During the time of jaahiliyyah, the Arabs used to consider wine, dine and song to be the ultimate way of life. However there were certain people amongst them who understood and realized that life has a deeper purpose and meaning. Amongst these wise men was a person by the name of Uthman bin Mazh’oon. He had made wine forbidden upon himself and if anyone enquired from him the reason for this, he would respond by saying that why should I consume something which clouds my mind and makes me do shameful actions.
These great qualities which he already possessed were a catalyst which prompted him to accept Islam without any deliberation or hesitation. On one occasion, during the initial years of Islam, Uthman radiallahu anhu was passing by a gathering of Nabi sallallahu alayhi wa sallam. He was asked to join to which he obliged. He saw Rasullullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam constantly lifting his Mubarak gaze towards the sky every so often as though he could see something.
Uthman radiallahu anhu was surprised at this strange behavior of Nabi sallallahu alayhi wa sallam and enquired from him regarding it. Nabi sallallahu alayhi wa sallam explained to him that he could see Jibreel alayhis salaam coming down with wahy (divine revelation). Rasullullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam then went on to explain to him the beautiful verses which were revealed. Uthman radiallahu anhu says: “I barely heard these glorious words and Imaan already penetrated deep into the recesses of my heart. Muhammad sallallahu alayhi wa sallam became more beloved to me than myself and my children.”
During this early period of Islam, the Quraish were relentless in their persecution of the Muslims and they left no stone unturned in causing harm and oppression. The Sahaaba tolerated this difficulty as their belief in Allah Ta’ala was unshakable. Eventually Nabi sallallahu alayhi wa sallam permitted them to migrate to the land of Abyssinia where they could practice Islam freely, having no fear of harm coming their way. Amongst those who made this first Hijrah in Islam was Uthman radiallahu anhu.
After a short period of time in Abyssinia, a false message was sent to the Muslims that the Quraish of Makkah have all accepted Islam and it is now safe to return. Uthman radiallahu anhu was from amongst those who returned only to find out that the conditions were no better. This time he remained and endured the hardships to such an extent that he lost his eye. The kuffaar would taunt him regarding this and he would retort by saying that how wonderful it will be if my other eye was also taken for the sake of Allah Ta’ala.
Uthman radiallahu anhu participated in the battle of Badr with Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam and shortly thereafter he fell ill. This was to be his final sickness and he passed away not long after. When Nabi sallallahu alayhi wa sallam received the news of his death, He was full of grief and sorrow as he had a deep affinity with this Sahaabi. Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam lifted the sheet which was covering Uthman’s face, he kissed him once, then again and then for a third time! Tears flowed down the Mubarak face of Nabi sallallahu alayhi wa sallam and all those around began to cry as well.
(Incidents from the lives of the Sahaabah-Volume 2)