There is a sister amongst us who has been having challenges with Islamic precepts & concepts. And ever so often, her queries compel me to read a little more.
During the first few days of Dhul Hajj, she posted a picture of verses from Genesis from a non-King James version of the Bible. In it, Ibrahim a.s. is commanded to sacrifice his son. Nowhere in the version which she posted did I see mention of that son’s name. Or whether he was firstborn or not. She interpreted it to mean the son of his ‘lawful’ wife. Various interpretations of the Bible speak to the son, Isaac, Mount Moriah, and one interpretation speaks to the firstborn son.
Surah 37 ayah 100 to 107 of Al Qur’an say:
100. Oh my Lord, grant me a righteous son.
101. So, We gave him the glad tidings of a forbearing boy.
102. And, when he (his son) was old enough to walk with him, he said: “O my son! I have seen in a dream that I am slaughtering you. So look what you think!” He said: “O my father! Do that which you are commanded, if Allah wills, you shall find me of the patient.”
103. Then, when they had both submitted themselves, and he had laid him prostrate on his forehead;
104. We called out to him: “O Ibrahim!”
105. “You have fulfilled the dream!” Verily, thus do We reward the doers of good.
106. Verily, that indeed was a manifest trial.
107. And We ransomed him with a great sacrifice
(Surah 37 speaks of Nuha.s. and Ibrahim a.s.)
All of the faiths agree that Ismail a.s. was the firstborn son of Ibrahim a.s.
Some say that Mt. Moriah is in Jerusalem, others say the Moriah is Marwah in Mecca as in one of the hills Marwah to and from which Hajra r.a., mother of Ismail a.s., ran in her search for water for her babe.
Is the identity of the son whom Ibrahim a.s. believed he was to sacrifice important? It isn’t important for the lesson of obedience to Allah s.w.t., it isn’t important for the story of Ibrahim a.s., it isn’t important for the tenet that mankind shall be tested by our Lord, it isn’t important for us to understand the love and faith which Ibrahim a.s., the Friend of Allah s.w.t, held in his heart. There are many miracles in the life of Ibrahim a.s.
On another note, Islamic tradition holds that it is Ismail a.s., the firstborn son of Ibrahim a.s., who was placed on the sacrificial altar, and whom Allah s.w.t. ransomed with a ram which had grazed for 40 years in Paradise and whose horns were kept in the Kaabah.
Imam Ahmad recorded that Ibn `Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “When the rituals were enjoined upon Ibrahim, peace be upon him, the Shaytan appeared to him at the Mas`a and raced with him, but Ibrahim got there first. Then Jibril, upon him be peace, took him to Jamrat Al-`Aqabah and the Shaytan appeared to him, so he stoned him with seven pebbles until he disappeared. Then he appeared him at Al-Jamrah Al-Wusta and he stoned him with seven pebbles.
It was reported that Ibn `Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “A ram which had grazed in Paradise for forty years.”
Imam Ahmad recorded that Safiyyah bint Shaybah said, “A woman from Bani Sulaym, who was the midwife of most of the people in our household, told me that the Messenger of Allah sent for `Uthman bin Talhah, may Allah be pleased with him.” On one occasion she said, “I asked `Uthman, `Why did the Prophet call you’ He said, `The Messenger of Allah said to me, “I saw the horns of the ram when I entered the House (i.e., the Ka`bah), and I forgot to tell you to cover them up; cover them up, for there should not be anything in the House which could distract the worshipper.” Sufyan said, “The horns of the ram remained hanging in the House until it was burned, and they were burned too.”
Most significantly, our Beloved Rasool s.a.w.s. performed both the Hajj and the qurbani during his lifetime and prophethood.
May Allah s.w.t. guide us and grant us beneficial knowledge.
So, we talked about things we didn’t know earlier. Do you know the source of the takbeer which it is recommended that we say after each fard salaat during the day of Arafat and days of Eid ul Adha? Moulana Ahmed shared this in his lecture:
There are three components of the takbeer:
- Allahu akbar Allahu akbar : Jibreel
- La ilaha illa la wallahu abar: Ibrahim
- Allahu akbar wa lilla il hamd: Ismail
This was said when the animal appeared and the test was deemed successful.
