Stories Of The Prophets

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  • Stories Of The Prophets

  • Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham)


    of Abraham and his Family


    Some of the People of the Book stated that his name was
    Abraham Ibn Tarikh, Ibn Nahur, Ibn Sarough, Ibn Raghu, Ibn Phaligh, Ibn
    Aher, Ibn Shalih, Ibn Arfghshand, Ibn Sam, Ibn Noah.

    They said that when Tarikh was seventy five years old,
    he had Abraham, Nahor (Nohour) and Haran. Haran had a son named Lot.
    They also said that Abraham was the middle child and that Haran died in
    the lifetime of his father in the land where he was born, the land of
    the Chaldeans (Al Kaldanieen), also known as Babylonia. At that time
    some people worshipped idols of stone and wood; others worshipped the
    planets, stars, sun and moon; still others worshipped their kings and

    Abraham was born into that atmosphere, into a typical
    family of that ancient time. The head of the family was not even an
    ordinary idolater, but was one who totally rejected Allah and who used
    to make the idols with his own hands. Some traditions claimed that
    Abraham's father died before his birth and he was raised by an uncle
    whom Abraham called father. Other traditions said that his father was
    alive and was named Azer.

    Into that family Abraham was born, destined to stand
    against his own family, against the entire system of his community. In
    brief, he stood against all kinds of polytheism.

    Abraham's Childhood

    He was endowed with spiritual understanding from an
    early age. Allah enlightened his heart and mind gave him wisdom from
    childhood. Allah the Almighty stated:

    "Indeed We bestowed aforetime
    on Abraham his (portion of) guidance, and We were Well Acquainted with
    him( as to his Belief in the Oneness of Allah etc).
    (Ch 21:51)

    During his early childhood Abraham realized that his
    father made strange statues. One day, he asked him about what it was he
    made. His father replied that he made statues of gods. Abraham was
    astonished and he spontaneously rejected the idea. Being a child he
    played with such statues sitting on their backs as people sit on the
    backs of donkeys and mules.

    One day his father saw him riding the statue of
    Mardukh and he became furious. He ordered his son not to play with it

    Abraham asked: "What is this statue, father? It has
    big ears, bigger than ours."

    His father answered: "It is Mardukh, the god of gods,
    son! These big ears show his deep knowledge."

    This made Abraham laugh, he was only seven years old
    at that time.

    Abraham's Hatred for

    Years passed and Abraham grew. Since his childhood his
    heart had been full of hatred for these idols. He could not understand
    how a sane person could make a statue and then worship what he had
    made. He noticed that these idols did not eat, drink or talk and they
    could not even turn themselves right side up if someone turned them
    upside down. How, then could people believe that such statues could
    harm or benefit them?

    Abraham 's people had a big temple full of idols, in
    the middle of which was a niche accommodating the biggest gods which
    was of different kinds, qualities and shapes. Abraham, who used to go
    to the temple with his father when he was a child, greatly despised all
    that wood and stone. What surprised him was the way his people behaved
    when they entered the temple; they bowed and started to cry, begging
    and imploring their gods for help as if the idols could hear or
    understand these requests!

    At first, such a sight seemed funny to Abraham, but
    later he began to feel angry. Was it not astonishing that all those
    people could be deceived? What added to the problem was that his father
    wanted him to be a priest when he was grown. He wanted nothing more
    from his son that that he revere those statues, yet Abraham never
    stopped displaying his hatred and disdain of them.

    Abraham Discovers Allah

    One night Abraham left his house to go to a mountain.
    He walked alone in the dark until he chose a cave in the mountain where
    he sat resting his back against its wall. He looked at the sky. He had
    hardly seen it when he remembered that he was looking at planets and
    stars which were worshipped by some people on earth. His young heart
    was filled with tremendous pain. He considered what was beyond the
    moon, the stars and the planets (i.e. Allah) and was astonished that
    these celestial bodies were worshipped by men when they had been
    created to worship and obey their Creator, appearing and disappearing
    at His command.

