Friday, February 13, 2009

Who Was Abraham's Father?

Islam is one of the Abrahamic religions alongside Christianity and Judaism. Abraham or Ibrahim was the messenger of God for whom the first term of 'muslim' (one who submits to the will of God) was coined. Prophet Muhammad did not invent 'Islam', he himself was told to follow the religion of Abraham whom was given all the rituals of Islam. (Quran 22:78)

There is a certain issue regarding the identity of Abraham's father. You can check the site here. The contention is that Abraham's father was a monotheist instead of a polytheist. Quran refers to Abraham's father as 'Azar' and history books mention him to be 'Tarukh'. The argument is that Quranic translators have got it wrong by saying that Azar was father of Abraham who was wicked as wicked could be. He, instead, was Abraham's uncle and his father was 'Tarukh' - a very noble person. In essence, there is a thing called 'lineage' and 'pedigree' does matter.

The gist of the blog post is in the following text.

"The Holy Prophet (PBUH&HF) has said that the essence of his existence had been transmitted and ultimately conveyed to his immediate parents through a pure, a holy and sanctified progeny."

Now there are couple of things that need to be pointed out.

1. Selection of Messenger

Its God religion and its His will whom He wants as His messenger. He made Abraham, Moses, Jesus, Muhammad his messengers because He wanted to. Abraham could still have been present in this universe without being a Prophet. So its God's 'blessing' that they were made Prophets.

16:02 - He doth send down His angels with inspiration of His Command, to such of His servants as He pleaseth, (saying): "Warn (Man) that there is no god but I: so do your duty unto Me."

2. Prophets were Human Beings

What on earth does this statement mean? It means that humans, as followers, have a natural tendency to 'idolize' their leaders. Prophets were not exempt from it either. God constantly keeps reminding us in Quran that they were 'ordinary' human beings just like you but they were 'blessed' enough to receive the scripture.

Let me quote a very interesting Quranic verse.

25:07 - And they say: "What sort of a messenger is this, who eats food, and walks through the streets? Why has not an angel been sent down to him to give admonition with him?

There are Two aspects of this verse. As obvious, the disbelievers are commenting upon the designated messenger of God as to how could that person be a messenger? What good is he? He is just a human being like us, he would have some credibility had there been an angel sent down with him.

The other aspect of this verse, is for the followers of that prophet that after all, he is a human being! His role is just to deliver the message, be a warner and forbearer of good news and nothing more. He cant save you on day of judgment, he cant intercede (shafa'at) on your behalf, he cant provide you hidden treasures. In fact, Prophet Muhammad was told to say this...

7:188 - Say: "I have no power over any good or harm to myself except as Allah willeth. If I had knowledge of the unseen, I should have multiplied all good, and no evil should have touched me: I am but a warner, and a bringer of glad tidings to those who have faith."

The idea being that Prophets are not considered 'super humans' and thus people end up idolizing them, just as christians do in case of Jesus. Mind you, muslims just don't say that Prophet Muhammad is son of God but they expect everything from him in the same manner.

3. Does Lineage Matter?

Not at all. Abraham is no lesser Prophet in value because 'oh God forbid his father was a polytheist!' Nothing like that. Now you will ask - what about Prophet Muhammad's parents? were they polytheists too? Frankly I do not know. God told about Abraham's father but He kept quiet on Prophet Muhammad's parents issue. I am no one to judge other people faith. So let it be between Prophet's parents and God ok? Though one thing.. if you are a 'Syed', then rest assured you are not privileged, you do not have special permissions and you are not anointed as the only knowledge bearer on earth. The only criteria is 'righteousness'.

49:13 - O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise (each other). Verily the most honoured of you in the sight of Allah is (he who is) the most righteous of you. And Allah has full knowledge and is well acquainted (with all things).

Lastly, let me quote another verse from Quran that shows that progeny does not matter.

2:124 - And remember that Abraham was tried by his Lord with certain commands, which he fulfilled: He said: "I will make thee an Imam to the Nations." He pleaded: "And also (Imams) from my offspring!" He answered: "But My Promise is not within the reach of evil-doers."

Related Posts

1 - The Myth of Intercession
2 - Moon Split - The Miracle?

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