Men of Excellence: Hazrat Uthman Ibn Affan (ra)
After reciting Tashahhud, Ta‘awwuz and Surah al-Fatihah, His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad(aba) said that he would continue highlighting incidents from the life of Hazrat Uthman(ra) and the battles in which he took part.
The Battle of Badr
His Holiness(aba) said that Hazrat Uthman(ra) was unable to physically take part in the Battle of Badr as his wife Hazrat Ruqayyah(ra) was ill. Thus he was instructed by the Holy Prophet(sa) to remain behind and care for her. Later, the Holy Prophet(sa) included him in the distribution of the spoils of war, and so he was able to be a part in this way.
The Battle of Ghatafan
His Holiness(aba) said that when the Holy Prophet(sa) set out towards Ghatafan, he appointed Hazrat Uthman(ra) as his deputy in Madinah, and thus Hazrat Uthman(ra) did not physically take part in the Battle of Ghatafan either. His Holiness(aba) related the background of this battle, and how some tribes of the Banu Ghatafan had intended to attack Madinah. The Holy Prophet(sa) learned of their plans, and so in order to neutralise the threat, the Holy Prophet(sa) set out with an army towards the Banu Ghatafan. Upon learning of the Holy Prophet’s (sa) arrival, the various tribes ran towards the mountains where they hid. Though a battle would not ensue, the threat of an attack on Madinah was neutralised.
Incident During the Battle of Uhud
His Holiness(aba) said that Hazrat Uthman(ra) took part in the Battle of Uhud. His Holiness(aba) said that during the battle, there were some Muslims who, upon hearing the false news that the Holy Prophet(sa) had been martyred, and after the surprise attack levelled by Abu Sufyan and his troops, they left the battlefield. It is recorded that Hazrat Uthman(ra) was among those who left the battlefield. His Holiness(aba) quoted the following verse of the Holy Qur’an regarding those who fled:
‘Those of you who turned their backs on the day when the two hosts met, surely it was Satan who sought to make them slip because of certain doings of theirs. But certainly Allah has already pardoned them. Verily, Allah is Most Forgiving, Forbearing.’ (3:156)
His Holiness(aba) related some incidents from the Battle of Uhud, explaining how the Quraish had spread the false news that the Holy Prophet(sa) had been martyred at their hands. Upon hearing this and becoming completely disheartened, there were some companions, albeit relatively small in number, who left the battlefield and went back towards Madinah. However on account of their sincerity, God Almighty mentioned in the Holy Qur’an that they were forgiven. There was another group of companions, who upon hearing this false news did not return to Madinah but due to the grave sadness of this news became disheartened and moved to one side of the battlefield. There was a third group who, despite hearing this news, continued fighting. Later on however, as soon as those of the first two groups heard that the Holy Prophet(sa) was indeed still alive, they immediately returned to the battlefield. It is recorded that Hazrat Uthman(ra) was part of the second group who did not return to Madinah, but moved to one side of the battlefield.
The Treaty of Hudaibiyah
His Holiness(aba) then mentioned incidents of Hazrat Uthman(ra) in relation to the Treaty of Hudaibiyah. His Holiness(aba) explained that the Holy Prophet(sa) had seen a dream in which he was circling the Ka‘bah, and so he took it to mean that he should set out along with his companions for Umrah (the lesser pilgrimage). It was the month of Dhul-Qa‘dah, one of the sacred months in which fighting was prohibited, thus the Holy Prophet(sa) instructed his companions that their swords should remain in their sheaths. And so the Holy Prophet(sa) set out towards Makkah with over fourteen hundred companions.
Along the way, the Holy Prophet(sa) stopped at Dhul-Hulaifah where he and the companions assumed the Ihram and the Holy Prophet(sa) also sent a companion towards Makkah, to obtain information and ensure that the Makkans were not up to any mischief. This companion came back bearing information that the Makkans had every intention to stop the Muslims and were even ready to battle. They had even sent out a group to catch the Muslims along their way. Thus, the Holy Prophet(sa) instructed that they should not take the known route towards Makkah but a different route in order to avoid any sort of clash.
Then, the Holy Prophet(sa) and his companions stopped by the valley of Hudaibiyah. Here, a Makkan informed the Holy Prophet(sa) that the chieftains would never allow him to enter Makkah and would surely fight against him. The Holy Prophet(sa) said that he had no intention of fighting with them, but was even willing to form a pact with them. He gave a heartfelt speech which greatly moved the Makkan man named Budail, who said that he would inform and try to convince the Makkan chieftains. The chieftains were convinced to agree to this proposition by a chieftain by the name of Urwah bin Mas‘ud, who went to the Holy Prophet(sa) on behalf of the Makkans.
Upon returning to Makkah, Urwah said that he had visited many kings and leaders, but he had never seen anyone be honoured and respected, as much as the companions of the Holy Prophet(sa) honoured and respected him.
Then, the Quraish sent representatives to the Holy Prophet(sa) in order to negotiate a deal. The Holy Prophet(sa) also decided that a Muslim representative should also be sent to Makkah, so that he could also explain to them the Muslim viewpoint on the matter and better explain their stance to them. However, while he was on route, his camel was attacked and injured, and though the Makkans wished to attack him as well, they left him and made him return back to the Muslim camp.
The Quraish then decided to send some troops to encircle the Muslim camp in secret, and upon finding an opportunity, to attack the Muslims. However, the Holy Prophet(sa) came to learn of this plot, and despite them having done so in a sacred month, the Holy Prophet(sa) forgave them. His Holiness(aba) said that from these incidents, one is able to see the extreme level of patience displayed by the Holy Prophet(sa) and his undying desire to establish peace.
The Holy Prophet(sa) was not discouraged by all these events, and decided that an influential person who was originally from the Makkans should be sent in order to try to help the Makkans understand the true intentions of the Muslims. Thus, Hazrat Uthman(ra) was sent to Makkah on behalf of the Muslims, along with a message from the Holy Prophet(sa) addressed to the Makkans. When Hazrat Uthman(ra) went, he met with the Makkans and relayed the message of the Holy Prophet(sa) to them. However, the Makkans remained stubborn and said that they would not allow the Muslims to enter, however they said that they would allow Hazrat Uthman(ra) to circle the Ka‘bah. Hazrat Uthman(ra) said how could he do this, when the Holy Prophet(sa) was being stopped from entering Makkah. Thus, Hazrat Uthman(ra) began making preparations to return to the Muslim camp, however the Makkans stopped him from leaving.
Upon this, the false news spread that Hazrat Uthman(ra) had been martyred. After hearing this, the Holy Prophet(sa) gathered all the companions and took an oath from them, that now they would advance forth and would never turn back, even if it meant giving up their lives. The Holy Prophet(sa) extended his hand and the companions placed their hands over his. Then, the Holy Prophet(sa) placed his other hand over theirs, and said that this represented Hazrat Uthman’s(ra) hand, for if he had been present, he would surely have taken part in this oath. This oath is known as Bai‘at-e-Ridwan. It has also been mentioned in the Holy Qur’an:
‘Surely, Allah was well pleased with the believers when they were swearing allegiance to thee under the Tree, and He knew what was in their hearts, and He sent down tranquillity on them, and He rewarded them with a victory near at hand.’ (48:19)
Upon hearing of this oath, the Makkans became fearful, and immediately said that a treaty should be made, however the Muslims should not be allowed to enter until the following year; and thus they sent Suhail bin Amr to the Holy Prophet(sa) in order to finalise the terms of a treaty. Thus, a treaty was formed, which is known as the Treaty of Hudaibiyah.
His Holiness(aba) said that he would continue highlighting incidents from the life of Hazrat Uthman(ra) in the future.
An Appeal for Prayers
His Holiness(aba) again drew the Community’s attention towards prayer especially for the conditions prevailing in Pakistan, where Ahmadis are not even safe within the walls of their own homes. The police are under the influence of the maulvis (clerics). His Holiness(aba) said that there are some well-natured policemen who say that they are compelled to act in such a manner as they have been instructed to by their superiors. His Holiness(aba) prayed that may the Ahmadis be kept safe from such people and enable them to live with ease. His Holiness(aba) said that God-willing, if we continue to pray, then we will soon see the unfortunate fate of these people. His Holiness(aba) prayed that may we have the ability to continue our prayers in this regard.
Summary prepared by The Review of Religions.