Abraham: A source of important lessons and great inspiration
By Mevlut Tascan
Friday, April 24, 2009
Abraham is a common figure within the Judaic, Christian and Islamic traditions. Faith, sacrifice, commitment and patience: These are some of the qualities that characterize prophet Abraham. It should come as no surprise that he is revered not only in Islam but in Christianity and Judaism, as well. Here is some basic information about him from the Islamic perspective.
Abraham is mentioned 69 times in the Quran. For example, “Salamun (peace) be upon Abraham!” Allah says in the Quran (37:109). In Islam, Abraham is a friend of Allah and the father of prophets. He is also an ancestor of the prophet Muhammad.
As soon as Abraham received commission from the Lord to propagate the oneness of God and preach his worship, he called upon the Lord to preserve the Ka’aba he had built to eradicate the worship of idols, which led many people astray.
Abraham asked them, “What is it that you worship?” They replied, “We worship the idols, as did our fathers. And in devotion to them we shall remain steadfast.” [26: 72, 74]
Abraham asked them: “Do they hear you when you call them? Have they the power to do anything, either good or bad for you?” [26:73]
He reminded them there was only one God, the Lord of all creation, who controls life, death and resurrection. He told his father, Azar, to desist from worshipping idols. He said he learned from his own experience that God alone was worthy of worship. He was shown by God “the kingdom of the heavens and the earth so that he might be convinced of the faith” in his creator.
Muslims who perform the pilgrimage must run in the middle portion of the distance between Safa and Marwa (two hills close to the Kaba) seven times. This is a commemoration of the sacrifice of the wife of Abraham, Hajira, for her son, prophet Ishmael.
Abraham had left his wife and son in the
Finally, Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his beloved son, Ishmael, for the sake of Allah exemplifies his sincere devotion to Allah. During sleep, Abraham received Allah’s order to sacrifice his son, in the form of a vision. Both father and son willingly submitted to his command. At the last moment, the Lord substituted a ram in Ishmael’s place and revealed that he intended merely to test Abraham. He then declared that he had fulfilled his commitment: “We redeem Abraham’s son with a great sacrifice and we give our benediction to him and bless him through generations to come and shower our peace upon him.” [37:107-109]
Abraham was known for his generosity and kindness; he went the extra mile to find someone to host at his house or a needy person to help.
As people who live in a diverse world, we should take our lessons from the example of Abraham. We should care about other human beings kindly and sincerely, regardless of their background.
Mevlut Tascan is an instructor in the
Please report any
broken links to
Copyright © 1988-2012 irfi.org. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer