Sumayyah bint Khubbat (radiallahu anha) was one of the first seven people to be enlightened by Islam and swear allegiance to Nabi Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). She is among the leading greatest women companions. The Quraish of Makkah could not harm Muhammad (sallallahu alyhi wasallam) because of the power and position of his uncle Abu Talib. Abu Bakr As – Siddique (radiallahu anhu), his confidante and companion was also a very powerful man because of the wealth of his tribe and his own personal influence. But those who had accepted Islam were not spared any torture or torment.
Sumayyah bint Khubbat (radiallahu anha), her husband Yasir (radiallahu anhu) and her son ‘Ammar (radiallahu anhu) were often the targets of the cruelty of the disbelievers. On one occasion when Nabi Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) was walking pass the market place he saw all three members of this family being put through torture. Helpless, Nabi Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) could not rescue them. He consoled them and said, “Be patient O family of Yasir! For your final destination is Paradise”
Uthman (radiallahu anhu) also narrated that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) used to say these words to comfort the family. Once ‘Ammar (radiallahu anhu) managed to escape and reach Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and asked when the persecution of the innocent Muslims would end. Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) comforted him with a prayer to Allah Subhanahu wa ta ‘ala to protect and save the family of Yasir from the hell fire.
Amr ibn Hisham was one of Rasulullah’s (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) arch-enemies and a flag-bearer of disbelief and hatred towards Islam and Muslims. So much so, that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallsm) had given him the title “the Father of ignorance”- Abu Jahl.
Abu Jahl gave Sumayyah bint Khubbat (radiallahu anha) the worst kind of punishment, but she did not waver even for a second and remained as steady as a rock. He pressured, cajoled and threatened her to recant her belief but she bluntly refused and remained steadfast. That she could resist him so strongly angered him and in his rage he plunged his spear into her killing her. Sumayyah bint Khubbat (radiallahu anha) had the distinction of being the first woman martyr of Islam. This incident took place seven years before the Hijrah. Her husband Yasir (radiallahu anhu) also fell victim to the torture of the Quraish and was also killed. After the martyrdom of both his parents, ‘Ammar (radiallahu anha) took a special place in the affections of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) who used to address him lovingly as Ibn Sumayyah. Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) often spoke of the family of Yasir with the highest of praise.
Abdullah bin Mas’ood (radiallahu anhu) said that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) once said that when dissensions and disputes appeared among the people, Ibn Sumayyah would always stand by the right and just.