Hafiz: In what way did he act
against the teachings and practice of the Prophet and the ways
of Abu Bakr and Umar?
Well-Wisher: The famous traditionist,
Mas'udi, in his Muruju'dh-Dhahab, Volume I, page 433, and other
historians have recorded that Uthman built a sophisticated stone
house with doors made of sandalwood. He accumulated great wealth,
which he bestowed lavishly on the Umayyads and others. For instance,
the religious levy (Khums) from Armenia, which was conquered during
this time, was bestowed on the cursed Marwan without any religious
sanction. He also gave him 100,000 dirhams from the Baitu'l-Mal
(the public treasury). He gave 400,000 dirhams to Abdullah Bin
Khalid, 100,000 dirhams to Hakam Bin Abi'l-As, who was cursed
and banished by the Prophet, and 200,000 dirhams to Abu Sufyan
(as recorded by Ibn Abi'l-Hadid in his Sharhe Nahju'l-Balagha,
Volume I, page 68).
On the day he was murdered, his personal fortune amounted to 150,000
dinars and 20 million dirhams in cash. He owned property in Wadiu'l-Qura
and Hunain valued at 100,000 dinars and huge herds of cattle,
sheep, and camels. As a consequence of his actions, the leading
Umayyads amassed great wealth at the expense of the people.
For a caliph of Islam to accumulate such wealth when many people
were starving was certainly wrong. Moreover, this behavior was
completely at variance with the ways of his companions, Abu Bakr
and Umar. Uthman pledged in the Consultative Council that he would
follow in their footsteps. Mas'udi in his Muruju'dh-Dhahab says
about Caliph Uthman, that when Caliph Umar went with his son,
Abdullah, to perform the Hajj (pilgrimage), their expenditure
on the journey, both ways, was sixteen dinars. He told his son
that they had been extravagant. If you compare the frugal ways
of Umar with the lavish expenditures of Uthman, you will admit
that the latter's way of life was contrary to his pledge at the
Uthman also gave the Umayyads authority over the life and honor
of the people. Consequently, disorder prevailed in Muslim lands.
He appointed his favorites to high positions against the wishes
of the Holy Prophet, Abu Bakr, and Umar. For instance, he gave
high positions to his uncle, Hakam Bin As, and Hakam's son, Marwan,
both of whom were banished and cursed by the Prophet.
Hafiz: Can you prove that they
Well-Wisher: There are two ways
to prove that they were cursed. Allah called the Bani Umayya "The
Accursed Tree" in the Qur'an (17:60). Imam Fakhru'd-Din Razi,
Tabari, Qartabi, Nishapuri, Suyuti, Shawkani, Alusi, Ibn Abi Hatim,
Khatib Baghdadi, Ibn Mardawaih, Hakim, Maqrizi, Baihaqi, and others
of your ulema narrate from Ibn Abbas that the "Accursed Tree"
in the Qur'an refers to the Umayya tribe. In a dream, the Prophet
saw monkeys climbing up and down his pulpit (and driving men away
from his mosque). When he woke, the Angel Gabriel revealed this
verse and told the Prophet that the monkeys were the Bani Umayyads,
who would usurp his caliphate after him. His place of prayer and
pulpit would remain in their control for a thousand months. Imam
Fakhru'd-Din Razi narrates from Ibn Abbas that the Prophet mentioned
the name of Hakam Bin As. He is, therefore, accursed since he
belongs to the Accursed Tree.
There are many hadith from Sunni sources about their being cursed. Hakim Nishapuri, in his Mustadrak, Volume IV, page 437 and Ibn Hajar Makki in Sawa'iq-e-Muhriqa, quote from Hakim the following hadith from the Prophet: "Verily, my family will shortly be dispersed and assassinated by my community. Bani Umayya, Bani Mughira, and Bani Makhzum are the most callous of our enemies." The Prophet said about Marwan, a child at that time, "This is a lizard, son of a lizard, a cursed one, son of a cursed one." Ibn Hajar relates from Umar bin Murratu'l-Jihni, Halabi in Siratu'l-Halabiyya, Volume I, page 337; Baladhuri in Ansab, Volume V, 126; Sulayman Balkhi in Yanabiu'l-Mawadda; Hakim
in Mustadrak, Volume IV, page 481; Damiri in Hayatu'l-Haiwan,
Volume II, page 291; Ibn Asakir in his Ta'rikh; Imamu'l-Haram
Muhyi'd-Din Tabari in Zakha'iru'l-Uqba, and others have narrated
from Umar bin Murra that Hakam Bin As sought an interview with
the Prophet. The Prophet, recognizing his voice, said: "Let
him come in. Curse be on him and on his descendants, excepting
those who believe, and they will be few."
Imam Fakhru'd-Din Razi, in Volume V of his Tafsir-e-Kabir, writing
about the verse "The Accursed Tree..." and its meaning,
refers to the statement of A'yesha, who said to Marwan: "Allah
cursed your father when you were present in his semen; so you
are also a part of him, who has been cursed by Allah." Allama
Mas'udi says in his Muruju'dh-Dhahab, Volume I, page 435, that
Marwan Bin Hakam was condemned and banished by the Prophet. He
was exiled from Medina. He was not allowed to enter Medina during
the caliphate of Abu Bakr and Umar, but when Uthman became caliph,
he acted contrary to the teaching of the Holy Prophet, Abu Bakr,
and Umar and allowed him to enter Medina. He kept him close to
himself with all other Umayyads and showed them favor.
Nawab: Who was Hakam Bin Abi-l-As,
and why was he banished by the Holy Prophet?
