• uthmaan • and • the • qur’aan •

The method by means of which ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan and all the noble Sahabah were educated was the Holy Qur’an which was revealed from the Lord of the Worlds. It was the only source of guidance to be accepted. The Prophet (salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) was keen to ensure that the Muslims acquired their concepts from one source only. The Holy Qur’an alone was to be the methodology and focal point on which the Muslim individual, family and society were to be raised. The verses which ‘Uthman heard directly from the Messenger of Allah (salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) played a role in the formation of his Islamic personality. They purified his heart and soul and influenced him, and he became a new man, with new values, emotions, aims, behaviour and aspirations.[1]

‘Uthman radiyallaahu`anhu was deeply attached to the Holy Qur’an. Abu ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Sulami narrated how he learned it from the Messenger of Allah (salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) and his words indicate how greatly he loved to live with the Book of Allah. It was narrated that ‘Abu ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Sulami said: Those who taught the Qur’an – such as ‘Uthman ibn ‘Affan, ‘Abd-Allah ibn Mas’ood and others – told us that when they learned ten verses from the Prophet (salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) they would not go beyond them until they had learned the knowledge contained in them and how to apply it in deed. They said: So we learned the Qur’an and knowledge and its application together. Hence they would spend a while to memorize a soorah.[2] Allah says:

كِتَابٌ أَنزَلْنَاهُ إِلَيْكَ مُبَارَكٌ لِّيَدَّبَّرُوا آيَاتِهِ وَلِيَتَذَكَّرَ أُوْلُوا الْأَلْبَابِ
“(This is) a Book (the Qur’an) which We have sent down to you, full of blessings, that they may ponder over its Verses, and that men of understanding may remember”
(Saad 38:29)

‘Uthman radiyallaahu`anhu narrated that the Prophet (salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:

The best of you are those who learn the Qur’an and teach it.”[3]

‘Uthman recited the entire Qur’an back to the Messenger of Allah (salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) before he died. Among the most famous of ‘Uthman’s students in learning Qur’an were Abu ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Sulami, al-Mugheerah ibn Abi Shihab, Abu’l Aswad and Zurr ibn Hubaysh[4]

History has recorded for us some of the things that ‘Uthman radiyallaahu`anhu said about the Holy Qur’an. He said:

If our hearts were pure, we would never have our fill of the words of Allah, may He be glorified and exalted.”[5]

I would not like the day to come when I do not look in the Covenant of Allah (i.e. the Mus-haf).”[6]

Three worldly things have been made dear to me: feeding the hungry, clothing the naked and reading Qur’an.”[7]

There are four things which are outwardly virtues, but in reality are obligations: mixing with righteous people is a virtue, and following their example is a duty; reading Qur’an is a virtue and acting upon it is a duty; visiting the graves is a virtue and preparing for death is a duty; and visiting the sick person is a virtue and asking him to make a will is a duty.”[8]

“Ten things are the greatest waste of time: a scholar whom no one asks about; knowledge that is not acted upon; sound advice that is not accepted; a weapon that is not used; a Masjid that is not prayed in; a Mus-haf that is not read from; wealth from which nothing is spent (in charity); a horse that is not ridden; knowledge of asceticism in the heart of one who is seeking worldly gain; and a long life in which no preparation is made for the journey (into the Hereafter).”[9]

‘Uthman radiyallaahu`anhu was hafidh of Qur’an, and he read Qur’an all the time. He was asked about that and he said: “It is blessed and was brought by a blessed one.”[10] When ‘Uthman died, his Mus-haf was worn out because he had read from it so much.[11]

The wife of ‘Uthman said on the day when he was besieged: ‘Either kill him or leave him alone, for by Allah, he would recite the whole Qur’an in one rak’ah when praying qiyam al-layl.”[12]

The words of Allah –

أَمَّنْ هُوَ قَانِتٌ آنَاءَ اللَّيْلِ سَاجِدًا وَقَائِمًا يَحْذَرُ الْآخِرَةَ وَيَرْجُو رَحْمَةَ رَبِّهِ قُلْ هَلْ يَسْتَوِي الَّذِينَ يَعْلَمُونَ وَالَّذِينَ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ إِنَّمَا يَتَذَكَّرُ أُوْلُوا الْأَلْبَابِ
“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)? Say: “Are those who know equal to those who know not?” It is only men of understanding who will remember (i.e. get a lesson from Allah’s Signs and Verses)
” (Az-Zumar 39:9) – were fulfilled in him.

1- An-Seerah an-Nabawiyyah by al-Sallabi, 1/145
2- al-Fatawa, 13/177
3- al-Bukhari, Fada’il al-Qur’an, no.5027
4- Tareekh al-Islam, ‘Ahd al-Khulafa’ al-Rashideen by al-Dhahabi, p.467
5- al-Fatawa, 11/122; al-Bidayah wa’n-Nihayah, 7/225
6- al-Bidayah wa’n-Nihayah, 7/225; Fara’id al-Kalam, p.275
7- Irshad al-‘Ibad li Isti’dad li Yaw mil-Ma’ad, p.88
8- op.cit., p.90; Fara’id al-Kalam, p.278
9- Irshad al-‘Ibad, p.91; Fara’id al-Kalam, p.278
10- al-Bayan wa’l-Tabyan fi Maqtal al-Shaheed ‘Uthman, 3/177; Fara’id al-Kalam, p.273
11- al-Bidayah wa’n-Nihayah, 7/255
12- al-Khilafah al-Rashidah wa’l-Dawlah al-Umawiyyah, p.397


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