Bilal ibn Rabah radiya Llahu ‘anhu

Usayrim Bani ‘Abdul Ash-hal radiya Llahu ‘anhu
November 8, 2018
Thabit ibn Qais radiya Llahu ‘anhu
November 8, 2018

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Bilal ibn Rabah radiya Llahu ‘anhu


He is Sayyidina Bilal ibn Rabah al Habashi, the Mu’adhin, Abu ‘Abdullah, the freed slave of Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhuma. From the forerunners who were persecuted in the path of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala.


قال عبد الله بن مسعود رضي الله عنه أول من أظهر الإسلام سبعة رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم و أبو بكر و عمار و أمه سمية و صهيب و بلال و المقداد فأما رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم فمنعه الله بعمه أبي طالب و أبو بكر فمنعه الله بقومه و أما سائرهم فأخذهم المشركون و ألبسوهم أدراع الحديد ثم صهروهم في الشمس فما منهم أحد إلا و آتاهم على ما أرادوا إلا بلالا فإنه هانت عليه نفسه في الله و هان على قومه فأعطوه الولدان فجعلوا يطوفون به في شعاب مكة و هو يقول أحد أحد

‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ud radiya Llahu ‘anhu reports, “The first to openly voice Islam were seven, viz. Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, Abu Bakr, ‘Ammar, his mother Sumayyah, Suhayb, Bilal, and Miqdad. Allah protected Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam by means of his uncle Abu Talib and Allah protected Abu Bakr by his tribe. As regards the rest of them, the polytheists grabbed them and made them wear steel armour and left them to swelter in the burning sun. Each of them surrendered to their directives besides Bilal. He considered his life insignificant in the path of Allah and he was of little importance to his people. So they handed him over to the children who wandered about with him in the paths of Makkah while he cried, “The One! The One!”[1]


Al Bukhari reports that Sayyidina ‘Umar ibn al Khattab radiya Llahu ‘anhu declared:


أبو بكر سيدنا أعتق بلالا سيدنا

Abu Bakr our master freed Bilal our master.[2]


‘Ata’ al Khurasani recalls that he was in the company of Ibn al Musayyab when he talked about Sayyidina Bilal radiya Llahu ‘anhu, so Ibn al Musayyab said:


كان شحيحا على دينه و كان يعذب في الله فلقي النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم فقال لو كان عندنا شيء ابتعنا بلالا فلقي أبو بكر العباس فقال اشتر لي بلالا فاشتراه العباس و بعث به إلى أبي بكر فأعتقه

He was covetous for his faith and was persecuted in the path of Allah. He met Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam who remarked, “Had we possessed anything, we would have purchased Bilal.”

After this, Abu Bakr met ‘Abbas and requested him to purchase Bilal on his behalf. ‘Abbas thus purchased him and sent him to Abu Bakr who emancipated him.[3]


و عن قيس قال اشترى أبو بكر بلالا و هو مدفون في الحجارة بخمس أواق ذهبا فقالوا لو أبيت إلا أوقية لبعناكه قال لو أبيتم إلا مئة أوقية لأخذته

Qais reports, “Abu Bakr purchased Bilal―while he was buried under rocks―for five uqiyah of gold. They said, ‘Had you refused to buy except for a single uqiyah, we would have sold him to you.’ Abu Bakr commented, ‘Had you refused to sell except for a hundred uqiyah, I would have still taken him.’”[4]


He participated in Badr and all the great battles. Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam exclusively guaranteed him a place in Jannat. The Nabi salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam contracted brotherhood between him and Sayyidina Abu ‘Ubaidah ibn al Jarrah radiya Llahu ‘anhu.[5] After Rasulullah’s salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam demise, he went out as a warrior in the path of Allah until he finally passed away in Syria. He was the same age as Sayyidina Abu Bakr radiya Llahu ‘anhu, and was the treasurer of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. He passed away in 17 A.H. (and it is said thereafter) after reaching the age of 60 odd years. Sa’id ibn ‘Abdul ‘Aziz says:


لما احتضر بلال قال غدا نلقي الأحبة محمدا و حزبه قال تقول امرأته واويلاه فقال وافرحاه

When Bilal was on his deathbed he exclaimed, “Tomorrow we will meet the dear friends, Muhammad and his comrades.”

His wife mourned, “Oh! What a disaster,” so he said, “Oh! What happiness!”[6]


Glad tidings of his entry into Jannat has appeared in the ahadith of ten Sahabah, viz. Sayyidina Abu Hurairah, Sayyidina Jabir ibn ‘Abdullah, Sayyidina ‘Abdulla ibn ‘Umar, Sayyidina ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas, Sayyidina Zaid ibn Arqam, Sayyidina Wahshi ibn Harb, Sayyidina Sahl ibn Sa’d, Sayyidina Abu Umamah, Sayyidina Anas ibn Malik, and Sayyidah Buraydah radiya Llahu ‘anhum. The most authentic of these are the ahadith of Sayyidina Abu Hurairah and Sayyidina Jabir radiya Llahu ‘anhuma. Nonetheless, I will suffice on quoting Sayyidina Abu Hurairah’s radiya Llahu ‘anhu hadith:


فعن أبي زرعة بن عمرو بن جرير عن أبي هريرة قال قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم يا بلال حدثني بأرجى عمل عملته في الإسلام عندك منفعة فإني سمعت الليلة خشف نعليك بين يدي في الجنة فقال بلال ما عملت عملا في الإسلام أرجى عندي منفعة إلا أني لم أتطهر طهورا تاما في ساعة من ليل أو نهار إلا صليت بذلك الطهور ما كتب الله لي أن أصلي

From Abu Zur’ah ibn ‘Amr ibn Jarir―from Abu Hurairah who says that Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “O Bilal, tell me what action you perform in Islam you feel yields the greatest benefit, for last night I definitely heard the sound of your sandals in front of me in Jannat.”

Bilal submitted, “I have not performed any action in Islam carrying advantage in my sight, except that every time I perform a complete and perfect wudu’ at any time during the night or day, I perform as much salah Allah decrees for me with that wudu’.”[7]


NEXT⇒ Thabit ibn Qais radiya Llahu ‘anhu

[1] Al Mustadrak, Hadith: 5238; Hilyat al Awliya’, vol. 1 pg. 149. The wording is Abu Nuaim’s.

[2] Sahih al Bukhari, Hadith: 3544; Sunan al Tirmidhi, Hadith: 3656.

[3] Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, vol. 1 pg. 352 with these words; Musannaf ‘Abdul Razzaq, vol. 11 pg. 234 with extra wording.

[4] Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah, Hadith: 36589; Hilyat al Awliya’, vol. 1 pg. 38. Al Dhahabi comments, “Its isnad is qawi. (Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, vol. 1 pg. 353)

[5] Al Isabah, vol. 1 pg. 326.

[6] Siyar A’lam al Nubala’, vol. 1 pg. 359.

[7] Sahih al Bukhari, Hadith: 1098; Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 2458.

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