The First Seven (may Allah be pleased with them all)
‛Abdullah ibn Mas‛ood (may Allah be pleased with him) said, "The first group to openly proclaim their Islam consisted of seven people: The Messenger of Allah (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) Abu Bakr; ‛Ammaar; ‛Ammaar's mother; Sumayyah; Suhaib; Bilaal; and Al-Miqdaad (may Allah be pleased with them all) As for the Messenger of Allah (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), Allah protected him through his uncle, Abu Taalib. And as for Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him), Allah protected him through his people (Abu Bakr's clan). And as for the rest of them, the Quraish took them, attired them in armor made of iron and melted them in the sun. Each of them gave them (i.e., their torturers) what they wanted (i.e., they uttered words of disbelief, though they did so under duress, and their hearts were at rest with faith), except for Bilaal (may Allah be pleased with him), for losing his life for Allah was an easy matter for him (when it came to choosing between death and uttering words of disbelief), and it (killing him) became easy for his people (i.e., they had no qualms about torturing him to the point of death). They gave him to children, who went around with him in the valleys of Makkah. And all the while, he continued to say: 'One, One (i.e., Allah is One; none has the right to worshipped but Allah, etc.).'"
Bilaal (may Allah be pleased with him) had no family to protect him. In fact, Bilaal (may Allah be pleased with him) was hardly considered a human being; his only purpose, according to the mindset of the Quraish, was to serve and obey, to be bought and sold like livestock. That he should have an opinion in important matters was considered ludicrous, which is why the Quraish, fearing a change in their way of life, became outraged when Bilaal (may Allah be pleased with him) and other slaves embraced Islam