Short Biography of Third Calipha Uthman ibn Affan r.a – by Amir Al-Athari

Short Biography of Third Calipha Uthman ibn Affan رضوان الله تعالى

Praise be to Allah, and prayers and peace be upon the Prophet Mohammad (عليه سلام) and his sanctified and dedicated Companions (رضي الله عنه), as well as all their followers till the Day of Judgment.

In this article, we present a brief-biography of the third caliph Uthman ibn Affan (رضي الله عنه) ‘Dhun-Nurain’ to extract lessons and examples from the sides of this unique character.

His Ancestry, Family and Attributes:

His full name is Uthman ibn Affan bin Al-Aas bin Umayyah bin Abdul Shams bin Abd Manaf. He was born in Makkah on the sixth year of Amul-Fil (the year of the Elephant). He was about five years younger than the Prophet (عليه سلام). His father died before Islam i-e pre-Islamic period. His mother’s name was Arwa bint Kurayz and she died during the Caliphate of his son Uthman (رضي الله عنه). He became Muslim early and participated in the two Migrations: first to Abyssinia (Ethiopia) and the second to Madinah.

He married Ruqayyahh bint Mohammad, daughter of the Prophet Mohammad (عليه سلام) and she died on the night of Battle of Badr. The Prophet (عليه سلام) then married her sister Umm Kulthum bint Mohammad, to him.

His Title “Dhun-Nurain”:

The scholars say that no one is known to have married two daughters of a Prophet except him. For this reason, he was nicknamed ‘Dhun-Nurain’ (the one with the two lights). He was one of the ten given the tiding of Paradise and one of the Companions who compiled the Quran.

Uthman (رضي الله عنه) married eight wives in all and he had nine sons from five wives.

His Physical Appearance:

He was neither short nor tall with broad shoulder and thick hair on his head. He had a long beard and was good looking. It is said that he was the most handsome of the people.

His early life in the Pre-Islamic Society:

In the pre-Islamic society, Uthman (رضي الله) was among the best of his people. He was of high status, very wealthy, extremely modest, and eloquent in speech. His people loved him dearly and respected him. He never prostrated to any idol and had never committed any immoral action even before Islam. He also did not drink alcohol before Islam.

He was well versed in the knowledge of lineages, proverbs and the history of important-events. He travelled to Syria and Ethiopia and mixed with non-Arab people, learning things about their lives and customs that no one else knew. He took care of the business that he had inherited from his father and his wealth grew. He was regarded as one of the men of Banu Umayyah clan who were held in high esteem by all of Quraish. Thus, Uthman (رضي الله عنه) was regarded as being of high status among his people and he was loved dearly.

His Conversion to Islam:

Uthman (عليه سلام) was thirty-four years old when Abu Bakr Al-Siddiq (عليه سلام) called him to Islam and he did not hesitate at all and responded immediately to the call of Abu Bakr (عليه سلام). He was the fourth man to embrace Islam after Abu Bakr (عليه سلام), Ali ibn Talib (عليه سلام) and Zaid ibn Harithah (عليه سلام).

His Persecution and Migration to Ethiopia:

Uthman (رضي الله عنه) and his wife Ruqayyah (رضي الله عنه), daughter of the Prophet (عليه سلام), migrated to Ethiopia (Abyssinia) along with ten Muslim men and three women. Some Muslims later joined them as migrants. All emigrant Muslims found safety, security and freedom of worship in Abyssinia. Uthman (رضي الله عنه) already had some business contacts in Ethiopia, therefore, he continued to practice his profession as a trader.

The Holy Quran speaks of the migration of the early Muslims to Abyssinia, as Allah says:

“And as for those who emigrated for the Cause of Allah, after they had been wronged, We shall certainly give them goodly residence in this world, but indeed the reward of the Hereafter will be greater; if they but knew!” (Al-Nahl 16:41).

