‘Abdul Rahman ibn Samurah related:
جاء عثمان بن عفان إلى النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم بألف دينار في ثوبه حين جهز النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم جيش العسرة . قال : فصبها في حجر النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم ، فجعل النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم يقلبها بيده ، ويقول : ما ضر ابن عفان ما عمل بعد اليوم يرددها مرارا
‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan radiya Llahu ‘anhu came to Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam carrying a thousand dinars in his garment whilst Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was equipping the Jaysh al ‘Usrah (The Army of Hardship for Tabuk). He placed it in the lap of Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Thereupon, Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said numerous times whilst turning the coins in his hands, “No act of Ibn ‘Affan can harm him after today.”
Commentary and Lessons Learnt from this Narration:
1. Great virtue is given to Amir al Mu’minin ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan radiya Llahu ‘anhu by way of the perpetual happiness of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala promised till death. If some mistake were to be committed, that too would be over looked. Imam Abu Hafs ibn Shahin says, “This virtue is specific to ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu, no one besides him has been given this glad tiding.”
2. The repetition of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam in the narration goes to emphasise this great virtue of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu, especially since Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was aware that hypocrites would arise who would hate and go as far as killing ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu. The following has been recorded on this prediction of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam:
يا عثمان ، إن الله عز وجل عسى أن يلبسك قميصا ، فإن أرادك المنافقون على خلعه ، فلا تخلعه حتى تلقاني
O ‘Uthman, perhaps Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala may adorn you with a garment (grant you khilafah). If the hypocrites attempt to snatch it from you, do not remove it till you meet me.
3. This narration is clear in conveying the absurdity of the notion that Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam ever forced anyone to give up their wealth, even though the Muslims went through stages of severe hunger and poverty in the initial stages. The Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum would wilfully present their wealth to support the faith. The traditions concerning it are many and successive. Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu presented all his wealth, ‘Umar radiya Llahu ‘anhu half of what he owned, and ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu equipped the army in the Jaysh al ‘Usrah.
4. Why is there such great virtue attached to this act of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu, whereas others may have spent as much as him? Ibn al Taymiyyah writes:
والأنفاق في سبيل الله وفي إقامة الدين في أول الإسلام اعظم من صدقة على سائل محتاج و لهذا قال النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم لا تسبوا أصحابي فوا الذي نفسي بيده لو أنفق أحدكم مثل أحد ذهبا ما بلغ مد أحدهم و لا نصيفه أخرجاه قال تعالى لا يستوي منكم من أنفق من قبل الفتح و قاتل أولئك اعظم درجة من الذين أنفقوا من بعد و قاتلوا
فكذلك الإنفاق الذي صدر في أول الإسلام في إقامة الدين ما بقي له نظير يساوي
و أما إعطاء السؤال لحاجتهم فهذا البر يوجد مثله إلى يوم القيامة
Spending in the path of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala and in avenues supporting the faith is greater than spending on a needy beggar. Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam has said, “Do not revile my Companions; by Him in whose hand my soul is, if one of you contributed the amount of gold equivalent to Uhud, it would not amount to as much as the mudd of one of them, or half of it.”
Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala says:
لَا يَسْتَوِيْ مِنْكُم مَّنْ أَنفَقَ مِنْ قَبْلِ الْفَتْحِ وَقَاتَلَ أُولَٰئِكَ أَعْظَمُ دَرَجَةً مِّنَ الَّذِيْنَ أَنفَقُوْا مِنْ بَعْدُ وَقَاتَلُوْا
Not equal among you are those who spent before the conquest [of Makkah] and fought [and those who did so after it]. Those are greater in degree than they who spent afterwards and fought.
There is therefore no equivalent to spending in the early stages of Islam to assist the faith. As for spending on the needy; this is a good act that will continue to the last day.
5. This tradition has been narrated briefly, more details are found in other narrations outlining equipping the Jaysh al ‘Usrah in Battle of Tabuk. For example, this narration has recorded the spending of a thousand dinars, however in others there is mention of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu equipping the army with a thousand camels and seventy horses. In some narrations there is mention of three hundred camels and in others his providing for the army to the extent that they did not need a single hobbling cord not halter. These donations were after Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam had announced:
من جهز جيش العسرة فله الجنة
Jannat is for him who equips the Army of Hardship.
6. Sacrificing one’s wealth mirrors sacrificing one’s self which is why both have been mentioned side by side in the Qur’an. Liberally spending in the path of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala points towards a person passion of worship. The acts of ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu was one of nobility and piety, therefore the reward and glad-tiding given matched it.
7. Equipping a Muslim army marching to raise the word of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘alais amongst the greatest support one can lend to the faith and amongst the greatest pathways leading to the happiness of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala. Look at the great virtue attached to ‘Uthman radiya Llahu ‘anhu on this act of his. Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala guided him towards this. Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala readied him for this. He is the first Muslim to have equipped an entire army, a distinction given to him by Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala. Those to do so after, follow in his footsteps. He invented this wheel, he, therefore, gains the greatest virtue.
8. Developing strong and long-lasting relationships between leaders and thier constituents or teachers and thier students comes to fruition when enduring adversities together.
9. The importance of motivational talks to inspire the ummah. Particularly when the talk is by a wise scholar who knows what impediments lay in the ummah and its appropriate treatment.
10. This narration indicates towards the eagerness of the Sahabah radiya Llahu ‘anhum in doing good actions. This is not surprising considering they were the first to receive and understand the Qur’an. Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala says:
وَسَارِعُوْا إِلَىٰ مَغْفِرَةٍ مِّنْ رَّبِّكُمْ
And hasten to forgiveness from your Lord.
Together with this they were the closest to the Messengers of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala. Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala says regarding them:
إِنَّهُمْ كَانُوْا يُسَارِعُوْنَ فِيْ الْخَيْرَاتِ وَيَدْعُوْنَنَا رَغَبًا وَرَهَبًا وَكَانُوْا لَنَا خَاشِعِيْنَ
Indeed, they used to hasten to good deeds and supplicate Us in hope and fear, and they were to Us humbly submissive.
11. Publicly praising one who is assisting the masses in times of difficulty forms part of sublime character.
12. Praise and positive reinforcement of those doing good through both word and action has a much greater inspiring effect on the heart.
13. This narration brings forth the reality of hardship, tests, and constrained circumstances the Mu’minin will go through. However, in the end, help and supremacy will prevail through the assistance of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala.
14. Sin poses an inherent threat to man which leads to hardships, except for those whom Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala has protected and favoured with a blessed end. May Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala make us from amongst his chosen salves. Amin.
15. Every phase of da’wah will have its champions, selected by Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala. They will carry its flag and render deep impressions of faith into the masses.
16. The demand of etiquette is to bring within reach to a scholar or leader what is intended for them. Placing it at a distance so they must stand up to retrieve it is against good mannerisms.
17. When the Muslims face a challenge, it is the duty of the leader to stand and encourage the ummah to assist in overcoming it.
 Musnad Imam Ahmed, Hadith: 20130; Jami’ al Tirmidhi, Hadith: 3663. The chain of this narration is sound with a slight difference in wording in the narration of Jami’ al Tirmidhi. The scholars of hadith have deemed it as authentic.
 Sharh Mazahib Ahlus Sunnah, 79.
 Fada’il al Sahabah li al Imam Ahmed, Hadith: 698.
 Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 2540.
 Surah al Hadid: 10.
 Sahih al Bukhari, Hadith: 2778.
 Surah Ali ‘Imran: 133.
 Surah al Ambiya: 90.Back to top