Story Of Abraham: Married To Hagar (Hajjar) And Offspring
Abraham in Canaan and Egypt
For several years, Abraham stayed in Canaan, calling people to God, until famine forced him and Sarah to go to Egypt. Pharaoh – the despotic ruler of that country – was known for wanting to have married women. Christian and Jewish sources claim that Abraham betrayed Sarah for his sister in the hope of saving himself from a merciless ruler. For this, Pharaoh honored Abraham, but still took Sarah to the harem. When the house of Pharaoh began to comprehend one disaster after another, he learned that Sarah was the wife of the Prophet Abraham and, as punishment, drove them out of Egypt.
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The Quran tells a different story. Abraham understood that Sarah would attract the attention of Pharaoh, so he told her to call herself his sister. As soon as they stepped into the territory of his kingdom, Pharaoh wanted to learn about the relationship of Sarah and Abraham. Abraham introduced himself as her brother. Pharaoh, although slightly disappointed, nevertheless took Sarah. But the Lord does not leave the true believers. He stayed with Sarah and saved her from the base desires of the treacherous Pharaoh. When he wanted to approach, she turned to God with a prayer to protect her, and Pharaoh’s body froze like a stone. From surprise and pain, Pharaoh begged Sarah to ask God for his salvation, and promised to release her. Sarah did just that, but Pharaoh did not keep his words and wanted to approach her again. Sarah again appealed to the Most High, and the body of Pharaoh again turned to stone. This was repeated three times, until the wicked man gave up, and, realizing the special nature of this woman, let her go to the imaginary brother.
Abraham prayed when his wife returned with gifts from Pharaoh, one of whom was his own daughter, Hajar (Hagar). Christians and Jews believe that Hagar was a servant.
Abraham, Sarah, and Hagar returned to Palestine. The Lord promised to give Abraham a son, but he continued to be childless. Sarah, according to the custom of those times, gave her slave, Hajjar, to continue the race. As one of the Christian scholars believes, Abraham married Hajjar. According to the Jewish and Babylonian traditions, the child of the concubine was considered the child of the former mistress of the concubine and received corresponding care, upbringing and inheritance. Be that as it may, Hajjar soon gave birth to a son Ishmael.
Abraham in Mecca
Ismail was still a baby when the Lord wanted to test the faith of Abraham again. He ordered his son and Hajjar to be led into the desert valley of Bakka more than 1,000 kilometers southeast of the province of Hebron. Later this land will be called Mecca.
Such a severe test befell Abraham at that moment when he finally gained a long-awaited heir and enjoyed every moment spent with him. Now he had to leave his son in the ruthless desert.
In the Bible, this story appears somewhat differently. Sarah’s wrath was the cause of the expulsion of Hajjar and Ishmael. Abraham gave a great feast on the day Sarah wean Ishaq. Then she saw (or she thought) that Ishmael mocked his younger brother. Infuriated by this behavior of Ishmael, she asks Abraham to drive out Hajjar and Ishmael. According to Jewish traditions, the age of excommunication is 3 years, which means that Ismail was then about 17 years old. As the Christian legends describe, the whole long way, Hajar carried her son on her shoulders and lowered her to the ground, only reaching the land called Faran. It is not entirely clear how a woman could carry a 17 year old boy on her shoulders. The fact is that the verses of the Bible describing this moment are called Ishmael as a baby, whereas in exile they were described as a youth.
So, Abraham took Hajjar and Ishmael to the desert and left them with a vessel of water and a waterskin filled with dates. Seeing Abraham leaving, Hajjar caught up with him: “O Ibrahim, where are you going, leaving us in this valley, where there is no one and nothing?” Abraham silently quickened his step.
Eventually, the woman asked: “Was it Allah who ordered you to do this?” Suddenly, Abraham stopped, turned around and answered: “Yes.”
Such an answer calmed the agitated woman. She asked again: “To whom do you leave us?”
“I entrust you to the Lord,” said Abraham.
“Then He will not leave us!” Said Hajjar and returned to Ishmael.
Abraham went further. Reaching the mountain pass, where they could not see it, he stopped and prayed to the Almighty:
“Our Lord, verily, I placed part of my posterity in a valley where nothing grows, at Your reserved home. Our Lord, may they pray, and incline the hearts of (some) people to them and give them fruits that they may be grateful (You)! ”(Quran 14:37)
Soon the dates were over, and the vessel of water was empty. Despair Hajjar was growing. Unable to suppress the feeling of thirst and feed her child, Hajjar rushed to seek water. Leaving Ishmael in the shade of a tree, she began to climb the stony slope of a nearby hill, hoping to see a caravan passing by. Seven times she ran between the hills of Safa and Marwah in search of water and help. Subsequently, overcoming these seven paths between the hills will be one of the rites of the Hajj (pilgrimage) among Muslims.
Hajjar was exhausted and ready to lose her mind from grief when she heard the voice, but she could not understand where it came from. She looked down and saw an angel next to Ishmael (the angel Jabrail (Gabriel) – in Islamic sources). The angel kicked the ground and water gushed out. A miracle happened! Hajjar began to enclose the source, at the same time filling her fur. The angel told her: “Do not be afraid of death, for truly, there will be the House of Allah, which this boy will build with his father, and Allah will not abandon those close to Him!” This source, called Zam-Zam, beats to this day in the city of Mecca in the Arabian Peninsula.
Some time later, the Jurhum tribe passed by this area. The attention of people attracted a bird hovering over the valley. This meant the presence of water there. Subsequently, they settled in Mecca, and Ishmael grew among them.
A similar story is told in the Bible (Genesis: 21), although there are several different points. For example, Hagar moved away from the baby, so as not to see him die, and not at all in search of help. When the baby began to cry very much from thirst, she asked God not to let her see the torment and death of her son. The appearance of the source appears not as a response to Hagar’s prayer, but as a response to Ishmael’s cry. The Bible also does not mention Hagar’s attempts to find help, and claims that the source was located in the wilderness of Paran where they later settled. Christian-Jewish scholars believe that Paran is somewhere in the north of the Sinai Peninsula, due to the mention of Mount Sinai in the chapter “Deuteronomy” 33: 2. Modern biblical archeologists, however, say that Mount Sinai is located on the territory of modern Saudi Arabia, which means that Faran is also there. READ Previous: Story Of Abraham: Resettlement To Canaan