A long time ago, in the small village of Ur, a boy was born. His parents called him Ibrahim, or Abraham AS. Ibrahim AS was a very good boy.
He loved Allah more than anything else in the world. When he grew up, Allah made him a great prophet.
The people in the Prophet Ibrahim’s village did not love Allah. They did not bow to Him. They did not pray to Him. Instead of praying to Allah, they prayed to stones and statues. They even made a special room for them.
The Prophet Ibrahim AS hated the stone statues. He said to the people: “You must pray to Allah.” Nobody listened to him.
One day all the village people went to the market. The Prophet Ibrahim AS was alone. He thought: “There is nobody in the village. I am alone. Now I can get rid of all the stone statues. Then everybody will bow to Allah. And everybody will pray to Him.”
The Prophet Ibrahim AS went to the room where the stone statues were kept. He took a hammer and broke them all except the biggest one, so that they might return to it and question. When the people came back to the village, they were angry with the Prophet Ibrahim AS. They shouted at him. They held him by his hands and legs and they threw him into a fire.
Allah loved the Prophet Ibrahim AS a lot. How could Allah let wicked people harm Ibrahim! Allah said to the fire: “Be cool and a means of safety for Ibrahim!”
The fire obeyed Allah and became cool and peaceful. It did not burn the Prophet Ibrahim AS at all. He was saved!
After that the Prophet Ibrahim AS became bold. He knew Allah was on his side. He told the people to forget the stone statues and bow to Allah. He travelled from one village to another and told the people about Allah.
At first only a few people believed in what the Prophet Ibrahim AS said. But slowly more and more people joined in. Allah looks after people who love Him. He guides them in everything. He is always with them.
The moral of the story is that faith in Allah is the only thing that can save a believer in this world and in the world hereafter.
THE PROPHET IBRAHIM’S FAITH
When the Prophet Ibrahim AS was a young boy, he used to think a lot. He wanted to know who made the world. He thought: “The Lord of the world made the world. Let me find this Lord. He will be my Lord also.”
Allah loved the Prophet Ibrahim AS very much. He was his best friend. He wanted the Prophet Ibrahim AS to know everything properly. So he taught Ibrahim many things.
It was a dark night. The sky was dark. In the darkness, Allah showed the Prophet Ibrahim AS a star in the sky. It twinkled with a bright light.
When the Prophet Ibrahim AS saw the star, he shouted with joy: “The star is so beautiful! This is my Lord!’ After some time the star went away. The Prophet Ibrahim AS thought: “This star is not my Lord. My Lord can never go away like this!”
Then the beautiful moon appeared in the sky. The Prophet Ibrahim AS shouted: “It is so beautiful! The moon must be my Lord!” The morning light came and the moon went away. The Prophet Ibrahim AS said: “The moon is not my Lord. My Lord can never go away like this!”
In the morning the sun came out. It was shining beautifully. The Prophet Ibrahim AS shouted: “See, it is so beautiful! It is bigger! It must be my Lord!”
In the evening the sun too went away. The Prophet Ibrahim AS said: “The sun is not my Lord. My Lord can never go away like this!”
The Prophet Ibrahim AS looked around. He looked at the trees. He looked at the flowers. He looked at the clouds. Suddenly something happened. A new thought came to the Prophet Ibrahim AS and he realized that Allah is the Lord of everything. He made the world! He made the sky! He made the sun, and the moon, and the stars! So the Prophet Ibrahim AS said: “Allah is my Lord.”
Allah guided Ibrahim AS. Allah showed Ibrahim AS who was the true Lord of the World. Allah Himself is the Lord of the World. He is our Lord. He takes care of us. He never goes away and never leaves us alone.
THE PROPHET IBRAHIM AS TRAVELS TO ARABIA
One night the Prophet Ibrahim AS had a dream. In the dream Allah spoke to him. He said to Ibrahim AS: “Pack your luggage. Take your camel. Tell your wife and son to get ready. Then go to Arabia.”
The Prophet Ibrahim AS called his wife Hajrah and said: “Get ready. We are going on a trip.”
