Jump to content
Islamic Forum
Sign in to follow this  

Ibrahim (as)

Recommended Posts

Ibrahim (Abraham) (AS)




In the name of Allah (SWT)[1], the All-Merciful, the Ever- Merciful. Peace and blessings be upon our master, the most noble Prophet Muhammad (SAWS)[2]. We praise Allah (SWT), thank Him, and seek His help, guidance and forgiveness. We seek refuge in Allah (SWT) from the evil in our souls and the sinfulness of our deeds. Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, "Whomever Allah guides, (then) he is (rightly) guided; and whomever He leads into error, then those are they (who are) the losers "(TMQ, 7:178)[3]




We have gone through the stories of Adam (AS), Sheith (AS) (Seth), Idris (AS) (Enoch), Nuh (AS) (Noah), Hud (AS) and Saleh (AS) and thus, we have finished analyzing these six noble Prophets. Today, we will start the story of Ibrahim (AS) (Abraham).




The story of Ibrahim (AS) is a long one, and because of this we will not be able to go through it all in one lecture. This story is one that is suitable for all ages, and this is mainly because Ibrahim (AS) lived a long life and the Qur’an mentions many of the different phases of his life. We will analyze how he acted as a 16 year-old, and observe his behavior and interests. He was only 16 years old when he was thrown into the fire. Ibrahim’s story sends an important message to the youth; it teaches them how to deal with the challenges they face as they grow up.




We will go through the period of Ibrahim’s married life and observe how he dealt with his wives Sarah and Hajar. We will also view his life as he grew older. Ibrahim’s story focuses on all of these notions.




The aim of the story of Ibrahim (AS)




All previous stories of the Prophets aim at teaching lessons that benefit your life. However, Ibrahim’s story has special targets. It is a story that presents a model that should be imitated and adopted. Ibrahim (AS) is the only Prophet, other than Muhammad (SAWS), whose footsteps we are requested to follow.




The target of the stories of Saleh (AS) and Hud (AS), for instance, was to observe how Allah (SWT) had taken revenge on these prophets’ peoples. However, when you know about the story of Ibrahim (AS), you are requested to imitate his behavior. This point is emphasized by several ayahs (verses). Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “Surely the ones of mankind who are most deserving of Ibrahim’s patronage are indeed the ones who closely followed him, and this Prophet, and the ones who have believed” (TMQ, 3:68).




Notice that the believers were mentioned along with Prophet Muhammad (SAWS). In a second ayah, Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “You have already had a fair example in Ibrahim and the ones with him” (TMQ, 60:4). Moreover, Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “Indeed you have already had a fair example in them for whoever hopes for Allah and the Last Day” (TMQ, 60:6).




Thus, together, we will go through Ibrahim’s story and try to adopt his behavior.




To start with, we will carefully consider Ibrahim’s elevated rank in the Qur’an and Hadith, and then move on to the details of the story. Let us consider Ibrahim’s status among the Prophets and among people:




1- He is considered the father of all the Prophets.




2- He is khalilur-Rahman (the close fellow of the All-Merciful). This of course cannot go without comment. Imagine the magnificence of such a rank! Try to think of where you stand, and compare that to Ibrahim’s status. How extensive is the difference? This intimacy means that the love of Allah (SWT) pervaded the soul and body to a point where the soul, body, and heart could not function without serving Allah (SWT). Ibrahim (AS) reached this status because his intention was to serve Allah (SWT) in the utmost manner. This is why he became khalilur-Rahman. The love of Allah pervaded Ibrahim’s soul and heart, and because of this extreme love, Allah (SWT) took him as His close friend.




Now go back to your lives. Where do you stand and how much do you love Allah (SWT)? Many say they love Allah (SWT) so much and their love for Him prevails in their hearts. Nevertheless, some of them do not even pray on a regular basis, and believe that matters of worship are personal issues. Those who say this are not serious enough in their love for Allah (SWT).




The different degrees of loving Allah (SWT)




The highest degree of loving Allah (SWT) is closeness and confidence, that is, to be khalilur-Rahman. This rank was achieved by both Ibrahim (AS) and Prophet Muhammad (SAWS). The rest of the people vary in the degree of their love for Allah (SWT). We will go through the different degrees of love, and while doing so, try to detect your level. You will either be content that you are among those who truly love Allah (SWT), or be disappointed realizing that you still have a long road to travel.




Before looking at the different degrees of love, we will first visualize together love among human beings. Consider, for example, the case of a man who is in love with a woman. I apologize for giving such an example, but I want you to compare the intensity of love in this case with that towards Allah (SWT). Unfortunately, this sort of love has become the most prominent example of love these days. Hundreds of years ago, since the age of the Prophet (SAWS), the greatest example of love in the Islamic nation had been that between man and Allah (SWT); the whole nation loved and was committed to Allah. Unfortunately, nowadays things are different. In order to illustrate the concept I have in mind, I must use the example of a man’s love for a woman, and its stages of development. Do you feel how appalling it is to love a woman (or man) to such a degree, while your love for Allah (SWT) is of an incomparable magnitude?




Let us consider together the starting point and the different stages of such a relationship and then draw some comparisons. It all starts with growing attraction, characterized by staying up late thinking of her, daydreaming about her, and losing concentration in all other aspects of life. On the other hand, he of course never stays up late thinking of Allah (SWT) or of ways to please Him. Sitting alone, he would smile when she crosses his mind. Contrarily, he never smiles when visualizing Jannah (paradise) and the moment he will meet the Prophet (SAWS) and how warmly he will embrace him. Similarly, she stays up all night thinking of him, and of the date that will probably never take place, yet she never pictures herself standing in front of Allah (SWT), or what would take place then!




Then comes the second stage. The attraction develops into strong affection. It reaches a point where one starts forgoing one’s own preferences for those of the loved one! Sadly enough, this is what happens. The girl disobeys her parents, disregarding all consequences, simply to please this one person she loves. Have you ever weighed your own preferences against those of Allah (SWT), and tried to suit His? You usually fulfill your own wants, saying that Allah (SWT) is the Ever-Merciful and Most Forgiving. You might watch TV until 3:00 a.m. and then go directly to sleep after that, keeping the Fajr (dawn) prayers completely out of your plans. However, had your lover asked you to call at 3:30 a.m., as that would be the most suitable time for her, you would have gladly stayed up that late! You set her preferences before yours. However, when it comes to the love for Allah (SWT), things have a different priority. Those whom this example applies to may start to feel shame now.




Some men are not involved in any relationship, and yet, their eyes follow each and every passing girl. Those eyes, on the other hand, never clung to the skies wondering whether Allah (SWT), Whose knowledge accompanies them everywhere and all the time, was satisfied with their deeds. Moreover, there are young men and women who are used to sharing obscene talk in their telephone conversations; words that enrage Allah (SWT). If they were to compare the number of times they say such things to the times they mention Allah (SWT), they would find that the former clearly outweighs the latter. This is what happens with many people, and it is a shameful fact.




We started this discussion with the term khalilur-Rahman. This term cannot go unnoticed. In so many situations, man weighs his own wishes against those of Allah (SWT), and ends up choosing to go his own way. Such a waste indeed!




Moving on with our example, we reach the third stage in which the prevailing emotion is strong passion. At this point, one loses control over one’s of emotions. Have you ever felt this way towards Allah (SWT)? Have you ever decided to do whatever Allah (SWT) asks of you since your heart belongs to Him and not to you anymore? I fear that you comprehend one side of the story much better than the other. This is probably the case since many actually have experienced such emotions towards others before, whereas, they never had these feelings towards Allah (SWT).




The lovers then move into the fourth phase; that of overwhelming passion. The two lovers become inseparable. Moreover, they might cut down on their eating as a result of depression at times when they cannot meet. In contrast, it never occurs to them to reduce their food intake in order to be better able to pray Qiyam al-Lail (night prayers)! Consider the ayah where Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “And the ones who say, ‘Our Lord, turn away from us the torment (burning passion) of Hell; surely its torment is a (grievous) penalty.’” (TMQ, 25:65). The torment of hellfire is grave and grievous to those who enter it, just like overwhelming passion is to lovers. Basically, Allah (SWT) tells us that this form of strong passion is not only that of one sex towards the other, but also that of hellfire towards the bodies of those who end in it.




Then comes the fifth phase; that of obsession. This is when love reaches the heart’s core and floods it. It is the attitude of the wife of al-Aziz in Surat Yusuf. Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “Ladies said in the City: "The wife of the (great) 'Aziz is seeking to seduce her slave from his (true) self: Truly has he inspired her with violent love: we see she is evidently going astray." (TMQ, 12:30).




Her emotions towards him dominated her heart and penetrated it to the core; this led her to act in such a willful manner. When sinful love reaches this stage, it leads to greater sins and wrongdoings. The woman in love would be willing to do anything it takes to be with her lover as much as possible, and that of course would involve committing several sins. As a consequence, she lives the rest of her life, after they breakup, in deep regret and shame for her unbridled behavior.




After examining the different phases of worldly love, let us consider the heavenly love, and the manner in which some people love Allah (SWT); for example, the love of Ibrahim (AS) for Allah (SWT) developed to a point where he became khalilur-Rahman. People’s love for Allah (SWT) develops and passes through different stages. Let us tackle these stages and consider our position. These are the same stages we just mentioned, but now we will look at them in another context; the context of loving Allah (SWT).




The first phase is preoccupation. Your mind becomes occupied with thinking of Allah (SWT) and your heart becomes engaged in contemplating His bounties. Being in love with Allah, I cannot just worship Him by praying carelessly five times a day, three minutes each; a duty to be carried out mechanically. I am not talking about those who do not pray at all, because those are outside the realm of the love of Allah (SWT) to start with. Those who do not pray neither love Allah, nor are they loved by Allah. We are discussing here the different ranks of those who actually love Allah. Thus, the first phase of this love is to spend a lot of time thinking of Allah (SWT) and reflecting on His greatness, His creations, His bounties, His mercy and on our aspiration to be very close to Him in Jannah (paradise). It is at this phase where you try to devise ways to please Allah.




The following acts can help you during this phase:


* Reciting the Qur’an.

* Reminding yourself constantly of the ninety-nine names of Allah (SWT).

* Contemplating Allah’s creation.




This can be done anytime, even during the summer vacation. Those who travel during the summer vacation can contemplate on Allah’s miracles and creations when sitting on the beach and watching the sunrise. They can reflect on how the day follows the night, and vice versa, every single day. They can observe the majesty of the sunset. Thinking, contemplation and meditation are some of the greatest acts of worship.




When you have maintained these acts, your heart will grow more attached to Allah (SWT), leading you to the second phase. You start comparing your desires to those of Allah (SWT). In the previous stage, you acted the way you liked, but now things have changed. In this phase, you check first before taking any action. You begin to question the action and wonder whether or not this action would please Allah. Those of you who have already reached this phase should be contented. You have surpassed several kinds of people: those who do not pray and are oblivious and distant from Allah (SWT) and those who are still in phase one. You have reached the stage where your highest priority is to please Allah, even if that would go against your own wishes. Sometimes you do not succeed to fulfill Allah’s wishes, but in most cases you do.




Take, for example, the case of a young lady who would rather not put on the hijab (veil) and yet, knows that it is Allah’s wish. She weighs her preference against that of Allah (SWT), and tries hard to overcome her desire. How long it takes her depends upon how close she is to Allah (SWT). Take waking up for the Fajr prayer as another example. You try to overcome the tendency of sleeping through the time of the Fajr prayer. You might succeed on one day and fail on another. Nevertheless, this implies that you have started to give more weight to Allah’s wishes. This is called in Islamic law, ‘examining the permitted and the prohibited;’ i.e. that before taking any action you ask yourself whether this action is allowable or forbidden. This cautiousness indicates that you have taken your love for Allah (SWT) to a higher level.




Out of all your actions, what is the percentage of those that satisfy Allah’s wishes versus those that fulfill your own desires? If you follow Allah’s wishes 100% of the time, you are ready to move on to the next stage. If you follow your own desires 40% of the time, and Allah’s wishes 60% of the time, then you are on your way. Keep in mind though that although you are following your own desires 40% of the time you should not be insisting on doing so.




Carrying on to the third phase of love, we reach the stage where serving Allah (SWT) becomes the main target in one’s life. In the previous stage you were trying to determine what is permitted and what is prohibited, but now pleasing Allah (SWT) is one of your goals in life.




How many of you are in the first phase and how many are in the second? How about the third phase? Unfortunately, those who are in the third phase are very few. Some people spend their lives trying to please a lady, while very few spend their lives trying to please Allah (SWT). Logically speaking, do you think pleasing Allah (SWT) is a favor you are doing for Him, or is it the most enjoyable thing you can ever experience? This love pushes you to search for ways by which you could serve Allah (SWT) and you begin to experience true peace.




You start seeking the poor to help them out since this pleases Allah extensively. If you really have that intention, Allah provides you with the means to carry it out. If you really wish to wake up for Qiyam al-Lail, He will help you do so. In general, if He feels your true intentions, He will aid you and bring you closer to Him; for instance, you might really wish to wake up to pray the Fajr prayer and walk to the Masjid (mosque) while making Dhikr (remembering Allah) on your way. He will assist you. If you keep on committing certain sins and really hope to put an end to it, He will remove them from your heart. Thus, during this phase you keep looking for ways to please Allah (SWT), just like you would do to please a person you love. Imagine yourself doing something that would please your mother. You experience the same delight she experiences when she learns what you did for her.




All this can be easily attained if you really want it. Allah (SWT) is more generous and closer to you than you would think. He will assist you, if you just start developing the true intention of pleasing Him. Turn this into the main goal of your life, and start searching for ways to please Allah (SWT). Let Him find you among those who attend religious gatherings. Visit your relatives for His sake, putting aside any family disputes. Try your best to please your parents, no matter how hard that is, or how bad their tempers are. After all, you are going through all that to please Allah (SWT) and not to please certain individuals. Give out charity even if you do not have a lot of money. Aisha (RA) said that alms reach Allah (SWT) before they reach the poor.




You then move on to the fourth phase. This is where you cannot stop yourself from loving Allah (SWT) and following His orders. Now you see things from a different perspective. In the past, you may have made fun of pious individuals for going out of their way to closely follow Allah’s orders, and for not enjoying sinful pleasures. However, you now refuse to indulge yourself in such sins. You become more cautious regarding your love to Allah (SWT) and fear it may be negatively affected. You worry about having Allah (SWT) see you in corrupted places, for example, since He might be displeased with all those present there.




The issue of being in corrupted places is a very serious one. You might believe it to be harmless. Your intention might be to simply join some friends (without committing any sins) regardless of what they would be doing. In reality though, Allah (SWT) will be dissatisfied with all those present in such places, and you among them. There is no reason to risk losing Allah’s love.




This overwhelming passion in your heart makes you keen to obey Him, be it by Qiyam, fasting, Dhikr, or Dua’a (supplication). You might be even willing to fast in the summer despite the hardships, just to please Allah (SWT).




Having obeyed Allah (SWT) to that extent, the love in your heart grows even further and reaches its core. You start to feel the keenness of this love. This is the fifth phase of the love towards Allah (SWT). I cannot help wondering if any of the audience experienced this feeling. When you reach this stage your level of reverence goes up, you are more easily and frequently emotionally touched by all that has to do with Allah (SWT), and your faith grows stronger. Your heart trembles when you hear Qur’anic ayahs, your tears flow when you hear dua’a, and you constantly feel that the love of Allah (SWT) overflows your heart. You constantly observe His bounties. Your heart trembles when you recall the Day of Judgment, how you will stand in front of Allah (SWT), that He will look at you and call you by name. Visualizing all this makes your heart leap out of joy, as if it was actually taking place. Fill your heart with this keenness to acquire Allah’s bliss.




The next phase is that of complete submission, similar to that of slavery. Why does this come at a later stage and not at the beginning? To start with, we should examine the concept of this type of slavery. It is to humble yourself to Allah (SWT). This gives a great sense of satisfaction. You enjoy prostrating and feel that all your organs and senses submit to Him. This is the phase you will enjoy the most. You will enjoy submission to Allah (SWT) during dua’a, your head bowed and your hands held up to the sky, pleading with Him in extreme reverence for His mercy. This is a revered stage of worship. Being the bondman of Allah is one of the highest attributes; an attribute used by Allah (SWT) to praise Prophet Muhammad (SAWS), as can be seen in the ayah where Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “And that as soon as the bondman of Allah rose up invoking Him, they almost densely packed upon him.” (TMQ 72:19), and “All Extolment be (to Him), Who made His bondman to set forth by night from the Inviolable Masjid to the Furthest Masjid…” (TMQ, 17:1).




There is only one phase remaining, but this is not one you can reach. It is that of intimacy. Those who surpass all the previous phases reach this final one. Those who were honored by reaching this ultimate stage were only Ibrahim (AS) and Muhammad (SAWS). In the case of Ibrahim (AS) the ayah is clear, Allah (SWT) states what can be translated as, “And Allah took to Him Ibrahim for a (close) fellow.” (TMQ, 4: 125).




Although there is no Qur’anic ayah pertaining to the intimacy of Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) as well, there is an authentic Hadith in which the Prophet (SAWS) states, what means, “I stand acquitted before Allah that I took any one of you as a khalil, for Allah has taken me as His khalil, as he took Ibrahim as His khalil. Had I taken any one of my nation as a khalil, I would have taken Abu-Bakr.”[4]




See how elevated the status of Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) is! Consider where you stand and in which phase you are. I am afraid that some people have nothing to do with all of this! May Allah (SWT) guide us all to what pleases Him.




Let us go back to his merits. He is called the father of all Prophets, and he is the close fellow of the All-Merciful.




1- He is one of the strong-willed Messengers. Do you know who the five Resolute Messengers are? They are Nuh (AS), Ibrahim (AS), Musa (AS), Isa (AS) (Jesus), and Muhammad (SAWS). Allah (SWT) says about them what can be translated as, “And as We took from the Prophets their Covenant and from you and from N‍uh, and Ibrahim, and M‍usa, and Isa son of Maryam. And We took from them a solemn covenant.” (TMQ, 33:7). The covenant of these five was very solemn indeed. What do we mean by the resolute Messengers? It means that they faced many difficult situations and they strove in the cause of religion in a way that no one in the whole universe could or ever will. That is why you will hear fascinating words about Ibrahim (AS) that speak of his sacrifices.




2- He was a nation. Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “Surely, Ibrahim (Abraham) was a nation, (i.e., a leader, Imam) devout to Allah, unswervingly upright, and he was not of those who associate (others with Allah).” (TMQ, 16:120). He was an Ummah, which means a nation. What is the meaning of "Ibrahim was a nation?” It means that his obedience to Allah (SWT) and his worship was equal to that of a whole nation. Imagine, for example, that all of Egypt’s people worshipping Allah would not be equal to that of Ibrahim's. Imagine! “Surely, Ibrahim was a nation” means that his deeds weighed as much as a nation. Moreover, "nation" has another meaning. It also means that Allah's reward earned by Ibrahim for his obedience and worship was equal to that earned by a whole nation. If we put all our good deeds on one side of the scale and those of Ibrahim’s on the other, his will outweigh ours. There is a third meaning for "nation." His righteousness could lead a whole nation to guidance.




We now have three meanings, each of which is so great. The first was that his worship and obedience were equal to a nation's. The second was that the rewards Allah (SWT) has given him are equal to those given to a whole nation. Thirdly, with his piety and righteousness, a whole nation may be guided. I want to ask you a question since we are not just telling stories. We should rather learn from them in order to apply them to our lives. If Ibrahim (AS) had been (equal to) a nation, then how much are you equal to? His true religion could guide a whole nation to the right path. What about yours? Would it guide a city-block, a neighborhood, colleagues in your workplace, people in the building you live in, or even your own home? How about your own self?




Do you know how old Ibrahim was when he was (considered) "a nation"? He was sixteen years old when his worship was equal to a nation's. What about your worship? When you go to pray Fajr looking at the windows of the neighborhood which show that all lights are switched off, and when you dress yourself in hijab while all your friends have not, you are walking in Ibrahim’s footsteps trying to become closer to Allah (SWT). You might wonder, Ibrahim was as great as a whole nation, but what about me? If you have ten friends, for example, who you are always in contact with, trying to guide them to the right path, then you are influencing ten people. Once you do that, you are on the right track.




Al-Tabe'een (the successors: the generation after the Prophet’s Companions) have this to say, “Be equal to a thousand men. If you cannot, then try to be a man; yet, never be half a man.” How many will you be equal to? Can you be equal to a thousand men? Ibrahim (AS) was equal to a whole nation, but there were some Sahabah (Companions of the Prophet) who were equal to as many as a thousand. How much are you equal to? There are some of us here who are equal to ten. There are women who are equal to a hundred. One who can take her neighbor's hand, talk with another about religious matters, help her husband seek halal (permitted) means for sustenance, and bring up her children properly. She is also pious, organizes a lesson to teach women Qur’an (how to recite and understand the Qur’an), and invites people on Mondays and Thursdays for Iftar (to break the fast) in order to motivate them to fast.




There are some young people here who count for a hundred each. He helps his friends, gives advice to others concerning religion, pays visits to his family, and gathers people to worship Allah (SWT). However, there are others who count for themselves only, and there are those who are zeros! Would you be content as a zero?




Amr Ibn-El-Aass sent to Omar (AS) in Madinah saying, “O, Emir (leader) of Believers, Egypt is so difficult to liberate. The Fort of Babylon is too tough that I need more troops.” When Omar (AS) asked about the number of troops Amr needed, he sent back asking for 4000 men. Omar (AS) sent him 3000 and one more man. He wrote, “You needed 4000 more troops so I sent you 3000 and a man who alone counts for a thousand men.” Amr Ibnul-Aass was angry. He wrote Omar (AS) back saying, “O Prince of Believers! I need more troops. The matter is serious. We are in a war, and I ask you for more.” Omar (AS) answered back, “By Allah, the voice of al- Qa`qaa' in the battlefield is better than a thousand men.” His voice in the battle is better than a thousand troops fighting! Now compare him to a guy these days whose main objective is to wear a necklace! In fact, it is forbidden as it is only for women to decorate their necks. Compare him, as well, to a kid whose main objective is to drive a car playing annoyingly loud music. Of course, the songs he listens to could be in a foreign language that is completely incomprehensible to him, yet, he would play and listen to it just to show off. Besides that, he flirts with girls and harasses others in the streets. This is not a person equal to a zero; he is much less than that! Compare those reckless actions to al-Qa`qaa's voice in the battle when he stood in front of the Fort of Babylon and cried, "Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar! (Allah is the Greatest).” As a result, the Copts inside were shattered with fear!




