Women in Islam – Sumayyah bint Khabat

To this lady’s family, the prophet SAW said “O people of Yassir! Be patient because your destination is Paradise” [authentic]. So what’s the story?

Three brothers set out from Yemen heading to Mecca. They wanted to experience its culture and take part in its social activities. Their names were Yassir, Harith & Malik. After a while, both Harith & Malik returned back to Yemen, but Yassir stayed in Mecca.

As he settled in Mecca, Yassir eventually got married to Summyah; a lady highly honored in Islam. And in this article we’ll learn why.

Sumayyah was one of the first seven people to be enlightened by Islam and swear allegiance to the Prophet SAW. She is among the foremost of the greatest women companions. And do you know what she was doing before marrying Yassir? Sumayyah was a slave girl, but because in Islam a person’s value doesn’t depend on color, race, sex or nationality, she is an honored companion.

The people of Quraysh couldn’t harm much the prophet SAW out of respect for his uncle Abu Talib. But it was people like Sumayyah who suffered. Sumayyah, her husband Yassir, and their son, Ammar, were very often the target of Quraysh’s cruelty.

On one occasion, the prophet SAW was passing by the marketplace when he saw all three of them being put through the worst form of torture. And as helpless as he was back then, the prophet SAW couldn’t help but to console them, with the words every Muslim now memorizes by heart:

“Be patient O family of Yassir, for your final destination is Paradise” [authentic].

Abu Jahl gave Sumayyah bint Khabat the worst kind of punishment, but she did not waver even for a second and remained as steady as a rock. Abu Jahl tried to pressure Sumayyah, cajole with her, and threaten her to recant, but she bluntly refused. Abu Jahl couldn’t accept the fact that Sumayyah could resist him so stubbornly. So out of rage, he thrust his spear into her.

Abu Jahl’s act proved to be a fatal blow, and as a result Sumayyah bint Khabat died, with the honor of being the first martyr in Islam. Sometime later, Sumayyah’s husband, Yassir, also fell victim to the torture of Quraysh and died.

After the martyrdom of both his parents, Ammar took a special place in the affection of the prophet SAW. The prophet SAW respected Sumayyah so much that after her death he would lovingly call Ammar ‘Ibn Sumayyah’ or “Son of Sumayyah”.

Sumayyah’s family sacrificed their lives, all in order to nourish the truth, and earn the highest rewards in the HereAfter. It’s about people like Sumayyah that Allah SWT says:

“Verily, Allah has purchased of the believers their lives and their properties for (the price) that theirs shall be Paradise” (9:111).

May Allah SWT be please with Sumayyah bint Khabat, her family, and every martyr in Islam. Ameen!