Category Archives: Quran

Prophet Musa and the Bani Israel

When Prophet Musa (alayhis salam) and his people fled from the Egyptians, their trials were far from over. After they had safely crossed the sea, they came upon some people who were worshiping idols. The children of Israel asked Prophet Musa (alayhis salam) to make an idol for them, and he had to remind them of all that Allah had done for them. How could he make another god for them when their Allah was the only true god?

Prophet Musa (alayhis salam) was summoned by Allah to Mount Sinai and he put his brother Harun(alayhis salam) in charge while he was gone. When he arrived at the appointed site, he asked to see Allah. Allah said He could not show Himself directly to Prophet Musa (alayhis salam), but Prophet Musa (alayhis salam) should look towards the mountain, and if the mountain remained in one piece, then Musa would see Allah. When Allah showed His glory on the mountain, it became like dust, and Prophet Musa (alayhis salam) fell down in a faint. When he had recovered his senses, he asked Allah’s forgiveness and declared his unquestioning belief in Allah. Then Allah spoke with Prophet Musa (alayhis salam) and gave him tablets containing His commands and explaining all things. Prophet Musa (alayhis salam) was to carry the tablets back to his people and convey to them the words of Allah. He spent forty days on the mount, communing with his Lord.

Meanwhile, the people of Prophet Musa (alayhis salam) gathered together all their jewelry and gold which they had carried from Egypt. They melted it down and made it into the form of a calf, which they wished to worship. When Prophet Musa (alayhis salam) returned from the mountain with his tablets, he was angry and grieved to see the golden calf. Thinking that Harun (alayhis salam) had approved the actions of the Israelites, an angry Prophet Musa (alayhis salam) grabbed his brother by the hair and dragged Harun towards him. Harun hastily explained that the people had not listened to him and had even threatened to kill him when he opposed their activities. At this Prophet Musa (alayhis salam) prayed to Allah for forgiveness for both himself and his brother. He also prayed for mercy for those who repented of their evil deed in making the golden idol.

The ultimate destination of the people of Israel was the land of Canaan. Continuously they rebelled against Allah, and continuously Allah forgave them. When they were thirsty, Allah commanded Prophet Musa (alayhis salam) to strike a rock and from it sprang twelve springs of water, one for each of the tribes of Israel. When they were hot, Allah provided clouds to cover the sun. When they were hungry, Allah provided manna and salwa. Yet they were never grateful. They even complained about the sameness of the diet and asked for more variety.

At last they came to the land of Canaan. But because the people of Canaan were very strong-looking, the Israelites were afraid to invade their land. There were only two men who were willing to join Prophet Musa (alayhis salam) and Harun (alayhis salam) in an attempt to drive the Canaanites out. They counseled that if the proper gates were attacked, they could easily gain entrance. And once they were inside, they would easily be victorious if only they would put their trust in Allah. But the people of Israel would not budge. They told Prophet Musa (alayhis salam) and Harun (alayhis salam) to go with their Lord and fight, while they, the people, would sit and watch. At this Prophet Musa (alayhis salam) gave up trying to persuade his rebellious people. And Allah decreed that because of their behavior, the children of Israel would be condemned to wander in the wilderness for forty more years, before they would be allowed to enter the land of Canaan.

You can read about the story of Prophet Musa (alayhis salam) and his people in the wilderness in al-Quran 2: 51-61; 5: 23-29; 7: 138-162; and 20: 80-98.

Prophet Musa and Fir’awn

Prophet Musa and his brother Harun had been called upon by Allah to deliver a message to the leader of the Egyptians, Fir’awn (Pharaoh), who considered himself a god and insisted that his subjects worship him.

Prophet Musa told Fir’awn that he, Musa, was a messenger of the Lord of the Worlds and that he had clear proof of it. Therefore, Fir’awn should let the people of Israel go with him. Prophet Musa showed Fir’awn the staff that turned into a serpent and the hand which turned shining white when placed under his arm. Fir’awn consulted with all his chiefs and they decided that perhaps Musa was just a very good magician. They called together all their best magicians to compete with Prophet Musa. The magicians were promised a reward if they won.

