Stories of the Pious: Hazrat Ibrahim (as) (contd..)
Then the tribe of Jirham came to that site, where the water was discovered. Janabe Haajerah got some much-needed support and she spent her remaining days there, in comfort. Thus Hazrat Ibrahim’s invocation to Allah, regarding Janabe Haajerah and Hazrat Ismail (a.s.), was accepted. Hazrat Ibrahim (a.s.) had beseeched Allah thus,
‘O my Lord ! I leave my wife and child near Your blessed house (i.e. Ka’aba) without any food and water, so that they may establish prayer (salaat). Incline the people favourably towards them and sustain them with fruits. Hopefully you shall find them to be grateful in their disposition.’
Hazrat Ibrahim (a.s.) used to frequent them in the desert. Soon Hazrat Ismail (a.s.) grew to become a youth. Then one day Hazrat Ibrahim (a.s.) saw a dream wherein he saw Allah commanding him to sacrifice his own son. Hazrat Ibrahim (a.s.) was sure that this was from the dictates of the Almighty. In order to do Allah’s bidding, he went to his son, Hazrat Ismail (a.s.) and explained to him his predicament. Hazrat Ismail (a.s.) was steeped in faith and certainty, just like his father.
He replied promptly,
‘Father, act in accordance with the divine decree. Allah willing, you shall find me among the patient ones.’
And then unfolded the episode that is acclaimed as ‘The Great Sacrifice’. To commemorate this sacrifice we observe ‘Eidul Qurban’.
HAZRAT ISMAIL (A.S.) MARRIED A LADY FROM THE TRIBE OF JIRHAM
Once when Hazrat Ibrahim (a.s.) came to see his son, he did not find him, but he saw a lady in the house. This displeased him intensely and he left a simple message with the lady for his son thus, ‘When Ismail returns tell him to replace the threshold of his house.’ When Hazrat Ismail (a.s.) returned and received the message, he perceived the underlying implication of his father’s communication. Immediately he divorced that woman and married another lady. The latter begot him plenty of children.
Once Hazrat Ibrahim (a.s.) came to Hazrat Ismail (a.s.) and said, ‘I have been commanded by Allah to establish the foundation of His house (Ka’aba) in this desert. Hazrat Ismail willingly (a.s.) assisted his father in this task and arranged for the necessary implements. Father and son began their work in earnest and implored Allah,
"Our Lord ! Accept from us, surely You are the Hearing, the Knowing; Our Lord ! and make us both submissive to You and (raise) from our offspring a nation submitting to You, and show us our ways of devotion and turn to us (mercifully), surely You are the Oft-turning, the Merciful."
Hazrat Ismail (a.s.) procured the stones and bricks, Hazrat Ibrahim (a.s.) arranged them, and soon a wall was constructed. Then Jibraeel (a.s.) descended and pointed to them the location of the ‘Black Stone’ (Hajare Aswad). They dug out the stone from under the earth and put it in its place. This stone is affixed even today in its place. They built two doors, one facing the east, and the other facing the west. After completing the construction, they performed the Hajj rites. Then Hazrat Ibrahim (a.s.) raised his hands towards the sky and prayed,
‘O Lord ! Make this land safe and secure for its inhabitants, and sustain them with fruits.’
HAZRAT IS-HAAQ (A.S.)
We have discussed at length the incidents relating to Hazrat Ismail (a.s.). We shall now deliberate upon the incidents relating to his younger brother, Hazrat Is-haaq (a.s.).
HAZRAT IS-HAAQ’S BACKGROUND
Hazrat Is-haaq (a.s.) was the son of Hazrat Ibrahim (a.s.), brother of Hazrat Ismail (a.s.) and father of Hazrat Yaqoob (a.s.). As explained in the previous chapter, Janabe Saarah was the mother of Hazrat Is-haaq (a.s.), while Janabe Haajerah was the mother of Hazrat Ismail (a.s.). Janabe Saarah was Hazrat Ibrahim’s first cousin, his maternal aunt’s daughter.
