Jalees Ahmad, London
Hazrat Uthman bin Affanra was born seven years after the Holy Prophetsa. He belonged to one of the wealthiest tribes of Mecca. His father’s name was Affan and his mother’s name was Arwa.
Hazrat Uthmanra was among the few people who learnt to read and write at a young age. Just like his father, Hazrat Uthmanra became a merchant and was among one of the wealthiest people in Mecca. Even before he accepted Islam he was known for his truthfulness and integrity.
Acceptance of Islam
Hazrat Uthmanra was around 34 years of age when he had first heard of Islam. His aunt informed him about the Holy Prophetsa and the message of Islam which he was preaching. She told him that Islam would one day prevail. This was the first time Hazrat Uthmanra had heard of the message of Islam.
Hazrat Uthmanra related this to his good friend Hazrat Abu Bakrra who then took the opportunity and began preaching to him the message of Islam. He said that if he wanted, he could meet with the Holy Prophetsa.
Thus, when Hazrat Uthman met with the Holy Prophetsa, he started reciting the following verses of the Quran from Surah Al-Dhariyat:
“And in heaven is your sustenance, and also that which you are promised.
“And by the Lord of the heaven and the earth, it is certainly the truth, even as it is true that you speak.”
Then the Holy Prophet addressed Hazrat Uthmanra and told him that he was the Prophet of Allah and sent for all of humanity.
Without any hesitation Hazrat Uthmanra accepted Islam and performed Bai‘at at the hand of the Holy Prophetsa. He thus became one of the earliest followers to accept Islam.
After accepting Islam, Hazrat Uthmanra married Hazrat Ruqayyahra, daughter of the Holy Prophetsa, thus having the good fortune of being the son-in-law of Prophet Muhammadsa.
When Hazrat Uthmanra accepted Islam, he began to face the persecution that all Muslims faced. Even his relatives were not happy to hear the news of his conversion.
Studying history, we find various examples of how the Muslims faced the persecution of Mecca. Hazrat Uthmanra requested for permission from the Holy Prophetsa to migrate to Abyssinia with a few other Muslims, upon which the Holy Prophetsa agreed and thus made Hazrat Uthmanra among the first of those who migrated.
After some time, they heard of the rumors that the people of Quraish had accepted Islam. They then decided to return to Mecca, only to find out that the rumors were false.
Service to Islam
Hazrat Uthmanra committed his entire life in the service of Islam. Though his family was in command of the Quraish, he accepted Islam as he knew it to be right. His service to Islam is remembered even today all throughout history.
When the Muslims migrated to Medina, the first difficulty they faced was scarcity of water.
There was only one well in Medina which belonged to a Jew who would sell the water to the poor inhabitants of Medina at a high price. Hazrat Uthmanra decided to purchase the well and open it for the people of Medina to benifit from it as they pleased. This was a means of easing the first difficulty that the Muslims faced.
On one occasion, the Holy Prophetsa said that Uthmanra had served Islam to such an extent that now he could have whatsoever he wished, and that God would not question him. This shows that he possessed so many good qualities that it was impossible for his actions to be against the teachings of Islam.
The Holy Prophet’ssa love for Hazrat Uthmanra
The loss of a loved one is arguably one of the hardest things to deal with. It’s the kind of pain that has a lasting effect on a person.
When Hazrat Ruqayyara passed away, it was difficult for Hazrat Uthman as he no longer remained the son-in-law of the Holy Prophetsa.
The love that the Holy Prophetsa had for him can be seen on many occasions throughout his life. When Hazrat Ruqayyahra passed away the Holy Prophetsa gave his second daughter in marriage to Hazrat Uthmanra, thus receiving the title of Zun-Nurayn (the one who possesses two lights) by marrying two of the daughters of the Holy Prophetsa.
When the second daughter of the Holy Prophetsa passed away, the Holy Prophetsa remarked, “If I had another daughter I would marry her to Hazrat Uthamn as well.”
(Usdul-Ghabah Fi Marafatis-Sahaba, vol. 3, p. 481)
The status of Hazrat Uthmanra
The Holy Prophetsa had immense respect for Hazrat Uthmanra. On one occasion, the Holy Prophetsa was lying down in a room when suddenly Hazrat Uthmanra entered. The Holy Prophetsa instantly sat up and began adjusting his clothes. Later when Hazrat Aishara asked the Holy Prophetsa about this, he replied, “Should I not show modesty to one whom even the Angels show modesty.”
Even before accepting Islam, Hazrat Uthmanra was known among the people as trustworthy, kind and generous. He was a rich merchant and used his wealth in the service of Islam. However, before his Khilafat he was never known for, and never had he shown any, qualities of leadership. But despite this he was chosen as the third Khalifa of the Prophetsa.
During the Khilafat of Hazrat Uthmanra, Islam had expanded a great deal with such efficiency that it spread all over the world into China.
One of the major accomplishments was of the Holy Quran we see today which was compiled during his Khilafat and under his direct supervision. To date, the entire Muslim Umma benefits from this service.
In Arabia, where drinking alcohol and gambling was a norm and where indulging in killing and raping young women was rampant, only a handful of people would refrain from such acts. Hazrat Uthmanra was among the rare few who never took part in any such “norms” of the Arabian society. Hazrat Uthmanra was a man with a gentle and kind heart. He was known among the people as Al-Ghani i.e. the generous, a quality which was against the norms of the Arabian society.
The sad demise of Hazrat Uthmanra was a sad day for the Muslim Umma. He was brutally murdered by the munafiqin (hypocrites). Even during that period where members of his household were under threat due to the invasion of his house, immediately prior to his martyrdom, he bore all those afflictions with great patience and loyalty to the cause of Islam. He was, indeed, a true servant of the Holy Prophet Muhammadsa. May his soul rest in peace.
The detailed account of the sad demise of Hazrat Uthmanra had many repercussions for the Muslim Umma. These details will Insha-Allah be given seperately in a later issue. For a detailed account of the events surrounding Hazrat Uthman’sra martyrdom, please see www.alislam.org/outset (Editor)