Hajar: A Woman at Peace

Assalamu alaykum and Eid Mubarak! 

May Allah accept your good deeds and bring the hujaj back home safely with their sins forgiven and their haj accepted. Ameen.
W ith peacespective.org being about women and about peace, and it being the season of haj, I thought it would be appropriate to begin with highlighting two incidents in the life of Hajar; the wife of Prophet Ibraheem (AS) and mother of Prophet Ismaeel (AS).
A peaceful heart is vital to one’s relationship to God. Conflict hinders one’s ability to accomplish. Conflict can be caused by having things go contrary to one’s wishes. If this is something that has already happened, it can result in sadness, and if it is something to come it can result in fear.
For Hajar, when she was brought to a desolate place with her infant, and her husband started walking away, it is said she called out to him. When Prophet Ibraheem continued to walk and did not answer, she immediately knew it must be something divine, so she asked, “Did Allah ask you to do this?” He answered, “Yes.” “Then he will protect us,” was her immediate response. She did not rage against her husband; she did not lament her fate. She accepted –not in a resigned helpless manner- rather with the strength that comes only from putting one’s connection to Allah before all other connections. With the serenity that comes from knowing only Allah is in control and that He wishes the best for us, she was able to accept the vast empty wasteland around her, devoid of any trace of human life as a safe place to be.
Soon, it is told, baby Ismaeel began to cry. Her thirst affecting her ability to breastfeed him, she set down the wailing baby and began to search for water. To do so she made use of the two hills close by, climbing one to scan the horizon for a sign of water or any traveler, then rushing to the next to do the same. She did this, as we already know, seven times and only stopped as baby Ismaeel’s cries subsided having kicked the spring of Zamzam into flowing forth.
But this incident with its various narrations is not our story. Our story is the story of a model of belief and practice, held up by our Lord as an approved example. It is the story of a woman whose action is still designated to teach men and women, whose act will be commemorated to the end of time by any woman or man who wishes to perform haj. It is her attempt to balance, complete reliance and dependence upon God (‘He will provide’), with the utmost human effort (running back and forth such a distance in search of what she knew would be provided). It is the adab and respect you show for the Creator, in doing your best to achieve what you know only He can give; and furthermore, in getting the wished-for result, to attribute it justly to God.
There is a stance, an attitude that Allah encourages us to attain, that of al-Sayidah Hajar, to see beyond the person or thing that causes us what we like or dislike, in order to see the Causer of all causes, Allah. Moreover, to be willing to put forth our greatest effort with neither the panic nor the arrogance of one who believes he is alone, depending upon our Lord in peaceful submission.
It is this perspective that will allow us to live in peace.

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