Friday Sermon – Men of Excellence: Hazrat Uthman r.a. ibn Affan (12 March 2021)

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Friday Sermon

12 March 2021

Men of Excellence: Hazrat Uthmanra ibn Affan

After reciting Tashahud, Ta‘awuz and Surah al-Fatihah, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa said:

The accounts from the life of Hazrat Uthmanra are being mentioned. Hazrat Uthmanra performed the pilgrimage of Hajj approximately a year before his demise or when the disorder had reached its peak. In any case, when he performed his last pilgrimage of Hajj, the rebels had started to openly create disorder. Hazrat Amir Muawiyahra was greatly concerned about this and Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra states:

“On the return from Hajj, Hazrat Muawiyahra also accompanied Hazrat Uthmanra to Medina. After having stayed there for a few days, when he was about to depart, he met Hazrat Uthmanra in private and said, ‘It appears that disorder is growing; if you permit, may I submit something in this regard?’ Hazrat Uthmanra said, ‘Go ahead.’ 

“Upon this, he said, ‘My first proposal is that you accompany me to Syria as it is peaceful there in every respect; there is no disorder whatsoever. I fear that if disorder suddenly arises we may not be able to make arrangements at the time.’ Hazrat Uthmanra replied, ‘I cannot leave the neighbourhood of the Holy Prophetsa under any circumstance, even if my body is torn to pieces.’ 

“Hazrat Muawiyahra said, ‘Then my second proposal is that you grant me permission to send a contingent of the Syrian army for your protection. No one shall be able to make mischief in its presence.’ Hazrat Uthmanra replied, ‘Neither can I burden the bait-ul-mal [treasury] to such an extent in order to safeguard the life of Uthman, nor can I tolerate putting the people of Medina to difficulty by maintaining a military presence.’ 

“Upon this, Hazrat Muawiyahra submitted, ‘Then my third proposal is that you send off the Companions to various countries because in their presence, people possess the courage to assume that if you do not remain, someone else may be put forward in your stead.’ 

“Hazrat Uthmanra replied, ‘How is it possible for me to scatter those whom the Holy Prophetsa has gathered?’ Upon hearing this, Hazrat Muawiyahra began to weep and submitted, ‘If you do not accept any of these strategies which I have proposed for your protection, then at least announce to the people, “If any harm comes to me, then Muawiyah shall possess the right to retaliate on my behalf.” Perhaps, people shall refrain from making mischief in fear on this account.’ 

“Hazrat Uthmanra replied, ‘Muawiyah! What is to happen will surely come to pass. I cannot grant this permission since you possess a stern disposition.’” Hazrat Uthmanra said to Hazrat Muawiyah  that he possessed a stern disposition; “‘and may treat the Muslims harshly.’ 

“Thereupon, Hazrat Muawiyahra stood up weeping and said, ‘I fear this may be our last meeting.’ When he stepped outside, he said to the Companions, ‘The fate of Islam rests upon you. Hazrat Uthmanra has now fallen very weak. Disorder is escalating. Please do look after him.’ After saying this, Muawiyahra set off for Syria.” (Islam Mein Ikhtilafat ka Aghaz, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 4, pp. 285-286)

With regard to Hazrat Uthman’sra great courage and resolve, Mujahid narrates that Hazrat Uthmanra peered from inside his house and addressing the rebels, said, “O my people! Do not kill me because I am the leader of the time and I am your Muslim brother. By God! Irrespective of whether my understanding [about a matter] was correct or not, I have only ever strived to ensure reform to the best of my ability. Remember, if you kill me, you will never be able to gather together to offer prayers collectively, nor will you be able to set out for Jihad together and neither will you distribute wealth in a just manner.” 

The narrator states, “When the rebels who had besieged his house refused to pay heed, Hazrat Uthmanra stated, ‘I ask you in the name of God, when Amirul Momineen – Hazrat Umarra – passed away, at the time you were one and were established upon the faith, did you not pray in the manner that you did?’” i.e. for Khilafat. “‘But now you are effectively saying that your prayers were not accepted; or you wish to say that Allah the Almighty no longer cares for His faith; or you claim that I attained this (i.e. Khilafat) forcefully at sword point or usurped it and that this was not given to me after mutual consultation of the Muslims; or perhaps you believe that during the early stages of my Khilafat, Allah the Almighty was not aware of the matters relating to me that He is now aware of. This cannot be the case as Allah the Almighty knows everything.’ When the rebels refused to accept this as well, Hazrat Uthmanra prayed, ‘O Allah! Take note of them and destroy each and every one of them and do not spare even a single one from among them.’” 

Mujahid further states, “Whosoever took part in this rebellion, Allah the Almighty destroyed every single one of them.” (Ibn Saad, Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol. 3, Uthmanra bin Affan [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar Ihya al-Turath al-Arabi, 1996], p. 38)

Abu Laylah Kindi narrates, “I saw Hazrat Uthmanra when he was under siege. He peered from an opening and said, ‘O People! Do not kill me and if I am at fault for anything, give me respite so I can repent. I swear by Allah! If you kill me, you will never be able to congregate to offer prayers together, nor will you be able to counter the enemy as one. Indeed, [in such a case] you will then quarrel with one another and always be at odds with one another.’” The narrator states that Hazrat Uthmanra used his fingers to indicate this. 

