Hazrat Usman (R.A) was born to a noble family of “Ummayah” belonging to the Makkan tribe of Qureysh, in 573 A.D. The Umawwins had great distinction in Pre Islamic era as in the battle of Fajr, the commander in chief of the entire clan`s army belonged to these people. His ancestral history also matched with that of the Holy Prophet ﷺ, which was a great honor for him.
His inherited name was “Abu Amr” but he (R.A) was commonly known as “Usman ibn Affan” as his father was “Affan bin Abul-As”. At his youth time, very less number of individuals had the ability to read and write and he (R.A) was one of them. He started the profession as a cloth merchant which earned him a lot of wealth. He (R.A) used his money in good cause in removing the problems of the poor, which earned him a title of “Al-Ghani” and a highly respected person in the city.
Being among the Earliest Muslims
Hazrat Usman (R.A) had the greatest of the honors of being one of the initial acceptors of Islam. He readily recognized the Message of Allah as proposed by Rasulullah ﷺ as true when Siddeeq e Akbar, Hazrat Abu Bakr (R.A) told him about it.
This shows that he was not only a knowledgeable man but also had immaculate understanding of the religious matters.
Al-Ghani – the Generous Person
He (R.A) had earned a huge amount of riches over his life time especially through trade. He was always eager to help the needy in order to curb their despair. On one occasion, when Muhajireen had just landed in Madina, there was a well named “Bi`r-i-Rumah” which was under the control of a Jew who would not let them drink water from it. Thus, Hazrat Usman (R.A) bought that well and made it public to all the Muslims. This was the very first act of charity in the history of Islam too. Upon this, Hazrat Muhammad ﷺ congratulated him (R.A) on attaining the Pleasure of Allah SWT and gave him the glad tidings of Jannah (Paradise) in the hereafter.
He (R.A) also contributed in the enlargement of Masjid e Nabawi when the Messenger ﷺ of God asked to help in this cause as the number of Muslims grew and it was not possible to accommodate all of them under one single roof. His house situated near to the Mosque of Prophet ﷺ where he had established a library for the Muslims to acquire the knowledge of Quran.
Apart from that, at the time of Ghazw (Battle of) Tabuk, he (R.A) did not hesitate to spend from his material goods and supplied Dinars (Gold Coins), horses and camels to strengthen one third of the Muslims Army. After witnessing a remarkable spectacle of the bigheartedness of Hazrat Usman (R.A), the Holy Prophet ﷺ is reported to have said:
“From this day on, nothing will harm ‘Uthman regardless of what he does.” (Tirmidhi)
Hence, the great generosity of Hazrat Usman (R.A) resulted in elevation in his status near the Almighty Lord and His Apostle ﷺ and he was deemed as among the most righteous believers.
Kaatib e Wahi – Writer of Quranic Revelations
Due to his great command over the Arabic language and out of the ordinary style of writing, he (R.A) was chosen by the Messenger ﷺ of Allah SWT to have the nobility of being one of the scribes of the Holy Revelations.
The Great Islamic Scholar
Hazrat Usman (R.A) was not only a huge intellectual on the subject of Quranic Revelations and their Shan e Nazool (the chronological order of the Chapters and Verse of Furqan e Hameed) but also was its Hafiz (person remembering Quran in its memory). He used to explain the Ayats very well and was thought be an authority in this regard. He (R.A) also had distinction in being the leading person to be consulted in matters concerning Hajj (Pilgrimage) which the Second Caliph, Hazrat Umar (R.A) – Al-Farooq used to ask him about during his time.
Being Among Ashra Mubashra (Ten Heavenly Companions of Prophet PBUH)
Hazrat Usman (R.A) had a great peculiarity having been congratulated to be among the 10 Highly Blessed Accompanying Persons of Rasulullah ﷺ in Jannah (Paradise) in his (R.A) lifetime by the Holy Prophet ﷺ Himself as reported 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 shows the exceptional rank and status of Hazrat Usman (R.A) near Allah SWT and His Messenger ﷺ because of his Selfless services to the Religion of Peace.
Attaining the title of “Dhun-Nurain”
Hazrat Usman (R.A) also had the honor of being the only person to marry two righteous Daughters of the Holy Prophet ﷺ, i.e. Hazrat Ruqayah (R.A) and Hazrat Umm Kalsum (R.A). The former was married to him from his earlier days of acceptance of Islam when she was divorced by son of Abu Lahb, Utbah after they could not bear that Hazrat Muhammad ﷺ had started preaching Islam. She got seriously ill at the time of Ghazwa Badr and Hazrat Usman (R.A) could not join the Muslims in this battle due to her. When she died, Al-Ghani got upset having lost the familial connection to Rasulullah ﷺ. Thereupon, the Messenger ﷺ married Umm Kalsum to him, and thereby he (R.A) got the title of “Dhun-Nurain – bearer of Two Lights”, referring to the virtuous Daughters of the Holy Prophet ﷺ.
Being Third Caliph in the History of Islam
After the death of Hazrat Umar (R.A), Hazrat Usman (R.A) was selected to be the third Khalifah (Caliph) of the Muslims by a joint committee consisting of the most righteous companions of the Prophet ﷺ. During his time, he faced unjust resistance from so called Muslims who wanted to disturb the peace but he never reacted with force and remained calm to maintain harmony among the Ummah. He (R.A) accomplished many victories and greatly expanded the Islamic Regime:
- Extension of the custom of Hazrat Umar (R.A) and growing the Islamic Rule in far off places
- Arrangement of the First Naval Muslim force leading to more efficient outreach to far-away regions of the world
- Beating the Byzantine Empire of 500 ships
- Decisive elevation of Islamic Ruling having conquests over Byzantine and Roman realms and winning the North African territories
Thus, Hazrat Usman (R.A), besides having to fight the inner confrontation from traitors, also made extraordinary efforts in spreading the Religion of Peace to other corners of the world.
Assemblage Of The Complete Holy Quran
As the number of Muslims grew multifold with the expansion of Islam to non Arabic areas, Hazrat Usman (R.A) observed differences in the Recitation of Quran, which lead to changing of the meaning of its Instructions. Therefore, he (R.A) told Hazrat Zaid bin Saabit (R.A) to compile Furqan e Hameed and make its multiple copies. Then, he (R.A) acted quickly to preserve the Holy Quran bringing people to a single recital process, for which he is called “Jami’ul-Qur’an” (The compiler of the Qur’an).
Martyrdom of Third Caliph
Having already facing the resistance from so called Muslims who had declared his (R.A) Caliphate invalid, one day when he (R.A) was reciting the Sacred Book of the Almighty Lord, he (R.A) was brutally martyred by infidels. Thus, he (R.A) attained the great status of being called a Martyr and as he (R.A) was assassinated on Friday, 17th of Dhul Hijjah, 35 A.H, at the age of 84.
In short, the contributions of the third Caliph of Islam, Hazrat Usman (R.A) are wide range from acceptance of Islam to helping the poor Muslims with his wealth, working for the peace as a Khalifah and expanding the outreach of Islam to distant regions, assisting others in religious matters to compiling the entire Holy Quran on one recitation. Hence, he (R.A) truly served the Religion of Islam unselfishly and got the greatest of the possible reward from Allah SWT by naming him among the most righteous companions of the Holy Prophet ﷺ in Paradise.