Uthman Ibn Affan After the Death of the Prophet Muhammad

Uthman Ibn Affan
Uthman during the rule of Abu Bakr and Umar

The Prophet Muhammad died in the 11AH, his representative was Abu Bakr who led the Muslims and after him was Umar who was titled the leader of the believers. After Umar pledging allegiance to Abu Bakr, Uthman was the second to do so. During the wars of apostasy, Abu Bakr left Uthman in Madina and he acted as his advisor. On the death bed of Abu Bakr, Abu Bakr dictated to Uthman that Umar was to lead after him.

Also, during the reign of Umar, Uthman was his advisor and his position to Umar was like that of Umars was to Abu Bakr. Uthman in time set up the system of keeping records of wealth spent and earned. Uthman was the one who suggested to Umar that he should make the Hijri year calendar.

Uthman becomes the Caliph

Each Caliph gained the leadership through different means, either direct appointment, through a council of elders or public appointment. Umar Ibn Al-Khattb on his death bed formed a committee of six people to choose the next Caliph from amongst themselves. They were Ali Ibn Abi Tablib, Uthman IbnAffan, Abdur Rahman Bin Awf, Saad Bin Abi Waqqas, Al-Zubayr and Talhah. In 23 AH, Uthman was elected by majority vote to become the new Amir Al Muminin, Leader of the believers.

Upon this new appointment Uthman made a very powerful speech in which he pledged to rule in the footsteps of those that preceded him. And that he would not compromise the laws of Allah, and warned the people to fear the love of this world and fear Allah the way he deserved to be feared.

Conquests in the era of Uthman

Uthmans rule lasted the longest out of the four caliphs and the expansion of the Muslim world was greatest in his era to. He conquered Murrow, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Tabaristan, Persia, Syria, Cyprus, Egypt (Alexandria), North Africa and much more.

Uthman’s greatest achievement   

The compilation of the Qur’an requires a detailed discussion which can be viewed on Islamic Courses Online. But a quick overview, The Qur’an was first compiled in the time of Abu Bakr as a hard copy on wood, skin, bones etc. After his death Umar took it and handed the guardianship of it to Hafsa, his daughter. Then in the time of Uthman, due to the vast expansion of the Islamic world, people started reciting the Qur’an in incorrect ways. So much so, that Hudhaifah rushed to Uthman and requested to the leader of the believers, Uthman to take action before the Qur’an becomes distorted.

So, Uthman gathered Zaid ibn Thabit, just as Abu Bakr did and commissioned him to write the Qur’an in one standard form. The details of this can be seen on Islamic Courses Online.

So, using the manuscripts copies of the Qur’an were written down and there was one uniform way reading the Qur’an. He then sent every region a copy of this Qur’an with a reciter, and ordered the burning of copies. 

Causes of turmoil that led to the murder of Uthman

During the caliphates of Abu Bakr and Umar, Muslims lived in harmony and there was no dispute within the nation. This was true of the first part of Uthman’s reign as well. During the last part of Uthman’s caliphate, some incidents divided the Muslims, and finally a group of troublemaking oppressors murdered Uthman. As a result more division occurred. Some of the reasons for conflict were

  • The nature of social change
  • Change of population
  • Culturl changes
  • Emergence of a new generation
  • Society’s readiness to accept rumours
  • The fact that Uthman came after Umar
  • The departure of senior Companions from Madina
  • Pre-Islamic bias
  • The end of the conquests
  • Aspirations to acquire leadership
  • Plotting of the malicious
  • Abdullah ibn Saba
The Murder of Uthamn ibn Affan

A very sad end to a geat man’s life, Uthman was assassinated on 35 AH in Shawwal. When law and order fell into the hands of the rebels, they surrounded his house and made demands. The kept him inside for forty days and prevented him from praying in the masjid and even prevented him from drinking water. Some of the companions were ready to these rebels, they took up their arms but Uthman commanded them to put down their arms. He didn’t want the blood a Muslim on his hand. Then the conspirators broke into his house from the back and attacked him as he was reading the Holy Qur’an. His wife Naila tried to protect her husband but instead they beat her too with a sword, cutting of her fingers. As the rebels struck Uthman on the head blood poured on the Holy Qur’an and it fell on the verse

But Allah is sufficient for you, he is the All Hearing, All-Knowing[1]

Uthman was martyred on the 18th of Dhul Hijjah 35 AH, and he was buried at Al-Baqee in Madinah.

[1] Al Baqarah 2:137

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