Ammar Bin Yasir
The people in Makkah lived in ignorance and darkness. The strong persecuted the weak and deprived them of their rights. No one supported the weak.
The Quraishi leaders were traders. Each year, they had two trade journeys.
In summer, their caravans went to Shaam. In winter they went to Yemen.
The people in Makkah were of two classes: one class was rich, the other was poor. The rich persecuted the poor. Some poor people were slaves. They had nothing, not even their freedom.
Our Master Muhammad [s] lived in that time. He went to Mount Hira. There he thought of his people. He felt pain for them because they worshipped idols.
Our Master Muhammad [s] became forty years old.
One day, Jibreel came down from the sky. He told Muhammad [s] about Islam.
Our Master Muhammad [s] came down the mountain. He was carrying the Mission of Islam. He intended to spread it among people to live peacefully.
The poor and the persecuted listened to the Mission of Islam. They believed in it. So their hearts were filled with love for Islam.
The traders and the rich of Quraish heard about Islam. Thus, they had spite against our Master Muhammad [s]. in the meantime, they plotted against Islam and the Muslims.
Abu Jahal was the most spiteful polytheist. He mistreated our Master Muhammad [s] very much.
*Al Arqam's House * Our Master Muhammad [s] met the believers secretly in al-Arqam's house. He wanted to keep his religion a secret so that Abu Jahal, Abu Sufyan and other polytheists would not hurt the Muslims.
One day Ammar bin Yasir came and saw a man standing at the door. The man's name was Suhaib. Ammar said to him:
Suhaib, what are you doing here?
I've come to hear Muhammad's words. And what are you doing?
I've come to hear his words, too.
Then Ammar and Suhaib came into al-Arqam's house. They humbly began listening to Allah's words and to the Verses of the Holy Qur'an. Ammar's heart was full of belief as streams are full of rain water.
When Ammar and Suhaib wanted to leave al-Arqam's house, our Master Muhammad [s] said to them:
Stay here till evening.
Allah's Apostle [s] was afraid that Quraish would hurt them. Ammar waited until it got dark. Then he left al-Arqam's house and hurried towards his house. His mother and father were waiting for him anxiously.
When Ammar entered, the little house was full of happiness. He began telling his parents about Islam, Allah's religion.
*Yasir's Family * Ammar belonged to Yemen's tribes, but how did he come to Makkah?
Yasir, Ammar's father, and his two brothers al-Harith and Malik looked for their missing brother everywhere. But they did not find him. Therefore, they decided to go to Makkah to look for him. They did not find him there, too.
Al-Harith and Malik wanted to come back to Yemen, but Yasir decided to stay in Makkah to live near Allah's Holy House.
Yasir joined the tribe of Bani Makhzoom. Then he became one of its members. He married a female slave. Her name was Summayya.
Days passed. Summayya gave birth to a baby. His father named him Ammar.
Ammar was born four years before the year of the elephant. Our Master Muhammad [s] was born in that year.
When Ammar became a young man, he made friendship with our Master Muhammad [s]. then he became his companion.
Ammar loved our Master Muhammad [s] because of his good behaviour.
Ammar was twenty-nine years old. Meanwhile our Master Muhammad [s] was twenty-five years old.
One day, while Ammar was walking with our Master Muhammad [s] between al-Safa Mount and al-Marwah Mount, Hala, Khadijah bint Khuwailid's sister came.
Hala took Ammar aside and said to him:
Ask Muhammad to marry my sister, Khadijah.
Our Master Muhammad [s] accepted her. Then the blessed marriage took place.
When Allah appointed our Master Muhammad [s] as Prophet, Ammar, his father Yasir and his mother Summayya believed in him.
*The Revenge * Abu Jahal heard that Ammar became a Muslim. So, he got crazy.
Abu Jahal led a group of polytheists and went to Yasir's house. Torches were in their hands. They burnt the house and took Yasir, Ammar and Summayya to a desert outside Makkah.
They chained and began torturing them. First, they whipped them till blood flowed out. Then they brought torches and began burning their bodies. But that small family went on their firm belief.
Abu Jahal brought rocks and put them on their chests. They were breathing hard. Still they were believers.
It was noon. The heat was intense. Abu Jahal and the polytheists came back to Makkah. They left Yasir's family in the intense heat of the sun.
In the meantime, our Master Muhammad [s] passed by the family. When he saw them he wept and said:
Yasir's family, be patient! Your reward will be Paradise!
Summayya said with belief:
I confess that you're Allah's Apostle. And your promise is true.
