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Online Quran Academy - Islamic Mentors

The Life and Legacy of Hazrat Usman (RA)

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Introduction

Hazrat Usman ibn Affan (RA) is a significant figure in Islamic history. He (RA) was one of the closest companions of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and the third Caliph of Islam. He was known for his piety, generosity, and leadership. Hazrat Uthman (RA) played a crucial role in expanding the Islamic state and protecting the Quran. His (RA) tenure as Caliph was marked by significant achievements and challenges. This makes his biography a rich subject of study for understanding the early development of the Islamic community.

Early Life and Family Background

Hazrat Usman (RA) was born in 576 AD, on the sixth year of Amul-Fil (the year of the Elephant), a significant event in Arabian history. He (RA) was five years younger than the Prophet (SAW).


In his early life in pre-Islamic society, Hazrat Uthman (RA) was known as one of the best among the people. Despite his high status and wealth, he remained Extremely modest and clear in his speech. People loved him dearly and respected him for his humbleness. He never prostrated to any idol and had never committed any immoral actions, even before Islam.


He belonged to the highly reputed family of “Umayyah,” which belonged to the crew of Quraysh in Makkah. Banu Umayyah held a respected status among the Quraysh people as they were entrusted with keeping the flag of the whole clan. His family history also matched that of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW).


Family Tree

As mentioned earlier, Hazrat Usman was a member of the Banu Umayyad clan, which had significant power in Mecca’s political and economic range. We can trace his lineage as follows:


  • Father: Affan ibn Abi al-As
  • Mother: Arwa bint Kurayz
  • Grandfather (Paternal): Abi al-As ibn Umayyah
  • Grandfather (Maternal): Kurayz ibn Rabi’ah
  • Great-Grandfather (Paternal): Umayyah ibn Abd Shams
  • Sister: Amina bint Affan

Acceptance of Islam

Hazrat Usman (RA) was among the early followers who accepted Islam when Prophet Muhammad (SAW) began spreading the message. He (RA) embraced Islam after being preached to by Prophet Muhammad (SAW). Following his acceptance of Islam, the people of Quraish began to oppose him, and even his close relatives criticized and mistreated him.


Note for our non-Muslim community: Conversion to Islam offers spiritual fulfillment, inner peace, and a direct connection with Allah (SWT). For more information, click this link: Conversion to Islam.


Titles and Honors

Hazrat Usman (RA) was known by several titles that reflect his character, contributions, and respected position in Islamic history. Here are two of his most famous titles:


Al-Ghani (The Generous)

Hazrat Uthman (RA) was well-known for his generosity. He was one of the wealthiest individuals among the early Muslims. He benefited the Muslim community and spread Islam using his wealth, and as a result, he received the title Al-Ghani.


Dhun-Nurain (The Possessor of Two Lights)

After marrying Hazrat Ruqayyah (RA), the daughter of Prophet Muhammad (SAW), Hazrat Usman (RA) strengthened his bond with the Prophet (SAW) and the Muslim community. Following Hazrat Ruqayyah’s (RA) passing, He married her sister Hazrat Umm Kulthum (RA), earning him the unique title “Dhun-Nurain” (the Possessor of Two Lights). These marriages highlighted his close relationship with the Prophet’s family and his respected status within the Muslim community.


Hazrat Aisha (RA) narrated that:

Allah’s Messenger (SAW) was lying in the bed in my apartment with his thigh uncovered, and Abu Bakr sought permission to enter. It was given to him, and he conversed in the same state (the Prophet’s thigh or shank was uncovered). Then Umar sought permission to enter, and it was given to him, and he conversed in that very state. ThenUthman sought permission to enter; Allah’s Messenger (SAW) sat down, and he set right his clothes. Muhammad (one of the narrators) said: I do not say that it happened on the same day. He (Uthman) then entered and conversed, and as he went out, Aisha said: Abu Bakr entered, and you did not stir and did not observe much care (in arranging your clothes). Umar entered, and you did not stir and did not arrange your clothes, then Uthman entered, and you got up and set your clothes right, so he (SAW) said: Should I not show modesty to one whom even the Angels show modesty?

