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Who is Azar?

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    Who is Azar?

    I was having this discussion with a friend at work. We were talking about Hazrat Ibrahim (Allaih Sallam), the Prophet, also known as Abraham.

    Correct me if I am wrong, but my understanding is that Azar, with whom he lived, was not his real father, but was an uncle or guardian. I don't remember where I read this, or whether it was in the Quran or where, but thats what I remember.

    My friend was, however, very sure that Azar was Ibrahim (Allaih Sallaam)'s father.

    If you all recall, Azar used to make idols and those were broken by Hazrat Ibrahim (Allaih Sallaam) when all the people had gone to a festival.

    Does anyone know of any quranic reference which clarifies whether Azar was the real father of Hazrat Ibrahim (Allaih Sallaam) or was he merely an uncle or guardian? If he was not the real father, then do we have the name of his real father anywhere in any divine text?

    Buhat shukriya.
    "Let your friends underestimate your virtues. Let your enemies overestimate your faults." - Godfather.

    #2
    {Lo! Abraham said to his father Azar: "Takest thou idols for gods? For I see thee and thy people in manifest error."} (Surah 6:74)

    Here's something i posted in a previous thread:

    Ibn Kathir (d. 774H) in his Tafsir Qur'an al-'Adhim whilst commenting on the above verse says that Prophet Ibrahim's (as) father's name was Azar. He also quotes some earlier authorities who said that Azar was the name of the idol that Ibrahim's (as) father looked after (and so this name came to be applied to him due to his association with that idol).

    Likewise, at-Tabari (d. 310H) in his Qur'an commentary concludes his discussion on this point by saying:

    "The first of these statements is the more correct in my view - the statement of those who say that it (Azar) is the name of his father. This is because Allah Most High has told us that he is his father... And if someone were to say: 'The genealogists have ascribed Ibrahim to Tarakh, so how can his name be Azar when it is known that his name was Tarakh?' It would be said to him (in reply): It is not improbable that he had two names as is the case with many in our own time and with those of the past. And it is possible that (Azar) was his agnomen (or nickname, surname or title). And Allah knows best."

    Al-Suyuti (d. 911H) also says that Azar was his agnomen (or nickname, surname or title) whilst his own name was Tarakh.

    In the abridgment of al-Shawkani's (d. 1250H) tafsir, Fath al-Qadir, it says: "It is said that the name of Ibrahim's father was Tarakh. And it is said that he had two names: Azar and Tarakh."

    Allah knows best.

    Iqbal

    Comment


      #3
      Thanks. So you are convinced that Azar was infact the real father of Hazrat Ibrahim (Allaih Sallaam). I tried searching on the internet. Here is an excerpt from here and hereAlthough its a shia site, but I am not sure why the topic of Azar would be a dispute among shias and sunnis.

      Anyway, their argument goes like this..
      • Ibrahim was born when his father Tarakh was seventy-five years old at the time. Both his parents passed away when he was of very young age and he ended up in the care of his uncle Azhar. As was the custom of the Babylonians he was known as the son of Ahzar after his parents death.

        Was Azar the Father of Prophet Abraham?

        Surah Al Anaam - Chapter VI - Verse 74

        And when Ibrahim said to his sire, Azar : Do you take idle for gods ? Surely I see you and your people in manifest error.


        and Surah Al Tauba - Chapter IX - Verse 114

        And Ibrahim asking forgiveness for his sire was only owing to a promise that he made to him; but when it became clear to him that he was an enemy of Allah, he declared himself to be clear of him; most surely Ibrahim was very tenderhearted and forbearing.


        In the above verses, the word ' Ab ' has been used for Azar. However, 'Ab' has different meanings and does not necessarily mean 'Walid' (biological father).

        The Holy Prophet (PBUH&HF) has said that the essence of his existence had been transmitted and ultimately conveyed to his immediate parents through a pure, a holy and sanctified progeny.

        Now the word ' Ab ' in Arabic language may mean father as well as ancestor or even uncle as Ishmael ( Ismail ) the uncle of Jacob ( Yaqoub ) has been addressed as ' Ab ' in the following Quranic verse ...


