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24 of the Most Influential Black Muslims in History

Bilal ibn Ribah pictured, atop the Kaaba

Bilal ibn Rabah (580–640 A.D.)

Bilal was a formerly enslaved Ethiopian who became one of the closest and most-trusted companions of the Prophet Muhammad. Known for his beautiful voice, Bilal became the first muezzin (caller to prayer) in Islam, chosen by Muhammad himself.
Umm Ayman aka Barakah

Umm Ayman (d. 650)

Umm Ayman, also known as Barakah, was an enslaved Ethiopian who was emancipated and became a renowned companion of the Prophet Muhammad. She was one of the few individuals who closely knew the Prophet from his birth until his death. Among the earliest converts to Islam, she participated in the battle of Uhud, caring and tending for the wounded.
Usama b. Zayd

Ubada ibn as-Samit (d. 654)

An early companion of the Prophet Muhammad, Ubada was one of the earliest converts to Islam in Medina and participated in all the major battles of the Prophet, including Badr and Uhud. Later, he became a successful commander of the Rashidun army and served under the Rashidun caliphs Abu Bakr and Umar. He was one of the main field commanders during the Muslim conquest of Egypt.



Usama bin Zayd

Usama bin Zayd (d. 674)

The son of Zayd ibn al-Hāritha and Umm Ayman, Usama bin Zayd was among the closest companions of the Prophet Muhammad and was the youngest individual ever appointed as a military general during the lifetime of the Prophet, leading a military force when he was only 17 years old.

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