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Reasons of Rebellion against Uthman

By: Rasul Ja'fariyan
'Uthman was one of those Muslims who became a Muslim as called by Abu Bakr in the first years. He was one of the Umayyads and his Islam was strange in a family most of whom were anti-Islam people.
He was one of those who migrated to Ethiopia, but soon he returned Mecca and migrated to Medina. There, he married two of the Prophet (S) 's daughters respectively who died soon. Because of his wife's sickness, 'Uthman did not attend Badr. Also, in Uhud he was with the fugitives who, indeed, were blessed. Later, there is no memory of him except in the issue of Hudaybiyya. [585]
In Abu Bakr's time, he was close to him and was his scribe. It was him who wrote 'Umar's allegiance - Abu Bakr said - while he was unconscious. Also, he had a great influence in 'Umar's time and was the Umayyads' envoy in that situation.
Afterwards, 'Uthman as Umayyads' envoy and Imam 'Ali (a) as the Hashimites' seemed to be atop of those who will lead the society in the future. 'Umar had probably realized or practically had the inclination that 'Uthman was more capable of leading an Islamic society because of his influence and Popularity in Quraysh.
Whatever his opinion was, it can't be neglected that Quraysh wanted him. When he rather came in grips with Imam in the time of 'Uthman's succession, he told Imam, Is it my fault that Quraysh doesn't like you? [586]
Ibn Qutayba also declares that 'Uthman was favored by Quraysh, so it was said, [587] By the Compassionate God, I love thee as Quraysh loved 'Uthman.
As swearing allegiance to 'Uthman ended in the last day of Dhi l-Hajja, 23 A.H., he sat on the Messenger's (S) rostrum. The difference between him and previous caliphs was that Abu Bakr sat one step down where the Prophet (S) used to sit, 'Umar one step down Abu Bakr and unlike them, 'Uthman sat where Prophet sat. [588] When he mounted the rostrum, he couldn't speak. He thought a bit and then, you need a just Imam more than a lecturer, he said. Then he came down the rostrum and went home. [589]
His first action was to overlook 'Ubayd Allah Ibn 'Umar's punishment. He killed three people, Iranian Hurmuzan and Abu Lu'lu' 's family who were accused of murdering his father, 'Umar. 'Uthman as the ruler dispensed with his Qisas, retaliation, and changed it to blood money and stood against protesters. [590]
'Uthman's caliphate must be considered as the beginning of the Umayyads' caliphate. Ibn A'tham has named him ″Doyen of the Umayyads″ quoting from Ibn 'Awf. [591] The Umayyads thought of lordship but they were ignorant. When people, Abu Bakr Juwhari says, swore allegiance to 'Uthman, this, said Abu Sufyan, was in Taym's hands (Abu Bakr's tribe) while it didn't concern them; thereafter, ″'Adi″ (tribe) took hold that was much farther. Now it has returned to its reservation.
Leave it hereditary among your offsprings, there is neither a heaven nor a hell, he told 'Uthman and the Umayyads. [592]
According to Mas'udi, 'Ammar who had heard Abu Sufyan in the mosque, stood up and began to protest. Miqdad also did the same after him and said he was worried about turning Ahl al-Bayt from this affair. [593] Ibn 'Asakir has also narrated that Abu Sufyan told 'Uthman, [594] Settle the case out of ignorance.
Of course, this evidence only specifies Abu Sufyan's idea not 'Uthman's; however, 'Uthman's caliphate is Abu Sufyan's hope for the throwback of the Umayyads' dominance. His caliphate begins with mightiness of Quraysh's nobleness. Therefore, it is said that he was more favored by Quraysh than 'Umar. [595]
The strife of Muslim world after the Prophet (S) was indeed the conflict between the Islamic norms and tribal ones. Quraysh's victory was regarded as the triumph of tribal norms; however, in the time of the first two caliphs, this victory was tempered with the Islamic norms but it should not be considered permanent, for Quraysh actually came to power by 'Uthman's caliphate.
'Uthman had never been a weak caliph despite rumors and robustly handled the affairs from scratch. His murder by Prophet (S) 's companions and other protesters did not mean his lack of enough power but because the protest against him was so much that he and his companions could not control it.
Besides, leaving the tasks to people like Marwan or other Sufyani members was not his weakness but he was basically thinking of reposing the caliphate to the Umayyads and he did all this as an introduction to Umayyidize all political affairs. Accidentally as he supposed, he acted intelligently because during the first six years of caliphate, he acted peacefully and tried to consolidate his position.
Later, during the second half of the caliphate, he manifested his radical policies and gradually began to change political structure of various regions. In his initiatives, he had the support of Quraysh. He tried to consider their portion instead. But in the second half, his task was to empower the particular tribe of the Umayyads. This infuriated some people of Quraysh. He disentitled people like 'Amr Ibn 'As and empowered 'Abd Allah Ibn Sa'd Ibn Abi Sarh. Umayyads's members ruling over people spurred anger of many and instigated people to openly revolt against him.
The main point of his regime was one, the victories and the other, more important, was to study this revolt against him, that had a great influence in the Islamic world and most of the subsequent conflicts in Muslim world were arisen from Muslim's approach towards 'Uthman and his opponents.
There are so many reasons for rebelling against 'Uthman mentioned in historical books. Tabari and other historians did not want to record these facts.
There is something said about this which I hesitate to narrate, Tabari says. [596] Narrating all of what the companions have said about 'Uthman may cause the Sunnites to have problematic vciews about companions, especially caliphs. Regarding what is said about reasons of rebeling against 'Uthman, they can be divided into three categories,
(1) The first type of objections concerns the issues through which the caliph was accused of religious heresy.
How soon you apostatized your Prophet's tradition! It's quoted from 'Ayisha who told 'Uthman. [597] His deeds burnt him, he set fire to God's book and abandoned the Prophet's tradition, said 'Ayisha when she heard about 'Uthman's death. [598] 'Abd al-Rahman Ibn 'Awf claimed 'Uthman had also violated tradition of Shiykhs.
When he objected to him, he was thrashed. [599] In a letter written to provoke people against 'Uthman, it was said that the Book and the Prophet's tradition have been changed, so has Shiykhs' tradition. [600] 'Uthman's disregarding Hurmuzan's murder by 'Ubayd Allah raised public anger. 'Uthman forgave 'Ubayd Allah instead of retaliating him for the death of three people. [601]
For doing this, Imam blamed 'Uthman and said, You will be upbraided in Dooms Day for Hurmuzan. If I see 'Ubayd Allah, I will let him obey divine rule even if some people do not like it. [602]
When 'Uthman saw this, he forced 'Ubayd Allah away Kufa at night and there, he gave him a land named Kuwayfa Ibn 'Umar. [603]
People said when 'Uthman was enlarging the Prophet's mosque. [604] He expands the mosque of the Messenger but changes his Sunna.
Another clear example was that unlike the Prophet (S), 'Uthman prayed completely in Mina, that instigated some people against him.
This is my belief, said 'Uthman when they objected. [605]
'Ammar, who was one of his known opponents, said, [606] We killed him while being an unbeliever.
He stood against rebels in the day of Jamal and asked them, Why do you fight with us?
Because 'Uthman was murdered while he was a Muslim, they replied.
We fight with you because he was a pagan when he was killed, 'Ammar said. [607]
Why did you anathematize 'Uthman? Zayd Ibn Arqam was asked.
We had three reasons one of which was not following the Book, he replied. [608]
Isfahani has mentioned some opponents who told 'Uthman, Fear God and do not exceed divine limits. [609]
He had changed the Book, said Muhammad Ibn Abi Bakr explaining his reason of opposing 'Uthman. [610]
And it's quoted from him, 'Uthman has treated unrightfully and distorted Qur'an's word.


Whosoever judges not as to what God has said, he shall be an infidel. [611]
After public objections, he repented in front of them and promised to follow the Book and the Prophet's tradition. [612]
It is quoted from 'Ayisha who named 'Uthman ″Na'thal″, old stupid man. . [613] Murder 'Uthman who has sought infidelity.
At first, 'Uthman behaved as to God's consent but later he changed his path, is also quoted from Mu'awiya. [614]
One of the objections to 'Uthman was his unifying the existing Qur'ans. At that time, a scatter of companions in cities and Arabic accents problem in reading Qur'an escalated the difference among reciters.
It's said that Hudhayfa wrote to 'Uthman, If it continues to be so, Qur'an will be distorted. 'Uthman decided to collect all Qur'ans and eliminate them after arranging a version. He did not consult with some of the people who considered themselves as experts of the job. One of them was 'Abd Allah Ibn Mas'ud.
