An enslaved young boy
A woman named Um Ammar Al Khuzaieea was looking for someone to help her out with her chores, as well as be a source of income for her. Khabbab Ibn Al Aratt was barely a teenager and was distinguished in his appearance. Um Ammar bought him and assumed he was Abyssinian like many others sold in the market of Mecca. However, he told her that he was a black Arab from Banu Tamim. As a child, two Arab tribes fought together and his tribe lost. The men were killed and the children were taken as slaves by the victorious tribe and later sold into slavery.
An Excellent Blacksmith
Um Ammar had Khabbab trained under a blacksmith .He soon became an expert blacksmith who showed great talent. Along with his beautiful swords, he was also known for his high character and integrity.
Around the age of 16-18, as soon as he heard about Islam, it made sense to him and he accepted it right away. He went to Prophet Mohammad, declared his submission and pledged to him.
When Um Ammar found out she told her brother Sibaa’ to take care of it. Her brother and a group of young men asked Khabbab if he had left their religion. He replied to them, that he never worshipped or believed in the idols that they believe in and that he was indeed a Muslim and believed in Allah. As soon as he said that they beat him severely until he became unconscious. They used the same iron that he used for his craft that had been so profitable for Um Ammar.
When he regained consciousness, they asked him again and he replied the same way, refusing to deny his Islam. They continued to beat him, starved him and experimented with many different forms of torture on him. They threw burning hot coals on his back and with the sizzling of his flesh, it melted off his body. He screamed in pain but there was no one to come to protect him or defend him. Upon seeing him speak with Prophet Mohammad, Um Ammar tortured him herself by running a red hot iron comb through his scalp and burning his skin. He endured all this torture for the sake of Allah. Eventually Abu Bakr (ra) offered to purchase him from Um Ammar and he became a free man.
A Faithful Companion
Khabbab became a companion of Prophet Mohammad and he continued to be harassed. He accompanied Prophet Mohammad in every battle.
Once in his frustration, he asked
“O, Messenger of Allah, aren’t you going to ask Allah to help us?”
The Prophet Mohammad sat up, noticeably angered and replied, “people before us were tortured even more than you, yet they didn’t abandon their religion, Allah will surely give victory to this deen, but you are hasty.” This was a reminder by Prophet Mohammad the believer must always be patient, hopeful and confident in Allah’s plan and help. He told him that we may not live to see the victory of this deen, but it will surely come.
Khabbab was a notable companion, teaching others about Islam, including Fatima ibn Khattab, her husband Saeed, and Umar ibn Khattab himself. Later, when Umar became the caliph, he would remember all the hardships and torture with Bilal and Khabbab. Umar praised Khabbab and Bilal for all they did for Islam. Umar had seen many tortured in his lifetime, but none as much as Khabbab when he saw the flesh still raw on his back and unhealed.
The promise of the victory of Islam that Prophet Mohammad had made to him was fulfilled as he saw Islam spread across the world and the strength of the caliphate of Umar (ra). Allah had surely made Islam victorious, and Allah allowed Khabbab to witness it.