Channel: Jamal Badawi
Series: Jamal Badawi - Pillars of Islam
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In the Name of God, the benevolent the Merciful, the creator and the Sustainer of the universe, peace and blessings upon his servant and messenger Muhammad forever. I mean, I bear witness that there is no god worthy of worship except the one God. And I bear witness that Muhammad is the messenger and Steve servant of God, I greet you all of the viewers of the Islamic focus program with the greetings of peace Assalamu alaikum, which means peace beyond you. Today we have our tents program in the our series of programs dealing with Pillars of Islam. And today we'll be continuing with our second program on the fifth pillar, dealing with Hajj or Muslim pilgrimage. I have joining
me on the program, Dr. Jamal Badawi of St. Mary's University Assalamu alaikum. Brother, Ronnie,
I wonder if perhaps before we go into today's program, if you could go back and just very quickly highlight the main points that we discussed in our first program on the pilgrimage last week? Sure. First of all, we said that pilgrimage
to Mecca is one of the five pillars of Islam, and that it is a duty on every Muslim male or female, who was able to do the pilgrimage financially and physically, at least once in a lifetime.
And secondly, we dispel some of the common misconceptions about Islam that pilgrimage is simply a visitation to the grave of Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him on his tongue. And he said that the complete rites of pilgrimage are completed without or can be completed without visiting the grave of the Prophet, that there is no evidence whatsoever in the Quran, the Word of God or the teaching of Prophet Mohammed that he ever regarded or demanded, visiting to his grave as part of pilgrimage, certainly, which was even more important. We indicated that pilgrimage is done in Mecca,
and can be completed there while the tongue of the Prophet is in Medina, which is about 200 miles
north or northwest of Mecca. So there's obviously no foundation whatsoever for for the claim that Muslim Nick pilgrims to stamp the pilgrimage to the holy site.
Thirdly, we indicated that Muslim pilgrimage is not like any other pilgrimage, it is not simply a visitation to some of the sacred shrines or places. But rather, it is an act of worship. It is something that reminds us of our responsibility and mission on Earth. It reminds us of our end reminds us of the Day of Judgment, standing for accountability before God. It is a practical training, and obedience and submission to God in discipline. It is a practical manifestation of the Islamic principles of brotherhood and equality before God. And it is also related very much to the Prophet Abraham. That's from the historical point of view, as the father of all monotheistic
prophets. Indeed, we tried to explain in some details, this kind of connection between Muslims and Prophet Abraham peace be upon him. And we said that
it starts actually with his the sentence. That is, he had two children, the first one was prophet Ishmael, was his first son.
And the second was Isaac second,
born to him, and that we indicated also that the second son Isaac, lived in Palestine. And from who is the sentence came all the Israelite prophets ending with Prophet Jesus peace be upon him the last and that particular branch of the household of Abraham, and that his first son, the other son, Ishmael, was taken to Mecca, and that he dwelt there until centuries later, from whose descendants came the very last of all of the prophets of God that has a prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him. So that connected the
Relationship also between the Israelite branch and the Israelite branch of the household of Ishmael, especially after the prophet who had shifted from the Israelite branch, to the ishmaelites branch following the rejection of Prophet Jesus, peace be upon him, the last of the Israelite prophets.
Last week, we were just beginning to explore
the property schmelz. Coming to Arabia or to Mecca. And the circumstances, which led up to that we didn't have a chance, unfortunately, we ran out of
complete the exam, complete the exam and that one, or perhaps you could just very quickly highlight what we did cover last week, and then perhaps go on and explain a little more fully the circumstances which led to property Ishmael peace be upon him coming to Mecca or to Arabia. Certainly, the first thing to emphasize First of all, is that we indicated that if you compare the story, in accordance with the stomach tradition, with the story, for example, that appears in the Bible, that there are some points of agreement.
