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The history of the messengers: Abraham

The monotheistic messenger

Prophet Abraham was indeed a monotheistic prophet and this was manifested in all his conduct. Allah, therefore, says the following when describing him: {Verily, Ibrâhim (Abraham) was an Ummah (a leader having all the good righteous qualities), or a nation, obedient to Allâh, Hanifa (i.e. to worship none but Allâh), and he was not one of those who were Al-Mushrikûn (polytheists, idolaters, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allâh, and those who joined partners with Allâh).}(An-Nahl:120)

He (pbuh) grew up among polytheists. Even his father was one of the idolaters, and carved and served the idols. Abraham argued with his father and people: {And (remember) when Ibrâhim (Abraham) said to his father Azar: “Do you take idols as âlihâ (gods)? Verily, I see you and your people in manifest error.”}(Al-An’âm:74)

With compelling arguments he firmly rejected their polytheistic ways. He looked at Allah’s ever so apparent signs. {“When the night covered him over with darkness he saw a star. He said: “This is my lord.” But when it set,”}(Al-An’âm:76)That is: he saw how it set. {76. he said: “I like not those that set.” 77. When he saw the moon rising up,}(Al-An’âm:76-77)That is: appearing in the horizon, and he saw that some people worshipped it. he said: {“This is my lord.”}(Al-An’âm:77)Condemning their actions, astonished by their worship!! Taking the opportunity, he said: {But when it set}(Al-An’âm:77)That is: disappeared below the horizon. He went to the people and said: {77. He said: “Unless my Lord guides me, I shall surely be among the erring people.”78. When he saw the sun rising up}(Al-An’âm:77-78)

He saw how the people were worshipping it. He said: {“This is my lord. This is greater.”}(Al-An’âm:78)

Condemning their actions!! Astonished at how they made a god out of the sun?! {But when it set}(Al-An’âm:78)

and subsequently disappeared from sight. He went to those who were worshipping it and said to them: {78. O my people! I am indeed free from all that you join as partners in worship with Allâh. 79. Verily, I have turned my face towards Him Who has created the heavens and the earth Hanifa (Islâmic Monotheism, i.e. worshipping none but Allâh Alone) and I am not of Al-Mushrikûn (see V.2:105)”.}(Al-An’âm:78-79)

The story of Ibraheem (peace be upon him) with his father

He used to preach to his father much and forbid him from practicing polytheism, using soft, kind and logical speech: {42. When he said to his father: “O my father! Why do you worship that which hears not, sees not and cannot avail you in anything?”43. “O my father! Verily! There has come to me of knowledge that which came not unto you. So follow me. I will guide you to a Straight Path.”44. “O my father! Worship not Shaitân (Satan). Verily! Shaitân (Satan) has been a rebel against the Most Beneficent (Allâh).”45. “O my father! Verily! I fear lest a torment from the Most Beneficent (Allâh) overtake you.”}[Tafsir Al-Qurtubî] (Maryam:42-45)

Unfortunately, his father’s response was harsh: {He (the father) said: “Do you reject my gods, O Ibrâhim (Abraham)? If you stop not (this), I will indeed stone you. So get away from me safely before I punish you.”{ (Maryam:46)

Abraham’s reply was very polite, compassionate and kind: {47. Ibrâhim (Abraham) said: “Peace be on you! I will ask Forgiveness of my Lord for you. Verily! He is unto me, Ever Most Gracious.” 48. “And I shall turn away from you and from those whom you invoke besides Allâh. And I shall call on my Lord; and I hope that I shall not be unblest in my invocation to my Lord.”}(Maryam:47-48)

Prophet Abraham (pbuh) continued to call his father and his people to Allah and monotheism, and to reject polytheism. His people, however, did not respond to Abraham and his call, and insisted on polytheism. {80. His people disputed with him. He said: “Do you dispute with me concerning Allâh while He has guided me, and I fear not those whom you associate with Allâh in worship. (Nothing can happen to me) except when my Lord (Allâh) wills something. My Lord comprehends in His Knowledge all things. Will you not then remember? 81. And how should I fear those whom you associate in worship with Allâh (though they can neither benefit nor harm)”}(Al-An’âm:80-81)

Again he said to them: {When he said to his father and his people: “What do you worship?”}(Ash-Shu’arâ’:70)

They replied: {71. They said: “We worship idols, and to them we are ever devoted.”}(Ash-Shu’arâ’:70)72

. He said: {“Do they hear you, when you call (on them)?” 73. “Or do they benefit you or do they harm (you)?”}(Ash-Shu’arâ’:72-73)

The response was a stupid one which was not based on any reason or logic, just on pure tradition. They said: {“Nay, but we found our fathers doing so.”}(Ash-Shu’arâ’:74)

He answered them with pure monotheism. using convincing arguments, reason and insight: {75. He said: “Do you observe that which you have been worshipping,76. You and your ancient fathers?77. Verily! They are enemies to me, save the Lord of the ‘Alamîn (mankind, jinns and all that exists);78. Who has created me, and it is He Who guides me;79. And it is He Who feeds me and gives me to drink.80. And when I am ill, it is He who cures me; 81. And Who will cause me to die, and then will bring me to life (again); 82. And Who, I hope will forgive me my faults on the Day of Recompense, (the Day of Resurrection),” 83. “My Lord! Bestow Hukman (religious knowledge, right judgement of the affairs and Prophethood) on me, and join me with the righteous; 84. And grant me an honourable mention in later generations; 85. And make me one of the inheritors of the Paradise of Delight; 86. And forgive my father, verily he is of the erring;”}(Ash-Shu’arâ’:75-86)

