. The tribe of Jurham was camping in the plains of ‘Arafat and Zulmajaz. When water appeared in Makkah and the birds and animals rushed towards it, the tribe of Jurham noted this. They decided to investigate the incidence of water. When they reached the spot, they saw a woman and a child below a tree. “Who are you?” they asked Hajar, “and how did you come here?”
“I am the mother of the son of Khaleelur Rahman. And this is my son,” replied Hajra. “The Almighty commanded him to leave us here.”
The people sought her permission to settle nearby. On the third day, Ibrahim traveled the huge distance to check the well-being of Hajar and Isma‘il “O friend of Allah! There is a tribe, Jurham, in the neighborhood. Its people desire to settle near us. Do you permit them?”
Ibrahim gave them permission. They came near and pitched their tents. Hajar and Isma‘il became attached to these people. When Ibrahim visited them the third time he saw a multitude of people surrounding them. He was pleased. When Isma‘il grew up, each member of the Jurham tribe gave him one or two sheep. As a result, he became the owner of a huge flock of sheep. He began to spend a peaceful life until he attained maturity.
The Almighty ordered Ibrahim and Isma‘il to reconstruct the Holy Ka‘bah. “Where should we construct it,” they asked Allah.
“On the spot where I had sent the cubicle for Adam,” replied Allah.
Actually, the cubicle was sent for Adam and fixed in that particular spot. It had illuminated the sanctuary around it. During the deluge of Nuh it was lifted towards heaven. Again the Almighty Allah sent Archangel Gabriel and he drew the times of Ka‘bah for Ibrahim. The foundation of Ka‘bah was also sent from the heaven for Ibrahim and the Black Stone. Actually, it was white as snow but the contact of unbelievers and sinners had rendered it black.
Thus Ibrahim constructed the Ka‘bah. Isma‘il carried the stones from Ziltawa. When the walls were nine hands high the Almighty informed them of the location of the Black Stone in mountains of Abu Qubays. Ibrahim brought it out and fixed it at the place where it is presently located. He fixed the doors of Ka‘bah. One opening towards east and the other towards west; which is known as Mustejarr. Ibrahim put wooden beams on the top and spread hay upon them. He hung the Chador of Hajar around the cubicle and began to reside in it. Then the Almighty commanded Ibrahim and Isma‘il to dig a well.
On the 8th of Dhu’l-hijjah, Archangel Gabriel descended and asked Ibrahim to arise and arrange for water because in those days there was no water in the plains of ‘Arafat and Mina. The eighth day is known as Day of Tarwiyah because ‘Tarwiyah’ means offering of water. Then Archangel Gabriel escorted Ibrahim to Mina and they camped for the night. Archangel Gabriel also instructed him in the rituals of hajj, like Adam had been taught.
When Ibrahim completed the construction of the Ka‘bah, he prayed to Allah to “make it the safest sanctuary on the earth and give them fruits as sustenance to those who reside in it and have faith in Allah and believe in the hereafter.”
Imam explains that fruits mean the fruits of heart. Ibrahim prayed to the Almighty to create love for them in the hearts of the people, so that they come towards them from around the world.
Another authentic tradition records that when Ibrahim left Isma‘il in Makkah, Isma‘il was thirsty. There was a tree between the Safa and Marwa mountains. Hajar came out, stood on Mount Safa and cried, “Is there anyone in this valley who can help us?” She got no response. She went to Marwa and called out in the same fashion. Again, there was no reply. Once more, she came to Safa and called, but still no one responded. She repeated this seven times. This became the basis for the ritual sa’y’ (Jogging between Safa and Marwa). Archangel Gabriel came to Hajar and asked who she was.
“I am the mother of Ibrahim’s son.” She replied.
“To whom has Ibrahim entrusted you?”
“I had also asked him the same question when he was leaving us here,” said Hajar , “He said he was leaving us in care of the Lord of the worlds.”
“He has left you in care of One Who is indeed Sufficient,” said Archangel Gabriel.
Imam says that people avoided the route through Makkah because it was absolutely arid. Isma‘il thrashed his feet on the ground due to extreme thirst. Suddenly the spring of Zamzam began to gush out near his feet. When Hajar returned, she saw the water and she began to surround it with sand. If she had allowed it to flow, it would have gushed forever. At that time, a group of traders was passing by. They saw birds circling the area and understood that they were attracted by the water.
They also came near and Hajar offered them water. They gave her a lot of eatables in return. Whenever travelers reached that area, they came for the water and gave food and eatables in return.
Other reliable sources mention a tradition wherein Imam says, “The Almighty ordered Ibrahim to perform the hajj and to take Isma‘il with him for the same purpose and then to settle Isma‘il in the sanctuary. Father and son set out for hajj riding a red camel accompanied by no one except Archangel Gabriel. When they reached the sanctuary Archangel Gabriel said, ‘Ibrahim, alight from the camel and take a ritual bath before entering the sacred house.’ Ibrahim performed the ghusl and Archangel Gabriel clothed him in Ihram (white unstitched cloth).
