Thursday, April 09, 2015

Uthmaan (RA)

LIFE BEFORE ACCEPTANCE OF ISLAMHadrat Uthman (R.A.) belonged to a noble family of Quraish in Makkah. His ancestral pedigree joins with that of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu 'Alaihi wa Sallam) in the fifth generation. He was from the "Umayyah" family of Quraish, which was a well reputed and honourable family of Makkah during the pre-Islamic days. In the famous battle of "Fajar" the Commander-in-Chief of the Quraish army, Harb bin Umayyah was from the same family. The descendants of this family are known as "Banu Umayyah" or "Umawwin".

Hadrat Uthman (R.A.) was born in 573 A.C. His patronymic name was "Abu Amr" and father's name was "Affan bin Abul-As". He was known by the name "Uthman ibn 'Affan". Hadrat Uthman was one of the few persons of Makkah who knew reading and writing. When he grew up, he started business in cloth which made him very rich. He used his money in good ways and always helped the poor. Uthman (R.A.) was a soft natured and kind hearted man. He did not hesitate to spend any amount of money on seeing a man in trouble in order to remove his misery. For his noble qualities the Makkahns had great respect for him.

ACCEPTANCE OF ISLAM
Hadrat Uthman (R.A.) accepted Islam when Abu Bakr (R.A) preached to him. He was one of those Muslims who accepted Islam in its very early days. Though "Banu Hashim" (the Holy Prophet's family) was rival to "Banu Umayyah" (Hadrat Uthman's family), and the latter was in power at that time, yet Uthman (R.A.) did not hesitate to acknowledge the prophethood of Hadrat Muhammad (Sallallahu 'alaihi wa Sallam) which meant authority and supremacy over "Banu Hashim". This was one of the reasons why Quraish leaders, belonging to Banu Umayyah (like Abu Sufyan) were opposing the Holy Prophet(Sallallahu 'alaihi wa Sallam). Thus acceptance of Islam in such a position shows the clear-mindedness of Hadrat Uthman (R.A.). When he accepted Islam, the Quraish who once loved Uthman became his enemies. Even his relatives like Hakam (one of his uncles) began to rebuke him and chastised him severely.

One of the daughters of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu 'alaihi wa Sallam), Hadrat Ruqayyah (R.A.) was married to one of the sons of Abu Lahab (an arch-enemy of Islam). When the Holy Prophet(Sallallahu 'alaihi wa Sallam) started to preach Islam, Abu Lahab asked his son 'Utbah to divorce her. Then the Holy Prophet married her to Hadrat Uthman (R.A.)

EMIGRATION TO ABYSSINIA
When life in Makkah became hard for the Muslims, he went to the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu'alaihi wa Sallam) and sought permission to take refuge in Abyssinia along with other Muslims. The permission was granted. Hadrat Uthman(R.A.) and his wife crossed the Red Sea with other Muslims and migrated to Abyssinia. At the time of his migration the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu'alaihi wa Sallam) remarked: "Uthman is the first man of my Ummah to migrate (for sake of Allah) with his family." He stayed there for a couple of months and came back to Makkah when he was wrongly informed by somebody that the Quraish had accepted Islam.

UTHMAN (R.A.) GETS THE TITLE OF "DHUN-NURAIN"

Hadrat Uthman (R.A.) migrated second time with other Muslims to Madinah. He could not participate in the first battle of Islam against non-believers of Makkah at Badr, because his wife was very ill. She died before the Muslims returned from Badr after the victory. The Holy Prophet (Sallallahu 'alaihi wa Sallam) gave him glad tidings that he would get the same reward as though he had participated in the battle. After the death of Hadrat Ruqayyah (R.A.), the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu 'alaihi wa Sallam) married his next daughter, "Umm Kulthum" with him and he was given the title of "Dhun-nurain" i.e., the man with two lights.

HIS OTHER SERVICES FOR THE CAUSE OF ISLAM BEFORE CALIPHATE

He was a very prominent Muslim to serve Islam by all means. He participated in almost all the battles with the non-believers in which the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu 'alaihi wa Sallam) had also taken part, except "Badr". At the time of the "Treaty of Hudaibiya" he was sent to Makkah to negotiate with the non-believers. Then the Muslims were wrongly informed about his murder by the non-believers of Makkah. It is for this reason that the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu 'alaihi wa Sallam) sought a pledge by the Muslims to fight with the non-believers in revenge of his murder. That pledge is known as "Bai'at al-Ridwan" (the Pledge of Ridwan). For Uthman's pledge, the Holy Prophet(Sallallahu 'alaihi wa Sallam) put his left hand (representing Uthman's hand) on his right hand.

When the Muhajirin (Emigrants) from Makkah came to Madinah, they had great difficulty in getting drinking water. Hadrat Uthman (R.A.) bought a well named "bi'r-i-Rumah" from a Jew for twenty thousand dirhams for free use of Muslims. That was the first trust ever made in the history of Islam. The Holy Prophet (Sallallahu 'alaihi wa Sallam) gave him the glad tidings of Paradise for this act.

When the number of Muslims increased, the Prophet's mosque became too small to accommodate the increasing population, it was Uthman (R.A.) who responded to the Prophet's call and bought land for its extension. When the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu 'alaihi wa Sallam) went to the expedition of Tabuk, Hadrat Uthman bore the expenses for one third Islamic army (i.e., about 10,000 men). He also gave one thousand camels, fifty horses and one thousand Dinars (gold coins) to support the rest of the army. The Holy Prophet (Sallallahu'alaihi wa Sallam) remarked on this, "Nothing will do any harm to Uthman from this day, whatever he does."

Hadrat Uthman (R.A.) was one of the scribes of the "Wahy" (Revelation) and also used to write other documents (letters and messages etc.) of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu 'Alaihi wa Sallam).

At the time of the election of Hadrat Abu Bakr (R.A.) Hadrat Uthman (R.A) was present in the Assembly Hall of Madinah. During the caliphate of Abu Bakr and 'Umar (R.A.), he was a member of the "Shura" (Advisory Council). He occupied a prominent position in the affairs of the Islamic State during that time.

UTHMAN (R.A.) ELECTED AS THE THIRD KHALIFAH (CALIPH)

Before his death, Hadrat 'Umar (R.A.) appointed a panel of six men to select a "Khalifah" from amongst themselves and then sought his approval through Bai'at (Pledge of loyalty) by Muslim Public. He also instructed them to make the nomination within three days. The panel included Uthman,'Ali, Sa'd bin Abi Waqqas, Talha, Zubair and 'Abdur Rahman bin 'Auf (Ridwanullah-i-'Alaihim) as the members.

The panel could not arrive at any decision even after long meetings. Then, Hadrat 'Abdur Rahman bin 'Auf proposed somebody to withdraw his name in order to decide the matter. When he got no response, he withdrew his own name. The remaining members agreed that he could take a decision. He consulted each member individually except Hadrat Talha (R.A.) who was not present at Madinah. It so happened that Hadrat Uthman proposed 'Ali's name and Hadrat 'Ali proposed Uthman's name for the post of Khalifah. But Zubair and Sa'd (R.A.) were more in favour of Hadrat Uthman than Hadrat 'Ali. After more consultations with other companions and thinking over the problem during the third night, Hadrat 'Abdur Rahman bin 'Auf(R.A.) gave his decision in the morning of the fourth day in favour of Hadrat Uthman (R.A.).

First of all Hadrat 'Abdur Rahman bin 'Auf (RA) took Bai'at at the hands of Hadrat Uthman and then all the Muslims present in the Mosque followed suit and took Bai'at (pledge of loyalty) at the hands of Hadrat Uthman(R.A.). In this way, Hadrat Uthman (R.A.) was declared to be the third Khalifah. When Hadrat Talha (R.A.) returned to Madinah, Uthman (R.A.) requested him either to accept the post of "Khalifah" (as he was among the persons proposed by Hadrat 'Umar for the post) or to acknowledge him as Khalifah by taking Bai'at. Hadrat Talha declined to be the Khalifah and took pledge of loyalty at his hand, saying "How can I object to your being the Khalifah when all the Muslims have agreed upon you."

ADMINISTRATION OF SYRIA
During the time of Hadrat 'Umar (R.A), Amir Mu'awiya (R.A.) was the governor of Damascus controlling a part of Syria. Hadrat Uthman after combining three provinces viz. Syria, Palestine and Jordan into one, appointed Amir Mu'awiya (R.A.) as the governor of the whole Syria. During the late period of Hadrat 'Umar (R.A.) Heraclius, the Emperor of Byzantium died at Constantinople in 641 (A.C.) and his son, Constans (641-668) after some confusion became the Emperor of Byzantine Empire which was reduced to Antalya (now a part of Turkey) & Asia Minor besides some states in the Eastern Europe, with Constantinople as its capital.

The Romans (Byzantines) were having a covetous eye on the parts conquered by the Muslims, specially Syria and Alexandria (in Egypt). They again started raising a big army against Muslims and incited the people to rebel against the Islamic Government after the death of Hadrat 'Umar (RA).

ROMAN INVASION OF ALEXANDRIA
In the year 25 A.H. (645 A.C.) there was a big rebellion in Alexandria, and in 26 A.H., the Roman army took possession of the city after a fight with the Muslims. Hearing this Hadrat Uthman (R.A.)directed 'Amr bin al-'As(R.A.) to crush the rebellion and beat back the Roman invasion. Hadrat'Amr (R.A.) again attacked the city and drove the Romans out, and recovered the port city of Alexandria.

ADMINISTRATION OF EGYPT

During the time of Hadrat 'Umar there was no full pledged governor in Egypt. The powers of the governor were divided. Hadrat'Amr bin al'As was the Commander-in-Chief of the forces and Hadrat'Abdullah bin Sarah (R.A.) was in charge of Revenue. But Hadrat'Amr (R.A.) had more say in the matters of administration. There arose a dispute between Hadrat'Amr and Hadrat Sarah in the year 27 A.H. Hadrat Uthman investigated the case and found that Hadrat 'Amr was not right; so he recalled him to Madinah and Hadrat 'Abdullah bin Sarah was appointed as governor of Egypt. Hadrat 'Amr was not pleased with the decision. During the time of Hadrat 'Amr (R.A.) the annual amount of taxes was two million dinars. Hadrat'Abdullah raised it to four million dinars annually.

CONQUEST OF ANTALYA AND CYPRUS
Constan 11, the Byzantine Emperor tried to take over Syria and ordered his army to march on the Muslims. Seeing the Roman invasion, Hadrat Amir Mu'awiya (R.A.) led an army to Asia Minor where the Romans were gathered. He defeated the Romans and took over the city of Amuria. Within a short period of time he conquered a vast part of Asia Minor.

Following these victories Hadrat Amir Mu'awiyah (R.A.) turned his attention to Mediterranean. The island of Cyprus was very important from the defence point of view. He sought Uthman's (R.A.) permission for sea-fighting. The Khalifah approved his plan. For the first time in the history of Islam, a naval force was built and in the year 28 A.H. Hadrat Mu'awiya sent a fleet of 500 ships under the command of Hadrat'Abdullah bin Qais Harthi. After some fighting, the island of Cyprus was occupied and the inhabitants of the island agreed to pay the same tribute to Muslims as they did to the Romans.

Later on in the year 33 A.H. (653 A.C.). Hadrat Amir Mu'awiya also conquered the great fort of Antalya (also known as Anatolia). He also attacked Constantinople (now Istanbul), the capital of Byzantium in the year 34 A.H. (654 A.C.) but was not successful in conquering it. (It was really in the lot of Sultan Muhammad Fatih who conquered it on 20 Jumadiul Awwal 857 A.H. i.e. 29 May 1453 A.C.).

