Prophetic Hadith- Explanation of the Prophetic Hadith – Explanation of Riyadh Al Saliheen- Lesson (021-101) – The various Paths of offering good deeds - The Hadith: "Iman (faith) has over seventy branches…"- The Biography of Uthman bin Affan.
Last update:2018-01-27
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Praise be to Allah, the Lord of Creations, and Peace and blessings be upon our prophet Muhammad, the faithful and the honest.
 Oh, Allah, we know nothing but what You teach us. You are the All- Knower, the Wise. Oh Allah, teach us what is good for us, and benefit us from what You taught us, and increase our knowledge. Show us the righteous things as righteous and help us to do them, and show us the bad things as bad and help us to keep away from them.
  O Allah our Lord, lead us out from the depths of darkness and illusion, unto the lights of erudition and knowledge, and from the muddy shallows of lusts unto the heavens of Your Vicinity.

The different narrations of this Hadith:

 Dear brothers, we are still talking about the Prophetic Ahadeeth which revolve around the many paths of offering good deeds.

((Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him): The Prophet (PBUH) said, "Iman has over seventy branches - or over sixty branches - the uppermost of which is the declaration: 'None has the right to be worshipped but Allah'; and the least of which is the removal of harmful object from the road, and modesty is a branch of Iman."))

((Iman has sixty odd or seventy odd branches.))

 The narrator doubted if the Prophet PBUH said sixty or seventy, and this indicates how accurate the narrators were.

((Narrated Al-Mughirah: I heard the Prophet (PBUH) saying, "Ascribing false things to me is not like ascribing false things to anyone else. Whosoever tells a lie against me intentionally then surely let him occupy his seat in Hell-Fire."))

 Whoever narrates a Prophetic Hadith, and states that the Prophet PBUH said it, given he knows that the Prophet PBUH did not say it, should be sure that there is seat in Hell-fire preserved for him. However, the Prophet PBUH, and out of mercy, said, "intentionally", for man might be mistaken and might think that this Hadith is said by the Prophet PBUH, but it was said by someone else, so in this case if he unintentionally and mistakenly does so, he will be included in the following Hadith:

((It was narrated from Abu Dharr Al-Ghifari that the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said: Allah has forgiven for me my nation their mistakes and forgetfulness, and what they are forced to do."))

[Ibn Majah, on the authority of Abu Dharr]

 As for the Hadith:

((Whosoever tells a lie against me intentionally then surely let him occupy his seat in Hell-Fire."))

 The previous Ahadeeth are Mutawatir Lafzi (mass-narrated by wording), then comes the Mutawatir Ma'nawi (mass-narrated by meaning), then comes Sahih Hadith (A Sahih Hadith is the one which has a continuous Isnad, made up of reporters of trustworthy memory from similar authorities, and which is found to be free from any irregularities (i.e. in the text) or defects (i.e. in the Isnad)), then comes Hasan Hadith (A Hasan Hadith is one which excels the Da'if but nevertheless does not reach the standard of a Sahih Hadith), and then comes Da'if Hadith (A Hadith which fails to reach the status of Hasan and its weakness comes from a discontinuity in the Isnad).

 As for the Da'if Hadith, it might be applied in daily manners and in morals, but it should not be a source of any Islamic ruling, for it is refutable with no sound ground of authenticity. As for Mudu' Hadith (fabricated), it is groundless, and the Muslim should not utter it. This means whoever conveys any Hadith must investigate it, which means that he should seek the religious knowledge and this makes seeking it obligatory on every individual Muslim. All these levels (of authentication) of Ahadeeth are mentioned because of what the narrator said:

((Iman has sixty odd or seventy odd branches.))

 The narrator was not sure whether it was sixty or seventy.

((Iman has sixty odd or seventy odd branches. The uppermost of all these is the Testimony of Faith: 'La ilaha illallah' (there is no true god except Allah) while the least of them is the removal of harmful object from the road. And shyness is a branch of Iman.))

 The meaning of Muttafaq Alaih (Agreed upon) is that the scholars of Hadith agreed upon its authenticity. If you say, "Reported by Ash-Shaykhan", this means that it is reported by Al-Bukhari and Muslim. If you say, "Muttafaq Alaih", it means that the scholars of Hadith agreed upon its authenticity. This brings us to the importance of owning a reference for the Prophetic Hadith by each one of you, so that he can read it whenever he needs it.

Interpreting the first part of the Hadith:

((Iman has sixty odd or seventy odd branches. The uppermost of all these is the Testimony of Faith: 'La ilaha illallah' (there is no true god except Allah) while the least of them is the removal of harmful object from the road. And shyness is a branch of Iman.))

