The essence of piety, patience, and many other praise-worthy attributes that humans recognize as signs of modesty in any people is the hallmark of one man in Human history. From being called the “Father of faith” in Christianity to being named a “One-man nation” by Allah Himself, the excellence of Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) is never a subject of debate, and therefore it is imperative to reflect on how he lived his life and learn the secrets of his success.
Born into a polytheist family, He was an obedient son to his idolatry father and ran errands for him without compromising his religion, an uncommon virtue at a time when Islam was strange to his people. Almighty Allah revealed to Prophet Muhammad to learn and follow this noble deed of Prophet Ibrahim, to uphold the creed (At-Tawheed);
“Then We revealed to you, [O Muhammad], to follow the religion of Abraham, Islamic monotheism; and he was not of those who associate with Allah”[An-Nahl 16:123]
As a role model to Prophet Muhammad and his nation, Prophet Ibrahim is the epitome of faith.
Prophet Ibrahim was thrown into the fire for defending the oneness of Allah and Allah defended him during his trials!
“ We said: O fire, be cool and peaceful to Ibrahim”[Al-Anbiyah 21: 69]
A believer that seeks the pleasure of Allah in all his affairs will never be forsaken in this life and hereafter. This shows that victory is not dependent on numbers or power but only granted by Allah to His pious slaves. In addition, Prophet Ibrahim was a lover of prayer. During his lifetime, he would pray for the past, present, and future. In fact, he prayed for you and me!
He said:” Forgive me, our Lord, and forgive my parents and all the believers on the Day of Reckoning”[Al-Ibrahim 14:41]
He never relented on his good deeds alone. After building the first structure of the Holy house (Ka’bah) alongside his son Prophet Ismaeel, He supplicated to Allah to accept the effort. As a prayer warrior who believed nothing is impossible with Allah, he prayed for his descendants in the bare desert for bountiful provisions, and till date, desert Arabs remain one of the richest and most blessed people on earth! He sought Allah’s help from the disgrace of the judgment day while alive, and never gave up on Allah’s forgiveness of his father until Allah asked him to stop. He said:” And forgive my father……” [Ashuaraa’ 26:86]. As a reward for his devotion, Allah promised he will be raised amongst the pious on the day of resurrection; ”And in the Hereafter, he shall be of the righteous [An-Nahl 16:123]. Prayer is the master key for believers to unlock and achieve their goals.
Furthermore, Prophet Ibrahim was a grateful servant. Allah says about him: “He was grateful for His favors [An-Nahl 16:123]. For a long time, he never had a child and prayed fervently to Allah, saying:
“O my Lord! Grant me a righteous son”[Al-Saffaat 37:100]
When his prayer was answered, his tongue never ceased from appreciating and thanking Allah saying ”All praise is due to Allah, who has bestowed upon me, in my old age, Ishmael and Isaac! Behold, my Sustainer hears indeed all prayer” [Al-Ibrahim 14:39]. Even at old age, he never lost his positive attitude in the face of trials. A believer should always be firm and hopeful that Allah’s help is near.
The celebration of sacrifice that Muslims all over the world observe yearly in the month of Dhul-Hijjah is a tradition of Prophet Ibrahim. It marks a total submission to Allah’s wish, and Abraham’s patience with his lord. Despite having a child at old age, he had a dream in which he slaughtered his first son, Prophet Ismaeel. He said: “O my son! I have seen in a dream that I am slaughtering you [Al-Saffaat 37:102]. In the sunnah, dreams of prophets are revelations because they are protected from Shaytaan [Agreed upon]. Prophet Ibrahim set out to fulfill his dream before Allah ransomed him with a great sacrifice (ram). Allah was very pleased with him and made this remarkable event (animal sacrifice) a tradition of goodly remembrance forever for believers.
The lessons derivable from the ups and downs in the life history of Prophet Ibrahim are a heritage that must be treasured in the hearts of Muslims. He is our father, our teacher, and our role model to be followed. Allah was very proud of him! He called him HIS friend, He sent salaam to him in the Qur’an, He called a one-man nation! Prophet Ibrahim also had his own scripture (book) revealed to him and his people. He named us Muslims and the last pillar of Islam (Holy pilgrimage) yearly commemorates his struggle to fulfill the call of Allah.
It is upon us to read, reflect and educate our communities on the pearls and treasures enshrined in the life of Prophet Ibrahim. As we celebrate this year’s Eid Al-Adha, we pray Allah to accept our worship and grant our prayers.