Who abandons the way of life of Abraham except one who lacks understanding? (Such a person should see that) God made Abraham pure (and chosen) in this world, and in the Hereafter, he will be with the righteous. When his Sustainer told him, “Submit to Me,” he said, “I submit myself to the Sustainer of the Universe!”
Abraham advised his children in the same way as did Jacob: “My sons (children), God has definitely chosen this way of life for you; therefore, do not die except in a state of submission.” If you had witnessed when Jacob was nearing death, he said to his sons (children), “Whom will you serve after my death?” They replied, “We shall serve your Lord and the Lord of your fathers—Abraham, Ishmael, and Isaac—the One and Only God, and we do submit to Him.”
These people have passed away! Their reward will come from what they did, and your reward will come from what you do, and you will not be asked as to what they did.
Prophet Abraham has been referred to in the Qur’an as the leading figure of mono- theism. While Jews and Christians have laid claim that Abraham was one of them, the Qur’an makes a very logical argument that (1) he came before Judaism and Christianity and that (2) he practiced the purest form of monotheism.
This is a wonderful example of parent-child dialogue at any point in life, not just at the time of death. As parents, we need to have the wisdom to explain our way of life and our view of the world as taught by God and our Prophet. This should be a priority as part of our parenting responsibilities. We also need to practice what we preach to our children. And as children, even when we do become adults, we need to appreciate and respect the values and wisdom that parents bring to us.
This is a very pertinent message to which to pay serious attention. In too many Muslim communities and gatherings there is a tendency to force people to conform to certain looks and behaviors and there are certain people (including imams) who demonstrate arrogance by assuming an “I-know-best” mind-set. The presence of the so-called religious police and vigilantes, in countries like Saudi Arabia and Iran, have created negative feelings in many peoples’ minds, especially in those of women, who do not feel welcome in many Muslim gatherings (and societies). Our inordinate amount of focus on the hijab, beards, and Arabic style dresses undermine the true message of Islam, which is self-purification and compassion.
Prophet Abraham is the symbol of a pure monotheistic religion, which was conveyed to all peoples, such as Jews, Christians, and polytheists, by generations of prophets, including Jacob, Moses, Jesus, and Mohammad.
Muslims should take careful note of how earlier people have gone back on their religious beliefs and of how we can protect ourselves from taking such a path. We need to refocus on our actions and faith before we start to question others within our own faith and of other faiths. We should be inviting God’s way and not repelling it. Each of us is responsible for ourselves; neither our parents nor our children will account for our deeds. We should also not be overconfident about our future with God just because we call ourselves Muslims; nor should we assume that our success in this life is assured just because we call ourselves Muslims, as we fail to act accordingly to the teachings of the Qur’an and the Prophet.
Key Arabic Term:
1. Millati Ibrahim
**Definition can be found in the Glossary**