 Hence, faith is sixty or seventy branches, the uppermost of which is La Ilaha Illa Allah. Scholars said, "La Ilaha Illa Allah is the peak of knowledge, because you will not reach Tawheed unless you believe beyond doubt that there is no Deity worthy of worship but Allah Alone, that He is Al-Musayer (The Disposer of affairs), Al-Mu'ti (The Giver), Ar- Razzak (The Provider), Al-Mani' (The Withdrawer), Ar-Rafi' (The Exalter), Al-Khafid (The Abaser), Al-Mu'iz (The Bestower of honor), Al-Muthil (The Humiliator), Al-Qabid (Withholder) and Al-Basit (The Expander), that Allah is the Only Creator of this universe, that whatever and whoever other than Allah are falsehood, that Allah's Hand is over believers' hand, that Allah is the Creator of everything and that He is Al-Wakil (Trustee, Disposer of affairs, Guardian, etc.) over all things, that in Allah's Hand are all of people's matters and affairs, that to Allah return all affairs (for decision) so worship Him and put your trust in Him, that if the people gather to benefit you, they will not be able to benefit you except that which Allah foreordained (for you) and that if all of them gather to do harm to you, they will not be able to afflict you with anything other than that which Allah pre-destined against you. This is Tawheed. Furthermore, Tawheed leads you to obey Allah and abandon everything else, whereas Shirk leads you to disobey Allah and to obey other than Him. Hence, the one who disobeys the Creator and pleases a creature is definitely Mushrik. Allah the Almighty says:

﴾Worship Allah and join none with Him in worship,﴿

[An-Nisa', 36]

 In this Ayah there is an order and a ban, why are they mentioned together (in one Ayah)? It is because worshiping Allah entails refraining from worshiping anyone besides Him, but if you do, then you are involved in Shirk. The one who says, "I cannot do that, because I fear such and such person", "I am afraid that people might say so and so about me" or "I fear that I might be accused of this or that" is someone who does not know Allah at all, and had he known Him, He would not have worshiped (in the sense of obeying) any one besides Him:

﴾So plot against me, all of you, and give me no respite. "I put my trust in Allah, my Lord and your Lord! There is not a moving (living) creature but He has grasp of its forelock. Verily, my Lord is on the Straight Path (the truth).﴿

[Hud, 55-56]

 Nawafil (voluntary) of the acts of worship, of transactions and of good deeds are not accepted unless the obligations (Fara'id) are offered. For example, if someone builds a Masjid, but he does not offer Salah, we say that he should offer Salah first, because drawing close to Allah cannot be done through Ihsan (benevolence) only, but it should be accompanied with offering obligations. Salah provides the Muslim with guidance, prosperity and prudence, and it directs him towards the Right Path and that which benefits man. Tawheed is the gist of the Divine Revelation, the summary of the Noble Quran and the word of salvation, triumph and survival.

 Comprehending Tawheed is easy, but living it is something else, for it needs tremendous efforts to be fulfilled. In other words, it is easy to understand that Allah is Ar-Rafi' (The Exalter), Al-Khafid (The Abaser), Al-Mu'iz (The Bestower of honor), Al-Muthil (The Humiliator), Al-Mani' (The Withholder) and Ad-Daar (The Afflicter) and An-Nafi' (The Beneficial), but real success lies in facing danger, in believing that everything is in Allah's Hand, and in confronting a scary powerful man of whom people are afraid, so as a believer, you know that this person's power is controlled by Allah's Will. This is the true faith. Allah the Almighty says:

﴾They have no Wali (Helper, Disposer of affairs, Protector, etc.) other than Him, and He makes none to share in His Decision and His Rule."﴿

[Al-Kahf, 26]

 Everything has truth and the truth of faith is achieved when man knows that what afflicts him will never miss him, and what misses him will never afflict him, and that every sadness or grieve man feels is simply the outcome of weak faith in the word of Tawheed (La Ilaha Illa Allah). The one, who sins to protect his life or provision and whose heart is full of fear has flawed faith in the word of Tawheed. Allah the Almighty says:

﴾We shall cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve, because they joined others in worship with Allah,﴿

[Aal-'Imran, 151]

 When they committed Shirk, Allah casted fear into their hearts. Allah the Almighty says:

﴾So invoke not with Allah another ilah (god) lest you be among those who receive punishment.﴿

[Ash-Shu'ara', 213]

 Invoking other than Allah reflects weak certainty.

((Anas b. Malik has narrated that the Messenger of Allah (S) said, "Surely the weakness in certainty is due to people trading the (seeking of the) pleasure of the people for the anger of Allah, the Most High; praising the people for the sustenance which Allah, the Most High has conferred upon you (instead of praising Him); and for blaming others for that which Allah has not given you.))

 This is weak certainty.

 I repeat, faith (Iman) is sixty or seventy branches, the uppermost of which is La Ilaha Illa Allah. Saying the word of Tawheed is easy, but Allah the Almighty says in a very clear Ayah in the Noble Quran which comes as a Divine Order:

﴾So know (O Muhammad PBUH) that La ilaha ill-Allah (none has the right to be worshipped but Allah), and ask forgiveness for your sin, and also for (the sin of)﴿

[Muhammad, 19]

 Allah says, "Know", which means that you should seek Islamic knowledge by attending religious sessions, by asking, by investigating and by authenticating until your knowledge reaches the point of certainty which in turn is man's destiny. Let me assure you that if any powerful man, whom you fear, orders you to disobey Allah, and you believe beyond doubt that this person is in the Hand of Allah, and that Allah is the Only Deity, and then you say, "I seek refuge with Allah from obeying a creation at the cost of disobeying the Creator", you will be saved from punishment in the worldly life and in the Hereafter. However, if your faith in La Ilaha Illa Allah is weak, you will most likely obey this person at the cost of disobeying Allah, and what do you think will happen? You will bring about Allah's Wrath and people's wrath as well.

