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The sacrifice of Ishmael in the story of Prophet Abraham’s life
According to the verse 100 to 107 of Surah As-Saffat Abraham asked God to grant him a child. In this regard the Quran says: “My Lord, grant me a child from among the righteous” and God gave him the glad tidings of a forbearing youth. In this regard the Quran says: “So We gave him good tidings of a forbearing boy.”
Abraham’s dream regarding the sacrifice of Ishmael
One of the dreams which has been mentioned in the holy Quran is the Prophet Abraham’s dream. Accordingly he dreamt that he was scarifying Ishmael in the cause of Allah. The story of sacrifice of Ishmael has been mentioned in Surah As-Saffat as the following:
“And when he reached with him [the age of] exertion, he said, "O my son, indeed I have seen in a dream that I must sacrifice you, so see what you think." He said, "O my father, do as you are commanded. You will find me, if Allah wills, of the steadfast. And when they had both submitted and he put him down upon his forehead. We called to him, "O Abraham, You have fulfilled the vision." Indeed, We thus reward the doers of good. Indeed, this was the clear trial. And We ransomed him with a great sacrifice, And We left for him [favorable mention] among later generations: "Peace upon Abraham." (Surah As-Saffat-Verses 102-109).
After a while, Abraham (a.s) informed Ishmael of the dream in which he had to sacrifice him. Abraham (a.s) had dreamt that he would sacrifice his son. In this regard the Quran says: “And when he reached with him [the age of] exertion, he said, "O my son, indeed I have seen in a dream that I [must] sacrifice you, so see what you think.” Abraham’s son also accepted it and encouraged his father to do he has been commanded. In this regard the Quran says: “He said, "O my father, do as you are commanded. You will find me, if Allah wills, of the steadfast." He said, "O my father, do as you are commanded. You will find me, if Allah wills, of the steadfast."” Then, both of them were prepared to fulfill this strange command. In this regard the Quran says: “And when they had both submitted and he put him down upon his forehead”. But when Abraham intended to sacrifice his son, God called Abraham and said: you have fulfilled your duty. In this regard the Quran says: “We called to him, "O Abraham. You have fulfilled the vision." Indeed, We thus reward the doers of good.” Then God ransomed the son of Abraham with a great sacrifice and in this regard the Quran says: “And We ransomed him with a great sacrifice”. Anyhow he had dreamt that he would sacrifice his son and it would not mean that he had finished sacrificing him and had killed him. In other words, he said to his son: “O my son, indeed I have seen in a dream that I [must] sacrifice you.” Therefore, When Abraham put his son down upon his forehead God said to him: “You have fulfilled the vision.” In the previously mentioned verse that Arabic equivalent for the term “great sacrifice” presumably refers to sacrificial lamb which is killed every year during the ritual of Hajj by the Muslims. Accordingly the sacrificial lamb which is reminiscent of the sacrifice of Abraham (a.s). There is a narration in Bihar from al-Khisal by Al-Shaykh al-Saduq and Oyoun Akhbar Al-Ridha. Accordingly, it is said that: “Whatever is sacrificed in Mina, are all regarded as sacrifices for Ishmael.”
