Oct 22, 2012

Story of Prophet Ibrahim (as)-The HOT Prophet!

Before I start off, I just want to ask you guys… what do you know about Prophet Ibrahim (as)? His name is mentioned all over the Quran… his traditions are followed until today… he had the title of “friend of Allah”… but how did he earn such a status? How did he become so close to Allah? How did he leave behind such a great legacy??? To understand this, we need to go back, we need to go back millions of years. Go back before the time of the prophet (saw), before the time of Isa (as), before the time of Moosa (as), go back before thousands of prophets until we stop at Ibrahim (as)’s childhood. Let’s take a look at what his childhood was like…

Ibrahim (as) was born in a community, and at such a time, when polytheism was widespread. Some people worshipped idols, others worshipped planets, stars, the sun and moon, and still others worshipped kings and rulers. His own father was a polytheist as well, and not just an ordinary polytheist like the others. His father completely denied monotheism. He used to build idols with his own hands and sell them to others. He wanted Ibrahim (as) to be a priest when he grew up.

Ibrahim (as), on the other hand, used to wonder why people worshipped idols. He had been given wisdom from a young age. He often used to question his father about the statues from a very early age, but would always get told the same thing – “we found our forefathers doing it.” He used to find it funny at first, that people would worship statues that they made themselves, lifeless statues that had no power… he used to find it amusing that they would treat them like their gods…but eventually, he started to get angry about it, and a deep hatred was created in his heart towards the idols.

One night in his search to find Allah, he saw a star. He looked at it and said, “This is my lord.” But then the star set, and he realized that it wasn’t his Lord. Then he saw the moon and said, “This is my lord.” But even the moon disappeared, and he realized, it can’t be his Lord. Then he saw the sun and said, “This is my lord, this is greater”, but even the sun disappeared. He then realized that Allah is greater than all these celestial bodies, as Allah is the Creator of everything. These celestial bodies disappear at times, but Allah never disappears, because He is the Lord.

Ibrahim (as) had understood the oneness of Allah, and so he decided to try and preach it to his people as well. He tried to make the people understand that what they were doing was wrong, but they refused to listen. The most furious of all the people, naturally, was his father. Ibrahim (as) felt that it was his duty to tell him, so that he too could be saved from the punishment of Allah. However, when he spoke to his father, he did it with wisdom. He didn’t make his father feel foolish or mock him openly. He spoke to him gently, and with utmost respect. The verse of the Quran that describes the conversation shows us that Ibrahim (as) kept referring to his father as ‘yaa abati’, which basically means ‘oh my beloved father’. Ibrahim (as) told him that he loved him, then started his preaching.

There are a few things that we can learn from this. The first thing we can see is the importance of speaking to our parents with respect. It doesn’t matter who they are, what sins they are engaged in, whether they are right or wrong… at the end of the day, because they are our parents, they deserve our respect and love. Often times we forget this, and we start speaking to our parents harshly, using rude and aggressive language. But Ibrahim (as) showed us a beautiful example, that despite the fact that his father was a polytheist, despite the fact that he was completely in the wrong, despite the fact that he was furious at Ibrahim (as) for denying polytheism, Ibrahim (as) still referred to him as ‘oh my beloved father’.

Another thing that we learn is that when we’re preaching to people, whether it be our family members, friends, students, muslims, non-muslims, etc… we must always be gentle in our approach. What happens a lot nowadays is that we tend to scare people away from the deen because of our manner of speech. Not only do we scare muslims away by telling them they’ll burn in hell if they continue sinning, but we also push non-muslims further away from Islam because of our conduct. So we need to be extra cautious when trying to spread islam to others, because if it’s not done in the right way, it can have the complete opposite effect. Speak to people with kindness and love, and only then will they be willing to listen.

The last thing I want to point out from this incident is that no matter who it is – don’t be afraid to speak up and advise them to do good.

So going back to the conversation between father and son… Ibrahim (as) was saying ‘yaa abati, yaa abati’, and trying to make his father understand. And how did his father reply? He says to Ibrahim (as), ‘If you do not stop this, I will stone you. So get away from me before I punish you’. Now imagine that was one of us, how would we react? After being so nice, that’s what we get!? We would flip and give a mouthful back… but what was Ibrahim (as)’s reply? He looks at his father and says, ‘Peace be upon you, I’ll pray for your forgiveness.’ Look at his patience! Look at how he repaid bad with good! His father says I’ll stone you, and he says to his father, I’ll pray for you. If only we had this kind of akhlaaq today, if only we could implement the character of Ibrahim (as) in our lives.

Point to mention here – we cannot pray for the forgiveness of a disbeliever. We can pray for their guidance, but not their forgiveness.

So anyway, Ibrahim (as) conveyed the message to the polytheists and to his father – this is the duty of a muslim –to convey. Not to force or keep nagging at them, but convey the message and then leave them to it. Keep trying but don’t pester people, because Allah guides whom He wills when He wills, and a lot of times, the more you nag at someone, the more annoyed they’ll get, and it’ll just put them off completely.

Going back to the story… he conveyed the message, but nobody was listening to him. One day, there was a big festival that all the people of the community went to. Ibrahim (as) however, didn’t go. When everybody had left for the festival, he went to the temple with a sharp axe, and destroyed all the idols except the biggest one. He wanted to show the people a practical proof of their foolishness. He broke all the idols and then hung the axe around the biggest idol’s neck.

What do we learn from this action? When giving da’wah, use whatever methods will work to make people understand. Try using verbal as well as practical methods, because different people learn differently. Ibrahim (as) first tried speech, and when that didn’t work, he tried a different, more practical approach.

When the people came back, they were shocked to see the idols in pieces. They wondered who did it, and immediately thought of Ibrahim (as). They called him and asked him if he did it. He said, ‘The biggest idol did it.’ They said, ‘You know that these idols cannot speak or move.’ Ibrahim (as) wanted them to realize this and admit to their foolishness. However, their pride prevented them from accepting the truth. They wanted to get revenge.

They spent the next few days gathering fuel so they could kindle a huge fire in which they planned to throw Ibrahim (as). Ibrahim (as) remained calm. He put his trust in Allah, and knew that Allah would protect him. Eventually, the fire was ready. It was so big that nobody could go near it without getting burnt. The people had to use a catapult to throw Ibrahim (as) into it, which is exactly what they did. They tied up his arms and legs, put him in the catapult, and chucked him into the fire. Keep in mind, this was not just a small fire. It was a fire that had taken DAYS to kindle, it was a fire so large that people who even stood near it got burnt, their faces became black by its smoke. And this was the very fire in which Ibrahim (as) was thrown. But what happened? Allah commanded the fire to be cool for Ibrahim (as), and the fire did not burn him. It was as cool as a garden, and Ibrahim (as) was literally just chilling there. Not a single burn. Not a single injury. Why?? Because he had placed his trust in Allah, so Allah had taken care of him.

When the fire finally extinguished, people were shocked to see Ibrahim (as) come out of it, not a single burn on his body. Their faces had become black due to the smoke, but Ibrahim (as)’s face was bright. TAWAKKUL can get you anywhere. Allah says in the Quran, in Surah Talaaq, ‘and whoever puts their trust in Allah, then He is enough for him’.

Eventually, Ibrahim (as) migrated with a woman called Sarah, who became his wife. On their journey, Sarah was given Hajar as a servant for her by a king, and when she realized that she was unable to have children, she told Ibrahim (as) that he could marry Hajar. She knew that he was getting old, and her desire to have a child to spread the message of Allah was greater than her pride. Hajar gave birth to Isma’il (as) when Ibrahim (as) was an old man. 14 years later, Allah rewarded Sarah with a son, Is’haaq (as).

One day, Ibrahim (as) told Hajar to prepare herself and her baby Isma’il for a long journey. They travelled until they reached a desert, where Ibrahim (as) left some water and dates with his wife and began to walk away. She asked him many times if he was leaving them there alone in the desert, but he didn’t reply. Then she asked if Allah had commanded him to do so, and he replied in the affirmative. She knew that Allah would not neglect her.

Eventually, the water all got used up. Her and her baby were very thirsty. She began running from Safa to Marwa, and back, looking for someone to help her. She ran between the hills 7 times, and then sat down. Suddenly she saw an angel digging the earth until water flowed! This incident is known as Sa’ee, and it is one of the rituals of Hajj, to commemorate this event. Other arabs eventually settled there, and Isma’il (as) grew up and got married one of them.

