Today you will learn about the life of one of the best people that ever lived. This was a man sent by Allāh. You will learn why they were sent and what lessons we can learn from their lives. They were known as the Prophets of Allāh.
The Story of Ibrāhīm (ʿalayhi s-salām)
A very long time ago in a village, there lived a man called Āzar. He would make statues and idols from stone and sell them. The people would buy them and worship the statues and idols instead of Allah.
Āzar had a young son called Ibrāhīm. He was very good and kind boy. He used to see his father making statues and idols and sell them to the people. He would then see the people worship the statues and idols his father had made. This made Ibrāhīm (ʿalayhi s-salām) think. He thought why are people worshipping the statues and idols when his father had made them? It didn’t make any sense.
He would see that flies would come and sit on the idols but the idols could not move them away. He saw people putting food for the idols but the idols could not eat it. Of course they couldn’t, because they were made from stone!
One day, Ibrāhīm (ʿalayhi s-salām) said to his father, “O my dear father, why do you worship these stone? They can’t even talk or even hear what you say! They can’t help you in any way!”
His father became angry and did not listen to him.
In the village where Ibrāhīm (ʿalayhi s-salām) lived, there was a really big temple filled with idols. The people would go every day to worship the idols.
Just like we celebrate Eid, the people in that time had a celebration. All the people of the village would go somewhere every year.
Ibrāhīm (ʿalayhi s-salām) made a plan. No one was listening to him. No one was believing what he was saying. So he thought of a way to prove them all wrong.
The Day of the Festival
When the day of the festival came, everyone was ready to go. Ibrāhīm (ʿalayhi s-salām) told his father that he did not want come. He said that he wasn’t feeling too well. When everyone had gone, he went to the big temple with all the idols.
He went inside and started saying to them, “There is food and drink, why don’t you take it? Why are you not answering?”
Of course they couldn’t answer because they were made from stone!
Breaking the Idols
Ibrāhīm (ʿalayhi s-salām) took a big axe and broke all the idols. He broke all of them except the biggest one. He then hung the axe around the neck of the biggest idol.
The People Come Home
When the festival finished, all the people came back. They had not worshipped the idols that day, so they all went to the temple. They were shocked. They saw all the idols broken in pieces except for the biggest idol. They were very angry and started saying, “Who has done this to our gods?”
Everyone started saying that there is a young boy who never liked the idols. His name is Ibrāhīm.
Asking Ibrāhīm (ʿalayhi s-salām)
They called Ibrāhīm (ʿalayhi s-salām) and asked him who broke their idols. He said that the biggest idol had broken all the smaller ones. He told them to ask the big idol about it. The people became confused. Ibrāhīm (ʿalayhi s-salām) said, “Why do you worship them when they can’t even speak? Why do you worship them and not Allāh? These idols can’t help you or give you any harm.”
The Great Fire
The people came together and made a plan of how to punish Ibrāhīm (ʿalayhi s-salām). Some people gave the idea that they should throw Ibrāhīm (ʿalayhi s-salām) in a fire.
All the people agreed. They made a really big fire. The fire was so big that if a bird flew over it, it would burn and fall.
Ibrāhīm (ʿalayhi s-salām) was not scared. He knew Allāh was his special friend. He knew that Allah would save him and protect him.
We should also remember that if we become special friends with Allah, nothing can harm us. The way we can become a special friend of Allah, is by doing everything Allah tells us to do.
Ibrāhīm (ʿalayhi s-salām) Gets Thrown in the Fire
The people threw Ibrāhīm (ʿalayhi s-salām) into the fire. Allah has the power to do anything. Allah told the fire to become cool for Ibrāhīm (ʿalayhi s-salām). The fire did not hurt Ibrāhīm (ʿalayhi s-salām). When the people saw that the fire did not hurt Ibrāhīm (ʿalayhi s-salām), they became embarrassed and went away.
Looking at the Sky
One night, Ibrāhīm (ʿalayhi s-salām) looked at stars and said, “This is my Lord.” But when the stars disappeared, he said, “No, this is not my Lord.”