(("Whoever seeks to please Allah by angering the people, Allah will suffice him against the people. " According to another wording, "Allah will be pleased with him and will make people pleased with him, but whoever seeks to please people by angering Allah, they can avail him nothing against Allah." A third wording reads, "Allah will be angry with him and will cause people to be angry with him.))

 Also, it is reported in the Qudsi Hadith:

((O My salve! You desire (something) and I desire (something else). If you surrender to that which I desire, I suffice you concerning that which you desire; but if you refuse to surrender to that which I desire, I tire you out in that which you desire and then you get nothing but that which I desire.))

 The Prophet PBUH said:

((Iman has sixty odd or seventy odd branches. The uppermost of all these is the Testimony of Faith: 'La ilaha illallah' (there is no true god except Allah) …))

 This is the true Aqeedah and this is its gist.

Interpreting "and the least of which is the removal of harmful object from the road":

 The Prophet PBUH said:

((… while the least of them is the removal of harmful object from the road. And shyness is a branch of Iman.))

 Moving a rock or a banana skin from the path of people might seem trivial. Yet, it is considered a good deed. Good deeds include everything good, starting with removing any harmful thing from people's path (and ending with the uppermost of deeds which is to believe that there is no Deity worthy of worship but Allah). As if the Prophet PBUH gave us the range of good deeds between the least and the uppermost, and between these two levels there are endless levels about which only Allah knows, like feeding the hungry. When man removes something harmful from the path of people, he actually offers Sadaqah and proves his true faith, simply because he believes that Allah the Almighty will be pleased when he serves His servants, and he believes that Allah the Almighty is a Merciful Lord. The Prophet PBUH said:

((All people are servants of Allah, and the closest to Him is the best among them to mankind.))

 This is the true faith.

 Even the piece of advice, which you offer a Muslim, is Sadaqah, so if someone says to his customer upon selling him an electric machine, "Pay attention to the electric current in your house, so that the engine will not break down", this piece of advice reflects this seller's true faith, because he realizes that this machine costs his customer an arm and a leg to buy it, and any mistake in using it will cost him a big deal of money. Thus, offering a piece of advice reflects man's true faith. Therefore, removing any harmful thing from the path of people reflects man's certainty that he will be rewarded by Allah for offering this deed, that Allah loves His servants, that serving Allah's creations will bring about Allah's Love and that Allah will not let this deed go vainly.

((Anas bin Malik (may Allah be pleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "If a young man honours an older person on account of his age, Allah appoints someone to show reverence to him in his old age))

[At-Tirmizi, on the authority of Anas]

 If removing a rock by your foot from the path of people reflects true faith, then with a greater reason being dutiful to the parents, treating the wife fairly, meeting your children's needs, fulfilling your neighbor's rights, feeding the poor or offering Salam (greeting them) to people is considered an exalted level of faith. Whatever good deed you offer reflects your true faith in Allah the Almighty.

 You may come to the rescue of someone who needs help, you may guide someone who is lost to the right direction, you may take the hand of a blind man to cross the street and you may pour your water into the container of the one who seeks water. There are a lot of examples from our daily life of offering good deeds, such as helping a brother of yours in buying a bedroom since you are an expert in bedrooms, and so you will save time by helping him. Your brother may be about to get married, so you can help him in his shopping and the two hours you spend in the market proves your true faith. Also, you may help someone in studying mathematics since you are good at it, so teaching him proves your true faith.

 This Hadith gave us the least and the uppermost levels of faith, and between these two levels there are endless levels about which only Allah knows. Any good deed man offers reflects his true faith, so if you smile to your brother, then your smile reflects your true faith. Also, if you give your seat in the bus to a Muslim woman with a baby on her hand, though you are very tired from a long day at work, this reflects your true faith.

 There are people in this Masjid who look after its cleanness, and they prepare the Masjid for my lecture, I offer my gratitude to them, but who am I to thank them? They are doing it for the sake of Allah, and this reflects their true faith, because they are serving a house of Allah, and Allah will reward them for that.

 Once our Master Umar had a visitor from the Battle of Nahawand who told him about the battle, then he said, "O Commander of the Believers, a lot of people died." Umar asked, "Who are they?" He said, "You do not know them", so Umar cried, and said, "What harm would it do to them that I do not know them when Allah knows them?"

 If a Muslim brother decides to start a business and asks for your help, and you give him a piece of advice which might help him make good profits, you provide him with goods within the limits of his financial abilities and you give him discount, your stance reflects your true faith.

 When a Muslim brother asks for someone's opinion about a business which makes good profits, and he talks him out of it, though it is quite the opposite, this reflects man's weak faith. On the other hand, if someone encourages him and give him all the secrets of this business, this but reflects his true faith.

 If a Muslim brother sends you his son to learn your business (like fixing cars for example), and instead of teaching him this craft, you make him do other kind of work which has nothing to do with it, this but reflects your weak faith. The father entrusted you to teach his son this craft, didn't he? He did not ask you to give his son any money for working for you, didn't he? How come you make his son wipe the floor instead of teaching him your craft? Faith exists in everything, in selling, in buying, in social relations and in marriage. The Prophet PBUH said:

((…The uppermost of all these is the Testimony of Faith: 'La ilaha illallah' (there is no true god except Allah) while the least of them is the removal of harmful object from the road. And shyness is a branch of Iman.))

 Dear brothers, between these two levels there are countless levels of faith like calling to Allah, enjoining Ma'roof, forbidding Munkar, maintaining kin ties, selling at affordable prices out of mercy, offering a piece of advice in selling and buying and being faithful with people. Thus, removing a harmful thing from the path of Muslims is the least level of faith, and there are countless levels above it.

 A man who sells car spare parts told me once that a man asked him for a spare part for his car, so while he was climbing the ladder to bring it from the shelf, the man asked him, "Is this piece genuine?" The man said, "No, it is not", so the man took it anyway and paid for it. As you see showing the flaw of something reflects your true faith.

 This Hadith gives you the two limits (the least and the uppermost) of the levels of faith. It seems that this Hadith indicates that there are countless levels of good deeds between these two levels. Gathering people to tell them about the Noble Prophet's biography, about his noble traits, about his good conducts, about his virtues, about his Da'wah (call to Allah), about his braveness, about his generosity, about his forbearance and about his mercy reflects the true faith of yours.

Interpreting "and modesty is a branch of Iman":

 The Prophet PBUH said:

((And shyness is a branch of Iman.))

 This means that shyness and faith are peers, so if shyness vanishes, then faith shall vanish as well, and as the Prophet PBUH said:

((Narrated Abu Mus'ud: The Prophet (PBUH) said, "One of the sayings of the Prophets which the people have got is, 'If you do not feel ashamed, then do whatever you like.'"))

 A man once was hired by the Prophet PBUH to do some work, but when the Prophet PBUH saw him taking a bath naked in public, he paid him his dues and dismissed him, and then he PBUH said, "You are someone who has no modesty before Allah." Thus, shyness reflects true faith.

 The one who badmouths others is not a true believer, the one who tells dirty jokes is not a Muslim, the one who talks about people's Awrat (private parts) is not a Muslim, the one who gossips about people's scandals with glee is not a Muslim, simply because he has no shyness and shyness is a branch of man's faith and the one who is not keen on his honor is not a Muslim.

((It was narrated from Salim bin 'Abdullah that his father said: "The Messenger of Allah said: "There are three at whom Allah will not look on the Day of Resurrection: The one who disobeys his parents, the woman who imitates men in her outward appearance, and the cuckold. And there are three who will not enter Paradise: The one who disobeys his parents, the drunkard, and the one who reminds people of what he has given them."'))

[Ahmad, on the authority of Abdullah]

((…And shyness is a branch of Iman.))

 As it is reported in a Prophetic Hadith, at the end of days, the chivalry will be lifted from men and modesty will be lifted from women. Unfortunately, women these days look at the men as if they were men like them, and their looks are full of challenge. This but reflects lack of shyness in them, given shyness is the best thing the woman has, and the proof is the following:

﴾Then there came to him one of the two women, walking shyly. ﴿

[Al-Qasas, 25]

 Scholars differ between femininity and beauty, for the most beautiful thing in a woman is her femininity, and the secret of the woman's femininity is her shyness. Accordingly, if a woman speaks in a loud voice, if she is harsh in her words and if her comments are rude, her beauty vanishes, because the woman's beauty lies in her grace, low voice and nice words. Some people went further than that and said, "The woman is considered the "fairer gender" until she gets married."

((Iman has sixty odd or seventy odd branches. The uppermost of all these is the Testimony of Faith: 'La ilaha illallah' (there is no true god except Allah) while the least of them is the removal of harmful object from the road. And shyness is a branch of Iman.))

((Uthman was a modest person and the Prophet PBUH said once: "Should I not show modesty to one whom even the Angels show modesty."))

((Narrated 'Aishah: A woman asked the Prophet (PBUH) about the bath which is taken after finishing from the menses. The Prophet (PBUH) told her what to do and said, "Purify yourself with a piece of cloth scented with musk." The woman asked, "How shall I purify myself with it." He said, "Subhan Allah! Purify yourself (with it)." I pulled her to myself and said, "Rub the place soiled with blood with it."))

[Al-Bukhari and Muslim, on the authority of 'Aishah]

 This piece of information is enough. Pay attention to what the modesty of the Prophet PBUH was compared:

((Abu Sa'id Al-Khudri (may Allah be pleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (PBUH) was even shier than a virgin behind her veil. When he saw something which he disliked, we could perceive it on his face.))

 The person who utters dirty words, who tells improper jokes, who looks at people's Awrat, who takes a peek at any cracked door, who checks women inside their houses, who observes his neighbor's balcony from his and who tries to have a glimpse at people's houses is someone who has no shyness at all, and whoever has no shyness is not a believer as the Prophet PBUH said.

 The Ayat of lowering man's gaze come after the Ayat of Isti'than (asking for permission) in order to learn that we should ask for permission, and we should lower our gazes.

((Iman has sixty odd or seventy odd branches. The uppermost of all these is the Testimony of Faith: 'La ilaha illallah' (there is no true god except Allah) while the least of them is the removal of harmful object from the road. And shyness is a branch of Iman.))