ADMINISTRATION OF IRAQ
During the time of Hadrat 'Umar (R.A.) Iraq was governed by the governor at Kufa. Hadrat Sa'd was the governor whom Hadrat 'Umar (R.A.) recalled to Madinah on some minor complaints. But at his death bed Hadrat'Umar desired reinstatement of Hadrat Sa'd (R.A.). Hadrat Uthman fulfilled his desire and appointed Hadrat Sa'd as the governor of Iraq. In the year 26 A.H., there arose a dispute between Hadrat Sa'd and Ibn Mas'ud (R.A.) who was the Treasury officer of Kufa. Ibn Mas'ud complained to the Khalifah. Hadrat Uthman enquired into the matter and found that Hadrat Sa'd was not right, therefore Hadrat Sa'd was again deprived of the governorship and Hadrat Walid bin 'Uqbah was appointed as the new governor. In 30 A.H. Hadrat Walid bin 'Uqbah was accused of drinking liquor for which he was not only dismissed but was also whipped in accordance with Islamic law. According to some historians Hadrat Walid bin 'Uqbah was wrongly accused by some conspirators but Hadrat Uthman had to punish him because of the evidence given against him. Then Hadrat Uthman appointed Hadrat Sa'd bin al-'As as the governor of Kufa. Again rowdy elements of Kufa plotted against their governor in the year 34 A.H. When Hadrat Uthman received a number of complaints against Sa'd bin al-'As he replaced him by Hadrat Abu Musa Ash'ari (R.A.).

REBELLION OF AZERBAIJAN AND ARMENIA
Azerbaijan and Armenia were conquered during Hadrat 'Umar's time. There arose a rebellion against Islamic Government after his death. Hadrat Uthman ordered Hadrat Walid bin 'Uqbah (who was the governor of Kufa at that time) to crush the rebellion. He sent Islamic forces and regained the territory taken over by the rebels. This happened in the year 26 A.H.

During the same period, Hadrat Amir Mu'awiyah(R.A.) sent an army to Armenia to face the Romans. The Islamic army was under the command of Habib bin Muslimah. He occupied some of the forts but Constans II sent a huge army of 80,000 men to face the Muslims. Seeing the situation, Amir Mu'awiya (R.A.) wrote to Hadrat Uthman for reinforcement. He ordered Walid Bin 'Uqbah. He received Khalifahs order when he was returning from Azerbaijan after taking it over from the rebels. He immediately sent an army of eight thousand men under the command of Salman bin Rabi'ah to Armenia. The two armies conquered the whole region of Armenia after defeating the Roman forces. They also conquered some more parts of Asia Minor including Aran and Garjastan. Thus by the end of the 26 A.H. the territory up to Caucasus Mountains (now in the U.S.S.R.) came under the sway of Islam.

ADMINISTRATION OF IRAN AND CONQUEST OF AFGHANISTAN
Iran was under the administrative control of the governor of Basrah. Hadrat Abu Musa Ash'ari (R.A.) was the governor of Basrah when Hadrat 'Umar (R.A.) died. The People of Basrah complained against him and wrongly accused him of partiality for the Quraish. At last Hadrat Uthman (R.A.) recalled him to Madinah and appointed Hadrat 'Abdullah bin 'Amir (R.A.) as the governor of Basrah.

As stated before whole of the Persian Empire was conquered during the time of Hadrat 'Umar (R.A.) and the Persian Emperor, Yedzgird had ultimately fled to Balkh (a place in Afghanistan). After the death of Hadrat 'Umar(R.A.), the exiled Emperor tried to instigate a rebellion in the frontier region of the Empire against the Islamic rule. To crush this rebellion Hadrat Uthman (R.A.) appointed Hadrat'Ubaidullah bin Ma'mar but he was not successful and was martyred in a battle. Then Hadrat Uthman asked 'Abdullah bin 'Amir, the newly appointed governor to deal with the rebels. He crushed the rebellion and conquered some more parts viz. Hisraf, Gazna, Herat and Kabul. He also took over Balkh, thus the whole of Afghanistan was conquered. Then he took over Samarkand, Tashkent, Sajestan, Arghiyan and Turkmennistan (all these places are now part of the U.S.S.R.).

CONQUEST OF KHURASAN AND TABRASTAN
In the year 30 A.H. Hadrat Sa'd bin'As, newly appointed governor of Kufa, marched towards Khurasan with an army in which some prominent figures like Hadrat Hasan, Husain, 'Abdullah bin 'Abbas,'Abdullah bin'Umar etc. (Rid. A.) were also included who had returned from North African expedition. At the same time Hadrat'Abdullah bin'Amir (the governor of Basrah) also marched there. Before Hadrat 'Abdullah bin 'Amir reached, Sa'd bin 'As conquered a number of places including Tabrastan and Jarjan.

In the year 31 A.H. Hadrat'Abdullah bin'Amir again marched there after hearing the news of rebellion. Then he conquered the remaining part of Khurasan.

In the meantime, Yedzgird, the exiled Persian Emperor reached the north in Turkmennistan and tried to collect an army but was again defeated by the Muslims at Sistan and fled. Thereupon one of the Turk chiefs and Naizak Khan invited him. While he was going to meet him he stayed in a village. There some body killed him while he was asleep for his precious garments and cash. In this way the last Emperor of the vast Persian Empire passed away

CONQUEST OF NORTH AFRICA
For the defence of Egypt it was necessary to drive away the Byzantines from North Africa. Tripoli (now the capital of Libya) was a stronghold of Byzantium. When Hadrai 'Abdullah bin Sarah was appointed as a full-rank governor of Egypt, he took permission from the Khalifah to advance into the northern territory. During Hadrat 'Umar's time. Amr bin al-'As (R.A.) had penetrated into the coastal part of North Africa for some distance.

After his appointment as a governor of Egypt. Hadrat 'Abdullah bin Sarah (R.A.)
received permission from the Khalifah to penetrate deep into North Africa. In 27 A.H. he went with an army to conquer Tripoli, the main Byzantine fort of North Africa at that time. Hadrat Uthman (R.A.)also sent a reinforcement from Madinah which included men like Hadrat Hasan, Husain,'Abdullah bin'Umar,'Abdullah bin Zubair,'Abdullah bin 'Amr bin al-'As, and 'Abdur Rahman bin Abi Bakr etc. (Ridwanullah-i-'Alaihim). After some fight the inhabitants of Tripoli agreed to enter into a settlement and promised to pay "Jizya" (Indemnity) equal to 2'/2 million Dinars annually.

After the conquest of Tripoli, Hadrat 'Abdullah bin Sarah spread his armies around Tripoli. Near a city named Yaquba he faced a huge Byzantine army, under the command of a famous Byzantine general named Jarjir. The battle began and the Byzantine commander announced a reward of one hundred thousand Dinars (gold coins) and the hand of his beautiful daughter, to the person who struck off the head of Hadrat 'Abdullah bin Sarah, the Muslim Commander. Hearing this Hadrat'Abdullah bin Zubair requested Hadrat 'Abdullah bin Sarah to announce a reward of one hundred dinars and the hand of Byzantine Commander's daughter (the princess) for the person who brought the commander's head. The reward was announced and the same day the commander was slain but nobody claimed the reward. However the princess recognised the man who had slain her father. He was no other than 'Abdullah bin Zubair (R.A.). The princess was married with him and he also got the reward of one hundred thousand dinars.

This victory cleared the way for advance of Muslims in North Africa and soon they captured Tunisia and Morocco and a part of Algeria.

SECOND INVASION OF ALEXANDRIA BY ROMANS
In the year 31 A.H. (651 A.C.) Constantine sent a fleet of 500 ships to invade Alexandria. The Muslims got ready to beat back the enemy. Hadrat Muawiya (R.A.) the governor of Syria, also ordered his fleet to sail from there to face the Romans. Hadrat'Abdullah bin Sarah advanced with his fleet and faced the Romans in the mid sea. That was the first big naval battle in the history of Islam. Though the Muslims were not experienced in naval battles, yet they did not find it difficult to beat back the enemy. The retreating Romans took refuge in the island of Sicily and the Muslims returned victorious.

INVASION OF SPAIN
After the conquest of North Africa, Hadrat Uthman gave orders for the invasion of Spain. He appointed 'Abdullah bin Nafai' as the Commander of Muslim army under the chief command of 'Abdullah bin Sarah, the governor of Egypt. 'Abdullah bin Nafai' conquered some part of Spain but soon returned and was not successful in his mission. (Spain was, as a matter of fact, in the lot of Tariq bin Ziyad who conquered it in the year 92 A.H. i.e. 711 A.C.).

A BRIEF REVIEW OF THE CONQUESTS DURING HADRAT UTHMAN'S CALIPHATE

Thus we see that during the caliphate of Hadrat Uthman (R.A.) the Muslims conquered a number of new areas. They took over Antalya and Asia Minor in the west including Cyprus. Afghanistan, Samarkand, Tashkent, Trukmennistan, Khurasan and Tabrastan in the East and North East; and Libya, Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco in North Africa. In this way Muslims were ruling over a vast part of Asia and Africa viz. Afghanistan, Turkmennistan, Uzbekistan, Persia or Iran, Iraq, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Turkey, Cyprus, Syria, Palestine, Jordan, Egypt, Libya, Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, and of course Arabia (now Saudi Arabia) and Yemen including the Gulf states. All these countries and places were under one flag, and the Islamic state was far bigger than any one of the past mighty Byzantine or Persian Empires. Islam as a religion was also prevailing in Abyssinia (now Ethiopia) and in some parts of East and Central Africa though these places were not under the direct control of the Caliphate.

INTERNAL DISORDER: INTRODUCTORY NOTE
The first half of Hadrat Uthman's caliphate was very peaceful. During this time the Muslims gained many victories as described above, and the caliphate extended to a vast area of the then known world. But the later part of Hadrat Uthman's caliphate was marred by a terrible civil war which ultimately led to the murder of the caliph himself. Hadrat Uthman (R.A.) was a very gentle and soft-hearted person. The people who wanted to create chaos among the Muslims took advantage of his soft nature. Hadrat 'Umar's stern hand had kept away the undemocratic and non-Islamic customs, and the practices that prevailed in the courts of Persian and Byzantine Empires. But HadrAt Uthman (R.A.) sometimes overlooked the faults of the governors and other officers in various provinces, though he himself totally and completely followed the ways of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu 'alaihi wa Sallam) and the first two caliphs. His compassionate nature made the provincial governors bold as a result of which unrest in the provincial capitals grew and ultimately it engulfed the whole Islamic State.

The enemies of Islam were in search of a suitable occasion to work against Islam and the Muslims. They got the desired opportunity for this and sent out their men to disturb the peace and to spread false news. Only the main events that happened during that time would be discussed in the following lines.

CONSPIRACY OF 'ABDULLAH BIN SABA
'Abdullah bin Saba, a clever Yemenite Jew who had accepted Islam only for self-interest and to destroy peace of the Islamic state, took the leading part in the agitation against Hadrat Uthman (R.A.). He was having a number of followers who had accepted Islam only to create disharmony among the Muslims.
He invented quite a few beliefs and started to preach them. He based his beliefs upon the love of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu 'alaihi wa Sallam) and his family (Ahli-Bait). Some of the beliefs invented by Abdullah bin Saba were

(1) Every prophet left a "Wasi" (administrator) behind him, and the "Wasi" was his relative. For example Prophet Musa (Moses) made Harun his "Wasi" (administrator). Consequently the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu 'alaihi wa Sallam) must have a "Wasi", and his "Wasi" was Hadrat 'Ali (R.A.) Being the "Wasi", Hadrat 'Ali (R.A.) was the only rightful man to be the "Khalifah". He went to the extent of declaration that the "Khilafat" (caliphate) of Hadrat Abu Bakr,'Umar and Uthman (R.A.) was unlawful. The only way to redress matters was to remove the then Caliph, Hadrat Uthman(R.A.).

