked them.

They replied by saying that “You know what we want.”

Then he asked them, “How much profit will you give me?”

They replied, “One or two dirhams.”

He said, “I was offered more than that.”

They said, “Four.”

He said, “I was offered more.”

They said, “Then five.”

He said, “I was offered more.”

They said, “We are the only merchants in the town, so who offered you more than we did?”

He countered, “Allah offered me ten dirhams for every single dirham; do you have more than that?”

They replied, “No.”

He said, “Then you bear witness that I give all that camels along with the goods to be a charity for the cause of Allah for the sake of the poor and the needy Muslims.”[11]

 

Those that slander and accuse ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu unjustly are greatly in need of opening their ears and hearts to these monumental actions, revere him as he ought to be revered, and deal with this accused khalifah with impartiality. The Muslim Ummah on the other hand are greatly in need of inculcating within themselves the spirit of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu thereby attaining mutual love, respect, and honour.

Amongst his acts of generosity is his having equipped the Jaysh al ‘Usrah at the Battle of Tabuk.

Imam Ahmed records the following in Fada’il al Sahabah:

 

أن عثمان جاء بألف دينار في ثوبه فصبها في حجر النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم حين جهز جيش العسرة ، فقال النبي عل : « ما ضر عثمان ما عمل بعد هذا أبدا

When the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was preparing Jaysh al ‘Usrah, ‘Uthman came with a thousand dinars held in his clothes and poured it into the lap of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. The Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam then said, “Nothing that ‘Uthman does will ever affect him after this.”[12]

 

He also narrates on the authority of Ibn Shihab al Zuhri:

 

أن عثمان به حمل في غزوة تبوك على تسع مائة وأربعين بعيرا ثم جاء بستين فرا فأنتم بها الألف

‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu donated nine hundred and forty camels to the Tabuk expedition. He then brought sixty horses thereby making it a thousand.[13]

 

Amongst his acts of generosity is that he purchased the Rumah[14] well for the Muslims.

Al Baghawi[15] says:

 

أن المهاجرين لما قدموا المدينة استنكروا الماء ، وكان لرجل من بني غفار عين يقال لها رومة ، وكان يبيع القربة منها بمد ، فقال له النبي عل بعنيها بعين في الجنة – فقال : يا رسول الله ! ليس لي ولعيالي غيرها ، فبلغ ذلك عثمان و فاشتراها بخمسة وثلاثين ألف درهم ، ثم أتى النبي عل فقال أتجعل لي ما جعلت له – قال : نعم ، قال عثمان : قد اشتريتها وجعلتها للمسلمين

When the Muhajirin came to Madinah, they did not take to its water. There was a well that belonged to a man form the Banu Ghifar[16] that was named Rumah. He would sell a qurbah from it for a mudd.

Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said to him, “Sell it to me in lieu of a well in Jannat.”

He replied, “O Messenger of Allah! My family and I have no other source of income.”

News of this exchange reached ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu and he thus purchased it for thirty-five thousand Dirhams.

He then came to the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and said, “Will you offer me the same that you offered him?”

The Prophet replied, “Yes.”

‘Uthman said, “I have purchased it and made it over to the Muslims.”[17]

 

Al Tirmidhi narrates on the authority of Thumamah ibn Hazn al Qushayri[18] who says:

 

شهدت الدار حين أشرف عليها عثمان فقال : أنشدتكم بالله وبالإسلام ، هل تعلمون أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم قدم المدينة ، وليس بها ماء يستعذب غير بئر رومة فقال : من يشتري بئر رومة يجعل دلوه مع دلاء المسلمين بخير له منها في الجنة ، فاشتريتها من صلب مالي ، فأنتم تمنعوني اليوم أن أشرب من ماء البحر . فقالوا : اللهم نعم

I was present at the house when ‘Uthman appeared above them and said, “I ask you by Allah and Islam! Do you know that the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam came to Madinah and there was no water in it that was sweet except the well of Rumah?”

The Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “Who will purchase this well of Rumah and place his bucket alongside the buckets of the Muslims, in exchange for better than that in Paradise?”

“So I bought it with the core of my wealth, and today you prevent me from drinking from it, so that I would have to drink brackish water?”

They said: “O Allah! Yes!”[19]

 

Amongst his virtues radiya Llahu ‘anhu was that he was the first to expand the Masjid of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam as it began to prove small for the people. This was in conformity to the wish of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Al Tirmidhi narrates:

 

أن عثمان لما حوصر أشرف على الناس فقال : أنشدكم بالله والإسلام ، هل تعلمون أن المسجد ضاق بأهله ، فقال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: من يشتري بقعة آل فلان فيزيدها في المسجد بخير له منها في الجنة ، فاشتريتها من صلب مالي ، وأنتم تمنعوني أن أصلي فيه ركعتين – قالوا  اللهم نعم

When ‘Uthman was barricaded he appeared above them and said, “I ask you by Allah and Islam! Do you know that the Masjid, was insufficient for its people, so the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, ‘Who will purchase the land of the family of so-and-so, and add it to the Masjid in exchange for better than that in Paradise?’ So I bought it with the core of my wealth, and today you prevent me from praying two Raka’ah in it?”

They said, “O Allah! Yes.”[20]

 

Ibn ‘Asakir narrates from Sa’sa’ah ibn Muawiyah al Taymi radiya Llahu ‘anhu who said:

 

أرسل عثمان وهو محصور إلى علي وطلحة والزبير وأقوام من الصحابة فقال : احضروا غدا فكونوا حيث تسمعون ما أقول لهذه الخارجة ، ففعلوا وأشرف عليهم فقال : أنشد الله من سمع النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم يقول : و من يشتري هذا المربد ويزيده في مسجدنا وله الجنة وأجره في الدنيا ما بقي درجات له ، فاشتريته بعشرين ألفا وزدته في المسجد ، قالوا : اللهم نعم ، وقال الخوارج : صدقوا ، ولكنك غيرت … وعدد أشياء – أي من مناقبه – قال : الله أكبر ، ويلكم خصمتم والله ، كيف يكون من يكون له هذا مغيرا

‘Uthman sent for ‘Ali, Talhah, Zubair, and other Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum when he was barricaded in his home.

He said, “Present yourselves tomorrow and listen to what I say to these rebels.”

They arrived and he ascended the house and said to them, “I ask you by Allah! Who heard Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam saying, ‘Who will purchase this land and add it to our Masjid? For him will be Jannat and in this world as long as it remains his status will continue increasing.’ I thus purchased it for twenty thousand and added it to the Masjid.”

They said, “O Allah yes.”

The Khawarij said, “They have attested correctly but you changed …” they enumerated some things – which was of his virtuous deeds .

He said, “Allah is the greatest. May your arguments come to peril. How could you say to the one with such virtue that he has changed.”[21]

 

Amongst the virtues of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu is that he was one of the earliest believers. He was the third person to accept the faith. He is of the most virtuous and best of people after Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, amongst those who were the forerunners in spreading da’wah, raising the pillars of the pure faith, laying the foundations of the Islamic Empire, and fighting in the path of Allah. He was of the closest of people to Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and held a special place by him.

Ibn ‘Asakir narrates from different chains—from Fatimah bint ‘Abdur Rahman al Yashkuriyah[22]—from her mother who says:

 

أنها سألت عائشة ، وأرسلها عمها فقال : إن أحد بنيك يقرئك السلام ويسألك عن عثمان بن عفان ، فإن الناس قد أكثروا فيه ، فقالت : لعن الله من لعنه ، فوالله لقد كان قاعدا عند نبي الله صلى الله عليه وسلم وإن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم مسند ظهره إلي ، وأن جبريل عليه السلام اليوحي إليه القرآن وأنه ليقول : اكتب عثمان ، فما كان الله لينزل تلك المنزلة إلا كريما على الله ورسوله

She asked Aisha—and it was her uncle who sent her—she said, “One of your sons sends greetings to you and asks you regarding ‘Uthman, for people are abusing him.”

Aisha said, “May Allah curse whoever curses him. I was seated with the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam leaning against his back and Jibril was revealing Qur’an to him. He was saying, ‘Write, O ‘Uthman.’”

Allah would not give him such a position except if he was a man of honour in the sight of by Allah and His Messenger.[23]

 

The Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum were cognisant of his virtue, seniority, and of difficulties he bore. Abu Hazim[24] says:

 

كنت عند عبد الله بن عمر بن الخطاب فذكر عثمان ، فذكر فضله ومناقبه وقرابته حتی ترکه أنقى من الزجاجة ، ثم ذكر علي بن أبي طالب ، فذكر فضله وسابقته وقرابته حتى تركه أنقى من الزجاجة ، ثم قال : من أراد أن يذكر هذين فليذكرهما هكذا أو فليدع

I was with ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar ibn al Khattab and he mentioned ‘Uthman and his virtues, his attributes and his relationship to Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam so that he depicted him as purer than glass. Then he mentioned ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib and mentioned his virtues, his seniority in Islam and his relationship to Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam until he depicted him as purer than glass. Then he said: “Whoever wants to talk about these two let him talk about them in this manner or else not speak at all.”[25]

 

Ibn ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma used to also say:

لا تسبوا عثمان فإنا كنا نعده من خيارنا

Do not revile ‘Uthman, for we used to regard him as one of the best of us.[26]

 

Muhammad ibn Hatib radiya Llahu ‘anhu—a Sahabi—says:

 

قيل لعلي : إن هؤلاء يسألوننا عن عثمان غذا ، فماذا نقول لهم ؟ قال علي : كان عثمان من الذين آمنوا وعملوا الصالحات ثم اتقوا وآمنوا ، ثم اتقوا وأحسنوا

‘Ali was asked, “These people are to ask us regarding ‘Uthman tomorrow. What shall we say to them?”

‘Ali said, “‘Uthman was of those who believed, did good actions and feared Allah, then feared Allah and did righteous deeds.”[27]

 

He also says:

I heard ‘Ali say:

إِنَّ الَّذِيْنَ سَبَقَتْ لَهُم مِّنَّا الْحُسْنَىٰ أُولٰئِكَ عَنْهَا مُبْعَدُوْنَ

Verily, those for whom the good has preceded from Us, they will be removed far therefrom [Hell].

‘Uthman is one of them.[28]

 

Ibn ‘Asakir narrates in his Tarikh:

 

أن جریر بن عبد الله البجلي وحنظلة وعدي بن حاتم – وهم من الصحابة – تحولوا من الكوفة إلى قرقیسیاء  وقالوا : لا نقيم ببلد يشتم فيها عثمان

Jarir ibn ‘Abdullah al Bajali, Hanzalah, and ‘Adi ibn Hatim—all Sahabah—left Kufah for Qirqisiya’[29] saying, “We dare not live in a city wherein ‘Uthman is reviled.”[30]

 

Ahmed narrates from—Umm ‘Umar bint Hassan ibn Yazid ibn Abi al Ghusn [He says, “A truthful old woman] from — her father who said:

 

دخلت المسجد الأكبر – مسجد الكوفة – وعلي بن أبي طالب على المنبر يخطب الناس وينادي بأعلى صوته ثلاث مرات : يا أيها الناس ! يا أيها الناس ! يا أيها الناس ! إنكم تكثرون في عثمان ، فإن مثلي ومثله كما قال الله وَنَزَعْنَا مَا فِيْ صُدُوْرِهِم مِّنْ غِلٍّ إِخْوَانًا عَلَىٰ سُرُرٍ مُّتَقَابِلِيْنَ

I entered the big Masjid—the Masjid of Kufah—whilst ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib was on the pulpit addressing the people. He said at the top of his voice three times, “O people! O people! O people! You are excessive regarding ‘Uthman. The likes of him and I is what Allah described in the Qur’an, And We will remove whatever is in their breasts of resentment, [so they will be] brothers, on thrones facing each other.[31]

 

Al No’man ibn Bashir radiya Llahu ‘anhu—a Sahabi—says:

 

كنا مع علي بن أبي طالب في مسجد الكوفة ، وهو مجتنح لشقه ، فخضنا في عثمان وطلحة والزبير ، فاجتنح لشقه الآخر فقال : فيما خضتم – قلنا : خضنا في عثمان وطلحة والزبير ، وحسبناك نائما ، فقال علي إِنَّ الَّذِيْنَ سَبَقَتْ لَهُم مِّنَّا الْحُسْنَىٰ أُولَٰئِكَ عَنْهَا مُبْعَدُوْنَ  وإن ذاك عثمان وطلحة والزبير ، وأنا من شيعة عثمان وطلحة والزبير ، ثم قال : الله وَنَزَعْنَا مَا فِيْ صُدُوْرِهِم مِّنْ غِلٍّ إِخْوَانًا عَلَىٰ سُرُرٍ مُّتَقَابِلِيْنَ ذاك عثمان وطلحة والزبير ، وأنا من شيعة عثمان وطلحة والزبير

We were with ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib in the Masjid of Kufah whilst he was lying on his side. We began talking about ‘Uthman, Talhah, and al Zubair. He turned over and asked, “What are you discussing?”

