• Misyar Marriage

    is carried out via the normal contractual procedure, with the specificity that the husband and wife give up several rights by their own free will...

  • Taraveeh a Biad'ah

    Nawafil prayers are not allowed with Jama'at except salatul-istisqa' (the salat for praying to Allah to send rain)..

  • Umar attacks Fatima (s.)

    Umar ordered Qunfuz to bring a whip and strike Janabe Zahra (s.a.) with it.

  • The lineage of Umar

    And we summarize the lineage of Omar Bin Al Khattab as follows:

  • Before accepting Islam

    Umar who had not accepted Islam by that time would beat her mercilessly until he was tired. He would then say

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Last Days of Umar bin al-Khattab

One of the friends of Umar was a certain Mughira bin Shaaba. Umar had appointed him governor, first of Basra, and later of Kufa.

A slave of Mughira had a certain grouse against him. He requested Umar's intercession, and upon the latter's refusal, he attacked him, and mortally wounded him.

A physician was called. He gave Umar some medicine to drink but all of it came out of the gaping wound in his navel. When the physician noticed this, he told Umar that there was no hope of his recovery, and advised him to make his will since little time was left for him in this world.

Word rapidly spread that the khalifa was mortally wounded, and the news caused much commotion in the city.

Many companions called on Umar to enquire after his health. Some of them suggested that he designate someone as his successor. Umar said:

"If I designate someone as my successor, nothing would be amiss with it since Abu Bakr designated me as his successor, and he was better than me. But if I do not designate anyone as my successor, nothing would be amiss with that either since the Apostle of God did not designate his own successor, and he was better than both of us (Abu Bakr and Umar)."

Ayesha also sent word to Umar urging him to appoint someone as khalifa before his own death, or else, she warned, "anarchy and chaos may spread in the land."

Umar asked Ayesha's messenger to tell her as follows:

"I have considered this matter, and I have decided to appoint six men as members of an electoral committee, and to charge them with the task of selecting one out of themselves as khalifa. The six men are: Ali, Uthman, Abdur Rahman bin Auf; Talha, Zubayr and Saad bin Abi Waqqas. The Apostle of God was pleased with all six of them when he left this world, and each of them is qualified to become the khalifa of the Muslims."

Umar then called all six members of his electoral committee to his home to explain to them what they had to do. When they came, he addressed them as follows:

"O group of Muhajireen! Verily, the Apostle of God died, and he was pleased with all six of you. I have, therefore, decided to make it (the selection of khalifa) a matter of consultation among you, so that you may select one of yourselves as khalifa. If five of you agree upon one man, and there is one who is opposed to the five, kill him. If four are one side and two on the other, kill the two. And if three are on one side and three on the other, then Abdur Rahman ibn Auf will have the casting vote, and the khalifa will be selected from his party. In that case, kill the three men on the opposing side. You may, if you wish, invite some of the chief men of the Ansar as observers but the khalifa must be one of you Muhajireen, and not any of them. They have no share in the khilafat. And your selection of the new khalifa must be made within three days." (Tabari, History)

Umar ordered his son, Abdullah, also to attend the meetings of the newly-formed electoral committee, though not as a candidate for caliphate, and said to him:

"If the members of this committee disagree among themselves, you support those who are in majority. If there is a tie with three on each side, then you support the party of Abdur Rahman bin Auf."

Sir John Glubb

Umar had prescribed a maximum of three days for their (the electoral committee's) deliberations. At the end of that period, they must willy-nilly unanimously choose a khalif. In the event of the decision not being unanimous, the majority candidate was to be adopted, the members of the minority being all immediately put to death." (The Great Arab Conquests, 1967)

When Umar was satisfied that he had done his duty in the matter of his succession, he asked some of those men who were around him, whom out of the six nominees, they would like to see as their new khalifa. One of them present named Zubayr. Umar said: "Will you make your khalifa a man who is a believer when he is happy, and an unbeliever when he is angry?" Another man named Talha. Umar said: "Will you make your khalifa a man who has mortgaged the gift of the Apostle of God to a Jewess?" A third named Ali. Umar said: "If you make him your khalifa, he will not let you deviate from truth but I know that you will not."

