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Uthman: Rule of Benignity

One day the Prophet of Allah (pbuh) was resting at home with his dear wife Aisha. Prophet Muhammad was trying to cool himself from Mecca's unbearable heat by slightly lifting his long gown leaving his legs bare. This holy home was a place that was frequently visited by many people; Abu Bakr and Umar were among such visitors to the Prophet, and they had the most fulfilling conversations with him. Time flew past so quickly, and they soon realized it was time to go. Leaving behind all the excitement they had felt on their arrival they were now saying their farewells. With their hearts full of delight they set out to preach the Prophet's valuable knowledge to the homes of Mecca. 

After a short time Uthman b. Affan, who was related to the tribe of Umey, one of the largest and most powerful groups of the Quraish visited Prophet Muhammad. Uthman, the son of Affan and one of Mecca's leading merchants, had spent his childhood years in comfort and prosperity. As a generous merchant he had succeeded in becoming one of the leading figures in Mecca. He had had his fill of good living, and had fulfilled his spiritual hunger with his devotion to the Prophet. Uthman b Affan was among the first 10 to believe in the word of Allah and became one of the first preachers of Islam. He was a very brave man. The tribe of Umey was opposed to him and his beliefs  and he was subjected to numerous acts of torture.

After converting to Islam Uthman became one of the Prophet's most frequent visitors; he spent the night in prayer and a part of the daytime fasting. On another of his visits, while Uthman waited for permission to enter the Prophet's house, as on every visit, his heart was beating with excitement.

When Prophet Muhammad heard that Uthman was waiting at the door, knowing that his visitor was a man with a good upbringing, a high character and good manners, the Prophet was also overwhelmed with excitement and tidied himself up before giving Uthman permission to enter. The importance that the Prophet showed to Uthman did not go unnoticed by Aisha; she asked him the reason for his conduct. "Should I not have shame before that man (Uthman) from whom even the angels have shame? I swear by Allah that in the same way the angels are have shame before Allah and His messenger they also have shame before Uthman".

With all his wealth and modesty Uthman was greatly respected by all the wealthy people in Mecca. He donated large amounts of his wealth to the Muslims, and on his emigration to Mecca he donated 35,000 dirhams to buy  the well of Rume for the Muslims who had been without water. The Prophet gave the glad tidings: "The one who bought the well of Rume will go to Paradise". Uthman was to be known in the history of Islam not only for his modesty but also for his generosity. During the caliphate of Abu Bakr, during a time of scarcity Uthman, on his return from a caravan trip, donated 1,000 camels with loads of wheat, raisins and oil to the needy Muslims, and 10,000 dirhams for the re-building of the Masjid-i Nabawi, the mosque that had originally been built during the time of his caliphate. These are just a few examples of his generosity.

During his 12-year caliphate, Uthman, with his devotion to Allah and His messenger, made many important steps for the sake of Islam. The Quran had been preserved in its original form by the first 2 caliphates until the time of Umar's death, but then had been passed onto his daughter Hafsa, who had had the privilege of being a wife of the Prophet. Uthman memorized the book of Allah and with his effort and initiative, the Quran later made its way into the homes of the Muslims. In the time of Umar's caliphate, Huzeyfa, who had taken part in the invasion of Armenia, pointed out that the people of Syria and Iraq were reciting the Qur'an in a different fashion. To prevent this, Zeyd b.Sabit formed a commission to have the Qur'an copied. The copies were sent to Mecca, Basra, Kufa, the Yemen and Bahrain. With every verse that is read for the sake of Allah may Uthman also be rewarded.

During the first years of the Islamic government, Medina was overwhelmed with new converts to Islam and people were emigrating to be near the prophet and his Companions. The Masjid-i Nabawi could not accommodate the ever-growing population. With the donations of Uthman the mosque was repaired and rebuilt in a way worthy of the city and the Islamic government. With his humility and long rule, there is no doubt that the years of Uthman's caliphate have an important place in the history of Islamic politics.   

This was most certainly one of the periods - with the education and religious devotion - that should take its place in the history of Islamic politics. This exceptional person, Uthman, with his kindness and modesty, won a place in the Prophet's heart: "Among my Sahaba the one most like me in his ways is Uthman" were the words of the Prophet (pbuh).

 

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