The magicians went first in the contest and they were good, really good. They made their ropes and sticks appear to run in front of their audience. Prophet Musa was afraid that he couldn’t surpass their skills, but Allah told him not to be afraid. When Prophet Musa threw down his staff, it ate up all that the magicians had made. When the magicians saw this, they bowed down and proclaimed their belief in the Lord of Prophet Musa and Harun.

Fir’awn was not very happy about this turn of events. He threatened to cut off the hands and feet of the magicians and to crucify them. But the magicians would not change their opinion. They were convinced by the clear proofs which Prophet Musa had shown to them and they told Fir’awn that he could only end for them their life in this world. For those who believe there would be another life after death, in gardens beneath which rivers flow.

Following this there began another period of persecution against the followers of Allah. Fir’awn had all of their sons killed. Prophet Musa had to encourage the children of Israel to continue strong in their belief in Allah and to pray to Allah faithfully.

Whenever good fortune befell the Egyptians, they took credit for it. When misfortune came, they blamed Prophet Musa and his people. They failed to see that everything, both good and bad, comes from Allah. Allah sent all kinds of hardships against the Egyptians- famine, loss of fruits, floods, locusts, pests, frogs, and blood- as signs to them. They would promise to free the people of Israel if Musa would pray to his God for deliverance from the pestilence. But as soon as the hardship had been removed, they would go back on their promise.

Finally Prophet Musa was instructed by Allah to lead the followers of Allah away by night. When they came to the sea, the waters parted so that they could pass to the other side without getting wet. However, when Fir’awn and his armies pursued them, the waters of the sea closed in on them and they were all drowned. In this way did Allah punish Fir’awn for leading his people away from Allah.

Insha Allah in the next issue we shall relate the conclusion of the story of Musa , when we tell what befell the children of Israel after they left Egypt. You can read about Musa and Fir’awn in al-Quran 7:103-137; 20:49-79; 26:16-67; and 43:46-56.

Prophet Musa – 2

The story continues, some time after Prophet Musa had completed his contract with his father-in-law. He was traveling somewhere with his family when he saw a fire in the distance. He went to explore in the hope that he might get information or be able to bring back a firebrand for his family to use.

When Prophet Musa approached the bush that was burning, he heard a voice coming from it. The voice commanded Prophet Musa to remove his shoes because he was in a sacred valley. The voice identified itself as Allah, and reminded Prophet Musa to serve Him and to keep up his prayers. The voice told Prophet Musa that Allah had made him one of the chosen ones.

Allah then ordered Prophet Musa to throw down his staff, which he used as a walking stick and to beat down branches for his flocks. When the staff was flung down, it turned into a serpent. Allah instructed Prophet Musa to pick the serpent up, and it again turned into a stick. The voice commanded Prophet Musa to thrust his hand under his armpit, and when he removed it the hand was glowing white, yet it did not hurt Prophet Musa . Allah informed Prophet Musa that these two signs, the staff and the hand, would be signs for the Pharoah, to show that Prophet Musa had truly been sent from Allah. Allah wanted Prophet Musa to go to the Pharoah because the Pharoah and his people had strayed far from the acceptable ways of Allah. He also wanted Prophet Musa to lead the children of Israel away from the Pharoah’s influence.

Prophet Musa pointed out that he had killed an Egyptian and that he himself would be killed if he returned to Egypt. He was also unsure of his ability to communicate with the Pharoah. He was not a good speaker and asked for the help of his brother, Harun , who was much more eloquent. Allah reassured Prophet Musa on both counts. He promised that Prophet Musa would come to no harm at the hands of the Egyptians. And He agreed both to aid Prophet Musa in addressing the Pharoah and to send along Harun to help out.

In this manner Prophet Musa was called to prophethood, and set out to free the people of Israel from their bondage under the people of Egypt. Insha Allah in the next issue we shall tell of his meetings with the Pharoah.

You can read about this part of the story of Musa in the Quran 20:9-36, 42-48; 26:10-17; and 28:29-35.

