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Uthman ibn `Affan

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    Posted: 02 July 2005 at 4:54am

Bi ismilahir rahmanir raheem

assalamu alaikum

`Uthman ibn `Affan ibn Abi al-`As ibn Umayya ibn `Abd Shams, Abu `Amr, Abu `Abd Allah, Abu Layla al-Qurashi al-Umawi (d. 35), the Prophet’s Friend, Amîr al-Mu’minîn, the third of the four Rightly-Guided Successors of the Prophet and third of the Ten promised Paradise. He is named Dhu al-Nûrayn or "Possessing Two Lights," a reference to his marriage with two daughters of the Prophet, Ruqayya then Umm Kulthum. He is among those who emigrated twice: once to Abyssinia, and again to Madina. He gathered together the Qur’an which he had read in its entirety before the Prophet. During his tenure as Caliph, Armenia, Caucasia, Khurasan, Kirman, Sijistan, Cyprus, and much of North Africa were added to the dominions of Islam. He related 146 hadiths from the Prophet. Among the Companions who narrated from him in the Nine Books are Anas, Abu Hurayra, Jundub, `Abd Allah ibn al-Zubayr, `Abd Allah ibn `Abbas, `Abd Allah ibn `Umar. A host of prominent Followers narrated from him, among them al-Zuhri, Ibn al-Musayyib, al-Dahhak, and `Alqama.

`Uthman was extremely wealthy and generous. When he heard the Prophet say: "Whoever equips the army of al-`Usra, Paradise is for him," he brought the Prophet a thousand gold dinars which he poured into his lap. The Prophet picked them up with his hand and said repeatedly: "Nothing shall harm `Uthman after what he did today." It is also narrated that equipped the army of al-`Usra with seven hundred ounces of gold, or seven hundred and fifty camels and fifty horses.

The Prophet said: "The most compassionate of my Community towards my Community is Abu Bakr; the staunchest in Allah’s Religion is `Umar; and the most truthful in his modesty is `Uthman." The pebbles were heard by Abu Dharr glorifying Allah in the hands of the Prophet, Abu Bakr, `Umar, and `Uthman. The Prophet particularly praised `Uthman for his modesty and said: "Shall I not feel bashful before a man when even the angels feel bashful before him?"

He was humble and was seen at the time of his caliphate sleeping alone in the mosque, wrapped in a blanket with no one around him, and riding on a mule with his son Na’il behind him.

It is related through several sound chains that `Uthman recited the Qur’an in a single rak`a. Ibrahim ibn Rustum al-Marwazi said: "Four are the Imams that recited the entire Qur’an in a single rak`a: `Uthman ibn `Affan, Tamim al-Dari, Sa`id ibn Jubayr, and Abu Hanifa." Ibn al-Mubarak also narrated that `Uthman used to fast all year round. `Ali ibn Abi Talib said: "`Uthman was one of those who were ‘mindful of their duty and [did] good works, and again [were] mindful of [their] duty, and [believed], and once again [were] mindful of their duty, and did right. Allah loves those who do good.’ (5:93)" Ibn `Umar said that `Uthman was meant by the verse "Is he who pays adoration in the watches of the night, prostrate and standing, bewaring of the Hereafter and hoping for the mercy of his Lord. . ." (39:9).

Anas narrated: When Hudhayfa campaigned with the people of Iraq and al-Sham in Armenia, the Muslims contended with regard to the Qur’an in a reprehensible manner. Hudhayfa came to `Uthman and told him: "O Commander of the Believers, rescue this Community before they differ in the Qur’an the way Christians and Jews differed in the Books." `Uthman was alarmed at this and sent word to Hafsa the Mother of the Believers: "Send me all the volumes in which the Qur’an has been written down." When she did, `Uthman ordered Zayd ibn Thabit, Sa`id ibn al-`As, `Abd Allah ibn al-Zubayr, and `Abd Al-Rahman ibn al-Harith ibn Hisham to copy them into volumes. He said: "If you all differ with Zayd concerning the Arabic, then write it in the dialect of Quraysh, for truly the Qur’an was only revealed in their dialect." There is Consensus around the integral contents of `Uthman’s volume. This means that one who denies or questions it in whole or in part has left Islam.

