Ibrahim ibn Muhammad

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Ibrahim ibn Muhammad (Arabic script إبرهيم بن محمد) was the male child of the Islamic prophet Muhammad and [1][2] Maria al-Qibtiyya. He was born in the last month of the year 8 AH.[3] His mother was an Egyptian Coptic Christian slave sent as a gift from Muqawqis, a Byzantine official, to Muhammad in 628. The child was named after Abraham, the common ancestor of Muslims, Jews, and Christians. The child was placed in the care of a wet nurse called Umm Sayf, wife of Abu Sayf, the blacksmith, in the tradition of the Arabs of the time, to whom Muhammad gave some goats to complement her milk supply.[4]

Illness and death[edit]

Ibrahim fell seriously ill sometime after the Battle of Tabuk, at which time he was reported as being either sixteen or eighteen months old. He was moved to a date orchard near the residence of his mother, under the care of her and her sister Sirin. When it was clear that he would not likely survive Muhammad was informed.[4]

His reaction to the news is reported as:

He was so shocked at the news that he felt his knees could no more carry him, and asked `Abd al Rahman ibn `Awf to give him his hand to lean upon. He proceeded immediately to the orchard and arrived in time to bid farewell to an infant dying in his mother's lap. Muhammad took the child and laid him in his own lap with shaking hand. His heart was torn apart by the new tragedy, and his face mirrored his inner pain. Choking with sorrow, he said to his son, "O Ibrahim, against the judgement of God, we cannot avail you a thing," and then fell silent. Tears flowed from his eyes. The child lapsed gradually, and his mother and aunt watched and cried loudly and incessantly, but the Prophet never ordered them to stop. As Ibrahim surrendered to death, Muhammad's hope which had consoled him for a brief while completely crumbled. With tears in his eyes he talked once more to the dead child: "O Ibrahim, were the truth not certain that the last of us will join the first, we would have mourned you even more than we do now." A moment later he said: "The eyes send their tears and the heart is saddened, but we do not say anything except that which pleases our Lord. Indeed, O Ibrahim, we are bereaved by your departure from us."[4]

Burial[edit]

Grave of Ibrahim at Jannat-ul-Baqi, Medina

Muhammad is also reported as having informed Mariyah and Sirin that Ibrahim would have his own nurse in Paradise. Different accounts relate that the ghusl for Ibrahim was performed by either Umm Burdah, or al-Fadl ibn `Abbas, in preparation for burial. Thereafter, he was carried to the cemetery upon a little bier by the Prophet, his uncle al-`Abbas, and others. Here, after a funeral prayer led by Muhammad, he was interred. Muhammad then filled the grave with sand, sprinkled some water upon it, and placed a landmark on it, saying that "Tombstones do neither good nor ill, but they help appease the living. Anything that man does, God wishes him to do well."[4]

Abbas, the uncle of Muhammad has reported the following narration which is recorded by Ibn Majah.[5]

The eclipse[edit]

The death of Ibrahim also coincided with a solar eclipse (probably the annular eclipse which occurred in the early morning of 27 January 632, equivalent with the last or the penultimate day of Shawwal, 10 AH),[6] a phenomenon the Muslims began to circulate by rumor as a miracle. The word went out saying that the sun was eclipsed in sadness over the death of Ibrahim. Upon hearing this Muhammad is reported as saying "The sun and the moon are signs of God. They are eclipsed neither for the death nor birth of any man. On beholding an eclipse, therefore, remember God and turn to Him in prayer."[4]

Ibrahim died at the age of 16 or 18 months. Tabari says Ibrahim died at the age of 21 month This may have been at the time of another solar eclipse, which occurred on the afternoon of 3 August 631 (29 Rabi'Akhir 10 AH). According to calculations this eclipse was not visible from Medina.[7] (wrong, please have a look at the talk section)

Siblings[edit]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Tafsir (Exegesis) of Quran by Ibn Kathir for Chapter 66 of Quran verses 1-5
  2. ^ Zaad al-Ma’aad, 1/103
  3. ^ Ibn Kathir, quoting Ibn Saad
  4. ^ a b c d e Muhammad Husayn Haykal, Translated by Isma'il Razi A. al-Faruqi, The Life of Muhammad, American Trust Publications, 1976, ISBN 0-89259-002-5 [1]
  5. ^ Sunan Ibn Majah, Hafiz Abu `Abdallah Muhammad ibn Yazid Ibn Maja al-Rab`i al-Qazwini; Vol 1, Book of Funerals, Chapter 37: pp. 474
  6. ^ Solar Eclipses of Historical Interest
  7. ^ http://xjubier.free.fr/en/site_pages/solar_eclipses/xSE_GoogleMapFull.php?Ecl=+06310803&Acc=1&Umb=1&Lmt=1&Mag=0