    Abraham Reasons with
    Celestial Worshippers

    Abraham, addressed his people who worshipped
    celestial bodies as Almighty Allah revealed:

    "Thus did We show
    Abraham the kingdom of the heavens and the earth that he be one of
    those who have Faith and certainty. When the night covered him over
    with darkness he saw a star. He said: "This is my lord." But when it
    set, he said: "I like not that those who set." When he saw the moon
    rising up he said: "This is my lord." but when it set he said: "Unless
    my Lord guides me, I shall surely be among the erring people." When he
    saw the sun rising up he said: "This is my lord, This is greater." But
    when it set, he said: "O my people! I am indeed free from all that you
    join as partners in worship with Allah. Verily, I have turned my face
    towards Him Who has created the heavens and the earth Hanifan (Islamic
    Monotheism, i.e. worshipping none but Allah Alone) and I am not of the
    Al Mushrikeen (those who worship others besides Allah)."

    His people disputed with him. He said: "Do you
    dispute with me concerning Allah while HE has guided me and I fear not
    those whom you associate with Allah in worship. (Nothing can happen to
    me) except when my Lord (Allah) wills something. My Lord comprehends in
    His Knowledge all things. Will you not then remember?

    "And how should I fear those whom you associate in
    worship with Allah (though they can neither benefit nor harm), while
    you fear not that you have joined in worship with Allah things for
    which HE has not sent down to you any authority. So which of the two
    parties has more right to be in security? If you but know."

    It is those who believe (in the Oneness of Allah
    and worship none but Him Alone) and confuse not their belief with Zulm
    (wrong, i.e. by worshipping others besides Allah), for them only there
    is security and they are the guided. And that was Our proof which We
    gave Abraham against his people. We raise whom We will in degrees.
    Certainly your Lord is All Wise, All Knowing.
    (Ch 6:75-83 Quran).

    In that debate, Abraham clarified to his people that
    these celestial bodies do not serve as deities and cannot be worshipped
    as partners with Allah the Almighty. Indeed these bodies are created
    things, fashioned, controlled, managed and made to serve. They appear
    sometimes and disappear at others, going out of sight from our world.
    However, Allah the Almighty does not lose sight of anything, and
    nothing can be hidden from Him. He is without end, everlasting without
    disappearance. There is no other deity but Allah.

    Abraham made clear to them, first that the celestial
    bodies are unworthy of worship and second that they are among the signs
    of Allah. Almighty Allah commanded:

    "And from among His Signs are the
    night and the day, and the sun and the moon. Prostrate not to the sun
    nor to the moon, but prostrate to Allah Who created them if you really
    worship Him.
    (Ch 41:37)

    Abraham's reasoning helped to reveal the truth, and
    then the conflict between him and his people began for the worshippers
    of the stars and planets did not stand mute. they began arguing and
    threatening Abraham.

    Abraham replied:

    "Do you dispute with me concerning
    Allah while HE has guided me, and I fear not those whom you associate
    with Allah in worship. (Nothing can happen to me except when my Lord
    (Allah) wills something. My Lord comprehends in His Knowledge all
    things. Will you not then remember? How should I fear those whom you
    associate in worship with Allah (though they can neither benefit or
    harm), while you fear not that you have joined in worship with Allah
    things for which He has not sent down to you any authority. SO which of
    the two parties has more rights to be in security? .....if you but
    know! It is those who believe (in the oneness of Allah and worship none
    but HiAlone) and confuse not their belief with Zulm (wrong by
    worshipping others besides Allah), for them only there is security and
    they are the guided."
    (Ch 6:80-82)

    Abraham Reasons with

    The curtains are drawn on the first category of the
    people, those who were worshipping celestial bodies. the next situation
    reveals the second group, those who were practicing idolatry. Allah
    gave Abraham (pbuh) the reasoning he needed the first time and every
    time he argued with his people. Almighty Allah declared:

    "And that
    was Our Proof which We gave Abraham against his people. We raised whom
    We will in degrees. Certainly your Lord is All Wise, All Knowing.

    Abraham did his best to make his people heedful to the
    belief in the oneness of Almighty Allah and to the worship of Him
    alone. He bade them to firmly renounce the worship of idols. HE said to
    his father and his people:

    "What are these images, to which you are
    devoted?" they said: "We found our fathers worshipping them." He said:
    "Indeed you and your fathers have been in manifest error." They said:
    "Have you brought us the truth, or are you one of those who play
    about?" He said: "Nay, your Lord is the Lord of the heavens and the
    earth, Who created them and of that I am of the witnesses."

    Abraham reasons wih
    his Father

    All was finished between Abraham and his people and the
    struggle began. the most amazed and furious was his father (or his
    uncle who had raised him), for as it is well known, he not only
    worshipped idols but sculpted and sold them as well. Abraham felt that
    it was his duty as a good son to advise his father against this evil so
    that he could be saved from Allah's punishment.

    Being a wise son he did not make his father feel
    foolish, nor did he openly laugh at his conduct. He told him that he
    loved him, thereby hoping to generate fatherly love. Then he gently
    asked him why he worshipped lifeless idols who could not hear, see or
    protect him. before his father could become angry he hastily added:

    "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. O my
    father! Worship not Satan. Verily! Stan has been a rebel against the
    Most Beneficent (Allah). O my father! Verily! I fear lest a torment
    from the Most Beneficent (Allah) overtake you as that you become a
    companion of Satan (in the Hellfire)."

    He (the father) said: "Do you reject my gods, O
    Abraham? If you stop not this, I will indeed stone you. So get away
    from me safely before I punish you." Abraham said: "Peace be on you! I
    will ask Forgiveness of my Lord for you. Verily! He is unto me, Ever
    Most Gracious. And I shall turn away from you and from those whom you
    invoke besides Allah."
    (Ch 19:43-48)

    Abraham debates with
    the Idolaters

    His father's harsh treatment did not stop Abraham from
    delivering the message of truth. Angry and sad to see people prostate
    before idols, he was determined to stamp out these practices and went
    to the town to debate with the people knowing full well that he might
    suffer harm.

    Like a wise doctor searching for the cause of a
    sickness so as to prescribe the proper cure, or like a judge who
    questioned the accused sharply so that he mighty detect the truth.
    Abraham asked them: "Do the idols see you when you prostrate before
    them? Do they benefit you in any way." They quickly tried to defend
    their beliefs. They argued that they knew the idols were lifeless but
    that their forefathers had worshipped them; to them this was proof
    enough for their belief.

    Abraham explained that their forefathers had been
    wrong. This angered them and they retorted: "Are you condemning our
    gods and our forefathers? Or are you just joking?"

    Abraham showed no fear as he replied: "I am serious. I
    come to you with a true religion. I have been sent with guidance from
    our Lord Who alone is worthy of worship, Who is the Creator of the
    heavens and the earth, and Who regulates all affairs of life, unlike
    the dumb idols which are just stone and wood."

    To convince them that the idols could not harm him, he
    challenged: "I have already condemned them; of they had any power they
    would have harmed me by now!"

    Abraham reasons with
    the Idolaters, Second Time

    Almighty Allah recounted:

    "Recite to them the story
    of Abraham. When he said to his father and his people. "What do you
    worship?" They said: "We worship idols, and to them we are ever
    devoted." He said: "Do they hear you when you call on them? OR do they
    benefit you or do they harm you?" They said: "Nay but we found our
    father doing so."

    He said: "Do you observe that which you been
    worshipping, You and your ancient fathers? Verily! They are enemies to
    me, save the Lord of the Alamin (mankind, jinn and all that exists);
    Who has created me and it is HE Who guides me and it is HE Who feeds me
    and gives me to drink. And when I am ill, it is He who cures me; and
    Who will cause me to die and then will bring me to life again and Who I
    hope will forgive me my faults on the Day of Resurrection."
    26:69-82 Quran).

    In another surah The Almighty revealed:

    "And remember
    Abraham when he said to his people: "Worship Allah Alone and fear Him
    that is better for you if you did but know. You worship besides Allah
    only idols and you only invent falsehood. Verily, those whom you
    worship beside Allah have no power to give you provision, so seek your
    provision from Allah Alone, you will be brought back. And if you deny
    then nations before you have denied their Messengers. the duty of the
    Messenger is only to convey the Message plainly."

    See they not how Allah originates creation, then
    will repent it. Verily, that is easy for Allah.

