in this section, we will dwell on various attributes of some prophets to whom allah draws our attention in the qur'an. ibrahim, peace be upon him, was one of these prophets. when he was young and there was no one around him to remind him of allah's existence, he examined the heavens and that led him to recognise that allah creates everything. this is related in the qur'an as follows: when night covered him he saw a star and said, "this is my lord!" then when it set he said, "i do not love what sets."
then when he saw the moon come up he said, "this is my lord!" then when it set he said, "if my lord does not guide me, i will be one of the misguided people." then when he saw the sun come up he said, "this is my lord! this is greater!" then when it set he said, "my people, i am free of what you associate with allah! i have turned my face to him who brought the heavens and earth into being, a pure natural believer. i am not of those who associate others with allah." ( surat al-an'am: 76-79)
ibrahim, peace be upon him, told his people not to worship any other god than allah:
recite to them the story of ibrahim when he said to his father
and his people, "what do you worship?"
they said, "we worship idols and will continue to cling to them." he said, "do they hear you when you call or do they help you or do you harm?" they said, "no, but this is what we found our fathers doing." he [ibrahim] said, "have you really thought about what you
worship, you and your fathers who came before?
they are all my enemies—except for the lord of all the worlds: he who created me and guides me; he who gives me food and gives me drink;and when i am ill, it is he who heals me; he who will cause my death, then give me life; he who i sincerely hope will forgive my mistakes on the day of reckoning." ( surat ash-shu'ara: 69-82)
the enemies of ibrahim attempted to kill him when he called them to have faith in allah. they lit a big fire and cast him into it. but allah protected him and saved him from the fire. this is related in the qur'an as follows:
the only answer of his people was to say: "kill him or burn him!"
but allah rescued him from the fire. there are certainly signs in
that for people who are believers. ( surat al-'ankabut: 24)
we said, "fire, be coolness and peace for ibrahim!" ( surat al-
it is allah who creates and controls everything. by allah's will the fire did not burn ibrahim. this is a miracle of allah and a manifestation of his might. everything on earth occurs by allah's will. nothing can happen without his will and control. if he does not will it, one can neither harm nor kill another person. allah informs us in the qur'an:
no self can die except with allah's permission, at a predetermined time...(surah al 'imran: 145)
he did not die although he was cast into the fire, since his time of death as predetermined by allah had not yet come. allah saved him from the fire. in one verse, allah relates to us that ibrahim was a man of exemplary character: ibrahim was forbearing, compassionate, penitent. (surah hud: 75)
allah loves people who are wholeheartedly devoted to him. as the verse makes clear, not being rebellious, having a good character, and being submissive to allah's commandments are favourable attributes in the sight of allah.