Hazrat Nooh's survivors carried the torch of guidance to the present day. And most surely Ibrahim followed his (Nooh) way. (37:83)
Hazrat Ibrahim's lineage is traced as follows: Ibrahim Bin Tarukh Bin Nahoor Bin Sarooj, Bin Reu Bin Peleg Bin Aber Abu Bin Salah Bin Arfikshaz Bin Sam Bin Nooh.
Hazrat Ibrahim (A.S.) was detailed to preach his Mission (Oneness of Allah) during the time of Emperor Nimrud. People worshipped idols, the stars and other phenomena occurring in nature. And when Ibrahim said to his father, Azar (i.e., the man who had brought him up): Do you take idols for gods? Surely I see you and your people in manifest error. (6:74)
Almighty manifested to Hazrat Ibrahim (A.S.) "the kingdom of the Heaven and the earth", so that he become all the more convinced about His Glory and utilizes his knowledge in guiding the people. So when the night over-shadowed him, he saw a star; he said: Is this my Lord? So when it set, he said: I do not love the setting ones. Then when he saw the moon rising (in splendor), he said: "Is this my Lord?" So when it set, he said: "If my Lord had not guided me, I should certainly be of the erring people." Then when he saw the sun rising (in splendor), he said: "Is this my Lord?" Is this the greatest? So when it set, he said: "O my people! Surely I am clear of what you associate with Allah". (6:76-78)
This Lord clearly indicates that Hazrat Ibrahim was arguing with his people who worshipped phenomena occurring in nature. He was surprised that they worshipped such God's that disappeared, after intervals. We should also keep in mind that Allah guided every Divinely Commissioned Prophet or his successor.
Hence Hazrat Ibrahim (A.S.) was quite justified in saying, surely I have turned myself, being upright, wholly to Him Who originated the heavens and the earth, and I am not of the polytheists (6:79)
Hazrat Ibrahim (A.S.) wanted the people to give up idol worship: When he said to his father and his people: "What is it that you worship?" Is it a falsehood-gods other than Allah-that ye desire? (37:85-86)
Hazrat Ibrahim (A.S.) looked at the Stars. Then he said: Surely I am sick (of your worshipping these). (37:89)
The people were rather disgusted at Hazrat Ibrahim's remarks and proceeded to the festival. Next day was the festival of the idolaters. Then he turned aside to their gods secretly and said: What! Do you not eat? What is the matter with you that you do not speak? (37:91-92)
Hazrat Ibrahim (A.S.) then broke all the idols except the 'big idol' to convince the people about the helplessness of the deity. When people saw the broken pieces of their idols they rushed towards him. They said: Have you done this to our gods, O Ibrahim? (21:62)
Hazrat Ibrahim (A.S.) wanted the people to realize the folly of idol worship hence he said: He said: Surely (some doer) has done it; the chief of them is this, therefore ask them, if they can speak. (21:63)
Instead of asking me, why not ask the chief of the idols who is quite safe and in tact. Perhaps he broke other idols. People were conscious of the fact that their gods do not speak; so they lowered their heads in shame and said: Then they were made to hang down their heads: Certainly you know that they do not speak. (21:65)
Hazrat Ibrahim (A.S.) realized that people were defeated in argumentation hence he appealed to them to give up idol worship which can not do them any good. He said: What! Do you then serve besides Allah what brings you not any benefit at all, nor does it harm you? (21:66)
It is high time that you believe in the Oneness of Allah and start worshipping Him who is the Creator, All Mighty and All powerful. The people realized the fallacy of their creeds but were arrogant and adamant. They wanted to get rid of Hazrat Ibrahim (A.S.). They said: Burn him and help your gods, if you are going to do (anything). (21:68)
A huge furnace was constructed and firewood collected for a month. Oil was sprinkled, it was lit: When the flames rose very high Hazrat Ibrahim (A.S.) was placed into a catapult and then flung in the furious flames. At this juncture several angles offered to rescue the Prophet but his reply was "It is a matter between my Lord and myself I do not want any one to intervene". We said: O fire! be a comfort and peace to Ibrahim; (21:69)
Nimrud the tyrant king went to the top of his palace and was astounded that the fire had cooled down and turned into a garden Hazrat Ibrahim (A.S.) was surrounded by fruit trees and a fountain was flowing beside him. Thus the designs of the vicious people were frustrated; but even then they did not learn any lesson and had something up their sleeves. And they desired a war on him, but We made them the greatest losers. (21:70)
Nimrud the tyrant king had expressed his desire to fight the army of Allah. And there was a host of mosquitoes, from above, which ate the flesh and drank the blood of the people, who were doomed, and they met a miserable end. It is stated that a mosquito entered the nostrils of Nimrud and reached his brain and he also met a painful death.
