When his Lord tried Abraham with certain commands, and he fulfilled them, He (God) promised, “I will make you a leader of mankind.” And he replied, “How about from my offspring?” 58 (God replied), “My promise does not include those that are unjust.”
God made the house (Ka’bah) a place of visitation for people, a sanctuary, and (commanded people) to take this place of Abraham as a place of worship. God also commanded Abraham and Ishmael, “Purify My house for those who intend to visit, bowing down in humility in front of God.” Abraham made supplication: “My Sustainer, make this city secure and provide fruits as provisions for its citizens who believe in God and the Hereafter.” He (God) replied, “(Even for its) citizens who disbelieve, I shall grant enjoyment for a short time and drive them to the punishment of Fire, an evil destination.”
As Abraham and Ishmael raised the foundation (of the Ka’bah), they supplicated to God: “Our Sustainer, accept (our effort) since You are the Hearing and Knowing One. Make us both surrender to You, bring a nation out of our offspring to be humble, and turn to us (mercifully) since You are Forgiving and Merciful. Our Sustainer, raise a messenger who will explain Your messages to the people, teach them the Book and wisdom, and help purify them, since You are the Mighty and Wise.”
Prophet Abraham is one of those souls whose devotion to God was unparalleled and whose concerns and best wishes for his next generation were legendary. God always fulfilled his wishes as long as their bearers were faithful to Him. Prophet Abraham holds a unique position among the followers of the three religions of Islam, Christianity, and Judaism: He is the father of Ishmael and Isaac, from whose offspring came a number of prophets, including Moses, Jesus, and Mohammad, all teaching the universal message of the unity of God and service to humanity.
In their prayer to God, Abraham and Ishmael prayed for a messenger who was characterized as a teacher with wisdom and whose intent was to teach and purify people; perhaps we should shape our lives and our visions to be in line with those of this Messenger (Mohammad) whom our great forefathers prayed for.
Prophet Abraham is a unique individual in the history of mankind. He is considered one of the early followers of true monotheism and is revered by Muslims, Jews, and Christians alike. While Jews claim that Abraham belongs to them and the Christians claim that Abraham belongs to them, the Qur’an makes the point that he was a predecessor to both of these religions and, as such, could belong to neither. In reality, he believed in true monotheism, offered total acceptance of and surrender (the true meaning of the word Muslim) to God Almighty, and dedicated his life to the betterment of his generation and beyond.
The life and story of Prophet Abraham should be a source of constant inspi- ration for us as Muslims. His devotion to God, care for his family and children, and commitment to eradicate social evils and injustice is legendary. Prophet Mohammad, during his journey to Heaven, as mentioned in 17:1, and in a number of instances of his conversations with his followers (as documented in various hadiths), referred to Prophet Abraham as his father, whereas he referred to Prophets Jesus and Moses as his brothers, thereby aptly recognizing Prophet Abraham as the patriarch of the three major religions, which, in their purest essence, are the same religion. Followers of Islam should work to unify the three religions as a fundamental responsibility as bearers of witness to all religions.
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**Definition can be found in the glossary**