Monthly Archives: February 2017
Chapter: “And (remember) Lout (Lot)!”
Narrated by Abu Huraira (radiallaahu `anhu)
The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “May Allah forgive Lot: He wanted to have a powerful support.”
Chapter: “Then when the messengers came unto the family of Lout…”
Volume 4, Book 55, Number 595 :
Narrated by ‘Abdullah (radiallaahu `anhu)
The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) recited: ‘Hal-min-Muddakir’ (54.15) (Is there any that will remember) (and avoid evil).
The Story of Prophet Lut [Lot]
By Ibn Kathir
Prophet Abraham peace be upon him left Egypt accompanied by his nephew Lut peace be upon him, who then went to the city of Sodom (Sadum), which was on the western shore of the Dead Sea.
This city was filled with evil. Its residents waylaid, robbed and killed travelers. Another common evil among them was that men had sex with men instead of with women. This unnatural act later became known as sodomy (after the city of Sodom). It was practiced openly and unashamedly.
It was at the height of these crimes and sins that Allah revealed to Prophet Lut peace be upon him that he should summon the people to give up their indecent behavior, but they were so deeply sunk in their immoral habits that they were deaf to Lot’s preaching. Swamped in their unnatural desires, they refused to listen, even when Lot warned them of Allah’s punishment. Instead, they threatened to drive him out of the city if he kept on preaching.
Allah the Almighty revealed:
“The people of Lot (those dwelt in the towns of Sodom in Palestine) belied the Messengers when their brother Lot said to them, ‘Will you not fear Allah and obey Him? Verily! I am a trustworthy Messenger to you. So fear Allah, keep your duty to Him, and obey me. No reward do I ask of you for it (my Message of Islamic Monotheism) my reward is only from the Lord of the ‘alamin (mankind, jinn and all that exists). Go you in unto the males of the ‘alamin (mankind), and leave those whom Allah has created for you to be your wives? Nay, you are a trespassing people!’
“They said, ‘If you cease not, O Lot! Verily, you will be one of those who are driven out!’
“He said, ‘I am indeed, of those who disapprove with severe anger and fury your (this evil) action (of sodomy). My Lord! Save me and my family from what they do.’
“So We saved him and his family, all except an old woman (this wife) among those who remained behind.”
The doings of Lot’s people saddened his heart. Their unwholesome reputation spread throughout the land, while he struggled against them. As the years passed, he persisted in his mission but to no avail. No one responded to his call and believed except for the members of his family, and even in his household, not all the members believed. Lot’s wife, like Noah’s wife, a disbeliever.
Allah the Almighty declared:
“Allah set forth an example for those who disbelieve, the wife of Noah and the wife of Lot. They were under two of Our righteous slaves, but they both betrayed their (husbands, by rejecting their doctrines) so they (Noah & Lut) benefited them (their respective wives) not, against Allah, and it was said, ‘Enter the Fire along with those who enter!’ “
If home is the place of comfort and rest, then Lut found none, for he was tormented both inside and outside his home. His life was continuous torture and he suffered greatly, but he remained patient and steadfast with his people. The years rolled by, and still not one believed in him. Instead, they belittled his message and mockingly challenged him:
“Bring Allah’s Torment upon us if you are one of the truthful!”
Overwhelmed with despair, Lot prayed to Allah to grant him victory and destroy the corrupt. Therefore, the angels left Abraham peace be upon him and headed for Sodom the town of Lut peace be upon him. They reached the walls of the town in the afternoon. The first person who caught sight of them was Lot’s daughter, who was sitting beside the river, filling her jug with water. When she lifted her face and saw them, she was stunned that there could be men of such magnificent beauty on earth.
One of the tree men (angels) asked her, “O maiden, is there a place to rest?”
Remembering the character of her people she replied, “Stay here and do not enter until I inform my father and return.” Leaving her jug by the river, she swiftly ran home.
“O father,” she cried, “you are wanted by young men at the town gate and I have never before seen the like of their faces!”
Lot felt distressed as he quickly ran to his guests. He asked them where they came from and where they were going.
They did not answer his questions. Instead they asked if he could host them. He started talking with them and impressed upon them the subject of his people’s nature. Lot was filled with turmoil; he wanted to convince his guests without offending them, not to spend the night there, yet at the same time he wanted to extend to them the expected hospitality normally accorded to guests. In vain he tried to make them understand the perilous situation. At last, therefore, he requested them to wait until the night fell, for then no one would see them.
When darkness fell on the town, Lot escorted his guest to his home. No one was aware of their presence. However, as soon as Lot’s wife saw them, she slipped out of the house quietly so that no one noticed her. Quickly, she ran to her people with the news and it spread to all the inhabitants like wildfire. The people rushed towards Lot quickly and excitedly. Lot was surprised by their discovery of his guests. and he wondered who could have informed them. The matter became clear, however, when he could not find his wife, anywhere, thus adding grief to his sorrow.
When Lot saw the mob approaching his house, he shut the door, but they kept on banging on it. He pleaded with them to leave the visitors alone and fear Allah’s punishment. He urged them to seek sexual fulfillment with their wives, for that is what Allah had made lawful.
Lot’s people waited until he had finished his short sermon, and then they roared with laughter. Blinded by passion, they broke down the door. Lot became very angry, but he stood powerless before these violent people. He was unable to prevent the abuse of his guests, but he firmly stood his ground and continued to plead with the mob.
At that terrible moment, he wished he had the power to push them away from his guests. Seeing him in a state of helplessness, and grief the guests said, “Do not be anxious or frightened, Lot for we are angels, and these people will not harm you.”
On hearing this, the mob was terrified and fled from Lot’s house, hurling threats at him as they left. The angels warned Prophet Lut peace be upon him to leave his house before sunrise, taking with him all his family except his wife.
Allah had decreed that the city of Sodom should perish. An earthquake rocked the town. It was as if a mighty power had lifted the entire city and flung it down in one jolt. A storm of stones rained on the city. Everyone and everything was destroyed, including Lot’s wife.
Allah the Almighty recounted this story:
“And tell them about the guests (angels) of Abraham. When they entered unto him, and said, ‘Salaman (peace)!’ Abraham said, ‘Indeed! We are afraid of you.’
“They (the angels) said, ‘Do not be afraid! We give you glad tidings of a boy (son) possessing much knowledge and wisdom.’ (Abraham) said, ‘Do you give me glad tidings (of a son) when old age has overtaken me? Of what then is your news?’ They (the angels) said, ‘We give you glad tidings in truth. So be not of the despairing.’
“Abraham said, ‘And who despairs of the Mercy of his Lord except those who are astray?’ (Abraham again) said, ‘What then is the business on which you have come, O Messengers?’
“They (the angels) said, ‘We have been sent to a people who are mujrimin (criminals, disbelivers, polytheists, sinners). (All) except the family of Lot. Them all we are surely going to save (from destruction).’
“Except his wife, of whom We have decreed that she shall be of the those who remain behind (she will be destroyed).
“Then when the Messengers (the angels) came unto the family of Lot, he said, ‘Verily! You are people unknown to me.’ They said, ‘Nay! we have come to you with that (torment) which they have been doubting. And we have brought to you the truth (the news of the destruction of your nation) and certainly, we tell the truth. Then travel in a part of the night with your family, and you go behind them in the rear, and let no one amongst you look back, but go on to where you are ordered.’
“And We made known this decree to him, that the root of those (sinners) was to be cut off in the early morning.
“The inhabitants of the city came rejoicing (at the news of the young men’s arrival). Lot said, ‘Verily! These are my guests, so shame me not. And fear Allah and disgrace me not.’ They (people of the city) said, ‘Did we not forbid you to entertain (or protect) any of the ‘alamin (people, foreigners strangers etc) from us?’ Lot said, ‘These (the girls of the nation) are my daughters to marry lawfully if you must act so.’
“Verily, by your life (O Muhammad), in their wild intoxication they were wandering blindly. So as-salihah (torment, awful cry, etc.) overtook them at the time of sunrise; and We turned (the towns of Sodom in Palestine) upside down and rained down on them stones of baked clay. Surely! In this are signs for those who see (or understand or learn the lessons from the Signs of Allah). And verily! They (the cities) are right on the highroad (from Makkah to Syria, i.e. the place where the Dead Sea is now). Surely! Therein is indeed a sign for the believers.”
Allah the Exalted also declared:
“So we saved him and his family, all, except an old woman (his wife) among those who remained behind. Then afterward We destroyed the others. We rained on them a rain of torment. How evil was the rain of those who had been warned. Verily, in this is indeed a sign yet most of them are not believers. Verily! Your Lord, He is indeed the All-Mighty, the Most Merciful.“
The book was closed on the people of Lot peace be upon him. Their towns and names have been erased from the face of the earth. Gone are they from memory. One book was closed of the books of corruption.
Lot peace be upon him proceeded towards Abraham peace be upon him. He visited him, and when he recounted the story of his people, he was surprised to learn that Abraham peace be upon him already knew. So Lut peace be upon him continued to invite people to Allah, as did Abraham peace be upon him, the patient one who turned to Allah repentantly, and the two held firm to their mission.
Chapter: “Or were you witnesses when death approached Ya`qub (Jacob)?”
Volume 4, Book 55, Number 593 :
Narrated by Abu Huraira (radiallaahu `anhu)
Some people asked the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam): “Who is the most honorable amongst the people?” He replied, “The most honorable among them is the one who is the most Allah-fearing.” They said, “O Allah’s Prophet! We do not ask about this.” He said, “Then the most honorable person is Joseph, Allah’s Prophet, the son of Allah’s Prophet, the son of Allah’s Prophet, the son of Allah’s Khalil.” They said, “We do not ask about this.” He said, “Then you want to ask me about the Arabs’ descent?” They said, “Yes.” He said, “Those who were best in the pre-lslamic period, are the best in Islam, if they comprehend (the religious knowledge).”
The Story of Prophet Ya’qub [Jacob]
By Ibn Kathir
The Qur’an does not give details of Isaac’s life peace be upon him, but reliable Qur’anic commentators mentioned that when Abraham felt that his life was drawing to a close, he wished to see Isaac married. He did not want Isaac to marry one of the Canaanites, who were pagans, so he sent a trustworthy servant to Haran in Iraq to choose a bride for Isaac. The servant’s choice fell upon Rebekah bint Bethuel ibn Nahur, who was a brother of Abraham. Isaac married her and she gave birth to a set of twins, Esau (al-‘Eis) and Jacob (Ya’qub).
Ill feelings developed between the two brothers when they grew into manhood. Esau disliked the fact that Jacob was favored by his father and by Allah with prophethood. This ill feeling became so serious that Esau threatened to kill his brother. Fearing for his life, Jacob fled the country.
