the love story and fellowship of Abu Dharr and Bilal for the prophet p.b.u.h

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In the history of Islam we find distinguished and unprecedented examples of the strong love and devotion of Muslims for the person of the Prophet. In fact, one difference between the `school' of the prophets and the `school' of the philosophers is just this, that the pupils of philosophers are just students, and philosophers have no more influence than that of a teacher; but the influence of the prophets is like the influence of someone, a beloved, who has entered into the depths of the spirit of the lover, caught him in his grasp, and taken a hold on every element of his life.

The fellowship story of "Abu Dharr al-Ghifari" for the prophet p.b.u.h
One of those who dearly loved the ~Prophet~was ~Abu Dharr al-Ghifari~. The Prophet (p.b.u.h) had given the order to march to ~Tabuk~ (a hundred farsangs - about four hundred miles -north of ~Medina~, close to the border with ~Syria~). Some made excuses, the hypocrites tried to disrupt things, but eventually a powerful army set out. They had no military equipment, and they were in difficulties and in need as regards food too, so that sometimes some of them would make do with a single date; however they were all full of vigour and cheerful. Love created their strength and the force of attraction of the Prophet gave them their power. Abu Dharr was also marching towards Tabuk with this army. On the way three persons, one after the other, fell behind, and the Prophet was informed about each one as he dropped back. Each time he said:

If there is any good in him, God will make him come back; and if there is no good in him, it is better that he go.

The thin, weak camel of Abu Dharr fell back, and then Abu Dharr was also seen to be behind. "O Messenger of Allah! Abu Dharr has fallen back too!" Then the Prophet repeated the same sentence:

If there is any good in him, God will return him to us; and if there is no good in him, it is better that he go.

The army then continued on its way and Abu Dharr stayed behind; but there was nothing to be done - his animal stayed in the same state. No matter what he did, it would not move, and he had now dropped several miles behind. He set the camel free and took the pack on his own shoulder, and in the hot weather he set out over the scorching sand. He was thirsty and it was killing him. He came across some rocks in the shade of a hill and among them some rainwater had gathered, but he said to himself that he would never drink until his friend, the Prophet of Allah, had drunk. He filled his water-skin, slung it also on his back, and hastened off in the direction of the Muslims.

In the distance they espied a figure. "O Messenger of Allah! We have seen a distant figure coming towards us! " He said that it had to be Abu Dharr. He came nearer -yes, it was Abu Dharr, but exhaustion and thirst took his feet away from under him. He was afraid he would collapse. The Prophet said to give him some water quickly, but he said with a feeble voice that he had water with him. The Prophet said: "You have water, but you are near to dying from thirst! " "Yes, O Messenger of Allah! When I tasted the water I refused to drink any before my friend, the Messenger of Allah. " [30]

In all truth, in which of the world's religions can we find such a state of captivation, such restlessness and such unselfishness?

Rumi's story of Bilal fellowship for prophet p.b.u.h
Another of these enamoured and selfless people was ~Bilal al-Habashi~. The ~Quraysh~ were subjecting him to insupportable torture in ~Mecca~, and they were tormenting him under the burning sun by laying him on scorching stones. They wanted from him that he say the names of the idols and declare his belief in them, and that he renounce, and say he would have nothing to do with, Muhammad. ~In the sixth part of the Mathnawi~, ~Rumi~ has related the agonising story of Bilal, and he has justly made a masterpiece out of it. He says: Abu Bakr counseled him to hide his belief, but he did not have the fortitude for dissimulation for "love was ever rebellious and deadly."

Bilal was devoting his body to the thorns:
His master was flogging him by way of correction,
(Saying:) "Why dost thou celebrate Ahmad ?
Wicked slave, thou disbelievest in my religion! "
He was beating him in the sun with thorns
(While) he cried vauntingly "One!"
Till when Siddiq (Abu Bakr) was passing in that neighbourhood,
Those cries of "One!" reached his ears.
Afterwards he saw him in private and admonished him:
`Keep thy belief hidden from the Jews.
He (God) knows (all) secrets: conceal thy desire. "
He (Bilal) said: "I repent before thee, O prince. "
There was much repenting of this sort,
(Till) at last he became quit of repenting,
And proclaimed and yielded up his body to tribulation,
Crying: "O Muhammad! O enemy of vows and re-pentance! O thou with whom my body and all my veins are filled!
How should there be room therein for repentance?
Henceforth I will banish repentance from this heart.
How should I repent of the life everlasting?"
Love is the All-subduer, and I am subdued by Love:
By Love's blindness I have been made bright like the sun.
O fierce wind, before Thee I am a straw:
How can I know where I shall fall?
Whether I am Bilal or the new moon,
I am running on and following the course of Thy sun.
What has the moon to do with stoutness or thinness ?
She runs at the heels of the sun, like a shadow.
The lovers have fallen into a fierce-torrent:
They have set their hearts on the ordinance of Love.
(They are) like the millstone turning round and round
Day and night and moaning incessantly.

Sources

attraction and repulsion of Imam Ali( p.b.u.h)- pages: 76to80

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