Prophet Ibrahim (as) lived over four thousand years ago, his story can be found in the Holy Quran and the Bible.
Ibrahim (as) had been married to Sarah for some time but they had not been blessed with any children. They always prayed to Allah to bless them with children and they trusted that He would do what is best. As time passed Sarah felt that she may be too old to have children, so she told Ibrahim (as) to marry their slave girl Hajar. Maybe Allah would bless them with a child through Hajar.
Soon after Ibrahim (as) and Hajar married they were blessed with a beautiful little baby and they named his Ismail. Allah commanded Ibrahim (as) to leave Hajar and baby Ismail in a place in Hijaz. This was a dry, mountainous and barren place, there was no food or water in this place. Ibrahim (as) took them to this place and left them with a small pouch of water and some food. He trusted Allah would protect, provide and do what is best.
Soon the food and water ran out and baby Ismail started to cry. Hajar panicked and ran back and forth between the mountains of Safa and Marwah looking for food and water but she couldn’t find anything. When she returned she found a spring had appeared where Ismail had been kicking the sand. The spring which Zam-Zam produced clean water and Hajar and Ismail were the first to drink from it. This Zam-Zam spring is still producing the same sweet and pure water it did then, by the grace of Allah.
Gradually people began to reside in the valley with the permission of Hajar. Over time what was a dry barren land turned in a busy town. The town was near a trade route and many merchants began passing through the town and bringing wealth to it. This small town grew and grew and it is now known as Makkah, it is still a very busy town in Saudi Arabia today.
When Ismail was a small boy Ibrahim (as) had a dream, in his dream he was commanded by Allah to sacrifice his son. When a prophet has a dream it is always true, this dream occurred many times. Ibrahim (as) understood that he must sacrifice his beloved son. He told his Ismail about his dream and Ismail agreed that he must carry out the command of Allah.
Ibrahim and Ismail travelled to the place of sacrifice and on the way the Shaytan appeared, he tried to persuade Ibrahim to not carry out the command of Allah. The Shaytan persisted in telling Ibrahim to not do and think about how much he loved his son Ismail. Ibrahim was not easily deterred, he knew that the love of Allah comes before the love of his son. He knew that if Allah had commanded it he must do it and it was for the best, truly only Allah knows what’s best. The Shaytan kept coming and each time he came Ibrahim (as) kept throwing stones at him and continued his journey.
Ibrahim (as) blindfolded himself and carried out the sacrifice, when he removed the blindfold a sheep or a ram was in the place of his son. Ibrahim (as) was relieved and thanked Allah for this. He understood that this meant that the journey had been accepted and he had passed his test from Allah. Alhamdulliah.
Later on, when Ismail was a grown man and married, Ibrahim (as) came to visit his son Ismail. They were commanded by Allah to build the Holy Kaaba. This was the first house built for the worship of the one and only God of all mankind, Allah. Many tribes came to make pilgrimage to this house of Allah and still millions of Muslims continue to do so. In performing this pilgrimage, they are performing an act of worship called Hajj. Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam and all Muslims must carry out Hajj at least once in their lifetime.
This story of Hajj teaches us many lessons, including:
1. We should trust Allah and put Allahs pleasure before anything else, even before our family.
2. Allah will always do what is best for us,
3. No matter what situation you are in or however panicked you are, Allah will always make a way.
4. Allah created us and He knows what is best for us. We may not always understand why some things are the way they are but we must always be patient and trust Allah.
Keep praying for Allah to guide us, without His guidance we will surely go astray.