How would you answer the claim that Nimrod and Hz. Ibrahim did not live in the same age and that the story of Hz. Ibrahim about being saved from the fire originated from Midrash Rabbah?

Details of the Question
How would you answer the claim that Nimrod and Hz. Ibrahim did not live in the same age and that the story of Hz. Ibrahim about being saved from the fire originated from Midrash Rabbah?
The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

We will mention a few points based on evidence in order to explain the issue:

a. Firstly, the statements of the Quran, which is a clear divine book, which has been declaring its miraculousness for15 centuries, whose challenge that it is impossible to write the equivalent of even one verse of it is still valid, and which has been proved to be a miracle by investigative scholars in terms of forty aspects, are explicit. It is not academically, mentally and religiously possible to accept some speculations based on imagination in the presence of these explicit statements of the Quran

b. The claim that Nimrod and Hz. Ibrahim did not live in the same age is nonsense that is completely baseless, lacking scientific value, originating from religious and ignorant recklessness and ignoring all divine and human resources. In fact, the denial accepted by only one percent of the resources has no scientific value in the presence of the truth that is accepted by ninety-nine percent.

- Nimrod might be a name or a title given to kings like Pharaoh, Chosroes, Kaiser. Therefore, the existence of such a king/Nimrod during the time of Hz. Ibrahim is certain.

- It is understood from the information given in the resources that Nimrod and his nation - probably due to fearing Nimrod - continued to worship idols after the miracle of Hz. Ibrahim being saved from the fire. Eventually, around 2286 BC, while Hz. Ibrahim was still alive, Allah inflicted Assyrians upon them; they invaded the land of Nimrod and ended his reign; they established the Assyrian Kingdom there. (see Ibn Ashur, the interpretation of verse 69 of the chapter of al-Anbiya)

c. The historical resources written by men can make correct determinations back to the time about 3000 BC. The information about the periods before that time is very little and limited. Therefore, the information about the time of Hz. Ibrahim and before cannot be trusted. As Badiuzzaman puts it, some of them are superstitions; some deny the truth and some give information in the form of summaries. (see Lemalar/16. Lema)

d. Those who utter the claim that the story of Hz. Ibrahim about being saved from the fire originated from Midrash Rabbah want to say that the Quran copied this story from ancient resources. Midrash generally means a collection expressing the view of Jewish interpreters.

To prove a claim is the duty of the claimer. In fact, it is impossible for them to prove that it was copied. Therefore, it is bound to remain as a baseless claim.

Besides, hundreds of prophets came between Hz. Ibrahim and Hz. Muhammad. It is quite natural that this great miraculous incident is mentioned in the previous resources. That the incident of Hz. Ibrahim about being saved from the fire is mentionedin the previous resources is like a signature confirming and approving the statements of the Quran.

Besides, according to what Izzuddin Ibnu'l-Athir, the famous historian, writes, all scholars agree that Hz. Ibrahim was born in the period when Nimrod lived. Ibrahim was thrown into fire by Nimrod and was saved miraculously. (see Ibn Athir, al-Kamil Fi't-Tarikh, -Beirut, 1417/1997- 1/86-89)

The famous historian, Ibn Khaldun and Ibn Kathir say the one who threw Hz. Ibrahim into fire was the Babylonian king Nimrod b. Kanan b. Cush.(see Tarikhu Ibn Khaldun,-Beirut, 1408/1988- 2/78; Ibn Kathir, al-Bidaya wa'n-Nihaya, -Darut-Turathi'l-Arab, 1408/1988- 1/200-201)

e. To say that the word Ur was misinterpreted asOr and to present it as if it is definite information means to play with science. In all resources of history, some of which are mentioned above, the word Ur is accepted as a city, and according to several scholars as the city of Urfa, not as fire. These historians, who accept Ur as a city, also accept that Hz. Ibrahim was thrown into fire.

It is stated in the Quran that Hz. Ibrahim was thrown into fire and that he was saved from the fire and then he migrated from that city. The meanings of the relevant verses are as follows:

"They said "Burn him and protect your gods if ye do (anything at all)!" We said "O Fire! Be thou cool, and (a means of)) safety for Abraham!" (al-Anbiya, 21/68-69)

"But Lut had faith in Him: he said: "I will leave home for the sake of my Lord: for He is Exalted in Might, and Wise." (al-Ankabut, 29/26)

It is understood from the explanations above that this claim originates from the fact that the word Ur was misinterpreted as Or (fire). The claim of those who say Hz. Ibrahim was not thrown into fire is complete nonsense originating from irreligiousness.

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