Section 3 : Abraham Preaches Unity of Allah
 

Abraham preaches Unity of Allah and exhorts his people to abstain from idol-worship

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41. " And mention Abraham in the Book; verily he was a truthful man, a prophet."

Commentary:

The Arabic term /siddiq/ is applied for both the person who verifies the truth very much, and the person whose all words and deeds are based upon truthfulness. Such a person acts according to what he says, and speaks according to what he acts.

This holy verse uncovers a part of the life of the hero of Monotheism, Abraham the Friend of God, and emphasizes that the invitation of this great prophet, as that of other Divine prophets, has begun from the point of Monotheism.

The verse implies that Abraham should be mentioned in this Book, the Qur'an, because he was a man of truth and an attester of the Divine teachings and commandments. He was a prophet of Allah, too. The verse says:

" And mention Abraham in the Book; verily he was a truthful man, a prophet."

In fact, this meaning is the most evident epithet of the godly prophets and the bringers of the Divine revelations that they do convey the command of Allah to the servants of God completely.


Commentary : Verse 42


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42. " When he said to his father: 'O my father! Why do you worship that which neither hears nor sees, nor does avail you in aught?"

Commentary:

When Abraham was preaching as a prophet, his father had died, and the man whom has been introduced in the Qur'an as his father was his guardian, his uncle 'A-zar, or his mother's husband. (Al-Mizan, the Commentary).

Some Islamic traditions also denote that Abraham's father was a monotheist, and the objective meaning of the Qur'anic word /'ab/, here, is his uncle. In Arabic language the term /'ab/ has a vast meaning. It is also applied for the teacher, the trainee, and even for the father-in-law. There is also a tradition narrated from the Prophet of Islam (p.b.u.h.) who said: " I and Ali are the fathers of this Ummah (Muslim community).

Then, the verse points to the debate of Abraham and his father, 'A-zar. (Father here is referred to the uncle). It says:

" When he said to his father: 'O my father! Why do you worship that which neither hears nor sees, nor does avail you in aught?"

This short and expressive statement is one of the best evidences of the negation of polytheism and idolatry. One of the man's motives alongside knowing Allah is the motive of benefit and loss. Abraham says to 'A-zar why he relies on a deity which neither removes a difficulty from him, nor it is able to hear and see.

Explanations:

1. The disputations of Abraham and his uncle are worthy of mentioning and magnifying. "When he said"

2. In 'forbidding of wrong', you should begin from your own kin. (O my father)

3. There is no age limitation for forbidding of wrong. (A son can forbid the grand members of the family from doing evils, but he must observe their respect and protect it.)

4. Perfection of persons does not always relate to their age. Sometimes it happens that the child of a family understand the facts better than the elders of that family.

5. In forbidding of wrong, it is better to begin from the creedal indecencies. (Unfortunately we are often busy in the ethical and social vices).

6. The path of truth should not be sacrificed for affections. Relationship ought not to hinder the act of forbidding of wrong.


Commentary : Verse 43.44


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43. " O' my father! There has come unto me of knowledge which has not come unto you, so follow me, I will guide you on a right path."

44. " O' my father! Serve not Satan. Verily Satan is disobedient unto the Beneficent (Allah)."

Commentary:

After that, Abraham (a.s.) invites 'A-zar, with a clear logic in order that he follows him (a.s.) in that matter. He (a.s.) says:

" O my father! There has come unto me of knowledge which has not come unto you, so follow me, I will guide you on a right path."

That is, I have got a lot of knowledge by means of revelation, and I can say with certainty that I will not go on a wrong way, so I will never invite you unto a wrong way. I desire your felicity and your happiness, then accept my invitation to become prosperous, and, by paving this straight path, to reach the ideal destination.

Then, in the next verse, Abraham combines this positive aspect with the negative aspect, and the consequences that the opposition with this invitation produces, and says:

" O' my father! Serve not Satan. Verily Satan is disobedient unto the Beneficent (Allah)."

The objective meaning of "Serve not Satan" is the same as obeying and following Satan which causes man to become its servant and slave.

Of course, it is evident that the purpose of service, here, is not a service in the sense of prostration, prayer, and fasting performed for Satan, but it is in the sense of obeying and following the command of Satan which itself is counted a kind of service.

The meaning of 'worship, or service' is so vast that it encompasses even the listening to the sayings of a person with the intention of acting accordingly, and also putting the rule of a person to order, is counted a kind of worshipping him.

It has been narrated from the Prophet of Islam (p.b.u.h.) who said:

"He who listens to a speaker (willingly), he has worshipped him. Then, if the speaker speaks from the side of Allah, the one has worshipped Allah, and if the speaker speaks from the side of Iblis, the one has worshipped Iblis."(1)

However, Abraham wants to teach this fact to his father (uncle) that no one can live without having a path, a policy. It may be either the path of Allah and the straight way, or the path of Satan, the disobedient, the astray. In this course, man should think correctly, take a decision for himself, and, far from bigotries and blindly followings, choose his good and benefit.

1- Safinat-ul-Bihar, vol. 2, p. 115