Prophet Musa

The Early Years of Prophet Musa

The ruler of Egypt, the pharoah, discriminated against the people of Israel. He oppressed them and killed all their sons. When Musa (alayhis Salam) was born, his mother feared that he too would be killed. Allah sent a message to her to nurse him as long as she could, until she feared for his safety. Then she was to throw him into the river. Allah promised that He would bring Musa (alayhis Salam) back to her and that Musa would become a messenger of Allah.

It was the family of the pharoah who found Musa (alayhis Salam) in the river. The pharoah’s wife wanted to keep him and ordered that he not be killed. She thought he might be useful to them or that they might adopt him.

Meanwhile, Musa’s mother had sent his sister to keep watch over him from a distance. When the pharoah’s wife was looking for a nurse to feed and care for him until he grew older, the sister approached and offered the services of her mother, without, of course, revealing her mother’s real connection to the child. In this way he was restored to his mother, as Allah had promised. And when Musa (alayhis Salam) grew up, he was given wisdom and knowledge by Allah.

One day, when Musa (alayhis Salam) had grown up, he went into the city and found two men fighting, one of whom was an Egyptian, and the other an Israelite. The Israelite asked Musa (alayhis Salam) for help and Musa (alayhis Salam) struck the other man with his fist, thus killing him. Musa (alayhis Salam) was horrified that he had killed a man, and asked Allah for forgiveness, which Allah granted.

The following day Musa (alayhis Salam) again was in the city, when he saw the same man as on the day before, involved in a fight with an Egyptian. Musa (alayhis Salam) was angry at the hotheadedness of this man, but was once again ready to take his side against the Egyptian, who was the enemy of them both. But the Egyptian cried out to Musa (alayhis Salam) that murder was not the way to settle and reform matters. At that moment another man brought news that the authorities were searching for Musa (alayhis Salam) in connection with the murder of the previous day. And so Musa (alayhis Salam) was forced to flee.

Musa (alayhis Salam) escaped to the land of Madyan. There he came to a watering hole where a whole tribe of men were watering their flocks. There were two women there also whose father was too old to care for his flocks himself. But the women were holding their sheep back and could not get close to the water until the men had finished. Musa watered their flocks for them, then settled down in the shade, praying that Allah would send him assistance.

One of the two women whom Musa (alayhis Salam) had helped approached him shyly, for her father had sent for Musa (alayhis Salam) to reward him for helping his daughters. When Musa (alayhis Salam) had told the old man his story, the old man sympathized with him. The old man offered to marry Musa (alayhis Salam) to one of his daughters if Musa would work for him a minimum of eight years. An agreement was reached and Musa (alayhis Salam) stayed in the land of Madyan for the agreed-upon time.

This part of the story of Musa can be found in al-Qur’an 28:1-28.

Three Different Trees

By Ibnul Qayyim (r.a)

The year is a tree, the months are its branches, the days are its twigs, the hours (and minutes) are its leaves and every breath man takes is a fruit of the tree. Thus the fruit of the trees of a person who breathes in obedience to Allah will be sweet and the fruit of the tree of a person who breathes in disobedience to Allah will be bitter. However, the fruit of this tree will only be harvested on the Day of Ma’aad (the day when Man will return to Allah) and the sweet fruit will only be differentiated from the bitter fruit when it will be harvested.

Ikhlaas and Tauheed are a tree in the heart (of the Believer). The branches of this tree are good actions and its fruits are a pleasant life in the world and never-ending comfort in the Hereafter and just as the fruit of Jannah will never come to an end nor will it be held back, the same can be said regarding the fruits of Ikhlaas and Tauheed in the Dunyaa.

Shirk, lies and Riyaa (doing good actions for show) are also a tree in the heart. The worldly fruits of the tree are fear, worry, sorrow, narrowness of the heart (discontent, cowardice, etc) and darkness of the heart. In the Hereafter the fruits of this tree will be Zaqqoom and everlasting punishment.

