Day of Dar
There are various prophecies of the Holy Prophet (sa) regarding the discord and strife that emerged during the era of Hazrat Uthman’s (ra) Khilafat. Hazrat Aisha (ra) narrates that the Holy Prophet (sa) stated, “O Uthman! It is possible that Allah will bestow upon you a cloak. If people demand that you take this cloak off, do not take it off.”
(Sunan al-Tirmidhi, Abwab al-Manaqib, Bab Man al-Nabi (sa) “Uthman an la Yakhla” … Hadith 3705)
This is a narration from Tirmidhi and has also been narrated in Sunan Ibn Majah as follows:
Hazrat Aisha (ra) narrates that the Holy Prophet (sa) stated, “O Uthman! If ever Allah entrusts you with this matter [Khilafat] and the hypocrites seek to remove the cloak from you which Allah has bestowed upon you, never take it off.” The Holy Prophet (sa) repeated this three times. The narrator, Nu‘man states that he asked Hazrat Aisha (ra) that what stopped her from informing others about this news. Hazrat Aisha (ra) stated that she was made to forget this.
(Sunan Ibn Majah, Iftitah al-Kitab, Fadl Uthman (ra), Hadith 112)
Hazrat Kaabra bin Ujrah relates that the Holy Prophet (sa) once spoke about a discord and said that it would occur very soon. As the Holy Prophet (sa) was narrating this, a person walked by, whose head was covered and was clad in a mantle. The Holy Prophet (sa) stated, “On that day”, when this discord emerges, “this individual will be on the truth.” The narrator states that he immediately stood up and took hold of that person and found that it was Hazrat Uthman (ra). He held Hazrat Uthman (ra) from both hands and then turned him in the direction of the Holy Prophet (sa) and asked, “Is it this individual?” The Holy Prophet (sa) said, “Yes, he is the one.”
(Sunan Ibn Majah, Iftitah al-Kitab, Fadl Uthman (ra), Hadith 111)
With regard to the conflict and discord before the martyrdom of Hazrat Uthman (ra) and the incident of his martyrdom, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud (ra) states:
“Since the rebels had apparently gained victory already, they sent someone to Hazrat Uthman (ra) again, as a final strategy, to have him resign from Khilafat. They felt that if he resigned himself then the Muslims would have no authority or opportunity to punish the rebels.
“When the messenger reached Hazrat Uthman (ra), he said, ‘I have refrained from vices even in the days of jahiliyyah [era of ignorance prior to the advent of Islam] and have not violated the injunctions [of God] after accepting Islam. Why and for what crime should I leave the office which God the Exalted has conferred upon me? I shall never remove the garment which God the Exalted has clothed me with.’
“The messenger returned after hearing this reply and addressed his people in the following words, ‘By God! We have fallen into grave trial. By God! We cannot escape the clutches of the Muslims without killing Uthman (ra)’”, because in this case the government would topple and its administration would crumble and there would be no one to question them, “‘but killing him is in no way permissible.’” i.e. their only solution was to kill Hazrat Uthman (ra) but they knew that this was not permissible.
“Not only do the words of this person highlight the anxiety of the rebels, but they also establish that Hazrat Uthman (ra) had still not allowed anything to arise which the rebels could have used as an excuse. In their hearts, the rebels knew that killing Hazrat Uthman (ra) was not lawful under any circumstances.
“Hazrat Abdullah (ra) bin Salam arrived when the rebels were plotting to assassinate Hazrat Uthman (ra). Hazrat Abdullah (ra) bin Salam was greatly revered within his tribe even when he was a disbeliever and the Jews believed him to be their chief and a peerless scholar. He stood at the door and began to admonish the rebels, and he forbade them from killing Hazrat Uthman (ra) saying, ‘O People! Do not draw the sword of God over your heads. By God! If you draw the sword, you will never find an opportunity to put it back into its sheath; conflict and discord among the Muslims shall never end. Pay heed! Today, the government [punishes criminals] by the whip’” generally lashing is the penalty for a criminal offence in the Islamic penal code; “‘but if you kill this man, then the State will not be able to maintain order without the sword’”, i.e. people will be killed for petty crimes. “‘Keep in mind that the angels are the guardians of Medina at this time; if you kill him, the angels will desert Medina.’
“The benefit that the rebels derived from this admonition was that they drove off Abdullah (ra) bin Salam, the companion of the Holy Prophet (sa). In addition, they taunted him with reference to his previous faith saying, ‘O son of a Jewess! What have you to do with these matters?’ It is a shame, that the rebels remembered that Abdullah (ra) bin Salam was the son of a Jewish lady, but forgot that he had accepted Islam at the hand of the Holy Prophet (sa). Furthermore, the Holy Prophet (sa) was immensely pleased when he converted and he too stood by the Holy Prophet (sa) in every hour of difficulty and suffering. Moreover, the rebels also forgot that Abdullah bin Saba, their leader and instigator – the person who declared Hazrat Ali (ra) to be the wasi of the Holy Prophet (sa) [i.e. the claim that Hazrat Ali (ra) was meant to be the first Khalifa after the demise of the Holy Prophet (sa)] and presented him in opposition to Hazrat Uthman (ra) – was also the son of a Jewess. In fact, he was a Jew himself and was only outwardly expressing Islam.
“Disappointed by the rebels, Hazrat Abdullah (ra) bin Salam left. And the rebels – upon noticing that it was difficult to murder Hazrat Uthman (ra) by entering through the door because the few people who were present on guard there were bent upon killing or dying – decided to assassinate Hazrat Uthman (ra) by jumping over the wall of a neighbouring house. As such, with this intention, a few rebels jumped over the wall of a neighbouring house and snuck into the room of Hazrat Uthman (ra). When these people entered, Hazrat Uthman (ra) was reciting the Holy Quran. After the siege had been laid, day and night, the only occupation of Hazrat Uthman (ra) was to offer prayer or recite the Holy Quran, and he would not pay attention to any other work. In those days, the only other task that he performed before the rebels penetrated the house was to appoint two men in order to guard the treasury, because on that night, the Holy Prophet (sa) appeared to him”, i.e. Hazrat Uthman (ra) “in a vision and said, ‘O Uthman (ra)! Break your fast with us this evening.’
“After this vision, Hazrat Uthman (ra) was convinced that he would be martyred that day. Hence, taking his responsibility into account, Hazrat Uthman (ra) ordered two men to stand guard by the gate of the treasury, so that no one would attempt to loot the treasury during the chaos and mischief.
“When the rebels reached inside they found Hazrat Uthman (ra) reciting the Holy Quran. Muhammad bin Abi Bakr was also among the attackers and due to the power he commanded over the rebels, he considered it his duty to be at the forefront of everything.” He thought that since he was the son of Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra), therefore he held a superior status and considered it his duty to be at the forefront of everything.
“And so, he advanced and took hold of Hazrat Uthman (ra) by his beard and gave it a violent tug. In response to this action of his, Hazrat Uthman (ra) only said this much, ‘O my brother’s son! If your father’” i.e. Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra), “‘had been here now, he would never have done such a thing. What has happened to you? Are you displeased with me for the sake of God? Are you angry at me for anything other than the fact that I have made you fulfil the rights of God?’” In other words, all that Hazrat Uthman (ra) said was that they ought to fulfil the rights of God.
“Upon this, Muhammad bin Abi Bakr turned back in shame. However, the rest of the rebels remained there. Since definite news had been received that the army of Basra would reach Medina that night and this was their last opportunity, the rebels had decided that they would not return without completing their mission. One of them advanced and struck the head of Hazrat Uthman (ra) with an iron rod. Then he kicked the Quran which was placed opposite Hazrat Uthman (ra). The Holy Quran went tumbling towards Hazrat Uthman (ra) and drops of blood fell upon it from his head. What to talk of dishonouring the Holy Quran – the virtue and honesty of these people became fully exposed by this event.
“The verse upon which the blood of Hazrat Uthman (ra) fell was a magnificent prophecy that was fulfilled in its own time with such grandeur that a person who possessed even the hardest of hearts closed his eyes, out of fear, after beholding a glimpse of its blood-stained words. The verse was:
فَسَيَكْفِيْكَهُمُ اللّٰهُ وَ هُوَ السَّمِيْعُ الْعَلِيْمُ
“‘Allah will surely avenge thee against them, for He is All-Hearing, All-Knowing.’ [Ch.2: V.138] “After this a person by the name of Saudan advanced and desired to attack Hazrat Uthman (ra) with a sword. When he made his first strike, Hazrat Uthman (ra) shielded himself with his hand and his hand was cut.
“Upon this, he said, ‘By God the Exalted, this was the first hand to write the Holy Quran.’ After this, Saudan made a second attack in an attempt to assassinate Hazrat Uthman (ra) but his wife Na‘ilah moved forward and stepped in between. This evil person, however, did not even hesitate to strike a lady; he attacked and her fingers were severed.
“After this, he made another attack upon Hazrat Uthman (ra) and severely wounded him. Then, in the thought that perhaps he had not yet died and may survive, when Hazrat Uthman (ra) was writhing in agony and fell unconscious due to the pain of his wounds, this wretched person immediately took to his neck and began to strangle him. This man did not release the neck of Hazrat Uthman (ra) until his soul departed his physical body and flew to the heavenly world, eagerly accepting the invitation of the Holy Prophet (sa).
اِنَّا لِلّٰهِ وَاِنَّآ اِلَيْهِ رَاجِعُوْنَ
“[Surely, to Allah we belong and to Him shall we return].
“At first, overwhelmed by the horror of this scene, the wife of Hazrat Uthman (ra) was unable to speak. She finally called out for help and the people sitting at the door rushed inside. However, any help was now useless; what was to happen had already taken place. When the freed slave of Hazrat Uthman (ra) saw the blood-stained sword, which had been used to martyr Hazrat Uthman (ra), in the hands of Saudan, he was unable to restrain himself. He advanced and severed the head of Saudan with his sword. In turn, one of his [Saudan’s] associates killed him. Now the throne of the Islamic Empire was empty of a Khalifa. The people of Medina deemed further efforts to be futile and all of them returned to their respective homes.
“After martyring Hazrat Uthman (ra), the rebels began to terrorise the members of his household. The wife of Hazrat Uthman (ra) desired to move away and when she left, a wretched person from among them passed a most vulgar remark to his associates about her.
“Undoubtedly, for a respectable man, no matter what religion he belongs to, it is difficult to even fathom that the rebels would express such foul views at a time when they had just martyred the foremost”, pioneer, “Companion (ra) of the Holy Prophet (sa) – his son-in-law, the king of the Muslim Empire and then, the Khalifa of the time. However, their indecency was so immense that no evil deed was beyond them. These rebels were neither in pursuit of any good objective, nor did their party consist of righteous people.
