Tag Archives: Bilal

The Bilal Movie: Why it still reinforces the Slave-Narrative of Black-People.

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The Bilāl Movie is actually a Sucka-Emcee Production: Bilāl ibn-Rabāh (May Allah be pleased with him) actually was Arab via his Father Rabāh, from Banī-Jumah, one of the Families of Quraysh, making Bilāl Tribally-Related to Muhammad (Peace be upon him).(The Sealed-Nectar) The mere fact that Rabāh is neither casted, mentioned, nor even referenced in the Film, truly says a lot as per the Agenda of the Producers of this Film: to do exactly what the Pagan Arabs did to Bilāl, which was to deny him his Arabness & replace it with Blackness. I’ll speak more on this-The Reason why Blackness was imposed upon Bilāl is because as a Slave (prior to his Liberation) he had 0-Rights, not even the Right to lay claim to his own Paternal Arab-Genealogy. This, of course, was due to the fact that the Arabs possessed immense disdain for Abyssinia/Ancient-Ethiopia & its People, resulting from the generational Military-Conflicts between them, based upon religio-political & socio-economic dominance in the region, which of course was imposed upon Bilāl, by virtue of him having an Abyssinian-Mother.

The Political-Discord between the Arabs & Abyssinians occured as a result of the Abyssinians of Yemen, then a Colony of Abyssinia, wanting to divert Commerce from al-Makkah to Yemen via making a Church named al-Qullays: a Mock-Kabah, to draw Pilgrims to make al-Hajj/Pilgrimage in Yemen as opposed to al-Makkah. Once the Quraysh learned of this, a Man went to Yemen and desecrated this Church, infuriating the People of Yemen, thereby inciting War…this became known as the War of the Elephant. After the War/Year of the Elephant, which an Abyssinian-Army with an Elephant-Cavalry failed to invade/conquer al-Makkah and were defeated (resulting from Allah casting upon them Flocks of Birds dropping Sijjīl/Firery-Stones [Noble-Qur’ān: Chpt.105; at-Tabarī; as-Suyūtī]), in retaliation, the Arabs of al-Makkah: the Quraysh & their many Allies in turn invaded Yemen. When this happened, countless Abyssinians were captured by the Arabs, including the Mother of Bilāl, Hammāmah, of Abyssinian-Royalty, and Human-Trafficked to al-Makkah-These People became Slaves.(ibn-Ishāq, at-Tabarī, as-Suyūtī) And, this is actually why Bilāl ibn-Rabāh was referred to in a disrespectful way, by Abī-Dharr al-Ghifārī (May Allah be pleased with him)…by the way: the Narration never textually states that he called Bilāl “Son of a Black-Woman”…that was a Commentative Add-On, as is commonly told concerning this Story. This is exclusively based upon Scholastic-Conjecture on part of al-Bukhārī, which this Add-On exists within his Hadīth-Collection Sahīh-ul-Bukhārī.(Fath-ul-Bārī) Ironically, even Abū-Dharr al-Ghifārī is described as being Darkskinned.(ibn-Ishāq, at-Tabarī, as-Suyūtī, Muslim, ibn-Sa`d, adh-Dhahabī, http://www.alajamwalarab.com)

This Film also (subliminally) simply is a Muslim-Version of 12-Years A Slave: it reinforces Subserviance, Destitution, Acceptance of Slave-Culture, etc. Why is it that Bilāl is the only “Black-Companion” highlighted/depicted in Film, Narrative, etc. as “the Slave/Ex-Slave”?!!! Why is it that none of Bilāl’s Military/Statesmanhood Accomplishments are ever highlighted/detailed in Film/Narrative?!!! For example: did you know that Bilāl participated in all the known Major-Battles during the Lifetime of Muhammad (Peace be upon him); did you know that Bilāl was the 1st Minister of Bayt-il-Māl/Secretary of the Islāmic-Treasury: the Chief-Administrator responsible for the collection of az-Zakāh/Taxation & distribution of as-Sadaqah/Philanthropy?!!!(Battles Of The Prophet, Lives Of The Companions, at-Tabarī, as-Suyūtī)

