Prophet Ibrahim [Abraham] (Peace be upon him)
There is for you an excellent example (to follow) in Abraham, and those with him when they said to their people: "We are clear of you and of whatever ye worship besides Allah: We have rejected you, and there has arisen, between us and you, enmity and hatred― forever― unless ye believe in Allah and Him alone" (al-Mumtahina, 4)
THE CHILD BORN IN A CAVE
After the deluge, some of the grandchildren of Noah settled in Iraq. They established the city of Babylon near the river Euphrates.
The people of Babylon moved away from the belief of oneness in the course of time and started to worship stars. They erected one idol on earth for each star they worship in the sky. They believed that those idols would intercede for them before the stars. Thus, the people of Babylon connected idolatry and star-worshipping; they assumed a new religion called Sabianism.
Babylonians were ruled by a cruel king called Nimrod.1 He boasted about the wealth and sultanate he had and claimed that he was a deity acting upon his wealth.
During the times of drought, people would apply to Nimrod and asked for wheat. He would ask them, "Who is your Lord?" He gave wheat to those who said, "You are." He would not give anything to those who did not accept him as their Lord. Thus, he dominated the people. He forced everyone to accept that he was their Lord.
The people of Babylon were in such a big aberration and confusion in terms of belief. They were in great need of a prophet who would save them from this wrong belief and show them the true path.
* * *
Nimrod had a lot of soothsayers and astrologers. Nimrod gave great importance to their statements and believed in everything they said. Once, they said to Nimrod,
"O Majesty! According to what we understand from the stars, this year a child will be born in your country; he will change the religion of the people. This child will end your sultanate in the future. Therefore, order all of the children to be born this year to be killed."
Nimrod was terrified when he heard this news. He panicked. He ordered his soldiers to check the whole city and to kill all of the male children to be born.
However, nothing could prevent what Allah predestined.
* * *
Nimrod had an official called Azar, whom he trusted very much. Azar was a devout idolater. He loved and obeyed Nimrod. Therefore, Nimrod appointed him as the director of the idol-house. It was a prestigious duty. Due to his closeness to Nimrod, Azar was a social person with a lot of influence. He was a respectable person.
When Nimrod ordered all of the male children to be killed, Azar's wife was pregnant. However, nobody knew about it. When Azar found out that his wife was pregnant, he started to look for a way to save his child to be born. He thought, "The child that Nimrod fears cannot be my child." For, he brought up his children as idolaters and taught them to be loyal to Nimrod. Then, he did not want to allow his child to be killed in vain. He thought of sending his wife out of Babylon and having his child be born without anyone noticing.
Making use of his influence, Azar realized what he was thinking of. He left Babylon with his wife and took him to a village called Kusa between Basra and Kufa. He left them in a cave there. Hz. Ibrahim was born in this cave. According to a narration, Hz. Ibrahim was born on the 10th day of the month of Muharram, that is, on the Day of Ashura.
LITTLE IBRAHIM ASKS WHO HIS LORD IS
Ibrahim, who was born in a cave far away from the city of Babylon, stayed there for a few years. He did not see anybody but his father and mother there. However, there was something in him that was not present in other children. He flourished quickly. It was possible to see something extraordinary in his acts.
Once, he asked his mother:
"Mum! Who is my Lord?" His mother said,
"I am your Lord." He asked:
"Who is your Lord?" His mother said,
"Your father is." He asked:
"Mum! Who is my father's Lord?"
Hs mother was astonished by these unexpected questions from Ibrahim at this age. She also felt scared. She told her husband about it and said, "The child to change the religion of the people is probably your son." However, Azar ignored it and attributed it to the fact that Ibrahim was a child.
On another day, Ibrahim asked his father the same questions:
"Dad! Who is my Lord?" His father said,
"Your mother is your Lord." He asked:
"Who is my mother's Lord?" His father said,
"I am her Lord." He asked:
"Dad! Who is your Lord?" His father said,
"Nimrod is my Lord?" He asked:
"Who is Nimrod's Lord?"
The last question made Azar furious. He found it ominous for a little child to think about these issues. He scolded Ibrahim severely: "Keep quiet! Do not think of these things again."2
Ibrahim opposed the wrong beliefs of his nation even when he was very young. For, Allah enlightened his heart with the light of belief and oneness.
It was clear from young Ibrahim's attitudes and words that he would be the leader of a holy cause.
Once, Azar said to his friends,
"I have a son. I kept it as a secret because I was afraid that Nimrod would kill him. If I reveal my son, will Nimrod do anything to him?"
His friends said,
"No, he will not do anything. Reveal that you have a son. Nimrod has already forgotten about it."
Thereupon, Azar took Ibrahim out of the cave. Azar, his wife and Ibrahim set off to go to Babylon.
It was the first time Ibrahim left the cave; he saw the things around for the first time. He looked at the people, animals, trees, in short, everything he saw very carefully. He asked his father questions about them and his father answered them.
Ibrahim listened to what his father told him very carefully. He said to himself,
"There is definitely a Being who created these beings and who gave them several duties. The extraordinary events cannot take place on their own."3
IBRAHIM MAKES FUN OF THE IDOLS
Along with his duty in the idol-house, Azar, Ibrahim's father, was a tradesman. He produced small idols and made his sons sell them in the market.
When Ibrahim became a young man, his father gave him some idols and sent him to the market to sell them.
However, Ibrahim had hated idols since he was a little child. He did not think they deserved to be worshipped. Therefore, he wrapped a piece of rope around the neck of each idol his father gave him and started to drag them. He shouted, "Who wants to buy these idols who cannot benefit or harm anybody?"
Those who heard that Ibrahim, Azar's son, made fun of the idols became furious but they did not say anything due to the status of Azar.
In the evening all of Ibrahim's brothers returned home with the money they earned by selling the idols but Ibrahim returned empty-handed. It happened like that every day. His father could not understand it because he did not know what Ibrahim was doing.
It went on like that for a while.
Eventually, some people informed Azar about what Ibrahim was doing.
Azar had perceived something. He knew that his son did not like idols. He had tolerated what he had done up to that time hoping that he would change this strange attitude as he grew up. However, he realized now that he was wrong. He had to do something urgently.
THE FATHER WHO INSISTS ON UNBELIEF
Azar summoned Ibrahim to tell him to come to his senses.
At that time, Ibrahim had been assigned the duty of prophethood by Allah.
This call of Azar was an opportunity for Hz. Ibrahim, who became a prophet at a young age. He rushed to his father. He talked to him respectfully. He said,
"Daddy! Why do you accept non-living beings that do not hear or see and that cannot save themselves from a misfortune that hits them as deities? The real deity sees, hears and saves His slaves from misfortunes."4
Azar was surprised when he heard his son say them. How did he come up with those ideas? He said,
"Ibrahim! Are you aware of the words you utter? How dare you talk to me like that? Hz. Ibrahim explained it to his father as follows:
"Daddy! I was assigned the duty of prophethood by Allah. I was given the knowledge that was not given to you. I was ordered to show my nation the true path. Come and obey me. I will tell you about the true religion."5
Hz. Ibrahim did not show any disrespect when he talked to his father. He addressed his father's mind and consciousness, drawing attention to the fact that worshipping idols was due to the trick of Satan hence worshipping idols would be regarded as worshipping Satan. He also added that being a friend of Satan would bring about torture in Hell.6
However, his words did not affect Azar at all. For, he did not listen to his son with the intention of searching the truth. Words can affect people when they listen conscientiously and without any prejudice. Therefore, he answered his son harshly:
"O Ibrahim! You do not accept my idols. You are not a good child. If you were a good child, you would follow the way of your ancestors. Go away. Do not come to me before you give up those thoughts."7
Hz. Ibrahim became very sad when he heard his father's answer. However, he did not lose his hope. He continued inviting him to the true path as he lived. He always asked Allah to give him guidance.8 However, Azar did not give up worshipping idols until he died. He insisted on his wrong belief. Although he was the father of a prophet, he died as an unbeliever. Thereupon, Hz. Ibrahim stopped praying for his father and asking forgiveness for him.9
THE TERRIBLE END OF UNBELIEF - THE END OF THE UNBELIEVER
As it is seen, it is not enough for the salvation of man even to be the father of a prophet. For, salvation from Hell and attaining the endless bliss can only be possible through belief. Belief, is a light that Allah Almighty places in the heart of a person when he wants it through his own will.10
Being the father, wife or son of a prophet is not important if a person does not show his will to have belief. Each man is a different realm. Allah Almighty tests people individually and separately; thus, He wants the lofty and mean spirits to be distinguished from each other. Therefore, Ibrahim's father died as an unbeliever and went to Hell to stay there forever since he insisted on dying as an unbeliever despite his son's requests and prayers.
The Messenger of Allah narrates the state of Azar and his meeting his son on the Day of Judgment as follows:
On the Day of Judgment, Ibrahim meets his father, Azar. Azar's face is black and covered in dust. Ibrahim says to his father,
"Did I not tell you, 'do not disobey me' in the world and 'I will show you the right path'?" His father answers in repentance:
"I will not disobey you today." Thereupon, Ibrahim says,
"O Lord! You promised me that you would not humiliate and embarrass me until the Day of Judgment. What can be more humiliating and embarrassing for me than this state of my father's?" Allah answered him as follows:
"O Ibrahim! I made Paradise haram for unbelievers. Your father died as an unbeliever. Therefore, do not feel sorry because of this."
After that, Allah Almighty addressed him as follows:
"O Ibrahim! What is under your feet?"
When Ibrahim looked under his feet, he saw a hyena in blood. Allah transformed Azar into an ugly shape due to his unbelief.
Ibrahim felt disgusted when he saw this scene. Azar was thrown into Hell from his feet.11
That is the terrible end of unbelief and unbelievers.
