Sumayyah bint Khayyat
Mecca, Saudi Arabia
First Muslim martyr and female
Yasir ibn Amir
Horayth ibn Yasir, Ammar ibn Yasir, Abdullah ibn Yasir
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Sumayyah bint Khayyat (Arabic: سمية بنت خياطّ, died 615 C.E.) (black Ethiopian woman) is known in the Islamic traditions as the first person in history to be martyred for having adopted the faith of Islam, in pre-Hijra Mecca. Sumayyah was the wife of Yasir ibn Amirand the mother of Ammar ibn Yasir, both well-known early entrants. The earliest reference to the incident is found in Ibn Ishaq's (died 761) biography of Muhammad, Siratu Rasulullah ("Biography of the Messenger of God").
2Conversion to Islam
3Persecution and death
4The name 'Sumayyah'
She was slave of Abu Hudhaifah ibn al-Mughirah, who later gave her in marriage to Yasir ibn Amir. She bore Yasir three sons: Horayth, Ammar and Abdullah. They were later freed by Abu Hudhaifah.
Conversion to Islam
Yasir, Sumayyah and Ammar were well-known early converts to Islam; all converted to Islam between 610 and 613.
Persecution and death
By 615 C.E, five years after Muhammad's declaration of prophethood, persecution of followers of the new faith came to an active phase when the most steadfast members of the young community, such as the African slave Bilal, were subjected to torture and the local leaders proclaimed a ban of trade with the Muslims, prohibiting citizens of Mecca from providing food and medicine to members of the new movement. These were followed by the murder of Sumayyah by a Meccan tribal chief Abu Jahl and others.
"The Makhzum clan used to take out Ammar ibn Yasir with his father and mother, who were Muslims, in the heat of the day and expose them to the heat of Mecca, and the Apostle passed by them and said, so I have heard, ′Patience, O family of Yasir! Your meeting-place will be Paradise.' They killed his mother, for she refused to abandon Islam." The date assigned to Sumayyah's death is c. 615. Muslims will always honour her status as the first martyr of Islam.
The name 'Sumayyah'
The name of the person Sumayyah is not explicitly mentioned in Ibn Ishaq. It is a deduction from the reference to her son as Ammar "ibn" Sumayya, meaning Ammar "son-of" Sumayya, in Ibn Ishaq.