“What are you doing under the bed, Yasseen?” Mommy asked.
“I’m looking for my time machine! I need to go back in time! It’s VERY important!” Yasseen said, popping his head out from under the bed. “We have a project for school about a woman named ‘Hajar’. I must find out exactly what happened!”
“So you’re going to Mecca in Saudi Arabia! Cool! Can I come?” Mommy jumped happily.
And so Yasseen and his mom got inside the time machine and went back in time, thousands and thousands of years ago….
“Hey! It’s an empty desert! Where is the Ka’bah? Are we lost?” Yasseen asked.
“No, this is the right place Yasseen! Look, Prophet Ibrahim, his wife Hajar and their baby Ismail are coming towards us! Shhhh duck down!” Mommy whispered.
“Don’t worry about us, Ibrahim. You can leave now. We will be okay!” Hajar said. “Oh Allah! I’m leaving my family here alone. I ask You God to please make lots of people come visit this empty place!” Prophet Ibrahim said, then kissed his wife and son goodbye.
“Oh my God! Yasseen whispered. “How can he leave them here? There are no beds, or bathrooms or stores to buy food! There’s no water or trees! Nothing!”
“God asked him to do so” Mommy said. “Prophet Ibrahim loves his family, but he loves Allah more!”
“Why does God want Hajar and her baby to stay alone here? Imagine how scared they would be at night time!” Yasseen panicked. “Shhhhh let’s wait and see!” Mommy said. “God does everything for a good reason!”
Hajar didn’t have any food or water left. She was scared, hungry and thirsty, but she knew God would take care of her and the baby. Ismail was crying non-stop! He cried and cried and cried. He was very thirsty, too.
“Oh baby! Don’t cry!” Hajar hugged Ismail. “Wait here. I’ll try to find some water”
Hajar put baby Ismail down on the ground and ran to the nearest mountain. It’s called ‘Al Safa’ mountain. She climbed it all the way to the top. She looked up and down, left and right, but there was no water and no people in sight.
Hajar went down and ran all the way to the opposite mountain. It’s called “Al Marwa’ mountain. She climbed it all the way to the top. She looked up and down, left and right, but there was no water and no people in sight.
The weather was super hot in the desert and Hajar was getting very tired, and yet she didn’t give up. She ran from the top of Al Safa mountain to the top of Al Marwa mountain, seven times, back and forth, back and forth, back and forth and back. This is when the most amazing thing happened…
A spring of water gushed out of the ground next to where she left baby Ismail crying. It was a miracle from the One and Only God.
“Thank you Allah!” Hajar said. “I knew Allah would take care of us!”
Hajar was very happy, and so was baby Ismail. They drank and drank and drank, but the water did not stop gushing out from the ground!
“Zoom Zoom” Hajar said. She made a hole around the spring and it became a well. A well that would never ever run dry!
“Never ever?” Yasseen asked, confused.
“Yes!” Mommy said. “And from the word ‘Zoom’ came the name ‘Zamzam’ water.”
“Look up! Where did all these birds come from?” Yasseen asked.
“Birds are smart! They know how to find water in the middle of the dry desert!” Mommy replied.
When travellers saw the birds flying in the sky, they knew there must be water in that area of the desert. A group of people found Hajar and baby Ismail and asked if they could camp near them and share the Zamzam water.
“Of course you can!” Hajar said. “This well is a gift from God. It’s a super special kind of water, too. It makes people happy and healthy! There’s nothing like it!”
More and more people came to visit the well. This spot was once an empty desert, but now it became a busy place, with many houses, trees and happy children playing around.
“Look! Isn’t this Prophet Ibrahim? Oh my God, he came back! He looks very happy!” Yasseen said.
Years later, when Ismail grew up, he helped his dad Prophet Ibrahim build the House of God near the ‘Zamzam’ well. It’s what we call the ‘Ka’bah’ in Arabic. Muslims from all around the world travel to Mecca to do their pilgrimage (Hajj) for it’s one of the five pillars of Islam!
“What are pillars?” Yasseen asked.
“It’s kind of like building blocks. For a house to have a roof, it needs posts or walls to support it right? Same with Muslims, they need to do five things to build their Islam!”
“What are the five things Muslims need to do?” Yasseen asked.
“Believing in One God, praying five times a day, fasting the month of Ramadan, giving charity to the poor and visiting Mecca to do Hajj in the month of Pilgrimage” Mommy replied.
“Look! Thousands of people are running back and forth between the mountains! Just like Hajar did! Why?” Yasseen asked.
“It’s what Muslims do when they go to Hajj. It’s how we remember to never give up because God will always help those who obey Him and believe in him!” Mommy said. “We need to go back home now, it’s almost bedtime. Where is that time machine?”
“Oh man! I wanted to stay and watch Muslims do the ring-a-roses around the Ka’bah!” Yasssen said.
But Yasseen did the right thing and listened to his mom. They both got into the time machine and went home. He showered, had dinner, prayed and went to bed.
“If Hajar and baby Ismail had never been left alone in the desert, they wouldn’t have gotten that thirsty! She wouldn’t have tried to find water, and there would be no miracle! There would be no Zamzam water to make Muslims happy and healthy! Maybe there would be no Ka’bah either!” Yasseen said before closing his eyes.
“Even when something bad happens, remember… God does everything for a very good reason!” Mommy said. “Goodnight my love… sweet dreams.”
First published: September 2015