;
`Isa commanded the Worship of Allah Alone, then the People differed after Him

Allah said;

﴿ وَإِنَّ ٱللَّهَ رَبِّى وَرَبُّكُمۡ فَٱعۡبُدُوهُ‌ۚ هَـٰذَا صِرَٲطٌ۬ مُّسۡتَقِيمٌ۬

(And verily, Allah is my Lord and your Lord. So worship Him. That is the straight path.) Among those things which `Isa said to his people while he was in his cradle is that Allah was his Lord and their Lord, and he commanded them to worship Him alone. He said,

﴿ فَٱعۡبُدُوهُ‌ۚ هَـٰذَا صِرَٲطٌ۬ مُّسۡتَقِيمٌ۬

(So worship Him. That is the straight path.) Meaning, "That which I have come to you with from Allah is the straight path.'' This means that the path is correct; whoever follows it will be rightly guided and whoever opposes it will deviate and go astray. Allah's statement,

﴿ فَٱخۡتَلَفَ ٱلۡأَحۡزَابُ مِنۢ بَيۡنِہِمۡ‌ۖ

(Then the sects differed,) means that the opinions of the People of the Book differed concerning `Isa even after the explanation of his affair and the clarification of his situation. They disagreed about his being the servant of Allah, His Messenger, and His Word that He cast upon Maryam and a spirit from Himself. So a group of them -- who were the majority of the Jews (may Allah's curses be upon them) -- determined that he was a child of fornication and that his speaking in his cradle was merely sorcery. Another group said that it was Allah Who was speaking (not `Isa). Others said that he (`Isa) was the son of Allah. Some said that he was the third part of a divine trinity with Allah. Yet, others said that he was the servant of Allah and His Messenger. This latter view is the statement of truth, which Allah guided the believers to. A report similar with this meaning has been reported from `Amr bin Maymun, Ibn Jurayj, Qatadah and others from the Salaf (predecessors) and the Khalaf (later generations). Allah said,

﴿ فَوَيۡلٌ۬ لِّلَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ مِن مَّشۡہَدِ يَوۡمٍ عَظِيمٍ

(so woe unto the disbelievers from the meeting of a great Day.) This is a threat and severe warning for those who lie about Allah, invent falsehood and claim that He (Allah) has a son. However, Allah has given them respite until the Day of Resurrection, and He has delayed their term out of gentleness and confident reliance upon His divine decree overcoming them. Verily, Allah does not hasten the affair of those who disobey Him. This has been related in a Hadith collected in the Two Sahihs,

« إِنَّ اللهَ لَيُمْلِي لِلظَّالِمِ حَتَّى إِذَا أَخَذَهُ لَمْ يُفْلِتْه »

(Verily, Allah gives respite to the wrongdoer until He seizes him and he will not be able to escape Him.) Then, the Messenger of Allah recited the Ayah,

﴿ وَكَذَٲلِكَ أَخۡذُ رَبِّكَ إِذَآ أَخَذَ ٱلۡقُرَىٰ وَهِىَ ظَـٰلِمَةٌ‌ۚ إِنَّ أَخۡذَهُ ۥۤ أَلِيمٌ۬ شَدِيدٌ

(Such is the punishment of your Lord when He punishes the towns while they are doing wrong. Verily, His punishment is painful, (and) severe.) (11:102) In the Two Sahihs it is also reported that the Messenger of Allah said,

« لَا أَحَدَ أَصْبَرُ عَلَى أَذىً سَمِعَهُ مِنَ اللهِ، إِنَّهُمْ يَجْعَلُونَ لَهُ وَلَدًا وَهُوَ يَرْزُقُهُمْ وَيُعَافِيهِم »

(No one is more patient with something harmful that he hears than Allah. Verily, they attribute to Him a son, while He is the One Who provides them sustenance and good health.) Allah says,

﴿ وَڪَأَيِّن مِّن قَرۡيَةٍ أَمۡلَيۡتُ لَهَا وَهِىَ ظَالِمَةٌ۬ ثُمَّ أَخَذۡتُہَا وَإِلَىَّ ٱلۡمَصِيرُ

(And many a township did I give respite while it was given to wrongdoing. Then I punished it. And to me is the (final) return (of all).) (22:48) Allah, the Exalted, also says,