We replied, “We are discussing ‘Uthman, Talhah, and al Zubair. We thought you were sleeping.”

‘Ali said, “Verily, those for whom the good has preceded from Us, they will be removed far therefrom [Hell].[32] Those are ‘Uthman, Talhah, and al Zubair. I am from the group of ‘Uthman, Talhah, and al Zubair. And We will remove whatever is in their breasts of resentment, [so they will be] brothers, on thrones facing each other.[33] Those are ‘Uthman, Talhah, and al Zubair. I am from the group of ‘Uthman, Talhah, and al Zubair.[34]

 

Another narration states that a man stood up and said

 

الله أعدل من ذلك يا أمير المؤمنين ، قال : – أي الراوي – فصاح به علي صيحة ثم قال : من هم إذا لم نكن نحن هم؟

Allah is more just than that O Amir al Mu’minin. The narrator says, ‘Ali let out a cry and said, “Who are they then if we are not them?”[35]

 

Due to Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam holding ‘Uthman in high esteem, he brought him into his family. He married his daughter Ruqayyah radiya Llahu ‘anha to him and after her passing her sister Umm Kulthum radiya Llahu ‘anha. When Umm Kulthum radiya Llahu ‘anha passed away Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said:

 

ألا أبو أيم ، ألا أخو أيم ، ألا ولي أيم يزوج عثمان ، فإني قد زوجته ابنتين ، ولو كان عندي ثالثة لزوجته وما زوجته إلا بوحي من السماء

O father of a widow, O brother of a widow, O guardian of a widow, who will marry ‘Uthman. I had given him two daughters in marriage and if I had a third I would have married her to him. I did not marry them to him except through the instruction of revelation.[36]

 

This is a virtue that is specific to ‘Uthman, even amongst the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum. It is for this reason that he was given the title Dhu al Nurayn (Possessor of the Two Lights). Badr al Din al ‘Ayni[37] states in his commentary on Sahih al Bukhari:

 

أنه قيل للمهلب بن أبي صفرة  لم قيل لعثمان ذو النورين – فقال : لأنا لا نعلم أحدا أرسل سترا على بنتي نبي غيره

It was asked of al Muhallab ibn Abi Sufrah[38], “Why is ‘Uthman called Dhu al Nurayn?” He replied, “Because we do not know of anyone else having married two daughters of a prophet besides him.”[39]

 

Al Nazzal ibn Sabrah al Hilali[40] says:

 

قلنا – يعني لعلي : يا أمير المؤمنين حدثنا عن عثمان بن عفان ، فقال : ذاك امرؤ يدعي في الملأ الأعلى ذا النورين ، كان ختن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم على ابنتيه ، ضمن له بيتا في الجنة

Once, we said to ‘Ali: “O Amir al Mu’minin, tell us about ‘Uthman ibn radiya Llahu ‘anhu

He replied, “He was that special individual, known as Dhu al Nurayn (the possessor of two lights) in the al Mala’ al A’la (the Highest Heaven). He was the son-in-law of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam for two of his daughters. Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam guaranteed a house for him in Jannat.”[41]

 

Ibn ‘Asakir narrates:

 

أن رجلا قال لعلي بن أبي طالب : إن عثمان في النار . قال : ومن أين علمت – قال : لأنه أحدث أحداثا ، فقال له علي : أتراك لو كانت لك بنت أكنت تزوجها حتى تستشير – قال : لا ، قال : أفرأي هو خير من رسول الله عنه لابنته ؟! وأخبرني عن النبي ع أكان إذا أراد أمرا يستخير الله أو لا يستخيره قال : لا ، بل كان يستخيره ، قال : أفكان الله لا يخير له أم لا – قال : بل كان يخير له ، قال أخبرني عن رسول الله علي أخار الله له في تزويجه عثمان أم لم يخير له ؟! ثم قال له : لقد تجردت لك لأضرب عنقك فأبى الله ذلك ، أما والله لو قلت غير ذلك ضربت عنقك

A man said to ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib, “‘Uthman is in Hell-Fire.”

‘Ali said, “And how do you know this?”

The man replied, “Because he had started many new practices.”

‘Ali said to him, “If you had a daughter, would you marry her without consultation?”

The man said, “No.”

‘Ali continued, “Do you think there could be an opinion better than the opinion Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam had concerning his daughters? Tell me, when Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam intended to do something would he or would he not ask Allah for the best course to take?”

The man replied, “Of course he would ask Allah for the best course to take.”

‘Ali said, “Would Allah then choose the best course for Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam or not?”

He said, “He would choose the best course for him.”

‘Ali concluded, “Now tell me this about Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Did Allah not select ‘Uthman to marry the daughters of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam? I have thought about having you executed but Allah has decided otherwise. Remember this well! I swear by Allah, if you say anything else I shall have you executed.[42]

 

Bashir Abu Nasr[43] says:

 

أتيت الحسن البصري فقلت : إني أحب الله ورسوله وأحب عليا ، وأقوام عندنا يقولون : إن لم تسب عثمان لم يغن عنك حب علي  فقال : يا بني ! إن الذي يأمرك بهذا لعثمان خير منه ومني ومنك ، زوجه النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم ابنته رقية ، أفترى النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم كان جاهلا أن يزوج خبيئا ؟ فماتت عنده ، ثم زوجه ابنته أم کلثوم ، فلو كان جهل أمره أيجهل الثانية ؟ وجهز جيش العسرة من ماله ، وكان مع النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم حتى فارق الدنيا ، أفينبغي لك أن تسب رجلا كانت هذه الأشياء له من المناقب والمكرمات

I came to al Hassan al Basri and said to him, “I love Allah and His Messenger and I love ‘Ali. Some people by us say, ‘If you do not revile ‘Uthman, your love for ‘Ali is worthless.’”

Hassan al Basri said, “My son. The one who has instructed the love of ‘Uthman is better than him, me, and you. Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam married his daughter Ruqayyah to him. Do you think Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was ignorant that he marries his daughter to an evil man? She passed away and the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam married his daughter Umm Kulthum to him. If, for arguments sake he was unaware the first time, do you think he would be unaware the second time? ‘Uthman equipped the army of distress from his own wealth. He was with Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam till he left the world. Now tell me, does it behove you to revile a man with such virtues and honour?”[44]

 

Similarly, the incident of the shura council attests to the status held by ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu in the hearts of the Ummah, the love they had for him, and their desire for his leadership. This desire was shared by all, the general populous and the influential. During the shura process in electing a new khalifah after the assassination of ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu, ‘Abdur Rahman ibn ‘Awf radiya Llahu ‘anhu consulted the public extensively. He sought the views of the Muhajirin, the Ansar, and others. During consulting the influential people and asking the others as to who they opined the khalifah should be, all answered in a singular manner; they all wanted ‘Uthman to ascend to the seat of caliphate. When he saw the consensus of people on ‘Uthman, he pledged allegiance at his hands and the rest of the people did so as well.[45]

Imam al Bukhari relates the following statement of Ibn ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma:

 

كنا زمن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم لا نعدل بأبي بكر أحدا ، ثم عمر ، ثم عثمان ، ثم نترك أصحاب النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم لا نفاضل بينهم

During the era of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam we would not hold anyone equal to Abu Bakr, then ‘Umar, and then ‘Uthman. We would not differentiate between the other Companions of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.[46]

 

Ibn Mas’ud radiya Llahu ‘anhu says:

بايعنا خيرنا ولم نأل

We pledged allegiance to the best of us and we did find anyone better.[47]

 

According to another narration he states:

أمرنا خير من بقي ولم نأل

We have appointed the best of those who remained behind, and we did not find anyone better.[48]

 

Mutarrif[49] says:

قلت لحذيفة رضي الله عنه : أرأيتم حین بایعتم عثمان نصحتم الله ورسوله والمؤمنين أو خنتموهم – قال : نصحناهم

I asked Hudhayfah radiya Llahu ‘anhu, “When you all pledged allegiance to ‘Uthman, do you believe you were sincere to Allah, His Messenger, and the believers; or do you believe you betrayed them?”

He replied, “We were sincere.”[50]

 

Muhammad ibn Yunus[51] narrates—from Hafs ibn Ghayath[52]— from Sharik ibn ‘Abdullah who said:

 

مرض رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فأمر أبا بكر أن يصلي بالناس ، فلو علم رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم أن في أصحابه أحدا أفضل من أبي بكر الأمر ذلك الرجل وترك أبا بكر ، فلما احتضر أبو بكر استخلف عمر ابن الخطاب ، فلو علم أبو بكر أن في أصحاب محمد علي أحدا أفضل من عمر لما قدم عمر وترك ذلك الرجل ، لقد كان غش أصحاب محمد ، فلما احتضر عمر بن الخطاب فصير الأمر شوری ، فوقعت الشوری بعثمان بن عفان ، فلو علم أصحاب محمد أن في القوم أحدا أحق بها من عثمان ،  ثم نصبوا ، وتركوا ذلك الرجل لقد كانوا غشوا هذه الأمة ، فأتيت – أي محمد بن يونس – عبد الله بن إدريس فقلت له : يا أبا محمد ! كلاما سمعته الساعة من حفص بن غياث ، قال : فأسند ثم قال : هات ، قال : فحدثته بالحديث ، قال : أنت سمعته – قلت : الساعة ، وكتبته في ألواحي ، قال الحمد لله الذي أنطق بذلك لسانه ، فوالله إنه الشيعي وإن شريكا لشيعي ، قال : قلت له : يا أبا محمد ! ما تقول في الوقوف عنه : علي وعثمان ، قال : لا ، بل نضعه حيث وضعه أصحابه ، يعني يقال : عثمان وعلي ، ولقد قتل يوم قتل – أي عثمان – وهو عندنا أفضل منه

Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam fell ill and appointed Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu to lead the people in prayer. If Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam knew anyone else amongst his Companions more virtuous than Abu Bakr, he would have appointed him and left Abu Bakr.

When Abu Bakr was on his death bed, he appointed ‘Umar ibn al Khattab as his successor. If Abu Bakr knew anyone else amongst the Companions of Muhammad salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam more virtuous than ‘Umar and yet appointed ‘Umar instead of that man, he would have surely betrayed the Companions of Muhammad salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

When ‘Umar ibn al Khattab was on his death bed he handed the matter over to the shura council. The shura council elected ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan. If the Companions of Muhammad salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam knew of a man more rightful to it than ‘Uthman and yet appointed him instead of that man, they would have betrayed this Ummah.

Muhammad ibn Yunus says, “I then went to ‘Abdullah ibn Idris[53] and I said to him, O Abu Muhammad, would you like to know what I just heard from Hafs ibn Ghayath”

He sat up and said, “Tell me.”

He says, “I narrated the words to him.”

He asked. “Is it you that heard it?”

I said, “Right now, and I wrote it on my tablet.”

He said, “Praise be to Allah who compelled him to say this. By Allah he is a Shia and Sharik is a Shia.”

I said, “O Abu Muhammad, what do you think of adopting silence regarding ‘Ali and ‘Uthman?”

He replied, “No. We will afford them the status afforded to them by each other. ‘Uthman was assassinated and he was more virtuous than him.”[54]

 

Sufyan al Thawri is narrated to have said:

 

من قدم عليا على عثمان فقد أزرى على اثني عشر ألفا ، قبض رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم وهو عنهم راض ، الذين أجمعوا على بيعة عثمان

Whoever gives preference to ‘Ali over ‘Uthman has opposed twelve thousand whom Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was pleased with when he left this world; the one’s that pledged allegiance to ‘Uthman.[55]

 

‘Abdullah ibn Dawood[56] said:

من قدم عثمان على علي فحجته قوية ؛ لأن الخمسة اختاروه – يعني أهل الشورى

Whoever gives preference to ‘Uthman over ‘Ali has strong evidence to the claim as the five appointed him. [referring to the five shura council members].[57]

 

‘Abdullah ibn Ayub[58] said:

 

قال رجل عند محمد بن عبيد- الطنافسي -: أبو بكر وعلي وعثمان ، قال له : ويلك : من لم يقل أبو بكر وعمر وعثمان وعلي فقد أزرى على أصحاب رسول الله علی

A man, in the presence of Muhammad ibn ‘Ubaid[59] al Tanafasi said, “Abu Bakr, ‘Ali, and ‘Uthman.”