These two trees have been mentioned by Allah in the following Aayaat of Surah Ibrahim:

“Did you not see how Allah presented an example? A pleasant word is like a pleasant tree; its roots are firm and its branches are (high) in the sky, it yields its fruit all the time with the command of its Sustainer. And Allah presents examples to the people so that they may take heed. And the example of a bad word is that of a bad tree that has been uprooted from above the earth having no firmness.” (Verse 24 – 26)

Source: Jameah Mahmoodiyah

Prophet Yusuf

Prophet Yusuf meets his brothers

As Prophet Yusuf (alayhis salam) had predicted, seven years of famine followed seven years of good harvest, but the storehouses of Egypt were full because of Prophet Yusuf’s skillful management. People from all over flocked to Egypt to buy grain during the famine. Among them were Prophet Yusuf’s (alayhis salam) brothers.

Prophet Yusuf (alayhis salam) knew his brothers at once but they did not recognize him. He gave them the grain which they had come to buy but warned them that they would get no more unless they brought a brother of theirs to him from their father. They agreed that they would try to convince their father to let them take their younger brother with them the next time they came. Then Prophet Yusuf (alayhis salam) had his servants put their money which they had used to purchase the grain back into the saddlebags of their camels so that they would find it when they returned home and would be sure to return for more grain when they saw how generously Prophet Yusuf (alayhis salam) had treated them.

Ya’qub (alayhis salam), who still felt deeply the loss of his son Prophet Yusuf (alayhis salam), was reluctant to let the brothers take his other young son. He made them pledge in the name of Allah that they would bring him back home unless they were made physically powerless to do so. He also cautioned them to enter the city in Egypt by different gates, perhaps so they wouldn’t look like a gang of troublemakers. However, he knew that their fate depended on Allah’s will and no precautions could go against what was willed by Allah.

When the brothers had returned to Prophet Yusuf (alayhis salam) for more provisions, Prophet Yusuf (alayhis salam) lodged his younger brother with himself, and revealed his identity to him. But he had to think of a way in which to keep his younger brother with him when the others returned home. Allah inspired him with the following plan.

When the brothers’ camels had been loaded with grain, Prophet Yusuf (alayhis salam) had a cup placed in his younger brother’s saddlebag. Then a cry was raised that someone had stolen the king’s cup. The brothers denied that they had stolen anything. When asked what should happen if it were to prove otherwise, they said that they would hand over the person in whose possession the cup was found. A search of the saddlebags revealed the cup in the younger brother’s bag. Then the big brothers said that it wasn’t really surprising, because the boy’s brother (i.e. Prophet Yusuf (alayhis salam)) had also been a thief. But still Prophet Yusuf (alayhis salam) did not reveal his identity to them. The brothers asked that one of them be allowed to stay in the younger brother’s place, so that their father would not grieve, but Prophet Yusuf (alayhis salam) replied that it would be unjust to keep back anyone except him in whose possession the cup had been.

The brothers returned to their father with the story of the theft, and his eyes turned white with grief from suppressing his sorrow. He sent them away to search for Prophet Yusuf (alayhis salam) and his brother, so they returned to Prophet Yusuf (alayhis salam) and asked for more grain, although they had but little money left. Then Prophet Yusuf (alayhis salam) revealed his identity to them and forgave them and asked Allah’s forgiveness for all the wrong they had done to him and his brother. Then he gave them his shirt to place over his father’s face to recover his sight. He told them to go home and return to Egypt with all of their families.

Prophet Yusuf reunited with his family

As their caravan was leaving Egypt, Ya’qub (alayhis salam), still at home, smelled the perfume of Prophet Yusuf (alayhis salam), but his household said he was getting senile. When the caravan arrived home with the shirt, Ya’qub’s (alayhis salam) sight was restored. Then the entire family moved to Egypt. Prophet Yusuf (alayhis salam) raised his parents up on the throne to sit with him and they all bowed down in obedience to him. In this way, Prophet Yusuf’s (alayhis salam) childhood vision of the eleven planets and the sun and the moon prostrating themselves before him came true. This is how the Israelites came to settle in Egypt and lived there for many generations. The entire story of Prophet Yusuf (alayhis salam) can be found in Surah 12 of the Qur’an.

Prophet Yusuf

Prophet Yusuf

The Egyptian who bought Yusuf (Alayhis salam) from the caravan gave him a position of responsibility in his household. As Yusuf (Alayhis salam) grew to full manhood he became extremely handsome and the wife of his master fell hopelessly in love with him. One day, when she was alone in a room with him, she approached him with sinful intentions. As he attempted to flee from the room to avoid her advances, she grabbed his shirt from behind and tore it.