The People of the Book said that when Isaac was forty years old, he married Rebekah bint Bethuel, during his father’s life. They said she was sterile, so Isaac prayed to Allah and then she became pregnant. She gave birth to twin boys. The first one was called Esau whom the Arabs called al-‘Eis. He became the father of Rum. The second one was called Jacob, which means Israel (belonging to the people of Israel).
The People of the Book claimed that when Isaac peace be upon him grew old and his eye sight had weakened, he had a desire for food, so he asked his son Esau to go hunting and bring him some cooked game. Esau asked him to bless the food and pray for him. Esau, a hunter, went out to get his father the meat. Rebekah, overhearing this, ordered her son Jacob to slaughter two goats of his best flock and cook them as his father liked and bring it to him before his brother returned. She dressed Jacob in his brother’s clothes and put goat skin on his arms and neck, for Esau was hairy while Jacob was not. When he approached his father with the food, his father asked, “Who are you?” Jacob answered, “I am your son.” When his father finished eating, he prayed for his son to be the more blessed brother and to prevail over them and all people, and for Allah to sustain him and his children.
When he left his father, his brother Esau, who had carried out his father’s command, entered. Isaac asked him, “What is this my son?” He answered, “This is the food you like.” Isaac asked, “Did you bring it an hour ago and ask me to pray for you?” Esau said, “No, I swear I did not,” and he knew his brother had preceded him in this matter and he was sick at heart.
The People of the Book said Esau threatened to kill his brother when their father was dead. They also said that he asked his father to pray for him that Allah make the earth good for his offspring and multiply his sustenance and fruits.
When their mother knew that Esau threatened his brother Jacob, she commanded her son Jacob to go to her brother Laban in the land of Haran and abide with him for a time until his brother’s anger had abated, and to marry one of the Laban’s daughters. she told her husband Isaac to command him with that advice and pray for him, and he did.
Jacob peace be upon him left his family, when night came he found a place to rest. He took a stone and put it under his head and slept. He dreamed of a ladder from heaven to earth. Angels were ascending and descending and the Lord addressed him and said to him, “I will bless you and your offspring and make this land for you and for those who come after you.”
When he awoke he felt joyful from what he had seen in his dream and vowed, for Allah’s sake that if he returned to his family safely, he would build here a temple for Allah, the Almighty. He also vowed to give one tenth of his property for the sake of Allah. He poured oil on the stone so as to recognize it and called the place ‘Ayle’s House’ (Bethel), which means ‘House of Allah’. It was to be the location of Jerusalem later.
The People of the Book also said that when Jacob came to his maternal uncle in the land of Haran, his uncle had two daughters. The elder one was called Leah (Lia) and the younger one was Rachel (Rahil). The latter was the better and lovelier of the two. His uncle agreed to marry his daughter to him on the condition that Jacob pasture his sheep for seven years.
After a period of time, his uncle prepared a feast and gathered people for the wedding. He married Leah, his elder daughter, to him at night. She was weak-sighted and ugly. When morning came, Jacob discovered she was Leah and he complained to his uncle, “You deceived me; I was engaged to Rachel and you married me to Leah.” His uncle said, “It is not our tradition to marry the younger daughter before the elder daughter. However, if you love her sister, work another seven years and I will marry you to both of them.”
Jacob worked for seven years and then married Rachel. It was acceptable in their time, as described in the Torah, for a man to marry two sisters. Laban gave a female slave to each daughter. Leah’s slave was called Zilpah and Rachel’s slave was called Bilhah.
Almighty Allah compensated Leah’s weakness by giving her sons. The first one was named Rueben (Rubel), after whom there were Simon (Shamun), Levi (Lawi), and Judah (Yahudh). Rachel felt jealous of Leah’s having sons, as she was barren. She gave her slave Bilhah to her husband and he had relations with her until she became pregnant. She gave birth to a son and named him Naphtali. Leah was vexed that Rachel’s slave had give birth to a son, so she in turn gave her slave Zilpah to Jacob peace be upon him, Zilpah gave birth to two sons, Gad and Asher. Then Leah got pregnant and gave birth to her fifth son, Issaacher, and later she gave birth to a sixth son Zebulun. After this Leah gave birth to a daughter named Dinah. Thus, Leah had seven sons from Jacob.
Then Rachel prayed to Allah to give her a son from Jacob. Allah heard her call and responded to her prayer. She gave birth to a son, great, honorable, and beautiful. She named him Joseph (Yusuf).
All of this happened when they were in the land of Haran and Jacob peace be upon him was pasturing his uncle’s sheep, which he did for a period of twenty years.
Jacob then asked his uncle Laban to let him go and visit his family. His uncle said to him, “I have been blessed because of you – ask for whatever money you need.” Jacob said, “Give me each spotted and speckled goat born this year and each black lamb.”
But at Laban’s command his sons removed their father’s goat that were striped, spotted or speckled, and the black lambs, lest others should be born with those traits. They walked for three days with their father’s goats and sheep while Jacob tended the remaining flock.
The People of the Book said that Jacob peace be upon him took fresh rods of poplar, almond, and plane. He peeled streaks in them and cast them into the water through for the goats to look at. The young inside their abdomens were terrified and moved and they were born striped, spotted or speckled. When the sheep were breeding, he set their faces towards the black sheep in Laban’s flock and put the rods among them. Their lambs were born black. This was considered an example of supernatural powers, a miracle. Jacob had many goats, sheep, beast and slaves. His uncle and his sons faces changed as if they the sheep and goats) had been stolen from them.
