Martyrdom of Hazrat Uthman Ghani Radiallahu Anh – Part 1

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During his reign as Khalifah, Hazrat Uthman Ghani (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) appointed Abdullah Abi Sarh as the governor of Egypt and within two years of this appointment, complaints began to arise in regards to the leadership of Abdullah. The people put their grievances before Sayyiduna Uthman (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) and desired that he address the issue. Sayyiduna Uthman (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) wrote to Abdullah warning him that no more complaints would be tolerated. Abdullah completely ignored this warning and he killed the people who had travelled to Madina Shareef in order to complain to Sayyiduna Uthman (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh).

The situation in Egypt worsened as a result of this and seven hundred people travelled to Madina Shareef from Egypt in order to make Hazrat Uthman (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) and the other companions aware of the terrible situation under Abdullah. The companions were outraged by the actions of Abdullah and Hazrat Sayyidah Aisha Siddiqah (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anha) sent a message to Hazrat Uthman (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) saying that the companions of Allah’s Messenger (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) had expressed their frustration and expressed their desire to have Abdullah Ibn Abi Sarh (who was accused of murder) dismissed. Hazrat Ali (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) also advised Hazrat Uthman (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) to dismiss Abdullah and to appoint another governor.

Sayyiduna Uthman (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) said to his people, “Appoint a man who I shall hand over the role in place of him (i.e. Abdullah).” The people specified the son of Hazrat Abu Bakr (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh), Muhammad Ibn Abi Bakr. Hazrat Uthman (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) appointed him and announced the appointment of Muhammad Ibn Abi Bakr and the dismissal of Abdullah Ibn Abi Sarh in writing. Muhammad Ibn Abi Bakr left Madina Shareef with seven hundred Egyptians (who had come to Madinah in order to complain about Abdullah) and some Ansaar and Muhajiroon also accompanied him.

The group had reached a small distance outside of Madina Shareef when they noticed an African slave riding on a she-camel at a very fast speed towards Egypt. From the physical nature and the fast pace, it was obvious that this was either a slave fleeing from his master or he was a messenger rushing to pass on a message. The group managed to halt the man and ask him who he was. First the man said that he was the slave of Hazrat Uthman (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) and then he said that he was the servant of Marwaan. A person from amongst the group recognized him and said that the man was actually the slave of Hazrat Uthman (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh). Muhammad Ibn Abi Bakr asked the man where he was sent towards. The slave replied that he had been sent to the governor of Egypt, Abdullah Ibn Abi Sarh. The servant was then searched and a letter was found with him which was apparently from Hazrat Uthman (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) to the governor of Egypt. Muhammad Ibn Abi Bakr gathered all the people and opened the letter in front of them. In the letter it was written, “When Muhammad and so and so come to you, find an excuse to kill them. Thereafter, reject this letter as invalid and remain in your post until my opinion reaches you.” Those who were travelling with Muhammad Ibn Abi Bakr were astonished to read these words. Muhammad Ibn Abi Bakr requested a few influential members of his group to sign the letter and then he placed the letter in the trust of one of the group. Everyone returned to Madina Shareef and invited Hazrat Ali, Hazrat Talha, Hazrat Zubair, Hazrat Sa’ad and many other companions (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anhum) where the letter was read out to them and the events that had ensued with the African slave explained.

Everyone was outraged and all the companions returned to their homes angry. Muhammad Ibn Abi Bakr surrounded the house of Hazrat Uthman (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) with his tribe, Banu Tameem and the Egyptians. Upon witnessing these dire circumstances, Hazrat Ali (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) went to the house of Hazrat Uthman (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) along with Hazrat Talha, Hazrat Zubair, Hazrat Sa’ad, Hazrat Ammaar and a few other influential companions (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anhum). They took with them the letter, the servant and the she-camel.

Hazrat Ali (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) asked Hazrat Uthman (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) if the servant was his and he replied that it was. Then Hazrat Ali (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) asked if the she-camel belonged to him and he confirmed that the she-camel was his. Finally, Hazrat Ali (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) showed Hazrat Uthman (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) the letter and asked him whether the letter had been written by him. He replied that the letter had not been written by him. He swore by Almighty Allah that neither had he written the letter nor had he ordered anyone to write it and previously he was not aware that this letter had been written.

Everyone was convinced by Hazrat Uthman’s (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) testimony and everyone believed in his innocence. They now turned their attention to the letter and they seemed to find a resemblance in it with the handwriting of Marwaan and it was now their opinion that this was the plan of Marwaan. Marwaan was present in the house of Hazrat Uthman (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) at the time and the people requested that Marwaan be handed over to them. Hazrat Uthman (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) refused to hand him over as he knew that the people would punish Marwaan and most probably kill him but the evidence upon which they had formed their opinion was not completely satisfactory as handwritings are similar so therefore it could not be said with certainty that the handwriting on the letter was that of Marwaan. Simply on the basis of suspicion, Hazrat Uthman (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) could not allow Marwaan to be punished and therefore he did not hand over Marwaan to the companions (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anhum). Another reason for the reluctance of Hazrat Uthman (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) to give Marwaan to the people was that such an action could have led to strife.

We learn from this incident the importance of having proper evidence before accusing someone of something as Hazrat Uthman (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) did not wish for Marwaan to be punished based on just suspicion. We also learn from the character of Hazrat Uthman Ghani (Radiallahu Ta’ala Anh) that we should be steadfast on the principles of Deen even if the entire world disagrees with us.

May Allah Ta’ala grant us the Taufeeq to follow the example of the Sahaabah-e-Kiraam and to sacrifice our lives for Rasoolullah Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam the way they did, Ameen.

[Compiled from Khutbaat-e-Muharram by Faqeeh-e-Millat Hazrat Allama Mufti Jalaaludeen Ahmad Amjadi Rahmatullah Alaih]