Khalifa Uthman bin Affan - Complaints against Walid b Uqba

Khalifa Uthman bin Affan - Complaints against Walid b Uqba

Walid b Uqba remained the Governor of Kufa for a period of five years and during this period he was very popular among the people and there were no complaints against him.

Thereafter the events took a sudden turn, and the position of Walid as Governor became uneasy. One night some young men beat to death a citizen of Kufa, Ibn Hesiman Khuzaii by name. Three young men Zubair b Jandab Azdi; Mawan b Abi Lawah Asadi; and Shabilb Abi Al Azdi were accused of the murder. Abu Sharih Khuzaii and his son who were the neighbors of Ibn Hesiman watched the murder from their house.

When the case was reported to Walid he held a public trial. The details of the case are not known. We do not know what was the cause of the dispute between the murdered person and his murderers. The only eye witnesses of the tragedy were Abu Sharih Khuzaii and his son. They narrated that they heard Ibn Hesiman cry for help. Thereupon the murderers had said to him, "Do not cry for one stroke of the sword will suffice for you." As Abu Sharih and his son had watched the tragedy from some distance in the dark they were not in a position to fully recognize the murderers

In view of this shortcoming in the evidence, the heirs of the murdered were asked to declare on fifty oaths as required by the injunctions of the Shariah, that the persons accused of the murder were really the murderers of Ibn Hesiman. They took the prescribed fifty oaths, and Walid gave the verdict that the accused were guilty of murder. The death sentence was referred to Uthman for confirmation, and when the confirmation orders were received the three accused persons were hanged.

Thereupon 'Amr b 'Asim Tamimi composed the following verse:

"O mischief mongers do not murder your neighbors like this,

During the caliphate of Uthman;

Beware that the Caliph would penalize the miscreants According to the injunctions of Islam;

For verily Uthman always acts,

In accordance with the commands of the Holy Quran

Which regulates the conduct of the Muslims in all matters

While the general public felt satisfied at the execution of the murderers, the fathers of the three murderers namely Jandab Azdi, Abi Lawah Asadi, and Abi Al Azdi felt dissatisfied. Their grouse was that the charge of murder had not been established against their sons and that Walid had executed them as he had some personal grudge against them. They carried on propaganda against the Governor, and they were able to win some persons to their cause. The party worked underground, and their secret agents spied on Walid with a view to ascertain his weaknesses and defame him

As a result of the working of this party, Walid came to be accused of some imaginary grievances. When Walid was the Collector in Jazira he had come across Abu Zubayd Taii a poet of great eminence. As Walid was also a poet, he freely associated with Abu Zubayd. Abu Zubayd was a Christian and he was given to drinking. While in Jazira there was no complaint that Walid had associated with Abu Zubayd in any drinking but Abu Zubayd had to pay some loan and he was not in a position to clear his debt. Walid came to the help of Abu Zubayd by repaying the loan out of his own pocket. That made Abu Zubayd indebted to Walid. When Walid became the Governor of Kufa, Abu Zubayd came to Kufa and stayed with Walid as his guest. At the instance of Walid, Abu Zubayd became a Muslim. He wrote some verses in the praise of Islam. During the nights Walid and Abu Zubayd spent long hours together talking on literary matters. The conspirators whipped up a campaign that during the nights Abu Zubayd and Walid indulged in drinking. Some persons secretly raided the house of Walid to catch hold of some liquor but they found nothing objectionable.

A sorcerer appeared in Kufa who claimed that he could enter through the body of an ass from its tail and come out from its mouth. Walid asked the sorcerer to give a public demonstration of his feat. The conspirators whipped up a vilification campaign against Walid. They were critical that the Governor was patronizing sorcery. On the occasion of the public demonstration the conspirators appeared in large number, and raised the cry that the demonstration was unlslamic. They rushed at the sorcerer and killed him, thereupon Walid apprehended the murderers of the sorcerer and put them in jail. The case was reported to Uthman. He directed that the murderers be released, and warned not to take the law in their hands. On release the conspirators intensified their campaign of vilification against Walid. They changed their tactics. They began to associate with Walid, and pretended that they were sorry for the past misunderstandings and that in future they would be faithful and loyal to him. Walid took them at their word. These persons amused Walid with their anecdotes and stories One night these persons kept awake till late hours telling him some interesting stories. When overpowered by sleep Walid dozed, they took of the official ring from his finger and departed for Madina.

In Madina they complained before Uthman that Walid was guilty of intoxication. In evidence of the charge that in a fit of intoxication Walid had thrown away his official ring. They also charged that Walid led the prayers in a state of intoxication, and in the state of such unconsciousness he offered four rakaats in the morning prayers instead of the Prescribed two rakaats