Abraham (a.s) and Ishmael (a.s) in an altar full of love
The purpose of Ordinary tests and trials is to determine people’s competence while divine trials have other purposes. It should be noted that God is fully aware of His servants’ past and future as well as the extent of their competence. As a result, there are other reasons and motivations for testing a servant and accordingly one of them is to provide the condition for the competent servants to achieve perfection. So, in order for these servants to actualize their latent and potential competences, this condition is provided for them. Abraham potentially possessed some characteristics like devotion and self-sacrifice but this capacities were actualized to their greatest extent when he was prepared to sacrifice his beloved son by the command of God. As a result, God commanded Abraham to sacrifice his son in the cause of Allah and Abraham too informed his son of this issue and both of them accepted it. Accordingly the son and his father showed their devotion to the command of God. It has to be said that the verses of the Quran points to this motivation. In addition, the statements of Amir al-Mu'minin also refer to this reason. Accordingly he says: “Although God knows human beings better than themselves, He will test them for some of their actions which will be regarded as the criteria for reward and punishment.” Although, the purpose of the divine trials is not limited only to actualization of the talents and capacities and there are other reasons in this regard, this very issue had been the real purpose for the sacrifice of Ishmael. So when Abraham was fully prepared and intended to sacrifice his son, he was called by God: “O Abraham, that is enough, you have fulfilled the vision.” It meant that you did what I commanded you and in this way, you proved your devotion in the cause of Allah. Anyhow, according to some commentators, when Abraham had that strange dream which indicated the beginning of a great divine trial for this great Prophet, his son was 13 years old. In his dream, he was commanded by God that his only son had to be sacrificed and decapitated by him. Abraham suddenly woke up while he had gotten frightened. He knew that the Prophets’ dreams would come true and the temptations of Satan would have no impact on it. However, the same dream was repeated for two nights and it indicated the emphasis on the urgency and necessity of that issue. Abraham who had many times succeeded in passing the difficult divine trials, this time he had to act desperately and bey the command of God and decapitate the son for whom he had waited for a long time, the son who had grown up and had become a righteous and competent son. But before anything, he had to prepare his son for this issue. So he looked at him and said: “O my son, indeed I have seen in a dream that I must sacrifice you, so see what you think?!” (Surah As-Saffat-Verse 102). Since Abraham’s son was exactly like his selfless father, during his short life he had learned from his father the lessons of Patience and perseverance and faith and hence he welcomed the command of God peacefully. Then he said explicitly and strongly: “O my father, do as you have been commanded” (Surah As-Saffat-Verse 102). “You will find me, if Allah wills, of the steadfast.” (Surah As-Saffat-Verse 102). Accordingly, both son and his father successfully passed the first phase of this great divine trial. But what happened there? It has to be said that this story has not been completely mentioned in the Quran and merely the significant points of this strange story have been mentioned. Some commentator have stated that in order to help his father in this mission and to reduce the pain and sorrow of his mother, when the devoted son was brought to the altar which was located in the dry and very hot mountains of the land “Mina” he said to his father: “O my father, tie my hands and legs and blindfold me so I would not struggle while you are doing the mission, I am afraid that it would reduce my reward! Dear father, sharpen the knife and cut my throat quickly, because in this way the tolerance of which will be easier for me and you. O my father, before sacrificing me, take off my shirt because I fear that my mother could not bear seeing my bloody shirt. Then, say hello to my mother from me and if it is okay with you take her my shirt, so as to comfort her and to alleviate her pain, because it will smell the scent of his son and whenever he misses me, he can embrace it and it will alleviate her pain.” It was a critical moment when the command of God had to be fulfilled. Abraham who saw that his son had submitted to the command of God, embraced his son and kissed his cheeks. At that moment both of them began crying, a cry which indicated his feelings and enthusiasm for meeting with Allah. In this regard in a meaningful and short statement, the Quran says: “And when they had both submitted and he put him down upon his forehead” (Surah As-Saffat-Verse 103). Again, here the Quran briefly relates the story and let its reader follow it as he wishes. Some commentators have stated that the sentence “he put him down upon his forehead” means that as his son suggested, Abraham put him down upon his forehead lest he might see his son’s eyes and hence the paternal emotions might prevent him from fulfilling the command of God! Anyhow, Abraham put down his son on the ground and moved the knife and put it on his son’s throat very quickly and strongly whereas it was only the love of God that guided him in this path. He did not have any hesitation and he was so persistent. But the sharp knife had no effect on the tender throat of his son! Abraham became surprised and again moved the knife but it did not cut. The reason was that Abraham Khalilullah said: cut! But God commanded do not cut! And the knife only did as God had commended it. Here, with a short and meaningful statement, the Quran says: “We called to him, "O Abraham” (Surah As-Saffat-Verse 104). Then the Quran adds: “You have fulfilled the vision." Indeed, We thus reward the doers of good.” (Surah As-Saffat-Verse 105).
