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Page 4

The Islamic Bulletin

Issue 4

Page 5

The Islamic Bulletin

Issue 4



- H








Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) (A.S.) and Prophet Isma’il (Ishmael)


Nearly four thousand and six years ago, in the Summerian town

of Ur, the capital of the Babylonian Kings, in the valley of river

Euphrates (which at present is Southern Iraq), lived a young man

named Ibrahim (Abraham)(PBUH). The people of Ur had once

worshipped God but as time passed they forgot the true religion

and started praying to idols, statues made of wood or clay and

sometimes even precious stones.

The Prophet Ibrahim (PBUH) was the son of Terah Azar, an idol

carver and a staunch idol worshiper. He did all he could do to com-

pel Ibrahim (AS) to worship the idols, but he flatly refused to do so.

Even as a small child Ibrahim (AS) could not understand how his

people, and especially his father, could make these images with their

own hands, call them gods, and then worship them. He had always

refused to join his people when they paid respect to these statues.

Instead he would leave the town and sit alone, thinking about the

heavens and the world around him. He was sure his people were

doing wrong and so alone he searched for the right way.

One clear night as he sat staring at the sky he saw a beautiful shin-

ing star, so beautiful that he cried out: “This is my Lord.”(Qur’an

6:76) He looked at it in awe for some time, until suddenly it

began to fade and then it disappeared. He turned away in dis-

appointment saying: “I love not those that set.”(Qur’an 6:76)

On another night Ibrahim (AS) was again looking at the sky and

he saw the rising moon, so big and bright. He said: “This is my

Lord.”(Qur’an 6:77) But it was not long before the moon set as

well. Then he said, “Unless my Lord guides me, I shall surely

be among those who go astray.”(Qur’an 6:77)

Abraham (PBUH) then saw the beauty and splendor of the sunrise

and decided that the sun must be the biggest and most powerful

thing in the universe. But for the third time he was wrong, for the

sun set at the end of the day.

“When he saw the sun rising (in splendor) he said: “This is my

Lord; this is the greatest (of all).” But when the sun set, he said:

“O my people! I am indeed free from your (guilt) of giving part-

ners to God. For me, I have set my face, firmly and truly, towards

Him Who created the heavens and earth, and never shall I give

partners to The Almighty.” (Qur’an 6:78-79)

It was then that he realized that God is the Most Powerful, the

Creator of the stars, the moon, the sun, the earth and of all living

things. Suddenly he felt himself totally at peace, because he felt

that he had found the Truth.

Speaking highly of him, the Holy Qur’an states: “Ibrahim was

indeed a model, devoutly obedient to The Almighty, and true in

faith, and he was not of those who set up equals to The Almighty.

He showed his gratitude for the favors of The Almighty, Who

chose him and guided him to a straight path. And We gave him

good in this world, and he will be, in the Hereafter, in the ranks

of the Righteous.” (Qur’an 16:120-122)

The Prophet Ibrahim’s Teachings

Gradually the Prophet was commanded to commence preaching.

Prophet Ibrahim (AS) was a man of strong will and determination

and he argued with his people with great vigor regarding the folly

of worshipping the idols.

“And rehearse to them (something of) Abraham’s story. Behold,

he said to his father and his people: “What worship ye?

They said: “We worship idols, and we remain constantly in

attendance on them.”

He said: “Do they listen to you when ye call (on them),

Or do you good or harm?”

They said: “Nay, but we found our fathers doing thus (what we


He said: “Do ye then see whom ye have been worshipping,

“Ye and your fathers before you?

“For they are enemies to me; not so the Lord and Cherisher of

the Worlds;

“Who created me, and it is He who guides me;

“Who gives me food and drink,

“And when I am ill, it is He who cures me;

“Who will cause me to die, and then to live (again);

“and who, I hope, will forgive me my faults on the Day of judg-


“O my Lord! Bestow wisdom on me, and join me with the


“Grant me honorable mention on the tongue of truth among

the latest (generations);

“Make me one of the inheritors of the Garden of Bliss;

“Forgive my father, for that he is among those astray;

“And let me not be in disgrace on the Day when (men) will be

raised up;

“The Day whereon neither wealth nor sons will avail,

“But only he (will prosper) that brings to God a sound heart.

