Khalifa Uthman bin Affan - Prayers on the occasion of the Hajj

During the first year of his caliphate, Uthman suffered from blood hemorrhage of the nose. Many other persons suffered likewise and in the Arab annals this year came to be known as the year of the hemorrhage. Uthman was not able to perform the Hajj during the first year of his office, but in subsequent years he performed the Hajj and presided at the Hajj functions.

When offering the prayers on the occasion of the Hajj between Mina and Mt Arafat, the Holy Prophet had shortened the prayers from four rakaats to two rakaats. Thereafter Abu Bakr and Umar while presiding at the Hajj functions followed the precedent set up by the Holy Prophet, and offered only two rakaats in prayers. In the early years of- his caliphate, Uthman followed the same precedent, but in the year 649 C.E. Uthman offered the full prayers in four rakaats.

Khalifa Uthman bin Affan - Zakat on horses and slaves

According to the Shariah, the Muslims were enjoined to pay Zakat on their capital assets. In the time of the Holy Prophet, Abu Bakr, and Umar, no Zakat was levied on horses and slaves. Uthman reviewed the position and ordered that Zakat should be levied on horses and slaves as well. This measure was approved by the people in general, but some of the persons hostile to Uthman made it a subject of criticism. They argued that as Zakat had not been levied on horses and slaves by the Holy Prophet, Uthman had violated the Sunnah by levying such Zakat.

Khalifa Uthman bin Affan - Recension of the Holy Quran

To Uthman belongs the honor of undertaking the measure of the recension of the Holy Quran, and uniting the Muslim community on a standard text of the Holy Quran for all times.

The Holy Quran was revealed to the Holy Prophet in parts extending over a period of twenty-three years. Whenever the Holy Prophet received a revelation, he would dictate it to some person who would record it on some piece of leather, date skin or even bones and stones. The principal scribe of the Holy Prophet was Zaid b Thabit. Uthman also served as the scribe occasionally. Many companions committed the Holy Quran to heart and Uthman was one of them.

Khalifa Uthman bin Affan - Sermons of Uthman 2

Unity
Exhorting the people to maintain unity, Uthman said:

"Remain united. Let there be no dissension in your ranks. You were the enemies of one another. God blessed you with Islam, and you began to love one another, and became brothers. Maintain your unity. Do not break up into sections. Allah is happy with your unity, and exhorts you to refrain from disunity."

The people of Madina
Stressing the importance of the people of Madina in the Islamic community, Uthman said:

Khalifa Uthman bin Affan - Sermons of Uthman

Some sermons of Uthman have been preserved in history. We refer to some of these sermons with a view to illustrating the beliefs of Uthman. These sermons speak of Uthman's unshakable faith in Islam.

His role In one of the sermons, Uthman defined his role as Caliph. He said:

"My role is to follow what has already been laid down. I do not intend to be an innovator. I declare that I will faithfully follow the Quran and the Sunnah. In matters not covered by the Quran and the Sunnah, I promise that I will follow all such things which command consensus before my caliphate. If in any matter, no consensus has been reached already, I will follow the way of the good with your consultation. I assure you that I will restrain my hand from you, till that is the dictate of the law "

The World is a tarrying place
In another sermon Uthman said:

Khalifa Uthman bin Affan - Directives of Uthman

On assuming office, Uthman issued a number of directives. These directives provided the guidelines for the functionaries of the State, and set out the policies of Uthman in specific terms. All concerned were required to implement such directives in letter as well as in spirit.

Directive to the administrators
Uthman issued the following directive to the persons responsible for administration in various parts of the dominions:

Khalifa Uthman bin Affan - The verdict of Uthman

On the whole the people were satisfied with the verdict of Uthman, and they praised him for his generosity in paying the blood money out of his own pocket. There were, however, a few persons who found fault with his judgment, and insisted that Ubaidullah should have been executed. In a poem the poet Ziyad b Labid said:

"O Uthman, there is no doubt that after the assassination of Hurmuzan, Ubaidullah had no right to live. You have unjustly pardoned him although you had no right to do so".

Uthman summoned Ziyad, and explained to him the justification for his verdict. Thereafter Ziyad composed some verses praising Uthman for his verdict, and for his generosity in paying the blood money out of his pocket.

