Men of Excellence: Hazrat Uthman r.a. bin Affan (5 February 2021)

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Friday Sermon

5 February 2021

Men of Excellence: Hazrat Uthmanra bin Affan

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

Previously the accounts from the life of Hazrat Uthmanra were being narrated and the battles he took part in. One of those expeditions was Dhat al-Riqa. The Holy Prophetsa set off against the Ghatfan tribes of Banu Tha‘labah and Banu Maharib in Najd with an army of 400 companions, or according to another narration, 700 companions. The Holy Prophetsa appointed Hazrat Uthmanra as the amir in Medina, whereas according to another narration, the Holy Prophetsa appointed Hazrat Abu Dharr Ghaffarira as the amir. 

The Holy Prophetsa reached a place in Najd called Nakhl, which was also known as Dhat al-Riqa. A large army had gathered there in order to confront the Holy Prophetsa. Both armies lined up against each other, but a battle did not ensue and the people remained fearful of each other. During this very battle, the Muslims offered Salat al-Khauf [prayer during a time of danger] for the first time. (Ibn Hisham, Sirat Ibn Hisham, Ghazwat Dhat al-Riqa [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 2001], pp. 614-615) (Ibn Saad, Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol. 2, Ghazwat Rasul Allahsa Dhat al-Riqa [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar Ihya al-Turath al-Arabiyy, 1996], p. 280)

Why this expedition was called Dhat al-Riqa is because the companions patched their flags. It is also stated that there was a tree or a mountain in this area by the name of Dhat al-Riqa. A narration in Bukhari is as follows, Hazrat Abu Musa Ash‘arira relates: 

“We set off for a battle alongside the Holy Prophetsa. There were six of us. We had one camel among us, which we rode in turns. Our feet were cut open (that is, there was not six men in the expedition, but there were six men designated to one camel during the battle). Both of my feet were cut open as well and the nails had fallen off. We would wrap pieces of cloth around our feet. As such, it has been called the Battle of Dhat al-Riqa, that is, the battle of patches, as we had wrapped patches of cloth around our feet.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab al-Maghazi, Ghazwat Dhat al-Riqa, Hadith 4128) 

There is an [additional] note by the Research Cell, which is important and so I will mention it as well. According to the books of history and biographies of the Holy Prophetsa, the Battle of Dhat al-Riqa took place in 4 AH. However, Imam Bukharirh has stated that this battle took place following the Battle of Khaybar, as Hazrat Abu Musa Ash‘arira participated in this battle and he accepted Islam after the Battle of Khaybar. Therefore, the date of 7 AH seems to be more plausible. (Ibn Kathir, Al-Sirah al-Nabawiyyah, Ghazwat Dhat al-Riqa [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 2001], p. 614) (Ibn Saad, Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol. 2, Ghazwat Rasul Allahsa Dhat al-Riqa [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar Ihya al-Turath al-Arabiyy, 1996], p. 280) (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab al-Maghazi, Ghazwat Dhat al-Riqa, Hadith 4128) 

With regard to the accounts in relation to the Conquest of Mecca, which took place in 8 AH, a detailed narration can be found in Sunan al-Nasai about those individuals whom the Holy Prophetsa had ordered to be executed on this occasion. Hazrat Mus‘ab bin Saadra relates from his father: 

“On the day of the Conquest of Mecca, the Holy Prophetsa granted protection to all disbelievers, save four men and two women. The Holy Prophetsa said, ‘Kill these four individuals, even if you find them clinging on to the covers of the Ka‘bah.’ These were Ikrimah bin Abi Jahl, Abdullah bin Khatal, Maqees bin Subaba and Abdullah bin Saad bin Abi Sarh. 

“When Abdullah bin Khatal was seized, he was holding on to the covers of the Ka‘bah. Saeed bin Huraith and Ammar bin Yasir, both rushed toward him. Saeed advanced and killed him. Maqees was caught by the people in the marketplace and killed. Ikrimah ran towards the sea. The people aboard the ship were caught in a storm, upon which they said, ‘Be sincere and truthful, as your gods will be of no avail to you here.’ Hearing this, Ikrimah said, ‘By God! If there is anything that can save me on sea, it is sincerity and truthfulness. Furthermore, it is sincerity and truthfulness alone that can save me on land as well. O Allah! I sincerely pledge to You that if You save me from this storm, I will go to Muhammadsa and place my hand in his and I am certain that I will find him forgiving and benevolent.’ Following this, he returned and accepted Islam.”

The more commonly known narration is that before boarding the ship, his wife caught up with him and convinced him to return. This narration will be mentioned later on. Nevertheless, this aforementioned narration was from Sunan al-Nasai.

As for Abdullah bin Abi Sarh, he hid in the home of Hazrat Uthmanra bin Affan. Then, when the Holy Prophetsa invited people to pledge allegiance, Hazrat Uthmanra took him to the Holy Prophetsa and said, “O Messengersa of Allah, accept the pledge of allegiance from Abdullah.” The Holy Prophetsa looked up at him three times and refused each time. Eventually, the Holy Prophetsa accepted his pledge of allegiance and then later said, “Was there no wise person amongst you who could have killed that man whose pledge of allegiance I was hesitant about accepting?” They replied saying, “O Messengersa of Allah! How could we know what was in your heart? Why did you not indicate this to us by signalling with your eyes?” The Holy Prophetsa said, “It does not behove a prophet to cast a glance in a deceptive manner.” 

This narration is recorded in Sunan Abi Dawood. Although another [similar] narration is also present in Sunan Abi Dawood, the last part about killing him is not mentioned. Thus, in this narration [of Abu Dawood], Hazrat Ibn Abbasra states that Abdullah bin Saad bin Abi Sarh used to be a scribe for the Holy Prophetsa, but Satan drove him astray due to which he joined the disbelievers. On the day of the Conquest of Mecca, the Holy Prophetsa ordered for him to be killed. Hazrat Uthmanra bin Affan sought protection for him upon which the Holy Prophetsa granted him protection. (Sunan al-Nasai, Kitab al-Maharibah, Bab al-Hukm fi al-Murtad, Hadith 2072) (Sunan Abi Dawud, Kitab al-Hudud, Bab al-Hukm fi man Irtadda, Hadith 2358-2359)

With regard to the statement of the Holy Prophetsa saying that Abdullah should have been killed and asking why he was not, one explanation about this is that this narration of the Holy Prophetsa, in which he says to his Companions that when he had delayed accepting his pledge of allegiance, why had they not killed him is questionable, had the Holy Prophetsa not wished to accept his pledge of allegiance and wanted to remain firm on his decision to kill him, then he could have ordered for him to be killed. He was the victor and the leader of the state and the verdict of the death penalty was based upon justice. Thus, it is possible that a narrator added their own views in this narration. Furthermore, this narration is not found in Bukhari or Muslim and another version of this narration on the same subject is found in Abu Dawood related by Hazrat Ibn Abbasra which has already been referred to earlier, and this also makes no mention of the part about the killing. 

Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra mentions these incidents in the commentary of Surah al-Mu‘minun, verse 15:

“There is a historical incident associated with this verse which is necessary to mention here. There was a scribe by the name of Abdullah bin Abi Sarh who would write down the revelations received by the Holy Prophetsa. Whenever the Holy Prophetsa received a revelation, he would call him and have it written down. One day, while dictating these very verses [i.e. Surah al-Mu‘minun verse 15], when he reached:

ثُمَّ أَنشَأۡنَٰهُ خَلۡقًا ءَاخَرَۚ

“[‘Then we developed it into another creation’ (Ch.23: V.15)], Abdullah spontaneously uttered the words:

فَتَبٰرَكَ‭ ‬اللّٰهُ‭ ‬اَحۡسَنُ‭ ‬الۡخٰلِقِيۡنَ

“[‘So blessed be Allah, the Best of creators’ (Ch.23: V.15)]. The Holy Prophetsa said that this is exactly what the revelation was and that he should write it down. That wretched person did not realise that these words were the natural result of the preceding verses. Abdullah thought that since the words he had uttered were accepted by the Holy Prophetsa to be the same as the revelation, therefore he thought that the Holy Prophetsa was, God-forbid, making up the rest of the Quran himself. Thus, he became an apostate and went to Mecca. On the occasion of the Conquest of Mecca, Abdullah bin Abi Sarh was among those whom the Holy Prophetsa had issued the death penalty. However, Hazrat Uthmanra granted him protection and he hid in his home for three days. One day, when the Holy Prophetsa was taking the pledge of allegiance from the people of Mecca, Hazrat Uthmanra took Abdullah bin Abi Sarh to the Holy Prophetsa and requested that he accept Abdullah’s pledge of allegiance. The Holy Prophetsa initially showed some reluctance, but then he accepted his pledge of allegiance. Thus, Abdullah accepted Islam once again.” (Tafsir-e-Kabir, Vol. 6, p. 129)

The incident of Ikrimah bin Abi Jahl’s acceptance of Islam as mentioned in the narration of Sunan al-Nasai is different to the account mentioned in the books of Islamic history. As I have mentioned before, Ikrimah bin Abi Jahl was among those whom the Holy Prophetsa ordered to be killed during the Conquest of Mecca. Ikrimah and his father used to cause much pain to the Holy Prophetsa and severely persecuted the Muslims. When he discovered that the Holy Prophetsa had ordered for his execution, he fled towards Yemen. His wife pursued him after having accepted Islam and reached Ikrimah at the coast as he was about to board a ship. According to one account, she found him after he had already boarded the ship. She stopped him saying, “O son of my uncle! I have come to you from that person who unites people the most, who is the most pious and who is most well-wishing among the people. Do not put yourself in ruin for I have sought security on your behalf.” Thereupon he returned with his wife, accepted Islam and he did so in an exceptional manner. 

According to one narration, when Ikrimah came before the Holy Prophetsa, he said, “O Muhammadsa! My wife has informed me that you have granted me amnesty.” The Holy Prophetsa replied, “You speak the truth. Indeed, you have been given amnesty.” Thereupon Ikrimah said, “I bear witness that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, He has no partner and that you are His servant and Messenger” and then lowered his head out of embarrassment. Upon this, the Holy Prophetsa said, “O Ikrimah! I shall grant you whatever you ask of me, so long as I have the power to bestow it.” He replied, “Pray for my forgiveness for every transgression I committed against you.” Upon this the Holy Prophetsa supplicated, “O Allah, forgive Ikrimah for all the transgressions he committed against me, or forgive him for all his evil deeds.” Then the Holy Prophetsa stood up brimming with joy and covered Ikrimah in his own cloak, saying, “Welcome, o ye, who has come to us in a state of faith and having migrated.” 

Ikrimah was later counted among the most eminent companions. Ikrimah’s acceptance of Islam was also a fulfilment of that prophecy which the Holy Prophetsa narrated to his companions. He had seen in a dream that he was in paradise, where he saw a bunch of grapes which looked very pleasing to him. The Holy Prophetsa enquired, “Who is this for?” It was said that it was for Abu Jahl. This was displeasing to the Holy Prophetsa and troubled him greatly. The Holy Prophetsa said, “None shall enter paradise except a believer, so how can this be for Abu Jahl?” Later, when Ikrimah accepted Islam, this pleased the Holy Prophetsa greatly and he interpreted that the bunch of grapes referred to Ikrimah. (Ali bin Burhan al-Din al-Halabi, Al-Sirah al-Halabiyyah, Vol. 3, Bab Dhikr Maghaziyah, Ghazwat Fath Makkah [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 2002], 132-133.)

