Objection Regarding Implementation of the Hudud

Objection of the Khilafah of `Uthman Being an Intermission
November 23, 2015
Objection Regarding the Alleged Ill-Treatment and Oppression Upon the Sahabah
November 23, 2015

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Objection Regarding Implementation of the Hudud

 

The critics of Sayyidina ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan radiya Llahu ‘anhu also mention that Sayyidina ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan radiya Llahu ‘anhu was negligent in implementing the hudud; ‘Ubaidullah ibn ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu was responsible for the killing of Hurmuzan, Jafinah, etc., who were involved in the killing of Sayyidina ‘Umar al Faruq radiya Llahu ‘anhu, but Sayyidina ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan radiya Llahu ‘anhu did not implement the law of Qisas (death penalty) upon him.

 

Answer

When the magian Abu Lu’lu’ Firowz martyred Sayyidina ‘Umar al Faruq radiya Llahu ‘anhu, the second khalifah, then his son — Sayyidina ‘Ubaidullah ibn ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu, was overpowered by anger and killed the companions of Abu Lu’lu’, Hurmuzan and Jafinah, since they too were part of the plot to assassinate Sayyidina ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu. After the demise of Sayyidina ‘Umar ibn al Khattab radiya Llahu ‘anhu, three days later in Muharram 24 A.H, Sayyidina ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan radiya Llahu ‘anhu was elected as the third khalifah, in accordance with the shura that he had appointed. The first issue he had to deal with was how ‘Ubaidullah ibn ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu be dealt with, who killed Hurmuzan and his companions.

It was the view of some that Qisas should be taken from ‘Ubaidullah ibn ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu, whereas others did not have this view. They said: “Yesterday his father was killed and today his son executed; this will never happen.”

There was difference of opinion amongst the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum on this issue, and it was a worrying time. Circumstances were delicate and fitnah was rearing its head amongst the tribes. Sheikh Hussain Diyarbakri has written this briefly in his work, Tarikh al Khamis:

 

فلما راى عثمان ذالك اغتنم تسكين الفتنة وقال امره الى سارضى اهل الهرمزان منه

When ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan saw the circumstances, he sought to quell the fitnah and said: “This matter has been handed over to me and I shall please the relatives of Hurmuzan in this matter.”[1]

 

Other scholars have written that Sayyidina ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan radiya Llahu ‘anhu decided on giving blood money to the families of those killed, from his personal wealth. This is because the matter was given over to the khalifah to act according to his best discretion. Therefore, Sayyidina ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan radiya Llahu ‘anhu paid the diyah (blood money) to the families of those killed and thus quelled this fitnah. ‘Ubaidullah ibn ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu was then released. Hafiz Ibn Kathir rahimahu Llah has written at this point:

 

فودى عثمان رضي الله عنه اولئك القالى من ماله لان امرهم اليه اذ لا وارث لهم الا بيت المال والامام يرى الاصلح في ذالك وخلى سبيل عبيد الله

‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan radiya Llahu ‘anhu paid the diyah to the families of those killed from his wealth, because they had no heirs but the Bayt al Mal and the Imam saw that this was the best and ‘Ubaidullah was released.[2]

 

Shah Waliullah Dehlawi rahimahu Llah has written this in the following words:

He pleased the families of the killed. In this case, the Qisas fell away and fitnah was quelled, and this is part of the virtue of Dhu al Nurayn.[3]

 

Shah ‘Abdul ‘Aziz Dehlawi rahimahu Llah has written the following in this regard:

Sayyidina ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan radiya Llahu ‘anhu saved the nation from a great fitnah that was looming and he gave abundant wealth to the families of the killed and pleased them.[4]

 

Moreover, the shar’i ruling was practised properly because the law in the shari’ah is that if the heirs of the killed given the diyah, and are pleased with it, then the Qisas will fall away from the killer.

In summary, Sayyidina ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan radiya Llahu ‘anhu did not do anything against the shari’ah in this matter and he did not trespass any shar’i limit; solving the problem in an amicable manner.

 

Note:-

It is reported in in some narrations Sayyidina ‘Ali al Murtada radiya Llahu ‘anhu opposed Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu in this ruling and was in favour of executing ‘Ubaidullah ibn ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu in retaliation for Hurmuzan and the others. Therefore, when Sayyidina ‘Ali al Murtada radiya Llahu ‘anhu was chosen as the khalifah, ‘Ubaidullah ibn ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu fled to Sham upon learning of his view.

The readers should know that the narrations of history are many, and every sort of narration is recorded in history, whether authentic, weak, or even fabricated; and this narration is a historical narration. The historians have each written on it in their own way. The principle with regards to this is that together with the narration we must adopt reasoning.

