58 Facts About Uthman


Uthman's reign saw widespread protests and unrest that eventually led to armed revolt and his assassination.


Uthman was married to Ruqayya, and upon her death, married Umm Kulthum.


Uthman is listed as one of the 22 Meccans "at the dawn of Islam" who knew how to write.


Uthman became a merchant like his father, and his business flourished, making him one of the richest men among the Quraysh.


On returning from a business trip to Syria in 611, Uthman learned of Muhammad's declared mission.


Uthman thus became one of the earliest converts to Islam, following Ali, Zayd, Abu Bakr and a few others.


Uthman had to start his business afresh, but the contacts that he had already established in Abyssinia worked in his favour and his business prospered .


Uthman was one of the richest merchants of Mecca, with no need of financial help from his Ansari brothers, as he had brought the considerable fortune he had amassed with him to Medina.


Uthman realized there was a considerable commercial opportunity to promote trade among Muslims and soon established himself as a trader in Medina.


Later, Uthman presented the armour back to Ali as a wedding present.


Uthman departed with Muhammad for Hamra-al-Asad, and Muawiyah overstayed his grace.


In 632, the year Muhammad died, Uthman participated in the Farewell Pilgrimage.


Uthman was present at the event of Ghadir Khumm, where, according to Shia sources, he was among those who pledged allegiance to Ali.


Uthman had a very close relationship with Abu Bakr, as it was due to him that Uthman had converted to Islam.


On his deathbed, Abu Bakr dictated his will to Uthman, saying that his successor was to be Umar.


Uthman asked them for whom they would cast their vote.


Uthman was a rich merchant who used his wealth to support Islam yet at no time before his caliphate had he displayed any qualities of leadership or actually led an army.


Uthman was a shrewd businessman and a successful trader from his youth, which contributed greatly to the Rashidun Empire.


Uthman withdrew these restrictions, in view of the fact that the trade could not flourish.


Uthman permitted people to draw loans from the public treasury.


Uthman did not receive any gifts, nor did he allow any of his family members to accept any gifts from any quarter.


Uthman honestly expressed that he had the right to utilize the public funds according to his best judgment, and no one criticized him for that.


The economic reforms introduced by Uthman had far-reaching effects; Muslims, as well as non-Muslims of the Rashidun Empire, enjoyed an economically prosperous life during his reign.


Uthman succeeded his elder brother Yazid ibn Abi Sufyan, who died in a plague, along with Abu Ubaidah ibn al-Jarrah, the governor before him, and 25,000 other people.


However, it is clear that the Muslims did conquer some portion of Spain during the caliphate of Uthman, presumably establishing colonies on its coast.


On this occasion, Uthman is reported to have addressed a letter to the invading force:.


The military campaigns under Uthman's rule were generally successful, except for a few in the kingdom of Nubia, on the lower Nile.


Some time around 654, Uthman called all twelve provincial governors to Medina to discuss the problem.


In 655, Uthman directed those with any grievance against the administration, as well as the governors and "Amils" throughout the caliphate, to assemble at Mecca for the Hajj, promising that all legitimate grievances would be redressed.


The rebels realized that the people in Mecca supported Uthman and were not inclined to listen to them.


Uthman rejected it too, saying that the Syrian forces in Medina would be an incitement to civil war, and he could not be party to such a move.


The politics of Egypt played the major role in the propaganda war against the caliphate, so Uthman summoned Abdullah ibn Saad, the governor of Egypt, to Medina to consult with him as to the course of action that should be adopted.


On hearing of the revolt in Egypt, Abdullah hastened back, but Uthman was not in a position to offer him any military assistance, and so Abdullah was unable to suppress the revolt.


The early stage of the siege of Uthman's house was not severe, but, as the days passed, the rebels intensified the pressure against Uthman.


The gates of the house of Uthman were shut and guarded by the renowned warrior Abd-Allah ibn al-Zubayr, along with Ali's sons, Hasan ibn Ali and Husayn ibn Ali.


Uthman pleaded with him to let it go, admonishing him that his father Abu Bakr would never have acted in such a manner.


Muhammad responded by saying that if Abu Bakr had witnessed the deeds Uthman had perpetrated, he would have undoubtedly denounced Uthman.


Later, as Uthman prayed to God for protection from Muhammad, the latter stabbed his head with a blade, and the other rebels followed suit.


The actual reason for the anti-Uthman movement is disputed among the Shia and Sunni Muslims.


The resistance against Uthman arose because he favoured family members when choosing governors, reasoning that, by doing this, he would be able to exact more influence on how the caliphate was run and consequently improve the capitalist system he worked to establish.


Wilferd Madelung discredits the alleged role of Abdullah ibn Saba in the rebellion against Uthman and observes that few if any modern historians would accept Sayf's legend of Ibn Saba.


Uthman's election was at once their victory and their opportunity.


Uthman soon fell under the influence of the dominant Meccan families and one after another, the high posts of the Empire went to members of those families.


The weakness and nepotism of Uthman brought to a head the resentment which had for some time been stirring obscurely among the Arab warriors.


But, the causes lie far deeper and the guilt of Uthman lay in his failure to recognize, control or remedy them.


The historian al-Tabari notes that Uthman was of medium height, strong-boned and broad-shouldered, and walked in a bowlegged manner.


Uthman is said to have had large limbs, with fleshy shins and long, hairy forearms.


Uthman had a full reddish-brown beard to which he applied saffron and thick curly hair which grew past his ears, though receded at the front.


Uthman's teeth were bound with gold wire, with the front ones being noted as being particularly fine.


Unlike his predecessor Umar, Uthman was not a skilled orator, having grown tongue-tied during his first address as caliph.


Uthman remained somewhat apart from the other close Sahaba, having been an elegant, educated and cultured merchant-prince standing out among his poorer compatriots.


One story relates that Aisha, having noted that Muhammad reclined comfortably and spoke casually with Abu Bakr and Umar, asked him why when he addressed Uthman, he chose to gather his clothing neatly and assume a formal manner.


Muhammad replied that "Uthman is modest and shy and if l had been informal with him, he would not have said what he had come here to say".


Uthman was a family man who led a simple life even after becoming the caliph, despite the fact that his flourishing family business had made him rich.


Prior caliphs had been paid for their services from the bayt al-mal, the public treasury, but the independently wealthy Uthman never took a salary.


Uthman was a humanitarian: he customarily freed slaves every Friday, looked after the widows and orphans, and gave unlimited charity.


The general opinion of the Sunni Muslim community and Sunni historians regarding Uthman's rule were positive, particularly regarding his leniency; in their view, his alleged nepotism concerned the kinsmen he appointed, such as Muawiya and Abdullah ibn Aamir, proven to be effective in both military and political management.


From an expansionist perspective, Uthman is regarded as skilled in conflict management, as is evident from how he dealt with the heated and troubled early Muslim conquered territories, such as Kufa and Basra, by directing the hot-headed Arab settlers to new military campaigns and expansions.