After every esha salah at our local masjid, the local imam gives a 5 – 10min dars (explanation/lessons) from the Quran. Today however he said a number of things which really made me boil inside with anger. It was close to being split out onto the melting ground of disrespect and dishonour. Its ulema like these who ‘supposedly’ have studied knowledge cause friction, hatred, animosity amongst the muslims.
During his usual lessons he highlighted how Ibrahim (as) went to severe trials and tribulations despite being one of the most highest and the closest prophets. He mentioned how this dunya is a world of trials and sufferings. Everyone will go through the phases of the world. At times it will be light and easy, peace and tranquil, whereas other times it will be difficulty and struggle, trials and tribulations. Each individual will go through the phases of life according to the levels of his/her iman. All this masha’Allah is fine and i have no issue with.
However when he gave the example of Ibrahim (as) opposing is ‘father’ when he was told to worship idols, to illustrate his highest levels of struggles. Which gave me goosebumps, due to the severity of his tremendously dangerous accusations. The ‘imam’ then went to add even further detrimental and disrespectful remarks. Saying that Ibrahim (as)’s father was a mushriq and a kafir!(Astagfirullah’hil’azeem).That He (ibrahim (as) left his family for tawheed i.e the oneness of Allah. I find it strange despite being ‘apparently’ a man of knowledge, he does not know that Ibrahim (as)’s father was NOT a kafir or a mushriq (Astagfirullah’hil’azeem). To make such an outrageous claim by labeling the father of one of the greatest prophets of all times, a kafir is beyond any words and comprehension. An enormity which has no bounds!!
How can one even think in such fashion? Just to even entertain a thought as to whether or not he is a muslim is a paramount disrespect and dishonour, not only Ibrahim (as) but his blessed father as well.
To clarify the issue and to set the record straight. Ibrahim (as)’s father was called ‘Tarakh’ and not ‘Azar’. The individual who is mentioned in the Quran in having tried to force Ibrahim (as) to commit kufr, by making him worship the idols, was his UNCLE, called ‘azar’ and not his father!
Ibrahim’s ( as ) father was
‘Tarakh’ and not ‘Azar’ as stipulated by some Sunni historians, which is in total conformity with the opinion of Shia. Ibn Katheer in his work on history writes:
Ibrahim ( as ) was the son of Tarakh. When Tarakh was 75 years of
age, Ibrahim ( as ) was born to him.
Sunni reference: al-Bidaya wan Nahaya, by Ibn Katheer, v 1 p 139
You see, in the arabic language ‘Ab’ which means ‘father’ has several meanings and does not only mean father as in ones biological father. An uncle, or an ancestor (either from the fathers or the mother’s side) who takes who care of his orphaned nephew is also like the father. In arabic he is also given the title of being a father, out of respect for him and the station which is given to the uncle, for the valiant duties he is doing, in upbringing his nephew. All the classical islamic Sunni historians/theologians/fuqaha agree (have consensus) that, it was Ibrahim (as)’s uncle who tried to force him to worship the idols and to leave his message of Islam.
To explain further how the word ‘Ab’ can refer to uncle aswell, the following example should expand the understanding. When the prophet (saw) was still young in his early teens, he (saw) went to a caravan trading trip to Syria with his uncle, Abu talib (ra). A christian monk named bahira, seeing miraculous things happening around the young boy (whom was the messenger of Allah (saw), like that of a small cloud always sheltering the prophet (saw) from the oppressing heat of the Arabian desert. He invited the quraish for a meal. Something which he never did despite seeing the same caravan pass his monastery every year. when the quraish were all there and they had finally got the prophet (saw) into their gathering after having left him (saw) out initially. Bahira asks abu talib who the father of the boy (the prophet (saw)) is? Abu talib (ra) replied that it was him. Bahira replied to him in arabic, since he spoke, read, and understood arabic, “No, his father cannot be alive, he must have passed away. As it is mentioned in our books that he would die six months before his birth. (the birth of the prophet)” To this abu talib replied that “yes, you are right i am his uncle and his father has passed away”.
(Before going any further) This is clear proof that the arabs of those times, when the arabic language was at its most purity and excellence understood that ‘Ab’ can also refer to the uncle.
The point of this example was to illustrate and enlighten you on how the word ‘Ab’ (which means father) can refer to mean a uncle aswell. How can Ibrahim (as) father be a mushriq or a kafir (Astagfirullah’hil’azeem) when the prophet (saw) said in one hadith, he is from a pure line of the ‘ah’naffs” that is, those people who only worshipped and called on Allah and no one else. His (saw) family tree right back up to the prophet Adam (as) is of a pure, a holy and sanctified progeny.
This is also confirmed by Tabari, as he gives the lineage of Ibrahim’s (AS) family in his history collection, but then also in his Commentary of the Quran he states that ‘Azar’ was NOT the father of Ibrahim (AS).
Sunni references :
– History of al-Tabari, v 1 p 119
– Tafsir Tabari, by Ibn Jarir al-Tabari, v 7 p 158
People need to be very careful when talking about the family of the prophets. Especially the major and the highest ranking ones. We need to have the utmost reverence and respect when we address their blessed names and discuss their pious lives. No one should dare to even entertain an evil gesture of the devil. With regards to the immediate families of the prophets.
The simple man on the streets does not like any insults or negative publicity of his family. Even if he is a non muslim! Then what to say about the greatest beings who walked, talked, and travelled on this earth? Surely, they deserve mush more than your average man on the street!