(2) He said that it was strange for the Muslims to believe that Jesus ('Alaihis Salam) would descend from the heaven to follow Islam and to fight for Muslims against non-believers, and not to believe that the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu 'alaihi wa Sallam) would not come back. So he believed that the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu 'alaihi wa Sallam) being superior to Jesus as the Last Prophet and the Leader of all prophets, would also come back.

(3) He started to give wrong commentaries of various verses of the Holy Qur'an and twisted their meaning in favour of his beliefs.

He preached his false self-coined beliefs secretly and selected the main headquarters of Muslim military power, Kufa, Basrah, Syria and Egypt as centres of his activities. He picked up a number of newly converted Muslims who lent an easy ear to what he said. Some simple Muslims who were having certain complaints against various governors also joined him. It was the real cause of all the troubles.

First of all he visited Madinah to note the internal conditions of the capital. He pretended to be a very pious Muslim but could not get much followers over there. Then he came to Basrah and started to preach his beliefs and incite the public against Muslim officers. At that time Hadrat'Abdullah bin 'Amir was the Governor. Hearing about his activities, he called him and made certain enquiries because of which he was frightened and left Basrah leaving his followers and workers over there under the supervision of Hakim bin Hublah, one of the opponents of the governor.

From Basrah 'Abdullah bin Saba moved to Kufa and found it more suitable for his destructive activities. He pretended to be a very pious Muslim and because of his show of piety, a number of simple Muslims started to respect him. Then he preached his beliefs. Soon the governor of Kufa, Hadrat Sa'd bin al-'As was informed about him. He called him and warned him against his false beliefs and the damage he wanted to cause to the Muslim community. For this reason he left Kufa as well but made Ashtar as his deputy with instructions that the mission should be carried on secretly. From there he also went to Damascus but was not successful because of the strict control of Amir Mu'awiya (R.A.).

At last he selected Egypt and went there. The governor of Egypt, Hadrat'Abdullah bin Sarah was busy in the battles against Byzantine forces in North Africa and could not pay much attention to Ibn Saba's activities. He continued correspondence with his followers in Basrah, Kufa and other places from Egypt, and gave them directions for creating disorder and rivalry among the Muslims.

His followers, most of whom were pretending to be Muslims, used various techniques to increase their strength. They made a great show of piety and posed to be very pious worshippers. They incited people to forge complaints against the governors, various officers and the Khalifah as well. A new campaign against most of the officers was started by calling them irreligious, non-practical and bad Muslims. They sent forged letters from place to place which talked of injustice and unrest in the place from where they were posted. Such letters were usually sent to Sabaites (the followers of 'Abdullah bin Saba) who read them out to as many people as possible. These forged letters also showed that Hadrat'Ali, Talha, and Zubair (Rid. A.) had full sympathy with them and with their mission and they disliked the "Khalifah", Hadrat Uthman (R.A.). These were the three leading Companions in Madinah at that time. Thus the people of various places began to believe that there was a widespread unrest and that the leading Companions wanted to remove the "Khalifah".

The Sabaites also worked throughout the state against various governors. They were the real cause of their removal from time to time. Sabaites were the main figures behind the removal of Hadrat Abu Musa Ash'ari from the governorship of Basrah at the time when their mission was not so popular. They spread rumours against Hadrat Walid bin 'Uqbah, governor of Kufa, and wrongly accused him of drinking liquor, and provided false witnesses against him because of which the "Khalifah" punished him. When he was punished they accused the "Khalifah" of punishing innocent Muslims. When Hadrat 'Abdullah bin'Amir (R.A.) was appointed as the governor of Basrah to replace Hadrat Abu Musa Ash'ari they incited the public against him and against the Khalifah that he was related to the Khalifah because of which he was given the governorship in his young age.

On one side they incited the people against the governors and on the other they accused the Khalifah. On the basis of complaints when Hadrat Uthman (R.A.) removed the governors they criticised him to be unduly kind to his relatives by appointing them to big posts.

ALLEGATIONS AGAINST HADRAT UTHMAN
(1) Hadrat Uthman belonged to the family Banu Umayyah of Quraish. Before Islam there was rivalry between Banu Umayyah and Banu Hashim, the family of the Quraish to which the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu'alaihi wa Sallam) and Hadrat 'Ali (Allah be pleased with him) belonged. In Madinah the Sabaites incited Banu Hashim against Banu Umayyah, actually against Hadrat Uthman, by saying that he was removing Hashmites from the big offices in order to support Umayyads and that he was unduly considerate to his family.

(2) They alleged that Hadrat Uthman (R.A.) was extravagant and gave away money to his relatives, thus squandered the "Baitul Mal". The allegation was absolutely false. Hadrat Uthman (R.A.) was one of the wealthiest merchants in Arabia due to which people called him "Ghani" (The Richman). His liberal contributions towards the cause of Islam during the life of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu'alaihi wa Sallam) have been mentioned in the preceding pages. His generosity continued in the same way during his caliphate. He spent his own money to help the poor, and also his relatives but never took anything wrongfully from the "Baitul Mal". Not only this he did not accept any allowance from the "Baitul Mal" for his services as Caliph. Through his addresses and speeches he clarified his position several times and gave satisfactorily explanations to the false accusations against him. Once he promised to give one fifth of the booty of Tripoli, the state share, to Hadrat'Abdullah bin Sarah, the then Governor of Egypt, for his invaluable services and the bravery he showed in the battles that took place between the Muslims and the Byzantine forces in North African territories. But the general public disapproved his view and he asked 'Abdullah to return that share.

(3) One of the allegations, levelled by Sabaites against Hadrat Uthman was that he had burnt some copies of the Holy Qur'an. The fact was that Hadrat Uthman (R.A.) sent copies of the Holy Qur'an, written by Hadrat Zaid bin Thabit by the order of Hadrat Abu Bakr during his caliphate, to various places of the state and asked the governors and other officers to burn all those copies of the Holy Qur'an which were incomplete and were not in accordance with the Holy Qur'an compiled by Hadrat Zaid bin Thabit. This was done in order to avoid confusion between the Muslims because there were some copies of the Holy Qur'an at that time in which the order of the Surahs (Chapters) was not like that which was proposed by the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu 'alaihi wa Sallam) in accordance to Hadrat Gabriel instructions as commanded by Allah. Moreover, some of the copies existing at that time at various places other than Madinah were lacking in some chapters, and were incomplete. For this reason Hadrat Uthman (R.A.) got copies made from the standard Book compiled during the time of Abu Bakr (R.A.) and sent them to various places. Differences had also arisen due to differences in handwritings so he also standardised the way of writing the Holy Qur'an. This has been considered as one of the greatest services of Hadrat Uthman (R.A.) rendered to Islam for which he has been given the title of "Jami'ul-Qur'an" (The Compiler of the Qur'an) although the Holy Qur'an was compiled in a book form by Hadrat Abu Bakr (R.A.) on the insistence of Hadrat 'Umar (R.A.).

(4) At this place I would like to mention something about Hadrat Abu Dharr Ghifari(R.A.) because this allegation is concerned with him. He was a well-known and pious Companion of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu 'alaihi wa Sallam) who always kept aloof from the world and its riches. He was not in favour of accumulation of money and saving it. As regards the "Baitul Mal"(Public Treasury), he held the view that all the money should be spent for the welfare of Muslims as soon as it came through taxes etc. In Syria he started to publicise his opinion and a number of people followed him. Seeing this Hadrat Amir Mu'awiya wrote to Hadrat Uthman who recalled Hadrat Abu Dharr to Madinah and then he retired to a village named Rabdhah near Madinah.'Abdullah bin Saba tried to gain favour of Hadrat Abu Dharr(R.A.) when he was in Syria but he rebuked Ibn Saba and told him that the beliefs she was preaching were foreign to Islam and that his aim was to create chaos among the Muslims.

When Hadrat Abu Dhar (R.A.) had retired they started accusing Hadrat Uthman that he forced him to live in a village. Not only this but they also accused him of ill treatment of other recognised Companions like Hadrat 'Ammar bin Yasir and Hadrat 'Abdullah bin Mas'ud (R.A.) But all of these accusations were false.

(5) One of the allegations against Hadrat Uthman was that he called Hakam bin'As to Madinah who was exiled by the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu'alaihi wa Sallam). However this step of Hadrat Uthman was not too wise. Not only this but he also appointed Hakam's son Marwan as his chief secretary which was not liked by some prominent Companions and also by the Muslim Public.

The forthcoming discussion on this point would reveal that Marwan became the main cause of insurgents' existent who ultimately assassinated the Khalifah. It is alleged that he wrote to Egypt's governor Hadrat 'Abdullah to kill Muhammad bin Abi Bakr whom Hadrat Uthman had appointed the governor of Egypt in place of Muhammad bin Abi Bakr when the insurgents pressed Hadrat Uthman to do so but this, too, was false. The letter was sheer forgery.

There are some other false allegations which were levelled by Sabaites to defame the Khalifah. Since most of them are purely theological in nature and not political, they are not been mentioned here.

CONFERENCE OF THE GOVERNORS
When the unrest caused by Sabaites went on growing in all parts of the State, the news began to pour in Madinah. The leading Companions asked Hadrat Uthman to take steps against them. So he called a conference of the governors in Madinah in the year 34 A.H., just after the Hajj. All the governors attended the meeting. Hadrat Uthman (R.A.) enquired from them about the growing unrest in the State. They told him that it was due to some mischief-mongers who wanted to overthrow the government. They suggested that such persons must be punished and those who were the leaders must be put to sword. But Hadrat Uthman disliked the suggestion and told them that without just cause he would never shed even a single drop of Muslim blood. Hadrat Uthman (R.A.) was not willing to take stern action against such persons because he did not want that hundreds of men should be massacred for his interest. Instead, he sent a mission of four persons: Muhammad bin Muslimah, Usamah bin Zaid,'Ammar bin Yasir and 'Abdullah bin 'Umar(Rad. A .)to tour the provinces.

After the governors' conference was over Hadrat Amir Mu'awiya (R.A.) suggested that he should leave Madinah and should pass some time in Damascus but he said, "I would not leave Madinah even though people kill me." Then Amir Mu'awiya (R.A.) requested Hadrat Uthman (R.A.) to allow him to send an army to Madinah for his protection but Hadrat Uthman did not agree to even that.

TOUR OF THE MISSION
The mission sent by Hadrat Uthman toured various places and talked with the people. Three of them returned to Madinah and reported to Hadrat Uthman that the conditions were normal. The fourth member of the mission Hadrat 'Ammar bin Yasir (R.A.) did not return. He was sent to Egypt where 'Abdullah bin Saba and his followers coaxed him and he started to live with them instead of returning to Madinah.