“Some of them were admirers of the deceptive, anti-Islam, strange and peculiar teachings of Abdullah bin Saba, the Jew. Others were fascinated by [the concept of] excessive socialism; rather, Bolshevism. Some were criminals who had served sentences and were looking to spill out their animosity, while others were robbers and bandits, who saw this conflict as a means of fulfilling their ends. In short, their indecency is not surprising. As a matter of fact, it would have been surprising if these people had not behaved in such a manner.
“While the rebels were pillaging and plundering, another freed slave could not restrain himself when he heard the screams and cries of the household of Hazrat Uthman (ra). The slave attacked and killed the person who had killed the first slave. At this, they killed him as well. The rebels even took off the jewellery worn by the women and left the house laughing and mocking.”
(Islam Mein Ikhtilafat ka Aghaz, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 4, pp. 327-331)
As regards the strife and discord that developed against Hazrat Uthman (ra), Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud (ra) raises the question as to how this conflict arose:
“Some have alleged the cause to be Hazrat Uthman (ra) while others, Hazrat Ali (ra). Some say that Hazrat Uthman (ra) introduced certain innovations in the faith, which caused an uproar among the Muslims. Others assert that Hazrat Ali (ra) secretly conspired to acquire Khilafat and had Hazrat Uthman (ra) killed by creating hostility against him so that he could become the Khalifa himself.”
Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud (ra) further says:
“However, both of these notions are false; neither did Hazrat Uthman (ra) introduce innovations in the faith, nor did Hazrat Ali (ra) have him killed or took part in a conspiracy to murder him in order to become the Khalifa himself. In fact, there were other causes for this revolt.
“Hazrat Uthman (ra) and Hazrat Ali (ra) are completely free from the blemish of such allegations. Both were very holy men. Hazrat Uthman (ra) was the person about whom the Holy Prophet (sa) had said, that he had served Islam to such a great extent that now he could do whatsoever he wished, God would not question him.” This is a narration of Sunan al-Tirmidhi.
“This did not imply that he would not be held accountable even if he renounced Islam. In fact, it inferred that he had acquired so many qualities and had progressed so much in virtue that it was no longer possible for any of his actions to be in violation of the commandments of Allah the Exalted. As such, Hazrat Uthman (ra) was not a man who would issue an order in violation to the Shariah, nor was Hazrat Ali (ra) a man who would secretly conspire to assume Khilafat.”
(Islam Mein Ikhtilafat ka Aghaz, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 4, pp. 253-254)
Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud (ra) further states:
“[…] in the beginning of the Khilafat of Hazrat Uthman (ra), we see no sign of disorder for up to six years. Quite conversely, it appears that people were generally pleased with him. In fact, it is ascertained from history that in this era, he was even dearer to the people than Hazrat Umar (ra). Not only was he dear to the people, in fact they were in awe of him. A poet of that era testifies to this fact in his poetic verses, in the following words:
“‘O rebellious people! Do not loot and devour the people’s wealth in the reign of Uthman (ra); for Ibn-e-Affan is he whom you have experienced. In accordance with Quranic injunctions, he executes those who pillage; he has always been a guardian of the injunctions of this Holy Quran; he is the one who teaches the people to act upon these injunctions.’
“However, after six years, we see a campaign in the seventh year; and this was not directed against Hazrat Uthman (ra); rather, it was directed against the companions or against various governors. As such, Tabari narrates that Hazrat Uthman (ra) took full consideration of the rights of people. However, those people who did not enjoy the distinction of being the foremost pioneers in Islam did not receive the same level of honour as the early and pioneer Muslims did in gatherings; nor did they receive an equal share in rule and wealth. Over time, some people began to criticise this superiority and deemed it to be an injustice.
“However, these people feared the Muslim masses and out of their fear that the people would oppose them, they would not express their views openly. Instead, the practice which they had employed was to secretly incite people against the companions. When they came across an uneducated Muslim or a freed Bedouin slave, they would open up their book of complaints. Consequently, either out of ignorance or due to their own desire for position, certain people would join them. Gradually, this group began to multiply and reached a large number.”
Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud (ra) further states:
“When disorder is about to arise, its contributing factors also begin to accumulate in an extraordinary manner. On the one hand, those of a jealous disposition were beginning to grow incensed against the companions. On the other hand, the zeal for Islam, which is usually present in the hearts of all those who convert from other religions, began to decline amongst these new Muslims, who had neither lived in the company of the Holy Prophet (sa), nor had they received an opportunity to spend a great deal of time with those who had been in the Holy Prophet’s (sa) company.
“As a matter of fact, as soon as they accepted Islam, it was their presumption that they had learned everything. As soon as this Islamic fervour lessened, the control which Islam possessed over their hearts also began to fall weak. They, once again, began to enjoy committing the sins that they had once indulged in before they became Muslims. When they were punished for their crimes, instead of reforming themselves, they became bent upon the destruction of those who were administering these sentences. Ultimately, they proved to become the cause of creating a great rift in the unity enjoyed by Islam.
“The centre of these people was in Kufa. However, the strangest thing to note is that an incident took place in Medina itself, which demonstrates that in that time, some people were as unfamiliar with Islam as the ignorant people of today who live in the remotest areas.
“Humran bin Abban was a person who married a woman during her iddat [a period in which a woman is prohibited from marriage]. When Hazrat Uthman, may Allah be pleased with him, learned of this, he was displeased at him; not only did he order a separation, but also exiled him from Medina to Basrah. This occurrence demonstrates how certain people began to perceive that the mere acceptance of Islam authorised them as being scholars of Islam. They did not feel a need for further research. Perhaps, due to an influence of various views, related to believing in unlawful things as being permissible, they deemed it a futile act to follow the Shariah.”
(Islam Mein Ikhtilafat ka Aghaz, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 4, pp. 262-263)
Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud (ra) further narrates:
“In truth, this entire disturbance was the result of a secret conspiracy hatched by the Jews. They were joined by certain Muslims who were attracted to the desire of the world and had left their faith. Neither were the provincial governors to blame for this, nor were they the cause of this disorder”; this was instigated by certain Jews and some Muslims also joined them. Nonetheless, the governors appointed by Hazrat Uthman (ra) were free from blame, nor did they instigate this disorder.
“Their only fault was that they had been appointed by Hazrat Uthman (ra) and the fault of Hazrat Uthman (ra) was that he was holding fast to the rope of Islamic unity despite his old age and physical frailty. He was carrying the burden of the Muslim ummah upon his shoulders and was concerned for the establishment of the Islamic Shariah. He would not allow the rebellious and tyrannous to oppress the weak and helpless according to their desire. As such, the following incident testifies to the truth of this fact. When the same rebels held a meeting in Kufa and they began to discuss how disorder may be created in Muslim affairs, everyone unanimously gave the opinion:
لَاوَاللّٰهِ لَا يَرْفَعُ رَأْسٌ مَا دَامَ عُثْمَانُ عَلَی النَّاسِ
“‘By God, no one can dare to raise their head, so long as the reign of Uthman (ra) prevails.’ “It was the very person of Hazrat Uthman (ra) himself that prevented rebellion. It was necessary to move him aside in order for these people to freely achieve their goals”
(Islam Mein Ikhtilafat ka Aghaz, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 4, pp. 282-283)
Explaining more details about the strife and discord, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud (ra) states:
“Then Hazrat Uthman (ra) called the mischief-makers and gathered the companions of the Holy Prophet (sa) as well. When everyone had gathered, Hazrat Uthman (ra) informed them of the whole affair. The two informants also stood by as witnesses and gave their testimony” about what the rebels were conspiring.
“Upon this, all the companions gave the following verdict:
“‘Execute these people’”, who are creating disorder in the name of “peace” and “reformation”, “‘because the Holy Prophet (sa) has said, “May the curse of Allah be upon such an individual who calls people towards his own obedience or the obedience of another, at a time when there is an Imam who is present. Kill such a person whoever he may be.”’”
This narration is from Sahih Muslim.
“Then, they reminded everyone of the words of Hazrat Umar (ra), ‘I do not deem the execution of any such person permissible for you in which I do not have a part.’”
In other words, no one may be executed unless there is an indication from the government.
“Upon hearing the verdict of the companions, Hazrat Uthman (ra) stated, ‘No, we will forgive them and accept their pleas. We will counsel them with all our efforts and we will not oppose anyone so long as he does not clearly violate the law or express disbelief.’
“Then Hazrat Uthman (ra) said:
“‘These people have mentioned certain things which you are aware of as well. However, their plan is to debate with me on these issues so that they can return and say, “We engaged in a debate with Uthman regarding these matters and he has been defeated.” These people allege that whilst on journey, I offered the prayer in full but the Holy Prophet (sa) used to perform qasr [shortened prayer] whilst on journey. However, it was only in Mina where I offered the prayer in full and even that was due to two reasons: firstly, because I owned property there and I had married there; secondly, because I came to know that in those days people had converged for Hajj and the uneducated from among them would begin to say that the Khalifa only offers two rak‘aat [units] so there must only be two rak‘aat in the prayer. Is this not true?’
“The companions replied, ‘Yes this is correct.’ Then Hazrat Uthman (ra) said, ‘The second allegation that they raise is that I have introduced the innovation of establishing public pastures, although this is a false accusation. Pastures were established before me. They were introduced by Hazrat Umar (ra) and I have only made them more spacious due to the growing number of camels which are given in alms. Then, the land designated for public pastures is not the wealth of anyone. I have no benefit in this; I have only two camels, whereas at the time when I became Khalifa I was the wealthiest among all the Arabs. Now I only have two camels which I have kept for Hajj.’”
Hazrat Uthman (ra) said at the time he was elected as Khalifa, he was the wealthiest of all the Arabs, but now he only had two camels in his possession.
“‘Is this not true?’ The noble companions affirmed, ‘Indeed, it is.’ Then Hazrat Uthman (ra) said, ‘They say that I appoint comparatively young men as governors, even though I only appoint such individuals as governors who possess virtuous attributes and manners. Holy men before me appointed even younger people as governors than those appointed by me. Far more objections were raised against the Holy Prophet (sa) for appointing Usama bin Zaid as the general of an army than are now being raised against me. Is this not true?’
