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Part 2 .2: A Probe into Saqifah 2

Umar’s Opinion about Shura Members

2. Another historian writes that once Umar summoned Talha, Zubair, Saad, Abdur Rahman, Uthman and ‘Ali and said:

“O Zubair! What kind of person you are! One day you are a human being and another, a devil. O Talha! What kind of a person you are? The Prophet was angry with you because of your words till he passed away. It was because of you only the verse prohibiting marriage with the wives of the prophet was revealed.”

According to another tradition, Umar said: “O Talha! Aren’t you the same person who said, ‘I will marry the wives of Muhammad after his demise? Allah has not made Muhammad more rightful to the daughters of our uncles more than us.’ Because of your audacity, Allah revealed this verse:

«وَمَا كَانَ لَكُمْ أَن تُؤْذُوا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ وَلاَ أَن تَنكِحُوا أَزْوَاجَهُ مِن بَعْدِهِ أَبَداً.»

You should not give trouble to the Apostle of Allah, nor that you should marry his wives after him ever.1

Shaykh Abu Uthman says that if the character of those personalities was such, why Umar said on his death-bed that the Prophet was pleased with them all his life?

Then Umar turned to Saad ibn Abi Waqqas and said: “You are the leader of the group of persons who turn away. You are a hunter and play with bow and arrow. What is the relation of tribe of Zahra with Caliphate?”

Then he looked at Abdur Rahman ibn Auf and said: “A person is not eligible to Caliphate if he has weaknesses as much as you. By the way, what is the relation of Zahra with Caliphate?”

Turning to ‘Ali he said: “If you had not been humorous, by Allah, you were most rightful to Caliphate. By Allah! If you become the ruler you will lead the people on the right path.”

Looking at Uthman, he said: “I can see that the Quraish will make you the ruler. You will impose Bani Umayyah and Bani Muit over the people and hand over to them the Muslim public treasury.”2

‘Ali’s protest in Shura Meeting

Imam ‘Ali (a) raised his voice of protest before the members of Shura in order to prove his right to Caliphate. He said: “I hold witness Allah unto you, Who is aware of your every truth and lie.

1. Is there anyone here except me whose brother has been granted two wings in Paradise by Allah?

2. Is there anyone here except me whose uncle is the chief of martyrs?

3. Is there anyone here except me whose wife is the chief of the ladies of the worlds?

4. The Prophet considered my sons as his own. Is there anyone here except me as such?

5. Is there anyone here except me whose sons are chiefs of the youth of Paradise?

6. Is there anyone here having more knowledge of the holy Quran than me?

7. Is there anyone here for whom the verse of purification was revealed?

8. Is there anyone here who has seen archangel Jibraeel?

9. Was the announcement of, “Of whomsoever I am the master…” made for anyone except me?

10. Was anyone, except me, made by the Prophet his brother?

11. Is there anyone who has conquered the Battle of the Ditch (Khandaq) except me?

12. Is there anyone who has been honored with the title of ‘Haroon of Muhammad’, except me?

13. Is there anyone except me who is called a believer by Allah in ten verses of holy Quran?

14. Is there anyone here except me who slept on the bed of the Prophet on the night of migration?

15. Is there anyone here except me such that angels stood by his side in the Battle of Uhad?

16. Is there anyone here except me such that the Prophet passed away in his lap?

17. Is there anyone here except me who has given the funeral bath to the Prophet after his demise; shrouded and buried him?

18. Is there anyone here except me who possesses the weapon, banner and ring of the Prophet?

19. Is there anyone here except me whom the Prophet had made to climb his shoulders to break the idols?

20. Did the voice from heaven call out for anyone except me: “If there is a sword, it is Zulfiqar; if there is a brave youth, it is ‘Ali.”?

21. Is there anyone here except me who has shared a roasted bird with the Prophet?

22. Is there anyone here except me for whom the Prophet said: “You are my standard-bearer in this world and the hereafter.”?

23. Is there anyone here except me who has acted upon the verse of ‘Najwa’ (consultation)?3

24. Is there anyone here except me who has received the honor of being the Prophet’s shoe-mender?

25. Is there anyone here except me for whom the Prophet had said: “I love you more than the entire creation. You are most truthful after me?”

26. Is there anyone here except me who earned a hundred dates by pulling out a hundred buckets of water from well and then shared them with the Prophet?

27. Is there anyone here except me who was saluted by three thousand angels in Badr?

28. Is there anyone here except me who is the first Muslim?

29. Is there anyone here except me whose house was visited by the Prophet in the end while leaving the city and first when he came back?

30. Is there anyone here except me for whom the Prophet said: “You are my first testifier and first one to meet me at the cistern of Kauthar?”

31. Is there anyone here except me whose family members were taken along by the Prophet to Mubahila?

32. Is there anyone here except me who has paid Zakat in the state of Ruku (genuflection) and Allah has revealed the verse:

«إِنَّمَا وَلِيُّكُمْ اللَّهُ وَرَسُولُهُ وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا الَّذِينَ يُقِيمُونَ الصَّلاَةَ وَيُؤْتُونَ الزَّكَاةَ وَهُمْ رَاكِعُونَ.»

Only Allah is your Guardian and His Apostle and those who believe, those who keep up prayers and pay the poor-rate while they bow?

33. Is there anyone here except me for whom Surah Dahr was revealed?

34. Is there anyone here except me for whom Allah has revealed the verse?

«أَجَعَلْتُمْ سِقَايَةَ الْحَاجِّ وَعِمَارَةَ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ كَمَنْ آمَنَ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الآخِرِ وَجَاهَدَ فِي سَبِيلِ اللّهِ لاَ يَسْتَوُونَ عِندَ اللَّهِ.»

What! do you make (one who undertakes) the giving of drink to the pilgrims and the guarding of the Sacred Mosque like him who believes in Allah and the latter day and strives hard in Allah’s way? They are not equal with Allah.4

35. Is there anyone here except me who was taught a thousand such statements, of which each is the key to a thousand other statements?

36. Is there anyone here except me to whom the Prophet whispered and made the people quiet by saying: “I haven’t whispered to him but Allah?”

37. Is there anyone here except me for whom the Prophet said: “You and your Shias will be successful on Judgment Day?”

38. Is there anyone here except me for whom the Prophet said: “One who thinks that he loves me and harbors malice for ‘Ali is a liar?”

39. Is there anyone here except me for whom the Prophet said: “If a person loves my part he has loved me and a person who has loved me has loved Allah”? The Prophet was then asked who his part was. The Prophet replied: “They are ‘Ali, Fatima, Hasan and Husain.”

40. Is there anyone here except me to whom the Prophet said: “You are the best man after the prophets.”

41. Is there anyone here except me whom the Prophet has made a criterion of right and wrong?

42. Is there anyone here except me whom the Prophet took under his cloak?

43. Is there anyone here except me who took the food of the Prophet to the cave of Hira?

44. Is there anyone here except me for whom the Prophet said: “You are my brother, vizier and my companion from my family.”

