"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts."
Winston Churchill

The Rightly Guided Caliphs

Hazrat ABU BAKR (RA)

SIGNIFICANCE OF ABU BAKR DURING THE PROPHET’S LIFETIME:

  • Abu Bakr, whose real name was Abdullah, was one of the Prophet’s closest friends. 
  • Even before accepting Islam, he led a pious and chaste life. 
  • After the Holy Prophet had received his first revelation he thought of approaching those closest to him so he told Abu Bakr the whole story of his experience.
  •  Abu Bakr responded to his call and immediately embraced Islam. 
  • He was the first free adult male and the first person outside the family of the Prophet to become a Muslim. 
  • The Qur’an describes his acceptance as: ‘’and he who comes with the truth and he who confirms it.....such are the people who do right’’ (39:33). 
  • He was the first person to testify to the Messenger’s event of Miraj (Prophet’s ascension to the heavens) and was given the title of ‘’Al Siddique’’ due to his immediate belief of the journey.
  • After accepting Islam he devoted his life and wealth to preaching Islam. 
  • Abu Bakr’s acceptance proved to be a milestone in the prophet’s mission.
  •  Prominent companions like Usman, Talha and Zubair are said to have been persuaded by him to accept Islam. 
  • He bought and freed a lot of slaves, Bilal being one of the prominent ones.
  •  When the Holy Prophet started preaching openly he faced fierce opposition. 
  • During all such hardships Abu Bakr stood by his side.
  •  The first public address of inviting people to offer allegiance to the Prophet’s message was delivered by Abu Bakr.
  •  At this the youth of Quraish beat Abu Bakr till he fainted. 
  • In 620AD when the Prophet’s wife died, Abu Bakr’s daughter Ayesha was engaged to the Prophet whom he married after his migration to Medina.
  • In 622AD on the invitation from the Muslims of Medina, the Prophet ordered Muslims to migrate. 
  • The migration took place in batches and the Prophet was the last one to leave accompanied by Abu Bakr. 
  • Both remained in the cave of Saur for three days to hide from the Makkans who wanted to kill the Prophet and his companion. 
  • This event is mentioned in the Qur’an: ‘’he being the second of the two when they were in the cave’’ (9:40).
  • At Medina Abu Bakr continued his services to Islam.
  •  He paid for the piece of land selected by the Holy Prophet for the mosque of the Prophet (Masjid-e-Nabvi).
  •  He rendered valuable services in all the battles.
  •  In the battle of Badr, he was in charge of the right wing of the troops and fought against his own son Abdur Rahman.
  •  In the battle of Uhad, he negated the rumour of the Prophet’s death and acted as a shield to save him.
  •  In the battle of Hunaian, he remained firm and reorganised the scattered troops that had started running away.
  •  When the Holy Prophet began to raise funds for the Tabuk expedition, Abu Bakr placed all his wealth at the disposal of the Holy Prophet. 
  • He was present at the time of the treaty of Hudaibiya and was one of the signatories. He was also one of the ten blessed companions who were given tidings of heaven during their lifetime.
  •  He was appointed the first Ameer-e-Hajj (the chief guide of pilgrimage). Abu Bakr led the daily prayers during the last days of the Holy Prophet’s illness.
  • Finally it was Abu Bakr who normalised the critical situation arising out of the death of the Holy Prophet, as nobody was ready to believe this including Umar. 
  • Abu Bakr on this occasion recited these verses: ‘’Mohammad is no more than a messenger: many messengers that were before him passed away, if he died or were slain will you then turn back on your heels?’’ (3:144). 
  • Nobody led the funeral prayers of the Holy Prophet, Abu Bakr and Umar were the first of worshippers. 
  • He was unanimously elected the first Caliph of Islam. 
  • Abu Bakr continued to perform meritorious services for Islam even after the death of the Holy Prophet.


SHORT ACCOUNT OF ABU BAKR’S LIFE: (NOV 2004 PAPER 2)


PROBLEMS FACED BY ABU BAKR WITHIN ARABIA:


REFUSAL TO PAY ZAKAT:


  • The issue of the refusal to pay Zakat was a great test of the moral courage of Abu Bakr as the first Caliph of the Holy Prophet. 
  • After the demise of the Holy Prophet many surrounding tribes of Medina which had offered allegiance to Islam, sent a deputation to Abu Bakr with the proposal that their agreement with the Muslims had ended. 
  • A fresh agreement was necessary in which they should be relieved from the obligation to pay Zakat. Abu Bakr argued that Zakat was a fundamental injunction of Islam and had to be paid.
  •  Seeing their proposal being rejected these tribes decided to forego Islam. Their decision was to attack Medina when the main Muslim army was in Syria. 
  • They attacked at night but found Abu Bakr with his army ready to fight. 
  • The apostates were defeated; many tribesmen died while others fled in confusion.
  •  After this battle many tribes sent their delegates to Medina, offered allegiance and paid Zakat.


APOSTASY MOVEMENT:


  • After the Prophet’s death, some of the people rose in revolt against the authorities in Medina and renounced Islam.
  •  Abu Bakr, without any delay, launched an expedition against this movement. 
  • After collecting the troops at Medina, he divided them into eleven battalions each with an experienced commander, and sent them in eleven different directions to crush these revolts.
  • He instructed each commander to first invite these tribes to Islam. If any refused to comply they were to be attacked. 
  • Some of the tribes accepted Islam but the others were stubborn and were dealt with harshly.
  •  All campaigns were successful and Abu Bakr was able to re-establish control of Islam throughout the Peninsula.


FALSE PROPHETS:


  • In the last days of the Prophet’s life some misguided people arose to claim prophet hood. 
  • When Abu Bakr was elected as the Caliph they started their preaching openly.
  •  Among these false prophets were Tulaiha, Aswad Ansi, Musailamah and Sajjah. Tulaiha belonged to the Banu Asad tribe in the northern Arabia.
  •  An army under Khalid bin Walid was sent which met them at Buzaka. 
  • After a fierce battle Tulaiha’s army surrendered and he himself fled to Syria. He embraced Islam during the time of the second Caliph.
  • Aswad Ansi belonged to the Ansi tribe in Yemen. 
  • He was an ugly man who kept his face veiled all the time.
  •  He was nicknamed ‘’the veiled prophet’’.
  •  Being leader of his tribe he revolted with the cooperation of the neighbouring chiefs. 
  • He was the first false prophet who collected a large army in open revolt against Islam. 
  • He was defeated and killed by the Muslims.
  • The most dangerous of the false prophets was Musalima. 
  • He belonged to a tribe of central Arabia.
  •  His tribe accepted him as a prophet. 
  • Abu Bakr sent Shurbhil and Ikramah to crush the rebellion; later Khalid bin Walid joined them. Musalima,s army was defeated after a fierce battle at Yamamah in 633AD.Musalimah was killed.
  •  In this battle about 800 Muslims were martyred. Amongst them were 360 Huffaz (memorizers of the Holy Qur’an).
  • Sajjah was a woman who belonged to the Bani Tamim tribe. 
  • She claimed to be a prophetess and succeeded in mustering a large following. 
  • When Musalimah heard about her claim he invited her to Yamamah. 
  • They decided to join forces and later Musailma married her which ended her adventure of prophet hood and she lived in obscurity for the rest of her life. 
  • When the Muslims conquered Iraq she entered the circle of Islam along with her tribe.


 COMPILATION OF THE QUR’AN:


  • In the battle of Yamamah several Huffaz laid down their lives.
  •  Hazrat Umar approached Hazrat Abu Bakr about the compilation of the Holy Qur’ran. 
  • He was of the opinion that soon the preservation of the Qur’an will become a major problem owing to the deaths of the Huffaz. 
  • Abu Bakr did not agree in the beginning but was later convinced by Umar and he ordered the compilation of the Holy Book under the supervision of Zaid bin Sabit.


3) (a) Trace the major stages in the compilation of the Qur’an in the time of the Rightly Guided Caliphs.

   (b) Why did these Caliphs think it was important to make a compilation of the Qur’an?  
ANS 3(a): 


  • At the time of the Prophet’s death no official copy of the Qur’an existed in a complete written form.
  •  During the caliphate of Abu Bakr some people declared themselves to be prophets. Among them was Musalima. Abu Bakr waged a war against him and around 360 companions laid down their lives in that battle, known as the battle of Yamamah. 
  • 70 of them had committed the Holy Qur’an to memory. 
  • Hazrat Umar realized that these ‘’oral copies’’ of the Qur’an would gradually diminish because of natural death or martyrdom in future battles.
  •  He suggested to Abu Bakr that the Qur’an should be compiled for the future generations or else it would meet the same fate as the previous scriptures. 
  • Hazrat Abu Bakr, however, hesitated and said that how could he do something that the Holy Prophet did not do. 
  • Hazrat Umar argued that under the circumstances this was an absolute necessity. According to Hazrat Abu Bakr, ‘’Umar went on persuading me to accept his suggestion till I was convinced that he was right so I accepted his suggestion.’’
  • Abu Bakr directed Zaid bin Sabit, one of the scribes of the Qur’an, to collect the Quranic verses from every part of the Islamic empire and compile them in a book form.
  •  A commission was appointed and headed by Zaid bin Sabit and its members were a number of companions. 
  • Zaid collected the chapters of the Qur’an from every person who had it in their possession. He collected it from palm leaves, stones, and pieces of wood and people who had memorized it. 
  • He not only collected it, but also verified it from people who had heard it from the Holy Prophet. 
  • Though he himself was a Hafiz of the Qur’an, he always tried to find a verse in writing before including it in his manuscript. 
  • Zaid is reported to have said that he felt it would be far easier to carry a mountain on his head than to shoulder such a great responsibility.
  • The script prepared by Zaid remained with the first Caliph and after his death was transferred to Hazrat Umar, the second Caliph. 
  • After Hazrat Umar’s death it was transferred to Hazrat Hafsa, a widow of the Holy Prophet and Umar’s daughter. 
  • This copy of the Qur’an came to be known as Musaf al-Hafsa i.e. Hafsa’s copy of the Holy Book.
  • By the time of Usman’s Caliphate the Islamic state had expanded well beyond Arabia. 
  • The new converts of these areas recited the Qur’an in their own dialects. 
  • Disputes rose among these people and some of them insisted that their style of recitation was correct and the others were not. 
  • One of the companions of the Prophet approached the Caliph and told him about the possible danger of the division of the Ummah. 
  • Usman took immediate action and he declared that the Muslims should unite on a uniform way of recitation. 
  • He got the copy of the Qur’an from Hazrat Hafsa and gave it to a team of four companions which was headed by Zaid bin Sabit. 
  • It was decided that one standard version of the Qur’an would be written in the dialect of the tribe of the Quraish. 
  • The Holy prophet was from the Quraish, the Quran had been revealed in that dialect, and it was felt that this was the right dialect for the recitation of the Qur’an. 
  • This team made several copies from the original text and made sure the surahs, too, were arranged in order. 
  • The Qur’an was read out loudly from the beginning to the end in the Prophet’s mosque from these copies, so that not a shadow of doubt remained in anyone’s mind that changes had been introduced in the text. 
  • These copies were sent to the capital city of every province of the Muslim states with a teacher to teach how to recite the Qur’an properly and correctly. 
  • Instructions were also given that in the future, copies should be made only from the official text and that if anyone had a copy with a different text, it should be burnt.
  •  Hazrat Usman is known as the Jami-al-Quran which means that he brought the Muslims around to a uniform reading of the Quran. 
  • The Quran that is being read today is the same as in the time of Abu Bakr. 
  • Nothing has been added or deleted from it and the arrangement of the chapters and verses are in the same order as proclaimed by the Holy Prophet, in accordance with Divine instructions.