All these were Qur'anic points showing Ibrahim’s merits. Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “Surely, Ibrahim was a nation, devout to Allah, unswervingly upright …” (TMQ, 16:120). “Unswervingly upright” is a translation of the Arabic word Hanif. What is the meaning of Hanif? Well, they say that all the Arabs had abandoned Ibrahim’s religion except a minority. Hanif in the Arabic language means to be far away from polytheism and anything related to it. This means that the one who is hanif abandons anything that can lie between him and Allah (SWT) and keeps away from it as far as possible. That is the meaning of the word Hanif.




Throughout this lesson, I am trying to show you the merits of Ibrahim (AS). We mentioned that he was the father of the prophets, that he was the close fellow of the All-Merciful, and that he was one of the five resolute Messengers. He was also a nation and he bore the Hanif religion. What else?




3- Allah (SWT) praises him in the Ever-Glorious Qur'an when He says what can be translated as, “Thankful for His amenities...” (TMQ, 16:121). One of Ibrahim’s merits is that he was thankful for Allah’s blessings. My friends, I have been advising you for a long time, and I advise you now that you should thank Allah every day for five minutes, especially those of you who are older. As you get older, Allah’s blessings become greater. He has been showering you with them for a long time. Perhaps the young will not realize these blessings, but what about you? Don’t you remember your first car and how He blessed you with another better one? Don’t you remember where you used to live and where you are now? Don’t you remember how you used to dress and how you dress now? Don’t you remember the strength He has given you, and the beauty He has bestowed upon you. Be “Thankful for His amenities.” By Allah (SWT), try to have five minutes everyday in which you thank Allah. Set aside five minutes in which you repeatedly say, “Alhamdu lillah, alhamdu lillah (Praise be to Allah, Praise be to Allah).”




4- One of Ibrahim’s merits was that he fulfilled the message as Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “And Ibrahim, who constantly fulfilled the Message.” (TMQ, 53:37). Imagine when Allah (SWT) describes anybody this way. Do you know how he fulfilled it? He was devoted to every order Allah (SWT) had given him. He never failed to carry out any pious deed, act of worship, or to give up sins. It made no difference to him what pious deed he was to fulfill, be it great or small. He also fulfilled all that he promised to do.




Some of us may have promised Allah (SWT) to do many things and then failed to keep our word when Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “O you who have believed, fulfill your contracts.” (TMQ, 5:1). Do you remember when you were leaving the last session, or the one before it, when you promised that you would do such and such from then on? Did you fulfill what you promised? My friends, Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “And of them are the ones who covenanted with Allah, “If He bring us of His Grace, indeed we will definitely donate (i.e., give alms) and indeed we will definitely be of the righteous.” (TMQ, 9:75). In other words, such promises could be, “If He gives me such and such, if He let me marry this girl, if He made me pass this year, or if He saved me from this disease, etc., I will do a certain thing.” What did they do after Allah (SWT) gave them what they wanted? Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “Yet, as soon as He brought them of His Grace, they were miserly with it and turned back (while) they are veering away (from His Words).” (TMQ, 9:76). What did He do with them; those who attend these sessions and promise, but remain the same and do not attempt to change themselves? Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “So He has made the consequence (to be) hypocrisy in their hearts until the Day they meet Him for that they failed Allah in what they promised Him and for that they were often lying.” (TMQ, 9:77). Allah (SWT) fills their hearts with hypocrisy until the Day of Judgment since they failed to fulfill the promises they made to Allah (SWT). Thus, my friends, when you promise Allah (SWT), keep your word.




5- One more of Ibrahim’s merits, and a very nice one, is that he was patient, mournful and repentant. Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “Surely Ibrahim is indeed constantly forbearing, most plaintive, constantly penitent.” (TMQ, 11:75). I am just pinpointing the merits of Ibrahim (AS) mentioned in the Ever-Glorious Qur'an. Think about it. On the Day of Judgment, when you stand before Allah (SWT), by which trait shall He call you? Be careful because Allah (SWT) will call you on the Day of Judgment by what you did during your lifetime. Imagine what one of the young people sitting here would be called, “So and so who used to commit such and such a sin, but he gave that up for My sake.” How would you feel at that moment? Will you lift up your head and smile when He orders you to draw near Him so that He envelops you with His light? Will He remind you of the friend you helped and lead to the right path? Now, how will you like to be called?




See how Allah (SWT) calls Ibrahim? “Forbearing, most plaintive...” Moreover, “most plaintive” is the translation of the Arabic word Awwah. In Arabic it means saying, “Ah,” sighing or moaning often as he prays, bows, or makes Dua'a (supplication). It is as if you can hear him saying, “Oh Allah, Oh Allah!” out of reverence for Allah (SWT). Has anybody even grieved in such a way from the fear of Allah? Why are these feelings so remote from us? Why? Why have our tears become so rare? Even our eagerness to gain Allah's satisfaction has become so feeble and pathetic. Where are the tender souls? Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “Thereafter your hearts hardened even after that; so they were as stones, or (even) strictly harder…” (TMQ, 2:74). These hard hearts reap Allah’s anger and disrespect. The stone is softer and more brittle than them. Stones have water flowing from them while those people’s hearts have nothing to let flow. Allah (SWT) continues what can be translated as, “…And surely there are stones from which rivers erupt forth, and surely there are (some) that cleave so that water goes out of them, and surely there are (still others) that crash down in the apprehension of Allah. And in no way is Allah ever heedless of whatever you do.” (TMQ, 2:74).




Allah (SWT) further describes Ibrahim (AS) saying that those who leave the religion of Ibrahim (AS) will be idiotic. Where did I get this from? Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “And whoever desirously shuns the creed of Ibrahim except he who befools himself?” (TMQ, 2:130).




6- Another fine merit of Ibrahim (AS) is that when we pray, we do not utter any name other than Prophet Mohammad's, except that of Ibrahim (AS). Notice that we say, “Greetings be to Allah, and the blessed prayers, greetings to you, O Prophet. May Allah's peace, mercy and blessings be upon you. May Allah bless Muhammad and his family, as He blessed Ibrahim and his family.” He is the only Prophet to be mentioned, beside our Prophet Muhammad's name.




7- Another one of Ibrahim’s merits was that Allah (SWT) had chosen him to rebuild the sanctified House of Allah, the Ka’ba. To establish the foundation of the Ka'ba is a great honor indeed! Moreover, he had asked Allah (SWT) for two things and they were both fulfilled and we can witness them in this day and age. The first dua'a can be translated as, “Our Lord, and send forth among them a Messenger, (one) of them, who (will) recite to them Your ayaat (signs, verses)…” (TMQ, 2:129). Who is this messenger who was sent for the Arabs? It was of course Prophet Mohammed (SAWS). When was this Dua’a fulfilled? After how many years was it fulfilled? Sometimes you are in a hurry to see your Dua’a answered at once. We want it to be answered now when Ibrahim’s dua’a was fulfilled after thousands of years.




His second Dua’a in which he asked Allah (SWT) to protect Makkah can be translated as, “And as Ibrahim (Abraham) said, “Lord! Make this land secure…” (TMQ, 14:35). Allah (SWT) forbids any act that may disturb its security. That was due to Ibrahim’s Dua’a. Similarly, Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) used to say, “O Allah! Ibrahim is Your slave, Your Khalil and Your prophet. I am Your slave and Your prophet. He prayed to You for Makkah. I pray to You for Madinah for the like of what He prayed to You for Makkah.” (Authentic Hadith narrated by al-Bukhari). See how a Dua’a can be fulfilled after thousands of years? Have you ever heard of an enemy invading Madinah? Never. Why? It was one Dua’a. Can we make a Dua’a that could remain for thousands of years? Yes, you can if you are sincere while making your Dua’a. If you sincerely and truthfully asked Allah (SWT) to make your offspring righteous, and to make them faithful until the Day of Judgment, it would be fulfilled.




8- Among Ibrahim’s merits is that there is a surah (chapter) in the Qur’an named after him.




9- Another one is that when he first received guests, he was the first to invite and make a banquet. That is why he is the most generous of all people.




10- Another fine and good merit of his is that he will be the first one to be dressed on the Day of Judgment. What does this mean? Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) says, “The first to be dressed on the Day of Judgment will be Ibrahim (AS).” (Authentic Hadith, narrated by Muslim). My friends, we will all be naked on that day. Some will be covered to their chests, and some will have nothing on at all! Imagine! People will be resurrected naked on the Day of Judgment. All of us will be naked. 'A'isha reported that she heard Allah's Messenger saying, “The people would be assembled on the Day of Judgment barefooted, naked and uncircumcised. I said, Allah's Messenger, will the male and the female be together on the Day and would they be looking at one another? Upon this Allah's Messenger said, “A'isha, the matter would be too serious for them to look at one another.” (Authentic Hadith narrated by Muslim).




11- Can you imagine how serious the situation will be? All are afraid to the extent that nobody would notice anyone around him. My friends, we will all be naked, but who will be the first to be dressed? Ibrahim (AS) will be the first of all mankind to be dressed.




What about us? Everyone will be dressed according to his deeds. I wonder when you will be dressed! Some will not be dressed until very late. My brother, my sister, think it over again. Are you eager to be dressed early or not? My friends, imagine being the only one still left naked on the Day of Judgment. Even if nobody is looking at you, it is still extremely hard to endure. It is even harder for the women. It is hard for all mankind, both men and women, to stand stark naked. Then you will wish to be dressed. You keep looking. There is someone there who is already dressed and I am still not. I give all young women here some advice – cover yourself well here in this life, so that Allah (SWT) may cover you quickly on the Day of Judgment. Thus, when a girl or a woman dresses improperly, she should fear for herself from a delay in being dressed on the Day of Judgment. Of all the people around you, imagine being the only one naked.




I direct these words to both men and women, and especially to women. I am talking about the women who wear tight tank tops and short clothes; who dare to wear very tight pants and swimming suits in front of every body. I say these words because I am deeply concerned about any woman who is unable to take one step forward towards hijab. Why should you be late? Once again, my friends, it will be an upsetting situation. To be naked is so difficult, especially if all who surround you start to get dressed before you.




I direct my words as well to the youths who watch pornographic channels and websites knowing how haram (prohibited) they are. Does it ever occur to you that you yourself will be naked on the Day of Judgment because of what you are watching? I really cannot understand this. People on the Day of Judgment will be dressed according to their taqwa (piety). The more pious get dressed before the less, and so on. A great Hadith (saying) of Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) is, “While I was sleeping, some people were displayed before me (in a dream). They were wearing shirts, some of which were merely covering their breasts, and some a bit longer. Then there passed before me, Omar Ibnul-Khattab wearing a shirt he was dragging (on the ground behind him.)." They (the people) asked, "What have you interpreted (the shirt in the dream) O Allah's Apostle?" He said, "The Religion.”” (Authentic Hadith, narrated by al-Bukhari). Thus, the length of the shirt resembles the strength of your belief. Everyone is dressed according to it. The one with strong faith, like Omar’s, would be dragging his shirt after him. His was strong and zealous indeed! Another one will be wearing a tie! What will you be wearing? Will you be covered or not? How early or late would that be? Do not think lightly about it.




Now back to Ibrahim (AS). Prophet Ibrahim (AS) had an extremely personal relationship with Prophet Muhammad (SAWS), despite the fact that they were separated by thousands of years. To start with, Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) was asked how his call to Islam began. “I am the answer of the invocation of my father Ibrahim (AS),”[5] he replied. The question was actually about his first days on the path of Da’wa (missionary activity), and instead, he told them of how it all started with Ibrahim’s invocation. What a distinctive relationship! Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) even named one of his children Ibrahim. All of Prophet Muhammad’s children, but Ibrahim, were born, and thus named, before the first revelation. Ibrahim (AS) was the only one born after his father’s revelation, and thus, Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) named him after his father Ibrahim (AS).




Moreover, much of the Sunnah (actions or sayings of Prophet Muhammad (SAWS)) of Islam originate from Ibrahim’s teachings. Therefore, there are things you do in an attempt to follow Muhammad (SAWS) that are in fact derived from Ibrahim’s actions; for example, Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) was always careful to either trim his mustache that it would not grow over his lips, or to take it off completely. When he was asked as to why he did that, he explained that it was what Ibrahim (AS) used to do. This indicates that Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) even knew Ibrahim’s physical appearance.




There’s a notion I want us to pause and reflect on. Do you search for ways to increase the number of your hasanat (recorded good deeds)? We keep devising ways to make more money, but are we as keen in devising ways to accumulate hasanat? What are examples of things that could earn you a great deal of hasanat? You can guide a person, lend a helping hand, or teach someone something about Islam. In such a case, you will be amassing the same number of hasanat as that of the one you guide to Islam.




Another thing that could earn you a lot of hasanat is learning the Qur’an and teaching it. As Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) said what can be translated as, “The best among you (Muslims) are those who learn the Qur'an and teach it.”[6]




Furthermore, he said, “Whoever says, 'Subhan Allah wa bihamdihi’ (Glory and Praise be to Allah) 100 times a day, will be forgiven all his sins even if they were as much as the foam on the sea.”[7] Imagine the number of sins that will be forgiven in such a case! Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) once asked the companions, “Is anyone amongst you unable to get 1,000 virtues (hasanat) every day?” Amongst those who had been there, one asked, “How can one amongst us get 1,000 virtues every day?” The Prophet said, “Recite ‘Subhan Allah’ (Glory be to Allah) 100 times for (by reciting them) 1,000 virtues are recorded (to your credit) or 1,000 vices are blotted out.”[8]




Based on these Ahadith (Prophet Muhammad’s sayings), a sharp-witted person would say, “Subhan Allah” and “Subhan Allah wa Bihamdih” 100 times each, every day on his way home after the Fajr prayer, and thus get 1,000 virtues recorded to his credit as well as get all his sins forgiven. Since the state of our scale of sins is unknown to us, we must try to fill our scale of virtues as much as we can.




Take for instance, a girl who wears hijab (the veil), she gets hasanat every time she steps out of her house. Not only is she following Allah’s order, but all those who see her are reminded of Allah (SWT). She could be going out for any mundane activity, such as shopping, yet returns home with thousands of hasanat. See how Allah (SWT) honored women with hijab! Even though some might think that Allah (SWT) honored men by giving them the Friday prayer, praying in the Masjid, and Jihad (fighting for the cause of Allah), Allah (SWT) also honored women, by allowing them to earn hasanat by just putting on the hijab. If two women went out together, to the same place and talked about the same issues, one could be adding hasanat to her scale while the other is adding sins. It is exactly the same series of actions, yet the former is wearing hijab and the latter is not.




Going back to the relationship between Muhammad (SAWS) and Ibrahim (AS), a person once came to Allah's Messenger and called him the best human being, by saying, “O, the best of creation.” The Prophet (SAWS) interrupted him by saying, “That is Ibrahim (AS).”[9] His modesty is very evident here. Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) was so modest as to declare that, in fact, it is Ibrahim (AS) who is the greatest of mankind, and not himself. Would you have done the same thing had someone said that you were the top of your class? Would you have said that it was not you, but someone else?




Another point that can be observed when examining Prophet Muhammad’s Ahadith is that he never mentioned Prophet Ibrahim’s name without either following it by (AS), or preceding it by ‘father.’




What is even more fascinating is that Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) met Ibrahim (AS) in the Mi’raj (Prophet Muhammad’s ascension to the seven heavens). There he saw al-Bayt al- Ma’mur (which is exactly above the Ka’ba in heavens). The Prophet (SAWS) once said what can be translated as, “Seventy thousand angels enter into it (al-Bayt al- Ma’mur) daily and, after they come out, they never return again.”[10] Imagine 70 thousand angels coming to this place every day, and never returning to it thereafter! Therefore, there are 70 thousand angels that go there every day, 365 days a year, for thousands and thousands of years! You do the math! This shows that the sky is filled with angels. Due to that reason, Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) once said, what can be translated as, “The heavens are showing reverence and so they should. Even a space as little as three fingers is filled with an angel, forehead to the ground, prostrating before Allah...”[11] Every few inches an angel is prostrating to Allah (SWT), and this will continue until the Day of Judgment; the day on which the angels will say to Allah (SWT) that they have not served him as He truly deserves. Do you see what true love is all about? It is important to understand that Allah (SWT) does not need us, for He already has those who pray to Him and serve Him.




Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) was therefore raised and taken to al-Bayt al- Ma’mur, where he saw the angels in tawaf (the same act we do when we circumambulate the Ka’ba). He said, what can be translated as, “…and there I found Ibrahim (AS) reclining against al-Bayt al-Ma'mur.”[12] Since Ibrahim (AS) was leaning against al-Bayt al-Ma’mur, he obviously must have been tired. Ibrahim (AS) suffered greatly throughout his life. He was thrown into the fire as an adolescent, and the king and his soldiers wanted to kill him. He was instructed to leave his son and wife in the desert, to sacrifice his son, to build the Ka’ba in the middle of nowhere, and to call people to the pilgrimage. He had to migrate from one country to another, and his own father and tribe tried to harm him. What kind of life was that? This was a life full of dedication to Allah (SWT).




Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) met Prophet Ibrahim (AS). Ibrahim (AS) greeted Muhammad (SAWS) saying, “You are welcome, O pious son and pious Prophet.”[13] Prior to the meeting with Ibrahim (AS), Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) greeted many of the other Prophets and Messengers, yet none of them asked him to do anything. However, Ibrahim (AS) asked Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) to send his greetings to all Muslims, and it has been relayed to all generations for the past 1400 years. Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) said, what can be translated as, “The night of my ascension journey I met Prophet Ibrahim (AS). He said, ‘Oh, Muhammad convey to your nation (followers) on my behalf, peace. Further inform your nation that the Jannah is of pleasant scented land (said to be scented of musk and saffron); its waters are fresh and pleasant. Its trees are Subhan Allah (Glorify Ye Allah), Alhamdu lillah (Praise Ye Allah), La ilaha illa Allah (Allah is but the One and Single God), and Allahu akbar (Allah is the Great and the Exalted)’ (meaning that the more you say them, the more of these trees are to be planted for you to provide abundant produce and pleasant shade).”[14]




The one message that Ibrahim (AS) sought to send us is to remind us of Jannah. Keep reminding yourself of Jannah, for it is the only hope we have in this world. Jannah is what a young man seeks when fighting off temptation and wrongdoings. Jannah is what a woman seeks when suffering from an abusive husband. Jannah is what young men and women seek when facing harsh realities in their lives. Jannah is what people tired of this world look forward to.




We are going to leave this world and go to Jannah, where there is endless joy and happiness, and where there is no frustration, sorrow, illness or worries. You will be with your friends, the companions and the righteous people. Jannah is where you will enjoy your time the most. You will be able to converse with the companions, and invite over Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) for dinner at your palace, beneath which the rivers flow. After you are done, you can take your yacht and sail down the river. In Jannah, we can see Allah (SWT) and talk to Him. Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) once said, what can be translated as, “Allah will say to the people of Jannah, ‘O the people of Jannah!’ They will answer, ‘Labbaik, O our Lord, and Sa'daik, and all the good is in Your Hands!’ Allah will say, ‘Are you satisfied?’ They will say, ‘Why shouldn't we be satisfied, O our Lord, as You have given us what You have not given to any of Your created beings?’ He will then say, ‘Shall I not give you something better than that?’ They will say, ‘O our Lord! What else could be better than that?’ He will say, ‘I bestow My Pleasure on you and I will never be angry with you after that.’”[15]




This is the Jannah we are talking about here, or have you forgotten? Have worldly matters consumed us? This is why Ibrahim (AS) wanted to pass on this message. Would you like to decorate your palace in Jannah? Would you like to have different fruits planted for you in Jannah? Then go ahead and keep saying “Subhan Allah, Alhamdu lillah, La ilaha illa Allah, and Allahu Akbar.” Just keep in mind that every time you say this, something is planted for you in Jannah.




The last point regarding the connection between Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) and Ibrahim (AS) is that the former had the greatest resemblance to the latter. The person that had the greatest resemblance to Ibrahim (AS) was not Isma’il (AS) (Ishmael), Ishaq (AS) (Isaac), or anyone else; it was Prophet Muhammad (SAWS). This piece of information is based on a Hadith in which Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) says what means, that during al-Israa (the night journey of Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) from Makkah to Jerusalem) “There appeared before me the apostles, and Musa was among men (of average height and weight) as if he was one of the people of Shanu'a, and I saw Isa son of Maryam, and I found 'Urwa Ibn-Mas'ud nearest in resemblance to him, and I saw Ibrahim (AS) and I found your companion ( referring to himself)nearest in resemblance to him, and I saw Jibril (AS) and I found Dihya nearest in resemblance to him.”[16]




Dihya was one of the companions, and was extremely handsome. Whenever the Prophet (SAWS) wanted to send a letter to a king or someone like that, he chose Dihya for the job. Jibril (AS) sometimes came down in human form, and in such cases all the Companions were able to see him. Whenever Jibril (AS) did so, he would often take on Dihya’s appearance. Sometimes, when seeing Dihya, the Companions used to doubt whether that was truly Dihya (RA) or was it Jibril (AS) in Dihya’s form! They lived the greatest days! May Allah (SWT) allow us to join them in Jannah.




Let us make a quick review of who Ibrahim (AS) was. He was Ibrahim, the son of Sarikh. Sarikh was nicknamed Azar, and the latter is the name referred to in Qur’an. He was named Azar, because it means to bear a burden, and he bore the burden of idol-making for his tribe. Azar was the most involved in idol-making. He made idols, restored them, and sold them. He was basically an idol-merchant.