Hazrat Uthmanra then said: 

يٰقَوْمِ لَا يَجْرِمَنَّكُمْ شِقَاقِيْ اَنْ يُّصِيْبَكُمْ مِّثْلُ مَآ اَصَابَ قَوْمَ نُوْحٍ اَوْ قَوْمَ هُوْدٍ اَوْ قَوْمَ صٰلِحٍ وَمَا قَوْمُ لُوْطٍ مِّنْكُمْ بِبَعِيْدٍ

Meaning “O my people, let not your hostility towards me lead you to this that there should befall you the like of that which befell the people of Noah or the people of Hud or the people of Salih; and the people of Lot are not far from you.” [Ch.11: V.90] 

Hazrat Uthmanra then sent a message to Hazrat Abdullahra bin Salam. When Hazrat Abdullah bin Salamra came he asked Hazrat Uthmanra what his opinion was on what was happening. Hazrat Uthmanra said, “Refrain from fighting, refrain from fighting, because this will be more favourable for to prove that you are on the side of the truth.” (Ibn Saad, Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol. 3, Uthmanra bin Affan [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar Ihya al-Turath al-Arabi, 1996], p. 39)

Muhammad bin Sirin narrates that Hazrat Zaidra bin Thabit Ansari came to Hazrat Uthmanra and submitted, “The Ansar have gathered at the door and are saying that if you permit, we are prepared to become Allah’s Ansar [helpers of Allah] for the second time.”  Upon this, Hazrat Uthmanra stated, “No, do not fight under any circumstance.”

Hazrat Abu Hurairahra states, “On Yaum Al-Dar [the day of the siege], I went to Hazrat Uthmanra and said, ‘O Amirul Momineen! The situation warrants that you raise the sword [against the rebels].’ 

“Hazrat Uthmanra stated, ‘O Abu Hurairah! Would you like to kill everyone, including me?’ I said, ‘No’. Hazrat Uthmanra then said, ‘By God! Even if you kill one person, it is as if you have killed everyone.’” Hazrat Abu Hurairahra states that he subsequently returned home and did not partake in the battle. As mentioned before, he stated that it was time to raise the sword.

Hazrat Abdullah bin Zubairra narrates that on the day of the siege, he submitted to Hazrat Uthmanra, “O Amirul Momineen! Wage war against these people, because waging war against them has been made lawful for you by Allah the Almighty.” Hazrat Uthmanra stated, “By Allah! I will never wage war against them.” 

The narrator states that they made their way inside and at the time Hazrat Uthmanra was fasting. Hazrat Uthmanra had appointed Hazrat Abdullahra bin Zubair to guard his door and said, “Whosoever wishes to obey me, he should follow Abdullah bin Zubair.” Hazrat Abdullahra bin Zubair states that he said to Hazrat Uthmanra, “O Amirul Momineen! You have a group of people here in your house for your protection, who have the support and succour of Allah. They are fewer in number than the rebels. Grant me permission to fight against these rebels.” Hazrat Uthmanra stated, “I say to you in the name of Allah, no person should shed their blood for my sake, nor should anyone else’s blood be shed for my sake.” (Ibn Saad, Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol. 3, Uthmanra bin Affan [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar Ihya al-Turath al-Arabi, 1996], p. 39)

With regard to the conflict and discord before the martyrdom of Hazrat Uthmanra and the incident of his martyrdom, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra states: 

“Since the rebels had apparently gained victory already, they sent someone to Hazrat Uthmanra again, as a final strategy, to have him resign from Khilafat. They felt that if he resigned himself then the Muslims would have no authority or opportunity to punish the rebels. 

“When the messenger reached Hazrat Uthmanra, he said, ‘I have refrained from vices even in the days of jahiliyyah [era of ignorance prior to the advent of Islam] and have not violated the injunctions [of God] after accepting Islam. Why and for what crime should I leave the office which God the Exalted has conferred upon me? I shall never remove the garment which God the Exalted has clothed me with.’

“The messenger returned after hearing this reply and addressed his people in the following words, ‘By God! We have fallen into grave trial. By God! We cannot escape the clutches of the Muslims without killing Uthman[ra]’”, because in this case the government would topple and its administration would crumble and there would be no one to question them, “‘but killing him is in no way permissible.’” i.e. their only solution was to kill Hazrat Uthmanra but they knew that this was not permissible. 

“Not only do the words of this person highlight the anxiety of the rebels, but they also establish that Hazrat Uthmanra had still not allowed anything to arise which the rebels could have used as an excuse. In their hearts, the rebels knew that killing Hazrat Uthmanra was not lawful under any circumstances. 

“Hazrat Abdullahra bin Salam arrived when the rebels were plotting to assassinate Hazrat Uthmanra. Hazrat Abdullahra bin Salam was greatly revered within his tribe even when he was a disbeliever and the Jews believed him to be their chief and a peerless scholar. He stood at the door and began to admonish the rebels, and he forbade them from killing Hazrat Uthmanra saying, ‘O People! Do not draw the sword of God over your heads. By God! If you draw the sword, you will never find an opportunity to put it back into its sheath; conflict and discord among the Muslims shall never end. Pay heed! Today, the government [punishes criminals] by the whip’” generally lashing is the penalty for a criminal offence in the Islamic penal code; “‘but if you kill this man, then the State will not be able to maintain order without the sword’”, i.e. people will be killed for petty crimes. “‘Keep in mind that the angels are the guardians of Medina at this time; if you kill him, the angels will desert Medina.’

“The benefit that the rebels derived from this admonition was that they drove off Abdullahra bin Salam, the companion of the Holy Prophetsa. In addition, they taunted him with reference to his previous faith saying, ‘O son of a Jewess! What have you to do with these matters?’ It is a shame, that the rebels remembered that Abdullahra bin Salam was the son of a Jewish lady, but forgot that he had accepted Islam at the hand of the Holy Prophetsa. Furthermore, the Holy Prophetsa was immensely pleased when he converted and he too stood by the Holy Prophetsa in every hour of difficulty and suffering. Moreover, the rebels also forgot that Abdullah bin Saba, their leader and instigator – the person who declared Hazrat Alira to be the wasi of the Holy Prophetsa [i.e. the claim that Hazrat Alira was meant to be the first Khalifa after the demise of the Holy Prophetsa] and presented him in opposition to Hazrat Uthmanra – was also the son of a Jewess. In fact, he was a Jew himself and was only outwardly expressing Islam.