He was chosen for this job instead of Zayd Ibn Thabit who was young at the Prophet's time. No matter what help 'Uthman should get from people like Ibn Mas'ud and no matter how he treated other versions, (burnt them or ruined in other ways), his original action was right and Imam 'Ali (a) had highly ratified it. [615]
(2) Another objection to 'Uthman was devolving upon people of the Umayyads governing the cities. Concerning Abu Sufyan's suggestion in the beginning of caliphate, this seemed normal unless he did not deem it right to do so in his first six years of caliphate. But during the second half, he tried to increase the Umayyads' political and administrative power.
The routine was that he had certainly considered Mu'awiya or another person of the Umayyads as his successor. The problem was not just using these people but people of this family who had other problems.
Typically, Hakam Ibn Abi l-'As whom the Prophet (S) exiled and Shiykhs did not repatriate, was called back to Medina and was employed to collect charity of Khuza'a's tribe. [616] He also employed Harith Ibn Hakam to work in Medina market. [617] He also gave the rulership of Kufa to Walid Ibn 'Uqba Ibn Abi Mu'ayt who was his uncle. [618]
Walid whom God called evil-doer [619] and the Prophet (S) promised him hell [620], was obviously a man of sin and iniquity. He deserved punishment because he was a winebibber according to the testament of witnesses. First, 'Uthman did not accept the testament and Imam 'Ali (a) blamed him saying, You led away the witnesses and abandoned divine limits.
When he accepted, people were afraid of 'Uthman to punish him. Imam 'Ali rose, dropped him on the ground and exerted whip punishment on him. [621]
Five years in Kufa, writes a Persian historian about Walid's drinking wine, Walid lived in serendipity, had pleasurful nights, drank by draughts and in the morning reveled in bodily pleasure from red wine, he went to the mosque witlessly and said four units of prayers instead of two as the morning prayers.
And according to a narration he said, I'm very cheerful today, I can say more prayers if you want. [622]
Walid Ibn 'Uqba's successor was Sa'id Ibn 'As who was also of this tribe. At first, he tried to behave peacefully. But a little later, he was fulminated by people because of insulting Hisham Ibn 'Utba who had lost his eye in Yarmuk and ironically was called him one-eyed man.
But the serious problem was Iraq - which is fertile lands of Iraq - all belong to Quraysh, he said in Kufa. Malik Ashtar was seething with this word. Sa'id wrote 'Uthman about Malik's objection and people who named themselves readers of Qur'an are indeed crazy doing such and such, he said. The result was that 'Uthman exiled Malik and some others to Damascus. [623] Later, when Kufa faced escalated riot, 'Uthman said that Abu Musa Ash'ari who was there for 'Umar to be given a rulership. [624]
Basra had not a better situation, there after deposing Abu Musa Ash'ari he placed 'Abd Allah Ibn 'Amir, only twenty five, who was caliph's cousin. According to Ibn A'tham, on Friday, 'Abd Allah Ibn 'Amir Ibn Kurayz wanted to preach. He sat on the rostrum and meeting the crowd he was horrified, so he couldn't talk. Praise be to God (the Exalted) who created heaven and earth in six years, he said as the prologue. [625]
Another 'Uthman's measure was to depose 'Amr Ibn 'As form ruling Egypt and leaving him to 'Abd Allah Ibn Sa'd Ibn Abi Sarh. Tyranny of this man who was outcast by the Prophet (S) towards people of Egypt was one of the causes of these people rebelling against 'Uthman, their coming to Medina to murder him.
Don't you want, Imam 'Ali (a) told 'Uthman, to leave off the Umayyads doing with Muslims' honor and property? I swear if one of your agents tyrannizes people till the sunset, you'll share his sin too. [626]
This was the same thing some had said about 'Uthman, that is to say he was the first one who began to tyrannize [627] because he did not his agents oppressing people. At the same level, Mu'awiya's reinstatement in Damascus should be mentioned.
Damascus was basically considered as 'Uthman's safe region so he sent his exiles there. The difference between Damascus and Iraq was that Mu'awiya himself had trained them from the beginning but in Kufa people like 'Ammar and 'Abd Allah Ibn Mas'ud had fostered them. Thus, Iraq revolted against 'Uthman while Damascus did not move at all.
According to Ibn Kathir, people protested why he had unseated the Prophet (S) 's companions. [628]
You have assigned ignorant rulers for us, was 'Ammar's objection. [629]
'Uthman's policy in employing the Umayyads to handle the country affairs revealed a kind of Lineal Monarchy in Islamic caliphate. This way of ruling was the negation of the Islamic values and the settlement of tribal habitudes as well as marking the hereditariness of caliphate.
In this kind of statehood, each of the princes came to power in a province. Anywhere the found a fertile land, they possessed. Sa'id Ibn 'As of the Umayyads, ruler of Kufa, named the lands of Iraq Garden of Quraysh [630] so people's protest against 'Uthman began here. [631]
(3) The third objection of rebells to 'Uthman was, his prodigality to the Umayyads' family. These prodigality which at first to all Quraysh eminent people and then just to the Umayyads, was at a very large extent. The opposition of Talha and Zubayr was because of this recent thorough turnabout of 'Uthman for the Umayyads.
Thus, If he gives money to you, you will be satisfied, but if he gives it to his own kinsmen, you'll offend him [632], 'Abd Allah Ibn 'Amr truly said about some of the opponents. Moreover, lavishing and aristocracy in 'Uthman's government versus the past, spurred opposition. In Medina, 'Uthman built a sturdy house of stone with elegant wooden doors [633] and this dazzled a lot of people, comparing financial policy of 'Umar.
When he was objected, I've made this house using Bayt al-Mal (public property), won't it belong to you after me? [634] he replied.
He conferred Harith Ibn Hakam (Marwan's brother) the land which is said to be of the Prophet (S) 's charity. Also, Fadak over which Zahra (a) and Abu Bakr had a disagreement and had taken it as public belonging was granted to Marwan Ibn Hakam, caliph's son-in-law. [635] A poet compared Shiykhs' dealing with 'Uthman about Bayt al-Mal in his poem and in the end, he mentioned about granting to Marwan the fifth share of African booties which were nearly equal to five thousands of Dinars.

Thou granted Marwan a share fifth of Allah's servants, thy ideals are actually far from those in pursuit of virtues. [636]
According to Ibn Qutayba, 'Uthman paid Hakam Ibn Abi l-'As one hundred thousand dhms [637] and according to other sources, three hundred thousand dhms. [638] Also, he conferred Khalid Ibn Usayd four hundred thousands dhms. [639]
'Abd Allah Ibn Sa'd Ibn Abi Sarh had also benefited from African booties. [640] 'Uthman set high marriage portion for his wives too. [641] Considering the given historical information, 'Allama Amini has tabulated these grants to the mentioned people as well as to people like Zubayr, Sa'd Ibn Abi Waqqas, Ya'la Ibn Umayya, Zayd Ibn Thabit and the like. [642]
Concerning financial affairs, 'Uthman struggled with some people of whom Abudhar was the most important one. It is said that Abudhar attaked hard on 'Uthman citing verse of Kanz. According to Suyuti, 'Uthman tried to omit and () from the beginning of the verse so that it just refers to the people of Book.
But because of Ubayy Ibn Ka'b's strong objection, he turned. [643] Also, 'Uthman had a difference with Abudhar over other financial affairs. [644] The result of 'Uthman's opinion which he had gained by asking Ka'b al-Ahbar's legal opinion, was that Bayt al-Mal belongs to the caliph and he can use it in whatever way he wishes.
You are our stockman ! said 'Uthman to Ibn Mas'ud who had the Bayt al-Mal of Kufa.
I thought, Ibn Mas'ud replied, I was Muslims' stockman. Now, if I'm supposed to be your stockman, this is the key all yours.
When Ibn Mas'ud came to Medina from Kufa and gave him the key of Bayt al-Mal in such a way, after outraging, 'Uthman ordered to wallop him and dump him from the mosque. Objecting to 'Uthman, Imam 'Ali (a) took Ibn Mas'ud to his house. Ibn Mas'ud died two years before 'Uthman and had made a will stating that 'Ammar should pray on his body rather than 'Uthman. [645]
The same thing happened to 'Abd Allah Ibn Arqam and he also said he thought he was the Muslims' stockman, but now that it was determined he was the caliph's stockman, he didn't want to take the responsibility. [646]
O Aba Ishaq!, 'Uthman asked Ka'b Ibn al-Ahbar in the presence of Abudhar, what do you think about collecting the money which is given as offerings, spent for desolate people and used for piety (be given to relative).
