Then, it is undertaken by Us to explain it. [75:19]

Maryam 41-50

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Third Story: The Prophet Ibrahim (عليه السلام)

The relationship between the stories was discussed in the prelude to the Surah.

وَٱذۡكُرۡ فِى ٱلۡكِتَـٰبِ إِبۡرَٲهِيمَ‌ۚ إِنَّهُ ۥ كَانَ صِدِّيقً۬ا نَّبِيًّا (٤١) إِذۡ قَالَ لِأَبِيهِ يَـٰٓأَبَتِ لِمَ تَعۡبُدُ مَا لَا يَسۡمَعُ وَلَا يُبۡصِرُ وَلَا يُغۡنِى عَنكَ شَيۡـًٔ۬ا (٤٢) يَـٰٓأَبَتِ إِنِّى قَدۡ جَآءَنِى مِنَ ٱلۡعِلۡمِ مَا لَمۡ يَأۡتِكَ فَٱتَّبِعۡنِىٓ أَهۡدِكَ صِرَٲطً۬ا سَوِيًّ۬ا (٤٣) يَـٰٓأَبَتِ لَا تَعۡبُدِ ٱلشَّيۡطَـٰنَ‌ۖ إِنَّ ٱلشَّيۡطَـٰنَ كَانَ لِلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ عَصِيًّ۬ا (٤٤) يَـٰٓأَبَتِ إِنِّىٓ أَخَافُ أَن يَمَسَّكَ عَذَابٌ۬ مِّنَ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ فَتَكُونَ لِلشَّيۡطَـٰنِ وَلِيًّ۬ا (٤٥)

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O Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم), In this book (the Quran) mention the story of Ibrahim (عليه السلام) in front of the people, so that the issues of Tawheed and Risalah may become very clear for them. He was a person of immense truth in every statement and deed, and he was also a Prophet. The story intended to be mentioned here occurred when He said to his father (a polytheist) O Father, Why do you worship that which hears nothing, sees nothing and does not benefit you at all? This is referring to idols. Keep in mind that even if one possessed these attributes of hearing, seeing, and benefiting, such a being would still not be worthy of worship due to not being wajib al-wujood. Let alone one who isn’t even attributed with the above; it goes without saying that such would definitely be unworthy of worship.

O Father, to me has come a knowledge which has not come to you, referring to divine revelation in which there is no possibility of error. Therefore, what I say is the absolute truth. Since this is the case, then follow me. I will guide you to a straight path of Tawheed. O Father, do not worship Satan. That is to say, Satan-worship is something even you deem unacceptable. Idolatry certainly comprises of Satan-worship because it is Satan who calls and invites to it. Obeying anyone in a manner whereby you believe their teachings to be true, in opposition to the Almighty, is itself regarded as worship. Therefore, idolatry comprises of Satan-worship. Surely Satan is disobedient to the All-merciful. How then can he be worthy of obedience? O Father, I fear a chastisement reaching you, whether in this world or the next, from the All-Merciful; then you will become a colleague for Satan sharing in his punishment. The thing feared in this case is certain to occur. That is to say, if you choose allegiance to him in obedience then you will be his ally in the general attribute of being punished also – though Satan may not be punished in this world. No sane person should desire partnership with Satan or a share in his punishment.


Reference to the attribute of being the All-merciful is to show that although He is the All-Merciful, one should not be deluded into thinking He will not punish upon disbelief. Rather, despite being all-merciful, He will still punish.

Continuation of the Story

قَالَ أَرَاغِبٌ أَنتَ عَنۡ ءَالِهَتِى يَـٰٓإِبۡرَٲهِيمُ‌ۖ لَٮِٕن لَّمۡ تَنتَهِ لَأَرۡجُمَنَّكَ‌ۖ وَٱهۡجُرۡنِى مَلِيًّ۬ا (٤٦) قَالَ سَلَـٰمٌ عَلَيۡكَ‌ۖ سَأَسۡتَغۡفِرُ لَكَ رَبِّىٓ‌ۖ إِنَّهُ ۥ كَانَ بِى حَفِيًّ۬ا (٤٧) وَأَعۡتَزِلُكُمۡ وَمَا تَدۡعُونَ مِن دُونِ ٱللَّهِ وَأَدۡعُواْ رَبِّى عَسَىٰٓ أَلَّآ أَكُونَ بِدُعَآءِ رَبِّى شَقِيًّ۬ا (٤٨) فَلَمَّا ٱعۡتَزَلَهُمۡ وَمَا يَعۡبُدُونَ مِن دُونِ ٱللَّهِ وَهَبۡنَا لَهُ ۥۤ إِسۡحَـٰقَ وَيَعۡقُوبَ‌ۖ وَكُلاًّ۬ جَعَلۡنَا نَبِيًّ۬ا (٤٩) وَوَهَبۡنَا لَهُم مِّن رَّحۡمَتِنَا وَجَعَلۡنَا لَهُمۡ لِسَانَ صِدۡقٍ عَلِيًّ۬ا (٥٠)

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Having heard all this advice from Ibrahim (عليه السلام), the father replied, Averse from my Gods are you, O Ibrahim? And for this reason you also prohibit me from their worship? Be warned! If you do not cease from condemning these idols and prohibiting me from worshiping them, I shall surely stone you to death. Therefore, desist from this and leave talking to me about these matters for good.

Ibrahim (عليه السلام) said, Fair enough. Accept my ‘Salam’. There is no point in talking to you. I will now seek forgiveness for you from my Lord in a manner whereby He guides you, upon which forgiveness results. Indeed He is gracious upon me, due to which I will invoke only Him. Both His acceptance and non-acceptance, from two different perspectives, is mercy and compassion; and since you and those on your religion do not accept the truth I propagate, there is no point in even living among you. I will physically separate myself from you and that which you worship as I have already done with my heart. That is to say, I will now leave from here and will worship my Lord in peace and tranquility since staying here is causing problems in that regard also. I trust, meaning am certain that by worshiping my Lord I will not be unprosperous, as the polytheists remain unprosperous when worshiping their false gods.

Thus, after this conversation he completely withdrew from them and migrated to the lands of Sham. When he withdrew in this manner from them and that which they worshipped, We gave to him a son Ishaq and a grandson Yaqoob (عليهما السلام), who in terms of companionship were far superior to the polytheist community he left behind; and we made each one of them a Prophet and by granting innumerable perfections we gave to them a portion from Our mercy; and in future generations We made their renown righteous and exalted.

Everyone remembers them with veneration and respect. Prior to Ishaaq, Ismail had already been granted with these same qualities.


Excluding mention of Ismail (عليه السلام) at this instance is because he had been granted earlier than the rest, and mention of those who came later alleviates the need to specifically mention the one granted earlier. Secondly, his mention will come independently after a few verses. Thirdly, just as by mentioning Ibrahim (عليه السلام), the purpose was to attract the hearts of the polytheist Arabs, mentioning Ishaq and Yaqoob (عليهما السلام) was to attract the hearts of the People of the book. For this reason, Musa (عليه السلام) is immediately mentioned in the subsequent verses. Ismail (عليه السلام) will be mentioned after this – and Allah knows best the secrets contained within his book.

Written by Yusuf Mullan

August 4th, 2009 at 3:34 am

Posted in Surah Maryam

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