Uthman’s governors from Banu Umayyah:
- Mu’awiyah ibn Sufyan
- Abdullah ibn Saad ibn abi Sarah
- Waleed ibn Uqbah
- Saeed ibn al-Aas
- Abdullah ibn Aamir
- Marwan I (Marwan ibn al-Hakam)
Uthman’s governors from other tribes:
- Abu Musa al-Ashari
- Qa’qah ibn Amr
- Jabir al-Mazni
- Habeeb ibn Muslima
- Abdul Rahman ibn Khalid ibn al-Waleed
- Abu al-Awar al-Salami
- Hakeem ibn Salama
- Ash’as ibn Qais
- Jareer ibn Abdullah al-bajali 1
- Uyaynah ibn Nahas
- Malik ibn Habeeb
- Naseer Ijli
- Saib ibn Aqra
- Saeed ibn Qais
- Salman ibn Rabee’a
- Khunais ibn Habeesh
- Ahnaf ibn Qais
- Abdul Rahman ibn Rabee’a
- Yala ibn Maniyyah
- Abdullah ibn Amr Hazrami
- Ali ibn Rabee’a ibn Abd al-Uzza.
Few facts about the Umayyad governors of Uthman:
The five Umayyad governors didn’t remain at the post at one time. Rather, ‘Uthman made Waleed ibn Uqbah as his governor, then removed him and appointed Saeed ibn al-Aas. When he died, only three Banu Umayyad governors remained.
- Muawiyah ibn Sufyan
- Abdullah ibn Saad ibn Sarah
- Abdullah ibn Aamir
Muawiyah ibn Sufyan was the governor of Syria in the era of Caliph Umar. So ‘Uthman appointed only two governors i.e Abdullah ibn Saad ibn Sarah, and Abdullah ibn Aamir. Both were highly skillful in wars, and lead Muslims to many victories over the Romans and Persians.
The Prophet (ﷺ) also appointed Umayyads as governors of various places:
The Prophet (ﷺ) did not just give two of his daughters in marriage to ‘Uthman the Umayyad, he himself married an Umayyad lady whom he loved a lot. She was none other than Umm Habiba bint Abi Sufyan, the Mother of the Faithful, the sister of Mu’awiyah ibn Abi Sufyan, and daughter of Abu Sufyan (the Umayyads, whom the Rafidah call a ‘cursed tree’ based on fabricated narrations). As for the Umayyad governors that the Prophet (ﷺ) appointed:
- Utaab ibn Saeed ibn Abi al-Aas the governor of Mecca
- Abu Sufyan ibn Harb al-Umawi the governor of Najran
- Khalid ibn Saeed al-Umawi the collector of Zakat on Bani Mazhaj,
- Abaan ibn Saeed the governor of Bahrain
- Amr ibn Saeed al-Umawi as the governor of Khaiber
- Hakam ibn Saeed on Sawq
- Amr ibn al-Aas over Amman
- Uthman ibn Saeed the governor of Tayma.
- ‘Abdullah Ibn ‘Abbas as the governor of Basrah.
- ‘Ubaydallah ibn ‘Abbas (younger brother of ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas), cousin of ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib.. He was appointed as the commander of hajj pilgrims for three consecutive years and later even as the ruler of all of Yemen.
- Qutham ibn ‘Abbas, cousin of ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib. He was appointed as the manager of the hajj rituals and as the ruler of Mecca and Ta’if (Madinah according to other sources). Along with Sa’id b. ‘Uthman b. ‘Affan, he went to Khorasan and launched a jihad in Transoxiana and attended the conquests of major ancient Persian cities like Bukhara and Samarkand. He taught Islam (of course no source has ever mentioned that he spoke a single word about Twelverism) and passed away in Samarkand (an ancient Persian city that is today located in Uzbekistan).
- Ja’dah ibn Hubayrah. He is ‘Ali’s ibn Abi Talib’s nephew whom he appointed as the governor of the vast lands of Khurasan in the east of Persia.
- Tamam (sometimes referred to as ‘Thumamah’) Ma’bad ibn ‘Abbas, ANOTHER cousin of ‘Ali who was appointed as the governor over Makkah.
- Ma’bad ibn ‘Abbas, yet another cousin of ‘Ali who was appointed as the governor over Makkah.
