Khalifa Uthman bin Affan - Uthman's Concept of the Caliphate

Concept of the caliphate
Most of the difficulties in the time of Uthman arose because of differences about the concept of the Caliphs. Most of the people regarded the Caliph as an Arab Sheikh on a higher scale amenable to the will of the people and even their idiocynracies. Uthman was of the view that the analogy of a tribal Sheikh did not apply to the Caliph.- He held that there was a divinity about the office of the Caliph, which had to be understood with reference to the Quran and the traditions and not in accordance with any man made concepts.

The Holy Quran and the caliphate In the Holy Quran, the term "caliphate" has been used in general terms with reference to communities or people in their collectivity. The word "Caliph" with reference to an individual has been used only once in the Holy Quran with reference to David. Here the word "Caliph" has been used with reference to a ruler or a vicegerent.

Khalifa Uthman bin Affan - Social Discipline and Social Solidarity

Islam stood for social discipline and social solidarity. The Muslims were enjoined by Islam to be a disciplined people and obey those in authority among them. The Muslims were required to maintain social solidarity, and preserve unity in their ranks. During the caliphate of Uthman the Muslims lost their sense of discipline, and they also lost their strength of solidarity. Certain sections grew among the Muslims who made it a point to carry on propaganda against authority. Uthman took steps to redress the legitimate grievances of the people, but there was no slackening in the virulence of the vilification campaign against Uthman and his government.

Islam stood for unity in the ranks of the Muslims. During the caliphate of Uthman the Muslim society fell a prey to disunity, and things came to be looked at from the partisan point of view rather than from the point of view of the interests of the Muslim community as a whole.

Disintegration of the social values of Islam

Khalifa Uthman bin Affan - Social Organization Under Uthman

Social revolution of Islam
Islam revolutionized social life in Arabia. Islam created new social values. The Holy Prophet set the pattern of conduct for the Islamic society. He was the embodiment of all the social values for which Islam stood. The Holy Prophet disciplined the Muslims into a solid community conspicuous for its piety, bravery, unity, and high social and moral values. After the Holy Prophet Abu Bakr and Umar carried forward the mission of the Master, and promoted the social values of Islam.

Muslim society under Uthman

Khalifa Uthman bin Affan - Autonomy for the Governors

Khalifa Uthman bin Affan - Allegation of nepotism how far justified?

Khalifa Uthman bin Affan - Governors of Uthman

The Governors were appointed by the Caliph. Every appointment was made in writing. At the time of appointment an instrument of instructions was issued with a view to regulating the conduct of Governors. On assuming office, the Governor was required to assemble the people in the main mosque, and read the instrument of instructions before them.

One of the main allegations against Uthman was that he had appointed his relatives as Governors. Another allegation was that he exercised little check over the Governors.

Khalifa Uthman bin Affan - Political Administration

Pattern of political administration
Uthman maintained the pattern of political administration as it stood under Umar. The country was divided into twelve provinces. These were Madina, Makkah, Yemen, Kufa, Basra, Jazira, Fars, Azarbauan, Khurasan, Syria, Egypt and North Africa. Under Umar Egypt was divided into two provinces, Upper and Lower Egypt. Uthman made Egypt one province. Uthman created a new province for North Africa. Under Umar Syria was divided into two provinces. Uthman made Syria one province.

Administrative organization
Each province was under the charge of a Governor or Wali. The Governor was in charge of civil as well as military administration. He was assisted by Katib, the Chief Secretary; Katib -i- Diwan-Secretary Defense; Sahib-i-Kharaj - Revenue Collector; Sahib-ul-Ahdath-Inspector General of Police; Sahib- i- Bait-ul- Mal-Treasury Officer; and Qadi-Chief Judge.

Khalifa Uthman bin Affan - Military Administration

Organization at the battlefield
On the battlefield the army operated in six wings, namely: Qalb, the center Maqadamah, the vanguard Maunanah, the right wing Alaisarah, the left wing Saqah, the rear Rid, extreme rear.

Other Components
Other components of the army were: Talaych or patrols who kept watch over the movements of the enemy; Ra 'id or foraging parties; Rukban or the camel corps Farsan or the cavalry; Ralil or the infantry Ramat or the archers.

War weapons
Catapults were used for siege operations.

Dabbabah was a wooden tower which moved on wheels and consisted of several stories. It was used for siege operations.

Walls were Pierced by stone throwers and wall piercers.

Reporting and espionage
Reporters were attached to every unit who kept the Caliph fully informed about the military operation. There was a separate department for espionage, who procured intelligence about the movements and activities of the enemy.

General review of military operations

Khalifa Uthman bin Affan - Military Administration in the early days of Islam

In the early days of Islam there was no standing army. On the occasion of any battle contingents were raised from the various tribes, and such contingents were disbanded when the battle was over. No regular salaries were paid to those who fought. Those who took part in a battle were compensated by the distribution of the spoils of war among them. Organization of the army as a State department

The army was organized as a State department under Umar. A register of male adults who could be called to war was prepared tribewise, and a scale of salaries was fixed. All registered men were divided into two categories, those who formed the standing army, and those who lived in their home,, but were liable to be called to colors whenever necessary.

Khalifa Uthman bin Affan - Pubic Treasury

Public treasury in the tune of the Holy Prophet
In the time of the Holy Prophet there was no public treasury. Whatever revenues or other amounts were received these were distributed immediately. There were no salaries to be paid, and there was no State expenditure. As such the need of a treasury to keep a reserve at public level was not felt.

Public treasury in the time of Abu Bakr
In the time of Abu Bakr as well there was no treasury. A separate building was kept aside as treasury, but as all money was distributed immediately on receipt, the treasury generally remained locked up. At the time of the death of Abu Bakr, there was only one dirham in the public treasury.

Public treasury during the caliphate of Umar

Khalifa Uthman bin Affan - Public Works

Public works under Umar
Umar stood for simplicity and austerity. Consequently he did not believe in any large scale program of public works involving extravagance. Nevertheless as a consequence of the extension of the Muslim rule to distant lands, the undertaking of works of public utility became imperative. As Muslim conquests extended east and west, and more and more persons embraced Islam it became necessary to construct mosques. During the caliphate of Umar, as many as four thousand mosques were constructed. During the caliphate of Umar many new cities were founded. These included Kufa, Basra and Fustat. Umar issued instructions against the construction of double storied houses and palatial buildings. Many buildings were constructed for administrative purposes. Many cantonments were constructed at strategic places. Special stables were provided for cavalry.

Public works under Uthman

Khalifa Uthman bin Affan - Economic restraints

Khalifa Uthman bin Affan - Economic Policies of Uthman

Stipends of the people
Umar had fixed the stipends of the people. On assuming office, Uthman increased these stipends by 25 per cent. That was an economic measure which contributed to the prosperity of the people. Writers like Taha Hussain have taken the view that there was no justification for an increase in the stipends so soon after the death of Umar. It is very strange that the critics of Uthman blame him for regarding the public funds as the property of Allah and not that of the people, and not distributing all the funds among the people, and on the other hand they criticize Uthman for raising the stipends. This view is uncharitable. Taha Hussain has dropped the hint that this was the means of political publicity to secure popularity. This view is obviously biased. An unbiased writer cannot help but admire the beneficent measure of Uthman which Promoted the material prosperity of the people.

Land administration

Khalifa Uthman bin Affan - Economic resources of the State

Khalifa Uthman bin Affan - Religious Measures of Uthman

Promotion of the purposes of Islam
Uthman was a great Muslim. He followed the injunctions of Islam rigorously in letter as well as in spirit. He spent a greater part of the night in prayers. He knew the Holy Quran by heart, and would complete the recitation of the whole of the Holy Quran during a night. He held that the primary and basic responsibility of the Caliph was to protect and safeguard Islam, and take steps to promote its purposes and values. During his caliphate Uthman took several measures with a view to promoting the purposes of Islam.

Other measures of Uthman

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