Close your eyes and imagine you’re in the enlightened city of Yathrib centuries ago..
It is a day of severe grief. Hearts are aching, for the final messenger has departed from this world and left his companions paralysed in shock.
His beloved body has not yet been buried and Bilaal r.a stands to give the athan.
Often Rasulullah pbuh would come out of his house which was adjacent to the masjid when Bilaal r.a would call the words
‘Ashadu anna muhammadur rasulullah’
But on this sad day, when Bilaal r.a called ‘Ashadu anna muhammadur rasulullah’
In his touching voice, he looked for the prophet pbuh and did not see him.
Bilaal r.a choked and began to weep with immense sadness. His grief caused the companions around him to sob uncontrollably with him.
Imagine! The masjid of Rasulullah pbuh was filled with cries of the sahaba, mourning the most precious soul ever to have walked the earth.
For three days after that, Bilaal r.a choked up each time he tried to give the athan for his tongue could not bear to utter the name of his beloved. He could not remain in Madinah whilst Muhammad pbuh was no longer there! Thus he sought permission from Abu Bakr and left the city of Rasulullah pbuh for Shaam.
One night, he saw the beautiful appearance of Muhammad pbuh in a dream who said to him
” Oh Bilaal, what is it that you never come to visit us?”
When he awoke, he travelled to Madinah at a hurried pace on the wings of enthusiasm and love to meet his beloved. He reached the enlightened city and lay on the grave of Muhammad pbuh, remembering the sweet days when Muhammad pbuh was alive.
The people were overwhelmed with joy to see the muathin and pleaded with him to deliver the call to prayer as they had been deprived of it for so long. But Bilaal r.a refused as it was too much for his suffering heart to bear.
He then saw the shining faces of Hassan r.a and Hussain r.a who said to Bilaal
“Oh Bilaal, give the athan!”
So Bilaal r.a got up and the beautiful words flowed out his mouth, ringing through the streets of Madinah. Despite it being so difficult for him to call, how could he refuse the request of the grandsons of his beloved??
As soon as he uttered the words, agony evident in his tone, the entire city erupted. Men and women came out of their homes tearing their hair and clothes and there was not a single person in the blessed city whose eyes were not wet with tears.
Just imagine this beautiful heartbreaking scene!
Memories of the blissful days when the prophet of Allah sat amongst them penetrated their souls with shattering pain.
Then came the occasion of the conquest of Masjid ul Aqsa where all the great sahaba had gathered and the likes of Khalid ibn Walid, Muaadh ibn Jabal and Ubaydah ibn al Jarrah said to Hadhrat Umar ibn al Khattab
“Oh Umar, request Bilaal to give the athan”
So Umar ibn al Khattab requested Bilaal r.a to give the athan so he did.
And when he reached
‘Ashadu anna Muhammadur Rasulullah’
the beards of the sahaba which were once black and now had become grey, became drenched with tears. There was not a sahabi whose beard was not soaked with the tears of remembering their beloved.
Imagine! The companions had to console the Giant of Islaam, Umar ibn al Khattab as his heart was in severe agony at hearing the name of Muhammad pbuh.
Bilaal r.a was blessed with the special opportunity of calling athan at the three holiest places.
The haram in Makkah, the masjid of Rasulullah pbuh in Madinah and Masjid al Aqsa in Jerusulam.
Then 20 AH, in the city of Damascus, Bilaal r.a lay on his deathbed and his wife cried
“What grief!” “What sadness!”
And Bilaal r.a replied
“No, say what happiness!”
“Tomorrow, I will meet the prophet pbuh and the companions”..
Can you imagine??
What kind of faith this absolute hero of Islaam had. He was dying, yet he was joyed at leaving this world for he belived firmly he would finally meet the prophet of Allah pbuh.
This beautiful man who made many strong men weep by his powerful words of athan surely has reunited with his beloved.
May Allah make all of our hearts enlightened with the same love Bilaal r.a had for Rasulullah pbuh.