Men of Excellence: Hazrat Uthman Ibn Affan (RA)

Friday Sermon delivered at Masjid Mubarak, Islamabad, Tilford, UK

Rightly Guided Caliphs – Hazrat Uthman(ra)

After reciting TashahhudTa‘awwuz and Surah al-Fatihah, His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad(aba) said that he would continue highlighting incidents from the life of Hazrat Uthman(ra) and the disorder that arose during his time.

His Holiness(aba) presented quotations from the Second Caliph, Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad(ra) who addressed this topic in detail. The rebels sought for Hazrat Uthman(ra) to relinquish the mantle of being the Caliph, however Hazrat Uthman(ra) said that this was not possible. The rebels continued in this attempt for twenty days, but Hazrat Uthman(ra) said that he could not remove the mantle bestowed upon him by God. He tried reasoning with the rebels, advising them to leave their ways. But as they would not desist, Hazrat Uthman(ra) said that a time would come when he was gone, that the same rebels would remember his time and wish he had not left so soon, for they would be faced with great difficulties, as would be the case later on.

The House of Hazrat Uthman(ra) Besieged 

His Holiness(aba) said that after twenty days, seeing as they were unsuccessful, the rebels decided to keep Hazrat Uthman(ra) in his home and cut off all lines of supply to him. In doing so, they hoped that Hazrat Uthman(ra) would give in to their demands. At the same time, the rebels began inflicting hardships on other Muslims as well, to the extent that no one could leave their homes unarmed for fear of their own safety. The rebels had even cut off all water supply to Hazrat Uthman(ra), and so he sent a neighbour in an attempt to get water.

Hazrat Ali(ra) Admonishes the Besiegers 

His Holiness(aba) said that upon hearing of this, Hazrat Ali(ra) went to Hazrat Uthman’s(ra) home and explained to the rebels besieging it that the method they had adopted was wrong and that they should desist. However the rebels replied to Hazrat Ali(ra) saying that they would not allow a single drop of water to reach Hazrat Uthman(ra). Then even Hazrat Umm Habibah(ra), a wife of the Holy Prophet(sa) went with some water and tried reasoning with the rebels, yet they began attacking the mule she was riding and turned away in such a manner, that if some Madinites had not been nearby, she may have been trampled by the rebels. This was the manner in which the rebels treated even the wife of the Holy Prophet(sa).

Hazrat A’ishah(ra) Prepares for the Hajj

His Holiness(aba) said that upon seeing this, the Muslims realised that there was no chance in reasoning with these rebels. Hazrat A’ishah(ra) was setting out for Hajj, when the Muslims asked her to stay back for it may help in resolving the disorder. However Hazrat A’ishah(ra) replied asking whether they wished for her to be treated in the same manner as Hazrat Umm Habibah(ra). On her way to Hajj however, Hazrat A’ishah(ra) tried to do something which could have reduced the disorder, which was to invite one of them to go to Hajj along with her, however the rebel denied this offer.

Hazrat Uthman(ra) Sends a Circular to Provincial Governors

His Holiness(aba) said that Hazrat Uthman(ra) wrote a letter to Muslims in which he said that there were some who wished to create disorder amongst the Muslims. However these people did not realise that it was God Himself who appoints a Caliph, as He has promised in the Holy Qur’an. Furthermore, God has commanded to hold fast to this rope of Allah, yet these rebels completely disregard this. He said that he was the subordinate of the Holy Prophet(sa), and as God has stated in the Holy Qur’an, those who pledged allegiance to the Holy Prophet(sa) in fact pledged allegiance to God. However these rebels did not stay true to their pledge of allegiance. Hazrat Uthman(ra) said that the rebels made three demands from him; that he should be equally reprimanded for any punishment which he had given to anyone. If he did not agree to this then he should abandon being the Caliph. If he did not agree to this either, then the rebels would send their men and tell people to stop being obedient to Hazrat Uthman(ra).

In response to these demands, Hazrat Uthman(ra) said that previous Caliphs were never reprimanded for decisions which they made, yet the rebels wished to reprimand him. This only meant that this was an excuse to kill him. As for leaving the mantle of being the Caliph, he said that they could mutilate his body, however he would never leave this mantle bestowed upon him by God. As for the third matter, Hazrat Uthman(ra) said that he never forced anyone to pledge allegiance to him, however after having done so, if they sought to make people break their oaths then they themselves would reap the consequences.

The Rebels Pelt Stones at the House of Hazrat Uthman(ra)

His Holiness(aba) said that when all else was failing, the rebels tried inciting Hazrat Uthman(ra) whereby he would retaliate and then they would have an excuse to fight against him. They even went as far as to start throwing rocks in his home in the middle of the night, hoping that someone in his home would throw a rock back at them and then they could fight. However, Hazrat Uthman(ra) had instructed everyone to refrain from retaliating in any way.

Seeing that the rebels were looking for an excuse to kill Hazrat Uthman(ra), Muslims would gather around his home and stand guard. However, Hazrat Uthman(ra) was so selfless, that he told an army of 3,000 men who had come to protect him, that they should not put their lives in danger, as the rebels only had an issue with him. He knew that the companions and as many people possible would be needed to uphold and further the message of Islam, and so he did not desire for them to put their lives in danger. Even still, whenever Muslims passed by, they would do their duty of protecting their Caliph. Furthermore, Muslims began spreading the word, and encouraging one another to stand for the protection of Islam, and large armies of Muslims began preparing.

Worthy Efforts of the Companions in Suppressing the Disorder

His Holiness(aba) said that upon seeing the Muslims fervour to protect their Caliph, the rebels grew worried for their own sakes and thought that they would have to act quickly in their attempt of killing Hazrat Uthman(ra). Thus, one night the rebels attacked the home of Hazrat Uthman(ra). There were a few companions outside his home who valiantly defended. Hazrat Uthman(ra) came out with his shield and took those companions inside his home. He advised them that there were greater purposes which they were yet to fulfil and so they should not fight. As some of the companions left at the behest of Hazrat Uthman(ra), some of the senior companions felt that no matter what, it was their duty to remain there and protect their Caliph. The rebels set fire and burned down the front gate. Upon seeing this, the remaining companions took their arms and went towards the rebels. Though they were few in number, the companions fought valiantly.

His Holiness(aba) said that he would continue highlighting these incidents in the future.

His Holiness(aba) again made an appeal for prayers, for the Ahmadis in Pakistan facing worsening conditions.

Funeral Prayers

His Holiness(aba) said that he would offer the funeral prayers in-absentia of the following:

Maulvi Muhammad Najeeb Khan Sahib from Qadian, India, who passed away on February 14. He is survived by his wife and three sons. He accepted Ahmadiyyat at the age of seventeen after reading The Philosophy of the Teachings of Islam. He was the first in his family to accept Ahmadiyyat, and as a result of his efforts, his family later accepted Ahmadiyyat as well. Then on the basis of a dream, he decided to dedicate his life for the service of Islam and join Jamia Ahmadiyya. He was regular in prayers and was very pious. He worked diligently and with efficiency. He had the opportunity of translating and reviewing books in Malayalam. His Holiness(aba) prayed that may Allah elevate his station in paradise.

Nazir Ahmad Khadim Sahib who passed away on February 6. He was a very skilled writer and speaker, skills which he used in the service of faith since his days in college. He served the Community from his youth in various capacities. His Holiness(aba) prayed that may Allah treat him with mercy and forgiveness and enable his progeny to keep the legacy of his virtues alive.

Al Hajj Dr Nana Mustafa Boateng Sahib from Ghana who passed away on February 17. He was born in a Christian household and he later accepted Islam Ahmadiyyat. He served as a driver, including for the National President of the Community. He later became a businessman and was very successful, which he would always ascribe to the blessings of Allah, the prayers of the Caliph and his financial sacrifices. He served the Community in various capacities. He is survived by three wives and three daughters. He had a son who passed away in recent years. He was regular in prayers and financial contributions. He financed the building of an entire mosque on his own. He also had a passion for spreading the message of Islam Ahmadiyyat. He had a TV channel which he would use for this purpose and proved to be successful. He did things such as fix the roads leading to a hospital at his own expense, and would even assist local missionaries in various ways at his own expense as well. He had adopted many children and saw to their upbringing and moral training. His Holiness(aba) prayed that may Allah treat him with mercy and forgiveness and enable his children to keep the legacy of his virtues alive.

Ghulam Nabi Sahib of Rabwah who passed away on February 2. He served the Community in various capacities. He was regular in offering prayers and reciting the Holy Qur’an. He possessed many great qualities. His Holiness(aba) prayed that may Allah elevate his station in paradise.

Summary prepared by The Review of Religions.