Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Bilal is an inmate of Paradise

............Sayyidul Muazzineed (leader of the Muazzins)................
In the history of Islam, there are heroes of faith, men and women whose lives inspire us to be better people, better Muslims. Many of them were Companions of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and they experienced the growth of Islam right from the beginning. Many of them suffered hardships and great persecution for the sake of Islam, the Message of Allah.
Their impeccable characters and their closeness to Allah and His Prophet drew many people to Islam. One of the greatest of these, one of the most humble, and one who endured horrific torture in order to become Muslim was Bilal ibn Rabah. Born in Makkah, the freed Ethiopian slave after accepting Islam was inseparable from the Messenger himself. He became the Prophet's first muezzin (caller to the five daily Prayers).

The Prophet (Peace be upon him), Attributes and Manners
The Prophet (Peace be upon him) combined both perfection of creation and perfection of manners.
This impression on people can be deduced by the bliss that overwhelmed their hearts and filled them with dignity. Men’s dignity, devotion and estimation of the Messenger of Allâh (Peace be upon him) were unique and matchless. No other man in the whole world has been so honoured and beloved. Those who knew him well, were fascinated and enchanted by him. They were ready to sacrifice their lives for the sake of saving a nail of his from hurt or injury. Being privileged by lots of prerogatives of perfection that no one else had been endowed with, his Companions found that he was peerless and so they loved him.Hazrat Bilal(R.A.) was one of them.

