Uthman ibn Affan (Arabic: عثمان بن عفان, translit. ʿUthmān ibn ʿAffān), also known in English by the Turkish and Persian rendering, Osman, (579–17 June 656), was a companion of the Islamic prophet Muhammad and the third of the Rashidun, or "Rightly Guided Caliphs." Born into a prominent Meccan clan, Banu Umayya of the Quraysh tribe, he played a major role in early Islamic history, succeeding Umar ibn al-Khattab who died in office at the age of 59/60 years as caliph at the age of 64/65 years (the second-oldest ruler).
|ʿUthmān Ibn ʿAffān
عثمان بن عفان
|Possessor of Two Lights (ذو النورين)
"Al-Ghani" ("The Generous One")
|3rd Caliph of the Rashidun Caliphate|
|Reign||6 November 644 – 17 June 656|
|Predecessor||Umar Ibn Al-Khattab|
|Successor||Ali Ibn Abi-Talib|
|Born||579 (42 BH)
|Died||17 June 656
(18 Dhu al-Hijjah 35 AH)
Medina, Arabia, Rashidun Empire
|Burial||Jannat al-Baqi, Madinah|
|Tribe||Quraysh (Banu Umayya)|
|Father||Affan ibn Abi al-'As|
|Mother||Arwa bint Kurayz|
According to Sunni Muslims Uthman was married to Ruqayyah, and then upon her death, married Umm Kulthum, both of them being daughters of Prophet Muhammad, which earned Uthman the honorific title Dhū al-Nurayn ("The Possessor of Two Lights").
Under the leadership of Uthman, the empire expanded into Fars (present-day Iran) in 650, and some areas of Khorasan (present-day Afghanistan) in 651. The empire's conquest of Armenia began by the 640s. His reign also saw widespread internal protests against his policies by the Muslim public that eventually led to armed revolt and his assassination.
Uthman's family treeEdit
Seven years after Muhammad, Uthman was born in Ta'if to the wealthy Umayyad (Banu Umayya) clan of the Quraysh tribe of Mecca. Uthman's father, Affan, died at a young age while travelling abroad, however, Uthman was left with a large inheritance. Uthman became a merchant, like his father. His business flourished, making him one of the richest men among the Qurayshi tribe.[page needed] His mother was Arwa, daughter of Um Hakim bint Abdul Mutalib, the twin sister of Abdullah, father of Muhammad, making Uthman Muhammad's first cousin. She died before 610.
Conversion to IslamEdit
On returning from a business trip to Syria in 611, Uthman found out that Muhammad had declared his mission. After a discussion with his friend Abu Bakr, Uthman decided to convert to Islam, and Abu Bakr took him to Muhammad to declare his faith. Uthman thus became one of the earliest converts to Islam, following Ali, Zayd, Abu Bakr and a few others. His conversion to Islam angered his clan, the Banu Ummayyah, who strongly opposed Muhammad's teachings.[page needed]
Migration to AbyssiniaEdit
Uthman and his wife, Ruqayya, migrated to Abyssinia (modern Ethiopia) in 614–15, along with 11 men and 11 women, all of whom were Muslims. As Uthman already had some business contacts in Abyssinia, he continued to practice his profession as a trader, and he continued to flourish. After two years, the news had spread among the Muslims in Abyssinia that the Quraysh of Mecca had accepted Islam, and this acceptance persuaded Uthman, Ruqayya and some other Muslims to return. However, when they reached Mecca, they found that the news about the Quraysh's acceptance of Islam was false. Some of the Muslims who had come from Abyssinia returned, but Uthman and Ruqayya stayed. In Mecca, Uthman had to start his business afresh, but the contacts that he had already established in Abyssinia worked in his favor and his business prospered once again.