“Disappointed by the rebels, Hazrat Abdullahra bin Salam left. And the rebels – upon noticing that it was difficult to murder Hazrat Uthmanra by entering through the door because the few people who were present on guard there were bent upon killing or dying – decided to assassinate Hazrat Uthmanra by jumping over the wall of a neighbouring house. As such, with this intention, a few rebels jumped over the wall of a neighbouring house and snuck into the room of Hazrat Uthmanra. When these people entered, Hazrat Uthmanra was reciting the Holy Quran. After the siege had been laid, day and night, the only occupation of Hazrat Uthmanra was to offer prayer or recite the Holy Quran, and he would not pay attention to any other work. In those days, the only other task that he performed before the rebels penetrated the house was to appoint two men in order to guard the treasury, because on that night, the Holy Prophetsa appeared to him”, i.e. Hazrat Uthmanra “in a vision and said, ‘O Uthmanra! Break your fast with us this evening.’

“After this vision, Hazrat Uthmanra was convinced that he would be martyred that day. Hence, taking his responsibility into account, Hazrat Uthmanra ordered two men to stand guard by the gate of the treasury, so that no one would attempt to loot the treasury during the chaos and mischief.

“When the rebels reached inside they found Hazrat Uthmanra reciting the Holy Quran. Muhammad bin Abi Bakr was also among the attackers and due to the power he commanded over the rebels, he considered it his duty to be at the forefront of everything.” He thought that since he was the son of Hazrat Abu Bakrra, therefore he held a superior status and considered it his duty to be at the forefront of everything. 

“And so, he advanced and took hold of Hazrat Uthmanra by his beard and gave it a violent tug. In response to this action of his, Hazrat Uthmanra only said this much, ‘O my brother’s son! If your father’” i.e. Hazrat Abu Bakrra, “‘had been here now, he would never have done such a thing. What has happened to you? Are you displeased with me for the sake of God? Are you angry at me for anything other than the fact that I have made you fulfil the rights of God?’” In other words, all that Hazrat Uthmanra said was that they ought to fulfil the rights of God.

“Upon this, Muhammad bin Abi Bakr turned back in shame. However, the rest of the rebels remained there. Since definite news had been received that the army of Basra would reach Medina that night and this was their last opportunity, the rebels had decided that they would not return without completing their mission. One of them advanced and struck the head of Hazrat Uthmanra with an iron rod. Then he kicked the Quran which was placed opposite Hazrat Uthmanra. The Holy Quran went tumbling towards Hazrat Uthmanra and drops of blood fell upon it from his head. What to talk of dishonouring the Holy Quran – the virtue and honesty of these people became fully exposed by this event.

“The verse upon which the blood of Hazrat Uthmanra fell was a magnificent prophecy that was fulfilled in its own time with such grandeur that a person who possessed even the hardest of hearts closed his eyes, out of fear, after beholding a glimpse of its blood-stained words. The verse was:

فَسَيَكْفِيْكَهُمُ‭ ‬اللّٰهُ‭ ‬وَ‭ ‬هُوَ‭ ‬السَّمِيْعُ‭ ‬الْعَلِيْمُ

“‘Allah will surely avenge thee against them, for He is All-Hearing, All-Knowing.’ [Ch.2: V.138]

“After this a person by the name of Saudan advanced and desired to attack Hazrat Uthmanra with a sword. When he made his first strike, Hazrat Uthmanra shielded himself with his hand and his hand was cut. 

“Upon this, he said, ‘By God the Exalted, this was the first hand to write the Holy Quran.’ After this, Saudan made a second attack in an attempt to assassinate Hazrat Uthmanra but his wife Na‘ilah moved forward and stepped in between. This evil person, however, did not even hesitate to strike a lady; he attacked and her fingers were severed. 

“After this, he made another attack upon Hazrat Uthmanra and severely wounded him. Then, in the thought that perhaps he had not yet died and may survive, when Hazrat Uthmanra was writhing in agony and fell unconscious due to the pain of his wounds, this wretched person immediately took to his neck and began to strangle him. This man did not release the neck of Hazrat Uthmanra until his soul departed his physical body and flew to the heavenly world, eagerly accepting the invitation of the Holy Prophetsa.

اِنَّا‭ ‬لِلّٰهِ‭ ‬وَاِنَّآ‭ ‬اِلَيْهِ‭ ‬رَاجِعُوْنَ

“[Surely, to Allah we belong and to Him shall we return].

“At first, overwhelmed by the horror of this scene, the wife of Hazrat Uthmanra was unable to speak. She finally called out for help and the people sitting at the door rushed inside. However, any help was now useless; what was to happen had already taken place. When the freed slave of Hazrat Uthmanra saw the blood-stained sword, which had been used to martyr Hazrat Uthmanra, in the hands of Saudan, he was unable to restrain himself. He advanced and severed the head of Saudan with his sword. In turn, one of his [Saudan’s] associates killed him. Now the throne of the Islamic Empire was empty of a Khalifa. The people of Medina deemed further efforts to be futile and all of them returned to their respective homes. 

“After martyring Hazrat Uthmanra, the rebels began to terrorise the members of his household. The wife of Hazrat Uthmanra desired to move away and when she left, a wretched person from among them passed a most vulgar remark to his associates about her. 

“Undoubtedly, for a respectable man, no matter what religion he belongs to, it is difficult to even fathom that the rebels would express such foul views at a time when they had just martyred the foremost”, pioneer, “Companionra of the Holy Prophetsa – his son-in-law, the king of the Muslim Empire and then, the Khalifa of the time. However, their indecency was so immense that no evil deed was beyond them. These rebels were neither in pursuit of any good objective, nor did their party consist of righteous people. 

