Prophet Ibrahim's Acceptance of Faith Through Hardshipby Muslim Pro
One of the greatest Prophets, Prophet Ibrahim’s life was full of hardships. However, the most poignant value that we learn from his stories is his immense tawakkul in Allah and his acceptance of faith.
During his lifetime he faced a multitude of challenges, yet his love for Allah eased him through those hardships.
1. The Existence of Allah
From a young age, Prophet Ibrahim would wonder why his father and the people of his community worshipped idols. After he received Allah’s message, he questioned his father about his devotion to statues and peacefully asked him to turn towards Allah. Sadly, he was threatened by his own father.
قَالَ أَرَاغِبٌ أَنتَ عَنْ ءَالِهَتِى يَـٰٓإِبْرَٰهِيمُ ۖ لَئِن لَّمْ تَنتَهِ لَأَرْجُمَنَّكَ ۖ وَٱهْجُرْنِى مَلِيًّا
He threatened, “How dare you reject my idols, O Abraham! If you do not desist, I will certainly stone you ˹to death˺. So be gone from me for a long time!”
[Surah Maryam 19:46]
Growing up in discomfort and being ridiculed by his own father must have been a trying time. He faced extreme opposition from his community, yet Prophet Ibrahim did not give up and continued to spread the message of Allah and encouraged people to submit to the monotheistic faith of our sole Creator.
2. The Miracle of Life
Ibrahim and Nimrud had a debate, Allah says in the Quran,
أَلَمْ تَرَ إِلَى ٱلَّذِى حَآجَّ إِبْرَٰهِـۧمَ فِى رَبِّهِۦٓ أَنْ ءَاتَىٰهُ ٱللَّهُ ٱلْمُلْكَ إِذْ قَالَ إِبْرَٰهِـۧمُ رَبِّىَ ٱلَّذِى يُحْىِۦ وَيُمِيتُ قَالَ أَنَا۠ أُحْىِۦ وَأُمِيتُ ۖ قَالَ إِبْرَٰهِـۧمُ فَإِنَّ ٱللَّهَ يَأْتِى بِٱلشَّمْسِ مِنَ ٱلْمَشْرِقِ فَأْتِ بِهَا مِنَ ٱلْمَغْرِبِ فَبُهِتَ ٱلَّذِى كَفَرَ ۗ وَٱللَّهُ لَا يَهْدِى ٱلْقَوْمَ ٱلظَّـٰلِمِينَ
Are you ˹O Prophet˺ not aware of the one who argued with Abraham about his Lord because Allah had granted him kingship? ˹Remember˺ when Abraham said, “My Lord is the One Who has power to give life and cause death.” He argued, “I too have the power to give life and cause death.” Abraham challenged ˹him˺, “Allah causes the sun to rise from the east. So make it rise from the west.” And so the disbeliever was dumbstruck. And Allah does not guide the wrongdoing people.
[Surah Al-Baqarah 2:258]
Ibrahim pleaded to Allah to allow him to prove His existence. The famous miracle of the birds mentioned in the Quran took place, strengthening Ibrahim’s faith further.
وَإِذْ قَالَ إِبْرَٰهِـۧمُ رَبِّ أَرِنِى كَيْفَ تُحْىِ ٱلْمَوْتَىٰ ۖ قَالَ أَوَلَمْ تُؤْمِن ۖ قَالَ بَلَىٰ وَلَـٰكِن لِّيَطْمَئِنَّ قَلْبِى ۖ قَالَ فَخُذْ أَرْبَعَةً مِّنَ ٱلطَّيْرِ فَصُرْهُنَّ إِلَيْكَ ثُمَّ ٱجْعَلْ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ جَبَلٍ مِّنْهُنَّ جُزْءًا ثُمَّ ٱدْعُهُنَّ يَأْتِينَكَ سَعْيًا ۚ وَٱعْلَمْ أَنَّ ٱللَّهَ عَزِيزٌ حَكِيمٌ
And ˹remember˺ when Abraham said, “My Lord! Show me how you give life to the dead.” Allah responded, “Do you not believe?” Abraham replied, “Yes I do, but just so my heart can be reassured.” Allah said, “Then bring four birds, train them to come to you, ˹then cut them into pieces,˺ and scatter them on different hilltops. Then call them back, they will fly to you in haste. And ˹so you will˺ know that Allah is Almighty, All-Wise.”
