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not, however, moved by the miracle that had just happened before their
very eyes. But Allah said: "O fire, be coolness and peace for
Abraham". (Koran xxi.69)
The people waited until the fire had completely died down, and it was
then that they saw Abraham still sitting there as though nothing had
happened! At that moment they were utterly confused. They were
Still Abraham tried to persuade his own dear father, who was named
Azar, not to worship powerless, un-seeing, un-hearing statues. Abraham
explained that special knowledge had come to him and implored his
father, 'So follow me and I will lead you on the right path. O my
father! Don't serve the Devil.' But Azar would not listen. He
threatened his son with stoning if he continued to reject the gods of
Ur. He ordered Abraham to leave the city with these words: 'Depart
from me a long while.' Abraham said, 'Peace be upon you! I shall ask
my Lord's forgiveness for you. Surely He was ever gracious to
me.' (Koran xix.43-7)
Imagine how terrible it must have been for him to leave his home,
his family and all that he knew, and set out across the wilderness
into the unknown. But at the same time, how could he have remained
among people who did not believe in Allah and who worshipped statues?
Abraham always had a sense that Allah cared for him and he felt Allah
near him as he traveled. At last, after a long hard journey, he
arrived at a place by the Mediterranean Sea, not far from Egypt. There
he married a noble woman by the name of Sarah and settled in the land
of Palestine. Many years passed but Abraham and his wife were not
blessed with any children. In the hope that there would be a child,
and in keeping with tradition, Sarah suggested that Abraham should
marry Hagar, her Egyptian handmaid. Soon after this took place, Hagar
had a little boy named Ishmael. Some time later Allah promised Abraham
another son, but this time the mother of the child would be his first
wife, Sarah. This second son would be called Isaac. Allah also told
Abraham that from his two sons-Ishmael and Isaac-two nations and three
messages would be founded and because of this he must take Hagar and
Ishmael away from Palestine to a new land.
These events were an important part of Allah's plan, for the
descendants of Ishmael would form a nation from which would come a
great Prophet, who would guide the people in the way of Allah. This
was to be Muhammad (pbuh), the Messenger of Allah (pbuh). From the
descendants of Sarah's child, Isaac, would come Moses and Jesus.
So it was that Abraham, Hagar, and Ishmael left Palestine. They
traveled for many days until finally they reached the arid valley of
Bacca ( later to be called Mecca), which was on one of the great
caravan routes. There was no water in the valley and although Hagar
and Ishmael only had a small supply of water left, Abraham left them
there knowing Allah would take care of them. Soon all the water was
gone. The child began to grow weak from thirst. There were two hills
nearby, one called Safa and the other Marwah. Hagar went up one hill
and looked into the distance to see if she could find any water,
but found none. So she went to the other hill and did the same. She
did this seven times. Then sadly she returned to her son, and to her
great surprise and joy she found a spring of water bubbling out of the
earth near him. This spring, near which the mother and child settled,
was later called Zamzam. The area around it became a place of rest for
the caravans travelling across the desert and in time grew into the
famous trading city of Mecca.
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and he saw Ishmael grow into a strong young man. It was during one of
these visits that Allah commanded them to rebuild the Ka'bah-the very
first place where people had worshipped Allah. They were told exactly
where and how to build it. It was to be erected by the well of Zamzam
and built in the shape of a cube. In its eastern corner was to be
placed a black stone that had fallen to earth from heaven. An angel
brought the stone to them from the nearby hill of Abu Qubays

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