Monday, 15 August 2011

Ibraaheem (peace be upon him)


Could you give us some information about the Prophet Ibraaheem (peace be upon him)? 

Praise be to

Allaah sent His Prophet Ibraaheem (peace be
upon him) and ordained among his offspring Prophethood and the Book
(cf. al-‘Ankaboot 29:27). 

“And mention in the Book (the Qur’aan) Ibraaheem (Abraham).
Verily, he was a man of truth, a Prophet [Maryam 19:41 – interpretation
of the meaning] 

Allaah guided Ibraaheem and honoured him with virtues
and praiseworthy characteristics: 

“Verily, Ibraaheem (Abraham) was
an Ummah (a leader having all the good righteous qualities), or a nation,
obedient to Allaah, Haneef (i.e. to worship none but Allaah), and he
was not one of those who were Al-Mushrikoon (polytheists, idolaters,
disbelievers in the Oneness of Allaah, and those who joined partners
with Allaah).

(He was) thankful for His (Allaah’s) Favours. He (Allaah)
chose him (as an intimate friend) and guided him to a Straight Path
(Islamic Monotheism — neither Judaism nor Christianity).

And We gave him good in this world, and in the Hereafter
he shall be of the righteous”[al-Nahl 16:120-122 – interpretation of
the meaning] 

Ibraaheem (peace be upon him) was the father
of the Prophets; no Prophet was sent after him but he was from among
his descendents. He had two sons whom Allaah chose to be Prophets. They
were Ismaa’eel the grandfather of the Arabs, from among whose descendents
Allaah sent the Prophet Muhammad SAWS (peace and blessings of Allaah
be upon him), and Ishaaq whom Allaah blessed with a Prophet called Ya’qoob,
who was also known as Israa’eel, after whom Bani Israa’eel (the Children
of Israel) and their Prophets were called. 

The Qur’aan refers to the fact that Ibraaheem
was the father of the Prophets, when it says concerning Ibraaheem (interpretation
of the meaning): 

“And We bestowed upon him Ishaaq
(Isaac) and Ya‘qoob (Jacob), each of them We guided, and before him,
We guided Nooh (Noah), and among his progeny Dawood (David),
Sulaymaan (Solomon), Ayyoob (Job), Yoosuf (Joseph), Moosa (Moses), and
Haaroon (Aaron). Thus do We reward Al-Muhsinoon (the good-doers).

And Zakariyya (Zachariya), and Yahya (John) and ‘Eesa
(Jesus) and Ilyaas (Elias), each one of them was of the righteous.

And Isma‘eel (Ishmael) and Al-Yasaa‘ (Elisha), and
Yoonus (Jonah) and Loot (Lot), and each one of them We preferred above
the ‘Aalameen [mankind and jinn (of their times)]”[al-An’aam 6:84-86] 

Ibraaheem called his people in Mesopotamia to worship
Allaah alone and to stop worshipping the idols which could neither bring
benefit nor cause harm. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“And (remember) Ibraaheem (Abraham)
when he said to his people: ‘Worship Allaah (Alone), and fear Him: that
is better for you if you did but know.

You worship besides Allaah only idols, and you only
invent falsehood. Verily, those whom you worship besides Allaah have
no power to give you provision, so seek your provision from Allaah (Alone),
and worship Him (Alone), and be grateful to Him. To Him (Alone) you
will be brought back’”[al-‘Ankaboot 29:16-17]  

Ibraaheem (peace be upon him) wanted to free
his people from idol-worship and rid them of myths and legends. He asked
his people about these idols, as Allaah tells us (interpretation of
the meaning): 

“And recite to them the story of
Ibraaheem (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

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 fathers doing so’”[al-Shu’araa’

Then he explained to them that they should
not mindlessly follow others like dumb animals and clarified for them
the ultimate reality which is that they should worship Allaah alone,
in Whose hand is the dominion of all things: 

“He said: ‘Do you observe that which
you have been worshipping

You and your ancient fathers?

Verily, they are enemies to me, save the Lord of the
‘Aalameen (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 Recompense (the Day of Resurrection)’”[al-Shu’araa’ 26:75-82] 

The father of Ibraaheem was one of the idol-worshippers.
He used to carve them and sell them. His father’s kufr troubled Ibraaheem,
so he singled him out for advice and said to him: 

“O my father! Why do you worship
that which hears not, sees not and cannot avail you in anything?

