وَاتَّخَذَ اللہُ اِبْرٰہِیۡمَ خَلِیۡلًا ﴿۱۲۵﴾
And Allah took Ibraham as His close friend.
(Al-Nisa 4, Verse 125)
Sayyiduna Ibrahim – peace be upon him – the grandparent of our beloved Prophet – may Allah send peace and blessings upon him – was born in the city of Babylon during the rulership of Nimrod.
Nimrod ruled over the entire world. The history bears testimony to the fact that there have been four individuals who have ruled over the entire world; two of them were believers and the other two disbelievers. The two believers were Hazrat Sikandar Dhul Qarnain – may Allah be pleased with him – and Sayyiduna Sulaiman – peace be upon him. The two disbelievers were Nimrod and Nebuchadnezzar.
Alhamdulillah, our beloved Prophet – may Allah send peace and blessings upon him – is the king of both worlds.
As the time of his birth neared, his mother went underground bunker which his father had built away from the urban area, due to Nimrod’s fear. Sayyiduna Ibrahim – peace be upon him – was born there and spent his in it. His mother would come to the underground place every day, breastfeed him and then go back. He was growing up on a rapid rate. His growth of a month would signify the growth of a year old.
(Ma’ajij al-Nubuwwah p. 310)
According to a narration, when Sayyiduna Ibrahim – peace be upon him – reached the age of 13 or 17 he asked his mother, “Who is my Lord? i.e. my caretaker?” She replied, “I am.” He then asked, “Who is your caretaker?” She silenced him and could not answer his question. She went to her husband and said to him that the child people assume will change people’s religious view will be none other than their own, and then she narrated the dialogue that just took place between them.
When Sayyiduna Ibrahim – peace be upon him – came out of the underground bunker, it was the time of sunset and then the stars became visible all over the sky. He saw his people involved in polytheism and refuted this religious view of theirs and gave proofs of Allah’s Oneness which the Holy Quran narrates in the following words:
فَلَمَّا جَنَّ عَلَیۡہِ الَّیۡلُ رَاٰکَوْکَبًا ۚ قَالَ ہٰذَا رَبِّیۡ ۚ فَلَمَّاۤ اَفَلَ قَالَ لَاۤ اُحِبُّ الۡاٰفِلِیۡنَ ﴿۷۶﴾
When the darkness of night came on him, he saw a star, said he, ‘you take this as my Lord! then when it set, said he, ‘I do not like the setting ones’.
فَلَمَّا رَاَ الْقَمَرَ بَازِغًا قَالَ ہٰذَا رَبِّیۡ ۚ فَلَمَّاۤ اَفَلَ قَالَ لَئِنۡ لَّمْ یَہۡدِنِیۡ رَبِّیۡ لَاَکُوۡنَنَّ مِنَ الْقَوْمِ الضَّآلِّیۡنَ ﴿۷۷﴾
Then when he saw the moon shining, said he, ‘you tell this my Lord, then when it set, said he, ‘if my Lord would not have guided me, I would also have been of the same who have gone astray.’
فَلَمَّا رَاَ الشَّمْسَ بَازِغَۃً قَالَ ہٰذَا رَبِّیۡ ہٰذَاۤ اَکْبَرُ ۚ فَلَمَّاۤ اَفَلَتْ قَالَ یٰقَوْمِ اِنِّیۡ بَرِیۡٓءٌ مِّمَّا تُشْرِکُوۡنَ ﴿۷۸﴾
Then when he saw the sun shining, said he, you say this my Lord! This is biggest of all, then when it set, said he, ‘O people, I am quit of all those things which you associate with God.
اِنِّیۡ وَجَّہۡتُ وَجْہِیَ لِلَّذِیۡ فَطَرَ السَّمٰوٰتِ وَالۡاَرْضَ حَنِیۡفًا وَّمَاۤ اَنَا مِنَ الْمُشْرِکِیۡنَ ﴿ۚ۷۹﴾
I diverted my face towards Him who have made the heavens and earth, being of Him only and I am not of the polytheists.
(Al-An’aam 6, Verse 76-79)
Azar, the uncle of Hazrat Ibrahim – peace be upon him
His paternal uncle Azar used to sculpt idols and sell them. One day Sayyiduna Ibrahim – peace be upon him – had a speech with him:
اِذْ قَالَ لِاَبِیۡہِ یٰۤاَبَتِ لِمَ تَعْبُدُ مَا لَا یَسْمَعُ وَ لَا یُبْصِرُ وَ لَا یُغْنِیۡ عَنۡکَ شَیْـًٔا ﴿۴۲﴾
When he said to his father, ‘O my father, why do you worship that which neither hears nor sees, and nor it is of any use to you’.
یٰۤاَبَتِ اِنِّیۡ قَدْ جَآءَنِیۡ مِنَ الْعِلْمِ مَا لَمْ یَاۡتِکَ فَاتَّبِعْنِیۡۤ اَہۡدِکَ صِرٰطًا سَوِیًّا ﴿۴۳﴾
‘O my father! Undoubtedly’, there has come to me that knowledge which has not come to you, then follow me, I shall guide you to straight path’.
یٰۤاَبَتِ لَا تَعْبُدِ الشَّیۡطٰنَ ؕ اِنَّ الشَّیۡطٰنَ کَانَ لِلرَّحْمٰنِ عَصِیًّا ﴿۴۴﴾
‘O my father! serve not the devil (Satan) undoubtedly, the devil is disobedient against the Most Affectionate’.
یٰۤاَبَتِ اِنِّیۡۤ اَخَافُ اَنۡ یَّمَسَّکَ عَذَابٌ مِّنَ الرَّحْمٰنِ فَتَکُوۡنَ لِلشَّیۡطٰنِ وَلِیًّا ﴿۴۵﴾
‘O my father! I fear that the torment of the Most Affectionate may reach you,then you become the companion of the devil (Satan).
قَالَ اَرَاغِبٌ اَنۡتَ عَنْ اٰلِہَتِیۡ یٰۤـاِبْرٰہِیۡمُ ۚ لَئِنۡ لَّمْ تَنۡتَہِ لَاَرْجُمَنَّکَ وَاہۡجُرْنِیۡ مَلِیًّا ﴿۴۶﴾
He said, ‘Do you turn your face from my Gods O Ibrahim’? No doubt, if you would not desist, then I shall stone you; and be away from me for a good long time.
قَالَ سَلٰمٌ عَلَیۡکَ ۚ سَاَسْتَغْفِرُ لَکَ رَبِّیۡ ؕ اِنَّہٗ کَانَ بِیۡ حَفِیًّا ﴿۴۷﴾
He said, ‘Now enough, peace be to you; it is near that I will beg my Lord forgiveness for you, no doubt, He is kind enough to me.
وَ اَعْتَزِلُکُمْ وَمَا تَدْعُوۡنَ مِنۡ دُوۡنِ اللہِ وَ اَدْعُوۡ رَبِّیۡ ۫ۖ عَسٰۤی اَلَّاۤ اَکُوۡنَ بِدُعَآءِ رَبِّیۡ شَقِیًّا ﴿۴۸﴾
And I shall be apart from you and from all those whom you worship besides Allah and I shall worship my Lord, it is near that by serving my Lord I may not be unfortunate.
(Maryam 19, Verse 42-48)
His uncle also challenged him that he would believe in him if he made the idols talk and confirm Allah’s Oneness and his Prophethood. Sayyiduna Ibrahim – peace be upon him – made Du’a and the idols spoke:
لَا اِلٰہَ اِلَّا اللّٰہُ اِبْرَاھِیْمُ خَلِیْلُ اللّٰہِ
There is none worthy of worship but Allah. Ibrahim (peace be upon him) is the friend of Allah.
(Ma’arij al-Nubuwwah p. 319)
His steadfastness against Nimrod and the enemies of Allah:
Hazrat Ibraheem – peace be upon Him – had already debated with his nation and disclosed the truth but people did not accept the truth but rather they said to him, “Tomorrow it is our day of celebration and there will be a very big fair. Come there and see how beautiful and fun our religion is!” It was the practice of that nation that in their annual fair people would gather in a jungle and play whole day, and in the evening, they would go into their temple and worship the idols and perform their sacrifices and offer foods. Hazrat Ibraheem – peace be upon Him – walked towards the fair on their request but then made an excuse of illness and returned, and those people went to partake in the fair. He told the people that did not go to the fair very clearly:
وَتَاللہِ لَاَکِیۡدَنَّ اَصْنٰمَکُمۡ بَعْدَ اَنۡ تُوَلُّوۡا مُدْبِرِیۡنَ ﴿۵۷﴾
And I swear by Allah, I shall devise bad against your idols after you have turned your backs.
(Al-Ambiya 21, Verse 57)
However, after that, he took and axe and went inside the temple and saw there are many small and big idols and there is a very big one in front of the gate. Looking at those false objects of worship, he was overwhelmed by the emotions of the oneness of Allah and he slashed the idols with his axe and broke them into pieces but he spared the biggest one of them. He placed the axe onto its shoulder and came out of the temple. When the people returned from the fair and entered the temple to offer their prayers and sacrifices they were astonished to see that their gods were broken and scattered. They all suddenly went mad and began to squeal and make noise.
قَالُوۡا مَنۡ فَعَلَ ہٰذَا بِاٰلِہَتِنَاۤ اِنَّہٗ لَمِنَ الظّٰلِمِیۡنَ ﴿۵۹﴾
They said, ‘who has done this to our gods’? Undoubtedly, he is unjust.
(Al-Ambiya 21, Verse 59)
Some of them said, “We heard a young man whose name is Ibraheem speaking ill of the idols.” People told them to bring the young man, perhaps he might have broken the idols. They asked Hazrat Ibraheem – peace be upon Him, “Are you responsible for this condition of our idols?” He replied, “Your big idols must have done that, because the axe is on its shoulder. Why don’t you ask your broken idols as to who has broken them? If they can relate then ask them who broke them?”
Peoples’ heads were down and they responded, “O Ibraheem, what and even how do we ask them? You know, they can’t talk.” Hearing this, Hazrat Ibraheem – peace be upon Him – said in anger:
قَالَ اَفَتَعْبُدُوۡنَ مِنۡ دُوۡنِ اللہِ مَا لَا یَنۡفَعُکُمْ شَیْـًٔا وَّلَا یَضُرُّکُمْ ﴿ؕ۶۶﴾
He said, ‘Do you then worship besides Allah that which neither profits you and nor hurts you’.
اُفٍّ لَّکُمْ وَلِمَا تَعْبُدُوۡنَ مِنۡ دُوۡنِ اللہِ ؕ اَفَلَا تَعْقِلُوۡنَ ﴿۶۷﴾
Fie on you and on those deities, which you worship besides Allah, do you then have no wisdom?
(Al-Ambiya 21, Verse 66-67)
They had no answer to this truth which Hazrat Ibraheem – peace be upon Him – spoke but they rather began to make noise calling upon their idols.
قَالُوۡا حَرِّقُوۡہُ وَ انۡصُرُوۡۤا اٰلِہَتَکُمْ اِنۡ کُنۡتُمْ فٰعِلِیۡنَ ﴿۶۸﴾
They said, ‘Burn him and help your gods, if you have to do.’
(Al-Ambiya 21, Verse 68)
Nimrod’s futile attempt to torture Sayyiduna Ibrahim – peace be upon him
They created a huge fire and its flames were so high that if a bird flew over it, it would burn, and then they tied him and with the aid of a catapult they threw him into the fire and were happy in their hearts thinking that Hazrat Ibraheem – peace be upon Him – must have been burnt to ashes, but the following summon of Allah Almighty was given to the fire:
یٰنَارُ کُوۡنِیۡ بَرْدًا وَّ سَلٰمًا عَلٰۤی اِبْرٰہِیۡمَ ﴿ۙ۶۹﴾
‘O Fire! be you cool and safety for Ibrahim.’