(Sahih Muslim 2401)

Generosity of Hazrat Usman (RA)

As mentioned earlier, Hazrat Usman (RA) is well-known for his exceptional generosity and charitable contributions to the Muslim community. In addition to his significant contributions, he (RA) was known for his continuous charitable acts, including supporting low-income and needy people. He also assisted in constructing public infrastructure and provided financial aid to those in distress. Here are some notable examples of his generosity:


Expansion of Al-Masjid an-Nabawi

One of Hazrat Usman’s (RA) most significant acts of generosity was financing the expansion of Al-Masjid an-Nabawi, the Prophet’s Muhammad (SAW) mosque in Medina. As the Muslim community grew, the mosque, which served as the center of worship and community gatherings, became too small to accommodate the increasing number of worshippers. Hazrat Uthman (RA) used his wealth to purchase the adjoining land and fund the mosque’s expansion, ensuring the growing community had a place to worship and gather.


Purchasing the Well of Rumah and Making It Public Property

Hazrat Usman (RA) purchased the Well of Rumah. A Jew previously owned this well. The Muslims had to pay much higher prices to the Jews to fetch the water, as it was the only source of water in that part. When Prophet Muhammad (SAW) expressed the need for a public water source, Hazrat Uthman (RA) bought the well for significant money and made it public property. This allowed everyone to draw water from it freely, providing relief to the people of Medina and highlighting Hazrat Usman’s (RA) dedication to the community’s welfare.


Funding Military Expeditions

Hazrat Usman (RA) demonstrated generosity during the Battle of Tabuk by financing several military campaigns. When the Muslim army faced a shortage of supplies and equipment, he donated a large amount of money, equivalent to 1,000 gold dinars, 300 camels, and 50 horses to provide the soldiers. He played a vital role in ensuring that the Muslim army was well-prepared for the war, which was crucial for the defense and expansion of the Islamic state.


His Role as the Third Caliph of Islam

Hazrat Usman ibn Affan (RA) was the Third Caliph of Islam. His khilafat lasted twelve years, from 644 to 656 CE. On his deathbed, Hazrat Umar ibn Al-Kattab (RA) formed a committee of six people to choose the next Caliph from among themselves. Hazrat Uthman (RA) was elected as the third Caliph with the title ‘Amir Al-Mumininininin’ (The Prince of the Believers) on the fourth day after the death of Umar (RA) in 23 AH.


For more information about Hazrat Umar (RA) ‘s life and legacy, visit this link: The Inspiring Life and Martyrdom of Hazrat Umar (RA).


During his Caliphate, his government constituted a glorious period in the history of Islam. The Islamic State (Caliphate) quietly extended its regions. Though the conquests during his time were not as numerous as during the time of Hazrat Umar (RA), they were still significant. He ruled over a vast part of the then-known world, from Kabul (Afghanistan) to Morocco (Marrakesh). He dealt firmly with rebellions, continued the tradition of Hazrat Umar (RA), and expanded the Islamic state to far-off non-Arab countries. Islam was at the peak of its glory during the period of Hazrat Usman (RA). The successor of Hazrat Uthman (RA) was Hazrat Ali ibn Abi Talib (RA), who became the Fourth Caliph of Islam.


For more information about the life of Hazrat Ali (RA), visit this blog post: Biography of Hazrat Ali (RA).


Assemblage of the Complete Holy Quran

Muslims believe the Quran comes directly from Allah (SWT). Allah Almighty sent it down to Prophet Muhammad (SAW) through Angel Jibril over about 23 years. After the Prophet’s Muhammad (SAW) death, there was a need to ensure a united version of the Quran. During the Caliphate of Hazrat Usman (RA), the Hazrat Zayd ibn Thabit (RA) committee undertook a compilation of the Quran. They compiled the existing written pieces and verified them with the recitations of the Prophet Muhammad’s (SAW) companions who had memorized the Quran. This standardized version became the official Quran used throughout the Muslim world.