[Surah Al-Baqarah 2:260]
3. Untouched By Fire
The people of Prophet Ibrahim’s town were furious over the ‘murder’ of their idols. Aware of his disregard for their Gods, he was summoned to be burnt. However, Ibrahim did not ask for forgiveness, instead, he questioned the people again,
قَالَ أَفَتَعْبُدُونَ مِن دُونِ ٱللَّهِ مَا لَا يَنفَعُكُمْ شَيْـًٔا وَلَا يَضُرُّكُمْ
أُفٍّ لَّكُمْ وَلِمَا تَعْبُدُونَ مِن دُونِ ٱللَّهِ ۖ أَفَلَا تَعْقِلُونَ
He rebuked ˹them˺, “Do you then worship—instead of Allah—what can neither benefit nor harm you in any way?
Shame on you and whatever you worship instead of Allah! Do you not have any sense?”
[Surah Al-Anbya 21:66-67]
The angry mob hailed that Ibrahim be burnt, so he was shackled tightly and hoisted in a catapult. A deep trench was dug and firewood from all land was bought, the merciless flames of the blazing fire reached so high even a bird flying over the fire in the sky would burn and die. However, Ibrahim did not panic, instead, in those moments he prayed a dua,
الثالث: عن ابن عباس رضي الله عنهما أيضاً قال: ”حسبنا الله ونعم الوكيل، قالها إبراهيم صلى الله عليه وسلم حين ألقي في النار، وقالها محمد صلى الله عليه وسلم حين قالوا: إن الناس قد جمعوا لكم فاخشوهم فزادهم إيمانا وقالوا: حسبنا الله ونعم الوكيل: ((رواه البخاري)).
Ibn ‘Abbas (May Allah be pleased with them) said:
When (Prophet) Ibrahim (Abraham) was thrown into the fire, he said: “Allah (Alone) is sufficient for us, and, He is the Best Disposer of affairs.” So did Messenger of Allah Muhammad (ﷺ) when he was told: “A great army of the pagans had gathered against him, so fear them”. But this (warning) only increased him and the Muslims in Faith and they said: “Allah (Alone) is sufficient for us, and He is the Best Disposer of affairs (for us)”.
[Riyad as-Salihin 76]
Allah cooled the fire and Ibrahim was untouched, not a flame had affected him. His nation did not accept him and Allah even after witnessing this event. Instead, he was banished from his land.
4. The Ultimate Sacrifice
Ibrahim did not have any children until he reached old age. His patience and perseverance were remarkable. He had Ishmael, with his second wife Hajar and Allah asked him to sacrifice his son,
فَلَمَّا بَلَغَ مَعَهُ ٱلسَّعْىَ قَالَ يَـٰبُنَىَّ إِنِّىٓ أَرَىٰ فِى ٱلْمَنَامِ أَنِّىٓ أَذْبَحُكَ فَٱنظُرْ مَاذَا تَرَىٰ ۚ قَالَ يَـٰٓأَبَتِ ٱفْعَلْ مَا تُؤْمَرُ ۖ سَتَجِدُنِىٓ إِن شَآءَ ٱللَّهُ مِنَ ٱلصَّـٰبِرِينَ
Then when the boy reached the age to work with him, Abraham said, “O my dear son! I have seen in a dream that I ˹must˺ sacrifice you. So tell me what you think.” He replied, “O my dear father! Do as you are commanded. Allah willing, you will find me steadfast.”
[Surah As-Saffat 37:102]
This acceptance and unquestioned willingness to obey Allah, to give up his long-awaited heir without hesitation was then compensated by Allah. He was commanded to sacrifice an animal instead, and Alhamdulillah, until this day we follow that tradition on Eid -ul- Adha.
With Hardship You Will Witness Ease
Prophet Ibrahim lived a very long life and was tested innumerable times. As human beings and as Muslims we experience hardships every day, but in those times we should hold our faith a bit closer. Rasulullah ﷺ says,
حَدَّثَنِي أَبُو الطَّاهِرِ، أَخْبَرَنَا ابْنُ وَهْبٍ، أَخْبَرَنِي مَالِكُ بْنُ أَنَسٍ، وَيُونُسُ بْنُ يَزِيدَ، عَنِ ابْنِ شِهَابٍ، عَنْ عُرْوَةَ بْنِ الزُّبَيْرِ، عَنْ عَائِشَةَ، أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ “ مَا مِنْ مُصِيبَةٍ يُصَابُ بِهَا الْمُسْلِمُ إِلاَّ كُفِّرَ بِهَا عَنْهُ حَتَّى الشَّوْكَةِ يُشَاكُهَا ” .
Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said: There is no trouble that comes to a believer except that it obliterates from his sins, even if it is the pricking of a thorn
[Sahih Muslim 2572e]