1.Hazrat Bilal(R.A.) was one of the first eight persons who responded to the call of the Holy Prophet (PBUH)
2.Hazrat Bilal(R.A) became the first mu’azzin of Islam, an office he held till the Holy Prophet (PBUH) left this world.
3.Fajir prayers: “The prayer is better than sleep”. Who added this line? you know it was Hmmm should I tell you,
read and find out.
4.He was also in charge of the house hold of the Prophet (S.A.W.).
5.Hadhrat Bilaal (Radhiallaahu Anhu) was the special companion of Nabi (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam).
6. During journeys and battles, he used to pitch the tent of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and he alone got the honour of riding the camel of the Holy Prophet (PBUH).
The prayer-call, proclaimed today in the entire Muslim world, comprises the same words which were first recited by Hazrat Bilal bin Rabah Habshi(R.A.), a staunch devotee of Islam and the most trusted companion of the Holy Prophet (Peace be upon him).
7.......Bilal is an inmate of Paradise..... Who Said This? Do You know?
8.Who was his teacher in Islam.
Born 43 or 53 years before Hijra, from an Abyssinian mother and an Arab father, Hazrat Bilal was slim and tall . Some historians say he was born in Mecca, but some are of the opinion that he was born in Sarat — a town near Yemen and Abyssinia. He is, generally, known as "BILAL HABASHI", but actually his features were not identical with those of the. Habashi or Zangi, His complexion was black but his hair was not curly, it was thick. Actually, his complexion was dark-brown. His body was tall and slim and his chest prominent. His cheeks were thin but his nose was not snub. Thus, as the historians opine, he was not a pure Abyssinian. His father was an Arab hut his mother was an Abyssinian. His fathers name was Rabah and his mother was called Hamama, It is likely that Hamama was a slave girl from Mecca or Sarat, Sarat is a town between Yemen and Abyssinia, Some of the historians claim that he was born at Mecca, but the majority of the historians opine that Bilal was born in Sarat, And the latter view seem to be acceptable for there could be a mixed race in Sarat.. He was taken as a slave from the beginning according to the prevailing conditions in Mecca.
Along with Hazrat Khadija.(R.A), Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddique(R.A), Hazrat Ali(R.A.), Hazrat Ammar(R.A.) and his mother Sumiyya(R.A.), Hazrat Shuaib(R.A.) and Hazrat Miqdad(R.A.), Hazrat Bilal(R.A.) was one of the first eight persons who responded to the call of the Holy Prophet (PBUH). Embracing the new faith, he enraged his master Umaiyya bin Khalaf. To force Bilal(R.A.) to give up his new faith, the master subjected the devotee to severe torture.
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.
According to historical records, Bilals(R.A.) master often tied him and threw him down and flung a stone and cow hide over him and said, "Your gods are Lat and Uzza so testify your faith in them." But he continued to say "Ahad, Ahad." The infidels tied a rope round his neck and allowed the street urchins to drag him to and from between the two hills of Mecca. Even, under this severe torment, Bilals(R.A.) tongue repeated only one word "Ahad, Ahad." Thereupon, the infidels gave him a severe beating and stretched him on the burning Sand.A heavy stone was placed over his body, still he uttered nothing save the word "Ahad, Ahad.".
Allah had endowed Bilal(R.A.) with righteous nature and he remained true to it in his whole life. It is, therefore, held that he readily responded to the call of Allahs Messenger (S.A.W.) when he came out with the Message of Oneness or Unity of Allah. It is an established fact that Bilal (R.A..) had not embraced Islam with any worldly motive or securing relief from the torments of slave life On the contrary by accepting Islam, he had invited upon himself torment of double even treble intensity. He had only one purpose in view and that was to win the favor of Allah. Allah had illuminated his heart with the light of faith. Hence he endured all kinds of atrocities with remarkable patience and fortitude. It was in accord with his nature to accept the Truth unreservedly. As soon as he heard the clarion call for the acceptance of faith in One Allah and the equality of all human beings issued by the noblest personality of the most respectable family, Banu Hashim, he at once made an affirmative response. His heart was as clean as Mirror, it was filled with the sentiments of affection, sincerity, obedience and devotion. The thought crossed his mind like a flash of lightning that the person who wanted to liquidate class differences in order to put the master and slave equal, was a man who belongs to the noblest class in Mecca. Yet he was a staunch champion of the equality of all human being, could not be but the Truthful Messenger and the Prophet of the Creator. He must have thought that it was impossible for a person, who enjoyed exceeding popularity in the whole of Mecca and commanded deep respect from the rank and file of Mecca, to risk to the loss of his popularity and reputation unless this person was the Messenger of the Lord who makes no discrimination between the high and the low, the rich and The poor, The Arab and the non-Arab.
One day while Bilaal(R.A.) was being tortured in this way by Umayyah bin Khalaf and his friends, Abu Bakr (R.A.) 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 . Besides Bilaal (Radhiallaahu Anhu) he bought other slaves who were being beaten and harassed for accepting Islam and freed them also.
After his release, he came to the Holy Prophet (PBUH) to serve him as his personal server. Instead of taking him as a servant, the Holy Prophet (PBUH) paid close attention to his education and spiritual training.(His teacher Messenger of Allâh (Peace be upon him) remember I asked you who his teacher was.Hmmm now you know It is reported in the Traditions that the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) paid close attention to the education and training of Bilal (R.A.). Once the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) said, "O Bilal, The best deed that a believer can perform is to struggle for the cause of Allah. The Prophet (S.A.W.)also taught him concerning humility " 0 Bilal always live in humility and with contentment and die with those who feel contented."
Hazrat Bilal(R.A.) proved himself a true follower of Islam and a faithful devotee of the Prophet( S.A.W.).
When the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) granted permission to his companions to migrate, Bilal,(R.A.) along with the other companions of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.), migrated to Medina. In Medina Bilal lived in the same house with Abu Bakr Siddiq and Aamir bin-Fahria. In Medina when the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) established the bond of brotherhood between the Muhajireen (Migrants) and Ansar (Helpers), Bilal and Abu Rouwaiha (R.A..) were brothers unto each other. This clarifies that Abu Rouwaiha (R.A.) was not the blood brother of Bilal (R.A..).
After the Hijra when Masjid Nabvi was completed, the Holy Prophet (PBUH) thought of calling the Muslims for prayers in congregation. He asked the Sahaba to think of a way to call the Muslims together for prayers. Several suggestions came forth such as the beating of drums; the ringing of the bell like the Christians did in their church; burning a fire like Zoroastrians; and blowing of the horn like the Jews. When all the suggestions could not get the approval of the Holy Prophet (PBUH), the meeting ended without a decision.

Hazrat Abdullah bin Zaid(R.A), a companion of the Prophet, went home groping for a solution and slept. He had a dream in which he saw a person in a green apparel who told him how to call the Muslims for prayer. He climbed on the top of the mosque and recited the words, those that we hear today. After saying the call he sat down for a while and then rose to say Iqama which comprised the same words.