45. Is there anyone here except me for whom the Prophet said: “You preceded them in Islam, you are superior to them in actions and have more forbearance than them.”

46. Is there anyone here except me who killed Marhab, the Jew?

47. Is there anyone here except me who uprooted the gate of Khaiber, which used to be handled by forty persons at a time?

48. Is there anyone here except me for whom the Prophet said: “Abusing him is abusing me?”

49. Is there anyone here except me for whom the Prophet said: “O ‘Ali! Your destination, Paradise is linked with my destination, Paradise?”

50. Is there anyone here except me for whom the Prophet said: “You will be on the right side of the divine throne on Judgment Day and Allah will make you wear two clothes – one of them would be green and other red?”

51. Is there anyone here except me who offered prayer seven years before Muslims started to pray?

52. Is there anyone here except me whose love is considered as love of Prophet and whose enmity is considered as enmity of Prophet by the Prophet himself?

53. Is there anyone here except me the preaching of whose Wilayat (mastership) was made obligatory by Allah on the Prophet?

54. Is there anyone here except me whom the Prophet called ‘Leader of believers’ (Yasoobil Momineen)?

55. Is there anyone here except me for whom the Prophet said: “I will send to you one whom Allah has tested for faith.”?

56. Is there anyone here except me whom the Prophet made to eat the pomegranate of Paradise?

57. Is there anyone here except me for whom the Prophet said: “I was granted what I asked from the Lord and whatever I ask from the Lord for myself, I ask it for you also.”?

58. Is there anyone here except me for whom the Prophet said: “You will remain steadfast on the commandments of Allah, fulfill the promise of the Lord, be just in distribution of wealth and have a high rank near Allah.”?

59. Is there anyone here except me for whom the Prophet said: “You are superior to this Ummah like a sun is to the moon and moon to all the stars.”?

60. Is there anyone here, except me, whose friends are given tidings of Paradise and enemies are given tidings of hell?

61. Is there anyone here except me for whom the Prophet said: “People are from different trees and you and me are from a single tree.”?

62. Is there anyone here except me whom the Prophet has called, ‘Master of Arabs’?

63. Is there anyone here except me who has hosted archangel Jibraeel?

64. Is there anyone here except me who has preached Surah Baraat?

65. Is there anyone here except me who will distribute Paradise and Hell?

The committee members replied in negative to each question.

“When you know these virtues of mine, do not leave the right and follow the wrong.”

However, Abdur Rahman ibn Auf and his Companions deprived Imam ‘Ali (a) of Caliphate.

Analysis of Shura Gathering

You have read the views of Umar regarding Shura and its members. He has expressed his views regarding all the members openly. Umar had selected a committee with a limited number of members while a committee with lots of members was required in order to find a solution of this crucial issue.

1. Umar had restricted the functioning of this committee. He had limited the freedom of thought in it.

2. The hands of this committee were tied up and the guards were ordered to kill whoever objected to the majority view immediately.

3. If the committee got divided into two equal sides, the side supported by Abdur Rahman ibn Auf was to be preferred. Why should the opinion of Abdur Rahman ibn Auf be given preference?

4. Was the opinion of Abdur Rahman ibn Auf considered as final verdict because he had supported Umar’s nomination by Abu Bakr?

5. Is there any proof in holy Quran and traditions, which indicates that it is obligatory to kill one who opposes Abdur Rahman ibn Auf?

6. Allah says regarding killing of a believer:

«وَمَن يَقْتُلْ مُؤْمِناً مُّتَعَمِّداً فَجَزَاؤُهُ جَهَنَّمُ خَالِداً فِيهَا وَغَضِبَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَلَعَنَهُ وَأَعَدَّ لَهُ عَذَاباً عَظِيماً.»

And whoever kills a believer intentionally, his punishment is hell; he shall abide in it, and Allah will send His wrath on him and curse him and prepare for him a painful chastisement.5

If the chastisement of a common believer is such, what will be the punishment of killing a companion of the Prophet and those Companions with whom the Prophet was pleased till he passed away, as Umar himself admitted?

7. Ahl al-Sunnah often say that the Prophet said: “My Companions are like stars. You will be guided if you follow any of them.”

Wasn’t this tradition in the mind of Umar and that dispute between them was not harmful for Ummah? Why did he order killing of those stars who opposed?

8. Is it legal to kill a person if he has a different opinion in any religion or society of the world?

9. Was Abdur Rahman ibn Auf a criterion of right and wrong that it was made obligatory to severe the head of a person who opposed him?

10. Umar believed till the time of his death that appointment of Caliph was not Prophetic Practice (Sunnah) and that it was the practice of Abu Bakr to appoint a Caliph. Why did he leave the Prophetic Practice and follow the practice of Abu Bakr?

11. The Quran has ordered us to follow the Prophet and to keep away from deviating from his path. In spite of this, what were the reasons, because of which they did not follow the Prophet’s way?

12. Why was Caliphate limited to six persons only, and why no capable person could be found in the entire Muslim Ummah?

13. It is said that the Prophet was pleased with all of them when he passed away. It is difficult to accept this statement as Umar himself said regarding Talha ibn Ubaidullah: “The Prophet remained angry with you for one of your statements till he passed away.” When such people were included in the committee, how can it be said that they were selected because of the pleasure of the Prophet?

14. Even if we suppose that the Prophet was pleased with all of them, doesn’t it mean that the Prophet was angry with the entire Ummah with the exception of these six?

15. If the answer is no, what can be the reason for limiting the Caliphate to six persons when the Prophet was pleased with thousands of people?

16. Umar accepted that Saeed ibn Amr ibn Nufayl was eligible for Caliphate. Then why wasn’t he included in the committee?

17. The second Caliph remarked that ‘Ali was humorous. Did anyone else also make such a remark?

18. Was Umar the only person to examine the life of Imam ‘Ali (a)? Was the life of Imam ‘Ali (a) away from the view of others?

If not, then why didn’t others notice this flaw?

We should also remember these words of Ibn Abbas: “‘Ali (a) so awe inspiring that we could not begin conversation with him out of fear.”

19. Was the service to Islam done by all members of the committee equally? If not, why Umar made them stand in a single row?

20. Were not some members related to each other?

21. If yes, could they support their relative in an unfair manner or not?

22. Isn’t it a fact that Talha was from Abu Bakr’s tribe, Bani Tameem, which had sour relations with Imam ‘Ali (a)?

23. Saad ibn Abi Waqqas and Abdur Rahman ibn Auf belonged to Bani Zahra and they had very close relations with Bani Umayyah. Hamna bint Sufyan was Saad ibn Abi Waqqas’ mother and a close relative of Uthman. Could it then be expected that Saad ibn Abi Waqqas would leave his relatives and support ‘Ali for Caliphate? Umme Kulthum bint Uqbah was the wife of Abdur Rahman ibn Auf. She was Uthman’s sister. Could it be expected that Abdur Rahman ibn Auf would leave his brother-in-law and support someone else in this crucial matter?

