Hajar and Isma’il (Mother And Son)

Prophet Ibrahim (PBUH), the father of monotheism had two wives Sarah (who was barren for a long period) and Hajar (a slave girl of Sarah whom Ibrahim (PBUH) had married at Sarah's suggestion).

Hajar gave birth to a baby boy whom Allah had promised Ibrahim

'We gave him the good news of a forbearing son", (Q37:101).

Sarah being human, became jealous of the mother and son. The Prophet (PBUH) narrated that

the first lady to use a girdle was the mother of Ismail. She used a girdle so that she might hide her tracks from Sarah. (Bukhari).

Ibrahim (PBUH) received divine order to relocate Hajar and her suckling son to a place in the valley of Bakkah (the ancient name for Makkah and a crossroad for caravans) near the precinct of the present-day Ka'abah under a tree on the spot of now cherished well of Zam-zam. There in the barren lonely spot; he left them with only a sac of date and a goatskin full of water.

As he was about to depart, Hajar asked her husband

“O Ibrahim! 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 him. Then she asked him, “Has Allah ordered you to do so?” He "said, Yes. “She said, “Then He Will not neglect us, and returned while Ibrahim proceeded onwards"(Bukhari).

Ibrahim (PBUH) however sought Allah’s blessing and protection for the mother and son:

"O our Lord! I have made some of my offspring to dwell in a valley without cultivation, by Your Sacred House; in order, O our Lord! I that they may establish regular prayers: so fill the hearts of some among men with love towards them and feed them with fruits, so that they may give thanks." (Q14:37)

Soon Hajar and her son Ismail began to suffer from thirst once their meagre water rations were exhausted and Ismai'l tossed in agony. She could not endure looking at her son dying of thirst, she set off looking for help without much hope of finding any, climbing on the hillock of As-Safa to see if any caravan happens to be passing. From there, she ran to Al-Marwah also in the hope of getting some help. She then turned back and headed for As-Safa once again. Altogether, she went seven time between the two hillocks. The Prophet (PBUH) said:

This is the source of the tradition of walking of people between them (i.e.Safa and Marwa)" (Bukhari).


"Behold! Safa and Marwa are among the Symbols of Allah. So if those who visit the house in the season or at other times should compass them round it is no sin on them. And if anyone obeys his own impulse to good be sure that Allah IS He Who recognises and knows." (Q2:158).


As-sate (derived from the word 'rock') and Al-Marwa (derived from the word 'gravel') are two, hillocks located not very far from the holy Mosque of Ka 'aba on a north-south axis. Pilgrims for the Hajj and Umra are required to walk or run the distance which separates the two hillocks. Historically, it dates back to the period of Prophet Ibrahim (PBUH).They were Instrumental (by Allah s Will) to the population of hitherto barren desert of Arabia.

The scared way in between the two hillocks is about 300 metres long. It was once outside the precinct of the Holy mosque. The Saudi Authorities however brought it within the boundaries of the Haram In an expansion carried out in 1957.

 The Masa' (the way between the two hillocks) is currently paved in marble and divided into two tracks: one for each direction. Between the tracks are small pathways, sheltered by low walls, for person too old and feeble to perform : the rigorous rite of say except in wheelchairs pushed by special 'porters'


STRONG FAITH: The hallmark of a sincere believer is an unflinching faith in Allah.

FIRM TRUST: Putting one's trust in the mercy of Allah always yields fruitful result even when His commands appear unfavourable.

GUIDANCE OF ALLAH: Even when you do not understand the import of Allah's injunction, obey still, for He will never lead you astray. Whatever you need to do, rely on His guidance only.

ALLAH'S PROMISE IS EVER TRUE: Allah never reneges on His promise. His promise is that the righteous will have good posterity and He has always made good His promise.

Examples to Copy: the triumph of two

Ibrahim (PBUH) was a servant of Allah who devoted all he has - life, wealth and familly to the service of the Almighty Lord.

"Truly, my prayer and my sacrifice, my life and my death are all for Allah, the Cherisher of the world", (Q6:162)

Ibrahim (PBUH) said. True to his vow, when he was ordered to re-build the Ka'bah, he called on his son; "O Isma'il, your Lord has ordered me to build a house for Him." Isma'il 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'bah) while Isma'il went on handing him the stones, and both of them were saying:

 "O our Lord! Accept (this service) from us, Verily, ·You are the All-Hearing, the All-knowing"(Q2: 127)

When the building became high and the old man (i.e. Ibrahim) found it difficult to lift the stones (to such a high position), he stood over the stone of Al-Maqam and Isma’il carried on handing him the stones. until it was completed. This sincere service of the duo layed the foundation of the annual pilgrimage. May Allah continue to bless both father and son. (Amin).


This article was culled from the publications of Deen Communication Limited
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