Ibrahim - A Process of Elimination
Ancient Knights


Kaan Ya Makaan, Fee Qadeem Al-Zamaan…
There was a Place, in Times of Old…

Where a man named Aazar stood and meticulously carved the latest of the idols he was well-known for making. In another day and age, Aazar would have been known as an artist, but at the time he was simply a humble idol-maker.

Ibrahim PBUH, Aazar's young son, sat and watched in fascination as his father rapidly shaped the block of wood into an idol that would soon be placed in the home of one of the wealthiest men in their village. Always an intelligent and curious boy, Ibrahim PBUH stared at the idols his father created hoping to see them change into something divine but, to his disappointment, they never did.

As a result, the boy who curiously watched the creation of so many idols, grew up to be a man who had no faith in them. He, more than anyone, knew that there was no spark of the divine in the statues his father made. They did not move nor speak nor think nor feel. They simply sat there, senseless and staring, through the days and months and years.

Eventually, Ibrahim PBUH decided to confront his father about the idols he made and how illogical it was to worship one's own creation. After a heated argument, Ibrahim's PBUH father threw him out of the house and told him not to return. To have his own son question the source of their income and the validity of their beliefs was an insult Aazar could neither overlook nor forgive.

Hurt by his father's reaction but determined to find out who his own true Creator was, Ibrahim PBUH set himself the enormous task of finding God.

Ibrahim's PBUH quick mind had already dismissed the possibility that there was anything of the divine about the idols his people worshipped. So he decided to use his senses to search for God.

As Ibrahim PBUH wandered, he looked up into the sky and beheld a bright, breathtaking star. Dazzled by it's beauty, Ibrahim PBUH declared, "That is my God." But when dawn broke, the star faded away and Ibrahim PBUH was left feeling disappointed. A god would not fade away like that, reasoned Ibrahim PBUH, so he abandoned the glowing star and continued his search.

The next night, as Ibrahim PBUH looked up at the sky, the moon rose into the sky. So round and luminous and perfect was the moon that Ibrahim PBUH declared, "That is my God." But again, daylight came and dimmed the light of the moon, sending it into hiding. Convinced that a god could not be made to disappear like that, Ibrahim PBUH decided that the moon held no divinity.

Looking up at the incredibly bright sun that had hidden both the moon and the stars, Ibrahim PBUH proclaimed, "That is my God." But when the sun set and darkness again descended, Ibrahim PBUH was convinced that the sun could not possibly be a god.

Sure that the sun, the moon and the stars were all just as unworthy of being worshipped as the idols that his father so meticulously carved, Ibrahim PBUH did not know how to continue his search. He knew that someone had created him and his world in all its complexity, but he could not find a faith that seemed right to him.

"If God does not guide me (to him) then I will surely be among the lost," Ibrahim PBUH said sadly.

Little did Ibrahim PBUH know then, God had already made his own plans for Ibrahim to find him. Not long after Ibrahim PBUH started his search for his Creator, God sent an angel to speak to Ibrahim PBUH and tell him that he was to be a Prophet and Messenger of God. Elated and excited, Ibrahim PBUH returned to his people and told them about God and the angel who had spoken to him.

Ibrahim's PBUH people reacted as so many have over countless millennia, with scornful disbelief and outright ridicule. But that mattered little to Ibrahim PBUH because at long last he had found what he had searched for all his life: his Creator.

*Written by © 2011. Care to read or leave Comments?

Notes:
  1. Names, Translations and Aliases:
    • Aazar (father of Ibrahim aka Abraham): ءازر.
    • Ibrahim PBUH (aka Abraham): إبراهيم عليه السلام
  2. Al-Sha'rawi in his book Stories of Prophets and Messengers expresses his opinion that Ibrahim's PBUH search was more of an illustration for his people than an actual search. After all Ibrahim PBUH surely knew that the stars and the moon disappeared during the day just as the sun disappeared during the night. Others say that Ibrahim PBUH was looking at the world through fresh eyes, seeking what he thought may have been divine and then eliminating it when his tentative conclusion seemed incorrect. Which of these two points of view are correct? Maybe the first, maybe the second, maybe both, maybe neither. What do you think?

Sources:
  1. Al-Sha'rawi, Muhammad, M. (2011 AD, 1432 H). قصص الأنبياء و المرسلين [Stories of the Prophets and Messengers]. Beirut: Al-Maktaba Al-Assrya. Page 78-86.
  2. Ibn Katheer Al-Dimishqui, Emad Al-Deen (1399 H). مختصر تفسير ابن كثير [Summarized Tafseer Ibn Katheer]. Beirut: Dar Al-Quran Al-Kareem. Volume I. Page 591-595.
  3. القرآن الكريم [The Noble Quran]. (1417 H). Al-Madinah Al-Munawarah, KSA: Mujama'a Al-Malik Fahad. Page 137-138. Surat Al-Ana'am (سورة الأنعام). Aya (Verse) 74-83.

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