Then told him to raise the slogans of ‘Talbiya.’ The four slogans that were later practiced by the Holy Prophet of Islam. Archangel Gabriel brought him towards Safa. He stepped down from the camel and Archangel Gabriel stood between them, and turning towards the Ka‘bah said, ‘Allahu Akbar’ (Allah is the Greatest). Then he said ‘Alhamdo lillah’ (Praise to Allah) - and glorified the name of the Almighty. The two of them also followed suit. Chanting the Praise of Allah, they followed Archangel Gabriel from there. Archangel Gabriel brought them to the Black stone and ordered them to rub their hands on it and kiss it, and to circumambulate seven times. They were made to stand at the ‘place of Ibrahim’ and offer two Rak’ahs of prayers. Thus, they were taught all the ritual of hajj. After all the rituals had been completed Ibrahim returned home. Isma‘il remained at Makkah all alone. There was no one with him.
The next year, Allah ordered Ibrahim to perform the hajj again and to reconstruct the Holy House. Even in those days, Arabs came to perform hajj in large numbers. The Ka‘bah was in a dilapidated condition and only a few relics remained, but it was well-known for its religious significance. When the Arabs dispersed after completing hajj, Isma‘il collected stones and stored them inside the Ka‘bah. Ibrahim arrived and they began the construction. They lifted sand and stones and reached up to the foundation. The floor of Ka‘bah was of a red stone. The Almighty sent a revelation that the foundation of Ka‘bah must be based on this stone. Four Angels were deputed to collect stones. They brought the stones and Ibrahim and Isma‘il raised the wall. They continued until the walls reached twelve hands in height. Thereafter, two doors were opened so that one can enter from one and leave from the other. Then they fixed door sills and attached chains to the doors. But the Ka‘bah was yet uncoursed.”
When people arrived in Makkah, Isma‘il requested the Almighty for a beautiful lady he had seen from the tribe of himyar. But she was already married. The Almighty destined death for her husband and the woman stayed behind in Makkah to mourn him. Allah changed her sorrow into patience and offered her the companionship of Isma‘il. She was a brilliant and a clever woman. When Ibrahim came to perform hajj, he visited the residence of Isma‘il. Isma‘il had gone to obtain his livelihood. His wife saw Ibrahim that he was an elderly person and covered with dust of a long journey. Ibrahim asked her how they were. Then he asked about Isma‘il. The woman praised him and said that he was well. He also asked from which tribe she came. “From himyar”, she replied. After this Ibrahim went back handing a letter addressed to Isma‘il. When Isma‘il returned and read the letter he asked his wife if she knew who that gentleman was. She said he was a very righteous man and that he resembled Isma‘il much.
“He was my father!’ said Isma‘il The wife was stunned and an exclamation came out of her lips.
“Why are your shocked?” asked Isma‘il, “Were you not covered properly before him?”
“No”, she replied, “It’s a pity I did not serve him in the appropriate manner.”
The intelligent lady made two curtains, each of them twenty hands long for the Holy Ka‘bah. They were hung upon the two doors and looked very beautiful. So she sought advice for a cloth cover for the whole building in order to conceal the ugliness of the stones. Isma‘il supported the idea. She took up the assignment with enthusiasm and carried wool to other ladies of her tribe. From that day, it became a practice among women to co-operate with each other. Then she began to prepare the curtains with great urgency, with the help of the people of her tribe and other acquaintances. As a curtain was completed she brought it and hung it on the Ka‘bah.
However, the season of hajj arrived and yet one side of the Ka‘bah remained uncovered. She asked Isma‘il what they should do as the cloth was not yet ready for that portion. At last, curtains of palm-leaves were made and hung on this portion. When the time of hajj arrived a larger number of Arabs came for pilgrimage. When they saw developments and improvements in Ka‘bah they were pleased and discussed among themselves that they must compensate those who had taken these initiatives. So it was decided to carry gifts for the caretakers of Ka‘bah. People began to make offerings to Ka‘bah in cash and kind. A lot of wealth accumulated. The palm leaves curtains were removed and Ka‘bah was clothed in a new and complete covering. There was no ceiling on the Ka‘bah.
Isma‘il installed wooden beams across the ceiling and spread dried branches over them. Then he covered them with wet mud. When the Arabs came for hajj the next year they saw some more additions to the Holy House. They found it was appropriate that the voluntary caretaker of Ka‘bah be presented more gifts. Isma‘il did not know what should be done with the large donations. The Almighty sent a revelation that he may use them to slaughter animals and serve them to the pilgrims. Isma‘il complained of water scarcity to Ibrahim. Again Allah revealed to Ibrahim to construct a well that would provide water for guests of the Holy House.
Archangel Gabriel descended and the well of Zamzam was excavated. Archangel Gabriel told Ibrahim to strike the shovel from four directions and recite ‘Bismillah’ at every stroke. Ibrahim hit the shovel first facing the Ka‘bah and recited ‘Bismillah.’ A spring of water gushed out. Then he plunged his shovel from another direction chanting ‘Bismillah’ Again spring gushed on. Archangel Gabriel told Ibrahim to drink the water and pray that Allah imparts barakat in it for his descendants. Both of them came out of the well. “Now sprinkle this water on your heads and torso and then go around the Ka‘bah (circumambulation), because it is that water that Almighty Allah has specially bestowed for your son Isma‘il.” Ibrahim returned and Isma‘il escorted him out of the sanctuary. After Ibrahim departed, Isma‘il returned to the Holy precincts.
Allah the Almighty bestowed Isma‘il with a son from the lady of himyar. It was her first child. After her Isma‘il married four other women and had four sons from each of them. On the other hand Ibrahim left for the heavenly abode due to a mortal fever. Isma‘il was unaware of this. When the Hajj season arrived and Isma‘il was expecting his respected father that Archangel Gabriel appeared and broke the tragic news. He offered his condolences and warned Isma‘il not to raise objection against the Divine decree because the Almighty has summoned Ibrahim to His Mercy. Isma‘il agreed and was told that one day he too shall meet his father.
Isma‘il had a young son whom he adored much and desired that after him he should be bestowed with Prophethood and vicegerency. But the Almighty conferred vicegerency and successorship to the other children. At the time of his death Isma‘il sent for the son whom Allah has designated as his legatee, made bequests to him and asked him to do as he himself had done. “And do not appoint anyone as your successor except the one the Almighty indicates. From that time it became a necessary practice that every Imam informed of his legatee before death.
A reliable source mentions that a person came to Imam as-Sadiq and said, “There are some people who assert that Ibrahim performed his own circumcision with a scalpel on the bank of a pond?”
“Glory to Allah!” exclaimed Imam, “It is not as the people claim. They make allegations against Ibrahim.”
The narrator requested Imam to explain the reality and Imam said, “The stub of the umbilical cord and the foreskin falls off on the seventh day in case of Prophets. On the seventh day of his birth the stub and foreskin of Isma‘il dried and fell off. Sarah chastised Hajar in a way slave girls are scolded - she might have acted in this manner for the darkness of the skin or bad odor. Hajar was unhappy and wept bitterly. When Isma‘il saw his mother weeping he followed suit. Ibrahim entered and asked the reason for Isma‘il’s wailing. Isma‘il complained that Sarah had colded his mother, and caused her to weep. “Seeing her weep I also began to cry,” said he.
Ibrahim went to the place of prayers and invocated Allah that He might remove the sorrow of Hajra. His prayers were accepted. When Ishaq was born to Sarah, on the seventh day the stub of his navel dropped but the foreskin remained intact. Sarah was distraught due to this. Ibrahim arrived and wanted to learn of the new situation that had developed in his progeny and in the descendants of Prophets. Sarah told him though the navel stub of Ishaq dried and fallen off, his foreskin remained. Ibrahim went to his place of worship and complained Allah regarding the situation. The Almighty sent him a revelation saying it was because of Sarah’s scolding of Hajra.
“I have vowed that I will not remove the foreskin of any of the Prophets,” said Allah., “Hence circumcise Ishaq and give him the taste of hot iron.”
So Ibrahim circumcised Ishaq with an iron (instrument). The practice became common among the people to circumcise their sons with iron.
According to an authentic hadith of Amir al-Mu’minin ‘Ali the significance of stoning the Shaitans is that when Archangel Gabriel was teaching the hajj rituals to Ibrahim, the Satan appeared to him first at al-Jamarah al-Ula, Archangel Gabriel told Ibrahim to stone the Satan.
Ibrahim threw seven pebbles at Satan and he disappeared into the earth at that very spot. Again he appeared at the second place. (Al-Jamarah) and Ibrahim tossed seven pebbles at him in succession. The Satan disappeared and arose at the third Al-Jamarah. Once more Ibrahim tossed seven pebbles and Satan disappeared into the earth never to show up again.
A tradition quoted from Imam al-Ridha through correct and reliable chains of narrators, says that ‘Sakina’ is a breeze of Paradise that comes in the shape of a human being and has a pleasant fragrance. This particular breeze blew upon Ibrahim when he was constructing the Ka‘bah. The foundations was being laid and Ibrahim was engaged in constructing the foundation from the back side.
Ibn ‘Abbas relates that the Arabian horses were initially wild. When Ibrahim and Isma‘il removed the idols from Ka‘bah the Almighty sent him a revelation saying that He was conferring a treasure upon him, that was never bestowed to anyone before this Ibrahim and Isma‘il went to a mountain called Barheya and summoned the horses saying ‘Alaa halaa Alaa Halam.’ All the wild horses of Arabia converged at that spot referred to as ‘Jeyad’.
Numerous reliable traditions from Imam al-Baqir and Imam as-Sadiq state that when Ibrahim and Isma‘il completed the construction of Ka‘bah it was revealed that they should invite people for hajj. Ibrahim stood at ‘Rukn’ and according to another tradition at ‘Maqaam’. The place where he stood became so elevated that it became equal to the Mount Qubais. Then he called the people for hajj.
The Almighty caused his call to reach all the people, even those who were in the loins of their father and wombs of their mother and shall be born until the day the Resurrection Day. They all responded with ‘Labbaik Daai Allah Labbaik Daai Allah’ (Here we come O! one who calls towards Allah). One who recites it once gets the reward of one hajj, the reward of two Hajjs is for those who repeat this formula twice and three Hajjs for one who utters it thrice and finally five Hajjs are written for those who recite this five times. And those who do not say it even once, has no hajj to his credit.
According to a reliable tradition of Imam al-Ridha the first person to mount an Arabian horse was Isma‘il. Before this Arabian horses were untrained and no one could ride them. The Almighty rounded them up from Mount Mina and due to this they are known as ‘Aeraab’, because Isma‘il was an Arab.
