Featured, History

History of the Caliphs: Uthman bin Affan

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said to Uthman three times: “Oh ‘Uthman, Allah will give you a garment to wear (i.e. the caliphate), so if the hypocrites want you to shed it, do not shed it until you meet me.”[1]

1- Caliphate

Term of office start Hijri 29 Dhul-Hijjah, 23
Term of office end Hijri 18 Dhul-Hijjah, 35
Term of office start Gregorian 6 November, 644
Term of office end Gregorian 17 June, 656
Term of office 12 years
Capital Medina
Caliph’s allowance No allowance taken because he was wealthy

2- Biography

Profile An elder statesman, natural leader and close to the Messenger ﷺ.

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ entered upon his daughter when she was washing the head of Uthman and he said: “O my daughter, take good care of Abu Abdullah, for he is the closest of my companions to me in attitude.”[2]

Period of the Caliphate Rightly Guided Caliphate
Age 65
Tribe Quraysh (Banu Umayyah)
Mandatory condition of Caliph:

Strength of ideology

Ashratul-Mubashireen (10 promised Jannah)

It was narrated that ‘Abdur-Rahman ibn Samurah said: Uthman came to the Prophet ﷺ with one thousand dinars in his garment, when the Prophet was equipping the army of Tabook, and the Prophet ﷺ started turning the coins over with his hand and saying, “Nothing could harm Uthman, no matter what he does after this.”[3]

Mandatory condition of Caliph:

Capability to rule

Ruling experience gained during Islamic State of the Prophet ﷺ:

·         Deputy Leader in Medina[4]

·         Foreign envoy to Qureysh[5]

·         Military experience at Uhud, Tabuk and other battles[6]

Ruling experience gained during the Caliphate of Abu Bakr:

·         Executive Assistant[7]

·         Shura[8]

Ruling experience gained during the Caliphate of Umar:

·         Wazir[9]

·         Shura[10]

·         Teacher in Medina[11]

Additional conditions[12] ·         Quraysh

·         Brave

·         Mujtahid

 3- Bay’ah Contract

The bay’ah is a ruling contract which governs the relationship between Muslims and the Islamic state.

Location Masjid an-Nabawi, Medina, capital of the state
Candidates ‘Ali ibn Talib

‘Uthman ibn Affan

Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas

Abdur Rahman ibn Awf

Az-Zubayr ibn Al-Awwam

Talha ibn Ubaydullah

Style of choosing Caliph Candidates shortlisted by an electoral council and then the inhabitants of the capital elect the ruler.[13]
Interim Leader Suhaib Ar-Rumi
Bay’ah of Contract The bay’ah contract was conducted at the same time as the bay’ah of obedience in Masjid an-Nabawi by the inhabitants of Medina.
Bay’ah of Obedience See above
Time without a Caliph 3 days

4- Government Structure

Please note this is not an exhaustive list but covers some of the main positions within the state. Roles were held by multiple Individuals over the period of Uthman’s 12-year rule.

Utham Org Chart 1 1

 

Caliph (Head of State) Uthman bin Affan
Wazir (Assistant Caliph) Marwan ibn al-Hakam[14]

Ali ibn Abi Talib[15]

Deputy Caliph Zayd ibn Thabit[16]
Executive Assistants (Caliph’s private secretaries)[17] Ammar ibn Yasir

Muhammad ibn Maslamah

Usamah ibn Zayd

Abd-Allah ibn ‘Umar

Liaison to governor of Egypt

Liaison to governor of Kufa

Liaison to governor of Basra

Liaison to governor of Syria

4.1 Shura

Shura (Consultative committee) Senior Sahaba[18]

‘Amr ibn al-‘Aas[19]

Senior advisers to the Caliph

4.2 Treasury

Treasury Secretary Uqbah ibn ‘Amr[20]
Tax Collectors Abdullah ibn Arqam[21] Jizya Collector
Wali ul-Kharaj (Regional Treasury Head) Ubadah ibn al-Samit[22]

Abu Musa al-Ash’ari[23]

Jabir ibn Amr al-Muzani[24]

