Sumayyah bint Khayyat


Saudi Arabia

Known for

One of the first converts to Islam;
First Female martyr

Sumayyah bint Khayyat


Sumayyah bint Khayyat was a companion of the Prophet Muhammad, said to be of Ethiopian descent. She converted to Islam alongside her husband, Yasir and their son, Ammar, making her one of the first seven converts to Islam. Sumayyah and her son were slaves who were in the possession of Abu Hudhaifah in Mecca. Abu Hudhaifah passed away before Islam was revealed but Sumayyah and her son remained of lower social ranking due to their history as slaves. The Quraysh, who were growing increasingly hostile against the Muslims, began persecuting Muslims who came from lower social ranks in 614. The Muslims of low rank, including Sumayyah and her family, were forced to stand in the Meccan heat for multiple days and were subjected to various methods of torture in an attempt to have them abandon the Prophet Muhammad. Sumayyah refused to denounce Islam and continued to undergo the torture. Abu Jahl is described as being the one to kill Sumayyah with a spear. This made Sumayyah the first shahida, the first woman to become a martyr, in the history of Islam. Ammar ibn Sumayyah survived the torture and continued to assist the Prophet Muhammad in spreading Islam. When Abu Jahl was killed in the Battle of Badr, it is said that the Prophet turned to Ammar and said, “Allah has killed your mother's killer.”