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October 29, 2007, 3:21 am
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Nearly four thousand years ago, in the Sumerian town of Ur in the
valley of the river Euphrates, lived a young man named Abraham. The
people of Ur had once worshipped Allah but as time passed they forgot
the true religion and started praying to idols, statues made of wood
or clay and sometimes even of precious stones. Even as a small child
Abraham could not understand how his people, and especially his
father, could make these images with their own hands, call them gods,
and then worship them. He had always refused to join his people when
they paid respect to these statues. He would leave town to sit alone
and think about heavens and the worlds around him.. He was sure his
people were doing wrong and so alone he searched for the right way.
One clear night as he sat staring at the sky he saw a beautiful
shining star, so beautiful that he cried out: 'This must be Allah!' He
looked at it in awe for some time, until suddenly it began to fade and
then it disappeared. He turned away in disappointment saying: I love
not things that set. (Koran vi.77)
On another night Abraham was again looking at the sky and he saw
the rising moon, so big and bright that he felt he could almost touch
it. He thought to himself: This is my Lord. (Koran vi.78) But it was
not long before the moon set as well. Then he said, Unless my Lord
guides me, I surely shall become one of the folk who are astray.
(Koran vi.78) Abraham then saw the beauty and splendor of the sunrise
and decided that the sun must be the biggest and most powerful thing
in the universe. But for the third time he was wrong, for the sun set
at the end of the day. It was then that he realized that Allah is the
Most Powerful, the Creator of the stars, the moon, the sun, the earth
and of all living things. Suddenly he felt himself totally at peace,
because he knew that he had found the Truth.
When he said unto his father and his folk: What do you worship? They
said: We worship idols, and are ever devoted to them.
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