Dalton Islamic Center
Al-Haram Mosque in Makkah The Prophet's Mosque in Madinah . Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound in Jerusalem

 

 

 

Islam: God's Message of Guidance to Humanity

 

By Hassan Ali El-Najjar

 

Table of Contents

 

I. Introduction: Basic Information

 

1. Islam: A Brief Introduction

 

2. Three Levels of Faith: Islam, Iman, and Ihsan 

 

3. The Scientific Evidence That God Exists and the Holy Qur'an Is His Message to Humanity 

 

4. Creation and Evolution in the Holy Qur'an

 

5. Humans, As God's Caliphs on Earth

 

6. Adam's Contest With the Angels, and Getting Out of Paradise


7. Worshippers By Choice Or Forced Slaves?  

 

8. The Relationship Between the Spiritual and the Physical Aspects of Islamic Teachings  

 

9. Mind, Self, Soul, Spirit, and Happiness from an Islamic Perspective 

 

10. Heart-Mind Relationship in the Holy Qur'an  

 

II. Islam: The Five Pillars of the Faith Structure

 

1. Islamic Proclamation of Faith

 

2. Performing Islamic Prayers

 

3. Giving Zakah (Charity)

 

4. Fasting and Ramadhan, Great Gifts from Allah to Muslims

 

5. Haj, Pilgrimage, the Fifth Pillar of Islam

 

III. Iman: Allah, His Angels, Messengers, Messages, Latter Day, and Qadar

 

1. Allah, As He Described Himself in the Holy Quran 

 

2. Angels

 

3. Noo'h, Noah, in the Holy Quran  

 

4. Ibrahim, Abraham, in the Holy Quran

 

5. Moussa, Moses, in the Holy Quran

 

6. 'Eissa, Jesus Christ, in the Holy Quran  

 

7. Muhammed in the Holy Quran

 

8. Prophet Muhammed's Night Journey and Ascent to Heavens, Al-Issra Wal Mi'raj

 

9. Latter Day (Day of Resurrection)

 

10. Qada and Qadar: God's Foreknowledge and His Decree

 

IV. I'hsan: Watching Allah in Speech and Deeds

 

1. Introduction to Islamic Law, Shari'a, Part I, Prohibition, Don't Do, and Do Commands in the Holy Quran

 

2. The La (No) Commands

 

3. The Imperative Commands 

 

 ***

 

Articles with Islamic Perspective:

 

Health Care Crisis in the US: An Islamic Perspective

 

"Terrorism" & "Islamo-Fascism" Propaganda Campaigns: An Interactive Lecture

 

Six Questions About Islam, Muslims and Jews

 

Five Islamic Issues: Predestination and choice, position toward other religions, angels, and the End of Days

Food Islamic Rules and Teachings  

Are Muslim women second-class citizens  

 

The French Ban on Islamic Headscarf, an Interview with

 

Links to Islamic Topics 2007-2010

 

Links to Islamic Topics 2007

 

Links to Islamic topics 2006

 

Links to Islamic topics 2005

 

Links to Islamic topics 2004

 

Links to Islamic topics, 2003  

 

2002 Links to Islamic topics

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Islam:

God's Message of Guidance to Humanity

 

 

III. 4

 

Ibrahim, Abraham,

in the Holy Quran,

Peace be upon him

 

By Hassan Ali El-Najjar

 

Completed on the 10th Day of Ramadhan, 1434, 19th of July, 2013

 

 

 

1434 - 2013

 

 

***

 

 

I seek refuge with God from the Stoned Shaytan

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

 

 

Introduction

 

The Messenger of Allah, Ibrahim (Abraham), peace and blessings of Allah be upon him (pbbuh), was mentioned in the Holy Quran, by name, 69 times. [1]

 

This article covers major aspects of his life in relation to his telling of the Message he received from God, as mentioned in the Holy Quran. [2]

 

It starts with his contemplation about the Creator, his faith, his dialogue with his father, and his challenge to the king and the disbelievers.

 

It also includes the glad tidings of getting him a son while in old age, his instructions to his children, who can claim him, who can be included in his Covenant with God, and his famous supplications.

 

 

1. The Beginning

 

The story of the Messenger of God Ibrahim (Abraham), pbbuh, starts with his rejection of the idols worshipped by  his misguided father, Azar, and other misguided people in the city.

 

Then Allah, praise to Him, showed Ibrahim His signs in the heavens and the Earth to assure him that there is a Great Creator for this fantastic Universe.

 

The process of guidance started at one night when he marveled a bright planet that he saw, thinking that it was God, but when it faded away, he realized that it was not what he was looking for.

 

Then, he thought that it could be the Moon or the Sun but when they disappeared he realized that these were not God either.

 

Finally, he reached the conclusion that God must be the Creator of the heavens and the Earth, with all of what in them. He is also the Sustainer of this system, the Only One worthy of being worshipped.

