God Bestows Prophethood upon Prophet Abraham (pbuh)
God put Prophet Abraham through a test. He later rewarded him, who had remained so obedient, with prophethood, and made him a messenger at an early age. This is revealed thus in the Qur’an:
Remember when Abraham was tested by his Lord with certain words, which he carried out perfectly. He [God] said: “I will make you a model for humanity.” He [Abraham] asked: “And what of my descendants?” He [God] replied: “My contract does not include the wrongdoers.” (Qur’an, 2:124)
In the Qur’an, God reveals that He gave the Book and Wisdom to Prophet Abraham and his descendants:
Or do they in fact envy other people for the bounty God has granted them? We gave the family of Abraham the Book and Wisdom,
and We gave them an immense kingdom. (Qur’an, 4:54)
God had sent down texts to Prophet Abraham before His revelation of the Torah to Prophet Moses (peace be upon him). It is revealed in the verses giving news of this that:
… the Hereafter is better and longer lasting. This is certainly [stated] in the earlier texts, the texts of Abraham and Moses. (Qur’an, 87:17-19)
There is one important subject regarding Prophet Abraham that people have debated throughout the course of history:
That is the question of which religion he was a member of.
Jews regard him as a Jewish prophet. Christians also consider him a Jewish prophet, but claim that he followed Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him), who came after him.
The fact is, however, that in the Qur’an God has made it clear that these debates are false:
“O People of the Book. Why do you argue about Abraham when the Torah and Gospel were only sent down after him? Why don’t you use your intellect? You argue about something of which you have some knowledge. But why do you argue about something of which you have no knowledge? God knows; you do not know.” (Qur’an, 3:65-66)
Only the Qur’an states the whole truth about him:
Abraham was neither a Jew nor a Christian, but a man of pure natural belief—a Muslim. He was not one of the idolaters. (Qur’an, 3:67)
The Qur’an calls Prophet Abraham a hanif. Hanif means “a devout, upright, and righteous person who submits to God’s command and never moves away from His religion.” The most hanif characteristics of Prophet Abraham were his belief in the one and only God and his submission to Him.
In another verse, our Lord commands Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) to abide by Prophet Abraham’s religion:
Then We revealed to you: “Follow the religion of Abraham, a man of pure natural belief. He was not one of the idolaters.” (Qur’an, 16:123)
Prophet Abraham and his righteous religion is a common word shared by Muslims and People of the Book. That is because the members of the three divinely revealed religions are charged with believing in and serving God in the manner shown by Prophet Abraham. Yet some beliefs and practices in Judaism and Christianity degenerated over the course of time and these religions became corrupted. The Qur’an informs us that Muslims have invited them to this common word:
Say: “O People of the Book [Christians and Jews], come to a proposition that is the same for us and you—that we should worship none but God, associate no partners with Him, and take no one of us as lords besides God. ” If they turn away, say: “Bear witness that we are Muslims.” (Qur’an, 3:64)