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Sahaba
Bilal b. al-Harith
Personal Information
Teknonym Abu 'Abd al-Rahman
Lineage Banu Muzayna
Place(s) of Residence 60/680
Religious Information
Conversion to Islam Rajab, 5/626
Presence at Ghazwas Conquest of Mecca
Notable Roles Governor of Hima
Other Activities Narrating hadith from the Prophet (s), commander of some sariyyas

Abū ʿAbd al-Raḥmān Bilāl b. al-Ḥārith (Arabic:ابو عبد الرحمن بلال بن الحارث) (d. 60/ 680) was a Companion of Prophet Muhammad (s). He was a member of Banu Muzayna who met Prophet (s) with a group of his tribe and converted to Islam in Rajab, 5/626. He participated in some battles in the time of the Prophet (s) and in conquests in the time of caliphs.

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Biography

Bilal b. al-Harith whose kunya was Abu 'Abd al-Rahman was a companion of Prophet Muhammad (s). He was a member of Banu Muzayna tribe who met Prophet Muhammad (s) with a group of his tribe members in 5/626 and converted to Islam. He was living with the clan of Banu Muzayna and frequently visited Medina. As a result, he was called al-Madani (from Medina) in a number of sources.

It is said that Bilal asked Prophet Muhammad (s) to give him Wadi l-'Aqiq in the region of Banu Muzayna which was accepted by the Prophet (s). However 'Umar b. al-Khattab confiscated a part of that land from him, but the other pieces was preserved and managed by him and later they were inherited by his children. In addition, Prophet Muhammad (s) dedicated al-Qabaliyya mines near Medina to Bilal b. al-Harith and he appointed him as the governor of Hima region near Medina.

It is said Bilal had a house in Basra. According to Ibn Hibban, Bilal was trading Lemongrass which is used as a medicinal plant and in perfume. Nevertheless, apparently he was holding the governor position of Hima until his death.

Bilal had a couple of children including Hassan who was linked with the emergence of the school of Irja' in Basra. He passed away in 60/680, in the time of Mu'awiya, at the age of 80.

Participation in Battles

Bilal participated in a large number of Sariyyas and Ghazwas:

  • In 5/626: Prophet Muhammad (s) send him to Banu Malik b. Kinana in a sariyya, but they ran away before he arrived there.
  • In 6/628: He participated in the Sariyya of Kurz b. Jabir al-Fihri.
  • In 8/629-30: He was appointed as the commander of a Sariyya. Also in the same year, before Prophet Muhammad (s) leave for Mecca, he put Bilal and another companion in charge of gathering soldiers from Banu Muzayna tribe; they managed to gather a thousand soldiers and participated in the Conquest of Mecca.
  • In 10/631: When Prophet Muhammad (s) sent Khalid to Banu l-Harith b. Ka'b in Yemen, Bilal accompanied him.
  • According to a number of narrations, Bilal b. al-Harith participated in the Battle of Qadisiyya, the Conquests of Syria and the Conquest of Africa in 27/648.

In the Time of Caliphs

Based on some reports, Bilal participated in the Battle of Qadisiyya, Conquest of Syria and Conquest of Africa.

It is said that Bilal had a house in Basra. According to the report of Ibn Habban, Bilal had a business of buying and selling an herb called camel's hay. However, he apparently had maintained his governorship over Hima till the end of his life.

Narrating Hadith

Bilal has narrated hadiths from Prophet Muhammad (s), 'Umar b. al-Khattab and 'Abd Allah b. Mas'ud. Also al-Harith b. Bilal, 'Alqama b. Waqqas al-Laythi, 'Abd al-Rahman b. 'Atiyya and a number of others have narrated hadiths from him.

References