Know Abraham(pbuh)


 Ibrahim (Abraham) (PBUH)

Description of Abraham(PBUH) and his Family

Some of the People of the Book stated that his name was Abraham Ibn Tarikh, Ibn Nahur, Ibn Sarough, Ibn Raghu, Ibn Phaligh, Ibn Aher, Ibn Shalih, Ibn Arfghshand, Ibn Sam, Ibn Noah.

They said that when Tarikh was seventy five years old, he had Abraham, Nahor (Nohour) and Haran. Haran had a son named Lot (Lut). They also said that Abraham(pbuh) was the middle child and that Haran died in the lifetime of his father in the land where he was born, the land of the Chaldeans (Al-Kaldanieen), also known as Babylonia. At that time some people worshipped idols of stone and wood; others worshipped the planets, stars, sun and moon; still others worshipped their kings and rulers.

Abraham(pbuh) was born into that atmosphere, into a typical family of that ancient time. The head of the family was not even an ordinary idolater, but was one who totally rejected Allah and who used to make the idols with his own hands. Some traditions claimed that Abraham’s (pbuh) father died before his birth and that he was raised by an uncle whom Abraham called father. Other traditions said that his father was alive and was named Azer.

Into that family Abraham(pbuh) was born, destined to stand against his own family, against the entire system of his community. In brief, he stood against all kinds of polytheism.

Abraham’s (pbuh) Childhood

He was endowed with spiritual understanding from an early age. Allah enlightened his heart and mind and gave him wisdom from childhood.

Allah the Almighty stated: And indeed We bestowed aforetime on Abraham his (portion of) guidance, and We were Well-Acquainted with him (as to his Belief in the Oneness of Allah, etc.). Quran 21: 51

During his early childhood Abraham(pbuh) realized that his father made strange statues. One day, he asked him about what it was he made. His father replied that he made statues of gods. Abraham(pbuh) was astonished and he spontaneously rejected the idea. Being a child, he played with such statues, sitting on their backs as people sit on the backs of donkeys and mules.

One day, his father saw him riding the statue of Mardukh and he became furious. He ordered his son not to play with it again.

Abraham(pbuh) asked: “What is this statue, father? It has big ears, bigger than ours.”

His father answered: “It is Mardukh, the god of gods, son! These big ears show his deep knowledge.”

This made Abraham(pbuh) laugh. He was only seven years old at that time.

Abraham’s(pbuh) Hatred for Idols

Years passed and Abraham(pbuh) grew. Since his childhood his heart had been full of hatred for these idols. He could not understand how a sane person could make a statue and then worship what he had made. He noticed that these idols did not eat, drink, or talk, and that they could not even turn themselves right-side-up if someone turned them up-side down. How, then, could people believe that such statues could harm or benefit them?

Abraham’s(pbuh) people had a big temple full of idols, in the middle of which was a niche accommodating the biggest gods which were of different kinds, qualities, and shapes. Abraham(pbuh), who used to go to the temple with his father when he was a child, greatly despised all that wood and stone. What surprised him was the way his people behaved when they entered the temple: they bowed and started to cry, begging and imploring their gods for help as if the idols could hear or understand these requests!

At first, such a sight seemed funny to Abraham(pbuh), but later he began to feel angry. Was it not astonishing that all those people could be deceived? What added to the problem was that his father wanted him to be a priest when he was grown. He wanted nothing more from his son than that he revere those statues, yet Abraham(pbuh) never stopped displaying his hatred and disdain of them.

Abraham(pbuh) Discovers Allah

One night Abraham left his house to go to a mountain. He walked alone in the dark until he chose a cave in the mountain, where he sat resting his back against its wall. He looked at the sky. He had hardly seen it when he remembered that he was looking at planets and stars which were worshiped by some people on earth. His young heart was filled with tremendous pain.

He considered what was beyond the moon, the stars and the planets (i.e. Allah) and was astonished that these celestial bodies were worshiped by men when they had been created to worship and obey their Creator, appearing and disappearing at His command.

Therefore, Abraham(pbuh) addressed his people who worshiped celestial bodies, as Almighty Allah revealed: Thus did We show Abraham the kingdom of the heavens and the earth that he be one of those who have Faith with certainty. When the night covered him over with darkness he saw a star. He said: “This is my lord.” But when it set, he said: “I like not those that set.” When he saw the moon rising up he said: “This is my lord.” But when it set he said: “Unless my Lord guides me, I shall surely be among the erring people.” When he saw the sun rising up, he said: “This is my lord. This is greater.” But when it set, he said: “0 my people! I am indeed free from all that you join as partners in worship with Allah. Verily, I have turned my face towards Him Who has created the heavens and the earth Hanifan (Islamic Monotheism, i.e., worshiping none but Allah Alone) and I am not of Al-Mushrikeen (those who worship others besides Allah).”  Quran 6: 75-79

Abraham(pbuh) Reasons with Celestial Worshipper

His people disputed with him. He said: “Do you dispute with me concerning Allah while He has guided me and I fear not those whom you associate with Allah in worship. (Nothing can happen to me) except when my Lord (Allah) wills something. My Lord comprehends in His Knowledge all things. Will you not then remember?”

“And how should I fear those whom you associate in worship with Allah (though they can neither benefit nor harm), while you fear not that you have joined in worship with Allah things for which He has not sent down to you any authority. (So) which of the two parties has more right to be in security? If you but know.”

It is those who believe (in the Oneness of Allah and worship none but Him Alone) and confuse not their belief with Zulm (wrong, i.e., by worshiping others besides Allah), for them (only) there is security and they are the guided. And that was Our Proof which We gave Abraham against his people. We raise whom We will in degrees. Certainly your Lord is All-Wise, All-Knowing. Quran  7: 80-83

In that debate, Abraham(pbuh) clarified to his people that these celestial bodies do not serve as deities and cannot be worshiped as partners with Allah the Almighty. Indeed, these bodies are created things, fashioned, controlled, managed and made to serve. They appear sometimes and disappear at others, going out of sight from our world. However, Allah the Almighty does not lose sight of anything, and nothing can be hidden from Him. He is without end, everlasting without disappearance. There is no other deity but Allah.

Abraham(pbuh) made clear to them, first, that the celestial bodies are unworthy of worship and, second, that they are among the signs of Allah. Almighty Allah commanded: And from among His Signs are the night and the day, and the sun and the moon. Prostrate not to the sun nor to the moon, but prostrate to Allah Who created them, if you (really) worship Him. Quran 41: 37

The Celestial Worshippers arguments

Abraham’s(pbuh) reasoning helped to reveal the truth, and then the conflict between him and his people began, for the worshipers of the stars and planets did not stand mute. They began arguing and threatening Abraham(pbuh).

Abraham(pbuh) replied: “Do you dispute with me concerning Allah while He has guided me, and I fear not those whom you associate with Allah in worship. (Nothing can happen to me) except when my Lord (Allah) wills something. My Lord comprehends in His Knowledge all things. Will you not then remember? And how should I fear those whom you associate in worship with Allah (though they can neither benefit nor harm), while you fear not that you have joined in worship with Allah things for which He has not sent down to you any authority. (So) which of the two parties has more right to be in security? . . . if you but know! It is those who believe (in the oneness of Allah and worship none but Him Alone) and confuse not their belief with Zulm (wrong i.e. by worshiping others besides Allah), for them (only) there is security and they are the guided.” Quran 6: 80-82

The curtains are drawn on the first category of people, those who were worshiping celestial bodies. The next situation reveals the second group, those who were practicing idolatry.

Abraham reasons with the Idolaters – Quran Chapter:21

Allah gave Abraham(pbuh) the reasoning he needed the first time and every time he argued with his people. Almighty Allah declared: And that was Our Proof which We gave Abraham(pbuh) against his people. We raise whom We will in degrees. Certainly your Lord is All-Wise, All-Knowing. Quran 6: 83

Abraham(pbuh) did his best to make his people heedful to the belief in the oneness of Almighty Allah and to the worship of Him alone. He bade them to firmly renounce the worship of idols. He said to his father and his people: “What are these images, to which you are devoted?” They said “We found our fathers worshiping them.” He said: “Indeed you and your fathers have been in manifest error.” They said: “Have you brought us the truth, or are you one of those who play about?” He said: “Nay, your Lord is the Lord of the heavens and the earth, Who created them and of that I am one of the witnesses.” Quran 21: 52-56

Abraham(pbuh) reasons with his Father

All was finished between Abraham(pbuh) and his people and the struggle began. The most amazed and furious was his father (or his uncle who had raised him), for, as it is well known, he not only worshiped idols but sculptured and sold them as well. Abraham felt that it was his duty as a good son to advise his father against this evil so that he could be saved from Allah’s punishment.

Being a wise son, he did not make his father feel foolish, nor did he openly laugh at his conduct. He told him that he loved him, thereby hoping to generate fatherly love. Then he gently asked him why he worshiped lifeless idols who could not hear, see, or protect him. Before his father could become angry he hastily added: “0 my father! Verily! There has come to me of knowledge that which came not unto you. So follow me. I will guide you to a Straight Path. 0 my father! Worship not Satan. Verily! Satan has been a rebel against the Most Beneficent (Allah). 0 my father! Verily! I fear lest a torment from the Most Beneficent (Allah) overtake you, so that you become a companion of Satan (in the Hell-Fire).”

He (the father) said: “Do you reject my gods, 0 Abraham? If you stop not (this), I will indeed stone you. So get away from me safely before I punish you.” Abraham 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. Quran 19: 43-48

Abraham(pbuh) debates with the Idolaters

His father’s harsh treatment did not stop Abraham(pbuh) from delivering the message of truth. Angry and sad to see people prostrate before idols, he was determined to stamp out these practices and went to the town to debate with the people, knowing full well that he might suffer harm.

Like a wise doctor searching for the cause of a sickness so as to prescribe the proper cure, or like a judge who questions the accused sharply so that he might detect the truth, Abraham(pbuh) asked them: “Do the idols see you when you prostrate before them? Do they benefit you in any way?” They quickly tried to defend their beliefs. They argued that they knew their idols were lifeless but that their forefathers had worshiped them; to them this was proof enough for their belief.

Abraham(pbuh) explained that their forefathers had been wrong. This angered them and they retorted: “Are you condemning our gods and our forefathers? Or are you just joking?”

Abraham(pbuh) showed no fear as he replied: “I am serious. I come to you with a true religion. I have been sent with guidance from our Lord Who alone is worthy of worship, Who is the Creator of the heavens and the earth, and Who regulates all affairs of life, unlike the dumb idols which are just stone and wood.”

To convince them that the idols could not harm him, he challenged: “I have already condemned them; if they had any power they would have harmed me by now!”

Abraham(pbuh) reasons with the Idolaters, Second Time

Almighty Allah recounted: And recite to them the story of Abraham. When he said to his father and his people: “What do you worship?” They said: “We worship idols, and to them we are ever devoted.” He said: “Do they hear you, when you call (on them)? Or do they benefit you or do they harm (you)?” They said: “Nay, but we found our fathers doing so.”

He said: “Do you observe that which you been worshiping, – You and your ancient fathers? – Verily! They are enemies to me, save the Lord of the Alamin (mankind, jinn, and all that exists); Who has created me, and it is He Who guides me; and it is He Who feeds me and gives me to drink. And when I am ill, it is He who cures me; and Who will cause me to die and then will bring me to life (again); and Who, I hope will forgive me my faults on the Day of Recompense, (the Day of Resurrection).”  Quran 26: 69-82

In another chapter of Quran The Almighty revealed: And (remember) Abraham when he said to his people: “Worship Allah (Alone), and fear Him, that is better for you if you did but know. You worship besides Allah only idols, and you only invent falsehood. Verily, those whom you worship besides Allah have no power to give you provision, so seek your provision from Allah (Alone), and worship Him (Alone), and be grateful to Him. To Him (Alone) you will be brought back. And if you deny, then nations before you have denied (their Messengers). And the duty of the Messenger is only to convey (the Message) plainly.”

Say: “Travel in the land and see how (Allah) originated creation, and then Allah will bring forth (resurrect) the creation of the Hereafter (i.e., resurrection after death). Verily, Allah is Able to do all things.”

He punishes whom He wills, and shows mercy to whom He wills, and to Him you will be returned. And you cannot escape in the earth or in the heaven. And besides Allah you have neither any Wali (Protector or Guardian) nor any Helper. And those who disbelieve in the Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) of Allah and the Meeting with Him, – it is they who have no hope of My Mercy, and it is they who will have a painful torment.

Abraham(pbuh) breaks the Idols

He explained to them the beauty of Allah’s creation, His power and wisdom. Idol worship is detested by Allah, for Allah is the Lord of the universe who created mankind, guided him, provided him with food and drink, and cured him when he was sick, and who will cause him to die and be raised up again. It was He to whom Abraham(pbuh) prayed and who would forgive his sins on the Day of Judgment. However, they would not give up but clung fast to idolatry.

Abraham(pbuh) left his father’s house and abandoned his people and what they worshiped. He decided to do something about their state of disbelief, but did not reveal it. He knew that there was going to be a great celebration on the other bank of the river which would be attended by all the people. Abraham(pbuh) waited until the city was empty, then came out cautiously, directing his steps towards the temple. The streets leading to it were empty and the temple itself was deserted, for the priests had also gone to the festival outside the city.

Abraham(pbuh) went there carrying a sharp ax. He looked at the stone and wood statues of the gods and at the food laid in front of them as offerings. He approached one of the statues and asked: The food in front of you is getting cold. Why don’t you eat?” The statue kept silent and rigid. Abraham(pbuh) asked the other statues around him: “Will you not eat (of the offering before you)?” Quran 37: 91

He was mocking them for he knew they would not eat. He once again asked then: “What is the matter with you that you do speak not?” Quran 37: 92

He then raised his ax and started smashing the false gods worshiped by the people. He destroyed them all except one, on whose neck he hung the ax. After this his anger subsided and he felt at peace. He left the temple. He had fulfilled his vow to show his people a practical proof of their foolishness in worshiping something other than Allah.

The Idolaters Questions Abraham(pbuh)

When the people returned, they were shocked to see their gods smashed to pieces, lying scattered all over the temple. They began to guess who had done that to their idols, and Abraham’s(pbuh) name came to their minds.

Allah the Almighty said: They said: “Who has done this to our aliah (gods)? He must indeed be one of the wrongdoers.” They said: “We heard a young man talking (against) them who is called Abraham.” They said: “Then bring him before the eyes of the people, that they may testify.” They said: “Are you the one who has done this to our gods, 0 Abraham?” (Abraham) said: “Nay, this one, the biggest of them (idols) did it. Ask them, if they can speak!”

So they turned to themselves and said: “Verily, you are the Zalimun (polytheists and wrong-doers).” Then they turned to themselves (their first thought and said). “Indeed you (Abraham) know well that these (idols) speak not!” (Abraham) said: “Do you then worship besides Allah, things that can neither profit you, nor harm you? Fie upon you, and upon that which you worship besides Allah! Have you then no sense?” Quran 21: 59-67

Furious, they demanded that Abraham(pbuh) be arrested and tried. Abraham(pbuh) did not resist. This was precisely what he had been aiming for, so that he could show them up in public for their foolish beliefs.

At the trial they asked him if he was responsible for breaking the idols. Smiling, he told them to ask the biggest idol, which was still whole. He told them that he must be the culprit! They replied that he knew well that the idol could not speak or move, which gave Abraham(pbuh) the chance to prove the foolishness of worshiping these lifeless objects.

They then realized the senselessness of their beliefs; however, their arrogance would not allow them to admit their foolishness. All they could do was use their power of authority – as tyrants usually do – to punish Abraham(pbuh). They kept him in chains and planned their revenge.

The Idolaters try to burn Abraham(pbuh)

Anger was burning in their hearts. They decided to throw Abraham(pbuh) into the biggest fire they could build. All the citizens were ordered to gather wood as a service to their gods. Ignorant, sick women vowed that if they were cured they would donate so much wood to burn Abraham(pbuh). For several days they collected fuel.

They dug a deep pit, filled it with firewood and ignited it. They brought a catapult with which to cast Abraham(pbuh) into the fire. Abraham(pbuh) was put on the catapult, his hands and feet tied. The fire was ready with its flames reaching the sky. The people stood away from the pit because of the great heat. Then the chief priest gave his order to cast Abraham(pbuh) into the fire.

The angel Gabriel came near Abraham’s(pbuh) head and asked him: “0 Abraham(pbuh), do you wish for anything?” Abraham(pbuh) replied: “Nothing from you.”

The catapult was shot, and Abraham(pbuh) was cast into the fire, but his descent into the blaze was as a descent on steps in a cool garden. The flames were still there, but they did not burn, for Allah the Almighty had issued His command: “0 fire! Be you coolness and safety for Abraham.” Quran 21: 69

The fire submitted to the will of Allah, becoming cool and safe for Abraham(pbuh). It only burned his bonds, and he sat in the midst of the fire as if he were sitting in a garden. He glorified and praised Allah the Almighty, with a heart that contained only his love for Allah. There was not any vacant space therein for fear, awe, or worry. It was filled with love only.

Fear and awe were dead, and the fire was turned into coolness, making the air pleasant. Those who love Allah as Abraham(pbuh) did do not fear.

The Faith of the Believers

Almighty Allah declared: Those (i.e., believers) unto whom the people (hypocrites) said: “Verily, the people (pagans) have gathered against you (a great army), therefore, fear them.” But it (only) increased them in Faith, and they said: ‘Allah (Alone) is Sufficient for us, and He is the Best Disposer of affairs (for us).”

So they returned with Grace and Bounty from Allah. No harm touched them; and they followed the good Pleasure of Allah. And Allah is the Owner of Great Bounty. It is only Satan that suggests to you the fear of his Auliya supporters and friends (polytheists, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allah and in His Messenger Muhammad), so fear them not, but fear Me, if you are (true) believers.” Quran 3: 173-175

The People’s reaction to the fire

The throng, the chiefs, and the priests sat watching the fire from a distance. It was burning their faces and nearly suffocating them. It kept burning for such a long time that the disbelievers thought it would never be extinguished.

When it did burn out, they were greatly amazed to find Abraham(pbuh) coming out of the pit untouched by the fire. Their faces were black from the smoke, but his was bright with the light and grace of Allah. The raging fire had become cool for Abraham(pbuh) and had only charred the ropes which held him. He walked out of the fire as if he were walking out of a garden. Cries of astonishment were heard from the heathens.

They wanted to harm him, but We made them the worst losers. Quran 21:70

This miracle shamed the tyrants, but it did not cool the flame of anger in their hearts. However, after this event many of the people followed Abraham(pbuh), although some kept their belief a secret for fear of harm or death at the hands of the rulers.

Abraham’s(pbuh) dialogue with Namrud

Abraham(pbuh) had established a definite reasoning against idolaters. Nothing was left for him except to reason against the people who proclaimed themselves gods.

