In 11 AH, Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) passed away. On that occasion, all Muslims became sad. Ammar ibn Yasir wept over his old friend, Allah's Prophet and remembered the days of his youth in Makkah and the days of Jihad (struggle).
Ammar ibn Yasir (may Allah be pleased with him) stayed loyal to Islam. He was always striving for the religion Islam and saying the word of truth. He was not afraid of anyone but Allah. Ammar ibn Yasir loved Ameerul Momineen Ali (as) because he heard Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) 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 Hajj pilgrimage, Ammar ibn Yasir saw Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) taking both arms of Ameerul Momineen Ali (as) 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 ibn Yasir thought that Ameerul Momineen Ali (as) would be the Caliph after Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). Anyhow, Abu Bakr Siddique became the first Caliph after Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). But some companions opposed Abu Bakr Siddique Caliphate. Ammar ibn Yasir too opposed Abu Bakr Siddique Caliphate. And he stood by Ameerul Momineen Ali (as) and Fatima al-Zahra, the daughter of Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).
Ammar ibn Yasir (May Allah be pleased with him) devoted most of his time to the life of Jihad (Struggle). He took part in the Muslims conquest battles. He also fought bravely against the apostasy in Yemen.
When Umar bin al-Khattab became the second Caliph after Abu Bakr Siddique, he appointed Ammar ibn Yasir to rule over Kufa, Iraq.
In Kufa, Iraq Ammar ibn Yasir treated people according to Allah's law. And the people were pleased with his just, merciful and humble treatment.
In 23 AH, Umar bin al-Khattab was assassinated. Some Muslims had come to Umar bin al-Khattab, earlier, and asked him to appoint a Caliph after him.
Caliph Umar bin al-Khattab decided that the Caliphate had to be Shura (consultation). So, Umar bin al-Khattab elected six Sahaba (Companions of Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)) They were Ameerul Momineen Ali (as), Usman bin Affan, Talha, Zubair, Abdul Rahman bin Auf and Saad bin Abi Waqqas.
Umar bin al-Khattab ordered the persons to hold a meeting in one of their houses to appoint one of them caliph within three days.
Ammar ibn Yasir hoped that they would elect Ameerul Momineen Ali (as) because of his long Jihad (Struggle), his blood relation to Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), his knowledge, his outstanding merits and his priority in Islam.
One day passed, second days passed. But there was no result. There was serious competition between Ameerul Momineen Ali (as) and Usman bin Affan for the Caliphate.
Some companions such as al-Miqdad, Ammar ibn Yasir, Abdullah ibn Abbas, and others stood by the house. They hoped that Ameerul Momineen Ali (as) would be elected. Banu Umayyah stood by the house, too. They hoped that Usman bin Affan would be elected.
To make Abdul Rahman bin Auf hear, Ammar ibn Yasir loudly said: If you want to see the Muslims in agreement then appoint Ameerul Momineen Ali (as).
To support Ammar ibn Yasir, al-Miqdad said: Ammar ibn Yasir has told the truth. If you appoint Ameerul Momineen Ali (as), we will hear and obey him.
Abdul Rahman bin Auf's ambition was to be a caliph. He refused to appoint Ameerul Momineen Ali (as) because Ameerul Momineen Ali (as) would not hand him the Caliphate later on.
So, Abdul Rahman bin Auf appointed Usman bin Affan to hand him the Caliphate after his death. Thus Usman bin Affan became the third Caliph.
Ameerul Momineen Ali (as) went out after he had said to Abdul Rahman bin Auf: This is not the first time 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 Usman bin Affan caliph to hand you the Caliphate.
Ammar ibn Yasir was very unhappy for the Ahlul Bayt because they were worthier of Caliphate than other people and because Allah kept away uncleanness from them and purified them thoroughly.
After six years of Usman bin Affan's Caliphate, the Caliph gradually deviated from Islam and from Holy Prophet Muhammad's (pbuh) teachings.
Usman bin Affan appointed his blood relatives rulers over the cities. They were bad, unjust persons. For example, Usman bin Affan appointed al-Waleed bin Utbah, his half brother, to rule over Kufa, Iraq, after dismissing Saad bin Abi Waqqas. al-Waleed bin Utbah drank alcohol and went drunk to the Mosque.
