Bilal Mohamed
writer. artist. curator.





How I Got That Name
an essay on water

I am Bilal Ahmed Mohamed.
There is also Bilal ibn Rabah and
Bilal Sayeed Oliver.
Islamic peoples say to name your
children after good peoples.
All the Bilal’s I know have voices
of angels.
The first one called the
ummah to prayer.
The other, a singer.
In Islam, music is haram. But I
love Bilal, the singer. And my fans,
from before, still tell me that
they love my voice.
Like water they say.
Smooth, like water.
Like the sweat soaked skin
dripping wet from the forehead of
Bilal. The Abyssinian slave with
skin like mine and a voice like water.
Even angels came down so that they
can listen. Singing loud, bleeding
notes of oneness, pressure pushing
him in sand. He is rock. Boulder.
One finger up. he is down, but He is up.
Wahid. One. 
I know which one my parents named me
after. Always knew, acknowledged one.

Bilal.

Have you heard of him?
Which one?
There’s only one.

After Marylin Chin