Uthman's Assassination- Disagreements not hatred

Developing Just Leadership

Muhammad H. al-'Asi

Shawwal 15, 1434 2013-08-23

Bismillah Ar-Rahmaan Ar-Raheem. Alhumdulillah. Peace and blessings on Muhammad (sallalahu alaihi wa alihi ws sallam), his Noble Companions and Family. Dear Committed brothers, dear committed sisters,

Allah says and this is being repeated for the umpteenth time in the sequence of these khutbahs that are trying to unravel the elements that are being played out in today’s world with victims galore.

وَاعْتَصِمُوا بِحَبْلِ اللَّهِ جَمِيعًا وَلَا تَفَرَّقُوا ۚ وَاذْكُرُوا نِعْمَتَ اللَّهِ عَلَيْكُمْ إِذْ كُنتُمْ أَعْدَاءً فَأَلَّفَ بَيْنَ قُلُوبِكُمْ فَأَصْبَحْتُم بِنِعْمَتِهِ إِخْوَانًا وَكُنتُمْ عَلَىٰ شَفَا حُفْرَةٍ مِّنَ النَّارِ فَأَنقَذَكُم مِّنْهَا ۗ كَذَٰلِكَ يُبَيِّنُ اللَّهُ لَكُمْ آيَاتِهِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَهْتَدُونَ

And hold firm to Allah's binding matter all of you- no exceptions- and be not divided; and bare in mind Allah's provision, favour and privilege upon you when you (who are now Committed Muslims), were once enemies of each other and then He reconciled your hearts and familiarized and acquainted you with each other and then, due to this provision, favour and privilege you became brethren of each other; you were on the edge of a pit of fire and Allah saved you from it; it is with this is mind and with understanding these dynamics and factors that Allah is going to guide us. (Surah Aal Imran verse 103)

It’s easy to speak about Muslims being one Ummah, being of one iman, believing in One God, following one Prophet- words are easy to come by; what is difficult and demanding is the behaviour. Do we mean what we say? In today’s world there are many Muslims with many types of backgrounds who quote these ayaat and quote an abundance of ahadith but when it comes to their behaviour you can see for yourselves what is happening amongst the Muslims. So we said that we are going back to the raw material of what is becoming civil strife in different parts of the Muslim domain and trying to take a look at these issues one step at a time and trying to use our God-given capacity to think and reason whether these types of issues become a rationale for Muslims killing Muslims. We covered a good amount of territory leading up to the assassination of the third successor to Allah’s Prophet; that assassination can be recorded as the time when asabiyah, (that we’ve spoken about aplenty), became opposing political positions. Some people refer to it as a fitnah (or) a sedition along with the elements of disagreement, divisions and then disputes all the way to carrying arms and fighting against our own selves. We’re trying to take you back to those early times- the times when many of us open up our history books and our references and begin to cite this event or that development to substantiate our asabiyah today- not to substantiate some type of haqq but some type of asabiyah that claims it has some type of monopoly over the haqq. As a consequence to all of this we began to hear some Muslims from that time (or) some voices (or) some personalities accusing other individuals or their opponents of this kufr stuff- “he’s a Kafir or she is a Kafirah.” Etc. To put it in a few words- some Muslims took the position that Uthman (radi Allahu anhu) was not a criminal, meaning Uthman the third successor to Allah’s Prophet did not commit a crime. In today’s legal language they’d tell you “if you want to take Uthman to court you can take him to a civil court (and) you can establish a civil case against him or a political case against him but you can’t establish a criminal case against him. He didn’t go out there and kill someone. You cannot accuse him of a flagrant crime and so those who killed him did it with injustice and with aggression.” This is a mentality that works and has been working for fourteen centuries. This is how certain people think of these events. OK- can those Muslims who take issue with this argue against this position of these Muslims in a way that justifies war against them? Can anyone make that argument? On the other hand we have Muslims who say “the third successor (or) the third ruler after the Prophet of Allah made some serious mistakes and so his assassination was a act of revenge and reform.” Now for those who disagree with that, do you disagree with that having heard in the previous khutbahs some mistakes that could be traced all the way to the third Khalifah- but does that justify or rationalise going to war against those Muslims who hold an opinion that disagrees with your opinion? Both sides don’t have a justification just by taking these basic elements of this common history; neither side has an argument for war. Nevertheless, when Uthman was assassinated you had those who wanted justice to be done meaning they wanted someone to pay the price of killing an innocent person; then you had the other position of being in revolt against a person who was responsible for deviant policies. He wasn’t responsible for any crime, he was responsible for policies that went off course.