Reliable chains quote Imam Muhammad al-Baqir that the ritual of Sa’y (Jogging between Safa and Marwa) came into practice because when Ibrahim reached that particular place, Satan came to him. Archangel Gabriel told him to attack it and Ibrahim obeyed. The Satan fled and Ibrahim chased him.
Imam says that ‘Mina’ is known by that name because Archangel Gabriel advised Ibrahim to express his wishes (Tamanna) to Allah. ‘‘Arafat’ is referred by title because when the Sun declined from its zenith Archangel Gabriel told Ibrahim to repent for his sins (eteraaf) and to understand (the significance) of hajj rituals. When the sun had set, he was told ‘Laf ilaa she’ril H’araam’ (Move towards Masharul haram). Therefore Mashar is also known as Muzdalefa.
Some people asked Imam why Sarah prayed to Allah not to punish her for what she had done to Hajra. Imam replied that Sarah had circumcised Hajar to create a defect in her. But she became all the more beautiful for it. The practice of female circumcision thus came into being.
Imam al-Ridha says in an authentic tradition that when Ibrahim settled his children in Makkah he prayed to the Almighty to bestow them with fruits. The Almighty separated a tract of land from Syria, named Ordain and along with its orchards and fruits brought it to Makkah where it circumambulated (circumambulation) of Ka‘bah then settled in the neighboring area. It is for this reason that it has been named ‘Taif’.
According to an authentic tradition of Imam Ja‘far as-Sadiq, Ibrahim had two sons, one from his wife and one from his slave-girl. The son of the slave-girl was superior. When the Angels brought the glad-tidings of Ishaq to Ibrahim as mentioned in Qur’an, “His woman was standing. She laughed (Fadahekat).”
Imam said Dahekat does not mean she laughed. It means that she menstruated. So the corrected translation is
: “His woman was standing and she began to menstruate.” (upon hearing the news). In spite of the fact that she was ninety and Ibrahim was 120 years. When the people saw Ishaq they were amazed that he was born to such an elderly couple. They alleged that they might have brought him from somewhere and claimed it was their own son. But when Ishaq grew up he resembled his father so closely that people could not distinguish between him and Ibrahim. Till Allah caused Ibrahim’s beard to grey. Thus appeared a distinguishing feature between them. One day Ibrahim was handling his beard and he saw a white hair. He asked Allah what it was. Allah revealed that it was his dignity and he said “My lord increase my dignity.”
Amir al-Mu’minin ‘Ali says in an authentic hadith that when Isma‘il and Ishaq were growing up, they decided to race and Isma‘il won. Ibrahim picked up both of them, placed Isma‘il in his lap and Ishaq on his side. Sarah entered and when she saw them she became angry and said, “So the matter has reached this point that you do not consider your sons equal. Rather prefer the son of a slave-girl to my son! Take his boy away from me.”
So Ibrahim took Hajar and Isma‘il and settled them near the Ka‘bah. When the provisions were exhausted, Ibrahim decided to go out in search of food. Hajar asked him, “Under whose care are you leaving us?”
“Under the care of the Lord of the worlds,” replied Ibrahim Hajar felt the pangs of hunger and Archangel Gabriel descended and asked her to whose care has Ibrahim entrusted her. She said, “He has left us under Allah’s care.”
“He has entrusted you to the Sufficient One.” Archangel Gabriel told her. Archangel Gabriel put his hand inside the well of Zamzam and drew an imaginary circle. Water gushed out from it. Hajar filled a water-skin with water fearing that the water will dry up. Archangel Gabriel reassured her that it will remain forever and asked her to bring her son.
Thus they quenched their thirst to satiation. When Ibrahim returned and the incident was narrated to him, he said it was Archangel Gabriel.
Correct chains of reporters quote Imam Ja‘far as-Sadiq that he said, Isma‘il married Samma, a lady of Amaleqa tribe. One day Ibrahim desired to see Isma‘il and mounted a horse to head for Makkah. Sarah come to know and she extracted an oath that he would not alight from it until he came back to her. When he reached Makkah, Hajar had already departed for her heavenly abode.
“Where is your husband?” Ibrahim asked the wife of his son.
“He has gone hunting,” she replied.
Ibrahim then asked her of their well-being. She said they were in extreme difficulties and life was a burden, but did not invite him to alight. Ibrahim said, “When your husband returns, tell him an elderly person had come and advised that he change his threshold.”
When Isma‘il returned he sensed the fragrance of his respected father.
“Did anyone come to you?” he asked Samma.
“Yes,” she replied, “An old man came and said you must change your threshold stone.”
On hearing this, Isma‘il divorced Samma.
Once again Ibrahim yearned to see Isma‘il and again Sarah laid the same condition, that he will not alight from his mount until he returns to her. Ibrahim reached Makkah, but Isma‘il was not at home. Isma‘il had married another woman.
“Where is your husband,” Ibrahim asked her.
“May Allah shower you with His Mercy, my husband is gone for hunting.” She replied politely.
When Ibrahim asked her of their well-being, she replied that they were quite happy. Also when he asked her how she was, she replied, “Allah’s Mercy and blessings are upon us. Please step down from your mount, may Allah bless you. And rest awhile until Isma‘il returns.”