ANS 3(b): The two Caliphs performed remarkable services to Islam by compiling the Holy Quran. 



  • Both were driven by different circumstances. 
  • Abu Bakr, being a staunch follower of the Prophet, was reluctant to compile the Quran but on Umar’s insistence, was convinced of doing so. 
  • He realized if the memorizers of the Quran were either killed or died naturally with the passage of time, a situation of confusion might arise throughout the Muslim world regarding the exact number of verses and surahs of the Quran. 
  • If the future generations of the Muslims had no single copy of the Quran, they might be misled as the Quran is the basis of all thought and action for the Muslims.
  • Usman, likewise, faced another challenging situation. 
  • Several newly converted Muslims in non-Arab territories began to argue about the ways of recitation of the Quran. 
  • There was a danger of the growth of sects amongst Muslims regarding the way of recitation because every group insisted that their dialect was the correct one and the others were wrong. 
  • This meant that various groups might oppose each other and disunity amongst Muslims might threaten their fraternity. 
  • So Usman took a wise, timely action by compiling and standardising the Holy Book and burning all the copies which did not match the official and approved text.



SAVIOUR OF ISLAM:



  • Abu Bakr is rightly called the saviour of Islam because of the vital services rendered by him. Soon after the Prophet’s death, he was the one to calm down the shocked Muslim community. 
  • Most of the companions including Umar were not ready to believe in the Prophet’s death. Abu Bakr on this occasion, delivered a convincing speech told all about the mortality of Mohammad by reciting: ‘’Mohammad is no more than a messenger: many messengers that were before him passed away, if he died or were slain will you then turn back on your heels?’’ (3:144).
  • Later as a Caliph he suppressed the apostasy movement and thus preserved the fundamentals of Islam. 
  • False prophets challenged the second component of Shahada—‘’Mohammad is the final Messenger of God.’’ He defeated the false prophets and thus kept the unity of Islam.
  •  He fought and won against the tribes refusing to pay Zakat. By eradicating both, Abu Bakr defended the basic principles of Islam.
  • Finally by compiling the Qur’an, Abu Bakr ensured the unity of the Muslim community that depended on the Qur’an.


ELECTION:

  • Prophet did not nominate a successor.
  • After his death there was an argument between the ansar and mahajireen.
  • Both wanted that the caliph should be from their group.
  • A suggestion was given that there should be two caliphs, one from each group.
  • Abu Bakr reminded them that the prophet instructed that the leader should be from the Quraish tribe.
  •  He suggested the names of Ubu Ubaidah bin Jarrah and Umar bin Khataab.
  • But Umar took Abu Bakr’s hand and pledged his loyalty to him.
  • On seeing this everyone did the same.
  • He was unanimously elected the first Caliph.


WHY HE WAS CALLED AL-SIDDIQUE:

  • First free male to accept Islam.
  • Believed in the ‘’miraj’’ (Prophets ascension to the heavens)
ADMINISTRATION:
  • Laid the foundation of a truly democratic state.
  • Always took advice from the great companions of the Prophet in all important matters.
  • Divided the state into provinces, each had a governor.
  •  The governor was responsible for military and administrative affairs.
  • Governer had an ‘’amil’’ to collect taxes and ‘’qazi’’ to administer justice.
  • All commanders and governors were selected on merit.
  • He offered himself and his officers for strict accountability.
  • He built a ‘’bait-ul-maal’’ (treasury) to collect revenue.
  • Established military cantonments and maintained a reserve force.
  •  Expanded the Muslim Empire to Iran Syria and Rome.
  •  Ensured the safety of non-Muslim subjects and allowed them to perform their religious duties.
  • His annual income was 6000 Dirhams which he returned to the state by issuing instructions to sell a piece of land he owned when he was on his death bed.



LIST OF QUESTIONS


4 (a) Write an account of the major contributions made to Islam by Abu Bakr:

(i) During the Prophet’s lifetime; [4]
• He was the Prophet’s friend from childhood.
• He was one of the first to accept Islam.
• He brought others to accept Islam.
• He remained loyal to the Prophet at all times, good and bad.
• He expressed belief in the Prophet’s Night Journey.
• He bought slaves who were Muslim and freed them.
• He accompanied the Prophet on the hijra.
• He gave his daughter `A’isha to be the Prophet’s wife.
• He made a financial contribution to the expedition to Tabuk.
(ii) During his caliphate. [8]
• He steadied the mourning community after the Prophet’s death.
• He continued the Prophet’s intention to send expeditions to the north. [1 mark for the basic point, and 1 extra mark for details]
• He fought against the tribes who withheld zakat.
• He fought against the false prophets.
• These were Musaylima, Tulayha, Aswad al-Ansi and Sajjah. [1 mark, but 2 marks if all four names are given]
• He arranged to have the first collection of the Qur’an made. [1 mark, but 2 marks for details of how this happened]

(a) Describe four incidents that show how, between 622 and 661, the Prophet and the Rightly Guided Caliphs conducted relations with other states. [4 x 3]

(b) Suggest ways in which any two of these examples can provide models for relations between states today.

(a) Describe Abu Bakr's activities against the false prophets and apostate tribes. [10]

Answers could have basic references to the false prophets, the tribes withholding zakat and the apostate tribes. Some could go on to give fuller accounts of these challenges, faced by Abu Bakr. In the answers it could be described that at the time of Abu Bakr's caliphate there were a number of people in Arabia who claimed to be prophets like Muhammad. The main ones were Musaylima among the Hanifa tribes in Yamama, Tulayha among the tribes of Asad and Ghatafan, al-Aswad in the Yemen and Sajjah among the Tamim tribe. Answers could give accounts of how Abu Bakr sent forces against all of them and write about the fighting against Musaylima in the battle of Yamama, which was the most fierce, and one in which many memorizers of the Qur'an were killed. The revolt against Islam by tribes that had pledged loyalty to the Prophet and the refusal of some tribes to send taxes to Medina could also be described. Excellent answers will give a full account.

(b) Why is Abu Bakr called the Saviour of Islam? [4]

To gain top marks in this question candidates need to show a good understanding of the reason why he was called the Saviour of Islam. A satisfactory answer would simply explain that he fought to prevent the break-up of Islam. However, more complete answers will explain that the false prophets and apostates threatened the uniqueness and unity of Islam and could not be allowed to continue their activities. Hence when he became caliph he not only gave new heart to the Muslims after the Prophet passed away but helped the community of Muslims against its many enemies. In his short term as caliph he defeated the tribes who withdrew from Islam and made them stay Muslim and he fought and won against tribes who refused to pay zakat. He also defeated the false prophets and thus kept the unity of Islam when there was much danger. Candidates could mention his contribution in the compilation of the Qur’an as well.

(b) Explain why he was known as the Honest One (al-Siddiq), and the Saviour of Islam. [4]

• He was given the title of al-Siddiq after he declared without hesitation that he believed the Prophet had been taken to Jerusalem on the Night Journey.
• It also suits his conduct of showing complete loyalty towards Muhammad.
• He was acknowledged as the Saviour of Islam because of his efforts to keep the community united, to resist the threat from tribes withdrawing from Islam, and to destroy the false prophets. [1 mark, but 2 marks for all of these points]
4 (a) Write about:
(i) Abu Bakr’s conquest of the false prophets
(ii) `Uthman’s arrangements to make a collection of the Qur’an. [2x5]
(b) Explain why these two caliphs thought it was important to take these actions. [2x3]
(a) (i)
• One of the problems facing Abu Bakr was a number of people in Arabia who claimed to be prophets like Muhammad
• The main ones were Musaylima among the Hanifa tribes in Yamama, Tulayha among the tribes of Asad and Ghatafan, al-Aswad al-Ansi in the Yemen and Sajdah among the Tamim tribe [1 mark for all four names; 1 extra mark for details about
each]
• He sent forces against all of them
• The fighting against Musaylima was most fierce: in the battle of Yamama many memorizers of the Qur’an were killed
(ii)
• `Uthman discovered that in parts of the empire people were following different versions of the Qur’an
• He ordered all copies of the Qur’an to be destroyed
• He invited Zayd Ibn Thabit and a group of Muslims to compile an authentic copy of the text
• They took great care, consulting widely and checking the text against memories
• They referred to the collection in the keeping of Hafsa
• `Uthman had copies made and distributed these to the major centres
(b) [In each case allow 1 mark for a basic explanatory comment (not description); 1 extra mark for a further comment that shows fuller understanding; and the third mark for complete explanations]
The false prophets threatened the uniqueness of the Prophet Muhammad
Their claims suggested that Muhammad was not the last prophet sent from God
Unless they were overthrown Islam could not uphold its claims.
If variant readings were allowed the message of the Qur’an might be obscured
These readings threatened the purity of God’s instructions
If they were allowed to continue the community might be split over different teachings

Conversion of Abu Bakr (Nov ’09 paper 1):


Abu Bakr: close friend of the prophet from childhood and amongst the first to convert (first free adult male); he became Muslim without hesitation; was open about calling others to the new faith and persuaded many to accept Islam; he purchased slaves and set them free; he was the first person to openly invite people to the new faith and was beaten severely.



