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Thursday 4 June 2020

The Story of Bilal, The First Muezzin

Title: Call to Prayer, The Story of Bilal
Author: Edoardo Albert
Illustrator: Angela Desira
Publisher: The Islamic Foundation
Recommended for: 7-11 years old

This is the story of a young and inquisitive boy, Saeed, who engages Bilal, the first Muezzin of Islam, in conversation about his Call to prayer and his days with the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).
Beautifully narrated and illustrated in full colour.

There are so many lessons to learn from the lives of Prophet Muhammad (s) and his companions (r). We don't have to look far to learn that under the Prophet's leadership, there was no racism. Bilal ibn Rabah is an example of this. 

Bilal was from Ethiopia and the Prophet gave him the honour of being the first Muezzin to call everyone to prayer. When your children read this book, they will also learn of how this freed slave came to marry the sister of one of the richest and noblest family of Makkah. 

This story is told through an older Bilal as he recounts his story to a young boy whom he teaches how to make the call to prayer. It is a story within a story which makes it an interesting read for children. 

The pages within this book are either a double spread with text on each page or text on one page and an illustration on the other. This amount of text makes it suitable for children 7 years old and up.

This book makes a great starting point for discussions on how Islam is anti-racism. You can also add the Quranic ayah where Allah says:
O you mankind, surely We created you of a male and a female, and We have made you races and tribes that you may get mutually acquainted. Surely the most honorable among you in the Providence of Allah are the most pious; surely Allah is Ever-Knowing, Ever-Cognizant. (Quran, Hujarat 49:13)
And also Prophet Muhammad's farewell sermon where he said:
"All mankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over black nor does a black have any superiority over a white except by piety and good action. Learn that every Muslim is a brother to every Muslim and that the Muslims constitute one brotherhood. Nothing shall be legitimate to a Muslim which belongs to a fellow Muslim unless it was given freely and willingly. Do not, therefore, do injustice to yourselves."
Teach your children the story of Bilal and get them to really know him.

You can get this book below (my affiliate link) or at your local Islamic bookstore:

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