On waking up, Abdullah bin Zaid rushed to the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and told him about his dream. The Holy Prophet (PBUH) asked him to go to Bilal(R.A.) and make him learn these words by heart. Thereafter, Hazrat Umar(R.A.) came and narrated a similar dream to the Holy Prophet (PBUH). After having the approval of the Prophet(S.A.W)., the Adhan was called out aloud for the first time from the Prophet’s mosque. As his powerful and melodious voice resounded through the city of Medina, Hazrat Bilal (R.A.) became the first mu’azzin of Islam, an office he held till the Holy Prophet (PBUH) left this world.
What a beautiful voice Bilal has. The Prophet carries this voice, which makes one tremble with humility, with him throughout his life. Journeys and expeditions are kneaded with this voice. One morning the Prophet awakes to this voice: "Prayer is better than sleep." He tells Bilal, "What wonderful words. They should be recited each morning in the adhan!" From that morning on, sleep and prayer are in the two pans of the scale. When prayer weighs heavier, the veil of darkness disperses. And after each adhan Bilal calls out towards the Prophet's window: "O Messenger of Allah! Prayer!" Then, going to the masjid, he makes qamet; stars stand in line behind the sun.
Later, Hazrat Bilal added the following words in the call for the Fajir prayers: “The prayer is better than sleep”. The Holy Prophet (PBUH) approved the addition and till today the same prayer-call is going on even after 14 centuries. (Now you know)

Hazrat Bilal was entrusted the duty of the recital of Azaan by the Holy Prophet (PBUH) in preference to all other Sahabas. It was simply because he had a beautiful voice. His recital of the prayer-call produced a typical effect on the hearts and minds of the Muslims. In spiritual ecstasy, they would rush to the mosque. Also, he received the honour of calling the devotees to prayer when the Holy Prophet (PBUH) made a victorious entry into the city of Mecca and ordered Bilal to ascend the roof of the Holy Ka’bah to recite the prayer-call.

Once the Holy Prophet (PBUH) asked Hazrat Bilal what extraordinary deeds he did after accepting Islam because the Holy Prophet (PBUH) heard the sound of his slippers ahead of him when the sight of Paradise was presented before him during a divine revelation. He made no mention of the piety, struggle, hardships or tortures he endured for the cause of Islam but humbly replied: “O my beloved Prophet, I have performed no extraordinary deeds as a Muslim.”

Upon further insistence by the Prophet, he told that the only thing he could recall was that, after each wadhu (ablution), he offered two nawafils. The Holy Prophet (PBUH) appreciated this act of Hazrat Bila

Unbounded love for Nabi (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam)
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).
He was also in charge of the house hold of the Prophet (S.A.W.).
Hazrat Bilal (R.A.) became the first Muazzin in Islam. The powerful and melodious voice of Hazrat Bilal (R.A.), issuing from his strong lungs, resounded through the city of Madinah. The word of the Azaan: 'Allah is great! There is no God but Allah, Muhammed is the Rasul Of Allah ! Come to Salvation!' The words of the Azaan echoed in all the dwellings, and this caused every citizen to inhale with delight the refreshing scent of prayer.
Hazrat Bilal performed duties of an attendant upon the Holy Prophet (PBUH), but the Prophet never treated him as a slave. He was entrusted with the management of the Bait-al-Mal (State Treasury) by the Holy Prophet (PBUH) because of his integrity and complete honesty. He was also in charge of the household of the Holy Prophet (PBUH). During journeys and battles, he used to pitch the tent of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and he alone got the honour of riding the camel of the Holy Prophet (PBUH).

As in Mecca, so in Medina, Bilal (R.A.)could not endure separation from the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.).He always accompanied the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) in all the Holy wars that look place during the Holy Prophet lifetime.The Prophet (S.A.W.),off and on gave him instructions concerning distribution of the surplus wealth with him i.e. the Prophet (S.A.W.) He would say, "Bilal, a quantity of wealth has accumulated with me I do not wish to keep it, so take it and give it away to the needy so that my heart may he alleviated from its burden " Actually the Messenger of Allah (S.A.W.) intended to teach Bilal by example how a man should cultivate the virtue of contentment in life and abstain from wealth. Bilal(R.A.) observed with great attention all the instructions and precedent of the Holy Prophet(S.A.W.) and proved to he a true follower and a devotee of the Prophet (S.A.W.) till the end of his life. He was in constant attendance on the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) day and night, because he derived delight from the sight, love and kindness. He performed the duties of an attendant upon the Holy Prophet (S.A.W) in all circumstances, during journeys and stay in camp, in war and peace, but was never treated like a servant by the Prophet (S.A.W.), Bilal(R.A) expressed deep devotion for his master and leader, He could not bear even the slightest discomfort of the Prophet (S.A.W.) and was alive ready to respond to his masters call. Throughout the battles he kept running between the Prophets camp and the battlefield, bearing communications , orders and instructions from the Prophet (S.A.W.).to the troops when the Prophet (S.A.W.) made a victorious entry into the city of Mecca and the Prophet(S.A.W.) entered Holy Kaba, there were three men. accompanying him and one of them was Bilal (R.A.A.), the other two were Usman-bin-Talha , the key-bearer of Kaba and Usman bin Zaid (R.A.A.). Bilal performed the duty of reciting the call to prayer.

