VERSE: 122

 O Children of Israel! Remember My favor which I bestowed upon you and that I preferred you over the nations.”

 “And fear the Day (of Judgement) when no person shall avail another, nor shall compensation be accepted from him, nor shall intercession be of use to him, nor shall they be helped.”

Early in the Surah a very similar verse is mentioned. Allah ta’ala mentions it again to emphasize the crucial importance of following the final Messenger of Allah, Nabi Muhammad Sallallaahu Alaihi Wa Sallam, who was already described for the People of the Scriptures in their Books by his characteristics, name, the good news about him and the description of his Ummah. Furthermore, Allah Ta’ala warned them against concealing this information, which is among the favours that He granted them. Apart from the above Allah Ta’ala also reminded them in the form of a command that they should remember their daily life and their religious affairs and how He had blessed them in many aspects. They should not envy their cousins, the Arabs, for what Allah Ta’ala had given them, in the form of His final messenger being an Arab. Envy should not incite them to oppose or deny the Prophet or refrain from following him (Sallallaahu Alaihi Wa Sallam).


“And (remember) when the Lord of Ibrahim (Abraham) tested him with (certain) commands, which he fulfilled. He (Allah) said (to him), "Verily, I am going to make you an Imam (a leader) for mankind (to follow you).'' (Ibrahim) said, "And of my offspring (to make leaders).'' (Allah) said, "My covenant (prophethood) includes not Zalimin (polytheists and wrongdoers.”

Ebrahim Alaihis Salaam becoming Khaleel (The Friend of Allah)



In the above verse Allah Ta’ala informs us of the honour and esteem given to Nabi Ebrahim Alaihis Salaam, by making him an Imam for the people, and a model to be imitated, because of the way he conducted himself and adhered so rigidly to Tawheed. This honour was given to Nabi Ebrahim Alaihis Salaam after when he adhered to every one of Allah Ta’ala’s and commandments.  This is why Allah Ta’ala expressly used the word ‘Tested’ in the verse:  

“And (remember) when the Lord of Ibrahim (i.e., Allah) tested him with (certain) commands.”

This Ayah means, O Muhammad Sallallaahu Alaihi Wa sallam! Remind the idolators and the People of the Scriptures, who pretend to be followers of the religion of Ebrahim, while in reality they do not follow it, while you, O Muhammad, and your followers are the true followers of his religion; remind them of the commands and prohibitions that Allah Ta’ala tested Nabi Ebrahim Alaihis Salaam with and which he dutifully and diligently fulfilled. So the challenge here was if they claimed to be followers of Nabi Ebrahim Alaihis Salaam then they do should be adhering to every command of Allah Ta’ala like how he did.  This would then be regarded as a truthful claim.

In another verse, reminding the idolators  directly, Allah Ta’ala says concerning Nabi Ebrahim Alaihis Salaam:

﴾"Verily, Ebrahim was an Ummah (or a nation), obedient to Allah, Haneef (i.e. to worship none but Allah), and he was not one of those who were Al-Mushrikin (polytheists), (He was) thankful for His (Allah's) favours. He (Allah) chose him and guided him to a straight path. And We gave him good in this world, and in the Hereafter he shall be of the righteous. Then, We have sent the revelation to you (O Muhammad saying): "Follow the religion of Ebrahim Haneef (Islamic Monotheism ـ to worship none but Allah) and he was not of the Mushrikin." (Surah:16, verses:120-123)

And to the Jews and Christians who also claimed to be followers of Nabi Ebrahim Akaihis Salaam, Allah Ta’ala said:

 “Ibrahim was neither a Jew nor a Christian, but he was a true Muslim Haneefan (Islamic Monotheism ـ to worship none but Allah alone) and he was not of Al-Mushrikin. Verily, among mankind who have the best claim to Ebrahim are those who followed him, and this Prophet (Muhammad) and those who have believed (Muslims). And Allah is the Wali (Protector and Helper) of the believers.” (Surah 3, verses:67-68).


The Tests of Nabi Ebrahim Alaihis Salaam



Scholars have varied in their interpretation of ‘the words’ that Allah Ta’ala tested Nabi Ebrahim Alaihis Salaam with. Amongst these interpretations are that Allah Ta’ala tested him with Taharah (purity, ablution): five acts of cleanliness pertaining to the head and five pertaining to other parts of the body. As for the head, they are cutting the moustache, rinsing the mouth, inhaling and discarding water, using Miswaak and parting the hair. As for the body, they are trimming the nails, shaving the pubic hair, circumcision and plucking under the arm and washing with water after answering the call of nature.

It is narrated from Hadrat A'ishah Radiyallaahu Anha who said that Allah's Messenger Sallallaahu Alaihi Wa Sallam said,

 “Ten are among the Fitrah (instinct, natural constitution): trimming the moustache, growing the beard, using Miswaak, inhaling and then exhaling water (in ablution), cutting the nails, washing between the fingers (in ablution), plucking the underarm hair, shaving the pubic hair, washing with water after answering the call of nature, (and I forgot the tenth, I think it was) rinsing the mouth (in ablution).)

And then it is reported that Hadrat Abdullaah Bin Abbaas Radiyallaahu Anhu said that, "The words that Allah tested Nabi Ebrahim Alaihis Salaam with, and that he implemented were: abandoning his (disbelieving) people when Allah commanded him to do so, disputing with Nimrod (king of Babylon) about Allah, being patient when he was thrown in the fire (although this was extremely traumatic) migrating from his homeland when Allah commanded him to do so, patience with the monetary and material demands of hosting guests by Allah's command, and Allah's order for him to slaughter his son. When Allah tested Ibrahim with these words, and he was ready for the major test, Allah said to him. This is the more widely accepted interpretation of the tests that Nabi Ebrahim Alaihis Salaam underwent.

The Unjust are exempted from Allah’s Promise

 When Allah made Nabi Ebrahim Alaihis Salaam an Imam (Leader for the faithful), he asked Allah that Imams thereafter be chosen from his offspring. Allah accepted his duaa, but told him that there will be unjust people among his offspring and they will not benefit from this Duaa in the sense that they will be exempted. Thus, they will neither become Imams nor be imitated (for they will not be righteous). The proof that Ibrahim's supplication to Allah was accepted is that Allah said in Suratul Ankabut , verse:27,

“And We ordained among his offspring prophethood and the Book.”

Hence, every Prophet whom Allah sent after Nabi Ebrahim Alaihis Salaam were from among his offspring, and every Book that Allah revealed was to them.  It is also for this reason that Nabi Ebrahim Alaihis Salaam is given the honorary title of ‘Father of the Ambiyaa (Prophets).





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