Channel: Nouman Ali Khan
Welcome back, millions of pilgrims and now returning home after journeying to Mecca for the Hajj pilgrimage. The Hajj commemorates events in the life of Prophet Abraham. Why do Muslims consider Abraham to be such an important figure? Recently, as Ali sat down with Nomad, Ali Khan at the Islamic center of Canada to talk about Abraham's legacy? Take a look.
Prophet Abraham peace be upon him is a pivotal figure in three major world religions, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. What makes Abraham so unique? And why is he considered so important to Muslims in particular, to discuss these questions we have with us on man, Ali Khan. He is the founder and CEO of banana Institute in Texas, and a frequently sought after lecture all around the world, brother, No, man, we're very pleased to have you. Thank you for joining us. Very happy to be here. Thank you. We know that Prophet Abraham is widely revered in Christianity and Judaism. But many people might not know that he's also a central figure in Islam. Yeah, very central and and for
Muslims. They really, we really, you know,
have a particular affection for him. Can you tell us yourself personally, how you relate to the Prophet Abraham? Yeah, sure. I mean, growing up, we learned a story of Abraham, and it's very, something very close to our hearts. Our daily prayers include Abraham in them as we send peace and blessings upon our own messenger, we associate those Peace and blessings to Abraham and say, send them upon our messenger as you sent them about upon Abraham. But I really felt a personal connection to Abraham in a way like never before, when I got to make the pilgrimage, the Hajj pilgrimage, which is obligatory upon Muslims that are capable, once in their lifetime this year. So I went with my
wife, and it was probably the most exhilarating experience of my life, to go to this incredible gathering of millions of people, at least to some estimates, even up to 4 million people, in one place, dressed entirely the same way, you know, performing this ultimate ritual of Islam at in the city of Mecca. And as you go, you realize how, at pretty much every ritual you perform, is directly tied to the legacy of Abraham that the entire pilgrimage itself is actually a celebration of the Abrahamic legacy. And as I started doing that, I realized how closely we're supposed to be affiliated emotionally, spiritually, intellectually, to the legacy of Abraham. And so it's such a
central part of our faith, and hopefully we can have some discussion about that in this conversation. Yeah. So it seems that you know, whenever a Muslim goes there to fulfill this obligation that they're required to do, they trace the steps of Abraham and family. And so they really get that sense of a connection. Yeah. So you know, some of the rituals that they actually perform them from the very getgo, the idea of leaving your family and going out there, right now for another second sake, but rather purpose for the sake of God is itself a commemoration of the Abrahamic legacy as he left his family, for the sake of God, he was expelled from his home for the
sake of God. So we expelled ourselves in a sense, and go on this pilgrimage for the sake of God. The other is that, you know, Abraham built this house, in our creed, for the worship of one God alone in Makkah, you know, millennia ago, and made prayer as he was building this house with his son, he prayed. Not only that, that house be populated, and at the time, it was nothing but a desert. There was nobody there, there wasn't a city or anything. And he's building he's making this prayer that it'd be turned into a thriving city, and people should come here to get rewarded for coming here and get closer to God.
And we actually see ourselves as fulfilling that prayer. Like that entire ritual is the fulfillment of that prayer. He, as he's building the house, he also asked for a messenger that would purify the people. Now, there are two things you're you've got a house that's supposed to purify people because it's the house for the worship of God. And he asked for a messenger that will purify people, right? The two are connected, you can't purify people until you purify the house. Historically, the house got corrupted idols were placed there, it became a place for, you know, hedonism and idol worship. And so we see the legacy of our own prophet as cleaning up that house that was originally built by
Abraham, we see the mission of our Prophet as reviving the legacy of Abraham, in on and on that note, if when Muslims feel a close connection to their own Prophet, Muhammad, peace be upon him.
Then he's the one that's told, being the leader of all messengers being the final messenger. He's told, interestingly enough, that he is to follow the legacy of Abraham.