I wish charity for its possessor, Ka'b Ibn Abi l-Ahbar replied. Abudhar boiled and raised his stick to beat his head. [647]
Abudhar told 'Uthman quoting from the Prophet (S) The dearest of you to me is the one who keeps the promise given to me, so that he will join me; you are all involved in earthly things except me who have kept my promise. [648]
Mu'awiya called the property of Bayt al-Mal Mal Allah (divine property) to confine possession to himself or basically limit it to himself. Abudhar objected why he called Mal al-Muslimin as Mal Allah. [649] Perchance, this was proved by another story. According to Zuhri, in the treasury of Bayt al-Mal, there was so much remittance 'Uthman had granted some to his kinsmen. Thus, some people quipped him.
This is Mal Allah which is given to anyone I wish, he said after being told.
When 'Ammar opposed him, they walloped him to fall in a faint. [650] In practical policy of 'Uthman and his agents, there can be seen a strong mammonism. Mu'awiya led these activities and was in power in Damascus. Later, he will be talked about more.
Mawdudi begins to discuss 'Uthman's leaving to his kinsmen the important provinces in his book under the title of from the leading caliphate to emperorship. In his opinion, the rule of these agents who were mostly of suburbs, had been a kind of tribal reign over Muslim society. [651]
'Uthman entrusted Damascus to Mu'awiya and kept him as the ruler for that region for several years, considering this as one of his faults. He considers it as the result of Mu'awiya's independence and not obeying the headquarters. [652] 'Uthman's justification for this prodigality was that unlike 'Umar who was not interested in piety, he had decided to do so! [653]
As far as dealing of 'Uthman and his companions with Bayt al-Mal is concerned, one of the main reasons of rebelling against 'Uthman should go to the tribes' eminent people who got some property for themselves and other Muslims by force of sword and now seeing that Quraysh, especially the tribe of Umayyads, was ready to seize it.
This challenge actually appeared between the ruling townsmen of Quraysh and warrior nomadic tribes. A scholar [654] indicating this theory, regards the central reign as a sign of Islamic orientation! and consider the protests of cities as crystallizing nationalism of tribes and tribal norms.
He regards murdering of 'Uthman as the victory of cities and in fact, victory of tribalism. What seems right is that Quraysh was up to domineer on the fate of Islamic nation resulting in instigation of the tribes. In fact, 'Uthman, in one sense, is the crystallization of departing Islamic orientations towards tribal norms and his killing fails to stand for the end of Islamic orientation and dominating tribalism.
In our opinion, the right view is that the control of Quraysh over the caliphate caused the protest of the tribes which had taken the whole weight of the conquests while watching that Quraysh had confined two things to itself, one was the reign and the other was wealth; in this situation, Iraqi tribes were tricked.
The city of Iraq, when Sa'id Ibn 'As Umawi said in Kufa, which is the rich lands of it, is the garden of Quraysh.
Do you consider what God has given us by means of our swords, as a garden for yourself and your tribe? [655] replied Malik Ashtar.
According to al-Duri [656], this financial distinction between Quraysh and non-Quraysh was somewhat originated from 'Umar's financial policy; however, Abu Bakr had equally divided the property and conditioned people's records just as to their divine return. 'Umar divided the property of Bayt al-Mal as to the their records.
This caused the priority of emigrants (Muhajirun) and helpers (Ansar) over Arabs and tribes which shouldered the whole weight of conquests after the Prophet (S). The assets of the headmen of the helpers represent the effects of 'Umar's financial policy which 'Uthman followed. When 'Uthman sent Sa'id Ibn 'As to Kufa as the ruler, he wrote to 'Uthman that, in the city, noble families and pedigree families with a record were subdued and Arabs (tribes) had overcome them.
Advantage those with a precedence over them, 'Uthman wrote him back, and make others follow them, dedicate to each, his particular status. [657]
To al-Duri, the main reason of uprising against 'Uthman was primarily anti-Quraysh tribes. It should be mentioned that 'Uthman was the crystallization of tribal orientation towards advantaging Quraysh dominance, especially the Umayyads, over the whole Islamic world.
However, most of the rebels were the idealists who wanted the victory of true Islam. Imam 'Ali (a)'s coming to power is proof of that. Also, Mr. Bayďun finds measure of protesters a kind of Islamic orientation and that of 'Uthman's a tribal one. [658] Of course, it can be said that one of the results of this rioting was to weaken the central government, one main problem of Imam 'Ali (a).
The last word is that a list of 'Uthman's wrongs can be found in a letter the helpers had written to him. [659]

Uthmans Opponents
The dominating 'Uthmani view of Islamic society since the reign of the Umayyads (41 H.) resulted in acquitting and purifying 'Uthman from any kind of charge. The Umayyads imposed this view on the Islamic society except Iraq which slightly stood up against it.
Thus, the Sunnites assented 'Uthman's oppressedness and rightfulness against the dissenters. With this view, how did they judge dissenters? One way was that they realistically knew his dissenters and considered them as their religion enemies. If they had chosen to do so, the leading companions would be exposed to accusation.
Another way was to consider his dissenters people, with no companions among them, who had come from Iraq and Egypt. They chose this way and when some companions were said to be among 'Uthman's opponents, falsely saying that he had sent their sons to 'Uthman's house to defend him (and it is not apparent why they did not go themselves), they began to support the companions in order not to be accused of being 'Uthman's enemies.
It should be noted that Sunnites historians deemed it necessary to avoid mentioning companions' mperfection. [660] If any one narrated their imperfection, it meant that he was a Shi'ites Muslim. Clearly, the implication of one of the companions in killing 'Uthman was obviously regarded as his imperfection. With this compiled policy, most of the historical facts related to political positions of companions faded away.
Here, forgery happened in two forms, first, not to right the truths of history, second, to make fake news. During the events of this era, Sayf Ibn 'Umar, the lie-maker, radically denied the presence of companions and knew an unknown person called 'Abd Allah Ibn Saba' responsible for all these months-long serious events in which all of Islamic cities, especially the caliphate center in Medina played a great role.
According to Sayf, traveling to different cities, this man had provoked people against 'Uthman [661] and had been able to arouse Kufa and Egypt. In Sayf's opinion, 'Abd Allah was also the founder of Shi'a religion. If Sayf is true, it is not clear what should be said about a society so fragile that a Jewish can induce it against the caliph and it ends up murdering him? What is certain is that first in all scholastic books Sayf is accused of lying and heresy.
Second, there is not such a thing in any of the books which were the first sources of Islamic history and even the name of 'Abd Allah Ibn Saba' is not mentioned. In other words, from all sources of 3rd and 4th centuries remained, Tabari had just used Sayf's books and for this he kept his forgery.
However, in some books like Akhbar al-Tiwal, al-Imamat wa as-Siyasa, Ansab al-Ashraf and Tarikh Khalifat Ibn Khayyat, there is nothing mentioned about these events. Unfortunately, the next books like al-Bidayat wa l-nihaya and Kamil Ibn Athir which used Tabari have cited these forgeries and in recent years this has been accepted since it is mostly consistent with the Sunnites beliefs.
Now, a lot of Sunnites and Shi'ites researchers and orientalists seriously remain doubtful about it and do not concede it. Of the Shi'ites researchers is Murtaďa Askari [662] and of the Sunnites ones is Taha Husayn. [663] The forgery is also revealed to the orientalists.
Most of the Muslim historians [664], Bernard Lewis writes, attribute the commencement of revolutionary Shi'ism to 'Abd Allah Ibn Saba' who co-lived with 'Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a). He was a Yemeni Jewish and had been publicizing 'Ali's divinity and finally was burnt because of his deeds.
In this way, the starting point of hard-line Shi'ite Muslims and exaggerators is ascribed to him and to a Jewish principle through him.
Yet, new investigations show that this is some sort of circumstances and second century thoughts into the past rendered by hadith-writers. Wellhausen and Friedlander by means of narration and looking into sources have demonstrated that the conspiracy attributed to Ibn Saba' is heresy coming after. Kietani, in a substantiated chapter, has shown that an intrigue with an ideology and organization ascribed to Ibn Saba' is beyond imagination in an Arabially patriarchal and tribal community in 35 A.H.. [665]
Anyhow, in so far as it is related to 'Uthman's opponents, a great deal of facts can be obtained through the quest for historical and literary sources. With regard to what has been mentioned in these sources, the companions of the prophet, especially the Ansar, have played a leading role in instigating the people against 'Uthman.
