Brief History of Hazrat Bilal e Habshi R . A

Bilal ibn Rabah(Arabic: بلال بن رباح‎) or Bilal al-Habashi was an Ethiopianborn in Mecca in the late 6th century, sometime between 578 and 582.
The Islamic prophet Muhammad chose an African slave Bilal as his muezzin, effectively making him the first muezzin of the Islamic faith. He was among the slaves freed by Abu BakrMuhammad and slavery) and was known for his beautiful voice with which he called people to their prayers. His name can also be known as, "Bilal ibn Riyah" or "ibn Rabah" and he is sometimes known as "Bilal al-Habashi" or "Bilal the one from Ethiopia".He died sometime between 638 to 642, when he was just over sixty years old. (see
Hadhrat Bilaal (Radhiallaahu Anhu) is a famous Sahaaba who accepted Islam in Makkah. When he accepted Islam, the non-believers placed great difficulties upon him which he bore with great forbearance in his youth. His father's name was Rabah and his mother's name Hamamah.
His birth place is Abyssinia and this is why he is known as Habshi (the old name for Abyssinia is Habsh). He was the slave of a woman in Makkah when he accepted Islam. the Kaafirs of Makkah persecuted him severely. When Hadhrat Abu Bakr (Radhiallaahu Anhu) came to know about the pain and anguish which he underwent at the hands of the Kuffaar, he bought him and set him free.
Hadhrat Bilaal (Radhiallaahu Anhu) was the muazzin of Nabi (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam). He remained constantly in the company of Nabi (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam). He was in charge of the needs of Nabi (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam).
Muhaddith Hakeem (Rahmatullaahi Alayhi) and Hafiz Abu Nuaim (Rahmatullaahi Alayhi) also regarded him as one of the Ashaabus-suffa.
After he had accepted Islam, he participate with Nabi (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam)in the battle of Badr and in all other battles. He called the Adhaan and he was the Muazzin of Masjidun-Nabawi as long as Nabi (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) remained in this world. His greatness is mentioned in the books of Hadith.

One day at the time of Fajr, Nabi (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) asked Hadhrat Bilaal (Radhiallaahu Anhu), 'O Bilaal, Show me one action that you have done after accepting Islam, whose virtue is above all other actions, because I have heard your footsteps in Jannat'. Hadhrat Bilaal (Radhiallaahu Anhu) explains that I have not done any action whose virtue is more than the others. But it is true, that during the day or night, whenever I made Wudhu, I made it my duty to read some Nafl Salaats, and from amongst the Salaats I read, I verily read Tahiyyatul Wudhu (Salaat after Wudhu)" when Nabi (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) heard this, he said that it was because of this action that he had attained such status.
Hadhrat Umar (Radhiallaahu Anhu) used to mentioned that Hadhrat Abu Bakr (Radhiallaahu Anhu) is our leader who bought our leader Hadhrat Bilaal (Radhiallaahu Anhu) and freed him. In 'Hilyatul Awliyaa', Nabi (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) mentions that he is Sayyidul Muazzineed (leader of the Muazzins).


Hadhrat Bilaal (Radhiallaahu Anhu) was harassed and beaten the day long and during the night He was tied in chains and lashed. On the next day, he was again made to lie on the hot desert sands which cause even greater injuries to the body of Bilaal (Radhiallaahu Anhu), who was loved by Allah Ta'aala.

Hadhrat Bilaal (Radhiallaahu Anhu) used to be beaten by many people. When one would get tired, another would take his place. Sometimes it was Abu Jhal's turn and sometimes Umayyah bin Khalaf and others. Each of them would beat him until they got tired but no mercy was spared for the slave whom they so brutally injured and whose status in Jannat was to surpass that of many Arabs.


One day while Bilaal was being tortured in this way by Umayyah bin Khalaf and his friends, Abu Bakr (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) passed that way. He asked Umayyah bin Khalaf, 'Do you not fear Allah? How long will you carry out this practice on this poor person?" Umayyah bin Khalaf retorted that, 'since you have instigated him (by teaching Islam to him, so you free him." Hadhrat Abu Bakr (Radhiallaahu Anhu) answered, "Yes, I will free him. I have a black slave who is even stronger than him and who is in your religion. Will you accept this slave in exchange for him?" Umayyah bin Khalaf accepted the offer. Hadhrat Abu Bakr (Radhiallaahu Anhu) exchanged the slaves and thus bought Hadhrat Bilaal (Radhiallaahu Anhu) and freed him before Hijrat. Besides Bilaal (Radhiallaahu Anhu) he bought other slaves who were being beaten and harassed for accepting Islam and freed them also.

