Friday Sermon – Men of Excellence: Hazrat Uthman r.a. ibn Affan (19 March 2021)


Friday Sermon

19 March 2021

Men of Excellence: Hazrat Uthmanra ibn Affan

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

I was previously narrating accounts from the life of Hazrat Uthmanra. Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra has also written briefly about his martyrdom and the subsequent events. Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra writes:

“Medina fell into the hands of these very people [i.e. the rebels]. Furthermore, the acts of these individuals during those days were extremely shocking. They had already martyred Hazrat Uthmanra, but they even objected to the burial of his body, as a result of which he could not be buried for three days. Eventually, a group of companions took the courage and buried him in the night. Those individuals [i.e. the rebels] hindered their path as well. However, some people threatened to attack them fiercely owing to which they backed off.” (Islam Mein Ikhtilafat ka Aghaz, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 4, p. 333)

The Holy Prophetsa had made prophecies in relation to Hazrat Uthmanra. These are mentioned as follows: 

Hazrat Abu Musa Ash‘arira relates, “The Holy Prophetsa entered a garden and instructed me to stand guard at its entrance. In the meantime, an individual approached and requested for permission to enter. The Holy Prophetsa said, ‘Let him enter and give him glad tidings of Paradise.’ I saw that this individual was Hazrat Abu Bakrra. Another individual approached thereafter and requested for permission [to enter]. Upon this, the Holy Prophetsa said, ‘Let him enter and give him glad tidings of Paradise.’ I saw that it was Hazrat Umarra. Thereafter, another individual approached and requested for permission [to enter]. Upon this, the Holy Prophetsa remained silent for a few moments and said, ‘Let him enter and give him the glad tidings of Paradise. However, he will encounter a great trial.’ I saw that this individual was Hazrat Uthmanra bin Affan.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab Fada‘il Ashab al-Nabisa, Bab Manaqib Uthman bin Affanra, Hadith 3695) 

Hazrat Anasra relates that the Holy Prophetsa climbed Mount Uhud along with Hazrat Abu Bakrra, Hazrat Umarra and Hazrat Uthmanra. Mount Uhud started to tremble, upon which the Holy Prophetsa said, “O Uhud! Stop!” The narrator says, “I believe that the Holy Prophetsa also stamped his foot on the mountain and said, ‘A prophet, a siddiq [truthful] and two martyrs are standing on top of you.’” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab Fada‘il Ashab al-Nabisa, Bab Manaqib Uthmanra bin Affan, Hadith 3699) 

Hazrat Ibn Umarra relates that whilst mentioning a particular disorder and strife, the Holy Prophetsa said, “This individual will be killed during this disorder in a state of oppression,” and as he stated this, he pointed towards Hazrat Uthmanra. (Jami‘ al-Tirmidhi, Abwab al-Manaqib, Bab Qauluhum Kunna Naqul Abu Bakr wa Umar wa Uthman, Hadith 3708)

We find the following narrations with regard to the inheritance Hazrat Uthmanra left behind. Ubaidullah bin Abdillah bin Utbah relates that the day Hazrat Uthmanra was martyred, his treasurer had 30,500,000 dirhams and 150,000 dinars that belonged to Hazrat Uthmanra, all of which was looted. Hazrat Uthmanra also had 1,000 camels which were kept at Rabazah. Rabazah is a settlement located at a distance of three days travel from Medina en route from the Hejaz. He had also left 200,000-dinar worth of charity at Baradis, Khaybar and Wadi Al-Qura. (Ibn Saad, Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol. 3, Uthmanra bin Affan [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar Ihya al-Turath al-Arabi, 1996], p. 42) (Sayyid Fadl al-Rahman, Farhang-i-Sirat [Karachi, Pakistan: Zawwar Academy Publications, 2003], p. 130)

It has already been mentioned previously that Hazrat Uthmanra said, “I used to be a wealthy man. However, now, I only have two camels for Hajj.” (Islam Mein Ikhtilafat ka Aghaz, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 4, p. 294)

It is possible that this narration could refer to a time when such abundance of wealth was present in the national treasury, which the narrator has attributed to Hazrat Uthmanra personally. It is also possible that he possessed this wealth, but instead of spending it on himself, he gave it away as charity and spent it in the national interest. Nonetheless, this is one narration which I have mentioned. Another narration that related to him personally has been mentioned prior to this as well. Furthermore, from the narrations of the treasurers who had been appointed to safeguard the wealth of the treasury, it becomes evident that this wealth belonged to the treasury for which they were appointed to oversee. (Islam Mein Ikhtilafat ka Aghaz, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 4, p. 329)

The narrations of the companions in relation to the martyrdom of Hazrat Uthmanra are as follows: 

Hazrat Alira was asked with regard to Hazrat Uthmanra. Hazrat Alira said, “He was an individual, who was declared to be ‘Dhun-Nurayn’ [possessor of two lights] even by the exalted angels.” i.e. He was deemed to be ‘Dhun-Nurayn’ even in the sight of God Almighty. (Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani, Al-Isabah fi Tamyiz al-Sahabah, Vol. 4, Uthmanra bin Affan [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 2005], p. 378) 

Hazrat Alira said, “Hazrat Uthmanra was most kind to his relatives.” When Hazrat Aishara came to know of the martyrdom of Hazrat Uthmanra, she said, “These people have killed him, even though he was the most kind to his kinfolk and also feared God more than all of them.” (Ibid) 

We find a narration regarding the prayer of the Holy Prophetsa for his sons-in-law. It is written in Al-Isti‘ab that the Holy Prophetsa said, “I have prayed to my Lord, the possessor of Glory and Majesty, to not allow anyone to enter hell who is a son-in-law to me, or to whom I am a son-in-law.” (Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr, Al-Isti‘ab fi Ma’rifat al-Ashab, Vol. 3, Uthman bin Affanra [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Jil, 2002], 156.)

