Interpretation of Sura Maryam (Mary) - Verse 42
42. " When he said to his father: 'O my father! Why do you worship that which neither hears nor sees, nor does avail you in aught?"
When Abraham was preaching as a prophet, his father had died, and the man whom has been introduced in the Qur'an as his father was his guardian, his uncle 'A-zar, or his mother's husband. (Al-Mizan, the Commentary).
Some Islamic traditions also denote that Abraham's father was a monotheist, and the objective meaning of the Qur'anic word /'ab/, here, is his uncle. In Arabic language the term /'ab/ has a vast meaning. It is also applied for the teacher, the trainee, and even for the father-in-law. There is also a tradition narrated from the Prophet of Islam (p.b.u.h.) who said: " I and Ali are the fathers of this Ummah (Muslim community).
Then, the verse points to the debate of Abraham and his father, 'A-zar. (Father here is referred to the uncle). It says:
" When he said to his father: 'O my father! Why do you worship that which neither hears nor sees, nor does avail you in aught?"
This short and expressive statement is one of the best evidences of the negation of polytheism and idolatry. One of the man's motives alongside knowing Allah is the motive of benefit and loss. Abraham says to 'A-zar why he relies on a deity which neither removes a difficulty from him, nor it is able to hear and see.
1. The disputations of Abraham and his uncle are worthy of mentioning and magnifying. "When he said…"
2. In 'forbidding of wrong', you should begin from your own kin. (…O my father…)
3. There is no age limitation for forbidding of wrong. (A son can forbid the grand members of the family from doing evils, but he must observe their respect and protect it.)
4. Perfection of persons does not always relate to their age. Sometimes it happens that the child of a family understand the facts better than the elders of that family.
5. In forbidding of wrong, it is better to begin from the creedal indecencies. (Unfortunately we are often busy in the ethical and social vices).
6. The path of truth should not be sacrificed for affections. Relationship ought not to hinder the act of forbidding of wrong.
Adopted from the book : "The Light of the Holy Qur'an; Interpretation of Surah Maryam" by : "Sayyid Kamal Faghih Imani and a Group of Muslim Scholars"
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