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اسسلام عليكم ورحمتالله وبركته
When the Prophet ﷺ was blessed with a baby boy in Madinah, he had to make the decision that every new parent must make–choosing a name. Out of all the names that he could have chosen, the Prophet ﷺ chose a name that had a special place in his heart. He chose the name Ibrahim, saying “I have named my son Ibrahim after my father Ibrahim”. Allah ﷻ says in the Qur’an “And Allah took Ibrahim as a friend.”
Recent comments by a self-proclaimed “Muslim activist” have denigrated Ibrahim (as), referring to him as a “deadbeat dad”. In light of that, we’ve moved up publication of this article which was originally scheduled for Eid ul Adha. As Allah ﷻ says in the Qur’an “There is for you an excellent example (to follow) in Abraham”.
Family comes first….after Allah
One of the most striking features of the story of Ibrahim (as) is his utter devotion to Allah ﷻ. The devotion outstripped even his love for his family and children. Paradoxically, it is precisely that conscious decision to put deen over fatherhood that made him the best father.
Allah ﷻ says in the Qur’an:
إِنَّمَآ أَمْوَلُكُمْ وَأَوْلَـدُكُمْ فِتْنَةٌ وَاللَّهُ عِنْدَهُ أَجْرٌ عَظِيمٌ
“And know that your possessions and your children are but a trial (fitnah) and that surely with Allah is a mighty reward”
Love for his child may entice a man to act against the pleasure of Allah ﷻ. It is not unheard of for someone to abstain from riba their entire life but then rack up credit card debt by buying things they can not afford just to see their children happy. For Ibrahim (as), however, his love for his son and his desire to see him happy was always secondary to the pleasure of Allah ﷻ. When Allah ﷻ revealed to Ibrahim (as) to take Hajar and Ismail and leave them in the barren deserts of Arabia, he did so without hestitation. His complete trust in Allah ﷻ precluded any other action. That devotion to Allah ﷻ was transmitted to his children, showing them that no matter what else happens, Allah ﷻ comes first.
Putting Allah ﷻ first, even before fatherhood, makes a man a better father and raises sons to become better men. Ibn al-Qayyim writes about this in his book Tuhfatul Mawdood bi Ahkaam al-Mawlud.
“How many people have caused misery to their own children, the apples of their eyes, in this world and in the Hereafter, by neglecting them, not disciplining them, encouraging them to follow their whims and desires, thinking that they were honoring them when they were in fact humiliating them, that they were being merciful to them when in fact they were wronging them. They have not benefited the child, and they have made the child lose his share in this world and in the Hereafter.”
(InshaAllah, i will be posting this essay in a few parts, so we can better digest the information.
May Allah grant us tawfeeq to raise our children in a noble and blessed way.) Ameen.
Also do dua for the original author of the article, as I am merely sharing.