Migration to MedinaEdit
In 622, Uthman and his wife, Ruqayya, migrated to Medina. They were among the third batch of Muslims who migrated to Medina. Upon their arrival, Uthman stayed with Abu Talha ibn Thabit . After a short while, Uthman purchased a house of his own and moved there. Being one of the richest merchants of Mecca, and having amassed a considerable fortune, Uthman did not need any financial help from his Ansari brothers, as he brought all his wealth with him to Medina. In Medina, the Muslims were generally farmers and were not very interested in trade, and thus most of the trading that took place in the town was handled by Jews. Thus, there was considerable space for the Muslims in promoting trade. Uthman took advantage of this position, soon establishing himself as a trader in Medina. He worked hard and honestly, and his business flourished, soon becoming one of the richest men in Medina.
Life in MedinaEdit
When Ali married Fatimah, Uthman bought Ali's shield for five hundred dirhams. Four hundred was set aside as mahr (dower) for Fatimah's marriage, leaving a hundred for all other expenses. Later, Uthman presented the armor back to Ali as a wedding present.
According to R. V. C. Bodley, during Muhammad's lifetime, Uthman was not an outstanding figure and was not assigned to any authority, and was not ever distinguished in any of Muhammad's campaigns. Uthman had a reputation of favoring family members. One way he displayed this was he had a habit of splitting war booty among his relatives and keeping it from combatants. During the Invasion of Hamra al-Asad a Meccan spy, Muawiyah bin Al Mugheerah, the cousin of Uthman ibn Affan, had been captured. According to the Muslim scholar Safiur Rahman Mubarakpuri, Uthman gave him shelter after getting permission from Muhammad, and Muhammad told him that if he was caught again after 3 days he would be executed. As such, Muawiyah was given a grace period of three days and arranged a camel and provisions for his return journey to Mecca. Uthman departed with Muhammad for Hamra-al-Asad, and Muawiyah overstayed his grace. Though he fled by the time the army returned, Muhammad ordered his pursuit and execution. The orders were carried out.
Muhammad's last yearsEdit
Caliph Abu Bakr's era (632–634)Edit
Uthman had a very close relationship with Abu Bakr, as it was due to him that Uthman had converted to Islam. When Abu Bakr was selected as the caliph, Uthman was the first person after Umar to offer his allegiance. During the Ridda wars (Wars of Apostasy), Uthman remained in Medina, acting as Abu Bakr's adviser. On his deathbed, Abu Bakr dictated his will to Uthman, saying that his successor was to be Umar.
Election of UthmanEdit
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Umar, on his deathbed formed a committee of six people to choose the next caliph from amongst themselves. This committee was:
Umar asked that, after his death, the committee reach a final decision within three days, and the next caliph should take the oath of office on the fourth day. If Talhah joined the committee within this period, he was to take part in the deliberations, but if he did not return to Medina within this period, the other members of the committee could proceed with the decision. Abdur Rahman bin Awf withdrew his eligibility to be appointed as caliph in order to act as a moderator and began his task by interviewing every member of the committee separately. He asked them for whom they would cast their vote. When Ali was asked, he didn't reply. When Uthman was asked, he voted for Ali, Zubayr said for Ali or Uthman and Saad said for Uthman.
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. But despite this, according to Wilferd Madelung, he was chosen by the electors as the only strong counter candidate to Ali as he alone could to some extent rival Ali's close kinship ties with the Prophet.
R. V. C. Bodley believed that after Umar's assassination, Ali rejected the caliphate as he disagreed with governing according to regulations established by Abu Bakr and Umar, and that Uthman accepted those terms which he failed to administrate during his ten years' caliphate.
Reign as Caliph (644–656)Edit
Uthman was a shrewd businessman and a successful trader from his youth, which contributed greatly to the Rashidun Empire. Umar had fixed the allowance of the people and on assuming office, Uthman increased it by about 25%. Umar had placed a ban on the sale of lands and the purchase of agricultural lands in conquered territories. Uthman withdrew these restrictions, in view of the fact that the trade could not flourish. Uthman also permitted people to draw loans from the public treasury. Under Umar, it had been laid down as a policy that the lands in conquered territories were not to be distributed among the combatants, but were to remain the property of the previous owners. The army felt dissatisfied at this decision, but Umar suppressed the opposition with a strong hand. Uthman followed the policy devised by Umar and there were more conquests, and the revenues from land increased considerably.