The points of agreement is that
Prophet Abraham peace be upon him took his son, who was also a prophet Ishmael
and his mother Hagar, away from Palestine,
up to this point,
the similarities seem to be our similarities seem to end because they seem to be
clear difference with respect to when this incident took place.
was the baby or the child and his mother's taken?
why were they were taken? What were the circumstances, like I said, are the the reason why they were taken?
Now, to clarify that we said that, according to the biblical story, that Ishmael and his mother were taking simply because of the jealousy on the part of Sarah, the first wife of Abraham, and the one who reads the Bible in the book of Genesis, chapter 21, particularly verses 10, on the story about the taking of Ishmael.
It appears there as if Sarah is not only dictating her jealousy or desire on Prophet Abraham, it appears that she's dictating it on God even because when Abraham was very sorry, and disappointed because of that request, when she told him take that woman, and her child away,
that God told him, listen to your wife.
Whereas in the Islamic tradition, the reason why Ishmael and Hagar was taken is not dictation on the part of surah. But rather it was a command from God, for wisdom that might have not been clear in the minds of many people at that time, even to Abraham himself. And that it was God's will to have the
the first branch of the household of Abraham, his first son Ishmael, to dwell in Arabia, because later on hundreds of years, maybe more than 1600 years later, it was God's will to have the very last prophet Muhammad peace be upon him coming from that descendant. So it was a plan
to have those people who are destined than to live in Arabia, and be the grandfather of the last prophet. This is one area of
A second area of differences that in the Bible it says that Abraham took Ishmael and Hagar to the wilderness of Beersheba, which is in southern Palestine, whereas in Islamic tradition, he took them to Mecca.
In fact, the Islamic story is further confirmed by traditions that preceded even the advent of Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him, and relics and sites which are connected with Hagar and Ishmael until this very moment. For example, in Islamic tradition, it was Hagar,
who was running between the hills of Safa and Marwa in search for water for her baby, and this hills still exist in Mecca in Arabia until this very moment, like I said before even the advent of Prophet Muhammad is well known to commemorate Hagar, search for water.
The word of Zamzam which is still exist until this very moment, and existed before the coming of Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him are also said to have been a water or spring water that gushed under the feet of the child, the baby Ishmael when he was crying, and kicking the ground out of thirst, it was a miraculous gushing of this water. So the sights still exist. The third point where we really ran short last time
Which is even more essential is when this incident took place.
Now, we said in Islamic tradition, it took place before the birth of Isaac. Because Isaac was the second son who was born years later, about 14 years after Ishmael was born.
And the biblical story, we find a great deal of
confusion. In fact, I was checking a Christian source on this, the interpreters Bible, which is an acknowledged, you know, commentary on the Bible, several volumes, and it's written by Christian scholars. And when it came to this point, they said there is a problem, and probably a confusion of sequence. The reason being is that if you check the story, according to the Bible,
like I said, again, the reference is the book of Genesis chapter 21, verses 10 through
21. I have here the King James Version of the Bible. Instead of reading it all, I just refer to the salient point, it said here is that this incident took place after
Isaiah Isaac was weaned. That, for example, appears in verse eight, in chapter 21, of the Genesis.
And then it continues on. And if you read the remaining parts of the chapters, it says that,
hey, gosh, lifted up, have child
when the angels talk to her, the engine said, lift up the lead that's in verse 18.
Not only this, we find also that it says that when she ran out of water, she was very grieved, and she couldn't stand, sitting there and watching her baby die out of thirst. So it says in the book of Genesis that she cast him under a sharp
all these descriptions, gives a given impression that the child who was with Hagen was a baby, really a baby because he's lifted his cast under the show.
Whereas according to the Bible itself, in the book of Genesis, chapter 21, in verse five, it says that Abraham was 100 years old, when Isaac was born.
It's where in the book of Genesis it indicates that
Ishmael was born when
Abraham was 86 years old.