Hazrat Umar

MAIN ACTIVITIES DURING THE LIFETIME OF THE PROPHET:

  • Umar belonged to the Banu Ádi clan of the Quraish. 
  • His father Al-Khatab was an influential leader of Makkah. 
  • Umar was tall, well built, a fierce fighter and well educated. 
  • He was elected the spokesperson of Quraish.
  • He remained a bitter enemy of Islam and the Holy Prophet before his conversion. 
  • He treated the early converts of low origin quite mercilessly and according to a tradition the Holy Prophet had prayed to God for the conversion of Umar bin Khattab or Amr bin Hisham (Abu Jahal).
  •  The prayer was soon granted. Umar one day decided to kill the Holy Prophet and with that intention started towards his house with a sword. 
  • On the way, he was informed that his sister and her husband had embraced Islam. Infuriated, Umar changed his course and went to his sister’s house who was reading the Holy Qur’an loudly. 
  • This enraged Umar so much that he attacked her and her husband.
  •  On Umar’s insistence his sister recited some verses from Surah Taha. 
  • The words of the Holy Qur’an softened his heart and tears began to fall from his eyes and he immediately decided to embrace Islam. 
  • He approached the Holy Prophet and embraced Islam.
  •  This was a great occasion as the morale of the Muslims boosted so much that now they started offering prayers openly in the Kaabah after Umar took the bold step of entering the Kaabah with a small band of Muslims.
  •  The Holy Prophet was so pleased on hearing this that he gave him the title of ‘’Farooq’’ (one who distinguishes between truth and falsehood).
  • He started preaching Islam openly and boldly. 
  • He is counted amongst the 10 blessed companions and is also a scribe of the Divine revelation. 
  • His daughter Hafsa was married to the Holy Prophet. 
  • He also migrated to Medina shortly after Ammar and Bilal had departed. 
  • It was Umar who gave the suggestion of summoning the believers for Daily prayers by Adhaan(call for prayer). 
  • He also rendered remarkable services in all the battles including Badr, Uhad, Trench, Khyber and Hunain. 
  • He was also present at the treaty of Hudaibiya and took part in Bait-e-Rizwan. 
  • He participated in the victorious march to Makkah.
  •  In the Tabuk expedition he donated half of his wealth and in the battle of Hunain, he was among those handfuls of Muslims who stood firmly by the side of the Holy Prophet.
  • Umar was not ready to believe in the death of the Holy Prophet till Abu Bakr called him down by reciting the verse (3:144). 
  • Soon after, he started making arrangements for the Holy Prophet’s burial together with Abu Bakr. 
  • In the meantime they heard of an Ansar meeting to discuss the issue of succession. 
  • Both reached the spot and finally, due to Umar’s wisdom and timely intervention, Abu Bakr got elected as the first Caliph of Islam.
  •  Umar himself performed extra ordinary services for Islam during his Caliphate (634-644 AD).


EXPANSION OF THE ISLAMIC EMPIRE:


  • Fighting with the Persian Empire had begun during the rule of the previous Caliph. 
  • Muslim forces defeated the Persian in Namaraq in October 634 AD and crossed the Euphrates. 
  • The Persian supreme command then sent a huge force under Bahman.
  •  The two armies fought a fierce battle, the Battle of Bridge.
  •  Here the Muslims suffered heavy losses including their commander Abu Ubaid bin Zaid.
  • The Muslims regrouped under Mutanna, in November 634 AD defeated the Persian army led by Mehran in the Battle of Buwaib. 
  • Commanding an army of 20,000 troops, Saad bin Abi Waqas met the Persian 120,000 army led by Rustam at Qadisiya.
  •  The Battle of Qadisiya thus began in 635 AD. 
  • A fierce battle was fought resulting in Rustam’s death.
  •  Now Saad and his army advanced to the Persian capital Al-Madain.
  •  He laid a siege for several days and the king Yazdigard escaped to north while the Muslims captured Al-Madain. 
  • The king was finally defeated at Jalula.
  • In the meantime the Persians, Romans and Christian Arab tribes combined their forces in upper Iraq near Tekrit.
  •  Saad dispatched an army that defeated the joint forces.
  •  Saad, on Umar’s advice, founded the new cities Kufa and Basra near Madain for the Muslim armies and their families.
  •  Umar completed the final capture and subjugation of Persia in the Battle of Nihawand in 642 AD, marking the end of the Sassanid Dynasty in Persia.
  • In Syria the Muslim forces were advancing rapidly when Umar became the Caliph. Khalid bin Waleed added Damacus, Jordan and Emmessa, one after another to the Muslim Empire. After the loss of these important cities the Roman Emperor sent an army of 260,000 men against the Muslims.
  •  This force too was defeated in 635 AD in the Battle of Yarmouk under the leadership of Abu Ubaidah bin Jarrah.
  •  Many other important Syrian towns were also captured leaving only Jerusalam and its surrounding towns.
  •  Finally Jerusalem was also taken in a peaceful manner on the request of Patriarch Sophronius
  •  He requested that the ‘king’ of Muslims should himself come and receive the keys of the city.
  •  Umar himself met Sophronius and signed a peace treaty under which full religious freedom was given to the citizens of Jerusalem on the condition of paying Jizya.
  •  Sanctity of the Church of Resurrection and other churches was also guaranteed.
  • Finally Egypt was also conquered in 640 AD by Amr bin Al-Aas who had to persuade Umar with great difficulty.
  •  Amr bin Al-Aas argued that Egypt could be used by the Romans as the naval base to launch operations against the Muslims.
  •  By April 641 AD Babylon was also captured and the new city of Fustat was founded in 642 AD on the eastern bank of the Nile.
  •  Umar appointed able and efficient governors in all these conquered territories.


ADMINISTRATION:


  • Hazrat Umar framed the constitution of the State on the basis of democracy.
  •  He established a Majlis-e-Shoora consisting of prominent companions of the Holy Prophet from both Muhajirin and Ansaar.
  •  The Muslim Empire had grown tremendously in size and therefore it was inevitable (unavoidable) to divide it further into a greater number of provinces.
  •  Each province was governed by a governor or Wali who held the executive authority.
  •  The Wali was assisted by a number of officers e.g. the Treasury Officer, the Revenue Collector, the Vigilance Officer and the Judge (Qazi).
  •  Each province was divided into districts which were administered by Amils.
  •  All appointments were made in consultation with the Majlis-e-Shoora.
  •  All the officers were summoned to Makkah on the occasion of Hajj to be answerable to the Caliph.
  •  They were paid handsome salaries to make them incorruptible.
  •  The Caliph himself was the central authority with the headship of religious and non-religious departments but he would always consult the Shoora in all important matters.
  •  In order to uphold Islamic morals and maintain law and order, Umar set up a department of police (shurta).
  • Umar reorganized the ‘bait-al-maal’ or public treasury, which was soon full to the brims with the funds from various sources.
  •  These sources were: Zakat, Jizya, Kharaj (land tax), Ushr (special land tax), the goods left out by the retreating armies of the enemy and a tax paid by non-Muslim traders.
  •  Special care was taken to distribute the funds among the poor and the disabled. Umar established a special department, the Diwan or the Register of Pensions.
  •  It was aimed at disbursement of the public funds among the Muslim tribes.
  •  It was based on certain principles, for example, the whole Ummah had a share in the public funds.
  •  Secondly, each Muslim had a share according to his/her relationship with the Prophet, priority in accepting Islam and services to Islam.
  •  Huge spending were made in the construction of mosques, schools, office buildings, canals, rest houses and expansion of the Haram and the mosque of the Prophet.
  •  Umar founded some new cities like Basrah and Kufa in Iraq and Fustat and Jizah in Egypt. Umar also introduced the Hijrah calendar. This makes a long list of the reforms and development projects introduced by Umar.