Some people disagree as to whether Azar was Ibrahim’s father or his uncle. There is a general rule in Islam that deals with such issues and that states that “every issue that does not teach us anything, is not followed by any significant consequences nor is built upon, is insignificant and should not be dealt with.” According to Islam, time should not be wasted on insignificant issues. Nevertheless, just to finalize this issue, Azar was most probably Ibrahim’s father and the Qur’an most likely would not have described him as such had he been his uncle. Some might wonder as to how an ancestor of Muhammad (SAWS) could have been a disbeliever. However, this is completely irrelevant. Let us not forget that Nuh’s son was a disbeliever. There must have been some disbelievers among Muhammad’s ancestors, yet, they must have had high morals and good characters. The bottom line is that Azar is most likely Ibrahim’s father.




Ibrahim’s name was mentioned 69 times in the Qur’an in the course of 25 surahs. One of his early ancestors was Nuh (AS). That is why Allah (SWT) says in the Qur’an, what can be translated as, “And surely among those who followed his (way) indeed was Ibrahim” (TMQ, 37:83). How could Ibrahim (AS) follow Nuh (AS) when thousands of years separated them? Their source is one and the same, they are of similar characters and have similar actions, and they both worship Allah (SWT) in the same manner.




Ibrahim (AS) was born and raised in Babylon, present-day Iraq. This was no small city, but in fact, a huge one. It was also very well-known for its idol-making. One of the top experts in idol-making was Ibrahim’s father. This fact cannot go unnoticed. I want to stress on the point that Ibrahim’s father was an idol-maker for a reason. Many young men and women have Muslim parents, yet their parents do not assist them in taking the right steps towards obeying Allah. Those young men and women blame their parents for their deeds, claiming that had their parents guided them to become more devoted to Allah (SWT) they would have turned out to be better people. That is not a valid excuse.




Ibrahim (AS) was in a much worse situation. Ibrahim (AS) was thrown into the fire at age 16. He was not born a prophet. He was born into a household in which everyone was an idol-worshipper. In contrast, you were born into a Muslim household. None of you can claim to have been more devoted had it not been for your parents. This is something we learn from Ibrahim’s story. He was raised in a much worse environment; a point we have to comprehend.




Some young women claim that their families are not helping with the issue of putting on the hijab. You have to make an effort and be patient. Some young men claim that whenever they try to become more devoted, their families, neighbors and friends pull them away. You have to overcome this and ask Allah (SWT) to assist you. Work harder and be diligent and Allah (SWT) will be by your side. Did you really think that Allah (SWT) would leave you without His help? Would Allah (SWT) leave you unaided if you really want to put on the hijab? Many make their good intentions, yet are unable to implement them because of obstacles. Just be patient, make dua’a (supplication) to Allah (SWT), behave well with your parents, obey them and show them your affection, and be persistent. Call upon Allah (SWT) to help you, and He will be there for you.




Ibrahim (AS) never knelt before an idol. Allah (SWT) says, what can be translated as, “And indeed We bestowed early on Abraham his rectitude of conduct and We were knowledgeable of him” (TMQ, 21:51). What does that mean? He was mature and rational from his early years. We take the age of maturity to be 18 or 21; but, some people are in their 30’s and still act immaturely. There are 25-year-olds whose only concerns are cars, cell phones and girls. There are women, who could be in their thirties, whose main concern in life is their beauty. Could this possibly be the purpose of your creation? Is that why Allah (SWT) created your soul?




The word “early” in the ayah indicates a very young age. Many teenagers, barely 17 or 18 years of age, want to smoke in order to look and feel older. Nothing in their personalities indicates any signs of adulthood, so they turn to smoking. However, smoking was never an indication of or the means to attaining adulthood, contrary to what teenagers tend to believe.




If you really want to mature, develop your relationship with Allah (SWT). Maturity is to simply long for Jannah fully comprehending that it is your true future. Adulthood is not about girls, smoking or drugs. Adulthood is not about being intelligent, having money, having a strong character or giving your wife a rough time. Adulthood is about rational thinking, and realizing that this world will ultimately come to an end, followed by either Jannah or hell. This is ultimate maturity. This had to be pointed out to young men and women who misunderstand the concept of adulthood.




Ibrahim (AS) had two sons; Isma’il (AS) and Ishaq (AS). All the Prophets that succeeded Ibrahim (AS) were his descendents. More precisely, all prophets descended from Ishaq (AS), with only one exception: Prophet Muhammad (SAWS). Muhammad (SAWS) descended from Isma’il (AS) instead.




Ibrahim (AS) was one of the prophets who received a divine book. All of Sheith (AS), Dawud (AS) (David), Idris (AS), Adam (AS), Ibrahim (AS), Musa (AS), Isa (AS), and Muhammad (SAWS) received divine books. All the Prophets who received divine books had their books revealed to them all at once, except Muhammad (SAWS); a fact not many are aware of. The Qur’an was the only divine book to be revealed in stages. Ibrahim’s book was revealed all in one go, and so was Musa’s (Torah) as well as Isa’s Injil (Gospel).




Muhammad (SAWS) received his revelation in stages because Allah (SWT) wanted this book to be a guide that teaches and nurtures the nation gradually. Thus it addresses the issues and resolves problems one at a time.




The disbelievers wondered why the Qur’an was not revealed all at once as was the case with all the other divine books. This issue was addressed in the Qur’an, where Allah (SWT) says, what can be translated as, “And the ones who have disbelieved have said, ‘If only the Qur’an had been sent down upon him as one complete whole.’ Thus, that We may make firm your heart thereby, and We have recited it in a (distinct) recitation” (TMQ, 25:32). Allah (SWT) explains in the above mentioned ayah that He has done this so that people could learn new things all along; for example, alcohol was forbidden progressively. Moreover, the hijab was decreed gradually. The outcome was that whenever a new section was revealed addressing a certain issue, people would react immediately.




Take the issue of forbidding alcohol as an example. First, Allah (SWT) says, what can be translated as, “They ask you concerning wine and games of chance. Say, “In (both) is great vice, and profits for mankind; and the v

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Omar Ibnul-Khattab, however, began wondering whether alcohol was allowed or forbidden. Thus, another ayah was revealed where Allah (SWT) says, what can be translated as, “O you who have believed, do not draw near to prayer (when) you are drunken until you know what you are saying” (TMQ, 4:43). As a result, people started cutting back on the amounts they drank. Finally, the issue was settled by the ayah that says, what can be translated as, “O you who have believed, surely wine and games of chance, and altars (for idols) and divining (i.e., divination by arrows or in any other way) are only an abomination of Satan’s doing, so avoid it, that possibly you will prosper” (TMQ, 5:90). It was said that the following morning the streets were found drenched as everyone got rid of all alcoholic drinks they had. Had the command been declared in one step, the outcome would not have been of a similar magnitude. Hence, it is a gradual process.




This also applies to you. You must take things one step at a time on the path of becoming a better Muslim. What matters is staying consistent, always moving one step further. Never rush things taking it all at once, otherwise you will fail and then give up. Move gradually.




Look at the manner in which the Qur’an addresses the hijab. Allah (SWT) first decreed the chastity of women. Following that, He ordered that women must be asked for permission before entering a room they occupy. Things moved on gradually until it finally reached the decree of the hijab itself. It was said that the night in which the hijab was decreed, women began tearing pieces off their extra clothes to use as headscarves. They applied Allah’s decree instantly. In contrast, women nowadays claim that they will start to wear the hijab in the winter season since it would be easier at that time to find suitable clothes for the hijab; a claim that goes on for years. Step-by-step processes gradually lead people to the right path.




Allah (SWT) mentions in the Qur’an a few things about Ibrahim’s scripture. He says what can be translated as, “Or, has he not been fully informed of what is in the scrolls of Mu‍sa and Ibrahim, who constantly fulfilled the Message?” (TMQ, 53:36-37). Allah (SWT) reveals what was mentioned in those divine books by saying what can be translated as, “Namely, that no bearer of burdens can bear the burden of another; And that man will have nothing except that for which he has endeavored (to achieve); and that his endeavor will eventually be seen; (and) thereafter he will be recompensed for it with the fullest recompense” (TMQ, 53:38-41).




[1] SWT=Suhanahu wa Ta'ala = Glorified and Exalted Be He


[2] SAW=Sala-llahu Alaihi Wa-Sallam = All Prayers and Peace of Allah be upon him


[3] TMQ=Translation of the Meaning of the Qur'an. This translation is for the realized meaning, so far, of the stated (Surah:Ayah) of the Qur'an. Reading the translated meaning of the Qur'an can never replace reading it in Arabic, the language in which it was revealed.


[4]Authentic Hadith narrated by Muslim.


[5] Authentic hadith, authenticated by al-Albani.


[6] Authentic hadith, narrated by al-Bukhari, 5027.


[7] Authentic hadith, narrated by al-Bukhari, 6405.


[8] Authentic hadith, narrated by Muslim, 2698.


[9] Authentic hadith, narrated by Muslim, 2369.


[10] Authentic hadith, narrated by Muslim, 0314.


[11] Authentic Hadith, narrated by al-Albani, 1722.


[12] Authentic hadith, narrated by Muslim.


[13] Authentic hadith , narrated by Bukhari, 3887


[14] Authentic hadith, narrated by al-Albani.


[15] Authentic hadith, narrated by Bukhari, 7518.


[16] Authentic Hadith, narrated by Muslim.


AmrKhaled(contact admin if its a beneficial link) © جميع حقوق النشر محفوظة

This Article may be published and duplicated freely for private purposes, as long as the original source is mentioned. For all other purposes you need to obtain the prior written approval of the website administration. For info: dar_altarjama[at]amrkhaled(contact admin if its a beneficial link)

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

The Story of Ibrahim (AS) “Abraham” and the fire




I seek refuge in Allah (SWT)[1] from the accursed Satan. In the name of Allah (SWT), the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful. Thanks be to the Lord of the worlds. Peace and blessings be upon our master, the noblest Prophet Muhammad (SAWS)[2].




We praise Allah (SWT), thank Him, and seek His help, guidance and forgiveness. We seek refuge in Allah (SWT) from the evil in our souls and the sinfulness of our deeds. He whom Allah (SWT) guides, is the rightly-guided; but he whom Allah (SWT) sends astray, for him you will find no guiding advocate.




The effect of Prophet Ibrahim's story




First of all, I hope the youth and people who read the story of Prophet Ibrahim (AS) will in the end feel a greater love and affiliation to Islam, similar to that of Prophet Ibrahim (AS). Prophet Ibrahim (AS) made Islam his main concern in life at the age of 15 and I swear that whoever makes Islam his main concern in life, Allah (SWT) will raise him, generously bless him, love him and make people love him as well. His tongue will speak freely and he will be a reason for others to become good. All these are achieved once the heart adores Islam and feels loyal to it just like Ibrahim (AS). This is the story of the 180 years that Prophet Ibrahim (AS) lived. It is a narration of his heart's love for Islam and obedience to Allah (SWT); and all the youth who are still young can also reach this level of admiration.




Hardships that face the call to Islam




Our Prophet Ibrahim (AS) grew up in a town where all the people worshiped idols. His father was one of the most severe and stubborn polytheists, who used to make the idols himself and sell them to the people of his town. He was the one looking after the temples where the idols were kept. I am narrating this story to tell you that your environment is much easier than that of the prophets. Islam has spread widely and the number of Muslims is increasing. At that time, Prophet Ibrahim (AS) never prostrated to an idol, despite his young age and being surrounded by wickedness. We can infer this from Surat al-Anbiya in which Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “And indeed We bestowed aforetime on Ibrahim (Abraham) his (portion of) guidance, and We were Well-Acquainted with him (as to his Belief in the Oneness of Allah).” (TMQ, 21:51).[3] This means that Ibrahim (AS) was mature from the start, and as I said earlier, there are people who reach the age of maturity when they are 30 years old, while some others may die before reaching maturity. Legally the age of maturity is twenty-one years. The meaning of maturity is to be an adult; and because 21 years is the age at which the human is expected to be grown up, Egyptian Law made it the age of maturity [in legal terms, the age of majority]. Unfortunately, the law did not take into account that there will be people who will not reach it by that age, but the Qur’an mentions that when referring to orphans. Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “And try orphans (as regards to their intelligence) until they reach the age of marriage; if then you find sound judgment in them, release their property to them, but consume it not wastefully and hastily fearing that they should grow up, and whoever (amongst guardians) is rich, he should take no wages, but if he is poor, let him have for himself what is just and reasonable (according to his labor). And when you release their property to them, take witness in their presence; and Allah is All-Sufficient in taking account.” (TMQ, 4:6)




What does maturity mean?




Some explanations point out that maturity is intelligence. What is the highest form of intelligence at which maturity is expected? The highest form of intelligence is al-hidaya (belief in Allah (SWT)). Evaluate your relation with Allah (SWT) and see whether you are obedient – this will help you to know if you are mature or not. If you are not obedient then you are not mature yet. Being obedient does not mean that you do not commit sins, rather you should find out what you do most. If you are mostly obedient, then you are mature, and if not, then you are not mature, even if you are forty years old. Those who walk in the streets teasing girls should know that they are in fact still immature.




The beginning stages of Ibrahim's da'wa (missionary activity):




Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “And mention in the Book (the Qur'an) Ibrahim (Abraham). Verily he was a man of truth, a Prophet. When he said to his father, “O my father! Why do you worship that which hears not, sees not and cannot avail you in anything?” (TMQ, 19:41-42).




Despite having an atheist and disobedient father who insisted on worshipping the idols, Ibrahim (AS) still called him abati (my father, in a very affectionate form). He could have called him abi (my father) but the “t” makes the word affectionate. It also gives it a sense of intimacy as if he is telling him, “I am no one's son but yours.” It shows his fondness for his father, although he was an idol worshipper. Today, you find a son saying that his mother is annoying and makes him lose his temper with her. We have to learn from this story the great morals for the treatment of our parents.




Da'wa of the Family




Let us be frank. There might be many religious youth with parents who are not similarly religious. They could even be very far away from religion. Do you care about calling them to religion? Don't you care for your father or sister? If you care about your sister, then instead of arguing with her about not wearing the veil, convince her. You have to learn from Ibrahim (AS) how to deal kindly with your father. You do not have to call him abati but just treat him with love and show your feelings towards him. If you have become religious and want your parents to be like that too, let them feel your love, obey them and learn from Prophet Ibrahim (AS). Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “When he said to his father: “O my father! Why do you worship that which hears not, sees not and cannot avail you in anything?”(TMQ, 19:42). He made his start with his father by talking logically. If your mother does not pray, will you argue with her? Imagine your mother, sister and brother who do not pray. It will be a big problem if they died in that condition, so you have to worry about the hellfire for them. Imagine your sister not performing prayers, what do you think the outcome will be? If you have a relative who drinks wine and commits adultery, you are supposed to worry about him, because if he died in such a situation, he will have a problem; and you should be willing to save him.










Plan for the da'wa of the family




I will tell you about a very effective plan. Do not talk to your family about religion directly for a whole month, rather prove to them your love and try to be closer. Buy them presents because presents are one of the most effective tools that touch the soul. Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) said, ‘Give presents to each other… and enmity will disappear’[4]. In the long run, the simple and direct presents will have a greater impact than expensive ones. Among the corrective steps that should be adopted is to ignore most of their mistakes and smile back at them, because Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) said, “Your smile to your brother is a sadaqa (charity).” Smile, be loving and affectionate, and never annoy them. Later you can talk to them logically; for example, if your mother does not pray tell her, “O mother don't you know that there is a door in hell called Saqr especially for those you do not pray? It could be one of the worst places in hell!” You should talk to her genuinely. On reading the following Ayat (verses) you feel that the soul of Prophet Ibrahim (AS) is the one talking and you feel as if you see his soul, Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “When he said to his father: “O my father! Why do you worship that which hears not, sees not and cannot avail you in anything? O my father! Verily there has come to me of the knowledge that which came not unto you. So follow me, I will guide you to the Straight Path.” (TMQ, 19:42-43).




The second Ayah reveals a high degree of politeness because he did not say, “O father, you are illiterate,” although he actually was; and he did not assume that he had great knowledge while his father had none. He said nothing about him being more educated and more knowledgeable than his father. He said what can be translated as, “Verily there has come to me of the knowledge.” Talking in this manner gives an impression that he was a normal person just like his father and that Allah (SWT) offered him that knowledge without him seeking it. He said “of the knowledge” because he did not want to show off in front of his father the knowledge he had gained. This is just the opposite of what is done nowadays by some youth; for instance, a boy praying with his father objects that he knows more of the Qur’an and therefore should be the imam (leader of the prayer). That is wrong, because your father should always be the imam even if you know a million more Qur’anic verses than he does. You should ask him to be the imam unless he insists that you be the imam. That is why you should never show off in front of your parents and you should avoid announcing that you attend religious lectures which they know nothing about. You are supposed to be like our Prophet Ibrahim (AS) by saying that you know some knowledge which you would like to share with them. That is what Prophet Ibrahim (AS) did with his father when he told him, “Follow me, I will guide you to the Straight Path.” Why did he say it in this manner? He wanted it to seem as if he was proposing a matter to his father. He meant to say, “If we were walking together on a path, which I am more familiar with, wouldn't you follow me?” That is why he said, “Follow me,” as if they were walking in a path. This is a normal situation which could happen to any one of us, too. If you are walking with your father on a path which you know better, your father will follow you and there would be nothing wrong in that.




The lesson which we should learn from this point is the politeness of Prophet Ibrahim (AS) with his father. Even if you have a father or mother far from Allah (SWT), you have to treat them the same way, with strong affection, gentleness, and grace. Never show off because of more information you came to know. It should be said in a very clever manner and wrapped in politeness.












Being dutiful to one's parents




Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “O my father! Verily there has come to me of the knowledge that which came not unto you. So follow me, I will guide you to the Straight Path.” (TMQ, 19:43).




Ibrahim (AS) never spoke to his father except in this manner. Today you hear the son talking to his father and mother with no respect. How can you talk to your parents like that? This is a very important point to take care of: being dutiful to one's parents. An example of such dutifulness was our imam al-Shafa'i. Whenever he ate with his mother, he used to sit watching her without eating until she had finished, so she used to ask him “Why aren't you eating?” His answer, despite being very hungry, was, “I will,” but he would not until he was sure that she had eaten enough. When she asked him why he was doing this, he said, “I fear of becoming disobedient to you if I reach out for a piece of the food that you liked before you do.”




This is a very important issue. You might be doing a great deal of good deeds yet Allah (SWT) would be angry at you because of your disrespect towards your parents. You might be sitting in a religious lecture yet Allah (SWT) would be angry at you because your mother is angry at you. I do not know how a son can abandon his mother for two or three days, or how a daughter can raise her voice over her mother's. Prophet Ibrahim (AS) never spoke to his father without saying abati at the beginning of his conversation because of his high morals.




Warning about the consequences of disobedience to parents




One day an old man came to me and warned me about losing my good deeds. I asked him what he meant, so he said, “Beware of disobeying your parents because doing so is like a plate with a hole that does not allow you to keep what is on the plate.” Good deeds are lost because Allah (SWT) is not pleased with you for disobeying your parents and He shall never be unless you fix that matter. Whoever has parents who are upset with him should go and kiss their hands and ask for their forgiveness. Promise them that you will not anger them again, and will always watch out for Allah's rights when treating them. One must consider this the peak of worship. Personally, before giving any lecture I have to phone my mother, reassure her and ask her to pray for me. We have to please our parents so all our good deeds do not fade away.




Forms of Satan worship




Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “When he said to his father, “O my father! Why do you worship that which hears not, sees not and cannot avail you in anything? O my father! Verily there has come to me of the knowledge that which came not unto you. So follow me, I will guide you to the Straight Path. O my father! Worship not Shaitan (Satan). Verily Shaitan has been a rebel against the Most Gracious (Allah)” (TMQ, 19:42-44)




Was Ibrahim's father from those who worshipped Satan? Of course not, but because he insisted on disobeying Allah (SWT), he was a Satan worshipper. The insistence on disobeying Allah (SWT) is a form of Satan worship and on the Day of Judgment such a person will be considered as Satan's worshipper. Would you accept to be one of these people? The Prophet (SAWS) said, “Everyone on the Day of Judgment will be called to stand behind what he worshipped,”[5] meaning that every person will stand behind whomever or whatever he worshipped, for example, you will find someone standing behind his money.




Narrated by Abu Huraira: The Prophet (SAWS) said, “Perish the slave of the dinar, dirham (two forms of money), qatifa (velvet/expensive cloth), and khamisa (a garment), for if he is given it, he is pleased; otherwise he is dissatisfied.”[6]




You will also find females and males standing behind Satan and they will ask Allah (SWT) why they are standing there although they did not worship him. Allah (SWT) will answer back saying that all their lives they were listening to what Satan was telling them to do and disobeying Allah's commands. These are the Satan worshippers who will stand behind him. Imagine the sorrow in these people’s hearts while standing behind Satan who will be saying, “Woe on me, woe on me, woe on me,” and all those behind him will be repeating the same phrase. Allah (SWT) will tell them that they will keep repeating it for a long time. All those young people who do not resist the various sins such as looking at forbidden scenes, or girls not wearing decent clothes, or couples involved in forbidden relationships, or those who do not pray and drink alcohol have to understand that these are all different forms of worshipping Satan. That is why Ibrahim (AS) was worried about his father and warned him from worshipping Satan.




What is the meaning of the ‘rebel?’




Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “O my father! Worship not Shaitan (Satan). Verily Shaitan (Satan) has been a rebel against the Most Gracious (Allah).” (TMQ, 19:44).




What does being a ‘rebel’ mean? It means that there is no hope for him to come back to the right path. I fear for a Muslim who has been written as a ‘rebel.’ You are considered a rebel when you insist on doing a sin despite getting many opportunities from Allah (SWT) for repentance. The death of a person you know should have shaken you but you still insist on committing sins, then Allah (SWT) lets you face a crisis which shakes you with fear and yet you still insist on committing sins. Then He blesses you with a large gift, such as marriage, to guide and rectify you in order to stop sinning and yet you continue to do so. Only then are you written as a ‘rebel,’ when before you were only considered disobedient!




Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “O my father! Worship not Shaitan. Verily Shaitan has been a rebel against the Most Gracious (Allah), “O my father! Verily I fear lest a torment from the Most Gracious should overtake you, so that you become a companion of Shaitan (in the Hell-fire).” [Tafsir al-Qurtubi] (TMQ, 19:44-45).