We help them to succeed in passing the divine trial and do not let their dear son die. Yes, it will be the reward for the doer of good and the person who has utterly submitted to the command of God.
The Quran then adds: “Indeed, this was the clear trial.” (Surah As-Saffat-Verse 106). It is never easy for a father to sacrifice his son, especially the son for whom his father had waited for a long time, the son who had grown up and had become righteous and competent. How could he forsake such a son? More importantly, with utter submission and satisfaction and without getting upset and in order to obey the command of God, he made all arrangements in a way that he was prepared mentally and practically to sacrifice his son. It was even so stranger than when this youth utterly submitted to the command of God and welcomed to be sacrificed with his confidence in the grace of God. But in order to fulfil Abraham’s wish regarding the sacrifice of his son in the cause of Allah, God sent Abraham a big ram to be sacrificed instead of his son. In addition the ritual of sacrificing an animal remained as a tradition for his future generations which had to be performed during the ritual of Hajj and in the land of “Mina”. In this regard the Quran says: “And We ransomed him with a great sacrifice” (Surah As-Saffat-Verse 107). Regarding the greatness of this sacrifice, there are many discussions among the commentators. Accordingly, the greatness of this sacrifice has been attributed to following issues: it is said that it was because of the physical aspect of sacrifice or because the ram was sacrificed instead of Abraham’s son or because it was sacrificed in the cause of Allah or because the ram was sent to Abraham by God. However, it is also possible that all of these aspects be attributed to this great sacrifice and they all be regarded as a great sacrifice from different perspectives. Regarding the fact that how this big ram was given to Abraham (a.s), some commentators believe that Gabriel brought it and some others have also stated that the ram came from the “Mina” mountain range, however in both cases, the ram came by the command and will of Allah. In that day, God not only praised Abraham’s success for passing that great trial but He also made it an everlasting memory. Accordingly, in this regard the Quran says: “And We left for him [favorable mention] among later generations” (Surah As-Saffat-Verse 108). He became a role model for all the future generations and a leader for all the lovers of God. So We made what he did as a tradition which became common during the ritual of Hajj in the future ages and centuries and it would be continued until the end of the world. He was the father of the great Prophets. Moreover, he was the father of Muslim nations as well as the prophet Muhammad. In this regard the Quran says: “Peace upon Abraham.”(Surah As-Saffat-Verse 109). The Quran then adds: “Indeed, We thus reward the doers of good” (Surah As-Saffat-Verse 110). A reward which is as much as the greatness of the world, a reward which is eternal during all ages and a reward which deserves the peace of the Almighty God.
The story of the sacrifice of Ishmael (a.s) according to narrations and hadiths
As it has been narrated, Imami Sheikh has narrated from Sulayman ibn Yazid who said: Imam Ali ibn Musa (a.s) stated that my father narrated from his father, Imam Baqir, and he narrated form his father and his honorable ancestors that he said: The one who was about to be sacrificed was Ishmael (a.s). The same concept has also been narrated from Imam Baqir and Imam Sadiq (a.s) and it has been mentioned in Majma' al-Bayan. Additionally in this regard, there are many other narrations from Ahl al-Bayt (a.s) but in some of these narrations it has been mentioned that the one who was about to be sacrificed was Isaac, however since these narrations were contrary to the Quran, they would be rejected. In the book Al-Faghih it has been mentioned that a person asked Imam Sadiq (a.s): “Who was the person who was about to be sacrificed?” Imam Sadiq (a.s) replied: “he was Ishmael because the story of the birth of Isaac has been mentioned in the holy Quran after the story of sacrifice.” Accordingly the Quran has