Abraham in Islam

Islamic view of Abraham
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Ibrahim (Abraham)1.png
The name ʾIbrāhīm written in Islamic calligraphy, followed by "Peace be upon him".
Ur al-Chaldees, Bilād ar-Rāfidayn
Hebron, Shaam
Resting placeIbrahimi Mosque, Hebron
Other namesKhalīlullāh (Arabic: خَلِيْلُ ٱللهِ, "Friend By God")
SuccessorIsma'il (Ishmael) and Isḥaq (Isaac)
Spouse(s)Hajar (Hagar), Sarah, Keturah
ChildrenIsma'il (Ishmael), Isḥaq (Isaac)
Parent(s)Aazar (father)[1]
Mahalath (mother)
RelativesLut (nephew)

According to the Islamic faith, Abraham (Arabic: إِبْرَاهِيْمُ, romanizedʾIbrāhīm, Arabic pronunciation: [ʔɪbraːˈhiːm]) was a prophet and messenger[2][3] of God, and an ancestor to the Ishmaelite Arabs and Israelites.[2][4] Abraham plays a prominent role as an example of faith in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.[2] In Muslim belief, Abraham fulfilled all the commandments and trials wherein God nurtured him throughout his lifetime. As a result of his unwavering faith in God, Abraham was promised by God to be a leader to all the nations of the world.[5] The Quran extols Abraham as a model, an exemplar, obedient and not an idolater.[6] In this sense, Abraham has been described as representing "primordial man in universal surrender to the Divine Reality before its fragmentation into religions separated from each other by differences in form".[7]: 18  Muslims believe that the Kaaba in Mecca was built by Abraham and his son Ishmael as the first house of worship on earth. The Islamic holy day 'Eid ul-Adha is celebrated in commemoration of Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son on God's command, as well as the end of the Hajj pilgrimage to the Kaaba.[7]

Muslims believe that Abraham, also known as Khalilullah (Arabic: خليل الله Trans: friend of God ), became the leader of the righteous in his time and that it was through him that Adnanite-Arabs and Israelites came. Abraham, in the belief of Islam, was instrumental in cleansing the world of idolatry at the time. Paganism was cleared out by Abraham in both the Arabian peninsula and Canaan. He spiritually purified both places as well as physically sanctifying the houses of worship. Abraham and Isma'il (Ishmael) further established the rites of pilgrimage,[8] or Ḥajj ('Pilgrimage'), which are still followed by Muslims today. Muslims maintain that Abraham further asked God to bless both the lines of his progeny, of Isma'il and Isḥaq (Isaac), and to keep all of his descendants in the protection of God.

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Muslims maintain that Abraham's father was Aazar (Arabic: آزَر, romanizedĀzar), which could be derived from the Syriac Athar,[9] who is known in the Hebrew Bible as Terah. Abraham had two children, Ishmael and Isaac, who both later became prophets. Abraham's nephew is said to have been the messenger Lut (Lot), who was one of the other people who migrated with Abraham out of their community. Abraham himself is said to have been a descendant of Nuh through his son Shem.[10]

Personality and wisdom

Abraham's personality and character is one of the most in-depth in the whole Quran, and Abraham is specifically mentioned as being a kind and compassionate man.[11] Abraham's father is understood by Muslims to have been a wicked, ignorant and idolatrous man who ignored all of his son's advice. The relationship between Abraham and his father, who in the Quran is named Azar, is central to Abraham's story as Muslims understand it to establish a large part of Abraham's personality. The Quran mentions that Abraham's father threatened to stone his son to death if he did not cease in preaching to the people.[12] Despite this, the Qur'an states that Abraham in his later years prayed to God to forgive the sins of all his descendants and his parents. Muslims have frequently cited Abraham's character as an example of how kind one must be towards people, and especially one's own parents. A similar example of Abraham's compassionate nature is demonstrated when Abraham began to pray for the people of Sodom and Gomorrah after hearing of God's plan through the angel Gabriel for them. Although the angel Gabriel told Abraham that God's plan was the final word, and therefore Abraham's prayers would be of no effect, the Quran nonetheless reinforces Abraham's kind nature through this particular event.[13]


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