He said to the man, “Woe to you, whoever does not say Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, ‘Uthman, and ‘Ali, has opposed the Companions of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.”[60]

 

Harmalah said, I heard al Shafi’i saying:

أبو بكر وعمر وعثمان وعلي ، يعني في الفضل والخلافة

Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, ‘Uthman, and ‘Ali, i.e. the order of virtue and caliphate.[61]

 

‘Amr ibn ‘Uthman al Himsi[62] said:

 

قلت : يا أبا عبدالله – يعني أحمد ابن حنبل – ما تقول في الخلافة – فقال : أقول : أبو بكر ثم عمر ثم عثمان ثم علي ، ومن فضل عليا على عثمان فقد أزرى بأصحاب الشوری ؛ لأنهم قدموا عثمان

I said “Oh Abu ‘Abdullah—Ahmed ibn Hambal—what do you say regarding the caliphate?”

He replied, “I say, Abu Bakr, then ‘Umar, then ‘Uthman, then ‘Ali. Whoever gives preference to ‘Ali over ‘Uthman has opposed the shura council members as they preferred ‘Uthman.”[63]

 

Ibn ‘Asakir narrated with his chain of transmission to Abu al Hassan al Daraqutni who said:

 

اختلف قوم من أهل بغداد من أهل العلم ، فقال قوم : عثمان أفضل ، وقال قوم : علي أفضل ، فتحاكموا إلي فيه ، فسألوني عنه فأمسكت عنه ، وقلت : الإمساك عنه خير ، ثم لم أر لديني السكوت ، قلت : دعهم يقولوا في ما أحبوا ، فدعوت الذي جاءني مستفتيا وقلت : ارجع إليهم وقل : أبو الحسن يقول : عثمان بن عفان أفضل من علي بن أبي طالب باتفاق جماعة أصحاب رسول الله ، وهو أول عقد يحل في الرفض

Some scholars of Baghdad had a difference of opinion. some opined that ‘Uthman was more virtuous whilst others opined ‘Ali to be more virtuous. They brought the issue to me to resolve. They asked me and I reserved my opinion.

I said to them, “Refraining from such is better.”

I then thought it not good for my faith to remain silent. I said, let them say regarding me what they wish and I called the one who had posed the question to me.

I said, “Return to them and tell them that Abu al Hassan says, ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan is more virtuous than ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib by the consensus of the Companions of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and this is the first knot untied through the ideology of Rafd.”[64]

 

Ibn Taymiyyah says in this regard:

 

فمن فضل عليا على عثمان خرج من السنة إلى البدعة ، لمخالفته الإجماع الصحابة . ولهذا قيل : من قدم عليا على عثمان فقد أزرى بالمهاجرين والأنصار ، يروي ذلك عن غير واحد ، منهم أيوب السختياني وأحمد بن حنبل والدارقطني

Whoever gives preference to ‘Ali over ‘Uthman has left the way of the sunnah to the path of innovation due to him opposing the consensus of the Sahabah. That is why it is said, ‘whoever gives preference to ‘Ali over ‘Uthman has opposed the Muhajirin and the Ansar.’ Statements of this kind have been narrated from Ayub al Sakhtiyani[65], Ahmed ibn Hambal, al Daraqutni, and others.[66]

 

Amongst the virtues of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu is that through him Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala granted conquests of many cities and regions. In his era the Islamic Empire reached far off lands in the east and the west. Islamic rule spanned from Sindh in the east to Qafqaz in the north. The Muslim armies reached west Africa and its surrounds. They reached the Mediterranean Islands and Abyssinia towards the south. And thus the meaning of following verse became apparent to the people:

 

وَعَدَ اللَّهُ الَّذِيْنَ آمَنُوْا مِنْكُمْ وَعَمِلُوْا الصَّالِحَاتِ لَيَسْتَخْلِفَنَّهُمْ فِيْ الْأَرْضِ كَمَا اسْتَخْلَفَ الَّذِيْنَ مِنْ قَبْلِهِمْ وَلَيُمَكِّنَنَّ لَهُمْ دِيْنَهُمُ الَّذِيْ ارْتَضَىٰ لَهُمْ وَلَيُبَدِّلَنَّهُمْ مِّنْ بَعْدِ خَوْفِهِمْ أَمْنًا ۚ يَعْبُدُوْنَنِيْ لَا يُشْرِكُوْنَ بِيْ شَيْئًا

Allah has promised those who have believed among you and done righteous deeds that He will surely grant them succession [to authority] upon the earth just as He granted it to those before them and that He will surely establish for them [therein] their religion which He has preferred for them and that He will surely substitute for them, after their fear, security, [for] they worship Me, not associating anything with Me.[67]

 

Ibn Kathir rahimahu Llah said:

وهذا كله تحقق وقوعه وتأكد وتوطد في زمن عثمان

All of this was realised during the era of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu.[68]

 

Al Khalifah has listed the cities that were conquered during the caliphate of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu in his Tarikh which shows the incredible military advancement and prowess. Amongst these cities were, Hamdhan, Rayy, Sabur, Arjan, Asbahan, Jurjan, Kabul, Sijistan, Tabaristan, Armenia, Abyssinia, Qubrus, Malta, and others.[69]

No doubt the generals of these armies that were chosen by ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu was done so with divine assistance. ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu was the first to conduct Islamic naval warfare. He allowed Muawiyah ibn Abi Sufyan to head a naval expedition.[70] ‘Umar ibn al Khattab radiya Llahu ‘anhu has removed the fear regarding naval expeditions that had plagued some Muslims who were unaware of its realities.[71] The naval fleet that was sanctioned by ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu had attained major victories in the naval battles.[72] This fleet defeated the naval world power of the time; the Byzantine navy.[73] It was also instrumental in conquering the islands of the Mediterranean.[74]

‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu was distinguished by noble character that reflected that of the Leader of Prophets who had the noblest of character. Abu Hurairah radiya Llahu ‘anhu says:

 

دخلت على رقية بنت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم امرأة عثمان بن عفان وفي يدها مشط فقالت : خرج من عندي رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم  آنفا رجلت رأسه فقال كيف تجدين أبا عبد الله ؟ ، قلت : كخير الرجال ، قال : «أكرميه فإنه من أشبه أصحابي بي خلقا

I came to Ruqayyah, the daughter of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, wife of ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan and she had a comb in her hand.

She said, “Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam departed from here a short while ago, I combed his hair.”

He said to me, “How do you find Abu ‘Abdullah?”

I replied, “Like the best of men.”

He said, “Treat him well as he is the closest in character to me amongst my Companions.”[75]

 

‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu was forgiving in his business dealings and soft in his dealings with people. Al Hafiz ibn ‘Asakir narrates the following in his Tarikh through the chain of ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abdur Rahman ibn Abi Hussain[76]:

 

أن عثمان نه ابتاع حائطا من رجل فساومه حتى قاومه على الثمن الذي رضي به البائع ، فقال : أرنا يدك – قال الراوي – : وكانوا لا يستوجبون البيع إلا بالصفقة ، فلما رأى ذلك الرجل قال : لا أبيعك حتى تزدني عشرة آلاف ، فالتفت عثمان إلى عبد الرحمن ابن عوف قال : إني سمعت رسول الله عنه يقول : إن الله أدخل الجنة رجلا كان سمحا بائعا ومبتاعا ، قاضيا ومقتضيا ،  اذهب فقد زدتك العشرة آلاف الأستوجب بها الكلمة التي سمعتها من رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم

‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu purchased a garden from a man for a price agreed to by the seller. He said to him, “Show us your hand.” [the narrator states, they would conclude a deal by shaking hands].

The man said, “I will not sell it to you until you give me ten thousand more.”

‘Uthman turned to ‘Abdur Rahman ibn ‘Awf and said, “I heard Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam say, ‘Verily Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala will enter a man into paradise who is forgiving when he buys, sells, gives loans, and collects loans.[77] Go I have added ten thousand to it due to these words I heard from Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.[78]

 

Amongst his virtues is that divine revelation attested to him passing as a martyr. Imam al Bukhari narrated in his Sahih on the authority of Anas ibn Malik radiya Llahu ‘anhu who said:

صعد رسول الله من أحدا ومعه أبو بكر وعمر وعثمان فرجف ، وقال : اسكن أحد – أظنه ضربه برجله – فليس عليك إلا نبي وصديق وشهيدان

Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam ascended Mount Uhud together with Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, and ‘Uthman. The mountain trembled. He said, “Be calm Uhud—I think the Prophet hit it with his foot adding—For upon you there are none but a Prophet, a Siddiq, and two martyrs.”[79]

 

Al Tirmidhi has narrated on the authority of Thumamah ibn Hazn al Qushayri who says:

 

شهدت الدار – يعني الحصار حين أشرف عليهم عثمان … قال : أنشدكم بالله والإسلام هل تعلمون أن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم كان على ثبير  مكة ومعه أبو بكر وعمر وأنا ، فتحرك الجبل حتى تساقطت حجارته بالحضيض ، قال : فركضه برجله فقال : اسکن ثبير ، فإنما عليك نبي وصديق و شهیدان ، قالوا : اللهم نعم ، قال : الله أكبر شهدوا لي ورب الكعبة أني شهيد

I was present at the house when ‘Uthman appeared above them and said, “I ask you by Allah and Islam! Do you know that the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was on Mount Thabir of Makkah, and with him was Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, and myself? The mountain began shaking until its rocks fell to the bottom.”

He said, so he hit it with his foot and said, “Be still O Thabir! For there is none upon you except a Prophet, a Siddiq and two martyrs?”

They said, “O Allah! Yes!”

He said, “Allah is Great! Bear witness by the Lord of the Ka’bah that I am a martyr!”[80]

 

Abu Nuaim states his virtues in Ma’rifah al Sahabah:

 

أنه كان ممن صلى القبلتين ، وهاجر الهجرتين ، وكان اسمه ذو النورين ، وقتل مظلوما فأوتي من الأجر كفلين … كان يسمى : اللين الرحيم ، المتعفف العفيف ، أمير البررة ، وخير الخيرة ، وقتیل الفجرة .. سل سيف الفتنة لقتله ولم يعمد بعد … كانت الخيل البلق إلى أيامه مشهودة ، فلما قتل عثمان مظلوما صارت مفقودة

He was from amongst those who prayed in the direction of both Qiblah. He migrated in both migrations. His name was Dhu al Nurayn. He was killed unjustly and awarded a twofold reward. He was known as, the soft the merciful, the chaste the pure, the leader of the pious, the best of the best, and the one murdered by the evil. The sword of fitnah was unsheathed to kill him and was not sheathed after that. The Balq horses too disappeared after his unjust murder.[81]

 

Ibn Hazm says in Al Mufadalah Bayn al Sahabah:

 

ثم انفرد عثمان بأن رسول الله  صلى الله عليه وسلم بايع بيساره المقدسة عن يمين عثمان في بيعة الرضوان فألحقه الله بأجره التام وسهمه … ثم كانت له فتوحات عظيمة .. وسيرة في الإسلام هادية ، ولم يتشبث بسفك دم مسلم ، وجاءت فيه آثار صحيحة : إن الملائكة تستحي منه ، وأنه من اتبعه على الحق

‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu is further distinguished as the only one for whom Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam took his allegiance at Bay’ah al Ridwan by placing his left hand in his right. Thus Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala gave him the full reward and share… He also had conquered many lands during his era… His life in Islam is one full of guidance. He did not permit the blood of a Muslim to be spilt. Authentic narrations regarding him state, “The angels are bashful of him” and “Whoever follows him will be on the truth.”[82]

 

Ibn Taymiyyah states:

والمعلوم من فضائل عثمان رضي الله عنه ومحبة النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم له ، وثنائه عليه ، وتخصيصه بابنتيه ، وشهادته له بالجنة ، وإرساله إلى مكة ومبايعته له عنه لما أرسله إلى مكة ، وتقديم الصحابة له باختيارهم في الخلافة ، وشهادة عمر وغيره له بأن رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم مات وهو عنه راض ، وأمثال ذلك مما يوجب العلم القطعي بأنه من كبار أولياء الله المتقين الذين رضي الله عنه ورضوا عنه

What is known of the virtues of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu, the love Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam had for him, the Prophet praising him, marrying his daughters to him, giving him the glad tidings of Paradise to him, sending him as an envoy to Makkah, taking the pledge for him when he sent him to Makkah, the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum giving him preference in the matter of caliphate, the attestation of ‘Umar and others that Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam had left this world being pleased with him, and other such virtues leaves absolutely no doubt that he is of the great pious friends of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala with whom Allah was pleased with and they too were pleased with Him.[83]

 

This was the personality of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu, a manifestation of human nobility per excellence. Mercy was embedded within him. His life spoke of love. His character was imbued with forbearance. Modesty was an innate quality never lost. With such character, this dignified personality fits into the core of Islam. The Muslims loved ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu so deeply, a profound love that is found scarcely amongst the pages of history. The only one that would bear ill towards him is an evil hypocrite or an ignorant one that has no knowledge of his status and virtue.

