By: Sr. Yasmeen Alkishawi
Which Muslim, Christian or Jew does not know of Prophet Ibrahim (Peace Be Upon Him)? He is widely known and accepted as a man of honor and accomplishment amongst a variety of races and religions. After Prophet Ibrahim, there came many of his descendents who set out to spread the words of God. “It is the lamp of guidance lit by him that has for long illuminated the whole world, ” as Mawdudi wrote in Let Us Be Muslims.
Prophet Ibrahim (Peace Be Upon Him) went through countless trials and tribulations. He grew up in a time where people worshiped idols and believed their priests had divine abilities such as predicting the future and interceding on their behalf. Additionally, he belonged to a prestigious family and was expected to follow in the footsteps of his forefathers. However, it was evident that Prophet Ibrahim was different from those around him. His heart did not bear ignorance. Why should he worship an idol made by the hands of a man? It seemed preposterous to believe that those idols were responsible for any sort of creation or worthy of any sort of worship. With that being said, Prophet Ibrahim publicly denounced the idols and preached the belief and worship of the one, true God, Allah (SWT). He gave up what could have been a comfortable and prosperous life and chose the straight path, despite the difficulties of being denounced by his own family and sentenced to exile by his people. Here is where his journey to spread Islam began.
Prophet Ibrahim was the first to advocate the oneness of God and is actually considered the father of monotheism, which is the center of Islam, Judaism, and Christianity. In the Quran, Allah (SWT) says, "Abraham was indeed a model, devoutly obedient to Allah, (and) true in Faith, and he joined not gods with Allah. He showed his gratitude for the favours of Allah, who chose him, and guided him to a Straight Way. And We gave him Good in this world, and he will be, in the Hereafter, in the ranks of the Righteous. So We have taught thee the inspired (Message), ‘Follow the ways of Abraham the True in Faith, and he joined not gods with Allah,’" (Quran 16:120-123). The prophets that came after Prophet Ibrahim, such as Prophet Musa, Isa, Ya'qub, Yousef and many more, lived by this command by following in his footsteps and preaching the oneness of God. Finally, came Prophet Muhammad (Peace and Blessings Be Upon Him), who secured the belief in one God, as Prophet Ibrahim had initially preached centuries before. Thus, the Qu'ran came into existence as a book that tells us to believe in the oneness of God, to be accepting of one another, and to live peacefully amongst each other. This Hajj pilgrimage, in which millions of people from eclectic races and cultures meet peacefully at the Ka'bah (built by Prophet Ibrahim) to fulfill their promise to Allah, is one example of the messages preached in the Qur’an. Further more, it is safe to say that Prophet Ibrahim advocated a universal message for peace, which is an evident premise in the Qu'ran.