Abdullah Ibn Mas’ood[25]

Head of spoils of war from Cyprus

Head of Treasury in Kufa

Head of tax revenues from the Sawad lands in Kufa

Head of Treasury in Kufa

4.3 Judiciary

Head of Judiciary Zayd ibn Thabit[26]
Regional Head of Judiciary Ka’b ibn Soor[27]

Abu al-Darda’[28]

Shurayh[29]

‘Uthman ibn Qays [30]

Ya’la ibn Umayyah[31]

Chief judge Basra

Chief judge Syria

Chief judge Kufa

Chief judge Egypt

Chief judge Yemen

Medina Judges[32] Ali ibn Abi Talib

al-Sa’ib ibn Yazeed

4.4 Education

Uthman created an agency to compile the Qur’an in to one recitation and used the Education department to teach the people the new unified recitation of the Qur’an that he adopted upon.

Qur’an Compilers[33] Zayd ibn Thabit

‘Abd-Allah ibn az-Zubayr

Sa’eed ibn al-‘Aas

‘Abd ar-Rahmaan ibn al-Haarith

Qur’an teachers[34] Abd-Allah ibn al-Saa’ib

al-Mugheerah ibn Shihaab

Abu ‘Abd al-Rahmaan al-Sulami

Aamir ibn Qays

Zayd ibn Thabit

Teacher sent to Makkah

Teacher sent to Syria

Teacher sent to Kufa

Teacher sent to Basra

Teacher sent to Medina

4.5 Police

Internal Security (Police)[35] al-Muhajir ibn Qunfudh ibn ‘Umayr

Abd al-Rahman al-Asadi

Naseer ibn ‘Abd al-Rahman

Police Chief Medina

Police Chief Kufa

Police Chief Damascus

4.6 The Armed Forces

Amir of Jihad Habeeb ibn Maslamah al-Fihri[36]

Salmaan ibn Rabee’ah al-Baahili[37]

Abd al-Rahmaan ibn Rabee’ah[38]

‘Abd-Allah ibn ‘Aamir[39]

‘Amr ibn al-‘Aas[40]

‘Abd-Allah ibn Sa’d[41]

Muawiya ibn Abi Sufyan[42]

Sa’eed ibn al-‘Aas[43]

Campaign to protect Syria

Armenia & Azerbaijan Campaign

al-Bab and Balanjar Campaign

Reconquest of Khorasan

Campaign to protect Egypt

North Africa Campaign

Cyprus Campaign

Reconquest of Tabaristan

Navy Abd-Allah ibn Qays[44]

Sufyan ibn ‘Awf al-Azdi[45]

Bisr ibn Artah[46]

Abdullah ibn Abi Sarh[46]

Head of the Navy

2nd Head of the Navy

Head of Ash-Sham Navy

Head North Africa Naval Campaign

Corp Commanders al-Waleed ibn ‘Uqbah[47]

Qurayzah ibn Ka’b al-Ansari[48]

Hudhayfah ibn al-Yaman[49]

Majashi’ ibn Mas’ood al-Sulami[50]

al-Ahnaf ibn Qays[51]

al-Aqra’ ibn Habis[52]

Abd al-Rahman ibn Rabee’ah[53]

Sa’eed ibn Salih[54]

·Abd-Allah ibn Shabeel al-Ahmasi[55]

Habeeb ibn Maslamah ibn Khalid[56]

al-Harith ibn al-Hakam[57]

‘Uqbah ibn Nafi’ al-Fihri[58]

Abd-Allah ibn az-Zubayr[59]

2nd army Azerbaijan Campaign

Reconquest of Al-Rayy

1st army Tabaristan Campaign

Commander Khorasan Campaign

Commander Khorasan Campaign

Commander Armenia Campaign

1st army al-Bab & Balanjar

Jarjan Campaign

al-Babar al-Taylass, Mawqan

1st army Ash-Sham Campaign

1st army North Africa Campaign

2nd army North Africa Campaign

3rd army North Africa Campaign

5- Map of the Caliphate

Uthman map

6- Provinces

6.1 Arabian Peninsula

Province (wiliyah) Governors (wulah) in chronological order
Makkah[60] 1.       Khalid ibn al-‘Aas