Walid bin Aqaba, a half-brother of Uthman, was also present in the assembly. When he heard Umar's comments on the candidates, he exclaimed: "I know who will become the next khalifa." Umar who was lying down, sat up in the bed, and asked, who. Walid said: "Uthman."

Umar ordered Abu Talha Ansari to lead the Muslims in prayer during the interregnum, and also to watch the members of the electoral committee during their deliberations. He also gave him fifty armed men to enable him to carry out his duties. These men were to act, if necessary, as executioners (Tarikh Kamil).

On the following day, Umar called the members of the electoral committee again, and when they came, he said: "So everyone of you wants to become the khalifa after me?" Everyone kept quiet. Umar repeated his question whereupon Zubayr said: "And what's wrong with that? You became khalifa and you managed it. Why can't we? " Umar then asked: "Shall I tell you something about each of you?" Zubayr answered: "Go ahead; tell us." Umar commented upon them as follows:

"Saad bin Abi Waqqas is a good archer but he is arrogant, and khilafat is beyond his reach. Talha is rude, greedy and conceited. Abdur Rahman is too much given to comfort and luxury; if he becomes khalifa, his wives will run the government. Zubayr is a believer when he is in a happy mood but is an unbeliever when he is angry. Ali is worthy of being the ruler of the Muslims in every respect but he is too ambitious."

Umar then turned to Uthman, and said:

"Take it from me. It is as if I am seeing with my own eyes that the Quraysh have put this necklace (khilafat) around your neck, and you have foisted the Banu Umayya and the Banu Abi Muayt (Uthman's family) upon the Muslims, and have given them all the wealth of the umma. Then the wolves of the Arabs came, and slaughtered you. By God, if they (the Quraysh) do, you will certainly do; and if you do, they (the Arabs) will certainly do." (If the Quraysh make Uthman their khalifa, he would give all his power and authority to Banu Umayya; and when he does so, the Arabs will come and kill him).

Umar told the members of the electoral committee that the Apostle of God was "pleased" with them when he left this world. But was the Apostle pleased only with these six men? Was he displeased with the rest of the Muhajireen and the Ansar? If he was not, then why did Umar exclude all of them from his electoral committee? He did not give the rest of the Muhajireen and Ansar the right even to express an opinion much less the right to select their ruler.

Though Umar chose six Qurayshites as electors because as he said, the Apostle was pleased with them, he himself found nothing commendable in them. He found them arrogant, rude, greedy, conceited, henpecked, temperamental, venal and ambitious.

If, at the election of Abu Bakr, the principle was accepted that it is the right of the Muslim umma (people) to select or elect its own rulers, then how is it that the leading companions of the Prophet, and Ayesha, his widow, urged Umar to appoint his own successor? Didn't they know that a ruler was to be chosen by the umma? But Umar, instead of denying or affirming this right of the umma, said that if he appointed someone as khalifa, he would be following the precedent of Abu Bakr; and if he did not, then he would be following the precedent of the Prophet himself. In practice, however, he followed neither the precedent of Abu Bakr nor the precedent of the Prophet. He named six men as members of an electoral committee, and made them responsible for selecting a khalifa out of themselves – regardless of the opinions and wishes of the Muslim umma.

It is true that Umar did not name anyone as his successor but his electoral committee was, in point of fact, a de facto designation. Its constitution guaranteed the selection only of Umar's own candidate. His first stipulation was that the candidate who gets most of the votes, would become khalifa. There was no way for Ali to get most of the votes. Abdur Rahman bin Auf was the husband of the half-sister of Uthman. (This lady was the daughter of the mother of Uthman and her second husband). Saad bin Abi Waqqas was the first cousin of Abdur Rahman, and was under his influence. "Tribal solidarity" or "tribal chauvinism" was very strong among the Arabs. Talha belonged to the clan of Abu Bakr, and was married to one of his daughters (the sister of Ayesha). Therefore, it was unthinkable that any of them would vote for Ali. Thus Ali had to count out four votes even before the beginning of the parleys. All he could do, was to hope that he might get Zubayr's vote. In any case, Abdur Rahman bin Auf – the self-appointed king-maker, had the casting vote. As Umar's confidante, it was inevitable that he would give his vote and his support only to his (Umar's) favorite, and the brother of his own wife – Uthman.