(Qur’an 26:69-89)

Opposition by the People and Discussion with

the King

The people paid no heed to his teachings and did not refrain from

idol worshipping. The ruler at that time was king Nemrud, who

claimed himself to be a god. He conducted a meeting with Prophet

Ibrahim (PBUH). In the meeting Nemrud asked: “What is this thing

you are calling people for? Why do you persuade the people to

worship an invisible God?” The Prophet replied back boldly: “My

God is the One Who gives and takes away life.” Nemrud answered

arrogantly: “I also have the power to do that. I can kill the people

and also spare them.” Prophet Ibrahim at this point couldn’t resist

asking Nemrud. He asked: “My God makes the sun rise in the East

and set it in the West, can you make it rise in the West and set it

in the East?” At this Nemrud couldn’t say anything.

Breakage of the Idols

Once there was a grand celebration and everybody in town was

attending it except Prophet Ibrahim (PBUH). He had a special plan

in his mind. He proceeded towards the temple and started axing

down the idols. When the people returned they were shocked to

find their idols smashed to pieces except the chief idol. Someone

suggested that it was the work of Ibrahim (PBUH) and he was im-

mediately summoned in.

He was sentenced to be burned alive. A huge furnace was created

for this purpose. The Prophet had full faith in The Almighty and

remained calm.

When he was tossed in the center of the furnace, the flames were

blazing, but the Prophet was unharmed and sometime later Prophet

Ibrahim (PBUH) walked out of the fire safely. All the spectators were

surprised at the miracle.

Still Abraham (PBUH) tried to persuade his own dear father not

to worship powerless, un-seeing, un-hearing statues. Abraham

explained that special knowledge had come to him and implored

his father, “So Follow me: I will guide Thee to a Way that is even

and straight. O my father! Serve not Satan: for Satan is a rebel

against (God) Most Gracious.” (Qur’an 19:43-44)

But Azar would not listen. He threatened his son with stoning

if he would reject the gods of Ur. He ordered Abraham to leave

the city with these words: “Now get away from me for a good

long while!” Abraham said: Peace be on thee: I will pray to my

Lord for thy forgiveness: for He is to me Most Gracious.”(Quran


Imagine how terrible it must have been for him to leave his home,

his family and all that he knew, and set out across the wilderness

into the unknown.

But at the same time, how could he have remained among people

who did not believe in God and who worshiped statues? Abraham

always had a sense that God cared for him and he felt God near

him as he traveled.

At last, after a long hard journey, he arrived at a place by the Med-

iterranean Sea, not far from Egypt. There he married a woman by

the name of Sarah and settled in the land of Palestine.

Many years passed but Abraham (AS) and his wife were not blessed

with any children. In the hope that there would be a child, and in

keeping with tradition, Sarah suggested that Abraham (AS) should

marry Hagar, her Egyptian handmaid.

Birth of the Prophet Isma’il (A.S.) and the

Migration to Mecca

Prophet Ibrahim (PBUH) prayed for a son in all sublimity and his

prayer was granted. Hagar gave birth to a baby boy Isma’il (AS).

Soon after, The Almighty commanded the Prophet Ibrahim (PBUH)

to migrate to the Holy Land of Ka’bah in Makkah.

In accordance with the Divine Commandment, the family set out

on a long and troublesome journey. Towards the end of the jour-

ney the family set up their tents in a hilly area without any trees or

water source around.

The Prophet lsma’il (PBUH) was a few months old. He began

crying because of thirst. His mother ran desperately in quest of

water between the two hillocks called Safa and Marwa but found

no water.

When she returned back to the thirsty infant she was surprised to

see the spring of Zam Zam emerged beneath the foot of the Prophet

Isma’il (PBUH). She heaved a sigh of relief and quenched the thirst

of her baby with the water.

