Ibrahim ibn Muhammad

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Ibrahim ibn Muhammad

 

Ibrahim ibn Sayed al Bashar Muhammad ibn ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abdul Muttalib ibn Hashim. He was the last-born child of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, born to Sayyidah Mariyah al Qibtiyah radiya Llahu ‘anhu, who had been a gift of Muqawqis, the ruler of Egypt in the sixth year of the Hijrah. Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was overjoyed by the birth of his son Ibrahim, who he would often show his love to by kissing and inhaling his scent deeply as one does with a baby. On his birth Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam comes out of his house saying:

 

ولد لي الليلة غلام فسميته بأبي إبراهيم

A boy was born to me last night, I have named by the name of my forefather, Ibrahim.[1]

 

On the seventh day his head was shaved and equal to the weight of it, silver was distributed amongst the poor.

The women of the Ansar all aspired to be selected as the wet nurse however this honour was given to Umm Burdah, Khawlah bint al Mundhir from the Banu ‘Adi ibn Najjar clan. She would be his foster mother, her husband the foster father of Ibrahim was Abu Sayf al Bara’ ibn Aws who was a blacksmith by trade. Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam would often go the Banu Najjar clan to see his son.

Ibrahim radiya Llahu ‘anhu did not survive toddlerhood and passed away at eighteen months. His soul left his body whilst in the hands of the Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam which grieved Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam to no end. Anas ibn Malik radiya Llahu ‘anhu narrates:

 

دخلنا مع النبي صَلَّى الله عليه وسلم على أبي سيف القَيْن، وكان ظِئْرًا لإبراهيم ابن النبي صَلَّى الله عليه وسلم، فأخذه، فقَـبّله و شمه

We entered with Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam the house of Abu Sayf the blacksmith, who was the husband of the wet nurse of Ibrahim radiya Llahu ‘anhu. Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam held Ibrahim, kissed him and inhaled his scent.

 

This show of love and affection is from the mercy of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam had for his children. Where are the fathers in relation to the love we show to our children? Kissing and displaying affection towards a child has great positive effects on the emotional growth of a child. It calms a child in distress and strengthens the bond between the child and his/her caregiver.

 

ثم دخلنا عليه بعد ذلك وإبراهيم يجود بنفسه، فجعلت عينا رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم تذرفان

We then came at another time and Ibrahim radiya Llahu ‘anhu was breathing heavily [in the pangs of death]. Tears streamed from the eyes of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

 

The Sahabah seeing this emotional response from Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam showed signs of wonder. How is it that the Prophet cries on the demise of his son?

 

فقال له عبد الرحمن بن عوف رضي الله عنه: وأنت يا رسول الله؟

‘Abdul Rahman ibn ‘Awf radiya Llahu ‘anhu said to him surprisingly, “Even you [cry], O Rasulullah?”

 

Their surprise was due to the misconception that crying was a show of impatience on the decree of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala. Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam then went on to explain shedding tears is in fact not a show of impatience. It is rather the natural softening of the heart upon the loss of someone.

 

فقال: يا ابن عوف! إنها رحمة، ثم أتبعها بأخرى

Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam explained, “O Ibn ‘Awf! It is mercy.” Whilst continuously shedding tears.

 

This narration is an indication to the permissible show of sorrow and crying without causing the displeasure of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala.

 

فقال صلى الله عليه وسلم: إن العين تدمع، والقلب يحزن، ولا نقول إلا ما يرضي ربنا وإنا بفراقك يا إبراهيم! لمحزونون

He [Ibrahim] then breathed his last upon which Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam lamented, “Certainly, the eye tears and the heart grieves, but we only utter that which our Sustainer is pleased with. O Ibrahim, we are bitterly grief-stricken at your separation.”[2]

 

From the above narration we conclude that shedding tears upon the loss of a close one is encouraged and it in no way alludes to being displeased with the decision of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala, provided it is out of compassion and not for personal gain.

Is the show of sorrow more virtuous or is a calm demeanour sought after, in our faith? Fudayl ibn ‘Iyad rahimahu Llah smiled at the loss of his son and commented, “I have come to a decree of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala and I wish to be happy with what has been decreed for me.” A point of note here is, which act holds more virtue? That of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam or that of Fudayl ibn ‘Iyad rahimahu Llah?

The above question was posed to Ibn Taymiyyah upon which he delivered the following, “The act of Fudayl ibn ‘Iyad rahimahu Llah is praiseworthy when compared to those who exceed the bounds in grief. However, compassion and a show of emotion together with being pleased with the decree of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala is an act of perfection as Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala mentions:

 

ثُمَّ كَانَ مِنَ الَّذِيْنَ آمَنُوْا وَتَوَاصَوْا بِالصَّبْرِ وَتَوَاصَوْا بِالْمَرْحَمَةِ

And then being among those who believed and advised one another to patience and advised one another to compassion.[3]

 

As we see here Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala mentions advising one-another with patience and compassion.”[4]

Fudayl ibn ‘Iyad rahimahu Llah though praiseworthy in his act, was however bereft of compassion in this instance, as for Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam he had imbued in himself both being pleased with the decree of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala as well as carrying a heart full of compassion. It is for this reason that tears flowed freely from his eyes at the loss of his son with the following words on his tongue, “Certainly, the eye tears and the heart grieves, but we only utter that which our Sustainer is pleased with. O Ibrahim, we are bitterly grief-stricken at your separation.” The guidance of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam is perfect, his way the best, and his Sunnah the most beautiful.