 

These meanings are expressed in the following Verses 74-83 of Surat Al-Ana'am (Chapter 6) of the Holy Quran. 

 

 

 

 ۖ ﴿٧٤

 

ٰ ﴿٧٥

 

ٰ  ۖ ٰ  ۖ ﴿٧٦

 

ٰ  ۖ ﴿٧٧

 

ٰ ٰ  ۖ ﴿٧٨

 

 ۖ ﴿٧٩

 

 ۚ  ۚ  ۗ  ۗ ﴿٨٠

 

 ۚ  ۖ ﴿٨١

 

ٰ ﴿٨٢

 

ٰ  ۚ  ۗ ﴿٨٣  ( 6: 74-83).

 

 

I seek refuge with God from the Stoned Shaytan
In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

 

And (mention, O Muhammad), when Abraham said to his father Azar, "Do you take idols as deities? Indeed, I see you and your people to be in manifest error." (74)

 

And thus did We show Abraham the realm of the heavens and the earth that he would be among the certain (in faith) (75)

 

So when the night covered him (with darkness), he saw a planet. He said, "This is my lord." But when it set (disappeared), he said, "I like not those that disappear." (76)

 

And when he saw the moon rising, he said, "This is my lord." But when it set (disappeared), he said, "Unless my Lord guides me, I will surely be among the people gone astray." (77)

 

And when he saw the sun rising, he said, "This is my lord; this is bigger." But when it set (disappeared), he said, "O my people, indeed I am free from what you associate with Allah. (78)

 

Indeed, I have turned my face toward He who created the heavens and the Earth, inclining toward truth, and I am not of those who associate others with Allah." (79)

 

And his people argued with him. He said, "Do you argue with me concerning Allah while He has guided me? And I do not fear what you associate with Him (your idols) unless my Lord should will something. My Lord encompasses all things in knowledge; then will you not consider (reason)? (80)

 

And how should I fear what you associate (with God) while you do not fear that you have associated with Allah, for which He has not sent down to you any authority? So which of the two parties has more right to security, if you should know? (81)

 

They who believe and do not coat (mix) their belief with injustice - those will have security, and they are guided. (82)

 

And that was Our argument which We gave Abraham against his people. We raise by degrees whom We will. Indeed, your Lord is Wise and Knowing. (83) (Al-Ana'am, 6: 74-83). [2]

 

 

2. Asking for Assurance  

 

 Ibrahim, pbbuh, started to receive revelations from Allah, praise to Him, through the inspiration of Jibril (Gabriel), peace be to him, who taught him about the resurrection of the dead humans, on the Day of Judgment.

 

He asked Allah, Praise to Him, to show him how He is going to resurrect the dead people in the Hereafter. His request was answered by showing him how parts of four different kinds of killed birds would come together, even after scattering them on different mountains, as described in Verse 260 of Surat Al-Baqara (Chapter 2) of the Holy Quran. 

 

 

 

ٰ ۖ  ۖ ٰ ٰ  ۖ

 

ٰ  ۚ ﴿٢٦٠   ( 2: 260).

 

And (mention) when Ibrahim (Abraham) said, "My Lord, show me how You bring the dead to life." (Allah) said, "Have you not believed?" He said, "Yes, but for my heart to be satisfied." (Allah) said, "Take four birds and cut them into pieces. Then, put on each mountain a portion of them. Then, call them, they will come to you swiftly. And know that Allah is Exalted in Might and Wise" (Al-Baqara, 2: 260). [3]

 

3. Dialogue with his Non-Believing Father 

 

After Ibrahim had become solid in his faith and wisdom, he continued his attempts to persuade his father and other people to worship Allah, instead of worshipping the helpless idols and the Shaytan (Satan) who was disobedient to God.

 

Even as his father insisted on rejecting his invitation, he still promised to keep asking Allah to forgive him. Then, he was instructed to leave that city to new lands, where he thrived in children and followers, as we are told in Verses 41-50 of Surat Maryam (Chapter 19) of the Holy Quran. 

 

 

 

 ۚ ﴿٤١

 

﴿٤٢

 

﴿٤٣

 

 ۖ ٰ ﴿٤٤

 

ٰ ﴿٤٥

 

 ۖ  ۖ ﴿٤٦

 

 ۖ  ۖ ﴿٤٧

 

ٰ ﴿٤٨

 

 ۖ ﴿٤٩

 

﴿٥٠  ( 19: 41-50).

