Discover the Enchanting Story of Bilal: Footsteps in Paradise

by Suryani Omar

Stream Men Around the Prophet to learn more about Bilal Ibn Rabah on Qalbox. We’re running a special promo now!

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 a 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.

Prophet Muhammad’s Last Sermon

Who was Bilal?

Bilal ibn Rabah was a black man and was one of the earliest who rushed to Prophet Muhammad ﷺ to embrace Islam. 

His piety angered his Quraish master, who dragged him under the sweltering Meccan sun and placed a boulder on his stomach, while trying to force him to renounce his faith.

Bilal stayed steadfast, and would repeatedly cry out:

Ahad, Ahad.” (He is One, He is One)

Rasulullah ﷺ called him “The first of Abyssinia”.

Abu Bakr r.a. freed Bilal from his evil Quraish master. But for Bilal, his true freedom had already come- it was on the day that he declared his shahadah. For at that moment, he knew that no man was his master and his servitude was only to Allah.

Often times when we talk about Black Muslims, his name would be among the first to be mentioned.

Bilal was certainly not the first or only black Muslim in our history – many others have existed and continue to be beacons of the ummah.

Screenshot 2023 02 01 at 12.07.51 PM Discover the Enchanting Story of Bilal: Footsteps in Paradise

A still from the series, Men Around The Prophet. Seasons 1 and 2 are available on Qalbox.

The leader of muezzin.

After the migration of Muslims from Makkah to Madinah, whenever the time for prayer approached, Bilal would walk the streets of Madinah and announce that it was prayer time. This was before the words to the adzan had been revealed.

It was narrated from Muhammed bin ‘Abdullah bin Zaid that his father said that:

Rasulullah ﷺ was thinking of a horn, and he commanded that a bell be made and it was done. Then ‘Abdullah bin Zaid had a dream. He said: “I saw a man wearing two green garments, carrying a bell. I said to him, ‘O slave of Allah, will you sell the bell?’ He said; ‘What will you do with it?’ I said, ‘I will call (the people) to prayer.’ 

He said, ‘Shall I not tell you of something better than that?’ 

I said, ‘What is it?’ he said, ‘Say: Allahu Akbar Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar Allahu Akbar; Ash-hadu an la ilaha illallah, Ash-hadu an la ilaha illallah; Ash-hadu anna Muhammadan Rasulullah, Ash-hadu anna Muhammadan Rasulullah; Hayya ‘alas-salah, Hayya ‘alas-salah; Hayya ‘alal-falah, Hayya ‘alal-falah; Allahu Akbar Allahu Akbar; La ilaha illallah 

(Allah is The Most Great, Allah is The Most Great; Allah is The Most Great, Allah is The Most Great; I bear witness that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah, I bear witness that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah; I bear witness that Muhammed is the Messenger of Allah, I bear witness that Muhammed is the Messenger of Allah; Come to the Prayer, Come to the Prayer; Come to the prosperity, Come to the prosperity; Allah is the Most great, Allah is the Most Great; None has the right to be worshipped but Allah).”

‘Abdullah bin Zaid went out and came to Rasulullah ﷺ, and told him what he had seen. He said, “O Rasulullah ﷺ, I saw a man wearing two green garments carrying a bell,” and he told him the story. 

Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said, “Your companion has had a dream. Go out with Bilal to the mosque and teach it to him, for he has a louder voice than you.” I (‘Abdullah) went out with Bilal to the mosque, and I started teaching him the words and he was calling them out. ‘Umar Al-Khattab heard the voice and came out saying, “O Messenger of Allah! By Allah, I saw the same (dream) as him.”

(Narrated by Imam Ibn Majah). 

When the Prophet ﷺ appointed Bilal to call out for prayer with those beautiful verses, Bilal became the first man to do so. Until today, the term muezzin is also referred to as bilal in some communities such as Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and more.

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The Message is a film chronicling the life of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ through the perspective of his companions.

Footsteps in Jannah.

The event of Isra’ and Mi’raj is a fundamental aspect of Islamic belief and is considered a miraculous journey of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ. The Prophet was taken by the angel Jibril from Makkah to Jerusalem, where he led other prophets in prayer, and then to the seven heavens, where he received revelations from Allah.

It was on that night when Rasulullah ﷺ was brought to the heavens that he heard the footsteps of Bilal in Paradise. 

Narrated Abu Huraira r.a. :

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.”

(Narrated by Imam Bukhari)

Therefore, Bilal r.a. was a man who was constantly in a state of purity. 

His deep love for Prophet Muhammad ﷺ.

After the Prophet ﷺ passed away, Abu Bakr r.a. was chosen as caliph. When Bilal was asked by him to make the call to prayer, he turned down the request as his heart was missing the Prophet ﷺ.

He also left Madinah to be stationed in Sham. During his years in Sham, he returned to  Madinah once to visit the resting place of our beloved Rasulullah ﷺ. After which, Bilal went back to Sham and lived there for the rest of his life. 

Discover the Bilal in you.

Who are YOU calling others to? How can we, too, be people who are always in a state of purity – state of wudhu? How is your love for Allah and the Prophet ﷺ?

Be inspired by Bilal r.a. and spend time learning about him from these three shows on Qalbox:

 

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Bilal: A New Breed of Hero won “Best Inspiring Movie” on Animation Day at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival and “Best Innovative Movie” at the BroadCast Pro Middle East Award 2016.