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Lessons from the Life of Ibraheem A.S

Life of Ibraheem Alayhis Salam

وَلَقَدْ آتَيْنَا إِبْرَاهِيمَ رُشْدَهُ مِنْ قَبْلُ وَكُنَّا بِهِ عَالِمِينَ

And indeed, We had granted Ibraheem sound judgment early on. 

(Surah al-Ambiya, 21:51)

Born into a family and community of idol worship, a young boy named Ibraheem is inspired by Allah Ta’ala to believe in only one Allah and question the validity of idol worship. He wonders why they worship something that could neither benefit nor harm them?! This news soon reaches the king of the time, Namrood, who isn’t very happy!

Lessons to Learn:

1) Allah Ta’ala is the true and only source of guidance. So we should ask him for guidance.

2) Understanding of Deen is not only for adults, it’s for children too!

3) Sometimes we will be tested!

Did you know? Ibrahim Alayhis salam was given the title ‘ خليل الله ‘Khalilullah’, which means ‘the friend of Allah’.

قَالَ إِبْرَاهِيمُ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ يَأْتِي بِالشَّمْسِ مِنَ الْمَشْرِقِ فَأْتِ بِهَا مِنَ الْمَغْرِبِ فَبُهِتَ الَّذِي كَفَرَ وَاللَّهُ لا يَهْدِي الْقَوْمَ الظَّالِمِينَ

Ibraheem said, “Indeed, Allah causes the sun to rise from the east; so cause it to rise from the west.” So the disbeliever was utterly defeated. And Allah does not guide the wrongdoing people.”

(Surah al-Baqarah, 2:258)

 

Young Ibraheem is summoned to the court of the king. He remains brave and very wisely argues to the point where king Namrood is silenced! Ibraheem عليه السلام returns to his people and damages the idols to prove his point. His people retaliate and a huge fire is lit to throw Ibraheem عليه السلام in it.

Lessons to Learn:

1) When we stand for the truth, we will sometimes be tested.

2) No matter the test, we should remain firm.

3) When truth is presented before us, we should accept it. Not accepting is a sign of pride.

Did you know? Ibrahim Alayhis salam’s sacrifice was much loved by Allah Ta’ala that He made Udhiya (Animal Sacrifice) a symbol of this great act.

قُلْنَا يَا نَارُ كُونِي بَرْدًا وَسَلَامًا عَلَىٰ إِبْرَاهِيمَ

We (Allah Ta’ala) ordered, “O fire! Be cool and safe for Ibraheem!”

(Surah al-Anbiya, 21:69)

 

Keeping complete trust in Allah Ta’ala, Ibraheem alayhis salam is not worried by the fire. He prepares himself for what is to come. Allah Ta’ala tests his resolve until he enters the fire but he remains firm. He has passed the test. The result? As he enters the blaze, the heat changes to coolness and there he finds a beautiful garden awaiting him!

Lessons to Learn:

1) Allah Ta’ala tests us to see our commitment to Him.

2) The tests do not usually last too long and Allah Ta’ala quickly brings ease.

3) If the test is lifelong, and we remain patient and firm, then the ease will come in Jannah!

Did you know? When Sayyiduna Ibrahim A.S was thrown in the fire, حسبنا الله ونعم الوكيل (Sufficient for us is Allah, and [He is] the best Disposer of affairs) was emanating from his tongue!

وَ أَعْتَزِلُكُمْ وَ ما تَدْعُونَ مِنْ دُونِ اللَّهِ وَ أَدْعُوا رَبِّي عَسى‌ أَلَّا أَكُونَ بِدُعاءِ رَبِّي شَقِيًّا

(Ibraheem alayhis salam said to His father) And I go away from you and what you call upon besides Allah. And I shall call upon my Lord. Trusting, I shall not be a loser by calling upon my Lord.

(Surah Maryam, 19:48)

 

Ibraheem alayhis salam, after surviving the blaze, realises that his people will not listen. He makes one final attempt to lovingly explain his belief in one Allah to his beloved father Azar. His father refuses to listen and Ibraheem alayhis salam has no choice but to leave his home town and family

Lessons to Learn:

1) Parents are always deserving of our respect.

2) We should help others towards good with care and kindness.

3) If practicing Deen becomes a challenge in one place, we should move to a place where we can easily practice.

فَبَشَّرْنَاهُ بِغُلَامٍ حَلِيمٍ

So, We gave him the good news of a forbearing boy.

(Surah as-Saffat, 37:101)

 

Ibraheem عليه السلام travels and settles in a land far away with his wife Sara عليها السلام. They happily worship Allah Ta’ala and he soon becomes a Nabi (Prophet). With Sara عليها السلام he has no children, but he continues asking Allah Ta’ala. Some years later, after marrying Hajar عليها السلام, Allah Ta’ala accepts his Du’a and at the age of 86, he and Hajar عليها السلام are blessed with a baby boy who is named Ismaeel.

Lessons to Learn:

1) Allah likes us to ask from Him.

2) If we believe and ask from Him, Allah Ta’ala will definitely give us.

3) Sometimes Allah Ta’ala doesn’t answer our Du’as immediately, but we shouldn’t stop asking.

آللَّهُ الَّذِي أَمَرَكَ بِهَذَا قَالَ نَعَمْ‏.‏ قَالَتْ إِذًا لاَ يُضَيِّعُنَا‏

... Then she (Hajar) asked him: “Has Allah ordered you to do so?” He said: “Yes". She said: "Then He will not neglect us.”

(Bukhari)

 

Ismaeel عليه السلام is still a baby when a third test arrives for Ibraheem عليه السلام. He is to leave his wife and newborn baby in a desert area of Arabia (Makkah) which has no sign of life, food or water! Ibraheem عليه السلام makes this long journey and without explaining anything to Hajar عليها السلام, he begins to walk away from them. It is only when she asks if Allah Ta’ala had commanded this, that he replies, "Yes". Hearing this Hajar عليها السلام is confident and happy.

Lessons to Learn:

1) When Allah Ta’ala commands us to do something we shouldn’t hesitate.

2) We should have trust in Allah Ta'ala and know He will always protect us!

فإذا هى بالملك عند موضع زمزم، فبحث بعقبه -أو قال بجناحه- حتى ظهر الماء

... And she saw an angel at the place of Zam Zam, digging the earth with his heel (or his wing), till water flowed from that place. 

(Bukhari)

 

Ibraheem عليه السلام departs and Hajar عليها السلام settles down not far from where the Ka’bah is later to be constructed. The water they have soon runs out. Hajar عليها السلام runs between two mountains; Safa and Marwah seven times climbing to their peaks, in search for help. Finally, an angel appears near Ismaeel عليه السلام and hits the ground. Water gushes out and this water becomes known as Zam Zam!

Lessons to Learn:

1) Allah Ta’ala likes to see us try while keeping trust in Him.

2) Allah Ta’ala is wise. And everything He does is full of wisdom.

3) From every difficulty there is always a way out.

فَلَمَّا بَلَغَ مَعَهُ السَّعْيَ قَالَ يَا بُنَيَّ إِنِّي أَرَىٰ فِي الْمَنَامِ أَنِّي أَذْبَحُكَ فَانظُرْ مَاذَا تَرَىٰ

And when (his son) reached an age in which he could work with him, he (Ibraheem) said, "O my son, indeed I have seen in a dream that I [must] sacrifice you, so see what you think."

(Surah as-Saffat, 37:102)

 

With water now available, this little known valley is suddenly habitable. People slowly start to settle and Ismaeel and Hajar عليهما السلام now find company. Ibraheem عليه السلام is commanded to stay away from them until one day he sees a dream. In the dream he sees himself slaughtering his son Ismaeel عليه السلام. Ibraheem عليه السلام knows this dream is true and it needs acting upon!