“Some of them were admirers of the deceptive, anti-Islam, strange and peculiar teachings of Abdullah bin Saba, the Jew. Others were fascinated by [the concept of] excessive socialism; rather, Bolshevism. Some were criminals who had served sentences and were looking to spill out their animosity, while others were robbers and bandits, who saw this conflict as a means of fulfilling their ends. In short, their indecency is not surprising. As a matter of fact, it would have been surprising if these people had not behaved in such a manner.

“While the rebels were pillaging and plundering, another freed slave could not restrain himself when he heard the screams and cries of the household of Hazrat Uthmanra. The slave attacked and killed the person who had killed the first slave. At this, they killed him as well. The rebels even took off the jewellery worn by the women and left the house laughing and mocking.” (Islam Mein Ikhtilafat ka Aghaz, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 4, pp. 327-331)

On another occasion, regarding the vulgarity and impropriety of those that murdered Hazrat Uthmanra, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra states: 

“Just look at what they did; they martyred Hazrat Uthmanra and whilst he was lying in a pool of blood, writhing in agony, the murderers were passing vulgar remarks about the wife of Hazrat Uthmanra by commenting about her body. Their actions then became even worse…” i.e. not only towards Hazrat Uthman’sra wife, but worse still; Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra states that they began to pass vulgar remarks about Hazrat Aishara. Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra states: 

“Upon hearing these things, I say that Allah the Almighty has granted me a lofty position, for which I am honoured. But it is my heart’s desire, that if only I were alive then instead of now, I would have obliterated them all. Look at the extent they fell…” as mentioned earlier, they removed the hijab from Hazrat Aishara and upon seeing her they commented that she was a young woman.” (Report Mushawarat 11-12 April 1925, pp. 32-33)

They did not even refrain from passing remarks about Hazrat Aishara.

Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra states: 

“From the treatment meted out to Hazrat Uthmanra, it is evident that Hazrat Uthmanra was not fearful in the slightest of what they would do to him. It is proven from history that when the rebels had overtaken Medina, before the prayers they would spread out inside the mosque and kept the people of Medina separate from one another lest they gather together to resist them. 

“But despite all the discord and strife and a general atmosphere of hostility, Hazrat Uthmanra would come to the mosque alone for prayers, and would not be fearful in the slightest. He kept on coming to the mosque until a time he was stopped from doing so. 

“When the discord worsened and the rebels attacked the house of Hazrat Uthmanra, instead of Hazrat Uthmanra asking the companions to stand guard around his house, Hazrat Uthmanra pleaded with them in the name of God not to place their lives in danger by protecting him and then ordered them to return to their homes. Does a person scared of martyrdom act in this way and telling people not to worry for him and instead for them to return home? This proves that Hazrat Uthmanra was not fearful of being martyred.

“Another irrefutable proof that Hazrat Uthmanra was not afraid of martyrdom is that”, as mentioned in the beginning of the sermon, “when the discord had begun, Hazrat Muawiyahra came for Hajj. When he was about to return to Syria, he met Hazrat Uthmanra in Medina and said, ‘Come with me to Syria, there you will be safeguarded from any discord.’ Hazrat Uthmanra replied, ‘Muawiyah! I will not like to leave the neighbourhood of the Holy Prophetsa at any cost.’ 

“Hazrat Muawiyahra then said, ‘If this is not acceptable then grant me permission to send a contingent of the Syrian army for your protection.’ Hazrat Uthmanra replied, ‘For the sake of my protection I will not let the provisions of the Muslims be diminished.’ Hazrat Muawiyahra then said, ‘O Amirul Momineen! These people will deceive you and kill you or declare an all-out war against you.’ Hazrat Uthmanra replied, ‘I do not have any concern for this; my God is sufficient for me.’ In the end, Hazrat Muawiyahra said, ‘If you do not accept anything, then at least do this, the evil and seditious people place their [false] hopes in certain prominent companions. They believe that after you, these companions will be able to look after the affairs. Subsequently they try to deceive the people by using their names. You should remove all of them from Medina and send them off to different lands. In this way, the ploys of these evil people will be stopped as they will think what need is there to fight with you knowing that there is no one to take command of the matters after you.’ However, Hazrat Uthmanra did not accept this either” as was mentioned earlier “and said, ‘How can I scatter those whom the Holy Prophetsa has gathered?’ Upon hearing this, Hazrat Muawiyahra began to weep and said, ‘If you do not wish to do any of these, then at the least make an announcement that Muawiyah will be responsible for exacting revenge for you.’ Hazrat Uthmanra said, ‘Muawiyah! You have a stern disposition; I fear that you may treat the Muslims harshly. Therefore, I will not make such an announcement.’ 

“It is alleged that Hazrat Uthmanra was weak-hearted, but tell me, how many people can display such courage and after reading these events, can anyone say that Hazrat Uthmanra was fearful? 

“If he was fearful then he would have said to send a contingent of the army for his protection, and that he [i.e. Hazrat Muawiyahra] need not worry about their salary as he would take care of it. If Hazrat Uthmanra was fearful he ought to have announced that if anything were to happen to him, then they should know that Muawiyahra would exact revenge for it. But Hazrat Uthmanra said nothing aside from that owing to Muawiyah’sra stern disposition, he feared that he may treat the Muslims harshly if he was given this authority. 

