by Silas






Sahih Bukhari1.622

Narrated Salim:

I heard Um Ad-Darda' saying, "Abu Ad-Darda' entered the house in an angry mood.I said to him. 'What makes you angry?' He replied, 'By Allah! I do not find the followers of Muhammad doing those good things (which they used to do before) except the offering of congregational prayer." (This happened in the last days of Abu Ad-Darda' during the rule of 'Uthman).[1]



Sahih Bukhari5.47

Narrated Ibn 'Umar:

During the lifetime of the Prophet we considered Abu Bakr as peerless and then 'Umar and then 'Uthman (coming next to him in superiority) and then we used not to differentiate between the companions of the Prophet.



Sahih Bukhari5.50

Narrated 'Amr bin Maimun:

... I saw 'Umar bin Al-Khattab a few days before he was stabbed in Medina. ... But only four days had elapsed when he was stabbed (to death ). The day he was stabbed, I was standing and there was nobody between me and him (i.e. Umar) except Abdullah bin 'Abbas.
... The people said (to 'Umar), "O chief of the believers! Appoint a successor." Umar said, "I do not find anyone more suitable for the job than the following persons or group whom Allah's Apostle had been pleased with before he died." Then 'Umar mentioned 'Ali, 'Uthman, Az Zubair, Talha, Sad and 'Abdur-Rahman (bin Auf) and said, "Abdullah bin 'Umar will be a witness to you, but he will have no share in the rule.
... When he was buried, the group (recommended by 'Umar) held a meeting. Then 'Abdur-Rahman said, " Reduce the candidates for rulership to three of you." Az-Zubair said, "I give up my right to Ali." Talha said, "I give up my right to 'Uthman," Sad, 'I give up my right to 'Abdur-Rahman bin 'Auf." 'Abdur-Rahman then said (to 'Uthman and 'Ali), "Now which of you is willing to give up his right of candidacy to that he may choose the better of the (remaining) two, bearing in mind that Allah and Islam will be his witnesses." So both the sheiks (i.e. 'Uthman and 'Ali) kept silent. 'Abdur-Rahman said, "Will you both leave this matter to me, and I take Allah as my Witness that I will not choose but the better of you?" They said, "Yes." So 'Abdur-Rahman took the hand of one of them (i.e. 'Ali) and said, "You are related to Allah's Apostle and one of the earliest Muslims as you know well. So I ask you by Allah to promise that if I select you as a ruler you will do justice, and if I select 'Uthman as a ruler you will listen to him and obey him." Then he took the other (i.e. 'Uthman) aside and said the same to him. When 'Abdur-Rahman secured (their agreement to) this covenant, he said, "O 'Uthman! Raise your hand." So he (i.e. 'Abdur-Rahman) gave him (i.e. 'Uthman) the solemn pledge, and then 'Ali gave him the pledge of allegiance and then all the (Medina) people gave him the pledge of allegiance.



Sahih Bukhari5.358

Narrated Jubair bin Mut'im:

... Narrated Said bin Al-Musaiyab: When the first civil strife (in Islam) took place because of the murder of 'Uthman, it left none of the Badr warriors alive. When the second civil strife, that is the battle of Al-Harra, took place, it left none of the Hudaibiya treaty companions alive. Then the third civil strife took place and it did not subside till it had exhausted all the strength of the people.





Matthew 5:21, 22"You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment.[2]



Sura 5:32†† Because of that We ordained for the Children of Israel that if anyone killed a person not in retaliation of murder, or (and) to spread mischief in the land - it would be as if he killed all mankind, and if anyone saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of all mankind. ... [3]



Sahih Bukhari, 6.114

Narrated Said bin Jubair:

The people of Kufa disagreed (disputed) about the above Verse. So I went to Ibn Abbas and asked him about it. He said, "This Verse:-- "And whoever kills a believer intentionally, his recompense is Hell." was revealed last of all (concerning premeditated murder) and nothing abrogated it." Quran 4:93





UTHMAN — Uthman was the fourth convert to Islam. He was a close friend of Muhammadís and was from the distinguished Umayyad clan. He was very successful and prominent in Meccan circles. He lived the life of an aristocrat. He married Muhammadís daughter Ruqaya. Following her death, he married another of Muhammadís daughters — Um Kulthum. Uthman eventually became the third so called “rightly-guided” Caliph.


