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Wisdom of Prophet Ibraaheem

Allaah (subhaanahu wa ta'aalaa) in Surah al-Baqarah relates to us the story of Prophet Ibraaheem ('alayhys salaam) with the king Nemrud1 who disputed with Prophet Ibraaheem about Allaah and was claiming godhood for himself. Allaah, the Most High, states:

أَلَمْ تَرَ إِلَى الَّذِي حَآجَّ إِبْرَاهِيمَ فِي رِبِّهِ أَنْ آتَاهُ اللّهُ الْمُلْكَ إِذْ قَالَ إِبْرَاهِيمُ رَبِّيَ الَّذِي يُحْيِـي وَيُمِيتُ قَالَ أَنَا أُحْيِـي وَأُمِيتُ قَالَ إِبْرَاهِيمُ فَإِنَّ اللّهَ يَأْتِي بِالشَّمْسِ مِنَ الْمَشْرِقِ فَأْتِ بِهَا مِنَ الْمَغْرِبِ فَبُهِتَ الَّذِي كَفَرَ وَاللّهُ لاَ يَهْدِي الْقَوْمَ الظَّالِمِينَ

Have you not looked at the one who disputed with Ibraaheem about his Lord, because Allaah had given him the kingdom? When Ibraaheem said (to him): "My Lord (Allaah) is He Who gives life and causes death." He said, "I give life and cause death." Ibraaheem said, "Well, Allaah causes the sun to rise from the east; so you cause it to rise from the west!" So the disbeliever was utterly dumfounded. And Allaah does not guide the people who are wrong-doers."2

When Prophet Ibraaheem mentioned the attributes of Allaah of giving life and causing death, the king called for two men and ordered to kill one of them and let the other live.3 Prophet Ibraaheem could have indicated to the king how his interpretation of giving life and causing death was wrong but, instead, he overlooked this and avoided prolonging the debate unnecessarily by moving on to a more clear-cut and unambiguous point. He reminded the king of how Allaah causes the sun to rise from the east and challenged him to reverse its direction. The king was literally dumfounded this time.

This was a wise act of Prophet Ibraaheem. Today the Christian missionaries and Islamophobes do nothing but argue with falsehood. It is exactly as Allaah describes them as arguing with falsehood in their attempt to rebuke the truth, in Surah al-Kahf. Although it is not wise to get into an argument with them in the first place, lest they think that they are worth it, if you really have to debate with them on some issues, then try to stick with the clear-cut texts and avoid ambiguous materials as much as possible.

Another incidence of this nature is related in al-'Aqeedah at-Tahaawiyyah:

ولقد قال بعضهم لأبي عمرو بن العلاء - أحد القراء السبعة: أريد أن تقرأ: وكلم الله موسى، بنصب اسم الله، ليكون موسى هو المتكلم لا الله! فقال أبو عمرو: هب أني قرأت هذه الآية كذا، فكيف تصنع بقوله تعالى: { ولما جاء موسى لميقاتنا وكلمه ربه}؟! فبهت المعتزلي!ا

Someone had said to Abi 'Amru ibnil 'Alaa', one of the seven reciters: "I want you to read (the verse [And Allaah spoke to Moses]) as {And Moses spoke to Allaah} by making the name of Allaah the object in the sentence, so that Moses will be the one who spoke not Allaah! So Abu 'Amru said: "Assume that I read the verse like that, but what are you going to do about the statement of Allaah, the Most High: [And when Moses came to our appointment and his Lord spoke to him]?!" And thus the Mu'tazilee was dumfounded!4


1 Tafseer ibn Katheer, commentary on Surah al-Baqarah, verse 258
2 Surah al-Baqarah, verse 258
3 Tafseer ibn Katheer, commentary on Surah al-Baqarah, verse 258
4 Sharh al-'Aqeedah at-Tahaawiyyah by Ibn Abil 'Izz, the chapter of (The Qur'aan is the Word of Allaah...)
This post was inspired by the text of the Da'waah Training Course by Dr. Bilaal Philips
Picture by FriaLOve (license)