When the king, Namrud, heard of Abraham’s(pbuh) safe exit from the fire he became very angry. He feared that the status of godhead he had proclaimed for himself was now challenged by an ordinary human being. He summoned Abraham(pbuh) to the palace and held a dialogue with him, which Allah the Almighty recounted: Have you not thought about him who disputed with Abraham about his Lord (Allah), because Allah had given him the kingdom? When Abraham said (to him). ‘My Lord (Allah) is He Who gives life and causes death.” He said: “I give life and cause death.” Abraham said: “Verily! Allah causes the sun to rise from the east; then cause it you to rise from the west.” So the disbeliever was utterly defeated. And Allah guides not the people who are Zalimeen (wrongdoers, etc.). Quran 2: 258

Abraham(pbuh) emigrates

Abraham’s(pbuh) fame spread throughout the entire kingdom. People talked about how he had been saved from the blazing fire and how he had debated with the king and left him speechless. In the meantime, Abraham(pbuh) continued calling people to believe in Allah, exerting a great effort to guide his people to the right path.

He tried every means to convince them. However, in spite of his love and care for his people, they felt angry and deserted him. Only one woman and one man of his people shared his belief in Allah. The woman’s name was Sarah and she became his wife. The man’s name was Lot (Lut)(pbuh), and he became a prophet.

When Abraham(pbuh) realized that no one else was going to believe in his call, he decided to emigrate. He left his people and traveled with his wife and Lot(pbuh) to a city called Ur, then to another called Haran, and then to Palestine.

Allah the Almighty told us: So Lot believed in him (Abraham’s message of Islamic Monotheism). He (Abraham) said: “I will emigrate for the sake of my Lord. Verily. He is the All-Mighty, the All-Wise. Surah 29: 26

After Palestine, Abraham(pbuh) traveled to Egypt, calling people to believe in Allah wherever he traveled, judging fairly between people, and guiding them to truth and righteousness.

Hadith about Abraham(pbuh), Sarah, and Hajar

Abu Hurairah narrated that Abraham(pbuh) did not tell a lie except on three occasions, twice for the sake of Allah (Exalted and Almighty) when he said: “I am sick,” (when his people were holding a festival in honor of their gods, Abraham excused himself by saying he was sick; see Surah 37: 89), and when he said: “(I have not done this but) the big idol has done it.” The (third was) that while Abraham and Sarah (his wife) were going (on a journey), they passed by (the territory of) a tyrant. Someone said to the tyrant: ‘This man (i.e., Abraham ) is accompanied by a very charming lady.” So, he sent for Abraham and asked him about Sarah saying: “Who is this lady?” Abraham said: “She is my sister.”

Abraham went to Sarah and said: “0 Sarah! There are no believers on the surface of the earth except you and me. This man asked me about you and I have told him that you are my sister, do not contradict my statement.” The tyrant then called Sarah, and when she went to him, he tried to take hold of her with his hand, but (his hand got stiff and) he was confounded. He asked Sarah: “Pray to Allah for me, and I shall not harm you.” So Sarah asked Allah to cure him and he got cured. He tried to take hold of her for the second time, but (his hand got as stiff as or stiffer than before and) he was more confounded. He again requested Sarah: “Pray to Allah for me, and I will not harm you.” Sarah asked Allah again, and he became all right. He then called one of his guards (who had brought her) and said: ‘You have not brought me a human being but have brought me a devil.”

The tyrant then gave Hajar as a maid servant to Sarah. Sarah came back (to Abraham) while he was praying. Abraham, gesturing with his hand, asked: “What has happened?” She replied: “Allah has spoiled the evil plot of the infidel (or immoral person) and gave me Hajar for service.” Abu Hurairah then addressed his listeners saying:’That (Hajar) was your mother, 0 Bani Ma-is-Sama (i.e., the Arab, the descendants of Ishmael, Hajar’s son).”

Hajar and Sarah

Abraham’s(pbuh) wife Sarah was sterile. She had been given an Egyptian woman, Hajar, as a servant. Abraham had aged, and his hair was gray after many years spent in calling people to Allah. Sarah thought that she and Abraham were lonely because she could not have a child. Therefore, she offered her husband her servant Hajar in marriage. Hajar gave birth to her first son Ishmael (Ismail) when Abraham(pbuh) was an old man.

Abraham(pbuh) questions Resurrection

Abraham(pbuh) lived on earth worshiping Allah and calling people to monotheism, but he was journeying to Allah, knowing that his days on earth were limited and that they would be followed by death, and finally, resurrection. The knowledge of life after death filled Abraham(pbuh) with peace, love, and certitude.

One day, he begged Allah to show him how He brought the dead back to life. Allah commanded Abraham(pbuh) to take four birds, cut them up, mingle their body parts, divide them into four portions, and place them on top of four different hills, then call back the birds in Allah’s name. Abraham(pbuh) did as he was told. Immediately the mingled parts of the birds separated to join their original bodies in different places, and the birds flew back to Abraham(pbuh).

Almighty Allah revealed: And (remember) when Abraham said: ‘My Lord! Show me how You give life to the dead.” Allah said: “Do you not believe?” Abraham said: “Yes (I believe), but to be stronger in Faith.” He said: “Take four birds, then cause them to incline towards you (then slaughter them, cut them into pieces), and then put a portion of them on every hill, and call them, they will come to you in haste. And know that Allah is All-Mighty, All-Wise.”  Quran 2: 260

 
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Prophet Sulaiman (Solomon) [Pbuh]


12) Prophet Sulaiman (Solomon) [Pbuh]

Solomon(pbuh)’s Knowledge

Solomon(pbuh) inherited David(pbuh)‘s prophethood and dominion. This was not a material inheritance, as prophets do not bequeath their property. It is given away to the poor and needy, not to their relatives. Prophet Muhammad(pbuh) said: ‘The prophets’ property will not be inherited, and whatever we leave is to be used for charity.”

And We had certainly given to David and Solomon knowledge, and they said, “Praise [is due] to Allah, who has favored us over many of His believing servants.”

And Solomon inherited David. He said, “O people, we have been taught the language of birds, and we have been given from all things. Indeed, this is evident bounty.”

And gathered for Solomon were his soldiers of the jinn and men and birds, and they were [marching] in rows.
(Surah 27: 15-17)

Solomon(pbuh) Becomes King

After his father’s death, Solomon (pbuh) became king. He begged Allah for a kingdom such as none after him would have, and Allah granted his wish. Besides wisdom, Allah had blessed Solomon (pbuh) with many abilities. He could command the winds and understand and talk to birds and animals. Allah directed him to teach both men and jinns to mine the earth and extract its minerals to make tools and weapons. He also favored him with a mine of copper, which was a rare metal in those days.

Allah’s Gifts to Solomon (pbuh)

Almighty Allah revealed:

And to David We gave Solomon. An excellent servant, indeed he was one repeatedly turning back [to Allah ].

[Mention] when there were exhibited before him in the afternoon the poised [standing] racehorses.

And he said, “Indeed, I gave preference to the love of good [things] over the remembrance of my Lord until the sun disappeared into the curtain [of darkness].”

[He said], “Return them to me,” and set about striking [their] legs and necks.

And We certainly tried Solomon and placed on his throne a body; then he returned.

He said, “My Lord, forgive me and grant me a kingdom such as will not belong to anyone after me. Indeed, You are the Bestower.”

So We subjected to him the wind blowing by his command, gently, wherever he directed,

And [also] the devils [of jinn] – every builder and diver

 And others bound together in shackles.

 [We said], “This is Our gift, so grant or withhold without account.”

 And indeed, for him is nearness to Us and a good place of return.

(Surah 38: 30-40)

Solomon(pbuh) Hears the Ant’s Warning

One day Solomon gathered his army, which had different battalions of men, jinns, birds, and animals. He marched them to the country of Askalon.

While they were passing through a valley, an ant saw the approaching army and cried out to warn the other ants: “Run to your homes! Otherwise, unaware, Solomon (pbuh) and his army might crush you!” Solomon (pbuh), hearing the cry of the ant, smiled. He was glad that the ant knew him to be a prophet who would not intentionally harm Allah’s creation. He thanked Allah for saving the ants’ lives.

Allah the Almighty narrated:

And gathered for Solomon were his soldiers of the jinn and men and birds, and they were [marching] in rows

Until, when they came upon the valley of the ants, an ant said, “O ants, enter your dwellings that you not be crushed by Solomon and his soldiers while they perceive not.”

So [Solomon] smiled, amused at her speech, and said, “My Lord, enable me to be grateful for Your favor which You have bestowed upon me and upon my parents and to do righteousness of which You approve. And admit me by Your mercy into [the ranks of] Your righteous servants.”

(Surah 27: 17-19)

Solomon (pbuh)’s Travels

In Jerusalem, on a huge rock, Solomon (pbuh) built a beautiful masjid to draw the people to worship Allah. Today this building is known as ‘The Dome of the Rock.” From there, a large band of followers joined Solomon(pbuh) on pilgrimage to the Holy Mosque in Mecca. After they had completed their hajj, they traveled to Yemen and arrived in the city of Sana.

Solomon(pbuh) was impressed by their clever method of channeling water all over their cities. He was keen to build similar water systems in his own country but did not have enough springs.

The Hoopoe Brings Information to Solomon (pbuh)

He set out to find the hoopoe bird, which could detect water under the ground. He sent signals all over for the hoopoe to call on him, but it was nowhere to be found. In anger, he declared that unless the bird had good reason for its absence, he would punish it severely.

The hoopoe eventually came to Solomon(pbuh) and explained the reason for its delay: “I have discovered something of which you are not aware. I have come from Sheba (Saba) with important news. Solomon became curious, and his anger subsided. The bird continued: “Saba is ruled by a queen named Bilkis (Bilqis), who has plenty of everything, including a splendid throne. But in spite of all this wealth, Satan has entered her heart and the hearts of her people. She rules their minds completely. I was shocked to learn that they worship the sun instead of Allah the Almighty.”

To check the hoopoe’s information, Solomon(pbuh) sent a letter to the queen with the bird. He instructed the bird to remain hidden and to watch everything.

The Queen of Sheba Sends Gifts

The hoopoe dropped the letter in front of the queen and flew away to hide. She excitedly opened and read it:

Indeed, it is from Solomon, and indeed, it reads: ‘In the name of Allah , the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful,

Be not haughty with me but come to me in submission [as Muslims].’ ”
(Surah 27: 30-31)

The queen was very disturbed and hurriedly summoned her advisors. They reacted as to a challenge, for they felt that there was someone challenging them, hinting at war and defeat, and asking them to submit to his conditions.

They told her that they could only offer advice, but it was her right to command action. She sensed that they wanted to meet Solomon’s invasion threat with a battle. However, she told them: “Peace and friendship are better and wiser; war only brings humiliation, enslaves people, and destroys the good things. I have decided to send gifts to Solomon, selected from our most precious treasure. The courtiers who will deliver the gifts will also have an opportunity to learn about Solomon and his military might.”

Solomon (pbuh) rejects the Queen’s gifts

Solomon (pbuh)‘s reconnaissance team brought him the news of the arrival of Bilkis’s messengers with a gift. He immediately realized that the queen had sent her men on a probing mission; thus, he gave orders to rally the army. The envoys of Bilkis, entering amidst the well-equipped army, realized that their wealth was nothing in comparison to that of the kingdom of Solomon (pbuh). They belittled their golden gift as they passed over Solomon(pbuh)‘s palace floors, which were made of sandalwood and inlaid with gold.

They noticed Solomon surveying his army, and they were surprised at the number and variety of soldiers, which included lions, tigers, and birds. The messengers stood in amazement, realizing that they were in front of an irresistible army.

The envoys marveled at the splendor surrounding them. They eagerly presented their queen’s precious gifts and told Solomon (pbuh) that the queen wished that he would accept them as an act of friendship. They were shocked by his reaction: he did not even ask to open the covers of the containers! He told them: “Allah has given me plenty of wealth, a large kingdom, and prophethood. I am, therefore, beyond bribery. My only objective is to spread the belief in Tawheed, the Oneness of Allah.”

He also directed them to take back the gifts to the queen and to tell her that if she did not stop her kind of worship he would uproot her kingdom and drive its people out of the land.

The Queen Decides to Visit Solomon (pbuh)

The queen’s envoys returned with the gifts and delivered the message. They also told her of the wonderful things they had seen. Instead of taking offense, she decided to visit Solomon (pbuh). Accompanied by her royal officials and servants, she left Sheba, sending a messenger ahead to inform Solomon (pbuh) that she was on her way to meet him.

Solomon (pbuh) asked the jinns in his employ whether anyone among them could bring her throne to the palace before she arrived. One of them said: “I will bring it to you before this sitting is over.” Solomon(pbuh) did not react to this offer; it appeared that he was waiting for a faster means. The jinns competed with each other to please him. One of them named Ifrit said: “I will fetch it for you in the twinkling of an eye!”

No sooner had this one – who had the knowledge of the Book – finished his phrase than the throne stood before Solomon (pbuh). The mission had, indeed, been completed in the blinking of an eye. Solomon (pbuh)‘s seat was in Palestine, and the throne of Bilqis had been in Yemen, two thousand miles away. This was a great miracle performed by one of those sitting with Solomon (pbuh).

The Queen’s Visit with Solomon (pbuh)

When Bilqis arrived at Solomon (pbuh)‘s palace, she was welcomed with pomp and ceremony. Then, pointing to the altered throne, Solomon (pbuh) asked her whether her throne looked like that one. She looked at it again and again. In her mind she was convinced that her throne could not possibly be the one she was looking at, as hers was in her palace; yet, she detected a striking similarity and replied: “It is as if it were the very one, and resembles mine in every respect.” Solomon (pbuh) judged that she was intelligent and diplomatic.

He then invited her into the great hail, the floor of which was laid in glass and shimmering. Thinking it was water, as she stepped on the floor, she lifted her skirt slightly above her heels, for fear of wetting it. Solomon (pbuh) pointed out to her that it was made of solid glass.

She was amazed. She had never seen such things before. Bilqis realized that she was in the company of a very knowledgeable person who was not only a ruler of a great kingdom but a messenger of Allah, as well. She repented, gave up sun worship, accepted the faith of Allah, and asked her people to do the same.

It was finished; Bilqis saw her people’s creed fall apart before Solomon (pbuh). She realized that the sun which her people worshipped was nothing but one of Allah’s creatures.

The sun eclipsed within her for the first time, and her heart was lit by a never-fading light, the light of Islam.

Solomon is informed about the Queen of Sheba

Almighty Allah told us this story in the Quran:

And he took attendance of the birds and said, “Why do I not see the hoopoe – or is he among the absent?

I will surely punish him with a severe punishment or slaughter him unless he brings me clear authorization.”

 But the hoopoe stayed not long and said, “I have encompassed [in knowledge] that which you have not encompassed, and I have come to you from Sheba with certain news.

Indeed, I found [there] a woman ruling them, and she has been given of all things, and she has a great throne.

I found her and her people prostrating to the sun instead of Allah , and Satan has made their deeds pleasing to them and averted them from [His] way, so they are not guided,

[And] so they do not prostrate to Allah, who brings forth what is hidden within the heavens and the earth and knows what you conceal and what you declare –

Allah – there is no deity except Him, Lord of the Great Throne.”

[Solomon] said, “We will see whether you were truthful or were of the liars.

Take this letter of mine and deliver it to them. Then leave them and see what

they will return.”
(Surah 27: 20-28)

The Queen Sends Gifts

She said, “O eminent ones, indeed, to me has been delivered a noble letter.

Indeed, it is from Solomon, and indeed, it reads: ‘In the name of Allah, the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful,

 Be not haughty with me but come to me in submission [as Muslims].’ “

She said, “O eminent ones, advise me in my affair. I would not decide a matter until you witness [for] me.”

They said, “We are men of strength and of great military might, but the command is yours, so see what you will command.”

She said, “Indeed kings – when they enter a city, they ruin it and render the honored of its people humbled. And thus do they do.

But indeed, I will send to them a gift and see with what [reply] the messengers will return.”

So when they came to Solomon, he said, “Do you provide me with wealth? But what Allah has given me is better than what He has given you. Rather, it is you who rejoice in your gift.

Return to them, for we will surely come to them with soldiers that they will be powerless to encounter, and we will surely expel them therefrom in humiliation, and they will be debased.”
(Surah 27: 29-37)

The Queen Visits Solomon

[Solomon] said, “O assembly [of jinn], which of you will bring me her throne before they come to me in submission?”

A powerful one from among the jinn said, “I will bring it to you before you rise from your place, and indeed, I am for this [task] strong and trustworthy.”

 Said one who had knowledge from the Scripture, “I will bring it to you before your glance returns to you.” And when [Solomon] saw it placed before him, he said, “This is from the favor of my Lord to test me whether I will be grateful or ungrateful. And whoever is grateful – his gratitude is only for [the benefit of] himself. And whoever is ungrateful – then indeed, my Lord is Free of need and Generous.”

He said, “Disguise for her her throne; we will see whether she will be guided [to truth] or will be of those who is not guided.”

So when she arrived, it was said [to her], “Is your throne like this?” She said, “[It is] as though it was it.” [Solomon said], “And we were given knowledge before her, and we have been Muslims [in submission to Allah].And that which she was worshiping other than Allah had averted her [from submission to Him]. Indeed, she was from a disbelieving people.”

 She was told, “Enter the palace.” But when she saw it, she thought it was a body of water and uncovered her shins [to wade through]. He said, “Indeed, it is a palace [whose floor is] made smooth with glass.” She said, “My Lord, indeed I have wronged myself, and I submit with Solomon to Allah, Lord of the worlds.”

(Surah 27: 38-44)

Jinns and Solomon (pbuh)

Solomon (pbuh)‘s public work was largely carried out by the jinns. This was a punishment for their sins of making people believe that they were all powerful, knew the unseen, and could foresee the future. As a prophet, it was Solomon (pbuh)‘s duty to remove such false beliefs from his followers.

Solomon (pbuh)’s Death

Solomon lived amidst glory, and all creatures were subjected to him. Then Allah the Exalted ordained for him to die. His life and death were full of wonders and miracles; thus, his death harmonized with his life and glory. His death, like his life, was unique. The people had to learn that the future is known neither by the jinns nor by the prophets, but by Allah (pbuh) alone. Solomon’s effort in this direction did not end with his life, for even his death became an example.

He was sitting holding his staff, overseeing the jinns at work in a mine. He died sitting in this position. For a long time no one was aware of his death, for he was seen sitting erect. The jinns continued with their strife and toil, thinking that Solomon (pbuh) was watching over them.

Many days later, a hungry ant began nibbling Solomon (pbuh)‘s staff. It continued to do so, eating the lower part of the staff, until it fell out of Solomon’s hand, and his great body fell to the ground. People hurried to him, realizing that he had died a long time ago and that the jinns did not perceive the unseen, for had the jinns known the unseen, they would not have kept working, and thinking that Solomon (pbuh) was alive.

Solomon (pbuh)’s Death

Allah the Exalted revealed:

And to Solomon [We subjected] the wind – its morning [journey was that of] a month – and its afternoon [journey was that of] a month, and We made flow for him a spring of [liquid] copper. And among the jinn were those who worked for him by the permission of his Lord. And whoever deviated among them from Our command – We will make him taste of the punishment of the Blaze.

They made for him what he willed of elevated chambers, statues, bowls like reservoirs, and stationary kettles. [We said], “Work, O family of David, in gratitude.” And few of My servants are grateful.

