Story of Abraham
Abraham and Ishmael (1)
The Prophet Abraham, PBUH, continued to be childless until Hagar bore him a son, Ishmael. When The Prophet Ishmael, PBUH, was still nursing, Allah SWT chose to test the faith of his beloved Abraham and commanded him to take Hagar and Ishmael to a barren valley of Bakka. In later times, it would be called Mecca.
Indeed, it was a great test, for he and his family had longed for such a time for offspring, and when their eyes were filled with the joy of an heir, the commandment was enacted to take him to a distant land, one known for its barrenness and hardship.
While Quran affirms that this was yet another test for Abraham while Ishmael was still a babe, Abraham, after having sojourned with Hagar and Ishmael, left them there with a skin of water and leather bag full of dates. As Abraham began walking away leaving them behind, Hagar became anxious as to what was happening .Abraham did not look back. Hagar chased him, ‘O Abraham, where are you going, leaving us in this valley where there is no person whose company we can enjoy, nor is there anything here? ’Abraham hurried his pace. Finally, Hagar asked, ‘Has Allah asked you to do so?’ Suddenly, Abraham stopped, turned back and said, ‘Yes!’ Feeling a degree of comfort in this answer, Hagar asked, ‘O Abraham, to whom are you leaving us?’‘ I am leaving you to Allah’s care,’ Abraham replied. Hagar submitted to her Lord, ‘I am satisfied to be with Allah!’ While she traced her way back to little Ishmael, Abraham proceeded until he reached a narrow pass in the mountain where they would not be able to see him. He stopped there and invoked God in prayer: “Our Lord! I have settled some of my offspring in a valley barren from any cultivation, by you Sacred House, our Lord, so they may establish the prayer .So make the hearts of people yearn towards them, and provide them with all types of fruits that they may be grateful.” (Quran 14:37)
Soon, the water and dates were gone and Hagar’s desperation increased. Unable to quench her thirst or to breastfeed her little baby, Hagar began searching for water. Leaving Ishmael under a tree, she began climbing the rocky incline of a nearby hill. ‘Maybe there is a caravan passing by,’ she thought to herself. She ran between the two hills of Safa and Marwa seven times looking for signs of water or help, later personified by all Muslims in Hajj. Fatigued and distraught, she heard a voice, but could not locate its source. Then, looking down in the valley, she saw a dug into the ground at the heel of the baby, and water came gushing out. It was a miracle! Hagar tried to make a basin around it to keep it from flowing out, and filled her skin. ‘This well, called Zamzam, is flowing to this day in the city of Mecca in the Arabian Peninsula. It was not long afterwards that the tribe of Jurham, moving from southern Arabia, stopped by the valley of Mecca after seeing the unusual sight of a bird flying in its direction, which could only mean the presence of water. They eventually settled in Mecca and Ishmael grew up among them.
We should realize that, the important lesson is : Allah SWT never neglects his people.
Written by Shaykh Abou Abdel Rahman
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