ALI — See part 2.


ZUBAYR — See part 2.


TALHA — Another prominent Muslim, a close friend of Muhammadís, and a leader in the Islamic community. Some Hadith record him as being one of the top 10 prominent Muslims.


MUAWIYAH — Son of Abu Sufyan, (who at one time was Muhammadís chief enemy), currently he was the powerful governor of Syria.





††††††††††† As Umar lay dying on his death bed, (having been stabbed by a slave who claimed to have been cheated by Umar), he met with the various leaders of the Islamic community to chose a new Caliph. There are various accounts of how and why Uthman was chosen Caliph, and this council was not harmonious or of one mind. But in the end Uthman was chosen. As time went on, life became difficult for many Muslims and Uthmanís leadership was called into account. Charges of clan nepotism, financial mismanagement, corruption, elitism, and so forth, grew within the Islamic community against Uthman. Uthman became very unpopular. Finally people rose up in arms against him and three large bodies of men, from Egypt, Kufa, and Basra, moved against Uthman and marched on Medina. Even Uthmanís own adopted son rose against him. There are a significant amount of slightly differing accounts related to the events that were to transpire and they make fascinating reading, but we only have time for the general details here. The dark attitudes that existed in the Muslim's hearts and minds have had time to grow, spread roots, and now more blooms of Islamís real fruit were blossoming ...



From the “History of Al-Tabari”, volume 15, “The Crisis of the Early Caliphate” ... [4]


††††††††††† In this year (654), those who were alienated from Uthman b. Affan wrote to one another planning to gather together in order to confront him with those matters concerning which they were angry at him.(page 131).


††††††††††† A body of Muslims gathered together to review the deeds and conduct of Uthman.They concurred in a decision to dispatch a man to speak to him and inform him of his blameworthy innovations.(pages 135, 136).


(Ali, speaking to Uthman)

††††††††††† Ali said, “I will tell you that everyone appointed by Umar was kept under close scrutiny by him. If Umar heard a single word concerning him he would flog him, then punish him with the utmost severity. But you do not do that. You have been weak and easygoing with your relatives.” “They are your relatives as well,” answered Uthman. Ali said, “By my life, they are closely related to me indeed, but merit is found in others.” Uthman said, “Do you know that Umar kept Muawiyah in office throughout his entire caliphate, and I have only done the same,” Ali answered, “I adjure you by God, do you know that Muawiyah was more afraid of Umar than was Umarís own slave Yarfa?” “Yes,” said Uthman. Ali went on, “In fact Muawiyah makes decisions on issues without consulting you, and you know it. Thus, he says to the people, ‘This is Uthman's command.’ You hear of this, but do not censure him.” Then Ali left him and Uthman went out on his heels.(pages 142, 143).


††††††††††† As for the Egyptians, they yearned for Ali as Caliph, while the Basrans desired Talhah, and the Kufans al-Zubayr. They all set out simultaneously. The people had disparate aims, and every faction was certain that it would obtain complete success to the exclusion of the other two.†† (page 160)


††††††††††† When the dissidents reached their encampments, they wheeled around to attack the Medinese. They took the Medinese by surprise, and all at once the cry “God is most great!” was heard throughout the city. The dissidents occupied the sites of the encampments previously established by Ali, Talhah, and al-Zubayr and surrounded Uthman. “Whoever restrains his hand and does not resist us,” they announced, “will be secure.”(page 162).


††††††††††† Then the dissidents all rose up together and threw stones at the people until they had driven them from the mosque. They threw stones at Uthman until he fell unconscious from the pulpit. He was carried off and brought into his house. Now the Egyptians expected support from only three men among the Medinese, for these had been in correspondence with them: Muhammad b. Abi Bakr (Abu Bakrís son), Muhammad b. Abi Hudhayfah, and Ammar b. Yasir. A certain group among the people prepared themselves to face death; among these were Saíd Malik, Abu Hurayrah, Zayd b. Thabit, and al-Hasan b. Ali (Aliís son). Uthman firmly instructed them to leave his house and they did so. Ali came back and entered Uthmanís presence after he had fallen form the pulpit, as did Talhah and al-Zubayr, and all three expressed their sorrow. Then they returned to their own homes.(pages 165, 166).


††††††††††† So they (the dissidents) came to him (Uthman) and said, “Send for the Quran,” and he did so. Then they said, “Open to the ninth chapter.” ... Then Uthman recited it until he came to this verse: “Say: Have you considered the provision God has sent down for you, and you have made some of it unlawful, and some lawful? Say: Has God given you leave, or do you forge against God?” They told Uthman to stop and then said to him, “Have you considered the pasture rights that you set aside? Has God given you leave, or do you forge against God?” He replied, “Enough! This verse was revealed in connection with such and such a matter.” ... Then they began berating him with the verse and he would say, “Enough! It was revealed in connection with such and such a matter.”(page 167).


††††††††††† Then the Egyptian delegation went back satisfied, and while they were on the road back to Egypt, suddenly they noticed a rider coming up beside them and then leaving them behind. Then he came back toward them and again left them behind, scrutinizing them carefully. They said to him, “What are you doing?” Certainly you are engaged on some matter ... So they searched him, and there was a letter framed in Uthmanís words, with his seal upon it, to his governor in Egypt. It stated that he should crucify them or slaughter them or have their hands and feet alternately cut off. Then the Egyptians set out and came to Medina.(page 168, 169).


††††††††††† The Egyptians returned to Uthman after having departed from him because a slave of his, riding one of his camels, overtook them carrying a letter to the governor of Egypt with orders to kill some of them and crucify others. When they came back to Uthman they said, “This is your slave.” He said, “My slave went without my knowledge.” They said, “It is your camel.” He responded, “He took it from the house without my orders.” They said, “This is your seal.” “It was forged,” he said.(page 185).


††††††††††† When Uthman saw what had happened to him and how many of the people had been sent against him, he wrote Muawiyah b. Abi Sufyan in Syria: ... ”The Medinese have become unbelievers; they have abandoned obedience and renounced their oath of allegiance. Therefore send to me the Syrian soldiers who are at your disposal, on every camel you have, whether docile or stubborn.” When Muawiyah got the letter, he delayed action on it, for he did not wish to differ openly with the Companions of the Messenger of God, since he knew that they concurred on this matter.(page 185).


††††††††††† Then six hundred Egyptians marched on Uthman. The overall command was in the hands of Amr b. Budayl b. Warqa al-Khuzai, one of the Companions of the Prophet ... Their letter to Uthman contained the following statements: ... Know by God, that we have been angered for Godís sake, and that we find satisfaction in God. Know that we will not remove our swords form our shoulders until you come to us either with frank and unambiguous repentance or with outright falsehood. This is our statement to you, and this is our case against you. God will excuse us for our actions against you. Peace.”(pages 186, 187).


††††††††††† When Uthman feared he would be killed, he consulted his advisers and the members of his family and said, “You see what the dissidents have done. What is the way out?” They counseled him to send for AliÖ.”

††††††††††† Uthman sent for Ali, and when Ali arrived he said to him, “Abu Hasan, you see what the people have done and you know what I have done. I fear they may kill me. Send them away from me, and I swear to God that I shall requite them for everything they detest, and I will grant them justice against me or anyone else, even if my own blood be shed thereby. ... So Ali went out to the people and said, “O people you have demanded justice and now it is granted to you ... The people answered, “We accept it.”†† (pages 187, 188)


... Uthman said, “Arrange a delay between them and me so that I will have time to act, for I cannot do away with the things they detest in one day.”Ali responded, There can be no delay concerning matters here in Medina.As to matters elsewhere, you may delay as long as it takes your orders to get there.”Uthman said, “All right, but give me a delay of three days for affairs in Medina.”Ali agreed.Then he went to the people and informed them of this.He wrote out a document between the people and Uthman that gave him a three day grace period to do away with every injustice and remove every governor they disliked.†† (page 188).


††††††††††† But Uthman began preparing for war and gathering arms.He had already formed a strong army from among the slaves acquired as part of the Caliphís one fifth share.When the three days had passes and he had done nothing to alter anything which was hateful to the people or to remove any governor, they revolted against him.(page 189).





