Yasir bin 'Amir Al- 'Ansiy came from Yemen to Makkah with
the desire and intention to dwell in it forever by the holy shrine and live
happily with a beautiful wife and a small family.
He chose Abu Hudhayfah to be his ally in the new city. It
was a decision he was confident of since the man belonged to Banu Makhzum, the
outstanding clan in the A tribe of Quraysh.
Yasir lived under the protection of Abu Hudhayfah, whom he
loved. Afterwards, Abu Hudhayfah
offered him to marry his favorite female slave, Sumayah. And
so, Yasir married Sumayah bint Khubbat after her master had manumitted her. The
Makkan society was happy for this marriage between one of their good- mannered
allies and a respectable former slave.
The offspring from that marriage were two boys named 'Ammar
and 'Abdullah. The family devoted all its time to rearing them in the typical
image of young Quraysh men.
Sumayah gave all her love and care to the two boys till
they grew up in the way the parents always dreamed of. 'Ammar and 'Abdullah
were distinguished among the Quraysh youth for their astuteness and good
manners, even though the youth of Quraysh were the most highly
esteemed youth of the whole Arab Peninsula for their outstanding
moral code. After Abu Hudhayfah's death, the family passed through a new stage,
which it coped with, despite the sorrow.
The news of the revelation struck Makkah like thunder, and
from the onset, the family of Makhzum displayed their utmost hatred of the new
faith. The chief of the clan was Abul Hakam bin Hisham, known later as Abu Jahl.
The news reached Yasir as well as all the Makkan families.
They were well aware of the attitude of their allies, Banu Makhzum, and Abu
Jahl towards Islam.
Yasir wanted to hear about the new faith from its source,
so he met the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) himself in Dar Al-Arqam.
He heard with awe what the Prophet had to say and declared his faith in it.
Then he hurried to Sumayah, and she, too, submitted after hearing
her husband's explanation. Afterwards they discussed with their
sons about Islam, and they, in turn, followed their parents' path. The whole
family hurried to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and announced their Islam.
Although the Islamic da'wah was underground due to the
extreme torture of Muslims perpetrated by the Quraysh, some of the early
Muslims insisted upon announcing their adoption of Islam. Among them was Yasir,
his wife, and his son 'Ammar, and this announcement enraged Banu Makhzum.
The leaders of Banu Makkzum approached the Yasir family and
asked, "Oh, our dearest allies, is what we have heard about you
Yasir asked, "What have you heard about us?"
"We have heard that you swore allegiance to Muhammad?
"Yes, we did."
"Don't you know that he insults our idols, degrades our
beliefs, and criticizes our ancestors?"
"And you followed him despite this?"
"Yes, we believe in Allah and what His Messenger brings."
"Have you ceased to believe in our idols, Al-Lat, Al-Uzza,
"Yes, we have ceased to believe in Al-Lat, Al- Uzza
The Makhzum clansmen then turned to Sumayah to see if she
agreed with her husband, and she added, "1 affirm my belief in Allah as my
god and Muhammad as His Messenger."
They said, "Then, we will torture y0u severely."
The family of Yasir cried, "Do whatever you want, By
Allah, we will never go back from the right after we have come to know
On his saying this, the oppressors immediately grabbed hold
of the three of them, chained them, and dragged them to the desert area of
Makkah on the hot sand under the burning sun. They whipped and kicked them, but
the family did not give in. Their fury was so intense, they stooped low enough
to torture an old woman like Sumayah. But the more they tortured her, the
stronger her faith grew.
The Muslim community at that time was too weak to be able
to offer any help to the family of Yasir, as many of them were Muslim secretly.
Even the Prophet himself (peace be upon him) could only help them by his du'a'.
It relieved the family to hear the Prophet (peace be upon
him) telling them, "Yasir, have patience, Paradise
will be yours."
And Paradise was the only thing the Yasir family strove
for. This is why the Prophet's promise only gave them a greater power of resistance.
At last, the Mahzum chief, Abu Jahl, came and saw the strength in Sumayah. He
tried to win her over to his side, but she did not listen.
Then he threatened her and waved his spear in her face, but
she only smiled sarcastically. Driven mad by her smile, the man moved to stab
her in the abdomen, but it slipped from his hand and pierced her in the private
parts, killing her.
Thus, Sumayah died a martyr, while Abu Jahl is 1 covered in
shame, both in this life and the life to come. The Prophet (peace be upon him)
prayed for the Yasir family saying, "Oh Allah, do not admit any one of the
family of Yasir to Hellfire."
Sumayah was raised to the presence of Allah where she
awaits the Prophet (peace be upon him) in Paradise as he promised her. It is
indeed glorious to all Muslim women that the first martyr in Islam was a woman.