﴿ وَلَا تَحۡسَبَنَّ ٱللَّهَ غَـٰفِلاً عَمَّا يَعۡمَلُ ٱلظَّـٰلِمُونَ‌ۚ إِنَّمَا يُؤَخِّرُهُمۡ لِيَوۡمٍ۬ تَشۡخَصُ فِيهِ ٱلۡأَبۡصَـٰرُ

(Consider not that Allah is unaware of that which the wrongdoers do, but He gives them respite up to a Day when the eyes will stare in horror.)(14:42) This is the reason that Allah says here,

﴿ فَوَيۡلٌ۬ لِّلَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ مِن مَّشۡہَدِ يَوۡمٍ عَظِيمٍ

(So woe unto the disbelievers from the meeting of a great Day.) referring to the Day of Resurrection. It has been related in an authentic Hadith that is agreed upon (in Al-Bukhari and Muslim), on the authority of `Ubadah bin As-Samit who said that the Messenger of Allah said,

« مَنْ شَهِدَ أَنْ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللهُ وَحْدَهُ لَا شَرِيكَ لَهُ، وَأَنَّ مُحَمَّدًا عَبْدُهُ وَرَسُولُهُ، وَأَنَّ عِيسَى عَبْدُ اللَّهِ وَرَسُولُهُ وَكَلِمَتُهُ أَلْقَاهَا إِلَى مَرْيَمَ وَرُوحٌ مِنْهُ، وَأَنَّ الْجَنَّةَ حَقٌّ وَالنَّارَ حَقٌّ، أَدْخَلَهُ اللهُ الْجَنَّةَ عَلَى مَا كَانَ مِنَ الْعَمَل »

(Whoever testifies that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah alone, Who has no partners, and that Muhammad is His servant and Messenger, and that `Isa was Allah's servant and Messenger, and His Word that He cast upon Maryam, and a spirit from Him, and that Paradise and Hell are both real, then Allah will admit him into Paradise regardless of whatever he did.)

﴿ أَسۡمِعۡ بِہِمۡ وَأَبۡصِرۡ يَوۡمَ يَأۡتُونَنَا‌ۖ لَـٰكِنِ ٱلظَّـٰلِمُونَ ٱلۡيَوۡمَ فِى ضَلَـٰلٍ۬ مُّبِينٍ۬
﴿ وَأَنذِرۡهُمۡ يَوۡمَ ٱلۡحَسۡرَةِ إِذۡ قُضِىَ ٱلۡأَمۡرُ وَهُمۡ فِى غَفۡلَةٍ۬ وَهُمۡ لَا يُؤۡمِنُونَ إِنَّا نَحۡنُ نَرِثُ ٱلۡأَرۡضَ وَمَنۡ عَلَيۡہَا وَإِلَيۡنَا يُرۡجَعُونَ

(38. How clearly will they see and hear, the Day when they will appear before Us! But the wrongdoers today are in plain error.) (39. And warn them of the Day of grief and regrets, when the case has been decided, while (now) they are in a state of carelessness, and they believe not.) (40. Verily, We will inherit the earth and whatsoever is thereon. And to Us they all shall be returned.)

The Disbeliever's warning of the Day of Distress

Allah, the Exalted, says informing about the disbelievers on the Day of Resurrection that they will be made to have the clearest hearing and sight. This is as Allah says,

﴿ وَلَوۡ تَرَىٰٓ إِذِ ٱلۡمُجۡرِمُونَ نَاكِسُواْ رُءُوسِہِمۡ عِندَ رَبِّهِمۡ رَبَّنَآ أَبۡصَرۡنَا وَسَمِعۡنَا

(And if you only could see when the criminals hang their heads before their Lord (saying): "Our Lord! We have now seen and heard.'') (32:12) They will say that when it will not benefit them, nor will it be of any use to them. If they had used these senses properly before seeing the torment, then it would have brought them some benefit and saved them from the Allah's punishment. This is why Allah says,

﴿ أَسۡمِعۡ بِہِمۡ وَأَبۡصِرۡ

(How clearly will they (disbelievers) see and hear,) This means that no one will hear and see better than they will.

﴿ يَوۡمَ يَأۡتُونَنَا‌ۖ

(the day when they will appear before Us.) The Day of Resurrection.