That appears in chapter 16, verse 16, in the book of Genesis, which means that when Isaac was when Ishmael must have been 14, who perhaps more,
perhaps about 15 years old or older? How could it be that a child who was 15 years old, is lifted by his mother is cast under the sham. So like I said, again, from Christian sources from the interpreter's Bible, it shows that there's a confusion about sequence. And if you compare that with Islamic tradition, you find that the story in Islamic tradition is very coherent witnesses, you don't find that contradiction, because it doesn't say that this happened after the rest of Isaac. It happened before the birth of Isaac when Ishmael was a baby. And that's a very coherent and consistent type of explanation extension, not only the rest of text, but
even the business has divided itself, look at it carefully. It's impossible that it happened after the rest of it.
Do we have any indication? Or is there any evidence that
Prophet Abraham visited his wife and visited them with a smile after he had left them off in Mecca? Oh, yes, there are at least two evidences that we can get right away from the Quran.
The first was the case where Prophet Abraham came and built the Kaaba, the holy shrines that still exists in Mecca as the first house on Earth, but for the worship of the One God with the help of his son, Ishmael, and the second related to the story of sacrifice when God commanded Abraham to sacrifice his only son, Ishmael.
To give you a documentation of the first one,
in the Quran, and chapter two,
verses 127 through 128. Just read the translation for that it's quite interesting.
It describes the scene when Abraham with the help of his Spanish maid were building the Kaabah with your family brought them in and bait was my taste. And remember, Abraham and Ishmael raised the foundation.
The house, that is the Kaaba,
with this with this prayer, our Lord, accept this service from us. For thou art, the old hearing, that all knowing
our Lord, make of us Muslims, bowing to thy will. That's cutting Abraham and Ishmael Muslims in essence of submission to God, thou into thy will, and of our progeny of people, Muslims bowing to thy will, and show us our places for the celebrations of Jew rights, and turn unto us in mercy, for you are the oft returning, Most Merciful.
Not only this, this very section in the Quran does not only describe the building of the Kaaba, by both Abraham and Ishmael, it also show us that the prophethood of Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him was, in fact, in fulfillment of the prayer made earlier, both by Prophet Abraham and his son, Prophet Ishmael, for God to send a prophet in that particular location. In fact, in Hebrew, as you know, Ishmael, or Ishmael means God hears or God shall hear. The Quran confirms that in the following verse, it says,
quoting them, our Lord, sent amongst them, amongst the Arabs are the people who were trying to set into this as an apostle
from amongst themselves, who shall rehearse by science to them, and instruct them in scriptures and wisdom, and Sanctify them, for thou art the Exalted in Might, the Wise. So this was a clear evidence from afar, and that there was a visitation by Prophet Abraham, to his son, Ishmael and his second wife, Hagar. The second one I mentioned, was related to the story of the sacrifice
of Prophet Ishmael.
In essence, to summarize the story, because there's some conditions in the plan to
give it more details, in fact,
is that Abraham, one time when he was sleeping, he saw in his dream, that he is sacrificing his first and only son at the time, Ishmael.
As a basic rule, a vision or dream for a profit is not like a vision or dream for you. And
a vision for a profit or dream means a comment also, from God, because these people are so close to God.
So when Abraham woke up, he talked to his son, Ishmael, and he said, My son, I saw in the dream that I am sacrificing, you told him according to Islamic tradition, Ishmael showed a great deal of faith in God, and obedience to His father. And he simply responded to his father that if God has ordained you to do so, do it.
And when Abraham took his son Ishmael, to sacrifice him
in a place now, which is called Minar, near Mecca.
At the time, when he was really willing to execute the command of God, all of a sudden, an angel came from heavens, cutting with him, a big Ram.
And he gave it to Abraham, and he says, No, now we have
shown your obedience to God, don't sacrifice your son sacrifice the RAM.
Instead, this is the story as it appears in the Islamic tradition. And that's why in the rites of pilgrimage, the same things are repeated again. When Muslims finished pilgrimage, they go to minute, and they slaughter RAMs, out other animals by way of sacrifice, commemoration, and thanksgiving to God, for saving Ishmael, to become the grandfather of the lust of God's Prophet, Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him.
