Hagar, who left behind a sainted child that later became the forefather of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP), is the symbol of a devoted and obedient woman to God. Although her name is not directly mentioned in the Quran, in many Islamic quotes (hadiths) she is known as an example of faith in Allah that makes her a role model for every Muslim.
Being barren, Sarah the prophet Abraham(AS)’s wife, told him to marry her housemaid, Hagar, as a second wife. After Hagar gave birth to a blessed child, Ishmael (AS), Allah ordered Abraham (AS) to emigrate from Egypt to Mecca with Hagar and infant Ishmael (AS).
With the guidance of Gabriel, they stopped to camp at a bleak, isolated place with a limited supply of food and water. That was the land on which the Kaaba was later built. Soon after this, Abraham (AS) received another command from Allah to leave his beloved wife and child behind in that harsh condition.
Abraham (AS) submitted to the command of Allah and patiently tolerated this separation while praying for them: “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” (14:37).
At that time some people would come to Mecca to pray, but no one inhabited there because of the unbearable living conditions. Believing in divine predestination and knowing that God had not forgotten them, Hagar endured the hard conditions until she ran out of food and water.
Seeing her child dying of thirst, she ran to the top of Mount Safa hoping to find some water, but she found nothing. So she continued her search and ran to Mount Marwa instead, again in the hope to find some water. She continued and ran seven times between these two mounts, Safa and Marwa, with faith in divine mercy.
She had such trust in her God that she did not give up searching for water even for a moment. Then, she noticed water bubbling up from somewhere under Ishmael (AS)’s feet. Hagar’s patience and sincere efforts were paid; they survived.
Later on, the place where the water came to the surface was named Zamzam Spring. This act of Hagar became a big sign (called sa’i) for billions of Muslims through the ages, especially during Hajj, reminding them of the pure struggles of a faithful woman and the subsequent Divine Favour . Hagar showed a deep sincerity to God by attesting with certainty that Allah had not abandoned her and her child.
After Zamzam water sprang out from the Earth, a tribe who lived in the vicinity of Mecca realized and came to settle there. Abraham (AS)’s prayer was responded to; Hagar and her son were not alone anymore. He came to visit Hagar and Ishmael (AS) time by time. As he knew the capabilities and merits of Hagar, he entrusted the training and education of Ishmael (AS) to her mother.
Some years later when Ishmael (AS) became 13 , another divine test awaited him and his parents; Allah ordered Abraham (AS) to sacrifice Ishmael (AS): “When he was old enough to assist in his endeavor, he said," My son! I see in a dream that I am sacrificing you. See what you think." He said," Father! Do whatever you have been commanded. If Allah wishes, you will find me to be patient” (37:102).
The full story is mentioned in the chapter (Surah) Al-Saaffat (verses 102-111) in the Quran. Growing up with the religious teachings of her mother, Ishmael (AS) obeyed Allah’s will. But it was no more than a trial for both Ishmael (AS) and Abraham (AS) in which they succeeded: “This was indeed a manifest test, Then We ransomed him with a great sacrifice, and left for him a good name in posterity” (37: 106-108).
Hagar was buried beside the Holy Kaaba after her demise. Her grave is located in Hijr Ishmael; a crescent-shaped area immediately adjacent to the Kaaba. Every Muslim who performs Hajj is obliged to circumambulate around it; the place where Abraham (AS) had constructed a shelter for Ishmael (AS) and Hagar before he left them in that desert. This is how Allah rewards his sincere obedient believers.
- F. H.Tabarsi, "Majma' al-Bayan", vol. 8, p. 321.
“I was sent by Allah/God to complement the best of morality” .
Morality is one of the most fundamental principles of any society and the determining factor of the success or corruption of human beings. There are different aspects of life, and most of them are still unknown to man due to his limitations and restrictions by nature. Therefore, human science and knowledge are not enough to discover all aspects of humanity.
On the other hand, viewing life and the universe as the artistic creation of Allah, one can conclude that He is the source of all knowledge and wisdom. Therefore the knowledge which He provided man with to have a beneficial and prosperous life is essential and vital for the blooming progress of humankind. This knowledge is called ‘religion’.
On our journey, we face difficulties, joy, sadness, hardship, success, and failure in different forms and occasions, including personal life, married life, academic environment, and a workplace where taking the right actions and decisions sometimes becomes challenging. Relying on the roadmap provided by Allah Himself, reduces the tension and paves the way for making the right and sound decisions. That is the origin of Islamic ethics and the rationale behind the mentioned Hadith from the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HP).
In the Quran, different commands suggest a safe journey through life:
“and indeed you possess a great character” (68: 4).
