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How Ibrahim broke the Idols Print E-mail
Written by Ibn Kathir   
Friday, 10 November 2006

How Ibrahim broke the Idols

Then Ibrahim swore an oath, which some of his people heard, to plot against their idols, i.e., to break them and destroy them after they had gone away and turned their backs, when they went out to their festival. They had a festival which they would go out to celebrate. Abu Ishaq reported from Abu Al-Ahwas from `Abdullah [Ibn Mas`ud], "When the people of Ibrahim went out to celebrate their festival, they passed by him and said, `O Ibrahim, are you not coming out with us' He said, `I am sick.' '' It was only the day before that he had said,

[وَتَاللَّهِ لأَكِيدَنَّ أَصْنَـمَكُمْ بَعْدَ أَن تُوَلُّواْ مُدْبِرِينَ ]
(And by Allah, I shall plot a plan for your idols after you have gone away and turned your backs.) and some of the people had heard him.

[فَجَعَلَهُمْ جُذَاذاً]
(So he broke them to pieces,) means, he smashed them all, except for the biggest idol. This is like the Ayah,

[فَرَاغَ عَلَيْهِمْ ضَرْباً بِالْيَمِينِ ]
(Then he turned upon them, striking (them) with (his) right hand) [37:93].

[لَعَلَّهُمْ إِلَيْهِ يَرْجِعُونَ]
(that they might turn to it. ) It was said that he put a hammer in the hands of the biggest idol so that the people would think that it had become jealous on its own account and objected to these smaller idols being worshipped alongside it, so it had broken them.

[قَالُواْ مَن فَعَلَ هَـذَا بِـَالِهَتِنَآ إِنَّهُ لَمِنَ الظَّـلِمِينَ ]
(They said: "Who has done this to our gods He must indeed be one of the wrongdoers.'') When they came back and saw what Ibrahim had done to their idols, humiliating them and lowering their status, proving that they were not divine and that those who worshipped them were fools,

[قَالُواْ مَن فَعَلَ هَـذَا بِـَالِهَتِنَآ إِنَّهُ لَمِنَ الظَّـلِمِينَ ]
(They said: "Who has done this to our gods He must indeed be one of the wrongdoers.'') because of this action of his.

[قَالُواْ سَمِعْنَا فَتًى يَذْكُرُهُمْ يُقَالُ لَهُ إِبْرَهِيمُ ]
(They said: "We heard a young man talking against them, who is called Ibrahim.'') Those who had heard him swearing to plot against them said, we heard a young man talking about them, and they said that he was called Ibrahim.

[قَالُواْ فَأْتُواْ بِهِ عَلَى أَعْيُنِ النَّاسِ]
(They said: "Then bring him before the eyes of the people...'') meaning, in front of a large audience so that all the people could be present. This was Ibrahim's ultimate purpose, so that he could tell this great gathering about the extent of their ignorance and how foolish they were to worship idols which could not defend themselves from harm or help themselves, so how could they ask them for help

[قَالُواْ ءَأَنْتَ فَعَلْتَ هَـذَا بِـَالِهَتِنَا يإِبْرَهِيمُ قَالَ بَلْ فَعَلَهُ كَبِيرُهُمْ هَـذَا]
(They said: "Are you the one who has done this to our gods, O Ibrahim'' He said: "Nay, this one, the biggest of them did it...'') referring to the one he had left alone and had not broken.

[فَاسْـَلُوهُمْ إِن كَانُواْ يِنْطِقُونَ]
(Ask them, if they can speak!) He was hoping that they would admit of their own volition that these idols could not speak and that this idol would not say anything because it was inanimate. In the Two Sahihs it was recorded from Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger of Allah said:

How Ibrahim broke the Idols

Then Ibrahim swore an oath, which some of his people heard, to plot against their idols, i.e., to break them and destroy them after they had gone away and turned their backs, when they went out to their festival. They had a festival which they would go out to celebrate. Abu Ishaq reported from Abu Al-Ahwas from `Abdullah [Ibn Mas`ud], "When the people of Ibrahim went out to celebrate their festival, they passed by him and said, `O Ibrahim, are you not coming out with us' He said, `I am sick.' '' It was only the day before that he had said,

[وَتَاللَّهِ لأَكِيدَنَّ أَصْنَـمَكُمْ بَعْدَ أَن تُوَلُّواْ مُدْبِرِينَ ]
(And by Allah, I shall plot a plan for your idols after you have gone away and turned your backs.) and some of the people had heard him.

[فَجَعَلَهُمْ جُذَاذاً]
(So he broke them to pieces,) means, he smashed them all, except for the biggest idol. This is like the Ayah,

[فَرَاغَ عَلَيْهِمْ ضَرْباً بِالْيَمِينِ ]
(Then he turned upon them, striking (them) with (his) right hand) [37:93].

[لَعَلَّهُمْ إِلَيْهِ يَرْجِعُونَ]
(that they might turn to it. ) It was said that he put a hammer in the hands of the biggest idol so that the people would think that it had become jealous on its own account and objected to these smaller idols being worshipped alongside it, so it had broken them.

[قَالُواْ مَن فَعَلَ هَـذَا بِـَالِهَتِنَآ إِنَّهُ لَمِنَ الظَّـلِمِينَ ]
(They said: "Who has done this to our gods He must indeed be one of the wrongdoers.'') When they came back and saw what Ibrahim had done to their idols, humiliating them and lowering their status, proving that they were not divine and that those who worshipped them were fools,

[قَالُواْ مَن فَعَلَ هَـذَا بِـَالِهَتِنَآ إِنَّهُ لَمِنَ الظَّـلِمِينَ ]
(They said: "Who has done this to our gods He must indeed be one of the wrongdoers.'') because of this action of his.

[قَالُواْ سَمِعْنَا فَتًى يَذْكُرُهُمْ يُقَالُ لَهُ إِبْرَهِيمُ ]
(They said: "We heard a young man talking against them, who is called Ibrahim.'') Those who had heard him swearing to plot against them said, we heard a young man talking about them, and they said that he was called Ibrahim.

[قَالُواْ فَأْتُواْ بِهِ عَلَى أَعْيُنِ النَّاسِ]
(They said: "Then bring him before the eyes of the people...'') meaning, in front of a large audience so that all the people could be present. This was Ibrahim's ultimate purpose, so that he could tell this great gathering about the extent of their ignorance and how foolish they were to worship idols which could not defend themselves from harm or help themselves, so how could they ask them for help

[قَالُواْ ءَأَنْتَ فَعَلْتَ هَـذَا بِـَالِهَتِنَا يإِبْرَهِيمُ قَالَ بَلْ فَعَلَهُ كَبِيرُهُمْ هَـذَا]
(They said: "Are you the one who has done this to our gods, O Ibrahim'' He said: "Nay, this one, the biggest of them did it...'') referring to the one he had left alone and had not broken.

[فَاسْـَلُوهُمْ إِن كَانُواْ يِنْطِقُونَ]
(Ask them, if they can speak!) He was hoping that they would admit of their own volition that these idols could not speak and that this idol would not say anything because it was inanimate. In the Two Sahihs it was recorded from Abu Hurayrah that the Messenger of Allah said:

 
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