Now ponder, the khilafah of Sayyidina ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan radiya Llahu ‘anhu was twelve days less than twelve years and the matter of Qisas of ‘Ubaidullah ibn ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu was the first issue dealt with. The senior Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum held differing views in this regard, which Sayyidina ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu settled with his decision and this decision was correct in terms of the shari’ah. The senior Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum, including Sayyidina ‘Ali al Murtada radiya Llahu ‘anhu, thus did not object to the decision and the matter was brought to an end. Now what reason would Sayyidina ‘Ali al Murtada radiya Llahu ‘anhu have for bringing up this case twelve years later, when it had been closed and there was no need for delving into it (when Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu had more pending issues to deal with). Furthermore, the statements and practice of Sayyidina ‘Ali al Murtada radiya Llahu ‘anhu during his khilafah totally contradicts this.

 

1. Muhammad ibn Sirin rahimahu Llah narrates:

 

ان عليا قال اقضوا كما كنتم تقضون حتى تكونوا جماعة فاني اخشى الاختلاف

‘Ali said (to the judges): “Pass verdict as you used to pass verdict (during the eras of the previous khulafa’) so that there will be unity, for verily I fear dissention.[5]

 

2. The famous scholar, Ibn Hazm al Andalusi rahimahu Llah writes on this issue in his work al Fasl fi al Milal:

 

ثم ولى علي رضي الله عنه فما غير حكما من احكام ابي بكر وعمر وعثمان رضي الله تعالى عنهم ولا ابطل عهدا من عهودهم ولو كان ذالك عنده باطلا لما كان في سعة من ان يمضي الباطل وينفذه وقد ارتفعت التقية منه

When ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu was appointed as khalifah, he did not change any ruling of Abu Bakr, ‘Umar and ‘Uthman, and he did not terminate any treaties that they signed If he regarded it to be baseless then he would never allow something baseless and false to be implemented, as Taqiyyah was no longer required from him.[6]

 

Note:-

We have discussed this issue in our work Sirah Sayyidina ‘Ali al Murtada radiya Llahu ‘anhu (p. 425 – 428), where we learn that Sayyidina ‘Ali al Murtada radiya Llahu ‘anhu did not change the decision passed by Sayyidina ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan radiya Llahu ‘anhu with regards to Hurmuzan and the others and he did not take any steps against it.

The narrations which mention that he intended to take Qisas for the killing of Hurmuzan and the others (whereas Sayyidina ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan radiya Llahu ‘anhu had passed the decision already), are not considered. In fact, it contradicts the decisions made by Sayyidina ‘Ali al Murtada radiya Llahu ‘anhu, as we have explained from the clarifications of the senior scholars above. In light of these explanations, those narrations are matruk (rejected) and are not worthy of any attention.

 

3. It is worthy of repetition here that in Ruhama’ Baynahum (vol. 3 p. 120) it was mentioned that the Shia scholars have recorded that Sayyidina ‘Ali radiya Llahu ‘anhu was responsible for implementing punishments during the reign of the first three khulafa’. Imam Jafar al Sadiq rahimahu Llah narrates from his forefathers:

 

ان ابا بكر وعمر وعثمان كانوا يرفعون الحدود الى علي بن ابي طالب…الخ

Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu, ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu and ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu would hand over the decisions of the hudud to ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib.[7]

 

In the light of these clarifications of the Imams, it is clear that implementation of the hudud was left to Sayyidina ‘Ali al Murtada radiya Llahu ‘anhu. It is thus apparent that the matter of Qisas for Hurmuzan and the others also came before him — and assuming the view of the khalifah was different from his — he still passed verdict in favour of the opinion of the khalifah, which he maintained during his khilafah as well. This adds further weight to the correctness of the opinion of Sayyidina ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Since if it was anything but correct, then Sayyidina ‘Ali al Murtada radiya Llahu ‘anhu would have classified it as impermissible and passed verdict according to his opinion.

The summary of the discussion is that in this incident, the decision of Sayyidina ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan radiya Llahu ‘anhu was correct and he did not transgress any limits, nor did he fall short in implementing the legal punishments.

 

NEXT⇒ Objection of the Khilafah of ‘Uthman Being an Intermission


[1]Tarikh al Khamis vol. 2 pg. 274

[2]Al Bidayah wa al Nihayah vol. 7 pg. 149

[3]Qurrat al ‘Aynayn pg. 274

[4]Tuhfah Ithna ‘Ashariyyah pg. 324, Lahore

[5]Al Musannaf ‘Abdur Razzaq vol. 11 pg. 329, Bukhari vol. 1 pg. 526

[6]Al Fasl fi al Milal wa al Ahwa’ vol. 4 pg. 97

[7]Jafariyyat pg. 133, Tehran

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