Uthman bin Affan, may Allah SWT be pleased with him

Dear brothers and sisters, it is from Allah’s mercy and blessings that we were sent a Prophet from amongst ourselves, to come with the message of his Lord, to advice his people to all that is good and warn them against all that is evil. The Prophet SAWS did this to the upmost standard,  advising and helping as many as he good, and warning as many as he could.

Alongside him, Allah SWT has chosen certain companions to be with him, and these are the best of this nation that were chosen to be with Him, therefore they had the best teacher to spend their life with, to be able to see Him, hear his words, and that’s a blessing that was chosen for them.

Today we talk about one of these people, and one of the Khalifas – Uthman bin Affan, may Allah be pleased with him,  who has achieved a great status within this nation, to be labelled as the third best Companion, and this is without any doubt, as this was heard by the Prophet peace and blessings be upon him and He did not dispute it.

Uthman accepted Islam easily partly because of the dreamlike vision he had experienced whilst on a journey home from Syria. While trying to fall asleep Uthman had heard a voice calling out, “O sleepers arise because Ahmad has emerged in Mecca” it said. Until his return he had heard nothing about the new religion. Uthman contacted Abu Bakr who told him that he had taken an oath of allegiance to Prophet Muhammad and had accepted the new religion. He then took Uthman to see Prophet Muhammad. Uthman listened to the account of Prophet Muhammad’s experiences and the circumstances under which his prophethood was revealed. He accepted Islam after this.

It is said that the 100th ayat of Sura At-Tawbah applies to people such as Uthman. It’s translated to say:

And the first forerunners [in the faith] among the Muhajireen and the Ansar and those who followed them with good conduct – Allah is pleased with them and they are pleased with Him, and He has prepared for them gardens beneath which rivers flow, wherein they will abide forever. That is the great attainment.

The acceptance of Islam by Uthman led to a violent reaction within his own family. Uthman’s father was dead but his uncle took it upon himself to try to restrain Uthman. He bound his arms and legs and locked him in a cupboard. Both his mother and uncle wanted him to recant his conversion to Islam but he refused. His reserve was strong and eventually they had to release him.

Uthman also faced tough choices in his marriage. His wives refused to accept Islam and although he tried to convince them of the beauty of Islam eventually he had to divorce them. Uthman was there at the birth of Islam and over 1400 years ago he was facing the same dilemmas that some new converts face today.

His extended family was violently opposed to his choices; his close family refused to accept the changes in him and his lifestyle was severely disrupted. Uthman faced many challenges and was confronted with trials and tribulations seemingly designed to test his faith and conviction. He remained steadfast and accepted that God would replace his once contented life style with something better.

Dear brothers and sisters, within this there is a lesson for us in patience, imaan and conviction towards doing what is right by Allah SWT above all else.

Prophet Muhammad SAWS was impressed with Uthman’s conviction in the face of so much opposition. He rewarded Uthman’s faith by allowing him to marry his daughter Ruqayah. He then decided to send a small group of new Muslims to Abyssinia for their own protection.

Uthman and his new wife Ruqayah were among the group of 12 men and four women who made the first migration to Abyssinia. The King of Abyssinia was known to be a just man and as a result, Muslims lived easily under his patronage for approximately 12 months.

When Uthman and the other migrants journeyed from Abyssinia to Medina, Uthman earned the nick name ‘the assistant’ because of the time he spent with Prophet Muhammad helping him to establish the new Muslim nation. It is said that he gave freely from his wealth and that every Friday Uthman would buy slaves for the purpose of setting them free.

Dear brothers and sisters, from this we can gain lessons in generosity and humbleness. We can also see how important it is to give consistently to charity in both money and time and that it shouldn’t just be reserved for the month of Ramadan.

Uthman was elected as the third caliph of Islam.

Uthman was elected as the third caliph of Islam. During his leadership, the characteristics of justice, humanity and striving in the cause of Allah SWT continued. He was deeply attached to the Quran and so, during his time, he standardised the written text from which all copies of the Quran exist today.

His rule lasted twelve years after which time he was martyred by the enemies of Islam. Accounts show that he was found reciting the Quran when he was ambushed in his home as he kept steadfast to the Quran even when he knew that the enemies were close.

Dear brothers and sisters, Uthman Ibn Affan was a witness at the birth of Islam. He is a role model for those who convert to Islam today because of his actions and steadfastness in the face of constant harassment. He is a role model in how to keep patience, to keep the heart soft and how to keep the Quran as a constant companion in this life. And finally, his generosity is a lesson for us all to keep giving in the name of Allah SWT as this is a trait befitting Muslims and led from the onset by the greatest heroes of Islam.

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