Umar, the predecessor of Uthman, was very strict in the use of money from the public treasury. Apart from the meagre allowance that had been sanctioned in his favour, Umar took no money from the treasury. He did not receive any gifts, nor did he allow any of his family members to accept any gifts from any quarter. During the time of Uthman, there was some relaxation in such strictness. Uthman did not draw any allowance from the treasury for his personal use, nor did he receive a salary, he was a wealthy man with sufficient resources of his own, but unlike Umar, Uthman accepted gifts and allowed his family members to accept gifts from certain quarters. 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.
During his rule, Uthman's military style was more autonomical in nature as he delegated so much military authority to his trusted kinsmen like Abdullah ibn Aamir, Muawiyah I and Abdullāh ibn Sa‘ad ibn Abī as-Sarâḥ, unlike the tenure of Umar where the military expansion was generally centralized in Umar's authority. Consequently, this more independent expansion enabled more overarching expansion until Sindh, Pakistan, which was not touched during the tenure of Umar.
Muawiyah I was appointed the governor of Syria by Umar in 639 to stop the Byzantine harassment from the sea during the Arab-Byzantine Wars. This appointment occurred after his elder brother Yazid ibn Abi Sufyan (governor of Syria) died in a plague, along with Abu Ubaidah ibn al-Jarrah, the governor before him and 25,000 other people. Now, under Uthman's rule in 649, Muawiyah was allowed to set up a navy, manned by Monophysitic Christians, Copts, and Jacobite Syrian Christian sailors and Muslim troops. This resulted in the defeat of the Byzantine navy at the Battle of the Masts in 655, opening up the Mediterranean.
In Hijri year 31 or around AD 651, Caliph Uthman sent Abdullah ibn Zubayr and Abdullah ibn Saad to lead reconquest expedition towards Maghreb where he met the army of Gregory the Patrician, Exarch of Africa and relative of Heraclius which is recorded numbers between 120,000 and 200,000 soldiers, Although another estimation was recorded, Gregory's army was put in 20,000. The opposing forces clashed in Sabuthilag (alternately called Sufetula), which became the name of this battle. Records from al-Bidayah wal Nihayah state that Abdullah's troops were completely surrounded by Gregory's army in a circular fashion and the situation was very dire for the Muslim army as they were threatened with annihilation. However, Abdullah ibn Zubayr spotted Gregory in his chariot and soon he asked Abdullah ibn Sa'd to lead a small detachment to intercept him. The interception was successful, and Gregory was slain by Zubayr's ambush party. Consequently, the morale of Byzantine army started crumbling and soon they were routed.
Some Muslim sources claim that after the conquest of northern Africa was complete by Muhammad ibn Jarir al-Tabari, Abdullah ibn Sa'd continued the conquest to Spain. Spain was first invaded some sixty years earlier during the caliphate of Uthman. Other prominent Muslim historians like, Ibn Kathir, have also quoted the same narration. In the description of this campaign, during which North Africa was conquered by Abdullah ibn Saad, two of his generals, Abdullah ibn Nafiah ibn Husain, and Abdullah ibn Nafi' ibn Abdul Qais, were commissioned to invade the coastal areas of Spain by sea aided by a Berber force. They succeeded in conquering the coastal areas of Al-Andalus. It is not known where the Muslim force landed, what resistance they met, and what parts of Spain they actually conquered. 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:
|“||Constantinople will be conquered from the side of Al-Andalus. Thus, if you conquer it, you will have the honor of taking the first step towards the conquest of Constantinople. You will have your reward in this behalf both in this world and the next.||”|
Although raids by Berbers and Muslims were conducted against the Visigothic Kingdom in Spain during the late 7th century, there is no evidence that Spain was invaded or that parts of it were conquered or settled by Muslims prior to the 711 campaign by Tariq.
Abdullah ibn Saad also continued his success in the very first Caliphate Naval battle against the Byzantine Empire in the Battle of the Masts which is described as the first decisive conflict of Islam on the deep of Byzantine offshore.
