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Caliphate of Hazrat Usman

Hazrat Usman: His life before becoming a caliph and his character:
Hazrat Usman belonged to Banu Ummayya family of the Quraish.
His fathers name was Affan.
He was born in Makkah in the 6th year of the Elephant.
His mothers name was Arwah.
His ancestry coincided with the Holy Prophet (PBUH) in fifth generation on Abd Munaf.
In the ignorance Period, his by-name was Abu Amr.
After embracing Islam, his by-name was Abu Abdullah.
Hazrat Usmans father was one of the richest men in Makkah.
Hazrat Usman was educated and loved learning.
He lived a chaste life, even during the Jahiliya Period, and never drank, gambled or
worshipped idols.
When he accepted Islam at the hands of Hazrat Abu Bakr, his family started torturing him.
Hazrat Usman was one of the first Arabs to accept Islam.
Muhammad (PBUH) gave Hazrat Usman his second daughter, Hazrat Ruqayya, in marriage.
Hazrat Usman migrated to Abbysinia with his wife, where he flourished as a trader.
He returned to Makka when a rumor spread among the emigrants that the Quraish had
accepted Islam.
Instead of returning to Abbysinia, he stayed back at Makkah with the Prophet (PBUH).
Here, he spent freely in the way of Allah and liberated quite a few Muslim slaves.
Migrated to Madina where Hazrat Aus bin Sabit was his host.
After the Battle of Badr, Hazrat Ruqayya fell ill and passed away.
Muhammad (PBUH) gave his third daughter, Hazrat Kulsum, in marriage to Hazrat Usman.
Thus, Hazrat Usman is known as Zun-Nurain, or the possessor of two lights.
Barely 6 years after her marriage, Hazrat Kulsum also fell ill and died.
In Madina, Hazrat Usman worked hard as a trader and became one of the richest men of the
city.
He used to spend freely in the way of Allah, and earned the title of Ghani.
Took part in all important battles, except Badr, when he was nursing his dying wife, Hazrat
Ruqayya.
Second person after Hazrat Umar to offer allegiance to Hazrat Abu Bakr as the first caliph.
Main attributes of his pesonality:
Eloquence and dignity, forgiveness even when able to wreak vengeance, generosity,
modesty and nobility; sincerity in friendship and giving advice, kindness and compassion to all
people, zeal for his faith, fear of the Lord and his devotion in Allahs worship.
Election as Caliph:
Hazrat Umar told the following people to choose the next caliph from among themselves:

I) Hazrat Ali
II) Hazrat Usman
III) Hazrat Zubair bin Awwam
IV) Hazrat
Abdur Rehman bin Auf
V) Hazrat Talha
VI) Hazrat Saad bin Abi Waqqas
Hazrat Abdur Rehman bin Auf was not willing to shoulder the responsibilities of being a caliph
and Hazrat Talha was not in Madina at the time of Hazrat Umars death.
Hazrat Abdur Rehman bin Auf agreed to act as a judge in the choosing of the next caliph.
After having consulted with the contestants, prominent Companions and the populace, he
determined that the majority favored Hazrat Usman.
Hazrat Abdur Rehman bin Auf and all the other contestants took the Bayt at the hands of
Hazrat Usman. Thus, Hazrat Usman was selected as the 3rd Caliph on 4 Muharram, 24 AH.
Conquests in the East and West:
Most foreign rulers thought that it would be easy to wrest control of territories from the kindhearted Hazrat Usman.
There were several serious uprisings in Persia in the East and Byzantine in the West.
Within the 1st year of his caliphate, he swiftly crushed these rebellions.
During his reign, the whole of North Africa was conquered, including the present countries of
Libya, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco.
The island of Cyprus was also captured.
Thus, by Hazrat Usmans reign, the Muslim Empire stretched from Morocco to Kabul.
Causes of the revolt against Hazrat Usman:
The Islamic State contained many tribes and nationalities which had been subjugated.
Although some of them had accepted Islam, they still grudged their defeat and Islam had not
imbibed their hearts.
The Jews who had lost their religious and social importance conspired against Islam.
When Hazrat Usman learnt of the activities of these conspirators, he expelled them from
Kufa and Basra. These conspirators widened their sphere of activity. Especially in Egypt, where
a number of Jews who had only outwardly accepted Islam joined hands with them One of these
Jews, Abdullah bin Saba, instigated Muslims in the name of Hazrat Ali in Kufa, Basra, Madina
and Egypt and sowed the seeds of dissension amongst them.
Rivalry in the Quraish themselves, i.e. between the Hashimites and Umayyads weakened the
power of Hazrat Usman. Old tribal jealousies began to raise their head.
Hazrat Usmans leniency encouraged his enemies.
Charges against Hazrat Usman:

