Personalities in Islam


Hadrat Sayyiduna Bilal al-Habashi Radi Allahu Ta'ala Anhu

 Sayyid al-Mu’azzineen (Leader of the Mu’azzins), Imam al-Aashiqeen, The great devotee, faithful companion and Mu'azzin of the beloved Prophet SallAllaho Alaihi wa Sallam, Hadrat Sayyiduna Bilal al-Habashi Radi Allahu Ta'ala Anhu is a famous and exalted Sahabi who accepted Islam in its early days in Makkah al-Mukarramah. When he accepted Islam, the non-believers placed great difficulties upon him which he bore with great forbearance in his youth. His father's name was Rabah and his mother's name was Hamamah.
His birth place is Abyssinia (Ethiopia) and this is why he is known as Habshi (the old name for Abyssinia is Habsh). Born in the late 6th century, the preferred view is that Bilal Radi Allahu Ta'ala Anhu was 43 years old at the time of Hijra but it has been suggested by some that he could have been as old as 53.
He was either a slave of a woman in Makkah who had made Umayyah bin Khalaf her agent in the matters of Hadrat Bilaal or Umayya Ibn Khalaf himself when he accepted Islam. The Kaafirs of Makkah persecuted him severely. When Hadrat Abu Bakr Radi Allahu Ta'ala Anhu came to know about the pain and anguish which he underwent at the hands of the Kuffaar, he bought him and set him free. One of the many emancipated slaves of Abu Bakr Radi Allahu Ta'ala Anhu, Bilal Radi Allahu Ta'ala Anhu was known for his beautiful voice and was given the honour by the Holy Prophet Muhammad SallAllaho Alaihi wa Sallam of being the first Mu'azzin of Islam. He remained constantly in the company of beloved Prophet SallAllaho Alaihi wa Sallam. He was at the service of the needs of beloved Prophet SallAllaho Alaihi wa Sallam. Muhaddith Hakim and Hafidh Abu Nu'aym also regarded him as one of the Ashaab of al-Suffah.
After he had accepted Islam, he participated with beloved Prophet SallAllaho Alaihi wa Sallam in the battle of Badr and in all other battles. He called the Adhaan and he was the Mu'azzin of Masjid al-Nabawi as long as he remained with beloved Prophet SallAllaho Alaihi wa Sallam. His greatness and excellence is mentioned in numerous books of Ahadith.
VIRTUE
One day at the time of Fajr, beloved Prophet SallAllaho Alaihi wa Sallam asked Hadrat Bilaal Radi Allahu Ta'ala Anhu, 'O Bilaal, Show me one action that you have done after accepting Islam, whose virtue is above all other actions, because I have heard your footsteps in Jannah'. Hadrat Bilaal Radi Allahu Ta'ala Anhu explains that I have not done any action whose virtue is more than the others. But it is true, that during the day or night, whenever I made Wudhu, I made it my duty to read some Nafl Salaah, and from amongst the Salaah I read, I verily read Tahiyyatul Wudhu (Salaat after Wudhu)" when beloved Prophet SallAllaho Alaihi wa Sallam heard this, he said that it was because of this action that he had attained such status.
Hadrat Umar Radi Allahu Ta'ala Anhu used to mention
أبوبكرسيدناوأعتقسيدنا
Hadrat Abu Bakr Radi Allahu Ta'ala Anhu is our leader who freed our leader Hadrat Bilaal Radi Allahu Ta'ala.
In 'Hilyat al-Awliyaa', beloved Prophet SallAllaho Alaihi wa Sallam mentions that he is Sayyid al-Mu’azzineen (leader of the Mu’azzins).
ENDURANCE OF DIFFICULTY ON THE ACCEPTANCE OF ISLAM
Hadrat Bilaal Radi Allahu Ta'ala Anhu was harassed and beaten the day long and during the night. He was tied in chains and lashed. On the next day, he was again made to lie on the hot desert sands which cause even greater injuries to the body of Bilaal Radi Allahu Ta'ala Anhu, who was loved by Allah Ta'ala.
Hadrat Bilaal Radi Allahu Ta'ala Anhu used to be beaten by many people. When one would get tired, another would take his place. Sometimes it was Abu Jhal's turn and sometimes Umayyah bin Khalaf and others. Each of them would beat him until they got tired but no mercy was spared for the slave whom they so brutally injured and whose status in Jannah was to surpass that of many Arabs.
In the sweltering heat under the Arabian skies, Hadrat Bilal’s love for Allah shone brighter than the sun itself. So strong was it that he could not conceal it despite the punishment and torture afflicted on him by his cruel master.
There were times when a large boulder would be placed upon his chest as he lay on the scorching sand, his ribs being crushed under the weight. Yet the words ‘Ahad! Ahad! (There is only one Allah!)’ were constantly repeated by Hadrat Bilal, so strong was his faith and love.
His Jewish master would insult him and threaten him to denounce Islam, beat him, whip him and humiliate him on the streets of Makkah, but nothing was able to shake Hadrat Bilal’s heart.
FREEDOM
One day, it so happened that Hadrat Abu Bakr Siddique Radi Allahu Ta'ala Anhu was passing that way and saw Sayyidina Hadrat Bilal crying out, "Ahad! Ahad!", despite the immense torture he was being subjected to. As he watched, Hadrat Abu Bakr Siddique’s heart became agitated upon seeing Hadrat Bilal under such persecution, and tears filled his eyes.
He then called Hadrat Bilal towards himself and advised him to utter Allah's name in solitude and not to utter it in the presence of his persecutor, or he would be subjected to further persecution and torture. Hadrat Bilal replied, "O Honoured One! You are the Siddique of Rasulallah SallAllaho Alaihi wa Sallam, and therefore I accept your advice and will act accordingly."
The following day, Hadrat Abu Bakr Siddique Radi Allahu Ta'ala Anhu happened to pass that way, and again he witnessed the same sight.
Hadrat Bilal was once more uttering the cry of "Ahad! Ahad!" while the Jew was torturing him to such an extent that again his body became soaked in blood. Seeing this, Hadrat Abu Bakr Siddique’s heart was filled with pain and he advised Hadrat Bilal, "Brother, why do you utter 'Ahad' in the presence of this persecutor? Utter it silently and secretly within yourself".
Hadrat Mawlana Rumi Radi Allahu Ta'ala Anhu says:
"When Abu Bakr advised him towards silence and secrecy,
Bilal repented again,
But when love overwhelmed, he swallowed the repentance.
It is the message of the troubled heart.
Without You there can be neither peace nor comfort."
Hadrat Abu Bakr Siddique, on numerous occasions, gave Hadrat Bilal the same advice but on every occasion when he passed that way, he saw the same scene - the Jew persecuting Bilal who was all the time crying, "Ahad! Ahad!”
Hadrat Abu Bakr Siddique Radi Allahu Ta'ala Anhu finally went to Rasulallah SallAllaho Alaihi wa Sallam and related the story to him. When Rasulallah SallAllaho Alaihi wa Sallam heard the story, he was filled with sorrow and tears flowed from his blessed eyes. He asked, "O Siddique! What is the solution to this problem? How can we save Bilal from this calamity?"
Hadrat Abu Bakr Siddique Radi Allahu Ta'ala Anhu replied: "Ya Rasulallah SallAllaho Alaihi wa Sallam, I shall buy Bilal. Rasulallah SallAllaho Alaihi wa Sallam agreed and said, "Let my share also be therein".
