A Yemen Times series on heroes of IslamOthman bin Affan, the third Caliph [Archives:2003/691/Culture]
By Sulaiman M.
For the Yemen Times
Othman Bin Affan spent his early childhood as an orphan and was raised by an aggressive stepfather from the Umayya tribe named Okbah Bin Abi Mu'eet who married Othman's Mother after his father died. Othman's mother is the Prophet's (PBUH) aunt.
His violent upbringing set the stage for Othman to get into an alliance with Bani Hashim (Hashim sons) where Abd Shams, the eldest of Bani Umayya (Umayya sons) was the twin brother of Hashim. However, Hashim was kinder, more generous, noble, and tended to be more religiously ideal than his twin brother Umayya.
Othman Bin Affan was known for being handsome and shy, and was the most likeable to the whole of Quraish tribe. Those traits made him attached to the details of Islamic advocacy as the kind Prophet, PBUH, invited him to Islam.
His mother used to say to Quraish tribe: “Our wealth and ourselves are before Mohammed, PBUH'. In becoming a Muslim, Othman entered into the eternal humanitarian and spiritual circle Quraish increased their pressure against Othman which only made him more determined to support the new religion, Islam.
Othman won his marriage to Ruqayyah, one of the Prophet's, PBUH, daughters, and he migrated with her to Ethiopia and later to the Illuminated City (Almadinah Almunawwarah).
Ever since then, he accompanied the Prophet, PBUH, as a companion and writer for the revelations. He was determined to be the richest of Quraish and the most serious merchant. He later used his wealth to prepare the Difficulty Army (Al'usrah Army), the purchase of the well, and the support of Islam to victory. After the death of Othman's wife Ruqayyah, the Prophet, PBUH married him to her sister, Umm Kulthoom.
In the Prophet's, PBUH, university, Othman learned the art of travel, management and prophetic manners. He memorized the Holy Qur'an, and adopted pure prophetic manners by writing the revelations and memorizing the Prophet, PBUH, traits and behavior.
Othman advanced to the globalization of Islam, and when he was elected as the third Caliph, the Islamic government had reached North Africa and edges of Persia and Rome. This expansion was no less serious than the challenges which faced Abu Baker, may Allah be pleased with him, in his fights against the religious retreats and eliminating them.
It was also not any less challenging than Omar Bin Al-Khattab's facing of Persian and Roman armies on the edges of the Arabian Peninsula. Othman did not forget that Quraish had ambitions to take over the government either. He concentrated on eliminating the effects of unrest as a result of the assassination of the just Khalif, Omar Bin Al-Khattab (planned by the Jews and Christians), and he was fully capable in determination, opinion and speed in managing the affairs of the government.
This way he was able to control the supply lines and provisions to his armies which were spread in Asia and Africa and determined to maintain the bases of Islam.
Let us read what the bishop of Muslim nation, Abdullah Bin Abbas, as he described Othman Bin Affan, may Allah be pleased with him: “May Allah have mercy over Abi Omar (Omar's father), he was, by Allah, the most generous grandson, the most maintaining of family contacts, the most patient warrior, praying in the later part of the evening, most tearful as he remembered Allah, constantly thinking of what was concerning him night and day, providing of any kindness, seeking every savior avoiding every destroyer, owner of the army and the well, the Prophet married him to both his daughters May Allah spare sorrow to the Day of Judgment for anyone who insults him.”
That is the unique Caliph who followed and maintained the traits of his Prophet, PBUH, the administrative legislations of Abu Bakr and Omar, may Allah be pleased with them. He added the scripture of the Holy Qur'an known by his name as the first constitution and Arabic dictionary. He advocated the maintenance of public utilities, the blooming of commerce, organization of markets, and payment of salaries from the treasury.
Othman was full of mercy and patience, as he never ordered anyone killed unless it was a penalty, which encouraged the criminals to advance to the level of killing him, the famous Caliph. There is no room for comparison between that Khalif from Quraish who moved from the limits of the tribe to the globalization of Islam and those leaders of Dahis and Ghabra, and Almunthir and Jiblah and others.
May Allah have mercy over the leader of martyrs, and how we are in disparate need to follow him and the companions of the Prophet, PBUH, and until we meet again with another great and eternal Islamic personality.