Allah the Almighty inspired Jacob to return to the country of his father and people, and He promised to stand by him. Jacob told his family that, and they responded and obeyed him. Jacob did not tell Laban of his plans, however, and left without bidding farewell.
Upon leaving, Rachel stole her father’s idols. After Jacob and his people had fled for his country, Laban and his people followed them. When Laban met with Jacob, he blamed him for leaving him without his knowledge. He would have liked to know so that he could have made them leave with celebration and joy, with drums and songs, and so that he could have bidden his daughters and sons farewell. And why have they taken his idols with them?
Jacob had no knowledge of his idols, so he denied that had taken them from him. Then Laban entered the tents of his daughters and slaves to search, but he found nothing, for Rachel had put the idols in the camel saddle under her. She did not get up, apologizing that she had her menses. Thus, he could not perceive what they had done.
Then they sat on a hill called Galeed and made a covenant there. Jacob would not ill treat Laban’s daughters nor marry others. Neither Laban nor Jacob would pass the hill into the other’s country. They cooked food and their people ate with them. Each bade the other farewell as they departed, each returning to his own country.
When Jacob approached the land of Seir, the angels greeted him. He sent a messenger ahead with greetings to his brother Esau, asking forgiveness and humbling himself before him. The messenger returned greetings and told Jacob that Esau was riding towards him with four hundred men. This made Jacob afraid and he entreated and prayed to Allah Almighty. He prostrated in humiliation and asked Him to fulfill His promise which He had made before. He asked Him to stop the evil of his brother Esau. Then Jacob peace be upon him prepared a great present for his brother: two hundred female goats and twenty male goats, two hundred ewes and twenty rams, and thirty milch camels, forty cows and two bulls, twenty female donkeys and ten male donkeys.
He commanded his slaves to take the animals, each drove by itself, and pass on ahead of him with a space between the droves. He instructed them, “When you meet my brother Esau he will ask you, ‘To whom do you belong? Where are you going?’ You shall say, ‘They belong to your servant Jacob; they are a present to my master Esau. Moreover, he is behind us.”
Jacob stayed behind with his two wives, his slaves and his children for two nights, then continued walking by night and resting by day.
When the dawn of the second day came one of the angels appeared in the shape of a man. Jacob began to wrestle with him. They were neck and neck until the angel injured his thigh and Jacob became lame. When the day was breaking, the angel said to him, ‘What is your name?’ He answered, ‘Jacob.’ The angel said, “After today you shall not be called anything but Israel.” Jacob asked, “Who are you? What is your name?” He vanished. Then Jacob knew that he was one of the angels. Jacob was lame, and for this reason the children of Israel do not eat the thigh muscle on the hip socket.
Jacob raised his eyes and saw his brother Esau coming. Jacob prostrated seven times before him for it was their salutation in that time. It was lawful for them just as the angels had prostration in salutation to Adam.
When Esau saw him, he ran towards him, embraced and kissed him and wept. When Esau raised his eyes and saw the women and children he asked, “Who are these with you?” Jacob answered, “Those whom Allah has give me, your servant.” Leah, Rachel, their slaves, and all the children approached and prostrated before him. Jacob asked Esau to accept his gift and insisted until he did so.
Esau returned and went in advance before him. Jacob and his family followed with the flocks and herds and slaves to the mountains (Seir).
When he came to Succoth (Sahur), he built a house for himself and shades for his beasts. Then he passed by Jerusalem, the village of Shechem, and camped before the village. He bought a farm from Shcehm Ibn Hamor with one hundred goats and built an altar, which he called Ayl, as Allah commanded him. He built the altar where Jerusalem stands today and later Solomon son of David peace be upon him rebuilt it. It is in the place of the stone which he had earlier anointed with oil as was mentioned before.
The people of the book tell a story of Dinah, daughter of Jacob and Leah. Shechem ibn Hamor seized her and lay with her by force. Then he asked her father and brothers to let him marry her. Her brothers said, “Circumcise all of you, and we will give our daughters to you, and we will take your daughters for ourselves; but we do not marry with uncircumcised people.” They (the men of the city) agreed to that, and all of them were circumcised. When the third day came, the pain from the circumcision had increased, Jacob’s sons approached and killed them till the last one. They killed Shchem and his father for the evil they had committed against them and for their worship of idols. That is why Jacob’s sons killed them and seized their money as spoils.
Then Rachel got pregnant and gave birth to a son, Benjamin, but she had a hard labor and died after delivery. Jacob buried her in Ephrath (afrath). The tomb of Rachel is there till the present day. Jacob’s sons were twelve men. From Leah there were Rueben (Robil), Simon (Shamun), Levi (Lawi), Judah (Yahudh), Issachar (Isakher), and Zebulun (Zablun). From Rachel there were Joseph (Yusuf) peace be upon him and Benjamin. From Rachel’s slave there were Dan and Naphtali (Neftali), and from Leah’s slave there were Gad and Asher.
Jacob came to his father Isaac and settled with him in the village of Hebron which lies in the land of Canaan where Abraham had lived. Then Isaac fell ill and died when he was one hundred eighty years old. his sons Esau and Jacob buried him with his father Abraham al-Khalil in a cave which he had bought. It was said that Abraham died at the age of one hundred seventy five.
Allah the Almighty declared in the Glorious Qur’an:
“And who turns away from the religion of Abraham (Islamic Monotheism) except him who befools himself? Truly, We chose him in this world and verily, in the Hereafter he will be among the righteous.