2.       Ali ibn Rabee’ah ibn ‘Abd al-‘Uzza

3.       Abd-Allah ibn ‘Amr al-Hadrami

4.       Khalid ibn al-‘Aas[61]

6.2 Egypt

Province (wiliyah) Governors (wulah)
Egypt 1.       Amr bin al-‘As[62]

2.       Abdullah ibn Sa’d ibn Abi’l-Sarh[63]

3.       Amr bin al-‘As[64]

4.       Abdullah ibn Sa’d ibn Abi’l-Sarh[65]

6.3 Yemen[66]

Province (wiliyah) Governors (wulah)
Sana’a 1.       Ya’la ibn Umayyah
al-Jund 1.       Abd-Allah ibn Rabee’ah

6.4 Iraq and the East

Province (wiliyah) Governors (wulah)
Armenia[67] 1.       Habeeb ibn Maslamah

2.       Hudhayfah ibn al-Yaman

3.       Mugheerah ibn Shu’bah

Najran 1.       al-Waleed ibn ‘Uqbah[68]

6.5 Kufa

Province (wiliyah) Governors (wulah)
Kufa 1.       al-Mughirah ibn Shu’bah[69]

2.       Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas[70]

3.       al-Waleed ibn ‘Uqbah[71]

4.       Sa’eed ibn al-‘Aas[72]

5.       Abu Moosa al-Ash’ari[73]

These districts were under the authority of the governor of Kufa and therefore part of the Kufa province.

District (‘Imaalah)[74] Mayor (‘Aamil)
Azerbaijan 1.       Uqbah ibn Farqad[75]

2.       Al-Ash’ath ibn Qays[76]

3.       Sa’eed ibn d-‘Aas[77]

4.       Mugheerah ibn Shu’bah[78]

Qarqisiya 1.       Jarir ibn Abdallah
Hulwan 1.       Utaybah b. al-Nahhas
Mah 1.       Malik b. Habib
Hamadan 1.       al-Nusayr
al-Rayy 1.       Said b. Qays
Isfahan 1.       al-Sa’ib b. al-Aqra’
Masabadhan 1.       Hubaysh

6.6 Basra[79]

Province (wiliyah) Governors (wulah)
Basra 1.       Abu Moosa al-Ash’ari

2.       Abd-Allah ibn ‘Aamir ibn Kurayz

These districts were under the authority of the governor of Basra and therefore part of the Basra province.

District (‘Imaalah) Mayor (‘Aamil)
Bahrain[80] 1.       Uthman b. Abi al-‘As al-Thaqafi

2.       Marwan ibn al-Hakam

3.       Abd-Allah ibn Suwar al-‘Abdi

Oman
Yamamah
Sajistan 1.       Qays ibn al-Haytham[81]
Khorasan
Fars  
al-Ahwaz  

6.7 Syria

Province (wiliyah) Governors (wulah)
Syria 1.       Mu’awiyah ibn Abi Sufiyan[82]

 

District (‘Imaalah) Mayor (‘Aamil)
Homs 1.       Umayr ibn Sa’d al-Ansari[83]

2.       Abd ar-Rahman ibn Khalid ibn al-waleed[84]

Palestine 1.       Alqamah ibn Mahraz[85]
Qinnasrin 1.       Habib b. Maslamah[86]
Jordan 1.       Abu al-Anwar b. Sufyan[87]

6.8 Duties of the Governors[88]

For the citizens of the Caliphate, their first point of contact with the leadership of the state is the governor and the mayor because they are managing people’s day to day affairs on a local and regional level. They had no set working hours and were expected to be available 24×7 for the people. Similar to the time of Umar all infrastructure development and expansion of the state was down to the governors. Some of their main duties were:

