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Khalifa Uthman bin Affan - Consequences of the Martyrdom of Uthman

The tragedy of Uthman and Karbala

If the events leading to the tragedy of the assassination of Uthman, and the events culminating in the tragedy of Karbala are studied dispassionately we find much therein which provides food for thought and reflection. The revolts in both the cases were anti-Umayyad in character. In the revolt against Uthman, the main point of the agitation against him was that he had appointed the Umayyads to high offices. In the case of the Karbala tragedy the stand of Imam Hussain was that the Umayyads had converted the caliphate into hereditary monarchy, and that Yazid in view of his notorious character was not fit to be the Caliph.

In the case of Uthman the authority vested in him, and the rioters demanded his deposition. Had-at Uthman refused to abdicate because he held that he could not resign from an office which he held on behalf of God on account of any pressure from the public. He gave his life but did not agree to abdicate. According to his way of thinking that was the only way to resolve the deadlock. Thus he preferred the cause of Islam to his life, and he died as a martyr. In this case the truth and justice were on the side of Uthman, while the rioters had no just cause to agitate.

Hussain stood for the integrity of the caliphate. His objection was against the transformation of the caliphate into royalty. There was also much force in his objection against the character of Yazid. In this case truth and justice were on the side of Hussain. Both Uthman and Hussain defended the cause of truth and justice, and both have high rank as the martyrs of Islam.

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