“When his Lord said to him, ‘Submit (be a Muslim)!’ He said, ‘I have submitted myself (as a Muslim) to the Lord of the ‘alamin (mankind, jinn and all that exists).’
“And this (submission to Allah, Islam) was enjoined by Abraham upon his sons and by Jacob, (saying), ‘O my sons! Allah has chosen for you the true religion, then die not except in the Faith of Islam (as Muslims – Islamic Monotheism).’
“Or were you witnesses when death approached Jacob? When he said unto his sons, ‘What will you worship after me?’ They said, ‘We shall worship you (ilah (God – Allah), the ilah (God) of your fathers, Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, One ilah (God), and to Him we submit (in Islam).’
“That was a nation who had passed away. They shall receive the reward of what they earned and you of what you earn. And you will not be asked of what they used to do.
“They say, ‘Be Jews or Christians, and then you will be guided.’ Say (to them O Muhammad), ‘Nay (we follow) only the religion of Abraham, hanifan (Islamic monotheism, i.e. to worship none but Allah Alone, and he was not of the al-mushrikin (those who worshipped others along with Allah).’
“Say (O Muslims), “We believe in Allah and that which has been sent down to us and that which had been sent down to Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob and to al-asbat (the twelve sons of Jacob), and that which has been given to Moses and Jesus and that which has been given to the Prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and to Him we have submitted (in Islam).’
“So if they believe in the like of that which you believe, then they are rightly guided, but if they turn away, then they are only in opposition. So, Allah, will suffice you against them. He is the All-Hearer, the All-Knower.
“(Our sibghah, religion is) the sibghah (religion) of Allah (Islam) and which sibghah (religion) can be better than Allah’s. We are His worshippers.
“Say (O Muhammad, to the Jews and Christians), ‘Dispute you with us about Allah while He is our Lord and your Lord? And we are to be rewarded for our deeds and you for your deeds. We are sincere to Him in worship and obedience (i.e., we worship Him Alone and none else, and we obey His Orders).’ Or say you that Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, and al-asbat (the twelve sons of Jacob) were Jews or Christians? Say, ‘Do you know better or does Allah know better … that they all were Muslims? And who is more unjust than he who conceals the testimony (to believe in the Prophet Muhammad, when he comes written in their books) he has from Allah? Allah is not unaware of what you do.’ “
In another Surah Almighty Allah declared:
“O People of the Scripture (Jews and Christians)! Why do you dispute about Abraham, while the Torah and the Gospel were not revealed till after him? Have you then no sense? Verily, you are those who have disputed about that of which you have no knowledge. Why do then dispute concerning that which you have no knowledge? It is Allah Who knows, and you know not.
“Abraham was neither a Jew nor a Christian, but he was a true Muslim hanifan (Islamic Monotheism), to worship none but Allah Alone and he was not of the polytheists (he joined none in worship with Allah).
“Verily, among mankind who have the best claim to Abraham are those who followed him, and this Prophet (Muhammad) and those who have believed (Muslims). And Allah is the wali (Protector and Helper) of the believers.”
Allah the Exalted also affirmed:
“Then verily! Your Lord for those who do evil (commit sins and are disobedient to Allah) in ignorance and afterward repent and do righteous deeds. Verily, your Lord thereafter to such is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.
“Verily, Abraham was an ‘Ummah (a leader having all the good righteous qualities or a nation), obedient to Allah, hanifan (to worship none but Allah), and he was not one of those who were al-mushrikin (polytheists, idolaters, disbelivers in the Oneness of Allah and those who joined partners with Allah). He was thankful for His (Allah’s) Graces. He (Allah) chose him (as an intimate friend) and guided him to a Straight Path (Islamic Monotheism, neither Judaism or Christianity). We gave him good in this world and in the Hereafter he shall be of the righteous. Then, We have inspired you (O Muhammad saying), ‘Follow the religion of Abraham hanifan (Islamic Monotheism to worship none but Allah) and he was not of the mushrikin (polytheists, pagans, idolaters, disbeliveers in the Oneness of Allah and His Messenger Muhammad, those who worship others along with Allah or set up rivals with or partners to Allah).’ “
Chapter: The Statement of Allah Taa’la: “And mention in the Book Isma’il…”
Volume 4, Book 55, Number 592 :
Narrated by Salama bin Al-Akwa (radiallaahu `anhu)
The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) passed by some persons of the tribe of Aslam practicing archery (i.e. the throwing of arrows) Allah’s Apostle said, “O offspring of Ishmael! Practice archery (i.e. arrow throwing) as your father was a great archer (i.e. arrow-thrower). I am with (on the side of) the son of so-and-so-.” Hearing that, one of the two teams stopped throwing. Allah’s Apostle asked them, “Why are you not throwing?” They replied, “O Allah’s Apostle! How shall we throw when you are with the opposite team?” He said, “Throw, for I am with you all.”
Ibn Kathir writes:
One day, Abraham woke up and asked his wife Hajar to get her son and prepare for a long journey. In a few days Abraham started out with his wife Hajar and their son Ishmael. The child was still nursing and not yet weaned.
Abraham walked through cultivated land, desert, and mountains until he reached the desert of the Arabian Peninsula and came to an uncultivated valley having no fruit, no trees, no food, no water. The valley had no sign of life. After Abraham had helped his wife and child to dismount, he left them with a small amount of food and water which was hardly enough for 2 days. He turned around and walked away. He wife hurried after him asking: “Where are you going Abraham, leaving us in this barren valley?”