stated that: “And We gave him good tidings of Isaac, a prophet from among the righteous.” (Surah As-Saffat-Verse 112). In Majma' al-Bayan it has been narrated from Ibn Ishaq who said: Whenever Abraham (a.s) decided to visit his son Ishmael and his mother Hagar, a Buraq (a creature from the heavens which transported the prophets) was brought to him. So, in the morning he got on the Buraq in Levant and before the noon he arrived in Mecca and again he left Mecca in the afternoon and returned to his family in Levant at night. Accordingly, he traveled this way continuously until Ishmael became a grown up boy. When Ishmael’s father dreamt that he had to sacrifice Ishmael (a.s) he said to him: Take a rope and a knife. We are going to the mountain valley for gathering firewood. Upon reaching that deserted valley which was called (Sabir), Abraham (a.s) informed Ishmael of the command of God and the fact that he had to sacrifice him. Ishmael then said: “O my dear father using the rope, tie my hands and legs and blindfold me so I would not struggle while you sacrificing me. In addition, in order for my mother not to see my blood, be careful of your shirt and do not let it become bloody and in order for me to suffer less, sharpen your knife and cut my throat quickly because death is too hard to bear.” Abraham (a.s) said: “On my son, indeed you helped me a lot in obeying the command of God.” Ibn Ishaq continued relating the story and said: “Abraham then (a.s) bent and using his knife, he intended to cut his son’s throat. But Gabriel turned his knife and pulled Ishmael away. He said to Abraham that he had to sacrifice the ram which he had brought to Sabir valley. Then Abraham heard a voice from the left side of Al-Khaif Mosque who said: “O Abraham, You fulfilled your vision and did as God had commanded you.” According to the book Majma' al-Bayan, Tafsir Ayyashi has narrated from Yazid bin Muawiyah al-ajali who said: I asked Imam Sadiq (a.s), how many years were between the two glad tidings which were given to Abraham (a.s)? The one which was related to the birth of Ishmael and the other one which was related to the birth of Isaac. Imam Sadiq (a.s) said: There were five years between these two glad tidings. Accordingly the holy verse “So We gave him good tidings of a forbearing boy” was the first glad tidings which was given to Abraham (a.s) by God about having a baby and the Arabic equivalent for the term “a forbearing boy” also referred to Ishmael (a.s).
The controversial points of this story
There are some controversial issues regarding the details of this story:
1. There many controversies surrounding whether the person who was about to be sacrificed was Ishmael or Isaac. Accordingly, there are many controversies among the commentators surrounding the fact that which of these two children were taken to alter by Abraham and called as “Zabihullah”. A group of them believe that the one who was about to be sacrificed was “Isaac” and another group believe that he was “Ishmael”. It has to be mentioned that the former viewpoint is related to the Sunni commentators and the latter is related to the Shia commentators. However, what is consistent with the verses of the Quran is that the one who was about to be sacrificed was Ishmael because:
Firstly, the Quran says “And We gave him good tidings of Isaac, a prophet from among the righteous.” (Surah As-Saffat-Verse 112). This verse clearly indicates that the glad tidings which was given to Abraham because of the birth of Isaac was after the story of Sacrifice. As a result, the story of sacrifice cannot be attributed to Isaac. Moreover, when God gives the glad tidings that a person will be the prophet, it means that this person will stay alive and hence it is inconsistence with the story of sacrifice.
Secondly, in verse 71 of Surah Hud it has been mentioned that: “Then We gave her good tidings of Isaac and after Isaac, Jacob.” This verse indicates that Abraham was sure that Isaac will stay alive and in the future he will have a son whose name will be Jacob. As a result it is inconsistent with the story of sacrifice. In fact, those who believed that the one who was about to be sacrificed was Isaac, would have ignored these verses of the Quran.
