Gems from the Holy Quran (Part 5)

by Mr. Mirza Abdur-Rahman Baig

The Light & Islamic Review (US), May/June 1993 Issue (Vol. 70, No. 3, p. 15)

Note by the Editor: Given below is another article in the series by Mr. Baig, briefly expounding the truths disclosed by Quranic verses.

After the Almighty Allah had tested Abraham and found him to be gifted, bold and fearless, with qualities of leadership beyond comparison, He chose him as His Prophet.

Later on, He commissioned him and his son Ishmael in these words:

وَ اِذۡ جَعَلۡنَا الۡبَیۡتَ مَثَابَۃً لِّلنَّاسِ وَ اَمۡنًا ؕ وَ اتَّخِذُوۡا مِنۡ مَّقَامِ اِبۡرٰہٖمَ مُصَلًّی ؕ وَ عَہِدۡنَاۤ اِلٰۤی اِبۡرٰہٖمَ وَ اِسۡمٰعِیۡلَ اَنۡ طَہِّرَا بَیۡتِیَ لِلطَّآئِفِیۡنَ وَ الۡعٰکِفِیۡنَ وَ الرُّکَّعِ السُّجُوۡدِ ﴿۱۲۵﴾

“And when We made the House a resort for mankind and a place of security. And: Take ye the place of Abraham for a place of prayer. And We enjoined Abraham and Ishmael, saying: Purify My House for those who visit it and those who abide in it for devotion, and those who bow down and those who prostrate themselves” (The Holy Quran, 2:125).

When the work was completed, Abraham prayed:

رَبِّ اجۡعَلۡ ہٰذَا بَلَدًا اٰمِنًا وَّ ارۡزُقۡ اَہۡلَہٗ مِنَ الثَّمَرٰتِ مَنۡ اٰمَنَ مِنۡہُمۡ بِاللّٰہِ وَ الۡیَوۡمِ الۡاٰخِرِ ؕ قَالَ وَ مَنۡ کَفَرَ فَاُمَتِّعُہٗ قَلِیۡلًا ثُمَّ اَضۡطَرُّہٗۤ اِلٰی عَذَابِ النَّارِ ؕ وَ بِئۡسَ الۡمَصِیۡرُ ﴿۱۲۶﴾

“My Lord, make this a secure town and provide its people with fruits, such of them who believe in Allah and the Last Day. He (Allah) said: And whoever disbelieves, I shall grant him enjoyment for a short while, then I shall drive him to the chastisement of the fire. And it is an evil destination” (The Holy Quran, 2:126).

Abraham added:

رَبَّنَا وَ اجۡعَلۡنَا مُسۡلِمَیۡنِ لَکَ وَ مِنۡ ذُرِّیَّتِنَاۤ اُمَّۃً مُّسۡلِمَۃً لَّکَ ۪ وَ اَرِنَا مَنَاسِکَنَا وَ تُبۡ عَلَیۡنَا ۚ اِنَّکَ اَنۡتَ التَّوَّابُ الرَّحِیۡمُ ﴿۱۲۸﴾ رَبَّنَا وَ ابۡعَثۡ فِیۡہِمۡ رَسُوۡلًا مِّنۡہُمۡ یَتۡلُوۡا عَلَیۡہِمۡ اٰیٰتِکَ وَ یُعَلِّمُہُمُ الۡکِتٰبَ وَ الۡحِکۡمَۃَ وَ یُزَکِّیۡہِمۡ ؕ اِنَّکَ اَنۡتَ الۡعَزِیۡزُ الۡحَکِیۡمُ ﴿۱۲۹﴾٪

“Our Lord, make us both submissive to Thee, and raise from our offspring a nation submitting to Thee, and show us our ways of devotion, and turn to us mercifully, for Thou art oft-returning to mercy. Our Lord, and raise up in them a Messenger from among them who shall recite to them Thy messages, and teach them the Book and the wisdom, and purify them. Surely Thou art the Mighty, the Wise” (The Holy Quran, 2:128–129).

Accordingly, Abraham and Ishmael got down to it and completed their commission admirably and rebuilt the Bait-ullah [House of Allah] from the foundations up, at the original site. Allegedly, the House of God has been rebuilt a total of five times: first by Adam, then Abraham and Ishmael, then the Holy Prophet Muhammad, who personally fixed the Hajar al-aswad (the black stone) in a comer of the outer wall, then Abdullah ibn Zubair, and lastly by Hajjaj.

This, indeed, is the First House of God built off the shore of the Red Sea at Makka, of unknown age dating back to great antiquity (as described by the orientalist Sir William Muir), where Arabs from north, south, east and west assembled every year to perform Hajj (Pilgrimage) from times immemorial!

Abraham’s prayer was granted so completely over these centuries that it stands as a wonder of the world. Makka, which was surrounded by completely non-productive desert all around as far as you could see, is today a most thriving metropolis with all the amenities of the whole world in the shape of food, fruit, silks, machinery. equipment, the best cars in the world, etc. It is one of the richest places in the world, with fabulous oil wealth.

The greatest wonder, I think. is the limitless fountain of zamzam, which was started by Divine miracle, by the infant Ishmael’s heels hitting the ground and crying for water, while his mother Hajira [Hagar] frantically ran between the hills of Safa and Marwa in search of water for her suffering son. On finding none, she returned, and could not believe her eyes to see water gushing at her son’s feet! From what source and from how far away does this water come? No one but God knows. The yield of the water today is limitless and electric pumps work day and night to cope with the demand of millions of pilgrims each year, which is immense. They drink it, perform their ablutions in it and bathe in it. People also take it home all over the world as gift for their dear ones who could not go for the pilgrimage. This is totally beyond comprehension. and is no doubt a wonder of the world. The only explanation is that it is in fulfilment of God’s promise that He will look after the progeny of Abraham in answer to Hajira’s prayer for Divine help.

The Holy Prophet used to say:

“I am the prayer of Abraham”.

By Divine help, he became the greatest and the last Prophet of God who raised a first-class nation out of totally ignorant and backward Arabs. That nation, in a short spell of 32 years, with God’s help, defeated the Roman army, and the Iranian hordes, and conquered Egypt and Spain. And last but not least, they promoted higher education in architecture and other sciences in the world. During my travels I saw a Naval Academy in Portugal founded by the Arabs, still functioning well.