As Caliph Uthman had to deliver frequent addresses. No record of such
addresses has been preserved. Only some stray remarks of Uthman here and
there have come down to us. It appears that Uthman was a man of few words,
but whenever he spoke his words were surcharged with wisdom. Hereunder
we present some of the sayings of Uthman by way of sample.
Uthman said that four things were useless and these were:
Knowledge without practice;
Wealth without expenditure in the way of Allah;
Piety for the sake of show prompted by worldliness;
A .long life with no stock of good deeds.
Uthman said that he loved three things, namely:
To feed the hungry;
To clothe the naked;
To read and teach the Holy Quran.
In his addresses, Uthman tried to inculcate in the people the fear of God. He said, “Fear God, for to Him you are to be gathered.”
He always advised the Muslims to avoid quarrels and disputes, and maintain unity in their ranks. He said, “Do not quarrel, and do not create differences among yourselves. Hold fast to the rope of God, and maintain unity in your ranks”.
He distinguished between the spiritual and the terrestrial worlds in the following terms: “The thought of the spiritual world sheds light on the soul, but the thought of the terrestrial world casts darkness thereon.”
Uthman highlighted the virtues of patience in the following terms: “Under all circumstances, a person should be patient, otherwise disgrace would be his lot”.
Uthman exhorted people to acquire two habits, namely:
the habit of speaking the truth;
the habit of doing good deeds.
Uthman conceived of history as a means of acquiring wisdom. He said: “Acquire wisdom from the story of the dead”.
Uthman condemned pride in the following terms: “The world is proud. Leave it alone lest it entrap you by its guises and teach you pride, which will keep you away from God”.
Uthman held the following four things as essential:
To associate with the worthy is laudable, but to follow them is essential.
To read the Holy Quran is virtuous, but to act according to its injunctions is essential.
To visit the sick is meritorious, but to cause them to make their behests is essential,
To visit the shrines of holy men is piety, but to be prepared for death is essential.
Uthman said that he was surprised at the conduct of a person:
Who knows the world to be transient, [and still] loves it;
Who knows death to be certain, yet does not take it seriously;
Who believes in hell, [but still] commits sin;
Who believes in the existence of God, [but who nevertheless] seeks assistance from others,
Who is aware of paradise, [but is nonetheless] engaged in worldly pleasures;
Who knows Satan to be his enemy, [and still] obeys [the] dictates [of Satan].
Who believes in predestination, [but still] feels aggrieved with what happens;
Who knows that accounts [are] to be rendered on the day of resurrectionb [but even so] hoards wealth.
When Muslims are disunited, they will falter in their faith and will become bereft of their inherent strength.
O people, if I gave you all the world, that would not suffice as the price for your faith.
You will not be conscious of the reality of faith till [the] love for God is held dearer than the passion to acquire wealth.
The highest degree in faith is that you [will] always regard yourself in the presence of God.
A man of faith and piety is always subject to the following fears:
the fear of God, lest by any disobedience there is any faltering in faith;
the fear of the angels lest they may record anything against you which may be a cause of remorse for you on the day of resurrection;
the fear of the Satan lest he may tempt you to any evil;
the fear of the angel of death, lest your life is taken before you have sought pardon for you sins;
the fear of the world, lest by its temptation it makes you oblivious of the next world; and
the fear of family members lest by your attachment to them you become oblivious to your duty to God.
Uthman said, “One should not feel happy at the acquisition of wealth nor should be feel aggrieved at its loss”.
Uthman said, “He who is fond of delicious food, let him bear in mind that ultimately he is to be food for worms”.
Uthman laid down the criteria for justice in the following terms: “The dictates of justice demand that a proper equation should be maintained between the rights and obligations of the people. Whatever is their right should be conceded to them, and steps should be taken to ensure that whatever is their obligation is duly fulfilled.”
Uthman condemned backbiting in the following terms: “A backbiter harms three persons, firstly himself, secondly the person whom he is addressing and thirdly the person whom he is backbiting”.
Uthman said: “O people, do not be heedless of your obligations, for God is never heedless. If you are heedless of your obligations, Allah is aware of what you do. He is ever watchful”.
About drinking, Uthman said: “Drinking is at the root of all evil”
[While] exhorting Muslims to good deeds, Uthman said: “See that during your lifetime you amass a number of good deeds, for after death it would not be possible for you to do any deed”.
Uthman said, “He who takes the Book of God as his guide will remain safe from sin, and he will be counted [as being] 7among the best of men”.
Uthman said, “No-one is to be held in contempt on account of poverty. Only he is to be held in contempt who is oblivious of his religious duties.”
Uthman said: “Allah has created people so as to establish the truth and do the right thing. Allah accepts only what is true and right. Therefore give to people what is their right and is due to them, and see that they perform whatever are their obligations to Islam”.
Uthman said: “See that there is no tyranny against people … particularly the poor and the orphans. If they are aggrieved, bear in mind that Allah Himself will take up their cause”.
Uthman said: “In the event of distress, a man depends solely upon his own plans and relies upon people. When he is disappointed from all sides, then alone he turn[s] to God.”
Uthman said: “On testing people, I have found some of them more poisonous than poisonous animals”.
Uthman said: “Silence is the best cure of the malady of anger”.
Uthman said: “Extravagance amounts to thanklessness to God for His gifts”.
Uthman said: “That knowledge is of no avail which is not put into practice. There can be no practice without knowledge and knowledge without putting it to practice is useless. That knowledge is blameworthy which is used solely to acquire wealth”.
Uthman said: “It is painful to realize that while an animal recognizes its master, [some] human beings do not recognize their Lord”.
Uthman said: “He who is not put to any distress or difficulty for a year at a stretch let him realize that God is displeased with him.”
Uthman said: “Obedience to Allah is that one should remain within bounds fixed by Allah;promises made should be fulfilled; [and that] one should be satisfied with what he has and should be patient in respect of what he does not have.