The disbelievers of Makkah inflicted so much cruelty to the Holy Nabi صَلَّی اللّٰہُ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ وَاٰلِہٖ وَسَلَّم and to the poor Muslims that even the soil of Makkah trembled. If these Muslims had been killed immediately, it would have been easier for them but disbelievers were burning in the fire of fury [i.e. anger], determined to take revenge. They wanted Muslims to give up Islam and to become polytheists and idol-worshippers. Hence, instead of killing Muslims, they tortured and tormented them to an extremely great extent. But, by Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ, Muslims were steadfast and staunch. It was as if even the peaks of mountains saw in astonishment how steadfast these faithful followers of Islam were! The stone-hearted, cruel and brutal disbelievers made every possible effort to inflict extreme cruelty to the poor and helpless Muslims, but they could not shake the belief of any Muslim even a bit. Not even a single Muslim child gave up Islam. No Muslim became disbeliever or Murtad.
The disbelievers of Makkah treated these poor Muslims so cruelly and brutally that even a mountain would perhaps collapse, if it were in place of them. In the burning sun, the deserts of Arabia are hot like fire. The disbelievers would injure the backs of these Muslims by whipping them and would make them lie on hot sand on their injured backs. They would then place heavy stones on their chests so that they would not turn over1. Their bodies were branded with fire-heated iron rods. They were dipped in water and hence they would feel suffocated. Wrapped up in mats, they were made to inhale smoke.Writhing2 in agony and anxiety, they felt suffocated.
Sayyiduna Khabbaab Bin Al-Arat رَضِىَ اللهُ تَعَالٰی عَـنْهُ accepted Islam when the Holy Nabiصَلَّی اللّٰہُ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ وَاٰلِہٖ وَسَلَّم was staying in the home of Sayyiduna Arqam Bin Abu Arqam رَضِىَ اللهُ تَعَالٰی عَـنْهُ. Only a few men had embraced Islam until that time. The people of Quraysh tortured him very much. He رَضِىَ اللهُ تَعَالٰی عَـنْهُ was even made to lie on burning coals with his bare back and a person would stand on his chest. The fluid from his burnt back extinguished the burning coals. Much later on, Sayyiduna Khabbaab رَضِىَ اللهُ تَعَالٰی عَـنْهُ told the incidence to Ameer-ul-Mu`mineen Sayyiduna ‘Umar رَضِىَ اللهُ تَعَالٰی عَـنْهُ, exposing his back with white spots on it. Seeing it, Sayyiduna ‘Umar رَضِىَ اللهُ تَعَالٰی عَـنْهُ became sad and was moved to tears.3
Sayyiduna Bilal رَضِىَ اللهُ تَعَالٰی عَـنْهُ was a slave of a disbeliever – Umayyah Bin Khalaf. With a rope tied around his neck, Sayyiduna Bilal رَضِىَ اللهُ تَعَالٰی عَـنْهُ was dragged to streets and marketplaces. He was hit repeatedly on his back with sticks. In the burning sun, he was made to lie on hot sand with a so heavy stone on his chest that his tongue would stick out. The disbeliever Umayyah said to him, ‘Give up Islam, otherwise, you will die while being dragged in the same way.’ But Sayyiduna Bilal رَضِىَ اللهُ تَعَالٰی عَـنْهُ stood firm even in this condition. He would loudly say ‘اَحَد، اَحَد’ i.e. Almighty is One, Almighty is One.4
(Seerat Ibn Hishaam, vol. 1, pp. 317-318)
The disbelievers of the Quraysh would make Sayyiduna ‘Ammar Bin Yaasir رَضِىَ اللهُ تَعَالٰی عَـنْهُ lie on his back on hot sand and would beat him so much that he would get unconscious. After his mother, lady Sumayyah accepted Islam. Abu Jahl threw his lance at her under navel area, martyring her. Sayyiduna Yaasir رَضِىَ اللهُ تَعَالٰی عَـنْهُ, who was the father of Sayyiduna ‘Ammar رَضِىَ اللهُ تَعَالٰی عَـنْهُ, was beaten several times by the disbelievers. At last, he was beaten to death and was martyred.
The disbelievers of Makkah would inflict harm on Sayyiduna Suhayb Roomi رَضِىَ اللهُ تَعَالٰی عَـنْهُ and would beat him so much that he رَضِىَ اللهُ تَعَالٰی عَـنْهُ would remain unconscious for hours. At the time of his migration, the disbelievers said that he رَضِىَ اللهُ تَعَالٰی عَـنْهُ could migrate to Madinah on the condition that he رَضِىَ اللهُ تَعَالٰی عَـنْهُ left all of his wealth and possessions. He رَضِىَ اللهُ تَعَالٰی عَـنْهُ agreed happily and migrated to Madinah, without the wealth of the world but with the wealth of Iman.5
Sayyiduna Abu Fakeehah رَضِىَ اللهُ تَعَالٰی عَـنْهُ was a slave of Safwan Bin Umayyah who was a disbeliever. Sayyiduna Abu Fakeehah embraced Islam along with Sayyiduna Bilal رَضِیَ الـلّٰـهُ تَعَالٰی عَـنْهُمَا. When Safwan became aware that Abu Fakeehah رَضِىَ اللهُ تَعَالٰی عَـنْهُ had become Muslim, Safwan tied a rope around his neck and dragged him. Then, making him lie on his back on fire-like hot sand, he placed a heavy stone on his chest. While the disbelievers were dragging him, they saw a dung beetle by chance on the way. Taunting him, Umayyah said, ‘Is it your Almighty?’ Sayyiduna Abu Fakeehah رَضِىَ اللهُ تَعَالٰی عَـنْهُ said, ‘O the child of a disbeliever! Shut up! The Almighty of mine and yours is Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ.’ Full of anger and wrath, Umayyah squeezed his neck so hard that he رَضِىَ اللهُ تَعَالٰی عَـنْهُ fell unconscious. People thought that he had died.