So you've repeatedly talked about the sacrifice of Ishmael, and not Isaac, I think many people ever considered that it's Isaac that was sacrificed, not Ishmael. So there's evidence in the Koran in which would substantiate that it was, in fact, Ishmael, that was the son that was sacrificed not Isaac. Oh, yeah, there's a clear evidence for that. There is no doubt about it. I would like to refer, if you start from a Quranic point of view, to chapter 37. In the Quran, verses 99 through 116, it gives the whole story that that would authenticate what I mentioned before by way of summary, and also give the implication towards the end that it was definitely not Isaac.
Starting from verse 99, Chapter 37, it says, he said, That's Abraham. I will go to my Lord
He will surely guide me, Oh my Lord, grant me righteous son. So we give him the good news of a boy, ready to suffer and forbear. Then when the sun reached the age of serious work with him, he said, All my son, I see and vision that I offer you and sacrifice. Now see, what is your view, the sunset, all my father's, do, as you are commanded, you will find me If God saw wills, one practicing patience, and constancy. So when they had both submitted their wills to God, and he had that Abraham led him, prostrate on his forehead for sacrifice, we called out to him, oh, Abraham, you have already you have already fulfilled the vision does indeed, do We reward those who do right? For this
was obviously a trial stage. And we ran some him that transcend Ishmael, with a momentous sacrifice. And we left this blessing for him among generations to come in later times, Pease and salutations to Abraham does, indeed do we award those who do write, for he was one of our believing servants. And not just the following verses, after that story was finished, it says, and we gave him that's to Abra, ham, the good news of Isaac, a prophet, one of the righteous. In other words, it's clearly implied that the whole story of sacrifice is finished, after the sacrifice was offered, and Abraham showed his face to get to sacrifices only son, which is a very hard test. It is at that time, that
God gave him the news that Isaac also will be born. So that was even before the first of Isaac so there's no doubt about the who the son of sacrifice was.
A lot of people, I think, have difficulty with understanding why a benevolent God and merciful God would request Abraham peace be upon him to sacrifice his first son,
to sacrifice any of his sons, I suppose people might find it very difficult to understand how a person would be asked by God to do that, sometimes to sacrifice an animal for food even. That's right. That's right.
Could you perhaps explain the comment on this, there are a number of lessons to be learned from that story. First of all, it shows us that as human beings, in the initial comment that was made by God to Abraham, that if Abraham simply used his own logic, he would have put his own logic and thinking above the wisdom of God. So it teaches us humility, that truly God has given us logic and mind to us. But on the other hand, we should not be too arrogant to consider our intelligence and thinking about the wisdom of God, they may be certain things that we can't understand. So we should not hasten and make quick judgments. A second lesson is basically like the verse I cited, is a test of
faith of Abraham. Here is a man who had his logic and his emotions, tell him, don't sacrifice your son. But as a prophet, he knew and knew for sure that God says, No, you sacrifice your son. So well, that's again, a test of the depths of faith, your mind and your heart, and is in one direction and the command of God is One Direction? What is your choice is a very difficult task. Of course, I don't know whether any of us really subjected to that would pass that test. But definitely Abraham was really a hero in that sense. A third lesson is a lesson in humility. Prophet Abraham, throughout his life, has gone through lots of tribulation and tests. He stood against the idolatry of his
father, of his people, he was thrown into the fire, he was threatened, he traveled a lot for the sake of God. So that was a good lesson for him. All right. Don't you think that you are any more than a human you could be a very pious, perfect human, as much as human perfection can be attained. But don't forget that as a human being, you are weak. And that was his weakness. Definitely, he did not receive the news. Even though he obeyed. It wasn't definitely easy on him, to, to accept.
