Sayyidina Ibrahim (as) Established the Holy House of Allah (swt) on Five Principles

Shaykh Nour Mohamad Kabbani

A`ūdhu billāhi min ash-Shayţāni ‘r-rajīm. Bismillāhi ‘r-Raħmāni ‘r-Raħīm.
Alħamdulillāhi Rabbi ‘l-`Ālamīn, wa ’š-šalātu wa ’s-salāmu `alaa ashrafi ‘l-mursaleen, Sayyīdinā wa Nabiyyina Muhammadin wa `alaa aalihi wa sahbihi ajma`een, wa man tabi`ahum bi iħsānin ilaa yawmi’d-dīn.

Let’s speak a little bit about Sayyīdinā Ibrāhīm (as), Allah’s Intimate Friend, Khalīlu’Llāh. It was Hajj, and Sayyīdinā Ibrāhīm (as) raised the foundations of the House of God. What did Allah (swt) say? Asta`eedhu billah:

إِنَّ أَوَّلَ بَيْتٍ وُضِعَ لِلنَّاسِ لَلَّذِي بِبَكَّةَ مُبَارَكًا وَهُدًى لِّلْعَالَمِينَ

Indeed, the first House (of worship) established for Mankind was that at Bakkah (Makkah), full of blessing and a guidance for the worlds.2

فِيهِ آيَاتٌ بَيِّنَاتٌ مَّقَامُ إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَمَن دَخَلَهُ كَانَ آمِنًا وَلِلَّهِ عَلَى النَّاسِ حِجُّ الْبَيْتِ مَنِ اسْتَطَاعَ إِلَيْهِ سَبِيلاً وَمَن كَفَرَ فَإِنَّ اللَّه غَنِيٌّ عَنِ الْعَالَمِينَ

In it are Signs Manifest, (for example), the Station of Abraham. Whoever enters it attains security. Pilgrimage there is a duty men owe to Allah, those who can afford the journey, but if any deny faith, Allah stands not in need of any of His creatures.3

Allah (swt) is saying, “O Muhammad (s)! Know that the first House put for people on Earth was the Ka`bah, in Bakkah. Tell the nations of Jewish people that objected.” The Jewish tribes of Madina were upset asking the Prophet (s), “Why did you change the direction of prayer from Jerusalem, which was the initial Qiblah before Ka`bah! All Anbiyaa, prophets, were in that Holy Land, so why did you change your Qiblah?” According to Īmām As-Suyūţī in his tafsīr, Ad-Durr al-Manthoor, this ayah came down when the Jewish people of Madina commented on the shifting of the Qiblah and Allah (swt) said to Prophet Muhammad (s), “Tell them: No, not Baytu ‘l-Maqdis, but Ka`bah was the first Heavenly House put for people on Earth.”
What is there? We want to go to the Ka`bah, but what is in it? What is in Makkah that all of us want to go there and perform our Hajj? Allah (swt) explains that we escape to His Mercy. You take yourself out from this dunyā, out of work, you take yourself out of your family, too, because sometimes family can be a problem. You take yourself out of yourself, which has a problem with all the thoughts that come in your head. You dive into the stories of the Qur’an of the pious ones and the prophets, and you try to find a happy, peaceful way. He says, “Indeed, the first House of Worship established for Mankind was that at Bakkah (Makkah), full of blessing.” There is barakah there. When we go to Ka`bah, it’s not only four walls, there is bi bakkata mubārakan, a lot of benefit, goodness (khayr) for us there, for those who visit! Wa hudan, and there is guidance there li ‘l-`alamīn, to everyone, fīhi āyātun bayyināt, and there are clear signs at Maqām Ibrāhīm, , the Station of Abraham (as). We love Sayyīdinā Ibrāhīm (as), he is our father:

مِلَّةَ أَبِيكُمْ إِبْرَاهِيمَ هُوَ سَمَّاكُمُ الْمُسْلِمِينَ

(It is) the religion of your father, Ibrāhīm. Allah named you ‘Muslims’.4

Allah (swt) is saying in the Holy Qur’an, millata abīkum Ibrāhīm, “On the way, the religion of your father, Ibrāhīm.” Hūwa sammākumu ‘l-muslimūn, “He called you Muslims and your religion is of your father, Ibrāhīm.” It is an honor for us that our father is Sayyīdinā Ibrāhīm (as). We all go to Maqām Ibrāhīm, we do our ţawāf and pray two raka`ats, alħamdulillāh, but what really is Maqām Ibrāhīm? Is it only an encasement behind which you stand and pray or is it something else? Maqām Ibrāhīm, the Station of Abraham. What level did Sayyīdinā Ibrāhīm (as) reach? Because he is our father, we also have to follow his footsteps, which are only in Islam, for he was Muslim.