And when We decreed for Solomon death, nothing indicated to the jinn his death except a creature of the earth eating his staff. But when he fell, it became clear to the jinn that if they had known the unseen, they would not have remained in humiliating punishment.
(Surah 34: 12-14)

The Greatest Flood – The Story of Prophet Noah (pbuh)


Prophet Nuh (Noah) [Pbuh]

Variation on the Birth of Noah

He was Noah Ibn Lamik, Ibn Mitoshilkh, Ibn Enoch, Ibn Yard, Ibn Mahlabeel, Ibn Qinan, Ibn Anoush, Ibn Seth, Ibn Adam the Father of Mankind .

Abbas narrated that Prophet Muhammad said: “The period between Adam and Noah was ten centuries.”

Noah’s People – Idolaters

For many generations Noah’s people had been worshipping statues that they called gods. They believed that these gods would bring them good, protect them from evil, and provide all their needs. They gave their idols names such as Waddan, Suwaan, Yaghutha, Yaauga, and Nasran, according to the power they thought these gods possessed.

Allah the Almighty revealed: And they Idolaters have said: “You shall not leave your gods, nor shall you leave Wadd, nor Suwa, nor Yaghuth, nor Yauq nor Nasr (names of the idols).” (Surah 71: 23)

Originally these were the names of good people who had lived among them. After their deaths, statues of them were erected to keep their memories alive. After some time, however, people began to worship these statues. Later generations did not even know why they had been erected; they only knew their parents had prayed to them. That is how idol worshipping developed. Since they had no understanding of Allah the Almighty Who would punish them for their evil deeds, they became cruel and immoral.

Into this environment Allah sent Noah with His message to his people. Noah was the only intellectual not caught in the whirlpool of man’s destruction which was caused by polytheism.

 Various Hadith describing the Origin of Idolatry

Then Abbas explained: “Following upon the death of those righteous men, Satan inspired their people to erect statues in the places where they used to sit. They did this, but these statues were not worshiped until the coming generations deviated from the right way of life. Then they worshiped them as their idols.”

These idols represented, respectively, manly power; mutability, beauty; brute strength; swiftness; sharp sight, insight. (Source: A. Yusuf Ali, The Holy Quran: Translation and Commentary. Appendix XIII)

In his version, Ibn Jarir narrated: “There were righteous people who lived in the period between Adam and Noah and who had followers who held them as models. After their death, their friends who used to emulate them said: ‘If we make statues of them, it will be more pleasing to us in our worship and will remind us of them.’ So they built statues of them, and, after they had died and others came after them, Iblis crept into their minds saying: ‘Your forefathers used to worship them, and through that worship they got rain.’ So they worshiped them.”

Ibn Abi Hatim related this story: “Waddan was a righteous man who was loved by his people. When he died, they withdrew to his grave in the land of Babylonia and were overwhelmed by sadness. When Iblis saw their sorrow caused by his death, he disguised himself in the form of a man saying: ‘I have seen your sorrow because of this man’s death; can I make a statue like him which could be put in your meeting place to make you remember him?’ They said: ‘Yes.’ So he made the statue like him.

They put it in their meeting place in order to be reminded of him. When Iblis saw their interest in remembering him, he said: ‘Can I build a statue of him in the home of each one of you so that he would be in everyone’s house and you could remember him?’ They agreed.

Their children learned about and saw what they were doing. They also learned about their remembrance of him, until they took him to be a deity and worshiped him instead of Allah. So the first to be worshiped instead of Allah was Waddan, the idol which they named thus.”

It was narrated that ‘Umm Salmah and ‘Umm Habibah told Allah’s Prophet Muhammad about the church called “Maria” which they had seen in the land of Abyssinia. They described its beauty and the pictures therein. He said: “Those are the people who build places of worship on the grave of every dead man who was righteous and then make therein those pictures. Those are the worst of creation unto Allah.”

The essence of this point is that every idol from those earlier mentioned was worshiped by a certain group of people. It was mentioned that people made pictures and as the ages passed they made these pictures into statues, so that their forms could be fully recognized; afterwards they were worshiped instead of Allah.

 Commentary – Idolatry

Worshiping anything other than Allah is a tragedy that results not only in the loss of freedom

Worshiping anything other than Allah is a tragedy that results not only in the loss of freedom (by worshiping anything other than Allah, man becomes enslaved to Satan, who is himself a creature, and becomes harnessed to his own baser qualities); its serious effect reaches man’s mind and destroys it as well.

Almighty Allah created man and his mind with its purpose set on achieving knowledge, the most important of which is that Allah alone is the Creator and all the rest are worshipers (slaves). Therefore, disbelief in Allah, or polytheism, results in the loss of freedom, the destruction of the mind, and the absence of a noble target in life.

 Noah’s Reasoning with his People

Allah in His mercy sent His messenger Noah to guide his people. Noah was an excellent speaker and a very patient man. He pointed out to his people the mysteries of life and the wonders of the universe. He pointed out how the night is regularly followed by the day and that the balance between these opposites was designed by Allah the Almighty for our good. The night gives coolness and rest while the day gives warmth and awakens activity. The sun encourages growth, keeping all plants and animals alive, while the moon and stars assist in the reckoning of time, direction and seasons. He pointed out that the ownership of the heavens and the earth belongs only to the Divine Creator.

Noah pointed out to his people the mysteries of life and the wonders of the universe.

Therefore, he explained to his people, there cannot have been more than one deity. He clarified to them how the devil had deceived them for so long and that the time had come for this deceit to stop. Noah spoke to them of Allah’s glorification of man, how He had created him and provided him with sustenance and the blessings of a mind. He told them that idol worshiping was a suffocating injustice to the mind. He warned them not to worship anyone but Allah and described the terrible punishment Allah would mete out if they continued in their evil ways.

 Division Among Noah’s People

The people listened to him in silence. His words were a shock to their stagnating minds, as it is a shock to a person who is asleep under a wall which is about to fall and who is vigorously awakened. This person may be alarmed and may even become angry although the aim was to save him.

Noah’s people were divided into two groups after his warning. His words touched the hearts of the weak, the poor, and the miserable and soothed their wounds with its mercy. As for the rich, the strong, the mighty and the rulers, they looked upon the warning with cold distrust. They believed they would be better off if things stayed as they were. Therefore, they started their war of words against Noah.

The Disbelievers’ Arguments

First they accused Noah of being only human like themselves. The chiefs of the disbelievers among his people said: “We see you but a man like ourselves.” He, however, had never said anything other than that. He asserted that, indeed, he was only a human being: Allah had sent a human messenger because the earth was inhabited by humans. If it had been inhabited by angels Allah would have sent an angelic messenger.

The contest between the polytheists and Noah continued. The rulers had thought at first that Noah’s call would soon fade on its own. When they found that his call attracted the poor, the helpless, and common laborers, they started to verbally attack and taunt him: ‘You are only followed by the poor, the meek, and the worthless.”

Allah the Almighty told us: And indeed We sent Noah to his people (and he said): “I have come to you as a plain warner, that you worship none but Allah, surely, I fear for you the torment of a painful Day.” The chiefs of the disbelievers among his people said: “We see you but a man like ourselves, nor do we see any follow you but the meanest among us and they (too) followed you without thinking. And we do not see in you any merit above us, in fact, we think you are liars.” (Surah 11: 27)

The Disbelievers Attempt to Bargain

Thus the conflict between Noah and the heads of his people intensified. The disbelievers tried to bargain: “Listen, Noah, if you want us to believe in you, then dismiss your believers. They are meek and poor, while we are elite and rich; no faith can include us both.” Noah listened to the heathens of his community and realized they were being obstinate. However, he was gentle in his response. He explained to his people that he could not dismiss the believers, as they were not his guests but Allah’s.

Noah appealed to them: “And O my people! I ask of you no wealth for it, my reward is from none but Allah. I am not going to drive away those who have believed. Surely, they are going to meet their Lord, but I see that you are a people that are ignorant. And 0 my people! Who will help me against Allah, if I drove them away? Will you not then give a thought? And I do not say to you that with me are the Treasures of Allah nor that I know the Ghaib (unseen); nor do I say I am an angel, and I do not say of those whom your eyes look down upon that Allah will not bestow any good on them. Allah knows what is in their inner-selves (as regards Belief etc.). In that case, I should, indeed be one of the Zalimeen (wrong-doers, oppressors, etc.).”

(Surah 11: 29-31)

Noah refuted the arguments of the disbelievers with the noble knowledge of the prophets. It is the logic of intellect that rids itself of personal pride and interests.

The Disbelievers Remain Ignorant.

The rulers were tired of Noah’s arguments. Allah the Exalted related their attitude: They said: “O Noah! You have disputed with us and much have you prolonged the dispute with us, now bring upon us what you threaten us with, if you are of the truthful.” He said: “Only Allah will bring it (the punishment) on you, if He will, and then you will escape not. And my advice will not profit you, even if I wish to give you counsel, if Allah’s Will is to keep you astray. He is your Lord! And to Him you shall return.” (Surah 7: 32-32)

The battle continued; the arguments between the disbelievers and Noah became prolonged. When all the refutations of the disbelievers collapsed and they had no more to say, they began to be rude and insulted Allah’s prophet: The leaders of his people said: “Verily, we see you in plain error.” (Surah 7: 60)

Noah responded in the manner of the prophets: “O my people! There is no error in me, but I am a Messenger from the Lord of the Alamin (mankind, jinn and all that exists)! I convey unto you the Messages of my Lord and give sincere advice to you. And I know from Allah what you know not.” (Surah 7: 61-62)

Noah continued appealing to his people to believe in Allah hour after hour, day after day, year after year. He admonished his people and called them to Allah day and night, in secret and openly. He gave them examples, explained Allah’s signs and illustrated Allah’s ability in the formation of His creatures. But whenever he called them to Allah, they ran away from him. Whenever he urged them to ask Allah to forgive them, they put their fingers in their ears and became too proud to listen to the truth.