The Battle of Tabuk took place in Rajab 9 AH and is also known as Jaish al-Usrah, i.e. the “Army of Hardship.” The details in relation to the financial sacrifice offered by Hazrat Uthmanra are as follows:

The Battle of Tabuk took place in 9 AH and is also known as Jaish al-Usrah, i.e. the “Army of Hardship.” The Holy Prophetsa made an appeal for contribution towards the preparation of this battle. Upon this, Hazrat Uthmanra presented his entire trade caravan of 100 camels including its litter and saddles which had been prepared to go to Syria. The Holy Prophetsa made another appeal, and again, in light of the provisions required for the expedition, Hazrat Uthmanra prepared another 100 camels along with their litters and saddles and presented it to the Holy Prophetsa. The Holy Prophetsa yet again made another appeal and Hazrat Uthmanra for a third time prepared a further 100 camels, including their litter and saddles and presented them to the Holy Prophetsa. When the Holy Prophetsa stepped down from his pulpit, he stated, 

مَا عَلَى عُثْمَانَ مَا عَمِلَ بَعْدَ هَذِهِ ـ مَا عَلَى عُثْمَانَ مَا عَمِلَ بَعْدَ هَذِهِ

 “There will be no retribution for whatever Uthman does from now on, there will be no retribution for whatever Uthman does from now on” 

Apart from this, Hazrat Uthmanra presented 200 auqiyah of gold to the Holy Prophetsa

According to another narration, Hazrat Uthmanra presented himself before the Holy Prophetsa and placed 1,000 dinars in the Holy Prophet’ssa lap. The Holy Prophetsa placed his hands in the coins that were in his lap and whilst moving them around, he twice stated: 

مَا ضَرَّ عُثْمَانَ مَا عَمِلَ بَعْدَ الْيَوْم

“There will be no retribution for whatever Uthman does from now on.” 

According to another narration, Hazrat Uthmanra presented 10,000 dinars and the Holy Prophetsa prayed for Hazrat Uthmanra as follows: 

غَفَرَ لَكَ يَا عُثْمَانَ مَا أَسْرَرتَ وَمَا أَعْلَنْتَ وَمَا هُوَ كَائِنٌ إِلَى يَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ مَا يُبَالِى مَا عَمِلَ بَعْدَهَا

 “O Uthman! May Allah grant you His forgiveness for whatever you have done discreetly and openly and whatever you go onto to do till the Day of Judgment. As of today, he should not be concerned over any of his deeds.” 

According to another narration, Hazrat Uthmanra presented 1,000 dinars and 70 horses for the preparation of this battle. 

According to another narration, on this occasion the Holy Prophetsa stated to Hazrat Uthmanra

“O Uthman! May Allah grant you His forgiveness for whatever you have done discreetly and openly and whatever you go onto to do till the Day of Judgment. As of today, whatever he does, Allah will not hold him accountable.”

According to another narration, the Holy Prophetsa, on this occasion, prayed for Hazrat Uthmanra as follows:

أَللّٰهُمَّ ارْضِ عَنْ عُثْمَانَ فَإِنِّى عَنْهُ رَاضٍ

 “O Allah! Express Your pleasure for Uthman for I am also pleased with him.” (Sharh Zurqani ala al-Mawahib al-Laduniyyah, Vol. 4, pp. 68, 66-71, Ghazwat Tabuk, Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1996) (Sunan al-Tirmidhi, Kitab al-Manaqib, Bab ma fi Manaqib Uthman…, Hadith 3700 & 3701)

Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra states:  

“At times, the Companionsra would sell the items and provisions in their homes and fulfil the expenditure for the battles. In fact, we also find examples whereby they sold all their properties and possessions and spent it for the sake of others and provided them for all their needs. For example, on one occasion, the Holy Prophetsa came out and stated, ‘Our army is leaving for an expedition, but the believers do not have any possessions. Is there anyone who wants to earn a good deed?’ Upon hearing this, Hazrat Uthmanra immediately stood up and whatever he had earned in profit, he presented it to the Holy Prophetsa in order to fulfil the expenses of the Muslim [army]. Observing this, the Holy Prophetsa stated, ‘Uthman has purchased Paradise!’ 

“Similarly, on one occasion a water-well was available to buy and since the Muslims in those days were facing extreme hardship owing to the lack of water, the Holy Prophetsa asked if there was anyone who wanted to earn a good deed. Hazrat Uthmanra submitted, ‘O Messengersa of Allah! I am present and at your service.’ Following this, Hazrat Uthmanra purchased the water-well and donated it to the Muslims. Once again, the Holy Prophetsa stated, ‘Uthman has purchased Paradise!’ Similarly on another occasion the Holy Prophetsa used these same words. In short, there were three such occasions where the Holy Prophetsa stated that Hazrat Uthmanra had purchased Paradise.” (Khutbat-e-Mahmud, Vol. 19, pp. 98-99, Khutbah Jumu’ah Farmudah 18 February 1938)

Hazrat Musleh Maudra states:

“On numerous occasions, the Holy Prophetsa stated that Hazrat Uthmanra had purchased Paradise and that he was destined to enter Paradise. On the occasion of the Treaty of Hudaibiyyah, the Holy Prophetsa took an oath of allegiance from the Muslims once again, but Hazrat Uthmanra was not present there at the time. The Holy Prophetsa placed his other hand upon his own hand and stated, ‘This is the hand of Uthman and I place my hand on behalf of his.’ In this way, the Holy Prophetsa declared his hand to be the hand of Hazrat Uthmanra. On another occasion, the Holy Prophetsa stated, ‘O Uthman! Allah will bestow you with a cloak. The hypocrites will try to remove this cloak from you but do not remove this cloak.’” 

Hazrat Musleh Maudra continues:  

“Here, the Holy Prophetsa said to Hazrat Uthmanra not to remove this cloak and those who seek to remove it from him will in fact be the hypocrites.” (Khutbat-e-Mahmud, Vol. 19, p. 100, Khutbah Jumu’ah Farmudah 18 February 1938)

Thus, from this it is evident that those [who opposed Hazrat Uthmanra] were hypocrites and the Holy Prophetsa had foretold about them.”   

Hazrat Khalifatul Masih IIIrh has mentioned the sacrifice of Hazrat Uthmanra as follows:

“Once, provisions were required for a battle and the Holy Prophetsa made an appeal for the essential requirements before the Companionsra and urged them to offer financial sacrifices. Subsequently, Hazrat Abu Bakrra brought his entire wealth and Hazrat Umarra brought half of his wealth. Hazrat Uthmanra submitted, ‘I will endure all the expense of 10,000 companions; kindly accept this from me.’ On top of that, he donated 1,000 camels and 70 horses.” (Khutbat-e-Nasir, Vol. 2, p. 363, Khutbah Jumuah delivered on 18 October 1968)

What were the services and status of Hazrat Uthmanra during the era of Hazrat Abu Bakr’sra Khilafat and what was his rank in the eyes of Hazrat Abu Bakrra? During the Khilafat of Hazrat Abu Bakrra, Hazrat Uthmanra was among those companions and a part of the consultative body with whom Hazrat Abu Bakrra would seek consultation regarding important matters. After having suppressed the rebellion of the apostates, Hazrat Abu Bakrra decided to launch an attack against the Byzantines and also decided to send the Mujahideen to various fronts. Hazrat Abu Bakrra sought consultation from the people on this matter and upon this some of the companions presented their suggestions. When Hazrat Abu Bakrra sought further consultation, Hazat Uthmanra submitted, “You are a well-wisher of the believers of this faith and show benevolence to them.  Thus, whatever you decide is beneficial for the people, you should make firm resolve regarding it because no one can think ill about you.” In other words, Hazrat Uthmanra stated that no one could ever think ill of Hazrat Abu Bakrra. Upon this, Hazrat Talhara, Hazrat Zubairra, Hazrat Saadra, Hazrat Abu Ubaidahra, Hazrat Saeed bin Zaidra, as well as the other Muhajireen and Ansar members who were present in this gathering agreed with Hazrat Uthmanra that he had indeed spoken the truth. 

[Hazrat Uthmanra further stated], “Do whatever you deem appropriate; we will neither oppose you nor lay any blame on you.” After this, Hazrat Alira spoke and then Hazrat Abu Bakrra stood among the people and praised Allah the Almighty which He is most worthy of and invoked salutations [Durood] upon the Holy Prophetsa. Thereafter, he stated, “O people! Allah the Almighty has bestowed His blessings upon you through the religion of Islam; He has granted you honour through Jihad; and through this faith, He has granted you superiority over all other faiths. Thus, O servants of Allah! Prepare an army to go to battle against the Byzantines in the land of Syria.” (Tarikh Dimashq al-Kabir li Ibn Asakir, Vol. 1, p. 46, Dar Ihya al-Turath al-Arabiyy, Beirut, 2001)

When Hazrat Abu Bakrra sought consultation from his companions as to who should be appointed as the governor of Bahrain in place of Hazrat Abanra bin Saeed, Hazrat Uthmanra bin Affan submitted, “Send the person who was appointed as the governor over the people of Bahrain by the Holy Prophetsa himself. He subsequently became the means of them accepting Islam and demonstrating their obedience. He is also well-aware of its people and the area. That is, Alaa bin Hadrami.” Upon this, Hazrat Abu Bakrra expressed his agreement to this suggestion and appointed Alaa bin Hadrmi as the governor of Bahrain. (Kanz al-Ummal, Vol. 3, Ch. 5, p. 248, Kitab al-Khilafa ma‘a al-Imarah, Hadith 14089, Dar al-Kutun al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 2004)

Hazrat Ibn Abbasra relates that during the era of Hazrat Abu Bakr’sra Khilafat, there was a drought and the people presented themselves before Hazrat Abu Bakrra and submitted, “There is no rainfall from the skies and the ground is not producing any vegetation. Consequently, people are facing extreme difficulty.” Hazrat Abu Bakrra replied, “Return and remain patient, Allah the Almighty will alleviate your concerns by this evening.” Meanwhile, Hazrat Uthman’sra trade caravan consisting of 100 camels laden with wheat and other food provisions arrived in Medina from Syria. 

Upon hearing news of this, people assembled outside the door of Hazrat Uthmanra and knocked on his door. Hazrat Uthmanra came out and enquired from the people what they wanted. They replied, “You are aware that we are experiencing a drought. There is no rainfall from the skies and the ground is not producing any crops and people are extremely concerned. We have come to know that you have grain, therefore if you could sell it to us, we will distribute it amongst the needy and poor.” Hazrat Uthmanra replied, “Very well, come inside and purchase it.” The merchants entered his house and saw the grain stored inside. Hazrat Uthmanra said to the merchants, “How much profit will you give me on all this grain which I have purchased from Syria.” (He asked that he had purchased the provisions from Syria and transported them. How much would they give him for it. Some of them wanted to distribute it free of cost whilst others wanted to enter into a trade agreement.) They stated that they would give 12 in exchange of 10. (In other words, if the cost was 10 dirhams, they would give 12 dirhams in return.) 