Distribution of the Quranic copy

After compiling the official Quran, Hazrat Usman (RA) ordered the creation of multiple written copies. They then distributed these copies to different Caliphate provinces to ensure everyone could access the compiled copy of the holy Quran.


Our website provides comprehensive information about the Quran. Visit the following blogs to learn more about the Scientific Miracles and benefits of the Quran:



Achievements as Caliph

  • Land Distribution: He implemented a system of land distribution, granting fiefs (land grants) to some governors and soldiers. This system, however, later became a source of discontent as some perceived it as favoritism.
  • Strengthening the Naval Forces: Hazrat Usman (RA) recognized the strategic importance of a strong navy and is credited with establishing the first Islamic navy. The navy was crucial in securing trade routes and supporting the Caliphate’s borders. In 655 CE, the Islamic navy achieved a significant victory against the Byzantine Empire at the Battle of the Masts, establishing it as a challenging force.
  • Overall Impact: Hazrat Usman’s (RA) administrative reforms aimed to create a more cohesive and efficient Caliphate. The expansion brought new wealth and resources to the Muslim world. Developing a strong navy marked a turning point in Islamic military strategy. However, some of his administrative decisions, particularly land distribution, later contributed to discontent within the Muslim community.

Ashra Mubashra

Hazrat Usman ibn Affan (RA) holds a significant position in Islamic history as one of the Ashra Mubashra—the Ten Sahaba who were given the Naveed (Good news) of Paradise (Jannah) by Prophet Muhammad (SAW) during their lifetime. He was a Muhajir (migrant) sahabi. Islam highly honors these ten Sahaba for their strong faith, devotion, and help to the early Muslim community.


For comprehensive information about Ashra Mubahra, visit this blog post: The Ashra Mubashra: The Ten Companions Promised Paradise.


Death of Hazrat Usman (RA)

Hazrat Usman (RA) was martyred in 656 CE when he was around 82 years old. His martyrdom led to significant disruption within the Muslim community and eventually resulted in the First Fitna, a major civil war within the early Islamic state. His martyrdom is seen as a profound sacrifice, highlighting the trials faced by the early Muslim leaders in their efforts to guide and protect the Muslim ummah.


Circumstances of His Assassination

The circumstances of Hazrat Usman’s (RA) assassination were marked by rising dissatisfaction towards the latter part of his Caliphate. Some segments of the Muslim population were dissatisfied due to factors such as favoritism towards the Banu Umayyad clan and concerns about economic differences. This unrest led to rebels from various regions surrounding his residence in Medina. Despite negotiations, the blockade increased, and in 656 CE, the rebels stormed his house and assassinated him.


Who Killed Hazrat Usman (RA)

The exact identity of the individual who killed Hazrat Uthman (RA) is not definitively known. A group of rebels carried out the assassination, and various historical accounts suggest different participants. Some sources name individuals from among the Egyptian rebels, but there is no agreement on a single wrongdoer.


Hazrat Usman Ghani (RA) Grave

Hazrat Uthman (RA) was buried in Jannat al-Baqi, the famous graveyard in Medina, where many of Prophet Muhammad’s (SAW) family members and Companions are buried. His grave remains a site of respect for Muslims who visit to pay their respects to the martyred Caliph.


Conclusion

Hazrat Usman ibn Affan (RA) played a key role in the early development of the Islamic state. His leadership was distinguished by significant achievements in preserving the Quran, administrative reforms, and expanding the Islamic empire, leaving a memorable mark on Islamic history.


His purity, generosity, and the circumstances of his martyrdom continue to inspire and guide Muslims worldwide. Hazrat Usman’s (RA) legacy proves his commitment to the principles of Islam and his profound impact on the Muslim community.

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