Nepotism:
It was alleged that Hazrat Usman appointed his inefficient relatives as governors in four
provinces out of the twelve in the Muslim State, i.e. Egypt, Syria, Kufa and Basra.
Governor

Province

Muawiya
excellent administrator.

Syria

Relation with Usman


relative

Remarks
Able ruler and

Abdullah bin Saad


Egypt
conquered under his rule

foster brother

Walid bin Uqba


Kufa
Abi Waqqas when he could

Close relation

N. Africa
Replaced Saad bin
not control the

situation. Conducted successful


campaigns in
Armenia and Azerbaijan. Was
deposed at public
agitation, in public interest.
Abdullah bin Amir
Basra
Ashari at the demand of the

Cousin

Replaced Abu Musa


people of Basra.

Conquered Fars,Seestan and


Khusaran.

Leniency:
It is also alleged that Hazrat Usman was weak and did not exercise a check on his
governors.
Actually, he had his governors in confidence and they enjoyed much independence from the
center.
He did not wish to interfere in their day-to-day affairs.

Burning of old copies of the Holy Quran:


Rebels raised hue and cry that Hazrat Usman had maliciously burnt copies of the Quran.
Hazrat Usman answered each and every one of the rebels charges in the presence of
Hazrat Ali and some Companions; they were satisfied.
The rebels stuck to their point-of-view and prepared to march on Madina from Egypt, Kufa
and Basra, with a contingent of 1,000 men coming from each region.
Finding the people of Madina ready to defend their city disappointed the rebels.
Hazrat Ali tried to argue with them and they finally agreed to turn back if Hazrat Usman would
appoint Muhammad bin Abu Bakr as governor of Egypt in place of Abdullah bin Saad.
Martyrdom of Hazrat Usman:
The rebels returned 4 days later, shouting for revenge.
They claimed that they had intercepted an order of Hazrat Usman to the governor of Egypt to
kill Muhammad bin Abu Bakr and his companions upon their arrival.
Hazrat Usman swore that he had sent no such order.
The rebels told Hazrat Usman to abdicate or he would be disposed.
When Hazrat Usman refused, they besieged his house and cut off all supplies of food and
water.

Hazrat Ali and Hazrat Zubair deputed their sons to protect Hazrat Usman and bring him food
and water.
Hazrat Usman refused all offers of military help as he did not want to shed Muslim blood.
The siege lasted for 50 days.
Some rebels scaled the back walls of Hazrat Usmans house, jumped in and mercilessly
killed him while he was reading the Holy Quran.
When Hazrat Usmans wife, Naila, tried to save him, she was pushed away and her fingers
were cut off.
This tragic event took place on 18 Zil-Haj, 35 AH.
Hazrat Usmans martyrdom shattered Muslim unity and serious differences arose between
the Muslims who were now divided into two parties the Hashimites and the Umayyads.
Administration:
Followed the Sunnah of Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH)
Relaxed the strict laws of Hazrat Umar.
Allowed Arabs to acquire lands in conquered areas.
Made extensions to the Masjid-e-Nabwi and constructed new mosques.
Ordered construction of inns, border-outposts and guesthouses.
Made arrangement to supply travelers with water by having wells dug near roads.
Built dam to protect Madina from floods coming from the side of Khyber.
Raised the salaries of officers and the armed forces.
Rendered great service to Islam by standardizing the Quran.

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