Friday Sermon – Khalifatul Masih V – Mirza Masroor Ahmad – Year 2020
Allah is the Greatest Allah is the Greatest Allah is the Greatest Allah is the Greatest I bear witness that there is none worthy of worship except Allah I bear witness that there is none worthy of worship except Allah I bear witness that Muhammad (saw) is the Messenger of Allah
I bear witness that Muhammad (saw) 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 none worthy of worship except Allah Peace be upon you all
I bear witness that there is none worthy of worship except Allah. He is One and has no partner. and I bear witness that Muhammad (saw) is His Servant and Messenger. After this I seek refuge with Allah from Satan the accursed. In the name of Allah, the Gracious, the Merciful.
All praise belongs to Allah, Lord of all the worlds. The Gracious, the Merciful, Master of the Day of Judgment. Thee alone do we worship and Thee alone do we implore for help. Guide us in the right path – The path of those on whom Thou hast bestowed Thy blessings,
Those who have not incurred displeasure, and those who have not gone astray. In the last sermon, I was relating the account of the life of Hazrat Bilal (ra), who was from among the companions who took part in the Battle of Badr. Some details were still left which I shall narrate today.
Hazrat Abu Huraira (ra) reported that when the Messenger of Allah (saw) returned from the expedition to Khaibar, he walked all night, and stopped for rest when he became tired. He told Bilal to keep note of the time for the prayers during the night. Then Hazrat Bilal offered as many nawafil or voluntary prayers at night as he was able to, while the Messenger of Allah (saw) and his companions slept. When the time for the Fajr prayer drew close, Bilal faced the direction from which the sun would rise and sat down,
Leaning against his camel, but he was overcome by sleep as he was leaning against his camel. Neither Bilal, nor anyone else from among the companions woke up, until sunrise. Allah’s Messenger (saw) was the first of them to wake up and worryingly said, “O Bilal! O Bilal!”
He replied, “O Messenger of Allah (saw)! May my father and mother be sacrificed for you! “The same power subdued my soul which overpowered you also” i.e. he was also overcome by sleep. The Holy Prophet (saw) then ordered for them to depart and went with their mounts for a short distance.
The Messenger (saw) of Allah then stopped them after a short distance and performed ablution, then gave orders to Bilal who pronounced the Iqamah and the Holy Prophet (saw) then led them all in the morning prayer after the sun had risen. When he finished the prayer he said,
“When anyone forgets to offer a prayer, he should pray [the missed prayer] when he remembers it, “for Allah the Almighty has said: ‘And observe Prayer for My remembrance’.” On the day of the Conquest of Mecca, when the Messenger of Allah (saw) entered the Ka’aba, Hazrat Bilal also accompanied him. Hazrat Ibn ‘Umar narrates,
“The Holy Prophet (saw) arrived at Mecca on the day of the Conquest of Mecca “and sent for ‘Usman bin Talha (ra). “He opened the door of the Ka’aba “and the Holy Prophet (saw), Hazrat Bilal, Hazrat Usama bin Zaid and Hazrat ‘Usman bin Talha “went inside and then they closed the door.
“They stayed there for some time and then came out.” Hazrat Ibn ‘Umar added, “I quickly went to Hazrat Bilal and enquired from him [what happened inside]. “He replied, ‘He (i.e. the Holy Prophet (saw)) prayed in the Ka’aba.’ “I asked, ‘Where?’ He replied, ‘Between these pillars.’”
Hazrat Ibn ‘Umar would say, “I forgot to ask how many rak‘at [units of prayer] he had offered.” Hazrat Bilal would later tell people where in the Ka’aba the Holy Prophet (saw) had prayed. It is narrated by Hazrat Ibn Abi Mulaika, “On the day of the Conquest of Mecca,
“the Messenger of Allah (saw) ordered Hazrat Bilal to call the Adhan from the top of the Ka’aba. “Hence, Hazrat Bilal called the Adhan from the top of the Ka’aba.” Hazrat Khalifatul Masih II (ra), mentioning Hazrat Bilal in relation to the Conquest of Mecca, said:
“Hazrat ‘Abbas (ra) took Abu Sufyan and went to the Holy Prophet (saw) during a gathering. “The Holy Prophet (saw) saw Abu Sufyan and said, ‘Woe unto you! Do you still not believe that God is one?’ “Abu Sufyan replied,
‘Why would I not believe? If there was another god, would he not have helped us?’ “Upon this, the Holy Prophet (saw) said, ‘Woe unto you! Do you still not believe that Muhammad (saw) is the Prophet of Allah?’ “He replied that I am still not certain about this.
“Hazrat Abbas (ra) said to Abu Sufyan: ‘O unfortunate soul! Pledge your allegiance, through this you and your nation will be saved!’ “Aby Sufyan replied: ‘Very well, I will do so’. “On the insistence of Hazrat Abbas, he performed the Bai’at [pledged initiation] on that occasion “but his heart was not fully convinced by it.