Abraham did not answer her, but continued walking. She repeated what she had said, but he remained silent. Finally she understood that he was not acting on his own initiative. she realized that Allah had commanded him to do this. She asked him : “Did Allah command you to do so?” He replied: “Yes.” Then his great wife said: “We are not going to be lost, since Allah Who has commanded you is with us.”
Abraham invoked Almighty Allah thus:
“‘O Our Lord! I have made some of my offspring to dwell in a valley with no cultivation, by Your Sacred House (the Ka’bah at Makkah); in order, O our Lord, that they may offer prayers perfectly (iqamat us-salah) so fill some hearts among men with love towards them, and O Allah provide them with fruits so that they may give thanks. O our Lord! Certainly, You know what we conceal and what we reveal. Nothing on the earth or in the heavens is hidden from Allah.’ “
Ibn ‘Abbas narrated:
“The first lady to use a girdle was the mother of Ishmael. She used a girdle so that she might hide her tracks from Sara (by dragging it). Abraham brought her and her son Ishmael while she was suckling him to a place near the Ka’bah under a tree on the spot of Zamzam at the highest place in the mosque. During those days there was nobody in Makkah, nor was there any water so he made them sit over there and placed near them a leather bag containing some dates and a small water skin containing some water and set out homeward. Ishmael’s mother followed him saying, ‘O Abraham! Where are you going, leaving us in this valley where there is no person whose company we may enjoy, nor is there anything to enjoy?” She repeated that to him many times, but he did not look back at her. Then she asked him, ‘Has Allah ordered you to do so?’ He said, ‘Yes.’ She then said, ‘Then He will not neglect us,’ and returned while Abraham proceeded onwards. On reaching the thaniyah where they could not see him, he faced the Ka’bah and raising both hands, invoked Allah saying the following prayer:
“‘O our Lord! I have made some of my offspring dwell in a valley without cultivation, by Your Sacred House (Ka’bah at Makkah) in order, O our Lord that they may offer prayer perfectly. So fill some hearts among men with love towards them, and O Allah provide them with fruits so that they may give thanks.’ [Al-Qur’an 14:37]
“Ishmael’s mother went on suckling Ishmael and drinking from the water (she had). When the water in the water skin had been used up, she became thirsty and her child also became thirsty. She started looking at him (Ishmael) tossing in agony. She left him, for she could not endure looking at him, and found that the mountain of As-Safa was the nearest mountain to her on that land. She climbed on it and started looking at the valley keenly so that she might see somebody, but she could not see anybody. Then she descended for As-Safa and when she reached the valley, she tucked up her robe and ran in the valley like a person in distress and trouble till she crossed the valley and reached the mountain of Al-Marwa. There she stood and started looking expecting to see somebody, but she could not see anybody. She repeated that running between As-Safa and Al-Marwa seven times.”
The Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him said:
“This is the source of the tradition of the sa’i (rituals of the hajj, pilgrimage) the going of people between them (As-Safa and Al-Marwa). When she reached Al-Marwa (for the last time) she heard a voice and she asked herself to be quiet and listened attentively. She heard the voice again and said, ‘O whoever you maybe! You have made me hear your voice; have you got something to help me?’ And behold, she saw an angel at the place of Zamzam, digging the earth with his heel (or his wing) till water flowed from that place. She started to make something like a basin around it, using her hand in this way, and started filling her water skin with water with her hands and the water was flowing out water she had scooped some of it.”
The Prophet peace be upon him added:
“May Allah bestow mercy on Ishmael’s mother! Had she let the Zamzam flow without trying to control it, or had she not scooped from that water to fill her water skin, Zamzam would have been a stream flowing on the surface of the Earth.”
The Prophet peace be upon him continued:
“Then she drank water and suckled her child. The angel said to her, ‘Don’t be afraid of being neglected, for this is the House of Allah which will be built by this boy and his father, and Allah never neglects His people.’ The House (Ka’bah) at that time was on a high place resembling a hillock, and when torrents came, they flowed to its right and left.
“She lived in that way till some people from the tribe of Jurhum or a family from Jurhum passed by her and her child as they (the Jurhum people) were coming through the way of Ka’bah. They landed in the lower part of Makkah where they saw a bird that had the habit of flying around water and not leaving it. They said, ‘This bird must be flying around water, though we know that there is no water in this valley.’ They sent one or two messengers who discovered the source of water and returned to inform them of the water. So they all came towards the water. Ishmael’s mother was sitting near the water. They asked her, ‘Do you allow us to stay with you?’ She replied, ‘Yes, but you will have no right to possess the water.’ They agreed to that. Ishmael’s mother was pleased with the whole situation, as she used to love to enjoy the company of the people, so they settled there, and later on they sent for their families who came and settled with them so that some families became permanent residents there. The child (Ishmael) grew up and learned Arabic from them and (his virtues) caused them to love and admire him as he grew up and when he reached the age of puberty they made him marry a woman from amongst them.”
The Prophet peace be upon him continued:
“After Ishmael’s mother had died, Abraham came after Ishmael’s marriage in order to see his family that he had left before but he did not find Ishmael there. When he asked Ishmael’s wife about him, she replied, ‘He has gone in search of livelihood.’ Then he asked her about their way of living and their condition, and she replied, ‘We are living in misery; we are living in hardship and destitution,’ complaining to him. He said, ‘When your husband returns, convey my salutations to him and tell him to change the threshold of the gate (of his house).’