Noah’s Appeal to His People

Allah the Almighty related what Noah faced: “Verily, We sent Noah to his people (saying): “Warn your people before there comes to them a painful torment.”

He said: “O my people! Verily, I am a plain warner to you, that you should worship Allah (Alone), be dutiful to Him, and obey me. He (Allah) will forgive you of your sins and respite you to an appointed term. Verily, the term of Allah when it comes, cannot be delayed, if you but knew.”

He said: “O my Lord! Verily, I have called my people night and day (i.e. secretly and openly to accept the doctrine of Islamic Monotheism), but all my calling added nothing but to (their) flight (from the truth). And verily! Every time I called unto them that You might forgive them, they thrust their fingers into their ears, covered themselves up with their garments, and persisted (in their refusal), and magnified themselves in pride. Then verily, I called to them openly (aloud); then verily, I proclaimed to them in public, and I have appealed to them in private, I said (to them): ‘Ask forgiveness from your Lord; Verily, He is Oft-Forgiving; He will send rain to you in abundance; and give you increase in wealth and children, and bestow on you gardens and bestow on you rivers.

What is the matter with you, that you fear not Allah (His Punishment), and you hope not for reward (from Allah or you believe not in His Oneness). While He has created you in (different) stages (first Nutfah, then Alaqa, and then Mudgha -see Surah 23: 13-14)

See you not how Allah has created the seven heavens one above another, and has made the moon a light therein, and made the sun a lamp? And Allah has brought you forth from the (dust of) earth. Afterwards He will return you into it (the earth), and bring you forth (again on the Day of Resurrection) And Allah has made for you the earth wide spread (an expanse) that you may go about therein in broad roads.”

Noah said: “My Lord! They have disobeyed me, and followed one whose wealth and children give him no increase but only loss. And they have plotted a mighty plot. And they have said: ‘You shall not leave your gods, nor shall you leave Wadd, nor Suwa, nor Yaghuth, nor Yauq nor Nasr (names of the idols). And indeed they have led many astray. And (0 Allah)! Grant no increase to the Zalimeen (polytheists, wrong-doers, and disbelievers, etc.) save error.”

Because of their sins they were drowned, then were made to enter the Fire, and they found none to help them instead of Allah. (Surah 71: 1-25)

The Length of Noah’s Preaching

Noah continued to call his people to believe in Allah for nine hundred fifty years. Allah the Almighty said: And indeed We sent Noah to his people, and he stayed among them a thousand years less fifty years (inviting them to believe in the Oneness of Allah (Monotheism), and discard the false gods and other deities). (Surah 29: 14)

It happened that every passing generation admonished the succeeding one not to believe Noah and to wage war against him. The father used to teach his child about the matter that was between himself and Noah and counsel him to reject his call when he reached adulthood. Their natural disposition rejected believing and following the truth.

Noah saw that the number of believers was not increasing, while that of the disbelievers was. He was sad for his people, but he never reached the point of despair.

Noah Prays for the Disbelievers’ End

There came a day when Allah revealed to Noah that no others would believe. Allah inspired him not to grieve for them, at which point Noah prayed that the disbelievers be destroyed. He said: ‘My Lord! Leave not one of the disbelievers on the earth. If you leave them, they will mislead Your slaves, and they will beget none but wicked disbelievers.” (Surah 71:27)

Allah accepted Noah’s prayer. The case was closed, and He passed His judgment on the disbelievers in the form of a flood. Allah the Exalted ordered His worshiper Noah to build an ark with His knowledge and instructions, and with the help of angels. Almighty Allah commanded: “And construct the ship under Our Eyes and with Our Inspiration, and address Me not on behalf of those who did wrong; they are surely to be drowned.” (Surah 11: 37)

Noah Builds the Ark

An Illustration of Noah(peace be upon him) ‘s ark

Noah chose a place outside the city, far from the sea. He collected wood and tools and began to work day and night to build the ark. The people’s mockery continued: “O Noah! Does carpentry appeal to you more than prophet hood? Why are you building an ark so far from the sea? Are you going to drag it to the water or is the wind going to carry it for you?” Noah replied: ‘You will come to know who will be put to shame and suffer.”

Allah the Almighty narrated: And as he was constructing the ship, whenever the chiefs of his people passed by him, they made a mockery of him. He said: “If you mock at us, so do we mock at you likewise for your mocking. And you will know who it is on whom will come a torment that will cover him with disgrace and on whom will fall a lasting torment.” (Surah 11:38-39)

The Flood begins

The ship was constructed, and Noah sat waiting Allah’s command. Allah revealed to him that when water miraculously gushed forth from the oven at Noah’s house, that would be the sign of the start of the flood, the sign for Noah to act.

The terrible day arrived when the oven at Noah’s house overflowed. Noah hurried to open the ark and summon the believers. He also took with him a pair, male and female, of every type of animal, bird and insect. Seeing him taking these creatures to the ark, the people laughed loudly: “Noah must have gone out of his head! What is he going to do with the animals?”

An Illustration of Noah’s ark.

Almighty Allah narrated: (So it was) till then there came Our Command and the oven gushed forth (water like fountains from the earth). We said: “Embark therein, of each kind two (male and female), and your family, except him against whom the Word has already gone forth, and those who believe.” And none believed him, except a few. (Surah 11: 40)

The Number of Believers

Noah’s wife was not a believer with him, so she did not join him; neither did one of Noah’s sons, who was secretly a disbeliever but had pretended faith in front of Noah. Likewise most of the people were disbelievers and did not go on board.

The scholars (Ulama) hold different opinions on the number of those who were with Noah on the ship.  Ibn Abbas stated that there were eighty believers, while Ka’ab Al-Ahbar held that there were seventy-two. Others claimed that there were ten believers with Noah.

Description of the Flood

An illustration of Noah’s flood

Water rose from the cracks in the earth; there was not a crack from which water did not rise. Rain poured from the sky in quantities never seen before on the earth. Water continued pouring from the sky and rising from the cracks; hour after hour the level rose. The seas and waves invaded the land. The interior of the earth moved in a strange way, and the ocean floors lifted suddenly, flooding the dry land. The earth, for the first time, was submerged.

Noah Appeals to his Son

Allah told the story thus: And he (Noah) said: “Embark therein, in the Name of Allah will be its moving course and its resting anchorage. Surely, my Lord is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” So it (the ship) sailed with them amidst the waves like mountains, and Noah called out to his son, who had separated himself (apart), “0 my son! Embark with us and be not with the disbelievers.” The son replied: “I will betake myself to a mountain, it will save me from the water.” Noah said: “This day there is no savior from the Decree of Allah except him on whom He has mercy.” And a wave came in between them, so he (the son) was among the drowned.

And Noah called upon his Lord and said, “O my Lord! Verily, my son is of my family! And certainly, Your Promise is true, and You are the Most Just of the judges.” He said: “O Noah! Surely, he is not of your family; verily, his work is unrighteous, so ask not of Me that of which you have no knowledge! I admonish you, lest you be one of the ignorants.”

Noah said: “O my Lord! I seek refuge with You from asking You that of which I have no knowledge. And unless You forgive me and have Mercy on me, I would indeed be one of the losers.” (Surah 11: 45-47).

The Flood Ends

And it was said: “O earth! Swallow up your water, and 0 skies! Withhold (your rain).” And the water was diminished (made to subside) and the Decree (of Allah) was fulfilled (i.e. the destruction of the people of Noah). And it (the ship) rested on Mount Judi, and it was said: “Away with the people who are Zalimeen (polytheists and wrong-doing)!” (Surah 11: 44)

It was said: “O Noah! Come down (from the ship) with peace from Us and blessings on you and on the people who are with you (and on some of their offspring), but (there will be other) people to whom We shall grant their pleasures (for a time), but in the end a painful torment will reach them from Us.” (Surah 11:48)

With the issue of the divine command, calm returned to earth, the water retreated, and the dry land shone once again in the rays of the sun. The flood had cleansed the earth of the disbelievers and polytheists.

The Believers Disembark

Noah released the birds and the beasts, which scattered over the earth. After that the believers disembarked. Noah put his forehead to the ground in prostration. The survivors kindled a fire and sat around it. Lighting a fire had been prohibited on board so as not to ignite the ship’s wood and burn it up. None of them had eaten hot food during the entire period of the flood. Following the disembarkation there was a day of fasting in thanks to Allah.

Noah’s Death

The Quran draws the curtain on Noah’s story. We do not know how his affairs with his people continued. All we know or can ascertain is that on his deathbed, he requested his son to worship Allah alone. Noah then passed away.

Abdullah Ibn Amru Ibn Al-Aas narrated that Prophet Muhammad said: “When the death of the Messenger of Allah Noah approached, he admonished his sons: ‘Indeed I would give you far-reaching advice, commanding you to do two things, and warning you against doing two as well. I charge you (to believe) that there is no god but Allah and that if the seven heavens and the seven earths were put on one side of a scale and the words ‘There is no god but Allah’ were put on the other, the latter would outweigh the former. And I warn you against associating partners with Allah and against pride.'”

Some traditions said that his grave is in the Sacred Mosque in Mecca (Makkah), while others said that he was buried in Baalabak, a city in Iraq.

[Source : ‘Stories of Prophets’ by Ibn kathir]

The Arrogance of Abu Lahab towards the Prophet (Peace be upon him)


In the name of Allah, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful

This man Abu Lahab was one of the uncles of the Messenger of Allah. His name was `Abdul-`Uzza bin Abdul-Muttalib. His surname was Abu `Utaybah and he was only called Abu Lahab because of the brightness of his face. He used to often cause harm to the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him). He hated and scorned him and his religion.