O my father! Verily, there has come to me of the knowledge
that which came not unto you. So follow me, I will guide you to the
Straight Path”[Maryam 19:42-43 – interpretation of the meaning]  

But his father did not respond to him, rather
he threatened to stone him and forsake him. He said: 

“Do you reject my gods, O Ibraaheem (Abraham)? If
you stop not (this), I will indeed stone you. So get away from me safely
(before I punish you)”[Maryam 19:46 – interpretation of the meaning] 

So Ibraaheem had no choice but to leave him,
and he said to him:

 “Peace be on you! I will ask forgiveness
of my Lord for you. Verily, He is unto me Ever Most Gracious[Maryam
19:47 – interpretation of the meaning] 

Ibraaheem continued to ask for forgiveness
for his father and to ask his Lord to guide him, but when it became
clear to him that he (his father) was an enemy of Allaah, he disavowed
him and stopped asking for forgiveness for him. Allaah says (interpretation
of the meaning): 

“And Ibraaheem’s (Abraham) invoking (of Allaah) for
his father’s forgiveness was only because of a promise he [Ibraaheem
(Abraham)] had made to him (his father). But when it became clear to
him that he (his father) is an enemy of Allaah, he dissociated himself
from him. Verily, Ibraaheem was Awwah (one who invokes Allaah with humility,
glorifies Him and remembers Him much) and was forbearing[al-Tawbah 9:114] 

When the people of Ibraaheem persisted in
worshipping idols, Ibraaheem wanted to prove to them in practical terms
that these idols could not cause harm or bring benefit, after his preaching
and teaching had had no effect on his people: 

“Then he cast a glance at the stars,

And he said: ‘Verily, I am sick (with plague). [He
did this trick to remain in their temple of idols to destroy them and
not to accompany them to the pagan feast)].’

So they turned away from him, and departed (for fear
of the disease).

Then he turned to their aalihah (gods) and said: ‘Will
you not eat (of the offering before you)?

What is the matter with you that you speak not?’

Then he turned upon them, striking (them) with (his)
right hand”

[al-Saaffaaat :88:93] 

Ibraaheem broke all the idols except the biggest
one, which he left so that they could ask it who had done this: 

“So he broke them to pieces, (all)
except the biggest of them, that they might turn to it”

[al-Anbiyaa’ 21:58 – interpretation of the meaning] 

When they came back from the festival for
which they had gone out, they saw the broken idols and they accused
Ibraaheem (of breaking them). He said to them: 

“Nay, this one, the biggest of them
(idols) did it. Ask them, if they can speak!”

[al-Anbiyaa’ 21:63 – interpretation of the meaning] 

Because they knew that these idols could not
speak – for they were inanimate objects – they said to Ibraaheem: 

“Indeed you [Ibraaheem (Abraham)]
know well that these (idols) speak not!”

[al-Anbiyaa’ 21:65 – interpretation of the meaning] 

When they admitted that these idols could
do nothing, Ibraaheem said to them:

 “Do you then worship besides Allaah,
things that can neither profit you, nor harm you?

Fie upon you, and upon that which you worship besides
Allaah! Have you then no sense?”

[al-Anbiyaa’ 21:67 – interpretation of the meaning] 

When they had exhausted all lines of argument,
they resorted to the use of force and said: 

“Burn him and help your aalihah
(gods), if you will be doing”

[al-Anbiyaa’ 21:68 – interpretation of the meaning] 

They gathered a lot of wood and started a
fire which had great sparks and flames, then they threw Ibraaheem (peace
be upon him) into that fire. He said, “Hasbi Allaah wa ni’am al-wakeel
(Allaah is sufficient for me and He is the best Disposer of affairs).”
So Allaah saved him from it and made it coolness and safety for him,
and foiled the plot of his enemies: 

“We (Allaah) said: ‘O fire! Be you
coolness and safety for Ibraaheem (Abraham)!’

And they wanted to harm him, but We made them the
worst losers”

[al-Anbiyaa’ 21:69-70 – interpretation of the meaning]

 After saving Ibraaheem from the fire,
Allaah commanded him to leave Mesopotamia and migrate to the Holy Land
in Palestine. He married his cousin (the daughter of his paternal uncle)
– Saarah – and set out with her and his brother’s son Loot for Syria,
as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“And We rescued him and Loot (Lot) to the land which
We have blessed for the ‘Aalameen (mankind and jinn)[al-Anbiyaa’ 21:71] 

Then great hardship befell the land of Syria,
so Ibraaheem moved to Egypt with his wife, then he came back to Palestine,
bringing his wife and a slave woman of hers called Haajar. Ibraaheem
longed to have children, but his wife was barren and had grown old.
When she saw how much her husband longed to have a child, she gave her
slave woman, Haajar, to him. So he married her and was blessed with
his son Ismaa’eel from her: 

“’My Lord! Grant me (offspring)
from the righteous.’