“The companions responded, ‘It is true.’ Hazrat Uthman (ra) then said, ‘These people raise objections before the people but hide the real events.’ In this manner Hazrat Uthman (ra) stated all the objections one by one and refuted them one after another. The companions emphatically persisted that they should be executed, but Hazrat Uthman (ra) did not agree and released them. Tabari states:
اَبَی الْمُسْلِمُوْنَ اِلَّا قَتْلَهُمْ وَ اَبٰی اِلَّا تَرْكَهُمْ
“‘The rest of the Muslims were adamant on having them executed but Hazrat Uthman (ra) could not be convinced in any way to punish them.’
“This incident shows the various types of falsehood and deception which would be employed by the mischief-makers. In that era, when the press and means of transport were not as developed as today, it was very easy for these people to mislead the uneducated. In reality, however, these people had no legitimate reason to rise up. Neither did the truth support them, nor did they speak the truth. All their endeavours were founded upon lies and falsehood. It was only the mercy of Hazrat Uthman (ra) that was saving them, otherwise, the Muslims would have torn them to pieces. The companions could not have ever tolerated that the peace and security which they had achieved by sacrificing their lives be done away with in this manner by the mischief of a few wicked people. They could see that the Islamic state would crumble if these people were not promptly punished. However, Hazrat Uthman (ra) was an embodiment of mercy and he desired, in any way possible, for these people to be rightly guided so that they would not die in a state of disbelief.
“As such, Hazrat Uthman (ra) would show leniency towards these people and looked upon their actions of manifest rebellion as a mere intention to commit rebellion and would put off their punishment. This incident also illustrates that the companions greatly detested these people. The reason being that firstly, the mischief-makers stated themselves that only three people of Medina were with them and no more.” The mischief-makers only named three residents of Medina who were with them.
“If other companions were also on their side, they would have named them as well. Secondly, the companions demonstrated through their actions as well that they abhorred the actions of these mischief-makers and looked upon their deeds as being in violation of the shariah to such extent, that in their view, no punishment lesser than execution was acceptable. If the companions supported these people or the people of Medina held the same views as the mischief-makers, they would not have needed any further justification or excuse; and would have killed Hazrat Uthman (ra) there and then and elected another person for the office of Khilafat in his stead. However, we observe that instead of these people being successful in killing Hazrat Uthman, may Allah be pleased with him, their very own lives became endangered by the unsheathed swords of the companions. It was only due to the favour and kindness of the very same gracious and compassionate person – whom they sought to murder and against whom they had instigated an outrage – that they were able to safely escape.
“One is astonished at the malice and unrighteousness of these mischief-makers, for they did not derive the slightest benefit from this incident. Each and every one of their allegations was amply refuted and all their objections were proven to be false and unfounded. They witnessed the mercy and compassion of Hazrat Uthman (ra) and the soul of every individual bore witness to the fact that the likes of such a person cannot be found on the face of the earth at this time. However, instead of repenting for their sins, being ashamed of their cruelties, feeling remorse for their trespasses and refraining from their mischief, these people began to burn even more in the fire of rage and fury. They considered their being rendered speechless a disgrace and the forgiveness of Hazrat Uthman (ra) as being the result of their good planning. As such, they returned whilst devising strategies to fulfil their remaining plan in the future.”
(Islam Mein Ikhtilafat ka Aghaz, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 4, pp. 293-296)
I was narrating accounts about the discord and rebellion that arose in the time of Hazrat Uthman (ra). I will mention what Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud (ra) has stated regarding this. Most of the references have been taken from Tabari and then Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud (ra) has presented his own viewpoint on the matter.
Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud (ra) states:
“Besides these three”, i.e. Muhammad bin Abi Bakr, Muhammad bin Huzayfah and Ammar bin Yasir, “who came under the influence of the rebels and sided with them, no one in Medina – be it a Companion or anyone else – held any sympathy for the rebels. Everyone would send curses upon the rebels and reproach them, but since they did not have any control over the affairs, therefore these rebels did not show any care. For up to 20 days the rebels tried to convince Hazrat Uthman (ra) to somehow step down from Khilafat through dialogue alone. However, Hazrat Uthman (ra) plainly refused and said, ‘Neither can I remove the cloak which God the Exalted, has clothed me with, nor can I leave the people of Muhammad (sa) unsheltered so that anyone who wishes may oppress another.’
Hazrat Uthman (ra) continued to admonish the rebels to refrain from creating conflict and went on to say, ‘Today, these people create disorder and detest my very existence. But when I shall be no more, they shall wish, “If only each and every day of the life of Uthman was transformed into one year each and would that he had not departed from us so soon.” For after me there shall be severe bloodshed, rights shall be violated and governance shall take a completely different turn.’” As such, in the Banu Umayyah period, Khilafat was replaced by secular rule and these rebels were given such harsh punishments that they forgot all their mischief.
When the Egyptians had besieged Hazrat Uthman’s (ra) house, they acted so severely that they cut off all supplies of food and drink to his home. When Hazrat Ali (ra) became aware of this, he went to those who laid the siege and said, “The manner in which you have sieged this house is not only un-Islamic, but it is also inhumane. When the disbelievers capture Muslims, even they do not deprive them of food and drink. What harm has this man caused you that you are treating him in such a cruel manner?” The ones who laid the siege took no notice of Hazrat Ali’s (ra) appeal and outright refused to ease the severity of the siege. Hazrat Ali (ra) became furious and throwing down his turban, he left.
(Sheikh Shah Moinuddin Ahmad Nadvi, Siyar al-Sahabah, Vol. 1, Amir al-Momineen Hazrat Ali al-Murtadara [Lahore, Pakistan: Islami Kutub Khana Urdu Bazar], 207-208)
The people had besieged Hazrat Uthman’s (ra) house and cut off his water supply. Hazrat Uthman (ra) peered from above and asked the people if Ali (ra) was among them? They replied that he was not. Hazrat Uthman (ra) then asked if Saad was present? To which they replied in the negative.
Hazrat Uthman (ra) paused briefly and then said, “Is there anyone among you who can deliver my message to Ali (ra) that if he can bring us some water.” When Hazrat Ali (ra) became aware of this he sent three water bags to Hazrat Uthman (ra); however, the rebels intercepted them and would not allow them to reach the house of Hazrat Uthman (ra). In an attempt to deliver these water bags to Hazrat Uthman (ra), many slaves of the Banu Hashim and Banu Umayyah were injured. Eventually, they managed to provide Hazrat Uthman (ra) with this water.
When Hazrat Ali (ra) learnt that there was a plan to murder Hazrat Uthman (ra), he ordered his sons – Imam Hasan (ra) and Imam Husain (ra) – to go with their swords and stand guard at Hazrat Uthman’s (ra) door. He warned them that no rebel should get anywhere near them. Upon seeing this, the rebels fired a burst of arrows towards Hazrat Uthman’s (ra) door, which severely injured Hazrat Hasan (ra) and Muhammad (ra) bin Talha.
During this time, Muhammad bin Abi Bakr and two accomplices quietly jumped into Hazrat Uthman’s (ra) house from the side of an Ansari companion’s home and then martyred Hazrat Uthman (ra). When Hazrat Ali (ra) heard this news, he came to see for himself and learnt that he had indeed been martyred. He then asked his sons, “How could Hazrat Uthman (ra) be martyred whilst you two were on guard?” Upon this, Hazrat Ali (ra) slapped Hazrat Hasan (ra), struck the chest of Hazrat Husain (ra) and rebuked Muhammad bin Talha and Abdullah (ra) bin Zubair and returned home filled with anger.
(Jalauddin Abd al-Rahman bin Abi Bakr al-Suyuti, Tarikh al-Khulafa, pp. 123-124, Dar al-Kutub al-Arabi, Beirut, Lebanon, 1999)
Shaddad bin Aus narrates, “On the ‘Day of Dar’ when the siege of Hazrat Uthman (ra) became severe (the ‘Day of Dar’ is the day when the rebels surrounded Hazrat Uthman’s (ra) house and martyred him mercilessly.) Hazrat Uthman (ra) peered over and said, ‘O servants of Allah!’”
The narrator states:
“I saw that Hazrat Ali (ra) was leaving his house and he was wearing the turban of the Holy Prophet (sa) and was carrying his sword. Ahead of him was a group of Muhajireen and Ansar among whom was Hazrat Hasan (ra) and Hazrat Abdullah (ra) bin Umar. They attacked the rebels and managed to move them away from there. They then entered Hazrat Uthman’s (ra) house, after which Hazrat Ali (ra) said, ‘O Leader of the Faithful! May peace be upon you! The faith was strengthened and elevated to lofty heights when the Holy Prophet (sa), along with his Companions, fought against those who stood in opposition to him. By God! I see that these people will certainly kill you. Thus, grant us permission to fight against them.’
“Upon this, Hazrat Uthman (ra) said, ‘Whosoever believes in Allah and considers that I have a right over them, I implore them in the name of Allah not to shed anyone’s blood for me, even the amount that is spilt in the practice of bloodletting, nor should they spill their own blood for my sake.’ Hazrat Ali (ra) then made the same request again, but Hazrat Uthman (ra) gave the same reply as before.”
The narrator then states:
“I then saw Hazrat Ali (ra) departing from Hazrat Uthman’s (ra) house and was saying, ‘O Allah! You are a witness that we exhausted all our efforts in this cause.’ He then went to Masjid al-Nabawi and it was time for prayer. The people said to Hazrat Ali (ra), ‘O Abul Hasan! Proceed forward and lead us in prayer.’ Hazrat Ali (ra) stated, ‘I cannot lead you in prayer whilst the Imam is under siege. I will offer prayers on my own.’
“Thus, he offered prayers on his own and then left. Hazrat Ali’s (ra) son came to him and said, ‘O my father! By God, the enemy has attacked Hazrat Uthman’sra house.’ Hazrat Ali (ra) said:
اِنَّا للهِ وَاِنَّا اِلَيْهِ رَاجِعُوْنَ
“‘[Verily to Allah we belong and to Him shall we return.] By God, they will kill him!’ The people asked where Hazrat Uthman (ra) would be” i.e. after his martyrdom. “Hazrat Ali (ra) stated, ‘I swear by God, he will be in Paradise.’ The people then asked, ‘O Abul Hasan! Where will those people be?’” i.e. the ones who martyred Hazrat Uthman (ra). “Hazrat Ali (ra) answered, ‘I swear by God, they will be in the Hellfire.’ He repeated this three times.”