With regards to the attire and appearance of Hazrat Uthmanra, it is related by Mahmud bin Labid that he saw Hazrat Uthman bin Affanra riding a mule and his body was covered with two yellow garments. 

Hakam bin Salt relates, “My father told me that he saw Hazrat Uthmanra delivering a sermon. He was wearing a black garment and his hair had been dyed with henna.” 

Sulaym Abu Amir relates that he saw Hazrat Uthman bin Affanra wearing a Yemeni cloak, which cost 100 dirham. Muhammad bin Umar relates, “I asked Amr bin Abdillah, Urwah bin Khalid and Abdur Rahman bin Abu Zinad with regards to the appearance of Hazrat Uthmanra. All of them unanimously said that he was neither very tall, nor very short. He had a beautiful countenance, soft skin and a thick and long beard. He was of a wheat complexion, had a strong build, broad shoulders and had thick hair. He would dye his beard yellow.” 

Waqid bin Abi Yasir relates that Hazrat Uthmanra had his teeth bound with a golden wire. Musa bin Talha relates, “I observed that when Hazrat Uthmanra left his home on a Friday, he would be covered with two yellow garments. He would then take a seat on the pulpit and the muazzin [person giving the call to prayer] would call the Azan. When the muazzin would finish, he would stand up with the support of the handle of a staff and would deliver the sermon whilst holding on to it. Following this, he would come down from the pulpit and the muazzin would give the iqamah [pronounced immediately before the prayer begins].” 

Hassan relates, “I saw Hazrat Uthmanra sleeping in the mosque, using his garment as a pillow.” (Ibn Saad, Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol. 3, Dhikr Libas Uthmanra bin Affan [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar Ihya al-Turath al-Arabi, 1996], pp. 32-34) 

Musa bin Talha relates that on Friday, Hazrat Uthmanra was standing with the support of a staff. He was more handsome than everyone else. He would be clothed in two yellow garments; one for the upper body and one for the lower body. He would then ascend the pulpit and take a seat. (Majma al-Zawa‘id wa Manba al-Fawa‘id, Kitab-ul-Manaqib, Bab Sifatuh, Hadith 14493, Vol. 9, p. 75, Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2001)

The Holy Prophetsa had a ring which had the following words engraved on it: “Muhammad, Rasulullah [Muhammadsa, the Messenger of Allah]” and the Holy Prophetsa used to wear this ring. In regard to this we find a narration:

Hazrat Anas bin Malikra narrates that when the Holy Prophetra intended to write a letter to the Byzantine king, he was informed that if the letter did not contain a seal, the letter would not be read. Upon this, the Holy Prophetsa made a silver ring and had the following words engraved on it: “Muhammad, Rasulullah.” The narrator states, “It is as if I can still see the brightness of that ring on his hand,” i.e. he recalls it that vividly. (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab al-Libas, Bab Ittikhadh al-Khatam…, Hadith 5878) 

Hazrat Anasra narrates that the Holy Prophetsa wore this ring and after him, Hazrat Abu Bakrra wore it, after whom Hazrat Umarra wore it. Then during the Khilafat of Hazrat Uthmanra, one day Hazrat Uthmanra was sitting near a water well named Aris. The narrator states that Hazrat Uthmanra took out the ring and began playing with it, when it fell (i.e. he began turning it around on his finger). He states that they searched for the ring for three days alongside Hazrat Uthmanra. All of the water from the well was also emptied, but the ring was not found. Hazrat Uthmanra was greatly perturbed by the loss of the ring and announced that the one who finds it would be given a large monetary reward. When all hope was lost in finding the ring, Hazrat Uthmanra instructed for the same silver ring to be made, thus an identical ring was made which had the engraving: “Muhammad, Rasulullah.” Hazrat Uthmanra wore the ring until his demise. At the time of Hazrat Uthman’sra martyrdom, an unknown person took the ring. (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab al-Libas, Bab Hal Yuj‘alu Naqsh al-Khatam…, Hadith 5879) (Muhammad Ibn Jarir al-Tabari, Tarikh al-Tabari, Vol. 5 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Fikr, 2002], pp. 111-112) 

Hazrat Uthmanra was part of the Asharah Mubasharah [10 companions given the tidings of Paradise by the Holy Prophetsa]. Hazrat Abdur Rahmanra bin Akhnas relates that he was in the mosque, when an individual spoke about Hazrat Alira in a very disrespectful manner. Upon this, Hazrat Saeedra bin Zaid stood up and said, “I bear witness that I have most certainly heard the Holy Prophetsa say that 10 individuals would certainly enter Paradise. The Holy Prophetsa himself will enter Paradise, Abu Bakrra will enter Paradise, Umarra will enter Paradise, Uthmanra will enter Paradise, Alira will enter Paradise, Talhara will enter Paradise, Abdur Rahmanra bin Auf will enter Paradise, Zubairra bin Awam will enter Paradise, Saadra bin Malik will enter Paradise and if I wish, I could name the tenth individual as well.” The narrator states that the people enquired about the identity of the tenth individual. Hazrat Saeedra bin Zaid remained silent for a short while. The narrator states that some people enquired again as to who the tenth individual was, upon which he said, “Saeed bin Zaid”, i.e. he himself. (Sunan Abi Dawud, Kitab al-Sunnah, Bab fi al-Khulafa’, Hadith 4649)

I have mentioned this narration before in regard to Hazrat Saeedra bin Zaid.