 When you raise the awareness among people about something dangerous, or if you see someone holding a medication and you inform him about the risks of it, this but represents your true faith. Also, when you teach someone how to use a certain device, this reflects your true faith.

The subject of our lesson is a very wide one, but the main point is that the believer should have shyness, because lacking it is serious as it is indicated in the following Hadith:

((If you do not feel ashamed, then do whatever you like.))

  In fact, among the signs of the end of days is that shyness will be lifted to the extent that Ma'roof turns into Munkar and Munkar turns into Ma'roof.

((Abu Hurairah narrated that the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said: "When your leaders are the best of you, the richest are the most generous among you, and your affairs are consulted among you, then the surface of the earth is better for you than its belly. And when your leaders are the worst of you, the richest are the stingiest among you, and your affairs are referred to your women, then the belly of the earth is better for you than its surface."))

 If one of you memorizes these short Ahadeeth, and he happens to be in an assembly with a friend, a brother, a relative, a neighbor or a colleague, or if he is in travel, in a meeting, in an invitation or at lunch, he can talk about these Ahadeeth and be useful to others instead of talking about the worldly life related issues which bring about hardship.

((Abdullah narrated from his father that: The Prophet said: "May Allah cause his face to shine, the man who hears a Hadith from us and conveys it, for perhaps the one to whom it is conveyed may remember it better than the one who (first) hears it."))

[Ad-Darami, on the authority of Abi Ad-Darda']

 In other words, you should go beyond the stage of listening only and consuming whatever you hear, to another stage which is to convey what you hear to others. Therefore, write down these Ahadeeth, review them, read their interpretations and then explain them to people and to your family members.

The exalted rank of Uthman bin Affan in the eyes of the Prophet PBUH:

 Let us move to the biography of our Master Uthman bin Affan, may Allah be pleased with him. The Prophet PBUH married his daughter Ruqayah to our Master Uthman bin Affan, and after she died, the Prophet PBUH married his second daughter Um Kulthoom to Uthman, only she died too. Some people think that their son in law is jinxed when their daughter dies. However, the Prophetic exalted conducts are different, for the Prophet PBUH said:

((Had we a third daughter, surely, we would Have given her in marriage to you.))

 Had the Prophet PBUH had a third daughter, he would have married her to Uthman. Notice the difference between how common people talk and how Prophets, peace be upon them talk. This Hadith has a different narration; the Prophet PBUH said:

((If I had 40 daughters, I would marry them off to Uthman))

 The Prophet PBUH acknowledged the exalted conducts of his son in law, he cherished his righteousness, his tenderness towards his daughter and how he stayed with her whenever she needed him. Some people stay in an ivory tower denying the good traits of their sons in law no matter how good they are, so they do not praise them; how arrogant they are! If your son in law is sophisticated and has good traits, why do you not praise him for that? Make him notice that you acknowledge his good deeds. This is the way the Prophet PBUH treated his son in law Uthman, may Allah be pleased with him. He PBUH said:

((If I had 40 daughters, I would marry them off to Uthman))

 In another narration, he PBUH said:

((Had we a third daughter, surely, we would Have given her in marriage to you.))

 If a friend of yours visits you in your shop, and you have not sell very well that day, you should not say that he jinxes you, because this is nonsense. Some people become pessimistic about a doctor if he examines their patient, and the latter dies after that visit. This is nonsense, because death is in the Hand of Allah not in the hand of the doctor who has nothing to do with the patient's death. The poet refers to facts in these lines:

The physician has the knowledge of curing people
As long as they are destined to live
But when man's hour approaches
the physician and his medications will be helpless

 Some people get pessimistic about a certain day, such as Wednesday, or about a certain man if he visits them and something bad happens, and this is but nonsense. The Prophet's first daughter died while she was married to Uthman, so did the second one, yet the Prophet PBUH said:

((Had we a third daughter, surely, we would Have given her in marriage to you.))

 In another narration, the Prophet PBUH said:

((If I had 40 daughters, I would marry them off to Uthman))

 This means that the Prophet PBUH was grateful to Uthman, because the latter treated his daughter in a very lofty way.

 Dear brothers, the son in law of the Prophet PBUH was with the Kuffar in fighting against him. His name was Abu Al-'As, and he was one of the brave soldiers (though there is no bravery in fighting against the Prophet PBUH), so he was taken as a captive during the Battle of Badr, and when the Prophet PBUH saw him among the captives he said, "We never dispraised him as a son in law."

 As a son in law, he used to be one of the best, but he came to fight the Messenger of Allah PBUH. That praising made Abu Al-'As melt in his shame. This is objectivity, justice and fairness, for if man sees something he does not like in a person, he should not dispraise him forgetting about his good traits, and if he sees something he likes, he should not overlook his shortcomings, either.

((Muhammad bin Sirin narrated from Abu Hurairah [and I think he narrated it from the Prophet PBUH] who said, "Love your beloved moderately, perhaps he becomes hated to you someday. And hate whom you hate moderately, perhaps he becomes your beloved someday.))

[At-Tirmizi, on the authority of Abi Hurairah]

 The Prophet PBUH is merciful and modest, so he appreciated the mercy and the shyness of this companion.

((Narrated Talhah bin 'Ubaidullah: that the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said: "For every Prophet there is a friend (Rafiq), and my friend" - meaning in Paradise - "is Uthman.))