Now the minority in the electoral committee had one of the two choices open before it, viz., either acquiesce in the king-maker's selection and acknowledge Uthman as khalifa or pass the sentence of death to itself!

Hudhaifa, a companion, reports that sometime before the attempt was made on his life, a few companions had asked Umar who would succeed him as khalifa, and he had told them, Uthman. (Kanz-ul-Ummal and Tarikh-Ahmedi).

The author of Riyadh-un-Nadhra writes in the same connection as follows:

"In the Hajj season someone asked Umar who would be the khalifa of the Muslims after him, and he said, Uthman bin Affan."

Umar desired nothing so much as to appoint Uthman as his successor but for some reason known only to him, he did not wish to do so openly. At the same time, he did not allow the Muslims to exercise their freewill in the matter of choosing their ruler. Left to themselves, they would not have chosen his favorite, and he knew it. He, therefore, devised a new mode of giving the umma its leader. This new mode, spun out with intricate sophistication, guaranteed the election of Uthman.

Umar had assembled the Electoral Committee only to dissemble!

Perhaps it would have served the interests of the umma better if Umar had openly appointed Uthman as his successor instead of framing a panel of electors for this purpose. A direct and open appointment would have averted the civil wars in Islam. His panel of electors proved to be the catalyst of the battles of Basra, Siffin and Nehrwan. He achieved his aim at the moment but only at the expense of the integrity of Islam in the future.

Abdullah ibn Abbas ibn Abdul-Muttalib was the first cousin of Muhammad Mustafa and Ali ibn Abi Talib. When he heard that Umar had given special powers to Abdur Rahman bin Auf in the panel of electors, he said to Ali:

"Khilafat is lost to us once again.This man (Umar) wants Uthman to be the new khalifa. I know they will keep khilafat out of the house of Muhammad."

Ali made the following comment:

"I agree with what you say. I have no illusions in this matter. Nevertheless, I shall attend the meeting(s) of the Shura (electoral committee), and the Muslims will see with their own eyes the conflict between Umar's words and his deeds. By placing my name in his electoral committee, he has, at least, acknowledged my right to become caliph whereas in the past, he went around saying that prophethood and caliphate ought never to combine in the same house."

How did Abdullah ibn Abbas know that Umar wanted Uthman to become the khalifa? As noted before, it was obvious from the constitution of the electoral committee. One look at its terms of reference was enough to convince anyone that the outcome of its quest was predetermined. Those terms of reference declared, loudly and unmistakably, that khilafat was going to be the prize of Uthman and the Umayyads. Therefore, after the promulgation by Umar of the constitution of his electoral committee, if Ali had any interest still left in it, and in its professed purpose, it was purely academic and abstract, and as he himself said, his participation in its meetings would do nothing more than point up the contradictions inherent in it.

This is the age of democracy. The people choose their leaders. Elections are held from the lowest to the highest levels of public life; from the chairmen of school committees and fund-raising groups to the heads of governments and states. But it has never so happened that those candidates for office who lose the election to their opponents, are put to death. The candidates who lose, become leaders of the opposition, and the existence of a healthy opposition is considered essential for the existence of democracy itself. If the opposition is liquidated, then democracy becomes a casualty, and the state becomes totalitarian.

Umar's order to kill the minority in his electoral committee has no parallel in the history of mankind. He ordered the execution of all those companions of Muhammad Mustafa, who as candidates for caliphate, would get fewer votes than their opposite numbers, even though he knew that it is the job of others to give or to withhold their votes. In other words, he decreed that it is a "crime" to get fewer votes than one's opponent, and the penalty is death!

This was the last decision of the man who once said: "The Book of God is sufficient for us." Did he really believe in what he said? Did he read that Book? Did he find sanction in that Book for his order to kill a candidate for a certain office because he scored lower than his opponent?

Here it should be pointed out that no one out of the six Muhajireen had applied to Umar for membership in his electoral committee. His action in choosing them was totally arbitrary. He then imposed upon them the duty of electing a khalifa with the stipulation that if anyone of them disagreed with the majority, he would forfeit his life.

Umar had obviously opted for the totalitarian "remedy" of taking the right of dissent away from the Muslims.

For many centuries, the Sunni Muslims have raved over what they call "the justice of Umar." Is his order to kill the dissenting member or members of his electoral committee a sample of that "justice?" Is it the sample of justice that they proudly uphold to the nations of the earth?

Umar died on the last Saturday of Zil-Hajj (the last month of the Islamic calendar) of 23 A.H. (A.D. 644), and he was buried next to the Prophet and Abu Bakr.

The Members of the Electoral Committee

Umar, on his deathbed, had appointed six Muhajireen as members of a panel which was to choose one out of themselves as the future khalifa of the Muslims. They were Ali ibn Abi Talib, Uthman, Talha, Zubayr, Abdur Rahman bin Auf and Saad bin Abi Waqqas. Except Ali, all other members of the panel were capitalists, or rather, neo-capitalists. When they came from Makkah, they were penniless and homeless but within twelve years, i.e., from the death of Muhammad Mustafa in 632 to the death of Umar in 644, each of them, except Ali, had become rich like Croesus. Between these two dates, they had accumulated immense wealth, and had become the richest men of their times.

Ali did not qualify as a member of this exclusive "club" but Umar admitted him anyway. Apart from the fact that Ali made his living as a gardener whereas his other five co-members lived on the revenues of their lands and estates, there was another gulf, even more unbridgeable, that separated him from them. In character, personality, temperament, attitudes, philosophy and outlook on life, Ali and the rest of them were the antithesis of each other.

In an earlier chapter, it was pointed out that the famous line of Keats, "Beauty is Truth and Truth Beauty," can be transposed to read as "Economic power is political power and political power economic power." Economic power and political power are reciprocal. Karl Marx said: "Whatever social class has economic power, also has political and social power." And George Wald, professor of Biology at the Harvard University, said in an address in Tokyo in 1974: "Private wealth and personal political power are interchangeable."

There can be no doubt that economic power is a springboard of political power. This has been a consistent pattern throughout history.

President Abraham Lincoln had defined democracy as the government of the people, by the people, and for the people.

In the American presidential elections of 1984 when President Ronald Reagan was reelected, the Russians quipped:

"The United States Government is of the millionaires, by the millionaires and for the millionaires."

All the members of Umar's electoral committee, were millionaires – except Ali ibn Abi Talib! Following is a portrait left by historians of the members of Umar's Electoral Committee:

D. S. Margoliouth

Othman, son of Affan, six years the Prophet's junior, was a cloth merchant; he also did some business as a money-lender, advancing sums for enterprises of which he was to enjoy half the profits (Ibn Sa'd, iii, 111), and in money matters showed remarkable acuteness (Wakidi W. 231). His sister was a milliner, married to a barber (Isabah, i. 714). He was no fighting man, as his subsequent history proved, for he shirked one battlefield, ran away from another, and was killed, priest-like, ostentatiously reading the Koran."

Ibn Sa'd says in his Tabqaat about Othman: "When he died, he left 35 million dirhems, 150,000 dinars, 3000 camels, and many horses. He built himself a palace in Medina with marble and teakwood. He had 1000 slaves." (Mohammed and the Rise of Islam, London, 1931)

E. A. Belyaev

In his youth, before the rise of Islam, Uthman had been very rich and gained much money from profitable usurious transactions. Uthman's acquisitiveness and business talents gained full scope when he became caliph. He built himself a stone house in Medina with doors of precious wood and acquired much real estate in that city, including gardens and water sources. He had a large income from his fruit plantations in Wadi-ul-Qura, Hunain and other places, valued at 100,000 dinars, besides large herds of horses and camels on these estates. The day Uthman died his personal treasury was found to contain 150,000 dinars and one million dirhems.

Multiplying his riches at the expense of the Moslem treasury, Uthman also gave free use of the latter to some of the closest companions of Muhammad, attempting to justify his illegal actions by associating these most authoritative veteran Moslems with his own depredations. The "companions" applauded the caliph Uthman for his generosity and magnanimity, no doubt for solid reasons of self-interest.

Zubair ibn al-Awwam, for example, one of the better known amongst them, built tenement houses in Kufa, Basra, Fustat and Alexandria. His property was estimated at 50,000 dinars, in addition to which he possessed 1000 horses and 1000 slaves.

Another "companion," Talha ibn Ubaidullah, built a large tenement house in Kufa and acquired estates in Irak which brought in a daily 1000 dinars; he also built a luxurious house of brick and precious wood in Medina.

Abd-ar-Rahman ibn Auf, also an outstanding "companion," also built himself a rich and spacious dwelling; his stables contained 100 horses and his pastures 1000 camels and 10,000 sheep, and one quarter of the inheritance he left after his death was valued at 84,000 dinars.

Such acquisitiveness was widespread among the companions of the Prophet and Uthman's entourage. (Arabs, Islam and the Arab Caliphate in the Early Middle Ages, New York, 1969)

Bernard Lewis

Sa'd ibn Abi Waqqas built his house in Al-Aqiq. He made it high and spacious, and put balconies around the upper part. Sa'id ibn al-Musayyib said that when Zayd ibn Thabit died, he left ingots of gold and silver that were broken up with axes, in addition to property and estates to the value of 100,000 dinars. (Islam in History, New York, 1973)

Dr. Taha Husain of Egypt writes in his book, al-Fitna-tul-Kubra (The Great Upheaval), published by Dar-ul-Ma'arif, Cairo, 1959, p. 47:

"When Uthman became khalifa, he not only lifted the ban placed by Umar upon the companions to go to the other countries, but also gave them rich present from the public treasury. He gave Zubayr 600,000 dirhems in one day, and he gave Talha 100,000 dirhems in one day enabling them to buy lands, property and slaves in other countries."

Abdur Rahman bin Auf was a member of the inner circle of the friends of Uthman. About him Sir William Muir writes:

"Abd al-Rahman, when in after years he used to fare sumptuously on fine bread and every variety of meat, would weep while looking at his richly furnished table and thinking of the Prophet's straitened fare." (The Life of Mohammed, London 1877)

The love that Abdur Rahman bore his late master, Muhammad, was deeply moving. His wives and concubines prepared delicacies of many colors and tastes for him. When he sat down to eat, recollection came to him of the Spartan times of the Apostle. He "missed" him and he "missed" those times, shed many a tear, and then gobbled up everything on the table.

Sir William Muir sums up his impressions of the companions of the Apostle of God as follows:

"In pursuing the annals of the ‘companions' and first followers of Mohammed, few things so forcibly illustrate the spirit of Islam as, first, the number of their wives and concubines and the facility of divorce; and, next, the vast riches they amassed; a significant contrast with the early days of Christianity." (The Life of Mohammed, London, 1877)

Sir William Muir has done a great injustice, in the first place, in lumping the companions all together whereas there were two distinct categories of them. The first category which comprised the overwhelming majority, is the one he has correctly depicted in his book, but there also existed another, though very small, category, and he has taken no notice of it.