(Riyad al-Nadirah fi Manaqib al-Asharah, Vol. 3, pp. 68-69, Chapter 3, Fi Manaqib Amir al-Momineen Uthman (ra) bin Affan, Chapter 11, fi Maqtalih wa ma Yata‘alaq bih, Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 1984)
Hazrat Aisha (ra) relates that the Holy Prophet (sa) stated during his illness that he wished some of his companions were in his company. Upon this, they asked, “O Messenger (sa) of Allah! Shall we bring Abu Bakr?” However, the Holy Prophet (sa) remained silent. They then asked, “O Messenger (sa) of Allah, shall we bring Umar?” Again, the Holy Prophet (sa) remained silent. They then asked, “O Messenger (sa) of Allah! Shall we bring Uthman?” Upon this, the Holy Prophet (sa) replied in the affirmative. Following this, Hazrat Uthman (ra) came and the Holy Prophet (sa) took him on his own to the side. As the Holy Prophet (sa) began talking to him, the expression of Hazrat Uthman’s (ra) face began to change.
Qais relates that Abu Sehla, the freed slave of Hazrat Uthman (ra), told him that on the day of Yaum al-Dar [Day of the Siege], Hazrat Uthman (ra) bin Affan stated that the Holy Prophet (sa) had given him a specific instruction which he was now going to fulfil. The narrator states that Hazrat Uthman (ra) stated:
اَنَا صَابِرٌ عَلَيْهِ
“I am firmly steadfast upon this.”
Yaum al-Dar is the day when the hypocrites besieged Hazrat Uthman (ra) in his house and then martyred him in a merciless manner.
(Sunan Ibn Majah, Iftitah al-Kitab, Fadl Uthman (ra), Hadith 113)
Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud (ra) states: “From the treatment meted out to Hazrat Uthman (ra), it is evident that Hazrat Uthman (ra) was not fearful in the slightest of what they would do to him. It is proven from history that when the rebels had overtaken Medina, before the prayers they would spread out inside the mosque and kept the people of Medina separate from one another lest they gather together to resist them. “But despite all the discord and strife and a general atmosphere of hostility, Hazrat Uthman (ra) would come to the mosque alone for prayers, and would not be fearful in the slightest. He kept on coming to the mosque until a time he was stopped from doing so. “When the discord worsened and the rebels attacked the house of Hazrat Uthman (ra), instead of Hazrat Uthman (ra) asking the companions to stand guard around his house, Hazrat Uthman (ra) pleaded with them in the name of God not to place their lives in danger by protecting him and then ordered them to return to their homes. Does a person scared of martyrdom act in this way and telling people not to worry for him and instead for them to return home? This proves that Hazrat Uthman (ra) was not fearful of being martyred. “Another irrefutable proof that Hazrat Uthman (ra) was not afraid of martyrdom is that”, as mentioned in the beginning of the sermon, “when the discord had begun, Hazrat Muawiyah (ra) came for Hajj. When he was about to return to Syria, he met Hazrat Uthman (ra) in Medina and said, ‘Come with me to Syria, there you will be safeguarded from any discord.’ Hazrat Uthman (ra) replied, ‘Muawiyah! I will not like to leave the neighbourhood of the Holy Prophet (sa) at any cost.’ “Hazrat Muawiyah (ra) then said, ‘If this is not acceptable then grant me permission to send a contingent of the Syrian army for your protection.’ Hazrat Uthman (ra) replied, ‘For the sake of my protection I will not let the provisions of the Muslims be diminished.’ Hazrat Muawiyah (ra) then said, ‘O Amirul Momineen! These people will deceive you and kill you or declare an all-out war against you.’ Hazrat Uthman (ra) replied, ‘I do not have any concern for this; my God is sufficient for me.’ In the end, Hazrat Muawiyah (ra) said, ‘If you do not accept anything, then at least do this, the evil and seditious people place their [false] hopes in certain prominent companions. They believe that after you, these companions will be able to look after the affairs. Subsequently they try to deceive the people by using their names. You should remove all of them from Medina and send them off to different lands. In this way, the ploys of these evil people will be stopped as they will think what need is there to fight with you knowing that there is no one to take command of the matters after you.’ However, Hazrat Uthman (ra) did not accept this either” as was mentioned earlier “and said, ‘How can I scatter those whom the Holy Prophet (sa) has gathered?’ Upon hearing this, Hazrat Muawiyah (ra) began to weep and said, ‘If you do not wish to do any of these, then at the least make an announcement that Muawiyah will be responsible for exacting revenge for you.’ Hazrat Uthman (ra) said, ‘Muawiyah! You have a stern disposition; I fear that you may treat the Muslims harshly. Therefore, I will not make such an announcement.’ “It is alleged that Hazrat Uthman (ra) was weak-hearted, but tell me, how many people can display such courage and after reading these events, can anyone say that Hazrat Uthman (ra) was fearful? “If he was fearful then he would have said to send a contingent of the army for his protection, and that he [i.e. Hazrat Muawiyah (ra)] need not worry about their salary as he would take care of it. If Hazrat Uthman (ra) was fearful he ought to have announced that if anything were to happen to him, then they should know that Muawiyah (ra) would exact revenge for it. But Hazrat Uthman (ra) said nothing aside from that owing to Muawiyah’s (ra) stern disposition, he feared that he may treat the Muslims harshly if he was given this authority.
“Then when the enemies jumped over the wall and launched an attack, Hazrat Uthman (ra) continued to recite the Holy Quran without any fear or dread; to the extent that one of the sons of Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) stepped forward and grabbed hold of Hazrat Uthman’s (ra) beard and gave a forceful jolt. Hazrat Uthman (ra) looked to him and said, ‘O my brother’s son! If your father was alive today, you would never have done such a thing.’ Upon hearing this, his entire body began to tremble and he left out of embarrassment. Then one of his accomplices stepped forward and struck the head of Hazrat Uthman (ra) with an iron rod” as was mentioned before “and kicked away the Quran that was there. When this attacker stepped aside, another person stepped forward and martyred Hazrat Uthman (ra) with a sword. Reading these incidents, who can say that Hazrat Uthman (ra) had even an iota of fear?”
(Khilafat-e-Rashidah, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 15, pp. 536-537)
Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud (ra) has also written briefly about his martyrdom and the subsequent events. Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud (ra) 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 Uthman (ra), 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 Prophet (sa) had made prophecies in relation to Hazrat Uthman (ra). These are mentioned as follows:
Hazrat Abu Musa Ash‘ari (ra) relates, “The Holy Prophet (sa) 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 Prophet (sa) said, ‘Let him enter and give him glad tidings of Paradise.’ I saw that this individual was Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra). Another individual approached thereafter and requested for permission [to enter]. Upon this, the Holy Prophet (sa) said, ‘Let him enter and give him glad tidings of Paradise.’ I saw that it was Hazrat Umar (ra). Thereafter, another individual approached and requested for permission [to enter]. Upon this, the Holy Prophet (sa) 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 Uthman (ra) bin Affan.”
(Sahih al-Bukhari, Kitab Fada‘il Ashab al-Nabi (sa), Bab Manaqib Uthman bin Affan (ra), Hadith 3695)
Hazrat Anas (ra) relates that the Holy Prophet (sa) climbed Mount Uhud along with Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra), Hazrat Umar (ra) and Hazrat Uthman (ra). Mount Uhud started to tremble, upon which the Holy Prophet (sa) said, “O Uhud! Stop!” The narrator says, “I believe that the Holy Prophet (sa) 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-Nabi (sa), Bab Manaqib Uthman (ra) bin Affan, Hadith 3699)
Hazrat Ibn Umar (ra) relates that whilst mentioning a particular disorder and strife, the Holy Prophet (sa) said, “This individual will be killed during this disorder in a state of oppression,” and as he stated this, he pointed towards Hazrat Uthman (ra).
(Jami‘ al-Tirmidhi, Abwab al-Manaqib, Bab Qauluhum Kunna Naqul Abu Bakr wa Umar wa Uthman, Hadith 3708)
Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud (ra) has explained in great detail regarding the outset of dissension that began during the era of Hazrat Uthman’s (ra) Khilafat and the factors that led to it. Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud (ra) states:
“Both of these noble men [i.e. Hazrat Uthman (ra) and Hazrat Ali (ra)] were among the first devotees of Islam. Their companions are also from among the best fruits of Islam. For a charge to be levelled against their honesty and virtue is, in reality, a disgrace upon Islam. Any Muslim who sincerely ponders over this fact will definitely reach the conclusion that in actuality, these people are above and beyond all kinds of partiality. This statement is not without foundation; rather, the pages of history are a testimony to this very fact for anyone who examines them with open eyes.
“As far as my research is concerned, whatever is alleged against these noble men and their friends is the work of the opponents of Islam. After the era of the Companions (ra), various so-called Muslims, driven by their egos, have levelled allegations upon either one or the other, from among these noble men. However, despite this the truth has always prevailed and has never remained veiled in secrecy.”
(Islam Mein Ikhtilafat ka Aghaz, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 4, p. 249)
Mentioning the conditions when the rebels had besieged Medina, Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud (ra) states:
“The Egyptians went to Hazrat Ali (ra). At the time, he was outside of Medina and was commanding one part of an army [against the rebels] and was preparing to crush the rebellion. When they reached Hazrat Ali (ra), they said, ‘Due to Hazrat Uthman’s (ra) poor administration, he is no longer fit for the position of Khalifa. We are here to depose him and hope that you will accept this office after him.’ Upon hearing these words of the hypocrites, Hazrat Ali (ra) responded with the honour he had for the faith that was befitting for a man of his rank and eminence and shunned them with full vigour, saying, ‘All righteous people know that the Holy Prophet (sa) spoke about the people camping at Dhul Marwah and Dhu Khushub (the places where the rebels were camping) and cursed them.
(Ibn Kathir, Al-Bidayah wa al-Nihayah, Vol. 7 [Beirut, Lebanon: 1966] 174)
“‘May God ruin you! Go back to where you came from.’ Hearing this they said, ‘Very well, we shall return’, and so they left.”
(Islam Mein Ikhtilafat ka Aghaz, Anwar al-Ulum, Vol. 4, p. 299)
In relation to the arrangements of Hazrat Uthman’s (ra) burial, Niyaar bin Mukram relates that it was a Saturday between the Maghrib and Isha time when Hazrat Uthman’s (ra) body was carried by four individuals, including himself – Jubair bin Mut‘im, Hakeem bin Hizam and Abu Juham bin Huzayfa. Hazrat Jubair bin Mut‘im led the funereal prayer and Muawiyah has confirmed this narration. These same four individuals lowered him into the grave [for the burial] as well. According to one narration, Hazrat Jubair bin Mut‘im led the funeral prayer of Hazrat Uthman (ra) with a congregation consisting of 16 people. Allama ibn Saad states that the first narration is more correct, i.e. that the funeral prayer was offered by four people.
