Khalifa Uthman bin Affan - Analysis of the Accounts

If all the accounts that have come down to us about the relationship between Uthman and Abdullah b Masud are analyzed, it will be seen that all these accounts are highly colored, and remote from reality. There can be no two opinions on the point that Uthman's exercise about the recension of the Holy Quran was in the best interests of Islam. Uthman had set up a board of eminent companions and the standard text was compiled after due deliberations and considerations of all the view points. There are reasons to hold that Abdullah b Masud submitted his view point before the board and this was duly considered. If for any reason any of the points urged by Abdullah b Masud had not been accepted, Abdullah b Masud could not be justified in making this a ground for agitation. Again Uthman took no decision in the matter at personal level. He merely accepted the recommendations of the board. As such there was no justification for making this a cause of personal grievance against Uthman. The allegation, that Uthman had some verses which were unfavorable to the Umayyads suppressed, is preposterous. A man of the caliber of Uthman could never dream of tampering with the word of God.

It appears that, in the matter of the administration of Baitul Mal, Abdullah b Masud was too fastidious. In the matter of administration a more rational view had to be taken, and if Uthman did not approve of his over

sensitiveness in some cases, Uthman as Caliph had every right to do so and no blame can rest on him.

It appears that the later writers because of partisan considerations indulged in the exercise of condemning Uthman for picking up quarrels with all eminent companions. It is inconceivable that Uthman could have expelled Abdullah b Masud from the mosque. The allegation is false firstly because such conduct could not be expected of a man like Uthman, and secondly because no Muslim could be expelled from the house of God.

The truth of the matter is that Abdullah b Masud himself resigned from the office of the treasurer of the Baitul Mall Uthman called him to Madina and looked after his needs. Soon after his arrival in Madina Abdullah b Masud fell sick and died. Uthman attended him during his sickness, and there was no ill-will between the two. Uthman led the funeral prayer of Abdullah b Masud, and the story that there was any dispute between the two on account of the recension of the Holy Quran is fictitious and false.

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