After Saleh, there was a young man called Ibrahim (Abraham) peace be upon him in Babel (Iraq). He found the people around him worshipping statues, the planets .. everything but Allah (God).
His father used to order him to bow down to the statues. Ibrahim replied, talking logically and respectfully to his father:
“Father, why do you worship something that can’t hear or see .. or help you with anything.”
His father still ordered him to bow down to the statues. Ibrahim said:
“Father, I realize that I am very young. But Allah (God) taught me many things and I hope I can show you the right way too. Father please don’t follow AlShaitan (Satan) for he will only take you with him to hell.”
His father said if you don’t stop saying these things then leave my house and you are not a son to me anymore.
Ibrahim replied: “I wish on you all the peace and I will ask Allah (God) to forgive you for all your sins.”
(Note how respectful Ibrahim was to his father. He didn’t accuse him or talk to him harshly. And even after he kicked him out he said that he will pray for his forgiveness.)
Then Ibrahim saw all the people worshiping statues outside. He asked them: “What are these statues you are bowing down to?”
They replied: “We found our fathers and our fathers fathers doing so .. so we are doing the same.”
Ibrahim told them: “But your real God is the God of the skies and the earth. And by God, I will ruin these statues that you bow to.”
Then one day, he passed by the statues alone. He saw all the sacrifices from food to other things that people left at the legs of these statues. He asked them: “Why don’t you eat? Why don’t you reply?”
Then he had an idea. He took an ax and hit and broke down all the statues but one, the largest statue. He placed the ax next to it and left.
When all the people came and saw their statues broken, they cried and wailed: “Who did this to our gods?!” They screamed.
They all went angrily to question Ibrahim because they all heard him threaten the statues. They brought him and questioned him in front of everyone: “Did you do it?!”
He said: “There is an ax next to the biggest statue that is still standing .. go ask him if he did it. You can’t .. can you? Then how can you say this is a god capable of doing everything while he can’t even defend himself.”
Then they all started to chant: “Burn him and take revenge for our gods!!”
They built a huge wooden tower and set fire to it. The fire was so big and fierce that if a bird flew over it, the bird fell dead from the heat of the fire.
Everyone gathered around on that day. They couldn’t push Ibrahim in because the fire was too hot to get close to. So they tied him up and put him in a lever like machine to catapult him inside the fire.
Just then, Jebreel (Gabriel), the head of the angels, came down and asked Ibrahim: “Ibrahim, do you need anything from me?”
Ibrahim replied: “From you no thank you. But from Allah (God) yes I do.”
حسبي الله ونعم الوكيل (translation: God is enough for us and how excellent a guardian He is)
(Remember what I told you before in Hud’s story? If your safety net is the King of Kings Allah, why be scared? Ibrahim is faced with a huge fire and he has full faith that Allah will protect him.)
They catapulted him in the fire. Everyone saw him falling in. Then Allah (God) ordered the fire:
يا نار كوني برداً وسلاماً على ابراهيم
ordered the fire to be “cold” and “safe” around Ibrahim. Nothing got burnt except the rope that tied him up.
Ibrahim stood in the middle of the blazing fire, unharmed, and bowed down to Allah (God) thanking Him for saving him.
Ibrahim’s own father, standing with all the rest of the people and watching said: “Oh what a God you have Ibrahim!”
Ibrahim then walked out of the huge fire unharmed. You’d think people would believe in Allah (God) after witnessing this miracle. But no, they were only scared of him and ran away from him. The only two people who believed were his wife Sara and his nephew Lut.
Babel’s powerful king, Nimrod, heard of Ibrahim’s story and called him. He asked Ibrahim: “I heard what happened. Do you really claim you have a god?”
Ibrahim replied: “Yes, my God is Allah (God). He created me and you and everything around. Allah (God) gives life and takes it away. He created everything.”
Nimrod replied: “I too give life and take it away.” He then called a prisoner and ordered his guards to kill him.
“See?” he said. “I took away life.”
Then he called someone on death row and let him go.
“See?” he said. “I gave him life.”
Ibrahim then said: “Do you see the sun? Everyday it comes from the east and sets in the west. Allah (God) is the one who brings it from the east. Bring it from the west if you can.”
Nimrod was shocked and stumped and couldn’t reply. As resentment and anger started to increase in Babel towards Ibrahim, Allah (God) ordered Ibrahim to leave and relocate for his safety.
So Ibrahim left .. with his wife Sara and his nephew Lut and headed to Palestine.
To be continued …