Final Sermon of the Caliph Uthman ibn Affan (d. 656)

The last sermon preached by ‘Uthmān ibn ‘Affān [third caliph, r. 644-656] before a congregation was this: “Verily, Almighty God has only given you this world so that through it you may seek the next. He did not give it to you as something to rely on. Verily this world will vanish and the next will endure. Perishable things must not make you heedless and distract you from things everlasting. Prefer that which endures to that which perishes, for this world will pass away, and God is the ultimate goal of our journey. Fear Almighty God, for fear of Him is a shield against evil and a means to dwell with Him. Beware lest God’s [favor toward you] be altered, cling to your community and do not be divided into factions, and ‘He brought your hearts together so that by His blessing you became brothers’ [Q. 3: 103]  

أخر خطبة خطبه عثمان رضي الله عنه في جماعة: إنّ الله عزّ و جلّ إنما أعطاكم الدنيا لتطلبوا بها الآخرة، و لم يعطكموها لتركنوا إليها، إنّ الدنيا تفنى و الآخرة تبقى، فلا تبطرنكم الفانية، و لا تشغلنكم عن الباقية، فآثروا ما يبقى على ما يفنى، فإن الدنيا منقطعة، و إنّ المصير إلى الله. اتقوا الله جلّ و عزّ، فإن تقواه جُنة من بأسه، و وسيلة عنده، و احذروا من الله الغير، و الزموا جماعتكم، لا تصيروا احزاباً، وَاذْكُرُوا نِعْمَتَ اللَّهِ عَلَيْكُمْ إِذْ كُنتُمْ أَعْدَاءً فَأَلَّفَ بَيْنَ قُلُوبِكُمْ فَأَصْبَحْتُم بِنِعْمَتِهِ إِخْوَانًا

(Source: Abū Ja‘far Muḥammad ibn Jarīr al-Ṭabarī, Tārīkh al-Ṭabarī [Beirut: Dar al-Ma’arif, 1990] Volume 4, p. 384)

Final Warning

Al-Ṭabarī relates that, as’ Uthmān was surrounded by his assassins who were about to strike, he said:

“By God, if you kill me you will never again have love for one another, nor will you ever pray together again, nor will you be ever united in fighting an enemy.”

فوالله لئن قتلتموني لا تتحابّون بعدي ابداً، و لا تصلّون جميعاً بعدي ابداً، و لا تقاتلوا بعدي عدوًّا  ابداً

(Source: Abū Ja‘far Muḥammad ibn Jarīr al-Ṭabarī, Tārīkh al-Ṭabarī [Beirut: Dar al-Ma’arif, 1990] Volume 4, p. 372)

In light of the sectarianism, violence, and discord across the Muslim world these words have become almost prophetic.


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