Prophet Abraham’s (pbuh) Test
God raised Prophet Abraham’s two sons, Prophet Ishmael and Prophet Isaac (peace be upon them all), to the rank of prophethood. Like their father, they, too, were chosen servants of God because of their devotion to Him.
God tested Prophet Abraham and his son Prophet Ishmael by means of a sacrifice. He was told in a dream to sacrifice Prophet Ishmael. This sacrificial event is one of the proofs of the strength of these two prophets’ obedience and submission to God.
God relates this event as follows in the verses:
And We gave him the good news of a forbearing boy. When he was of an age to work with him, he said: “My son, I saw in a dream that I must sacrifice you. What do you think about this?” He said: “Do as you are ordered, father. God willing, you will find me resolute.” Then when they had both submitted and he had placed him face down on the ground, We called out to him: “Abraham! You have discharged your vision.” That is how We recompense good-doers. This was indeed a most manifest trial. We ransomed him with a mighty sacrifice. (Qur’an, 37:101-07)
In his commentary, Omer Nasuhi Bilmen offers the following account:
“Prophet Abraham and his son obeyed and submitted to God’s command, and Prophet Abraham (laid his [son’s] head to one side) and accepted the task of cutting his throat… Understanding that his dream was a Divine command, he was eager to discharge his duty, and showed great fortitude and obedience to God’s command. Then God blessed him, ordering him to sacrifice an animal instead of his son, and thereby saved Prophet Abraham from a self-sacrifice.” (Omer Nasuhi Bilmen, Kuran-i Kerim'in Turkce Meali Alisi ve Tefsiri [Tafsir of Holy Qur’an], vol. 9, 2994.)