Fatherhood: The Beautiful Legacy of Ibrahim and Ismael

One of the things I’ve been reflecting on about the legacy of Ibrahim (عليه السلام) these days is his relationship with his son, specifically how they worked together raising the Kaaba. How rare it has become in this day and age for father and son to work together! But this is one of the most beautiful aspects of life!

Men by and large are goal oriented and they love to build. And few things can bring men together like a shared goal in building something, especially physically building it. And if what is being built is for the sake of Allah, then that’s superlative. This is what Ibrahim and his son experienced as described in the Quran 2:127:

“And [mention] when Ibrahim was raising the foundations of the House and [with him] Ismael, [saying], “Our Lord, accept [this] from us. Indeed You are the Hearing, the Knowing. Our Lord, and make us two Muslims [in submission] to You and from our descendants a Muslim nation [in submission] to You. And show us our rites and accept our repentance. Indeed, You are the Accepting of repentance, the Merciful.”

If you’re a father of sons, what are you building with them? What are you planning to build with them? Are you working toward cultivating that kind of relationship (which is no easy task)?

And for the sons out there: Are you being a good son? Are you humbling yourself, silencing your ego so that you can help your dad and work with him on something greater, whether for dunya or akhira? And for mothers and sisters: Are you encouraging and facilitating your sons, husbands, fathers, and brothers to have this kind of father-son relationship for the sake of Allah? Or are you hindering it?

We cannot let this individualistic, atomized culture of the modern world deprive us of the blessing of such a connection, a connection between father and son that has so much potential for baraka.

And reflect on the dua of Ibrahim and Ismael cited in the verse. It is no coincidence that the future of the Muslim umma is mentioned in the ayat concerned with the bonds between father and son.

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I was just watching a video by Br. Subboor Ahmed and Br. Jordan M on the psychology of Atheism. Jordan has read quite a number of biographies on famous atheist evangelicals/philosophers (Friedrich Nietzsche, Arthur Schopenhauer, Stalin, Dawkins) and one of the similarities amongst all of these men is the lack of a proper father figure. Some of them lost their fathers at a really young age, while others had fathers who abused them. I have personally known quite a number of people who are firm in their disbelieve and are vocal about it, who come from unstable/broken families

It would be interesting to explore this in more detail, perhaps you could write an article on this issue and offer more insight (from an Islamic and an academic perspective) as to how the breaking down of the family affects one’s mental health and ultimately lead one to ignore the very core part of our Fitrah that wants us to connect with Allah SWT.