SubhanAllah! How great the fortune of Sayidina Hadrat Bilal, that Rasulallah SallAllaho Alaihi wa Sallam himself took part in purchasing him.
Hadrat Abu Bakr then approached the Jew while he was again torturing Hadrat Bilal. Hadrat Abu Bakr said to him, "Why are you beating this friend of Allah?" How long will you carry out this practice on this poor person?" Umayyah bin Khalaf retorted that, 'since you have instigated him (by teaching Islam to him) so you free him." Hadrat Abu Bakr Radi Allahu Ta'ala Anhu answered, "Yes, I will free him. I have a black slave who is even stronger than him and who is in your religion. Will you accept this slave in exchange for him?" Umayyah bin Khalaf accepted the offer. Hadrat Abu Bakr Radi Allahu Ta'ala Anhu exchanged the slaves and thus bought Hadrat Bilaal Radi Allahu Ta'ala Anhu and freed him before migration. It is also narrated that Hadrat Abu Bakr Siddique paid the ransom and freed Hadrat Bilal. Besides Bilal Radi Allahu Ta'ala Anhu he bought other slaves who were being beaten and harassed for accepting Islam and freed them also.
After this, Rasulallah SallAllaho Alaihi wa Sallam, out of love and joy, embraced Hadrat Bilal and held him to his heart.
Hadrat Mawlana Rumi Radi Allahu Ta'ala Anhu says:
"Beloved Mustafa embraced Bilal and held him against his chest. The ecstasy Bilal felt! Who can ever imagine that?"
CONQUEST OF MAKKAH
When the Muslims finally conquered the city of Makkah, its people fled to their houses in fear and bolted the doors and windows. They feared that the Muslims would avenge themselves for the wrong done to them years ago.
The Muslims advanced towards the Holy Kabah and then Hadrat Bilal assured the people that they were safe. He announced out loud, "All those who lay down arms are safe. All those in the house of Abu Sufyan are safe. All those behind closed doors are safe."
BROTHERHOOD
After the migration Rasoolullah SallAllaho Alaihi wa Sallam formed brotherhood between the Sahaaba Radi Allahu Ta'ala Anhum Ajma’een which meant that two two brothers should be concerned about each other's difficulty and necessity. In this way all of them became Muslim brothers and they shared in the sorrow and grief of each other. Beloved Prophet SallAllaho Alaihi wa Sallam made Hadrat Bilaal and Hadrat Ubaida bin Haarith (Radi Allahu Anhuma) brothers and a few Historians mention that beloved Prophet SallAllaho Alaihi wa Sallam made Hadrat Abu Rawahah Khashami Radi Allahu Ta'ala Anhu the brother of Hadrat Bilaal Radi Allahu Ta'ala Anhu.
PARTICIPATION IN THE BATTLE OF BADR AND THE KILLING OF UMAYYA BIN KHALAF
A year after beloved Prophet SallAllaho Alaihi wa Sallam and his beloved Sahaaba Radi Allahu Anhum Ajma’een migrated from Makkah Mukarramah to Madinah Munawwarah, the battle of Badr took place. Hadrat Bilaal Radi Allahu Ta'ala Anhu also participated in this battle with the other Sahaaba Radi Allahu Anhum Ajma’een. The leaders of the Mushrikeen of Makkah (who were the enemies of Islam and the Muslims - who forced the Muslims out of Makkah, who also oppressed Hadrat Bilaal Radi Allahu Ta'ala Anhu) were killed in this battle. Specially, Abu Jahl and Umayyah bin Khalaf who severely punished Hadrat Bilaal Radi Allahu Ta'ala Anhu were both killed in this battle.
THE BEGINNING OF ADHAAN AND THE APPOINTMENT OF HADRAT BILAAL RADI ALLAHU TA’ALA ANHU AS MU’AZZIN
In the second year after Hijrah, the announcing of the time of Salaat began and Hadrat Bilaal Radi Allahu Ta'ala Anhu was appointed Mu’azzin and always remained the Mu’azzin of beloved Prophet SallAllaho Alaihi wa Sallam both in his presence and also during travel.
Hadrat Bilaal Radi Allahu Ta'ala Anhu stayed with beloved Prophet SallAllaho Alaihi wa Sallam In Madinah Munawwarah, he was the Mu’azzin and even while travelling, he went with beloved Prophet SallAllaho Alaihi wa Sallam, and at the time of Salaah he used to give Adhaan. Very seldom beloved Prophet SallAllaho Alaihi wa Sallam went somewhere and someone other than Hadrat Bilaal Radi Allahu Ta'ala Anhu called the Adhaan. Whenever beloved Prophet SallAllaho Alaihi wa Sallam went to Masjid al-Qubaa, then Bilaal Radi Allahu Ta'ala Anhu would give the Adhaan and when hearing him, the people living around the area knew that beloved Prophet SallAllaho Alaihi wa Sallam was in the area.
Hadrat Bilaal Radi Allahu Ta'ala Anhu used to give the Fajr Adhaan from the roof of the house of a lady from the tribe of Banu Najjaar. Her home was joined to the Masjid. From the time of Sehri he used to sit on the roof waiting for the time of Fajr. When it was time to commence the Adhaan then he should stretch his limbs, and make the following Du'a after which he gave the Adhaan.
اللهمإنىأحمدكوأستعينكعلىقريشأنيقيموادينك
'Oh Allah I praise you, and I desire that You become aid to the Quraysh to establish Your Deen'
The woman from whose roof he gave the Adhaan said that there was not a day that he did not mention this Du'a. [Sunan Abi Dawud, Vol. 2, Page 198, Hadith 519]
TREASURER OF BELOVED PROPHET SALLALLAHO ALAIHI WA SALLAM
Hadrat Bilaal Radi Allahu Ta'ala Anhu was the Muazzin of beloved Prophet SallAllaho Alaihi wa Sallam and his treasurer. If anyone came to beloved Prophet SallAllaho Alaihi wa Sallam with any necessity then he used to ask Hadrat Bilaal to carry out this task who would then make sure to get the necessary item and fulfill the need on behalf of beloved Prophet SallAllaho Alaihi wa Sallam
Hadrat Bilal mentioned it to Abdullah Al-Hawzaani that if some Muslims came who did not have anything to wear, then Rasoolullah SallAllaho Alaihi wa Sallam should order me to take a loan and purchase a cloth to clothe the needy.
Whilst doing this once Hadrat Bilaal Radi Allahu Ta'ala Anhu accumulated a heap of dates. Beloved Prophet SallAllaho Alaihi wa Sallam asked Hadrat Bilaal Radi Allahu Ta'ala Anhu what is this? Hadrat Bilaal Radi Allahu Ta'ala Anhu answered I have accumulated this for you and your visitors. Beloved Prophet SallAllaho Alaihi wa Sallam said, 'Oh Bilaal Radi Allahu Ta'ala Anhu, spend it and do not fear it becoming less'
ENDURANCE OF HUNGER
Hadrat Bilaal Radi Allahu Ta'ala Anhu was the special companion of beloved Prophet SallAllaho Alaihi wa Sallam. It is for this reason he also endured difficulties. Beloved Prophet SallAllaho Alaihi wa Sallam said that undoubtedly, the fear he had for Allah was greater than anyone else. On one occasion thirty nights and days passed with him and Hadrat Bilaal Radi Allahu Ta'ala Anhu having had only that amount to eat which could be concealed under the armpits (side) of Bilaal Radi Allahu Ta'ala Anhu.
COMPANIONSHIP WITH BELOVED PROPHET SALLALLAHO ALAIHI WA SALLAM
