From WikiAhmadiyya, the free encyclopedia on Islam and Ahmadiyyat

Uthman bin Affaan Al Ghanira (576-656) was a close companion of the Prophet of Islam, Muhammadsa who went on to become his third successor as Caliph

Early Life

Uthman belonged to the well known family Banu Umayya of the Quraish. He was a famous and wealthy trader. Uthman embraced Islam due to the preaching of his close friend, Abu Bakr. He was the fourth person to embrace Islam and faced severe persecution from his uncle, forcing him to migrate twice - first to Abyssinia and then to Medina.

Uthman was called Zun-Noorain, meaning the one with two lights, as Muhammadsa held him in such high esteem he gave the hand of his daughter, Ruqayyah, in marriage to him and when Ruqayyah passed away, the Prophetsa gave a second daughter, Ummi Kulthoom.

Uthman's generosity for the poor was so well known that he earned the title Ghani, or 'generous'. He purchased an expensive well of good quality drinking water for the benefit of the Muslims. To meet the expenses of the battle of Tabook, he offered 10,000 dinars, 1000 camels and seventy horses loaded with necessary goods. 


Uthman was elected the third Caliph by the council appointed by his predecessor Umar prior to his death. During his Caliphate the Romans invaded Egypt, but they were again repelled by the Muslim forces, while a rebellion was crushed in Iran. As a result of these victories, the whole of Iran, Asia Minor and Egypt came under Uthman's rule. The state's first navy was established and the nation enjoyed peace and prosperity for several years.

As the Muslims spread, fears began to emerge that the Quran was being mispronounced in distant provinces. Uthman arranged for standardised texts to be prepared from original fragments which had been collected shortly after Muhammad'ssa death by the first Caliph, Abu Bakr. These were widely distributed to ensure the perfect preservation of the original Quranic text. 

The latter years of Uthman's rule were marred by conflict due to the efforts of certain groups who deliberately infiltrated the state with the intention of weakening the Muslims. The conspirators were able to spread rumours against Uthman's character. The Caliph responded with patient tolerance and a determination to avoid bloodshed. Groups planning to depose Uthman entered Medina, but he again refused to fight them, as he did not want to shed the blood of fellow Muslims. His house was surrounded by the rebels who demanded he step down, but Uthman refused. Finally, he was assassinated on June 17, 656 A.D, while he was reading the Quran. 

See also