“However, later on he became a true Muslim. “Nevertheless, he performed Bai’at, “upon which Hazrat ‘Abbas (ra) said that “now he ought to ask for his nation to be spared, otherwise they will be destroyed. “At that moment, the hearts of the Muhajireen [Muslim migrants in Medina] were fearful.
“They were originally from Mecca and believed that once the honour of Mecca was destroyed, “it could not be restored. “Despite having faced great torture, they prayed for a peaceful resolution. “In contrast however, the Ansar [Muslims living in Medina] were filled with emotion and zeal. “The Holy Prophet (saw) said,
‘What have you come to ask for?’ “In reply, Abu Sufyan said, ‘O Messenger (saw) of Allah! Will you not show mercy to your people? “You are indeed merciful and benevolent. ‘Moreover, I am your relative, your brother, “and I should be honoured in some way as well, as I have now entered Islam.’
“The Holy Prophet (saw) said, ‘Very well! Go and make an announcement in Mecca that “whoever enters the house of Abu Sufyan shall be granted protection.’ “He replied, ‘O Messenger (saw) of Allah! “My house is of a limited size and how many people would it accommodate?
‘This is such a large city, how can its inhabitants all be accommodated in my home?’ “The Holy Prophet (saw) then said, ‘Very well! Whoever enters the Ka’ba will be given refuge.’ “Abu Sufyan replied, ‘O Messenger (saw) of Allah! ‘Some people will still remain [without protection].’ “The Holy Prophet (saw) said,
‘Alright! The one who throws down his weapons will be left in peace.’ “Abu Sufyan replied, ‘O Messenger (saw) of Allah! Some people will still remain.’ “The Holy Prophet (saw) said, ‘Alright! Whoever closes the doors of their home will be given refuge as well.’ “Abu Sufyan replied, ‘O Messenger (saw) of Allah!
‘The poor people living on the streets will be killed.’ “The Holy Prophet (saw) said, ‘Very well! Prepare a flag for Bilal and bring to me.’ “Abi Ruwayha (ra) was a companion and when the Holy Prophet (saw) “formed bonds of brotherhood in Medina between the Muhajireen and the Ansar,
“he established a bond of brotherhood between Abi Ruwayha (ra) and Bilal. “Perhaps Bilal was not present at the time or due to some other reason. “The Holy Prophet (saw) had a flag made for Bilal and gave it to Abi Ruwayha (ra) and said, ‘This is the flag of Bilal.
‘Go into the city and announce that whoever stands under the flag of Bilal will be granted refuge.’ “Abu Sufyan said, ‘This is sufficient. Mecca will now be saved.’ “He then requested permission to leave. “The Holy Prophet (saw) said, ‘You may go!’ “Since the leader already accepted defeat,
“there was no longer a question of whether news would reach them or not. “Abu Sufyan entered Mecca anxiously and continuously said, ‘O People! Close the doors to your homes. ‘O People! Throw away your weapons. O People! Enter the Ka’ba. ‘Bilal’s banner has been raised aloft, go and stand underneath it.’
“In the meantime, people started closing their doors. “Some started entering the Ka’ba and others cast their weapons outside. “Meanwhile, the Islamic army entered the city and people gathered under the banner of Bilal.” Hazrat Musleh Maud (ra) states: “The most extraordinary point worth noting from this incident is the flag of Hazrat Bilal (ra).
“The Holy Prophet (saw) arranged a flag for Hazrat Bilal (ra) “and said that whoever stands beneath the standard of Bilal (ra) shall be granted refuge. “Even though the Holy Prophet (saw) was the leader, he raised no flag for himself.
“After him in terms of the level of sacrifices offered was Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra), “yet no flag was raised for him either. “Following from him in terms of the leaders from among the Muslims was Hazrat Umar (ra), “yet he too had no flag raised.
“The most worthy after him was Hazrat Uthman (ra), the son-in-law of the Holy Prophet (sa), “yet for him also no flag was raised. “Thereafter was Hazrat Ali (ra), who was his brother and son-in-law, “but again, he also had no flag raised for him. “Then, Hazrat Abdur-Rahman bin Auf (ra),
“regarding whom the Holy Prophet (saw) stated that as long as he lives, “there shall be no discord among the Muslims, yet despite this, he too was not granted a flag. “The Holy Prophet (saw) did not even raise a flag for Hazrat Abbas (ra), his uncle,
“and who at times would even speak in a discourteous manner in front of him “at which the Holy Prophet (saw) would show no displeasure. “He too was not granted a flag. “Furthermore, all the other chieftains and people of great eminence were present.