Hadrat Bilaal Radi Allahu Ta'ala Anhu was always present in the company of beloved Prophet SallAllaho Alaihi wa Sallam. Hadrat Jaabir Radi Allahu Ta'ala Anhu mentions that at the time of Eid, he was present with beloved Prophet SallAllaho Alaihi wa Sallam. Beloved Prophet SallAllaho Alaihi wa Sallam started the Salaah without the Adhaan and Iqaamat and thereafter gave the Khutbah. Bilaal Radi Allahu Ta'ala Anhu stood up and stood side by side with beloved Prophet SallAllaho Alaihi wa Sallam while beloved Prophet SallAllaho Alaihi wa Sallam stood up resting on him and after praising Allah, beloved Prophet SallAllaho Alaihi wa Sallam delivered a lecture and reminded the people about the commands of Allah and encouraged the people to be obedient to Allah Ta'aala. Thereafter, he took Hadrat Bilaal Radi Allahu Ta'ala Anhu with him and addressed the women and ordered them to fear Allah and advised them and reminded them about the commands of Allah.
At one time Hadrat Bilaal Radi Allahu Ta'ala Anhu presented himself in the company of beloved Prophet SallAllaho Alaihi wa Sallam It was morning and beloved Prophet SallAllaho Alaihi wa Sallam was having meals. Beloved Prophet SallAllaho Alaihi wa Sallam told Bilaal Radi Allahu Ta'ala Anhu to join him. Hadrat Bilaal Radi Allahu Ta'ala Anhu mentioned to beloved Prophet SallAllaho Alaihi wa Sallam that he was fasting. Beloved Prophet SallAllaho Alaihi wa Sallam remarked, 'We are eating our sustenance and the sustenance of Bilaal Radi Allahu Ta'ala Anhu is preserved in Jannah." Then he told Bilaal Radi Allahu Ta'ala Anhu that the bones of a fasting person make Tasbeeh and the Angels request his forgiveness when something is eaten near him." [Mishkat al-Masabih]
HEARTBREAK & IMMENSE GRIEF
After the passing away of Rasulallah SallAllaho Alaihi wa Sallam, Hadrat Bilal was overcome with immense grief. This death had completely shattered his heart and in this state, he decided that he could no longer stay in Madinah Sharif. He then gathered his belongings and left for Syria. He had just left the border of Madinah Sharif, when sleep overcame him. He found a tree to sleep under and took some rest there. In his sleep, Rasulallah SallAllaho Alaihi wa Sallam appeared in his dream and said, “Bilal, why did you leave me?” Hadrat Bilal immediately woke up and, without hesitation, made the journey back to Madinah Sharif.
When the people of Madinah saw Hadrat Bilal returning through the city gates, they were overwhelmed with joy. Word spread through the streets that Bilal, the Holy Prophet’s Muazzin had returned. As Hadrat Bilal made his way to the Holy Prophet’s Masjid, requests for him to do the Azan were ringing in his ears. People followed him through the streets, pleading for him to deliver the call to prayer once more. The blessed city had been deprived of his beautiful Azan for too long, and the people craved to hear it one last time.
However, since the passing away of Rasulallah SallAllaho Alaihi wa Sallam, Hadrat Bilal’s grief had been so immense that he resolved that he would never do the Azan again, and so he refused the pleas of the people. As he advanced towards the blessed Masjid, he saw the two beloved grandsons of Rasulallah SallAllaho Alaihi wa Sallam, Hadrat Hassan and Hussain. They too requested for him to do the Azan, and when he looked upon their blessed young faces, his love for them overwhelmed his heart. He knew he could never refuse them anything, and they were, after all, the grandsons of the one whose love had penetrated his heart through and through.
Hadrat Bilal then stood up on the Mimbar, assumed his position as the Muazzin and started to read the Azan. His voice, beautiful as it was, rang through the streets of Madinah Sharif, his pain and heartbreak evident in the painful tune. He read to his heart’s content, and in such a manner that there was not a person in the blessed city whose eyes were not wet with tears.
When Hadrat Bilal reached “Ash-hadu anna Muhammadur Rasulallah”, he broke down and could not continue. His pain and the pain of Madinah’s people was unbearable. Memories of the beautiful days when Rasulallah SallAllaho Alaihi wa Sallam sat amongst them penetrated their hearts with hurt and agony. The emptiness of their lives and their souls without Rasulallah SallAllaho Alaihi wa Sallam had devastated them and left them broken inside. Even the strongest amongst them who were usually able to suppress the pain could not hold back any longer.
STAY IN SYRIA
Hadrat Bilaal Radi Allahu Ta'ala Anhu then came in the presence of Hadrat Abu Bakr Radi Allahu Ta'ala Anhu and said, 'Oh Khalifah of Rasoolullah, without doubt I have heard from beloved Prophet SallAllaho Alaihi wa Sallam that the best action of a Mu'min is Jihaad in the path of Allah and I have intended now to spend my life in Jihaad till I die." Hadrat Abu Bakr Radi Allahu Ta'ala Anhu said, 'Oh Bilaal! I swear by Allah and my right which is deserving to honored (it is for this reason) that during my lifespan you spend it in Madinah al-Munawwara and give Adhaan. Because I have become old and my time is near (death)." Hadrat Bilaal Radi Allahu Ta'ala Anhu then remained in Madinah Munawwarah. [Asad al-Ghabbah]
After Hadrat Abu Bakr Radi Allahu Ta'ala Anhu, Hadrat Umar Radi Allahu Ta'ala Anhu became Khalifah, then Bilaal Radi Allahu Ta'ala Anhu came to him and said the same thing again. Hadrat Umar Radi Allahu Ta'ala Anhu gave the same answer which Hadrat Abu Bakr Radi Allahu Ta'ala Anhu had given, but Bilaal Radi Allahu Ta'ala Anhu respectfully refused to stay any longer. Hadrat Umar Radi Allahu Ta'ala Anhu granted permission to him. Hadrat Bilaal Radi Allahu Ta'ala Anhu became a Mujaahid forever and went to Syria. During the Khilaafat of Hadrat Umar Radi Allahu Ta'ala Anhu when he went to Syria, then Hadrat Bilaal Radi Allahu Ta'ala Anhu gave Adhaan in his presence. The narrator says that on this day, Hadrat Umar Radi Allahu Ta'ala Anhu thinking of the days of beloved Prophet SallAllaho Alaihi wa Sallam cried to such an extent which we never saw before.
MARRIAGE
While in Syria, Hadrat Bilaal Radi Allahu Ta'ala Anhu got married but it is not known whether he had any children or not. The author of Asad al-Ghabbah states that at the time of death, Bilaal Radi Allahu Ta'ala Anhu had no children.
PASSING AWAY OF THE PROPHET’S MU'AZZIN
The great devotee and Muazzin of Rasulallah SallAllaho Alaihi wa Sallam, the courageous and beloved Abyssinian by the name of Hadrat Bilal Radi Allahu Ta'ala Anhu passed away in the 20th year after Hijrah in the middle of reading Adhan in Damascus, Syria between the years 638 and 642 (AD) at the age of 60 or 63 and there he is buried near 'Bab as-Sagheer'. When beloved Prophet SallAllaho Alaihi wa Sallam proclaimed Prophethood, he was 30 years old. He spent the remaining 33 years of his life in the assistance of this Deen, persecuted severely for admitting his Islam and despite this, he continued to announce boldly, 'Ahad, the One Allah!'. He participated in the battles and endured both hunger and pain. He was not only a Mu’azzin, but was granted the status of being the leader of the Mu’azzins.
His respected stature during the birth of Islam is a perfect example of the importance of pluralism and racial equality in the foundations of Islam. May Allah SubHanuhu wa Ta'ala be pleased with him forever... Aameen!!


