How the Close Friend of Allah, Ibrahim spoke out against Shirk

Here Allah tells us about His servant, Messenger and Close Friend, Ibrahim, upon him be peace, the leader of the pure monotheists. Allah commanded His Messenger Muhammad to recite this story to his Ummah so that they could follow this example of sincerity towards Allah, putting one’s trust in Him, worshipping Him Alone with no partner or associate, and renouncing Shirk and its people. Allah granted guidance to Ibrahim before, i.e., from a very early age he had denounced his people’s practice of worshipping idols with Allah, may He be exalted.

إِذْ قَالَ لاًّبِيهِ وَقَوْمِهِ مَا تَعْبُدُونَ

(When he said to his father and his people: “What do you worship”) meaning: what are these statues to which you are so devoted

قَالُواْ نَعْبُدُ أَصْنَاماً فَنَظَلُّ لَهَا عَـكِفِينَ

(They said: “We worship idols, and to them we are ever devoted.”) meaning: we are devoted to worshipping them and praying to them.

قَالَ هَلْ يَسْمَعُونَكُمْ إِذْ تَدْعُونَ – أَوْ يَنفَعُونَكُمْ أَوْ يَضُرُّونَ – قَالُواْ بَلْ وَجَدْنَآ ءَابَآءَنَا كَذَلِكَ يَفْعَلُونَ

(He said: “Do they hear you when you call Or do they benefit you or do they cause harm” They said: “(Nay) but we found our fathers doing so.”) They knew that their idols could not do anything, but they had seen their fathers doing this, so they made haste to follow in their footsteps. So Ibrahim said to them:

قَالَ أَفَرَءَيْتُمْ مَّا كُنْتُمْ تَعْبُدُونَ – أَنتُمْ وَءَابَآؤُكُمُ الاٌّقْدَمُونَ – فَإِنَّهُمْ عَدُوٌّ لِى إِلاَّ رَبَّ الْعَـلَمِينَ

(Do you observe that which you have been worshipping –you and your ancient fathers Verily, they are enemies to me, save the Lord of Al-`Alamin.) meaning, `if these idols mean anything and have any influence, then let them do me any kind of harm, for I am an enemy to them and I do not care about them or think anything of them.’ This is akin to the way Allah described Nuh:

فَأَجْمِعُواْ أَمْرَكُمْ وَشُرَكَآءَكُمْ

(So devise your plot, you and your partners) (10:71). And Hud, upon him be peace, said:

إِن نَّقُولُ إِلاَّ اعْتَرَاكَ بَعْضُ ءَالِهَتِنَا بِسُوءٍ قَالَ إِنِّى أُشْهِدُ اللَّهِ وَاشْهَدُواْ أَنِّى بَرِىءٌ مِّمَّا تُشْرِكُونَ – مِن دُونِهِ فَكِيدُونِى جَمِيعًا ثُمَّ لاَ تُنظِرُونِ – إِنِّى تَوَكَّلْتُ عَلَى اللَّهِ رَبِّى وَرَبِّكُمْ مَّا مِن دَآبَّةٍ إِلاَّ هُوَ ءاخِذٌ بِنَاصِيَتِهَآ إِنَّ رَبِّى عَلَى صِرَطٍ مُّسْتَقِيمٍ

(“I call Allah to witness and bear you witness that I am free from that which you ascribe as partners in worship. So plot against me, all of you, and give me no respite. I put my trust in Allah, my Lord and your Lord! There is not a moving creature but He has the grasp of its forelock. Verily, my Lord is on the straight path) (11:54-56). rSimilarly, Ibrahim denounced their gods and idols and said:

وَكَيْفَ أَخَافُ مَآ أَشْرَكْتُمْ وَلاَ تَخَافُونَ أَنَّكُمْ أَشْرَكْتُم بِاللَّهِ

(And how should I fear those whom you associate in worship with Allah, while you fear not that you have joined in worship with Allah) (6:81). And Allah said:

قَدْ كَانَتْ لَكُمْ أُسْوَةٌ حَسَنَةٌ فِى إِبْرَهِيمَ

(Indeed there has been an excellent example for you in Ibrahim) until His saying;

حَتَّى تُؤْمِنُواْ بِاللَّهِ وَحْدَهُ

(until you believe in Allah Alone) (60:4).

وَإِذْ قَالَ إِبْرَهِيمُ لاًّبِيهِ وَقَوْمِهِ إِنَّنِى بَرَآءٌ مِّمَّا تَعْبُدُونَ – إِلاَّ الَّذِى فَطَرَنِى فَإِنَّهُ سَيَهْدِينِ – وَجَعَلَهَا كَلِمَةً بَـقِيَةً فِى عَقِبِهِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْجِعُونَ

(And (remember) when Ibrahim said to his father and his people: “Verily, I am innocent of what you worship, except Him Who created me; and verily, He will guide me.” And he made it a Word lasting among his offspring, that they may turn back) (43:26-28). meaning: “La Ilaha Illallah.”

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