“There was Hazrat Khalid bin Waleed (ra), the son of a chieftain “and who was very well-known himself. “Hazrat Amr bin As (ra), another son of a chieftain was present, “as well as the children of other chiefs, “yet none of them had a banner raised.
“A flag was only prepared and granted to Hazrat Bilal (ra). What was the reason for this? “It was because when an assault was about to be launched upon the Ka’bah, “Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) saw that the ones who were about to be killed were his brethren
“and he went to the Holy Prophet (saw) saying, ‘O Messenger (saw) of Allah, will they kill their own brothers?’ “He had forgotten about the injustices committed [against them] “and overlooking this aspect only saw that they were his brethren. “Hazrat Umar (ra) would say, ‘O Messenger (saw) of Allah, kill the disbelievers’,
“but when the Holy Prophet (saw) decided to forgive them all, “even Hazrat Umar (ra) would have thought to himself that ‘it is better that our brothers have been pardoned.’ “Hazrat Uthman (ra) and Hazrat Ali (ra) would also have thought
“it is better our brethren have been forgiven, even if they committed injustices against us. “Even whilst the Holy Prophet (saw) was pardoning them, a thought may have arisen “that among them are my uncles, brothers, son’s-in-law, relatives and dear ones,
“so if I pardon them it would be better, for my relatives will be saved. “There was only one person who had no relatives in Mecca, who had no influence in Mecca, “who had no helper in Mecca and who was tortured in a state of helplessness.
“Neither was Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) subject to this [torture], “nor Hazrat Ali (ra), Hazrat Uthman (ra) or Hazrat Umar (ra). “In fact, the Holy Prophet (saw) himself did not suffer the same affliction.” It was mentioned in one of the accounts related in a previous sermon that
Hazrat Abu Bakr and the Holy Prophet (saw) were spared from cruelties due to their relations. However I made the clarification at the time that cruelties were inflicted upon the Holy Prophet (saw) as well as Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra). Here too, Hazrat Musleh Maud (ra) has not rejected the notion that they suffered injustices,
Rather, he stated that no one experienced the same kind of torture that Hazrat Bilal (ra) did. Then describing some of the methods of torture Hazrat Musleh Maud (ra) says: “Hazrat Bilal was made to lay naked on the burning sand.
“We can see for ourselves that we cannot walk bare-feet in the months of May and June, “yet he was made to lay unclothed in burning sand. “Then children wearing shoes with nails would jump up and down on his chest telling him,
‘Say there are more gods other than the One God, say Muhammad [sa] is a liar.’ “When they beat him constantly, Hazrat Bilal (ra) would only respond in his own way of speaking, ‘As-hadu allaa ilaaha illAllah. As-hadu allaa ilaaha illAllah.’ “meaning that, ‘how can I utter this after witnessing that God is One,
‘and despite how much you may torture me, ‘after learning that Muhammad (saw) is the true Messenger of Allah, how can I call him a liar?’ “Thereupon the children would beat him even more. “He was treated in this manner in the summer months, i.e. the months of intense heat.
“During the winter months they would tie his feet with rope and drag him in the stony streets “and his skin would be wounded, i.e. his skin would be severely injured. “They would drag him telling him to say ‘Muhammad [sa] is a liar and there are other gods besides God.’
“His response however was, ‘As-hadu allaa ilaaha illAllah. As-hadu allaa ilaaha illAllah.’ “Now that the Islamic army, numbering 10,000, was ready to enter Mecca, “Bilal (ra) must have thought that today would be the day for retribution “against those who used to stamp on his chest with their shoes
“and that he would be recompensed for the cruel beatings and torture he endured. “However, when the Holy Prophet (saw) declared that “all those who either entered the home of Abu Sufyan, entered the Holy Ka`bah, “laid down their arms or closed the doors of their homes would be forgiven,
“the thought may have crossed Bilal’s (ra) mind that “the Holy Prophet (saw) was pardoning his own kith and kin, “which is indeed a noble deed, but how would he receive retribution? “The Holy Prophet (saw) knew that on that day, “there was only one person who could be pained by him forgiving these people,
“and that was Bilal (ra), as these people were not his family or tribesmen. “The pain he was made to endure was not endured by anyone else. “Thus, the Holy Prophet (saw) decided that he would seek retribution for Bilal’s pain,
“but he would do so in a manner which upheld the dignity of his prophethood “whilst at the same time remaining mindful of Bilal (ra)’s sentiments. “The Holy Prophet (saw) instructed that Bilal’s (ra) flag should be raised “and the chieftains of Mecca, who used to stamp on Bilal’s chest with their shoes,
“who used to tie a rope to his feet and drag him, who used to make him lay on burning sand; “should be informed that if they wish to save their own lives, “as well as the lives of their wives and children, “they must come and stand under the flag of Bilal.
