Regarding Abraham’s Prayer For His Father

Question

Javed Aḥmad Ghamidi one's said, during our chat, that Ibrahim (sws) was told by God not to pray for your father as he is a rejecter. But it appears that in Sūrah Ibrahim verse 41, the Prophet Ibrahim, again asks God to forgive his parents. To me the time period of latter is later than the first. Can you explain this please? Also kindly give me the reference of the sūrah where God stops Ibrahim (sws) to pray for his father.


Answer

The Holy Qur'ān variously mentions the incident of Abraham's promise to his father about praying to God for his forgiveness. It also mentions the prayer:

He said: Peace be to you! I shall ask forgiveness of my Lord for you. Lo! He was ever gracious to me. [19:47]

The Qur'ān does not mention verses clearly forbidding Abraham not to pray for his father. However some of the Qur'ānic verses indicate to the fact:

It is not for the Prophet, and those who believe, to pray for the forgiveness of idolaters even though they may be near of kin (to them) after it has become clear that they are people of hell fire. The prayer of Abraham for the forgiveness of his father was only because of a promise he had promised him, but when it had become clear to him that he (his father) was an enemy to Allah he (Abraham) disowned him. Lo! Abraham was soft of heart, lone suffering. [9:113-4]

It is stated as a principle that none of the Prophet (sws) could pray for the polytheists when it became clear that they had rejected the divine message after being convinced of its truth. But the Prophet Abraham (sws) prayed for his father. The very next verse explains the reason why did he do so in the first place. He had given his word to his father therefore he prayed. It seems that he was then forbidden and he readily accepted as he was always first to surrender before God.

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