“When Ishmael came, he seemed to have felt something unusual, so he asked his wife, ‘Has anyone visited you?’ she replied, ‘Yes, an old man of such and such description came and asked me about you and I informed him and he asked about our state of living and I told him that we were living in a hardship and poverty.’ On that Ishmael said, ‘Did he advise you anything?’ She said, ‘Yes he told me to convey his salutation to you and to tell you to change the threshold of your gate.’ Ishmael said, ‘It was my father and he has ordered me to divorce you. Go back to your family.’ So, Ishmael divorced her and married another woman from among them (Jurhum).
“Then Abraham stayed away from them for a period as long as Allah wished and called on them again but did not find Ishmael. So he came to Ishmael’s wife and asked her about Ishmael. She said, ‘He has gone in search of our livelihood.’ Abraham asked her, ‘How are you getting on?’ asking her about their sustenance and living. She replied, ‘We are prosperous and well off (we have everything in abundance).’ Then she thanked Allah. Abraham said, ‘What kind of food do you eat?’ she said, ‘Meat.’ He said, ‘What do you drink?’ She said, ‘Water.’ He said, ‘O Allah! Bless their meat and water.’ “
The Prophet peace be upon him added:
“At that time they did not have grain, and if they had grain he would have also invoked Allah to bless it. If somebody has only these two things as his sustenance, his health and disposition will be badly affected unless he lives in Makkah.”
The Prophet peace be upon him continued:
“Then Abraham said to Ishmael’s wife, ‘When your husband comes give my regards to him and tell him that he should keep firm the threshold of his gate.’ When Ishmael came back he asked his wife, ‘Did anyone call on you?’ She replied, ‘Yes, a good looking old man came to me.’ So she praised him and added, ‘He asked about you and I informed him that we were in a good condition.’ Ishmael asked her, ‘Did he give you any piece of advice?’ She said, ‘Yes, he told me to give his regards to you and ordered that you should keep firm the threshold of your gate.’ On that Ishmael said, ‘It was my father, and you are the threshold of the gate. He has ordered me to keep you with me.’
“Then Abraham stayed away from them for a period as long as Allah wished and called on them afterwards. He saw Ishmael under a tree near Zamzam, sharpening his arrows. When he saw Abraham, he rose up to welcome him (and they greeted each other as a father does with his son or a son does with his father). Abraham said, ‘O Ishmael! Allah has give me an order.’ Ishmael said, ‘Do what your Lord has ordered you to do.’ Abraham asked, ‘Will you help me?’ Ishmael said, ‘I will help you.’ Abraham said, ‘Allah has ordered me to build a house here,’ pointing to a hillock higher than the land surrounding it.
“Then they raised the foundations of the House (the Ka’bah). Ishmael brought the stones while Abraham built and when the walls became high Ishmael brought this stone and put it for Abraham who stood over it and carried on building. While Ishmael was handing him the stones, and both of them were saying:
“‘Our Lord! Accept this service from us. Verily, You are the All-Hearer, the All-Knower.‘ [Al-Qur’an 2:127]“
Ibn ‘Abbas narrated a slightly different version:
“When Abraham had differences with his wife (because of her jealousy of Hajar, Ishmael’s mother), he took Ishmael and his mother and went away. They had a water skin with them containing some water. Ishmael’s mother used to drink water from the water skin so that her milk would increase for her child. When Abraham reached Makkah, he made her sit under a tree and afterwards returned home. Ishmael’s mother followed him and when they reached Kada, she called him from behind, ‘O Abraham! To whom are you leaving us?’ He replied, ‘(I am leaving you) to Allah’s care.’ She said, ‘I am satisfied to be with Allah.’ She returned to her place and started drinking water from the water skin and her milk increased for her child.
“When the water had all been used up, she said to herself, ‘I had better go and look so that I may see somebody.’ She ascended As-Safa mountain and looked hoping to see somebody but in vain. When she came down to the valley, she ran till she reached Al-Marwa. She ran to and for (between the two mountains) many times. Then she said to herself; ‘I had better go and see the state of the child.’ She went and found it in a state of one on the point of dying. She could not endure to watch it dying and said to herself, ‘If I go and look I may find somebody.’ She went and ascended As-Safa mountain and looked for a long while but could not find anybody. Thus she completed seven rounds of running between As-Safa and Al-Marwa. Again she said to herself, ‘I had better go back and see the state of the child.’ But suddenly she heard a voice, and she said to that strange voice. ‘Help us if you can offer any help.’ Lo! It was Gabriel (who had made the voice). Gabriel hit the earth with his heel like this [Ibn Abbas hit the earth with his heel to illustrate it], and so the water gushed out. Ishmael’s mother was astonished and started digging.”
Abu’l-Qasim, the Prophet, peace be upon him, said, “If she had left the water, (flow naturally, without her intervention) it would have been flowing on the surface of the earth.”
Ibn ‘Abbas continued narrating:
“Ishmael’s mother started drinking from the water, and her milk increased for her child. Afterwards some people of the tribe of Jurhum saw some birds while passing through the bottom of the valley and that astonished them. They said, ‘Birds can only be found at a place where there is water.’ They sent a messenger who searched the place and found the water and returned to inform them about it. Then they all went to her and said, ‘O Ishmael’s mother! Will you allow us to be with you (or dwell with you)?’ Then they stayed there.