Thirdly, according to the Islamic narrations, the person who was about to be sacrificed had been Ishmael, as an example:
An authentic hadith has been narrated from the Prophet Muhammad in which he says: I am the son of two sacrificed. According to this hadith, the Arabic equivalent for the term “two sacrificed” refers to Prophet Muhammad’s father “Abdullah” that accordingly, Abdul Muttalib, the Prophet Muhammad’s uncle had vowed to sacrifice him in the cause of Allah, but by the command of God he sacrificed one hundred camels instead. It has to be mentioned that the previously mentioned story is very famous. The other was “Ishmael”. Because it is indisputable that the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is one of the descendants of Ishmael and not Isaac. In an invocation which has been narrated from Imam Ali (a.s), the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) says: “O You who determined a sacrifice be sacrificed instead of Ishmael.”
In a hadith which has been narrated from Imam Ali ibn Musa (a.s) we read that: “If an animal better than sheep was found, it was sacrificed for Ishmael”. Against these many narrations which are consistent with verses of the Quran, there is a narrations from al Shazi which implies that the one who was about to be sacrificed was Isaac. However this narration is not comparable with these many narrations and it is not consistent with the verses of the Quran either. After all, it is indisputable that the child who was brought to Mecca by Abraham along with his mother and was left there by the command of God was Ishmael. In addition, the child with the aid of whom the Kaaba was built and with whom Abraham performed the ritual of Hajj was Ishmael and it would indicate that the one who was about to be sacrificed was Ishmael too, because the act of sacrifice had been considered as complementary to the above mentioned acts. However, according to "Old Testament" (the current Torah) the one who was about to be sacrificed was Isaac. Accordingly, it seems that some Islamic unauthentic narrations in which Isaac has been considered as the one who was about to be sacrificed, had been under the influence of the Israeli narrations and they are probably considered as the fake narrations of the Jews. The reason is that since the Jews were the descendants of Isaac, they intended to attribute this honor to themselves and hence they denied the fact that this honor had been bestowed upon the Muslims whose prophet had been one the descendant of Ishmael. Although it was through the denial of the truth! Anyhow, what is more important than anything to us is that this issue must be consistent with the verses of the Quran and accordingly it is so obvious that the one who was about to be sacrificed was Ishmael, however it makes no difference for us that sacrificed person be Ishmael or Isaac because both Abraham’s sons were of the great Prophets of Allah and the purpose was only to reveal a historical story.
In addition, according to Shia scholars the one who was about to be sacrificed was Ishmael.
2. Regarding the good tidings which had been given to Abraham about a forbearing boy, it was stated that Ishmael was called as a forbearing boy due to the fact that he was ready for the sacrifice.
3. According to some commentators, in the verse “And when he reached with him exertion”, reaching the exertion means reaching an age in which a person can meet his own needs in life and accordingly this age is close to puberty. Additionally, the Arabic equivalent for the term “with him” indicates that he had reached the age he could help his father in daily life affairs. But in a sense, the Arabic equivalent for the term “exertion” refers to the exertion which is done between the Al-Safa and Al-Marwah during the ritual of Hajj. It means that during the exertion, Abraham (a.s) informed Ishmael of his dream. The same concept has been stated in a hadith from Imam Sadiq (a.s).
4. How could Abraham’s dream be considered as a proof?
What should be noted here is that how Abraham considered his dream as a proof and criterion for his action? In response to this question, sometimes it is said that the prophets’ dreams can never be attributed to the satanic dreams but rather they are part of their prophecy and revelation. In other words, sometimes a revelation is revealed to a Prophet’s heart, sometimes they see the angel who reveal to them and sometimes they also hear a voice which has been made by the command of God. In addition, the Prophets sometimes receive the revelation while they are dreaming. Accordingly their dreams are completely true and what they see in their dreams are exactly the same as what they see when they are awake. Sometimes it is said that when Abraham was awake, through the revelation he was informed of the fact that he had to act as he would be commanded in his dream. Sometimes it is said that due to different evidences and signs which existed in his dream including the repetition of this dream for three consecutive nights, he became sure and recognized that his dream referred to nothing but a divine mission. Anyhow, all of these interpretations may be correct because they do not contradict each other as well, they are not inconsistence with the verses of the Quran. The sentence “indeed I have seen in a dream that I must sacrifice you” indicates that Abraham (a.s) had been frequently having a dream about the sacrifice of Ishmael and as it was said he had been having this dream for three consecutive nights (in eighth, ninth and tenth of Dhu al-Hijjah) and accordingly he had recognized that it was a mission from God. It is also said that, he had a dream in which he heard a voice and the voice stated that he had to sacrifice his son by the command of God. Some commentators believe that through the revelation an when he had been awake, Abraham was commanded to sacrifice his son, otherwise Abraham could not have acted as he had been commanded in his dream. Some other commentators also believe that since it was a crucial issue, in order for him to be prepared enough for it, first Abraham (a.s) was informed of it through a dream and then when he was awake God emphasized this issue.
