Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him) is one of the greatest prophets, whose story is an inspirational example for all believers. He is a prominent figure and forefather in Judaism, Christianity and Islam. He was given the title of “Khalilullah”, meaning “the friend of Allah” in Islam and is greatly esteemed as one of the five “Ulul’azm” prophets (Arch-Prophets).


Even though Prophet Abraham grew up in a polytheist and idolatrous society, he would question the existence and attributes of God which led him to be sure in his faith in one true God. It is narrated in the Quran that he would look at the stars, sun and moon, which were worshipped by the people at that time, and reach the conclusion that God cannot go down or disappear and he was not one of the polytheists [Quran 6:76-79]. He also criticised idol worshipping in his society as idols cannot hear, see, help or harm anyone. Prophet Abraham says in the Quran; “They are ˹all˺ enemies to me, except the Lord of all worlds. ˹He is˺ the One Who created me, and He ˹alone˺ guides me. ˹He is˺ the One Who provides me with food and drink. And He ˹alone˺ heals me when I am sick. And He ˹is the One Who˺ will cause me to die, and then bring me back to life. And He is ˹the One˺ Who, I hope, will forgive my flaws on Judgment Day [Quran 26:77-82]”.


He is also a perfect example of a believer who summits and trusts Allah. He prayed for a righteous son even though He was advanced in age and Allah granted him a son, Ishmael. When the son was older, Prophet Abraham dreamed that he sacrificed his son. After telling Ishmael his dream, he told his father without hesitation that he should carry out the order of Allah. Allah sent an animal to sacrifice instead of Ishmael. It was only a test from Allah, and both of them were extremely firm in their belief and trust in Him. Even after so many years of waiting for a son, Prophet Abraham did not question the order of Allah. Prophet Ishmael, too, did not hesitate to give up on his life if it was for Allah. They completely submitted themselves to Allah in every way. Allah blessed them and gave them a reputation which will last long among the following generations. [Quran 37:100-108]


The Quran uses the term “the religion of Abraham”. This is, in fact, Islam as it contains the same message of monotheism since the beginning of history. He and Prophet Ishmael rebuilt the Ka’bah where Muslims do their pilgrimage. They also performed pilgrimage on the same place as an act of worship and told their followers to do the same [Quran 22:26-27]. In addition to pilgrimage, it is known that he performed the salat (the ritual prayer). In the Quran, he prays “My Lord! Make me and those ˹believers˺ of my descendants keep up prayer. Our Lord! Accept my prayers” [Quran 14:40]. Also Allah says “And ˹remember˺ when We assigned to Abraham the site of the House, ˹saying,˺ “Do not associate anything with Me ˹in worship˺ and purify My House for those who circle ˹the Ka’bah˺, stand ˹in prayer˺, and bow and prostrate themselves” [Quran 22:26]. The fact that he bowed and prostrated during prayers means that he prayed like Muslims perform their ritual prayers.


Prophet Abraham was “forbearing, tender-hearted, and ever turning ˹to his Lord˺” [Quran 11:75].  He is an excellent example for all believers with his rationality, personality, faith, submission and thrust. The Quran tells different aspects of his personality and life that we all should take heed of and follow.