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Hala Sultan: The hidden jewel of Cyprus

By Ertan Karpazli / World Bulletin / 08 Mar 2014
The religion of Islam is today the fastest growing religion in the world with around 1.5 billion followers from many places and backgrounds. Although the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was an Arab based in the cities of Mecca and Medina in the Hejaz region of the Arabian peninsula, his message was intended to reach the ears and hearts of all people.
Even though the the message of Islam attracted many converts from different parts of the world during the lifetime of the Prophet, due to the socio-geographical starting point of this call, the responsibility to carry this message to the rest of the world mainly fell upon the Arab companions of the Prophet after his death.
From Arabia, his companions spread across the world, covering a region from Portugal to Indonesia and from the northern Caucasus to the southern Sahara. Some of them arrived as conquerers whereas others arrived as merchants, migrants and governors, while some arrived simply to call people to faith in the one true diety. In doing so, some never returned home, and instead chose to be buried in foreign soil, serving as a reminder of their great sacrifice for generations afterwards.
One such companion is Umm Haram bint Milhan, who unlike what one would typically imagine these fearless companions to be, was not a dashing young man galloping through the desert on his horse. Rather, Umm Haram was an old woman, perhaps in her eighties or nineties. Nonetheless, that did not prevent her from accompanying the Muslim army in their first naval conquest of the eastern Mediterranean island of Cyprus.
Umm Haram was the sister of Umm Sulaym bint Milhan, which also made her the maternal aunt of one of the Prophet's closest companions, Anas bin Malik. She was also a paternal relative of the Prophet via his great grandmother, who was from the Banu Najjar tribe. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) would often visit her.
During one such visit, the Prophet was taking a nap in her home, upon which he woke up laughing. When Umm Haram asked the Prophet why he was laughing, the Prophet replied that he had seen a dream of his companions 'sailing on the sea like kings'. Umm Haram, despite her age, had a very youthful character and was an adventurous woman who liked to travel. The concept of sailing on the sea was unknown to most Arabs at the time, who were bound to the rough and tough deserts of Arabia.
Umm Haram could not contain her glee on hearing this, and asked the Prophet to pray that she be among those companions. The Prophet made a supplication for her and went back to sleep, before he woke up again in the same manner. Again she asked the Prophet what he had seen, to which he gave the same answer, and then asked him to pray for her one more time. 'You will be with the first group,' the Prophet reassured.
Long after the Prophet passed away, during the reign of the third Caliph Uthman, the governorship of Shaam (modern day Syria, Lebanon and Palestine) decided to form the first Muslim naval fleet under the command of Umm Haram's husband Ubadah bin al-Samit, who was the judge of Palestine. With the orders of Muawiyah, who was the governor of Syria at the time (later to become the first Umayyad Caliph), the fleet set sail in the year 647 to Cyprus, which was under Byzantine control at the time.
The fleet arrived at the eastern shores of Larnaca, where they sought to continue their expedition on land. Shortly after mounting their horses, however, they came under siege and in the chaos that unfolded, Umm Haram fell from her horse and suffered a fatal injury. As was custom for martyrs, she was buried on the spot she fell, by the beautiful Salt Lake of the city.
The Arabs continued their presence on the island of Cyprus for centuries afterwards. After the Ottomans conquered the island in 1570-1571 from the Venetians, they gave great importance to Umm Haram. In around 1760, a scholar by the name of Sheikh Hassan built a mosque close to her burial site, which became known as the Hala Sultan Tekke.
The mosque was, and still is, an important monument representing the 1,400-year history of Islam in Cyprus for all Muslims, especially the Turkish Cypriots. After the Cyprus war of 1974, which saw the island split with Turkish Cypriots forming the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus in the north and Greek Cypriots maintaining control of the south, the mosque remained with the Greek Cypriot administation.
Turkish Cypriots were unable to access the mosque for thirty years until the borders were finally opened due to a breakthrough in negotiations. Today, Turkish Cypriots are campaigning for the Greek Cypriot administration to recognize the building's status as a place of worship. As it is currently registered as a museum, it is subject to museum opening and closing times, restricting Muslims from visiting and performing their prayers outside opening hours.
Nonetheless, the glorious landscape around the mosque still draws visitors from all over the world, all coming to seek inspiration from the sacrifices Umm Haram made to leave Islam's mark on Cyprus and to pray for her soul. Her story inspired the likes of the wife of Sharif Hussein, the ousted post-Ottoman leader of the Hejaz and founder of the Hashimite royal dynasty in Jordan, who insisted on being buried in the same soil as Umm Haram.
Upon entering the room in which Umm Haram's grave is located, one is almost suffocated by the sweet smell of musk. Despite this, the caretakers of the mosque insist that they have never perfumed the room, and that it is a natural aroma emanating from the grave itself. In 2013, out of their respect to Umm Haram, the Turkish Cypriots named a new theology faculty in Lefkosa (Nicosia) after her.


Abu Bakr As-Siddiq: Man for All Ages

He is `Abullah ibn `Uthman ibn `Amir ibn `Amr from a branch of the Quraysh tribe. His father, `Uthman, was known as Abu Quhafa. His mother, Salma, was also known as Umm Al-Khayr.
From his early years, Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) was known for his good and upright nature. He was honest and truthful and came from a noble family. These things won him respect among the people. His goodness also won him the friendship of young Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him). The two became fast friends in early boyhood. The friendship was to prove lifelong and history making.
When he grew up, Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) became a rich merchant, but he remained very kindhearted. When he saw someone in trouble, his heart melted and he did his best to help him. If his money could remove suffering, he did not care how much he had to spend. Once he gave away 35 thousand dirhams out of his total fortune of 40 thousand. He was so honest in his dealings that people kept their money with him. But above all, Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) had a sincere heart and a firm will. Nothing could stop him from doing what he thought was the right thing to do.
When the Makkans were intent on putting out, once and for all, the light of Islam, Allah commanded the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) to move to Madinah. In the burning heat of the midday sun, there was a knock at Abu Bakr's door. The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) sought permission to enter, and after everyone else had left the room, he told Abu Bakr, "I must leave for Madinah tonight."
“Will I also have the honor of going with you?”asked Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) eagerly. “Of course,” came the reply. “Get things ready.”
Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) was beside himself with joy. “I have been looking forward to this day for months,” he exclaimed. "I have kept two camels specifically to carry us to Madinah.”
It was Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) who made all the arrangements for the historic journey. For three days he and the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) lay hidden in the cave of Thawr. Abu Bakr's slave tended flocks of goats near the cave all day and supplied them fresh milk for food. His son `Abdullah brought news about what the Makkans were doing.
The Makkans were searching for the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) like mad hounds. Once they came right to the mouth of the cave. Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) grew pale, fearing not for himself, but for the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). However, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) remained perfectly calm. "Do not fear," he said to Abu Bakr. "Certainly Allah is with us."
Of all the companions, Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) had the honor of being with the Prophet during the most critical days of his life. Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) knew full well what this honor meant and did full justice to the trust put in him.
After the Prophet’s death, Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) was chosen as the caliph. He served for only two years, three months, and ten days before he, too, passed away. During this short period, Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) was able to do great things for Islam that made his name immortal and placed him among the greatest men of all times. 

