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8. Prophet Ismail (AS)


Ismail was the first-born son of IbrahIm from Hajar, and was an appointed prophet and messenger of Allah (God). He is also the father of the Arabs.

Ibrahim had prayed to Allah (God) for a son ('Isma' in Arabic means 'to listen' i.e answer prayer, and 'ell' is derived from the Hebrew word 'elle', meaning God). Allah (God) delivered this child to Ibrahim, and later tested Ibraham's faith by asking him to sacrifice his only son at the time. However, just as Ibrahim was to kill his only son, Allah (God) halted him, praised im for his loyalty, and commanded him to sacrifice a ram instead.

This led to the Muslim practice of sacrificing domesticated animals such as sheep, goats etc on the celebration to mark this event known as Eid ul-Adha (Once in a year).

Ismail was a great archer And her mother was the 1st to use a girdle (in order to hide her tracks from Sarah).

When Ibrahim had differences with his wife, (because of her jealousy of Hajar, Ismail's mother), he took Ismail and his mother and went away. They had a water-skin with them containing some water, Ismail's mother used to drink water from the water-skin so that her milk would increase for her child.

When Ibrahim reached Mecca, he made her sit under a tree and afterwards returned home. Ismail's mother followed him, and when they reached Kada', she called him from behind, 'O Ibrahim! 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 Ibrahim reached a place where they could no longer see him, he turned his face towards them and prayed

Quran [14:37] "O our Lord! I have made some of my offspring to dwell in a valley without cultivation, by Thy Sacred House; in order, O our Lord, that they may establish regular Prayer: so fill the hearts of some among men with love towards them, and feed them with Fruits: so that they may give thanks.

When the water had all been used up, she said to herself, 'I'd better go and look so that I may see somebody.' She ascended the Safa mountain and looked, hoping to see somebody, but in vain. When she came down to the valley, she ran till she reached the Marwa mountain. She ran to and fro (between the two mountains) many times. They she said to herself, 'i'd 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 the Safa mountain and looked for a long while but could not find anybody. Thus she completed seven rounds (of running) between Safa and Marwa. Again she said (to herself), 'I'd 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, and so the water gushed out. Ismail's mother was astonished and started digging. The Prophet Muhammed (SAW) remarked, "If she had left the water, (flow naturally without her intervention), it would have been flowing on the surface of the earth." ismail's mother started drinking from the water and her milk increased for her child .

Afterwards some people of the tribe of Jurhum, while passing through the bottom of the valley, saw some birds, and that astonished them, and 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 Ismail's mother! Will you allow us to be with you (or dwell with you)?' (And thus they stayed there.)

Later on her boy reached the age of puberty and married a lady from them.
After Ismail's mother had died, Ibrahim came after Ismail's marriage in order to see his family that he had left before, but he did not find Ismail there. When he asked Ismail's wife about him, she replied, 'He has gone in search of our 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 salutation to him and tell him to change the threshold of the gate (of his house).' When Ismail came, he seemed to have felt something 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 a hardship and poverty.' On that Ismail 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.' Ismail said, 'It was my father, and he has ordered me to divorce you. Go back to your family.' So, Ismail divorced her and married another woman from amongst them (i.e.Jurhum).

Then Ibrahim stayed away from them for a period as long as Allah wished and called on them again but did not find Ismail. So he came to Ismail's wife and asked her about Ismail. She said, 'He has gone in search of our livelihood.' Ibrahim asked her, 'How are you getting on?' asking her about their sustenance and living. She replied, 'We are prosperous and well-off. 'Then she thanked Allah' Ibrahim 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 Muhammed added, "At that time they did not have grain, and if they had grain, he would have also invoked Allah to bless it." The Prophet added, "If somebody has only these two things as his sustenance, his health and disposition will be badly affected, unless he lives in Mecca." The Prophet added," Then Ibrahim said Ismail'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 Ismail 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, and he asked about our livelihood and I told him that we were in a good condition.'

Ismail 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 Ismail said, 'It was my father, and you are the threshold (of the gate). He has ordered me to keep you with me.'

During one of Ibrahim's visit to the boy He went and found ismail behind the Zam-zam well, mending his arrows. He said, "O Ismail, Your Lord has ordered me to build a house for Him." Ismail said, "Obey (the order of) your Lord." Ibrahim said, "Allah has also ordered me that you should help me therein." Ismail said, "Then I will do." So, both of them rose and Ibrahim started building (the Ka'ba) while Ismail went on handing him the stones.

Quran [2:127] And remember Ibrahim and Isma'il raised the foundations of the House (with this prayer): "Our Lord! Accept (this service) from us: for Thou art the All-Hearing, the All-Knowing.

Quran [2:128] "Our Lord! Make of us Muslims bowing to Thy (Will); and of our progeny a people Muslim, bowing to Thy (Will); and show us our places for the celebration of (due) rites; and turn unto us (in Mercy); for Thou art the Oft-Returning, Most Merciful.

Quran [2:129] "Our Lord! Send amongst them a Messenger of their own, who shall rehearse Thy Signs to them and instruct them in Scripture and Wisdom, and sanctify them: for Thou art the Exalted in Might, the Wise."


They then circled the structure. It is important to note that all the traditions that are followed by Muslims to this day were set by Ibrahim.