In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful


[Shamim A Siddiqi, New York]



We are passing through the age of hero worship practically in every field of life. Our youth are crazy for their heroes in games, sports, film actors and actresses without giving any consideration to their habits and manners, ideals and character, love for humanity and the quantum of sacrifice for the uplift of mankind. Most of them are very often found leading a drunken life, involved in drugs and narcotics, deeply buried in lust for money, name or fame and often found caught with sex scandals. Very rarely people are found choosing their heroes from the pages of history from the life of individuals who have created everlasting impression on the rocks of time through their humanitarian services, developing the faculties of human mind behavior and the thinking process of the time towards shaping the destiny of man and the objective for which they lived on this earth.     


Such characters are, no doubt, rare but are many in the annals of history who lived like humans, struggled extremely hard throughout their life for the objective they loved , faced all kinds of trials, tribulations and torture for its sake, suffered innumerable losses of property, family and nationality, encountered stiffest opposition form the monarchs, the ruling coterie  of time but carried out their mission of life upper most in their mind which they themselves undertook by their free choice and travelled with hardship far and wide for its sake while maintaining the integrity of character, honesty of purpose and devotion to the mission  as priority # 1 of their life.


The most precious and the most unforgettable exemplary character out of the entire human race was and is that of Abraham, the common Patriarch of the Jews, the Christians and the Muslims, the most perfect Monotheist that came ever on earth. You take any part or segment of his life he will be the most perfect model for mankind for all times to come. Equally, his devoted wife Hagar and the most obedient and beloved son Ismail [May Allah be pleased with each of them] were the superb model on their own merit. Let us elaborate these ideals from the life pattern that they passed on this earth.


Every year Muslim celebrate and commemorate the sacrifices of these ideals at he time of Hajj  that falls on the 9th of Dhul Hajjah when the millions of Muslims assemble in Makkah from every nook and corner of the world for five days and remember with love, affection and devotion what they did in that city and its surroundings around 3600 years BC when there was no habitation, no water, no sign of civilization in that sacred city. Every segment of their life in the city is memorable and Muslims cherish it as the integral part of their Iman in Abrahamic faith. The entire commemoration of Hajj which is incumbent on every Muslim and Muslimah once in life time to perform if he or she can afford rotates around the sacrifices of either of the father Abraham, or the mother Hagar or the son Ismail. History presents some details of what each of them did at the cost of their personal sufferings and devotion to the cause of their Lord.   





Sir Leonard Woollley in his research book ”Abraham”, published, London 1935,  writes that he was born around 2100 BC in the privileged class of the society in the city of Ur in Iraq. His father was holding the highest post of the state. His people were idolaters, materialistic and secular in the attitude of life. They were mostly traders and their economy was interest based. People were fond of luxuries in life style. It looked like the modern American State in miniature. The city was infested with about 5000 idols and the people were worshipping the stars, the moon and the sun and religious prostitutes were all around common in temples.


When Abraham got maturity he discarded all their gods one after the other declaring that they cannot be God. He turned his face to Lord God in this process. He smashed all the statues and put the axe on the shoulder of the big statue so that people may turn to it for this calamity on their idols. On personal inquiry when they discovered that it was done intentionally by Abraham to draw their attention to the fact that these idols were good for nothing - could do no good no harm, they prepared an inferno and threw him in it. But by the orders of Lord God it turned into a garden of peace for him. He came out of it unharmed. His infuriated father turned him out of house. Abraham had to leave the home, his family, the country and his people for the sake of his Lord and left every thing what a man could afford to sacrifice for the sake of his Deen and the ideology that he holds. By virtue of these vast sacrifices and total submission to Lord, He recognized him as the leader of mankind, the Patriarch of the Jews, the Christians and the Muslims.


He migrated to Palestine and established the center of his Dawah Ilallah [calling the humanity to the fold of Lord] at Be’er Sheva while appointing his nephew Lot in Asia Minor as his representative. From there he went to Egypt which was another cradle of human civilization at that time after Iraq.




Abraham then reached the wilderness of Makkah and left his wife Hager and his baby son Ismail with some dates and water and started walking back. His wife Hagar asked him many a times: on whom you are living us in this wilderness and solitude? He kept silence. She then told herself: Is it on the directive of God? Abraham kept quite and just nodded his head in confirmation. She then responded: “You go, if it is as per the will of my Lord, I am sure, He will not destroy us.” This reply shows the depth of her faith in God and the amount of sacrifice that it contains under the circumstances in which she and her small baby were going to be left to bear all alone.


The dates and the water finished within a couple of days. In her front there were hills now they are called Safa and Merwah. In search of water, she desperately left her little son on the ground and went to top of Safa and then from there to Merwah, keeping her eyes on her little son lying in between two hills in the valley. He made seven trips like that from one hill to other. On the seventh turn she saw that water is gushing from the place where her son Ismail was rubbing his little feet on the ground. She rushed to it and wanted to cover the water with stones from spreading was calling “ZUM ZUM”. This was the miracle of God at the feet of Ismail. The fountain is still running and providing the most delicious healthy water to millions of Hajies and the local people every year. Allah made it as an integral part of Hajj rituals to run in between Safa and Merwah as Hagar did and drink the water of “Zum Zam” to complete their Hajj.  What a trustworthy and Allah conscious wife Abraham had!




Abraham returned to Makkah after some time and re-built Ka’bah, the House of Allah on direction from Allah with the help of his young son Ismail. Both prayed to Allah to make it the place of reverence for the humanity to visit the House of God and give Baraka in Rizq [provision] to its people. That Khair (goodness) is still going on for the people of Makkah.


Later on, Abraham saw in a dream that he is sacrificing his son Ismail. He told his son about the dream and the son Ismail responded. “Father, you do what Allah has directed you to do and you will find me extremely obedient to forebear it”. Abraham took his son Ismail outside with every intention to slaughter his son as he saw in dream. Allah accepted his intention towards sacrificing his son, sent a ram from heaven in his place to sacrifice and pronounced to Abraham that you have proved worthy of your dream. Allah accepted his sacrifice of ram in place of his son and the entire Muslim Ummah is commemorating this sacrifice every year at the time of Hajj for three days and distributes i/3 of the meat to the poor and needy, a continuous tradition of Sadaqah. What an obedient son Abraham had!         


CONCLUSION: For his life-long sacrifice in the way of Allah, devoting his entire life in calling the humanity to the fold of its Creator and Sustainer, setting model of his life to surrender to the call of Allah as and when it came to him, his family of three established the model to be cherished by all men and women, sons and daughters, rich and poor, free or in distress to make each of them as everlasting heroes of our life. If human society adopts him and his family members as its model, only then it can reap the peace of mind in self, develop harmonious family and enjoy a balanced society. Their immaculate character will always keep us inspiring in the wilderness of modern secular and self-centered life which is full of arrogance and pretentious life pattern.



Shamim Siddiqi

October 12, 09