Meaning of Imam in (2:124)
Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,
As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh. (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)
One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:
Bhai, Please explain me the "Imam" in this quote 2:124. And remember that Abraham was tried by his Lord with certain commands, which he fulfilled: He said: "I will make thee an Imam to the Nations." He pleaded: "And also (Imams) from my offspring!" He answered: "But My Promise is not within the reach of evil-doers."
Jazak Allah Kheir
Your brother in Islam,
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Meaning of Imam in (2:124)
In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is no one (no idol, no person, no grave, no prophet, no imam, no dai, nobody!) worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.
The Arabic word imaam translated into the English language means a righteous leader.
Allah Subhanah put Prophet Ibrahim (a.s.) through several tests and trials, and he passed every one of them with flying colors! The tests that Allah put Prophet Ibrahim (a.s.) through, were the most severe tests He has put on any of His Messengers. He is the first Prophet to make hijrah or migration for Allah! He was constant in His worship and against all odds, he remained steadfast in his worship to his Lord! He was sentenced to be thrown alive in the fire by the wicked king Nimrod, but he depended on Allahs help alone! He went from place to place for several years preaching the Oneness of God, but no one believed him, except his wives and one nephew, Prophet Lot. At all times, he remained steadfast on his deen of Tawheed. He was childless and prayed to Allah to grant him children. Allah blessed him to have a child (Prophet Ismail) in his old age; and when the child was of age, Allah commanded Prophet Ibrahim (a.s.) to slaughter Prophet Ismail (a.s.) for Allah sake. Allah has Himself named this test of Prophet Ibrahim (a.s.) as balaa ul adheem (A Great Trial). And Prophet Ibrahim (a.s.) passed this trial too, and willingly and whole-heartedly submitted his will to the Will of Allah.
His worship and his steadfastness was so pleasing to Allah Subhanah, that Allah has called Prophet Ibrahim (a.s.) His Khalil (choicest friend!). A khalil is like no other friend, and each person can only have one khalil. And that position and status and honor, Allah gave to his beloved and obedient servant, Prophet Ibrahim (a.s.).
After Prophet Ibrahim (a.s.) passed all his trials and tests, Allah Subhanah wanted to honor this obedient and patient slave of Allah; not only in the Hereafter, but also in this world. And when Allah decides to honor someone, there can be no comparison! And, Subhan Allah, how Allah honors His believing slaves! The honor He gave Prophet Ibrahim (a.s.) is probably unsurpassed in this world.
Thus Allah promised him in this aayah, that Allah will make Prophet Ibrahim (a.s.) an imam or leader of mankind! This did not mean that Allah would give him a kingdom to rule, but it meant that Allah would bestow upon him the status of Prophethood, and also to be the Patriarch of all the deens to come; and thus make him the real leader of mankind. The leader or imam, whom all those who follow the Truth, will follow until the end of time! Prophet Ibrahim (a.s.) immediately and humbly asked if this promise of leadership would also apply to all his descendants, whereby Allah replies that the leadership would only apply to the good and righteous descendants of Prophet Ibrahim (a.s.), and not the evildoers amongst them.
True to His Promise, Allah made Prophet Ibrahim (a.s.) the Patriarch or father of all the deens to come. Each and every Prophet of Allah that came after Prophet Ibrahim (a.s.), were from his descendants; and each of them followed the millah or Way of Prophet Ibrahim (a.s.). Such was the honor given to this noble slave and Prophet of Allah, Prophet Ibrahim Al-Khalilullah (a.s.)!
Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allahs Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.
Your Brother in Islam,