(Ibn Saad, Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol. 3, Uthman (ra) bin Affan [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar Ihya al-Turath al-Arabi, 1996], p. 43)
Abdullah bin Amr bin Uthman relates that Hazrat Uthman (ra) was buried in Hash-e-Kokab on a Saturday evening between Maghrib and Isha prayers. Rabi bin Malik relates from his father that people would desire to bury their departed ones in Hash-e-Kokab. “Hash” means a small garden and “Kokab” was the name of an Ansari who owned this garden. This was situated very close to Jannat-ul-Baqi. Hazrat Uthman (ra) bin Affan would often say that very soon a righteous man shall pass away and he will be buried there, i.e. in Hash-e-Kokab and people will also do the same. Malik bin Abu Amir relates that Hazrat Uthman (ra) was the first person to be buried there.
(Ibn Saad, Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol. 3, Uthman (ra) bin Affan [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar Ihya al-Turath al-Arabi, 1996], pp. 42-43) (Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani, Al-Isabah fi Tamyiz al-Sahabah, Vol. 5 [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 2005], p. 468)
There is another narration in relation to Hazrat Uthman’s (ra) burial that for three days, the mischief-makers and rebels did not allow Hazrat Uthman (ra) to be buried. It is written in Tarikh Al-Tabari that Abu Bashir Abdi related that for three days Hazrat Uthman’s (ra) body was left without a grave or shrouded in a cloth, nor was he allowed to be buried. Later, Hazrat Hakim (ra)bin Hizam and Hazrat Jubair (ra) bin Mut‘im spoke to Hazrat Ali (ra) with regard to Hazrat Uthman’s (ra) burial, that he ask the family of Hazrat Uthman (ra) to give permission to bury him. And so Hazrat Ali (ra) asked and they gave permission.
When the rebels came to learn of this, they gathered stones and stood along the way. A few members from the family of Hazrat Uthman (ra) accompanied his funeral and wanted to enter an area in Medina known as Hash-e-Kokab where the Jews would bury their dead. When the body of Hazrat Uthman (ra) was brought out, they [i.e. the rebels] pelted stones at the charpoy [which was carrying his body] in order to cause it to fall down. When news of this incident reached Hazrat Ali (ra), he sent a message to them and cautioned them against doing such a thing. Upon this, they stopped. The funeral went on until Hazrat Uthman (ra) was buried in Hash-e-Kokab.
When Amir Muawiyah assumed authority, he ordered for the walls of the graveyard to be taken down, so that it merged with graveyard of [Jannatul] Baqi. He also instructed the people to bury their departed ones close to the grave of Hazrat Uthman (ra) and in this way the graves of this area joined the graves of the other Muslims.
(Muhammad Ibn Jarir al-Tabari, Tarikh al-Tabari, Vol. 2, Dhikr al-Khabar an al-Maudi alladhi… [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 1987], p. 68)
According to other historical sources, it is also mentioned that Hazrat Uthman (ra) bought this area of land and included it as part of Jannatul Baqi.
(Ali Ibn al-Athir, Usd al-Ghabah fi Ma‘rifat al-Sahabah, Vol. 3, Uthman (ra) bin Affan [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 2003], p. 586)
Hazrat Uthman (ra) performed the pilgrimage of Hajj approximately a year before his demise or when the disorder had reached its peak. In any case, when he performed his last pilgrimage of Hajj, the rebels had started to openly create disorder. Hazrat Amir Muawiyah (ra) was greatly concerned about this and Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud (ra) states:
“On the return from Hajj, Hazrat Muawiyah (ra) also accompanied Hazrat Uthman (ra) to Medina. After having stayed there for a few days, when he was about to depart, he met Hazrat Uthman (ra) in private and said, ‘It appears that disorder is growing; if you permit, may I submit something in this regard?’ Hazrat Uthman (ra) said, ‘Go ahead.’
“Upon this, he said, ‘My first proposal is that you accompany me to Syria as it is peaceful there in every respect; there is no disorder whatsoever. I fear that if disorder suddenly arises we may not be able to make arrangements at the time.’ Hazrat Uthman (ra) replied, ‘I cannot leave the neighbourhood of the Holy Prophet (sa) under any circumstance, even if my body is torn to pieces.’
“Hazrat Muawiyah (ra) said, ‘Then my second proposal is that you grant me permission to send a contingent of the Syrian army for your protection. No one shall be able to make mischief in its presence.’ Hazrat Uthman (ra) replied, ‘Neither can I burden the bait-ul-mal [treasury] to such an extent in order to safeguard the life of Uthman, nor can I tolerate putting the people of Medina to difficulty by maintaining a military presence.’
“Upon this, Hazrat Muawiyah (ra) submitted, ‘Then my third proposal is that you send off the Companions to various countries because in their presence, people possess the courage to assume that if you do not remain, someone else may be put forward in your stead.’
“Hazrat Uthman (ra) replied, ‘How is it possible for me to scatter those whom the Holy Prophet (sa) has gathered?’ Upon hearing this, Hazrat Muawiyah (ra) began to weep and submitted, ‘If you do not accept any of these strategies which I have proposed for your protection, then at least announce to the people, “If any harm comes to me, then Muawiyah shall possess the right to retaliate on my behalf.” Perhaps, people shall refrain from making mischief in fear on this account.’
“Hazrat Uthman (ra) replied, ‘Muawiyah! What is to happen will surely come to pass. I cannot grant this permission since you possess a stern disposition.’” Hazrat Uthman (ra) said to Hazrat Muawiyah that he possessed a stern disposition; “‘and may treat the Muslims harshly.’ “Thereupon, Hazrat Muawiyah (ra) stood up weeping and said, ‘I fear this may be our last meeting.’ When he stepped outside, he said to the Companions, ‘The fate of Islam rests upon you. Hazrat Uthman (ra) has now fallen very weak. Disorder is escalating. Please do look after him.’ After saying this, Muawiyah (ra) set off for Syria.”
(Islam Mein Ikhtilafat ka Aghaz, Anwar-ul-Ulum, Vol. 4, pp. 285-286)
“After 20 days had elapsed, the rebels thought that a quick decision was required, lest the armies from the surrounding provinces arrived and they were made to suffer the consequences of their actions.” They knew that they were in the wrong and that majority of the Muslims were with Hazrat Uthman (ra).
“For this reason, they stopped Hazrat Uthman (ra) from leaving his house and also forbade the transfer of food and drink into his house. They thought that perhaps in this manner, Hazrat Uthman (ra) would be compelled to accept their demands.” However, Hazrat Uthman (ra) had already told them he would not remove the cloak that Allah the Almighty bestowed to him.
“The administration of Medina was now in their hands. They collectively accepted Ghafiqi, the commander of the Egyptian armies, as their commander in chief. So, it was as if Ghafiqi was the ruler of Medina at the time; Ashtar commanded the army of Kufa and Hakim bin Jabalah” – the same robber who had been imprisoned in Basra, on the order of Hazrat Uthman (ra), for robbing the wealth of non-Muslim subjects – “commanded the army of Basra, under the leadership of Ghafiqi.” Hakim bin Jabalah and Ashtar both worked under Ghafiqi.
“Once again, this proves that the rebels of Egypt were the root cause of this conflict, where Abdullah bin Saba was at work. Ghafiqi would lead the prayers in Masjid-e-Nabawi while the companions of the Holy Prophet (sa) would either remain locked up in their homes or would be compelled to offer prayers behind him. The rebels did not cause people much hindrance until they decided to lay siege upon the house of Hazrat Uthman (ra). However, as soon as they laid siege [upon his house], they began to oppress other people as well. Instead of being Dar-ul-Aman [the House of Peace], Medina had now become Dar-ul-Harb [the House of War]. The respect and honour of the people of Medina was in danger; no one would step out of his house unarmed and the rebels would kill anyone who confronted them.
“When the rebels had surrounded Hazrat Uthman (ra) and even went so far as to stop water from entering [his house], he sent a neighbour’s son to Hazrat Ali (ra), Hazrat Talha (ra), Hazrat Zubair (ra) and the noble wives of the Holy Prophet (sa) for assistance, saying, ‘The rebels have even cut our water supply. If you are able to do something, then please arrange for water to be conveyed to us.’
“From among the men, Hazrat Ali (ra) was the first to arrive. He admonished the rebels saying:
“‘What sort of a behaviour have you adopted? Your actions neither resemble those of the believers, nor the disbelievers. Do not prevent food and drink from entering the house of Hazrat Uthman (ra). Even the Romans and Persians provide their prisoners with food and water. According to Islamic practice, your conduct is not acceptable in the least. Besides, what harm has Hazrat Uthman (ra) done to you that you deem it permissible to imprison him and kill him?’
“This admonition of Hazrat Ali (ra) had no influence on them whatsoever. They plainly said, ‘Whatever the case may be, we shall not allow food or water to reach him.’ This was the reply the rebels gave to the person who they deemed to be the wasi of the Holy Prophet (sa) and his true successor.” The rebels used to claim that Hazrat Ali (ra) was the rightful successor to the Holy Prophet (sa) and this is the reply they gave to him.
“After this reply, does the need for any other testimony remain in order to prove that this party, who declared Hazrat Ali (ra) to be the wasi, had not left their homes in support of the truth or out of their love for the ahl-e-bait; rather, only to fulfil their base desires?
“From among the noble wives of the Holy Prophet (sa), Hazrat Umm Habibah (ra) was the first to come to the aid of Hazrat Uthman (ra). Mounted on a mule, she brought a water-skin along with her. However, her real objective was to safeguard all the wills of the orphans and widows that belonged to the Banu Umayyah, which were in the possession of Hazrat Uthman (ra). When she saw that the rebels had stopped the water supply of Hazrat Uthman (ra), she became fearful that they might destroy these wills as well and thus desired to somehow safeguard these documents. After all, there were other means by which she could have delivered the water. When Hazrat Umm Habibah (ra) reached the door of Hazrat Uthman (ra), just as the rebels were about to stop her, the people exclaimed, ‘This is Umm-ul-Momineen, Umm Habibah (ra).’
“However, the rebels still persisted and started beating her mule. Umm-ul-Momineen, Umm Habibah (ra) explained, ‘I fear lest the wills of the orphans and widows of the Banu Umayyah should be destroyed. For this reason, I wish to go inside in order to arrange for their safekeeping.’
“However, these wretched people replied to the blessed wife of the Holy Prophet (sa), ‘You are lying.’ The rebels then attacked her mule and cut the straps of its packsaddle. The saddle fell to one side. Hazrat Umm Habibah (ra) was on the verge of falling off and being martyred under the feet of the rebels, but a few people of Medina, who were close by, dashed to her aid and escorted her home.