Then Ibrāhīm (ʿalayhi s-salām) saw the moon and said, “This is my Lord.” But when the moon disappeared, he said again, “This is not my Lord.” The next morning, when the sun started shining bright, Ibrāhīm (ʿalayhi s-salām) said, “This is my Lord because it is the biggest.” But when the sun disappeared, Ibrāhīm (ʿalayhi s-salām) said, “My Lord cannot be something which disappears.”
Who is My Lord?
Ibrāhīm (ʿalayhi s-salām) said to himself, “My Lord is Allah. Allah is always there and never dies. Allah is the Most-Powerful and there is nothing stronger than him. The stars are weak because the moon is bigger and stronger. And the moon is weak because the sun is bigger and stronger. And the sun is weak because the darkness of the night is stronger.
Allah is the Most-Powerful and nothing is stronger than Him. Allah is always there. He created the stars, moon, the sun, and everything else.
Ibrāhīm (ʿalayhi s-salām) Becomes a Prophet
Allah chose Ibrāhīm (ʿalayhi s-salām) to become a Prophet. His job was to tell everyone what was good and what was bad. He told the people who Allah was. He told them that Allah is the one who created us. That Allah is the one that gives us food and drink. That Allah is the one that cures us when we are sick.
He told the people that the idols cannot do any of these things.
The Evil King
The king at that time was called Namrūd. He heard that Ibrāhīm (ʿalayhi s-salām) would not worship anyone except Allah.
Namrūd was a very evil and bad king. He thought he was the best because he was king.
He called Ibrāhīm (ʿalayhi s-salām) and started asking him about Allah. Ibrāhīm (ʿalayhi s-salām) told him, “Allah is the one who gives life and death.”
Namrūd said, “I can give life and death too.”
He called two prisoners, freed one of them and killed the other one. He said, “Look! I give life and cause death.”
Ibrāhīm (ʿalayhi s-salām) knew that he did not understand what he was trying to say. So Ibrāhīm (ʿalayhi s-salām) said, “Allah makes the sun rise in the East, so you make it rise from the West.” When Ibrāhīm (ʿalayhi s-salām) said this, Namrūd was left speechless. He did not know how to answer.
Going to Makkah
Ibrāhīm (ʿalayhi s-salām) went back home to his father. He tried again to invite him to Allāh. He tried to make him stop making and worshipping idols. When his father did not listen, Ibrāhīm (ʿalayhi s-salām) decided to leave home. He had tried his best to call the people to Allāh. Now he wanted to go somewhere else and call other people to Allāh.
Ibrāhīm (ʿalayhi s-salām) had two sons: Ismāīl and Ishaq. Allāh commanded Ibrāhīm to take his wife Hajar (raḍiyallāhu ʿanhā) and son Ismail to a place called Makkah. Makkah was an empty desert at that time. There were no trees or plants. There wasn’t even water.
Allāh wanted to test Ibrāhīm (ʿalayhi s-salām). Allāh wanted to see if he listened to whatever order was given. Because Allāh told Ibrāhīm (ʿalayhi s-salām) to go there, Ibrāhīm (ʿalayhi s-salām) did not think that how he will live there with no food and water. He just listened to whatever Allāh told him.
When they reached Makkah, Allāh told him to leave his wife and son and come back. When he was leaving, his wife asked him if it was as order from Allāh. Ibrāhīm (ʿalayhi s-salām) nodded his head. She said, “Then Allāh will protect us.”
We learn that it Allāh tells us to do something, we should always do it. We shouldn’t think that it’s too hard because Allāh will never tell us to do something which is hard. And if something is hard for us, then Allāh will help us and make it easy. Think about how hard it was for Ibrāhīm (ʿalayhi s-salām) to leave his wife and son alone in a desert! Imagine if your dad left you and your mum alone in a desert! But they knew that Allāh had told them to do that, so Allāh will help them and make it easy.
Help From Allāh
The food and water they brought with them finished. Ismail was still a baby and he was feeling thirsty. So his mum went around to look for water.
There were two mountains in Makkah: Safa and Marwa. Because mountains are high, she went on top of each mountain to see if there was anyone to help her or if she could see any water. She did this seven times.