Imam Ahmad recorded from Abu Az-Zinad that a man called Rabi`ah bin `Abbad from the tribe of Bani Ad-Dil, who was a man of pre-Islamic ignorance who accepted Islam, said to him, “I saw the Prophet in the time of pre-Islamic ignorance in the market of Dhul-Majaz and he was saying,

(O people! Say there is no god worthy of worship except Allah and you will be successful.)

The people were gathered around him and behind him there was a man with a bright face, squint (or cross) eyes and two braids in his hair. He was saying, “Verily, he is an apostate (from our religion) and a liar!” This man was following him (the Prophet) around wherever he went. So, I asked who was he and they (the people) said, “This is his uncle, Abu Lahab.”

Al-Bukhari recorded from Ibn `Abbas that the Prophet (peace be upon him) went out to the valley of Al-Batha and he ascended the mountain. Then he cried out,

(O people, come at once!)

So the Quraysh gathered around him. Then he said,

(If I told you all that the enemy was going to attack you in the morning, or in the evening, would you all believe me)

They replied, “Yes.” Then he said,

(Verily, I am a warner (sent) to you all before the coming of a severe torment.)

Then Abu Lahab said, “Have you gathered us for this May you perish!” Thus, Allah revealed,

﴿تَبَّتْ يَدَآ أَبِى لَهَبٍ وَتَبَّ – مَآ أَغْنَى عَنْهُ مَالُهُ وَمَا كَسَبَ – سَيَصْلَى نَاراً ذَاتَ لَهَبٍ – وَامْرَأَتُهُ حَمَّالَةَ الْحَطَبِ – فِى جِيدِهَا حَبْلٌ مِّن مَّسَدٍ ﴾

“Perish the two hands of Abu Lahab (an uncle of the Prophet), and perish he!

His wealth and his children (etc.) will not benefit him!

He will be burnt in a Fire of blazing flames!

And his wife too, who carries wood (thorns of Sadan which she used to put on the way of the Prophet (Peace be upon him), or use to slander him).

In her neck is a twisted rope of Masad (palm fibre).”

(Qur’an 111:1-5)

In another narration it states that he stood up dusting of his hands and said,

“Perish you for the rest of this day! Have you gathered us for this”

Then Allah revealed,

(Perish the two hands of Abu Lahab and perish he!)

The first part is a supplication against him and the second is information about him.

Concerning Allah’s statement,

(His wealth and his children (Kasab) will not benefit him!)

Ibn `Abbas and others have said, (and his children (Kasab) will not benefit him!) “Kasab means his children.” A similar statement has been reported from `A’ishah, Mujahid, `Ata’, Al-Hasan and Ibn Sirin. It has been mentioned from Ibn Mas`ud that when the Messenger of Allah called his people to faith, Abu Lahab said, “Even if what my nephew says is true, I will ransom myself (i.e., save myself) from the painful torment on the Day of Judgement with my wealth and my children.”

Thus, Allah revealed,

(His wealth and his children will not benefit him!)

Then Allah says,

(He will enter a Fire full of flames!)

meaning, it has flames, evil and severe burning.

Source:Tafsir Ibn Kathir

The Story of a Blind Man


The Story of a Blind Man

(Quran Surah Abasa 80:1-12)

Abdullah ibn Umm Maktum a blind man, was a companion of Prophet (pbuh). He was one of the early converts to Islam. He was also the cousin of Khadijah bint Khuwaylid, Mother of the Believers, may Allah be pleased with her. His father was Qays ibn Said and his mother was Aatikah bint Abdullah. She was called Umm Maktum (Mother of the Concealed One) because she gave birth to a blind child.

Guidance for All

“One day the Messenger of Allah (saws) was addressing one of the great leaders of the Quraysh while hoping that he would accept Islam. While he was speaking in direct conversation with him, Ibn Umm Maktum came to him, and he was of those who had accepted Islam in its earliest days. He (Ibn Umm Maktum) then began asking the Messenger of Allah about something, urgently beseeching him. The Prophet (phub) hoped that the man would be guided, so he asked Ibn Umm Maktum to wait for a moment so he could complete his conversation. He frowned in the face of Ibn Umm Maktum and turned away from him in order to face the other man.” Thus, Allah revealed,

﴿عَبَسَ وَتَوَلَّى – أَن جَآءَهُ الاٌّعْمَى – وَمَا يُدْرِيكَ لَعَلَّهُ يَزَّكَّى ﴾

(He frowned and turned away. Because there came to him the blind man. And how can you know that he might become pure) meaning, he may attain purification and cleanliness in his soul.

﴿أَوْ يَذَّكَّرُ فَتَنفَعَهُ الذِّكْرَى ﴾

(Or he might receive admonition, and the admonition might profit him) meaning, he may receive admonition and abstain from the forbidden.

﴿أَمَّا مَنِ اسْتَغْنَى – فَأَنتَ لَهُ تَصَدَّى ﴾

(As for him who thinks himself self-sufficient. To him you attend;) meaning, `you face the rich person so that perhaps he may be guided.’

﴿وَمَا عَلَيْكَ أَلاَّ يَزَّكَّى ﴾

(What does it matter to you if he will not become pure) meaning, `you are not responsible for him if he does not attain purification.’

﴿وَأَمَّا مَن جَآءَكَ يَسْعَى – وَهُوَ يَخْشَى ﴾

(But as for him who came to you running. And is afraid.) meaning, `he is seeking you and he comes to you so that he may be guided by what you say to him.’

﴿فَأَنتَ عَنْهُ تَلَهَّى ﴾

(Of him you are neglectful and divert your attention to another.) meaning, `you are too busy.’ Here Allah commands His Messenger to not single anyone out with the warning. Rather, he should equal warn the noble and the weak, the poor and the rich, the master and the slave, the men and the women, the young and the old. Then Allah will guide whomever He chooses to a path that is straight. He has the profound wisdom and the decisive proof.

Allah says,

﴿كَلاَّ إِنَّهَا تَذْكِرَةٌ ﴾

(Nay; indeed it is an admonition.) meaning, this Surah, or this advice in conveying knowledge equally among people, whether they are of noble or low class. Qatadah and As-Suddi both said,

﴿كَلاَّ إِنَّهَا تَذْكِرَةٌ ﴾

(Nay; indeed it is an admonition.) “This means the Qur’an.”

﴿فَمَن شَآءَ ذَكَرَهُ ﴾

(So, whoever wills, let him pay attention to Him (it).) meaning, so whoever wills, he remembers Allah in all of his affairs. The pronoun could also be understood to be referring to the revelation since the conversation is alluding to it.

Source: Tafsir Ibn Kathir

The Prophet (pbuh) always used to guide people towards Islam. During this incident he (phuh) devoted his complete attention to the leaders of Quraysh with the hope of guiding them towards Islam and hence ignored the blind man. As a result of this Allah revealed the above verses.

After this incident, the Prophet (pbuh) always treated Ibn Umm Maktum with kindness and generosity. He (pbuh) often greeted Ibn Umm Maktum with these words of humility:

“Welcome unto him on whose account my Sustainer has rebuked me.”

Abdullah Ibn Umm Maktum would also pronounce the iqamah for the Prayer. Bilal (ra) would call the adhan.

Narrated Salim bin Abdullah: My father said that Allah s Apostle said, “Bilal pronounces ‘Adhan at night, so keep on eating and drinking (Suhur) till Ibn Umm Maktum pronounces Adhan.” Salim added, “He was a blind man who would not pronounce the Adhan unless he was told that the day had dawned.”

Source:  Sahih Al-bukhari

The Slander against Ayesha (ra) (Mother of the Believers) and her Vindication by Allah


This extremely painful incident took place on the Prophet’s return from the expedition against Bani Mustaliq. The Muslim army had to halt for a night at a place, a short distance from Madinah.
In this expedition, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) was accompanied by his noble and talented wife, ‘Aishah (May Allah be pleased with her) As it so happened, ‘Aishah (May Allah be pleased her) went out some distance from the camp to attend to the call of nature.
When she returned, she discovered that she had dropped her necklace somewhere. The necklace itself was of no great value, but as it was a loan from a friend, ‘Aishah (May Allah be pleased her) went out again to search for it. On her return, to her great grief and mortification, the army had already marched away with the camel she was riding, her attendants thinking that she was in the litter as she was then thin, very young and light of weight.
In her helplessness she sat down and cried till sleep overpowered her. Safwan bin Mu‘attal, an Emigrant, who was coming in the rear recognized her as he had seen her before the verse enjoining the veil was revealed, and brought her on his camel to Madinah without saying a single word to her, himself walking behind the animal.
The hypocrites of Madinah led by ‘Abdullah bin ‘Ubai bin Salul, sought to make capital out of this incident and spread a malicious scandal against ‘Aishah (May Allah be pleased her) and unfortunately some of the Muslims also became involved in it. On arrival in Madinah, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) held counsel with his Companions, who pronounced different opinions ranging from divorce to retention.
The incident almost roused a fight between two rival factions, Al-Aws and Al-Khazraj, but the Prophet’s intervention silenced both parties on the sport. ‘Aishah (May Allah be pleased with her) unaware of the rumours being circulated, fell ill and was confined to bed for a month.
On recovering, she heard of the slander and took permission to go and see her parents seeking authentic news. She then burst into tears and stayed for two days and one sleepless night ceaselessly weeping to such an extent that she felt her liver was about to rip open.
The Prophet (Peace be upon him) visited her in that situation, and after testifying to the Oneness of Allâh he told her, “If you are innocent, Allâh will acquit you, otherwise, you have to beg for His forgiveness and pardon.”
She stopped weeping and asked her parents to speak for her, but they had nothing to say, so she herself took the initiative and said “Should I tell you I am innocent, and Allâh knows that I am surely innocent, you will not believe me; and if I were to admit something of which, Allâh knows, I am innocent, you will believe me, then I will have nothing to make recourse to except the words of the father of Prophet Yusuf (Joseph):
“So (for me) patience is most fitting. And it is Allâh (Alone) Whose Help can be sought against that which you assert.” [12:18]
She then turned away and lay down for some rest. At that decisive moment the Revelation came acquitting ‘Aishah (May Allah be pleased with her) of all the slanderous talk fabricated in this concern.
‘Aishah (May Allah be pleased with her) of course, was wholeheartedly joyful and praised Allâh thankfully. Allâh’s Words in this regard went as follows:
“Verily! Those who brought forth the slander (against ‘Aishah (May Allah be pleased with her) — the wife of the Prophet (Peace be upon him) are a group among you.” [24:11]
The principal elements involved in the slander affair, Mistah bin Athatha, Hassan bin Thabit and Hamnah bint Jahsh, were flogged with eighty stripes.
 
