Harun Yahya

The Prophet Ibrahim (As)




Who could have a noble religion than someone who submits
himself completely to Allah, does what is right, and
follows the religion of the Saintly Ibrahim whom Allah
took to be His intimate friend? (Surat an-Nisa’, 125)
The Prophet Ibrahim (as) was a messenger whom Allah “took
as an intimate friend”. In numerous verses of the Qur’an, Allah
praises the high moral qualities of the Prophet Ibrahim (as). He,
whose decent character has been an example to all believers, was a
tenderhearted, forbearing, brave and true person who sincerely
turned to Allah. Allah thus describes his character in a verse as follows:
Ibrahim a paragon of piety, an upright man, obedient to
Allah. He was no idolater. He rendered thanks for His
blessings, so that Allah chose him and guided him to a
straight path. We blessed him in this world and in the
Hereafter he shall dwell among the righteous. (Surat an-
Nahl, 120-122)
The Prophet Ibrahim (as), whose moral excellence is praised in
the Qur’an, was sent to a people who worshipped idols that they themselves had made and were obstinate and persistent in worshipping
them. He was charged with calling his people to worship
Allah alone, but they declined to accept the true religion, as they
believed that it conflicted with their worldly interests, and plotted
against the Prophet Ibrahim (as) to kill him. Allah, however,
thwarted the plot they devised and saved him from the wrongdoing
of his people:
They [his people] said, “Burn him [Ibrahim] and avenge
your gods if you must punish him.” We said, “Fire, be coolness
and peace for Ibrahim!” They desired to trap him, but
We made them the losers. We delivered both him and Lut
to the land which We had blessed for all beings. And in addition
to that We gave him Ishaq and then Ya’qub [for a
grandson] and made both of them righteous. We made
them leaders, guiding by Our command, and revealed to
them how to do good and perform prayer and give alms,
and they worshipped none but Us. (Surat al-Anbiya’, 68-73)
As is seen in the story of the Prophet Ibrahim (as), as a reward
for his sincerity, Allah put an end to the cruelty of his people towards
him. Then He inflicted a punishment on those who desired
to hatch plots against him and laid them low. He settled the
Prophet Ibrahim (as) and the believers who followed him in a better
place than before and showed them His mercy by granting various
blessings in abundance.
The Prophet Ibrahim (as) Turned To Allah With
Sincere Reflection And Advised His People
That He Was Not An Idolater
Although he lived among a people who worshipped idols,
by the workings of his own conscience, the Prophet Ibrahim (as)
comprehended that Allah was the one and only god. He believed
in and turned to Allah alone. In the following verses of the
Qur’an, how he became a certain believer in Allah is set forth:
Because of that We showed Ibrahim the dominions of the
heavens and the Earth so that he might become a firm believer. When night drew its shadow over he saw a star and
said, “This is surely my Lord!” But then, when it faded in
the morning light, he said, “I will not worship gods that
fade.” Then when he saw the moon come up, he said,
“This is my Lord!” But then when it set, he said, “If my
Lord does not guide me, I shall surely go astray.” Then
when he saw the sun come up, he said, “This must be my
Lord! It is greater than the other two!” But then, when it
set he said, “My people, I am done with your idols!” (Surat al-An’am, 75-78)
Certainly there is an important lesson for the believers to
learn from the story of the Prophet Ibrahim (as): One can easily
grasp the existence of Allah. Everywhere one looks, one can
readily see the innumerable signs of creation. Even if he does not
have any knowledge or has not been given any advice, one who
is governed by his conscience can clearly conclude that there is a
Creator of the universe just by giving the matter his earnest consideration
even if it is only for a few minutes. He can grasp the
power and greatness of Allah and the fact that He rules over
everything. This is how the Prophet Ibrahim (as), who had probably
not been communicated with earlier, grasped the existence
and sublimity of Allah through sincere and conscientious reflection.
He told his people that he separated himself from the false
gods they worshipped:
“I have turned my face to Him, Who brought the heavens
and Earth into being, and will live a righteous life. I am
no idolater.” (Surat al-An’am, 79)

The Prophet Ibrahim (as) Summoned
His People To Worship Allah


As will also be seen in the following pages, the messengers
try by every means to guide their people to the path of Allah.
Messengers who communicate the message of the religion to
their people, explain the same topic with different examples to
urge people to ponder, give a detailed account of the morals of
which Allah approves, forbid them wrong actions, communicating
the wickedness of these actions and the loss that they will
suffer on account of them. In short, they try to show them the
truth and appeal to their conscience in various ways.
Likewise, the Prophet Ibrahim (as), first summoned his people
to the path of truth and instructed them to abandon their
idols and to turn to Allah. In many verses of the Qur’an, his communication
of the message of religion to his father and to his
people is related. The Prophet Ibrahim (as) summoned his people,
who worshipped idols, to worship Allah alone and to fear
Him:
Ibrahim said to his people: “Worship Allah and fear Him.
That would be best for you if you but knew it. Instead of
Allah you worship only idols. You are inventing a lie.
Those you worship besides Allah have no power to provide
for you. So seek the beauty of Allah and worship
Him. Give thanks to Him for it is to Him you shall be returned.” (Surat al-’Ankabut, 16-17)
As seen in the above verses, the Prophet Ibrahim (as) explained
to his disbelieving people the supreme power of Allah
with a number of examples. He made comparisons to make this
truth clear to them, reminded them of the fact that it was Allah
Who gave them all the things they possessed and warned them
of their meeting with Him. As well as his people, he also warned
his relatives, and told his father, Azar, that he was mistaken:
Remember when Ibrahim said to his father, Azar, “Do
you take idols as gods? I see that you and your people are
clearly misguided.” (Surat al-An’am, 74)

The Prophet Ibrahim (as) Warned His People
Against Obeying Satan


Man’s worst enemy is Satan. When Allah created the
Prophet Adam (as) as the first man, He commanded Satan to
prostrate himself before him, yet Satan became arrogant and disobeyed
Allah’s command. On account of this, Allah cursed him
and expelled him from Paradise. After being driven out, Satan
asked to be reprieved till the Day of Judgement. His aim was to
hinder mankind, whom he considered to be the cause of his expulsion
from Paradise, from treading the path of which Allah
approved and thus to guide them to Hell.
Consequently, Satan has tried to approach every person
since the Prophet Adam (as) and to deflect them from the true
path by hatching various plots. It is only over those who have
unshakeable faith in Allah and who put their trust in Him, that
he does not hold any sway. However, as Allah has stated in the
Qur’an, such people form only a minor group. For this reason,
the Prophet Ibrahim (as) warned his father and his people, who
were remote from the path of Allah, against following Satan and
told them to obey him, saying:
“Father, knowledge which never reached you has come to
me, so follow me and I will guide you to the right path.
Father, do not worship Satan. Satan was disobedient to
the All-Merciful. Father, I am afraid that a punishment
from the All-Merciful will afflict you, and turn you into a
comrade of Satan.” (Surah Maryam, 43-45)

The Prophet Ibrahim (as) Advised His People
Not To Take
Each Other As Gods And Not To
Associate Any Partners With Allah


Characteristically, idolaters attach more importance to other
beings than Allah, and they fear them more than they fear Allah.
One would be mistaken in limiting the beings valued by these
people merely to the statues they carved out of wood or stone.
Loving and valuing another person more than Allah, preferring
that person’s contentment over the approval of Allah or
fearing that person more than Allah is also idolatrous. There
were also those who loved and prized some other beings more
than Allah among the people of the Prophet Ibrahim (as). On the
Day of Rising, however, such people will understand that there
is no power other than Allah and will see that the beings they
valued higher than Him are merely weak servants before His
might and do not actually deserve to be valued at all. For this
reason, the Prophet Ibrahim (as) instructed his people not to adhere
to any gods other than Allah, and warned them that they
would curse these gods on the Day of Rising and would be
thrown into Hell if they did not obey this command:
He [Ibrahim] said, “You have adopted idols instead of
Allah but your love of them will last only in this life. But
then on the Day of Rising, you will reject and curse one
another. The Fire will be your shelter. You will have no
helpers.” (Surat al-’Ankabut, 25)