There was no one there. There was no water. But Allāh is always there. Allah sent help for Hajar (raḍiyallāhu ʿanhā) and Ismāīl.
The Water of Zamzam
While Ismail was waiting for his mother on the sand, Allāh sent an angel. The angel hit the ground near Ismāīl and all of a sudden water started coming out. They both thanked Allāh for this blessing. The water was the water of Zamzam.
Even until today that same water is still coming out in Makkah! Millions of people that go Makkah and Madinah drink that water. They bring water back home for their family. Zamzam is a miracle of Allāh.
The water of Zamzam is very special. If we make a duʿā and ask Allāh for something then drink Zamzam, Allāh will give us that thing! So next time you’re about to drink Zamzam, make sure you ask Allāh for whatever you want.
Ibrāhīm (ʿalayhi s-salām) Comes Back to Makkah
After a while, Ibrāhīm (ʿalayhi s-salām) came back to Makkah. He had not seen his wife and son for a long time. He was very happy to see them.
Allāh wanted to test Ibrāhīm (ʿalayhi s-salām) again. Ibrāhīm (ʿalayhi s-salām) saw a dream in which he was sacrificing his son. A Prophet’s dream is always true. It is from Allāh.
Ibrāhīm (ʿalayhi s-salām) told Ismail (ʿalayhi s-salām) the dream. Ismail told him to do what Allāh had ordered. He told him that he will not complain because it is an order from Allāh.
Imagine how scary and hard it must have been for Ibrāhīm (ʿalayhi s-salām) and Ismail (ʿalayhi s-salām)! They had been separated for such a long time! But because it was an order from Allāh they were ready to do it. We learn that we should also do whatever Allāh orders us. We shouldn’t think why? Allāh would never tell us to do something which is too hard for us. Even if we do find it hard, if we listen to Allāh then Allāh will make it easy.
Going to Sacrifice
Ibrāhīm (ʿalayhi s-salām) took Ismail (ʿalayhi s-salām) to sacrifice him. Like always, Shaytan tried his best to stop him. He told him different things. But Ibrāhīm (ʿalayhi s-salām) was a friend of Allāh and he was going to do exactly what Allāh told him. To make Shaytan go away, Ibrāhīm (ʿalayhi s-salām) threw stones at him in three different places.
When Ibrāhīm (ʿalayhi s-salām) reached the place where he was going to sacrifice Ismail (ʿalayhi s-salām), he laid him down. He then put the knife to his throat but the knife would not cut. Of course Allāh wasn’t going to let Ibrāhīm (ʿalayhi s-salām) kill his own son. Allāh was just trying to test Ibrāhīm (ʿalayhi s-salām) and see if he would do whatever Allāh commanded. Ibrāhīm (ʿalayhi s-salām) passed the test. Allāh sent an angel with a ram (a sheep) from Jannah. Allāh told Ibrāhīm (ʿalayhi s-salām) to sacrifice the ram instead.
Eid ul Adha
Muslims celebrate two Eids. One Eid is after Ramadhan and the other is called Eid ul Adha. Allāh loved what Ibrāhīm (ʿalayhi s-salām) did so much that he told all Muslims to sacrifice an animal every year. Because of this, Muslims sacrifice an animal every year at the time of Eid-ul-Adha.
Building the Kabah.
Allāh then commanded Ibrāhīm (ʿalayhi s-salām) to build a house where people can worship Allāh. They began building a house for the worship of Allāh. This house was called the Ka’bah. When we pray salah then we face the direction of the Kabah. This is also known as the Qiblah.
Allāh told Ibrāhīm (ʿalayhi s-salām) to call people from around the world to come and visit the Kabah. Even now millions of people come every year to perform Hajj.
We should always make duʿā to Allāh that he takes us to Makkah.
Lessons from the Story of Ibrāhīm (ʿalayhi s-salām)
We must remember some very important lessons from the story of Ibrāhīm (ʿalayhi s-salām):
We learn that we should always listen to what Allah says. Allah would never tell us to anything which is too hard for us.
Sometimes Allah might make us do something which may be hard for us, but it is a test from Allah. Allah just wants to see if we listen and obey him.