Hadrat Hagar was the wife of Prophet Abraham and the mother of Prophet Ishmael (peace and blessings of God be upon them). When Ishmael was a bay, Prophet Abraham was commanded by God to take his son to the Holy Land of Ka'bah in Mecca and leave him there so that when he grew up, he would spread the Word of God in that part of the world. Accordingly, Abraham too his wife Hagar with his baby and left them in Mecca with a bucket of water and some dates.
Hagar followed him and said, 'O Abraham! Where are you going leaving us in this bare and lifeless valley?' She said this a number of times but he did not say anything. Then she said, 'Has God commanded you to do so?' In reply, he simply said, 'Yes!' Then she said that if that was the case, God would not destroy them and went back to her baby. When Ibrahim (A.S.) went behind the side of the mountain where he could not see his wife and son, he turned towards that place (Ka'bah) where it was to be built later and prayed to God in these words,
"O our Lord! I have made some of my offspring to dwell in a valley without cultivation by Thy Sacred House: In order, O our Lord, 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." (Qur'an 14:37)
Hagar suckled her child and drank water for some days until the bucket was empty, then she and her baby suffered thirst. She saw her child crying from thirst and could not help him. So she left him there and went towards the valley to look for help but could not find anyone. Hagar traveled between the mountains of Safa and Marwa, sometimes running, especially in the low ground where she could not see her son, and sometimes walking, seven times. But still, she could not find anyone. When she was doing it for the seventh time and going up the mount Marwa, she heard a voice. She said to herself, 'be quiet' and listened carefully. She heard a voice again and said, "O, man! You have made your voice heard to me. Have you got something to help us?" Suddenly, she returned to her baby and to her amazement, she saw water emerging beneath the foot of her baby.
Thus, Hagar began to drink water and suckle her baby. The angel said to her, "Don't fear death. This is God's house which will be built by this child and his father. And God will not destroy the people of this House."
Hagar was a true example of a woman who had great faith in God. Although she was left with her baby, Ishmael, alone in the desert without any food and water, she was still able to remain steadfast. Hagar had no doubt that since she was being left in the desert for the sake of God, that God would indeed take care and provide for her and her baby son, Ishmael. And it is from Hagar's sacrifice of running back and forth looking for water for her child, that Muslims do Sa'ee (running between Safa and Marwa), when they perform the Umra and Hajj.
The Islamic Bulletin
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