Do you feel Prophet Ibrahim's love for his father? Do you feel his emotions towards him? Prophet Ibrahim (AS) did not hide his feelings towards his father and the proof for this is in his words. Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as (Ibrahim (AS) saying), “I fear lest a torment from the Most Gracious should overtake you.” Do you know what these words mean? It means that he cannot bear to have his father’s face to be touched for a moment by the torture of hell. The word “overtake you” here means just a touch. Do you feel the extent of the tenderness in these words? You will also notice that he said “torment from the Most Gracious,” and didn't say torture from the Compeller, because he did not want to scare his father. Always avoid threatening comments such as, “If you die as you are you will go to hell,” when talking to your parents to make them more religious. Learn from our Prophet Ibrahim (AS) when he says, “the Merciful,” to make it easier on his father.






Good choices of verbal expressions




Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “O my father! Verily I fear lest a torment from the Most Gracious should overtake you, so that you become a companion of Shaitan (in the Hell-fire).” [Tafsir al-Qurtubi](TMQ 19:45)




Note that he did not warn his father from being tortured by fire, but being tortured from the Most Gracious. All this proves that Ibrahim (AS) carefully chose the words to say to his father. This is a signal to the youth to choose their words in conversations with their parents, because this can lead to big crises. Note that a look of annoyance to your parents because of a decision they made could be more serious to Allah (SWT) than major sins committed for years.




You should not say or do any disrespectful expression, as was mentioned in the Qur’an. Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “Say not to them a word of disrespect” (TMQ, 17:23). I fear for many Muslims who have many sins because of doing such actions unconsciously. Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “And [you] reckoned it was a simple thing, and in the reckoning of Allah it is a tremendous thing.” (TMQ, 24:15). Anas Ibn-Malik said, “You are doing acts that in your eyes are smaller than a piece of hair while they were considered as major sins at the time of Prophet Muhammad.”[7] The issue of obedience to parents is very important and you have to be careful of it.




Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “O my father! Verily I fear lest a torment from the Most Gracious should overtake you, so that you become a companion of Shaitan (in the Hell-fire).” [Tafsir al-Qurtubi] (TMQ, 19:45). Can you talk to your parents in such a gentle manner? Many youth have a problem in talking to their parents in such a gentle way; for instance, a young man is unable to tell his mother, “Without you we are nothing, give me your hands to kiss.” Can you do this or do you think that this is hypocrisy? No it is not. Every one of us needs to train on saying such words until it becomes a habit for him and shall then be rewarded for that. Sometimes the mother and father only expect to hear a gentle word from you; for example, you can tell your father that you are unable to thank him for raising you up and kiss his hands. Later you will experience the blessings of Allah (SWT). Scholars claimed that there is a relation between the speed of receiving Allah's blessings and your parent's pleasure. Once you are pleasing to your parents you should expect a gift on the way to you from Allah (SWT). The gift could be to become religious or to be blessed with a kind heart or gain money; for girls it could be a good husband. It could also be getting a good job that makes you settle down and relax for the rest of your life. Find the blessings through obedience to your parents. If you feel that your faith has weakened, then try to strengthen it by obeying your parents. Go kiss their hands and learn from Prophet Ibrahim (AS) the nice words if you don't know any. If you say they are not used to getting this from you then start gradually. Today you can give them presents, tomorrow a smile, next kiss their hands, then you ask your mother if she would like you to take her anywhere. Initially she will think you are doing so because you want something from her and this is true. You want to please her to please Allah (SWT), so that you can enter paradise. We have to learn that entering paradise is associated with our parents' happiness with us. The Prophet (SAWS) is the one who taught and told us that paradise is under our mothers' feet. Unfortunate is the one who dies and his parents are upset with him. I fear that he would not have any chance to repent and I fear that his end will be tragic. If night comes and your father and mother are angry with you, don’t think of sleeping even if they are already asleep; wake them up because if they die while being angry at you then you will be in a very bad situation and will need to repent from a major sin that is greater than many others that you may think are more serious. Disobedience to parents is the fourth greatest sin in Islam.




Fearing the torture of fire




Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “O my father! Verily I fear lest a torment from the Most Gracious should overtake you, so that you become a companion of Shaitan (in the Hell-fire).” [Tafsir al-Qurtubi] (TMQ, 19:45).




Is anyone afraid of being tormented in hell? Do you know that many youth jokingly say that they will enter hell for a couple hours then end up in paradise? Those who say that will truly experience what they say, but have you ever imagined what the breath of fire is like? The Prophet (SAWS) said, “Allah lit it for a thousand years until it reddened then lit it for another thousand years until it whitened, then lit it for another thousand years until it ened and so it has become and dark.”[8] The word “torment” should really shake you. Never build your expectations on being in hell for a while, you should always hope that you won’t even hear its sound or even see it at all. Allah (SWT) says in a Hadith Qudsi, “I am as my slave believes I am.” Allah (SWT) describes the sparks from fire in the Qur’an saying what can be translated as, “Verily, it (hell) throws sparks (huge) as al-qasr (a fort or a huge log of wood)” (TMQ, 77:32). It means that one spark from hell is as big as a castle. Can you imagine it from the Qur’anic description? Imagine if it strikes you or if you hear it coming. Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “It almost bursts up with fury. Every time a group is cast therein, its keeper will ask: “Did no warner come to you?”(TMQ, 67:8). Hell has seventy thousand straps, and every strap is pulled by seventy thousand angels because it is like a monster, if left, it will burn all of humanity. At the time the prophets will kneel down and say, “O Allah have mercy, O Allah have mercy.”




Our dear Prophet (SAWS) said, “The fire that you light in this world is only one seventieth of the hereafter.”[9] Can you place your hand on a stove for just 15 seconds? If you could, for how many days will you suffer from the consequences, for how many more days will your hand hurt, and how severe will the scar be? Now, what would you say if your entire body was thrown into it?




Our dear Prophet (SAWS) says, “On the Day of Judgment, one of the most well off people that lived will be plunged into Hell and pulled out again and he shall be asked if he had seen any blessings [in his earthly life]. He will answer saying, “No I swear by Allah, I did not see any blessings at all.”[10]




The answer of Ibrahim's father to his son:




Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “O my father! Verily I fear lest a torment from the Most Gracious should overtake you, so that you become a companion of Shaitan (in the Hell-fire).” (TMQ, 19:45). When Ibrahim (AS) told his father these delicate words which are full of compassion and sympathy, his father's answer was what Allah (SWT) says and can be translated as, “He (the father) said: “Do you reject my gods, O Ibrahim? If you stop not (this), I will indeed stone you. So get away from me safely (before I punish you).” (TMQ, 19:46). It means “I will throw stones at you” and “go away from me, I do not want to see you again.” Imagine! What would your reaction be if you faced such a situation? A young man may be polite while he is presenting his ideas, but he would turn into a wild animal when they are violently rejected. A girl may try to guide her mother to the right path, however, if her mother repels her in the beginning, the girl would begin to retreat, abandon and leave her mother without trying to convince her again. After the violent and strict reply he received from his father, Ibrahim’s reply was what Allah (SWT) says and can be translated as, “Ibrahim said: “Peace be on you! I will ask Forgiveness of my Lord for you. Verily, He is unto me Ever Most Gracious” (TMQ, 19:47). Do you know what “Peace be on you” means? It means that Ibrahim (AS) wanted to tell his father, “O my father, you will not be exposed to any harm from me; you will find only good and peace.”




Brothers and sisters, you should consider your relations with your fathers and mothers. You should consider Ibrahim's speech and compare yourself to him. Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “And who turns away from the religion of Ibrahim except him who befools himself? (TMQ, 2:130). It means that the one who does not follow Ibrahim's religion is a fool. Nowadays, many girls complain about having very nervous mothers and always being on bad terms with them. The solution lies in imitating Ibrahim (AS) and being patient. You should take Ibrahim (AS) as a good example. That is to say, if a young man does not lose hope, and continues to obey his mother although she is anxious and never feels satisfied with what he does, Allah (SWT) will not punish him for her deeds. The reason is that since this young man has done his duty and tried to satisfy his mother who is nervous by nature, he will not be considered sinful. Even if she supplicates against him, he will not be affected and Allah (SWT) will not accept her supplication. However, Allah (SWT) may accept her supplication if he is disobedient. I know a young man whose mother supplicated against him saying, “O Allah, punish him.” He told us that he deserved this supplication. After three days, he had a terrible accident and entered the hospital. He was not even capable of breathing and felt as if he was dying. After that, he recovered and understood that what happened to him was a result of his mother's supplication.




Brothers and sisters, beware of your parents’ supplication against you. I beg fathers and mothers not to supplicate against their children lest Allah (SWT) would accept their supplication. However, you should not be afraid of such a supplication if you have done your duty and satisfied your parents for Allah's sake. That is to say, Allah (SWT) will not punish you in that case because they are acting according to their nature.




The meaning of hafawa (affectionate, granting many blessings):




Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “Ibrahim said: “Peace be on you! I will ask Forgiveness of my Lord for you.” (TMQ, 19:47). What is the significance of asking Allah’s for forgiveness? Do you notice that every prophet mentions this word “forgiveness” as a necessity?




By the way, the best time during which you can feel the sweetness of asking Allah’s forgiveness is 15 minutes before dawn prayer as Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “and those who pray and beg Allah’s Pardon in the last hours of the night” (TMQ, 3:17). While you are saying, “O Allah, I ask Your forgiveness,” you actually feel that your sins are forgiven. Whenever you say the words “I ask Allah’s forgiveness,” Allah (SWT) will forgive a sin for you. Praying and asking Allah’s forgiveness in the last hours of the night is one of the habits which the sahaba (companions of the Prophet (SAWS)) kept practicing. Abdullah Ibn-Omar asked his servant, “O Nafee, is dawn prayer soon?” When the servant replied, “Not yet,” he would continue his prayer, and would keep asking his servant until he answered, “Yes.” At that time, he would stop praying and sit to ask Allah’s forgiveness. That is why asking Allah’s forgiveness is at the core of the life of prophets.




Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “Ibrahim said: “Peace be on you! I will ask Forgiveness of my Lord for you. Verily He is unto me Ever Most Gracious” (TMQ, 19:47). What does hafeyan mean (this word “Most Gracious” is mentioned in the Arabic text of the Holy Qur’an (19:47))? This word is derived from the word ‘hafawa’ which means that Allah (SWT) grants you bounties until you feel satisfied, happy and unable to thank Him enough. When Ibrahim (AS) uttered these words, he was still young. Do you ever feel Allah’s hafawa towards you? Do you ever feel the features of this hafawa? While I was preparing this lecture, I told someone that I would talk about the meaning of this word ‘hafeyan.’ This person told me, “I have not felt Allah’s hafawa towards me for a long time.” When I told him that Allah (SWT) showers us with His bounties all the time, he said, “I wish I would feel this hafawa strongly.” Afterwards, while we were on our way to the Masjid, he asked me in an impressive way, “Have I become a bad person to the extent that Allah no longer grants me hafawa?” Then, one of his friends called him on his mobile phone from America to tell him, “I am supplicating for you.” Afterwards, another friend called him and said, “I dreamt that you were in front of a sea and a voice was calling you, ‘Hurry up, you are from the foremost. You are from the foremost. These will be the nearest (to Allah).’ At that point, this person cried because Allah (SWT) answered him so quickly. This matter is considered as evidence of hafawa. If anyone thinks carefully, he will discover that Allah (SWT) has granted him much hafawa. Allah (SWT) may grant a person, who was formerly disobedient, the blessing of performing Umrah (lesser pilgrimage). A person might hear a word that would be the reason behind his guidance. Allah (SWT) might guide someone to prepare a religious lesson although he was committing many sins before. If you think carefully, you will discover that Allah (SWT) has sustained you, helped you to marry and granted you wealth. All these matters are considered features of hafawa. We are required to pay attention to such matters and comprehend Allah’s messages to us. In future, you should search for the signs of Allah’s hafawa towards you.




The tenderness of Ibrahim (AS) towards his father:




Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “Ibrahim said: “Peace be on you! I will ask Forgiveness of my Lord for you. Verily He is unto me Ever Most Gracious. And I shall turn away from you and from those whom you invoke besides Allah. And I shall call upon my Lord and I hope that I shall not be unblessed in my invocation to my Lord.” (TMQ, 19:47-48). These Ayat demonstrate a very significant point. At the beginning, Ibrahim’s father asked him to leave him “get away from me.” Which is crueler: leaving someone or turning away from him for a while? The latter implies going away for a period of time, but the former means going away never to return. That is why Ibrahim (AS), being tender, did not say to his father, “I will get away from you.” Ibrahim (AS) was keen on choosing his words while talking to his father. Despite his father’s disbelief, he did not address him using the singular pronoun. He preferred to use the plural form out of respect to his father.


The last point we are going to tackle in this Ayah is the following׃ Did Ibrahim’s father embrace Islam or not? Unfortunately, he lived and died as a disbeliever. The Prophet (SAWS) said, “On the Day of Judgement, Ibrahim will meet his father Azar whose face will be dark and covered with dust. (The Prophet Ibrahim will say to him): “Didn't I tell you not to disobey me?” His father will reply, “Today I will not disobey you.” Ibrahim will say: ‘O Lord! You promised me not to disgrace me on the Day of Judgement; and what will be more disgraceful to me than cursing and dishonoring my father?’ Then Allah will say (to him): 'I have forbidden paradise for the disbelievers.’”[11] Brothers and sisters, do you realize that people enter paradise with no mediation? Neither Ibrahim (AS) will be able to intercede for his father nor will Muhammad (SAWS) be able to intercede for his uncle Abu-Taleb because they were disbelievers when they died. The end of Azar’s life makes us feel afraid. That is why I recommend those of you who have a father, a mother or a sister who do not perform prayer, please beg them and exert your utmost effort in order to make them pray. They can neglect anything except prayer because it is the most important thing.




The rest of Ibrahim’s story in Surat al-Anbiya:




Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “When he said to his father and his people: ‘What are these images, to which you are devoted?’” (TMQ, 21:52). Do you notice that Ibrahim (AS) did not stop guiding his father although he was only sixteen years old? Brothers and sisters, we should also be protective of Islam. Do you see how Ibrahim (AS) was attached to Allah (SWT) at this age? The word ‘devotion’ has two connotations (in Arabic). One is related to time, and the other to place. The meaning of ‘devotion’ which is related to place is performing it in a specific place, such as a Masjid (the Arabic word for this meaning is itikaf: a particularly commended pious practice consisting of a period of retreat in a Masjid. A person will practice fasting, ritual prayer and recitation of the Qur’an while there). Were Ibrahim’s people devoted to staying with the statutes day and night? No, this devotion was profound. That is to say, they were preoccupied in such matters, day and night. The same happens nowadays; for example, some girls are devoted to fashion which means that they think of clothes while they are praying. They are preoccupied only by this issue. A girl may be devoted to cosmetics, to the extent that when she performs ablution, she does not remove her nail polish. The result is that the ablution is void and her prayer is void as well. Imagine! She is ready to abandon the prayer for the sake of her nail polish. Consequently, the nail polish is more precious than prayer for her. A man may think about a football match while he is performing prayer. In addition to this, he may not complete his prayer, if his favorite team scores a goal. In another example, a businessman may be preoccupied in bargains and deals while he is performing prayer. Do you realize the meaning of devotion?




Imitating predecessors without thinking:




Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “When he said to his father and his people: ‘What are these images, to which you are devoted?’” (TMQ, 21:52). Consider the reply Ibrahim (AS) received from his people. Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “They said, ‘We found our fathers worshipping them.’” (TMQ, 21:53). This point is extremely important. They were doing these deeds only because they found their fathers and grandfathers doing them. Let me give you a similar example from our own real life. Celebrating weddings in Islam is halal (permissible). However, huge money is spent so that people can watch the bride and the groom, eat and dance. The result is that the bride and the groom get sins and begin their life with these evils. The cause of all of this is that they found their families doing the same. Hence, they fear that they might upset their family if they do not celebrate their wedding in such a way. Brothers and sisters, celebrating weddings is halal and it is nice that both families spend time with the bride and the groom. However, we should bear in mind the expenses and evils which happen as a result of such deeds. We should differentiate between these two matters. Do you see the difference?




Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “They said, ‘We found our fathers worshipping them.’” (TMQ, 21:53). Ibrahim (AS), for the first time, told his people in powerful words what Allah (SWT) says and can be translated as, “He said, ‘Indeed, you and your fathers have been in manifest error.’” (TMQ, 21:54). He was tough with them for the first time because it is absurd for anyone to stop thinking. When people stop thinking about what is halal and haram (lawful and prohibited), they reach the utmost mental impasse. What matters for those people is just to imitate their families and friends. Take for example, some young men flirt with girls just to follow in their friends’ footsteps. Moreover, a young person may be religious but he is embarrassed to show that to his friends because they are not. Brothers and sisters, adhere to the Prophet’s approach of being kind if others are kind, and even if they misbehave, never being unjust to others.




Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “They said, ‘Have you brought us the truth, or are you one of those who play about?’” (TMQ, 21:55). This is the reply of Ibrahim’s people. They started mocking Ibrahim (AS). However, when Ibrahim (AS) found no response from his father, he did not stop. On the contrary, he began guiding his people to the right path. Therefore, the lesson understood from Ibrahim’s behavior is that the same situation may happen to a young man or woman who tries to guide his or her friend to the right path and make him or her close to Allah (SWT), but this friend does not respond. The solution is that they should not wait for the response forever. They should search for another friend who may respond and, later on, try with their former friend. That is to say, some people may not respond the first time. You should try with them two or three times because they are very distant from Allah (SWT). Then, the only solution for those people is waiting for the right time when Allah (SWT) sends a message for them. The message may be a disease, a disaster or the death of a close person. When people experience such events, they are ready to listen and respond. The best is the one who avails himself of this opportunity and is the first to go to his friend in order to guide him. Due to that reason, if you find no response from a certain person, you should not wait for him, because there are many people that need guidance and you want to take thawab (reward in the hereafter) for having guided them. What matters is that you should not forget your former friend and try to be in touch with him so that you may succeed in guiding him when the appropriate moment comes.




Continuing the call to Allah (SWT):




Let us go back to what Allah (SWT) says and can be translated as, “They said, ‘Have you brought us the truth, or are you one of those who play about?’” (TMQ, 21:55). Ibrahim’s people began mocking him because he was still young. The same thing happens when a young man tries to call his friends to be closer to Allah (SWT). At that point, his friends begin telling him, “Did you forget what you used to do last year? Do you consider yourself a sheikh because you have attended religious lectures once or twice?” In addition to this, a girl may be told, “What is this hijab (veil) that you are wearing? What is this nonsense? We are all enjoying our time on the beach while you are not.” Consequently, some young men and women may change their minds when they hear words like this. Are you one of those who may change their minds or are you an unshakeable person? Will you change your mind if your friends tease you? Imagine! Some girls may have doubts that wearing hijab is necessary because others tell them that they are still young and that by wearing hijab they will find no suitors to marry them. Although a girl is convinced that wearing hijab is necessary, she may change her mind and say that she can obey Allah (SWT) without wearing it. Allah (SWT) does not like such changes. Due to that reason, Allah (SWT) sometimes causes people to mock us when we become close to Him (SWT) as a test. This is manifested in what Allah (SWT) says and can be translated as, “Alif-Lam-Mim. [These letters are one of the miracles of the Qur’an, and none but Allah knows their meanings.]. Do people think that they will be left alone because they say, ‘We believe,’ and will not be tested. And We indeed tested those who were before them. And Allah will certainly make known (the truth of) those who are true, and will certainly make known (the falsehood of) those who are liars.” (TMQ, 29:1-3)




The result of being close to Allah (SWT):




When Ibrahim's people said what Allah (SWT) says and can be translated as, “They said, ‘Have you brought us the truth, or are you one of those who play about?’” (TMQ, 21:55), his reply was very strong. Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “He said, ‘Nay, your Lord is the Lord of the heavens and the earth, Who created them and to that I am one of the witnesses.’” (TMQ, 21:56). Can you imagine how strong he was, although he was only sixteen years old? If you wish to be like Ibrahim (AS), you need to do many things. First, you should worship Allah (SWT) more. The more you worship Allah (SWT), the closer you will get to Him. Due to that reason, you should pray more, perform Qiyam al-Layl (night prayer), recite Qur'an and learn tajweed (recitation of the Qur’an in accordance with the rules of pronunciation and intonation). Secondly, you should choose good companions. Beware of bad companions, and of those who are disobedient and far from Allah (SWT). When you practice all these duties, you will find yourself stronger than before because such deeds are factors that change you for the better.




Pay attention to what Allah (SWT) says and can be translated as, “Verily, Ibrahim was an Ummah, or a nation…..” (TMQ, 16:120). Ibrahim (AS) was facing a whole country because he was so close to Allah (SWT). Does your faith enable you to face your neighbors or your friends? You should not shake when anyone mocks you. Try to be strong and confident. Consider what Allah (SWT) says and can be translated as, “He said: “Nay, your Lord is the Lord of the heavens and the earth, Who created them and to that I am one of the witnesses.” (TMQ, 21:56). Of what was Ibrahim (AS) a witness? He witnessed that Allah (SWT) is the One who created the heavens and the earth. Did Ibrahim (AS) see Allah (SWT) creating the heavens and earth? No, it is assumed that one should see with his eyes in order to witness. Note that we are imitating Ibrahim (AS) in every prayer when we say, “I bear witness that there is no God but Allah.” Do you realize the meaning of testifying that there is no God but Allah (SWT) although you have not seen Him? Why do you bear witness? Witnessing is similar to the following matter: when someone goes to court in order to testify, the judge asks him, “Can you bear witness?” He replies, “Yes.” The judge asks him, “What did you see?” If he had seen with his eyes, his account is accepted, but if he had not seen, his account is unacceptable. However, the matter is different concerning Ibrahim's witnessing. He was certainly positive that Allah (SWT) is the One who created the heavens and the earth, as if he saw Allah (SWT) creating them. We should also have the same certainty when we say, “I bear witness that there is no God but Allah.” The required testimony in prayer is not mere words but it is heart-felt certainty. Therefore when you say at-tashahud (the testimony of faith recited during the Prayer) you should feel it in your heart.