At the door of the room they ran into the master of the household, who demanded to know what was happening. The wife accused Yusuf of chasing her and Yusuf denied it. One of the members of the household suggested a way to determine who was telling the truth. If Yusuf’s (Alayhis salam) shirt was torn in the front, then the wife had been resisting Yusuf (Alayhis salam). But if the shirt were torn in the back, then the wife had been pursuing Yusuf (Alayhis salam). Since the shirt had been torn from behind, Yusuf (Alayhis salam) was shown to be telling the truth.

The master told him to take no further notice of the matter, and he reprimanded his wife for having done something wrong.

Despite the husband’s attempt to hush up the whole affair, gossip was soon spreading throughout the city that the wife had fallen in love with her servant. When she heard the malicious talk, the wife invited all the women of the town to a meal and gave each of them a knife to use. She then called Yusuf (Alayhis salam) into the room. All the women were so overcome by the sight of the handsome young man that they cut their hands with the knives which they held. In this way the mistress of the house showed them why she had sought Yusuf (Alayhis salam) and she vowed that if he did not yield to her wishes she would have him imprisoned.

Yusuf (Alayhis salam) was an upright young man, and with the help of Allah he had been able to resist the advances of any woman. But he realized the weakness of his human nature and he knew that if so many women were pursuing him, he might very well yield to temptation. And so he prayed to Allah that he would rather be imprisoned than accept any of their invitations, but he needed Allah’s help to turn away their attentions. And Allah heard his plea and turned their attentions from him.

But the men of the city, although acknowledging Yusuf’s (Alayhis salam) innocence, feared the commotion which his presence caused, and thus decided to have him imprisoned. There Yusuf (Alayhis salam) remained for several years.

Two other young men entered the prison at about the same time as Yusuf (Alayhis salam). While in prison each of the two men had a dream. One dreamed that he was pressing grapes; the other that he was carrying bread on his head from which the birds were eating. Each was puzzled about the meaning of his dream, and asked Yusuf (Alayhis salam) if he could interpret it.

Yusuf (Alayhis salam) promised to interpret their dreams before their next meal was brought to them, but while he had their attention, he took advantage of the opportunity to perform some dawa. He told them about the supremacy of Allah and about belief in the Hereafter. He told them about the futility of worshipping gods other than Allah. He told them of the right religion about which many people do not know.

Only after he had given his message about Islam did he interpret the dreams. He said that the man who had dreamed that he was pressing grapes would be released and would be serving wine to his master, while the other man would be executed and the birds would eat from off his head. It happened as Yusuf (Alayhis salam) had foretold, and Yusuf (Alayhis salam) asked the man who was released to mention Yusuf (Alayhis salam) to his master, in order that Yusuf (Alayhis salam) might also be released. But the man forgot and Yusuf (Alayhis salam) stayed in prison for a few more years.

The king of Egypt then had a dream, in which he saw seven fat cattle being devoured by seven lean cattle. He also saw seven green ears of corn and seven withered ears. None of the chiefs in his court could interpret the dream for him. At this point the king’s servant, who had been Yusuf’s (Alayhis salam) cell mate, remembered Yusuf’s (Alayhis salam) ability to interpret the meaning of dreams. So he went to see Yusuf (Alayhis salam) to ask about the dream.

Yusuf (Alayhis salam) explained that for seven years the crops would be good, and that much of what had been harvested would be stored away. The seven good years would be followed by seven hard years in which most of what had been stored would be consumed. After that seven-year period of poor harvests, things would improve again.

When the king was told of this interpretation, he asked that Yusuf (Alayhis salam) be brought to him from the prison. But Yusuf (Alayhis salam) would not leave until his name had been cleared. The king summoned all the women and they told him that Yusuf (Alayhis salam) had done nothing wrong. The wife of the chief who had pursued Yusuf (Alayhis salam) confessed that it was she who had been at fault. When Yusuf (Alayhis salam) was released, he was relieved that everyone now knew that he had done nothing deceitful. And he was grateful to Allah for forgiving any evil thoughts which he might have had.

