Chapter 1: Sign of Guidance
How surprising is the state of a man of thirty, whose body is branded with melted iron, on whose head and face fire is poured, who is plunged into water and subjected to all sorts of torture, remains indifferent to all these torments and receives them gladly as if the points of the spears, the flames of fire, and the pressure of water were gifts from his beloved and all these tortures, increase his hope instead of making him despair.
How surprising is the condition of a ninety year old man, who subdues the enemy with a sword, whose blade may be said to be raining fire, and who overcomes every difficulty with a determination much harder than steel. However, you will not wonder any longer when you come to know that this tall-statured brave person is the same man who got accustomed to self-sacrifice and endured all the calamities during his youth as well as in his old age only for the sake of Divine religion.
It was the spirit which was blown into, and the blood which circulated in his veins, which gave such a flaming sword in his hand, and it, was his blood which assumed the shape of solid faith, sincerity, truth and reality. This brave old man did not fight with his enemies with hands and arms but by means of the faith and the principle which he had selected for himself. And, in fact; neither his arms got tired nor did his sword become blunt, but the blow which he struck was actually the glow of the light which splits darkness and annihilates it.
In the circumstances if ‘Ammar remained constant in his youth in the face of every calamity and came out victorious in every test, and mostly showed perseverance, it should not be surprising. And it should not also be surprising if during old age his path became clear and bright because of the radiation of truth. Of course, this godly old man of ours did not stand in need of strong arms in the battlefield like young men.
The question is what is bravery? Is bravery dependent upon age and strength of youth, or, is it specially related to a particular stage out of the different stages of life?
In fact we should say: "It is not so", We should say that it is dependent upon faith; and the more strong one's faith is the larger the share and the enjoyment one derives from bravery, Yes! It is the strength of faith which gives an old man the vigour of a youth. And again it is the strength of faith which gives equal power of resistance, patience, steadfastness, agility, mirth, determination and action to the young and the old.
We see many young men who are low spirited, cowardly and aimless, and we also come across every day many old men, who are courageous, brave, noble minded and strong.
Of course, the noble quality of bravery of ‘Ammar manifested itself every day in an ever increasing manner. So much so that friends and foes alike believed that his sword possessed a special trait, for if the stroke of a strong warrior inflicted one death on his adversary the stroke of our hero inflicted two deaths on one, who opposed him! One of them was the physical death and the other was the spiritual death i.e., eternal curse!
Furthermore, the spirit of courage of this godly old man possessed a special distinction, like the sharpness of his sword, which was praised by his friends as well as enemies. They knew that, whether he lived or was killed, truth was with him! Similarly everyone knew that his enemy, whether he was victorious or subdued, was false.
The noble ‘Ammar was one of the seven stalwart believers of the earliest days of Islam, who bore on their shoulders the burden of the service of the Prophetic message with continuous jihad, perfect devotion and permanent campaigns. And even during his old age, as in his youth, he was one of the first persons who continued his constant jihad and energetic campaign with faithfulness, truthfulness and perfect sincerity, and in whatever enterprise he participated he was recognized to be the sign of guidance and the specimen of justice and virtue of the highest order.
This distinguished brave man was the standard bearer of the believers during the time of the Holy Prophet, and the Prophet (S) tested him at every stage. And he was the person who emerged successfully from the test and trial with perfect purity, and was always like a thorn in the eyes of the polytheists.
Furthermore it was again he who carried the standard of guidance on his shoulders against "apostasy" even after the demise of the Holy Prophet (S)!
These distinctions were peculiar to ‘Ammar ibn Yasir, so that he was recognized to be the sign of guidance. If someone fought side by side with him and lost his life he was sure that he would go to Paradise, and conversely whoever fought against him and was killed was sure to go to Hell.
‘Ammar reported the Holy Prophet (S) to have said: "Whoever holds within himself three habits at one and the same time is like one who has held the principles of faith. Those three habits consist of:
Spending at the time of need.
Establishment of justice in all circumstances.
Planning peace and security for the world.
To sum up, if these three noble traits are collected in a person he will not only be a perfect human being, but his personality will be recognized in the society to be the very substance of faith, and such a person will be the manifestation of generosity, justice and peacefulness whether in the state of war or in the state of peace.