 

II. His politics and his life

When the pledge of caliphate was given to ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu he addressed them and outlined his political method. He impressed upon them that he would abide by the Qur’an, the Sunnah, and the lives of Abu Bakr and ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma. He also indicated in his sermon that he would govern with forbearance and wisdom expect in matters that are already determined by punishment. He cautioned them against inclining towards the world and amassing its riches fearing hate and jealousy would overcome them which would lead to factions in the Ummah. It was as though ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu had his gaze on the fitnah that would come about in this Ummah due to egocentrism and the chaos and destruction it would leave in its wake.

‘Awn ibn ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Utbah[84] narrates the sermon of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu after the allegiance was pledged to him. He said:

 

خطب عثمان الناس بعدما بويع فقال : « أما بعد ، فإني كلفت وقد قبلت ، ألا وإني مع ولست بمبتدع ، ألا وإن لكم علي بعد كتاب الله وسنة نبيه صلى الله عليه وسلم ثلاثا : اتباع من كان قبلي فيما اجتمعتم عليه وسننتم ، وسئ أهل الخير فيما تستوا عن ملا ، والكف عنكم إلا فيما استوجبتم العقوبة . وإن الدنيا خضرة وقد شهيت إلى الناس ومال إليها كثير منهم ، فلا تركنوا إلى الدنيا ولا تثقوا | بها ، فإنها ليست بثقة ، واعلموا أنها غير تاركة إلا من تركها

I have been burdened, and I have accepted it. Verily I will be a follower, not an innovator. Indeed, you may demand three things from me, beyond my obedience to the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Firstly, that I follow those who preceded me in matters that you have agreed upon and established. Secondly, that I adhere to the path laid out by pious and virtuous men in matters that you have not established by general consensus. Thirdly, that I avoid coercion against you save in cases where you have deemed it necessary. Verily, this world is a lush meadow that has been made to seem desirable to the people and toward which many among them incline. Do not incline to this world and put no trust in it, for it is not a thing to be trusted. Know that it leaves nothing behind save him who has left it behind.[85]

 

‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu retained the governors of ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu. He did not recall any one of them for a complete year in accordance to the advice of ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Studying the letters he sent to the governors, tax collectors, and army generals impresses upon one the idea of his methodology in leading the Ummah. He wrote the same letter to all the governors in which he stated:

 

أما بعد ، فإن الله أمر الأئمة أن يكونوا رعاة ، ولم يتقدم إليهم أن يكونوا جباة ، وإثر صدر هذه الأئمة خلقوا رعاة ولم يخلقوا جباة ، وليوشك أئمتكم أن يصيروا جباة ولا يكونوا رعاة ، فإذا عادوا كذلك انقطع الحياء والأمانة والوفاء ، ألا وإن أعدل السيرة أن تنظروا في أمور المسلمين وفيما عليهم ، فتعطوهم الذي لهم وتأخذوهم بما عليهم ، ثم تثنوا بالذمة فتعطوهم الذي لهم ، وتأخذوهم بالذي عليهم ، ثم العدو الذي تنتابون فاستفتحوا عليهم بالوفاء

Allah has commanded the leaders to be shepherds; He did not direct them to be tax collectors. Indeed, the inception of this Ummah was made as shepherds and not as tax collectors. But your leaders are surely on the verge of becoming tax collectors rather than shepherds. If they turn out thus, then modesty of manners, integrity, and good faith will be at an end. Verily, the most just conduct is for you to examine the affairs and obligations of the Muslims, so that you may give them what is properly theirs and take from them what they owe. Do likewise as regards those afforded protections. Give to them what is theirs and take from them what they owe. As to the enemy whom you encounter, faithfully seek the aid of Allah against them.[86]

 

It is of note that ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu emphasised in this letter that was sent to his governors in the various cities their responsibilities to their constituents. He impressed upon them that their aim was not to amass wealth, it was to consider the needs of the general public. In this manner he outlined the political mind-set that the Ummah should adopt. Taking that which was obligatory from the people and giving back to them their rights. He explained that if they adopted this methodology, the Ummah would remain prosperous and moral and if they merely became tax collectors only worried of gathering wealth, modesty, integrity, and good faith would be a thing of the past.

He then wrote another letter specifically to the tax collectors in which he said:

 

أما بعد ، فإن الله خلق الخلق بالحق ، فلا يقبل إلا بالحق ، خذوا الحق وأعطوا الحق به ، والأمانة الأمانة قوموا عليها ، ولا تكونوا أول من يسلبها فتكونوا شركاء من بعدكم إلى ما اكتسبتم ، والوفاء الوفاء ، ولا تظلموا اليتيم ولا المعاهد ، فإن الله خصم لمن ظلمهم

Indeed, Allah created mankind in truth, and he accepts naught but the truth. Take what is right and give for it what is right. Strive for integrity! Uphold it and be not the first to violate it, otherwise you will have a part with those who do the same after you. Keep faith, keep faith! Do not wrong the orphan nor one with whom you have made a pact, for Allah is the opponent of him who wrongs them.[87]

 

‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu sent this letter specifically to the tax collectors instructing them to take and give with complete integrity as they were charged with the difficult, important, and mammoth task of collecting revenue fairly together with spending the revenue in the avenues that benefited the public the most. He thus cautioned them against oppression in taxation and misuse of funds. He also singled out two categories to be extra cautious of as they are weak; the orphans and those who have been afforded protection. He was emphatic in this warning by turning their attention to the fact that Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala Himself, would protect them.

He also wrote to the army generals at the borders and in the far off cities:

 

أما بعد ، فإنكم حماة المسلمين وذادتهم ، وقد وضع لكم عمر ما لم يغب عنا ، بل كان عن ملأ ما ، ولا يبلغني عن أحد منكم تغيير ولا تبدیل فغير الله بكم ويستبدل بكم غيركم ، فانظروا كيف تكونون ، فإني أنظر فيما ألزمني الله النظر فيه والقيام عليه

Indeed, you are the guardians and protectors of the Muslims, and ‘Umar laid down for you instructions that were not hidden from us; on the contrary, they were in accordance with our counsel. Let me hear of no change or alteration on the part of any one of you, lest Allah change your situation and replace you with others. So examine your conduct, for I shall examine what Allah has required me to examine and watch over.[88]

 

‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu dispatched this letter to the leaders of his armies so that they may realise the burden they carry upon their shoulders in the form of protecting and defending the Islamic posts. He also included within it his intention to continue adopting the policies implemented by ‘Umar ibn al Khattab radiya Llahu ‘anhu. He warned them of change in their attitudes lest Allah should change His manner of dealing with them. He reminded them that he is well aware of their situations and will not continue keeping a close eye on them.

His kindness and praiseworthy character in relation to his subjects shines through in an incident narrated by Khalifah and Ibn Abi Shaybah through the chain of Hanzalah ibn Qinan[89]. He says:

 

أشرف علينا عثمان فقال : أفيكم ابنا محدوج – فقال : أنشد كما الله ألستما تعلمان أن عمر قال : إن ربيعة فاجر أو غادر ، وإني والله لا أجعل فرائضهم وفرائض قوم جاءوا عن مسيرة شهر ، وإنما مهر أحدهم عند طنبه  وإني زدتهم في غداة واحدة خمس مائة – درهم – حتى ألحقتهم بهم – قالوا : بلى . قال : أذكر كما الله ألستما تعلمان أنكما أتيتماني فقلتما إن كندة أكلة رأس ، وإن ربيعة الرأس ، وإن الأشعث ابن قيس قد أكلهم فنزعته واستعملتكما . قالا : بلى ، قال : اللهم إن كانوا كفروا معروفي وبذلوا نعمتي فلا ترضهم عن إمامهم ولا ترضي إماما عنهم

‘Uthman approached us and said, “Are the two sons of Mahduj amongst you?”

He then said, “I ask you by Allah! Do you two not know that ‘Umar said, ‘Verily Rabi’ah have acted immorally or treacherously.’ By Allah I shall not equate their shares and the shares of those who have travelled for a month. Their dowry amounts remain at their tents and I have also given them five hundred–Dirhams–more.”

They said, “Yes definitely.”

He continued, “I remind you by Allah! Do you two not know that you two came to me and said that Kindah are oppressors and Rabi’ah are the oppressed. And that al Ash’ath ibn Qais has oppressed them. So I expelled him and appointed you two.”

They said, “Yes.”

He said, “O Allah, if they took advantage of my good nature and manipulated my benevolence then do not make their leader happy with them and do not make them happy with their leader.”[90]

 

As for his justice and impartiality, al Bukhari and Ahmed have narrated through the chain of ‘Ubaidullah ibn ‘Adi ibn al Khiyar who says:

 

أنه دخل على عثمان هه وهو محصور فقال له : إنك إمام العامة وقد نزل بك ما ترى ، وهو ذا يصلي بنا إمام فتنة – عبد الرحمن بن غديس البلوي – وأنا أخرج من الصلاة معه . فقال له عثمان : إن الصلاة أحسن ما يعمل الناس ، فإذا أحسن الناس فأحسن معهم ، وإذا أساءوا فاجتنب إساءتهم

I went to ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan while he was besieged, and said to him, “You are the Imam of the Muslims you see what has befallen you. We are led in the salah by a leader of the fitnah—’Abdur Rahman ibn Ghudays al Balawi—and I wish to not join him in salah.” ‘Uthman said. “Salah is the best of all deeds so when the people do good deeds do the same with them and when they do bad deeds, avoid those bad deeds.”[91]

 

‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu was loving and caring. He would ask about the conditions of the Muslims, identify their problems, pacify them regarding those away, give solace to those returning, and ask after the sick. Imam Ahmed narrates from Musa ibn Talhah who says:

 

رأيت عثمان ابن عفان وهو على المنبر ، وهو يستخير الناس يسألهم عن أخبارهم وأسعارهم

I saw ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan on the pulpit, consulting people and asking them about their lives and businesses.[92]

 

Ibn Sa’d narrates from him in al Tabaqat:

 

رأيت عثمان بن عفان ، يخرج يوم الجمعة عليه ثوبان أصفران ، فيجلس على المنبر ، فيؤذن المؤذن ، وهو يتحدث يسأل الناس عن أسفارهم وعن قدامهم وعن مرضاهم

I saw ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan coming out on Friday wearing two yellowish garments. He sat on the pulpit and the Muadhdhin called out the Adhan. He spoke to the people, asking them of their travels, returns, and their sick.[93]

 

‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu took a keen interest in the affairs of his constituents. He would assist the needy and stipulate an allowance for infants from the treasury.

‘Urwah ibn Zubair is narrated to have said:

أدركت زمن عثمان وما من نفس مسلمة إلا لها في مال الله حق – يعني بيت المال

I was present in the era of ‘Uthman. Every single Muslim had a share of the wealth of Allah, i.e. from the treasury.[94]

 

Ibn ‘Asakir narrates in his Tarikh:

 

أن امرأة كانت تدخل على عثمان بن عفان ، وفقدها يوما ، فقال لأهله : مالي لا أرى فلانة ؟ فقالت امرأته : يا أمير المؤمنين ولدت غلاما ، قالت – أي المرأة – فأرسل إلى بخمسين درهما وشقيقة سنبلانية ، ثم قال : هذا عطاء ابنك ، وهذه كسوته ، فإذا مرت به سنة رفعناه إلى مائة

A woman would come to ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan. One day, he did not see her.

He asked his wife, “Why is it that I do not see so and so.”

She replied, “O Amir al Mu’minin she has given birth to a child.”

The woman says, “He sent fifty Dirhams and some garments.”

He then said, “This is an allowance for your child and this is his garments. When he reaches a year, we will increase it to a hundred.[95]

 

‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu led a life of asceticism. Not due to ignorance and nor due to poverty. This was done as a result of understanding the temporary nature of this world, giving preference to that which will go on forever. No doubt, coming to this realisation is reaching the plateau of self-restraint. Al Hassan al Basri says:

 

رأيت عثمان بن عفان وهو يومئذ خليفة يقيل في المسجد ويقوم وأثر الحصى بجنبه ، فقيل : هذا أمير المؤمنين ! هذا أمير المؤمنين

I saw ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan, who was at that time the Khalifah, taking a siesta in the Masjid. He would stand up and have imprints of the stones on his sides. It would be said, “This is the Amir al Mu’minin! This is the Amir al Mu’minin!”[96]

 

He also says:

رأيت عثمان بن عفان نائما في المسجد في ملحفة ليس حوله أحد، وهو أمير المؤمنين

I saw ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan sleeping in the Masjid in a wrap with no one around him. He was then the Amir al Mu’minin.[97]

 

His good nature extended to his family and his servants as well. Consider the following narration of Ibn ‘Asakir from ‘Abdullah al Rumi[98] who states:

 

أن عثمان كان يأخذ وضوءه إذا قام من الليل ، فقيل له : لو أمرت الخادم فكفتك ؟ قال : لا ، الليل لهم يستريحون فيه

‘Uthman used to fetch his own water for ablution when he would arise at night. It was said to him, “Why don’t you instruct your servant to do so?”

