The Hijr Ismail is a crescent-shaped area situated just adjacent to the Holy Kaaba which has a great history and the reward for praying in Hateem is substantial. Hijr Ismail or Hateem means the stone of Ismail.
The History of Hijr Ismail or Hateem
Hijr Ismail is the place where a shelter was made by Hazrat Ibrahim (AlahisSalam) for his wife Hazrat Hajra and son Hazrat Ismail (AlahisSalam).
Hijr Ismail or Hateem is a low divider, which was the part of Kaaba when Hazrat Ibrahim (AlahisSalam) built it initially. It is said that approximately 3 meters of the area adjacent to the wall of Holy Kaaba is considered to be a part of the Holy Kaaba so Tawaf must be performed outside the finish range of the Hijr Ismail or Hateem.
The grave of Hazrat Ismail AlahisSalam
When Kaaba was reconstructed by Quresh, during which the Holy Kaaba took its cubical shape and Hijr (Hateem) was left outside. Some researchers said that the graves of Hazrat Ismail AlahisSalam and his mother Hajrah AlahisSalam lie covered underneath the Hijr Ismail.
The grandfather of the Prophet (ﷺ), Hazrat Abdul Muttalib (رضئ اللہ تعالی عنہ), loved to be near the Ka’bah and he would sometimes order a couch to be spread for him in this space. One night, when he was sleeping there a shadowy figure came to him in a vision and instructed him where he would find the Zamzam well, which had laid buried from the time of the Jurhum tribe.
According to reports, also Hazrat Abu Talib saw his dream about the birth of Imam ‘Ali (AlahisSalam) and his bright future in Hijr Isma’il.
Also, the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) sat in Hijr after beginning of his mission and in addition to worshipping and reciting the Holy Qur’an, answered people’s questions. It was there that some people from Quraysh asked the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) for Shaqq al-Qamar (splitting the moon). According to some narrations, the departure of the Prophets’ (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) ascent (Mi’raj) from al-Masjid al-Haram was Hijr Isma’il. Also, Imams (AlahisSalam) worshiped and made prayer in Hijr Isma’il, sat there and answered people’s questions
( Ibn Shahrāshūb, Manāqib Āl Abī Ṭālib, vol. 2, p. 254-255; Majlisī, Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 38, p. 47-48. Ibn Shahrāshūb, Manāqib Āl Abī Ṭālib, vol. 1, p. 76-77.
Rāwandī, al-Kharāʾij wa l-jarāʾiḥ, vol. 1, p. 141-142. See: Ibn Ṭāwūs, Saʿd al-suʿūd li al-nufūs, p. 195-196; Ibn Ḥajar al-ʿAsqalānī, Fatḥ al-bārī, vol. 7, p. 155; Majlisī, Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 18, p. 317, 390.)
The flood in the Holy Kaaba
When Prophet Muhammad(صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) was 35 years old, a disastrous flood harmed the Holy Kaaba, which was already weakened previously by a huge fire, and was at risk of destruction. Feeling the need to protect the house of worship, the Quraish chose to modify and rebuilt the Kaaba and did every possible thing for the development.
There was a shipwrecked nearby, and so its wood was brought into use. The woodworker named Baqoom developed the dividers of the Kaaba. The Prophet ((صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم)) and his Uncle Abbas R.A were around the work for nobles.
Praying in Hateem or Hijr Ismail
Hazrat Ayesha R.A says, “I liked to enter the House (the Ka’bah) and pray therein. The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) caught me by hand and admitted me to al-Hijr Ismail or Hateem. He then said: Pray in Hijr Ismail or Hateem when you intend to enter the holy Kaaba, for it is a part of the Kaaba.”
Sunan Abi Dawud 2028
It means that praying in Hateem or Hijr Ismail is equivalent to praying inside the Holy Kaaba which holds great rewards.
How to enter the Holy Kaaba?
Hazrat Ayesha R.A says, “I said: ‘O Messenger of Allah! Can I not enter the House?’ He said: ‘Enter the Hijr Ismail or Hateem for it is part of the House.’” Sunan an-Nasa’i 2911
Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) once stood on Hijr Ismail or Hateem
Narrated Hazrat Jabir bin `Abdullah R.A that he heard Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) saying, “When the people of Quraish did not believe me (i.e. the story of my Night Journey), I stood up on Hijri Ismail or Hateem and Allah displayed Jerusalem in front of me, and I began describing it to them while I was looking at it.” Sahih al-Bukhari 3886
Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم)wanted to include Hateem as part of Holy Kaaba
A’isha (Allah be pleased with her), wife of Allah’s Apostle (ﷺ), heard Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) as saying: If your people, had not been recent converts to Islam, I would have spent the treasure of the Kaaba in the way of Allah and would have constructed its door just on the level of the ground and would have encompassed in it the space of Hijr Ismail (Hateem) – Sahih Muslim 1333 d