5. Sharing this mission with Ishmael is a divine manifestation of Abraham’s reverence for his son, Ishmael. It is said that Abraham’s purpose had been trying to make the act of sacrifice easier for Ishmael. Moreover, he intended to become aware of the extent to which his son could persevere in the cause of Allah and in this way he could prepare him for this important issue. Accordingly, the son could be aware of this issue and could benefit from the joy of submission to the command of God and seeking His pleasure and His great reward in the world and the Hereafter.
6. Ishmael’s satisfactory response: “do as you are commanded.” Accordingly, being so modest, Ishmael responded to his father very politely and hence he comforted him. He was very modest toward his father because he did not say that I believe so (he did not express his opinion). Additionally, he did not say that do it if you like. Moreover, he did not say that sacrifice me. But in order to show that this is the command of God and that his father has no choice but to obey His command and in order to comfort his father, Abraham (a.s), Ishmael strongly emphasized that the command of God must be fulfilled. As the sentence “You will find me, if Allah wills, of the steadfast” indicates Ishmael’s divine politeness toward his creator and it rejects any kind of independence regarding his resistance to the act of sacrifice. In addition, using this sentence, Ishmael comforted his father and Abraham realized that his son would avoid crying and any kind of action which would intensify his father’s grief while seeing his bloody shirt.
7. The reason why the verse “And when they had both submitted and he put him down upon his forehead” has finished without answering “when” is that the Quran has intended to show that this story is extremely tragic and to let the reader follow this story as he wishes.
8. Had Abraham been responsible for accomplishing the mission of sacrificing his son?
One of the important questions which has been proposed here is the fact that whether Abraham indeed were responsible for accomplishing the mission of sacrificing his son or had he merely been commanded to make preparations to sacrifice his son? If he had been responsible for accomplishing the mission of sacrifice, how it was possible that this divine decree be revoked? While it is not permissible that the decree be revoked before its accomplishment and it has been confirmed in Usul al-fiqh (Principles of Jurisprudence).
If he had been responsible for making preparations for accomplishing the mission of sacrificing his son, it could not have been regarded as a great honor. In addition, the fact that some commentators have stated that this issue was very important because Abraham thought that after making preparations he would likely be responsible for accomplishing the mission of sacrifice and that was his great trial, would not seem to be a logical issue.
We believe that the reason why these statements are proposed is that, these commentators do not distinguish between the commands whose purpose is trial and the commands whose purpose is not trial. Accordingly, what Abraham was commanded to do was a trial. Additionally, we know that the purpose of the divine trials is to determine the extent to which the person who is tested will be ready to obey the command of God and it happens when this person is not aware that this is a trial. As a result, here the command and decree of God has not been revoked whose correctness before and after the act of sacrifice be discussed and the reason why we see that after this event, God said to Abraham: “You have fulfilled the vision” is that regarding the act of sacrifice of his dear son, he did as much as he could and he indicated that from any aspect, he was completely ready for this action and accordingly he passed this trial successfully.
