بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ
Who is the biggest ilah/god in people’s mind?
Illahs/gods are the ones with whom there is no two-way communication. When you call them they can’t respond to you (46:5, 7:194, 13:14). While, Allah/God does communicate with people through His Book. You get to know about Allah, His orders, His likes and dislikes through His Book. When you don’t know Allah through His Book, Allah is like an Ilah/god to you i.e there is no two way communication with Him. Those people who don’t have communication with Allah, the biggest Illah/god in their minds is Allah/God. While they do say that Allah is their Lord but they don’t know what Allah is asking them to do. They don’t have knowledge of His Book and His message to them. They keep putting their list of desires before Him, however they don’t know what He is asking them to become or act like in order for their supplications to be accepted, so Allah becomes the biggest illah for them.
Because, the majority of people who don’t have knowledge of the Book and therefore don’t know Allah’s message, they fall prey to the syndrome of smaller ilah’s/gods. These smaller ilahs/gods are of various types; an introduction to them is given in previously published post https://topicsfromquran.wordpress.com/2017/08/07/ilahs-false-gods-mentioned-in-al-kitab/ . They can be in the form of emotions, physical idols, non physical idols, Jesus, Mary, Lofty personalities, stories of the past, etc. The first statement of all messengers as stated in the Book, is not to associate smaller illahs/gods with Allah/God. The practice of Ibrahim (a.s) is to break the smaller illah’s/gods so that people can turn towards the real Allah/God. That is termed as the best practice in the eyes of the Lord (60:4). The smaller Illah’s/gods/idols cannot be broken in people nafs/psyche without the leave of Allah as they are so deeply ingrained in people.
Therefore, when Ibrahim (a.s), said that the biggest one has broken the smaller idols, it is not a lie, its actually a true statement. Allah confirms in Quran that Ibrahim is truthful prophet (19:41) although story and history books may tell you that Ibrahim has told 3 lies in his life time. This can not be true in light of Quranic ayat. These stories cannot relate to the fact that when Ibrahim (a.s) broke the Idols of his nation and told them that the Greatest one has done it, he actually means that the smaller illah’s can only be shattered by the leave of Allah (the Biggest Ilah), as they are so deeply ingrained in one’s psyche. Related Quranic ayahs are given below:
21:52 إِذْ قَالَ لِأَبِيهِ وَقَوْمِهِ مَا هَٰذِهِ التَّمَاثِيلُ الَّتِي أَنتُمْ لَهَا عَاكِفُونَ
When he said to his father and his people, “What are these statues/dramas to which you are devoting yourselves?”
37:95 قَالَ أَتَعْبُدُونَ مَا تَنْحِتُونَ
He said, “Do you worship what you yourself carve?”
21:57 وَتَاللَّهِ لَأَكِيدَنَّ أَصْنَامَكُم بَعْدَ أَن تُوَلُّوا مُدْبِرِينَ
And by Allah I will plan for your idols after you will turn your backs.
37:93 فَرَاغَ عَلَيْهِمْ ضَرْبًا بِالْيَمِينِ
So he conned his way on them moving/striking with the right
The illahs are so deeply ingrained in people’s psyche and people are so emotionally attached with them that they cannot be broken head on. You need to strike the illahs from the side. That is not making them realize that it is their illahs who are being targeted, otherwise they will become so emotional that you will not be able to reason with them.
21:58 فَجَعَلَهُمْ جُذَاذًا إِلَّا كَبِيرًا لَّهُمْ لَعَلَّهُمْ إِلَيْهِ يَرْجِعُونَ
So he shattered (their gods) to small pieces except GREAT ONE so that they turn to Him.
Ibrahim (a.s) shattered the smaller Ilahs/gods so that people get rid of their small gods and can turn to the Big one i.e Allah.
21:62-63 قَالُوا أَأَنتَ فَعَلْتَ هَٰذَا بِآلِهَتِنَا يَا إِبْرَاهِيمُ قَالَ بَلْ فَعَلَهُ كَبِيرُهُمْ هَٰذَا فَاسْأَلُوهُمْ إِن كَانُوا يَنطِقُونَ
They said! Are you the one who has done this with our gods, O` Ibrahim/Abraham? He said! Instead, the GREAT ONE of them has done it, ask them if they can speak.
Ibrahim (a.s), did not lie. The smaller gods are always shattered in people nafs/phsyche with the leave of Allah. Most people who believe in Allah don’t do so without associating Him with smaller gods (12:106). It is Allah only, who can destroy the ilahs/smaller gods with His mercy.
19:41 وَاذْكُرْ فِي الْكِتَابِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ ۚ إِنَّهُ كَانَ صِدِّيقًا نَّبِيًّا
And mention in The Book, Ibrahim/Abraham: He was a Truthful prophet.
Allah confirms that Ibrahim is a truthful prophet.
8:17 فَلَمْ تَقْتُلُوهُمْ وَلَٰكِنَّ اللَّهَ قَتَلَهُمْ ۚ وَمَا رَمَيْتَ إِذْ رَمَيْتَ وَلَٰكِنَّ اللَّهَ رَمَىٰ ۚ وَلِيُبْلِيَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ مِنْهُ بَلَاءً حَسَنًا ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ
It is not you who fought them; but it was Allah who fought them. And you did not throw pebbles when you threw them but Allah did threw the pebbles in order that He might test the believers by a gracious trial. Verily Allah hears and knows (all things).
When you act in the way of Allah according to His wishes, actually Allah is getting these done through you.
60:4 قَدْ كَانَتْ لَكُمْ أُسْوَةٌ حَسَنَةٌ فِي إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَالَّذِينَ مَعَهُ إِذْ قَالُوا لِقَوْمِهِمْ إِنَّا بُرَآءُ مِنكُمْ وَمِمَّا تَعْبُدُونَ مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ كَفَرْنَا بِكُمْ وَبَدَا بَيْنَنَا وَبَيْنَكُمُ الْعَدَاوَةُ وَالْبَغْضَاءُ أَبَدًا حَتَّىٰ تُؤْمِنُوا بِاللَّهِ وَحْدَهُ
Indeed there is for you The most beautiful practice in Ibrahim and those with him, when they said to their people: surely , We are clear of you and of whatever you serve besides Allah: We have rejected you, and there has begun, between us and you, enmity and hatred forever, unless you believe in Allah and Him alone……..
Ibrahim (a.s) is the Idol breaker per Quran, and this is a best practice/ Uswatun Hasanah for his followers to do, i.e break ideological idols in the hearts and minds of people and be free from what people serve beside Allah.
12:106 وَمَا يُؤْمِنُ أَكْثَرُهُم بِاللَّهِ إِلَّا وَهُم مُّشْرِكُونَ
And most of them do not believe with Allah without associating (other as partners) with Him!
37:89 فَقَالَ إِنِّي سَقِيمٌ
(Ibrahim said) I am sick.
Ibrahim did not lie here, he was sick of what his nations used to associate with Allah.
37:85-86 إِذْ قَالَ لِأَبِيهِ وَقَوْمِهِ مَاذَا تَعْبُدُونَ أَئِفْكًا آلِهَةً دُونَ اللَّهِ تُرِيدُونَ
He said to his father and his people, “What are you serving/worshiping? Is it these fabricated gods, instead of Allah, that you want?
Ibrahim was sick of their associating false gods with Allah.
A lecture describing false gods and how prophet Ibrahim A.S breaks Idols in people’s minds;