(Al-Ambiya 21, Verse 69)
And the response of the final result is given in the Quran in a very sold tone:
وَاَرَادُوۡا بِہٖ کَیۡدًا فَجَعَلْنٰہُمُ الْاَخْسَرِیۡنَ ﴿ۚ۷۰﴾
And they desired evil for him, but We made them the worst losers.
(Al-Ambiya 21, Verse 70)
The fire was set off and Hazrat Ibraheem – peace be upon Him – emerged safe and alive from it and the oppressors were left doing nothing better than rubbing their hands together in regret!
The Trust of Hazrat Ibraheem – peace be upon Him:
It is narrated that when Namrood threw Hazrat Ibraheem – peace be upon Him – into the fire in front of his entire nation all the heavens and earth and creation screamed and pleaded in the mighty court of Allah, “O Allah! Your friend is being thrown into the fire and there is none besides him the flag-bearer of Thy Oneness and Thy Praises, so permit us to assist him.” Allah Almighty replied, “Ibraheem is My friend and I am his Lord. If Ibraheem calls you for assistance then I give permission to all of you to assist him, and if he does not seek anyone’s help besides Mine then listen, I am his Helper and Friend, therefore leave his matter up to Me.” And then the angel of rain came to him and sought his permission to rain down and extinguish the fire, then the angel of death came and sought permission to bring a heavy gush of hurricane and blow away the fire, he said to both the angels, “I do not need anything from you. My Allah is sufficient for me and He is my best Helper. It is all up to Him when and how He wills to help me.”
(Saawi Vol. 4, p. 1307)
Which Du’a He Recited and then Entered the Fire? :
It is mentioned in a narration that when the infidels put him in the fire he recited the following Du’a:
لَا اِلٰہَ اِلَّا اَنْتَ سُبْحٰنَکَ لَکَ الْحَمْدُ وَ لَکَ الْمُلْکُ لَا شَرِیْکَ لَکَ
And when he entered the fire Hazrat Jibreel – peace be upon Him – came down and said, “O Allah’s friend! Are you in need of something?” He replied, “I have no need from you.” Hazrat Jibreel – peace be upon Him – said, “Then relate your need to Allah Almighty at least.” He replied, “He is very well aware of my situation, therefore there is no need for me to ask for anything at all.” Hazrat Ibraheem – peace be upon Him – was just 16 years or 20 years old at that time.
How Long Did He Stay In The Fire? :
There are three quotations in respect of the duration of his stay in the fire:
- Some Mufasireen said that he stayed in the fire for a week.
- Some wrote that it was for 40 days.
- And some even said that he stayed there for 50 days.
And Allah Almighty Knows Best!
(Saawi Vol. 4, p. 1307)
Nimrod’s daughter Raghfa embraced Islam:
Nimrod’s daughter Raghfa was seeing the entire incident from the building and observed closely how Sayyiduna Ibrahim – peace be upon him – was saved from the fire which lit the flame of Iman in her heart. She jumped into the fire reading the Kalimah:
لَا اِلٰہَ اِلَّا اللّٰہُ اِبْرَاھِیْمُ خَلِیْلُ اللّٰہِ
There is none worthy of worship but Allah. Ibrahim (peace be upon him) is the friend of Allah.
She then returned home to her father. Nimrod also witnessed her jumping into the fire and then coming out of it alive and harmless which concreted his perception of Sayyiduna Ibrahim’s – peace be upon him – truth but his arrogance kept him in denial. He tried to manipulate her and talked her into reverting back to her old beliefs but she remained steadfast on Iman which infuriated him to go to extreme measures of tormenting her in various ways. He tied her hands and feet and left her to burn on the burning sand all day but she remained steadfast on Islam. Allah Almighty has mercy on her and sent Hazrat Jibreel – peace be upon him – to bring her to Sayyiduna Ibrahim – peace be upon him. Her name was Ragh’fah. After some time Sayyiduna Ibrahim – peace be upon him – got her married to his son Madyan. By the Will of Allah, she gave birth to 20 sons, and all of them were blessed with Prophethood.
(Ma’arij al-Nubuwwah Vol. 337)
It was all the blessing of Kalimah and love of the Prophet. If we truly love the beloved Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – then no trouble of this world or the hereafter will come close to us by Allah’s Mercy.
The Bad End of the Enemy of Allah’s Prophet
Nimrod was an evil king. He used to enforce people to consider him as God and made them prostrate before him. Allah’s capture is severe although he gives the transgressors time to mend their ways but instead of considering it a second chance, they take it as leverage, and when their oppression crosses the limit the punishment of Allah captures them.
According to one narration, the age of Nimrod was over a thousand years and he did not fall ill for the past 300 years. He assumed that because he possesses some kind of superpower he is not falling ill, so he is above the creation of Allah. Instead of being thankful to Allah he started to think of himself as God.
As his punishment, Allah Almighty sent a mosquito to him who entered through his nostril and entered his brain. He was in severe pain due to the mosquito interfering with his brain and he tried every treatment but the pain only increased. A doctor advised that his head should be massaged with an old shoe and then the little beating with the shoe will cure his severe headache. When people hit him with the shoe he did not get cured but eventually he died in such a pathetic way. So much for a playing God!!!
This is the ultimate result of insulting and hating Allah’s Prophet. May Allah Almighty inspire us to love His Prophets and friends. Ameen!
Sayyiduna Ibrahim – peace be upon him – travelled from Babylon to Shaam
When Hazrat Ibrahim – peace be upon him – migrated from Babylon to Shaam, he was accompanied by his wife Hazrat Sarah – may Allah be pleased with her. The king came to know that a traveler, Sayyiduna Ibrahim’s – peace be upon him – wife was beautiful. He invited them to his castle. He was taken by lust as soon as he casted the first glance at Sayyidah Sarah – may Allah be pleased with her. He left Sayyiduna Ibrahim – peace be upon him – and took her inside a room
The tyrant king became full of lust when he saw Hazrat Sarah – may Allah be pleased with Her – and when he took out his hand to touch her with evil intentions his one hand and foot became paralyzed. He said to her, “You are doing black magic which is why my hand and foot is paralyzed.”
Hazrat Sarah replied, “No. I do not know any magic tricks but my husband is Allah’s friend and it is due to his curse on you that your hand and foot has become paralyzed. You must repent and then Allah Almighty will make your hand and foot healthy again.”
He repented and Allah Almighty made his limbs healthy again. When he looked at Hazrat Sarah – may Allah be pleased with Her – he lost patience and extended his hand towards her and this time he was blinded in both his eyes.
He immediately accused her of doing wizardry, and then she gave him the same answer.
He repented again and when he casted his lustful glance at her for the third time and wanted to touch her with evil intention all seven body parts of his became paralyzed and once again he accused her of wizardry.
She replied the same as she previously had done. He called in Hazrat Ibraheem – peace be upon Him – and apologized, saying, “O Ibraheem, I will do as you say but please supplicate to your Lord to take me out of this difficulty.”
He made Du’a and the king recovered from the curse. He gave his pious ladyslave Hazrat Hajera – may Allah be pleased with Her – to Hazrat Ibraheem as a gift and returned to him his wife Hazrat Sarah as well.
(Kitaab Al-Sab’iyyaat p. 97-98)
The Birth of Sayyiduna Isma’eel – peace be upon him
When Sayyiduna Ibrahim – peace be upon him – settled in the Holy Land of Shaam he did not have a child even after spending 20 years there. He supplicated in Allah’s Court as follows:
رَبِّ ہَبْ لِیۡ مِنَ الصّٰلِحِیۡنَ ﴿۱۰۰﴾
‘My Lord, bestow me a righteous son.’