Usman bin Affan 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 Madain, Iraq and appointed one of his blood relatives over it.
Usman bin Affan spent the Muslims' money on his blood relatives from Banu Umayyah and left the poor to live in pain.
There were jewels in the Muslim Public Treasury (Baitul Mal). Usman bin Affan divided the jewels among his daughters and wives. The Muslims became angry and began talking against Usman bin Affan's bad behaviour. Usman bin Affan went on with his corrupt policy. One day, he went up the pulpit and addressed the people:
We will take whatever we need from the Public Treasury (Baitul Mal) in spite of all people.
Ameerul Momineen Ali (as) became sad when he heard Usman bin Affan's words. Ammar ibn Yasir (May Allah be pleased with him) aged 90 stood up and said the word of truth: By Allah, I am the first man to prevent you from that.
The Caliph Usman bin Affan became annoyed and said: Bin Yasir, how dare you say these words before me! Usman bin Affan ordered his guards to arrest Ammar ibn Yasir. The guards respected neither Ammar ibn Yasir's old age nor his friendship to Holy Prophet Muhammad's (pbuh). They drew him into Usman bin Affan's room. They chained his hands and legs.
Then the Caliph Usman bin Affan came and began hitting Ammar ibn Yasir on the belly till he became unconscious. Then some Muslims came and carried him to Holy Prophet Muhammad's (pbuh) wife, Umm al-Momineen Umm Salamah's house.
Ammar ibn Yasir remembered the days of torture in Makkah. He could endure as many times as what Usman bin Affan did when he was a young man. But today he was unable to endure Usman bin Affan's torture because he became an old man.
Umm al-Momineen Umm Salamah felt pain when she saw Ammar ibn Yasir in that bad condition. Yet Ammar ibn Yasir said: This is not the first time that we have suffered from torture for the sake of truth.
The Muslims' anger increased because of Usman bin Affan and his rulers' behaviour. Sahaba (Companions of Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)) in Yathrib (Madina al-Munawara) wrote to people every where: If you want Jihad (Struggle), then come to it. Because your Caliph has corrupted Prophet Muhammad's religion Islam.
For this reason, the delegates from Kufa, Basra, Egypt and the like came to Yathrib (Madina al-Munawara) and went to the Caliph Usman bin Affan to ask him to change his based policy. But he dismissed them. So, they went to Ameerul Momineen Ali (as).
Ameerul Momineen Ali (as) hoped that Usman bin Affan would come back to the laws of Islam. Thus he went to advise him: Don't be a tool in Marwan bin Hakam's hand. Don't let him direct you to whatever he likes. Don't forget your position with respect to Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).
Usman bin Affan 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, which Allah and his Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) accepts. But Marwan bin Hakam, who was cunning, said to him: Don't be weak before people. Threaten them!
Naila, Usman bin Affan's wife, knew that Marwan bin Hakam 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 bin Hakam because people hate him.
Usman bin Affan did not listen to those who advised him. So, people revolted and killed him in his palace.
The Muslim masses headed for Ameerul Momineen Ali's (as) house. They asked him to be the Caliph. Ameerul Momineen Ali (as) refused that and said: Look for another man.
But people realized that Ameerul Momineen Ali (as) was the only man who deserved the Caliphate. Therefore, they insisted on their attitude. Finally, Ameerul Momineen Ali (as) agreed to shoulder this responsibility to deprive the ambitious of it.
Ameerul Momineen Ali (as) did not sadden the Muslims. On the first day, he dismissed all the bad rulers Usman bin Affan had appointed. Then he appointed good rulers in their place.
Ameerul Momineen Ali (as) dismissed Muawiyah ibn Abu Sufyan from Sham (Syria). But Muawiyah ibn Abu Sufyan was always planning to control Sham (Syria) first. Then he planned to control the entire Muslim lands in general. So, he rebelled and announced that he would get revenge on Usman bin Affan's killers. For this reason, the Battle of Siffin took place on the borders between Syria and Iraq.
Ameerul Momineen Ali's (as) army included many Sahaba (Companions of Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)), like Ammar ibn Yasir, Malik al-Ashtar, Abdullah ibn Abbas, and others were among them.