“It is my belief that since the creation of this world, “from the time humans were granted special faculties, “ever since humans began seeking retribution from one another and have had the ability to do so, “never has such magnificent retribution been taken by anyone.
“When Bilal’s (ra) flag was pitched in the grounds in front of the Holy Ka`bah “The chieftains of Mecca who used to crush Bilal (ra) under their feet “demanding from him to declare Muhammad, the Messenger of God as a liar, “the same chieftains would have come running, hands of their wives and children,
“to seek refuge under the flag of Bilal in order to save their lives. “Just think of the love and devotion Bilal’s heart and soul must have felt “for the Holy Prophet (saw) in that moment. “He must have thought to himself, ‘I did not know whether I would ever obtain retribution from the disbelievers,
‘or whether I would even have the ability to do so. ‘Now, I have been able to take retribution in a manner whereby “every person who used to stamp down on my chest, ‘their heads have been lowered beneath my feet.’ “This was his retribution;
“those who used to stamp on Bilal’s (ra) chest with their shoes “were now made to lower their heads at the feet of Bilal (ra). “This retribution was far more magnificent than the retribution of Joseph (as), “because Joseph (as) forgave his brothers for the sake of his father.
“The person for whose sake he forgave them was his father, “and the people who he forgave were his brothers. “The Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) forgave his uncles and his brothers “only after they submitted at feet of a [former] slave. “In comparison, the retribution of Joseph (as) therefore holds no significance.”
The first reference was taken from “Seir-e-Ruhani” [book by Hazrat Musleh Maud (ra)]. This same incident has also been mentioned briefly in “Introduction to the Study of the Holy Qur’an.” I am mentioning this because some people write to me stating that a certain incident has been mentioned differently in another place,
Whereas the difference between the two is simply that one has been written in detail while the other has been mentioned briefly. Some people focus on certain aspects and highlight differences between the narrations, whereas both the incident descriptions and their conclusions are the same.
In any case, it is stated here [in ‘Introduction to the Study of the Holy Qur’an’]: “Abu Sufyan (ra) asked the Holy Prophet (saw) “whether the Meccans would be safe if they did not take up arms. “The Holy Prophet (saw) replied in the affirmative.
“He said, every person who closed the door to their home would remain safe. “Hazrat Abbas (ra) said to the Holy Prophet (saw), “that Abu Sufyan was a very proud person, “and what he wanted to ask was whether his honour would be duly regarded.”
(This is an addition to the account with reference to Hazrat Abbas (ra). “The Holy Prophet (saw) said: ‘Very well, whoever enters the home of Abu Sufyan would also be granted security. ‘Whoever enters the Ka`bah, lays down their arms, closes the doors to their homes,
‘or enters the home of Hakeem bin Hizam would also be granted security.’ “After this, the Holy Prophet (saw) called Abi Ruwaiha, “a bond of brotherhood had been established between him and the Abyssinian slave, Bilal (ra). “The Holy Prophet (saw) said whoever came
“and took refuge under the flag of Abi Ruwaiha would be granted amnesty. “He also instructed Bilal (ra) to announce that “whoever stood under the flag of Abi Ruwaiha would be granted security.” “This commandment of the Holy Prophet (saw) was full of profound wisdom. “The Meccans used to tie a rope to Bilal’s (ra) feet dragging him through the streets. “The streets and plains of Mecca were not a peaceful place for Bilal (ra),
“but were a place of torture; a place where he was humiliated and mocked. “The Holy Prophet (saw) thought that on this day, “Bilal’s (ra) heart must be inclined towards seeking retribution; “it is necessary that this extremely loyal companion should be granted his retribution, “however it was also necessary for this retribution
“to be in accordance with the pristine teachings of Islam. “Thus, the Holy Prophet (saw) did not seek retribution for Bilal (ra) “by severing the heads of his enemies with the sword, “rather he handed a flag to his brother, “and commissioned Bilal (ra) to announce that all those who stood under his brother’s flag
“would be saved. “How glorious and beautiful this retribution was; “as Bilal (ra) made this announcement in a loud voice, that ‘O people of Mecca, come stand under my brother’s flag so that you may be granted protection,’ “the feelings of retribution must have subsided from his heart.
“He must have felt that there could have been no retribution more magnificent “and beautiful than the retribution arranged for him by the Holy Prophet (saw).” Mentioning Hazrat Bilal (ra)’s patience and his condition at the time of the Conquest of Mecca, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih II (ra) states,
“Such were the hardships which Bilal (ra) was made to endure (the persecution he faced at Mecca were mentioned earlier). “However, on the occasion of the victory of Mecca, “do you know how the Holy Prophet (saw) took retribution against the disbeliever and
“bestowed honour upon this African slave on whose chest the chieftains of Mecca would stamp on? “At the conquest of Mecca, the Holy Prophet (saw) handed Bilal (ra) a flag and announced, ‘O leaders of Mecca! If you wish to safeguard your lives, take refuge under the flag of Bilal (ra).’