24. Even if we consider the remarks of Umar regarding Imam ‘Ali (a) correct, is it fair to deny Caliphate to a person only because of his humor?

25. We have read the narration of the historian, Tabari that Umar had said that ‘Ali will guide people to the right path. If this statement is correct what was the reason for making the selection of ‘Ali doubtful? Also the promptness shown in the meeting of Shura is also worth noticing.

26. Abdur Rahman showed his cunning and backed off from Caliphate so that no one can object to him. The point is whether this decision was a spontaneous or a preplanned one?

27. Didn’t Abdur Rahman appoint his near relative after backing off?

28. Wasn’t the appointment of Uthman because of family relations?

29. Abdur Rahman ibn Auf had put forward three conditions for Caliphate viz. following Quran, the Prophetic Practice and practice of the two Shaykhs (Abu Bakr and Umar). Why was the practice of two Shaykhs included as a condition in addition to Quran and Prophetic Practice?

30. If the practice of two Shaykhs is a part of holy Quran and Prophetic Practice (Sunnah) why was it mentioned separately?

31. If it is not a part of Quran and Prophetic Practice (Sunnah) why was it included as a condition for Caliphate?

32. There are numerous such incidents in books of History where the stand of Abu Bakr was different from that of Umar. Now if their successors were to follow their practice how would they decide the issues in which there was difference between the practices of the two? Whose practice should one prefer in such issues? There are numerous incidents where the practice of Umar was different from that of the Prophet.

Some Personal Exertions of Umar

1. The Prophet and Abu Bakr used to give equal grants to all Muslims. Even Abu Bakr did not differentiate between those who were first in accepting Islam and common Muslims. However Umar did exactly opposite of this and stopped giving equal grants to all Muslims. He fixed different amounts for different people.6

Umar had a strange nature. At times he used to get angry with Islam and at other times he used to love abusive language. Hence his character was not at all fit for Caliphate. The pages of History are full of incidents depicting Umar’s harsh nature.

1. A person came to him and said: “So and so person has done injustice to me. Please give me justice.”

Umar whipped him hard and said: “When Umar is idle, you don’t come. When he is busy with affairs of Muslims, you come here with your complains!”

The person went away groaning in pain. After sometime Umar summoned him again and handed him the whip and said: “Take revenge from me.”

The person said: “I forgive you for the sake of Allah and for your sake.”

Umar said: “Forgive me either for the sake of Allah or for my sake.”

The person said: “I forgive you for the sake of Allah.”

Umar said: “Now you can go.”7

The justice of Farooq was affiliated to his harsh nature where petitioners sometimes had to bear punishment instead of getting justice.

2. Umar had made Noman ibn Adi ibn Nufaila the governor of Meesan province. A few days later, someone recited a poem to Umar praising Noman. Umar wrote to Noman saying that he has taken the post of latter back and asked him to return soon.

He came back and said: “By Allah! I never touched wine or women. It was just a poetic effect in those lines.”

Umar said: “That is right, but you will not work for my government henceforth.”

3. A person from Quraish was appointed as governor by Umar. Umar got to hear a stanza of a poem written in his praise as follows:

“Make me take a sip such that my bones become soaked and make Ibn Hisham have a cupful of it.”

Umar summoned him after hearing these lines. The poet was very crafty. Umar asked whether he had written those lines.

He answered in affirmative and asked whether he had heard the lines following it. Umar replied in negative. Then the poet recited the lines:

“Make me drink honey mixed in rainwater for I do not like to drink wine.”

Umar was impressed with his presence of mind and asked him to continue with his duties.

4. Umar asked a few questions from a governor regarding the holy Quran and Shariah. The governor gave satisfying answers and Umar asked him to continue with his duties. While returning he said: “I had a dream, please interpret it for me.” Umar asked him to narrate his dream. He said: “I saw the sun and moon fighting each other. They had an army each.” Umar asked: “From which side did you participate?” He said that he had participated from the side of moon.

Umar said: “I strip you of your post for Allah has said:

«وَجَعَلْنَا اللَّيْلَ وَالنَّهَارَ آيَتَيْنِ فَمَحَوْنَا آيَةَ اللَّيْلِ وَجَعَلْنَا آيَةَ النَّهَارِ مُبْصِرَةً.»

And We have made the night and the day two signs, then We have made the sign of the night to pass away and We have made the sign of the day manifest.8

5. A peace treaty was signed between the Prophet and Suhail ibn Amr at Hudaybiya. One of the conditions was: If a person from Mecca comes to Muslims, they would return him and if a person from Muslims comes to Mecca, he would not be returned.

Umar got angry when the Prophet accepted this condition. He went to Abu Bakr and protested there. Then he came and sat near the Prophet and told him: “Why do you want to disgrace us?”

The Prophet said that he was Allah’s Messenger and would not disobey Allah.

Umar became infuriated and got up from there saying: “By Allah! If my supporters had been present I would not have borne this disgrace.”9

Once Umar was walking in the city along with Abdur Rahman ibn Auf at night when he saw some people drinking wine. He told Abdur Rahman: “I know them.” He summoned them in the morning and asked: “Why were you drinking wine at night?”

One of them asked: “Who told you?”

Umar said: “I saw you drinking wine at night.” The person asked: “Didn’t Allah order you to keep away from spying?” Umar forgave him.

Inconsistency between the practice of the Prophet and Umar

We have already discussed the difference of opinion of Umar in distributing grants and at the time of the treaty of Hudaybiya. Only a handful of contradictions are mentioned here otherwise:

We need a ship to sail in this boundless sea.

1. The Prophet made an agreement with Jews of Khaiber after the battle that they would look after Khaiber orchards and have fifty percent share in the harvest. This practice continued during the Prophet’s and Abu Bakr’s time. Umar took away these orchards and land, and exiled all of them.

2. The Prophet had conquered the valley of Qura and had signed a similar agreement with Jews of that place.

Umar exiled all of them to Syria during the time of his Caliphate and grabbed all their lands.10

Mutual differences between the practice of Abu Bakr and Umar

We have already discussed a few differences in previous sections. Some more contradictions are mentioned here as examples. We ask the scholars that when there were differences in the practice of Abu Bakr and Umar, how could one follow the practice of ‘the two Shaykhs’? How could it be made a condition for Caliphate?

1. Uyyana ibn Husn and Iqra ibn Hubais went to Abu Bakr and said: “O Caliph of Prophet! We have barren land with us. It is not possible to cultivate it. If you give us fertile land we will work hard and benefit from it.”11

Abu Bakr asked the opinion of the people gathered there. The people approved the decision of giving them the land. Abu Bakr granted him the land and asked the witnesses to sign the papers. However Umar was not present at that time. Umar met them on the way and asked what those papers were? They said that they were papers of the land granted to them. Umar took the papers from them and tore them up saying: “The period during which the Prophet used to attract you was a disgrace for Islam. Today Islam has progressed by the grace of Allah and there is no need to win your hearts now!”