Anyhow, through the verse “We called to him, "O Abraham, you have fulfilled the vision” God informed Abraham (a.s) of the fact that his mission had been finished. In addition Abraham became aware that the purpose of this command had been testing him and that it had only been necessary for him to obey the command of God and to do what he had been commanded. Some commentators believe that Abraham (a.s) indeed had been given a mission to sacrifice a ram and that in his dream the ram had appeared to him in the form of a child and since Abraham extremely loved God, he could not interpret his dream. The reason was that Abraham’s extreme love for God caused him to sacrifice whoever and whatever he loved the most in the cause of Allah.
9. In the verse 106 of Surah As-Saffat, the story of sacrifice is called as the “clear trial” and it indicates the importance and difficulty of this trial. According to Sunni and Shia narrations, in this story Satan had appeared to Abraham (a.s) and had made various attempts in order to prevent Abraham from fulfilling the command of God.
10. According the verse of the Quran, the “great sacrifice” which was sacrificed instead of Ishmael was a ram which had been brought to him by Gabriel (a.s) from the heaven, a ram which had not been born from a female ram but it had been created by the command of “Be”. Some commentators believe that the animal which was sacrificed was a mountain goat. It is said that in the early days after the advent of Islam, the dried head of the sacrificed animal had been hung next to the Kaaba’s gutter. Accordingly, this sacrifice was called as a “great sacrifice” either because the Almighty God had commanded him to do so and that this animal had been sacrificed for Ishmael or because God accepted his action or the ram had been grazing in Paradise. According to a narration from Imam Reza (a.s), in the land “Mina” Abraham desired that instead of Ishmael, God sacrifices a ram and hence due to the greatness of the Prophet and infallible Imams, his wish was fulfilled.
11. Satan’s temptations had no effect on Abraham’s great heart
Since the divine trial by which Abraham was tested was one of the greatest trials throughout history, a kind of trial whose purpose was to empty his heart from the love of anyone other than Allah and to fill his heart with the love of God, according to some narrations Satan put a lot of efforts into preventing Abraham from passing this trial successfully. Accordingly sometimes Satan went to his mother “Hagar” and said to him: “Are you aware of Abraham’s decision? He intends to decapitate his son today!” Hagar said: “Stop saying nonsense because he is so kind and he will never kill his son. No man will sacrifice his son.” Satan continued tempting Hagar and said: “Abraham claims that he is going to sacrifice Ishmael by the command of God” Hagar said: “If God has commanded him to sacrifice his son, he will have no way but to obey and submit to His command.” Sometimes, Satan went to Abraham’s son and began tempting him but Satan’s efforts were ineffective because he recognized that Ishmael was completely surrender to the command of God. Finally, Satan went to Ishmael’s father and said to him: “O Abraham, indeed you had a satanic dream! Do not obey Satan. Abraham who recognized Satan due to being the prophet of God and having faith in Him, cried and said: “Get away o enemy of God.” In another hadith it has been mentioned that: Abraham first came to “Al Mashar al Haram” so as to sacrifice his son, Satan followed him. He then came to “Jamarat-al-Ula” and Satan also followed him again. Abraham threw seven stones at him but when he came to “Jamarat-al-Wusta” Satan again appeared to him. Abraham again threw seven stones at him and when he reached “Jamarat-al-Aqaba” he threw seven other stones at him (and caused him to be disappointed forever). This story indicates that in critical moments and in great trials, Satan tries to tempt people from different aspects and every time he will change his method. However, like Abraham, Men of Allah must always recognize Satan and prevent him from reaching his goal and stone him and this is a great lesson.
1 - Majma' al-Bayan, vol. 8, pp. 710-706
2 - Manshoor javid, vol. 11, pp. 273-275
3 - Translation of Al-Mizan, vol. 17, pp. 151-153, vol 6, pp. 273-274
4 - Tafsir Nemooneh, vol.19, pp. 111-114 and 119-121
5 – looking into the Quran, Ali Akbar Qurashi
6 - Stories of the Quran and Tarikh al-Anbia (the history of the Prophets) in Al-Mizan, and on balance, collected or compiled by: Hussein fa’al araqi
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