On the east Ahnaf ibn Qais, chief of Banu Tamim and a veteran commander who conquer Shustar earlier. Now in Uthman's regime, Ahnaf launched a series of successful further military expansions by further mauling Yazdegerd III near Oxus River in Turkmenistan and later crushing the military coalition of Sassanid empire loyalists and Hephthalite Empire in the Siege of Herat. Later the governor of Basra, Abdullah ibn Aamir also lead successful various campaign which ranged from punitive Re-conquest of the revolting population of Fars, Kerman, Sistan, Khorasan to the opening of new conquest fronts in Transoxiana and Afghanistan.
In the next year of AD 652, the translation of records from Futh Al-Buldan of Baladhuri write that Balochistan was re-conquered during the campaign against the revolt in Kermān, under the command of Majasha ibn Mas'ud. It was the first time that western Balochistan had come directly under the Laws of Caliphate and it paid an agricultural tribute.
The military campaigns under Uthman's rule was generally successful, except a few campaigns in the kingdom of Nubia in the lower Nile.
Public opposition to Uthman's policiesEdit
The situation was becoming tense and so the Uthman's administration had to investigate the origins and extent of anti-government propaganda and its aims. Some time around 654, Uthman called all the governors of his 12 provinces to Medina to discuss the problem. In this Council of Governors, Uthman directed the governors that they should adopt all the expedients they had suggested, according to local circumstances. Later, in the Majlis al Shurah (council of ministry), it was suggested to Uthman that reliable agents should be sent to various provinces to investigate the matter and report about the sources of such rumors. Uthman then sent his agents to the main provinces, Muhammad ibn Maslamah was sent to Kufa; Usama ibn Zayd was sent to Basra; Ammar ibn Yasir was sent to Egypt, while `Abd Allah ibn Umar was sent to Syria. The emissaries who had been sent to Kufa, Basra and Syria submitted their reports to Uthman, that all was well in Kufa, Basra and Syria. The people were satisfied with the administration, and they had no legitimate grievance against it. Some individuals in various locations had some personal grievances of minor character, with which the people at large were not concerned. Ammar ibn Yasir, the emissary to Egypt, however, did not return to Medina. The rebels had carried on with their propaganda in favor of the Caliphate of Ali. Ammar ibn Yasir had been affiliated with Ali; he left Uthman, and instead joined the opposition in Egypt. Abdullah ibn Saad, the governor of Egypt, reported about the activities of the opposition in Egypt. He wanted to take action against Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr (foster son of Ali), Muhammad bin Abi Hudhaifa (adopted son of Uthman) and Ammar ibn Yasir.
Uthman's attempts at appeasing the dissidentsEdit
In 655, Uthman directed the people who had any grievance against the administration to assemble at Mecca for the Hajj. He promised them that all their legitimate grievances would be redressed. He directed the governors and the "Amils" throughout the empire to come to Mecca on the occasion of the Hajj. In response to the call of Uthman, the opposition came in large delegations from various cities to present their grievances before the gathering.
The rebels realized that the people in Mecca supported the defense offered by Uthman and were not in the mood to listen to them. That was a great psychological victory for Uthman. It is said, according to Sunni Muslim accounts, that before returning to Syria, the governor Muawiyah, Uthman’s cousin, suggested that Uthman should come with him to Syria as the atmosphere there was peaceful. Uthman rejected his offer, saying that he didn't want to leave the city of Muhammad (referring to Medina). Muawiyah then suggested that he be allowed to send a strong force from Syria to Medina to guard Uthman against any possible attempt by rebels to harm him. 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.
Armed revolt against UthmanEdit
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. Abdullah ibn Saad came to Medina, leaving the affairs of Egypt to his deputy, and in his absence, Muhammad bin Abi Hudhaifa staged a coup d'état and took power. On hearing of the revolt in Egypt, Abdullah hastened back, but Uthman was not in a position to offer him any military assistance and, accordingly, Abdullah ibn Saad failed to recapture his power.
