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  • Rıdvan Demir



1. You should be look through Islamic perspective to the topic.

2. What does “Hagar” means etymologically?

3. Give information about what is source of Hagar in Islam?

4. Who is she?

5. Give information about Hagar & Ishmael relationship.

6. Give information about Hagar & Sarah relationship.

7. As a single mother, who is she?

8. Why Hagar is important for Muslims?

9. Who Hagar is in Islam and in which points and why important for Muslims?

A. Hagar who was wife of Prophet Abraham as a grandfather of Prophet Muhammad and importance of Ishmael in this point.

B. Hagar & pilgrimage as an Islamic worship relationship.

10. You should be talk about significant of Hagar as a figure in Islam and the part of group study and why did you want to look with Islamic perspective to this topic?


As a study group, we decided that I will present an Islamic perspective of “Hagar”. In this way, we will look at our topic through different religious traditions, particularly Islam and Judaism as a group. My paper explores questions such as: What does “Hagar” means etymologically? What are the sources of Hagar in Islam? Who was she? What was the relationship between Hagar and Ishmael and Sarah (Sarai)? Was she a single mother? In what ways is she important to Muslims as a wife of the Prophet (Ibraahiim) Abraham, grandfather of the Prophet Muhammad through her son Ishmael? How does Hagar relate to pilgrimage worship in Islam? Finally, where is from originated significance of Hagar for Muslims in Islam. Besides, It should be reminded that it will be used ‘Haajer’ which is Arabic form of it for all the word ‘Hagar’.

Haajer, which is Hagar in Hebrew, means “to escape, flight, and run away.” The word Haajer is ‘Agar’ in Greek, and both ‘Acer’ and ‘Haajer’ in Arabic. The word is not in the Qur’an. All Bukhari copies accepted as the best Hadiths, which means tradition of the Prophet Muhammad collected during early Islamic term, record Acer, but the word became famous as Haajer in the Islamic world. Probably, the source of the word is not Arabic.[1]

Etymologically, the word may have originated from ‘hejr’ that means “to leave, abandon, hegira, emigrate, run away, or attribute a partner to Allah (polytheism).” Alternatively, the word may concern ‘hejer’, the name of a population center in old south Arabia. Either way, Islam knows Haajer as the second wife of the Prophet Abraham and the mother of the Prophet Ishmael.[2] In general Islamic sources, Haajer is the daughter of an Egyptian or Coptic king. While some sources reported that her father was from the people of Memphis, other sources report that Haajer was one of the slave girls of Pharaoh, who was governing when the Prophet Abraham left Egypt with his wife, Sarah. There are also several reports about where she is from originally.[3]

Abu Hurayrah, a very famous and close friend of Prophet Muhammad, reported in Hadith that the Prophet Muhammad talked briefly about Sarah and Haajer as follows. Prophet Abraham and Sarah his wife came to the city of a tyrannical king who coveted her, but Allah watched over and saved Sarah so the king returned his wife Sarah along with Haajer.[4] On the other side, when the Prophet Muhammad was told the good news of the conquest of Egypt while he alive, he said ‘when you will conquer Egypt, you have to behave well to its people, because there is a covenant towards them and relationship of them with us.’[5]

In Islam, between Haajer and Sarah there is a relationship like that in Judeo-Christian tradition. The Prophet Abraham was married to Sarah, who could not have a baby for a long time. Therefore, occasionally, Abraham who is accepted as one of five great prophets in Islam, prayed, and the Qur’an report this pray as: “O my Lord! Grant me a righteous (son)! So, we gave him the good news of a boy ready to suffer and forbear”.[6]

So Allah accepted his pray. Sarah was so sad for her husband who longed for a child that she presented as a second wife for her husband the Haajer, who had been brought from Egypt as a female slave. Ishmael (and also Ishaaq/Isaac), who is accepted as a prophet in Islam, was born from this marriage, but after that Sarah was jealous of Haajer and wanted her Abraham to send away his second wife and her son from their home. The Prophet Abraham hesitated but after a message from Allah which was an inspiration to take away Haajer and Ishmael, he brought them to the valley of Macca which had the Ka’ba (house of Allah). Mecca of that time was really silent and arid, and Haajer and Ishmael were placed there by the Prophet Abraham who was asked by Haajer: ‘will you leave us where never are a crop or harvest and nobody lives?’ And Prophet Abraham responded: ‘This is an order from Allah, and I need to behave like this.’ However, Prophet Abraham was upset. It was difficult for him to leave his son and wife where they would likely die. So he prayed (as the Qur’an reports): “O our Lord! I have made some of my off spring to dwell in a valley without cultivation, by Thy Sacred House; in order, O our Lord, that they may establish regular Prayer: so fill the hearts of some among men with love towards them, and feed them with fruits: so that they may give thanks.” [7]

