The Life of Imam Al-hasan Al-mujtaba
Chapter Vii : At the Time of Uthman
We receive al-Hasan at the time of Uthman, while he was in the vigor and prime of youth. He was over twenty years old. This age allows one to plunge into the battle of life and give an opinion of the social side. During this age, Imam al-Hasan entered, as it was said, the field of jihad, which is one of the doors to the Garden. He joined the Mujahideen whose standards headed for Africa to conquer it in the year 26 A. H.[^1] Through al-Hasan, the grandson of Allah’s Apostle (a.s), the Mujahideen remembered the personality of his grandfather. So they showed extreme courage and Allah made Africa be conquered at their hands. When the battle ended, al-Hasan (a.s) headed for the capital of his grandfather (a.s). He was victorious and happy at the expansion of Islam and spread of the religion of his grandfather. In the year 30 A. H. the Muslim armies carried the standards of victory and headed for Tabaristan.
Al-Hasan joined them.[^2] Because of his blessing, Allah made them conquer it and made the standard of Islam flutter over it. For the public interest and serving the religion, which are the best of all the other considerations, Imam al-Hasan (a.s) entered the fields of jihad and struggle, and paid no attention to displeasure he had hidden in his soul due to losing his father’s right (of
[^1] Ibn Khaldun, al-‘Ibar, vol. 2, pp. 128-129. It has been mentioned in it: “Uthman sent an army to conquer Africa in the year 25 A. H. The commanders of the army were Abdullah bin Nafi‘ and Aqaba bin Nafi‘ bin ‘Abd al-Qays. The army went to Africa. Its number was ten thousand (fighters). When the army arrived in it, it was unable to conquer it. So it made peace with its inhabitants provided that they should pay money. Then Abdullah bin Abi Sarh, Uthman’s foster brother, asked Uthman to conquer Africa and to supply him with an army. So Uthman consulted the companions (of the Prophet), and most of them encouraged him to do that. As a result Uthman supplied him with an army from Medina. Among the army were Ibn Abbas, Ibn al-Aas, Ibn Ja‘far, al-Hasan, and al-Husayn. They headed for Africa and conquered it in the year 26 A. H. The author of al-Futuhat al-Islamiya has not mentioned that al-Hasan and al-Husayn joined the army.
[^2] Tarikh al-Umam wa al-Muluk, vol. 5, pp. 57-58. Al-‘Ibar, vol. 2, p. 134. Al-Futuhat al-Islamiya, vol. 1, p. 175. In all these books it has been mentioned: “Sa‘eed bin al-‘Aas conquered Tabaristan in the year 30 A. H. Al-Asbahad made peace with Suwayd bin Miqren provided that he should give him money during the days of Umar bin al-Khattab. When Uthman became a caliph, he prepared an army and sent it towards them. Sa‘eed bin al-‘Aas was the commander of the army. Al-Hasan, al-Husayn, Abdullah bin Abbas, and the like joined the army. When they arrived in it, they conquered it.” In his book Muhadharat al-Arba‘a, al-Raghib al-Asfahani has said: “Al-Asbaheed is the owner of the mountain (sahib al-jabal); and it is the correctness, not al-Asbahad.”
authority). This is a wonderful lesson the political parties standing in the country must use to refrain from party fanaticism and to take care of the interests of the country and society.
Uthman ruled the country for some years, but his policy was very far from the Sunna of Allah’s Apostle (a.s); likewise, it was very far from the sunna of the two Sheikhs (Abu Bakr and Umar). Moreover it was very far away from the essence of that time, for it did not agree with the religious and social sides; for this reason it failed and was deserted. The reason for that is that the Caliph Uthman was unable to manage the affairs of the community and the government. He had a weak willpower in all his acts. Emerson is truthful when he says: “Most surely, willpower is the secret of success, and the success is the goal of existence. That is because willpower has immortalized the names of Napoleon, Krant, Alexander, and the like from among the men of history. Many men of history are famous for bravery, experience, and cleverness, but their desertion resulted from their hesitation and their weak willpower. It is impossible for us to enter the battle of life and hope for victory without having a willpower.”[^1]
Willpower has a perfect effect on forming person and his immortality in life. It is impossible for the weak, helpless person to achieve any goal for the community or to build its entity. Islam has taken great care of removing the weak-willed person from leading the community and preventing him from practicing the government. For such a person subjects the country to dangers, brings about to it hardships and misfortunes, takes away the prestige and morale of the government, encourages those powerful to mutiny against him and to disobey him.