SABA GETS FRIENDS
'Abdullah bin Saba was in search of some important men who were having some influence over the Muslims. At last he won over three important figures. One among them was Hadrat 'Ammar bin Yasir, described above. The other two joined Ibn Saba before Hadrat 'Ammar. They were Muhammad bin Abi Hudhaifah and Muhammad bin Abi Bakr. Muhammad bin Abi Hudhaifah was an orphan and was brought up by Hadrat Uthman along with some other orphans. When he grew up he desired some big post. Hadrat Uthman (R.A.) did not consider him fit for that. So he left Madinah and went to Egypt and ultimately joined Ibn Saba. Muhammad bin Abi Bakr(R.A.) was in debt. The creditor complained to the "Khalifah" who decided the case impartially in favour of the creditor as a result of which Muhammad bin Abi Bakr left Madinah and came to Egypt and ultimately joined Ibn Saba.

PLAN OF THE SABAITES
The Sabaites were planning to cause a general rising when the Governors were away to attend the conference. However the plot could not be carried out.

Kufa was the main centre of the Sabaites besides their headquarters in Egypt. The hooligans of Kufa tried to carry out the plan and did not allow the governor to enter the city when he returned from the conference. They demanded that Hadrat Musa Ash'ari should be appointed as the governor in place of Sa'd bin'As. Their request was granted and Hadrat Uthman (R.A.) sent Hadrat Musa Ash'ari to Kufa.

Then they chalked out another plan and decided that their ring leaders should meet at Madinah. This plan had to serve double purpose. On the one hand they wanted to study the situation for future course of action, and on the other hand they wanted to show to the public that they put their grievances before the "Khalifah" but he did not pay any attention to them.

According to the plan three delegations came, one from Egypt, the second from Kufa and the third from Basrah. Hadrat Uthman was informed about their plan but he accepted it quietly. When these Sabaites entered Madinah some Companions suggested to Uthman (R.A.) to kill them but he told that without sufficient legal grounds no man can be executed, and that he would try to remove the misunderstandings. He told them, "I would be kind to them and if kindness failed to work I would rather sacrifice myself for Allah's Will."

Hadrat Uthman (R.A.) listened to them and gave a long address in which he replied to all the charges which were put against him. Some parts of his historical address are quoted here

"I have been accused of loving my kinsmen and to be unduly kind to them. It is not a sin to love one's relatives but I have never been unjust to other people because of my love of my relatives. Whatever I give them that is from my own pocket. I never spent anything on my relatives and kinsmen from public funds ......"

"It has been said that I have appointed comparatively young men as officers. I did it only because I found them abler for the cause of Islam. Nobody could deny their honesty and the work they rendered for the cause of Islam and the Muslims. The appointment of Usamah as the commander of the army by the Holy Prophet is proof that youth is no disqualification."

".... It has been alleged that I gave the whole booty of North Africa as reward to the governor of Egypt. It is true but when I learnt the public objection to it, I took back the money from the governor and deposited it in the "Baitul Mal"....."

"It is said that I have reserved the public pastures for my personal use. I swear by Allah that I never did it. In public pastures only those animals graze which are the property of the "Baitul Mal" (Public Treasury). All of you know that when I was entrusted with this office (i.e. caliphate) I had more animals than any one in the whole of Arabia but now I have only two camels that are to serve me at the time of Hajj. How could I reserve the public pastures for my personal use?......"

"People accuse me of sending copies of the Holy Qur'an. The Holy Qur'an is Allah's book sent down to His Prophet. The Companions who wrote it under the direct supervision of the Holy Prophet are still alive. I have sent only that copy of the Holy Qur'an which was compiled by those Companions.."

"It is said that I called Hakam to Madinah who was exiled by the Holy Prophet. Actually the Holy Prophet exiled him from Makkah to Taif. Then the Holy Prophet had allowed him to live at Madinah on my request. I only put into force the permission granted by the Holy Prophet himself...."

In this way Hadrat Uthman gave satisfactory explanation to all the allegations put against him by the Sabaites. In the end of his address he asked the audience
"Tell me if all what I have said is not correct."

But the aim of these ring leaders was to create mischief. They returned to their places and instead of telling the truth told them that the "Khalifah" was not ready to set things right. Then they planned to send strong contingents from places like Basrah, Kufa and Egypt for the forthcoming Hajj. The parties were to leave their places pretending to perform Hajj but there aim was to go to Madinah and decide the matter with the sword i.e. to change the "Khalifah" by force. Though the "Khalifah" knew about this plan from before hand but he did not want to use force. He was determined to win over his enemies with love and compassion.

MARTYRDOM: INSURGENTS (SABAITES) ENTER Madinah

As the time of Hajj in the year 35 A.H. (656 A.C.) came near they started to put their plans into action. In the month of Shawwal 35 A.H. they started coming in small groups from various places. In all about three thousand Sabaites came, one thousand from each place viz. Basrah, Kufa and Egypt. The groups from Basrah stayed at DhiKhashab, and those from Kufa stayed at A'was while the Egyptians stayed at Dhi-Murwah. All the three places are near Madinah. All of them wanted Hadrat Uthman to step down but there was some difference of opinion regarding the next "Khalifah". Because of Ibn Saba, the Egyptians wanted Hadrat 'Ali (R.A.), but Kufites preferred Hadrat Zubair while Basrites were in favour of Hadrat Talha. The Egyptians came to Hadrat 'Ali and requested him to accept the "Khilafat". Hadrat 'Ali replied, "The Holy Prophet (Sallallahu 'alaihi wa Sallam) has told us that the parties of Dhi-Khashab, Dhi-Murwah and A'was are cursed. Every pious Muslim knows about it. I can't co-operate with you. Go back to your places." The insurgents from Kufa made the same request to Hadrat Zubair who also gave the same reply. The Basrites approached Hadrat Talha who also refused.

When Hadrat Uthman heard about the insurgents he sent some of the leading Companions including Hadrat 'Ali to them. Hadrat 'Ali assured the insurgents that their complaints would be listened to. They put certain demands including the dismissal of the governor of Egypt and appointment of Muhammad bin Abi Bakr as the new governor. Hadrat Uthman acceded to their demand without any question. Then he gave a short address in which he said, "By Allah, for the cause of truth, 1 am ready to obey even a slave. I promise to fulfil your demands." Saying this tears rolled down the eyes of Hadrat Uthman, and the audience also wept.

Hadrat 'Ali (R.A.) then again assured the insurgents and they seemed to be satisfied and started to go back. All the Muslims at Madinah thought that the trouble had ended.

THE SIEGE OF KHALIFAH'S HOUSE
A few days later the Medinites were surprised to hear shouts of "Revenge", "Revenge" in the streets of Madinah. Hearing the shouts Hadrat 'Ali came out to enquire about the matter. The insurgents showed a letter to him under the seal of "Khalifah" and signed by Marwan bin Hakm, the chief secretary of Hadrat Uthman (R.A.). The letter was being carried to the Governor of Egypt by a special messenger whom they intercepted on the way. The letter said; "Uqtul Muhammad bin Abu Bakr" (i.e. Kill Muhammad bin Abu Bakr) instead of "lqbil Muhammad bin Abu Bakr" (i.e. Accept Muhammad bin Abu Bakr as governor).

Note: It seems that the "Nuqtab "(dot) of Arabic letter "Ba" was wrongly placed at the top giving it a letter similar to another letter "Ta" due to which the meaning was totally changed. But according to most of the historians the letter was intentionally written by Marwan about which Hadrat Uthman did not know. While some others say that was a plot of insurgents and they produced a forget letter. For the reason given in the Glorious Caliphate by Athar Husain the letter was a clean forgery.

Hadrat'Ali tried to pacify them but they did not listen to him and went straight to Uthman, saying: "We do not want Uthman (R.A.) to be the Khalifah. Allah has made his blood lawful for us. You should also help us." Hadrat 'Ali said, "By Allah, I have nothing to do with you. It seems that you have hated a plot and are trying to carry it out."

When the insurgents went to Hadrat Uthman (R.A.) he took a solemn oath that he knew nothing about the letter. But they did not believe him and said, "Whether you wrote it or not, you are unfit to be the Khalifah and you must abdicate." They threatened to kill him on which Hadrat Uthman (R.A.) replied, "I do not fear death, but I do not want to shed Muslim blood."

When Hadrat'Ali saw that the insurgents were not in control and Hadrat Uthman did not want to use force against them, he left for Ahjar, a place few miles away from Madinah, because his position was becoming difficult as the insurgents wanted to drag him in the dispute.

Afterwards the insurgents demanded Hadrat Uthman (R.A.) to give up the "Khilafat". He rejected their demand and said, "I can't take off the robe of honour with my own hands that Allah has bestowed upon me." Consequently the insurgents laid a siege to his house and did not allow him to come out except for offering Salats in the Masjid. But later on they did not allow him to come out even for the Salats. The siege went on for forty days. During the last few days they also stopped supply of water. Some brave Muslim youths like Hadrat Hasan, Husain, Muhammad bin Talha, 'Abdullah bin Zubair (R.A.) were guarding the gate of the house so that nobody among the insurgents could enter the house. Beside Hadrat Uthman and his wife, Nailah, Marwan bin Hakam was also in the house. He did not allow any person to fight with the insurgents although a fight took place between Hadrat Hasan, Husain and Marwan and the insurgents when they did not allow Umm-ul-mu'minin Hadrat Habibah (R.A.) to supply meals to Hadrat Uthman. Hadrat Hasan received minor injuries but Marwan was seriously hurt. However the insurgents did not fight with Hadrat Hasan and Husain because of the fear of Hashmites. During the siege Hadrat Uthman sent Abdullah bin 'Abbas to Makkah to lead the Hajj and also to inform people about the insurgents. He also sent messengers to provincial governors.

When hardship grew, some eminent Companions like Hadrat Mughirah bin Shu'bah requested the "Khalifah" to take action against the insurgents and said that all the people of Madinah were ready to fight for him but he did not agree to shedding of blood of Muslims. Then they proposed that he should leave the house through the back door and either go to Makkah or to Damascus where he would be safer but he accepted neither of the proposals. The things got worse day by day, and at last the crisis arrived.

MARTYRDOM OF HADRAT UTHMAN (R.A)
The only weapon with Hadrat Uthman was his kindness and soft nature. He addressed several times the insurgents from the roof of his house and reminded them about his family relations with the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu 'alaihi wa Sallam), and the services he had rendered to Islam but they never listened to him.

The insurgents were afraid that the Hajj was coming to an end and after the Hajj a number of supporters of the "Khalifah" would come to Madinah. They decided therefore to assassinate him without delay. As stated before, they did not want to fight with Hashmites like Hadrat Hasan, Husain and 'Abdullah bin Zubair who were standing guard at the main gate of Hadrat Uthman's big residence. The reason not to fight with Hashmites was that they had incited a number of people against Banu Umayyah (Hadrat Uthman's family) in favour of Banu Hashim (Hashmites). So the insurgents climbed the back walls of the house and entered the room where Hadrat Uthman (R.A.) was reciting the Holy Qur'an.

On seeing Hadrat Uthman, one of the insurgents hit his head with an axe while the next struck him with a sword. His wife, Nailah tried to shield her husband but she also got several wounds and her fingers were chopped off. Chronicles record that Muhammad bin Abu Bakr was the leader of the assassins. He got hold of Hadrat Uthman's beard and pulled it. On this Hadrat Uthman remarked, "0 my dear nephew if your father (Abu Bakr) were alive you would not have done this." The remarks of Hadrat Uthman cut him to the quick and he turned back and did not take part in the assassination.

After giving severe injuries to Hadrat Uthman, one af insurgents, an Egyptian named 'Amr bin Hamq cut off Khalifah's head.

Hadrat Uthman (Radiallahu 'Anhu) was assassinated on Friday, the 17th Dhul-Hijjah, 35 A.H. (the 17th July, 656 A.D.).

