Volume 4, Book 52, Number 67 :
Narrated by ‘Ikrima
That Ibn ‘Abbas (radiallaahu `anhu) told him and ‘Ali bin ‘Abdullah to go to Abu Said (radiallaahu `anhu) and listen to some of his narrations; So they both went (and saw) Abu Said (radiallaahu `anhu) and his brother irrigating a garden belonging to them. When he saw them, he came up to them and sat down with his legs drawn up and wrapped in his garment and said, “(During the construction of the mosque of the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam)) we carried the adobe of the mosque, one brick at a time while ‘Ammar (radiallaahu `anhu) used to carry two at a time. The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) passed by ‘Ammar (radiallaahu `anhu) and removed the dust off his head and said, “May Allah be merciful to ‘Ammar. He will be killed by a rebellious aggressive group. ‘Ammar will invite them to (obey) Allah and they will invite him to the (Hell) fire.”
This post will focus on the story of the death of `Ammar (radiallaahu `anhu) instead of his life. Here’s a brief account of the Battle of Siffin (657 CE):
Muʿāwiyah, governor of Syria, refused to recognize ʿAlī as the new caliph before justice for the murder of his kinsman, the third caliph, ʿUthmān, was done; for his part, ʿAlī relied on the support of individuals who had been implicated in ʿUthmān’s murder and was therefore reluctant to prosecute them. ʿAlī gathered support in Kūfah, where he had established his centre, and invaded Syria. The two armies met along the Euphrates River at Ṣiffīn (near the Syrian-Iraqi border), where they engaged in an indecisive succession of skirmishes, truces, and battles, culminating in the legendary appearance of Muʿāwiyah’s troops with copies of the Qurʾān impaled on their lances—supposedly a sign to let God’s word decide the conflict. ʿAlī agreed to bring the matter to arbitration on the basis of the Qurʾān and delegated Abū Mūsā al-Ashʿarī as his representative, while Muʿāwiyah sent ʿAmr ibn al-ʿĀṣ. By agreeing to arbitration, ʿAlī conceded to deal with Muʿāwiyah on equal terms, thus permitting him to challenge ʿAlī’s claim as leader of the Muslim community. This concession aroused the anger of a large group of ʿAlī’s followers, who protested that “judgment belongs to God alone” (Qurʾān 6:57) and believed that arbitration would be a repudiation of the Qurʾānic dictum “If one party rebels against the other, fight against that which rebels” (49:9). A small number of these pietists withdrew (kharajū) to the village of Ḥarūrāʾ and so became known as Khārijites (Arabic: Khawārij).
Accounts of what precisely transpired at the arbitration vary. [Britannica]
It was in this battle that `Ammar (radiallaahu `anhu) was martyred. He was in the army of `Ali (radiallaahu `anhu) so it’s obvious which side killed him.
Coming to the hadith narrated above which says in the end: “May Allah be merciful to ‘Ammar. He will be killed by a rebellious aggressive group. ‘Ammar will invite them to (obey) Allah and they will invite him to the (Hell) fire.”
It’s important to know that there are other versions of this hadith available as well, having words less direct than these. For example:
- Abu Huraira narrated that the Messenger of Allah said: “Rejoice Ammar, the transgressing party shall kill you.”
(Sunan Thirmidhi : Hadith Number 3800)
- Allah’s messenger (PBUH) said to Ammar: “A group of rebels would kill you.”
(Sahih Muslim, English version, v4, chapter MCCV, Tradition #6968)
- Umm Salama narrated that Allah’s messenger (may peace be upon him) said: “A band of rebels would kill Ammar.”
(Sahih Muslim, English version, v4, chapter MCCV, Tradition #6970)
It’s safe to say that according to the hadith mentioned above, `Ammar (radiallaahu `anhu) made the right choice siding with `Ali (radiallaahu `anhu) since he was the caliph at that time and his obedience was waajib on all Muslims. But the question arises, what about those who sided with Mu`awiyah (radiallaahu `anhu)? He himself was a companion of the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) and many of the companions were on his side too. So what do we say about them? Were they calling `Ammar (radiallaahu `anhu) towards Hellfire?
The answer to that according to scholars is that they were doing the right thing in their opinion. It was a complex matter and everyone had their own views. They were mujtahids (those who do Ijtihad) so there’s no blame upon them because:
Amr ibn Al-As reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “If a judge makes a ruling, striving to apply his reasoning (ijtihad) and he is correct, then he will have two rewards. If a judge makes a ruling, striving to apply his reasoning and he is mistaken, then he will have one reward.” [Sahih Bukhari 6919, Sahih Muslim 1716]
And Allah has elevated the status of Sahabah in the Quran by saying He’s pleased with them and promising them Paradise. Who then are we to talk bad about any one of them?