Many years later, Ibrahim (as) returned to Makkah. He heard that his wife had passed away, but that his son Isma’il (as) was still alive. He missed and loved him dearly, and hadn’t seen him since he was a baby. However, Allah wanted to put him to a test. One night, Ibrahim (as) had a dream, in which he had been commanded to slaughter his son. He went and told Isma’il (as) his dream. Straight away, Isma’il (as) said, ‘Do as you are commanded, you will find me to be patient inshaAllah.’ Imagine how they must have felt. Imagine if our mum or dad came up to us one day and said, beta, I have been commanded to kill you. We would flip!! We would think they’ve gone mad or something… but both father and son were so obedient to the will of Allah, that without a second of hesitation, Ibrahim (as) was willing to slaughter his own son, and his son was willing to be slaughtered. This was their obedience. They had both submitted to the will of Allah without a moment of hesitation.

Ibrahim (as) was about to slaughter his son, when Allah called to him saying, ‘You have fulfilled the dream, thus do we reward those who do good.’ They were commanded to sacrifice a ram instead, and they had a big celebration – the celebration of Eid that we celebrate until this day. Eid is coming up in just a few days, and we should reflect upon why we have this celebration. Allah was SO HAPPY with the obedience of the 2 prophets that until this day, millions of years later, we still commemorate the event, we still have a celebration for it.

Anyway, after this incident, they kept calling people towards Allah, and then Allah commanded Ibrahim (as) to build the ka’bah. Ibrahim (as) and Isma’il (as) began building it together; Isma’il (as) would pass the stones and Ibrahim (as) started building the walls. When the walls got high, Isma’il (as) brought a stone for Ibrahim (as) to stand on, which is still there until this day. It is known as the Maqaame Ibrahim. That stone still stands next to the Ka’bah, UNTIL THIS DAY. People pray behind it after doing tawaaf. We can still see the footprint of Ibrahim (as), the footprint that was created when the ka’ba was being BUILT!

While they were building it, they kept reciting the du’aa ‘Rabbanaa taqabbal minnaa…’. Whenever we do any good deed, we should always ask Allah to ACCEPT it, because if the 2 prophets were making this du’aa when building the ka’bah, who are we not to???

When they finished building it, Jibra’il (as) came and showed Ibrahim (as) the rituals of hajj… and until this day, these rituals are practiced upon. Until this day, these events are commemorated. Allah had raised Ibrahim (as)’s ranks and status so much, that even today, millions of years later, people know his name, people know his story. He left behind a LEGACY, a legacy that will be followed until the day of qiyaamah.

Yeah, it’s true, celebrities leave legacies behind too…for example, everyone knows who Elvis Presley was… everyone knows Bob Marley… everyone knows Britney Spears… these people were hot celebs in their times… but they were recent. Ibrahim (as) goes back millions of years. He’s what you call HOT! His legacy remains until today. And when I say HOT, I don’t mean the Brad Pitt kind of hot. He was a different kind of HOT. What do I mean? I mean he was HOT, because there were 3 qualities that existed within him that got him the status that he got. He was HOSPITABLE. It is mentioned that he would not eat a SINGLE MEAL unless there was someone else eating with him. He would starve himself for days because he didn’t want to eat without a guest. He was the first person that practiced hospitality, when 2 angels came to his home disguised as humans, and he offered them food. There is so much reward in hospitality, so we should always try our best to be good to our guests and treat them in the best of ways. Right, so that was the first thing. He was HOSPITABLE.

The second quality of his that made him receive such a high status was his OBEDIENCE, as has already been mentioned earlier. And the last quality was his TAWAKKUL, his TRUST in Allah. And that’s what made him so HOT! His hospitality, obedience, and trust in Allah. That’s why I say, Ibrahim (as) was a HOT prophet! And that’s how he earned the title of ‘friend of Allah’.

May Allah give us the ability to act upon what has been mentioned, and make these words intercede for me and not against me on the Day of Judgement. Ameen.All good is from Allah, and if there are any mistakes in the above, it was from myself and from Shaytaan, so please don't hesitate to let me know and inshaAllah I'll correct it!
back to top