Biography Of the first Muslim Caliph - Abu Bakr Siddiq

Sayyiduna Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) real name was Abdullah, and he was given the title of “As Siddique” or ”Testifier to the Truth.” His father, ‘Uthman, was known as Abu Quhafah and his mother, Salma, was known as Ummul Khair. He was two and a half years younger than Sayyiduna Rasulullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam).
Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) the First Among Men to Enter Islam
Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) was always a very close Companion of the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) , he knew him better than any other man. He (may Allah be pleased with him) knew how honest and upright the Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) was. Such knowledge of the Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) made Abu Bakr be the first man to follow the Message of Prophet Muhammad sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. He (may Allah be pleased with him) was indeed the first adult male to accept Islam.
The Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) told Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) what had happened at Mount Hira’, he told him that Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala has revealed to him and made him His Messenger. When Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) heard this from the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, he did not stop to think, he at once became a Muslim. He submitted to Islam with such determination that once the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam)  himself remarked:  “I called people to Islam, everybody thought over it, at least for a while, but this was not the case with Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him), the moment I put Islam before him, he accepted it without any hesitation”. He was titled As-Siddiq by the Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) because his faith was too strong to be shaken by anything.
In fact, Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) was more than a great believer, as soon as he became a Muslim, he immediately began to preach Islam to others. Among those who accepted Abu Bakr’s invitation to Islam were; Uthman, Zubair, Talha, Abdul Rahman bin Auf, Saadi bin Waqqas and others who later became the pillars of Islam.
Abu Bakr’s love of the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was so great that he was willing to sacrifice his life for the sake of protecting and comforting the Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) saw. Such love and sacrifice were demonstrated when one day the Holy Prophet(sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) was saying his prayers in the Ka’ba, while some of the chiefs of Mecca were sitting in the court yard of the Ka’ba. Seeing the Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) praying, ‘Uqbah bin Abi Mu’eet took a long piece of cloths and put it around the Prophet’s neck and twisted it hard in an attempt to strangle the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam to death. At that moment Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) happened to pass by from a distance, he saw ‘Uqbah trying to strangle the Prophet(sallal laahu alaihi wasallam)  to death. Immediately Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) ran to the help of the Prophet(sallal laahu alaihi wasallam), he pushed ‘Uqbah aside and took the cloth from around the Prophet’s neck. Thereupon the enemies of Islâm came down upon Abu Bakr and beat him unnerafully, although Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) with faith like a rock did not care for his own suffering, he was glad that he was able to save the Prophet of Allah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam), even at the risk of his own life.
Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) with the wealth he had, also had a major role in freeing some of the Muslim slaves, who were barbarically tortured by their heartless Mushrik masters to give up the Faith and return to their masters’ beliefs. The heartless monsters tried all kinds of torture: they made them lie all naked on the burning desert sand, putting big stones on their chest, as well as other kinds of torture. Here Abu Bakr’s wealth came to the rescue, as he bought the poor helpless slaves from their inhuman masters and set them free, Bilal Al-Habashi, the slave of Umayya bin Khalaf, was among those who were set free by Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him). Bilal became afterwards the Mu’azzin at the Prophet’s mosque.
Migration to Madinah
Islam was growing rapidly in Mecca, the enemies of Islam were getting frustrated by this rapid growth. The Chiefs of Mecca found that it is necessary for them to get rid of the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam before Islam can cause a real threat to them, so they planned to kill the Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam). Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala revealed to his Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) the intentions of the non-believers and ordered him to migrate to Madinah. So the Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) quickly went to Abu Bakr’s house who was among the few that were left in Mecca with the majority of Muslims having already migrated to Madinah.
The Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) informed Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) that he was commanded to migrate to Madinah that night and that he has chosen him to have the honor of joining him on his migration. Abu Bakr’s heart was full of joy“I have been looking forward to this day for months” he exclaimed.
The Meccans were so eager to find the Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) they were searching for him like mad hounds. Once they came to the mouth of the cave, Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) grew pale with fright, he feared not for himself, but for the life of the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) . However, the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam remained calm and said to Abu Bakr “do not fear, certainly Allah is with us”. Such words quickly calmed down Abu Bakr and brought back tranquility to his heart.
Participation in Battles
Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him), being the closest of Companions to the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, took part in all the battles that Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) had fought.
At Uhud and Hunain, some members of the Muslim army showed signs of weakness, however, Abu Bakr’s faith never wavered, he always stood like a rock by the side of the Holy Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam).
Abu Bakr’s faith and determination to raise the banner of Islam were so great that at Badr, one of his sons, who had not yet embraced Islam was fighting among the enemies, Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) was so eager to find his son in the battle that he was searching for him amongst the enemies in order to slay him.
Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) loved his faith more than anything else. At the Battle of Badr, his son, Abdur Rahman, was fighting on the side of the Kuffar. After accepting Islam, Abdur Rahman said to his father, “O Father, at Badr, you were twice under my sword, but my love for you held my hand back.” To this, Abu Bakr replied, “Son, if I had you only once under my sword, you would have been no more.” He was so uncompromising in his faith.
Abu Bakr’s great love of the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) was demonstrated when peace talks at Hudaibiya were held. During the negotiations, the spokesman of Quraish was touching the beard of the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) every now and then. Abu Bakr’s love for the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) was so great that he could bear no more, he took out his sword and looked angrily at the man saying, “…if that hand touches the beard of the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) again, it will not be allowed to go back”.
Tabuk was the last expedition of the Holy Prophet(sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam). He was keen to make it a great success, he therefore asked people to help the expedition with whatever they could. This brought the best out of Abu Bakr who beat all records as he took all his money and household articles and heaped them at the Prophet’s feet.
“Have you left anything for your children?” asked the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam). Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) then responded with great faith “Allah and his Messenger are enough for them”. Companions standing around were stunned they realized that whatever they do they could not out do Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) in the field of service to Islam.
The Successor of the Prophet
The first Hajj under Islam was in the ninth year of Hijra. The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was too busy at Madinah to lead the Hajj, so he sent Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) as his agent, he was to lead the Hajj in place of the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam).
The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam led the prayers himself ever since he arrived to Madinah. During his last illness, the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) could no longer lead the prayers, he (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) was too weak to go to the mosque, he (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) therefore had to choose someone to fill such high position after him. Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) was also the one who was honored to be chosen by the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) for such a task.
Thus in the lifetime of the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam), Abu Bakr came to fill the highest position under Islam (leading prayers). While one day Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) was away Umar was appointed by the Companions to lead the prayers in his absence. Realizing the change of voice, the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “This is not Abu Bakr’s voice, no one but he should lead prayers, he is the fittest person for this position”.
When the news of the Prophet’s death came out, many Muslims were confused and stunned. Umar himself was so overcome with emotions that he drew his sword and declared: “If anyone says that the Messenger of Allah is dead, I will cut off his head”.
Muslims stayed in such state until Abu Bakr arrived and gave his famous address: “O People! If anyone among you worshiped Muhammad, let him know that Muhammad is dead. But those who worshiped Allah, let them know that He lives and will never die. Let all of us recall the words of the Qur’an. It says: “Muhammad is only a Messenger of Allah, there have been Messengers before him. What then, will you turn back from Islam if he dies or is killed?” Suddenly Abu Bakr’s words started to sink in, and in no time confusion was gone.
Having shrugged off the shocking news of the Prophet’s death, Muslims realized that they need someone to fill the position of leadership amongst them.
The two main groups amongst Muslims were Muhajirun (refugees from Mecca), and Ansar (the people of Madinah). The Ansar gathered at the Thaqifa Bani Saida their meeting place. Saad bin Abada the Ansar leader suggested that the Caliph should be from amongst them. Although many refused saying that the Muhajirun in right have a better claim to Khilafah. When the news reached Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him), he quickly went to their gathering, fearing that confusion might spread once again, and said : “Both Muhajirun and Ansar have done great service to Islam. But the former were the first to accept Islam, they were always very close to the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) . So, O Ansar, let the Caliph be from amongst them”. After a short discussion, the Ansar agreed that they should choose the Caliph from amongst the Muhajirun, being from the tribe of Quraish and being the first to accept Islam.
Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) then asked people to choose between Umar bin Al-Khattab and Abu Ubaida Ibn A-Jarrah. Hearing this, both men jumped to their feet and exclaimed:  “O Siddiq, how can that be? How can anyone else fill this position as long as you are among us? You are the top man amongst he Muhajirun. You were the Companion of the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam in the Thawr cave. You led prayers in his place, during his last illness. Prayer is the foremost thing in Islam. With all these qualifications you are the fittest person to be the successor of the Holy Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) . Hold out your hand that we may pledge loyalty to you”.
But Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) did not stretch out his hand. Umar saw that the delay might lead to the reopening of the disagreements so he himself took Abu Bakr’s hand out and pledged loyalty to him. Others followed by example, and Abu Bakr became the first Caliph by general consent of the Muslims.
After his election as the Caliph, Abu Bakr addressed the Muslims with these words:
“O People! I have been chosen by you as your leader, although I am no better than any of you. If I do any wrong, set me right. Listen, truth is honesty and untruth is dishonesty. The weak among you are the powerful in my eyes, as long as I do not give them their dues. The powerful among you are weak in my eyes, as long as I do not take away from them what is due to others".
“Listen carefully, if people give up striving for the Cause of Almighty Allah, He will send down disgrace upon them. If people become evil-doers, Almighty Allah will send down calamities upon them".
“Obey me as long as I obey Allah and His Rasul (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam). If I disobey Allah and His Rasul (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam), you are free to disobey me.”
Ali radiallaahu ‘anhu along with some of his relatives delayed their pledge of loyalty to Abu Bakr for six months after a difference of opinion with the Caliph due to the right of inheritance of the Prophet’s land. Although both men respected each other, and Ali soon after the death of his wife Fatimah gave the pledge of loyalty to Abu Bakr.
Such was the quality of the humble and generous Companion who believed the Prophet in everything to the extent that he was called As-Siddiq, by the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam). His great personality and service to Islam and Muslims earned him the love and respect of all Muslims, so that he was chosen as the first Caliph after the death of the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) by all Muslims. 


The third Caliph - Uthman Ibn Affan (ra)

 

