Uthman ibn Affan (RA), and his brief identity

Uthman ibn Affan (RA)

The third Caliph of Islam was Uthman ibn Affan (RA). He was one of the companions who received the good news of being people of Paradise while still in the world. He also was benevolent and forgiving to every Muslim. Due to this, he did not take any revenge on those who had treated him unfairly. Uthman (RA) was very patient and tolerant. Because of wanting the welfare of others, His opponents ruthlessly had martyred him.

Now I will present some necessary information about him from his biography, which will make his identity clear to you. And I will try to provide reliable references for each subject, Insha Allah. So let’s first start talking about his name and birth.

Who is Caliph Uthman Ibn Affan (RA.)?

Uthman ibn Affan (RA) was a Muttaqee servant and a beloved companion of Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him). His real name is Uthman, his title was Zun-Nurain and Zul-Hijratain. In the pre-Islamic era, his title was Abu Amr. And his father’s name is Affan bin Abul A’s bin Umayah, and his mother’s name is Arwa Bint Qariz bin Rabiah. [Siyar A’lam al-Nubala, volume 1, page 149]

He was a descendant of the Umayyah branch of the Quraish dynasty. There is considerable disagreement about the year and date of his birth. According to most, he was born in 576 AD. And according to most descriptions, he was born in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Moreover, some say, he was born in Taif city. He also was five years younger than the Messenger of Allah. [Fasl Al-khitab fi Al-zhud wa Al-Raqaayq, volume 1, page 466]

His status in the pre-Islamic era

In this regard, Abdus Sattar Al-Shaikh Al-Dimashqi (Rh) has mentioned in his book:-

Abdus Sattar Al-Shaikh

He was a reader and writer in the pre-Islamic era. He then became one of the faithful revelation (الوحى) writers. And this is a rare feature in the society of Makkah. In the same way, in the age of ignorance, he was well educated in the knowledge-science of Arabia. Such as knowledge of poem-proverbs, genealogy, and war. He also traveled to Syria and other cities for business purposes. As a result, he became aware of the condition of the people and their means of subsistence.

Uthman (RA) kept himself away from bad foolish habits and inferior character. So he was endowed with the great virtue of shame which had interrupted him from evil words and evil deeds. He was featured by restraint, truthfulness, conservation of conscience and dignity, purity of heart and hands, refraining from obscenity and from stumbling in spite of youthful vigor. [Uthman bin Affan (RA) extremely shy, the generous, Zu Nurain, page 34]

His accepting Islam

Various information is available about his accepting Islam. According to a source, he accepted Islam with the inspiration of his aunt. She was an astrologer. Her name is Suwda bint Quraiz. She told Uthman (RA) a lot of vital things about the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) and His daughter Ruqayyah (RA).

Uthman (RA) said: So one day I was walking down (the street) worried. Then Abu Bakr (RA) met me. So I informed him (the reason for my worry). Abu Bakr (RA) said to me, O ‘Uthman, pity for you! Surely you are a discreet man. Truth and falsehood are not hidden from you. What is your opinion about these statues? Which are worshiped by the people of our community. Aren’t these made of stone? A deaf thing who does not hear (with its ears), does not see (with its eyes), cannot harm anyone, cannot benefit anyone. Uthman (RA) said, “Yes, of course.” By Allah, these are actually like those things. Abu Bakr (RA) said, “By Allah, your aunt must have told you the truth.” This is the Messenger of Allah Muhammad bin Abdullah, whom Allah Ta’ala has sent to all creatures with His message. Will you go to him? [Al Bidaya Wan Nihaya, volume 7, page 199]  

Yazid bin Ruman (Rh) said that one day ‘Uthman bin Affan (RA) and Talha bin Ubaydullah (RA) followed Zubair bin Awwam (RA). Then they entered the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him). He (peace be upon him) presented Islam to them. He recited the Quran to them, informed them of the rights of Islam, and promised them the honor from Allah. So they believed and they attested (to His words). [Tabaqat Al-kubra Of Ibn Sa’d, volume 3, page 55]

Married life of Uthman ibn Affan (RA.)

Uthman ibn Affan (RA) married Ruqayyah (RA), the daughter of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him). She gave birth to a son named Abdullah. When Rukaiya (RA) died, then Uthman (RA) married his sister Umme Kulsum (RA). When Umm Kulsum (RA) died, he married Fakhita bint Ghazwan bin Jabir and She gave birth to a son named Abdullah Al-Asghar. Uthman (RA) then married Umm Amar bint Jundub bin Amr. In her womb were born Amr, Khalid, Aban, Umar, and Maryam.

Then he married Fatima bint Walid bin Abd Al Shams. She gave birth to two sons and one daughter. Two sons’ names are Al Walid bin Uthman and Saeed. And the daughter’s name was Umm Saeed. Uthman (RA) then married Umm al-Banin bint Waina bin Hisn. And Abdul Malik bin Uthman was born from her. Then Uthman bin Affan (RA) got married to Ramla bint Shaybah bin Rabi’ah. She gave birth to 3 daughters. Their names are Ayesha, Umm Aban, and Umm Amr.