(The woman who owned Hadhrat Bilaal (Radhiallaahu Anhu) had made Umayyah bin Khalaf her agent in the matters of Hadhrat Bilaal (Radhiallaahu Anhu). (Jamul Fawaaid vol. 2 pg. 32)


After Hijrat Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) formed 'Mooaakhaat' between the Sahaaba (Radhiallaahu Anhu) which meant that two two brothers should be concerned about each other's difficulty and necessity. In this way all of them became Muslim brothers and they shared in the sorrow and grief of each other. Nabi (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) made Hadhrat Bilaal and Hadhrat Ubaida bin Haarith (Radhiallaahu Anhum) brothers and a few Historians mention that Nabi (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) made Hadhrat Abu Rawahah Khashami (Radhiallaahu Anhu) the brother of Hadhrat Bilaal (Radhiallaahu Anhu). (Isabah).


A year after Nabi (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) and his beloved Sahaaba (Radhiallaahu Anhum) made Hijrat from Makkah to Madinah, the battle of Badr took place. Hadhrat Bilaal (Radhiallaahu Anhu) also participated in this battle with the other Sahaaba (Radhiallaahu Anhum). The leaders of the Mushrikeen of Makkah (who were the enemies of Islam and the Muslims - who forced the Muslims out of Makkah, who also oppressed Hadhrat Bilaal (Radhiallaahu Anhu) were killed in this battle. Abu Jahl, Umayyah bin Khalaf who severely punished Hadhrat Bilaal (Radhiallaahu Anhu) were both killed in this battle.


In the second year after Hijrat, the announcing of the time of Salaat began and Hadhrat Bilaal (Radhiallaahu Anhu) was appointed Muazzin and always remained the Muazzin of Nabi (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) both in his presence and also during travel.

Allah Ta'aala states that Hadhrat Bilaal (Radhiallaahu Anhu) is the leader of the Muazzins, and places this responsibility of being the Muazzin of His Beloved Rasul (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) to this person who should mention Ahad … Ahad (the one, the one Allah). He was made to lie on the hot desert sand with a rock placed on his chest and lashed but his love for Allah Ta'aala became greater. This responsibility was given to Hadhrat Bilaal (Radhiallaahu Anhu).

Hadhrat Bilaal (Radhiallaahu Anhu) stayed with Nabi (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam). In Madinah, he was the Muazzin and even while travelling, he went with Nabi (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam), and at the time of Salaat he used to give Adhaan. Very seldom Nabi (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) went somewhere and someone other than Hadhrat Bilaal (Radhiallaahu Anhu) called the Adhaan. Whenever Nabi (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) went to Musjid-e-Qubaa, then Bilaal (Radhiallaahu Anhu) would give the Adhaan and when hearing him, the people living around the area knew that Nabi (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) was in the area.

Hadhrat Bilaal (Radhiallaahu Anhu) used to give the Fajr Adhaan from the roof of the house of a lady from the tribe of Banu Najjaar. Her home was joined to the Masjid. From the time of Sehri he used to sit on the roof waiting for the time of Fajr. When it was time to commence the Adhaan then he should stretch his limbs, and make the following Du'a after which he gave the Adhaan.

'Oh Allah I praise you, and I desire that You become aid to the Quraysh to establish Your Deen'

The woman from whose roof he gave the Adhaan said that there was not a day that he did not mention this Du'a. (Abu Dawud).


Hadhrat Bilaal (Radhiallaahu Anhu) was the Muazzin of Nabi (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) and his treasurer. If anyone came to Nabi (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) with any necessity then he used to ask Hadhrat Bilaal to carry out this task who would then make sure to get the necessary item and fulfil the need on behalf of Nabi (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam).

Abdullah Al-Hawzaani (Rahmatullaahi Alayhi) says that I met Hadhrat Bilaal and I asked him concerning the expenditure of Nabi entioned that from the time Allah Ta'aala gave him Nubuwwat until his death, this expenditure was entrusted to me. (this expenditure was for the needy, and those people who came from outside or anyone who asked for assistance. I used to do as commanded and fulfil this need). If some Muslims came who did not have anything to wear, then Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) should order me to take a loan and purchase a cloth to clothe the needy. (Hilyatul Awliyaa). Whilst doing this once Hadhrat Bilaal (Radhiallaahu Anhu) accumulated a heap of dates. Nabi (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) asked Hadhrat Bilaal (Radhiallaahu Anhu) what is this? Hadhrat Bilaal (Radhiallaahu Anhu) answered I have accumulated this for you and your visitors.

Nabi (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) said, 'Don't you fear that the smoke of Jahannum (hell) will reach you (because of accumulating this).' Then he said, 'Oh Bilaal (Radhiallaahu Anhu), spend it and do not fear it becoming less from the One of the Arsh - Allah' (Ibid).


Hadhrat Bilaal (Radhiallaahu Anhu) was the special companion of Nabi (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam). It is for this reason he also endured difficulties. Nabi (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) said that undoubtedly, the fear he had for Allah was greater than anyone else. On one occasion thirty nights and days passed with him and Hadhrat Bilaal (Radhiallaahu Anhu) having had only that amount to eat which could be concealed under the armpits (side) of Bilaal (Radhiallaahu Anhu).

COMPANIONSHIP WITH NABI (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam)

Hadhrat Bilaal (Radhiallaahu Anhu) was always present in the company of Nabi (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam).


Hadhrat Jaabir (Radhiallaahu Anhu) mentions that at the time of Eid, he was present with Nabi (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam). Nabi (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) started the Salaat without the Adhaan and Iqaamat and thereafter gave the Khutbah. Bilaal (Radhiallaahu Anhu) stood up and stood side by side with Nabi (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) while Nabi (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) stood up resting on him and after praising Allah, Nabi (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) delivered a lecture and reminded the people about the commands of Allah and encouraged the people to be obedient to Allah Ta'aala. Thereafter, he took Hadhrat Bilaal (Radhiallaahu Anhu) with him and went closer towards the women and ordered them to fear Allah and advised them and reminded them about the commands of Allah.

At one time Hadhrat Bilaal (Radhiallaahu Anhu) presented himself in the company of Nabi (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam). It was morning and Nabi (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) was having meals. Nabi (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) told Bilaal (Radhiallaahu Anhu) to join him. Hadhrat Bilaal (Radhiallaahu Anhu) mentioned to Nabi (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) that he was fasting. Nabi (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) remarked, 'We are eating our sustenance and the sustenance of Bilaal (Radhiallaahu Anhu) is preserved in Janna." Then the told Bilaal (Radhiallaahu Anhu) that the bones of a fasting person make Tasbeeh and the Angels request his forgiveness when something is eaten near him." (Mishkat)


When Nabi (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) passed away and Hadhrat Abu Bakr (Radhiallaahu Anhu) became Khalifah, then Hadhrat Bilaal (Radhiallaahu Anhu) came in the presence of Hadhrat Abu Bakr (Radhiallaahu Anhu) and said, 'Oh Khalifah of Rasulullah, without doubt I have heard from Nabi (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) that the best action of a Mu'min is Jihaad in the path of Allah and I have intened now to spend my life in Jihaad till I die." Hadhrat Abu Bakr (Radhiallaahu Anhu) said, 'Oh Bilaal! I swear by Allah and my right which is deserving to honoured (it is for this reason) that during my lifespan you spend it in Madinah and give Adhaan. Because I have become old and my time is near (death)." Hadhrat Bilaal (Radhiallaahu Anhu) then remained in Madinah. (Asadul Ghabaa)

When Hadhrat Abu Bakr (Radhiallaahu Anhu) passed away and Hadhrat Umar (Radhiallaahu Anhu) became Khalifah, then Bilaal (Radhiallaahu Anhu) came to him and said the same thing again. Hadhrat Umar (Radhiallaahu Anhu) gave the same answer which Hadhrat Abu Bakr (Radhiallaahu Anhu) had given, but Bilaal (Radhiallaahu Anhu) was unhappy and refused to stay any longer. He told the Khalifah of Nabi (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) that he used to give the Adhaan in the time of Nabi (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) and during the life of Abu Bakr (Radhiallaahu Anhu) because he was very dear to him. He said, 'I have heard from Nabi (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) that there is no action greater than Jihaad (now I want to spend my life in Jihaad)". Although he was displeased, Hadhrat Umar (Radhiallaahu Anhu) granted permission to him. Hadhrat Bilaal (Radhiallaahu Anhu) became a Mujaahid forever and went to Syria. During the Khilaafat of Hadhrat Umar (Radhiallaahu Anhu) when he went to Syria, then Hadhrat Bilaal (Radhiallaahu Anhu) gave Adhaan in his presence. The narrator says that on this day, Hadhrat Umar (Radhiallaahu Anhu) thinking of the days of Nabi (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) cried to such an extent which we never saw before.


While in Syria, Hadhrat Bilaal (Radhiallaahu Anhu) got married but it is not known whether he had any children or not. The author of Asadul Ghaba states that at the time of death, Bilaal (Radhiallaahu Anhu) had no children.


HADHRAT Bilaal (Radhiallaahu Anhu) passed away in the 20th year after Hijrat in Damascus and there he is buried near 'Babus sagheer'. His blessed age was 63 years. When Nabi (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) proclaimed prophethood, he was 30 years old. He spent the remaining 33 years of his life in the assistance of this Deen, persecuted severely for admitting his Islam and despite this, he continued to announce boldly, 'Ahad, the One Allah!'. He participated in the battles and endured both hunger and pain. He was not only a Muazzin, but was granted the status of being the leader of the Muazzins.

May Allah Ta'aala be pleased with him forever, Aameen.

Excerpted from the translation of Hazrat Bilal Habshi(R.A)
by Mufti Muhammad Ashiq Ilaahi

Source:  Jamiatul Ulama (Kwazulu-Natal) and Wikipedia

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