﴿ لَـٰكِنِ ٱلظَّـٰلِمُونَ ٱلۡيَوۡمَ

(But the wrongdoers today are...) now, in the life of this world,

﴿ فِى ضَلَـٰلٍ۬ مُّبِينٍ۬

(...in plain error.) They do not hear, see or think. When they are requested to follow guidance, they are not guided and they succumb to those things that do not benefit them. Then, Allah says,

﴿ وَأَنذِرۡهُمۡ يَوۡمَ ٱلۡحَسۡرَةِ

(And warn them of the Day of grief and regrets,) warn the creation of the Day of Distress,

﴿ إِذۡ قُضِىَ ٱلۡأَمۡرُ

(when the case has been decided,) when the people of Paradise and the people of Hell will be sorted out, and everyone will reach his final abode which he was destined to remain in forever.

﴿ وَهُمۡ

(while (now) they are) today, in the present life of this world,

﴿ فِى غَفۡلَةٍ۬

(in a state of carelessness.) with the warning of the Day of grief and regret, they are heedless.

﴿ وَهُمۡ لَا يُؤۡمِنُونَ

(and they believe not.) meaning they do not believe that it is true. Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Sa`id said that the Messenger of Allah said,

« إِذَا دَخَلَ أَهْلُ الْجَنَّةِ الْجَنَّةَ وَأَهْلُ النَّارِ النَّارَ، يُجَاءُ بِالْمَوْتِ كَأَنَّهُ كَبْشٌ أَمْلَحُ فَيُوقَفُ بَيْنَ الْجَنَّةِ وَالنَّارِ، فَيُقَالُ: يَا أَهْلَ الْجَنَّةِ هَلْ تَعْرِفُونَ هَذَا، قَالَ: فَيَشْرَئِبُّونَ وَيَنْظُرُونَ وَيَقُولُونَ: نَعَمْ هَذَا الْمَوْتُ قَالَ: فَيُقَالُ: يَا أَهْلَ النَّارِ، هَلْ تَعْرِفُونَ هَذَا؟ قَالَ: فَيَشْرَئِبُّونَ وَيَنْظُرُونَ وَيَقُولُونَ: نَعَمْ هَذَا الْمَوْتُ قَالَ: فَيُؤْمَرُ بِهِ فَيُذْبَحُ، قَالَ: وَيُقَالُ: يَا أَهْلَ الْجَنَّةِ، خُلُودٌ وَلَا مَوْتَ، وَيَا أَهْلَ النَّارِ، خُلُودٌ وَلَا مَوْت »

(When the people of Paradise enter Paradise and the people of the Hellfire enter the Hellfire, death will be brought in the form of a handsome ram and it will be placed between Paradise and the Hellfire. Then, it will be said, "O people of Paradise, do you know what this is'' Then, they will turn their gazes and look, and they will say, "Yes, this is death.'' Then, it will be said, "O people of the Hellfire, do you know what this is'' Then, they will turn their gazes and look, and they will say, "Yes, this is death.'' Then, the order will be given for it to be slaughtered and it will be said, "O people of Paradise, eternity and no more death, O people of Hellfire, eternity and no more death.'') Then the Messenger of Allah recited the Ayah,

﴿ وَأَنذِرۡهُمۡ يَوۡمَ ٱلۡحَسۡرَةِ إِذۡ قُضِىَ ٱلۡأَمۡرُ وَهُمۡ فِى غَفۡلَةٍ۬ وَهُمۡ لَا يُؤۡمِنُونَ

(And warn them of the Day of grief and regret, when the case has been decided, while (now) they are in a state of carelessness, and they believe not.) Then, the Messenger of Allah made a gesture with his hand and said,

« أَهْلُ الدُّنْيَا فِي غَفْلَةِ الدُّنْيَا »

(The people of this life are in the state of heedlessness of this life.) Thus recorded Imam Ahmad and it was also recorded by Al-Bukhari and Muslim in their Sahihs with wording similar to this. It is reported from `Abdullah bin Mas`ud that he mentioned a story in which he said, "There is not a soul except that it will see a residence in Paradise and a residence in the Hellfire, and this will be the Day of distress. So the people of the Hellfire will see the residence that Allah prepared for them if they had believed. Then, it will be said to them, `If you had believed and worked righteous deeds, you would have had this, which you see in Paradise.' Then, they will be overcome with distress and grief. Likewise, the people of Paradise will see the residence that is in the Hellfire and it will be said to them, `If Allah had not bestowed His favor upon you (this would have been your place).' '' Concerning Allah's statement,