With regard to Hazrat Uthmanra being blessed with the companionship of the Holy Prophetsa in Paradise, Hazrat Talhara bin Ubaidillah narrates that the Holy Prophetsa stated, “Every prophet has a friend, and my friend is Uthman”, i.e. who will be with him in Paradise. (Jami‘ al-Tirmidhi, Abwab al-Manaqib, Bab wa Rafiqi fi Jannah Uthman, Hadith 3698)

Hazrat Jabirra narrates, “On one occasion we were in a house with the Holy Prophetsa and a group of the Muhajireen companions. Among those present were Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman, Ali, Talha, Zubair, Abdur Rahman bin Auf and Saad bin Abi Waqas. The Holy Prophetsa stated, ‘Everyone of you stand next to their companion.’ The Holy Prophetsa then stood next to Hazrat Uthmanra and embracing him, the Holy Prophetsa said to him: 

اَنْتَ‭ ‬وَلِيِّ‭ ‬فِي‭ ‬الدُّنْيَا‭ ‬وَ‭ ‬وَلِيِّ‭ ‬فِي‭ ‬الْاٰخِرَةِ

“‘You are my friend in this life and in the Hereafter.’” (Majma al-Zawa‘id wa Manba al-Fawa‘id, Kitab al-Manaqib, Bab Mawalatuh, Hadith 14528, Vol. 9, p. 66, Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2001)

Abu Sahla, the freed slave of Hazrat Uthmanra, narrates:

“On Yaum al-Dar”, i.e. the day on which the rebels besieged Hazrat Uthmanra and martyred him, “I said to Hazrat Uthman, ‘O Leader of the Faithful! Fight against these people who are causing disorder.’ Hazrat Abdullahra also said, ‘O Leader of the Faithful! Fight against these people who are causing disorder.’ Hazrat Uthmanra said, ‘By Allah! I shall not fight them. The Holy Prophetsa had made a promise to me and I wish for that to be fulfilled.’” (Ali Ibn al-Athir, Usd al-Ghabah fi Ma‘rifat al-Sahabah, Vol. 3, Uthmanra bin Affan [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Fikr, 2003], p. 483)

The hypocrites would raise the allegations against Hazrat Uthmanra that he remained behind during the Battle of Badr, fled from the battlefield in the Battle of Uhud and not being present during the Bai‘at al-Ridwan. 

Uthman bin Mauhab narrates:

“A man from Egypt came to perform the Hajj. He saw a few people sitting down”; he said a few things in order to create disorder and strife. “The man asked, ‘Who are these people sitting down?’ Somebody said, ‘They are the people of Quraish.’ He said, ‘Who is the elderly man?’ They said, ‘Hazrat Abdullah bin Umarra.’ He went to him and said, ‘O Ibn Umar, I want to ask you about something; tell me do you know that Hazrat Uthmanra fled on the day of Uhud?’ Hazrat Ibn Umar said, ‘Yes. He said, ‘Do you know that he [i.e. Uthman] was absent from the Battle of Badr and did not participate in it?’ Hazrat Ibn Umarra said, ‘Yes.’ He then said, ‘Do you know that he was also absent during Bai‘at al-Ridwan and did not take part in it?’ Hazrat Ibn Umar replied, ‘Yes.’ Out of astonishment, the man then said, ‘Allahu Akbar [Allah is the greatest]!’ Hazrat Ibn Umarra said, ‘Come here; (you have raised allegations) I will inform you and explain to you the reality of the matter. As for him [i.e. Hazrat Uthmanra] fleeing on the day of Uhud, I testify that Allah the Almighty forgave him and bestowed His mercy upon him.’”

At the time, there was a state of panic and confusion and the disbelievers had spread the [false] news that they had killed the Holy Prophetsa. Thus, at the time owing to the circumstances, he was forced to leave the battlefield.

Nonetheless, Hazrat Ibn Umarra further said:

“As regards Hazrat Uthman’sra absence from the Battle of Badr, the reason for this was that his wife, the daughter of the Holy Prophetsa was unwell. So the Holy Prophetsa instructed him to remain behind to look after his wife and said to him, ‘You will receive a reward equal to the one who has fought in the battle and will also have the same share from the spoils.’ As for his absence from Bai‘at al-Ridwan, then know this: had there been anybody more respected than Hazrat Uthmanra in Mecca, the Holy Prophetsa would surely have sent him as an emissary to the disbelievers instead of Uthmanra. But the Holy Prophetsa sent Hazrat Uthmanra and Bai‘at al-Ridwan took place when Hazrat Uthmanra had gone to meet the people of Mecca. During the Bai‘at al-Ridwan the Holy Prophetsa raised his right hand and indicating towards his left hand, said. ‘This is the hand of Uthman’, and placed it over his other hand, then said, ‘This is for Uthman.’” After narrating all of this, Hazrat Ibn Umarra then said to that man, “Go now and remember all of these points”, i.e. that no allegation can be raised against any of these matters. This is a narration of Sahih Bukhari. (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab Fada‘il Ashab al-Nabisa, Bab Manaqib Uthman bin Affanra, Hadith 3698) 

The expansion of Masjid Nabawi took place in the lifetime of the Holy Prophetsa, which Hazrat Uthmanra had the opportunity to partake in also. Abu Malih narrates on the authority of his father that in order to expand Masjid Medina [Nabawi], the Holy Prophetsa said to a man from the Ansar who owned a piece of land that in place of this piece of land, he would be granted an abode in Paradise, but the man refused to give it. Upon this Hazrat Uthmanra went to him and said that he would purchase the piece of land for 10,000 dirhams. 

Hazrat Uthmanra bought the piece of land from him and went to the Holy Prophetsa and submitted, “O Messengersa of Allah! You can purchase this piece of land from me which I have bought from the Ansari man.” 

Upon this, the Holy Prophetsa then purchased the land from Hazrat Uthmanra in exchange for an abode in Paradise. In other words, the Holy Prophetsa then promised the same to Hazrat Uthmanra in that he would be given an abode in Paradise. Hazrat Uthmanra said that he had bought this [land] for 10,000 dirhams. Subsequently, the Holy Prophetsa laid a brick down and then called for Hazrat Abu Bakrra who also laid down a brick. Then Hazrat Umarra was called who laid down a brick and then Hazrat Uthmanra came and laid down a brick. The Holy Prophetsa then asked everyone else to lay a brick each and they did as they were asked. In this manner, the foundations were laid for the extension. (Majma al-Zawa‘id wa Manba al-Fawa‘id, Kitab al-Manaqib, Bab ma Amila fi al-Khair…, Hadith 14524, Vol. 9, p. 65, Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2001)

Thumama bin Hazm Qusheri narrates, “I was present during the siege (of Hazrat Uthman’s house) when Hazrat Uthmanra peered from the top and said, ‘I ask you in the name of Allah and Islam; are you aware that when the Holy Prophetsa came to Medina, there was no other water well containing sweet water other than the Rumah well? The Holy Prophetsa asked, “Who will purchase it [i.e. the well] so that the Muslims can also draw water from it alongside him? (i.e. the Muslims can drink from it as well as the one who purchases it) and he will receive a most excellent reward in Paradise in exchange for it.” Upon this I purchased the well from my personal wealth and shared it with the Muslims. But today you wish to stop me obtaining water from there and are forcing me to drink seawater.’ Upon this everyone said, ‘By God! You have spoken the truth.’ Hazrat Uthmanra then said: ‘I ask you in the name of Allah and Islam; are you aware that I spent my own wealth in order to prepare the army for Jaish Al-‘Usrah (i.e. Battle of Tabuk)?’ Upon this, the people said: ‘By God, this is correct.’ Hazrat Uthmanra then said, ‘I ask you in the name of Allah and Islam; are you aware that when Masjid Nabawi became too small to accommodate the worshipers, the Holy Prophetsa said, “Whosoever purchases the piece of land from such and such family, and includes it as part of the mosque, he shall receive an even greater reward in paradise.” Thus, I purchased that piece of land from my own wealth and donated it to become part of the mosque. And now you people wish to stop me even offering two rak’as [unit of prayer] inside this mosque?’ The people replied, ‘By God, this is correct.’ Hazrat Uthmanra then said, ‘I ask you in the name of Allah and Islam; are you aware that when the Holy Prophetsa was on Mount Thabir in Mecca along with Hazrat Abu Bakrra, Hazrat Umarra and myself and the Mount began to shake, the Holy Prophetsa stamped his feet down and said, “Stop, O Thabir, because a prophet, siddiq [truthful] and two martyrs are standing above you.”’ Hearing this, the people said, ‘By God, this is correct.’ Hazrat Uthmanra then said, ‘Allahu Akbar! By the Lord of the Ka‘bah, they have given their testimony in my favour.’” i.e. that he would receive the station of martyrdom. (Sunan al-Nasa‘i, Kitab al-Ahbas, Bab Waqf al-Masajid, Hadith 3638)

The further expansion of Masjid Nabawi to a greater extent took place during the era of Hazrat Uthmanra. Thus, I will mention some details and a brief history regarding this extension and also the early conditions. 

It has already been mentioned that the mosque was extended during the time of the Holy Prophetsa. With regard to this there is a note that in Rabi al-Awwal of 1 AH, October 622 CE, the Holy Prophetsa laid the foundation stone for Masjid Nabawi with his blessed hands. This foundation was approximately 3 Zar’a [cubits] deep, which is 1.5 metres. The walls of the foundations were made using blocks cut out from rocks and the main walls were made from blocks of clay that had been dried in the sun. The walls were made from sun-dried [clay] bricks. (Justuju-e-Madinah, Abdul Hameed Qadiri, p. 430, Oriental Publications, Pakistan, 2007)

These details are regarding the construction of the mosque, details about the extension will also be mentioned later. The walls of the mosque were approximately 3/4 of a metre wide, which is approximately 2-2.5 feet and the height was approximately 7 cubits, almost 3.5 metres. (Justuju-e-Madinah, Abdul Hameed Qadiri, p. 432, Oriental Publications, Pakistan, 2007)

The construction of Masjid Nabawi was completed in Shawwal 1 AH, April 623 CE. (Justuju-e-Madinah, Abdul Hameed Qadiri, p. 435, Oriental Publications, Pakistan, 2007)

Hazrat Kharijah bin Zaid bin Thabitra narrates that for his mosque, the Holy Prophetsa made the length 70 cubits – approximately 35 metres and the width at 60 cubits – approximately 30 metres. (Justuju-e-Madinah, Abdul Hameed Qadiri, pp. 437-438, Oriental Publications, Pakistan, 2007)

During the lifetime of the Holy Prophetsa, the first expansion of Masjid Nabawi took place in Muharram 7 AH, June 628 CE. When the Holy Prophetsa returned having gained victory in the Battle of Khaybar, the Holy Prophetsa gave orders for the expansion and renovation of Masjid Nabawi. The mosque was not extended on the south side, i.e. towards the qiblah, nor on the eastern side. Majority of the extension took place on the northern side and partly towards the western side. On the northern side, there were some houses, among which was the house of an Ansari Companion, who was somewhat hesitant about giving up his house. Upon this, as was mentioned earlier, Hazrat Uthmanra bin Affan bought that house from his own money for 10,000 Dinars and presented it to the Holy Prophetsa. Thus, most of the construction was possible only towards the northern and western side. After this expansion, the total area was 100 x 100 cubits, i.e. 50 x 50 metres. (Justuju-e-Madinah, Abdul Hameed Qadiri, pp. 446-447, Oriental Publications, Pakistan, 2007)