“In other words, Bilal (ra) upon whose chest the chieftains of Mecca would stamp on, “the Holy Prophet (saw) announced to the Meccans that “now the only means to guarantee the protection of their lives was to submit before Bilal (ra), “even though Bilal (ra) was a [former] slave and they were the chiefs.”
“Thus, whether the flag was handed to Bilal (ra)’s brother and “Bilal (ra) was appointed to stand next to him or in the instance of handing the flag to Bilal (ra), “the end result was ultimately the same. “Despite a small difference in the details of how the events unfolded,
“the same point was made and the conclusion is the same nonetheless.” Hazrat Abdullah bin Umar (ra) narrates that on the occasion of Eid, a person would be appointed to walk ahead of the Holy Prophet (saw) with a spear in his hand and this duty would mostly be assigned to Hazrat Bilal (ra).
Muhammad bin Amr narrates that Hazrat Bilal (ra) would dig the spear into the ground – in those days the Eid Gah would be an open plain. According to a narration, the King of Abyssinia [Negus] sent three spears to the Holy Prophet (saw) as a gift.
The Holy Prophet (saw) kept one for himself and from among the remaining two, he gave one to Hazrat Ali bin Abi Talib (ra) and one to Hazrat Umar (ra) bin Khattab. On the occasions of Eid, Hazrat Bilal (ra) would walk ahead of the Holy Prophet (saw)
Whilst carrying the spear which the Holy Prophet (saw) had kept for himself and would then dig it into the ground. The Holy Prophet (saw) would then pray in its direction. It is further narrated that after the Holy Prophet (saw)’s demise, Hazrat Bilal (ra) continued this practise of carrying the spear
And would walk ahead of Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra). According to some narrations, after the demise of the Holy Prophet (saw), Hazrat Bilal (ra) travelled to Syria in order to take part in Jihad. It has been narrated that Hazrat Bilal (ra) went to Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) and said,
“O Khalifah of the Messenger (saw)! “I heard the Messenger (saw) of Allah say that “the best deed of a believer is to serve in Jihad in the way of Allah.” Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) stated, “Bilal (ra), what is it that you desire?” Hazrat Bilal (ra) replied,
“I desire to be sent to perform Jihad in the way of Allah and to attain martyrdom.” Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) replied, “For the sake of Allah and whilst reminding you of my honour and right, “I ask you to stay with me,
“for I have reached an old age. My body has become frail and the time of my demise is very near.” Subsequently, Hazrat Bilal (ra) remained with Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) till his demise. After the demise of Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra), Hazrat Bilal (ra) went before Hazrat Umar (ra)
And submitted the same request as he made to Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra). Hazrat Umar (ra) also gave a similar response to him as Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) did. However Hazrat Bilal (ra) did not want to accept this and insisted in going for Jihad and continued to request Hazrat Umar (ra).
Hazrat Umar (ra) stated, “Who will I entrust with the duty of calling the Adhan after you?” Hazrat Bilal (ra) proposed the name of Hazrat Sa’d (ra) as he also called the Adhan during the lifetime of the Holy Prophet (saw).
Hence, Hazrat Umar (ra) entrusted the duty of calling the Adhan to Hazrat Sa’d (ra) and that after him his progeny would continue rendering this service and permitted Hazrat Bilal (ra) to go for Jihad upon his insistence. This is one narration, but in another narration it mentions the conversation that took place
Between Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) and Hazrat Bilal (as) is as follows: Musa bin Muhammad relates on the authority of his father that after the demise of the Holy Prophet (saw), Hazrat Bilal (ra) called the Adhan and the Holy Prophet (saw) had not been buried yet. When Hazrat Bilal (ra) recited:
“I bear witness that Muhammad (saw) is messenger of Allah” (However, instead of reciting Ash-hadu, he would say As-hahadu because of his pronunciation), the people inside the mosque began to cry profusely. When the Holy Prophet (saw) was buried, Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) asked Hazrat Bilal (ra) to call the Adhan. Hazrat Bilal (ra) replied,
“If you freed me so that I remain with you then I will do as you ask of me. “However, if you freed me for the sake of Allah then let me do as I please.” Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) stated, “I freed you for the sake of Allah.” Upon this Hazrat Bilal (ra) submitted,
“After the Messenger (saw) of Allah’s demise, I shall not call the Adhan for anyone else.” Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) stated to him that this was entirely his choice. Thereafter, Hazrat Bilal (ra) remained in Medina to the point that the armies began to depart for
Syria during the era of Hazrat Umar (ra) and Hazrat Bilal (ra) also went with them. According to a narration in Usdul Ghabah, Hazrat Bilal (ra) stated to Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra), “If you have freed me for your own sake, then hold me back with you,
“but if you freed me for the sake of Allah then permit me to go for Jihad in the way of Allah.” Upon this, Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) permitted Hazrat Bilal (ra) to go. Hazrat Bilal (ra) travelled to Syria and remained there till his demise. However, according to most narrations,
It states that Hazrat Bilal (ra) left [for Syria] during the Khilafat of Hazrat Umar (ra) and not Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra)’s. And according to another narration, after the demise of the Holy Prophet (saw), Hazrat Bilal (ra) continued to call the Adhan during the Khilafat of Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra).