﴿ إِنَّا نَحۡنُ نَرِثُ ٱلۡأَرۡضَ وَمَنۡ عَلَيۡہَا وَإِلَيۡنَا يُرۡجَعُونَ

(Verily, We will inherit the earth and whatsoever is thereon. And to Us they all shall be returned.) Allah is informing that He is the Creator, the Owner and the Controller of all matters. All of the creation will be destroyed and only He, the Most High and Most Holy, will remain. There is no one who can claim absolute ownership and control of affairs besides Him. He is the Inheritor of all His creation. He is the Eternal, Who will remain after they are gone and He is the Judge of their affairs. Therefore, no soul will be done any injustice, nor wronged even the weight of a mosquito or an atom. Ibn Abi Hatim recor- ded that Hazm bin Abi Hazm Al-Quta`i said, "`Umar bin `Abdul-Aziz wrote to `Abdul-Hamid bin `Abdur-Rahman, who was the governor of Kufah: `Thus, to proceed: Verily, Allah prescribed death for His creatures when He created them and He determined their final destination. He said in that which He revealed in His truthful Book, which He guarded with His knowledge and made His angels testify to its preservation, that He will inherit the earth and all who are on it, and they will all be returned to Him.'''

﴿ وَٱذۡكُرۡ فِى ٱلۡكِتَـٰبِ إِبۡرَٲهِيمَ‌ۚ إِنَّهُ ۥ كَانَ صِدِّيقً۬ا نَّبِيًّا إِذۡ قَالَ لِأَبِيهِ يَـٰٓأَبَتِ لِمَ تَعۡبُدُ مَا لَا يَسۡمَعُ وَلَا يُبۡصِرُ وَلَا يُغۡنِى عَنكَ شَيۡـًٔ۬ا يَـٰٓأَبَتِ إِنِّى قَدۡ جَآءَنِى مِنَ ٱلۡعِلۡمِ مَا لَمۡ يَأۡتِكَ فَٱتَّبِعۡنِىٓ أَهۡدِكَ صِرَٲطً۬ا سَوِيًّ۬ا يَـٰٓأَبَتِ لَا تَعۡبُدِ ٱلشَّيۡطَـٰنَ‌ۖ إِنَّ ٱلشَّيۡطَـٰنَ كَانَ لِلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ عَصِيًّ۬ا يَـٰٓأَبَتِ إِنِّىٓ أَخَافُ أَن يَمَسَّكَ عَذَابٌ۬ مِّنَ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ فَتَكُونَ لِلشَّيۡطَـٰنِ وَلِيًّ۬ا

(41. And mention in the Book, Ibrahim. Verily, he was a man of truth, a Prophet.) (42. When he said to his father: "O my father! Why do you worship that which hears not, sees not and cannot avail you in anything'') (43. "O my father! Verily, there has come to me the knowledge of that which came not unto you. So follow me, I will guide you to the straight path.'') (44. "O my father! Worship not Shaytan. Verily, Shaytan has been a rebel against the Most Gracious.'') (45. "O my father! Verily, I fear lest a torment from the Most Gracious should overtake you, so that you become a companion of Shaytan.'')

Ibrahim's Admonition of His Father

Allah, the Exalted, tells His Prophet, Muhammad,

﴿ وَٱذۡكُرۡ فِى ٱلۡكِتَـٰبِ إِبۡرَٲهِيمَ‌ۚ

(And mention in the Book, Ibrahim.) "Recite this to your people who are worshipping idols and mention to them what happened with Ibrahim, the intimate Friend (Khalil) of the Most Beneficent. These idol worshippers (Arabs) are his descendants and they claim to follow his religion. Inform them that he was a truthful Prophet. Tell them about what took place with his father and how he forbade him from worshipping idols.'' Ibrahim said,

﴿ يَـٰٓأَبَتِ لِمَ تَعۡبُدُ مَا لَا يَسۡمَعُ وَلَا يُبۡصِرُ وَلَا يُغۡنِى عَنكَ شَيۡـًٔ۬ا

(O my father! Why do you worship that which hears not, sees not and cannot avail you in anything) Meaning that these idols will not benefit you, nor can they protect you from any harm.

﴿ يَـٰٓأَبَتِ إِنِّى قَدۡ جَآءَنِى مِنَ ٱلۡعِلۡمِ مَا لَمۡ يَأۡتِكَ

(O my father! Verily, there has come to me the knowledge of that which came not unto you.) This means, "Even though I am from your loins and you see me as inferior to you because I am your son, know that I have received knowledge from Allah that you do not know and it has not reached you.''

﴿ فَٱتَّبِعۡنِىٓ أَهۡدِكَ صِرَٲطً۬ا سَوِيًّ۬ا

(So follow me, I will guide you to the straight path.) meaning, "a straight path that will carry you to the desired objective and save you from that which is dreaded (Hell).''

﴿ يَـٰٓأَبَتِ لَا تَعۡبُدِ ٱلشَّيۡطَـٰنَ‌ۖ

(O my father! Worship not Shaytan.) This is means, "Do not obey him by worshipping these idols. He invites to this (idolatry) and he is pleased with it.'' This is as Allah says,

﴿ أَلَمۡ أَعۡهَدۡ إِلَيۡكُمۡ يَـٰبَنِىٓ ءَادَمَ أَن لَّا تَعۡبُدُواْ ٱلشَّيۡطَـٰنَ‌ۖ إِنَّهُ ۥ لَكُمۡ عَدُوٌّ۬ مُّبِينٌ۬

(Did I not command you, O Children of Adam, that you should not worship Shaytan. Verily, he is a plain enemy to you.) (36:60) Allah also says,

﴿ إِن يَدۡعُونَ مِن دُونِهِۦۤ إِلَّآ إِنَـٰثً۬ا وَإِن يَدۡعُونَ إِلَّا شَيۡطَـٰنً۬ا مَّرِيدً۬ا

(They invoke nothing but females ﴿idols besides Him (Allah), and they invoke nothing but Shaytan, a persistent rebel!) (4:117) Concerning Allah's statement,

﴿ إِنَّ ٱلشَّيۡطَـٰنَ كَانَ لِلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ عَصِيًّ۬ا

(Verily, Shaytan has been a rebel against the Most Gracious.) This means obstinate and too arrogant to obey his Lord. Therefore, Allah expelled him and made him an outcast. Therefore, "do not follow him or you will become like him. ''

﴿ يَـٰٓأَبَتِ إِنِّىٓ أَخَافُ أَن يَمَسَّكَ عَذَابٌ۬ مِّنَ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ

(O my father! Verily, I fear lest a torment from the Most Gracious should overtake you,) "because of your associating partners with Allah and your disobedience in what I am commanding you with.''

﴿ فَتَكُونَ لِلشَّيۡطَـٰنِ وَلِيًّ۬ا

(so that you become a companion of Shaytan.) This means, "there will be no one who will protect you, or help you, or assist you, except Iblis. However, neither he, nor anyone else, has any power over the outcome of matters. Following him will only cause you to be surrounded by the torment (of Allah).'' This is as Allah says,

﴿ تَٱللَّهِ لَقَدۡ أَرۡسَلۡنَآ إِلَىٰٓ أُمَمٍ۬ مِّن قَبۡلِكَ فَزَيَّنَ لَهُمُ ٱلشَّيۡطَـٰنُ أَعۡمَـٰلَهُمۡ فَهُوَ وَلِيُّہُمُ ٱلۡيَوۡمَ وَلَهُمۡ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ۬

(By Allah, We indeed sent (Messengers) to the nations before you, but Shaytan made their deeds fair seeming to them. So he is their helper today (in this world), and theirs will be a painful torment.) (16:63)

﴿ قَالَ أَرَاغِبٌ أَنتَ عَنۡ ءَالِهَتِى يَـٰٓإِبۡرَٲهِيمُ‌ۖ لَٮِٕن لَّمۡ تَنتَهِ لَأَرۡجُمَنَّكَ‌ۖ وَٱهۡجُرۡنِى مَلِيًّ۬ا قَالَ سَلَـٰمٌ عَلَيۡكَ‌ۖ سَأَسۡتَغۡفِرُ لَكَ رَبِّىٓ‌ۖ إِنَّهُ ۥ كَانَ بِى حَفِيًّ۬ا وَأَعۡتَزِلُكُمۡ وَمَا تَدۡعُونَ مِن دُونِ ٱللَّهِ وَأَدۡعُواْ رَبِّى عَسَىٰٓ أَلَّآ أَكُونَ بِدُعَآءِ رَبِّى شَقِيًّ۬ا

(46. He (the father) said: "Do you revile my gods, O Ibrahim If you stop not (this), I will La'arjumannak. So get away from me Maliyan.'') (47. Ibrahim said: "Peace be on you! I will ask forgiveness of my Lord for you. Verily, He is unto me Hafiyyan.) (48. And I shall turn away from you and from those whom you invoke besides Allah. And I shall call upon my Lord, and I certainly hope that I shall not be unblessed in my invocation to my Lord.'')

