Ammar Ibn Yasir Persecution And Torture By The Quraysh Polytheists

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Kaleef K. Karim

Ammar Ibn Yasir was a close companion of the Prophet Muhammed (p). He was one of the first group of people to accept the message the Prophet (p) came with. He accepted Islam in early stages of Makkah. Just like the other close companions of the Prophet (p), he endured a lot of torture in the hands of the polytheists of Makkah as a result of his conversion to Islam. Although the polytheists tortured him and tried to force him to abandon his new faith – he never gave in to them. He continued to follow his faith despite the continued persecution he faced by the polytheists. Although he lived to escape to Madinah in later stages of the Prophet’s life, the same was not the fate of his mother, Sumayyah bint Khayyat (Khubat) and his father, Yasir – they were both murdered by the polytheists of Makkah for accepting Islam. For more information on Ammar’s parents, click on the following link: The First Martyrs Of Islam: Sumayya Bint Khubat And Yasir
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Below I have collected some of the earliest reports on how Ammar was tortured by the Quraysh polytheists for his conversion to Islam.

Kitab al-Tabaqat Ibn Kubra – Ibn Sa’d (784 – 845 AD):

“Once Ammar removed his shirt when a few bystanders happened to catch sight of black scars covering his back. When asked about those scars, he replied: ‘The Quraysh of Makkah would lay me down on the scorching stones (of the Makkan desert). These are the scars of those injuries.’” (Kitab al-Tabaqat Ibn Kubra, by Ibn Sa’d, volume 3, page 77)

Al-Isabah – Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani (1372 – 1449):

”Brutality was meted out to his father Yasir and his mother Sumayyah. Mujahid says, ‘Initially, just seven people openly proclaimed their belief in Islam. They were, the Prophet, Abu Bakr, Bilal, Khabbab, Suhaib, Ammar and Sumayyah. Owing to their noble family connections, the polytheists of Makkah were unable to wield absolute domination over the Prophet and Abu Bakr. However, the remaining five, Bilal, Khabbab, Suhaib, Ammar, and Sumayyah were persistently subject to their relentless brutality. In the midst of the midday heat, they would dress them in metallic armour and force them to stand in the blistering heat. One day, Abu Jahal appeared before them. (In a fit of rage), he thrust a spear into Sumayyah’s private. This wound proved fatal. She subsequently died a Martyr.” (Al-Isabah, by Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani, volume 4, page 335)

 

Al-Isabah – Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani (1372 – 1449):

“Umar Ibn Hakam relates ‘The polytheists of Makkah would torment Ammar, Suhaib, Abu Faidah and Amir Ibn Fuhayrah to such an unbearable level that they would often fall unconscious and at times they would be beaten senseless. This state of senseless was so severe that quite often, they did not even realise what they were utterring. In regards to such people, the following verse was revealed:
‘Then, your LORD – for those who migrated after suffering misfortunes and then they migrated and exercised forbearance, verily, your LORD, after these things, is rather kind and merciful. [Surah al-Nahl, verse 110] This verse was revealed in respect of the aforementioned people.” (Al-Isabah, by Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani, volume 2, page 195. See also Tabaqat al-Kabir, by Ibn Sad’s, volume 3, page 160)

Tafsir al-Qur’an – Abd al-Razzaq Ibn Hammam al-San’ani (744 – 826 AD):

The polytheists took ʿAmmar b. Yasir, tortured him till he came close to saying some of what they wanted. He complained about it to the Prophet. The Prophet asked him: “How did you find your heart?” He replied: “At peace with faith.” He said: “If they return, do it again!”65 (Tafsir al-Qur’an, by Abd al-Razzaq Ibn Hammam al-San’ani, volume 1, page 360)

Tafsir Yahya Ibn Sallam (324 – 399 Hijri):

The polytheists took ʿAmmar and did not leave him (UNDER TORTURE) till he cursed the Messenger of God and mentioned something good about their gods. They then left him. When he came to the Prophet, the Prophet asked: “What’s the matter?” He replied: “Evil! By God, the polytheists would not release me till I slandered you and said something good about their gods.” The Prophet asked: “How did you find your heart?” He replied: I found my heart at peace with faith. He said: “If they return, do it again!”66 (Tafsir Yahya Ibn Sallam, by Yahya Ibn Sallam, volume 1, page 92)

Bulugh al-Maram – Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani (1372 – 1449):

Umm Salamah (RAA) narrated that The Messenger of Allah said: “The transgressing party will kill ‘Ammar (‘Ammar bin Yasir).” Related by Muslim. Bulugh al-Maram Book 9, Hadith 1234)

Kitab Al-Tabaqat al-Kabir – Ibn Sa’d (784 – 845 AD):

The polytheists took ʿAmmar and did not leave him till he cursed (nala min) the Messenger of God and mentioned something good about their Gods. When he came to the Prophet, the Prophet asked: “What’s the matter?” He replied: “Evil! By God, the polytheists would not release me till I slandered you and said something good about their gods.” The Prophet asked: “How did you find your heart?” He replied: “At peace with faith.” He said: “If they return, do it again!”67 (Kitab Al-Tabaqat al-Kabir, by Ibn Sa’d [Arabic Ed.], volume 3, page 249)

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