We follow our Prophet, and he's told he should follow the legacy of Abraham. Abraham hanifa. Quran says, follow the legacy of Abraham, sincerely and holy. So now, you know, so we go there, we perform this ritual, we're looking at the same house that he built. Right, which is awesome. And then we're told in our tradition, that there's a special marking, there's a place where you're supposed to go and that prayer counts extra. Right? It's one mark one spot and that's the spot where it's called
The station of Abraham, literally, that's what it's called. And the purpose of it is actually to commemorate the stone, in which he on which he stood to build the house. And so you can't help but remember God through remembering the sacrifice and the building of this house and the prayer that he made for you and me to be able to do this one day. So it ties you directly to his legacy as our Father in one sense, you know, so we know that that Abraham is both you know, the father, or the forefather of Prophet Mohammed in terms of lineage itself, right, yeah. But also in terms of we're learning in terms of the religious lineage, you can say in terms of Yeah, that, you know, that
Prophet Mohammed fulfilled or continued the mission that Abraham started Exactly. And this is so awesome, and so powerful to the Muslim that, obviously, the name of our religion is Islam, or one of its nicknames in the Koran is the legacy of Abraham, or the religion of Abraham Miller, Abraham Miller has used an Arabic word for religion, when you have a, an emotional attachment to it. So it's the it's the legacy of Abraham that should be loved, and one should one should have loyalty to and one should affiliate themselves to it, then what's beautiful as we go to that pilgrimage, you know, the famous story of Abraham, of course, is the sacrifice, right. And so he is willing to sacrifice
his son, his son is incredible enough that he's willing to be put to sacrifice if it's from God, that you know that the dreams must be revelation. And as they're going, they are, you know, the mother, daughter, or mother, and father and son are going, they're each tempted by the devil, to stop and to not go forward with the sacrifice, this is insane. And so three times they shoot the devil away. And symbolically, he literally threw pebbles in the family through pebbles to shoo them away. At the Hajj, there's a ceremony in which millions of people go through that same walk. And as they are going, they throw pebbles at these three March spots, that that actually reminds them that
as we make sacrifices, we're going to be tempted by the devil to walk away from sacrifice, as Abraham himself was, and he was able to successfully shoe the temptations of the devil away. Then, even before
you know you, if you see any footage of the the pilgrimage from Makkah, you'll see that people are running from one end to the other, right seven times. And this is actually the mother of Ishmael Hagar, when when she when they were left in the desert by themselves, and he's in the middle, almost,
you know, dying of dehydration, the baby, she just she's dried up, she hasn't had anything to drink herself. She can't feed her milk, peanut milk. She's desperately looking for water. And so she's going back and forth. Her sacrifice is celebrated. It's not just Abraham, his wife's sacrifice is celebrated. And then the baby kicks the sand and miraculously water comes out, which is actually the reason for which in the middle of a desert, you have a thriving city, is because there's a water supply now. And we're supposed to ritualistically even drink that water for blessings, the water of sumsung. So pretty much everything we do at that occasion, that life. That life event is reviving
the legacy and celebrating the legacy of retirement at the end of it all, what do we do as our ultimate celebration, sacrifice an animal. So when we make our sacrifice, to go to the pilgrimage, the celebration of it is sacrificing animal. when Abraham made his ultimate sacrifice was willing to slaughter his son. God told him that he's proven himself and how was he supposed to celebrate? passing the test, sacrificing an animal, so that sacrifice sacrifice is actually a, again, a celebration of the Abrahamic legacy. And finally, I want to add here, that it's not just limited to that one ritual, you know, a fifth of the world's population, almost Muslims all over the world,
pray in the direction of the house that Abraham built. And how much more can you say that we are people tied to the legacy of Abraham? Yeah, and I think a lot of Muslims often see Islam and see the Prophet Mohammed's legacy is an answer to Abraham's prayers. That's correct. Can you tell us what Abraham prayed for because the Koran details many of his prayers, and they're very beautiful. Yeah. What Why was it what was Abraham praying? So Abraham has many prayers in the Quran, and particularly what's highlighted in his prayers, a common theme among many of his prayers is concerned for the future. Okay. So he's concerned about his children, their children's children and their children's
children. And he sees that the teachings of the true faith of belief and sacrifice for one god maybe may weaken over generations. So he says, whenever I see him Allah Suleiman who master appoint among them, a messenger who is um from among themselves, raised among the messenger from among themselves. You have to either him if he that will read your resident revelations to him, it will, he'll read upon them your miracles, your messages, will use a key man, he'll cleanse them, or actually he says, well, you're an evil monkey. taba will take my I'll teach them the law. he'll teach them wisdom and he will cleanse them. And so we see that fulfilled because literally, the Prophet came to cleanse
the legacy of Abraham at that place at that same house.
And he himself, when we actually commemorate and praise our own messenger, we actually make mention of the fact that Abraham prayed for him, whether it be a 30 Abraham release and that, you know, May Allah send peace upon the messenger for whom Abraham prayed for his coming, you know, and he would often refer to him as his father Abraham, as his father Abraham is very beautiful that we see that connection between Abraham and our own faith. The other interesting nuance in the Quran, Allah highlights, the Quran highlights,
So, there are messengers that are associated with certain locations like Mount Sinai for Moses, right. And then when he talks about Mecca, he says, This, in trusted house, this will have the ability, I mean, this in trusted house. And that oath, when God swears by this interesting house, meaning this beautiful city, he's actually referring to two messengers in one location. He's referring to the one who began inaugurated the city, Abraham, and then the one who finally came and made it a legacy for the true faith until the end of times, and that is Mohammed. So he associated both of them with that city. So when we think of Makkah, we don't think of Muhammad we think of
Abraham and Muhammad. How can those of us who revere Abraham, you know, learn from him and emulate him more in our daily lives in addition to the Hajj just more on a practical level? Sure. I think probably the most powerful legacy of Abraham his inquiry,
genuinely searching for the truth, and believing that
God will not leave you without guidance. And you know, this requires a two part thing when you have to have faith in God Himself. And the other, you have to have faith in the fact that God will guide you if you're sincere. That is the legacy that he truly left behind. That we should not think of ourselves as abandoned, we should think of ourselves as in the care of God. Right? So I personally believe that the legacy of Ibrahim or Abraham is for one to turn to God in all of their sincerity and ask him for guidance, and then be willing, emotionally, and physically be ready to take that guidance when it comes. And to be willing to do what it takes to accept it. Because you don't ask
for a gift and then throw it away once it's given. Right. So that is the that is the legacy of Abraham to all human beings. And that's the beautiful thing was he built this house he didn't say, make this a place for just those who believe in me, he said, then as for all people make this place special for all people make it it was an invitation to all of humanity. And that's why even if we're not genetically tied to Abraham, we're still calling him our father. Because of that legacy. He became the father figure in Islam.
Okay, thank you very much. It's there's so much more we can say about Prophet Abraham and his legacy. So thank you very much, brother, no man for joining us to talk about that. And I appreciate the opportunity and I hope this was beneficial to people. Okay, that was no man alikhan, founder of the banana Institute in Texas.