They came back to Abu Bakr and complained about Umar’s behavior. By that time Umar had reached the place and he asked Abu Bakr angrily: “Is the land given to these people your personal property or that of all Muslims?”

Abu Bakr said: “It is the property of all Muslims.” Umar asked: “Then why did you give it to them without the permission of the entire Muslim Ummah?” Abu Bakr said that he had taken the opinion of the people assembled there before granting them the land.

Umar asked: “Is every Muslim eligible to give the right advice?”12

2. The difference between the practice of Abu Bakr and Umar can be made explicit in the incident of Malik ibn Nuwairah

Incident of Malik ibn Nuwairah

It is the saddest event in the history of Islam and Khalid ibn Walid committed many social and religious blunders in it.

1. Khalid ibn Walid attacked Malik ibn Nuwairah without the Caliph’s permission.

2. The act of Khalid was wrong according to Shariah.

3. Khalid ordered the killing of Malik in words which can be compared to ‘treachery’, which is strictly prohibited in Islam.

4. Khalid married Malik’s widow even before his dead body was laid to rest. The law of chastity and Islamic Shariah do not permit this. However Abu Bakr forgave all his crimes. On the other hand, Umar disliked this act of Khalid. When he was appointed as Caliph, he dismissed Khalid. This incident can be summarized as follows:

Ibn Athir writes: When Khalid became free of fighting Fuzara, Asad and Bani Tai, he turned to Batah. Malik ibn Nuwairah and his clan lived in this area. Some followers of Khalid backed off and said that the Caliph had not ordered them to attack. They said that the Caliph had ordered them that when they were free from Buzakha; they should wait for the next order. Khalid told them: “I am your leader and Malik has been trapped by me. If you don’t want to come I would take the army of Emigrants along with me.”

Abu Bakr had advised his army to recite the call for prayer (Adhan) at any place they halt. If the opponents also do the same, do not trouble them. If they do not say Adhan they should be attacked. If they say Adhan they should be asked about Zakat. If they say that Zakat is obligatory, do not trouble them. If they say otherwise, attack them.

Khalid reached this place along with his army and recited the call for prayer (Adhan). The tribe of Malik also said the Adhan in reply. This was testified by Abu Qatadah, a soldier of Khalid.

Khalid’s army attacked the Muslims, swords were unsheathed and battle began from both the sides. The people of Malik’s tribe asked the attackers: “Who are you?” The attackers replied: “We are Muslims.” The people of Malik’s tribe said: “We are also Muslims. Then why should we fight?” Khalid’s army asked them to put their weapons down and the people of Malik’s tribe did so. Then Khalid ordered his army to arrest all the people of Malik’s tribe and they were summoned. Malik ibn Nuwairah was also brought along. His wife came to meet him in Khalid’s court. She was a beautiful woman and Khalid looked at her greedily. Malik told his wife: “If you hadn’t come, we would have been saved. Now Khalid has seen you with his greedy eyes and I know that he would kill me in order to acquire you.”

It was a cold and a dark night and the prisoners were shivering. Khalid signaled a caller and the latter called out loudly: “Warm up your prisoners!” but as translated according to the dictionary of Bani Kinana, it meant “Kill your prisoners.” Khalid’s soldiers got up and killed all the pious Muslims of that tribe.

The bodies of the martyred were still lying on the ground that Khalid married Malik’s widow. On seeing this, Abu Qatadah came to Medina and informed Abu Bakr of this incident. Upon this, Umar said: “The sword of Khalid has become extravagant. He should be dismissed and punished severely.”

Abu Bakr said: “He misinterpreted and committed a mistake. Khalid is ‘the sword of Allah’. Do not object to Khalid.” Khalid came to Medina after a few days and asked Abu Bakr to forgive him. Abu Bakr forgave him and legitimized his marriage.

Malik’s brother, Mutammam ibn Nuwairah came to Abu Bakr and said: “My brother was martyred by Khalid and my people were brought to Medina unlawfully. I want Khalid to be punished as per Shariah and the prisoners should be released.”

Abu Bakr released the prisoners immediately and gave compensation of Malik’s death from Muslim treasury instead of punishing Khalid.

Mutammam ibn Nuwairah always recited elegies in the memory of his brother. His elegies have a great literary value in Arabic literature even today.13

Analysis of the Incident of Malik

1. The attack was carried out without the Caliph’s permission.

2. The soldiers were ordered by Caliph that they should say Adhan and if the opponents also recited Adhan, they should not fight. Then they were supposed to ask regarding Zakat. If the opponents considered it obligatory, they should not be troubled.

Then what was the fault of Malik and his tribe? They said Adhan and offered prayer as witnessed by Abu Qatadah, a companion of Prophet. In spite of this, they were martyred. Why so?

3. Khalid had used an ambiguous statement to order their killing and it meant, “Warm up your prisoners”, but according to the parlance of Bani Kinana, it meant: “Kill your prisoners!” Khalid thought that he would order the killing of prisoners by this statement. However if the Caliph gets angry he would say that he had ordered them to be warmed up to save himself. He could then say that he did not order killing of prisoners and that the soldiers misinterpreted his words. He could thus prove his innocence in the whole incident.

4. If Khalid had doubted their faith even after seeing them praying and saying Adhan he should have sent them to Medina to the Caliph. Who had given him the right to eliminate them?

5. The body of the husband lay while Khalid married the widow. This act of Khalid is worth condemnation at all costs. It is permitted neither by Islam nor by human nature!

6. Umar considered Khalid guilty and worthy of severe punishment. Then why did Abu Bakr forgive such a grave crime of Khalid?

7. Even Khalid had confessed his crime in front of the Caliph and asked for forgiveness, but the Caliph forgave him. Is there any clause in Islamic Shariah, which states that if a person confesses his guilt in front of the Caliph and pleads mercy, he should be exempted from legal penalty?

8. Is personal exertion (Ijtihaad) allowed in the presence of Express Text (Nass)?

This was the reason why Imam ‘Ali (a) had refused to follow the practice of Abu Bakr and Umar.

9. The act of Abu Bakr also proves that Khalid was guilty because he immediately released the prisoners and paid compensation of Malik’s death from Muslim treasury. We do not understand why the treasury of Muslims was made to bear the burden of Khalid’s sin? After this incident, Abu Qatadah swore that he would not join Khalid’s army. He returned to Medina after witnessing this oppression and related the entire incident to Abu Bakr. He said that he had stopped Khalid from killing Malik but Khalid did not heed his words. He accepted the suggestions of those Bedouins who had no other intention except to plunder.

After hearing Abu Qatadah, Umar also said that it is obligatory to punish Khalid.14 When Khalid returned to Medina, Umar told him: “O enemy of your own life! You attacked a Muslim and killed him unlawfully and took his wife away. This is clear fornication. By Allah! We would stone you to death.”

Historians have written that when Umar came to power, he gathered the surviving members of Malik’s family and ordered Muslims to return their plundered belongings as soon as possible. He even returned those women who were sold as slave-girls and some of them were even pregnant. Those women were returned to their previous husbands.