  1. Educating the people of the region in Islam
  2. Establishing the prayer by planning and building mosques
  3. Protecting Islam and its principles
  4. Facilitating Hajj
  5. Carrying out hadd punishments
  6. Keeping people safe
  7. Striving to ensure people can earn a livelihood
  8. Appointing workers and employees
  9. Taking care of ahl al-dhimmah (non-Muslim citizens)
  10. Making shura (consultation) on their decisions
  11. Checking the province’s need for development and construction
  12. Paying attention to the social situations of the provincial inhabitants
  13. The governor’s working hours – 24×7

The governors took on the responsibility for protecting and expanding the state. Some of their tasks related to this were:

  1. The governors sent volunteers to fight
  2. Defending the province against the state’s enemies
  3. Fortifying their lands.
  4. Seeking information about the enemy.
  5. Supplying horses where needed
  6. Teaching children and preparing them for war
  7. Keeping records of the troops (diwaan).
  8. Upholding the treaties.

6.9 Accounting the Governors[89]

Since the governor is very powerful position in the state second only to the Caliph then accountability mechanisms must be implemented to ensure no oppression takes place. Some of the processes Uthman put in place were:

  1. Attending Hajj to speak to the citizens of the provinces
  2. Regular correspondence with the governors
  3. Summoning the governors and questioning them about the situation in their lands
  4. Asking governors to send delegations from the provinces so that he could ask them about their commanders and governors
  5. Travelling to some provinces to check on things for himself
  6. Sending inspectors to the provinces
  7. Trusted advisors in the regions who wrote to the caliph about the situation
  8. Questioning those who came from other regions and provinces

For further information read the article Accounting the governors of the Caliphate

7- Spread of Islam

7.1 The Campaign in the East

After Umar bin Al-Khattab was assassinated a number of regions in the East (Iran, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan) believed the Islamic State was now in a position of weakness and so they rebelled against the state and broke their treaties. When Uthman was elected as the Caliph he began re-conquering those regions in addition to new territories. Leadership in Islam is not built on the personality of the leader or army commander. Rather leadership is built on the Islamic ideology and even if we lose a great leader the Islamic conquests will continue. This was shown to be true when Umar bin al-Khattab replaced Khalid bin Walid, the Amir of Jihad in Syria with Abu Ubaydah ibn Al-Jarrah. Victories continued under Abu Ubaydah as they had done under Khalid bin Walid.  Likewise, victories continued under Uthman as they had under Umar.

Re-Conquests

Re-Conquest Battlefield Commander Date
Azerbaijan[90] Salman ibn Rabee’ah al-Bahili (1st army)

al-Waleed ibn ‘Uqbah (2nd army)

24AH
al-Rayy[91] Qurayzah ibn Ka’b al-Ansari 24AH
Tabaristan (Iran)[92] Sa’eed ibn al-‘Aas (Amir)

Hudhayfah ibn al-Yaman (1st army)

Abd-Allah ibn ‘Aamir (2nd army)

30AH
Khorasan (Iran, Afghanistan and Turkmenistan)[93]

Abarshahr

Toos

Biyurd

Nisa

Sarkhas

‘Abd-Allah ibn ‘Aamir (Amir)

Majashi’ ibn Mas’ood al-Sulami (sub commander)

al-Ahnaf ibn Qays (Sub commander)

31AH

 New Conquests

Conquest Battlefield Commander Date
Nishapur and Marw[94] Abdullah ibn Aamir
Balkh[95] Al-Ahnaf ibn Qays
Jarjan[96] Sa’eed ibn Salih
Mawqan[97] Abd-Allah ibn Shabeel al-Ahmasi 24AH
al-Babar al-Taylass[98] Abd-Allah ibn Shabeel al-Ahmasi 24AH
Armenia[99] Salman ibn Rabee’ah al-Bahili (Amir)

al-Aqra’ ibn Habis (sub-commander)

24AH
al-Bab and Balanjar[100] Abd al-Rahman ibn Rabee’ah (1st army)

Salman ibn Rabee’ah (2nd army)

32AH
Marw Roodh[101]

al-Taiqan

al-Fariyab

al-Jawzajan

Takharistan

Abd-Allah ibn ‘Aamir (Amir)

al-Ahnaf ibn Qays (sub-commander)

al-Aqra’ ibn Habis (sub-commander)