Most surely, Uthman had no willpower to a far extent. He had no power to face the events, nor had he an ability to overcome them. As a result he entrusted the affairs of the government to Marwan, and he acted freely. On the authority of his Sheikhs, Ibn Abi al-Haddeed has narrated that the real caliph was Marwan, and that Uthman had nothing except the name of the caliph.
Anyway, it is necessary for us to explain Uthman’s story and to understand its reality, for there is a close connection between it and our research. Some historians claim that Imam al-Hasan (a.s) was Uthmani in inclination, defended him on the day of the house, showed severe sadness for him after his murder, and criticized his father because he did not help and protect him. [^1] Emerson, Willpower.
Dr. Taha Husayn has inclined to this viewpoint and sent it to readers as an axiomatic without pondering on it. We cannot understand the reality of this viewpoint unless we come to know Uthman’s policy and behavior. It, and nothing else, will show us the falsehood of these affairs and their disagreement with the reality of Imam al-Hasan (a.s) who carried the guidance of his grandfather, Allah’s Apostle (a.s).
Before we speak about Uthman’s policy, we would like to explain that we, in many of our researches, do no agree with Dr. Taha Husayn, for he tried to justify Uthman’s actions and deem him far above the accusations fastened on him through some ways far and void of scientific research. In the introduction to his research, he has disowned all kinds of inclination and tribal fanaticism. He has indicated that he is not a follower of Uthman, nor is he a follower of Ali; rather, through his researches he tries to be loyal to reality as far as possible.[^1] However, he has not conformed to his promise. He has set out to cling to some weak ways in order to correct the mistakes of Uthman’s policy, which, throughout its stages, did not keep abreast with Allah’s Book, the Sunna of His Prophet, and the Sunna of the two Sheikhs. Accordingly, the good and righteous Muslims bore a grudge against him, and the Muslim regions revolted against him. The Muslim masses surrounded him. They demanded him to be moderate in his policy and follow the clear, white way. However, he did not respond to them, so they killed him. The community was unhappy during the period of his government and was liable to a trial after his death.
It is incumbent on us to ponder on these events carefully and honestly and to explain their results, for there is a close connection between them and our religious life. We have no right to find an excuse to any person when his practices oppose the Islamic teachings, principles, and precepts. We mention to readers some of the criticisms facing Uthman’s policy:
His Pardoning Ubaydillah
Uthman received the caliphate with pardoning Ubaydillah bin Umar, who took vengeance on those who killed his father. For no reason, he killed al-Hurmuzan, Jufayna, and the daughter of Abu Lu’lu’a. He intended to kill all the captives in Medina. However, Sa’d bin Abi Waqqas went to him, said soft words to him, overcame him, and took the sword from him. Ubaydillah was thrown into prison until Uthman decided his case. When Uthman became a caliph, he went up on the pulpit and told the Muslims about Ubaydillah’s [^1] Dr. Taha Husayn, al-Fitnatu al-Kubra, vol. 1, 5.
case. He said to them: “It was a decree of Allah that Ubaydillah bin Umar killed al-Hurmuzan. Al-Hurmuzan is among the Muslims. He has no inheritor except the Muslims in general. I am your Imam. I have pardoned him; therefore, will you pardon him?” Some people expressed their satisfaction and acknowledged the pardon. However Imam Ali (a.s) criticized Uthman and was dissatisfied with his decision. He said to him: “Punish the sinner (Ubaydillah bin Umar), for he has committed a great crime! He has killed a Muslim for no reason!”
The Imam said to Ubaydillah: “O Sinner, if I won a victory over you, I would kill you for al-Hurmuzan.”[^1] Al-Miqdad bin Umar said to Uthman: “Most surely al-Hurmuzan is a follower of Allah and His Apostle, so you have no right to grant that which belongs to Allah and his Apostle!”[^2]
The honest, righteous Muslims were not satisfied with such a kind of pardon. They regarded it as a kind of aggression against Islam and a violation to its bounds. Accordingly, when Ziyad bin Labeed met Ubaydillah, he said to him: O Ubaydillah, neither escape nor refuge nor guard will protect you from Ibn Arwa. You have shed blood unlawfully. The murder of al-Hurmuzan has a danger.
For nothing (you have killed him). However a sayer has said: “Have you accused al-Hurmuzan (of killing) Umar?” So a fool has said, and the events are numerous. Yes I accuse him (of that). He has advised and commanded. The slave’s weapon was inside his house, and the affair is considered through an affair. Ubaydillah complained to Uthman of Ziyad. So Uthman summoned Ziyad and prevented him from that. However, he did not refrain from that; rather, he went on criticizing Uthman, saying:
O Abu Amr, Ubaydillah is hostage to the murder of al-Hurmuzan; therefore, you must have no doubt (about that). For you have pardoned him; the reasons for the mistake are two racehorses. You have no right to pardon. Uthman became angry with Ziyad and rebuked him until he refrained from criticizing him.[^3] He commanded Ubaydillah to leave Medina for Kufa. He
[^1] Al-Baladhiri, al-Ansab, vol. 5, p. 24. [^2] Al-Ya‘qubi, Tarikh, vol. 2, p. 141. [^3] Al-Tabari, Tarikh, vol. 5, p. 41.
gave him a house there. The place was ascribed to Ubaydillah and was given the name of Kuwayfa bin Umar. Al-Tabari has narrated: “Uthman consulted the companions (of the Prophet) in respect of the affair of Ubaydillah, and they advised him to pardon him. They said to him: ‘Umar was killed yesterday; and his son is killed today?’ Some of them advised him to kill him. Among them was Imam Ali (a.s). However Amr bin al-Aas said to him: ‘Most surely, Allah has exempted you from the event that happens while you have an authority over the Muslims. This event had taken place when you had no authority.’ As a result, Uthman responded to his viewpoint. That was when he said: ‘I am a ruler over them. I have decided that the punishment should be a blood money, and I will pay it from my own wealth.’”[^1]
This procedure faces the following criticisms:
Islam has required rulers to administer the prescribed punishments, not to show tolerance and leniency in respect of them, that regulations may be kept, and souls may be protected from aggressions. The ruler has no right to show tolerance and leniency toward an aggressor irrespective of his high social position. The Prophet (a.s) declared that and applied it to real life. He was asked to pardon a female thief due to the nobility of her family, and he replied: “Those before you perished because they punished the weak when they stole and left the noble. By Allah, if Fatima, Muhammad’s daughter, stole, I would cut off her hand.”[^2]
He (a.s) flogged those who told lies (ashab al-ifk). Among them was Satih bin Athatha, who took part in the Battle of Badr.[^3] This is required by Islamic justice, which makes no difference between the white and the black, the weak and the powerful, the head and the subjects. They are equal before the law. However, Uthman turned away from that. He opposed what justice required. He did not punish Ubaydillah, for he was Umar’s son and from Quraysh. He preferred to please al-Khattab’s family and Quraysh through pardoning him and he sent him far from Kufa and gave him a house to live in. Through that he opened a door to chaos and corruption and empowered the influential to punish the weak who had no authority to resort to.
The public interest required killing Ubaydillah bin Umar, and not pardoning him, for if Uthman had killed him, he would have put an end to corruption and murder, and no influential would have committed such a
[^1] Al-Tabari, Tarikh, vol. 5, p. 41. [^2] Al-Nizam al-Siyasi fi al-Islam, p. 227, quoted from al-Kharajj, p. 50, by Abu Yousif. [^3] Usd al-Ghaba.
crime. The Caliph’s son killed al-Hurmuzan; however, Uthman paid no attention to the public interest and responded to his personal purposes, which opposed the community’s interest.
The Imam’s authority is established when he comes to know that the killed one has no inheritor. As for al-Hurmuzan, he belonged to Persia. Therefore, Uthman had to look for his inheritors. When he had come to know that al-Hurmuzan had no inheritors, his authority would have been established. However, he did not do that; rather he claimed that he was his inheritor and ruler.