 

 

I seek refuge with God from the Stoned Shaytan
In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

 

And mention (O Muhammed) in the Book (the story of) Ibrahim (Abraham). Indeed, he was a man of truth and a Prophet. (41)

 

(Mention him) when he said to his father, "O my father, why do you worship that which does not hear, and does not see, and does not benefit or harm you anything? (42)

 

O my father, indeed there has come to me of knowledge that which has not come to you. So, follow me, I will guide you to a straight path. (43)

 

O my father, do not worship the Shaytan (Satan). Indeed the Shaytan was disobedient to the Beneficent (God). (44)

 

O my father, indeed I fear that a punishment from the Beneficent (God) will touch you. So, you will a companion to the Shaytan (in Hellfire)." (45)

 

(His father Azar) said, "Have you deserted (rejected) my gods, O Ibrahim? If you do not desist, I will surely stone you, so immigrate (depart) away from me for a long time." (46)

 

(Ibrahim) said, "Peace be upon you. I will ask my Lord to forgive you. Indeed, He is ever gracious to me. (47)

 

And I will leave you and those you invoke (call on) other than Allah, and I will invoke (call on) my Lord, so maybe I will not be unhappy by calling on my Lord. (48)

 

So when he had left them and those they worshipped other than Allah, We granted (gave) him Iss-'haq (Isaac) and Ya'acoob (Jacob), and each (of them) We made a Prophet. (49)

 

And We granted (gave) them of Our mercy, and we made for them a reputation of being highly praised (by followers of the three religions)  (50) (Maryam, 19: 41: 50). 

 

 

4. Challenge to the King and the Non-Believers

 

The King heard about Ibrahim and his Message to the people in the city. He summoned him for a debate, asking him to describe God. Ibrahim said that Allah gives and ends life. The King said I can do that too. [4]

 

Then, Ibrahim Challenged him to bring the Sun from the West, as Allah brings it from the East. The King couldn't argue any further but he continued to be a self-oppressor, by rejecting faith in God, as stated in Verse 258 of Surat Al-Baqara (Chapter 2) of the Holy Quran. 

 

 

ۖ ۗ ( 2: 258).

 

Have you not seen (considered) the one who argued with Ibrahim (Abraham) about his Lord (merely) because Allah had given him kingship?

 

When Ibrahim said, "My Lord is the one who gives life and causes death," he said, "I give life and cause death."

 

Ibrahim said, "Indeed, Allah brings up the sun from the East, so bring it up from the West." So the disbeliever was overwhelmed (unable to meet the challenge), and Allah does not guide the oppressors (Al-Baqara, 2: 258).

 

***

 

Ibrahim's father, Azar, and other disbelievers in the city continued their worship of the Idols, instead of Allah, the Creator of the heavens and the Earth. Then, Ibrahim, pbbuh, turned to action, instead of words, in his attempt to guide them to the right path. He went to their temple at night and destroyed all the idols they worshipped except the biggest one.

 

When they saw what happened to their fake gods the following day, they questioned Ibrahim accusing him of destroying their idols. He denied their accusation and directed them to the biggest idol, saying this was the one who did it. Moreover, he urged them to ask the destroyed statues about the perpetrator, provoking them further to think about and realize the folly of believing in these helpless idols.

 

Instead of accepting his invitation for them to worship their Creator, they decided to throw him into a huge fire, as punishment for insulting their fake gods.

 

Allah, praise to Him, commanded the fire to be "coolness and peace" upon Ibrahim, to save him and to be  as a miracle for the disbelievers to ponder about. However, they stubbornly continued their rejection of the Message, even after seeing Ibrahim coming out of the fire safe and calm.

 

Then, Allah, praise to Him, commanded Ibrahim to take his family away to the Holy Land of Cana'an, where they would be believed and treated with love and respect.

 

There, he would be granted Iss-'haq (Isaac) and Ya'aqoob (Jacob) after that, who would be worshippers of God, leaders, good doers, performers of prayer, and charity givers, as revealed in Verses 83-98 of Surat Al-Safat (Chapter 37) and Verses 51-73 of Surat Al-Anbiya (Chapter 21) of the Holy Quran. 

 

 

﴿٨٣

 

﴿٨٤

 

﴿٨٥

 

﴿٨٦

 

﴿٨٧

 

﴿٨٨

 

﴿٨٩

 

﴿٩٠

 

ٰ ﴿٩١

 

﴿٩٢

 

﴿٩٣

 

﴿٩٤

 

﴿٩٥

 

﴿٩٦

 

﴿٩٧

 

﴿٩٨﴾  ( 37: 83-98).

 

I seek refuge with God from the Stoned Shaytan
In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

 

And indeed, among his (Nooh's) kind was Ibrahim, (83)

 

When he came to his Lord with a sound heart (84)

 

(And) when he said to his father and his people, "What do you worship? (85)

 

Is it falsehood (as) gods other than Allah you desire? (86)

 

Then, what is your thought about the Lord of the Worlds?" (87)

 

And he cast a look at the stars (88)

 

And said, "Indeed, I am (about to be) ill." (89)

 

So they turned away from him, departing. (90)

 

Then he turned to their gods and said, "Do you not eat? (91)

 

What is (wrong) with you that you do not speak?" (92)

 

And he turned upon them a blow with (his) right hand. (93)

 

Then the people came toward him, hastening. (94)

 

He said, "Do you worship that which you (yourselves) carve, (95)

 

While Allah created you and that which you do?" (96)

 

They said, "Construct for him a furnace and throw him into the burning fire." (97)

 

And they intended for him a plan, but We made them the most debased. (98(Al-Safat, 37: 83-98).