After this eventful episode, Hazrat Ibrahim (A.S.) left the city of Babul in disgust and migrated to Syria. From Syria he again started his journey; he reached a place known as Ghazaza. During this journey Hazrat Ibrahim (A.S.) had kept his wife Janab-e-Sara in a box. At Ghazaza the custom officer asked Hazrat Ibrahim (A.S.) to open the box and show its contents. Hazrat Ibrahim (A.S.) asked the officer to take as much duty as he liked but not to open it. In spite of persistent request by Hazrat Ibrahim (A.S.) the officer opened the box and found Janab-e-Sara who was extremely beautiful. He informed the king who on seeing Janab-e-Sara could not resist his temptation. He stretched his hand towards her. Hazrat Ibrahim (A.S.) invoked Allah against him. His prayer was granted and the king's arm got paralyzed. The king requested the Prophet to invoke his Allah to cure him. Hazrat Ibrahim (A.S.) invoked Allah to cure him of his paralysis.
Allah cured him but the king again repeated what he did in the beginning. Hazrat Ibrahim's (A.S.) prayer again cursed him and again for the third time the king did what he did before. This time Hazrat Ibrahim (A.S.) took a promise from the king not to repeat in which case he would not invoke Allah. He with good intent promised the Prophet (A.S.). He then allowed the Prophet (A.S.) to continue his journey. The king presented a beautiful well-behaved maid to serve Janab-e-Sara. Her name was Hajira. Our Holy Prophet Hazrat Mohammad (S.A.W.) is the great grandson of her son Hazrat Ismail (A.S.). During this journey his first wife Bibi Sara presented Bibi Hajira to Hazrat Ibrahim (A.S.). He did not have any issue by his first wife. So at this stage he prayed My Lord! Grant me of the doers (son) of good deeds. (37:100) Hazrat Ibrahim's (A.S.) prayers were granted by Almighty, So We gave him the good news of a boy, possessing forbearance. (37:101) Hazrat Ibrahim (A.S.) was 86 years old when Hazrat Ismail (A.S.) was born.
Bibi Sara could not tolerate Bibi Hajira with her son Hazrat Ismail (A.S.), hence Hazrat Ibrahim (A.S.) accompanied Bibi Hajira and Ismail (A.S.) to the place (now called Mecca) and left them there, after making a small shelter for Bibi Hajira and lsmail.
Hazrat Ismail was thirsty and there was no water available. Hazrat Hajira ran in search of water between the two hills of Safa and Marva. The pilgrims run between these two hills 7 times, this is known as Sayee. Meanwhile Hazrat Ismail rubbed his feet on the ground and there gushed water from that spot.
Hazrat Hajira was very happy and tried to protect this spring by raising an artificial boundary round it. It is known as Zam Zam, because Janab-e-Hajira on seeing abundant water said Zam Zam (meaning abundant water).
Later the tribe of Bano Jarham came there and wanted to settle there since water was available there in abundance. After obtaining permission from Hazrat Hajira, she permitted those people to settle down there, and thus a new town flourished by leaps and bounds.
Hazrat Hajira (at Mecca)
When Hazrat Ismail was thirteen years old, Hazrat Ibrahim (A.S.) dreamt that he was sacrificing his son (Ismail). Hazrat Ibrahim asked his wife Bibi Hajira to prepare her son (Ismail) for a journey. Before departing, Hazrat Ibrahim asked Bibi Hajira to let him have a knife and a rope, which might be of use in case had to offer some sacrifice. When the father and the son reached the place of sacrifice he said. And when he (the son) reached (the age of) working with him, he said: O my son! Surely I have seen in a dream that I should sacrifice you; consider then what you see. He said: O my father! Do what you are commanded; if Allah please, you will find me of the patient ones. (37:102)
After getting the consent of his son Hazrat Ibrahim (A.S.) get ready for the sacrifice. Meanwhile Satan appeared and tried to dissuade Hazrat lbrahim (A.S.) from carrying out the command of Allah. Satan tried his tricks thrice but every time the Prophet of Allah repulsed the 'cursed one' by throwing seven small stones.