When there was rumor that the people of Makkah had become Muslims, news of that reached the emigrants in Abyssinia, so they came back but when drew close to Makkah, they heard that the news was false. Nevertheless, all emigrants entered the city. Among those who returned was Uthman (رضي الله عنه) and Ruqayyah (رضي الله عنه) and they re-settled in Makkah. Uthman (رضي الله عنه) remained in Makkah until Allah granted permission to migrate to Madinah.

Him staying Close to Prophet (رضي الله عنه):

The strongest factor that shaped Uthman’s (رضي الله عنه) character, brought out his talents and potentials and purified his soul was his keeping company with the Messenger of Allah and studying at his hands. Uthman (رضي الله عنه) stayed close to the Prophet (عليه سلام) in Makkah after he became Muslim and stayed close to him in Madinah after he Migrated there.

Uthman (رضي الله) tells us how he stayed close to the Messenger of Allah as he said:

“Allah, may He be glorified and exalted, sent Mohammad (عليه سلام) with the truth and revealed the Book to him and I was one of those who responded to Allah and His Messenger (عليه سلام) and believed. I made the two early migrations and I became the son-in-law of the Messenger of Allah and I received guidance directly from him”.

Uthman (رضي الله عنه) and the Holy Quran:

Uthman (رضي الله.) was deeply attached to the Holy Quran. It was narrated that Abu Abd Al-Rahman Al-Sulami said:

“Those who taught the Quran, such as Uthman ibn Affan, Abd-Allah ibn Masood and others, told us that when they learned ten verses from the Prophet (عليه سلام), they would not go beyond them until they had learned the knowledge contained in them and how to apply it in deed. They said: So we learned the Quran and knowledge and its application together. Hence they would spend a while to memorize a surah.”

Following sayings of Uthman (رضي الله) clearly show his attachment and love for the Holy Quran:

“If our hearts were pure, we would never have our fill of the words of Allah, may He be glorified and exalted.”

“I would not like the day to come when I do not look in the Covenant of Allah (i.e. Holy Quran).”

“There are four things which are outwardly virtues, but in reality are obligations: mixing with righteous people is a virtue and following their example is a duty, reading Quran is a virtue and acting upon it is a duty, visiting the graves is a virtue and preparing for death is a duty and visiting the sick person is a virtue and asking him to make a will is a duty.”

“Ten things are the greatest waste of time: a scholar whom no one asks about, knowledge that is not acted upon, sound advice that is not accepted, a weapon that is not used, a Mosque that is not prayed in, a Mushaf (Quran) that is not read from, wealth from which nothing is spent (in charity), a horse that is not ridden, knowledge of asceticism in the heart of one who is seeking worldly gain and a long life in which no preparation is made for the journey (into the Hereafter).”

Utman (رضي الله) was Hafiz of Quran (memorization of Quran) and he read Quran all the time. Uthman (رضي الله) recited the entire Quran back to Prophet Mohammad (عليه سلام) before he died.

His Migration to Medinah:

Uthman (رضي الله) and his wife, Ruqayya (رضي الله عنه), were among the Muslims to migrate to Medinah. Upon arrival, Uthman (رضي الله) stayed with Abu Talha ibn Thabit (رضي الله) before moving into the house he purchased a short time later.

After the Prophet Mohammad (عليه سلام.) had settled in Madinah, he started establishing the foundations of Islamic State. Uthman (رضي الله.) was one of the pillars of the Muslim State and he did not withhold any advice, opinion or wealth. He was also present at every major event except Battle of Badr.

Battle of Badr and Death of his Wife:

When the Muslims went out to fight the Battle of Badr, Uthman’s (رضي الله) wife Ruqayyah (رضي الله) was sick and was confined to her bed at the time when his father Mohammad (عليه سلام) called on the Muslims to intercept the caravan of Quraish. Uthman (رضي الله) hastened to go out with the Messenger of Allah but he (عليه سلام) did not allowed Uthman (رضي الله) to go with them and ordered him to stay with Ruqayyah (رضي الله) and nurse her by saying:

“You [Uthman (رضي الله] will receive the same reward and share (of the booty) as anyone of those who participated in the battle of Badr (if you stay with her).” (Bukhari: 3699)