Hazrat Uthmanra said, “I am receiving an offer greater than this.” They replied, “We will offer 15 instead of 10.” Hazrat Uthmanra said, “I am receiving even more than this.” The merchants said, “O Abu Amr! There are no merchants in Medina aside from us. Who then is giving you more than this?” Hazrat Uthmanra replied, “Allah the Almighty is giving me 10 dirhams in exchange for my one dirham” i.e. giving tenfold in return for every one. “Are you able to give me more than this?” They replied, “No, we cannot give you more than this.” To this Hazrat Uthmanra said, “I call upon Allah as my witness that I give this grain for the poor Muslims as sadaqah” i.e. he gave away all the grain to the poor without taking anything in return for it.

Hazrat Ibn Abbasra relates, “On the day this incident took place”, i.e. the grain was given away as sadaqah, “I saw the Holy Prophetsa in a dream. He was mounted on a large non-Arab horse. The Holy Prophetsa was wearing a garment infused with spiritual light; his shoes were full of light and in his hand, he was wielding a stick full of light. It seemed that the Holy Prophetsa was in a hurry. I said to him, ‘O Messengersa of Allah! I was eager to meet you and speak with you! Where are you heading to in such a hurry?’ The Holy Prophetsa replied, ‘O Ibn Abbas! Uthman has presented a sadaqah and Allah the Almighty has accepted it and has arranged for his marriage in Heaven. I have also been invited to attend the wedding.’” (Sirat Amir-il-Momineen Uthman bin Affan li-Ali Muhammad al-Salabi, pp. 51-52, Vol. 1; Dhu al-Nurain Uthman bin Affan bain Makkah wa Madinah, Dar al-Ma‘rifah, Beirut, Lebanon, 2006)

I will present a few accounts with regard to Hazrat Uthman’sra status and rank during the Khilafat of Hazrat Umarra. When Hazrat Umarra was appointed as the Khalifa, he decided to seek advice from the eminent companions about their stipends from the treasury [Bait-ul-Maal]. Upon this, Hazrat Uthmanra stated, “Make use of it and impart some to us also.”(Sirat Amir-il-Momineen Uthman bin Affan li-Ali Muhammad al-Salabi, p. 52, Vol. 1, Dhu al-Nurain; Uthman bin Affan bain Makkah wa Madinah, Dar al-Ma‘rifah, Beirut, Lebanon, 2006)

In other words, he should use the money to fulfil his requirements and to also help the people with their needs, so there is no need to fix an amount. When the Islamic Empire began to expand as did its wealth, Hazrat Umarra gathered some of the companions to seek counsel about the wealth. Hazrat Uthmanra said, “I feel that the wealth has increased to an amount that it will be enough for the people. If we do not keep a record of the people who have received their share and those who have not, I fear that we will fall into great difficulty”, i.e some people may take it twice, “therefore, a set system should be implemented and records should be kept.” 

Upon this, Hazrat Umarra accepted the advice of Hazrat Uthmanra and a census was carried out in which names were recorded in a register. After this people began to officially receive their share. (Sirat Amir-il-Momineen Uthman bin Affan li-Ali Muhammad al-Salabi, p. 54, Vol. 1, Dhu al-Nurain; Uthman bin Affan bain Makkah wa Madinah, Dar al-Ma‘rifah, Beirut, Lebanon, 2006)

With regard to Hazrat Uthman’sra Khilafat, there is a prophecy of the Holy Prophetsa. It has been mentioned briefly before regarding the wearing of a cloak and the hypocrites taking it off. This tradition is narrated by Hazrat Abu Bakarahra that one day, the Holy Prophetsa asked, “Has anyone among you seen a dream?” One person said that he had seen [a dream] that a scale descended from the Heavens and the Holy Prophetsa and Hazrat Abu Bakrra were weighed against one another and the Holy Prophetsa was heavier. Then, Hazrat Abu Bakrra was weighed against Hazrat Umarra and Hazrat Abu Bakrra was heavier. Then Hazrat Umarra was weighed against Hazrat Uthmanra and Hazrat Umarra was heavier. Then the scales were raised back up to the Heavens. We looked to the face of the Holy Prophetsa and saw that he was displeased by this.” The Holy Prophetsa was not overjoyed by this dream but instead he was greatly displeased. (Sunan Abi Dawud, Kitab al-Sunnah, Bab fi al-Khulafa, Hadith 2634)

Another narration is as follows: Hazrat Jabir bin Abdillahra narrates that the Holy Prophetsa once said, “In the night, a righteous person was shown in a dream that Hazrat Abu Bakrra was joined with the Holy Prophetsa and Hazrat Umarra was joined to Hazrat Abu Bakrra and Hazrat Uthmanra was joined with Hazrat Umarra.” Hazrat Jabirra further narrates, “When the Holy Prophetsa stood up to depart, we said that the righteous person represented the Holy Prophetsa and for some of them to be joined to others meant that these people would be the rulers over this matter”, i.e. faith, “which Allah the Almighty established through His Prophetsa.” (Sunan Abi Dawud, Kitab al-Sunnah, Bab fi al-Khulafa, Hadith 2636)

Hazrat Samurah bin Jundub narrates that a man said, “O Messengersa of Allah! I saw a bucket hanging from the sky. Hazrat Abu Bakrra came, held both ends of its wooden handle and drank a little from it. Next came Hazrat Umarra who held both ends of its wooden handle and drank from it to his fill. Next came Hazrat Uthmanra who caught hold of both ends of its handle and drank of it to his fill. Next came Hazrat Alira. He held both ends of its handle, but it sprayed out and some water from it fell on him.” (Sunan Abi Dawud, Kitab al-Sunnah, Bab fi al-Khulafa, Hadith 2637)

This was also an indication of the order of Khilafat. Hazrat Ali’sra era of Khilafat was one of disorder and turmoil. There was an indication to this in that he was not able to drink from it properly.