[At-Tirmizi, on the authority of Talhah]

 This means that if you are modest, tolerant and merciful, you will be the Prophet's friend in Paradise.

The devoted worship of Uthman:

 Dear brothers, Uthman was very fond of the acts of worship, of drawing close to Allah the Almighty, of submitting to Him and of offering night prayers, and all his coevals said, "Uthman used to fast all of his lifetime and to pray at night except the beginning of the night, when he sleeps for a short while." In fact, when man leads a luxury life, yet he leaves his cozy bed and prefers to offer night prayer instead, or when he prefers attending religious sessions to parties, this doubles his reward. Some people might be poor, but when man is rich, and he chooses to please Allah the Almighty over all the distractions and vanity he owns, this will double his reward. Allah the Almighty says in Qudsi Hadith:

((I love three among people, but I love other three more; I love the obedient, yet I love the young obedient more, I love the humble, yet I love the humble rich more and I love the generous, yet I love the generous poor more.))

This companion (i.e. Uthman) was exalted even in Jahiliyyah time, for he said once about himself, "By Allah, I have never committed adultery, nor have I stolen anything either in Jahiliyyah or in Islam."

((Narrated Abu Hurairah: Allah's Messenger (PBUH) said, "You see that the people are of different natures. Those who were the best in the pre-lslamic period are also the best in Islam if they comprehend religious knowledge. You see that the best amongst the people in this respect (i.e. ambition of ruling) are those who hate it most. And you see that the worst among people is the double faced (person) who appears to these with one face and to the others with another face (i.e a hypocrite).))

[Al-Bukhari and Muslim, on the authority of Abi Hurairah]

 Hypocrisy is accepted neither in Jahiliyyah nor in Islam.

The way Uthman bin Affan dealt with others in the market:

  Our Master Uthman is merciful, and man's mercy is manifested in the way he shows mercy to Muslims. Some merchants feel happy when prices rise, but one of them should know that when prices rise this means that Muslims will suffer, and some merchants will put it that way in case the prices go down, "The prices are insulted." Man should be happy when prices decrease, because Muslims will be able to eat fruits until they reach fullness though the merchant's profit might be little, and this is the way the merciful man thinks. This is the way our Master Uthman used to think, for whenever he sensed that the merchant would monopolize the prices or would sell his goods at high prices, he would send his caravans (which were full of all sorts of goods) to spoil their planning and put their plot in depression. He used to love all Muslims and people, and whenever a merchant tried to monopolize a certain good or essential food, Uthman, may Allah be pleased with him, used to buy huge quantities of that kind and then sell them in the market at a very cheap price in order to oppose monopoly. This is what he used to do. Here are some Prophetic Ahadeeth about the hoarder:

((It was narrated from 'Umar bin Khattab that the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "The importer is blessed with provision and the hoarder is cursed."))

((A muhtakir (the hoarder) shall not smell the fragrance of Paradise.))

((No one withholds goods till their price rises but a sinner.))

((The hoarder is cursed.))

 A muhtakir (the hoarder) is one who withholds supply of goods in the market, and holding the supplies is a way some merchants follow to increase their prices, so that they may gain lots of profits, and this is but monopoly which Uthman, may Allah be pleased with him, used to detest. Each time merchants tried to monopolize food, he (i.e. Uthman) would buy it in huge quantities and then sell that food in the market at low prices to break monopoly and to bring happiness to the people who would be able to afford this kind of food.

 Man should not feel happy if he is affluent while the rest of Muslims are in hardship, and if he does so, then he should know that his heart is ruthless. You should be happy when people can afford food, when they are able to eat the best of food, when they are able to dwell in houses, when they can afford nice clothes and when they have enough money, but when you feel happy if you are rich and the rest of people are in hardship, you will be included in the following Hadith:

((A man is not a believer who eats his fill whilst his neighbour beside him is hungry.))

The outstanding stances of Uthman bin Affan:

 Uthman once received a huge caravan from Damascus carrying all sorts of goods. They were between 40 and 50 camels which carried all the goods of which people of Makkah were in dire need. Let me mention this story as narrated by Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him. He said, "During Abu Bakr's Khilafah (Caliphate), people faced great hardships. The land became arid and very few people could find something to eat. The people of Madinah came to Abu Bakr and asked him to provide them with something that they could survive with. However, the Khalifah (Caliph) could not do anything to help them. The treasury was empty and there were no other means to feed the hungry people. At that time, Uthman received a huge caravan from Damascus carrying food and other goods. All the merchants gathered at his house asking him to sell them some of the items he received so that they could sell them to the people. Uthman asked them to offer him a good price. Though the merchants offered a high price, he kept asking them for a higher price. They offered him the highest price they could and told him that no merchant would be able to pay more than what they had offered. Uthman told them that he would sell the goods to the One Who would pay him 10 times what the merchants had offered, Who is Allah the Almighty. Uthman then gave away the whole of caravan to the starving people of Madinah and did not charge them anything."

What was said about him?