Uthman (رضي الله.) obeyed willingly and stayed with his wife Ruqayyah (رضي الله.). When she breathed her last breaths, she was longing to see her Father (عليه سلام.) who had gone out to Badr. She departed this life but she did not get to see her Father (عليه سلام) because he was in Badr with his noble Companions (رضوان الله عليهم أجمعين.), striving to make the word of Allah supreme, and he did not attend her burial. Her grieving husband, Uthman (رضي الله عنه), buried his beloved wife in Al-Baqee (sacred graveyard of Muslims near Masjid Al-Nabawi in Madinah). After returning victories from the Battle of Badr, Messenger (عليه سلام.) learned about the death of his daughter Ruqayyah ( عليه سلام.), he went out to Al-Baqee and stood over the grave of his daughter and prayed for forgiveness for her.

His Marriage to Umm Kulthoom (رضي الله عنه) and her death:

After the death of Ruqayyah (رضي الله.), Prophet Mohammad (عليه سلام.) married his daughter Umm Kulthom (رضي الله.) wih Uthman (رضي الله) in 3 AH. As per sources, her real name was Umayyah and she was older than Fatima (رضي الله). As narrated by Abu Hurairah (رضي الله) that Messenger of Allah stood at the door of Masjid Al-Nabawi and said:

“O Uthman, Jibreel has told me that Allah wants you to marry Umm Kulthoom for a dowry (Mehr) similar to that of Ruqayyah and to treat her with similar kindness.” (Ibn Majah: 110)

Utman (رضي الله عنه) and Umm Kulthoom (رضي الله) got married in Jumada Al-Akhirah, 3 AH. After three days of their marriage, Prophet Mohammad (عليه سلام) paid visit to her daughter and asked:

“O my daughter, how did you find your husband (i-e Uthman)?” She said: “The best of husbands.”

Umm Kulthoom (رضي الله) stayed with Uthman (رضي الله) unitll her death in Shaban, 9 AH. Prophet (عليه سلام.) offered the funeral prayer for her. Uthman (رضي الله عنه) was deeply grieved by the loss of Umm Kulthoom (رضي الله عنه) and Prophet (عليه سلام) saw Uthman (رضي الله عنه) walking broken-hearted with signs of grief were on his face. He (عليه سلام) came to Uthman (رضي الله عنه) and said:

“O Uthman, if we had a third one, we would give her in marriage to you.”

This is inductive of the love of the Prophet Mohammad (عليه سلام) for Uthman (رضي الله عنه) and of Uthman’s (رضي الله عنه) loyalty and respect towards his Prophet (عليه سلام).

His Contribution for the Muslim State:

Uthman was one of the richest of those on whom Allah Had bestowed wealth. He used his wealth in obedience of Allah. He always first to do good and spent and he did not fear poverty. Among the many examples of his spending are the following:

1. When the Prophet (عليه سلام) came to Madinah, the only source of fresh water was the well of Bir Rumah and without payment, no one allowed to drink water from the well. Uthman bought the well from the owner (who was a jew) for twenty-thousand dirhams and donated it for the rich and poor and wayfarers.

2. In Madinah, Mashid Al-Nabawi became too small for the Muslims to even pray 5 times. Uthman bought the land, next to the mosque, for twenty-five or twenty thousand dirhams and this land was added to the mosque which then became large enough to accommodate the Muslims.

3. He spent a huge amount on equipping the Muslim army for the campaign of Tabook.

Him during Caliphate of Abu Bakr (رضي الله) and Umar (رضي الله):

When Messenger of Allah died in 11 AH (632 AD), Abu Bakr was selected as Caliph. In fact, Uthman was the first person, after Umar to offer his allegiance to Abu Bakr as Caliph. During Wars of Apostasy (Ridda Wars) during caliphate of Abu Bakr Uthman remained in Madinah and acted as Abu Bakr’s adviser. On his deathbed, Abu Bakr Siddiq dictated his will to Uthman , saying that his successor was to be Umar

During the caliphate of Umar, the status of Uthman was that of adviser and you could say that his position was like that of Umar to Abu Bakr during Abu Bakr’s caliphate.