He then married Nayla bint Al-Furafisa bin Al-Ahwas. A daughter named Maryam bint Uthman was born from her. One of Uthman’s slave women gave birth to a daughter. The girl’s name is Ummul Banin Bint Uthman. [Tabaqat Al-kubra Of Ibn Sa’d, volume 3, page 54]

Remember, under Uthman ibn Affan (RA) were four wives. There were not more than 4 wives together under him.

Number of hadiths narrated in his source

Uthman (RA) was one of the narrators of very few hadiths. He was afraid of the narration of the hadith for fear of being mistaken in it. So not many hadiths have been narrated by Uthman ibn Affan (RA). The Hadith scholars have mentioned that about 146 hadiths have been narrated by him.

His some exhortation

  • The thinking of the world is Maker of darkness in the heart, and the thinking of the Hereafter is Maker of light in the heart.
  • Whoever forsakes the world, Allah loves him, and whoever forsakes sin, the angels love him. Muslims love him too.
  • You try and don’t be indifferent. Because He (Allah) is not indifferent to you.
  • The person who refrains from the greed to anything of Muslims, Muslims love him.
  • I will not take off the clothes that Allah Ta’ala has made to wear me.

How did caliph Uthman ibn Affan (RA.) die?

Every good man has his opponents. In the same way, there were people who opposed Uthman ibn Affan (RA). For various irrational reasons, the people of Egypt, Kufa, and Basrah became against him.

When Uthman (RA) appointed Abdullah bin Sa’ad bin Sarah as the ruler of Egypt, they disliked him for various reasons. The children of some of the Companions formed a party in Egypt and For various irrational reasons, they provoked the people to fight against Uthman (RA) and to agitate against him. Their chiefs were Muhammad bin Abu Bakr and Muhammad bin Abu Huzaifa. They formed an army and started advancing toward Medina. Abdullah bin Sa’ad bin Sarah then wrote a letter to ‘Uthman (RA) regarding the arrival of the rebels in Medina. Uthman ibn Affan (RA) then instructed Ali (RA) to repatriate them to their country before they arrived in Medina. Then Ali (RA) reached a place called Juhfah with many Companions (RA). He resolved various grievances of the rebels. Then he gave them the right understanding and returned them to their country. [Al Bidaya Wan Nihaya, volume 7, page 171 – 172]

Then they returned to Medina again. They laid siege to Medina. Most of them were around Uthman’s house. The companions of Allah’s Messenger told them, again and again, to return to their homeland. Ali (RA) even said to the Egyptians, “After you have left, why did you come back after changing your opinion?” They said: We received a letter from an envoy about killing us when we entered Egypt. And we came to help our other partners.


The companions of Allah’s Messenger said to them, “How did you know about this news?” They said that when they were returning to their country, they found an envoy on the road. They searched him and found a letter from a pot. There was Uthman’s order to kill some people, to crucify some people, and to cut off the hands and feet of some people (of them). The letter had the seal of Uthman (RA). The envoy was a slave to ‘Uthman (RA) and he was riding on Uthman’s camel. So they came to Medina with the letter and started showing it to the people of Medina. People ask the leader of the believers Uthman (RA) about this. He then said,

words of Uthman

“Through this, evidence was presented against me. So by Allah, I didn’t write this letter, I didn’t order to write it to anyone, and I don’t know anything about it. And the thing about the seal is that my seal has been forged.” So the truthful ones confirmed him and the liars denied him. [Al Bidaya Wan Nihaya, volume 7, page 174 – 175]

Then the people realized that it was the work of Marwan bin Hakam, the secretary of Uthman (RA), and they suspected that maybe Marwan was doing fraud in the name of Uthman.

Laying siege

Then, on a Friday, ‘Uthman (RA) was brutally hit by one rebel. The rebels then cordoned off his home. And many of the Companions and his children were engaged in the nursing of ‘Uthman (RA). The blockade lasted for more than a month. Some say 40 days. The rebels demanded that Uthman (RA) relinquish the position of ruler or hand over Marwan bin Hakam to them so that they could punish Marwan. Uthman (RA) feared that if he handed Marwan over to them, they would kill him and that Uthman (RA) would be a reason for killing a Muslim. And Uthman (RA) will not relinquish the position of ruler, he will never take off the clothes that Allah has made to wear him because the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) had prohibited him to take off these clothes. So His opponents cut off the water supply to Uthman’s house and prevented him from going to the mosque because He did not comply with their demands. [Al Bidaya Wan Nihaya, volume 7, page 180]

Uthman (RA) could have eliminated them if he wished. And many companions of Prophet (RA) also were ready for elimination to them. But he did not want to shed the blood of any Muslim for himself. He did not want to be the initiator of bloodshed among Muslims too.


This siege continues from the last day of the month of Dhuʻl-Qiʻdah until the 17th of Dhuʻl-Hijjah, Friday. The day before, ‘Uthman (RA) told all the Muhajireen and Ansar Companions who were in his house to leave. But they did not want to leave his house. So He gave the oath to them, and said: “Whoever has a right over me, let him restrain his hand from attacking, let him go to his house.” There were about 700 companions of the Prophet and their many children with him that day. Uthman (RA) told his slaves that those who would keep the sword sheathed (from attacking) were free.