Masjid Nabawi was extended for a second time in 17 AH during the Khilafat of Hazrat Umarra. Hazrat Abdullahra bin Umar relates that during the time of the Holy Prophetsa, the mosque was constructed from mudbricks, the roof was made from date-palm branches and leaves and date-palm trunks were used as pillars. The mosque remained the same throughout the era of Hazrat Abu Bakrra and no expansion or changes were made. Hazrat Umarra instructed for the mosque to be extended and renovated, but did not make any changes to the appearance and building structure, he left it on the original foundations or left the old part as it was. He constructed it in the same style and only extended it. The roof was kept in its original condition using date-palm leaves but changed the pillars using wood. The renovation of the mosque was completed in 17 AH under the supervision of Hazrat Umarra. After this expansion, the area of the mosque increased from 50 x 50 meters to approximately to 70 x 60 metres, i.e. 140 x 120 cubits. From this narration, it is evident that during the era of Hazrat Abu Bakrra, the mosque remained in the same condition as it was during the time of the Holy Prophetsa. But it was extended significantly due to the construction in the time of Hazrat Umarra. (Justuju-e-Madinah, Abdul Hameed Qadiri, p. 459, Oriental Publications, Pakistan, 2007)

Then, during the Khilafat of Hazrat Uthmanra, Masjid Nabawi was expanded and reconstructed. This took place in 29 AH. Hazrat Uthmanra expanded and reconstructed the mosque and in order to make it more beautiful and stronger, he used stone, gypsum and carvings. Hazrat Uthmanra constructed the walls from decorative stone and for the first time, Masjid Nabawi was whitewashed with lime. The roof was made from Teak wood.

When Hazrat Uthmanra was elected as the Khalifa in 24 AH, the people requested him to expand Masjid Nabawi. They complained that the courtyard area was too small, especially during the Friday Prayers and gatherings; many times people had to offer prayers outside. Thus, Hazrat Uthmanra sought counsel from the Companions; all of them were of the opinion that the old mosque should be demolished and a new mosque should be constructed in its place. 

One day, after leading the Zuhr prayers, Hazrat Uthmanra delivered a sermon from the pulpit and said, “All praise belongs to Allah! I intend to demolish the mosque and construct a new one in its place and I bear witness that I have heard from the blessed tongue of the Holy Prophetsa that whosoever constructs a mosque, Allah the Almighty will construct an abode for them in Paradise. Before me was Hazrat Umar Farooqra. The reconstruction and expansion of the mosque that took place in his time is an example and model before me. I have sought the opinion of all the eminent companions of the Holy Prophetsa and they all unanimously agree that Masjid Nabawi ought to be demolished and constructed again.”

When Hazrat Uthmanra presented the idea of the reconstruction of the mosque, a few companions stated their reservations. They opined that the mosque should not be demolished. Among these companions were those whose houses were situated next to Masjid Nabawi and their homes were to be affected as a result of this plan.

The majority of the people were in support of this proposal; however, a few of the companions objected to this. Hazrat Aflah bin Hameed relates that Hazrat Uthmanra wished to stand at the pulpit and seek counsel from the people. Upon this, Marwan bin Hakam submitted, “This is undoubtedly a noble deed, therefore what need is there to seek counsel from the people?” Upon this, Hazrat Uthmanra admonished him and stated, “I do not wish to force or compel anyone to do something. I will certainly seek their advice.” Hazrat Uthmanra stated that he did not wish to forcibly impose his viewpoint on others and whatever he would do, would be done with their support. When his plan had the support of those companions who possessed sound judgment and sagacity in matters, Hazrat Uthmanra purchased the houses situated to the north of Masjid Nabawi and thus acquired its land. Despite Hazrat Uthmanra offering quite a large sum of money to the companions in order to buy their homes, even then there were a few companions who did not want to sell their houses. Almost four to five years passed by and despite all efforts, he was not able to succeed in getting them to agree. 

Hazrat Ubaidullah Kholani relates that when people continued to show reluctance in offering their houses and presented their arguments, he heard Hazrat Uthmanra say, “You have all said enough. However, I have heard the Holy Prophetsa say that whoever builds a mosque for the sake of attaining the pleasure of Allah the Almighty, they will be rewarded by Allah the Almighty in return with an abode similar to that in Paradise.”

Similarly, Hazrat Mahmud bin Labeed relates that when Hazrat Uthmanra decided to reconstruct Masjid Nabawi, people did not agree with this plan. They insisted that Masjid Nabawi should remain in the exact condition as it was in the time of the Holy Prophetsa. Upon this, Hazrat Uthmanra stated that whoever built a mosque for the sake of attaining the pleasure of Allah the Almighty, they would be granted a similar abode in Paradise as a reward. When Hazrat Uthmanra managed to convince the people [for its reconstruction], he began the work in the month of Rabi-ul-Awwal 29 AH/649 CE. And by the first of the month of Muharram 30 AH, within a period of 10 months, the reconstruction work of Masjid Nabawi was complete. Hazrat Uthmanra personally supervised the entire work and during the day, he would always be fasting and in the night, if he was overcome with sleep, then he would rest in Masjid Nabawi. 

Hazrat Abdur Rahman bin Safina relates that he observed that the cement mixture would be brought to Hazrat Uthman Ghanira and whilst standing, he would direct and oversee the workers. And whenever it would be the time for prayer, he would offer his prayers with them. At times, he would sleep there as well. 

Hazrat Uthmanra expanded the mosque to its south in the direction of the qiblah. The wall facing towards the qiblah was moved to where it stands even till today. The mosque was also expanded by approximately 50 cubits, which is approximately 25 metres towards its north side and also towards the west. However, there was no extension done towards the east-facing side where the blessed houses [of the family of the Holy Prophetsa] were situated. At the end of the reconstruction work, the total area of Masjid Nabawi was now 160 x 150 cubits, approximately 80 x 75 metres. During the era of Hazrat Uthmanra, there were a total of six doors in Masjid Nabawi. 

For the first time, designs were engraved onto the stones of Masjid Nabawi and they were whitewashed [with lime]. According to the narration of Hazrat Kharijah bin Zaid, Hazrat Uthmanra placed windows in the west and east facing walls of Masjid Nabawi. Among the houses which Hazrat Uthmanra had to purchase for the expansion of Masjid Nabawi was the house of Ummul Momineen [Mother of the Believers] Hazrat Hafsara. In exchange, she was given a house whose wall was joined to the wall of the qiblah and was situated to the south-east of it and a small opening was made to make her access to come in and out of her house easier. Also, half of the properties belonging to the relatives of Hazrat Abu Ja‘far bin Abi Talib were purchased for 100,000 dirhams. Similarly, some area from Dar-ul-Abbas was purchased and included into the area of Masjid Nabawi. 