Well-Wisher: Hakam Bin As was
the uncle of Caliph Uthman. According to Tabari, Ibn Athir, and
Baladhuri, who writes in Ansab, Volume V, page 17, he was the
neighbor of the Prophet in the Age of Ignorance. He abused the
Holy Prophet, particularly after the announcement of his prophethood.
He walked behind the Prophet and ridiculed him by imitating his
gestures. Even during prayers, he pointed towards him scornfully.
After the Prophet cursed him, he remained in a paralytic condition
permanently and eventually he lost his sanity. After the conquest
of Mecca, he came to Medina and apparently embraced Islam, but
he often insulted the Prophet. When he went to the Prophet's house,
the Holy Prophet soon came out of his house and said, "No
one should seek pardon on his behalf. Now he and his sons, Marwan
and others, should leave Medina." Accordingly, the Muslims
immediately banished him from Medina and drove him out to Ta'if.
During the time of Abu Bakr and Umar, Uthman supported him, saying
that he was his uncle and that he should be allowed to return
to Medina. But the others did not accept this, saying that since
he was cursed and banished by the Holy Prophet, they would not
let him return.
When Uthman became caliph, he called all of them back. Although
many people objected to it, Uthman showed his relatives and other
favorites special favor. He made Marwan his assistant and chief
officer of the court. He gathered round him many wicked people
of the Umayyads and appointed them to high positions. The result
was that, according to Umar's prediction, they were responsible
for Uthman's fate. Among the people appointed by Uthman was Walid
Bin Aqaba Bin Abi Mu'ith, who was sent to be the Governor of Kufa.
According to the report of Mas'udi in Muruju'dh-Dhahab, Volume
I, the Prophet said concerning Walid:
"Verily, he is one of those who will go to Hell." He
openly indulged in sinful acts. According to the statement of
Mas'udi in Muruju'dh-Dhahab, Abdu'l-Fida in his Ta'rikh, Suyuti
in Ta'rikhu'l-Khulafa, page 104, Abu'l-Faraj in Aghani, Volume
IV, page 128; Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal in Musnad, Volume I, page
42; Yaqubi in Ta'rikh, Volume II, page 142; Ibn Athir also in
Usudu'l-Uqba, Volume V, page 91, and others said that, during
his governorship in Kufa, Walid passed the whole night in self-indulgence.
He came to the mosque for the dawn prayer intoxicated and offered
four rak'ats of the morning prayer (instead of two) and then told
the people: "What a pleasant morn! I would like to extend
the prayer further if you consent." Some said that he vomited
under the dome of the mosque which caused great annoyance to the
people, who complained to Caliph Uthman. One of these well known
people was Mu'awiya, who was made Governor of Syria. Walid was
replaced by Sa'id Bin As as Governor of Kufa.
When people learned of the policies of Uthman, policies in contradiction
to the teachings of the Prophet, they became furious. They took
actions which eventually caused such serious results. Uthman was
responsible for his murder because he did not consider the effects
of his deeds. He rejected Ali's counsel and was misled by servile
flatterers. Ibn Abi'l-Hadid quotes a conversation between Umar
and Ibn Abbas in his Sharh Nahju'l-Balagha, Volume III, page 106.
Caliph Umar said something about each of the six members of the
Consultative Council and pointed out their defects. When the name
of Uthman was mentioned, "After sighing three times, Umar
said that if the caliphate reached Uthman, he would place the
sons of Abi Mu'it (Umayyads) over the people. 'Then the Arabs
will surely rise in rebellion against him and kill him.'"
Ibn Abi'l-Hadid agrees with Umar's assessment. When Uthman became
caliph, he gathered round him the Bani Umayya. He appointed them
as governors, and when they abused their authority, he looked
the other way. Caliph Uthman did not even detach himself from
Marwan. The people, seething with discontent, revolted against
him and finally killed him.
It would be helpful if you would read the great History by Jarir
Tabari, one of your eminent ulema, who wrote: "The Holy Prophet
saw Abu Sufyan riding a donkey. Mu'awiya was pulling it from the
front, and his son, Yazid, was pushing it from behind. The Prophet
said, 'Curse be upon the rider, the puller, and the pusher.'"
Your own prominent ulema, like Tabari and Ibn A'sam Kufi, faulted
Caliph Uthman for not putting Abu Sufyan to death when the latter,
in the open court, denied Islam, the wahi (revelation), and the
presence of Gabriel. After giving Abu Sufyan a slight reproof,
Uthman brushed the matter aside. I also ask you to consider Address
163 of the Nahju'l-Balagha, and the narration which Ibn Abi'l-Hadid
in his Sharh Nahju'l-Balagha, Volume II, (printed in Egypt), page
582, quotes from Tabari's Ta'rikh-e-Kabir that some of the companions
in various provinces wrote letters urging the people to declare
Jihad (holy war) to protect themselves from Uthman's cruel oppression.
In 34 A.H. people with complaints against officials appointed
by Uthman came to Ali in Medina and asked him to intervene.
Ali went to Uthman and warned him about the horrible consequences
of continuing his present policies. Ali said, "I tell you,
for Allah's sake, let yourself not be a murdered leader of this
community. It has been said that a leader of this community will
be killed, after which the doors of bloodshed and murder will
remain open until the Day of Resurrection." But Marwan and
the Umayyad companions rejected Ali's advice. After Ali's departure,
Uthman ordered people to gather in the mosque. He went to the
pulpit and, instead of pacifying the people, he antagonized them
further. The result was as Caliph Umar predicted: Uthman was killed
by insurgents. Unlike Abu Bakr and Umar, who followed Ali's advice,
Uthman rejected his warning and suffered the consequences.