24 July 2019   21. Zul Qadah 1440
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A Lesson from The Life of Ibrahim (A.S)

As the season of Hajj approaches, there are many lessons we may learn from this great event. We can learn these lessons from the Holy Quran, and its description of Hajj. In the Holy Quran there are many references to the kaaba and Ibrahim(A.S.) and the practices of Hajj.

We find in the Holy Quran, Allah Ta’ala discusses very little about the masaail (rules and regulation of hajj); but focuses on Ibrahim(A.S.) and his relationships. Allah Ta’ala depicts the life of Ibrahim(A.S.) and the trials he faced in his life. We are also told about the love, eagerness and extreme devotion of the great prophet Ibrahim(A.S.).

There is one account in particular of Ibrahim (A.S) at the time when he was building the Kaaba. Allah Ta’ala says in surah al Baqarah verse 127

“And (mention) when Ibraham was raising the foundation of the house and (with him) Ismaeel, (saying), our lord, accept (this) from us. Indeed, You are the Hearing, the Knowing.”

In this verse Allah Ta’ala draws our attention to the dua (supplication) of Ibrahim(A.S.)

“Oh Allah T’ala accept (this)from us”.

Let us analyze this eloquent dua;

Ibrahim (A.S.) was building the kaaba, yet he was so humble that he was asking for acceptance on such a deed by Allah T’ala.

The humility of the Khalil (devote friend) of Allah Ta’ala is incredible. At that time the thought does not occur to him that such a noble portion of the earth on which the house of Allah Ta’ala is being built upon, and I have the task to erect that house. He doesnot entertain the slightest thought of this nature, this pride and vanity that I have achieved something great, or even this idea that I am now completing a great commandment of Allah Ta’ala. His concern was rather “Oh Allah accept from us”

The learned ulema (scholars) write a very interesting point at this junction. The word used by Ibrahim(A.S.) is Taqabbul. Another word that could have also been used is qabool, both words are synonyms with the meaning of acceptance. Qabool is used when one has done something worthy of acceptance where as taqabbul is applied to those matters which are not fit for acceptance. Here, Ibrahim (A.S.) is worried weather my service is accepted or not. “O Allah through your grace accept what we have rendered.”

Allah Ta’ala in this verse is actually teaching you and I, the believers of the Holy Quran, a great lesson. Any worship we carry out, what ever service of deen we render, how ever great it may be, pride should not enter the heart, but rather awe and concern of acceptance should be our primary concern.

Muft Shafi (R.A) in his work Ma’ariful Quran writes under the commentary of this verse;

“Verse 127 shows another essential quality of this great Prophet. In obedience to Allah, he had left the fertile land of Syria and made his wife and child to settle in the barren desert, and now he was taking up the labour of building “the House of Allah.” This was a moment when a man who had been bearing such hardships in the way of Allah could normally be expected to feel satisfied with himself and relax in a mood of self-congratulation. But “the Friend of Allah” recognized the Majesty of Allah, and knew that no creature can possibly worship or obey his Creator as is His due, but within his own limited powers. Consequently, he also knew that in performing the hardest of the greatest tasks one should not be proud of one’s attainment, but should, in all humility, pray to Allah to accept the little effort one has been capable of making – and that, too, with the grace of Allah Himself. That is exactly what Ibrahim (A.S.) did when he started, along with his young son, to build the Ka’bah. That is to say, he prayed to Allah to accept this deed, for Allah hears all prayers, and knows the intention of His creatures”

Ibn Abi Hatim narrated that Wuhayb bin Al-Ward recited the verse “And (remember) when Ibrahim and (his son) Isma`il were raising the foundations of the House (the Ka`bah at Makkah), (saying), "Our Lord! accept (this service) from us'' and cried saying, "O Khalil of Ar-Rahman! You raise the foundations of the House of Ar-Rahman (Allah), yet you are afraid that He will not accept it from you'' This is the behavior of the sincere believers, whom Allah described in His statement;

“And those who give that which they give (charity & acts of worship) yet, with their hearts full of fear”(Holy Quran 23: 60) afraid that these good deeds might not be accepted of them. (Ibn Kathir)

Let us look at our beloved Prophet Mohammed (S.A.W.)’;

After every salaat, he would seek forgiveness three times (Saheeh Muslim). What was the reason for this? We know well of the salaat of Rasul (S.A.W.). Ibn Abbas (R.D.) narrated the hadith at the time of an eclipse in detail and (then mentioned that the people) said, “O Allah’s messenger! We saw you grasping something from your place in salah and then we saw you retreating” The Prophet (S.A.W.) replied, “I saw paradise (stretched my hands towards) a cluster (of fruits, when you saw me taking something) and had I taken it, you would have eaten from it as long as the world remains. I also saw the Hell-fire and I had never seen such a horrible sight (when you saw me retreating). (Saheeh Bukhari).

This was the level of salaat of our Prophet (S.A.W.) that he experienced visions of the unseen worlds but yet he would seek forgiveness. The reason for this gesture was that the prophet (S.A.W.) would feel he had not fulfilled the right of worshipping Allah Ta’ala.

Allah Ta’ala mentions in Surah Adh-Dhariyat 51:15-18 “Indeed, the righteous will be among gardens and springs, accepting what their sustainer has given them. Indeed, they were before that, doers of good. They used to sleep but little at night; And in the hours before dawn, they would ask forgiveness”.

Allah Ta’ala mentions in this verse certain qualities of the believers. One of them being the outstanding attribute of the riteous believers who observe the night prayers and thereafter at the time of suhoor (just before dawn) they seek for forgiveness.

This is the servitude we need to inculcate into our hearts, lives and actions, the attitude of the Ambiya and the pious. This gesture of fear that whatever service I render for deen and ibadah (worship) is not worthy of acceptance, saying ‘O Allah it is only through your grace that you accept the little that we have done.

Sh. Huzeifa Patel

Jami'yyatul Ulama Canada (CCMT)

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