††††††††††† Muslims throughout the Islamic empire were unhappy with Uthmanís rule. Several groups united and marched on Uthman from different parts within the Islamic realm.Uthman called for help from his various governors, but essentially none came.The rebels confronted Uthman forcefully and demanded he repent of his unfavorable actions.Uthman said he would, and that sufficed them.They all began to return home.While they were returning, they caught a rider with a message to the governor of each region.The note instructed the governor to kill or punish the rebels.The rebels returned to Uthman, this time in greater anger.Uthman sought Aliís counsel, and obtained a grace period to begin to rectify things.However, instead of keeping his word, he began to prepare for battle with the rebels, hoping that his men, and others would form a group strong enough to defeat them.But time ran out and the rebels moved against Uthman ...





††††††††††† Muhammad b. Abi Bakr (Abu Bakrís son), came with thirteen men and went up to Uthman.He seized his beard and shook it until I heard his teeth chattering.Muhammad b. Abi Bakr said, “Muawiyah was no help to you, nor was Ibn Amir, nor your letters.”Uthman said, “Let go of my beard, son of my brother!Let go of my beard!”Then I saw Ibn Abi Bakr signaling with his eye to one of the rebels.He came over to him with a broad iron headed arrow and stabbed him in the head with itÖ. They gathered round him and killed him.”(pages 190, 191).


††††††††††† Muhammad b. Abi Bakr went up to him and seized his beard, saying, “You have behaved toward us in a manner which Abu Bakr would not have done.”Then he went out and left him.Another man, named the Black Death, entered Uthmanís presence and throttled him and slapped him.Then he went out and said, “By God, I have never seen anything softer than his throat.By God, I throttled him until I saw his soul shaking in his body like the soul of a jinn.”Then he went out.(page 205).


††††††††††† A certain man went in to Uthman, in front of whom lay the Quran, and he said, “The Book of God is between you and me.”The intruder went for him with his sword; Uthman protected himself with his hand and it was cut.I do not know whether he sliced the hand clear off or cut it without severing it.Then he said, “Yea, by God, this is the first palm which has crossed the Quran.”(page 205).


††††††††††† As to Amr b. al-Hamiq, he jumped on Uthman and sat on his chest Ė he was still barely alive Ė and stabbed him nine times.Amr said, “I stabbed him three times for Godís sake, and six times because of the anger in my breast against him.”(page 220).


††††††††††† Within the house they (the rebels) cried out, “Seize the public treasury!No one must get there ahead of you!”The guards of the Public Treasury Ė in which there were but two sacks Ė heard their voices and said, “Run!These people are only after worldly goods”They fled, while the rebels came to the Treasury and pillaged it.(page 216).





††††††††††† When Uthman ruled, he did not treat the notables of Quraysh as Umar had, and thus they traveled throughout the conquered territories.As they observed these lands and the things of this world, and as the people in turn saw them, those who were obscure and without power or privilege in Islam attached themselves to the notables of Quraysh, forming into factions around them.The Qurashis aroused their hopes, and in this manner they acquired precedence.Then they said, ĎThe Quraysh are powerful, and we will become known to them and acquire precedence by gaining access to them and attaching ourselves exclusively to them.That was the first flaw to enter Islam, and the first discord to appear among the common people was none other than this.” (page 224).


††††††††††† Uthman was the first to put a stop to divining the future by observing pigeons in flight and by shooting pellets.When these practices appeared in Medina, he put a certain man in charge of them and he prohibited the people from performing them.(page 226).


††††††††††† Drunkenness began to occur among the people.Uthman dispatched a patrol armed with staffs to make the rounds among them, and thus he prevented such behavior among them.Afterwards drunkenness intensified and Uthman publicly proclaimed the divinely prescribed punishments and protested to the people about their behavior.They agreed that they should be flogged in cases of wine drinking and a certain number of them were arrested and flogged.(page 226).





