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In a narration it is mentioned that Bilal (radiallahu anhu) would often give the adhaan and then he would call Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) hadn’t come out so he went to call the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and he saw that Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) was becoming conscious and unconscious and Sayyidina Bilal (radiallahu anhu) said “What grief (Wa Huznaa).” He said, “I wish my mother had never given birth to me that I see this day,” or that he had died before seeing this day. Sayyidina Bilal (radiallahu anhu) went to give the adhaan and he became unconscious.

When Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) passed away the narration mentions that the blessed body of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) had still not been buried and Sayyidina Bilal (radiallahu anhu) gave the adhaan and when he reached the words, I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, often when he would reach these words Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) would come out of the house adjacent to the Masjid, and he looked and there was no Messenger (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). The narration mentions that Sayyidina Bilal (radiallahu anhu) began to choke and he began to cry and all those around him began to cry and for the next three days that Sayyidina Bilal (radiallahu anhu) tried to give the adhaan, every time he would reach the words, bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, he would begin to choke.

He went to Sayyidina Abu Bakr (radiallahu anhu), he couldn’t bear to remain in Madina without Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and he asked Abu Bakr (radiallahu anhu) to allow him to leave. He said he had heard Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) mention the virtue of jihad and he wants to go out and do jihad. Sayyidina Abu Bakr (radiallahu anhu) said, “No Bilal stay with me, I need you.” Sayyidina Bilal (radiallahu anhu) responded, “Oh Abu Bakr, if you freed me for yourself then keep me but if you freed me for the sake of Allah then let me go.” Sayyidina Abu Bakr (radiallahu anhu) allowed him to go out on jihad.

One night Sayyidina Bilal (radiallahu anhu) was sleeping and he had a dream in which he saw Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) saying to him, “Oh Bilal, what is it that you never come to visit us?” Bilal (radiallahu anhu) woke up and travelled to Madinah at a hurried pace and when he reached Madinah he lay on the blessed grave of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) remembering his habib (love). Sayyidina Hassan and Husain (radiallahu anhum) came and they saw him and they asked him to give the adhaan. This was a request from the grandchildren of the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). Sayyidina Bilal (radiallahu anhu) got up and he gave the adhaan and when he recited the Takbeer (Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar), the narration mentions that Madina erupted. It erupted because it brought back the memory of the time of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). The men and women came out of their houses and were emotional.

Bilal (radiallahu anhu) tried to remain in Madinah but he found it difficult because everywhere that he would look reminded him of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and he couldn’t bear to remain in Madinah so he left. Then came the conquest of Masjid al Aqsa and the patriarch said that he would only give the key to Sayyidina Umar ibn al Khattab (radiallahu anhu) and Sayyidina Umar (radiallahu anhu) travelled from Madinah to Masjid al Aqsa and the Sahaabah (radiallahu anhum) who were there went up to Sayyidina Umar (radiallahu anhu) and they asked him to request Sayyidina Bilal (radiallahu anhu) to give the adhaan and he did.

The narration mentions that when Sayyidina Bilal (radiallahu anhu) reached the words, I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, the beards of those Sahaabah who embraced Islam which were black and had now turned grey, became drenched with tears. There was not a Sahaabah whose beard was not drenched. They had to console Sayyidina Umar ibn al Khattab (radiallahu anhu) because it reminded him of being in the company of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). This was the amazing virtue of Sayyidina Bilal (radiallahu anhu) for he gave the adhaan in the Haram in the Makkatul Mukarramah, in the Masjid of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and also in Masjid al Aqsa.  All three of the most blessed places.

On the twentieth year after Hijrah Sayyidina Bilal (radiallahu anhu) passed away. He was in Damascus at the time and the narration says that as he was passing away his wife said, “What grief (Wa Huznaa),” and Sayyidina Bilal (radiallahu anhu) said, “No, say Wa Furhaa (what happiness). Tomorrow I will meet Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and the companions.” Can you imagine the level of Imaan that you’re dying, you’re leaving this dunya, and you’re happy to leave this world (dunya) because you want to meet the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said that this world (dunya) is a prison for the Believer (Mu’min) and a Jannah for the disbeliever (kaafir). The Ulama say one of the reasons it is a prison for the believer is because it stops the believer from meeting Allah SWT and His Rasool (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and it is a heaven for the disbeliever because this is all that they have.

Can you imagine the state that you are dying but you are happy to die because you want to meet Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). Sayyidina Bilal (radiallahu anhu) passed away in 20AH. He is buried in Damascus, Makrab Bab as Sagheer. This was a man who may be buried in Damascus but he is destined for Jannah. Allah SWT and His Rasool (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) gave testimony and there were many other testimonies. In one narration Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) is recorded to have said, “Jannah longs for Bilal. We long for Jannah and Jannah longs for Bilal.”

Loving Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and the companions (radiallahu anhum) is part of the belief of a Mu’min. Our capacity to love is endless. We can love many people and even things. Love is something we can give to new people without losing love that we have given to others. But the most important love a Mu’min can have is love for Allah SWT and Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam).