We teenagers usually look up to different celebrities as our role models. We think they are our heroes. We like to dress like them, style like them and follow their words.
This influence is so strong that a single gesture from them can bring about a huge difference in our lives. For example, when the famous Portuguese football player, Cristiano Ronaldo, at a press conference, removed the Coca Cola bottles in front of him and instead he asked everyone to drink water rather than consuming the soft drink, brought a huge loss of $4 billion to the Coca Cola Company in just 4 hours! (News, 2020)
But have you ever wondered who the real role models are? Like in the truest sense? The ones whom if we imitate or take inspiration from, will help in transforming us inside out? They are our Prophets (May peace be upon them all). They are our real heroes. And amongst them, we have great lessons to take from the life of Ibrahim (AS).
When he was young, Ibrahim (AS) listened to his true heart (fitrah) and figured out idol worship is wrong. He spent time and energy thinking about the right and wrong things in life. He then had the courage to break all the idols except for one. From this we learn that we can start learning about Allah (SWT) and His religion at any age. We don’t need to be older to start worshipping Allah (SWT). You are never too young to worship the Almighty.
As a result of breaking their idols and questioning their religion, Ibrahim (AS)’s family and nation punished him by tying him in front of a fire that kept on getting stronger day by day. Yet, he never lost hope in Allah (SWT) and remained bold gazing at the great fire, blazing and roaring infront of him. His spirits remained high because his faith in Allah (SWT) was strong. This is a great example of courage and determination despite having all odds against you!
Another lesson we learn from the example of Ibrahim (AS) is that we should hold on to our principles and our good values no matter what society tells us or our friends pressurize us to do something wrong. At times, it can be our own nafs which misguides us sometimes or inclines towards a sin. At such times, our anchor of true belief and obedience to Allah (SWT) should be strong.
The last lesson we learn is that a youth’s relationship with his parents is very special because many teens think that their parents are not so important in their lives. Many around the globe celebrate “Father’s Day” and “Mother’s Day” and I find it absurd that why are people respecting and expressing their love for their parent on a one particular day. True expression of love and respect for parents comes when you are being scolded by them or they are being unreasonable with you or when they don’t understand you and don’t want to fulfill your desires yet you maintain your temper and speak gently to them. Ibrahim (AS) respected his father throughout this entire episode of breaking idols. Even when his father threatened to kill him, he still spoke politely. Now that is some strong love for one’s parent!
Our Prophet Muhammad (SAW) also was told by Allah to follow the teachings and examples of Ibrahim (AS). It is mentioned in the Qur’an:
ثُمَّ أَوْحَيْنَا إِلَيْكَ أَنِ اتَّبِعْ مِلَّةَ إِبْرَاهِيمَ حَنِيفًا ۖ وَمَا كَانَ مِنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ
“Then We revealed to you,(O Muhammad), to follow the religion of Abraham, inclining toward truth; and he was not of those who associate with Allah.”
As Eid ul Adha is approaching we can take this opportunity to learn more about Ibrahim’s (AS) exemplary life. Let’s make the most of it.