Ibrahim: The Father of Faith That (Should) Bring Us Together

Surah 14 in the Holy Quran is entitled 'Ibrahim," or Abraham. ??All three monotheistic religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam trace their roots to Abraham. ??In Judaism, Abraham is the father of the Israelites through his son Isaac. In Christianity, through Abraham's family line, all people of the world will be blessed. ??And he is seen as the Father of Faith (especially in the episode where he is called upon by God to sacrifice his son Isaac). ?? In Islam, through Abraham's son Ishmael's family line, the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) emerges. ??Abraham is also the said to be the builder, with his son Ishmael, of the first house of worship, now called the Kaaba. ??The Kaaba is the central focus point of Mecca, towards which Muslims pray.

Ibrahim, in this Surah, strives for faithfulness and to proclaim the oneness of God. He says, "O my Lord! Make this city one of peace and security: ??and preserve me and my sons from worshipping idols" (verse 35). ??In verse 37, he refers to the Kaaba and pleas for the blessing of his descendants (a blessing that all three religions can claim). ??"O our Lord! I have made some of my offspring dwell in a valley without cultivation, by Your Sacred House; in order, O our Lord, that they may establish regular Prayer; so fill the hearts of some among men with love toward them, and feed them with fruits: so that they may give thanks." ??

Ibrahim, as the Surah shows, is a man of faithfulness and devotion to God. ??He decides to dwell in a place where food is scarce, putting trust in the Lord for provision. ??Ibrahim focuses on prayer, peace, and security for his family, trusting that God will deliver. ??He is worried of worshipping false idols, which even today is sometimes a difficult task, as we put the desire for power, money, and personal gain over the well-being of God's people. ??

And Ibrahim, for us Americans that live in a religiously diverse country, serves as a point of connection among Jew, Christians, and Muslims. ??We can identify that we all are people of Ibrahim, trying to live faithfully and valuing prayer, people, and security. Ibrahim serves as a motivation and reason to advocate for interfaith cooperation across our religious lines. ??This reality calls us to a deeper faith, one that acknowledges our common roots as people of God, and charges us with the care of all of creation, even those that observe non-Abrahamic religions and even those who have no faith at all. ??Ibrahim serves as a symbol that all humanity and creation is connected, and that we must promote peace and work to care for each other. ????
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