Also Khalid is the same person who murdered Saad ibn Ubadah in Syria at night and then spread rumors that he was killed by Jinns.

Khalid had committed a similar blunder during the Prophet’s lifetime. The Prophet prayed: “O Lord! I am aloof from this act of Khalid.”

Because of these feats, Khalid was dismissed by Umar from the post of commander.

Ibn Athir writes that as soon as Umar came to power, he wrote to his commander, Abu Ubaidah and ordered him to take charge of Khalid’s army. He dismissed Khalid and ordered Abu Ubaidah to take the turban off Khalid’s head and distribute his wealth.15

We can conclude from the above incidents that the practice of Abu Bakr and Umar was not consistent as regards religion and the world. Hence Imam ‘Ali (a) had refused to follow it, because he knew that the basis of Islamic rule is Quran and Prophetic Sunnah and nothing else was required. ‘Ali was not like the modern-day politician who is ready to accept any condition for the sake of gaining power.

On the other hand, Uthman accepted all conditions but History proves that he neither followed the Quran and Prophetic Practice (Sunnah) nor the practice of Two Shaykhs (Abu Bakr and Umar).

Yet Another (third) Face of Saqifah Uthman ibn Affan

“Till the third man of these people stood up with heaving breasts between his dung and fodder. With him his children of his grand-father, (Umayyah) also stood up swallowing up Allah’s wealth like a camel devouring the foliage of spring, till his rope broke down, his actions finished him and his gluttony brought him down prostrate.

At that moment, nothing took me by surprise, but the crowd of people rushing to me. It advanced towards me from every side like the mane of the hyena; so much so that Hasan and Husayn were getting crushed and both the ends of my shoulder garment were torn. They collected around me like the herd of sheep and goats. When I took up the reins of government, one party broke away and another turned disobedient while the rest began acting wrongfully as if they had not heard the word of Allah saying:

“That abode in the hereafter, We assign it for those who intend not to exult themselves in the earth, nor (to make) mischief (therein); and the end is (best) for the pious ones.”16

Yes, by Allah, they had heard it and understood it but the world appeared glittering in their eyes and its embellishments seduced them. Behold, by Him who split the grain (to grow) and created living beings, if people had not come to me and supporters had not exhausted the argument and if there had been no pledge of Allah with the learned to the effect that they should not acquiesce in the gluttony of the oppressor and the hunger of the oppressed, I would have cast the rope of Caliphate on its own shoulders, and would have given the last one the same treatment as to the first one. Then you would have seen that in my view this world of yours is no better than the sneezing of a goat.”17

Uthman came to power after the death of Umar due to the special favor of Abdur Rahman ibn Auf.

As soon as he came to power, he appointed his relatives, Bani Umayyah and Bani Muit to crucial posts. Most of them had fought with the Prophet and Islam earlier. Their hearts were filled with the teachings of Umayyah ibn Abdus Shams, Harb, Abu Sufyan and Muawiyah instead of Islamic teachings.

Uthman took the services of the enemies of Islam like Marwan ibn Hakam etc. in Islamic government. In this way teachings of Islam were diluted.

The Umayyad rule had sowed the seeds of crime and hypocrisy. People’s greed for wealth increased during their rule. Mutual hatred and jealousy between different tribes and clans appeared in place of Islamic ideas of rewarding the right and punishing evil.

I do not want to discuss the abominable effects of Umayyad rule in Arabia. I would limit the discussion to the allegiance of Uthman to expose the favors done to Bani Umayyah and because of these favors, this unknown clan esteemed itself. I would like to discuss how they cleared their way for future? It is necessary to discuss in brief, Bani Umayyah’s enmity with Islam.

Bani Umayyah’s enmity with Islam Battle of Badr

The Battle of Badr is a talking picture of Bani Umayyah’s enmity with Islam. Hanzala ibn Abi Sufyan ibn Harb ibn Umayyah ibn Abdush Shams, the brother of Muawiyah was killed in this battle.

Among the near relatives of Uthman, present in Badr were Aas ibn Saeed ibn Aas, Ubaidah ibn Saeed ibn Aas, Walid ibn Uqbah ibn Rubai ibn Abdush Shams, the uncle of Muawiyah ibn Abi Sufyan and the brother of his mother, Hind. Shaybah ibn Rubai ibn Abdush Shams, Uqbah ibn Muit who was the step-father of Uthman. All these Umayyads were killed in the battle. Also many Umayyads were held captives. Abul Aas ibn Rubai ibn Abdul Uzza ibn Abdush Shams and Harth ibn Wajza ibn Abi Umar ibn Umayyah ibn Abdush Shams topped the list. Muawiyah’s brother, Amr ibn Abi Sufyan, the son-in-law of Uqbah ibn Abi Muit was also one of the captives.

A companion of Abu Sufyan advised him to pay ransom for the release of his son. Abu Sufyan said: “Should the people of my household be killed and we pay ransom also? One of my sons, Hanzala is killed and now should I strengthen Muhammad economically by paying ransom for my second son? Never mind, I will not pay the ransom.” A Muslim named Saad ibn Noman ibn Akala had come along with his son for Umrah. Abu Sufyan held them captive in place of his son. He said that he would pay the ransom of his son from the money he gets from Muslims for the release of this person. The couplets of Abu Sufyan are famous in this regard.

The maternal grandfather of Muawiyah was killed in the battle of Badr. His daughter, Muawiyah’s mother, Hind used to sing the following elegy in the memory of her late father.

Today world is rotating against us and there is no way for us to control this rotation.

O Abu Sufyan! Take my message to the master. If I meet him some day I would condemn him.

Bani Umayyah had suffered huge losses of life and wealth in the Battle of Badr. As a result, the flames of hatred shot up in their hearts. They were always on a lookout to revenge Badr. Abu Sufyan was among the most deadly enemies of the Prophet. He mobilized infidels of Quraish for a new battle and appointed four representatives to join other Arabs with him. Amr ibn Aas was one of them. Abu Sufyan took an army of infidels with him for the Battle of Uhad. He had taken women along with him to cheer the soldiers. Muawiyah’s mother, Hind, Khalid ibn Walid’s sister, Fatima bint Walid and wife of Amr ibn Aas, Raita bint Munabbah were also included. These women cheered the soldiers by playing tambourine and they sang elegies for the dead.

When Hind passed by Wahshi, she told him: “O Abu Dusma! Calm down my emotions and I would set you free.”

Khalid ibn Walid was leading a cavalry wing. Abu Sufyan was carrying the statues of Laat and Uzza. Hind followed him singing songs to the tune of tambourine. Some lines are quoted as follows:

We are the daughters of the stars. We walk on soft carpets. If you fight today we would hug you and spread the carpet for you. If you turn your backs today we would leave you and would not be related to you in any way.

Amr ibn Aas also sang martial songs in the Battle of Badr and cheered the infidels.

