Ibrahim (AS) Destroys the Idols

The people had a large temple in which they kept many idols to worship. Ibrahim (AS) decided that he was going to destroy these to try to show the people how foolish their beliefs were.

One day a festival was taking place, and everyone attended it. Ibrahim (AS) knew this was his opportunity, and so instead of going with everyone he complained, ‘I feel sick.’ Really he meant that he felt sick of all the idolatry, but to the people it seemed as if he was ill and so they left him alone.

When everyone had left, Ibrahim (AS) snuck into the empty temple with an axe. He saw the idols with the offerings of food at their feet and mocked, ‘Won’t you eat the offerings in front of you?’ He then asked, ‘What is that matter that you won’t speak?’ He could not understand how people could ever have worshipped these statues made of wood and stone.

Then he took the axe and began to smash all of the idols to pieces. Finally there was only one idol left, and this was the biggest one of them all. Instead of breaking it, he hung the axe from its neck and left the temple.

When the people returned they were extremely shocked and angry to see that all of their idols had been broken. They asked, ‘Who did this to our gods? Certainly he is a wrongdoer.’

Some of them said, ‘We heard a young man who had spoken against them. His name is Ibrahim.’

So they called Ibrahim (AS) and questioned, ‘Are you the one who has done this to our gods, O Ibrahim?’

But Ibrahim (AS) has cleverly left the largest idol for a reason. He turned to it and said, ‘No, this one, the biggest of them, must have done it. Ask him, if he can talk!’

When Ibrahim (AS) said this, the people were ashamed. For a second they realised that what they were worshipping made no sense. They turned to one another in shame, before turning back to Ibrahim (AS) and saying, ‘You know very well that they cannot talk.’

So Ibrahim (AS) questioned, ‘So, instead of Allah you worship things that cannot help you or harm you? Have you no sense?’

The people had no answer, and because of this they responded with anger and violence. They decided that they needed to punish Ibrahim (AS), and decided to burn him alive.