In the second place, Sir William Muir has attributed the insatiable acquisitiveness of the companions to "the spirit of Islam," and this is an even grosser injustice. The acquisitiveness of the companions, or rather, the acquisitiveness of most of the companions of the Apostle, illustrates, not the spirit of Islam, but a reaction against that spirit. The obsession with materialism runs counter to the spirit and genius of Islam. Qur’an has castigated those people who amass gold and silver.

If anyone wishes to see the real spirit of Islam, he will find it, not in the deeds of the nouveaux riches of Medina, but in the life, character and deeds of such companions of the Apostle of God as Ali ibn Abi Talib, Salman el-Farsi, Abu Dharr el-Ghiffari, Ammar ibn Yasir, Owais Qarni and Bilal. The orientalists will change their assessment of the spirit of Islam if they contemplate it in the austere, pure and sanctified lives of these latter companions.

It may be noted that the members of the electoral committee were all men of Makkah. There was no man of Medina among them. Umar had studiously kept them out. When he was explaining to the members of the committee what they had to do, he addressed them as "O group of Muhajireen." He told them that the khalifa had to be one of them, and that the men of Medina had no share in khilafat. Some companions pressed Umar to appoint his own successor. He named a number of people who were dead, and said that if any of them were alive, he would have appointed him as his successor.

Dr. Taha Husain

"The Prophet of Islam had been dead, not days but only a few hours when Islam was confronted with its first crisis - in the matter of his succession. The Ansar said to the Muhajireen: ‘One chief from us and one from you.' But Abu Bakr did not agree to this, and he quoted the following tradition of the Prophet: ‘The rulers shall be from the Quraysh.' Then he said to the Ansar: ‘We shall be rulers and you will be our ministers.' The Ansar accepted this arrangement (with the exception of Saad ibn Ubada).

This is how the ‘aristocracy' of Islam was born. Its right to rule rested on its propinquity to Muhammad. All authority was vested in the Quraysh. The Ansar were the advisers. Every Muslim has the right to offer advice. The Quraysh were to rule, and the Ansar and the other Muslims were to give advice but not to rule.

When Umar was dying, he was questioned about his successor, and he said: ‘If Abu Obaida bin al-Jarrah were alive, I would have made him the khalifa. If Khalid bin al-Walid were alive, I would have appointed him the amir of the Muslims. And if Salim, the client of Abu Hudhaifa, were living today, then I would have designated him as your ruler.' This Salim was a slave who came from Istakhar in Persia. He was emancipated, and became a ‘mawali' (client) of Abu Hudhaifa. He was well-known for his piety. Many Muslims deferred to him in matters of Faith even in the times of the Prophet. Sometimes he led the Muslims in prayer also. He was killed in the Ridda wars during the khilafat of Abu Bakr. He was a devout and God-fearing man." (al-Fitna-tul-Kubra {The Great Upheaval}, published by Dar-ul-Ma'arif, Cairo, 1959).

It was really unfortunate for the umma that Salim was dead or else Umar would have made him his successor, and he might have made an excellent khalifa. At any rate, Umar knocked down that "tradition" of the Apostle which Abu Bakr had quoted before the Ansar in Saqifa according to which no one but the Quraysh had the right to become rulers. Here was Umar, the greatest "pontiff" of the Sunni establishment, ready, willing and eager to make Salim the khalifa of the Muslims, who was:

(a)a non-Qurayshi

(b)a non-Arab

(c)a ‘non-free' man, a client, a man who was emancipated by an Arab, and who was under his protection.

Umar "proved" on his deathbed that the "tradition" of the "Qurayshi connection" by which the Muhajireen had claimed their "superiority" over the Ansar in Saqifa, was spurious, and he "proved" that to be a khalifa of the Muslims, it was not necessary to be a Qurayshi after all.

Umar could consider a former slave who was not distinguished for anything except for his piety, for the most important position in Islam but he could not consider an Ansari for it, even if he had distinguished himself in war and peace. The Ansaris, in fact, could not fill even less important positions. In his book, Al-Farooq, M. Shibli, the Indian historian, has published a list of the names of the civil and military officers of his (Umar's) time. With one solitary exception (Uthman bin Hunaif), the entire list is made up of names of men who were noted for their animosity to Ali, to Banu Hashim, and to the Ansar.

