LONDON – An animated movie telling the story of Prophet Muhammad’s companion, Bilal ibn Rabah (may Allah be pleased with him), is planned to debut in the US for the first time on February 2nd.
“My inspiration was my kid, and myself,” Ayman Jamal, the movie writer, was quoted by OkayAfrica.com.
“When I watched movies like Braveheart or Malcolm X when I was in my late 20s and early 30s, I was inspired. Why wasn’t I inspired when I was 10, I asked myself? I asked my 5-year-old son what he wanted to be when he grew up. He said: ‘Superman’. I love Superman, but I wish he’d said something possible, and I wanted to create this. To inspire kids with a real human superhero that they can aspire to. Superman is the reason I did this. I had to save my kid.”
Bilal, in the first-ever animated movie produced by an Arab artist, was first announced in Dubai in 2015 by a group of Saudi professionals who have been working on the movie over the past ten years.
Produced by Barajoun Entertainment, the film was released in English to target an American audience, being a story of a slave who turned out to be a key player among his people after converting to Islam.
Characters in the film are voiced by some famous American artists, including Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, the Game of Thrones star.
“A thousand years ago, one boy with a dream of becoming a great warrior is abducted with his sister and taken to a land far away from home. Thrown into a world where greed and injustice rule all, Bilal finds the courage to raise his voice and make a change. Inspired by true events, this is a story of a real hero who earned his remembrance in time and history,” reads a recap of the film, via Shadow and Act.
Bilal ibn Rabah was one of the companions of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
His father and his mother were both actually prominent people before they became slaves. His father, Rabah, was actually an Arab and was not from Abyssinia.
His mother, whose name was Hamamah, was actually a princess in Abyssinia. They were both taken as slaves in the Year of the Elephant, the same year in which Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was born.
Born in Makkah, the Ethiopian slave was freed after accepting Islam, and became inseparable from the Messenger himself.
His virtuous character and beautiful soul were coupled with a delightful voice that the Prophet (Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) honored by making him the first caller of the Adhan (call to prayer) in Islam.