Muawiyah ibn Abu Sufyan's army included the enemies of Islam such as Marwan bin Hakam, Amr bin Aas, and those who escaped from Ameerul Momineen Ali's (as) Justice to Muawiyah's world.
The Muslims in both armies were always repeating Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) tradition: Ammar ibn Yasir, the unjust group will kill you.
Ammar ibn Yasir was in Ameerul Momineen Ali's (as) Army. He was over ninety years old. Nevertheless, he fought as bravely as the believing young man did.
Ammar ibn Yasir (May Allah be pleased with him) looked at the sky and said: Allah, if I know that you are pleased with throwing myself into the Euphrates, I will do! Allah, I know that you are pleased to see me striving those corrupt people! By Allah, if they (Muawiyah's Army) defeat and chase us to the Hajar date-palms, I will say that we are right and they are wrong.
When the battle of Siffin broke out, Ammar ibn Yasir addressed the fighters: Who wants Allah's satisfaction? Some believers accepted his words. So, Ammar ibn Yasir led them towards the enemy of Islam. When the companions saw him passing through the enemy army, they followed him.
Although Ammar ibn Yasir was fasting, he was fighting with great enthusiasm. In the middle of the battle of Siffin, Ammar ibn Yasir saw Amr bin Aas and said to him: Amr bin Aas, Woe on you! You have sold your religion Islam for Egypt!
Namely, Muawiyah ibn Abu Sufyan promised to give Egypt to Amr bin Aas if the latter stood by him.
Amr bin Aas said with trick: No, I am requesting Usman bin Affan's blood!
Ammar ibn Yasir said: I firmly believe that your action is not for Allah.
Then Ammar ibn Yasir advised him: If you would not be killed today, you will 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 ibn Yasir because Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said: "The unjust group will kill Ammar ibn Yasir."
Amr bin Aas deceived the people of Sham (Syria) when he said to them: Be patient! Ammar ibn Yasir will come to your front!
The days of the war passed, but Ammar ibn Yasir was fighting at the front of right wing. He was always standing by Ameerul Momineen Ali (as).
One day, Ammar ibn Yasir and a believing group launched an attack. Ammar ibn Yasir was fighting bravely. He remembered the days when he fought beside Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). He remembered the Battles of Badr, Uhud and the other Muslims battles.
Though Ammar ibn Yasir was fasting, he went on fighting. When the sun set, Ammar ibn Yasir asked some water because he was thirsty. A fighter brought him a cup full of yogurt. Ammar ibn Yasir smiled. Then he cheerfully said: Tonight, I may die a martyr.
Some fighters asked him about the secret. He said: My dear Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) has told me, the unjust group will kill you. And your final food in this world will be a cup of yogurt.
Ammar ibn Yasir (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.
Muawiyah ibn Abu Sufyan was about to fly because of happiness. Ameerul Momineen Ali (as) was full of sadness and sorrow. During those moments all Muslims knew the unjust group.
Some soldiers in Muawiyah ibn Abu Sufyan's Army were waiting for Ammar ibn Yasir's coming to their front. But they saw him fighting bravely beside Ameerul Momineen Ali (as) till he became a martyr. So, they sneered at Amr bin Aas' claim. In the meantime, they took advantage of the dark and began coming to join the Ameerul Momineen Ali's (as) Army. They knew that it was the front of right.
Ammar ibn Yasir's (May Allah be pleased with him) martyrdom sounded at both fronts. Ameerul Momineen Ali's (as) Army was in high spirits, but Muawiyah ibn Abu Sufyan's Army was in low spirits.
At that night, Ameerul Momineen Ali's (as) Army launched a wide attack against Muawiyah ibn Abu Sufyan's Army. Ameerul Momineen Ali's (as) Army was about to win victory. But Amr bin Aas created a new trick. He ordered the army of Sham (Syria) to raise the Noble Qur'an on their spears. They were demanding Ameerul Momineen Ali's (as) Army to turn to Allah's Book.
The fights stopped. Both armies withdrew from the Valley of Siffin. The martyrs' bodies stayed on the battlefield. The body of Ammar ibn Yasir, aged ninety six, stayed there too. Ameerul Momineen Ali (as) stepped forward and offered funeral prayers for him, and then with his own hands, he buried him with his clothes.
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.