by Hazrat Maulana Yunus Patel Saheb (rahmatullah ‘alayh)
When Ibrahim (عليه السلام) was told to submit to Allah Ta'ala, he responded that he had submitted himself to the Rabb (sustainer) of the Worlds. Some Mufassirin (commentators) say that there are approximately 18 000 worlds.
Allah Ta'ala mentions this incident:
‘When his Lord said to him, “Submit!” He said, “I submit myself to the Lord of all the worlds.”‘
[ Surah Al-Baqarah 2:131]
When Ibrahim (عليه السلام) made this declaration of submission, many trials and tests followed.
As a young man, he was faced with opposition from his father, who was an idol worshipper. When he invited his father to the worship of Allah Ta'ala, his father opposed and threatened him:
He (the father) said: He said, “Are you averse to my gods O Ibrahim? Should you not stop, I will definitely stone you. And leave me for good”
[Surah Maryam 19 :46]
Due to Ibrahim's (عليه السلام) rejection of idol worship and his preaching of the message of Allah Ta'ala, he was thrown into the fire by Namrud and his people:
‘They said, “Build for him a structure, and throw him into the blazing fire.”‘
[Surah Saffat 37:97]
They said, “(O people) burn him and help your Gods, if you are to take action.”
[Surah Ambiya 21:68 ]
It is stated that for an entire month, the people of Namrud collected firewood, which they thereafter lit, fanning it until it became an intense, blazing fire.
Using a catapult, they threw Ibrahim (عليه السلام) into the raging fire. However, The One who created fire and gave it the attribute to burn now commanded the fire to become cool and offer safety to Ibrahim (عليه السلام).
“We said, “O fire, be cold and safe for Ibrahim.”
[Surah Ambiya 21:69]
After being delivered from this test, saddened with his people, he left his country (Iraq) and made Hijrah (migration) to a place where he could worship Allah Ta'ala in peace, Syria.
Having no children, Ibrahim (عليه السلام) thus made dua for a child:
“O my Lord, bless me with a righteous son.”
[Surah Saffat 37:100]
In his old age, at the age of 86, Ibrahim (عليه السلام) was blessed with a son.
“So, We gave him the good news of a forbearing boy.”
[Surah Saffat 37:101]
When the child came of age, Ibrahim (عليه السلام) was commanded to slaughter his son. What a great test!
‘Thereafter, when he (the boy) reached an age in which he could work with him, he (Ibrahim) said, “O my little son, I have seen in a dream that I am slaughtering you, so consider, what is your opinion?'”
[Surah Saffat 3 :102]
What must have gone through his heart? And likewise, the heart of Hazrat Ismail (عليه السلام)?
But when Ismail (عليه السلام) was informed, he told his father to do whatever he had been commanded.
‘He said, “O my dear father, do what you have been ordered to do. You will find me, insha Allah, (if Allah wills) one of those who endure patiently.”‘
[Surah Saffat 37:102]
Their entire lives were lives of obedience and submission. They were prepared to accept death but not prepared to abandon or reject the Hukm (Order) of Allah Ta'ala.
Allah Ta'ala mentions the reply of Ismail (عليه السلام). He said: “…Insha-Allah, you will find me of the patient ones.”
Look at his humility. He did not say: “I will be patient”; rather: “insha Allah” (if Allah wills).
His words indicate the beautiful qualities of humility, etiquette, trust in Allah Ta'ala, patience and endurance. There was no claim whatsoever of pride, boastfulness, superiority, or conceit.
Despite facing so many trials and tribulations, none of the Ambiya (‘alayhimus salam) claimed to be perfect. They did not rely on their own ability and capacity; rather, they focused on Allah Ta'ala. They made an effort and trusted Allah Ta'ala.
“So when they had both submitted their wills (To Allah)….” [Surah Saffat 37 : 103]
The word “Aslamaa” (اَسۡلَمَا) alludes to the brave submission of father and son, without question. The claim of Divine Love was made manifest in this immediate surrender and compliance to Allah Ta'ala's Command.
As is known, despite repeated efforts, the knife would not cut the throat of Ismail (‘alayhis salm).
Being by the Will of Allah Ta'ala, Allah Ta'ala then ransomed Ismail (عليه السلام) with a ram from heaven.
Allah Ta'ala states:
“This is how We reward the good-doers.”
[Surah Saffat 37:110]
Allah Ta'ala's rewards encompass the bounties of this world and bounties of the next for that person who surrenders himself to the commands of Allah Ta'ala and sacrifices his desires solely for the pleasure of Allah Ta'ala.
We learn the lessons of SUBMISSION, OBEDIENCE, and SACRIFICE – attributes which are sorely lacking in our own lives.
We are commanded to submit ourselves to the Hukm (command) of Allah Ta'ala, whichever one is directed to us.
There are different Ahkam (command): sometimes it is the order of Salah, sometimes it is the order not to perform Salah; but at EVERY given moment, the Command of Taqwa (Allah consciousness) is directed to us, and that is we restrain ourselves from that which is Haram.
Where is the truthfulness of our claim of Love and Iman if we cannot comply with obedience?
We have not been commanded to sacrifice our sons. We are only called to give up sins. Just don't do the sin. Don't cast lustful gazes, don't commit Zina, don't gamble, don't backbite, etc.
Abstain from sins and get the rewards and friendship of Allah Ta'ala.
Nisbat (connection) with Allah Ta'ala is secured only with Taqwa and obedience to Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam).
Once we have established a friendship with Allah Ta'ala, no difficulty, hardship, adversity, or suffering becomes impossible to overcome —as is seen in the life of Khalilullah (Friend of Allah), Ibrahim (عليه السلام).
We also learn that when we say that we believe, we will be tested on our claim.
Allah Ta'ala states: “Do people think once they say, “We believe,” that they will be left without being put to the test?”
“We certainly tested those before them. And in this way Allah will clearly distinguish between those who are truthful and those who are liars.”
[Surah Ankabut 29: 2]
“Do you think you will be admitted into Paradise without being tested like those before you?…”
[Surah Baqarah 2 : 214]
These tests in life are to see who remains sincere and faithful to Allah Ta'ala – and who gives up and turns away from Allah Ta'ala. Of course, we should not be asking for tests and trials. We are weak. However, this world is a world of tests.
From our side, we should always seek safety and ‘Afiyat (well-being), as has been taught by Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam).
An Aalim has beautifully described the understanding and approach of a Believer in dealing with the tests of this worldly life :
“In whichever condition He keeps me,
It is the best condition for me;
Through whichever route He takes me,
It is the easiest route for me.”
In this journey of life, we are to establish and maintain our relationship with Allah Ta'ala, no matter the circumstance and conditions we face.
For those who persevere and work hard to pass the examination of this worldly life, there will be innumerable rewards:
‘…Certainly those who observe patience will be given their reward in full without measure.”
[Surah Zumar 39: 10]
We ask Allah Ta'ala to make us ever submissive to Him and that He grant us ease in life and death, well-being, and the ability to maintain steadfastness in all conditions of life, Aameen.