This article is a collection of Islamic material regarding the early years of Prophet Abraham AS.
To download the Quranic verses please click here.
H 2866, CH 165, h 1
Ali ibn Ibrahim has narrated from Muhammad ibn ‘Isa from Yunus from al Husayn ibn Hakam who has said the following: “Once I wrote to the virtuous servant (of Allah) saying that I had doubt and Ibrahim, peace be upon him, had said, ‘Lord, show me how you will bring the dead to life?’ (2: 260) and I would love that you show me something. The Imam wrote back to me, ‘Ibrahim was a believer. He wanted to increase his belief. You, however, have doubt and there is nothing good in doubt.’ The Imam further wrote, ‘Doubt comes when there is no certainty when certainty, comes then doubting is not permissible.’ He wrote further, ‘Allah, the Most Majestic, the Most Holy, has said, “We did not find many among them keeping their promises. However, We did find many evil-doers among them.” (7:102) The Imam said, ‘It was revealed about people who doubt.’”
H 3093, CH 10, h 6 A number of our people have narrated from Sahl ibn Ziyad from Ja’far ibn Muhammad al-Ash’ari from ibn al-Qaddah from abu ‘Abd Allah, recipient of divine supreme covenant, who has said the following: “The Messenger of Allah has said, ‘May Allah grant favors upon a servant who requests help from Allah, the Most Majestic, the Most Holy, and insists on praying and pleading before Him for help, accepted or not. He then read this verse of the Holy Quran: “. . . I worship my Lord and hope that my prayers will not be ignored.’” (19:48)
H 2685, CH 135, h 17
Ali ibn Ibrahim has narrated from his father from Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn
abu Nasr from Hammad ibn ‘Uthman from al-Hassan al-Sayqal who has said the
“Once I said to abu ‘Abd Allah, recipient of divine supreme
covenant, ‘We narrate it from abu Ja’far, recipient of divine
supreme covenant, about the words of Yusuf, “O people of the
camels, you are thieves.” (12:70) The Imam said, ‘By Allah,
they did not steal and he did not lie.’
“The narrator has said that he then said, Ibrahim said, ‘In fact, it
is the large one among them who has done it. Ask them if they
can speak.’ (21:63) The Imam said, ‘By Allah, they did not do it
and he did not lie.’ The narrator has said that abu ‘Abd Allah,
recipient of divine supreme covenant, then asked, ‘What
explanation do you have, O al-Sayqal?’ I (the narrator) then said,
‘We have no explanation, but accept it as is.’ The narrator has
said that the Imam then said, ‘Allah loves two things and hates
two things: He loves shows of arrogance between two fighting
armies and loves lies to establish peace. He hates shows of
arrogance on the roads and lies in the matters other than
establishing reform. Ibrahim (Abraham) said, ‘It is the large one
who has done it,’ with the intention to bring about social reform
to prove that the idols cannot do such things. Yusuf (Joseph)
said what he said and it was for social well-being.’”
21|64|Then they turned to one another, and said, “You yourselves are the wrongdoers.”
H 1331, Ch. 124, h 13 Ishaq has said that al-Hassan ibn al-Zarif narrated to me the following: “Two issues would nudged in my chest which made me write to abu Muhammad, recipient of divine supreme covenant. I wrote about al-Qa’im (the one who will rise with Divine Authority and power). ‘When he will rise, by what means will he judge among the people and where will be his court house?’ I also wanted to ask him about alternating fever but I had forgotten to mention it in writing. The answer came. ‘You had asked about al-Qa’im. When he will rise he will judge among people through his own knowledge just the way David would judge. He will not call any witness to testify. You also wanted to ask about alternating fever but you forgot to do so. Write this on a sheet (of material), ‘We said to the fire, be cool and peaceful (with Abraham).’ (21:69) The narrator has said that we did just as he had said and the suffering person was relieved.’”
37|101|So We gave him good news of a clement boy.
Were Prophet Ibrahem AS and Lady Sara brother and sister?
It has not stated in the main authentic Shia sources that Abraham (AS) and Sara were brother and sister to each other. Indeed, it has been reported in some Sunni sources and then in some Shia books that when Nimrud threw Abraham into the fire due to the latter breaking and insulting the idols, Almighty Allah made the fire cold, safe and secure for the prophet enabling him to come out of the fire unhurt. Nimrud was struck with fear seeing this incident. That was why he confiscated his property and ordered him to be banished from the land under his rule. Prophet Abraham then said: “Return to me my property and I will leave your land.”
Nimrud opposed him and Nimrud’s judge said: “If this main remains in this land, he will destroy your religion; it is therefore better that you give him back his property and let him leave the land.”
Nimrud ordered that Abraham’s properties and belongings be returned to him. There and then Abraham put his wife, Sara, who was the daughter of his mother’s sister into a box to protect her against the gaze of Nimrud’s followers. Then he and Lot who was the son of his mother’s sister left the land under Nimrud’s rule. When he was leaving Nimrud’s land, he came across Nimrud’s men who each took one tenth of their properties until one of them walked over to the box and said: “Open that case, so we can see what is in there.”
Abraham said: Whatever you think is in the box I will give you one tenth of it but do not open it; the custom’s officer and Numrid’s agent did not accept and Abraham was forced to open the box. When he saw Sara’s beautiful face, he was amazed and then he inquired: “Who is this woman with you?”
Abraham (AS) dissimulated (did tawriyah) and said: “She is my sister.” He meant his sister in faith, not his real sister. The reason he dissimulated was to protect Sara; because if he had said that she was his wife, they would kill her.
Therefore, Prophet Abraham and Sara were not real brother and sister so we cannot conclude that incestuous marriages (i.e. marriage of a man to his sister, niece and aunt) were allowed in other religions or at least until the time of Prophet Abraham, peace be upon him. It has been said only in regards to Adam’s children, based on a report, that since incestuous marriage was not prohibited in the time of Prophet Adam and there was no way for the man’s offspring to survive, therefore Cain and Abel married their twin sisters. It was after these marriages that God forbade marriage of a man to his sister