`Uthman was neither tall nor short, extremely handsome, brunet, large-jointed, wide-shouldered, with a large beard which he dyed yellow and long hair which reached to his shoulders, and gold-braced teeth. `Abd Allah ibn Hazm said: "I saw `Uthman, and I never saw man nor woman handsomer of face than him."

The plot to kill `Uthman marked the onset of Dissension (fitna) in the Community. Together with deadly division, the great sign of this Dissension was the beginning of falsehood. The timing of the spread of falsehood was foretold by the Prophet in the hadith: "I entrust to you the well-being of my Companions, and that of those that come after them. Then falsehood will spread." To counter this, the sciences of hadith and hadith criticism were innovated within the half-century which followed `Uthman’s death in order to sift true Prophetic and Companion-reports from false ones. This was done by verifying the authenticity of transmission chains (isnâds) embodied in the honesty and competence of transmitters, and by examining the conditions and contents of transmission in their minutest historical, linguistic, and doctrinal details. Ibn Sirin (d. 110) said: "We used to accept as true what we heard, then lies spread and we began to say: Name your transmitters." Confirming this is al-Hasan al-Basri’s (d. 110) reaction to someone who requested his isnâd: "O man! I neither lie nor was ever called a liar!" Later scholars such as Ibn al-Mubarak (d. 181) declared: "Isnâd is an integral part of the Religion, otherwise anyone can say anything."

The principle of authentication was founded by the Prophet himself and used by the Companions. This is proved by the Prophet’s questioning of the man who said he had seen the new moon of Ramadan: "Do you bear witness that there is no God except Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah?" When he replied in the affirmative, the Prophet accepted his news. Similarly, Ibn `Abbas said: "If a trustworthy source tells us of a fatwa by `Ali, we do not seek any further concerning it." This shows that they already distinguished between true and dubious sources. Furthermore, all the Companions are considered trustworthy sources according to Allah’s saying: "You are the best community that has been raised up for mankind" (3:110) and several other verses and hadiths to that effect. This evidence was listed by al-Khatib in al-Kifaya and Ibn Hajar in al-Isaba.

The Prophet spoke of `Uthman’s forthcoming martyrdom on numerous occasions:

"Give him [`Uthman] the tidings of Paradise after a trial that shall befall him."

"A dissension shall surge like so many bull’s horns. At that time, he [indicating a man wearing a veil] and whoever is with him are on the side of right." Ka`b ibn Murra al-Bahzi then ran to the man, lifted his veil, and turned him towards the Prophet saying: "Him, O Messenger of Allah?" The Prophet said yes. It was `Uthman ibn `Affan.

`Uthman said: "The Prophet took a covenant from me [not to fight at the time of my martyrdom] and I shall fulfill it."

"O `Uthman! It may be that Allah shall vest you with a shirt. If they demand that you remove it, do not remove it."

Ibn `Umar said: "As `Uthman was delivering a sermon, Jahjah al-Ghafari walked up to him, snatched his stick, and broke it on his knee. A shard of wood entered his thigh and it got gangrened and was amputated. Then he died within the year. Al-Qadi `Iyad relates in his book al-Shifa’, chapter entitled "Esteem for the things and places connected with the Prophet," that this staff had belonged to the Prophet.

`Abd Allah ibn Salam said to the Egyptians at the time they were besieging the Commander of the Believers `Uthman ibn `Affan: "Never did Allah’s sword not remain sheathed from harming you since the Prophet came to it until this very day." Yazid ibn Abi Habib said: "I have heard that most of those that rode to kill `Uthman were later seized by demonic possession." Al-Dhahabi mentioned that `Ali had pronounced a curse on `Uthman’s killers. One of the reasons for the climate of hatred stirred up against the Caliph was the grievance of some parties from Egypt and Iraq that `Uthman was favoring his relatives among the Banu Umayya with public offices and demanded that he remove them.

