Prophet Ibrahim (AS) was born in Babylon, a place where everybody practiced idolatry. Intelligent and protected by Allah (s.w.t), the 7–year-old Ibrahim questioned his father about the ‘God’ he was building with his own hands and laughed at the idea.
Prophet Ibrahim (AS) confronting idolatry
One night, Ibrahim (AS) decided to go to a mountain and was thinking about the stars and the moon, which other people worshipped. When he realized that they appeared only at some point during the day, he continued to search for God.
One day, Allah (s.w.t) guided him to the truth and came to know that Allah (s.w.t) existed. He then called to his people, including his father, to Islam and that Allah (s.w.t) is the only God, the only one to worship. However, his father and the people denied and warned him to be punished.
Ibrahim (AS) then made a plan to destroy all the idols in the temple when all the people were at a festival on the riverbank. However, he did not destroy the biggest statue, but instead, left his axe on it before leaving the temple.
The next day, the people were stunned to see the ‘Gods’ broken in fragments and suspected Prophet Ibrahim to be responsible. When they asked Ibrahim whether he did this act he told them that it was the biggest ‘God’ to have done it as he held the axe. Despite that the people realized that the idols were not able to speak, their foolishness led to decide to burn Ibrahim (AS).
The miracles of Allah (s.w.t) shown to Prophet Ibrahim (AS)
They chained Ibrahim (AS), dug a deep hole, filled it with firewood and lit an intense fire. Before throwing him in, Angel Jibrail came close to his head and asked him whether he wished for something. Ibrahim (AS) said that he only wanted Allah (s.w.t) to be pleased with him. The shooter was launched and Ibrahim (AS) was thrown into the fire. At that moment Allah (s.w.t) ordered the fire to be cool for him. The fire obeyed and Ibrahim (AS) came out unharmed. Nevertheless, the people denied Allah’s (s.w.t) miracle.
When the king of Babylon learned about this event, he was angry and claimed himself as the God and that Ibrahim (AS) was an imposter. He asked Ibrahim (AS) what Allah can do that he cannot. Ibrahim (AS) said that Allah can give and take lives. The king said that he can indeed kill people and cancel death sentences to save lives! Ibrahim (AS) then said Allah (s.w.t) can make the sun rise from the East and asked the king whether he can make the sunrise from the West. The king was left speechless.
After preaching people about Allah, only one man, who later was his nephew Lut (AS) and one woman named Sarah (p.b.u.h), who later became his wife, believed him. All three left Babylon for Egypt, calling people to worship Allah (s.w.t), helping them and doing good things. Then, Lut (AS) migrated to an area close to the Dead Sea.
One day Ibrahim (AS) asked Allah (s.w.t) how dead people will come back on The day of judgment. Allah (s.w.t) commanded him to take four birds, tear them apart into pieces and then mix the bodies up. He then divided the mix into four parts and placed each part on the top of four hills. He asked Ibrahim (AS) to call back the birds by Allah (s.w.t)’s name. Immediately, the birds’ reassembled to their original parts, came back to life.
Prophet Ibrahim (AS)’s son, Ismail (AS)
In Egypt, the king of Babylon was a dictator and tried to harm Sarah (p.b.u.h). The King tried to hold her hand but his hand got stiff and asked Sarah (p.b.u.h), to ask Allah (s.w.t) to cure him. Her wish was granted. On his second attempt to hold Sarah (p.b.u.h), his hand got stiff again and Allah (s.w.t) cured his hand upon Sarah (p.b.u.h)’s wish. He then realized that Sarah (p.b.u.h) was not an ordinary woman. Before she left, he ordered a servant named Hajira (p.b.u.h) to go with her.
As the Prophet Ibrahim (AS) and Sarah (p.b.u.h) became older, the latter told the prophet to marry Hajira (p.b.u.h) and asked Allah (s.w.t) to bless them with a child named Ismail (AS).
The Prophet Ibrahim (AS), Hajira and Ismail all went for a long journey and reached a desert with no food, fruit, and water. Then, the Prophet left them with some food and water for two days which they brought with them and left them in the desert. Despite Hajira’s call to explain why he did so, she came to know that it was Allah (s.w.t)’s wish. She knew that Allah (s.w.t) was with them.
When the last drop of water was over, Hajira was very thirsty and the baby was crying. She kept running between the Al-Safa and Al-Marwa mountains 7 times in search for someone or some comfort to provide to her child and her. When she came back to sit beside her baby, tired, she heard a noise. She asked for help and saw an angel digging a hole to bring up water. She gathered the water by surrounding it with earth, drank the water and nursed her baby. That water was the “Zam Zam” water.
Prophet Ibrahim (AS)’s sacrifice
Pleased with her strength and faith in Him, Allah (s.w.t) sent some Arab travelers to Makkah and saw birds flying over Al-Marwa. They saw Hajira and her son and asked her if they could join her. She agreed. The place changed and the travelers became residents around the Zam Zam water. There were fruits and the place became alive.
One day Prophet Ibrahim dreamt that he was sacrificing his son, who is now a grown up. The next night, Allah (s.w.t) showed him the same dream. He then walked the desert to tell his son about his dream and Ismail (AS) told his dad to fulfill Allah (s.w.t)’s command. When Ibrahim (AS) took his knife, the devil came to stop them and not to fulfill Allah’s order. They chased him away and moved to Mount Arafat to do the sacrifice.
Prophet Ibrahim (AS) placed Ismail’s forehead on the ground. At that moment, Allah (s.w.t) sent down a sheep instead of Ismail, for having fulfilled his command.
Prophet Ibrahim (AS)’s sacrifice, construction of the Ka’aba and his death
When Prophet Ibrahim (AS) and Sarah (p.b.u.h) were very old, the angels as humans. He welcomed them as guests and offered them a roasted calf. However, they did not have any food. The angels announced him that he is going to have a son.
By that time, Ismail (AS) was already married and his mother, Hajira, died. The Prophet Ibrahim (AS) came to visit Ismail (AS) and his wife was ungrateful about Allah (s.w.t)’s blessings and complained to her father-in-law. The latter then sent a secret message to ask Ismail (AS) to divorce his wife as he knew he was not a good one for her. Ismail obeyed his father and married another one. When Ibrahim (AS) came to visit his son again, he was happy that he was married to a kind lady.
Allah (s.w.t) ordered Ibrahim (AS) to build a house for worship. He then went to his son, Ismail, for some help. They both set the foundation of the Ka’aba using a rock that came from Heaven. Today, this rock is found in the core of the Ka’aba, known as the black stone. They started to build it and when the walls became high, Ismail brought a stone for his father who stood over it. This stone was called the Makkah-e-Ibrahim. The Ka’aba was finished and everyone worshipped there.
Prophet Ibrahim (AS) lived for 175 years and when he died he was buried in Hebron.
Watch this video for better understanding.