32AH

7.2 Campaign to repel Byzantine attempts to reconquer Ash-Sham and Egypt

Conquest Battlefield Commander Date
Egypt[102] ‘Amr ibn al-‘Aas 25AH
Ash-Sham[103] Habeeb ibn Maslamah al-Fihri (Amir)

Habeeb ibn Maslamah ibn Khalid al-Fihri (1st army)

Salman ibn Rabee’ah al-Bahili (2nd army)

7.3 North Africa Campaign (Tunisia)

Conquest Battlefield Commander Date
North Africa (Tunisia)[104] ‘Abd-Allah ibn Sa’d (Amir)

al-Harith ibn al-Hakam (1st army)

‘Uqbah ibn Nafi’ al-Fihri (2nd army)

Abd-Allah ibn az-Zubayr (3rd army)

Bisr ibn Artah (Navy)

26AH, 31AH

7.4 Campaign in the Mediterranean

Conquest Battlefield Commander Date
Cyprus[105] Muawiya ibn Abi Sufyan (Amir)

‘Abd-Allah ibn Sa’d (sub-commander)

32AH
Crete[106]

Sardinia

Balearic Islands

8- Infrastructure Development

Most of the infrastructure development was undertaken by the governors in their respective provinces but some of the major projects were organised centrally by Uthman.

8.1 Expansion of Masjid an-Nabawi and Masjid ul-Haram[107]

The Caliphate is also known as the Imamate where the Caliph is the Imam who is responsible for the establishment of salah within the state. In the capital the Caliph should lead the jum’ah prayer and in the provincial capitals it should be the governor. Building and maintaining mosques is a duty of the state and thousands of mosques were built during the time of Uthman as they were in the time of the previous Caliphs Abu Bakr and Umar. Due to the massive increase in the Muslim population the two holy mosques in Makkah and Medina had to be expanded again. Uthman also starting paying salaries to Muezzins from the state treasury.

8.2 Establishing the first navy[108]

The Byzantines had a well-established navy and had been seafarers since ancient times. This posed a major threat to the coastlines of the Islamic State most notably Alexandria in Egypt and other coastal ports on the Mediterranean. A new navy had to be established in order to confront this threat.

Muawiya the governor of Ash-Sham tried to convince the previous Caliph Umar ibn Al-Khattab to establish a navy but Umar on the advice of Amr ibn Al-‘Aas refused because he didn’t want to risk the lives of the Muslim soldiers by fighting a battle with the well-established Byzantine Navy. Umar said, ‘No, by the One Who sent Muhammad with the truth, I will never let a Muslim campaign by sea. By Allah, a Muslim is dearer to me than all that the Byzantines have. Stop suggesting that to me.’[109]

When Uthman became Caliph Muawiya tried again to convince him of the necessity of establishing a navy and Uthman then gave his approval delegating the responsibility to Muawiya who appointed Abd-Allah ibn Qays as the first Amir of the Navy. The Muslims motivated by their Islamic aqeeda learnt the art of shipbuilding and naval warfare in record time and managed to achieve a decisive victory against the Byzantine navy at the battle of Dhat al-Sawari which took place off the coast of Alexandria. The Byzantine historian Theophanes said: ‘This battle was a second Yarmook for the Byzantines.’

The navy of the Islamic state then began conquering the Mediterranean islands one by one. Cyprus, Crete, Corsica, Sardinia and the Balearic Islands all fell to the Muslims.

Umm Haram bint Milhan was the maternal aunt of the Prophet ﷺ and she accompanied the navy during the Cyprus campaign and died and is buried in Cyprus. This was foretold by the Prophet ﷺ in a famous hadith.

One day the Messenger of Allah ﷺ entered the house of Umm Haram, and she provided him with food and started grooming his head. Then the Messenger of Allah slept, then he woke up smiling.

Umm Haram asked, “What is making you smile, O Messenger of Allah?” He said, “Some people of my ummah were shown to me (in my dream) campaigning for the sake of Allah, sailing in the middle of the sea like kings on thrones. “

Umm Haram added, “I said, ‘O Messenger of Allah! Pray to Allah to make me one of them.”‘ So the Messenger of Allah ﷺ prayed to Allah for her and then laid his head down (and slept).