In addition to this, the very fact that the engine substituted around for a human, it is a lesson for humans. Don't you try to do any blood sacrifice, thinking that you are pleasing God, Worst of all, to sacrifice a life of a human being and shed his blood just to thinking that you're pleasing God, this is not the way to please God, please, and God will be through righteousness through Pisces, we're trying your best. So if you have to
to sacrifice something, not just for the ritual of it, sacrifice an animal and give the meat to the poor to benefit from, to transfer this mythical idea of blood sacrifice into something beneficial to the community rather than a given dogma. And finally, of course, we cannot only say that this is a history is history, it's not only history, the Supreme act of sacrifice on the part of Abraham, Prophet Abraham, peace be upon him is a good lesson for us, too.
That each one of us has his own Ishmael, if you will. Abraham so much, so much loved Ishmael being the only son that he got, after so many years of waiting, he didn't have Isaac. But still, he was willing to carry out with the command of
all of us have something that we love, that seems to compete with our love of God, the love of material, the love of children, the love of property, we're not saying that this is better than said, but many times, we are carried away in materialism, we're carried away in pleasures that we forget to remember God. So it's also teaching us sacrifice a little bit, maybe not your son, maybe not all you have, but sacrifice a little bit of your time, your energy, your property, be compassionate. And this way you can get closer to God
is very, very many deep lessons in this set of circumstances.
Many people of course, in fact, probably most of our viewers will be familiar with the Bible. And we were talking about the sacrifice and the question came up well, which son Isaac?
And of course, you've mentioned the Islamic tradition that Ishmael was the sacrifice on. How would you reconcile the two stories? And you know, why should the person I guess the question will be asked, Well, why should a person except one version over the other version? Well, again, like we discussed the study of the age of Ishmael, when this took place, you can go to the Bible and read it carefully. And you would be surprised that many of the common notions that has been there for years are not necessarily accurate, or at least there is some question about the proper interpretation of them.
You run into similar difficulty here, for example, I refer to the book of Genesis, again, using the same King James Version in chapter 22. And the book of Genesis, both in verse two. And in verse 16.
It says, that God was commanded,
has commanded Abraham, and he said, for example, in verse two, take now, by only sorry, by son, find only son, Isaac, whom you love, and offer him.
So there's a difficulty there. It says, Take your only son, Isaac, that led some scholars to suspect that the word Isaac in both verses might have been a little insertion, and that the original word was probably the only son Ishmael.
Why? Because according to the Bible itself, I think I mentioned that before you go to the book of Genesis before,
and chapter 16, verse 16. And it says that when Ishmael was born, Abraham was 86 years old.
You go to the book of Genesis in chapter 21, verse five, what it says there, that when Isaac was Isaac was born, he was 100% wasn't headed, which means what, who was the only son had to be Isaac, I mean, he
wanted at six. So for the for 14 years, the only son that Abraham had was not as opposed. All right. Now, some people might try to resolve that kind of difficulty by making various claims that for example, Ishmael was not a legitimate son, there is no foundation for that the Bible itself called Hagar his wife, called Ishmael deviceid. That's not to say that he was the only son in the household at that time. But again, if you have a son in Vancouver, one in Halifax, you don't say, you're on the sun is down here, whatever this children are, they are your children. So it's again, it's not very convincing. Some claim that the son of promise was on the Isaac, I think we discussed in detail
before, that, according to the book of Genesis, particularly, Chapter 21, verses 13 and 18. God also promised to make of Ishmael a great nation. So we're not denying
that Isaac was a great prophet of God, that Isaac was promised, by God also to have the semblance of prophethood in his among his children for nearly 1600 years, we're not denying, but we're saying that the Bible itself also shows that Ishmael also was promised. And the God's promise has been fulfilled in both branches. So it doesn't mean at all that Muslim by believing that Ishmael was the son of sacrifice, which is logical according to both the Quran and the Bible in fact, that this be
lessons in any way. Prophet Isaac, Isaac and Ishmael are both great prophets, children of a great prophet Abraham and grandfathers of great prophets, including Jesus and the last prophet Muhammad. Peace be upon them. They are all brothers.
Thank you very much, brother Jamal, for clarifying these matters has been very indistinct program. We've run out of time for today's program. We want to thank you for watching. Join us next time Assalamu alaikum peace be unto you