Several Sunni scholars such as Ibn Qutaybah, Ali Ibn Burhanuddin al-Halabi, Ibne Abi-al-Hadeed and Ibne Manzur reported that there were several leading Sahaba along those who openly opposing and asking Uthman to step down for reasons such as nepotism and a profligate lifestyle. Talha and Zubayr ibn al-Awam were among those leading the rebels while A'isha had even called for Uthman's head with her famous statement "Kill this Na'thal (a Jew) for he has turned apostate" as recorded by several leading historians.
Rebels in MedinaEdit
From Egypt, a contingent of about 1,000 people were sent to Medina, with instructions to assassinate Uthman and overthrow the government. Similar contingents marched from Kufa and Basra to Medina. They sent their representatives to Medina to contact the leaders of public opinion. The representatives of the contingent from Egypt waited on Ali, and offered him the Caliphate in succession to Uthman, which Ali turned down. The representatives of the contingent from Kufa waited on Al-Zubayr, while the representatives of the contingent from Basra waited on Talhah, and offered them their allegiance as the next Caliph, which were both turned down. In proposing alternatives to Uthman as Caliph, the rebels neutralized the bulk of public opinion in Medina and Uthman's faction could no longer offer a united front. Uthman had the active support of the Umayyads, and a few other people in Medina.
Siege of UthmanEdit
The early stage of the siege of Uthman's house was not severe, but as the days passed, the rebels intensified their pressure against Uthman. With the departure of the pilgrims from Medina to Mecca, the hands of the rebels were further strengthened, and as a consequence the crisis deepened further. The rebels understood that after the Hajj, the Muslims gathered at Mecca from all parts of the Muslim world might march to Medina to relieve Uthman. They therefore decided to take action against Uthman before the pilgrimage was over. During the siege, Uthman was asked by his supporters, who outnumbered the rebels, to let them fight against the rebels and rout them. Uthman prevented them in an effort to avoid the bloodshed of Muslim by Muslim. Unfortunately for Uthman, violence still occurred. The gates of the house of Uthman were shut and guarded by the renowned warrior, Abd-Allah ibn al-Zubayr. The sons of Ali, Hasan ibn Ali and Husayn ibn Ali, were also among the guards.
On 20 July 656, finding the gate of Uthman's house strongly guarded by his supporters, the Egyptian rebels climbed the back wall and crept inside, leaving the guards on the gate unaware of what was going on inside. The rebels entered his room and struck blows at his head. Naila, the wife of Uthman, threw herself on his body to protect him and raised her hand to deflect a sword. She had her fingers chopped off and was pushed aside. The next blow killed Uthman. Some of Uthman's slaves counter-attacked, one of whom killed the assassin and was in turn killed by the rebels.:216
The rioters tried to decapitate Uthman's corpse, but his two widows, Nailah and Umm al-Banin, threw themselves across the body and screamed, beating their faces and tearing their clothing, until the rioters were deterred. Instead, they looted the house, even snatching at the women's veils.:216,248 The rebels left the house and the supporters of Uthman at the gate heard them and entered, but it was too late.
After the body of Uthman had been in the house for three days, Naila, Uthman's wife, approached some of his supporters to help in his burial, but only about a dozen people responded. These included Marwan, Zayd ibn Thabit, 'Huwatib bin Alfarah, Jubayr ibn Mut'im, Abu Jahm bin Hudaifa, Hakim bin Hazam and Niyar bin Mukarram. The body was lifted at dusk, and because of the blockade, no coffin could be procured. The body was not washed, as Islamic teaching states that martyrs' bodies are not supposed to be washed before burial. Thus, Uthman was carried to the graveyard in the clothes that he was wearing at the time of his assassination.
His body was buried by Hassan, Hussein, Ali and others, however; some people rejected that Ali attended the funeral Naila followed the funeral with a lamp, but in order to maintain secrecy the lamp had to be extinguished. Naila was accompanied by some women including Ayesha, Abubaker's daughter.:247,248
The body was carried to Jannat al-Baqi, the Muslim graveyard. It appeared that some people gathered there, and they resisted the burial of Uthman in the graveyard of the Muslims. The supporters of Uthman insisted that the body should be buried in Jannat al-Baqi. They later buried him in the Jewish graveyard behind Jannat al-Baqi. Some decades later, the Umayyad rulers demolished the wall separating the two cemeteries and merged the Jewish cemetery into the Muslim one to ensure that his tomb was now inside a Muslim cemetery.
The funeral prayers were led by Jabir bin Muta'am, and the dead body was lowered into the grave without much of a ceremony. After burial, Naila the widow of Uthman and Aisha his daughter wanted to speak, but they were advised to remain quiet due to possible danger from the rioters.:247
Causes of anti-Uthman revoltEdit
The actual reason for the anti-Uthman movement is disputed among the Shia and Sunni Muslims. According to Sunni sources, unlike his predecessor, Umar, who maintained discipline with a stern hand, Uthman was less rigorous upon his people; he focused more on economic prosperity. Under Uthman, the people became economically more prosperous and on the political plane they came to enjoy a larger degree of freedom. No institutions were devised to channel political activity, and, in the absence of such institutions, the pre-Islamic tribal jealousies and rivalries, which had been suppressed under earlier caliphs, erupted once again. In view of the lenient policies adopted by Uthman, the people took advantage of such liberties, which became a headache for the state, and it culminated in the assassination of Uthman.
According to Wilferd Madelung, during Uthman’s reign, “grievances against his arbitrary acts were substantial by standards of his time. Historical sources mention a lengthy account of the wrongdoings he was accused of... It was only his violent death that came to absolve him in Sunni ideology from any ahdath and make him a martyr and the third Rightly Guided Caliph.” According to Keaney Heather, Uthman, as a caliph, relied solely on his own volition in picking his cabinet, which led to decisions that breeded resistance within the Muslim community. Indeed, his style of governance made Uthman one of the most controversial figures in Islamic history.
The resistance against Uthman originated because he favored family members over any others in choosing his governors, reasoning that by doing this, he would be able to exact more influence on how the caliphate was ran and consequently improve the capitalist system he worked to establish. The contrary turned out to be true and his appointees had more control over how he conducted business than he originally planned. They went so far as to impose authoritarianism over their provinces. Indeed, many anonymous letters were written to the leading companions of Muhammad, complaining about the alleged tyranny of Uthman's appointed governors. Moreover, letters were sent to the leaders of public opinion in different provinces concerning the reported mishandling of power by Uthman's family. This contributed to unrest in the empire and finally Uthman had to investigate the matter in an attempt to ascertain the authenticity of the rumors. 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. Although the view shared by Madelung was largely debated, it was based on the influence regarding the bias of Shiite view and the assertions of Bernard Lewis, that argued the mythical status of Abdullah bin Saba' was a result of simplified political unrest, during the time of Caliph Uthman and caliph Ali that casted being despite being recorded by earliest Islamic scholars comprehensive recording outside the mainstream subjects of recording such as Tabari which rarely reviewed to the scope of many modern historians
Uthman, like Mu'awiya, was a member of the leading Meccan family of Ummaya and was indeed the sole representative of the Meccan patricians among the early companions of the Prophet with sufficient prestige to rank as a candidate. His election was at once their victory and their opportunity. That opportunity was not neglected. 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. The Muslim tradition attribute the breakdown which occurred during his reign to the personal defects of Uthman. But, the causes lie far deeper and the guilt of Uthman lay in his failure to recognize, control or remedy them.
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Uthman was a family man who apparently led a simple life even after becoming the Caliph of the Rashidun Empire and regardless of the fact that he was rich due to his flourishing family business. The caliphs were paid for their services from bait al-mal, the public treasury, but Uthman never took any salary for his service as a Caliph, as he was independently wealthy. Uthman was also a humanitarian: He developed a custom to free slaves every Friday, look after the widows and orphans, and give unlimited charity. His patience and endurance were among the characteristics that made him a successful leader. As a way of taking care of Muhammad's wives, he doubled their allowances. Uthman wasn't completely plain and simple, however: Uthman built a Palace for himself in Medina, known as Al-Zawar, with a notable feature being doors of precious wood. Although Uthman paid for the palace with his own money, Shia Muslims considered it his first step towards ruling like a King.
