A Short Biography of Hazrat Usman Ghani (R.A)
Hazrat Usman (R.A) was born in 573 A.D in a highly reputed family of “Umayyah” belonging to the tribe of Qureysh in Makkah. Banu Umayyah enjoyed a great status among Qureyshi people as they had the responsibility of keeping the Flag of the whole clan. His father was “Affan bin Abul-As” and his mother was known as “Arwa”. His complete name was “Usman ibn Affan”. His familial history also matched with that of the Holy Prophet ﷺ.
Hazrat Usman (R.A) was one of the few inhabitants of Makkah who could both read and write besides Hazrat Umar (R.A). He started dealing in the business of cloth in his youth, which earned him a lot of wealth. He was greatly respected for his kind nature among the Makkans, as he used to help the poor and remove their troubles. That and later services to Islam in the form of spending his capital earned him the title of “Al-Ghani” (the Generous One). He was also well known for his truthfulness and honesty.
Acceptance of Islam
Hazrat Abu Bakr (R.A) and he were close friends from the start. When the former told him about the Prophet Hood of Hazrat Muhammad ﷺ, he readily believed in it. This was because of his great insight of matters and clear conscious. At that time, the relationships between Banu Hashim and Banu Umayyah had worsened, and when Hazrat Usman (R.A) accepted Islam, his own family and Qureyshi natives who loved him, started to hate him. But he did not care about himself, and stood firm on his decision.
Marrying Ruqayya (R.A) – the Daughter of Prophet PBUH
After the preaching of Allah`s Message, the daughter of Rasulullah ﷺ, Ruqayya (R.A), who was married to Abu Lahb`s (a strict enemy of Islam) son Utbah at that time, was forcefully divorced. Then, Hazrat Usman (R.A) married her, which got him great honor of being the Son in Law of the Messenger ﷺ of God.
Emigration from Makkah to Abyssinia
Soon after Hazrat Usman (R.A) made his firm belief in the Prophet Hood of Hazrat Muhammad ﷺ as public, he was not only detested by the disbelievers, but also was subjected to torture and physical sufferings. Therefore, he asked the permission of the Holy Prophet ﷺ of leaving Makkah, which was approved. Then, he and his wife along with some other Muslims migrated to Abyssinia and became the very first Muhajireen (leaving hometown for sake of Allah) in the history of Islam. That stay did not last long, as he came back to Makkah after short period of just two months when he was wrongly informed about Qureysh`s acceptance of the Religion of Peace.
Getting the title of “Dhun-Nurain”
During the battle of “Badr”, Ruqayya (R.A) got seriously ill, which lead to Hazrat Usman`s (R.A) exclusion from this Ghazwa (clash in which the Prophet ﷺ participated Himself). He remained in Madina to take care of her wife, who could not live longer and died. This gave him a great grief as was no longer the Son in Law of Rasulullah ﷺ. Upon this, the Apostle ﷺ of God married His other Daughter, Umm Kulthum (R.A) to Hazrat Usman (R.A). Thus He got the title of “Dhun-Nurain” (the possessor of the two lights) by having the great respect of marrying two of the daughters of the Holy Prophet ﷺ.
Great Services to Islam
Hazrat Usman (R.A) committed his entire life in the way of Allah and His Messenger ﷺ that is why he accepted Islam in the times when his family was in command of Qureysh, yet he chose the Right Path opposed to their wishes.
He served the Religion of Peace in many ways such as:
1. Participated in nearly every battle against disbelievers along with Rasulullah ﷺ except in Badr.
2. Bought a well named “bi’r-i-Rumah” from a Madinan Jew for 20,000 Dirhams and made it free to use for Muhajireen e Makkah, who had no water to drink at that time.
3. Also purchased a portion of land in order to increase the capacity of Masjid e Nabawi.
4. He was a Leading Person in “Sulah e Hudaibiya” (the Peace Treaty of Hudaibiya) in the 6th year of Migration. When false news came out that he was martyred by Makkans, the Holy Prophet ﷺ took an oath to take Usman Ghani`s (R.A) revenge. Such was his great rank near the Messenger ﷺ of Allah that He (PBUH) considered His left hand as that of Usman`s (R.A) and combined it with His right hand and took a promise known as known as“Bai’at al-Ridwan” (the Pledge of Ridwan) in front of remaining companions.