Apart from moving the wall of the qiblah further south, another notable development in Masjid Nabawi was that the mehrab of the Holy Prophetsa was also further moved in the line with the qiblah. This was in exactly the same spot where the mehrab-e-Uthmani is situated today and the area of the original mehrab was marked out. Instead of using mud, they used crushed stones and iron rods were placed in the pillars made from stone. Special care was taken to ensure that these new pillars were erected in exactly the same spots where the pillars, made from date-palm tree trunks, were placed during the blessed time of the Holy Prophetsa. The same kind of material and architectural design that was used by the Byzantines for the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem was used for this construction as well. The roof was made of Teak wood which was placed on wooden beams and they were supported by pillars made from stone and iron rods inside them. Since Hazrat Umarra was martyred in the mehrab of the Holy Prophetsa whilst leading prayer, therefore to prevent such an incident from taking place again, Hazrat Uthmanra built a “maqsurah” – i.e. an enclosure was built in front of the rows of where the worshipers stand and where the pulpit is. It was built from bricks and had small holes and openings in it so that the congregants could see the Imam. 

This was the first precautionary measure that was constructed in Masjid Nabawi and later adopted as an official architectural feature in [the mosques of] Damascus as a safety protocol for the Khulafa of the Banu Umaiyyah. (Justuju-e-Madinah, Abdul Hameed Qadiri, pp. 463-465, Oriental Publications, Pakistan, 2007) (Urdu Lughat Tarikhi Usulon par, Vol. 18, p. 492, Zair Lafz Maqsurah)

I.e. to build walls around the mehrab in order to secure it but still enabling the congregants to see the Imam. Thereafter, at various times the mosque continued to be expanded. 

The Promised Messiahas states:

“I liken Hazrat Uthmanra to Hazrat Sulaimanas for he also had a great passion to construct buildings. The era of Hazrat Alira was filled with internal discord; Mu‘awiyah was on one side and on the other was Alira and owing to this discord there was a lot of bloodshed amongst the Muslims. In those six years, there were no major works carried out in Islam. All of these works came to an end with [the demise of] Hazrat Uthmanra because after him, civil war began.” (Malfuzat, Vol. 8, p. 278)

The Promised Messiahas further states:

“It is not necessary that mosques have to be a solid and fixed structure. In fact, an area can be specified for the mosque and marked with a boundary. A canopy made of bamboo, or other material can be placed to provide shelter from the rain etc. God Almighty does not like extravagance. The mosque of the Holy Prophetsa was made from the branches of date palm trees and remained like this. Later, during the era of Hazrat Uthmanra, who had a passion for construction, he further strengthened the structure of the mosque. I sometimes reflect that the names of Hazrat Sulaimanas and Uthmanra are quite similar in sound and perhaps it is owing to this shared desire of theirs [to build].” (Malfuzat, Vol. 7, p. 119)

The expansion of Masjid Al-Haram [the mosque that surrounds the Holy Ka‘bah in Mecca] began in 26 AH. Hazrat Uthmanra restored the landmarks within the Haram and further expanded the Masjid Al-Haram. Hazrat Uthmanra purchased the nearby houses and included that area as part of Masjid Al-Haram. Some of the people happily sold their houses; however, some were not willing to do so. Hazrat Uthmanra tried to convince them in every way possible but they remained adamant in their decision. In the end, upon the instruction of Hazrat Uthmanra, those houses were taken down and the amount [in value] was given to the treasury. Upon this, people began to create unrest against Hazrat Uthmanra and so he had them arrested and put in jail. Hazrat Uthmanra then said to them, “Do you know why you have had the courage to act in this manner against me? This courage you show is because of my compassionate nature. Hazrat Umarra also did the same thing; however, you did not create any disorder against him.” Later, Abdullah bin Khalid bin Usaid spoke to Hazrat Uthmanra regarding those who had created disorder upon which they were released. (Muhammad Ibn Jarir al-Tabari, Tarikh al-Tabari, Vol. 5 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Fikr, 2002], p. 92) 

The first ever naval fleet in Islam was established during the era of Hazrat Uthmanra in 28 AH. Amir Mu‘awiyah bin Abi Sufyan was the first person to fight a naval battle during the era of Hazrat Uthman’sra Khilafat. Amir Mu‘awiyah sought permission from Hazrat Umarra once before to take part in a naval battle, but Hazrat Umarra did not grant him permission. When Hazrat Uthmanra became Khalifa, Amir Mu‘awiyah mentioned this a few times again and sought permission for this. Eventually, Hazrat Uthmanra gave him permission but stated that he should not include anyone to be part of the army nor draw a lot to decide, in fact give them the choice and take only those who wish to go along with you and assist them. Amir Mu‘awiyah did as he was instructed. Abdullah bin Qais Jasi was appointed as the commander of the naval force and he fought a total of 50 battles in the season of summer and winter and not a single soldier drowned and nor did they incur any kind of loss.  (Muhammad Ibn Jarir al-Tabari, Tarikh al-Tabari, Vol. 5 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Fikr, 2002], p. 97) 

The Holy Prophetsa narrated that one who resembled him the most in morals was Hazrat Uthmanra. Hazrat Abdur Rahmanra bin Uthman relates that the Holy Prophetsa visited his daughter and at the time, she was washing Hazrat Uthman’sra hair. The Holy Prophetsa stated, “O my daughter! Treat Abu Abdillah”, i.e. Uthman, “in the most excellent manner, for in morals, he resembles me the most among my companions.” (Majma al-Zawa‘id wa Manba al-Fawa‘id, Kitabul Manaqib, Bab ma Ja‘a fi Khuluqih, Hadith 14500, Vol. 9, p. 58, Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2001)

