In his book History of the Saracens, Ameer Ali assesses Uthman in the following terms:
"The election of Uthman proved in the end to be the ruin of Islam. Uthman though virtuous and honest was very old, feeble in character, and quite unequal to the task of government. He fell under the influence of his family. He was guided entirely by his Secretary Marwan, one of the most unprincipled of the Umayyads. Uthman displaced most of the lieutenants employed by Umar, and appointed in their stead incompetent and worthless members of his own family. The weakness of the Caliph and the wickedness of his favorites created a great ferment among the people. Loud complaints of exaction and operation by his Governors began pouring into the capital. Ali expostulated several times with the Caliph on the manner in which he allowed the government to fall into the hands of his unworthy favorites. But Uthman under the influence of his evil genius Marwan paid no heed to these counsels."