by Imam Abu Na’im al-Asfahani, trans. Shaykh Muhammad Al-Akili. Pearl Publishing House, Philadelphia: 1996. [spacing mine]

401- ‘Abdullah, the son of ‘Amer bin Rabi’a, said: “When the insurgence against the caliph ‘Uthman, God be pleased with him, took place, my father woke up in the middle of the night, and he prayed, ‘My Lord, I beseech Thee to deliver me from these trials and to protect me as Thou protected Thy most favored servants.’”


The next sire of the people, is the humble before his Lord, the chaste and truly devoted to his Lord, the bearer of the two lights, the most revering of his Lord, who prayed toward the two Qibla, the Sacred House in Mecca and the Furthest Mosque in Jerusalem, and who enjoyed the privilege and blessings of migration twice, that is ‘Uthman Ibn ‘Affan, God be forever pleased with him, the blessed caliph of God’s messenger, upon whom be peace.
‘Uthman, may Allah shower him with His utmost blessings, prayed and invoked the divine favors between the two pinnacles of the night. He rose regularly at night to offer extended superogatory prayers and to prostrate himself before his Creator, Cherisher, and Lord. He prayed for God’s mercy to embrace him in this life and in the next, and he feared His displeasure and castigation. ‘Uthman was generous and most shy, and he was vigilant, reverent, and fearful of his Lord. His fortune during the day consisted of goodness of character, fasting and prayers, and during the night, his fortune was made of superogatory devotion, reading the Qur’anic revelation, contemplation, and prayers.

109- ‘Uthman was a hard-working and a persevering devoted worshipper. On this subject, and after the passing of ‘Uthman, God be pleased with him, al-Hassan bin ‘Ali, God be pleased with him and with his father, was once sitting in a group of believers, and they were reminiscing the virtues of ‘Uthman, God be pleased with him. Al-Hassan, referring to his father, and in anticipation that he will further illumine this subject, said, ‘The Prince of the Believers will soon arrive.’ When ‘Ali, God bless his countenance, arrived, he reanimated the subject of ‘Uthman, commenting: “Indeed, ‘Uthman was among those about whom God Almighty said: ‘Those who believe in Allah and do righteous deeds, who guard themselves against evil, and who have faith, thence, and as long as they are God-fearing and do good deeds, surely Allah loves the charitable ones’ (Qur’an 5:93).

110- Abu Bakr bin Musa narrated that ‘Abdullah bin Omar, God be pleased with him, once explained that the Qur’anic verse: ‘He who worships devoutly during the hours of the night, prostrating himself or standing up (in devotion), who heeds the call of the hereafter, and hopes to win the mercy of his Lord,’ (Qur’an 39:9) refers to ‘Uthman, God be forever pleased with him.

111- Sulaiman bin Ahmad narrated that Ibn Omar narrated that God’s messenger said: “The most humble and unassuming person among my followers is ‘Uthman Ibn ‘Affan.”

112- On this subject, Ahmad Ibn Hanbal reported that al-Hassan spoke of ‘Uthman’s regard to modesty, saying: “Even when he was in the privacy of his house, and his doors were locked, ‘Uthman would not take off his robe when he poured water to wash himself, he would sit down while taking a bath, and his modesty prevented him from standing up naked before the all-Seeing Omnipresent Lord.”

113- ‘Abdullah bin Omar once said: “Three men from the tribe Quraish are the most cheerful, the most modest, and they have the best of character. They are truthful when they speak, and they are not suspicious of others’ truthfulness. They are Abu Bakr al-Siddiq, ‘Uthman Ibn ‘Affan, and ‘Ubaida al-Jarrah.”

114-Imam Muhammad Ibn Seerin narrated that when the assailants besieged ‘Uthman’s house, and in a moment of distress, his beleaguered wife burst out in tears as she cried out: “Whether you kill him or not, he used to recite the entire Qur’an throughout the night during a single rak’a of his prayers.”

115- Abi Ja’far narrated that Masrouq saw al-Ashtar, a member of the mob that murdered ‘Uthman, God be pleased with him. Masrouq inquired: “Did you kill ‘Uthman?” Al-Ashtar boastfully and conceitedly replied: “Yes we did.” Masrouq pondered in dismay for a moment and then said: “By God, you have murdered a man who has fasted all his life and prayed all his nights.”


‘Uthman, God be forever pleased with him, was given the glad tidings of the adversities he had to meet, and his heart was guarded against anxiety or complaints in that regard. ‘Uthman met anxiety with patience, and he traveled through afflictions with thankfulness to his Lord. He sipped the bitter taste of his trials and tribulations in this world to savor the everlasting sweetness and solace of salvation in the hereafter.
116- On this subject, Abu Musa al-Ash’ari narrated that he was once together with God’s messenger inside a garden when someone came to the gate and sought permission to enter. God’s messenger said: “Open the gate and give him the glad tidings of paradise and of an atrocious last trial in this world.” When Abu Musa opened the gate, he found ‘Uthman, God be pleased with him, standing at the door, and when I told him the news, he came in thanking Allah for His favors, and he sat down quietly next to God’s messenger.

117- Abi Hazim narrated that when ‘Uthman was besieged inside his house, he said: “I have made a solemn promise to God’s messenger, and I must endure its consequences with patience.”


118- Ahmad bin Sanan narrated that ‘Uthman earned two distinct badges of honor that added to his prominence, and neither Abu Bakr nor Omar had them: (1) ‘Uthman was unjustly murdered, and (2) he compiled the Qur’an.

Among his other traits, ‘Uthman spent freely his entire wealth on God’s path, he sought the pleasure of his Lord, and he provided comfort to His servants. ‘Uthman took little for himself, he wore ordinary cloaks, ate plain food, and sought the highest of achievements, and finally, by the mercy of his Lord, he was crowned with the highest of honors.

119- Abu Huraira, God be pleased with him, narrated: “‘Uthman bought paradise from God’s messenger, upon whom be peace, twice: 1) Once in a business transaction when he bought the well of rumah (from the disbelievers), and which he made a public property for all Muslims, and 2) he bought it a second time when he fully financed and equipped the Army of Hardship (Jaish al-‘Usra).”

120- Also on this subject, ‘Abdu-Rahman Ibn Abi Habab al-Salmi narrated that prior to the Battle of Badr, God’s messenger delivered a sermon concerning the Army of Hardship, and he admonished the people to support it. Initially, ‘Uthman pledged to equip one hundred men. When God’s messenger further invited the people to share in this responsibility, ‘Uthman made an additional pledge to equip another hundred. God’s messenger spoke again on their behalf, and ‘Uthman again added a pledge to equip another hundred. God’s messenger then said: “‘Uthman does no longer need a deed of righteousness (i.e., to please Allah) after this.”

121-‘Abdullah bin Omar narrated that when God’s messenger saw ‘Uthman going back and forth to equip the Army of Hardship (Arb. jaish al-‘usra) before the Battle of Badr took place, God’s messenger prayed: “O Allah, forgive ‘Uthman for every step he takes back and forth, for every deed he hides and every deed he displays, and forgive him for whatever thoughts he conceals and whatever words he utters.”

122-Al-Hassan, son of ‘Ali, once said: “I saw ‘Uthman resting inside the mosque covered with an ordinary blanket, and he had no personal guards when he was the Muslim State’s Calif and commander of the believers. When he woke up in the morning, the marks of stones showed on his side, and the people would point out, saying: “This is Amir ul-Mu’mineen.”‘ (The commander of the believers).

123- Ja’far bin Muhammad bin al-Fadhl narrated that ‘Uthman used to feed the people the best of food, and later on, he would enter his house to partake a modest meal of some bread which he dipped in a little oil and vinegar.

124- Sulaiman bin Musa narrated that during his caliphate, ‘Uthman was called upon once to reprove a group of people who engaged in an iniquitous act. When he came out of his house, the people had dispersed, ‘Uthman praised God Almighty for sparing him from such encounter, and on that day, he bought the freedom of a slave as an expression of his deep gratitude to his Lord.”

125- Maimoun bin Mihran narrated that al-Hamadani told him: “I once saw ‘Uthman, during the appogé of his caliphate, riding on a mule and his servant Na’il riding behind him.”

126- ‘Abdullah bin al-Rumi narrated that ‘Uthman once said: “If I was given a choice between going to heaven or hell, and not knowing to which of the two I will ultimately be taken, I would rather be turned into ashes before I know my final destination.”

127- ‘Abdullah bin ‘Amir bin Rabi’a was once visiting with ‘Uthman and he heard him say: “Let Allah be my witness, that I have never committed adultery in my life, whether during the period of jahiliyya (Arab paganism), or later on in Islam, and I became more reserved since the religion Islam was established.”

128- ‘Abdullah al-Madini narrated that ‘Uthman’s servant Hani said: “Whenever ‘Uthman visited a grave, he sobbed until his beard was soaking in tears.”

129- Abi Masja’s narrated: “We once went along with ‘Uthman to visit a dying person, and ‘Uthman instructed him to utter the testimony, ‘La ilaha il Allah’ (Surely there is no god except Allah). When the person did what he was told, ‘Uthman immediately commented, ‘I swear by Him in Whose presence my soul stands, with this testimony which he has just cast upon his sins, he has wiped them out altogether.’ The people inquired with a degree of wonder, ‘Is this something that you are personally testifying to, or did you hear this statement from God’s messenger?’ ‘Uthman replied, ‘Indeed, I have heard it from God’s messenger.’ Someone then asked, ‘If uttering this testament proves thus for a dying person, then what effects would it have on a healthy person when he testifies to it?’ ‘Uthman replied, ‘Much much stronger.'”