The Pilgrims also throw stones (at Satan) at three places, while, performing the rites of Hajj. Having failed in his attempt to beguile Hazrat Ibrahim, Satan tried to mislead Hazrat Ismail, but without success. They both had surrendered (themselves) to the Will of Allah and he (Ibrahim) threw him (the Son) upon his forehead. When Hazrat Ismail lay on the ground, he suggested his father to tie his hands and legs tight, and that he (Hazrat Ibrahim) should blind fold his eyes and to girdle his cloak. Hazrat Ibrahim (A.S.) then took out the knife put it on the neck of Ismail and passed it several times. Thus Hazrat Ibrahim (A.S.) acted on the Command of His Lord. When Hazrat Ibrahim removed the fold from his eye, he noticed his son standing safe and a ram lay slain.
Hazrat lbrahim was rather disappointed thinking that his Lord did not accept his sacrifice. At that juncture an unseen voice was heard: You have indeed shown the truth of the vision; surely thus do We reward the doers of good: Most surely this is a manifest trial. And We ransomed him with a Feat sacrifice. (37:104-108) This great sacrifice, refers to the martyrdom of Hazrat Imam Hussain (A.S.) who belonged to the pedigree of Hazrat Ibrahim (A.S.).
Hazrat Ibrahim (A.S.) made an Imam for Mankind
And when his Lord tried Ibrahim with certain words, he fulfilled them. He said: Surely I will make you an Imam of men. Ibrahim said: And of my offspring? My covenant does not include the unjust, said He. (2:124)
The above mentioned verse plays an important role in the doctrine of Islam. Hazrat Ibrahim (A.S.) was a true Prophet of Allah and had stood many tests. But before he could be offered Imamat, he had to undergo some more tests. This verse throws light on the fact that every Prophet can not be an Imam. Even great prophet like Hazrat Ibrahim coveted for it. It is also crystal clear from the above-mentioned verse that an 'IMAM' can be appointed by Allah only; and he must also be infallible. The prayer of Hazrat Ibrahim (A.S.) was granted and there were twelve Imams, from his pedigree.
Foundation of Kaaba
Hazrat Ibrahim (A.S.) is also accredited for raising the foundation of Holy Kaa'ba - the first house made for mankind at Mecca. And when Ibrahim and Ismail raised the foundations of the House: Our Lord! Accept from us; surely Thou art the Hearing, the Knowing: (2:127)
Hazrat Ibrahim (A.S.) and Hazrat Ismail (A.S.) constructed the sacred house which has been a place of prayer for all times. There is a spot near the Kaa'ba where Hazrat Ibrahim (A.S.) stood while erecting the Holy house and where he offered his prayers. And when We made the House a pilgrimage for men and a (place of) security, and: Appoint for yourselves a place of prayer on the standing-place of Ibrahim. And We enjoined Ibrahim and Ismail saying: Purify My House for those who visit (it) and those who abide (in it) for devotion and those who bow down (and) those who prostrate themselves. (2:125) The supplication of Hazrat Ibrahim was granted by Almighty and the inhabitants of the City of Mecca flourished by leaps and bounds. He further prayed:
Our Lord! And make us both submissive to Thee and (raise) from our offspring a nation submitting to Thee, and show us our ways of devotion and turn to us (mercifully), surely Thou art the Oft-returning (to mercy), the Merciful. (2:128) The above mentioned verse throws light on the fact that there had always been some men and women in the Progeny of Hazrat Ibrahim, who were "true Muslims". He further prayed:
Our Lord! And raise up in them a Messenger from among them who shall recite to them Thy communications and teach them the Book and the wisdom, and purify them; surely Thou art the Mighty, the Wise. (2:129) Allah granted Hazrat lbrahim's prayer and raised Holy Prophet Mohammed (S.A.W) from amongst them, Peace be on Hazrat Ibrahim (A.S.). There is a prophecy about the twelve Imams in Taurah. "But as regards Ismail I have heard you. Look! I will bless him and will make him fruitful and will multiply him very, very much. He will certainly produce twelve chieftains, and I will make him become a great nation.". (Genesis 17:20) The Divine Promise to Hazrat Ibrahim (A.S.) to raise twelve chieftains in the seed of Hazrat Ismail (A.S.) was fulfilled in the twelve Divinely Commissioned Imams or Guides, all of whom were from the seed or Hazrat Ibrahim (A.S.) through his son Hazrat Ismail (A.S.).