Hazrat Yahya bin Abdir Rahman bin Hatib relates that he heard his father say that among all the companions of the Holy Prophetsa, there was no one better than Hazrat Uthmanra in expressing himself in a most comprehensive and beautiful manner and he would not engage in unnecessary talk. (Ibn Saad, Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol. 3, Uthmanra bin Affan [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar Ihya al-Turath al-Arabi, 1996], p. 32) 

Hazrat Abu Hurrairahra narrates that he presented himself before the daughter of the Holy Prophetsa, Hazrat Ruqaiyyahra

Instead of Hazrat Ruqaiyyahra, perhaps it is meant Hazrat Umm Kulthumra because according to the narrations, Hazrat Ruqaiyyahra passed away in the days of the Battle of Badr and Hazrat Abu Hurairahra accepted Islam five years after that and then came to Medina. Therefore, perhaps Hazrat Umm Kulthumra is meant here because she passed away in 9 AH. 

In any case, the narration states that he presented himself before the daughter of the Holy Prophetsa, who was the wife of Hazrat Uthmanra and she had a comb in her hand. She stated, “Just now the Holy Prophetsa left from here. I was combing his hair and he asked me, ‘How do you find Abu Abdillah (Hazrat Uthmanra?’ I replied, ‘He is excellent.’ Upon this, the Holy Prophetsa stated, ‘Thus, you should also treat him with respect for in morals he resembles me the most among my companions.’” (Majma al-Zawa‘id wa Manba al-Fawa‘id, Kitab al-Manaqib, Bab ma Ja‘a fi Khuluqih, Hadith 14501, Vol. 9, p. 58, Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2001)

I conclude narrating the accounts from the life of Hazrat Uthmanra here. I will lead some funeral prayers [in absentia] today as well and will mention some details about them. 

The first funeral is of Mubasher Ahmad Rind Sahib, son of Ahmad Bakhsh, who was serving as a muallim of Waqf-e-Jadid in Rabwah.  He passed away on 10 March [2021]: 

اِنَّا‭ ‬لِلّٰهِ‭ ‬وَاِنَّا‭ ‬اِلَيْهِ‭ ‬رَاجِعُوْنَ

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

The deceased belonged to the village of Rindan in the district of Dera Ghazi Khan and was a born Ahmadi. He started his services as a muallim of Waqf-e-Jadid in Tharparkar in 1990. He then served in various places as a muallim and inspector. Wherever he was sent, he would always show utmost obedience and never presented any kind of excuse. He always strived to fulfil his waqf with great sincerity. His own relatives as well as others have all stated that he was extremely hard-working, devoted to prayers, regular in offering Tahajud prayers, outstanding preacher, excellent speaker, very sociable, hospitable, cheerful and a humble person. He always spoke softly and in a very sweet manner, but if he ever heard anything against the nizam-e-Jamaat or Khilafat, he would become like an unsheathed sword and would not leave that gathering until he had reformed that individual. 

He is survived by his wife, two sons and three daughters. His youngest son, Shazil Ahmad, is a fourth-year student of Jamia Ahmadiyya Rabwah. May Allah the Almighty grant the deceased His forgiveness and mercy. 

The next funeral is of Munir Ahmad Farrukh Sahib, who was the former amir of Islamabad district. After a long period of illness, he passed away in Canada on 9 March [2021] at the age of 84: 

اِنَّا‭ ‬لِلّٰهِ‭ ‬وَاِنَّا‭ ‬اِلَيْهِ‭ ‬رَاجِعُوْنَ

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

He was a Musi and had done a Wasiyyat at the rate of 1/9. Munir Farrukh Sahib was an engineer. His grandfather was Hazrat Munshi Ahmad Bakhsh Sahibra who was a companion of the Promised Messiahas. He travelled to Qadian for the Jalsa Salana in 1903 and had the good fortune of performing the bai‘at at the hands of the Promised Messiahas. The father of the deceased was Dr Chaudhry Abdullah Ahad Sahib, who obtained an MSc and PhD in Agriculture. Only the most intelligent students were able to acquire a PhD in those days. In any case, his father had a PhD. His father also had the opportunity to serve as the amir of Lyallpur. 

In 1944, when Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra called for the youth, particularly scientists, to come forward and dedicate their lives [for the service of the Jamaat], Dr Sahib, i.e. Farrukh Sahib’s father, resigned from his government job, dedicated his life and moved to Qadian with his family. By then, under the direct supervision of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIra, the Fazl-e-Umar Research Institute had been established and Huzoorra appointed him as the director of Fazl-e-Umar Research Institute. He was also appointed as a science teacher in Talim-ul-Islam College. 

Farrukh Sahib attained a degree in electrical engineering from the University of Engineering and Technology and then worked in various roles early on in his career. He then formally began his services for the government of Pakistan in the telegraph and telephone department. During his service, he had the opportunity to serve in various cities of Pakistan and also travelled to numerous countries as a representative of Pakistan. He retired in 1997 as the director general of Pakistan Telecommunications. 

He is survived by his wife, two sons and two daughters. 

May Allah the Almighty enable his children to follow his [virtuous] example. 

During his stay in Rawalpindi, he had the opportunity to serve as the qaid of Majlis Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya of his district. This was during the challenging and tumultuous times of 1974 and he had the opportunity to serve in that time. In 1977, he permanently settled in Islamabad and had the opportunity to serve [the Jamaat] in various capacities. In 1990, he had the opportunity to serve as Naib Amir I and after taking retirement, he presented his waqf to Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh

After his waqf was approved, he was given the responsibility to serve as the amir of Islamabad city and also the district in 1999.  He also made great effort in forming the digital exchange in order to provide the accessibility of direct dialling in Rabwah. He was also a member of the Central Finance Committee and an Executive Member of IAAAE. He had the opportunity to serve in various capacities and also in various honorary roles. 

