Prophet Ismail (AS) was a prophet of Allah and the first son of the Prophet Ibrahim (AS). He was also the father of many progeny who spread the message of monotheism throughout the Arabian peninsula.
The story of Ismail’s (AS) birth began with Prophet Ibrahim (AS) and his first wife Sarah. After a long marriage with Sarah during which they were unable to have children, Sarah suggested that her husband marry her housemaid, Hagar and have a child with her. From this union, Prophet Ibrahim (AS) and Hagar had a son whom they named Ismail (AS).
Some time after the birth of Ismail (AS), Allah instructed Ibrahim (AS) to bake Hagar and Ismail (AS) and travel the earth until they got to a certain place. This place was completely barren, it had nothing on it, it was just soil and it was a very hot. This was the valley of Makkah. When Ibrahim (AS) arrived in this place with Hagar is Ismail (AS) he was instructed by Allah to leave Hagar and Ismail (AS), and go. Ibrahim (AS) followed the command of Allah and started walking away.
At the beginning Ismail (AS) was breast-fed, but this eventually ran out. So Hagar, decided to start looking for some food. She went up a nearby mountain and began searching, but there was no sign of anything. So, se came down the mountain and began making Dua to Allah. She climbed another nearby mountain and again began making Due to Allah. After a while, she heard a sound, and she bagged looking around until she found a spring of water gushing from nowhere. SubhanAllah, she looked at it and thanked Allah. She sat down and began collecting the water. With her hands, she created a basin like structure around the water. She began saying in her language: “Zam Zam Zam Zam”, this means “Stop Stop Stop Stop”, because she wanted to take and drink the water. Today this water is known as ZamZam water and it is from the same well.
Due to this being the only source of water nearby, bird came down and began drinking from the it. At the time, caravans used to pass through the desert and would often look for birds. They would look, not to hunt them, but because this meant there it water nearby.
So the clan of Jurham was passing by when they ﷺ the birds in the middle of nowhere. They investigated and soon found the Hagar and Ismail (AS) drinking out of the spring. They recognized this was clearly a miracle and asked Hagar is they could life there. She asked why and they told her that water in the middle of this particular desert doest happen, specically gushing from underground.
Hagar agreed on the condition that the water was their property and not the caravan's. Meaning they caravan drink from it, but its their property not the caravan’s. The caravan agreed and they were very happy. They loved Ismail (AS) as he grew up among them. They taught Ismail (AS) arabic and good manners. As he grew up, Ibrahim (AS) would come and go out of Makkah.
One of the times Ibrahim (AS) was lying down he had a dream. His dream showed Ibrahim (AS) slaughtering how own son Ismail (AS). Now Ibrahim (AS) is in a great test, having to slaughter his only son. Ibrahim (AS) was a pious man and knew he had to follow the command of Allah. So he related his dream to his son the day after, asking he what he should do. Ishmail (AS) told his father, “O my father, Do as you are commanded. You will find me, If Allah wills, of the steadfast”. Ibrahim (AS) took his son and looked for a place to slaughter his son, away from his mother. At that moment, Iblis (Shaytan) came and began trying to turn Ibrahim away from what he saw. He told Ibrahim (AS), “O Ibrahim! You’re gonna go and slaughter you son? You just ﷺ a dream, maybe it was just a dream, a foolish dream.”. Ibrahim (AS) responded my throwing stones at him. Shaytan then went to Ismail (AS) and tried turning him away, but Ismail (AS) also there stones at him. Then he came to both of them at the same time, and again he was cast with stones by both.
They then arrive at a big rock. One suitable to lay Ismail (AS) on. Ismail (AS) then looks at his father and tells him to lay him with his face towards to ground, so he may not get sympathy and walk away from the command of Allah.
Ibrahim (AS) takes his sharpened knife and puts it on the neck of Ismail (AS), but every time he tries to slaughter him, the knife would turn to the other way. This shows that nothing can happen without the will of Allah, not even the cutting of a knife. Allah called to him, “O Ibrahim, You have fulfilled the vision!” and replaced send a ram from paradise to be slaughtered and sacrificed instead of Ismail (AS).
A few days pass and Allah gives Ibrahim (AS) another command. To build a house as a symbol of the oneness of Allah. Ibrahim (AS) went to Ismail (AS) and told him that Allah has given him another order. Ismail (AS) asked his father what this order was. So, Ibrahim (AS) told Ismail (AS), and asked him to help him; Ismail (AS) agreed. Similar to when Nuh (AS) built the Ark, Allah helped Ibrahim (AS) and Ismail (AS) build this structure, as each brick fit into place like a jigsaw puzzle. When this structure was built, there was an uneven corner, and Ibrahim (AS) thought to himself that he wanted to put a rock in the corner that would fit flush and perfectly. So he told Ismail (AS) to help him look for a rock and they began searching.
Later on, Ismail (AS) came back with a beautiful rock. Ibrahim (AS) asked him what this was and Ismail (AS) told him this rock has been sent from Jannah. This rock is what we call today Al-Hajar-Al Aswad. This rock was originally white, by it became back from the sins of people. This structure is what we now know as the Kaaba, and is a vital part of the yearly pilgrimage, Hajj.
Fun Fact: The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ is a descendant of Ismail (AS).
Ismail (AS) was known for his patience, goodness, honesty, righteousness, and for keeping his promises. Ismail (AS) lived his entire life in Makkah and was buried next to his mother, Hagar.