Ibn al-Musayyib related that a group of seven hundred Egyptians came to complain to `Uthman about their governor Ibn Abi Sarh’s tyranny, so `Uthman said: "Chose someone to govern you." They chose Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr, so `Uthman wrote credentials for him and they returned. On their way back, at three days’ distace from Madina, a black slave caught up with them with the news that he carried orders from `Uthman to the governor of Egypt. They searched him and found a message from `Uthman to Ibn Abi Sarh ordering the death of Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr and some of his friends. They returned to Madina and besieged `Uthman. The latter acknowledged that the camel, the slave, and the seal on the letter belonged to him, but he swore that he had never written nor ordered the letter to be written. It was discovered that the letter had been hand-written by Marwan ibn al-Hakam. `Uthman was besieged for twenty-two days during which he refused both to give up Marwan and to resign. He was killed on the last day of Dhu al-Hijja, on the day of Jum`a, by several men who had crept into his house.

Ibn `Umar related from `Uthman that the previous night the latter had seen the Prophet in his dream telling him: "Be strong! Verily you shall break your fast with us tomorrow night." When his assailants came in they found him reading the Qur’an. `Uthman was first stabbed in the head with an arrow-head, then a man placed the point of his sword against his belly, whereupon his wife Na’ila tried to prevent him with her hand, losing several fingers. Then `Uthman and Na’ila’s servant were killed as the latter fought back. She ran out of the house screaming for help and the killers dispersed. It is narrated that `Uthman was killed as he was reading the verse "And Allah will suffice you for defense against them. He is the Hearer, the Knower." (2:137) Several reports state that at the time of `Uthman’s siege and death Zayd ibn Thabit had marshalled three hundred Ansâr in his defense together with Abu Hurayra, Ibn `Umar, al-Hasan, al-Husayn, `Abd Allah ibn al-Zubayr, but `Uthman forbade all of them to fight.

Among `Uthman’s sayings:

"If I were between Paradise and the Fire, unsure where I will be sent, I would choose to be turned into ash before finding out where I was bound."

"I swear by Allah that I never committed fornication in the Time of Ignorance nor in Islam. Islam only increased me in modesty."

His servant Hani’ narrated: "Whenever `Uthman stood before a grave he wept until his beard was wet. He was asked: ‘You have seen battle and death without a tear, and you cry for this?’ He said: ‘The grave is the first abode of the hereafter. Whoever is saved from it, what follows is easier; whoever is not saved from it, what follows is harder. The Prophet said: "I have not seen anything more frightful than the punishment in the grave."’" `Uthman also related from the Prophet that whenever the latter finished burying someone, he would stand by the grave and say: "All of you, ask Allah to forgive your brother and make him steadfast, for he is now being questioned."

The Prophet said: "More men will enter Paradise through the intercession of a certain man than there are people in the tribes of Rabi`a and Mudar." The elders considered that this was `Uthman ibn `Affan.


Main sources: Abu Nu`aym, Hilya al-Awliya’ 1:92-100 #3; al-Dhahabi, Siyar A`lam al-Nubala’ 1/2: 566-614 #4.

Rasul Allah (sallah llahu alaihi wa sallam) said: "Whoever knows himself, knows his Lord" and whoever knows his Lord has been given His gnosis and nearness.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rami Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 September 2005 at 12:44am
Bi ismillahir rahmanr raheem

assalamu alaikum

From The Beauty of the Righteous & Ranks of the Elite,

by Imam Abu Na'im al-Asfahani, trans. Shaykh Muhammad Al-Akili. Pearl Publishing House, Philadelphia: 1996. this is a collection of ahadith on the companions of the prophet (sallah llahu alaihi wa sallam) the original arabic work is some 30 volumes if i remember correctly.

401- ‘Abdullah, the son of ‘Amer bin Rabi’a, said: “When the insurgence against the caliph ‘Uthman, God be pleased with him, took place, my father woke up in the middle of the night, and he prayed, ‘My Lord, I beseech Thee to deliver me from these trials and to protect me as Thou protected Thy most favored servants.’”


The next sire of the people, is the humble before his Lord, the chaste and truly devoted to his Lord, the bearer of the two lights, the most revering of his Lord, who prayed toward the two Qibla, the Sacred House in Mecca and the Furthest Mosque in Jerusalem, and who enjoyed the privilege and blessings of migration twice, that is 'Uthman Ibn 'Affan, God be forever pleased with him, the blessed caliph of God's messenger, upon whom be peace.

'Uthman, may Allah shower him with His utmost blessings, prayed and invoked the divine favors between the two pinnacles of the night. He rose regularly at night to offer extended superogatory prayers and to prostrate himself before his Creator, Cherisher, and Lord. He prayed for God's mercy to embrace him in this life and in the next, and he feared His displeasure and castigation. 'Uthman was generous and most shy, and he was vigilant, reverent, and fearful of his Lord. His fortune during the day consisted of goodness of character, fasting and prayers, and during the night, his fortune was made of superogatory devotion, reading the Qur'anic revelation, contemplation, and prayers.

109- 'Uthman was a hard-working and a persevering devoted worshipper. On this subject, and after the passing of 'Uthman, God be pleased with him, al-Hassan bin 'Ali, God be pleased with him and with his father, was once sitting in a group of believers, and they were reminiscing the virtues of 'Uthman, God be pleased with him. Al-Hassan, referring to his father, and in anticipation that he will further illumine this subject, said, 'The Prince of the Believers will soon arrive.' When 'Ali, God bless his countenance, arrived, he reanimated the subject of 'Uthman, commenting: "Indeed, 'Uthman was among those about whom God Almighty said: 'Those who believe in Allah and do righteous deeds, who guard themselves against evil, and who have faith, thence, and as long as they are God-fearing and do good deeds, surely Allah loves the charitable ones' (Qur'an 5:93).

110- Abu Bakr bin Musa narrated that 'Abdullah bin Omar, God be pleased with him, once explained that the Qur'anic verse: 'He who worships devoutly during the hours of the night, prostrating himself or standing up (in devotion), who heeds the call of the hereafter, and hopes to win the mercy of his Lord,' (Qur'an 39:9) refers to 'Uthman, God be forever pleased with him.

111- Sulaiman bin Ahmad narrated that Ibn Omar narrated that God's messenger said: "The most humble and unassuming person among my followers is 'Uthman Ibn 'Affan."

112- On this subject, Ahmad Ibn Hanbal reported that al-Hassan spoke of 'Uthman's regard to modesty, saying: "Even when he was in the privacy of his house, and his doors were locked, 'Uthman would not take off his robe when he poured water to wash himself, he would sit down while taking a bath, and his modesty prevented him from standing up naked before the all-Seeing Omnipresent Lord."

113- 'Abdullah bin Omar once said: "Three men from the tribe Quraish are the most cheerful, the most modest, and they have the best of character. They are truthful when they speak, and they are not suspicious of others' truthfulness. They are Abu Bakr al-Siddiq, 'Uthman Ibn 'Affan, and 'Ubaida al-Jarrah."

114- Imam Muhammad Ibn Seerin narrated that when the assailants besieged 'Uthman's house, and in a moment of distress, his beleaguered wife burst out in tears as she cried out: "Whether you kill him or not, he used to recite the entire Qur'an throughout the night during a single rak'a of his prayers."

115- Abi Ja'far narrated that Masrouq saw al-Ashtar, a member of the mob that murdered 'Uthman, God be pleased with him. Masrouq inquired: "Did you kill 'Uthman?" Al-Ashtar boastfully and conceitedly replied: "Yes we did." Masrouq pondered in dismay for a moment and then said: "By God, you have murdered a man who has fasted all his life and prayed all his nights."

'Uthman, God be forever pleased with him, was given the glad tidings of the adversities he had to meet, and his heart was guarded against anxiety or complaints in that regard. 'Uthman met anxiety with patience, and he traveled through afflictions with thankfulness to his Lord. He sipped the bitter taste of his trials and tribulations in this world to savor the everlasting sweetness and solace of salvation in the hereafter.

116- On this subject, Abu Musa al-Ash'ari narrated that he was once together with God's messenger inside a garden when someone came to the gate and sought permission to enter. God's messenger said: "Open the gate and give him the glad tidings of paradise and of an atrocious last trial in this world." When Abu Musa opened the gate, he found 'Uthman, God be pleased with him, standing at the door, and when I told him the news, he came in thanking Allah for His favors, and he sat down quietly next to God's messenger.

117- Abi Hazim narrated that when 'Uthman was besieged inside his house, he said: "I have made a solemn promise to God's messenger, and I must endure its consequences with patience."

118- Ahmad bin Sanan narrated that 'Uthman earned two distinct badges of honor that added to his prominence, and neither Abu Bakr nor Omar had them: (1) 'Uthman was unjustly murdered, and (2) he compiled the Qur'an.

Among his other traits, 'Uthman spent freely his entire wealth on God's path, he sought the pleasure of his Lord, and he provided comfort to His servants. 'Uthman took little for himself, he wore ordinary cloaks, ate plain food, and sought the highest of achievements, and finally, by the mercy of his Lord, he was crowned with the highest of honors.

119- Abu Huraira, God be pleased with him, narrated: "'Uthman bought paradise from God's messenger, upon whom be peace, twice: 1) Once in a business transaction when he bought the well of rumah (from the disbelievers), and which he made a public property for all Muslims, and 2) he bought it a second time when he fully financed and equipped the Army of Hardship (Jaish al-'Usra)."

120- Also on this subject, 'Abdu-Rahman Ibn Abi Habab al-Salmi narrated that prior to the Battle of Badr, God's messenger delivered a sermon concerning the Army of Hardship, and he admonished the people to support it. Initially, 'Uthman pledged to equip one hundred men. When God's messenger further invited the people to share in this responsibility, 'Uthman made an additional pledge to equip another hundred. God's messenger spoke again on their behalf, and 'Uthman again added a pledge to equip another hundred. God's messenger then said: "'Uthman does no longer need a deed of righteousness (i.e., to please Allah) after this."

121- 'Abdullah bin Omar narrated that when God's messenger saw 'Uthman going back and forth to equip the Army of Hardship (Arb. jaish al-'usra) before the Battle of Badr took place, God's messenger prayed: "O Allah, forgive 'Uthman for every step he takes back and forth, for every deed he hides and every deed he displays, and forgive him for whatever thoughts he conceals and whatever words he utters."

122- Al-Hassan, son of 'Ali, once said: "I saw 'Uthman resting inside the mosque covered with an ordinary blanket, and he had no personal guards when he was the Muslim State's Calif and commander of the believers. When he woke up in the morning, the marks of stones showed on his side, and the people would point out, saying: "This is Amir ul-Mu'mineen."' (The commander of the believers).

123- Ja'far bin Muhammad bin al-Fadhl narrated that 'Uthman used to feed the people the best of food, and later on, he would enter his house to partake a modest meal of some bread which he dipped in a little oil and vinegar.

124- Sulaiman bin Musa narrated that during his caliphate, 'Uthman was called upon once to reprove a group of people who engaged in an iniquitous act. When he came out of his house, the people had dispersed, 'Uthman praised God Almighty for sparing him from such encounter, and on that day, he bought the freedom of a slave as an expression of his deep gratitude to his Lord."

125- Maimoun bin Mihran narrated that al-Hamadani told him: "I once saw 'Uthman, during the appogé of his caliphate, riding on a mule and his servant Na'il riding behind him."

126- 'Abdullah bin al-Rumi narrated that 'Uthman once said: "If I was given a choice between going to heaven or hell, and not knowing to which of the two I will ultimately be taken, I would rather be turned into ashes before I know my final destination."

127- 'Abdullah bin 'Amir bin Rabi'a was once visiting with 'Uthman and he heard him say: "Let Allah be my witness, that I have never committed adultery in my life, whether during the period of jahiliyya (Arab paganism), or later on in Islam, and I became more reserved since the religion Islam was established."

128- 'Abdullah al-Madini narrated that 'Uthman's servant Hani said: "Whenever 'Uthman visited a grave, he sobbed until his beard was soaking in tears."

129- Abi Masja's narrated: "We once went along with 'Uthman to visit a dying person, and 'Uthman instructed him to utter the testimony, 'La ilaha il Allah' (Surely there is no god except Allah). When the person did what he was told, 'Uthman immediately commented, 'I swear by Him in Whose presence my soul stands, with this testimony which he has just cast upon his sins, he has wiped them out altogether.' The people inquired with a degree of wonder, 'Is this something that you are personally testifying to, or did you hear this statement from God's messenger?' 'Uthman replied, 'Indeed, I have heard it from God's messenger.' Someone then asked, 'If uttering this testament proves thus for a dying person, then what effects would it have on a healthy person when he testifies to it?' 'Uthman replied, 'Much much stronger.'"
Rasul Allah (sallah llahu alaihi wa sallam) said: "Whoever knows himself, knows his Lord" and whoever knows his Lord has been given His gnosis and nearness.
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