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Khalifa Uthman bin Affan - Reflections of His Caliphate

Demands of the agitators

If the allegations against Uthman were false or frivolous, then the next question is: what exactly were the demands of the agitators. Surprisingly in all the accounts that have come down to us, there is no mention of such demands in specific terms. The agitators made vague, confusing, and conflicting demands. If the available accounts are analyzed, it appears that the main demand was about the deposition of the Governors. In Egypt the demand was that Abdullah b Sa'ad should be deposed. No specific allegations were made against him. When it was pointed out that under him the revenues of the province had been increased, it was observed that the young ones of the she camel had been starved, which implies that the process of tax collection had been oppressive. It was, however, never brought out where lay the oppression. When the rule of Abdullah b Sa'ad came to an end in Egypt with the capture of power by Muhammad b Abu Hudhaifa, the agitation did not subside; on the other hand it burst into armed revolt.

In Kufa, the people demanded that Saeed b A1 'Aas should be deposed, and Abu Musa Asha'ari be appointed as the Governor. Uthman accepted the demand. l he new Governor secured an undertaking from the people that they would no longer indulge in agitation. In spite of that they continued their agitation. This shows that the real object of the agitators was not to secure the deposition of Governors, their main purpose was to create unrest and confusion.

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