Bilal (R.A.) continued to the post of Muazzin of the Prophets Masjid till the( Nabi) Prophet (S.A.W.) left this world for his heavenly abode He was preferred over all the Mauzzins during the Prophets lifetime, the cause of this preference being his precedence in embracing Islam, his rich and melodious voice and his excellent utterance. When he recited the call of prayer and wished to inform the Prophet (S.A.W.) that the time for leading prayer had come, he would stand by the door of the Prophets room and would shout "Hasten to the prayer, Hasten to well-being. O Messenger of Allah, prayer." Hearing his these words the Prophet would come for leading the prayers. Bilal (R.A.) would say Iqama before the prayers commenced. While going to Salat-el-Eid or Salat-Istisqa (prayer for rain), Bilal(R.A.) used to walk ahead of the Prophet(S.A.W.) holding a spear and would pitch it on the ground one or two yards away from the place where the Prophet (S.A.W.) wished to lead the congregation of the prayer. The spear was one of those three, sent by the King of Abyssinia in homage to the Prophet(S.A.W.), The Prophet (S.A.W.), gifted one of the three spears to Umar (R.A..) and kept the third one with himself, Thus Bila(R.A.)l had the honor of keeping the Prophets spear throughout his lifetime.

Traditions relate that Bilals(R.A.) marriage had been arranged by the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) himself, It is stated that the sons of Abul Bukair one day came to the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) and said, "0 Messenger of Allah, find a match for our sister. "The Holy Prophet observe, "Why do you not marry her to Bilal(R.A) Hearing this they went back, but after a few days they came again and repeated the same request, and the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) gave the same reply. Thus after a few days they came third time with the same request. This time also the Prophet (S.A.W.) giving the same reply added, "Bilal is an inmate of Paradise; you should marry your sister to him." So, having heard the Prophets advice, they married their sister to Bilal. Bilal (R.A..) took more wives after this marriage. According to Qatadah he had married a lady of the tribe of Banu Zuhra. It is also recorded that one of his wives was Hin-ul-Khulania who belonged to Yemen. Bilal(R.A.) has no issue from any of his.

Once Bilal(R.A) related to his wife a Tradition of the Holy Prophet(S.A.W.) but his wife expressed some doubts about the authenticity of his report. Bilal (R.A) in a mood of anger went to the Prophet (S.A.W.) and recounted his dispute with his wife, The Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) went with him to his house and observed to his wife, "You should take Bilals words for any Tradition of mine, and do not give him cause for anger

