Sumayya Bint Khabbat: the first female martyr of Islam

Sumayya Bint Khabbat was a slave

Sumayya Bint Khabbat رضي الله عنه is one of the first ladies to have accepted Islam. She was a slave in Makkah who got freed when she was married to her master’s friend. Her husband, named Yasir bin Ammar رضي الله عنه was a Yemeni who settled down in Makkah.

Soon the happily married couple was blessed with a baby boy who was named Ammar. Life wasn’t good for them. The people of Makkah looked down upon and bullied the couple which consisted of a foreigner man and once a slave. They worked hard to meet the ends.

Sumayya and Yasir immediately embraced Islam

Soon the religion of Islam started to spread in the city of Makkah. The powerful tribe known as the Quraish did not welcome the new religion and tortured its followers. The Quraish became monsters in their hate. They would physically abuse the Muslims, roast them on burning sand and would starve them.

When the religion reached Sumayya and Yasir, they readily accepted it. It was a beautiful religion that taught that master and slave, rich and poor, black and white all are equal. They knew that only a creator could be so just with its mankind. Yet their conversion to Islam was something not acceptable for the Quraish.

Abu Jahal tortured her husband to death

The three newly converted Muslims were tortured by Abu Jahal.  Abu Jahal made their lives miserable. He would treat them inhumanly, would hurt them and would humiliate them. He would wrap them up in iron and let them burn in the merciless sun in the desert.

When Prophet PBUH passed by them, he told them to remain patient as they have made their way to heavens. Soon Yasir died, leaving his son and wife even more miserable. His death did not affect the Quraish for they were heartless.

Abu Jahal accused Sumayya bint Khabbat

One day while he was torturing her, he got so frustrated that he said that the only reason she resists is that she has fallen in love with Muhammad. Otherwise, the ordinary, slave and a widow shall have no strength.

On this Sumayya lost her temper. She was in the grief of her husband’s death, she converted to Islam because it was a true religion and her faith was strong as she truly believed in Allah and His last Prophet PBUH. Who was he (Abu jahal) to accuse her, to point fingers at her and at her faith?

She said what she had in her heart and cursed the already cursed man. this was not something acceptable for Abu Jahal and he, in his anger, took out his spear and let it cross by Sumayya’s heart.

Abu Jahal stood on her body in disgust

Abu Jahal stood upon her body and in a disgust set it aside with his feet. He was not ashamed of his act. He was not ashamed of killing an innocent. What bad was there for him if a family had converted to Islam, yet he killed the pious couple.

Sumayya died on that day, yet she died for Islam. She died protecting her faith and fighting the unjust. She died while defeating the Quraish. Her death just showed how insecure the Quraish were because of Islam that when an ordinary family embraced it, they got so fearful that they killed them.

Sumayya رضي الله عنه has marked herself in history. She is among the first Muslims to have died for the sake of Islam and among the first 7 people who embraced Islam.

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Steve has been living in Saudi Arabia since 2013 and writing about Saudi rules, regulations, guides, and procedures since then.