    Say: "Travel in the land and see how Allah
    originated creation and then Allah will bring forth (resurrect) the
    creation of the Hereafter (i.e. resurrection after death) verily, Allah
    is Able to do all things."

    He punishes whom HE wills and shows mercy to whom
    He wills, and to Him you will be returned. And you cannot escape in the
    earth or in the heaven. And besides Allah you have neither any Wali
    (Protector, or guardian) nor any Helper. And those who disbelieve in
    the Ayat (proofs, lessons, signs, evidences, verses, revelations etc)
    of Allah and the Meeting with Him, it is they who have no hope of My
    Mercy, and it is they who will have a painful torment.
    (CH 22:16-23

    Abraham Breaks the

    He explained to them the beauty of Allah's creation,
    His power and wisdom. Idol worship is detested by Allah for Allah is
    the Lord of the universe Who created mankind, guided him and provided
    him with food and drink and cured him when he was sick and Who will
    cause him to die and be raised up again. iT was He to Whom Abraham
    prayed and Who would forgive his sins on the Day of Judgment. However,
    they would not give up but clung fast to idolatry.

    Abraham left his father's house and abandoned his
    people and what they worshipped. He decide to do something about their
    state of disbelief, but did not reveal it. He knew that there was going
    to be a great celebration on the other bank of the river which would be
    attended by all the people. Abraham waited until the city was empty,
    then came out cautiously, directing his steps towards the temple. the
    streets leading to it were empty and the temple itself was deserted for
    the priests had also gone to the festival outside the city.

    Abraham went there carrying a sharp axe. He looked at
    the stone and wood statues of the gods and at the food laid in front of
    them as offerings. He approached one of the statues and asked: "The
    food in front of you is getting cold. Why don't you eat?" the statue
    kept silent and rigid. Abraham asked all the other statues around him:

    "Will you not eat of the offering before you?" (Ch

    He was mocking them for he knew they would not eat. He
    once again asked then:

    "What is the matter with you that you do not
    (Ch 37:92)

    He then raised his axe and started smashing the false
    gods worshipped by the people. He destroyed them all except one on
    whose neck he hung the axe. After this his anger subsides and he felt
    at peace. He left the temple. He had fulfilled his vow to show his
    people a practical proof of their foolishness in worshipping something
    other than Allah.

    The Idolaters Question

    When the people returned, they were shocked to see
    their gods smashed to pieces, lying scattered all over the temple. They
    began to guess who had done that to their idols and Abraham's name came
    to their minds.

    Allah the Almighty said: they said:

    "Who has done
    this to our aliah (gods)? He must indeed be one of the wrongdoers."
    They said: "We heard a young man talking against them who is called
    Abraham." They said: "Then bring him before the eyes of the people,
    that they may testify." they said: "Are you the one who has done this
    to our gods, O Abraham?" Abraham said: "nay, this one, the biggest of
    them (idols) did it, Ask them, if they can speak!"

    SO they turned to themselves and said: "Verily you
    are the Zalimun (polytheists, and wrongdoers)." Then they turned to
    themselves (their first thought and said): "Indeed you (Abraham) know
    well that these idols speak not?" Abraham said: "DO you then worship
    besides Allah, things that can neither profit you nor harm you? If upon
    you, and upon that which you worship besides Allah! Have you then no
    (Ch 21:59-67 Quran)

    Furious, they demanded that Abraham be arrested and
    tried. Abraham did not resist. this was precisely what he had been
    aiming for, so that he could show them up in public for their foolish

    At the trial they asked him if he was responsible for
    breaking the idols. Smiling, he told them to ask the biggest idol which
    was still whole. He told them that he must be the culprit! They replied
    that he knew well that the idol could not speak or move which gave
    Abraham the chance to prove the foolishness of worshipping these
    lifeless objects.

    They then realized the senselessness of their beliefs;
    however, their arrogance would not allow them to admit their
    foolishness. All they could do was to use their power of authority as
    tyrants usually do to punish Abraham. They kept him in chains and
    planned their revenge.

    The Idolaters Try to
    burn Abraham

    Anger was burning in their hearts. They decided to
    throw Abraham into the biggest fire they could build. All the citizens
    were ordered to gather wood as a service to their gods. Ignorant, sick
    women vowed that if they were cured they would donate so much wood to
    burn Abraham. For several days they collected fuel.

