Uthman Bin Affan the Third Rightly-Guided Caliph of Islam

Reading the Quran during Ramadan
A Muslim man reads the Quran during Ramadan, London. Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Uthman bin Affan was born into a rich family. His father was a wealthy merchant who died when Uthman was still young. Uthman took over the business and became known as a hard-working and generous man. In his travels, Uthman often interacted with people of different tribes and beliefs. Uthman was one of the earliest believers in Islam. Uthman was quick to spend his wealth on the poor and would donate whatever goods or supplies the Muslim community needed.

Uthman was married to the Prophet's daughter, Ruqaiyyah. After her death, Uthman married the Prophet's other daughter, Umm Kulthum.

Selection As Caliph

Prior to his death, the caliph Umar ibn Al-Khattab named six senior Companions of the Prophet and ordered that they select a new caliph from amongst themselves within three days. After two days of meetings, no selection had been made. One of the group, Abdurahman bin Awf, offered to withdraw his name and act as arbiter. After further discussions, the choice was narrowed to either Uthman or Ali. Uthman was finally elected as caliph.

Strengths As Caliph

As Caliph, Uthman bin Affan inherited many challenges that raged during the previous decade. The Persians and Romans had been largely defeated but still remained a threat. The borders of the Muslim empire continued to expand, and Uthman ordered a naval force to be established. Internally, the Muslim nation grew and some areas clung to tribal customs.

Uthman sought to unify the Muslims, sending letters and guidance to his governors and sharing his personal wealth to aid the poor. With a growing multilingual population, Uthman also ordered the Quran to be compiled in a single unified dialect.

End of Rule

Uthman bin Affan was the longest-serving of the Rightly-Guided Caliphs, leading the community for 12 years.

Towards the end of his rule, rebels began to plot against Uthman and spread rumors about him, his wealth, and his relatives. Accusations were made that he used his wealth for personal gain and appointed relatives to positions of power. The rebellion grew in strength, as several dissatisfied regional governors joined in. Finally, a group of opponents entered Uthman's home and killed him as he was reading the Quran.

Dates

644-656 A.D.

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Huda. "Uthman Bin Affan the Third Rightly-Guided Caliph of Islam." ThoughtCo, May. 8, 2017, thoughtco.com/uthman-bin-affan-the-third-rightly-guided-caliph-of-islam-2004361. Huda. (2017, May 8). Uthman Bin Affan the Third Rightly-Guided Caliph of Islam. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/uthman-bin-affan-the-third-rightly-guided-caliph-of-islam-2004361 Huda. "Uthman Bin Affan the Third Rightly-Guided Caliph of Islam." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/uthman-bin-affan-the-third-rightly-guided-caliph-of-islam-2004361 (accessed May 23, 2018).