You attend lectures, and you sometimes sigh that you’ve heard all this before. But have you really heard all of it before? Were your ears really listening? Was your heart really engaged?
Moulana Ahmed gave a very stirring lecture to the intimate crowd that turned up to listen to him. We all know the story of Ibrahim saws and the test to sacrifice his beloved son Ismail saws.
But did we know:
- lease Whose daughter was Hajra r.a. (beloved mother of Ismail r.a.)? (Hint – that tribal leader to whom Ibrahim saws said that Saara r.a. was his sister in an attempt to protect against the man’s proclivities)
- That Satan approached each of Ibrahim saws, Ismail saws, and Hajra ra in futile attempts to misguide them from the path of Allah swt? (Why do we stone at three stations at Hajj? Aha – is it because of Ibrahim only, or the three members of his family mentioned here?) (Note – when NoS was asked by Moulana if he was told by his father that he was to sacrifice him, NoS’ response was that father would need to move to Black Rock (the colloquial reference to the ‘mad house’))
- Who was blindfolded – was it Ibrahim saws or Ismail saws?
- Whose shirt was Ismail saws wearing when he lay to be sacrificed? And why? (Hint – consideration for his beloved mother and the grief she would face. Please note that hadith says that he asked for the shirt to be removed so that he could be shrouded in it.)
- What destroyed Nimrod’s army? (Hint – chikV and dengue and malaria carrying little pests)
- What afflicted Nimrod and what gave him ease? (Hint – footwear hurling – is this the source of middle eastern insults?)
- Did Ibrahim saws curse his father or part from him in peace?
- Did the angels cool the fire into which Ibrahim saws was catapulted?
Image credit: hidayat.org
The moon was sighted signalling the start of the 12th month of the Islamic year, and the month in which the first 10 days are significant. For BD and me, it has brought back memories of where we were one year ago, but for all of us, it is a time for us to examine whether we have the nisaab that qualifies us to perform the qurbani/udhiyya incumbent on each of us who is mature, competent in mind.
Have you found the animal yet which is free of defects and whose hair or wool will gain you many rewards in the Hereafter, when you are present at its slaughter on one of the three days of Eid ul Adha – the 10th 11th or 12th of Dhul Hajj – provided of course that you approach the udhiyya with the right intention?
If the animal you buy is lost, stolen, or dies prior to Eid, it is incumbent on you to procure another. Unfortunately, we have already heard of animals being purchased, and when the purchaser turns up to collect it, the seller was not the person with the right to sell; and of animals purchased, but killed without more by persons unknown. Many now are the instances of just the head of the animal being found when owners return to pastures. Allah swt is the All-Knowing.
We were adequately warned. Hajj meant walking. No, that’s not its literal meaning. We walked to Mina, the tent city, Continue reading Walking to Mina
I really wasn’t moved to use my camera on the trip but pushed myself sufficiently during the last few days. Here is a photo from the rooftop, just past the crane is the ‘little’ mosque where we prayed from time to time, where three Bosnian pilgrims admired my burka.
The second photo is of the exterior of our hotel, the closest to Jamarat. This was the day of our departure for Makkah, when the neighbouring hotels showed dismantled beds and mattresses outside their foyers. We were blessed with being provided with many dishes meals in the facilities next door, and water, tea, coffee, and soda pop were abundant.
This was our base of movement for the first two weeks of our trip – we travelled to the Haram, we walked to Mina, we returned from Mina on Eid ul Adha, we scaled and dismounted the stairs to one of the many mosques, and the escalators to the fourth floor of the jamarat, we watched in awe as the street was closed off to vehicular trafffic, and human traffic walked constantly up and down in front of our hotel, we looked on as the streets and stairs were covered with shaven locks, we trekked with handwashed laundry to the rooftop for solar drying, we watched the green laser light emanate from the ZamZam towers, we discovered the stickers in each room indicating qibla, we experienced the combination toilet & bath, we topped up our mobiles, we got ‘buffed’ for daring to bring anything other than a knapsack for our sojourn to Mina, we recognised that hotel rating is comparative, we had meetings with respect to Hajj and its rituals.