MAIN ACTIVITIES DURING HIS CALIPHATE:


  • Umar succeeded Abu Bakr as the second Caliph in 634/13AH and continued the mission of the first Caliph till his martyrdom in 644/23AH.
  •  Abu Bakr himself nominated him as his successor.
  •  His Caliphate is noted by internal consolidation (combine things into one large unit) of the Muslim empire accompanied by the expansion of Islamic rule by conquering the lands under the Persian and Byzantine Empires which included Iraq, Persia, Jerusalem and Egypt. His rule was surely the golden period in Muslim history after the death of the Holy Prophet.
  • The conquest of Persia had been started during Abu Bakr’s Caliphate by the Muslim forces and finally Persia was totally defeated in 643 AD.
  • As for conquests in Syria, the Muslim forces were advancing rapidly in Syria when Umar became Caliph.
  •  Khalid bin Waleed laid siege to Damascus till September 635AD and finally entered the city as victor and signed a peace treaty. 
  • After this Abu Ubaidah replaced Khalid as the chief commander of the Muslim army and recaptured Damascus decisively in September 636. 
  • Other important towns in Syria on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea were also captured. Only Jerusalem, Ramallah and Caesarea continued to resist. 
  • Finally Jerusalem was also taken in a peaceful manner on the request of Patriarch Sophronius. 
  • Umar himself met Sophronius and signed a peace treaty under which full religious freedom was given to the citizens of Jerusalem on the condition of paying Jizya. 
  • Sanctity of the Church of Resurrection and other churches was also guaranteed.
  •  Towards the end of 639AD, Amr bin Aas, with the permission of the Khalifa set from Jerusalem for Egypt.
  •  Egypt was conquered by his strategic planning.
  •  By April 641AD Babylon was also captured. 
  • Umar appointed able and efficient governors in all these conquered territories under his wonderful administrative system.
  • Hazrat Umar framed the constitution of the State on the basis of democracy.
  •  He established a Majlis-e-Shoora consisting of prominent companions of the Holy Prophet from both Muhajirin and Ansaar.
  •  The Muslim Empire had grown tremendously in size and therefore it was inevitable (unavoidable) to divide it further into a greater number of provinces.
  •  Each province was governed by a governor or Wali who held the executive authority. 
  • The Wali was assisted by a number of officers e.g. the Treasury Officer, the Revenue Collector, the Vigilance Officer and the Judge (Qazi). 
  • Each province was divided into districts which were administered by Amils.
  •  All appointments were made in consultation with the Majlis-e-Shoora.
  •  All the officers were summoned to Makkah on the occasion of Hajj to be answerable to the Caliph.
  •  They were paid handsome salaries to make them incorruptible.
  •  The Caliph himself was the central authority with the headship of religious and non-religious departments but he would always consult the Shoora in all important matters.
  •  In order to uphold Islamic morals and maintain law and order, Umar set up a department of police (shurta).
  • Umar reorganized the ‘bait-al-maal’ or public treasury, which was soon full to the brims with the funds from various sources.
  •  These sources were: Zakat, Jizya, Kharaj (land tax), Ushr (special land tax), the goods left out by the retreating armies of the enemy and a tax paid by non-Muslim traders. 
  • Special care was taken to distribute funds among the poor and the disabled. Umar established a special department, the Diwan or the Register of Pensions.
  •  It was aimed at disbursement of the public funds among the Muslim tribes.
  •  It was based on certain principles, for example, the whole Ummah had a share in the public funds.
  •  Secondly, each Muslim had a share according to his/her relationship with the Prophet, priority in accepting Islam and services to Islam. 
  • Huge spending were made in the construction of mosques, schools, office buildings, canals, rest houses and expansion of the Haram and the mosque of the Prophet. 
  • Umar founded some new cities like Basrah and Kufa in Iraq and Fustat and Jizah in Egypt. Umar also introduced the Hijrah calendar. 
  • This makes a long list of the reforms and development projects introduced by Umar.


DIFFICULTIES FACED BY UMAR:



  • Although Umar continued the policies of Abu Bakr, the difference in their temperaments and circumstances dictated the manner in which they followed these policies. 
  • The period of Abu Bakr needed more tolerance as well as quick action but during the period of Umar, the situation was calmer and controllable.
  •  The first difficulty faced by Umar was that the people feared him due to his hard attitude. They were hesitant to bring their problems to him. 
  • But he proved over a period of time that his harshness was for the wrong doers only, while he was quite soft towards other people.
  • Another difficulty was the administration of the vast Islamic Empire. 
  • The borders of the Islamic welfare state had extended as far as Afghanistan, Africa and Europe. 
  • The communication system during those days was not as efficient as today. 
  • He fought against all the hindrances in administrating a large Empire and ensured the governance of justice and reasonable accountability.
  • The two superpowers of the time namely, the Persian and Byzantine Empires were busy plotting conspiracies against the Islamic state. 
  • It was Umar who defeated both these empires and established the Islamic state as a superpower in Africa and Asia.
  • Lastly the Muslim army consisted of soldiers belonging to different areas and cultures. 
  • The army campaign against several countries at a time could have turned out to be a failure because of the differences among the soldiers. 
  • It was the ideal administration of Umar which ensured marvellous discipline among the forces. 
  • The atmosphere in the army was exemplary and it looked as if they were the people of one tribe.


DEATH AND WHAT IT TELLS US ABOUT HIS CHARACTER:


  • Umar was martyred by Firoz, a Presian slave of Mugheera in November 644. 
  • Firoz was unhappy with one of Umar’s verdicts regarding the amount of daily payment he made to his master.
  •  Abu Lulu (Firoz) openly threatened to kill Umar. 
  • Certain people recommended that Firoz should be arrested, but Umar refused to do so. 
  • He thus laid down a law that a citizen could not be arrested on grounds of suspicion or perceived danger. 
  • Umar neither had a personal bodyguard nor a protocol entourage. 
  • He was attacked totally unguarded. One day, while he was leading the prayer, Firoz stabbed him with a poisoned dagger. 
  • He also killed several other worshippers as he tried to escape. 
  • When he was finally caught, he slit his own throat. Umar survived for some days. 
  • During this period, he nominated a panel of six people: Ali, Usman, Talha, Zubair, Abdur Rehman bin Auf and Saad bin Abi Waqas to hold mutual consultation and select his successor from among them.
  • His death shows us that he had a thorough sense of fairness and that was the reason for his refusal to give Firoz the relaxation in the payment he had to make to his master. 
  • This noble attitude of his cost him his life. Umar’s fearless attitude portrays his strong belief in Allah as the Giver and Taker of life. 
  • This incident also reflects his simple lifestyle, that the head of the largest empire in history was easily accessible and roamed around like an ordinary citizen.
  • He was buried alongside the Prophet and Abu Bakr in Medina. 
  • This shows his special status in the first Muslim community, his tough and principled stand and the taxation matter reflects the integrity (honour, truthfulness) of his character.


SHORT ACCOUNT OF UMAR’S LIFE:


  • Umar bin Khattab was a bitter enemy of Islam and the Holy Prophet before his conversion. He treated the early converts of low origin quite mercilessly and according to a tradition the Holy Prophet had prayed to God for the conversion of Umar bin Khattab or Amr bin Hisham (Abu Jahal). 
  • The prayer was soon granted. He started preaching Islam boldly and openly.
  •  He is counted as one of the 10 blessed companions and is also a scribe of Divine revelations. 
  • His daughter Hafsa was married to the Holy Prophet. 
  • It was Umar who gave the suggestion of summoning the believers for Daily prayers by Adhaan(call for prayer).
  •  He also rendered remarkable services in all the battles including Badr, Uhad, Trench, Khyber and Hunain. 
  • Holy Prophet said, ‘’the sun has not risen over a man better than Umar.’’
  • Abu Bakr himself nominated him as his successor. 
  • His Caliphate is noted by internal consolidation (combine things into one large unit) of the Muslim empire accompanied by the expansion of Islamic rule by conquering the lands under the Persian and Byzantine Empires which included Iraq, Persia, Jerusalem and Egypt. 
  • His rule was surely the golden period in Muslim history after the death of the Holy Prophet. He appointed able and efficient governors in all these conquered territories under his wonderful administrative system. 
  • Umar was finally martyred by Firoz, a Persian slave in 644 while offering the Morning Prayer. 
  • He was buried alongside the Holy Prophet and Abu Bakr in Medina.
  • Umar left behind him an effective system of administration throughout his empire by appointing extremely efficient governors and Qadis (judges) and other state officials.
  •  His Caliphate brought a great deal of propriety (respectability) and strength for the Muslims.





HIS IMPORTANCE/SIGNIFICANCE IN ISLAMIC HISTORY:


  • Umar was one of the early converts of Islam. 
  • His conversion gave the morale of the Muslims a significant boost. 
  • He devoted his life and energy to the cause of Islam and openly supported the Holy Prophet throughout his mission in Makkah and Medina. 
  • He performed valuable services in all the major battles fought against the enemies of Islam. He placed about half of his wealth at the disposal of the Holy Prophet on the occasion of the Tabuk expedition. 
  • He played a vital role in the election of Abu Bakr.
  •  He also convinced Abu Bakr to allow the compilation of the Holy Quran in a book form.
  • His own Caliphate was the most successful and glorious period of early Islamic history. 
  • He not only consolidated the new Muslim Empire by establishing an effective system of governance, but also expanded its borders by capturing Persia, Syria, Palestine, Jerusalem and the fertile land of Egypt. 
  • He himself led a simple and pious life and conducted patrolling at night to ensure the peace and comfort of his people. 
  • He laid down the foundations of a lasting administrative system by dividing the Empire into provinces and by placing them under able administrators, governors and Qazis (judges).



HOW HIS CONVERSION HELPED THE YOUNG MUSLIM COMMUNITY:


  • Umar was a powerful Makkan both physically and socially. 
  • He was an open persecutor and oppressor of Muslims. Conversion of Umar was an important event for the early Muslim community in Makkah that lived a very hard life. 
  • The Prophet had prayed to God for the conversion of Umar bin Khattab or Amr bin Hasham (Abu Jahal) and therefore, he expressed satisfaction over the conversion of Umar. 
  • Umar, known for his fiery and impulsive nature, made his conversion public in a bold manner. 
  • He was the most open about public praying. 
  • This raised the confidence of the persecuted Muslim community.
  •  Muslims could not pray at the Kaabah until he became a Muslim. 
  • They now began to offer prayer openly in the Kaabah without any fear. 
  • Umar’s physical and social strength, after his conversion, was dedicated to the growth of Islam and raising the morale of the Muslims in Makkah (and later in Medina). 
  • The Prophet, in recognition of Umar’s conversion, gave him the title of Al-Farooq (the one who can differentiate between the truth and falsehood).



LIST OF QUESTIONS

4 (a) Write an account of the main activities of Hazrat `Umar
(i) During the lifetime of the Prophet, and
(ii) During his caliphate. [2 x 6]

(b) What does the manner of Hazrat Umar’s death, tell us about his character? [4]


(a) (i) • He converted to Islam when he heard a passage of the Qur’an being recited [here allow 1 mark for the basic point, and allow a further 1 mark for details, e.g. that he was on his way to kill the Prophet; that he surprised his sister and her husband hearing the Qur’an recited; that he was going to destroy this passage, but relented when he read it].

