How come someone can justify killing

A N M Bazlur Rahman


Today I want to tell two stories from the history.

Both of them are very sad and at the same time significant. The first one is about Umar Bin Khattab(RA) and the second one is about Uthman Ibn Affan(RA). We all know that both of them were assassinated.

Umar Bin Khattab (RA) was stabbed when he was praying Fajr and he fell unconscious right away. He was then carried to the house of his son Abdullah by some of the companions. In the meantime, the remainder of the companions quickly finished up the prayer. Because, no matter what happens, once you are done with the situation, the prayer has to be finished.

After a few while when the sun rose up and he comes out of the unconsciousness, the very first question that he asked, was, have the people finish the prayer, as he was leading the prayer. When he was confirmed that prayer was finished, he said, “Alhamdulillah, whoever abandoned the prayer has no share of being a Muslim.” Then he asked for Abdullah to bring water because he himself had not finished his own prayer.

The second story is about Uthman Ibn Affan(RA).

A lot of acquisitions were made against him by the rebels during his time. Especially they were not happy with the governors. I am not going to the details of much of this. To put it simply, a group of rebels marched to Medina from Egypt and demanded the dismissal of the Egyptian governor with a lot of other complaints. Uthman(RA) asked Ali (RA) to speak with them. Ali (RA) met them with others and persuaded them to return by promising remedy for all their grievances and agreeing to act as guarantors. However, on their way back to Egypt, a mysterious letter came into play, they caught an African slave, a messenger from Uthman(RA) riding fast to the current Egyptian governor and carrying orders for the governor to execute the rebels when they reached home. Upon discovering the content of the letter, the rebels outraged and immediately return to Medina and begun to the siege.
Uthman(RA) denied any knowledge of the letter, he swears by Allah, but the rebels did not listen to him, the siege was continued about 40 days.

Uthman(RA) asked them to bring two witnesses who saw him write the letter. As the hadith of Prophet Mohammad(SM) goes, the plaintiff has to bring the evidence and the defendant has to swear by Allah that he is innocent.(__Sahih Bukhari, Volume 6, Book 60, Number 72) So if there is no evidence exhibiting, the defendants just have to swear by Allah and the case is closed. Later, a lot of studies were done on the incident, and a lot of scholars concluded that the letter was forged.

The rebels could not show the evidence, however, they camped outside the house of Uthman(RA) and kept protesting and more and more people continued to come from the outlying regions.
In the beginning, they rebels were just shouting and protesting, Uthman(RA) could go to the mosque, and he still led the prayers. A few days later, however, the rebels forbade him to enter the mosque unless he listened to what they had to say. Things progressively got from bad to worse and they eventually stopped food and water being delivered to the house and they started to demand the resignation of Uthman(RA). Later they threatened him with death. Uthman(RA) called a council of the senior companion of Muhammad (SM) in his house, and he asked their suggestions and majority of them suggested him not to resign. After having the discussion, he refused to resign, at the same time he also refused to defend himself.

We all know the rest of story, that, he was then killed by the rebels.

Now I want to conclude these two stories with a note. In the first story, we see, Umar Ibn Khattab(RA) was concerned about the prayer even in his death bed.

And in the second story, Uthman Ibn Affan (RA) refused to defend him. He was the Caliph, he had huge supporters among the companions of prophet (SM) and even though the son of Ali(RA) came with their sword to defend him, he could command anytime, and it was very easy for him to defeat the rebels. But he refused and said over and over, that he did not want to be the first after prophet (SM) to shed the blood of a Muslim, instead, he would offer himself. He insisted on everyone not to defend him physically, and he did not command to fight the rebels.
The question is how come a mighty Caliph did not command to kill anyone to defend him while he himself was killed?

But today, the death has become so cheap, so easy and so common in the name religion when no one actually prays but kills, it does not matter if they are Muslim or not.

Whoever kills an innocent human being it shall be as he has killed all mankind. (****Chapter (5) sūrat l-māidah )