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The Islamic World
The Islamic World

Khalifa Uthman bin Affan - Uthman and Amir Muawiyah

Amir Muawiyah was the second cousin of Uthman, and he supported Uthman through thick and thin. When the agitation against Uthman mounted high, Muawiyah made three offers to Uthman. He requested Uthman to go with him to Damascus as the people there were very loyal. Uthman did not accept this offer as he did not want to leave the city of the Holy Prophet. In the alternative Muawiyah offered to send a force form Syria who could act as the guard of the Caliph. Uthman did not accept this offer as he was averse to civil war among the Muslims. In the last resort, Muawiyah made the offer that if Uthman was killed he should be authorized to raise the demand for the avenging of his blood. This alternative was accepted by Uthman. After the martyrdom of Uthman, Muawiyah raised the demand for the vengeance of the blood of Uthman. This culminated in the establishment of the Umayyad rule after the death of Ali.

Taha Hussain's Criticism
In his book Uthman, Taha Hussain has found fault with Uthman for enlarging the jurisdiction of Amir Muawiyah as Governor. Taha Hussain considers that if Muawiyah had not been made so strong, he would not have aspired to the caliphate later on. The criticism of Taha Hussain is misconceived. Muawiyah was a Governor of exceptional merit and if in recognition of such merit, Uthman enlarged the jurisdiction of Muawiyah there was nothing wrong therein, and he did what was in the best interests of the State.

In the accounts that have come down to us, it is observed that Ali criticized Uthman for allowing too much latitude to Muawiyah lt. is alleged that Muawiyah took action on his own account and declared that was the order of the Caliph. No specific instances in this behalf have been cited and we are not in a position to observe how far the criticism of Ali was justified. Prima facie this was a matter of personal equation between Uthman and Muawiyah, and if Uthman had confidence in Muawiyah such confidence cannot be made a ground for criticism.


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