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Martyrdom of Ammar, the Great Campanion of the Holy Prophet (SAWA)

By: Ayatullah Ja'far Subhani
The place where the Prophet's camel bent its knees was purchased for ten diners for the construction of the mosque. All the Muslims participated in its construction and in providing materials for it, and even the Prophet collected stones along with others. Usayd bin Huzayr went forward and said: "O Prophet of Allah! Permit me to carry it (the stone)". The Prophet said: "Go and bring another''. In this manner he showed a glimpse of his sublime character. He said: "I am a practical man. I am a man of action and not of words only". On that occasion Muslim read out a couplet meaning: "If we sit and the Prophet works, it will be a source of deviation and adversity for us".
While engaged in work the Prophet and the Muslims uttered these sentences: "Real life is the life of the Hereafter. O Allah! Be kind to the Ansar and the Muhajirs".
Uthman bin Maz'un was very particular about the neatness of his dress and wished to keep it clean. He did not therefore, participate in the construction of the mosque, lest his dress should become soiled. Ali criticized him in these words: "A person who constructs a mosque, whether sitting or standing, constantly endeavours for its progress is not like him, who keeps away from dust and is not prepared to stain his clothes for constructing the mosque''.[ Seerah-i Halabi, vol. II, pp. 76-77]
'Ammar Yasir, who was a strong man, collected some stones and carried them for the construction of the mosque. Some persons took undue advantage of his simplicity and loaded on him stones, which were too heavy for him. He was heard saying: "I am carrying one stone on my own behalf and the other on behalf of the Prophet". One day the Prophet saw him bearing a heavy burden, when three stones had been loaded on him. 'Ammar complained: "Your companions nurse ill-will against me and want to kill me. They themselves bring one stone each but load as many as three on me".
The Prophet held him by the hand, cleansed the dust on his back, and uttered this historical sentence: "They are not your murderers. You will be killed by a group of oppressors while you will be inviting them to truth and reality".[ Seerah-i Halabi, vol. II, pp. 76-77].
This prediction is one of the proofs of the prophethood and truthfulness of the Prophet. Eventually the same thing, which he had predicted happened, because 'Ammar, who was with Imam Ali, the Commander of the Faithful in the Battle of Siffin and was 90 at that time was killed at the hands of the supporters of Mu'awiyah. This occult news continued to have a wonderful effect on 'Ammar throughout his lifetime. After this event Muslims considered him to be the pivot of truth and every rightfulness was measured by its association with him.
When 'Ammar was killed in the battle, a strange tumult appeared in the ranks of the Syrians. People who entertained doubts about the rightfulness of Ali on account of the venomous propaganda of Mu'awiyah and 'Amr 'As became enlightened. Huzaymah bin Thabit Ansari had gone to the battlefield with Imam Ali, but was double-minded about taking part in the battle. However, when he heard that 'Ammar had been killed he drew his sword and attacked the Syrians.
Zul Kala' Himyari accompanied by twenty thousand men of his tribe came to fight against Ali. This was the man on whose support Mu'awiyah mainly relied and did not decide to wage war until he was sure of his co-operation. When this misguided chief came to know that 'Ammar Yasir was with Ali he was very much upset. The agents of Mu'awiyah endeavoured to make matters doubtful for him and said: "There is no question of 'Ammar being in Siffin. The Iraqis do not mind coining such lies". Zul Kala' was not however, convinced. He turned to 'Amr As and said: "Has the Prophet said such and such words about 'Ammar? Ibn As said: "Yes, he has said so, but 'Ammar is definitely not in Ali's army". He said: "I shall investigate the matter personally". Then he deputed some persons to verify the position. Mu'awiyah and 'Amr As realized at this critical moment that if Zul Kala' became aware of 'Ammar's presence in Ali's army or about his martyrdom in the service of Ali a split might take place in the Syrian army. On this account, therefore, this famous Syrian chief was killed mysteriously.[ Mustadrak-i Hakim, vol. III, page 385]
This tradition is so well known amongst the common as well as the distinguished traditionalists that it does not require the production of a documentary evidence. Ahmad bin Hanbal quotes thus: "When 'Ammar was killed in the Battle of Siffin 'Amr bin Hazm came to 'Amr As and said: "Ammar has been killed and the Prophet has said about him that a group of oppressors will kill him". 'Amr As cried and recited the verse: "We are from Allah and we have to return to Him", and conveyed the news to Mu'awiyah. Mu'awiyah said: "We are not the murderers of 'Ammar. He has been killed by Ali and his friends, who brought him with them and exposed him to our swords''.[Musnad Ibn Hanbal, vol. II, page 199]
However, it is evident that this false interpretation which was put forward by Mu'awiyah, the son of Abu Sufyan to stupefy the senses of the Syrian soldiers cannot at all be acceptable in the court of the Almighty Allah and every intelligent person can well understand that his argument is baseless.