• In Makka he had a reputation as a fierce and strong fighter.
• His conversion gave courage to the Muslims in Makka.
• In Makka he proved a great help because he was able to protect the Prophet from attacks.
• He made the Hijra to Madina with the other Muslims.
• There he was always close to the Prophet in battles [allow a further 1 mark for details, such as his defending the Prophet at Uhud, and his digging the trench before Khandaq].
• His ties with the Prophet were strengthened when the Prophet married his daughter Hafsa.
• He objected to the terms of the Treaty of al-Hudaybiya because they disadvantaged the Prophet.
• He took part in the expeditions to the north that were organised towards the end of the Prophet’s life.

(ii) • He oversaw the expansion of the empire into Syria, Persia, Iraq and Egypt [allow 1 mark for the basic point, a further 1 mark for details, and an additional 1 mark for names of battles and dates].

• He personally accepted the surrender of Jerusalem [1 mark for the basic point, and a further 1 mark for details].
• The agreements he made with conquered non-Muslims formed the basis of later legislation about Dhimmis.
• He oversaw many important administrative measures [1 mark for the basic point, a further 1 mark for details such as the diwan which listed those entitled to pensions from the state, the institution of the position of judge, and a further 1 mark for full details of more than one of his measures]


(b) • Umar was killed by his slave (Abu Lu’lu’a).

• The reason was that he refused to excuse him from paying a tax.
• This is characteristic of `Umar’s total impartiality and refusal to allow concessions even to those close to him.
• He was stern about the correct observance of all regulations [allow 1 mark for any examples that illustrate this characteristic].
• He was buried near the Prophet, which shows he was held in high honour

(b) What does the way he died tell us about his character? [4]

Candidates might begin by showing signs that they have some knowledge of how the caliph died. Some might go on to describe how ‘Umar was assassinated by his servant. However a more complete answer will explain why the servant killed his master, and will show an awareness of the severe fairness of ‘Umar this reveals. It was ‘Umar’s scrupulous sense of fairness that was the reason for his refusal to give preferential treatment to his slave despite his relationship with him which led to his assassination.
Another version regarding ‘Umar’s assassination is that he was killed by a Persian slave Firoz, who was owned by Mughira b. Shuba. Firoz wanted a reduction in the daily payment he made to his master. ‘Umar rejected his claim and so in anger Firoz stabbed him at dawn prayers the next day.

3: Trace the expansion of the Islamic empire under the rule of the caliph Umar. [10]

Basic answers may show some knowledge of the main battles and areas brought under Muslim rule during the caliphate of Umar. Better answers will be able to expand on the points made earlier and be able to name and date the main battles. Some of the important dates/battles are: 636AD/15AH battle of Yarmuk, 638AD/17AH battle of al-Qadisiyya, 642AD/21AH battle of Nihawand. Better candidates should be able to give a coherent account of the progress of Muslim armies, the battles won and the land captured. Fully detailed and dated answers showing a gradual expansion of the answer will enable the candidates to get top range marks.

In what ways did the conversion of ‘Umar help the young Muslim community? [4]

Good answers here should show an understanding of the significance of ‘Umar’s conversion.
Answers could talk about how his conversion boosted Muslim morale. He was an open persecutor and oppressor of Muslims, but upon conversion was the most open about public praying. Muslims couldn’t pray at the Ka’ba until he became Muslim. He helped the Muslims gain confidence in practising Islam openly; no-one dared interfere with ‘Umar when he was praying. He was known for his temper and his physical strength. All this gave a physical protection to the vulnerable Muslims.

Conversion of Umar (Nov ’09 paper 1):

‘Umar: he was initially angry at the prophet and the new message he was preaching and set out to kill him; on his way he was told his own sister and brother-in-law had converted and so went there; overheard recitation of part of sura Ta Ha; when he read the words himself he went to accept Islam; he had a reputation of being the fiercest man in Makka and so his conversion provided Muslims some protection; he fought Qur’aysh until Muslims could pray at the Ka’ba.

June 2011(2)


Write a detailed account of the administrative measures put in place by ‘Umar during his caliphate. [10]

Candidates could give a basic answer by saying that the Islamic empire expanded rapidly during his caliphate and he undertook many administrative measures to manage the affairs of the state in an effective manner and they could go on to list a few of the measures he took. A few examples are: he divided the state into several provinces and appointed qualified governors called Wali; he separated the judiciary from the executive to make it completely impartial. The Qadi was the head of the judiciary; he established a department of finance under the name of Dewan etc. Candidates could discuss some or many of ‘Umar’s administrative measures, however the more developed answers would discuss the more important measures in some detail.

Umar’s caliphate is regarded as the golden period of early Islamic history.”

Discuss. [4]

Some candidates could compare ‘Umar’s caliphate with those of other caliphs and give comparisons between them to support their answer. If candidates agree with the statement then they need to show why and similarly if they disagree they need to back up their answer with reasons. Answers could write about how this period witnessed a lasting process of internal consolidation, peace and stability as well as prosperity as a direct result of a comprehensive and well built infrastructure and at the same time how the borders of the empire were hugely expanded and made secure.


Hazrat Usman

DURING THE PROPHET’S LIFETIME

  • Usman belonged to the powerful clan of Banu Umayya of the Quraish. 
  • He was modest and honest since his childhood and abstained from corrupt practices such as gambling and drinking even before Islam. 
  • He was a trader and soon became a wealthy person. 
  • He was known as Ghani (the generous one). 
  • He was literate as well. He became a Muslim on Abu Bakr’s invitation and was one of the earliest converts. 
  • He is counted amongst the 10 blessed companions, was a scribe and later became the third Caliph of Islam.
  • Soon after his conversion he married Ruqqaya, the divorced daughter of the Prophet. 
  • He faced persecution in Makkah and migrated to Abyssinia along with his wife with the first batch of emigrants. 
  • He remained there for some years and then returned to Makkah. 
  • As the persecutions increased he again migrated with his wife, this time to Medina. 
  • After his wife died in 2A.H, he married the Prophet’s widowed daughter Umm-e-Kalsum. This earned him the title of ‘Zun Nurrain’ (the possessor of two lights). 
  • Being a wealthy man, he generously donated his wealth to the poor amongst both Mahajirin and Ansar. 
  • He purchased a piece of land according to the wish of the Holy Prophet in order to extend the Prophet’s mosque. 
  • He would purchase a slave from his master and set him free on every Friday. 
  • He actively participated in all the battles led by the Prophet except Badr, due to the illness of his wife Ruqayya. 
  • He donated generously in the battle of Tabuk. 
  • He accompanied the Prophet in the journey towards Hudaibiya. 
  • He was sent to Makkah to hold talks with the Quraish, but a rumour was spread of his murder, as he had to stay longer than expected. 
  • The Prophet on hearing the news took a pledge from his companions to avenge Usman’s blood. 
  • This historic pledge was became known as Bait-e-Rizwan. 
  • Usman returned safe, but the whole episode reflects his importance and the Prophet’s love for him.
  • Usman was a prominent figure during the Prophet’s life and during the Caliphate of the first two Caliphs until he himself became a Caliph. 
  • The Prophet used to pray: ‘’O God! I am pleased with Usman. I beseech (beg) you to be pleased with him.’’ 
  • Modesty was his most prominent feature and the Holy Prophet once said: ‘’Even the angels of God envy the modesty of Usman’’. 
  • Usman was murdered by conspirators in 35 AH and is buried in Jannat-ul-Baqi


ELECTION:

  • Umar nominated Ali, Talha, Zubair, Usman, Abdur Rehman bin Auf and Saad bin Abi Waqas. All were one of the 10 blessed companions.
  • Umar’s choice was Abdur Rehman but he was not willing to shoulder the responsibility.
  • Talha was not in Medina so the choice was now restricted to the remaining four.
  •  It was decided that as Abdur Rehman had stepped down, therefore he should choose the next Caliph.
  • He consulted each one individually; Ali chose Usman and Usman chose Ali, Saad supported Usman while Zubair mentioned both Usman and Ali.
  • He asked the opinion of other prominent men as well and came to the conclusion that the majority favoured Usman.
  • Abdur Rehman first took the pledge of allegiance followed by Ali and other companions and then there was a general pledge.
  • He became the 3rd Caliph on the 4th of Muharram 24 AH.

MAIN ACTIVITIES DURING HIS CALIPHATE (expansion + administration):



  • During the early years, the process of expansion of the Empire continued. 
  • The army moved in all directions and for the first time in Islamic history, utilized naval power. 
  • During his Caliphate, for the first time a fleet of nearly 500 ships was built to fight with the Greeks on the Mediterranean Sea.
  • His earliest focus was the Persian Empire in the East. Khurasan, Merv, Tus, Sarakhs and then Khawarzim were captured in 650 AD. 
  • This bought 40,000 captives and rich booty to Medina.
  • Towards the West, the Byzantines forces were defeated and Cyprus was conquered in 649 AD.
  • In North Africa, Libya, Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia were conquered by the middle of the 7th century.
  • In 651 AD, the standardization of the Quran on the basis of Mushaf-e-Hafsa was done. 
  • Recitation on the model of only this copy was allowed and the rest burnt. 
  • Official copies dispatched to all provincial capitals. 
  • Two of the original manuscripts of his time exist even today.
  • Continued to improve on the administrative network laid down by the previous Caliphs. Regrouped some of the provinces and created new provinces for the newly conquered territories.
  •  Majlis-e-Shoora or council of consultation was maintained. Held periodic conferences of the district authorities in order to keep himself informed of the conditions of the country. Used to hear public complaints after Friday prayers.
  • He allowed Arabs to acquire agricultural lands in the conquered territories.
  • Expanded the Prophet’s mosque. Constructed new mosques, inns, border outposts etc.
  • Made arrangements for the supply of drinking water for travellers by digging wells by the sides of roads and highways.
  • A dam was built to protect Medina from floods. Raised the salaries of the officers and the armed forces. Increased the allowances paid to people by 25%.
  • Is said to have sent religious teachers to India to spread Islam.