Sunni defence of UthmanEdit
The general opinion of the Sunni Muslim community and Sunni historians regarding Uthman's rule were positive regarding his leniency and accused nepotism was in fact the kinsmen whom he appointed such as Muawiya and Abdullah ibn Aamir was proven to be competent and effective in both of military and political management affairs. Historians, like Zaki Muhammad, accused Uthman for allegation corruption particularly in the case of Waleed ibn Uqba. Muhammad Zaki also accused Walid for being one of the worst of Uthman's nepotistic relative as he points out the diminishing features of Walid's dishonesty and unpopularity among the peoples of caliphate. However modern Sunni historian regard Walid was not as bad. Dr. A.M. Sallabi asserting Walid has fine qualities which is trusted and reliable by both of these two caliphs, one of those to whom important tasks could be entrusted. He further said Al- Waleed was one of the most beloved to the people, and one of the kindest to them. For five years there was no gate at his house.
Another case is Uthman's other relative named Marwan bin Hakam, the one which instigate the controversy regarding nepotism was the case of the Marwan corruption of the spoils of war from the conquest of northern Africa. However, it is argued that that is non existent because the allegation of corruption was originated from the misconception regarding of how Marwan transported the spoils tribute to the capital. Marwan did not directly send the tribute of spoils of war because it was not efficient as the spoils of war was in the form of cattle and hardware. As such, he sold the spoils of war first and then the treasury in the form of Dinars, which easier to be transported was sent directly to the caliph.
This treatment was similar with Abdullah ibn Saad. Despite him being unpopular among the newly conquered populace in northern Africa, particularly after he replaced popular Amr ibn al 'Aas. He was; however, proven as capable as Muawiya and Abd-Allah ibn Amr.
Perhaps the most significant act of Uthman was allowing Muawiya and Abdullah ibn Saad, both respectively governor of Syria and Northern Africa, to form the first integrated Muslim navy in the Mediterranean Sea, rivaling the maritime domination of the Byzantine Empire. Abdullah ibn Saad's feats in conquering the southeast coast of Spain, his stunning victory at the Battle of the Masts in Lycia and the extension of conquests to the coasts of the Mediterranean Sea are generally overlooked. These achievements successfully gave birth to the very first Muslim standing navy thus helping the first maritime colonial expansion of Muslims towards Cyprus and Rhodes. This subsequently paved the way for the establishment of several Muslim states in the Mediterranean Sea during the later Umayyad and Abbasid eras, which came in the form of the Emirate of Sicily and its minor vassal the Emirate of Bari, as well as the Emirate of Crete and the Aglabid Dynasty. The significance of Uthman's naval development and its political legacy was agreed upon by Muhammad M.Ag, author of Islamic Fiscal and Monetary Policy and further strengthened by Hassan Khalileh referencing Tarikh al Bahriyya wal Islamiyya fii Misr wal Sham by Ahmad Abaddy and Esayyed Salem.
From an expansionist perspective, Uthman is regarded as skilled in conflict managements as is evident from how he dealt with the heated and troubled early Muslim colonies such as Kufa and Basra by directing the hot-headed Arab settlers to the new military campaigns and expansions. This not only resulted in settling the internal conflicts in those settlement garrisons, but also further expanded the Rashidun's territory which reached as far west as southern Iberia and as far east as Sindh, Pakistan.
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Media related to Uthman at Wikimedia Commons Views of various Islamic historians on Uthman:
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Cadet branch of the QurayshDied: June 20 656
|Sunni Islam titles|
Umar ibn al-Khattab
|Caliph of Islam
11 November 644 – 20 June 656
Ali ibn Abi-Talib
|Ruler of Persia