In another narration it states that once Hazrat Bilal (ra) saw the Holy Prophet (saw) in a dream and he said to him, “O Bilal, how inconsiderate of you that you have still not come to visit me?” Hazrat Bilal (ra), who was in Syria at the time, awoke in a state of deep sorrow
And mounted upon his ride and left for Medina. Upon arriving at the blessed grave of the Holy Prophet (sa), he began to weep profusely and was overcome with a state of intense anguish. At the same time, Hazrat Hassan (ra) and Hazrat Hussain (ra) also arrived.
Hazrat Bilal (ra) kissed them both and embraced them. Hazrat Hassan (ra) and Hazrat Hussain (ra) stated that they wished he could call the Adhan for the morning prayer [Fajr]. Hazrat Bilal (ra) climbed the roof of the mosque and according to the narrator when he recited: “Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest”
The city of Medina echoed forth with the sound. And when he recited: “I bear witness that there is none worthy of worship except Allah” The sound reverberated even greater and the people suddenly became restless and when he recited: “I bear witness that Muhammad (saw) is the Messenger of Allah”
Even the women came out of their quarters. The narrator states that he had never seen so many men and women cry as he had witnessed that day. In other words, the Muslims were reminded of the era of the Holy Prophet (saw) and caused them to be overcome with such emotion.
During Hazrat Umar (ra)’s Khilafat when Hazrat Bilal (ra) sought permission to go for Jihad, Hazrat Umar (ra) enquired as to what stopped him from calling the Adhan. Upon this, Hazrat Bilal (ra) replied, “I called the Adhan upon the instruction of the Holy Prophet (saw) and continued till his demise.
“Thereafter, I called the Adhan upon the instruction of Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) “for he was the one who granted me my freedom and I continued to do so until his demise. “I heard the Holy Prophet (saw) say,
‘O Bilal, there is no greater form of worship than performing Jihad in the way of Allah’.” Thus, Hazrat Bilal (ra) left for Syria. Later, when Hazrat Umar (ra) travelled to Syria, Hazrat Bilal (ra) called the Adhan upon his instruction.
The narrator of the tradition states he never saw Hazrat Umar (ra) cry as much as he did that day. Regarding the latter part of Hazrat Bilal (ra)’s life, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih II (ra) states “Towards the end of his life, Hazrat Bilal (ra) went to Syria”
It mentions here that people would not accept his proposals for marriage, however it was mentioned earlier that he was previously married, perhaps he did not get certain proposals for marriage due to the fact that he was traveling to Syria or whilst in Syria he did not get any marriage proposals.
In any case, there are narrations which report that he previously had marriages during the life of the Holy Prophet (saw). Hazrat Musleh Maud (ra) states, “Hazrat Bilal (ra) sent a proposal for marriage in Syria and
“stated that he was an African and so it was their choice if they wished to accept his proposal. “However if they accept his proposal on account of him being a companion of the Holy Prophet (saw), “then it would be an act of great kindness on their part.
“Thus, the proposal for marriage was accepted and Hazrat Bilal (ra) remained in Syria.” He had previous marriages as well and so it could be that all of his wives had passed away, or that none of them wanted to go with him, or he wanted to marry in Syria.
In any case, it ought to be clarified here that Hazrat Bilal (ra) did have previous marriages even though Hazrat Musleh Maud (ra) has written that according to the other narrations no one would accept his proposal or give their hand to him in marriage,
But Allah knows best in which context those narrations were written. However, Hazrat Bilal (ra) sent a proposal for marriage while in Syria and it was accepted and thus he remained in Syria. The mention of his marriage was mentioned as a subsidiary point, the actual narration is about a dream he experienced.