At this time when Uthman right now no longer exists in all of this crowd with its mixed feelings and emotions people looked around and- this was a popular consensus- everyone now agreed that the only person who qualifies to take this position of responsibility is Al Imam Ali (radi Allahu anhu). So they went to him and they said when they spoke to him- the following was the gist of the communication- today we find no one who is more meritorious (or) more qualified than you to fill this position and there’s no one who has the previous history that you have. Now there’s no one left who can claim to be closer to the Prophet than you. Then Ali does not accept this responsibility in the moment. He spends hours and the day passes by and the second day he assumes this responsibility. He says to these people who wanted him to become the leader immediately something like this, let me be or leave me alone and seek this position from someone else because we are about to embark on an affair that has many faces and many colours meaning right now the type of thoughts that are out there in the public because of the assassination of Uthman and because of the asabiyah- remember this is the key word that unlocks many of the meanings and many of the phrases that are expressed by many of the personalities of that time- this sedition that is out there that can have many interpretations and variations of explanations is not one that can corral the hearts or can fixate the minds. Now you are listening to this- this is what happened; can anyone from here detect a polarised position- I’m going to hate that person because he disagrees with me?! So all of the Sahaba (radi Allahu anhum), with a very few exceptions, gave their bai’ah to Ali. As far as the general public is concerned, they were wobbling between different positions- some of them were solidly supportive of his leadership and others were timid, just almost in a neutral position and then the very few who did not like this development. Those very few who didn’t like Ali assuming the leadership of the Muslims are traced to Bani Umayah and their asabiyah. What they did was they left Al Madinah. Where did they go? They went to Makkah. This is the most troubling development that took place because now you had the concealed asabiyah of these individuals going back to a city state that was at war with the Prophet because of its asabiyah for over twenty years. This is the dangerous development that took place that not many of your learned ones are going to concentrate your minds on. So Al Waleed ibn Al Uqbah, Saeed ibn Al Aas, Marwan ibn Al Hakam (and) all of these who had somewhat of a high ranking position during the reign of Uthman were no longer in Al Madinah or Al Basrah or in these other places. They went to regroup in Makkah. Reported in all of this history information, there were very, very few from the Al Ansar (radi Allahu anhum) who left Al Madinah and went northwards towards Ash Shaam. As far as the people of Egypt are concerned there was no tangible or palpable opposition to Ali in Egypt. The Egyptian people were between very enthusiastic supporters of Ali and those who were just waiting to see how this was going to play out because as you may recall, the Egyptians were implicated in the active assassination of Uthman; but still up until now- you’re listening to this information (and) because of the ignorance of it the trouble makers of today’s world are making and planning civil wars from it- can you detect a position in which you’re going to hate the other Muslim who doesn’t share your opinion and not only hate him you’re going to kill him?! This is what the strategists and the masterminds of today are trying to do. We want to give you (and) we want to equip you and arm you with this information so that you can assassinate the ignorance that makes it possible for a Muslim to stand in deadly opposition to another Muslim.

When Ali assumed his responsibilities the first thing he did was he relieved all of the governors who were appointed by Uthman in Yemen, in Egypt, in Al Basrah, in Al Kufa and in Ash Shaam. He said leave and they all left except for Ali’s appointee to Ash Shaam. He wasn’t able to assume that position because now there was a power centre in Damascus, Muawiyah who made it impossible for the representative Ali to assume responsibilities there. The new crew of governors did not belong to the Umawi Qurayshi asabiyah. So Ali was keen on solving this problem of asabiyah when it reached the governmental level, (i.e.) let’s begin with these officials who harbour this divisive asabiyah in them and relieve them of their responsibilities. Now, up until now does anyone feel there any problem up until now? You think in your mind, with your heart- does anyone feel any problem here? We guess not.

Then the second political decision by Ali was to have strict control of the financial issues of the Muslims. He says speaking to the general Muslim public you are Allah’s subjects and the wealth and the resources and the assets are Allah’s. You can sense here (that) he is equating all Muslims with all wealth. This wealth is to be distributed among you in an equitable fashion. There isn’t no merit for one of you over another one as far as the access to this wealth of Allah. So what began during Uthman’s reign as a type of gap between the very rich and the very poor began now to become constricted (or) to narrow. The gap was beginning to narrow. Obviously there’s going to be some people who are going to be upset. We ask you once again in the light of Allah’s words

وَاعْتَصِمُوا بِحَبْلِ اللَّهِ جَمِيعًا وَلَا تَفَرَّقُوا

And hold firm to Allah's binding matter all of you- no exceptions- and be not divided... (Surah Aal Imran verse 103)

إِنَّمَا الْمُؤْمِنُونَ إِخْوَةٌ

But committed Muslims are brethren of each other… (Surah Al Hujurat verse 10)