“Then when the enemies jumped over the wall and launched an attack, Hazrat Uthmanra continued to recite the Holy Quran without any fear or dread; to the extent that one of the sons of Hazrat Abu Bakrra stepped forward and grabbed hold of Hazrat Uthman’sra beard and gave a forceful jolt. Hazrat Uthmanra looked to him and said, ‘O my brother’s son! If your father was alive today, you would never have done such a thing.’ Upon hearing this, his entire body began to tremble and he left out of embarrassment. Then one of his accomplices stepped forward and struck the head of Hazrat Uthmanra with an iron rod” as was mentioned before “and kicked away the Quran that was there. When this attacker stepped aside, another person stepped forward and martyred Hazrat Uthmanra with a sword. Reading these incidents, who can say that Hazrat Uthmanra had even an iota of fear?” (Khilafat-e-Rashidah, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 15, pp. 536-537)

Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra states: 

“The Promised Messiah’sas advent took place in the same manner as the advent of Prophet Noahas, Prophet Abrahamas, Prophet Davidas, Prophet Solomonas and the other prophets. And after the Promised Messiahas, the institution of Khilafat was established just as it was established after the prophets who appeared in the past. If we carefully ponder over this and try to delve into its true reality, we will come to realise that this is an extraordinary institution” i.e. the institution of Khilafat. “In fact, I say that even if 10,000 successive generations of an offspring were to be sacrificed for its sake, it will amount to nothing in comparison. I cannot say for others, but at least when I study the history from the time of the Holy Prophetsa and read about the troubles and afflictions Hazrat Uthmanra was made to endure, and on the other hand, the faith and the spiritual light which the Holy Prophetsa had instilled within him, then I say that even if 10,000 generations from my future offspring in this world were all to be gathered and sacrificed at once, so that this disorder could be quelled, then I would deem this to be akin to [the proverbial expression of] purchasing an elephant in exchange of a lice.” 

In other words, this [act of sacrifice] would be even less than giving something extremely small like an insect and in exchange acquiring an elephant. 

“The fact is that we only realise the true value of something much later. It was only after the martyrdom of Hazrat Uthmanra that people realised the true importance of Khilafat.” (Nubuwwat aur Khilafat apne Waqt par Zuhoor Pazeer ho jati hai, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 18, p. 246)

Hazrat Musleh Maudra further states: 

“After Hazrat Umarra, the gaze of all the companions fell upon Hazrat Uthmanra for the station of Khilafat and thus, he was appointed for this task through the consultation of the eminent companions. He was the son-in-law of the Holy Prophetsa and two daughters of the Holy Prophetsa were wedded to him one after another. When the second daughter of the Holy Prophetsa passed away, the Holy Prophetsa said that if he had another daughter, he would marry her to Hazrat Uthmanra as well. This shows that he held a special rank of honour in the sight of the Holy Prophetsa. He held a very unique position in the sight of the people of Mecca and was a wealthy man according to the circumstances of Arabia at the time. After Hazrat Abu Bakrra accepted Islam, one of the people to whom he particularly chose to preach the message of Islam was Hazrat Uthmanra. The view of Hazrat Abu Bakrra with respect to Hazrat Uthmanra did not prove false and only after a few days of preaching, he accepted Islam. In this manner, he joined the ‘as-sabiqunal-awwalun’ or that pioneer group of Islam which the Holy Quran has praised in admirable words. 

“The degree of honour and respect that he possessed in Arabia can be gauged from the incident when the Holy Prophetsa journeyed to Mecca on the basis of a vision, and the Meccans, blinded by their malice and enmity, refused to grant him permission to perform the Umrah, the Holy Prophetsa proposed that an esteemed person should be sent to the Meccans to negotiate the matter. When Hazrat Umarra was selected for this, he replied, ‘O Messengersa of Allah, I am prepared to go, but if there is anyone in Mecca who can negotiate with the Meccans, then it is Hazrat Uthmanra because he holds special regard in their eyes. Hence, if someone else was to go, there cannot be as much hope for success in him as opposed to if Hazrat Uthmanra went.’

“The Holy Prophetsa also considered this view as being correct and consequently sent Hazrat Uthmanra for the task. It can be understood from this incident that Hazrat Uthmanra was looked upon with special honour even by the disbelievers.

“The Holy Prophetsa held a great deal of respect for Hazrat Uthmanra. On one occasion, the Holy Prophetsa was lying down when Hazrat Abu Bakrra arrived, but the Holy Prophetsa remained lying. After some time, Hazrat Umarra arrived, but again, he remained lying. When Hazrat Uthmanra arrived, he instantly adjusted his clothes and said, ‘There is a great deal of modesty in the disposition of Hazrat Uthmanra, and it is in consideration of his feelings that I have done this.’ He (i.e. Hazrat Uthmanra) was one of those rare men who had never consumed alcohol and had never approached adultery even prior to accepting Islam. In the country of Arabia, where drinking alcohol was thought to be a source of pride and adultery a daily indulgence, these were qualities [i.e. to abstain from these ills] which could not be found in more than a handful of people before Islam. 

“Therefore, Hazrat Uthmanra was no ordinary man. He possessed very high moral qualities. With respect to worldly rank, he was exceptional. He was the foremost in Islam. The Holy Prophetsa was very pleased with him. Hazrat Umarra has declared him as being among the six men who, up to the demise of the Holy Prophetsa, held his utmost pleasure. Furthermore, he was from among the ‘ashrah mubashsharah’, meaning he was one of those 10 men about whom the Holy Prophetsa had given the glad tiding that they would enter paradise.” (Islam Mein Ikhtilafat ka Aghaz, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 4, pp. 251-253)