During Umar caliphate, Uthman set-up the system of keeping records of wealth spent and earned (the Diwan). Uthman was the one who suggested to Umar that he should make the Hijri Year (Islamic Calendar).

His Appointment as Caliph and Successor of Umar :

Umar ibn Al-Kattab on his death bed formed a committee of six people to choose the next Caliph from amongst themselves. This committee was: Ali bin Abi Talib Uthman ibn Affan, Abdur Rahman bin Awf, Saad ibn Abi Waqqas, Al-Zubayr and Talhah. Majority of the people favored the election of Uthman. On the fourth day after the death of Umar (R.A.) in 23 AH, Uthman was elected as the third Caliph with the title ‘Amir Al-Muminin’ (The Prince of the Believers).

When the oath of allegiance was sworn to Uthman as caliph, he stood before the people and declared his approach to ruling, explaining that he would follow the guidelines of the Quran and Sunnah and follow in the footsteps of the two Caliphs [i.e., Abu Bakr and Umar ]. He also stated that he was going to run the people’s affairs with forbearance and wisdom, but he would accept no compromise with regard to punishments that must be carried out. Then, he warned them against feeling content with worldly things and being tempted by worldly trivia, lest that lead them to compete with one another and stir up grudges and resentment among them, which would in turn lead to division and disunity.

Highlights of His Reign as Caliph:

Uthman ibn Affan was the third caliph of Islam. He was known as the leader of the faithful and ruled for approximately 12 years. The first six years were times of relative tranquility and peace, however the last years of his reign were marred by internal conflict, and pockets of rebels trying to cause havoc throughout the Caliphate. Uthman is remembered as a pious, gentle, and kind man, known for his modesty and shyness, and admired for his generosity. He ruled with impartial justice and mild and humane policies, based on his obedience to God and his love for Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and the Muslim nation.

Uthman (may God be pleased with him) was born seven years after Prophet Muhammad (may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him) and belonged to the Umayyad branch of the Quraish tribe. The Umayyads were the most influential clan of the Quraish, they were the strongest and wealthiest, and Uthman was their “golden child”, the most beloved, due to his good manners and shyness.

Like his predecessor Omar ibn Al Khattab, Uthman was able to read and write. This was an unusual skill in pre-Islamic Arabia and Uthman became a successful trader and cloth merchant. Throughout his life he was known as a kind, generous man and even before his conversion to Islam he would freely give money to help those in need.

Uthman’s achievements, during his reign as Caliph, are so many. Following are some highlights of his accomplishments during the tenure of his Caliphate (Khilafat):

Conquest: The most important works of Uthman are the conquest of Murrow, Turkey and the expansion of the Islamic State. In addition to the conquest of Libya and then Zangzor currently called as Armenia, Caucasus, Khurasan, Baluchistan’ , Sajistan currently called as Seestan, Saharan Africa, and Cyprus.

Expansion of Prophet’s Mosque: Uthman expanded the Prophet’s Mosque (Masjid Al-Nabawi) in 29-30 AH and has established the first Islamic fleet to protect the Muslim beaches from the attacks of Byzantines.

Compilation of the Quran: One of the most important achievements of Uthman is the compilation of the Holy Quran, which was started in the caliphate of Abu Bakr Siddiq.

Hudhaifah was very alarmed by the differences in the recitation of Quran of Syrian and Iraqi people. So Hudhaifah said to Uthman:

“O Prince of Believers, save this nation before they differ concerning the Book (Quran) as the Jews and the Christians did.”

Uthman said:

“Send us the manuscript so that we may make copies of it, then we will return it to you”.

So Hafsah (عليه سلام), with whom the original manuscript of Quran was safe, sent it to Uthman and he ordered four of the Companions to make copies of it. They did that until they had made many copies then Uthman returned the manuscript to Hafsah (عليه سلام) and he sent a copied Book (Mushaf i-e Quran) to every reign and ordered that all other Quranic codex which where:

1. Asharii Codex in Yemen.

2. Bani Kaab Codex in Sooria.

3. Masoodi Codex in Koof’ah.

4. Amri Codex in Nejd.

be destroyed.

Sedition: At the end of his reign and due to the expansion of Islamic conquests and the presence of recent Muslims who did not absorb the spirit of order and obedience, enemies of Islam, led by Yahood, started to foment civil strife to undermine the unity of Muslims and their state. They raise suspicions about the policy of Uthman and incited the people in Egypt, Kufa, and Basra to revolt. They deceived their followers to implement their plan and met the caliph and asked him to give up. Uthman called them to the meeting in the mosque with senior Companions and other people of the city and he refuted their unreliable gossips, and he answered their questions and pardoned them. Thus, they returned to their country but they concealed malevolence and promised to come back to the city to carry out their plots, which were embellished by the Yahood Abdullah bin Saba, who pretended to be muslim.

His Martydom:

In Shawwal, 35 AH, the turmoil occurred and the wrong-doers besieged Uthman in his home (forty days) and prevented him from praying in the mosque and even from water. But when he saw some of the Companions that had prepared to fight them he prevented that fight as he did not want to drop the blood of a Muslim for his own sake. The Cheif conspirators were, Kanana bin Bashar Tajibi, Sudan bin Himran, Muḥammad bin Abe Bakr Taymi, Mālīk bin Harīth Ashtar ,Ibn Sawdah (Abdullah bin Saba) .

The rebels broke into his house from the back (from the house of Abu Hazm Al-Ansari) and were confronted by Hassan ibn ‘Ali, ‘Abdullah ibn Zubair, Muhammad ibn Talhah, Marwan ibn Hakam and Sa’id ibn al ‘As, and other sons of the Sahabah who stayed with them. Fighting broke out and ‘Uthman called to them:

(By) Allah, (by) Allah, I do not want you to defend me.

But they insisted, and ‘Uthman’s slaves came in to defend him, but he told them not to do that, rather he announced that whoever among them refrained from fighting would be a free man.

‘Uthman said clearly and decisively, as the khalifah who was to be obeyed:

I insist that everyone who believes that he is obliged to hear and obey should restrain himself and refrain from fighting.

The only justification for saying that was that ‘Uthman was certain that he would become a martyr, based on the testimony of Rasoolallah. Hence he did not want blood to be shed on his account or division to arise among the Muslims because of him.

Mughirah ibn al Akhnas was among those who had done hajj, then hastened to leave Mina after two days instead of three, along with a group who had performed hajj with him. He managed to come to Uthman before he was martyred; he entered the house to protect him and said:

What excuse will we have before Allah if we leave you when we are able to stop them until we die?

The rebels came and wanted to burn down the door and portico, but the people in the house leapt up to stop them, whilst ‘Uthman was praying. Mughirah ibn al Akhnas, Hassan ibn ‘Ali, Muhammad ibn Talhah, Sa’id ibn al ‘As, Marwan ibn al Hakam and Abu Hurairah fought and did their utmost, but ‘Uthman sent word to them telling them to leave and not fight, then he went back to his prayer. He started to read:

طٰهٰ ۚ ﴿1﴾ مَآ اَنْزَلْنَا عَلَیْكَ الْقُرْاٰنَ لِتَشْقٰٓیۙ ﴿2﴾ اِلَّا تَذْکِرَةً لِّمَنْ یَّخْشٰی ۙۙ۔

Taha. [These letters are one of the miracles of the Qur’an, and none but Allah (Alone) knows their meanings]. We have not sent down the Qur’an unto you [O Muhammad salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam] to cause you distress, but only as a Reminder to those who fear [Allah].

He was a fast reader, and he was not disturbed by what he heard. He carried on reading and did not make any mistake or stumble, until he came to the end of the surah before they reached him. Then he recited a du’a and sat down and recited the verse:

قَدْ خَلَتْ مِنْ قَبْلِكُمْ سُنَنٌ ۙ فَسِیْرُوْا فِی الْاَرْضِ فَانْظُرُوْا کَیْفَ کَانَ عَاقِبَةُ الْمُکَذِّبِیْنَ۔

Many similar ways [and mishaps of life] were faced by nations [believers and disbelievers] that have passed away before you [us you have faced in the Battle of Uhud], so travel through the earth, and see what was the end of those who disbelieved [in the Oneness of Allah, and disobeyed Him and His Rasuls].

On that day, four young men of Quraysh were injured: Hassan ibn ‘Ali, ‘Abdullah ibn Zubair, Muhammad ibn Hatib and Marwan ibn al Hakam. Mughirah ibn al Akhnas, Niyar ibn ‘Abdullah al Aslami and Ziyad al Fihri were killed.‘Uthman managed to persuade the defenders to leave the house and leave him alone with the rebels. So no one was left in the house except ‘Uthman and his family, and there was no defender or guard between him and the people, then he opened the door of the house.

After those who had wanted to defend him had left the house, ‘Uthman spread the Mushaf before him and began to read from it, and at that time he was fasting. Then one of the besiegers, whose name is not mentioned in the reports, entered upon him. When ‘Uthman ‘anhu saw him he said to him: “Between me and you there is the Book of Allah.” So the man went out and left him alone.

But no sooner had he left but another one came in. He was a man from Banu Sadus who was called al Mawt al Aswad (the Black Death). He strangled him before striking him with the sword. He said:

By Allah, I never saw anything more soft when strangling. I strangled him until I felt that his soul was moving in his body like a jinn.

Then he struck him with his sword, and ‘Uthman tried to protect himself with his hand, but he cut it off. ‘Uthman said:

By Allah, it was the first hand to write al Mufassal.

That was because he was one of the scribes who wrote down the wahi, and he had been the first one to write the Mushaf as dictated by the Rasul of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.’Uthman was killed when the Mushaf was in front of him, and when his hand was cut off, the blood spilled onto the Mushaf that was in front of him, and it fell upon the verse:

فَسَیَكْفِیْكَهُمُ اللّٰهُ ۚ وَهُوَ السَّمِیْعُ الْعَلِیْمُ۔

So Allah will suffice for you against them, And He is the All-Hearer, the All-Knower.

According to another report, the first one to strike him was a man who was called Ruman al Yamani, who struck him with a short, hooked staff. When they surrounded him, his wife Na’ilah bint al Farafisah said:

Whether you kill him or spare him, he used to stay up all night, reciting the entire Qur’an in a single rak’ah.

Na’ilah defended her husband ‘Uthman and shielded him, and she received several blows of the sword on her hands. Sowdan ibn Hamran went to her and struck her fingers, and cut them off. She turned away and he poked her in the hips.

When one of the slaves of ‘Uthman, whose name was Nujayh, saw what was happening, he was distressed by the killing of ‘Uthman. Nujayh attacked Sowdan ibn Hamran and killed him, and when Qutayrah ibn Fulan al Sakuni saw that Nujayh had killed Sowdan, he attacked Nujayh and martyred him. Another slave of ‘Uthman, whose name was Subayh, then attacked Qutayrah ibn Fulan and killed him. So there were four who were killed in the house, two martyrs and two criminals. The martyrs were ‘Uthman and his slave Nujayh, and the criminals were Sowdan and Qutayrah, who were both from the tribe of Sakun. When ‘Uthman was martyred, a caller from among the Saba’iyyah Zanadiqa sect cried out:

It cannot be the case that the man’s blood is permissible for us and his property is forbidden for us; his property is permissible for us too.

So they ransacked the house, and the Saba’iyyah thugs did a lot of mischief in the house. They ransacked everything, even taking the jewellery that the women were wearing. One of the Saba’iyyah Zanadiqa, whose name was Kulthum al Tajibi attacked ‘Uthman’s wife, Na’ilah, and took the abayah (cloak) that she was wearing, then he poked her in the hips and said to her:

Woe to your mother, what a perfect backside.

