Indeed the killer of ‘Ammar and his marauder are in the fire.
Ibn Taymiyyah has said: “Whoever is pleased with the murder of ‘Ammar, the ruling regarding him is like the ruling on the killer of ‘Ammar.”
These statements have numerous glaring errors and are blatant misrepresentations of the truth.
Our teacher, Sheikh ‘Abdullah al Sa’d has explained this in an exceptional manner in his introductory comments on the book al Ibanah lima li al Sahabah min al Manzilah wa al Makanah [The exposition regarding what the Sahabah hold in terms of status and rank] (pg.48), he states:
Ahmed (4/198) has narrated from ‘Affan – who said – Hammad ibn Salamah narrated to us – who said – Abu Hafs and Kulthum ibn Jabr both narrated to us from Abu al Ghadiyah who said: “‘Ammar has been killed so he told ‘Amr ibn al ‘As who said, ‘I heard the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam saying, ‘indeed his murderer and marauder are in the fire,’ so it was said to ‘Amr, ‘but it is you now who fight him,’ to which he replied, ‘his killer and marauder.’ Ibn Sa’d has also narrated it with the same chain in his Tabaqat and this is authentic to Abu al Ghadiyah as has been earlier mentioned. However the expression, “… he told ‘Amr…”, has Abu al Ghadiyah narrated it from ‘Amr, or is it from the narration of Kulthum ibn Jabr from ‘Amr ibn al ‘As? If it is the first one, then it is authentic as has been mentioned, and if it is the second — and this seems the closest to being correct since it goes, “he told ‘Amr,” and “it was said to ‘Amr, ‘it is you here now who is fighting him,” this indicates that Abu al Ghadiyah does not narrate it from ‘Amr; and therefore al Dhahabi states in al Siyar (2/544): “Its chain has interruptions.” Perhaps what he refers to by the interruptions is what has been previously mentioned that Kulthum ibn Jabr is not known to have heard from ‘Amr, instead he heard only from the younger Sahabah and those whose demise occurred fairly late from them, infact he narrates from the generation of the Tabi’in and Abu al Ghadiyah, it appears, is one of those whose demise occurred very late since al Bukhari has recorded in his Tarikh that Abu al Ghadiyah is from among those whose demise occurred between the years 70 and 80, and he also mentioned him among those whose demise occurred between 90 and 100. It is for this reason that Abu al Fadl ibn Hajar, in Ta’jil al Manfa’ah (2/52) says: “And ‘Amr was granted a long life.” As for Kulthum he has expressly stated that he narrates directly from Abu al Ghadiyah as has been mentioned previously.
Another chain:- Ibn Abi ‘Asim, in al Ahad wa al Mathani (809), says: Al ‘Abbas ibn al Walid al Nursi narrated to us — who said — Mu’tamir ibn Sulaiman narrated to us — who said — I heard from Layth from Mujahid from ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr ibn al ‘As who said: “Two men came to ‘Amr ibn al ‘As arguing the matter of ‘Ammar so he — ‘Amr — said, ‘both of you leave him as I have heard the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam saying, ‘O Allah, the Quraysh are hell-bent on ‘Ammar, the killer of ‘Ammar and his marauder is in the Fire.’”
Al Tabarani narrates it from Layth in al Kabir as mentioned in Majma’ al Zawa’id (9/297) and al Haythami said: “Layth has expressly heard it, and its narrators are those of al Sahih.”
Layth, he is ibn Abi Sulaim and he is weak. His memory was such that he would mix up his narrations and most of the scholars have taken him to be weak but worthy of consideration that his narrations are to be recorded.
As for the matn [text] of this narration, the discussion on it will follow with Allah’s will.
This narration has also been narrated by al Hakim in al Mustadrak (3/387), from Muhammad ibn Yaqub al Hafiz – who said – Yahya ibn Muhammad has narrated to us – who said – ‘Abdur Rahman ibn al Mubarak has narrated to us from al Mu’tamir ibn Sulaiman — from his father — from Mujahid…, al Hakim has said that ‘Abdur Rahman ibn al Mubarak who is reliable and trustworthy, has solely narrated it from Mu’tamir from his father, and if it is the case then it is authentic, upon the criteria of Sheikhayn [al Bukhari and Muslim], although they did not narrate it, however the people have [mostly] narrated it from Mu’tamir from Layth from Mujahid.