“This was the treatment which they meted out to the blessed wife of the Holy Prophet (sa). Hazrat Umm Habibah (ra) possessed such profound loyalty and love for the Holy Prophet (sa) that after a separation of about 15 to 16 years, when her father, who was the chief of Arabia and held the position of a king in Mecca, came to Medina on a special political mission and came to meet her, she pulled away the bedding of the Holy Prophet (sa) from beneath him”; when her father was about to sit down on the sheet, she pulled it away from underneath him. “This was because she could not bear to see the pure cloth of the Messenger (sa) of Allah touch the impure body of an idolater.” She did not even let her father sit on it. “It is surprising that in the absence of Muhammad (sa), the Messenger of Allah, Hazrat Umm Habibah (ra) safeguarded the sanctity of even his cloth, whereas these rebels did not even show veneration to the revered wife of Muhammad (sa), the Messenger of Allah, in his absence. These foolish people said that the wife of the Holy Prophet (sa) was a liar, even though she was correct in her statement. Hazrat Uthman (ra) was the guardian of the orphans of Banu Umayyah. On seeing their growing enmity, her concern that the wealth of the orphans and widows may go to waste was correct. The true liars were those who took up the task of destroying the faith whilst claiming to love Muhammad (sa), the Messenger of Allah; not Umm Habibah (ra), Umm-ul-Momineen.
“When news of the treatment meted out to Hazrat Umm Habibah (ra) spread throughout Medina, the companions and residents of Medina were left shocked. They understood that now it was useless to hope of any good to come from the rebels. It was at this very time that Hazrat Aisha (ra) decided to go for Hajj and she began to make preparations for the journey.
“When people learned that she was about to leave Medina, some of them requested that if she remained behind, perhaps this would be conducive to bringing an end to the conflict and the rebels would take heed. However, she refused saying, ‘Do you want me to receive the same treatment as Umm Habibah (ra). By God! I cannot put my honour at risk” as she was [a symbol of] the honour of the Holy Prophet (sa). “If I am targeted in any way, what will be the means of my protection? Only God knows the extent to which the rebels will grow in their mischief and what will be their outcome.’
“Just as Hazrat Aisha Siddiqah (ra) was leaving she devised a strategy; had it succeeded, this conflict may have been suppressed to some extent. She sent a message to her brother, Muhammad bin Abi Bakr”, who owing to his naivety or being of weak faith had joined with the rebels, “that he should also accompany her to perform Hajj, but he refused. Upon this, Hazrat Aisha (ra) said, ‘What am I to do? I am helpless. If I had the strength, I would never allow these rebels to succeed in their designs.’
“Hazrat Aisha (ra) had gone for Hajj and some companions, who were able to leave Medina, also left. The remaining people, except for a few prominent companions, remained in their homes. Ultimately, even Hazrat Uthman (ra) felt that the rebels would not settle through leniency and he dispatched a letter to all the provincial governors, the summary of which is as follows:
“‘After Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) and Hazrat Umar (ra), without any desire or request of my own, I was included among those who were entrusted the duty of holding counsel regarding Khilafat.’” Hazrat Uthman (ra) stated this in the letter he wrote. “‘Then, I was elected to the office of Khilafat without any desire or request of my own. Without fail, I continued the works which the previous Khulafa (ra) undertook, and I did not introduce any innovations in the faith of my own accord. However, the seed of evil was planted into the hearts of certain people, mischief arose and then they began to plot against me; they expressed one thing before the people, while concealing another thing in their hearts. These people began to level such accusations against me as were levelled against the Khulafa (ra) before me as well. However, I remained silent despite knowing of this. Taking advantage of my mercy, these people grew even more in their mischief. Ultimately, they attacked Medina in the likeness of disbelievers. So, if there is anything you can do then please arrange for some help.’
“Similarly, a few days later, Hazrat Uthman (ra) wrote a letter to the people who had come to perform Hajj. The gist of [this letter] is:
“‘I draw your attention towards God the Exalted and remind you of His favours. At this time, certain people are creating mischief and are engaged in attempts to cause divide in Islam. However, these people have not even taken into consideration that God appoints the Khalifa, just as He says:
وَعَدَ اللّٰهُ الَّذِيْنَ اٰمَنُوْا مِنْكُمْ وَ عَمِلُوا الصّٰلِحٰتِ لَيَسْتَخْلِفَنَّهُمْ فِي الْاَرْضِ
“Meaning, ‘Allah has promised to those among you who believe and do good works that He will surely make them Successors in the earth.’ [Ch.24: V.56]
“‘Moreover, they did not value [the importance of] unity, even though God the Exalted has commanded:
وَاعْتَصِمُوْا بِحَبْلِ اللّٰهِ جَمِيْعًا
“Meaning, ‘And hold fast all together by the rope of Allah.’ [Ch.3: V.104]
“‘Furthermore, they accepted the words of those who accused me and did not pay heed to this command of the Holy Quran:
يٰۤاَيُّهَا الَّذِيۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡۤا اِنۡ جَآءَكُمۡ فَاسِقٌۢ بِنَبَاٍ فَتَبَيَّنُوۡۤا
“Meaning, ‘O ye who believe! if an unrighteous person brings you any news, ascertain the correctness of the report fully.’ [Ch.49: V.7]
“‘They did not honour their bai‘at to me, even though Allah the Exalted says with relation to the Holy Prophet (sa):
اِنَّ الَّذِيْنَ يُبَايِعُوْنَكَ اِنَّمَا يُبَايِعُوْنَ اللّٰهَ
“Meaning, ‘Verily, those who swear allegiance to thee indeed swear allegiance to Allah.’ [Ch.48: V.11]
“‘And I am a successor of the Noble Messenger (sa)’”, i.e. Hazrat Uthman (ra) was the successor to the Holy Prophet (sa) and therefore this applies to him also. “‘No nation can progress without a leader and if there is no imam, then the community is destined to be ruined and destroyed. These people desire to destroy and ruin the Muslim ummah’”; these rebels wished to destroy and annihilate Islam.
Hazrat Uthman (ra) further wrote, “‘This is their only objective because I accepted their wish and promised to change [various] governors but despite this, they did not seize making mischief. Now, they demand one out of three things.’” The rebels had given three options to Hazrat Uthman (ra). “‘Firstly, they demand that revenge should be sought from me for all those people who have received punishment in my reign. If I do not agree, then I should step down from Khilafat and they will appoint someone else in my place. If I do not agree to this either, then they threaten that they will send a message to all their supporters to no longer be obedient to me’”; if Hazrat Uthman (ra) did not agree to this they threatened to stop obeying him.
“‘The answer with respect to the first demand is that the Khulafa (ra) before me also committed judgmental errors but they were never punished.’” If there were any judgmental errors passed by the Khulafa previously, they were not punished for it. Hazrat Uthman (ra) also acted in the same manner. “‘Furthermore, what other motive besides killing me can there be in imposing so many punishments upon me.’” By making these demands of seeking revenge or punishment only means that the rebels wished to kill him.
“‘As for my deposition from Khilafat, my reply is that if these people tear my flesh into bits with pincers, I can accept this, but I cannot step down from Khilafat.’” Since Allah the Almighty had bestowed him this cloak, he would never take it off.
“‘Now remains the third point that they will send their men in all directions telling people not to obey me. For this, I am not held responsible by God if they wish to act in violation of the Shariah. Even before, when they pledged allegiance to me, I did not compel them. Neither I, nor God the Exalted is pleased with the action of anyone who wishes to break his covenant.’” Hazrat Uthman (ra) said that he did not compel them to pledge allegiance to him previously, nor would he do so now. But he would not be pleased with their actions as they were wrong, nor would Allah be pleased with their actions. “‘Of course, such a person may do as he wishes on his own accord.’
[Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud (ra) said:]
“Since the days of Hajj were fast approaching and people were converging upon Mecca Mukarramah from all corners, Hazrat Uthman (ra) appointed Hazrat Abdullah (ra) bin Abbas and dispatched him as the Amir for Hajj lest the rebels created disorder there as well. This way Hazrat Abdullah (ra) bin Abbas could also urge the Muslims gathering for Hajj to assist the people of Medina. Even Hazrat Abdullah (ra) bin Abbas submitted, ‘I would prefer to do jihad against these people.’” He said that he was being appointed as amir for the Hajj, but he desired to perform jihad against the rebels.
“However, Hazrat Uthman (ra) compelled him to go for Hajj and discharge his duties as the amir for Hajj, in order to prevent the rebels from spreading their mischief there and also to urge the pilgrims gathering there to help the people of Medina. The above-mentioned letter of Hazrat Uthman (ra) was sent along with him as well. When the rebels learned of these letters, they increased in their atrocities. They began to look for an excuse to fight so that they could martyr Hazrat Uthman (ra). All their efforts, however, were in vain and Hazrat Uthman (ra) would not give them an opportunity to make mischief.
“In the end, out of frustration, the scheme devised by the rebels was that they would stone the house of Hazrat Uthman (ra) at nightfall when everyone would fall asleep. In this manner, they would provoke the members of the household so that they too would throw stones in retaliation; so the rebels could say that they [the household of Hazrat Uthman (ra)] initiated the attack and they were compelled to respond. However, Hazrat Uthman (ra) had prohibited all the members of his household from retaliating. One day, upon finding an opportunity, he approached the wall and said:
“‘O people! In your view I am a sinner, but what wrong have the others committed?’” i.e. that they thought he was a sinner, but what did the other people do wrong? “‘When you throw stones there is also a risk of others being injured.’ The rebels plainly denied and said that they had not thrown any stones. Hazrat Uthman (ra) said, ‘If you do not throw them, then who does?’ The rebels replied, ‘God the Exalted probably throws them,’ God forbid.
“To this, Hazrat Uthman (ra) responded, ‘You utter lies! If God the Exalted had thrown stones at us, then not one of His stones would have missed; but the stones thrown by you miss their targets as well.’ After saying this, Hazrat Uthman (ra) left them to their work.
“Although the companions were no longer given a chance to gather in the company of Hazrat Uthman (ra), even still, they were not negligent of their duty. They had divided their work into two parts as a wise measure at the time. Those men who were elderly and who, due to their morals, possessed a great influence on the public, spent their time admonishing the rebels; as for those people who possessed no such influence, or were young, would remain engaged in efforts to protect Hazrat Uthman (ra).
