Bilal (Radhiyallaho Anhu) is one of the Best known of the galaxy of ‘Sahabah’ as ‘Moazzin’ of the Prophet (Sallallaho `alaihe wasallam) ‘Masjid’. He was an Abyssinian slave of a disbeliever in Mecca. His conversion to Islam was, naturally, not liked by his master and he was, therefore, persecuted mercilessly.
Ummayah bin Khalaf, who was the worst enemy of Islam, would make him lie down on the burning sand at midday and would place a heavy stone on his breast so that he could not even move a limb…! he would then say to him…
‘Renounce Islam or swelter and die.’
Even under these afflictions, Bilal (Radhiyallaho Anhu) would exclaim…
‘Ahad’ The One Allah! ‘Ahad’ The One Allah!
He was whipped at night and with the cuts thus received, made to lie on the burning ground during the day to make him either forsake Islam or die a lingering death from wounds. The torturers would get tired and take turns… Abu Jahl, Umayyah, and others would vie with one another in afflicting more and more painful punishments …but Bilal (Radhiyallaho Anhu) would not yield. Subhan Allah!
At last Abu Bakr (Radhiyallaho Anhu) bought Bilal’s (R.A.) freedom, and he became a free Muslim…! As Islam taught implicitly the oneness of the Almighty Creator, while the idolaters of Mecca believed in many gods and goddesses with minor godlings, therefore Bilal (Radhiyallaho Anhu) repeated…
‘Ahad (The One), Ahad (The One).’
This shows his love and devotion to Allah. Allah was so dear to him that no amount of persecution could distract him from reciting His Holy name. It is said that the urchins of Mecca would drag him in the streets, with his words ‘Ahad’ ‘Ahad ‘ ringing in their wake.
Look how Allah rewarded his steadfastness…! He was to have the honor of becoming the Prophet (Peace be upon him) Moazzin. He was always to remain with him at home and abroad to call out the Azaan for his ‘Salaat’.
After the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) death it became very hard for him to continue his stay in Madinah where he would miss him at every step and in every corner…He, therefore, left Madinah and decided to pass the rest of his life striving in the path of Allah. Once he beheld the Prophet (Sallallaho `Alaihe Wasallam) in his dream saying to him…
‘O, Bilal! How is it that you never visit me?’
No sooner did he get up than he set out for ‘Madinah’. upon reaching there, Hasan and Husain (Radhiyallaho anhuma) The Prophet’s (Sallallaho `Alaihe Wasallam) grandsons requested him to call out the ‘Azaan’.
he could not refuse them, for they were very dear to him. But as soon as the ‘Azaan’ was called, the people of Madinah cried openly out of their anguish at the memory of the happy old days of the Prophet (Sallallaho `alaihe wasallam) time. Even the women came out of their houses weeping. Bilal (Radhiyallaho Anhu) left Madinah again after a few days and died in Damascus in 20 A..H.
The great devotee and Muazzin of PROPHET( SALLALLAHO `Alaihe Wa Sallam) the courageous and beloved Abyssinian by the name of Bilal Habshi (Radhiyallaho Anhu) passed away in the middle of reading ‘Azaan’ in Damascus, Syria between the years 638 and 642 (AD). This was the second time after the death of PROPHET( SALLALLAHO `ALAIHE WASALLAM) that BILAL( Radhiyallaho Anhu) recited the Azaan.