How old was Bilal when he died?

Answered by Antonio Sutton

Bilal, the renowned companion of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), had a significant impact on early Islamic history. While there are varying accounts regarding his exact age at the time of his death, it is generally believed that he passed away in Damascus during the early years of the Muslim caliphate.

According to al-Suyuti’s Tarikh al-khulafa, which is a well-known historical account, Bilal’s demise occurred either in the 17th or 18th year after the Hijra (AH). However, it is important to note that there are alternative views regarding the specific year of his passing. Some sources suggest that he passed away in the 20th year of the Hijra, while others propose the 21st year.

Regarding Bilal’s age at the time of his death, it is commonly stated that he was just over sixty years old. This estimation aligns with the general timeline of events, as Bilal was born approximately thirteen years before the advent of Islam. Therefore, if we consider the traditional view that Prophet Muhammad received the first revelations at the age of forty, it can be deduced that Bilal would have been around fifty-three years old during the Hijra.

However, it is essential to recognize that historical accounts can sometimes differ, and multiple perspectives may exist. The age of Bilal at the time of his death is one such aspect where opinions diverge. Some sources provide alternative ages, but these variations do not significantly impact the overall narrative of Bilal’s life and his contributions to Islam.

It is worth mentioning that Bilal’s legacy extends far beyond his age or the specific year of his passing. He is renowned for his unwavering faith, remarkable endurance, and his historic role as the first mu’adhdhin (caller to prayer) in Islam. Bilal’s story serves as an inspiration for Muslims worldwide, as he ardently supported the message of Islam and faced considerable persecution during the early years of the religion.

While there may be slight disparities regarding the exact year of Bilal’s death and his age at the time, it is commonly accepted that he passed away in Damascus during the early years of the Muslim caliphate. His age is believed to have been just over sixty years old, taking into account the timeline of events surrounding the birth of Islam. Bilal’s significance in Islamic history goes far beyond these numerical details, as he remains an iconic figure symbolizing faith, perseverance, and dedication to the teachings of Islam.