THE MOON, THE SUN AND STARS CANNOT BE MY LORD.
Hz. Ibrahim started the duty of conveying the message by talking to his father but he could not persuade his father.
After that, it was necessary for him to call his nation to the true path. Hz. Ibrahim thought about the idea of showing people that stars cannot be deities first.
One day, after the sun set, he looked at the sky. A bright star was visible. He pointed at the star and said,
"That is my Lord!" Those who were near him heard him.
By the morning, the bright star had disappeared. Thereupon, Hz. Ibrahim uttered the following meaningful sentence:
"No, it cannot be my Lord. It disappeared. I am looking for a Lord that will not disappear. I do not love those that set and disappear."12
The reason why Hz. Ibrahim called the star "my Lord" was not accepting the star as his Lord.
With that statement, he expressed the wrong thought that was common among people. He was going to refute that idea later.
This method is important in expressing the truth. If it is used appropriately, it can be more persuasive than telling the truth directly.13
The next evening, Hz. Ibrahim started to look at the sky again. Suddenly, the bright full moon caught his eye. It was ascending slowly and enlightening the night. He shouted in excitement:
"This is my Lord. How could I not notice it before? Only this moon, which enlightens the night, can be my Lord."
The people watched him in astonishment and tried to understand what he said.
However, the moon disappeared in the morning just like the star. Thereupon, Hz. Ibrahim said, "Something that emits light first and disappears after that cannot be my Lord. I was wrong." Thus, he gave the message to the people around him that the moon cannot be the Lord.14
Hz. Ibrahim woke up early the next morning. He was looking at the horizon and watching the disappearance of the darkness of the night. Suddenly the sun, which was rising like a bright globe and shining brightly, caught his eye. With the intention of proving that it cannot be the Lord, he said,
"This is my Lord. Is it not the sun that sends light to the earth, heats people and enlightens the universe? Besides, it is bigger and brighter than all of the other celestial bodies."
With this statement, he aimed to prepare the minds of the people for the idea that if the sun could not be the Lord, no celestial body could be the Lord.
The sun started to set in the evening. Suddenly, it became dark, without any lights.
Now, it was time for Hz. Ibrahim to declare the oneness of Allah. He had to say people that Allah was the real Lord of the realms. He made the people gather around him and addressed them as follows:
"O people of Babylon! I have found the truth now. The stars, the moon and the sun cannot be my Lord.
They all are celestial bodies created by Allah, the Lord of the realms. He created both you and me. He is present everywhere. He sees everything and can create anything. However, we cannot see Him and understand his real nature. I will never associate partners with Him."15
Thus, Hz. Ibrahim explained his real belief and thought to the people. he showed how baseless and wrong their belief was.
What the Prophet Ibrahim stated was something that the people of Babylon had never heard or thought of up to that time. Therefore, they were astonished.
After that, Hz. Ibrahim started to deal with the idols. He tried to prove that the idols could not be deities like the stars: He said,
"O my people! What are the idols that you worship? Are they not pieces of lifeless stone and wood that are not aware that you worship them? Do you think Allah, who is the Lord of the realms, is a lifeless, will-less and spiritless being? Know it very well that this is a big slander. Give up this thought at once. Stop associating these lifeless beings as partners with Allah."16
The people of Babylon got rid of the first shock. They got very angry when Hz. Ibrahim spoke against their idols. They said to him,
"We saw our fathers worship these idols. We were brought up like that. We have never thought about these subtle issues. We will not think about them in the future, either. We will imitate and follow our ancestors. We will practice their belief."
Hz. Ibrahim refuted the wrong belief of his people with the evidence he brought but they closed their eyes to this fact; they preferred to imitate their fathers. Thus, they showed their bigotry.
In order to overcome this bigotry, Hz. Ibrahim asked them,
"What will happen if your fathers were wrong? Will you continue their mistakes in the same way?"
They answered Ibrahim's question as follows: "Our fathers were cleverer and more intelligent than us. Therefore, we do not think they made any mistakes."17
Hz. Ibrahim became very sorry when he heard this ignorant answer from his people. He continued presenting new evidences in order to persuade them and informing them about the bad ending of what they were doing.18
Hz. Ibrahim's nation was very disturbed by what he said. They started to look for ways of silencing him. First, they wanted to frighten him. They said to him,
"O Ibrahim! If you mock our idols, something bad will happen to you. You will be harmed. Give up this claim before something happens to you."
Hz. Ibrahim did not heed their tactics of intimidation and terrorization. He answered them heroically
"How should I fear your idols while you do not fear associating partners with Allah? I will never fear them because they will neither benefit nor harm me."19
The Prophet Ibrahim could not influence them despite his preaching and evidence. His nation started to make fun of him and despise him.20
However, he was not prevented by what they did; he started to tell people about his cause from scratch on every occasion. In the end, he realized that they would not accept his message only by preaching. He decided to show them the weakness of the idols. He decided to do something about it as soon as possible.
WHO BROKE THE IDOLS?
The people of Babylon used to sacrifice animals, cook meals and put them in the idol-house, where they worshipped on feast days. After that, they would gather in the square. They had fun and played games there. After the celebrations, they would return to the idol-house and eat the food they had left there.
* * *
It was a feast day. After the people left the meals in the idol-house, they started to gather in the square. It was an excellent opportunity for Hz. Ibrahim. He decided to make an excuse so as not to take part in the celebration and to break the idols meanwhile.
Hz. Ibrahim found an excuse easily. When he was asked to join the celebration, he looked at the stars, which his nation always looked at, and said, "I was taken ill. Please go without me."21 Epidemics occurred frequently at that time. The science of medicine had not advanced yet. The illnesses would soon spread and epidemics would break out. Therefore, when someone was ill, peope would not want to be with him.
In fact, Hz. Ibrahim did not have a material illness. However, he felt very sad due to the idolatry and denial of his nation. When he said he was ill, he meant his spiritual sadness and agony.
When everybody gathered in the square for the celebration, Hz. Ibrahim entered the idol-house easily. There were various kinds of meals, fruits and drinks in front of the idols. He looked at them by laughing. He addressed them mockingly:
"Eat the food in front of you. Do not feel embarrassed."22 Then, he broke all of them except one to pieces with the axe he had brought with him. He did not break the biggest idol called Marduk. He put the axe on its shoulder.23
When the idolaters returned from the celebration, they saw the idols and were astonished. They got furious and crazy. They started to run around. They shouted furiously:
"Who is this insolent person? He cannot get away with it. Let us find him immediately."
The first person they were suspicious of was Hz. Ibrahim. They knew that he did not like the idols. Besides, everybody except him took part in the celebration. There was no doubt that he had done it.
They started to look for Hz. Ibrahim. They caught him at once. They decided to question him before the people and judge him openly.
The judges asked Hz. Ibrahim:
"O Ibrahim! Did you do this bad deed to our gods? Did you cause this?"
Hz. Ibrahim gave them an unexpected answer:
"The biggest one with the axe on his shoulder might have done it. (*) He might have got angry because you worshipped the small idols though he was there.
Ask the small smashed idols on the ground. If they were sane and could speak, they would definitely tell you who did it to them."24
When they heard Hz. Ibrahim's words, they started to think. He was right. Since the idols were gods, they had to know who broke them into pieces and had to tell his name to them. Were they wrong to worship these lifeless pieces of wood and stone who could not speak and defend themselves?
For a moment, their mind and conscience started to realize the truth in the words of Hz. Ibrahim. However, this state did not last long. The suggestions of their souls and Satan, and their prejudice prevailed. It would be impossible for them to leave the path of their ancestors. Besides, it would be ridiculous for them to follow a young person like Ibrahim.
They said to Hz. Ibrahim:
"O Ibrahim! You know that these idols do not move and speak. How could they have done it? You are the culprit definitely."25
Hz. Ibrahim was waiting for this confession. They themselves told the truth. He made use of this opportunity and said,
"Then, why do worship the idols that could not protect themselves, that could not speak even one word and that could not benefit and harm anybody?"26
Now it was clear that Hz. Ibrahim had broken the idols. They decided to imprison him and decide about the punishment later. Meanwhile, Nimrod heard about what happened in the city. He wanted to see and talk to this young man, who did not worship stars and who wanted to introduce a new belief. He asked his men to take that young man out of prison and to bring him to the palace.
THE PROPHET IBRAHIM'S STRUGGLE WITH NIMROD
Nimrod looked in a despising manner at the young man who was brought to his presence He asked Ibrahim sarcastically:
"Tell me young man. Who is your Lord? What does He do?"
The Prophet Ibrahim answered this question solemnly and seriously:
"My Lord is He Who gives life and death."27
These words increased Nimrod's joy. He turned toward Ibrahim and said,
"That is very easy. I can give life and death too.
Then, he gave an order to his men. He asked them to bring two people. Nimrod's men went out and returned with two poor men. He turned toward his executioner and ordered him to kill one of them. He forgave the second man and gave him money and property. He released him and sent him as a rich man. Then, he turned toward Ibrahim and his men and said,
"Have you seen? I killed one of them. I revived the other by forgiving him and giving him money and property. Then, I am the deity that Ibrahim mentions."28
Nimrod could not understand what Hz. Ibrahim meant by killing and reviving. He dealt with the issue in a very simple way and dared to claim that he could do the same thing.
Hz. Ibrahim wanted to teach Nimrod a lesson due to his conceited and ignorant words.
He wanted to show Nimrod and his men that a person could not be a god by killing a person and forgiving another.
With this thought in his mind, he said to Nimrod,
"O Nimrod! My Lord, Allah, can make the sun rise in the east. If you are really a god, make it rise in the west."29
Nimrod was astounded when he heard this unexpected challenge. He was shocked and could not say anything
He became humiliated before his men. He was shivering with anger. He had to take his revenge. He wanted to kill him in such a way that would be exemplary and that would prevent others from opposing his divinity, daring to criticize him and speaking against him.
He talked to his men and consultants about the issue. They decided to burn Ibrahim by throwing him into the fire. They decided to choose a wide area and fill that area with woods. Then, they decided to throw him into the middle of the fire.
THE FIRE DOES NOT BURN IBRAHIM
Nimrod ordered the people to collect wood. Hz. Ibrahim was going to be punished by being thrown into the big fire.
Upon this order, the people started to collect wood. They formed a huge heap of woods soon. (*)
The woods were kindled.
The fire started to get bigger and bigger; it began to have a terrible appearance. The fire was felt from a big distance away. The sky turned red. It was impossible to approach the fire. Therefore, they established a catapult on a hill near the area. They planned to throw him into the fire with the catapult.
Everybody in the city gathered around the place where the fire was set in order to see this terrible event. They started to watch in curiosity and fear.
Eventually, they placed Hz. Ibrahim on the catapult. They were waiting for the order of Nimrod to throw him.
Meanwhile, all of the creatures and angels were begging Allah and asking Him to rescue Hz. Ibrahim.
"O Lord! In this nation, there is only one person who knows you and who worships you: that is Ibrahim. Now they are burning him. Allow us to destroy this rebellious nation and save Ibrahim."
Allah Almighty said to them,
"I know his state better than you do. If he asks your help, help him. If he relies on me only and asks for my help, my help is enough for him."
Finally, Nimrod gave the expected order. The catapult was released. Hz. Ibrahim started to fly toward the middle of the fire.
He did not show any signs of fear, excitement or panic; he uttered the following in reliance:
"Hasbunallah wa ni'mal-wakil" It means "Allah's help is enough for me. He is the best disposer of affairs. I trust only in him." He did not need anybody else to take refuge in.
Allah would definitely not leave his slave, who relied on and trusted in Him, helpless. He did not. The divine order helped him while he was about to fall into the middle of the fire:
"O Fire! Be cool, and a means of safety for Ibrahim! Do not burn him!"30
Upon this order, the fire did not burn Hz. Ibrahim. A cool area occurred in the middle of the fire. Hz. Ibrahim started to live there without any trouble.
The people cheered and applauded Nimrod enthusiastically while Hz. Ibrahim was being thrown into the fire. When Ibrahim fell into the fire, they became very happy. They started to laugh loudly. They said,
"Ibrahim was threatening us with fire. Now he is in the fire himself." Hz. Ibrahim stayed in the fire for seven days. Afterwards, he said, "The most enjoyable moments for me in the world were the seven days I remained in the fire."
Nimrod was very joyful thinking that he had got rid of Ibrahim. He declared a feast of seven days in the city. The people would eat, drink and have fun. They would celebrate because they got rid of Ibrahim.
The fire continued to burn in the form of giant flames. Nobody was aware of Hz. Ibrahim was safe and sound in the middle of the fire as if he was living in a rose garden. They thought he would burn down as soon as he fell into the fire.
When the flames started to fade away a week later, they saw that Hz. Ibrahim was safe and sound. they opened their eyes wide. They were observing something extraordinary.
Hz. Ibrahim was worshipping in the middle of the fire and praying Allah. The fire had not harmed him at all.
THE MIRACLE OF NOT BEING BURNT IN THE FIRE
The people of Babylon were astounded when they saw that Hz Ibrahim was not burnt in the fire and survived. They did not know what to do and what to say. In fact, that Hz. Ibrahim was not burnt in the fire was clear evidence that he was a prophet. Any conscious and thoughtful person would accept it. However, the people of Babylon did not care about justice and reasoning; they worshipped idols and stars blindly. With bigotry, they imitated what their ancestors had done. As a matter of fact, they soon found an excuse to explain how Hz. Ibrahim was saved from fire. They said,
"He is a devil. The devil was created out of fire; so, fire will not burn him. Keep away from him. We might catch fire and burn."
Some of them explained the miracle of not being burnt in the fire by Ibrahim being a devil and others by the power of magic. In short, they resorted to unbelievable interpretations and explanations so as not to accept the truth. So, when something is contrary to the interests and desires of man, he may easily pretend not to see the clear facts. He may resort to absurd explanations in order to deny the truths that are impossible to deny. The state of the people of Babylon was an example of it. .
The incident of not being burnt in the fire was the greatest miracle of the Prophet Ibrahim. There are several lessons to be taken from this incident.
First of all, this miracle teaches us that no element in nature acts on its own. Besides, it shows that the qualities of the elements were given to them by Allah.
There are four big elements in nature: air, water, fire and soil. It is understood by the miracle of Hz. Ibrahim that fire obeyed the order of Allah and did not burn Hz. Ibrahim when Allah said, "Do not burn."
The same thing is valid for the other elements. That air was put under Hz. Sulayman's order is clear evidence for it. The Prophet Sulayman rode the wind and flew when he wanted. He arrived at the place he wanted to go very soon through air.
That the Prophet Moses (Musa) extracted water from the place he hit with his stick and that he divided the sea into two with his stick show that the elements of soil and water also act based on the order of Allah.
Then, there is no element in nature that acts on its own. All elements act based on divine orders because it is Allah who created them with the qualities they have.
We see that the delicate, green leaves of tress are also exposed to a tiny example of the miracle of Hz. Ibrahim.
Delicate leaves keep their greenness, freshness and wetness for months when it is very hot. However, man becomes disturbed when he stays under the hot son for a few hours; his skin is burnt and it gets a dark color. When it is too hot, some people die. That severe heat does not burn the leaves of trees and that it does not affect the freshness of the leaves show that heat and cold act under the command of Allah.
This state of the element of heat refutes the claims of nature worshippers: "And the delicate leaves fine as cigarette paper recite the verse, "Ya Naru kuni bardan wa salaman" (O fire be coolness and peace) against the heat of the fire, each like the members of Ibrahim."31
The second lesson to be taken from this miracle is as follows:
When Allah ordered fire not to burn, He said, "Be coolness and peace." If He had said, "be cold", the fire would have become so cold that it would have killed Hz. Ibrahim. The order ,"be coolness and peace" prevented it. The heat fell to a level that would not harm Hz. Ibrahim and stayed at that level. Heat does not mean hot only. Cold is also part of heat. Therefore, fire burns at both a high heat and low heat. However, the burning in low heat is not called burning but freezing.
The third lesson to be taken from this miracle is as follows:
The world we live in is a world of wisdom. Allah does all of His deeds in this world based on wisdom and reasons.
One of Allah's wisdoms is to use causes and laws of nature as veils for His power. That is, Allah's power is the doer but causes and laws seem to be the doer. Miracles show Allah's power by drawing the veil of causes but they do not eliminate it totally.
Therefore, fire did not burn the body of Hz. Ibrahim and the shirt on him. Allah gave his shirt the property of incombustibility. If his shirt had burnt but his body had not burned, it would have been contrary to wisdom. His shirt was given the property of incombustibility so that it would not be contrary to wisdom.
As a matter of fact, this shirt was transferred to the Prophet Ishaq (Isaac), to Yaqub (Jacob) after that and to his son Yusuf (Joseph) afterwards.
One of the aims of miracles is to encourage man to make progress in material advancement and to produce things similar to those miracles.
It is known that many wonders of civilization were shown to human beings by the hands of prophets.
When the incident of Ibrahim's shirt not burning is considered from this point of view, the following result occurs: It is possible to find things that are fire resistant and incombustible. As a matter of fact, such substance like asbestos and amianthus, which are incombustible, have been found on earth recently and they have been used to produce clothes for firemen and astronauts.
THE END OF NIMROD
When the people of Babylon saw that Hz. Ibrahim did not burn in fire, only a few of them believed in him and accepted his prophethood. One of them was Hz. Ibrahim's nephew Lut (Lot) 32 and the other was his cousin Sara, who later married Hz. Ibrahim and became his wife.
Hz. Ibrahim continued calling his people to the true path for some more time. However, the ignorant and bigoted people did not believe in him or accept the truth despite all of his efforts.
In the end, Hz. Ibrahim lost his hope and warned them as follows:
"O my people! You always denied me despite clear evidences. From now on, there is no love, connection, friendship and kinship between you and me. Eternal enmity has occurred between us. This enmity and hatred will continue until you believe in the oneness of Allah." 33
After these words, Hz. Ibrahim and the believers broke off all of their relations with their polytheistic relatives and friends.
Meanwhile, Allah sent a revelation to Hz. Ibrahim ordering him to leave this land, where polytheists lived, and to migrate to somewhere else. In the new place he would settle, he would be able to worship easily with the believers.
Hz. Ibrahim informed his nation about it as follows:
"I will go to the place where my Lord orders me to go. I hope He will take me to a place where I will realize all of my worldly and otherworldly desires."34
This incident shows us that if religious people cannot fulfill their religious duties in a place, it is necessary for them to move to places where there are religious people. This moving is called hijrah (migration). Migration is necessary only when it is not possible to lead a religious life in a place. If it is possible to show some patience, fulfill the religious duties and set an example for the people around, it is more appropriate to stay there instead of migrating.
When it was time for migration, Allah Almighty ordered Hz. Ibrahim to go to Damascus. Hz. Ibrahim left Babylon with his wife, Sara, and the other believers.
After the migration of Hz. Ibrahim, Nimrod and his nation, who did not migrate, were attacked by mosquitoes. Most people were killed by mosquitoes. Those who survived had to leave the city because it became very hard to live in that city.
* * *
Meanwhile, a mosquito started to harass Nimrod. Nimrod, who claimed to be God and who took pride in his wealth, turned out to be weak when attacked by the mosquito. The mosquito followed Nimrod wherever he went. The mosquito found him no matter where he hid. Nimrod felt very uneasy and uncomfortable. His pride and arrogance faded and he became a poor man who wriggled in agony. The tiny mosquito looked like an elephant. His attempts to kill the mosquito turned out to be in vain.
After disturbing Nimrod for days, the mosquito entered Nimrod's nose when he was careless. It reached his brain and killed him.
His great sultanate ended.
Nimrod, who was one of the most cruel and conceited kings of the world, was defeated by an ordinary mosquito. Can there be a more exemplary lesson than this?
THE SECRET OF AFFINITY
According to some narrations, this feeble mosquito, which was blind and lame, did not kill Nimrod on its own. It managed to achieve such a great victory by killing Nimrod due to its affinity with Allah Almighty and being a servant of Allah. For, anybody who has an affinity with Allah Almighty has limitless power thanks to that affinity. Something very small can do much more powerful things than its own power and achieve wonderful results.
As a matter of fact, an ant defeats a Pharaoh, a mosquito defeats Nimrod and a microbe defeats an oppressor thanks to the power of affinity with and reliance on Allah Almighty.
A mosquito that is dependent on Allah and acts as an official of His can take pride on behalf of Allah against Nimrod's pride, which is transformed into torture and shame at the time of death. It can show its honor of affinity with its Creator and decrease Nimrod's to zero. They all originate from the secret of affinity with Allah. As a matter of fact, that a seed as small as a chick pea carries a majestic pine tree like a mountain originates from the same secret. (*)
HZ. IBRAHIM'S JOURNEY TO EGYPT
After leaving Babylon, Hz. Ibrahim went to Damascus with the believers and settled in the city of Harran. After living in Harran for a while, Hz. Ibrahim decided to go to Egypt with his wife.
In that period, Pharaohs ruled Egypt. The Pharaoh of that time was a very cruel person. When Hz. Ibrahim entered the city, the Pharaoh was informed about his arrival. He was informed that there was a beautiful woman with Ibrahim. Thereupon, the Pharaoh sent somebody to Hz. Ibrahim and asked him who the woman was. Hz. Ibrahim said to the Pharaoh's men that she was his sister. Then, she talked to Sara and said to her, "I told them that you were my sister. Do not contradict me. I swear by Allah that there is nobody except you and me that believe in Allah here. Therefore, we are regarded as brothers in our religion."
Then, the Pharaoh's men took Sara to the palace. When Sara arrived at the palace, the Pharaoh welcomed her by standing. After a while, he wanted to touch her. Sara asked permission from the Pharaoh to make wudu and perform a prayer and started to pray. After performing the prayer, she prayed as follows:
"O Lord! If I have believed in You and Your Prophet sincerely and protected my chastity, do not allow this unbeliever to touch me."
Upon this sincere prayer, the Pharaoh started to gasp for breath, wheeze and hit the ground with his feet.
When Sara saw him like that, she thought,
"O Allah! If this believer dies like that, they will say this woman has killed him."
Upon this worry, Allah saved the Pharaoh. When the Pharaoh tried to approach Sara again, she started to perform a prayer again. She prayed Allah Almighty in the same way. The Pharaoh started to suffer in the same way again. Sara was worried that he would die. Thereupon, Allah saved him again. The Pharaoh understood that he suffered because of Sara. He called his servants in the palace and scolded them:
"You brought me a devil, not a human. Take this woman back to Ibrahim."
Besides, he gave one of his female servants called Hagar to Sara as a present. The Pharaoh gave this present to Sara because he was afraid of her. He wanted to be safe. Sara returned to Ibrahim with Hagar. She told Ibrahim what happened in the palace one by one. Then, she said,
"Allah ridiculed the unbeliever and gave this woman to us as a servant."35
After that, Hagar started to live with them and serve them.
There is something that needs to be explained here. Why did Hz. Ibrahim introduce his wife Sara as his sister to the Pharaoh? What is the difference between saying she was his wife and she was his sister? Was it not more logical for him to say she was his wife? It was highly probable that the Pharaoh would want to marry her when he said she was his sister. However, if he had said she was his wife, the Pharaoh would not probably have wanted to touch her.
This issue was explained by Ibn Qayyim al-Jawzi in the best way: This cruel king and his subjects were fire-worshippers. To marry one's own sister was encouraged by fire-worshippers. Such a marriage was regarded as better. (*)
Thus, Hz. Ibrahim answered the Pharaoh in a way that was more appropriate for his belief and tried to protect his wife. When he said so, he meant the Islamic brotherhood between them. Although this word is apparently contrary to the truth, it is thoroughly true in terms of the understanding of the person he addressed and his intention. There is nothing to harm the quality of innocence (not committing sins) of Hz. Ibrahim.
This view is objected as follows: Zardusht, the founder of fire-worshipping lived after the time of Hz. Ibrahim; therefore, fire-worshipping did not exist at the time of Hz. Ibrahim. This objection is answered as follows:
There is no doubt that each sect and doctrine is based on some rules and principles that have existed for ages. Many sects occurred as a result of the systemization of some beliefs and ideas that existed previously. It is very difficult for the emergence of some ideas that did not exist previously to appear in the form of a sect or religion and to be accepted by people. It is natural for Zardusht to base his sect on some beliefs and principles that existed before. Then, it is normal for some beliefs that can be regarded as the origin of fire-worshipping to exist in Egypt in the period when Hz. Ibrahim lived. In that case, Hz. Ibrahim's act should be regarded as natural.36
* * *
Hz. Ibrahim, who could not find peace in Egypt, set off in order to return to Damascus. When he reached the place called Sabu, he settled there. He dug a water well to meet his need for water. The water of that well flowed like a fountain and the people and animals of that region drank water from it. Afterwards, the people of Sabu started to dislike Hz. Ibrahim and to disturb him. Therefore, Hz. Ibrahim moved to another place. That place was near his cousin Lut (Lot).
THE BIRTH OF HZ. ISMAIL
Hz. Ibrahim and his wife Sara did not have any children though many years passed after their marriage. Therefore, they felt sad.
Once, while they were sitting mindfully, Hz. Sara had an idea. She turned to Hz. Ibrahim happily and said,
"O Ibrahim! As you see, we are getting old. I am even older. I do not think that I will ever have a baby. You had better marry our servant Hagar. Maybe Allah will give you a child out of this marriage."
At that time, it was natural for a man to marry more than one woman. There was no drawback to it in terms of customs, traditions and life.
Hz. Ibrahim was surprised when he heard his wife. After thinking for a while, he said,
"No. O Sara! I fear about the end of it. I fear that you will be jealous of Hagar if she has a baby. This may cause unrest and disturb our peace."
However, Hz. Sara was determined, She said smilingly,
"No! I do not think like you. If Hagar has a child, I will be pleased as if I have had a child."
Hz. Ibrahim married Hagar upon this sincere request of Sara. After a while, Hagar became pregnant.
Days and months passed. Finally, it was time for the birth. Hagar had a healthy and lovely child. They named him Ismail (Ishmael).
At first, Sara was very pleased. However, in the course of time, she started to feel jealous. In fact, she herself had wanted this marriage. She had offered her husband to marry Hagar.
Hz. Ibrahim felt that Sara had started to be jealous. Therefore, he acted very carefully. He tried not to make her jealous. Hagar also acted very carefully. She put on old clothes and wore a belt around her waist. She continued acting like a servant though she was Hz. Ibrahim's wife. She meant to decrease Sara's jealousy by doing so.
MIGRATION TO MAKKAH
The efforts of Hz. Ibrahim and Hagar were not enough to eliminate Sara's jealousy. Hz. Sara's mind told her that her jealousy was wrong but her feelings opposed her mind. Therefore, the unrest increased day by day. It became impossible for her to live in the same place as Hagar and her son. Either she or they had to leave the house. Eventually, she told her husband about her feelings:
"O Ibrahim! Take Hagar and her son away. You turned out to be right. I am jealous of them. Therefore, I feel unhappy. Either they or I will stay in this house. Think about it and make your decision."
Hz. Ibrahim was in a very difficult position. He could not decide what to do.
Meanwhile, Allah sent a revelation to Hz. Ibrahim and told him to fulfill the request of Sara. He was ordered to take Hagar and her son to another place and to make them settle there. An angel was appointed to guide them in this journey and to show the place where Hagar and Ismail would settle.
* * *
Hz. Ibrahim set off with Hagar and Ismail one evening. They went to Makkah, being guided by the angel. Meanwhile, Hz. Ismail was almost two years old. She had not weaned him yet.
Hz. Ibrahim left them under a tree, near a place where Zamzam well is located today. He set up a tent and placed them in the tent. The valley was desolate and quiet. There was nobody around. It did not look like an inhabitable place. The land was not suitable for agriculture and there was no water.
Hz. Ibrahim left some dates and water with his wife Hagar and his son Ismail. He was getting ready to return to Sara.
When he set off, his wife Hagar started to cry and follow him. She said,
"O Ibrahim! Where are you going by leaving us in this desolate and quiet valley? What shall we do here alone?"
Hz. Ibrahim did not answer her; he continued walking.
Hagar repeated the same questions a few times. When she could not receive an answer from her husband, she said,
"O Ibrahim. Did Allah order you to do so?"
Then, Hz. Ibrahim turned to his wife and said,
"Yes. Allah ordered me to do so."
Hagar was relieved with this answer. She said, "Then, Allah is enough for us. He will protect us." She stopped following Hz. Ibrahim and returned to her child by trusting in Allah.
Hz. Ibrahim continued walking slowly. When he reached a hill where his wife and child could not see him, he turned toward the direction of the Kaaba and prayed Allah as follows:
"O our Lord! I have made some of my offspring to dwell in a valley without cultivation, by Thy Sacred House; in order, O our Lord that they may establish regular prayer: so fill the hearts of some among men with love towards them, and feed them with Fruits: so that they may give thanks. O our Lord! Truly Thou dost know what we conceal and what we reveal: for nothing whatever is hidden from Allah, whether on earth or in heaven"37
Hz. Ibrahim asked three things from Allah:
First, he wanted Makkah and its surroundings to become a safe place.
Secondly, he wanted people to go there and settle there.
These two prayers were accepted by Allah; they happened afterwards.
Thirdly, he wanted only the people who believe in Allah and the hereafter to live in and around Makkah.
Allah Almighty corrected the third wish of Hz. Ibrahim through revelation. He said that he would give sustenance not only to believers but also to unbelievers and added that the sustenance given to unbelievers would be limited to this ephemeral worldly life and that they would suffer eternal torture in the hereafter.
If Allah Almighty had accepted the last part of Hz. Ibrahim's prayer, the mystery of testing would have been broken. In that case, the struggle between belief and unbelief would have ended; the mystery of testing, that is the differentiation between the mean and lofty spirits, would not have taken place. Besides, the prophethood of Hz. Muhammad (pbuh), the Seal of the Prophets, would not have taken place. For, Allah Almighty sent Hz. Muhammad (pbuh) with the duty of prophethood to the people of Makkah due to their polytheism and unbelief. If that prayer had been accepted, unbelievers would not have lived in and around Makkah; therefore, there would not have been an environment to necessitate sending a prophet.
Hz. Hagar continued living with her son Ismail in the valley of Makkah.
Hz. Hagar breastfed her son when he felt hungry. She also gave him some water when he felt thirsty. He ate the dates that her husband had left with them.
After a while, she ran out of drinking water. Due to lack of water, she went dry. Little Ismail started to cry due to hunger and thirst. He started to roll on the sand. Hagar could not put up with the touching state of Ismail and set off to look out for water. The sun was scorching; the sand and stones were very hot. Hagar walked to the hill called Safa. She climbed the hill to find out if she could see anyone who could give her water. She looked around. She could not see anybody in the vast desert. She climbed down the hill sadly but trusting in Allah. She started to run by rolling up her long skirt lest she should trip over it. She went to the hill called Marwa with the hope of finding something. When she arrived at the top of the hill, she stopped and looked around. She could not see anybody.
Hagar ran between the hills of Safa and Marwa seven times with the hope of finding somebody who could help her or give her water.
The worship called sa'y during hajj reminds us this incident. Hajjis walk between Safa and Marwa seven times.
When she arrived at Marwa Hill after her last walk, she heard something. She thought she hallucinated and heard something that did not exist. She listened carefully.
She heard the same sound a few times on end. She understood that it was not hallucination. The sound came from somewhere. It could have been Allah's help. Hoping something good, she said,
"I have heard it. If you know what I need, appear and help me."
All of a sudden, somebody appeared in the direction where the sound was coming from. It was an angel appearing like a human. It was digging the ground with its feet and water was coming out of the place with a gurgling sound.
Hagar was astonished when she saw the water. She thought the water might not be enough and tried to surround the water with soil to form a pool. She did not want even one drop of water to flow away. She was filling her water-skin with her hands and shouting, "zam, zam (stop, stop).
The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said,
"May Allah show mercy on Ismail's mother! If she had not surrounded Zamzam, it would have been a river that would flow until the Day of Judgment."38
* * *
Hz. Hagar drank a lot of water. Then, she went to Ismail and breastfed him. The angel in man's clothing consoled her saying,
"Do not fear that you will be destroyed in this desolate place. The Kaaba, the first temple in the world, is here. This boy will build this temple, which has been unknown for a long time, again. Allah will never end his progeny and family; they will exist until the Day of Judgment."
With these words, the angel informed her that Hz. Ismail would have a holy progeny.
What the angel said would take place because Hz. Muhammad, the master of the universe, would come from his progeny.
Hagar and Ismail started to live happily together. The trouble of lack of water ended.
One day, a family of Jurhumis came near the place where they had settled.
They saw a bird flying over the place where Hagar was.
They thought, "This bird is probably flying over a place where there is water. We thought there was no water here. Let us check it." They sent two people to check whether there was water there. They saw that Hagar and Ismail had set up a tent near the spring. They returned and told their family what they had seen. The family of Jurhumis moved toward that place. They stopped near the Zamzam water. Hagar was sitting there. They asked Hagar,
"Will you allow us to settle here and use this water with you?" Hagar said,
"You can settle here and use the water as long as you do not claim to own the well."
The family of Jurhumis accepted her condition. After a long time, they found a place with water in this vast desert.
With the arrival of Jurhumis, Hagar got rid of loneliness and found some people to chat.
The Prophet described her situation as follows:
"Ismail's mother found the friends she really needed when the women of Jurhumis arrived."39
After the arrival of Jurhumis, some other families also settled there. The place around the Zamzam Well started to get populated and became a town.
The new town that was established was given the name Makkah. Allah accepted the prayer of Hz. Ibrahim by sending Jurhumis there. Thus, the loneliness of Hz. Hagar and her son ended, and the valley became a built-up town.
Hz. Ibrahim went to Makkah to visit his son and wife after a while. When he saw that the place became populated and that Hagar and Ismail received honor and prestige, he became very happy.
From then on, Hz. Ibrahim went to Makkah from time to time and stayed with his son and wife for a while; then, he returned.
TEST OF FRIENDSHIP
Years passed. Hz. Ismail grew up and became a handsome young man; his nature was also nice like his name. He performed prayers as his father taught him and prayed Allah as his father taught him.
Hz. Ibrahim visited them from time to time, went to the mountain with Hz. Ismail to collect wood and to find food.
Once, Hz. Ibrahim was in Makkah again. He was sleeping. He heard a sound saying,
"O Ibrahim! Allah orders you to sacrifice Ismail."
Hz. Ibrahim woke up in fear. He thought whether what he saw was real or not. He could not understand whether this dream was from Allah or from Satan. However, he had a doubt. The day he saw the dream was the 8th of Dhul-Hijjah (two days before eid al-adha).
The next day (the 9th of Dhul-Hijjah), he saw the same dream.
He started to think that the dream was from Allah. On the first day of eid al-adha, when he saw the same dream, he became sure that the dream was from Allah.
This was a great test, A real friend is supposed to sacrifice everything he loved for his real friend. Allah chose Hz. Ibrahim as khalil (close friend). He wanted to test whether Ibrahim deserved to be His close friend. That is why He asked Ibrahim to sacrifice his most beloved being, his son. However, it was very difficult to fulfill this request.
Therefore, Allah did not give this order to Hz. Ibrahim directly. He showed this to Ibrahim in his dream three nights on end and phased him into it.
After that day, it became a custom to give someone bad news or a difficult order in phases.
Hz. Ibrahim's heart became satisfied and he accepted to fulfill the order without hesitation. He had something else that worried him. How would his son and wife react when they heard it? Would they obey or disobey? If they obeyed, there would be no problem. What if they disobeyed?
Then, they would not be able to escape from divine punishment.
Therefore, the order to sacrifice Ismail was a hard test not only for Hz. Ibrahim but also for his family. Hz. Ismail was expected to sacrifice his life in the way of Allah. What was expected from Hz Hagar was to show patience when her only son would be sacrificed.
That morning, Hz. Ibrahim told his son to get some rope and a knife and that they would collect wood. It was what they usually did in the morning. Hz. Ismail did not suspect anything. They set off with the rope, knife and axe. When they arrived at Mina, Hz. Ibrahim started to tell gradually his son about the dream he saw. He told his son that they were being tested by Allah.
Hz. Ismail did not show any signs of sorrow, hesitation or panic when he heard what his father told him.
Was it not Allah who gave life and caused death? Allah, who is the owner of life, wanted the life He had given back. Could there be a more honorable death than this one? Hz. Ismail was in complete reliance and obedience when he thought about it. He answered his father as follows:
"O my father! Do as you are commanded; you will find me if Allah so wills one practicing patience and constancy."
This answer of his son's both rejoiced Hz. Ibrahim and reduced him to tears. He looked at his son, who had great belief, with love. He took pride in his son.
* * *
While Hz. Ibrahim was taking his son away in order to sacrifice his son Ismail, the damned devil encountered him. He tried to cause delusions in Hz. Ibrahim. He tried to dissuade Hz. Ibrahim by affecting his feelings of paternal compassion and telling him that the dream was not divine. However, Hz. Ibrahim did not heed the devil's delusions and dismissed him. He also threw the stones he picked from the ground at him.
When the devil lost his hope of affecting Hz. Ibrahim, he started to deal with his son Ismail. He told Hz. Ismail that his father misunderstood the issue. He said, "Could Allah order such a thing?" He reminded Hz. Ismail that his mother would be wretched by weeping. He was not affected by the delusions of the devil. He dismissed the devil and threw seven stones at him.
Having lost his hope of affecting Ismail, the devil went to his mother Hagar. He told her about the issue and said that her husband was about to do something terrible. She told him that her husband would not do anything contrary to the order of Allah and dismissed him. Then, she threw seven stones at him.
Thus, the damned devil was dismissed and stoned by all Hz. Ibrahim, Ismail and Hagar.
* * *
Hz. Ibrahim was getting ready to fulfill the order of Allah by making his son lie on his right side. He blindfolded his son's eyes because he did not want him to suffer by seeing the knife. This incident occurred in Mina, where the animals are sacrificed today.
Hz. Ibrahim uttered "Bismillah" with the intention of cutting his son's throat. He said, "O Lord! I am fulfilling your command."
He tried to cut the throat of Hz. Ismail with the knife. However, the knife did not cut.
For, what Allah wanted was not the sacrifice of Hz. Ismail. The aim was to show the loyalty and patience of Ibrahim and his family to the angels and people.
It was a test of friendship and loyalty. Hz. Ibrahim and his son proved that they could sacrifice their most valuable things in the way of Allah willingly. They showed their loyalty without hesitation. In short, they passed this test in the best way.
While trying to cut Ismail's throat again, Hz. Ibrahim heard something:
"O Ibrahim! You have proved how loyal you are. You showed everybody that you were a friend of Allah. Stop. You do not have to sacrifice Ismail."40
Hz. Ibrahim stopped and looked around. He saw Jibril (Gabriel) coming down from the sky with a ram. Jibril congratulated Ibrahim by saying,
"O Ibrahim! This ram has been fed in Paradise for forty years. Now it has been sent down to the earth to be sacrificed instead of your son Ismail."
Hz. Ibrahim removed the blindfold with joy. He took the ram from Jibril and sacrificed it. He thanked Allah for this great grace.
Since then, all Muslims have slaughtered animals on the same day every year in order to celebrate the rescue of salvation of Hz. Ismail and to pay their debts of gratitude to Allah. To sacrifice an animal is wajib for all Muslims who can afford it.
HOW DO YOU REVIVE THE DEAD?
Hz. Ibrahim often went to Makkah to visit his son Ismail and his wife Hagar. Once, he had to go to Makkah via the seashore. He saw the carcass of a dead animal on the shore. The waves hit the carcass and the fish and other sea animals that were drawn by the waves ate from the carcass. When the sea ebbed, the land animals and birds started to eat from the carcass. Each animal snatched a piece from the carcass and ate it.
This scene attracted Hz. Ibrahim's attention. He thought, "How will Allah Almighty resurrect this animal? How will He bring together its pieces each of which is in the stomach of a different animal?"41
This thought gave him the desire to see the event of resurrection through his own eyes. he turned to Allah and said,
"O Lord! How do you revive the dead? Show it to me."42
Allah answered Hz. Ibrahim's request as follows:
"O Ibrahim! Do you not believe that Allah will resurrect the dead? Do you have any doubts?"
Hz. Ibrahim answered:
"O Lord! I definitely believe that You will resurrect the dead and I have no doubts about it. However, I want to see this extraordinary event and to satisfy my own understanding."43
Man sometimes wants to see the things that he definitely believes through his own eyes. It is quite natural.
Hz. Ibrahim's request was something like that. He definitely believed that Allah would resurrect the dead. He had no doubt about it. However, he was still curious about the event of resurrection and wanted to see it through his own eyes.
That Allah asked Hz. Ibrahim, "Did you not believe?" though He knew his intention is thought-provoking. Thus, he enabled Hz. Ibrahim to utter his intention. He prevented others who would hear about it later from thinking badly about him.
* * *
Allah Almighty accepted his request of seeing how He would resurrect the dead and addressed him as follows:
"Take four birds; tie them (cut them into pieces), then put a portion of them on every hill, and call to them; they will come to thee (flying) with speed."44
Hz. Ibrahim fulfilled this order. First, he found the birds and tamed them. Then, he slaughtered them. He plucked their feathers and divided each of them into four parts. He mixed those parts and put their heads next to the parts. Then, he put them on the top of four different hills. When he called them by their names, he saw that they came to him alive by flying.
When he saw this scene, his heart started to pound with excitement because he had the honor of seeing the reality of resurrection with his own eyes. He thanked Allah for it. His heart became satisfied and he was in tranquility.
RECONSTRUCTION OF THE KAABA
The Kaaba is the first temple built on earth. The first thing Hz. Adam did after he was sent down to the world was to construct this holy building with the help of the angels. The Kaaba was repaired from time to time and was used up to the time of the deluge of Noah. After the deluge, it was lost and there was no trace of it. Allah gave the honor of the construction of this holy temple, the qiblah of Muslims, to Hz. Ibrahim and his son Ismail.
Hz. Ibrahim and Hz. Ismail built the Kaaba as follows:
Once, Hz. Ismail was sitting under a tree near Zamzam Well and was busy with his arrow. He saw someone approaching. That person was his father Hz. Ibrahim. When his father approached him, Ismail stood up and welcomed his father with respect. The father and the son, who had not seen each other for a long time, hugged each other. Hz. Ibrahim kissed Hz. Ismail's eyes. When they felt calm, Hz. Ibrahim said,
"O Ismail! Allah ordered me to do something hard." Hz, Ismail said,
"Dad! Do whatever your Lord ordered you." Hz. Ibrahim said,
"I need your help to do it." Hz. Ismail was glad to hear it: He said,
"O Dad! I am ready to help you. It is an honor for me to contribute to the holy task ordered by my Lord."
Thereupon, Hz. Ibrahim explained his son what they were going to do:
"My son Ismail! Allah ordered us to build a house, a temple here."
Meanwhile, he pointed to the present place of the Kaaba.
Hz. Ibrahim and Ismail started to build the Kaaba in the place that was pointed by Hz. Ibrahim. While the Kaaba was being built, Hz. Ismail carried stones to the Kaaba and Hz. Ibrahim put up walls. When the walls became too high to reach from the ground, they started to think in order to find a solution. Hz. Ismail brought a long stone and Hz. Ibrahim used this stone as a platform. Hz. Ibrahim continued working by standing on that stone. The stone on which Hz. Ibrahim stood is called "Maqam Ibrahim" today. The footprints of Hz. Ibrahim still exist there.45
According to Muslims, there is no building more valuable than the Kaaba in the world. Its construction was ordered by Allah, the Lord of the Realms. Its order was conveyed by Jibril. Its plan was also taught by Jibril to Hz. Ibrahim. The Kaaba was built by the father and the son, two prophets.
Hz. Ibrahim built the Kaaba using stones from five different mountains.
The walls of the Kaaba were completed and it was time for the corner where Hajar al-Aswad is located today to be built. Hz. Ibrahim asked his son to find a stone that would be the starting point for the circumambulation of the Kaaba.
Hz. Ismail went to the mountain to fulfill the order of his father. Meanwhile, Jibril brought a stone to Hz. Ibrahim from Paradise and asked him to put it on the corner of the Kaaba.
According to a narration, this stone was a ruby in Paradise. It was such a bright stone that the people who saw it were fascinated. People used it to ask for a cure for illnesses and misfortunes.
However, the brightness of the stone faded because it was gradually dirtied by the sinful hands of the people and it turned to black. Its curative property disappeared. Allah had concealed its beauty from sinful people. After the stone turned to black, it was given the name "Hajar al-Aswad (the Black Stone)".
According to a narration reported by Hz. Aisha, the Prophet (pbuh) said:
"O Aisha! If this stone had not been dirtied with the filth of the Era of Jahiliyya, it would have been possible to ask for a cure for illnesses and misfortunes from Allah; and it would have been in the original form Allah had sent it. Allah Almighty will restore it to its previous form. It was a ruby in Paradise but Allah changed it due to the sins of the bad people and concealed its beauty from oppressors and sinners. For, they do not deserve to look at something sent from Paradise."
• Some Other Properties of Hajar al-Aswad:
When Allah Almighty asked the spirits of human beings in the realm of spirits, "Am I not your Lord?", all spirits said,
"Yes, You are our Lord." According to a narration, this confession of the souls' was written on a piece of paper and it was put in Hajar al-Aswad.
On the Day of Judgment, Hajar al-Aswad will speak by the power of Allah and will witness in favor of those who visited and greeted it; it will be a witness for their belief.46
When Hajar al-Aswad was placed into the wall of the Kaaba, the construction of the Kaaba ended. Then, Hz. Ibrahim and Ismail prayed Allah as follows:
"Our Lord! Accept (this service) from us; for thou art the All-Hearing the All-Knowing.
Our Lord! Make of us Muslims bowing to Thy (Will) and of our progeny a people Muslim bowing to Thy (Will) and show us our places for the celebration of (due) rites; and turn unto us (in Mercy); for Thou art the Oft-Returning Most-Merciful" ….
Our Lord! send amongst them a Messenger of their own who shall rehearse Thy Signs to them and instruct them in Scripture and Wisdom, and purify them."47
There is no doubt that the prophet that Hz. Ibrahim and Hz. Ismail asked Allah to send was Hz. Muhammad Mustafa (pbuh), the Seal of the Prophets. For, nobody except Hz. Muhammad came among Ismail's progeny having those properties.
As a matter of fact, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) mentioned this issue as follows in a hadith:
"I am the prayer of my father Ibrahim, the glad tiding of my brother Isa (Jesus) and the dream of my mother."
INVITATION TO HAJJ
Hz. Ibrahim built the Kaaba nine cubits (about 7 meters) tall; he built the door at ground level and left the top open. The construction was completed like that. After that, Allah Almighty ordered them to invite people to hajj. Hz. Ibrahim ascended on Maqam Ibrahim and declared that hajj was made fard. Allah Almighty conveyed this declaration to the spirits of all people to live in the world up to the Day of Judgment. Only those who answered this call by saying "Labbayk" will be able to attain the honor of making hajj by visiting the Kaaba. Upon this invitation, the believers started to go to the Kaaba in large groups. Hz. Ibrahim taught them all of the parts of hajj and made hajj with them. Ishaq (Isaac) also came from time to time and made hajj with his brother.
THE KAABA BEING THE FIRST TEMPLE
We mentioned that the Kaaba was the first temple built in the world. As a matter of fact, the Prophet (pbuh) said in a hadith that the Kaaba was the first mosque built in the world and that Masjid al-Aqsa was the second, and that there was a difference of forty years between them.48
However, there is a controversy about the time of the first construction of the Kaaba. Some scholars say Hz. Ibrahim was the first constructor of the Kaaba while others say Hz. Adam was the first constructor of it. They add that Hz. Ibrahim built the Kaaba on the foundations laid at the time of Hz. Adam.