As for the man who took the principal part, ‘Abdullah bin Ubai, he was not flogged, either because the corporal punishment commutes the chastisement in store for him in the Hereafter, and he does not deserve this merit, or for the same public interest for which he was not killed previously. He, moreover, became the butt of reproach and humiliation amongst his people after his real intentions had been unequivocally exposed to all the public.
 
Almost a month later, the Messenger of Allâh (Peace be upon him) and ‘Umar bin Al-Khattab were engaged in the following talk: “Don’t you see ‘Umar if I had had him (Abdullah bin Ubai) killed, a large number of dignitaries would have furiously hastened to fight for him. Now, on the contrary, if I ask them to kill him, they will do so out of their own free will.” ‘Umar replied “I swear by Allâh that the Prophet’s judgement is much more sound than mine.”
Taken from Ar-Raheeq Al-Makhtum – The Sealed Nectar, by Saifur Rahman al-Mubarakpuri

Story of Zam Zam water


Narrated Ibn Abbas:
 
The first lady to use a girdle was the mother of Ishmael. She used a girdle so that she might hide her tracks from Sarah. Abraham brought her and her son Ishmael while she was suckling him, to a place near the Ka’ba under a tree on the spot of Zam-zam, at the highest place in the mosque.
 
During those days there was nobody in Mecca, nor was there any water So he made them sit over there and placed near them a leather bag containing some dates, and a small water-skin containing some water, and set out homeward.
 
Ishmael’s mother followed him saying, “O Abraham! Where are you going, leaving us in this valley where there is no person whose company we may enjoy, nor is there anything (to enjoy)?” She repeated that to him many times, but he did not look back at her Then she asked him, “Has Allah ordered you to do so?” He said, “Yes.” She said, “Then He will not neglect us,” and returned while Abraham proceeded onwards, and on reaching the Thaniya where they could not see him, he faced the Ka’ba, and raising both hands, invoked Allah saying the following prayers:
 
‘O our Lord! I have made some of my offspring dwell in a valley without cultivation, by Your Sacred House (Kaba at Mecca) in order, O our Lord, that they may offer prayer perfectly. So fill some hearts among men with love towards them, and (O Allah) provide them with fruits, so that they may give thanks.’ (14.37)
 
Ishmael’s mother went on suckling Ishmael and drinking from the water (she had).
When the water in the water-skin had all been used up, she became thirsty and her child also became thirsty.
 
She started looking at him (i.e. Ishmael) tossing in agony; She left him, for she could not endure looking at him, and found that the mountain of Safa was the nearest mountain to her on that land. She stood on it and started looking at the valley keenly so that she might see somebody, but she could not see anybody.
 
Then she descended from Safa and when she reached the valley, she tucked up her robe and ran in the valley like a person in distress and trouble, till she crossed the valley and reached the Marwa mountain where she stood and started looking, expecting to see somebody, but she could not see anybody. She repeated that (running between Safa and Marwa) seven times.”
 
The Prophet said, “This is the source of the tradition of the walking of people between them (i.e. Safa and Marwa). When she reached the Marwa (for the last time) she heard a voice and she asked herself to be quiet and listened attentively. She heard the voice again and said, ‘O, (whoever you may be)! You have made me hear your voice; have you got something to help me?”
 
And behold! She saw an angel at the place of Zam-zam, digging the earth with his heel (or his wing), till water flowed from that place. She started to make something like a basin around it, using her hand in this way, and started filling her water-skin with water with her hands, and the water was flowing out after she had scooped some of it.”
 
The Prophet added, “May Allah bestow Mercy on Ishmael’s mother! Had she let the Zam-zam (flow without trying to control it) (or had she not scooped from that water) (to fill her water-skin), Zam-zam would have been a stream flowing on the surface of the earth.”
 
The Prophet further added, “Then she drank (water) and suckled her child. The angel said to her, ‘Don’t be afraid of being neglected, for this is the House of Allah which will be built by this boy and his father, and Allah never neglects His people.’
 
The House (i.e. Kaba) at that time was on a high place resembling a hillock, and when torrents came, they flowed to its right and left. She lived in that way till some people from the tribe of Jurhum or a family from Jurhum passed by her and her child, as they (i.e. the Jurhum people) were coming through the way of Kada’.
 
They landed in the lower part of Mecca where they saw a bird that had the habit of flying around water and not leaving it. They said, ‘This bird must be flying around water, though we know that there is no water in this valley.’ They sent one or two messengers who discovered the source of water, and returned to inform them of the water.
 
So, they all came (towards the water).” The Prophet added, “Ishmael’s mother was sitting near the water. They asked her, ‘Do you allow us to stay with you?” She replied, ‘Yes, but you will have no right to possess the water.’ They agreed to that.” The Prophet further said, “Ishmael’s mother was pleased with the whole situation as she used to love to enjoy the company of the people.
 
So, they settled there, and later on they sent for their families who came and settled with them so that some families became permanent residents there. The child (i.e. Ishmael) grew up and learnt Arabic from them and (his virtues) caused them to love and admire him as he grew up, and when he reached the age of puberty they made him marry a woman from amongst them.
 
After Ishmael’s mother had died, Abraham came after Ishmael’s marriage in order to see his family that he had left before, but he did not find Ishmael there. When he asked Ishmael’s wife about him, she replied, ‘He has gone in search of our livelihood.’ Then he asked her about their way of living and their condition, and she replied, ‘We are living in misery; we are living in hardship and destitution,’ complaining to him.
 
He said, ‘When your husband returns, convey my salutation to him and tell him to change the threshold of the gate (of his house).’ When Ishmael came, he seemed to have felt something unusual, so he asked his wife, ‘Has anyone visited you?’ She replied, ‘Yes, an old man of so-and-so description came and asked me about you and I informed him, and he asked about our state of living, and I told him that we were living in a hardship and poverty.’
 
On that Ishmael said, ‘Did he advise you anything?’ She replied, ‘Yes, he told me to convey his salutation to you and to tell you to change the threshold of your gate.’ Ishmael said, ‘It was my father, and he has ordered me to divorce you. Go back to your family.’ So, Ishmael divorced her and married another woman from amongst them (i.e. Jurhum).
 
Then Abraham stayed away from them for a period as long as Allah wished and called on them again but did not find Ishmael. So he came to Ishmael’s wife and asked her about Ishmael. She said, ‘He has gone in search of our livelihood.’ Abraham asked her, ‘How are you getting on?’ asking her about their sustenance and living.
 
She replied, ‘We are prosperous and well-off (i.e. we have everything in abundance).’ Then she thanked Allah’ Abraham said, ‘What kind of food do you eat?’ She said. ‘Meat.’ He said, ‘What do you drink?’ She said, ‘Water.” He said, “O Allah! Bless their meat and water.”
 
The Prophet added, “At that time they did not have grain, and if they had grain, he would have also invoked Allah to bless it.” The Prophet added, “If somebody has only these two things as his sustenance, his health and disposition will be badly affected, unless he lives in Mecca.”
 
The Prophet added,” Then Abraham said Ishmael’s wife, “When your husband comes, give my regards to him and tell him that he should keep firm the threshold of his gate.’ When Ishmael came back, he asked his wife, ‘Did anyone call on you?’
 
She replied, ‘Yes, a good-looking old man came to me,’ so she praised him and added.’He asked about you, and I informed him, and he asked about our livelihood and I told him that we were in a good condition.’ Ishmael asked her, ‘Did he give you any piece of advice?’
 
She said, ‘Yes, he told me to give his regards to you and ordered that you should keep firm the threshold of your gate.’ On that Ishmael said, ‘It was my father, and you are the threshold (of the gate). He has ordered me to keep you with me.’
 
Then Abraham stayed away from them for a period as long as Allah wished, and called on them afterwards. He saw Ishmael under a tree near Zamzam, sharpening his arrows. When he saw Abraham, he rose up to welcome him (and they greeted each other as a father does with his son or a son does with his father).
 
Abraham said, ‘O Ishmael! Allah has given me an order.’ Ishmael said, ‘Do what your Lord has ordered you to do.’ Abraham asked, ‘Will you help me?’ Ishmael said, ‘I will help you.’ Abraham said, Allah has ordered me to build a house here,’ pointing to a hillock higher than the land surrounding it.”
 
The Prophet added, “Then they raised the foundations of the House (i.e. the Ka’ba). Ishmael brought the stones and Abraham was building, and when the walls became high, Ishmael brought this stone and put it for Abraham who stood over it and carried on building, while Ishmael was handing him the stones, and both of them were saying, ‘O our Lord! Accept (this service) from us, Verily, You are the All-Hearing, the All-Knowing.’ The Prophet added, “Then both of them went on building and going round the Ka’ba saying: O our Lord ! Accept (this service) from us, Verily, You are the All-Hearing, the All-Knowing.” (2.127)
 
[Sahih Al-Bukhari Volume 4, Book 55, Number 583]