        Nay ! were you witnesses when death visited Yaqoub, when he said to his sons : What will you serve after me ? They said : Well will serve your God and the God of your fathers, Ibrahim and Ismail and Ishaq, one God only, and to Him do we submit. [ 2 : 113 ]

        Since Ishmael was not the father of Jacob, and yet Quran uses the word 'Ab' for him as uncle, then the usage of this word for other than biological father is established...

        Besides Prophet Abraham prays for his biological father (Walid) along with the other believers, which clearly indicates that his biological father was not a polytheist. This is evident from the following Quranic verse ...

        O our Lord ! grant me protection and my parents (Walidayn) and the believers on the day when the reckoning shall come to pass. [14:41]

        But what is surprising, that knowing for fact Ibrahim's ( as ) father was 'Tarakh' and not 'Azar' as stipulated by some Sunni historians, which is in total conformity with the opinion of Shia. Ibn Katheer in his work on history writes:

        Ibrahim ( as ) was the son of Tarakh. When Tarakh was 75 years of age, Ibrahim ( as ) was born to him.

        Sunni reference: al-Bidaya wan Nahaya, by Ibn Katheer, v 1 p 139


        This is also confirmed by Tabari, as he gives the lineage of Ibrahim's (AS) family in his history collection, but then also in his Commentary of the Quran he states that 'Azar' was NOT the father of Ibrahim (AS).


      Now, its probably undisputed that his real father's name was Tarakh, however I am still unclear whether Tarakh and Azar are the names of one person or two different persons.

      Shukria.
      "Let your friends underestimate your virtues. Let your enemies overestimate your faults." - Godfather.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by Faisal:

        Anyway, their argument goes like this..

        Now the word ' Ab ' in Arabic language may mean father as well as ancestor or even uncle as Ishmael ( Ismail ) the uncle of Jacob ( Yaqoub ) has been addressed as ' Ab ' in the following Quranic verse ...

        Nay ! were you witnesses when death visited Yaqoub, when he said to his sons : What will you serve after me ? They said : Well will serve your God and the God of your fathers, Ibrahim and Ismail and Ishaq, one God only, and to Him do we submit. [ 2 : 113 ]

        Since Ishmael was not the father of Jacob, and yet Quran uses the word 'Ab' for him as uncle, then the usage of this word for other than biological father is established...
        Yes, 'Ab' may be used for other than someone's biological father however the context usually clarifies whether one of the other secondary meanings, such as 'uncle' or 'grandfather', is meant. From the Qur'an we know that Ismail (as) is not Yaqub's (as) biological father and so the use of 'Ab' must necessarily take another meaning. The reader will immediately catch on that something else is intended.

        However, the same can't necessarily be said for the relationship between Ibrahim (as) and Azar - there's no other verse, as far as i can see, to indicate that a secondary meaning should be understood. 'Ab' therefore is better taken to mean 'father' unless there is convincing evidence to suggest otherwise.

        Besides Prophet Abraham prays for his biological father (Walid) along with the other believers, which clearly indicates that his biological father was not a polytheist. This is evident from the following Quranic verse ...

        O our Lord ! grant me protection and my parents (Walidayn) and the believers on the day when the reckoning shall come to pass. [14:41]
        This verse actually reads: {O our Lord ! Forgive me and my parents... } It should be read in conjunction with Surah 9:114:

        {And Abraham prayed for his father's forgiveness only because of a promise he had made to him. But when it became clear to him that he was an enemy to Allah, he dissociated himself from him: for Abraham was most tender-hearted, forbearing.}

        And also Surah 60:4:

        {Indeed, there is for you a good example in Ibrahim and those with him when they said to their people: Surely we are clear of you and of what you serve besides Allah; we declare ourselves to be clear of you, and enmity and hatred have appeared between us and you forever until you believe in Allah alone - but not in what Ibrahim said to his father: I would certainly ask forgiveness for you, and I do not control for you aught from Allah-- Our Lord! on Thee do we rely, and to Thee do we turn, and to Thee is the eventual coming}

        But what is surprising, that knowing for fact Ibrahim's ( as ) father was 'Tarakh' and not 'Azar' as stipulated by some Sunni historians, which is in total conformity with the opinion of Shia. Ibn Katheer in his work on history writes:

        Ibrahim ( as ) was the son of Tarakh. When Tarakh was 75 years of age, Ibrahim ( as ) was born to him.