‘Uthman’s slave Subayh saw that and heard the ugly words he said to Na’ilah, so he attacked him with a sword and killed him. One of the Saba’iyyah then attacked the slave and killed him. After the Saba’iyyah Zanadiqa had finished ransacking the house of ‘Uthman, they called out:

Let us go and raid the bayt al mal before anyone else gets there, and take whatever is in it.

The guards of the bayt al mal heard their voices, but there was nothing in it except two containers of food, so they said:

Save yourselves, for these people are after worldly gains.

The Saba’iyyah Zanadiqa attacked the bayt al mal and ransacked it.

The Saba’iyyah Zanadiqa rebels achieved their aim of killing the khalifah, but after that, many of the thugs and hooligans who had followed them stopped and thought. They had never thought that it would end with them killing him, but the devilish Saba’iyyah had fooled them and used them to stir up trouble against ‘Uthman . Killing him was something that they found abhorrent and could not accept. These thugs regretted it, and there happened to them the same as happened to the Children of Israel when they worshipped the calf: some of them regretted it as Allah says:

وَ اتَّخَذَ قَوْمُ مُوْسٰی مِنْۢ بَعْدِهٖ مِنْ حُلِیِّهِمْ عِجْلًا جَسَدًا لَّه خُوَارٌ ؕ اَلَمْ یَرَوْا اَنَّهلَا یُکَلِّمُهُمْ وَلَا یَهْدِیْهِمْ سَبِیْلًاؐ اِتَّخَذُوْهُ وَکَانُوْا ظٰلِمِیْنَ ﴿148﴾ وَلَمَّا سُقِطَ فِیْٓ اَیْدِیْهِمْ وَرَاَوْا اَنَّهُمْ قَدْ ضَلُّوْا ۙ قَالُوْا لَئِنْ لَّمْ یَرْحَمْنَا رَبُّنَا وَیَغْفِرْ لَنَا لَنَكُوْنَنَّ مِنَ الْخٰسِرِیْنَ۔

And the people of Musa [‘alayh al Salam] made in his absence, out of their ornaments, the image of a calf [for worship]. It had a sound [as if it was mooing]. Did they not see that it could neither speak to them nor guide them to the way? They took it [for worship] and they were zalimin (wrongdoers). And when they regretted and saw that they had gone astray, they (repented and) said: “If our Rabb have not mercy upon us and forgive us, we shall certainly be of the losers.” [148]

The righteous people in Madinah were grieved by the murder of their khalifah, and they began to say: “Truly, to Allah we belong and truly, to Him we shall return”, and wept. But what could they do when the rebel Saba’iyyah armies were occupying Madinah and spreading mischief and preventing its people from doing anything? The de facto ruler of Madinah was the leader of the Egyptian rebels, al Ghafiqi ibn Harb al ‘Akki, and they had with them the architect of their devilish plans, ‘Abdullah ibn Saba’, who was rejoicing greatly at the achievement of his fiendish aims.

The rebels then proceeded to take the body of Uthman (رضي الله عنه) to the rubbish tip declaring that no man could bury him. Umme Habibah (رضي الله عنه), the wife of the Prophet (ﷺ) climbed upon the stairs of Masjid-e-Nabwi and announced, “O Rebels know, if you do not allow us to bury Uthman (رضي الله عنه) then I, the wife of the Prophet (ﷺ) will descend into the streets of Madinah with my hair uncovered and I will bury Uthman myself!”.

She knew that no rebel would stand in front of the wife of the Prophet (ﷺ). Ka’b bin Malik (رضي الله عنه) mentions, “I swear by Allah, if Umme Habibah (رضي الله عنه) had descended into the streets of Madinah with her hair uncovered then Allah would have rained rocks from the sky!”

