story of Prophet Ibraaheem, peace be upon him, with his people
and his migration to
2) How Haajar came to be his wife and how he left her in the place where the Ka’bah was later erected.
3) The water of Zamzam gushing from the ground for the believing family (of Haajar and Ismaa’eel).
early life of Ismaa’eel in Hijaaz (the
5) The completion of the building of the House of Allaah (the Ka’bah).
O Muslims! Fear Allaah and contemplate the reality of your religion. Worship Allaah with knowledge and understanding, as there is no room for ignorance or imitation in the tenets of faith.
Brothers in Islaam! If one reflects upon the rituals of Hajj (major pilgrimage) throughout the ages, he will come across wonders; his faith will grow stronger and feel the connection between all the Divine Laws as well as amongst all of the prophets and messengers despite the differences in their time periods and countries in which they resided. He will also realize that worship for Allaah has very deep roots in the ancient history of mankind.
Hajj, whose days are drawing near and one of whose months (which are Ramadhaan, Shawwaal, Dhul-Qa’dah and Dhul-Hijjah) we are now in the midst of, is an example of this profound link. Let us then ask, what is the history of Hajj? When was it ordained? What are the proofs of its rulings? What are the conditions that make it obligatory?
The (story answering all these
questions in this) journey through time starts when the Prophet Ibraaheem,
peace be upon him, felt constrained living with his idol-worshipping people in
Ibraaheem, peace be upon him, stayed for sometime in
Ibraaheem, peace be upon him, returned to
Ibraaheem settled Haajar and Ismaa’eel, peace be
upon them, there in an uncultivated land where there were no plants, water or
other people, and intended to leave for
Allaah answered Ibraaheem’s, peace be upon him, supplication after Haajar and her baby, Ismaa’eel, experienced very difficult moments and the baby was on the verge of dying. Loneliness and the lack of food and drink almost killed the woman and her child if it had not been for the grace of Allaah and His mercy; indeed, no one who prays to Him is turned away disappointed and no one whom Allaah looks after is abandoned.
It is from these testing moments that the story of Allaah's House begins, along with the story behind the (ritual of the) Muslims walking back and forth between As-Safa and Al-Marwah every time they perform Hajj or ‘Umrah or make Tawaaf around the Sacred House. From here, as well, starts the story of Zamzam, the cool, refreshing water that is a cure for illnesses by the will of Allaah.
The story is worthy of our concern and attention; worthy of being remembered whenever people walk between Safa and Marwah doing Sa’i, and whenever they drink Zamzam. Hajj should not be a mere religious ritual in which people imitate their ancestors without knowledge, insight or guidance. The story in full is as follows:
Ibn `Abbaas, may Allaah be pleased with him,
narrated (on authority of the Prophet, sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam): “The first lady to use a girdle was the mother of Ismaa’eel
(Ismaa’eel), peace be upon them. She used a girdle so that she might hide her
tracks from Sarah. Ibraaheem, peace be upon him, brought her and her son
Ismaa’eel, while she used to nurse him, to a place near the Ka'bah under a
tree, above the location of the well of Zamzam, at the highest place in the
mosque. During those days, no one dwelt in Makkah nor was there any water. He
settled them there and placed near them a leather bag containing some dates and
a small water-skin containing some water; Ibraaheem, peace be upon him, then
set out homeward. Ismaa’eel's mother followed him saying, "O Ibraaheem!
Where are you going, leaving us in this valley where there is no person whose
company we may enjoy, nor is there anything (at all)?" She repeated the
question to him many times, but he did not look back at her. Then she asked
him, "Has Allaah commanded you to do so?" He replied,
"Yes." She said, "Then He will not neglect us," and
returned while Ibraaheem, peace be upon him, proceeded onwards and on reaching
the Thaniyyah (a mountain trail) where they could not see him, he faced the Ka’bah
and raised both hands in supplication to Allaah, saying: “Our Lord, I
have settled some of my descendants in an uncultivated valley near Your sacred
House, our Lord, that they may establish prayer. So make hearts among the
people incline toward them and provide for them from the fruits that they might
be grateful.” (Ibraaheem: 37) Ismaa’eel’s mother continued suckling
Ismaa’eel, peace be upon them, and drinking from the water. When the water in
the water-skin was used up, she became thirsty and her child also became
thirsty. She started looking at him (i.e.,Ismaa’eel) tossing in agony; she left
him for she could not endure seeing him (like that) and found that the
Ibn ‘Abbaas, may Allaah be pleased with him, narrated that Allaah’s Messenger sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam added, “For
this reason, people walk (do Sa’i) between them (Safa and Marwah). When she
Ibn ‘Abbaas, may Allaah be pleased with him, reported that the Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam continued to say: “May Allaah bestow mercy on Ismaa’eel’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 sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam further added: "Then she drank (water) and nursed her child. The angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid of being neglected, for this is the place of the House of Allaah, which will be built by this boy and his father, and Allaah never neglects His people.’ The House (the 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 Kadaa’. They settled in the lower part of Makkah from where they observed a bird flying round and round. They said, ‘This bird must be flying around water, though we know there is no water in this valley.’ They sent one or two messengers who discovered the source of the water, and returned to inform them of the water, so, they all went (towards it).”
The Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam added, "Ismaa’eel's mother, peace be upon them, 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.”
Ibn `Abbaas reported that the Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam further said, "Ismaa’eel's mother, peace be upon them, was pleased with the whole situation as she used to enjoy the company of people. So, they settled there and later on they sent for their families who came and inhabited with them so that some families became permanent residents there. The child (i.e., Ismaa’eel) 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. After Ismaa’eel's mother, peace be upon them, had died, Ibraaheem, peace be upon him, came after Ismaa’eel’s marriage in order to see his family that he had left before, but did not find Ismaa’eel there. When he asked his (i.e., Isma’eel’s) wife about him, she replied, ‘He has gone out, seeking provisions for us.’ He then asked her about their condition and way of living. She replied, ‘We are living in misery; we are living in hardship and destitution,’ complaining to him. He then said to her, ‘When your husband comes (back), convey my greetings to him and tell him to change the threshold of the gate (of his house).’ When Ismaa’eel, peace be upon him, came, he seemed to have felt something was unusual, so he asked his wife, ‘Has anyone visited you? She replied, ‘Yes, an old man of so-and-so 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 hardship and poverty.’ On that, ‘Isma’eel, peace be upon him, said, ‘Did he advise you anything?’ She replied, ‘Yes, he told me to convey his salutation to you and to tell you to change the threshold of your gate.’ Ismaa’eel, peace be upon him, said, ‘It was my father, and he has ordered me to divorce you. Go back to your family.’ So, Ismaa’eel, peace be upon him, divorced her and married another woman from amongst them (i.e., Jurhum). Then Ibraaheem, peace be upon him, stayed away from them for a perioud as long as Allaah wished and came to them again, but did not find him (i.e., Ismaa’eel). So he came to Ismaa’eel’s wife and asked her about Ismaa’eel. She said, ‘He has gone out, seeking provisions for us.’ He said, ‘How are you getting on?’ asking her about their sustenance and living. She replied, ‘We are prosperous and well-off.’ Then she thanked Allaah. So he asked, ‘What kind of food do you eat?’ She said, ‘Meat.’ He said, ‘What do you drink?’ She said, ‘Water.’ He said, ‘O Allaah! Bless their meat and water.’”
Ibn ‘Abbaas, may Allaah be pleased with him, reported the Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam as saying after that, “At that time they did not have grain, and if they had it, he would have also invoked Allaah to bless it .” The Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam continued: "If somebody has only these two things as his sustenance, his health and disposition will be badly affected, unless he lives in Makkah.” Then Ibraaheem, peace be upon him, said (to his daughter-in-law), ‘When your husband comes, give my regards to him and tell him that he should keep firm the threshold of his gate.’ When Ismaa’eel, peace be upon him, came back, he asked his wife, ‘Did anyone come to you?’ She replied, ‘Yes, a nice old man came to me,’ thus, she praised him and added, ‘He asked about you and I informed him, and he asked about our livelihood and I told him that we were in a good condition.’ Ismaa’eel, peace be upon him, 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.’ Ismaa’eel said, ‘It was my father, and you are the threshold (of the gate). He has ordered me to keep you with me.’ Then Ibraaheem, peace be upon him, stayed away from them for a period as long as Allaah wished, and came to them afterwards. He saw Ismaa’eel, peace be upon them, under a tree near Zamzam, sharpening his arrows. When he saw him, he stood up to welcome him and they greeted each other as a father does with his son or a son with his father. Ibraaheem then told Ismaa’eel, peace be upon them: ‘O Ismaa’eel! Allaah has ordered me to do a certain thing.’ Ismaa’eel, peace be upon him, said, ‘Do what your Lord has ordered you.’ Ibraaheem, peace be upon him, asked, ‘Will you help me?’ Ismaa’eel, peace be upon him, said, ‘I will help you.’. Ibraaheem, peace be upon him, said, pointing to a hillock higher than the land surrounding it, ‘Allaah has ordered me to build a house here.’”
The Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam added, "Then they raised the foundations of the House (i.e., the Ka’bah). Ismaa’eel brought the stones and Ibraaheem, peace be upon them, was building, and when the walls became high, Ismaa’eel, peace be upon him, brought this rock and put it for Ibraaheem, peace be upon him, who stood over it and carried on the building, while Ismaa’eel, peace be upon him, was handing him the stones. (During this process), they repeated the following expression: “…‘Our Lord, accept (this) from us. Indeed, You are the Hearing, the Knowing.” (Al-Baqarah: 127) (Bukhaari)