“And the foremost to embrace Islam of the Muhaajiroon and the Ansaar and also those who followed them exactly (in Faith). Allaah is well-pleased with them as they are well-pleased with Him. He has prepared for them Gardens under which rivers flow (Paradise), to dwell therein forever. That is the supreme success.” [al-Tawbah 9:100]
I’d like to end with these words of ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Mas’ood (may Allaah be pleased with him):
“Whoever among you wishes to follow (someone), let him follow one who has died, for the one who is still alive is not safe from fitnah. The companions of Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) were the best of this ummah, the most righteous of heart and the deepest in knowledge and the most straightforward, people whom Allaah chose to accompany His Prophet and establish His religion. So acknowledge their virtue and follow in their footsteps, and adhere as much as you can to their morals and religion, for they were following right guidance.
Narrated by Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr in al-Jaami’, no. 1810.
May Allah forgive us our sins, remove doubts and ill feelings from our hearts concerning his slaves, may He make us love those whom He loves, and hate those whom He hates. May He guide us to the truth always, and enter us into Jannat-ul-Firdaws.
Volume 3, Book 47, Number 786:
Narrated Anas bin Malik (radiallaahu `anhu):
A Jewess brought a poisoned (cooked) sheep for the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) who ate from it. She was brought to the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) and he was asked, “Shall we kill her?” He said, “No.” I continued to see the effect of the poison on the palate of the mouth of Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam).
Al-Nawawi said: It is as if the poison still left some trace of blackness etc.
The name of this woman was Zaynab bint al-Haarith, the wife of Salaam ibn Mashkam, one of the leaders of the Jews.
The reports differ as to whether or not she was killed. It seems that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did not kill her at first, but when Bishr ibn al-Bara’ ibn Ma’roor died as a result of the effects of this food, then he executed her as a qisaas punishment.
Al-Bukhaari (5777) narrated that Abu Hurayrah said: When Khaybar was conquered, a roasted poisoned sheep was presented to the Prophet as a gift (by the Jews). The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, “Let all the Jews who have been here, be assembled before me.” The Jews were gathered and the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, “Will you now tell me the truth, if I ask you about something?” They replied, “Yes.” He asked, “Have you poisoned this sheep?” They said, “Yes.” He asked, “What made you do that?” They said, “We wanted to know if you were a liar in which case we would have got rid of you, and if you are a Prophet then the poison would not harm you.”
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to feel ill because of this food, and he would be treated with cupping for that.
That had an impact in causing his death, so he (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) died as a martyr (shaheed), as Ibn Mas’ood (may Allaah be pleased with him) said:
“If I were to swear by Allaah nine times that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was killed, that is more beloved to me than swearing once, because Allaah made him a Prophet and made him a martyr.” Narrated by Ahmad, 3617. The editors said, its isnaad is saheeh according to the conditions of Muslim.
Al-Sindi said: The words “he was killed” mean by the poison in the meat of the sheep’s foreleg that he ate, when the effects of that appeared when he was dying.
Quoted from Haashiyat al-Musnad, 6/116.
Al-Bukhaari narrated in his Saheeh, in a mu’allaq report, and al-Haakim narrated in his Mustadrak in a mawsool report, that ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) said: “The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to say, in the illness which would be his last, ‘O ‘Aa’ishah, I still feel the pain of the food that I ate in Khaybar, and this time I feel that my aorta is being cut from that poison.”
The aorta is the vein that is towards the back and is connected to the heart; if it is cut then the person will die.
The conquest of Khaybar took place in Muharram or Rabee’ al-Awwal of the year 7 AH. So this event took place four years before the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) died.
Taken from IslamQA.