By probing into various sources, 'Allama Amini has stated that more than 80 names of the companions are included among 'Uthman's opponents, such as, Talha, Zubayr, 'Ayisha, 'Ammar, Abudhar, 'Abd al-Rahman Ibn 'Awf, 'Abd Allah Ibn Mas'ud, Miqdad, Hujr Ibn 'Adi, Hashim Ibn 'Utba, Sahl Ibn Hunayf, Abu Ayyub Ansari, Jabir Ibn 'Abd Allah Ansari whose oppositions against 'Uthman have benn quoted by 'Allama Amini. [666]
It should be taken into consideration that all of them did not believe in the murder of 'Uthman or nor did they deem it advisable, yet they criticized his political- religious actions sharply. Abu Sa'id Khudri said, About 800 companions have implicated in 'Uthman's killing. [667] Busr Ibn Artat's bitter talk to the Medinans in 40 A.H. is evidence that Ansar were strongly implicated in killing 'Uthman. [668])
Talha and Zubayr were ranked among the most hardline critics of 'Uthman. Imam 'Ali (a) used to say about them, they are demanding of me a right which they have abandoned, and a blood that they have themselves shed. [669] Numerous sources have revealed Talha's strong enmity towards 'Uthman. [670] Due to this very fact, Marwan Ibn Hakam, who stayed alongside Talha in the battle of Jamal, observing that the war was coming to an end put an arrow in the bow and killed Talha. In this way, he took 'Uthman's revenge against Talha.
Afterwards, 'Abd al-Malik Marwan said, Unless my father had told me that he has killed Talha, I would murder all Talha's progeny in revenge for 'Uthman's blood. [671] While laying siege to 'Uthman's house, Talha was reportedly the head of house guards and he did not let people, food and water in the house. [672]
Yet, becoming informed of the delivery of food and water, he said, What sort of siege is this one in which food and water are delivered? [673] When 'Uthman was stopped having water, Imam met Talha and spoke to him about letting water in 'Uthman's house, however, Talha was unwilling to do so. [674] Some day 'Uthman sent somebody after Imam 'Ali (a) and told him that Talha was killing him through thirst, while it's more worthwhile to be killed with the sword. [675] Sheykh Mufid has devoted a full chapter to his stances against 'Uthman. [676]
'Amr Ibn 'As was also ranked among bitter dissenters of 'Uthman. [677] 'Ayisha also attacked 'Uthman strongly, [678] when her grant of bounty was cut under 'Uthman's order. [679] It was she who called 'Uthman Na'thal, an old stupid man due to his bushy beard. [680]
According to a witness, I was in mosque when 'Uthman entered, then 'Ayisha yelled, O traitor! O sinner! You spoiled the servants through breach of trust; if five units of prayer never existed, people would come to you and thereby, you were slaughtered as if you were a sheep.
'Uthman revealed to her [681] the verse related to Noah's wife. [682] It seeds that in these last days, every time when 'Uthman came to mosque for prayer, he was rebuked by 'Ayisha whose house was ajacent to the mosque. As to Baladhuri, once this objection led to a clash between those for and against 'Ayisha and 'Uthman so that they thrashed each other with shoes.
Baladhuri further says,( ( It was the first clash occurred between Muslims after the Prophet (S). [683]
Muhammad, the son of Talha, maintained that 'Ayisha is responsible for one-third of 'Uthman's blood. [684]
Sa'd Waqqas also has been quoted as saying, 'Uthman was killed with 'Ayisha's unshielded swords. [685]
There is historically much to tell about 'Ammar, Abudhar and 'Abd al-Rahman Ibn 'Awf and many others, insofar as there will be no room for doubt.
At the time when the revolt was kicked against 'Uthman, there were few who would agree with him. Specifically when the Medinans received a letter sealed by 'Uthman to Egypt's ruler in which murder of people was ordered, public anger was fired up. [686] When Mu'awiya put a question to 'Uthman, Umm al-Khayr answered, People selected him as a caliph, which they actually hated him. Afterwards, they killed him, while being pleased to do so. [687]
Ansar were considered to be the main residents of Medina. Their disagreement with Quraysh was the motive behind the first mistake they made in Saqifa. In the event of the assassination of 'Uthman, beloved to Quraysh, most of Ansar were numbered among 'Uthman's dissenters, whereas a few where among 'Uthman's assenters. The anti-'Uthman movement was led by Ansar, Muhajirun and a number of the Kufiyans and Egyptians.
Yet, in as much as Medina was Ansar's place of abode, the Umayya put the blame for this event on Ansar. It was then they decided to take revenge of them. As far as Yazid is concerned, the cruel suppression of Medina in Harra event by Muslim Ibn 'Uqba, branded as prodigal due to his abundant massacre, is regarded as 'Uthman's retaliation against the Medinans. [688]
Thabit, the son of 'Abd Allah Ibn Zubayr used to say to 'Abd al-Malik, The Medinans downgraded 'Uthman in as much as he was killed among them, and they did not support him. [689] Some time, Thabit insulted the Syrians.
'Uthman's son told him, You insult them, for your father was killed by them.
He replied, Yes! But O 'Uthman's son! Beware. Your father has been killed by Muhajirun and Ansar. [690]
Sa'd Ibn 'Abd al-Rahman said to Hassan, A group of Ansar went to Mu'awiya in Syria.
Mu'awiya asked them, Which one, Quraysh or you, are more helpful? You humiliated 'Uthman when he was under siege and killed his followes in Jamal. [691]
After 'Uthman's murder, 'Abd Allah Ibn 'Amir, Basra's ruler, considered his killing as an unjust action. In Jariya Ibn Qudama's opinion, 'Uthman was killed in the presence of Ansar and Muhajirun, yet they showed no reaction against murderers. [692] In this respect, a poet has said,


'Uthman Ibn 'Affan was murdered when his brothers and a group of Ansar surrounded him. [693]
In continuation, this poet regrets that how is it possible for those who call themselves the companions of the Prophet (S) not to support 'Uthman. Mu'awiya asked Abu Tufayl, were you one of killers of 'Uthman? He replied, No, I was present over there, however, I did not advocated him.
Mu'awiya further asked, Why?
Abu Tufayl answered, Since Muhajirun and Ansar didn't came to his help. [694]
Thereafter, Sa'd Ibn Musayyib was questioned by people as why did the companions of the prophet (S) downgrade 'Uthman? [695]
'Abd al-Malik used to say to the Medinans, As long as we recall the Umayya's killing and you remembered Harra, nor can we like each other. [696]
So due to the Umayya's animosity towards Ansar the Umayya were obliged to induce Akhtal, the poet to, satirize Ansar. [697] Concerning the role of Ansar in 'Uthman's murder, it's interesting to mention 'Uthman's letter to Mu'awiya when bringing him under siege, in which is was written, The Medinans have become atheist, have baulked at following their Imam and have broken their promise. [698] Hassan Ibn Thabit, being one of the tenacious supporters of 'Uthman in these days, points out the matter of Ansar's downgrading 'Uthman in his poems. In fact, in addition to the following interpretation,

Ansar, even though having sainthood, was present when 'Uthman was killed, but they left him alone. [699]
He further mentions the implication of Talha, Zubayr, Muhammad Ibn Abi Bakr and 'Ammar in the assassination of 'Uthman. The Umayya's hostility to Ansar, the 'Uthmanids preferred Syria to Medina. [700] Afterwards, Yahya, the son of Hakam Ibn Abi l-'As called Medina as an evil land and Syria as a sacred land. [701] This interpretation reveals their aversion to Islam.
The evidence indicates that Muhajirun and Ansar have played a central role in opposition to 'Uthman. Historians have quoted the content of the letter Muhajirun wrote to the cities (aiming at) asking them to go to Medina for the reform of circumstances.
In the letter it was written as follows: Form the early Muhajirun and the remaining members of council to the Egyptians including Ansar and followers (Tabi'in). Come to us and find out Caliphate, before it brings the people to an end. Verily, Qur'an has been distorted, the tradition of the Prophet has been changed and the Shiykhs' rules have been altered. We hereby ajure all the remaining of and Tabi'in by Allah to return to us if they believe in Allah and the Resurrection Day the caliphate coming after the Prophet was the caliphate of Prophet hood and blessing, whereas it's already become kingdom and sovereignty. [702]
Based on another narration, a group of the companions of the prophet (S) assembled and after discussion determined on writing a letter to 'Uthman in order to remind him of his violating the Sunna. This letter, a highly significant document was given to 'Uthman by 'Ammar, yet it was answered in no way but thrashing 'Ammar. [703]
It is appropriate to quote a remark from Hashim Ibn 'Utba known as Abu Mirqal on his answer to a Syrian in Siffin who said that your Imam does not say prayer and has killed our caliph; what do you have to do with Ibn 'Affan? [704] Verily Muhammad's companions as well as public Qur'an-reciters killed him.
'Uthman had a scarcity of assenters in Medina, each financially benefited from 'Uthman in one way or another. Among them was 'Abd Allah Ibn Sallam. He was amongst the Muslim-turned Jews who went up the 'Uthman's roof in the course of the siege of his house and said, I found 'Uthman's name is Torah in which it's been mentioned, Your caliph is the oppressed, the martyr.
