Four thousand years ago, lived a woman whose legacy was so powerful that it still offers us hope when we meet our own darkness, all these years later. Her husband, Ibrahim (AS), left her with their baby in the barren desert. She understood that Ibrahim was following God’s orders, and she trusted His plan, even though she did not know what it was.
This is the legacy of Hajar (RA).
Hajar exemplified many qualities of a believer during her trial. Here are five attributes that we should strive to follow:
1. Optimism, through thinking good of Allah (swt)
After questioning Ibrahim’s decision to leave her, Hajar realised that it was an order from Allah. Hajar’s reaction demonstrates two admirable qualities. Firstly, she thought good of her husband, recognising that he would not do something so grave without instruction from God.
Secondly, Hajar responded with, “Then He will not neglect us.” (Bukhari), accepting that Allah would take care of her and her baby despite the difficulty of what they would face. She thought good of Allah, did not question His orders, and did not chase after Ibrahim out of anger or fear.
Whoever relied upon Allah, he will suffice him. (Surat al-Talaq 65:3)
2. Tawakkul (reliance on Allah)
Hajar put her trust and reliance in Allah. When the little food and drink that she had with her had run out, her baby started crying excessively out of great hunger and thirst. However, Hajar did not despair. Instead, she relied on Allah to give her a way out.
What’s more, her faith allowed Hajar to contribute to Islam, even as we practise it today. She searched for help by repeatedly walking up two mountains; what Hajar carried out as a matter of her perseverance is practised today as one of the rituals of Hajj – Safa and Marwa. This is the high status Hajar’s actions hold today, contributing to one of the pillars of Islam.
3. Sabr (patience)
The theme of sabr is maintained throughout the trial of Hajar. From the point of being deserted with a baby, to running out of food and water, to running up and down mountains several times looking for water, Hajar never gave up. This shows the beautiful essence of a trial from Allah – it teaches us patience, and it is a show of our character. Allah sends us these trials to not only strengthen the connection with Him and gain rewards through our struggle, but to also dig deep to fulfil our
potential and excel thereafter. This is the fruitful and ongoing benefit of patience, which Hajar exemplified.
4. Taqwa (being conscious of God)
Hajar’s response to her trial is filled with taqwa. She was always mindful of Allah’s presence and never thought badly of Him; this was the foundation which allowed her to exercise optimism and patience.
Hajar demonstrated objectivity by understanding why Ibrahim had to leave her and her baby in the desert. She didn’t know how many hours or days she would be left for, but detachment, in its right place, helped to keep her focused on the more important attachment to Allah.
She recognised that the trial came from Allah and only He could bring her reprieve. This was Hajar’s example of detachment from all but Allah, even from the love and dependence she held for her husband.
Hajar’s character is truly inspiring. She exemplified obedience to Allah, even when she was being trialled and tested with unimaginable hardship. There is so much we can learn from Hajar and so many qualities that we can learn to apply to our own lives.
May Allah allow us to excel in our worship, using the example of Hajar and the prophets, and may we be in the company of the righteous in Jannah.