The next day, all of them rode on the camels and left the village.
The Prophet Ibrahim AS and his family travelled for many days. They climbed high mountains. They crossed deep valleys. In the end they reached a great desert.
There was nothing but sand in the desert. There were no shade-giving trees. There was nowhere to hide from the sun. There were no clouds in the sky.
The heat was making everybody thirsty. But there was no well. And they had no more water!
After a while they reached a little valley. The camels stopped. The Prophet Ibrahim AS and Hajrah and little Ismail got down from the camels.
The Prophet Ibrahim AS said to Hajrah: “You stay here. Keep Ismail with you. I have to go back.” The Prophet Ibrahim AS turned around and went away.
Soon Hajrah and Ismail were alone. Ismail started to cry. He was thirsty. Hajrah put Ismail on the ground.
Then she went to look for a well. She could not find any well. There were no wells in the valley!
She looked for water under stones, but there was no water there either. She ran here and there. It was useless. There was no water anywhere.
Hajrah tried again. She ran between the hills. She looked again for water. She was very afraid for her son. She did not know what to do. There was no water anywhere!
She heard Ismail crying loudly. She ran back to him. She was afraid something might have happened! She was afraid he was getting sick with the heat!
Ismail was lying on the hot sand. He was crying. He was kicking his legs in the sand. And then there was a miracle! There was a hole in the sand near his feet. And there was water in the hole! Thanks be to Allah!
Hajrah cried with joy. She took some water in her hands and gave it to her son.
The water hole was really a spring. It was later called Zamzam. It never dried up. It flows even today.
The moral of the story is that believers who, despite their hardships, follow the path of Allah, will find that Allah will help them in miraculous ways, just as the child Ismail AS was saved by the miracle of the Zamzam spring.
THE GREAT SACRIFICE
One night the Prophet Ibrahim AS had a dream. He was ordered by Lord to sacrifice his son.
Allah talks to the prophets. But He does not talk as we talk. He wants prophets to do something. He shows it to them in a dream. A dream is like an order from Allah.
The next day, the Prophet Ibrahim AS called Ismail. He said: “Ismail, I had a dream last night. Allah wants me to sacrifice you.”
Ismail was not afraid. He loved Allah very much. He also knew Allah was good. Allah never does anything to harm good people.
The Prophet Ibrahim and Ismail left Makkah. They went to the valley of Mina. This was the place the Prophet Ibrahim AS saw in his dream.
Ismail lay down on the ground. He closed his eyes. His father stood next to him. He picked up the knife. He was ready to obey Allah by sacrificing his son!
At this moment the angel Jibril appeared. Allah sent the angel Jibril with a ram to be sacrificed instead.
In this way the little Ismail was saved. Ibrahim AS and Ismail cried with joy. They thanked Allah and then the Prophet Ibrahim AS sacrificed the ram.
Allah loves people who listen to Him. He loves people who trust in Him. He cares for them.
Allah was so pleased with the readiness of the Prophet Ibrahim AS to sacrifice his beloved son, that He commanded the believers to observe this day as Id al-Adha or the Feast of Sacrifice.
THE PROPHET IBRAHIM’S GUESTS
The Prophet Ibrahim AS was a great prophet. He lived long, long time ago in the land of Palestine.
The Prophet Ibrahim AS wanted all people to know about Allah. He preached the message of the one God and told people to pray to Allah and thank Him for everything they had.
People did not want to listen to the Prophet Ibrahim AS. They turned their backs and went away. Only the Prophet Ibrahim’s wife and his nephew, Lut, listened to him.
One day some men came to the village. They stopped at the door of the Prophet Ibrahim’s house and said: “Peace! Peace!”
The Prophet Ibrahim AS greeted them also: “And peace be with you!”
The Prophet Ibrahim AS thought that they were strangers from another village. He rushed inside the house. He brought food for them. The men did not touch anything. They did not eat the food because they were not human. They were really angels sent by Allah.