With regard to the electoral committee for Khilafat formed for the election of Hazrat Uthmanra, Hazrat Miswarra bin Makhrama relates that when Hazrat Umarra bin Khattab recovered somewhat after the attack on him, he would be requested to appoint a Khalifa after him; however, he would always refuse to do so. 

One day, Hazrat Umarra came to the pulpit and mentioned a few things and then said, “If I pass away, then I entrust your affairs to six individuals, whom the Holy Prophetsa was pleased with at the time of his demise. They are: Hazrat Ali bin Abu Talibra and bearing similarity to him, Hazrat Zubairra bin Awam; Hazrat Abdur Rahmanra bin Auf and bearing similarity to him, Hazrat Uthmanra bin Affan; Hazrat Talhara bin Ubaidullah and bearing similarity to him, Hazrat Saadra bin Malik. Hearken, for I instruct you all to adopt righteousness and justice whilst carrying out your decisions.” 

Abu Jafar relates that Hazrat Umarra bin Khattab told the members of the Electoral Committee, “Consult with one another and if your decision is equally split then consult again and if there are four votes to two, then go with the majority.” 

Zaid bin Aslam relates from his father that Hazrat Umarra stated that if there was a split in the votes, i.e. three on each side, then choose and show obedience to the one who Hazrat Abdur Rahman bin Aufra voted for. 

Abdur Rahman bin Saeed states that when Hazrat Umarra was injured [after the attack on him], he instructed that [after his demise] Hazrat Suhaibra would lead them in prayer for three days, i.e. he appointed Hazrat Suhaibra as the imam al-Salat. Hazrat Umarra then stated that [after his demise] they would consult with one another to appoint the next Khalifa and entrusted this matter to six individuals. He also stated that anyone who opposes this, should be killed. 

Hazrat Anas bin Malikra narrates shortly before his demise, Hazrat Umarra sent a message to Hazrat Abu Talhara stating, “O Abu Talha, take 50 men from among your tribe of the Ansar and go to those six men who are part of the electoral committee and remain there for three days until they appoint someone from amongst themselves as the Khalifa. O Allah, You are the guardian over them.” 

Ishaq bin Abdillah relates that Hazrat Abu Talhara stood beside the grave of Hazrat Umarra for a while along with his men and then remained with the members of the electoral committee. When members of the committee decided to entrust the responsibility of electing their leader with Hazrat Abdur Rahmanra bin Auf and stated that he should appoint whoever he decides, Hazrat Abu Talhara along with his men stood guard at the house of Hazrat Abdur Rahmanra bin Auf until the people pledged allegiance to Hazrat Uthmanra

Hazrat Salama bin Abi Salamara relates from his father that the first person to pledge allegiance at the hands of Hazrat Uthmanra was Hazrat Abdur Rahmanra bin Auf and after that it was Hazrat Alira

Umar bin Umairah, the freed slave of Hazrat Umarra relates from his grandfather that the first person to pledge allegiance to Hazrat Uthmanra was Hazrat Alira and after that everyone else pledged allegiance. (Ibn Saad, Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol. 3, Dhikr Shura wa ma kana min Amrihim, Dhikr Bai‘at Uthman [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar Ihya al-Turath al-Arabiyy, 1996], pp. 34-35) 

Details of Hazrat Umar’sra final days during his illness, his advice to the subsequent Khalifa and to the electoral committee members are recorded in Sahih Bukhari as follows: 

The people said, “O Leader of the Faithful! Appoint a successor after you as part of your will.” Hazrat Umarra said, “I do not find anyone more suitable for the station of Khilafat than the following persons whom the Holy Prophetsa had been pleased with before he passed away.” Then Hazrat Umarra mentioned the names of Hazrat Alira, Hazrat Uthmanra, Hazrat Zubairra, Hazrat Talhara, Hazrat Saadra and Hazrat Abdur Rahmanra bin Auf and said, “Abdullah bin Umarra will be a witness to you, but he will not be entitled to the station of Khilafat.” 

I have narrated this previously, therefore I will only mention it briefly here. Nonetheless, after Hazrat Umarra passed away and they completed the burial proceedings, all the six people named by Hazrat Umarra gathered together. Hazrat Abdur Rahmanra bin Auf stated, “Select any three candidates among you for Khilafat.” Hazrat Zubairra said, “I give my vote to Hazrat Alira.” Hazrat Talhara said, “I give my vote to Hazrat Uthmanra.” Hazrat Saadra said, “I give my vote to Hazrat Abdur Rahmanra bin Auf.”

Hazrat Abdur Rahmanra then said to Hazrat Uthmanra and Hazrat Alira, “Whoever of you withdraws their name, we will entrust him with this responsibility and Allah and Islam will be their guardian” i.e. the matter of choosing the Khalifa will be assigned to him, “and Allah the Almighty will choose the one Who He deems most worthy.” Upon hearing this, both noble men fell silent. 

Hazrat Abdur Rahmanra then said, “Will you both leave this matter to me and I take Allah as my witness that I will not choose but the better of you?”

I.e. to then leave the matter to Hazrat Abdur Rahman bin Aufra and he would then become the chair of the committee. He first asked one of them to become the chair of the committee, but neither agreed to this. As a result, Hazrat Abdur Rahmanra withdrew his name from this matter and took charge as the chair of the committee. Nonetheless, he said that his decision would be based on justice and that Allah would be his guardian. 

Both of them agreed. So Hazrat Abdur Rahmanra took the hand of one of them and said, “You are related to Allah’s Messengersa and you hold a lofty status within Islam, which you are aware of. Allah is your guardian – if I select you as our leader, will you do justice? And if I select Uthmanra as our leader, will you listen to him and obey him?” Hazrat Abdur Rahmanra took the hand of Hazrat Alira first, “Then Hazrat Abdur Rahmanra took the other aside”, this time it was Hazrat Uthmanra, “and advised him in a similar manner. When Hazrat Abdur Rahman bin Aufra secured this covenant from both of them, he then said, “O Uthmanra! Extend your hand.” He [i.e. Hazrat Abdur Rahmanra] then took the pledge of allegiance followed by Hazrat Alira and the members within the household also came and pledged their allegiance to Hazrat Uthmanra. (Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab Fada‘il Ashab al-Nabiyysa, Bab Qissat al-Bai‘ah, Hadith 3700)

With regard to Hazrat Umar’sra demise and Hazrat Uthman’sra election as Khalifa, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra states:

“When Hazrat Umarra was injured and realised that his demise was imminent, he nominated six persons and advised them to elect the Khalifa from among themselves. They included Hazrat Uthmanra, Hazrat Alira, Hazrat Abdur Rahmanra bin Auf, Hazrat Saadra bin Abi Waqas, Hazrat Zubairra and Hazrat Talhara. In addition to them, he included Hazrat Abdullah bin Umarra as an advisor, but did not declare him entitled to Khilafat. He also admonished that these people should give their verdict within three days and Suhaibra should lead the prayer during that period of time. He appointed Miqdad bin Al-Aswadra to oversee the consultation and election process and directed him to gather the electoral college at one place and to guard them. He further said that the people should pledge allegiance to the person who was elected by the majority of votes and if anyone declined to do so, then he should be killed. If there were three votes on each side, then Hazrat Abdullah bin Umarra would recommend who the Khalifa should be. If the members of the electoral college did not agree to the decision of Abdullahra bin Umar, then the person favoured by Abdur Rahmanra bin Auf should be appointed as Khalifa.

These five companions discussed this matter, as Talhara was not in Medina at that time, but could not come to any conclusion. After a lengthy discussion, Hazrat Abdur Rahmanra bin Auf asked if anyone wanted to withdraw his name, but all of them remained quiet. On this, Hazrat Abdur Rahmanra bin Auf withdrew his name, then Hazrat Uthmanra withdrew his name and then two others did the same. Hazrat Alira remained quiet; however, he then took a pledge from Hazrat Abdur Rahmanra bin Auf that he (i.e. Hazrat Abdur Rahmanra) would be completely impartial, and entrusted the responsibility of making the decision to him. For three days, Hazrat Abdur Rahman bin Aufra visited every house in Medina to obtain the opinion of every man and woman in regard to who they thought should be elected as Khalifa. All of them expressed their agreement to the Khilafat of Hazrat Uthmanra. Thus, he gave his verdict in favour of Hazrat Uthmanra and he became the Khalifa.” (Khilafat-e-Rashidah, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 15, pp. 484-485)

Allama Ibn Saad writes:

“The pledge of allegiance to Hazrat Uthmanra took place on Monday, 29 Dhul Hijjah 23 AH. Nazzal bin Sabrah relates that when Hazrat Uthmanra became Khalifa, Hazrat Abdullahra bin Masud stated, ‘Amongst those who remain from us, we have elected the best person and we carried out this election with utmost diligence.’” 

There is a narration in regard to the very first address delivered by Hazrat Uthmanra upon being elected Khalifa. Ismail bin Ibrahim bin Abdir Rahman bin Abdillah bin Abi Rabiyyah Makhzumi relates from his father that when they performed the bai‘at at the hands of Hazrat Uthmanra, he came before the people and delivered an address. After praising and glorifying Allah the Almighty, Hazrat Uthmanra stated, “O people! Doing something for the first time can be difficult.” It can be challenging when doing something for the first time. “There will be many days to come after this one. If I remain alive, then God-willing, I will deliver a more comprehensive address before you.” 

In other words, he was only delivering a brief address at the time, but stated that there would be many days to come and he would deliver a more comprehensive address. Hazrat Uthmanra further stated, “I am not a speaker; however, Allah the Almighty will teach me” i.e. Allah the Almighty would teach him the ability to deliver a speech. (Ibn Saad, Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol. 3, Uthman bin Affan [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar Ihya al-Turath al-Arabiyy, 1996], pp. 34-35) 

Badr bin Uthman relates from his uncle that when the members of the electoral committee pledged their oath of allegiance [bai‘at] to Hazrat Uthmanra, he came out in a state whereby he was the most emotional amongst them all. Hazrat Uthmanra then stood upon the pulpit of the Holy Prophetsa and delivered an address. Hazrat Uthmanra praised and glorified Allah the Almighty and invoked salutations [Durood] upon the Holy Prophetsa. Thereafter, Hazrat Uthmanra stated, “Verily, you all dwell in an abode, which you will one day have to depart from”; in other words, the life in this world. “You are in the advanced years of your lives, therefore perform as many virtuous deeds as you can before your demise. Indeed, death is imminent and this enemy [i.e. death] can launch its attack at any moment in the day or in the night. 

“Hearken! The life of this world is filled with deception and dishonesty, therefore let not the life of this world deceive you and nor let the deceptive ploys of Satan deceive you in matters relating to God. Take heed from the example of those who have gone before you. Strive to your utmost and do not become negligent because Allah is not unmindful of what you do. Where are the worldly people and their brethren who would dig up the earth and populated the land, remaining therein for a long period of time? Did Allah not cast them out from it? 