Imagine! Ibrahim (AS) was still sixteen years old when he said this. Can you love Islam this way? Can you cling to religion like this? You should specify your goals regarding religion. What do you want? Do you want to marry, eat, drink, and have children and money, then die? Is it possible that Allah (SWT) has created you solely for these reasons? When you make Islam your cause, Allah (SWT) will make you happy in this life and in the hereafter. You should hope that Allah (SWT) is pleased with you and that all people love Allah (SWT). Your cause should be to make people love Allah (SWT) because you love Him. At that time, your cause will be like that of Ibrahim's. Moreover, Allah (SWT) wants you to be like this, and the secret behind all this is certainty.




Here is another example of certainty. Once, a disagreement occurred between a Jew and the Prophet (SAWS) over a shield that was in the Prophet’s possession. The Jew claimed that the shield belonged to him. The Prophet (SAWS) said, “The shield is mine.” The Jew asked, “Do you have any witnesses?” The Prophet (SAWS) asked, “Who can witness?” Abu-Khuzaima, one of the sahaba, said, “I bear witness that the shield belongs to the Prophet (SAWS).” The Prophet (SAWS) said, “Did you see that it is mine?” The companion replied, “I believe that Jibril (AS) (Gabriel) is revealed to you from Allah. How can I disbelieve that the shield is yours!” Do you feel this certainty within your heart? The meaning of certainty is exemplified in the previously mentioned verse. However, when some girls wear hijab and go to seaside summer resorts, their resolve is shaken because people mock them.








Being honest with Allah (SWT):




Allah says what can be translated as, “He said, ‘Nay, your Lord is the Lord of the heavens and the earth, Who created them and to that I am one of the witnesses.’” (TMQ, 21:56). Allah (SWT) also says what can be translated as, “And by Allah, I shall plot a plan (to destroy) your idols after you have gone away and turned your backs.” (TMQ, 21:57). When you hear that Ayah, you feel that Ibrahim (AS) was in a state of excitement out of his pride for Islam. Have you ever felt this pride for Islam? “And by Allah” is a strong vow, by Allah (SWT). How many times did you swear by Allah (SWT) that you are committed to follow the right path? Did you fulfill your commitment? Ibrahim (AS) fulfilled it. Ibrahim (AS) did indeed fulfill it. Due to that reason, when you make an oath to Allah (SWT), you should fulfill it. Be true to your covenant with Allah (SWT); a covenant with Allah (SWT) must be accomplished. Be sure that if you were honest with Allah (SWT) at a certain moment, Allah (SWT) will answer everything you asked for then. An example; a man came to the Prophet (SAWS) and embraced Islam. Then, he took part in a battle with the Prophet (SAWS). When his share of the booty was sent to him, he shuddered and asked, “What is it?” They replied, “It is your share of the booty.” He said, “By Allah O messenger of Allah, I did not follow you for this reason. I followed you in order to be martyred by the piercing of an arrow here,” he said pointing to his neck. This man was in a moment of truth. On the next day, there was a battle in which this man was martyred by an arrow in his neck where he had pointed. When the Prophet (SAWS) knew about it, he asked, “Is it he?” They replied, “Yes, O Messenger of Allah.” The Prophet (SAWS) expressed his wonder and said, “He was honest with Allah so Allah answered him.”[12] Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “And by Allah, I shall plot a plan (to destroy) your idols after you have gone away and turned your backs.” (TMQ, 21:57). Do you feel the excitement of Ibrahim (AS) in this word “I shall plot a plan?” We will follow up with what happened afterwards in Surat as-Saffaat. Then, we will go back to follow up the story in Surat al-Anbiya in order to tell the story in its chronological order.




The plan of Ibrahim (AS) to get rid of the idols:




In Surat as-Saffaat, we find that Ibrahim (AS) made a plan in order to get rid of the idols and to fulfill his oath to Allah (SWT). Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “Then he cast a glance at the stars. And he said: “Verily, I am sick. So they turned away from him, and departed (for fear of the disease)” (TMQ, 37: 88- 90). What does this mean, and what exactly happened? There was a festival, during which all the people used to go to the gardens in order to eat, drink, go for walks, and play. They used to leave the temple which was far away from the gardens. It was normal for all the people to go to the gardens, and it was normal as well for Ibrahim (AS) not to wish to go with them. However, had he not gone with them, they would have felt that there was something wrong. “Then he cast a glance at the stars” means that he began to think about how he could not go with them without raising their suspicion. Right now, I would like to ask you a question: do you ever plan for the sake of Islam? Do you ever think of a way to help your friend get closer to Allah (SWT)? Have you ever thought of participating in a project for orphans? Have you ever thought of a way that would make your friends love faith? Has your thinking ever been focused on this idea to the extent that you were unable to either eat or drink?




Brothers and sisters, Allah (SWT) will guide whoever loves and contemplates for Islam. The Prophet (SAWS) said, “Abu-Bakr did not excel you by virtue of frequent prayers and fasting; rather he excelled you by virtue of something (i.e. faith) that dwells in his heart.”[13] What he had engraved in his heart was pride for Islam and his being keen to guide people to it. Abu-Bakr said about himself, “I swear by Allah, I have not slept and dreamt, neither did I forget nor lose track but I am on the path and I have not gone astray.”




This is what Ibrahim (AS) did when he thought of guiding people. He kept thinking about how he could guide his people to the right path.




Brothers and sisters, I feel annoyed when I find that non-Muslims succeed in their life because of earnestness which our young people may lack. Take for example, Charlie Chaplin was a very special person. Regardless of our disagreement with him, he wrote in his diaries how he achieved his success. He said, “When I go to sleep, I put a paper, a pen and a recorder beside my bed. Then, I turn the light off. If any new idea occurs to my mind during the night, I get up and write it. Many ideas cross my mind because of my interest.” This was the reason behind the success of this person. Allah (SWT) never wastes the effort of anyone, and any person who works will be rewarded; be it in this life or in the hereafter.




Your awareness of the problems of Islam:




Let us go back to Surat as-Saffaat. Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “Then he cast a glance at the stars. And he said, ‘Verily, I am sick.’ So they turned away from him, and departed (for fear of the disease)” (TMQ, 37:88- 90). I would like to ask you a question: Did Ibrahim (AS) lie? Was he sick? No, he was not. Why did he say “I am sick?” Ibrahim (AS) did not lie. He was really sick because he was afraid for his people. He used a pun. Do you feel ill because of the conditions of Muslims? Do your eyes shed tears because of what happens in Palestine? Do you feel ill because of the state of the Aqsa Masjid? Can you imagine that when Ibrahim (AS) said this, he was still sixteen years old! He felt sick because he cared only for Islam.




The Prophet (SAWS) narrated a Hadith which is one of the Musalsalat (i.e. the Hadith is followed by an action that the Prophet (SAWS) did in the original tradition, e.g. a smile). It means that the Prophet (SAWS) smiled after narrating this Hadith. Due to that reason, when a companion narrated this Hadith afterwards, he smiled at its end. This matter shows the precision of the sahaba in narrating Ahadith. A narrator might not want to smile at the time of narrating this Hadith, but he smiles only because the Prophet smiled at the end of its narration. This Hadith continued to be narrated until it reached Nour el-Deen Mahmoud, Salah el-Deen's professor. Nour el-Deen Mahmoud was teaching jurisprudence and Ahadith. He taught Salah el-Deen this Hadith and smiled at the end of the narration. Once, Salah el-Deen narrated this Hadith without smiling in al-Azhar Masjid where he used to give lessons regularly. Hence, Nour el-Deen Mahmoud asked him, “Why did you not smile?” Salah el-Deen said his famous sentence, “How can I smile while the Aqsa Masjid is captured?” At that time, Salah el-Deen was in his thirties.




This applied to Ibrahim (AS). He did not want to go for a walk with his people because he was sick for the sake of Islam. Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “And he said: ‘Verily, I am sick.’ So they turned away from him, and departed (for fear of the disease” (TMQ, 37:89- 90). It means that all his people turned away from him. We should imitate Ibrahim (AS). You should not get angry if everyone cares only about playing. If a girl finds that nobody cares about anything important, she should not get angry, because the same thing happened to Ibrahim (AS) when all his people left him alone. Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “And most of mankind will not believe even if you desire it eagerly.” (TMQ, 12:103) You cannot guide all people because it is not possible and you should know this fact. Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “And if you obey most of those on the earth, they will mislead you far away from Allah's Path.” (TMQ, 6:116) and “those who believe and do righteous good deeds, and they are few...” (TMQ, 6:116). Believers are always few so you should not get angry or be afraid. You should know that victory and truth will be for the believers in the end because Allah (SWT) will certainly support them.




Love for Islam:




Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “Then they turned away from him, withdrawing.” (TMQ, 37:90). Then, Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “So he went apart to their gods; then he said, 'Will you not eat?' How is it with you that you do not pronounce (a word)?" (TMQ, 37:91-92). “So he went apart to” indicates that Ibrahim (AS) was very eager to accomplish what he had in mind at that point in time as fast as he could. Why did he talk to them? Could they understand him? Of course not, and he knew that. He was mocking them; he did that out of his love for Islam. He was very proud of Islam. Here I would like to ask you again, do you really love Islam with this kind of sincerity? At the beginning I said something and here I am saying it again; whoever truly loves Islam and cares about it should rest assured that Allah (SWT) will honor him/her and glorify him/her amongst all people. Such examples are the girl who sheds a tear out of her keenness to show her friend the righteous way, or the man who feels happy just because he helped a friend of his to find the way to Allah (SWT) should be sure of Allah’s reward.




I would like to tell you about my personal experience; ten or fifteen years ago I was unable to recite the Qur’an properly or with tajweed. I was not even able to read a book like Riyad al-Saliheen (selected traditions of Prophet Muhammad (SAWS)). I cannot forget the day when someone asked me, "Why should we pray at the Masjid?” At the time, I searched my mind trying to find a Hadith that affirms the obligation (for men) to pray at the Masjid but I could not find one. At the time, I knew little religious information.




More than once, I’ve been asked how I became capable of preaching, but I believe that what I know is still little. It was Allah’s will to give me the ability to know some information, and then convey it to people. Sometimes, I even ask myself, “How did this happen in such a short time?” The answer is: my love for Islam from my early youth is the reason for what I am now. Of course I made errors. However, eventually, my love of Islam made me keen to stimulate the youth, and to let them know that if they loved Islam they would feel the changes that would affect their lives. Their struggle against sins will become much easier. Only then will they be strong and attached to Allah (SWT). Their love for Islam will be part of them, a part that is more than a mere physical prayer. Keep in mind that there are two types of people. The first is one who preserves his prayers, yet he has no sense of attachment to Islam; like a girl who is veiled, yet she is not attached to Islam. The second type feels that he is absorbed by Islam; hence his actions show this clearly, just as you can see in what Allah (SWT) says and can be translated as, “So he went apart…” (TMQ, 37:91-92).




Our Predecessors’ Explanations




Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “So he went apart upon them (i.e., their idols) striking with his right hand." (TMQ, 37: 93). The word “right hand” symbolizes strength, which means he was exerting all his efforts.




At times, when I was reading the sayings of the sahaba (companions) of Prophet Muhammad (SAWS), I found that their sayings had the same meaning as that of Prophet Ibrahim’s. Take for example, ‘I will die and Islam will be honored’; he who said this phrase meant that he won’t die until Islam is utterly honored. Nobody knows his time, of course, but he just meant that he would do his best in order to glorify Islam. Oqba Ibn-Nafi’ (the famous Muslim commander) once said while standing on the Atlantic shore, staring at the vast ocean “O sea, I swear by Allah, If I knew that there was land behind you, I would have crossed you to let the inhabitants of that land worship Allah.” He said that after his long journey, leaving from Madinah to conquer Libya, Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco. He said that phrase because he was still not satisfied with what he had accomplished, and it was also out of his love for Islam.




Back to Surat al-Anbiya (The Prophets), Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “So he made them into scraps, except a great one they had, that possibly they would return to it." (TMQ, 21: 58). The word “scraps” implies that not only did he break the idols, but also that he had shattered them into tiny pieces. Someone may ask, “Can we do as Ibrahim did—when he broke the idols—if we see something forbidden?” Of course not, this would also be forbidden. We are requested to call to Allah (SWT) kindly; we cannot do as Ibrahim (AS) did for two reasons: Ibrahim (AS) did that because he was living amongst disbelievers, but nowadays people in our countries are believers. That is why any sabotage you may commit is forbidden, for Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) prohibited us from doing so. Second, the Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) himself did not do that; it was not his way to commit such acts. Although he was living amongst disbelievers, he did not break the idols surrounding the Holy Ka’ba.




Here we should learn an important thing; predecessors' laws are applied to us as long as they were not abrogated. I mean that predecessors’ laws are applied to us Muslims as long as Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) did not refuse it. In regards to breaking idols, Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) himself circumambulated the Ka’ba for 13 years after his prophecy although it was surrounded by 360 idols, yet he did not topple any of them. Consequently, nowadays we are not allowed to follow anything except the Prophet’s path. Likewise, Abu-Jahl killed Sumaya (RA), yet no one could retaliate against him. What's more, at that time Makkah had some houses upon which red flags were hung. A red flag meant that that house was a place for prostitution, yet none of the sahaba ever interfered. This is what Islam is about, calling people to Allah (SWT) with love,

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Rational behavior:




Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “So he made them into scraps, except a great one they had, that possibly they would return to it.” (TMQ, 21: 58). Why did he leave one idol? He had a plan, though he was only a sixteen-year-old boy. That means that he was not doing it out of rage or loss of control, otherwise he would have broken all of them. On the contrary, he was very much in control. From that, we should learn something; don’t ever lose your temper should you see anything forbidden taking place. You have the right to feel angry, yet you must control your temper. Sometimes, a young man says, “I was outraged because my sister was wearing tight cloths, so I hit her.” Let me tell you something. Maybe you feel angry, but you have no authority to hit your sister; it is your parents’ responsibility, while yours is only to advise and help her. You should learn from Ibrahim (AS) and how at such a young age he was in control of what was happening after he had broken the idols. Now we can understand the meaning of this Ayah where Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “And indeed We already brought Ibrahim aforetime his righteous (judgment :sl: and We were Knowledgeable of him.” (TMQ, 21: 51)




Ibrahim (AS) broke all the idols, and then hung the axe he used on the biggest idol’s neck. Ibrahim (AS) had two virtues: strong emotions to Islam and rationality. Nowadays, the youth have a problem with one of these two virtues. They are either intellectually mature with hearts not full of strong emotions for Islam, or vice versa. We need youth who have both virtues, love for Islam and intellectual maturity: youth who know how to help people and how to help them love Islam; youth who read often in order to become enlightened and to become useful to others; youth who learn how to be skillful in order to be distinguished amongst people; youth who know how to be successful and have a good occupation so that they are able to influence people when they talk to them about religion. I am sincerely asking you; do not leave this lecture with a strong emotion towards Islam, looking forward to doing anything for the sake of Islam, yet irrational. No, we need both virtues together, like Ibrahim (AS). After he had smashed the idols except the biggest on whose neck he hung the axe, he returned home and went to sleep. In the morning his people went to the temple, and they saw their idols smashed to pieces.




Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “They said, ‘Who has performed this with our gods? Surely he is indeed of the unjust.’” (TMQ, 21: 59). Can you imagine how mad the whole village was then? They started to ask, “Who did this to our gods while we were all out?” They realized that Ibrahim (AS) was the one, because not only did Ibrahim (AS) not go out with them, but he was also talking against their worship of idols. Therefore, they gathered that he was the one they were looking for. Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “They said, ‘We heard a young man making mention of them; he is called Ibrahim.’” (TMQ, 21: 60). “A young man” can you see this phrase? He was young then, almost 16 or so. “He is called Ibrahim” implies that he was not famous; he was just an ordinary young man. Anger was flaring up then. Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “They said, ‘Then come up with him (i.e., bring him) before the eyes of the multitude, that possibly they would testify.'”(TMQ, 21: 61).




You can imagine how they brought him, no doubt shackled, beaten, his hair messed up, and his clothes torn. The place was overcrowded and he was pushed here and there. Nevertheless, he was standing firm and confident of what he had done. “Before the eyes of the multitude”, this phrase means they wanted to insult, ridicule and laugh at him in front of the whole city. They wanted to insult him before all people to scare him. Can you imagine that Ibrahim (AS) had faced all this while you feel shy to tell your friends that you don’t want to approach girls indecently, or you feel shy to wear the veil? Can you imagine Ibrahim’s situation at the time, being so young and facing the whole city?




Facing the consequences




Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “They said, ‘We heard a young man making mention of them; he is called Ibrahim’” (TMQ, 21: 60). They started to try him; it was a fake trial, of course. They were mad at him. Listen to what Allah (SWT) says and can be translated as, “They said, ‘Is it you who performed this with our gods, O Ibrahim?’” (TMQ, 21: 62). If you were in Ibrahim’s situation, how would you feel? Maybe you would be crying, apologizing and begging them to forgive you, promising that you would not do that again.




Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “He said, ‘No indeed, it was this great one of them that performed it; so, ask them in case they (can) pronounce (a word).’” (TMQ, 21: 63). A strange yet confident reply, is it not? This is the sweetness of the Qur’an. When you live with the Qur’an, wholeheartedly, you feel as if it is talking to you and that you are more confident. I mean after this lecture, for example, would you be able to go and approach girls indecently? No, you should be confident just like Ibrahim (AS). His reply was a proof of his confidence in Allah (SWT) although Ibrahim (AS) was young. He was an obedient slave to Allah (SWT). Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “He said, ‘No indeed, it was this great one of them that performed it; so, ask them in case they (can) pronounce (a word).’” (TMQ, 21: 63). He was logical, so this was their response: Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “So they returned one to another (and) then said, ‘Surely you yourselves are the unjust.’” (TMQ, 21: 64).




His people were shocked at the time. Sometimes, when we hear someone attacking Islam and accusing it of being old-fashion and backward, we feel shocked. Imagine that such a person met a sixteen-year-old boy who told him that Allah (SWT) is the One Who created us and that He is the eternal owner of this whole universe, and we all must obey Him, whatever He orders. You should know that the natural disposition is so simple, so do not be shy or feel vulnerable, because your evidence is rational. There is nothing like obedience to Allah (SWT). You should trust in Allah (SWT) as one Ayah could answer all the philosophies attacking Islam; Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “Verily, to Him (belong) the creation and the command." (TMQ, 7: 54). It means that He Who created this universe should be obeyed. With this simple reason, Ibrahim (AS) answered his people, though he was on his own. Can you imagine that this young man overcame thousands? With the same simple reasoning you can, kindly and tenderly, ask your friend whom you wish to help, “Why don’t you pray? You know that your life is no more than 60 or 70 years, don’t you?” Surely he will answer yes. Then ask him, “You know that after your death you will return to Allah (SWT), don’t you?” “Yes,” will be his reply. Then, remind him of paradise and hellfire, ask him to imagine himself standing before Allah (SWT), after his carelessness in life, and ask him what he will do then. Of course “I don’t know,” will be his reply. After that, he will start thinking of doing something about it now. This is the simple way that addresses human nature, the same as what had happened with Ibrahim’s people.




“So they returned one to another,” means that they never had turned to themselves or reconsidered their doings before. How many times do we turn to ourselves then forget all about it again? Some people never turn to themselves unless they listen to a religious lecture; afterwards they forget about the reconsideration until they listen to another lecture. Let me tell you something: if you feel no change after listening to these lectures, you are wasting your time.




Keeping a protective eye on Islam and feeling affiliated with it:




Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “So they returned one to another (and) then said, ‘Surely you yourselves are the unjust.’ Thereafter they were made to relapse (into idolatry), (saying), ‘Indeed you already know that these (can) in no way pronounce (a word).’” (TMQ, 21: 64-65). According to the previous Ayah you could gather that no sooner had they turned to themselves, starting to recognize their false conceptions, then they returned to their stubbornness again. The word "relapse" means that they were turned upon their heads. This indicates that they dismissed the truth for the falsehood and said to Ibrahim (AS) that which Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “Indeed you already know that these (can) in no way pronounce (a word).” (TMQ, 21: 65). What an ironic thought! Nevertheless, we ourselves sometimes think in the same way. A young man sometimes says, “I don’t pray, I have girlfriends; I do know that Allah (SWT) can see me, yet I can’t repent, and I won’t repent!” Even if someone were to advise him, he would refuse, saying, “Don’t talk to me about repentance; I’m upset about this issue!” This is just the same as what Ibrahim’s people did. Not only did they turn back on themselves, but also they confessed disbelief in these idols. However, they still insisted on worshiping them.




Ibrahim (AS) could not stand it any more; Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “He said, ‘Do you then worship, apart from Allah, that which does not profit you anything nor harms you? Fie upon you and upon whatever you worship apart from Allah! Do you then not consider?’” (TMQ, 21: 66-67). Can you understand Ibrahim’s feelings when he said, "Fie upon you." When I recite Surat al-Anbiya I really think, “if only all Muslims would keep a protective eye on Islam, just like Ibrahim did.” I really wish that we all prayed to Allah (SWT) to keep our love for Islam safe and to keep us caring for it, just as Ibrahim (AS) did. Being concerned with Islam is the only thing that keeps us from sinning and makes us feel attached to Allah (SWT) and to Islam. The youth are full of enthusiasm; if this passion were directed towards the uplifting of Islam, Islam’s position would have been much better.




Listen to Ibrahim (AS) –the sixteen-year-old boy—facing his people, saying, Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “Fie upon you and upon whatever you worship apart from Allah! Do you then not consider?” (TMQ, 21: 67). You should know that Ibrahim (AS) had been through all this during his youth. Ibrahim’s great days are spread throughout his life. I’m telling you this, all youth, let Islam be the foundation of your life. Again I’m telling you, Allah (SWT) will honor you, enlighten your mind, let you know more about Islam, give you the right tools to use, glorify you amongst people and make people love you and listen to what you say, all because your main concern is to make people love Allah (SWT).




It was mentioned in al-Athar (old writings) that after the death of one of the tabe’een (knowledgeable people who came after the Prophet’s companions) came in someone’s dreams. That person asked him, “What has Allah done with you?” He replied, “He questioned me harshly. I was so terrified; I thought that I was done for, nevertheless, I happened to remember something, so I said, ‘O, Allah, I showed people how to love you.’” Hence, Allah (SWT) said, “My slave, I forgive you.” Be careful, this is not from the Sunnah; it is just from al-Athar, which may be true or not. However, he who works for the sake of Allah (SWT) and shows people how to love Allah (SWT) is the winner, for then, his job would be to show people the path of Allah (SWT).




