History of Islam

Fihr - the first Quraysh
© Suhel Farooq Khan

Fihr was a direct descendant of Isma'il A (Ishmael).
was also known as Quraysh.
The Quraysh tribe was named after him. The Messenger of Allah, Muhammad S was also from the Quraysh tribe and Fihr (Quraysh) was his ancestor.

Ibrahim A (Abraham) was a Rasul (Messenger) of Allah (God). Rusul (Messengers) of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, the three major religions of the world, were descendents of Ibrahim A (Abraham).

Ibrahim A (Abraham) and his wife Sarah did not have any child after many years of their marriage. Sarah asked Ibrahim A (Abraham) to marry Hajar (Hagar), to get an heir. Soon after their marriage, Hajar (Hagar) gave birth to a son Isma'il A (Ishmael).

Sarah still did not have any child of her own. She began to feel uncomfortable in living with Hajar (Hagar) and her son Isma'il A (Ishmael).

One day Sarah told Ibrahim A (Abraham) that she did not want to live with Hajar (Hagar) and her son Isma'il A (Ishmael), any more.
(God) commanded
Ibrahim A (Abraham) to take Hajar (Hagar) and Isma'il A (Ishmael) to a far away place.
After a long journey, they arrived at the valley of Makkah in Arabia. That was a very hostile place and the valley was completely barren. The valley of Makkah was on the route of caravans that traveled between Sham (Syria) and Yaman (Yemen), but did not stop there because there was no water or vegetation in that area. No one lived there because the area was inhabitable.

Ibrahim A (Abraham) told Hajar (Hagar) that he is leaving them in the valley of Makkah to fulfill the wish of Allah (God). He prayed for the safety of Hajar (Hagar) and Isma'il A (Ishmael) before returning. Ibrahim A (Abraham) returned to Sarah after leaving some food and water for Hajar (Hagar) and Isma'il A (Ishmael).

The supply of water exhausted some time after Ibrahim A (Abraham) went back. When infant Isma'il A (Ishmael) got very thirsty, his mother Hajar (Hagar) went in search of water. She put Isma'il A (Ishmael) on ground and ran atop a hillock to locate water. When she could not see any source of water from there, she ran down and climbed another nearby hillock. She ran between these two hills several times but could not locate any source of water within the visible distance. In desperation, Hajar (Hagar) prayed to Allah (God) for help. Allah (God) sent Jibril A (Gabriel), a Malak (Angel) to help them, and made the spring of Zamzam to appear there.

Hajar (Hagar) and Isma'il A (Ishmael) settled near the Zamzam well, in the valley of Makkah and served caravans which passed through that area. The valley of Makkah became a popular stop for the caravans because of water. With time, nomadic tribes, which usually roamed in search of water, settled down near Zamzam. Jurham tribe was one of the first tribes that settled there. This was the beginning of the city of Makkah.
(Hagar) and Isma'il A (Ishmael) were the first inhabitants of the city of Makkah. 

Muslims commemorate the Sa’i (Attempt) of Hajar (Hagar) in finding water for her son Ismail A (Ishmael) as one of the key rituals of Hajj (Pilgrimage to the Ka’bah) and ‘Umrah (Lesser Pilgrimage to the Ka’bah); by running between the hills of Safa and Marwah seven times.

Back in Misr (Egypt), Sarah gave birth to Ishaq A (Isaac) when she was quite old.

Although Ibrahim A (Abraham) had another son Ishaq A (Isaac); he was always worried about Hajar (Hagar) and Isma'il A (Ishmael) and always prayed to Allah (God) for their safety and well being. Finally, he decided to visit his family; he had left in the valley of Makkah many years ago. He thanked Allah (God) when he found Hajar (Hagar) and Isma'il A (Ishmael) living there happily.
After his first trip to his family in a long time, Ibrahim A (Abraham) continued to visit them in Makkah.

During several such trips to Makkah, Ibrahim A (Abraham) constructed the Ka'bah with the help of his elder son Isma'il A (Ishmael).

After his visits to Makkah, Ibrahim A
(Abraham) used to return to his first wife Sarah and his younger son Ishaq A (Isaac). He came to settle down at Makkah with Hajar (Hagar) and Isma'il A (Ishmael), after Sarah died. His younger son Ishaq A (Isaac) had grown up by then.

Ibrahim A (Abraham) institued the tradition of Hajj (Pilgrimage to the Ka'bah). After his death, Isma'il A (Ishmael) began the custodian of the Ka'bah.

After the death of Isma'il A (Ishmael), his eldest son Nabat became the caretaker of the Ka'bah. His maternal grandfather Mudad bin 'Amr tookover this responsibility after him. Mudad bin 'Amr was the chief of Jurham tribe at that time.

The Jurhams remained the caretakers of the Ka'bah for several centuries. Many generations later, when 'Amr bin Harith, was the chief of Jurham tribe, his tribe became disloyal towards the Ka'bah. The Jurhams began to misuse the offerings to the Ka'bah and did not take proper care of its pilgrims who used to bring valuable gifts. Other tribes did not like it. People of Khuza'ah tribe along with some other tribes waged a war against them drove the Jurham tribe, out of Makkah.

Before leaving Makkah, the chief of the Jurham tribe, 'Amr bin Harith buried a treasure in the well of Zamzam and clogged it. People of Khuza'ah tribe took over the guardianship of the Ka'bah.

Almost fifty (50) generations after Isma'il A (Ishmael), one of his descendants Fihr was born.

Fihr became one of the most famous and important chiefs of Arabia. He was also known as Quraysh, which means one who collects or one who searches.
Fihr (Quraysh) had collected a lot of wealth. He also used to search for the needy people and help them. His descendants formed the Quraysh tribe. The Quraysh tribe became one of the most prominent and powerful tribes of Arabia. People of the Quraysh tribe mostly lived in and around the city of Makkah.

One of the descendents of Fihr was Qusayy bin Kilab. He was raised in Sham (Syria) by his stepfather in his childhood. In Sham (Syria), he found out that he was a descendent of Isma'il A (Ishmael).
Isma'il A (Ishmael) had helped his father Ibrahim A (Abraham) during construction of the Ka'bah. Qusayy bin Kilab decided to return to Makkah. There he married Hubba, the daughter of Hulayl bin Hubshiyyah, the chief of Khuza'ah tribe who was also guardian of the Ka'bah. Qusayy bin Kilab worked very hard to serve the pilgrims of the Ka'bah.

After the death of his father in-law, Qusayy bin Kilab became the chief of Makkah as well as the caretaker of the Ka'bah.
bin Kilab was the first Quraysh caretaker of Ka'bah.
'Abdul Muttalib, the great-grandson of Qusayy bin Kilab a descendant of Fihr, dug out the long lost Zamzam well that had remained buried for almost four hundred (400) years.

The Messenger pf Allah, Muhammad S was a descendent of Fihr, and was a grandson of 'Abdul Muttalib.

The first four Khulafa" (Caliphs) of Muslims were from the Quraysh tribe.

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