Chapter 2: Ammar, the Ally of Makhzum
The ally of Makhzum was a swarthy person whose nature had been kneaded with musk. He was of tall stature, square built and awe-inspiring person. He had dark eyes and scanty hair on his head. As has been written by his contemporary narrator 'Zul-Idara' he had a few hairs in the front part of his head and a few hairs on its back and that was all. He was a quiet person as if the angels were conversing with him. He was a man of firm will and determination. He was never deceived; and he never deviated from the right path. He was always governed by reason and he always followed logic. As A’isha says: "If ‘Ammar is doubtful about two matters he chooses the easiest course. He is an intelligent, generous, godly and brave person. He is a man who never turns away from truth".
The great and noble person was born in the tribe of Bani Makhzum during the 570 A.D. and as he has said himself that he was of the same age as the Holy Prophet (S) and from the point of view of age none of the companions was nearer to the Prophet (S) than he;
His mother was Sumayya, the daughter of Khayyat and the slave girl of Abu Huzayfa, the chief of the tribe of Makhzum. Amongst the slave girls of Quraysh none was as noble minded, intelligent, kind-hearted, faithful, chaste and pure as she was.
Yasir bin Amir, the father of ‘Ammar, was an 'Unasi, Mazhaji Qahtini Arab of Yemen who had left his home along with his two brothers named Malik and Harith to find out his fourth brother who had wondered away from Yemen on account of famine, drought and the deteriorating conditions of the government.
It was not only this person who had wandered away from Yemen at that time. A large number of persons were compelled to leave their homes to find out employment and sustenance elsewhere.
Since the time the city of Saba had been ruined a large number of the Yemenite Arabs had migrated to Makkah and Madina. The tribes of Unas and Khazraj settled in Madina and a large number of groups got scattered in Syria, Iraq, Yamama and Najd like ants and locusts. They settled in different parts of the Arabian Peninsula and expanded their civilization and culture to the region of 'Hilali Khasib'.
As the city of Makkah, was a place of peace, it enjoyed superiority over all other places where the immigrants had settled and as it was recognized to be the House of Allah ; the means of welfare, comfort and sustenance were available there and the servants of the Ka'ba paid due attention to the newcomers. For this reason the homeless persons were living there in great comfort without any molestation from any side.
When the three brothers lost all hope of locating their brother, Malik and Harith returned home, but Yasir stayed on in Makkah and became an ally of Abu Huzayfa, the chief of Bani Makhzum. Abu Huzayfa looked after Yasir, and on account of the fact that Abu Huzayfa was so kind and benevolent to him, Yasir also showed great faithfulness and sincerity for him.
Like his brother Hisham in the past and like his second brother Walid afterwards, Abu Huzayfa was a kind and noble chief and leader and a magnanimous guardian of his tribe. He also showed great love and affection for his new ally and loved and respected this stranger 'Unasi whom destiny had compelled to leave his home and country .It would appear that this kind and noble hearted person could see his future to be bright and felt that this man would acquire a high status in future and would become one of the elders of the community. It was for this reason that he becomes his ally and always respected him.
Yasir also valued the good opinion of Abu Huzayfa and did not take undue advantage of his heartfelt love. And notwithstanding the fact that he was nothing more than a stranger he preserved his self-respect and freedom of thought with perfect purity and sincerity.
Such wise behaviour and noble conduct coupled with sincerity, cordiality and faithfulness elevated the position of Yasir so much that within a short time he came to be known as a Makhzumi, acquired all the rights enjoyed by the tribe and was introduced as one of their notable personalities. He also attended the assemblies of Quraysh and was highly respected everywhere.
One day Abu Huzayfa thought of selecting a wife for his 'Unasi ally so that he might get rid of loneliness and he also hoped that Allah might favour him with a worthy child. He, therefore, gave him in marriage Sumayya, daughter of Khayyat who was the noblest and the chastest of his slave girls and decided that her children and her husband would be treated to be freemen.
Notwithstanding the fact that Yasir had not made any such request, Abu Huzayfa, who had realized his valuable personality carried out this plan and made this favour to him. Evidently Yasir was also extremely happy for acquiring this distinction.