(Saaffaat 37, Verse 100)
His Du’a was answered and in his old age he was blessed with a son from his wife Sayyidah Hajera – may Allah be pleased with her. He is also the great grandfather of our beloved Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him – and known as Dhabeehullah (One who is sacrificed for the sake of Allah).
Establishment of Makkah Mukarramah and the Construction of the Holy Ka’bah
It was a very happy occasion for the parents that their wish came true but Hazrat Sarah – may Allah be pleased with her – saw Hazrat Hajerh – may Allah be pleased with her – with the child in her lap she developed jealousya over the time and couldn’t bear the sight of her. At one point she suggested that Sayyiduna Ibrahim – peace be upon him – should take them away from her to some other place, and in this way Allah Almighty created a reason for their arrival in Makkah Mukarramah.
Allah Almighty commanded Sayyiduna Ibrahim – peace be upon him – to leave them at the place which is now known as the city of Makkah Mukarramah.
Hazrat Ibrahim – peace be upon him – along with his wife Sayyidah – Hajerah – may Allah be pleased with her – and their child Sayyiduna Isma’eel – peace be upon him – migrated from Shaam to Makkah Mukarramah at a place where later the well of Zam-Zam came into existence. There was no civilization prior to this as well as any source of water nor a tree under which one can take shade.
He gave his wife a bag of dates and a container full of water, and as he was leaving, she asked, “Where are going leaving us in this valley where there’s no one nor is there anything we can live on?” He did not reply but she asked again but again there was no response, and at last, she asked, “Is it Allah’s command that you are leaving us here?” He replied, “Yes, I am doing this as the command of Allah.” She said, “He will not let us suffer, I confide in my Lord and put my complete faith.”
Du’a of Hazrat Ibrahim – peace be upon him – while leaving
رَبَّنَاۤ اِنِّیۡۤ اَسْکَنۡتُ مِنۡ ذُرِّیَّتِیۡ بِوَادٍ غَیۡرِ ذِیۡ زَرْعٍ عِنۡدَ بَیۡتِکَ الْمُحَرَّمِ ۙ رَبَّنَا لِیُـقِیۡمُوا الصَّلٰوۃَ فَاجْعَلْ اَفْئِدَۃً مِّنَ النَّاسِ تَہۡوِیۡۤ اِلَیۡہِمْ وَارْزُقْہُمۡ مِّنَ الثَّمَرٰتِ لَعَلَّہُمْ یَشْکُرُوۡنَ ﴿۳۷﴾
‘O my Lord, I have caused some of my children to settle in a valley wherein there is no cultivation by your Sacred House, O our Lord, in order that they might keep up prayer, then You make some people’s hearts incline toward them and give them some fruits for food, haply they may be thankful.
(Ibrahim 14, Verse 37)
Discovery of Zam-Zam Water:
After a few days, when the water and dates were finished, she breastfed her infant. There came a point when the milk in her breasts dried up. The baby was thirsty and there was no water or milk to feed him. She went to the mount Safa and looked everywhere for water but she did not find any. She then ran to the mount Marwah but there too she did not find any water. She ran between the two mountains seven time searching for water. She would stop and look towards her son and then continue to search for water. When she returned after the seventh round she saw that where her son was rubbing his feet, water sprang out and it was coming with force, so she tried to contain it by accumulating sand around it and then when there was abundant of water, she kept saying Zam-Zam while trying to stop the water from flooding.
Our beloved Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon her – stated that had she not said Zam-Zam, that water would take care of the need of drinking water for the entire world.
In the memory of this incident and her efforts between Safa and Marwah, Allah Almighty stated in the Holy Quran:
اِنَّ الصَّفَا وَالْمَرْوَۃَ مِنْ شَعَائِرِ اللّٰہِ
Indeed, Safa and Marwah are amongst the signs of Allah.