These Ansaris were the same people who had, at one time, given sanctuary to Umar in their city. They had given him food, clothing and shelter when he did not have any of these things. Now he was repaying them!

Umar's attitude toward the Ansar is in sharp contrast to the attitude toward them of Muhammad, the Messenger of God. The latter loved the Ansar. He appointed many of them as governors of Medina, and he made many of them commanders of various expeditions. On one occasion he said that he would rather be with them (the Ansar) than with any other people. He also considered them capable of and qualified to rule the Muhajireen.

Montgomery Watt

The remark of Muhammad about Sa'd bin Mu'adh when he was about to judge the case of Banu Qurayza, "Stand for your chief (Sayyid)," could be taken to justify the view that the Ansar were capable of ruling over Quraysh, and the story was therefore twisted in various ways to remove this implication. (Muhammad at Medina, Oxford, 1966)

The Apostle of God called Sa'd the Chief of the Quraysh. Sa'd was obviously capable of ruling the Quraysh, and why not? After all what was there in the "credentials" of the Quraysh that the Ansar didn't have? Nothing. But the Ansar lost their capability of ruling the Quraysh as soon as Muhammad, their master, died. During the caliphate of Abu Bakr and Umar, it was a "disqualification" to be an Ansari to hold any important position in the government.

Laura Veccia Vaglieri

As he lay dying, Umar was anxious about the succession and he appointed a committee of six, all Qurayshites, whose duty it should be to choose one of their number as caliph. The inhabitants of Medina no longer had any share in the election of the head of the state. (Cambridge History of Islam, Cambridge, 1970)

Far from having a share in the election of the head of the state, not to speak of themselves becoming the head of the state, the inhabitants of Medina, did not have a share in anything. They might have given some "advice" to Abu Bakr and Umar. In Saqifa, Abu Bakr and Umar had told them that they would consult them (the Ansar) in all matters.

Few, if any, would challenge the general interpretation of this poignant fact that the most important and most indispensable single factor in the year 1 of Hijri, namely, the support of the Ansar, had become the most striking non-factor in the year 11 Hijri.

The Cassandra utterances of Hubab ibn al-Mandhir in the bedlam of Saqifa proved only too true. He had expressed the fear that the children of the Ansar would beg for food at the doors of the houses of the Muhajireen, and would not get any. Much worse was to come for them in the times of Yazid bin Muawiya.

The Ansar fought in all the campaigns of Abu Bakr and Umar but only as other ranks and never as generals. The new wealth which came flooding into Medina after the conquest of Persia and the Fertile Crescent, also appears to have bypassed them with the exception of a few, who collaborated with the Saqifa government. Among the latter were the two spies from the tribe of Aus who had squealed on the Khazraj to Umar and Abu Bakr. Others were Muhammad bin Maslama, Bashir bin Saad, and Zayd bin Thabit. They had shown great zeal in taking the oath of loyalty to Abu Bakr in Saqifa.

Zayd bin Thabit was fanatically devoted to Uthman, and for this reason, he received many gifts and rewards from the treasury. He was the son of poor parents but during the caliphate of Uthman, became one of the richest men in Medina.

Two officers of the public treasury in Medina and in Kufa who had been appointed by Abu Bakr, had thrown the keys of the treasuries in their charge, before Uthman, in protest against the plunder of the public funds by himself and by one of his governors. Uthman gave both keys to Zayd bin Thabit.

Zayd bin Thabit was also the chairman of the committee appointed by Uthman to collect the verses of Qur’an, and to publish them in one volume, as noted before.

Zayd bin Thabit was one of the few Ansaris who shared the bonanza in the times of Umar and Uthman. He was also one of the few Ansaris who did not take part in the campaigns of Ali in Basra, Siffin and Nehrwan. Most of the Ansaris fought on Ali's side against his enemies in these battles.



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