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The Islamic World
The Islamic World

Khalifa Uthman bin Affan - Deposition of Sa'ad b Abi Waqas

Dispute between Sa'ad b Abi Waqas and Ibn Masud
Sa'ad b Abi Waqas was not able to repay the loan within the stipulated period, and lbn Masud insisted on immediate repayment. Sa'ad b Abi Waqas wanted an extension in the time for the repayment of the loan. Ibn Masud refused to allow any extension ~n the ground that in accordance with the terms of the grant of the loan no extension was admissible. The issue became the subject matter of a dispute between Ibn Masud and Sa'ad b Abi Waqas. Hot words were exchanged between the two highest functionaries in the province. In the dispute some persons sided with Ibn Masud while some persons favored Sa'ad b Abi Waqas. Such differences created a crisis, and the provincial administration came to be paralyzed.

Deposition of Sa'ad b Abi Waqas
When the matter was reported to Uthman. he expressed displeasure, and wanted Sa'ad b Abi Waqas and Ibn Masud to settle the matter among themselves amicably. Some well wishers tried to intervene, but no way could be found to resolve the crisis. Sa'ad b Abi Waqas pleaded his inability to repay the loan immediately, while Ibn Masud pleaded his inability to allow any extension. The crisis deepened, and ultimately Uthman had no option but to depose Sa'ad b Abi Waqas from the Governorship of Kufa. Some of the malcontents made this order a matter of criticism against Uthman. It was contended that as there were two parties to the dispute, penal action should have been taken against both the parties and not against one of them only. It was argued that Uthman had unduly favored Ibn Masud who was originally a slave of his step father Uqba b Abi Mo'eet. If the facts of the case are considered dispassionately, it would be seen that there was no dereliction on the part of Ibn Masud. He merely insisted on the repayment of the loan according to the terms governing the grant of the loan. Ibn Masud merely performed his duty as the custodian of the Bait-ul-Mal, and there could be no justification for penalizing him for performing his duty zealously.

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