The Prophet Ibrahim AS became afraid. But the angels said: “Don’t be afraid. We have brought you good news. You will have a son. He will be very wise when he grows up.”
The Prophet Ibrahim’s wife was very old. She did not believe in what the angels said.
She said: “I am too old to have a baby.”
The angels answered: “This is what Allah wants. Allah is wise, He knows best.”
The Prophet Ibrahim AS asked the angels: “Why did you come? Do you have more work here?” The angels replied: “Allah sent us to punish wicked people. They live in the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. We are going there.”
The Prophet Ibrahim’s nephew, the Prophet Lut AS, also lived in one these cities. The people of the cities were really very wicked. Only the Prophet Lut AS and some of his family were good. The angels said to the Prophet Lut AS: “Run away at night and take your people with you, as Allah told us to destroy the wicked cities.”
The night came. Suddenly their towns were turned upside down! It also began to rain. But it was not raining water!
It was hot fire falling from the sky! All the wicked people died and nothing was left of the cities.
This is how the angels sent by Allah destroyed the wicked people. Only the good people were saved!
BUILDING THE KABAH
There was a dry, sandy valley in Arabia. Nothing grew there. Nobody lived there. There was no water either for man or animals.
Allah told the Prophet Ibrahim AS to leave Hajrah and Ismail there. Little Ismail was very thirsty and cried bitterly. He kicked the ground with his foot.
Suddenly water started to flow in the sand. This was the spring of Zamzam. It gave water to the desert valley. More people came and made houses there. This is how Makkah was built.
One day, Allah ordered the Prophet Ibrahim AS to build the Kabah-the House of God.
The Prophets Ibrahim AS and Ismail climbed the hills. They found big stones. They pushed the heavy stones down and put them in one place. When they had lots of stones, they started to build the House.
They made the walls. After that, they made the roof. It was a simple but beautiful house.
All the time, while building the House of God, they prayed: “Our Lord! Accept our work! Accept this House we are making for You.”
They also prayed: “Make us good so that we always bow to Allah and pray to Him. Make our people good. Make our people love You and bow to You and pray to You. Be merciful to our people. Make them turn away from anything bad and wicked.
Let a great prophet be born in our family. Hear our prayers. You are the Most Merciful.”
Allah listened to their prayer. Many, many years later, a great prophet was born in Arabia. He was the Prophet Muhammad SAW. There is no god but Allah and Muhammad SAW is His messenger.
THE FIRST CALL TO HAJJ
Once the House of Allah was ready, Allah said to Ibrahim: “Clean the Kabah. Make it clean and pure. Then people can come and pray.”
Allah also said: “This is my House. Do not keep anything else around Kabah. They should pray standing. They should bow and prostate themselves in prayer.”
Allah ordered the Prophet Ibrahim AS: “Call people to come to the Kabah. Call people to Hajj. Call them to pray together in the House of Allah.”
People in all corners of Arabia heard the call to Hajj. They came to Makkah. Some came on foot.
Some came riding swift camels. Some came alone and some came with family and friends. Some came from far, far away. They had to cross deep valleys and high mountains and hot deserts.
They were so tired that they could not stand. But they all hurried to Makkah. They all wanted to pray in the Kabah. They all came on Hajj.
Why were people called to Hajj? They were called to come to the Kabah. They were called to come to the House of Allah. They were called to pray to Allah, who made the world. They were called to bow to Allah, who was their Lord. The House of Allah is full of blessings. It is full of guidance. That is why Allah ordered that All men and women must go on Hajj at least once in their life.
They must come and pray there. Allah also fixed the days for Hajj, and ordered people to perform Hajj at that time. And sacrifice a goat or other animal. This is to remember how the Prophet Ibrahim AS and Ismail obeyed Him.
Once a year believers go on Hajj. They travel from all over the world. They come in planes, in boats, in cars and buses. They all come to the Kabah in Makkah. They stand together and pray. Grown-ups and children, rich people and poor people, people from many countries: all of them pray together. They are all brothers and sisters in Islam. They are all servants of Allah and Allah loves them all.
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