    They dug a deep pit, filled it with firewood and
    ignited it. They brought a catapult with which to cast Abraham into the
    fire. Abraham was put on the catapult, his hands and feet were tied.
    The fire was ready with its flame reaching the sky. The people stood
    away from the pit because of the great heat. Then the chief priest gave
    his order to cast Abraham into the fire.

    The angel Gabriel came near Abraham's head and asked
    him: "O Abraham do you wish for anything?" Abraham replied: "Nothing
    from you."

    The catapult was shot and Abraham was cast into the
    fire. But his descent into the blaze was as descent on steps in a cool
    garden. The flames were still there, but they did not burn for Allah
    the Almighty had issued His command:

    "O fire! Be you coolness and
    safety for Abraham."
    (Ch 21:69 Quran)

    The fire submitted to the will of Allah, becoming cool
    and safe for Abraham. It only burned his bonds, and he sat in the midst
    of the fire as if he were sitting in a garden. He glorified and praised
    Allah the Almighty, with a heart that contained only his love for
    Allah. There was not any vacant space therein for fear, awe, or worry.
    IT was filled with love only.

    Fear and awe were dead, and the fire was turned into
    coolness, making the air pleasant. Those who love Allah as Abraham do
    did not fear.

    The Faith of the

    Allah declared:

    "Those (believers) unto whom the
    people (hypocrites) said: "Verily! the people (pagans) have gathered
    against you (a great army), therefore, fear them." but it only
    increased them in Faith, and they said: Allah Alone is Sufficient for
    us, and He is the Best Disposer of affairs for us."

    So they returned with Grace and Bounty from Allah.
    No harm touched them; and they followed the good Pleasure of Allah.
    Allah is the Owner of Great bounty. It is only Satan that suggests to
    you the fear of his Auliya (supporters and friends, polytheists,
    disbeliveers in the Oneness of Allah and in His Messenger Muhammad) so
    fear them not but fear Me if you are true believers."
    3:173-175 Quran)

    The throng, the chiefs, and the priests sad watching
    the fire from a distance. It was burning their faces and nearly
    suffocating them. It kept burning for such a long time that the
    disbeliveers thought it would never be extinguished. When it did burn
    out, they were greatly amazed to find Abraham coming out of the pit
    untouched by the fire. Their faces were black from the smoke, but his
    was bright with the light and grace of Allah. The raging fire had
    become cool for Abraham and had only charred the ropes which held him.
    He walked out of the fire as if he were walking out of a garden. Cries
    of astonishment were heard from the heathens.

    "They wanted to harm
    him, but We made them the worst losers.
    (Ch 21:70)

    This miracle shamed the tyrants, but it did not cool
    the flame of anger in their hearts. However after his event many of the
    people followed Abraham, although some kept their belief a secret for
    fear of harm or death at the hands of the rulers.

    Abraham challenges
    those who proclaim themselves as gods, King Namrud

    Abraham had established a definite reasoning against
    idolaters. Nothing was left for him except to reason against the people
    who proclaimed themselves gods.

    When the king, Namrud, heard of Abraham's safe exit
    from the fire he became very angry. He feared that the status of
    godhead he had proclaimed for himself was not challenged by an ordinary
    human being. He summoned Abraham to the palace and held a dialogue with
    him which Allah Almighty recounted:

    "Have you not thought about him
    who disputed with Abraham about his Lord (Allah) because Allah had
    given him the kingdom? When Abraham said to him: "My Lord (Allah) is He
    Who gives life and causes death." He said: "I give life and cause
    death." Abraham said: "Verily, Allah causes the sun to rise from the
    east; then cause it you to rise from the west." So the disbeliever was
    utterly defeated. Allah guides not the people who are Zalimeen
    (wrongdoers etc).
    (Ch 2:258 Quran)

    Abraham's fame spread throughout the entire kingdom.
    People talked about how he had been saved from the blazing fire and how
    he had debated with the king and left him speechless. In the meantime,
    Abraham continued calling people to believe in Allah, exerting a great
    effort to guide his people to the right path. He tried every means to
    convince them. However in spite of his love and care for his people,
    they felt angry and deserted him. Only one woman and one man of his
    people shared his belief in Allah. The woman's name was Sarah and she
    became his wife. The man's name was Lot and he became a prophet.

