Ahad, Ahad.

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By Aneesa Rashid Paruk

Has the story of Bilal ibn Rabah {رَضِيَ اَللهُ ءَنْه} reached you? If the streets of Makkah could speak, what would they say? They would tell us how Bilal {رَضِيَ اَللهُ ءَنْه} body was dragged on it. They would tell us stories about how Bilal {رَضِيَ اَللهُ ءَنْه} was bound by rope, tortured in the blistering desert heat, humiliated and spat at by Umayyah ibn Khalaf. Why was Bilal {رَضِيَ اَللهُ ءَنْه} left on the sun-baked ground, to drift between consciousness and unconsciousness? Why was Bilal {رَضِيَ اَللهُ ءَنْه} tortured to the point of death? Because he uttered with calmness, words that shook the tyrants violently, ‘One…one.’

Do you remember when the news of Muhammad ﷺ call reached the ears of Bilal {رَضِيَ اَللهُ ءَنْه}? Through the thunderous talks of rage, malice and hatred that was hurled against Allah’s most beloved ﷺ  by his masters, Bilal {رَضِيَ اَللهُ ءَنْه}  saw His ﷺ nobility, truthfulness and loyalty.

Do you remember when Abu Bakr {رَضِيَ اَللهُ ءَنْه} freed him from the shackles of Umayyah ibn Khalaf? When he comforted Bilal {رَضِيَ اَللهُ ءَنْه} .When Umar ibn Khattab referred to him as ‘My Master’. Can you imagine the state of Bilal {رَضِيَ اَللهُ ءَنْه} heart when he would hear words of praise and commendation directed at him? Yesterday he was but a slave, today? Allah has raised his status so much that Muhammad ﷺ heard Bilal {رَضِيَ اَللهُ ءَنْه} footsteps before his own in Jannah.

Narrated Abu Huraira:

At the time of the Fajr prayer the Prophet ﷺ asked Bilal, “Tell me of the best deed you did after embracing Islam, for I heard your footsteps in front of me in Paradise.” Bilal replied, “I did not do anything worth mentioning except that whenever I performed ablution during the day or night, I prayed after that ablution as much as was written for me.” (Bukhari)

Do you remember when he ascended the Kabah to call the adhan? The first Muadhin in Islam. What a beautiful task Bilal {رَضِيَ اَللهُ ءَنْه} had, The Caller to Prayer. Do you remember when Bilal laid eyes on Umayyah ibn Khalaf at the Battle of Badr? Can you imagine that?

Do you remember the period of Muhammad ﷺ death? When Bilal {رَضِيَ اَللهُ ءَنْه} was so overcome with grief that he had wished death had overtaken him before this day. When Bilal {رَضِيَ اَللهُ ءَنْه} could no longer call the adhan because the name Muhammad ﷺ brought him to tears. When the name Muhammad ﷺ brought the people of Madinah to tears. Do you remember when Bilal {رَضِيَ اَللهُ ءَنْه} asked Abu Bakr {رَضِيَ اَللهُ ءَنْه} if he could leave because his heart could not bear being in the City of Rasulallah ﷺ, without Rasulallah  ﷺ. Every street and every corner reminded him of Muhammad ﷺ. Abu Bakr {رَضِيَ اَللهُ ءَنْه} pleaded with Bilal to stay and Bilal {رَضِيَ اَللهُ ءَنْه} said

“If you have freed me for yourself then keep me (for yourself), but if you have freed me for Allah’s Sake, then leave me for Allah’s Work.” (Bukhari)

Can you imagine the state of Bilal {رَضِيَ اَللهُ ءَنْه} heart? Bilal {رَضِيَ اَللهُ ءَنْه} who called the people of Madinah to prayer, to success. Bilal {رَضِيَ اَللهُ ءَنْه} who sought permission to call the adhan from Muhammad ﷺ before every salaah. Bilal {رَضِيَ اَللهُ ءَنْه} who returned to Madinah from Syria after time, and called the adhan upon the request of Hasan and Hussain {رَضِيَ اَللهُ ءَنْه}, despite the pangs of pain he felt.

Can you imagine the moment Bilal uttered ‘Allah hu Akbar’ as he called the adhan once again, in the City of Rasulallah  ﷺ? The people of Madinah fled their homes in disbelief at the sound of Bilal {رَضِيَ اَللهُ ءَنْه} calling the adhan. Reminiscent of the time that Muhammad ﷺ lived. Do you remember that? When the beards of the companions were drenched with tears, reminiscent of the time that Muhammad ﷺ was amongst them.

Do you remember when death reached Bilal {رَضِيَ اَللهُ ءَنْه}? His wife was overcome with grief, but Bilal {رَضِيَ اَللهُ ءَنْه} was overcome with happiness. Why? Because he was going to be reunited with his habib, Muhammad ﷺ.

This was Bilal ibn Rabah. {رَضِيَ اَللهُ ءَنْه} May Allah be pleased with him

Let us use this opportunity to ponder over the Call to Prayer, these very words that shook Madinah, these very words that call us to a Pillar of faith, these very words that is constantly uttered across the world.

Allah is the greatest, Allah is the greatest

Allah is the greatest, Allah is the greatest

I bear witness that there is no God but Allah

I bear witness that there is no God but Allah

I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah

I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah

Come to prayer

Come to prayer

Come to success

Come to success

Allah is the greatest, Allah is the greatest

There is no God but Allah

 

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