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Blessings and peace be upon the most honored of the prophets and messengers, and his family, and his companions, and those who followed them in excellence until the Day of Recompense.
There are some allegations claimed by some writers against `Uthmaan (may Allaah be pleased with him) regarding issues like burning copies of the Qur an, appointing some of his relatives as governors, etc, I d like to try and offer a refutation to these allegations and claims. For my purposes I ll be resorting to only a few evidences for each matter, as the amount of material is actually quite exhaustive. I will try and summarize and explain at the end in hopes of crystallizing the meaning and intent of everything which has preceded that. With Allaah lies all hope of success.
As for burning copies of the Qur aan, it is a fact that he did this, but there were urgent reasons he did so and the Companions were nearly unanimous on approving his action. The proof of the urgency of his, may Allaah be pleased with him, actions is the following incident narrated by Anas bin Maalik (may Allaah be pleased with him also). Huthayfah bin Al-Yaman came to Uthmaan at the time when the people of Shaam and the people of Iraaq were waging war to conquer Armenia and Azerbaijan. Huthayfah was afraid of their (the people of Shaam and Iraaq) differences in the recitation of the Qur'aan, so he said to 'Uthmaan, O chief of the Believers! Save this nation before they differ about the Book (Qur aan) as the Jews and the Christians did before. "1 (California) As for the unanimity of approval which was there for his actions, that was actually narrated to us by one of the Shee ee Ulamaa`. It has come in the book of the History of the Qur'aan by Aboo `Abdullaah az-Zanjani (p. 46) that `Alee bin Moosaa, known as Ibn Ta oos (589-664), who is one of their `Ulamaa , transmitted in his book, The Happiness of the Happy , that Ash-Shahrastaanee said in the preface of his tafseer from Suwayd bin `Alqama, "I heard `Alee bin Abee Taalib, peace be upon him, say, Oh people! Allaah! Allaah! Beware of excess in the affair of `Uthmaan and your statement regarding burning the copies of the Qur'aan. By
Allaah, he only burned them with permission from the assembly of the Companions of the Messenger of Allaah, may Allaah bless him and grant him peace. We agreed. He said, what do you say about this recitation about which people disagree? One man meets another man and says; "My recitation is better than your recitation" This leads to kufr. We said, What is your opinion then? He said, I want people to agree on one copy. If you disagree today, those after you will have a worse disagreement. We said, What you think is good. "2 (Al-'Arabi, 2011) As for his appointing his relatives, this is something his predecessors had already done and his was just following in their noble footsteps. In the explanation of al-Awaasim min al-Qawaasim it s written, The Banu Umayya were employed by the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, while he was alive. After him, they were employed in the government by Abu Bakr and `Umar. It is not know that any of the tribes of Quraysh provided more governors for the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, than the Banu `Abdu Shams because they were numerous and they had nobility and leadership. 3 (Al-'Arabi, 2011) Without going into details, suffice it to say that each of his appointees had their exemplary qualities and the Companions had little, if any, complaint against his appointments. There is a general defense of Uthmaan which can and should be made as well. The first, and most telling evidence that Uthmaan is pardoned for any mistakes he may have committed is the following: AbdurRahmaan bin Samurah said, Uthmaan came to the Prophet (Allaah s blessings and peace be upon him) with 1000 Deenaars when he equipped the Army of Difficulty and poured them into his lap. The Messenger of Allaah (His blessings and peace be upon him) began turning them over and saying, Nothing Uthmaan does after this day will harm him, nothing Uthmaan does after this day will harm him. 4 (as-Suyuti, 2008) There is another, more timely and relevant defense which is given by Uthmaan himself as he s being besieged in his house. As he is surrounded he mounts the roof of his house and reminds the people of some of the specific virtues which he was given from the mouth of Allaah s Messenger (His blessings and peace be upon him). Quoting the story in full would unnecessarily lengthen this paper, but suffice it to say that the reasoned and fair minded companions and others who were caught up in this fitnah acknowledged what he said and dispersed, but the hard core zealots who had nothing but personal motives remained and refused to yield.5 (As-Sallabi, 2007) Lastly, I want to site a statement of Uthmaan, and then quote the words of Allaah. Uthmaan said about himself, I was the fourth person to enter al-Islaam. 6 (As-Sallabi, 2007) Allaah said,
Which means, And the first forerunners [in the faith] among the Muhaajireen and the Ansaar and those who followed them with good conduct Allaah is pleased with them and they are pleased
Defence Against Disaster, Qadi Abu Bakr Ibn Al- Arabi; ppg. 27-8. Defence Against Disaster, Qadi Abu Bakr Ibn Al- Arabi; pg. 42 4 Saheeh; at-Tirmithee 6/376 #3701, authenticated by al-Haakim and ath-Thahabee agreed with him. 5 The Biography of Uthman Ibn Affan, Dr. Ali Muhammad As-Sallabi; ppg. 544-5. 6 The Biography of Uthman Ibn Affan, Dr. Ali Muhammad As-Sallabi; pg. 546.
with Him, and He has prepared for them gardens beneath which rivers flow, wherein they will abide forever. That is the great attainment. 7 Being the fourth person to enter al-Islaam undoubtedly make him one the first forerunners and Allaah Himself testifies the He is pleased with them . Allaah knows best! There is so much that could be written about this topic, defending Uthmaan, and in fact much has been written. Among the most valuable of books that refute these allegations is the book AlAwaasim min al-Qawaasim by Qaadhee Aboo Bakr bin al- Arabee. I could have relied almost exclusively on this book for the purposes of this paper, but a multiplicity of sources was required. I would like to close with a quote from this very book I ve just mentioned (and one echoed by Dr. as-Sallaabee in his book as well). Ibn al- Arabee says (after listing the detailed allegations against Uthmaan), All of this is false in isnaad and text. As for their words: `Uthmaan did injustices and objectionable things , that is false. 8 (Al-'Arabi, 2011) Nuff Said!!!
Glory is to You, O Allaah, and to You be Praise. I bear witness that nothing deserves worship and adoration, except for You. I seek Your Forgiveness and turn in repentance to You.
Al-'Arabi, Q. A. (2011, 04 24). Defence Against Disaster. N/A, N/A, N/A.
At-Tawbah 9: 100 Defence Against Disaster, Qadi Abu Bakr Ibn Al- Arabi, pg. 23
As-Sallabi, D. A. (2007). The Biography of 'Uthman Ibn 'Affan: Dhun-Noorayn. Riyadh: Maktaba Dar-usSalam. as-Suyuti, J. a.-D. (2008). 'Uthman ibn 'Affan. In J. a.-D. as-Suyuti, The History of the Khalifahs who took the right way (pp. 157-180). London: Ta-Ha Publishers Ltd. California, C. a. (n.d.). CRCC: Center for Muslim-Jewish Engagement. Retrieved 04 24, 2011, from http://www.usc.edu/schools/college/crcc/engagement/resources/texts/muslim/hadith/bukhari/061.sbt .html Zidan, D. A. (1998). The Rightly Guided Caliphs (Al-Kholafa'a Al-Rashidin): according to the earliest authenticated sources. Cairo, Egypt.
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