Ibrahim (AS) Reasons with Star Worshippers
Ibrahim (AS) and his two followers realised that they could not stay in their homeland. The community was against them, and even their own families were against them. It was only a matter of time before the people tried to kill them again. And so they decided to migrate elsewhere for the sake of Allah.
They decided to go to Greater Syria, which is where modern Syria, Palestine, Lebanon and Jordan are. On the way there, they stopped by a place known as Haran, where the people worshipped the stars. Ibrahim (AS) decided to try and call these people to the truth, and to do this he used a very clever example.
As the night fell, Ibrahim (AS) saw a star. He then pointed to it and exclaimed loudly, ‘This is my lord!’ Now of course he didn’t actually believe this, but the people of Haran did and so they now saw Ibrahim (AS) as one of them. But then the star set and disappeared from view. So Ibrahim (AS) said, ‘I do not like those which set.’ What kind of a lord is it that only appears for a short while? What if you need to ask for help at another time? So Ibrahim (AS) rejected the star as being his lord.
Then Ibrahim (AS) saw the moon. The moon was brighter and bigger than the star, and so he pointed at it and exclaimed once again, ‘This must be my lord!’ When the moon set, however, he then declared, ‘If the One who created me does not guide me, then I will definitely be from those who are astray.’ So he publically rejected the possibility of the moon being his lord.
Soon after, a much larger and brighter object, the sun, appeared. It was bigger than any of the objects that the people of Haran worshipped, and so according to the logic that Ibrahim (AS) had given, it was more worthy of worship than the stars or even the moon. But of course, it also had to set. Now there was nothing left. Nothing was bigger than the sun, and so there was nothing in the sky more worthy of being worshipped than it. But at night there was no sun, so there was nothing to worship at all. So Ibrahim (AS) turned to the people and announced, ‘O my people, I am free from that which you worship as partners to Allah. I have turned my face towards the One who has created the heavens and the Earth, on the straight path, and I am not of those who commits shirk.’
The people began to argue with him, until he said, ‘How can you argue with me about Allah when He has guided me? I do not fear anything that which you worship as partners with Him. They can do nothing to me unless my Lord wills.’
The people of Haran then began to threaten him, and so the three believers once again decided to leave.