The Characteristics of Sayyīdinā Ibrāhīm (as):


Sayyīdinā Ibrāhīm (as) was a very wealthy person and he used his wealth in the Way of Allah (swt). He honored his guests by being very generous to his people; he gave them from his knowledge, `ilm, and from his wealth. By being generous, he gained a higher level of Īmān, because Allah (swt) said:

الَّذِينَ يُقِيمُونَ الصَّلَاةَ وَمِمَّا رَزَقْنَاهُمْ يُنْفِقُونَ

The ones who establish prayer, and from what We have provided them, they spend.5

So Sayyīdinā Ibrāhīm (as) spent from what Allah (swt) gave him, and that was the level of his Īmān.


As Allah (swt) said in the Holy Qur’an:

وَقالَ إِنّي ذاهِبٌ إِلىٰ رَبّي سَيَهدينِ رَبِّ هَب لي مِنَ الصّالِحينَ فَبَشَّرْنَاهُ بِغُلَامٍ حَلِيمٍ

He said, “Indeed I am going toward my Lord, who will guide me. O my Lord! Send me someone from among the righteous.” So We gave him good tidings of a forbearing boy.6

Nimrud, the tyrant of that time, threw Prophet Ibrāhīm (as) in the fire and Allah (swt) saved him. After he was saved, he said to his people, innī dhāhibun ilā Rabbīyy, “I am going to my Lord.” Sayyīdinā Ibrāhīm (as) was seeking the Way, that’s why he said, sa-yahdīni, “Surely, my Lord will guide me to the way. I am going to my Lord!” But where is “the way”? Sa-yahdīni, “He will guide me. I am sure He will guide me.” He invoked the Lord in du`ā, saying, Rabbīyy hab lī min aš-šāliħīn, “O my Lord, give me someone from the pious ones to help me find my way to You!”
He wanted guidance and he asked for support from the pious ones as helpers to help him find the way. You need a helper to help you find the way; you cannot find it by yourself. Even Sayyīdinā Musa (as) asked for help. From whom? He asked Allah (swt) for help from Sayyīdinā Hārūn (Aaron) (as), did he not? He asked Allah (swt), “I need a helper. Give me someone that will help me in my mission.” So Sayyīdinā Ibrāhīm (as) asked for a helper and that was his son, Sayyīdinā Isma`īl (as). Allah (swt) said, “We gave him the guidance of ghulāmin ħalīm,” a young man who is ħalīm, forbearing, very tolerant. “Ħalīm ” is the one who doesn’t rush things. When something bad happens to them, it doesn’t shake them from the inside, they are stable; if someone hurts them, they are patient. Allah (swt) gave him ghulāmin ħalīm, a tolerant boy, some say at 10 years old, others 15, but he was a young boy. That was the age when he was with Sayyīdinā Ibrāhīm (as), a time when he could walk with him and help him in his chores.


Sayyīdinā Ibrāhīm (as) said, “O my son, I see in the dream that I am slaughtering you.”

فَلَمَّا بَلَغَ مَعَهُ السَّعْيَ قَالَ يَا بُنَيَّ إِنِّي أَرَىٰ فِي الْمَنَامِ أَنِّي أَذْبَحُكَ فَانْظُرْ مَاذَا تَرَىٰ

And when (his son) was old enough to walk with him, (Ibrāhīm) said, “O my dear son, I have seen in a dream that I must sacrifice you. So, look what you think?7

Look at the adab of Sayyīdinā Ibrāhīm (as) and his compliance with Sharī`ah! He was asking Sayyīdinā Isma`īl’s (as) shūrā’, counsel, saying, “O my boy! I am seeing in the dream that I am slaughtering you; consult with me. F’anƸur, look into this thing. What do you think about it?” That is why, when we have to do something, we must make mashwara, consult others. Sayyīdinā Ibrāhīm (as) consulted a boy, his son. So sometimes we can consult sons or daughters if something pertains to them, as in this example when Sayyīdinā Isma`īl (as) was going to be slaughtered and his father asked, “What is your opinion?”