People shouted, O the Jew! He's fed you up and dressed your body. [705] This very narration should have been made at a later time by those who were apt to label 'Uthman as martyr in Torah. Elsewhere it goes to say that such an issue has also been touched upon in terms of the second caliph. Anyhow, 'Abd Allah Ibn Sallam has been ranked among the tenacious assenters of 'Uthman. [706]
Zayd Ibn Thabit was another supporter of 'Uthman once he began to advocate 'Uthman, people accused him of a support which was due to being fed up by 'Uthman. Zayd was keeper of 'Uthman's treasury. [707] He was later on profited by Mu'awiya's treasury. [708]
Waqidi says, Among the companions of the Prophet (S) no one supported 'Uthman but Zayd Ibn Thabit, Abu Usayd Sa'idi, Ka'b Ibn Malik and Hassan Ibn Thabit. [709]
According to Ibn Ishaq, when 'Uthman migrated to Medina, he went to Aws Ibn Thabit, Hassan's brother. Thereafter, 'Uthman appealed to Hassan. Then, after his killing, Hassan cried for him. [710]
To Mas'udi, [711] Hassan was both a supporter of 'Uthman and a deviator.
In addition to the persons mentioned by Waqidi, Abu Hurayra has also been reckoned among 'Uthman's supporters. [712]
Apart from a handful of supporters, 'Uthman died in Medina in such a stranger hood that no one dared to bury him in Baqi'. Only few of them buried him by night in a place called Hashsh Kawkab, a garden which was later on attached to Baqi' by Mu'awiya. [713]

Uthmans Contact with Dissenters
As long as 'Uthman found himself in high position, he did not surrender to dissenters' criticisms by no means whatsoever. Yet, he treated harshly to them and tried to render them obedient and calm through trashing and exile. The Umayya was all 'Uthman's concern. Indeed, 'Uthman was yielded and, in a sense, feeble towards the members of this family; however, he treated the great companions of the Prophet (S) having a longer precedence bitterly and with asperity.
This was highly influential in inciting the people once more. Contact with Abudhar who had a morally and spiritually special position in community can be mentioned typically. Abudhar strived to keep 'Uthman away from extravagance. It was indeed all Abudhar's concern. Yet, 'Uthman brought a charge of sedition against him saying, You are a man fond of sedition. [714]
Then, Abudhar being forbidden from indulging said to 'Uthman, Even if I am put to the sword, I won't refrain from narrating what the Prophet (S) has said.
Abudhar supported Imam 'Ali explicitly. He used to quote the Prophet (S) as saying, There will be a sedition thereafter, if you were entrapped by it, so adhere to Allah's Book and 'Ali.
He further quotes the Prophet (S) as saying, The first who shakes hands with me in the Day of Judgment. [715] 'Uthman consulted with Ka'b al-Ahbar whether it is permissible for Imam to withdraw whatever he wants of the public treasury and return it whenever he wishes.
Ka'b replied him, Yes.
Then, he was objected by Abudhar, O you the son of Jew! Are you teaching us our religion? [716] After viewing such a situation, 'Uthman sent Abudhar to Syria on exile. There, Abudhar did not desist from objecting and criticizing. Thus, through a letter, Mu'awiya deemed his presence dangerous for Syria and even for Iraq and asked 'Uthman to let him return to Medina and so did 'Uthman. Then, Abudhar was exiled to Medina on a hard horseback, [717] while his thigh run out of flesh. Afterwards, his objection to 'Uthman resulted in his exile to Rabaďa where he died in isolation.
Abudhar, about whom the Prophet (S) had told, Abudhar is the most truthful under shadow of sky, was accused by 'Uthman of being a liar. [718]
Accordingly, Imam 'Ali was inclined to back Abudhar inexorably. At the time of exiling Abudhar, 'Uthman ordered people not to see Abudhar off, however. Imam 'Ali together with his descendants did so. Although, he objected Imam 'Ali,
Imam said to Abudhar, O Abudhar! You become angry with them for the sake of Allah and they were afraid of themselves for the fear of their worldly life. At the time when Abudhar was seen off by 'Ali (a) and his descendants, he cast a look at Imam and said, Seeing you and your descendants reminds me of the Prophet (S) 's remark about you and makes me burst into tears. [719] He passed away in Rabaďa, while according to his will, nobody including commander, leader and mail had the right to shroud and bury him. [720]
'Uthman's contact with Abudhar was so bitter and provocative that afterwards Jahiz wrote, People killed 'Uthman, for he had exiled Abudhar. [721] It is a ridiculous point to write that, afterwards, Abudhar went to Rabaďa through his own will, not on exile.
Not only Abudhar, but also most of the Kufiyans who objected to Sa'id Ibn 'As were sent to Syria on exile by order of caliph. In caliph's opinion, Syria was too a secure place. It should be said principally that 'Uthman did the chief part of Mu'awiya.
The on-exile persons, well-known as Kufa's readers are as follows, Malik Ashtar, Zayd, Sa'sa'a (Suhan's children), Shurayh Ibn 'Awfi, Hurqus Ibn Zuhayr, Jundab Ibn Zuhayr, Ka'b Ibn 'Abada, 'Adi Ibn Hatim, Kidam Ibn Hadhri, Malik Ibn Habib, Qays Ibn 'Utarud, Ziyad Ibn Hafsa, Yazid Ibn Qays and some others. [722] They all opposed Sa'id Ibn 'As's remarks, inasmuch as he considered Iraq's lands as belonging to Quraysh.
However, after their return to Kufa, they were led by Malik, whereupon Malik hindered Sa'id from entering Kufa, Moreover, he himself called Friday prayer. 'Uthman regarded all these people and their actions as being prompted by 'Ali. [723] 'Amir Ibn 'Abd Qays who went to 'Uthman in order to criticize was also sent on exile. [724]
The companions and followers of Kufa had a key role in the developments of this period. 'Amr Ibn Zurara Ibn Qays Nakha'i along with Kumayl Ibn Ziyad and a man from Banu Sahban were reportedly the first who spoke of dethroning 'Uthman and enthroning the Imam. [725]
Another figure who come to grips with 'Uthman was 'Ammar Ibn Yasir. According to Ibn Qutayba and others, a number of companions convened and decided to inform 'Uthman of his faults through a letter. After the letter was written, 'Ammar was supposed to hand it over to 'Uthman. But 'Uthman averted taking the letter.
Thereafter, 'Ammar told him, This letter is written by number of the companions as an advice to you.
'Uthman answered, O the son of Sumayya! You are lying. Whereupon, 'Uthman ordered him to be sent out of the house through thrashing, with some of his chest ribs broken. After being knocked unconscious, he was dragged out of the house.
Then, Marwan Ibn Hakam being the major element behind all stimulations said to 'Uthman, If you kill 'Uthman, you will get rid of others. [726]
One of the impacts of 'Uthman's thrashing 'Ammar was that 'Ammar was unable to control his urine up to the end of his life. [727] It appears that 'Ammar had been thrashed before Abudhar has reportedly recalled such a thing in his criticisms. [728]
'Abd Allah Ibn Mas'ud was the other opponent. He got the grips with Walid Ibn 'Uqba, the sinful, in Kufa. Then, through a letter Walid instigated 'Uthman against him. In answer to his letter, 'Uthman called for sending him on exile from Kufa to Medina.
When being in Kufa, he was deprived of getting his due from the public treasury for a period of three years. [729] Based on the will Ibn Mas'ud made at the time of death, 'Ammar rather than 'Uthman was requested to say prayer over his corpse. [730]
To solve the matter with these objections, 'Uthman assembled the members of his own family and consulted with them. Some of them proposed him to send the companions and other protesters to the outlying battlefields so long as he become free of their criticisms.
