The Lessons from the Seerah of Prophet Ibrahim, May Allah be Pleased with Him
Allah, The Most High, said;
إِذْ جَاءَ رَبَّهُ بِقَلْبٍ سَلِيمٍ
“When he came to his Lord with a pure heart [attached to Allah Alone and none else, worshiping not Allah Alone–true Islamic Monotheism, pure from the filth of polytheism].”
The story of Prophet Ibrahim, is one that holds immense lessons for all of mankind. He was born in Babylonia during the height of idol worship. As a young boy, he questioned the deep seated polytheistic beliefs which existed generations before him. Prophet Ibrahim was born to disbelieving parents- his father, a very well known idol maker in his time. To question belief in the idols was (to the disbelievers of that time) blasphemy and deemed an unfathomable disrespect to family legacy and the ancestors.
Despite being surrounded by disbelief, Allah out of His abounding Mercy, chose Prophet Ibrahim (as it had been written) and guided him to Tawheed. The first great lesson we can learn here is that: Allah chooses whom He wills for Islam as He knows best where to place His message.
The Lineage of the Prophets
All of the Prophets were chosen from a particular bloodline stemming from Prophet Adam and branching down generation after generation. It is believed that the lineage of the Prophets all came through Sheth, Prophet Adam’s (A.S.) son whom he appointed as his successor. The offspring through Seth’s lineage was peppered with believers and non-believers producing mighty Prophet’s and messengers from Allah, (may Allah be pleased with them).
Allah, The Exalted, says in the Qur’an:
وَلَقَدْ أَرْسَلْنَا نُوحًا وَإِبْرَاهِيمَ وَجَعَلْنَا فِي ذُرِّيَّتِهِمَا النُّبُوَّةَ وَالْكِتَابَ ۖ فَمِنْهُم مُّهْتَدٍ ۖ وَكَثِيرٌ مِّنْهُمْ فَاسِقُونَ
“And indeed, We sent Nuh (Noah) and Ibrahim (Abraham), and placed in their offspring Prophethood and Scripture. And among them there are some who are guided; but many of them are Fasiqun (rebellious, disobedient to Allah).
The prayer for righteous descendants;
Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “When a man dies, his deeds come to an end except for three things: Sadaqah Jariyah (ceaseless charity); a knowledge which is beneficial, or a virtuous descendant who prays for him (for the deceased).”
(Sahih Muslim, Book 13, Hadith 8)
The prayer for righteous decendents has always been a matter of upmost importance for the righteous as Allah (S.W.T.) tells us in the Qur’an;
وَالَّذِينَ إِذَا ذُكِّرُوا بِآيَاتِ رَبِّهِمْ لَمْ يَخِرُّوا عَلَيْهَا صُمًّا وَعُمْيَانًا
وَالَّذِينَ يَقُولُونَ رَبَّنَا هَبْ لَنَا مِنْ أَزْوَاجِنَا وَذُرِّيَّاتِنَا قُرَّةَ أَعْيُنٍ وَاجْعَلْنَا لِلْمُتَّقِينَ إِمَامً
أُولَٰئِكَ يُجْزَوْنَ الْغُرْفَةَ بِمَا صَبَرُوا وَيُلَقَّوْنَ فِيهَا تَحِيَّةً وَسَلَامًا
“And those who, when they are reminded of the Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) of their Lord, fall not deaf and blind thereat. And those who say: “Our Lord! Bestow on us from our wives and our offspring the comfort of our eyes, and make us leaders of the Muttaqun (the pious). Those will be rewarded with the highest place (in Paradise) because of their patience. Therein they shall be met with greetings and the word of peace and respect.
هُنَالِكَ دَعَا زَكَرِيَّا رَبَّهُ ۖ قَالَ رَبِّ هَبْ لِي مِن لَّدُنكَ ذُرِّيَّةً طَيِّبَةً ۖ إِنَّكَ سَمِيعُ الدُّعَاءِ
“At that, Zechariah called upon his Lord, saying, “My Lord, grant me from Yourself a good offspring. Indeed, You are the Hearer of supplication.”
The Prophets all come from the same lineage, each lighting the way from one another. Despite the circumstances they were born into and the distance between their arrivals, they are all brothers;
Narrated Abu Huraira (R.A.): Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “Both in this world and in the Hereafter, I am the nearest of all the people to Jesus, the son of Mary. The prophets are paternal brothers; their mothers are different, but their religion is one.”
( Sahih al-Bukhari 3443)
The Prophet (S.A.W.) said;
I am the supplication of my father Ibrahim and the glad tidings brought forth by Jesus the son of Mary.
(Tafsir Ibn Khathir, 2:129)
Giving Dawah with Logical Arguments & The Blessing of Hukm
Allah (S.W.T.) granted Prophet Ibrahim (A.S.) the ability and zeal to call his people to Islam with sure knowledge. He was very patient in his approach to Da’wah, as he debated with his people for years and years. By Allah’s Grace and Mercy, Prophet Ibrahim (A.S.) understood the deeply rooted polytheistic beliefs of his people and sought to draw them out their darkness with rational words that hit the mark.
It is Allah (S.W.T.) who plants the seeds of faith and waters it just as the winds come before a heavy rain. By the Mercy of Allah, one area may receive a downpour and those who are near are given the opportunity to benefit from the rain as it trickles down. As such with knowledge and Hukm of the righteous ones sent among us.