The breaking of the idols

When it was time for a festival, the king and the people of the city went out to the desert to perform the rituals of the festival. Abraham, however, did not accompany them when they left. {90. So they turned away from him, and departed (for fear of the disease). 91. Then he turned to their âliha (gods) and said: “Will you not eat (of the offering before you)?” 92. “What is the matter with you that you speak not?” 93. Then he turned upon them, striking (them) with (his) right hand.}(As-Sâffât:90-93)

Then they returned and found that their gods were broken. How could these statues be gods when they could not even defend themselves!? They came in haste: {59. They said: “Who has done this to our âliha (gods)? He must indeed be one of the wrong-doers.” 60. They said: “We heard a young man talking (against) them who is called Ibrâhim (Abraham).” 61. They said: “Then bring him before the eyes of the people, that they may testify.” 62. They said: “Are you the one who has done this to our gods, O Ibrâhim (Abraham)?”}(Al-Anbiyâ’:59-62)

He answered them with a strong argument: {[Ibrâhim (Abraham)] said: “Nay, this one, the biggest of them (idols) did it. Ask them, if they can speak!”}(Al-Anbiyâ’:63)

They felt insignificant in front of this argument. {64. So they turned to themselves and said: “Verily, you are the Zâlimûn (polytheists and wrong-doers).” 65. Then they turned to themselves (their first thought and said): “Indeed you [Ibrâhim (Abraham)] know well that these (idols) speak not!”}(Al-Anbiyâ’:64-65)

He answered them, with an extremely strong argument: {66. [Ibrâhim (Abraham)] said: “Do you then worship besides Allâh, things that can neither profit you, nor harm you? 67. “Fie upon you, and upon that which you worship besides Allâh! Have you then no sense?”} (Al-Anbiyâ’:66-67)

They wanted to take revenge when they felt that they had no reasonable argument, evidence or logical line of reasoning. They said: {“Burn him and help your âliha (gods), if you will be doing.”}(Al-Anbiyâ’:68)

However, Allah saved him. {69. We (Allâh) said: “O fire! Be you coolness and safety for Ibrâhim (Abraham)!” 70. And they wanted to harm him, but We made them the worst losers.}(Al-Anbiyâ’:69-70)

After Allah saved him, he returned and engaged in a dialogue with their king: {Have you not looked at him who disputed with Ibrâhim (Abraham) about his Lord (Allâh), because Allâh had given him the kingdom? When Ibrâhim (Abraham) said (to him): “My Lord (Allâh) is He Who gives life and causes death.”}(Al-Baqarah:258)

Against this impressive clear argument, came the dull reply: {He said, “I give life and cause death.”}(Al-Baqarah:258)

Abraham (pbuh) did not care to argue with that foolishness and did not divert from the debate over whether the king could kill someone or leave him alive. {Ibrâhim (Abraham) said, “Verily! Allâh causes the sun to rise from the east; then cause it you to rise from the west.” So the disbeliever was utterly defeated. And Allâh guides not the people, who are Zâlimûn (wrong-doers, etc.).}(Al-Baqarah:258)

Their argument appeared weak as well as their evidence and logic. After the conclusion of the debate Abraham wanted to see with his own eyes how Allah creates and resurrects. {And (remember) when Ibrâhim (Abraham) said, “My Lord! Show me how You give life to the dead.” He (Allâh) said: “Do you not believe?” He [Ibrâhim (Abraham)] said: “Yes (I believe), but to be stronger in Faith.” He said: “Take four birds, then cause them to incline towards you (then slaughter them, cut them into pieces), and then put a portion of them on every hill, and call them, they will come to you in haste. And know that Allâh is All-Mighty, All-Wise.”}(Al-Baqarah:260)

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Arrogance and the distortion of history
“In their writings, medieval Christians began to spread their belief in the ethnic class distinction of human races mentioned in Genesis, and they even added a new class to it. Therefore, the dominant belief was that the clergy and saints were the descendants of Sam, while knights were the descendants of Japheth; and the poor were the descendants of Ham, all of whom were the sons of Noah (pbuh). That matter reached its climax in 1964 when US Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia actually used the story of Noah as a justification to keep the policy of racial discrimination in the United States. “

Later Allah commanded Prophet Abraham and his son Ismail to purify the house of Allah in Mecca from polytheism and idols. {125…and We commanded Ibrâhim (Abraham) and Ismâ’il (Ishmael) that they should purify My House (the Ka’bah at Makkah) for those who are circumambulating it, or staying (I’tikâf), or bowing or prostrating themselves (there, in prayer). 126. And (remember) when Ibrâhim (Abraham) said, “My Lord, make this city (Makkah) a place of security and provide its people with fruits, such of them as believe in Allâh and the Last Day.” He (Allâh) answered: “As for him who disbelieves, I shall leave him in contentment for a while, then I shall compel him to the torment of the Fire, and worst indeed is that destination!” 127. And (remember) when Ibrâhim (Abraham) and (his son) Ismâ’il (Ishmael) were raising the foundations of the House (the Ka’bah at Makkah), (saying), “Our Lord! Accept (this service) from us. Verily! You are the All-Hearer, the All-Knower.” 128. “Our Lord! And make us submissive unto You and of our offspring a nation submissive unto You, and show us our Manâsik (all the ceremonies of pilgrimage - Hajj and ‘Umrah, etc.), and accept our repentance. Truly, You are the One Who accepts repentance, the Most Merciful.”}(Al-Baqarah:125-128)