Hajar was indeed a paragon of purity
Compiled By: Syed Ali Shahbaz
Hajar was indeed a paragon of purity. God had chosen her to be the consort of such a great Prophet as Abraham (AS) and the mother of another Prophet, Ishmael (AS). She was given as bondmaid to Sarah by the Pharaoh of Egypt, and grew up in the house of the Prophet, acquiring spiritual values and piety from Sarah. She dedicated her life to God Almighty, and was detached from worldly attractions.
Although of dark complexion, she was of spotlessly pure heart, a factor that made Sarah given her as consort to her faithful husband, Abraham. When Hajar gave birth to Ishmael, the then Sarah asked Abraham to take the mother and the baby to another place. Abraham was greatly distressed by his wife's words and supplicated to God, Who as divine tribulation, commanded him to leave Palestine for the remote wilderness of Mecca in the Arabian Desert, where he was to leave Hajar and Ishmael.
Abraham took them to Mecca in the vicinity of the ruins of the holy Ka’ba where he left them and returned to Palestine. When he was leaving, Hajar said: To whom are you entrusting us? The reply was: To God Almighty, Who commanded me to bring you here, and He will definitely solve your problem. While leaving his wife and son in the barren waterless land of Mecca, Prophet Abraham supplicated to Allah, as is mentioned in ayah 37 of Surah Ibrahim: "Our Lord! I have settled part of my descendants in a barren valley, by Your sacred House, our Lord, that they may maintain the prayer. So make the hearts of a part of the people fond of them, and provide them with fruits, so that they may give thanks."
Hajar contented herself with the Will of God. With patience, she endured the hard conditions until whatever food and water she had was exhausted. Her little son was dying from thirst in the hot desert. The mother unable to bear the sight, started to search for water. She climbed the hillocks of Safa and Marwa and every time it appeared as if water was there in the middle. She ran, but it was a mirage. She ran a total of seven times between Safa and Marwa, as the mirage appeared and disappeared.
In the end, the exhausted Hajar resigned herself to God’s Will, even if it meant the death of her thirsty baby, but never for a moment despaired of God’s Mercy. Suddenly, to her pleasant surprise, a spring of fresh limpid water started to flow from underneath the feet of Ishmael. It was indeed a miracle, and a reward from God. Her faith, piety and patience had borne fruits. She thanked God, and gave the elixir of life to little Ishmael. She quenched her thirst as well as the spring kept flowing without stopping. She then shouted in her native tongue Zam Zam, which means ‘stop, stop’. The flow of water from the spring suddenly stopped, and to this day, it is called Zamzam. And for her endeavours between Safa and Marwa, God has made it an obligatory ritual of the Hajj pilgrimage.
Abraham eventually came back to Mecca to meet Hajar and Ishmael, who had now grown up into a youth. Again God tested Abraham and Hajar by ordering the Prophet to offer his son as sacrifice. The patient mother again accepted God’s Will. At the last moment, God Almighty substituted a ram in place of Ishmael, who was saved, and would become the ancestor of the Last and Greatest Messenger of God, Prophet Mohammad (SAWA).
Thus, Prophet Mohammad (SAWA) and the 12 Infallible Imams, as well as the Noblest Lady of all time, Hazrat Fatema Zahra (SA) are the offspring of Hajar, the Exemplary Woman.