54. And mention in the Book, Isma`il. Verily, he was true to what he promised, and he was a Messenger, (and) a Prophet. 55. And he would enjoin on his family and his people the Salah and the Zakah, and his Lord was pleased with him.
Here Allah has commended Isma`il, the son of Ibrahim, the Friend of Allah. He (Isma`il) is the father of all of the Arabs of the Hijaz because he was true to what he promised. Ibn Jurayj said, "He did not make any promise to his Lord, except that he fulfilled it.'' He never obligated himself to do any act of worship with a vow, except that he fulfilled it and carried it out, giving it its full due. Some said,
((he was) true to what he promised.) "This was said about him because he said to his father,
(If Allah wills you will find me of the patient.) ﴿37:102﴾ So he was truthful in that.'' Being true to one's promise is one of the praiseworthy characteristics, just as breaking one's promise is of the detested characteristics. Allah, the Exalted, says,
(O you who believe! Why do you say that which you do not do Most hateful it is with Allah that you say that which you do not do.) ﴿61:2-3﴾ The Messenger of Allah said,
(The sign of the hypocrite is three things. When he speaks, he lies; when he promises, he breaks his promise; and when he is entrusted with something, he is disloyal to his trust.) Thus, if these are the characteristics of the hypocrites, then behaving contrary to these is a characteristic of the true believer. For this reason, Allah commended His servant and Messenger Isma`il, for he was true to his promise. Likewise, the Messenger of Allah was true to his promise. He did not promise anyone anything, except that he fulfilled his promise to that person. He also commended Abu Al-`As bin Ar-Rabi`, the husband of his daughter Zaynab, by saying,
(He spoke to me and he told me the truth, and he promised me and he fulfilled his promise to me.) When the Prophet died, the Khalifah (his successor), Abu Bakr As-Siddiq said, "Whoever received any promise from the Messenger of Allah or was owed any debt by him, then let him come to me and I will fulfill it on his behalf.'' So Jabir bin `Abdullah came and related that the Messenger of Allah said,
(If the wealth of Bahrain comes (to me), then I would give you such and such and such.) This meant that he would fill his hands with wealth. Therefore, when the wealth of Bahrain came (to them), Abu Bakr commanded Jabir to come and fill his hands from that wealth. Then, he commanded him to do so again, until he collected five hundred Dirhams. Then, Abu Bakr gave him its double along with it.(i.e. one thousand extra Dirhams). Concerning Allah's statement,
(and he was a Messenger, (and) a Prophet.) In this is a proof of Isma`il's favored status over his brother, Ishaq. Ishaq was only described as being a Prophet, but Isma`il was described with both prophethood and messengership. It is confirmed in Sahih Muslim that the Messenger of Allah said,
(Verily, Allah chose Isma`il from the sons of Ibrahim...) Then, Imam Muslim mentions the rest of the Hadith in its entirety. However, this statement proves the correctness of what we have said. Allah said,
(And he would enjoin on his family and his people the Salah and the Zakah, and his Lord was pleased with him.) This is also a beautiful form of praise, a commendable quality, and and upright characteristic. He was commanded in this way because of his persistence in obedience of his Lord, and enjoining his family to do so. This is as Allah said to His Messenger ,
(And enjoin the Salah on your family, and be patient with them.) ﴿20:132﴾ Also, Allah, the Exalted, said,
(O you who believe! Protect yourselves and your families against a Fire (Hell) whose fuel is men and stones, over which are (appointed) angels stern (and) severe, who disobey not, (from executing) the commands they receive from Allah, but do that which they are commanded.) ﴿66:6﴾ This means to command them to do good, forbid them from evil and do not neglect them. If you do so, and they obey your command, the Fire (of Hell) will not devour them on the Day of Resurrection. It has been reported in a Hadith from Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger of Allah said,
(May Allah have mercy upon a man who gets up at night to pray and he wakes his wife. If she refuses to get up, he sprinkles water in her face. May Allah have mercy upon a woman who gets up at night to pray and she wakes her husband. If he refuses to get up, she sprinkles water in his face.) This Hadith was recorded by Abu Dawud and Ibn Majah.