Volume 3, Book 43, Number 642:
Narrated ‘Umar (radiallaahu `anhu):
When Allah took away the soul of His Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) at his death, the Ansar assembled In the shed of Bani Sa’ida. I said to Abu Bakr (radiallaahu `anhu), “Let us go.” So, we come to them (i.e. to Ansar) at the shed of Bani Sa’ida. (See Hadith No. 19, Vol. 5 for details)
This is the full narration:
Volume 5, Book 57, Number 19:
Narrated ‘Aisha (radiallaahu `anhaa) (the wife of the Prophet):
Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) died while Abu Bakr (radiallaahu `anhu) was at a place called As-Sunah (Al-‘Aliya) ‘Umar (radiallaahu `anhu) stood up and said, “By Allah! Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) is not dead!” ‘Umar (later on) said, “By Allah! Nothing occurred to my mind except that.” He said, “Verily! Allah will resurrect him and he will cut the hands and legs of some men.” Then Abu Bakr came and uncovered the face of Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam), kissed him and said, “Let my mother and father be sacrificed for you, (O Allah’s Apostle), you are good in life and in death. By Allah in Whose Hands my life is, Allah will never make you taste death twice.” Then he went out and said, “O oath-taker! Don’t be hasty.” When Abu Bakr spoke, ‘Umar sat down.
Abu Bakr praised and glorified Allah and said, No doubt! Whoever worshipped Muhammad, then Muhammad is dead, but whoever worshipped Allah, then Allah is Alive and shall never die.” Then he recited Allah’s Statement.:– “(O Muhammad) Verily you will die, and they also will die.” (39.30) He also recited:–
“Muhammad is no more than an Apostle; and indeed many Apostles have passed away, before him, If he dies Or is killed, will you then Turn back on your heels? And he who turns back On his heels, not the least Harm will he do to Allah And Allah will give reward to those Who are grateful.” (3.144)
The people wept loudly, and the Ansar were assembled with Sad bin ‘Ubada in the shed of Bani Saida. They said (to the emigrants). “There should be one ‘Amir from us and one from you.” Then Abu Bakr, Umar bin Al-Khattab and Abu ‘baida bin Al-Jarrah went to them. ‘Umar wanted to speak but Abu Bakr stopped him. ‘Umar later on used to say, “By Allah, I intended only to say something that appealed to me and I was afraid that Abu Bakr would not speak so well. Then Abu Bakr spoke and his speech was very eloquent. He said in his statement, “We are the rulers and you (Ansars) are the ministers (i.e. advisers),” Hubab bin Al-Mundhir said, “No, by Allah we won’t accept this. But there must be a ruler from us and a ruler from you.” Abu Bakr said, “No, we will be the rulers and you will be the ministers, for they (i.e. Quarish) are the best family amongst the ‘Arabs and of best origin. So you should elect either ‘Umar or Abu ‘Ubaida bin Al-Jarrah as your ruler.” ‘Umar said (to Abu Bakr), “No but we elect you, for you are our chief and the best amongst us and the most beloved of all of us to Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam).” So ‘Umar took Abu Bakr’s hand and gave the pledge of allegiance and the people too gave the pledge of allegiance to Abu Bakr.
Someone said, “You have killed Sad bin Ubada.” ‘Umar said, “Allah has killed him.”
‘Aisha said (in another narration), (“When the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) was on his death-bed) he looked up and said thrice, (Amongst) the Highest Companion (See Qur’an 4.69)’
Aisha said, Allah benefited the people by their two speeches. ‘Umar frightened the people some of whom were hypocrites whom Allah caused to abandon Islam because of ‘Umar’s speech. Then Abu Bakr led the people to True Guidance and acquainted them with the right path they were to follow so that they went out reciting:– “Muhammad is no more than an Apostle and indeed many Apostles have passed away before him..” (3.144)
Volume 3, Book 37, Number 488 :
Narrated by Salama bin Al-Akwa (radiallaahu `anhu)
Once, while we were sitting in the company of Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam), a dead man was brought. The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) was requested to lead the funeral prayer for the deceased. He said, “Is he in debt?” The people replied in the negative. He said, “Has he left any wealth?” They said, “No.” So, he led his funeral prayer. Another dead man was brought and the people said, “O Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam)! Lead his funeral prayer.” The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “Is he in debt?” They said, “Yes.” He said, “Has he left any wealth?” They said, ”Three Dinars.” So, he led the prayer. Then a third dead man was brought and the people said (to the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam)), Please lead his funeral prayer.” He said, “Has he left any wealth?” They said, “No.” He asked, “Is he in debt?” They said, (“Yes! He has to pay) three Diners.’, He (refused to pray and) said, “Then pray for your (dead) companion.” Abu Qatada (radiallaahu `anhu) said, “O Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam)! Lead his funeral prayer, and I will pay his debt.” So, he led the prayer.
In Musannaf ‘Abd al-Razzaaq (3/57) it says:
Ibn ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him) said:
O Humraan, fear Allaah and do not die in debt, lest it be taken from your good deeds when there will be no dinars and no dirhams.
Read more about the seriousness of debt here.