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Uthuman Ibn Affan (R A)

Uthman (R A) was born into the wealthy Umayyad clan of the Quraish tribe in Mecca, a few years after Muhammad(SAW) . He was an early convert to Islam, and was well known for using his wealth to benefit charities. This put him into opposition to his powerful clan, which was Muhammad's (SAW) greatest enemy. During the life of Muhammad(SAW) , he was also part of the first Muslim emigration to the city of Axum in Ethiopia, where Muhammad (SAW) sent some of his followers to seek refuge and the later emigration from Mecca to Medina. He frequently served as Muhammad's (SAW) secretary.

 It is stated in al-Fiqh al-Akbar: 'The most noble person after the Prophets (SAW) is Abu Bakr, the Most Truthful (as-Siddeeq), (R A), then 'Umar ibn al-Khattab, the Differentiator (al-Farooq), (R A), then 'Uthman Ibn 'Affan, Possesor of Two Lights (Dhun-Nurayn), (R A)....'

 His lineage is: 'Uthman, son of 'Affan, son of 'Aas, son of Umayya, sonf of 'Abd Shams, son of 'Abd Manaf, son of Qusayy al-Qurashi al-Umawi.

 The title of Dhun Nurayn was given to him because the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) gave him his daughter Ruqayya (R Anha) in marriage. When she passed away, the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) gave him his other daughter Umm Kulthum (R Anha), and when she passed away, the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) remarked, 'If I possessed a third daughter, I would marry her to you, too.' This is why Hadrat Uthman (R A) was given the title 'Possessor of Two Lights' (Dhun-Noorayn).

 It is related by Anas (RA) that when the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) ordered the Pledge of Ridwan (Bay'atur Ridwan), Uthman (R A) was the envoy of the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) to Makkah (and thus not present). The Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) took the pledge from everybody and remarked, ''Uthman (R A)is occupied in the work of Allaah and His Messenger,'' and thereafter struck his one hand over the other. This way, the two hands of the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) for Uthman (R A) were superior to everybody else's hands for themselves. (Tirmidhi, al-Manaqib, 1639)

 Uthaman RadiyaAllahu ‘anhu was very handsome. In fact, ” ‘Abdullah bin Hazm (R A) said: “I saw ‘Uthman, and I never saw a man or woman more beautiful than him.” (as quoted in the forums from ‘Siyar A’lam an-Nubala’).

It is said that ” ‘Uthman (R A)was, to the Prophet’s daughters, an ideal husband. He was compassionate with his wi[v]e[s] and he was very modest.”

It is also said that he was well liked by the Quraysh. He was described as being “free of enmity, amiable, soft-spoken;” and “generous towards members of his family.”

He was Born in Taa-if. Married Ruqayyah in Makkah and then made hijra to Al-Habasha/Abyssinia, followed by hijrah to Madinah.

 When RasoolAllah sallahAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam left for the battle of badr, Ruqayyah (R Anha) was sick, so RasoolAllah sallahAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam gave ‘Uthman (R A)permission to stay with her. She died during the battle.

 o After Ruqayyah’s death (Rahmat Allah ‘alayha), RasoolAllah sallahAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam gave Umm Kulthoom to ‘Uthman (R A)in marriage.
 During his lifetime he was given glad tidings of Paradise. He was the third khalifah

 A few of his notable characteristics:

 His Modesty
 It is reported that the Prophet (sallahAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) was “lying on his bed covered with the bed sheet of A’isha (radiyaAllahu ‘anha).” Abu Bakr (radiyaAllahu ‘anhu) was given permission to enter, fulfilled the purpose of his visit, and left. Then Umar (radiyaAllahu ‘anhu) was given permission to enter, fulfilled the purpose of his visit, and then left. However, when ‘Uthman (R A)(radiyaAllahu ‘anhu) sought permission to enter, RasoolAllahu (sallahAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) “got up and [s]aid to A’isha: Wrap yourself well with your cloth.” Then ‘Uthman (R A)fulfilled the purpose of his visit, and left. A’isha asked RasoolAllah (sallahAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) why he differed in his response to ‘Uthman (R A)(in the matter of dressing). “Thereupon Allah’s Messenger (sallahAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: Verily ‘Uthman (R A)is a person who is very modest and I was afraid that if I permitted him to enter in this very state he would not inform me of his need.

 o Sought the assistance of Allah (ista’aana bil-Lah)-”Abu Musa al-Ash’ari reported that while Allah’s Messenger (sallahAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) was in one of the gardens of Medina, reclining against a pillow and fixing a stick in a mud,” Abu Bakr and ‘Umar (radiyaAllahu ‘anhum) came and were given glad tidings of Paradise. “Then still another man asked for the door to be opened, and thereupon Allah’s Apostle (sallahAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: Open it and give him the glad tidings of Paradise after a trial afflicts him. I went and, lo, it was ‘Uthman (R A)bin ‘Affan. I opened the door and gave him the glad tidings of Paradise and informed him (what the Holy Prophet had said). Thereupon he said: O Allah, grant me steadfastness. Allah is one Whose help is to be sought."

 His Caliphat
 Uthman (R A)ibn Affan was the third Caliph of the Ummah (community or nation of Islam), and is regarded as one of the "Four Righteously Guided Caliphs." He governed from 644 until 656.

 Uthman (R A)is especially important for overseeing the process by which the official recession of the Qur'an was completed. He was a son-in-law of Muhammad(SAW).

 Election to the Caliphate

 Uthman (R A) became caliph after the assassination of Umar ibn al-Khattab n 644 C.E. Prior to his death, Umar appointed a group of six men to choose his successor from among themselves. Included in this group were Uthman (R A) and Ali ibn Abi Talib(R A) , the cousin and son-in-law of Muhammad (SAW) whom the rightful leader of the community. Some accounts say that he was chosen because he promised to continue the policies of Abu Bakr and Umar, whereas Ali would make no such promise (May Allaah bless them all). Some surmise that Uthman (R A)had been selected because the other five thought he would be easy to manipulate. Others argue that he was the 'most competent statesman,' since Sunnis believe that the Caliph should be the 'best from among them' (Watt 1968: 36).

 Uthman (R A)reigned for twelve years, and during his rule, all of Iran, most of North Africa, the Caucasus and Cyprus were added to the Islamic empire. In order to strengthen his control over the empire, Uthman (R A)appointed many of his kinsmen as governors (Zakaria 1988: 54).

 One explanation for this reliance on his kin is that the Muslim empire had expanded so far, so fast, that it was becoming extremely difficult to govern, and that Uthman (R A)felt that he could trust his own kin not to revolt against him. Regional governors were becoming powerful in their own right; indeed his own relative, Muawiyah, governor of Syria, would establish the first dynastic caliphate. Eventually, the governors would become hereditary Sultans, paying homage to the caliph but otherwise governing independently. However, many Muslims did not see these appointments as prudent; they saw it as nepotism, and an attempt to rule like a king rather than as the first among equals. Most Muslims saw trib

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