The Reply of Ibrahim's Father

Allah, the Exalted, informs of the reply of Ibrahim's father to his son, Ibrahim, in reference to what he was calling him to. He said,

﴿ أَرَاغِبٌ أَنتَ عَنۡ ءَالِهَتِى يَـٰٓإِبۡرَٲهِيمُ‌ۖ

(Do you revile my gods, O Ibrahim) This means, "If you do not want to worship them (the idols) and you are not pleased with them, then at least stop cursing, abusing, and reviling them. For verily, if you do not cease, I will punish you, curse you and revile you.'' This is the meaning of his statement;

﴿ لَأَرۡجُمَنَّكَ‌ۖ

(La'arjumannaka.) Ibn `Abbas, As-Suddi, Ibn Jurayj, Ad-Dahhak and others said this. Concerning His statement,

﴿ وَٱهۡجُرۡنِى مَلِيًّ۬ا

(So get away from me Maliyan.) Mujahid, `Ikrimah, Sa`id bin Jubayr and Mujahid bin Ishaq all said, "Maliyan means forever.'' Al-Hasan Al-Basri said, "For a long time.'' As-Suddi said,

﴿ وَٱهۡجُرۡنِى مَلِيًّ۬ا

(So get away from me safely Maliyan.) "This means forever.'' Ali bin Abi Talhah and Al-`Awfi both reported that Ibn `Abbas said,

﴿ وَٱهۡجُرۡنِى مَلِيًّ۬ا

(So get away from me safely Maliyan.) "This means to go away in peace and safety before you are afflicted with a punishment from me.'' Ad-Dahhak, Qatadah, `Atiyah Al-Jadali, Malik and others said the same. This is also the view preferred by Ibn Jarir.

The Reply of Allah's Friend (Khalil)

With this, Ibrahim said to his father,

﴿ سَلَـٰمٌ عَلَيۡكَ‌ۖ

(Peace be on you!) This is as Allah said concerning the description of the believers,

﴿ وَإِذَا خَاطَبَهُمُ ٱلۡجَـٰهِلُونَ قَالُواْ سَلَـٰمً۬ا

(and when the foolish address them (with bad words) they say, "Salaman (peace).'') ﴿25:63 Allah also says,

﴿ وَإِذَا سَمِعُواْ ٱللَّغۡوَ أَعۡرَضُواْ عَنۡهُ وَقَالُواْ لَنَآ أَعۡمَـٰلُنَا وَلَكُمۡ أَعۡمَـٰلُكُمۡ سَلَـٰمٌ عَلَيۡكُمۡ لَا نَبۡتَغِى ٱلۡجَـٰهِلِينَ

(And when they hear Al-Laghw (false speech), they withdraw from it and say: "To us our deeds, and to you your deeds. Peace be to you. We seek not (the way of) the ignorant.'') (28:55) The meaning of Ibrahim's statement to his father,

﴿ سَلَـٰمٌ عَلَيۡكَ‌ۖ

(Peace be on you!) "You will not receive any insult or harm from me.'' This is due to the respect and honor of fatherhood.

﴿ سَأَسۡتَغۡفِرُ لَكَ رَبِّىٓ‌ۖ

(I will ask forgiveness of my Lord for you.) meaning "But, I will ask Allah to guide you and forgive you for your sin.''

﴿ إِنَّهُ ۥ كَانَ بِى حَفِيًّ۬ا

(Verily, He is unto me Hafiyya.) Ibn `Abbas and others said that Hafiyyan means, "Kind.'' Meaning, "since He guided me to worship Him and direct my religious devotion to Him alone.'' As-Suddi said, "Al-Hafi is One Who is concerned with his (Ibrahim's) affair.'' Thus, Ibrahim sought forgiveness for his father for a very long time, even after he migrated to Ash-Sham. He continued to seek forgiveness for him even after building the Sacred Masjid (in Makkah) and after the birth of his two sons, Isma`il and Ishaq. This can be seen in his statement,

﴿ رَبَّنَا ٱغۡفِرۡ لِى وَلِوَٲلِدَىَّ وَلِلۡمُؤۡمِنِينَ يَوۡمَ يَقُومُ ٱلۡحِسَابُ

(Our Lord! Forgive me and my parents, and (all) the believers on the Day when the reckoning will be established.) (14:41) From this tradition, during the beginning stages of Islam, the Muslims used to seek forgiveness for their relatives and their family members who were polytheists. They did this following the way of Ibrahim, the Khalil (Friend) of Allah, until Allah revealed,

