37. Ibrahim, the Imam to the Nations

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BISMILA-HIR RAHMA-NIR RAHIM

Asalamu Aliekum!

Abraham [Ibrahim] was a great man of Allah. He was highly regarded by God and was chosen as a type or example for others to follow.
He is called the “Imam to the nations” in the Honored Qur’an. We wish to look into the life of this remarkable man who chose to follow God at great odds. It is stated in the Honored Qur’an that his own father opposed him and most likely his other relatives as well. Following God without reserve on our part always bares a cost. Often we will be misunderstood by those around us and especially those of our own family or ummah. Someone who closely follows God will often be looked upon as strange, for following God’s voice can bring us into conflict with those even of our own religion.

“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."
Sura 2:124 Al-Baqara

We wish to take another look in the “Imam to the Nations”, as to how did this man live. We have a picture from the Holy Books the Taurat and Injeel as to how Ibrahim conducted his life. From these sources we can gain a better view of why Allah called him as a Imam, a leader of those who are seeking Allah with all their heart.

“For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.” Taurat Genesis 18:19
Even the heathen at the time of Ibrahim recognized that God was with him.
“Now at that time, Abimelech and Phicol, (the captain of his army), said to Abraham, I see that God is with you in all you do.” Taurat Genesis 21:22

Is it apparent to the heathen today that God is with you and I? If the heathen cannot see it, is it because we fail to connect with God as we ought?

Ibrahim’s example
There are various examples of Ibrahim’s life which we need to notice and which we should see as an example for us to follow. Ibrahim had a very humble outlook upon himself…
“And Abraham answered and said, Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the Lord, which [I] am but dust and ashes.” Taurat Genesis 18:27

The Taurat says of him, “…Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.” Taurat Genesis 26:5

One area we wish to look into was in the area of Ibrahim’s liberality. His manner of giving his wealth back to Allah. As is too often the case today, the wealthy are such because of hoarded wealth, this is why they are wealthy, however Ibrahim did not hoard his wealth to himself. He graciously gave back to Allah a tenth of his increase. Yes, as incredible as it sounds this is an example often overlooked by believers. They settle for a much smaller percentage, 2 or 3 percent of their income, they say this is sufficient but what does the Taurat say on the amount which Ibrahim returned to Allah. In time past Allah made known through early prophets what He expects from His people as to what He asks that we return to Him. This example set along ago is what Ibrahim and others from Allah willingly gave. This is our example as well.
“And concerning the tithe of the herd, or of the flock, even of whatsoever passeth under the rod, the tenth shall be holy unto the LORD. Leviticus 27:32
Here in clear language which no one can miss, it tells us that the Lord expected a ‘tithe’ or a ‘tenth’ which is what ‘tithe’ means. It continues in the Taurat:
“And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is the LORD'S: it is holy unto the LORD.” Leviticus 27:30

We have this admonition followed long before this time by Ibrahim. The record states that he gave a tenth or tithe to the priest of God, Melchizedek.

“And blessed be God Most High, who has defeated your enemies for you." Then Abram gave Melchizedek a tenth of all the goods he had recovered.” Taurat Genesis 14:20

So important was this deed which Ibrahim did that it was again recorded many years later in the Injeel
“But Melchizedek, who was not a descendant of Levi, collected a tenth from Abraham. And Melchizedek placed a blessing upon Abraham, the one who had already received the promises of God.”
Injeel Hebrews 7:6

Allah asks a question!
"Should people cheat God? Yet you have cheated Me! "But you ask, 'What do You mean? When did we ever cheat You?' "You have cheated Me of the tithes and offerings due to Me.” Malachi 3:8

Anciently the people of Allah cheated Him by refusing to return the tithe or tenth back to Him. They kept the tenth to themselves, made themselves rich but it was considered robbery with God.

The same holds true to us today. Allah has abundantly given to us of His wealth and He requests that we return a tenth of our increase and offerings above that. Anciently those who were faithful in Israel gave twenty percent or even more to the cause of God. Today as people living at the close of earth’s history need to take this very seriously and follow that example. Should we not be more pious and willing to give as they did? Anything short of this is truly robbery and withholding that which rightfully belongs to Allah.

Ibrahim’s life was one of liberality as he strove to be in harmony with Heaven. The spirit of liberality is the spirit of heaven. Heaven has the spirit of giving, and this spirit finds its highest manifestation in Isa al-Masih’s supreme sacrifice on the cross. In our behalf Allah gave His only-begotten Son; and Christ, having given up all that He had, then gave Himself, that man might be saved. What took place on Mount Moriah two thousand years ago demonstrates in unequal language that Heaven gave the best for mankind to redeem and ransom us from eternal death. That great event, when Isa gave His life on behalf of all mankind should appeal to the benevolence of every child of Allah. On the other hand, the spirit of selfishness is the spirit of Iblis or Satan. The principle illustrated in the lives of worldlings is to get, get. Thus they hope to secure happiness and ease, but the fruit of their sowing is misery and death. Not until God ceases to bless His children will they cease to be under bonds to return to Him the portion that He claims.

Allah’s claim of our tithe or tenth
“Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this," says the LORD Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it. I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not drop their fruit before it is ripe," says the LORD Almighty.” Malachi 3:10-11

Allah is asking us to test or prove Him. In order to do so, we need to take Him at His word. I would highly recommend that the reader prove these promises of Allah to be true! Return the tithe or tenth of your increase to Him and see if the windows or floodgates of heaven will open for you! The promise is that there will not be room enough to store it. He also promises to protect our goods and crops from being devoured. I have tested Allah will this and can truthfully say that I have more than I can carry! The blessings outweigh the returns which I give back to Him.

“The LORD shall command the blessing upon thee in thy storehouses, and in all that thou settest thine hand unto; and he shall bless thee in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.” Deuteronomy 28:8

Dear friends would you like Allah to command a blessing upon you? This is what is says and this is what He will do if we comply with the conditions…are you ready to comply with returning the tenth? Then fear not to ask for the blessings which Allah will command upon you!

Friends where is your treasure? Isa al-Masih states a principle. “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Injeel Matthew 6:21

Friends we would be blessed if we follow the example of Ibrahim the Imam to the nations, in returning the tenth of our increase to Allah.

Prophecies at the end of time
Lastly there are ancient prophecies of Isaiah 60 which include the Children of the East (Islam today) in the end time settings and their involvement with Allah and the faithful ‘people of the Book’. These people will bring forth of their wealth to bring glory to Allah and advance the last day message before the world ends and Isa returns. Dear friend of Allah, He wants you to be a part of the closing work on earth!
“The multitude of camels shall cover thee, the dromedaries of Midian and Ephah; all they from Sheba shall come: they shall bring gold and incense; and they shall shew forth the praises of the LORD. All the flocks of Kedar shall be gathered together unto thee, the rams of Nebaioth shall minister unto thee: they shall come up with acceptance on mine altar, and I will glorify the house of my glory…their silver and their gold with them, unto the name of the LORD thy God…” Taurat Isaiah 60:6-10

“Ibrahim, the Imam to the Nations”

Sura 2:124
Al-Baqara

Series no.37

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