وخالفه المسلمون كلهم حتى قتل وعابوا أفعاله وقالوا له غبت عن بدر وهربت يوم أحد ولم تشهد بيعة الرضوان والأخبار في ذلك أكثر من أن تحصى.
[Zindiq al-Hilli:] ‘…he [‘Uthman] contradicted all of the Muslims until he was killed. They criticised his conduct and said to him: “You are absent at the battle of Badr, you run away from the battlefield at Uhud and you did not attend the vow of allegiance of Ridwan under the tree; narrations on that are too many and uncountable.’
والجواب: أن يقال: نواب علي خانوه وعصوه أكثر مما خان عمال عثمان له وعصوه وقد صنف الناس كتبا فيمن ولاه علي فأخذ المال وخانه وفيمن تركه وذهب إلى معاوية وقد ولى علي رضي الله عنه زياد بن أبي سفيان أبا عبيدالله بن زياد قاتل الحسين
‘We reply to all the above accusations as follows: the people put in charge by ‘Ali betrayed and disobeyed him more than the people who were put in charge by ‘Uthman and betrayed and disobeyed him. Books were written about those who were put in charge by ‘Ali and then proceeded and took money from the state treasury and betrayed him. Among them were those who abandoned him and sided with Mu’awiyah. ‘Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, appointed Ziyad ibn Abi Sufyan, the father of ‘Ubaydullah ibn Ziyad, the murderer of al-Husayn …’
[Minhaj al Sunnah, vol. 3 pg. 173, answers to the allegations against ‘Uthman]
‘Ali ibn Abi Talib was coerced to appoint his relatives as governors. There was nobody significant really left during his reign, he had no choice (unlike ‘Uthman).’
This is a factually wrong and a lame and pathetic excuse. The truth is that a large number of major Sahabah were present in the capital city of ‘Ali and were not opposed to him, a few of them he appointed like ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar.
A large number of Sahabah were present who were eligible for government posts. There was no need to turn to relatives, however, both, ‘Uthman and ‘Ali chose their relatives over them. This is in stark contrast to Abu Bakr and ‘Umar’s actions who did their utmost to prevent their relatives to hold any power, to the extent that they both actively prevented their sons of becoming their successors (that’s what ‘hypocrites’ do right … living modestly, being buried modestly, and making sure not to start a Shia-like hereditary rule in which the authority passes from one member of a ruling family to another member of the same family).
This alone proves the superiority of Abu Bakr and ‘Umar over ‘Uthman and ‘Ali (may Allah be pleased with them all).
The reality is that just as ‘Ali owing to the demand of the time, included his relatives in affairs of state, ‘Uthman did the very same. Both these eras are not worthy of blame and censure. To spare the era of ‘Ali from criticism and censure the era of ‘Uthman is nothing but prejudice and bias, rooted in the extreme veneration of ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib by the Shia.
Of course, both, ‘Ali and ‘Uthman, were mere fallible men. People (including Sahabah, yes) who were ruled by them praised them for their good and criticised them at times. It is reported that ‘Ali’s own son, al-Hasan, criticised his father at times (e.g. ‘Ali’s decision to move the Islamic capital from Madinah to Kufah). This is the historical, the Sunni narrative about these great men which is in stark contrast to the romanticised picture of ‘Ali in Shi’ism.
Of course, one can analyse and critique the actions of ‘Uthman or ‘Ali. Surely, someone can come to the conclusion that at times they really did make blunders by appointing the wrong man for the wrong task, however, nothing will change, they will always remain our superiors and their good deeds outweigh their bad deeds and thus it is not the general practice of Ahlus-Sunnah to discuss these matters obsessively like the Rafidah who blow these issues out of proportion and see almost everyone as evil except ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib.
Ahlus-Sunnah are fair and balanced, even those who criticise certain actions of ‘Uthman and ‘Ali always keep utmost respect for both. Ahlus-Sunnah do not accuse ‘Uthman nor ‘Ali of nepotism. They acknowledge the virtues of both of them. Both of them were promised paradise but we will ask Allah to forgive them for their shortcomings as instructed to us:
And those who came after them say: “Our Lord! Forgive us and our brethren who have preceded us in Faith, and put not in our hearts any hatred against those who have believed. Our Lord! You are indeed full of kindness, Most Merciful.