Uthman ibn Affan (may Allah be pleased with him) was the third of Prophet Muhammad’s successors.  He was known as the leader of the faithful and ruled for approximately 12 years.  The first six years were times of relative tranquillity and peace, however the last years of his reign were marred by internal conflict, and pockets of rebels trying to cause havoc throughout the Caliphate.
Uthman (may Allah be pleased with him)  is remembered as a pious, gentle, and kind man, known for his modesty and shyness, and admired for his generosity.  He (may Allah be pleased with him) ruled with impartial justice and mild and humane policies, based on his obedience to Allah and his love for Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) and the Muslim nation
Uthman, may God be pleased with him, was born seven years after Prophet Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, and belonged to the Umayyad branch of the Quraish tribe.  The Umayyads were the most influential clan of the Quraish, they were the strongest and wealthiest, and Uthman (may Allah be pleased with him) was their “golden child”, the most beloved, due to his good manners and shyness. 
Like his predecessor Umar ibn Al Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him), Uthman (may Allah be pleased with him) was able to read and write.  This was an unusual skill in pre Islamic Arabia and Uthman (may Allah be pleased with him) became a successful trader and cloth merchant.  Throughout his life he was known as a kind, generous man and even before his conversion to Islam he would freely give money to help those in need.
It was his close friend Abu Bakr(may Allah be pleased with him)  who introduced Uthman (may Allah be pleased with him)  to Islam and he embraced the new religion at the age of thirty-four.  This was during the very early days of Islam when the men of Mecca were systematically abusing and torturing any converts to Islam. 
In spite of the abuse, Uthman (may Allah be pleased with him) would not give up his Islam and in time Uthman(may Allah be pleased with him)  was married to Prophet Muhammad’s daughter, Ruqiayah, thus strengthening his relationship to the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him).
The abuse and torture continued and Uthman’s wealthy family and status in society as a merchant did not protect him.  He was abused and tortured even by members of his own family; his uncle shackled his hands and feet and shut him in a dark enclosed room.  The continual bad treatment by his close family led Uthman and his wife to participate in the first migration to Abyssinia. 
Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) praised his forbearing character and said “After Lot, Uthman is the first man who, with his wife, has given up the comfort of his home for the sake of Allah”.  After some time Uthman and Ruqiayah (may Allah be pleased with them) returned to Mecca to be with the struggling Muslims and their beloved father and Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him).
Uthman (may Allah be pleased with him)  formed a very close relationship with Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him), and he gained intricate knowledge about the religion of Islam. He (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated 146 traditions directly from the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) himself and was one of very few people who were able to write down Quran.
Uthman (may Allah be pleased with him) also became a reference point for those trying to learn the rituals of worship.  He understood and was able to instruct others in the rituals of ablution, prayer, and other Islamic obligations. Uthman (may Allah be pleased with him) also participated in the migration to Medina and here he assisted Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him)in establishing the Muslim nation.  Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) even referred to him as his assistant.
In Medina, water was scarce and control of the wells was tightly held by several men.  Because he was a skilful trader and negotiator, Uthman (may Allah be pleased with him) set about trying to procure a well for the use of the Muslims.  He negotiated a price for half a well; he would have control one day and the other owner the next day. 
However, Uthman(may Allah be pleased with him)  gave his water to the Muslims freely, so nobody wanted to pay for the water on the alternate days.  The original owner of the well had no choice but to sell his half of the well to Uthman (may Allah be pleased with him) who nevertheless paid a fair price for it.  Uthman (may Allah be pleased with him) continued to allow the water to be used freely by all and never reminded the people of his charity.  He was humble and modest.
Uthman (may Allah be pleased with him) gave freely from his wealth to please Allah and His messenger Muhammad.  Historical Islamic stories mention that every Friday Uthman (may Allah be pleased with him) would buy slaves for the purpose of setting them free and that although he was wealthy he was often without servants because of this habit. 
When Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him)and the Muslim armies were going to fight the Byzantines at Tabuk, he called on the wealthier people to give from their wealth and property to support and equip the soldiers.  Uthman (may Allah be pleased with him) presented 200 saddled camels and 200 ounces of gold.  He (may Allah be pleased with him) also gave 1,000 dinars.  Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him)kept asking for donations hoping to inspire others to give as freely as Uthman.  However, it was Uthman (may Allah be pleased with him) who surpassed them all and gave a total of 900 equipped camels.
The portrait we are able to build of Uthman (may Allah be pleased with him) is that of a generous, unassuming, and kind man.  He was known for his humbleness, modesty, and piety.  Uthman (may Allah be pleased with him) would often spend the nights in prayer and he was known to fast often, sometimes on alternative days.  In spite of his wealth, he lived simply and would often sleep, wrapped in a blanket, on the sand of the mosque. 
Uthman (may Allah be pleased with him) was appointed as the third leader of the Muslims after Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) by a council of six men.  He continued the humane and just rule of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him), Abu Bakr, and Omar (may Allah be pleased with them).  He (may Allah be pleased with him) cared for the Muslims and expanded the Muslim Caliphate into Morocco, Afghanistan, and Azerbaijan.  For six years, his reign was one of peace and calmness, but the winds of change were blowing over the empire.
Uthman ibn Affan (may Allah be pleased with him), like his predecessors was a man of the people.  He was modest, shy, and humble but still his later reign was marred by infighting and rebellion.  Allh had chosen Uthman (may Allah be pleased with him) to be the third leader but the people of dissension plotted to remove him from this noble position. 
Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) had prophesized that Uthman (may Allah be pleased with him) would be placed in a very difficult situation when he said, “Perhaps Allah will clothe you with a shirt, Uthman, and if the people want you to take it off, do not take it off for them.”  Uthman (may Allah be pleased with him)  did not remove his shirt, his love for Allah and His Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) kept him both strong and humble in the face of old age and extreme difficulties.
Uthman ibn Affan (may Allah be pleased with him) was a man so loved by Prophet Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of Allah be upon him, that he was called the possessor of two lights.  Uthman (may Allah be pleased with him) was married to Prophet Muhammad’s daughter Ruqiayah and when she died, he married Muhammad’s other daughter, Umm Kulthum, thus possessing the two lights. 
Uthman ibn Affan (may Allah be pleased with him) was appointed Caliph (leader of the Muslim nation) through a process of consultation and careful deliberation.  On his deathbed, Umar ibn Al Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) appointed a council of six men to choose a new leader. It was a time of confusion and chaos for the Muslims, small disagreements were becoming obstacles. 
Some people wanted to appoint Ali ibn Abu Talib (may Allah be pleased with him) because he was from Prophet Muhammad’s family, others wanted to appoint Uthman (may Allah be pleased with him) because he was from one of the great tribes of Mecca.  Ibn Kathir, the respected Islamic scholar of the 14th century suggests that the leader of the council, Abdu Rahman ibn Awf questioned both men and then chose Uthman.
Abdurrahman asked Ali, “Do you swear to rule by the glorious book of God (Quran) and the Sunnah (traditions) of His messenger?”  To which he replied, “I hope to act according to my best knowledge and capacity”.  When Abdurrahman asked Uthman (may Allah be pleased with them) the same question, he replied simply, “I do”.  It would be too simplistic to suggest that the decision was made solely by the answer to this question but rather it was part of a process of reflection and deliberation.  Both men were amongst several who were eminently qualified to lead the Muslim nation. 
Uthman (may Allah be pleased with him) was a man known to be pious, generous, and modest, perhaps his simple answer reflected his personality.  A shy man, who spoke few words but whose heart was filled with love for God and His messenger.
Immediately after being elected, Uthman ibn Affan (may Allah be pleased with him) addressed the people from the minbar previously used by Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him).  He looked at the Muslims and praised Allah, sent blessings upon Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him), and reminded the people that this world was full of deception. He advised the people to shun living luxurious lives and to seek a place in the hereafter, full of happiness and peace.
“And present to them the example of the life of this world, [its being] like rain which We send down from the sky, and the vegetation of the earth mingles with it and [then] it becomes dry remnants, scattered by the winds. And Allah is ever, over all things, Perfect in Ability. Wealth and children are [but] adornment of the worldly life. But the enduring good deeds are better to your Lord for reward and better for [one's] hope.(Quran 18: 45 - 46)
Uthman (may Allah be pleased with him) was a pious man who loved and trusted God completely, thus his first action as leader was to assure the people that he would guide them according to the way of the Prophet and Caliphs Abu Bakr and Umar ibn Al Khattab (may Allah be pleased with them). 
Uthman (may Allah be pleased with him) was turning 70 when he became leader of the Muslims and for many years, he had refrained from the pleasures of this life in order to seek nearness to Allah.  After setting a tone of piety and concern for Muslims that would be the hallmark of his reign, Uthman (may Allah be pleased with him) turned his attention to giving direction to the governors and the Muslim armies.
To the governors Uthman (may Allah be pleased with him) expressed his desire for them to serve the people, and never to exploit them.  He sent prominent companions of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him), as his personal deputies to the provinces to scrutinize the conduct of officials and the condition of the people. 
Uthman (may Allah be pleased with him) reminded the armies to follow the clear guidelines set down by Umar ibn Al Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him)  and asked them never to forget that they were defending the believers.  Extensive conquests were made during the reign of Uthman, including parts of Spain, Morocco, and Afghanistan.  Uthman (may Allah be pleased with him) was also the first Caliph to organise a navy.  He (may Allah be pleased with him) reorganised the administrative divisions of the Muslim Caliphate, expanded, and initiated many public projects.  Perhaps Uthman’s most astounding contribution to the Muslims was his compilation of the Quran.
The Uthmani Quran
After the death of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him), and during the time of the Caliphs, hundreds of thousands of non-Arabs converted to Islam.  Consequently, the Quran began to be recited and written in various different dialects and scripts.  One of Prophet Mohammad’s companions, and Uthman’s friend Hudhaifah, whilst on a journey noticed that there were many different recitations of Quran throughout the Muslim Empire.  Hudhaifah suggested to Uthman that there be an official version   written in the style used in Medina.
Uthman (may Allah be pleased with him) knew the Quran by heart and had intimate knowledge of the context and circumstances relating to each verse.  The Quran had been gathered during the time of Abu Bakr and was in the safekeeping of Prophet Muhammad’s wife Hafsah. 
Uthman (may Allah be pleased with him) took possession of the originals and ordered some of the most trusted companions to make careful copies.  He then ordered all other unofficial copies to be burned or otherwise destroyed.  Five official copies were sent to the greatest cities of the Muslim Caliphate. Original copies exist to this day in Tashkent, Uzbekistan and the Topkapi Palace in Istanbul, Turkey.
A Tragic End
The final six years of Uthman’s reign were marked by rebellion. Some of the governors that had been appointed during the reign of Uthman were heavy handed and to some extent unjust. In this way, the seeds of dissension spread and many of the people began to love the luxuries of life that Uthman had warned against. Conspiracies arose and it was difficult for Uthman to discern friend from foe.  He was reluctant to shed the blood of any Muslim however rebellious they may be.  Uthman (may Allah be pleased with him) preferred to persuade with kindness and generosity for he always remembered the words of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him):  “Once the sword is unsheathed among my followers, it will not be sheathed until the Last Day.”
The rebels called for Uthman to step down and indeed many of the companions advised him to do so.  Uthman (may Allah be pleased with him), now an old man of more than 80 years, heard the words of his beloved prophet ringing in his ears and refused to stand down from his position.  “Perhaps Allah will clothe you with a shirt, Uthman and if the people want you to take it off, do not take it off for them.” 
Uthman (may Allah be pleased with him) remained true to his covenant but after a long siege, the rebels broke into his house and murdered him.  As the assassin’s sword struck, Uthman (may Allah be pleased with him) was reciting the following verse.
“So if they believe in the same as you believe in, then they have been [rightly] guided; but if they turn away, they are only in dissension, and Allah will be sufficient for you against them. And He is the Hearing, the Knowing.”(Quran 2:137)
Such was the tragic end of one of the most pious, kind and selfless men in Islam.