The final verdict




Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “He said, ‘Do you then worship, apart from Allah, that which does not profit you anything nor harms you? Fie upon you and upon whatever you worship apart from Allah! Do you then not consider?’” (TMQ, 21: 66-67). Here, the trial was halted, for they recognized that if they were to talk to him with reason, surely they would be defeated; so, they gave their verdict. Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “They said, ‘Burn him away and vindicate your gods, in case you are performing that.’” (TMQ, 21: 68) They closed their minds, for after they confessed that those idols do not even speak, again they said "vindicate your gods." Therefore, be careful of your minds, otherwise you may lose your reason and go after your whims just as those people did. In Surat as-Saffat, Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “They said, ‘Build him a structure, (and) then cast him in the Hell-Fire.’” (TMQ, 37: 97). Do you know the meaning of “a structure” in this context? It is not merely a pit; it is a huge pit, in which an enormous blazing fire was lit. It was a huge building; some say that it took four months to build. They did not want to get rid of him out of vengeance only, but because they were enraged by him and his faith, it was malice.




Trust in the Ultimate Trustee




The whole city worked on that structure for four months. Did anybody think about the whereabouts of Ibrahim (AS) at the time? He was imprisoned. What was he doing? He was saying nothing but “Allah suffices me, for He is the best disposer of affairs.” This phrase does not mean that he was asking Allah (SWT) to avenge him against his people. It means that he was putting all his trust in the Ultimate Trustee. As if he was saying, “O Allah, do whatever You Wish, for I am all Yours.” This is the meaning of the name of Allah (SWT) al-Wakeel, the Ultimate Trustee. Can you ultimately trust in Allah (SWT) like Ibrahim (AS) did?




Take for example, going to the Registry Office, and telling the officer that you want to entrust someone with your money. The officer will ask you then, “Do you really trust him?” You would reply, “Yes.” However, how can you trust a mere human being, yet not trust in Allah (SWT)? You should put all your trust in the Ultimate Trustee. Ladies, I’m telling you this, don’t worry about your daughters, for Allah (SWT) will keep them safe. Just sign the contract of authorization and say ‘Allah suffices me, for He is the best disposer of all affairs.’ Say, “O, Allah I’m entrusting You with all my affairs, I’m all Yours, do as You wish;” just say it and you will see. Ibrahim (AS) was not afraid of entrusting Allah (SWT), hence He saved him. The Ultimate Trustee means that He is the Disposer, by His mercy, of His slaves’ affairs. Hence, He would never leave them to be harmed. If you entrust Him, He will never let you down. Even if you were harmed, be assured that you will be blessed afterwards, for the Ultimate Trustee would never let His slaves down.




The structure was built and everybody contributed to its construction, even the women. They used to say, “If my son is cured, I will help to build it.” The structure was completed, and the fire was lit. Nevertheless, this structure was not inside the city. It was in the dessert; they feared that if they built it inside the city, the city may be incinerated too, for it was a huge structure. Can you imagine how big it was? Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “Then they came forward to him in a hurried procession” (TMQ, 37: 94). They all hurried to him in a procession to put him into the fire, insulting him and calling him names, yet he never said but one phrase “Allah suffices me, for He is the best disposer of all affairs.” He went through all this while he was no more than a sixteen-year-old boy. This story should be a symbol for the youth who says, “I want to find the right path to Allah, but I can’t stop committing sins.” Another one says, "I’m religious, yet sometimes my spirituality decreases.” To them, I say, keep this story in mind, hold on and do as Ibrahim (AS) did.




Ibrahim’s execution




Thousands of people from the city took Ibrahim (AS) in order to throw him into the fire. It was mentioned that if a bird was to cross over that structure, it would fall down dead into the fire. It was also mentioned in al-Athar–not the Sunnah—that the angel responsible for rain said, “O Allah, grant me Your permission so that I can extinguish the fire,” but Allah (SWT) said, “No, it is only I Who will save him.” Allah (SWT) is the Ultimate Trustee. You worry about how to earn your living, I’m telling you, never be worried, as long as you put your trust in Allah (SWT) and do your best in life. Women, if you are having problems with your husbands, never worry, just trust in Allah (SWT). Jobless youth, trust in Allah (SWT). Try to learn a craft, or take computer courses and be sure that Allah (SWT) will never fail you.




As the fire was blazing, the people were afraid that whoever goes to throw Ibrahim (AS) in to the fire will also be caught in it. They postponed his execution until they brought a type of catapult or a military engine that was used to hurl its contents over long distances (usually stones). They used it to throw Ibrahim (AS) into the fire. Before they threw him they had made trials using wood, throwing it into the fire to be assured that when they later put Ibrahim (AS) in it he would fall right into the fire. Those trials were made because they feared that he may not fall into the fire and be burnt, can you imagine? They were sure, now, that as soon as they catapulted him from the catapult, he would fall into the fire and burn. People cheered for their idols, insulting Ibrahim (AS) while they were putting him in the catapult. Then, Jibril (AS) came asking Ibrahim (AS), “Is there anything that I can do for you?” He replied, “I need nothing from you. It is only Allah (SWT) to whom I turn and supplicate, for His knowledge of my situation suffices me.”




Can you see? He had signed the contract with Allah (SWT), not with Jibril (AS). The catapult flung Ibrahim (AS), who was shackled, into the fire. People shouted cheers. They were excited, thinking that Ibrahim (AS) would die. Watchfully, they stood there waiting for the fire to be put out, so that they could then see what had happened to Ibrahim (AS). They decided to leave and come back a few days later to check what had happened to Ibrahim (AS).




Ibrahim’s best days:




Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “They said, ‘Build him a structure, (and) then cast him in the Hell-Fire.’” (TMQ, 37: 97). Allah (SWT) also said what can be translated as, “We said, ‘O fire, be coolness and peace upon Ibrahim!’” (TMQ, 21: 69). If Allah (SWT) had said, “be coolness” without saying “and peace”, Ibrahim (AS) would have died of cold; can you see the divine mercy? Did not Ibrahim (AS) say about Allah (SWT), what can be translated as, “Surely He has been Ever-Hospitable to me.”? (TMQ, 19: 47)




Ibrahim (AS) stayed three days in the fire, unharmed. It was only his chains that had melted from the fire’s heat. Much later, when Ibrahim (AS) was dying, he was asked, “O Ibrahim, tell us about the best of times you lived.” Ibrahim (AS) replied, “The days during which I was in the fire.” “How is that?” he was asked again. “Allah was feeding and giving me drink from paradise,” he replied.




Now you can see that no harm can befall you unless it is accompanied by a mercy, although you do not recognize it. You should learn an important thing. No matter what people say or do, it is Allah’s will that matters, for it will take place by any means. See the difference when they say throw him into the blazing fire, but Allah (SWT) said what can be translated as “O fire, be coolness and peace upon Ibrahim!” (TMQ, 21: 69).




Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) teaches us how to be satisfied only by Allah (SWT):




On the authority of Ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) who reported: “One day, I was riding behind the Prophet (SAWS) when he said, ‘Boy, I will instruct you in some matters. Be watchful of Allah (Allah’s commandments) and He will preserve you. Safeguard His rights, He will be ever with you. If you beg, beg of Him alone, and if you need assistance, supplicate to Allah alone for help.



“And remember that if all the people gather to benefit you, they will not be able to benefit you except with that which Allah had foreordained (for you); and if all of them gather to do harm to you, they will not be able to afflict you with anything other than that which Allah had pre-destined

against you. The pens have been lifted and the ink has dried.’”[14]




He who ordered the knife not to hurt Isma’il (AS) (Ishmael) is the One who ordered the whale to swallow Yunus (AS) (Jonah) yet not to kill him. The whale just kept him inside itself until it took him to the coast. Allah (SWT) is the One who ordered the sea to split when Musa (AS) (Moses) touched it with his stick. Whatever properties anything may have, it is not effective unless the All-Creator orders it. Neither the knife cuts nor the sea drowns by itself; it is all done by Allah’s orders. We are not the only worshippers of Allah (SWT). Knives, fire, animals and jinn, they are all Allah’s servants. I say this to women who fear the jinn. Be sure that they are as much a servant to Allah (SWT) as you are, so seek your heaven from the Sovereign.




Therefore, what had happened to Ibrahim (AS) was, by all means, a divine miracle. Three days later, Ibrahim (AS) came out of the fire, unshackled and with a smile on his face. People were astonished, asking, “How did he make it?” However, still none believed in him. Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “Then Lu‍t (Lot) believed him” (TMQ, 29: 26). Glory be to Allah (SWT), the Almighty.




Next time, by Allah’s will, we will talk about Ibrahim’s marriage to Sarah and his migrations.




[1] Suhanahu wa Ta'ala = Glorified and Exalted Be He


[2] Sala-llahu Alaihi Wa-Sallam = All Prayers and Peace of Allah be upon him.


[3] TMQ=Translation of the Meaning of the Qur'an. This translation is for the realized meaning, so far, of the stated (Surah: Ayah) of the Qur'an. Reading the translated meaning of the Qur'an can never replace reading it in Arabic, the language in which it was revealed.


[4] Al-Muwatta, Imam Malik: Book 47, Number 47.4.16


[5] Authentic Hadith, Sahih Muslim: Book 001, Number 0349


[6] Authentic Hadith, Sahih Bukhari: volume 008, book 076, Hadith number 443.


[7] Authentic Hadith, al-Bukhari, Volume 8, Book 76, Number 499


[8] Sharih el-Jama'a El-Baghwy, page 5567


[9] Authentic hadith, Muwatta Imam Malik, Number 57.1.1


[10] Sahih Muslim, page 2807


[11] Authentic Hadith, al-Albany.


[12] An-Nasaei, al-Sunan al-Kubra, 2080.


[13] Authentic Hadith, al-Asrar al-Marfouha by Aly al-Qary, page 476


[14] Authentic Hadith, narrated by at-Tirmidhi




AmrKhaled(contact admin if its a beneficial link) © جميع حقوق النشر محفوظة

This Article may be published and duplicated freely for private purposes, as long as the original source is mentioned. For all other purposes you need to obtain the prior written approval of the website administration. For info: dar_altarjama[at]amrkhaled(contact admin if its a beneficial link)

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

The Story of Ibrahim (AS) “Abraham” and the Sacrifice




I seek refuge with Allah (SWT) from the cursed Satan. In the name of Allah, the All-Merciful, the Ever-Merciful. All praise and thanks be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. Peace and blessings be upon our master, the most noble Prophet Muhammad (SAWS). We praise Allah, thank Him, and seek His help, guidance and forgiveness. We seek refuge in Allah from the evil in our souls and the sinfulness of our deeds. "Whomever Allah guides, (then) he is (rightly) guided; and whomever He leads into error, then those are they (who are) the losers." (TMQ, 7:178)[1]




To begin with, I should start by asking Allah (SWT) to accept the steps that have led us to this gathering, to reward us for them, and to increase the presence of the angels in these gatherings. Visualize that this gathering, right now, is surrounded by angels. Imagine that their wings spread from the earth to the sky, shading us. What do you think Allah (SWT) wants to offer us for this gathering? It is amazing how Allah (SWT) honors those who meet for His sake. For a young man coming from a long distance, Allah (SWT) wants to grant great honor, great mercy, and great forgiveness, insha’ Allah (if Allah wills). What would Allah (SWT) want for those young women who come from far places and tolerate difficulties and hardships for His sake except to grant them great honor, great mercy, and great forgiveness?




If you ask yourselves what is the greatest blessing granted to us, it might be this gathering itself! Regardless of the person teaching the lesson, the most important point is to attend faith-filled gatherings like this that remind us of Allah (SWT). It does not matter who the speaker is or what he is speaking about. The most important thing is that it brings your heart closer to Allah (SWT), no matter how far the distance is. It is for this reason that gatherings like this, regardless of the topic discussed, can be a turning point in the life of a young person, a man, or a woman who have attended and have found their heart trembling from inside and decided to change and improve the relationship with Allah (SWT). In a year or so, we might find him/her a completely different person. There are those whose hearts may have been so distant from Allah (SWT) just one year or six months ago, but when they decided to attend a gathering such as this one, they decided, seriously, to become closer to Allah (SWT). I am certain that that is the case for some of our sisters and brothers here. We ask Allah (SWT) to bless us by allowing us to meet together to worship Him, make us love to please Him, strengthen us in worship and gather us with the Prophet (SAWS) in jannah (paradise).




Let us return to the story of Prophet Ibrahim (AS) (Abraham). This is the episode before the last and we should end this story next time, insha' Allah.




We reached the segment where Prophet Ibrahim (AS) left Hajar and Isma’il (AS) (Ishmael) in the desert and returned to Palestine. We talked about how Allah (SWT) blessed them with a great blessing, which is the Well of Zamzam. We mentioned the tribe that found them and protected Prophet Ibrahim and Prophet Isma’il (AS). Let us continue today with Prophet Ibrahim and Isma’il (AS) and the story of the sacrifice of Prophet Isma’il and what we can learn from this story.




The majority of today’s talk is going to be about this sacrifice. We sacrifice an animal every Eid (the Feast of the Sacrifice) without understanding what we are doing. What is the story behind it? Why is it important? Why did Allah (SWT) command us imitate the story of the sacrifice every Eid? The Sunnah (something the Prophet (SAWS) used to do) is to sacrifice an animal. What is the story and how does it affect you as a Muslim? What should you understand about it as a Muslim?




This topic is one of the most important ones that can be affirmed in your heart as part of your Islamic Creed (Aqeedah). Pay close attention to how Islamic Belief (Eeman) can be taught. For example, I can simply approach you and declare that true faith is to testify that there is no God but Allah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah and to believe in Allah (SWT), the Day of Judgment, His Angels, His Books, His Messengers, etc. However, there is a more effective way. That is, we can narrate stories of human beings, like you and me, who were faithful, strong believers in Allah (SWT). Then, we start to take their example in our worship. Allah (SWT) wants us to engrave Eeman into our hearts by narrating stories of Prophets. One of the most effective ways to strengthen our belief in Allah is to listen to stories from the Qur’an of the Prophets. The segment we are mentioning in Prophet Ibrahim’s story is one of the most powerful parts in understanding the meaning of Eeman. If you engrave it into your heart, your attachment with Allah (SWT) will be very special.




Let us start from the beginning. What happened? Prophet Ibrahim (AS) left Prophet Isma’il (AS) and Hajar in Makkah, while he went to stay in Palestine. He visited them once or twice a year by riding the Buraq (a miraculous horse). This same Buraq carried Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) during Al-Israa and Al-Mi’raj (the night journey of Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) from Makkah to Jerusalem and his ascension to the seventh Heaven). Allah (SWT) made this creature especially for the prophets. Prophet Ibrahim (AS) rode the Buraq from Palestine to Makkah and back in a matter of minutes. Notice that this path from Makkah to Palestine seems to be the path of the prophets. It is the same path that Prophet Muhammad (SWT) would take after thousands of years, on his journey of Al-Israa and Al-Mi’raj. It is as if the path was passed on to him. If Muslims knew that this path was taken over by their Prophet, they would appreciate and value the journey more.




The Buraq is a white creature; it looks like a cross between a donkey and a mule. Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) described it to us by saying that whatever point his sight reached, his foot was set there instantly. The vision of the human being can reach approximately 20 kilometers. This is similar to catching sight of a building twenty kilometers away, and then finding yourself at the very spot in an instant; this can be compared to the speed of light. Why is the Buraq important? Prophet Ibrahim (AS) could have been transported through different means; he could have simply closed his eyes to find himself in Makkah, and then closed his eyes again to find himself in Palestine. Why did Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) ride the Buraq when Allah (SWT) could have sent Angel Jibril (AS) (Gabriel) to take him? Allah (SWT) wants to teach us a beautiful thing, a concept. Namely, there must be causes for things to happen in this world. In order to be victorious, for example, you must take the first step. There must be a cause. It is as if Allah (SWT) is saying to us, “O mankind, you are to thrive thousands of years after Prophet Ibrahim (AS) and Prophet Muhammad (SAWS). You are to discover airplanes and spacecrafts. However, do not think that by advancing in science, you will be able to outdo Me or you will not need to rely on Me, for I have transported my prophets within reach of Jerusalem in seconds before the recent technology, which you have discovered thousands of years after them.”




The Buraq is a miracle from Allah (SWT) to tell us that He is in control of the earth and the heavens. Why then is mankind so arrogant towards Allah (SWT)? How can we ever think that we are stronger than Allah (SWT), or that our cell phones and satellite dishes demonstrate genius and supremacy? Look at the Buraq that carried Prophet Ibrahim (AS) and Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) to Palestine in seconds!




The story of the sacrifice may be narrated as such: Prophet Ibrahim (AS) was sleeping in Makkah during one of his visits when he saw a dream. He saw that he was holding a knife and that he was slaughtering his son, Isma’il (AS). Since prophets’ dreams always transpire, this meant that he had to do what he had seen. Prophet Ibrahim (AS) did not try to excuse himself from this command; he did not question why Jibril himself (AS) had not descended and ordered Ibrahim to sacrifice his son. He did not try to excuse himself by saying that Allah (SWT) forbade killing. He truly believed that a Prophet’s dream was to be obeyed and that Allah (SWT) had commanded him to sacrifice his son. Indeed, the One who had forbade killing is the same One who is now commanding him to slaughter his son.




Before we discuss the ayahs (verses) that describe this story in detail, I would like to note that Prophet Ibrahim (AS) was going to put Islam into action. Yet, what does Islam mean? What does the word “Muslim” mean? Notice the name of our religion, chosen by Allah (SWT) as He says what can be translated as, “Surely the religion in the Providence of Allah is Islam” (TMQ, 3:19).




When you enter a certain place, you must read the sign with the name or title written on it before deciding whether or not you want to enter it. Do you want to enter into this religion? Read its name; read ‘Islam’. This is the essence of your Aqeedah. What does it mean when you say, “I am a Muslim”? It means that you are submitting and surrendering yourself to Allah (SWT). Whenever you run across the word “Muslim” in the Qur’an, refer to any interpretation and you will find that it means “submitting oneself.” Refer to an Arabic dictionary and look up what the word “Muslim” means. Even in our everyday language, we say, “surrender yourself”. It means “do not act upon your own will.” It means raising your hands upward to declare that you are not able to do anything. You have submitted yourself to Allah (SWT). Do you understand the meaning? Furthermore, do you act upon it?




Indeed, there are some who say, “I will worship Allah (SWT), but first, I have to truly be convinced.” This is a misunderstanding of the meaning. Allah (SWT) will make you understand everything, but the essence of your worship to Him is to submit yourself to Him first. You must willingly say ‘I am all yours, my Lord, Allah. You own me.”




Allah (SWT) says, what can be translated as, “Do they then (inequitably) seek other than the religion of Allah, and to Him has surrendered whoever is in the heavens and the earth …” (TMQ, 3: 83). What does “to Him has surrendered whoever is in the heavens and the earth” mean? Furthermore, how does an inanimate object, such as the sun, submit itself? It rises every morning at the time Allah (SWT) commanded. How does the moon submit itself? It does so by never deviating from its set orbit. Astronomers can predict exactly what time the moon will rise in two years. It does not change its course because it has submitted itself to the will of Allah (SWT) Who says, what can be translated as, “… [Allah] then said to it (the heaven) and to the earth, “Come up willingly or unwillingly!” They (both) said, “We come up willingly” (TMQ, 41:11). Fire burns because it has submitted itself to Allah (SWT). The knife cuts because it has submitted itself to Allah (SWT). The sun does not crash into the earth because it has submitted itself to Allah (SWT). Floods occur because the sky and earth have submitted themselves to Allah (SWT). It seems like mankind is the only creation that does not want to submit itself, or has the power to not submit, with the exception of the believers. Therefore, when you become a believer, you are valued greatly by Allah (SWT) because you have willingly submitted yourself to Him.




Up to this point, all of what I have narrated is the dream Prophet Ibrahim (AS) saw. I want to engrave into your hearts the meaning of submission. Surat An-Nahl (The Bees) is about the blessings that Allah (SWT) has granted to mankind that it is also called “the surah of blessings”. After mentioning the blessings, Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “…Thus He perfects His favor upon you, that possibly you would be Muslims (Literally: surrender “to Him”)” (TMQ, 16:81) In spite of all these blessings which Allah (SWT) has granted to us, some still refuse to submit themselves to Him. They say: "I will worship whenever I feel like it". They enjoy Allah’s blessings but refuse to be convinced of surrendering to Him (SWT). Nevertheless, He is the Ever-Merciful who assures us with the evident wisdom he sends to us in the Qur’an.




Remember the name of the religion. It is Islam, where you surrender yourself to Allah (SWT). Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) describes the meaning in a beautiful hadith (a saying of Prophet Muhammad (SAWS), “No one will be a believer except the one whose desires are in accordance to what I came with.”[2] "No one will be a believer” does not mean he would be a disbeliever; instead, it means that his belief would be incomplete unless he lives a life that pleases the Prophet (SAWS) and is in accordance to his Sunnah (the Prophet Muhammad’s (SAWS) actions and orders). How many of those sitting here in this gathering are living according to what pleases the Prophet (SAWS)? How many of us adapt our desires to please Allah's Prophet (SAWS)?






For example, you may feel the urge to backbite, or to be unjust to an employee at work because you do not like a certain characteristic of his. However, you may choose not to do so as you remind yourself that your life should be centered around the Sunnah of Prophet (SAWS). You might feel like scolding your wife to see her cry, but you choose not to do so because it goes against the principles of the Prophet (SAWS). You may feel like you want to quarrel with your husband every night because you feel fulfilled and free when you go against his wishes, but you choose not to because Allah (SWT) commanded you to obey your husband. In short, no one will ever be truly faithful unless his or her desires match those of the Prophet (SAWS) and are in accordance with his Sunnah.




Wherever Islam wants us to go, we should closely follow. If Islam wants us to perform fajr (dawn) prayer, then we should comply. If Islam wants us to kiss the hands of our parents and strive to please them, then we should do so. This is the meaning of Islam. It means to submit oneself to Allah (SWT). If one were to ask you if your relationship with Allah (SWT) is one of willing submission, the correct answer for the believer would be “Yes.” Nevertheless, there are still those who do not comply; even after knowing the title of their religion, they still refuse to surrender.




