Dad Tests: Lessons on dealing with Dad from the Story of Abraham
If we conjure the image of someone who is diametrically and entirely opposite of a Muslim, who can you think of? It’s a pretty grim picture and something that many Muslims may not think of often.
How about if that person was in your family? How about if he was your own father?
Abraham was a Muslim and a great messenger of God but his father was such a man. Not only did he reject the exclusive right of God for worship and associated partners in worship with him, he was actually the idol-maker for his people. He rejected the worship of God alone, and knew first-hand (pun intended) that the idols of clay and wood were man-made.
So how do you think Abraham, who was the closest of men to God, dealt with a man who was so far away?
Was he harsh due to his father’s rejection of his message of worshiping the One True God? Did he consider himself above praying for the guidance of such a man?
No. Not at all.
Check out the language and the attitude of Abraham (the the first of two men called the ‘Friend of God’ the second being Muhammad), used when addressing his father on religious issues:
“Father, why do you worship something that can neither hear nor see nor benefit you in any way?
Father, knowledge of the Divine that has not reached you has come to me, so follow me: I will guide you to an even path.
Father, do not worship Satan (by obeying him) – Satan has rebelled against God the Gracious.
Father, I fear that a punishment from God the Gracious may afflict you and that you become Satan’s supporter and companion in Hell.” 19:42-45
Abraham used delicate and kind language with his father, the idol-maker!
Can you imagine anyone rejecting such a kind and well-mannered invitation?
Well, he did and his reply was:
“Abraham, do you reject my gods? If you do not stop this, I will stone you. Keep away from me for a long time!” 19:46
Abraham did not become rude even at this point. His reply was just as kind as his invitation:
“I pray for your protection from evil and your well-being and will beg my Lord to forgive you – He is always gracious to me – but for now I will leave you and the idols you all pray to and worship, and I will pray and worship my Lord and trust that my prayers will not be in vain.” 19:47-48
What an excellent conversation on the part of Abraham. The Father of Prophets (a name given to Abraham because many of God’s prophets were from his progeny) was so nice to his dad, even when he kicked him out.