History 7 – The Islamic Story of Abraham

The Islamic story of Abraham says that he was born in Ur, Chaldea, which is now located in modern day Iraq. When Abraham became a young man, God revealed to Abraham that he was His messenger, and that he needed to convince his people to worship the One True God.

The first person Abraham tried to convince was his father, Azar (aka. Tarikh), who worshipped idols.  Abraham tried multiple times to convince his father, but Azar refused.  When he realized that his father would not convert, making him God’s enemy,  he disassociated himself from his father and migrated to Syria to try and convert the people there, who also worshiped idols.

Abraham tried to convert the Syrians the traditional way first by talking to them.  He shared that their idols could not help them, and that only God, the Creator, could actually help them.  The people did not listen and continued to worship their idols.

So Abraham had to use an non-traditional way to convert them.  When all the people were away at a festival, Abraham destroyed all of their idols except the biggest one to prove his point.  When the people came back, they were enraged that their “gods” had been “killed”. They blamed Abraham.  He claimed that he did not do it, and that he was sleeping.  He told them to ask the biggest idol who must have seen what had happened!  The people were furious knowing that the idol could not talk, and they had been proven wrong. They were angry at Abraham’s preaching and were upset that he proved them wrong.

They decided to get rid of Abraham for good, and decided to incinerate him.  They put him in the middle of a stake and lit him on fire.  But God told the fire to be cool and burn nothing but the ropes that bound Abraham.  The people were terrified now.  They couldn’t get rid of him!

God told Abraham to leave Syria and to go to Babylon to try to convert the king, Nimrod.  Nimrod insisted that he was God, that he could give life and death to his subjects, hence making him god.  To prove his wrong, Abraham challenged Nimrod to raise the sun from the West instead of the East.  But, Nimrod couldn’t do that, proving him a liar.

Abraham then migrated to the land of Sham (where the descendants of Sam, one of Noah’s sons, lived), which consisted of modern day Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and Palestine.  During this time Abraham married a woman name Hagar and had his first son Ishmael.  God told Abraham to leave them alone in the desert where nothing grew, and promised to take care of them.

Abraham, being a true believer left them there and let God take care of them.  Abraham left Hagar and Ishmael in modern day Mecca, Saudi Arabia.  At the time Ishmael was only a little baby, and when Hagar ran out of food and water, and couldn’t bear the heat or thirst for very long and started crying.  Hagar searched for water by running between and over two hills.  In the meantime, Ishmael started rubbing his heels against the ground, and a river of water started flowing.  That is know as Zam Zam water well.  It is said to be the sweetest water in the world.

Ishmael grew up in this area.  A tribe of people came to this area and decided to live there.  They taught and raised Ishmael.  When he became of marriageable age, they gave him one of their daughters.  Abraham came to back to visit Ishmael twice after Ishmael was got married.  Both times there were unable to meet.  The first time Abraham came to visit Ishmael, and he wasn’t home, Abraham talked to his wife instead.  From asking her a few questions, he concluded that she was ungrateful and unhappy with what God had given them.  Abraham told Ishmael’s wife to tell Ishmael to change his threshold.  When Ishmael came back, his wife shared that an elderly man came and relayed his message.  Ishmael knew it was his father and understood that his father meant to divorce his wife.

Ishmael found another wife and married her.  Abraham came back again and was not able to see Ishmael again.  So Abraham asked the same questions to Ishmael’s new wife.  Abraham concluded that she was grateful and happy with what God has given her.  He told her to tell Ishmael to keep his threshold.  When Ishmael came home, his wife told him that an elderly man came and asked about him.  She relayed the message to keep his threshold.  Ishmael understood that it meant to keep his current wife.  Abraham came back to visit Ishmael once more, and this time Ishmael was home.  Father and son finally reunited.

Abraham received an order from God to build the Kaabah with Ishmael.  The Kaabah is called God’s House.  It is a mosque where Muslims are required to make a pilgrimage to it at least once in their lifetime, if they can.

After the Kaabah was built, two angels came to Abraham’s house with a special message for him from God.  When the angels arrived, Abraham saw them as humans, and did not know that they were angels and prepared a grand feast for them.  But the angels did not eat (angels can’t eat!).  Abraham was scared that they were some creatures come to harm him.  The angels told Abraham to not worry, and that they were God’s servants.  They told him that Sarah, who was supposed to be barren, was going to have a son.  His name would be Issac.  Abraham was overjoyed that he was going to have a son in his old age and that he would finally have a child from his first wife.

Sarah died at the age of 127 and was buried in Hebron (located in modern day Palestine,  south of Jerusalem).  When Abraham died, his sons buried him next to Sarah.

Before Abraham died, he asked God to bless his descendants with protection, guidance and prophethood.  God granted Abraham’s prayer but warned him that He would not protect the wrongdoers from among his descendants., only those who believed and worshipped the one and only God.

For his belief and piety, Abraham is considered to be Walli-Allah, the Friend of God.  He is the father of the three monotheistic religions.

My next essay will be the Islamic Story of Moses.

Author: sophiaelahirpc

Part-time 9th Grade student in the Ron Paul Curriculum. Full-time teen writer living in Singapore.

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