Prophet Ibraaheem (Abraham) was Muslim
Fatwa No: 336403

  • Fatwa Date:20-12-2016 - Rabee' Al-Awwal 21, 1438
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Question

{Indeed, the most worthy of Ibrahim among the people are those who followed him (in submission to Allaah) and this prophet, and those who believe (in his message). And Allaah is the ally of the believers.} [Quran 3:65-68]
Is this verse telling us that we are more entitled to claim Ibrahim as our prophet than the followers of Jesus and Moses?
Please answer directly.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger.

The Muslims, who adhere to the true religion of Islam, are worthier of the Prophets Ibraaheem (Abraham), Moosa (Moses), and 'Eesa (Jesus), may Allah exalt their mention, than the deviant Christians and Jews who have gone astray from true Christianity and Judaism. The religion of Ibraaheem is Islam, the true religion that Allah has chosen for mankind. Ibraaheem was an adherent of Islamic Monotheism, which is void of all traces of polytheism. He was endowed with a sound heart and sincere submission to the commands of his Lord, no matter how hard they were. The Christians and Jews claimed that he belonged to them, so Allah, The Exalted, refuted their claim and declared it false in the Quran; He says (what means): {O People of the Scripture, why do you argue about Ibraaheem while the Torah and the Gospel were not revealed until after him? Then will you not reason? Here you are - those who have argued about that of which you have (some) knowledge, but why do you argue about that of which you have no knowledge? And Allah knows while you know not. Ibraaheem was neither a Jew nor a Christian, but he was one inclining toward truth, a Muslim (submitting to Allah). And he was not of the polytheists. Indeed, the most worthy of Ibraaheem among the people are those who followed him (in submission to Allah) and this Prophet, and those who believe (in his message). And Allah is the ally of the believers.} [Quran 3:65-68]

Ibn ‘Aashoor  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him commented on these verses, saying:

"The verse {...Ibraaheem was neither a Jew nor a Christian, but he was one inclining toward truth, a Muslim (submitting to Allah). And he was not of the polytheists...} indicates that Ibraaheem conformed with the fundamentals of Islam. This is why he was described in the verse as 'Haneefan Musliman,' meaning 'One inclining toward truth and a Muslim (submitting to Allah).' This is because the deviant Jews and Christians knew the meaning of Haneefiyyah (Islamic Monotheism) and did not believe in Islam, so the verse informs them that Islam is Haneefiyyah. The verse {And he was not of the polytheists} negated that Ibraaheem was a Jew or a Christian or a polytheist and confirmed that he was a Muslim. The same fact was emphasized in Soorah Al-Baqarah (Quran Chapter 2), in which Ibraaheem asked to be Muslim, and that Allah commanded him to be Muslim, and that he was Haneefan (monotheistic), and thatm Islam (submission to Allah) that Muhammad, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, was sent with is the same that Ibraaheem was sent with: {They say: Be Jews or Christians (so) you will be guided. Say: Rather, (we follow) the religion of Ibraaheem, inclining toward truth, and he was not of the polytheists.} [Quran 2:135] All this leaves no doubt that the religion of Ibraaheem was Islam." [At-Tahreer wa At-Tanweer]

Ibn ‘Abbaas  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said, "When the Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, arrived at Medeenah, he found the Jews observing the fast on the day of ‘Aashooraa' (10th of Muharram). They (the Jews) said, 'This is the day when Moosa triumphed over Pharaoh.' So the Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said (to the Muslims), 'You are worthier of Moosa than them; so observe fasting (on this day).'" [Al-Bukhari]

Allah, The Exalted, says (what means): {(Mention) when Allah said: O ‘Eesa, indeed I will take you and raise you to Myself and purify you from those who disbelieve and make those who follow you (in submission to Allah alone) superior to those who disbelieve until the Day of Resurrection. Then to Me is your return, and I will judge between you concerning that in which you used to differ.} [Quran 3:55] Ibn Katheer  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him commented on the verse, saying, "The followers of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) are the true followers of the prophets, as they are the ones who truly believe in Christ. " [Tafseer Ibn Katheer]

However, this does not mean that Ibraaheem, may Allah exalt his mention, was a Prophet for the Muslims only, apart from past nations. Rather, it means that Islam is the true religion of Allah for mankind, with which He sent all His Prophets, all of whom were sent to communicate the very essence of Islam, starting with the father of humankind (Aadam, may Allah exalt his mention) and including Ibraaheem, Moosa, and ‘Eesa, and ending with the seal of the Prophets, Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) as Allah, The Exalted, says (what means): {Indeed, the religion in the sight of Allah is Islam...} [Quran 3:19]

All those Messengers agreed on the call to Monotheism and Oneness of Allah, The Exalted, and communicated the divine message of Islam, even if they were not sent with the exact same legislation. Allah, The Exalted, says (what means): {And We sent not before you any messenger except that We revealed to him that: There is no deity except Me, so worship Me.} [Quran 21:25] Allah, The Exalted, also says (what means): {He has ordained for you of religion what He enjoined upon Nooh (Noah) and that which We have revealed to you (O Muhammad) and what We enjoined upon Ibraaheem and Moosa and 'Eesa - to establish the religion and not be divided therein...} [Quran 42:13]

The Prophet, sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, said, "I am the nearest of all people to 'Eesa, the son of Maryam (Mary). The Prophets are paternal brothers (brothers in faith); their mothers are different, but their religion is one." [Muslim and others]

For more benefit, please refer to fatwas 81628 and 88906.

Allah knows best.

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