Ibrahim declined the invitation, hence she requested him to bring forward his head so that she can wash it clean of the dust. Saying this she brought some water and a stone. Ibrahim rested one foot on the stone keeping the other in the stirrup allowed her to wash one side of the head. Then rested his other foot on the stone and had the other side washed.
Ibrahim blessed her and said, “When your husband returns, tell him an elderly man had come and left a message that he should care and guard this threshold. It is beneficial for him.”
When Isma‘il returned home and felt the fragrance of his father he asked his wife if they had a visitor.
“Yes,” she replied, “An elderly gentleman had paid us a visit. This is the impression of his foot that he left on the stone. Isma‘il fell down and kissed the footprints of his father.
Imam Ja‘far as-Sadiq says that Sarah was daughter (descendent) of Prophets and Ibrahim married her on the condition that she will not oppose him and do whatever he commands if it is not against the Divine orders. Every day Ibrahim went to Makkah via the route of al-Kufah.
According to an authentic tradition of Imam Ibrahim sought Sarah’s permission to visit Isma‘il at Makkah. She allowed him on the condition that he’ll return by evening, and that he will not alight from his mount. The narrator asked how that was possible. Imam explained that land contracted for him.
Another tradition says that when Isma‘il was born, Sarah was devastated. The Almighty ordered Ibrahim to comfort her and make her happy. She told Ibrahim to go and leave Hajar at a desolate spot, bereft of vegetation and milk-giving animals. Ibrahim left Hajar near the Ka‘bah. In those days there was neither water nor habitation in Makkah. Ibrahim left them at this place and returned weeping.
Al-Qutb al-Rawandi says that when Isma‘il reached maturity he collected seven goats. That was all that he possessed. His facial hair was in abundance. He spoke Arabic and was an expert archer. After the demise of his mother, he married a woman from the tribe of Jurham. She was named Zahla or Amawa. Later he divorced her. He did not have any child from her. After that he married Sayyada the daughter of Harith bin Qass. From this wife he had many sons. His total life span was of 137 years and he was buried in Hijr Isma‘il.
Authentic chain of traditionalists state that according to Imam Ja‘far as-Sadiq the age of Isma‘il was 130 years. He is buried near his mother in Hijr Isma‘il. The descendants of Isma‘il were the bearers of the post of successorship (caliphate). They looked after the pilgrims until the time of Adnan bin Awd.
Another authentic hadith from the Holy Prophet says that both the sons of Ibrahim, viz. Isma‘il and Ishaq lived for 120 years.
A hadith quoted from Imam Musa Ibn Ja‘far says that when Ibrahim was leaving Hajar and Isma‘il at Makkah, they began to lament.
“Why do you weep?” asked Ibrahim, “I am leaving you at a place that is most beloved one of Allah and the sanctuary (Haram) of Allah is also situated here?”
“I never expected this from a Prophet like you,” said Hajar.
“What did I do?” asked Ibrahim.
“You are leaving a helpless woman and a weak child in a place where there is no one to help them and there is neither vegetation and water nor any habitation.”
Upon hearing these words Ibrahim began to weep. He came to the door of Ka‘bah and said, “O My Lord! I have settled some of my progeny in a barren valley near Your Holy House, so that they may establish prayers. So I beg you to instill their love in the hearts of some people and they are attracted towards them; and grant them fruits in excess so that they be thankful to you.”
The Almighty Allah revealed to him that he should go atop the mountain of Abu Qubais and call the people for the hajj of Ka‘bah as ordered by Him. For the Ka‘bah is the Holy sanctuary of Allah in Makkah.
Thus Ibrahim scaled the peak of Abu Qubais and called out in his loud voice. The Almighty spread his call to the east and the west of the earth and all the people heard it. Even those who were in the loins of their father or in the wombs of their mother. Therefore hajj became incumbent for all the creatures from that time onwards. And the Talbiya (Reply) that the hajj chant is the reply to the call of Ibrahim, the call that he had issued under the Divine instructions.
A good chain of narrators relates from Imam Ja‘far as-Sadiq that the pigeons that inhabited the precincts of the Ka‘bah from the progeny of pigeons owned by Isma‘il. In another tradition it is mentioned that Hijr was the residence of Isma‘il. Hajar is buried at that very spot. Imam says in another narration that Hijr Isma‘il is not a part of Ka‘bah because when Hajar was buried there, he constructed boundary wall so that her grave does not get trampled under the felt of pilgrims. It contains the graves of other Prophets also.
In the same way a reliable tradition says that the graves of the unmarried daughters of Isma‘il are situated near the third ‘Rukn’.
Acceptable traditions give additional information alluding to Qur’anic ayats that Makkah has ‘Maqaame Ibrahim’ (place of Ibrahim) where he stood during the construction of Ka‘bah and the stone on which he stood was inscribed with the print of his soles. And that the marks of his feet are still there. Also that the Black stone was the abode of Isma‘il 
Ibrahim prepares to slaughter his son; Who was taken for the slaughter—Isma‘il or Ishaq?
