Drawing Lessons from the Distinction of the Personalities of the Two Slaves: Bilal (ra) and Wahshi (ra)

Regardless of how much time has passed, some feelings and destinies resemble each other, for example, the destiny and feelings of the slaves from the time of the Prophet Muhammad (saw) and the destiny of some people whose behavior resembles that of slavery in today’s reality. Slaves from the past were captured by the influential rulers of the Quraish and the slaves of today are captured by their own wishes, desires, weakness etc. The distinction in the personalities of the two slaves at the time of the Prophet (saw): Bilal ibn Rabah (ra) and Wahshi ibn Harb (ra) is one which we can also find in the personalities of different Muslims today.

Both slaves had the same reality in life. Both of them were captured andthey were servants, but Bilal (ra) had a completely different view of life. His goal was always directed at only satisfying Allah (swt), no matter in which difficult situation he was in. He endured so much torture for Allah (swt) and sacrificed so much for His Deen. But Wahshi was never happy with his situation and he wanted to do everything to be freed like the others. Nowadays, many people are more like Wahshi. They are dissatisfied with their life and are willing to do everything for a change without thinking about the satisfaction of Allah (swt).

Bilal (ra) had no special skills except that he was able to recite a beautiful Iqama, but every Muslim knows him today for his self-sacrifice. This fact that Bilal (ra) did not give up his Islamic beliefs and suffered so much torture had a great influence on the people of Quraish at that time. This behaviour was a great win for Islam. 

Nowadays, the enemies of Islam use secret and insidious torture methods and even if the Ummah see thousands of Muslims dying, this does not often have the same influence on them like the words “Ahadun Ahad” by Bilal (ra) had in Makah.

The reason for this is that most of the people of today failed to truly see this world just as a temporary stay where they have a battle with Shaytan. If we want to be like Bilal (ra) we must learn to do everything in our life just for the satisfaction of Allah (swt). This is a view of life which is full of Ikhlas (sincerity) and without Riyah (pride). The life of the people who focus only on Allah (swt)’s satisfaction is without resentment, envy, arrogance and unhappiness. However, the bad characteristics remove people from the real meaning of life and pave the way to the hell-fire. If a person is working for the re-establishment of the Caliphate, “Ummul Furaid”, it is nevertheless important that this person always considers the Satisfaction of Allah (swt) and has Ikhlas in all the affairs of his life. This is the big difference between the two slaves. And Muslims today must choose which of these slaves they wish to emulate. The time has changed but the message is the same.

﴿وَاللَّيْلِ إِذَا يَغْشَى * وَالنَّهَارِ إِذَا تَجَلَّى * وَمَا خَلَقَ الذَّكَرَ وَالْأُنثَى * إِنَّ سَعْيَكُمْ لَشَتَّى * فَأَمَّا مَن أَعْطَى وَاتَّقَى * وَصَدَّقَ بِالْحُسْنَى * فَسَنُيَسِّرُهُ لِلْيُسْرَى * وَأَمَّا مَن بَخِلَ وَاسْتَغْنَى * وَكَذَّبَ بِالْحُسْنَى * فَسَنُيَسِّرُهُ لِلْعُسْرَى * وَمَا يُغْنِي عَنْهُ مَالُهُ إِذَا تَرَدَّى * إِنَّ عَلَيْنَا لَلْهُدَى * وَإِنَّ لَنَا لَلْآخِرَةَ وَالْأُولَى * فَأَنذَرْتُكُمْ نَارًا تَلَظَّى * لَا يَصْلَاهَا إِلَّا الْأَشْقَى * الَّذِي كَذَّبَ وَتَوَلَّى * وَسَيُجَنَّبُهَا الْأَتْقَى * الَّذِي يُؤْتِي مَالَهُ يَتَزَكَّى * وَمَا لِأَحَدٍ عِندَهُ مِن نِّعْمَةٍ تُجْزَى * إِلَّا ابْتِغَاء وَجْهِ رَبِّهِ الْأَعْلَى * وَلَسَوْفَ يَرْضَى﴾

By the night when it covers. And [by] the day when it appears. And [by] He who created the male and female, Indeed, your efforts are diverse. As for he who gives and fears Allah. And believes in the best [reward], We will ease him toward ease. But as for he who withholds and considers himself free of need. And denies the best [reward], We will ease him toward difficulty. And what will his wealth avail him when he falls? Indeed, [incumbent] upon Us is guidance. And indeed, to Us belongs the Hereafter and the first [life]. So I have warned you of a Fire which is blazing. None will [enter to] burn therein except the most wretched one. Who had denied and turned away. But the righteous one will avoid it – [He] who gives [from] his wealth to purify himself. And not [giving] for anyone who has [done him] a favor to be rewarded. But only seeking the countenance of his Lord, Most High. And he is going to be satisfied.” (Surah Al-Layl)

Allah (swt) expects from the Muslims certain characteristics; one who helps others, one who has Taqwa (obedience to Allah) and one who believes in the later reward from Allah (swt) and does not prefer what is in this Dunya. Allah (swt) will make the way to Paradise easy for such a personality that is focused on the satisfaction of Allah (swt). To be like Bilal (ra) means to make this characteristic as a habit. Habits are necessary and good, but a Muslim should concentrate on having good habits which bring him near to Allah (swt). So, it is better for a Mu’min to be a slave of Allah (swt) and to attain the eternal liberation in Paradise, rather than being a slave of this deceptive Dunya and his own desires and attain eternal captivity in the Fire.

Written for the Central Media Office of Hizb ut Tahrir by Amanah Abed

Member of the Central Media Office of Hizb ut Tahrir

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