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September 23, 2014 | Dhul-Qa`dah 29, 1435
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IslamiCity > Articles > The House of God
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And God heard the voice of the lad; and the angel of God called to Hagar out of heaven and said to her: What aileth thee, Hagar? Fear not, for God hath heard the voice of the lad where he is .. for I will make him a great nation.
Audio The House of God

The House of God
9/8/2013 - Interfaith Religious Education - Article Ref: IC0804-3551
Number of comments: 11
Opinion Summary: Agree:7  Disagree:3  Neutral:1
By: Martin Lings
IslamiCity* -

When Hagar and Ishmael reached their destination Abraham had still seventy-five years to live, and he visited his son in the holy place to which Hagar had been guided. The Koran tells us that God showed him the exact site, near to the well of Zamzam, upon which he and Ishmael must build a sanctuary;8 and they were told how it must be built. Its name, Ka'bah, cube, is in virtue of its shape which is approximately cubic; its four corners are towards the four points of the compass. But the most holy object in that holy place is a celestial stone which, it is said, was brought by an Angel to Abraham from the nearby hill Abu Qubays, where it had been preserved ever since it had reached the earth. "It descended from Paradise whiter than milk, but the sins of the sons of Adam made it black." 9 This black stone they built into the eastern corner of the Ka'bah; and when the sanctuary was completed, God spoke again to Abraham and bade him institute the rite of the Pilgrimage to Becca-or Mecca, as it later came to be called: Purify My House for those -who go the rounds of it and who stand beside it and bow and make prostration. And proclaim unto men the pilgrimage, that they may come unto thee on root and on every lean camel out of every deep ravine.10 Quran 22: 26-27

Now Hagar had told Abraham of her search for help, and he made it part of the rite of the Pilgrimage that the pilgrims should pass seven times between Safa and Marwah, for so the two eminences between which she had passed had come to be named.

And later Abraham prayed, perhaps in Canaan, looking around him at the rich pastures and fields of corn and wheat: Verily I have settled a line of mine offspring in a tilthless valley at Thy Holy House...Therefore incline unto them men's hearts, and sustain them with fruits that they may be thankful. 11  Quran 14: 37

(Martin Lings was born in Lancashire in 1909. After a classical education he read English at Oxford where he was a pupil and later a close friend of C. S. Lewis. In 1935 he went to Lithuania where he lectured on Anglo-Saxon and Middle English and subsequently he went to Egypt and and lectured mainly on Shakespeare at Cairo University. In 1952 he returned to England and took a degree in Arabic and in 1955 he joined the staff of the British Museum where from 1970-73 he was Keeper of Oriental Manuscripts. For the following year he held the same post in the newly founded British Library. In addition to writing many books he is also the author of the chapter 'Mystical Poetry' in Abbasid Belles-Lettres, which is Volume 2 of The Cambridge History of Arabic Literature, and the chapter on 'The Nature and Origin of Sufism' in Vol.19 of World Spirituality, as well as articles for Studies in Comparative Religion, Sophia, The New Encyclopedia of Islam and the Encyclopedia Britannica.)

This article was the first chapter from Martin Lings Muhammad His Life Based on the Earliest Sources Revised Edition available for purchase below. 

FOOTNOTES 

1.Genesis 15:5 

2.Genesis 16:10-11

3.Genesis 17:20-21.

4.According to the traditions of the Arabs, accepted by most Muslims, Ishmael was still a babe in arms when Hagar brought him to the valley of Baca. 

5.Genesis 21:17-20

6.Genesis 21:20

7 Psalm 84:5-6

8 Quran 22:26

9. Saying of the Prophet Muhammad by at-Tirmidhi 7,49

10.Quran 22:26-27

11.Quran 14:37 

Martin Lings New Revised Edition, 'Muhammad: His life based on the earliest sources' is one of the most widely read biography of the Prophet of Islam. It has provided inspiration to the lives of many.

With an unusual gift for narrative, Dr. Lings has adopted a style that reflects both the simplicity and the grandeur of the story he tells.

You can buy this book at the IslamiCity Bazaar.

 

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