Then he woke up smiling (again). (Umm Haram added): I said, “What is making you smile, O Messenger of Allah?” He said, “Some people of my ummah were shown to me (in my dream) campaigning for the sake of Allah, “

He said the same as he had said before. I said, “O Messenger of Allah! Pray to Allah to make me one of them.” He said, “You will be among the first ones.” (Sahih al-Bukhari 2877)

8.3 Moving the port of al-Shu’aybah to Jeddah[110]

In 26 AH, the people of Makkah spoke to ‘Uthman about moving the port from Shu’aybah, which was the old port of Makkah during the Jahiliyyah, to where it is now in Jeddah, because it was closer. ‘Uthman went out to Jeddah to see its location, and he ordered that the port be moved there.

8.4 Digging wells[111]

Water wells are the life blood of a community and the state treasury was used to build these where needed. One of these wells was the famous well of Bi’r Arees which was dug 2 miles outside Madinah. These water wells were public property and couldn’t be privately owned due to their necessity for the community.

8.5 Establishing guest houses[112]

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said:

مَنْ كَانَ يُؤْمِنُ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الآخِرِ فَلْيُكْرِمْ ضَيْفَهُ

“Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day, should serve his guest generously.” (Sahih al-Bukhari 6135)

Inns were established in various provinces and along the main travel routes as Umar had done previously. These inns provided accommodation and food for those travellers without anywhere to stay.

9- Main Points of his Caliphate

9.1 Compiling the Qur’an[113]

When the Prophet ﷺ died the entire Qur’an had been written down on pieces of animal bone, palm leaf and thin stone tablets. All of the Qur’an was also preserved in the hearts of the sahaba.

Abu Bakr, when he was Caliph then undertook the task of bringing together all the written pieces of the Qur’an in to one manuscript. This copy was handed down to his successor Umar and then remained with Umar’s daughter Hafsa after Umar died.

During the time of Uthman some regions of the state recited the Qur’an differently in their own dialects and this was leading to fitna (discord) being created among the people. Hudhayfah ibn al-Yaman who was one of the commanders leading the conquests of Tabaristan had troops from both Iraq and Ash-Sham in his army. He noticed that the troops from Ash-Sham were reciting according to the recitation of Ubay ibn Ka’b, and they were coming with recitations the people of Iraq had not heard of. Also he saw the people of Iraq reciting according to the recitation of ‘Abd Allah ibn Mas’ud and so they brought recitations the people of Ash-Sham had not heard of. This led some to accuse the other of disbelief.

So Hudhayfah travelled to Medina to meet Uthman and asked him to adopt on a single Qur’anic recitation which he did. Uthman established an agency for producing seven copies of the Qur’an based on Hafsa’s master copy and these new seven were fixed on the dialect of Quraish. Uthman then appointed a number of teachers to take the new mushaf to a particular province and teach the people its recitation.

Uthman averted a major fitna with regards to the Qur’an by this policy.

9.2 Allowing the senior sahaba to leave for foreign lands

The senior sahaba were a political party that acted as a guardian over the thoughts and emotions of the Islamic society. They would correct the Caliph and other officials when they erred and give sincere advice on policy decisions. When ‘Umar was Caliph he prevented the senior sahaba from leaving to other countries, except with his permission for a short period of time. He liked to keep this core group close to him even though the sahaba wanted to leave Medina so they could assist in spreading Islam far and wide in the newly conquered lands.

When Uthman became the Caliph he changed this policy and allowed them to leave Medina and settle in distance lands. The consequence of losing this core group was a factor in the fitna which led to anti-government demonstrations against Uthman and his eventual assassination. This sowed the seeds for a civil war between the next Caliph, Imam Ali and the governor of Ash-Sham, Muawiyah ibn Abi Sufyan.

