The Orchards of Love – Part Forty – Three

Khaleelullah – The Special Friend of Allah Ta‘ala

Allah Ta‘ala blessed Nabi Ebrahim (‘alaihis salaam) with a very high and esteemed position from the entire galaxy of the Ambiyaa (‘alaihimus salaam). In many places of the Qur’aan Majeed, Allah Ta‘ala praises Nabi Ebrahim (‘alaihis salaam) for his unflinching faithfulness and unquestioning submission.

In the Qur’aan Majeed, Allah Ta‘ala mentions, “Indeed, Nabi Ebrahim (‘alaihis salaam) was a comprehensive leader (who possessed all praiseworthy qualities), devoutly obedient to Allah Ta‘ala, completely inclining towards the truth (without any deviation), and he was not among the mushriks. (He was) grateful for His favors (i.e. the favours of Allah Ta‘ala). Allah divinely selected him and guided him to a straight path. We bestowed good upon him in this world, and indeed, in the Hereafter, he will be among the righteous.” (Surah Nahl v. 120-122)

From all the Ambiyaa (‘alaihimus salaam), Nabi Ebrahim (‘alaihis salaam) was honoured with the title “Khaleelullah” – the special friend of Allah Ta‘ala. In regard to how Nabi Ebrahim (‘alaihis salaam) received this title of honour, Allaamah Ibnu Katheer (rahimahullah) reports the following incident:

It was the blessed habit of Nabi Ebrahim (‘alaihis salaam) that he would always try to bring people home as his guests to share his meals with him. On one occasion, Nabi Ebrahim (‘alaihis salaam) went out, looking for someone to bring home as his guest. However, he was unable to find anyone to share his meal with him, and thus returned home.

On arriving at his home, he found that a man had entered, in his absence, and was standing inside. Nabi Ebrahim (‘alaihis salaam) asked him, “O servant of Allah! Why have you entered my home without permission?” The man replied, “I was granted permission to enter by the One who is the true owner of your home (i.e. I was given permission by Allah Ta‘ala).”

Hearing this, Nabi Ebrahim (‘alaihis salaam) asked the man, “Who are you?” He responded, “I am the Angel of Death. My Rabb has sent me to one of his servants to give him the glad tidings that Allah Ta‘ala has chosen him to be His ‘Khaleel’ (special friend).”

Nabi Ebrahim (‘alaihis salaam) asked, “Who is this special person? By Allah, if you inform me of his identity, I will ensure that I go to him – even if he lives in the most distant of lands. I will then remain with him until death separates us.”

The Angel of Death then said, “You are that special servant.” Nabi Ebrahim (‘alaihis salaam) was overcome by joy and asked, “Am I really that special person?” When the Angel confirmed that he was, Nabi Ebrahim (‘alaihis salaam) enquired, “Why did Allah Ta‘ala make me His Khaleel?” The Angel answered, “The reason is that you always give others, and you never ask them for anything.” (Tafseer Ibni Katheer 2/375)

When we study this incident, then we find that the aspect in the life of Nabi Ebrahim (‘alaihis salaam), which was beloved to Allah Ta‘ala, is that he had a heart of compassion and sympathy. He always wished to share with others and assist them without expecting anything in return. In fact, this quality of selflessly sharing with others and assisting them was a salient quality of all the Ambiyaa (‘alaihimus salaam).

From all the Ambiyaa (‘alaihimus salaam), Allah Ta‘ala had blessed Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) with the greatest generosity and love for humanity. On the occasion of eid, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) had encouraged us that we should share our meat with those who are less fortunate. Hazrat Aaishah (radhiyallahu ‘anha) mentioned that during the time of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), there were people who were poor and could not afford to carry out qurbaani. Hence, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) encouraged the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) who were carrying out qurbaani to share their meat with those who were poor.

In fact, it is mentioned in the narration of Tirmizi that Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) himself had distributed many qurbaani animals to those who were poor so that they could also carry out qurbaani. This was the extent of the compassion and kindness of the greatest of all mankind, the leader of all the Ambiyaa (‘alaihimus salaam) – Hazrat Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam).

Insha Allah, if we imbibe this spirit of generosity, and share our meat with others, then Allah Ta‘ala will be pleased with us and bless us with acceptance.

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