This story spoke of one journey – at least – before Ishmael became a young man. Al-Bukhari, on
the authority of Ibn ‘Abbas, reported the other three journeys; a summary of which goes as follows:
When Ishmael became a young man, he learned Arabic at the hand of the tribe of Jurhum, who
loved him with great admiration and gave him one of their women as a wife, soon after his mother
died. Having wanted to see his wife and son again, Abraham came to Makkah, Ishmael’s marriage,
but he didn’t find him at home. He asked Ishmael’s wife about her husband and how they were
doing. She complained of poverty, so he asked her to tell Ishmael to change his doorstep. Ishmael
understood the message, divorced his wife and got married to the daughter of Mudad bin ‘Amr, chief
of the tribe of Jurhum.
Once more, Abraham came to see his son, but again didn’t find him at home. He asked his new wife
the same previous question, to which she thanked Allâh. Abraham asked her to tell Ishmael to keep
his doorstep (i.e. to keep her as wife) and went back to Palestine.
A third time, Abraham came to Makkah to find Ishmael sharpening an arrow under a lofty tree near
Zamzam. The meeting, after a very long journey of separation, was very touching for a father so
affectionate and a so dutiful and righteous son. This time, father and son built Al-Ka‘bah and raised
its pillars, and Abraham, in compliance with Allâh’s Commandment, called unto people to make
pilgrimage to it.
By the grace of Allâh, Ishmael had twelve sons from the daughter of Mudad, whose names were
Nabet, Qidar, Edbael, Mebsham, Mishma’, Duma, Micha, Hudud, Yetma, Yetour, Nafis and Qidman,
and who ultimately formed twelve tribes inhabiting Makkah and trading between Yemen,
geographical Syria and Egypt. Later on, these tribes spread all over, and even outside, the
peninsula. All their tidings went into oblivion except for the descendants of Nabet and Qidar.
The Nabeteans – sons of Nabet – established a flourishing civilization in the north of Hijaz, they
instituted a powerful government which spread out its domain over all neighbouring tribes, and
made Petra their capital. Nobody dared challenge their authority until the Romans came and
managed to eliminate their kingdom. After extensive research and painstaking investigation, Mr.
Sulaiman An-Nadwi came to the conclusion that the Ghassanide kings, along with the Aws and
Khazraj were not likely to be Qahtanians but rather Nabeteans.
Descendants of Qidar, the son of Ishmael, lived long in Makkah increasing in number, of them
issued ‘Adnan and son Ma‘ad, to whom ‘Adnanian Arabs traced back their ancestry. ‘Adnan is the
twenty-first grandfather in the series of the Prophetic ancestry. It was said that whenever Prophet
Muhammad Õáì Çááå Úáíå æÓáã spoke of his ancestry he would stop at ‘Adnan and say:
“Genealogists tell lies” and did not go farther than him. A group of scholars, however, favoured the
probability of going beyond ‘Adnan attaching no significance to the aforementioned Prophetic Hadith.
The Sealed Nectar