The ruler has no right to pardon someone out of giving blood money; rather he has the right to make reconciliation for it. Al-Hanafi says: “Most surely the Imam has the right to make conciliation for blood money, but he has no right to pardon, for the punishment is the right of Muslims due to the fact that his (the killed one) inheritance belongs to them. The Imam represents them in administering the prescribed punishments. Pardon means canceling their right completely. This is impossible. For this reason father and grandfather do not have it (pardon) though they have (the right) to administer a full punishment on the criminal. The Imam has the right to make conciliation for blood money.”[^1] According to the Hanafite religious verdict, Uthman had no right to pardon Ubaydillah bin Umar for blood money. This paradox is recorded against Uthman according to that some of them narrated that he pardoned him for blood money. Uthman faces these criticisms because he pardoned Ubaydillah, and did not kill him.
Taha Husayn’s Defense
Dr. Taha Husayn tried to justify Uthman’s actions and did not hold him responsible for them. His excuse has no scientific nature. We will mention to readers the places of his defense:
- Uthman did not want to start his caliphate with killing the Qurashi boy, who was Umar’s son. He did not want to shed the blood of a Muslim and two dhimmis (non-Muslim citizen). He preferred wellbeing. From his own wealth he paid the blood money to the Public Treasury of Muslims and spared Ubaydillah bin Umar’s blood. His deciding the case in such a way was a wise policy if the people considered the case through a pure political consideration.[^2]
[^1] Badayi’ al-Sanayi’, vol. 7, p. 245. [^2] Al-Fitnatu al-Kubra, vol. 1, p. 66.
Most surely if Uthman had started his caliphate with killing Ubaydillah, he would have fulfilled his covenant toward the Muslims. That was when he told them that he would follow Allah’s Book and the Sunna of His Prophet and apply the Islamic law to the real life. However he followed the political fields; so, he preferred wellbeing and neglected the religious precepts. His Eminence Imam Kashif al-Ghita’, may Allah have mercy on him, has commented on this excuse, saying: “Firstly, this excuse is among the clear mistakes, for the Islamic law had decided to shed Ubaydillah’s blood and not to spare it. Secondly, the murder was intentional, and its precept was administering the prescribed punishment, and not blood money. The first made a mistake, and the last came to justify their mistake through another mistake.”[^1]
- We return to say that Uthman had an authority over the affairs of the Muslims; and he, according to this authority, had the right to pardon. We add to that that when he pardoned Ubaydillah, he did not cancel any of the punishments prescribed by Allah, nor did he shed the blood of al-Hurmuzan and of his two friends. Rather he paid the blood money on behalf on them to the Public Treasury of the Muslims, whom only he inherited.[^2]
His Eminence, late Kashif al-Ghita’ has commented on it, saying: “This is also a mistake (which is) more cunning and bitterer, for the duty of the one who has authority over the affairs of the Muslims is to administer the punishments prescribed by Allah, and not to cancel them. As for paying blood money for releasing someone from killing without pleasing the blood heirs is regarded as arbitrariness in the Islamic laws and playing with the religion.”
- The Prophet said that there was no penalty on suspicion criterion. Perhaps Uthman repelled this prescribed punishment from Ubaydillah out of the suspicion that resulted from his anger for his father and his rushing due to his unruly desire. And Allah has made Muslims like pardon when they are able (to pardon) and rewarded them good for it.
This is among the horrible mistakes, for it is not right to repel the prescribed punishments out of anger; otherwise, it is incumbent to repel the prescribed punishments from all killers according to justice, for, most times, killing results from anger and unruly excitement. The rule of no penalty on suspicion
[^1] Imam Kashif al-Ghita’s important commentary on al-Fitnatu al-Kubra is a hand written book available at al-‘Amira Library. Taha Husayn’s defense and Kashif al-Ghita’s commentary are based on al-Tabari’s narration, which says that Uthman paid the blood money from his own wealth and did not pardon ‘Ubayd Allah.
