Prophet Ibrahim (a.s.), the first to call for monotheism and the one who built the Kaaba, was devoted to the service of Allah in all his words and stances. His heart, mind, and soul were all channeled in one direction; that of Allah, Who was his Sanctuary and confidant. “And when Ibrahim said: My Lord! make this city secure, and save me and my sons from worshipping idols. My Lord! surely they have led many men astray; then whoever follows me, he is surely of me, and whoever disobeys me, Thou surely arc Forgiving, Merciful. O our Lord! surely I have settled a part of my offspring in a valley unproductive of fruit near Thy Sacred House, our Lord! that they may keep up prayer; therefore make the hearts of some people yearn towards them and provide them with fruits; haply they may be grateful.” (14:35-38) After setting the foundation stone at Mecca, so that it would be the city that would embrace the Kaaba, and accordingly, be the city of peace and restitution where all the tribes and clans had to put away the feuds and disagreements upon entering the city: “And when We made the House a pilgrimage for men and a (place of) security, and: Appoint for yourselves a place of prayer on the standing-place of Ibrahim. And We enjoined Ibrahim and Ismail saying: Purify My House for those who visit (it) and those who abide (in it) for devotion and those who bow down (and) those who prostrate themselves.” (2:125) Since peace was going to be the prevailing aspect in the city, then it followed that there should be one nation united under one principles: the submission to the One God. Thus, Prophet Ibrahim (a.s.) supplicated to Allah asking Him to: “and save me and my sons from worshipping idols” which was predominant at that time. People were gone astray; they were prostrating in front of images and structures made of stone and wood seeking their satisfaction and gratification. They lacked the enlightening awareness that would inspire them to look beyond the stone they are revering. They failed to see that the dead and inanimate stone is incapable of doing them any good nor bad. However, Ibrahim (p) possessed a critical mind and attempted to discover what lies beneath this existence. Eventually, after realizing that the source of the whole being was Allah; the realization brought balance and peace to his life, and attempted to embark on the endeavor of calling his people to monotheism. Ibrahim (a.s.)’s saying “then whoever follows me, he is surely of me, and whoever disobeys me Thou surely are Forgiving, Merciful” further emphasizes the missionary aspect of his character. Absolutely, the Prophet (a.s.) is not referring to himself, but to Allah: those who would open their hearts and minds to Ibrahim’s exhortation will ultimately be the followers of Allah, and those who choose to swell in darkness then Allah is surely Forgiving and Merciful. Accordingly, the issue is directly related to God. It is He who would punish the idolaters who refuse monotheism and those who would eventually deviate from the path of righteousness. In the same sense, it is He Who would forgive their sins. Prophet Ibrahim (a.s.) needed the help and support of Allah as he was preparing for the new life: “When he said to his father and his people: What are these images to whose worship you cleave? They said: We found our fathers worshipping them. He said: Certainly you have been, (both) you and your fathers, in manifest error. They said: Have you brought to us the truth, or are you one of the triflers? He said: Nay! your Lord is the Lord of the heavens and the earth, Who brought them into existence, and I am of those who bear witness to this: And, by Allah! I will certainly do something against your idols after you go away, turning back. So he broke them into pieces, except the chief of them, that haply they may return to it. They said: Who has done this to our gods? Most surely he is one of the unjust… Then bring him before the eyes of the people, perhaps they may bear witness. They said: Have you done this to our gods, O Ibrahim? He said: Surely (some doer) has done it; the chief of them is this, therefore ask them, if they can speak. Then they turned to themselves and said: Surely you yourselves are the unjust Then they were made to hang down their heads: Certainly you know that they do not speak.” (21:51-64) Ibrahim felt the need to stimulate people’s minds, and sharpen their thinking. He had to open their eyes to the realities around them, and thus he shattered all of their idols except for the chief idol. It was a preposterous deed for them. After all, the idols were relics that have survived from the past. They were not only part of their tradition and culture, but also a historical heritage from their ancestors. Ibrahim (a.s.)’s approach was very tactful and wise: he left the chief idol so that it would tell its worshippers about the person who committed the evil deed. They instantly assumed that the perpetrator was Ibrahim (a.s.) since he was the only person who refused idolatry. After the confrontation and the realization that their chief idol was incapable of speaking nor defending the rest of the idols that are now shattered, they decided to punish the Prophet (a.s.) by setting him on fire. However, the words of Allah and His will defeated those of the idolaters: “They said: Burn him and help your gods, if you are going to do (anything). We said: O fire! be a comfort and peace to Ibrahim. And they desired a war on him, but We made them the greatest losers.” (21:67-69) source : Fatema Makki