'Ammar b. Yasir
|'Ammar b. Yasir|
Tomb of 'Ammar
|Full Name||'Ammar b. Yasir b. 'Amir|
|Lineage||Form Qahtani tribes|
|Well-Known Relatives||Yasir, Sumayya|
|Place(s) of Residence||Mecca, Medina|
|Cause of Death/Martyrdom||He was martyred in the Battle of Siffin|
|Presence at Ghazwas||He participated in all ghazwas|
|Other Activities||Among the very first Shi'a, not accepting the caliphate of Abu Bakr|
ʿAmmār b. Yāsir (Arabic: عمار بن ياسر) (d. 37/657) was an early companion of Prophet Muhammad (s) and among the first people to become Muslim. His family was brutally tortured for believing in the Prophet (s) and this resulted in his parents' martyrdom. 'Ammar b. Yasir had the kunya of Abu Yaqzan.
'Ammar, along with Salman, Miqdad, and Abu Dhar, is considered to be one of the first Shi'a. He was among those few Muslims who refused to pay allegiance to Abu Bakr. In one incident, after criticizing the third caliph for unlawful spending from the public treasury, the caliph kicked him so badly that he fell unconscious. The caliph planned to banish him, but then withdrew due to Imam 'Ali's (a) mediation.
'Ammar b. Yasir b. 'Amir's kunya was Abu Yaqzan and he was an ally of Banu Makhzum. His lineage goes back to 'Anas b. Malik's family, a Qahtani tribe residing in Yemen. His father, Yasir, moved to Mecca when he was young. He resided there and allied with Abu Hudhayfa from Banu Makhzum.
At the Time of the Prophet (s)
'Ammar, his brother 'Abd Allah, his father Yasir b. 'Amir, his mother Sumayya bt. Khabbat, Bilal b. Rabah, Khabbab b. Aratt, and Suhayb b. Sinan were all severely tortured by the Quraysh for accepting Islam. Sumayya and Yasir died under these tortures, and are considered to be the first martyrs of Islam.
One day, 'Ammar went to the Prophet (s) and said, "They did not stop torturing me until I said what they wanted" (That is, until he took the names of their gods and talked badly about the Prophet (s)). The Prophet (s) asked him, "What do you have in your heart?" He answered, "I am confident upon my faith and calm." The Prophet (s) told him, "So, if they again ask you to say the same, you say so." The following verse was then revealed to the Prophet (s) to approve of 'Ammar's deed:
- "Whoever renounces faith in Allah after [affirming] his faith —barring someone who is compelled while his heart is at rest in faith" (16:106)
'Ammar accompanied the Prophet (s) when he migrated to Medina, and constructed the foundation of the Quba Mosque, the first mosque built in Islam. He was among close companions of the Prophet (s) in Medina and participated in all ghazwas.
The Prophet (s) has also said, "'Ammar is with the truth and the truth is with 'Ammar. 'Ammar turns around the truth wherever it is and the murderer of 'Ammar is in fire." And then he said, "When people engage in disputes, the truth is with the son of Sumayya."
In the Period of Caliphs
In the period of 'Umar b. Khattab, he was appointed as the ruler of Kufa and the commander of the Muslim army there. The Battle of Nahawand occurred during his commandership. In this battle, some areas of Iran were conquered. However, he was ousted from his position after a while. The reason for his removal is not explicitly mentioned in historical sources. On some accounts, he was ousted because people were dissatisfied with his performance and had asked 'Umar to remove him from the position. The reason for such protests is not clearly mentioned. According to some reports, people objected to his weakness and his ignorance of politics.
In the period of the Third Caliph, serious quarrels happened between him and 'Ammar. In one such case, 'Ammar protested the exile of Abu Dhar to Rabadha. It led to a serious quarrel between 'Ammar and 'Uthman. 'Ammar was battered at the order of 'Uthman. 'Uthman intended to exile 'Ammar from Medina, but he changed his mind after protests by Banu Makhzum and Imam 'Ali (a). According to other reports, 'Ammar was battered when he and other people of Kufa objected to corruptions and wine-drinking by Walid b. 'Uqba who was appointed by 'Uthman as the ruler of Kufa. According to a different account, 'Ammar was battered when he objected to the way 'Uthman distributed the treasury (Bayt al-Mal) among people and criticized his remarks that he had the full authority over how to distribute the treasury.
In the Period of Imam 'Ali's (a) Caliphate
'Ammar b. Yasir was an advocate of Imam 'Ali's (a) caliphate. When 'Umar died and the Six-Member Council was held to select the caliph, he talked with 'Abd al-Rahman b. 'Awf and recommended him to choose 'Ali (a) as the caliph in order to prevent divisions among people. When 'Uthman was killed, 'Ammar was one of the people who invited others to pledge their allegiance to 'Ali (a).
During the reign of Imam 'Ali (a), 'Ammar attended battles of Jamal and Siffin. In the Battle of Jamal, he was the commander of the left army of Imam 'Ali (a). On the third day of the Battle of Siffin, he was also the commander of Imam 'Ali's (a) army.
'Ammar's martyrdom in the Battle of Siffin by the army of Mu'awiya b. Abi Sufyan was considered as a factor to reproach people and prove the rightness of Imam 'Ali (a) in the battle. It was because of a well-known hadith from the Prophet (s) according to which 'Ammar's killers are rebels or baghi (that is, people who do not obey the legitimate Imam). Ibn 'Abd al-Barr takes the hadith to be Mutawatir and one of the most reliable hadiths.
'Ammar's Burial Place
'Ammar was buried where he was martyred which is located today in the Raqqa province in Syria. The author of the book, Amakin-i ziyarati siyahati-yi Suriya (pilgrimage and touristic sites of Syria) says: "the mausoleum is located on the right side of Bab 'Ali (a). in recent years, a big, magnificent mausoleum is being built by the Islamic Republic of Iran over his grave. On 'Ammar's grave a high dome is made out of cement. The mausoleum is very tall. 'Ammar's grave is located under the dome".
The mausoleum is described in the paper, "Ziyaratgah-hayi Ahl-i Bayt wa ashab 'alayhim al-salam", as follows: "a great, magnificent visiting place is located in the city which has attracted Shi'as and pilgrimage caravans. It contains the graves of some martyrs of Siffin, including 'Ammar b. Yasir, Uways al-Qarani, and Ubayy b. Qays. Before the last three decades, the building only had two small chambers on the graves of 'Ammar b. Yasir and Uways al-Qarani (p. 56). However, after the victory of the Islamic Revolution of Iran, the area of the mausoleum was purchased and its present scaffolding was constructed at the request of Imam Khomeini and the agreement of Hafiz al-Assad, the previous president of Syria. The building remained in this way for years, until the its constructions, tiles, and other decorations were completed and officially opened in 2004 with the support of Iran and the Housing and Urbanization Ministry of the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran at the time. The building of the mausoleum has a vast rectangular courtyard around which porches, chambers, offices, and religious halls are located in two floors. All facades of the building and its courtyard are covered with white stones and tiles, which has bestowed a mesmerizing beauty to it. 'Ammar b. Yasir's mausoleum is located on the western side of the courtyard, and Uways al-Qarani's mausoleum is located on its eastern side. They have the same shape and have domes with blue tiles and high minarets. Ubayy b. Qays's mausoleum is located outside the eastern side of the courtyard. Its dome is smaller than that of 'Ammar and Uways.
Demolishion of His Tomb
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