Tabari's version

Khalifa Uthman bin Affan - The trial of Ubaidullah

Khalifa Uthman bin Affan - Ubaidullah's orgy of murder

Assassination of Umar, a conspiracy?
When Umar was stabbed by a Persian slave Firoz, a question arose whether this was the act of a single disgruntled person or whether it was the result of a conspiracy. Abdur Rahman b Abu Bakr reported that the previous day, he had seen Firoz, Jafina and 1-lurmuzan conferring together. Seeing him the three men were confused, and a double edged dagger fell from the hands of one of them. It was alleged that that was the dagger with which Umar had been stabbed.

Khalifa Uthman bin Affan - Reaction to the election of Uthman

Inaugural address of Uthman
After election, Uthman took his stand on the pulpit and addressed the congregation. He glorified God and His Prophet, and then talked of the transitoriness of the world. He wanted the people to do good deeds which might stand them in good stead in the next world. He said that he was conscious of his limitations but he would do his best to serve Islam and the people. Then overwhelmed by emotions, Uthman broke down and could not complete his address. He said:

"O people, it is not easy to manage a new horse. If God willing I live, there will be several other occasions to talk to you. Right now I cannot address you. You know that I am not good at making public speeches".

The reaction to the election of Uthman as the Caliph was on the whole favorable. After the stem rule of Umar, (he people welcomed the mild rule of Uthman.

Khalifa Uthman bin Affan - Election of Uthman

Khalifa Uthman bin Affan - Choice of Abdul Rahman b Auf

Commissioned to make the selection Abdul Rahman b Auf began his task by interviewing each member of the Committee separately. Interviewing Ali he asked him, "Suppose I do not choose you; in that case whom would you like me to choose? " Ali said, "In that case you may choose Uthman". Uthman was interviewed next, and he was asked the question, "If you are not selected who should be the next choice?" Uthman said, "In that case the obvious choice would be Ali". When Zubair b Awamm was put the same question he said, "Ali or Uthman. When Saad b Abi Waqas waS interviewed he said that he would like Abdul Rahman b Auf to be the Caliph. Abdul Rahman said that as he had withdrawn from the contest his choice should be from among the other four members. Saad b Abl Waqas said that in that case, Uthman would be his choice. Analyzing these answers, Abdul Rahman b Auf came to the conclusion that Uthman commanded the majority of votes among the members of the selection committee.

Khalifa Uthman bin Affan - Dream of Abdul Rahman b Auf

The instructions of Umar were that the Selection Committee should choose the successor within three days, and he should assume office on the fourth day. As two days passed away without arriving at a decision, the members felt anxious that the time was running fast, and still no solution to the problem appeared to be in sight.

On the night after the second day, Abdul Rahman b Auf had a dream; He saw that in a wilderness a strong and handsome camel appeared and the wilderness was converted into a rich green pasture on which it fell, and then moved away.

Khalifa Uthman bin Affan - Death of Umar and after

When Umar died, both Ali and Uthman wanted to lead the funeral prayer. Abdul Rahman b Auf, however, advised that as both of them were candidates for the office of the Caliph they should not lead such prayer. The funeral prayers were accordingly led by Suhaib, the man who had been authoriZed by Umar to lead the ordinary prayers. Umar was put in the grave by all the five members of the Selection Committee constituted by him.

Immediately after the burial of Umar, the Selection Committee constituted by him to nominate his successor met in session. As Talha b Ubaidullah was still out of Madinah, the meeting of the Committee was attended by five persons only. The Committee had a long session for two days, but it was unable to arrive at any decision. The differences among the parties were acute, and no reconciliation appeared to be in sight.

Khalifa Uthman bin Affan - Testament for his successor

Thereafter, Umar dictated a testament for his successor. It provided:

"I enjoin upon you to have trust and faith in God, He Who has no peer.

Be kind and generous to the Muhajreen and the Ansar. Those out of them who are good, be good to them. Those who are bad overlook their lapses.

Be good to the people of the conquered lands. They are the outer line of our defense, and they are the target of the anger and distress of the enemies. They contribute to our revenues. They should be taxed only on their surplus wealth.

Be gracious to the Bedouins as they are the backbone of the Arab nation.

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