In the case of our Father,Prophet Ibrahim (A.S.) Allah (S.W.T.) put his seed of Faith to the test by showing him His (Allah’s) wondrous signs and then assigning the task of proclaiming those signs to men with patience and firmness. Prophet Ibrahim’s seed of Faith was watered by his submissiveness to Allah’s guidance. This indeed was a manifest sign for his people and serves as a mighty sign of true faith for his descendants.
Allah, The Exalted says in the Qur’an;
وَكَذَٰلِكَ نُرِي إِبْرَاهِيمَ مَلَكُوتَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَلِيَكُونَ مِنَ الْمُوقِنِينَ
فَلَمَّا جَنَّ عَلَيْهِ اللَّيْلُ رَأَىٰ كَوْكَبًا ۖ قَالَ هَٰذَا رَبِّي ۖ فَلَمَّا أَفَلَ قَالَ لَا أُحِبُّ الْآفِلِينَ
فَلَمَّا رَأَى الْقَمَرَ بَازِغًا قَالَ هَٰذَا رَبِّي ۖ فَلَمَّا أَفَلَ قَالَ لَئِن لَّمْ يَهْدِنِي رَبِّي لَأَكُونَنَّ مِنَ الْقَوْمِ الضَّالِّينَ
فَلَمَّا رَأَى الشَّمْسَ بَازِغَةً قَالَ هَٰذَا رَبِّي هَٰذَا أَكْبَرُ ۖ فَلَمَّا أَفَلَتْ قَالَ يَا قَوْمِ إِنِّي بَرِيءٌ مِّمَّا تُشْرِكُونَ
إِنِّي وَجَّهْتُ وَجْهِيَ لِلَّذِي فَطَرَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ حَنِيفًا ۖ وَمَا أَنَا مِنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ
وَحَاجَّهُ قَوْمُهُ ۚ قَالَ أَتُحَاجُّونِّي فِي اللَّهِ وَقَدْ هَدَانِ ۚ وَلَا أَخَافُ مَا تُشْرِكُونَ بِهِ إِلَّا أَن يَشَاءَ رَبِّي شَيْئًا ۗ وَسِعَ رَبِّي كُلَّ شَيْءٍ عِلْمًا ۗ أَفَلَا تَتَذَكَّرُونَ
وَكَيْفَ أَخَافُ مَا أَشْرَكْتُمْ وَلَا تَخَافُونَ أَنَّكُمْ أَشْرَكْتُم بِاللَّهِ مَا لَمْ يُنَزِّلْ بِهِ عَلَيْكُمْ سُلْطَانًا ۚ فَأَيُّ الْفَرِيقَيْنِ أَحَقُّ بِالْأَمْنِ ۖ إِن كُنتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ
الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَلَمْ يَلْبِسُوا إِيمَانَهُم بِظُلْمٍ أُولَٰئِكَ لَهُمُ الْأَمْنُ وَهُم مُّهْتَدُونَ
وَتِلْكَ حُجَّتُنَا آتَيْنَاهَا إِبْرَاهِيمَ عَلَىٰ قَوْمِهِ ۚ نَرْفَعُ دَرَجَاتٍ مَّن نَّشَاءُ ۗ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ حَكِيمٌ عَلِيمٌ
“Thus did we show Ibrahim (Abraham) the kingdom of the heavens and the earth that he be one of those who have Faith with certainty. When the night covered him over with darkness he saw a star. He said: “This is my lord.” But when it set, he said: “I like not those that set.” When he saw the moon rising up, he said: “This is my lord.” But when it set, he said: “Unless my Lord guides me, I shall surely be among the people who went astray.” When he saw the sun rising up, he said: “This is my lord. This is greater.” But when it set, he said: “O my people! I am indeed free from all that you join as partners (in worship with Allah). Verily, I have turned my face towards Him who has created the heavens and the earth Hanif, (Islamic Monotheism, i.e. worshiping non but Allah Alone), and I am not of Al-Mushrikun“. His people disputed with him. He said: “Do you dispute with me concerning Allah while He has guided me, and I fear not those whom you associate with Him (Allah) in worship. (Nothing can happen to me) except when my Lord (Allah) wills something. My Lord comprehends in His Knowledge all things. Will you not then remember? And how should I fear those whom you associate in worship with Allah (tough they can neither benefit nor harm), while you fear not that you have joined in worship with Allah things for which He has not sent down to you any authority. So which of the two parties has more right to be in security? If you but know. It is those who believe (in the Oneness of Allah and worship none but Him Alone) and confuse not their belief with Zulm (wrong i.e. by worshiping others besides Allah), for them (only) there is security and they are the guided. Ant that was Our Proof which we gave Ibrahim (Abraham) against his people. We raise whom We will in degrees. Certainly your Lord is All-Wise, All-Knowing.
- One’s guidance to Islam may be due to the prayers of forefathers for righteous offspring ;
- Islam is a gift to chosen slaves;
- Prophet’s (A.S.) are brothers;
- One must pray for righteous descendants and spend charity on their offspring by raising them firmly upon the deen of Al Islam;
- Ibrahim (A.S.) is our Father in religion. We must model him in all ways–he was constantly returning to Allah in repentance, steadfast in carrying out the commands of Allah, and patient with the harms he suffered from the people.