Special Favors on Prophet Ibraheem
In the previous ayaat, we learnt how Ibraheem `alayhi salaam established and proved the Tawheed to his people and they didn’t accept it. Eventually, he had to leave them. The present ayaat narrate how Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala rewarded him for the sacrifices he made in His way.
Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala says,
When Ibraheem `alayhi salaam had become old and he, and his wife, Sarah, lost hope of having children, Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala blessed them with Ishaq `alayhi salaam. The angels came to Ibraheem on their way to the people of Prophet Lut `alayhi salaam [to destroy them] and they delivered the good news of a child to Ibraheem and his wife. Ibraheem’s wife was amazed at the news as we read in Surah Hud Ayaat 72 and 73, “She said [in astonishment], ‘Woe to me! Shall I give birth while I am an old woman and this, my husband, is an old man? Indeed, this is an amazing thing!’ They said, ‘Are you amazed at the decree of Allah? May the mercy of Allah and His blessings be upon you, people of the house. Indeed, He is Praiseworthy and Honorable.’”
The angels also gave them the good news that Ishaq will be a prophet and that he will have offspring of his own. Meaning this child will have another child in your lifetime so that your eyes are comforted by him just as your eyes will be comforted by his father. Certainly, one becomes jubilant and joyous when he becomes a grandfather, because this means that his offspring will continue to exist. It was also expected that if an elderly couple had children, due to the child’s weakness, he would have no offspring. This is why Allah delivered the good news of Ishaq and of his son Ya`qoob, whose name literally means ‘multiplying and having offspring’.
This was a reward for Ibraheem who left his people and migrated from their land so that he could worship Allah alone. Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala compensated Ibraheem with better than his people and tribe when He gave him righteous children of his own, who would follow his religion, so that his eyes would be comforted by them.
Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala states that He guided Ibraheem `alayhi salaam and his descendants and He guided Prophet Nuh `alayhi salaam and his descendants. Each of these two Prophets had special qualities. Both of them promoted Tahweed in the midst of Shirk. Both of them were rewarded with righteous offsprings. Prophet Dawoud, Suleiman, Ayoob, Yusuf, Musa and Haroon `alayhi salaam were all Prophets of Allah. What was the beauty of their worship? All of them were alone at some point, and they chose to sacrifice everything for the sake of Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala. When they sacrificed for the sake of Allah, He rewarded them in the dunya and in the Hereafter too they will have rewards.
Continuing talking about the righteous descendants, Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala mentions the names of Prophet Zakariya, Yahya, `Eesa and Ilyas `alayhi salaam.
Mentioning `Eesa `alayhi salaam in the offspring of Ibraheem or Nuh is proof that the grandchildren from a man’s daughter are included among his offspring. `Eesa is included among Ibraheem’s progeny through his mother.
Ibraheem `alayhi salaam was awarded many righteous descendants. Lut `alayhi salaam was not direct offspring of Ibraheem `alayhi salaam but the son of his brother. In order to keep the text general the word has not been altered in the ayaat.
Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala ends the ayah by saying that He preferred them over all the world? How did He prefer them over the worlds? By blessing them with Prophethood.
In Ayaat 87 till 90, Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala says,
It was not just Prophet Nuh and Ibraheem and their descendants who were chosen but also their forefathers, their descendants and their brothers. They were all guided to the straight path. As a family there were dedicated in the Deen. Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala gave them the tawfeeq to follow the path of guidance. He gives guidance to whomever He wills.
Ayah 88 magnifies the serious danger of Shirk by saying that even if the Prophets ever committed Shirk it would have nullified all the good that they had done. All their efforts would have become worthless. This indicates how severe Shirk is. That no matter who the person is, regardless of how righteous he has been his entire life all his deeds will be wasted. Shirk is the greatest evil. In Surah Az-Zumar Ayah 65, Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala says, “And it was already revealed to you and to those before you that if you should associate [anything] with Allah, your work would surely become worthless, and you would surely be among the losers.”
In Ayah 89, Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala states that each of the Prophets mentioned above were either given some Scripture and some were followers of that Scripture. They were not just given knowledge of the Book but also taught how to apply that knowledge. These bounties were bestowed on them as a mercy for the servants, and out of Allah’s kindness for His creation.
We should recall that the addressees of these ayaat were the mushrikeen of Makkah. They were narrated the story of Ibraheem `alayhi salaam so that they could relate to him. Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala says that if the Quraysh [and the rest of the people of the earth – the Arabs and non-Arabs, illiterate and the People of the Scriptures] deny the Scripture, the Hukm and the Prophethood of Muhammad sallAllahu `alayhi wa sallam then we don’t need them. These bounties have been entrusted to another people [the Muhajiroon and Ansaar], and those who follow their lead until the Day of Resurrection. They will not deny any of these favors, not even one letter. Rather they will believe in them totally, even the parts that are not so clear to some of them. [We ask Allah to make us among them by His favor, generosity and kindness, aameen]
Addressing His servants and Messenger, Muhammad sallAllahu `alayhi wa sallam, Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala says that tell them you don’t ask for any reward for delivering the Qur’an to them or anything else. It is a reminder for the `Alameen [the mankind and Jinns]. They are reminded by it and guided from blindness to clarity, from misguidance to guidance, and from disbelief to faith.
This was a final warning given to the mushrikeen a little before the migration to Madina. That if you don’t believe in it there will be other people [the people of Madina] who will accept it. They are much better people. Ibraheem `alayhi salaam was rejected by his people and Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala honored him with better people. By rejecting Prophet Muhammad do you think his mission will come to an end? No. He will be honored with much better people.
– When we suffer some sort of a harm while practicing what Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala has ordained then we must understand that this is part of the package and only temporary. We may be trying to practice religion as it is and our own family might be rejecting us. A sister who chooses to wear hijab is abandoned by her friends. Sometimes people have to go through loneliness as no one wishes to speak to them or be seen with them. Prophet Ibraheem’s example teaches us that when we sacrifice something for the sake of Allah, He will reward us. Ibraheem `alayhi salaam was alone. His family left him. Look at how Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala recompensed him.
– Any person who does ehsaan is rewarded by Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala.
– When a person leaves something for the sake of Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala, He gives him much more.
– A person’s entire family being involved in the Deen is a huge favor from Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala. Therefore, a person should never feel arrogant. Sometimes we look at practicing families and say, “O they are so lucky the entire family is practicing. It’s so easy for them.” We should remember that it might not always have been like this. One person from the family takes the initiative then he calls others to Islam. It takes time.
– We learn that shirk eradicates good deeds whether someone is a layman or an honorable, learned scholar.
– Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala doesn’t need people to accept His religion. Rather when a person follows the Deen he is only benefiting himself. This is such an important message that this is repeated again and again. It is because sometimes when we begin studying religion we feel as if we are honoring the religion.
– When a person doesn’t utilize the blessings they are taken away and given to someone else before our eyes.
DOWNLOAD PDF: al-Anaam Ayaat 84 – 90