In 1996, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh appointed him as the director of the Fazl-e-Umar Foundation and he continued to serve in this role until his demise. 

In 1980, during the era of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIIrh, at the occasion of Jalsa Salana, when work was started to provide translations to the foreign guests, a team of engineers was formed for this and the deceased rendered great effort for this and was able to make a notable contribution towards this endeavour. 

Munir Farrukh Sahib was also the overall in charge of this team as well. When Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IVrh migrated to the UK in April 1984, he would regularly come to attend the Jalsa here and he would be entrusted with the responsibility of providing translation service to the guests. He rendered this duty in a most excellent manner.  

He would work with great effort and during his time as the amir of the Islamabad Jamaat, many buildings of the Jamaat were constructed. 

One of his sons says:

“He would always advise his children to fully participate in the work of the Jamaat. He was always at the forefront in offering his services to the Jamaat, in spite of his work for the government. He would go from his work directly to the Jamaat offices and fulfil the responsibilities he was assigned. Every year, he would reserve his holidays especially for Jalsa Salana UK.”

Since he was an Ahmadi, during his time in employment, he was posted to work in a far-off place in Dera Ismail Khan. At that time, Prime Minister [Zulfikar Ali] Bhutto said that he should not be reposted in Islamabad, but Allah showered His grace and he was once again posted in Islamabad; from there, he had the opportunity to travel to different countries to represent the government. May Allah the Almighty grant him His forgiveness and mercy.

The next funeral prayer is of Retired Brigadier Muhammad Latif Sahib, the former amir of the Rawalpindi district. He passed away on 28 February at the age of 77. 

اِنَّا‭ ‬لِلّٰهِ‭ ‬وَاِنَّا‭ ‬اِلَيْهِ‭ ‬رَاجِعُوْنَ

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

Brigadier Latif Sahib accepted Ahmadiyyat alongside his father around 1955. His father passed away in 2000, after which Brigadier Sahib was the only Ahmadi in his family; that is apart from his own children. He has a wife, two sons and two daughters. May Allah Almighty enable his children to also follow in his footsteps. 

After his retirement in 2000, he dedicated all his time in serving the Community. He served as the umur-e-ama secretary and deputy amir of the Rawalpindi district. He had the honour of serving as the amir of the Rawalpindi district from 2019 up until his demise in 2021. He had the honour of serving the Community for approximately 20 years. 

He was very compassionate and caring towards the poor; he would render his services to the Community deeming it to be a blessing of God and he would advise his children to do the same. Even during the severity of his final illness, whenever he would be called upon by an office-bearer, he would go immediately, not worrying in the slightest about his illness. He had cancer and was undergoing treatment at the same time. In spite of this, he was always ready to serve and never refused to do so. May Allah the Almighty grant him His forgiveness and mercy. 

The next funeral prayer is of Konokbek Omurbekov Sahib, an Ahmadi from Kyrgyzstan. He passed away on 22 February at the age of 67. 

اِنَّا‭ ‬لِلّٰهِ‭ ‬وَاِنَّا‭ ‬اِلَيْهِ‭ ‬رَاجِعُوْنَ

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

The national president of Kyrgyzstan, Ilyas Kubatov writes:

“I have known Konokbek Sahib for over fifteen years. He was one of the pioneer Ahmadis in Kyrgyzstan after having accepted Ahmadiyyat in 2000. He was a very sincere and loyal Ahmadi. He always took part in programmes of the Community, regularly donated to Jamaat’s chandas and other financial sacrifices and fulfilled his promises on time. 

“He was regular in offering his five daily prayers and the Tahajud prayer. During the time of the Soviet Union and in his youth, he held good positions in large organisations and commercial companies in the country, and they all praised him for his honesty, good manners and hard work. When he was no longer working towards the latter part of his life, he would sell books, especially Islamic books. Even before the prohibition of the Jamaat’s religious activities in Kyrgyzstan, he would regularly distribute the literature of the Jamaat and the translation of the Holy Quran among the people. As a result of his preaching, he conveyed the message of Ahmadiyyat to many people. He is survived by his wife and a seven-year-old son.” This is his second wife. He was separated from his first wife and has elder children with her, who are perhaps not Ahmadis. May Allah the Almighty enable them to accept Ahmadiyyat. May Allah grant him His forgiveness and mercy. 

The missionary writes:

“After the Russian translation of the Holy Quran was published, Konokbek Sahib highlighted some errors [in the translation]. So I told him to read the entire Quran and review it [for any errors in translation]. He completed this task within 10-15 days by reading the entire Holy Quran with the translation and highlighting the errors.” 

The missionary then writes, “Konokbek Sahib would perform his ablutions with utmost care before the prayers and one would be envious upon seeing the way in which he would offer his prayers.”

Uzgenbaev Artur Sahib says:

“In truth, Konokbek Sahib is the one who conveyed the message of Ahmadiyyat to me. Whenever I would ask questions, he would answer me in an amazing manner and his answers were filled with logic, reason and wisdom. Konokbek Sahib possessed very high morals and was a patient and forbearing person. It is due to his morals and these qualities that I entered the Community.”

When I instructed that voluntary fasts should be held regularly and [to concentrate on] prayers, he would fast on Mondays and Thursdays. So when he was told to fast one day of the week, he said, “I fast on both Mondays and Thursdays, so that I may answer to each and every call of Khilafat.” He was an ardent devotee of Khilafat and would regularly listen to the Friday Sermon in Russian. He was an extremely humble and meek person. He was very cheerful, and as I already stated, he was passionate about calling people towards God Almighty. May Allah the Almighty grant him forgiveness and mercy. 

May He elevate the rank of all the deceased members and enable their progeny to continue their virtuous deeds. 

(Original Urdu transcript published in Al Fazl International, 9 April 2021, pp. 5-10. Translated by The Review of Religions.)

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