ISMAIL [PEACE BE UPON HIM]- THE MODEL CHILD

His virtues

Allaah says:

"And mention in the Book (the Quran) Ismail. Verily! He was true to what he promised, and he was a Messenger, (and) a Prophet. And he used to enjoin on his family and his people As-Salat (the prayers) and the lakat, and his Lord was pleased with him." (Q19:54-55)

Also He says:

"And (remember) IsmaiI, and Idris and Dhul-Kifl, all were from among As-Sabirin (the patient ones, etc.). And We admitted them to Our Mercy. Verily, they were of the righteous."(Q21:85-86)

Narrated Abu Huraira (RA): "I have not ceased to like Banu Tamim ever since I heard of three qualities attributed to them by Allah's Messenger (He said):

"They, out of aIl my followers, will be the strongest opponent of Ad-Dajjal; Aisha had a slave-girl from them, and the Prophet told her to manumit her as she was from the descendants of (the Prophet) Ismail; and, when their Zakat was brought, the Prophet said,"This is the Zakat of my people. "..(Bukhari)

Who was Ismail (peace be upon him)?

Ismail (peace be upon him) was the son of Allaah's Khaleel and Prophet Ibraheem (peace be upon him). He was a response to the prayer of his father. Allaah says:

Ibraheem (peace be upon him} said, "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. "(Q37:99-101)

His childhood

A Mother's faith in Allaah While Ismail was still a suckling child, Allaah commanded his father, Prophet Ibraheem (peace be upon him), to take his wife, Hajarah, and their son, Ismail, to the present day site of the town of Makkah. Then it was an uninhabited, barren valley. So, Ibraheem (peace be upon him) asked his wife, Hajarah, to prepare for a long journey. They walked through cultivated land, deserts and mountains, until they reached the desert of the Arabian Peninsula and came to a valley having no fruit, no trees, no food and no water. The valley had no sign of life. 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. Ismail's mother followed him saying, "O Ibraheem! 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 Allaah ordered you to do so?" He said, "Yes." She said, "Then He will not neglect us," and returned while Ibraheem proceeded onwards." (Bukhari)

A Fathers Prayer

Ibn Abbas (RA) continued "On reaching the Thaniya where they could not see him, he faced the (direction of the) Kabah, and raising both hands, invoked Allaah saying the following prayers: "O our Lord! I have made some of my offspring to dwell in an un cultivable valley by Your Sacred House (the Kabah at Makkah); in order, 0 our Lord, that they may perform As-Salat (Iqamatas-Salat), so fill some hearts among men with love towards them, and (0 Allaah) provide them with fruits so that they may give thanks." (Q14.37). (Bukhari)

That this prayer is answered can be seen up till today, for all those who have been to Makkah can testify to this.

The Miracle of Zam-Zam

Ismail's mother went on suckling Ismail and drinking from the water (she had). When the water in the water-skin had all been used up, she became thirsty and her child also became thirsty. She started looking at him (i.e. Ismail) tossing in agony. She left him, for she could not endure looking at him, and found that the mountain of Safa was the nearest mountain to her on that land. She stood on it and started looking at the valley keenly so that she might see somebody, but she could not see anybody. Then she descended from 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 Marwa mountain where she stood and started looking, expecting to see somebody, but she could not see anybody. She repeated that (running between Safa and Marwa) seven times.

The Prophet said, "This is the source of the tradition of the walking of people between, them (i. e. Safa and Marwa)." When she reached the 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, 0, (whoever you may be)! You have made me hear your voice; have you got something to help me?" And behold! She saw an angel at the place of lam-zam, 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 after she had scooped some of it." The Prophet added, "May AlIaah bestow Mercy on Ismails mother! Had she let the lam-zam (flow without trying to control it) (or had she not scooped from that water to fill her water-skin), Zam-zam would have been a stream flowing on the surface of the earth." The Prophet further added, "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 Allaah which will be built by this boy and his father, and Allaah never neglects His people. The House (i.e, Kaba) at that time was on a high place resembling a hillock, and when torrents came, they flowed to its right and left.(Bukhari)

The Sacrifice

Ibraheem (peace be upon him) regularly visited his family in Makkah from time to time to check on them, On one of such visits, Ibraheem (peace be upon him), informed Ismail of his dream saying, "0 my son! I have seen in a dream. Allaah says:

"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 toAllaah), so look what you think!" He said: "O my father! Do that which you are commanded, Insha Allaah (if Allaah will), you shall find me of As-Sabirin (the patient ones, etc.). " Then, when they had both submitted themselves (to the Will of Allaah), and he had laid him prostrate on his forehead (or on the side of his forehead for slaughtering); And We called out to him: "0 Ibraheem! You have fulfilled the dream (vision)!" Verily! Thus do We reward the Muhsinun (good-doers). Verily, that indeed was a manifest trial. And We ransomed him with a great sacrifice (i.e. - a ram); (Q37:102-107)

Referring to such dreams

Abdullah bn Abbass reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said:

"Dreams of Prophets (peace be upon them) are (divine) inspirations (AI Bidaayah wan-Nihaayah). Allaah referred to this inspiration to Ibraheem (peace be upon him) manifest trial(Q37: 106)

Ishaq was his brother

And it was after this that Allaah gave Ibraheem (peace be upon him) the glad tidings of Ishaq (peace be upon him). Allaah says:

" And We left for him (a goodly remembrance) among generations (to come) in later times. Salamun (peace) be upon Ibrahim!" Thus indeed do We reward the Muhsinun (good doers). Verily, he was one of Our believing slaves. And We gave him the glad tidings of Ishaq a Prophet from the righteous." (Q37:103-112)

Building the Kabah

On another visit of Ibraheem (peace be upon him) to his son Ismail in Makkah, he informed him concerning an order from Allaah to which Ismail responded, "Do what your Lord has ordered you."Ibraheem (peace be upon him) asked, "Will you help me?" to Which Ismail answered, "I will help you." Pointing to a hillock higher than the land surrounding it, Ibraheem (peace be upon him) said, "Allaah has ordered me to build a house here." Allaah says:

"And (remember) when Ibraheem and (his son) Ismail were raising the foundations of the House (the Kabah at Makkah), (saying), "Our Lord! Accept (this service) from us. Verily! You are the All-Hearer, the All- Knower. " "Our Lord! And make us submissive unto You and of our offspring a nation submissive unto You, and show us our Manasik (all the ceremonies of pilgrimage - Hajj and Umrah, etc.), and accept our repentance. Truly, You are the One Who accepts repentance, the Most Merciful. "Our Lord! Send amongst them a Messenger of their own, who shall recite unto them Your Verses and instruct them in the Book (this Quran) and AI-Hikmah (full knowledge of the Islaamic laws and jurisprudence or wisdom or Prophethood, etc.), and sanctify them. Verily! You are the All- Mighty, the All-Wise." (Q2:127-129)

The Visits and Advice

Ibraheem (peace be upon him) continued his visits to his son even after Hajars death and Ismail had grown up and married. Ibn Abbas (RA) said, "After Ismails mother had died, Ibraheem came after Ismails marriage in order to see his family that he had left before, but he did not find Ismail there. When he asked Ismails 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 visitedyou? She replied, Yes, an old man of so-and-so description came and asked me about you and I informedim, 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 toldme 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 Ibraheem stayed away from them for a period as long as Allaah wished and called on them again but did not find lsmail. So he came to Ismails wife and asked her about lsmail. She said, He has gone in search of our livelihood. Ibraheem asked her, How are you getting on? asking her about their sustenance and living. She replied, We are prosperous and well-off (i.e. we have everything in abundance). Then she thanked Allaah. lbraheem said, What kind of food do you eat? She said. Meat. He said, What do you drink? She said, Water." He said, "0 Allaah! Bless their meat and water." The Prophet added, "At that time they did not have grain, and if they had grain, he would have also invoked Allaah to bless it."

The Prophet added, "If somebody has. only these two things as his sustenence, his health and disposition will be badly affected, unless he lives in Makkah. The Prophet added, "Then Ibraheem said to Ismails 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."

Lessons for Later Generation

Referring to this and other acts of complete obedience to Allaah by Ibraheem (peace be upon him) andhis household (and in this case Ismail), Allaah says:

"And we left for him (a goodly remembrance) amongst later generations. Salaam(Peace) be upon Ibraheem! Verily, he was one of our believing slaves. "(Q37:108-111)

God-fearing parents desire and pray that piety and God-Consciousness should continue through their lineage from generation to generation. However, sometimes, despite all efforts by these parents to get their children on the path of complete submission to Allaah, they find resistance from the children. Hence, for parents and children who seek the path of piety and God disposition Consciousness, in Ibraheem, Hajar and IsmaiI, there is a perfect example.

 

This article was culled from the publications of Deen Communication Limited

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