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Story of Lady Sarah in Islam

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Read the story of Sarah; the first wife of Ibrahim, the first to believe in him and the mother of Prophet Isaac (peace be upon them all). Read..

Sarah, the faithful wife of Ibrahim (Abraham, peace be upon him), went out with him as well as his nephew (Lot, peace be upon him) in migration to Palestine.

As the drought increased in Palestine, she migrated with her husband back to Egypt. The news of their coming to Egypt quickly arrived Pharaoh, who had given orders to his guards to inform him of any beautiful woman entering Egypt.

One day, the soldiers told him that a beautiful woman arrived. Ibrahim (peace be upon him) knew about this matter and told Sarah: “If Pharaoh knew that you are my wife, he will seize you from me. So, if he asked you, tell him that you are my sister, as you are already my sister in Islam. I do not know in this country any Muslim other than me and you.”

Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him)  narrated that Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said: “The Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) never told a lie but only thrice: two times for the sake of Allah (for example, his words): “I am sick,” and his words: “But it was the big one amongst them which has done that” and because of Sara (his wife). He had come in a land inhabited by haughty and cruel men along with Sarah. She was very good-looking amongst the people, so he said to her: If these people were to know that you are my wife they would snatch you away from me, so if they ask you tell them that you are my sister and in fact you are my sister in Islam, and I do not know of any other Muslim in this land besides I and you. And when they entered that land the tyrants came to see her and said to him (the king): ‘There comes to your land a woman, whom you alone deserve to possess’, so he (the king) sent someone (towards her) and she was brought to him, and Ibrahim (peace be upon him) stood in prayer.

When Sarah visited him (the tyrant king came) he could help but stretch his hand towards her and his hand was tied up. He said: ‘Supplicate to Allah so that He may release my hand and I will do no harm to you.’ She did that and the man repeated (the same highhandedness) and his hand was again tied up more tightly than on the first occasion. He said the same thing to her again, and she again did that (supplicated), but he repeated (the same highhandedness and his hands were tied up more tightly than on the previous occasion). He then again said: ‘Supplicate your Lord so that He may set my hand free; by Allah I shall do no harm to you.’ She did and his hand was freed.

Then he called the person who had brought her and said to him: ‘You have brought to me the satan and you have not brought to me a human being, so turn them out from my land,’ and he gave Hajar as a gift to her. She returned (along with Hajar) and when Ibrahim (peace be upon him) saw her, he said: ‘How have you returned?’ She said: ‘With full safety (have I returned). Allah held the hand of that debauch and he gave me a maid-servant.’ Abu Hurairah said: ‘O sons of the rain of the sky, she is your mother.’ (Muslim)

Ibrahim (peace be upon him) returned to Palestine again, and his nephew Lot (peace be upon him) continued his way to the people of Sodom and Gomorrah (Jordan) to invite them to the worship God, and warn them from evil and sin. Many years passed but Sarah did not give birth to a son to Ibrahim who can be their joy and supporter. She became sorrowful for her being barren. Then, once her maid, Hajar, came to provide water for them. She looked long at Hajar and thought of giving her to Ibrahim to marry her. Sarah was so hesitant as she feared that Ibrahim leaves her away and join Hajar. Finally, Sarah resolved to give him Hajar and not to deprive Ibrahim from the pleasure of having children.

Ibrahim married Hajar and remained with them both but jealousy overcame Sarah when she saw the sign of pregnancy on Hajar. Then, when Hajar delivered her baby Isma’il (peace be upon him), Sarah could not bear the matter and asked Ibrahim to take Hajar and her son away from her. It was something that Allah the Almighty has willed but it no one knew it. Ibrahim had to take his wife Hajar and her awaited son Isma’il to an uncultivated valley in Makkah and leave them without a companion or supporter. While he was leaving, Ibrahim supplicated,

Our Lord, I have settled some of my descendants in an uncultivated valley near Your sacred House, our Lord, that they may establish prayer. So make hearts among the people incline toward them and provide for them from the fruits that they might be grateful. (Ibrahim 14:37)

 However, the miracles of God are ceaseless as He (Glory be to Him) wanted to grant Ibrahim and Sarah another miracle and give them from His never-ending bounty.

Once, a group of men came to visit Ibrahim who ordered to slaughter a fat calf and presented it for them but he was astonished that they refused to eat. They were angels who came to Ibrahim in the shapes of merchants to bring him glad tidings of a new son from Sarah. Almighty Allah says,

Has there reached you the story of the honored guests of Abraham? When they entered upon him and said, “[We greet you with] peace.” He answered, “[And upon you] peace, [you are] a people unknown. Then he went to his family and came with a fat [roasted] calf. And placed it near them; he said, “Will you not eat?” And he felt from them apprehension. They said, “Fear not,” and gave him good tidings of a learned boy. And his wife approached with a cry [of alarm] and struck her face and said, “[I am] a barren old woman!” They said, “Thus has said your Lord; indeed, He is the Wise, the Knowing.” (Adh-Dhariyat 51:24-30)

Sarah bore Is-haq (Isaac, peace be upon him) who became after that one of the Prophets of God, and a father of the children of Israel.

Read also:

Story of Lady Hajar in Islam

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Source: Translated and adapted from a book entitled “Mashaheer An-Nisaa’ Al-Muslimat” (Famous Muslim Women) by Sheikh `Ali bin Nayif Al-Shahud.

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