I say that the correct version is that it is narrated from Layth from Mujahid. As for the narration of ‘Abdur Rahman it has errors from two angles
- Most of them narrate it from Mu’tamir, from Layth, as mentioned by al Hakim.
- ‘Abdur Rahman narrated it by taking the general path of narration from Mu’tamir, so he narrated it from his father since most of the time his narrations are from his father, and what is popularly known from the scholars is that those who narrate contrary to the regular path are preferred over the regular path since this indicates his memory.
As far as the matn is concerned, this incident has been narrated via a different chain from ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr ibn al ‘As, from his father, however the wording, “the killer of ‘Ammar and his marauder are in the fire,” do not appear.
Ahmed (2/164;206) has narrated from Yazid – who said – al ‘Awwam has narrated to us – who said – Aswad ibn Mas’ud narrated to us from Hanzalah ibn Khuwaylid al ‘Anbari who said: “While I was in the company of Muawiyah when suddenly two men came in disputing the head of ‘Ammar, each one of them saying, ‘I killed him,’ to which ‘Abdullah responded, ‘let the soul of one of you be pleased since I heard Allah’s Messenger salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam saying: “the transgressing group will kill him…”
Ibn Sa’d has also narrated it in al Tabaqat (3/253), al Bukhari in his Tarikh (3/39), al Nasa’i in al Khasa’is (164), all of them by way of Yazid with this chain. After narrating it in his Mujam al Mukhtass (pg.96) al Dhahabi says: “Its chain is good, since al Aswad has been ratified by Ibn Ma’in.’ It has also been narrated al Bukhari in his Tarikh (3/39), al Nasa’i in al Khasa’is (165), Abu Nuaim in his Hilyah (7/198), all by way of Muhammad ibn Jafar — from Shu’bah — from al ‘Awwam — from a man from Banu Shaiban — from Hanzalah ibn Suwaid…
I consider the first chain to be closest to that which is correct for two reasons:
- Shu’bah is known to sometimes err in the names.
- Yazid ibn Harun has with him in this narration the additional name of the narrator since he mentioned the teacher of al ‘Awwam as opposed to Shu’bah, although this is not a major difference since the person from Banu Shaiban is al ‘Anzi who was mentioned previously. [The tribes of] Shaiban and ‘Anzah join at Asad ibn Rabi’ah ibn Nizar, and Shaiban is combined with ‘Anzah now — as far as I am aware — since most of Rabi’ah is combined under ‘Anzah, and perhaps this is of very old as Shu’bah indicates by saying, “a man from Banu Shaiban, and he has also been ascribed to ‘Anzah in the narration of Yazid ibn Harun.” Although this is not the place where the discussion on the chain and verifying it ought to be, the point was merely to highlight the variance to the narration of Layth ibn Abi Sulaim.
Ibn Sa’d has narrated in al Tabaqat (3/253): Abu Muawiyah — from al A’mash — from ‘Abdur Rahman ibn Ziyad — from ‘Abdullah ibn al Harith who said: “I was travelling with Muawiyah on the return journey from Siffin, between him and ‘Amr ibn al ‘As when ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr ibn al ‘As said: “O my father, I had heard Allah’s Messenger saying to ‘Ammar: ‘Wayhak [an expression indicating sympathy] O son of Sumayyah, the transgressing party will kill you,’” to which ‘Amr said to Muawiyah, ‘do you hear what this one is saying?’
It has also been narrated by Ahmed (2/206) by way of al A’mash with the same chain, as well as by al Nasa’i in al Khasa’is (166-168), and he discussed the variations and different versions of this hadith, and narrations similar to this have been found with alternative chains.
The important part of all of this is that none of these variant narrations mention what has been mentioned by Layth in his narration, except the hadith of ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr in al Kabir of al Tabarani, however in that narration appears Muslim al Mala’i and he is considered weak as mentioned by al Haythami in Majma’ al Zawa’id (9/297).
There is another hadith, Ibn Sa’d relates in al Tabaqat (3/2510 from Ishaq ibn al Azraq – who said – ‘Awf al A’rabi narrated to us from Hassan — from his mother — from Umm Salamah radiya Llahu ‘anha, who said: “I heard the Messenger of Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam saying, ‘the rebellious party will kill ‘Ammar,’ I do not suppose him except to have said, ‘his killer will be in the fire.’”
