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  • Rıdvan Demir


There are Prophet Abraham passages in different place but with the same emphases in the Quran. The Quran emphasizes monotheism with Abraham. Nevertheless the Prophet Abraham has struggled against idolatry justly. Almost we can say that the theme of Abraham accentuates idolatry in the Quran. In this concept he has encountered and met with very big problems in his term. He was “Hanif” (Islam) and he was not “mushrik” (a believer in Allah but worshipper of idols) anytime (2:135; 3:67; 3:95). He also has tested with and was connected with his family like other prophets.

The prophet Abraham has tested with his father Azer (6:74). He has invited his father to Allah, but his father has refused his calling, thus he has continued to adore idols and he has became from “mushrik” (37:85-87; 26:70; 19:46). He has prayed for his father. (26:86; 19:47; 60:4; 9:114). But he abandoned when he understood that he would not save his father from Hell. Abraham called to Allah his father and forbid him to worship idols. However his father slighted his son Abraham. In my understanding, Allah was testing Abraham and also his father Azer was testing his son, because people cannot accept rights from their children. Azer could not accept realities from his son. It is very clear that if Azer believes his son and his son’s Allah everybody will deride him. The Quran’s target is obedience’s importance, it has not the purpose to tell people to kill their sons. Already Allah has sent sacrifice for Abraham.

On the other hand Abraham tested with his wife Hagar. When Abraham left her and his son Ishmael Hagar asks: O Abraham! Did Allah order that him. Abraham turns behind and says: yes Hagar! Allah ordered. After than she says: go Abraham go, because Allah will be us. This is a big test for Abraham, because Mecca was so deserted and arid in this term. It is very interesting that the Prophet Abraham has tested also with his son that Allah has ordered him to cut his son. While all prophets tested only one person, Prophet Abraham and the Prophet Muhammad tested a lot of people. His son was very obedient and he said that: O my father! You can see that you will find me as very patient. “…for this was obviously a trial” (37:102-106). That was really a big test for Abraham.

When Abraham broke all idols except for the biggest one, all “mushriks” came to Abraham and asked. O Abraham! Did you do that? Abraham replied ,why did you not ask the biggest one? Maybe it can know that. All of them understood realities but they did not believe the one Allah, because their fathers believed idols. That was one proof. Abraham states to them the reality that, “do you then worship, besides Allah, things that can neither be of any good to you nor do you harm?” “Fie upon you, and upon the things that you worship besides Allah! Have you no sense?” (21:66-67) In this point, the Quran has been invited to reasoning all of them. They knew that all idols cannot speak, however they wanted to punish Abraham with the death penalty, namely with burning. Allah said at this point: “we said, o fire! Be cool, and (a mean of) safety for Abraham (17:21; 29:24) Today, people have been known to do cold blazes that do not burn. Nevertheless if the thing is a miracle in history, but this thing is done later, is this thing a miracle or not? Kalam (Islam belief system) scholars have said yes, because this thing is a miracle when is done in history and it could not be done in history.

There are three passages concerning idolatry and hereafter relations in the Quran. Firstly the chapter Shuara 87-104 verses. Allah speaks after Abraham prays with all humankind. Allah says: the day is not important wealth, sons and avail, “but only he (will prosper) that brings to Allah a sound heart” that this heart shall believe to Allah. Allah continues: “and it shall be said to them, where are the (gods) you worshipped. Besides Allah? Can they help you or help themselves?” (26:88-93) Thus they will be sent to the hell with Iblis’ (Satan) army and “mushriks” altogether. This passage is very interesting. They say: “now if we only had a chance of return we shall truly be of those who believe.” (26:102) But it is too late anymore. This passage of Abraham discusses idolatry and hereafter (ahirahbelief) in fantastic ways. Abraham asks Allah about death and resurrection. Hereafter Allah orders: “take four birds. Tame them to turn to you. Put a portion of them on every hill and call to them. They will come to you (flying) with speed. Then know that Allah is exalted in power, wise.” Thus Allah has expressed to him to satisfy his heart (2:260). (Other see for third passage, 29: 20-25.)

In the Holy Bible, Abraham story has been stated promise land and Abraham’s generation commonly. This generation has been blessed by God and everything will be better for them in their future (Genesis: 12:1-3; 15:1-8; 15:18-21; 18:18-19). Abraham has had two sons. Firstly, he has had Ishmael from Hagar who was Sarah’s (Abraham’s wife’s) bondswoman. When Hagar was pregnant the two women started to quarrel. Thus Ishmael was born and God gave good news about Ishmael and his generation (16:3-9). God has notified to Abraham to have Isaac before a year (18:10). Sarah found that it was very amazing, because Sarah and his husband Abraham were very old. However God warned Sarah that: “Is anything too hard for the Lord?” (18:13). After one year, Sarah gave birth to Isaac (21:1-4). When God informed good news about Isaac, Abraham prayed to God and he wanted that: “and Abraham said to God, ‘if only Ishmael might live under your blessing!’ Then God said, yes but your wife Sarah will bear you a son, and you will call him Isaac. I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him. And as for Ishmael, I have heard you: I will surely bless him; I will make him fruitful and will greatly increase his numbers. He will be the father of twelve rulers, and I will make him into a great nation. But my covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah will bear to you by this time next year.” (17:18-21). This point is very interesting, because God has promised both, namely generation of Isaac and also generation of Ishmael. It is more interesting that God has stated to Isaac (21:12). Firstly, to Isaac after that to Ishmael (21:13; 21:18) that is true align in the history of prophets.

Abraham was tested by God with Isaac. God ordered to Abraham for to cut his son Isaac in the Old Testament, (22:1-13) however there is a very parallel passage in the Quran, but the Quran has not been stated his son’s name. This son is Ishmael according to general Islamic understanding.

The main emphasis of the Abrahamic themes is Monotheism in the Quran, nevertheless Abrahamic themes main emphases to generation of Abraham these are Ishmael and Isaac in the Hebrew Scriptures. Today, we know that many prophets have been sent from Isaac’s generation, at the same time Prophet Muhammad has been sent by Allah and there could have been many prophets who we cannot know from Ishmael’s generation. When Jews could not know important responsibility, Allah chose a prophet from Ishmael’s generation who is the last Prophet Muhammad.

The Quran said that about Abraham: “Allah took Abraham for a friend (fellow)” (4:125), and in the Hebrew Scriptures and also the New Testament said that about Abraham: “but you, O Israel, my servant, Jacob, whom I have chosen, you descendants of Abraham my friend” (Isaiah, 41:8); “and he was called God’s friend.” (James, 2:23). He was a big prophet and he is in correlation with Abrahamic traditions.

wa selamun ale’l murselin …


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