Some others recommended him to be more benevolent towards people intending to calm them. He along with his family took it for granted that every thing is possible save surrounding to opponents. Mu'awiya urged 'Uthman to set same former agent to work without paying any attention to the opponents. [731]
Once 'Uthman tried to send a commodity to Abudhar, yet Abudhar sent it back. [732] Mu'awiya also sent some money to Abudhar in order to deceive him. [733] Furthermore, 'Uthman sent 30000 drachmae enclosed with some garments to Ibn Abi Hudhayfa who was one of the bitter critics of Caliph. Then, 'Ali Hudhayfa put the sum of money and the garment in the middle of the mosque saying, O, Muslims! Do you see that 'Uthman is intending to deceive me in the case of my religion? [734]
'Abd Allah Ibn 'Amir also recommended 'Uthman to satisfy opposers through granting money. [735] Kufa's ruler, Sa'id Ibn 'As, also bade his emissary to send Imam 'Ali (a) a gift and tell him that he is given preference over others in this regard whereupon, Imam got the emissary away through a bitter reaction. [736]
'Uthman assumed that he should ravish like 'Umar. Thus, he'd rather behave harshly. Unaware of the fact that 'Umar did not lead such a tranquil life like him. So it was this very fact which got in the way of his opponents. 'Uthman unrightfully believed that 'Umar was not objected by anyone, despite of doing what he did, yet I am objected due to my flexibility. [737]
Of course, 'Umar had also some religious innovations, yet, as stated previously he obstructed opponents financially and even behaved very strictly towards all of his agents. Moreover, he did not set his kindreds to work. By all accounts, 'Uthman was not soft-natured by no means whatsoever, and he had Prophet as well. Once Imam 'Ali (a) objected to 'Uthman concerning Abudhar's exiling, caliph said to him, You yourself are more deserving of exile!
A noteworthy point in these incidents is that it was not only allowable but also necessary for the companions to protest against the anti-government measures. They resisted the government hardly as long as they and their caliph could survive. This issue labeled as 'Revolt Against Ruler,' later on became a highly momentous issue and drew the attention of all political and religious sects in the world of Islam. It's suitable here to center upon the aforesaid issue.
A question of a great significance was, in what case the people can come to oppose their ruler? Or principally, whether or not they have the right to do so. In this respect, much has been mentioned in political opinions of Islamic sects. Besides, the opinions of groups such as Shi'ites Kharijites and large groups of Mu'tazilites are totally different from the ruling Sunnites.
On the whole, what has been reported in this regard, like other issues, derives largely from the objectives realities and political events of the advent of Islam. In this regard, there are two various and, in a sense, contradictory issue which ought to be solved. The first issue is that, if an emir orders against Allah's Judgment, whether or not people ought to obey him?
Based on the known religious principles, if obedience to ruler's order leads to disobedience to Allah, it will be inadmissible. A narration supports this, The Messenger of Allah (S) sent 'Abd Allah Ibn Hudhafa, a humorist, to a tribe under the command of a group. After traversing a short distance, they stopped to rest and kindled a fire.
Then 'Abd Allah said to them, Am I not rightful to be obeyed by you?
They answered, Yes!
He further added, If it is so, you ought to obey whatever I order.
They accepted. Then, he ordered them, According to my right. I order you to throw yourself into fire. Yet, thereafter he imparted that he was just pulling their leg.
Once the Messenger of Allah (S) was informed of 'Abd Allah's attitude, he said, Don't obey someone who orders you to disobey Allah. [738]
This was the Messenger of Allah's conduct which is condensed into the short statement, Where a sin is committed, never ever should a creature be obeyed.
Thereafter, Abu Bakr notified in his first speech that the Messenger was kept infallible through inspiration and he was given care by an angel, yet, to me he seems as a devil who has subdued me occasionally, when I get angry, get away from me
As long as I obey Allah and his Messenger, obey me; however, at the time of disobedience to Allah and his Messenger I am not rightful to be obeyed by you. [739] 'Umar had a harshly daring treatment to the extent that few people had power or courage to oppose him. Anyhow, some people have been reported to oppose him, and in some cases he responded them positively.
Another point lay behind the principle, Which was contrary to it.
According to this point, a person's opposition to an emir will pave the way for the disunity of the community or the so-called Congregation. While the order to maintain congregation being the most vital principle for solidifying the community is quite contrary to the expression of opposition. Naturally, in non-critical situations, this issue can somewhat be solved through toleration on the part of two parties. However, in case of an unusual circumstance or if the objection gives rise to a critical condition, this issue will be more intricate.
In books of Hadith a full section has been devoted to the maintenance of congregation, which is mainly based on obedience to ruler. [740] Of course, it is clear that ruler's benefits lie more in observing the principle of Congregation than that of lack of obedience at the time of disobedience.
'Abd al-Razzaq San'ani, in his book entitled as Musannaf has mentioned some narrations labeled as the section on the necessity of the community some of which are to be expounded.
Quoting from the Messenger of Allah (S), Abu Hurayra said, The one who dies while he has become separately apart from congregation, and does not obey, indeed he has died in ignorance.
The one who has revolted against my people with the sword and strikes good and bad he's not among my people. According to Ibn 'Abbas, the one who goes out of obedience by an inch, he has died in ignorance.
It's been quoted that the Messenger of Allah (S) has ordered five things, compliance, obedience, congregation, immigration and Jihad in the way of Allah; The one who distances himself from congregation by an inch, he will be no longer a Muslim.
'Umar has also quoted the Prophet (S) as saying, The one who longs for paradise, maybe maintains the congregation.
Furthermore, he's been quoted as saying, The one who rebels against any people while they are united intending to divide them, kill him in any possible case.
Hudhayfa has reportedly said that the people who tried to downgrade Allah's Sultan on earth, should be humiliated by Allah. Moreover, the Messenger of Allah (S) has said about the Emirate of the insane people that some emirs will come after me who are not guided by me and do not comply with my Sunna; the one who affirms their lie is helping them with their oppression, so we are not from each other and he won't come on me in the Pond of Abundance (Kawthar).
In another hadith he said, Nothing is better than speaking in justice before a tyrant Sultan. Avoiding people should not hinder you from speaking in truth.
The narrator of this hadith, Abu Sa'id Khudri, after narrating it, burst into tears and said, By God! We refrained from so doing.
One day Abudhar came to 'Uthman and found fault with him. Thereafter, while reclining on stick 'Ali (a) joined them.
'Uthman asked, What should I do with him?
'Ali (a) answered, Allah has said about him that, if he be a liar, on him will be his lie, and if he be truthful, there will befall you some of that which he threatens you with (The Believer, (Ghafir) 28).
Then 'Uthman said to 'Ali (a), Keep quiet, woe back onto you! You asked me something and I answered you. [741]
'Abd Allah Ibn Mas'ud has also quoted the Messenger of Allah (S) as saying to him, What do you do while seeing emirs who do not comply with my Sunna and never say prayer on time.
Ibn Mas'ud answered, I asked what to do?
Then, the Messenger of Allah (S) said, You are asking me what to do! [742]
In continuation of this narration and before that numerous narrations have been mentioned concerning these emirs who never say prayer on time. Once seeing that Walid Ibn 'Uqba has refrained from timely prayer, Ibn Mas'ud requested Mu'adhdhin to recite Adhan.
Then, he himself began to say prayer. Thereafter, answering to Walid's objection, he said, Allah and His Messenger do not accept us to wait for you while you are going about your business. [743]
Some Scholar as Hasan Basri, Zuhri and Qatada has reportedly said prayer alongside emirs, even if these emirs did not do it on its due time. [744] Concerning 'Uthman, it's been stated that Hasan Basri was questioned in this way, who did say prayer after sermon (in feast of prayer)?
He answered, 'Uthman always says prayer at the outset and then he makes a sermon. However, seeing that many people do not stay for sermon, he decided to make sermon at first and say prayer thereafter. [745]
These were samples of narrations quoted by 'Abd al-Razzaq San'ani in this regard. It should be said, however, that opposition to bid for disobedience was once considered as prescription of criticism and the other time as revolt. The second not the first is more momentous concerning separation of community.
Many issues are available as regards 'Uthman as well as historical experience of his caliphate, e.g. for him, opposition and criticism were beyond endurance. Once in 26 A.H, 'Uthman merged some neighboring houses together to develop the sacred Mosque and tried to sponsor for it by public treasury, some people burst into objection.
Hence, ordering to imprison them, 'Uthman said, What dared you stand against me is your forbearance; otherwise, 'Umar himself did so.
Eventually, prisoners were all released under the mediation of 'Abd Allah Ibn Khalid Ibn Usayd. [746] However, having remembered the prior conduct in which any criticism was permissible, the comparisons and the followers criticized 'Uthman whenever the ground was prepared. He resisted these objections and never surrendered to them, in cases of a sever pressure-due to the siege of his house-he admitted objections temporarily, yet, as soon as the pressure was removed he acted cruelly.
At the time when Imam 'Ali (a) was accompanying Abudhar, 'Uthman said, Didn't you hear that I ordered not to accompany Abudhar?
Then, Imam answered, Must we obey your orders, while we find them contrary to Allah's Judgment? By Allah, we don't do so.
'Uthman became angry with Imam 'Ali (a) and told him that Marwan has been given superiority over him. The next day, 'Uthman went to Muhajirun and Ansar so as to grumble about Imam 'Ali (a). He noted that 'Ali finds faults with him and supports those raising difficulty, that is, 'Ammar, Abudhar and others. Thereafter, people brought about a compromise between 'Ali (a) and 'Uthman, and 'Ali (a) stated that his accompanying of Abudhar had been merely for the sake of Allah. [747]
Marwan Ibn Hakam says, In midway of Mecca and Medina, I witnessed the contact between 'Ali and 'Uthman, in which 'Uthman banned performing lesser pilgrimage in Hajj months (or both lesser and greater pilgrimage).
Seeing such a thing, 'Ali (a) said, I become clothed in a pilgrimage state, then he said Labbayk for both of them.
'Uthman objected to him asking, Are you doing what I forbid?
Imam answered, I do not give up the Sunna of the Messenger (S) on behalf of anybody. [748]
Ibn Mas'ud was also one of the tenacious dissenters of 'Uthman. He was some time among those who said, If 'Uthman says a four rak'at-prayer rather than a two rak'at one in Mina, he is to be obeyed, since opposition is considered as an evil. [749]
Elsewhere he has said, 'Uthman is Imam, so I do not oppose him, for opposition is considered as an evil. [750] Though, later on he acted so intensely against 'Uthman. [751]
A large number of companions were unanimous in opposition to 'Uthman. Later, the Sunnis disbelieved the companions under the auspices of disagreeing with the ruler as legitimate political conduct and mainly pretended that a bunch of rascals rose in revolt against 'Uthman. 'Uthman was objected by Imam 'Ali (a) when he said a four rak'at-prayer in 29 A.H. in Mina, because it was contrary to the Messenger (S) and former caliphs' conducts.
In answer to Imam presenting the Messenger (S) 's conduct, 'Uthman said,This is what I believed in. [752]
'Uthman's despotism established a modern process in the course of despotism in caliphate organizations. Anyway, due to the relative strength of Islamic values in the community, 'Uthman with all his importunity could not suppress the oppositions; on the contrary, he was removed by increasingly growing opposition. This was a new experience for the history of Islamic caliphate which became later on an essential theoretical issue in Islamic political jurisprudence.

Uthman and Muawiya
Damascus gained victory with the help of Abu 'Ubayda Jarrah, Khalid Ibn Walid and Yazid Ibn Abi Sufyan. After extinction of this generation, 'Umar left their legacy to Mu'awiya from that time on Mu'awiya thought of caliphate. When 'Uthman was enthroned, Mu'awiya's position became thoroughly firm.
He intended to bring 'Uthman to Syria in a tumult of anti-'Uthman objections so as to settle every thing fine for himself. However, 'Uthman rejected him. [753] Anyway, with regard to 'Uthman's policies in employing the Umayya, it seems unlikely for caliph himself to be unmindful of this tendency that caliphate should remain in the Umayya.
Anti-'Uthman revolt was equivocal for Mu'awiya. What should he have done against the companions of the Prophet (S) ? He opted to neglect 'Uthman's repeated invitations, his humble requests for support and the dispatch of troops as well as wait for the consequence of domestic quarrel between 'Uthman and the companions.
Put it another way, if 'Uthman reinstated, Mu'awiya could come on power once more, however, 'Uthman's killing would pave the way for a domestic war in which Mu'awiya hoped for victory, that is, a war waged under the pretext of vengeance on 'Uthman. It was currently quite clear to many companions that Mu'awiya looked forward to 'Uthman's killing. Realizing this very fact, though 'Uthman was unable to resolve it seriously. As soon as 'Uthman was killed, his dress was sent to Mu'awiya by his wife, Na'ila. [754]
Meanwhile, Mu'awiya started his efforts to stupefy Syrians against Medinans and the companions of the Prophet (S). He further determined to marry 'Uthman's wife to himself in order to revenge himself on 'Uthman more readily. Anyhow, 'Uthman's wife refused such a thing, and even she broke her teeth to dissuade Mu'awiya. [755]
According to Ya'qubi, 'Uthman when under siege wrote letters to Mu'awiya over and over to request help, yet Mu'awiya refrained from dispatching troops. This negligence was to such an extent that 'Uthman realized the fact of the matter. In last days, Mu'awiya launched 1200 soldiers to Syria and notified their commander to stay over there until they are ordered. In the meantime, he sent someone to 'Uthman; seeing Mu'awiya's emissary, 'Uthman asked, Have you got any help?
The emissary replied, I've come to become aware of your situation.
'Uthman said, No, you've come here in order to kill me. [756]
After some days, Syrians were informed of 'Uthman's killing, so an army was turned back to Syria. Based on Juwayriyya, following 'Uthman's asking for help, Mu'awiya dispatched an army and declared their commander to stay at Dhi Khushub. They stayed there till 'Uthman was killed. Juwayriyya says that Mu'awiya deliberately did so in order for 'Uthman to be killed. [757]
Imam 'Ali (a) wrote to Mu'awiya, You came to 'Uthman's assistance when it was for the benefit of yourself, and humiliated him when it brought about your victory. [758] And in another letter it was written, Did I kill 'Uthman or you? Since I helped him in any case, while you neglected helping him, despite his request for help, until you heard of his killing. [759]
According to another letter by Imam Ali to Mu'awiya, By Allah! O Mu'awiya! No one but you killed 'Uthman and downgraded him. [760]
Abu Tufayl also said to Mu'awiya, Why didn't you stand by 'Uthman while people were along with you? [761]
In Siffin, Abu Ayyub Ansari wrote a letter to Mu'awiya as an answer to his blaming of Ansar for 'Uthman's killing saying, He was killed by Yazid Ibn Asad whom you sent in an attempt to back 'Uthman, yet he being stopped in his way, wasn't of any help to 'Uthman. [762] In fact, the afore-mentioned person was ordered by Mu'awiya not to go over there.
In a letter to Mu'awiya, Shabath Ibn Rib'i accused him of failing to support 'Uthman saying, You liked 'Uthman to be killed, for his killing would give you an excuse. [763]
Ibn 'Abbas also wrote a letter to 'Uthman saying, You were interested in killing 'Uthman. [764]
Afterwards, being accused by Yazid of implication in the assassination of 'Uthman Ibn 'Abbas answered, I did not play any role in this event; however, it was your father who neglected to support him and prevented his troops from helping him when requested. [765]
Shahristani says, In essence, all Mu'awiya's agents in different cities avoided helping him. [766] Letters by different persons are pieces of evidence for this matter. [767]
Mu'awiya says, I myself feel sorry for (about) not helping 'Uthman when demanded. [768]
'Amr Ibn 'As also induced Mu'awiya for disgracing 'Uthman through failing to support him. [769]
Coming together in Basra, Jamal companions remembered to go to Syria and joined Mu'awiya. However, they became frightened of Mu'awiya's failure to help 'Uthman when requested, accordingly they didn't go to Syria.
The last point in this regard is that 'Abd Allah Ibn Sa'id Ibn Abi Sarh, 'Uthman's killing and resided over there, since he was unwilling to be alongside 'Uthman. According to him, he hated to be along with a man (Mu'awiya) who liked 'Uthman to be killed. [770]

Imam Ali (a) and Uthman
After Imam 'Ali was withdrawn with power in Saqifa; besides, Imam's efforts to bring power back came to a deadlock, he tried to maintain roots and branches of Islam as well as to keep down through his own religious knowledge.
Meanwhile, he remembered his forgotten right in every appropriate atmosphere. The second caliph in spite of strictly employing his opponents attempted to solve judicial and in some cases political problems by using Imam's scientific ability. Some examples of caliph's consultation with Imam were previously mentioned.
There are numerous narrations in sources concerning judicial problems, some of which are compiled by 'Allama Amini in the sixth version of al-Ghadir under the title of Nawadir al-Athar fi 'Ilm 'Umar. In this regard, a scripture is in hand showing 'Umar's emphasis in judicial issue on acting Imam's orders. [771]
In this respect, 'Uthman's pride was so much so that we can hardly find any model for it in 'Umar's time. Previous enmities of the Umayyads and Hashimites together with Badr, Uhud and killers of the Umayyads might have been influential in this case. Especially, 'Uthman's enthroning was just followed by removal of Imam 'Ali. 'Uthman's distraction from the proper way and Imam's insistence on defending right caused 'Uthman to be more hostile towards Imam 'Ali (a).
Once 'Uthman determined to exile 'Ammar, yet being objected by Imam, he answered, You yourself are more deserving of exile! [772] There are other examples of 'Uthman's bitter treatment with Imam in sources. [773]
According to Sa'id Ibn Musayyib, I witnessed that a verbal clash occurred between 'Ali and 'Uthman. 'Uthman held up the lash to knock 'Ali, but I hindered. [774] It's been repeatedly quoted that 'Uthman would have objected Imam before 'Abbas. [775] Imam's resistance to 'Uthman's wrong response induced 'Uthman to object Imam's saying, [776] You put yourself in trouble for us again.