DIFFICULTIES:



  • During the last years of his Caliphate, he faced serious difficulties that eventually led to his martyrdom in 35 AH.
  •  He was a very gentle and soft hearted person. The people who wanted to create chaos among Muslims took advantage of his soft nature.
  • Umar was a very strict administrator and the machinery of the government worked smoothly in his time.
  • Usman used to overlook the minor faults of the appointed Amils, provincial heads as well as the new converts.
  • They took an advantage of his leniency and rebelled against him. Abdullah bin Saba, a Yemenite Jew who outwardly accepted Islam, embarked on a subtle campaign of creating dissension (conflict) among the Muslims.
  •  He and his followers established their headquarters in Egypt and began to circulate forged letters that complaints against the Caliph, his governors and other state officials.
  •  Efforts were made to highlight the long forgotten rivalry between Banu Hashim and Banu Umayya.
  • Usman did not take timely action against him.
  • Even some of the noblest actions of his were misprojected before the public; for example, the standardization of the Quran and the expansion of the compound of the Kaabah.
  • The uprisings in Iraq, Kufa and Egypt. Finally in 35 AH troops from all three provinces arrived at Medina to take their complaints directly to the Caliph.
  • Usman had pacified them and they were on their way home when they got a hold of a letter supposedly from ‘Usman to the Governor of Egypt to have the leaders of the group put to death on their return. Seeking vengeance they returned and killed him.

CHARGES AGAINST HIM:



  • One of the main allegations against him was that he had appointed his inefficient relatives as governors. There were 12 provinces in the country and he appointed his relatives in 4: Egypt, Syria, Kufa and Basra.
  • All the governors appointed by him were people of great calibre. Ameer Muaviya, a relative of his was appointed by Umar as the governor of Syria and Usman let him continue his job because he was doing it well.
  • Abdullah bin Saad, his foster brother, was appointed governor of Egypt also by Umar.
  • Usman appointed Saad bin Abi Waqqas as governor of Kufa. When he was unable to control the situation there, he was replaced by Walid bin Uqba (Usman’s foster brother) who proved his worth.
  • Abu Musa Ashari was deposed at the demand of the people of Basra. Was replaced by Abdullah bin Amir (Usman’s cousin) according to the wishes of the people. He proved very successful.
  • Thus none of the governors appointed by him proved a failure.
  • It was also alleged that he was too lenient and did not keep a check on his governors. He, unlike Umar, gave the governors a free hand in running the provinces and did not interfere in their day to day affairs. 
  • His burning of the Qur’an was seen by some as destroying God’s Word. This was done after consultation with the other companions and it was a great service that he rendered to Islam.
  • He gave a convincing reply to each of the charges in the presence of the Prophet’s companions. His explanation was accepted.
  • The rebels however stuck to one point—their demand to depose the Caliph.
  • To achieve this end, finally in 35 AH troops from Egypt, Kufa and Basra marched to Medina and encamped outside the capital.
  • Usman had pacified them and they were on their way home when they got a hold of a letter supposedly from ‘Usman to the Governor of Egypt to have the leaders of the group put to death on their return. Seeking vengeance they returned and killed him.


MAJOR EVENTS:



  • Expansion, mention the areas conquered.
  • Naval fleet.
  • Compilation.
  • Because of compilation and appointing relatives as governors led to several uprisings.
  • The uprisings in Iraq, Kufa and Egypt. Finally in 35 AH troops from all three provinces arrived at Medina to take their complaints directly to the Caliph.
  • Usman had pacified them and they were on their way home when they got a hold of a letter supposedly from ‘Usman to the Governor of Egypt to have the leaders of the group put to death on their return. Seeking vengeance they returned and killed him.

MARTYRDOM:



  • The rebels were on their way home when they got hold of a letter supposedly from Usman to the governor of Egypt to have the leaders of the group put to death on their return.
  • They returned to Medina after four days shouting for revenge.
  • They laid siege to his house by hundreds and did not allow food and water to reach him.
  • Ali deputed his sons, Hassan and Hussain, and Zubair deputed his son Abdullah to protect him.
  • Some companions who were successful in reaching him, wanted to help him and fight the rebels or send for the army.
  • But Usman refused saying that he did not want to shed Muslim blood.
  • The siege lasted for 50 days and finally some rebels jumped into his house, injured his wife Naila and killed him while he was reciting the Quran.
  • The copy of that particular Quran still exists with his blood on it. He died on Friday, 18th of Zil Hajj 35 AH.

SIGNIFICANCE OF HIS MARTYRDOM:



  •  It was a great tragedy with far reaching consequences. It marked the start of sectarianism among the Muslims.
  • The future events proved it.
  • His murder reflected the growing strength of anti Islamic forces that had long been busy in hatching conspiracies against the Muslim community secretly. The same conspirators would create difficulties for the 4th Caliph, Ali.
  • The event also reflected the gentle disposition and simple mindedness of Usman who didn’t take any action against the rebels on the ground that he did not want to shed Muslim blood.

SIGNIFICANCE:


ROLE MODEL FOR TODAY:






JUNE 2006

4 (a) Write an account of the main activities of Hazrat `Uthman
(i)  During the lifetime of the Prophet, [6]
(ii)  During his caliphate. [6]
(b) Explain why Hazrat `Uthman encountered difficulties in the latter years of his caliphate and was assassinated. [4]

(a) (i) • He was one of the first converts.

• He experienced persecution for his faith.
• He married the Prophet’s daughter Ruqayya.
• With her he migrated to Abyssinia.
• He migrated to Madina.
• He did not take part in the Battle of Badr because of his sick wife.
• When Ruqayya died, he was given her sister Umm Kulthum as wife.
• He acted as the Prophet’s ambassador to Quraysh when the Muslims neared Makka.
• He contributed his wealth to pay for expeditions, particularly Tabuk.

(ii) • He continued the policy of expanding Muslim territory.

• The empire expanded into Persia, Armenia and North Africa.
• He placed relatives in important positions of control.
• He requested an authentic version of the Qur’an.
• He ordered Zayd Ibn Thabit to lead the compilation of this.
• He destroyed all other copies.
• His rule caused disquiet and led to several uprisings.

(b) • His appointment of family members was seen as favouritism.

• His destruction of the Qur’an was seen by some as destroying God’s Word.
• Some Muslims questioned his ability to rule.
• He pacified a force from Egypt by making concessions, but sent word to have them killed on their return home.
• They returned to Madina and killed him.


JUNE 2008

4 (a) Write about:
(i) Abu Bakr’s conquest of the false prophets
(ii) `Uthman’s arrangements to make a collection of the Qur’an. [2x5]

(b) Explain why these two caliphs thought it was important to take these actions. [2x3]


(a) (i)

• One of the problems facing Abu Bakr was a number of people in Arabia who claimed to be prophets like Muhammad
• The main ones were Musaylima among the Hanifa tribes in Yamama, Tulayha among the tribes of Asad and Ghatafan, al-Aswad al-Ansi in the Yemen and Sajdah among the Tamim tribe [1 mark for all four names; 1 extra mark for details about each]
• He sent forces against all of them
• The fighting against Musaylima was most fierce: in the battle of Yamama many memorizers of the Qur’an were killed
(ii)
• `Uthman discovered that in parts of the empire people were following different versions of the Qur’an
• He ordered all copies of the Qur’an to be destroyed
• He invited Zayd Ibn Thabit and a group of Muslims to compile an authentic copy of the text
• They took great care, consulting widely and checking the text against memories
• They referred to the collection in the keeping of Hafsa
• `Uthman had copies made and distributed these to the major centres

(b) [In each case allow 1 mark for a basic explanatory comment (not description); 1 extra mark for a further comment that shows fuller understanding; and the third mark for complete explanations]

The false prophets threatened the uniqueness of the Prophet Muhammad
Their claims suggested that Muhammad was not the last prophet sent from God
Unless they were overthrown Islam could not uphold its claims
If variant readings were allowed the message of the Qur’an might be obscured
These readings threatened the purity of God’s instructions
If they were allowed to continue the community might be split over different teachings

JUNE 2010

3 (a) what major events took place during the caliphate of ‘Uthman? [10]

‘Uthman was the third caliph. He continued the policy of expanding the Islamic territories. He expanded the state towards the east and in the Mediterranean and crushed many rebellions.

Details of areas conquered and rebellions put down could be given here. The first Muslim naval fleet was built during the reign of ‘Uthman. It was ‘Uthman who during his term as caliph ordered a full edition of the Qur’an to be made and for this appointed Zayd Ibn Thabit to lead the compilation. He ordered all unofficial copies of the Qur’an to be burnt. Some candidates may well discuss that it was because of this action of his and the charge that he had appointed inefficient relatives as governors that his rule caused disquiet and led to several uprisings. They could go on to mention the uprisings in Iraq, Kufa and Egypt and say how finally in 35 AH troops from all three provinces arrived at Medina to take their complaints directly to the caliph.

(b) Explain why ‘Uthman encountered difficulties in the later years of his caliphate and was assassinated. [4]


His appointment of family members in important positions was regarded as favouritism. The burning of the copies of the Qur’an to be replaced by the official version prepared by Zayd Ibn Thabit was seen as destroying the word of Allah. Yet another reason was that some Muslims questioned his ability to rule. To get to the higher level of marks the candidates must write about his assassination as well. Here the stronger candidates could state that after ‘Uthman had pacified the Egyptians they were on their way home when they got a hold of a letter supposedly from ‘Uthman to the Governor of Egypt to have the leaders of the group put to death on their return. Seeking vengeance they returned and killed him. Evaluation of some of the points discussed above is needed to get to the top levels.




