Sumayyah Bint Khayyaat


Published on Facebook

by Imam Na'eem Abdullah

Most of know I don't care anything about these days wherein they arbitrarily honor this or that person AND THEN FORGET OR DISHONOR THEM FOR THE REST OF THE YEAR.

But anyway, a SPECIAL WOMEN just came to mind and I felt duty bound to remind us of her on this occasion while everyone is showing appreciation for the women in their lives.


She was one of the early Muslims - a COMPANION of Prophet Muhammad (may Allah bless him and grant him peace).

She was and is an excellent example of how to stand tall while facing the pressures of an oppressive society hell bent on forcing its weaker members to abandon Islam - the true faith.

She was a former slave in pre-Islamic, pagan Makka. This designation put her at (or near) the bottom of the social hierarchy.

Our Islamic literature is replete with Sumayyah's and her family's public torture. Yet, even though her story is well known, attempts have still been made to white-wash and water down her legacy.

In the movie "The Message" she was portrayed is a pale Arab woman. However, in the 30 part, Arabic language series (with English subtitles) "OMAR" (about the life & times of Umar ibn al-Khattaab), her color was accurately depicted! She was what many would call today - a BLACK ARAB or an AFRO-ARAB. In fact, in those days most of the Arabs would be considered " Black Arabs" by today's standards.

She died standing tall for the DEEN OF ISLAM - even though she was physically tied down. She refused to return to paganism and disbelief and died at the hands Abu Jahl who impaled her in front of her husband and son! SHE WAS THE FIRST SHAHEEDAH or martyr in Islam!

Sumayyah represents a legacy, inspiration and role model we can all be proud of! Read up on her and get connected to this Sahaabah, this woman, this wife, this mother, this black woman and MARTYR!

She is included among those who Allah describes:

"And do not say about those who are slain in the cause of Allah that they are dead. (They are not dead) Rather they are alive but you can not perceive them" - Qur'an 2:154

May Allah have Mercy on the soul of Sumayyah bint Khayyaat. And may He continue to manifest His pleasure of her.