When the rebels heard of this threat from the wife of the Prophet (ﷺ) they allowed the body of Uthman (رضي الله عنه) to be buried by four people, Hasan, Hussain, Ali and Muhammad bin Talha (رضي الله عنهم) When they were taking the body of Uthman (رضي الله عنه) to be buried the rebels began to throw rocks at the body.

Amrita bin Arta (رضي الله عنها) swears, “By Allah, each one of these rebels died a terrible death”.

The ill consequences of the death of Uthman (رضي الله عنه) was such that Hasan (رضي الله عنه) mentions, “I saw my grandfather, the Prophet (ﷺ) in a dream and he was standing by the throne of Allah (ﷻ) and this was the first time I ever saw him in a dream looking worried. And then Abu Bakr (رضي الله عنه) came behind him and he placed his hand on the shoulder of the Prophet (ﷺ) and then Umar (رضي الله عنه) came behind him and he placed his hand upon the shoulder of Abu Bakr (رضي الله عنه) and this was the day Uthman (رضي الله عنه) passed away.

And shortly after this Uthman (رضي الله عنه) came and his face was full of blood and his head was in his hands and he said: “O Messenger of Allah, ask these people for what sin did they butcher me like a cow?””. Hasan (رضي الله عنه) further says, “When Uthman (رضي الله عنه) said this, the throne of Allah began to shake and two streams of blood came down from the throne.”

How Sayyidina Alī succeed Sayyidina Uthman:

After the assassination of the third Caliph, Ameer al Momineen Sayyidina Uthman Ibn Affan. The rebels, comprising Qibtiyeen( tribe from Egypt), Kufis( people from Koof’ah) and Basrawis ( people from Basra), got divided between three candidates: Ali, Talhah and Al-Zubayr.

The First batch of rebels which was dominat lead by Ibn sawadah al Himyari and Mālīk bin Harīth Nakhaie referred to Sayyidina Alī and asked him to accept the caliphate. Also some Sahaba who were in Madina Munawariah persuade him to accept the office.But he refused and answered:’Leave me and seek someone else. We are facing a matter which has (several) faces and colors, which neither hearts can stand nor intelligence can accept. Clouds are hovering over the sky, and faces are not discernible. You should know that if I respond to you I would lead you as I know and would not care about whatever one may say or abuse. If you leave me then I am the same as you are. It is possible I would listen to and obey whomever you make in charge of your affairs. I am better for you as a counselor than as chief.’

Some section of Koofian rebels ( Self proclaimed as Shi’a of Zūbaīr) offered the caliphate to Hazrat Al-Zubayr and rebels from Basra ( Shi’a of Talha ) to Hazrat Talha bin Obayd Allha but both of them refused it too and disassociated anything to do with their so called Shi’a ( Shi’a of Talha and Zūbaīr) Therefore, the rebels threatened that, unless the people of Medinah Munawariah choose a caliph within one day, they would be forced to take some drastic action or even sack the city . In order to resolve the deadlock and the city of Madina Munawariah from rebels, the Muslims in Madina Munawariah gathered in Mosque of Prophet on 18 June 656CE. (25th Dhu al-Hijjah 35AH.) to choose the caliph. Hazrat Alī refused to accept caliphate by the fact that the people who pressed him hardest were the rebels, and he therefore declined at first. But when the Muhajireen, Ansar and from Banu Ummayah (only children of Uthman bin Affan) who lived in Medina urged him he agreed and thus was proclaimed as fourth Ameer al Momineen of Ummat i Muhamadiya.

While the overwhelming majority of people who lived in Medina as well as rebels gave their pledge, some major figures among ahl Hil wal Aqd did not. Banu Ummayah (kins of Hazrat Uthman), remained in their houses and later migrated to Bilad Sham except the children of Uthman. Hazrat Sa`ad ibn Abi Waqqas and Hazrat Abdullah ibn Umar abstained from offering their allegiance but both of them assured Ali that they wouldn’t do anything against Hazrat Alī.

May Allah have mercy on Uthman ibn Affan and be pleased with him and assembles us among his company.


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