Iman as-Sajjad quoted Marwan as saying, I saw 'Uthman in the pilgrimage banning from performing the lesser pilgrimage in pilgrimage days. Consequently, such a thing caused Imam 'Ali to become clothed in pilgrim garment for both lesser and greater pilgrimage.
'Uthman said, There you do again while I'm forbidding.
Imam replied, I do not desist from the Messenger (S) 's Sunna for the sake of anyone. [777] Apparently, the political conditions of 'Uthman's time gave rise to more public criticisms. Perhaps, public accompaniment with these criticizing movements is one main reason. When Walid Ibn 'Uqba was brought to Medina to be punished, Imam allowing no one to punish him threw him on the ground, thereafter facing 'Uthman's objection to his very action Imam began to punish 'Uthman in Walid's stead. [778]
It can be found out from the whole events of anti-'Uthman revolts that opponents, for the most part, supported Imam in his candidacy for caliphate. Although some of them such as 'Amr Ibn 'As, Talha and Zubayr were not willing to do so, Imam's influence over opponents induced 'Uthman to take a dual line against him.
On one part, 'Uthman believed Imam to be the major motive behind these incidents; on the other part, he having no alternative asked Imam to mediate and calm opponents, in so far as they listened to him. [779]
According to some accounts, Imam was recognized as the spokesman of opponents. [780] Anyway, this fact neither meant that they were totally under the control of Imam, nor did it mean that Imam was for all their actions. The key question to be posed here is concerning Imam's opinion on 'Uthman. It should be taken into account that Imam living among people who killed 'Uthman couldn't speak freely.
Regarding Imam's political opinion, it can simply be said that neither was Imam for 'Uthman's killing, nor did he deem his killing advisable. Due to realizing that this was not but an action for Mu'awiya's benefit, Imam tried to prevent from 'Uthman's killing in any case.
Even, at the outset, he made effort to reconciliate people with him and suppress the revolt. Once he said about his political supports, I backed 'Uthman to such an extent that I am afraid of committing any sin in this regard. [781] Later on he said that you killed 'Uthman while I was in my house. [782]
It's better, though, to make a distinction between Imam's religious view and political view. It's likely that Imam believed 'Uthman to be deserving of such a treatment by people due to making deliberate errors regarding Islam and its rules together with destructing the circumstances of the community, although it's impossible to comment precisely on this case. Yet some interpretations are possibly put on Imam's explanations in this regard. Imam was once asked whether he implicated in killing 'Uthman or not. He replied, Allah killed 'Uthman and I'm with Allah. [783]
He further said, Neither I liked 'Uthman to be killed, nor did I loathe his killing. [784] He also added, I am neither happy nor sad about 'Uthman's killing. [785]
Elsewhere Imam called 'Uthman the element of all wrongdoers. [786] When he was asked whether 'Uthman was killed in an oppressed manner or not, Imam answered, He sacrificed himself to the people of house in a very bad manner, and you treated him very badly. [787]
Imam wrote to Kufiyans about his contact with 'Uthman, Now, I am appraising you of what befell 'Uthman so (correctly) that its hearing maybe like its seeing. People criticized him, and I was the only man from among the Muhajirun who asked him to seek to satisfy (the Muslims) the most and to offend them the least.
Furthermore, Talha and Zubayr rushed, teased and debilitated 'Uthman very easily. Then, 'Ayisha who was in a rage with him appeared as well and vented her wrath on him, in so doing she gave people an opportunity to overpower and kill him. [788]
At the time when being selected as an ambassador by people, Imam said to 'Uthman, People are behind me and they have made me an ambassador between you and themselves. But by Allah! I do not know what to say. I know nothing (in this matter) which you do not know, nor can I lead you to any matter of which you are not aware .
You should not behave as the carrying beast for Marwan so that he may drag you wherever he likes, despite your seniority of age and length of life. 'Uthman answered, Don't ask people to grant me respite in order that I can compensate for my oppressive treatment towards them.
Whereupon Imam said, So far as Medina is concerned here is no question of time. As for remoter areas you can have the time needed for your order to reach there. [789]
According to historians, [790] Imam considered Marwan as the major factor behind these movements. [791] Anyway, Imam was opposed to the murder of 'Uthman, primarily due to the dominance of people over their ruler which was, in itself, followed by a brawl. In as much as it's a tremendously risky task to have the mere feeling that it's very simple to kill every ruler.
Muslims recently heard of Sassanids' experience concerning reigning of some kings in about several years and their immediate killing. Hence, 'Abd Allah Ibn 'Umar warned them, Are you doing it heraclitusly, killing any king whenever growing angry with him?
The selection of Imam by Medinans, those who entered Medina and some who played a crucial role in anti-'Uthman revolt induced the Umayyads to accuse Imam of killing 'Uthman. 'Amr Ibn Hamiq Khuza'i assuming to be one of the four who attacked 'Uthman's house was ranked among the pure Shi'ite Muslims. [792]
The same is true with Muhammad Ibn Abi Bakr. Likewise, once 'Uthman's house was under siege, Imam said feast prayer. And when 'Uthman came in power, initially he said prayers and then he made sermon just like before. Yet, noting that people leave great mosque after sermon, he decided to make sermon at the outset, and say prayer in the end. [793]
However, while saying feast prayer, Imam said prayer firstly and made sermon secondly. [794] It appears that Imam has said feast prayer without 'Uthman's permission. Anyway, 'Uthman had confessed that he prefers 'Ali to take charge rather than any body else. [795]
When 'Uthman's house was under siege, Sahl Ibn Hunayf said congregational prayer, perhaps by 'Uthman's permission. [796] Imam was accused due to his presence in Medina in these circumstances. Thus, it's been said that Usama insisted on Imam's going to Mecca or Yanbu'. [797] Of course, in as much as Imam was a crucial factor for coping with the situations, his leaving of Medina did not seem to be reasonable.
Imam repeatedly rejected the blame for 'Uthman's killing attributed to him, anyhow, 'Uthmanids' propagation was to the extent that it occasioned Jamal and Siffin. Walid Ibn 'Uqba, the wrongdoer, addressed Banu Hashim in a poem, Banu Hashim killed 'Uthman so as to take his place. [798]
He further said, Walid had the most hostile manner towards Imam; moreover, according to Nasr Ibn Muzahim's poems, Walid instigated Mu'awiya to wage a war against Imam 'Ali (a). this apart from his father's murder in Badr was due to enforcing punishment of drinking on him by Imam in front of people and 'Uthman. [799]
'Uthman himself put the blame on Imam, on account of opponents' attention to him. He has even revealed ironically in his poem that he is looking forward to Imam's killing. [800] This was suggested to him by Marwan Ibn Hakam, the sinner, the evildoer. Marwan has been quoted as saying to people, At the outset, a handful of people came from Egypt, yet they were ordered to come back and assemble a large multitude. [801]
Imam repeatedly refused to have any role in 'Uthman's murder saying, If I know that the Umayyads believe something through swearing, I would swear to the Black Stone and the status of Ibrahim that I did not kill 'Uthman. [802]
Imam wrote to Mu'awiya, If one judges me, he will certainly imagine that I am the purest man. [803]
He further said, I did not kill 'Uthman, nor did I order to kill him. [804]
Verily, Ibn Sirin said, 'Ali was accused of 'Uthman's assassination while being selected as caliph. [805] Ibn Shubba has allocated a full chapter to Imam's statements concerning his refusal of any implication in killing 'Uthman. [806]
It seems interesting to note that despite all these remarks, 'Uthman sought assistance just from Imam and no one else. [807] Typically, when 'Uthman was stopped having water by Talha, he asked Imam for help. Accordingly, Imam came to Talha and requested him to let water into 'Uthman's house. Then, he got his son to take a bowl of water to 'Uthman. [808]
Afterwards, in Karbala Ibn Ziyad ordered not to let Imam Husayn drink any water, as regards 'Uthman was stopped having water when under siege. Under these circumstances in which no one was able to help 'Uthman, nor did he dare to do so, it was Imam who came to his assistance. Ibn Shubba has labeled a chapter as 'Uthman's asking Imam 'Ali for help. [809]
Another good-to-know note is that Malik, as one of the extreme adherents of Imam, attempted to release 'Uthman from (being under) siege with the help of Hudaj Umm Habiba, while his house was under siege. [810]
Though, not being allowed to enter the house by the besiegers, he seemingly intended to save him from the besiegers in secret. The final word of Ibn Shubba in his chapter is that, in Siffin, Imam did not accept in the presence of 'Uthman's representatives that 'Uthman has been killed oppressively. [811] Consequently, his very statement meant that Imam seems to be guilty at any rate.

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