Ammar b. Yasir

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Ammar b. Yasir
Tomb of 'Ammar
Tomb of 'Ammar
Personal Information
Full Name'Ammar b. Yasir b. 'Amir
TeknonymAbu Yaqzan
LineageForm Qahtani tribes
Well-Known RelativesYasir, Sumayya
Place(s) of ResidenceMecca, Medina
Cause of Death/MartyrdomHe was martyred in the Battle of Siffin
Burial PlaceAl-Raqqa
Religious Information
Presence at ghazwasHe participated in all ghazwas
Migration toMedina

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 teknonym 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.

The Prophet (s) had told 'Ammar that he would be martyred by a group of rebels. He was over 90 years old when he fought in the Battle of Siffin and was martyred by the army of Mu'awiya.


'Ammar b. Yasir b. 'Amir's teknonym was Abu Yaqzan and he was an ally of Banu Makhzum[1]. 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.[2]

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.[3]

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)[4]

According to some controversial reports, 'Ammar was among people who migrated to Abyssinia.[5]

'Ammar accompanied the Prophet (s) when he migrated to Medina, and constructed the foundation of the Quba Mosque, the first mosque built in Islam.[6] He was among close companions of the Prophet (s) in Medina and participated in all ghazwas.[7]

Ibn 'Abd al-Barr has quoted from Anas b. Malik that the Prophet said, "The Paradise is very anxious to embrace 'Ali, 'Ammar, Salman, and Bilal."[8]

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 the fire." And then he said, "When people engage in disputes, the truth is with the son of Sumayya."[9]

In the Period of Caliphs

'Ammar, Salman al-Farsi, Miqdad, and Abu Dhar count as the first Shi'as. They were known as Shi'as (followers of 'Ali) since the period of the Prophet (s).[10]

In the period of 'Umar b. al-Khattab, he was appointed as the ruler of Kufa and the commander of the Muslim army there.[11] The Battle of Nahawand occurred during his commandership. In this battle, some areas of Iran were conquered.[12] 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.[13]

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).[14] 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.[15] 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.[16]

During the riots against 'Uthman, 'Ammar accompanied protestors. He joined the protestors in Egypt and in Medina, he joined people who sieged 'Uthman's residence.[17]

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.[18] When 'Uthman was killed, Ammar was one of the people who invited others to pledge their allegiance to 'Ali (a).[19]

During the caliphate 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).[20] On the third day of the Battle of Siffin, he was also the commander of Imam 'Ali's (a) army.[21]


'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).[22] Ibn 'Abd al-Barr takes the hadith to be Mutawatir and one of the most reliable hadiths.[23]

'Ammar's Burial Place

'Ammar was buried where he was martyred which is located today in the Raqqa province in Syria.[24] The author of the book, Amakin-i ziyarati siyahati-yi Suriya (pilgrimage sites and tourist attractions 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".[25]

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 president of Syria at the time. The building remained in this way for years, until its constructions, tiles, and other decorations were completed and officially opened in 1382 sh/2003-4 with the support of the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran. The building of the mausoleum has a vast rectangular courtyard around which porches, chambers, offices, and religious halls are located on 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.[26]

The tomb of 'Ammar b. Yasir and Uways al-Qarani after a missile attack of Takfiri groups in Syria

Demolishion of His Tomb

On 21 Ramadan, 1434 AH/ 29 July 2013, Takfiri groups in Syria who had taken control of Raqqa Province, demolished the tomb of 'Ammar b. Yasir and Uways al-Qarani.[27]

Further Reading


  1. Ibn Athīr, Usd al-ghāba, vol. 4, p. 43.
  2. Ibn Athīr, Usd al-ghāba, vol. 3, p. 308.
  3. Amīn, Aʿyān al-Shīʿa, vol. 13, p. 28.
  4. Ibn Athīr, Usd al-ghāba, vol. 4, p. 309; Amīn, Aʿyān al-Shīʿa, vol. 13, p. 28.
  5. Ibn Hishām, al-Sīra al-Nabawīyya, vol. 1, p. 220.
  6. Ibn Athīr, Usd al-ghāba, vol. 4, p. 46.
  7. Ibn Saʿd, al-Ṭabaqāt al-kubrā, vol. 3, p. 109.
  8. Ibn ʿAbd al-Barr, al-Istīʿāb, vol. 3, p. 229.
  9. Amīnī, al-Ghdīr, vol. 9, p. 25.
  10. Refer to: Nawbakhtī, Firaq al-Shīʿa, p. 18; Shahābī, Adwār-i fighh, vol. 2, p. 282.
  11. Ṭabarī, Tārīkh al-umam wa l-mulūk, vol. 4, p. 144.
  12. Ibn Qutayba al-Dīnawarī, Akhbār al-ṭiwāl, p. 128.
  13. Balāthurī, Ansāb al-ashrāf, p. 274.
  14. Yaʿqūbī, Tārīkh al-Yaʿqūbī, vol. 2, p. 173.
  15. Ibn Qutayba al-Dīnawarī, Akhbār al-ṭiwāl, vol. 1, p. 51.
  16. Maqdisī, al-Badʾ wa l-tārīkh, vol. 5, p. 202.
  17. Balāthurī, Ansāb al-ashrāf, vol. 5, p. 549.
  18. Maqdisī, al-Badʾ wa l-tārīkh, vol. 5, p. 191.
  19. Ṭūsī, al-Amālī, p. 728.
  20. Mufīd, al-Jamal, p. 179.
  21. Balāthurī, Ansāb al-ashrāf, vol. 2, p. 303.
  22. Ibn Saʿd, al-Ṭabaqāt al-kubrā, vol. 3, p. 251-253.
  23. Ibn ʿAbd al-Barr, al-Istīʿāb, vol. 3, p. 231.
  24. Ḥirz al-Dīn, Marāqid al-maʿārif, vol. 2, p. 100.
  25. Qāʾidān, Amākin-i zīyāratī sīyāḥatī-yi Sūrīya, p. 198.
  26. Khāmi Yār, "Zīyāratgāhāh-yi Ahl Bayt wa aṣḥāb dar Sūrīya", p. 40.
  27. Terrorists bomb Shia shrine in Syria


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