The tables turned in the Battle of Uhad because of the blunder of Muslim archers. Khalid ibn Walid attacked the Muslim army. Muslim soldiers stumbled, rows were torn apart and many brave Muslims were martyred. Amir Hamza, the Prophet’s uncle was one of them.

After the battle, Muawiyah’s mother misbehaved with the bodies of martyrs. She ordered the ears and nose of the martyrs to be cut off and wore a garland made of them. Still the fire of revenge in her heart did not calm down and she tore apart Hamza’s chest and chewed at his liver. She climbed a mountain and said: “Today we have taken revenge of Badr. Today I have taken revenge of my father, brother and uncle.”

Halis ibn Zuban narrates that he saw Abu Sufyan in Uhad. He was hitting the body of martyr Hamza and saying: “Enjoy the taste of my beatings.”

While returning, Abu Sufyan announced: “Next year, we would fight with you at the place of Badr once again.”

After this, Abu Sufyan tried to wipe out Islam and the Messenger of Islam by all possible means. As a result of Abu Sufyan’s efforts, the Battle of the Ditch (Khandaq) was fought. Abu Sufyan conspired with the Jews of Medina to destroy the Muslim center of holy Medina.

Abu Sufyan was the one to send Amr ibn Aas and Abdullah ibn Abi Rubai as representatives to King Negus to get the migrants of Abyssinia expelled.

Finally when Umayyads failed to wipe out Islam by all means, they devised another plan to do so. They thought that they should become Muslims and gain dual benefits. Firstly, they could save their lives and secondly they would become strong enough to hit Islam with a strong blow. According to their plan, if it was not possible to take revenge from Islam from outside they should try to harm Islam and the Messenger of Islam from inside. Accordingly they put their plan into action at the time of the conquest of Mecca.

Faith of the Umayyads

The leader of Meccan infidels became a Muslim after the conquest of Mecca. The incident is narrated as when the Prophet reached the outskirts of Mecca with a huge army, Quraish was not prepared for the attack. Abu Sufyan petitioned Abbas, the Prophet’s uncle, to take him to the Prophet. When Abbas took him to the Prophet, the latter said: “O Abu Sufyan! Hasn’t the time come for you to testify to the oneness of Allah?”

Abu Sufyan replied: “May my parents be sacrificed for you! I have realized today that if these idols were gods, they would have helped us out.” After that, the Prophet said: “Woe unto you! Hasn’t the time come for you to testify to my prophethood?”

Abu Sufyan replied: “May my parents be sacrificed for you! You are such a respectful and kind person. I do not have a doubt regarding this in my heart.”18

After accepting Islam, Abu Sufyan apparently controlled his emotions of infidelity. He stopped worshipping idols in public and accepted the new religion. However, at times, he used to express his hidden feelings unintentionally.

After the conquest of Mecca, a person named Harth ibn Hisham told Abu Sufyan: “If I had considered Muhammad a Messenger, I would have followed him sincerely.” Abu Sufyan told him: “I don’t want to say anything because the walls also have ears. If I say anything now, this stone will also testify against me.”19

The above discussion proves that Abu Sufyan was a hypocrite. If he were a true Muslim, he would have answered back the infidel.

Abu Sufyan’s wife, Hind also accepted Islam under compulsion after the conquest of Mecca. When the Prophet took allegiance from women, he said: “Promise me that you would not kill your children.” Upon this, Hind said: “We raised them and you killed them in Badr.” The Prophet said: “Promise me that you won’t commit fornication.” Hind said: “Does a free woman commit fornication?” When the Prophet heard her instant replies, he looked at Abbas and smiled.

The like of Bani Umayyah, as regards enmity with Islam, is not found anywhere. Uthman was from Bani Umayyah and the members of this clan, young and old were filled with enmity of Islam. Marwan’s father, Hakam used to make fun of the Prophet by mimicking him and he was exiled from Medina to Taif.

Balazari writes: Hakam ibn Umayyah was the uncle of Uthman. He was the Prophet’s neighbor during the period of ignorance. He was the worst neighbor of the Prophet. He used to trouble the Prophet a lot even after accepting Islam and he made fun of the Prophet at his back by mimicking him.

Once the Prophet was sitting in the house of one of his wives. He saw that person mimicking him. He came out and said: “He and his children shall not live with me.” The Prophet exiled him to Taif along with his children. When Uthman came to power, he called his uncle back to Medina.20

Ibn Abi Sarah was a trusted friend of Uthman. He initially acted as a scribe of revelation, but when he made distortions, the Prophet announced that he should be compulsorily killed. Walid ibn Abi Muit, the step-brother of Uthman held a high status during Uthman’s reign. He was sent to Bani Mustaliq to collect taxes. He went to this tribe and returned without meeting its members. He told the Prophet that those people wanted to kill him. He said: “Fortunately, I escaped alive from there.”

The Prophet had intended to attack them.

During this time, a respectable person from this tribe came to the Prophet and said: “You representative had come to us. When we came to know of his arrival, we came forward to welcome him but he returned without meeting us.”

Almighty Allah revealed the following verse:

«يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِن جَاءكُمْ فَاسِقٌ بِنَبَأٍ فَتَبَيَّنُوا أَن تُصِيبُوا قَوْماً بِجَهَالَةٍ فَتُصْبِحُوا عَلَى مَا فَعَلْتُمْ نَادِمِينَ.»

O you who believe! If an evil-doer comes to you with a report, look carefully into it, lest you harm a people in ignorance, then be sorry for what you have done.21

Almighty Allah has called the step-brother of Uthman a ‘hypocrite’ in holy Quran.

Abu Sufyan and his followers were called ‘Tulqa’ (freed slaves) by other Muslims. Muslims used to say regarding Muawiyah: “He is the son of the leader of infidels, Abu Sufyan and a dear one of Hind, the liver-eater.”22

Zubair ibn Bakr narrates from Mughaira ibn Shoba: “One day Umar asked me: Have you ever seen something with a single eye?” I said: “No.”

Umar said: “By Allah! Bani Umayyah would make Islam one-eyed like you. Then they would make Islam completely blind. No one would know from where Islam came and where it went away.”

Bukhari writes in Sahih: A person asked the Prophet: “Would we be asked about the acts we performed during the period of ignorance?”

The Prophet said: A person who has performed good deeds after accepting Islam will not be asked about his previous deeds. If a person commits bad deeds even after accepting Islam, he will be asked about his previous as well as new deeds.23 The policy of Uthman was purely based on nepotism. He had opened the treasury of Muslims to Bani Umayyah.

Favors Granted to Bani Umayyah

Uthman gave two hundred thousand dinars to Marwan ibn Hakam. He had given two hundred thousand dinars to Ayesha, the daughter of Marwan as wedding gift. Also he bestowed many properties to Marwan.

The situation worsened so much that the treasurer of Muslim treasury resigned. The above mentioned grant was one of the smallest. As soon as he came to power, he granted a hundred thousand dirhams to Abu Sufyan.24

He gave a slip of a hefty amount to one of his relatives and sent him to the treasurer. The treasurer was an honest man. He refused to withdraw such a huge amount. Uthman asked the treasurer again and again to grant the amount to that person but the treasurer refused to budge.