The criminals came back. Abu Jahal was in advance. There was a long spear in his hand. He began torturing them savagely.
Ammar, Yasir and Summayya were unconscious. So the criminals showered them with water. When they got well again, Abu Jahal shouted at Summayya stormily:
Praise our gods; dispraise Muhammad!
Summayya spat in his face and said:
How bad you and your gods are!
Abu Jahal boiled in anger. Thus, he raised his spear high and it Summayya on the belly. Then he began stabbing her body with his spear until she died. For this reason, Summayya became the first martyr in the history of Islam.
Then Abu Jahal began kicking Yasir on the belly savagely until he died.
Ammar saw what happened to his parents and he wept. Then Abu Jahal shouted angrily:
If you don't praise our gods, I'll kill you!
Ammar could not endure that cruel torture. So he reluctantly said:
Hubal (an idol) is great!
Ammar praised their idols to save himself from torture. So they unchained and left him.
*The Belief in the Heart * Ammar went weeping to our Master Muhammad [s]. He did not weep for his parents or for himself or for the torture he had suffered - he wept because he praised the polytheists' idols.
Allah's Apostle consoled Ammar on his parents martyrdom. Ammar went on weeping. Then he said:
Allah's Apostle, the polytheists did not release me until they forced me to praise their gods!
Our Master Muhammad [s] said kindly:
Ammar, what about your heart?
Allah's Apostle, my heart's certain of faith.
The Prophet [s] said:
Don't worry! Allah sent down a verse concerning you:
"Not, he who is compelled while his heart is at rest because of his faith."
*The Migration * The condition of the Muslims in Makkah became critical. So, our Master Muhammad [s] ordered his companions to immigrate to Yathrib.
Ammar was one of those who migrated for Allah.
When our Master Muhammad [s] immigrated too, happiness covered al-Madina al-Munawwara. And the immigrants lived peacefully with their brothers in Yathrib.
First, Allah's Apostle [s] thought of building a mosque so that the Muslims would worship Allah alone. In the meantime it would be a symbol for the Muslims strength and a castle for the Muslim nation.
With enthusiasm, the Muslims began building the Prophet's Mosque.
Some Muslims were carrying dust. Some were making bricks and some were carrying the dried bricks to make the walls.
Our Master Muhammad [s] was working with his companions. Ammar, though covered with dust, was working actively.
Each Muslim was carrying a brick. But Ammar was carrying two bricks. For this reason, our Master Muhammad [s] said to him:
They (the Muslims) will get a reward; you'll get two rewards.
To encourage his Muslim brothers, Ammar repeated the following enthusiastic words:
Those who build the mosque do not equal those who avoid dust.
Some companions were avoiding dust. They became displeased with Ammar's words. Uthman came to Ammar and said threateningly:
I'll hit you on the nose with this stick!
Ammar looked at Uthman but did not say a word.
Our Master Muhammad [s] heard about Uthman's threat. He felt pain. Then he came to Ammar and said:
You're dear to me!
Our Master Muhammad [s] rubbed the dust from Ammar's face. Thus the great companions heart was filled with love for the Holy Prophet.
Jihad (Holy War)
Days and months passed. Allah, the Glorified, wanted to punish those who persecuted the Muslims in Makkah and robbed them of their money.
The Battle of Badr took place. Ammar was one of the fighters who went to hinder the Quraishi caravan coming from Shaam. The Muslims heard that the polytheists had formed an army. Abu Jahal headed the army. He was heading for al-Madina al-Munawwara.
The Prophet asked the advice of his companions. Finally, he took a decision to face the polytheists. Our Master Muhammad [s] sent Ammar bin Yasir and Abdullah bin Masoud to get him information about the polytheists' army.
Ammar was brave. He approached the polytheists caravans and went round their camp to collect information.
Ammar and his friend came back to our Master Muhammad [s]. Ammar said:
The army is afraid. The horse wants to neigh. But its owner hits it on the face. And its raining heavily. Therefore, they can't move easily. Generally speaking, the polytheists are in low spirits.
In the morning, when the polytheists woke, they found strange footprints. Munbih bin al-Hajjaj had a good knowledge of footprints. He said:
By al-Lat and al-Uzza, these are Ammar's and Abdullah's footprints.
*The Battle of Badr * On the morning of 17th Ramadan, 2 A.H., the great Battle of Badr, the first battle in the history of Islam, took place. At that battle, Allah granted the believers victory over the polytheists.