 Shurahbeel bin Muslim said, "Uthman used to feed people royal food, and he was satisfied with eating vinegar and oil." When a messenger from Azerbaijan came to see Umar bin Al-Khattab, Umar asked him, "Do you want to eat in my house or in the houses of the poor Muslims?" The messenger chose to eat in the house of Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, so Umar asked Um Kulthum, "What do we have for our visitor to eat?" She replied, "There is nothing save bread and salt", and it was their dinner, so when the man knew that the food of the poor Muslims was meat, he regretted his choice.

 Abdullah bin Shaddad said, "I saw Uthman delivering Friday Sermon while wearing a garment which is worth about 4 or 5 Dirham, though he was the Commander of the Believers."

 Uthman Ibn Affan entered upon a slave of his who was feeding his she-camel, and he saw something in the feed that he disliked, so he took hold of the slave's ear and tweaked it. Then he regretted it and said to his slave, "Settle the score." The slave refused, but he did not leave him alone until he took hold of his ear and began to tweak it. Uthman said to him, "Pull hard", until he thought that (the slave) pulled as hard as he had done. Then Uthman said, "How easy it is to settle a score before it is settled in the Hereafter."

 Whenever our Master Abdullah bin Umar, may Allah be pleased with both of them, recited this Ayah, "Is one who is obedient to Allah, prostrating himself or standing (in prayer) during the hours of the night, fearing the Hereafter and hoping for the Mercy of his Lord (like one who disbelieves)?" [Az-Zumar, 9], he used to say, "This is Uthman bin Affan." As if this Ayah were describing Uthman bin Affan. I wonder that if one of us finds himself described in the Quran (like in the previous Ayah), will he become happy? Allah the Almighty says:

﴾Verily, those who say: "Our Lord is Allah (Alone)," and then they Istaqamu,﴿

[Fussilat, 30]

 This is complete righteousness (Istiqama), and I hope that it describes each one of you. Allah the Almighty says:

﴾Those who spend [in Allah's Cause - deeds of charity, alms, etc.] in prosperity and in adversity, who repress anger, and who pardon men;﴿

[Aal-'Imran, 134]

 Are we like that? Allah the Almighty says:

﴾The believers are only those who, when Allah is mentioned, feel a fear in their hearts and when His Verses (this Qur'an) are recited unto them, they (i.e. the Verses) increase their Faith;﴿

[Al-Anfal, 2]

What do you think of this incident?

 Our Master Uthman reached the age 80, yet he refused to wake up anyone to help him in his Wudu. He used to wake up by himself and serve his needs though his old age might make this mission very difficult, so he would bring the water himself and offer Wudu.

 He refused to save his life from the swords of his foes if saving it might cause shedding even one drop of the blood of an innocent Muslim. Then Zayd Ibn Thabit entered his assembly and said to him, "O Commander of the Believers, the Ansar are at your door; if you wish we will be supporters of Allah twice." Uthman refused to fight, and he said, "There is no need for that; do not do it."

 When he saw that some of the companions gathered at his door to face the rebels with their swords he said, "The closest one of you to me today is the one who does not fight them with his hand or sword." There were 700 men with Uthman around his house; if he had let them and if Allah had willed, they would have driven the rebels out of the city. Among those men were Ibn Umar, Al-Hasan and Al-Hussein Ibn 'Ali and 'Abdullah Ibn Az-Zubayr. Uthman begged them not to fight, he said, "I ask you by Allah not to fight them, I do not want to be the reason behind any drop of blood to be shed." He was so merciful towards Muslims to such an extent that he preferred to sacrifice his life to prevent shedding any drop of innocent Muslim's blood. Our Master Ali bin Abi Taleb, may Allah be pleased with him, said about Uthman, "He was the best among us in maintaining kin ties."

Some of the Khutab and quotes of Uthman bin Affan:

 In one of his Khutab (plural of Khutbah; a sermon), Uthman said addressing the noble companions, "O people, fear Allah, for fearing Allah is a grace, and the prudent amongst people is the one who accuses himself (of falling behind), strives for the sake of what lies ahead after death and derives light from Allah's Light to lighten his grave. Let the servant of Allah fear being resurrected blind while he used to have sound sight in the worldly life." Allah the Almighty says:

﴾He will say:"O my Lord! Why have you raised me up blind, while I had sight (before)."* (Allah) will say: "Like this, Our Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) came unto you, but you disregarded them (i.e. you left them, did not think deeply in them, and you turned away from them), and so this Day, you will be neglected (in the Hell-fire, away from Allah's Mercy)."﴿

[Ta-Ha, 125-126]

 In another Khutbah, this great Khalifah said, "Allah gave you the worldly life, so that it will be your means to seek the Hereafter, and He did not give it to you to dwell in it." Uthman was very fearful of Allah, and he used to say, "Had I been between Paradise and Hell-fire and I did not know to which one of them I would be admitted, I wish I could be turned into ashes before I know my destiny." Umar bin Al-Khattab had in one way or another similar stances concerning fearing Allah. He once said, "I wish that the mother of Umar had never given birth to Umar, I wish she had been barren." He also said out of fearing Allah, "I wish I could have had nothing to be accountable for on the Day of Judgment."

 Dear brothers, fearing Allah indicates how knowledgeable man is, and when man does not fear anything (especially the consequences of his sins), he is ignorant. Only the knowledgeable man is the one who fears a lot. Hence:

((The Prophet PBUH said, "The peak of wisdom is fear of Allah, and I am the most fearful of Him among you."))

