Khalifa Uthman bin Affan - Abu Dhar Ghifari in Madinah

Khalifa Uthman bin Affan - Abu Dhar Ghifari in Madinah

Abu Dhar Ghifari had come to Madinah after some ten years. During this period a great change had taken place in the environments. Palatial buildings had sprung up, and the city had expanded up to the hill of "Sala'a". Abu Dhar Ghifari stayed in the Prophet's mosque, and addressing the people he said, "O the people of Madinah, you have departed from the ways of the Holy Prophet. You are after amassing wealth; you have raised palatial buildings, and have become the victims of luxury. I give you the tidings of troubled times that lie ahead, for the Holy Prophet said that when the city expanded to the Sala'a hill there would be trouble for the people."

Uthman saw Abu Dhar Ghifari, and pointed to him the fallacy in his view point. He pointed out that Islam condemned asceticism and monasticism. Islam stood for both this world and the world hereafter. Islam stood for a proper synthesis between this world and the next world. As such it was not advisable that what was in the Baitul Mal should be distributed immediately among the people. Money had to be necessarily kept for meeting the needs of the administration and the requirements of the State. The State was under an obligation that the real needs of the people were met. Uthman pointed out that he had raised the stipends of the people, and these were enough to meet their needs. Some persons were critical that he had been lavish in raising the amount of the stipends. Uthman made out the point that in the circumstances to preach the doctrine that nothing should be kept in the state treasury and should be distributed immediately was not only unpractical, it was dangerous as well.

Ka'ab Ahbar an eminent companion who was also present on the occasion joined in the discussion. He observed that it was inadvisable to condemn the rich for hoarding. The obligation on them was to pay Zakat, and after they had paid Zakat they could use their money in any way they liked and they could not be condemned for hoarding money or violating any injunctions of Islam. Abu Dhar Ghifari did not agree with this view. Hot words were exchanged between Abu Dhar Ghifari and Ka'ab Ahbar. In a fit of fury Abu Dhar Ghifari struck Ka'ab Ahbar with his staff. Uthman took strong notice of this conduct on the part of Abu Dhar Ghifari and said, "O Abu Dhar may God have mercy on you; hold your tongue and your hand".

Abu Dhar Ghifari thereupon wanted permission to live outside Madinah. Uthman permitted him to live wherever he liked. Abu Dhar Ghifari chose Rabza as the place of his residence. Uthman sanctioned a stipend for Abu Dhar Ghifari. He granted him some camels, and placed the services of a slave at his disposal. Abu Dhar settled at Rabza with his wife and daughter. He built a mosque at Rabza, and spent the remaining years of his life in prayers and religious meditation. Abu Dhar died in 652 C.E. A curious story is narrated about his death. On the day he was to die he asked his daughter to see whether any men were visible on the horizon coming that way. She saw some persons in the distance, and informed her father accordingly. Thereupon he lay on the bed with his face to the Kaaba. He told his daughter that he was now going to die, and that when the men she had seen reached there, they should be given his salutation and asked to arrange for his burial. She was further asked to prepare meals for the guests, and they should be fed after they had buried him.

Thereafter Abu Dhar Ghifari died. It was a peaceful passing on from one life to another. When the people she had seen arrived at the hut, the daughter of Abu Dhar Ghifari. Gave them the salutation of her father That was a caravan of fourteen persons led by Abdullah bin Masud. On inquiring where was Abu Dhar Ghifari, she said that he was in the hut and had died. Abdullah b Masud and his men arranged for the burial of Abu Dhar Ghifari. Abdullah b Masud recalled that the Holy Prophet had said about Abu Dhar: "He would live alone and die in solitude." When Uthman came to know of the death of Abu Dhar Ghifari, he shifted the wife and daughter of Abu Dhar Ghifari to Madinah, provided them with accommodation and sanctioned a special stipend for them. Later he also arranged for the marriage of the daughter of Abu Dhar Ghifari. Uthman always spoke high about Abu Dhar Ghifari He used to say: "May God have mercy on Abu Dhar Ghifari He was a great soul, who was more a citizen of the next world than that of this world."