Hz. Sulayman is known as the first constructor of Masjid al-Aqsa but there are some scholars who say that it was built during the time of Hz. Adam with the instruction of Jibril and that it was rebuilt several times by several people afterwards. This narration is more appropriate when the hadith of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) mentioned above is taken into consideration.
For, if it were accepted that Masjid al-Aqsa was first built by Hz. Sulayman, the difference between its construction during the time of Hz. Ibrahim would be one thousand years. This number does not comply with the phrase forty years in the hadith mentioned above.49
It is more logical and truer to accept that both of them were built during the time of Hz. Adam with a difference of forty years.
DEATH OF HZ. SARA AND HZ. IBRAHIM
During a hajj season, Hz. Ibrahim and Sara went to Makkah together and made hajj. After that, they returned to Damascus. First, Sara died when she was one hundred and twenty-seven years old. After her, Hz. Ibrahim died when he was 200 years old. Hz. Ibrahim was buried in the town called Habrud near Jerusalem. This town is known as Khalil ar-Rahman today.50
DISTINGUISHED PROPERTIES OF HZ. IBRAHIM
1. Hz. Ibrahim is known as the father of prophets.
Hz. Ibrahim has an important place among the members of Islam, Christianity and Judaism. His name is always mentioned with prayer and respect. He is one of ulul-azm (the biggest five) prophets.
The secret of Hz. Ibrahim's respect and high position is the fact that he is the father of many prophets. All of the prophets that were given books by Allah after him are his descendants.51
It is indicated in the Quran that Hz. Ibrahim is the father of the prophets that came after him.52
Therefore, Hz. Ibrahim can be called the father of Jews, Christians and Muslims. The ancestors of the prophets of these three religions are the children of Hz. Ibrahim.
2 - Being Khalilullah (Friend of Allah):
Hz. Ibrahim is known as Khalilullah, that is, friend of Allah. Allah Almighty's accepting him as a friend is a metaphorical expression indicating that he knows some divine secrets like a close friend.
There are various explanations why this nickname was given to him. The best interpretation is as follows: He deserved this name because of his strong love for Allah and because he does good deeds and charities that will enable him to attain Allah's love and consent.
The following narration comes from Ibn Abi Hatim:
"When Hz. Ibrahim met Azrail, he asked Azrail why his Lord accepted him as his friend. Azrail said, ‘You do people favors but you do not ask anything from them in return for your favors.'"
As a matter of fact, when Hasan al-Basri was asked why the people of Basra loved him so much, he said, "They benefit from my knowledge but I do not ask anything from them."
That is, the only way to make oneself loved by people and to make one's advice and preaching affect people is to act like that. Those who sacrifice themselves for others, help them materially and spiritually but do not expect any money or interest from them are always loved by people and Allah; it is clearly understood from the case of Hz. Ibrahim.
The effect of favors and charity dome without expecting any returns is big on people. As a matter of fact, all prophets and the guides who followed them preferred this way. It is stated in the Quran that many prophets addressed their nations as follows: "We do not ask any reward from you for our spiritual guidance and assistance; our reward is only from Allah." Thus, they tried to prove that they were true prophets.
3- His Hospitality:
It is mentioned in Ibn Sa'd's book called Tabaqat that the nickname of Hz. Ibrahim was "Abul-Adyaf" (Father of Guests).
Hz. Ibrahim's house was on a busy road. Therefore, he had a lot of guests. He always entertained them in the best way. When he did not have any visitors for a few days, he would go out and look for visitors.
4- In the Quran, Hz. Ibrahim is described through several attributes:"Awwah (Imploring), Halim (Gentle), Munib (penitent), Hanif (Monotheist), Qanit (Obedient), Shakir (Thankful)"
5- The first person to wear clothes on the Day of Judgment will be Hz. Ibrahim.
According to a narration of Ibn Abbas, the Messenger of Allah said, "The first prophet to be clothed on the Day of Judgment will be my ancestor Ibrahim."(*)
6 - Hz. Ibrahim's Circumcision:
Ibrahim was circumcised in the village of Qaddum near Damascus when he was eighty. Due to the circumcision of Hz. Ibrahim, this operation was rendered as a religious sunnah for his progeny. This decree was also valid in the Torah, which was sent to the Children of Israel. The decree continued up to the period of Jesus. However, a group of Christians abolished this decree afterwards.
This custom continued in the religion of Islam. According to Imam Shafii, circumcision is wajib. Most of the scholars regard it as sunnah. However, the operation of circumcision, which is sunnah when the boy is seven years old, becomes wajib when the boy reaches the age of puberty (age of fifteen).53
7 - Hz. Ibrahim's Being Made an Imam:
Allah Almighty sent the following revelation to Hz. Ibrahim beforehand:
"O Ibrahim! I will make you an Imam to the nations. (That is, I will make you their material and spiritual leader.) I will put you at the front and make everybody obey you."
Thereupon, Hz. Ibrahim said, "O Lord! Make imams from my offspring, too. Do not make this grace of Yours confined to me." Allah Almighty accepted this prayer of Ibrahim's but he limited it as follows: "My promise is not within the reach of evil-doers from your offspring."
With these words, Allah Almighty stated that the imams coming from the offspring of Hz. Ibrahim would not be evil-doers, that the evil-doers would be deprived of this duty and that only just people would be given the duty of being an imam.
As a matter of fact, the prayer of Hz. Ibrahim was accepted. The duty of being an imam was given to the Children of Israel through Hz. Ishaq and Yaqub for a long time; when the Children of Israel went astray, it was given to the offspring of Hz. Ismail and finally to Hz. Muhammad.
Allah Almighty gave five great bounties to Hz. Ibrahim:
1 - Children... Children are among the greatest bounties because they continue one's generation and help parents and the family a lot.
2 - He and his children are righteous people. If a religious person who has taqwa has religious children who have taqwa, it is one of the greatest bounties for that person.
3 - Being imams for people. It is a great rank and bounty for a person to attain perfection and to be appointed to make other people attain perfection and to guide them.
4 - The revelation of the greatest kinds of worships like salah (prayer) and zakah (almsgiving) to him. It is definite that the greatest kinds of worships have great rewards.
5 - Rising in the level of worshipping continuously and maintaining those levels.
STORIES AND WISE STATEMENTS ABOUT HZ. IBRAHIM
A fire-worshipper wanted to be a guest of Ibrahim. Ibrahim said to him, “I will entertain you if you become a Muslim. Then, the man left. Thereupon, Allah Almighty sent him the following revelation:
"Why did you not entertain him? Why did you lay it as a condition for him to change his religion? Do you not look at me? I have given him sustenance for 70 years though he does not recognize me. It would have been better for you if you had entertained him.”
When Hz. Ibrahim received this divine warning, he rushed out to find this fire-worshipper and entertained him. The fire-worshipper said,
"What is the matter? You did not want to entertain me first. Then, you rushed out to entertain me. Ibrahim told him about the situation. The fire-worshipper was affected and moved by his words. He said,
"Did Allah treat you like that? Did He warn you because of me? Then, teach me your religion. I want to be a Muslim.”54
* * *
Abu’d-Darda narrates: When Ibrahim started to perform a prayer, the sound of the beating of his heart would be heard from a distance of one mile.55
* * *
According to a narration, when Ibrahim was thrown into the fire of Nimrod, Jibril came and said,
"Do you need anything?" Ibrahim had previously said, “Allah is enough for me. He is such a nice guard." He kept acting in accordance with his word and said,
"I do not want anything from you.” Thereupon, Allah said, “Ibrahim fulfilled his engagements.” (anNajm, 37) 56
* * *
According to a famous narration, Ibrahim asked the angel of death, who came to claim his soul, “Have you ever seen a friend killing his friend?” Allah sent a revelation to him: “Have you ever heard a friend regarding rejoining his friend unpleasant? Thereupon, Ibrahim said, “Claim my life now.”57
* * *
According to a narration, Ibrahim said to Azrail,
"Will you appear to me in the same form as you appear to sinners when you claim their lives?" Azrail said,
"You cannot put up with it."
However, Ibrahim said,
"I can." Upon his insistence, Azrail said,
"Turn round." Hz. Ibrahim turned round. When he looked at Azrail, he saw him black, stinking, wearing black clothes, terrible hair and beard, fire coming out of his mouth and nostrils. Hz. Ibrahim could not put up with that terrible sight and fainted. When he came to himself, he saw Azrail in his previous form and said,
"It is enough as punishment for a sinner to see your terrible form." 58
* * *
Once, Ibrahim said to Azrail,
"Will you appear to me in the same form as you appear to believers when you claim their lives?" Azrail said,
"It is all right. Turn round." Hz. Ibrahim turned round. When he looked at Azrail, he saw a well-groomed and handsome young man. Thereupon, he said to Azrail,
"It is enough as reward for a believer to see you like that to eliminate his troubles."59
* * *
"O Lord! How long more will I pursue the world?" Allah revealed to him,
"To want to live does not mean to pursue the world." 60
Allah said to Ibrahim,
"O Ibrahim! Do you know why I chose you as a friend? " He said,
"O Lord! I do not know."
Allah Almighty said,
"Because you like to give; you do not like to take."61
When Ibrahim was ordered to circumcise himself, he could not find a razor; so, he circumcised himself with a chisel made of tinderbox.
When he was asked, "Would it not have been better if you had waited until you found a razor?" he said,
"I would have been insolent if I had delayed the divine command.”62
* * *
Once, the Prophet (pbuh) said to Hz. Aisha,
"I understand whether you are angry with me or not." Hz. Aisha said,
"How do you understand it?" The Messenger of Allah answered,
"When you are not angry, you say, 'For the sake of Muhammad’s Lord!'; when you are angry, you say, 'For the sake of Ibrahim’s Lord!'”
