Sumayya bt. Khabbat

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Sumayya bt. Khabbat
Abu Talib Cemetery
Personal Information
Full NameSumayya bt. Khabbat
Well-Known Relatives'Ammar (son), Yasir (husband)
Place(s) of ResidenceMecca
Cause of Death/MartyrdomTorture by Abu Jahl
Burial PlaceAbu Talib Cemetery
Religious Information
Known forFirst female martyr of Islam

Sumayya bt. Khabbāt (Arabic: سمیّه بنت خبّاط) was the mother of 'Ammar b. Yasir –a famous companion of the Prophet (s)- and among the first people who converted to Islam. She was the first shahida (female martyr) in Islam.

Lineage and Her Life before Islam

Sumayya was the daughter of Khabbat and the female servant of Abu Hudhayfa b. al-Mughira –the chief of Banu Makhzum tribe.[1] Her husband was Yasir b. 'Amir al-'Anasi al-Madhhiji al-Qahtani, from Yemen. He and his two brothers, Malik and Harith, came to Mecca to find their forth brother who had been displaced because of drought, famine and the corruption of Yemeni government. When they lost their hope of finding him, Malik and Harith returned to Yemen; but Yasir stayed in Mecca and made an alliance with the chief of Banu Makhzum tribe - Abi Hudhayfa b. al-Mughira.[2]

Abu Hudhayfa married Sumayya bt. Khabbat, who was his chastest and most virtuous female servant, to Yasir and then liberated her and stated that the couple's children must be recognized as a free person.

Embracing Islam

After Muhammad (s) became a prophet, Yasir, Sumayya and their son, 'Ammar, were among the first people who embraced Islam and accepted to be exposed to various threats and risks for their beliefs.

Torture of Yasir and Sumayya

When this family embraced Islam, the Polytheists of Quraysh began to torture and persecute them. The tortures and persecutions were increasing day by day. Abu Jahl tortured them in hot pebbly lands of Mecca. His servants put heavy rocks on the chest of each of them and tortured severely.

Abu Jahl said to them: "One of these three thing will bring you salvation and comfort: 1. Insulting and blaspheming the Prophet (s) 2. Repudiation of him. 3. Worshiping al-Lat and al-'Uzza (names of two idols)."

But they just said "Allah Akbar" (God is greater) and "La ilaha illa Allah" (there is no god but Allah) and repeated the name of Prophet (s) and insulted the idols.[3]

Abu Jahl put iron armors on their bodies and keep them under the burning sun of the deserts of Mecca. The armor burned their flesh and the sun rays boiled their heads.[4]

Sympathy of the Prophet (s) with Yasir and Sumayya

The Prophet Muhammad (s) came to their house showing his sympathy, and said:

"Patience! O, the family of Yasir! Indeed your are promised to enter the Heaven."[5] He also turned his face toward the sky and said, "O, Allah! Forgive the family of Yasir. I did all I could for them."[6]

One day 'Ammar said to the Prophet (s): "O, Messenger of Allah! the torture of my mother [by polytheists] had overstepped the limit." The Prophet (s) told him, "Patience! O, Aba l-Yaqzan (kuniya of 'Ammar)" and then prayed for them, "O, Allah! do not burn them in your fire."[7]

Her Martyrdom

Finally, Yasir was martyred under tortures. His wife –Sumayya- who was an elderly woman at that time, continued to resist. After the martyrdom of Yasir, Abu Jahl always insulted her. Ravaged by anger, Abu Jahl ordered to fasten each of her legs to a camel and then they separated camels from each other.[8] Finally, Abu Jahl lost his patience and hit her on the stomach by a dagger or spear and ripped her stomach. Thus, this virtuous lady was martyred.[9]


Although the youth of Quraysh, who saw the scene of her torture, strived for putting out the light of Islam, they rescued 'Ammar from Abu Jahl's tortures so that he can bury his parents.[10]


  1. Majlisī, Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 18, p. 241.
  2. Qummī, Muntahā l-āmāl, p. 160-161.
  3. Sharaf al-Dīn, ʿAmmār Yāsir, pīshāhang-i Islām, p. 71.
  4. Qummī, Muntahā l-āmāl, vol. 1, p. 305.
  5. Qummī, Muntahā l-āmāl, vol. 1, p. 305.
  6. Sharaf al-Dīn, ʿAmmār Yāsir, pīshāhang-i Islām, p. 72.
  7. Qummī, Muntahā l-āmāl, vol. 1, p. 306.
  8. Amīn, Aʿyān al-Shīʿa, vol. 8, p. 272.
  9. Ibn al-Athīr, al-Kāmil fī l-tārīkh, p. 885; Majlisī, Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 18, p. 241.
  10. Ṣahābī, Farāzhā'ī az tārīkh payāmbar-i Islām, p. 117.


  • Amīn, al-Sayyid Muḥsin al-. Aʿyān al-Shīʿa. Beirut: Dār al-Tʿāruf li-l-Maṭbūʿāt, [n.d].
  • Ibn al-Athīr al-Jazarī, ʿAlī b. Abī l-Karam. Al-Kāmil fī l-tārīkh. Translated by Muḥammad Ḥusayn Rūhānī. 1st edition. Tehran: Asāṭīr, 1370 Sh.
  • Majlisī, Muḥammad Bāqir al-. Biḥār al-anwār. Edited by Muḥammad Bāqir Maḥmūdī. Beirut: Dār Iḥyāʾ al-Turāth al-ʿArabī, 1403 AH.
  • Qummī, Shaykh ʿAbbās. Muntahā l-āmāl. Qom: Nashr-i Dalīl, 1379 Sh.
  • Ṣahābī, Jaʿfar. Farāzhā'ī az tārīkh payāmbar-i Islām. Tehran: Daftar-i Nashr-i Farhang-i Islāmī, 1371 Sh.
  • Sharaf al-Dīn Ṣadr al-Dīn. ʿAmmār Yāsir, pīshāhang-i Islām wa parchamdār-i ʿAlī. Translated to Farsi by Sayyid Ghulām Riḍā Saʿīdī. Tehran: Āʾīne Jaʿfarī, [n.d].