قَالَ يَا أَبَتِ افْعَلْ مَا تُؤْمَرُ سَتَجِدُنِي إِنْ شَاءَ اللَّهُ مِنَ الصَّابِرِينَ

He said, “O my father! Do that which you are commanded. Allah willing, you shall find me of the steadfast.”8

Sayyīdinā Isma`īl (as) said, “O my father, do it!” Look at his Īmān! What 10-year-old boy will tell his father, “Yes father, please slaughter me! What are you waiting for, do what you are ordered, don’t hesitate! Satajidunī Inshā-Allahu min aš-šābirīn, by Allah’s Will, you will find me patient.” Even Sayyīdinā Isma`īl (as) asked for Allah’s help, he said, “Inshā-Allah!”

إِيَّاك نَعْبُدُ وإِيَّاكَ نَسْتَعِينُ

You (alone) do we worship and You (alone) we ask for help.9

He is saying, “O my Lord, I obey Your order for me to be slaughtered, but I seek help from You, Inshā-Allah.”


Since both Sayyīdinā Ibrāhīm (as) surrendered his son, Sayyīdinā Isma`īl (as) to Allah (swt), and Sayyīdinā Isma`īl (as) also surrendered himself to Allah (swt) Allah (swt) accepted their intentions.

فَلَمَّا أَسْلَمَا وَتَلَّهُ لِلْجَبِينِ

Then, when they had both surrendered (to Allah) and he had flung him down upon his face.10

They became so pure and took themselves out of the equation. If we were going to be slaughtered, we would ask ourselves a hundred times, “What am I throwing myself into?” How many of us say, “What am I getting into? I am getting involved in this thing, what is this?” No submission, but Sayyīdinā Ibrāhīm (as) and his son became very, very obedient to Allah Almighty’s Order. Then Allah (swt) said, “O Ibrāhīm! You have fulfilled the dream and made it become a reality.”

وَنَادَيْنَاهُ أَنْ يَا إِبْرَاهِيمُ قَدْ صَدَّقْتَ الرُّؤْيَا إِنَّا كَذَٰلِكَ نَجْزِي الْمُحْسِنِينَ

We called unto him: O Abraham! You have fulfilled the vision.” Indeed, We thus reward the doers of good.11

What did Sayyīdinā Ibrāhīm do? He offered his son as a sacrifice to Allah (swt), Who accepted the sacrifice based on his nīyyah, intention:

إنما الأعمال بالنيات

The Prophet (s) said, “Verily, actions are by intentions.”12

Sayyīdinā Ibrāhīm (as) demonstrated his intention, nīyyah, when he took up the knife and put the child on the rock in Mina to slaughter him. He tried to cut his son’s neck once, then twice, then three times, but the knife did not cut! That is against the laws of physics. He showed the nīyyah, he fulfilled the action, but Allah (swt) did not give permission for the boy to die. Allah (swt) said, “I accepted your intention, and your action, so it is as if you slaughtered your child, but We are going to spare him for you.”

إِنَّ هَٰذَا لَهُوَ الْبَلَاءُ الْمُبِينُ وَفَدَيْنَاهُ بِذِبْحٍ عَظِيمٍ وَتَرَكْنَا عَلَيْهِ فِي الْآخِرِينَ

Indeed, this was a clear test and We ransomed him with a great sacrifice and We left (this blessing) for him among generations (to come) in later times.13


We are talking about Sayyīdinā Ibrāhīm’s maqām, station, and let’s test ourselves as to where we are in comparison. Allah (swt) continues in the verse:

سَلَامٌ عَلَىٰ إِبْرَاهِيمَ كَذَٰلِكَ نَجْزِي الْمُحْسِنِينَ إِنَّهُ مِنْ عِبَادِنَا الْمُؤْمِنِينَ

Peace be unto Ibrāhīm! Thus indeed do We reward those who do right, for he was one of Our believing servants.14