﴿ قَدۡ كَانَتۡ لَكُمۡ أُسۡوَةٌ حَسَنَةٌ۬ فِىٓ إِبۡرَٲهِيمَ وَٱلَّذِينَ مَعَهُ ۥۤ إِذۡ قَالُواْ لِقَوۡمِہِمۡ إِنَّا بُرَءَٲٓؤُاْ مِنكُمۡ وَمِمَّا تَعۡبُدُونَ مِن دُونِ ٱللَّهِ

(Indeed there has been an excellent example for you in Ibrahim and those with him, when they said to their people: "Verily, we are free from you and whatever you worship besides Allah.'') (60:4) Until Allah's statement,

﴿ إِلَّا قَوۡلَ إِبۡرَٲهِيمَ لِأَبِيهِ لَأَسۡتَغۡفِرَنَّ لَكَ وَمَآ أَمۡلِكُ لَكَ مِنَ ٱللَّهِ مِن شَىۡءٍ۬‌ۖ

(Except the saying of Ibrahim to his father: "Verily, I will ask forgiveness (from Allah) for you, but I have no power to do anything for you before Allah.'') (60:4) meaning, except for this statement, so do not follow it. Then Allah explains that Ibrahim abandoned this statement and retracted it. Allah, the Exalted, says,

﴿ مَا كَانَ لِلنَّبِىِّ وَٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوٓاْ أَن يَسۡتَغۡفِرُواْ لِلۡمُشۡرِڪِينَ

(It is not (proper) for the Prophet and those who believe to ask Allah's forgiveness for the idolaters.) (9:113) Until Allah's statement,

﴿ وَمَا كَانَ ٱسۡتِغۡفَارُ إِبۡرَٲهِيمَ لِأَبِيهِ إِلَّا عَن مَّوۡعِدَةٍ۬ وَعَدَهَآ إِيَّاهُ فَلَمَّا تَبَيَّنَ لَهُ ۥۤ أَنَّهُ ۥ عَدُوٌّ۬ لِّلَّهِ تَبَرَّأَ مِنۡهُ‌ۚ إِنَّ إِبۡرَٲهِيمَ لَأَوَّٲهٌ حَلِيمٌ۬

(And Ibrahim's invoking for his father's forgiveness was only because of a promise he had made to him. But when it became clear to him that he is an enemy of Allah, he dissociated himself from him. Verily, Ibrahim was Awwah, forbearing.) (9:114) Concerning Allah's statement,

﴿ وَأَعۡتَزِلُكُمۡ وَمَا تَدۡعُونَ مِن دُونِ ٱللَّهِ وَأَدۡعُواْ رَبِّى

(And I shall turn away from you and from those whom you invoke besides Allah. And I shall call upon my Lord,) This means, "And I worship my Lord alone, associating no partners with Him.''

﴿ عَسَىٰٓ أَلَّآ أَكُونَ بِدُعَآءِ رَبِّى شَقِيًّ۬ا

(I certainly hope that I shall not be unblessed in my invocation to my Lord.) The word `Asa (I hope) here means that which will necessarily occur and not that which is hoped for from the impossible. For verily, he (Ibrahim) is the leader of the Prophets other than Muhammad.

﴿ فَلَمَّا ٱعۡتَزَلَهُمۡ وَمَا يَعۡبُدُونَ مِن دُونِ ٱللَّهِ وَهَبۡنَا لَهُ ۥۤ إِسۡحَـٰقَ وَيَعۡقُوبَ‌ۖ وَكُلاًّ۬ جَعَلۡنَا نَبِيًّ۬ا وَوَهَبۡنَا لَهُم مِّن رَّحۡمَتِنَا وَجَعَلۡنَا لَهُمۡ لِسَانَ صِدۡقٍ عَلِيًّ۬ا

(49. So when he had turned away from them and from those whom they worshipped besides Allah, We gave him Ishaq and Ya`qub, and each one of them We made a Prophet.) (50. And We gave them of Our mercy, and We granted them Sidqin `Aliyyan on the tongues.)