We have not been able to find a better sentence than this to indicate the character of the historian[al-Bidayah wan Nihayah, vol. III, page 218] of the 8th A.H. has chosen to support Mu'awiyah and writes: "It is not necessary that because the Prophet had declared the murderers of 'Ammar to be oppressors that they should in fact be infidels, because though they chose the wrong path and rose against Ali, yet as they took this step on account of their faith in the correctness of their action (ijtihad), it is not possible to refute them or to call them infidels". He adds: "What is meant by the Prophet's sentence 'Ammar invites them to Paradise, but the murderers of 'Ammar invite him to Hell, is that 'Ammar invites them to acknowledge the Oneness of Allah and to unite (and this is the very Paradise), but the murderers of 'Ammar endeavour to give Mu'awiyah priority over Ali, who is most suited for the office of caliph and thus they create a ruler in each one of the Islamic regions and consequently a deep fissure comes into existence amongst the Muslims, although they themselves might not have taken notice of such a result (and that is the very Hell)".
Howmuchsoever we ponder as to what name to give to this interpretation we cannot think of any appropriate name for it except that of falsification of facts. Inspite of all the skill which this rebellious group of persons possessed in the matter of falsification and alteration of facts they could not deny the prediction which had been made about them by the Prophet and a historian like Ibn Kathir has played the part of a nurse kinder to the child than the mother, and has resorted to an alteration of fact of which they themselves were not aware.
Ahmad bin Hanbal says: "Two men came to Mu'awiyah and each one of them claimed that he had killed 'Ammar. The son of 'Amr As (Abdullah) said: "One of you should spare the other, for I have heard the Prophet saying that Ammar would be killed by a group of oppressors". Mu'awiyah said to Abdullah: "If we are a group of oppressors why have you joined our circle?" He replied: "One day my father 'Amr complained against me to the Prophet and the Prophet ordered me to obey my father. I am, therefore, with you but do not fight''.[ Musnad Ibn Hanbal, vol. II, page 162].
The apology of Abdullah is like the interpretation of Ibn Kathir who says that Mu'awiyah fought this battle on the basis of ijtihad and faith, notwithstanding the fact that he erred in his ijtihad, because obedience to one's father is necessary only when it does not result in disobedience to a religious law. The Qur'an says: If they (your parents) bid you to associate (others) with Me of which you have no knowledge, do not obey them". (Surah al-Ankabut, 29:8)
Similarly ijtihad (expression of one's view) is correct only when a clear version of the Prophet is not found, otherwise ijtihad of people like Mu'awiyah and 'Amr As, opposed to the clear tradition of the Prophet, is wrong and void. And if the door of ijtihad is opened in such a manner, it will be necessary for us to excuse all the polytheists and hypocrites for having campaigned against the Prophet and Islam, and we shall also have to say that persons like Yazid and Hajjaj were justified in shedding the blood of the pious and innocent people of the nation and were also entitled to a good recompense for their action.
The construction of the mosque was completed and its area was expanded every year. A terrace was also erected by the side of the mosque for the helpless and the indigent Muhajirs, so that they might stay there, and 'Ubadah bin Samit was directed to teach them reading and writing of the Qur'an.

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