Even at the time of his departure from this world, Hazrat Bilal(R.A.) was close to the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and was one of those who performed his burial rites. After the burial, he sprinkled water from a skin bag over the holy grave.
Nabi (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) mentioned regarding this true Deen-Religion that four people have exceeded in taking it forward. From amongst the Arabs, I have exceeded in it, and Shuiab (Radiahallahu Anhu) from Rome, Salman (Radiahallahu Anhu) from Persia, and Bilaal (Radiahallahu Anhu) from Abyssinia.
At one time Nabi (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) asked Hadhrat Bilaal (Radiahallahu Anhu) at the time of Fajr, " Oh Bilaal, Show me one action that you have done after accepting Islaam, whose virtue is above all other actions, because I have heard your footsteps in Jannat. Hadhrat Bilaal (Radiahallahu Anhu) explains that I have not done any action whose virtue is more than the others. But verily this 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 Thahiyatul Whudu."(Salaat after Wudhu). When Nabi (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) heard this, he said that it was because of this action that he had attained such status.
In another narration which Hadhrat Jaabir (R.A.) narrates , Nabi (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said," When I entered Jannat, I heard the sound of footsteps. I enquired from Jibraeel (Alayhis Salaam) as to who was this person? He answered that it was Bilaal (Radiahallahu Anhu). Whenever Hadhrat Bilaal (Radiahallahu Anhu) remembered this event of Nabi (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) having heard his footsteps in Jannat, he used to cry with happiness.
Hadhrat Umar (Radiahallahu Anhu) used to mention that Hadhrat Abu Bakr (Radiahallahu Anhu) is our leader who bought our leader Hadhrat Bilaal (Radiahallahu Anhu) and freed him. In "Hulayati-awliya" Nabi (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) mentions that he is Sayyidul Muazzineen (leader of the Muazzins).
In the second year after Hijrat the announcing of the time of Salaat (Azaan) began and Hadhrat Bilaal (Radiahallahu Anhu) was appointed Muazzin and always remained the Muazzin of Nabi (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) both in his presence and also during travel.
And Bilal chants the adhan. The moment he says, "Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar," all the rocks on the earth fall into place. When he recites "Ashadu an la ilahe illallah," all the weak become strong. When he says, "Allah is the greatest," "I bear witness that there is no god but Allah," it falls on the souls of slaves like a lighting flash of freedom. Just as Bilal says, "I bear witness that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah,"Abu Bakr, Umar,and all of Madena rushes out of there houses and runs to the Prophet Mosque.

After the Holy Prophet (PBUH) left the world, Hazrat Bilal (R.A) excused himself from the duty of mu’azzin. The reason was that as soon as he would utter the words: “I bear witness that Muhammad is the Prophet of Allah”, he would miss the presence of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) so much that he would burst into uncontrollable tears. Despite being over 60 years of age, he left the peaceful environment of Medina because the absence of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) oppressed him. His request to go to Syria with the soldiers (mujahidin) was reluctantly accepted by Caliph Abu Bakr(R.A.). In Syria, he participated in many battles.

Bilal joins the victorious armies during the reigns of Abu Bakr and Umar. In the 16th year of the Hegira when he entered Jerusalem with Umar, he chanted the adhan at the caliph's insistence. Together with hundreds of companions which include prominent persons like Abu Ubayda ibn Jarrah and Muaz ibn Jabal, they tearfully remember the Master of the Universe together with the adhan. Bilal again promises himself not to recite the adhan again. But when the Prophet asks him in his dream, "Aren't you going to visit me," he goes to Medina which he has avoided for years. There he sees Hasan and Hussain, the favorites of the Ahl-i Bayt. Is it possible to offend them! Bilal chants the adhan from the Masjid Nabawi for the first time since the Prophet's death. The people of Medina who hear the witnessing excitedly dash out of their houses. Thinking that the Prophet has arisen from his blessed grave and has joined them, they fill the masjid. And that day they cry as they have never cried before. How greatly they missed him. How sweet is death for this reason! Before he dies, Bilal says to his wife, "How wonderful! Tomorrow I am going to meet with the beloveds, Muhammad and his friends!" He heard such a statement from the Prophet that for years he had been dreaming of the grave: "Last night I heard the sound of your footsteps in front of me in heaven!

On his death-bed, when his wife bitterly cried, he comforted her with these words: “Why do you cry? Tomorrow I shall see the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and my other companions after such a long separation.

Bilal had suffered for Islam in his body. He was humble and gentle, faithful and loyal. He was strong and yet when he called the Muslims to Prayer, they could weep out of joy, so sweet was the sound.

Muhammad’s (peace be upon him) Last Sermon included:
“All mankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over a black nor a black has any superiority over white except by piety and good action. Learn that every Muslim is a brother to every Muslim and that the Muslims constitute one brotherhood. Nothing shall be legitimate to a Muslim which belongs to a fellow Muslim unless it was given freely and willingly. Do not, therefore, do injustice to yourselves.”

"O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise each other). Verily the most honoured of you in the sight of Allah is (he who is) the most righteous of you. And Allah has full knowledge and is well acquainted (with all things)." (Surah 49:13).
Bilal's story is proof of what Muhammad (S.A.W)always taught: It is not social status or rank or education that makes one person better than another; it is piety. Those close to Allah are truly the best of people.

No comments: