Bismillahir rahmannir raheem
Ismail (as) married a woman from the tribe of Jurhum, the tribe that he lived amongst with his mother Hajar (as) in the Makkan desert. His father came to see him occasionally but on this particular occasion Ismail (as) was not home. Instead, Ibrahim (as) spoke to his wife.
Ibrahim (as) asked her about the quality of her life with his son and she proceeded to complain about minor issues. At this point, Ibrahim (as) had not revealed his identity to Ismail’s (as) wife. Upon leaving, Ibrahim (as) gave her a message for Ismail (as) on his return. He said “When your husband returns, convey my salutations to him and tell him to change the threshold of the gate of his house.”
Time to pause and reflect. There is an important lesson here for all sisters, those who are already married mashaAllah, and those yet to get married inshaAllah. You should not expose the events of your household to people outside of it. This includes in-laws, friends and other family members. Islamically, you can seek the guidance of a 3rd party, but not someone to vindicate your opinion.
Once the Prophet (saw) disagreed with Aisha (ra). As a third party intercessor he (saw) asked Aisha (ra) who she would like to settle the dispute. She chose her father Abu Bakr (ra) because she thought he would vindicate her and take her side. Little did she know, Abu Bakr (ra) took the side of the Messenger (ra). His chastisement of her was so harsh, the Prophet (saw) had to intercede on her behalf, subhanAllah.
Ismail (as) returned home and found something was amiss. His wife confirmed that an old man had come looking for him and she mentioned the advice he had given to her. Understanding the message his father had left him concerning his disapproval of his wife, Ismail (as) divorced her.
The tribe of Jurhum loved Ismail (as) so much, they married another one of their women to him, alhamdulillah. Ibrahim (as) once again returned and did not find Ismail (as) at home. He asked his new wife the same types of questions he asked the previous wife. She replied that she was very thankful of her way of life even with the hardships they faced. Again, Ibrahim (as) told her to convey his salaams to Ismail (as) and that he should keep the doorstep of his house.
When Ismail (as) returned home, his wife told him about the old man that had come to visit and the message he had passed on. Ismail (as) told her that the man that visited was indeed his father, and that he had ordered him to keep her as his wife.
I know, from a personal perspective, how much as a daughter-in-law you seek the approval of your in-laws. Just as you respect your own parents, and you expect your husband to respect them also, you should respect his inshaAllah.
Now, the question on most people’s minds when hearing this story is: “If a father asked his son or daughter to divorce their spouse now, should they?”
According to Sheikh Daood Butt who taught the course, mashaAllah, may Allah swt reward and preserve him, as long as our parents are advising us towards the shari’ah, we should try to implement it. This is one of their rights upon us. However, in this case it was just advice. Our fathers are not prophets and we are not the sons and daughters of prophets. You should analyse the situation before making a decision, and Allah swt knows best.
The next prophet we’ll be looking at is Yusuf (as), the son of Yaqoob (as) inshaAllah.