So We gave him the glad tidings of a forbearing boy”

[al-Saaffaat 37:100-101 – interpretation of the meaning] 

After Haajar gave birth to Ismaa’eel, Saarah
began to feel jealous, so she asked Ibraaheem to send them away from
her. Allaah revealed to Ibraaheem that he should take Haajar and the
infant Ismaa’eel and take them to Makkah. So he took them and left Haajar
and her child Ismaa’eel in an bleak, isolated place in which there was
no water, then he left them and went back to Palestine. Haajar said
to him, “For whom are you leaving us in this forsaken valley?” But Ibraaheem
went and left her, and she said, “Has Allaah commanded you to do this?”
He said, “Yes.” She said, “Then Allaah will not cause us to be lost.” 

Ibraaheem submitted to the command of his
Lord and patiently bore the separation from his wife and child. Then
he turned towards where they were at the Sacred House and prayed for
them in the following words (interpretation of the meaning): 

“O our Lord! I have made some of my offspring to dwell
in an uncultivable valley by Your Sacred House (the Ka‘bah at Makkah)
in order, O our Lord, that they may perform As-Salaah (Iqaamat-as-Salaah).
So fill some hearts among men with love towards them, and (O Allaah)
provide them with fruits so that they may give thanks”[Ibraaheem 14:37] 

Haajar stayed in Makkah, eating the food and
drinking the water that Ibraaheem had left for her and her son. When
that ran out, she and her son became thirsty. She looked for water,
and climbed the hill of al-Safaa but she did not see anything. Then
she climbed the hill of al-Marwah but she did not see anything. She
did that seven times, then she turned towards Ismaa’eel and saw water
gushing from beneath his feet. She rejoiced and drank some, and gave
some to her son to drink. Then a tribe – Jurham – came to Haajar and
asked her permission to settle by the water. She gave them permission
and they settled beside her. When Ismaa’eel grew up, he married one
of their women and learned Arabic from them. 

During this period, Ibraaheem used to visit
his son from time to time. On one of these visits, Ibraaheem saw in
a dream that Allaah was commanding him to sacrifice his son Ismaa’eel.
The dreams of the Prophets are true, so Ibraaheem resolved to obey the
command of Allaah, even though he was old and Ismaa’eel was his only
son. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): 

“So We gave him the glad tidings
of a forbearing boy.

And, when he (his son) was old enough to walk with
him, he said: ‘O my son! I have seen in a dream that I am slaughtering
you (offering you in sacrifice to Allaah). So look what you think!’
He said: ‘O my father! Do that which you are commanded, In sha’ Allaah
(if Allaah wills), you shall find me of As-Saabiroon (the patient).’

Then, when they had both submitted themselves (to
the Will of Allaah), and he had laid him prostrate on his forehead (or
on the side of his forehead for slaughtering);

We called out to him: ‘O Ibraaheem!

You have fulfilled the dream!’ Verily, thus do We
reward the Muhsinoon (good-doers).

Verily, that indeed was a manifest trial.

And We ransomed him with a great sacrifice (i.e. a

[al-Saffaat 37:101-107] 

Then Allaah gave him the glad tidings of another
son, who was Ishaaq, and then Ibraaheem returned to Palestine: 

“And We gave him the glad tidings of Ishaaq (Isaac)
a Prophet from the righteous[al-Saaffaat 37:112 – interpretation
of the meaning] 

Ishaaq was born to him from his wife Saarah: 

“And his wife was standing (there),
and she laughed [either, because the messengers did not eat their food
or for being glad for the destruction of the people of Loot (Lot)].
But We gave her glad tidings of Ishaaq (Isaac), and after Ishaaq, of
Ya‘qoob (Jacob)”

[Hood 11:71 – interpretation of the meaning] 

Then Ibraaheem stayed in Palestine for a while,
then he returned to Makkah for an important reason. Allaah had commanded
him to build in Makkah the first House to be built for the worship of
Allaah. So Ibraaheem undertook this task of construction, and his son
Ismaa’eel was lifting up the stones to him. When the walls grew higher,
Ibraaheem stood on a rock, and this is the Station of Ibraaheem (Maqaam
Ibraaheem) which is to be found in the vicinity of the Ka’bah. Allaah
says (interpretation of the meaning):  