A GREAT MARTYR
Hadrat Uthman was a great martyr as prophesied in the following Hadith quoted by Bukhari and others

Hadrat Anas (R.A.) narrated that the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu 'alaihi wa Sallam), Abu Bakr,'Umar, and Uthman went up Uhud (the mountain near Madinah) and when it quivered because of them the Holy Prophet kicked it with his foot and said, "Keep steady, 0 Uhud, for there are a prophet, a Siddiq and two martyrs on you."

In the above Hadith, Hadrat Abu Bakr had been said as the Siddiq (friend) while 'Umar and Uthman (R.A.) had been prophesied as the martyrs.

THE NEWS OF MARTYRDOM
The news of Hadrat Uthman's cruel assassination shocked everybody. Hadrat'Ali (R.A.) received the news when he was returning from Ahjar to see Hadrat Uthman. He was stunned on hearing the assassination of Hadrat Uthman and exclaimed, "0 Allah, You know it, I am free from any blame." He rebuked his sons Hasan and Husain (R.A.) and others who had stood guard at the gate for not being more alert.

After assassinating the Khalifah, the insurgents virtually took over charge of Madinah. They also looted the "Baitul Mal". Medinites were afraid of them and did not come out of their houses. The corpse of the "Khalifah" could not be buried for two days. At last some Muslims in succeeded getting into the house and carried out the burial service. There were only 17 Muslims who participated in the 'Burial Prayers". Hadrat Uthman (R.A.) was 82 years old at the time of his assassination and remained in the office of "Khilafas" for about 12 years. His words "I do not want to spill Muslim blood to save my own neck", will be remembered for ever in the history of Islam. He sacrificed his life to save Muslim blood.

CONSEQUENCES OF ASSASSINATION
The assassination of Hadrat Uthman (R.A.) was unparalled in Islamic history and it had far reaching effects. Hadrat Hudhaifah (Rad.A) the secret keeper of Holy Prophet's prophecies remarked on hearing the assassination of Hadrat Uthman, "Ah, the assassination of Uthman has divided the Muslims till resurrection, they would never be united again." It proved to be true because just after the assassination civil war started and continued up to the tragedy of Karbala. At that time the Muslim community was divided into four groups

(i) Uthmanis: The Syrians and Basrites were in favour of capital punishment of the assassins. Syrians thought Hadrat Mu'awiyah the most suitable person to punish the assassins while the Basrites wanted the Khalifah from any of these two Talha or Zubair, as they were included in the panel appointed by Hadrat Umar to select the Khalifah.

(ii) Shi'an-i-'Ali: These people did not think Hadrat Uthman (RA) fit for "Khilafat" and called themselves as the "Shi 'an-i-'Ali" i.e., the friends of 'Ali. Kufans and some Egyptians were in this group. According to Sunni historians, the assassins were from amongst this group.

(iii? Murhibah: These were those people who were busy in "Jihad" (Holy Wars) at the time when Hadrat Uthman was assassinated. They said: "Neither we are with Uthmanis nor with Shi'as. We want to keep aloof from their differences."

(iv) Ahl-i-Sunnah wal Jama'ah: These were the bulk of the Companions and the Muslims of various parts of the Islamic state including Makkah, Madinah and other parts of Arabia. They said, "We love both Uthman and 'Ali and consider them as righteous and pious Companions. We do not curse any of the Companions and the righteous Muslims. If any of the Companions committed a mistake it was due to his "Ijtihad" (his disciplined verdict based upon the Holy Qur'an and Sunnah of the Holy Prophet) and he would not be questioned for it. We follow the Sunnah (ways) of the Holy Prophet and the Sunnah (ways) of his righteous jama'ah (i.e. the group of ail the Companions).

The first and the third viz. Uthmanis and Murhibah proved to be temporary political groups but the other two viz. "Shi'as" and "Ahli Sunnah wal Jama'ah" or Sunnis took the shape of permanent theological groups and still exist.

Hearing the news of Hadrat Uthman's assassination Hadrat 'Abdullah bin 'Abbas (R.A.), a prominent commentator of the Holy Qur'an remarked "Allah might have stoned us as He stoned the people of Lot if majority of the Muslims supported the assassinations of Hadrat Uthman."

Thamamah bin 'Adi (R.A.) the governor of Yemen started to cry and weep hearing the news of the assassination of Hadrat Uthman. Hadrat 'Abdullah bin Salam (RA), well versed in the past scriptures, said: "By Allah, the power of the Arabs has finished now." Hadrat 'Aisha (RA), the most beloved wife of the Holy Prophet, said, "Ah, Uthman has been assassinated most cruelly. His record of deeds is shining like a well washed cloth."

Hearing the news of the assassination Hadrat Abu Hurairah and Hadrat Zaid bin Thabit (R.A.) started to weep continuously and their tears did not stop for a long time.

The shirt of Hadrat Uthman, which was spotted with his blood, and the cut fingers of his wife, Nailah, were carried to Hadrat Amir Mu'awiyah (R.A), the Governor of Syria, in Damascus. When they were shown to the Muslim public the whole gathering started to cry and shouted, "Revenge", "Revenge".

Mr. Joseph Hell, a Western historian says: "The assassination of Uthman was a signal for civil war." Mr. Wellhausen, a German historian says, "The murder of Uthman was more epoch-making than, almost any other event of Islamic history." Philip Hitti has remarked: "With Uthman's death the political unity of Islam came to an end. Soon Islam's religious unity was divided. Islamic society entered upon a period punctuated with schism and civil strife that has not yet ended." A Muslim historian, Prof. K. Ali, writes, "Unity of Islam which was maintained by the first two "Khalifahs" was lost and serious dissensions arose among the Muslims."
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The assassination of Hadrat Uthman was followed by great civil wars and battles between the Muslims, the details of which would come later. The system of centralised government initiated by Hadrat 'Umar and developed by Hadrat Uthman was shattered and a number of internal movements started of which the Kharijite's movement was the most serious.

VICTORIES
Hadrat Uthman's reign constituted a glorious period in the history of Islam. The territories of Islamic state (caliphate) were immensely extended. Though the conquests during his time were not so much in number as during the time of 'Umar, nevertheless they were not few. He ruled over a vast part of the then known world, right from Kabul (Afghanistan) to Morocco. He put down the rebellions with an iron hand.

During Hadrat Uthman's period Muslim naval force was developed and Muslims started naval victories. The victory over the huge naval force of Byzantine Empire comprising 500 ships has been termed as the Grand Victory.

After the capture of North African territories by Muslims and gaining full control over Mediterranean, the mighty power of Byzantine and Roman Empire had collapsed. Actually Islam was at the zenith of its glory during the period of Hadrat Uthman.

OFFICIAL MANUSCRIPT OF THE HOLY QUR'AN
One of the magnificent services to Islam done by Hadrat Uthman (R.A) was to safeguard any possible change in the codex of the Holy Qur'an. After the conquests by the Muslims hundreds of thousands of non-Arabs, whose mother tongue was not Arabic, accepted Islam because of its teachings. Hadrat Hudhaifah (R.A.), one of the prominent Companions of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu 'alaihi wa Sallam), went for "Jihad" (Holy War) during that time and noticed many differences in the manner of recitation (Qira't) of the Holy Qur'an. The Syrians recited in a way different from that of Kufis while the Kufis differed from Basris and so on. As a matter of fact these differences were due to the differences in the way of writing Arabic. Seeing this condition Hadrat Hudhaifah reported the matter to the Khalifah on his return from the "Jihad" and suggested that the Medinese codex should be regarded as authentic, i.e. the Holy Qur'an, which was written and compiled in Book form during the time of Hadrat Abu Bakr (R.A.) and was kept with Ummul-mumminin Hadrat Hafsah (R.A.). Hadrat Uthman (R.A.) took that Book from Hadrat Hafsah(R.A.) and canonised the Medinese codex. He asked Hadrat Zaid bin Thabit (R.A.), the person who wrote it during the time of Hadrat Abu Bakr, to make copies of the same with the help of some other Companions like Abdullah bin Zubair and Sa'd bin 'As etc. Then he ordered all other copies, beside the Medinese codex, to be burnt and destroyed throughout the State. Those people who earned their living in the provinces as the receptacles and expositors of the sacred text were not pleased with this act. It has been discussed before that such persons criticised Uthman for burning unauthentic texts. However for this great service Hadrat Uthman (R.A.) is famous as the "Jami'ul-Qur'an" (The compiler of the Qur'an).

EXTENSION OF THE MOSQUE OF THE HOLY PROPHET
The mosque of the Holy Prophet was too small for the increasing Muslim population. He bought a big plot of land in the neighbourhood of the mosque, but some of the persons living in the nearby houses did not want to leave their places even for reasonable compensation. For four years no new construction was built. One day he gave an effective lecture after Friday Salat and the people agreed to donate their places. Then the mosque was extended in the year 29 A.H.

PREACHING
Hadrat Uthman (R.A) spent a lot of his time in preaching to the prisoners of war. Many of them accepted Islam because of his efforts. He also taught Islamic law to the Muslims. Once he himself demonstrated the correct method of making wudu before a large gathering of Muslims.

He took special care to send missionaries to various places and appointed teachers to teach Islamic law, the Holy Qur'an and Hadith. Persons were appointed to make the rows (Saffs) of worshippers straight during a congregational Salat specially on Fridays when the congregation was quite large.

CONSTRUCTION OF BUILDINGS, BRIDGES, ROADS AND EMBANKMENTS

A number of new buildings were constructed for offices at various places. Rest houses were constructed on various high ways, and guest houses were built in various cities like Kufa.

For the welfare of the general public new bridges and roads were constructed, and general condition of various roads was improved. The roads leading to Madinah were given special attention. He got tanks made, and wells dug up along many roads to supply water to the travellers.

Madinah was not safe from floods. Sometimes the building of the Prophet's mosque was in danger. Hadrat Uthman constructed a strong embankment along that side of the city which used to get flooded. This was known as the Embarkment of Mahroz.

UTHMAN (R.A.) AS A GREAT SCHOLAR
Hadrat Uthman had a beautiful handwriting because of which the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu 'Alaihi wa Sallam) appointed him as one of the scribes of the "Wahy" (Revelation).

His style of writing was well recognised among the Companions. Arabic knowing persons can recognise the fluency of his writings specially of the letters and the orders he sent to various officers during his Khilafat. Though he was not an orator but his way of lecturing was very effective. His addresses and lectures can be seen in history books.

Hadrat Uthman was a great scholar of the Holy Qur'an and was a "Hafiz"(i.e. the one who commits the whole Holy Book to memory). He was well versed in "Shan-i-Nuzul"i.e. the chronology of revelation of various verses and the chapters of the Holy Qur'an, and was considered an authority in this respect. He was one of the few Companions who excelled in deriving laws from the verses of the Holy Qur'an.

Although he was not a great jurist like 'Umar and 'Ali (R.A.) nevertheless he was well qualified in this respect. His verdicts and judgements have been mentioned in books. He was considered an authority on the laws of Hajj. Even 'Umar (R.A.) asked Uthman about that during his time.

CHARACTER AND PIETY
Hadrat Uthman (R.A) was a very pious Companion and a man of high character. He was the most modest of all the Companions. Once the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu 'Alaihi wa Sallam) was sitting with some of his Companions and the shin of this leg was not covered. In the meantime somebody informed him about the arrival of Hadrat Uthman (R.A.). The Holy Prophet (Sallallahu'Alaihi wa Sallam) immediately covered it and remarked: "Even the angels have regard for the modesty of Uthman"

He was a strict follower of the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu 'Alaihi wa Sallam). Somebody asked him the reason for smiling after wudu. He replied he had seen the Holy Prophet smiling after making wudu, so he smiled to follow him. Once he demonstrated to Muslims the correct way of making wudu according to the sunnah of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu 'Alaihi wa Sallam).