††††††††††† By the time Umar had died, the common people began to tire of Islamís heavy, burdensome yoke.Additionally, after Uthman became Caliph, leading Muslims began to venture out into the world and set their eyes on its pleasures.The little people wanted to be in positions of power and respect, and they found that by attaching themselves to the leading Muslims (who encouraged it).Forbidden magic and alcohol drinking began to be practiced in Medina, and despite some initial repression, it flourished.Uthman, the aristocratic Caliph, was lenient towards his people.They were unable to control themselves or their lusts.They wanted more.Uthman showed favoritism towards his friends and clansmen, and appointed them in key positions of power.Even some of these men proved to be treacherous and they lusted after more power.These appointees were unfair and corrupt.Finally, peopleís anger and sinful desires caused them to move against Uthman.They had had enough of what they perceived to be Uthmanís sinful and irresponsible behavior and moved against him.Even when Uthman negotiated a pause with them, to undo the perceived wrongs, he lied and prepared for battle.Those tribesmen of Uthman, Ali, Talha, Zubayr, Muwawiyah, and so on, did little or nothing to defend their Caliph.They knew that if he fell, they could possibly become the Caliph.





††††††††††† At each progressive step in the history of Islam the picture becomes darker and darker.Here easily within a generation of Muhammadís death we see the true fruit of Islam ripen.Now the most precious Islamic blood is being spilt, and that at the hand of the best Muslims!Islamís worst enemies were the Muslims!Look at what has happened to the Islamic domain.Muhammadís closest friends were now murdering each other!Men that fought side by side in the most difficult early days of Islam now turned their swords upon each other.The Islamic empire was now beset with moral, political, and financial corruption from Medina to itís outskirts.Muhammadís best friendís son has just murdered the forth person to believe in and follow Muhammad Ė Uthman the Caliph!The Supreme Ruler of the Islamic empire has just been butchered in his own home, and the Islamic community was no where to be found.They had turned a blind eye, or turned their backs on their ruler, indulgent as he was.


††††††††††† Put this in perspective ... How would you feel about Christianity if John conspired and had Peter murdered? Could you conceive of such a thing?!


††††††††††† What would you say about Sura 8:63 now?Doesn't it appear that instead of uniting these people God had cursed them by bringing them division and hatred instead of unity and love?



††††††††††† Letís take a look at the emotions, and actions at work here now.




††††††††††† The Islamic communityís heart had become so full of sin that their emotions were now giving way to brutal actions. The top Muslim was just cut down. And this was not a one man affair. Several of Muhammadís Companions moved against their former friend and murdered him.




††††††††††† The Muslims who should have been defending Uthman walked away from him and left him to his fate.




††††††††††† In less than 15 years the Islamic community began to become corrupt. Muslims that had stood with Muhammad through thick and thin, that had fought side by side with him, that had lived through poverty with him, now gave themselves to everything that Muhammad taught against. They desired power, they desired wealth, they desired vainglory, they hated each other, they betrayed each other, they murdered each other. We see a tainted, poor old man, being mocked, slapped, and choked by his assailants, finally cut down while he read the Quran - his wife wounded while trying to help him.





††††††††††† In less than one generation the Islamic community had become a pack of dogs set on devouring each other. Spiritual corruption had established itself from the Caliphate on down and now this spiritual death bore its fruits in the physical realm. What happened? What does this tell you about the true spirit of Islam?




The Ency. of Islam [5] comments that the bloody end of Uthman and period of civil wars was not lost upon Muslim historians. They are embarrassed by what transpired within the Islamic community. Dealing with the hypocrisy of the Islamic community is no easy task.





1)      Bukhari, Muhammad, “Sahih Bukhari”, Kitab Bhavan, New Delhi, India, 1987, translated by M. Khan

2)      The Bible, New International Version, pub. by Zondervan, Grand Rapids, Michigan

3)      The Nobel Quran,translated by Dr. Muhammad Taqi-ud-Din Al-Hilali and Dr. Muhammad Muhsin Khan, published by Maktaba Dar-us-Salam, PO Box 21441, Riyadh 11475, Saudi Arabia, 1994

4)      al-Tabari, "The History of al-Tabari", (Ta'rikh al-rusul wa'l-muluk), State University of New York Press1993

5)      Encyclopedia of Islam, published by Brill, Leiden, Netherlands


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