    When Abraham realized that no one else was going to
    believe in his call, he decided to emigrate. He left his people and
    traveled with his wife and Lot to a city called Ur, then another called
    Haran, and then to Palestine.

    Allah the Almighty told us:

    " So Lut believed in him
    (Abraham's message of Islamic Monotheism). He (Abraham) said: "I will
    emigrate for the sake of my Lord. Verily, He is the All Mighty, the All
    (Ch 29:26)

    After Palestine, Abraham traveled to Egypt, calling
    people to believe in Allah wherever he traveled, judging fairly between
    people, and guiding them to truth and righteousness.

    Hadith about Abraham,
    Sarah and Hajar

    Abu Hurairah narrated that Abraham (pbuh) did not tell
    a lie except on three occasions, twice for the sake of Allah (Exalted
    and Almighty) when he said: "I am sick," (when his people were
    holding a festival in honor of their gods, Abraham excused himself by
    saying he was sick.
    (Ch 37:89 Quran) and when he said: "(I have
    not done this but) the big idol has done it." The (third was) that
    while Abraham and Sarah (his wife) were going (on a journey), they
    passed by (the territory of) a tyrant. Someone said to the tyrant:
    "This man (Abraham is accompanied by a very charming lady." SO, he sent
    for Abraham and asked him about Sarah saying "Who is this lady?"
    Abraham said: "She is my sister." Abraham went to Sarah said "O Sarah!
    There are no believers on the surface of the earth except you and me.
    This man asked me about you and I have told him that you are my sister
    do not contradict my statement." the tyrant then called Sarah, and when
    she went to him, he tried to take a hold of her with his hand, but his
    hand got stiff and he was confounded. He asked Sarah: "Pray to Allah
    for me and I shall not harm you." SO Sarah asked Allah to cure him and
    he got cured. He tried to take hold of her for the second time, but his
    hand got as stiff as or stiffer than before and he was more comfounded.
    He again requested Sarah: "Pray to Allah for me, and I will not harm
    you." Sarah asked Allah to again, and he became all right. He then
    called one of his guards who had brought her and said: "You have not
    brought me a human being but have brought me a devil." The tyrant then
    gave Hajar as a maid servant to Sarah. Abraham, gesturing with his
    hand, asked: "What has happened?" She replied: "Allah has spoiled the
    evil plot of the infidel or immoral person and gave me Hajar for
    service." Abu Hurairah then addressed his listeners saying: "That Hajar
    was your mother, O Bani Ma is Sama (Arab, the descendants of Ishmael,
    Hajar's son)."

    Hajar and Sarah

    Abraham's wife Sarah was sterile. She had been given an
    Egyptian woman Hajar, as a servant. Abraham had aged and his hair was
    gray and after many years spent in calling people to Allah. Sarah
    thought she and Abraham were lonely because she could not have a child.
    Therefore, she offered her husband her servant Hajar in marriage. Hajar
    gave birth to her first son Ishmael (isma'il) when Abraham was an old

    Abraham Questions

    Abraham lived on earth worshipping Allah and calling
    people to monotheism, but he was journeying to Allah, knowing that his
    days on earth were limited and that they would be followed by death and
    finally resurrection. The knowledge of life after death filled Abraham
    with peace and love and certitude.

    One day he begged Allah to show him how He brought the
    dead back to life. Allah commanded Abraham to take four birds, cut them
    up and mingle their body parts, divide them into four portions and
    place them on top of four different hills, then call back the birds in
    Allah's name. Abraham did as he was told. Immediately the mingled parts
    of the birds separated to join their original bodies in different
    places and the birds flew back to Abraham.

    Almighty Allah revealed: Remember when Abraham

    "My Lord Show me how You give life to the dead."
    Allah said: "Do
    you not believe?" Abraham said: "Yes I believe, but to be stronger in
    Faith." HE said: "Take four birds, the 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 Allah is All Mighty and All Wise."
    (Ch 2:260 Quran)


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