Ammar was fighting with enthusiasm. When the polytheists escaped, Ammar saw Abu Jahal. So, he remembered those days when Abu Jahal tortured the Muslims and tortured his parents. Now, the swords of the persecuted got revenge on the unjust. Ammar looked at the sky and thanked Allah, the Glorified, for his victory.
*Ammar was with Truth * Ammar was sixty years old. However, he was more eager than the young men to strive for Allah. Ammar deeply believed in Allah. He loved the Apostle of humanity, our Master Muhammad [s]. The Prophet [s] also loved his old friend, Ammar. He praised him on several occasions:
Ammar is with truth and truth is with Ammar. Truth is always with him.
Ammar is full of faith. Blessed is Ammar, the unjust group will kill you. Your last food in this world will be a cup of yoghurt.
Days, months and years passed. Ammar was always with our Master Muhammad [s] he was always striving for Allah against the enemies of Islam and humanity.
In 11 A.H., our Master Muhammad [s] passed away. On that occasion, all Muslims became sad. Ammar wept over his old friend, Allah's Apostle. He remembered the days of his youth in Makkah and the days of Jihad.
Ammar (may Allah be pleased with him) stayed loyal to his Islam. He was always striving for the religion and saying the word of truth. He was not afraid of anyone but Allah.
Ammar loved Ali bin Abu Talib because he heard our Master Muhammad [s] always saying:
Ali, no one loves you but a believer and no one hates you but a hypocrite.
Ali, you are in the same position with respect to me as Harun was to Musa except there is no Prophet after me.
On the farewell pilgrimage, Ammar saw our Master Muhammad [s] taking both arms of Ali and raising them high, he said:
Whoever, I am the master of, this man, Ali is his master. Allah, befriend whoever befriends him, be hostile to whoever opposes him. Support whoever supports him and desert whoever deserts him.
For this reason, Ammar thought that Ali bin Abu Talib would be the Caliph after our Master Muhammad [s]. Anyhow, Abu Bakr al-Sidiq became the Caliph after the Prophet. But some companions opposed his Caliphate. Ammar opposed his Caliphate too. And he stood by Ali bin Abu Talib and Fatima al-Zahra, our Master Muhammad's daughter.
After a short while, Fatima al-Zahra, the mistress of the women of the world, died.
Ammar devoted most of his time to the life of Jihad. He took part in the Muslims conquest battles. He also fought bravely against the apostasy in Yemen.
When Umar bin al-Khattab became the Caliph after Abu Bakr, he appointed Ammar to rule over Kufa.
There Ammar treated people according to Allah's law. And the people were pleased with his just, merciful and humble treatment.
In 23 A.H., Umar bin al-Khattab was assassinated. Some Muslims had come to Umar, earlier, and asked him to appoint a Caliph after him.
The Caliph decided that the Caliphate had to be shura (consultation). So, he elected six persons. They were Ali bin Abu Talib [a], Uthman bin Affan, Talha, Zubair, Abdul Rahman bin Auf and Saad bin Abi Wakkas.
Umar ordered the persons to hold a meeting in one of their houses to appoint one of them caliph within three days.
Ammar hoped that they would elect Ali because of his long jihad, his blood relation to our Master Muhammad [s], his knowledge, his outstanding merits and his priority in Islam.
One day passed. Then two days passed. But there was no result. There was serious competition between Ali bin Abu Talib [a] and Uthman bin Affan for the Caliphate.
Some companions such as al-Miqdad, Ammar bin Yasir, al-Abbas, and others stood by the house.
They hoped that Ali would be elected. Banu Ummayyah stood by the house, too. They hoped that Uthman would be elected.
To make Abdul Rahman bin Auf hear, Ammar loudly said:
If you want to see the Muslims in agreement then appoint Ali.
To support Ammar, al-Miqdad said:
Ammar has told the truth. If you appoint Ali, we'll hear and obey him.
AbdulRahman's ambition was to be a caliph. He refused to appoint Ali because Ali would not hand him the Caliphate later on.
So, Abdul Rahman appointed Uthman to hand him the Caliphate after his death.
Thus Uthman became the third Caliph.
Imam Ali went out after he had said to Abdul Rahman:
This is not the first day when you support each other against us! But patience is good and Allah is whose help is sought for against what you describe.
By Allah, you have appointed Uthman caliph to hand you the Caliphate.
Ammar was very unhappy for the Ahlul Bait because they were worthier of Caliphate than other people and because Allah kept away uncleanness from them and purified them thoroughly.
*Deviation * Six years passed after Uthman's Caliphate.
Gradually, the Caliph deviated from Islam and from our Master Muhammad's behaviour.
Uthman appointed his blood relatives rulers over the cities. They were bad, unjust persons.
For example, Uthman appointed al-Waleed bin Utbah, his half brother, ruler over Kufa. Al-Waleed drank alcohol and went drunk to the mosque.
Uthman made Marwan bin Hakam the real ruler of the Muslim government. He appointed the rulers and dismissed them. He dismissed the great companion Salman al-Farsi from Mada-inn and appointed one of his blood relatives over it.
Uthman also dismissed Saad bin Abi Wakkas from Kufa and appointed al-Waleed bin Akabah over it.
Uthman spent the Muslims' money on his blood relatives from Bani Ummayyah and left the poor to live in pain.
*The Word of Truth * There were jewels in the Muslim public treasury. Uthman divided the jewels among his daughters and wives. The Muslims became angry. They began talking against Uthman's bad behaviour.
Uthman went on with his corrupt policy. One day, he went up the pulpit and addressed the people:
We'll take whatever we need from the Public Treasury in spite of all people.
Imam Ali bin Abu Talib became sad when he heard Uthman's words. Ammar bin Yasir aged 90 stood up and said the word of truth:
By Allah, I'm the first man to prevent you from that.
The Caliph became annoyed and said:
Bin Yasir, how dare you say these words before me!
Uthman ordered his guards to arrest Ammar. The guards respected neither Ammar's old age nor his friendship to Allah's Apostle [s]. They drew him into Uthman's room. They chained his hands and legs.
Then the Caliph came and began hitting Ammar on the belly till he became unconscious. Some Muslims came and carried him to our Master Muhammad's wife, Umm Salama's house.
Ammar remembered the days of torture in Makkah. He could endure as many times as what Uthman did because he was a young man. But today he was unable to endure Uthman's torture because he became an old man.
Umm Salama felt pain when she saw Ammar in that bad condition. Yet Ammar said:
This is not the first day when we suffer from torture for Allah.
Uthman Banishes Abu Dhar
Uthman banished Abu Dhar to al-Rabatha Desert which is uninhabited because of its bad climate.
Besides Uthman prevented the Muslims from seeing off Abu Dhar. Any how, some Companions of the Prophet went out to see off the great companion Abu-Dhar.
Ali Bin Abu-Talib, our Master Muhammad's grandsons, al-Hasan and al-Husain, and Ammar went out to see off Abu-Dhar.
Then Imam Ali [a] said:
May not Allah amuse those who annoy you. And He may not make safe those who have dismayed you. By Allah, if you want their world, they'll make you safe. And if you are pleased with their actions, they'll love you.
Abu Dhar, his wife, and his daughter went to al-Rabatha Desert. He remembered the tradition of our our Master Muhammad [s]:
Abu-Dhar, you'll live alone, and die alone!
*The Revolution * The Muslims' anger increased because of Uthman's and his rulers' behaviour. The Prophet's Companion's in Madina wrote to people every where:
If you want Jihad, then come to it. Because your Caliph has corrupted Muhammad's religion.
For this reason, the delegates from Kufa, Egypt, Basra, and the like came to Madina and went to the Caliph to ask him to change his based policy. But he dismissed them. So, they went to Ali Bin Abu-Talib, our Master Muhammad's cousin and his successor.
Imam Ali [a] hoped that Uthman would come back to the laws of Islam. Thus he went to advise him:
Don't be a tool in Marwan's hand. Don't let him direct you to whatever he likes. Don't forget your position with respect to Allah's Apostle [s].
Uthman agreed to announce his repentance before people. So, he went out and apologized to people for his bad behaviour. Besides he promised them to follow a new policy Allah and his Apostle accepted. But Marwan, who was cunning, said to him:
Don't be weak before people. Threaten them!
Nayylah, Uthman's wife, knew that Marwan was a bad man and that he disliked Muslims. For this reason, she said to her husband:
Listen to Ali because people love and obey him: don't listen to Marwan because people hate him.
Uthman did not listen to those who advised him. So, people revolted and killed him in his palace.
Imam Ali [A]
The Muslim masses headed for Imam Ali's house. They asked him to be the Caliph. The Imam refused that and said:
Look for another man.
But people realized that the Imam was the only man who deserved the Caliphate. Therefore, they insisted on their attitude. Finally, the Imam agreed to shoulder this responsibility to deprive the ambitious of it.
The Muslims revolted for justice. They were angry at persecution. Imam Ali [a] was the symbol of justice.
The Imam did not sadden the Muslims. On the first day, he dismissed all the bad rulers Uthman had appointed. Then he appointed good rulers.
The Imam dismissed Mu'awiyah from Sham. But Mu'awiyah was always planning to control Sham first. Then he planned to control the Muslim lands in general. So, he rebelled and announced that he would get revenge on Uthman's killers. For this reason, the Battle of Siffeen took place on the borders between Syria and Iraq.
Imam Ali's army included many companions of Allah's Apostle [s]. Ammar bin Yasir, Malik al-Ashter, Abdullah bin Abbas, and others were among them.
Mu'awiyah's army included the enemies of Islam such as Marwan bin Al-Hakam, Amru bin al-Ass, bin Abi-Maayad, and those who escaped from Ali's Justice to Mu'awiyah's world.
The Unjust Group will kill You
The Muslims in both armies were always repeating our Master Muhammad [s] tradition:
Ammar, the unjust group will kill you.
Ammar was in Imam Ali's Army. He was over ninety years old. Nevertheless, he fought as bravely as the believing young man did.
He looked at the sky and said:
Allah, if I know that you are pleased with throwing myself into the Euphrates, I'll do! Allah, I know that you are pleased to see me striving those corrupt people!
Ammar was with truth, and truth was always with him. So, he said:
By Allah, if they (Mu'awiyah's Army) defeat and chase us to the Hajar date-palms, I'll say that we're right and they're wrong.
When the battle broke out, Ammar addressed the fighters:
Who wants Allah's satisfaction?
Some believers accepted his words. So, Ammar led them towards the enemy. When the companions saw him passing through the enemy army, they followed him.
Although Ammar was fasting, he was fighting with great enthusiasm. In the middle of the battle, Ammar saw Amru bin al-Ass and said to him:
Amru, Woe on you! You've sold your religion for Egypt!
Namely, Mu'awiyah promised to give Egypt to Amru bin Al-Ass if the latter stood by him.
Amru bin al-Ass said with trick:
No, I'm requesting Uthman's blood!
I firmly believe that your action is not for Allah.
Then Ammar advised him:
If you won't be killed today, you'll die tomorrow. And actions are according to intentions. So, correct your intentions because Allah will reward people according to their intentions.
The Muslims were in a fix. They did not distinguish right from wrong. Their guide was Ammar because our Master Muhammad [s] said:
The unjust group will kill Ammar.
Amru bin al-Ass deceived the people of Sham when he said to them:
Be patient! Ammar will come to your front!
The days of the war passed, but Ammar was fighting at the front of right. He was always standing by Ali.
One day, Ammar and a believing group launched an attack. Ammar was fighting bravely. He remembered the days when he fought beside our Master Muhammad [s] . He remembered the Battles of Badr, Uhud and the other Muslims battles.
Though Ammar was fasting, he went on fighting. When the sun set, Ammar asked some water because he was thirsty. A fighter brought him a cup full of yogurt. Ammar smiled. Then he cheerfully said:
Tonight, I may die a martyr.
Some fighters asked him about the secret. He said:
My dear Allah's Apostle [a] has told me:
The unjust group will kill you. And your final food in this world will be a cup of yogurt.
Ammar (May Allah be pleased with him) drank the cup of yoghurt. Then he continued fighting till he fell over the ground and became a martyr.
Mu'awiyah was about to fly because of happiness. Imam Ali [a] was full of sadness and sorrow. During those moments all Muslims knew the unjust group.
Some soldiers in Mu'awiyah's Army were waiting for Ammar's coming to their front. But they saw him fighting bravely beside Imam Ali [a] till he became a martyr. So, they sneered at Amru bin al-Ass' claim. In the meantime, they took advantage of the dark and began coming to join the Imam's Army. They knew that it was the front of right.
*The End * Ammar's martyrdom sounded at both fronts. Imam Ali's Army was in high spirits, but Mu'awiyah's Army was in low spirits.
At that night, the Imam's Army launched a wide attack against Mu'awiyah's Army. The Imam's Army was about to win victory. But Amru bin al-Ass created a new trick. He ordered the army of Sham to raise the Koran. They were demanding the Imam's Army to turn to Allah's Book.
The fights stopped. Both armies withdrew from the Valley of Siffeen. The martyrs' bodies stayed on the battlefield. The body of Ammar, aged ninety six, stayed there too.
Nowadays, when the Muslims visit that area, they can see the big shrine of that great companion, who spent all his life in striving for Islam. When Ammar became a martyr, the Muslims knew the right front during that bitter war.