This Sahabi Deliberately Enraged His Torturers with One Word

When Bilal ibn Rabaha رضي الله عنه was getting tortured by Umayy ibn Khalaf, his slave master, in the scorching desert sun and burning sand, Umayy would tell him, “You’ll stay like this until you die or disbelieve in Muhammad ibn Abdillah!”

Bilal would keep repeating his famous phrase, “أحدٌ أحد”. (One, One)

Much later in his life, when the sahaba asked him one day, “O Bilal, why did you say “Ahadun Ahad” instead of any other name of Allah?”

Bilal answered, “I used to say other things too, at first. But then I noticed that this particular name of Allah would infuriate them the most, so I kept repeating it.”

What a don.

The mushrikeen of Quraysh knew who Allah was and they thought they worshipped Him. But they also thought there were lesser “gods” like Al-Lat and Al-`Uzza that they needed to also worship so they could intercede for them with Allah, whom they viewed as the biggest God. This was the shirk they had deceived themselves with.

Had Bilal said “Allah, Allah,” it would not have been offensive to them. Other names of Allah, too, they recognized, like الخالق (the Creator) or العلي (the Most High).

وَلَئِن سَأَلْتَهُم مَّنْ خَلَقَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ لَيَقُولُنَّ اللَّهُ…

“And if you were to ask them who created the heavens and the earth, they would say Allah…” (Surat Az-Zumar, 38)

But the one attribute of Allah that they never got was His absolute Oneness, His being the Only One.

Their shirk was in clear and flagrant violation of this particular name of Allah. If Allah was Ahad, then all of their “lesser gods” were a joke. All hundreds of them. Gone.

RELATED: The Genius of Islam | Episode 3, The Curse of Polytheism

So Bilal picked this one name out of all other things he could have said to repeat as they tormented him.

Even while being tortured, he was still trolling them. No fear. Only defiance.

No abject begging or pleading or caving to their demands. No diplomatic “compromise” when it came to Tawhid. Only distinction and delineation of his beliefs from theirs.

Imagine having this kind of inner strength and iman!

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