Last night I had a debate with my friend.

It was about story of Ibrahim PBUH. Sura Al-An'am 74-83 http://quran.com/6/74-83

According to my common sense & common language, Quran told us that Ibrahim AS search the concept of worshipping one Allah as creator of everything (monotheism) only with his mind.

Of course after he get it. He would think that Allah has guide his thought to the straight path. But, it doesn't tell that he don't have any his personal thought before came to the conclusion (monotheism).

The complete story from my perspectives are:

  1. (Young) Ibrahim AS sensed something wrong with his father idols-worshipping practice. [Al An'am: 74]
  2. Then he left his father, went into wilderness. In Allah SWT POV, wilderness (refer to event in 3 following ayat) will make him the people of faith. [Al An'am: 75]
  3. Saw star, considering it as lord, then left it as lord because it dissapear [Al An'am: 76]
  4. Saw moon, did the same as with star before, but after left moon as lord, realized the need of guidance from lord (might hinted that already had the idea of Allah but might still want the real presence of Allah) [Al An'am: 77]
  5. Saw sun, saw it as a bigger one, considering it as lord, then left it and said no longer associate Allah as his people does (might be no longer want the real presence of Allah). [Al An'am: 78]
  6. Declare that he only accept the creator of sky (star, moon, sun included) and earth, inclining to the truth, and not (stop) associate others with Allah. [Al An'am: 79]
  7. Started preaching what he declare to his people. Allah inspire him the arguments though. [Al An'am: 80-83]

However, my friend didn't agree. Here his points:

  1. Ibrahim PBUH is guided by Allah, he wouldn't ever consider to associate Allah, in his whole life. Therefore, he never searched monotheism with his own free will. He just know.
  2. Thus, Al An'am: 76-78 was just a debate from him to convince his people.

I can't accept his point because

  1. Yes, Ibrahim PBUH is known of the closeness with Allah. But my question is just in a certain phase in his life. Prophet Muhammad PBUH once not a prophet. Hitler once not a fuhrer. Why can't Ibrahim PBUH once not a monotheist (hanif) at least in his searching phase? Or, why can't Ibrahim PBUH search his own concept of God, not 'just know' without free will because of divine knowledge?
  2. If Al An'am: 76-78 is a rhetoric debate, it must be shown clearly. Ibrahim PBUH POV or narrator in Quran (Allah) must explicitly say it before or after. Otherwise, it'll make the reader confused. Bad story telling.
  3. Again, the debate scenario has very weak probability. Al An'am: 75 says that the wilderness will show (or make) Ibrahim PBUH be among the certain. If debate scenario is true, Al An'am: 75 will says the wilderness (realm of heaven and earth) logic at ayat 76-78 is for his people, not him.

My friend couldn't reply my objections, so I can't accept his point. My point is contradict with his rule about Ibrahim PBUH and other prophet, so he can't accept mine. So it's a deadlock until now.

Please help us.

Interesting trivia: there is no this kind of Ibrahim PBUH story in Judaism or Christianity POV.

Our debate actually connected to another more fundamental question:

Can anyone from a far-deep remote isolated area (not knowing Islam and other major religions), grasp the idea like in the first shahadat, only by using his mind ?

I'm not asking that will she/he become prophet too. Because Muslim can only confirm prophecy stuff from Quran or Hadis. Nor I ask this to know about the condition of people at remote area at afterlife. I'm asking this in a secular way, without any reference to Islamic terminology.


2 Answers 2


First, Ibrahim PBUH never disbelieved in Allah as proven in the following Ayah:

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Then We revealed to you, [O Muhammad], to follow the religion of Abraham, inclining toward truth; and he was not of those who associate with Allah. [16:123]


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Indeed, Abraham was a [comprehensive] leader, devoutly obedient to Allah , inclining toward truth, and he was not of those who associate others with Allah. [16:120]

All scholars agree that the Ayah you posted were said out of debate from the Prophet to his people. Let's look deep into the grammer of the Arabic language for those Ayah (I will look into 1, the others are similar):

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So when the night covered him [with darkness], he saw a star. He said, "This is my lord." But when it set, he said, "I like not those that disappear." [6:76]

Here the translation is wrong (like in many instances of the Quran. It should say This is my lord? as a question not a statement. We can see this in many aspects in the Quran like the following Ayah:

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And We did not grant to any man before you eternity [on earth]; so if you die - would they be eternal?

You see the Arabic text in the first Ayah هَذَا رَبِّي equates to أهذا ربي Is this my God? as the second one فَهُمُ الْخَالِدُونَ equates to أفهم الخالدون Will they live eternally?.

To answer your second question, yes it is possible but not everyone is enlightened by Allah as the prophets were. If Allah meant it to happen it would. To further the answer, Islamically non Muslims will not enter hell unless they have heard the clear crisp message of Islam (which doesn't include the way many hear it negatively these days).

Here is a good fatwa in Arabic answering your first concern.

  • Thanks for your answer brother. I've edited my question. Please read it again. :) Commented Jul 26, 2015 at 2:40
  • To make it clearer, "and he was not of those who associate with Allah. [16:123]" doesn't mean that he never do that. And it might means his first rejection to pagan culture. Even "inclining toward truth" [16:120] might also means he searches for truth. Indonesian translation is also use question mark on "This is my lord". But I still could see it as question to himself, when he was young & searching. Commented Nov 20, 2016 at 23:35

I am answering your fundamental question only:

In addition to my limited reading I have close relations with many children...:

Have you spoke to little children and see them asking many questions about Allah? Did anyone introduce Allah to them? Have you see many children that are willing to worship Allah? Children understanding that there is a creator in this universe? i.e. to kid's who are untaught they are worshiping...if you go to those villages that you mentioned they are worshiping.

  1. So if you go around the globe, you see people worshiping something.
  2. Yet everyone is worshiping something different. Some worship a She-God, some worship Multiple Gods, some worship a physical God, some worship a non-physical God.
  3. Where did that commonality through of belief came from ( even people with from different locations and different ages)? It must be that they all came from the same factory/creation...all by the same creator.
  4. Now you might ask me that then why is it that all these people have different beliefs? The answer: We all have the same senses/understanding...its just that many might overstep the extent of correctness of their wisdom for recognition of Allah. There is this Narration from the 5th Shia Imam (grandson of the Prophet) which he says: if you ask an ant, who is God, he would say, God is someone with Giant antennas, because he thinks of that as something great; What I mean by using that is that all human beings are injected with recognition of the creator, but to have polished recognition of Allah, we need aid from someone that Allah will keep him always on a correct path, otherwise he would be like the rest of us, that is why we need prophets...
  5. Imagine that your wisdom is like a house temperature gauge, can you take this temperature gauge to a furnace which they melt steel? What would happen to it? It would burn in seconds, some humans want to take their limited wisdom to understanding Allah fully and come back with stupid ideas using their imagination.
  6. Proof from Quran, that we have the been injected with that belief: This verse is talking about humans having a fitrah, do more research on what is Fitrah and what it guides us to
  7. Also search the word میثاق in the Quran and see what it means, by Shia'i references it means our acceptance/recognition of Allah in the world before.
  8. In General we humans have 2 hujjats (proofs) over us: Our wisdom (عقل) and the prophets, which the wisdom should guide us to that prophet i.e. for that person on the island, he comes to Awe about his creator, but to how to connect to him correctly he is lost, he needs the guidance of the prophet + Quran. Without that if he speaks too much or uses his imagination too much then he would be like that ant speaking...
  9. Just so you know in our wisdom, in addition to a pre-recognition that Allah has gifted us, there are many more gifts that Allah has given to us. Our wisdom is an Army of 75 traits, see the link for a previous answer I have given, the bottom half of my answer is more related.

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