Greatness of Hazrat Ibrahim (A.S.)
Hayat Al-Qulub Vol. 1,
By: Allamah Muhammad Baqir Al-Majlisi
First: The Almighty says that He caused Ibrahim to witness the spectacles of the heavens and the earth so that he becomes firm in belief.
Second: Recognition (Ma’refah). That is to consider Allah as the First and the Last, His Oneness and Purity from any similarity with His creatures. When he saw the star, the moon and the sun and each of them disappeared, he remarked that they were subject to change and whatever is subject to change must have a creator.
Third: Bravery! His daring was obvious when he broke the idols. As Allah says, that when Ibrahim asked his father and his people the reality behind the idols they worshipped. They replied that they had seen their forefathers worshipping them. “Even if they were on manifest error?” asked Ibrahim. They asked him if he was serious or he was just saying all that in jest.
“Your Lord is the God of the earth and the sky and One who has created everything from nothingness.
And I testify to this. By Allah! I would deal with your idols in a particular way when you go out of the city,” said Ibrahim When the people departed for the feast, Ibrahim broke all the idols except the largest one, with the hope that people may question it (about the distances), and thus argument shall be complete on them.
Indeed confronting the whole community single-handed requires bravery.
Fourth: Forbearance and self-respect. As the Almighty says that Ibrahim was self-respecting and god-fearing, He supplicated Allah quite often and always turned to Him for help.
Fifth: Charity and Chivalry. As mentioned by the Almighty in the incident of his guests.
Sixth: Separation from the family members for the sake of Allah. As the Almighty says that Ibrahim told his people that he wanted to be away from them and their false deities. He said, “I call you only to my Lord and worship Him alone.
Seventh: Enjoining good and forbidding evil. As the Lord Almighty says that Ibrahim asked his father Azar why he worshipped something that neither spoke nor heard. And it cannot offer him anything. “Indeed! I am in receipt of a Knowledge that has reached you. So you must obey me so that I can guide you on the straight path. Do not worship your father, the Devil because is the most disobedient of Allah. I fear that some punishment will descend upon you from the Beneficent Lord. At that time, you will become the companion of Satan.
Eight: Preventing evil through goodness. When Azar asked Ibrahim to accept their gods, and that if he refused they would stone him to death. Finally he told him to go away for some time.”
Ibrahim replied, “I will soon pray to my Lord for your forgiveness, because He is more Merciful than I am.”
Nine: Reliance. As mentioned by Ibrahim that, “O People! All those whom you and your ancestors have worshipped are enemies of us except the Lord of the worlds; who created me. He alone shall guide me. Only He bestows sustenance upon me. When I am sick, He alone bestows the cure.
And I desire that He forgive my sins that day.
Tenth: Associating with the wise and righteous people. Ibrahim prayed to Allah to impart wisdom and to include him among the righteous ones. And those righteous are the Messenger of Allah and the purified Imams. He also prayed that after him to bestow the people with a truthful tongue and that he should be remembered with gentle words by the future generations. And according to one explanation ‘truthful tongue’ refers to Amir al-Mu’minin’ ‘Ali. As the Almighty Allah has said at another place, ‘And we appointed for them a truthful tongue.’
Eleventh: Tested by peril to life. When he was put on the catapult and flung into the fire.
Twelve: Tested by sacrificing his son. When the Almighty ordered him to sacrifice Isma‘il.
Thirteen: Tested by wife’s honor. When the Almighty tested him by putting him in a perilous position in the court of Gazara the Copt.
Fourteen: Patience on the domestic bickering of Sarah.
Fifteen: Dedicating his self to the obedience of Allah as he mentions in a du’a: “O Lord do not expose me on the day people shall be raised.”
Sixteen: Purified from every defect. The Almighty says that Ibrahim was neither a Jew nor a Christian. He was away from the false religion and an upright Muslim. He obeyed the truth and was not a polytheist.
Seventeenth: Unifying all the qualities of worship. As mentioned in the following ayats.
“Say: Surely my prayer and my sacrifice and my life and my death are (all) for Allah, the Lord of the worlds; No associate has He; and this am I commanded, and I am the first of those who submit.” (6:162-163)
Eighteen: Acceptance of his prayer to enliven the dead.
Nineteen: The Almighty declaring that he was from the righteous ones: “and most certainly we chose him in this world, and in the hereafter he is most surely among the righteous.”
The ‘righteous’ indicate that the Holy Prophet and his holy successors.
Twenty: The succeeding Prophet followed Ibrahim in his religion. The Almighty Allah commands, “(O Muhammad) we revealed to you follow the religion of Ibrahim.”
Then Allah Says, “The faith of your father, Ibrahim, was upright. Who has named you Muslims?”
According to an authentic tradition from Imam Ja‘far as-Sadiq, in the very beginning, Ibrahim was ordered through revelation in his dream that he should sacrifice his son Isma‘il. Ibrahim agreed to carry out the Divine commands. After fulfilling the same, he received Allah’s revelation that He has made him the Imam of the people. Then the Almighty made ten practices incumbent upon him. Five of them related to the head and five to the body. The five with regard to head are: Trimming of mustache, beard, pruning the hair, brushing of teeth, and picking of teeth. Five actions are related to the body: Shaving of pubic hair, circumcision, trimming of nails, ritual bath (after sexual intercourse) and purification with water after passing urine.
These are the upright practices of Ibrahim which shall remain in force until the Resurrection Day. This is the meaning of Allah’s words: Follow the religion of Ibrahim. Because it is the correct method to move from the false religion towards the true faith.
Another authentic tradition says that Ibrahim was the first person who entertained guests, performed circumcision, undertook Jihad (holy war), paid khums (1/5) from his property, wore sandals and prepared standards for the battlefield.
It is quoted in a narration that Ibrahim met an Angel and asked him who he was. He said, “I am the Angel of death.”
“Can you show me your appearance at the time of extracting the soul of a believer?” requested Ibrahim. “Turn your face away for a moment,” said the Angel.”
Ibrahim turned his face away. When he looked back, he beheld a handsome and well-dressed youth exuding a pleasant fragrance.
Then Ibrahim requested him to show his face when he takes the life of infidels.
“You cannot bear the right,” warned the Angel.
“I can,” said Ibrahim.
“All right!” said the Angel, “Turn your face away.”
When he looked back, he saw a back man in a black garment. The hair of his body were standing on their ends, the body exuded a foul smell. And fire and smoke emitted from his mouth and nostrils. Ibrahim fell down in a swoon. When he regained consciousness, the Angel of death had reverted to his original appearance.
He told the Angel of death, “If a transgressor sees this dreadful sight, it is enough for his punishment.”
According to a reliable tradition of Imam Ja‘far as-Sadiq the Almighty Allah revealed to Ibrahim that the earth felt ashamed to view his private parts therefore he should wear a garment to conceal his nakedness from the earth. So Ibrahim made for himself on under garment that came up to his thighs.