He replied, “No, the night is for them to rest.”[99]

 

His humility can be understood from the following incident.

The slave of Mughirah ibn Shu’bah got married. He invited some people as well as ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan. When he arrived place was made for him and it was said, “Amir al Mu’minin!” He held the veil on the door and said, “I am fasting, however, I wished to accept the invitation and pray for blessings.”[100]

A case worthy of scrutiny is what has plagued the minds of many, due to good or evil intentions, that ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan radiya Llahu ‘anhu was weak in facing the challenges that threatened the Muslim Empire and that he was influenced due to weakness. This is a historical fallacy regarding the third Companion of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. It is obligatory on every Muslim with correct beliefs to correct this belief and take strides in correcting the misconception.

The orientalists and those Arab researches who adopt their method have exploited this issue through fabricated narrations that paint ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu as a weak willed man. They have focused on this issue and made it a subject of research in order to serve their own interests which is nothing more than tarnishing the image of Islam and attacking the honour of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum.

They have also taken advantage of the well-known characteristics of love and mercy ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu showed the people to instill doubts of him having a weak personality and further not being able to appropriately deal with the issues of the Empire. They have taken this to the extent of saying:

 

وليس من شك في أن أعضاء المجلس – مجلس الشوری – آثروا اختياره رغبة منهم في أن يروا على رأس المسلمين رجلا يستطيعون توجيهه والتعامل معه في سهولة ويسر

There is no doubt that the shura council members gave him preference so that the Muslim leader would be man capable of manipulation and who would deal with them with ease.[101]

 

This claim though falls with no evidence to back it up. It is mere conjecture. Furthermore, the context of the narrations that deal with the shura council that appear in Sahih al Bukhari and Tarikh al Tabari together with the steps taken by the shura council leaves a clear impression that the appointment of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu as the khalifah was based on the fact that they all agreed him to be the best leader for the people. They were of the opinion that he is the most suited to undertake this responsibility in the sight of Allah and in the sight of the people! This outlook was present well before the appointment of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Consider the following quotations.

Imam al Bukhari relates from Ibn ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma:

 

كنا زمن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم لا نعدل بأبي بكر أحدا ، ثم عمر ، ثم عثمان ، ثم نترك أصحاب النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم لا نفاضل بينهم

During the era of the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam we would not hold anyone equal to Abu Bakr, then ‘Umar, and then ‘Uthman. We would not differentiate between the other Companions of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.[102]

 

Ibn Abi Shaybah narrates from Harithah ibn Mudarrib who said:

 

حججت في خلافة عمر فلم أراهم يشكون – أي الناس – أن الخليفة بعده عثمان

I performed Hajj during the caliphate of ‘Umar and saw that people assumed the khalifah after him would be ‘Uthman.[103]

 

Yaqub ibn Shaybah narrates with an authentic chain from Hudhayfah radiya Llahu ‘anhu who says:

 

قال لي عمر : من تری قومك يؤمرون بعدي – قلت : قد نظر الناس إلى عثمان وشهر وه لها

‘Umar asked to me, “Who do you think your people will appoint after me?”

I replied, “People have their eye on ‘Uthman and his reputation.”[104]

 

Al Baghawi narrates in his Mujam and Khaythamah[105] in Fada’il al Sahabah with an authentic narration from Harithah ibn Mudarrib who said:

 

حججت مع عمر فكان الحادي يحدو أن الأمير بعده عثمان

I performed Hajj with ‘Umar and did not doubt that ‘Uthman would be the Amir after him.[106]

 

With the consent of the shura council ‘Abdur Rahman ibn ‘Awf radiya Llahu ‘anhu took to being the deciding figure. The council would decide as he opted through his intelligence and noble personality with him giving preference to the greater good of the Muslims in unifying them under one leader. He carried this great responsibility with patience, strong will, and resourcefulness. Hereunder are the steps he took in fulfilling his task:

  1. He clarified his method of undertaking in the first meeting of the shura council in the time frame ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu had afforded them. In this manner he was able to take the opinions of the shura council and note their inclinations thereby gaining a holistic view.[107]
  2. He recused himself and gave up his right to the caliphate in order to dispel any doubts regarding himself and emphasize his only concern of unifying the Muslims.[108]
  3. He began identifying the preference of each member coming to the conclusion that the individual preference as supported by the opinions of Talhah ibn ‘Ubaidullah and Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas was in favour of ‘Uthman. This sentiment extended to the majority of the members.[109]
  4. He attempted to impress the status of ‘Uthman and ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhuma to each other and their status in relation to the other members. Thus, each one of them realized that none would be equal to the other if he is not elected.[110]
  5. He began seeking the views of the influential and general population. He came to the realization that people do not hold anyone in the same lofty position that they do ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu. He thus pledged allegiance to him and the people followed in a general pledge, with pleasure and a choice in the matter.[111]

 

Ibn Kathir says regarding this:

 

ثم نهض عبد الرحمن بن عوف  رضي الله عنه يستشير الناس فيهما – أي في علي وعثمان – ويجمع رأي المسلمين برأي رؤوس الناس وأقيادهم جميعا وأشتائا ، مثنی وفرادی ومجتمعين ، سرا وجهرا ، حتى خلص إلى النساء المخدرات في حجابهن ، وحتی سأل الولدان في المكاتب ، وحتی سأل من يرد من الركبان والأعراب إلى المدينة في مدة ثلاثة أيام بلياليها ، فلم يجد اثنين يختلفان في تقدم عثمان بن عفان إلا ما ينقل عن عمار والمقداد أنهما أشارا بعلي بن أبي طالب ، ثم بايعا مع الناس

‘Abdur Rahman ibn ‘Awf radiya Llahu ‘anhu thus began consulting people regarding them two—’Ali and ‘Uthman—taking note of the opinions of the general people and the influential. He did this with groups and individuals, secretly, and in public. He sought the opinions of the veiled women in their seclusions, the children in their places of learning, and even the riders and the Bedouins who came into Madinah within those three days and nights. He did not find any two persons differing in opining for ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan, besides that which has been related of ‘Ammar and Miqdad who had opined for ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib. He then took the pledge with the people.[112]

 

Imam al Tabari says:

 

ولم يكن في أهل الإسلام أحد له من المنزلة في الدين والهجرة والسابقة والعقل والعلم والمعرفة بالسياسة ما للسنة الذين جعل عمر الأمر شوری بينهم ، فإن قيل كان بعض هؤلاء الستة أفضل من بعض ، وكان رأي عمر أن الأحق بالخلافة أرضاهم دينا . وأنه لا تصځ ولاية المفضول مع وجود الفاضل فالجواب أنه لو صرح بالأفضل منهم لكان قد نص على استخلافه ، وهو قصد أن لا يتقلد العهدة في ذلك ، فجعلها في ستة متقاربين في الفضل ، لأنه يتحقق أنهم لا يجتمعون على تولية المفضول ولا يألون المسلمين نصحا في النظر والشورى ، وأن المفضول منهم لا يتقدم على الفاضل ولا يتكلم في منزلة وغيره أحق بها منه ، وعلم – أي عمر – رضا الأمة يمن رضي به الستة ، ويؤخذ منه بطلان قول الرافضة – الشيعة – وغيرهم أن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم نص على أن الإمامة في أشخاص بأعيانهم ، إذ لو كان كذلك لما أطاعوا عمر في جعلها شوری ، ولقال قائل منهم : ما وجه التشاور في أمر كفيناه ببيان الله لنا على لسان رسوله ، ففي رضا الجميع بما أمرهم به – عمر – دليل على أن الذي كان عندهم من العهد في الإمامة أوصاف من وجدت فيه استحقها ، وإدراكها يقع بالاجتهاد ، وفيه أن الجماعة الموثوق بديانتهم إذا عقدوا عقد الخلافة لشخص بعد التشاور والاجتهاد لم يكن الغيرهم أن يحل ذلك العقد ، إذ لو كان العقد لا يصح إلا باجتماع الجميع لقال قائل : لا معنى لتخصيص هؤلاء الستة ، فلما لم يعترض منهم معترض بل رضوا وبايعوا ، دل ذلك على صحة ما قلناه

There was no one amongst the Muslims who were of the status in faith, migration, precedence, knowledge, and political acumen then the six appointed by ‘Umar as the shura.

If one raises the objections that some of the six were more virtuous than others whilst ‘Umar knew that the one most suited for caliphate was the most virtuous and further, it is not permissible for one of lesser virtue to be appointed as a leader in the presence of one more virtuous. The answer would be, if he had verbalized the most virtuous, that would have been an appointment to the caliphate, a route he did not wish to adopt. He therefore placed the matter between six such people who were close to each other in virtue as he knew that they would not agree on appointing one of lesser virtue and that they would keep the greater good of the Muslims in their decisions. Furthermore, he understood that one of lesser virtue would not give himself preference to one of higher virtue and would not take on a position that someone else has more of a right to. ‘Umar also knew that the Ummah would be pleased with whom the six are pleased with.

This refutes the incorrect view of the Rafidah—the Shia—and others who say that Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam had specified leadership position for specific individuals. If this was the case, they would have not agreed with ‘Umar in making an electoral council.

Another objection would be, why consult in a matter that has been decreed by Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala on the tongue of His Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam? The fact that all were content with what ‘Umar had instructed them to do is evidence that those who he had appointed were worthy of it and it was a matter to be decided through ijtihad. Furthermore, when a group who are deemed worthy and reliable appoint someone to the caliphate after consolation and ijtihad make a binding decision that cannot be broken by anyone thereafter. And since no one opposed their decision, our point remains.[113]

 

It is also worthy of note that even though ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu was soft natured and kind towards people—traits of a just ruler—this did not make him weak in implementing the punishments set out by Allah. He would write to his governors, “Seek assistance through patience in prayer when faced by people and difficulties.”[114] And “Do not impose on them as long as they do not distort the faith, overlook their nature, be good to them, and do not be irresponsible in the religion of Allah.”[115]

There is nothing more evident in this matter then the fact that he had the rebellious sons of wealthy executed which led them to dislike him.[116] He instructed people to adhere to the laws of Islam and took them to task in fulfilling the rights of Allah.

To this end ‘Amr ibn ‘Asim al Tamimi says:

فطم اللصوص بمحكم القرآن

إن ابن عفان الذي جربتم

في كل عنق منهم وبنان

ما زال يعمل بالكتاب مهيمنا

For Ibn ‘Affan, whom you have put to the test,

Has cut off thieves by the law of the Qur’an.

Without fail he acts in accordance with the Book,

Keeping close watch over every neck and fingertip among them.[117]

He was not afraid of blame in fulfilling the commands of Allah even with those who were close to him. When it had been established that Walid ibn ‘Uqbah—his maternal brother—had drunk alcohol, he removed him from office and had him lashed as found in the authentic narrations.[118]

Similarly, ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu followed the policies of ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu in taking reviews of his governors from the pilgrims, asking them about their leaders. He would write to people in the cities to come before him during the days of Hajj and put forth any complaints they had. They would approach him with their complaints together with the leaders and he would decide between them with impartiality.

 

أما بعد ، فإني آخذ العمال بموافاتي في كل موسم ، وقد سلطت الأمة منذ وليت على الأمر بالمعروف والنهي عن المنكر ، فلا يرفع على شيء ولا على أحد من عمالي إلا أعطيته

I require the governors to appear before me during the Pilgrimage season every year, and I have enjoined the Ummah to command the good and forbid the evil ever since I took office. Nothing has been demanded from me or from any of my governors that I have not granted.[119]

 

He was exhaustive in keeping a check on his governors and he would direct them to deal with the public in a merciful and kind manner. He would instruct them to come before him during the days of Hajj for this. In contrast to this, he instilled within the hearts of the public to be vocal and not to fear with the truth. Thus they became ever watchful over their governors to fulfill their duties entrusted to them by Allah with integrity.

