HAGAR (Hajar): Oft Forgotten Mother of Believers

Abraham in Egypt to call the Egyptians To The Way of The LORD (Da'wa) [1]

Abraham, accompanied by his family and Lot (Abraham's Nephew), proceeded to Egypt to preach ALLAH'S Message of Tawheed (Monotheism), the need to submit to ALLAH, The True God, Resurrection and Recompense on The Day of Judgement. Abraham's wife Sarah was a very charming and beautiful woman, and her loveliness and allure had begun to draw inappropriate attention from many of the male Egyptians. Eventually, the news reached Pharaoh about the attractive foreigner in their midst. With his curiosity and libido being piqued by these reports, the Pharaoh sent for Abraham. Upon meeting Abraham, Pharaoh inquired about the relationship between Abraham and Sarah.[1]

Responded Abraham, The Inspired of ALLAH [Quran - 6:83; 29:16]

"Sarah is my Sister."[2]

ALLAH, The Knower of All, Knows All.

Pharaoh promptly summoned Sarah to his Palace. Sarah, having previously been instructed by Abraham not to disavow his statement, said nothing to Pharaoh about her true relationship to Abraham. 

Sarah's beauty had aroused Pharaoh's libidinous desires and reduced Pharaoh to a state of overwhelming lust. Anticipating that such would be the case, Sarah turned in prayer to ALLAH. Not even Sarah's state of prayer could distract Pharaoh from his lustful cravings. Sarah remained in prayer but Pharaoh continued advancing toward her. However, as soon as he reached for Sarah, Pharaoh was afflicted with a fit (stiffening of his upper extremity and an agitated twitching of his legs). Crying out from his distressed state, Pharaoh promised that he would release Sarah, unharmed, if Sarah would pray for his cure. Sarah complied, and ALLAH answered her prayers. However, as soon as Pharaoh had regained his equilibrium and physical prowess, he again advanced upon Sarah. Again Sarah pleaded to ALLAH for aid, and again ALLAH answered her prayer. For the second time, Pharaoh was reduced to an afflicted state of trembling and stiffening. For the second time Pharaoh promised Sarah her safe release, if she would pray for his cure. For the second time ALLAH answered Sarah's prayers and cured Pharaoh. But once again, Pharaoh refused to honour his promise to release Sarah, unharmed. Instead, Pharaoh, again attempted to molest Sarah. For the third time, Sarah prayed for Divine Protection and ALLAH answered her prayers for the third time. For the third time Pharaoh was afflicted and reduced to a state of trembling and stiffening. For the third time Pharaoh begged Sarah to pray for his cure. For the third time Sarah prayed for Pharaoh's cure and ALLAH accepted Sarah's prayer. This time, Pharaoh kept his promise and promptly released Sarah.

Sarah was returned to Abraham while Abraham was praying to ALLAH. ALLAH, The Exalted, had humiliated Pharaoh and returned Sarah, unblemished. ALLAH'S Lasting Message was delivered to the polytheists of Egypt. 

Sarah came accompanied by gifts of reparation from Pharaoh. Lists of Pharaoh's gifts included thousands of pieces of Silver but the most notable gift was a female slave, named HAGAR. 

Pharaoh ordered Abraham and his family to leave Egypt, along with their possessions, including HAGAR.

Abraham returned to Palestine, along with all his family members, gifts of reparations from Pharaoh and Sarah's personal maid Hagar. In Palestine, Abraham continued his Da'wa efforts at Bethel and Hebron. Abraham received a vision:[1]

Abraham's Vision:
" Some time later, the LORD spoke to *Abram in a vision and said to him, "Do not be afraid, Abram, for I will protect you, and your reward will be great." [3]

Abraham asks LORD for descendents:
“But Abram replied, O Sovereign LORD, what good are all your blessings when I don't even have a son? Since you've given me no children, Eliezer of Damascus, a servant in my household, will inherit all my wealth.[4]

LORD'S Assurance to Abraham
Then the LORD said to him, "No, your servant will not be your heir, for you will have a son of your own who will be your heir."[5] 

He took Abram outside and said, "Now look up at the sky and count the stars, if you are able to count them." He also said to him, "That's how many descendants you will have!" [6] 

Sarah's proposal to Abraham:
Now **Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. She had a female Egyptian servant whose name was Hagar.[7] 

And Sarai said unto Abram, Behold now, the LORD hath restrained me from bearing; go in, I pray thee, unto my handmaid; it may be that I shall obtain children by her. And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai.[8]

Abraham takes HAGAR as his wife:
And Sarai Abram's wife took Hagar, the Egyptian, her maidservant, at the end of ten years that Abram had dwelt in the land of Canaan, and gave her to her husband Abram, as his wife.[9] 

Hagar conceives:
"and he goeth in unto Hagar, and she conceiveth, and she seeth that she hath conceived, and her mistress is lightly esteemed in her eyes.[10] 

Sarah complains to Abraham about Hagar:
"So Sarai complained to Abram, "I'm being treated unfairly! And it's your fault! I know that I gave my slave to you, but now that she's pregnant, she's being disrespectful to me. May the LORD decide who is right-you or me."[11]

