"Ibrahim And The Fire"
Prophet Ibrahim (a.s):
A long time ago, in the land of Babel, there lived a young man named Ibrahim. All the people in Babel used to worship idols. They were ruled by a king called Namrud who used to love his idol gods so much that he built a large temple for them. The only person who never worshipped idols was Ibrahim. For this reason, Allah chose Ibrahim (‘a) as His prophet: Ibrahim (‘a) used to live with his uncle Azar, who not only would worship idols, but also used to carve them from wood and stone. Prophet Ibrahim (‘a) tried to guide his uncle and explained him that there is only One God who is All Powerful and that idols are only man-made and powerless. But his uncle ignored him as did all the other people whom Ibrahim (‘a) tried to guide to the right path. Frustrated, he left his uncle’s house and started planning another way to guide the people. On the day of the annual celebrations, all the people left the town but Ibrahim (‘a) said he was sick and remained behind. When everyone had left, he entered the temple where the idols were kept and smashed all the idols with an axe, leaving only one idol standing. Then he placed the axe on that one remaining idol.
In the evening, when the people returned, they were shocked to find that all their idols had been destroyed and only one remained. When Namrud saw this, he became furious and proclaimed from the roof of his palace: Whoever finds the person who did this will be given a big reward! At that moment someone came forward and said: The only person who remained behind was Ibrahim. Another said: Yes, it must be him. He always tells us to stop worshipping these idols. When he heard this, Namrud ordered that Ibrahim (‘a) should be brought to the temple. When Ibrahim (‘a) came in front of Namrud, he asked: O Ibrahim, why did you break our idols?! Prophet Ibrahim (‘a) smiled and said: It seems this was the work of the big idol. Look, it still has the axe! One of the priests of the temple said: Why do you mock our idols Ibrahim? You know very well that they cannot speak let alone move! Ibrahim (‘a) replied: Then how can you worship them? How can you worship idols who cannot even protect themselves and ask them to protect you? Upon hearing this, everyone became silent. They had no answer! When Namrud saw the effect Prophet Ibrahim’s words had on the people, he got angry and shouted: How dare you make fun of our gods?! Our forefathers also used to believe in these idols just as we do! Now you must be punished, and the punishment is that you will be burnt to death! Take him away!
8. A large amount of firewood was gathered and a huge fire was lighted. The fire was so big that nobody could go near it. Even birds could not fly over it! The people came to Namrud and asked him how they could throw Ibrahim (‘a) into the fire when nobody could even go near it. At that moment Shaytan came to Namrud in the form of an old man. He have Namrud the idea of building a huge catapult that could be used to throw Ibrahim (‘a) into the fire. Prophet Ibrahim (‘a) was thrown into the huge fire using the catapult. But Allah commanded the fire to become cool and it turned into a beautiful garden! The people were shocked to see Ibrahim standing in what had been a huge fire just a few moments before. Many of them decided to follow Ibrahim (‘a) there and then. When Namrud saw that Ibrahim (‘a) was standing in a garden full of beautiful flowers, he was shocked. He could not speak! Finally he said: Whoever wants to choose a god for himself, he should choose a god like the God of Ibrahim! When Shaytan saw this, he was very angry – his plan had failed. Even though he had seen the truth before his very eyes, Namrud was stubborn and remained a disbeliever in order to secure his power in his kingdom. He continued to torture Ibrahim (‘a) and his followers until such a time when Prophet Ibrahim (‘a) decided to leave Babel with his family and companions.