Salim ibn ‘Abdullah[120] says:

 

لما ولي عثمان ، حج سنواته كلها إلى آخر حجة حجها … فكتب في الأمصار أن يوافيه العمال في كل موسم ومن يشكوهم ، وكتب إلى الناس في الأمصار : أن ائتمروا بالمعروف وتناهوا عن المنكر ، ولا يذل المؤمن نفسه ، فإني مع الضعيف على القوي ما دام مظلوما إن شاء الله ، فكان الناس كذلك . فجر ذلك إلى أن اتخذه قوم وسيلة لتفريق الأمة

When ‘Uthman became the khalifah, he went to every pilgrimage right to the last year. He wrote to the cities that the governors were to come before him at every pilgrimage season with those who had laid complaints against them. And he wrote to the people in the cities, “Enjoin good and forbid evil. No believer should humiliate himself as I am with the weak against the strong as long as he is oppressed, if Allah wills.” People acted in accordance to this. And then they took it to levels by which they caused factions to arise in the Ummah.[121]

 

Further, relieving governors on the insistence of the people does not signal weakness, it signals his aptitude to instill justice. At the same time, it resulted in those seeking unrest to have no case against him.

‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu says in this regard:

 

أما بعد فقد أمرت عليكم من اخترتم وأعفيتكم من سعيد – أمير الكوفة – فوالله لأفرشكم عرضي ولأبذل لكم صبري ، ولأستصلحئكم بجهدي ، فلا تدعوا شيئا أحببتموه لا يعصى الله فيه إلا سألتموه ، ولا شيئا كرهتموه لا يعصي الله فيه إلا استعفيتم منه ، أنزل فيه عندما أحببتم حتى لا يكون لكم علي حجة

I have named as your governor the one whom you have chosen, and I have relieved you of Sa’id. By Allah, I will surely expose my honour to your abuse, wear out my patience, and use every effort to seek reconciliation with you. So do not fail to ask for whatever you desire, so long as it does not involve rebellion against Allah. Nor should you fail to demand relief from whatever you dislike, so long as it does not involve rebellion against Allah. Thus, I will comply with whatever you desire until you have no argument against me.[122]

 

‘Abbas al Aqqad has hit the mark on this subject. He says:

 

وللسائل في أمثال هذه المأزق أن يسأل : فعل عثمان هذا أو ذاك فسخطوا عليه ، فهل يرضون عنه لو لم يفعل هذا وذاك – واليقين في رأينا أن الرضى عنه في أمثال ذلك المأزق مطمع لا يرام ، لأن أساس البلاء كله سهولة الشكوى من الدهماء ، ومتي سهلت الشكوى فالإعراض عنها محنة ، واستجابتها محنتان ، لأنها تغري بالشكوى من جديد ، وتزيد البلاء بزيادة السهولة ، طمعا في دوام الإصغاء

One considering this predicament may ask, “Whether ‘Uthman did this or that, they turned against him. Would they have been content if he hadn’t done so?” We believe that in such predicaments, there is an ulterior motive that cannot be satisfied as the basis of such dilemmas was criticisms of the mob. Not giving in to them would prove disastrous whilst giving in would prove doubly so as it would entice them to bring forth more criticism. Every agreement with them would only increase negative consequences.[123]

 

Was ‘Uthman then unable to pursue a totalitarian system in order to quell the uprising? Or was he incapable of meting out sentences that would result in the implosion of the uprising and it being restricted amongst the early rebels who had no precedence in Islam, no virtue of migration, and no great feats in jihad – merely devils in human skin suites, Ibn Saba’ and his ilk? This was most definitely not the case. ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu was not unable nor incapable of assuming such a stance. Neither was he weak or suppressed. Rather, he was a rightly guided khalifah who bound himself by justice against adopting the practices of dictatorial kings.

Yes, if ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu had adopted measures as done by other oppressive rulers by employing others to do his dirty work, beating people and spilling their blood, his post would have been safe as the oppressive kings had remained safe. If he had taken the decision of a full out war against the rebels he would have killed them off and lived in comfort as those rulers who would come after him had done. And if he lived according to the wants of the ill aspired, he would have lived an easy life just as they would with the wealth of the Ummah.

It would not have been difficult for ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu to adopt policies that others would go on to adopt, taking on governors such as ‘Ubaidullah ibn Ziyad or Hajjaj ibn Yusuf who squashed uprising through brutal force laying waste to men and cities until the world bent their necks to their kings.

‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu though, was not an oppressive ruler as the ignorant assume, nor was he weak as the falsifiers portray. He was a rightly guided khalifah; leader who dealt with people with justice, kindness, mercy, and good will.

The life of ‘Uthman and his policies illustrate him to be one of the greatest leaders of Islam. He did not stray from the truth in his life, he did not wander from justice in his rule, and his judgments were never against the Islamic principles. But oh! The souls of man were blinded by misguidance, clouded by the luxuries of life, and were not channeled by the light of faith. With murky vision and absent minds, these men thus fell into opposition and rebellion in a shadowy fitnah.

Qa’qa’ ibn ‘Amr states:

لا والله لا تسكن الغوغاء إلا المشرفية  ويوشك أن تنتضي  ثم يعجون عجيج العتدان  ويتمنون ما هم فيه – أي من النعم والخير والعدل والحرية – فلا يرده الله عليهم أبدا

No, by Allah, only swords will silence the mob, and they are on the point of being drawn. Then they will bawl like goats and long for their present situation—of ease, justice freedom, and goodness. Allah will never restore it to them.[124]

 

‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu was not weak when he saw the uprising of the fitnah. He only wished to amicably resolve the situation by way of kindness and wisdom. Imam al Tabari narrates through the chain of Saif ibn ‘Umar that ‘Uthman gathered his governors and sought their opinions regarding the matter of the people. He heard what they had to say and then said:

 

وقد سمعت كل ما أشرتم به ، ولكل أمر باب يؤتى منه ، إن هذا الأمر الذي يخاف على هذه الأمة کائن، وإن بابه الذي يغلق عليه ليفتحن ، فنكفكفه باللين والمواتاة إلا في حدود الله ، فإن فتح فلا يكونن لأحد علي حجة ، وقد علم الله أني لم آل الناس خيرا ، وإن رحی الفتنة دائرة ، فطوبى لعثمان إن مات ولم يحركها ، سکنوا الناس وهبوا لهم حقوقهم ، فإذا تعوطیت حقوق الله فلا تدهنوا

I have heard everything that you have advised me to do. Every affair has a door to come through. And the matter which was feared for this Ummah will become a reality. The door out of this affair which is shut will surely open. We will face it with leniency and generous treatment except where the punishment of Allah is manifest. Then there will not be against me any proof, and Allah knows that I have not neglected any good for the people. By Allah, the mill of fitnah is turning; blessed will ‘Uthman be if he dies without having set it in motion. Restrain the people and bestow their rights upon them. But where the rights of Allah are concerned, do not be lax.[125]

 

In the external front, as soon as the news of the assassination of ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu and the ascension of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu to the caliphate spread amongst the nations that were subjugated to Islamic rule, the fire of fitnah and rebellion began igniting. The Persians tribes in Azerbaijan proclaimed mutiny and refused to pay the taxes by which they had entered into a treaty with the Muslims.[126] Alexandria broke their treaty and sought the assistance of the roman naval power which amounted to three hundred ships loaded with men and weapons.[127]As this news continued spreading amongst the Armenians, Turks, and Khazars, they began searching for avenues to break their treaties as well.[128]

However, these incidents did not deter the Muslims and neither did it diminish the determination of the khalifah who was primed for it. He faced it with purpose, swiftly changing the current of affairs by deploying reinforcements and appointing the worthiest to posts suitable to them. All this becomes quite clear from studying the occurrences as laid out in the History of Imam al Tabari. This leaves no doubt that that those who were deployed by ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu in suppressing this uprising was done so appropriately. This was done knowing well the gravity of the situation in deploying troops who would take decisive actions faced by the plethora of evils and distance between cities.

The steps taken by ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu after his ascension to the caliphate in facing the difficulties with swift, appropriate, and firm action lays bare his resilient personality and absolute wisdom. In this he attained the great virtue of stabilizing the regions under Muslim control after it had suffered uncertainties subsequent to the assassination of ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu. The result of his actions were as follows:

  1. Supressing the rebels and asserting Islamic rule once again in their regions.[129]
  2. Expanding the Islamic Empire to lands beyond those of the rebels in order to stifle their influence.[130]
  3. Setting into place regulations of guarding the borders whereby the Muslims would retain their rule in such areas.[131]
  4. Instituting a naval force to combat naval incursions and to further conquer islands that were in areas under Muslim rule.[132]

Consider, could these colossal conquests, decisive political moves, and preservation of regions be possible is ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu was weak and unable to be resolute as some assume?

In conclusion, there is no khalifah in Islam after Abu Bakr and ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhuma who established Islamic law in far off and close regions, upon the affluent and underprivileged, and upon the rich and the poor with no consideration of position or wealth as ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu had done.

The honour of being a part of the rightly guided Khalifas is sufficient as an honor for him. A style of leadership that had not been seen before. One that was based upon consultation[133] in a world that was ruled by individual emperors and monarchs. One that was based upon the principles of equality and justice[134] in a world that was subject to oppression, tyranny, and elitism. Furthermore, the economic structure in the era of the rightly guided Khalifas was just as unique. It was an economy based on distributing the wealth of the Ummah on all its individual subjects.[135]

Above all of this, his leadership shone bright with his asceticism and humility. He stood in front of the conspirators against the caliphate in his modest dwelling, behind no ornate walls, army or police protecting him. A unique virtue of the Khulafa al Rashidin who championed justice and sacrificed their comforts for that of their subjects. Truly, an inspiring role-model for every era!

 

NEXT⇒ Section Two: Answering the allegations against ‘Uthman I. Accusations of familial preference.


[1] See, Ibn Sa’d: Al Tabaqat al Kubra, vol. 3 pg. 53; Khalifah: Al Tabaqat, pg. 10; Al Dulabi: Al Kuna, vol. 1 pg. 8; and Ibn Hazam: Jamharah Ansab al ‘Arab, pg. 75.

[2] Sahih Muslim, vol. 15 pgs. 168-169; Abu Nuaim: Ma’rifah al Sahabah, vol. 1 pg. 266.

[3] Ibn ‘Asakir: Tarikh Dimashq, pg. 86.

[4] Al Tirmidhi: Al Sunan, vol. 5 pg. 330; Ahmed: Al Musnad, vol. 22 pg. 188. The chain of narration os authentic and its narrators are reliable.

[5] Al Tabani al Maghribi: Ifadah al Akhbar, vol. 1 pg. 324.

[6] Sahih al Bukhari, vol. 1 pg. 11.

[7] Ibn al Kathir in Al Bidayah wa al Nihayah, vol. 7 pg. 216.

[8] He is ‘Abdullah ibn Rabi’ah, Abu ‘Abdur Rahman al Sulami al Kufi.

  • Al ‘Ijli, “A Kufi, Tabi’i, reliable.”
  • Al Nasa’i says, “Reliable.”
  • Ibn ‘Abdul Barr says, “He is considered reliable according to all of them.”
  • Ibn Hajar says, “Reliable, trustworthy.”

He passed away the year 72 A.H 691 A.D His life has been recorded by Ibn Ma’in: Al Tarikh, vol. 2 pg. 301; Khalifah: Al Tabaqat, pg. 153; Al ‘Ijli: Tarikh al Thiqat, pg. 253; and Ibn Hajar: Al Tahdhib, vol. 5 pg. 183.

[9] Sahih al Bukhari, vol. 3 pg. 198.

[10] Al Nasa’i: Al Sunan, vol. 5 pg. 46.

[11] Al Maliqi: Al Tamhid wa al Bayan, pg. 243-244.

[12] Ahmed: Fada’il al Sahabah, vol. 1 pg. 516. The researcher, Wasi Allah ‘Abbas says, “The chain is authentic.”; Al Hakim: Al Mustadrak, vol. 3 pg. 102. He says, “A narration with an authentic chain.” Al Dhahabi concurs with him.

[13] Ahmed: Fada’il al Sahabah, vol. 1 pg. 516. The researcher says, “Its narrators are reliable.”

[14] It is currently known as the well of ‘Uthman. It is situated in a garden that is said to be from the endowments of Masjid Nabawi. It was almost dried up when two other wells were dug close to it. It is within a five-mile radius from the sacred mosque on the Sultanah road.

[15] He is ‘Abdullah ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Abdul ‘Aziz ibn al Mirzaban, Abu al Qasim al Baghawi. A hafiz of hadith and muhaddith of Iraq in his era. He has authored, Mu’jam al Sahabah and Ma’alim al Tanzil. He passed away the year 317 A.H/929 A.D. His life has been recorded by Al Khatib: Tarikh Baghdad, vol. 10 pg. 111; Ibn al Athir; Al Lubab fi tahdhib al Ansab, vol. 1 pg. 163; Al Dhahabi: Tadhkirah al Huffaz, vol. 2 pg. 337.

[16] A branch of Kinanah. They lived at the valley of al Safra’ between Makkah and Madinah. See, Ibn al Athir; Al Lubab fi tahdhib al Ansab, vol. 2 pg. 132.

[17] Ibn Hajar: Al Fath, vol. 1 pg. 970.