Hazrat Ali

SIGNIFICANCE DURING THE PROPHET’S LIFETIME:


  • Ali was the first cousin of the Holy Prophet and so belonged to the Banu Hashim. 
  • His father was Abu Talib bin Abdul Muttalib, who had brought up Mohammad in his childhood. 
  • Ali was about ten years old when the Prophet received the first revelation.
  • Ali got the special opportunity of living in the company of the Prophet and so developed great love for him since his childhood. 
  • Ali was brave and literate and was a very intelligent youth of Makkah. 
  • He led a pious and noble life, hated idol worshipping, drinking, gambling and bloodshed. 
  • He was first among the children to embrace Islam. . 
  • One day he saw his cousin and his wife put their foreheads on the ground. 
  • Hazrat Ali looked at them amazingly. 
  • Never before had he seen anybody saying prayers in this style. 
  • When the prayer was over, Hazrat Ali asked his cousin about this strange act. 
  • He explained: "We were worshipping Allah, the One," the Holy Prophet said, "I advise you to do the same and never bend your head before Lat, Uzza or any other idol." Next morning Hazrat Ali accepted Islam.
  • When the Holy Prophet asked the Hashimites to help him in his mission, 
  • Hazrat Ali was the only person to respond to his call. After that Ali started supporting the Holy Prophet bravely and the Prophet declared him as ‘’my brother and my lieutenant’’.
  • The Prophet gave his youngest daughter Fatima in marriage to Ali and Hassan and Hussain were born from this marriage. 
  • Ali demonstrated utmost courage and boldness by sleeping in the bed of The Prophet on the night before migration to Medina. 
  • At that time he had entrusted to Ali the task of returning the belongings of the people that had been placed in the Prophet’s custody for safe keeping.
  • In Medina, when the Prophet declared the emigrants and helpers as brothers, the Holy Prophet declared that Ali would be his brother. 
  • Hazrat Ali was a brave warrior and showed great courage in all battles. 
  • At the time of the Battle of Badr, he was chosen to carry the Muslim banner. 
  • During the Battle of Uhad, he was one of the few Muslims who defended the Holy Prophet. After the battle he, along with his wife Fatima washed the Prophet’s wounds. 
  • During the Battle of Trench, when some of the pagans were able to cross over the ditch, Ali killed them.
  •  He was one of the leaders in the siege of the Jewish tribe of Banu Quraizah. 
  • He showed great bravery in the battle of Khyber, using a door as a shield. 
  • At Hunain he defended the Holy Prophet and at the time of the conquest of Makkah, he again carried the Muslim banner. 
  • For his bravery, the Prophet gave him the title of Asad Allah/Lion of Allah.
  •  Hazrat Ali did not take part in the Tabuk Expedition as he remained in Medina as the Prophet’s deputy. 
  • On his complaint that he was not going with the army, the Prophet said to him: ‘’you are to me as Haroon was to Musa, except that there will be no prophet after me.’’ (Agreed Upon)
  • He was among those who had taken the oath of Rizwan for the sake of Usman’s life and then he drafted the treaty of Hudaibiya and was one of the witnesses as well. 
  • He was one of the 10 blessed companions. 
  • He was one of the scribes of the Divine Revelation. 
  • He also wrote the letters sent out by the Prophet to different kings and emperors. 
  • He was present at the time of the death of the Holy Prophet. 
  • He washed his dead body and was one of those who lowered the Prophet into the grave.


ELECTION:



  • There was no Caliph of Islam for three days after Hazrat Usman's murder. Medina was completely in the grip of the rioters.
  • Most of the Companions had left Medina during the dark days of the holocaust (a war in which very many ordinary people are killed). The few who remained felt absolutely helpless.
  •  After three days, when the rebels decided to return to their homes, they felt it was necessary that the new Caliph should be chosen before they left Medina.
  •  In this connection there were differences among the rebels.
  • One group favoured the election of Ali (Egypt); another favoured the election of Talha (Kufa) while the third wanted Zubair (Basra).
  •  The Egyptians and some prominent companions requested Hazrat Ali to accept the office of the Caliph but he refused.
  • The rebels then offered the Khilafat to Talha and Zubair but they too refused.
  •  They next requested the Ansar to choose a Caliph from amongst themselves, but they declined and said in that in the presence of Ali, no one else deserved to be the Caliph.
  •  There was a complete deadlock in the matter of election.
  • They then gave the ultimatum that unless the Caliph was chosen within the next 24 hours, they would be forced to take some drastic action (mass murder).
  •  Hazrat Ali had talks with those of the Companions who were still in Medina. They favoured him to forward and serve the people.
  • ·So Hazrat Ali agreed to take responsibility of guiding the affairs of the Muslims. He consented to become the fourth Caliph of Islam.
  • All came to the Prophet's Mosque to receive the pledge of loyalty. Malik Ushtar was the first to take the pledge. He was followed by other people.
  • Talha and Zubair, the two noted Companions, were in Medina at the time. They were among the six electors nominated by Umar. Hazrat Ali wanted to have their confidence. Both of them took the pledge.
  • ·Members of the Umayyad family all fled to Syria. They took away with them the blood-stained shirt of the late Caliph and the chopped fingers of his wife, Naila.
  • Hazrat Ali knew well that difficult times lay ahead. The forces of lawlessness had been unleashed. It would require tireless work, great patience and much tact to restore law and order. Ali hoped to accomplish the task with the co-operation of his people.

CHANGE OF GOVERNORS:



  • On becoming the Caliph, Hazrat Ali felt that in the interest of the state, it was necessary that there should be a change in the provincial governors.
  • He therefore decided to remove the governors appointed by Usman and appoint new people to take their place.
  • Many of his friends advised him not to take such a step before establishing himself as the Caliph.
  • With regard to Muaviya, the governor of Syria, they particularly asked him not to interfere because the appointment of Muaviya was not made by Usman but by Umar.
  •  Also because he was popular in Syria and the people were happy with him.
  • Against the advice of his friends, Ali decided to replace Muaviya also along with the others.
  • He appointed new governors for Syria, Egypt, Kufa, Basra and Yemen. Then he sent them to take charge of their provinces.
  • The governors appointed in the provinces of Basra, Egypt and Yemen were able to take charge of their provinces without any resistance.
  •  But the governor for Kufa had to return to Medina after having failed to assume the charge of his office.
  • Similarly the Governor for Syria was met by a Syrian army who told him to go back as they did not acknowledge Ali as the Caliph. Muaviya was not ready to accept Ali as Caliph. The main crisis started here.

BATTLE OF CAMEL (JAMAL):



  • Banu Ummayads who were in power in Syria raised a cry for revenge for Usman’s blood.
  • Exhibited the blood stained clothes of Usman and the chopped fingers of his wife to instigate the people.
  • Many people in Makkah and Medina also joined them and demanded punishment for the assassins.
  • Ali agreed but argued that he would do so only after re-establishing peace in the country. He realized that the assassination of Usman was not the work of a few individuals who could be easily punished.
  •  Due to the chaotic conditions during the last days of Uthman it was very difficult to establish the identity of the murderers, and Ali refused to punish anyone whose guilt was not lawfully proved.
  •  When Talha and Zubair, who were the first to acknowledge Ali as a Caliph, saw that he was taking no positive steps to avenge Usman’s death, they became furious.
  • They approached Hazrat Ayesha, who was herself deeply grieved at Usman’s murder, and prevailed (influenced) upon her to join them in demanding revenge for Usman’s murder.
  •  They raised an army of 15,000 men and persuaded Ayesha to accompany them.
  • In the meantime, Ali was preparing a 20,000 army to cope with the situation in Syria whose governor Muaviya had refused to take oath of allegiance. He diverted his attention towards Basra and met Ayesha’s forces in October 656.
  • Ali did not wish to fight Ayesha and sent one of the Prophet’s companions to assure her that the delay in punishing the murderers of Usman was due to non-availability of evidence.
  •  Ayesha also wanted to prevent bloodshed and agreed to negotiate. The negotiations began between the two parties and ended in mutual agreement.
  • This was not in favour of the rebels who had gone to such great lengths to cause fighting amongst the Muslims.
  • A band of them masterminded an attack on Ayesha’s army during the night, provoking them to retaliate against Ali’s army.
  • In the fighting that followed, Talha and Zubair were killed. Ayesha’s own camel was finally over powered and its legs were cut, thus giving the name Battle of the Camel to this event.
  • She was treated with respect and honour and was sent to Medina escorted by her brother where she led a retired life and never took part in politics again.
  • 10,000 combatants lay dead from both sides in this very first civil war of Islam.
  • As a result of the victory at Basra, Ali’s Khilafat came to be acknowledged by the entire Muslim world except Syria.
  • After this battle, Ali shifted the capital to Kufa.

WHY TALHA AND ZUBAIR OPPOSED HIM:



  • Talha and Zubair opposed Ali for a number of reasons.
  • They had initially taken oath at Ali’s hand and hoped Ali would take quick action against the killers of Usman.
  •  Ali, however, having his own plans and strategies, acted differently.
  •  He began to dismiss the governors appointed by Usman since he considered them to be the root cause of all troubles.
  •  While doing so, the actions against Usman’s killers got delayed and this delay drove a wedge between Ali and the two close companions of the Prophet.
  •  They began to oppose Ali’s policies as they wanted urgent steps against the rebels.
  • Failing to see Ali introducing any reforms to control the crisis, Talha and Zubair joined Ayesha to worsen the conflict.