People came from far and wide to observe the miracle and gradually

this locality named Mecca became the birth place of Islam.

Vision of the Prophet Ibrahim (AS) Regarding

the Sacrifice of the Prophet Isma’il (AS)

Prophet Ibrahim (AS) received a Commandment in his vision to

sacrifice his only son Isma’il (AS). The Prophet Ibrahim (PBUH)

had no hesitation in complying with what he was ordered to do.

The father told the son about the dream. To his great surprise,

Isma’il (PBUH) had no objection and was willing to be sacrificed

as The Almighty had willed. Prophet Isma’il (PBUH) said, “Omy

father! Do as thou art commanded: thou will find me, If God so

wills, one of the steadfast.” (Qur’an 37:102)

The Ordeal of the Sacrifice of Prophet Isma’il


On the tenth day of Dhul Hijja, the father and his beloved son

walked side by side. A young lad possessed forbearance and the

old man was full of determination and spirit to complete his sub-

mission to The Almighty. Their purpose was to carry out the orders

of their Lord.

They proceeded towards Mina. Finally they reached a special spot.

The father’s heart was beating violently as he laid his son prostrate

on the ground.

Prophet Ibrahim (PBUH) was shaking with emotions as he drew the

knife across the son’s neck, a moment of action, that isn’t possible

to describe on paper - they heard a Divine Voice:

“O’ Ibrahim! You have indeed shown the truth of the vision.

Surely do We reward the doers of good.” (Qur’an 37:105)

Prophet Ibrahim (PBUH) was commanded not to sacrifice his son,

instead a ram was provided for the sacrifice. The great moment

of suspense came to an end. Both the father and son expressed

a deep sense of happiness and gratitude to The Almighty.

Glad Tidings Regarding the Birth of Prophet

Ishaq (AS)

When the Prophet Ibrahim (PBUH) displayed his unstinted sub-

mission to the orders of The Almighty, he was informed of the glad

tiding regarding the birth of a baby from Sarah, his first wife. The

Holy Qur’an affirms:

“And We gave him the good news of Ishaq (Isaac)-a prophet, -

one of the Righteous. We blessed him and Ishaq: but of their

progeny are (some) that do right, and (some) that obviously do

wrong, to themselves.” (Qur’an 37:112-113)

The Construction of the Ka’bah

The Ka’bah was constructed by the Prophet Ibrahim and the Prophet

Isma’il (PBUT). The Holy Qur’an states:

“Remember We made the House a place of assembly for men

and a place of safety; and take ye the Station of Abraham as a

place of prayer; and We covenanted with Ibrahim and Isma’il,

that they should sanctify My House for those who compass

it round, or use it as retreat, or bow, or prostrate themselves

(therein in prayer).” (Qur’an 2:125)

So both the father and son laid the foundations of the Ka’bah.

Ishmael brought stones and Ibrahim fixed them. When the walls

became higher, Ibrahim brought that stone which is famous by the

name of Muqamu-Ibrahim and stood on it and began fixing stones

and raised the walls higher.

The Qur’an mentions in these words,

“And remember Abraham

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. “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-Relenting Most Merciful. “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 purify them: for Thou art the Exalted in Might - The Wise.”

(Qur’an 2:127-129)

Burial Place

The Prophet Ibrahim (PBUH) lived for 175 years. His life was full

of happenings, tests and trials. He had a firm faith in The Almighty.

He gained thousands upon thousands of believers. When he passed

away, he was buried in Heburon, about twenty-one miles south-

west of Jerusalem.

Mecca is Habituated

The Prophet Isma’il (PBUH) and his mother settled down in the

vicinity of the Kab’ah. From the descendants of Ishmael would form

a nation fromwhich would come a great Prophet, who would guide

the people in the way of God. This was Muhammed (SAW), the

Messenger of God. From the descendants of Sarah’s child, Isaac,

would come Moses (AS) and Jesus (AS).