Allah (swt) witnessed that he was from the mu’min servants and Allah’s witnessing is Absolute Truth, Haqq. That reality came true for Sayyīdinā Ibrāhīm (as), because Allah (swt) said, “You are a mu’min.” So Sayyīdinā Ibrāhīm’s station is the Station of Īmān. He is a mu’min as Allah (swt) is saying, but what did he do? One, he gave up his wealth in the Way of God, fī sabīlillāh, from what he owned of māl, money, all of which is very well known. Second, he gave up his son, part of his family, in the Way of Allah. And what was the third thing? Did he give up himself, too? Yes, as he was thrown in the fire by Nimrud he accepted it as Allah’s Will and submitted. Why? Because when Jibrīl (as) came to rescue Sayyīdinā Ibrāhīm (as) and asked him, “Do you have anything to tell me?” Sayyīdinā Ibrāhīm (as) answered, “Do you know, I accept the decree of my Lord.” He gave himself up when he knew he was going into the fire to die. So, he gave up his wealth, his son and himself: that is the Station of Sayyīdinā Ibrāhīm (as)!
Did anyone of us reach that? Everyone can check himself, but did any group of people reach that station this year? Yes. We all know about it: the hajjis that died in Mina. They gave from their money in the Way of Allah (swt) to reach Ka`bah; they gave up their families in the Way of Allah by leaving their families behind; and they gave themselves up in the Way of Allah (swt) because they were going to do Hajj. They gave from their money in the Way of Allah (swt) to reach Ka`bah; they gave up their families in the Way of Allah by leaving their families behind; and they gave themselves up in the Way of Allah (swt) because they were going to do Hajj. So those who died in Mina are true mu’mins.
Why were they there to begin with? For Allah (swt)! And we know when we go for Hajj, something may happen that we may die. In the past, it was certain hajjis would die, because before there were planes, trains or cars, they used to go on foot, by camel or horse or some other animal, and they went to their neighbors and say, hakkini helal et, which means, “If I did something wrong to you, please forgive me.” That was the practice of the old hajjis: they asked forgiveness from their families, because they did not know if they would return alive. This shows they were giving themselves up in the Way of Allah (swt).
The hajjis that died in Mina died fully mu’min, as witnessed by Allah (swt) to Sayyīdinā Ibrāhīm (as), who gave up his wealth, his son and himself. The hajjis gave up their families to go on Hajj. Sayyīdinā Ibrāhīm (as) accepted he would burn in that fire and asked for no help except from Allah (swt). “Ħasbīyy Allahu wa ni`mal-wakīl! Allah is sufficient for me and the best of Helpers,” was the only thing he said when he was thrown in the fire. “I don’t need Jibrīl (as), I don’t need anyone else, I need only my Lord! ” Ħasbīyy Allahu wa ni`mal-wakīl, Allah is enough for me.”

قُلْنَا يَا نَارُ كُونِي بَرْدًا وَسَلَامًا عَلَى إِبْرَاهِيمَ

O fire! Be cool and peaceful on Ibrāhīm.15

Allah (swt) hears, Allah is not deaf, Astaghfirullāh. We don’t have to shout for Allah (swt) hears you even if you whisper to yourself in the slightest way; even when an idea comes to your mind, Allah hears it and knows it. So Sayyīdinā Ibrāhīm (as) was ready to give up himself, and Allah (swt) said, “This deed is from My mu’min servant.” The hajjis that passed away in Mina this year are from the true mu’min servants, they went as shahīd, martyrs.
We ask Allah (swt) to make us from the mu’min servants, from the ones that bring Muslims and mu’mins together, that make the people to wake up to read Holy Qur’an and Hadith.
May Allah (swt) unite us, as we have more in common than differences: we all pray to the same Lord, face the same Ka`bah, follow the same Prophet (s), love the Sahabah (r) and the Holy Family of the Prophet (s), and we all love to read Qur’an and Hadith. There is more in common between mu’mins around the world than there are differences. We ask Allah (swt) to forgive all the mu’mins and all Muslims.

[Excerpted from the newly published book: Makkan Openings: A Pilgrim’s Guide to Divine Secrets]


2 Sūrat Aali `Imrān, 3:96.
3 Sūrat Āli-`Imrān, 3:97.
4 Sūratu ’l-Ħajj, 22:78.
5 Sūratu ’l-Anfaal, 8:3.
6Sūratu ’š-Šāffāt, 37:99-101.
7 Sūratu ’s-Šāffāt, 37:102.
8 Sūratu ’s-Šāffāt, 37:102.
9 Sūratu ’l-Fātiħah, 1:4.
10 Sūratu ’s-Šāffāt, 37:103.
11 Sūratu ’s-Šāffāt, 37:104-105.
12 Bukhārī and Muslim.
13 Sūratu ’s-Šāffāt, 37:106-108.
14 Sūratu ’s-Šāffāt, 37:109-112.
15 Sūratu ’l-Anbīyā, 21:69.