The Birth of Ismael (AS)
The prophet Muhammad (SAW) was descended from Ismael (AS).
Ismael (AS) was the brother of Ishaaq (AS).
Ismael (AS) and his mother found the Well of Zamzam
He and his mother founded Mecca.
After returning to Palestine, Ibrahim (AS) and Sarah remained childless. Both of them had gotten quite old, and Sarah believed that she would never be able to have a child. Ibrahim (AS) was a pious man, and Sarah wanted him to have a son to continue his line, and so she gifted Hajar as a wife to Ibrahim (AS). Soon after, Hajar gave birth to Ibrahim’s (AS) first child, Ismael (AS).
One day, Allah instructed Ibrahim (AS) to take Hajar and Ismael (AS) to an empty valley known as Bakkah in the middle of the desert in Arabia. This place would later become the Mecca that we know today. This was another test by Allah for the three of them, as Bakkah had no food, water or even plants and so it should have been impossible for a mother and her baby to survive there. But Ibrahim (AS) had trust in Allah.
So Ibrahim (AS) told Hajar to prepare for a journey, and they set out for Arabia. When they had reached this barren valley, he left the mother and child with a small amount of food and water, before turning around and walking away. Hajar began to ask Ibrahim (AS) where he was going and why he was leaving them, but he didn’t answer. Eventually Hajar realised that this must be the command of Allah, and so she asked, ‘Did Allah tell you to do so?’
Now Ibrahim (AS) did reply, ‘Yes.’
So Hajar surrendered to the will of Allah and put her trust in Him, ‘In that case, I am satisfied.’
Ibrahim (AS) carried on walking away until he was out of their sight, before turning to Allah in du’a, ‘O my Lord, I have left some of my offspring in a valley with no food or life, by Your Sacred House (although the Ka’bah wasn’t built yet), so they may establish prayer. So make the hearts of the people turn towards that place, and give them much provision so that they may be thankful.’ This du’a was so powerful that now Mecca is a huge city where every Muslim wants to go to, and it also receives many different foods from all over the world.
Hajar tried to feed baby Ismael (AS) as best as she could. She breastfed him and gave him the little water that she had, but eventually she ran out. So she began to search for food and water. She ran up the hill on one side of the valley, known today as Mount Safa, but could not find anything. So she made du’a to Allah. Then she ran up the hill on the other side, known today as Mount Marwah, but still could not find anything. Once again she made du’a. She then ran back to Safa and tried again, until she had run between the two mountains seven times.
Eventually Hajar heard a voice. She looked around to see where it was coming from and saw the angel Jibrael (AS) standing next to baby Ismael (AS). Jibrael (AS) hit the ground with his heel, and water began to gush out. And it kept on flowing and flowing and it wouldn’t stop. Hajar began to shape the wet earth into a basin so that she could gather the water. As she did this she kept saying, ‘Zam, zam,’ which meant ‘stop.’ Because of this, this spring became known as the famous Well of Zamzam, and it is flowing to this day in Mecca. In fact, the prophet Muhammad (SAW) told us that if Hajar had not created a basin for the water, it would have overflowed on the entire Earth.
After a while, birds began to come to the well to drink. A tribe called Jurhum were passing near the valley when they saw these birds flying towards the well. These were birds in the middle of the hot desert, so the tribe knew that they must be going towards water. So they sent some scouts to follow the birds, who eventually reached Hajar and Ismael (AS).
When they saw a woman and baby next to the gushing spring, they knew that this was a miracle. So they asked Hajar, ‘Do you allow us to live here?’
Hajar responded, ‘Yes, but this water will belong to us.’ They agreed, and so this was the first settlement in Mecca. From here on, Hajar and Ismael (AS) remained amongst these people.
Ibrahim (AS) and Hajar were tested greatly in this incident. But both of them had entire trust in Allah, and so instead of complaining or asking questions, they submitted totally and followed the instructions of their Lord. Because of this, they passed the test. Allah’s plan is always greater than you can imagine. Today, Mecca is a massive city where everyone wants to visit. The water from the Well of Zamzam is all over the world. The prophet Muhammad (SAW) descended from Ismael (AS) and the tribe of Jurhum. Allah had a plan in telling Ibrahim (AS) to abandon his wife and son in the middle of the desert, even though they did not know what it was.