Uthman bin Maz’un (r.a.)

A dark-colored man of medium height with a beard was passing by the Messenger of Allah. He looked at the Messenger of Allah, who was sitting in front of his house, and smiled. He attracted the attention of the Prophet and wanted to talk to him. The following conversation took place between them:

“'Will you not sit a bit?”

 “I will.” He sat opposite the Messenger of Allah. The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) started to talk. When he talked, he looked upward for a while. Then, he brought his gaze down slowly on his right hand side. The man stared at him and said,  

“O Muhammad! I have never seen you do something like that before.”

“'And what did you see me do?”

“You turned your face away from me, stared at the sky, and lowered your gaze down slowly on your right hand side. I saw that you looked as if you were trying to understand something which was said to you.”

“Gabriel (Jibril), the Messenger of Allah, came to me while I was sitting with you.”

“The Messenger of Allah?”

“Yes, the Messenger of Allah.”

“What did the Messenger of Allah tell you?”

“He brought me an order from Allah. Here is the order: Allah commands justice, the doing of good, and liberality to kith and kin, and He forbids all shameful deeds, and injustice and rebellion: He instructs you, that ye may receive admonition.”[1]

The person who witnessed the revelation of this verse, which imposed the three principles of the system of the world, was Uthman bin Maz’un. This short talk with the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) formed the beginning of a great change. Having listened to carefully what the Messenger of Allah told him a few minutes ago, Uthman paid allegiance to him by witnessing that he was a prophet. Then, he declared that he became a Muslim. Thus, the number of the believers became 13.

Uthman bin Maz’un knew that the polytheists would react against him and that they would change their attitude toward him when he became a Muslim. They would do what was expected from them. In fact, the polytheists started to torture the Muslims since they were few in number. They tried to dissuade the Muslims from Islam and belief. However, their love of Islam and the Prophet ignored the torture of the polytheists. However, after a while the Prophet advised some Companions to migrate to Abyssinia in order to practice their belief a bit easily. Uthman bin Maz’un was among those migrants.

After a few years, the news that Qurayshis became Muslims spread. Thereupon, Uthman bin Maz’un set off from Abyssinia with a group of Muslims to return to Makkah. He was happy because he would rejoin his homeland and his beloved Prophet that he had been away for a long time. When they approached Makkah, they found out that there was not much change. The polytheists had even increased their pressure and torture. However, he did not want to go to Abyssinia again. There was only one thing to do: To take refuge in the protection of one of the polytheists. According to the custom of that time, a person who was under the protection of a notable person or a chief of a tribe would not be harmed by others.

Finally, Uthman bin Maz’un took refuge in Walid bin Mughira. He found it very difficult to be under the protection of a polytheist. He could not find anything else to do. If he did not do it, he would accept death and he would not be able to serve Islam. He did not want to pass away by leaving the Messenger of Allah alone. Therefore, he did his best to put up with it. Walid did not leave him unattended. He started to intervene in his Islamic life. He could not put up with it any longer. One day, he made the following decision:

“My fellow believers are exposed to torture and pressure in the way of Allah every day; it is not right for me to live in safety under the protection of a polytheist.”

After this decision, he went to Walid bin Mughira at once. He said, “O Walid! I am returning your protection about me to you.” Thus, he rejected Walid’s protection. Walid said, “Then, go to the Kaaba and return my protection to me there openly.” They went to the Kaaba together. The polytheists had gathered there and they were talking. Walid said, “Uthman came to me and is rejecting my protection.” Uthman said, “Yes, he is right. I do not like being under the protection of anyone but Allah. Therefore, I am rejecting his protection."

Soon after this incident, Uthman bin Maz’un was in a meeting of the polytheists. The famous poet, Labid, was reciting a poem: He said, "Everything but Allah is falsehood." Uthman said, "You have told the truth." Labid continued: Every boon will end.” Uthman bin Madhun said "You are wrong. The boon of Paradise will not end." Labid got angry and said, "O Quraysh! By Allah, you have depressed and cursed me. There was no insane man among you. When did this man emerge?” The polytheists said, “He is a young Qurayshi who is insane. He opposes the religion of his tribe. He left our religion due to his insanity.” They tried to soften him by saying, “Ignore him.” Meanwhile, a polytheist called Ab­dullah bin Abu Umayya punched Uthman’s face severely. He blackened his eye. Walid bin Mughira was also there. When he saw that his face was blackened, he said, “O my nephew! Your eye would not have been like that if you had stayed under my protection." Thereupon, Uthman gave him the following answer, which fit a Muslim:

"By Allah, I would not heed it if my other eye would be like that in the way of Allah. I am under the protection of God Almighty. Allah will reward me for the slap that hit my eye. He with whom Allah is pleased is fortunate. Even if they say that I have deviated and gone astray, I am in the religion of Muhammad. I will be on this way no matter how much they oppress and torture me.”

Those words of his nephew’s affected Walid. He said, “Come and be under my protection again.” However, Uthman rejected him by saying, “I cannot accept the protection of anyone but Allah.”

Uthman became a heroic soldier of Islam. He spent his life struggling against the polytheists. He sacrificed everything he had for the Messenger of Allah. He worked very hard to spread Islam. He migrated to Madinah from Makkah when it became necessary. Thus, he became a muhajir for the second time in the way of Allah.  

Uthman was a very modest and shy person. He led an ascetic life. He wanted to marry but the Prophet did not allow. He worshipped a lot. He spent the nights by performing prayers and the days by fasting. The Prophet was informed about it. The following conversation occurred between them:    

“O Uthman! Am I not a good model for you?”

“May my mother and father be sacrificed for you! O Messenger of Allah! What is the reason for this question?”

“They say you spend the days by fasting and the nights by performing prayers.”

“Yes, I do.”

“Do not do like that. Your eyes have rights on you. Your body has rights on you. Your family has rights on you. Perform prayers and sleep. Perform fasting on some days and eat on other days. O Uthman! Allah sent me with a religion that is the best, the most realistic and the easiest to apply, not with monkhood.”

Uthman died in the 2nd year of the Migration. The Prophet (pbuh) himself dealt with his funeral.

When the Prophet buried Uthman bin Maz’un, who was the first Companion to be buried in the Cemetery of Baqi, he stated the following:

“How happy you are that you did not leave any worldly possessions! Uthman bin Maz’un is the best predecessor of us.” [2]

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[1]an-Nahl, 90.
[2]Tabaqat, 3: 398-400; Sirah, 2: 9-10.

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