9.3 Rebellion and Uthman’s assassination

A coordinated conspiracy took place in the latter half of Uthman’s rule which led to his eventual assassination. Imam al-Zuhri said: ‘Uthman ruled for twelve years as caliph, during the first six years of which the people did not criticize him for anything, and he was more beloved to Quraysh than ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab because ‘Umar had been very strict with them, but ‘Uthman was lenient and generous towards them. Then the turmoil began after that. The Muslim historians call the events that happened in the second half of ‘Uthman’s reign (30-35 AH) the fitnah (turmoil), which ended in the martyrdom of ‘Uthman.’[114]

This fitna set in motion a series of events which sparked a civil war during the time of the next Caliph, Imam Ali who spent his entire rule trying to reunify the state. The state was only reunified one again after Imam Hassan abdicated the Caliphate to Muawiya ibn Abi Sufyan. Abu Bakrah narrated: Once the Prophet ﷺ brought out Al-Hasan and took him up the pulpit along with him and said, “This son of mine is a Sayid (i.e. chief) and I hope that Allah will help him bring about reconciliation between two groups of Muslims.” (Sahih al-Bukhari 3629)

The Caliph is the state and is the leader of all the believers on earth hence the title Ameer ul-Mu’mineen. Once a legitimate bay’ah has been contracted to him he cannot be removed or forced to resign unless he contradicts one of the pillars of the bay’ah contract.

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said to Uthman three times: “Oh ‘Uthman, Allah will give you a garment to wear (i.e. the caliphate), so if the hypocrites want you to shed it, do not shed it until you meet me.”[115]

Invalidation of the bay’ah must be proven by an independent judge which in modern times is called the Qadi ul-Mazalim (Judge of Unjust Acts). The ummah has no right to take extra-judicial actions against the ruler unless open kufr is witnessed which is beyond doubt. In this case the ummah has the right of revolution to remove the ruler something which exists in every ruling system. An example of this is when Mustapha Kemal abolished the Caliphate on 3rd March 1924. In this case the ummah should have revolted en-mass but unfortunately due to the severe decline and occupation they were incapable of doing this. Uthman was told explicitly by the Prophet ﷺ not to leave office.

A point to note is that the Islamic State is not a utopia, but is ruled by human beings over human beings who are not perfect and are prone to error and mistake. This is why the sharia contains detailed rules which cover eventualities such as crime, civil war and fitna and how to address them.

Many lessons can be learnt from this and the subsequent civil war such as the importance of maintaining a strong political party (hizb) in the capital and provinces of the state. In addition limiting the powers of the governors so they do not have power over the armed forces, treasury and judiciary which could lead them becoming too powerful and rebelling as happened with Mu’awiya under Imam Ali.

Read next: History of the Caliphs: Ali ibn Abi Talib (coming soon…)

 

By A.K.Newell, Editor of IslamCiv.com


References

[1] Musnad Ahmad, Baqi Musmd al-Ansar, 24045 (6/87)

[2] Narrated by at-Tabarani and the men of its isnad thiqat (trustworthy), as stated by al-Haythami. Al-Majma’ no. 14500 (9/81)

[3] at-Timidhi, 3701, https://sunnah.com/urn/635800

[4] Dr Ali Muhammad As-Sallabi, ‘The Biography of Uthman bin Affan,’ Dar us-Salam Publishers, p.43

[5] Ibid, p.44

[6] Ibid, p.42

[7] Dr Ali Muhammad As-Sallabi, ‘The Biography of Abu Bakr As-Siddeeq’, Dar us-Salam Publishers, p.748

[8] Ibid, p.624

[9] Sallabi, ‘The Biography of Uthman bin Affan,’ Op.cit. p.78

[10] Dr Ali Muhammad As-Sallabi, ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab, his life and times,’ International Islamic Publishing House, volume 1, p.186

[11] Ibid, p.345

[12] Sallabi, ‘The Biography of Uthman bin Affan,’ Op.cit. p.45

[13] Hizb ut-Tahrir, The Institutions of State in the Khilafah, translation of Ajhizat dowlah ul-Khilafah, Dar ul-Ummah, Beirut, 2005, First Edition, p.35