“Thus, treat this world as Allah deals with it and seek the Hereafter, seek the Hereafter, for Allah gives an example of this world comparing it to something most excellent when He says: 

وَ اضۡرِبۡ لَهُمۡ مَّثَلَ الۡحَيٰوةِ الدُّنۡيَا كَمَآءٍ اَنۡزَلۡنٰهُ مِنَ السَّمَآءِ فَاخۡتَلَطَ بِهٖ نَبَاتُ الۡاَرۡضِ فَاَصۡبَحَ هَشِيۡمًا تَذۡرُوۡهُ الرِّيٰحُ ؕ وَ كَانَ اللّٰهُ عَلٰي كُلِّ شَيۡءٍ مُّقۡتَدِرًا

اَلۡمَالُ وَ الۡبَنُوۡنَ زِيۡنَةُ الۡحَيٰوةِ الدُّنۡيَا ۚ وَ الۡبٰقِيٰتُ الصّٰلِحٰتُ خَيۡرٌ عِنۡدَ رَبِّكَ ثَوَابًا وَّ خَيۡرٌ اَمَلًا

“(These are verses of Surah Al-Kahf.) ‘And set forth to them the similitude of the life of this world: it is like the water which We send down from the sky, and the vegetation of the earth is mingled with it, and then it becomes dry grass broken into pieces which the winds scatter. And Allah has power over everything. Wealth and children are an ornament of the life of this world. But enduring good works are better in the sight of thy Lord in respect of immediate reward, and better in respect of future hope.’ [Ch.18: V.46-47]

“Subsequently, the people rushed forth to pledge allegiance to him.” (Muhammad Ibn Jarir al-Tabari, Tarikh al-Tabari, Vol. 5, p. 87, year 24, Khutbat Uthman wa Qatl Ubaid Allah bin Umar al-Harmazan, Dar al-Fikr, Beirut, 2002)

I will mention the conquests during the Khilafat of Hazrat Uthmanra. During the Khilafat of Hazrat Uthmanra, Allah the Almighty granted victory to the Muslims in the following areas: conquest of Ifriqiya, i.e. the areas of Algeria and Morocco, conquest of Al-Andalus, Spain in 27 AH, conquest of Cyprus in 28 AH, conquest of Tabaristan in 30 AH, conquest of Al-Sawari [Battle of the Masts], conquest of Armenia, conquest of Khorasan in 31 AH, expeditions towards Byzantine territories, conquests of Marw Al-Rudh, Taleqan, Faryab, Jowzjan, Tokharistan, Balkh and Herat in 32 AH. Aside from this, it is mentioned that Islam entered India during the reign of Hazrat Uthmanra. (Sheikh Shah Moinuddin Ahmad Nadvi, Siyar al-Sahabah, Vol. 1 [Karachi, Pakistan: Dar al-Isha‘ah, 2004], pp. 165-168) (Ibn Kathir, Al-Bidayah wa al-Nihayah, Vol. 10, Year 31, [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 1998] p. 237) (Muhammad Ibn Jarir al-Tabari, Tarikh al-Tabari, Vol. 2, p. 625, year 31, Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, 1987) (Bar-e-Saghir mein Islam ky Awwalin Nuqush, Muhammad Ishaq Bhatti, Research Institute, pp. 63, 65)

Some further details about these expeditions and conquests are as follows: 

In 27 AH, Hazrat Uthmanra dispatched an army of 10,000 men under the command of Abdullah bin Abi Sarh to Ifriqiya. Ifriqiya is the area that is present day Algeria and Morocco etc. Allah the Almighty granted Muslims victory.

Al-Andalus, Spain, 27 AH: From Ifriqiya, Hazrat Uthmanra ordered Abdullah bin Nafi bin Husain Fihri and Abdullah bin Nafi bin Abd Qais Fihri to advance towards Al-Andalus. They marched towards Al-Andalus and Allah the Almighty granted them victory. (Ibn Kathir, Al-Bidayah wa al-Nihayah, Vol. 7, Year 27-28, [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 2001] pp. 147-148)

The conquest of Cyprus took place in 28 AH. According to a narration of Abu Ma‘shar, Cyprus was conquered in 33 AH. According to some narrations, it was conquered in 27 AH. In the historical accounts of Tabari and Al Badaya wa Al Nahaya, this conquest is recorded to have taken place in 28 AH. In this battle, Hazrat Abu Dharr Ghaffarira, Hazrat Ubadahra bin Samit and his wife Hazrat Umm Haramra bint Milhan, Hazrat Miqdadra, Hazrat Abu Dardara and Hazrat Shaddadra bin Aus were all present. 

Cyprus is an independent island situated to the west of Syria. It has an abundant of orchards and mines. Cyprus was conquered by Amir Mu‘awiyahra with the permission and orders of Hazrat Uthmanra. In this expedition, Hazrat Umm Haramra bint Milhan was also present, about whom the Holy Prophetsa had informed of her martyrdom. On the return from this journey, a mount was brought for her and when she was about to climb on top, she fell and broke her neck, as a result of which she attained martyrdom. (Muhammad Ibn Jarir al-Tabari, Tarikh al-Tabari, Vol. 5, p. 95, year 28, Dar al-Fikr, Beirut, 2002) (Ibn Kathir, Al-Bidayah wa al-Nihayah, Vol. 7, Year 28, [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-‘Ilmiyyah, 2001] pp. 148-149)

There are accounts remaining, which I shall, insha-Allah, narrate in the future sermons. 

I will mention about prayers again today; continue to pray for the Ahmadis in Pakistan; may Allah the Almighty improve their situation. May Allah enable the Ahmadis living in Pakistan to offer supplications, to bring about reform in themselves and to strengthen their relationship with Him. 

May Allah the Almighty swiftly remove these difficult times and bring about prosperity. May we see the Ahmadis there being able to fulfil their [religious] obligations with complete freedom.

(Original Urdu published in Al Fazl International, 26 February 2021, pp. 5-10. Translated by The Review of Religions.)

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