BATTLE OF SIFFIN:



Causes:

  • After his election, Ali deposed Muaviya from the governorship of Syria. Muaviya refused and under his influence no one in Syria took the oath of allegiance to the new Caliph.
  • Muaviya raised a cry for revenge for the blood of Usman and displayed his blood stained clothes and his wife’s fingers in a mosque in Damascus.
  •  He claimed that his election as Caliph was illegal and was carried out under the pressure of the rebels who had killed Usman.
  • He presented Talha and Zubair as martyrs who laid down their lives for the blood of Usman.
  •  He criticized Ali for the ill treatment of Hazrat Ayesha.
  • His propaganda spread to Iran and Iraq.
  • Muaviya gained enough strength in a year to challenge the Caliph.
  • Ali wrote him a letter telling him that he had been elected in the same way as the former Caliphs had been elected. Muaviya replied that he was not ready to accept Ali as a Caliph.
  • Events:
  • Ali managed to collect an army of 80-90 thousand men and Muaviya also collected a large army.
  •  Both armies met at Siffin. For several months the rival soldiers remained facing each other. Except occasional skirmishes no decisive battle took place.
  •  Ali sent messengers to Muaviya asking him to submit in the interest of the unity of Islam.
  •  Muaviya in reply demanded that Usman’s assassins should be punished first. All negotiations for peace broke down and both sides got ready for war.
  • The main battle began on the 8th of Safar 37 A.H. on the fourth day the position of Muaviya’s army began to worsen.
  •  Muaviya, on the advice of Amr bin Aas ordered the soldiers in the front ranks to fasten the Holy Quran on their lances as a sign that the war should end.
  •  Many officers in Ali’s army refused to fight, so the war was stopped and it was decided that the matter be referred to an arbitration (mediation/settlement).
  •  Ali appointed Abu Musa Ashari and Muaviya appointed Amr bin Aas. They were to settle the dispute in accordance with the Quran and Sunnah and announce their decision by Ramadan. In the meantime all hostilities were to cease.
  •  Ali left the battlefield of Siffin for Kufa. The battle of Siffin led to the birth of the first sect among Muslims that came to be known as Kharijites.

WHY MUAVIYA REFUSED TO ACCEPT ALI AS CALIPH:



  • Ali had been elected in unusual circumstances, mainly on the insistence of the rebels against Usman.
  • Ali wanted to restore peace first and then deal with the assassination of Usman, so he issued orders of the governors appointed by Usman.
  •  Muaviya’s name was in the list.
  •  Ali ordered Muaviya to surrender his position as governor of Syria.
  •   Since Muaviya would not accept `Ali as caliph he did not do this.
  • Ali refused to take steps against the killers of Muaviya’s uncle `Usman.
  •  Muaviya insisted that `Ali should punish them before he would obey him.
  •  Muaviya’s opposition was a combination of personal ambition and desire for justice.

WHY SOME SUPPORTERS OF ALI LEFT HIM AFTER SIFFIN:


  •  Talha and Zubayr thought he should punish Usman’s assassins as soon as possible.
  •  This was the just action and they thought `Ali was wrong not to do it.
  • Ali’s supporters at Siffin thought he was the leader of the community and those who opposed him were wrong.
  • So they thought he was wrong to arbitrate with sinners.

ARBITRATION:



  • In Ramadan Abu Musa Ashari and Amr bin Aas met at Dumat-ul-Jandal, a place between Kufa and Damascus, for arbitration.
  • The question put to them was ‘’are the two eligible for the post of Caliph.’’
  • Abu Musa announced that both Ali and Muaviya would resign and the people should be given a right to choose any one of them as Caliph.
  •  Amr bin Aas announced that he agreed with Abu Musa to depose Ali but he himself had decided to retain Muaviya on his post.
  • Because Muaviya is a successful governor and his people have no complaints against him, so the election for the Caliph should take place while Muaviya retained his seat.
  • The decision was one sided so Hazrat Ali, on principle did not accept it. Now the only way for him was to fight against Muaviya once again.

KHARIJITES:



  • The term Kharijites literally means separatists or out goers. These people had taken part in the revolt against Usman and were involved in his murder.
  • When Muaviya raised the cry for revenge for the blood of Usman, they allied themselves with Hazrat Ali and fought on his side in the Battles of Camel and Siffin.
  • · When the troops of Muaviya asked for cease fire, they responded to the call and forced Ali to suspend hostilities, although victory for his forces were near.
  • When Hazrat Ali was going to Kufa after the decision of arbitration right after the Battle of Siffin, they insisted that Hazrat Ali should attack the Syrians. Ali replied that he could not break the agreement signed by him.
  • Their argument was that neither Ali nor Muawiya were worthy of rule.
  • They based it on a verse of the Quran 49:9 which said that there is no arbitrator but God.
  • In fact, they went so far as to say that the true caliphate came to an end with 'Umar and that Muslims should live without any ruler over them except God.
  • When they arrived near Kufa, 12000 men separated and marched towards Harwara, where they formed a party and started their activities against Hazrat Ali.
  •  In this way these people separated from the main body of the Muslims.

BATTLE OF NAHRAWAN:



  • While Hazrat Ali made preparations to attack Muaviya, the Kharijites from all over the country collected at Nahrawan and began to create problems.
  • So Ali had to fight against them first. The Kharijites were defeated badly. Out of 4000 only a few dozen managed to escape.
  • The survivors vowed to take revenge.
  • This decisive victory diverted his attention from the main struggle against Muaviya.
  • It was because of this war that Hazrat Ali was assassinated by a Kharijite two years later.

FALL OF EGYPT:



  • When Hazrat Ali decided to step forward against Muaviya, his troops disobeyed.
  • Muaviya took advantage of the disobedience and ordered Amr bin Aas to attack Egypt.
  • Governor of Egypt was defeated and Egypt came under the control of Muaviya.
  • After the fall of Egypt, a rebellion broke out throughout the Muslim Empire against the Caliph.
  • Ali signed a treaty with Muaviya in which it was decided that Syria and Egypt will be ruled by Muaviya and remaining territories would remain under Hazrat Ali.
  • The Kharijites did not want peace to prevail and they now started preparation to kill Hazrat Ali.

MARTYRDOM:



  •  After the Battle of Nahrawan, the Kharijites became his bitter enemies. The survivors of the battle wanted revenge for their friends who were killed in the battle.
  •  In 40A.H some of the Kharijites assembeled in Makkah and decided to kill Ali, Muaviya and Amr bin Aas simultaneously.
  •  They claimed that neither Ali nor Muawiya were worthy of rule.
  • In fact, they went so far as to say that the true caliphate came to an end with 'Umar and that Muslims should live without any ruler over them except God. They vowed to kill all three rulers, and assassins were dispatched in three directions.
  • The assassins who were deputed to kill Muawiya and Amr did not succeed and were captured and executed.
  • Abdul Rehman bin Muljim was selected to assassinate Ali.
  • On the 18th of Ramazan when Ali was leading the morning prayers in a mosque at Kufa, Muljim attacked him with a poisonous sword.
  • The wounds proved fatal and he died on the 21st of Ramazan.
  •  His son Hassan killed Muljim the next day.
  • There are different versions as to the place of his burial. Majority of the people hold that he was buried in Najaf.
  •  He did not name anyone as his successor.

ADMINISTRATION:



  •  The whole period of his caliphate passed in civil wars therefore he did not have a chance to pay proper attention to administration or conquests.
  • He administered the state on the lines laid down by the previous caliphs without making any changes.
  • The divisions of the provinces remained the same as during Umars time with a few exceptions.
  • The capital was changed from Medina to Kufa and some of the officers and governors were changed.
  •  Was very particular in taking care of non-Muslims.
  • He constructed castles for the women and children who were widowed and orphaned in Iran during the days of revolt.
  • He introduced Islamic injunctions which included whip lashes to drinkers and cutting of hands on stealing.
  • He passed laws to provide food to the prisoners.


MAIN ACTIVITIES DURING HIS CALIPHATE:



  • He became caliph after the murder of `Uthman.
  •  He did not immediately take steps to punish `Uthman’s killers.
  • For this Talha and Zubayr, supported by `A’isha, opposed him.
  • They fought him at the battle of the Camel.
  • [+1 for a full account of this opposition and its outcome.]
  •  Uthman’s nephew Mu`awiya also opposed him.
  • They fought at the battle of Siffin.
  • This was indecisive so they agreed to arbitration.
  • [+1 for a full account of this opposition and its outcome.]
  •  Some of `Ali’s supporters disagreed with this and abandoned him.
  • He defeated them at the battle of Nahrawan.
  •  He was killed by one of these while at prayer.




SIGNIFICANCE:




NOVEMBER 2005(2)


 In this question you should answer part (a) and either part (b) or part (c)


(a) Write an account of the life of `Ali ibn Abi Talib, paying particular attention to:

(i) His companionship of the Prophet; [6]
(ii) His caliphate. [6]

Either (b) Explain why `Ali was opposed by Mu`awiya during his rule as caliph. [4]


Or (c) Explain why `Ali’s leadership of the community is regarded as important by Shi`i Muslims. [4]

(a) (i)
• He was close to the Prophet from childhood.
• He became one of the first Muslims.
• He married the Prophet’s daughter Fatima.
• He took the Prophet’s place in his bed at the time of the hijra.
• He was taken by the Prophet as his brother when pairing Ansar and Muhajirun.
• He was one of the foremost warriors of the Islamic community.
• He offered to fight single-handedly before a number of battles.
• [1 mark for details, e.g. his feats at the battle of Hunayn.]
• He was a scribe of the Prophet.
• He wrote the Treaty of al-Hudaybiya.
• [Shi`as believe the Prophet designated him as his successor.]
(ii)
• He became caliph after the murder of `Uthman.
• He did not immediately take steps to punish `Uthman’s killers.
• For this Talha and Zubayr, supported by `A’isha, opposed him.
• They fought him at the battle of the Camel.
• [+1 for a full account of this opposition and its outcome.]
• `Uthman’s nephew Mu`awiya also opposed him.
• They fought at the battle of Siffin.
• This was indecisive so they agreed to arbitration.
• [+1 for a full account of this opposition and its outcome.]
• Some of `Ali’s supporters disagreed with this and abandoned him.
• He defeated them at the battle of Nahrawan.
• He was killed by one of these while at prayer.


(Sir Iftikhar)

Caliph's Paper 2



H.Abubakar




















H.Umar
















H.Usman















H.Ali








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John Dewey