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  • 10/25/2011

Peshawar Nights: Uthman did not accept counsel of Ali

Sixth Session-part 3


*The wealth of Caliph Uthman

*Caliph Uthman encouraged the evildoers among the Umayyads

*Holy Prophet cursed Abu Sufyan, Mu'awiya and his son Yazid

*Uthman did not accept counsel of Ali



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 Council.



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 were cursed?

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.

Source: al-islam.org

Other Links:

Peshawar Nights: The Sunni Ulemas condemnation of Abu Hanifa

Peshawar Nights: Authenticity of Hadith of Manzila from the usual sources

Peshawar Nights: Characteristics of Ali

Peshawar Nights: Clear ahadith about the Caliphate of Ali

Peshawar Nights: Characteristics of the Companions

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