Regarding the day in which Hazrat Uthman’sra martyrdom took place, it is said that he was martyred on the 17th or 18th of Dhul Hijja 35 AH, on a Friday. According to Abu Uthman Nahdi, Hazrat Uthmanra was martyred in the middle days of Ayam-e-Tashreeq, i.e. 12 Dhul Hijja. However, according to Ibn Ishaq, Hazrat Uthmanra was martyred 11 years, 11 months and 22 days after the martyrdom of Hazrat Umarra and 25 years after the demise of the Holy Prophetsa. (Ibn Abd al-Barr, Al-Isti‘ab fi Ma‘rifat al-Ashab, Vol. 3, Uthmanra bin Affan [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 2002], p. 159)

According to another narration, Abdullah bin Amr bin Uthman relates that Hazrat Uthmanra was martyred at the age of 82 after the Asr prayer on Friday 18 Dhul Hijja 36 AH. And he was fasting on the day he was martyred. According to Abu Ma‘shar, Hazrat Uthmanra was 75 years of age at the time of his martyrdom. (Ibn Saad, Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol. 3, Uthmanra bin Affan [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar Ihya al-Turath al-Arabi, 1996], p. 43)

In relation to the arrangements of Hazrat Uthman’sra burial, Niyaar bin Mukram relates that it was a Saturday between the Maghrib and Isha time when Hazrat Uthman’sra body was carried by four individuals, including himself – Jubair bin Mut‘im, Hakeem bin Hizam and Abu Juham bin Huzayfa. Hazrat Jubair bin Mut‘im led the funereal prayer and Muawiyah has confirmed this narration. These same four individuals lowered him into the grave [for the burial] as well. According to one narration, Hazrat Jubair bin Mut‘im led the funeral prayer of Hazrat Uthmanra with a congregation consisting of 16 people. Allama ibn Saad states that the first narration is more correct, i.e. that the funeral prayer was offered by four people. (Ibn Saad, Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol. 3, Uthmanra bin Affan [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar Ihya al-Turath al-Arabi, 1996], p. 43)

Abdullah bin Amr bin Uthman relates that Hazrat Uthmanra was buried in Hash-e-Kokab on a Saturday evening between Maghrib and Isha prayers. Rabi bin Malik relates from his father that people would desire to bury their departed ones in Hash-e-Kokab. “Hash” means a small garden and “Kokab” was the name of an Ansari who owned this garden. This was situated very close to Jannat-ul-Baqi. Hazrat Uthmanra bin Affan would often say that very soon a righteous man shall pass away and he will be buried there, i.e. in Hash-e-Kokab and people will also do the same. Malik bin Abu Amir relates that Hazrat Uthmanra was the first person to be buried there. (Ibn Saad, Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol. 3, Uthmanra bin Affan [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar Ihya al-Turath al-Arabi, 1996], pp. 42-43) (Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani, Al-Isabah fi Tamyiz al-Sahabah, Vol. 5 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 2005], p. 468) 

There is another narration in relation to Hazrat Uthman’sra burial that for three days, the mischief-makers and rebels did not allow Hazrat Uthmanra to be buried. It is written in Tarikh Al-Tabari that Abu Bashir Abdi related that for three days Hazrat Uthman’sra body was left without a grave or shrouded in a cloth, nor was he allowed to be buried. Later, Hazrat Hakimra bin Hizam and Hazrat Jubairra bin Mut‘im spoke to Hazrat Alira with regard to Hazrat Uthman’sra burial, that he ask the family of Hazrat Uthmanra to give permission to bury him. And so Hazrat Alira asked and they gave permission. 

When the rebels came to learn of this, they gathered stones and stood along the way. A few members from the family of Hazrat Uthmanra accompanied his funeral and wanted to enter an area in Medina known as Hash-e-Kokab where the Jews would bury their dead. When the body of Hazrat Uthmanra was brought out, they [i.e. the rebels] pelted stones at the charpoy [which was carrying his body] in order to cause it to fall down. When news of this incident reached Hazrat Alira, he sent a message to them and cautioned them against doing such a thing. Upon this, they stopped. The funeral went on until Hazrat Uthmanra was buried in Hash-e-Kokab. 

When Amir Muawiyah assumed authority, he ordered for the walls of the graveyard to be taken down, so that it merged with graveyard of [Jannatul] Baqi. He also instructed the people to bury their departed ones close to the grave of Hazrat Uthmanra and in this way the graves of this area joined the graves of the other Muslims. (Muhammad Ibn Jarir al-Tabari, Tarikh al-Tabari, Vol. 2, Dhikr al-Khabar an al-Maudi alladhi… [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 1987], p. 68)

According to other historical sources, it is also mentioned that Hazrat Uthmanra bought this area of land and included it as part of Jannatul Baqi. (Ali Ibn al-Athir, Usd al-Ghabah fi Ma‘rifat al-Sahabah, Vol. 3, Uthmanra bin Affan [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 2003], p. 586)

There are a few accounts that still remain which, God-willing, I will relate in the future. 

I will be leading some funeral prayers [in absentia] today and will mention some details in relation to them. The first is of Maulvi Muhammad Idrees Tairo Sahib, who was serving as a missionary in Ivory Coast, who passed away on the night between the 27 and 28 February [2021] after suffering from a short illness. 

اِنَّا‭ ‬لِلّٰهِ‭ ‬وَاِنَّآ‭ ‬اِلَيْهِ‭ ‬رَاجِعُوْنَ

[Verily to Allah we belong and to Him shall we return.]

He was originally from Ivory Coast and after acquiring his early education, he went to Burkina Faso and along with his secular knowledge, he also learnt the Arabic language. He accepted Ahmadiyyat in the 1960s and in 1983, of his own accord, he travelled to Pakistan and after completing his studies from Jamia Ahmadiyya, he went on to serve as a missionary in Ivory Coast. He also served in Ghana and Burkina Faso and from September 2007 he was again serving in Ivory Coast. The deceased was a musi [member of the Wasiyyat scheme]. 