And the reason Uthman (RA) did not resist his enemies was that he had a dream which indicated that his death was imminent. So He surrendered to the command of Allah in the hope of His promises and because of his strong desire to meet the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him). [Al Bidaya Wan Nihaya, volume 7, page 181]

In this regard,

Abdullah bin Salam (RA) said,

word of uthman

I came to ‘Uthman (RA) and greeted him while he was under siege. When I approached him, He (RA) said: Welcome. I saw the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) in a dream in this small window in the house. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, “O ‘Uthman, have they besieged you?” I said: Yes. He (peace be upon him) said, “Have they made you thirsty?” I said: Yes. So He (peace be upon him) gave a bucket full of water. So I drank water and was satisfied. I even felt the cool between my two chests and two shoulders. He (peace be upon him) said to me, “If you wish, you will be helped against them, and if you wish, you can break your fast with us.” So I chose to have Iftar with him.

Ibn ‘Umar (RA) said: Surely Uthman (RA) said to the people in the morning, ‘I saw the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) in a dream.’ So he (peace be upon him) said, “O Uthman, break your fast with us.” As a result, Uthman (RA) had become a fasting person in the morning and was killed that day. [Al Bidaya Wan Nihaya, volume 7, page 182]

Ali bin Abu Talib (RA) realized that Uthman’s opponents would kill him, He sternly instructed his two sons, Hasan (RA) and Husain (RA), to guard Uthman (RA). Also, Talha (RA), Zubayr (RA), and some of the Prophet’s companions sent their sons with the same instructions to guard ‘Uthman (RA). They guarded Uthman (RA) strongly.

Attacking and Killing on Uthman ibn Affan (RA.)

One day his rebels resorted to the tactics. They realized the situation and the opportunity and entered the house of ‘Uthman ibn Affan (R) silently. In this regard, Abdur Rahman bin Muhammad bin Abd (Rh) said:

Muhammad bin Abu Bakr entered ‘Uthman’s house through the wall of Amr bin Hazm’s house. Qinanah bin Bishar, Sudan al-Muradi, and Amr bin Hamik was with Muhammad bin Abu Bakr. So they found ‘Uthman (RA) reciting the Qur’an in the Mashaf with his wife Naylah. So Muhammad bin Abu Bakr came forward and grabbed Uthman’s beard and said, “O foolish old man, may Allah humiliate you.” ‘Uthman (RA) said, “I am not a foolish old man.” Rather, I am the servant of Allah and the leader of the believers. Muhammad bin Abu Bakr said, “Mu’awiyah (RA), so-and-so did not come to help you.” Uthman (RA) said, “O nephew, let go of my beard.” What you caught, your father never caught.

Muhammad bin Abu Bakr said to Uthman ibn Affan (RA.),

“You will be intended for more difficult things than my caught.” Then he struck Uthman (RA) on the waist with an arrow. And Qinanah bin Bishar struck Uthman (RA) on the forehead with an iron rod. Sudan al-Muradi hit Uthman (RA) and reached him to murder. And Amr bin Hamik jumped on ‘Uthman (to hit him). In this situation, ‘Uthman was dying. He hit Uthman (RA) 9 times. And he said, “Three blows are for Allah and six blows are for removing the anger of my mind.” [Tarikh Al Islam of Al Zahabi, volume 3, page 131]

Uthman (RA) had kept the door of his house open. He had kept Mushaf in front of him. Then, one by one, the rebels entered the house, beat Uthman (RA) mercilessly, and martyred him.

Al-Azhari (Rh) said: that ‘Uthman was killed during the time of Asr Salah. One of ‘Uthman’s slaves attacked Qinanah bin Bishar and killed him. And Sudan al-Muradi attacked that ‘Uthman’s slave and killed him. And Abu Sa’id (Rh) said: The rebels hit ‘Uthman (RA) so much that’ Uthman’s blood fell on a verse of the Mushaf. The verse was: “Allah will be sufficient for you against them. And He is the Hearing, the Knowing.” [Surah Al-Baqarah, verse 137]

In what year was Uthman ibn Affan (RA.) killed?

Uthman (RA) was killed on Friday the 18th of Dhuʻl-Hijjah in the year 35 AH while fasting. The duration of his caliphate (ruling) was 12 years, less than 12 days. Some said less than 8 days. He was between 82 to 90 years old at the time of his death. Zubair ibn Mut’im (RA) led his Funerals Salah, some say Hakim bin Hizam (RA) led, and some say Marwan. He was buried in the Baqi cemetery next to Hassa Qawqab. Many notable Companions of the Prophet were present at his funeral Salah. For Example, Ali (RA), Talha bin Ubaidullah (RA), Zayed bin Sabet (RA), Ka’ab bin Malek (RA), and other companions. [Al Kamil fi Tareekh of Ibn e Ashir, volume 2, pages 545 – 546]

Our Dua

May Allah Ta’ala grant us the grace to rely on Allah Ta’ala all time, to be patient in adversity situations, and to seek the welfare of others. And may Allah grant us Tawfiq to follow the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) properly.  Ameen.


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