“And (remember) when Ibraaheem (Abraham)
and (his son) Ismee‘eel (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’”

[al-Baqarah 2:127] 

Allaah commanded Ibraaheem and Ismaa’eel to
cleanse the House of idols and other impurities so that it would be
pure for those who would circumambulate it and stand and bow and prostrate
(in prayer). When Ibraaheem built the House, Allaah commanded him to
call mankind to perform the Hajj, as He says (interpretation of the

“And proclaim to mankind the Hajj
(pilgrimage). They will come to you on foot and on every lean camel,
they will come from every deep and distant (wide) mountain highway (to
perform Hajj)”

[al-Hajj 22:27] 

Then Ibraaheem offered this great supplication
for Makkah and for those who live in it: 

“And (remember) when Ibraaheem (Abraham)
said, ‘My Lord, make this city (Makkah) a place of security and provide
its people with fruits, such of them as believe in Allaah and the Last
Day.’ He (Allaah) 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!’”

[al-Baqarah 2:126 – interpretation of the meaning] 

Then he prayed for himself and his descendents,

“Our Lord! Accept (this service)
from us. Verily, You are the All-Hearer, the All-Knower.

Our Lord! And make us submissive unto You and of our
offspring a nation submissive unto You, and show us our Manaasik (all
the ceremonies of pilgrimage — Hajj and ‘Umrah), and accept our repentance.
Truly, You are the One Who accepts repentance, the Most Merciful”[al-Baqarah
2:127-128 – interpretation of the meaning] 

Then he prayed for the people of the sanctuary,
that Allaah would send to them a Messenger from amongst them, who would
call them to worship Allaah Alone. He said: 

“Our Lord! Send amongst them a Messenger
of their own, who shall recite unto them Your Verses and instruct them
in the Book (this Qur’aan) and Al-Hikmah (full knowledge of the Islamic
laws and jurisprudence or wisdom or Prophethood), and purify them. Verily,
You are the All-Mighty, the All-Wise”

[al-Baqarah 1:129 – interpretation of the meaning] 

Allaah responded to the prayer of His Prophet
Ibraaheem. He made Makkah a place of security, He blessed its people
with fruits and sent to them a Messenger from amongst themselves, who
was the Seal of the Prophets and Messengers, Muhammad <!--#include
virtual="/saws.htm" --> (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him).
All praise and thanks be to Allaah. 

After Ibraaheem, Prophethood remained with
the Children of Israel for a long time, until Allaah sent Muhammad <!--#include
virtual="/saws.htm" --> (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)
from among the descendents of Ismaa’eel as a Messenger to all of mankind,
and commanded him as He said (interpretation of the meaning): 

“Say (O Muhammad): ‘O mankind! Verily, I am sent to
you all as the Messenger of Allaah…’”[al-A’raaf 7:158] 

Allaah commanded Muhammad <!--#include
virtual="/saws.htm" --> (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)
to follow the religion of Ibraaheem, as He said (interpretation of the

“Then, We have sent the Revelation to you (O Muhammad
saying): ‘Follow the religion of Ibraaheem (Abraham) Haneef (Islamic
Monotheism — to worship none but Allaah) and he was not of the Mushrikoon
(polytheists, idolaters, disbelievers)”[al-Nahl 16:123] 

Ibraaheem’s advice to his children was to
adhere to the religion of Islam and follow its commands until they died.
Allaah said (interpretation of the meaning): 

“And this (submission to Allaah, Islam) was enjoined
by Ibraaheem (Abraham) upon his sons and by Ya‘qoob (Jacob) (saying),
‘O my sons! Allaah has chosen for you the (true) religion, then die
not except in the Faith of Islam (as Muslims — Islamic Monotheism)’”
[al-Baqarah 2:132] 

O Allaah, send blessings upon Ibraaheem and
upon the family of Ibraaheem, for You are Praiseworthy, Most Glorious. 

Other Prophets who were alive at the time of Ibraaheem
(peace be upon him) were Loot, Ismaa’eel, Ishaaq, and Ya’qoob. Then
came Yoosuf, then Shu’ayb, then Ayyoob, then Dhu’l-Kifl. Then Allaah
sent Moosa and Haaroon (peace be upon them and may the best of blessings
and peace be upon all the Prophets). 

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