Did Allah Ta’aala order Hadhrat Ibrahim (AS) to send Hadhrat Hajira and Hadhrat Ismail (AS) into the desert and leave them there or did his wife, Sara, force him to do so?
In the name of Allah, the most Beneficent, the most Merciful.
It is stated in numerous books of Tafseer (commentaries of The Holy Quran) that this was a specific instruction of Allah Ta’aala.
Hadhrat Ibrahim (AS) made this dua “Oh our Lord! I have made some of my offspring to dwell in a valley without cultivation, by Thy Sacred House; in order, Oh our Lord, that they may establish regular Prayer: so fill the hearts of some among men with love towards them, and feed them with fruits: so that they may give thanks. ”
(Al-Qur’an 14:37 Surah Ibrahim)
Mufti Muhammad Shafi Saheb writes on the commentary of this verse:
“The event which marks the making of this dua by Hadhrat Ibrahim (AS) goes back to the time when Allah Ta’aala intended to have the structure of Baytullah reconstructed, which was destroyed in the flood during the time of Hadhrat Nuh (AS). Allah Ta’aala chose His ‘friend’ Hadhrat Ibrahim (AS) for this mission, arranging for him to migrate from Syria with his wife Hadhrat Hajira and son Hadhrat Ismail (AS) and settle down in that barren place. This he was appointed to do. It appears in Sahih al-Bukhari that Hadhrat Ismail (AS) was an infant at that time. Hadhrat Ibrahim (AS), as ordered, had him and his mother Hadhrat Hajira stay near the present Baytullah and the well of Zamzam. At that time, this place was an open and barren ground surrounded by hills. There was no water and no habitation in sight. Hadhrat Ibrahim (AS) had thoughtfully put some food in a provision bag and water in a water bag.
Thereafter Hadhrat Ibrahim (AS) was commanded to return to Syria. The spot where he received this command was the spot from where he started his journey as commanded. The fact that there was a natural effect of having to leave his infant son in this wilderness became evident from the prayer he made later. But he did not tolerate the idea of making the least delay in carrying out the divine command, not even for a few moments which he could have used to inform HadhratHajira and say a few words of comfort to her.
As a result when Hadhrat Hajira saw him going away, she repeatedly called from behind him wondering why he would leave them in that manner and in a place where there was no human being nor was there anything which could help them survive. But the ‘friend’ of Allah Ta’aala did not look back. Thereupon, Hadhrat Hajira realized that one who is the ‘friend’ of Allah Ta’aala cannot betray them in that manner. Perhaps, this was the command of Allah Ta’aala. So, she called again and asked: ‘Has Allah Ta’aala commanded you to leave this place?’Hadhrat Ibrahim (AS) turned his face and said ‘Yes’. Hearing this, Hadhrat Hajira said: ??? ?? ??????that, ‘Now it does not matter. Our Master, who has commanded you to leave this place, will certainly not let us be wasted away.”
(Ma’aarif al-Quran vol:5 pg:251)
(also see Al-bahr al-madeed vol:3 pg:206 and Tafseer al-Razi vol:9 pg:260 and Tafseer Ruh al-Bayaan vol:4 pg:284)
From the above passage we can deduce that Hadhrat Ibrahim (AS) had left Hadhrat Hajira and Hadhrat Ismail (AS) in the desert due to the commandment of Allah Ta’aala.
Only Allah Knows Best
Written by Mufti Abdullah al-Ma’mun
Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham.