Dealing with his Father
So as we explained yesterday the first challenge or difficulty which Ibrahim AS faced was the fact that he was surrounded by polytheists and idol worshippers, not just that, but it was so bad that he actually grew up in a house where idols were not only worshipped, but they were even made in his house by his very own father! Despite all this, he went out in search of the True Lord, in search of Allah.
The next challenge which Ibrahim AS faced was having to deal with his father, who as we just explained didn’t only worship idols, but he made them so that others could worship them.
One of the most difficult situations faced by Ibrahim AS in the beginning of his mission was when he invited his father Aazar to Islam. The Noble Quran narrated their dialogue in the most eloquent and clear fashion: [Surah Maryam: verse 42 – 47]
إِذْ قَالَ لِأَبِيهِ يَـٰٓأَبَتِ لِمَ تَعْبُدُ مَا لَا يَسْمَعُ وَلَا يُبْصِرُ وَلَا يُغْنِى عَنكَ شَيْـًٔا
When he said to his father: “O my father! Why do you worship that which hears not, sees not and cannot avail you in anything?
يَـٰٓأَبَتِ إِنِّى قَدْ جَآءَنِى مِنَ ٱلْعِلْمِ مَا لَمْ يَأْتِكَ فَٱتَّبِعْنِىٓ أَهْدِكَ صِرَٰطًا سَوِيًّا
“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.
يَـٰٓأَبَتِ لَا تَعْبُدِ ٱلشَّيْطَـٰنَ ۖ إِنَّ ٱلشَّيْطَـٰنَ كَانَ لِلرَّحْمَـٰنِ عَصِيًّا
O my father, do not worship Shaytan. Indeed Shaytan has ever been, to the Most Merciful, disobedient.
يَـٰٓأَبَتِ إِنِّىٓ أَخَافُ أَن يَمَسَّكَ عَذَابٌ مِّنَ ٱلرَّحْمَـٰنِ فَتَكُونَ لِلشَّيْطَـٰنِ وَلِيًّا
“O my father! Verily! I fear lest a torment from the Most Beneficent (Allah) overtake you, so that you become a companion of Shaytan.
Look at the extent of Ibrahim AS’s patience to bear psychological and moral abuse, before the physical and material harm, from his father’s unexpected response. His father, the closest of people to him, would normally be the most helpful and supportive, but his response certainly didn’t show this.
قَالَ أَرَاغِبٌ أَنتَ عَنْ ءَالِهَتِى يَـٰٓإِبْرَٰهِيمُ ۖ لَئِن لَّمْ تَنتَهِ لَأَرْجُمَنَّكَ ۖ وَٱهْجُرْنِى مَلِيًّا
His father replied: “How dare you renounce my gods, O Ibrahim? If you do not stop this folly, I will indeed stone you to death: so be gone from my house this very moment!”
Aazar did not only refuse to accept the message his son was conveying to him or support him in his mission of spreading the name of Allah, but he threatened him with stoning to death and kicked him out of the house.
But look at the amazing response of Ibrahim AS that indicates the utmost wisdom and rationality coupled with turning to Allah in these contentious moments:
قَالَ سَلَـٰمٌ عَلَيْكَ ۖ سَأَسْتَغْفِرُ لَكَ رَبِّىٓ ۖ إِنَّهُۥ كَانَ بِى حَفِيًّا
Ibrahim said: “Peace be on you! I will ask Forgiveness of my Lord for you. Verily! He is unto me, Ever Most Gracious.
This level of love and devotion to a parent is truly remarkable.