[^2] Al-Fitnatu al-Kubra, vol. 1, p. 67.
criterion is not applied to the case we have discussed, for it has special sources, and this source is not of its proofs. If anger was a reason for canceling killing, then Uthman would use it as an excuse and defend himself through it when Imam Ali (a.s) and the like of him, criticized him. Therefore, is Dr. Taha Husayn more knowledgeable than Uthman in the meanings of the sunna?
Most surely Dr. Taha Husayn’s defense is void of inquiry and has not legislative quality. Such a defense cannot justify Uthman’s procedure and send far the responsibility from him. Anyway Uthman pardoned Ubaydillah in order that he might please the hearts of al-Khattab’s family and Quraysh, and not to take the community’s interest into consideration.
His Fiscal Policy
Islam has taken severe precautions in respect of the state’s wealth. It has made it obligatory on rulers and governors to spend it on public interests, reforming life, combating poverty, helping the weak, spending on the helpless such as widows and orphans. The rulers and the governors have no right to save anything of the public wealth for themselves, nor have they the right to choose anything of it for their children. That is because it is not their own, nor it is their property, that they may spend it wherever they wish. Imam Ali (a.s) said to Abdullah bin Zam‘a when he asked him for money during his caliphate: “This wealth does not belong to me and you; rather it is the Fay’ of Muslims and earning of their swords. If you shared them at a battle, then you would have the like of their share; otherwise, the earning of their hands will be for nothing other than their mouths.”[^1]
Imam Ali (a.s) wrote to Qatham bin al-Abbas, his governor over Mecca: “Reflect on the wealth of Allah you have gathered. Spend it on those who have families, and suffer from hunger, hitting with it the places of poverty and lacks. If something of that remains, then send it to us, that we may divide it among those we accept.”[^2]
Allah’s Apostle (a.s) says: “The men who spend Allah’s wealth without any right shall have the fire on the Resurrection Day.”[^3]
[^1] Nahj al-Balagha, vol. 1, p. 461. [^2] Ibid., vol. 2, p. 17. [^3] Saheeh al-Bukhari, vol. 5, p. 17.
This is an outline on the viewpoint of Islam in respect of money, for Islam makes it incumbent on the responsible ones to spend the state’s money on refreshing the subjects, and saving them from misery and neediness. The responsible have no right at all to employ it to buy consciences and to gift those who are not needy. However, Uthman did not apply that to all circumstances. He controlled the Central Budget and generously gave money to the Umayyads and Abu Ma’eet’s family, that he might strengthen their influence and their position in the country. So they exploited the Muslims, played with their fates, and controlled their destination. He also gave plentiful money to the prominent persons and the heads of whose side he was afraid and of whose power he was careful because of their political influence in the country. This policy led to inflating wealth and accumulating properties with a group of people who were perplexed in spending them. Of course such a policy led to spreading neediness, poverty, and misery among the people; and this affair opposes Islam, which takes great care of making society happy, spreading welfare and ease among people. We will mention some examples as proofs for what we have mentioned:
His Gifts to the Umayyads
Uthman gave the properties of the Muslims to his family and relatives, who denied and opposed Islam and battled against it. He gifted them and was kind to them. He empowered them over the Muslims. He gave them plentiful wealth to enjoy and to go too far in spending. We mention to readers some of those upon whom he spent lavishly:
Uthman gave Abu Sufyan a hundred thousand (dirhams) from the Public Treasury.[^1] He gave him this gift while he (Abu Sufyan) was the head of the polytheists at the Battle of Uhud and the Battle of al-Ahzab. He was on top of those who harbored malice against Islam. The religion did not enter his heart, nor did it remove from him the beliefs of pre-Islamic era. It was he who went to the grave of Hamza and kicked it and said: “O Abu Imara, the affairs for which we engaged in a sword fight is now at the hands of our boys; they are playing with it.” Then he happily came in to Uthman after he had become blind. He said to him: “O Allah, let the authority be similar to that was before Islam, the kingdom be ruled by the usurpers, and the projections of the earth be owned by the Umayyads.”[^2]
[^1] Sharh Nahj al-Balagha, vol. 1, p. 67. [^2] Ibn ‘Asakir, Tarikh, vol. 6, p. 407.
