Prophet Ismail (as) is the son of Prophet Ibrahim (as) and Hajar. There have been several hugely significant events in the life of Prophet Ismail (as) that affects every single Muslim in the world. The first is that of the rite of Hajj and Umrah of performing the running between Safa and Marwa. The second is the building of the Ka’aba, which both Prophet Ibrahim (as) and Prophet Ismail (as) did and the third is the Qurbani Muslims perform at Hajj time. Prophet Ibrahim (as) was Commanded by Allah to sacrifice his son Ismail (as) and you can read more about this in the book by Ibn Kathir: Stories of the Prophets.
The following are some snippets of the Stories of the Prophets as written by the renowned scholar (masha’Allah), Ibn Kathir and translated by Sheikh Muhammad Mustafa Geme’ah (Office of the Grand Imam, Sheikh Al-Azhar). I hope you will find them beneficial, insha’Allah.
IBRAHIM (AS) LEAVES HAJAR AND ISMAIL One day, Abraham woke up and asked his wife Hajar to get her son and prepare for a long journey. In a few days Abraham started out with his wife Hajar and their son Ishmael. The child was still nursing and not yet weaned. Abraham walked through cultivated land, desert, and mountains until he reached the desert of the Arabian Peninsula and came to an uncultivated valley having no fruit, no trees, no food, no water. The valley had no sign of life. After Abraham had helped his wife and child to dismount, he left them with a small amount of food and water which was hardly enough for 2 days. He turned around and walked away. He wife hurried after him asking: “Where are you going Abrahim, leaving us in this barren valley?”
Abraham did not answer her, but continued walking. She repeated what she had said, but he remained silent. Finally she understood that he was not acting on his own initiative. she realized that Allah had commanded him to do this. She asked him : “Did Allah command you to do so?” He replied: “Yes.” Then his great wife said: “We are not going to be lost, since Allah Who has commanded you is with us.”
Abraham invoked Almighty Allah thus:
“O Our Lord! I have made some of my offspring to dwell in a valley with no cultivation, by Your Sacred House (the Ka’ba at Mecca); in order, O our Lord, that they may offer prayers perfectly (Iqamat as salat) so fill some hearts among men with love towards them, and O Allah provide them with fruits so that they may give thanks. O our Lord! Certainly, You know what we conceal and what we reveal. Nothing on the earth or in the heavens is hidden from Allah.” (Qur’an 14:37-38)
ISMAIL’S WIVES The Prophet (pbuh) continued: “After Ishmael’s mother had died, Abraham came after Ishmael’s marriage in order to see his family that he had left before but he did not find Ishmael there. When he asked Ishmael’s wife about him, she replied: “He has gone in search of livelihood.” Then he asked her about their way of living and their condition, and she replied, “We are living in misery; we are living in hardship and destitution,” complaining to him.
He said: “When your husband returns, convey my salutations to him and tell him to change the threshold of the gate (of his house).”
When Ishmael came, he seemed to have felt something unusual, so he asked his wife: “Has anyone visited you?” she replied, “Yes, an old man of such and such description came and asked me about you and I informed him and he asked about our state of living and I told him that we were living in a hardship and poverty.” On that Ishmael said: “Did he advise you anything?” She said: “Yes he told me to convey his salutation to you and to tell you to change the threshold of your gate.” Ishmael said: “It was my father and he has ordered me to divorce you. Go back to your family.” So, Ishmael divorced her and married another woman from among them (Jurhum).