        Sunni reference: al-Bidaya wan Nahaya, by Ibn Katheer, v 1 p 139
        The same Ibn Kathir in his Qur'an commentary states that al-Tabari's view (which i quoted earlier) is "good and strong" and it seems Ibn Kathir prefers this view as well.

        This is also confirmed by Tabari, as he gives the lineage of Ibrahim's (AS) family in his history collection, but then also in his Commentary of the Quran he states that 'Azar' was NOT the father of Ibrahim (AS).
        Whoever wrote this has obviously not fully read al-Tabari's Commentary of the Quran. Al-Tabari gives various opinions as to Azar's identity including quoting other authorities whose view it was that "Azar was NOT the father of Ibrahim". However, his concluding remarks clearly suggest that he himself prefers the view that Azar was the name of Ibrahim's (as) father and he briefly replies to the argument of those who say that it is not.

        And Allah knows best.

        Iqbal

        Comment


          #5
          I thought Azar was Prophet Ibrahim stepfather. let me check again my sources.

          Comment


            #6
            the imam at the local mosque has often talked about this matter and he says that the word used in the Quran to refer to Azar (Ab), is also used to refer to 'guardian' or 'uncle'. The word which is used to solely refer to the biological father is something else.

            so he argues that Azar was not his real father. His real father was Tarakh.


            the above argumentation is also given by iqbal.

            but the imam also tells us of a Hadith (will have to clarify and verify and validate this) that the Prophet once said that from prophet Adam till himself the father-son pedigree have all been Allah worshippers.

            so it cannot be the case that Azar was prophet ibrahim's real father, cuz he didn't worship Allah, whereas Tarakh did.
            Why so serious ... ?

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by NeSCio:

              The word which is used to solely refer to the biological father is something else.
              The Imam might have had in mind the word walid. An example of its use is in Surah 31:33. Of course, Ab is also used in the Qur'an for a biological father, such as in Surah 37:102.

              Iqbal

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by NeSCio:
                but the imam also tells us of a Hadith (will have to clarify and verify and validate this) that the Prophet once said that from prophet Adam till himself the father-son pedigree have all been Allah worshippers.
                I am not sure about ALL Prophets whose father-son pedigree was monotheist (especially based on my understanding of Noah (Allaih Sallaam) and his son ... however this brings me to another interesting question.

                Talking with another muslim guy, he made a comment that the father of the Prophet (Sallalah o Alaihay Wassalam) and his mother were both idol-worshippers. I disagreed, because based on my knowledge as to what I have read, both Abdullah (Razi Allah Tallah) and Amina (Razi Allah Tallah) were very pious people. Even though they were part of Quresh who were the guardians of Ka'aba and all its idol-gods, I have read no mention that they indulged in idol-worship themselves. Being the parents of the Prophet (Sallalah O Alaihay Wassalam) surely Allah Ta'llah kept them away from sins, just like in we read that both Abdul Mutlib (Razi Allah Tallah) and Abu Taalib (Razi Allah Tallah) had very high levels of piety.

                I think its a given that we should show complete respect to all those who were shown respect and love by the Prophet (Sallalah o Alaihay Wassalam) including his father who died before his birth. I had read that He visited his fatherís tomb in Madina years later, cried his heart out, and on his return, said: I wept for my father and entreated God to forgive him. (paraphrasing)

                Unfortunately I don't have my collection of Islamic books here, so I am wondering if anyone has anything more to add to this topic.
                "Let your friends underestimate your virtues. Let your enemies overestimate your faults." - Godfather.

                Comment


                  #9
                  question to be asked, and very importantly to be answered is: Does it matter if azar was his father or guardian????
                  Both Halal & Haram r evident but between them r doubtful things, most ppl have no knowledge about them. So whoever saves himself from suspicious things saves his religion & honor, & whoever indulges in suspicious things indulges in Haram.

                  Comment

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