Therefore, is it an act of justice and fairness that the Muslims’ properties were given to such a hypocrite whose soul was full of enmity and hatred against Islam? Dose the Islamic law permit giving such wealth to such a person who did not believe in Allah at all?
Al-Harith bin al-Hakam
Uthman gave generously to al-Harith bin al-Hakam, his son-in-law on the side of his daughter A’isha. He gave him three hundred thousand dirhams.[^1] He gave him the camels of charity when they came to Medina.[^2] He gave him a market in Yathrib (Medina) named Tahruz, while the Prophet (a.s) had given the market to the Muslims as charity.[^3] Why was al-Harith worthy of such enormous properties? Did he render a service to Islam or perform a deed through which he benefited Islam, that he might be worthy of giving such wealth? It is worth mentioning that the camels of alms had to be spent on the poor and the needy. Moreover how did Uthman single out al-Harith with the alms of Allah’s Apostle (a.s) while they belonged to all the Muslims? Therefore, Uthman had no justification for giving such funds through which he disobeyed Allah and turned away from the community’s interest.
Abdullah bin Sa’d
Uthman gave his foster brother, Abdullah bin Sa’d bin Abi Sarh, all that which Allah had given to the Muslims who conquered al-Maghrib (Morocco) in Africa, which was from Tripoli to Tangier. He made none of the Muslims share him in such wealth.[^4] It is worth mentioning that al-Harith was among the prominent polytheists and one of those who denied Islam and its values. We will mention his biography in the chapters that follow to prove that. Therefore, how was it possible for Uthman to give him such enormous funds and such plentiful wealth?
Al-Hakam bin Abi al-Aas
Before we mention Uthman’s gifts to al-Hakam, we have to know his reality and some of his affairs. It may be clear that he was worthy of estrangement, be sent away and that there was at all no justification to give him the Muslims’ funds. We will mention that to readers as follows:
[^1] Ansab al-Ashraf, vol. 5, p. 52. [^2] Al-Ansab, p. 28. [^3] Sharh Nahj al-Balagha, vol. 1, p. 67. [^4] Sharh Nahj al-Balagha, vol. 1, p. 67.
His Fighting against Islam
Al-Hakam resisted propagating Islam. He urged the people to go on worshipping the idols and prevented them from embracing Islam. Marwan (bin al-Hakam) met with Huwaytib and asked him about his age, and he told him about that. However Marwan said to him: “Your Islam is late, O Sheikh, to the extent that the boys preceded you (in embracing it)!”
Huwaytib said to him: “By Allah, I intended to be a Muslim more than one time, but your father prevented me and said: ‘Do you want to leave your honor, abandon your fathers’ religions for a new religion, and be a follower?”[^1] Most surely al-Hakam and the rest of the Umayyad family resisted Islam and spared no effort to repel propagating it. But Allah repelled their scheme, supported Islam and strengthened His religion.
His Disparaging the Prophet
Al-Hakam was the bitterest enemy to Allah’s Apostle (a.s). He harbored malice against him. He went too far in hurting, disparaging, and making light of his high position. He walked behind him, slandered him, sneered at him, and moved his mouth and nose.[^2] The Prophet turned and saw him do that. He said to him: “May you be so!” Accordingly, al-Hakam was trembling and shaking until he died. Abdurrahman bin Thabit rebuked him for that. He satirized Abdurrahman bin al-Hakam, saying:
Most surely your father is cursed; therefore, throw away his bones. If you throw away, you will throw away someone who is trembling and crazy. He enters into evening small-bellied and remains big-bellied due to (his) evil deeds.[^3]
The Prophet curses him
This evil, cunning person (al-Hakam) asked the Prophet (a.s) for permission to enter his house, and he (a.s) said: “Shall I permit him? May Allah’s curse be on him and on those who will come out of his back (offspring) except the believers who will be very few; they are the possessor of cunning and deception. The world will be given to them, but they shall have no portion of the hereafter!”[^4] The Prophet (a.s) ordered Imam Ali to bring al-Hakam as a ewe was brought. He fetched him. He took him by the ear and made him stop before Allah’s Apostle (a.s). The Prophet cursed al-Hakam three times, and
[^1] Ibn Kuthayr, Tarikh, vol. 8, p. 70. [^2] Al-Ansab, vol. 5, p. 27. [^3] Al-Isti‘ab, vol. 1, p. 118. [^4] Al-Sirah al-Halabiya.