“From among the former group, Hazrat Ali (ra) and Hazrat Saad (ra) bin Waqas, the conqueror of Persia, strove the hardest to suppress the conflict. Hazrat Ali (ra) had especially devoted his time to this cause, leaving aside all his other work. As such, a person by the name of Abdur Rahman, who was an eyewitness of these events, says:
“‘In the days of disorder, I saw that Hazrat Ali (ra) had abandoned all his work. Day and night, he would remain concerned about how he could calm the temper of the enemies of Hazrat Uthman (ra) and bring an end to his sufferings. On one occasion, when there was a delay in conveying water to Hazrat Uthman (ra), he became very displeased with Hazrat Talhah (ra) to whom this task was assigned. Hazrat Ali (ra) did not rest until water had reached the home of Hazrat Uthman (ra).’
“In ones and twos, whenever they could find an opportunity, the second group began to gather in the house of Hazrat Uthman (ra) or in neighbouring houses. This party had firmly resolved that they would give their lives but not let Hazrat Uthman (ra) come in harm’s way. Besides the children of Hazrat Ali (ra), Hazrat Talhah (ra) and Hazrat Zubair (ra), even a party of the companions themselves was a part of this group. These men guarded the house of Hazrat Uthman (ra), day and night, and would not allow any enemy to reach Hazrat Uthman (ra).
“Although this small party could not stand up to such a large army, but since the rebels were after an excuse to kill Hazrat Uthman (ra), they would not put up much of a resistance either. The events of that time shed such light upon the level of devotion Hazrat Uthman (ra) possessed for the welfare of Islam that one is left astonished. An army of 3,000 strong stood at his door and no strategy to save himself was devised. He even stopped those who endeavoured to save him, saying, ‘Leave! Do not put your lives in danger. These people only hold enmity for me; they have no objection against you.’
“His eye could foresee the time when Islam would be in grave danger at the hands of these rebels; not only apparent unity, but even the spiritual administration would reach the verge of falling apart. Hazrat Uthman (ra) knew that at that time each and every Companion (ra) would be required for the protection and establishment of Islam. For this reason, he did not want the companions to lose their lives in a futile attempt to save his life and continued advising all of them not to withstand the rebels. He desired that insofar as possible, the community which had benefited from the company of the Messenger (sa) of Allah, should be safeguarded, in order to dispel disorders which were to arise in the future. Despite his instructions, however, the companions, who would happen to find an opportunity to reach the house of Hazrat Uthman (ra) did not fail in fulfilling their obligation. They gave precedence to the danger at hand over such dangers that were yet to come. If the lives [of the companions] were secure at the time, then it was only because the rebels felt no need to hurry and were on the lookout for an excuse” to attack Hazrat Uthman (ra).
“Ultimately, however, the hour arrived when it became impossible to wait any longer, because the heart-rendering message of Hazrat Uthman (ra), which he had sent to the Muslims who were gathering for Hajj, had now been read out before the crowd of pilgrims. The valley of Mecca echoed this voice from one end to another. The Muslim pilgrims had decided that after the Hajj, they would not remain deprived of gaining the spiritual reward of performing jihad as well; they would uproot the rebels of Egypt and their associates. Rebel spies had informed their people of this intention and now signs of agitation began to arise in their camp. This was to such extent that murmurings within the rebel camp began to take place suggesting that now there was no other option but to kill this man; if they did not kill him, there would be no uncertainty in their own massacre at the hands of the Muslims. This anxiety was further intensified by the news that the letters of Hazrat Uthman (ra) had now reached Syria, Kufa and Basra as well, and the people there, who were already waiting for the orders of Hazrat Uthman (ra), had been further enraged upon the receipt of these letters. Not to mention that taking it upon themselves, the companions had drawn the attention of all the Muslims towards their obligations in mosques and gatherings, and they had issued the verdict of performing jihad against the rebels. The companions said, ‘A person, who does not perform jihad on this day, is as if he has done nothing.’
“If, in Kufa, Uqbahra bin Amr, Abdullah (ra) bin Abi Aufa, Hanzalah bin Rabi Al-Tamimira and other noble companions had roused the people into supporting the people of Medina, then Imran (ra) bin Husain, Anas (ra) bin Malik, Hisham (ra)bin Amir and other companions had done the same in Basra. If, in Syria, Ubadah (ra) bin Samit, Abu Umamah (ra) and other companions had motivated the people to answer to the call of Hazrat Uthman (ra), then Kharijah and others had done the same in Egypt. Armies from every province were joining forces and marching towards Medina.
“Hence, this news intensified the anxiety of the rebels. Finally, they attacked the house of Hazrat Uthman (ra) and sought to forcefully enter. The companions confronted them and a fierce battle ensued. Although the companions were few in number, but their honour for their faith was covering for this disadvantage. Since the area where this battle took place, i.e., in front of the house of Hazrat Uthman (ra) was narrow, due to this reason as well, the rebels were unable to exploit their advantage in number. When Hazrat Uthman (ra) learned of this battle he forbade the companions from fighting. However, at that time, they viewed abandoning Hazrat Uthman (ra) to be against honesty and contrary to the teaching of obedience. Hence, they refused to return despite Hazrat Uthman (ra) appealing to them in the name of God. In the end, Hazrat Uthman (ra) took a shield in his hand, came out and led the companions inside his house. He then had the doors closed and enjoined the companions and their helpers:
“‘God the Exalted has not given you the world so that you may incline towards it. In fact, he has granted you the world so that by this means, you may gather provisions for the hereafter. This world will come to an end, and only the hereafter will remain. So, let not that which is to perish make you unmindful. Give precedence to that which shall remain over that which is to perish. Be mindful of your meeting with God the Exalted and do not allow your community to disperse. Do not forget the Divine favour that you were on the brink of a pit of destruction and God the Exalted saved you out of His bounty and made you as brothers.’
“Having said this, he dismissed them and said:
“‘May God the Exalted be your Guardian and Helper. All of you leave the house now and call for those companions who have been barred from reaching me, especially Hazrat Ali (ra), Hazrat Talha (ra) and Hazrat Zubair (ra).’ These people stepped out and the other companions were also called. At the time, such a mood was developing and such a degree of sorrow was overshadowing the atmosphere that even the rebels could not remain unaffected.”
At the time, such an atmosphere was created that when Hazrat Uthman (ra) told them to leave, the rebels did not attack them. Nonetheless, they left and the prominent companions were gathered.
“Why would this not be the case? Everyone was observing that a candle lit by Muhammad (sa), the Messenger of Allah, upon completing its life in the world was now about to disappear from the eyes of the people. Therefore, the rebels did not cause much hindrance and all the companions gathered.
“When everyone had come together, Hazrat Uthman (ra) climbed the wall of his house and said, ‘Come close to me.’ When they had all come close to him, Hazrat Uthman (ra) said, ‘O people! Sit down.’ At this, the companions sat down and inspired by the awe of the gathering, so did the rebels. When they had all sat down Hazrat Uthman (ra) said:
‘People of Medina! I entrust you to God the Exalted and pray to Him that after me, He may arrange for a better successor than me. After today, until God the Exalted issues a decree in my regard, I shall not step out of my house and I shall not pass on authority to anyone by which he may rule over you in terms of religion or worldly rule. I leave it to God the Exalted to choose whoever He desires for His work.’
“After this he appealed in the name of Allah to the companions and the other people of Medina, not to put their own lives in grave danger by protecting him and to go to their homes. This instruction of Hazrat Uthman (ra) created a serious disagreement among the companions, a disagreement the likes of which cannot be found prior to this. The companions knew nothing but to obey every command, but today, in obeying this instruction, some perceived the stench of treachery, as opposed to obedience.” Some companions felt that if they obeyed this instruction it would be akin to treachery.
“Some companions gave precedence to the aspect of obedience and unwillingly did away with their intention of fighting the rebels from then on. Perhaps they thought that their duty was only to be obedient and it was not their task to reflect upon the results that would come about by obeying this command. However, some companions refused to obey this order because although they knew that it was an obligation to obey the Khalifa, but if the Khalifa commands people to abandon him, this effectively means that they should sever their ties with Khilafat; hence, this kind of obedience actually results in treachery. Furthermore, they also knew that Hazrat Uthman (ra) was sending them home in order to protect their lives”, i.e. to protect the lives of the companions. “How then, could they leave such a loving person in danger and go to their homes?” Out of love for them, Hazrat Uthman (ra) wished to save their lives, so how could they leave Hazrat Uthman (ra)?
“All the prominent companions were among the latter group. As such, despite this command, the sons of Hazrat Ali (ra), Hazrat Talhah (ra) and Hazrat Zubair (ra), under the order of their respective fathers, constantly stood guard at the porch of Hazrat Uthman (ra) and did not put their swords into their sheaths.
“The anxiety and ebullition of the rebels knew no bounds when the odd one or two people – who were returning after having completed Hajj – began to enter Medina; they were certain that now the time for their judgement had drawn very close. After performing Hajj, Mughirah bin Al-Akhnas was the first person who entered Medina in order to gain the spiritual reward of jihad. As soon as he arrived, the rebels received news that the army of Basra, which was coming to help the Muslims, had reached Sirar, which was only at a journey of one day from Medina. Overwhelmed by this news, the rebels decided that it was now vital that they fulfil their objective at all costs. Those companions and their friends who had refused to relinquish their protection of Hazrat Uthman (ra) despite his prohibition and those who had plainly said, ‘How will we face God the Exalted if we desert you, despite having the strength in our arms to fight?’ were now standing guard from inside the house due to their small number. Hence, it was not difficult for the rebels to reach the door. The rebels collected piles of wood outside the door and set light to them, so that the door would burn down and they could find an entrance into [the house]. Upon observing this, the companions deemed it inappropriate to remain inside and they desired to step out swords in hand. However, Hazrat Uthman (ra) stopped them from doing so and said:
“‘What more can there be than setting the house on fire? Whatever was to happen, has now happened. Do not put your lives in danger and return to your homes. These people only harbour enmity against myself, but soon, they shall be remorseful for their doing. I absolve every person of his duty who is obliged to obey me and give up my right upon him.’
“However, the companions as well as others did not accept this and stepped out swords in hand. As they were coming out, Hazrat Abu Hurairah (ra) arrived as well and joined them even though he was not the kind of person to engage in battle. Abu Hurairah (ra) said, ‘What battle can be superior to the battle of this day?’ Then he looked towards the rebels and said:
يٰقَوۡمِ مَا لِيۡۤ اَدۡعُوۡكُمۡ اِلَي النَّجٰوةِ وَ تَدۡعُوۡنَنِيۡۤ اِلَي النَّارِ
“‘O my people, how strange it is that I call you to salvation, and you call me to the Fire.’ [Ch.40: V.42]
“This battle was an exceptional one. A handful of companions who were able to gather at the time fought desperately against this grand army. On that day, even Hazrat Imam Hasan (ra), who was extremely peace loving – in fact, was a prince of peace – attacked the enemy and would recite rajaz. The couplets recited by Hazrat Imam Hasan and Muhammad bin Talhah on that day are especially worthy of mention because they provide a deep understanding of their heartfelt feelings at the time.