In this valley of Mecca, Haajer worried what would happen when the little water and provisions Abraham left ran out. She worried her son could die of thirst and starvation. Haajer shuttled among the hills of the Safa and Marva seven times. At that time, she saw a spurt of water from the Zamzam and thanked Allah who graced them in this valley. Today, Muslims who are in Mecca for pilgrimage worship shuttle as a binding (not obligation) between the hills of the Safa and Marva seven times as a reminiscence of Haajer, whose importance originated from being the mother of Ishmael, an ancestor of the Prophet Muhammad. The Prophet Muhammad said briefly about this: Allah may be merciful to the mother of Ishmael. If she did not block the front of the water, the Zamzam would be a river that is went by and elapsed.[8]

When Ishmael had grown up, Allah ordered his father Abraham to slaughter his son, Ishmael, as a sacrifice. This event is included in the Qur’an,[9] but the Qur’an does not give detail of who is he. The Prophet Muhammad said it was Ishmael[10] whom his father was to slaughter when Abraham was tested by Allah. However there are some reports from prophet Muhammad who had informed that was Isaac,[11] but general understanding has been accepted as Ishmael in Islam, because according to many verses’ interpretation and many Hadiths have implied to the Ishmael. In Islam, the son of Abraham who has been sacrificed is not very clear. When Abraham wanted to obey the order of Allah (and also his son has obeyed Him according to Qur’an), Satan wanted to entice and seduce Haajer whose son was to be slaughtered, but she was patient with Allah’s order and put herself in Allah’s hand’s, submitting like Abraham and their son Ishmael (probably).

Haajer had lived together with people from the vicinity of Mecca, so was established. She died at ninety years old and was buried in the Hicr. It is very clear that the significance of Haajer originated from two things. First, Haajer is the mother of the Prophet Ishmael who was the ancestor of the Prophet Muhammad. Second, Haajer discovered the well of the zamzam (and also the hills of the Safa and Marva which are in Mecca, and is thus an important figure in Muslim pilgrimages still today. Besides, it should not forgotten that Prophet Abraham and his son Ishmael, who Haajer’s son reestablished the Ka’ba[12] which is the most important place and mosque for Muslim world and also ‘the largest temple’ on our planet with a three-million-person capacity. We Muslims call it Baytullah, which means “The House of Allah.” God bless all of them who are Abraham, Ishmael, Haajer/Hagar, Isaac, and Sarah (Peace be upon them).


THE QUR’ANIC REFERANCES: (Abdullah Yusuf Ali, translation of the Holy Qur’an, (Originally Arabic, but it can found as English today). It is like known that the Qur’an is the first source of Islam.

al-Baqarah, 2/127.

al-Ibrahim, 14/37.

as-Saffaat, 37/100-111.

THE COLLECTION OF THE HADITS: (Originally Arabic, but it can found as English today). The collection of Hadiths is known “Kutub-u Sitte” which means “the six Hadiths collection” that is one of them is Sahih-i Bukhari is known the best and the most famous that from early Islamic term or is known “Kutub-u Tis’a” which means the “night Hadiths collection” that is one of these are Musned and also Haakim. All these Hadiths collection is known second source of Islam.

Hadith, Bukhari

Hadith, Musned.

Hadith, Haakim.

Saban Kuzgun, “Hacer”, Encyclopedia of Islam, (DIA), Istanbul 1996, XIV, p. 431-432. (Turkish Encyclopedia)

Maurice Friedberg, “Hagar”,Encyclopedia of Judaica, Jerusalem 1971 VII, p. 1075. (English Encyclopedia)

[1] Saban Kuzgun, “Hacer”, Encyclopedia of Islam, (DIA), Istanbul 1996, XIV, p. 431-432. [2] Maurice Friedberg, “Hagar”,Encyclopedia of Judaica, Jerusalem 1971 VII, p. 1075. [3] Kuzgun, p. 432. [4] Hadith, Bukhari, “Buyuu”, 100; “Hiibe”, 28, 36. [5] Hadith, Musned, V, 174; “Fazaailus’sahaabah”, 227. [6] as-Saffaat, 37/100. [7] al-Ibrahim, 14/37. [8] Hadith, Musned, I, 374, Bukhari, “Anbiya”, 9. [9] See for details to the Qur’an, as-Saffat, 37/101-111. [10] See for these Hadiths, Musned, I, 297, 306-307; Hakim, II, 604-609. [11] See for these Hadiths, Musned, I, 306-307 (the same Hadiths with that is in the footnote tenth, but different names, Ishmael and Isaac). [12] And remember Abraham and Isma'il (Ishmael) raised the foundations of the House (With this prayer): "Our Lord! Accept (this service) from us: For Thou art the All-Hearing, the All-knowing (al-Baqarah, 2/127).


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