Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him), the Khaleelulallah, and one of the greatest prophets ever known, sailed through the winds of trials and tribulations, eventually triumphing in the path of Allah ﷻ, who honored him with the above titles. He has achieved such an elite status that he is known to be the first one to be clothed on the Day of Judgment.
Now the question arises how can one gain insight and inspiration from this esteemed individual, who is way out of our league? I mean we do understand him to be a great prophet whom we, Muslims, hold him in high regard and also to whom we send darood, but it seems quite complicated to consider the ways of a prophet compared to the life of a practicing or struggling believer. An answer to this query lies in the Qur’an itself,
“And who can be better in religion than he who submits his face to Allah and performs good and follows the religion of Ibraheem, a man pure in faith. Allah took Ibraheem as a friend.”[Qur’an 4: 125]
Methodology of Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him)
In an effort to understand Ibrahim (peace be upon him) and his ways, one needs to study him and his methods thoroughly. This will lead us to have a different perspective about Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) which will promote us to earn success with submission.
His Motto – It is easy to say that Ibrahim’s (peace be upon him) motto was his submission to Allah ﷻ. However, this submission stems from his complete trust and reliance in Allah ﷻ. It was this trust that when he was thrown in the fire, he said without hesitation, “Allah is Sufficient for us and How good a Protector He is.” He didn’t panic or cry but simply left the matters to his Rabb, who took care of it all. In all the difficult times of his life, he simply relied on Allah ﷻ, which made him closer to Allah ﷻ, because he knew that it was Allah ﷻ who was testing him and only He can relieve him.
Its this trust and reliance that we must place on Allah ﷻ, only then despite all of the pain, hurt, sadness, worry and difficulty to the level of being thrown in the fire, we can simply say,
“Allah is Sufficient for us and How good a Protector He is.”
His Persona – Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) was an insightful person, due to the wisdom inculcated into him by Allah ﷻ. Yet there are many character traits that any layman can take away despite not having the quality of wisdom he imbibed. Starting from the fact, that he listened to his inner fitrah and seeking for the truth of the creator. He never succumbed to the fallacious matters that was preached by his father and his people. And this method of seeking truth not only applies to non-Muslims, but also to Muslims who are sometimes unable to decipher the differences between culture and deen, as they are easily swayed by forged myths that are innovated in the deen.
In the list of Prophet Ibrahim’s (peace be upon him) remarkable attributes that we could take away from is his patience and humbleness. Despite knowing the truth, he remained patient and humble towards his father and didn’t apply any kind of harshness. Even when he invited his father towards worshipping Allah ﷻ, he used sweet words and acted out of complete kindness.
“O my father! Verily! There has come to me of knowledge that which came not unto you. So follow me. I will guide you to a Straight Path. O my father! Worship not Satan. Verily! Satan has been a rebel against the Most Beneficent (Allah). O my father! Verily! I fear lest a torment from the Most Beneficent (Allah) overtake you as that you become a companion of Satan (in the Hellfire).” He (the father) said: “Do you reject my gods, O Abraham? If you stop not this, I will indeed stone you. So get away from me safely before I punish you.” Abraham said: “Peace be on you! I will ask Forgiveness of my Lord for you. Verily! He is unto me, Ever Most Gracious. And I shall turn away from you and from those whom you invoke besides Allah.”[Qur’an 19:43-48]
Even after calling his father warmly, his father refused him and Ibrahim (peace be upon him) remained patient throughout this hurtful moment. At times, we too feel opposed or are rejected by our loved one, to whom we want nothing but good. In such cases, we need to recall Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) and how he was refused by his beloved father. We need to opt his method and be kind and humble towards our loved ones, even we are more knowledgeable, that does increase our status but only piety will, while our harshness will only bring us down.
In terms of Prophet Ibrahim’s (peace be upon him) patience, there are other incidents in his life such as leaving his wife and only child; and also sacrificing his son, both were a test from his Lord which he triumphed well. Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) was Allah’s ﷻ beloved slave and hence he tested him with the toughest test. Just like the hadeeth that says,
“If Allah wants to do good to somebody, He afflicts him with trials.”[Sahih Bukhari 5645,Book 75, Hadith 5]
As Allah’s ﷻ slaves, we are tested and put into trial for various things to the level of our capacity and sometimes by something we love the most. It is at such times one needs to adorn the garment of patience and rely on the help of Allah ﷻ, just like our beloved Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him), who knew that his Rabb will grace him with nothing but goodness.
The Result – We are aware about the position of Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) amongst the prophets and his special state of closeness with Allah ﷻ. Apart from this, Allah ﷻ also granted him an excellent lineage of descendants, from which our precious Prophet Muhammad ﷺ descended. It was an endless fruit of reward that he reaped due to his efforts in terms of pleasing Allah ﷻ. His characteristics resulted in making him an excellent role model even as a father, where his son was ready to be sacrificed simply because it was a command from Allah ﷻ. Hence, no matter what trials and tests, the end result will always be excellent and beyond our temptations, because it is the rewards from Allah ﷻ who blesses His slaves immeasurably.
No doubt that most of us are acquainted with Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) and his characteristics, at the same time we find it difficult to acknowledge it in our daily lives. However, Allah ﷻ says in the Qur’an,
“But continue to remind. For certainly reminders benefit the believers”.[Qur’an 51:55]
So, let’s take these pearls of wisdom from the life of Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) and anticipate nothing but the reward from our Rabb. Eventually, one day we might meet this great prophet and inform him that we followed his footsteps with an aim to achieve success with submission.
- Qur’anic translations taken from Ibn Katheer’s book
- Stories of the Prophets by Ibn Katheer
- Why is Ibrahim (peace be upon him) singled out for mention in the Tashahhud?
- Ibrahim (peace be upon him) https://islamqa.info/en/answers/13043/ibraaheem-peace-be-upon-him
- Ibrahim al-Khaleel (peace be upon him) is the best of the Prophets after our Prophet Muhammad (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), and he has nothing to do with any polytheists https://islamqa.info/en/answers/241787/ibraaheem-al-khaleel-peace-be-upon-him-is-the-best-of-the-prophets-after-our-prophet-muhammad-blessings-and-peace-of-allah-be-upon-him-and-he-has-nothing-to-do-with-any-polytheists