Is Azar the father of Hazrat Ibrahim (pbuh)?
It is certain through verses and hadiths that all of the grandfathers of our Prophet are clean believers. To say the opposite means to deny verses and hadiths.
In the 28th verse of the chapter at-Tawbah, it is stated that the polytheists are unclean. It is stated that all of the grandfathers of our Prophet (pbuh) are clean. The following is stated in the chapter ash-Shuara: Wa taqallubaka fissajidin. That is, and thy movements among those who prostrate themselves. When the scholars of Ahl as-Sunnah interpreted that verse, they said all of his parents were believers. After the hadiths that state all of his grandfathers are clean believers reported, the following is stated at the beginning of the book Mawahib al-Ladunniyyah:
Ibn Abbas says: "I transferred you from the generation of one prophet to the generation of another prophet. If a father had two sons, the Messenger of Allah descended from the one that had the prophethood."
The following is stated in a hadith: "You descend from the best men of each century." [Bukhari]
"Allah chose Kinana among the sons of Ismael, the Quraysh among the sons of Kinana and sons of Hashim among the Quraysh. And He chose me among them." [Muslim]
"I descend from the best people. My ancestors are the best people." [Tirmidhi]
"Allah chose me among the distinguished people of Arabia. I descend from the best people." [Tabarani]
"None of my grandparents committed fornication. I descend from the best fathers and clean mothers. If one of my grandfathers had two sons, I descended from the better one." [Mawahib]
"All of my ancestors beginning from Hazrat Adam were married couples. I am the best of you in terms of ancestors." [Daylami]
"I am the most honorable person among people. I am not saying it in order to boast." [Daylami]
[That is, I am informing you about the truth; it is my duty to inform you about the truth; if I do not mention it, I will be regarded to have failed to fulfill my duty.)
Those hadiths and the verse in the chapter ash-Shuara indicate that all of the grandparents of our Prophet (pbuh) are clean believers.
Since unbelievers are dirty, it is impossible for the father of Hazrat Ibrahim to become an unbeliever.
Mullah Jami says: "A holy light shone on the forehead of Hazrat Adam because he had a particle of Muhammad (pbuh). That particle was transferred to Hazrat Eve, to Hazrat Seth from her and then to clean women from clean men and to clean men from clean women. That holy light was transferred to foreheads from foreheads together with that particle." [Shawahid]
That holy light was not transferred to an unbeliever or to a believer who committed fornication. Therefore, Azar was not the father of Hazrat Ibrahim (pbuh).
The name of Hazrat Ibrahim’s father was Taruh.
Azar was his uncle and stepfather. In the 74th verse of the chapter al-Anam, the following is stated, "Ibrahim said to his father, Azar, ..." It is recorded in the interpretation of Baydawi that here the word father is used as atf al-bayan (an extra word to explain). When someone has two names, and when they are both used, it is understood that one of them is not famous but the second one is famous.
The second one is mentioned in order to clarify the ambiguity in the first one, which is not famous. The second one is called atf al-bayan.
Hazrat Ibrahim (pbuh) calls two people father. The first one is his own father, and the second one is his stepfather, who is also his uncle. According to the rules of laconic usage, rhetoric and fluency, the meaning of the verse is: Ibrahim said to his father whose name was Azar. If it had not been so, it would have been enough to say, "He said to Azar” or "He said to his father." If Azar had been his real father, the word “his father” would have been extra. We never say, “My father, Ali, is coming but we say, “My father is coming.”
In the Quran, the uncle is called the father. Hazrat Ismael is the uncle of Hazrat Jacob (Yaqub). However, in the Quran, “your father Ismael” is used instead of “your uncle Ismael”. His children say to Hazrat Yaqub, " thy fathers―of Abraham Ismael and Isaac..." (al-Baqara, 2/133) that is, "your father Ibrahim, your father Ismael and your father Isaac...". As a matter of fact, Hazrat Ismael is Hazrat Yaqub’s uncle, not father. It is stated in the interpretations that in the Quran, the uncle is called the father.
It is written in reliable books that Hazrat Prophet (pbuh) called an old peasant, Abu Talib and Hazrat Abbas as father.
It is customary to call the uncle, the stepfather, the father-in-law and charitable people as ‘father’ not only among Arabs but also among other nations.
We call people who help others as “father” or “father of the poor” figuratively. We also call old people “father” to show respect to them.
It is known that old people are called “Mother Aisha”, “Mother Fatima” or “Mother Haji”. When we call them so, it does not mean that they are our fathers or mothers. They are used to show respect.
We also call old men “uncle”, “grandfather”, and old women “aunt”, “grandmother although they are not our relatives.
Accordingly, although the real father of Hazrat Yaqub (pbuh) was Hazrat Isaac, Hazrat Yaqub (pbuh) was addressed “your father Ismael” in the Quran.
In his book, Kitabud-darj-il-munifa, Imam Suyuti proves that Azar is Hazrat Ibrahim’s uncle with evidence and resources.
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