The Manumission Of Bilal ibn Rabah

Companions of the Prophet

Sahih Bukhari: Volume 5, Book 57, Number 98

Narrated Jabir ibn ‘Abdullah (raa): Whenever Umar lbn Al-Khattab (raa) mentioned Abu Bakr (raa) he would say, “Abu Bakr (raa) is our master and the emancipator of our master.” That is to say, Bilaal (raa).

By enduring all sorts of atrocities and humiliations in the path of love for Allah (swt) and His Prophet (saws), Bilal (raa) set an example and a beacon of light till the end of this world, for the seekers after Truth and Righteousness. He knew well the consequences of renouncing idol-worship and offering devotion to One God, Allah, yet so deep was the imprint of the righteous life and the unparalleled good morals of the Holy Prophet (raa) upon his heart that no degree of savage oppression and violence could blot it out.

One day Abu Bakr As-Siddiq (The Truthful) (raa) saw the heart touching plight of Bilal (raa) and he came to his rescue. “How long will you oppress this poor fellow?” said Abu Bakr (raa) to Bilals (raa) tormentor, Umaiya Bin Khalaf of the tribe of Banu Jamah.

Umaiya said, “If you feel for him, why don’t you buy him?”

So Abu Bakr (raa) bought Bilal (raa), paying ten Uqia (about 23 grams of Gold). Umaiya then said “Take him, for by Al-Laat and Al-Uzza, if you had refused to buy him except for one ounce of gold I would have sold him to you.”

Abu Bakr (raa) answered by saying, “By Allah (Subhanahu wa-ta’ala – swt. Translation: may He be glorified and exalted) if you had refused to sell him except for a hundred ounces, I would have paid it.”

Abu Bakr Siddiq (raa) then declared Bilal (raa) a free man.

It is stated that Abu Bakr (raa) bought Bilal (raa) at the advice of Allahs Messenger (saws). The Prophet (saws) also offered him half of the price in order to mitigate the burden of Abu Bakr, but Abu Bakr As-Siddiq begged pardon from the Prophet (saws) for not accepting this offer and he himself emancipated Bilal (raa).

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Gary Larocque

Born and raised in Canada of French/English heritage. Founder of TSP Muslim (The Straight Path Muslim). Accepted Islam September 12th, 2007 after years of study.

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