 

***

 

 

﴿٥١

 

ٰ ﴿٥٢

 

﴿٥٣

 

﴿٥٤

 

﴿٥٥

 

ٰ ٰ ﴿٥٦

 

﴿٥٧

 

﴿٥٨

 

ٰ ﴿٥٩

 

﴿٦٠

 

ٰ ﴿٦١

 

ٰ ﴿٦٢

 

ٰ ﴿٦٣

 

ٰ ﴿٦٤

 

ٰ ٰ ﴿٦٥

 

﴿٦٦

 

ۖ ﴿٦٧

 

﴿٦٨

 

ٰ ﴿٦٩

 

﴿٧٠

 

﴿٧١

 

ۖ ﴿٧٢

 

ۖ ﴿٧٣﴾  ( 21: 51-73).

 

 

I seek refuge with God from the Stoned Shaytan
In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

 

And We had certainly given Ibrahim (Abraham) his sound judgment before, and We were of him well-Knowing (51)

 

When he said to his father and his people, "What are these statues to which you are devoted?" (52)

 

They said, "We found our fathers worshipping them." (53)

 

He said, "You were certainly, you and your fathers, in clear misguidance." (54)

 

They said, "Have you come to us with the truth, or are you of the playful (not serious) ones?" (55)

 

He said, "(No), rather, your Lord is the Lord of the heavens and the Earth who created them, and I am to that of those who are bearwitnessing. (56)

 

And (he said to himself) by Allah, I will surely plan against your idols after you have gone away (from the temple)." (57)

 

So he made them into fragments (destroyed them), except the largest one of them, that they might return to it (for questioning). (58)

 

They said, "Who has done this to our gods? Indeed, he is of the oppressors (wrongdoers)." (59)

 

They said, "We heard a young man mentioning them, who is called Ibrahim." (60)

 

They said, "Then bring him before the eyes of the people, so that they may witness." (61)

 

They said, "Have you done this to our gods, O Ibrahim?" (62)

 

He said, (No, I have not) "Rather, this, the largest of them, did it. So ask them, if they are capable of speaking." (63)

 

So they returned to themselves and said (to each other), "Indeed, you are the oppressors (wrongdoers)." (64)

 

Then they reversed themselves, (saying to him), "You know that these do not speak!" (65)

 

He said, "Do you worship, instead of Allah, that which does not benefit you or harm you anything? (66)

 

Uff (a warning of bad consequences) to you and to what you worship instead of Allah. Do you not reason?" (67)

 

They said, "Burn him and support your gods, if you are to act (for their support)." (68)

 

Allah said, "O fire, be coolness and peace upon Ibrahim." (69)

 

And they wanted to harm him, but We made them the most losers. (70)

 

And We delivered him and Loot (his nephew) safely to the land which We had blessed for the worlds. (71)

 

And We gave him Iss-'haq (Isaac) and Ya'acoob (Jacob), in addition, and We made them both righteous. (72)

 

And We made them leaders guiding by Our command. And We inspired to them the doing of good deeds, establishment of prayer, and giving of zakah; and they were worshippers of Us. (73(Al-Anbiya, 21: 51-73).

 

 

5. God's Test for Ibrahim, Isma'il, and Haajar

 

Allah, praise to Him, commanded Ibrahim, pbbuh, to take his wife Haajar (Hagar) and their son Ismail, pbbun them, to Makkah (Bakkah), near His first House of Worship on Earth (The Ka'aba).

 

Allah, praise to Him, wanted to test how much obedient were Ibrahim, Isma'il, and Haajar. He commanded Ibrahim to slay his only son, Isma'il. The Shaytan (Satan) tried to dissuade the three of them, not to obey their Lord, but the three of them stoned the devil, rejecting his whispering.

 

As Ibrahim put the knife on Isma'il's neck, the senior angel, Jibril, peace be upon him, came with glad tidings that Ibrahim and his family passed the test of faith and obedience to Allah, who sent them an animal to be sacrificed instead.

 

This beautiful story is the main theme of the Haj, pilgrimage, to Makkah, which is required of capable Muslims once in their lifetime, where they enact the story, stoning the devil, walking and staying in the same places of the story, and circumambulating the Ka'aba. The climax of Haj is Eidul Adh'ha, when the animals are sacrificed, in celebration.

 

The story is told in Verses 99-111 of Surat Al-Safat (Chapter 37) of the Holy Quran. Then, in Verse 112 of the same Chapter (Surat Al-Safat), Allah, praise to him, tells us that He gave Ibrahim the good news about giving him another son, Iss'haq. Thus, this Verse tells us that the story of the sacrifice was about Isma'il, not Iss'haq who was not born yet, peace be upon both of them.

