Abraham was a messenger of God, and like all the messengers, they affirmed the self-evident nature of God; the creator of everything that exists. The Qur’an presents this affirmation in the following rhetorical question:
“Their messengers said, ‘Can there be doubt about Allah, Creator of the heavens and earth?’”
The Qur’an, Chapter 14, Verse 10
Notwithstanding the self-evident nature of God’s existence, Abraham also engaged in intellectual arguments to make a case for God. He rhetorically presented the following argument:
“So when the night covered him [with darkness], he saw a star. He said, ‘This is my lord.’ But when it set, he said, ‘I like not those that disappear.’ And when he saw the moon rising, he said, ‘This is my lord.’ But when it set, he said, ‘Unless my Lord guides me, I will surely be among the people gone astray.’ And when he saw the sun rising, he said, ‘This is my lord; this is greater.’ But when it set, he said, ‘O my people, indeed I am free from what you associate with Allah. Indeed, I have turned my face toward He who created the heavens and the earth, inclining toward truth, and I am not of those who associate others with Allah.’” The Qur’an, Chapter 6, Verse 76 to 80
In summary, Abraham argued that the star, moon and sun cannot be the creator because they set. In other words, they are dependent and contingent. The universe and everything within it is contingent, and the universe and all that we perceive can only be explained by an independent, eternal and necessary being.
Abraham called humanity back to their creator. To reconnect their hearts to God and affirm that He deserves to be worshipped.
“Remember Abraham said: ‘O my Lord! make this city one of peace and security: and preserve me and my sons from worshipping idols.’” The Qur’an, Chapter 14, verse 35
God deserves worship by virtue of His own existence. In other words, He deserves worship because of who He is. God also deserves worship because He created us and the blessing we receive.
Shaykh Tamara Gray discusses the life of Hajar, may Allah bless her, who’s life was a living example of our beliefs. This video is from the 55th Annual ISNA Convention (August 31 – September 3, 2018) in Houston, Texas.
How much time have we dedicated and committed to working for our akhirah? What are we doing with our lives day to day to please Allah? Imam Omar Suleiman inspires us in this lecture to take action by looking at the story of Prophet Ibrahim, peace be upon him.
Through the Legacy of Ibrahim (a), personified as a flourishing tree (14: 24 – 25), we find that, to live a balanced life, one must have firm roots in faith, nurture familial values, and cultivate communal success. By Inculcating Abrahamic values: obedience to Allah (swt), love for family, and a dedication to people, we hope to improve both our lives in this world, as well as the hereafter.
In this khutba the Sheikh illustrates the high Islamic principle of adab (loosely translated as ‘manners’) with examples drawn from the rich tapestry of prophetic stories woven into the Qur’an. We learn how Ayyub (Job) is exiled from his loved ones, how Ibrahim (Abraham) receives unexpected desert visitors, how Isa (Jesus) is questioned over that which others ascribe to him, how Musa (Moses) was met with unexpected rewards in exile, may Allah be pleased with them all. These ancient examples of profound adab before a breakthrough moment is what we are called on to emulate in this present day and age.
Of course such a khutba would not be complete without mentioning the last of the emissaries of Allah – after the tribulations of Taif, the death of his uncle and patron, his wife, his son and the persecution of his enemies, Prophet Muhammad – may Allah grant him His blessings and peace – was able to say “O Allah, I ask that you do not change your decree, but that you be gentle with it”. This is the maqam an-nubuwwa, the station of prophethood.
Why would Allah ask someone, who had suffered so much, to give up the only things he had in his life?
For Eid ul Adha 2010, Haroon Moghul delivered this khutbah (sermon) at the Islamic Center at New York University. This khutbah was prompted by the endlessly rich theme of tawhid as it connects Abraham’s life, peace be upon him, from his destroying the idols in his city, as a very young man, to his being asked by God to take the life of his son, an outrageous request whose very power derives from the fact of its unbelievable nature (God is asking him to take the life of not only an innocent, but his own flesh and blood).
Can we tell this story in a way that makes sense to us, as Americans and Westerners? What do King George, the Declaration of Independence, the American Revolution, and democracy, have to do with monotheism? How does Stephen Hawking fit in? What does this story of the great Prophet, peace be upon him, mean? Can a person take that most loved to him? Why would God ask anyone to do that, and what does it say about Abraham’s character, his faith, and our purpose in life?