Uthman condemned him saying: “What is your status here? You are just a treasurer.” He replied: “I am the treasurer of the wealth of Muslims and not your personal treasurer.” Then he brought the keys of the treasury and placed them on the Prophet’s pulpit.25

Balazari narrates this incident in detail as follows: Abdullah ibn Arqam was the treasurer of the Muslim treasury. Uthman wanted to withdraw an amount of a hundred thousand dirhams. Abdullah ibn Usaid ibn Abil Aas came to Uthman from Mecca at that moment. Uthman granted Abdullah three hundred thousand dirhams and a hundred thousand dirhams to each of his Companions.

The treasurer refused to grant the said amount. Uthman said: “You are the treasurer of our treasury. You don’t have any right to refuse.”

The treasurer said: “I am the treasurer of the wealth of Muslims and not your personal treasurer. I submit my resignation now.” He took the keys of treasury and placed them on the pulpit of the Prophet and resigned from his job.

Uthman granted him three hundred thousand dirhams in order to please him, but the latter rejected it.

Incidents of Uthman’s generosity became public and people developed hatred against him as a result of it. After some days, a rumor circulated that an expensive necklace present in the Muslim treasury was gifted to a relative by Uthman. People felt bad and protested against Uthman much. Uthman became angry at this protest and announced: “We would meet our expenses from Muslim treasury only and don’t care about any person’s jealousy.” Ammar ibn Yasir said: “By Allah, I am not pleased with this act.”

Uthman said: “O immoral man! How dare you challenge me?” Then he ordered the police to arrest him.

Ammar was arrested and beaten up so badly that he fell down unconscious. He was taken to the room of Lady Umme Salma. He laid there unconscious for the entire day and missed his Zuhr, Asr and Maghrib prayers. When he regained consciousness, he performed ablutions and offered prayer and said: “Praise be to Allah! For the first time in my life, I have been beaten up for the sake of Allah’s religion.”

Lady Umme Salma or Ayesha took out the dress and slipper of the Prophet and told the people in the mosque: “O People! These are the dress and slippers of the Prophet. This dress has not even become old and you have changed his practice (Sunnah).”

Uthman had to bear shame as a result of this incident and he could not afford a reply.26

If this incident is authentic, it means that Uthman has committed two mistakes:

1. Bani Umayyah was granted the wealth of Muslims in an unlawful manner.

2. A great companion of the Prophet was made to face severe atrocities.

Uthman’s generosity was beyond compare. He permitted Marwan ibn Hakam to use all the Khums money collected from Africa region and granted three hundred thousand dirhams to his son, Harith.

He gave three hundred thousand dirhams to Abdullah ibn Khalid ibn Usaid Amawi and gave a hundred thousand dirhams to each person present in his delegation.

He allotted six hundred thousand dirhams to Zubair ibn Awwam.

He bestowed a hundred thousand dirhams to Talha ibn Ubaidullah.

He gifted a hundred thousand dirhams to Saeed ibn Aas.

Saeed ibn Aas married off his four daughters. Each daughter was granted a hundred thousand dirhams from Muslim treasury. Balazari writes about these incidents in the following words: Muslim army conquered Africa in 27 A.H. and got a lot of wealth as war booty. The Khums (one-fifth part) of this wealth was given to Marwan ibn Hakam. Also Africa was conquered under the leadership of Abdullah ibn Saad ibn Abi Sarah who was a foster-brother of Uthman. The commander bought all the Khums in return of a hundred thousand dirhams. Later on, he requested Uthman to write off this debt and the latter obliged him.

The camels of Zakat were brought to Medina. Uthman gave all the camels to Harith ibn Hakam ibn Abil Aas.

Uthman appointed Hakam ibn Aas to collect Zakat from Bani Qazaya. He collected three hundred thousand from them. This entire amount was given to Hakam.

Harith ibn Hakam ibn Abil Aas was given three hundred thousand dirhams.

Zaid ibn Thabit Ansari was given a hundred thousand dirhams.

Abu Zar could not bear to see this and he recited the following verse of holy Quran in public:

«وَالَّذِينَ يَكْنِزُونَ الذَّهَبَ وَالْفِضَّةَ وَلاَ يُنفِقُونَهَا فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ فَبَشِّرْهُم بِعَذَابٍ أَلِيمٍ. يَوْمَ يُحْمَى عَلَيْهَا فِي نَارِ جَهَنَّمَ فَتُكْوَى بِهَا جِبَاهُهُمْ وَجُنوبُهُمْ وَظُهُورُهُمْ هَـذَا مَا كَنَزْتُمْ لأَنفُسِكُمْ فَذُوقُواْ مَا كُنتُمْ تَكْنِزُونَ.»

(As for) those who hoard up gold and silver and do not spend it in Allah’s way, announce to them a painful chastisement, On the day when it shall be heated in the fire of hell, then their foreheads and their sides and their backs shall be branded with it; this is what you hoarded up for yourselves, therefore taste what you hoarded.27

Marwan complained to Uthman about this act of Abu Zar. Uthman ordered Abu Zar to desist from that act.

Abu Zar said: “Does Uthman want me to desist from reciting the Book of Allah? By Allah! I can bear the displeasure of Uthman for the sake of Allah.”

You have seen the economic policy of Uthman. Pause for a moment here, then read about the economic policy of Imam ‘Ali (a) as opposed to this.

Monetary Policy of Imam ‘Ali

The Incident of Aqeel is sufficient to prove the justice of Imam ‘Ali (a).

This incident was narrated by Aqeel himself in the court of Muawiyah ibn Abi Sufyan when he reached there after running away from Imam ‘Ali’s justice. He said: “I was involved in severe debts. So I took my children to my brother, ‘Ali. The poverty was visible on the faces of my children and their faces had become red with hunger.

My brother, ‘Ali asked me to come in the evening. I came to him in the evening along with my son. He kept the child away from me and called me near him. I thought that he would give me a bag full of wealth but he caught my hand and kept it over red hot iron. I fell down on my back like a bull is thrown on the ground by the butcher.”28

This incident is narrated by Imam ‘Ali (a) himself in one of his sermons:

“By Allah, I certainly saw (my brother) Aqeel fallen in destitution and he asked me a saa (about three kilograms in weight) out of your (share of) wheat, and I also saw his children with disheveled hair and a dusty countenance due to starvation, as though their faces had been blackened by indigo. He came to me several times and repeated his request to me again and again. I heard him, and he thought I would sell my faith to him and follow his tread leaving my own way.

Then I (just) heated a piece of iron and took it near his body so that he might take a lesson from it, then he cried as a person in protracted illness cries with pain and he was about to get burnt with its branding. Then I said to him, ‘Moaning women may moan over you, O’ Aqeel. Do you cry on account of this (heated) iron which has been made by a man for fun while you are driving me towards the fire which Allah, the Powerful, has prepared for (a manifestation of) His wrath? Should you cry from pain, but I should not cry from the flames?’”29

The life of Imam ‘Ali (a) is a perfect example of truthfulness and respect of human life.