The account of his travel to Pakistan, which he narrated, is very interesting. He purchased a plane ticket with whatever little money he had saved and travelled to Pakistan. He neither informed the Jamaat in Ivory Coast, nor the Jamaat in Pakistan, beforehand. [Upon arriving] as he left the airport, he was very worried but then saw an individual, who approached him and asked him where he had come from and where would he like to go. He didn’t speak any English or Urdu, but they communicated with each other in a few brief sentences in Arabic. 

In any case, this individual then took him to the Ahmadiyya Hall and then told him, “My wife had seen a dream last night that a foreigner was coming as a guest, thus she told me to go and bring you. This is the reason why I came to the airport. And when I saw that you were the only [foreigner] to get off from the plane and seemed worried, therefore I realised that you were that guest, who my wife saw in her dream.” 

Thus, in this way, Allah the Almighty Himself made arrangements for him and he would often narrate this incident and he would say that throughout the whole journey, he was constantly praying and even upon arriving, and this was a miraculous sign owing to his prayers that Allah the Almighty made the arrangements for him and also showed a dream the night before to the wife of that Ahmadi in Karachi informing her about his arrival. Thereafter, he was taken to the Ahmadiyya Hall and then to Rabwah. In any case, he was a very pious man and devoted to his worship. 

Quyoom Pasha Sahib, who is serving as the missionary-in-charge of Ivory Coast, writes that they worked together in Burkina Faso as well for three years and then also had the opportunity to work together in Ivory Coast. He had boundless love for the Jamaat and the Promised Messiahas. He was extremely devoted and very pious. He was very generous and would greatly help others. He also looked after children by giving them a place in his home and took on the expenses for their education and other needs. He was always at the forefront in preaching. Hospitality was also a notable quality of his. He had an excellent style in preaching and was also very knowledgeable; people would like his style of preaching. Wherever he would hold a sitting for preaching, people would gather around him. He was regular in his Tahajjud prayers and would also experience true dreams. He was a completely selfless individual. 

Sadeeq Jiyalo Sahib, who is serving as a muallim in Ivory Coast writes that Maulvi Idrees Tairo Sahib was wholly devoted to the Jamaat and Khilafat. He was always ready to offer any kind of sacrifice for the sake of the Jamaat. He states that he has never seen anyone in Ivory Coast who loved the Jamaat more than him. Whenever he was asked about his nationality, he would say, “I am neither African, nor European and I do not have any other nationality. Ahmadiyyat is my nationality and my identity.” He was among the pioneer members of the Ahmadiyya Jamaat in Ivory Coast. 

Basit Sahib, who is serving as a missionary in Ivory Coast, writes that he would always advise others to remain attached with the institution of Khilafat and he would say that whatever he had attained was through Khilafat. 

He was a very scholarly individual. Apart from his mother tongue, which was Jola, he was also proficient in French, Arabic and Urdu. He had great knowledge in ilm-ul-kalam and would also engage in debates on this subject and would often debate with the Wahabi Ulema [scholars]. 

An Ahmadi, Bhai Abdullah Sahib, related an incident during a debate held in San Pedro that when they arrived at a Wahabi mosque, among the conditions that had been stipulated for the debate was that all the arguments must be presented from the Holy Quran. The debate continuously went on from 8 am till 6 pm and they only took breaks for prayers. Maulvi Sahib presented such arguments from the Holy Quran to the [non-Ahmadi] maulvi that he could not refute them and ultimately accepted defeat. Thus, Ahmadis were granted victory in this debate.   

He then writes that he was a library personified and when it came to preaching, he would have references memorised. Then, whether in Urdu, Arabic, French or any other language, he would cite those references right away. He always depended on prayer and would encourage others to do the same. 

He is survived by his wife, four daughters and a son. May Allah the Almighty enable these children to have an active relationship with the nizam [system] of the Jamaat and make them a part of the nizam as was their father’s desire. They do not have a strong relationship with the Community at the moment, but may Allah bestow His blessings. May Allah the Almighty grant the deceased His mercy and forgiveness and elevate his station [in paradise]. 

The next funeral is of respected Amina Naiga Kaire Sahiba, who was the wife of Muhammad Ali Kaire Sahib, the National President and Missionary-in-Charge of the Jamaat in Uganda. She passed away on 20 February [2021]: 

اِنَّا‭ ‬لِلّٰهِ‭ ‬وَاِنَّآ‭ ‬اِلَيْهِ‭ ‬رَاجِعُوْنَ

 [Surely to Allah we belong and to Him shall we return.] 

She was a humble, well-educated and brave woman. Her husband, Kaire Sahib said that a big reason for his success as a missionary was his wife. She was Ugandan and was extremely sincere and loyal. 

He says that when they got married, she was 19 years of age. At the time, she did not know how to recite the Holy Quran, but because she had an interest and passion she learned how to recite the Holy Quran and she would try to ponder over its meanings. She was able to serve the Community in various capacities and had a passion for preaching. 

In 2005, she was appointed as the national president of the women’s auxiliary organisation. She was also put in jail once or twice on the basis of false charges. She had not been at fault, yet she was wrongly made to go to jail. She was exemplary when it came to moral training. She would very bravely respond to allegations levelled by non-Ahmadis. 

Her daughter says that she remained regular in her prayers both in health and in illness. She would do e‘tikaf every year during the month of Ramadan. She could bear any sort of personal attack made against her; however, she could not bear to hear anything [negative] about the faith. She also worked at various levels in the political forum. She was a musia [member of the Wasiyyat scheme]. She is survived by her husband and six children, of whom two are missionaries. 

The next funeral is of respected Noohi Kazak Sahib of Syria, who passed away on 10 December [2020], at the age of 48:

اِنَّا‭ ‬لِلّٰهِ‭ ‬وَاِنَّآ‭ ‬اِلَيْهِ‭ ‬رَاجِعُوْنَ

[Surely to Allah we belong and to Him shall we return.] 

