HIS MISSION: Prophet Ibrahim. (PBUH) grew among a people who were idol-worshipers. He was commanded by Allah to call his people to the worship of the One True God, Allah. So he asked his people: "What do you worship?' They said
'We worship idols and we remain constantly in attendance on them.'" (Q26:70 - 71)
He asked more questions (Q26:72-73) to show them their ignorance,
"They, said: 'No, but we found our fathers doing thus (what we do).' " (Q26:74)
The Prophet replied: " '... they (the idols) are enemies to me, but not so the Lord and Cherisher of the Worlds; who created me and it is He who guides me; who gives me food and drink and when 1am ill, it is He who cures me; who will cause me to die and live (again); and who I hope will forgive me my faults on the Day of Judgement.' " (Q26:77- 82)
HIS METHOD: He wondered why people would worship idols who could neither hear, see, nor profit them in anyway. So, he started the call to Allah with his family. He tried to convince his father with kind words, warning him against the punishment of disbelief. His father threatened and sent him away from his house (Q19:41-46). Despite that he (PBUH) prayed for him (Q19:47), and when he knew that such prayers would not be accepted, he stopped (Q9:113-114).
Next he talked to the general public, When they were still not convinced, he decided to show them how stupid the worship of idols is. Prophet Ibrahim (PBUH) smashed all the idols except the biggest, on whom he hung the axe. His people were annoyed and asked him, but he referred them to the biggest idol, (Q21:57-63). "so they turned to themselves and said, 'Surely you are the ones in the wrong!'
Then were they confounded with shame: (they said):
'You know fully well that these (idols) do not speak!' (Ibrahim) said: 'Do you then worship, besides Allah, things that call neither be of am) good to you or do you no harm? Fie upon you, and upon the things that you worship besides Allah! Have you no sense?' " (Q21: 64 - 67)
But Shaytan would not make them see, thus they decided to burn him in a furnace, but Allah cooled the fire for him. (Q21:68 - 69).
After this Prophet Ibrahim (PBUH) kept calling people to Allah's way. He was able to prove his point by good argument as we are enjoined to in (Q16:125). He used such logic when he had an encounter with a king. Ibrahim (PBUH) said: 'My Lord is He who gives life and death '. The king replied: 'I give life and death.' So he brought two condemned prisoners. He set one free (giving him life) and he killed the other. Ibrahim (PBUH) said:
'Allah brings the sun from the East, now you bring it from the West'. This time the king had no response. (Q2:258)
HIS LEGACY: Some of his legacies still exist till today. He along with his son, Ismail (PBUH), built the Ka'abah, the first house of worship appointed for man on earth (Q3:96). While they were building, Ibrahim (PBUH) prayed thus
"Our Lord accept this service from us; for You are the All Hearing, the Knowing." (Q2:127)
Thus teaching us to pray while performing acts of ibaadah. Allah described him thus: "Ibrahim is indeed a model, devoutly obedient to Allah, (and) true in faith, and he joins not gods with Allah. He showed his gratitude for the favours of Allah who chose and guided him to a Straight Way". (Q16:120-121). Also we are enjoined to
"follow the ways of Ibrahim, the True in faith." (Q16:123)
Prophet Ibrahim (PBUH) left much more legacies, we shall consider them in detail at some other time.
This article was culled from the publications of Deen Communication Limited