The legacy of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAW) does not start from his first revelation that began his prophethood, nor does it start from his birth – but it starts from Ibrahim (Abraham) (RAA) and his journey into Egypt. It is with that fated journey with the Will of Allah (SWT) that a man would be born who will change the world. The King of Egypt discovered the beauty of a woman who had entered in his land with a foreign man. In his kingdom, he was used to getting everything he wanted whether it was women or wealth – the two vices of men – and so he laid his lustful eyes on Sara, the wife of Ibrahim (AS). If she was married, surely he will kill her husband and take her for himself. If she was not, nothing stood in his way. Ibrahim (RAA) kindly answered, “She is my sister,” referring to the fact that Allah (SWT) has created all believers as sisters and brothers. The king held her captive.
Many times he tried to approach her with evil intentions, but each time a divine interception caused a diversion. And each time he grew scared that he was indeed after someone who was protected. His fear led him to release Sara and, to be in their good favor, sent along Hajir as their helper. The Prophet (RAA) and his wife with Hajir continued their journey and Sara began to realize her inability to conceive. Some time had passed and she had not received a child, and so she urged Ibrahim (RAA) to marry Hajir. That marriage led to a son, Ismael (Ishmael) (AS), and jealousy between the two wives. At one point, Sara kicked Hajir and her son out of the house in pure rage. It was then that Ibrahim (RAA) told Hajir, “We are going somewhere.”
They started their long journey and ended up in a barren land. There was nothing in sight, no fruit, no vegetation, not even water. There was little water left with them when Ibrahim (RAA) suddenly turned around and began to walk away, leaving Hajir and his son abandoned in the middle of the mountains.
His wife ran after him, “Wait! Where are you going?”
He did not answer, and continued walking. She asked again, “Where are you going?” He again continued without saying a word. She implored one more time, approaching him, and again he did not answer. She only saw his back without an intention to turn back. Was it the jealousy that has caused her husband to treat her this way? Had something displeased him?
She then asked, “Did Allah (SWT) order you to do this?” Finally, there was a pause in his movement. He (RAA) answered, “Yes.” Hajir stepped back and turned around to tend to her son. When it was Allah’s (SWT) Will, there was no need for her to worry. They will surely be taken care of. Her husband left on the command of Allah (SWT) and slowly, the mother and son began to lose their provisions until they were left with nothing.
Little Ismael (RAA) began to cry. Mountains surrounded her, yet her conviction in Allah (SWT) never wavered. Ismael (RAA) was hungry and there was nothing she could give him. So in desperate need for food or water, she began running up and down the mountains, looking for any sign of any food that Allah (SWT) has provided for them. She ran seven times between what would later be known as Mount Safa’ and Marwa. Her strong conviction and her act became so beloved to Allah (SWT) that He (SWT) magnified the rewards for it by having millions of Muslims carry on in her footsteps once a year until this very day.
As she ran in desperation, Angel Jibrael (Gabriel) (RAA) appeared and struck the earth near Ismael’s (RAA) feet with his wings, unveiling clear, gushing liquid in the middle of the moutainous region. Seeing the water, Hajir ran back and hurried to make a makeshift pool so that the water would not be wasted. Yet that water continued to gush out into the sand and she started telling it to stop, “Zam! zam!”
From far away, a tribe had been migrating, looking for a place to stay. They began seeing the birds fly overhead and knew that they will lead them to water. There sat a woman, with a child in her arms, standing next to the most precious commodity in the desert: Water.
“May we stay with you?” They asked.
“On one condition,” she replied with her wisdom, “We will have control of the water.”
These men were from the Jurhum tribe and there they settled, with Hajir and her son, Ismael (AS), as the sole owners of the well of Zam-Zam.
“May Allah (SWT) bless the mother of Isma’eel for had she not stopped it, the water would have a stream flowing on the surface of the earth.” Prophet Muhammad (SAW). [Sahih al-Bukhari]
“No story is told without wisdom.” To be continued, insha’Allah (God Willing).