I say that this addition is not correct, infact it is rejected, for two reasons:
- This hadith has been narrated via many chains besides the chain of ‘Awf al A’rabi — from Hassan — from his mother — from Umm Salamah radiya Llahu ‘anha as recorded by Muslim, Ahmed, al Tayalisi, Ibn Sa’d, al Bayhaqi in his Sunan and al Dala’il, al Nasa’i in al Kubra, al Tabarani and al Baghawi, and none of them have this addition. To the contrary, al Tabarani, in al Kabir (23/363) narrates via ‘Uthman ibn al Haytham and Howdhah ibn Khalifah, both of them, from ‘Awf, with the rest of the chain, but without this particular addition.
This narration has been recorded from other Sahabah as well and none mention this addition.
- ‘Awf expressed uncertainty regarding this addition — as it appears in the narration mentioned earlier — and all of these are clear reasons for the inaccuracy of the addition and it contradicting the more established versions.
Another variant chain has been narrated by Ibn Sa’d in al Tabaqat (3/259), al Hakim in al-Mustadrak (3/385-386), by way of Muhammad ibn ‘Umar — he is al Waqidi — who narrates from ‘Abdullah ibn al Harith — from his father — from ‘Umarah ibn Khuzaimah ibn Thabit — from ‘Amr ibn al ‘As that he said to those who brought their dispute to him: “By Allah, they are disputing about nothing except the Fire!” — and Allah knows best.
As for the incident of the murder of ‘Ammar by way of Abu al Ghadiyah, then that is established and no doubt it is a major sin. However, none has said of the Sahabah — may Allah be pleased with them all — that they do not sin or commit major sins.
The summary of it all is that the narration tracing back to the Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, “the killer of ‘Ammar and his marauder are in the fire,” there is speculation with regards to its reliability, and Allah knows best. As for the incident regarding the murder of ‘Ammar by way of Abu al Ghadiyah, that is established. [end quote]
I say that even if we consider the narration reliable, there is nothing that indicates the flaw of Muawiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu, since Muawiyah did not kill him, neither was he pleased with his murder. As for Ibn Taymiyyah, his words have been interfered with which results in a change in meaning. This is the verbatim quotation from the Fatawa of Ibn Taymiyyah (35/76):
… as for those who were pleased at the murder of ‘Ammar, his situation will be the same. What is known that there were many in the camp who were not pleased by the murder of ‘Ammar, like ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr ibn al ‘As and others besides him. In fact all the people [in that camp] were outraged at his murder, even Muawiyah and ‘Amr.
As such, whatever happened whether it be the fighting etc., happened on account of variant interpretation of the texts and situation and can be attributed to ijtihad [scholarly discretion]. Al Ash’ari has stated in al Ibanah (pg.78):
… likewise, what happened between ‘Ali and Muawiyah — may Allah be pleased with them both — occurred on account of ijtihad; and all the Sahabah are trustworthy; not accused in their religion. Allah has praised all of them and made it a religious duty to honour them all, and respect them all, and love them all, and to disassociate ourselves from anyone who ridicules any one of them. May Allah be pleased with them all.
 Al Maliki says in his book al Suhbah wal Sahabah (pg.119) of Sheikh ‘Abdullah al Sa’d: “Our teacher has excelled in much of what he has said of these [narrations] and he has authenticated some of their chains, even if he did not commit to the authenticity of the narration itself.” I — author — say: this is your deficiency in comprehension since the sheikh did not authenticate the narration but said instead, “in its chain there are problems,” and he only authenticated the incident of Abu al Ghadiyah killing ‘Ammar radiya Llahu ‘anhu as will follow.
 See the discussion on his name in the footnotes of Musnad Ahmed (11/97, Mu’assasah Risalah edition) – translator
 See al Tabaqat of Ibn Sa’d (3/253), al Hakim (3/386-387), Majma’ al Zawa’id (9/297) among others.
 Regarding what al Maliki has quoted from Ibn Taymiyyah, he has not produced the quote in its entirety and has thereby taken liberties by misrepresenting what has actually been said.