Let us have a look at Surat Al-Saaffat to learn a great lesson in submitting oneself to Allah (SWT). The ayahs are located within one page, and we will move from one ayah to another. You will feel that you love Prophet Ibrahim (AS) very much when you know about how he submitted himself to Allah (SWT). Ask yourselves, as you listen, where you are in accordance to Ibrahim’s actions. Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “And he said, ‘Surely I am going to my Lord, soon He will guide me.’” (TMQ, 37:99).




Notice that we are moving toward the incident of the sacrifice. The ayah tells us about Prophet Ibrahim before Isma’il (AS) is born. Prophet Ibrahim was in his eighties. He was constantly moving from place to another, and every time he moved, he would say, “I am going to my Lord.” Make this your motto whenever you go to a place. Consider how this motto fits when you go to your home or college. Your goal, when visiting different places, should be that you are going to learn what will be useful to the Muslims and how you can also guide your friends to Islam. Even when you go to the sports club, you should remind yourself of this motto. Isn't the strong Muslim better to Allah (SWT) than the weak one? Wouldn’t you agree that a Muslim busying himself with sports is better than a Muslim busying himself with sins? Write down this ayah and hang it inside your home so that every time you look at it, you are reminded to renew your intentions.




The following ayah says what can be translated as, “Lord! Bestow upon me one of the righteous.” (TMQ, 37:100) Let me remind you that these ayahs show us how much Prophet Ibrahim (AS) longed to have a son. It shows us how strongly he must have been attached to the son who came after such longing. This is all before Allah (SWT) commanded Ibrahim (AS) to slaughter him. Thus, each ayah, as we proceed, explains to us the relationship and the attachment that existed between the father and son.




In the next ayah Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “So We gave him the good tidings of a forbearing youth.” (TMQ, 37:101). Forbearance, an adult characteristic, is rarely found in a child. Imagine the gratitude Prophet Ibrahim (AS) must have felt when Allah (SWT) revealed to him that he would have a son after such a long wait; he was then more than 85 years of age! Moreover, the good news was revealed to him by angels.




The following ayah makes the situation even harder. It can be translated as, “Then when he (His son) reached the age of endeavoring with him …” (TMQ, 37:102). The child was growing before Prophet Ibrahim’s eyes, making it even more difficult to act upon Allah’s final command. It is easier to comprehend now how close Prophet Ibrahim (AS) had grown his son. So far we have learned that;


1- Ibrahim (AS) was getting older and his chances of getting more children were very scant.


2- He and his wife were lonely and needed the company


3- He was given the glad tidings of a new baby


4- He was given a patient boy


5- As the boy grew up Ibrahim became very attached to him




This way, the ayahs continue drawing a clear picture of the bond between Ibrahim and his son (AS) and they continue to take us toward the climax.




Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “…He said, “O my son, surely I see in a dream that I should slay you.” (TMQ, 37:102).




Jibril (AS) could have simply told Prophet Ibrahim (AS) that Allah (SWT) ordered that his son be sacrificed. However, he saw himself slaughtering his son in a dream. Seeing it in a dream is different than seeing it happen before his eyes. Notice that Allah (SWT) did not order him to send his son to battle or to jump off a mountain. He chose the most difficult way for a father to cause the death of his own son; to slaughter him with his own hands.




The Qur’an says what can be translated as, “O my son, surely I see in a dream that I should slay you” (TMQ, 37:102).




That is what Ibrahim (AS) said to his son. Imagine these words, "I, I am the one who will slaughter you.” While you picture this, I would like you to refer to your own personal life. Have you ever imagined a scenario more difficult than this one? Have you ever heard of a similar demand?




Now, relate what I am saying to a young man who is beginning to pray at the Masjid frequently. One day, it happens that his shoes were stolen. Out of anger, he says, "I swear to Allah I will never come back here again!" Now, imagine what happened to Ibrahim (AS) and his hardship. Or even, compare this to a woman who has started to wear hijab when her friends begin to make fun of her until, frustrated she would say, "I cannot bear to be made fun of," and thus takes it off. Compare this to a young man who starts to attend prayers at the Masjid until a problem begins to bother him; he then says, "It all started when I started going to the Masjid. I will not attend prayers at the Masjid anymore."




Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “And among mankind is he who worships Allah upon the (very) edge; so in case a charitable gain alights upon him he is composed therewith, and in case a temptation afflicts him he turns back (loses his faith); he loses the present (life) and the Hereafter; that evidently is the greatest loss”(TMQ, 22:11).




Indeed, what a hard test Ibrahim (AS) encountered. Dear brothers and sisters, this is certainly the most difficult hardship anybody could ever face. Our problem is that, during our childhood, we have heard these stories many times in Islamic History. Gradually, to us, it no longer seemed to be a big deal that prophet Ibrahim was commanded to slaughter his son; we have heard it millions of times. However, let us reflect on it again right now and ponder deeply about it.




“O my son, surely I see in a dream that I should slay you” (TMQ, 37:102). Up to the moment of slaughter, until the movement of the knife, and until the whole issue ended, Ibrahim (AS) did not know the wisdom behind this command. To him, this was it: Obey Allah and say “I will”.




Brothers and sisters, say, "I will!" Say it to Allah (SWT). He is the only one there for us. If we refuse to follow, we will find ourselves lost. If we do not say that to Him and His commandments, we will lead a miserable life; a life in which one says "No" to Allah is a miserable one, full of hardship.




Similarly, many women find that this happens in their lives. Many women lead difficult lives because they cannot find someone to love. When they finally do get married, they soon eventually divorce. They had spent 20 years saying, "No," to Allah (SWT) when every morning they willingly went out without hijab. They said, "No," and the result was the kind of life they lead.




Likewise, how can a young man, who is the reason behind the constant pain of his parents, expect that something good can ever happen in his life? We all have to learn to say to Allah (SWT) "I will,” even if the things we do for Him are not what we want. By complying with His will, we are obeying Him. His orders are always for our own good. He knows best and plans our future for us. If we accept what He wills, Allah (SWT) will please us with it.




Returning to prophet Ibrahim (AS) and his dream, I would like to draw your attention to a very important point. We often sacrifice in moments of exhilaration. For example, when you are full of religious spirit, or when you are crying in fear of Allah (SWT) on the 27th night of Ramadan, or even during a moment of personal jihad, maybe you would willingly comply if you received such a command to kill your son. In the case of Ibrahim (AS), the matter was different; the whole issue came to him in calmness. He was asleep at night and saw a dream with the command "Slaughter your son." Could you tolerate such a thing in a moment of calmness?




Ibrahim (AS) was not ordered to do this in a phase full of enthusiasm such as in Jihad (fighting for Allah’s sake). He was asleep and in this state, he received the command, ordering him to wake up in the morning to slaughter his son.




Ibrahim (AS) said, “…O my son, surely I see in a dream (Literally: time of sleeping) that I should slay you” (TMQ, 37:102). The word "O my son!" shows how much he loved his son. Do not, for a moment, think that Ibrahim (AS) was not full of love for his son. Prophet Ibrahim obeyed Allah (SWT), although the order was very hard.




Ibrahim (AS) said, “…O my son, surely I see in a dream that I should slay you; so, look, what do you see?” (TMQ, 37:102). What is the meaning of this phrase? “So, look, what do you see?” Does it mean that he was hesitant about killing his son? No, this is impossible. Ibrahim (AS) was resolute to obey and that was final. He was simply asking the opinion of his son so that he would share in the thawab (the great reward of Allah (SWT)). Ibrahim (AS) was not only submitting to Allah’s will, but he was also teaching his son that kind of submission. Ibrahim (AS) could have attacked his son from behind or with a blindfold, covered his eyes and said, "This is it. I will only do it once and then it will all be over." In this case, Isma’il (AS) would not have gotten the thawab. Ibrahim (AS) knew that his son had been brought up well, since he had raised him himself.




By saying, “So, look, what do you see?” (TMQ, 37:102), Ibrahim (AS) is simply saying, “I want you to have the thawab of obeying Allah (SWT), just like me.”




Now, listen to the son and reflect upon the submission of Isma’il (AS)! When we talk of such stories, we pity ourselves. We ask, “Why are we so stubborn and complicated? Why don’t we let our relationship with Allah (SWT) go smoothly? Why can’t we say, ‘We will obey.’?”




Contemplate on the willing submission of this serene young man. Look at Isma’il (AS) who could be younger than you are; listen to what the grandfather of your prophet said.


He said, “O my (dear) father, do whatever you are commanded.” (TMQ, 37:102). He did not say, “Do as you wish.” With his words, he meant that he and his father are the slaves of Allah (SWT), so he must do what he has been ordered to do. “He said, ‘O my (dear) father, perform whatever you are commanded.’” What a beautiful answer! How obedient he is! In addition, the words, “O my (dear) father!” confirm his politeness! When your father asks you to buy him something from around the corner, and you refuse to go, does your command amount to Isma’il’s challenge? What if your father told you that he would kill you? What would you do? A short trip to the convenience store makes you steam with anger. Eventually, you leave and get the things for him, but you add some bad words as you give him what he wanted. This way, Satan does not want you to get the pure reward.




Isma’il said, “O my (dear) father, perform whatever you are commanded; you will soon find me, in case Allah (so) decides, among the patient.” (TMQ, 37:102).




Do you have a similar kind of patience that motivates you to leave from here with the intention of putting an end to a haram (prohibited) relationship or other sinful actions? Compare what Ibrahim and Isma’il (AS) did when young men drink alcohol in some Muslim countries. How would they dare when Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “O you who have believed, surely wine and games of chance, and altars (for idols) and divination are only an abomination of Ash-Shaytan’s (the Devil) doing, so avoid it, that possibly you would prosper.” (TMQ, 5:90)? Here, the ayah refers to temptations of evils such as the drinking of alcohol and fornication. Don’t the young men who commit such sins fear that they may die while committing them? If someone dies while committing zena (forbidden sexual relationship), doing drugs, or even drunk, what will he/she be like on the Day of Judgment? Can you imagine meeting Allah (SWT) on the Day of Judgment in such a state? How can we accept this? How can young men, who drink excessively, take such a matter so lightly?




Observe, “…perform whatever you are commanded” which means, “I will be patient and I will obey all your orders.” Isma’il (AS) also said, “You will soon find me, in case Allah (so) decides, among the patient.” Please note the phrase; “in case Allah (so) decides.” This is not mere momentary enthusiasm. Isma'il (AS) is not an enthusiastic young man who bitterly spits out the words, "I will do it, go ahead kill me." Isma'il (AS) is connected and close to Allah (SWT).




Some young men are filled with fervor, intending to do a certain thing for Islam. To them I say, seek Allah's help. When you make such intentions, say, "Help me Allah." Prophet Mohamed (SAWS) always asked for the help of Allah (SWT) saying, “O Allah, help me to remember You, to thank You, and to worship You in the best of manners.”[3]




Many people say, "From now on, no more haram affairs," or, "I will wear hijab.” Yet, you have to add, "Please Allah, help me." With this, I will narrate a very strange story. I went to Hajj (pilgrimage) some years ago and it was my first time. It was on the night of Al- Tarweya (the night spent in Mina before heading to Mount Arafat the next day). As it was my first time, I could not yet imagine that Allah (SWT) would forgive all my sins the next day. Every one was beside himself with happiness that the moment we were all waiting for was approaching. I kept telling myself, "Tomorrow, I will worship Allah (SWT) as much as I possibly can. Since dua’a (supplication) is accepted, especially in that particular time and place, the moment I reach Arafat, I will do my best to keep on making dua’a all day long.” Many people were saying the same thing. When we arrived at Arafat, we could not utter a single dua’a. It did not matter what we had wished for, or what we previously thought we could do. It all depended on the help of Allah (SWT). I wanted to make dua’a, but I found myself too drowsy. I told myself, "Start or you will miss the day!" I went to wash my face and then came running, raising my hands to make dua’a. Yet, I was still unable to concentrate. I looked around and walked among the tents. Everybody was asleep. I started to feel frustrated, disappointed and soon tired. Only then I knew that it was not up to me. In the afternoon, Arafat was full to the brim with faith and energy. Every one was making dua’a that you could not tell which tent the words "my Lord" was coming from. What happened? Allah's help arrived. Everybody was making sincere dua’a, weeping with reverence, feeling the mercy. The whole mountain seemed as if it were shaking with the sanctity of the moment and with the piety of the hearts and souls gathered for Allah (SWT)! Happy is he who performs Hajj! Happy is he who witnesses the Day of Arafat! The time from the afternoon to dusk was enough. You could find endless tears of joy at the prospect of leaving the mountain with your sins forgiven.




Consequently, I learned this concept; the secret is in seeking Allah's help. On your own, you are weak; you cannot make it all alone. You can say I will break up with my girlfriend, but you must ask yourself, "Did I first seek Allah's help?” In many instances, we will find that we do not remember to ask, so our willpower fades away in a very short time. Similarly, you may say, “I will quit smoking.” But in two or three days, you go back to it. Seek the help of Allah (SWT). Extend a great deal of dua’a for His help. The Prophet (SAWS) teaches us that after every prayer we should say, “O Allah, help me to remember You, to thank You, and to worship You in the best of manners.”[4]




“You will soon find me, in case Allah (so) decides, among the patient.” (TMQ, 37:102). Try to imagine the father and the son. Ibrahim (AS) with a knife in his hand. Look back on your own life and try to decide what would happen? He took the knife, a sharp knife, and took his son away to prepare to slaughter him. In his mind Ibrahim (AS) confirmed, “I will kill my only son because of a dream I had, without explanation or discussion; but I will obey You, O Allah!”




Meanwhile, Satan hurries to Isma'il (AS), telling him, "Your old father has started to hallucinate." Satan came to Isma'il (AS) in the form of an old man, seemingly wise and of experience; he urged him, saying, “Isma'il your father is growing old. He says things that he does not understand. He will kill you. Run!" However, Isma'il picked up seven pebbles and threw them at him. From this incident came Al-Jamra Al-Soghra (the Small Column—a ritual in Hajj where people throw stones at the place where Satan was when he spoke to Isma’il (AS)).




Failing with the son, the devil runs to the mother. Certainly, the mother will stop them, as she fears losing her son. Nonetheless, Hajar is not less obedient than Isma'il and Ibrahim (AS); she could even be more obedient. Why, then, was she not mentioned in the story? This is because her submission is signified by her silence. She decided to say, "Yes Allah, I will not interfere.” The devil hurries to her, saying, "Watch out, your own husband will kill your only son!” The obedient woman picked seven pebbles and threw them at the old man. She did not know it was the devil. This is Al-Jamra Al-Wosta (the Middle Column) in Mena.




The devil’s last chance was through Ibrahim (AS). The devil told him, "Ibrahim, how can you slaughter your son? Do not do it. You will have no more sons if you lost this one." Watch out! The devil does the same thing with us; he tries to make common things seem irreplaceable to make it hard for us to obey Allah (SWT). Ibrahim (AS), the obedient man, picked seven pebbles and threw them at him. This then became Al-Jamra Al- Kobra (the Large Column).




After thousands of years, we still throw seven pebbles at each of Al-Jamra Al-Soghra, Al- Wosta, and Al-Kobra as if we are saying, "O Allah, we too are submissive and are pelting our enemy with stones, declaring mutual enmity with Satan." It is not a matter of throwing stones but it is rather a declaration of animosity towards Satan similar to that declaration made by the family of Ibrahim (AS). I will not throw one stone; I will throw 49 stones. Seven are thrown on the first day, and then on the second and third days, we throw seven stones at each of the three positions. Those days I will throw 21 as if I am asserting to myself that this is my enemy. Consequently, it would be quite shameful if you do not keep your promises after doing such a ritual. If Satan is your enemy, how can you befriend him again when you arrive home? That is why, dear brothers and sisters, it is said that the dua’a made after Al-Jamarat is certainly accepted. Thus, after Al-Jamarat, everybody extends long dua’a. When you declare your animosity towards Satan, you become the follower of The All Merciful. That is why scholars have very interesting comments about this saying, "Everyday you declare the devil as your enemy, you become the follower of The All Merciful, and so make as much dua’a as you can for it is insha’ Allah accepted.”




Back to Ibrahim and Isma’il; Satan was pelted with pebbles three times then Ibrahim took Isma'il (AS), placing him face down on his (Ibrahim’s) legs and putting the knife on his neck. Isma’il said, "Father, I will turn my back towards you so that you don't see my eyes and pity me”.




They are only human! They are scared because it is painful. Ibrahim positioned the knife and started to move it.




Such knife is like the hijab that is donned on your head, the tainted money that is forsaken for Allah’s sake, the cigarette that is given up, the haram affair that is stopped, and the numerous bad friends that are erased from your cell phone’s memory. Those are small tests when compared to a real knife. Yet, Ibrahim (AS) had the courage to put the knife on his son's neck while you cannot quit a cigarette!




Ibrahim (AS) started to move the knife but it did not cut. Subhan Allah (Glory to Allah)! Isma'il (AS) felt the edge of the knife, but he did not feel that he is dying. Can you imagine the situation? Up until this moment, neither the ram nor Jibril (AS) has descended. Isma'il (AS) thinks that his father does not have the courage to slaughter him so he says, "Press harder, Father. Press the knife on my neck. Slaughter me, Father."




Brothers and sisters, anything and everything can be sacrificed for the sake of Allah (SWT), to be granted His satisfaction. What really counts is that Allah (SWT) is satisfied and pleased with us. We are so weak. We need to be stronger than this. We must say firmly, "Although I enjoy certain haram deeds and lusts, I will quit them all just for the sake of Allah (SWT).”




The knife moved, but it still did not slaughter him. “Press Father, cut Father”. Subhan Allah! The fire that had not burnt Ibrahim is like the knife that did not slaughter Isma'il.


Brothers and sisters in Islam, who is controlling these things? Who made the knife cut? Who made the fire burn? He is the same One who now orders the knife not to cut and the fire not to burn.




We were talking discussing ayah 102 in which Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “Then when he (his son) reached the age of endeavoring with him, he said, “O my son, surely I see in a dream that I should slay you; so, look, what do you see?” He said, “O my (dear) father, perform whatever you are commanded; you will soon find me, in case Allah (so) decides, among the patient.” (TMQ, 37:102).




Now, the following ayah is the most important one today. Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “So, as soon as they had both surrendered...” (TMQ, 37:103). So important is this concept, that it is the title of today's lesson.




Why are these words here? Isn't it supposed to be, "When he started to slaughter him…"? No, Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “So, as soon as they had both surrendered, and he dashed him upon his brow” (TMQ, 37:103). Why is the word "surrendered" used here? This ayah shows a concept and the marking of a significant event. Today you, through Ibrahim and Isma’il (AS), have realized the true meaning of Islam which is surrendering and submitting to Allah’s Will. This is the real Islam that Allah (SWT) wants. This is the true meaning of the word Islam (submitting and surrendering), the name of our religion. This ayah shows you how to be a Muslim; it tells us to be in total submission to Allah (SWT).




Are you submissive? Compare the horrible dilemma that the father and son have faced to our dilemmas! Compare it to, "My shoes got stolen.” or the very common, "My parents are making me angry. If only they had not done this, I would have obeyed them. I only shout back at them!” Compare this to "I am very sick; I will not be able to worship Allah or pray. I am bored. I am tired." Do you realize what you are saying? What is this dilemma when compared with the one that our prophet Ibrahim (AS) faced?




Brothers and sisters, please look carefully at the dilemma that Ibrahim (AS) and his son encountered. There is one more significant point in Ibrahim’s story. Why did Allah (SWT) order Ibrahim to slaughter Isma’il? There is another reason beside the aspect of fully surrendering. It is because Allah (SWT) is keen on obtaining His worshipper’s heart. When a person worships Allah (SWT) energetically and then becomes occupied with something else, Allah (SWT) becomes displeased out of love for his servant or rather “jealous,” but in a very different meaning from human jealously.



When it is time for Al-Fajr prayer (dawn prayer), and when your tears run and your dua’a (supplication) is answered; your hands are always raised and you prefer what Allah (SWT) wants to your own wishes. However, later on, something new may appear in your life that makes you busy that could even be halal (lawful). Yet, Allah (SWT) becomes jealous. [Allah wants us to have the correct frame of mind so He is jealous for us, knowing that it does not benefit us when we are attached to some material thing more than we are attached to Him (SWT).] This is how much our Lord cares for His slaves.




He “became jealous” when Ibrahim (AS) was too attached to Isma’il. Thus, he ordered him to slaughter him. He “became jealous” when Yaqub (AS) (Jacob) was attached to Yusuf (AS) (Joseph). Thus, He took Yusuf away from him for 20 years! When his heart was once again attached to Allah (SWT), He brought him back. Similarly, when Ibrahim (AS) realized what Allah (SWT) wanted, Allah (SWT) brought Isma’il back. It was as if Allah (SWT) was telling him “We are assured now that you love Us more than you love even your own son. Take him back for indeed, We do not want to cause you grief.”




Allah (SWT) was jealous when Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) became attached to Khadeejah (RA). It was as if Allah (SWT) was telling him “It is Me who will stand by you more than anybody. You will meet her in jannah (paradise). Yet, it is Me who will help and elevate your status among human beings”




So, when Allah (SWT) ordered Ibrahim to slaughter his son, it was as if Allah (SWT) was telling him, "Come, We were just testing your heart, We want it back with Us. Now that it is back, you may keep your son and remain happy with him."




What about us? Is there anyone from the attendants who deserves the jealousy of Allah (SWT)? What do we do to deserve His jealousy? Has Allah (SWT) ever been the most important thing in our lives? Who knows? Maybe there is an honest person sitting among us who is connected to Allah so that He (SWT) is keen to obtain her heart and thus blesses her. We hope that this kind of people are among us.




Shifting to the following ayah, Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, "And We called out to him (saying), “O Ibrahîm,” (TMQ, 37:104). Ibrahim's hand was still working. “You have already sincerely (believed) in the vision…” (TMQ, 37:105). But how could Ibrahim (AS) have believed the dream when he did not actually slaughter the son?




