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:
- (Young) Ibrahim AS sensed something wrong with his father idols-worshipping practice. [Al An'am: 74]
- 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]
- Saw star, considering it as lord, then left it as lord because it dissapear [Al An'am: 76]
- 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]
- 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]
- 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]
- 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:
- 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.
- Thus, Al An'am: 76-78 was just a debate from him to convince his people.
I can't accept his point because
- 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?
- 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.
- 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.