A Muslim is a brother to another Muslim. In light of all of these ayaat and ahadith that you listen to from time to time does anyone have any difficulty with what is being done right now by Ali? We don’t belong to the terminology that this word is taken from but there was something like an “aristocratic class” that flourished during the time of Uthman; that aristocracy began to sense that it is losing its position, its status. Does anyone feel upset with that? Ask your selves- (are) we Muslims going to feel upset if a rich person now is coming down and becoming more or less like a common person? Does anyone feel upset with that? So one of these influential wealthy individuals, Al Waleed ibn Uqbah comes to Ali and now he’s trying to reach a deal. He says Ya Aba Al Hasan, (that is in reference to Ali, father of Hasan (radi Allahu anhu); watartana has two linguistic directions- one of them is), you have left us with a feeling of revenge. This happens to some people if you take away something (that) they say belongs to them, they get this feeling that they want to get even with you. So Al Waleed was saying to Ali you left us with this feeling of wanting to get even. The other feeling is you’ve left us individualised. We are no longer the class of influential people that we were before enacting these policies. Al Waleed is saying to Ali and we are your brothers and we are your corresponding relatives in the line of Bani Abdi Manaf. This is one of the bloodlines of Quraysh- the Hashimis and the Bani Umayah are cousins. So that is what he is saying to him. And we are willing today to give you our pledge but we ask that you let us have the wealth and the money that we acquired during the reign of Uthman and provided you kill his killers, meaning the killers of Uthman. If we fear you we’re going to leave you and we will join the folks up there in the Levant, in Ash Shaam. Obviously Ali’s answer to that is clear. You know ruling with justice is not subject to deals. Ali is not in the business of wheeling and dealing here. Justice has to be done- financial justice had to be done. Now when you listen to this, does anyone have any problems with this discussion back and forth? Are you on the side of Al Waleed ibn Uqbah or are you on the side of Ali? Any Muslim- whatever opinion you have of the historical details- anyone have any problems with that? This is the area that these trouble makers in today’s world who are in their think tanks, who are in their intelligence agencies, who are in their academic offices all around want you, whatever opinion you may have, to take issue with the other Muslim, whatever opinion he may have; and not only an academic issue, they want you to express your differences by pulling the trigger.

It was well known in the quarters of that time that Talha and Az Zubayr (radi Allahu anhuma) aspired (or) they had the ambition of becoming the governors of Al Basrah and Al Kufa and Ali knew this obviously just like almost everyone else knew it. He said to them knowing how they were thinking (and) what they had in mind- remember they made it very handsomely during the time of Uthman with the wealth that they accumulated. We are not saying this to try in some way to cut them down because some people express this but they do it in a fashion that wants to cut people down! We don’t want to cut anyone down (and) we don’t want to inflate anyone up. We want to speak the truth and the truth has its way of winning over minds and hearts. So Ali said to them in their state of mind you stay with me. I will bear the pressure and the burden with your help. I will feel lonely if you leave me. Is there any problem here because remember some people want to say “Talha and Az Zubayr are enemies of Ali (and) Ali is an enemy of Talha and Az Zubayr.” This is how they want to word it and that’s how they want to frame it. Does anyone conclude from this there’s animosity? There’s difference. They have different opinions but does anyone detect that they are enemies of each other? When Talha and Az Zubayr were not able to achieve what they wanted (i.e.) to rule in Al Kufa and in Al Basrah they began saying in some public areas we gave our pledge to Ali not as a matter as a full volition from ourselves; it was sort of a fait accompli bai’ah. Then Az Zubayr and Talha both came to Ali and said something like what would you think if we went to Al Umrah, meaning they wanted to go to Makkah? He said to them, (and listen closely because as we said people want to churn out of this bad feelings- there were no bad feelings), both of you don’t want to go to Al Umrah. What you want to do is improvise an excuse and you want to shred- al habl is made out of small threads- meaning to make this rope come apart thread by thread. Ali is telling Talha and Az Zubayr what you really want to do is not go to Al Umrah, you want to undo this bai’ah thread by thread or step by step. Difference of opinion! Anyone sense any hatred in this? Is there any hatred here? If these people who were there at the dawn of our history and who had these differences and were vacant of any hatred how come you who champion one opinion over the other have this hatred in you- a hatred that has trumped the hatred of occupiers, of aggressors (and) of militaries who are killing us? Ali was not like Umar (radi Allahu anhu). If Umar had sensed something like that he’d say you’re not going anywhere. You are under city arrest here in Al Madinah- he did it. Ali didn’t operate like that. So both Talha and Az Zubayr eventually went to Makkah. This is another very significant dangerous turn in our Islamic history. We say this without any vile, we say this without any rancour, we just say this as a matter of fact. So now this Umawi Utbah that is driving in Makkah had two important personalities within it. To add to this scenario Umm Al Mu’minin Aa’isha (radi Allahu anha) joined them. She turned from being in opposition to Uthman to being in opposition to Ali. She is the one who said, (this is a very famous sentence that circulates in these reference books), when Uthman was in his last years and days kill, (which means), the male hyena. A nathal is also a word used to refer to, (excuse the blunt language brothers and sisters), a crazy old man. So you take any of the two translations or definitions you want. She said kill the male hyena (or) kill the crazy old man, that’s in reference to Uthman as he has obviously became or is guilty of kufr. When Uthman was killed she said she now feels responsible to take revenge for those who killed Uthman. These are her positions. We don’t care where you fall in the Sunni denominational spectrum and no one should care- the issue here is not an issue of identifying a mistake; the issue here is those who are trying to generate a hatred among Muslims because of some of our mistakes. Some people say “look at how Aa’isha changed from position to position.” They don’t even want to say she is Umm Al Mu’minin- that’s how much hatred there is out there! And Allah says

