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Story for Kids & Lessons for Generations

The Family of Prophet Ibrahim (AS)

The Tribe of Jurhum

Due to the discovery of Zam Zam, the tribe of Jurhum sought Hajar’s permission to camp there and to use its water.

She was so happy to see people in this forsaken land.

Allah had indeed ‘inclined the hearts of some men’ towards the place where she and her baby were abandoned, thus answering Prophet Ibrahim’s prayer for his family.

So, Hajar welcomed them heartily, and many of them made Makkah their permanent home.

Prophet Ibrahim constantly thought of his family that he left behind and thus visited them to see if they were well.

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Upon finding them in the state they were in, he thanked Allah, who did not abandon them but sheltered them comfortably.

 The Building of the Ka’bah

Isma’il grew up, and later he got married to a young woman from the Jurhum tribe.

Many years passed before his father visited him again.

This time Allah had commanded him to build the first ‘House of Worship’ where people could come together and worship Allah.

He found Isma’il near the well of Zam Zam, sharpening his hunting arrows.

Ismai’l was overjoyed to see his father again, and they greeted each other with love and longing.

He told Ismai’l that Allah had instructed him to build the Ka’bah (cubic structure) on elevated ground.

The footprints of Prophet Ibrahim while building the Ka'bah.
The footprints of Prophet Ibrahim while building the Ka’bah.

As always, Isma’il was ready to serve and obey his Lord. So the two of them set about digging the foundation.

Then they raised the foundations of the Ka’bah. Isma’il brought the stones while Prophet Ibrahim built.

While Isma’il was handing him the stones, both of them were saying:

“Our Lord! Accept this service from us, verily, You are the All Hearer, the All Knower.” (Qur’an 2 :127).

Then both of them went on building and going around the Ka’bah, repeating this dua.

A Great Sacrifice Indeed

When Isma’il was still a young man, Allah again put Prophet Ibrahim to the test.

Prophet Ibrahim’s entire life was one of tests and trials of his sincerity to Allah.

One night, he had a strange dream. He dreamt that he was sacrificing his only son, whom he loved so dearly.

Prophet Ibrahim knew that his dream came as a command from God and that he would obey the command.

This was an enormous sacrifice to ask of anyone.

Prophet Ibrahim longed for a son in his old age, and Isma’il was a great joy to him.

Only a great Prophet, like Ibrahim was able to carry out such a painful task as proof of his true love for his Creator.

Prophet Ibrahim left for Makkah. It was heartbreaking for him to tell his son about this news.

He told Isma’il about the dream and asked his son what he thought.

Isma’il showed great courage and obedience. He said: “O my father! Do what you are commanded, if Allah wills, you shall find me of the patient.”

He then removed his clothes and drank some water.

Fearing that he might struggle, Isma’il asked his father to tie his hands and feet.

Prophet Ibrahim sharpened the knife so that death would be swift and less painful.

He laid Ismai’l down and tied him. With a last painful look at his son and a heavy heart, he lifted his knife and brought it down to Isma’il’s throat, but the knife would not cut!

Ismai’l urged his father to press harder, and so he did, and still, the knife would not cut!

He turned to Allah, asking for forgiveness for his weakness, and Allah responded to his plea, “O Ibrahim, you have fulfilled the dream, thus we reward the obedient.”

Both father and son did not waver in their sacrifice. Nearby, a big ram appeared to be sacrificed in place of Isma’il.

The same knife that would not cut the throat of Isma’il cut the throat of the ram in one swift move, causing blood to gush to the earth.

This event is commemorated every year by Muslims, on the day of Eidul-Adha, the Festival of Sacrifice, at the end of the annual pilgrimage.


Because of Hajar’s faith and trust in Allah, she was prepared to stay alone with her baby in a deserted desert, knowing in her heart that Allah would not abandon them. When you have trust in Allah, you will do whatever He wants without question.

Allah promises ease after every hardship, and Hajar was at the point of extreme difficulty when Allah brought relief.

Isma’il was equal in his dedication to Allah; he did not question his father’s motives because he knew his father was acting on Allah’s command. Because of his dutiful ways, his father loved him dearly.

A believer’s life will always be filled with trials and tribulations. It’s how Allah tests our love for Him.


Stories of the Prophet: Ibn Kathir, 77 selected stories from the Quran: Abu Bakr Najjaar.

This article is from our archives.

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About Saleema Dawood
Saleema Dawood is freelance writer from South Africa whose work has been published in several publications, writing for kids publications being her most favored genre. She is a mom to two step daughters and one sprightly toddler.