[18] He is Thumamah ibn Hazn ibn ‘Abdullah al Qushayri al Basri. Tabi’i, Mukhadram. He attained the era of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam but did not see him. He then came to ‘Umar ibn al Khattab radiya Llahu ‘anhu.

  • Al Darami relates the statement of Yahya ibn Ma’in, “Reliable.”
  • Al Ajurri relates the statement of Abu Dawood, “Reliable.”

His life has been recorded by Al Darami: Al Tarikh, pg. 83; Al Bukhari: Al Tarikh al Kabir, 1/2/176; Ibn Abi Hatim: Al Jarh wa al Ta’dil, vol. 2 pg. 465; Al Ajurri: Su’alat Abi ‘Ubaid al Ajurri Aba Dawood al Sijistani, pg. 250.

[19] Al Tirmidhi: Al Sunan, vol. 5 pgs. 290-291. He says, “This hadith is sound and has been recorded by al Bukhari in his Sahih. See, Fath al Bari, vol. 5 pg. 37. It has also been narrated by Al Bayhaqi: Al Sunan, vol. 6 pg. 168. It has been deemed authentic by al Albani in Sahih Sunan al Tirmidhi, vol. 3 pg. 209 and in Irwa’ al Ghalil, 1594.

[20] Al Tirmidhi: Al Sunan, vol. 5 pgs. 290-291. He says, “This hadith is sound” It has been deemed authentic by al Albani in Sahih Sunan al Tirmidhi, vol. 3 pg. 209 and in Irwa’ al Ghalil, 1594.

[21] Ibn ‘Asakir: Tarikh Dimashq, pg. 336.

[22] I could not find her profile amongst the sources available to me.

[23] Ibn ‘Asakir: Tarikh Dimashq, pg. 92; Ahmed: Al Musnad, vol. 23 pg. 95; vol. 6 pg. 250, 261.

[24] He is Salamah ibn Dinar Abu Hazim al A’raj al Madani. From amongst the senior Tabi’in.

  • Ahmed, Abu Hatim, al ‘Ijli, and al Nasa’i say, “Reliable. There was none like him in his era.”
  • Ibn Hibban has listed him in Al Thiqat.

He was a judge in Madinah and an ascetic. Sulaiman ibn ‘Abdul Malik sent for him. He said, “If he has a need then he should come to me. As for me, I do not have any need for him.” He passed away during the caliphate of Abu Jafar al Mansur the year 140 A.H/757 A.D. His life has been recorded by Ibn Sa’d: Al Tabaqat al Kubra, vol. 5 pg. 424; Al Bukhari: Al Tarikh al Kabir, 2/2/78; Al ‘Ijli: Tarikh al Thiqat, pg. 196; Ibn Abi Hatim: Al Jarh wa al Ta’dil, vol. 4 pg. 159; and Ibn Hajar: Al Tahdhib, vol. 4 pg. 143.

[25] Ibn ‘Asakir: Tarikh Dimashq, pg. 507.

[26] Ahmed: Fada’il al Sahabah, vol. 1 pg. 461. Its chain is authentic.

[27] Ibn ‘Asakir: Tarikh Dimashq, pg. 475; Ahmed: Fada’il al Sahabah, vol. 1 pg. 474. Its chain is authentic.

[28] Ibn ‘Asakir: Tarikh Dimashq, pg. 475; Ahmed: Fada’il al Sahabah, vol. 1 pg. 475. Its chain is authentic.

[29] City in Sham on the banks of the Khabur river on the Euphrates. See, Al Himyari: Al Rawd al Mi’tar, pg. 455.

[30] Ibn ‘Asakir: Tarikh Dimashq, pg. 518.

[31] Ahmed: Fada’il al Sahabah, vol. 1 pg. 516453. Its chain is authentic.

[32] Surah al Ambiya’: 101.

[33] Surah al Hijr: 47.

[34] Ibn ‘Asakir: Tarikh Dimashq, pg. 472; Ahmed: Fada’il al Sahabah, vol. 2 pg. 628. Its chain is authentic.

[35] Ahmed: Fada’il al Sahabah, vol. 2 pg. 748. Its chain is authentic. Imam al Tabari has narrated in his Tafsir, vol. 7 pg. 25-26.

[36] Ahmed: Fada’il al Sahabah, vol. 1 pg. 481. Its chain is weak.

[37] He is Mahmud ibn Ahmed ibn Musa, Badr al Din al ‘Ayni al Hanafi, Abu Muhammad. Scholar of history hadith and fiqh. He was appointed a judge and was in charge of the hisbah and overseeing the prisons in the Mumluk Dynasty. He has authored many books. Amongst these are, Ma’ani al Akhbar fi Rijal Ma’ani al Athar, ‘Umdah al Qari fi Sharh Sahih al Bukhari, Al Durar al Zahirah fi Sharh al Bihar al Zakhirah, and ‘Iqd al Juman fi Tarikh Ahl al Zaman. He passed away the year 855 A.H/1851 A.D. His life has been recorded by Al Sakhawi: Al Daw’ al Lami’, vol. 10 pg. 131; Al Qurashi: Kitab al Kharaj, vol. 2 pg. 165; Ibn al ‘Imad: Shadharat al Dhahab, vol. 7 pg. 286.

[38] He is Muhallab ibn Abi Sufrah al Azdi al ‘Aqli. Championed leader. Khalifah says, “The year 44 A.H, Muhallab led an expedition to India during the caliphate of Muawiyah. He governed al Jizyah for Ibn Zubair. He fought the Khawarij during the era of ‘Abdul Malik ibn Marwan. He was the governor of Khurasan the year 79 A.H. His fame emanates from his war against the Khawarij where he continued to fight them for nineteen years until eventually he defeated them. It is said that Hajjaj revered him greatly when he conquered the Azariqah.”

He passed away the year 83 A.H/702 A.D. See, Khalifah: Al Tarikh, pgs. 206-262; Ibn Khallikan: Wafayat al A’yan, vol. 5 pg. 350; Al Dhahabi: Siyar A’lam an-Nubala’, vol. 4 pg. 383.

[39] Al ‘Ayni: ‘Umdah al Qari fi Sharh Sahih al Bukhari, vol. 16 pg. 201.

[40] He is Nazzal ibn Sabrah al Hilali al Kufi. Amongst the senior Tabi’in.

  • Al ‘Ijli says, “Kufi, Tabi’i, reliable.”
  • Ibn Sa’d lists him amongst the first level of Tabi’in of Kufah.
  • Ibn Hibban mentions him in Al Thiqat.
  • Al ‘Ijli and Abu Hatim have deemed him reliable.
  • Ibn Ma’in says, “Al Nazzal is reliable. He should not be asked about him.”

His life has been recorded by, Ibn Sa’d: Al Tabaqat al Kubra, vol. 6 pg. 84; Al ‘Ijli: Tarikh al Thiqat, pg. 448; Ibn Abi Hatim: Al Jarh wa al Ta’dil, vol. 8 pg. 498; Ibn Hibban: Al Thiqat, vol. 5 pg. 482; and Ibn Hajar: Al Tahdhib, vol. 10 pg. 423.

[41] Ibn ‘Asakir: Tarikh Dimashq, pgs. 42-23.

[42] Ibid, 43-44.

[43] I did not find his profile amongst the available sources.

[44] Ibn ‘Asakir: Tarikh Dimashq, pg. 523.

[45] Ibn Hajar: Al Fath, vol. 13 pg. 196.

[46] Sahih al Bukhari, vol. 4 pg. 203.

[47] Ibn Hajar: Al Isabah, vol. 2 pg. 463; Ibn ‘Abdul Barr: Al Isti’ab, vol. 3 pg. 72.

[48] Ahmed: Fada’il al Sahabah, vol. 1 pg. 462. Its chain is authentic.

[49] He is Mutarrif ibn ‘Abdullah ibn al Shikhkhir al Harashi al ‘Amiri, Abu ‘Abdullah al Basri.

  • Ibn Sa’d said, “He was reliable, noble, pious, and a man of etiquette.”
  • Al ‘Ijli said, “He was reliable.”
  • Ibn Hibban has listed him in al Thiqat

It is said that he passed away in the plague the year 89 A.H/708 A.D. His life has been recorded by Ibn Sa’d: Al Tabaqat al Kubra, vol. 7 pg. 141; Al Bukhari: Al Tarikh al Kabir, 4/1/396; Al ‘Ijli: Tarikh al Thiqat, pg. 431; Ibn Hibban: Al Thiqat, vol. 5 pg. 429; and Ibn Hajar: Al Tahdhib, vol. 10 pg. 173.

[50] Ibn ‘Asakir: Tarikh Dimashq, pg. 197.

[51] He is Abu ‘Abdullah al Jamal al Baghdadi. He narrated from Hafs ibn Ghayath and ‘Abdullah al Thaqafi.

  • Ibn Hajar said, “Weak, from the tenth category.”

See, Ibn Hajar: Al Taqrib, vol. 2 pg. 221.

[52] He is Hafs ibn Ghayath Abu ‘Amr al Nakha’i al Kufi al Qadi. One of the reliable authorities.

  • Ibn Ma’in and al ‘Ijli have deemed him reliable.
  • Yaqub ibn Shaybah said, “Reliable and trustworthy. Be careful of some of his memorised narrations. However, when he narrated from his book it is reliable.”
  • Al Dhahabi said, “He passed away the year 194 A.H/809 A.D.”

See. Ibn Ma’in: Al Tarikh, vol. 2 pgs. 121-122; Al Bukhari: Al Tarikh al Kabir, 1/2/370; and Al ‘Ijli: Tarikh al Thiqat, pg. 125.

[53] He is ‘Abdullah ibn Idris ibn Yazid ibn ‘Abdur Rahman al Awdi, Abu Muhammad al Kufi. Jurist, reliable, ascetic.

  • Ibn Sa’d said, “He was reliable, trustworthy, narrated many ahadith. And authority and ascribed to the creed of the Ahl al Sunna wa al Jama’ah.”
  • Ibn Hibban said in al Thiqat, “He firmly adhered to the sunnah.”
  • Al ‘Ijli said, “Reliable, a man of sunnah, ascetic, and pious.”
  • Al Khalili said, “Reliable whom everyone agrees on.”

He passed away the year, 192 A.H/807 A.D. His life has been recorded by Ibn Sa’d: Al Tabaqat al Kubra, vol. 6 pg. 89; Al Bukhari: Al Tarikh al Saghir, vol. 2 pg. 269; Al ‘Ijli: Tarikh al Thiqat, pg. 249; Ibn Tahman: Min Kalam Abi Zakariyya Yahya ibn Ma’in fi al Rijal, pg. 35.

[54] Ibn ‘Asakir: Tarikh Dimashq, pg. 198.

[55] Ibid, p. 514.

[56] He is ‘Abdullah ibn Dawood ibn ‘Amir ibn al Rabi’ al Hamdani al Kufi.

  • Ibn Sa’d says, “He was reliable, ascetic, and a worshipper.”
  • Muawiyah ibn Salih narrating from Ibn Ma’in says, “Reliable, truthful, trustworthy.”
  • Abu Hatim and al Nasa’i say, “Reliable.”
  • Al Daraqutni says, “Reliable and an ascetic.”

He passed away the year 213 A.H 828 A.D. His life has been recorded by Ibn Sa’d: Al Tabaqat al Kubra, vol. 2 pg. 303; Al Bukhari: Al Tarikh al Saghir, vol. 2 pg. 324; Ibn Abi Hatim: Al Jarh wa al Ta’dil, vol. 5 pg. 47; and Ibn Hajar: Al Tahdhib, vol. 5 pg. 199.

[57] Ibn ‘Asakir: Tarikh Dimashq, pg. 515.

[58] I could not find his profile in sources available to me.

[59] He is Muhammad ibn ‘Ubaid ibn Abi Umayyah al Tanafasi, Abu ‘Abdullah al Kufi al Ahdab.

  • Al ‘Ijli says, “Kufi, reliable.”
  • Al Nasa’i says, “Reliable.”
  • Ibn Sa’d says, “He was reliable, narrated much hadith, and was a man of sunnah.”
  • Ibn Ma’in and Abu Hatim have deemed him reliable.
  • Yaqub ibn Shaybah says, “I heard ‘Ali ibn al Madini saying, ‘He was intelligent.”

He passed away the year 204 A.H/819 A.D His life has been recorded by Al Darami: Al Tarikh, pg. 156; Al ‘Ijli: Tarikh al Thiqat, pg. 410; Ibn Abi Hatim: Al Jarh wa al Ta’dil, vol. 8 pg. 10; Ibn Hibban: Al Thiqat, vol. 7 pg. 441; and Al Dhahabi: Al Mizan, vol. 3 pg. 639.

[60] Ibn ‘Asakir: Tarikh Dimashq, pg. 515.

[61] Ibid, pg. 515.

[62] He is ‘Amr ibn ‘Uthman ibn Sa’id ibn Kathir Abu Hafs a-Qurashi al Himsi.

  • Abu Hatim says, “Truthful.”
  • Ibn Hibban has listed him in Al Thiqat.
  • Al Nasa’i has deemed him reliable in the names of his teachers.

He passed away the year 250 A.H/864 A.D. His life has been recorded by Al Bukhari: Al Tarikh al Saghir, vol. 2 pg. 391; Ibn Abi Hatim: Al Jarh wa al Ta’dil, vol. 6 pg. 249; and Ibn Hajar: Al Tahdhib, vol. 8 pg. 76.

[63] Ibn ‘Asakir: Tarikh Dimashq, pg. 516.

[64] Ibid, pg. 517.

[65] He is Ayub ibn Abi Tamimah al Sakhtiyani. Amongst the great jurists and ardent worshippers.

  • Ibn Sa’d says, “He was reliable and trustworthy in hadith. An authority. He possessed great knowledge.”
  • Al Daraqutni says, “Ayub is from the reliable memorizers.”
  • Al Nasa’i says, “Reliable, trustworthy.”
  • Abu Hatim says, “Reliable. The likes of him are not questioned.”
  • Ibn Ma’in says, “Ayub, Yunus ibn ‘Ubaid, and Ibn ‘Awn are the best of people.”

He passed away the year 131 A.H/748 A.D. His life has been recorded by Ibn Sa’d: Al Tabaqat al Kubra, vol. 7 pg. 246; Al Bukhari: Al Tarikh al Kabir, 1/1/409; Ibn Tahman: Min Kalam Abi Zakariyya Yahya ibn Ma’in fi al Rijal, pg. 81; Al Ajurri: Al Su’alat, pgs. 267-268; and Ibn Hajar: Al Tahdhib, vol. 1 pg. 357.

[66] Ibn Taymiyyah: Majmu’ al Fatawa, vol. 4 pg. 436.

[67] Surah al Nur: 55.

[68] Ibn al Kathir in Al Bidayah wa al Nihayah, vol. 7 pg. 201.

[69] Khalifah: Al Tarikh, pgs. 156-168.

[70] Al Tabari: Tarikh al Rusul, vol. 4 pg. 260.

[71] Ibid, vol. 4 pg. 259.

[72] Ibid, vol. 4 pg. 288; Khalifah: Al Tarikh, pg. 160.

[73] Al Tabari: Tarikh al Rusul, vol. 4 pg. 299.

[74] Ibid, vol. 4 pg. 258; Khalifah: Al Tarikh, pg. 167.

[75] Ahmed: Fada’il al Sahabah, vol. 1 pg. 510. Its chain is authentic.

[76] He is ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abdur Rahman ibn Abi Hussain ibn al Harith al Makki al Nawfali. Reliable and well versed in the laws of Hajj. He is from the fifth category. Abu Zur’ah and al ‘Ijli have deemed him reliable. See, Al Bukhari: Al Tarikh al Kabir, 3/1/133; Al ‘Ijli: Tarikh al Thiqat, pg. 267; Ibn Abi Hatim: Al Jarh wa al Ta’dil, vol. 5 pg. 97; Al Khazraji: Khulasah al Tahdhib, pg. 204.

[77] Ahmed: Al Musnad, vol. 1 pg. 58. This narration is supported by others with the like meaning in Al Jami’ al Sahih of al Bukhari, vol. 3 pg. 9.

[78] Ibn ‘Asakir: Tarikh Dimashq, pg. 224.

[79] Sahih al Bukhari, vol. 4 pg. 204; Al Nasa’i: Fada’il al Sahabah, pg. 71.

[80] Al Tirmidhi: Al Sunan, vol. 5 pg. 291. He says, “This hadith is sound” It has been deemed sounds by al Albani in Sahih Sunan al Tirmidhi, 2921 and in Irwa’ al Ghalil, 1594.

[81] Abu Nuaim: Ma’rifah al Sahabah, vol. 1 pg. 242-247.

[82] Ibn Hazm: Al Mufadalah Bayn al Sahabah, pg. 264.

[83] Ibn Taymiyyah: Al Minhaj, vol. 3 pg. 196-197.

[84] He is ‘Awn ibn ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Utbah ibn Mas’ud al Hudhali, Abu ‘Abdullah al Kufi. A Tabi’i.

  • Ibn Sa’d, Ahmed, Ibn Ma’in, and al ‘Ijli have deemed him reliable.
  • Ibn Hibban says, “He was an ardent worshipper and scholar of Kufah.”

He passed away between the years 110 and 120 A.H. His life has been recorded by Ibn Sa’d: Al Tabaqat al Kubra, vol. 6 pg. 316; Al Bukhari: Al Tarikh al Kabir,/1/13; Al ‘Ijli: Tarikh al Thiqat, pg. 377; Ibn Abi Hatim: Al Jarh wa al Ta’dil, vol. 6 pg. 384; and Ibn Hajar: Al Tahdhib, vol. 8 pg. 171.

[85] Al Tabari: Tarikh al Rusul, vol. 4 pg. 422.

[86] Ibid, vol. 4 pg. 244.

[87] Ibid, vol. 4 pg. 245.

[88] Ibid, vol. 4 pg. 245.

[89] He is Hanzalah ibn Qinan, Abu Muhammad. From the Tabi’in. He narrates from ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu and Sammak ibn Harb narrates from him. See, Al Bukhari: Al Tarikh al Kabir, 2/1/41; and Ibn Abi Hatim: Al Jarh wa al Ta’dil, vol. 3 pg. 240.

[90] Khalifah: Al Tarikh, pgs. 171-172; Ibn Abi Shaybah: Al Musannaf, vol. 15 pg. 205

[91] Sahih al Bukhari, vol. 2 pg. 188; Ahmed: Fada’il al Sahabah, vol. 1 pg. 526.

[92] Ahmed: Fada’il al Sahabah, vol. 1 pg. 498.

[93] Ibn Sa’d: Al Tabaqat al Kubra, vol. 2 pg. 59.

[94] Ibn Shabbah: Al Musannaf fi al Hadith, vol. 3 pg. 1023

[95] Ibn ‘Asakir: Tarikh Dimashq, pg. 219.

[96] Ibid, pg. 219.

[97] Ahmed: Fada’il al Sahabah, vol. 1 pg. 493. Its chain is authentic.

[98] He is ‘Abdullah al Rumi al Basri. From the Tabi’in. He narrates from ‘Uthman and Abu Hurairah.

  • Al ‘Ijli and Ibn Hibban have deemed him reliable.

His life has been recorded by Al Bukhari: Al Tarikh al Kabir, 3/1/133; Al ‘Ijli: Tarikh al Thiqat, pg. 284; and Ibn Hajar: Al Tahdhib, vol. 6 pg. 90.

[99] Ibn ‘Asakir: Tarikh Dimashq, pg. 229.

[100] Ibn Shabbah: Al Musannaf, vol. 3 pg. 1019.

[101] Carl Brokelmann: Tarikh al Shuub al Islamiyyah, pg. 86.

[102] Sahih al Bukhari, vol. 4 pg. 203.

[103] Ibn Abi Shaybah: Al Musannaf, vol. 14 pg. 588.

[104] Ibn Hajar: Al Fath, vol. 13 pg. 198.

[105] He is Khaythamah ibn Sulaiman ibn Haydarah al Qurashi al Tarabulusi al Shami, Abu al Hassan. Hafiz and great traveller. He was the muhaddith of Sham in his era.

  • Al Khatib says, “Reliable, reliable. He has gathered the virtues of the Sahabah.”

He has authored Fada’il al Sahabah and Al Raqa’iq wa al Hikayat. He passed away the year 343 A.H/955 A.D. His life has been recorded by Ibn ‘Asakir: Tarikh Dimashq, vol. 5 pg. 347; Al Dhahabi: Tadhkirah al Huffaz, vol. 3 pg. 858; Ibn Hajar: Lisan al Mizan, vol. 2 pg. 411; Al Kattani: Risalah al Mustatrafah, pg. 44.

[106] Ibn ‘Asakir: Tarikh Dimashq, pgs. 178-179; Ibn Hajar: Al Fath, vol. 13 pg. 198.

[107] Al Tabari: Tarikh al Rusul, vol. 4 pg. 234.

[108] Sahih al Bukhari, vol. 8 pg. 123.

[109] Ibid, vol. 4 pg. 206.

[110] Al Tabari: Tarikh al Rusul, vol. 4 pg. 231; Ibn Hajar: Al Fath, vol. 7 pg. 69.

[111] Sahih al Bukhari, vol. 8 pg. 123.

[112] Ibn al Kathir in Al Bidayah wa al Nihayah, vol. 7 pg. 146.

[113] Ibn Hajar: Al Fath, vol. 13 pg. 198.

[114] Ibn ‘Asakir: Tarikh Dimashq, pg. 240.

[115] Ibid, pg. 240.

[116] Al Tabari: Tarikh al Rusul, vol. 4 pg. 398.

[117] Ibid, vol. 4 pg. 272.

[118] Sahih al Bukhari, vol. 4 pg. 203; Sahih Muslim, vol. 11 pg. 216.

[119] Al Tabari: Tarikh al Rusul, vol. 4 pg. 342.

[120] He is Salim ibn ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar ibn al Khattab al ‘Adawi, Abu ‘Amr al Madani al Faqih. Amongst the senior Tabi’in and one of the even jurist of Madinah.

  • Ibn Sa’d says, “He was reliable and narrated many ahadith.”
  • Al ‘Ijli says, “Madani, Tabi’i, reliable.”
  • Ahmed ibn Rahwayh says, “The most authentic chain of transmission is Zuhri — from Salim — from his father.”
  • Malik says, “There was no one else in the era of Salim ibn ‘Abdullah that was like the pious of the past in asceticism and virtue.”

His life has been recorded by, Ibn Sa’d: Al Tabaqat al Kubra, vol. 5 pg. 195; Khalifah: Al Tabaqat, pg. 246; Al ‘Ijli: Tarikh al Thiqat, pg. 352-353; and Ibn Hajar: Al Tahdhib, vol. 3 pg. 436.

[121] Ibn ‘Asakir: Tarikh Dimashq, pg. 300.

[122] Al Tabari: Tarikh al Rusul, vol. 4 pg. 336.

[123] Al Aqqad: ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan Dhu al Nurayn, pg. 153.

[124] Al Tabari: Tarikh al Rusul, vol. 4 pg. 332.

[125] Ibid, vol. 4 pg. 343.

[126] Ibid, vol. 4 pg. 246.

[127] Khalifah: Al Tarikh, pg. 158; Al Tabari: Tarikh al Rusul, vol. 4 pg. 250.

[128] Al Baladhuri: Futuh al Buldan, pg. 200; Al Tabari: Tarikh al Rusul, vol. 4 pg. 248.

[129] Khalifah: Al Tarikh, pgs. 157,158, and 163; Al Tabari: Tarikh al Rusul, vol. 4 pgs. 247 and 250.

[130] Al Tabari: Tarikh al Rusul, vol. 4 pgs. 247-248.

[131] Ibid, vol. 4 pgs. 265-266.

[132] Ibid, vol. 4 pgs. 258, 260, and 288; Khalifah: Al Tarikh, pg. 160 and 167.

[133] ‘Abdur Razzaq narrates in his Musannaf, from ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu who states:

الإمارة شوری

Leadership is based on consultation. [vol. 5 pg. 446]

He also said:

من دعا إلى إمارة نفسه أو غيره من غير مشورة من المسلمين فلا يحل لكم إلا أن تقتلوه

Whoever campaigns to elect himself or another without consulting the Muslims, it is permitted for you to kill him. [vol. 5 pg. 445]

[134] Ibn al Athir al Jazri narrates from Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu who said:

يا أيها الناس قد وليت عليكم ولست بخير كم ، فإن أحسنت فأعينوني ، وإن أسأت فقوموني

O people! I have been appointed over you but I am not the best of you. If I serve well, assist me and of I deviate, set me straight. [Minal al Talib fi Sharh Tiwal al Ghara’ib, pg. 273]

[135] Ibn Sa’d narrates that ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu wrote to his governor of Kufah saying:

أما بعد ، فأعلم يوما من السنة لا يبقى في بيت المال درهم حتى يكسح اكتساحا حتى يعلم الله أني أتيت لكل ذي حق حقه

Distribute the wealth of the treasury to the extent that not one Dirham remains in it once a year and it is swept out so that Allah would know that I have given each his right. [Ibn Sa’d: Al Tabaqat al Kubra, vol. 3 pg. 303.]

Back to top