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A Letter to the Pilgrims from Hazrat Uthaman

“I draw your attention towards God the Exalted and remind you of His favours. At this time certain people are creating mischief and are engaged in attempts to cause divide in Islam. However, these people have not even taken into consideration that God appoints the Khalifah, just as He says:

[meaning, Allah has promised to those among you who believe and do good works that He will surely make them Successors in the earth].1

Moreover, they did not value [the importance of ] unity, even though God the Exalted has commanded:

[meaning, and hold fast all together by the rope of Allah].2

Furthermore, they accepted the words of those who accused me and did not pay heed to this command of the Holy Quran:

[meaning, O ye who believe! if an unrighteous person brings you any news, ascertain the correctness of the report fully].3

They did not honour their bai‘at to me, even though Allah the Exalted says with relation to the Holy Prophet(sa):

[meaning, verily, those who swear allegiance to thee indeed swear allegiance to Allah]4

And I am a successor of the Noble Messenger(sa). No nation can progress without a leader and if there is no Imam then the community is destined to be ruined and destroyed. These people desire to destroy and ruin the Muslim ummah; this is their only objective because I accepted their wish and promised to change [various] governors but despite this, they did not seize making mischief. Now, they demand one out of three things. Firstly, they demand that revenge should be sought from me for all those people who have received punished in my reign. If I do not agree, then I should step down from Khilafat and they will appoint someone else in my place. If I do not agree to this either, then they threaten that they will send a message to all their supporters to no longer be obedient to me. The answer with respect to the first demand is that the Khulafa(ra) before me also committed judgmental errors but they were never punished. Furthermore, what other motive besides killing me can there be in imposing so many punishments upon me.

As for my deposition from Khilafat, my reply is that if these people tear my flesh into bits with pincers, I can accept this, but I cannot step down from Khilafat.

Now remains the third point, i.e., [if I do not agree to the above], they will send their men in all directions telling people not to obey me. For this, I am not held responsible by God if they wish to act in violation of the shariah. Even before, when they pledged allegiance to me, I did not compel them. Neither I, nor God the Exalted is pleased with the action of anyone who wishes to break his covenant. Of course, such a person may do as he wishes on his own accord.”5

Since the days of hajj were fast approaching and people were converging upon Makkah Mukarramah from all corners, Hazrat ‘Uthman(ra) appointed Hazrat ‘Abdullah bin ‘Abbas(ra) and dispatched him as the Amir for hajj lest the rebels created disorder there as well. This way Hazrat ‘Abdullah bin ‘Abbas(ra) could also urge the Muslims gathering for hajj to assist the people of Madinah. Even Hazrat ‘Abdullah bin ‘Abbas(ra) submitted, “I would prefer to do jihad against these people.” However, Hazrat ‘Uthman(ra) compelled him to go for hajj and discharge his duties as the Amir for hajj, in order to prevent the rebels from spreading their mischief there and also to urge the pilgrims gathering there to help the people of Madinah. The above-mentioned letter of Hazrat ‘Uthman(ra) was sent along with him as well. When the rebels learned of these letters they grew in their violence. They began to look for an excuse to fight so that they could martyr Hazrat ‘Uthman(ra). All their efforts, however, were in vain and Hazrat ‘Uthman(ra) would not give them an opportunity to make mischief.


1 An-Nur (24:56)

2 Al-e-‘Imran (3:104)

3 Al-Hujurat (49:7)

4 Al-Fath (48:11)

5 Tarikhut-Tabari, vol. 5, pp. 192-193, Dhikrul-Khabari ‘Anis- Sababilladhi Min Ajlihi, Published by Darul-Fikr, Beirut, 2002 edition [Publishers]