The king called Yusuf (Alayhis salam) to him, and, after they had spoken together for some time, the king was so impressed that he wanted to bestow on Yusuf (Alayhis salam) a position of trust. Yusuf suggested that he be placed in charge of all the storehouses in the land, for he felt confident of his ability to administer them wisely.

Thus Allah rewarded Yusuf . He had risen from servant and prisoner to a very powerful position in the land of Egypt.

To be continued.

Prophet Yusuf

He was the son of Ya‘qub (Alayhis salam) and the grandson of Ishaaq (Alayhis salam). He was the next to youngest of twelve sons and a favorite of his father.

One day he had a dream in which eleven planets, the sun, and the moon were bowing down in front of him. When his father learned of this vision, he interpreted it as meaning that Allah would prefer Yusuf (Alayhis salam), would teach him the interpretation of dreams, and would perfect His grace upon him. But Ya’qub warned Yusuf (Alayhis salam) not to tell the dream to his brothers, because they would be extremely jealous and might wish to do harm to him.

The older brothers were indeed jealous of Yusuf (Alayhis salam) and his younger brother. They decided that, with Yusuf (Alayhis salam) out of the picture, their father would look upon the rest of them with more favor. Some wanted to kill him and some favored abandoning him in some distant land. One of the brothers suggested leaving him in a pit so that some caravan would pick him up and carry him away. That was the plot upon which they eventually agreed.

Yusuf’s brothers went to their father and asked if they could take Yusuf (Alayhis salam) out in the pastures with them on the following day, so that he could play and enjoy himself. At first Ya‘qub (Alayhis salam) dissented, because he feared that Yusuf (Alayhis salam) would be devoured by a wolf. But the brothers assured him that the wolf would not have a chance against so many of them. Finally Ya‘qub agreed to let Yusuf go with them.

The following day, the brothers led Yusuf (Alayhis salam) away and left him in the bottom of a deep pit. Allah revealed to Yusuf (Alayhis salam) at that time that one day he would tell them of this deed, when the brothers would not recognize him. After the brothers had left Yusuf (Alayhis salam) in the pit, a caravan came along and a water-drawer was sent to look for water at the bottom of the pit. He was delighted to find instead a healthy young man. Yusuf (Alayhis salam) was taken away in the caravan to be sold into slavery. The traders attached very little value to him and sold him for a very small amount of money.

Meanwhile the brothers stained Yusuf’s (Alayhis salam) shirt with the blood of some animal and returned, weeping and wailing, to their father, concocting a story about how a wolf had, after all, managed to slip past them and devour Yusuf . Their father recognized that their grief was not sincere, and he prayed to Allah to help him bear his own grief over the loss of Yusuf (Alayhis salam).

To be continued.

The Benefits of Bismillah

If we were to give an exhaustive account of the benefits of the recitation of “Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim” we would need more than a single volume to do justice to it. Apart from being part of every chapter in the Noble Qur’an (except the chapter of repentance – surah at-tawba), it is also the most often repeated verse in the Holy Qur’an.

It is narrated in Tafseere Burhaan that the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) has said that when a person recites “Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim” then five thousand ruby palaces are built for him in Jannah. Each palace has a thousand chambers made of pearls and in each chamber has seventy thousand thrones of emerald and each throne has seventy thousand carpets made from special fabrics and upon each carpet is seated a Hur-ul-Ein. A person asked for the condition necessary to get this great reward and the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) replied that the person should recite the “Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim” with conviction and understanding.

The Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) has also said that when a believer will have to cross the Pul-e-Siraat on the Day of Judgement, and he will say “Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim” then the flames beneath him will start dying down until Jahannam will cry out, ‘O believer, pass through quickly, your presence is causing my fire to die out!’