Hz. Aisha said,
"You are right! However, I mention your name through my heart even if I do not say it through my tongue."63
* * *
According to a narration from Ibn Abbas,
“The Prophet (pbuh) read the following prayer to his beloved grandsons, Hasan and Husayn and said to them, 'Your grandfather, Ibrahim, also read the following prayer':"
“O Allah! I take refuge in Your healing words from the evil of jinn and Satan, poisonous insects and evil eyes.”64
1 Balazuri, Mu’jamu’l-Buldan, Chapter of Babylon.
2 Tha’labi, Qisasu’l-Anbiya, 74,
4 Maryam, 42.
5 Maryam, 43.
6 Maryam, 44-45.
7 Maryam, 46.
8 Maryam, 47.
9 at-Tawbah, 114.
10 see İşarâtü’l-i’câz, 44.
11 Tajrid trnslt., IX, 108-109.
12 al-Anam, 76.
13 see M. Vehbi, ibid., IV, 1463-1484.
14 al-Anam, 77.
15 al-Anam, 78-79.
16 ash-Shuara, 70.
17 ash-Shuara, 79.
18 see al-Ankabut, 16-17.
19 al-Anam, 80-81.
20 see al-Anbiya, 52-57.
21 as-Saffat, 88-90. Will Durant states the following in his book called "the Story of Civilization": “Babylonians studied the stars in order to find out about the fate and future of humans rather than drawing maps to determine the ways of caravans and ships. The efforts made in order to learn the future from the movements of stars seem to be one of the pleasures of Babylonians.
22 as-Saffat, 91-92.
23 al-Anbiya. 58.
(*) Hz. Ibrahim’s statement, “The big idol smashed the small ones" is not a lie. For, Ibrahim attributed the smashing by the big idol to the speech of the small ones. He meant the following by his statement: "If they could speak, they would say that the big ones had smashed them." He implied that the big one did not and could not have done it since the idols could not speak. Therefore, this statement secretly confesses that he had smashed the idols.
24 al-Anbiya, 62-63.
25 al-Anbiya, 65.
26 al-Anbiya, 66.
27 al-Baqara, 258.
28 Baydawi, I, 177.
29 al-Baqara. 258. It is meaningful that Ibrahim moved to the issue of the sunrise and sunset immediately when Nimrod could not understand the proof of reviving and killing and talked nonsensically that he could do it. Thus, he moved from the proof of partial reviving and killing to the proof of universal reviving and killing. (Mektûbat, 247)
By drawing attention to the sunrise and sunset, Hz. Ibrahim showed Nimrod the biggest circle of the proof of reviving and killing; he showed Nimrod that what is meant by reviving and killing is not so simple and partial as he understood; on the contrary, he wanted to tell Nimrod that a being that could not make the sun rise and set every day, which is a kind of reviving and killing, could not revive or kill a very small creature.
If Nimrod could have revived and killed as he claimed, he could have had the power of universal reviving and killing. For, reviving and killing are two laws that are valid all over the universe. A law is a chain. Deeds are connected with that chain. The one that created an atom also created the solar system. For, the same law is valid in both of them. Reviving and killing are valid in the same way. The being that could revive or kill a creature could also revive and kill the universe, the world and everything in the world.
Thus, Hz. Ibrahim silenced and astounded Nimrod by showing him the proof of universal reviving and killing.
(*) According to a narration, the height of the wood piles was 30 ells and their width was 20 ells. One ell is 68 cm.
30 al-Anbiya, 69.
31 see Sözler, 7,
(*) Therefore, Hell, which contains all degrees of fire, that is heat, also contains cold fire named Zamharir. (see Sözler, 271-272).
(*) The following is stated in verse 71 of the chapter of Maryam: “Not one of you but will pass over it: this is, with thy Lord, a Decree which must be accomplished” Jabir bin Abdillah explains the word "wurud" as follows reporting from the Messenger of Allah:
“The word wurud mentioned in the verse is used in the sense of entering; that is, everybody, whether a believer or an unbeliever, will enter Hell. However, the fire becomes cool and safe for believers; the fire will even swish due to their coolness: “But We shall save those who guarded against evil, and We shall leave the wrongdoers therein, (humbled) to their knees.” (Maryam, 72) (Ibn Kathir, IV, 476)
32 al-Ankabut, 26.
33 al-Mumtahina, 4. Through this incident, believers are taught an unchangeable, eternal criterion regarding friendship and brotherhood. A believer never builds his love on bonds like race, lineage, citizenship and kinship only. The source of love and friendship for a believer is belief. He regards anyone who believes in Allah, accepts that He is one and does not associate partners with Him as his friend and brother. On the contrary, he regards anyone who does not believe in Allah and denies Him as an outsider even if he is his fellow citizen and relative.
The reason for the revelation of the verse: Before the conquest of Makkah, Hatib bin Abi Balta'a, one of the Companions, wrote a letter to the polytheists of Quraysh to inform that the Muslims would march toward Makkah. He said he wrote the letter so that the polytheists would protect his family, who were unguarded in Makkah. Thereupon, the verses that were sent down stated that it was forbidden for believers to establish friendship with unbelievers, mentioning Hz. Ibrahim as an example.
(see H. B. Çantay, the chapter of al-Mumtahina, III/1031, note: 4).
34 as-Saffat, 99.
(*) For the secret of initiation, see Lem’alar, 302, 303; Şualar, 21-22; Mesnevi, 74.
35 Tajrid trnslt., VI, 518-519,
(*) For the detailed explanation that the ancient Persian and Egyptian Law systems had the same decree about marriage between sisters and brothers, see M. Es’ad, Tarih-i İlm-i Hukuk, p. 45, 173, 175.
36 Tajrid trnslt., VI, 521.
37 Ibrahim, 37-38.
38 Tajrid trnslt., IX, 122.
39 Tajrid trnslt., VI, 15.
40 see as-Saffat, 99-112.
41 M. Vehbi, Hülâsatü’l-Beyan.
42 al-Baqara, 260.
43 al-Baqara, 260.
44 al-Baqara, 260.
45 Ibnu’l-Athir, al-Kamil fi’t-Tarikh, l. 46. Ibn Abbas says: This stone was called "Maqam Ibrahim" (Station of Ibrahim) since Hz. Ibrahim stood on it while continuing building the Kaaba. Then, this stone was put under protection with care and it still exists. According to a hadith, Maqam Ibrahim is a stone from Paradise. The Quran mentions this stone with praise. Allah Almighty states the following while praising it:
“In it are signs manifest; (for example), the Station of Abraham” (Aal-i Imran, 97). Another property of Maqam Ibrahim is that it has footprints on it. Today, Maqam Ibrahim is both a place to visit and to perform prayers for hajjis. (For detailed information, see al-Azraqi, ibid, 317-324.)
46 al-Azraqi, ibid., 257-264.
47 al-Baqara, 127.
48 Tajrid trnslt., VI, 21.
49 ibid, VI, 22,
50 Tajrid trnslt., IX, 108. According to the statements written in history books, the place where Hz. Ibrahim was born, struggled against Nimrod and was thrown into fire by Nimrod is the city of Babylon and its surroundings in Lower Mesopotamia.
As it is known, it is a common thought among Turkish people that this incident took place in the historical city of Urfa. The legs of the catapult and the place of Khalil Ibrahim have been visited for a long time. It is not certain that Urfa is the place where Hz. Ibrahim struggled against Nimrod but it is not possible to claim that Urfa has no relation with Hz. Ibrahim. For, it is historically definite that Hz. Ibrahim went to Harran after he left Babylon. Therefore, it can be said that Urfa is one of the places that Hz. Ibrahim visited. Hz. Ibrahim visited those places and stayed in those places for a while. This staying made those places holy and caused them to be visited by people as the place of Hz. Ibrahim.
As a matter of fact, Badiuüzzaman Said Nursi states that Urfa is a pace of Hz. Ibrahim. (Emirdağ Lahikası, II, 156).
51 Ibn Kathir, al-Bidaya, I, 167.
52 see al-Anam, 84-86.
(*)Tajrid trnslt., IX/105-106.
53 ibid., IX/112... Circumcision has several benefits in terms of health. The foreskin that covers the tip of the penis and that is cut off during circumcision is called "ghulfah". The inside of the ghulfah is covered with reddish tiny sebaceous glands. These glands secrete ghulfah oil. This oil has a peculiar smell. This oil goes bad quickly like all oils. Its smell gets worse. Besides, it stigmatizes the skin and causes balanitis (inflammation of the head of the penis). The removal of ghulfah through circumcision prevents these risks. Circumcision has some more benefits.
American oncoology expert, Wynder claims that the oil remnants settling on the head of the penis and under the ghulfah cause uterine cancer in women. Research shows that women married to circumcised men get cancer less than women married to uncircumcised men. The incidence of prostate cancer is less in circumcised men.
Prostate cancer is observed ten times more in uncircumcised men than circumcised men.
After these benefits of circumcision became evident, Christians also started to circumcise. For instance, in the USA, newborn boys are circumcised in hospitals before they are sent home. (For detailed information, see Alparslan Özyazıcı, Zafer Magazine, issue: 17; Sızıntı, issue 64).
54 Ihya trnsl., 28.
55 Ihya, 339.
56 Ihya, 440.
57 Ihya, 936.
58 Ihya, 89.
59 Ihya, 830.
60 Mawardi, 164.
61 ibid., 251.
62 Tanbihu’l-Mughtarrin, 164.
63 Ihya, II, 113.
64 Tajrid, IX, 129.