All prophets / ambiya are said to have spoken with divine authority; but only those who have been given a major revelation are titled "rasul' or messenger. Notable rusul/messengers include prophets Adam, Noah/Nuh, Abraham/Ibrahim, Moses/Musa, Dawud/David, Jesus/'Isa, and Muhammad (peace be upon all of them).
Prophet Ibrahim is considered the first known international religious personality; having been born in 'Ur/'Urfa, traveled throughout the Middle East, established in Jerusalem, ventured to Makkah and lies buried in Hebron, Palestine. Each of these places still of historic, religious and spiritual significance today.
Description in the Qur'an
Prophet Abraham / Ibrahim is mentioned 69 times by name in the Qur'an with an entire chapter (14) titled Ibrahim. Muslims consider Ibrahim the khalil/ friend of the Divine, as Allah states: "Who can be better in faith than one who submits his whole self to Allah, does good deeds and follows the way of Ibrahim, the one who was true in faith? For Allah did take Ibrahim as friend." [Qur'an 4:125]
Prophet Ibrahim is referred to as ... inspired [Qur'an 4:163], most truthful [Qur'an 19:41], a prophet [Qur'an 19:41], mild, imploring, penitent [Qur'an 11:75], soft-hearted and long-suffering [Qur'an 9:114], upright [Qur'an 3:67,95; 16:120,123]. Believers are called "millat- Ibrahim" the people /community of Ibrahim throughout the Qur'an [Qur'an 2:130; 135; 3:95; 4:125; 6:161; 12:37-38; 16:123; 21:73; 22:78]. Another verse in the Quran portrays Ibrahim as the ab/father of all believers. "Strive in the way of God as you ought to strive with sincerity and discipline. He has chosen you and has not laid upon you any hardship in the observance of your faith - the faith of your father Ibrahim." [Qur'an 22:78] Yet another verse confirms that Ibrahim is part of the fraternity of God's prophets. "(O Muhammad), We have sent revelations to you just as We sent to Noah and the Prophets who came after him. We also sent revelations to Ibrahim, Ishma'il, Ishaq, Ya'qub, his descendants, 'Īsa, Ayyub, Yunus, Harun, and Sulayman, and to Dawud We gave the Zabur/Psalms." [Qur'an 4:163]
Positive and benign attitude
Prophet Ibrahim's logical attitude in his search for truth [Qur'an 5:75-79]; his respectful debate with his unbelieving father [Qur'an 19:41-49] and his loving relationship with his son [Qur'an 37:102] are all timeless examples of excellence. True Believers are those who follow the way of Ibrahim [Qur'an 2:258; 16:123; 6:162-163]. Faithful worshippers send (darud- Ibrahim) salutation on Ibrahim and his family along with the Prophet Muhammad and his family in every one of their daily prayers.
Prophet Ibrahim is pioneer of universalizing tawhid, the only scriptural figure who enjoys the unanimous acclaim of all three major faith traditions (Christianity, Judaism and Islam), the only one referred to by all three as "father". Allah advises us; "Strive in the way of Allah as you ought to strive, with sincerity and discipline. He has chosen you and has not laid upon you any hardship in the observance of your faith - the faith of your father Ibrahim." [Qur'an 22:78]
In theory, this remarkable consensus should make Prophet Ibrahim an interfaith superstar, a special resource in these times of conflict and mistrust. His history constitutes a kind of multi-faith harmony, a case study for monotheism, a unifying symbol for people of faith in a time of tremendous strife. O Allah! Send salutations upon Muhammad and upon the family of Muhammad as You sent salutations upon Ibrahim and upon the family of Ibrahim; indeed, You are Worthy of all Praise, Most Glorious. O Allah! Bless Muhammad and the family of Muhammad as You blessed Ibrahim and the family of Ibrahim; indeed, You are Worthy of all Praise, Most Glorious.
Shaykh Sadullah Khan is the Director of Impower Development International www.impowerinternational.com.