Ahmadiyyat was introduced to his family in 1928 when Hazrat Maulana Jalal-ud-Din Shams Sahib went from Damascus to Haifa. The first Ahmadi in Haifa was respected Rushdi Bakir Busti Sahib, from whose preaching Ali Saleh Kazak Sahib, the great-grandfather of the deceased, accepted Ahmadiyyat along with his brother Muhammad Kazak Sahib, who was the father of Taha Kazak Sahib, the former president of the Community in Jordan. He accepted Ahmadiyyat along with his family. Afterwards, upon the establishment of Israel, his family migrated to Damascus. 

The deceased was a very sincere Ahmadi. He was regular in offering prayers and observing fasts and he was regular in offering financial contributions. He had a great deal of love for Khilafat and was always at the forefront of service to the Community. Despite facing financial hardships himself, he always provided financial help to others; he was a very kind and virtuous person. He is survived by two wives and three young daughters. Two of his daughters are part of the Waqf-e-Nau scheme.  

Waseem Muhammad Sahib, Sadr of the Jamaat says:

“Among his services is that when he would be requested to especially take the sick and the wounded to the hospital – as the circumstances were such in Syria – even in such circumstances he would carry out this task courageously. Similarly, he would take the amila members on their official tours. He was given a car and would perform his duties with it and whenever his need was required, he would immediately reach there. He would offer his services with great joy and would carry out all his tasks very cheerfully. He was very regular in giving chanda and did even more so in his final year. He would even aid Ahmadis financially.” 

He then writes, “He has left a positive impact on everyone due to his simplicity, quietude, sincerity, service to mankind and his good will.”

The deceased’s wife, Khadijah Ali Sahiba says:

“My husband was a very sincere Ahmadi, by the grace of Allah. He loved the Community a great deal and really enjoyed helping others. He would help me with the domestic affairs. He had so much love for his daughters and would always be mindful of their good upbringing. He would sit and speak with them for a long time about the Community. By the grace of Allah, he even spent his final year of his life serving the Community and he was very pleased about this.” 

His cousin, Akram Salman Sahib, who accepted Ahmadiyyat through him, says:

“Even prior to our bai‘at, we were witness to his high morals. His own financial situation was not great, but even still he would help his poor relatives.” He then says, “Something which really impressed me was that he once received a very good job which enabled him to pay off all his debt. Thereafter, instead of saving money, he gave a large sum to my poor aunties and would say, ‘While my health is good and I am not in debt, I am rich and I wish to spend any extra money I have on those in need – and this is what one ought to do.’ 

“This was something that left me so astonished as I had never in my entire life seen such contentment and strength to make financial sacrifices.” 

He then says:

“He made a lot of effort for my brother and I after we pledged our allegiance, for our education, moral training and to remain firmly attached to Khilafat. He would read us very inspiring incidents about those who enjoyed the blessings of Khilafat, as a result of which our love for Khilafat increased in our hearts.”

His brother, Mutaz Kazak Sahib, who is a teacher at Jamia Ahmadiyya Canada writes:

“My deceased brother was extremely sincere and had great love for Khilafat. Even though our forefathers were Ahmadis, we had no knowledge about Ahmadiyyat. My brother went from the city of Halab [Aleppo] to Damascus to attend my grandfather Khidr Kazak’s funeral, where he met other Ahmadis and exchanged views about Ahmadiyyat. 

“Upon his return, I noticed that he began weeping a lot in his prostrations. This sudden change really amazed me. I enquired as to why this was, and he introduced me to the Community.” 

He then says: 

“I did my research” – initially he was only Ahmadi by name – “then after doing a proper research about the teachings of Ahmadiyyat and after seeing a dream, I took the oath of allegiance once again. My brother’s pious change had a major role to play in my taking of the oath of allegiance.” 

By “once again”, it is meant that at first, he was only Ahmadi owing to his family, but in practice he was not an Ahmadi, so this is why he took the oath of allegiance once more after attaining an understanding. 

“The deceased had a wonderful zeal for preaching. He prayed profusely for the Khalifa of the time. He was part of the Wasiyyat scheme. He was aware of the fact that he was going to pass away soon and mentioned it a few days prior to our mother and to his wife.”

The next funeral is of Farhat Naseem Sahiba, from Rabwah. She was the wife of Muhammad Ibrahim Sahib Haneef, who was also known as Master Saarchuri Sahib. She passed away on 26 December at the age of 86. 

اِنَّا‭ ‬لِلّٰهِ‭ ‬وَاِنَّآ‭ ‬اِلَيْهِ‭ ‬رَاجِعُوْنَ

[Surely to Allah we belong and to Him shall we return]. 

Her father was Hazrat Mian Ilm Din Sahib and her grandfather was Hazrat Mian Qutubuddin Sahibra of Lodhi Nangal, Gurdaspur district and was among the companions of the Promised Messiahas. She possessed many good qualities. She was regular in offering prayers and fasting, regular in offering the Tahajjud prayer; was very patient, grateful, devoted to prayers, simple, caring for the poor; one who had boundless love for Khilafat and a sincere and pious woman who was at the forefront in taking part in financial sacrifices. 

On a number of occasions, she presented her own jewellery for various schemes. She was a musia. She is survived by three sons, three daughters and many grandchildren. Two of her grandchildren are missionaries and one of her sons is a missionary also. May Allah the Almighty grant forgiveness and mercy to the deceased. 

May He grant forgiveness and mercy to all the deceased and elevate them in their ranks.

(Original Urdu transcript published in Al Fazl International, 2 April 2021, pp. 5-9. Translated by The Review of Religions.)

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