Sayings of Sayyiduna Umar al-Farooq (ra)


  1. 1. To eat less is healthy, to speak less is wisdom, and to sleep less is worship.
  2.  
  3. 2. The one who steps back will not progress.
  4.  
3. It is unbecoming of that person who sits with his hands folded and prays to ALLAH
4. After Iman (Faith), there is no greater gift than a pious wife.   
  1. 5. Attain knowledge before old age settles in.                     
  2.  
  3. 6. Whosoever hides his secret keeps his safety, safeguarded with himself.                                          
  4. 7. The person who calls himself learned, indeed he is ignorant, and the one who calls himself from the dwellers of Paradise surely he is from the dwellers of Hell.                                               
  5. 8.The Strength in action is, never to put of what you can do today for tomorrow.                                             
9. If it wasn't for the claim of knowledge of the unknown then I would say five people are from the dwellers of Paradise:
  1. *That family man who is poverty stricken but is patient
  2. *That women with whom her husband is happy and accepting.
  3. *That woman who forgives he husband's duty of Mehr (Dowry approved by Muslim law)
  4. *That person with whom his parents are Happy
  5. *And that person who honestly repents from his sins
  6.                                   
10. Once a sheep was slaughtered and Syeduna 'Umar al-Farooq Radi ALLAHu Ta'ala Anho persistently asked his servant if he had first sent meat to his neighbour who was a Jew. The slave asked why you are asking the same question persistently. He answered that ALLAH SubHanuhu wa Ta'ala and his Rasūl Sallallaho Alaihi wa Sallam had constantly stressed the importance of neighbors therefore I too am persistent in stressing the same.
  1. 11. Three things build love:
  2.  
  3. *To make Salam (greeting)
  4. *To make space for a person in a gathering
  5. *To address a person in a respectable and good manner
  6.  
12. Faith (Iman) is to regard the Oneness of ALLAH SubHanuhu wa Ta'ala in ones heart proclaim it with your tongue and to obey the fundamental Islamic Instructions. 
13. The relationship of true humility and genuine fear of ALLAH SubHanuhu wa Ta'ala is with the heart and not by a show of outward actions.
14. I do not look at anything, except, that I see everything with ALLAH SubHanuhu wa Ta'ala.
15. Do not have Faith in a person's compassion and politeness when he cannot keep his anger under control.
16. Good deeds are the fulfillment of one's rights and to do good deeds is a substitute for bad deeds.
17. Youth before old age and old age before death is a blessing of life.
18. Death is the best teacher.
19. To side with the oppressor is oppression on the oppressed
20. To laugh excessively is a sign of no remorse for death.
21. To educate a seeker of materialism is to place a sword in the hands of a highway robber.
22. Prayer is connected to the heart not by mere apparent actions.
23. One should not judge a person by the number of Salaat (prayer) or Roza (fasting) but by his wisdom and honesty.
24. Do not taunt and curse anyone for this gives rise to collective evils in a person.
25. Be sympathetic towards the poor so that they may be able to speak and build courage.
26. The most intelligent amongst you is he who fears ALLAH SubHanuhu wa Ta'ala the most.
27. Remove your gaze from the splendor of the World. Do not let the love of this World enter your heart. Beware! The love of this World does not perhaps destroy you, just as it had destroyed previous nations.
28. To stop sinning is easier than to bear the burden of seeking repentance.
29. Do not forget about yourself whilst being concerned for others.
  1. 30. There is never a chance of pain in the neck if one does not raise his head too high in the air.
31. When Sayyiduna 'Umar Radi ALLAHu Ta'ala Anho camped on the outskirts of
Jerusalem to conquer Bait al-Maqdas, the Christian Crusaders were terrified of his presence and requested a meeting with him before handing over the keys of the city. The Crusaders met him whilst he wore a patched garb. They asked him the reason as to why his name generated such immence awe and fear that captured the hearts of his enemies. He replied; "Your kings taught you to love the World (Duniyah) and its wealth and our Prophet Sallallaho Alaihi wa Sallam taught us to fear ALLAH SubHanuhu wa Ta'ala and love death. fear ALLAH SubHanuhu wa Ta'ala and love death.
  1. 32. Whosoever shows you your faults, he is your friend. Those that pay you lip service in praise are your executioners.
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  3. 33.The person who constantly discloses my faults to me is dearest to me.
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  5. 34. Honour and dignity in this World is measured by wealth while honour and dignity in the Hereafter is measured by good deeds.
  6. 35. Save yourself from the Fires of Hell even if it means by doing a favour with half a date (fruit). If this too is not possible then with sweet words.
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  8. 35. We should leave the other nine portions out for the fear of Haram (unlawful). (i.e. if in ten portions one is Haram a Muslim would leave the other nine portions out meaning anything unlawful would be completely left out).
  9.  
  10. 36. We should leave the other nine portions out for the fear of Haram (unlawful). (i.e. if in ten portions one is Haram a Muslim would leave the other nine portions out meaning anything unlawful would be completely left out).
  11.  
  12. 37. When you combine lawful with unlawful gains then the unlawful contaminates the lawful gains though it may be little.

Ali, son of Abu Talib - From Warrior to Caliph


Ali “Ibn” (son of) Abu Talib was the young cousin of Holy Prophet Muhammad .  This child, who greatly admired his older cousin, grew into a noble warrior for Islam, a knowledgeable judge, a remarkable exegete of Quran and a righteous leader of the Muslim nation.
Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) was born in Mecca around the year 600 CE.  His father was Abu Talib, Prophet Muhammad’s uncle and staunch supporter.  When Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) was a young child, a great famine ravaged the area around Mecca, food was scarce, and many families were unable to feed and clothe their children. Muhammad , who was not yet a prophet, offered to nurture and care for his young cousin.  Consequently, Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) was raised by Muhammad and his first wife Khadijah. Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) adored his older cousin and followed him around copying Muhammad’s actions.  As he (may Allah be pleased with him) grew older, Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) also began to emulate Muhammad’s noble ways.
When Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) was around 10 years of age, Muhammad received the first revelations of the Holy Quran from God Almighty.  Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) was there with his cousin when Muhammad , may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, revealed to his family that he had been called to be the Messenger of God.  It is said that Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) witnessed Muhammad and Khadijah (may Allah be pleased with him) praying to God and that he asked about what he had seen.  As soon as Prophet Muhammad explained the message of Islam to his young cousin, Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) accepted it as the truth.  However, before he embraced Islam he thought deeply about what his father’s reaction would be.  The next morning Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) testified that there was no god worthy of worship but Allah and that Muhammad was His messenger.  Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) has the honour of being the first child to accept Islam.
Some scholars of Islam believe that Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) may have been older then 10 years when he accepted Islam, therefore you may read in various texts that Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) was the first youth to embrace Islam.  Nevertheless, Ali’s age is not of primary importance, what counts the most is that he was a bright and clever young man, eager to learn and eager to worship God in the correct manner.  Many scholars point out that Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) was one of many young men and women around the Prophet Muhammad who had never been initiated into the idolatrous rituals of the pre Islamic Arabs.  Ali never prostrated before anything or anyone but God.
Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) spent his childhood with Fatima, the youngest daughter of Muhammad and Khadijah (may Allah be pleased with her). Some years later when the Muslim community had migrated from Mecca to the city of Medina Ali went to Prophet Muhammad and proposed marriage to Fatima (may Allah be pleased with her).
Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) however was upset by the fact that he was very poor and had nothing of value to present to Fatima as a bridal gift.  Prophet Muhammad reminded him that he had a shield, to sell.  Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) sold the shield to Uthman ibn Affan and was about to run excitedly back to the Prophet when Uthman (may Allah be pleased with him)  stopped him and returned his shield, offering it as a marriage gift to Ali and Fatima (may Allah be pleased with them).  It is believed that Fatima and Ali were in their middle to late teens when Prophet Muhammad himself performed their marriage ceremony.
The young boy who had followed his older cousin around like a shadow had grown into a noble young warrior.  When God revealed the verse, “and warn your tribe.  O Muhammad.” (Quran 26:214) Prophet Muhammad invited all his relatives for a meal; after they had eaten he addressed them and asked who from his family would join him in God’s cause? None had the courage to answer but a boy in his early teens.  Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) was that boy and he (may Allah be pleased with him) stood tall in the face of laughter and derision and expressed his desire to help Prophet Muhammad in whatever way he (may Allah be pleased with him) could be of service.  In the difficult times that lay ahead, Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) stood firm, and repeatedly demonstrated his courage and love for God and His Messenger .
When the disbelievers of Mecca planned to kill Prophet Muhammad , it became necessary for him and Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) to leave Mecca under the cover of darkness.  As they walked into the desert night it was the teenager Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) who slept in Muhammad’s bed, knowing that at any minute there could be assassins attempting to murder him.  Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) survived the night, and in the coming days, he returned the valuables that had been left in trust with Prophet Muhammad , to their rightful owners.  Prophet Muhammad considered his young cousin to be amongst the bravest, trustworthy and pious of his companions.  Soon afterwards, Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) joined his beloved cousin in Medina.
Prophet Muhammad so cherished his young cousin he called him by many fond and endearing names.  The name that Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) treasured most was Abu Turab (Father of Dust).  Once when Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) was sleeping in the mosque courtyard, his back became covered with dust.  Prophet Muhammad approached him, pulled him to his feet, and wiped the dust of his back, laughingly calling him Abu Turab.  Prophet Muhammad also called Ali Haidarah (the lion).  Prophet Muhammad’s young shadow grew into a respected warrior for Islam.
Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) was the fourth rightly guided Caliph. He (may Allah be pleased with him) followed in the footsteps of Prophet Muhammad , Abu Bakr, Umar, and Uthman (may Allah be pleased with them), and ruled the Muslim Empire, according to the divinely revealed law of God, from approximately 656 to 661 CE.  Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) was the young cousin and son in law of Prophet Muhammad.  He (may Allah be pleased with him) spent his childhood emulating the noble character of his beloved cousin, and his youth learning the details of Islam.  Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) grew into a noble warrior; physically strong and assertive but with a humble heart, filled with love for God and His messenger Muhammad .  Muslims remember Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) for his courage, his honesty, his generous and kind behaviour towards others, and his unswerving devotion to Islam.
After the migration to Medina, Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) married his childhood companion Fatima (may Allah be pleased with her), daughter of Prophet Muhammad.  The young couple led a simple and austere life, for Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) did not care for material wealth, rather he was focused on pleasing God and attaining everlasting life in the hereafter.  They had no servants or slaves.  Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) drew and carried water and Fatima would grind the corn until her hands were rough and sore.  Once when the young couple approached Prophet Muhammad asking for a servant he rebuked them by saying that he could not give them such luxuries when hungry poor people filled the mosque.  Ali and Fatima (may Allah be pleased with them) returned home feeling quite dejected.
That evening Prophet Muhammadvisited Ali and Fatima (may Allah be pleased with them)  in their home.  Hesat on the edge of their bed and taught them words of remembrance with which to praise God.  He assured them that remembering God would be more beneficial for them than a servant or slave to ease their workload.  Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) never forgot the words of advice given to him that night, later in his life he said that not a night passed that he did not recite those words before sleeping.  Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) and his family went to great lengths to please God, often they would go hungry themselves giving away all their food to people poorer than themselves.  Ali’s generosity new no bounds, he treated everyone, friend or foe, with respect and kindness.
Imam (Scholar) Ahmad described Ali as one of the most virtuous of Prophet Muhammad’s companions and Ali was known to be amongst the Prophet’s most staunch supporters.  Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) deservedly became known as a strong warrior and he distinguished himself in the crucial first battle against the unbelieving men of Mecca, known as the Battle of Badr.  The young lion of God participated in all the battles fought in the early days of Islam except on one occasion.  It is reported in the authentic traditions of Prophet Muhammad that during the battle of Khaybar Prophet Muhammad bestowed a great honour on his young cousin.
Prophet Muhammadinformed his companions “Tomorrow I shall give the standard (flag) to a man who loves God and His Messenger and is also loved by God and His Messenger, he does not flee the battlefield, and God will bring about victory through him”.  The companions of Prophet Muhammad spent the night wondering who the flag would be handed too.  Omar Ibn Al Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) is believed to have said that it was the only time he longed for leadership, but this particular honour belonged to Ali(may Allah be pleased with him).
After Uthman Ibn Affan (may Allah be pleased with him) was murdered in the service of the Muslim nation, Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) was chosen as the fourth of those known as the rightly guided Caliphs. Many Muslims were eager for Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) to take on leadership but Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) was concerned that already the seeds of rebelliousness were being sewn among the believers.  He (may Allah be pleased with him) hesitated until some of the companions who had been closest to Prophet Muhammad urged him on and gave him their support.  The events surrounding Uthman’s murder had flung the young Muslim nation into a period that became known as the “time of tribulation”.  Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) began and ended his Caliphate in times of trial and tribulation however; he (may Allah be pleased with him) remained true to his convictions and ruled in a manner that befitted the child who learned his morals and values at the feet of the Prophet Muhammad.
Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) was a profoundly religious man; he (may Allah be pleased with him) was devoted to Islam and strove in his daily life and his position as leader to uphold the Quran and the authentic traditions of Prophet Muhammad.  War broke out amongst the Muslims and Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) found himself attempting to lead a nation beset with rebellion and in fighting.  Throughout this time of civil strife and war, Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) was ever mindful of the great task that lay before him.  He (may Allah be pleased with him) was responsible for the people of the Muslim nation.
At this point is must be clearly noted that Ali and Uthman (may Allah be pleased with them) were brothers in Islam, both devoted too God, His messenger Muhammad and the religion of Islam.  Both ruled the Muslim nation with humble hearts, austerity, and piety.  However, their world was changing in dramatic ways and some of their actions were difficult to understand then and now.  However, in retrospect it is clear that their love for Islam and desire for the hereafter for all the believers was never in question Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) remained noble, courageous, and generous.  Even in perilous times, he (may Allah be pleased with him) forgave his enemies and wanted only unity for the Muslim nation.
Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) was murdered with a poisoned arrow.  The assassin, who struck while Ali was praying in the mosque, brought to an end the life of the lion of God and the era of the four rightly Guided Caliphs.  Abu Bakr, Umar Ibn al Khattab, Uthman Ibn Affan, and Ali Ibn Abu Talib (may Allah be pleased with them) were men of noble statue and high moral fibre, they ruled with the Quran and the lessons taught to them by Prophet Muhammad.  Sadly, the world is unlikely to see men such as these again before the end of days.