The story that I’m going to share today is one that most people know by heart. But nonetheless I will narrate it again because it comes with a golden reminder. It’s about a person who had a sound heart since he was a young man and a bravery that doesn’t fail to impress anyone. I’m talking about someone who left his city with only two devoted followers but today 1.6 billion people believe what he stood courageously for: the truth.
Before hitting the core event, I want to tell you a bit about the Nation of Ibrahim (as). His people just weren’t idol worshippers; they also used to worship the sun, the moon and the stars. They even had this big religious festival during which the entire people would leave the city and go celebrate their worship. Getting back to start the story, we learn that once Ibrahim (as) was looking up at the sky. He saw the stars above him and said that he felt sick. You must be wondering why a look at the stars would make him sick right? Well the reason was that the stars which guide people to Allah were the ones seen as objects of worship within his community and this fact purely disgusted him. On the other hand this statement of Ibrahim (as) got his fellowmen the wrong idea. These people used to believe that whatever difficulties and trouble descend upon them are due to the movement of the stars. And so they thought that maybe Ibrahim (as) is feeling sick because the stars aren’t in his favor. Plus their imagination didn’t stop there. They further made an assumption that Ibrahim (as) must definitely be a believer in the movement of the stars because he declared he was sick right after looking up at them. After this episode the city cleared out as the people left for the festival except for Ibrahim (as). He stayed in the city, all alone.
Some time before the above incident, Ibrahim (as) had told the people that by Allah he has a plan for their idols after they go away and turn their backs. Now that an opportunity presented itself, he grabbed it instantly. So we learn that Ibrahim (as) moved towards the idols. And when he saw food in front of them, which the people of his nation had assembled for their so-called gods, he asked them: aren’t you going to eat anything? There was obviously no answer so he continued: what’s wrong with you, you can’t say anything? Now right after this Ibrahim (as) turned around and smacked one of the gods with his right hand, and we pretty much know what happened next: he smashed every other idol except for one which was the biggest. When the people came to know about this; they started to talk about it among themselves. And finally they arrived at the conclusion that it must be Ibrahim (as) who did this. He was called and inquired before the people. They asked Ibrahim (as): did you do this? He simply answered no however he didn’t quiet stop there. He spoke out that the biggest idol had caused mass destruction and told people to ask that idol, if it’s able to speak. But that wasn’t possible, was it?
For a moment the people did realize that they are had indulged in shirk. They themselves said to Ibrahim (as): you know that these idols don’t speak up. So at that point he pushed their instinct to think further and asked them: then why do you leave Allah and worship something that can’t benefit you nor is capable of harming you? He was so tired that he finally said to his people: have you no sense? Obviously the people had no evidence to put forward to justify their shirk so they decided to end this all by saying let’s burn Ibrahim (as). They built a huge tower for that purpose. The entire town got together, even Ibrahim’s (as) father, to assemble the wood which was to ignite fire in there. And when the fire roared violently, it was then that Ibrahim (as) was thrown right into it. And should I tell what words he spoke as he was shoved in there? Oh what beautiful words they are! He said, ‘Allah is sufficient for us and He is the best disposer of affairs.’ Subhan’Allah!
Sometimes people won’t support the truth we believe in; they will criticize us and some would go as far as declaring an open boycott. If you are afraid that your Hijab is going to cause whispers in the school corridor, where once you roamed with open hair, then remember Ibrahim (as) who stood firmly in the face of that fire which was blazing to burn him. What are those whispers compared to that fire? Be that Muslimah who is proud of what she believes in and what she chose for herself. Don’t be afraid of people and the consequences because guess what? Allah ordered the fire to become cool for Ibrahim (as) and the way He was sufficient from him is the way the Al-Wakeel is also sufficient for us.
By Safia Fatima