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The only Reason why Bilāl is still inaccurately portrayed as being “Black” is because he was once a Slave. Had he always been Free, no one would’ve ever attributed “Blackness” to Bilāl. Let’s actually take a look at what the Skin-Complexion of Bilāl actually was. According to Ahādīth/Narrations, recorded in various Collections: Bilāl really wasn’t any darker than any other Muslim/Non Muslim Arabs of his Lifetime. In fact, it was common-place for Arabs to boast & laude their Dark-Complexions & ridicule the Complexions of Non-Arabs described as al-Humrah (Reddish-White).(Lisān-ul`Arab: Lexicon of the Arabic-Language, ibn-Manzhūr) However, ironically, almost every single portrayal of him in Literature, Film, etc. depicts him as “Shaka Zulu Black” and/or the Darkest-Person around. Like, in the Film “The Message” for example…the Producers of this Film (in both the Hollywood & Arab Versions) purposely casted the Darkest/Blackest Human-Being they could find to portray Bilāl on Screen…the Question is why?!!! Simple, to continue the Pseudo-Narrative of equating Blackness to Slavery & Servitude. Even in the Hollywood version of “The Message”, Bilāl is emphatically called “Black-Bilāl”…Word4Word…that alone should tell you something.

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The Pseudo-Narrative of Bilāl is directly paralleled with the Pseudo-Narrative of Sally Hemings: the only Reasons why either of them are ethno-historically falsely-portrayed as being “Black” is because they were both Born-Slaves & both their Mothers were Black (Hammāmah, Betty Hemings: even Betty Hemings herself had a European-Father but cause she was a Slave she was considered “Black”). The Father, Paternal-Grandfather, Paternal Great-Grandfather of Sally Hemings were all White-Men/Slave-Owners. Her Slave-Owner, Thomas Jefferson (who essentially used her as a Sex-Slave) was actually her Brother-In-Law (Jefferson’s Wife, Martha Wayles & Sally Hemings had the same Father: John Wayles).(at-Tabarī; Hayāt-us-Sahābah; Virginia House of Burgesses: British Coastal Colonial Law of Slavery, 1660)

Muslim Matters actually published a Review of the Movie.(https://muslimmatters.org/2018/02/03/5-things-to-know-about-the-movie-before-watching-it-review-of-bilal-a-new-breed-of-hero/) Their Film-Commentary of Bilāl not only reinforces my Point, as per the continuation of a Pseudo-Narrrative, predicated upon al-`Asabiyyah/Xenophobia, but also the Major-Themes of Islām aren’t even highlighted. Once again, the important Narrative of Bilāl has been shamefully compromised, at the expense of wanting to capitalize on “Blackness” being at the forefront of World/US Politics via Libya, Police-Brutality, Racial-Profiling, Human-Trafficking, etc.

Gareth Bryant/2018

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Some Brief Islamic-History (Gareth Bryant’s Top-5 most important Muslims of African-descent):

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Author’s note:
Here’s my take on some individual Muslims of African-Descent whom are near & dear to my heart, as people whom have made powerful & relevant contributions to Islam & the world.

Bilal ibn-Rabah-
One of the best-known companions of Muhammad (Peace be upon him), Bilal (May Allah be pleased with him) was the first person designated to sound the Adhan (the traditional Islamic vocal prayer-call), informing the Muslims of the times of the prayers. He was originally a slave of one of the fiercest enemies of Islam at that time, Umayyah ibn-Khalaf-Although his Father, Rabah, being an `Arab by birth from Bani-Jumah (one of the Families of the Tribe of Quraysh, making Bilal a Tribal-Relative of the Messenger of Allah) his status as a Slave is what the Pagan-Arabs used to deny Bilal of his right to claim his Arab Lineage/Heritage. Once Bilal had heard of Muhammad, and his message of Islam, which provides justice for all, through the true worship of Allah, he didn’t hesitate to accept Islam. He believed strongly in the oneness of Allah, as well as the sense of justice that Muhammad was well-known for, everywhere, by everyone who knew him or knew anything about him. He was however, unfortunately, severely tortured by his slave master, for accepting Islam, and was repeatedly abused by Umayyah, before finally being ransomed by Abi-Bakr (May Allah be pleased with him), and thus freed upon Umayyah accepting payment for Bilal’s freedom. He fought in all of the major battles that the Muslims face military opposition, and was actually quite crucial on the battlefield. He eventually moved from al-Madinah to Syria, after the death of Muhammad, and settled in Syria, as a soldier on the Syrian frontier until his death.