then he said to Imam Ali: “Make him stay at a place! A group of the Muhajireen and the Ansar went to him, and he summoned him again, cursed him, and said: “Most surely, this (person) will oppose Allah’s Book and the Sunna of His Prophet. Future troubles will come out of his back (offspring). Their smoke will reach the heaven.” Some people said to him: “He (al-Hakam) is too low to do that!” “Yes,” he (a.s) said, “some of you will be his followers.”[^1]
The Prophet banishes him to al-Ta’if
This dirty, wicked person (al-Hakam) distorted the traditions of Allah’s Apostle (a.s). He went too far in hurting him. So the Prophet banished him to al-Ta’if and said: “Let him not live with me in one place!”[^2] Al-Hakam and his children lived in their place of exile throughout the caliphate of the two Sheikhs (Abu Bakr and Umar). However, Uthman interceded with them for him, and they did not respond to him. Accordingly, al-Hakam and his children remained there.
His Return to Yathrib (Medina)
When Uthman became caliph, he released al-Hakam. Accordingly, al-Hakam returned to Yethrib wearing a worn out garment. He was driving a goat, and the people were looking at his worn out garments and his bad state. He came in Uthman’s house, and then he went out wearing a silk jubbah and pallium.[^3] Moreover, Uthman gave him a hundred thousand (dirhams).[^4]
His Undertaking the Endowments
Uthman appointed him over the endowments of Quda’a, which amounted three hundred thousand dirhams.[^5] He gave him this sum of money. This policy made the people displeased with him and criticize him for his lodging the one banished by Allah’s Apostle (a.s) and gave him the endowments Allah had appointed for the poor, the deprived, and the needy. Therefore, how was it permissible for Uthman to give them to such a person cursed by Allah’s Apostle (a.s)? The decision on this problem is up to readers.
[^1] Kanz al-Ummal, vol. 6, p. 39. [^2] Al-Ansab, vol. 5, p. 27. [^3] Al-Ya’qubi, Tarikh, vol. 2, p. 41. [^4] Al-Ma’arif, p. 84. [^5] Al-Ansab, vol. 5, p. 28.
Sa’eed Bin al-Aas
Uthman gave Sa’eed bin al-Aas a hundred thousand Dirhams.[^1] It is worth mentioning that Sa’eed bin al-‘Aas was among the Umayyad sinners and dissolute. His father was among the prominent polytheists. Imam Ali killed him at the Battle of Badr.[^2] This gift moved people’s displeasure against Uthman. Trustworthy, righteous Muslims criticized him for it.
Al-Waleed Bin Aqaba
Al-Waleed bin Aqaba was Uthman’s foster brother. He was a dissolute sinner. He did not respect Allah, just as we will explain that when we talk about the governors appointed by Uthman. He went to Kufa and asked Abdullah bin Mas‘ud for a loan of enormous money from the Public Treasury, and he lend it to him. Abdullah bin Mas‘ud asked him to return the money, but he wrote a letter to Uthman about that. Uthman wrote Abdullah bin Mas‘ud a letter in which he said: “You are our treasurer; therefore, do not ask al-Waleed to return the money he had taken!” As a result Abdullah bin Mas‘ud put the keys before Uthman and said: “I thought that I was the treasurer of the Muslims. If I am your treasurer, then I am in no need of that!” He resigned and lived in Kufa.[^3] How was it possible for Uthman to disperse the Muslims’ money and to give it to the enemies of Allah and the opponents of Islam? The decision on this problem is up to readers.
Marwan Bin al-Hakam
Allah’s Apostle (a.s) cursed Marwan bin al-Hakam when he was in his father’s back. This tradition was narrated by Imam al-Hasan (a.s).[^4] When Marwan was born, he was brought to Allah’s Apostle (a.s). The Prophet said: “He is a cowardly, unsuccessful one, son of a cowardly, unsuccessful one. He is a cursed one, son of a cursed one!”[^5] Imam Ali (a.s) looked at him and said: “Woe unto you! And woe unto Muhammad’s community because of you and your household when your temples become white!”[^6]
Marwan bin al-Hakam was among the hypocrite heads and one of the prominent men of misguidance and falsehood. He was given the nickname of Khayt Batil (the thread of falsehood). Concerning him the poet has said:
[^1] Al-Ansab, vol. 5, p. 28. [^2] Usd al-Ghaba, vol. 2, 310. [^3] Al-Ansab, vol. 5, p. 30. [^4] Majma‘ al-Zawa’id, vol. 10, p. 72. [^5] Al-Hakim, Mustadrak, vol. 4, p. 479. [^6] Ibn Abi al-Haddeed, Sharh Nahj al-Balagha, vol. 2, p. 55.
By your life I do not know how the beaten-backed one does. May Allah curse the men who have appointed Khayt Batil as a commander over the people. He gives and prevents whatever he wishes.[^1] He was famous for treachery, and breaking promise and covenant. Imam Ali (a.s) said when (the Prophet’s) two grandsons, al-Hasan and al-Husayn, talked with him about Marwan’s pledge of allegiance to him: “I am in no need of his paying homage. It is a Jewish hand. If he pledged allegiance with his hand, he would betray with his own forefinger. He will have an authority (that lasts as short) as a dog licks its own nose. He is the father of the four rams. The community will meet a red day because of him and his sons.”[^2]
Uthman was charitable to this cowardly, unsuccessful, dirty person (Marwan bin al-Hakam). He empowered him over the Public Treasury, and he gave and prevented whomever he wished. We will mention to readers the enormous gifts Uthman gave to Marwan. They are as follows: 1. He gave him the one fifth of the booties of Africa, which amounted five hundred thousand dinars. Uthman was criticized for that. Abdurrahman bin Hanbal satirized him, saying:
I will swear by Allah as far as possible, Allah does not leave an affair to be in vain. However you have been created as an affliction for us, that we might be tried through you, and you tried (through us). Most surely the two trusted ones have made the road sign on (which) guidance is. They did not take any dirham illegally, nor did they place any dirham in caprice. You have summoned the cursed one and brought him near contrary to the Sunna of those passed away. You have unjustly given Marwan the one fifth (of the money) of the people.[^3]
He gave him a thousand and fifty okes; we do not know whether they were of gold or silver. It was among the affairs that brought about the displeasure with him.[^4]
He gave him a hundred thousand (dinars) from the Public Treasury, and so Zayd bin Arqam, the treasurer, brought the keys and put them before Uthman. He wept, but Uthman scolded him and said to him: “Are you weeping because I have retained my kinship?”
[^1] Al-Ansab, vol. 4, p. 348. [^2] Nahj al-Balagha. [^3] Abu al-Fida’, Tarikh, vol. 1, p. 168. [^4] Al-Halabi, Sirah, vol. 2, p. 87.
“But I weep because I think that you have taken this money as a compensation for that which you spent in the way of Allah during the lifetime of Allah’s Apostle (a.s). If you gave Marwan a hundred dirhams, it would be much,” retorted Zayd.
Yet Uthman rebuked him and shouted at him, saying: “Put the keys, O son of Arqam! We will find someone other than you!”[^1] 4. He gave him Fadak as a gift.[^2] Anyway it was not permissible for him to give Fadak as a gift, for if it had been given to Fatima, peace be on her, as a gift, as she said, then it would have belonged to her children. If it was alms, as Abu Baker claimed, then it belonged to all the Muslims. Therefore, Uthman had no right to act freely in respect of it in both cases.
Anyway, which service did Marwan render to the community? Which noble deed or achievement issued from him, that he might deserve such a plentiful giving and be given such enormous wealth? These are some of the gifts the Caliph (Uthman) gave to his family and relatives. Without doubt these gifts do not agree with Allah’s Book and the Sunna of His Prophet. They required the rulers to treat those near and far equally, demanded them not to prefer a people to another, and to apply justice to all fields.