[Surah Al-Qalam 68:4]
The other wife of Ibrahim (peace be upon him) Sarah, was in Palestine and both of them were old. They did not have a child but Ibrahim continued to pray for a child even in his old age. He supplicated for years without giving up the hope. It is a part of good Akhlaq (character) that a person continues to hope for good till he receives it. Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said: “Allah continues to accept the supplications of a person till the person gives up supplicating thinking that his supplications are not being answered.”
Hospitality towards guests is an Islamic tradition
One day Ibrahim (peace be upon him) was sitting in his home and it is said that it was Ibrahim’s practice to show generous hospitality towards guests. It is popularly known that he never ate without a guest. The tradition of hospitality has always been an essential part of Islam. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him ) said: “Whoever believes in Allah and the last day, should speak good or remain quiet. Whoever believes in Allah and the last day, should be very generous towards guests in hospitality. Whoever believes in Allah and the last day, should be excellent (in treatment towards) his neighbours".
One day as Ibrahim was sitting in his home waiting for guests (so he could eat along them), there came some guests. The Qur’an presents it beautifully:
“Tell them the story of the guests of Ibrahim.’And Our messengers came unto Abraham with good news. They said: Peace! He answered: Peace! and delayed not to bring a roasted calf. And when he saw their hands reached not to it, he mistrusted them and conceived a fear of them. They said: Fear not! Lo! we are sent unto the folk of Lot. And his wife, standing by laughed when We gave her good tidings (of the birth) of Isaac, and, after Isaac, of Jacob. She said: Oh woe is me! Shall I bear a child when I am an old woman, and this my husband is an old man? Lo! this is a strange thing! They said: Wonderest thou at the commandment of Allah? The mercy of Allah and His blessings be upon you, O people of the house! Lo! He is Owner of Praise, Owner of Glory!”(Surah Hud verse 69-73)
The glad tidings included the news of a son, and a grandson along with their names. Is’haq his son, and Yaqub his grandson. (Peace be upon them). After the glad tidings, the angles informed him that they were proceeding towards the people of Lot (peace be upon him) with punishment. Ibrahim argued with the angels trying to save those people. He said that his nephew Lot (peace be upon him) also stayed there. The angels assured him that Lot would be saved. Later, the angels carried out the punishment ordered by Allah for their homosexuality. A volcano erupted and burning stones and lava rained upon them. The city was lifted high and thrown upside down. It was lifted so high that the angels on the first heaven could hear the cries of animals and children. Only Lot (peace be upon him) and the followers in his family were saved.
Bani Israel - The children of Prophet Yaqub (Peace be upon him)
The race of the Jews started with the offspring of Is’haq. His son Yaqub was known as Israel, and his children were called Bani Israel. ‘Israel’ means ‘Abdullah’ as a title in Hebrew language. From the sons of Yaqub (peace be upon him) there was one, Yehuda and his children were Yahudi. These children continued to enjoy the prophethood in the lineage till Isa ibn Maryam, who was the last Prophet in their lineage. The Bani Israel were in two categories: Those who believed in Isa and other prophets (known as Bani Israel) and those who did not (known as Jews). Further division took place with those who believed in Isa ibn Maryam ( Jesus) known as Nasara (Christians) and those who rejected him were continued to be known as Jews.