The Prophet Ibrahim (as) Communicated To
People The Greatness And Might Of Allah


The Prophet Ibrahim (as) gave various examples to his people
in order to enable them to grasp the existence and greatness
of Allah. When one who boasted of his wealth, forgetting that it
was Allah Who granted him all his possessions, disputed with
the Prophet Ibrahim (as) about Allah, he gave him a reply which
emphasised both this person’s weakness and the power of Allah
as follows:
“My Lord is He Who has power to give life and to cause
death.” The other said, “I too have the power to give life
and to cause death.” Ibrahim said, “Allah makes the sun
come from the East. Make it come from the West.” And
the disbeliever was dumbfounded. Allah does not guide
the wrongdoers. (Surat al-Baqara, 258)
As is pointed out in the verse, the disbeliever had nothing to
say in reply to this wise and sound explanation offered by the
Prophet Ibrahim (as). It is appropriate for believers to follow the
Prophet Ibrahim’s (as) example, to emphasise the greatness and
infinite might of Allah, and to explain the faulty reasoning of the
disbelievers to them while communicating the message of the religion.

The Prophet Ibrahim (as) Stated That
The Only Power To Trust Is That Of Allah


The Prophet Ibrahim’s sincere advocacy of the truth, his people,
who persisted in worshipping their idols, disputed with him,
desiring to deflect him from the right path and to hinder his
preaching. Thereupon, the Prophet Ibrahim (as) told his people
that he feared only Allah and that the real security and salvation
could be attained only by being submissive to Allah:
... He [Ibrahim] said, “Are you arguing with me about
Allah when He has guided me? I have no fear of any
partner you ascribe to Him unless my Lord should will
such a thing to happen. My Lord encompasses all things
in His knowledge, so will you not pay heed? Why should
I fear what you have associated with Him when you
yourselves apparently have no fear of serving idols not
sanctioned by Allah? Which of us is more deserving of
salvation? Tell me if you have any knowledge. Those
who believe and do not taint their faith with any wrongdoing,
shall surely earn salvation for they follow the
right path.” (Surat al-An’am, 80-82)
The possessor of everything in the world is Allah. No one can
either do good or cause harm to another without Allah’s permission.
The powers that one may rely on, hoping for help from them,
can be of help only if Allah permits. For real salvation and safety,
however, what one should do is to submit oneself to Allah. Allah
has informed us in the Qur’an that He will protect His servants
who turn to Him. Therefore, as the Prophet Ibrahim (as) did, all believers
should know that those who believe in Allah will be safe
and should inform others of this.

In Response To His Father’s Hostile Manner,
The Prophet Ibrahim (as) Answered In The Best
Way


Despite all the methods of communication he employed, his
father opposed the Prophet Ibrahim (as) and became hostile towards
him saying:
... “Do you dare renounce my gods, Ibrahim? Desist from
this folly or, I will stone you. Begone from my house this
instant!” (Surah Maryam, 46)
But the Prophet Ibrahim (as), who did not lose his temper
under any circumstance, responded to his father’s threatening attitude
in a very respectful and wise way:
... “Peace be upon you. I will implore my Lord to forgive
you. He has always honoured me. I will separate myself
from you and all you call upon besides Allah. I will call
upon my Lord and it may well be that, in calling on my
Lord, I will not be disappointed.” (Surah Maryam, 47-48)

The Prophet Ibrahim (as) Declared To His People
That The Idols They Worshipped Could Not Be
Real Gods


The Prophet Ibrahim (as) asked his people a number of ques-
tions about their idols in order to lead them to reflect that the idols
they worshipped could not have any independent power and
that the only god was Allah. This method of communication is
influential in terms of making the unbelievers themselves witnesses
to the unfounded nature of their system. In this way, the
Prophet Ibrahim (as) made them verbally acknowledge the
falseness of their own system. A part of the dialogue between
the Prophet Ibrahim (as) and his people is as follows:
When he [Ibrahim] said to his father and his people,
“What do you worship?” They said, “We worship idols
and we remain constantly in attendance on them.” He
said, “Do they hear you when you call or do they help
you or do you harm?” They said, “No, but this is what we
found our fathers doing.” He said, “Have you really
thought about what you worship, you and your forefathers?”
(Surat ash-Shu’ara’, 70-76)
Allah informs us in the Qur’an that everybody is aware of
the mistakes he makes. That is, every self, even if he wants to
avoid thinking by making up excuses, in fact “testifies” against
himself, inwardly knowing what is right and wrong. If he conscientiously
considers, one who worships and hopes for help
from beings other than Allah will readily comprehend that in reality
his idols cannot benefit him. He will realise that the beings
he associates as partners with Allah cannot hear his prayers and
do not have the power to harm or benefit him. But he may not
want to reflect on these facts for certain sentimental reasons.
However, this still remains an evident fact.
By the questions he posed to his people, the Prophet Ibrahim
(as) tried to make them reflect on what they worshipped and see
how misguided they were.
Again while advising his people to abandon the idols they
worshipped, the Prophet Ibrahim (as) reminded them that these
idols were merely some “figurative statues” that they themselves
had made and did not have any independent power. How
the Prophet Ibrahim (as) instructed his people to abandon the
false gods they worshipped and to turn to their real God is related
as follows:
When he [Ibrahim] said to his father and his people,
“What are these statues you are clinging to?” they said,
“We found our fathers worshipping them.” He said, “You
and your fathers are clearly misguided.” They said,
“Have you brought us the truth or is this but a fest?” He
said, “Far from it! Your Lord is the Lord of the heavens
and the Earth, He Who brought them into being. I am one
of those who bear witness to that.” (Surat al-Anbiya’, 52-
56)
He [Ibrahim] said, “Do you worship something you have
carved with your own hands, when Allah created both
you and all that you have made?” (Surat as-Saffat, 95-96)

The Prophet Ibrahim (as) Declared That
Everything Is Under Allah’s Control And That
Everything Takes Place By Allah’s Will


As seen in the above verses, like many other disbelieving nations,
the people of the Prophet Ibrahim (as) used to worship
idols, not because they thought it was right and proper, but
merely because that was what they found their fathers doing. In
other words, this false system was an evil heritage to them bequeathed
by their forerunners. The Prophet Ibrahim (as) explained
to them in detail that the system which they had been following
was erroneous and detrimental to them. He informed them that
their idols had no power at all and that everything was under
Allah’s complete control. The above quoted speech of the Prophet
Ibrahim (as) continues as follows:
“They [the idols that you worship] are all my enemies—except
for the Lord of all the worlds, Who created me and
guides me; Who gives me food and drink; and when I am
ill, Who heals me; Who will cause my death, then give me
life; Who, I sincerely hope, will forgive my mistakes on the
Day of Reckoning.” (Surat ash-Shu’ara’, 77-82)

By Means Of Wise Methods, The Prophet
Ibrahim (as) Aroused People’s Conscience


When his people, despite all his calls, persisted in worshipping
their idols, the Prophet Ibrahim (as) tried new methods to urge
them to reflect and thus to arouse their conscience. He waited until
his people had departed from their idols and then broke them into
pieces, except for the biggest one, in order to reveal to his people
how imprudent they actually were. When his people asked him
“Did you do this to our gods, Ibrahim?” (Surat al-Anbiya’, 62), he
answered:
“No, this one, the biggest of them, did it. Ask them if they
are able to speak!” (Surat al-Anbiya’, 63)
This strategy of the Prophet Ibrahim (as) caused his people to
appeal to their consciences and then they realised that they had been seriously mistaken. However, since the truth conflicted with
their personal interests, traditions and their established order, they
denied the truth, although they had approved of it as a matter of
conscience. The relevant verses of the Qur’an read:
Then they turned to themselves and said, “It is you yourselves
who are wrongdoers.” But then they relapsed back
into their disbelief: “You know full well these idols cannot
talk.” He [Ibrahim] said, “Do you then worship, instead of
Allah, what cannot help or harm you in any way? Shame
on you and what you worship besides Allah! Will you not
use your intellect?” They cried, “Burn him and avenge your
gods, if you must punish him.” We said, “Fire, be coolness
and peace for Ibrahim!” They desired to trap him, but We
made them the losers. (Surat al-Anbiya’, 64-70)

The Prophet Ibrahim (as) Set An Example For The
Believers By Putting His Trust In Allah And
Being Submissive To Him, Even Under The Most
Difficult Conditions


The struggle that the Prophet Ibrahim (as) bravely and prudently
carried out alone against his people set an example for the
believers. At such a difficult time, when he was threatened by his
people with being thrown into a fire and when plots had been
hatched against him, he, whose trust in and submissiveness to
Allah had never been undermined, replied to his people:
... “I am going towards my Lord; He will be my guide.” (Surat as-Saffat, 99)
These words of the Prophet Ibrahim (as) remind all believers of
an important fact: that it was Allah Who created all human beings,
and that every single one of them will return to Allah at a time that
He has predetermined. By saying “I am going towards my Lord”,
the Prophet Ibrahim (as) reminded his people that death is one’s return
to Allah. Therefore, what Muslims should do is express their
unswerving trust in Allah on every occasion and summon others to
do the same.

Allah Has Shown The Prophet Ibrahim (as) And
His Companions As AModel For Believers


The moral excellence of the Prophet Ibrahim (as) set an example
both to his own people and to succeeding nations. Allah informs
us that there is a good example for the believers in him,
“who submitted to his Lord with an unblemished heart”, and those
with him:
You have an excellent example in Ibrahim and those with
him, when they said to their people, “We wash our hands of
you and all that you worship apart from Allah, and we reject
you. Between us and you there will be enmity and hatred
for ever unless and until you believe in Allah alone.” But do not emulate Ibrahim’s words to his father: “I will ask
forgiveness for you but I have no power to help you in any
way against Allah.” “Our Lord, we have put our trust in You
and have repented to You. You are our final destination.” (Surat al-Mumtahana, 4)

Verses Of The Qur’an Relating To The Superiority
And High Morality Of The Prophet Ibrahim (as)


Who could have a noble religion than someone who sub-
mits himself completely to Allah, does what is right, and
follows the religion of the saintly Ibrahim, whom Allah
took to be His intimate friend? (Surat an-Nisa’, 125)
... Ibrahim was tender-hearted and forbearing. (Surat at-
Tawba, 114)
Ibrahim was neither a Jew nor a Christian, but a man of
pure natural belief—a Muslim. He was not one of the
idolaters. (Surah Al ‘Imran, 67)
Ibrahim was a community in himself, exemplary, obedient
to Allah, a man of pure natural belief. He was not one
of the idolaters. He was thankful for His blessings. Allah
chose him and guided him to a straight path. We gave
him good in this world and in the Hereafter he will be
one of the righteous. (Surat an-Nahl, 120-122)
One of his [Nuh’s] followers in faith was Ibrahim when
he came to his Lord with an unblemished heart. (Surat as-
Saffat, 83-84)
You shall also recount in the Book the story of Ibrahim.
He was a saintly man and a prophet. (Surah Maryam, 41)
Ibrahim was forbearing, compassionate and penitent. (Surah Hud, 75)
... We bestowed on him the praise of later generations.
Peace be upon Ibrahim. That is how We recompense the
righteous. He truly was one of Our believing servants.
(Surat as-Saffat , 108-111)
Who would deliberately renounce the religion of
Ibrahim except someone who reveals himself to be a
fool? We chose him in this world and in the Hereafter he
shall abide among the righteous. When his Lord said to him, “Surrender!” he said, “I have surrendered to the
Lord of all the worlds.” (Surat al-Baqara, 130-131)
We gave Ibrahim his right guidance early on, and We had complete knowledge of him. (Surat al-Anbiya’, 51)
 

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