Hadrat Khabbâb bin Arat
Hadrat Khabbâb bin Arat was one of the persons who were tortured, to force him to abandon his religion. Hadrat Khabbâb was also without relatives or friends. He was a slave of a polytheist woman named Ummu Anmâr. Since he had no relatives who would protect him, the polytheists used to gather, remove his clothes and stick his body with thorns. Sometimes, they made him wear a shirt of iron on his naked body and made him wait in the sun. They used to press stones which they heated under the sun or in fire on his naked body and say, “Abandon your religion. Worship Lât and Uzzâ!” Khabbâb persisted in his faith and resisted them by saying, “Lâ ilâha ill-Allâh, Muhammadun Rasûl-Allâh.”
One day, the polytheists gathered and set a fire at the village square. They tied up Hadrat Khabbâb and brought him there. They undressed him and made him lie over the fire. They would either make him abandon his religion, or they would burn him in the fire. Hadrat Khabbâb, who was forced to lie on the fire, invoked, “O my Allah! You see my condition, you know my situation. Fix my belief in my heart, grant me a great patience!” One of the polytheists, with his foot, stepped on Hadrat Khabbâb’s chest. However, they did not know that Allahu ta’âlâ protected the believers.
Years after, when they asked about this incident to Khabbâb, he opened his back and showed the wounds and said, “They set a fire for me, then, threw me into it. Only, my flesh put that fire out.”
While they tortured Hadrat Khabbâb in this manner, his proprietress Ummu Anmâr used to heat an iron rod in the fire and press it against and cauterize his head. He would endure all the pains for his religion and would not perform what they offered and did not abandon his faith.
One day Hadrat Khabbâb went to the presence of our beloved Prophet and said, “O Rasûlullah! Wherever the polytheists see me, they burn me with fire. In the house, my owner, Ummu Anmâr, burns my head with a heated iron. I beg for your prayer!” Then he showed the burns on his back and his head. Our Prophet ‘alaihis-salâm pitied him much, he could not bare the torments Hadrat Khabbâb endured in order to not leave his religion and he invoked, “O my Rabb! Help Khabbâb!” Janâb-i Haqq accepted His Messenger’s invocation immediately and gave a vehement headache to Ummu Anmâr. Ummu Anmâr would groan all night due to her headache. They said to her that she should burn her head with a fire-heated iron as cure. In the end, she called Khabbâb and ordered him to heat the iron bar in the fire and burn her head… Hadrat Khabbâb would burn her head with the iron…
In the first days of Islam, the polytheists did not care about Khabbâb bin Arat. But, the number of Muslims increased day by day. Finally, they had to take the matter serious. They increased the torments done to Hadrat Khabbâb. They hit, beat, wounded and tortured him greatly.
Despite all, Hadrat Khabbâb made no compromises about his faith. But the tortures and torments had become unbearable. Explaining the events to the Master of the worlds, he asked him, “O Rasûlullah! Could you say a prayer so that we will be freed from these tortures we have been suffering?” Upon this, our Master Rasûlullah said, “Among the communities which came before you, there were such people that they would not apostatize, even though their skins and fleshes would be excoriated with iron combs. They would be divided into two pieces from their head with a saw but still they would not apostatize. Allahu ta’âlâ will consummate this (Islâm) for sure. He will make it superior to all other religions. So that a man traveling alone from San’a to Khadramût on his mount will be afraid of nobody except Allahu ta’âlâ and concerned about nothing except a wolf attack to his sheep herd. But, you have been hastening.” and said a prayer by patting him on his back. These nice words of Rasûlullah, which are cure and healing for souls, had relieved Khabbâb’s pains.