Why didn't Uthman fight with Muslims in Badr Battle?

 Uthman could not take part in the Battle of Badr though he wanted it so much, but his wife, Ruqiyya (daughter of the Prophet PBUH) was very ill. The Prophet PBUH ordered him to stay with her in her illness and meet her needs. In fact, man is blessed by Allah, for looking after his wife was equal to striving in the Cause of Allah. Uthman obeyed the Prophet's order, but Ruqiyya could not get over the illness she caught and died on the same day when Muslims received the good news of their victory. After returning from Badr, the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) gave Uthman his share of the bootie, for the Prophet PBUH said, "You received the rewards of a martyr though you did not join Badr."
 Some deeds equal Jihad (striving) in the Cause of Allah. I hope that each one of you tells his wife the following Hadith:

((Understand O woman (Go and tell others), and inform the other women. Indeed a woman's perfection of her relationship with her husband, her seeking his pleasure, and doing that which he approves of is equivalent to all of that (i.e. Al Jihad in the cause of Allah).))

 The woman who assumes that serving her household and family members is a trivial act, is ignorant, for pleasing her husband equals Jihad in the Cause of Allah.

The secret of the following pledge of alliance:

  In the Year of Hudaibiyah, the Prophet PBUH sent Uthman as an ambassador to Quraish, and Uthman took this risk contently. It was a great risk, because the Prophet PBUH first sent Khurashah bin Umayah to negotiate with Quraish, but upon seeing him and hearing his words, Quraish killed his camel and they were about to kill him too, but some Ahabeesh rescued him. Thus, going there was a great risk.

 Uthman went to Quraish without minding the possibility that he might be killed, and when he reached Makkah, he saw the provoked crowds amongst Quraish, so he conveyed the message of the Prophet PBUH. To his surprise, they were gentle in their respond, and they gave him the choice by saying, "You can offer Tawaf alone, but we prevent Muhammad PBUH and his companions from offering it." Uthamn replied, "I will never offer Tawaf unless the Prophet PBUH offers it."

 Quraish then decided to keep him in their custody in order to test the response of Muslims, whether they would defend him or not. A rumor spread that he was killed. Quraish withheld Uthman, and they gave Muslims the impression that he was killed, and this made loyalty, love, bravery and brotherhood of Muslims emerge, and the Prophet PBUH wanted to show the Mushrikeen his determination and his capability of stopping their wrongdoing and blindness. Therefore, the Prophet PBUH told Bay'ah (pledge of alliance) under the tree between Makkah and Jeddah and its name was "Ash-Shajarah" where there was a Masjid. This blessed Bay'ah is called Bay'at Ar-Radwan, and it is mentioned in the Quran. Allah the Almighty says:

﴾ Verily, those who give Bai'a (pledge) to you (O Muhammad PBUH) they are giving Bai'a (pledge) to Allah. The Hand of Allah is over their hands.﴿

[Al-Fath, 10]

 In another Ayah, Allah the Almighty says:

﴾Indeed, Allah was pleased with the believers when they gave their Bai'a (pledge) to you (O Muhammad PBUH) under the tree, He knew what was in their hearts, and He sent down As-Sakinah (calmness and tranquillity) upon them, and He rewarded them with a near victory,﴿

[Al-Fath, 18]

 Allah the Almighty inspired to the Prophet PBUH that Uthman was still alive, and he was sound and safe. The Prophet PBUH took the Bay'ah, then he took one hand and he said, "The other hand was the hand of Uthman." 'Abdullah Ibn 'Umar said, "We became envious that the Prophet PBUH used his own hand to define the hand of Uthman." Every Muslim wished that he had been in the shoes of Uthman that day.

 Uthman came back safe and sound. Then Quraish sent Suhail bin Amr as a new representative, and he set up a truce with the Prophet PBUH known as "Sulh Al-Hudaibiyah". Umar bin Al-Khattab was upset about some of the terms mentioned in this truce, which made the Prophet PBUH say, "Ibn Al-Khattab, I am the Messenger of Allah."

Glad tidings given to Uthman bin Affan:

 The last thing I would like to say about our Master Uthman is that the Prophet PBUH gave him glad tidings that he would be admitted to Paradise. Furthermore, the Prophet PBUH chose him to be the writer of the Divine Revelation, and he gave him the glad tidings of being a martyr. Some pieces of the glad tidings are mentioned in the reported Prophetic Sunnah:

((Narrated Anas bin Malik: The Prophet (PBUH) ascended the mountain of Uhud and he was accompanied by Abu Bakr, 'Umar and Uthman. The mountain shook beneath them. The Prophet (PBUH) hit it with his foot and said, "O Uhud! Be firm, for on you there is none but a Prophet, a Siddiq and a martyr (i.e. and two martyrs).))

[Al-Bukhari, on the authority of Anas]

 This is the glad tidings of being the writer of the Divine Revelation and of being admitted to Paradise.

 Dear brothers, next lecture insha' Allah (if Allah will), we will continue this exalted biography of this lofty Khalifah, our Master Uthman bin Affan, may Allah be pleased with him.

Translation  : Noura Sharabi
Edited by      : Kawthar Hajj Saleh