He used to fear Allah very much. Tears used to roll down his face because of Allah's fear. Whenever the consequences to be faced in the grave were described before him, he used to weep so much that his beard could get wet with tears. Sometimes he wept and cried seeing a corpse or a grave because of fear of Allah. He used to say, "Grave is the first stage among all the stages of the Hereafter. If a person is successful there, he would be successful on the Day of Judgement too. If a person faces difficulty in the grave, other stages would also be difficult for him."

He used to do household work although he was one of the wealthiest persons in the whole of Arabia. He would not wake his slave to take any help from him when he got up to perform "Tahajjud" Salat.

Hadrat Uthman was very soft spoken. If any person talked to him in a harsh tone he always replied gently. Once he was delivering "Khutbah" of Jumu'a Salat, a person shouted during the Sermon: "O Uthman, repent for Allah's sake and keep away from going wrong." He immediately turned his face towards the Qiblah and exclaimed, "0 Allah, I am the first to repent before Thee and to turn towards Thee."

He never took any allowance from the "Bait ul-Mal" for his services as a Khalifah. Hadrat 'Umar got 5,000 darhams annually as an allowance from the Public Treasury, thus Hadrat Uthman contributed 60,000 Drahms after his 12 years service, towards the Public Fund.

Examples of his generosity have already been given. He was the most generous among all the wealthy Companions and never hesitated to spend his money for the cause of Islam and Muslims. His house was one of the biggest in Madinah which he built near the mosque of the Holy Prophet. He established a library in the back of his house for the education of the Muslims.

WIVES AND CHILDREN
Hadrat Uthman was first married to the Holy Prophet's daughter, Hadrat Ruqayyah (R.A.) who died in Madinah while the Holy Prophet was away on the expedition of Badr. Then he was married to the younger daughter of the Holy Prophet whose name was Hadrat Umm-i-Kulthum. She also died in the year 9 A.H. His first wife, Hadrat Ruqayyah bore him a son, Abdullah, who died at an early age. He had no child from Umm-i-Kulthum (R.A.).

After the death of his second wife Hadrat Umm-i-Kulthum, he married, the following ladies from time to time: Fakhtah bint Walid; Umm-i-'Amr bint Jundah; Fatimah bint Shaibah; Umm-i-Banin bint'Uwainah; Ramlah bint Shaibah; 'Aishah; Umm-i-Aban; and Nailah bint Farafsah, his last wife whose fingers were chopped by the insurgents.

Eleven sons were born to him from different wives. Some of them died at an early age. One of his sons, Aban became famous and held high positions during the Umayyads. He had six or seven daughters.

ADMINISTRATION OF HADRAT UTHMAN (R.A)

Hadrat Uthman observed the same principles in his government as were laid down by Hadrat 'Umar (R.A.). In the following lines some of the main features of his government would be described in brief.

"SHURA" (COUNSEL OF ADVISERS)
He maintained the Council of Advisers "Shura" in the same way as was maintained by the first two caliphs. The main members of his "Shura" were Hadrat 'Ali, Zubair and Talha. General councils for consultations were also called from time to time. All the prominent Companions, governors and prominent officers were present in the general council (conference) held in the year 34 A.H. to consider the internal condition of the state.

ADMINISTRATION OF THE PROVINCES
Hadrat Uthman (R. A.) divided the state into various provinces according to a new plan. Before him, there were three provinces in the region of Syria viz. Syria, Palestine and Jordan. Hadrat Uthman combined all the three provinces into one -- Syria and put it under the control of a single Governor -- Mu'awiyah (R.A.). This was necessary and important from the point of view of defence. Hadrat Mu'awiya (R.A. ) was a good and intelligent administrator and was able to control the whole region in a better way. He also separated the post of Governor from that of the commander of the armed forces in various provinces. Separate officers were appointed for both the posts who were under the direct control of the Khalifah. However, in some cases this rule was not observed due to lack of suitable persons.

Though Hadrat Uthman was a soft natured gentleman, yet he did not condone the mistakes of his officers including the Governors. The details have already been mentioned in the preceding pages. On various occasions he sent commissions of enquiry.

On Fridays he used to come to the mosque long before the "Khutbah Adhan" to listen to the complaints of Muslims and to remove their difficulties. On the occasion of every Hajj he used to listen to the public about their difficulties and complaints against officers.

Following were the Officers (civil) at the time when Hadrat Uthman (R.A.) was assassinated in 36 A.H.

1. Makkah -- 'Abdullah bin Hadrami
2. Ta'if -- Qasim bin Rabi'ah Thaqafi
3. Yemen (with San'a as its capital) -- Ya'la bin Munabbah
4. Syria -- Hadrat Amir Muawiyah.
Following places were under the direct control of the governor of Syria. Each place was under the charge of an administrator
(a) Jordan -- Abul A'war al-Salimi
(b) Hims (Homs) -- 'Abdur Rahman bin Khalid bin Walid, who was also the administrator of Jazirah (Mesopotamia).
(c) Palestine -- 'Alqamah bin Hakim.
5. Egypt---- 'Abdullah bin Sa'd, who was also in charge of North African territories each of which was having its own administrative officer, under the governor of Egypt, Tripoli, Algeria and Morocco etc.
6. Basrah -- 'Abdullah bin 'Amir, who was also in charge of all the territories in Eastern Persia, each of which was having its own administrative officer, under the governor of Basrah: Balkh, Kabul, Herat, Samarkand, Sajistan, Arghiyan, and Turkmennistan etc.
7. Kufa -- Abu Musa Ash'ari, who was also in charge of all the territories in Western Persia, each of which was having its own administrative officer under the governor of Kufa: Khurasan, Tabrastan, Azerbaijan (with Ash'ath bin Qais as the Administrative officer), Isfahan (with Sa'ib bin Aqra'y as the administrative officer), Hamdan (with Nasir as the administrative officer).
8. Qansirin (Asia Minor) -- Habib bin Muslimah Fahri, who was also in charge of
Armenia, and Antalya etc.

Hadrat Zaid bin Thabit was the Qadi of Madinah and Hadrat 'Uqbah bin 'Amir was the Treasury officer in Madinah.

ADMINISTRATION OF THE ARMED FORCES
Hadrat Uthman (R.A.) kept the armed forces on the same pattern as was laid down by his predecessor. During his time there was a notable increase in the number of armed forces. Not only he increased the military power of the Islamic State (Caliphate) but also connected various military units with each other. For example when Hadrat Mu'awiyah (R.A.) needed reinforcement to face the Romans, the armies in Iran and Armenia were immediately moved to Syria. Hadrat Uthman established a number of new cantonments at Tripoli, Cyprus, Armenia and Tabrastan. Besides the central cantonments there were a number of small cantonments as well in various districts.

He had made arrangements for breeding and raising of horses and camels. Large pastures were reserved for the animals used for military purposes. The pasture at Rabdhah, near Madinah was ten miles long and about nine miles wide. Another pasture near Madinah at Darbah was six miles long. He built ponds near the pastures and houses for the caretakers. Number of camels and horses had immensely increased to meet the needs of the armed forces. There was 40,000 camels in one pasture alone at Darbah. The number of animals kept all over the vast Islamic State was stupendous.

He took special care of military personnel and increased their allowances. The civil departments were separated from the military departments.

One of the remarkable features in the development of military power during the period of Hadrat Uthman was the establishment of naval force. The Muslim navy was expanded and very well equipped. Amir Mu'awiyah (R.A.) played a very important role in this respect. He is the man who worked for the development of Islamic Naval force. Under his command the first naval battle took place in the history of Islam.

ADMINISTRATION OF PUBLIC TREASURY AND REVENUE
During the time of Hadrat Uthman the revenue of the State was greatly increased. The Kharaj of Egypt alone was two million Dinars annually during the time of Hadrat Umar but it increased to four millions annually during Uthman's period. Hadrat Uthman (R.A.) used the entire public funds for the general welfare of the public. He increased the allowances given to various people and the poor. Not only this he also arranged for free distribution of food stuffs and cooked meals to the poor and disabled persons, during the month of Ramadan. He used a major part of the revenue in construction of bridges, roads, barrages, and mosques etc. He also fixed salaries for the Muadh-dhins (i.e. the persons who call Adhan) which had not been done by Hadrat Umar (R.A).

NO USE OF FORCE AGAINST CIVILIANS
Hadrat Uthman (R.A.) showed an exemplary tolerance against the insurgents. By not using force against the civil public, he set the first example of the highest democratic rule in human civilisation. If studied from this point of view, it would be noted that Uthman (R.A.) was at the peak of modern democratic principles. It is unfortunate that the masses at that time were not trained for that highest form of democracy. They have had experienced in the past of the tyranny of Persian and Roman Emperors and their officers. However the base elements took advantage of the Islamic democratic principles and incited some of the Muslim population against the Khalifah. Hadrat Uthman used all the democratic principles, now prevailing in the modern society, to satisfy the insurgents. He gave before the public, full explanation of all the allegations brought against him, and the public was fully satisfied with his explanation. He acceded to the demands of the insurgents by appointing Muhammad bin Abi Bakr as the Governor of Egypt. But he did not resign because the majority of the Muslims were in his favour and only a few were the mischief-mongers. His words: "I do not want to spill Muslim blood to save my own neck" would be remembered for ever.

Courtesy www.everymuslim.com

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

The Ideal Muslim Woman and Her Children


The Ideal Muslim Woman and Her Children

 
(An Excerpt from the Book “The Ideal Muslimah: The True Islâmic Personality of the Muslim Woman as Defined in the Qur’ân and Sunnah”)  

By  Dr. Muhammad ‘Ali Al-Hashimi

Translated by Nasiruddin Al-Khattab and Revised by Ibrahim M. Kunna and Abu  Aya Sulaiman Abdus-Sabur 

Introduction

Undoubtedly children are a source of great joy and delight; they make life sweet, bring more rizq into a family’s life and give hope. A father sees his children as a future source of help and support, as well as representing an increase in numbers and perpetuation of the family. A mother sees her children as a source of hope, consolation and joy in life, and as hope for the future. All of these hopes rest on the good upbringing of the children and giving them a sound preparation for life, so that they will become active and constructive elements in society, a source of goodness for their parents, community and society as a whole. Then they will be as (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) described them:

( Wealth and sons are allurements of the life of this world . . .) (Qur’an 18:46) 
 

If their education and upbringing are neglected, they will become bad characters, a burden on their family, community and society as a whole.

She understands the great responsibility that she has towards her children

The Muslim woman never forgets that the mother’s responsibility in bringing up the children and forming their characters is greater than that of the father, because children tend to be closer to their mother and spend more time with her; she knows all about their behavioural, emotional and intellectual development during their childhood and the difficult years of adolescence.