By this dream, Allah (SWT) did not want the son to be killed. The aim was not blood, flesh, or bones. The aim was surrendering to Allah (SWT) and Ibrahim (AS) fulfilled this aim. The worst misery that a person could encounter is to slaughter his own son with his own hands. Children are precious and that is why Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “Surely this is indeed what is the evident trial” (TMQ, 37:106).




Brothers and sisters, go through the life of Ibrahim (AS). You will find one ordeal after another. When some people undergo a crisis, such as the death or illness of a loved one, they say "Why is Allah (SWT) angry with me?"




Let us see how many ordeals Ibrahim (AS) encountered in his life:




1. He was a lonely believer at the age of sixteen in an atheistic country.

2. His father insulted him and threw him out of the country.

3. He was thrown into the fire.

4. He faced the tyrant king An-Namroud (Nimrod) as Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “Have you not regarded him who argued with Ibrahîm about his Lord…?” (TMQ, 2:258).

5. The Egyptian ruler tried to rape Sarah, Ibrahim's wife.

6. He was deprived of having children for a long time.

7. He was in continual migration with no place to settle in.

8. He had to leave his wife and son alone in the desert.

9. He was ordered to slaughter his son.




Can we ever realize how much Ibrahim (AS) suffered? Do you know now why he is called khalil Allah (the companion of Allah). No one now can claim that they have gone through hardships more difficult than those of Ibrahim.




“And We ransomed him with a magnificent slain (sacrifice)” (TMQ, 37:107). Jibril (AS) descended from heaven with a ram. Ibn-‘Abbas says, “It was a ram that grazed in heaven for forty years, drinking from rivers that spring from the upper Ferdaous (a garden in jannah).” Subhan Allah!




Note that Isma'il (AS), the great grandfather of prophet Muhammad (SAWS), was going to be slaughtered; this is similar to the story of prophet Muhammad’s father. Such a recurrence through different generations of the same root is something unique.




So the ransom was a magnificent ram that fed from paradise for 40 years; a white, horned ram. But that took place only when Ibrahim (AS) surrendered and submitted to Allah’s will.




Dear brothers and sisters, I wish to underline a very important point here. Each sacrifice one makes in life will be followed by a reward. Try it, brothers and sisters! Each sacrifice you make must be followed by a reward. But when will that be? Will it be delayed? Actually, it comes after the critical moments in which one’s faith is tested. A young woman may want to put on the hijab, but is faced by her parents’ or husband’s refusal. A young man might want to attend religious gatherings to reinforce his devotion to his religion; however, his parents reject the idea. He might then exclaim, “I only wish to be more religious! Why are you standing in my way?” The answer is that your faith is being tested. This is it, testing your faith. This is the message, brothers and sisters.




Remember that only when Ibrahim (Abraham) and Isma'il (Ishmael) (AS) proved their total submission to Allah (SWT), and only when the knife actually moved on the neck with the heart trembling with fear did the ram descend from heaven [with Jibrîl (AS)]. Nonetheless, the knife did not hurt him. This happens to each one of us, when the knife comes close to the neck [i.e. when matters are brought to a climax].




Your parents might say, “We told you before that you are not going to wear the hijab, and that is final!” What would you do then? You would make dua’a (supplication) seeking Allah’s help and tenaciously insisting on talking to them over and over again. This is not enough! You also should start wearing longer clothes and buying the hijab even if you have to get it from your own allowance. You continue to make dua’a and try on the hijab every now and then. If your parents object, you try to accept once and to politely refuse another time. Thus, the struggle goes on until you prove to Allah (SWT) that you are eager to please Him. Hence, when the knife reaches the neck, Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, "And We ransomed him with a magnificent slain (sacrifice)." (TMQ, 37:107).




This is how it is when you take the first steps on the path of guidance; you will face many temptations. For example, once a young man decides to get closer to Allah (SWT), he may get a call from a girl whom he earlier hopelessly wished would call him. Nonetheless, once he has made up his mind to be more religious, she calls him! The question is: “Why now? Why, when all he wanted was to be a better person getting closer to Allah (SWT)?” If that is the test, will you be able to endure it? You see, Satan got himself quite busy arranging for these calls and temptations. Now, what are you going to do? Are going to be tough and hold on?




Remember everyone that there might be three to four consecutive tests. Will you cling to your faith? Will you come through with flying colors? Will you show acceptance of Allah’s (SWT) tests? Are you going to hang up on that girl? To refrain from watching ###### channels? To stand firm? Will you be enthusiastic to go to the Masjid, and to pray al-Fajr (dawn prayer) on time?




You might wonder why Allah (SWT) does not open the doors once we make our first attempt to get closer and to please Him. You see, Allah (SWT) is far more dignified than to open the door for you and not find you there because you fell for the first temptation. What does this mean? I will tell you a very interesting story:




When I was a little boy, a kid, I once made my mother so angry with me that she locked herself into her room. I rushed to her room and knocked at the door asking her to forgive me; but she did not answer. I knocked again, and still there was no answer. I knocked on the door for the third time. When I got no answer, I gave up and turned around to walk away. Just when I had turned around, the door was suddenly opened. But I had already walked away. Do you want to know what she said to me? She said, “I only wanted to know how long you were going to remain standing at the door to see how much you cared for me. Had you done that, it would have meant a lot; to open the door and find you still there.” Has everybody got the point?




Allah (SWT) is far more honorable than to open the door for you to find that you have turned your back to Him and walked away. That is why initial steps of guidance include numerous temptations. It is as if Allah (SWT) were saying, “I am going to open the door for you, and when I do, I shall overwhelm you with My mercy and kindness. But first, you have to prove to Me that you truly want the door be opened for you.”




That explains the temptations we face in the beginning. So, do you know now, young men and women, why you struggle with temptations when you step on the path of repentance? But where is Allah’s support? Support is on the way, but first your faith and commitment have to be tested. Allah (SWT), I repeat, is far more dignified than to open the door for you and not find you there. How can you quit that easily? Stand at the door and wait.




People who go for Umrah[5] or those who worship Allah (SWT) complain that although Ramadan[6] has come and although their worshipping of Allah (SWT) has intensified, they neither feel submissive enough to Him nor do they weep out of apprehension of Him. To them I say, “You shall experience this when the time comes.” When will the time come? Just stand at the door of Allah (SWT), and never walk away. A door that is knocked on so persistently is to be opened. It is as if the phone was ringing repeatedly and you did not wish to answer it. Eventually, would you answer it or not? I know this quite well. Similarly; suppose that someone is knocking on your door and you have no intention of opening it, what will happen after a while? This is quite common in real life.




Nevertheless, it is not that Allah (SWT) does not want to open the door; it is rather that He wants you to keep on knocking until you become so dear to Him. And once the doors are opened, you will experience blessings as never before. Just stand at the door, dear brothers and sisters.




A Muslim scholar used to say in his dua’a, “O Allah, we have stopped our mounts at Your door. We have been sitting near Your House and knocking on the door. So, please open the door for us, overwhelming us with Your mercy.” It is as if he was saying, “I will not budge an inch. I will persist in knocking on Your door.” As for all those who complain about not feeling submissive enough when they say the dua’a or when they pray, I just say, stay at the door. Keep saying the dua’a, keep on praying and implore Allah (SWT) for help. A time will surely come when Allah (SWT) opens the door for you and surrounds you in His mercy.






The ayahs (verses of the Qur’an) we have just read have another extremely important meaning. Subhan Allah (Glory be to Allah), you can find in the Qur’an whatever you are looking for. The ayahs that talk about submission can also tackle a methodology for bringing up children.




Let’s read the same ayah but from another angle. The question this time is how we can raise our kids. The ayah explains to you how to deal with your kids so that they will listen to you and behave themselves. Let’s see.




Let us go to the beginning of ayah 100 where Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “Lord! Bestow upon me one of the righteous.” (TMQ, 37:100). Ibrahim (AS) wanted to have a courteous child. Thus, the first step is to make dua’a to Allah (SWT) to grant you good offspring. This is straight from the Qur'an, “Lord! Bestow upon me one of the righteous.” He wanted a righteous child, not just any child.




What I want to say to our young men and women is to make dua’a to Allah (SWT) early in your marriage, or even before you get married during your engagement, asking Allah (SWT) to grant you righteous children. Use the dua’a of Prophet Ibrahim (AS), “Lord! Bestow upon me one of the righteous”




Consider this word "bestow." There is something very strange here. Whenever Allah (SWT) mentions posterity, He always introduces it with the term to bestow. Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “…He bestows upon whomever He decides females, and He bestows upon whomever he decides the males" (TMQ, 42:49). Notice that females are mentioned first to deny any claim of discrimination against them.




“Lord! Bestow upon me one of the righteous.” The word bestow is indeed the best reminder that can be used in this context. You see having a child is a matter of endowment from Allah (SWT), and this is what disgruntled and frustrated parents should be aware of; those who have been pining to have children for a long time. Allah (SWT) shall grant you your wish after your continuous dua’a and after you take all necessary measures such as consulting your doctor. Just remain standing at His door. You can consult doctors as much as you like, but if you seek His endowment, then you should stand at His door. Only Allah (SWT) can bestow this blessing upon you. So, ask Him to grant you your wishes for He is the Bestower. “Lord! Bestow upon me one of the righteous.” Therefore, the first thing to do if you want to have godly offspring is to make dua’a to Allah (SWT) to grant you your request, to bestow upon you one of the righteous.




Let us move now to the other points related to bringing up children. Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “Lord! Bestow upon me one of the righteous.” So We gave him the good tidings of a forbearing youth. Then when he (his son) reached the age of endeavoring with him …” (TMQ, 37:100-103). This part is very important. Observe that the words used here are, “…when his son reached the age of endeavoring with him” [italics are mine]. Endeavoring denotes that Ismai’l (AS) has grown up and started to walk around and play. If Allah (SWT) used the phrase in front of instead of with, then the meaning would be that Prophet Ibrahim (AS) is sitting and watching his son running and playing around him. However, what the phrase with him means is that both the father and the son are walking and talking together, holding each other's hands, which further implies that they have kept each other's company.




Do you want your son to share everything with you without keeping anything from you in the future? This ayah is addressed to all the parents sitting with us here today listening to us. This is also for the young men about to get married, and even for the youth suffering from their parents who do not treat them in this way. Promise yourself that you shall raise your kids accordingly. The best way is to befriend your son.




In the ayah, "Then when he (his son) reached the age of endeavoring with him …" both expressions with him and reached themselves bring to mind an interesting metaphor of a father and a son going about holding each other's hands and growing together. What a graphic picture! Why then do fathers always feel that their relationship with their sons is only confined to dos and don’ts? It is totally a different story when you can ask your son, “How are you doing?”, “When will you play ball next time so that I can join you?”, or “Let’s go out together and have dinner, just you and me.” Can you imagine a father talking to his son this way? It would be wonderful indeed. Furthermore, can you imagine the son sitting down having dinner with his father? How close would the son then feel towards his father? What if the son’s phone rings in the middle of dinner? The father should be patient and go slowly with him, step by step. The father will gradually learn how to deal with his son.




"Then when he (His son) reached the age of endeavoring with him …" underscores the second point in raising children: to befriend them; when the first was to make dua’a saying, “Lord! Bestow upon me one of the righteous”




To move to the third point, observe what Allah (SWT) says and can be translated as, "Then when he (his son) reached the age of endeavoring with him, he said, “O my son, surely I see in a dream …" (TMQ, 37:103). Here, we can come up with something else. Share with your son your worries and concerns. Many sons know nothing about their parents, their jobs and lives. Prophet Ibrahim (AS) shared his problems with his son, “My son, I had a dream about….” Nevertheless, many parents tend to put a barrier between them and their kids. Fathers do not sit with their children to share with them their thoughts and dreams.




Can you feel the words “O my son …” as addressed by Ibrahim (AS)? Can you see what Islam is trying to teach us? Is this a religious or a social issue? Actually, it has to do with both religion and relationships, together. This is Islam. Can you imagine the life of those who follow the teachings of the Qur'an? The same ayahs that teach us about submission have another dimension. They also teach us how to deal with our children.




“O my son, surely I see in a dream that I should slay you; so, look, what do you see?” (TMQ, 37:102). What an amazing phrase, holding a wonderful notion!




Always talk to your children, ask for their opinion. This is the fourth point. If you want to establish a close bond between yourself and your children, always ask for their opinion, hold conversations, have a heart-to-heart chat and show them how important their views are to you. For example, you could say, “What do you think kids, where should we go this summer?” or “I am thinking of working on a certain project, so what do you think?” You could say something like “Tell me what you think of so and so,” and so forth.




Suppose you are a son or daughter whose parents do not open up to. Then it is your job to try to unlock your parents’ hearts. It is you who has to befriend them and open up to them! If you are wondering as to how to open up to your father, I advise you to share things with him, become his friend, sit at his feet and ask him how he is doing. Ask him if there is any thing he’d like you to do for him. Talk to him about your problems and ask for his opinion. He will definitely open up to you over time. I am not asking you to play the role of a father, but rather to play the role of a good son so as to give your father the chance to play his own role!




I know that some of you could be wondering what this has to do with religion. I know that you are here to learn about religion and not psychology. Nevertheless, this is one of the basic teachings of the Qur’an. Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “So, look, what do you see?” (TMQ, 37:102). How wonderful it would be if parents learned to open up to their children and to ask for their opinion in all issues including minor details!




I will tell you the story of a great father, who was smart and full of energy. His daughter was in high school and was refusing to wear hijab; but as much as he wanted her to wear it, he did not want to force her! Observe how he built a close relationship based on communication. He asked her once, “Do you want to wear hijab?” Her answer was, “No dad, I do not want that; at least not right now!” He then told her, “O daughter, I just have one request: your mother and I cannot bear to go to hellfire or to be held responsible for your sins, so I am asking you to please make this decision as soon as possible!” She wore the hijab one week after that conversation, whereas her father thought that it would take her years to do so!




Try to stimulate your son’s feelings and connect with him. We have lost our compassion in this utterly materialistic world we are living in. Nowadays, the son can no longer understand his father, and the father can no longer give anything to his son. It is as if he is pumping a dry well; he wants to express emotions, but there are none to give. He does not know how to pat his son on the back and take him in his arms and kiss his forehead!




Meanwhile, observe the example of our dear Prophet (SAWS). Fatima (RA), his daughter, said, “He never once saw me, but kissed me between my eyes.” Imagine! On top of that, whenever he came across Hassan and Hussein, his grandsons, he would always embrace them! Whenever Hassan passed in front of the Prophet (SAWS) while giving the Friday sermon, with all the Muslims listening to him, he would descend from the pulpit and carry Hassan and continue the speech while carrying him!




Why did the materialistic world we are living in freeze our emotions? We should liberate ourselves emotionally! We should learn from Prophet Ibrahim (AS) the passion of fatherhood as reflected in what can be translated as, “O, my son…” (TMQ, 37:102).




Do you know why Prophet Isma’il (AS) obeyed his fa

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

I want to bring this to the attention of all the young people here. If you disobey your father today, Allah (SWT) will give you a son who will behave similarly, or a daughter who will be out of control. You are still young and it is never too late to change. As for those who are parents, you still have a chance to be good to your parents if they are still alive. Visit them more often, kiss their hands, bring them gifts, show them how dear they are to you and how much you care for them. Even if they were not alive, you can still send them good deeds through performing hajj or umrah and making dua’a, or even visiting their friends and relatives. Consequently, your children will improve. When one diverts from Allah's path, even if by only an inch, one’s life becomes bleak and intolerable.




What did we learn so far, then, when it comes to raising our children?




1- “Lord! Bestow upon me one of the righteous.” (TMQ, 37:100) Therefore, we need to make dua’a for our children.


2- “Then when he (his son) reached the age of endeavoring with him…” (TMQ, 37:102). Try to connect and get closer to your children.


3- “O my son, surely I see in a dream that I should slay you.” (TMQ, 37:102). Share your concerns with them.


4- “So, look, what do you see?” (TMQ, 37:102). Converse with them and ask for their opinion.


5- “So, look, what do you see...?” (TMQ, 37:102). Not only ask for his opinion, but also allow him to share with you the reward of good deeds. It is an amazing thing to give one or two pounds to a poor needy man, but it is even greater to give that money to your son asking him to give it to the needy man himself. Thus, he is sharing the reward with you.




For instance, try to gather your kids and to tell them that instead of spending the summer vacation in whatever resort, you could give the money for charity for Allah's sake. If they are not convinced then you could discuss it even further, telling them about the great reward and narrating to them a hadith or two. Let your children participate in making such a decision and thus share the great reward.




Young people can give their parents the chance to share rewards. Speak to your parents and discuss things with them in a gentle and compassionate manner. Never treat them with harshness, since the key to our religion is love. You can move the mind when you touch the heart, and this is how emotive Allah (SWT) made our religion. Let us all treat our parents in that manner.




I have almost reached the end of this story.




Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “And We called out to him (saying), “O Ibrahim, you have already sincerely (believed) in the vision; surely thus We recompense the fair-doers. Surely this is indeed the evident trial.’ And We ransomed him with a magnificent slain (sacrifice).” (TMQ, 37:104-107).




Starting from the 108th ayah and up to the 112th, Allah (SWT) praises Prophet Ibrahim (AS). Imagine if you were the person being praised and how you would feel! But, look how Allah (SWT) praises a slave when he obeys. You could be that slave too.




Allah (SWT) says about Prophet Ibrahim (AS) what can be translated as, “And We have left for him among the later generations, ‘Peace be upon Ibrahim.’” (TMQ, 37:108-109).




Peace will remain upon Prophet Ibrahim (AS) until the Day of Judgment. After so many years, don’t we still ask Allah (SWT) to bestow His Peace and Blessings on him? This is how connected we are to him. It is true that Ibrahim (AS) died long ago. Even so, we will always consider his life as a model of obedience and true worship.




“And We have left for him among the later generations, ‘Peace be upon Ibrahim.’ Thus We recompense the fair-doers; surely he is one of Our believing bondmen” (TMQ, 37:108-111). Look how Allah (SWT) praises him in four consecutive ayahs!




“Surely he is one of Our believing bondmen. And We gave him the good tidings of Ishaq (Isaac), a prophet, one of the righteous” (TMQ, 37: 111-112). Allah (SWT) ordered him to slaughter his son and when he obediently submitted to Allah's will, Allah (SWT) blessed him with another son. The son was not an ordinary one, but a Prophet as well! “If you are grateful, indeed I will definitely increase you (in favor) and indeed in case you disbelieve, surely My torment is indeed strict” (TMQ, 14:07).




If an affliction comes your way and you endure it with patience and make sacrifices for the sake of Allah (SWT), I assure you that something good will come your way equal to or even better than the sacrifices you made. A good example is that of the sons of Ibrahim (AS). Isma’il (AS) was an obedient son and was more than what Ibrahim (AS) wished for. Nevertheless when Ibrahim (AS) submitted to Allah’s will and accepted to make the sacrifice, Allah (SWT) even granted him another son, so he ended up with two sons instead of just one. This is a clear example of how Allah, The Generous, gives and bestows His blessings.




The main idea we have to understand is that the world we are living in is only a place for trials and tests! Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “Does mankind reckon that they will be left to say, “We believe” and will not be tempted? And indeed We already tempted the ones that were even before them, so indeed Allah definitely knows the ones who (act) sincerely, and indeed Allah definitely knows the liars” (TMQ, 29:2-3).




That was the story. Along your path, you face afflictions, temptations and trials. If you fall for them, you will continue to fall and hellfire will be the outcome. Nevertheless, remember that we will face these temptations and trials through the things we are attached to and that we succumb to the most, be it money, sex, temper, etc. We will all have to make a decision once faced with an affliction, as this is what our world is meant to be. The winner will be the one who stands strong in the face of temptations and obeys Allah (SWT) walking down His path.




“And We ransomed him with a magnificent slain (sacrifice). And We have left for him among the later generations, “Peace be upon Ibrahim.” Thus We recompense the fair-doers; Surely he is one of Our believing bondmen. And We gave him the good tidings of Ishaq, (Isaac) a prophet, one of the righteous” (TMQ, 37:107-112)




This part includes one more very beautiful notion. Prophet Ibrahim (AS) was given the glad tidings of Prophet Ishaq (AS) after the story of the sacrifice, so what does that mean?


You see, other religions claim that the one that was to be sacrificed was Prophet Ishaq (AS) so they refuse to give Islam any credit. They claim that it was not Isma’il (AS), since Isma’il is Prophet Muhammad’s (SAWS) ancestor, and so he cannot be the courageous one that was chosen to be sacrificed! However, the Qur’an refutes their allegations and proves the truth to the whole world in what can be translated as, “And We gave him the good tidings of Ishaq, a prophet, one of the righteous” (TMQ, 37:112).




Allah (SWT) knew that the truth could be manipulated and twisted to deny Islam any credit.




It goes without saying that we love Prophet Ishaq (AS). We do not discriminate between prophets since Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “We make no distinction between any of His Messengers” (TMQ, 2:285). Thus, although we believe in all the prophets, this was meant to be. Prophet Isma’il, Prophet Muhammad’s (SAWS) great grandfather, was the one to be sacrificed; Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “That is the Grace of Allah (that) He brings to whomever He decides” (TMQ, 5:54).



We will stop at this point to talk next time about how the glad tidings of having Ishaq (AS) were given to Sarah (RA). We will also talk about the touching story of building the Ka’ba.




[1] TMQ=Translation of the Meaning of the Qur'an. This translation is for the realized meaning, so far, of the stated (Surah: Ayah) of the Qur'an. Reading the translated meaning of the Qur'an can never replace reading it in Arabic, the language in which it was revealed.


[2] good hadith, An-Nawawi


[3] Authentic, Al-Albany


[4] Authentic, Al-Albany


[5] Umrah = The Minor Pilgrimage made to Makka to visit the sanctified House of Allah (SWT)


[6] Ramadan = The holy month of the Hijri Year in which Muslims fast






AmrKhaled(contact admin if its a beneficial link) © جميع حقوق النشر محفوظة

This Article may be published and duplicated freely for private purposes, as long as the original source is mentioned. For all other purposes you need to obtain the prior written approval of the website administration. For info: dar_altarjama[at]amrkhaled(contact admin if its a beneficial link)

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this