Imagine being deserted in a place with little food, drink and facilities. Imagine being left with a baby and therefore having to think of his welfare before yours. But, more shockingly, imagine being in this situation because your husband had left you there with no bad intention, yet no specific reasoning for his actions. How would you deal with this situation?
Well, Hajar (ra) was left in this position and her legendary actions when dealing with this, still lives with us through performing Hajj and ‘umrah today. We can surely learn from Hajar’s exemplary character. Her thoughts and actions are great examples of how one can strive through a trial whilst having good thoughts about Allah (swt) at the same time.
So many questions go through our minds when facing difficulties - why me, what did I do etc.? Allah (swt) sends us trials and calamities so that we learn, grow, remain steadfast and become closer to Him. Hajar’s actions are a testament of this.
Below, we’ve gathered five praiseworthy characteristics of Hajar that were instilled throughout her trial.
Initially, after much questioning to Ibrahim (as) regarding his decision to leave her, Hajar realised that this was an order from Allah (swt). There are two inspiring aspects to Hajar (ra)’s reaction to this situation. Firstly, Hajar (ra) thought good of her husband. She knew that there must be something that sparked this idea and that it had to be from Allah (swt).
Secondly, Hajar responded with, “Then He will not neglect us.” [Al Bukhari], indicating that Allah (swt) will take care of her and her baby despite being in a deprived condition. She thought good in Allah, did not question His orders, and did not chase after Ibrahim (as) out of anger or fear. Hajar remained optimistic through thinking good in Allah (swt).
Hajar put her trust and reliance in Allah (swt). The little food and drink that she had with her, had ran out, which led to her baby crying excessively out of great hunger and thirst. However, Hajar did not despair. Instead, she relied on Allah (swt) to give her a way out of the trial.This is the hope and trust a selfless mother had for herself and her baby.
What’s more admirable about Hajar, is that she understood the full concept of having reliance in Allah. In other words, Hajar did her part to achieve some good before leaving it to Allah. Searching for some help by persistently walking up to mountains did not give Hajar any relief. Nevertheless, she continued her actions consistently until help had arrived. In fact, what Hajar carried out as a matter of her proactivity is practised today as one of the rituals of Hajj – Safa and Marwa. This is the loft status Hajar’s actions has achieved today, such that it is linked to one of the pillars of Islam - Hajj.
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 several times looking for water, not once did Hajar give up. Overcoming her struggles displayed her resilience, strength and faith in Allah. This shows the beautiful essence of a trial from Allah (swt) – we learn more about ourselves than what we had ever known. Allah (swt) sends us these trials to not only strengthen the connection with Him and gain rewards through our struggle, but to also dig deep to acknowledge our own potential and excel thereafter. This is the fruitful and ongoing benefit of patience, and Hajar demonstrates this very well.
Hajar’s responses to her trial is enveloped with taqwa. Every part of Hajar’s struggle shows how alert she was of the presence of Allah (swt). In fact, when departing from Ibrahim (as), her last words mentioned Allah (swt) in a good light. Not once did Hajar think badly of Allah. She was vigilant towards the Pleasure and Mercy of Allah, and this worked as a foundation, keeping her strong and optimistic throughout her trial.
Hajar’s quality of detachment was best shown when she understood why Ibrahim (as) had to leave her and her baby alone. Ibrahim (as) being both her husband and the breadwinner amongst them, could have made Hajar easily full of despair as to how she will provide for herself and her baby. She was also unaware of how many hours or perhaps days, she will be abandoned for, which could have made her feel to not let go of Ibrahim (as).
However, Hajar was alert that emotional attachment to her husband will not do her any good, and that the real attachment should be to the all-Wise, Allah (swt). She was aware that the trial came from Allah and only He will bring her out of it. This was Hajar’s example of detachment to others.
Overall, Hajar’s character is truly inspiring. Her test was great, yet her actions exhibit that she was a true woman of faith. There is so much we can learn from Hajar and subsequently apply her characteristics to our own lives.
May Allah (swt) grant us the wisdom He instilled in Hajar (ra) and place us upon the path that brings us closer to Him.