“Later on her boy reached the age of puberty and married a lady from them. Then an idea occurred to Abraham, which he disclosed to his wife (Sara), ‘I want to call on my dependants I left at Makkah.’ When he went there he greeted Ishmael’s wife and said, ‘Where is Ishmael?’ She replied, ‘He has gone out hunting.’ Abraham said to her, ‘When he comes, tell him to change the threshold of his gate.’ When Ishmael came she told him the same and whereupon Ishmael said to her, ‘You are the threshold so go to your family (you are divorced).’
“Again Abraham thought of visiting his dependents whom he had left at Makkah, and told his wife (Sara) of his intentions. Abraham came to Ishmael’s house and asked, ‘Where is Ishmael?’ Ishmael’s wife replied, ‘He has gone out hunting,’ and added, ‘Will you stay for some time and have something to eat and drink?’ Abraham said, ‘What is your food and what is your drink?’ She replied, ‘Our food is meat and our drink is water.’ He replied, ‘O Allah! Bless their meals and their drink.’ “
Abu’l-Qasim (the Prophet) peace be upon him said, “Because of Abraham’s invocation there are blessings in Makkah.”
Ibn ‘Abbas continued:
“Once more Abraham thought of visiting his family he had left at Makkah and he told his wife (Sara) of his decision. He went and found Ishmael behind the Zamzam well, mending his arrows. He said, ‘O Ishmael, your Lord has ordered me to build a house for Him.’ Ishmael said, ‘Obey the order of your Lord.’ Abraham said, ‘Allah has also ordered me that you should help me therein.’ Ishmael said, ‘Then I will do so.’ So both of them were saying:
“‘O our Lord! Accept this service of us. Verily, You are the All Hearer, the All Knower.‘ [Al-Qur’an 2:127]
“When the building became high and the old man (Abraham) could no longer lift the stones to such a high position, he stood over the stone of Al-Maqam and Ishmael carried on handing him the stones and both of them were saying:
“‘O our Lord! Accept this service of us, verily You are the All Hearer, the All Knower.’ “
Allah the Almighty told us of Abraham’s affliction with his beloved son:
“And he said after his rescue from the fire, “Verily! I am going to my Lord. He will guide me! My Lord! Grant me (offspring) from the righteous.’ So We gave him the glad tidings of a forbearing boy. And when he (his son) was old enough to walk with him, he said, ‘O my son! I have seen in a dream that I am slaughtering you (offer you in sacrifice to Allah), so look what do you think?’ His son said, ‘O my father! Do that which you are commanded insha’Allah (if Allah wills), you shall find me of the patient.’
“Then when they had both submitted themselves to the Will of Allah and he had laid him prostrate on his forehead (or on the side of his forehead for slaughtering) and We called out to him, ‘O Abraham! You have fulfilled the dream.’ Verily! Thus do We reward those who perform good deeds, totally for Allah’s sake only. Verily, that indeed was a manifest trial and We ransomed him with a great sacrifice (a ram) and We left for him a goodly remembrance among generations (to come) in later times. Salamun (peace) be upon Abraham! Thus indeed do We reward the muhsinin (good-doers). Verily, he was one of Our believing slaves.”
Time passed. One day Abraham was sitting outside his tent thinking of his son Ishmael and Allah’s sacrifice. His heart was filled with awe and love for Allah for His countless blessings. A big tear dropped from his eyes and reminded him of Ishmael.
In the meantime, three angels descended to the earth; Gabriel, Israfil, and Michael. They came in human shapes and saluted Abraham. Abraham arose and welcomed them. He took them inside his tent thinking they were strangers and guests. He seated them and made sure that they were comfortable, then excused himself to go to his people.
His wife Sara arose when he entered. She had become old and white haired. Abraham said to her, “We have three strangers in the house.” “Who are they?” she asked. “I do not know any of them,” he answered. “What food have we got?” He asked. “Half a sheep,” she replied, “Half a sheep! Slaughter a fat calf for them; they are strangers and guests,” he ordered while leaving.
The servants roasted and served a calf. Abraham invited the angels to eat and he started eating so as to encourage them. He continued, but when he glanced at his guests to assure they were eating, he noticed that none of them had touched the food. He said to the them, “Are you not going to eat?” He resumed eating, but when he glanced at them again he found that they were still not eating. Their hands did not reach out for the food. He began to fear them.
Abraham’s fears increased. The angels, however were reading his inner thoughts and one of them said, “Do not fear.” Abraham raised his head and replied, “Indeed I am in fear. I have asked you to eat food but you do not stretch out your hands to eat. Do you intend me evil?”
One of the angels smiled and said, “We do not eat. We are Allah’s angels.” One of them then turned towards his wife and conveyed the glad tidings about Isaac (Ishaq).
Almighty Allah revealed:
“Verily! There came Our Messengers to Abraham with glad tidings. They said, ‘Salam (greetings or peace)!’ He answered: ‘Salam (greetings or peace)!’ And he hastened to entertain them with a roasted calf. But, when he saw their hands went not towards it (the meal), he felt some mistrust of them, and conceived a fear of them. They said, ‘Fear not, we have been sent against the people of Lot.’ And his wife was standing there and she laughed (either, because the Messengers did not eat their food or for being glad for the destruction of the people of Lot). But We gave her glad tidings of Isaac, and after him of Jacob.
“She said (in astonishment), ‘Woe unto me! Shall I bear a child while I am an old woman, and here is my husband an old man? Verily! This is a strange thing!’ They said, ‘Do you wonder at the Decree of Allah? The Mercy of Allah and His Blessings be on you, O the family (of Abraham). Surely, He (Allah) is All-Praiseworthy, All-Glorious.‘ “