“We did not send you but as a mercy to all the nations” (21:107).
“Allah loves the steadfast” (3:146).
“And hasten towards your Lord's forgiveness and a paradise as vast as the heavens and the earth, prepared for the God-wary. Those who spend in ease and adversity and, suppress their anger, and excuse [the faults of] the people, and Allah loves the virtuous” (3:133,134).
“Indeed the noblest of you in the sight of Allah is the most God wary among you” (49:13).
These are just a few examples of endless guidelines provided in the holy Quran. All the prophets were depicted as role models for human morality and ethics; one of whom was Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) who tried his best to invite all people to Islam through his practical ethics. He stands in history as the best model for man in piety and perfection. He is living proof of what man can be and of what he can accomplish in the realm of excellence and virtue.
To sum up, leading an ethical life without any guidelines can be an exhausting task. Although there are many different views on consulting right and wrong, the most reliable and guaranteed is the one provided by Allah, called religion. In the religion of Islam, there are various ethical instructions and guidelines ranging from educational systems, raising children, science, and medicine to business, individual and social life altogether offered comprehensively and feasibly.
- Kanz-ol-a’maal, 13th vol. p.151, Hadith #36472
This world is a bridge, pass it and don't get attached.
Sheikh al-Mufid, Al-Amali, p.43.
Everyone is after the reward [that comes at the end], and no one will get it except through hard work.
Mizan al-Hikma, hadith no. 22083.
Good for the ones who pray at the heart of the night; those are the ones who will inherit a lasting light.
Tuhaf al-Uqul, p.510.
A tree is perfected only through giving fruit, as faithfulness is only accomplished through avoiding what is forbidden (Haram).
Tuhaf al-Uqul, p.511.
Be careful about what you are looking at since the mere act of looking [at something inappropriate] will put the seed of desire in your heart, which would later turn into a disaster.
Tuhaf al-Uqul, p.502.
Good for the ones who make amends among people; those are the most cherished on the Day of Judgement.
Tuhaf al-Uqul, p.501.
O' servants of the world! You are like a lamp that gives light to people and burns itself instead.
Tuhaf al-Uqul, Hadith no.500324.
As you present modesty and humbleness among people in public, be modest and humble with regard to God in private.
Tuhaf al-Uqul, Hadith no.500325.
Verily, planting is only possible on arable land, not a barren one. Similarly, wisdom only grows in a humble and ready heart, not an arrogant and prejudiced one.
Tuhaf al-Uqul, Hadith no.500332.
Everyone looks upon the stars, but none finds his/her way using them, except the one who knows their places and how they work. Similarly, you will learn wisdom, but only the one who practices wisdom will be guided.
Tuhaf al-Uqul, Hadith no.500336.
Any offensive and inappropriate word that you say today will be responded later on the Day of Judgement.
Tuhaf al-Uqul, Hadith no.500341.
Water puts the fire out, just as patience calms anger down.
Tuhaf al-Uqul, Hadith no.500347.
Water and soil are the determining factors for a good harvest, just as knowledge and manner are the keys to perfect faith.
Tuhaf al-Uqul, Hadith no.500350.
The one who is only after this world is like a person drinking seawater; the more he drinks, the more he gets thirsty and finally will bring him death.
Warram b. Abi Firas al-Hilli, Tanbih al-khawatir wa nuzhat al-nawazir, vol.1, p.149.
Jesus Christ (PBUH) said to the apostles: "As much as you get tired in this world, you will rest in the other world, and as much as you rest in this world, you'll get exhausted on the world that is to come."
Ismaiil Jawuhari Farabi, Al-Sahah, vol.1, p.225.
Beware that the root of all evil lies in loving this world extremely.
Warram b. Abi Firas al-Hilli, Tanbih al-khawatir wa nuzhat al-nawazir, vol.1, p.129.
Loving this world and striving for the other world cannot come together in a believer's heart, as water and fire cannot be put together on a plate.
Warram b. Abi Firas al-Hilli, Tanbih al-khawatir wa nuzhat al-nawazir, vol.1, p.131.
If you want to be among God's friends and chosen ones, be kind to the one who does you wrong, and forgive the one who has done you an injustice, and greet the one who turns his face from you.
Tuhaf al-Uqul, p.503.
Whoever knows and brings what he knows into practice and teaches others, is considered a magnificent person in Allah's regard.
Warram b. Abi Firas al-Hilli, Tanbih al-khawatir wa nuzhat al-nawazir, vol.1, p.82.
The most wretched among you is the one who is only known by his/her knowledge, not his/her deeds.
Bihar al-Anvar, vol.2, p.52.