Hence the woman who understands the teachings of Islam and her own educational role in life, knows her complete responsibility for the upbringing of her children, as is referred to in the Qur’an:

( O you who believe! Save yourselves and your families from a Fire whose fuel is Men and Stones . . .) (Qur’an 66:6)  
 

The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) also referred to this responsibility in his hadith:

“Each of you is a shepherd and each of you is responsible for his flock. The leader is a shepherd and is responsible for his flock; a man is the shepherd of his family and is responsible for his flock; a woman is the shepherd in the house of her husband and is responsible for her flock; a servant is the shepherd of his master’s wealth and is responsible for it. Each of you is a shepherd and is responsible for his flock.”1 
 

Islam places responsibility on the shoulders of every individual; not one person is left out. Parents - especially mothers - are made responsible for providing their children with a solid upbringing and sound Islamic education, based on the noble characteristics that the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) declared that he had been sent to complete and spread among people:

“I have only been sent to make righteous behaviour complete.”2  
 

Nothing is more indicative of the greatness of the parents’ responsibility towards their children and their duty to give them a suitable Islamic upbringing than the verdict of the ‘ulama’ that every family should heed the words of the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam):

“Instruct your children to pray when they are seven and hit them if they do not do so when they are ten.”3

Any parents who are aware of this hadith but do not teach their children to pray when they reach seven or hit them if they do not do so when they reach ten, are parents who are sinners and failing in their duty; they will be responsible before Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) for their failure.

The family home is a microcosm of society in which the children’s mentality, intellect, attitudes and inclinations are formed when they are still very small and are ready to receive sound words of guidance. Hence the parents’ important role in forming the minds of their sons and daughters and directing them towards truth and good deeds is quite clear.

Muslim woman have always understood their responsibility in raising their children, and they have a brilliant record in producing and influencing great men, and  instil  ling noble values in their hearts. There is no greater proof of that than the fact that intelligent and brilliant women have produced more noble sons than have intelligent and brilliant men, so much so that you can hardly find any among the great men of our ummah who have controlled the course of events in history who is not indebted to his mother.

Al-Zubayr ibn al-’Awwam was indebted for his greatness to his mother Safiyyah bint ‘Abd al-Muttalib, who  instil  led in him his good qualities and distinguished nature.

‘Abdullah, al-Mundhir and ‘Urwah, the sons of al-Zubayr were the products of the values  instil  led in them by their mother, Asma’ bint Abi Bakr, and each of them made his mark in history and attained a high status.

‘Ali ibn Abi Talib (radhiallahu anhu) received wisdom, virtue and good character from his distinguished mother, Fatimah bint Asad.

‘Abdullah ibn Ja’far, the master of Arab generosity and the most noble of their leaders, lost his father at an early age, but his mother Asma’ bint ‘Umays took care of him and give him the virtues and noble characteristics by virtue of which she herself became one of the great women of Islam.

Mu’awiyah ibn Abi Sufyan inherited his strength of character and intelligence from his mother, Hind bint ‘Utbah, not from his father Abu Sufyan. When he was a baby, she noticed that he had intelligent and clever features. Someone said to her, “If he lives, he will become the leader of his people.” She responded, “May he not live if he is to become the leader of his people alone!”

Mu’awiyah was unable to    instil  his cleverness, patience and skills in his own son and heir, Yazid, because the boy’s mother was a simple Bedouin woman, whom he had married for her beauty and because of the status of her tribe and family.

Mu’awiyah’s brother Ziyad ibn Abi Sufyan, who was a prime example of intelligence, shrewdness and quick-wittedness, was similarly unable to pass these qualities on to his son ‘Ubayd-Allah   (subhanahu wa ta’ala) who grew up to be stupid, clumsy, impotent and ignorant. His mother was Marjanah, a Persian woman who possessed none of the qualities that might entitle her to be the mother of a great man.

History records the names of two great men of Banu Umayyah, the first of whom was known for his strength of character, capability, intelligence, wisdom and decisiveness, and the second of whom took the path of justice, goodness, piety and righteousness.

The first was ‘Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan, whose mother was ‘A’ishah bint al-Mughirah ibn Abi’l-’As ibn Umayyah, who was well-known for her strength of character, resolution and intelligence. The second was ‘Umar ibn ‘Abd al-’Aziz (radhiallahu anhu), the fifth of the khulafa’ al-rashidun, whose mother was Umm ‘Asim bint ‘Asim ibn ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab, who was the most noble in character of the women of her time. Her mother was the righteous worshipper of Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) whom ‘Asim saw was honest and truthful, and clearly following the right path, when she refused to add water to the milk as her mother told her to, because she knew that Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) could see her.

If we turn towards Andalusia, we find the brilliant, ambitious ruler ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Nasir who, having started life as an orphan, went on to establish an Islamic state in the West, to which the leaders and kings of Europe surrendered and to whose institutes of learning the scholars and philosophers of all nations came to seek knowledge. This state made a great contribution to worldwide Islamic culture. If we were to examine the secret of this man’s greatness, we would find that it lay in the greatness of his mother who knew how to  instil in him the dynamic spirit of ambition.

During the ‘Abbasid period there were two great women who planted the seeds of ambition, distinction and ascendancy in their sons. The first was the mother of Ja’far ibn Yahya, who was the wazir of the khalifah Harun al-Rashid. The second was the mother of Imam al-Shafi’i: he never saw his father who died whilst he was still a babe in arms; it was his mother who took care of his education.

There are many such examples of brilliant women in our history, women who  instil  led in their sons nobility of character and the seeds of greatness, and who stood behind them in everything they achieved of power and status.

She uses the best methods in bringing them up

The intelligent Muslim woman understands the psychology of her children, and is aware of their differences in attitudes and inclination. She tries to penetrate their innocent world and plant the seeds of noble values and worthy characteristics, using the best and most effective methods of parenting.

The mother is naturally close to her children, and she endears herself to them so that they will be open with her and will share their thoughts and feelings with her. She hastens to correct them and refine their thoughts and feelings, taking into account each child’s age and mental level. She plays and jokes with them sometimes, complimenting them and letting then hear words of love, affection, compassion and self-denial. Thus their love for her increases, and they will accept her words of guidance and correction eagerly. They will obey her out of love for her, for there is a great difference between sincere obedience that comes from the heart, which is based on love, respect and trust, and insincere obedience that is based on oppression, violence and force. The former is lasting obedience, strong and fruitful, whilst the latter is shallow and baseless, and will quickly vanish when the violence and cruelty reach extreme levels.

She demonstrates her love and affection for them

The Muslim woman is not ignorant of the fact that her children need her warm lap, deep love and sincere affection in order to develop soundly, with no psychological problems, crises or complexes. This sound upbringing will fill them with optimism, trust, hope and ambition. Thus the caring Muslim mother demonstrates her love and affection for her children on every occasion, flooding their lives with joy and happiness and filling their hearts with confidence and security.

The true Muslim woman is compassionate towards her children, for compassion is a basic Islamic characteristic, one that was encouraged by the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) in word and deed as Anas (radhiallahu anhu) tells us:

“I never saw anyone who was more compassionate towards children than Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam). His son Ibrahim was in the care of a wet-nurse in the hills around Madinah. He would go there, and we would go with him, and he would enter the house, pick up his son and kiss him, then come back.”4

The Prophet’s compassion and love towards Muslim children included little ones at play. He would flood them with his compassion and affection. Anas (radhiallahu anhu) reported that whenever the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) passed by a group of boys he would smile fondly and greet them.5

An example of the Prophet’s enduring wisdom with regard to the upbringing of children is the hadith:

“He is not one of us who does not show compassion to our little ones and recognize the rights of our elders.”6

Abu Hurayrah (radhiallahu anhu) narrated that the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) kissed al-Hasan ibn ‘Ali. Al-Aqra’ ibn Habis said, “I have ten children and I have never kissed any of them.” The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “He who does not show mercy will not be shown mercy.”7

The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam), this great educator, always sought to    instil  the quality of mercy and compassion in people’s hearts, and to awaken their potential for love and affection, which are the most basic of human characteristics.

One day a Bedouin came and asked the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam), “Do you kiss your sons? We do not.” The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said, “What can I do for you if Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) has removed mercy from your heart?”8

‘A’ishah (radhiallahu anha) reported:

“Whenever Fatimah  (radhiallahu anha)  came into the room, the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) would stand up, welcome her, kiss her and offer her his seat, and whenever he came into the room, she would stand up, take his hand, welcome him, kiss him and offer him her seat. When she came to see him during his final illness, he welcomed her and kissed her.”9

The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) praised the women of Quraysh, because they were the most compassionate of women towards their children, the most concerned with raising them properly and making sacrifices for them, in addition to taking good care of their husbands. This may be seen in the words narrated by Bukhari from Abu Hurayrah (radhiallahu anhu), who said:

“I heard  Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) say: ‘The women of Quraysh are the best women ever to ride camels. They are compassionate towards their children and the most careful with regard to their husbands’ wealth”10  
 

In the light of this guidance, the true Muslim woman cannot be stern towards her children and treat them in a rough or mean fashion, even if it is her nature to be grim and reserved, because this religion, with its enlightenment and guidance, softens hearts and awakens feelings of love and affection. So our children are a part of us, going forth into the world, as the poet Hittan ibn al-Mu’alla said:

“Our children are our hearts, walking among us on the face of the earth, if even a little breeze touches them, we cannot sleep for worrying about them.”11

Parents should be filled with love, affection and care, willing to make sacrifices and do their best for their children.   Undoubtedly the wealth of emotion that the Muslim mother feels for her children is one of the greatest causes of her happiness in life. This is something which has been lost by Western women, who are overwhelmed by materialism and exhausted by the daily grind of work, which has caused them to lose the warmth of family feelings. This was vividly expressed by Mrs. Salma al-Haffar, a member of the Syrian women’s movement, after she had visited America:

“It is truly a shame that women lose the most precious thing that nature12 has given them, i.e. their femininity, and then their happiness, because the constant cycle of exhausting work has caused them to lose the small paradise which is the natural refuge of women and men alike, one that can only flourish under the care of a mother who stays at home. The happiness of individuals and society as a whole is to be found at home, in the lap of the family; the family is the source of inspiration, goodness and creativity.”13

She treats her sons and daughters equally

The wise Muslim woman treats all her children fairly and equally. She does not prefer one of them over another in any way, because she knows that Islam forbids such actions on the part of the parents, and because of the negative psychological impact that this may have over the child whose sibling is preferred over him. The child who feels that he is not treated equally with his brothers and sisters will grow up with complexes and anxiety, eating his heart out with jealousy and hatred. In contrast, the child who grows up feeling that he and his siblings are treated equally will grow up healthy and free from jealousy and hatred; he will be content, cheerful, tolerant and willing to put others before himself. This is what Islam requires of parents and urges them to do.

Bukhari, Muslim and others report that the father of al-Nu’man ibn Bashir (radhiallahu anhu) brought him to the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) and said, “I have given this son of mine a slave I have.” The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said, “Have you given each of your children the same?” He said, “No.” The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) told him, “Then take the slave back.”

According to another report:

“The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) asked, ‘Have you done the same for all your children?’ [My father] said, ‘No,’ so the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said, ‘Fear Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) and treat all of your children equally.’”

According to a third report:

“The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) asked, ‘O Bishr, do you have any other children?’ He said, ‘Yes.’ The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) asked, ‘Will you give a similar gift to each of them?’ He said, ‘No.’ So the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said, ‘Do not ask me to witness this, because I do not want to witness unfairness.’ Then he added, ‘Would you not like all your children to treat you with equal respect?’ [Bishr] said, ‘Of course.’ The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) told him, ‘So do not do it.’” 14

So the Muslim woman who truly fears Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) treats all her children with equal fairness, and does not favour one above the other in giving gifts, spending money on them, or in the way she treats them. Then all of them will love her, will pray for her and will treat her with kindness and respect.