“Hazrat Imam Hasan (ra) would recite the following couplet and attack the rebels:
لَا دِيْنُهُمْ دِيْنِيْ وَلَا اَنَا مِنْهُمُ حَتّٰي اَسِيْرَ اِلٰي طَمَارِ شَمَامٖ
“‘Their faith is not my faith, nor do I have any relation with them; I shall fight them until I reach the summit of mount Shamam.’
“Shamam is a mountain in Arabia which serves as a similitude for conquering heights and the achievement of one’s goal. Hazrat Imam Hasan (ra) meant to say that he would continue to fight the rebels until he attained his objective and would not make peace with them, because the disagreement between both parties was not a trivial one, whereby [the believers] could develop a relationship with them, without having conquered them. These were the thoughts that were billowing in the heart of this prince of peace. Let us now take the rajaz of the son of Talhahra, who says:
اَنَا ابْنُ مَنْ حَامٰي عَلَيْهِ بِاُحُدٍ وَرَدَّ اَحْزَابًا عَلٰي رَغْمِ مَعَدٍّ
“‘I am the son of he who protected the Holy Prophet (sa) on the day of Uhud and defeated the Arabs despite their full efforts.’
“In other words, this day was also similar to the day of Uhud; just as his father had offered his hand to be pierced with arrows but did not let any harm come to the Holy Prophet (sa), he would do the same.
“Hazrat Abdullah (ra) bin Zubair also participated in this battle and was badly injured. Marwan also sustained serious injuries and barely escaped the clutches of death. Mughirah bin Al-Akhnas was killed. When the person who had attacked Mughirah saw that not only had he been wounded but that he had been killed, he exclaimed:
اِنَّا لِلّٰهِ وَاِنَّآ اِلَيْهِ رَاجِعُوْنَ
“[meaning, ‘Verily, to Allah we belong and to Him shall we return’]
“The chief of the army reprimanded him saying, ‘You express regret on an occasion of happiness!’ He replied, ‘Last night, I saw in a dream that a person said, “Give news of hell to the killer of Mughirah.” So upon learning that I am his killer I was bound to be shocked by this.’ Besides the above-mentioned people, others were also injured and killed; the party protecting Hazrat Uthman (ra) became even smaller. If, on the one hand, the rebels persisted in their obstinacy despite a heavenly warning and continued to fight against the beloved party of God the Exalted, then on the other hand, the devotees also did not slacken in setting an excellent example of faith. Despite the fact that most guards had been killed or injured, a small party continued to guard the door without fail.”
(Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad (ra), The Outset of Dissension in Islam [2013 edition], pp. 114-138)
Hazrat Uthman (ra) then sent a message to Hazrat Abdullah (ra) bin Salam. When Hazrat Abdullah bin Salam (ra) came he asked Hazrat Uthman (ra) what his opinion was on what was happening. Hazrat Uthman (ra) said, “Refrain from fighting, refrain from fighting, because this will be more favourable for to prove that you are on the side of the truth.”
(Ibn Saad, Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol. 3, Uthman (ra) bin Affan [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar Ihya al-Turath al-Arabi, 1996], p. 39)
Muhammad bin Sirin narrates that Hazrat Zaid (ra) bin Thabit Ansari came to Hazrat Uthman (ra) and submitted, “The Ansar have gathered at the door and are saying that if you permit, we are prepared to become Allah’s Ansar [helpers of Allah] for the second time.” Upon this, Hazrat Uthman (ra) stated, “No, do not fight under any circumstance.”
Hazrat Abu Hurairah (ra) states, “On Yaum Al-Dar [the day of the siege], I went to Hazrat Uthman (ra) and said, ‘O Amirul Momineen! The situation warrants that you raise the sword [against the rebels].’
“Hazrat Uthman (ra) stated, ‘O Abu Hurairah! Would you like to kill everyone, including me?’ I said, ‘No’. Hazrat Uthman (ra) then said, ‘By God! Even if you kill one person, it is as if you have killed everyone.’” Hazrat Abu Hurairah (ra) states that he subsequently returned home and did not partake in the battle. As mentioned before, he stated that it was time to raise the sword.
Hazrat Abdullah bin Zubair (ra) narrates that on the day of the siege, he submitted to Hazrat Uthman (ra), “O Amirul Momineen! Wage war against these people, because waging war against them has been made lawful for you by Allah the Almighty.” Hazrat Uthman (ra) stated, “By Allah! I will never wage war against them.”
The narrator states that they made their way inside and at the time Hazrat Uthman (ra) was fasting. Hazrat Uthman (ra) had appointed Hazrat Abdullah (ra) bin Zubair to guard his door and said, “Whosoever wishes to obey me, he should follow Abdullah bin Zubair.” Hazrat Abdullah (ra) bin Zubair states that he said to Hazrat Uthman (ra), “O Amirul Momineen! You have a group of people here in your house for your protection, who have the support and succour of Allah. They are fewer in number than the rebels. Grant me permission to fight against these rebels.” Hazrat Uthman (ra) stated, “I say to you in the name of Allah, no person should shed their blood for my sake, nor should anyone else’s blood be shed for my sake.”
(Ibn Saad, Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol. 3, Uthman (ra) bin Affan [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar Ihya al-Turath al-Arabi, 1996], p. 39)
With regard to Hazrat Uthman’s (ra) great courage and resolve, Mujahid narrates that Hazrat Uthman (ra) peered from inside his house and addressing the rebels, said, “O my people! Do not kill me because I am the leader of the time and I am your Muslim brother. By God! Irrespective of whether my understanding [about a matter] was correct or not, I have only ever strived to ensure reform to the best of my ability. Remember, if you kill me, you will never be able to gather together to offer prayers collectively, nor will you be able to set out for Jihad together and neither will you distribute wealth in a just manner.”
The narrator states, “When the rebels who had besieged his house refused to pay heed, Hazrat Uthman (ra) stated, ‘I ask you in the name of God, when Amirul Momineen – Hazrat Umar (ra) – passed away, at the time you were one and were established upon the faith, did you not pray in the manner that you did?’” i.e. for Khilafat. “‘But now you are effectively saying that your prayers were not accepted; or you wish to say that Allah the Almighty no longer cares for His faith; or you claim that I attained this (i.e. Khilafat) forcefully at sword point or usurped it and that this was not given to me after mutual consultation of the Muslims; or perhaps you believe that during the early stages of my Khilafat, Allah the Almighty was not aware of the matters relating to me that He is now aware of. This cannot be the case as Allah the Almighty knows everything.’ When the rebels refused to accept this as well, Hazrat Uthman (ra) prayed, ‘O Allah! Take note of them and destroy each and every one of them and do not spare even a single one from among them.’”
Mujahid further states, “Whosoever took part in this rebellion, Allah the Almighty destroyed every single one of them.”
(Ibn Saad, Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol. 3, Uthman (ra) bin Affan [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar Ihya al-Turath al-Arabi, 1996], p. 38)
Abu Laylah Kindi narrates, “I saw Hazrat Uthman (ra) when he was under siege. He peered from an opening and said, ‘O People! Do not kill me and if I am at fault for anything, give me respite so I can repent. I swear by Allah! If you kill me, you will never be able to congregate to offer prayers together, nor will you be able to counter the enemy as one. Indeed, [in such a case] you will then quarrel with one another and always be at odds with one another.’” The narrator states that Hazrat Uthman (ra) used his fingers to indicate this.
Hazrat Uthman (ra) then said:
يٰقَوْمِ لَا يَجْرِمَنَّكُمْ شِقَاقِيْ اَنْ يُّصِيْبَكُمْ مِّثْلُ مَآ اَصَابَ قَوْمَ نُوْحٍ اَوْ قَوْمَ هُوْدٍ اَوْ قَوْمَ صٰلِحٍ وَمَا قَوْمُ لُوْطٍ مِّنْكُمْ بِبَعِيْدٍ
Meaning “O my people, let not your hostility towards me lead you to this that there should befall you the like of that which befell the people of Noah or the people of Hud or the people of Salih; and the people of Lot are not far from you.” [Ch.11: V.90]
Regarding the day in which Hazrat Uthman’s (ra) martyrdom took place, it is said that he was martyred on the 17th or 18th of Dhul Hijja 35 AH, on a Friday. According to Abu Uthman Nahdi, Hazrat Uthman (ra) was martyred in the middle days of Ayam-e-Tashreeq, i.e. 12 Dhul Hijja. However, according to Ibn Ishaq, Hazrat Uthman (ra) was martyred 11 years, 11 months and 22 days after the martyrdom of Hazrat Umar (ra) and 25 years after the demise of the Holy Prophet (sa).
(Ibn Abd al-Barr, Al-Isti‘ab fi Ma‘rifat al-Ashab, Vol. 3, Uthman (ra) bin Affan [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Kutub al-Ilmiyyah, 2002], p. 159)
According to another narration, Abdullah bin Amr bin Uthman relates that Hazrat Uthman (ra) was martyred at the age of 82 after the Asr prayer on Friday 18 Dhul Hijja 36 AH. And he was fasting on the day he was martyred. According to Abu Ma‘shar, Hazrat Uthman (ra) was 75 years of age at the time of his martyrdom.
(Ibn Saad, Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol. 3, Uthman (ra) bin Affan [Beirut, Lebanon: Dar Ihya al-Turath al-Arabi, 1996], p. 43)
On another occasion, regarding the vulgarity and impropriety of those that murdered Hazrat Uthman (ra), Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud (ra) states:
“Just look at what they did; they martyred Hazrat Uthman (ra) and whilst he was lying in a pool of blood, writhing in agony, the murderers were passing vulgar remarks about the wife of Hazrat Uthman (ra) by commenting about her body. Their actions then became even worse…” i.e. not only towards Hazrat Uthman’s (ra) wife, but worse still; Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud (ra) states that they began to pass vulgar remarks about Hazrat Aisha (ra). Hazrat Musleh-e-Maud (ra) states:
“Upon hearing these things, I say that Allah the Almighty has granted me a lofty position, for which I am honoured. But it is my heart’s desire, that if only I were alive then instead of now, I would have obliterated them all. Look at the extent they fell…” as mentioned earlier, they removed the hijab from Hazrat Aisha (ra) and upon seeing her they commented that she was a young woman.”
(Report Mushawarat 11-12 April 1925, pp. 32-33)
They did not even refrain from passing remarks about Hazrat Aisha (ra).