5. Helped in strengthening of the Muslim Army at the expedition of Tabuk by giving gold coins, horses and camels, which earned him the great respect of the Holy Prophet ﷺ, Who said:
“From this day on nothing will harm ‘Uthman regardless of what he does.” (Tirmidhi)
It means Rasulullah ﷺ had declared Hazrat Usman (R.A) as one the upright Muslims because of his selflessness and great service to Islam.
Being Third Caliphate in the History of Islam
At the time of death of Hazrat Umar (R.A), the second Caliph of Muslims, he appointed a committee of 6 of the most blessed companions of the Holy Prophet ﷺ and gave them task of selecting 3rd Caliph after him. Eventually, Hazrat Umar (R.A) was chosen as the next Ameer (the leader) of the followers of Islam.
Some of the milestones that he achieved during his reign are:
1. Continuation of the tradition of Hazrat Umar (R.A) and expanding the Islamic state to far off non Arab countries.
2. Formation of Naval Muslim forces leading to more effective outreach to distant regions of the world.
3. Winning an emphatic naval battle against Byzantine Empire consisting of 500 ships.
4. Ultimate glorification of Islamic State through victories over Byzantine and Roman realms and capturing the North African territories.
Throughout his time in power, he kept his tradition of kindness and generosity to fellow Muslims and never raised a war against own people despite stubborn and unjust opposition of a few group of so called Muslims.
Compilation of the complete Holy Quran
At the time of Hazrat Abu Bakr (R.A), Furqan e Hameed was assembled together in written form and was kept with His daughter Hasfa (R.A), the spouse of the Holy Prophet ﷺ. But due to expansion of the Islamic state to other corners of the words, it was felt by Hazrat Usman (R.A) noticed differences in the recitation of the Holy Quran. So, he directed Hazrat Zaid bin Saabit (R.A) to make multiple copies of the same Quran he had written in the time of Hazrat Abu Bakr (R.A) to help save the Quranic text from any possible editions and bring people to common way of recital process. For this, he is known as “Jami’ul-Qur’an” (The compiler of the Qur’an).
The Martyrdom of Hazrat Usman (R.A)
Despite of apparent conspiracies against his Caliphate, Hazrat Usman (R.A) kept on believing in the notion that he should never use force against Muslims. He always remained kind hearted to his opponents and thought of convincing them with reason than using strength. Due to their hate for Usman (R.A), one day they entered his house when he (R.A) was reading the Holy Quran. They brutally martyred him in his house. In this way, Hazrat Usman (R.A) was assassinated on Friday, 17th of Dhul Hijjah, 35 A.H when he was 84 years old.
Ibn Umar (R.A) reported that Allah’s Messenger ﷺ mentioned a fitnah (trial) by saying:
“This innocent one will be killed in that, reffering to Uthman bin Affan.” (Tirimdhi)
Prophet`s PBUH Promise of Jannah to Usman R.A
Hazrat Usman (R.A) was among the very few most rightful companions of the Apostle ﷺ of God, who were congratulated of being awarded paradise by Allah SWT even in their lives. Narrated by Abu Musa (R.A):
While I was with the Prophet in one of the gardens of Medina, a man came and asked me to open the gate. The Prophet said to me, “Open the gate for him and give him the glad tidings that he will enter Paradise.” I opened (the gate) for him, and behold! It was Abu Bakr. I informed him of the glad tidings the Prophet had said, and he praised Allah. Then another man came and asked me to open the gate. The Prophet said to me “Open (the gate) and give him the glad tidings of entering Paradise.” I opened (the gate) for him, and behold! It was ‘Umar. I informed him of what the Prophet had said, and he praised Allah. Then another man came and asked me to open the gate. The Prophet said to me. “Open (the gate) for him and inform him of the glad tidings, of entering Paradise with a calamity which will befall him.” Behold! It was ‘Uthman, I informed him of what Allah’s Apostle had said. He praised Allah and said, “I seek Allah’s Aid.” (Bukhari)
It means Rasulullah ﷺ had already given the great news of Jannah to His finest escorts including Hazrat Usman Ghani (R.A) because of their highly revered personalities and services to the Religion of Islam.
So, to conclude, Hazrat Usman (R.A) was highly kind, generous and affectionate Muslim, who always helped the needy people. He was very close to the Holy Prophet ﷺ throughout his life and was among very few of His rightful companions.