Allah gave Ibrahim Ishaq and Ya`qub

Allah, the Exalted, says that when the Friend of Allah (Ibrahim) withdrew from his father and his people for the sake of Allah, Allah gave him in exchange those who were better than them. He gave him Ishaq (Isaac) and Ya`qub (Jacob), meaning his son, Ishaq, and Ishaq's son, Ya`qub. This is as Allah said in another Ayah,

﴿ وَيَعۡقُوبَ نَافِلَةً۬‌ۖ

(and Ya`qub, a grandson.) (21:72) Also, Allah says,

﴿ وَمِن وَرَآءِ إِسۡحَـٰقَ يَعۡقُوبَ

(and after Ishaq, of Ya`qub.) ﴿11:71 There is no difference of opinion about Ishaq being the father of Ya`qub. This is what is recorded in the Qur'an in Surah Al-Baqarah.

﴿ أَمۡ كُنتُمۡ شُہَدَآءَ إِذۡ حَضَرَ يَعۡقُوبَ ٱلۡمَوۡتُ إِذۡ قَالَ لِبَنِيهِ مَا تَعۡبُدُونَ مِنۢ بَعۡدِى قَالُواْ نَعۡبُدُ إِلَـٰهَكَ وَإِلَـٰهَ ءَابَآٮِٕكَ إِبۡرَٲهِـۧمَ وَإِسۡمَـٰعِيلَ وَإِسۡحَـٰقَ

(Or were you witnesses when death approached Ya`qub When he said unto his sons, "What will you worship after me" They said, "We shall worship your God the God of your fathers, Ibrahim, Isma`il and Ishaq.'')(2:133) Allah only mentioned Ishaq and Ya`qub here to show that He made Prophets from among his descendants and successors in order to give him relief and happiness in his life. This is why Allah says,

﴿ وَكُلاًّ۬ جَعَلۡنَا نَبِيًّ۬ا

(and each one of them We made a Prophet.) (19:49) If Ya`qub had not become a Prophet in the lifetime of Ibrahim, then Allah would not have limited the promise of prophethood to him, but He would have mentioned his son Yusuf as well. For verily, Yusuf was also a Prophet, just as the Messenger of Allah said in a Hadith whose authenticity is agreed upon, when he was asked who was the best of people. He said,

« يُوسُفُ نَبِيُّ اللهِ ابْنُ يَعْقُوبَ نَبِيِّ اللهِ ابْنِ إِسْحَاقَ نَبِيِّ اللهِ ابْنِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ خَلِيلِ الله »

(The Prophet of Allah, Yusuf, the son of the Prophet of Allah Ya`qub, the son of the Prophet of Allah Ishaq, the son of the Friend of Allah Ibrahim.) In another wording of this Hadith, he said,

« إِنَّ الْكَرِيمَ ابْنَ الْكَرِيمِ ابْنِ الْكَرِيمِ ابْنِ الْكَرِيمِ يُوسُفَ بْنَ يَعْقُوبَ بْنِ إِسْحَاقَ بْنِ إِبْرَاهِيم »

(Verily, the noble one is the son of the noble one, who is the son of the noble one, who is the son of the noble one. That is Yusuf, the son of Ya`qub, the son of Ishaq, the son of Ibrahim.) Concerning Allah's statement,

﴿ وَوَهَبۡنَا لَهُم مِّن رَّحۡمَتِنَا وَجَعَلۡنَا لَهُمۡ لِسَانَ صِدۡقٍ عَلِيًّ۬ا

(And We gave them of Our mercy, and We granted Sidqin `Aliyyan on the tongues.) `Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn `Abbas said, "Sidqin `Aliyyan means the good praise.'' As-Suddi and Malik bin Anas said the same thing. Ibn Jarir said, "Allah only said `Aliyyan (loftiness, exalted) because all of the religions commend them and mention them with praises, may Allah's peace and blessing be upon them all.''

﴿ وَٱذۡكُرۡ فِى ٱلۡكِتَـٰبِ مُوسَىٰٓ‌ۚ إِنَّهُ ۥ كَانَ مُخۡلَصً۬ا وَكَانَ رَسُولاً۬ نَّبِيًّ۬ا وَنَـٰدَيۡنَـٰهُ مِن جَانِبِ ٱلطُّورِ ٱلۡأَيۡمَنِ وَقَرَّبۡنَـٰهُ نَجِيًّ۬ا وَوَهَبۡنَا لَهُ ۥ مِن رَّحۡمَتِنَآ أَخَاهُ هَـٰرُونَ نَبِيًّ۬ا

(51. And mention in the Book, Musa. Verily, he was Mukhlasan and he was a Messenger, (and) a Prophet.) (52. And We called him from the right side of the Mount (Tur), and made him draw near to Us for a talk with him.) (53. And We granted him his brother Harun, (also) a Prophet, out of Our mercy.)