“Remember when Abraham said to his father, Azar: do you take these idols as gods? Surely, I see you and your people in manifest error.”
“Thus did we show Abraham the laws of the heavens and the earth that he might be of those possessing certainty (of mind).” Qur’an 6:74-75
Abraham (Ibrahim) grew up among a people who worshipped idols, and his father also followed this practice of idol worship. Abraham, even as a young boy, could never accept in his heart to follow the practice of worshipping idols as gods.
These two verses from the Qur’an indicate the sentiments of Abraham’s heart and his state of mind before he began his spiritual journey in search of his Lord. At this point, he had concluded in his heart that the way of worship practiced by his father and by his people was completely in error. Therefore, he could no longer hold his tongue about their practice of worshipping idols as gods.
Of course, the larger story of Abraham given in the Qur’an outlines the confrontation he had with his people about their worship of these idols. And the story also gives us the reaction of his people to his criticism of their gods. The above verses introduce us, not to the confrontation, but they serve as an introduction to the beginning of his spiritual journey in search of his Lord.
Allah has revealed in the Qur’an that our way of life is the millah (way) of Ibrahim. The Qur’an says that it is “the millah of your father Ibrahim”. I believe that our way of life (millah), as revealed in the Qur’an and in the story of Ibrahim, has implications regarding the issue of faith and reason. Using the story of Ibrahim as a commentary on faith and reason, this article will cite some of the challenges facing Muslims in the modern-day debate between science and religion.
Faith and reason is an age-old debate that leads into the modern conflict between science and religion. For the purpose of this article, some qualities of this conflict can be illustrated by a couple of events that happened in 1979.