Ibrahim! He is also known as Abraham and Abram (PBUH). All three monotheistic religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam, view him as a model to follow. Arabs and Jews today trace their ancestry to him through his sons Ishmael and Isaac. He is also important in the line of the prophets because the later prophets build on him. So we will look at the sign of Ibraham (PBUH) in several parts. Click here to read his first sign in the Qur’an and in the Taurat.
We see in the ayat from the Qur’an that Ibrahim (PBUH) was to have ‘tribes’ of people coming from him. These people were then to have a ‘great Kingdom’. But a man must have at least one son before he can have ‘Tribes’ of people. He must also have a place before these people can have a ‘Great Kingdom’.
Promise to Ibrahim (PBUH)
The passage from the Taurat (Genesis 12:1-7) shows how Allah planned to unfold this double fulfilment of ‘tribes’ and a ‘Great Kingdom’ coming from Ibrahim (PBUH). Allah gave him a promise that was a foundation for the future. Let us review it further in detail. We see that Allah says to Ibrahim:
2 “I will make you into a great nation,
and I will bless you;
I will make your name great,
and you will be a blessing.
3 I will bless those who bless you,
and whoever curses you I will curse;
and all peoples on earth
will be blessed through you.”
Greatness of Ibrahim
Many people today wonder if there is a God who really revealed himself through the Taurat. In this account, we can test this question. Here Allah made a promise to a specific person, parts of which we can verify today. The account records that Allah directly promised Ibrahim, ‘I will make your name great’.
We live in the 21st century – 4000 years later. Today the name of Ibrahim/Abraham/Abram is one of the most globally recognized names from ancient history. Jews and Arabs today trace their ancestry from him. The 2020 US-sponsored peace plan changing the geopolitics of the Middle East, The Abraham Accords, was named after him. This promise has literally, historically, and verifiably come true.
The Dead Sea Scrolls contain the earliest existing manuscripts of the Taurat, dating to 200-100 BCE. This means that this promise has, at the very latest, been in writing since long before the name ‘Ibrahim’ became known outside of the Jews. The fulfilment did not come about by simply writing it down after the name of Ibrahim became known.
This part of the promise to Ibrahim has definitely happened, as should be obvious even to unbelievers. This gives us even greater confidence to understand the remaining part of this promise of Allah to Ibrahim. Let’s continue to study it.
Blessing to Us
This journey extends far beyond Ibrahim and his physical descendants. The blessing was not only for Ibrahim because it also says that
…all peoples on earth will be blessed through youGenesis 12:4
This should make you and I take note. Regardless of your nationality; no matter what your religion; whether you are wealthy or poor, healthy or sick, educated or not – the ‘all peoples on earth’ has to include you also. This promise for a blessing includes everybody alive from back then until today – which means you. How? When? What kind of blessing? We know that one part of this promise has come true. So we can have confidence that this promise for us will also have a clear and literal fulfilment. We just need to find the key to unlock it. In following the account of Ibrahim we understand better.
We can notice that when Ibrahim received this promise he obeyed Allah:
“So Abram left as the LORD had told him”Genesis 12:4
How long was this journey to the Promised Land? The map here shows his journey. He lived originally in Ur (Southern Iraq today) and moved to Haran (Northern Iraq). Ibrahim (PBUH) then journeyed to what was called Canaan in his day. You can see that this was a long journey. He would have travelled on camel, horse or donkey, so it would have taken many months. Ibrahim left his family and his comfortable life (Mesopotamia at this time was the centre of civilization). He also left his security and all that was familiar to travel to a land that was foreign to him. And this, the Taurat tells us, when he was 75 years old!
Animal sacrifices like previous Prophets
The Taurat also tells us that when Ibrahim (PBUH) arrived in Canaan safely:
“So he built an altar there to the LORD “Genesis 12:7
Ibrahim (PBUH) had risked so much so late in his life to travel to this new land. But in so doing he submitted himself to the Promise of Allah to both be blessed and to be a blessing to all Peoples. And that is why he is so important to us. We continue with Sign 2 of Ibrahim next.