Building Masjid An-Nabawi: The Fight Between Uthman and Ammar - Our Prophet 6 - Foundations Of Islamic State
Now, there is one interesting incident that I would like to conclude with that happened during the construction of the mosque. This incident is very important. We will see why. We have two versions of this incident. I will share them both with you so we can see what happened.
Ibn Hisham in Sirah al-Halabiyyah and other sources, they narrate the following: they say 'Uthman Ibn Affan was there during the construction. 'Uthman was very peculiar about the neatness of his clothes, he did not want any dust to collect on his clothes. So, he would very carefully pick up one stone making sure it does not touch his garment, so it does not make it dirty, does not you know! So, no dust would collect on it, and that is how he would contribute to building the mosque.
Imam 'Ali, 'alayhi as-salam passes by him and he sees him in that state. The Prophet himself is now he has got dust on his clothes. He is building this mosque and this is how you react! Unacceptable!
So, the Imam, 'alayhi as-salam read these following lines of poetry. He said: 'La yastawi man ya'muru al-masajida, yad'abu fihi qa'iman wa qa'ida, wa man yara 'an at-turabi ha'ida'. The Imam says, 'You can not compare between the one who is working so hard building the mosque with all of his heart and the one who is scared of the dust. You can not compare between these two.'
The Imam, 'alayhi as-salam, was making a reference to 'Uthman. 'Ammar Ibn Yasir hears these lines from Imam 'Ali. 'Ammar does not know who the Imam was referring to. He just heard the line from the Imam, but he did not know who the Imam, 'alayhi as-salam, was referring to. He has like, you know what, I like these lines of poetry. Let me recite them.
So, he started saying: 'La yastawi man ya'muru al-masajida, yad'abu fihi qa'iman wa qa'ida, wa man yara 'an al-turabi ha'ida. Who hears him? 'Uthman! 'Uthman comes to him and he tells him, 'Ya Ibna Sumayyah! Oh, the Son of Sumayyah. What did you say? What are you saying? What are you reading over here?
And he took the you know, those palm trees, those big palm leaves at the base of them, you have that very heavy wood. You have seen it, right? Now, that hurts. If you hit someone, 'Uthman grabs one of those and he lifts it and he is about to beat who? 'Ammar Ibn Yasir. He tells him, who exactly were you referring to when you read these lines of poetry? Tell me. If you do not tell me right now, I am going to beat you.
Immediately, the Companions tell the Prophet, Ya Rasul Allah, there is a fight. A fight is about to break out in the Masjid. By the way, these are Sunni sources which have mentioned this. It is not our sources. There is a fight! Come and do something about it.
The Prophet, salla Allahu 'alayhi wa alihi, when he heard that 'Ammar Ibn Yasir was being threatened, he becomes extremely furious. He becomes very, very disturbed. Then the Prophet, salla Allahu 'alayhi wa alihi, said something that is extremely important in the fate of Islam and at the time of Imam 'Ali, 'alayhi as-salam.
The Prophet calls 'Ammar, because the Companions told him, 'Ammar, please go to the Prophet. He has so angry, we are concerned now new revelation is going to come and verses are going to blast some of us, because that is what would happen oftentimes. Please, please, just go and diffuse the situation. Make sure the Prophet is no longer angry.
'Ammar goes to the Prophet. He tells him, Ya Rasul Allah, it is okay, something happened, and he threatened me. Then the Prophet tells 'Ammar, tell me what happened? 'Ammar told him another part of what happened. Each of the companions would carry one, you know, not boulder, but those blocks. They would carry those blocks.
It seems that 'Uthman and some others, they would take their own block and put it on 'Ammar's block such that he would be carrying two or three. It is very heavy. Yes, 'Ammar had a strong build, but carrying three was very heavy. Average man could only carry one. So, 'Ammar tells the Prophet, Ya Rasul Allah, some of these Companions, they are putting two or three boulders on me, and they are going to kill me. I am afraid they are going to kill me.
What does the Prophet tell him? The Prophet tells them, Ya 'Ammar, do not worry, they can not kill you. They will not kill you. 'Taqtuluka al-fi'atu al-baghiyah'-'Oh, 'Ammar, let me tell you, in the future, the deviant, corrupt, oppressive group will kill you, while you shall be inviting them to Jannah, and they will be calling you to Hell.' This is in Bukhari, by the way. This last segment is in Bukhari that the Prophet said this to 'Ammar.
Why is this important? [That is how he dies in Siffin]. 'Ammar dies at the age of 90, by the way, because he was at the age of the Prophet. He was born the year of 'Amul Fil, the year of the elephant. So, he is at the same age of the Prophet. So, 30 years after the Prophet, who was 63, he has now 90, almost 90. 'Ammar was 90 at Siffin. The battle between Imam 'Ali 'alayhi as-salam and Mu'awiyah.
Now, if you look at Muslim history, unfortunately, many Sunni schools of thought, they hold Mu'awiyah with high regard. Why? He was a Sahabi, he is a Companion, he met the Prophet. After the conquest of Makkah, he became Muslim, and he is 'katib al-wahy'[writer of Revelation] and they come up with many stuff for him. You know, he used to write revelation and so on and so forth. And he has K'hal al-Mu'minin'-he is the uncle of the believers because of his relationship with the wife of the Prophet. So, they gave him a lot of virtues.
This Hadith, which is in Bukhari, so they cannot reject. This Hadith poses a dilemma. The Prophet told 'Ammar, Oh, 'Ammar, the evil ones, the people of hell, they shall kill you. 'Ammar died at Siffin. He was fighting with Imam 'Ali, 'alayhi as-salam. He was fighting who? Mu'awiyah! He is killed at the battle of Siffin.
You know, Mu'awiyah, this statement that the Prophet said to him was like a trophy that he would carry in his lifetime all the time. In fact, you know what companions would say? They would say whenever we get, we would get confused. Who is on the right path and who is not, we look at 'Ammar, who is he following? Because the Prophet gave him that guarantee he has one of the people of Heaven and that the people of Hell shall kill him. So, this was extremely important in the life of 'Ammar and in demonstrating that Imam 'Ali Ibn Abi Talib, 'alayhi as-salam, was on the right path.
That is why when 'Ammar was killed at Siffin, you know, many people were confused at Siffin. Who is on the right side? There were propaganda. There was propaganda, many had been brainwashed. People really sometimes did not know, is Imam 'Ali on the right path or Mu'awiyah is on the right path? Who is the aggressor here?
As soon as, 'Ammar Ibn Yasir is killed at the battle of Siffin, many many people joined Imam 'Ali, 'alayhi as-salam. They are like, that is a clear sign! 'Ammar was killed in this battle and the Companions have witnessed that the Prophet in Madinah said to 'Ammar that you will call to the path of Heaven and they, your killers, are calling to the path of Hell and "Al-fi'at al-baghiyah", the deviant, oppressive group, shall kill you.
That actually shed a lot of light on who was on the right path. So, this incident is extremely, extremely important when we look at the life of 'Ammar Ibn Yasir and the statement that the Prophet, salla Allahu 'alayhi wa alihi, made to him.
Now, this is one version of the event. Some scholars have not accepted this version. They accept a slightly different version. Why? Some of them say 'Uthman Ibn Affan was in Habasha when the Prophet migrated. So, how did he get to Madinah so quickly? By the time the news would reach the people in Abyssinia,Ethiopia that the Prophet had migrated and they would come back to Makkah, get their belongings, and then go to Madinah, that takes a lot of time. So, this probably was a different 'Uthman. Some have stated it could have been 'Uthman Ibn Madh'un, who had this, like, skirmish with 'Ammar Ibn Yasir and the Prophet said what he said.
My personal take on this is that it is very likely that it is 'Uthman Ibn 'Affan. Because, sources indicate the construction of the mosque, some of them indicate took about seven months to a year. So the Prophet spent about seven months in the house of Abu 'Ayyub al-Ansari before the mosque was constructed and before the rooms of the Prophet were constructed.
Because the Prophet, when he was establishing the mosque, he was also what? He was also building his house, which was right by the mosque, such that the Prophet would open his door and he would enter the mosque area and the other Companions did the same. Later, the Prophet, of course, banned them from opening their door to the mosque, except Imam 'Ali 'alayhi as-salam as we shall see. Only he had the right to enter the mosque from the main door.
So, if you have seven months, it is very likely that 'Uthman had heard about the migration and he migrated. You know, we do not find anything unusual about this. Do you find anything unusual about that? We do not. In any case, there are these several reports.
The very last opinion over here is that this statement, which was made by the Prophet, salla Allahu 'alayhi wa alihi, to 'Ammar Ibn Yasir actually happened after [Battle o]f Khaybar. When the Masjid of the Prophet was expanded, there was new construction. That is when the Prophet said the statement to 'Ammar, not in the beginning, due to some pieces of evidence.
In any case, there are differences as to who 'Uthman was. Did this happen early on in Madinah or later, when the mosque of the Prophet was rebuilt and renovated? But what we know is that Sunni and Shi'ah have both narrated that the Prophet said this very powerful, important statement to 'Ammar Ibn Yasir. And this is proof and testimony that 'Ali Ibn Abi Talib, 'alayhi as-salam was on the right path. Because 'Ammar Ibn Yasir died on the side of Imam 'Ali.
In fact, you know what? 'Amr Ibni 'As did? There was a leader of the Syrians, a man by the name of Dhul Kilah Al-Hamyari. This guy with 20,000 people had come to support Mu'awiyah at the battle of Siffin. And Mu'awiyah was highly counting on him.
He hears that 'Ammar Ibn Yasir has been killed so, he stops. He has like, wait a minute, I have heard that the Prophet said this about him that means 'Ali is on the right path, not Mu'awiyah! 'Amr Ibn 'As, you know he was the aide of Mu'awiyah, he was that very cunning, slight, deceitful person. He comes to him. He tells him, why are you withdrawing your support? He has like, well 'Ammar Ibn Yasir, he has died, and he has fighting with Imam 'Ali, 'alayhi as-salam, against you guys and that is proof that you are on the Batil on the wrong path, not him.
He tells him, no, no, this is wrong information. He tells him, what do you mean, wrong information? Did not the prophet say it? He could not deny it. 'Amr Ibn 'As said yes, the Prophet said it but 'Ammar is not even present in the battlefield. He did not die, 'Ammar is somewhere else. He is like, no, that can not be the case. I heard from a lot of people that 'Ammar Ibn Yasir is in the army of Imam 'Ali and he just got killed. He has like, no, I swear to God, he has not in the army of 'Ali, he has not even participating in the battle.
So, this guy, Dhul Kilah, he has like, you know what? Let me go and find out for myself. He goes, investigates. He says, no, 'Ammar has been killed. Right before he goes to his 20,000 soldiers and he tells them to withdraw he mysteriously is killed. He has gone and nowhere to be found. They get rid of him. They eliminate him so he does not mobilize his army because had that happened, Mu'awiyah would have definitely lost at the battle of Siffin.
In any case, 'Ammar Ibn Yasir was this amazing companion of the Prophet who even through his death, he supported Imam 'Ali. And he demonstrated to the people that Imam 'Ali Ibn Abi Talib was on the right path.