When a teacher teaches a child to recite “Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim” the child, his parents and the teacher are all guaranteed freedom from hellfire. It is narrated that Prophet Isa (alayhis salam) was once passing by a graveyard and he saw a grave upon which the Wrath and Punishment of Allah (subhana wa-ta-‘alaa) was descending, so he quietly walked past. When he passed the same place after some time, he noticed that the Mercy and Blessings of Allah (subhana wa-ta-‘alaa) was being showered on the same grave. He was surprised at this and asked Allah (subhana wa-ta-‘alaa) about what has happened and it was revealed to him that the man inside the grave was a sinner and was thus being punished for his sins. When he died, his wife was pregnant and soon gave birth to a son. When the boy grew older, his mother took him to a teacher who taught him to recite “Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim” and I felt that it would not be justice that this man’s son was calling My Name and I was punishing his father in the grave.

It is also mentioned that recitation of “Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim” with a loud voice is from the signs of a true believer.

May Allah make us all be among those who truly love Him. May He give us sincerity in both words and deeds Inshallah Ameen.

Source: Radio Islam

Prophet Ismail and his Father

After Ismail’s (alayhis salam) mother had died, Ibrahim came to see his family whom he had left near Zam-zam. Ismail (alayhis salam) was not at home when Ibrahim (alayhis salam) arrived, but his wife was. She did not know who Ibrahim (alayhis salam) was. When Ibrahim (alayhis salam) asked her about how they were managing, she started complaining about how difficult life was and how poor they were. Ibrahim (alayhis salam) told her to give her husband greetings from him and to tell him to change the threshold of the gate to his house.

When Ismail (alayhis salam) returned, he sensed that something unusual had happened and he asked his wife if anyone had been there. Then she told him what had happened and what Ibrahim (alayhis salam) had said to her. Ismail (alayhis salam) told her that the stranger had been his father, and that he had ordered Ismail to divorce her.

How did Ismail (alayhis salam) know what Ibrahim (alayhis salam) was talking about? A threshold is the sill of a door or gate, the part that one steps on when one enters a house. If the threshold is rotten, the house is not strong. Ismail’s (alayhis salam) wife was the rotten threshold because of her whining, complaining ways. Had she remained as Ismail’s (alayhis salam) wife, his entire household would have been weakened. The wife, as mother of a man’s children, is the foundation of his family for many generations to come, and she must be made of good material in order to fulfill her purpose well.

Sometime after Ismail (alayhis salam) had taken another wife, his father Ibrahim (alayhis salam) again came visiting and again found no one but the wife at home. However, this time when he asked her how they were doing, she cheerfully answered that they were prospering and she gave thanks to Allah for all their blessings. She offered Ibrahim (alayhis salam) meat and water, and he asked for Allah’s blessing on all their meat and water. When he left, he told her to give his regards to her husband and to tell him to keep the threshold of his gate.

When Ismail (alayhis salam) returned home he asked if anyone had visited. She told him all about the nice old man and the piece of advice he had given in his message to Ismail (alayhis salam). From this message Ismail (alayhis salam) knew that his father approved of the new wife and had advised Ismail (alayhis salam) to keep her with him.

Again some time had passed when Ibrahim (alayhis salam) wished to see his son. He found Ismail (alayhis salam) sharpening his arrows at the Zam-zam well, and they exchanged a warm father-son greeting. This time Allah had given Ibrahim (alayhis salam) an order and Ibrahim (alayhis salam) needed Ismail’s (alayhis salam) help to fulfill it. Ismail (alayhis salam) agreed immediately to help, before he even knew what was required of him. Allah had ordered Ibrahim (alayhis salam) to build a house on the hillock where Ismail (alayhis salam) had been left as a baby with his mother, a place which was higher than the land surrounding it. And so it was that Ibrahim (alayhis salam) and Ismail (alayhis salam) built the Ka’ba. Ismail (alayhis salam) brought the stones and Ibrahim (alayhis salam) put them in place. When the walls became too high, Ibrahim (alayhis salam) stood on a rock and Ismail (alayhis salam) handed the stones up to him. As they worked they kept repeating: “Our Lord! Accept this service from us, for Thou art the All-Hearing, the All-Knowing.” (al-Qur’an 2:127). That is how the Ka’ba came to be built.

You can read about Ismail (alayhis salam) and his father in Sahih al-Bukhari IV: 583-584 and in the Qur’an 2:125-129.