Similarly, Sayyiduna ‘Aamir Bin Fuhayrah رَضِىَ اللهُ تَعَالٰی عَـنْهُ was also beaten so much that he would feel pain in his entire body.6
Sayyidatuna Lubaynah رَضِیَ اللهُ تَعَالٰی عَنْهَا was a slave-girl. When Sayyiduna ‘Umar رَضِىَ اللهُ تَعَالٰی عَـنْهُ was in the state of disbelief, he would beat her so much that he would get tired. But she would not utter even a single word of complaint. She would say very bravely and boldly, ‘O ‘Umar! If you do not believe in the truthful Rasool of the Almighty, He عَزَّوَجَلَّ will certainly take revenge on you for it.' 7
Sayyidatuna Zinneerah رَضِیَ اللهُ تَعَالٰی عَنْهَا was a slave-girl of the family of Sayyiduna ‘Umar رَضِىَ اللهُ تَعَالٰی عَـنْهُ. When she became Muslim, the disbelievers beat her so much that she lost her eyesight. But Allah عَزَّوَجَلَّ bestowed upon her eyesight again by the blessing of the prayer made by the Holy Nabi صَلَّی اللّٰہُ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ وَاٰلِہٖ وَسَلَّم . Seeing it, the polytheists said that it was the effect of the magic done by Muhammad ( صَلَّی اللّٰہُ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ وَاٰلِہٖ وَسَلَّم ).8
Similarly, Sayyidatuna Nahdiyyah and Sayyidatuna Umm-e-‘Ubays رَضِیَ الـلّٰـهُ تَعَالٰی عَـنْهُمَا were also slave girls. After they embraced Islam, they were tortured and tormented by the disbelievers too much. But these Muslim ladies endured pains and sufferings with great patience and thankfulness and nothing could shake their belief in Islam.9
The companion of the Holy Nabi صَلَّی اللّٰہُ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ وَاٰلِہٖ وَسَلَّم in the cave, Sayyiduna Abu Bakr Siddeeq رَضِىَ اللهُ تَعَالٰی عَـنْهُ sacrificed his wealth wholeheartedly for Islam. He saved the lives of most of these poor and helpless Muslims. Paying great amounts of money, he رَضِىَ اللهُ تَعَالٰی عَـنْهُ bought Sayyiduna Bilal, ‘Aamir Bin Fuhayrah, Abu Fakeehah, Lubaynah, Zinneerah, Nahdiyyah and Umm-e-‘Ubays رَضِىَ الـلّٰـهُ تَعَالٰی عَـنْهُم. He then freed all of them, protecting them from sufferings and tortures.10
When Sayyiduna Abu Zar Ghifari رَضِىَ اللهُ تَعَالٰی عَـنْهُ joined the fold of Islam, he رَضِىَ اللهُ تَعَالٰی عَـنْهُ stayed in the Haram of the Ka’bah in Makkah as a traveller for many days. Every day, he رَضِىَ اللهُ تَعَالٰی عَـنْهُ would loudly say that he رَضِىَ اللهُ تَعَالٰی عَـنْهُ was a Muslim. As a result, the disbelievers would beat him so much that his entire body would bleed. In those days, he رَضِىَ اللهُ تَعَالٰی عَـنْهُ had nothing to eat and drink except for the Zam Zam water.11
It should be kept in mind that the disbelievers of Makkah inflicted cruelty not only to the Muslims who were poor and slaves but also to the rich and well-off Muslims. Sayyiduna Abu Bakr Siddeeq رَضِىَ اللهُ تَعَالٰی عَـنْهُ was one of the rich and respected individuals of Makkah but the disbelievers of the Quraysh beat him so much in the Haram of the Ka’bah that his head was covered in blood. Similarly, Sayyiduna ‘Usman-e-Ghani رَضِىَ اللهُ تَعَالٰی عَـنْهُ was very wealthy and powerful. When he رَضِىَ اللهُ تَعَالٰی عَـنْهُ became Muslim, his own paternal uncle tied him with ropes and beat him a lot. Sayyiduna Zubayr Bin Al-‘Awwam رَضِىَ اللهُ تَعَالٰی عَـنْهُ was a very influential and dominant person. When he رَضِىَ اللهُ تَعَالٰی عَـنْهُ accepted Islam, his paternal uncle wrapped him up in a mat and made him inhale smoke; he would feel suffocated.
Sayyiduna Sa’eed Bin Zayd رَضِىَ اللهُ تَعَالٰی عَـنْهُ was a cousin of Sayyiduna ‘Umar and was the husband of his sister. He was also a very respected and rich person. When he رَضِىَ اللهُ تَعَالٰی عَـنْهُ became Muslim and Sayyiduna ‘Umar [who had not yet embraced Islam] became aware of it, he tied him with a rope and beat him. He also slapped his sister, Fatimah Bint Al-Khattab رَضِیَ اللهُ تَعَالٰی عَنْهَا, so hard that her earrings fell down and blood flowed from her face.12