وَأَزْوَاجُهُ أُمَّهَاتُهُمْ

… the Prophet’s wives are the mothers of the committed Muslims… (Surah Al Ahzaab verse 6)

Forget about history (and) forget about people you haven’t seen- you love your own mother, you cherish her, you honour her- if she makes a mistake what are you going to say? “She’s not my mother?!” But this is what happens when people build up the negative charges and feelings inside themselves so that you have right now the CIA, the Mossad and all of the inimical intelligence services who are concocting all the bloodshed in our own territories. So Aa’isha goes to Makkah and she says- after saying about Uthman kill the male hyena (or) kill the crazy old man as he has obviously became or is guilty of kufr- Wallahi Uthman has been killed without justice (or) without justification. By Allah I will seek blood revenge for him. What she was concealing was asabiyah- remember, Aa’isha is the daughter of Abu Bakr (radi Allahu anhu) and Abu Bakr is from Bani Taym and Talha is from Bani Taym; so she harboured this inclination of preference for Talha excluding everyone else and obviously excluding Ali. You add to all of that the historical fact of al ifq. There’s something in Islamic history called al ifq. This is mentioned in the Qur’an, its ayaat and it has to do with some people who accused Umm Al Mu’minin Aa’isha of adultery or something similar to adultery. This carried on. The Prophet passed away but Aa’isha recorded (or) registered Ali’s words and advice to the Prophet. He told him there are many women, divorce her. That was etched into her memory. So what are you going to do? You are going to hate someone and going to love someone? Hating someone is going to cause you to love someone else or loving someone is going to cause you to hate someone else? You can disagree, you can point out certain things but where did this hate issue (and) where did this animosity issue come in? These people we are speaking about didn’t have hate and animosity towards themselves! They seriously disagreed but they didn’t hate. So it happened that these three- Aa’isha, Umm ul Mu’minin, Talha and Az Zubayr as’haab Rasulillah (or) sahiba Rasulillah made Al Basrah their focal city in which they concentrated their efforts in opposition to Ali. Ali took his seat of opposing the oppositionists to Al Kufa. Remember, in ma’rakat Al Jamal, (which we covered in previous khutbahs), Az Zubayr was killed by ibn Jarmuz. Talha was killed by Marwan ibn Al Hakam and Aa’isha had to be transferred back to the Arabian Peninsula on a camel after which she had expressed her tawbah. Now, after listening to all of this- committed brothers and committed sisters- ask yourself, look at your own selves- does any one hate anyone? This is the history out of which they are trying to make us kill ourselves. Don’t fall into these traps. Don’t become asabiyin. Don’t become fanatic, clannish, self centred, tribally centred or even sectarian centred Muslims. If you do you fall into their trap. Guard yourself against the insight of committed Muslims because they see with Allah’s vision.

Dear committed brothers and sisters…

The type of asabiyah right now that is pumped into the psychologies and the psyches of Muslims is terrifying because it’s causing some of them to think that they are acting for Allah when they go and plant explosives in certain Masajids and blow them up. They feel “we’ve done our duty.” We ask Allah for forgiveness and from amnesty from such acts and from such thoughts but this is what’s happening. Today the whole master plan was to get a sectarian Islamic civil war going from Iraq- that was the master plan. To the credit of the Iraqi Muslims- with all of the sacrifices, with all of the casualties, with all of these years of misery- a civil war didn’t begin from there so they go to plan number B to get a civil war ignited from inside of Syria. This is what they have been striking their match on for the past two and a half years. They look around and they say “well maybe something is happening in Lebanon; maybe something is happening in Turkey; maybe something is happening in here and there.” Wishful and diabolic thinking on their behalf! We think, (and Allah knows best), that if accurate and proper and factual information is laid down in front of Muslim public opinion, Muslim public opinion will not fall into a bloody abyss that is being prepared for us all. And towards that end we are offering this information through this medium on this day of Allah’s taqwa.

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