Ibrahim ibn Muhammad

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Ibrahim ibn Muhammad (Arabic: 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, equivalent of ca 630 AD.[3] His mother was a Coptic Egyptian slave who converted to Islam; sent as a gift from Muqawqis, a Byzantine official, to Muhammad in 628. The child was named after Abraham, the common ancestor of the Arabs and Jews. 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:

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]

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), [5][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, 18 or 21 months. 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). However, according to modern astronomical calculations this eclipse was not visible from Mecca or Medina.[7] Tabari says Ibrahim died at the age of 21 months. If Ibrahim was born in the last month of 8 AH, he would be 21 months in Shawwal 10 AH (January 632). So Ibrahim died on the 29th of Shawwal 10 AH, equivalent with Monday, 27 January 632, the day of the solar eclipse which had 76% obscuration in Medina.[8]

Siblings[edit]

Main article: Children of Muhammad

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

References[edit]