Among the earliest converts to Islam, there were four who belonged to the ‘lowest of the low’: Sumayyah (rtaf), Yasar (rtam), Bilal (rtam) and Khabbab ibn Al-Aratt (rtam). As all of them were slaves, they had had limited interaction with the Prophet (sa) and only basic knowledge of Islam. Their faith stemmed from their sincere dedication to Tawheed and an unwavering belief in the truth of the Hereafter.
Why did they accept Islam so readily?
As impoverished slaves, they had nothing to lose in life – no status, no prestige or privilege, no wealth. For them, to accept Islam whole heartedly actually meant a gain in a world, whose chaos and violence made them perpetual targets of humiliation, servitude, and abuse. They realized that the only justification for such an existence, the only reward for bearing their lot in life was a belief that they would be recompensed in the Hereafter for their patience and willingness to do good sincerely.
Why did they withstand the torture?
Abuse was ‘normal’ for slaves. The social structure offered no protection or accountability, as in society they held no value as human beings. They realized their life was only as precious as their faith, for only that could guarantee them eternal peace in the Hereafter.
This is an excerpt from the print issue.
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