 

 

 

ٰ ﴿٩٩

 

﴿١٠٠

 

﴿١٠١

 

ٰ ٰ ۚ  ۖ ﴿١٠٢

 

﴿١٠٣

 

﴿١٠٤

 

 ۚ ٰ ﴿١٠٥

 

ٰ ﴿١٠٦

 

﴿١٠٧

 

﴿١٠٨

 

ٰ ﴿١٠٩

 

ٰ ﴿١١٠

 

﴿١١١

 

﴿١١٢

 

ٰ  ۚ ﴿١١٣﴾   ( 37: 99-113).

 

 

I seek refuge with God from the Stoned Shaytan
In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

 

And (then) he said, "Indeed, I will go to (where I am ordered by) my Lord; He will guide me. (99)

 

My Lord, grant me (a child) from among the righteous." (100)

 

So We gave him good tidings of a forbearing boy. (101)

 

And when he reached with him (the age of) exertion, he said, "O my son, indeed I have seen in a dream that I (must) sacrifice you, so see what you think." He said, "O my father, do as you are commanded. You will find me, if Allah wills, of the steadfast." (102)

 

And when they had both submitted and he put him down upon his forehead, (103)

 

We called to him, "O Ibrahim, (104)

 

You have fulfilled the vision." Indeed, We thus reward the doers of good. (105)

 

Indeed, this was the clear trial. (106) And We ransomed him with a great sacrifice, (107)

 

And We left for him (favorable mention) among later generations: (108)

 

"Peace upon Abraham." (109)

 

Indeed, We thus reward the doers of good. (110)

 

Indeed, he was of Our believing worshippers. (111)

 

And We gave him good tidings of Iss'haq (Isaac), a prophet from among the righteous. (112)

 

And We blessed him and Iss'haq. But among their descendants is the doer of good and the clearly self-oppressor. (113(Al-Safat, 37: 99-113). 

 

 

6. Glad Tidings of Getting his Second Son in Old Age

 

The Holy Quran focuses on God's Message of Guidance to humanity, rather than on mentioning details about times, places, and people.

 

The verses tell us that Ibrahim, pbbuh, left the city of the disbelievers (in Mesopotamia) to the Holy Land (of Cana'an). He had his first son, Isma'il, from Haajar, whom he had from his trip to Egypt. But he did not have a son from his first wife, Sarah, though both of them wished it.

 

Allah, praise to Him, sent angels to Ibrahim with glad tidings of granting him and Sarah a son, Iss'haq, for which they were surprised due to their old age. But the angels assured them that it was God's will to grant them the child they wanted, for which they were grateful, as we learn from Verses 51-56 of Surat Al-'Hijr (Chapter 15) of the Holy Quran. 

 

 

 

﴿٥١

 

﴿٥٢

 

﴿٥٣

 

ٰ ﴿٥٤

 

﴿٥٥

 

﴿٥٦﴾  ( 15: 51-56).

 

 

I seek refuge with God from the Stoned Shaytan
In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

 

And inform them about the guests of Ibrahim (Abraham), (51)

 

When they entered upon him and said, "Peace." (Ibrahim) said, "Indeed, we are fearful of you." (52)

 

(The angels) said, "Fear not. Indeed, we give you good tidings of a learned boy." (53)

 

He said, "Have you given me good tidings although old age has come upon me? Then of what [wonder] do you inform?" (54)

 

They said, "We have given you good tidings in truth, so do not be of the despairing." (55)

 

He said, "And who despairs of the mercy of his Lord except for those astray?" (56(Al-'Hijr, 15: 51-56).

 

***

 

The angels told Ibrahim, pbbuh, of the glad tidings while they were in their way to destroy the people his nephew, Loot, was sent to, for their perversion.

 

Ibrahim tried to plead with them not to destroy the town people because there were believers among them. But he was told to stop pleading for the wrongdoers, as God's command has been decreed to destroy them, after saving the believers, as revealed in Verses 69-76 of Surat Hood (Chapter 11) of the Holy Quran.

 

 

 

 

ٰ ۖ ۖ ﴿٦٩

 

ٰ ۚ ٰ ﴿٧٠

 

﴿٧١

 

ٰ ٰ ۖ ٰ ﴿٧٢

 

ۖ ۚ ﴿٧٣

 

ٰ ﴿٧٤

 

﴿٧٥

 

ٰ ۖ ۖ ﴿٧٦ ( 11: 69-76).

 

 

I seek refuge with God from the Stoned Shaytan
In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

 

And certainly did Our messengers come to Abraham with good tidings; they said, "Peace." He said, "Peace," and did not delay in bringing (them) a roasted calf. (69)

 

But when he saw their hands not reaching for it, he distrusted them and felt from them apprehension. They said, "Fear not. We have been sent to the people of Lot." (70)

 

And his Wife was standing, and she smiled. Then We gave her good tidings of Isaac and after Isaac, Jacob. (71)

 

She said, "Woe to me! Shall I give birth while I am an old woman and this, my husband, is an old man? Indeed, this is an amazing thing!" (72)

 

They said, "Are you amazed at the decree of Allah? May the mercy of Allah and His blessings be upon you, people of the house. Indeed, He is Praiseworthy and Honorable." (73)

 

And when the fright had left Abraham and the good tidings had reached him, he began to argue with Us concerning the people of Lot. (74)

 

Indeed, Abraham was forbearing, grieving and [frequently] returning [to Allah]. (75)

 

(The angels said), "O Abraham, give up this [plea]. Indeed, the command of your Lord has come, and indeed, there will reach them a punishment that cannot be repelled." (76) (Hood, 11: 69-76).

 

 

7. Ibrahim Was a Muslim, Neither a Jew Nor a Christian

 

Ibrahim, pbbuh, has been venerated by Jews, Christians, and Muslims. However, he was neither a Jew nor a Christian, as the Scriptures were revealed after him. Rather, he was a 'haneef (one inclining toward the truth), and a Muslim (submitting to Allah).

 

Ibrahim can be claimed by those who followed him (in submission to Allah), the Prophet Muhammed, pbbuh, and those who believe in the Message of worshipping Allah, which he brought to humanity, as revealed in Verses 65-68 of Surat Al-'Imran (Chapter 3) of the Holy Quran. 

 

 

ۚ ﴿٦٥

 

ٰ ۚ ﴿٦٦

 

ٰ ﴿٦٧

 

ٰ ۗ ﴿٦٨﴾  ( 3: 65-68).

 

 

 

I seek refuge with God from the Stoned Shaytan
In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

 

O People of the Book (Scriptures), why do you argue about Ibrahim (Abraham) while the Torah and the Gospel were not revealed until after him? Then, do you not reason? (65)

 

You are those who have argued about that of which you have (some) knowledge. Why do you argue about that of which you have no knowledge? And Allah knows, while you do not know. (66)

 

Ibrahim was neither a Jew nor a Nazarethan (Christian), but he was a 'haneef (one inclining toward truth), a Muslim (submitting to Allah). And he was not of the polytheists. (67)

 

Indeed, the most worthy of belonging to Abraham among the people are those who followed him (in submission to Allah) and this Prophet (Muhammed), and those who believe (in his Message). And Allah is the patron of the believers. (68) (Al-'Imran, 3: 65-68).

 

 

8. Instructing his Children to Be Muslims, in Preservation of the Covenant

 

Allah, praise to Him, tried Ibrahim, pbbuh, with commands, which he obeyed and fulfilled. As a reward to him for that, Allah promised to make him an Imam (leader) for the people. Ibrahim replied asking that this promise extend to his descendants. But Allah told him that the Covenant would not apply to those of his descendants, who oppress themselves by being wrongdoers, or oppress others by causing them harm. [5]

 

Allah, praise to Him, charged Ibrahim and his son, Isma'il, to build His House in Makkah, and purify (clean) it for worshippers to perform their rituals, which they did. In return, Ibrahim, pbbuh, asked his Lord to provide that area (of Makkah) with security and sustenance.

 

Ibrahim also asked his Lord to make him, his son, and their descendants Muslims (submitting themselves to God). He also asked Allah, praise to Him, to send a future Messenger from among them to teach them wisdom and the Book, and to recite its verses.

 

He instructed his children to stay Muslims, so did his grandson, Ya'acoub (Jacon), to his children, asking them about whom they would worship after his death. They answered that they were Muslims (submitting themselves to God), worshipping his God, the One God, the God of his forefathers: Ibrahim, Isma'il, and Iss'haq.

 

These meanings are expressed in Verses 124-133 of Surat Al-Baqara (Chapter 2) of the Holy Quran. 

 

 

ٰ ۖ ۖ ۖ ﴿١٢٤

 

ۖ ٰ ﴿١٢٥

 

ٰ ۖ ٰ ۖ ﴿١٢٦

 

ۖ ﴿١٢٧

 

ۖ ﴿١٢٨

 

ۚ ﴿١٢٩

 

ۚ ۖ ﴿١٣٠

 

ۖ ﴿١٣١

 

ٰ ٰ ﴿١٣٢

 

ٰ ٰ ٰ ﴿١٣٣﴾   ( 2: 124-133).

 

 

I seek refuge with God from the Stoned Shaytan
In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

 

And (mention, O Muhammed), when Ibrahim was tried by his Lord with words (commands) and he fulfilled them. (Allah) said, "Indeed, I will make you a leader for the people." (Ibrahim)] said, "And of my descendants?" (Allah) said, "My Covenant does not include the oppressors (wrongdoers)." (124)

 

And (mention, O Muhammed) when We made the House a place of return for the people and (a place of) security. And take, (O believers), from the standing place of Ibrahim a place of prayer. And We charged Ibrahim and Isma'il to purify My House for those who perform Tawaf (circumambulation of the Ka'abah), and those who are staying (there) for worship, and those who bow and prostrate (in prayer)." (125)

 

And (mention) when Ibrahim said, "My Lord, make this a secure city and provide its people with fruits - whoever of them believes in Allah and the Last Day." (Allah) said. "And whoever disbelieves - I will grant him enjoyment for a little (in this life). Then, I will force him to the punishment of the Fire, and (that is) a wretched fate." (126)

 

And (mention) when Ibrahim was raising the foundations of the House (the Ka'aba) and Ishmael, (with him, saying), "Our Lord, accept (this) from us. Indeed, You are the Hearing, the Knowing. (127)

 

Our Lord, and make us Muslims (in submission) to You and from our descendants a Muslim nation (in submission) to You. And show us our rites and accept our repentance. Indeed, You are the Accepting of repentance, the Merciful. (128)

 

Our Lord, and send among them a messenger from themselves (Muhammed), who will recite to them Your verses and teach them the Book and wisdom and purify them. Indeed, You are the Exalted in Might, the Wise." (129)

 

And who would be averse to the religion of Ibrahim except one who makes a fool of himself. And We had chosen him in this world, and indeed he, in the Hereafter, will be among the righteous. (130)

 

When his Lord said to him, "Submit" (to Me), he said "I have submitted (in Islam) to the Lord of the worlds." (131)

 

And Abraham instructed his sons (to submit, to be Muslims) and (so did) Jacob, (saying), "O my sons, indeed Allah has chosen for you this religion, so do not die except while you are Muslims." (132)

 

Or were you witnesses when death approached Jacob, when he said to his sons, "What will you worship after me?" They said, "We will worship your God, and (it is) the God of your forefathers, Ibrahim, and Ishma'il, and Iss'haq - One God. And we are Muslims (in submission) to Him." (133(Al-Baqara, 2: 124-133). 

 

 

8. Ibrahim's (Abraham's) Supplication

 

Ibrahim, pbbuh, is famous in the Holy Quran of making very beautiful supplications, du'a, many Mulslims, particularly imams, recite in their prayers, after reciting Al-Fati'ha, the Opening Chapter of the Holy Quran.

 

 In addition to Verses 2:126-129 mentioned above, here are two more supplications from Surat Al-Shu'ara (Chapter 26) and Surat Ibrahim (Chapter 14) of the Holy Quran.

 

 

 

﴿٧٨

 

﴿٧٩

 

﴿٨٠

 

﴿٨١

 

﴿٨٢

 

﴿٨٣

 

﴿٨٤

 

﴿٨٥﴾  ( 26: 78-85).

 

 

I seek refuge with God from the Stoned Shaytan
In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

 

Who created me, and it is He who guides me. (78)

 

And it is He who feeds me and gives me drink. (79)

 

And when I am ill, it is He who cures me (80)

 

And who will cause me to die and then bring me to life (81)

 

And who I aspire that He will forgive me my sin on the Day of Recompense." (82)

 

My Lord, grant me wisdom (knowledge) and join me with the righteous. (83)

 

And grant me a reputation of honor among later generations. (84)

 

And place me among the inheritors of the Garden of Bounty (Paradise). (85) (Al-Shu'ara, 26: 78-85).

 

 

 

 

ٰ ﴿٣٥

 

ۖ ۖ ﴿٣٦

 

﴿٣٧

 

ۗ ٰ ﴿٣٨

 

ۚ ﴿٣٩

 

ۚ ﴿٤٠

 

  ﴿٤١﴾   ( 14: 35-41).

 

 

 

I seek refuge with God from the Stoned Shaytan
In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

 

And (mention, O Muhammad), when Ibrahim said, "My Lord, make this city (Makkah) secure and keep me and my sons away from worshipping idols. (35)

 

My Lord, indeed, they have led astray many among the people. So whoever follows me - then he is of me; and whoever disobeys me - indeed, You are Forgiving and Merciful. (36)

 

Our Lord, I have settled some of my descendants in an uncultivated valley, near Your Sacred House, our Lord, that they may establish prayer. So, make (some) hearts of the people incline toward them, and provide for them from the fruits, that they may thank (You). (37)

 

Our Lord, indeed, You know what we conceal and what we declare, and nothing is hidden from Allah on the Earth or in the heaven. (38)

 

Praise to Allah, who has granted to me, in old age, Isma'il and Iss'haq. Indeed, my Lord is the Hearer of supplication. (39)

 

My Lord, make me an establisher of prayer, and from my descendants (who do so). Our Lord, and accept (my) supplication. (40)

 

Our Lord, forgive me, and my parents, and the believers the Day the reckoning is established." (41)

 (Ibrahim, 14: 37).

 

 

Conclusion

 

The story of the Messenger of Allah, Ibrahim (Abraham), peace and blessings of Allah be upon him (pbbuh), starts with his contemplation about the Creator, praise to Him, which led him to rejecting the false gods his people worshipped.

 

He asked Allah to show him how He resurrects the dead just to be sure, which the Creator allowed him to see.

 

He argued with his father about the statues he made, trying dissuade him away from worshipping them but in vain.

 

He also tried to persuade the king and the people of the city to worship Allah, instead of the helpless statues but without success, even after they had seen Gods miracle of saving him from being burned in the fire.

 

Then, Ibrahim was instructed to leave the area of the nonbelievers to teach the Message of God elsewhere, in the rest of the Middle East, which he did.

 

After settling in the Holy Land, he had his first son, Isma'il. Then, he was given the glad tidings of getting his second son, Iss'haq, while in old age.

 

He brought up his children as believers and instructed them to keep the faith and live as Muslims, in submission to their Lord, asking Allah, praise to Him, to guide them to His path and to take care of them.

Allah told him that his call would be answered but it would apply only to those among his descendants who keep the faith and live in submission to Him. But the Covenant would not apply to those among his descendants, who are wrong-doers, who oppress themselves and others.

 

==============================

 

Notes:

 

[1] The Messenger of Allah, Ibrahim (Abraham), peace and blessings of Allah be upon him (pbbuh), was mentioned in the Holy Quran, by name, 69 times, in Chapter 2 (Surat Al-Baqara), 15 times (verses 124, 125 twice, 126, 127, 130, 132, 133, 135, 136, 140, 258 three times, and 260). He was also mentioned in 3: 33, 65, 67, 68, 84, 95, 97; 4: 54, 125 twice, 163; 6: 74, 75, 83, 161; 9: 70, 114 twice; 11: 69, 74, 75, 76; 12: 6, 38; 14: 35; 15: 51; 16: 120, 123; 19: 41, 46, 58; 21: 51, 60, 62, 69; 22: 26, 43, 78; 26: 69; 29: 16, 31; 33: 7; 37: 83, 104, 109; 38: 45,; 42: 13; 43: 26; 51: 24; 53: 37; 57: 60: 4 twice; and 87: 19.

 

[2] The Holy Quran neither tells us about the name of the city where Ibrahim, pbbuh, was born, nor about the time period he lived, as the case with other Messengers of God. Rather, the focus is on the meaning and the lessons learned from their missions of guiding people from the darkness of ignorance to the light of God's mercy and wisdom.

 

Muslims are instructed to be educated, through reading (96:1) and through conducting their own archaeological research to know about history and the beginning of the creation (29:20).

 

There are no decisive accounts from historians or Biblical scholars about the time Ibrahim lived but most of them agreed that it was sometime during the first three centuries of the second millennium B.C. However, there's an agreement that he lived in the Mesopotamian city of Ur (probably Uruk), at the time of King Nimrod, then departed to the Holy Land of Cana'an, particularly Palestine, where he settled in Al-Khalil (Hebron, which means the Friend of God, in Arabic).

 

For more information, see:

 

 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abraham, and:

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nimrod

 

[2] The English translation of the Holy Quran verses mentioned in this article are mainly from the Sahih International translation, posted on www.tanzil.net. However, this author revised the translation and made some changes, using interpretations of Ibn Katheer, Al-Qurtubi, and Al-Tabari, may Allah reward all of them for their great works. So, while giving the credit to the Sahih International translators, he is solely responsible for the translation used here.

 

The words placed in parentheses represent an additional explanation for the meaning of certain words in a verse. They are not direct translations.

 

[3] Al-Tabari extensively explored the meaning of the word "fasurhunna" ( ), concluding that it was used by Nabatean Arabs who lived in the Southeast of Palestine and Southwest of Jordan, meaning "cut them into pieces," which should be the direct meaning (not just the understood meaning).

 

[4] In his interpretation of 2: 258, Ibn Katheer narrated that King Nimrod commanded his guards to bring two prisoners who were waiting for execution. He forgave one of them (giving him life), and ordered the other to be killed (ending his life).

 

Al-Tabari and Al-Qurtubi narrated that Nimrod argued with Ibrahim, pbbuh, that he could give life to a prisoner who was waiting for execution by pardoning him and could kill another, causing his death. But they did not narrate that Nemrod actually did that.

 

[5] The Islamic scholar, Ibn Katheer, narrated various interpretations of God's commands to Ibrahim. These include worshipping Allah, praise to Him, and body cleanliness, such as washing, tooth brushing, nose cleaning, shaving the moustache and pubic hair, decreasing underarm hair.

 

So, the Covenant prescribed to Ibrahim and his descendants to follow God's commands. In return, they would be entitled to the leadership of the people. The Covenant would not apply to those descendants of Ibrahim, who oppress themselves by not following God's commands, or oppressing others by doing harm to them.

 

==============================

 

* Dr. Hassan Ali El-Najjar is a native speaker of Arabic. He has a Ph.D. in Sociology and a Masters degree in Cultural Anthropology.

 

 

 

 

editor@daltonislamiccenter.org

 

 

www.daltonislamiccenter.org