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1. Orientations
a. Figures
2. Koran
3. Theology
4. Concept of divine
5. Sharia
6. Muhammad
7. Cult and Festivals
8. Mecca
9. Cultic personalities
10. Caliph
11. Structures
12. Popular religion
13. Others
14. Calendar

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Islam / Caliph /
Uthman bni Affan
Arabic: ¢uthmān bni ¢affān

(ca. 580-656) Third caliph of Islam 644-656.
Uthman is credited for having centralized the administration of the Muslim state, and it was during his reign that the compilation of the Koran was completed.
Uthman was the last caliph who could enjoy unity in the Muslim world, even if there was much displeasure with his regime. This displeasure came from a number of reasons. The most important reason was his policy towards war booty from the many military expeditions. Soldiers and officers felt that Uthman confiscated to large parts of the booty for his own administration and his family. He established a system of landed fiefs and distributed many of the provincial governorships to members of his family.
The dissatisfaction of his time was no more problematic than what other rulers had to cope with, including his predecessor Umar. As a matter of fact, Uthman's politics were a continuation of Umar's. But Uthman was not a particularly strong leader, and to a large degree controlled by his family. His politics would eventually result in his death. Through his weakness, Uthman became one of the most important men of early Islam, paving for the first schisms in the religion, schisms that still exist (Sunni, Shi'i and Khariji).
Another source of discontent was the process of compiling the Koran. The qurra', who were the bearers of the sacred text both in verbal and written form, exercised a power which was openly questioned by contemporary Muslims. The qurra' was suspected of both holding back passages, as well as manipulating other passages.


Ca. 580: Born in Mecca, as member of the powerful Umayyad clan. We do not know with any certainty which year he was born, nor where — but Mecca is most likely.
Early 7th century: Uthman becomes a wealthy merchant, and a gentleman of his time.
615: Uthman becomes a Muslim. Note that the year of conversion could be later.
Ca. 620: Marries Muhammad's daughter Ruqaiya.
624: His wife Ruqaiya dies right before the Battle of Badr, so that Uthman could not participate here.
Ca. 625: Marries another daughter of Muhammad, Umm Kulthum.
644: Uthman is chosen new caliph. There had been 7 candidates, but the other ones were controversial, Uthman was a compromise candidate, and not chosen because of his own qualities.
650: Rebellions in Iraq and Egypt, protesting against Uthman's policy of distributing wealth and land won in war.
656 June: Uthman is besieged in his own home by a group of Egyptian Muslims. It is believed that Muhammd's favourite wife, Aisha played a entral part in the campaign against Uthman.
June 17: Is assassinated in Madina by Muhammad bni Abi Bakr. Following this death, tensions in the Muslim world become even more problematic than under the last years of his reign. He would be succeeded by Ali as caliph.

By Tore Kjeilen