Lessons to Learn:

1) A true believer accepts Allah Ta'ala’s decision without any question.

2) Allah Ta’ala is wise, and His every command is filled with wisdom.

قَالَ يَا أَبَتِ افْعَلْ مَا تُؤْمَرُ ۖ سَتَجِدُنِي إِن شَاءَ اللَّهُ مِنَ الصَّابِرِينَ

He said, "O my father, do as you are commanded. You will find me, if Allah wills, of the steadfast."

(Surah as-Saffat, 37:102)

 

Ibraheem عليه السلام shares this dream with young Ismaeel عليه السلام. Both father and son set out to carry out this great command. Along the way, Shaytan makes three attempts to stop them but each time Ibraheem عليه السلام repels Shaytan by throwing pebbles at him. Finally, Ibraheem عليه السلام lays Ismaeel عليه السلام down to perform the sacrifice. The test is over and Allah replaces Ismaeel عليه السلام with a ram!

Lessons to Learn:

1) The habit of fulfilling Allah Ta’ala’s commands should start from young.

2) Shaytan will always try to stop us.

3) We should remain firm and always fulfil Allah Ta’ala’s commands.

 وَ إِذِ ابْتَلى‌ إِبْراهِيمَ رَبُّهُ بِكَلِماتٍ فَأَتَمَّهُنَّ قالَ إِنِّي جاعِلُكَ لِلنَّاسِ إِماماً

And remember when Ibraheem was tested by his Lord with certain words, which he fulfilled. He (Allah Ta'ala) said, “I am going to make you an Imam for the people.”
(Surah al-Baqarah, 2:124)

 

After completing this test, Ibraheem عليه السلام again returns home and leaves Ismaeel and Hajar عليها السلام to continue residing in Makkah. Ismaeel عليه السلام grows into a strong young man who is respected by the small community of families who have settled in Makkah. Ibraheem عليه السلام had passed every test that was given to him. Allah Ta'ala wishes to honour him, and he is chosen to rebuild the Ka'bah!

Lessons to Learn:

1) Allah Ta’ala is most kind and rewards our efforts.

2) The more we give up for Allah Ta'ala the more he gives us.

وَأَذِّن فِي النَّاسِ بِالْحَجِّ يَأْتُوكَ رِجَالًا وَعَلَىٰ كُلِّ ضَامِرٍ يَأْتِينَ مِن كُلِّ فَجٍّ عَمِيقٍ

Behold! We gave (showed) the site to Ibraheem, of the (Sacred) House (Ka'bah) , (saying): "Associate not anything with Me;..."
(Surah al-Hajj, 22:27)

 

Ibraheem عليه السلام arrives in Makkah and shares the news of building the Ka'bah with Ismaeel عليه السلام. The location is the same place where Adam عليه السلام first built the Ka'bah. Together, both father and son begin its construction with Ismaeel عليه السلام bringing the stones and Ibraheem عليه السلام doing the building. As the walls get taller, a stone is placed for Ibraheem عليه السلام to stand on. This stone becomes known as Maqam Ibraheem.

Lessons to Learn:

1) Allah Ta’ala has His reason for everything He does.

2) Allah Ta’ala had used Ibraheem عليه السلام and his family to revive the land of Makkah.

رَبَّنَا تَقَبَّلْ مِنَّا ۖ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيمُ

O our Lord! Accept (this service) from us, Verily, You are the All-Hearing, the All-Knowing.
(Surah al-Baqarah, 2:127)

 

The Ka'bah is now complete and both father and son lift their hands asking Allah Ta’ala to accept this action of theirs, to grant them and their progeny Islam and to continue sending Prophets within them. Ibraheem عليه السلام is also commanded to make an announcement for Hajj which miraculously reaches every person, including those yet to be born!

Lessons to Learn:

1) We should make Du’a after every good action.

2) We should ask Allah Ta’ala to accept our actions.

3) Keep trust in Allah Ta’ala when following His commands. He always has a plan.

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