Sarah treats Hagar harshly: 
Abram replied, "Look, she is your servant, so deal with her as you see fit." Then Sarai treated Hagar so harshly that she finally ran away.[12] 

LORD'S Angel speaks to Hagar:
The angel of the LORD found Hagar beside a spring of water in the wilderness, along the road to Shur.[13] 
The angel said to her, "Hagar, Sarai's servant, where have you come from, and where are you going?" "I'm running away from my mistress, Sarai," she replied.”[14] 
The angel of the LORD said to her, “Return to your mistress and submit to her.”[15] 

LORD'S Promise for Hagar:
The Messenger of the LORD also said to her, "I will give you many descendants. No one will be able to count them because there will be so many."[16]

LORD'S Command; Name your Son ISHMAEL [God hears]:
Then the Messenger of the LORD said to her, "You are pregnant, and you will give birth to a son. You will name him Ishmael [God Hears], because the LORD has heard your cry of distress.[17]

LORD'S Command Ishmael will be in the company of his Brothers:
"And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man's hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brothers." [18] 

"And she calleth the name of Jehovah who is speaking unto her, 'Thou art, O God, my beholder;' for she said, 'Even here have I looked behind my beholder?' [19] 

Hagar bears Ishmael:
"And Hagar bore Abram a son: and Abram called his son's name, which Hagar bore, Ishmael.[20] And Abram was eighty six years old, when Hagar bore Ishmael to Abram.[21]" 

Sarah demands banishment of Hagar and Ishmael:
"So she said to Abraham, "Banish that slave woman and her son, for the son of that slave woman will not be an heir along with my son Isaac!" [22]

Sarah's Demand displeased Abraham:
"Sarah's demand displeased Abraham greatly because Ishmael was his son." [23]

GOD said to Abraham:
"But God said to Abraham, "Don't be upset about the boy and your slave. Listen to what Sarah says because through Isaac your descendants will carry on your name." [24]

GOD'S Assurance:
"But I will also make a nation of the descendants of Hagar's son because he is your son, too." [25]

Hagar Banished:
So Abraham got up early the next morning, prepared food and a container of water, and strapped them on Hagar's shoulders. Then he sent her away with their son, and she wandered aimlessly in the wilderness of Beersheba." [26]

Hagar and Ishmael left near Ka'bah:
Abraham brought Hagar and Ishmael near Ka'bah, under a tree, near Zamzam, at the highest place in the Mosque. During those days there was no one in Makkah, nor was there any water. So he made them sit over there and placed near them a leather bag containing some dates and a small water skin containing some water, and set out homeward. Hagar followed him saying:

"O Abraham where are you going, leaving us in this valley where there is no person whose company we may enjoy, nor is there anything to enjoy? Hagar repeated her question to Abraham many times, but Abraham did not look back at her. Then she asked Abraham:"

"Has ALLAH Ordered you to do so?" Abraham said, "Yes." 
Hagar said "Then HE will not neglect us." 
[Excerpted and Edited from The Noble Quran (Hilali & Khan); Footnotes to [14:37] - Page 333]

Abraham's Concerns:
"O our Lord! I have made some of my offspring to dwell in a valley without cultivation, by Thy Sacred House; in order, O 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." [Quran - 14:37 - Abdullah Yusuf Ali]

Hagar and Ishmael's water runs out:
"Eventually, the water in the leather bottle ran out, so she placed the child under one of the bushes." [27]

Hagar's ordeal:
"Then she went and sat down opposite him a good way off, about the distance of a bowshot, for she said, “Let me not look on the death of the child.” And as she sat opposite him, she lifted up her voice and wept." [28]

GOD Heard Ishmael:
"And God heard the voice of the boy, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, “What troubles you, Hagar? Fear not, for God has heard the voice of the boy where he is." [29]

GOD'S Declaration:
“Behold, the former things have happened, and I declare new things. I tell you about them before they come up." [30]

GOD'S Promise to Hagar:
Go to him and comfort him, for I will make a great nation from his descendants." [31]

GOD'S Gift for Hagar and Ishmael:
Then God enabled Hagar to see a well of water. She went over and filled the skin with water, and then gave the boy a drink." [32]

GOD was with Ishmael:
"And God was with the boy, and he grew up. He lived in the wilderness and became an expert with the bow." [33]

"Now these are the generations of Ishmael, Abraham's son, whom Hagar the Egyptian, Sarah's handmaid, bare unto Abraham: And these are the names of the sons of Ishmael, by their names, according to their generations: the firstborn of Ishmael, Nebajoth; and Kedar, and Adbeel, and Mibsam, And Mishma, and Dumah, and Massa, Hadar, and Tema, Jetur, Naphish, and Kedemah, These are the sons of Ishmael, and these are their names, by their towns, and by their castles; twelve princes according to their nations. And these are the years of the life of Ishmael, a hundred and thirty and seven years: and he gave up the ghost and died; and was gathered unto his people. And they dwelt from Havilah unto Shur, that is before Egypt, as thou goest toward Assyria: and he died in the presence of all his brethren." [34]

Glad tidings for the Descendents of Kedar:
“I will raise them up a prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee; and I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.” [35]

“For as the lightning flashes in the east and shines to the west, so it will be when the Son of Man comes.” [36]

“Let the desert and its towns raise their voices; let the settlements where Kedar lives rejoice. Let the people of Sela sing for joy; let them shout from the mountaintops.” [37]

Hagar, Mother of the Ishmaelites
[Bukhari, Book #55, Hadith #578] "Someone said to the tyrant, "This man (i.e. Abraham) is accompanied by a very charming lady." So, he sent for Abraham and asked him about Sarah saying, "Who is this lady?" Abraham said, "She is my sister." Abraham went to Sarah and said, "O Sarah! There are no believers on the surface of the earth except you and I. This man asked me about you and I have told him that you are my sister, so don't contradict my statement." The tyrant then called Sarah and when she went to him, he tried to take hold of her with his hand, but (his hand got stiff and) he was confounded. He asked Sarah. "Pray to Allah for me, and I shall not harm you." So Sarah asked Allah to cure him and he got cured. He tried to take hold of her for the second time, but (his hand got as stiff as or stiffer than before and) was more confounded. He again requested Sarah, "Pray to Allah for me, and I will not harm you." Sarah asked Allah again and he became alright. He then called one of his guards (who had brought her) and said, "You have not brought me a human being but have brought me a devil." The tyrant then gave Hajar as a girl-servant to Sarah. Sarah came back (to Abraham) while he was praying. Abraham, gesturing with his hand, asked, "What has happened?" She replied, "Allah has spoiled the evil plot of the infidel (or immoral person) and gave me Hajar for service." (Abu Huraira then addressed his listeners saying, "That (Hajar) was your mother, O Bani Ma-is-Sama (i.e. the Arabs, the descendants of Ishmael, Hajar's son)." 

ALLAH'S Reward for Hagar; Everlasting Legacy
Hagar was a brave and pious woman as well as the believing mother of the Ishmaelites. ALLAH, The Ash-Shakour, has honoured our Mother Hagar, with an ever-lasting Legacy. ALLAH, The Exalted has made it obligatory for every pilgrim to ALLAH'S House, in Mecca, to perform Sa'ee, from As-Safwa to Al-Marwah, [seven rapid walks], in the footsteps of and in commemoration of Hagar's devotion to and trust in ALLAH. Performance of Sa'ee is also a tribute to Hagar's exemplary courage and symbolizes the celebration of motherhood in Islam as well as the leadership of women. 

ALLAH'S Promise Fulfilled: 
"Thus do We reward the doers of good" [Quran - 37:110 - Asad]

Acknowledgements: records it's sincere appreciation of Sister Habiba and Dr Nasrullah Khan for the Review and helpful suggestions. May ALLAH Be Pleased with Sister Habiba and Dr. Nasrullah Khan.

1. Excerpted and Edited from: ABRAHAM The Friend of God by Jerald F. Dirks, Amana Publications, 2002.
2. Genesis 20:2 NLT
3. Genesis 15:1 NLT
4. Genesis 15:2 NLT 
5. Genesis 15:4 NLT 
6. Genesis 15:5 GWT 
7. Genesis 16:1 ESV 
8. Genesis 16:2 ERV 
9. Genesis 16:3 DBT 
10. Genesis 16:4 DBT 
11. Genesis 16:5 GWT 
12. Genesis 16:6 NLT 
13. Genesis 16:7 NLT 
14. Genesis 16:8 NLT 
15. Genesis 16:9 ESV 
16. Genesis 16:10 GWT 
17. Genesis 16:11 GWT 
18. Genesis 16:12 AKJV 
19. Genesis 16:13 YLT 
20. Genesis 16:15 KJB 
21. Genesis 16:16 ESV 
22. Genesis 21:10 NB
23. Genesis 21:11 NLT 
24. Genesis 21:12 GW 
25. Genesis 21: 13 NLT 
26. Genesis 21:14 NLT 
27. Genesis 21:15 ISV
28. Genesis 21:16 ESV 
29. Genesis 21:17 ESV
30. Isaiah 42:9 WEB 
31. Genesis 21:18 NLT 
32. Genesis 21:19 NET 
33. Genesis 21:20 ESV 
34. Genesis 25:12-18 KJV 
35. Deuteronomy 18:18 ERV 
36. Mathew 24:27 NLT
37. Isaiah 42:11 NIV

*Abraham’s birth name was Abram, meaning “exalted father”, and Sarah’s birth name was **Sarai, meaning “my princess”. After Abram’s inauguration into the covenant of Allah, at the age of ninety-nine, Allah changed Abram’s name to Abraham, meaning “father of many nations”, and Sarai’s name to Sarah, meaning “princess/noble woman”. This reflected their new station.

Genesis 17:1, 5
“When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, ‘I am God Almighty; walk before me and be blameless…. No longer will you be called Abram; your name will be Abraham, for I have made you a father of many nations.’”

Genesis 17:15
"And God said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name."

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