Reality Behind Conflicting Narrations
One should remember that this is the juncture where extreme contradictions in narrations begins. The events which I have just mentioned have been described by various narrators in different ways to such extent that the truth has been veiled completely and many people have been mislead. They have either come to believe that the companions were involved in the entire affair or that in the least, they held a heartfelt sympathy for the rebels. However, this is not correct. A great deal of caution is required with respect to the history of this era, because no era has followed after the one under discussion, which has been absent of such people who held sympathy for either one party or the other. This fact proves to be very detrimental to history because when intense hatred or undue love is involved, a narration can never be transmitted in its true form. Even if a narrator does not speak falsehood, his narration is sure to carry a tinge of his thoughts. Moreover, the particulars of the narrators of history are not as clear as those of hadith. Although historians have taken a great deal of care, they are still unable to establish the authenticity of a narration in the likeness of broad day light, as can be done in the case of hadith. So, a great deal of caution is necessary.
A Golden Principle for the Verification of History
However, it is not impossible to ascertain the true facts either because God the Exalted has left open such means by which the true course of events may be very well discerned. Such narrators also exist, who due to being completely neutral, state the facts as they are. A golden principal for the verification of history is that world events are like a chain. In order to verify the authenticity of an individual incident, it should be examined after being threaded into this chain to see whether the link can be threaded into its proper place or not. In order to distinguish between true and false events, this is a very useful aid.
Therefore, caution is required in order to learn about the true course of events pertaining to this era, and there is a need for scrutiny and cross-examination. Without keeping in mind the sequence of events, one cannot learn about the history of any era, especially the one under discussion. Furthermore, taking advantage of this contradiction [in narrations], European writers have distorted the history of that era to such extent that the heart of a Muslim, who possesses indignation, burns when reading these incidents. Additionally, many people who are weak in faith become averse to Islam. It is a pity that even some Muslim historians have carelessly stumbled in this regard and have become the cause of misguiding others.
Exoneration of Hazrat Uthman and the Other Companions
In this short time I cannot entirely discuss the errors which these people are entangled in. However, I shall briefly present a true account of the circumstances before you, which prove that Hazrat ‘Uthman(ra) and the other companions were free from every form of mischief and sin. In fact, their behaviour was a manifestation of very high morals and they stood upon a lofty pedestal of virtue.