The Sixth holy Imam, Imam Ja‘far as-Sadiq is reported through correct or rather authentic traditions that he said: Archangel Gabriel came to Ibrahim on the 8th of Dhu’l-hijjah at the time of zawaal (decline of Sun from its zenith) and said, “O Ibrahim, procure water for yourself and your family.” At that time there was no water between Makkah and ‘Arafat. So Archangel Gabriel led Ibrahim to Mina and he prayed Zuhr and Asr, then Maghrib and Isha and finally the Fajr prayers. When the sun arose they left for ‘Arafat, reached Marwa and halted there. At the time of Zawaal, they prayed Zuhr and Asr with one Azaan but with different Iqamah, at the spot where the Masjid of ‘Arafat is situated.
Then he made him stand in an empty space and told him to repent for his sins. (Eteraaf) and to Understand the rituals of his hajj. Ibrahim was made to stand there until sunset. Then he was ordered to proceed towards Mashar-al-haram. Upon reaching Mashar he performed the Maghrib and Isha prayers with one Azaan and two different Iqamah. He spent the night there and when he finished his morning prayers the next day, Archangel Gabriel showed him the position and brought him to Mina and told him to throw pebbles at Al-Jamarah Aqba as this was where Satan had appeared first. Then he was instructed in the ritual of the slaughter. When Ibrahim reached Masharul haram he went to sleep that night, happy and satisfied. He dreamt that he was slaughtering his son. He had brought his wife and son with him for hajj. When they reached Mina, they stoned the Satan together. Then he told Sarah to go and visit Ka‘bah keeping the son with himself. Then he took his son to the middle Satan and discussed the matter with him as mentioned in Qur’an: O my son! Surely I have seen in a dream that I should sacrifice you; consider then what you see.” (37:102)
The righteous son told his father to complete the task he had begun.
“He said, O my father! Do what you are Commanded; if Allah please, you will find me of the patient ones.” (37:102)
Thus both of them submitted to the will of Allah and suddenly Satan appeared in the form of an old man.
“Ibrahim, where are you taking this lad?” asked Satan.
“I want to slaughter him,” replied Ibrahim “SubhanAllah (Glory be to Allah)!” exclaimed the Satan, “You are going to slaughter this Child who never committed the smallest of sins?”
“But my Lord has commanded me for it,” said Ibrahim “Your Lord prohibits you!” lied Satan. “Satan has fooled you into it!”
“Fie upon you!” said Ibrahim, “The One Who has conferred Prophethood upon me has ordered me for it. And I received the Divine Command through the same Angel whose voice I am familiar with. I have no doubt about it.”
“By Allah,” persisted Satan, “No one but Satan has issued such an order.”
“By Allah,” said Ibrahim, “I do not wish to speak about it to you.” And he decided to go ahead with his mission.
Satan made a last effort and said, “O Ibrahim you are the leader of all the creatures, and people follow your example. If you perform such an act all people will be compelled to slaughter their own children.”
Ibrahim did not reply. He discussed the matter with his son. When both of them agreed to fulfill the Divine Command, the son told his father to cover his face and to tie the hands and the legs securely. Ibrahim said he could either slaughter him or tie his hands and feet. But he could not muster the strength to do both the things. So he spread out a skin and made the son lie on it. Then he placed the knife at his throat and raised his head towards the sky. Then he held the knife with all his strength. Archangel Gabriel turned the knife so that the unsharpened edge did not cut the throat. Ibrahim saw that he was holding the knife the wrong way. He corrected it and repeated the act. Again Archangel Gabriel turned the knife. This happened many times. Finally Archangel Gabriel brought a ram from the hillside and removed the child from under the hands of Ibrahim and replaced him with the ram. And a voice from the direction of Khaif Mosque announced, “You have fulfilled your dream. We reward the righteous servants in this way. Indeed this was a manifest examination!”
Meanwhile the Satan came to the wife of Ibrahim when the Ka‘bah was yet far away. He asked her of the person he had met in Mina. She said that it was her husband.
“And the boy with him?” he asked.
“He is my son,” she replied.
“I have seen that man had laid down the boy and was holding a knife ready to slaughter him,” said the Satan.
“You lie!” said Sarah, “Ibrahim is the most merciful man, how can he slaughter his own son?”
“By the Lord of the heavens and the Earth, by the Lord of this great house! I have seen with my own eyes the man has laid down the son and readied the knife to slaughter him.”
“But why?” asked Sarah “He is under the impression that his Lord has commanded him for it.”
“Then he must follow the commands of his Lord,” she said.
After completing the rituals she hurried towards Mina. Keeping her hands on her head she said again and again, “O Allah! Do not punish me for what I have done to the mother of Isma‘il!”
When she came to Ibrahim and inquired about her son, she was shocked to see the scar of the Knife. She fell ill and left for the heavenly abode.
The narrator asked Imam about the place where Ibrahim carried out the slaughter.
“Near the middle Al-Jamarah,” replied Imam, “And the ram descended from heaven on the mountain that is on the right of Mina Mosque. It used to graze there in darkness.”
“What color was it?” inquired the narrator “Black and white,” Imam said, “big in size and with large horns.”
Trustworthy chains of reporters quote Imam al-Ridha that the Holy Prophet said, “I am the son of two slaughtering.”
Imam explained, “The two “slaughtering” were Isma‘il the son of Ibrahim and ‘Abdullah the son of Abdul Muttalib.” Isma‘il was that forbearing person whose glad-tidings were conveyed to Ibrahim. When he grew up enough to walk with his father, Ibrahim told him one day that he had dreamt that he was slaughtering him. “So I want you to think upon it and take a decision.”
“Dear father,” said Isma‘il, “Go ahead with your mission.” He did not ask him to go ahead with what he had seen in dream.
“You shall find me of the patient ones.”
When Ibrahim took him for the slaughter, the Almighty ransomed him with black ram that used graze and feed only in dark. It was capable of seeing and roaming in the darkness. It could also speak, and forty years hence it had grazed in the gardens of Paradise. It was not born from the womb. The Almighty had ordered ‘Be’ and it one into being, so that one day it shall become the ransom of Isma‘il. And all the sacrifices that one performed in Mina, until the Resurrection Day shall be the ransom of Isma‘il. This is the meaning of “Two slaughtering.”
Shaykh Muhammad bin Babawayh quotes the above hadith then says, that there are different explanations of the term “slaughtered one.” Some say it was Isma‘il and some mention Ishaq. And it is not possible to reject the traditions received through proper sources. In reality the incident occurred with regard to Isma‘il but when Ishaq was born he also desired to be made a sacrificial ram like his brother. He also wished to exhibit patience and obtain a lofty status like Isma‘il. The Almighty knew that he was sincere in his intentions, so ordered the Angels to name him ‘zabih’ (slaughtered one). This explanation is recorded through reliable channels from Imam Ja‘far as-Sadiq. Moreover the claim of the Holy Prophet that he was the son of two “slaughtered ones” also fits because the uncle is equal in status of the father. This point is mentioned in Qur’an and the Holy Prophet has said, “An uncle is like the father? So from this aspect the statement of Holy Prophet is correct when he said “I am the son of two ‘slaughtered ones.’” He was the actual descendent of the actual “slaughtered one” (Isma‘il) the metaphoric descendent of the metaphoric “slaughtered one” (Ishaq).
‘Zibh al-Azeem’ (The great Sacrifice) can be explained in another way. Fadhl bin Shadhan says that he has heard Imam al-Ridha say, “When the Almighty commanded Ibrahim to sacrifice his son Isma‘il and he obliged. The Almighty replaced Isma‘il with a ram. When Ibrahim came to know this he became disappointed that he was not allowed to slaughter Isma‘il and that he was denied the rewards he would have earned for sacrificing his son for Allah. So the Almighty Allah asked him who his most beloved one was. He replied, ‘No one is more beloved to me that Muhammad al-Mustafa.’
‘Do you value you life more or the life of Muhammad al-Mustafa?’
‘I love him more than my life,’ said Ibrahim.
‘Whom do you prefer, his son or your own son?’
‘His son,’ replied Ibrahim ‘Would you be pained more to see him slaughtered by his enemies or slaughtering your son with your hands be painful?’
‘My Lord! It would be more painful if his son is slaughtered by the enemies.’
The Almighty revealed, ‘O Ibrahim! A group claiming to be from the community of Muhammad (Muslims), after his passing away from this world would slaughter his son just like a ram is slaughtered. And they would became eligible for My wrath.’
After listening to this heart-rending prophecy Ibrahim became sorrowful. He began a plaintive lamentation. Then Allah revealed.
‘O Ibrahim! I have taken this lamentation of yours as the ransom of your son Isma‘il. For you would have lamented in the same way, had you slaughtered Isma‘il with your hands. So I bestow you with the best of the rewards that is given to those eligible for them due to their afflictions. This is the explanation of the words: We ransomed him with a great sacrifice.” (37:107)
It is recorded in reliable traditions that the ram of Ibrahim was one of those creatures whom Allah created without the mother’s womb.
In a trustworthy hadith people asked Imam al-Ridha whether Isma‘il was ‘Slaughtered’ by Ibrahim or it was Ishaq “It was Isma‘il,” replied Imam “It seems you have not seen the Almighty’s words wherein He gave the glad-tidings of Ishaq to Ibrahim after He has mentioned the incident of Isma‘il in Surah al-Saffat. So how can Ishaq be the ‘Slaughtered one’?”
According to a reliable tradition from Amir al-Mu’minin ‘Ali the ‘Slaughtered one’ was Isma‘il A trustworthy source mentions that people asked Imam Ja‘far as-Sadiq why the spleen of a slaughtered animal became haram (Prohibited). Imam explained: When Ibrahim was preparing to slaughter Isma‘il, a ram was brought from the Bashir Mountain of Makkah to ransom the sacrifice of Isma‘il. The Satan came to him to claim his portion in the slaughtered ram. Ibrahim told him that the sacrifice was exclusive for Allah. But Allah sent a revelation and said the Satan too has a share in it. Then He ordered Ibrahim to hand over to Satan the spleen, which is the organ where blood collects. The testicles are also haram because it is here that semen is produced. Hence Ibrahim gave the spleen and testicles to the accursed Satan.
In a reliable tradition someone asked Imam Ja‘far as-Sadiq whether Isma‘il was older or Ishaq. Imam said that Isma‘il was five years older to Ishaq, and he was the ‘Slaughtered one.’ He resided in Makkah and Ibrahim took him for the slaughter. Also, there was a gap of five years between the glad tiding of the birth of Isma‘il and Ishaq. Have you not heard the Qur’anic words that Ibrahim requested Allah, My Lord! Grant me of the doers of good deeds. (37:100)
Allah accepted his request
: “So we gave him the good news of a boy, possessing forbearance.” (37:101)
That was Isma‘il, through the womb of Hajar. Then a big ram was sent as a ransom for Isma‘il.
And in a trustworthy hadith Imam says that if the meat of any other animal had been purer than that of the ram, Allah would have sent it as the ransom of Isma‘il. One version of hadith mentions the name of Ishaq in place of Isma‘il.
One more tradition from Imam Ja‘far as-Sadiq says that Ya‘qub wrote to the ‘Aziz (chief) of Egypt: We Ahl al-Bayt (People of the house) are prone to examinations and tests. Our forefather Ibrahim was tested by the fire and my father Ishaq was examined by the slaughter.
In a trustworthy source is mentioned a tradition from Imam Ja‘far as-Sadiq that he said, “Sarah told Ibrahim that he had become old. And had he invocated Allah to grant him a son to illuminate their eyes, the Almighty would have granted his request because he was the Khalil of Allah. Ibrahim prayed to Allah to grant him an intelligent son. The Almighty revealed that He would bestow upon him a wise son. And through him would examine Ibrahim’s obedience towards Himself. After three years again Ibrahim received the glad-tidings of Isma‘il.
Imam Ja‘far as-Sadiq is quoted in a good tradition that when people asked who was taken for sacrifice, he replied, “It was Isma‘il.”
In a reliable tradition some people asked Imam about the period between the glad tiding of Isma‘il and that of Ishaq “There was a gap of five years,” replied Imam. The Almighty said, “So We gave him the good news of a boy, possessing forbearance.” (37:101)
This was the ‘good news’ of Isma‘il. And when Ishaq was born to Sarah and one day when he was three years and sitting in the lap of his father, Isma‘il came and pushing him aside himself sat there. Sarah witnessed this and said, “Hajra’s son pushes my son to sit in your lap. By Allah! Hajar and her son cannot live in the same town where I live. Take them away.”
Ibrahim loved Sarah very much, and used to respect her rights. She was a descendant of Prophets and his cousin. But her demand was very difficult to fulfill. Ibrahim could not bear the separation of Isma‘il. The same night an Angel appeared in his dream and commanded him to sacrifice Isma‘il at Makkah during the hajj season. Ibrahim rose with a heavy heart next morning. The season of hajj neared. Ibrahim took Hajar and Isma‘il from Syria to Makkah during the month of Dhu’l-hijjah, in order to slaughter Isma‘il during the hajj. He raised the walls of the Ka‘bah and with the intention of performing hajj headed for Mina. After completing the rituals of Mina he returned with Isma‘il and performed the circumambulation (circumambulating) of the Ka‘bah seven times. Then he turned his attention towards Safa and Marwa to complete the ritual of Say’. When he reached between Safa and Marwa he told Isma‘il, “My son! I dreamt that I was slaughtering you during this hajj, so what do you say?”
“Father! Go ahead with whatever you have been sent for,” said Isma‘il.
After completing Say’ he took Isma‘il to Mina, and that was on the day of Sacrifice. As he lifted the knife he heard a voice, “O Ibrahim! You have fulfilled your dream, and obeyed My Command.” Then a big ram was given in ransom of Isma‘il and its meat donated to the poor and needy.
Imam al-Ridha was asked, “Why ‘Mina’ is called as ‘Mina’?” Imam said that because it was here that Archangel Gabriel told Ibrahim to ask Allah for his wish (Tamanna). Hence Ibrahim expressed his wish for a ram that he can slaughter as the ransom of Isma‘il. The Almighty accepted his wish.
 This hadith proves that the son Ibrahim took for slaughter and the incident that is mentioned in the Qur’an concerned Ishaq. There are vast differences among the Shi‘ah and Sunni scholars regarding this matter. The Jews and Christians apparently believe it was Ishaq. The Shi‘ah traditions mention both Isma‘il and Ishaq and the majority of Shi‘ah scholars believe it was Isma‘il, because the majority of reports support this view. The apparent import of the Qur’anic Verse is also this as explained in the background of traditions. If there is no agreement who was taken for slaughter, we can reconcile the traditions by saying it happened for both of them. It seems that the name of Ishaq is mentioned on the basis of Taqiyyah or it had been the prevalent view among the scholars of opposing schools. The unanimity of the People of Book cannot be depended upon. Moreover, a Rabbi came to Umar Ibn Abdul ‘Aziz who questioned him concerning this topic. He said the Jew and Christian scholars know that it was Isma‘il but due to jealousy they deny it because Ishaq is their ancestor, whereas Isma‘il is the ancestor of Arabs. They wish to confine the merit to their ancestor and not for yours.
 The writer sys: The second sacrifice was that of ‘Abdullah as mentioned in the account of the Holy Prophet. Refer to volume II.
 I have quoted only a few traditions that prove the Sacrifice of Isma‘il (instead of Ishaq) in this chapter though there are many more. If Allah wills we shall see many other narrations in the account of Lut.