Barakah-
Also known as Umm-Ayman, Barakah (May Allah be pleased with her) was a slave, who became a Muslim, after being freed. She was chosen to care for the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him), while he was young. She was one of the strongest influences in his entire life, being almost like a mother-figure to him. She is arguably, with the exception of `Abbas (May Allah be pleased with him), one of only two uncles of Muhammad, who became Muslims, to be the only person to ever know and or be in the company of Muhammad, from the day that he was born, until the day that he died. She became the wife of Zayd ibn-Harithah (May Allah be pleased with him), the adopted-son of Muhammad & the only companion of Muhammad to be mentioned, by name, in the Qur’an itself. She was the mother of Usamah ibn-Zayd (May Allah be pleased with him), the adopted-grandson of Muhammad, and according to historical record, one of the youngest generals in Human history.

Ashama ibn-Abjar-
Also known as An-Najashi & Negus, the official title of the Kings of the Christian kingdom of Aksum (also referred to as ancient Ethiopia), Ashama (May Allah be pleased with him) gave immense help & support to the early Muslim-Community, during the life time of Muhammad (Peace be upon him). Even though he was a one point a Christian, as the then King of Axsum, he still offered the contingency of Muslims, who arrived in Aksum , led by Ja`far ibn-Abi-Talib (May Allah be pleased with him), a cousin of Muhammad, solace & protection, against their pursuers, the pagan Quraysh. This act of providing protection for the Muslims helped to establish a much-needed alliance with people outside of the Arabian Peninsula, which proved to be invaluable, from an Islamic propagation perspective, as well as from simply a geo-political perspective. Muhammad & Ashama would correspond with one another through letters and emissaries. When the news of the death of Ashama reached al-Madinah, the then capitol of the Muslim-World, during the lifetime of Muhammad, Muhammad ordered the Muslims, immediately, to prayer the Funeral-Prayer for him, thus indicating that he had in fact died as a Muslim.

Musa I-
Often known as Mansa Musa, Mansa being the actual title of the rulers of his native Mali, Musa I is arguably considered the wealthiest individual Muslim of all time & the wealthiest ruler in recorded history. He is most famous for making pilgrimage to Makkah, in a way that hadn’t been done before him or after him: He traveled from Mali to the Arabian Peninsula, via the Saharah Desert, with an estimated 60,000 soldiers, 12,000 slaves, 80 camels (each camel carrying between 50-300lbs. of gold dust), innumerable amounts of horses, and enough food & water to nourish all who accompanied him. It was said about him, that on his journey from Mali to Arabia, that everywhere that he went, every city or town that he passed through, he would just indiscriminately give gold away in charity, or as gifts & would supply money to build Mosques anywhere that he had went every Friday. When he went to Egypt, he given away so much gold, he had single-handed crippled the gold-market for a decade, the price of gold had plummeted, because everyone had it. His empire of Mali was the most geo-politically stable, military secure & most prosperous state during his lifetime.

`Uthman dan Fodio-
As the recognized founder of the Sokoto Sultanate, `Uthman dan Fodio was a very powerful figure in African geo-politics. Aside from this, he was also very influential religiously, among his empire and beyond. He is most noted as being a scholar & author, as opposed to being a ruler or politician, although he was very dominant in both scholarly academics & politics. He is most famous for his religious works, about religious purification & ethical governmental practices of rulers. The Fulani War, which initially began as simply commoners protesting about being overtaxed by their rulers, ended up being the most geo-politically significant event in `Uthman’s life. With him at the helm of this war, he emerged not only as the victor, but the sole ruler of the largest Muslim-led empire in West & Sub-Saharan Africa.

Gareth Bryant/2012