This is an excerpt from the talk which was delivered by Habib Kazim al-Saqqaf and translated by Shaykh Ibrahim Osi Efa in Dewsbury on 23rd December 2011.

In the Name of Allah, Most Merciful and Compassionate

All praise to Allah, Lord of the Worlds. And salutations and greetings upon our master Muhammad and upon his family and companions. I intend to study and teach, take and give a reminder, take and give benefit, take and give advantage, to encourage the holding fast to the book of Allah and the way of his messenger, and calling to guidance and directing towards good hoping for the countenance of Allah and His pleasure, proximity and reward, transcendent is He.

Bilal’s Love

The love of the companions for the Messenger of Allah [salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa alihi wa sallam] was not simply a rational love suspended in their intellects, but rather it was real and experiential.

After the flight of the Messenger of Allah [salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa alihi wa sallam] unto his Lord, our master Bilal (Allah be pleased with him) could not remain in Madinah any longer, because all of his emotions in that city were attached to the Messenger of Allah [salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa alihi wa sallam]. So he himself took flight unto the Levant, which is of the most blessed of lands.

Whilst in the Levant, there was not a single battle that took place, except that Bilal (Allah be pleased with him) was in the midst of it; he had true chivalry and he always desired that Allah (Exalted is He) would ennoble him with martyrdom, so he could meet his beloved [salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa alihi wa sallam]. However, destiny protected him, and he was not martyred.

He thought that by staying away from Madinah, his deep and intense love would be brought into balance. During the time of Abu Bakr’s caliphate, Bilal (Allah be pleased with him) returned to Madinah. Abu Bakr (Allah be pleased with him) asked him to call the adhan once again (as he had done in the time of the Messenger), but Bilal (Allah be pleased with him) said that he had taken an oath only to call the adhan at the command of his beloved [salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa alihi wa sallam]. Due to his continuing deep emotions, Bilal (Allah be pleased with him) returned for a second time to the Levant.

Whilst in Shaam (Syria), the Messenger of Allah [salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa alihi wa sallam] came to Bilal (Allah be pleased with him) in a dream, gently asking: “O Bilal, what is all this distance? Why are you so harsh with me?” And so immediately Bilal (Allah be pleased with him) returned to Madinah, and the companions were ecstatic. They asked him once again to call the adhan, but again Bilal refused. The companions replied, “we once could see the Messenger, and hear the adhan – now that the Messenger has taken flight, do not bar us from hearing the adhan also.” But Bilal (Allah be pleased with him) saw it as too great an affair to call the adhan for someone other than the messenger of Allah [salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa alihi wa sallam] and so he had refused the requests of Abu Bakr and Umar (Allah be pleased with them both).

One day Bilal saw al-Hasan and al-Huseyn, and they said to him: “call the adhan in the same way you used to call the adhan for our grandfather, salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa alihi wa sallam.” To them Bilal replied: “as for you, I could never refuse, for you are the pieces of my beloved, salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa alihi wa sallam.”

So our master Bilal thereby ascended, and began to call the adhan. The people of Madinah gathered, and they began to reminisce of the times of the messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. When he reached “Ash-hadu anna Muhammad ar-rasul Allah” Bilal broke down into tears, and could not complete the adhan.

And so too the people cried; Madinah had not seen as many tears since the very day of the flight of the Messenger of Allah, salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa alihi wa sallam.

Years later, when Bilal was upon his deathbed, his wife being emotionally moved (as people normally would be), would cry out: “woe, woe, how wretched this is!” But Bilal, completely oblivious to her, would call: “how beautiful this is, how ecstatic I am!” Initially his wife accepted what he was saying as something normal, but when he continued to repeat it, she questioned him. He replied, explaining his desire for death: “tomorrow I meet my beloved –Muhammad wa hizbihi (Muhammad and his people)!”

May Allah grant us a portion of the love Bilal had for surely the very soul of this religion is love for Ahmad [salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa alihi wa sallam].

Allahumma Ameen. Allahumma Ameen. Allahumma Ameen.