Hazrat Musleh Maud (ra) states that on one occasion, the Holy Prophet (saw) once came to him in his dream and stated, “Bilal, you seem to have forgotten about me and do not come to visit my grave.” Hazrat Bilal (ra) immediately stood up and prepared his provisions for travel
And left for Medina and fervently prayed at the side of the Holy Prophet (saw)’s grave. He was overcome with intense emotion and the news of his arrival spread throughout the city. Hazrat Hassan (ra) and Hazrat Hussain (ra), who were much older then, came running to him and said,
“Did you used to call the Adhan in the time of the Holy Prophet (saw)?” “Yes”, replied Hazrat Bilal (ra). They both asked for him to recite the Adhan for them as well and so Hazrat Bilal (ra) called the Adhan and everyone heard it. During his Khilafat, Hazrat Umar (ra)
Established a system to record and monitor accounts and finances etc in Syria. When these records where complete, Hazrat Bilal (ra) moved to Syria and remained with the Mujahideen [those who partook in battles]. Hazrat Umar (ra) said to Hazrat Bilal: “O Bilal! Who will you entrust to oversee matters relating to your allowance He replied: “I will assign it to Abu Ruwaiha, as he is one whom I can never overlook “owing to the bond of brotherhood established between him and myself by the Holy Prophet (saw).” With regards to Hazrat Bilal (ra)’s truthfulness and honesty there is a narration as follows,
Amr bin Memoon narrates on account of his father that Hazrat Bilal’s brother would declare himself to be an Arab and considered himself to be one of them. He sent a marriage proposal to an Arab woman, who stated that if Hazrat Bilal personally came to see her [to convey the proposal],
She would consider the proposal. When Hazrat Bilal went to see her, he recited the Tashahhud [praised God Almighty] and then said: “I am Bilal bin Rabah and this is my brother. “With regards to faith and his morals, he is not a good man.
“If you wish to marry him, then you may do so, “and at the same time, if you wish you can refuse the proposal.” She replied: “Since he is your brother, I agree to the marriage proposal.” Hence, she married Hazrat Bilal’s brother.
Zaid bin Aslam relates that a few people from Banu Abi Bukair came to see the Holy Prophet (saw) and requested if he would arrange the marriage between their sister and such and such person. The Holy Prophet (saw) asked what their thoughts were regarding Bilal [as a suitor for marriage]?
The second time they came they asked: “O Messenger of Allah! Kindly settle the marriage between our sister and such and such person.” The Holy Prophet (saw) asked them again what they thought of Bilal? When these people came for the third time – having refused previously –
And requested the Holy Prophet (saw) to settle the marriage of their sister, the Holy Prophet (saw) said: “What is your opinion regarding Bilal? “What are your thoughts about someone who is from among the dwellers of paradise?” The narrator says that they settled the marriage between their sister and Hazrat Bilal (ra).
In the previous extract of Hazrat Musleh Maud in which it was written that he would not receive any marriage proposals, there was a context and background to this statement, as there are narrations which state that Hazrat Bilal married a few times. Hazrat Mirza Bashir Ahmad Sahib (ra) writes:
“During the Khilafat of Hazrat ‘Umar (ra), he, along with Abu Sufyan and various other chieftains “of Mecca who had accepted Islam at the victory of Mecca, went to meet Hazrat Umar (ra).” It seems that the “he” is written erroneously.
“During the Khilafat of Hazrat ‘Umar (ra), Abu Sufyan and various other chieftains of Mecca “who had accepted Islam at the victory of Mecca, went to meet Hazrat Umar (ra). “Coincidentally, at the same time, Bilal (ra), ‘Ammar (ra), Suhaib (ra), and others “also came to meet Hazrat Umar (ra).
“These people were those who were previously slaves and were very poor, “but they were among those who had accepted Islam in the early days. “When Hazrat Umar (ra) was notified, he invited Bilal (ra), etc., to come and see him first.
“Upon witnessing this sight, Abu Sufyan (ra), who perhaps still possessed a tinge of ignorance, “became furious and said, ‘Were we to witness such disgrace as well? “Are we to wait, while these slaves are granted the honour of audience.’ ‘Then who is to blame for this?’ retorted Suhail,
‘Muhammad (saw) invited us all to God and they accepted him immediately while we held back. ‘Then should they not possess superiority over us?’” Whilst mentioning Hazrat Bilal (ra)’s status and rank, Hazrat Musleh Maud (ra) has related this incident in the following manner: “During his Caliphate, Hazrat Umar (ra) once came to Mecca
“and all those former slaves who would be dragged by their hair, “came one by one to meet with Hazrat Umar (ra). “It was Eid day and before these former slaves arrived, “all the sons of the prominent chiefs of Mecca came to greet Hazrat Umar (ra).
“They were still sat there when Hazrat Bilal (ra) came, the same Bilal who was previously a slave; “people would beat him severely and drag his bare body across sharp rocks; “large heavy boulders would be placed on his chest “and he would be forced to say that he would worship Lat and Uzza [idols],
“however, he would only say; ‘I bear witness that there is none worthy of worship except Allah.’ “When Hazrat Umar (ra) saw Hazrat Bilal (ra), “he requested the chiefs if they could move back and allow for Hazrat Bilal to sit down.
“He had just sat down when another companion, who was previously a slave, came “and Hazrat Umar (ra) asked the chiefs again if they could move back and allow him to sit. “After a short while, another companion who was a former slave came “and again Hazrat Umar (ra) requested the chiefs to move back
“and to leave space for him to sit down. “Because Allah wished to humiliate them, “coincidentally eight or ten [former] slaves came one after another and each time “Hazrat Umar (ra) would request the chiefs to move back and allow them to sit in front. “In those days there were no large halls,
“rather there used to be small rooms in which only a small number of people could be accommodated. “When the room was filled with the companions who were once slaves, “and the chiefs were made to sit where the shoes were kept, “they were unable to bear this humiliation.
“They immediately left and outside they began discussing “how they had been disgraced in that those people that were once their servants, “now were made to sit ahead of them and they were forced to move back, “also that they were forced to sit where the shoes were
“and that they were disgraced and humiliated in front of everyone. “One of the young chiefs who was wiser than the others heard all of this and said: ‘Indeed, we were disgraced, but the question is whose actions resulted in our disgrace? ‘When our brothers and fathers would inflict cruelties
“on the Holy Prophet (saw) and his companions, ‘these slaves would sacrifice their lives for his sake. ‘Since the Holy Prophet (saw) was granted victory and governance, ‘therefore, you can decide for yourselves “who the followers of the Holy Prophet (saw) would grant honour to;
‘you, who would beat them or those slaves who sacrificed their lives for the sake of Islam? ‘If indeed they deserve honour and respect today, then why do you have any grievances. ‘It is owing to the evil actions of your forefathers that ‘you do not receive the same honour as these slaves.’
“When the wise young man said this, they understood the matter. “They said: ‘Indeed, our forefathers are responsible for this humiliation, “but is there a way in which we can wash away this blemish?’ “They all agreed that since they were unable to think of a solution,
“they would speak to Hazrat Umar (ra) and ask him if there was a way to atone for their mistakes. “When they went to meet Hazrat Umar (ra), the gathering had finished “and the companions had left. “They said to Hazrat Umar (ra):
‘We have come to speak to you about the anguish we felt today in the gathering.’ “Hazrat Umar (ra) stated: ‘Do not feel aggrieved, these people were the companions of the Holy Prophet (saw) ‘and would always be seated at the front in his gatherings. ‘Therefore, I was obliged to seat them in the front.
‘I am aware you may have been pained by my action, but this was my duty.’ They replied: ‘We can understand this predicament of yours, ‘we wish to know is there any way we can atone for the reasons why we suffered this humiliation?
‘Is there any water with which we can wash away these stains?’ “Hazrat Umar (ra) had seen the influence, power, awe and might their forefathers wielded. “When Hazrat Umar (ra) heard them say these words, “it brought tears to his eyes just thinking about how far they would go to atone for their mistakes.
“He was overcome with such an intense state of emotion that he was unable to speak. “All he could do was to point towards the Syria, “Where, in those days, the Muslims were engaged in battle with the armies of Caesar [Byzantines].
“What he meant was that the only way to atone for the reason why they suffered this humiliation “was to sacrifice their lives and go to fight. “Thus, mounting their camels, they immediately departed for Syria. “History tells us that not a single one of these young chiefs came back alive.
“Thus, through the sacrifice of their blood, “they washed away the stain that was embellished on their foreheads “owing to the actions of their forefathers.” Thus, one thing from this is that in order to attain a rank or honour, one must offer sacrifices.
The beautiful teachings of Islam are such that those who offered sacrifices from the outset, their rank and station is undoubtedly greater, irrespective of whether they were slaves of African descent or belonged to any other ethnicity. Islam has granted honour on the ground of merit and can be bestowed upon anyone,
Not just the rich or the poor. If they show loyalty and are willing to offer sacrifices, and if they are willing to sacrifice everything including their lives, then they will be given their due rank and honour. Some accounts of Hazrat Bilal (ra) still remain
And God Willing they will be mentioned in the future. All praise is due to Allah We laud Him, we beseech help from Him and ask His protection; we confide in Him, we trust Him alone and we seek protection against the evils and mischief of our souls
And from the bad results of our deeds. Whomsoever He guides on the right path, none can misguide him; and whosoever He declares misled, none can guide him onto the right path. And we bear witness that none deserves to be worshipped except Allah. We bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and Messenger.
O servants of Allah! May Allah be merciful to you. Verily, Allah commands you to act with justice, to confer benefits upon each other and to do good to others as one does to one ‘s kindred and forbids evil which pertain to your own selves
And evils which affect others and prohibits revolts against a lawful authority. He warns you against being unmindful. You remember Allah; He too will remember you; call Him and He will make a response to your call. And verily divine remembrance is the highest virtue.