Murder of Othman Ibn Affan
Compiled By: Syed Ali Shahbaz
On 15th of the Islamic month of Zil-Hijjah in 34 AH, a group of the Prophet’s companions besieged the house of Othman Ibn Affan, demanding his resignation from the caliphate, because of widespread nepotism and deviation from the laws of Islam as a result of manipulation of all state affairs by the caliph’s cousin and son-in-law, the notorious Marwan son of Hakam, who along with his father had been expelled from Medina by Prophet Mohammad (SAWA) for ridiculing him.
Othman refused to step down, and despite the earnest efforts of the Commander of the Faithful, the Prophet’s divinely-decreed successor, Imam Ali ibn Abi Taleb (AS), to peaceably resolve the crisis, matters took a violent turn, and Othman was killed four days later by Muslims who had assembled in Medina from Egypt, Iraq and other regions.
Among the prominent Muslims opposing his rule were Mohammad Ibn Abu Bakr the son of the first caliph, and the eminent companion, Ammar Ibn Yasser, regarding whom the Prophet had said: “Ammar is with truth and truth is with him; Ammar turns wherever truth turns.” Ayesha, the daughter of the first caliph and one of the wives the Prophet had taken out of social necessity in the last ten years of his life, used to consider Othman as an apostate. Othman was a member of the Omayyad clan and had become exceptionally rich during his 12-year rule. He was denied burial in the sacred Baqie Cemetery by the people of Medina and after three days his corpse was buried in the nearby Jewish Cemetery which his Omayyad kinsmen added to Baqie during their rule.
On 4th of the Islamic month of Moharam in 23 AH, Osman bin Affan formally took office as the 3rd caliph, five days after the death of Omar ibn Khattab, who on his deathbed had appointed a 6-man Shura (council) with instructions that the person backed by Abdur-Rahman Ouf should be selected as ruler – in order to continue to deprive the Prophet's heir, Imam Ali (AS), of his political right to govern the Islamic state.
Another reason the caliphate was not returned to Imam Ali (AS) by Abdur-Rahman Ouf was the Imam's clear statement that he would rule only in accordance with the holy Qur'an and the Sunnah of his cousin Prophet Mohammad (SAWA) without attaching any importance to the questionable innovations of the past two reigns.
On becoming caliph, Osman immediately celebrated the occasion by holding a gathering of his kinsmen, the which the notorious chief of the Omayyad clan, Abu Sufyan, who had become a Muslim in order to escape death for his crimes against Muslims, openly declared his atheism and animosity against Islam, by saying: O Omayyads! The ball of caliphate is now with you; make sure to keep it amongst ourselves, for life is limited only to this world, after which there is no resurrection nor judgement, neither heaven nor hell.
Osman, despite his claim to be the political heir of the Prophet, made the first breach of the laws of Islam in office, by allowing an apostate like Abu Sufyan to remain free. His next violation of the laws of Islam was to call back to Medina and entrust important posts to his other infidel kinsmen, Amr bin Hakam and Marwan bin Hakam, whom the Prophet had banished for their blasphemous deeds and mockery of the laws of God.
Osman's 3rd blatant trampling of Islamic laws was the expulsion from Medina of the Prophet's prominent companion, Abu Zar Ghaffari. These and other major defects in his character, including hoarding of wealth at the expense of the state, finally led to his killing by Muslims 12 years later.