Abraham's Search for Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala)

The Qur'an, however, does not restrict itself to the oretical proofs, but makes his chosen slaves discover Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala). A salient example is how Abraham, called Ibrahim in the Qur'an but we will refer to him as Abraham, father of prophets discovered Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala). As a matter of fact, the Qur'an tells us that Abraham passed through two stages in his search of the lord Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala). Here is how it describes the first stage:

Remember when Abraham said to his father Azar: do you take idols for gods? I see you and your people in manifest error. As a reward for his sincerity and straight Forwardness Allah helped Abraham discover his real lord: thus did we show Abraham the kingdom of heavens and earth so that he might be of those who are certain (in faith). When night grew dark upon him, he saw a planet. He said: this is my lord; but when it set, he said: i don't love them that set. Then when he saw the moon uprising, he exclaimed: this is my lord. But when it set he said: i shall become one of the people who are astray unless my lord guides me! Then when he saw the sun uprising he cried: this is my lord. This is greater. And when it also set he exclaimed: o my people! I am free from all that you associate (with god). I have directed my face to him who created heavens and earth, according to the upright nature, and i am not of the idolaters.( 6:75-80 )

When Abraham announced his faith in Allah the creator, his people challenged him and started to argue with him. The Qur'an portrays this in the following words:

His people argued with him. He said: do you dispute with me about Allah when he has guided me? I fear not all that which you set up beside him unless my lord wills something. My lord encompasses All things in knowledge. Will you not then remember? How should i fear that which you set up beside him, while you fear not to associate with Allah that for which he has not revealed unto you any warrant? Which of the two factions have more right to safety if you really know?( 6:81-82 )

To honour Abraham Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala) answered his question as Follows:

Those who believe and obscure not their belief by any polytheism, theirs is safety and they are rightly guided. That is our argument. We gave it unto Abraham against his people. We raise to degrees of wisdom whom we will. Your lord is wise, aware.( 6:83-84 )

This was the first stage in the growth of Abraham's faith in Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala). He, however, made another effort to confirm his creed. Thus in the words of the Qur'an:

When Abraham said: my lord! Show me how you quicken the dead? He said: do you not believe? He (Abraham) said: no. I do, but so that my heart may be at ease. (his lord) said: take four birds, incline them To you, contemplate them well in order to know their shapes after revival then cut them to pieces and place a part of them on each mountain, then call them, they will come to you Running in haste. And know that Allah is mighty wise. ( 2:260 )

Once his faith became firm in Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala) Abraham started to call his father to the true god. The Qur'an tells the story as follows:

And mention in the book Abraham; he was a saint, a prophet. When he said unto his father: O my father! Why do you Worship that which hears not nor sees, nor can in anything avail you? My father! There has come unto me of knowledge that which came not unto you. So follow me, and i will guide you to a right path. My father! Worship not the devil. For the devil is a rebel unto the beneficent. My father! I fear lest a Punishment from the beneficent should touch you so that you become a comrade of the devil.( 9:41-45 )

When Abraham's father heard this from him, instead of accepting the true god Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala), he insisted on idol worship and said:

Will you reject my gods, O Abraham! If you cease not, I shall surely stone you. Depart from me for ever! He (Abraham) said: peace be unto you! I shall ask for you forgiveness of my lord. He was ever gracious unto me. And I withdraw from you and what you worship beside Allah and I pray unto my lord; I plead that in prayer to my lord I shall not be unblessed.( 19:46-48 )

After his father disowned him due to his belief, and with this strong faith in Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala), Abraham made two challenges against his contemporaries. The first challenge was against the tyrant king of his time. The Qur'an narrates this as follows:

Have you observed him who had an argument with Abraham concerning his lord although Allah had granted him the kingdom; how, when Abraham said: my lord is he who gives life and causes death, he answered: i too give life and cause death. Abraham then said: Allah makes the sun rise from the east, make it rise from the west. Thus the disbeliever was confounded. And Allah guides not wrong-doing people.( 2:258 )

The major argument or confrontation rather Abraham had was with the chiefs of his people. This is reflected in the Qur'an in more than one place. In the chapter called the poets Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala) says:

And recite unto them the news of Abraham when he said to his father and his people: what worship you? They said: we Worship idols and are ever devoted to them. He said: do they hear you when you call; or do they benefit or harm you? They said: no, but we found our fathers acting on this wise. He said: do you see what you worship you and your forefathers. They are (all) an enemy to me except the lord of the worlds; who Created me and so he guides me; who feeds me and grants me drink; and when I am sick, he heals me; and who causes me to die, then he gives me life (again); and who I ardently hope will forgive me my sins on the day of judgement. ( 26:69-82 )

That was the declaration of Abraham's separation from his people. Then follows the actual confrontation in chapter 21:51-70:

And before that we gave Abraham his wise behaviour and we were aware of him. When he said unto his father and his people: what are these idols unto which you pay devotion? They said: we found our fathers worshippers of them. He said: verily. You and your fathers were in plain error. They said: do you bring us the truth or are you Some jester? He said: no. But your lord is the lord of heavens and earth who created them; and i am of those who testify unto this.( 21:51-56 )

Abraham then declared war on the idol worship. He said:

And by Allah I shall circumvent your idols after you have gone away and turned your backs. Then he reduced them to fragments all except the chief of them, so that perhaps they might return to it. They said: who did this to our gods? Surely it must be some evil-doer. They said: we heard a youth mention them who is called Abraham. They said: then bring him before people's eyes so that they may testify. They said: was it you who has done this to our gods o Abraham? He said: no. But this their chief has done it. So question them if they can utter. Then they returned to themselves and said: you yourselves are the wrong doers. But then they were confounded headlong and they said: you know well that these speak not. He said: worship you instead of Allah that which cannot profit nor harm you? Fie on you and all that you worship instead of Allah. Have you no sense? They cried: burn him up and support your gods, if you will be doing. We said: o fire! Be coolness and peace for Abraham. And they wished to hatch a plot against him, but we made them the greatest losers. And we rescued him and lot to the land which we have blessed for all the worlds. ( 21:57-71 )

Now that Abraham emigrated for the cause of Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala), he went to makkah according to Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala)'s guidance and prayed to Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala):

And when Abraham said my lord! Make this country safe and protect me and my children from worshipping idols. My lord! They have led many of mankind astray; but whoever follows me, he is of me; and whoever disobeys me, still you are forgiving, merciful. Our lord! I have settled part of my offspring in an uncultivable valley near your sacred house; our lord! That they may establish prayer. So incline some hearts of men that they may yearn towards them; and provide them with fruits in order that they may be thankful.our lord! You know that which we hide and that which we proclaim and and nothing on earth or in heaven is hidden from Allah. So praise be to Allah who has granted me despite my old age, ishmael and isaac. My lord is indeed the hearer of prayer. My lord! Make me establish prayer and (at least) part of my posterity. Our lord! Accept my prayer. Our lord! Forgive me and my parents and believers on the day when the reckoning takes place.( 14:35-41 )

That is why Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala) considers Abraham to be equivalent to a whole nation:

Abraham was a nation obedient to Allah, by nature upright; and he was not of the polytheists. Thankful for his bounties. He chose him and guided him to a straight path.( 16:120-121 )

Source: Muslim World League - Canadian Office