[14] Sallabi, ‘The Biography of Uthman bin Affan,’ Op.cit. p.410

[15] Dr Ali Muhammad As-Sallabi, ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib,’ International Islamic Publishing House, volume 1, p.278

[16] Sallabi, ‘The Biography of Uthman bin Affan,’ Op.cit. p.334

[17] Ibid, p.366

[18] Ibid, p.127

[19] Ibid, p.371

[20] Abu Ja`far Muhammad b. Jarir al-Tabari, ‘The History of Al-Tabari’, translation of Ta’rikh al-rusul wa’l-muluk, State University of New York Press, Volume XV, p.256

[21] Sallabi, ‘The Biography of Uthman bin Affan,’ Op.cit. p.172

[22] Ibid, p.282

[23] Tabari, Op.cit. p.256

[24] Ibid

[25] Sallabi, ‘The Biography of Uthman bin Affan,’ Op.cit. p.355

[26] Tabari, Op.cit. p.256

[27] Sallabi, ‘The Biography of Uthman bin Affan,’ Op.cit. p.214

[28] Tabari, Op.cit. p.255

[29] Sallabi, ‘The Biography of Uthman bin Affan,’ Op.cit. p.215

[30] Ibid

[31] Ibid

[32] Ibid, p.212

[33] Ibid, p.326

[34] Ibid, p.333

[35] Ibid, p.224

[36] Ibid, p.314

[37] Ibid, p.312

[38] Ibid, p.310

[39] Ibid, p.251

[40] Ibid, p.284

[41] Ibid, p.287

[42] Ibid, p.280

[43] Ibid, p.246

[44] Ibid, p.277

[45] Ibid, p.278

[46] Ibid, p.295

[47] Ibid, p.243

[48] Ibid, p.244

[49] Ibid, p.246

[50] Ibid, p.251

[51] Ibid, p.188

[52] Ibid, p.244

[53] Ibid, p.252

[54] Ibid, p.188

[55] Ibid, p.244

[56] Ibid, p.245

[57] Ibid, p.287

[58] Ibid

[59] Ibid

[60] Ibid, p.343

[61] Ibid, p.344

[62] Ibid, p.284

[63] Ibid, p.198

[64] Ibid, p.284

[65] Ibid, p.351

[66] Ibid, p.346

[67] Ibid, p.349

[68] Ibid, p.189

[69] Ibid, p.355

[70] Ibid

[71] Ibid, p.356

[72] Ibid, p.358

[73] Ibid, p.359

[74] Tabari, Op.cit. p.256

[75] Sallabi, ‘The Biography of Uthman bin Affan,’ Op.cit. p.198

[76] Ibid, p.244

[77] Ibid

[78] Ibid, p.349

[79] Ibid, p.351

[80] Ibid, p.345

[81] Ibid, p.260

[82] Ibid, p.224

[83] Ibid, p.347

[84] Ibid, p.348

[85] Ibid

[86] Tabari, Op.cit. p.255

[87] Ibid

[88] Sallabi, ‘The Biography of Uthman bin Affan,’ Op.cit. p.372

[89] Ibid, p.365

[90] Ibid, p.243

[91] Ibid, p.244

[92] Ibid, p.246

[93] Ibid, p.251

[94] Ibid, p.188

[95] Ibid

[96] Ibid

[97] Ibid, p.244

[98] Ibid

[99] Ibid

[100] Ibid, p.252

[101] Ibid, p.255

[102] Ibid, p.284

[103] Ibid, p.245

[104] Ibid, p.287

[105] Ibid, p.280

[106] Ibid, p.301

[107] Ibid, p.199

[108] Ibid, p.200

[109] Ibid, p.273

[110] Ibid, p.200

[111] Ibid, p.201

[112] Ibid, p.181

[113] Sheikh Taqīuddīn An-Nabahānī, ‘The Islamic Personality,’ 6th edition, Maktaba Islamia, p.118

[114] Ibn Sa’d, ‘at-Tabaqat’, 1/39-47

[115] Musnad Ahmad, Baqi Musmd al-Ansar, 24045 (6/87)