[Surah Al-Qalam 68:4]
Abraham lived and preached amongst his people in Iraq, who used to worship stars, sun and stones. One day he broke their idols, to make them realise how useless their idols were. His people got angry and as a punishment lit a huge fire and threw Abraham in it. Allah commanded the fire to cool down and become a safe haven for Abraham. He was then instructed to migrate from Iraq. He took his wife Sarah along him. The following story is mentioned in detail in Bukhari and Muslim.
“ Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him) emigrated with Sarah and entered a village where there was a king or a tyrant. (The king) was told that Abraham (peace be upon him) had entered (the village) accompanied by a woman who was one of the most charming women. So, the king sent for Abraham and asked, ‘O Abraham! Who is this lady accompanying you?’ Abraham replied, ‘She is my sister (i.e. in religion).’
Then Abraham returned to her and said, ‘Do not contradict my statement, for I have informed them that you are my sister. By Allah, there are no true believers on this land except you and I.’ The king sent someone to take her to the king. When the king got to her, she got up and performed ablution, prayed and said, ‘O Allah! If I have believed in You and Your Apostle, and have saved my private parts from everybody except my husband, then please do not let this pagan overpower me.’
The king tried to hold her but was restrained. He fell down and started moving his legs in agony. Seeing the condition of the king, Sarah said, ‘O Allah! If he should die, the people will say that I have killed him.’ The king regained his power, and proceeded towards her but she supplicated again and said, ‘O Allah! If I have believed in You and Your Messenger and have kept my private parts safe from all except my husband, then please do not let this pagan overpower me.’ The king was restrained again and he started moving his legs in pain.
On seeing that state of the king, Sarah said, ‘O Allah! If he should die, the people will say that I have killed him.’ The king tried two or three times but failed. He eventually asked Sarah to supplicate for him so that he would be released and promised her safety. After recovering from the last restraint, he said, ‘By Allah! You have sent a satan to me. Take her to Abraham and give her Hajar.’ So she came back to Abraham (peace be upon him) and said, ‘Allah humiliated the pagan and gave us a slave-girl for service.” She was Hajrah who became his second wife and the mother of Arabs.
His third wife was in Madyan, her name was Kathura. Thus, Abraham (peace be upon him) used to leave Palestine and on the way he used to drop at Madyan and be with his wife Kathura and from there he used to come to Makkah to be with Ismail. It is said that his son from Kathura was named Madyan and then an entire city (Madyan) was named after him. Prophet Shuaib, was a descendant of Madyan. Sarah bore Ishaq (peace be upon him) and from him the lineage of Jews, known as Bani Israel started. All the prophets came one after another, from the same lineage, till Jesus (peace be upon him).