HAZRAT IS-HAAQ’S BIRTH
The Quran gives glad tidings of Hazrat Is-haaq’s birth in three distinct places viz., chapters of Hud, Hijr and Zaariyat. A pointer to this auspicious birth is also made in the chapter of Ankaboot. On all these occasions, the glad tidings were conveyed by the angels in relation to the impending chastisement awaiting the nation of Hazrat Lut (a.s.). The chapter of Hud (verses 67-73), very explicitly announces the birth of Hazrat Is-haaq (a.s.) thus;
"And his wife (Janabe Saarah) was standing, so she laughed, then We gave her the good news of Is-haaq and after Is-haaq of a (grandson) Yaqub. She said: O wonder, shall I bear a son when I am extremely old woman and this my husband a very old man? Most surely this is a wonderful thing. They said, ‘Do you wonder at Allah’s bidding? The mercy of Allah and His blessings are on you, O people of the House, surely He is Praised, Glorious."
Traditions place Janabe Saarah’s age in the region of ninety-two to ninety-six years. Hazrat Ibrahim (a.s.) was hundred years old or a little more.
After the good tidings from the angels, Janabe Saarah gave birth to Hazrat Is-haaq (a.s.). This event occurred in Syria. The infant grew into a youth and became a source of relief and comfort for his aged parents.
Indeed it is strange and not a little unfortunate, that despite such faith inspiring incidents, Muslims in their time of distress turn to others for assistance, spurning the Ahle Bayt (a.s.). How can the others be of any succour to us, while they themselves seek relief and alleviation from other than Allah and His Prophet and his Ahlul Bayt???
One feels old age and feebleness will impede procreation and this causes a lot of anguish and disillusionment in the individual. But history is replete with incidents wherein Allah has manifested His awesome power and majesty by placing infants even in barren wombs.
HAZRAT IS-HAAQ’S MARRIAGE
The Holy Quran and traditions of the infallibles (a.s.) have not delved in detail on Hazrat Is-haaq’s marital life. On the other hand, certain historians like Tabari and Ibne Athir, as well as well as the Old Testament, have spoken of it in a most demeaning manner, unbecoming of a Prophet. Which is why we desist from writing on Hazrat Is-haaq’s marital life, and only state those facts wherein the historians have attained a certain degree of unanimity and have given the status of Prophethood its due respect.
When Hazrat Ibrahim (a.s.) had grown very old, he requested the custodian of his family, La’azar to get Hazrat Is-haaq (a.s.) married to a girl from his family. In this regard, Hazrat Ibrahim (a.s.) insisted that Hazrat Is-haaq (a.s.) should not be married to any girl from the people of Kin’aan (what is today’s Palestine).
La’azar acted as per Hazrat Ibrahim’s (a.s.) wishes. Hazrat Is-haaq (a.s.) got married to a lady called ‘Rifqah’, the daughter of Betoeel b. Nahur. Later this lady gave birth to twins viz., Yaqoob (a.s.) and Ais.
(Qasase Quran, vol. 1, p. 196, by Sayyed Hashim Rasooli)
Ais, in his youth, migrated to his uncle Hazrat Ismail’s land, and married his daughter, ‘Bastah’. Yaqoob (a.s.) on the other hand, married ‘Liya’. Hazrat Yaqoob’s union with Liya, resulted in seven sons. After Liya’s demise, Yaqoob (a.s.) married her sister, ‘Raahil’. This marriage resulted in two sons, Yusuf and Benyamin (peace be upon both).
IMAM BAQIR’S (A.S.) NARRATION
Janabe Saarah’s chuckle at being informed on the birth of a child was one of surprise and amazement. For her entire life, she was barren and had lost all hopes of an offspring, and now when she and her husband had both approached the twilight of their lives, they were informed of a son.
(Ibid., p. 195,)
HAZRAT IS-HAAQ’S AGE AND PLACE OF BURIAL
Hazrat Is-haaq (a.s.) lived for approximately 160-180 years. He was buried at ‘Hebron’ (now Khalilur Rahman). His mother, Janabe Saarah is also buried there, who died at the age of 127. Hazrat Is-haaq (a.s.) was younger than Hazrat Ismail (a.s.) by five years.