She does not discriminate between sons and daughters her affection and care

The true Muslim woman does not discriminate between her sons and daughters in her affection and car, as do some women who are not free from the effects of a jahili mentality. She is fair to all her children, boys and girls alike, and cares for them all with compassion and love. She understands that children are a gift from Allah   (subhanahu wa ta’ala) and that Allah’s (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) gift, be it of sons or daughters, cannot be rejected or changed:

( . . . He bestows [children] male or female according to His Will [and Plan], or He bestows both males and females, and He leaves barren Whom He will: for He is full of knowledge and power.) (Qur’an 42:49-50)

 

The Muslim woman who is truly guided by her religion does not forget the great reward that Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) has prepared for the one who brings up daughters and takes care of them properly, as is stated in numerous sahih hadith, for example the hadith narrated by Bukhari from ‘A’ishah (radhiallahu anha) in which she says:

“A woman came to me with her two daughters and asked me (for charity). She found that I had nothing except for a single date, which I gave to her. She took it and divided it between her two daughters, and did not eat any of it herself, then she got up and left with her daughters. The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) came in and I told him what had happened.

The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said, “Whoever is tested with daughters and treats them well, they will be for him a shield against the Fire of Hell.”15

According to another report narrated by Muslim from ‘A’ishah (May Allah be pleased with her), she said:

“A poor woman came to me carrying her two daughters. I gave her three dates to eat. She gave each child a date, and raised the third to her own mouth to eat it. Her daughters asked her to give it to them, so she split the date that she had wanted to eat between them. I was impressed by what she had done, and told  Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) about it. He said, “Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) has decreed Paradise for her because of it,” or, “He has saved her from Hell because of it.”16

Abu Hurayrah (radhiallahu anhu) reported that the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:

“Whoever has three daughters, and shelters them, bearing their joys and sorrows with patience, Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) will admit him to Paradise by virtue of his compassion towards them.” A man asked, “What if he has only two, O Messenger of Allah?” He said, “Even if they are only two.” Another man asked, “What if he has only one, O Messenger of Allah?” He said, “Even if he has only one.”17

Ibn ‘Abbas (radhiallahu anhu) said:

“ Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: ‘Whoever had a daughter born to him, and he did not bury her alive or humiliate her, and he did not prefer his son over her, Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) will admit him to Paradise because of her.”18  
 

The Prophet’s compassion extended to females, and included sisters as well as daughters, as is seen in the hadith narrated by Bukhari in al-Adab al-Mufradfrom Abu Sa’id al-Khudri, who said:

“The Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: ‘There is no-one who has three daughters, or three sisters, and he treats them well, but Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) will admit him to Paradise.”19

According to a report given by al-Tabarani, the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:

“There is no one among my ummah who has three daughters, or three sisters, and he supports them until they are grown up, but he will be with me in Paradise like this -” and he held up his index and middle fingers together.20

No wise mother complains about bringing up daughters, or prefers her sons over them, if she listens to the teachings of the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) which raise the status of daughters and promise Paradise as wide as heaven and earth and the company of the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) to the one who brings them up and treats them properly!

In the Muslim family, and in the true Islamic society, girls are protected, loved and respected. In the warm bosom of her parents -especially her mother - a girl will always find protection and care, no matter how long she stays in the home of her parents, brothers or other family members who should support her, whether she is married or not. Islam has guaranteed girls a life of protection, pride and support, and has spared them from a life of humiliation, need, want and having to earn a living, such as is the lot of women living in societies that have gone astray from the guidance of Allah  (subhanahu wa ta’ala).  In those countries, a girl barely reaches the age of eighteen before she leaves the comfort of her parents’ home to face the hardships of a life filled with difficulties and risks at the time when she is most in need of protection, compassion and care.

There is a huge difference between the laws of Allah   (subhanahu wa ta’ala) which came to bring happiness to mankind, and the imperfect man-made laws which cause nothing but misery.

It comes as no surprise that in the West, as a result of these materialistic laws, we see armies of promiscuous young men and hordes of unfortunate, miserable, unmarried young mothers, the numbers of which are increasing exponentially day by day.

She does not pray against her children

The wise Muslim woman does not pray against her own children, heeding the words of the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) who forbade such prayers lest they be offered at a time when prayers are answered. This was stated in the lengthy hadith narrated by Jabir in which the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:

“Do not pray against yourselves, or against your children, or against your wealth, in case you say such words at a time when Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) will answer your prayer.”21

Praying against one’s own children is not a good habit. No mother does so at a time of anger, but she will regret it later on after she has calmed down. I do not think that a mother who has truly sought the guidance of Islam would lose her mind and her equilibrium to such an extent that she would pray against her own children, no matter what they did. Such a woman would not allow herself to indulge in something that is done only by foolish, hot-tempered women.

She is alert to everything that may have an influence on them

The smart Muslim mother keeps her eyes open as far as her children are concerned. She knows what they are reading and writing, the hobbies and activities they peruse, the friends they have chosen, and the places they go to in their free time. She knows all of this without her children feeling that she is watching them. If she finds anything objectionable in their hobbies, reading-materials, etc., or if she sees them hanging around with undesirable friends, or going to unsuitable places, or taking up bad habits such as smoking, or wasting time and energy on haram games that teach them to get used to trivialities, she hastens to correct her children in a gentle and wise manner, and persuades them to return to the straight and narrow. The mother is more able to do this than the father, because she spends much more time with the children, and they are more likely to open up and share their thoughts and feelings with her than with their father. Hence it is quite clear that the mother has a great responsibility to bring up her children properly and form their characters in a sound fashion, in accordance with Islamic principles, values and traditions.

Every child is born in a state of fitrah (the natural, good, disposition of mankind), and it is the parents who make him into a Jew, a Christian or a Magian, as the Prophet (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said in the sahih hadith narrated by Bukhari.

There is no secret about the enormous impact the parents have on the personality and psychological development of their child from the earliest years until the child attains the age of reason.

The books that children read should open their minds and form their personalities well, giving them the highest examples to follow; they should not corrupt their minds and extinguish the light of goodness in their souls.

Hobbies should help to develop the positive aspects of a child’s nature and reinforce good tastes, not encourage any negative tendencies.

Friends should be of the type that will lead one to Paradise, not to Hell; they should influence a child in a positive way and encourage him to do good, to strive to improve himself and to succeed, not drag him down into sin, disobedience and failure. How many people have been brought to the slippery slope of destruction and perdition by their friends, whilst their mothers and fathers were unaware of what was to their own children! How wise are the words of the poet ‘Adiyy ibn Zayd al-’Ibadi concerning friends:

“If you are among people, then make friends with the best of them.

Do not make friends with the worst of them lest you become as bad as he is.

Do not ask about the man, but ask about his friends, for every person is influenced by his friends.”22

The true Muslim mother takes notice of her children’s books, magazines, hobbies, school, teachers, clubs, media interests, and everything that may have an impact on their personalities, minds, souls and faith. She intervenes when necessary, either to encourage or to put a stop to something, so that the children’s upbringing will not be affected by corruption or sickness.

Successful upbringing of children depends on a mother who is alert and intelligent, and understands her responsibility towards her children, so that she does a good job and raises children who will be a boon to their parents and society in general. Families that fail to raise their children properly usually do so because the mother does not understand her responsibility towards her children, so she neglects them and they become a source of evil and a torment to their parents and others.

Children would not become a source of evil if their parents, especially the mother, knew their responsibility and took it seriously.

She  instils good behaviour and attitudes in them

The Muslim woman tries hard to    instil  in her children’s hearts the best qualities, such as loving others, upholding the ties of kinship, caring for the weak, respecting elders, showing compassion to little ones, deriving satisfaction from doing good, being sincere in word and deed, keeping promises, judging fairly, and all other good and praiseworthy characteristics.

The wise Muslim woman knows how to reach her children’s hearts and    instil  these worthy qualities, using the best and most effective methods, such as setting a good example, coming down to their level, treating them well, encouraging them, advising and correcting them, and being compassionate, kind, tolerant, loving, and fair. She is gentle without being too lenient, and is strict without being harsh. Thus the children receive a proper upbringing, and grow up open-minded, mature, righteous, sincere, good, able to give and prepared to make a constructive contribution in all aspects of life. Not surprisingly, the Muslim mother’s upbringing produces the best results, for she is the first school and the first teacher, as the poet said:

“The mother is a school: if you prepare her properly, you will prepare an entire people of good character, The mother is the first teacher, foremost among them, and the best of teachers.”23

  __________________

Footnotes:

1.       (Bukhari and Muslim), See Sharh al-Sunnah, 10/61, Kitab al-imarah wa’l-qada’, bab al-ra’i mas’ul ‘an ri’atihi.

2.       Reported by Bukhari in al-Adab al-Mufrad, 1/371, bab husn al-khulq.

3.       Reported by Ahmad, 2/187, and by Abu Dawud with a hasan isnad, 1/193, Kitab al-salat, bab mata yu’mar al-ghulam bi’l-salat

4.       Sahih Muslim, 15/75, Kitab al-fada’il, bab rahmatihi (r) wa tawadu’ihi.

5.       (Bukhari and Muslim), See Sharh al-Sunnah, 12/264, Kitab al-isti’dhan, bab al-taslim ‘ala’l-subyan.

6.       Reported by Ahmad, 2/185, and by al-Hakim, 1/62, Kitab al-iman; its isnad is sahih.

7.       (Bukhari and Muslim), Sharh al-Sunnah, 13/34, Kitab al-birr wa’l-silah, bab rahmah al-walad wa taqbilihi.

8.       Fath al-Bari, 10/426, Kitab al-adab, bab rahmah al-walad wa taqbilihi.

9.       See Fath al-Bari, 8/135, Kitab al-maghazi, bab maraduhu (r) wa wafatuhu; Abu Dawud, 4/480, Kitab al-adab, bab ma ja’a fi’l-qiyam.

10.    Fath al-Bari, 6/472, Kitab ahadith al-anbiya’, bab qawlihi ta’ala, 45-48 min Al ‘Imran.

11.    Abu Tammam, al-Hamasah, 1/167.

12.    In fact it is Allah Who gives these things, not nature. This expression is one of the effects of Westernization. [Author]

13.    From an article by Salma al-Haffar in the Damacus newspaper al-Ayyam, 3/9/1962.

14.    (Bukhari and Muslim), See Sharh al-Sunnah, 8/296, Kitab al-’ataya wa’l-hadaya, bab al-ruju’ fi hibbah al-walad wa’l-taswiyyah bayna al-awlad fi’l-nahl.

15.    (Bukhari and Muslim), See Sharh al-Sunnah, 6/187, Kitab al-zakah, bab fadl al-sadaqah ‘ala’l-awlad wa’l-aqarib.

16.    Sahih Muslim, 16/179, Kitab al-birr wa’l-silah, bab al-ihsan ila’l-banat.

17.    Reported by Ahmad, 2/335 and al-Hakim, 4/176, Kitab al-birr wa’l-silah. He said: its isnad is sahih.

18.    Reported by al-Hakim in al-Mustadrak 4/177, Kitab al-birr wa’l-silah. He said: its isnad is sahih.

19.    Reported by Bukhari in al-Adab al-Mufrad, 1/162, bab man ‘ala thalatha ihkawat.

20.    Reported by al-Tabarani in al-Awsat with two isnads; the narrators of the first isnad are rijal al-sahih. See Majma’ al-Zawa’id, 8/157.

21.    Sahih Muslim, 18/139, Kitab al-zuhd, bab hadith Jabir al-tawil.

22.    See Adiyy ibn Zayd al-’Ibadi: al-Sha’ir al-Mubtakir, by the author, pp. 171-172.

23.    Diwan Hafiz Ibrahim, 282. Published by Dar al-Kutub al-Misriyyah.