Dear reader, the perfect believer is one who has both patience and compassion. As for the one who exceeds the bounds by slapping his face, tearing his collar, and shrieking has opposed the correct way of grieving as these acts are of the times of ignorance. It does not befit a Muslim who is pleased with the decisions of Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala and believes that he is the best of planners. Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam has said:

ليس منا من لطم الخدود وشق الجيوب ودعا بدعوى الجاهلية

A man who slaps his face, rends his collar, and promotes the legacy of the Age of Ignorance (before the advent and rise of Islam) is not from us.[5]

 

The condition of a true Muslim is as Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala has declared in the Qur’an:

 

وَلَنَبْلُوَنَّكُم بِشَيْءٍ مِّنَ الْخَوْفِ وَالْجُوْعِ وَنَقْصٍ مِّنَ الْأَمْوَالِ وَالْأَنفُسِ وَالثَّمَرَاتِ وَبَشِّرِ الصَّابِرِيْنَ

And We will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and a loss of wealth and lives and fruits, but give good tidings to the patient,

 

الَّذِيْنَ إِذَا أَصَابَتْهُم مُّصِيْبَةٌ قَالُوْا إِنَّا لِلَّهِ وَإِنَّا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعُوْنَ

Who, when disaster strikes them, say, “Indeed we belong to Allah, and indeed to Him we will return.”

 

أُولَٰئِكَ عَلَيْهِمْ صَلَوَاتٌ مِّنْ رَّبِّهِمْ وَرَحْمَةٌ وَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْمُهْتَدُوْنَ

Those are the ones upon whom are blessings from their Lord and mercy. And it is those who are the [rightly] guided.[6]

 

From amongst the strange happenings on the day Ibrahim radiya Llahu ‘anhu passed away, the sun eclipsed. It was a common superstition that era that the sun would eclipse on either the birth or the death of a great person, due to the eclipse coinciding with the death of Ibrahim radiya Llahu ‘anhu people began assuming it was due to his demise. Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam gathered the people to teach them a lesson in monotheism on hearing their assumptions. Mughirah ibn Shu’bah radiya Llahu ‘anhu relates:

 

كسفت الشمس على عهد رسول الله ﷺ يوم مات إبراهيم، فقال الناس كسفت الشمس لموت إبراهيم، فقال رسول الله ﷺ: إن الشمس والقمر لا ينكسفان لموت أحد ولا لحياته فإذا رأيتم فصلوا وادعوا الله

On the day of Ibrahim’s death, the sun eclipsed, and the people said that the eclipse was due to the death of Ibrahim (the son of the Prophet). Allah’s Apostle said, “The sun and the moon are two signs amongst the signs of Allah. They do not eclipse because of someone’s death or life. So, when you see them, invoke Allah and pray.”[7]

 

In this manner Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam established that the movement of the stars is not in relation to matters happening on the earth therefore, the belief that natural phenomena happens due to the birth or death of someone is erroneous. Some have taken it a step further due to these types of mistaken beliefs and attribute changes in the lives of people based on the movement of the stars. It is unfortunate that some others attribute the blessing of rain to the stars, the hadith states:

 

أصبح من عبادي مؤمنٌ بي وكافرٌ، فأما مَن قال: مُطِرْنا بفضل الله ورحمته، فذلك مؤمنٌ بي كافرٌ بالكوكب، وأما من قال: مطرنا بنَوْء كذا وكذا، فذلك كافرٌ بي مؤمنٌ بالكوكب

Some of my bondsmen entered the morning as my believers and some as disbelievers. He who said, “We have had a rainfall due to the blessing and mercy of Allah,” he is my believer and a disbeliever of stars, and who said, “We have had a rainfall due to the rising of such and such star,” disbelieved me and affirmed his faith in the stars.[8]

 

A true believer always has conviction only in Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala.

 

NEXT⇒Zainab bint al Rasul


[1] Sahih Muslim, 3315.

[2] Sahih al Bukhari, 1241; Sahih Muslim, 2315.

[3] Surah al Balad: 17.

[4] Majmu’ al Fatawa, vol. 10 pg. 47.

[5] Sahih al Bukhari, 1232; Sahih Muslim, 103.

[6] Surah al Baqarah: 155-157.

[7] Sahih al Bukhari, 996; Sahih Muslim, 915.

[8] Sahih al Bukhari, 810; Sahih Muslim, 71.