- Birth: Ten generations after Hadhrat Nuh عليه السلام and twenty generations after Rasūlullah صلى الله عليه و سلم
- Time and place: Approximately 4500 years ago. Born in and spent formative years in Baabul or Babylon, situated in Iraq (ancient Mesopotamia)
- Title: al-Khaleel – the beloved friend of Allah Ta’ala
- Father: Taarih (title: Aazar)
- Mother: Ameelah
Both parents were idol worshippers:
Hadhrat Ibrahim عليه السلام was guided towards Tawheed (monotheism) despite being born into a community wherein idolatry was rampant. He made numerous attempts to convince his father, the tyrannical oppressive king Nimrod and his entire nation, to forsake idolatry and to submit to Allah Ta’ala. He remained firm even when threatened with his life and thrown into the fire.
He left Babylon for Hurraan, where the inhabitants worshiped idols, stars, the moon and the sun. Later he migrated to Palestine in the lands of Shām i.e. greater Syria. There he settled his wife and son Ishāq. Hadhrat Ishāq عليه السلام one son from his wife Rufqaa was Nabi Yā’qub عليه السلام – the father of the Israelites, while his other son from Rufqaa was Eeso – the father of the roman nation.
Hadhrat Ibrahim عليه السلام migrated and settled his other wife Hājirah عليها السلام and her son Nabi Ismail عليه السلام, in the barren lands of what is today Makkah Mukarramah. Hadhrat Ismail عليه السلام is known as the father of the Arabs and into his progeny our beloved Nabi صلى الله عليه و سلم was born. Hadhrat Ibrahīm عليه السلام is therefore given the title of ‘Abul Ambiyā’ or father of the Ambiyā عليهم السلام, and is regarded as the father of the of the Arabs, Israelites and roman nation. In Makkah Mukarramah, Hadhrat Ibrahim عليه السلام reconstructed the Ka’bah Shareef with the assistance of Hadhrat Ismail عليه السلام.
Actions in the shariah which find their origins in the life of Hadhrat Ibrahīm عليه السلام or was continued by him:
- Qurbāni (Udhiyah) or sacrifice
- Actions of Hajj (such as Tawaaf, staying at Minah and Arafah, Sa’ee between Safa and Marwah)
- Zamzam water
- Growing of the beard
- Trimming the moustache
- Cleansing the body thoroughly with water
- Migrating to protect one’s Deen
Qualities and attributes of Hadhrat Ibrahīm عليه السلام
- Tadhiyah: spirit of sacrificing that which is beloved to oneself for the pleasure of Allah Ta’ala. This proven in his will to conform when commanded by Allah Ta’ala to sacrifice his beloved son Ismail عليه السلام
- Muslim: Complete unquestioning submission to the orders of Allah Ta’ala as manifested when he complied to the order of his leaving his wife and new born child
- Haneef: Forsaking all false ways and inclining to the path of Haqq as attested by his spirit of steadfastness despite the challenges of the environment in his early years in his native village
- Muwahhid: Dedicated to monotheism even though the entire nation was stooped in idol worship.
- Wafaa: Fully implemented every command of Allah Ta’ala whether big or small, after he had submitted to Allah Ta’āla’s love
- Abu Dhifaan: Renowned for the highest levels of hospitality. So much so that it is renowned that he attempted to not partake of a meal until he found a guest to share it with
- Tawakkul: Unquestioning trust in Allah Ta’ala, when being flung into the fire he refused the assistance of the angels saying: My Allah’s knowledge of my situation is sufficient for me.
- Ikhlaas: Sincerity of intention, all actions are done for the pleasure and love of Allah Ta’ala. Therefore, his deeds have perpetuating effects and are alive many centuries later.
- Tarbiyah: One of the salient features of Hadhrat Ibrahim’s 8 life was the constant concern of the spiritual well-being of his family members. This can be deduced from the Dua he made when leaving his wife and child in Makkah Mukarramah: ‘O my Lord! Guide me and my progeny to establish Salāh.’
Let us take a closer look at the fruits of his efforts on his family.
His wife, Hadhrat Hājirah عليها السلام on the occasion of leaving them behind in the barren land of Makkah Mukarramah, posed a very wise question: “ Are you doing this (leaving your family in these barren lands) of your own accord, or has Allah Ta’ala commanded you to do so? He responded that it was a divine order. She gave an answer that is the barometer of perfect Imān: “Then never will Allah Ta’ala forsake us!”
Similarly when Hadhrat Ibrahim عليه السلام informed his beloved son, Hadhrat Ismāil عليه السلام that he was asked by Allah Ta’ala to put him (Ismāīl عليه السلام) to sacrifice, the young son who had been nurtured in the love of Allah Ta’āla submitted. ‘O my beloved father, Do as you have been commanded. You will soon find me, if Allah Ta’ala wills, amongst those who exercise patience.”
Pertinent to the fact that many within our community would have some free time available, we should reflect on one of the outstanding attributes of Ibrahim عليه السلام where Allah Ta’ala describes him as ‘Ummah’. One of the meanings is that he was an exemplary leader worthy of emulating.
Mufassireen (scholars of Tafseer) also opine that ‘Ummah’ means that in the form of a single individual he was the embodiment of multiple praiseworthy qualities that would usually be found in various outstanding individuals of an entire nation.
The lesson for us is to value our time and engage ourselves in as many avenues of good as detailed by our beautiful Shariah. Our beloved Nabi صلى الله عليه و سلم says:
Two favours are such that people are in deception about their true value i.e. they are only appreciated when lost, they are:
- Good Health
- Free time