We know that Imam ‘Ali (a) hated Khawarij very much. He considered them misguided. Then also his behavior with them is described as good. It is described in the words of Dr. Taha Husayn in the following incident:

Harith ibn Rashid Sami Khariji came to Imam ‘Ali (a) and said: “By Allah! I would neither obey you nor offer prayer behind you.” Imam ‘Ali (a) neither showed his displeasure nor did he punish him. Imam ‘Ali (a) offered him to debate with him and said: “Discuss the matter with me so that truth becomes manifest.” The person promised to come the next day and Imam ‘Ali (a) accepted it.30

Have a look at the behavior of Imam ‘Ali (a) with a Khariji and the behavior of Uthman with Ammar. You can see for yourself the difference between ‘Ali and Uthman?

Uthman showered Muslim wealth not only on his relatives but also famous persons of that time. Uthman gave six hundred thousand to Zubair ibn Awwam and a hundred thousand dirhams to Talha ibn Ubaidullah and freed him of all of his debts.

He continued to favor his relatives much. On the other hand, common Muslims died of hunger and severe poverty as most of the wealth of Muslim treasury was given to Bani Umayyah and their relatives and the real destitute were deprived of it.

Wealth of Some Famous Persons

Masoodi has narrated a picture of the wealth of the upper class during Uthman’s time as follows:

A group of Companions had become extremely rich during this time. They bought immense property and constructed majestic palaces on it. Zubair ibn Awwam constructed a palace for himself in Basra, which remained in the same condition in 332 A.H. also. Traders and rich persons used to stay over here.

He had also constructed magnificent palaces in Egypt, Kufa and Alexandria and scholars are aware of his other properties.

Fifty thousand dinars cash was recovered from the house of Zubair after his death. He had also left behind a thousand horses and a thousand slave-girls.

Talha ibn Ubaidullah had also constructed splendid palaces in Kufa. He used to earn a thousand dinars daily from the sale of his crops. Other historians have narrated a higher figure. He used to earn much more than this from other parts of Iraq. He had constructed a unique palace in Medina using teak.

Abdur Rahman ibn Auf Zuhri had also constructed a tall and vast palace. His stable always had a thousand horses. He had a thousand camels and ten thousand goats. He had four wives at the time of his death and each of them inherited 84000 dinars.31

You have seen a slight image of these ‘people of Paradise’. When the ruler himself is extravagant in spending the Muslim wealth, how can we expect the subject to be patient? How can we expect the governors of that time to keep away from washing hands in this flowing water?

Uthman not only gave cash to Bani Umayyah but also gave them huge properties. It is possible that the followers of Uthman i.e. Ahl al-Sunnah and Motazela would say that he had granted those lands to make them inhabited.

Shias say that this reason is wrong because it was not even employed by Uthman. It is a case where the defendant is passive and the witness is active. Shias can also ask why those properties were given only to Bani Umayyah? Were they specialist in this matter?32

After this description by Dr. Taha Husayn, it would be absolutely correct to say that there were two consequences of the economic policy of Uthman, each worse than the other:

1. Wealth of Muslims was spent in an unlawful manner

2. As a result, a new class of rich came into being whose only intention was to usurp the rights of others and increase their wealth. This class was ready to obey the worst ruler for the sake of wealth. They also had another peculiarity that it was ready to welcome all rulers who are hazardous to Muslims but beneficial to them in order to protect their wealth.

This class of people was on the forefront in opposing Imam ‘Ali (a) during the time of his Caliphate. They did so in order to protect their wealth.

You have seen the basis of the economic policy of Uthman. Let us have a look at some of his other governmental policies.

  • 1. Surah Ahzaab 33:53
  • 2. Ibn Abil Hadid, Sharh Nahjul Balagha, Vol. 3, Pg. 170
  • 3. O you who believe! When you consult the Apostle, then offer something in charity before your consultation; that is better for you and purer; but if you do not find, then surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. (Surah Mujadila 58:12)
  • 4. Surah Taubah 9:19
  • 5. Surah Nisa 4:93
  • 6. Abdul Fattah Abdul Maqsood, Al-Imam ‘‘Ali bin Abi Talib, Vol. 2, Pg. 9-10
  • 7. Abdul Fattah Abdul Maqsood, Al-Imam ‘‘Ali bin Abi Talib, Vol. 1, Pg. 200
  • 8. Ibn Abil Hadid, Sharh Nahjul Balagha, Vol. 3, Pg. 98, Surah Bani Israel 17:12
  • 9. Ibn Athir, Al-Kamil fit Tarikh, Vol. 3, Pg. 30
  • 10. Balazari, Futuhul Buldan, Pg. 36
  • 11. These people belonged to the group of ‘Muallafatul Quloobuhum’, that is those who had some inclination to Islam, but had as yet not become Muslims. So the Holy Prophet (S) had allotted to them a share from Islamic funds with the hope that they will eventually embrace the Faith.
  • 12. Ibn Abil Hadid, Sharh Nahjul Balagha, Vol. 3, Pg. 108, First Edition
  • 13. Al-Kamil fit Tarikh, Vol. 2, Pg. 242-243
  • 14. Ibn Abil Hadid, Sharh Nahjul Balagha, Vol. 4, Pg. 184
  • 15. Al-Kamil fit Tarikh, Vol. 3, Pg. 293
  • 16. Surah Qasas 28:83
  • 17. Nahjul Balagha, Shiqshiqya Sermon
  • 18. Tarikh Ibn Khaldun, Vol. 2, Pg. 234
  • 19. Sirah Ibn Hisham, Vol. 4, Pg. 33
  • 20. Balazari, Ansaab al-Ashraaf, Vol. 5, Pg. 22
  • 21. Surah Hujurat 49:6
  • 22. Dr. Taha Husayn, ‘‘Ali wa Banuh, Pg. 155
  • 23. Sahih Bukhari Vol. 8, Pg. 49
  • 24. Dr. Taha Husayn, Al-Fitnah Al-Kubra, ‘‘Ali wa Banuh, Pg. 94
  • 25. Abdul Fattah Abdul Maqsood, Al-Imam ‘‘Ali bin Abi Talib, Vol. 2, Pg. 20-21
  • 26. Dr. Taha Husayn, Al-Fitnah al-Kubra “Uthman bin Affan”; Balazari, Ansaab al-Ashraaf, Vol. 5, Pg. 48
  • 27. Surah Taubah 9:34
  • 28. Ibn Abil Hadid, Sharh Nahjul Balagha
  • 29. Nahjul Balagha, Sermon no. 221
  • 30. Al-Fitnah al-Kubra ‘‘Ali wa Banuh, Pg. 125
  • 31. Masoodi, Murujuz Zahab, Vol. 2, Pg. 222
  • 32. Dr. Taha Husayn, Al-Fitnah al-Kubra Uthman bin Affan, Pg. 193-194

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