The biography of Suhayb Ar-Roomi
Fatwa No: 306346

  • Fatwa Date:19-12-2015 - Rabee' Al-Awwal 8, 1437
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Question

Assalaamu alaykum. I would like to know the story of Suhaib ar Roomi, may Allaah be pleased with him. May Allaah reward you.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

The full name of the honorable companion Suhayb  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him is Suhayb ibn Sinaan ibn ʻAbd ʻAmr ibn ʻUqayl ibn ʻAamer. His mother was Salma bint Quʻayd, and his nickname was Abu Yahya An-Namiri. He had very red skin and was not quite tall. In fact, he was not a Roman; rather, he was an Arab from the tribe An-Namir ibn Qaasit, as was cited by ʻAbd Al-Barr, Ath-Thahabi, and Ibn Katheer  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  them. The scholars said that he was nicknamed 'Suhayb Ar-Roomi", meaning 'The Roman,' because he was captured by the Romans in his early childhood and learned their language. He was seized from Nineveh village, northern Iraq, and his father and paternal uncle worked for the Persian king Khosrau. He was then brought to Makkah and bought by ʻAbdullaah ibn Judʻaan Al-Qurashi At-Taymi. It was also said that he escaped and went to Makkah where he allied with ʻAbdullaah ibn Judʻaan.

Suhayb  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him was one of the first Muslims and witnessed the Battle of Badr. He embraced Islam with ʻAmmaar ibn Yaasir  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him in the early days of Islam. ʻAmmaar said, "I met Suhayb by the door of Al-Arqam’s house, and we went in together to meet the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) who invited us to Islam. We embraced Islam and spent the day there and then secretly left the house at night."

He  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him was one of the first companions to proclaim their Islam in Makkah. Mujaahid  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said, "The first ones to proclaim their Islam were the Messenger of Allaah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) Abu Bakr, Bilaal, Khabbaab, and Suhayb."

He was tortured and persecuted for that by the men of Quraysh. ʻUmar ibn Al-Hakam  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said:

"ʻAmmaar ibn Yaaser was tortured very severely, to the extent that he could no longer know what he was saying; and Suhayb was tortured very severely, to the extent that he could no longer know what he was saying, until the following verse was revealed (which means): {Then, indeed your Lord, to those who emigrated after they had been compelled (to renounce their religion) and thereafter fought (for the cause of Allaah) and were patient - indeed, your Lord, after that, is Forgiving and Merciful.}" [Quran 16:110]

Ibn ʻAbbaas  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him also reported that the following verse was revealed in relation to Suhayb  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him and a group of Muslims: Allaah, The Exalted, says (what means): {And of the people is he who sells himself, seeking means to the approval of Allaah. And Allaah is kind to (His) servants.} [Quran 2:207] The disbelievers of Makkah tortured Suhayb and these Muslims to make them return to disbelief.

When Suhayb wanted to migrate (from Makkah to Madeenah), the disbelievers of Makkah said to him, "We shall not let you escape from us with your life and your money. You came to Makkah weak and poor and you have acquired so much." Suhayb replied, "What would you say if I leave you my wealth? Would you then leave me alone?" They agreed, and Suhayb  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him left his wealth to them and set off in great haste for Madeenah. When the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) saw Suhayb, he was very happy and said, "Suhayb has profited! Suhayb has profited!"

He was an honorable man who had a great deal of respect. He had many children, including eight sons: ʻUthmaan, Sayfi, Hamzah, Saʻd, ʻAbbaad, Habeeb, Saaleh, and Muhammad. When ʻUmar was stabbed, he delegated Suhayb to lead the Muslims in the prayer until those nominated by 'Umar would select the new Muslim Caliph. He  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him was known for his generosity and kindness. He passed away in Madeenah in Shawwaal, 38 AH. He distanced himself during the days of the Fitnah (between Ali and Mu'aawiyah  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  them both). [Briefly excerpted: Siyar Aʻlaam An-Nubalaa’ (The Lives of Noble Figures)]

The above mentioned hadeeth (Suhayb has profited!) was cited by Ibn Saʻd, 3:227-228, on the authority of Hawthah ibn Khaleefah through ʻAwf and Abu ʻUthmaan An-Nahdi, and the reporters in its chain of narration were trustworthy, as was asserted by the reviser of Siyar Aʻlaam An-Nublaa’.

Allaah knows best.

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